Old Pictures, New Story: How About I Put The Kettle On For You?

The winters in England can be brutishly cold, the winds serrated as like a dagger’s edge that is poised to slice through the slightest bit of skin it can see, and that is why it becomes extremely important that You ensure that when venturing outside You are wrapped up warm and in many layers so that You do not succumb to a nasty bout of frostbite. It is one of those horrid conditions that sends a pandemonium of panic into the victim affected which is understandable since as the skin changes colour and the sensation of touch diminishes away, one is forced to think of the worst. Limbs, without warning, fated to drop off due to poor or no blood circulation. Yikes!

But the savage sting and gnash of the freezing air did hardly made any headway in arresting our playful ways on that memorable day at the humble German markets, set up specifically in Winchester as part of the glittering festivities for Christmas time. Now, You must note that I cannot tolerate hours of shopping like my friend can, it bores and tires me out within minutes, unless of course the map to be navigated includes a few charming bookshops on route wherein I can indulge my ever voluptuous imagination to be drawn to scintillating synopses of new books! That sort of shopping is, as we Brits say, right up my street!

On the other hand, I have always found a cute charm in the little wooden cabins that pop up round by the Cathedral grounds at Christmas, they are a pleasure to explore on foot and I can spend a whole day gazing admiringly at the numerous splendidly handcrafted goods on offer. Typically, the enchanting array includes such wondrous things as like heavily aromatic wreathes of dried satsuma the colour of rustic autumnal leaves, beeswax candles that tempt the mind to eat them, and glass lanterns bejewelled in a mosaic of glass and mirror pieces. The whole place, once only grassy and watched on by the hushful walls of the Cathedral, suddenly transforms itself into an Aladdin’s cave, only that there is no canopy of a roof, and thus the many markets nestled with their intriguing trinkets are laid bare as much to eager-eyed collectors as to the swarming breath of icy winds. To shop here is not a luxury, it is an brave expedition to the Arctic and You were bound to return with something much more than You bargained for!

Now imagine how madly excited I must have seemed when out of all the many things that were seductively competing for our attentions my eyes should magnetically lock onto a bulky wooden barrel and atop rested two glass jars filled with teabags, sugar  and tiny sachets of milk. Though no map accompanied us, I could have sworn the exhilaration of my discovery was on par to that monumental moment when the bearer of the map finds themselves precisely on top of the point marked X! I had not set off to accrue treasure, but yet before us lay the basic molecules of tea preparation and hence, quite rightly, I went bonkers and, though I am no gymnast, my shoulders felt like initiating into a series wonky somersaults, a wobbly roly-poly, and a shaky cartwheel, just to top it off! Ask any friend of mine and they will quite heartily submit a testimony on Your request that tea really does do it for me! Giggle, giggle! If I could I would stash every variety of loose leaf tea in my buccaneering satchel before gallivanting off to the ice-clad North Pole, or trekking through the moist jungles of Peru, just so that I could enjoy that peace of mind that irrespective of where my shrivelled-up shoes cared to careen me, there would always be by my side that most beautiful reminder of the warm and cosy world of my home, that will indeed always be my home, wherever I trot and whoever I become.

Samka, let us imagine that we had the power to share out this delicious tea to the world!” Cheery and bright-eyed, I elegantly gestured to my friend to take the helm of the stall and pretend that she was indeed an all-benevolent dispenser of warm and sweet cups of tea. From the corner of my eye I glimpsed at the soothing hiss of steam that rose from the cups held tightly by people who had purchased one earlier, and I could interpret in their faces that it made the world a livelier place, manageable and simple and slow, when in possession of such a fine milky molten concoction of leaves!

Let’s do it!” She did not think twice about it, only that like a happy kangaroo she jumped behind the barrel and the next minute I know there she was, impersonating to be the most kindly tea lady in the world! Without my cue, she unclipped the levers of the glass jars and lifted them as if to say to the cold and weary traveller that he or she had come to the right place and that here we may not make You rich or guarantee You safe passage, however, we have something else and it will help You because when we make this tea we make it with all the Love that we have glowing inside the warm glove of our hearts.

