Category Archives: Business

I’m back!!!

It’s been a long time between blog entries but I’m officially back and coming to you from the wonderful Brisbane in Australia. Our expat sojourn is over. We’ve staggered through airports (“Yes we ARE moving country”), adjusted our eyes to the quietness of Australia (“Where’s all the traffic?”), rediscovered our home, reacquainted ourselves with our family/ friends/ cat /neighbours, negotiated a new school/ activities/ business etc etc. It’s been HUGE but great. Living in Oz is VERY easy and I hope we can all hold onto that. I love that our 6 year old still thinks it’s cool you can drink water out of the tap! And I LOVE sleeping in our bed again!!!

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More on the business ventures (both of them) soon …. plus a new adventure – New Zealand in the New Year. The first for quite a while. Til next time ….

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Not a travel blog?

My husband commented the other day my blog was looking heavy on travel posts. “What happened to the business development stuff?” Good question! Short answer is HEAPS of REALLY fun travel!! Keeping my eye on the business ball whilst making the most of our expat stint has been a little tricky. The time frame was 2 years whilst we’re here in Manila and honestly it was just too long to keep focussed. It’s lurched along in spates of enthusiasm …. then sat idle for weeks …. punctuated of course by trips of a life time!

But our time is running out here and all of a sudden I can see it’s finite (read emerging sense of PANIC). You had 2 YEARS!!! What do you mean you’re not ready to go??

So heads up people. It’s business business business coming your way …. except maybe that trip to Vietnam next week …. and that island at Christmas …. and did I tell you about the awesome fares I discovered to Borneo ?? …. Oh dear …. I would make a brilliant travel agent!

Images of yukata ….

Yukata are essentially a kimono worn during summer or for casually hanging about when the weather is warm. They’re generally made of cotton and vary enormously in design as you’ll see below. In Japan they’re also experiencing something of a resurgence in popularity.  I saw many, many, more people wearing them than previously. Mainly young people. Both men and women. It was great to see!

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I use vintage examples to add something unique to otherwise ordinary items like sheets and pillow cases.  Anything grab you?

Post holiday blues ….

When you’ve had an absolutely BRILLIANT holiday it is almost inevitable that the post holiday blues will follow …. and so it has been for me.

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So here is my favourite strategy – fantasize about the next one! Not exactly living in the moment I know but it has helped me through.

I have some great ideas on the drawing board and my mojo is back! Pictures to follow soon ….

Treasure hunting ….

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At the end of next week we’re off to Japan for 3 whole weeks! I’m very excited. It will mainly be for play but I’ll also be hitting some kimono markets to see what I can find. Treasure hunting!

Our time is going to be quite varied.  A 3 day bike ride with kids. Visiting some of the oldest trees in the world. Eating fabulous food. Temples. Gardens. Castles. Galleries. Tea houses. Onsens. Fast trains. A great adventure.

I’m off to book our train tickets …. sayonara!

The holy grail

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As you all know I was more than a little excited anticipating the arrival of my latest organic cotton sheeting fabric. The search has been a frustrating one. High minimums. High costs. Poor quality. Poor communication. Dodgy eco credentials. And still the holy grail eludes me! On unwrapping my latest arrivals my immediate reaction was not a positive one. That’s important. If mine isn’t yours won’t be either. It was thinner than expected. Not nearly as smooth or substantial as I would have liked. It just didn’t say quality. My sheets will be beautiful, long lasting and eco friendly. So we’re not there yet!

However, two other possibilities have emerged.

Firstly, one of the samples which accompanied my order did feel far more like what I want. I have been focussed on percale and this was poplin (different weave for those not up on such things). A possibility.

Secondly, I changed my search to focus more on quality. It brought new information. Now I’m newly inspired and reading about the organic cotton offerings available from Peru. They did start their production about 6,000 years ago so I’m just a tad behind the times!! I know they’ll be more expensive but should also be more beautiful, much longer lasting, their crop isn’t genetically modified (a rare thing), and their reputation for quality is VERY high.

So perhaps if a search keeps hitting a brick wall yo need to look for something different. My research continues …. you are going to LOVE these sheets!!

Tweaking

Blogging is still quite new to me and so the tweaking/ learning process seems almost constant. Inserting photos. Editing words. Adding tags. This week I’ve even followed the lure of a new template entirely. I had thought it would just reshuffle things a little but one thing leads to another …. For example my lanterns just looked too blurry in the new, bold banner. The text colours were different. So a few more changes followed. Now I have clouds skitting across my banner.

Below are some of the other contenders for the top spot along with the original. What do you think? Pretty sure I could waste HOURS and HOURS on this ….

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Tiny green revolution

I’m pleased to report a little action rather than reflection on the organic front this week.

Firstly, the kids and I planted a whole pile of cherry tomato seeds which we saved from some particularly delicious ones we bought. A few days post planting they were popping up all over the place! Little green sprouts of cheerful, organic defiance. We’re hoping for a grand crop to share with others.

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Secondly, I have ordered and am now awaiting the arrival of some new, organic cotton fabric samples. I am SUPER excited. I desperately want the samples to be wonderful because the producer most definitely is. They use traditional techniques such as lime for whitening and herbs for dying. They respond promptly to all my enquiries. Their pricing is good. And their philosophy fits with my own beautifully. Let’s just hope the product is beautiful too! Stayed tuned. Probably about 3 weeks before I will know as delivery is to Australia to be collected by my husband on his next trip back. Delivery to the Philippines unfortunately just doesn’t work. A lesson in patience.

First world problem

Here’s the thing. I live in a country (Philippines) where millions of people live in excruciating poverty but I’m fussy about what I eat. I like organic fruit and vegetables. I like a small amount of grass fed meat. I like sustainably harvested fish. I don’t like sugar and salt being added to my food. I have choices that so many do not and I really feel the responsibility to make those choices count in both my work and home lives. I definitely suffer from analysis paralysis sometimes!

I tell myself it’s better for this country (and others) if I support organic farmers. I truly believe that but nevertheless some days it just feels like I’m being a princess ….

What choices do you make? I’ll keep you posted about mine. Endless intellectual guilt doesn’t help anyone but I’m hoping my choices and actions will.