This is Bali Hai's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Bali Hai's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Bali Hai
Recent Activity
(Extracts from 'Perfumes', a catalogue published by the Societe Chimique des Usines du Rhone, probably in the early 1920s. From my private collection.) I love reading the 'Perfumes' catalogue. It contains a descriptive list of a wide range of synthetic perfumes, their benefits over natural essential oils (usually cost and potency), a few recipes for perfumes and a series of photographs of the factories that produced the chemicals. It's full of possibilities! I've been thinking for some time about making my own perfumes. I am ambivalent about synthetic perfumes like the ones listed in the catalogue. On the one hand,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2011 at Bali Hai's blog
It's warm and damp here tonight but my thoughts turn to Berlin. No particular reason, though I have recently revisited Christopher Isherwood's 'Goodbye to Berlin' and 'Mr Norris Changes Trains'. When I was much younger, working in the dullest office known to man, I purchased the soundtrack to 'Cabaret' on vinyl. I would rush home from work and listen to it in my room and sometimes I would sneak a drink of vodka to make myself feel less like an awkward 17 year old and more like a sophisticated gent. It somehow made me feel optimistic about the future and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2010 at Bali Hai's blog
As summer approaches, I started to look for some light reading to take with me on the morning train. As usual, I turned to EF Benson. I sorted through my collection and found the wonderful 'Freaks of Mayfair', published in 1916. Being a big fan of Benson's 'Mapp and Lucia', I love finding prototypes of the characters who fill the six novels that comprise the series. Flicking through the pages, I was reminded of a fantastic illustration in 'Freaks of Mayfair', representing the subject of the short chapter called "Aunt Georgie". 'Aunt Georgie' is, of course, a prototype of Georgie,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2010 at Bali Hai's blog
Bali Hai is now following Cassandra C
Nov 24, 2010
It has been some time since I have posted here but I am back. Hurrah! I was daydreaming today (imagine!) at my new desk, which is under a large window overlooking a couple of plum trees in full bloom, sipping tea. My thoughts wondered to a place far away where the warm breeze rustles the palms and the sea gently laps the white sands. It's funny really how cliched that is, yet so irresistible. I looked through some of my recent additions to my photo collection and found this lucky fellow: Yes, that is where I want to be! What,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2010 at Bali Hai's blog
One of my favourite souvenirs from my trip overseas is an Holga fish-eye lens. I bought it at an Urban Outfitters in Santa Barbara quite cheap (compared to what I would have paid for it in Australia at any rate). I was itching to use it so, as soon as I returned home, I whipped it out and shot a few holga shots. Here's the precious lens: Obviously, close up shots would benefit more than any other to make use of the curved lens, but I'm keen to use it in other ways to see what might turn up. Here's... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2010 at Bali Hai's blog
I'm not much of a sweet tooth. I can leave chocolate and lollies around the house, sometimes for months, until they turn white with age. I rarely have dessert. But there are some sweet things that just drive me nuts. Biscuits. I can't have them in the house. Shortbreads, chocolate chip, lemon crisps - I'll eat them all - at once - and fight you off while doing so. Green iced tea, such as Liptons, on a hot day - my partner will tell you how greedily I will snatch a bottle off anyone in a five mile radius if... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2010 at Bali Hai's blog
I remember first opening the pages of Alain Lesieutre's "The Spirit and Splendour of Art Deco" and being completely overwhelmed. The cover of the book was different to the one pictured below. It was metallic gold rather than brown; a lush, rich cover. This was my introduction to the extraordinary style of arts and crafts produced in France from the 1910s to the 1930s. Nothing had prepared me for the richness, the sophistication and the extravagance of what I found inside these golden covers. The book itself, first published in 1978, is a lovely publication; beautiful photographs and elegantly produced.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2010 at Bali Hai's blog
The postcard below was sent to a young lady living in Strathalbyn, a rural town south of Adelaide in South Australia. The back is undivided, which, I understand, means that it is likely to have been printed before 1902 (assuming the card was printed somewhere in the British empire) and the original stamp has been removed. There are no other clues on the card to tell me where it came from or when. There is, as you can see, a message on the front: "Dear Flo The latest in P.P.C.s Eh? 'Get off his nook.' Am pleased to see you... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2010 at Bali Hai's blog
We returned from the market on a warm balmy Sunday with a potted tuberose. I spotted the unspectacular tuber amongst a pile of cacti and basil haphazardly laid out under a vendor's tent and immediately wanted it for my own. That evening, the scent of the tuberose filled the house. The heady perfume really is intoxicating, it draws you in and clouds your thoughts. You almost think it's too much but you breathe deeper to take more in. A very sensuous scent, and, I venture to say, a dangerous one. Pouring a Pernod on ice with water, I let the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2010 at Bali Hai's blog
Some might think I am obsessed with the weather, but I just like to keep a keen eye on what's going on up there. All I ask for is four distinct seasons, without extremities, in order and on time. What I get, however, is threatening skies, strong winds and horrendous heatwaves. But these events really are few and far between. I have nothing to complain about, so leaving the doom aside, I turn today to thoughts of summer. Here's a snap of a couple of lads larking about at Henley Beach, a suburban beach in Adelaide in the 1950s. When... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2010 at Bali Hai's blog
This week my sister asked me if I wanted to take care of a kitten. At the moment, I don't have a pet (the wild semi-feral cat that I feed but won't ever come near me doesn't really count as a pet) and I have decided for the time being that it will stay that way until things settle down later this year. But I was torn. Of course I wanted the kitten, it was looking for a home. After a restless night I told my sister I couldn't take the kitten on. It just made me think of the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2010 at Bali Hai's blog
Less 'hi ho' than 'ho hum' really. So it's back to work for another year. But this year is going to be different, isn't it! I'm not one for new year's resolutions, but I did make something of the sort when we returned from overseas in October last year. I just didn't want things to be the same again. But since I am a meandering daydreamer instead of a go-getting doer, I haven't really worked out what that will be yet. At least, not properly. Maybe it doesn't have to be 'properly' at all. I'm happy at the moment with... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2010 at Bali Hai's blog
Close - Australian Crawl, bless his football socks. Though I do have him to thank for introducing me to ELO!
