David + Cassis

To know them is to love them. David and Cassis share something worth capturing. I tried.

Dani

suki zoe dani

Because How Could I Not

I’ll keep posting photos of Bambu Indah, because, how could I not? The new Honeymoon House, with it’s copper roof perching on a hillside, overlooking the river and the Nayan Pools – it’s a miracle of location, design and nature. It’s uniquely Bambu Indah. Another gem from Elora Hardy and Ibuku <3

St Paul’s Cathedral

I’m always drawn to the Southbank. Whatever the weather, there are people walking fast, milling by the book stalls, meeting friends for drinks, musicians, performers, living statues, skateboarders, and then the bubble makers. A seemingly thankless task. But really, how delightful to create ephemeral, momentary beauty. Thank you. St Paul’s Cathedral The iconic skyline with the famous dome is worlds away from the other side of the Thames.

Dar Qawi – Riad by the Sea

My darling friend Kia has a stunning Riad by the Sea in Essaouira. Essaouira was the final destination on my trip, and I was thrilled to be able to spend time here at Dar Qawi. Honestly, I barely left the house for the first three days – I was so content there. It’s full of beautiful details and well thought luxuries. The staff are wonderful, and I felt pampered beyond belief. Essaouira is more western and relaxed than many other places. The salty fishy air blows throughout the town, keeping things fresh. The food is the best I found in Morocco, and the people charming. We peeked at the Outsider Art scene at the huge and awesome joutiya (flea market), ate heartily, watched sunsets with camels, and took a few photos.. The very busy fishing port is non stop action – fishermen fishing, seagulls hustling, fat cats eating, sellers gutting, customers buying – it’s non stop. The ocean just keeps on giving. Dar Qawi – Riad by the Sea The good news is that  Dar Qawi is for sale. It can be yours, if you’d love a new home by the sea.

Six Weeks in Morocco

No trip really begins until two weeks in. For the first 14 days at least, I find my heart and mind remain wherever and with whomever I’ve just left behind. And then shit gets real. Presence happens. For whatever reason I chose Morocco (oh my what an unplanned contrast to Bali) it was incredible – my eye was continually delighted. I spent many happy hours on buses, trains and in grand taxis – and so my surprise, enjoyed each of them very much. Six Weeks in Morocco I left with much of the country yet to be discovered, but I’m happy to have been to the mountains, the oceans, the cities and the desert. Until next time Morocco. Shukran.

Marrakech Morning

Sand and dust, donkeys and asses, snake charmers and acrobats, tagines, orange juice, cactus fruit and fresh succulent figs. French and Arabic, leather bags and fragrant spices, coloured rugs and beaten copper, hammams and cobblestones, cart wheels and the call to prayer. Marrakech Morning Mornings here start late. The light doesn’t filter down to the alleyways until later in the day. There is no sunrise in a riad, unless you’re sleeping on the rooftops.

Madrid

It’s been a long time since I was in Madrid. But some memory has called me back over the last few years. Increasingly, in Bali, the craving for long summer nights, wearing a light summer dress, walking down cobbled streets, nibbling on olives and sipping Rioja, brought me back to Europe again. My European roots could not be denied. And somehow, I think that I’ve only ever been to Madrid in August. The place is a ghost town – with most shops shut, and the locals wisely holidaying at the beach. Fine with me! All I needed to do was walk for hours, inhale the city, listen to people talk, see the older men in braces – where gentlemen still take breakfast in hats; women in slippers and house-dresses – all the while wearing the aforementioned dress. I sat at cafes in tree-filled stoney squares.  And somehow, something came full circle for me there. Madrid has exceptional buskers, I genuflected in a few churches, heard mass in Spanish and found my favourite chocolate bar. Another moment of perfect timing – my friend arrived back in town just in time to sit and talk through the night. Perfection.

Shopping Mall

Sunrise at Bali Galeria shopping mall. Empty. Light and space. Shopping Mall Why was I at Bali Galeria at sunrise? I have no clue now. I’ve never been there that early before or since. It was amazing – a big empty space – no bikes or sounds. Just the odd cleaner pushing a mop. Usually the thousands of bikes and cars swarming around the hot hot building warm up your experience. Not on this day..

Kashi

An ancient temple on the banks of the Ganges in Kashi. Just up from the burning Ghats, there is a change of vibe. The ghats get quieter and more spacious. Kashi Home to 87 ghats, and so much more. Hard to explain. Go there.