24.4.14

| Photo Diary | Mystic Dar



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"There's a natural mystic blowing through the air;
If you listen carefully now you will hear" Robert Nesta Marley 

Photos taken by Hiro and our friend AZK at Mwenge Carver's Market in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

I'm curious. How do these photos make you feel? 

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19.4.14

| Thinking | Re-Thinking Ageing










I don't often buy magazines but I went out of my way to seek out and buy Kinfolk's issue 10 which was all about things that get better with age.

The reason why it called out to me is because it offers a refeshing and multi-stranded perspective on aging best summed up by Nathan Williams (Kinfolk's editor in chief) and Georgia Frances King (Kinfolk's editor);

“The older folks in our lives can teach us a lot about how we should live. We believe we’re made fuller by the people, meals and traditions of things past. Other aspects of life also improve with a little time: wine, truffles, a good jar of sauerkraut. Simplicity in design survives longer than the complex. Processes such as fermenting, pickling and curing bring out the flavors in foods through extending their lives. While making this issue, we’ve gleaned kindhearted advice from the elderly friends in our lives, and they all speak the same message: Love a lot, laugh often and once you’re over the peak of that hill, prepare for life to pick up pace as gravity brings you rolling back down the other side. So please: Pour yourself a hot drink, curl up on the couch and enjoy our fresh take on old things.”

This is such a gorgeous publication and I would recommend this issue to anyone with similar view on life to  us. There are still a few copies to be found in independent book/magazine sellers and I have found some on Amazon too.

LINKS | Kinfolk Mazagine Kinfolk on Amazon UK | 

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16.4.14

| Home | Every Last Drop


The Model 401 Heavy Duty Tube-Wringer sat at the top of my wish list for months and months.

Why? Well, because we are the type of people who will cut open an tube and scrape out every last drop of something before binning it. And yes, I have a peculiar attraction to those ziggy-zaggy metal tubes that you sometimes find in well curated little shops.





Hiro bought us one of these nifty tube-wringers before Christmas. We got a bit addicted to it as you can see. We then gave it away to our friend who was visiting from Japan. He's a dentist (they have loads tubes no?) so naturally he NEEDED it. Last weekend , we bought a replacement and we are happily wringing every tube in sight once more. it works best with metal tubes and great with some of the thinner plastic ones, less good on the thicker plastic tubes.

The Model 401 Heavy Duty Tube-Wringer is an all metal construction with steel handle and aluminium rollers. The manufacturers, Gill Mechanical Company claim that the device gets 30% more out of each tube. While I cannot vouch for that, I can say it does help us get more out of every tube.

Funnily, every sales assistant we spoke to who's come across this contraception, seems to have taken one home and also developed a wringing fever of their own. If you fancy getting hold of one of your own, enquire with  J. Glinert for availability. 

Details

Item: Tube-wringer
Country of origin: Made in Orgeon, USA
Made of: Steel and aluminium


LINKS | Gill Mechanical Company J.Glinert | 

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15.4.14

| Photo Diary | Blooming Sundays













It is rare to come across such efflorescent cherry blossoms on a roadside in inner city London yet this is precisly where we bumped into this band of trees. Against a backdrop of a railway bridge and disused arches, they seem to challenge urbanity with a gentle floral salute to Spring.

Hackney is a place of harshness is many ways. Harsh realities, harsh textures and contrasts are all everyday here. But Spring softens the edges a little and things begin to take on a slight glow.

Outfit of the day is blue like the moon in that old song (only the moon is never blue). The bag, I made myself using Marimekko cloth in a pattern called Jurmo which is inspired by a remote island and village in the Archipelago sea. 

The closeup blossom shots are all taken with my iPhone 5c using the Hipstamatic app with the Ray Mark II lens and the Irom 2000 film, just in case you wanted to know.

Details: Trousers from Oasis, plimsoles from H&M, top from ASOS, jacket from POP Boutique, belt from Warehouse, necklace is a family heirloom and the bag is from Stranger London.

