Monday, 22 May 2017

5 Things Tag

     I know I've been doing quite a few tag posts lately, and I'll be honest, it's partly due to a lack of inspiration, beyond my travelling adventures - this post from a few weeks back explains where I'm at in this sense. And now I've got several months without travel, and I've already seen so much of Hong Kong, so I may continue to struggle for a while. But I do think tag posts can be a fun, light read, in between some of my lengthier travel pieces, or slightly more serious life-related ones. And they are a little more personal sometimes, so hopefully some readers can get to a know a little more about myself. The content of this blog varies a lot, depending on whatever had piqued my interest at any given time, but a lot of posts can be a bit impersonal at times. Anyways, this tag in particular seemed fun, and a little different than just answering questions. So, here are some different groups of 5 things related to me.

"5 Things Tag" text on background of 5 differently coloured socks on a washing line



5 things you'll find in my bag
1. Book
I got lazy about reading in my free time while I was at university (reading a book per week for my course), and have only recently gotten back into the habit. I carry a book in my bag now for the commute to and from work, which is about 45 minutes each way on the MTR.

2. Umbrella
This was true back in Scotland too, with the notoriously bad weather there, and Hong Kong can be just as temperamental. It might start sunny in the mornings, but it could torrential rain by the afternoon, so I always play it safe by having a brollie tucked away.

3. Notebook & pen
This has been a habit f mine for years, to always have writing utensils on me. Sometimes it's just to note down important reminders, other times it's to scribble away when inspiration strikes. I probably use it less than I used to, as I usually turn to my phone now, but I like to have them there anyway.

4. Lip balm
It's always rattling around in there, yet I never use it a much as I should. Then, when my lips get all dry and cracked, I can never find it again! There's definitely one in there just now, but since the air is so humid these days, I don't use it much right now.

5. Keys I don't need
I have a big chain of different key-rings, which I add to whenever I get a new one, and there's keys on there for various padlocks and boxes (many of which are back home). Obviously I'd normally have house keys on there, but my current apartment opens using a key card - yet I still unnecessarily cart this massive set of key chains around with me all the time!


5 things you'll find in my bedroom
1. Photos
Ever since I moved away from home for university, I've had a bunch of photos printed out of family & friends over the years (I've added to the collection over time) to decorate wherever I've been living. They're not up on my walls right now, as several got damaged (and will need replaced) due to the moisture in here, but they're still in the room!

2. Jewellery roll
I've always loved jewellery, so I always have some with me. Back home I have a massive jewellery box full of it, but for travelling and living abroad I only carry a small roll with me. I also only bring my cheaper items, with less sentimental attachment, for fear of losing them - all the good stuff is back home, which I kind of miss.

3. Drawer of papers and receipts and junk
Everyone has a drawer like this, right? It's the place where I just keep tossing stuff in that I don't know where else to put. Some of it has practical value, like sationary items and my more important documents - but there's also old receipts and boarding passes, Korean travel and bank cards that are now useless, notebooks of lesson plans I definitely don't need, and who knows what else?!

4. More books
There's always one in my bag, but because I've been reading more often lately, I finished off all the books I had from home (I switch books in and out when I'm home or when people visit). So, I bought more. Not the best plan when I've got to get all my stuff back to the UK in a few months, so I'm not getting anymore, but there's a handful of them on the shelf now.

5. Red packets
One of the more unique items I have! Red packets are a tradition at Lunar New Year in Hong Kong, when married couples give them out to their single friends; it's a red envelope with cash inside, and both years I've accumulated a few, mostly from co-workers. The money is long gone now, but the packets all have different designs, so I like to keep them as souvenirs from my time here.


5 things I'm into at the moment
1. Brooklyn Nine Nine
There's some TV shows I watch on a weekly basis, but when all their seasons finish around this time of year, I usually find something to binge over the summer. I started Brooklyn Nine Nine a few weeks ago, and am currently on season 3. I like that's a funny, easy watch, which lets me unwind and have a laugh for half an hour, and it has such a fun and diverse cast of characters.

2. Harry Styles
Ok, bear with me here. Anyone who knows me and my music taste will be surprised to see this on the list, as I was never remotely interested in One Direction. BUT I happened to hear Harry Styles' new single, which prompted me to check out the rest of the album, and I actually really like it! It's got an old-school, rock 'n' roll vibe going on (not the pop-chart stuff I associate with 1D), and a lot of earnestness and honesty to it, making it a bit more up my street than I'd expected.

3. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
Look, it's no secret that I really like all the Marvel films, but after seeing Guardians 2 last week, it might just be my new favourite (well, second to The Winter Soldier, which was just fantastic). I was almost crying with laughter while watching, and it's definitely the funniest Marvel film to date - I wrote a full review, which is here.

