February 28, 2013

Breathing life into Chateau Mango...

Taking to the streets around Saigon is like going on one fantastic adventure. In and our of markets, museums and shops...sometimes knowing where you are going and most times not. What surprises me is the depth, colours, designs and life that I see and feel in Vietnamese art and furniture. We are definitely a product of our environment. When living in Australia we collected Australian Aboriginal art, when in New Zealand we collected indigenous Maori art and locally made, crafted furniture...onto England and we were in and out of vintage shops..looking for the quirky and unusual. Our house in Vietnam is starting to take on a museum like appearance, soon it will be similar to the photos below. I can not say there is anything of outstanding value in our home...but the memories in and each and every piece are worth their weight in gold. While in Vietnam we are absorbing everything around us and breathing life into Chateau Mango. Our four children will one day have it between them. I am keeping my fingers crossed that they will treasure it all as much as we do.

If you were with me recently, we would have been in and out of these shops, discovering...

The chair above has been spruced up, polished and is now sitting
in our entrance..as for the others...tomorrow is another day.

How about you?
See anything that catches your eye?
Do you like kicking about shops like this?
Find anything fun recently?
Would love to know!

Many many thanks to all for 
your interest in my trip to Burma/Myanmar.
I have been very fastidious with my photos,
taking care to name every pagoda, temple and artifact.
I must be mad!
I have travel tips and photos to share..
they will be coming along soon.

I received a note today that one of my postcards had arrived.
I am so excited...if you had asked for one please be
sure to let me know when it arrives. I just love it when they do!

You can drop me a note here or on one of the links below.

On Facebook here
On Pinterest here
On Instagram here
On Twitter here
On Flickr here

February 19, 2013

For the intrepid traveller in your soul....

There are parasols of colour 
at every turn in Myanmar.
All colours, patterns and sizes 
await you.

Our trip last week was beyond amazing.
I have so many reasons for you 
to travel to Myanmar/Burma
that I hardly know where to begin.

If you love adventure...if you have an
intrepid traveller in your soul...stay tuned. 

I promise not to go crazy...
but I admit it will be hard not to.

"We are shaped by our thoughts; 
we become what we think.
When the mind is pure,
joy follows like a shadow 
that never leaves."

May joy follow you everywhere.

PS..with thanks to those of you
who wrote requesting a postcard.
My mighty pen has been swift and steady.
They are on their way.

Photos by Jeanne Henriques

February 10, 2013

Postcard Trail....

Months ago, 
before the first packing list was created, 
before the first box was packed, 
before the move from England to Vietnam..
I happily and merrily sent off postcards 
to readers who were interested in receiving one.

February 7, 2013

'Tet'..you can feel it in your heart

 'Tet' is here and the Vietnam New Year celebrations are underway. 
 'Tet' marks the beginning of the lunar new year and welcomes 
the beginning of spring.  It also is a time for Vietnamese
to respect and remember their ancestors. If ever there was a reason
for the Vietnamese to be celebrate, this is it. 

'Tet' officially starts on the 10th of February 
with celebrations lasting up to seven days.

The buzz around Saigon is electric. 
It is all about family and food and plenty of both. 
The roads are packed, the stores are full, 
flowers are everywhere and the smiles.. 
these two little girls say it all...
they are so happy for this time with their family.

The 'closed' signs are going up on the shop doors, 
people are travelling great distances to go back to their 'country', 
the part of Vietnam that holds their heart.

Today I captured a little bit of the 'Tet' feeling around Saigon.
I even managed to get in on some of the action myself.
There is much more of the holiday to come...
and I for one am looking forward to it.

Good luck messages hang from trees..wishes for prosperity, 
good health and much more.

The beep beep of Saigon traffic has turned into a mighty roar 
as people make their way in and out of the city.
I couldn't resist the little girl below...she has such style!

I contemplated the two dragons for Chateau Mango but thought the better of it.
People think I am crazy enough as it is.

  I loved this photograph of the boy standing alongside his father, waiting patiently.
This is a time when the Vietnamese want to look their best. 

Flower are for sale all over the city. 
I may not make it to Chelsea Flower Show this year 
but I have the 'Tet' flower show and it is pretty amazing.

I picked up a beautifully fragrant water jasmine 
bonsai tree and a soft rose bougainvillea tree.

With the bonsai in the backseat of our car and the bougainvillea 
perched on a scooter in front of us...we headed home.

  The following is a video explaining the 'Tet' holiday. 
It was filmed in Hanoi...chillier than Ho Chi Minh City 
but the feeling is the same..we can all feel 'Tet' in our hearts.

 To people celebrating 'Tet' around the globe,
I wish you the happiest of New Years!

Photographs by Jeanne
Video via Vietnam online

February 6, 2013

Guest post...'24 hours in Saigon'

Carla Coulson

 Two months ago, the lovely Carla Coulson @ Carla Loves Photography
asked if I would write a guest post for her... '24 hours in Saigon'
It took me all of two seconds to consider. She is a sweetheart! 
I had met Carla earlier in the year, on a rainy night in Paris 
with Vicki Archer @ French Essence.