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International Women's Day 2020

In conjunction with IWD we have invited 5 inspiring women to consider the tools for their own self nourishment when it comes to living, the mind and the home. We hope you enjoy their thoughts

ANA  : Founder of Kana

What food provides you with nourishment?
I strongly believe that the most nourishing food is made by yourself. I really feel a lot of healing comes though the whole ritual of preparing your own food. It's not only about what that food is - my cravings change so much depends on the  season and my energy levels and needs. I crave carbs when I am tired and stressed and when I need to feel strong and energised, I would eat and crave only raw and very fresh and veggie food. But most importantly thre is something about the ritual of processing my emotions through preparing a meal for myself. Self nourishment comes from that.

Meal of today: braised French lentils with red pepper, chillies, courgette, tomatoes source and served with toasted sesame  seeds and shaped parmesan and warm side of steamed / almost raw broccoli with lemon juice and toasted pumpkin seeds and salt.

REBECCA WATKINSON : Innovation at Aesop

What pastime brings  you nourishment?
Gardening, seeing plants thrive. The result is a beautiful reward, but it’s the growing, nurturing, care, that’s the precious part. 
Part of the joy of gardening for me is the fact that the garden never stands still. Always more plans to make; what to move, what more to plant, what to re-think. It's only once a plant has been in a space for a few seasons that you see if it truly fits, and whether it’s happy. And if not, it moves, finds a new place that will hopefully become a more permanent home. That constant sense of adapting, reshuffling, working out what works and what doesn’t, the constant trial and error—and learning—this is the heart of caring for a garden. And sometimes being brave, having the courage to cut something back to the ground for it to regenerate. It can seem like tough love, but sometimes it’s necessary to get the very best out of a botanical friend.
There’s also a certain magic in watching the garden as the seasons change; the way the garden sleeps during Winter—and the process of putting it to bed in Autumn—before it then wakes gradually as Spring makes its presence felt. And the garden at full throttle, full of glorious bloom in Summer is a sight to behold. I often stand and watch as the bees, wasps and butterflies go about their work. It’s mesmerising to watch their dedication to collecting pollen and nectar. In moments like these the garden has never felt more alive. The only creature I'm not such a fan of is the slugs who insist on eating the Hostas, although in their own way they provide life—dinner for our local hedgehogs—so I can never begrudge them too much their last Hosta supper.

EMILY MATHIESON : Founder of Aerende

What piece of literature would you go to for nourishment?
Whenever I’m feeling in need, I turn to the book Do Death by my friend Amanda Blainey. The title may sound morbid but it's actually a life-affirming book that reminds us of the importance of cherishing each moment. I love how Amanda’s words are rooted in compassion and the idea of nurturing us to live a better a life, by exploring death. And of course, it’s only right for IWD to choose a book by a strong woman who lifts up others through her work as a death activist every day. 

Image credit: Anna and Tam

KATE MONUMENT : Creative Director of Circus Journal

What object offers you nourishment?
I've always been obsessed with stationery since I was a child, but I have a particular love of notebooks. I recently sorted out my office and discovered I have approximately 50 of them, all used, full of lists and doodles.  They range from cloth covered monogrammed ones (from my dream shop Papersmiths) to super cheap retro exercise books from the local post office. 

Working as a design and art director my day is never the same so I find find being able to write down what's in my head on a Sunday evening and at the beginning of each working day makes me feel calmer and more focussed on what's ahead.

Image credit: Dunja Opalko

DEBORAH BAINE :  Founder of Lunaria

What flower provides you with nourishment?
Its a good question.. I instantly think to what are my favourite flowers, but this changes endlessly depending on the season, the week, the moment.. and often just their beauty that makes them become my fleeting favourite.

But nourishment is different and it makes me think to scent.. Im going to say jasmine is the flower that gives me nourishment, as the natural fragrance from the flowers really grounds me. Its the first plant I put in our tiny outdoor space in hackney.. it flowered profusely around the door, it reminds me of nurturing that small urban space into somewhere special to me. Now I am growing jasmine hedges at our family house in Italy so that the fragrance fills the garden.. the smell is always nourishing and takes me to these happy places... including to my own patio here in bruton, pottering round in bare feet in warm summer evenings with the smell of jasmine in the air.... 

Image: In The making by Frome Independent | Photography Alice Whitby 

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