„The antique silver and gold of Romania”- an inspiring exhibition

First of all, the exhibition I am going to talk about below is happening in the Museum of History Dambovita, in Targoviste (one hour away from Bucharest), until the 25th of February. After this date, I think it will travel to Bucharest and other cities in Romania, but stay tuned for news.

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The Museum of History

„The antique silver and gold of Romania” exhibition brings together over one thousand archeological pieces of great importance, made out of silver and gold, discovered on the territory of Romania. These pieces are evidence of people’s lives on Romanian land,  from the Neolithic period to Medieval Times (from Millenium V B.C to the VIIth century A.C).

I admit I didn’t go to see this exhibition because I had a historical interest in it but simply because I love jewelry.  Simple, raw, minimalist jewelry is my thing but my eyes sparkle at sophisticated pieces also.  So, in this exhibition, you see them all.  Symbolic beautiful pieces that were worn by the Getae-Dacians people, our ancestors,  to more sophisticated pieces from the Roman period. Apparently, the rich Dacians loved to adorn their bodies and clothes with jewelry so they were masters in working with gold and silver. The most popular shape met in the jewelry they produced was the spiral, a symbol for infinity. The bracelets below were discovered in the area of Sarmisegetuza Regia (the capital of the Dacian state, its ruins can still be visited in Grădiștea de Munte, comuna Orăștioara de Sus , Hunedoara county, Romania).

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In this exhibition, you can find also the already famous Pietroasele Treasure (or the Petrossa Treasure) found in Pietroasele, Buzau, Romania in 1837. This is a late fourth-century gothic treasure that included some twenty-two objects of gold, among which this fibulae below, a sort of a broch, adorned with precious stones.

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I really liked this piece that is said to be a Valcitran disc, which has many interpretations. Some say it could be an umbo (the centerpiece of an organic shield made of wood or leather),  a decoration for the walls, a percussion instrument or the lid to some big pot used for celebration rituals ( similar lids were used in the Orient).  The disc is made of gold and silver and it belongs to the first period of the Iron Age, the VIth century B.C.

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And here are some cups from the Dacians, I wonder how their wine was. Hmmm…

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The pieces below were discovered in the city of Craiova and apparently, they were part of an aristocratic funeral ritual.  In antiquity, the lion was a symbol of courage and power, lions still existed in the Balkan Peninsula in those times and hunting them and fighting with them was a high privilege of the aristocracy.

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I will end this post with some jewelry I especially enjoyed.

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Hope some of you get to see this exhibition!

 

 

Back to the roots

Well well everybody, last time I posted I was in beautiful Ireland, taking six sabbatical months to chill and try new things. And what a wonderful time I had in fairyland! I recommend to all a holiday to Ireland, if only just to take a walk around their wild parks and enjoy the wonderful light that pours from the forever changing skies.

For the moment, I am quite happy to be back in Romania and I’m going to show you some photos from my first trip to Iasi county, to be more specific, from a small village near Iasi, called Madarjesti, in the north-east of Romania. That was back in October but I think it’s never too late to tell a good story.

And this is the story of an ancient lady working in the middle of a heap of corn cobs, doing the same thing she learned to do since she was just a child, keeping her household with the constancy and rhythm of a mantra, irrespective of everything else happening around the world. The story of a time capsule where seasons pass, women do their cooking and cleaning and no force in the world is bigger than the sense of duty,  of routine, of the old ways dug deep into the lives of locals. It’s like a prayer that never ceases to lose its strength.

This story is also about pieces of pita bread cooked in the oven and the little birds made of dough by a grandma with an artistic sense. Why make simple dough when you can make a bird shape, and that proves to me one more time that love of beauty needs no education, no cultural background, it is just there in people’s hearts, a seed to be grown. This same grandma also asked me to search Facebook to look for photos of her and other local ladies that gather once in two weeks at a Daycare Centre for elders in Baltati, a village close by Madarjesti, to make handmade garments and chat and celebrate their birthdays. The vest I am wearing in the photo below is handmade by her!

What else is in this story from Madarjesti? A walk in the open field, at sunset, to gather mushrooms, everyone spread around hunting for the little white treasures that we brought home and cooked. And they tasted like the best Michelin stars food!

Also, I want to mention the beautiful colored houses, blue and green and most of them made from clay. They are small but cozy and beautifully adorned with carpets made by hand, embroidered towels, holy icons and family photos.

Hope the photos below speak a bit more about this ancient story that is life in the Romanian village.

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The magic of Tullynally castle

In Ireland, visiting a castle is not a big deal. It’s almost like everyone here has a castle or a medieval ruin in their back garden. And most of those castles come from the times of the Anglo-Norman invasions. In very few words, the invaders had to protect against the Irish rebels so they build castles and fortresses and so left a great heritage to modern Ireland. Well, it’s the least they could do.

Now, many of the castles that are still standing are privately owned but nevertheless, opened for the public to visit. Such a castle is Tullynally castle, in Castlepollard, County Westmeath, with its lovely gardens and Tearooms.

„The present owner of Tullynally, Thomas Pakenham inherited the estate in 1961 at the death of his uncle, the 6th Earl of Longford. Thomas, after producing three large history books (The Year of Liberty, The Boer War and The Scramble for Africa – all still in print) turned to writing about trees – starting with Meetings with Remarkable Trees in 1993 – and has become a passionate gardener. In recent years, he has brought back seeds from plant hunting trips to China, Tibet, and Sikkim in Northern India. Most of his planting has been in the Forest Walk, in the gardens of the castle. His most recently planting has been a collection of rare magnolias at the far end of the Upper Lake.”

