Personal

And I’m staring at this mouldy ceiling, wondering whether any story will start outside of the room. The paint was ripping and the dust was settling in but you found art in all of the flaws, made meaning from all of its brokenness. I wonder whether that was why you saw something in me, because when you found me, you saw how I could be put together. 

Maybe that was why I kept you near. Maybe that was why when time came, you didn’t leave like Winter but you left like a spring. 


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Minutes

Beauty, Fashion, Personal

Sometimes, I wish I could suspend time. I wish I could take out its batteries.

I’ve tried taking a million mental photographs and I’ve shuffled through them all, sitting cross-legged in the wisps of the past. I’ve tried taking measures to imprint them in my mind, before that day comes, when I know I have to let go.

But time always races forward and eventually, it’ll loom closer, that ‘date.’ That date you dread and very unwillingly count down to til soon enough, (always too late) it hits you that things will be really different…

Because once that day comes and passes, you can’t and won’t be the same person again.

But then again, why would you want to be?
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xoxo Paula

Henna

Beauty, Fashion, Personal, Travel

I really like the idea of having a tattoo but Henna is probably the closest I’ll ever get to having one. Tantalisingly detailed, it is such a free and almost improvisatory art, filled with sweeping swirls and filigree drawn to the artist’s fancy.

We honestly didn’t expect to find henna artists in Melaka (Malaysia) but then two women with booklets of henna designs stopped us in our tracks and for 15 ringgit, we got our hand and wrist done.

Henna, as I now know, is not an ink but a paste that’s derived from a plant. Mixed with lemon, alcohol and olive oil amongst other things, it is squeezed from a piping bag into petals, feathery shapes and dainty dots.

It was such a quick process and after a quick 5min we were done… but then came the most awkward 15 minutes afterwards where we had to wait for the paste to dry. We were hand disabled and contorted them to the point where we carried our hands like Mr. Burns. But as much as I tried, being the clutz I am, I accidentally swished food over my henna… and then a few minutes later Robyn whacked her bag across my hand landing even more smudges. My fingernail is still stained with the dye in a mark that looks like I got chilli oil stuck on it.

Anyway the process is pretty simple. After it dries, you wash off the bumpy excess and there you have it, a semi-permanent ‘tattoo’ that lasts for 2 weeks (except mine began to rub off from the 3rd day). But then you can’t expect much more for $5AUD 🙂

 

xoxo Paula

Quotes

Men do change, and change comes like a little wind that ruffles the curtains at dawn, and it comes like the stealthy perfume of wildflowers hidden in the grass. 

– John Steinbeck

Beauty is pain – Kimono

Beauty, Fashion, Personal, Travel

It was the 3rd time I’ve worn a kimono, but the 1st time I put one on without professional help. Visually, there was nothing wrong; Internally, I could barely breathe.  
My advice for those attempting to put on their own kimonos? Get professional help. Wanting to make use of the second day return policy, we decided to videotape ourselves taking them off, and just follow the video backwards.

Maybe it was because when the professionals put it on for me, I had a stomach full of food, or maybe I should just stay away from putting on my own kimono.

  

When I first put it on, it wasn’t too bad. Just a little snug. Then…I got hungry. Eating that bowl of tea soba was the biggest struggle of my life. I had to keep my back straight and chest out due to the kimono’s restrictions, but I needed to bend to eat my noodles properly.


 I thought that finishing that bowl of soba was my biggest struggle, but I was wrong. My biggest struggle was trying to breathe after I finished. The struggle was real. It was about a 15min walk back home, we had planned to take pictures at a close shrine, but I couldn’t breathe. I honestly wanted to just strip right there and give my lungs some much needed oxygen, but I rather not be arrested in a foreign country.

We quickly snapped a few shots, and hurriedly shuffled home in our geta to change into some looser, more organ friendly clothing.


  

        
Beauty is pain.

xoxo Robyn

Kyoto diaries

Personal, Travel

The one thing that really strikes you about Kyoto is how remnants of the past are alive in modern day; the ancient-looking shrines found almost as easily as the more juxtaposing vending machines, the wooden carvings of names and businesses scratched and inked with kanji, to the trees that are shades of the most beautiful and seductive reds. There is an underlying sense of wonder and mystery awaiting to be unravelled and a strong feeling of the wise that obviously comes with a city ripe with age and tradition.


  
  
   

On a particularly sunny day in Kyoto, we decided to visit a store that rented kimonos. After about an hour of deliberation we finally decided upon all the elements of our outfit and were ushered upstairs where we were tended to by dressers and hair stylists. In the end, we liked the kimonos so much that we wore them consecutively for two days, transporting ourselves momentarily into the world of geisha beauty and fashion (mind you basic transformations but definitely tourist-approved). The colored fabrics noticeably fleck the city of grey-coated and black-suited locals but hundreds of young men and women like us can be seen walking in these floral fabrics, thankfully without judging stares.

  

  
  
  
  

Shuffling in small steps with ‘two-toed’ socks and ‘geta’ (clogs), we reached Kiyomizu-dera, one of the most breathtaking shrines in Kyoto. The journey up the steep hill whereupon it was located, held traces of savoury delights, matcha tea and takoyaki from the street vendors; visually, it was a noisy picture saturated with bright reds, warmly lit lanterns and masses of people



  
  

Once we stepped foot inside the gates of the temple, we were mistaken quite a number of times as true geisha. We embarrassingly revealed that we were Australian and you could feel their sense of wonder diminish into what was a laughably ironic situation. We parted feeling like sad cosplayers 😛

As nightfall slowly darkened the temple grounds, golden lights began to light up one by one and it felt like the spirits came alive. We hiked up some more stone steps and found ourselves standing in front of a shop that told love fortunes. As soon as we saw this, our interests piqued and we lined up behind other curious boys and girls to receive a small paper parcel.


  
  

Among the three of us, two had good fortunes and one had barely good fortune (if you followed my snapchat you’ll know who was told that ‘he wouldn’t come’). Funnily enough, we visited another shrine later on in our trip and we found that both places foretold the same, blunt precautions. For me, more than anything, these fortunes have made me come to terms with needing to be independent and it’s put a sorely hopeful mind at rest. What was once a myriad of hypotheticals ignited by loneliness, lies an acceptance that things will not change and that I’m better off on my own for now- I mean the gods have spoken! As with tradition, we tied up our paper fortunes to the metal rods which symbolises for good fortunes to multiply or bad fortunes to stay behind without traveling with you.

Undressing the kimonos that night truly made us realise the intricacy and detail required to properly don these silky robes. After noting the processes in order to put them on ourselves the next day, we followed the evening with a movie, watching a very fitting Memoirs of a Geisha into the early morning. It’s safe to say that my love is now fixated on Japanese culture and way of life. I am changed.

xoxo Paula