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slowlivingactivism

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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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Still working on Self-love

May 4, 2020

I wasn’t sure about posting this photo Andy took when I wasn’t aware recently. I don’t look like a lot of the other yoga people in these squares. My legs are thicker, I’m still learning to stretch my 44yr old body into what are considered some pretty easy poses, and I’m not in lycra. But then a lot of showing up in this space, for me, is about my struggles with self-acceptance, with loving myself exactly as I am, not…

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creating feature poetry slowlivingactivism

Take a chance…

April 7, 2020

Difficult times can offer the chance for deep reflection. So many people are beginning to question this world we’ve all created, that we all buy into. There’s a feeling of overwhelm at times, that perhaps the individual ‘I’ is so utterly insignificant, that unless we hold important titles, our brains overflowing with knowledge, we should leave it to others to figure the way forward. Then change comes and sits at our table, she looks us directly in the eye, refusing…

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creating feature nature poetry slowlivingactivism

You

December 20, 2019

Woke remembering this poem. Living slow allows the space to listen to the subconscious and really think about what she’s trying to tell me instead of rushing off and discounting her. Posting this here as a note to self, and to you, for this coming solstice, Yuletide, and a new decade that will manifest in reflection of us. We are magic. I think sometimes we forget that. Listen to the whole poem on Soundcloud.…

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Managing your moon

November 28, 2019

I feel there’s not enough easily accessible information about being in the outdoors and women’s periods/moons/cycles. A recent exchange made me realise that instead of expecting male writers to include words detailing it, outdoor women could write more openly about it all. I was inspired to write this after reading an article ‘How To Shit in the Woods’ on the Gather Outdoors website, which I highly recommend for its practical, environmental approach to, well, shitting in the woods. If you…

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the blue whale is the water’s auteur

November 26, 2019

I wanted to say hello to all the new people who’ve followed this account on the blog, email and Instagram recently. Instagram is a place I love for its sharing, creative community so I’m grateful that you’ve decided to join this OUTSIDER journey. My name’s Sophie McKeand, an award-winning poet, and nature writer from north Wales. For the past two years I’ve been slow-travelling across Europe in a self-converted Mercedes Sprinter hi-top LWB van with my partner @andyrgarside (a freelance…

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creating minimalism poetry slowlivingactivism

Slow down

November 19, 2019

Slowing down is a strange experience, at once soothing and terrifying. Many of the stresses of our productivity-focussed lives fall away, but also busyness can be a mask for all the sides of ourselves we don’t want to admit to. You take it off and what’s left? I never met a tree, or a badger, or a river with these worries. It’s all a construct. Slowing down just allows us to see this world for what it is; to see…

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Slow fashion on the road

November 12, 2019

Living on the road full-time in the van means that every item we bring along for the ride has to earn its place. We are brutal in our appraisal of stuff, quickly ejecting anything that doesn’t meet our minimalist living requirements. Last year, conversations with Bavarian clothes maker JECKYBENG about poetry and the the outdoors, led to us reviewing some of their clothes. It’s taken a while to write about these beautifully crafted organic cotton jackets (made in family-owned European…

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creating Mental Health minimalism poetry slowlivingactivism vanlife

Choose your life

November 9, 2019

Sometimes when I write, I imagine the one person in the world who will hate what I’m about to say, then I multiply that into a thousand voices. Then I stop writing and go have a cry. It’s the same with vanlife. Some people get it, others don’t. I realise I’ve given too much energy in the past to justifying myself to people who have no intention of understanding of me. Not any more. Live your life. You don’t need…

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