Archive | Top5 Tuesday RSS feed for this section

Borneo, Malaysia: Going it alone (kinda)

23 Nov

Heathrow Airport, Terminal 2, Sunday 19 October, 2014. Oh god, this is a heavy backpack. Crane my neck up to check the board. Hugs and kisses goodbye to the family and boyfriend, and I’m off.

Heathrow Terminal 2

I’ll skip through the boring flight bits, lalala Dubai, zip, BOOM! 13hrs later, we land on the island of Borneo. Oh no wait, it was Singapore first. Right, yes, Singapore then Kuching, Borneo, BAM! I’ve landed.

Brain: “Fuck sake, there’s only a bloody Starbucks! My god it’s humid here.” *Eyes desperately scan around for a ‘Matang Wildlife Centre’ or ‘Project Orang-utan’ t-shirt*

Brain: “There she is!”

Natasha Beckerson, General Manager, Matang Wildlife Centre is there to meet me. I’m one of the last to arrive, we head to a lodge in central Kuching to meet the other 10 or so volunteers (who are also spending two weeks at the Matang Wildlife Centre) we share some drinks, get to know each other, then it’s off the next morning to the jungle (around 2,200 hectares of it.)

Skipping any other boring anecdotal observations, I’m cutting straight to my top five picks from my time there:

  1. ALL THE FOOD!
    I love soy, and in Borneo it’s a common ingredient in most dishes. There was this unrefined tofu dish that I forget the name of that basically changed my life. Also, what Borneans can do with plantain and breadcrumbs is magical. Just trust me on this one, it’s all delicious. Malaysian Borneo also reawakened my passion for coconut water, so now every time I find myself drinking that Vita Coco stuff, I’m instantly transported back to a Bornean beach with sand in my hair, laughing my lungs out, just intensely happy.
    SONY DSC

    SONY DSC

    Yes this is a real place. Damai Beach.

     

  2. The people
    A real mix of people were drawn to the volunteer experience at Matang: Americans, Canadians, Brits, Aussies, Germans, they were all bloody brilliant fellow journeymen.
    However, I really enjoyed meeting the locals, who were always extreme in everything they did; whether it was the abundance of knowledge they had to share about local plant life and indigenous animals (like orang-utan, sunbears, crocodiles, gibbons, frogs, snakes etc…) or in their insistence of sharing local rice whisky with you (many a good night was had.We’ll say no more.)

    SONY DSC

    Faye, Dom

    SONY DSC

    Richard, Emma

     

  3. Wildlife
    Matang Wildlife Centre near Kuching rescue orang-utans, macaques, sunbears and various other beasties. Most have come from the pet trade where people have surrendered them because they’ve become too big and dangerous to keep as pets. The staff here do the best they can with what they have. They make every effort to rehabilitate animals and give them a good quality of life. Major props to all who give up their time and salary to work here!
    SONY DSC

    SONY DSC

  4. Wellington boots
    A strange pick I’ll admit, but this was the last item you’d put on before you trudged off on a day’s work up the farm, mucking out animal cages or just general manual labour, and I loved every moment of it! OK, not the time I got a leech on my leg in the middle of the jungle, or that time I scraped the back of my leg with a scythe and thought I was going to develop septicaemia and die. But all those other times were immense!
    SONY DSC
    leech, borneo, matang, matang wildlife centre, kuching, lundu,
  5. Treks
    From night hikes spent discovering the wonders of phosphorescent moss, day hikes to waterfalls strong enough to blast your pants off (literally) and mountain journeys to fairy caves.

    Oh…and one final thing:
  6. Education
    I learnt more about animal cruelty-free tourism by actually taking a trip than any ‘share and vent’ Facebook article could tell me. Let’s just say, I won’t be riding any elephants, visiting tiger temples or holding wild animals any time soon. Oh and I’ll be doing my best to avoid buying products that contain unsustainable palm oil as best I can.

If you’re curious about other cultures, exotic animals and landscapes. Go to Borneo. Here’s a link to the oran-gutan project I went to if you’d like to read more about it.

Five inspiring quotes from people I admire

23 Nov

Now I may not entirely align myself politically or culturally with all these folks, but that’s besides the point. Sometimes in life inspiration and stimulus can come from the most unexpected of places. These are simply some key moments and thoughts that have stuck with me.

famous quotes, inspirational quotes,

“I’m very clear that women in politics, in business, in whatever field they are in, should be able to do the jobs as themselves and not feel they’ve got to walk like a man.”

Theresa May – British home secretary

“…marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same?”

Chimamanda Nqozi Adichie – author and feminist

“It’s the very struggle of life that makes us who we are. And it is our enemies that test us, provide us with the resistance necessary for growth…cherish your enemies, your difficult tasks, and anything that pushes you out of your comfort zone”

Dalai Lama – philosopher, writer

“Poverty isn’t just having no heating, or not quite enough food, or unplugging your fridge and turning your hot water off. It’s not a tourism trade, it’s not cool, and it’s not something that MPs on a salary of £65k a year plus expenses can understand, let alone our PM who states that we’re all in this together. Poverty is the sinking feeling when your small boy finishes his one Weetabix and says ‘more mummy, bread and jam please mummy’ as you’re wondering whether to take the TV or the guitar to the pawn shop first, and how to tell him that there is no bread or jam.”

