A Hiatus, Explained

Fuchiko Kawaguchiko shibazakura One of my favourite books, Blood of Flowers, tells the tale of a young girl eager to prove her talent in the art of carpet-weaving. In an early part of the story, she sets out to buy yarns for a carpet to serve as her dowry in event of a marriage offer. At the city marketplace, she is dazzled by the sea of colours to choose from – indigo, saffron, the richest of purples.

Seeking to make her carpet stand out from the coarse browns and yellows of her former village, she chooses colours which she has never even seen, delighting her eyes. So for months, she toils over her carpet amid her chores as a family servant. As her skill in carpets grew, she finally comes to the horrible realisation that the colours of her carpet are unharmonious, awful in fact. What then to do at this point? Tear off the half-finished bad carpet from the loom and restart a new one? Let hours of back-breaking work and the cost of the yarn (which she borrowed money to buy) go to waste?

As I look at my blog today, after an unplanned hiatus of 5 months, I feel as the nameless weaver girl did. There are some good threads (my Seoul posts which even now draws a steady stream of visitors here, maintaining their position on Google’s first page of search results). There are some bad ones (I’ll let you, dear reader, be the judge of them). And confusion shows in my weaving  – do I want to write of travels to foreign lands, uncover new discoveries at home, or curate interesting factoids for easy social media sharing? Should I even change my loom (Blogger? Tumbler? Self-hosting?), or my workshop (clunky laptop versus fiddly blogging app on my phone)?

While I’m sorely tempted to hack off my messily-woven ‘rug’, I tell myself there’s no need to throw the baby out with the bath water. As such, today marks a reboot of Etui Trove with a new blog theme (the social savvy Pictorico theme)  and a steady update schedule – honour bright, if I can post (almost) every day on the Etui_Trove Instagram, there’s no reason why I can’t keep up a fortnightly update at the very least.

What’s in store for the near future? Well, I’ve returned from a much-needed spring break in Japan. Already, posts ideas are writing themselves in my head – the wisteria festival of Ashikaga, the pink moss festival of Mt. Fuji in Kawaguchiko, and Sanja Matsuri the grand-daddy of Tokyo festivalsI took pictures (better than my last trip, Instagram has taught me lots about better mobile photography), I filled in the blanks that Tripadvisor didn’t cover, I kept receipts (all painstakingly translated by my good friend – the same one who was living in Seoul, now she’s based in Tokyo, lucky lucky her). So fasten your seat belts ‘coz we’re gonna get this baby back on the road!

[And what happened to the little weaver maid? Well, I can’t spoil a good story for you. So pick it up for a lovely little read with a nice cuppa, as you lose yourself in a tale of passions and courage woven with the brilliance of saffron and the finest of rarest silks.]


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