This is the old North Room blog – the new one is at www.north-room.com/blog

First post

Posted in Africa, Travel by Mike on September 14, 2008

Claire relaxing in Matemwe, on the Eastern coast of Zanzibar. The villa we stayed in was built on a low-lying coral reef, and fresh tea was delivered to our door each day for sunrise. I managed to enjoy it once. Claire did it two or three times. Without question, you'll find more pictures of sunset here than you will of sunrise...

As Claire and I start making preparations for circumnavigating the globe, we will be attempting to regularly journalise our adventure via this WordPress site.  What started as a microsite for our wedding guests has now morphed into our means of recording (and therefore safeguarding) the dispatches and memories of our world tour.  In recognition of this effectively being an overhaul of our original site, we’ve moved providers and given ourselves a pretentious new name.  The new name was chosen for two reasons.

Firstly, the ”North Room” was the guest room Claire and I shared on our first long-haul holiday together at Zanzibar’s Emerson & Green Hotel more than five years ago.  Emerson’s is a fantastically old, colonial-style building set in the “atmospheric” (read as “cramped” & “musky”) streets of Zanzibar’s Stone Town.  The North Room, on the 5th floor, is a “colonial vintage” style bedroom with a teak, four-poster bed and Zanzibarian stone bath.  It has a northerly aspect to it and is jaw-droppingly enhanced by being only partially enclosed; one side of the bedroom as well as the whole en-suite bathroom are completely open to the elements.  And that means it enjoys views reaching far-out over the old spice-trading port’s sun-bleached town houses and to the Indian ocean beyond.  In the few nights we were there, we could lie in bed and listen to the sounds of the town and stare at the heavens.

Happy days.

Inspiring ones too, as it happened; it was this holiday that really sowed the seed for more far-flung adventures and gave us the aim (if we ever got the chance) to one day go further – for longer – and see more.

Sunset from Stone Town.

This “Norhtern” aspect to that room we shared also alludes to the second reason for the choice of name.  As I’ve become obsessed more serious about taking photographs (Claire – you’ve got the patience of a saint darling), I’ve learned that north-facing room windows offer portrait phographers some very nice light.  The reason for this is that they offer consistently softer light compared to those facing east, west and south – because of the daily transition of our sun.  And, now that I’ve had the good fortune to establish a growing photography client base, North Room gives me a brand name that has both meaning and relevance.  Simpe as that.

Anyway, whatever we make of this blog, we hope you enjoy visiting.

Mike & Claire x

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