Green Bottle Tree – Travel, Food, Design and Inspiration
Green Bottle Tree website is a work in progress, still trying to find its direction. The format and appearance will have to wait even longer, even though I shudder every time I see how little this site looks like the slick, classy one in my head.
Travel has categories with countries/places I have visited and written practical listings for. There is usually a mixture of general and specific information included. All information is purely from my experiences and I have never been sponsored or asked to write about anywhere in particular. All comments and opinions are purely my own and any inaccuracies are entirely through my misunderstandings.
Food is largely connected to Travel in that a huge part of my enthusiasm for travel is in trying new ingredients.
Design sounds more creative and knowledgeable than it is. A recurring theme within my photographs is architectural and textile details along with patterns and shapes. I have also started buying souvenirs from my travels that either appeal to me for their design or as ideas to incorporate into my home. This page, design lite, and the posts within are to share those ideas and photographs.
Lifestyle is a concept that I feel a bit uncomfortable with, but begrudgingly I accept that it is the best way of summing up what I want to publish within this page. Lifestyle is my forum for ideas, mostly inspired by my travels, to incorporate into everyday life. (This is why I dislike “lifestyle”, it has a slightly patronising suggestion, or maybe that just comes from how I’ve tried, badly, to explain what I mean)
About is probably even more self-explanatory than the other pages so I’ll not trouble myself to find an exciting way to express the contents of that page.
All Rights Reserved © Green Bottle Tree 2015-2019
In 710 AD the first capital city was established in Japan, Nara, and there it remained until 794 when it moved to nearby Kyoto for the next 1,074 years before Tokyo became the capital in 1868. While Nara was the capital, Buddhism became officially supported alongside Japanese Shintoism, hence the abundance of significant, old Buddhist […]
Japanese Food for Novices (or “Food to look out for if you are not vegetarian and want Japanese food that is not too Japanese”)
I lived in Japan for two and a half years and have visited three times since then, most recently in February/March 2019. When I say I love Japanese food, in reality I like roughly 5%, albeit that I like that 5% a lot. I love the idea of Japanese food in that the emphasis is […]
Connaught Place is the centre of Lutyens Delhi, conveniently pinpointed by an enormous flagpole within a circular “Central Park” from which concentric circles of road and 1930s Georgian-style buildings radiate. The buildings around the rings are grand, colonnaded and white, designed by architects inspired by Bath’s Georgian Royal Crescent and in keeping with the Lutyens-designed […]
At the end of a six-day working week, staying and working in the Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi, a peaceful, luxurious five star hotel, my friend and I had the Sunday off and decided to visit the Red Fort. Around the hotel are wide, tree-lined streets with an idyllic abundance of squirrels, birds, trees and flowers […]
I did not find a huge amount about Nagarkot online and most blogs contained similar and limited information, as mine will too because there’s not a lot to do there, so questions and answers seem the best format and I will answer my own questions, first with a brief answer and then with what end […]
I like to think I would have been a Beatnik had I been born and in my 20s in the 1950s. On further reflection, the more realistic version of the 20-something Beatnik me would probably have been limited to a black roll neck, black capri pants, cigarettes, black coffee and sitting around cool cafés in […]
What do you imagine when you hear “flea market”? Overpriced tat, hoards of people pushing and shoving, dusty crockery, trestle tables sagging under miscellaneous car boot/jumble sale type stuff, bacon butties and polystyrene cups of tea, furniture with woodworm, broken electrics, old plugs, poor quality “art” and nothing of value OR antiques, furniture worthy of […]
If you frequently adopt the “might as well have a cup of tea” approach to writers’ block/inefficiency/tackling an overwhelming to do list, this post has materialised from just that thought. Thus, in my case, “too much to do and half the day has vanished in a puff of dithering AKA thinking about all the things I […]
Guilt: “Noun. the fact or state of having committed an offense, crime, violation, or wrong, especially against moral or penal law; culpability: He admitted his guilt. A feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined.”* I have done nothing to feel literal guilt about, yet I somehow perceive that […]
Everyday things often seem more appealing and desirable when they’re spotted on holidays. These photos from a holiday in and around Turunç, Turkey are mainly of plant pots, gourds and other outdoor hanging ornaments, ubiquitous features around the Bozburun peninsula but unusual and covetable to me. The use of white on white, white with blue […]
How is it possible that a form of pottery and its design from up to 7000 years ago can be recreated in the 21st century and seem modern? This Romanian Cucuteni-Trypillia-style dish was made in Cucuteni in 2018 to pottery-making methods and design dating back to somewhere between 5200 BC and 2750 BC. Cucuteni is […]
To my unrefined nose it’s a load of romantic nonsense when people enthuse about the air of their holiday destination being scented with blah, blah or blah. I can appreciate the odd waft of flowers, baking, wet soil, etc, but not with every step taken inside and out. Oman, however, is the exception where my […]
If I were to play word association linking Sicily with souvenirs, the immediate follow-on would be “heads”. Glazed ceramic heads of a (Moorish) man and a (Sicilian) woman are as everywhere as everywhere means when you’re exaggerating an otherwise valid generalisation. Unsurprisingly, there is a story behind the heads and, equally unsurprisingly, there are variations to […]
Breadcrumb-coated balls of rice stuffed with ragu or ham and cheese, fried and presented as perfect balls of crispy, ricey, squidgy deliciousness; if you like all those ingredients, what’s not to love? I had orange and basil risotto leftovers, ragu leftovers, tasty fresh ham and mozzarella and the night before’s bread made into breadcrumbs. It […]
“Mallorca” is a bit of stretch as these tile photos only cover Can Prunera Museum, Soller, and a random wall in Andratx. Nevertheless, thanks to them I associate Mallorca with beautiful patterns. The Can Prunera museum of modern art is housed within a stunning Art Nouveau building and all tiles are on the floor and […]
I like Majorca, particularly as its being an island means beaches are in abundance. My friend and I, September 2017, visited beaches around the southwest-west side of Majorca. However, while noting that none of these beaches are amongst the consistently nominated “best beaches” of Majorca, none of them for me tick the majority of what […]
Ignoring the fact most of these plants wouldn’t survive outdoors in the UK, here are some ideas for funky, colourful Sicily-style plant presentation. All photos taken around the beautiful, tiny island of Ortigia, Sicily in August 2018. Here are some potentially useful links, which make me realise there is more effort required than merely painting, […]
I hope that Ian Fleming’s brother, Peter, inspired at least something of James Bond, though in this account of Peter Fleming’s 3000-mile journey to discover the whereabouts of a mysteriously vanished English explorer, it’s slightly more Indiana Jones/Johnny English. In terms of writing style (though bearing in mind it was written in the early 1930s […]
Oranges, lemon, olive oil, white wine, parsley, onion, salt and pepper. Chop a bit, soak, cut, faff quite a lot, mix, drain, squeeze, mix a bit more, pour, sprinkle, grind and scatter. That pretty much sums up how to make my current favourite summery salad side dish. I first made this in Sicily from a […]
Kokoda is Fijian ceviche/cured fish and is served in a bowl of creamy coconut with a few bits of vegetable. That doesn’t sound exciting enough. It’s cured fish in cold coconut soup. That sounds even worse. It’s fish with lemon, coconut, chilli, tomato, coriander and onion. If you don’t like fish, I’ve probably already lost […]