30.8.14

| Everyday People | Lanche in Marques


Lanche is a Portuguese snack made with soft slightly sweet bread (similar to Japanese bread) stuffed with cheese, ham and in this case green peppers. It looks like a sandwich but it's not quite and you must try one when you are in Portugal.






We bought a couple from a bakery that kept catching our eye and headed to the Marques park. We found a bench and sat quietly enjoying our delicious lunch and watched a group of old men setting up for an afternoon of cards.

It was so nice to watch the old fellows bickering with their friends. It started to get quite lively at one point and some of them were very animated, others seemed happier to take a nap. 

Marques park has a real local vibe and is a great place to watch real Porto life for a while. It is easy to get to via the Metro - just get off at Marques station. 

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29.8.14

| Thoughts | The Girl Who Was Always Seeking Adventure


For as long as I can remember, I have been seeking ADVENTURE.

My childhood home in Kenya was filled to the rafters with people.
People coming;
and going;
and resting just for a while.

We didn't have a big home. It was in fact, a poorly built structure that stood in a generous expanse of land but was crumbling at its edges and disintegrating from within.

Mum had a big heart and a habit of taking in anyone that called on her for help. We made room for a few Ugandan refugees that made it over the border,  a few Soweto Freedom Fighters escaping incarceration. We even made room for dubious "long-lost family members" who somehow convinced my mother that we were related in some round about the moon and back sort of way while they devoutly sponged off her generosity. There we all cramped inside our home. And these were the "additions" to the main household that was at one point about 10 strong.

Space inside the home at least, was a very precious and sought after thing. Thus, I spent most of my time outside. Escaping the imprisoning words of adults. Seeking silence. Hoping always, for adventure. And I always found it. In the trees, in the fields of maize, in the forgotten tumbledown places that we could not afford to maintain.

I would sometimes watch Disney films(when the power supply would allow)and dream of having a bedroom to myself filled with toys and fine white cotton bed linen. But that was a distant dream. In reality, I had to share my bed with my sister, and "my bedroom" with 3 others. I never had the nerve, will or the heart to complain.

At school, I would find ways to be alone but this was misread by my single minded teachers as evidence of me being "troubled". Perhaps I was. I didn't think so at the time, not at least until some adult put the idea into my  head.

Perhaps this is why I find myself guarding my own space and time so vehemently and I am quite certain that this is where my hunger for adventure (all big and small, near and far) begun.



Location: Morogoro, Tanzania.


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28.8.14

| Design | Good Design Shop


Once upon a 2012 in Omotesando, Tokyo, our friend took us to a shop that he was sure that we would like. The shop was the flagship of D&Department Project in collaboration with COMME des GARCONS and we got there just as the the staff were drawing down the shutters. However, they were very kind(especially when we mentioned that we cam "all the way from London") and let us in for a quick snoop around.



D&Department Project sell a varied and carefully curated selection of goods that have provenance in manufacturing timeless, well-made, durable and all round good design. 

Did we buy anything? Of course! It was impossible for us to leave without something! But we will have to show you that another day. 

Today, we just want to give you a heads-up on some news we spotted on the D&Department Project website and that is that they will be opening a branch in Dover Street Market in London on the 1st September 2014 (possibly as part of their 10th birthday celebrations). We are really pleased about this. Pleased, and curious as to what will be on offer and what price tags all that lovely stuff will be sporting.

If you are keen on details, care about quality, longevity, processes and the story behind the things you buy, then you should add this to your radar now. If however, you consider all this sort of thinking about daily everyday items as a bit pretentious then probably not. Anyway, take a look at their website, there is all sorts of lovely stuff to gaze at and learn about - it is in Japanese but you know what they say about pictures.


LINKS | D&Department Project Webiste (Japanese) Dover Street Market 




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27.8.14

| Sewing | Chataigne Shorts


The encouraging words from readers, friends and family have really given me the impetus to persevere with my sewing ambitions. I know that my will shouldn't really rely on others but I cannot help that my tummy still becomes a fluttery of jitteriness when I wear something that I've made. 

My latest project was another from Deer and Doe. The Chataigne Shorts.



Shorts are handmade with Deer and Doe Pattern Short Chataigne
Breton Sailor Shirt from Le Minor.

Purple gabadine + Liberty of London Kitty Grace B cotton lawn.

Having now completed my second Deer and Doe pattern I can honestly say that their instructions are easy to follow and their sizings and fit are spot on for me. I could probably have gone a size smaller but you know me! I prefer a relaxed fit these days.

There is room for creativity with this pattern but I kept it simple and opted for a low waisted version with simple tidy cuffs. I used a purple gabardine (made in UK) that cost me £6.00 in my local fabric shop and used up a remnant of Liberty fabric for the facings and pocket linings. 

I have already made up my mind to make another pair in the future. I'm thinking of a cosy wool/flannel for winter.

P.S. I've signed up to Kollabora and you can find me HERE! If you haven't already heard of Kollabora it's great. It's a place where makers of all levels can share inspiration, projects, ideas and patterns. Well worth a look I say.


