Monday, 31 August 2015

Outfit - Cut Away

     I've said it before, and I'll say it time and time again, Hong Kong is hot. More than just hot, it's humid, making everything feel muggy and sticky all the time. So I'm definitely wearing different outfits to home right now - it's weird to not have to coordinate layers! I found the Forever 21 shop here, so I did pick up a couple of things this week, but not too much (or I have to figure out what to do with it at the end of the year!). This top seemed appropriate though for keeping me cool - it's very loose and light to start with, and although it initially seems quite plain, the back is a little more exciting! With a top like this, bra choice suddenly matters even more, so I went plain and black, with a thick strap, so it doesn't seem too obviously revealing - a crop top could have the same sort of effect. Denim shorts go with everything, of course, and these are my newest pair of Converse, after the last pair got significantly battered through Central America.

Cut Away | outfit of dark blue cut-up back top, denim shorts & Converse shoes

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Room Tour - Hong Kong Flat

     This is actually more of a flat tour than a room tour, seeing as my room is the size of a box. (I've also done previous room tours in France and Edinburgh). I knew flats in Hong Kong were small, but it's hard to appreciate just how small until you're actually here and faced with living in one. I didn't get a choice in where I\m living, as the flat is provided by the recruitment company that hired me and placed me in a school. Anyway, the flat is right in the middle of Mong Kok, in the Kowloon area. We're up on the 20th floor, and I'm sharing the place with another teacher with the same company (naturally I've left out her room in this).

Room tour | living room in my Hong Kong apartment

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Travel Inspiration - Loire Valley

     So while I'm all the way around the other side of the world in Hong Kong, I thought we'd take a look back at the last time I lived abroad. As some may already know, I spent the third year of my degree living in France (an inevitable part of a French degree!). To be specific, I lived in a town called Tours, in the Loire Valley region. Naturally, while I was there, I visited many other towns and places in the region, including several of the splendid châteaux the valley is known for (find out more about those here and here). While my opinions on my year abroad as a whole were mixed, to say the least, there's no denying that the Loire Valley is a beautiful region, both in its natural setting, and its wonderful architecture, full of intrictae detailing and Gothic inspiration. The first few photos here were taken around Tours itself, while the others are from various chaâteaux and towns nearby, including Saumur, Amboise, Blois, Langeais, Chenonceau, and Chambord.

Town hall and fountain of Place Jean Jaurès in Tours, France

Monday, 24 August 2015

Outfit - Beat the Heat

     Hong Kong is hot. I knew this before coming obviously, but dealing with the heat and humidity and near-constant feeling of sweatiness is quite unfamiliar for me! It's nice to get a chance to dress a little differently though, as usually back home I have to start bundling on the layers soon, whereas here I get a chance to stay in my summery stuff for longer. I could only bring a small portion of my wardrobe with me though, so expect to see the same few pieces on rotation for the next while! Darker or vibrant colours are my usual choice in any season, and although it's warm, it's more humidity than direct sunlight, so dark colours don't cause much of a problem anyway. This outfit was thrown on without heaps of thought, as simplicity is best for this heat! Although the top is black, it's very lightweight, especially with the semi-sheer stripes, and the lace on the skirt makes me feel a little more dressed up than say, shorts, for example. This isn't a work outfit though, it's more for evenings or weekends exploring the city. I like to wear my jewellery then too, as I haven't been wearing much to work. And of course, sandals are perfect for warm weather!

Beat the Heat | Outfit of black striped top, navy blue lacy skirt & green strappy sandals

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Hong Kong: First Impressions

     So I've been living in Hong Kong for a week now, and thought I'd share what I think about the place so far. I was pretty jet-lagged for the first weekend, then I've been in work all week, so I haven't seen much beyond the areas where I live and work so far - that will be changing though! I work 5.5 days a week, so Sundays will be when I go exploring, with maybe Saturday afternoons too, if I'm not too tired. For now, these photos are all of the area where I live, Mong Kok.

View of skyscraper buildings in Mong Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong
The view from my flat window

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Flying Business Class

     So, my trip to Hong Kong started off with a bundle of nerves and anxieties, complete terror, and several tears - come one, moving halfway around the world is pretty daunting! However, one of the brightest moments that day came when I was in Dubai airport, catching my connecting flight. I got to the gate, handed over my boarding pass, and watched the steward promptly rip it, before handing me a new one, with the magic word 'Business' at the top... No explanation given, but I didn't really mind! I've never flown business class in my life before, so getting an unexpected free upgrade was quite the treat!

