Monday, 27 February 2017

Hiking Sharp Island

     Time for another adventure! Sai Kung was a town, and an area, that I ran out of time to explore much last year, so I've been busy looking up hiking routes around the area. I've got a shortlist now, and Sharp Island was the first one that I managed to check off the other week. It takes a while to get to and from Sai Kung, and sometimes further depending on the starting point of most hikes, plus with the actual hike time, it can be full day out. Sharp Island takes a while to reach, but the hike itself isn't long or strenuous.

Hap Mun Bay, Sharp Island, Hong Kong

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

A Day in the Life: Kindergarten Class Teacher

     New job, new routine. And it is a little different this time around. Obviously, I've worked as an ESL teacher for a while now, this being my third job of that sort, after previously being an ESL teacher in a Hong Kong kindergarten and then a Korean hagwon (read here if you don't know the story of why Korea didn't last long). However, this time I'm not just the English teacher, I'm a class teacher. This means instead of going into several classes a day to teach their English lesson, sometimes repeating the same one to multiple classes, I stay with one class, K2 (4 year olds, starting to turn 5 now) for the entire time they're in school and I'm responsible for everything about them. It's more work in some ways, but I like getting to know just these few kids really well, and it's more fun being around them than in an office for large chunks of the day. I have a Chinese co-teacher too, who generally takes the lead and keeps me right, and they spend a lot of time doing Chinese, Putonghua, having their snack and doing extra activities with other teachers on some days (PE, Drama), so only a small portion is actually teaching them English. Anyway, this is now what my average day looks like...

(source)

Monday, 20 February 2017

Outfit - Classic Flannel

     It's been done a million times before, but there's something so easy and timeless about a checked shirt (as we call it in the UK, flannel is an American term, I just needed a title!) and a pair of jeans. It's also quite versatile really, as although it's a simple, casual style, a well-fitted pair of skinny jeans and some heels - ankle boots in this case - can dress it up a little more. I typically wear checked shirts open, over the top of something else, be it another top or a dress, so wearing it alone and buttoned up is a slight change for me. These are my current favourite jeans, as they're probably the comfiest, best-fitting skinnies I've ever managed to get my hands on. I've thrown on a long cardigan too, nothing that detracts from the shirt as the main item here, but it's not warm enough yet to go without another layer! And I've stuck to simple jewellery to match this casual look.
NB: Anyone wondering what the deal with the big white bandage on my wrist is, I spilled hot water and burned the hell out my hand and wrist the other week, and it's still healing...

Classic Flannel | outfit of blue and white checked shirt, blue skinny jeans and brown heeled ankle boots

Saturday, 18 February 2017

On Compassion & Tolerance

     One step forward, ten steps back? That's how the world has been looking to me lately. Over the years, we as a society have made plenty of advances in our treatment of each other - women have the vote, slavery was abolished, homosexual marriage is legalised in more and more countries. And yet somehow, I still feel deeply, deeply unsettled and disturbed by the state of our world, and by the way in which some humans insist on treating others. This rise of white nationalism and facist "alt-right" behaviours is nothing short of appalling to witness, and big events like the spike in hate crimes after Brexit, and Trump's Muslim ban show the scale that this has now reached.

Uchtdorf quote on compassion
(source)

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Lovers' Rock | Hong Kong

     So anyone who follows me on Instagram may have seen that I posted the below picture on Valentine's Day this week. This was my attempt at a little joke, since I'm single and don't have anything cute to post. There's no way around it - this is a photo of a dick-shaped rock. This isn't just some rock I happened upon though, this is a place in Hong Kong which many people go to visit. It's called Lovers' Rock, and people come here to pray for fertility, a lover, good relationships and the like. I stress, this is not why I visited; I just wanted a giggle at it and the photo to post! There is a bit of a walk involved in getting to it though, so it made for a nice afternoon out.

Lovers Rock, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Monday, 13 February 2017

Outfit - Night & Day

     So this week I had to venture into public spaces to take my photos - the quality is my room is horrible (though I did take the close-ups there) and it's super frustrating that I can't use the roof. I went for a wander to find somewhere though, and came across a quiet-ish side street, with trees and decent lighting. Whenever I go out somewhere now, I'm being conscious of what I wear, to potentially get the photos in new locations, but this street will likely be my go-to when that fails, for now. Anyway, I wanted to wear my white dress in a different combination to last time, a slightly dressier version with my heels and leather jacket. I think this also creates a contrast in style, with the light, girly dress, and the tough, edgy jacket - maybe in summer I'll do a simple, delicate version to match the dress? It's still not a dress I wear out much, for fear of staining it somehow, but I think it's so pretty nonetheless.

Night & Day | outfit of lacy white dress, black leather jacket, with black tights and heeled ankle boots

Saturday, 11 February 2017

First Time Tag

      No, not that first. This tag is about when I did various things for the first time, or do first on a regular basis. I'm so tired after a full week back at work (including a Saturday morning again, I did not miss those while in Korea!) that I couldn't bring myself to write the post I had in mind today - I really should get back into a habit of writing posts in advance again! But I'm a procrastinator. Anyway, I'll hopefully do that other post sometime soon but for today, you've got a tag post. The questions are edited together from a couple of different firsts tag posts I found, and I don't remember where I got them all from.

"First Time Tag' text on ocean sunset background

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Room Tour | Hong Kong Studio

     So moving back to Hong Kong of course means I'm living in a different apartment again. Last year I stayed in one provided by the company I worked for, and while I'm still working for the same company, I opted out of the accommodation offered this time, to find something cheaper on my own.  spent my first week back in HK viewing many apartments, before finally settling on this one, as it was the most reasonable price, with all my required furniture and appliances, and even internet included. It's in Sham Shui Po, just a couple of stops from Mongkok, and around 45-50 minutes to work each day. The building it's in is actually a hotel, so there's the reception if I have any problems, and it's a nicer building than may others, and feels pretty safe. The apartment is on the mezzanine level, so there's no windows, and I do hear a fair bit of noise from the hall, and even the street if people leave the stairwell door open. Aside from what's pictured here, I also have a storage locker in a room down the hall - ideal for my suitcase! - and access to a washing machine in the hall.

Wardrobe and table area of my studio apartment in Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Celebrating Chinese New Year

     Last year I sort of missed out on Chinese New Year, as I was on holiday in Cambodia at the time. And while they still celebrate the Lunar New Year there, we didn't go to any sort of celebrations, so I only really got the run-up in Hong Kong, when there were decorations everywhere, and afterwards married people I knew handed out red packets (married people give them to single people). So I still got that part of it this year, but as I was staying in Hong Kong for the holidays, I decided to go to the city's major celebrations. For locals, it's a time to celebrate with family, usually with a big meal, but there are are larger events that take place, mainly the New Year Parade in Tsim Sha Tsui, and the fireworks display over Victoria Harbour.

Chinese New Year fireworks over Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong, 2017

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Review - Deaf Havana: All These Countless Nights

     Deaf Havana are back with their fourth studio album, and sounding better than ever. I continually sing the praises of James Veck-Gilodi's songwriting talents, and he's done it again, writing a soaring, mature rock album. And when the band were on the verge of calling it quits a few years back, after touring their last record, 'Old Souls', I'm sure I'm not the only one who is grateful that they chose to continue pursuing music.

Deaf Havana - All These Countless Nights album cover artwork
I'm in love with this cover art, by the way!

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