Almost exactly 10 years after I first arrived in Beijing in 2007 I found myself back there in March 2017. As has sadly become the norm, the city was shrouded in a thick blanket of smog so we decided to head out of the city for the weekend for a hike in the mountains.
Wabi-sabi is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.
It is a beauty of things modest and humble.
It is a beauty of thing unconventional.
While sitting beneath the cherry blossoms at a typical Hanami (“flower viewing”) party in Japan it’s easy to forget that behind the alcohol-fueled revelry you’re actually taking place in a very particular form of appreciation centred on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. Nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.
Aesthetic ideals are central to Japan’s cultural identity and the Japanese language has all sorts of fancy words for describing our feelings towards how we perceive the world but underlying them all is the notion of wabi-sabi (侘寂). Read more
As a child I spent many happy summer holidays at my grandparents house in Southend-On-Sea, a seaside resort town on the north side of the Thames estuary. I remember being told stories of how my great grandfather had been a baker and that, although under different ownership, the family bakery still existed in the area. Read more
On day two of our trip into northern Cambodia we set off early from the hotel. Owned by the family of a military commander it was situated in the middle of nowhere but, despite looking brand new, nobody else seemed to be staying there. Read more
By far the best thing we did during our trip to Cambodia was to hire a driver for two days to visit some of the remote temples in the northwest of the country. The circular route we took was as follows:
Our driver, a friendly guy named Sophea, picked us up from our guest house early in the morning and we drove around 5 hours north over dusty roads to the border between Cambodia and Thailand. Read more