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Month: February 2016

This Is The Life, part one

This Is The Life, part one

A brief encounter with the Aussie life, camp site style:

Saturday 2 Jan – We arrive in Cairns and my first instinct is that everything is off. Well, not off, but uncomfortable. It’s hot and clammy and everything is new. After an easygoing family week in Bateman’s Bay, the upcoming camping life seems daunting. Cairns actually looks like Jurassic World. Like raptors could dash out of the bushes at any second.
My brother and I find our campervan and he drives it to our airbnb for the first night – I was too nervous. Driving on the left, man! The house is in a quiet street, there’s no one home. We duck under lushious plant life and find there’s a guy living in the apartment. It’s uncomfortable. He doesn’t seem to realize we are coming. I treat the place like a student accommodation.
After lunch we meet with Bec, and it’s so fun to see her in her natural habitat! I understand now, why she always thought it so cold during our UK year. We see fancy and less fancy beaches and of course they are all like post cards. Palm trees, bright colours and nets against jellyfish.

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Splinters (fiction)

Splinters (fiction)

We had asked each other. What would you do, we said. When the time comes. Some talked about outrageous things; jumping out of a plane, doing a shot of heroin. Most were taken with this idea of drugs. Then there were the more sensitive ones. Me. Ally. Logan. We wouldn’t do anything other than be with each other, we said. Blankets, pillows, wine.

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TIPS FOR 20SOME’S: CREATE A WORK EXPERIENCE (TwentySomeTraveller)

TIPS FOR 20SOME’S: CREATE A WORK EXPERIENCE (TwentySomeTraveller)

So, while you’re busy not knowing what to do with your life, try doing that some place else. It might offer some perspective.

Last March (2013) I went to Los Angeles for a month. I had just graduated, it was a super cold winter and I wanted to experience a new (and warmer) environment. Also, I craved to see whether all stereotypes concerning L.A. were true..

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World Wide Opportunities On Hippie Farms (SoftSandyBeaches)

World Wide Opportunities On Hippie Farms (SoftSandyBeaches)

Vorige zomer kwam een vriendin met de mededeling dat ze ging ‘Woefen’ in Zweden, een ervaring die mij vooral bizar leek. Woefen? Wat? Het bleek te gaan om Wwoof, World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. Vanwege mijn enthousiasme kwam ik hier pas een maandje geleden achter. Vorige zomer vond ik haar idee vooral vaag.

“Wat ga je dan doen?” vroeg ik.

“Gewoon, bij mensen in de tuin werken,” zei ze.

Het klonk intiem. Ik snapte niet zo goed waarom een gezin zomaar iemand zou laten invliegen vanuit Nederland om bij hen ‘in de tuin’ te werken.

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Een lesje Wwoof-lifestyle (SoftSandyBeaches)

Een lesje Wwoof-lifestyle (SoftSandyBeaches)

Dit is het nare van reizen: de maand nadat je terug bent gekomen sijpelen de herinneringen langzaam weg uit je hoofd. Je weet het nog wel, die fijne middagen in de hangmat en de vele pastei de nata’s die je at, maar echt tastbaar is het niet meer.

Het was gewoon echt een totaal andere wereld. Het spookt door mijn hoofd terwijl ik door mijn Portugal fotomap blader. Het was er een wereld van stilte en van liefde, van verse sinaasappels plukken uit de boom en van buiten douchen in je nakie. Mijn Wwoof ervaring.

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Capetown Conversations (TwentySomeTraveller)

Capetown Conversations (TwentySomeTraveller)

Floating high above my holiday wish list is Cape Town, South Africa. This has grown more urgent in the past few years due to an increasing amount of friends on Facebook visiting the city, for travel but also for living and working there. I saw the pictures, read the amazing stories and felt like this city built itself up almost unrealistically in my mind. The nature, the food, the sun, the sea, the fun language and the immense diversity of culture and people. I’ve been trying to go, to find a way to go, each year for a couple of years now but it always fails.

