How much do we talk about mental health? If I’m anything to go by, then probably not enough. With the obvious disconnection the pandemic has caused, combined with lack of certainty on the day-to-day, it’s no wonder that mindfulness apps like Mind and Insight Timer are so popular. With this in mind, it was great to work on a project with boatfolk, which coincided with Mental Health Awareness Week in May. Titled Honest Conversations, the podcast series focused on the minor adjustments we all need to allow for, to make big changes in our overall wellness.
Back in March, French artist JR unveiled a major installation on the facade of the Palazzo Strozzi.
His installation, titled La Ferita (The Wound), symbolises the suffering of many cultural institutions, like museums, libraries and theatres, during lockdown.
The piece creates an optical illusion, allowing passers-by to peer into the interior of the building and get a glimpse of its famous artworks.
Since moving to Cornwall a couple of months ago, I’ve made it my mission to scout out the best local foodie spots and lesser-known gems that have been recommended to me. My criteria? A menu that offers something interesting for the humble vegetarian, buckets of ambience, and a cracking view. I was lucky enough to spend a night at the recently refurbished Hotel Meudon, near Falmouth, and it succeeds in delivering all three.
The fabulous hotel team gave me the warmest welcome. Everything from the local gin to the complementary dog treats had been carefully selected to make my stay feel special, but the real treat was an inventive dinner menu crafted from locally sourced produce. Three courses later, after some cheerful chatter with the restaurant team, it was time to retire to the room balcony with a signature ‘smoked’ Negroni.
Despite the previous night’s cocktails, I managed to make it down to the private beach for a ‘refreshing’ morning dip, before breakfast beckoned… Gazing out from the elegant dining room at the giant palms and ferns of the tropical gardens to the sea beyond, I pondered if discovering my own hidden gem means I can authentically consider myself a Cornwall local now? One thing’s for sure – this corner of Cornish paradise won’t remain a secret for long.
I’ve admired the creative output of Tyler, the Creator, for a while now. His biannual summer album drops are always a treat, and his musical reincarnations every album cycle are both mystifying and entertaining in equal measure. His latest project, titled Call Me If You Get Lost is no different. Every aspect of the album launch is considered, from the merchandise to mysterious billboards teasers. With his latest project, I was particularly intrigued by the website that dropped alongside the launch of the album, enabling fans to create their own personalised versions of the passport on the Call Me If You Get Lost cover. This kind of digital engagement and interactivity, enriches the experience for fans and enhances the world that he has created.
You can check it out and generate your own on the album’s official website.
Instagram has recently introduced a new profile feature, which allows a dedicated section for people to share their pronouns (she/he/they etc.). It sparked me to carry out more research into the significance of doing this, and I learnt that declaring your pronouns publicly is one of the easiest ways to be an LGBTQ+ ally. Many transgender and non-binary people will list their pronouns in their bios on social media to avoid being mis-gendered online, and when only trans and non-binary people do this, it's easy for them to be targeted online and feel isolated. The more cisgender (those whose gender identity matches the gender they were assigned at birth) allies that do this, the more it normalises the practice of asking pronouns and not assuming gender; which in turn takes away the power from those who don't respect the right of people to choose what they prefer to be called.
It’s hugely important that everyone has the right to feel safe and is able to be open about who they are, so it’s great to be able to show support, even in little ways like this.
As a fan of most things vintage, I enjoyed spotting this article about two Falmouth University graduates who reimagined wartime posters to offer sage advice for the Covid era. James Hodson and Jason Keet’s 2020 ‘War On Covid-19’ campaign was so successful that it was featured by The New York Times, Now This, and – perhaps most evocatively – on 47 billboards around London. If you didn’t get a chance to see it at the time, it’s well worth a look now.
I’ve recently been enjoying the work of Yinka Ilori – his fun, bright and positive pieces are just the mood-booster we all need right now. Check it out for yourself.
It’s amazing to see the recent laws being passed, in which products with high sugar and fat content are being pushed beyond the watershed times, in order to reduce childhood obesity. While I wonder how hard this will be to police online, it’s a great initiative! It will be interesting to see how companies will either evolve their product content, or will simply not be able to market in the same way to younger people. Will we see brands change their strategies to highlight their low calorie and low sugar content products more? Who knows…but these are exciting times for the industry.
As Covid restrictions are starting to ease, one thing I’m really excited about re-opening is the Rosudgeon and Hayle car boot sales. What began as a 50p novelty purchase has gradually grown into an amusing collection of cat teapots – admittedly quite a strange item to start collecting, but I love their little characters!
While out in public open areas (gardens/open spaces) and peeking into the borders of private gardens, it seems lots are following the trend of letting grasses and flowers grow.
Setting aside part(s) of the garden to grow (known as “wilding”), encourages wildlife (and an essential part of nature: bees and butterflies) to visit.
This article on how to grow a wild patch shows how to bring a touch of wild to your garden.