FROM THE BLOG

Berlin – the Graffiti Mecca of the Urban Art World

I recently spent four days in the incredible city of Berlin and came across these fantastic signs and graffiti dotted around the city. They don’t call Berlin the Graffiti Mecca of the Urban Art world for no reason! Below are some of the images I took including subtle message high on a building near Mitte, the very cool Shit Shop in Rückerstraße, Yes You Are neon at Oliv cafe in Munzstrasse where they serve awesome vege salads and juice, and the People’s Theatre – Volksbuehne.   Of course these are just the tip of the iceberg. The city is full of art, graffiti and incredible architecture –[…]

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Life on a remote island in Coromandel, New Zealand

When I was young, around six or seven, my parents rented a bach every Christmas on a remote island in the Coromandel, on the east coast of New Zealand.   The half-moon shaped island, which had a postage stamp-sized sandy white beach, was called Motupohukuo Island or Turkey island in English. We loved that Island as though it were our own. Our bach had no electricity, no running water, no mod cons and the toilets were scary long drop loos, the tall wooden kind, set far in the bush.  We bathed in the sea, fished for snapper off the reef and ate raw[…]

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Discovering Tutankhamun in Oxford

I was invited to the private view of the Discovering Tutankhamun exhibition at the Ashmolean, in Oxford. My cousin is an Egyptologist and Director of the Griffith Institute and invited me. And wow, what an honour! I found myself bumping shoulders with the great and good of the academia world including esteemed egyptologists from around the world, museum and gallery directors, CEOs, archeologists, professors, writers, actors and even a Lord. Discovering Tutankhamun, which is at the Ashmolean in Oxford until November 2, takes you on a breath-taking journey of the treasure-filled boy king’s tomb found by Howard Carter and Lord[…]

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Surfing in Kerala, India

My friends at FatSand Films in Brighton have created a beautiful film about India’s premiere surf and yoga retreat – Surf & Soul in Kerala. http://youtu.be/UqODgoaMRVQ  It’s the kind of film that makes you question your own life, goals and dreams. Well it certainly did for me! I am still amazed by the story of Sophie and Ed Templeton, who quit their London jobs in 2009 to travel the world and set up Surf & Soul in Kerala.  Now they run one of the most beautiful surf and yoga retreats in India and have an enviable life.  A true inspiration![…]

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Foxy encounters in London town

I get such a buzz seeing foxes running around the streets of London and this little sweet fella (girl?) which I photographed standing on the porch of a house in Holland Park this morning is no exception. There are a staggering 10,000 urban foxes in London and while they’ve been immortalised in books, movies and even as TV personalities (think Basil Brush), most Londoners are ambivalent to these orange coloured urban dwellers and barely give them a second glance. But not me.  The first time I ever saw a fox in the flesh in London was my very first night[…]

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Arab interlude – Summer in Lebanon, 1939

In 1939, my grandmother, Eileen Gedge (pictured above with my grandfather), met a wealthy Lebanese Law student called Ahmed Tewfik Bey Al-Khalil at Cambridge University where they were both studying. They became firm friends and according to family rumours, Ahmed fell in love with my grandmother – a tall, fine boned, beautiful woman, always impeccably dressed and an exceptional tennis player. Sadly my grandmother was forced to reject Ahmed’s advances as it was impossible then for her to marry an Arab.  In those days, inter-racial marriages were frowned upon in High Society. After university, they lost touch, but not before[…]

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Pink Cars & Purple Jellyfish: Surfing in Kerala, India

By Jane Wynyard November 2013 I certainly lived up to my Calamity Jane moniker on a recent visit to Kerala, South India. in the two weeks I was there, I was severely stung by jellyfish, shat on by a giant sea eagle and slapped by a temple elephant. I also swallowed a mouthful of polluted river and spent more than a week in bed in the UK with gastroenteritis. But don’t let this story of nature’s retribution put you off. Despite a series of unforeseen calamities caused by a combination of heatstroke stupidity and bad luck, Kerala is definitely worth a visit. Kerala[…]

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A tribute to a very special dog who lived on the streets of Bucharest

  By Jane Wynyard September 26 2013 I was so saddened in 2013 to read about the Romanian courts agreeing to cull thousands of stray dogs after one of them fatally mauled a four year old child. The horrific death of any child is hard to comprehend, but the senseless extermination of thousands of homeless dogs in retribution is even harder.   It was the State, after all, that forced Romanians to dump their beloved pets on the street during the communist era – the awful legacy of a brutal and oppressive political regime – and now it was the State[…]

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