Wednesday, November 28, 2012

'Wordly' Talents and a Fair Maiden



source

It was laying there, waiting for me..
 a welcome home present from another land.
It did not take me long to determine from whence it came,
it was from the woman of 'wordly' talent,
a fair maiden from the South...
who dreams of the Scottish Highlands
with her devoted canine companion, Edward.


Many of you will already know
that I speak of Pamela and Edward..
From the House of Edward.



A story unfolds...
In the contents of the package was a book,
of the most delicate kind.
The words are of fairytale magic..
the kind that take you to the land of your dreams.




Last year..
Pamela took me to a wonderful place,
 filled with memories of my father.
You see, my father passed away some years ago.
I have only one item that belonged to him, his watch.
 It took me a long time to come around to wearing it.
I had to pass the threshold of tearful longing
and move onto tender acceptance.

It appears I was not the only one...
for when her words fell before my eyes
via a post on her blog,
one cold winter's eve in England...
I knew she understood.

You can read Pamela's full post...here

Pamela had written about a recent trip to London,
 where she wore her father's watch.
He travelled with her on her wrist and in her heart.
Up Regent Street, passed Hamley's, to the Wallace Collection,
and onto Hampton Court where she sat in the silence
of the Chapel Royal...thinking of her father,
just as I had done on a similar occasion.
Both of us wearing our father's watch.

It was fate, our friendship, and I am delighted.
I like to think our father's had a hand in it.
For in Pamela I have found a wonderful blogging friend.
For those of us who have made friends in serendipitous ways...
you will know what that means. It is a blessing.

I only recommend things I love...
it has to be tried and true and I can tell you
that if you enjoy magical writing...
you will love Pamela and Edward's book.

A must for your Christmas shopping list.
You can order it here.

With special thanks to Edward...



who inspired Pamela to write

Photos above from Pamela's book
with the exception of  the fair maiden and 
my father's watch.
:)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Crazy Woman..Wise Woman...Happy Woman

a creative moment

Have you thought about one of your creative moments lately?
When you felt that everything was in sync 
and you were in your space?

The photo above, was one of those moments 
and it got me thinking.


I realised today it has been three years 
since I started Collage of Life.
I have blogged through life in New Zealand, 
England and now Vietnam.
Back in the month...
November 2009 to be exact, 
I wrote 41 posts.
Sometimes 2-3 posts in a day...
Crazy woman.

via Vincent Wolf

I looked at my posts for November 2012...just four.
Don't worry dear subscribers...I promise not to have a 
blogging uber-thon to play catch up.
Makes me a bit nervous just thinking about it!
Wise woman.

It's been a wild ride this year. 
With all my being, I thank you from 
the bottom of my heart for following along.
I am the first to admit,
it is not easy!

Especially when I tell you the latest
about the little farm...down a dirt road.

Coming soon...

Photo with thanks to Joe @ Notes from Juniper Hill

I hope you have time this coming weekend to
have a few creative moments yourself.
Enjoy!

Warm wishes from Saigon...

Jeanne xx

PS...
See the green tiles in the Vincent Wolf photo above?
I see them everywhere and have been wondering
how I could use them. I saw the photo today 
in one of my November 2009 posts.
Bingo!

I will keep you posted on that idea.
Happy Woman.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Rambling vines, roll top desks, cooking pots, a swing chair....



Most days my mind is like this flowering pink vine 
growing along our rooftop. It rambles, it wanders, 
it has a direction all it's own and some days 
it has no direction at all. 
I gave up trying to fight it long ago. 



Rambling vines and a garden...

Each morning, I take a cup of coffee and slowly wander around the garden.
I linger longest here....


Rambling vines, a garden and a roll top desk..

Do you enjoy rummaging around shops?
I can't resist a good rumble.
When I saw this roll top desk, tucked away 
in the corner of a local shop...I had an idea.





Fresh off the truck, into our home...
the desk is ready for me. 





Rambling vines, a garden, 
roll top desks and cooking pots...

On another occasion, I spotted these cooking pots
from northern Vietnam. Actually, that one is debatable.
They could very well be from Laos. Either way...
with a bit of mixing and matching, I selected ten.




On our front step....
I wondered, as I scrubbed away, about the history of the pots.
Where did they come from, how many people could 
they feed...how many celebrations were they part of?
The mind wanders and wonders.





 Rambling vines, a garden,  roll top desks, 
cooking pots and a motorcycle...

I won't deny it, I have a longing to grab hold 
of the handle bars of a motorcycle
and let it rip. I call it the 'Easy Rider' complex.
This one is a beauty.





But..perhaps this one is more my speed.




Rambling vines, a garden, roll top desks, 
cooking pots, a motorcycle and a swing chair.

When we first arrived in Vietnam, 
I spotted a swing chair for sale on a street corner. 
I loved it...but it didn't love me. 
I popped into it, kicked back and quickly landed 
on the ground with a big thud.
I thought it was the funniest and silliest thing I had ever done.
The shop assistants were in a state of confusion.
They said it was not for swinging.


For months, I have been searching for a swing chair, 
worthy of my weight and desire to swing from a tree.
When I spotted this one, I knew I had found it.

When we were preparing to hang it, I had to explain
that it would require a very heavy chain and lots of it. I intended
to stay above the ground and not on it.

I am happy to report...that an elephant could sit in this chair
and swing with glee...and not a flicker of dust 
would touch it's delicate bottom.

I love Vietnamese ingenuity.




 Rambling vines, 
a garden , 
roll top desks, 
cooking pots, 
a motorcycle, 
 a swing chair.. 
and Sydney.

