Sunday, June 12, 2016


Yippee! we had a shower last night, clear sky today but it seems a little gentler and a slight breeze.
I can't tell you how hot it has been... well I probably have mentioned it a few it gets closer to the time the rains should/ might/ gosh we really hope they do come you start to go a little crazy.

We have AC- most everyone around where would be lucky to have a ceiling fan- it is set to 24'C but our house- 18" thick walls and stone roof has heated up to boiling and so the AC just can't get the air to feel cool.

Anyway seems we are finally starting to get through the season and onto being hopeful for a shower and some green coming up.

I find it hard at the moment to concentrate...too much office work of the boring variety or heat exhaustion? been spending  a bit of time in the afternoons collecting info, researching is how I justify it, really daydreaming tours.
It is easier to daydream rather than sit and stitch samples- everything has its season I guess.

I found this book Cloth Girl by Marilyn Heward Mills in my Ghana daydreams and I really enjoyed it. Lived with the characters all week, they gave me a smile and appreciated so many of the details woven into the story set in Accra... things I have noticed, foods I have tried, things I have thought about.
I feel like I have learnt a lot to add to our work hosting to tours, details of culture and ways.
Think what it must have been like in the lead up to Independence? Ghana was the first West African nation to gain independence, because of the set up in colonial times many countries had a vacuum in experienced government when they gained freedom and were open to the power hungry grabbing control and being has happened all over the world post colonial times....Ghana suffered too but has been on a good path for nearly 20 years now, is certainly a poster child of stability  in  West Africa.
I can't wait to read my next story by this new and charming author :)

I have been so excited with my researching this week and that I thought others might enjoy some of my leads as well- so I am working on adding links and lists to our next Creative Arts Safaris Newsletter.
Here is my list so far for Ghana

Getting in the mood…Ghana

A little bit of preparation will not only enhance your anticipation for the coming journey, it will also enrich your experience.
The locations we choose to visit we choose because they are great, of course, but also because they are not like back home so a bit of preparation can go a long way.

May we suggest raiding the local library and video store for whatever you can find covering our locations- travel guides, histories, cook books, movies all will start to develop some insight into the counties we are visiting.

There are a lot of academic books around post-colonial theory, African studies….google and you will find a lot, mostly a bit heady.

Most travel guides have a potted history in the front

·       Basic History: Ghana on kindle gives a very quick over view…. Better off to use wikipedia

Fiction can be a great way to pick up details and insight.

I particularly enjoyed

·       Cloth Girl- by Marilyn Heward Mills- lovely story set in the period of transition from colonial times to independence … I enjoyed the insights into Ga culture [the dominant group along the coast around Accra] and was reminded of lovely home cook food I had experienced during visits.  Notice the name, when you are in Ghana you will start to see the importance of cloth to the culture

·       AmaA story of the Atlantic Slave Trade -Manu Herrnstein a much sadder story

·       Roots is the mini series is being re-made, interesting to look out for.

Google or Goodreads will point you towards quite of list of interesting works. I used West Africa, novels as search topics.

Book shops. – great world wide resource to find second hand books- deliver successfully to me in remote India new books, free delivery and reliable good book section
John Gillows
African Textiles
Good reference,
Great images
-        Danger, danger, desire to travel will be tripped!

African Flags of the Fanti
-so quirky, might be inspiration for a little hand stitched piece made on the trip.

African Wax Print
-Magie Relph and Robert Irwin.
Good insight into a remarkable vibrant fabric design genre
-lovingly researched, each detail discovered a precious morsel.

John Gillow
Nice pictures

World Textiles
John Gillows
-excellent reference and inspiration



Web links I have found interesting

I like this  foodie blog
Taste Ghana: My Quick Take on Jollof- Simple and Easy steps
African Beads
Accra is famous for its remarkable coffins.
Links to novels
Category:Novels set in Africa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
10 best novels about Africa - Telegraph
Our Top 25 Books about Africa
Bolgatanga is in the extreme north….dusty hot and somehow the place you want to return to
home to the Bolga grass basket
Fair Trade Cocoa
2nd biggest export of Ghana, much is produced fair trade
Shea Butter
Shea grows in the north produced on small farms which are increasingly organizing into Fair Trade Co-ops.
Freshly made shea butter is available in the markets.

 It has been rather a lovely distraction to work on this list through the week, I have been on Abebooks and have a whole heap more books coming, novels written in Ghana, bit of history.
I saw a thing on FB this week I also enjoyed
I am not a book worm
I am a book dragon!!
it makes me happy to think of myself that way and the look on Praveen's face as yet more books arrive suggests he thinks I am devouring books!!
Haha, happy Sunday.


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