‘One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well,’
Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own.
‘One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well,’
Last year, I took a rest from travelling. After a decade of jetting off here and there, I was tired. Airports. Flying. Check-in. Check-out. Suitcases. Packing. Unpacking. Jet lag. Passports. Visas. Culture shock. Lost luggage. Language barriers. Delhi belly. Blah blah blah. All this stuff had me left me legless. The destination, no matter how beautiful/astounding/intriguing/new, was almost becoming less than the sum of its parts. I needed a break. I needed to stay put long enough for my sofa to develop a permanent indent the size of my ass. So, I said no to press trips and almost all other invitations abroad. Anything outside of the M25 suddenly seemed a bit of a stretch too.
That’s not to say that I didn’t go anywhere – Australia beckoned for my high school reunion, Japan requested my company at a wedding, Italy demanded its annual encore, and who was I to pass a trip to Casablanca for fashion week? But this was all tame in comparison to the year previous, when I couldn’t catch my breath. I can’t tell you how pleased I am that I gave myself a time out, because this year I’m back on track. So far, it’s been St Lucia (a Caribbean first!) and a couple of trips back to Morocco, but I’ve also got sorties planned for Beirut, Reykjavík, Edinburgh, Tuscany, New York and Sydney over the next couple of months. And I CAN’T WAIT to share it all with you. I’ve got the travel bug back and I couldn’t be happier.
What are your travel plans for the summer? I’d love to know!
Back by popular demand (AKA two arm-twisting bloggers), here is a style inspiration post. I’m in London (for the next few weeks at least) and the sun is a-shining. I have shorts. I have brogues. I have legs. So today, I want to look like this.
Here’s more Style Inspiration.
Image © the supremely talented Vanessa Jackman.
I’m back in London after spending an amazing few days in Marrakech. If you’ve been following the blog, Twitter or Instagram, you’d be forgiven for thinking that I’ve moved to Morocco – I wish! As luck would have it, I was invited back to the north African Kingdom not long after my recent trip to El Jadida, Casablanca and Rabat. This time, however, Marrakech was our quarry. Having never been to the city that draws in more tourists than any other in the country, how could I refuse? I’ve got loads of posts planned, but for now I thought I’d share a few Instagram pics - mostly because it makes me feel like I’m still there…
The beautiful colours at the Jardin Majorelle.
What do you call a chicken in a shell suit? An egg.
And with that dreadful gag, I’ll leave you with this week’s favourite foodie photographs.
A few years ago, when I was really struggling with writer’s block, a friend introduced me to SARK and her method of micromovements. The basic premise: break things down into tiny actions and before too long your your task will be complete. It worked with the novel (standby for some exciting news), but I’ve also been applying it to other areas of my life.
Decorating our new home has been a bumpy ride, ankle breaks and tonnes of travel not withstanding. At times the whole shebang became too overwhelming, which left the MrMr and me struggling to find reasons to stay at home. That was, until, I began to apply the aforementioned to unpacked boxes, messy piles of books and clothes I haven’t worn since 2003.
We are by no means near finished, but our living room is now a precious haven (though still bereft of window dressing). Pictures have been hung, the ‘library’ has been organised, doorknobs have been installed, ornaments that we’ve been collecting or given over the years during our travels have been given pride of place. It’s all coming together – take a look!
[ABOVE] On the left is a painting the MrMr bought in Brazzaville (Congo) and a vase we found in Singapore. On the right is a throw from Uzbekistan and pillows from Vietnam (all beautiful gifts).
There’s more after the jump…
Well, hello there. It’s been a while. I’ve been travelling. And I’ve been ill. My first cold of the winter hit during the first week of spring. Go figure.
Don’t feel too sorry for me though. I was back in Morocco last week for my third trip in 18 months. I just can’t get enough of this spectacular country, and this trip was even more special because I helped to organise it.
During my visit in October last year, I suggested that the tourist board should organise a bloggers trip to the Kingdom – and last month they asked for my help. So, I rounded up five of the best in the business (Alex Loves, The Londoner, Katie Antoniou, Fabric Of My Life, Lela London) for a four-night soujourn to El Jadida, Casablanca and Rabat.
If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen how much sunshine, food, culture and local hospitality we were treated to. Here are some of my favourite pictures from the trip.
Click through for more #MoroccoInStyle shenanigans.
Two peanuts walk into a really rough bar. Unfortunately, one was a salted.
March is over – and what a month it was. You may have noticed that I didn’t post as often as I had been. Backing off so quickly wasn’t a conscious decision, but was one that was a long time coming. The daily posts – often quick fixes to have something new on the page – had lost their resonance, which isn’t fair to you or me. So, I took some time out to have a little rethink about what I wanted this site to be. From here on in expect longer pieces, original photography and a complete redesign (my skills and spare time willing) in addition to my regular Style Inspiration, Foodie Fridays and Happy Weekend posts. It’s about time, right?
It wasn’t just my ideas about i am not a celebrity that got an overhaul during the final stretch of the LONGEST WINTER EVER. Since the beginning of the year, I’ve let a couple of projects go – some lucrative, some not entirely my choice to leave, some never right for me to begin with – to focus on what really matters. Fear and not wanting to let people down was why I’d held onto them for so long, and while I now have less financial security and may have alienated some people who were relying on me to make their dreams come true, taking a chance on my own ideas and working with friends who have the same goals as I do is worth the risk. I’m excited and motivated and will reveal all soon.
That’s enough navel gazing for a Tuesday afternoon. March also included a very welcome press trip to St Lucia. Sun! Sand! Palm Trees! Rum! Vitamin D! Ryan Gosling! Did I say Sun!?
My Instagram feed (no pun intended) is always littered with food. My favourite pictures this month are of my Easter Bunny Cupcakes. I know pride and gluttony are deadly, but I was willing to take a little chance with these guys.
March was also a time for: making over friends in pubs; supporting friends at their book launches (WOOHOOOO Kate Worsley and the brilliant She Rises!); eating porridge; giving back (our private bloggers sale raised £326 for Children In Need – we’ll be hosting another one soon); matching my neons; being overwhelmed with new projects and coming to a dawning realisation; lots of culture (opera, ballet, musicals and cinema); drinking Easter pints; and French Films tout seule (Dans La Maison in the Barbican’s red leather).
The Instagram star of the month, however, was The Goose. I’m just the coffee-pouring chopped liver who takes the pictures.