lundi 3 février 2014

"stay glamorous, heal the sick"


The essential accessories: a pen / little pearl bracelet (although not on my wrist most of the time) / Aesop mandarin face cream / good old stethoscope
The last year in medical school has taken me to many places - from the old town and rice paddy fields of Vietnam to the rolling hills of Dorset - after living in leafy Hampstead for the past few months I am now placed in a busy hospital in one of the most deprived part of London for a three-month placement. On the first day of placement I was already asked for money on hospital ground when a lady in a wheelchair said she was starving on the way to see her HIV doctor - this has reminded me of how much need there is in the area and there are often so many deep-rooted social problems that remain unseen or ignored. There will be so much to learn and to reflect on during the week, and during the weekends I will have a stroll in Broadway Market and coffee & magazines at Violet Cakes to look forward to (they are a mere 15-minute train away!)

x

mardi 31 décembre 2013

Finally







Allow no shadow of regret to cloud you, 
No absurd grief to overcast your days. 
Never renounce love-songs, or lawns, or kisses 
Until your clay lies mixed with elder clay. 

- The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

*

A year of twists and turns and beautiful surprises. It has taken me to many wild places - cotswolds, south downs, scotland, peak district - and inspired me to do many things, like writing, running & travelling solo, which have brought me enormous joy and audacity through the peaks and troughs. My darling family and friends have continuously been here to share lovely moments which made them multiple times better. To share picnics on the punt, long walks, noise and silence. To share books to read and music to listen and even better, hopes and dreams.

This is a year of introspection, a year when I finally feel having grown fully at peace with myself. Doing things at a balanced pace. Knowing that there's a right time for everything (Ecclesiastes 3). This is also a year when I received full communion in the Catholic church, witnessed by many old and new friends. The gift of faith has filled me with gratitude and strength ever since.

Finally, this is a year when I found love. A love that constantly gives and receives, a soul that understands the poetry before it is even spoken. I cannot wait to see how things will unfold for us in the next year :)

Thank you 2013 for the love & magic.

x


lundi 2 décembre 2013

Wild Places




“The mind I love must have wild places, a tangled orchard where dark damsons drop in the heavy grass, an overgrown little wood, the chance of a snake or two, a pool that nobody's fathomed the depth of, and paths threaded with flowers planted by the mind.”


- Katherine Mansfield

&

"Do you think there will be beer in Scotland? I can only imagine us putting down peaty-tasting whiskey while rain drives down outside & the sea is shrouded with mist. How well we shall get to know the antlered stag in the hall! The picture of Glencoe on the stairs! the crossed claymores in the bar!"

- Philip Larkin, Letters to Monica 


I cannot wait to leave the metropolis already - ditch the dress and don the boots. Matching hats, gloves and socks. Walk on the soil, make fire, feed ourselves with big pot of steeled cut oats with jersey cream. Whisky, lots of it to keep warm. Watch out for wildlife that cross our ways, talk, walk, silence, smoke, stars. 



x

mardi 19 novembre 2013

Big book love


The two months of travelling were good, but there was one thing that I sorely missed while I was there - there were few English bookstores in Vietnam, not even in the big city or popular travel destinations (the second-hand book shops are filled in unloved crime fiction and 100 copies of Animal Farm). Having finished reading my Milan Kundera on the flight in and only medical textbooks in my suitcase I ran of choices pretty quickly. I have luckily bought a rather battered and poorly bind copy of Zadie Smith's White Teeth from the street hawker near the lake in Hanoi which sailed me through a few short flights and bus rides - while nurturing my nostalgia for cooler London. That was the first time I actually wanted a Kindle - having only one book to read in 7 weeks is not an ideal situation. 

Having finally got my hands on a Kindle last week has changed my way of reading. (No, not the one with a glossy screen. I've got a Kindle paperwhite from Argos!) It really holds like real paper and I was instantly hooked, loading samples after samples of books that I've always meant to and wanted to read - including ones that are not usually available in the store (one of which is Patti Smith's Woolgathering - a short, dreamy beauty) Reading books that usually in big hardback is especially a joy - now I can finally read in bed comfortably without awkward positioning and book hitting my face, and carry books around with me while I am in cafes or in transits, dipping in and old of pages and stories. 

My recent favourite big (and small) books while travelling

  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • Letters to Monica by Philip Larkin (more like an all time favourite)
  • Swimming Studies by Leanne Shapton
  • Kitchen Diaries II by Nigel Slater
  • The Old Ways and The Mountains of the Mind, both by Robert MacFarlane
  • Reveries of a Solitary Walker by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • Journal of Katherine Mansfield


x
 

samedi 9 novembre 2013

Lotus Flower


 
 
 
 
 

Revisiting pictures and scribbles from travelling, a good while ago. (Some in text, some in Moleskine - but I was half sober on margarita that handwriting became barely legible) It all already feels so far away and long ago. I remember the midnight dips, long walks, motorcycle rides. Vietnam was beautiful and now in my reveries it is even better.

Why are the matter of love and travel considered romantic?

- Though they may not last, we, through the experience, come to the closet to what it means to be alive: to be filled with joy, to feel vulnerable, to find roots, to be brave enough to break away. To take and to give, to be animated or to be still -  In the moment, an ephemeral glare of the sun into your eyes, or a lover's touch, that one glimpse of eternity, breath of ecstasy - nothing would ever

feel more universal, dreamy, but real.

x

mercredi 16 octobre 2013

Girl of my Dreams XII



In this world
love has no colour
yet how deeply my body
is stained by yours.

- Izumi Shikibu

Helen Frankenthaler, an American abstract expressionist painter. See her full series of portraits in New York 1969 here.


jeudi 3 octobre 2013

When I am not blogging I read... (2)



a bi-annual recipe-driven food magazine devoted not just to cooking and eating, but to what those acts inspire: the bringing of people together




...for people enthralled by the natural and growing world. Hanging out with us you’ll find rooftop gardeners, foodies and chefs, laymen hikers, landscape architects, hobby farmers, horticulturalists, nature’s innovators, amateurs, and experts.






a lifestyle magazine with life. It is a magazine that makes people smile, full of quiet moments and stories. Read it with a cup of tea or a toddy. Published six times a year.




 a quarterly publication aimed at men and read by interested folk. It’s heads-up and hands-on. A friendly guide to all things creative, intriguing, genuine and funny – full of stories, people, adventures, interesting conversations and gentlemanly style.






 a quarterly arts and literary journal published in print and online, specialising in artistically or educationally meritorious works of new or emerging artists and writers. It takes its name and a degree of inspiration from La Revue Blanche, a Parisian magazine which ran from 1889 to 1903. 


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and of course good old Kinfolk and The Gentlewoman (with their new websites beautiful and full of digital content)