| Home | Kastehelmi

Though I have had them for a while, these jewel-like glass dishes bring delight each time I use them.

They are part of the Kastehelmi range made by Finnish manufacturer Iittala and designed by Oiva Toikka in 1964.

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The outside of each dish is dotted with concentric circles of raised "dew-drops" (kastehelmi is the Finnish word for dew-drop). Personally I love the beautiful reflections and way that light waltzes though the textures of the glass.

Though these dishes are glass and may look delicate, they are robust, built for daily use and can take dishwashing and microwaving no problem. 

These particular Kastehelmi dishes are machine manufactured in Finland in the Iittala and Nuutajärvi glass factories who are specialists in the production of  high quality coloured glass of excellent optical clarity. 

We have long been fans of Iittala's dedication to creating beautiful objects and their belief in "timeless design that will never be thrown away".

USEFUL LINKS | We bought ours at Skandium | Official Iittala website |

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| Abandoned | Pub

Pubs in England are more than boozy watering holes. They are part of the history and fabric of life here and have been throughout history.

Even though we don't often visit pubs, seeing more and more of these establishments fall into a state of deterioration is still sad to see. In August this year the Guardian reported that 31 pubs close every week in the UK. Many factors contribute to closures, the smoking ban, economic down turn, changes in social lifestyles etc. Though many are snapped up by developers and turned into flats or other things a few are left to face decay. 

USEFUL LINKS | Take a look at more of abandoned places that we've visited 
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| Food | Japanese Bakery

There is a little bakery located in a large supermarket close to the place we call home in Japan and it has serious pulling power!  Such is its irresistibleness that I find it very difficult to walk past without popping in to see what new delights are on offer.

Here are a few things that wound up in my belly on our last trip:

Sweet potato bread. In Japan you can get purple sweet potatoes and these are delicious beyond belief. I just had to try one as I have not seen these anywhere else. Chewy, mildly sweet and really filling!
Kare-pan! Japanese curry bread. Basically a soft bun stuffed with japanese-style veg curry. Super popular outside of Japan too but it's near impossible to get them while they are still warm over here. I can't resist! 
Barbecue beef and mayonnaise buns. Yes, seriously delicious. I really should have got more!

Japanese bakeries are prolifically inventive with their baked creations. I have no idea how they keep churning out all these ideas and keep offering new, tasty, and cheap things to tempt me everyday that I am there. 

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| Markets | Kariakoo

You only have to read the various tourist review sites out there to get a gist of how evocative Dar es Salaam's Kariakoo Market can be. 

Kariakoo intimidates some, scares, repulses, bewilders, confuses and overwhelms others. But, it is a real living working market. A place that has all of life and its complex wonders within it. Many markets across the world begin like this. Eventually they catch the attention and welcome in hoards of tourists.  Kariakoo has not gone down this path yet. It is an honest local market that shows aspects of life in Dar es Salaam laid bare within it.

Aside from being a sprawling market (it is hard to figure out where it starts or ends), there is far more to Kariakoo that meets the eye. The word "Kariakoo" comes from the mispronunciation of Carrier Corps which is how the structure at the heart of the market started life back when the British took Dar es Salaam in 1916. In 1972 the looming Brutalist structure we see today was built by the Germans to replace the colonial market. 
Going even further back into history, the area once housed a large village frequently raided by Arab slavers. 

Today it is an important part of life in Dar es Salaam spanning several city blocks and open from dawn till dusk providing vital supplies to locals.

Advice for visitors:
Leave your expensive cameras and watches behind.
Be careful and respectful when taking photos.
Wear closed shoes and watch where you step.
Smile, be kind and friendly.

More info | Architectural Notes on Kariakoo 

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| Stationery | Unexposed

The plain truth is that I need new notebooks like I need a hole in the head. Yet I could not resist slipping a set of Field Notes' Unexposed notebooks into my Journal Shop shopping cart. I have appeased my guilt by reminding myself how I make short speedy work of notebooks, filling teetering stacks of various sizes each year.

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The Field Notes Unexposed pack is a Limited edition set of three for autumn 2014. There are 20 possible shockingly bright (or ever easy to spot) combinations but each pack is a secret random selection within a neat black package presenting a little surprise when unwrapped.

The notebooks behave much better with pencil or ballpoint pens. They are far more temperamental with fountain pen ink and the results seem to depend largely on both the pen used, the hand of the user as well as the ink used. These are great for travel and general lists and everyday use and quite perfect for me in winter!

Here are some noteworthy Details:
Pages: 48 pages of bright white "reticle graph" paper.
Cover: Soft cover 
Binding: Stapled
Size: Pocket size 90 x 140mm

More info | Journal Shop's Selection of Field Notes | Field Notes Website |

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| What I Wore | The Blue Brights

Towards the end of summer, three of us went walking through one of Hiro's favourite areas of London. We've had a good run of warmth this year so it feels a bit selfish to complain about the cold that is now setting in. Instead I am sunning myself by reading books set in tropical locations and looking back on brighter photos. 

Breton top is by Le Minor and bought at Hexagone in Islington.
Skirt is from Cos styled different HERE

The transition of the seasons is something that I really ought to have adjusted to during my life in UK yet for some reason the fall from Autumn into Winter is particularly hard to deal with for me. It's an awkward circle that goes a bit like this..... It's cold so I think of east Africa where it is currently warm and so that makes me less at ease with the cold here so again...I dream of Africa.

Have a good weekend! If you are in UK, keep warm. 

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