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15.4.14

| Giveaway | Moomin Scissors


Moomin or Muumi if you are Finnish, and Mumintroll if you prefer it in Swedish is having quite a celebration this year. 2014 marks the 100th year anniversary of Tove Jansson (the creator of our hippo-like friend) and as we at Worshipblues are very fond of Muumi and all his friends we thought it would be nice to join the celebrations with a series of little giveaways.

1st up for grabs is this smashing pair of scissors made by the brilliant Fiskars of Finland. The scissors are aimed at kids but they are very sharp and a good size for every day use by adults too!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway


How to enter:

To enter fill out the Rafflecopter form above. 

- This giveaway is open to international entries. 

- You MUST be a follower of this blog via Bloglovin' or Google Friend Connect (see "members" at the bottom of the blog). Please don't forget to leave your name/blog name/tag in the comments so I can find you and follow back.

- If the winner does not contact me in 1 week of announcement, then I will pick a new winner.

- Closing date May 4th 2014

GOOD LUCK!!


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14.4.14

| Beauty | Waterside Skincare



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I used to think that a constant and steady slap of sunscreen was sufficient to keep my face in good form when I am on sunny escapes.

I then realised that actually, my face needs a bit more than that. It needs some real TLC to prevent it drying out in the sun.

On my past few ventures into the heat, I have used my HG sunscreen the Hada Labo UV Creamy Gel SPF50++++ alongside Nuxe's Creme Prodigieuse Riche to great effect. 

Both have come with me to the Mediterranean heat of Matera in Southern Italy and then to the merciless sun of equatorial Africa. But is was on the white sands and windy beaches of Zanzibar where they really proved to be a phenomenal pairing. Sunlight on the equator is strong and steady. Relentless sunlight reflected off white sands and crystal clear waters is amazing but dangerous for the skin. 

I tend to stay in the shade when I am lounging about but being rubbish at sitting still for long, I also like to go for strolls and I like to dip into the ocean frequently and this can really upset the natural balance of my skin. So, after each dip and quick rinse under the poolside shower, I slap on  Nuxe's Creme Prodigieuse Riche as it keeps my skin soft and glowy.  Creme Prodigieuse Riche is packed with skin loving ingredients that protect and revive the skin while combating signed of fatigue. I then apply the Hada Labo UV Creamy Gel with SPF50++++ which contains three kinds of hyaluronic acids. I like it because it is very lightweight and best of all it remains completely and utterly transparent on the skin and doesn't sting my eyes like many of the Japanese sunscreens tend to.

The added benefit of the Creme Prodigieuse Riche is that it doubles up as a brilliant facial aftersun. 

Both of these are firm favourites for adventures in the sunshine or for use in my local park in London.

+ Hada Labo UV Creamy Gel SPF50++++
Made by: Rohto Made in: Japan
Bought from: Adam Beauty 

+ Nuxe's Creme Prodigieuse Rich
Made by: Nuxe Made in: France
Bought from: Escentual

 
LINKS | Hadalabo Japan Escentual |  Nuxe UK | 
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13.4.14

| Man Stuff | Miss Annie Jones' Shaving Oil


This smells good. Who ever Miss Annie Jones is, she did well with the smell.



I don't have much of a beard.  I use it on my head because my hair grows very fast and my scalp is a bit sensitive when I go at it with my clippers for a close grade 0 all round. Miss Annie Jones' Shaving Oil is good stuff for keeping irritation down to a minimum. It helps get a nice smooth shave and it keeps my scalp looking healthy.

The bottle says it's got grapeseed, kukui, balsam, patchouli and other essential oils in it.  To be honest with you, I have no idea what these ingredients are or what they do but my wife reckons that they are all good.

