Some of the things I will never tire of seeing are the fishermen here in Kerala, as they patiently wait in the surf for the perfect time to cast their nets; or sitting on a wall near at the beach in Fort Kochi, eating aloo bonda from a street cart, watching the huge Chinese fishing nets as they are hauled in, and marvelling at the diversity of the catch.
And another thing I will never tire of is being able to buy some of their catch, taking it back to our apartment, cooking it, and eating it. Yumsome!
Some of my recipes using local fish can be found over at my food blog.
At the moment, we are between countries; we’ve just left Morocco, and are waiting for our visas for India to be approved. Last week we decided to have a week’s holiday in a lovely village called Cross o’th’ Hands, in Derbyshire, and we were surrounded by snow and sheep… it was perfect!
Yes, yes, this is somewhat late; unfortunately, I slipped over on a rug and dropped my laptop, so it had to be sent away to Agadir (an hour and a quarter’s drive from our apartment) – hence the delay. All done now – yay!
So here are the themes for December:
(Image courtesy of Emma over at The Gift Shed)
I photographed this in the Berber souk in Taroudannt, where I was living until last week. These gift boxes are huge (around a metre tall), made from velvet and silver or brass (and probably either thick card or thin wood) and from what I have been told, are often used to house wedding dresses, gowns, etc. I think you could get a huge load of chocolates in there!
As ever, this is the category I have most difficulty with – not because I’m not inspired by anything, more that there is so much which inspires me! Last week, during an evening stroll with amato mio along the beach in Essaouira, we watched the sun go down over the sea, and I realised that that is exactly the kind of thing which inspires me to keep on wandering and taking photos. As long as the world continues to be full of wonders like this sunset, I will continue to be inspired!
Something I made
Living the life of a wanderer as I do, I rarely get the chance to make anything particularly tangible. I thought about taking a photo when I made the bed in our apartment in Taroudannt… because it was something of a rare occurrence but I feared that only amato mio would understand its significance! So instead, I present you with a photo of a vegetarian tagine I made… complete with steam! It was delicious! If you’d like the recipe, it’s over on my food blog, Yumsome!
The Moroccan flag is a very simple five-pointed green star on a scarlet ground, so I had no shortage of ideas for this category. However, I wanted something which reflected Taroudannt as well as Morocco, so here is an image of part of the wall around the kasbah (the old fortress). We lived inside the medina of Taroudannt, which is enclosed by a wall dating back several hundred years; within this medina is the kasbah – an area I found particularly fascinating. Along the front of the wall, there are decorations which apparently light up at certain times of the year. Sadly, we didn’t see them alight but they were still very cool, and we loved seeing them!
Inside the medina, a lot of the time there is no room for cars or vans etc. so the traditional way to transport goods is with a donkey and cart. Even on roads, it’s not in any way unusual to see donkey carts alongside cars, motorbikes, bicycles, etc. Donkeys are as much a part of daily life in Taroudannt as is bread!
Just like sheep on the roads of the Yorkshire Dales, so cows make their presence felt in the province of Mae Hong Son… and like Yorkshire sheep, they usually believe they have the right of way – even if what that actually means is,
“Can’t you see I’m trying to have a lie-down here? Drive around me. Sabai, sabai!”
Unlike the sheep in North Yorkshire however, the cows at Ban Tham Lod (where I took this) are very obliging, and happy to pose for a bit! Or perhaps they just wonder why on earth yet another silly human is pointing that thing at them! Whatever the reason, they are beautiful creatures!
Walking back through the park at Tham Lod (Pang Ma Pha), we heard a strange buzzing/humming sound; when we turned to look, we saw this Golden Orb Weaver spider (Nephila Pilipes) killing her prey. The sound was the moth’s wings, frantically beating as it tried to free itself.
Both animals were huge – it’s no exaggeration to say that they were as big as my hand!
I’m not sure what the moth is. The internet tells me it’s a Melittia Cucurbitis (Squash Vine Borer) but it also says they are very small, so I don’t think it can be, although they do look similar. If anyone knows, please tell me!