Naturally, members of the public giggled at our little stunt but we are so used to pulling theatrical displays wherever we go that it became a pleasing sight to witness that nothing of ours goes to waste! Our antics will be remembered because they made people smile and, I do hope most of all, that whoever did smile will have remembered that worries can be made to go away and a fat smile can come to stay, if there is someone who will put the kettle on and ask, “How many sugars did You say?” ♥♥♥

To Sweeten The Deal

“… for a few moments the both of us were busy dishing out our favourite beverage in the world – tea of course – with complimentary sachets of sugar and milk, to help soften the bitter brew of life into runny maple syrup,  melting the worries of the big world into a cup of milky molten goodness...”

 

Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Winchester | UK 2016
Photography: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Winchester | UK 2014

Christmas Month Puzzle Box 5: On The Matter Of Coffee and Canons!

Miss Beth pulls tightly round her fair face the fur lining of her hoody coat
To mask out deathly blows between Spanish galleon and the fleet of British boat
Plumes of smoke and ash, the birthmarks of mind-blowing canons heavy and black
Hulls blown into and masts fallen, though treasure chest remains intact
A battle on the seas played beyond the shores now famous for its berry rounded beans
Coffee I speak of and doth thou pour Colombian from thy coffee bean machines?
I have no fancy for such ‘rabbits droppings’, that is what they seem to me
But I confess I have entered a coffee house but only for wholesome tea
And may I direct Your attention to Starbucks, although there really is no star in there
Hop into my red balloon, away on Google Maps there’s something I want to share
Situated on 186 Earls Court in London, the number is that of Light speed I attest
But to those whose spelling is slightly shaky they shall think they are richly blessed
For what appears as a mundane coffee joint in the heart of London, one easily forgot
Shall to a Colombian coffee lover equal to 186 Pearls Caught ♥♥♥


LINK TO 186 STARBUCKS COFFEE HOUSE:
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Starbucks+Coffee/@51.4930289,-0.1944671,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0xcf08069f5836477e

LINK TO COLOMBIAN TREASURE FIND: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-35014600

 

Christmas Month Puzzle Box 5: On The Matter Of Coffee and Canons!

“Miss Beth pulls tightly round her fair face the fur lining of her hoody coat, To mask out deathly blows between Spanish galleon and the fleet of British boat…”

Photography & Poetry: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Winchester | UK 2015

The Leisurely Chronicles of Two Ladies, High Tea And Other Childish Miscellany At Lainston House!

My Dearest & Treasured Reader,

In jubilant celebration of what has been one of the most memorably exciting summer holidays for me I am keen to present to You the spectacularly amusing but no less touching photo-diary of my fantabulous girly getaway with one of my closest and dearest friends, Samka! Nestled in picturesque rolling green acres of English countryside, where lime trees, oaks, elms and beeches lushly abound, a stately 17th Century manor house – the sort Austen, Bronte and even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would gladly make accommodation for a weekend of quality writing, away from those prying eyes of the madcap city – two girls in their middle age decidedly made it their bespoke sanctuary!

A breath-taking labyrinthine castle steeped in aristocratic aesthetics, the luxurious gardens and high classical columns grandly erected on the outside of the building were enough to impress on us that we were about to be thoroughly pampered and quite justifiably so, it was about high time that our feet indulged in a restful break from the countless adventures the both of us had accrued over the summer!

