slow living sydney

Reality can be so dreadfully disappointing when you have had time to build up something in your head but the Slow Living Sydney workshop was above and beyond all expectations.

Hosted by my blogging idol Beth Kirby from Local Milk and hand dyeing expert Rebekka Seale from the States together with Aussie photographer Luisa Brimble, the two day course held out at Glenmore House near Camden on the outskirts of Sydney was such an inspiration on the cooking, eating, styling and photography fronts. To be surrounded by women who make a living from documenting beauty and by women who were aspiring to do so was such a validating experience for me. There are others, many others, out there who scatter petals on kitchens because it is a totally worthwhile thing to do. 

Beth, Rebekka and Luisa were this amazing team. The trifecta - an achievement involving three successful outcomes. In some ways so different - dark and moody versus light and bright (their photos that is, but maybe their personalities too?) - but with this shared respect for each other's honed skills. And honed they were.

It was interesting to learn that Luisa was not a professionally trained photographer. She taught herself through books and studying photos in magazines. (She said just pick some photographers you like and freakin' copy, copy, copy. Sooner or later your own voice will come out, it just has to). Beth spent much of her 20s as an addict and in the not very many years after getting clean she has created the most unique, achingly beautiful blog I have read. (One of her gems of wisdom was that bloggers of even very big blogs are people too so don't be afraid to reach out to them. Another was when it comes to starting out a blog, the only thing you have to worry about is producing content of the highest standard you can. If you can keep doing this sooner or later people will notice). These three women were so talented, generous and utterly charming.  I basically want to be Beth, to be Rebbeka's bestie and to be able to go to work every day with Luisa.

Mum and Dad, who I stayed with when I came down for the workshop, kept asking me so what actually is this a course for, what is slow living? I don't exactly know but at the moment it's all I want to do.

Beth made these rhubarb galettes and as soon as we finished shooting them, Cecille, my styling partner for the day, and I demolished them with matched levels of greed/enjoyment. Nothing better than eating with someone who loves eating. 

Beth made these rhubarb galettes and as soon as we finished shooting them, Cecille, my styling partner for the day, and I demolished them with matched levels of greed/enjoyment. Nothing better than eating with someone who loves eating. 

Beth from Local Milk 

Beth from Local Milk 

Linen and cotton napkins hand dyed with lemon scented gum leaves and ground acacia bark

Linen and cotton napkins hand dyed with lemon scented gum leaves and ground acacia bark

Hand dyed cotton and linen napkins drying

Hand dyed cotton and linen napkins drying