LINKS | Deer and Doe Patterns Liberty Print Fabric | Take a look at my 1st Deer and Doe Pattern |

Location: Porto, Portugal.


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26.8.14

| Life | Closing Windows


The weather has turned quite miserable in London. The rain is relentless, the temperatures have fallen and the leaves seem to be turning already though it is still August. I am feeling quite hard done by as I was rather enjoying the warmth of summer. 


My summers are usually refreshed by copious amounts of ice-cold mugicha (Japanese roasted barley tea) but this summer I went crazy over Oksusu cha (Korean corn tea). Oksusu cha is an infusion of roasted corn kernels it is naturally sweet, light and so refreshing when drunk either hot or cold. I've heard that corn is packed full of Vitamin E goodness that promotes good health and skin. Both thumbs up for this!


Summer walks always feel more carefree. The lack of restrictive heavy clothing makes our saunters along the streets of London all the more fun. Of course we shall still continue our wanderings in cooler months but may need more tea stops to keep us warm along the way.


Grilling fish in our tiny shared outdoor space is another thing best done in summer. Nothing beats fresh fish grilled over charcoal and enjoyed with a splash of shoyu. 






Most of all, I shall miss having our windows wide open. 

Waking up and flinging open windows to let in the rising summer air always makes me happy.  I shall miss leaving the windows open all day long while I am working at home. I enjoyed burning sticks of incense on warm evenings by our window pane. It works wonders to keep the bugs at bay and allows me to keep dreaming of our adventures in Japan.

This summer brought us some dramatic sky displays of cascading sunsets and swirling clouds. Sadly it seems that our windows won't be remaining agape for much longer. This rain and chilly air is not welcome indoors!

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25.8.14

| Recipe | Spinach + Cheese Chijimi


One of my new favourite things to experiment with in the kitchen for quick weekday dinners is chijimi. Chijimi is a Japanese version of the originally Korean jeon. I must say that my versions are so far away from anything even mildly authentic usually consist of whatever I happen to have in the fridge.

My latest version a spinach and cheese chijimi which though unconventional is so tasty especially with the accompany savoury sour dipping sauce.

Worshipblues' unconventional Spinach + Cheese Chijimi:




Ingredients for the chijimi:

1 bag of spinach 
2 eggs
4 or 5 tablespoons of plain flour
a pinch of dashi stock powder (optional)
2 tablespoons of water
1/2 a teaspoon of sugar
Vegetable oil for frying
Salt to taste
Grated cheese 


Ingredients for the sauce:

1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
1 teaspoon of gochujang
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
1 teaspoon of ground sesame seeds


Method:

1. Put the spinach in a pot and pour boiling water over it. Drain in a large sieve and run under cold water. 

2. Tightly squeeze out the water from the spinach and then roughly chop into 1cm pieces.

3. Beat eggs in a bowl. Add water, dashi, sugar and flour and mix well.

4. Stir in the spinach. Gently whisk until bubbles form.

5. Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan. 

6. When the oil is hot, add in half the spinach mix and spread it across the pan as thinly and as evenly as you can. When it has set into shape, take the pan off the heat.

7. While the mix is still in the pan, sprinkle a thin layer of grated cheese over the mix.

8. When the cheese starts to soften, add the remainder of the mix and cover.

9. Flip the chijimi over until brown on both sides. 

Sauce:

Mix together the vinegar, sugar and gochujang in a small bowl. Microwave for 15 seconds and then stir in the sesame oil, seeds and sou sauce.

USEFUL LINKS | More Recipes from The WorshipBlues Kitchen 



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23.8.14

| Night Lights | Dalston 2010


Way back in 2010, we posted a few photos of Dalston by night. Back then our photos were tiny and back then Dalston was quite a bit darker at night. 

The blog has moved on and in the short space of time since then and our photos have grown and Dalston has become a different place. Today we are revisiting one of Hiro's earliest documentations of night light. 







Lights would shiver, spark up and exhale a dirty glow. The shadows where inky pools that hesitated across the shattered tarmac. The nights were emptier, sirens would shriek their way across Dalston. 

USEFUL LINKS | All our Night Light Adventures 


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22.8.14

| What I Wore | Beads + Blues


Dress codes are such needless things. 

Jersey skirt - that I've hitched up a bit bought in 2011 worn HERE

Hands in the air for my Nike Air like Mr Vegas!
Beaded necklace was bought in Johannesburg written about HERE
Clutch purse from Aspiga as written about HERE
Carefully crafted beaded items bought fairly. Old denim that I wear even when crumpled. Stripes that I cannot change. New birthday trainers from Hiro.  A bit of Africa and a whole lot of London for a dash around my stomping ground.  All the elements of a comfortable outfit that makes me feel like me.

P.S. If you are heading to Nottinghill Carnival this weekend, take your good vibes and say hello if you see us! And here's something to get you in the mood:



(Unaffiliated)LINK | Aspiga Shop  


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21.8.14

| Everyday People | People of Mumbai II


It's been over a year since we last mentioned my walk through Mumbai and though I have since visited quite a few places, I still regard the people of Mumbai as some of the most warm and welcoming city dwellers in the world.