Toggle Commented Jan 1, 2010 on Don't Bring Lulu at Bali Hai's blog
Digging around in one of my boxes of old photographs the other day I came across this endearing snap: It reminded me of myself. It would drive my brother nuts when I was a kid and insisted on listening to old records. He was appalled when I set our lounge room up as a 'nightclub' and charged my parents 5c to come in and relax and listen to some carefully selected Andy Williams on the hifi. Mood lighting, sweet music, a snack; I'd pay 100 times that now to go to such a place! He didn't get it. So imagine... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2009 at Bali Hai's blog
It's a lovely summer's day today. Warm, with a gentle breeze. In my youth, on a day like today, I would head for the hills on my Vespa. Despite the giant lollipop-like helmet perched atop my scrawny body, I could feel the rush of the air on my face and smell the irresistible scent of dried grass being watered by giant sprinklers in the fields (pre-water restriction days, obviously). I'm not a speed freak, but I felt exhilarated by the ride. I miss those times. Everyone should have a scooter at some stage in their life; there's nothing that says... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2009 at Bali Hai's blog
Here's a treat: Juanita Hall as Bloody Mary in the 1958 film of South Pacific (vocals dubbed over by Muriel Smith, apparently): Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2009 at Bali Hai's blog
Yes, it pays to hoard things for ever and keep as many boxes of stuff as possible!
Toggle Commented Dec 27, 2009 on Some Christmas Reading at Bali Hai's blog
I came across this sombre photo some time ago and it just sat amongst other nondescript snaps in a large box until one day I was idly sifting through the box and decided to take a closer look. I think the reason I bought the photo in the first place was because it seemed so quiet. It reminded me of the times when I've been alone at home - no tv or radio, no company, no sound at all, or at most the distant sound of the street - and I had a very strong sense of isolation, of being... Continue reading
Posted Dec 25, 2009 at Bali Hai's blog
Anyone who has even the slightest interest in cameras or photography would be thrilled to visit the International Center of Photography in New York. As for me, I nearly wet myself. I was so happy to find it had the best gift/book shop ever. My partner and I purchased a beautiful gift for Magic Jelly: an old box Brownie with it's flash, converted into a clock. This isn't very generous of me, but I have to say that it was very hard for me to part with it to give to Magic Jelly. But, I soothed my greedy inner child... Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2009 at Bali Hai's blog
Did I mention the cape?
Toggle Commented Dec 20, 2009 on A Country Mile at Bali Hai's blog
I don't mind living in a warm dry climate. But the dread of the inevitable hot weather turns my mind to thoughts of autumn. It's a long way off yet, I know; a few extended heatwaves, the loss of some lawn, a massive power bill, but I think this is what I will wear come April: I am a big fan of corduroy and I love it with a check short sleeved shirt. Thinking about having some trousers made at either Old Town or Bookster with a fishtail back suitable for braces. Bookster seems more accessible from Australia (their website... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2009 at Bali Hai's blog
Even the palms seem to be swaying when you wear a tie like this: Original dead-stock, 1940s, hand-painted tie, complete with price tag and maker's card attached (Monterey of California - $2.50 from Latham's in Brownfield, Texas). I was very happy to receive this from my partner for my birthday. I might add that I took the photo on my new Gorillapod tripod, a gift from my best friend. I'm a lucky guy, I know. Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2009 at Bali Hai's blog
I came across a series of photographs (real photograph postcards really) in a junk shop some years ago featuring a troupe of men dressed up in various costumes. Obviously a music group, a glee club type thing. In most of the photographs, there is one guy in some costume, such as a rustic farmer, surrounded by a number of other guys dressed in female costumes, such as the Dutch dairy maids below: I love the costumes, of course, but I love most of all the serious, steady faces of the men. Big moustaches, heavy eyebrows framed by pretty confections of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2009 at Bali Hai's blog
I recently took my Holga 120CFN with me on holiday and tried to take at least one decent photo in each place we visited. For the most part, this was successful and I'm very happy with the results. You can see them here if you like: Bloomfield and George I love the anticipation of receiving the latest batch of Holga prints, wondering whether the nifty angle I tried to take or the vibrant colours would turn out. It really was the Holga that got me interested in taking photos. The camera is fairly cheap, it's easy to use, and it... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2009 at Bali Hai's blog