Green Pastures

September 7th, 2012
Green Pastures by CooperTeaMaster
Green Pastures, a photo by CooperTeaMaster on Flickr.

I love the odd and unusual aspects of everyday life. For instance, there I was looking out of my hotel window in some nameless city in Europe and I spied a sheep grazing on a roof top. It looked a pretty small pasture for a single sheep and it didn’t appear to be doing a good job of keeping the grass down to a cropped level, which would be the prime reason for a grazing sheep.

Then of course I noted that it wasn’t moving (duh!) Was it a work of art? A piece of whimsy? A good place to store a stage prop? Someone’s favorite pet celebrating the art of taxidermy? Who knows….suffice to say it gave me a chuckle and laughter keeps you young. More whimsy please.

Not Change a Moment of My Life

January 18th, 2012

Late last year I made the second of two round the world trips looking at the tea gardens and checking up things generally. Sounds like fun doesn’t it? Actually being on the estates, breathing that wonderful fresh air, touching the tea and talking about the forthcoming crops and quality we can expect really is fun. The travel …UGH!!..the jet lag…really UGH.!! In more refined times it took 3 weeks to get out “East” on a ’steamer’ that chugged its way across the ocean. Now you lock yourself into a long metal tube. Fasten a seat belt and 17 hours later you are among the tea bushes with an old friend that you have known for more than 40 years….I would not change a moment of my life, the good, the bad and the ugly is all a part of my life. But on reflection, if there was one element I could ADD to, it would be spending more time among the tea bushes and on the tea estates. I just love that part of the business. So even after a 17 hour flight I still look pretty happy…………..

Jewel in the Crown

November 30th, 2011

The sun set on the British Empire some time ago….and Hong Kong was one of the last “jewels in the crown” so to speak.  In the “old” days it had a piratical air to it…a sense of raucous fun as well as a palpable sense of danger if you strayed off the beaten path.  Not so today….as the sun sets over HK it sets over a secure, vibrant, safe and business savvy city.  It is still an exciting place to be because you sense that you are on the frontier of growth and intrepid expansion.  I walked around the “old “part of town and it was full of bars catering to young upwardly mobile professionals…..not sailors looking for a good time.  Nowadays the container ships unload and turn around in less than 10 hours…hardly time for a modern day Matelot to slip ashore to make merry. 

Jewel in the Crown by CooperTeaMaster
Jewel in the Crown, a photo by CooperTeaMaster on Flickr.

as the sun sets over HK it sets over a secure, vibrant, safe and business savvy city.

Mind the Dragons

November 18th, 2011

I was recently in China….actually Hong Kong, but that is China now….

 

It is amazing to me how the cultures of nations define buildings and there is no mistaking a Feng Shui structure.  I am told it is a Chinese art and science developed over 3,000 years ago that shows how to balance the energies of any given space to assure the good health and good fortune for people who live in the building.  Apparently the large spaces you see are for the dragons to fly through the buildings unhindered, and not disturb the Chi or energy of the building….

 

Whatever the explanation…it does make for in interesting shot….personally, I would prefer to live in the smaller buildings in front of the high rises…but then again they don’t have holes in them so how do they cope with the Dragons?

Mind the Dragons by CooperTeaMaster
Mind the Dragons, a photo by CooperTeaMaster on Flickr.

An immortal sculpture … good looking too

July 28th, 2011

A schoolboy friend, and by that I mean someone that I went to school with when I was 9 years old in Kenya, has taken up sculpting in his retirement.  Talents he certainly never showed at school have emerged!  A group of old school friends got together through the miracle of the web and over the past few years we have made sure that we meet up regularly.

This year Rob came to the Masters Golf tournament along with “the gang” and asked if he could do a bust in bronze of me.  I accepted!  (I mean how often does one get an offer like that?)  Much debate was then entered into among my friends as to whether the bronze should include my hat!  At first Rob was against the idea but he finally agreed that it probably was part of my persona.  Sculpting a hat in bronze is an art in itself it turns out.  The result of Robs labors were unveiled this week while Sandy and I were in England.  Admiration to the fellow who may capture my character...

The likeness is startling to me.  Rob has captured me in my opinion..and you can judge for yourself in these pictures….in the long and winding road that is one’s life, you just never know what the next corner will bring.  Thank you Rob, my heirs will know me, a rare gift to be able to pass on to generations yet unborn……..

...true to the way nature made me!

Red Shirts

March 27th, 2010

I guess I must be lucky to always be in Bangkok when the “Red Shirts” are in the process of having a mini riot…actually that’s not fair, as they did not riot.  They had intended to have a more “intense” demonstration but then agreed with the Govt. to have a “peaceful” one.  So the thousands of folks that gathered on the streets were affable and friendly.  I was lucky again I guess.


Fresh Produce

March 26th, 2010

One of the true delights in Thailand is the food!! Like all great centers of cuisine the answer is so blindingly simply as to why food tastes great….FRESH PRODUCE. Take Italy, the provinces in France and any really famous center for good food and you will find a lack of HUGE refrigerators, an abundance of fresh veggies, fresh caught fish with bright eyes and meat that is red and glowing……Thailand is just awesome in its fresh sea food. The restaurants actually have the fish swimming around in large basins, king prawns prancing with waving antenna, veggies that in the morning had roots buried in the soil…it’s a gourmands paradise… you walk around the restaurant picking “those three prawns”, “that flopping fish”, “those stalks of celery” and I have not even mentioned the Tom Yang Gung…but that’s another story for another day.


Bobby of “RAJA” the Tailor

March 25th, 2010

Bobby of “RAJA” the Tailor….a more charming memorable man it is difficult to imagine. He has the amazing ability to remember a million names for every time I walk through his door he remembers me instantly …by name!! For years now I have had my jackets, shirts etc made by Bobby, he is worth visiting if you are ever in Bangkok, he is at shop #1/16 Sukhumvit Soi Nana 4, opposite the Nana hotel…..trust me on this.. you will not regret a visit. He makes you look good!


Mae Thorani

March 24th, 2010

Thai Gods are everywhere in Bangkok and clearly revered. Draped with flowers, a table set before her, with food, water, white table cloth, in other words…..”the works” This Goddess Mae Thorani is a Thai and Laotian Buddhist goddess and brings good fortune and protection to all who seek her help She is recognized as the Goddess of the Earth. She is often shown wringing the waters of detachment out of her hair. The water drowns the forces of temptation sent by Mara (demon) to distract the Buddha as he meditated under the Bodhi tree, (and I have to thank Wickepedia for this) But more relevant to me was the reminder the Gods. I know that in Muslim countries the constant call to prayers that start at around 5 am and basically last all day…are a constant affirmation or at least a reminder of faith. In Thailand it is a passive reminder but a very colorful one….I guess church bells every Sunday was/is my heritage, as always, faith has many faces….


Graffiti

March 23rd, 2010

Leaving Jakarta and not a romantic or even particularly colorful picture, but what I hope is a “pithy” comment. Why do people feel compelled to paint graffiti everywhere? It all looks the same world over, Gothic letters, heavily outlined, various colors but it isn’t art, it isn’t social commentary it isn’t vandalism any more its just ugly and tacky. In the early ’70’s I think graffiti was considered radical and chic…40 years on its simply a way of defacing a building. A much better radical platform would be “twitter” or “Facebook” or maybe even a blog….OK, I am hopping down from my soapbox, I just wanted to share a few thoughts with you….as I left Jakarta…