Monthly Archives:

June 2020

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STEPHEN’S LAST NIGHT IN TOWN (NOT)

June 24, 2020

I’m not doing a ‘Stephen’s Last Night In Town’,* promise 😂. But just to say that on this OUTSIDER blog I’ve opened up all the additional paid-for content so that it’s free. In the right-hand column there’s a category ‘OUTSIDER Patreon Chapters’ click on that and you’ll find additional recipes, poetry, photography and some longer essays. My hope for this online project was to illustrate that living slowly with less doesn’t have to be purgatory, in fact it can be…

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Some thoughts on change

June 22, 2020

I haven’t been posting on here so much lately, & it feels as if I’ll be posting less now as the months roll on. Originally I set up this account, and the OUTSIDER Instagram to document our shift from a settled life stuffed full of overwork & fast-paced living, to a more minimalist, slow, migratory way of living. That was thirty months ago. I cannot believe how quickly the time has flowed around us & we have felt like a…

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Making it up as I go along

June 15, 2020

The best way I’ve found to move towards #zerofoodwaste in the van kitchen is to work with what’s already in instead of buying new ingredients all the time. I try not to just do the food shopping on the same day each week, instead going once the food has run out (which can be up to 9 days later). This dish of spicy black bean and fresh tomato soup with lemony-herb topping, served with garlic chapati, was inspired by the…

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Barefoot dreams

June 13, 2020

Wore shoes last night for the first time in ages and still walked the 5km home barefoot. I love being in tune with my surroundings, the way my body is fully aware of changes in temperature and texture; feeling the hard, smooth white cobbles give way to soft, damp midnight grasses. These past few years, no longer restricted by ridiculously shaped shoes, my feet have spread, rough callouses have formed along the heels; I can no longer stride with certainty,…

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Black history matters

June 8, 2020

Earlier this year I had a poetry residency at the National Trust’s Chirk Castle in North Wales, with the aim of engaging with the natural environment and the grounds surrounding the castle. It’s the second time I’ve worked on a project there, the first being a few years earlier when I was invited to work with groups of young people from the local school to write poetry in response to the castle. On both occasions I felt a deep need…

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On perseverance

June 6, 2020

There’s something I love about the art of perseverance. Although we’re all born with differing capabilities I truly believe that anybody can get good at any skill with enough time, effort and perseverance. Personally, I prefer taking the longer, more difficult route to learning. When I’ve examined this I realise it’s because my philosophy is that if I can do something in difficult times/under difficult situations then I’ll be really good when the going gets easier. Surfing has been one…

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Where is your freedom?

June 1, 2020

How much freedom do we have, if we’re completely honest with ourselves? Every choice come with conditions: buy a home, and agree to trade an extortionate amount of debt for comfort and security; focus on your career, and know that the more successes you have the greater the compulsion to compete, the need to remain current and relevant; choose a family, and be enfolded in love, but also all the drama. What is the price for absolute freedom? To live…

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