Ed's letter | Relax, go to it
I’m writing this on the flight back to London from an autumnal Umbria, where I’ve just been for a week’s holiday.
In the midst of load shedding and praying for rain in Joburg, I absconded to idle in Italy. Literally. I’ve just spent the week on a retreat organised by a niche English publication called The Idler. If you’re not familiar with it, the brand/magazine is all about what it says on the label: taking time out to do nothing — bar thinking, feasting, drinking, and enjoying life.
And that’s exactly what we did. In the last warm days of the season we walked up Umbrian hills, passing old stone villas and olive trees. We sat in the sun and ate plates piled high with gnocchi and roasted aubergines and kept our glasses topped up with local wine, which is like water — dangerously easy to drink. We dabbled in some light philosophy and thought on the ancient mind and sang along to a ukulele. (yes, a ukulele). There was a visit to see Piero della Francesca’s Madonna del Parto and a talk about anarchism.
In short it was the happiest, most mind-stretching vacation I’ve taken in years. And exactly the sort of luxury that, I think, Wanted is about — ideas, indulging, beauty, and mixing with interesting people from all over the world.
I’ve left contemplating the state the globe is in and how I need to perhaps take a step back from my phone and social media and do more consistent idling. It’s a hard thought for someone with a Protestant–ish work ethic and in-built guilt.
And equally hard when you’re shouting into your hands-free speaker, while simultaneously dodging taxis on Jan Smuts. Or lying wide awake at 3am worrying about the economy.
But I’m going to give it a bash. And you should too — using this issue as your guide. Take up some wild swimming (it is madly en vogue), visit the luxe lodges in our Navigator section, contemplate an excursion that will make you smarter and more relaxed, as per our piece on intellectual travel.
Oh, and step away from that email.
WHILE I’M AT IT…
I’m a perennial fan of wearing lad’s stuff. Men’s cologne, their shirts, and watches do it for me. Which is why, I rather fancy Panerai’s new Luminor Due releases. They’re still very much designed in the classic style of the range but are thinner and, of course, exceptionally crafted — and come in 38mm, 42mm, and 45mm versions.
The movements are mechanical but Panerai has introduced automatic winding, and all three options have power reserves of three days. I’m got my eye on the 42mm option but can confirm that any gent sporting one will get high approval ratings from moi, irrespective of their pick. Available at Elegance Jewellers Panerai Boutique ejewels.co.za 011-784-0047.