| Home | Up on The Wall

Remember our curious habit of picking up things from the ground and taking them home from our adventures(SEE HERE)? Well, I've finally gone and found the perfect way to store and display them!

I had my heart set on finding an old type/letterpress drawer to repurpose as a display fixture. It took me a year to find just the right one. But you know me, I am willing to keep seeking, waiting, hoping till I find the one that strikes a chord with me and I am so glad that I did. This one is French and was used in an industrial printers factory to hold "42pt Headline Italic" letters before it found its way to London and eventually to us. Its handle is a bit rusty and its compartments a bit dusty but I happen to like it that way. It came to us with a story in its grains and hopefully, it will continue to collect stories in the time it stays with us.

Our drawer does a good job of exhibiting our little trinkets I think. Every little thing here has its own story and so nudges a different memory for us. Not all of these have been picked up off the floor. A lot of them have come from Hiro's maternal Obaa-chan (granny) who never lets us leave her without giving us something. Many items here also have a strong significance to Japanese tradition , such as the DarumaOmamori, Shichifukujin, Kokeshi (this one has particularly interesting origins - will talk about that another day). 

I want this display to constantly evolve and and change with our changing lives. There will be things that we will add just to mark special events and other things that we add/move around/remove just because it feels right. 

I wonder what it will look like this time next year!


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| Recurring Themes | Shadow Chaser

I have an ever growing, ever improving archive of photos at my fingertips and it is easy to begin to take this for granted. However, each time that I dip into them seeking out the perfect pic for the words I am stringing haplessly together, I find myself in awe at Hiro's work. He has never taken a lesson is his life yet he strives tirelessly to improve his skills. I imagine that he will probably always class himself as an amateur photographer (such is the way of the perfectionist). I am sure that if you asked him why he likes taking photos he will say that he doesn't really and that he likes "catching shadows and light". 

Shadows and light. Two things that drive him in so many ways. They are the materials that he works with and the creative kinetics that keep pushing him onwards.

I was actually planning on posting a recipe onto the blog today but lost myself in Hiro's shadow chasing. I hope that you will enjoy the few that I have picked to share with you:

Kaya Koy, Turkey. See Original Post HERE

Kaya Koy, Turkey. See Original Post HERE

Neues Museum, Berlin

Neues Museum, Berlin

Niigata, Japan. See original post HERE

Porto. Sao Bento Station. See Original post HERE

Barcelona. In the studio of Diego Mallo 

Berlin. See Original Post HERE
Venice. See Original Post HERE

Venice. See Original Post HERE
Tanzania. In my father's garden.

Pavilion of Portugal, Lisbon. 

Gare do Oriente, Lisbon. See the original post HERE

The funniest thing is that when Hiro spots this post on the blog later today he will probably say........

"Sh*t! Who took that pic!!!" 

To which I will answer......


Then he will say.....

"Did I? It's alright ini?"

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| Everyday People | Girl in The Lilac Dress

To the girl in the lilac dress.

I heard you arrive at the beach with all your friends. Your laugh tickled me. I smiled when I saw you and then I too started to laugh.

I watched you dance in the spluttering waves. Did you notice that your friends also watched you with admiration in their eyes? 

You reminded me of when my sister and I were children and our mother brought to the sea one last time before she left us. You brought back the song of our laughter and the colours of our childhood to my mind. 

Dear girl in the lilac dress. We are not so different you and I. 

You are the final thought I have from Zanzibar's powder shores, and though you will never know this, you gave me peace with my memories. You made them light and easy to awaken and sink into for that moment.

Asante dada. Asante mingi sana.

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| Photo Diary | I Met A Demon

Once upon a time in a curious part of Japan, I came across a demon. He was huge and red and as tricksy as they come.

I have had many battles with demons in my past so I was not about to falter to this one! I walked right up to him and we sized each other up. He saw into me and I saw into him. We looked each other right in the eye till we understood each other. Then, I went my way and he is still haunting the steps at Kinugawa Onsen.

I have enough demons of my own. These days I am getting better at keeping them in check.

For The Curious | See More of Our Adventures in Kinugawa HERE 

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| Thoughts | Never Stop Exploring

Photo taken in Zakynthos
Shirt is vintage Cacharel and Liberty. The shorts, I made myself: SEE HERE

I have become aware that no matter what is going on in my life, we somehow find the time and the impetus to explore.

I have realised that through exploring our surroundings we have learned so many things empirically by seeing and feeling and living and taking away stories from from that moment.  

I suppose if I am really honest, exploring has taught me a lot about myself too.

To borrow heavily from our About page, exploring teaches us new things, reminds of  forgotten things and shows us new ways to see. Exploring doesn't need to be expensive and involve long flights to far flung places. Most of the time all it really takes is a curious nature and some imagination.  Then in time, even your own city, your everyday paths open themselves up to you and show you details that you never knew that you never knew.  

It doesn't always take lots of money and time to explore. Here are my daily tips:

  • Don't spend your morning or evening commute with your goggles stuck to your smart phone! Look around you. See stuff!
  • Get on a bus if you can. Double deckers in London may be slower but they offer a much nicer view of the city especially from the top deck. 
  • Walk/cycle/run take to the streets! You will be surprised what you will see and what you have been missing.
  • Take a different route to work or back home. A different path or a different bus. Get off the bus/train a stop or two earlier and walk the rest of the way. You will still get to where you are headed you just might see something interesting on your way.
  • No time to stop and stare? Make a mental note of things you see and come back when you do have time.

It's the weekend folks and we wish you a good one. Always keep adventure in your soul and never stop exploring - even when you think you've seen it all!

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| Photo Diary | La Escocesa

It is true that Barcelona didn't move me in the way that it seems to have so many others but while I may not be confessing undying love for the city, it does have one place that I very much love to loiter!

In the Poblenou area is La Escocesa where we can find the studios of a few of our good good friends.  

La Escocesa is a ramshackle complex that begun life in the manufacture of chemical products for the textile industry the building dates back to 1852. Since 1999 it has faced a turbulent time in fighting for its new purpose as an artistic space. However, after many battles the City Council gave permission to a group of artists to retain and self manage the building. 

Actually, this is my favourite place in Barcelona - apart from Diego & Isabel's apartment which is not only beautiful but a great place to get fed! It is also the place where I can find Mina Y Zosen when they are not spreading colour across the globe.

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