Saturday, 12 October 2013

Saturday Tourist

We have started a new routine lately: get out of the house on a Saturday and embrace this crazy country with both hands! Its hard because we are both usually entirely knackered from a busy and long week at school. But once we are out we usually find great things or just get loads of bargains in the shops...or eat plenty of yummy food ( is like a religion here).
This week we needed to go into the heart of madness that is Ben Thanh Market in Town. I can't believe I haven't even been yet as it is the home of bargains apparently and I certainly love those. Today we needed to go to get some fabric to make a Barbados flag for International Day on Friday and this is where they tell me I can get what I need.

Olivia was not in the bestest of moods and cringed at my bartering and banter with the 'market people'. Everything I do is utterly embarrassing these days....we have reached this point.

I could not even look too long at the sheer mountains of fabric as I started to feel a bit faint. I am deeply passionate about fabric. The most amazing thing I found was mens shirting fabric by the roll....ahhhh I wanted it all to make massive artworks with about gender issues and feminism - brain went into overdrive!

I found somewhere to get a nose stud. Saw two people I work with. Score. Always feels like a total victory over this vastly populated city to see anyone I know. Actually I do usually see someone :)
Oh, and I got the blue and yellow fabric to make the flag too...

We took refuge in a lovely Japanese restaurant and had very non-Japanese food: bacon and eggs, and pork sandwich?? But good to get out of the market and watch traffic of people, cars, bikes. It was so hot today.

Erm yeah...then shortly followed by cupcakes and coffee at L'Usine's on Le Loi...wowsers! felt like New York in there. A very cool shop lower floor and gorgeous cafe above. More food: diet fail.

Tried to take a picture of a cute girl in yellow wings but she was a bit freaked out by a random stranger...don't blame her I am a bit weird (ask my child).

So a great Saigon Saturday in all, even with my moody teenage companion. Even she managed to have fun in the end as she got loads of new stuff and we looked at Go-Pro cameras together.
What you up to today?
Do you do tourism at home?
Love, me x

other places we visited today:
art shops
lusting after tablet devices in air con shops

Friday, 11 October 2013

Since we last spoke...

I have been getting used to a new life in Vietnam: teaching, orienting...a lot of orienting, working out where to get just about everything and then how to get to that thing in a country that speaks very little English, discovering new things and how to get a lot of old things in a new place; very little tourism has happened. I am tired beyond belief, quite homesick looking back at the pictures I have ONLY JUST transferred over to my new system...but utterly astounded and happy to be living and working in Saigon:
the people and places are what I want to share with you today :)

still to come...

the weather 

the lifestyle

the cost of living

and other stuff...

It's good to be back in the Blogsphere. A little piece of my own home in cyberspace.
What have you been doing for the last few months?
Love, me x

Monday, 3 June 2013

Young Blood


Loves shakes and smoothies, bike rides to the beach.

Talking about big things, acting stupid at the park.

Finding ripe berries, watching herself grow up.

Bedtime tuck-ins and long talks of plans.

She is my everything and without her I would have achieved nothing.
She is my driving force, my comfort blanket and my home.

I'm glad she is with me for the journey, here's to the next chapter kiddo!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

My Block

Yesterday I took a walk around the block to get a coffee. I do this many times a week, but the light was so beautiful today I wanted to capture it. 

I have only lived in this area for a short time but have loved it the most of all the places I have lived in Bournemouth and Poole. I will defo live here again when if I return. There are so many huge trees and beautiful streets.

 The shopping area has great coffee places, grocery stores as well as many, many charity shops...which I frequent like a territorial animal *wink*

 The buildings are full of character and history.

 And this is the only place I have ever been to where the traffic stops for you EVERY time at a Zebra Crossing. I love the staff at my local Costa, they know me a bit too well :)

I have a spot I like to sit and drink my soya-sugar-free-syrup-latte and do some Art Journalling.

 Is it wrong that I fall in love with things like this? A manky drain and a cul-de-sac sign...Nicola seriously?

 I pass this sign on the way home, I love the fonts. My street is so pretty, I find a little walk really inspiring and often just what I need to kick start an idea or some creative project.

This shadow was spooky looking, but the light was so lovely through the trees, I wanted to take a billion photos.

 What is your local area like? Where do you go to get inspired or just to re-connect with you?
Love, me x

Ps - photos taken with the awful camera on my Blackberry for purposeful poor quality, then transformed into Polaroids using this FREE software which I heard about from another blog I love to read.

Monday, 27 May 2013

A Free(ish) Lunch

Ello me Mateys...
I haven't blogged in a while I know. I am not sure I am the sort of blogger that can do regular posts and stuff, keep to a schedule and all that...I wish I was, I would love to have a career blog...but alas poor reader you will have to make do with my intermittent and sporadic blogging regime!

Today I wanted to share with you my love of  'free food'...the kind you can find in the wild. I am a massive fan of foraging. This love of foraging went into OVERDRIVE when I watched a fabulous series on TV, hosted by a woman that I want to be actual friends with in this world - Alys Fowler. Teamed with my deep love of Ray Mears, these two are my foraging hero-gods and make me want to live in a hammock and grow carrots in the tree-tops.

So here, I offer my own recipe, in which the star ingredient is foraged for free.

Noodles with Wild Garlic and Wild Leeks - serves 1
Sharwoods fine egg noodles (2 layers per person)
handful Three-Cornered Leeks
handful Wild Garlic
1tsp Sesame Oil
1tsp Dark Soy Sauce

note :: wild garlic flower heads and stalks used. Wild leeks stalks, flowers and leaves used.

1 - bring home your awesome smelling free foods and wash them, chop them into smaller pieces.
2 - boil up the noodles as instructed (they take about 5 minutes), half way through, throw in the garlic and leeks.
3 - take off the heat once the noodles are cooked and drain, add 1tsp sesame oil and mix in evenly (I find tongs or chopsticks are easier for this - lifting the noodles to distribute the oil).
4 - plate up, drizzle the dark soy sauce over to taste (I use 1tsp as it is very strong but you can add more to taste).
5 - sprinkle with salt and pepper if you like.
6 - enjoy!

This is quite literally one of my favourite meals of ALL TIME. I eat this simple dish with broccoli when the free foods aren't in season. I have this at least once a week :)

Maybe when you are out you will also find some lovely lilac flowers, bring them home and put them around your house. Not only do they look so pretty but they will fill your home with beautiful perfume.

Do you ever eat wild food? I'd love to hear about it...
Love, me x
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