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Photo An Hour » January 2016 » 31/01

As I’m feeling a bit more like getting in on the blogging thing, I thought I’d kick it up a gear and do a Photo An Hour.

A few years ago, I did one a month for the whole year and I’ve been doing them on and off for the whole time I’ve had this blog, even taking part in the 1 Day 12 Pictures occasionally too.

I do enjoy how they’re a little bit of a snapshot into what I was up to at the time. So, without further rambling, here is a Photo An Hour for the last day in January 2016.

9am: // Moon and I are in a pretty solid routine of waking up only a little later than we normally would on a weekday at weekends. Our bed is ridiculously comfortable but it is pretty good, even on a Sunday to feel like you’ve got up and done some stuff that day. This Sunday was a little bit of a struggle, thanks to the grey weather though.

10am: // Catching Doll in the act – she’s actually settled in to the house really well and seems so much happier than she ever was at the flat. Over the winter she’s become a bit of an accidental house cat, just because of how the house is, we can’t let her come and go as she pleases as much but I think she’s cool with it, and actually, she doesn’t seem to fancy going out all that much either.

11am: // Taking in a new magazine – I have so much magazine reading to catch up on, Ernest Journal was a nice little find at the Old Fire Station in Oxford. I’ll have to head back there to see more of their arts mag collection soon.

Sometimes sitting and watching Sunday Brunch of a morning can do a world of good. And what kind of contemporary couple would we be if we weren’t doing that while on our phones? ♥

12pm: // On the road to hit up Banbury for a Sunday mooch.

1pm: // Discovering the lovely Little Amsterdam, Banbury Café of the Year 2015. A lovely restaurant specialising in dutch pancakes, absolute dream for a real-life Sunday brunch.

2pm: // Moon modelling his sweet new cap.

3pm: // Spotting some filming on Banbury town centre, which fooled us into thinking there was a crime scene… I’ll tell you, post-Making a Murderer, that fact was a lot more disappointing than it should have been.

4pm // Home again with a few goodies from Tiger.

5pm: // Continuing the Dutch dining theme of the day with a tasty stroopwaffel ♥

6pm: // Playing a new video game, Moon downloaded The Long Dark, which might actually be one of my favourite games ever. I’m not a big gamer or anything but I do tend to dabble, and The Long Dark is not only quite pretty to look at but much more my pace in that I’m not having to shoot anyone and I can completely take my own time – except not actually because I’ll freeze to death.

7pm: // Whipping up dinner for the evening, a tasty red Thai curry soup.

8pm: // Sunday night shower with the best shower gel of all time.

9pm: // Sunday night movie, 99 Homes in case you were wondering – you can see my review here.
I’m hoping to stay just as chill this weekend, perfect for this time of year I think, have you got any nice plans?

Tin Hau Festival — Dancing Dragons

On our second morning, thanks to my wonderful cousins and the luck of it being a bank holiday – we popped over to Yau Ma Tei to see the local Tin Hau Festival.

The annual festival is held to honour Tin Hau, Goddess of the Sea and the street festival was brilliant. I was so pleased to be able to showcase that part of my heritage to Moon in all it’s lion and dragon dancing glory. My cousin’s husband, Boris, being the photography enthusiast he is, threw us right in with the displays as though we were ‘official photographers’ for the event, it was pretty amazing to get so up close.

Each clan from the area offered up their own dancing style, decoration and costume.

Starting the day with matching mosquito bracelets – I can confirm that they were ineffective.

Baby lion. ♥

There are Tin Hau temples dotted all around Hong Kong, being an island, making sure the sea is on your side is kind of important, the temple sizes range from the huge and ornate to a simple statue and incense holder.

Being the amazing guides that they are, after taking in the local festivities and catching up over some dim sum, my cousins took us to the China border to some of Boris’ favourite photography haunts before a tasty Korean hotpot in the evening – probably one of the best meals of our whole holiday! We did briefly get stranded in Castle Peak Bay during a quick typhoon but it was in the Hong Kong McDonald’s with the best view so you can’t really complain.

China is definitely on my bucket-list, it’s strange how it feels so completely foreign to me yet Hong Kong feels part of home.

View from McDonald’s.

10,000 Buddhas.

I’ve found that when I arrive in Hong Kong, I always peak really early. So, I think that the jet-lag hasn’t got me and the first day-and-a-half will be all good, until I’m wide awake at 3am for no reason.

After some fancy dim sum in Kowloon Tong, we popped back over to Sha Tin, where we were staying, and ended up walking up the side of a huge hill to visit the Ten Thousand Buddha Monastery.

Hong Kong is pretty small, so it’s easy to get from one side to another in just over an hour, still I thought it was a good idea to take a look at what we could do nearby. Not least because I didn’t want us to stress ourselves out too much on our first day.