4. Iced milk tea
This isn't so much a recent thing, but I feel like I've been drinking more of it lately, so figured I'd mention it here. It's kind a popular thing in Asia, but less so back home, so I'm enjoying it while I can. It's literally just tea with milk and ice, but it's quite sweet too, and I find it very refreshing when I need a caffeine hit on a hot day (iced coffee is good too, but there's just something I really like about the tea).

5. American Gods
The book was on my to-read list forever, and when I found out that it was being adapted into a TV series, I was determined to read it first. I was in the middle of the book when the series started, so I started watching the show anyway, making sure to stay ahead in the book, which I've now finished. The book is excellent, such a unique and interesting take on mythology and modernity, and I'm enjoying the series so far as well, which is sticking to the book well, and has some amazingly graphic, visual scenes, which have been fascinating me.


5 things on my to-do list
1. Write & brainstorm blog posts
This is a staple on my to-do list. I try to have at least a loose blog schedule set out for a couple of weeks in advance, so I'm not scrabbling for ideas at the last minute, and making a half-arsed job of it all. Outfit posts obviously require photographing myself (the current hiatus on these is due to my broken camera, which is away for repair). I try to write posts in advance too, but more often than not, I do them on the day of publication (as I'm doing right now).

2. Portfolios
This is from my work to-do list - I have to put together various pages of the portfolios of my students, which involves making & photographing their artwork, photographing them doing PE, and checking off their English skill levels. Four photos and three pages multiplied by 47 four-year-olds. Great.

3. Get my camera sorted
Speaking of outfit hiatuses and broken cameras, that's a thing I'm having to sort right now. I checked out a few repair options, and the cheapest was actually sending it back to the UK, rather than the Olympus shop here (it's an E-PL7), but that actually meant sending it to the European service centre, in Portugal. Where it's been stuck in customs for nearly 2 weeks, since no one will tell me what I need to provide to get it out, so I' have to keep sending emails to chase people up about it.

4. Research travel destinations
This is a much more fun item on the list. I've started booking some things for my summer of travelling, but there's plenty more still to be arranged. Booking flights and hotels isn't very exciting in itself, but I have to research destination to decide where to go and for how long, so that part is usually a lot more fun. Looking at the prices isn't my favourite part though...

5. Clean this apartment
I'm a terrible person. I'm so lazy about cleaning. Every so often I'll suddenly get fed up with my dirt and mess, and I'll blitz the whole place, but it's been a while since I did that. You'd think it'd be easy to keep such a small place clean, but there's so many nooks and crannies to clean out!


5 things people don't know about me
1. I get weirdly addicted to different games - currently logic puzzles. I don't know how this came about, but it just does. I've gone through various games over the years, and will literally just sit and play them for hours. Not like video games, or action ones - normally some form of puzzle, and ever since my insomnia in Korea, I started doing logic puzzles to occupy my mind. The insomnia is better now, but I'm still addicted to the games!

2. I talk about my job way too much, even if I don't like it. People who hang out with me often do know this one, but blog readers probably don't. I've done this with several jobs over the years - I was probably worst while at summer school, since it took over so much of my time, and I didn't have much else to talk about! I still do it now though, and it's normally to complain about work these days. I'm making an effort now to talk about it less - I don't want to always be thinking about work in my free time - but it still happens.

3. I was really, really good at maths at school. This is nothing new to anyone who knew me in high school, but people that have only known me in recent years, it may come as a surprise. As an ESL teacher with an arts degree (English Lit & French), most people don't expect me to be good at maths. Numbers always came easy to me though, and just made sense every time - I'm talking, like, perfect scores on mock exams here!

4. My second instrument in school was marimba (tuned percussion). Plenty of people know I can play the piano, even if I'm a bit rusty these days, and I did ABRSM exams up to Grade 6. But for the school music exams (Intermediate 2, for those familiar with the system), I had to choose a second instruments, and our school had several huge marimbas available. It was easy to learn, with the layout being identical to the piano, just a slightly different technique. I also played as part of the school's tuned percussion group, where about a dozen of us played arrangements on the five marimbas, xylophones and vibraphone.

5. I used to be able to recite all the Sorting Hat songs. Again, not new for people who knew me when I was younger, but not something that typically comes up in conversation with people these days. I was a massive Harry Potter nerd as a kid (and still am, to an extent), to the point where I would immediately start re-reading the series every time I finished it, and combined with a very good memory, I knew every minute detail of the series. Including the Sorting Hat songs in books one, four, and five, each of which was 3-4 pages long. I've forgotten them now, but it was a good (perhaps slightly embarrassing) party trick when I was a kid.

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