Thursday, January 31

In order of awesomeness

Hi there
This is what I wore one Monday back in November. .

This morning the sun was just cresting the horizon as I reached this same spot. As soon as I had my tripod slung across my back I tentatively steered my bike off the path. While the sun is up early enough for me to take dawn photos before work now, the ground is certainly not to be trifled with.. I tried to pedal back to safety, but in the end I had to put a foot down -SLURP- to steady myself. So I arrived at work with a muddy left shoe and no outfit shots to show for it.

Getting closer though - not long now :) Not that you think I am waiting hard here..  oh no! Not at all. I am the picture of patience, me.
Well, there is not much else to report. Below these photos I have embedded some songs (in order of awesomeness) I have been listening to over the past few days. A LOT.

Robert Belfour - Hill Stomp
I only came across Robert Belfour yesterday afternoon. While running reports I kept clicking across to my youtube tab to watch him play. So freaking excellent.

Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir - Rainstorms In My Knees
I came across these guys on Monday. They have been accompanying me on my bike for the past couple of days. It was hard picking one of their songs to post here, Neighbourhood Butcher was a close second.

Sixteen Horsepower - Hutterite Mile
I haven't listened to much Sixteen Horsepower yet, but I keep coming back to this tune when I feel like a break from the above ;)

What's plugged into your ears these days?

hat: etsy (softspoken)
blouse: highstreet
mittens: supermarket
cardi & cornflower blue tights: eBay
skirt: etsy (anabelfuzz)
boots: present

Tuesday, January 29

Vagator & Anjuna

Well hello there :)
and welcome to yet another instalment of Goa :D

Vagator is quiet, relaxed and most of all: rocky.
I could have done with a pair of trainers climbing along between different sections of the beach, but it was well worth the odd cut :)

We went to Anjuna market (held on Wednesdays) on our third day in Goa. As far as learning to say a firm NO! (Maka Naka = I don't want it) to traders goes, it was a baptism of fire :D

We arrived early, so we got to walk along in peace while everybody was still busy setting up shop. We had a cup of tea with one of the traders, Sunita, who we had met on our first day, and amongst other things I got the dress on the right (third picture down) at her stall.

We went down to the beach for a little while before returning to find ourselves in the grip of an unplanned shopping frenzy. It really creeps up on you, and while it was quite an experience I don't think I'll bother with markets next time we visit Goa. Frankly, it's much of a muchness. Anjuna market is vast, but while there are some pretty things up for grabs, the wares are largely identical.

I might not do markets again, but I sure will return to our tailor. I have a couple of new dresses and skirts to show you guys as soon as cold old England warms up a bit :D

The most striking feature of Anjuna beach is what I am pretty sure are vast structures of barnacle cement. You can walk out to sea like you're on a natural pier and watch the waves break :)

That's all for today :)
Have a good one you all!

Sunday, January 27

Right on the Nail..

When I started painting my nails, I hadn't the faintest about just how important a good base and top coat are and my cuticles were out of control.

As I started getting into nail polish I was really glad other girls online shared some recommendations and pointed me in the right direction, so I figured I'd show you guys what's inside my nail care box too:

To shape my nails I use a glass file and a four-sided buffer.

Emery boards always wear out so darn quickly, I got quite grumpy about the money and waste. I haven't had it for long, but my glass file seems to do the trick :)
The buffer really help smooth the edges of my nails, and smooth edges don't chip as easily :)

For some time I used one of those metal cuticle trimmers.  They're great to cut ripped cuticles, but if your cuticles are not damaged, using one of those torture instruments will be sure to do just that. You have to be a deft hand in order not to shred your cuticles in the process and damage your nail root to boot (I am not). Your cuticles seal your nailbed and removing them can cause infections, so though you want to keep them neat you definitely don't want rid of them completely.  

Cuticle Remover cream is a far safer bet. The stuff softens/thins your cuticles so you can push them down with a rubber tipped pusher without even a hint of the Spanish inquisition.

Correct and clean up pens are the best thing since sliced bread if like me you don't always colour within the lines ;)
It is perfect for cleaning little mess ups around your nails and to neaten edges.

You just fill your pen with polish remover and though they wear out pretty quick, you can get refill tips as well.

Cuticle cream & oil is really helpful for keeping the skin at the edges of your nails looking neat. I really like Mavala Almond Cuticle Oil.  I am a sucker for almond is all ;)

I used to apply Sally Hansen - Hard As Nails as both a base and topcoat. It's a great product, but that's not really what it's made for, so when I swapped to Seche Vite Dryfast Topcoat I couldn't believe the difference it made (I still use Hard As Nails as a base btw).

The whole shebang dries a lot quicker and my nails rarely chip anymore. I have lazily worn the same nail-do for over a week, where chips would usually prompt a re-do after no more than three days. Usually I still do my nails every other day, simply because I like a bit of variety, but it's nice to know the washing up is no longer my enemy.. at least not from a nail polish aspect ;)

I used to cut shapes from sellotape, which, let's face it: Is pretty tedious.
Nowadays I have a wallet full of self-adhesive nail guides from eBay.
They are just the right kind of sticky, easy to apply and don't cost the world either.

