Silence is Golden

I grew up being told that "silence is golden" and, I must admit that I never really understood why or how or what gold has to do with quietness. However, we've left our blog silent for days during which time, something truly golden has happened in our life. After 39 weeks of "carrying on as normal", avoiding so many of my favourite foods, a strange nagging feeling and an unexpected induced labour, our son was born at 4.27am on May 16th.

Happiness cannot begin to describe how we feel at the moment! Our blog will be resting in a golden silence for a little while longer while the three of us begin our newest adventure together.

Thank you to everyone who has been emailing and messaging to check up on. We really, really appreciate your kindness and thoughts right now and will reply to you all as soon as we can.

Be back soon with more stories and adventures now from 3 of us. (We don't intend to turn this into a baby blog!)
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| Abandoned | Perishing Hotel

Finding ourselves in places where we ought not to be has become a habit over the years. However, it is not a habit that we can ever feel completely at ease with and we never fail to feel that edge of unease pressing against us. 

These photos were taken in a recently abandoned hotel in Japan. 

Starved of human care, this hotel perishes in pieces. It never ceases to fascinate us how it is always the paintwork that is first to surrender and fall away. I suppose it is the dampness that takes over when we leave that runs amok peeling the paint and lifting the tiles.

Everything has a story. And stories are much like sand in that they are susceptible to instant and constant change. This is something that seems so relevant when walking through corridors that once echoed with the sounds of a hundred guests but now lays decaying and silent. 

The need to be respectful also prevents us from divulging the exact locations of our explorations.

For The Curious | See More of Our Adventures in Abandoned Places HERE 

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| Recipe | Refreshing Kaisou Salad

Another food that I enjoy on hot days is a Japanese seaweed salad. It is beautiful to look at, full of flavour and deliciously refreshing -especially on hot/humid days.

Nutritionally, seaweed provides all 56 elements essential for human health and is particularly good for digestive health and even weight control.  

This Kaisou Salad  recipe is zingy and lively with a touch of sweetness and a citrus burst that cuts through heavy flavours, oilier foods and sluggish feelings.

Seeking out a variety of seaweed in UK is not an easy quest to embark on, so I am glad that the folks at Clearspring have done all that missioning for us and packaged together a colourful combination of wakame, tengusa and tsunomata for our convenience. You can buy this online HERE

Japanese are not massively indulgent with spices especially when it comes to chilies. Shichimi is about as close as we get to chili powder so if you like your heat, then this stuff is baby food for you! Shichimi will probably earn more of a giggle than a score on the Scoville Scale as it is mild and more aromatic than pungent or heat inducing. I use a sprinkle of yuzu-shichimi (pictured) for this salad because it adds a little spiciness and a gorgeous fragrant aroma of yuzu that really lifts the dish for summer.


5grams Clearspring Japanese Sea Vegetable Salad
1/2 Cucumber
Sushi vinegar to taste
Yuzu-shichimi or regular shichimi to taste


1. Soak the seaweed in water till it grows into soft leaves.

2. Take a veg slicer to your cucumber making a slivers of cucumber.

3. Mix together the rehydrated seaweed and cucumber and add a couple of tablespoons of sushi vinegar. The water from the cucumber will dilute it while the salad chills.

4. Sprinkle a bit of shichimi and store gently. Allow to chill and then serve as a lovely side dish.

STILL HUNGRY? | More Recipes from The WorshipBlues Kitchen 

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| Home | Bathroom Shelfies

We are not a "his" and "hers" type couple but when we moved into our apartment, we discovered that the bathroom had a cheap little IKEA cabinet and as it was not big enough for the both of us, we went out and got another. We ended up with matching cabinets!


Comme de Garcons Avignon - because sometimes I like to smell like an old church.
Cement Y ornament from An Artful Life
Byredo Sunday Cologne - because I also like to sometimes smell like an old gentleman on safari.
Annick Goutal Petit Cherie - because sometimes I feel like a girl.
Antique repurposed Victorian ink bottle.
Kaleido XS tray from HAY - to hold my hair things.
Tube wringer - the most coolest winding gadget thing EVER! Mentioned before HERE
Diptyque - Infused facial water 
Aesop - Tea Tree Leaf Facial Exfoliant.


Cousu De Fil Blanc Thé Noir soap
Cement H ornament from An Artful Life
Comme de Garcons Kyoto - because he likes to smell of wooden temples in Kyoto.
Monocle Scent One Hinoki - because he likes to smell of hinoki.
Sante FX NEO eye drops - powerful mentholated refreshing eyedrops from Japan.
Comme de Garcons Wonderwood - because he likes to smell of wood.
Swiss Army Knife - a gift from his father when he was just a boy.

Speaking of shelfies, we are compiling our next round of inquisitive shelves with photos sent in from fellow bloggers and readers and hope to have this ready on Friday. Feel free to contact us if you want in!

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| Photo Diary | Epiphany in a Car Park

"Only you, would purposely visit a car park on holiday Yasumi!", said my boss to me, after listening to me babble on about our time in Porto.

After booking our accommodation, Hiro (who is obsessed maps) decided to look up the location of the hotel on Google Maps and came across a curious circular landmark on the aerial views. When we actually arrived in Porto, we discovered that the circular structure was in fact a beautifully Brutalist car park. Its imposing presence, prominent position and shape abruptly contrasts with its surroundings. Standing firm among the architectural chronology in buildings that flank it, it just beguiled us. It got our minds flirting with ideas of how it could be re-purposed. We begun to imagine it as a creative venue or even a stunning art gallery.

Though it is only a car park and an unlikely setting for any sort of epiphany, it made us realise that by challenging ourselves with a different view point, we offer ourselves an alternative visual and contemplative perspective. Here the glass-less windows frame sweeping views across Porto. Exposed to the touch of the wind we felt more connected to the flow of the city. Even the shadows played their part in our experience by directing our eyes across the curves and lines of the structure leaving quite an extraordinary feeling.

So our advice to other curious minds is to twist your tourist maps and try looking at the places you visit from a less obvious (and less sign posted) vantage point. You will be rewarded with an eye-opening experience.

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| Shop | Douguya

Douguya is a purveyor of antique furniture and lifestyle goods, based in Tokyo. They caught our eye with the beautiful photos on their homepage slider. Lovely photos that show a real sensitivity and appreciation of light, shadow and colour. 

Photo Credit: Douguya 

Photo Credit: Douguya 

Photo Credit: Douguya 

Photo Credit: Douguya 

'Douguya' means secondhand or curio shop in Japanese. Quite a humble and understated name for a shop with a unique pursuit. Douguya specialises in furntiture and goods that date from the Meiji Era (1868 -1912) up to the outbreak of WWII. Furthermore, all items that make it into their showroom and webshop are exceptional in that they were handmade by skilled craftsmen and just cannot be replicated today despite all of our modern technological advancements.

Do take a look at their website and their webshop. It is in Japanese but the pictures have universal appeal.

USEFUL LINKS | Douguya's Website (in Japanese) Address | 2-19-8, Tomigaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

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