Each room felt that it had been authenticated by the distinguishable air of a royal presence. Paintings and wall murals gilded in aged gold, armchairs made of the finest upholstery, and walls plastered in the most attractive of decorative designs inspired from the botanica of the natural world besieged our breaths. Oh and do not get me started on the business of the etiquette of serving tea!! Dapper waiters in pristine white shirts and black waistcoats, glided across the room with the most adorable of smiley faces, bending down to take our orders and, my goodness me, I cannot tell You precisely the number of times we sent the chaps to fetch us tea! It would be madness to declare a number for I fear You may never want to read my works again! And when the high tea arrived, in a decorous arrangement of a silver teapot and a merry-go-round of fine bone china cups, saucers and milk jugs, I was literally over the moon to discover that my tea had come to me in loose leaf form – a far more superior incarnation when the matter of taste is concerned! As the seductive fumes of Lapsang Souchang tea languidly rose from our cups, gunpowder and smoky and golden, Samka and I sat back in our comfortable armchairs in the the palatial lounge room and let out deep long sighs in unison! Ah, what joy it is when after the turbulence of activity, rest finally comes, in soothing, lulling waves…

ENOUGH OF THE LADYSHIP ACT! We did not rest, how could we do so when I had my electronic steed at my heels!? GIGGLE, GIGGLE! After guzzling down several doses of the jolly brew, we jumped up and nearly scared the circle of businessmen out of their wits who were stationed at the back of the room! My research had equipped me with the privileged knowledge that the building had oodles of rooms to explore and since the day outside was as grim as the grim reaper’s cloak, the bucketing of downpours never wanting to stop, I suggested to Samka that we venture into all the rooms and hidden corners and harness the different qualities and textures of ambient light and that she be my model! Samka never shies away from my lens, she is well-resourced with a natural flair for wanting to strut her beautiful face whenever the orders are despatched from me! How immensely convenient that I should have such a pliable friend in my circle! Giggle, giggle!

In my instance, Photography and the art of Visual Storytelling are not chores or the exacting of a business deal, it is a passion that has made acquaintance with my life pulse and for which there is no rest. I sincerely pray that as You scroll through the Lainston House photo-diary You, too, will be satisfactorily appeased when I say that, despite what appearances may suggest as one sees me rushing about with my equipment at a time when leisure and rest is prescribed and expected of, to click away like a Mad Hatter is a most pleasurable habit that serves to renew my spirits time and time again.

As is my modus operandi, I request that You have as Your accomplice the finest brew of tea at Your side before proceeding to view my gallery of visual treats! A caption as short as me is provided under each image and should Your eyes be of a lazy constitution then may I suggest that You click on the picture of interest for a size tantamount to a blue whale’s bottom! Giggle, giggle!

I raise my teacup in salutary style to You, my most beloved Reader, for though You remain hidden to my mortal eyes the sustenance of Your Faith and Love in my Vision is the reason why I am blessed to wake up to not one but two sets of dawns every morning… :)) :)) :))


You know I am eternally Yours,

Mazzy xxx

Samka Librarian

“I dare say, have You ever laid eyes on a more beautiful librarian in Your life?! I was tempted to pull the spines of each book forward because I fancied that by doing so one of them would activate a hidden mechanism and a secret door would slide open…”

 

Samka Bar

“Samka stylishly walked across the lounge towards the warmly lit bar and effortlessly perched herself on the high stool, casually letting her eyes glide around the room as if she owned the entire place! I would have required an abseiling crew to reach the summit of those stools so I made peace with my fate and continued to click away from afar…!”

   

Samka's Man

“Samka has just spotted her knight in shining armour galloping towards the window, a Mr Gerard Butler I am told! What remarkable similarity in her frame to that of the sentinel watchers of the meerkat community…!”

Samka Problem-Solving

“Why is a raven like a writing desk? A trademark addiction, I cannot help but to deploy this wriggling riddle onto my loved ones and, as You can gather quite clearly, Samka’s loss of an answer caused her to resign to chewing on her spectacles…!”

Samka Stomper

“We were stomping up and down the stairs with the tread pressure of an angry rhino! In a bid to hide from the Manager we lay low for a bit which also proffered us valuable time to have out breaths return to normal…!”

Samka's Shoes

“Samka considers a potential upgrade! You can never go wrong with a sturdy pair of British Wellingtons…!”

Samka's Smartphone

“Unlike my unconventional abstinence from the noisy world of the Smartphone, Samka relishes hers like it was her own baby! Her we can see her checking us in on Facebook which I always find to be the most strangest thing one can ever do! I asked her with cheeky retort whether Facebook requires us to check out as well and does it overcharge if we were to stay a little longer…?!”

Samka's Light

“I was obviously too preoccupied with fiddling with the settings on my camera because the next time I looked up, to my astonishment, my friend was bathed in the most exquisite afternoon light that had at last poured itself free out of the entanglements of rain and leaden clouds…”

Samka & Chess

“Samka was fierce in her insistence that she ought to revise my understanding of how that game of games, Chess, is truly played! I gulped hard and long, suddenly her shoes had become as imposing and domineering as the gaze of the blackest raven…”

Pillars Of Friendship

“The Pillars of Friendship, my claims may not be of modest proportions and apologies if they taste of flamboyant grandiosity but, as she reached her arm round to hug the pillar, its warm and supportive effect was felt in my own heart…”

Samka At It Again!

“Oh my dearest Samka, abandon thy efforts to solve the riddle on ravens and writing desks and take stock of that Gerard Butler coming at you from across the lawn…!”

Samka's Collars

“Samka, I can explain a great many things but on the pressing issue of why your anorak was born of short collars, I must step down in defeat and beg that you seek an alternative counsel to help rid you of your burning puzzlement…!”

Beauty In Unexpected Places

“It was a feast for my senses to know that irrespective of the mundane or dull or uninspiring corners of the estate, in concerted effort my friend and the ambient light preyed upon such atmospheres and in their place could instil a renewed focal point of interest such as to give rise to the impression that in an old place a new tale was about to be told…!”

Samka's Steed

“You are well acclimatized to the fact that I fancy the smoking dragon of the tracks – steam trains to be precise – but my Samka is bred with the more popular passion for ‘boxes with circles’! I simply adore the pride she wears on her face and body for her moving polygonal baby, it would be a gross injustice if I had foregone this opportunity to document this relationship on camera. Do not ask me where my head came up to when I sat in the front passenger seat, I do believe Samka at one point grab held my head thinking it was the gear stick…!”


Photography & Words:  © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Sparsholt | Hampshire | UK 2015

Je Espion Avec Mon Petit Oeil (I Spy With My Little Eye)

Diary 3: Je Espion Avec Mon Petit Oeil (I Spy With My Little Eye)

Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what You’re gonna get”, innocently spoken but wisely delivered, these words, credited to the childlike hero of the eponymous film, Forrest Gump, permanently decorated themselves across my chest upon hearing them the very first time when I was a teenager. You simply do not know what is around that corner, what monsters and demons prey in its shadows, what winged guardians stand in protective vigil, the unknown superiorly exists a breath away and it is this singular unpredictability that accolades Life with the power to radiate a constant atmosphere of spectacular drama.

Ah, I see You are rubbing Your chin in confusion, and those eyes are strenuously squinting to see how might my sudden ruminations of the uncertainty principle have bearing for the short tale I am about to tell You now. Oh how to begin to describe the scrumptious pleasure of watching You battle all the possibilities for an answer, narrowing to a single one seems like a distant prospect! Giggle, giggle! Alright, hush now, I shall reveal to You about my very own encounter with a ‘box of chocolates’, figuratively speaking that is, and I am certain that after reading my account You will return to Your personal space in the virtual world to utter under Your breath as You blissfully drown in an ocean of incredulity, “For Pete’s sake, how does Mazzy do that? How does Mazzy mirror me so well? She is like a box of chocolates, You never know what You’re blimin’ gonna get!”

Let me begin from the beginning! Late afternoons and evenings were spent indulging in casual walks through labyrinthine cobbled streets, an anonymous breeze swooshing past us at every moment for which we found ourselves now and again inquiring as to its source, for we were hardly in the vicinity of any stretch line of coast. I loved not knowing the provenance of these fleshless winds though it made me feel enormously at home as I caught myself convinced that they were a gift from someone afar, a shepherd of windswept hills.