My embossing tool is just perfect for polka dot nails. Just drip a little polish on a non-absorbent surface (sellotape is good) and dip your embossing tool right in. Dot on your nails and Bob's your uncle.

How about you? 
Got any nail related tips or recommendations for me?

Saturday, January 26

Daylight hours

I've been reading plenty (still going strong with the Agent Cormac series),
am slowly getting back into practising on our guitar (Good King Wenceslas has joined my limited repertoire).
Other than that I've been fairly brain dead. I am still getting back into the swing of things at work, so by the time I get home all I want is television induced zombification. I can't wait for daylight to stretch into my spare time. It is only just getting dark as I make my way home now. :)

Have a fantastic weekend!

dress: etsy (Isabel Knowles)
cardi: eBay
hat: supermarket
scarf: present (pass me down)
tights & boots: online store

Thursday, January 24

and my heart is trying hard here to follow you but i can't always tell if i ought to...

Here's what I wore yesterday.
Although I've been posting regularly I feel as if I've been absent from this here Blog. That's probably because the outfit shots I have been posting are month(s) old and I haven't been carrying my camera around either. I even went a whole month without painting my nails! :D OUTRAGEOUS ;)

I scored these kickers on eBay just before we went to Goa. Then Dudhsagar claimed a little piece of my foot and for weeks I have been stuck in a cosy black pair of Velcro ankle boots two sizes larger than my usual. My little wound has been healing well, but that just goes to show how impatient I really am ;) Since yesterday, with some shoe horning, I finally have footwear choices again. So at long last I took these mega-pinks for a spin :D

Yesterday morning I followed a link Kathryn passed me (thanks!) and ever since this tune has been stuck in my head. Obviously it's not just the song: The animation is pretty darn awesome too. That might just be the most upbeat little artistic manifesto I have come across. Art, Art I want you..

Music by Tanya Davis, video by Andrea Dorfman

hat & top: supermarket
sweater & coat: highstreet
skirt: market stall (altered)
cape: market stall
mittens: hand-made (thieved from Mom)
shoes: eBay (score!)

Tuesday, January 22

Night time is the right time

Baga, Calangute and Kandolim beach were more or less within walking distance from our hotel.
We spent plenty a lazy afternoon and evening at Kandolim beach, which is far quieter than busy Baga and crowded Calangute (which is positively pumping after dark).

Crickets chirped at dusk, while midges quietly homed in on whatever piece of skin we'd missed when spraying ourselves with Odomos insect repellent (don't forget your toes and elbows!)
We'd listen to the waves roll in, while dogs placidly curled up in the sand. Later on we'd fall asleep to their howling. Cows made a "feast" of the perishable waste strewn on the town's streets while we walked back to the hotel by torch light.

Mildew and incense, the strong sweet scent of cashew (oh heck, stay away from Feni!) and of course the salty sea breeze too.. with all senses engaged you might just feel like a child again, when the world was new and every experience was a first.

And of course night time is the right time to play with the bulb setting on your camera while brandishing your torch ;)

Sunday, January 20

In the Warm Lack of Everything

I found it when I was in my teens, on those first excursions into the depths of the world wide web. The electronic cacophony of the dial tone. Our phone number engaged for the duration. Back when people used to ask you: "where did you go?" after you'd severed the connection and expect a geographical answer. It was then that I found a geocities (or was it angelfire?) site full of poems that deeply resonated with me.

I printed them out and pasted them into a little notebook. Sadly, I didn't note down the author's name and years later, when I finally thought to check, the site had disappeared without a trace. Even the wayback machine couldn't help me.

Still, there is that little book of mine, full of found words. So I thought I'd share a page with you. :)

God is only happy when it's Fall
so that cunning skin doesn't crawl
in the warm lack of everything
beginning in the lapis lazulian reality
of a sky that only is lovers' eyes
in the warm lack of everything
wet at birth, now dry with a fingertiped
yearning at something forgiven
to the tingly, tingly smile
forgotten still
in the warm lack of everything for
the property of being tucked in by
matronly smelling wind and
soft relaxation of a beastly world
in a coaxedly cathartic sigh
of a small little man
who is at home on a little world
in the warm lack of everything
knowingly only that nothing like somethings
can be
ivory skin youth memoried dancing
quiet reflections of mercurial pools of time
with floating red and orange and yellow (not green)
in the warm lack of everything

Well, it's far from autumnal over here ;)
It's been snowing all day and there is no end in sight - it's really still only a dusting, though that might be different by morning. Here's to cosy homes and hot cups of tea :D

hat: supermarket
coat & cardi: supermarket
blouse & mittens: present
skirt (dyed): eBay
tights: online store
shoes: highstreet