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Afghan Carpets

Thursday, 27 November 2014

I’m regularly amazed at how many people I know who have spent time in Afghanistan, have connections with Afghanistan or even visit the country.

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Alexandra and Leigh Copeland have been dealing with Afghan carpets ever since they spent time in the country in the early 1970s. They came back from a recent trip to Peshawar in Pakistan with a collection of new (and old) carpets to show at their Melbourne, Australia gallery Weft.

◄ We bought this one, which now sits just inside the entrance to our house in Australia. It’s from the Baluchistan region of south-west Afghanistan and those angry looking square animals are snow leopards. The Copelands’ commented that ‘most Afghan weavers obey the Koran and do not make “graven images.” A small group of Baluch weavers do indulge in wonderful woven imagery.’

View of Mt Fuj - 540 After we’d taken it home I exchanged a couple of emails with the Copelands talking about art, Japan and Mt Fuji. The responded with this view of Mount Fuji. ‘The design (detail) is a Baluch-speaking weaver’s version of the round illustrated labels found on bolts of fabric sold in the bazaars of Afghanistan. We’ve found six versions of this rug over the last 12 years – handwoven in different places in Afghanistan, and from different tribal groups. We collected this “View of Mt Fuji” on our recent carpet-buying trip to Peshawar.’ Alexandra Copeland also does beautiful ceramics – and sometimes not so beautiful ceramics like the bat plate I wrote about in a posting on Aussie Wildlife a couple of years ago.

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Afghan Carpets

27 November 2014 | Culture

I’m regularly amazed at how many people I know who have spent time in Afghanistan, have connections with Afghanistan or even visit the country. Alexandra and Leigh Copeland have been dealing with Afghan carpets ever since they spent time in the country in the e...

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Five more tech challenges

25 November 2014 | Living

I posted earlier in the month about how there seems to be some new ‘tech challenge’ almost every day. OK, here are 5 more of them: • Once you’ve subscribed to a magazine it’s a race to see how soon they can suggest you resubscribe. Of course when they make thei...

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Brisbane – Bicycles & Do Do Land

23 November 2014 | Places

◄  Seems like everywhere I go these days has recently signed up to a bicycle rental scheme. I’ve posted about my encounters with them in London, Paris, Melbourne, New York, San Francisco and now Brisbane. Back in September I was in Brisbane for the Brisbane Writers Fe...

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Eight Months on Ghazzah St

14 November 2014 | Media

Hilary Mantel wrote a number of books before her big breakthrough with Wolf Hall. Followed up by her second Booker Prize winner Bring Up the Bodies. I saw the two books, as plays, in London earlier this year. On the same day, matinee and evening performance so it was ...

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It’s Time – the Whitlam Era

13 November 2014 | Living

▲ Maureen and I arrived in Australia – on the beach at Exmouth on the North-West Cape of Western Australia – on 7 December 1972. In a few weeks time that will be 42 years ago. ▲ Exactly five days earlier Gough Whitlam had been elected Prime Minister with the electi...

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More Backyard Birds

11 November 2014 | Living

There’s always lots of bird activity around my place in Australia, this time of year I can watch my courtyard blackbird and my computer screen at the same time. Last year I noted the first blackbird chicks had hatched out and were contemplating departure at the end of...

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Climbing Mah On Shan in Hong Kong

10 November 2014 | Places

Between my recent visit to Shanghai and to Guizhou Province in China I stopped in Hong Kong to meet some friends and climb a little mountain. Hong Kong has a surprising amount of countryside and walking trails and lots of peaks you can climb, to peer through the China...

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Tech Challenges

8 November 2014 | Living

▲ At Hong Kong Airport these warning signs appear on all the escalators. You’ll also hear regular warnings on the MTR – the Hong Kong subway system – to pay attention to the outside world, not to focus all your attention on your phone. These mobile/cell phone warnings...

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An Innocent Abroad

7 November 2014 | Media

There’s a new Lonely Planet travel book about to hit the shelves – An Innocent Abroad – and I’m one of the 35 contributing writers. My tale, Cabbage Soup, involves arriving at a campsite on the Yugoslavian Adriatic Coast back in the Tito days and discovering the campe...

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Guiyang in Guizhou

6 November 2014 | Places

My Guizhou travel, with the village of Dali as the main focus, started and finished in the capital city, Guiyang. There are direct flights to and from Hong Kong and there’ll soon be a high speed train service linking Guiyang with Guangzhou. ▲ The Jiaxiu Pavilion in...

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