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An Indian Wedding

April 12, 2017

Last year while we were staying at the magnificent privately owned Imperial Hotel in Delhi, a three day wedding celebration took place. I met a young man in the corridor who just happened to be the bride’s brother and he asked me to the wedding. I wanted to go, thought it wouldn’t be right, but he insisted and as we later found out, a visitor from another country is most welcome. We compromised and just “popped in” as they say…… Well, if you’ve been to a wedding in India you’d understand – the spectacle of seeing pavilions being erected, thousands and thousands of fresh flowers adorning everything including edging the pathways, the dozens and dozens of people working – we watched the wedding come together in one day, and then saw it being dismantled the next day. The edges of the garden were lined with tables with every type of food for every taste. There were two or three bands playing and all the young danced until the wee hours. Even the dinner in the ballroom the night before the wedding was spectacular. We visited that for a few minutes too. If you ever get a chance to attend an Indian wedding you must for the sensory overload.

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This is the bride’s brother who was scooting up and down the corridors of the hotel on this hoverboard. I asked him if he was the groom!

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Hundreds of fresh roses being individually placed in this wedding dome.

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Just one side of the feast with fairy lights throughout the garden.

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The beautiful Imperial Hotel at dusk only a few hours before the wedding.

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Pavillions and flowers.

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Inside a pavilion.

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Fresh flowers – marigolds are everywhere in India!

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All the paths to the wedding were lined with candles and petals. Heavenly scents.

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The groom and his bride in their traditional wedding attire and jewels.

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They stood for what seemed like hours receiving gifts and having their photograph taken!

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The guests wore beautiful traditional saris.

A Sikh Temple In Delhi

March 15, 2016

When people ask me what was the highlight of our recent trip to India, one that stands out is a visit to the Sikh Temple near Connaught Place, and very close to where we were staying. We walked there, and came upon a huge white structure with touches of gold, spread over many acres, and bustling with people of all nationalities. It was obviously an important place in the daily life of a Sikh as we found out. Apparently 30,000 people are fed there daily, all free of charge, and by volunteers. A man approached us and asked if we were interested in visiting, showed us where to leave our shoes and told us what to do. So we covered our heads, washed our hands and feet and following literally hundreds of people up the stairs and inside to a glorious sound of chanting, and visual beauty. I was shown the kitchen behind a vast empty hall, where many people were preparing rice, dahl and chapattis. What is Sikhism? In a sentence – it’s the belief in equality, practical living, in rendering service to humanity and engendering tolerance and brotherly love towards all.

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The entrance to the Sikh temple.

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Very clean floors ( perhaps because no shoes are allowed?) and marble facade.

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Construction and renovation adjoining the temple.

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This water is holy or blessed water and we have a friend who swears that it healed his lame horse! Some people drink it or take it away in bottles.

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Beautiful colourful and fragrant garlands on lotus leaves, available for offerings.

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A mother and daughter about to visit the temple.

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Inside the temple.

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Volunteers preparing food.

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Some of the 30,000 people who are fed daily all waiting patiently.

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Inside the dining hall.

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A huge pot of dahl!

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I helped roll chapattis.

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People about to be fed rice, dahl and chapattis.

 

Wall Art In Rajasthan

November 8, 2015

Rajasthan has to be one of the most interesting states of India, where colourful and often very ancient wall art abounds. Here are some of my favourites.

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New York Flea Markets

October 12, 2015

There are just so many great street flea markets and block sales in New York at weekends, and I’m always on the hunt for them. Here are some photos of things that caught my eye. I really wished I could have brought the Deco chair and the old hat boxes home with me!

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These photos came from the following flea Markets. See websites for details.

Fort Greene Flea

Brooklyn Flea

East 67th St Flea Market

Green Flea

Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market

West 25th Street

New York Street Art Part 2

October 5, 2015

Here are the rest of my photos of New York street art .

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Bradley Theodore has quite a lot of work around the city and is easily recognizable.

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World famous artist JR put his mark on this wall in the Meatpackers district.

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New York Street Art Part 1.

September 24, 2015

Recently I spent some time in one of the most exciting cities in the world and it was impossible not to notice the street art, or graffiti as it was called originally. It seems to be very much accepted now for artists to embellish doors, abandoned buildings and vacant walls with their style of art. I was hooked. I spent many hours just looking for a new work to photograph! Here are some of my favourites.

