First lifts last Monday in the Arlberg. At the time I was resenting paying for my lift pass like a normal holiday maker and not being tucked up in a warm chalet hard at work. But then with height came snow, the snow brought powder, which in turn brought fun and tumbles. First impressions may not impress but a bit of patience brings the good times.
Through the wonder of social media that is twitter, I found out about this wonderful website featuring incredible cabin and huts hidden away from everyday life and architecture. This image was taken by Kevin Bauman in Michigan. For the past few months I have been living in a 'shed' that would not be out of place amongst these images, if it were not for its close proximity to five multi-million euro chalets. Living in what once was a logs shed to one of these chalets, has been an experience somewhat simliar to living in a wooden caravan. There was not one inch of wasted/forgotten about space. Once inside, however, you could easily imagine being transported far far away from the established town of Val d'Isere to a small clearing in the middle of a vast woodland area where moose and bears meandered, oblivious to the wooden structure as it calmly blends in to it's environment.
This is the beautiful threshold to a shop in Mousehole which is a funny little fishing village on the Roseland peninsula of Cornwall. Details like this make me smile as essentially this space has the purpose of people wiping muck of their feet before entering the building. But it is also the first impression of the building and it's owners. When visiting Zanzibar last autumn, I learnt that there it is traditional for family homes to be split into two: the front half of the house for communal living and visitors, and the second half for personal, private living. The front half will be spacious and fitted with the bare essentials needed to entertain and to share sumptuous meals, decorated will colourful paintings and meaningful kangas, whereas the rear of the house will contain modest, functional rooms. These are the rooms however where husband and wife will throw religious caution to the wind and be allowed to give in to their natural desires and see each other in their natural form and show displays of affection and attraction. Both halves as important as the other, but in different ways. No wasted space over there. I wonder how many homes here are fully used: every room, corner, hallway and inch of floor space?
Back in France. But not long left. I have seen lots of places and faces and built lots of tales to tell in the last year. There have been waves, snow, storms, tents, monkeys, sea urchins, dawas, bake sales, bike rides and lots of fresh air. At present my world is full of cold air, pate d'ours, baguette and butter, scotch and ringing phones.
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