Friday, November 25, 2011

Home ... and away again!

Finally downloading photos from the last week. And it is almost a full week since arriving home.

This was my view when circling over Brisbane last Saturday morning.

And on the screen in front of my seat.

I was very anxious to get back just so I could stretch out and feel the ground under my feet again. And get a good night's sleep.  The first few days I was very exhausted... a chest infection had played havoc on and off for weeks... so I felt weary from trying to push on when I could have easily given up and rested.

Hence a friend's call to see if I wanted to join her for a few days break down south at the coast was good timing. Did I? At first I mumbled about being too busy. Later that night I phoned and said... "forget that for a joke... I'm coming!"

Heading south ... about 90 mins or so from home ...  is this lovely coastal community of Brunswick Heads.

Arts & Culture image
Photo: Flynn Cowan
These images from the tourist site featuring this area.

"Taking Care of Brunswick" - a new 5 year plan image

I've been passing through here since I was a young girl ... my family had a holiday here when I was very young as it was only 2 hours north of where I grew up.

The centre of town... and the van below reminds one of the predominance of colourful local characters ... it might be a sleepy fishing village but there has been strong counter-culture presence for a few decades in these parts.

Conti is a great cafe that I made myself at home in ... located at 3 Park St, Brunswick Heads... the morning started with coffee and avocado on toast. I was keen to get out my watercolours again... so, settling in at a large table near the front ... with welcome breezes coming from every direction ... I was soon lost in my simple task of working on postcard watercolour paper to my heart's content.

This was an opportunity to play with colour and composition...nothing fancy... the most simple of formats in order to get into the process. Primary task was to enjoy... nothing more.

Having the tags with me was fun too.

After a good four hours session with my paints... talking with various people and tuning in to passers by here and there, I finally said good-bye to our kind hosts at Conti and headed off... eventually for the beach ... but not before a visit to some great vintage and gift shops and a delightful ceramic artist, Lucy Vanstone.

It was threatening to rain by the time we got to the beach in the later afternoon. Walking close to the water's edge was a discovery of small round stones which I was hay to collect and all these mangrove pods, leaves and such. 

I like how this mangrove pod is shooting.

I enjoyed watching the leaves float as the water came and went. Its was so refreshing to be down on the beach fossicking and just breathing the air... didnt matter than the rain was coming! 

Today I was back in my regular life and feeling all the more refreshed for my few days away. Somehow a little of that exhaustion seemed to ebb out... 

I think I will have to make a plan to try and get away a little more often than I usually do.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

this time last week...

This morning I am making the most of being able to linger at home in my own space after arriving home from Korea in the early hours of the morning yesterday! I proceeded to sleep away most of yesterday after  breakfast with family first. I vaguely remember dinner on the back verandah too ... but when I went back to bed I still managed to sleep till 5.30 this morning.

After finding my car keys I headed off this morning at 6.30 to a local cafe and read the paper over coffee and then made my way to a fairly new local market where I enjoyed choosing from the abundance of fresh herbs, fruit and vegetables.

Now I've just gone through photos for several hours and decided to post photos from Sunday a week ago when still in London I had headed off to the East End to visit Columbia Rd Flower market, Brick Lane and Spitafield markets. I left London the following evening and arrived Tuesday afternoon in Korea, staying in Seoul for 3 nights and flying out on Friday evening ... landing 9 hours later here in Brisbane.

So its been a huge week ...

but for now.... the East End story!

Columbia Rd was not hard to find once I knew the right bus to take. Many were heading the same way.

There were rows of market stalls selling flowers, bulbs, potted plants and such for a very good price.

Love hyacinth I have to say...

around some corners were some very tempting eateries... liked this oyster stall on the street... bread, butter, oysters being shucked, lemon... so simple!

Great street entertainment!

This was over near Brick Lane Market this woolly vehicle!

Wasn't quite sure what I'd find in these parts!

Lots of street eating for one!

From Ethiopia...

I took photos of endless varieties of cuisines... VERY multi-cultural in origin. I could barely decide what to choose to eat... somehow I went for Moroccan but it all looked incredibly appetising and well prepared.

The street went on forever.

London 2011 is a different place to the times of this man!

Food mecca!

This stall holder was just back form a buying trip in India... and I had fun choosing some braids for my mother who lives to sew. 

Yes... I had to buy the one with the Pom Poms...and it was very popular when giving gifts yesterday morning!

I'd like to have taken closer photos of this whole stall... very ingenious repurposed goods!

I bought a wonderful bag made from African fabric.. made an excellent carry on bag for the plane as it was a really long shape ... held rolled up art work which was an answer to a problem. Met some great people at this market...and got a few last minute gifts. Took loads of photos...these are just a few!

Well my friends... so much to do now that I'm home... but I will be back visiting you all as son as possible. I thank all of you who popped in with well wishes whilst I was on the journey!
my best to your all!
Sophie xx

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

City of lights... part 2

If you read the last post you will know where I ended up... briefly... for 2 days.

Not a great photo...but I wanted to reference the amazing river made of projected light in the form of words on the entrance walkway up to the permanent exhibits at the Musee du quai Branly which was my destination on arrival in the city... once I'd stopped in at my hotel.

The museum contains the collections of the now-closed Musée national des Arts d'Afrique et d'Océanie and theethnographic department of the Musée de l'Homme. Wiki

Loved this item made of carved bone.... one of many exhibits from Papua New Guinea.
I could share a lot more form this wonderful museum... go there  or visit the website!

Walking... cold, windy, a little wet, freezing in the big open spaces... this carousel was somehow heartwarming in all that greyness!

Quite liked this image... guess where I am if you can...

Pompidou Centre indeed. Waiting in a long queue I got talking with a young Korean pastry chef who was
wonderful to chat with and gave me ideas for my stopover in Korea next week. He was off to the Pompidou Library to research for his work.Only when I was nearly inside did I realise I didn't need to be in this queue ...we laughed... the conversation was worth it!

Green crosses ... I like!

An atelier all lit up... it was only as wide as you see...and in a area of many galleries just the perfect size really!

A small window nearby.

Closeup of the light fittings in a bar in the Marais district. Loved this!

where do you think?

of course I passed this twice in 2 the second time I stopped in!

Notre Dame...  so many people... I'm sure there are many quieter churches... but i, like so many, was drawn in!

... and before I left... dinner sitting at this corner below. Croque Monsieur and pomme frites. OK... what a cliche.. simple but so good!

Did I have a good time....?

Well... as usual... the things you plan and what then happens doesn't always coincide... I bought a two day museum pass on the Eurostar then found all the Museums were free on the one Sunday I was there... a once a month thing!

By Monday I'd lost interest in Museums anyway... I just wanted to walk... so I have an unused ticket that cost 35 Euros! C'est la Vie!

The residence where I spent three weeks recently was inside a virtual museum... its left me hunkering for my wandering time... less organised and far curated experiences. Not that I haven't appreciated that opportunity immensely. But when time is precious I'm thinking about what it is that will stay with me... and being able to absorb a place and its people, sit amidst the busyness and take it al in... of course that is important...

Plus... don't know about you... despite comfy, sensible shoes my feet still get really, really tired ... and to sit and stare is both pleasing and life saving!

I took lots of photos... but these are in keeping with the theme of light somehow!

Au revoir,