Oh yeah, turns out that Annie Jones had proper experience with beards:

"Miss Annie Jones, the foremost bearded lady capitalized on her unconfirmed case of hirsutism all her life. Born in Virginia in 1860, Jones' attraction was evident even at 9 months old, then being paid a hefty sum of $150 a week by P. T. Barnum. What started as patches of hair had blossomed into a mustache and sideburns by the time she was five."


Made by: Prospector Co
Made in: USA
Weight:  59.15ml in proper units
        (2fl Oz stated on the bottle)

これは本来ヒゲ剃り用のオイルらしいが、バリカンで1mmボーズ頭にする時に使ってみた。剃る前に5−6滴頭によく馴染ませ数分待ってから剃る。説明しにくいが、なかなか良い香りだ。剃った後、赤みやかゆみが全くなかった。いいよこれ。気に入った。


LINKS | Prospector Co Carter and Bond | 

\\ This item was sent to us for review purposes. The above information is based on our honest and impartial opinion. \\

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12.4.14

| Hiro Says | Whitehouse Cox Coin Wallet


I like things that age well. I like the feeling and idea of things growing old with me. I dislike having things that I don't mind breaking or loosing.  I like connecting to an object of everyday use. 

After 9 years of service from a mid-range leather wallet (from Fossil), I spent months looking for a new wallet. A friend of mine in Japan recommended Whitehouse Cox and when I started looking into them, I was instantly intrigued. I then spent another few weeks deliberating over which model to go for. Eventually my mind was decided upon the 2 fold coin wallet in natural vintage oak bark tanned bridle leather. 

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After contacting Whitehouse Cox directly, I discovered that this particular model is only available in Japan at the moment. 

I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email from Stephen Cox himself who was very helpful and contacted their distributer in Japan and helped me arrange the purchase and delivery back to the UK. 

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It is curious that an item made in England has to be reimported back to England. Nevertheless, I received a very high level of personalised customer service from Stephen Cox and the distributers in Japan.





Although Whitehouse Cox's items are all made in a factory in Aldridge near Birmingham by 55 workers, the leather for this wallet came from a specialist tannery in Devon. J&FJ Baker is the only remaining traditional oak bark tannery in Britain. The tanning process is very long and slow, taking about a year to reach the right tannage. The advantage of this method is that it creates a strong, durable and beautiful leather.  The rawhide is British and comes in from slaughterhouses in Devon and other parts of the West country.

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When you know what it takes to make this, the passion, care and attention that culminated in this wallet the price I paid doesn't seem to be an unreasonable amount to me. I've had this wallet for 10 months now and it has already begun to respond to our daily journeys together. 


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Above is a screenshot from the Japanese retailer FRAME who are as enamoured by how the leather ages as I am. I will do an update on the wallet in a couple of months when it reaches a year old.

Details:

Item:    2-fold coin wallet

Made by: Whitehouse Cox

Made in: England

Materials: Natural vintage oak bark tanned bridle leather

Dimensions: Closed 10cm X 10cm and open 10cm x 22.5cm 



LINKS | Whitehouse Cox J&FJ Baker & Co Ltd | FRAME |

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11.4.14

| Inspiration | Get Down People



We're doing things a bit different this Friday. We think it's about time we put some moves on you. Time we got out of our seats and shake whatever our mother's gave us.  

Bringing you one of the baddest things around so get up my people, to get down.....with the SOUL TRAIN.






There is a crazy amount inspiration in these two video clips. Get them grooves and them slick moves!

As for the style.....wow! After watching these, I don't think my wardrobe has ever felt so boring.

(The lady in the 1st vid at 2.05.... yeah!!!!)

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10.4.14

| Stationery | Red Lines + More



My black ink obsession has recently bled into red. It turns out that red ink is really quite diverse with enough hues to keep me hunting for the perfect blood red for quite sometime. Like many thing in life, it comes down to trial and error and personal preference.