It didn't matter that we spoke different languages, this young lad came and grabbed my hand to lead me to who I guess are his relatives. They all wanted their photos taken and they seemed happy when I showed them the images on my camera.

Then, having seen me with his neighbours, another fellow popped up and welcomed me into his workshop willing me to take photos all the while. I wish I could have understood what he was trying to tell me. He seemed very proud of whatever it was he was doing - some kind of metal work I reckon.

I was touched by these everyday people doing everyday things happy to invite a stranger into their midst.

H

USEFUL LINKS | The People of Mumbai Part 1 |

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20.8.14

| Stationery + Giveaway | Quintais e Jardins de Portugal


Viarco has over one hundred years of experience with pencils making it one of, if not the oldest pencil factory in Europe. The brand is well known among the pencil aficionados of the world, but what really warms the heart is the thought of the generations of Portuguese that learned to read and count with a Viarco pencil.

Today Viarco is ceaseless in their innovations and continue to churn out over 6.5 million pencils a year. While in Portugal, my eyes and imagination was caught by their collection of Quintais e Jardins de Portugal pencils. These pencils are imbued with the aroma and nostalgia of the cedar wood shavings in the factory and the familiar flowers that appear in the backyards and ornamental gardens of Portugal.

Viarco's scented pencils include:

  •  Jasmim - Jasmin
  •  Flor de Laranjeira - Orange Blossom
  •  Figueira - Fig tree
  •  Peonia - Peony
  •  Lirio do Campo - Lily of the Valley.

I managed to collect 4 out of the five fragrances and though I am utterly enamoured by them. I would be delighted to let a few go to a few of our readers! 



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Win one of 2 sets of scented pencils. Each set contains 4 pencils all individually wrapped to preserve the fragrance, handsomely wrapped up and sealed within brown paper.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Rules:

- 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 so I can find you.

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

- Closing date is Midnight (UK time)  3rd September 2014.


USEFUL LINKS | Viarco Pencils Portugal 



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19.8.14

| Photo Diary | Under The Bridge


Our wayfaring ways (not to mention a rather stringent hold on the purse strings) transported us to Porto where we were met with some confounding sights and adventures. One involved the Dom Luis Bridge. Completed in 1886, the curiously double-decked bridge stretches its skeletal arch across the Douro River 

While the very sight of it seems to dominate the panorama of the city, 
it is the view from beneath that captivated us.













Old houses rub knuckles with the epic steel structure. The neglected and the meticulously maintained stand cheek to jowl in a constant battle to stand their ground.  Tiles shudder as trains rattle past.  Footballs ricochet off stone walls. Tourists under the watchful eye of wizened locals, haul themselves up the uneven stairs with their eyes drawn upwards. All the while, forgotten dwellings quietly fade under a blanket of creeping vines. And from our perch with our eyes a flickery of curiosity, we watched and learned a plenty.

H+Y

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18.8.14

| Coffee | El Salvador Honey Process


I have gone most of my life shunning coffee in favour of tea. Then one Monday morning, I begun to appreciate its qualities and taste and before long, I found myself becoming a cup of coffee a day type of gal! Buying a cup of coffee every morning was an expensive habit that I could do without so Hiro bought me a nifty little Nespresso machine that churns out a tasty cup to kick-start my day. 

There is an old saying that tells us that fortune favours the brave, well we do too! We like the brave. And brave people who start up  companies in the shadow of huge multinationals are really brave (in our eyes). So when Big Cup Little Cup offered to send me some of their adventure inspiring Nespresso compatible capsules to try out, I was most grateful.


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I am currently enjoying their El Salvador Honey Process Coffee which I have learned has nothing to do with honey of the bee and pollen sort. From what I understand, Honey Processing  involves picking cherries (the stuff around the coffee beans) when their sugar content indicates perfect ripeness. The cherries are then pulped and then allowing the beans to dry with the pulp still attached. 

From my little cup, I am savouring the El Salvador Honey Process as a black and sugarless espresso. It is a medium bodied smooth combination of orangey citrus, vanilla and caramel notes that are agreeable at any time of the day.

Big Cup Little Cup have a selection of coffees thoughtfully and expertly created by their master blender. A welcome and more purse friendly deviation from the Nespresso offerings in my view. Though they are a small company, they are big with passion for what they do and have big words to back the belief in their coffee and offer a money back guarantee if you are not 100% satisfied. We like that sort of confidence. 

P.S my little cup is a vintage find. It is marked as a Noritake. However, I am still trying to verify this with a specialist in on the matter. So, I either have myself a spectacular rarity or a handsome fake. I shall keep you posted on my findings.

Y
USEFUL LINKS | All About Big Cup Little Cup  


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16.8.14

| Photo Diary | Pon the Locks



Top to toe: 
Denim cap from New Era Japan. Glasses from Cradle Optical Tailor of Japan. 
T-Shirt from STUSSY. Trousers from some shop in Harajuku, Tokyo.
Trainers from Converse.


Never worked a canal lock before so I jumped at the chance to help out a hippy dude trying to make his way across the mucky Regents Canal in Hackney. I never knew that every barge has its own lock key on board. It's a rather heavy thing.

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