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Inside a car park.

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Perhaps this is a nightclub?

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I waited for ages for this man to move so I could take the photo, but he didn’t realise that I was there, and in the end I liked it more this way!

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My favourite on Houston Street.

China: Through The Looking Glass At The Met Museum New York

June 16, 2015

Every year the Metropolitan Museum in New York holds an exhibition of fashion, and I’ve been fortunate to see three of them. This current one China: Through The Looking Glass is my favourite, and many people I’ve spoken to agree. There’s something alluring and mysteriously exotic about the Orient and The Costume Institute in collaboration with The Department of Asian Art has been able to showcase an exhibition with garments alongside artefacts very successfully. Here are just a few of the many costumes on show. Notice the incredibly exotic headpieces that add much excitement. Throughout the galleries there are giant screens showing movies such as The Last Emperor and In the Mood For Love which certainly puts one in the right frame of mind. Should you have the good fortune to be in New York before the 16th August do NOT miss this exhibition!

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A Fiji Holiday

September 19, 2014

I’ve just returned from a holiday on the island of Malolo Lailai in Fiji with a group of friends. We had an idyllic week, relaxing, swimming, walking on the beach, and of course the usual eating and drinking the best food and wines. We stayed at a private home which added to the thrill of it all.
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The magnificent sunrise every morning.

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The daily ferry from Nadi where visitors were greeted by songs of welcome.

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We made a collage of shells found on the beach for our hostess.

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Blue starfish were everywhere.

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These sea grapes grow in shallow water – so deliciously salty and we put them in our salads.

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A sandbank at low tide where we stopped for sunset drinks.

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We had so much fun!

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A buree on the beach.

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Most of the tinnys are painted this shade of pink.

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These shells were found on the beach one morning.

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A happy local.

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Coconuts were everywhere.

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Weaving of palm leaves is a popular craft.

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Two women waiting for their bus in Nadi.

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Some glitzy bangles for sale.

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Beautiful bright Indian dresses.

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Wooden artifacts and bowls for sale.

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A store in the main street of Nadi.

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Giggling school girls.

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A beautiful yacht at anchor.

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The port of Nadi has world class boats at anchor.

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Sunset.

A local group of musicians played for us before dinner one evening.

Amoy Hotel In Singapore

July 4, 2014

We decided not to stay in a big chain hotel in Singapore recently and chose one in an old part of Singapore in the business and financial district bordering on Chinatown. This Far East Square area was once the site where Chinese immigrants arrived by boat to seek a better life in the far east.
The Amoy Hotel is in a converted temple in a street full of character with beautiful old temples and buildings. The entrance has an open tiled roof and is filled with antiques – the Fuk Tai Chi Museum.
I don’t think we’ve ever been so welcomed and looked after as at this hotel. When we asked one of the staff where a place was, she walked a couple of blocks with us to point the way. Another staff member offered to show us around on her one day off! When we checked out of the hotel we were presented with packs of the Kaya spread that I had been admiring and eating at breakfast.
Attached to the Amoy is a street arcade full of food shops and restaurants, and the Telok Ayer MRT is just across the road. The rooms are all decorated differently with a Chinese theme, and everything is thought of including a mini bar – the contents of which are free – this is how we’ve always thought it should be, and at last it is happening!
I suggest you check this hotel out when next looking for accommodation in Singapore.

Amoy by Far East Hospitality
76 Telok Ayer St, Singapore

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The Amoy Hotel in an old temple.

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Lina and Patricia – two of the wonderful staff.

No financial consideration was received for this article.

Capri In Summer

June 26, 2014

People watching and being watched are the Italian’s favourite pastimes and Capri is the perfect place to do it, where everyone is in a state of holiday fiesta and party mood. The restaurants are fully booked every night. The simple food is beautiful,the sangria is beautiful, the shops are full of big beautiful jewels, the suntans are beautiful,the people are beautiful,the weather is beautiful, and life is beautiful on Capri in summer! This is la dolce vita!

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The best sangria.

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Entrance to the Blue Grotto.

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Faraglioni rocks.

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People watching.

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