Jack Monroe – food blogger, author, political activist

“I don’t believe that if you do good, good things will happen. Everything is completely accidental and random. Sometimes bad things happen to very good people and sometimes good things happen to bad people. But at least if you try to do good things, then you’re spending your time doing something worthwhile”.

Dame Helen Mirren – actress

What famous or not so famous words have struck a chord with you?

Top 5 Tuesday: Mothers day card quotes

29 Mar

I started out calling this post “it’s not too late to get a mothers day present”, however I thought a much better and more inspired idea would be to present 5 of the best quotes from some trully inspirational women.

Feel free to steal these for a mothers day card, or indeed take your hand to a spot of embroidery, a little sketch or a painting. Trust me, even the most icy woman will crack and melt at the sight of these beautiful words; plus I always live by ‘effort over expense.’

  1. For the stylish mother, who else is better to quote than the LBD doyenne herself: “Elegance is not the prerogative of those who have just escaped from adolescence, but of those who have already taken possession of their future.” Coco Chanel.
  2. For the strong mother I employed the thoughts of a strong political widow, who has known hard times: “A woman is like a tea bag: You cannot tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” Nancy Reagan.
  3. For the feminist mother I chose a strong stand-alone quote by my great literary love: “For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.” Virginia Woolf.
  4. For the thoughtful mother there needed to be words from a captivating soul: “When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts.  A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.”  Sophia Loren.
  5. For the spiritual mother so many beautiful words are spoken on love, sometimes the fewest words are the most effective: “Love is doing small things with great love.” Mother Teresa.

Top 5 Tuesday: Favourite Bella Bunting Blog photo’s

8 Mar

It has been so hard to choose just 5 images that are my favourite across the whole blog feed, but here they are:


Pretty much one of the first images I took, on one of my first posts. My favourite craft piece (and the only project I ever did well) plus it’s the last thing I see at night.


I’d love to know the story behind these clay feet. This is an image taken on my Blackberry at the abandoned J.H.Weatherby & Sons factory that I visited.


I love the focus and vibrancy of this photo, it was such a happy day and ‘Yumchaa’ is hands down the best tea spot in Camden.

 

I like the nonchalance of this shot, it was a nice viewpoint that I snapped on my way to get some Portuguese custard tarts from Brick Lane. I love the blurred woman approaching and the disguarded furniture.


It was hard to choose between the shot of the bay at Castellammare and this one of my dad, but it had to be this cheeky little grin from daddy dearest. I do so miss the chats I have with him, and how everything seems possible when he’s around. Love you daddy!

[Okay so I couldn’t choose 5 but here are just a few more that I love.]


This was one of the first posts that I did on Manchester vintage. A seriously great day out, I played around with the hue’s here for a warmer feel. Plus I love Julie’s anchor tattoo, and Sara’s hair that looks like copper wire in the sunlight.


My dear friend helped with a creative hair twist photoshoot, my favourite pieces about this picture are all the textures, her honey coloured hair, the uplifiting zing of the heather and the little snowflake heart hanging in the window, very ethereal.

 

Attach the string to labels

…Finally we have an image not far from Christmas morning, I was making present labels for all my gifts to the family and the light from the front bay window gave a perfect setting in which to take pictures in. Plus I love these tartan pyjama trousers I stole off the boyfriend.

Top 5 Tuesday: Craft Party ‘Name’ HELP!

1 Mar

Hi all, so the Student Union at my University have approved my ‘Craft Party’ evenings as an activity, and I need your help!

I have whittled the many, many, many name choices down to five, and thought I’d post them as my Top 5 Tuesday blog post.

So please make a comment below as to which name you like best for the party. Happy voting!

Top 5 Tuesday: Commercial blog loves

22 Feb

Reluctantly I’m going to part with my top 5 blogs that I am guaranteed to visit at least once a day, if not once a week.

Definately a source for constant inspiration, Design Sponge brings before & after projects, guest editors, D.I.Y. ethic and general design innovation. My absolute favourite post was the ‘rose tinted glasses party’. It’s given me huge inspiration for my own birthday this year.

Annabel Ly’s Blushing Ambition blog is  constant visual feast. She mixes good food, with chic clean fashion – adopting a crisp European influence in her looks. Her tagline is ‘a 22-year-old student content with spending more money on food than clothes’ sums up her ethic quite nicely.

Ez from Creature comforts was kind enough to take part recently in an interview for BellaBunting. A fashion design graduate, this crafting mummy has a keen eye for style and colours that make you feel happy.

I’m an avid Twitter follower of Suann Song of ‘Simple Song‘ blog – the idea behind her blog is straight forward; ‘simplicity’. Everything the letterpress and stationary designer does is geared towards achieving clean lines, no frills, no fuss, no kitsch clutter.

I’ve saved the best for last; MissMoss is an American blog that acts similarly to a tumblr. The blog appears unfussy and straight forward, but beneath the surface it’s a gold mine for nostalgia enthusiasts. There’s also a lot of fashion, old images of friends, and a sense of history and heritage. It never fails to dissapoint, you’re guaranteed to find something of interest on here.