So, it was the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery that took my eye, it sounded insane and having seen photographs of it before and then reading more into it, I couldn’t wait. My poor sister wasn’t quite prepared for the 45 minute hike up a fairly steep hill to get to the top and neither was I, but we got there.

Lined with 500 golden buddhas, each one different, the walk ended up being pretty fun, even in the Hong Kong humidity, we made it right to the very top beyond the monastery buildings. It’s not technically a monastery as no monks reside here and the buildings and statues are maintained by laypeople but I’d certainly recommend it to anyone visiting Hong Kong, it was one of the most different things I’ve done.

The statues are completely wild and, I don’t know whether it’s because of the day we visited but it was much quieter than many of the other attractions that we visited during our trip.

This is the kind of place that makes facial recognition slightly creepy…

This long-armed one was my favourite.

We were lucky to see wild monkeys, they seemed to know that the rain was on its way and were a bit more shy than I’d read they would be.

Explainations on a postcard.

Route to the top.

So HK — Photo Diary.

Last night I actually sat down and blogged, for the first time in coming up to three months. I lit some candles, made myself a cup of tea and I planned out what was going to go down for the next couple of weeks. It sounds a little too structured but I’ve got to ease myself back in a bit and I feel like I can genuinely say that there’s more to come – I’m more hopeful about that at least.

So, here’s the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Hong Kong holiday spam, I can’t believe it’s coming up to 2 months since we got home! We had a great time, Moon had the chance to meet so much of my family that he wouldn’t otherwise get to and it was so nice to hear him say that it’s made him want to travel more.

Unfortunately the weather was not on our side which meant I still didn’t really get the trips to the seaside that I’ve been dreaming of – in all my years of visiting Hong Kong I’ve never really been the the beach and after reading our guidebook thoroughly I knew it was something I wanted to do. Dang typhoons! Oh well, if all your complaining about is the weather, you’re probably alright (or English).

View from our hotel window, there’s a little more to Hong Kong than a concrete jungle.

I am so far from well-travelled, with my main holidays growing up being Brittany or Ireland and the occasional trip to Florida or Hong Kong, it was really nice to see some of the places I’ve visited through Moon’s fresh eyes though. I think Hong Kong will always be somewhere I’ll come back to every few years, my sister studying there certainly provided me with an excuse to visit when we did but this won’t be my last trip.

Can’t wait to tell you more about the 10,000 Buddha Monastery, I think it was one of my favourite places that we visited during the entire trip!

First Korean hot pot, amazing!

Yellow Shoes.

Still dreaming about Hong Kong-style French toast.

Probably an accurate representation how you feel right about now…

Face modifiers.

Not keeping up with this online diary of mine has been playing on my mind so putting these here and getting ready to write a bit more about our adventures makes my heart feel happy. So glad to feel like I’ve got a bit of my life back post-move.

Why Don’t You Do Photography?

With a new job comes the obvious questions – where will you be working? who’s it for? what’s it doing?

I find it a little difficult having done a creative degree that I still have to justify myself despite a few years working real, grown up jobs now.

My last job was in online retail and I used pretty much every skill I had going, including those learnt on my degree – there was a bit of studio and lifestyle photography involved – and that’s great, jobs like that are hard to come by. With that being said, it doesn’t mean there won’t be a time to move on.
It was time to move on, the future of the company wasn’t heading in a direction I wanted to join them in so I grabbed what I could at the time.

My new role as a ‘Digital Marketing Executive’ will hopefully help me add to the Marketing skill set that I want to build upon, while still allowing me to pursue the design aspects I was furthering in my old role. There probably won’t be any Photography involved whatsoever, and I’m okay with that.

I guess when I left University I had idealistic views of freelancing or picture researching, then I also wanted to move out… I didn’t really have the confidence to do those things back then and I’m probably much better now but at the moment, Photography is my way to de-stress and unwind.

Obviously I’ll never say never and Photography is always going to be important to me, but my degree taught me so much more than how to take pretty pictures. Maybe, now realising at 25 that I’m more interested in Creative Marketing and Social Media makes me wonder whether it was the right degree to do but I will always maintain that 18 year olds don’t know anything and certainly don’t think about seven years down the line. It was right for me at the time and a degree is not a be all and end all of anything.

I think my ‘career’ has just ended up where it is by chance and while I hope I’ll always be able to stay creative, I still feel kind of weird about justifying myself while making this new transition. Truthfully, if someone said I could take photographs of my cat all day, I’d jump at the chance but I can’t see that being a readily available opportunity. Right now I’m genuinely just all good with ‘doing me’ and going wherever the next couple of years takes me. I want a mortgage and that grown up stuff, you know?