Thursday, March 29, 2012

Getting out in the sunshine

We’ve been enjoying unseasonably good weather this week – temperatures in the 20s (centigrade) when they are normally in the low teens. In normal Scottish pessimistic humour my neighbour says ‘we’d better enjoy it because this might be the only summer we get this year’.

And I have been out with a picnic and my kindle – reading the Hunger Games trilogy and loving it.  My automatic picks for somewhere to walk and sit in the sun are all by water.


Walking along the prom at my local beach (I used the timer and sat my camera on a wall and walked away from it – one of my favourite selfie methods)


Beside one of the lakes on the inner-city hill


and by the local recreation lagoon.

[Both collage frame templates are from the Coffee Shop blog].

Do you head for water? or trees?  or ?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Hello spring

Home again. Welcomed by this fabulous display of bulbs in my garden – lots of grape hyacinth and some yellow tulips and daffodils. 

Wonderful blue skies yesterday – so nice after the ever present pollution haze in Dhaka.  This morning opened the blinds to fog although it is clearing now. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Big cakes and wilderness survival

I watch a lot for TV when I’m living out of hotels which can lead to some interesting viewing habits.  In Bangladesh my choice of English language TV channels is 2 for movies, 2 with food and lifestyle programmes, 3 with documentaries, 1 with American comedies, and the 3 news channels.

I’ve watched 4 of the Harry Potter movies and the 3 parts of the Lords of the Ring trilogy. 

Most of the time I watch documentaries.  The pattern is that one program is shown at the same time each evening until the series is finished and then another starts.  March is tiger month on one channel and February seemed to be all about crocodiles.

My nightly viewing can be summarised as big cakes and wilderness survival.Early evening I have had 3 different series which focus on the making of massive decorated cakes – a dog or bottle of wine or menagere made from cake, fondant and chocolate.  All quite amazing but I am often stunned at the money people pay for a cake that would feed all of their guests for a week.

Then later in the evening are programmes where the host is dumped in a wilderness situation and then shows how to survive and get rescued.  Lots of making fire, eating snakes and bugs, following rivers and climbing up or down precarious rockfaces. 

Having never grown out of asking ‘why’ I’ve been wondering why these two subjects are so popular at the moment?  Are they both about escapism, escaping the economic woes of the world? 

What topics are dominating the documentaries where you are?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Glimpses of Bangladesh – tea break

My experience in the UK and NZ is that the refreshments at most meetings is a cup of tea or coffee and a biscuit – a chocolate one if you are lucky. 

In Bangladesh it is usually tea but the accompanying snack is more substantial and varied.  The same has been true of the tea breaks during our two weeks of workshop. 

Often there is a piece of fruit – apple, grapes or Satsuma.   This will be accompanied by a sweet biscuit or two or a piece of maderia cake.  Samosa and pakora are also served and an item like a curried sausage roll.  We have also had doughnuts and palmier sugar pastries (bottom right photo).

I made a card about the snacks for my Project Life using a CZ minicard template.


Monday, March 12, 2012

52 photos of me – instalment 2


I’ve kept up with the project I accidently started in January to take a photo of myself every week.

For this set I applied the soft faded effect from the Pioneer Woman to all of them because the top left one needed attention due to poor indoor light and then I decided to to the same to all.

I love that the strong colour in my shirt in the top right photo survived being faded.  It and the photo bottom left were taken a week apart but could be 2 sides of the same photo.

The bottom right photo was my one for this week because I’m much more aware of thinking about washing my hands here in Bangladesh – because of the ever present dust; because of the lack of soap and clean towels in some places; and because the cleanliness of what I put in my mouth is a more present thought  (no problems yet – and that’s probably already too much information!!!).

The background to the photos is a texture from Pixel Dust Photo Art – called yesteryear.  I’m liking using textures instead of papers at the moment.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Using the spiral staircase

Thankfully I only have to walk up 3 levels of the grand spiral staircase to reach my temporary office – the lift goes to the 6th level and then we walk. 

Looking down into the well of the staircase makes me giddy but produces some fabulous photos.  I used one of these for my Friday Photoart this week.


I used the Pixel Dust Photo Art Blue Moon texture as the background and Statement Frames as the top layer – with the hue changed to show green.  I added an artistic filter to each photo of the spiral.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

glimpses of Bangladesh – sustainable materials

One of the things I’ve really noticed is the use of natural materials.  All of the building sites have bamboo scaffolding and it is used by the painters in our office building as a ladder (photo top right).  The men happily posed for me for this photo.


When I buy fruit they are placed in a paper bag that has been made by gluing or stapling together sheets of printed paper (photo bottom right).  The sheets may be from a report or a letter or a bill – I’m not sure what the privacy implications are and if people are careful about shredding things that they do not want someone else to receive as  bag.  Or maybe not many people are curious enough to look at what is on the paper in their bag?  I find this approach of re-using rather than re-cycling interesting.

The other two photos show the view from our office block – bales of paper and shredded paper are being sorted.  I haven’t been able to find out if they make the bags here.  The Bangladeshi in our office seem bemused at my interest in this paper sorting venture we can see from the window.

Plastic bags are not allowed.  Some shops provide muslin bags which last for several trips or bags made from plastic netting.  Jute bags are also widespread as jute is grown in Bangladeshi –indeed it is one of the major exports and the local economy is benefitting from the current interest in jute shopping bags across developed countries.  Jute is also used to wrap large packages, instead of cardboard.

Its these little everyday details of life that fascinate me when I visit other countries – which makes sense of the things I document in my own life too.

Friday, March 2, 2012

February 1-7

Joining in Julie’s Month in numbers again – I will print this as a photo and put into my Project Life for this week


The font is Rockwell and the border from Ali Edwards