Museums are usually very large repositories of culture, geography, history and science. They dazzle through their size, their displays, their permanent and temporary installations. You typically need to plan for a whole day out when you visit a museum and take a break mid-visit for refreshment. It happens to me all the time when I go to the V&A.
The M Museum in Manhattan is probably the smallest museum in the world, built in an elevator shaft at the back of an alley close to 368 Broadway. You can glance over its displays in less than a minute and walk away. Despite its size, however, the museum tells an endless, never-ending story about humanity.
The M Museum is a repository of the different objects that make our everyday life. It changes “collections” and “installations” quite often, collects objects that relate to different moments in our life, to different walks of life and puts them on display. You look at these “collections”, very often made up of 20 to 30 items and understand that the simplest items we possess or have left behind can tell the most meaningful stories about who we are and where we are going. The day I visited the M Museum I got to see:
- A collection of objects designed for the blind and using the Braille alphabet to enable recognition
- A collection of objects that people crossing into the Arizona desert from Mexico had abandoned on their way to hopefully a better life
- A collection of text messages, the last to be sent by people to their loved ones before they passed away
- Trumping everything – a shelf-full of Trump-branded merchandise.
I found the place extremely profound. I realised how much of ourselves we actually transfer to everything we own.
I have been spending the last couple of days at my friends’ in Canada Water, a blessed part of London, one stop away from Canary Wharf and promptly serviced by the Jubilee Line. Truly – a reason for jubilation. You could be dealing with the Metropolitan instead. (I don’t deal with the Metropolitan line but other unfortunate commuters in London do).
It has enabled me to cement some convictions with regards to my future home, which I will pen here – so that I hold on to them when I finally have my own place and don’t kill it with other shenanigans.
- Minimalize all my possessions before going into my new home.
- Choose all white monochromatic interior design or a two-tone one at most (in which case, pick white for walls and furniture and warm brown for floors).
- The home needs to look and make me feel like I am living in a concept hotel. Which is why I plan to buy and ‘live’ in a white bathrobe every day, especially at the weekend.
- The home needs to be well aired, which is why I will open all the windows all the time, except when I sleep so that I don’t wake up with puffy eyes. And also don’t get robbed. Or worse.
- In order to enable my relaxation (after a hard week at work), a variety of music and sounds will be played in the background. At the moment of writing, I am sitting at the dining room table with forest sounds playing.
- In order to perfect the concept hotel experience – and finally wake me up after spending the Saturday recovering from a week at work, the home will be equipped with a Nespresso machine. At the push of a button, the machine will deliver several ounces of pure joy (what else?), which will fill me with great ideas for what to do the rest of my weekend.
One of the best things about Manhattan is the celestial display that goes on above the city. In combination with the flickering lights of its skyscrapers, it makes for a spectacle every dusk and dawn.
My favourite spectacles were the ones above Midtown, as seen from Long Island every evening as I used to take the boat back to South Williamsburg. My other favourite spectacles were the ones outside our apartment in South Williamsburg. It overlooked the East River and boasted views of Downtown New York that “never got old”.
Seeing the sky change every morning and evening felt like there was some sort of celestial lamp out there and nature had the switch on/off/adjust the light button. Every dawn and dusk the light went on and off. Every time it appeared in different colours, shades and through different cloud formations.
Boy, is Naples hot.
In the south of Italy, it boasts summers that are properly hot. The pavement is melting -; you are driving down the street and your car or scooter wheels are gently sinking in the tarmac -; you hydrate and twenty minutes later you have sweated all your hydration -; you are walking down the street and the piles of rubbish they have left outside pizzerias, restaurants and street corners impregnate the air-; hot.
Not the kind of hot you get in London, which sometimes lasts up to a couple of days in the middle of July and appears again for a couple of more days in August hot.
The kind of hot that stays with you each day, every day from the start of June to the end of September. The kind of heat that suffocates you and that sometimes you just wish it would leave you alone.
That is how I felt when, after hours of walking down the streets with the sun blasting full on from above, I found the comfort and the chill of Galleria Umberto I.
I sat under this roof and appreciated that it screened me from the sun.
Dusk. My favorite time of the day. Dawn too actually but unless I’m up at that hour to got to set or a photoshoot I usually just catch the other magic hour, later on the day.
African sunsets are my favorite, especially the ones in Botswana. Something about the bronzing in the light blue sky as a backdrop of the savannah is really special. And if you happen to capture that moment in the farmland or village then you’ve really hit nature’s jackpot. No obstructive skyscrapers. No imposing bridges. No gaunt steel and concrete constructs or architectural structures enticing the tourists, tricking them with their man-made ‘beauty’. It’s just the earth as is without any human fuss. It’s untouched. It’s rare.
I love sunsets in Botswana. The sound of the crickets coming to life and colors of the clear skies melting together. The aka ‘magic hour’ is truly appreciated when you witness our dusks. That’s when I’m reminded of God’s delicate and intricate work. I’m reminded of how I pale in comparison. That humble reminder is necessary for me.
If you can, park yourself on the veranda, cradle a hot mug of Rooibos tea (or “bush” tea as we affectionately call it) and take in the sun as it meets the horizon.
Author Bio: Kele Mogotsi is the founder of Nude Coat, a personal style jewelry and accessories blog for women who love minimal aesthetics in neutral tones. As a globetrotter, she shares personal stories and anecdotes in her jewelry from around the world. She believes when it comes to fashion and accessories, less is more and shows that any and every woman can embody simple, sexy and sophistication in their style.
Click here to visit her site.
A friend of mine was going through a healthy season last season.
One Saturday afternoon, as she was moving house and packing her stuff (all her stuff), she invited a couple of girlfriends over to put everything into boxes, chat and indulge in a couple of glasses of wine and homemade food.
The recipe du jour was homemade chocolate mousse. While I cannot remember the exact ingredients that my friend had used, I do remember that I was taken with the lushness of it all and immediately registered it as a favourite.
I have since made this recipe a couple of times mixing the ingredients I recalled my friend had used and – it turns out – adding a personal touch, too.
This is how I now make raw vegan chocolate mousse:
- Firstly crush two ripe avocadoes
- Secondly mix the crushed avocadoes with cocoa powder
- Thirdly add honey to sweeten as preferred
- Fourthly (optional) serve with strawberries
I fancy a trip to Helsinki when autumn or winter sets in. I am thinking October or early November to pair it up with my birthday (2nd of November if you are asking. I live for this day 364 days a year).
I am thinking I will make a list of the main things to see; check in at a swanky hotel (I don’t like that word but it seems to do the trick); remember to make sure the hotel has a sauna; snuggle up in warm clothes when I go out; drink mulled wine that I buy down the street; eat in Scandinavian-designed coffee shops; take a hot bath when I return to the hotel; fall asleep in my bathrobe (I always do when I travel) in the middle of a king-size bed; pull the duvet over my head and gather all the pillows around me to keep me warm.
Sounds like a plan.