Besides the magnolias and rare trees, in the wonderfully kept Tullynally gardens, there are also apple trees that stretch along the walls, greenhouses with weird looking flowers, llamas running in their own private yard, lakes and bridges and charming wooden houses.

And after a lovely stroll on the Forest walk and the Lake walk, you can visit as well the inside of the castle and have tea or a glass of wine, in the Tearooms.

But I will tell you more about all of this, in pictures:

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One of the entrances in the castle
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What used to be the stables of the castle is now turned into lovely designed tearooms!
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Hahahaa. Good advice.
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The Victorian washing room. Now the ladies back then really knew what hard work meant!
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„If in the Georgian era the kitchen used to be in the basement, in the Victorian epoque, the servants had this beautiful kitchen to work in, with a garden view”, the castle guide told us.
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Another part of the Tearooms.
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Outside the Tearooms, in the backyard of the castle, having Latte and Lemon Meringue pie.
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I found these carvings on trees very creative and great to capture kids’ imagination.
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The black sky over a building claimed by nature.
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A place to hide from the rain.
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How cool is this fountain covered in moss and surrounded by vegetation?
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Never have I seen an apple tree growing on a wall.
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Dalai Llama!
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Nicely build greenhouse.
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I don’t know what creatures those are but they look like smth I’d like to have as a home pet.
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A little Buddha, meditating in the forest.
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Big tree, small man, and house.
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Look at the shamrock shadow the sun makes on the wall!
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The grote and it’s beautiful interior architecture.
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A Tibetan inspired place.
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The biggest lilies I have ever seen!

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The railway kitchen

Everybody, I have a new #discoveringireland experience that I want to share with you!

It’s called The Railway kitchen and it’s in the town of Tuam, in County Galway. If ever visiting the surroundings do make sure to drop by, order an Irish breakfast or just a cup of tea and have a chat with the two lovely grannies that are holding the place together. They will tell you some nice stories about the Kitchen if you ask.

Apparently, this cozy little restaurant was opened 15 years ago, when the railway went out of order, but the building itself is from 1875!  The restaurant has a rural, charming allure and the Irish menu is nothing fancy, but nevertheless, heartwarming. A lot of locals, simple, working people, come here to eat and chat with the ladies that serve, giving the place that familiar feel of small communities.

I really enjoyed the old school drapes and lace at the windows and the flowery set up on tables reminded me of the grandma’s house. And a nice touch was the tables made to look like seats from an Orient Express train!

But here are some pics for you:

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Another beautiful example of not letting a place die but rather transforming it into something for the people to enjoy.

Why not try something like this in your home town too! 😉

 

 

Middle age crisis?

I don’t know how else to call my recent obsession for the color red. First, it was a pair of high-heeled boots that I saw in a magazine:

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Jeffrey Campbell

Just picture those Americana style boots, with blue tight jeans and a t-shirt. God damn!

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And then came a certain desire to own a red truck, like this Ford F 150:

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Or this Chevy baby:

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And now as I am writing all this, I realize it’s all red but as well it’s all American stuff that I crave for … God help me not take my middle age crisis to McDonald’s!

Anyhow, I strongly think that people that find themselves in a middle age crisis should keep a journal of their little eccentricities. We are entitled, just like pregnant women (only that we carry the burden of time instead of babies) to have obsessions and desires and cravings.  And anyhow, I’m tired of all that millennials talk and what millennials want, what about the rest of us, the middle-aged, the older, the bolder, the average people with average problems like wanting to own an American red truck, or at least some red boots?

Oh Lord, won’ t you buy me a Mercedes Benz! Love to Janice.

 

PS: I actually think the journal idea isn’t that bad. I’ ll get back to you after asking some people what middle age crisis quilty pleasures they have.  😉

PSS: So far I got this: a 35 old guy, married with children says :” I want to retire, get a house in Greece and own a very small boat”- and another married with children 35er is growing a beard and long hair.  Apparently, the Lamborghinis and adultery are either out of fashion or appear later in the 40s.  Women refuse to answer my query as they can’t admit they are over 30.

What has this post turned into?! :-O

Feeling good on the inside.

On the inside of your clothes that is. This post is about lingerie, about simple, feel good, organic underwear.  I found two brands, Nalu from Romania, Lido from Italy that do similar lines of products, except that one does mostly underwear, the other one bathing suits.

Their style connects to my previous post, about essentialism, or as found on Nalu‘s facebook page (site in construction):  „In a world of excess, we reclaim the joy of simplicity. This is not about how little we can live with, it is about figuring out what we simply can’t live without. Living with less has its virtues, but the task of essential living is to uncover the elements that bring us joy... Simplification is not a trend. It is our nature. It is a basic need that is getting rediscovered. It is now present in all new aesthetics. It is present in design, in architecture, in our life philosophy, as well as in the clothes we choose.”

Lido , which I discovered on my favourite blog missmoss.co.za, is „an independent swimwear label established in spring 2017. Its name refers to an island in Venice, one of Europe’s first sea bathing facilities. The brand is born out of a desire to re-contextualize the beach experience through a modern eye, with intelligent urban women in mind. Timeless, inspired by an aesthetic rationalism, Lido is reinventing functional, contemporary beachwear. The collection is entirely designed and manufactured in Venice—Italy”.

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Nalu is „a product range that includes non-underwired and non-padded bras and briefs with contemporary design. Essential lingerie that allows us to move freely and highlights the natural shape of our bodies”.

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I love them and I would wear them, would you?