By February spring is well under way in Marrakesh, the brief winter is now a fading memory. Rain has fallen bringing a verdant lushness everywhere. That rain falls on this high atlas plateau comes as a shock to some, especially those who’ve booked a quick brake expecting wall-to-wall sun, but to the locals it is welcome and an assurance that crops will grow, rivers will flow and the abundance of fruit will ripen as the year goes on. Everything feels clean and fresh, the dust that swirls as the dryness of the year goes on is washed away. My week with the children was a lovely meander from the Gardens of Majorelle to cafes where we sampled delicious cakes, see the photo of the spoon fight for the last mouthfuls! They also enjoyed the evenings watching the sun set over the chaos of roof tops, as later in the year the sun sets too late for them to really enjoy it, another joy of the spring evenings in Marrakesh.
I’m flying back to Marrakech next week, just with Darren this time, a rare treat, so here’s to a romantic few days. I’ll be working for one afternoon doing some instagram consultancy for Kasbar Bab Ourika. I’m very pleased to be helping them on their IG feed as it’s one of the locations we’ll be staying during our 5 night photography and styling retreat in June. I can’t wait to watch the sun sink behind those snowy hills and sip a glass of wine, being a mum is amazing but just occasionally it’s good to feel like a newly wed. Even if we have been together for 15 years!
So a few weeks ago was Burne’s night. This is the one time in the whole year that I remember how much I like haggis, or in this particular case veggie haggis. This rather derided Scottish staple is a heady mix of lamb, barley, veg and spices. Presumably created out of what was available in Scotland, a hearty mix to combat the long winter and often gruelling life style. Read More
So I’m finally getting around to editing my photos from a few weeks back. January in Marrakesh was eventful, Darren unfortunately got a nasty cold and was laid up for a few days. This left me with three children who didn’t always agree on what they wanted to do, arguments ensued. Que a slightly grumpy 5 year old, a slightly weepy 7 year old and a really rather sulky 10 year old.
My neighbour brought round her father’s home made umiboshi plumbs. They are supersonically delicious. But it made me realise that a picture will always struggle to put across a taste. Unless it’s something that we can instantly recognise and therefor, if the photo is good enough recall having had before. Some times we use our imagination based on other food and sort of guess what it might taste like. However most Japanese food uses a totally different taste lexicon so it’s hard to do that. The thing is that in Japanese food there is a secret taste, like a magical unseen colour. It has only recently begun to be mentioned in the west, and only then by foodies and gastronoms, yet for hundreds of years it has been the corner stone of Japanese cooking. So I thought I should try and explain a little about umami .
‘Brunch’ is a great term. It can include so many different things. On my travels I’ve noticed that in many cultures the first time families come together is for a late morning meal. There´s no rush to eat first thing, better to wait a few hours and have something less hurried, and more substantial. To me this is the true essence of ‘brunch’.
It’s a cold, rainy and all together turgid December day. I’ve stayed up too late for too many nights in a row now and the only thing holding off illness is adrenalin and survival instinct. What can I eat to make my self feel as though I’ve spent a week in a health spa doing pilates? – Enter Miso Soup! – this fermented soya paste is imparted with the collected wisdom of a thousand generations of Japanese mothers.
According to Madhur Jaffery, Miso is so rich in oestrogenic compounds that, by drinking a bowl every day, she has staved of the need to take HRT for the menopause. I heard this on Radio 4 so it is a gospel fact.
December in Marrakesh had quite a sultry feel to it. The sun didn’t always shine and when it did it cast long deep shadows. The medina felt even more dream like than ususal, yet the sharp winds left no illusion that there was snow on the high atlas just a few miles away.
Like most countries winter is a slower time in Kesh, with less tourists and buyers constantly flowing in and out of show rooms it gives more time to stop and chat. We talked the way people do, passing easily from jokes between old friends to how the current unsavoury political situations in the middle east was affecting Morocco. And then back to food, always back to food
This post is really a collection of photos from a wonderful trip I took earlier this year. I think it starts to tell the story of how I fell in love with collecting images and weaving visual narrative .
In April I flew to Lisbon to attend a photography and styling retreat with Beth Kirby. We came together as a delightful group of women, to share wisdom and learn new skills. I was particularly keen to improve my digital photography as I knew this was the direction that I wanted to take my work. We cooked, ate and communed together, learning off each other as we went. Some days were spent simply arranging beautiful objects in a way that was pleasing to the eye and the lens. Telling stories though out pictures. Being a great lover of foliage and simple arrangements I whole heartedly embraced the pallet of olive and eucalyptus, that both grow so abundantly in Portugal.