From Vietnam to Australia...
signing off with a view from a flat in Sydney.
Where the kookaburras sing, 
the purple jacaranda trees are ablaze
and the crazy lady writes.




Thank you for letting me ramble.
I blame it on hormones.
Always the hormones
:)

Best wishes for a wonderful weekend!
I truly appreciate you reading along!!

Jeanne xx

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Thinking and talking about books....


I managed to read several books recently.
It feels so good to be in that space again.
From the fast and easy read to the more slow and thoughtful pace. 
Each one was equally enjoyable.

If you like to travel and want a fun, light hearted little page turner...
how about travelling with three women...in the summer of 1928 to Bombay?
Did you know, that in the day, if you were an Englishwoman in search of a husband
and you found slim pickings in Britain..you could cast your line further afield 
and join the "Fishing Fleet"? Women travelled abroad to India where a potential lucky fellow 
would be waiting. It was an adventure and many women took on the challenge.
I loved the sound of that and decided to read on..


East of the Sun by Julia Gregson

via

On the back cover....

"As the 'Kaisar--i-Hind' weights anchor for Bombay in the autumn of 1928, its passengers ponder their fate in a distant land. They are part of the "Fishing Fleet"- the name given to the legions of Englishwomen who sail to India each year in the search of husbands, heedless of the life that awaits them. The inexperienced chaperone Viva Halloway has been entrusted to watch over three unsettling charges. There's Rose, as beautiful as she is naive, who plans to marry a cavalry officer she has met a mere handful of times. Her bridesmaid, Victoria, is hell-bent on losing her virginity en route before finding a husband of her own. And shadowing them all is the malevolent presence of a disturbed schoolboy named Guy Glover.

From the parties of the wealthy Bombay socialites to the poverty of Tamarind Street, from the sooty streets of London to the genteel conversation of the Bombay Yacht Club, 'East of the Sun' is graced with lavish detail and a penetrating sensitivity-historical fiction at its greatest."



It's a fun read, you feel you are travelling with them in 1928...along the bumpy,
 dusty roads of India, feeling the thrill of the chase. The book leaves you wondering
and wanting more...please take note Julia Gregson. :)

From Julia to Pico Iyer and W. Somerset Maugham


The Skeptical Romancer by Pico Iyer 


                                     I  enjoyed The Skeptical Romancer, it travelled well...
in and out of my bicycle basket and countless travel bags.
It went with me wherever I went...
especially when I sought out a quiet spot..
just to read.

 If you are keen on learning more about The Skeptical Romancer ...
take a wander over here for my thoughts on it.

Fun reads, enjoyable reads...and then there is the one that
gets inside you and sits a while. You finish the book and
you think on it and before you know it is one of those books
you never forget. I can tell already...this will be one of them.


Paradise of the Blind by Duong Thu Huong

via



Book Description via publisher, HarpersCollins....

Paradise of the Blind is an exquisite portrait of three Vietnamese women struggling to survive in a society where subservience to men is expected and Communist corruption crushes every dream. Through the eyes of Hang, a young woman in her twenties who has grown up amidst the slums and intermittent beauty of Hanoi, we come to know the tragedy of her family as land reform rips apart their village. When her uncle Chinh's political loyalties replace family devotion, Hang is torn between her mother's appalling self-sacrifice and the bitterness of her aunt who can avenge but not forgive. Only by freeing herself from the past will Hang be able to find dignity--and a future.

I draw your attention to the cover of the book.  I picked up my copy in the USA.
The book was published in 1988 and was the first Vietnamese novel published in English
in the United States. Perhaps I am more sensitive to the content having lived in Vietnam these
past months...I finished the book and immediately passed it on to a friend. It is that kind of book.

If you are looking for something new for your book club...look no further than
Paradise of the Blind...it will be sure to get you thinking and talking.


I am writing in between packing my bags for Australia where
I will meet up with my daughter, Miss Christine. We have a week together before
I return to Vietnam...after that, just one more trip... to Cambodia before the year ends.
 I then plan to rest and hopefully will be able to spend more time writing and talking with you.

BTW..
Have I mentioned lately...that you are incredibly kind?
You are...thank you for reading along.
As always, it has been a pleasure writing to you.


Before I go...just curious to know.
Do you have a book on your night table?
What are you reading now?
Is it a keeper?


Jeanne xx


On my doorstep...here


PS...if you followed me 
@ Finding My Way in England....
here is an update. 

Friday, November 02, 2012

Upon a rickshaw in Hanoi...



Hanoi, Vietnam
One of my favourite things to do when we travel to a new city 
is to take random shots...quickly and hopefully. 
Always hoping that I will come out with something that will capture
 the essence of what I experienced.

No matter where you travel around Vietnam, 
you are sure to be totally absorbed by your surroundings. 
It is hard not to be. It grabs all the sense, takes hold and pulls you in.
Willing or not, you will not forget it. 
My advice..if you travel to Vietnam, take advantage of every opportunity.
Seize the moment!

Most times, people pass like the speed of light...
they will give you a  'toot toot' to let you they are coming through. 
You have to be ready at all times.
















See what I mean...it is full on.
Personally...
I prefer the bicycle as a mode of transportation...so much calmer.



I took most of these photos while being driven on a cycle rickshaw.
You do not have to travel far to find one,
they will most likely find you first.




Then again...there is always...bicylces for two. :)



images~ jeanne
taken quickly and hopefully
in Hanoi, Vietnam

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails

BROWN PAPER BOOK CLUB @ Collage of Life