Spy the friendly skies.
We have been spending many an evening recently lying flat on our backs star-gazing especially watching the always dramatic mid-August Perseids meteor shower (the biggest meteor shower of the year). It is such a special occasion that we blow up our air mattress and put it out on the lawn with pillows and a duvet so we will be comfy in the cool English night. We recently returned from a camping stay-cation with friends on the south coast of the UK (the closest we could come to a seaside surrogate to our annual Maldives visit) and introduced them to the super supine approach to contemplating the celestial firmament.
In the spirit of “everything is better in the Maldives”, Anantara Kihavah has installed the ultimate star gazing loungers atop their suitably named “Sky” lounge (also suitable for sunsets and ocean vistas). If only I could find someone to serve me tropical cocktails in my backyard.
A number of people are wary of staying near Male for fear of hearing airplanes taking off, but actually the planes you hear the most are the iconic seaplanes. I have actually found the whir of the seaplane engines part of the exotic allure of the destination. Shades of Fantasy Island’s exclamation “Da plane, da plane!” These turboprops have long been a favourite photo prop for the Maldives fashionista crowd.
With the collapse of the aviation industry with the global pandemic, despite living near one of the world’s busiest airports (Heathrow), the skies have been relatively empty for months. Now the contrails are starting to return to up above taking people back to far flung destinations and it’s almost a special occasion when we see one. Today is National Aviation Day (USA) so a chance to celebrate these distinctive steel birds taking guests to the far away dream destinations.
- Nicole Elgin (USA) – Drift Thelu Veliga
- Nancy (Thailand) – Sun Island
- Mai Ka (Poland) – Heritance Aarah
- Urvashi Rautela (India) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
- Olga (Russia) – Dhigali
- Urvi Shetty (India) – Kandima
- Beth Walkemeyer (Australia) – W Maldives
- Lisa Homsy (Canada) – Kandolhu
- Sakshi Malik (India) – LUX South Ari Atoll
- Svetlana Lewis (Russia) – Furaveri
- Dashama (USA) – Angsana Velavaru
- Anna Bella (Russia) – Fushifaru
- Sky Kiki Jung (Thailand) – Centara Ras Fushi
- Carolina Dargel (Belarus) – NIYAMA
- Maria (Russia) – Furaveri
- Karina Zhosan (Ukraine) – Conrad Rangali
- Alena Omovych (Russia) – Furaveri
- Sanja Papić Ognjanović (Panama) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
- Hofit Golan and Josephine Forsberg (Israel) – Hideaway Beach
- Julia Raz (United Kingdom
- Mary Nova (Russia) – NIYAMA
- Parlikah (Thailand) – Six Senses Laamu
- Alexandra Sotnik (Russia) – Meedhupparu
- Rosanna Cordoba (Columbia) – Conrad Rangali
- Siobhan (Ireland) – Sirru Fen Fushi
- Aditi Rao Hydari (India) – Soneva Fushi
- Adriana Hughes (OAE) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
- Helen Owen (USA) – Six Senses Laamu
- Belle Lucia (Australia) – Cocoon
- Arinka Nazarova and Ekaterina (Russia) – Paradise Island
- Olga Titova (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
- Fer Espiritu (Mexico) – Vommuli
- Claudia Padgett (United Kingdom) – Soneva Fushi
- Zaki (Russia) – Furaveri
- Viktoriya Kabochkina (Russia) – Drift Thelu Veliga
- Anyuta Rai (Russia) – Hurawalhi
- Alena Yurzina (Russia) – NIYAMA
- Miss Huinii (South Korea) – Vommuli
- Wendy Gates (USA) – Velaa
- Natasha Ivanovs (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
- Maria Martelo Perez and Irina Dreyt (Columbia) – One & Only Reethi Rah
- Talia Richman (Australia) – Finolhu
- Ming Arinmas (Thailand) W Maldives
- Nudee Thoedsukbodee (Thailand) – Cheval Blanc Randheli
- Anna Barykina (Russia) – Sun Siyam Irufushi
- Camila Storchi (Brazil) – Sun Island
Both Lori and I work with disabled individuals and we are sensitised to the accessibility that is provided for them. Fortunately, we live in an age where accessibility is the norm. Not just to help those with disabilities, but helping a range of people facing their own mobility issues like the elderly or parents with prams and so on. There is something to be said for this norm just being integrated into the infrastructure in a pedestrian manner. Still, I was impressed that the aesthetic obsessives at Joali applied some of their style sense to the accessibility features as well. A few examples shown here are the marble accessibility ramp leading into the main bar (below) and the funky restroom symbols (above).
Not a lot of people want to take time away from gazing at paradise to stare at the boob tube (some Maldive purists even object to having TVs in villas as all though they are handy when the rainstorms occasionally hit), but they are often cleverly dual purposed as displays to bring a collection of videos from around the island into your room. Faarufushi provides an extra aesthetic touch to its artistic videos displaying them on a stylish easel which highlights the allure of the scenes of paradise.
If I can’t get the Maldives, I’ll bring the Maldives to me. And if I can’t find an obvious thing in the Maldives (#20), I get go get that too.
My partner in paradise, Lori, and I celebrated our 35th anniversary last week. The traditional gift for that semi-decennial milestone is coral. Every year we are in the Maldives in July celebrating our anniversary there, and this year, with the coronavirus issues, was the one year, coral year, that we had to stay home. Still such obstacles did not stymie Lori. She immediately admired Stephanie Kilgast’s work that I highlighted a couple of weeks about in my latest instalment of the “Haven’t Seen Yet” series.
She chose the piece “Yellow Exploration (Octopus) – 2020”. Her card to me read: “The piece reminds me of the joy I felt while watching that little octopus from the within the underwater restaurant at You & Me in 2019.” She went on to talk about the corals’ resilience and hardiness, and the octopus’s intelligence and magic all of which our adventuresome marriage shared.
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The fashion accessory of the season if not the entire 2020 year is the now must-have (in more ways than one) face mask. While some decry this ostensible inconvenience, I think it is a whole new opportunity to rock some stylish fashion.
My friend Sylvia is making these in her back room. They come with a nose clip and an inner pocket to insert a filter if you want extra protection. I found this material at my local haberdashery, so naturally I commissioned an Indian Ocean one with the Maldives Islands front and center. Lori opted for a Wrasse-inspired designed (see bottom).
Email me if you would like Sylvia to make one for you. She is doing so to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis).