Month: January 2015

“Eastern Treats” | A taste of the crème de la crème of Thai perfumery

It seems a world away, when I was working at one of London’s most iconic stores, Liberty. To this day, it is still one of my favorite places to be. The bustling counter of La Labo was just an eyeshot away, so its not hard to see how: surrounded by pure unadulterated luxury, sophistication and class; I used to wonder what it would be like to have my very own bespoke scent. It is very rare for me to find a perfume that fits. Not only am I extremely choosy, but I guess you could say that I am old school, in the sense that I believe that fragrances should be personal. I never quite understood how or why people would choose to wear some of the concoctions out there, just because it was a famous brand or endorsed by a particular celebrity. That, and I find that many fragrances disagree with my skin, resulting in a rash or a lingering acetic smell. Cue – Erb. Thailand’s Erb is a luxury brand that was started by one of the nation’s …

“Shiny like a star” | Hand-made road side jewelry

Kyoto, Japan. I saw a お爺さん (Ojīsan / senior citizen), in the cold, on the floor… weaving wire. I can’t recall what made me stop, but there was something in the way he sat; a level of concentration that demanded I come over. I remember I didn’t have the correct change and almost walked away. I’m glad I didn’t. Now when I look back, I’m grateful that he wasn’t offended and agreed to sell it to me anyway, because otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten this: I’ll admit I didn’t think much of it at the time. I was cold, hungry and desperate to get indoors. It sat in the bottom of my backpack till about a week ago, but seeing it now… it’s magical.

“Brave is as brave does” | How to build up the confidence to travel alone in 3 easy steps

“Brave is as brave does”  This is me in 2011. I had just left my friends and (then) boyfriend, in Thailand, and moved to Shanghai. It was to be the adventure to end all adventures, and… I was traveling completely alone. When I tell people, that I often take holidays alone, I always get a look. It’s usually an undisguised look of astonishment, mingled with a hint of judgement. Then the questions come. Sometimes they are brazen enough to just simply ask, “why?” But more often than not, I am asked, “are you single?” I don’t believe it is something entirely to do with my gender, because I’ve even had men telling me that they’d be afraid to do it. But why not? Why can’t some people, just get on a plane, and travel to far-flung places, without the need for a chaperon? When we think of that solo intrepid traveler, we usually think of: flowing tie dye, with dreadlocks, that can sometimes can be seen with a tambourine or two; jamming with the locals on the …

Why cook or bake?

As a child I loved museums. For one, they were free! As cities go, London is one of the best in the world for its eclectic cultural scene, but cheap it isn’t. You could go there and marvel at humanity’s achievements. I’d go to ogle at the hand-crafted chairs, featured in the likes of the British Museum, and wonder if I could ever create something like that. I would stand in awe at the displays of embroidery, and curse my little butter fingers for only being able to clumsily stitch the buttons back on my jacket. I was a child enthralled, filled with so many passions, that I now realize would definitely have taken many lifetimes to satisfy. Just don’t tell her that. I still don’t know how to do any of these things. But deep down inside, I still want to. So why haven’t I? Well, first, I haven’t got the raw wood, in my inner-city bubble, I’m sorry to say that I didn’t have many encounters of the stuff. Now that I am in Asia, this idea looks a …

Salad Series #1 | What’s all this fuss about simple salads?

I’ve been hitting the gym hard for the last couple of days. Now before you think I’ve given up my foodie ways and resigned myself to a life of gluten-free Seitan and sugar free almond milk (both of which are actually quite delicious, if you know what to do with them); I haven’t. Not a chance. In my mind I’ve worked out an elaborate and complex scheme, where I can trick my body into thinking I’ve given up my hedonistic ways, but still continue in sweet sweet uninterrupted bliss. Mwhahah. Next stop, world domination. I overheard a conversation the other day between a mother and her child. Cute as he was, he was refusing to eat his salad. My inner monologue, was that of a typical old fogey. I think it went along the lines of: “kids these days… blah blah blah…. don’t know what’s good for them… blah blah blah”. That was until my salad came and I tasted the dratted thing. YUCK! No wonder the child didn’t want to eat it, it was …