Cinnamon Toast

Back in the mists of time, cinnamon toast was my rare breakfast treat. Toasted white bread (it was almost always white in those days), buttered and sprinkled with a mixture of powdered cinnamon and white sugar was permitted once a week. I can still remember the crunch of sugar, the exotic tang of cinnamon evoking […]

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Forest Medicine, Micro and Macro Doses

Living in Bali, it can be easy to forget urban life. We take our constant access to gardens, trees, rice fields and forests for granted. There are plenty of studies to support our instinctive awareness that we feel better when near nature. Yet humans have never been so far from merging with the natural world […]

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The Real Boss

There’s so much I deeply appreciate about my life in Bali. The people, the culture, the weather, the gardens, the lifestyle … and the fact that I hardly ever have to do housework. I am pathetically grateful for this. I never seemed to get the hang of housework, somehow. I like cooking and don’t mind […]

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From Farmer to Fabric – Exquisite Textiles, Naturally

These days almost everything we wear is made and dyed chemically. Hundreds of millions of metres of synthetic textiles are made each year and natural fibres are increasingly rare. So it’s refreshing to find a project at our doorstep that celebrates natural hand-loomed fabrics and vegetable dyes. Threads of Life has been working with traditional […]

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Forgotten Fruits

Although we seem to be surrounded by an abundance of food choices, the variety of foods available to us is actually shrinking. According to a new study by the UN, three quarters of the world’s food now comes from just 12 plants. Of the hundreds of species of beans, cabbage, corn and other vegetables that […]

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Cat Walk

I traveled to Canada in late February, a month not notable for its warmth and charm. On Vancouver Island, frozen snowbanks receded reluctantly from the roads and even the hardy Islanders were wearing woolly hats and gloves. The temperature, day and night, was below zero. My sister keeps her house heated at 17C which does […]

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Woman at Sea – Citizen Science in the Plastic Wars

In October 2019 a sailing ship will embark from the United Kingdom on a two-year journey to raise awareness of the impacts of single use plastics in the world’s oceans. eXXpedition (note the clue of the double X chromosome in the title) is an all-woman scientific research mission which will cover almost 38,000 nautical miles […]

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Slow Food Bali Goes to India

The principles of Slow Food are universal – to promote good, clean, fair, seasonal food and support local producers. Every Slow Food group operates differently according to its own context. In December I was fortunate to meet a dedicated young man who is bringing Slow Food principals mainstream in a corner of Rajasthan, India. Rohit […]

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Ode to the Throne

As 2018 rolls to a close, our thoughts often turn to gratitude. Let us consider and give thanks to that unloved and unlovely item of porcelain, the toilet. We assume that it will always be there, clean and functioning and discreetly disposing of our excretions. This fundamentally important article is taken completely for granted until […]

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Monkey Business

I like or tolerate almost all creatures except mosquitoes and monkeys. So when the dogs started barking hysterically one morning I was not charmed to find a large long tailed macaque glaring at me from the frangipani tree not three metres from my open-plan house. In fact, I was deeply apprehensive. These monkeys are aggressive, […]

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