We were heading towards the Centre Georges Pompidou, an unplanned deviation, sticking to a fixed itinerary each day was never going to be our way of doing things round here. We navigated by gut instinct, the maps squashed in our bags firmly stayed there and throughout the trip their pristine latticed papers were denied exposure to the face of daylight! So sorry! Giggle, giggle!

Spearing towards the artistic Pompidou centre a handsome Voice spoke from nowhere and my heart turned left first before finally being met by a turn of my neck, and BEHOLD! Once again my lungs were emptied of air, and yet once again that near-death sensation brought down a passionate torment of Life into my soul. YOU were spying me up! The classic Parisian icon of a snow-white mime artist with pursed lips, cosmeticized eyes and a single teardrop was massively painted on the side of a building and he – YOU – froze me in my rambling tracks with a look that pierced my chest with a milk-warm mixture of poignancy, cheek and longing. I could not refrain from smiling, in fact, in hindsight I do believe the dimple adjacent to my lips were on the precipice that stands between it and ecstatic explosion! Oh, and the cherry on top of my ‘box of chocolates’ experience was the letter ‘T’ boldly visible in the foreground of the spying visage. As a Visionary who is naturally predisposed to formulating the bigger picture, I coyly hint that he – YOU – is whispering to me, albeit in silent earnest, “TEA…”

Life is like a box of Tea. You never know WHO is spying at me”…  :)) :)) :))

I Spy With My Little Eye

“… The classic Parisian icon of a snow-white mime artist with pursed lips, cosmeticized eyes and a single teardrop was massively painted on the side of a building and he – YOU – froze me in my rambling tracks with a look that pierced my chest with a milk-warm mixture of poignancy, cheek and longing…”

Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Near Centre Georges Pompidou | Paris | France 2015

A Study Of My Uncle’s Tea-Shirt!

No, no Rana Mama (Uncle), you have got it all wrong and twisted and misshapen! Diesel does not make for successful living (T-shirt slogans are hugely telling of one’s dispositions)! Wellington boots, violins, books, tea and silver moonlight win me any day but the smoothie sludge of fossilised creatures, I do not think so! Get with the programme, Mama! I shall acquit you this time round since you are doing a most marvellous job in this photograph at making two very fine ladies smile as if they are welcoming a national hero back to the homestead! Close shave Mama, close shave!

P.S. To those who read my previous post, does it not look like as if the luscious vine pattern from our red Chinese teapot has magically teleported and boisterously spread itself across my Aunty’s living room wall….? :))

A Study Of My Uncle's Tea-Shirt!

“… Wellington boots, violins, books, tea and silver moonlight win me any day but the smoothie sludge of fossilised creatures, I do not think so! Get with the programme, Mama…”

Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Spring Reunion Series | London | UK 2015

Beijing Bicycle Meets Chinese Teapot In An English Town

A highly ornate porcelain Chinese teapot, adorned in a luxuriant glaze of red and designed with precision geometry, sits centre stage behind a glass window of a little shop in my home town of Winchester. Scattered dried leaves, golden and delicate, surround the majestic vessel as though an audience from outside have showered it upon her in celebratory tribute! The magic of this photograph lies in its wonderful stroke of synchronicity, a brew of quantum entanglement, only visible by those open to such strange feats of the universe. The horizontal sea of lines made by the hung bamboo blind behind her is suddenly interrupted by a passing cyclist rushing, as it were, through the heart of the teapot. China is a world away from Winchester, but the coming together of the classic vehicle of choice of the Chinese and my red teapot was to me a moment of pure Magic, as if someone had folded time and space, creating a rabbit hole by which two points on the map became one…

Beijing Bicycle and Chinese Teapot!

