I love that the Japanese have names for things like 'Zakka'.
"Zakka (from the Japanese 'zak-ka'（雑貨）or 'many things') is a fashion and design phenomenon that ... refers to everything and anything that improves your home, life and appearance. It is often based on household items from the West that are regarded as kitsch in their countries of origin, but it can also be Japanese goods, mainly from the fifties, sixties, and seventies. The interest in Nordic design or Scandinavian design, both contemporary and past, is also part of this zakka movement. Zakka can also be contemporary handicraft.
"Zakka has also been described as "the art of seeing the savvy in the ordinary and mundane". The zakka boom could be recognized as merely another in a series of consumer fads, but it also touches issues of self-expression and spirituality. "Cute, corny and kitschy is not enough. To qualify as a zakka, a product must be attractive, sensitive, and laden with subtext.""
I have to say, Tokyo Sandwich has been my biggest inspiration while exploring this fabulous city. Her guide to Tokyo has been invaluable and I'm confident that without it I wouldn't have even heard about amazing little suburbs like Shimokitazawa.
Some of the shops and cafes here are just sensational. Who knew there were such cute and crafty places in Japan?
I recently stumbled across a fabulous site called The Scout - a lifestyle and design-conscious site about life in NYC.
"The Scout will feature reviews and articles by your intrepid team of culture-seekers who will weed out the mundane and the overly trendy to bring you the very best, the most unique, and the most inspiring that the city has to offer, with an eye to both the modern and the traditional, the high-end and the humble. Our writers and editors appreciate the craftsmanship of Danish modern furniture but still lust after a pair of limited-edition Nikes. We’ll scarf down a decadent deep-fried hot dog one night and indulge in a perfect chocolate souffle the next."
Take The Humble Vintage bike hire company, for example. It's a bike hire service that provides gorgeous vintage bikes and fabulous printed maps for exploring the wonderfully creative and gastronomic nooks and crannies of Melbourne. Sweet.
I love that in the Locals and Tourists set, someone has attempted to figure out whether the claim that they are 'tourism maps' is true or not. The blue points on the map are pictures taken by locals (taken over a range of a month or more) and the red points are pictures taken by (apparent) tourists.
Things have been a little quiet on here of late, thanks to the fact that my beach-scape has finished and I've been pre-occupied with a move back to, well, my beach-city - Bondi Beach. I'm fucking thrilled to be back.
Photo courtesy of the legendary Uge of Aquabumps - if you don't subscribe to his daily photography emails, you're missing out. I need to buy one of his stunning prints to celebrate my return.
Despite the fact that I still absolutely love advertising and strategy, I've decided to move to the south east coast of South Australia for a while, where I can have a cold beer in the outside shower at our shack after an evening swim, chew the fat in the front bar of country pubs with old men and plan each dinner from what looks good at the local market.
Meaning the posts on this blog might change a little, in content and frequency. Bear with me.
I find it ironic that the only time I intensely dislike the UK is when I'm entering it.
I love this place. I love living here. And I hope to for a very long time. To assist with that, I have a five year visa firmly, and legally, planted in my passport.
And yet. And yet. I continue to be treated like a piece of shit every time I return to London after a trip away.
To today's Customs man who talked to me like I was scum and interrogated me in some apparent attempt to make me crumble and confess that I'd illegally created my visa with my own scrapbooking kit at home and UHU-ed it in on the weekend (you got me!), you, and many of your colleagues, are a fucking disgrace to this beautiful nation.
Yes, I realise this happens in other countries. Yes, I realise there are people who take the piss which make it harder for the rest of us. But, if I have a visa from the UK government in my passport, surely I can be treated a little bit more nicely?
Also, HSBC? Your Your View campaign? Please. I'm begging you. For the love of god. Move on.
This weekend I've dined in the Museums Quartier in Vienna, stumbled tipsily past Stephansdom, stared in awe at the work of my friends Klimt and Schiele, downed thick hot chocolate at Demels, roamed the streets of the historic Marais, drunk French wine in the sun on a beautiful Parisian day and, thankfully, lest I get too arty, watched four episodes of Prison Break while gazing out at the Musee Picasso intermittently.
We're what, a full forty four hours past that fateful moment when I first met up with Lebowski, Beeker, Paul, Will and Sophie, and I am STILL suffering.
Certainly I'm not as poorly as I was yesterday, but there's definitely some toxins still floating around in my system. Comfort food has been the major focus of today, now that I can actually stomach more than half a field mushroom. And mentally I'm still recovering from the nightmare that was my trip home. The Heathrow Express is fabulous, but needs beds for those foolish enough to travel hungover.
Despite that, I had a fabulous time in London, thank you so much guys. It was an absolute pleasure to meet you all and, moreso, share some special moments over calves heart. I can highly recommend St John in Spitalfield, if you've never been.
And my virgin visit to Coffee Morning was enjoyable too if a little overwhelming what with the crowd and all. Russell is a popular man, but extremely welcoming.
I'm off to Mexico City for the week tomorrow morning. Flying Aeromexico which, to be honest, doesn't fill me with joy. Or confidence. Anyone flown them? Please think good thoughts for me. Or at least hope that they serve tequila before take-off.
Here I go again... immortalised by the legends White Snake.
I'm off to Morocco, on holiday this time, for one blissful week. I feel a tad spoilt, having just had my time in Sydney, but that was work... okay, of sorts....
One thing that truly sucks the big one, more so than very bad kerning would you believe, is the fact that in the last four weeks I've both purchased a swanky new iPod video, and killed the said iPod video. Truly a disaster given I'm travelling alone and was looking forward to listening to a few tunes and watching a few shows while on long bus journeys. Ah well... c'est la vie, as many strange people around me would say.
Upon my return I must start writing more regularly, apparently.