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Monday, November 28, 2011

Steve Jobs, the William Morris of our time

In Calcutta's The Telegraph, an article written by Mukul Kesavan argues that Steve Jobs was the William Morris of our time.  It is a fascinating would appear that the only thing that stood between WM and total world domination was his conscience with regards to worker's rights.  And if you want to know more about that, or are an Apple devotee of any sort, I highly recommend the play "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs".

"Comparisons across great spans of time and space are always absurd but if you are going to look for an earlier incarnation of Jobsness, you could do worse than William Morris. In this silly season for over-the-top obituaries, I’m saying that Jobs was a latter-day William Morris and that Apple is the lineal descendant of the Kelmscott Press."

read the rest...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Yab Yum Dome Home

A perfect color purple.  The bathroom floor is painted navy with "waves" up to white on sides.  A ceiling fan at top of dome keeps it cool.

A Visit to the Shire, Yab Yum


William Morris fans know that WM is credited with inventing the modern fantasy fiction genre and, further, that J.R.R. Tolkien credited Morris with the inspiration for The Lord of the Rings.  In Goa, I have found The Shire, also known as YabYum Resort, where creativity, fantasy, and DIY is the order of the day!   Below is our hobbit house, with pics of a few other of the domes scattered around the palm tree glade just off the beach.  From the outside it is hard to imagine these abodes being anything other than dark and confining --- instead, next post, they are too cute for school.

Yoga is big in Goa and twice daily classes are given in the Yoga "studio" near the beach.  Breakfast included and served to your door at time of your choice.  $50/night for this slice of goofy paradise.....

Thursday, November 24, 2011


thanks for sharing anne....happy thanksgiving all.....

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

William Morris Unbound

The incredible Morris scholar Tony Pinkney, author of the blog William Morris Unbound, has recently released a book William Morris: The Blog which brings together many of his essays written over the last few years.  Unfailingly, Tony has shown us how William Morris remains relevant today, especially within the realms of politics and society.  Tony, if we were in an English pub (no doubt quaint) I would raise a pint to your success, then ask what you thought Morris would say about the Occupy Movement spreading around the globe.  I can't help but think he would be on the front lines.

Beach near Mandrem, Goa

These guys were so cool, looking completely bad-ass in their lifeguard kit that practically glowed in the late afternoon sun.  Could they match their surroundings any better!?  I'm sure they thought they had the best job in the world.

Form follows function -- all the tables and pillows/chairs arrayed in tiers facing west.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

DIY tent house for the super handy

You may remember Al Moudira from last year --- the amazing hotel near the Valley of the Kings where nearly everything was crafted out of local materials or by local artisans (here and here).  Elsewhere is a bit like that...the kind of place that makes you want to find your own little plot of paradise somewhere -- mountains, beach, lake, backyard -- and build your own love shack.  Here are a few details to inspire you....

The tent has painted canvas walls that appear to be stretched on framing built with 2x4s.  The four walls butt up against a poured/painted concrete pad that has a 5" rim (that you can see on right of pic above) and that continues outside to make the "patio".  The tent top sits on the main column (three logs tied together) and is held in place with guylines.  I imagine some people could make the tent roof (here stiff canvas lined with printed cotton) but I suspect you can buy these somewhere too.  The bed has mosquito netting curtains that are attached with thin coated wire stretched between little eye hooks.

Curtain rods made from bamboo.  When "closed" they are weighted down against breezes by rod across bottom.  Lashed bamboos window "mullions".

Bamboo bathroom mirror with shower in background.  Shower is made of two floor to ceiling finished planks of roughhewn wood with a shower head and two small taps.

 Clay sconces similar to those at Al Moudira.

 Shower has a small, hot water on demand tank that is tucked in corner behind plank.  These are ubiquitous in India where showers seem to be the only fixture with hot water.

sink of rough hewn wood, matting, and stone.

A simple lounger -- nice touch are the 1x1" stiles set diamond-style on front and back.

Some more ideas here and here.

A weekend spent Elsewhere....

After a hot dusty week of work we headed to the beaches of north Goa for a little exploration and R&R.  We stayed at a magical (and hidden) little resort on a spit of land near the town of Mandrem.  (The clue is in the post title.)  The food was as amazing as the place and if I told you what it cost the extra airfare to get to India might start to seem like a bargain.

The hotel "lobby"

dining al fresco

Our little slice of heaven on Otter Creek

On the other side, over the dunes, the Arabian Sea
 Tomorrow, a walk up the beach.....

Friday, November 18, 2011

Evening walk, fishermen of Dona Paula

Putting the day's catch on ice.  In the morning the fisherwomen will carry the baskets of fish door to door selling fish to the locals.  It is mostly mackerel.

cricket on the beach

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Velha "Old" Goa World Heritage Site

Velha Goa was founded in the 15th century and till the 17th century was one of the largest most cosmopolitan cities in the world, larger than London or Paris.  This Portuguese colonial city was also a beachhead for Catholicism in Asia.  St. Francis Xavier, one of the first Jesuits, arrived in 1542 and proceeded to agressively proselytize over much of Asia.  A year after he died in China his body was brought back to Goa where it now resides (next pic) in a silver casket in the Basilica of Bom Jesus.  You can see the shriveled body through the gold encircled windows.  Every few years the local archbishop brings him down to ground level for a while so the devoted, and curious, can get a closer look.

capiz shell shutters

some more nice wall painting that survived the whitewash