I was recently sent a pack of Monteverde red cartridges to fit a Lamy fountain pen. I rushed home that evening to load my pen and get scribbling. My weapon of choice, Lamy Vista with a fine nib. 

The Monteverde red cartridge looks great loaded in my pen. Sort of like a bloody syringe thing that appeals to my twisted aesthetic sensibility.

Sadly for me, the ink though smooth and silky to write with, lacks depth and bares more of a peachy hue than a blood red. 


I've been doing the rounds with various red inks as you can see above. From top (which is black) to bottom: Montegrappa black bottled ink, Diamine Oxblood bottled ink, Monteverde Red cartridge, Diamine Red Dragin (bottled ink) and Herbin Rouge Opera. 



The gorgeous red heart bottle is filled with Herbin's Rouge Opera ink which is rather pinkish. The two reds that I have from Diamine are Oxblood with is a lovely deep murky burgundy true oxblood and Red Dragon which is my current favourite red ink. 

Red Dragon is basically all that I currently wanted in a red ink. No orange tones jut a lovely classy, ageless true blood red.


Whilst I am talking about stationery, I've two things to report. I received the newest Limited Edition for 2014 Lamy Safari fountain pen with a fine nib yesterday. It is a lovely bight neon coral that makes me think of all my favourite nail polishes.

Also, I came to the end of my current notebook. I mentioned before that I tend to jot down most of my blogs on paper before I type them out with hopefully more clarity and I had been using THIS notebook. It took about 5 months for me to fill it cover to cover and now it is time for it to rest on my bookcase. I am about to start using the Monokaki notebook which I shall review once I get a good feel for it.


LINKS | Monteverde Lamy | Diamine Ink |

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8.4.14

| A Bag to Roll With The Punches |


It's already been nearly 2 years since I took over Hiro's backpack. I remember him spending months researching backpacks before deciding on Eastpak's Returnity Killington. It has reliably and faithfully accompanied me on many adventures, protecting my things on outings as well as acting as my hand baggage on long flights. Together we've been to Barcelona, various parts of Tanzania, Japan, Italy and even South Africa.





Eastpak Returnity Killington:

- Made in USA
- 30 year warranty
- Large main compartment with double zippers which allow the bag to be opened fully so no blind routing about hoping to pull out what I am looking for. 
- Leather bottom for extra strength and durability
- 2 large side compartments
- 2 zip fastening front pockets.
- Made of tough heavyweight cotton drill.
- Strong tough stitching throughout.


Photo credit: The Super Good Life

There are lots of reasons to like this backpack. And in case you were wondering what Hiro bought to replace the one I took over. He bought the same one only in Burgundy which not only sees him through our adventures but also takes the knocks of his everyday commute to work strapped to his Brompton. 

Hiro says that he likes it because "it is tough, has good strong stitching and is a good size to carry my laptop, spare T-shirt, jumper, scale ruler, pencil case, lunch and folded A3 drawings (basically A4). The outer compartments are good for my umbrella and glasses on one side and my WD40 and bike kit on the other. Wise choice for people that have shit to carry."

We generally find that many backpacks put style over substance. To us, backpacks need to pack a lot of punches when it comes to substance. Eastpak's Returnity Killington ticks both boxes.

P.S. The photos of me loitering by the sea were taken in Barcelona 2013.

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7.4.14

| Travel | Africa Time

Sticking to South Africa today, I thought I would waffle a bit about the curious way in which Saffer's interpret aspects of time. 


According to my boss, "now-now" means right away and "just-now" means sometime soon but not right away. According to my colleagues it is the other way around. 

I found this super little clock in an office  in Johannesburg and it didn't do much to help me crack this code.

Seems to me that South Africans have a rather complicated relationship with the word "now".


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7.4.14

|Packaging | BOS


The packaging fiend within me went a bit nuts for BOS tea in South Africa. Seriously handsome work here.



Aside from the good graphic design, the tea is really good and their website a colourful winner! 

LINKS | BOS TEA |
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