Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Celebrating Mid Autumn Festival

     I was lucky enough to get a long weekend off work this week, with Monday being a public holiday, because Sunday was the annual Mid Autumn Festival. It's celebrated throughout China and Vietnam, so I got to experience how they do it in Hong Kong.

Red Chinese lanterns | Hong Kong Urban Mid-Autumn Festival in Victoria Park

Monday, 28 September 2015

Outfit - Crazy Daisy

      Another work outfit today! I actually quite like wearing skirts and dresses to work, as it gives me more freedom to wear clothes I like, than if I had a real uniform, and there's something about floaty skirts like this that makes you feel very pretty! I've been trying to get skirts with longer hemlines, not only because I need to dress respectfully, but it's a lot easier to work with kids, bending down a lot, when you're not worrying about the length of your skirt! I love the floaty layers of this one, and the daisy pattern is very cute. With busy patterns like this, I tend to stick to a plain top, so it's not too overwhelming. And trust me, a watch is a must at my work, when I have to time lessons myself, and I got this one cheap at a local market, and I like how bright and fun it is - the kids are often grabbing at it, and my bracelet, too!

Crazy Daisy | outfit of black top, floaty black daisy pattern skirt & green strappy sandals

Sunday, 27 September 2015

A-Z of My iPod

     A while ago, I took you for a tour of my bookcase, from A-Z, so this time I thought we'd visit one of my other great loves in life, my music collection. I'm one of those very rare people who still buys physical copies of music - and not even vinyl, I still buy CDs to upload to my computer - so I have several boxes of them at home, but my iPod is the most convenient way to carry it all that music around. Any regular readers should have a fairly good idea of my general music taste, but there may still be a few surprises on here! (Artist names are Amazon links).

Red 5th generation iPod touch, in red leather flip case, with white headphones

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Hong Kong: Places of Worship

     Despite not being a particularly religious person, I do find the notion of religion, and the many different faiths that exist around the world quite interesting. Having grown up in a largely Christian community, in a country whose dominant religion is also Christianity, I'm fascinated to now be living in a city where so many different religions co-exist. Even the school I work in, which calls itself Christian, celebrates Christmas and Easter, but also Chinese holidays like Lunar New Year and the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival. Having visited many cathedrals across Europe, I thought I'd take a look at some of the oldest places of worship on Hong Kong Island.

Lanterns & incense in Man Mo Temple, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Monday, 21 September 2015

Outfit - Casual Comfort

     I love it when I manage to throw together a really easy, comfortable outfit, that also looks really good. I think the key piece in this combination is the top, as it's so loose and light - it has a tendency to slip off my shoulder form time to time, making it even more relaxed looking. Typically with skirts like this one, I tuck my top in to create a strong waistline and a contrast with the wide hem of the skirt, but I ended up really liking how this looked left out, with both top and skirt looking loose and comfortable. A simple pendant is a good necklace for a simple outfit, and of course, many will know by now how much I love a good pair of boots, and ankle ones are best for HK's heat.

Casual Comfort | outfit of loose grey top, black skater skirt & brown suede ankle boots

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Travel Inspiration - Disney World, Florida

     I was lucky enough to visit Disney World in Florida around 6 years ago with my family. I'm planning on visiting the Hong Kong park at some point this year, so this seemed like a good time to take a look back at the only other Disney park I've seen. I wasn't as into taking photos back then as I am now, so I kind of wish I could go back and get more shots, especially of all the unique details you can find all over the park - it's clear that a lot of effort went into the designs! I know Disney as a whole can be problematic in some ways, but it's very emblematic of my childhood, and I remember loving the whole trip, and getting to see all that childhood magic come to life.

Cinderella Castle - Magic Kingdom, Disney World, Florida

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Review - Bring Me The Horizon: That's The Spirit

     If you wanted a record that sounds like Bring Me The Horizon's early releases, think again. Talk about reinvention. The band's latest effort, That's The Spirit, moves away from metalcore, and instead effortlessly blends elements of their older, heavy style, pounding with angry guitars, with a newer, more melodic tone, infused with electronic beats, and replaces screaming with sung vocals. And all of it is executed remarkably well, resulting in a truly epic sounding album, big and brash, and firmly putting themselves on the map in today's music scene.

