Saturday, 25 May 2013

Pushkar Camel Fair

It seems inevitable that after just accepting my place on a new university course (which means making a committment to staying put for another two years), I seem to have gotten a seriously strong bout of wanderlust and itchy feet...

There are so many magical and exciting places I want to visit that I have no idea where I would even go first! However I was browsing through a Selvedge magazine when I saw an advert for art and textile retreats/tours in India and this alongside watching the brilliant film 'The Darjeeling Limited' has got me seriously wanting to explore India!

Pretty much all the trips offered through the company Tulsi Travel sound amazing (I have no idea of the prices mind you - they seem to have tactfully omitted those on the website) but the one that looks especially great is a craft tour of Rajasthan including the Pushkar Camel fair!

I did some research and this camel fair sounds pretty awesome! It takes place on the first full moon of November every year and is a time for all the tribal groups to gather and pay respects at the Brahma temple, to bathe in the holy waters of Pushkar lake, to arrange marriages and of course to trade camels!

For five days over 25, 000 camels (!) converge at the festival and are decorated and dressed up, entered in beauty contests and races and then traded. There is a huge carnival with musicians, magicians, dancers and snake charmers. 

Here are some more images I have found from searching - clicking on them should take you to the original  websites/sources which also provide a lot more information on the festival.

The only downside that I can possibly think of is that 25,000 camels probably smells pretty bad?! But that doesn't put me off and it has definitely been added to my long list of places to visit and experience first hand.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Music I love...

Last Friday I was lucky enough to see Laura Mvula perform at Cheltenham Jazz Festival, which was such a great gig. She sung all the tracks of her recently released album 'Green Garden', as well as doing a surprise duet with Jamie Cullum and as an encore a beautiful version of Michael Jackson's 'Human Nature'. Her band (who were equally brilliant) were made up of her brothers and sisters so I guess she comes from a pretty talented family!

To be honest I wouldn't class her music as Jazz - (it has such a unique sound that it's difficult to put it into any sort of genre) but I was very grateful that she was at the festival performing none the less. She seems to be getting lots of publicity so to have the chance to see her in such a small and intimate venue was really good. Thanks to my Mom for getting tickets!

Also on a separate note she looks so good with a shaved head! I wish I could get away with such a bold (no pun intended) hairstyle but I fear that I have a massive egg shaped head under my hair.

Another musician that I discovered this week is blues/soul artist Valerie June.
I saw her album recommended by a staff member in a record store and just by chance decided to give it a listen and I haven't stopped playing it since.

The song below (Workin' Woman's Blues) is probably my favourite but Somebody To Love is also a beautiful track. She is actually touring the UK at the moment and plays Birmingham on Monday... tempted to get a last minute ticket!

Listen and love :)

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Illustration love...

Sunshine makes everyone happier! The bank holiday weekend was a lovely one and I felt lucky to be able to spend most of it outside with friends. Since I have nothing too creative of my own to show at the moment - here is an illustrator who I have followed and loved for a while. I first spotted Mandy Sutcliffe's work in Paperchase where they still sell Belle and Boo greetings cards, however there is also a great website which stocks a huge range of products - from stationery to clothing and homewares and wall decoration. Check it all out here: