Dreaming Under Mosquito Net


Credit unknown

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Slim Paley photo

Sunrise, Africa

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Taschen

A cup of tea, some wonderful books and mosquito netting= Heaven

You have no idea how long I’ve been working on this post. You must understand what the mere glimpse of mosquito netting does to my heart rate in order to appreciate how much I adore these images, particularly the one above, which actually faded away to a mere ghost on my bulletin board. I like to imagine it was taken on a boat in India, so if you know otherwise, please don’t shatter my fantasy.

 The photo above it, I snapped just as the sun was rising at the foot of our bed in Africa. I shot it in panorama, which unfortunately doesn’t fit on the blog.

It’s one of the best memories of the best holiday I’ve ever taken with my family.

 Like the sweet scent of coconut oil, the scraping of palm fronds against a tin roof, the slow creak of an ancient ceiling fan,

the fine veil of mosquito netting sends me off to Blissville.

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Romantic in theory…

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A very happy Slim

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Calvin Cottar’s 1920’s Safari Camp, Africa

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Love the cloistered effect of the nets beneath the recessed arch

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and this grey & lavender combination is sublime

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another old favourite

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Slim Paley photo

Mosquito netting in a guest bedroom in my home

(I think I’ve had more bats fly into my house than mosquitoes, but that’s another story)

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Don’t you just love when you come back to your room and your towel is a swan?!

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Leopard Hills, Kruger Park, Africa

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Baroness Fiona Thyssen-Bornemisza

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Slim Paley photo

Coffee tastes better under mosquito netting

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Image Joseph Walsh

Ash and Organza silk “Enignum” Canopy Bed by Joseph Walsh

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Black mosquito netting- How very Tom Ford

I might have to try this somewhere…

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Slim Paley photo

Battambang, Cambodia (I tie scarves around lights that are too bright :) )

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Me. Here. Now.

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Sabora, Africa

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Slim Paley Photo

My babies sleeping under the netting in Africa

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Slim Paley photo

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Hell, it works anywhere…

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I see some mosquito netting in my very near future…stay tuned :-)

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~

58 Comments

  1. Mosquito netting always reminds me of beautiful, romantic, exotic, tropical places… Kenya, and Isak Dinesen’s glorious residence, the gorgeous bedrooms in the grand tea plantations of Sri Lanka, the more rustic bedrooms of the old colonial homes in Australia and a beautiful hotel room I once stayed in down on the Florida Keys… (The Tree House at The Moorings). I think it’s the slightly transparent / slightly opaque nature of them that makes them mysterious and ethereal… You never quite know what you’re going to find when you pull back mosquito netting in the morning…
    Janelle McCulloch | Library of Design

  2. What a fabulous group of photos! Yours were my absolute favorite…reminds me of something from Out of Africa or The English Patient! Makes me want to run out and figure out where to use one in my own home! Just beautiful……

    • I recently read “British Colonial Style” by Tricia Foley and enjoyed the nice balance of written history and lovely photos. But, I must say, that your photo essay created the atmosphere of “being there” in a way that is quite magical. Could it be time to play Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto In A Major K 622 Adagio?
      R.

  3. Your blog helps me to escape from the cold Parisian sun!!!!!…Thanks for the pics,they are very nice!!!!…Keep carry on,please….XXX

  4. Gorgeous post/photos. I so agree…have a real thing for m. nets, too. Loved the book, ‘I Dreamed of Africa’ by Kuki Gallmann that read in my netted bed on Nob Hill in San Francisco on a rainy weekend with a million candles (safely away in lanterns). Such a transporting book.

    Did you ever read the obit of Denys Finch Hatton…Karen Blixen AKA Isak Diensen’s BF? London times 1931: http://www.karenblixen.com/obit.html

    I CAN believe how much time spent–you posts are always beautifully curated.

    • Suzanne, Thank you for the lovely and informative link to Denys Finch Hatton’s obit written by Karen Blixen. Very moving.
      R.

    • Thank you Suzanne
      I also loved Kuki Gallman’s book “I Dreamed of Africa” although it was so sad.
      They really made a mess of the movie I’m afraid.
      Thank you for sharing the Denys Finch Hatton obit. Will we ever be able to picture anyone but Robert Redford when we hear that name?! Makes me want to get my hair washed :)

  5. Oh Slim, I have been WAITING for this since you told me you were working on a mosquito netting post. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! I am so thrilled that you posted “my Leopard Hills”.
    The gorgeous photo from your bed, and of you and your babies sleeping,were they photographed at Cottars Camp? Cottars is on top of my wish-list (sorry, just can´t use Bucket list anymore).
    Since I can´t go back tonight, once again I´ll pop my “Out of Africa” in the DVD player!

  6. What a FAB post dahhhling! I too love mosquito netting, a cup of tea & a good book.. my back veranda is enclosed by 10ft mosquito sheers that cover all sides which make that space looks so romantic when a slight breeze comes through & the space comes alive in movement. Beautiful images.

  7. “…does Africa know a song of me? Will the air over the plain quiver with a color that I have had on, or the children invent a game in which my name is, or the full moon throw a shadow over the gravel of the drive that was like me, or will the eagles of the Ngong Hills look out for me?”

  8. The photo of the couple in the trees was a favorite article that I carted around with me for about six weeks. I tried to convince myself and my husband that climbing a ginormous tree, shimmying out to a thin limb and sleeping ‘x’ number of feet above the ground would be fun. And then I thought, “What if I have to use the bathroom? Of course I’ll have to use the bathroom…” And it all went to hell. I adore this post. Beautiful images from your trip to Africa and I love the photo of your boys all snuggled in their bed. I’ve already started my daughter off with mosquito netting above her bed–‘Cirque de Soleil’ meets ‘Out of Africa.’ Thanks for this beautiful post.

  9. Love your blog today. I even have mosquito netting and I live in Montana. It is so alluring isn’t it? The towels made into swans…we had them on a trip to Galapagos and I could not wait to get back to the room after the morning snorkel to see what new critter was on my bed waiting for me. Such a treat. (Some even had on my sunglasses.)

  10. Wow! I’m smitten.
    There is something magical (yet practical) about mosquito netting and
    your photos of the African safari are just envy inducing!!
    Thanks for sharing magnificent photos.
    Later today I will mix a gin martini and stare once again at your
    photos and pretend I’m in “Out of Africa”.
    Just divine, divine, divine.

  11. What absolutely gorgeous pictures. I’m intrigued – where are you going? Somewhere tropical I’m guessing. Never slept under mosquito netting but would love to be in such a stunning place to try.

  12. What I love about a bed swathed in netting is that it’s a world unto itself–totally protected and isolated in feeling–it’s the ultimate in feeling you’re in a safe haven–and that sense of mystery–the I can’t quite SEE inside/or outside. Think of the movies where the heroine is glimpsed by the hero through mosquito netting in her bed–wow, what allure and mystery

  13. Oh…dear me…this really arrived like an impromptu glass of champers. I am right there with you, Slim. A massive baldequin draped in tapestry? No thank you. But something about being safe inside a mosquito net? Perfect. Save for the night on L’ile des Pins when I awoke in the middle of the night and a rat was casually strolling down the net just above my head. I couldn’t help it, it went flying across the room.

    Your photos are absolutely gorgeous, really. Safaris are the best thing on the planet.

  14. oh my gosh. how romantically breathtaking is this post.
    your darlings asleep almost brought a tear. . . it doesn’t matter
    if they become six feet tall… their faces always still say three years old!
    i have wondered why there are no screens on windows in
    california… we have to have them here, or all manner of critters come in!
    in london there were none either. must be wonderful.
    my phobia brings a darkness to all the exquisite light…
    were you not afraid of a black mamba coming in during the night to share
    your “tent?”
    sorry! just wondering!!! shades of k. hepburn in making african queen and
    finding one in the loo!

  15. We just got back from a trip to Peru which included a couple of nights at the Posada Amazonas Lodge in the rain forest. Check out http://www.arunnersmind.wordpress.com for a few more shots of mosquito netting. Because of the basketball size spiders we saw on our night hikes, the mosquito netting for us seemed a little less romantic than you feel….I felt it was a matter of survival!!!! Who cares about malaria….the spiders are HUGE!!!! ;-)
    Wonderful post!

  16. Your photos are spectacular! Since my husband works (mostly lives) in Ghana, West Africa and my daughter served in Peace Corps in Togo, West Africa these mosquito nets are near and dear to our heart! They look beautiful and magical but they also can be life savers! I will forward this post to my hubby and see if he gets a chuckle out of how it is supposed to feel sleeping inside his mosquito netting!

  17. OMG! This post is amazing! The photos that you took in Africa are beyond beautiful. I love all of your posts, Slim, but I think this is the best so far. Unbelievable…..

  18. I spent a large part of my childhood sleeping in summers under mosquito netting. Your beautiful pictures bring back happy memories of being in my own secure little world under the net in an old tropical house in Queensland, Australia. Later we lived for two years in Sri Lanka where we again slept under nets, safe from mosquitoes carrying dengue fever or malaria. So though there is a romance attached to mosquito nets, there is also a reminder of risk, if you have really needed to use them.

  19. hi there and happy new year.

    I love your images that holiday looks and sounds as if it was amazing.

    I fell in love with mosquito netting on a holiday in Bali, bought some in Ubud and paid a handyman to spend a day hooking up a contraption over our bed at home for the net to hang over. Needless to say it was not quite the same in urban Melbourne. It lasted about 2 weeks!

    BTW I did oil pulling with sesame oil, made my teeth v white but my skin broke out so I ditched it. It is worth a try though.

    xo

  20. My two daughters LOVE netting, “curtaining” or “canopying” (verb?) their beds ever since they were little, and still to this day! I have had the pleasure of designing many different period styles through the years for them, they felt so “protected, private and princessy”…..me however, I am an absolute clutz, (walking into walls).. so I am afraid that I would end up wearing the net (mummyish style) or worse yet, the way the actress Lee Remick died in the hospital in the movie the “Omen” getting tangled up in that bedding…

  21. I’m with you Slim! The best family holiday we took was going on Safari in Tanzania. I loved how while we were at dinner the staff would come in and put the mosquito net around the bed as part of the turn down service. It certainly added another element of romance, and kept the mossies away too. Daughter no.2 is going back in a few months to volunteer in a hospital, I am so tempted to meet up with her after and do another safari. This post is making it seem irresistible.

  22. Love, love this post! I adore mosquito netting , too!

    But my favorite is your method of the too bright lamps! Ugly and too bright lamps I put in the closet!! My poor husband, before he opens the door to the hotel room says…….”can we at least have one lamp stay?” I now will just bring a bunch of scarves to questionable hotels….(there are far fewer than there used to be! Now people are decorating their houses copying hotel rooms!!! (Do you get why that is?)

    Thank you for the tip! My husband will really be grateful!!!! A dimmer and a disguise all in one!! Brilliant!

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