Business class Emirates airline ticket

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Outfit - Off to Work

     Today's outfit is the first to come to you all from Hong Kong - apologies for the photo quality, my room (and flat!) is tiny, and I'm still figuring out the best way to take my photos! Anyway, the dress code for my new work, in a kindergarten, is that I have to wear a dress or skirt, and dress fairly respectfully and conservatively. I had a few dresses with me anyway, but most aren't work appropriate, so I had to go buy a couple more. There are lots of brands I know from the UK out here, as well as others I don't recognise, such as the shop I ended up getting this dress in. It might be a tiny bit on the short side, but no worse than I've seen the other teachers in, plus I'm tall! I have to change into indoor shoes at work, so these are just for getting there - this humidity won't stop me from wearing my boots at least sometimes, though it has allowed me to ditch the tights that were so necessary back in Scotland! Jewellery is minimal (aside from my usual rings), since little kids tend to grab, but the bracelet strategically covers my tattoo (irritating, but conservative), and I quickly realised a watch is a necessity in my work!

Off to Work | outfit of plum knit dress, with brown ankle boots, for kindergarten work

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Review - Don Broco: Automatic

     As with most second albums, Don Broco are starting to flex their musical muscles a bit more than on their debut effort, Automatic. They retain their characteristic sound and swagger, but with an increased confidence. It's a fun album, with a good progression from their first record.

Album cover artwork for Don Broco's 'Automatic'

Thursday, 13 August 2015

I'm Moving to Hong Kong

     Oh bloody hell, is this actually happening? As I write this, I'm sitting at home with my parents, but as you're reading it, I'm at Glasgow airport, waiting for my flight to depart, to take me halfway across the world to Hong Kong, where I'll be living and working for the next year. Yep, this is happening. And I'm freaking out.


Monday, 10 August 2015

Outfit - Ethereal

     I FINALLY got a maxi skirt! I've been on the hunt for one for a while, but being tall means that every one I tried on was too short, or didn't sit right, or just sort of swamped me somehow. I typically go for short skirts anyway, and I was becoming convinced that maxi ones just didn't suit me, when I finally struck lucky with this one. It's the right length, not too heavy or overwhelming, and I love the patterns and colours in it! I stuck with a simple top, and sandals to keep with the light, summery vibe it has (though I'm already contemplating how it could look with ankle boots?). I also went with very simple jewellery, wooden and coconut pieces I picked up while travelling, to stick with the simple, natural theme I was going with. (Also, apologies for the cluttered background, this is what happens when you empty your student flat and come home! I was also getting over an eye infection when I took these photos, if my eye is looking a little weird.)

Ethereal | outfit of plain purple top, patterned maxi skirt and green strappy sandals

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Edinburgh Fringe - Christina Bianco

     I'm a big fan of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival most of the time. I think it's pretty amazing that for a while month every year, my city becomes populated by thousands of weird and wonderful performers - although after a week or two, I do get tired of how busy it is! Last year I went to quite a few shows, but this time I won't be around for much of it, and I only had time to see one show, so I had to choose carefully. In the end, my friend and I opted for Christina Bianco's show, 'Party of One'.

Poster for Christina Bianco - Party of One at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Musically Inspired - Playing Games

     Why do people insist on playing games? Why can we never just say what we mean? I'm not a psychologist, so I can't pretend to have the answers to these questions, but it does make me ponder the human psyche. We must enjoy it to an extent; teasing people, not saying exactly what we mean, or the whole truth. Playing mind games is such an interesting, unusual idea when you really think about it.

Mind games quote and illustration

Monday, 3 August 2015

A-Z of My Bookcase

     I'm back home with my family for a few weeks at the moment, so of course I'm staying in my old bedroom. I never fully moved out for university, and I suspect it will be a while before I do in future, so this room is crammed with basically every possession I have - including a fairly impressive collection of books. Most of the shelves are stacked double to accommodate them all! And there's everything from childhood favourites, to books bought for my degree. So today we're having a little A-Z tour of them - discounting the words 'A' and 'The' though, or we'd never get the whole alphabet in! (Amazon links included)

My book case | Shelves stacked full of books

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Travel Inspiration - Kefalonia

     We're taking a trip to an idyllic little island off the coast of Greece this time. I visited here a few years ago, as a family holiday during my teens. We'd been to mainland Greece and the island of Crete before, but there's so much more to the country that I haven't yet explored. Anyway, Kefalonia is fairly small and very mountainous. Driving through the middle, everything is quiet and remote, while the main activity is along the coast, with coves and beaches dotted throughout, some only found by narrow roads with steep drops down the mountain sides. The architecture isn't exactly as grand as the classical Greek monuments in Athens, but is instead a much more rustic and simple version of that. Beaches, mountains, and quiet seaside villages; what more could you want for a peaceful getaway?

Myrtos beach from above, in the mountains of Kefalonia
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