Sunday, 30 October 2011

Marrakech, Morocco - going down the memory lane, episode 1

Hello all!!

The clocks have gone back one hour here in the UK and I used that extra hour to look at my old albums. There is no doubt that the digital age have afforded us to experiment with photography (in particular us amateurs), to take as many pictures as we want to; to delete at our will and still have lots of space on the memory card. Remember the days when you had to be choosy as to what you take a picture of as the films were expensive and developing of the images was even more dear? And then, there was always the fear that if you exposed film without realising it, your developed pictures will all come out the same - black.
So, here is to the digital era! But,... there is always a but!!! Pictures that we take on our digital cameras are rarely developed and the images stay on our computers. We look at them once, maybe twice and that's about it. So, I've decided to remedy that situation and go back and look at the pictures I have taken over the years and see what captured my eye then, 3-4-5 years ago. 
And so I stumbled upon an album of pictures I took in September 2007. This was very exciting time for me. I have made one of the biggest decisions in my life; I left a job I've been in for almost 8 years, took a big loan and was about to start my Masters in performance at our one of the best drama schools in Europe. Scary and exciting at the same time. And to start off the new adventure in my life, I took a holiday to Marrakech, Morocco with my best friend. Here are a few pictures of that exciting time in my life. I hope you'll enjoy the trip down the memory lane as much as I have (as always, click on the image to enlarge).

We went to Morocco at the time of Ramadan and so it is only fitting to start the album with the biggest mosque in Marrakech, Koutoubia (1184 - 1199). It means "librarian" in Arabic as the area was surrounded by the sellers of religious manuscripts at the time it was built. It is a beautiful and majestic building.

Right next to the mosque we found a wonderful cafe that even though it was Ramadan, was serving the best cakes and ice creams throughout the day. Of course, if you showed up at 7pm, just as the fast ended for the day, they would totally ignore you while they broke the fast and had their food inside the cafe. We would patiently sit outside in the garden and dream of the ice creams we were to have. There was something magical and unspoken in this agreement. People who worked there, served us food when they themselves couldn't eat. They did it with a smile on their face, without any judgement that we tourists, foreigners are not following their customs. The same went for when we were ignored while it was their time to eat. We understood that it was now their time to nourish their body and soul and we gave our respect by patiently waiting. Of all things I have seen and experienced in Morocco, I think this unspoken respect and acceptance of each other is what moved me the most.

I know, it is a stereotype, but when you think of Morocco, you think colour. And colour we definitely found in there. Here are a few images that popped out as I was leafing through the images:

The colours are being prepared to dye the shoes, slippers, bags to sell in the market; hard working man, making orange juice under the glaring sun every day; a street seller offering magic potions made of grinded bones, different herbs and who know what else; my friend and I breaking the fast with the locals in the El Jeffna square; the original peoples of Morocco, the Berbers, coming down to the city; the sweet delicacies to sample after a savoury meal. Full of colour, full of tradition, full of new ad exciting things for us to explore.

I didn't realise that this post was going to be this long, so an impulse decision - I will come back with the second installment on Morocco adventure in the next post. I suppose I have many more memories and images that I want to share, so won't cram it all in now.

Without planning, this trip down the memory lane is bringing me peace I am need of these days. Hope it has inspired you too, or at least reminded you of the happy times you have had on one of your trips around this wonderful, colourful, strange and beautiful world.

Hope you all have a lovely week, and see you all very soon.

Red xx

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Rain in London

Hello all!!

I've been taking it easy in the last few days (luckily I could as I have a week off work).
I went for a long walk in the rain yesterday, which was just divine, then did a bit of shopping (two jumpers and a cheap, pink, plastic watch) and went to the cinema.
And I spotted a few things a long the way (as always, click on the image to enlarge):

 Brixton Town Hall, red bus, grey sky and rain. I think, beautiful.

Walking through Brixton Village, I spotted some colour.

Beautifully arranged grapes by one of the grocery sellers. 

And then, I went to see this film.

I read We Need to Talk About Kevin book some years ago and it had quite an impact on me. It asked a lot of questions on what it means being "evil". Is it nature or nurture? I don't believe in that concept, so I find the themes in the book very challenging. I am happy to say that the film didn't disappoint. In fact, it is a faithful adaptation of the book and Tilda Swinton is captivating, devastating and heart breaking in the film. 
The story and the themes are dark and heavy but if you are the kind of person that likes to be tackled and challenged, then I strongly recommend it.

I hope you are all having a good week and people and things around you are challenging you in the best way possible.