“… A highly ornate porcelain Chinese teapot, adorned in a luxuriant glaze of red and designed with precision geometry, sits centre stage behind a glass window of a little shop in my home town…”

Photograph & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Winchester | UK 2013/2015 

To Sweeten The Deal: Hands-On Sweet Pot-ography

I am regarded as quite the paragon of anti-ageing at its most spectacular and potent, causing goggle-eyed astonishment in people when I hop up on the table top and declare that I am only a few years shy from the big 4-0!! What is my secret you ask? Well, the explanation is far more simple than you might think! The cheeky, curious and dreamer little girl from the ‘80s is still very much alive inside me and she is remarkably clever in getting her way when it comes to dealing with life in the big world. Taking life as it comes rather than worrying about it constantly is what keeps the sunshine streaming through my soul and out of my skin.

Take for example my recent street photography project in which my friend – my naughty sister in crime – and I headed out to the Christmas Markets in Winchester. Less interested in and stressed over buying and all the other things grown-ups do and say on such occasions, we spent a considerable time instead engaged in friendly chinwag with the stall vendors, discovering that behind the goods lay a story to be told of how the person came into their particular business. Our endless curiosity garlanded the day with inerasable memories and what better honour to evince of the bonds made than for a stall holder to happily move out the way and hand over the limelight to us!!!! Yes, for a few moments the both of us were busy dishing out our favourite beverage in the world – tea of course – with complimentary sachets of sugar and milk, to help soften the bitter brew into warm nectar which we all know is perfect in unwinding the soul and for melting the worries of the big world into puddles of insignificance.

 

To Sweeten The Deal

“… for a few moments the both of us were busy dishing out our favourite beverage in the world – tea of course – with complimentary sachets of sugar and milk, to help soften the bitter brew into warm nectar which we all know is perfect in unwinding the soul and for melting the worries of the big world into puddles of insignificance…”

 

So, dear, reader, if you are able to discover the secret of the sweet in the street, that is, to see the silver lining in the raincloud then, you will always look radiant for it is the elixir that fools strangers into believing that you are still young enough to attend school! Ah, alas, I should warn you that there is room for embarrassment because looking young implies the conservation of power invested in your mum to have you sent to your bedroom should you do something terribly naughty….!!

 

Photograph & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Winchester Christmas Markets | UK 2014

“Fancy That Of….” : Reporting From The Capital

I know very well that I am clocking up the years which often proves to be the calculating culprit behind my little memory lapses so, I do beg your pardon dear reader should this question clang and clamour and rattle against your better side for the 3132th time but, do YOU believe in Destiny…?

Whilst you cartwheel your brain cells along the poser that I have requested of you let me brief and besiege every iota of composure you might have had before veering my way – for the male readers my deepest sympathies for your inability to multi-task but stop whining my unknown sir and pull your socks up! I can now begin! As many of you may have surmised by now, my heart is irreversibly conjugated to the airs and delights of the countryside. Seas of green, peasant birds regaling their pompous okra-thin tails on single tracks, narrow and squidgy with mud, rolling vales, clouds of dense woodland, the oblivious sedentary livestock of sheep and cows and, of course the lack of mobile phone reception, are all badges of ‘likes’ that I wear proudly on my chest in my showmanship of pride for the wilderness of the less travelled worlds that throb in the rhythms and rhymes of Mother Nature’s bosom. Here is the ivy-spangled poetry that I shall never be able to recreate.

Then why on earth am I tip-toeing across the city of London with rockets of mischief whizzing in my eyes? Why am I writing of and from one of the most hectic metropolitan hubs of our planet?! Well, as an unmovable adventurer I must be prepared for all quests, even those that do not align comfortably with my rustic tastes. After all, I ask you, how could we ever possibly designate anything worthy of the title ‘adventure’ if there was no delicious risk of it to propel us out of our comfort zones? Oh yes! I have caught the nod of agreement from you and, oh my, how you despise this definition of adventure because, there is a goal – a dream – bubbling away in your arteries which you pray for every second but it would seem that everyday what you yearn for moves a step away from you. Do not be so deceived, the mind can play tricks on you!