Bring Me The Horizon - That's The Spirit - inside cover of album artwork, with umbrella logo and rainbow swirls
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Monday, 14 September 2015

Outfit - Simple Stripes

     This outfit is another one I use for work - where the requirement is that I wear a dress or skirt, appropriately conservative for working with children. To be honest, some of the other teachers wear dresses that I would say are too short, yet seem to be allowed, but I err on the side of caution, both because I'm still new, and because longer hems are much easier for when you're bending down all day with the kids. Anyway, this dress is very much in my style, with the skater style skirt, and it's a very comfortable, stretchy material. I've always liked stripes, and the big, boldness of these makes it seem more work-like to me. I prefer to wear it without the cardigan, but its an unfortunate necessity as my bra straps are just visible next to the dress straps, which is not ok, and I have to cover them. The shoes are getting a bit past their best, but I only wear to get to work before changing into my indoor Toms. And again, jewellery is at a minimum when working with young children!

Simple Stripes | outfit of black & white striped skater dress with black flat shoes for work

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Nan Lian Gardens & A Symphony of Lights

     Last weekend I spent my Saturday afternoon with a friend, and we headed to Nan Lian Gardens, on the recommendation of some other teachers. It was an absolutely beautiful sunny day, though pretty hot, but it was lovely to find somewhere outside to enjoy it. The gardens were stunning, an idyllic little patch of green amidst the massive skyscrapers of the city. One of the more interesting features were the rocks puffing out clouds of steam - not very sure why, but it was different! The orange traditional-style pavilion in the centre of a pond was certainly a photo-worthy centrepiece to the place, standing out amidst the greenery. There were also some cute water features, including a couple of waterfalls, and a water wheel, with plenty of other pavilions and arches. These made a welcome change to see a more traditional style in the middle of a very modern city.

Nan Lian Gardens, Diamond Hill, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

A Day in the Life: Kindergarten ESL Teacher

     So for anyone who hasn't been paying attention lately, I recently began working in my first real-world, full-time job since graduating university, as a teacher in Hong Kong. I got the job through an agency, who also provide my flat, and have been placed in a kindergarten, where I teach English to the nursery classes, who are around 2-3 year olds. The school also has grades K1-3 (ages 3-6), but the other ESL teachers have those classes. I've worked with children, and non-native English speakers before, so it's not too much of a surprise, but it's certainly different to university life! I'll be posting more in detail about how I'm finding it etc, this is just a general overview of what my average day entails.

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Monday, 7 September 2015

Outfit - Taste of Tartan

     As some people may know, I'm pretty proud to be Scottish anyway, but this tends to get elevated when I'm away from my own country, especially with no other Scots around. So when I was out shopping in Hong Kong one day, I couldn't resist this tartan patterned dress, as a little reminder of my homeland. It also falls into my usual colour palette and style of dress, and of course, is nice and light for the heat here. The ankle boots also remind me of home, as I'm a big fan of boots, but it's more difficult to wear them when it's so warm here, but I can just about stand ankle boots. I didn't bring all my jewellery with me (leaving many of my favourite pieces at home, for safety), but this has allowed me to revisit some pieces I don't wear as often, like these earrings I'd nearly forgotten about!

Taste of Tartan | outfit of short green tartan dress, with brown ankle boots and silver jewellery

Saturday, 5 September 2015

An Afternoon in Tsim Sha Tsui

     The Tsim Sha Tsui area (more commonly called TST) is just a short walk or MTR ride south of where I'm living, in the Kowloon region of Hong Kong. It's one of the more famous and well-known parts of Kowloon, and seems to be where most of the major tourist attractions are located, as well as being the site of one of the best views of Hong Kong Island across Victoria Harbour. I went for a wander round the area last weekend - I certainly didn't have time to visit the various museums there, though I hope to at some point this year, and it was quite a rainy day, but that wasn't going to stop me exploring! I already put my plans for The Peak on hold until better weather, and I'm sure I'll be back in TST on a nicer day too, but I was desperate for a look at that view!

View of Hong Kong skyline from TST, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Musings from a Skyscraper

     Is there anything out there beyond the mass of towers stretching into the heavens? Buildings pop up from the ground in all directions, floor upon floor precariously stacked on each other. Dozens of identical windows line each one, letting the light into the tiny interiors of offices and homes of hundreds of people packed into this dense little square of the earth. The rooftops are flat, blank canvases, sometimes featuring a line of laundry or a patch of garden plants, while many others are void of signs of life entirely. It's a work of human design and construction, the natural landscape almost entirely replaced by this man-made skyline. Peeking out from beyond the concrete pillars, are the rugged outlines of far-off hills, a reminder of the world beyond this labyrinth.

View of Ladies Market and the skyscrapers of Mongkok, Kowloon, Hong Kong
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