Whenever I talked to my boyfriend about this matter, he would flinch and call Cape Town the city “where most tourists are murdered”. I am too naïve to believe this sort of talk and frankly, I don’t want to be scared to go anywhere – cause anything can happen at any time and I don’t want to feel like I have to live in fear somewhere. Lots of girls my age went to and returned from Cape Town. Last week I had a conversation about this with a friend of mine who spent a few months in the city, as I shared my idea of working on an organic farm there (Wwoof – more about this later). Her face changed a little and she replied she didn’t quite know if that would be a good idea.

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Building fires (fiction)

Building fires (fiction)

He scrambled over the fence and fell into the gazebo, face first into the sawdust and ash and spilled wine. They had sat here the night before, the seven of them, contemplating their fate. He did not think there was such a thing as their fate. It hadn’t worked, this plan of Emily to break the spell of silence and share memories of her. They had drunk wine. They had drunk vodka. They had drunk whatever they could find, whatever they could afford. But they had not talked.

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Stage One: Disbelief (fiction)

Stage One: Disbelief (fiction)

Dear Marie,

I could not help but notice that you haven’t responded to my correspondence for at least three days. Worse still, your last letter arrived over a month ago. Don’t think I blame you Marie, no, I have no doubt you have a lot to say to me and your letters must have gotten lost in the mail or you have forgotten to post them. I decided to give you some space and to stop writing you for a while. This morning I saw that you had been online but hadn’t tried to contact me, so I think you are probably busy. Maybe you are decorating your new house.

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A Safe Shadow (Fiction – Short Tales for Frosty Nights)

A Safe Shadow (Fiction – Short Tales for Frosty Nights)

The first time it happened I was up until my nose in blankets, trying to push my lower legs down to the cold end of the bed. It was a daily struggle. I warmed my hands between my thighs and waited for some heat to start spreading. It had not been a very eventful day: outside it was grey, and when it was grey my body refused to do what I wanted it to do. In fact, the whole week had been grey. The afternoon I’d spent trying to sort out addresses for the Christmas cards I would send to friends and family out of sheer forced holiday spirit.
I liked December. Even though I wasn’t the best at decorating the house – my mother would re-hang all the ornaments in the tree after I’d put them up – I enjoyed the warmth of the holidays. Looking at a table full of food made by red-faced aunts and uncles who’d spent ages thinking of the perfect Christmas dinner amused me. It was so bourgeois that it was cute.
Christmas was in two weeks. The festive spirit had somewhat begun to take over the atmosphere, but the sky had decided to still be grey. And take all of the activity out of my body. I clamped my toes together to try to keep them warm. There was a faint tapping on the roof attic: rain had started to fall. Soon, little specks of white appeared on the glass of the window above my head. The first snow. It would probably not last, it wasn’t cold enough yet. Tomorrow I’d have to trudge through the slushy wet remains.
And then, with a loud shove, the other window in my room opened and a dark bundle of limbs and body stumbled into my bedroom. I was too stunned to say anything.

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Valentine Gauthier (Imprint Magazine)

Valentine Gauthier (Imprint Magazine)

Valentine Gauthier
“I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror and think, okay, you’re not too bad for this planet.”

Valentine Gauthier’s studio is on the top floor of a beautiful old building – of course, we are in Paris – on Rue Charlot. Her Atlas collection, full of sandy colours, leopard prints and feminine suits – and one enticingly tough looking greyish blue jacket we desperately need to save up for – invites us to speak to the designer today.
Working as an assistant and model in Martin Margiela’s artisanal studio, Valentine is continuously inspired, and finally starts her own brand in 2007 after winning the first price in the International Festival of Young Fashion Designers in Dinard. She then opens her first flagship boutique in Le Marais.
What we’re here for today is getting a feel of Valentine’s unique world: starting with those steps in the lobby, leading you upstairs with a slant so intense we actually feel a bit drunk. We want to talk about Valentine’s detailed approach to her sustainable fashion, see how she perceives the world, find out about new collections and, in all honesty, touch some of those fabrics.

Imprint: You’re working on you’re A/W 16/17 collection. We heard you were inspired by Moroccan culture?

Valentine Gauthier: Yes. It’s all inspired by Marrakesh and Morocco, but I didn’t make the collection there. When I can, I try to produce the collection in the same place I buy the fabrics, in the same place I get inspired, so everything flows naturally.

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