So why is the country girl in London? Because I believe that even in the most chaotic and alienating places, there is Love and it thrums its warm recognition of who I am with an embrace that I feel no one can see but only I. Take for example the photograph I submit below of a quaint and tiny independent shop lovingly made up to celebrate all things British, a paragon to the loyalties that people abide to round the clock in my country – namely tea, biscuits and, erm, more tea! Shopping has never been a pastime of much interest for me, however, the shop itself is a different matter. Ones that ooze with character, charm, history and buried secrets never fail to magnetise my feet towards their doors and into their dim-lit but boundlessly curious interiors and sellers that exude knowledge that has the mustiness of old library books.

The blood-red façade of the shop below was an instant hit for me since it is the colour I associate with the factory of the heart and it is also the beloved flower emblematic of my nation, the English rose. Do not get too settled with these explanations for they are simply the tip of the iceberg! It is the phrase, “Fancy that of London” which I would request you to turn your attention to. Does it sound like an odd phrase to your ear bones? Well, that would be no surprise. This is British colloquial for you, dear reader. Here, we say “fancy that…” to express surprise and awe over something or someone. For example, “fancy that he should declare his love for me in front of the children in class” translates as “the idiot is the most lovable idiot in the world because he saved his declaration of love for me until the day I’d be surrounded by 1010 innocent children and in front of whom aggressively retorting with a rejection would mean dealing with 1010 sad faces and thus, I’d have no choice but to say ‘yes’ – and oh what a cunning rascal he is!” So, there you are! Fancy that! So, in the context of our shop, the phrase can be interpreted as an exciting eulogy of the capital of my country, London.

Fancy That Of London

“The blood-red façade of the shop was an instant hit for me since it is the colour I associate with the factory of the heart and it is also the beloved flower emblematic of my nation, the English rose…”

 

DESTINY, you ask? Whomsoever reads this post today will have written about or received a ‘capital’ today. No, I do not mean the business of capital letters but, the capital of countries and since the photograph depicts a shop I will, in addition, allow for capital as in when used to refer to financial assets. If you are a Facebook or Twitter user, look at your post and the comments of people beneath it. You or someone, has done as I have described above. Perhaps, as examples, they might be: ‘Fancy that of money?’, or, ‘Fancy that of Rome?’ Look closely, dear reader: do my words hold the test of your scrutiny? If you have none of these accounts then try and remember if you partook in a talk of cities today.

There is a Bonus Round! Should your ‘capital’ have a strong link to the location or phrases in my previous post – about the sunshine island of Guernsey – then YOU AND I ARE MOSTLY CERTAINLY CONNECTED. Why are you smiling….? Fancy that….!

Word of caution: ‘Baba Yaga’, the nasty old witch, will have her own answer for this one but the first syllable of the city that was uttered in her post or comments will be very telling of her heart – another British colloquial!

This is Mazzy of Bee-Bee-See News reporting from London! Put the kettle on, people…!

 

Photograph & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | London | UK 2014

Making Time With Tea And A Loved One

What a miserable old wretch Time must feel to have had not a moment’s rest since the big pop that took place right at the beginning of our universe. Cloaked in the most premium variety of invisibility on offer in the souk of physics, our predilection is to think that our masked crusader’s methods are responsible for our actions. Take the classic phenomenon of the beastly cities, ‘the rush hour’, for instance. The hurried dispatch of racing feet in Waterloo station between the dreaded hour of five and six, vicious enough to bulldoze an uninitiated little country girl like myself, is in fact a most distraught state of Time and he tells me so – time and time again – through the din of anxious faces and shoulder collisions, “Mazzy, why do they have to all make me feel so insufficient, as if there is not enough of me at all!” Oh, and then there is the matter of ghastly timed exams in our schools and colleges. How many times have I witnessed the sad case of the three hour test that woefully transmogrified the friendly Art teacher into a steely-eyed, mechanically-whirring invigilator marching silently down the aisle of desks with an abnormal sense of duty to catch someone out! Again, Time protests to me, “Why do they have to section me like this, Mazzy? How awful to gaze upon so many young faces sickened with needless worry all because they have been told that they are up against me, the odious clock?!”

