| Oddities | Not An Ordinary Postman

Ferdinand Cheval was on the surface at least, an unremarkable provincial postman. Then one day, he stumbled over an errant stone. On further investigation, Cheval decides that the offending stone is in fact rather beautiful and decides to keep it. This act was the start of a peculiar obsession and for days, weeks and months afterwards he would fill his uniform pockets with these curious stones and take them home. 

When his wife complained about his worn out pockets, he begun to fill baskets which were soon upgraded to a wheelbarrow. But all these stones that he was unburdening into his back garden were not enough to satiate his passion, and he soon found himself relinquishing sleep to return to the area of the remarkable stones by night.

When Ferdinand Cheval retired, it was time for the next phase of his 'madness' and, what he did next was truly extraordinary.  

Photo credit :Palais Ideal du Facteur Cheval

Unencumbered by his lacking in formal education, experience in building and architecture, he was propelled by his vision and determination that lead him to complete is 'Ideal Palace' in 1922 after dedicating 33 years to the endeavour. 

Sadly he died only 2 days later. However, during his time, his eccentricity caught the attention and imagination of many highly regarded luminaries including Picasso and Max Ernst who went on to create a work which he entitled; 'The postman Cheval'.

I like people unfettered by experience and education. There is something so inspiring and fascinating about the way that they pursue an objective in an uncommon and dogged way.

Hungry for more Oddities? | Encounter more curiosities HERE |

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| Home | The Old Light Bulb Shelf

We have so many shelves in our home. Shelves that are in a state of perpetual transformation according to the seasons or random reasons. As I am yet to compile the next set of submitted shelfies (apologies - I am working on it slowly), I thought I would indulge myself by delving into one of the many we have.

Shelves are  not only practical storage places for us, they also serve as little display compartments that bring little moments of pleasure. Pausing to take in the little scenes as we walk past is one of life's tiny but welcome comforts.

This is our 'old light bulb shelf'. It houses a curioius couple! An oversized lamp that Hiro bought at a modernist fair and a funny looking plant that I bought at the North One Garden Centre. The funny plant sits in a pink plant pot - perhaps the only pink home decor thing that we own. No idea why I decided on that over the blue! I must have been having one of my 'moments'.

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| What I Wore | For My Balancing Act

I have a new boss these days. A new bwana mkubwa (big chief) as we say in Swahili. When he snoozes I try to nap but it rarely works and, instead I find myself itching to get to my sewing machine. It takes longer than ever to complete a sewing project but I don't mind. Slow things are good things because we savour their making.

Trousers were handmade by me + T-Shirt is from Uniqlo + Scarf is from a street market in Zanzibar + Sandals are from Aspiga.

Most recently, I finished a pair of sarouel trousers for the summer. I wanted to make light, loose comfortable trousers with a good drape so linen was an immediate choice. However, linen is inclined to creasing so I went for a Brussels Washer from Robert Kaufman's selection which is a soft, less crease stricken and drapey mix of 55% linen and 45% rayon. The pattern was adapted from a Japanese pattern book. The singular big pocket is made from a scrap of light denim that I found in my craft cupboard and the seams are bound with some French linen tape.

Comfort is a joy while I am performing life's daily balancing act! I am pleased with how my trousers wear, they are unisex so Hiro wears them too. Actually, much to my annoyance they look better on him!

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Instagram in its purest form allows a person to display the photos that they have taken so that they can reach out and connect with others across the globe. These days, Instagram has begun to veer away from the purity of personal photography that I enjoy so much and has begun to  morph into a regurgitation machine like Pinterest!

That said, there are still many many people sticking to their shooting guns and reaching out through their skills, minimal editing and soulful eyes to touch hearts like mine. Kawahara Kazuyuki is one such Instagrammer.

He has extraordinary skill and has moved me so deeply at times that I have found myself in tears. Happy tears and heartbreaking sad tears too.

In his own words; "In Toyama,Japan/ My camera is Hasselblad 500CM/ The hero of my photos are my grandparents.They teach me about life just by standing before my camera."

Through his account, I have watched his grandfather pass away, his grandmother continue their story alone and his daughter grow. There is so much beauty that surpasses mere words here. There is also a gentle but powerful profundity that outweighs any way that I have to try and convey my respect for what he has managed to achieve. 

Follow him on  HERE Instagram. You will not regret it. I know that if I could only follow one person on Instagram, it would be Kazuyuki.

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| Thoughts | Exhale

Skirt from Reiss. Top from ASOS. Purse from Aspiga. Photo taken in Zakynthos.

Is there an element of vanity in blogging? Are we bloggers unintentional braggers, in a 'look what I've got' kind of way?

For my part at least, I would be saddened if I came across as either. Yet, maybe this is an involuntary reflex to being a blogger. Maybe it all comes down to how people read what what you put out there?

As much as I enjoy blogging, it is not a pursuit that is without some moments of discomfort that make me question myself - or is is the other way around? 

I think that as bloggers we give up so much of ourselves and I suppose we all seek some kind of something in return? Some acknowledgement/approval/respect/attention. Maybe it is through seeking this something that we come across less how we intend to? It's all subjective I know and something we ultimately have no control over.

It is good to question ourselves at intervals. It keeps the feet on the ground and the air clear from bull shit.

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| Everyday People | Sunset People

In Stone Town when the sun slumps and begins its spill beyond the horizon, the people flex their smiles and float towards the harbour. It's a time to relax. A time meet with friends and chill with family. A time to catch up  with our thoughts and subside into the lull of the evening.  

From where we sat with our camera, we greeted the locals and gently observed their comings and goings. 

It was here, amid the enjoyment of the evening that we spotted a young man that we had noticed before. He was unforgettable to us as it is not common to carry a little monkey about the wrists like a furry living bracelet. Yet, there the baby monkey was! Happily and tenaciously curled around the fellow's wrist his little eyes darting vigorously.

For The Adventurous | See More of Our Adventures in Zanzibar HERE 
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