Red xx

Monday, 24 October 2011

Pattern, calm, peace, order

Hello all!!

It's been a while since I last posted. Last few weeks have been eventful, full of surprises (good and not so good), emotional ups and downs. This past weekend was full of good and bad. I have been very lucky to have spent it with people I love and like, caring and gentle even if they didn't know me that well. Strangers sometimes surprise you and show their caring side more than people you think are your friends. So I now need order, calm, gentleness and peace.
I find these much needed things in the pictures below:

I know, strange mixture of images and you are probably wondering how is this bringing calm into my life. I don't know, the composition of things and objects in the pictures, the colours and the nature's way of ordering things in her own way seem to be doing the trick. 

I have never posted music here, but I have been listening to this song the whole day and it seems to be soothing my soul. Hope you enjoy it too.

Hope you are peaceful and calm wherever you are.

Red xx

Sunday, 16 October 2011

David Bowie and Betty Boop spotted in Brixton. And some cool guys too!!

Hello all!!

I have been feeling pretty good lately, but I am also very restless these days. Can't sleep, can't eat. So, I took a stroll down to my favourite place and this is what I found:

I bumped into a very good friend of mine on my way to the market. He was waiting for a large delivery of ginger beer from the guy from the corner shop. They shook on the transaction gone well. Spot the clothes my friend is wearing. Yes, it was that warm in London yesterday.

Brixton is a welcoming place, as the sign says: Be Our Guest!

And now for a bit of window shopping. This little bird is on sale. Any takers?

This is a fairly new shop. It sells cloths for men, and it also doubles up as a barber shop.

Some time ago, Brixton got its own currency so the money spent here, stays here. It contributes to the local economy. And who do we have on one of the bank notes? The legendary David Bowie. It is very fitting, he is also from Brixton.

Look who I spotted hiding under the table!! The fabulous Betty Boop.

As I mentioned before, you can find everything in Brixton market. And isn't this a fabulous service and a wonderful poster? Long eyelashes anyone? Yes, please.

And just as I was leaving the market, I spotted a very cool guy. I pretended I was taking pictures of his surroundings, but I think he knew I was snapping him, so he posed a little. I love this shot!

And as I was about to walk up the hill to go home, I took a shot of the cafe in front of the Ritzy. The weather was so beautiful, no wonder so many people were sitting outside.

I hope your weekend was peaceful and you had a good weather. Have a great week.

Red xx

Thursday, 6 October 2011

"What's in my shopping basket" episode 4

Hello all!!

So, autumn is upon us. The sky is not as blue, the sun is shy, the colours on the trees are changing from green to beautiful reds, browns, yellows and golden. And what better way to celebrate then buy yourself a new, yellow dress.

I saw this dress in Top Shop ten days ago and really don't know why I didn't buy it there and then. It goes without saying that I couldn't stop thinking about it since then and finally I made my way to central London and got the beauty (the last one in my size). 

I played dressing up at home today (my favourite hobby), trying it out with different accessories, different shoes, tights. And of course I took pictures of it too (a friend took the picture from the back, as the detail at the back is beautiful and it really makes the dress.)
I know a few people who say "Oh, yellow doesn't suit me, it just isn't my colour." Well, I strongly disagree. I think that everyone can (and should) wear all colours (of course, not all at the same time). It has nothing to do with not suiting, it has everything to do with confidence and wanting to be playful with colour, daring to stand out. I love colour, and I love strong, vibrant colours, and if I might say so myself, this colour looks quite good on me :-)

So, here is my new purchase. I can't wait to wear it (maybe this Saturday on a night out):

And the back:

What you can't see is a thin, red belt that parts the dress. It reminds me of dresses Betsy wears in the fabulous Mad Men (note, I said reminds. I know it is not the same and it is much much cheaper than the apparel she wears). In this case, the decor is my hallway and not the stylish 60's furniture. But as I said, I was playing dressing up at home, so prettier pictures of this happy dress will follow once I take it out for a walk. 

Another fantastic buy in my shopping basket is the writings of the giant of the art world, Loiuse Bourgeois. I keep dipping in and out of it, and her determination, creativity and imagination is inspiring. Once I have read a bit more, I'll probably post some of her writings. 

I am very tired, excited and excitable these days (I think my excitement tires me out) and also pretty happy. That's the way to enter a new season. And of course, in a new dress.

How are you celebrating the beginning of autumn, or spring as the case might be for some of you? Have you treated yourself to something nice and pretty?

Have fabulous weekend.

Red xx