Monday, February 27, 2012

glimpses of Bangladesh – Mr Baker

At the weekend I ventured out to some local food shops.  There are several eating places in my hotel but I like to visit the local shops and to have some snacks in my room.

Near my hotel is a smart looking baker.


They had savoury rolls and pies (far right in counter) and I bought a chicken roll and a samosa.

They have many decorated cakes (far left in counter and there is another full counter of them) which Bangladeshi would buy for desert for guests or a special family dinner.

In the middle are various small biscuits – you can see my half kilo of them in the bottom right photo.  These are served every time you are given a cup of coffee or tea.  I will take some of these into the office.

The men in the shop (there was a fifth one and a security guard on the door) laughed when I asked to take their photo. 

Bangladeshi laugh a lot which is one of the reasons I find it comfortable being here.  One of the doormen at the hotel said I was ‘a lady of humour’ when I was joking with them on my return to the hotel last week.  I’m fine with that.

Those little things

Inspired by Amy’s list and an online chat I was having with a friend about being in Bangladesh and the small things that make a big difference to it being comfortable or frustrating.


Bracket shapes from Ali Edwards.  Font Tahoma.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

glimpses of Bangladesh – people at work

bangladesh-square-4 This is the scene outside my hotel – a very people intensive building site with people loading and carrying all that gravel inside.  The two ‘supervisors’ sitting on their chairs make me laugh.

Many of the sights around town look like over staffing to my western eyes. But there are lots of people in Dhaka – over 16 million – and immense population density – Wikipedea says over 19 400 per square kilometer.  I’m guessing people are much cheaper than machines.

There are also lots of examples of people running small businesses on the street – sewing machines (photo bottom right), snacks such as doughnuts and fruit, and water or tea (top right).


Unfortunately the hygiene in these stalls mean it would not be sensible for me to try the wares. Yesterday from the car I saw a stall where they were selling prepared fruit and cucumber which looked very appealing on a hot day and the other intriguing looking snack is a cup full of rice sprinkled with various spices.  I will continue to use only my sense of sight to enjoy these aspects of Bangladesh life.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

glimpses of Bangladesh - rickshaws

The roads in Dhaka are madly busy and if there are any road rules I don’t understand them.  As far as I can tell, if you are ahead then you have right of way.  Horns sound all the time and there are often jams.

I’m being driven around in a nice big fourwheel drive and don’t have to contend with the traffic.  But walking around is a different matter, especially crossing side streets when you need 360 degree vision!

Alongside the cars the roads are filled with old battered and very over crowded buses; with small 3 wheel motorised taxis (I’ll get a photo and post later) and lots of bicycle rickshaws.


My hotel room looks down onto a main road which rickshaws are allowed to use.  The rickshaws are all painted in bright colours and decorated on the backs, mostly with flower designs. 

I did take a rickshaw ride the last time I was here and found them very uncomfortable – perched on a hard seat with little suspension over all the potholes and bumps.  I was amazed at the skill of the drivers as they weave around other road users.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

glimpses of Bangladesh - flowers

Today is a national holiday in Bangladesh to celebrate the mother tongue and mark the anniversary of the language movement which ultimately led to independence from Pakistan and the creation of Bangladesh  (the land where Bangla is spoken). 

So I went out for a walk, camera in hand, to catch some of the typical sights.  I’m spreading them over several posts.

One of the things I have noticed is the number of flower shops and the use of flowers in ceremonies.  To mark mother tongue day large orange tribute made of marigolds were placed on monuments to the independence martyrs – like the one in the bottom right photo. 


Gladioli and roses seem to be the most common flowers with yellow and orange dominating because those are the colours used to celebrate the coming of spring throughout February. 

Plants are definitely values here as I’ve noticed plants on many balconies and flat roofs and there are lots of trees around town.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

On the move again

After 2 weeks back home in Scotland I’m on the move again – for work this time.

This is the view from my hotel room

w18 feb (4)

and this is the view from my office

w19 feb (1)

which shows the great contrasts to be found in Dhaka (Bangladesh) with big tower blocks and ‘shanty towns’ right next to each other.

Here is my office for this week as we work on the preparations for the capacity development workshops that I am here to run for the Election Commission.w19 feb (6)

and here is where I actually do a lot of my work – the hotel lobby because that is where I get wifi access (and coffee).

w19 feb

More glimpses of Bangladesh to come over the next few weeks.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The masked Friday PhotoArt edition


Bonnie invited us to use a layer mask in our photo art this week – which means you can remove the texture from part of the image.  I can’t remember when I last used a layer mask so I took up the challenge.

I actually used 2 masks so that only the path has the gauze sheer texture in colour burn to give it the golden glow and the rest of the photo has old master dust texture added in saturation and then the path removed.  Using the masks I remembered that I feel more in control if I use a bristle or sponge brush at a low opacity (around 25%) and brush over many times rather than a solid brush on high opacity and brush once.

Looking through my creations from 2010 and 2011 last week I was reminded how much I enjoyed adding a caption to my creations.

Check out Pixel Dust Photo Art for more masked creations.

And I hope you find an enticing path this weekend.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

a day in my life

When Ali Edwards suggested recording details of a normal dat, I thought it was my kind of thing

When she created a free word overlay saying ‘day in the life’ in her signature handwriting in a box – well I was sold and added it to my todo list for this week.  This is a digi artists representation of what it will look like in the Project Life pockets.  I used Ali’s thick boxes and 12x12 day frames to create the Tuesday overlay.


As you can see my day included putting together a flatpack, taking the bus, collecting together things on my packing list, going to the supermarket , relaxing with a book and eating breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

this time it is all about me!

Looking through the photos I have taken this year I realised that there is a photo of me in each week – five of them when I was in New Zealand (and no I did not spend the entire holiday in the same green top!!)


I think this is something that I could keep up for the other 46 weeks of 2012, with a broad interpretation to include shadows, parts of me, reflections etc.  So I now have an unanticipated project for the year – 52 pictures of me.  As I turn 50 this year it seems appropriate as a project to mark the milestone.

Have you started any yearlong projects without realising it?

[The layout is derived from a Kate Pertiett template.] 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


butterfly 1 WEB

My lovely blogfriend Deb Turtle is collecting butterflies for the Houston Holocaust museum for a planned exhibit of butterflies to represent the 1 500 000 children who died during the holocaust.  Read all the details in her post here.

butterfly 2 WEB

Deb asked her friends to contribute using their medium of choice.  So I opened up PSE and set to playing with some digital art

butterfly 4 WEB

I’m going to print them out at 5 x 7, back them with plain coloured paper and cut each out.

butterfly 3 WEB

As Rinda said in her butterfly post – this is set to become a blog event.  Looking forward to seeing butterflies all over the blogasphere in coming months.  Thanks Deb for the prompt.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Storytelling Sunday – the chocolate fountain

storytelling feb

A kilo of chocolate in the chocolate fountain seemed like an awful lot of chocolate but with 15 people and bowls of marshmallows, plum, apricot and orange it soon disappeared. 

Joining up with Sian’s Storytelling Sunday – the photo and a few words version.