The summer has clearly arrived….the temperatures are soaring into the mid-forties and the humidity is so bad it is almost like a thick fog hanging around the buildings….the next few months will be spent indoors and in air-conditioning ….for me this is the worst part of living here…I loathe the lack of fresh air and sitting in a cooled environment is so unhealthy.This year, however, I will be taking a short trip with my sister ,to Istanbul to escape the summer heat here in the Middle East and I am counting the days…I will be extremely busy with two very large projects until the second week of August but after that I will take a few days off and I will literally fly away!
We will be staying here:
And seeing a lot of these:
And doing LOTS of this:
Half the fun of a trip is in the planning and I will be spending a fair amount of time in front of my computer researching places to see and things to do in Istanbul. It will not be my first visit, as I spent about 8 days travelling around Turkey sourcing fabrics a few years ago. Turkey has an amazing Textile industry and their textile mills were fascinating to tour. I only actually spent a day and a night in Istanbul, so I am looking forward to seeing more of this historical city.
I feel like I am on a runaway train at the moment…..my projects are all in full swing, and I am about to sign up another really large scale project at the new extension currently being built at the Dubai Mall. I cannot say too much about it yet, but I am submitting samples and quotations and then saying a few prayers!!I feel very blessed in terms of the amount of work which is coming my way…..Hopefully I will know in a couple of days whether the project is definitely ours….fingers crossed.
In addition to all my work, I have had a friend visiting from Hong Kong (always fun, but very stressful trying to fit in sightseeing and dinners etc and work…after all, we’re not on holiday!) and I am also dealing with some legal issues which date back to the deep, dark days of the recession…..to say that I am stretched thin is an understatement and I am feeling about as creative as a pot plant at the moment!
This is one of my main challenges while working in the creative field….earning a living from your art or creativity, is in itself quite a stressful situation because you are constantly under pressure to deliver and, as most creative people know, that does not always happen on tap…especially when you are like I am at the moment…stretched too thin…I need a break….a place to disappear to for a few days and to just rest, unwind and refresh my mind and most importantly, my creativity.
I usually like to escape to the UK to visit my mum.. I visit the amazing art galleries and just immerse myself in green trees and plants , fresh cool air and old buildings with history, age and patina. My favourite thing to do in London is to find a great little cafe and sit and watch people….there are some incredibly wacky people and fashions and endless sources of ideas and inspiration.I also love walking around the streets and taking hundreds of photos of whatever catches my eye….just a few more months and I will hopefully be able to carve out some time for myself.
Don’t get me wrong, I love living in the Middle East…its a vibrant, constantly evolving and energetic part of the globe and it is growing so incredibly fast, but things are so shiny and new and glossy here and the pace and speed we all work at is incredibly frenetic….believe it or not, it gets really tiring to look at all that glossy glamour after a while.
I long for some aged, moss covered buildings which have a story and a long history instead of a glass fronted skyscraper with no windows that open!! That’s pretty much where I am at right now…..I can imagine people thinking I am mad but I am pretty sure there are other people who must feel the same way!
I took the first photo above while visiting the gorgeous Zabeel Saray Hotel on the Palm recently…..I will post some of the other images soon…..talk about glamour….they do it on a whole new level at this amazing hotel!