Oh my heart is with you, Time. All alone and gravely overworked, I shall never be able to get my head round how you have coped for so long and without a companion to hold the slavish ticking hands of your clock face.

I cannot say on the behalf of the world but, there is a way I have found to soothe you, Mr Time, momentarily at the least. It sounds terribly trifle and sloppily silly but I am in possession of photographic evidence to support my wildish claims. The answer, a very British one if ever there was any, is to simply drink tea with a loved one. Permitting a ‘time out’ from the chaotic symphonies of the world to immerse in tea drinking with someone special is a wonderful gift that should be indulged in more often and each time you do so you are actually doing ‘make time’. You make so much of it that Time begins to feel pleasantly fat and wholesome like a child who has eaten umpteen slices of the richest gooiest chocolate cake! The belly has protruded out so far that the child no longer wants to run but stroll slowly or even may wish to come to a standstill! Sometimes, the tea and banter grows spellbindingly hypnotic that Time is forgotten altogether. To Time, those moments are like nuggets of gold glowing in the lake of the universe and he will often turn around with a smile and whisper in my ear, “Ah, the peace and solitude of having two less people wriggling under my watch!”

 

Making Time

“… Sometimes, the tea and banter grows spellbindingly hypnotic that Time is forgotten altogether. To Time, those moments are like nuggets of gold glowing in the lake of the universe…”

 

So I took it upon myself a very long time ago that I would do my best to help my friend, Time, out. A solid advocate for the priceless remedies to be gained from the ritual of tea drinking with a loved one – and even better if a slice of cake is thrown in for good measure – whenever my heart makes room for such opportunities I know in the back of my mind that I will be making Time rather than trying to beat it. He knows my face very well by now, dear reader, because I cannot help but drink lots of cups of tea in a day. Sat there with my book and pen, he takes a well-deserved seat too and smiles widely although, I sigh affectionately as I say this, I have warned him that too much of that kind of flirty shenanigans with me and we can have a nasty rip in the fabric of space-time continuum…!

 

Photograph and Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | UK 2014

The ‘Decisive Moment’ Series: China Framed

As much as I would leap at the opportunity, with unhinged glee, to travel to the land where tea leaves were first discovered and proven to be a most excellent source of refreshment, my photograph below was taken here in Winchester, England, outside the most amiable tea room of our town. I was admiring the fine craftsmanship of the teapot on display and wished in secret how thrilling it would be if I could suddenly be granted the ability to unlock the meanings behind the Chinese characters on the surface of this prepossessing vessel. Nevertheless, it did not take long for my hands to draw the camera upwards to face the teapot and, I must say in hindsight, the teapot seemed to give me the fond impression that it wanted to be photographed – quite the haughty little creature indeed!

 

China Framed

“… I must say in hindsight, the teapot seemed to give me the fond impression that it wanted to be photographed – quite the haughty little creature indeed!”

 

Just before my right finger pressed down on the shutter button I had a peculiar feeling that something magical was about to happen. Hardly any time to ponder on the premonition, my finger went down and the rest is as you see it above. The reflection of a chap on a bicycle ‘crossed paths’ with the Imperial teapot with dramatic synchronicity! China, the land famed for its millions and millions of bicycles had finally caught up with the regal teapot! The feudal system of old China bared its hierarchical framework with elegance and simplicity in the superimposition and I acknowledged, very soon after I had reached home, that behind the most popular beverage in the world lay countless tales of the lives of peasants, merchants, missionaries, politicians, the monarch and they all spun voicelessly round and round in my mind that night, like the wheels of a bicycle…

 

Photograph & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | UK 2014