Journal etc:. June, Exploring

For some, 'exploring' connotes adventuring to far away lands, the discovery of exotic foods, learning a new language and experiencing culture quite opposite to one's own.  And yet, that often means we leave our own back yards forgotten, and un-explored. 

Summer has well and truly arrived.  It's hard to believe we're still talking about 'lockdown', 'quarantine', and 'social distancing', 4 months on..  And whilst many of us may have planned to jet off to the luxurious sunny coastlines of Europe, this year is going to be a little different.  I wonder whether we'll learn to appreciate what our own surrounding countryside has to offer.  Do you reckon you'll take more time to appreciate the little things, now?  When we do take a moment to stop, and look, I think we'll find that the UK is rich in history, culture, and beautiful natural reserves.  Without being too cliche, there can quite literally be something to explore, for everyone.

Whilst the 4th of July marks the day a lot of us have been waiting for [and no not the celebration of 'American Independence day']; the holy re-opening of restaurants, bars, and cafes.  And eventually, British holiday destinations.  It is worth remembering that these are still strange times, and many businesses will not simply be 'business as usual'; they will have to continue to follow strict government guidelines, so we must remember to be patient as we all adapt to new rules and procedures.  With all that being said, here's our list of ideas on how to safely venture out and begin exploring Britain this summer. 

Moving: If you, like us, are finding that after almost 4 months, it's all just becoming a bit much, we find it's helpful to take a few deep breaths. And one of our favourite ways to do that is via Meredith Whitely's twice weekly, free, online, calming meditations [scroll down the page for the link]. It is so important to remember to move our minds, as we would our bodies. Something we're trying to work on, too.

Making: With new rules enforcing the donning of face masks on public transport, shared rides and public places, face masks have suddenly become the latest fashion statement. Greenpeace suggests how to make one from upcycled fabrics, and the BBC includes a couple of suggestions where sewing machine/skills are not required. Alternatively, Riley Studio is making reusable ones from fabric offcuts. And for a more statement - also made from fabric offcuts - mask, head to Gung Ho

Listening: With the pandemic exposing the vast flaws in both our global and national food systems, and the new Agricultural Bill legislation resulting in a Food Standards Petition to protect British Farming Standards, we've been listening to Farmerama Radio podcast to better our understanding of the industry, past, present and future.

Watching: After interviewing Chef Conor Spacey for this week's Food Waste Q&A, we're feeling incredibly inspired. From Mango Kombucha to a Banana-Skin Chutney, his Instagram TV videos are helping us think outside of the box, and truly 'root to fruit' when it comes to avoiding food waste. 

Exploring: As lockdown eases and we're desperate for a change of scenery, while it may not be to the Mediterranean coastline, turns out, there's rather a lot to discover in our own back yard. If you're in London, you could try a socially distanced foraging walk with John the Poacher . And if you're desperate to escape the crowds, Pebble Magazine has listed some of the best camping locations in the South West of England. And if camping isn't your thing or you need something a little more secure in this less than reliable British weather, you can 'holiday in history' in some of the country's most incredibly refurbished - upcycled - landmarks via the Landmark Trust