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London Photoblog

Classic design

Whenever I see a classic car I think about design. Last week I saw this 1969 Ford Galaxie 500 near London Bridge in London.

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Photoblog Switzerland

A return to Zurich

I spent January 2020 in Zurich. This was part of my luxurious plan to start 2020 somewhere beautiful with time set aside to indulge in reading, walks and taking photographs.

Ever since my first trip to Zurich in 2017 I’ve been thinking of living in Switzerland. This was also an investigative trip.

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Photoblog

Rainy days in Oslo

I spent a few days in Oslo on my way back to Scotland. It’s a small and peaceful city. The weather was cold, grey and wet, but this only made the short walks followed by hot coffee and snacks at one of the many bakeries and cafes more enjoyable. There are quite a few sights to see, enough to stay entertained for a short break.

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Photoblog

A trip to Singapore

In 2019, I was excited to have the opportunity to visit Singapore. It was a business trip, so I had the chance to see inside a couple of impressive buildings in the financial / corporate district. I was also able to extend my a few extra days to enjoy the local vibe. Prior to 2019, the last time I was in Singapore was 2000. Back then I had just graduated from university and was visiting a Singaporean friend.

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Japan Photoblog

Tokyo tower

It’s December 1st and it was a lovely sunny warm but fresh 16 degrees in Tokyo. I decided to head out for a walk around Tokyo Tower. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while and it was really a beautiful day out.

I started from Hamamatsucho (浜松町) just 15 minutes walk to the East of Tokyo Tower. While Tokyo Tower is a major tourist attraction the surrounding area is to a certain extent  a business district. Due to that I was lucky enough to find a few really nice independent coffee shops that were quite quiet due to it being a Saturday.

Categories
Japan Photoblog Photography

24 hour sushi in Akihabara at Isomaru・アキバの磯丸水産の寿司居酒屋

Tokyo is a beautifully colourful place.

I really appreciate good design in life. When people, businesses and local authorities make an effort. A lot of elements come together to make a place enjoyable. The shape of the buildings, the colours, the cleanliness, the ease of getting around.

Life can be busy, it can get tiring commuting around, rushing to work, rushing to meet people. Everything is a better when the places we go feature interesting and beautiful design.

One of my genuine beliefs is it shouldn’t just be about minimising costs and maximising profits, it should be about making the world a better place.

Categories
Japan Photoblog Photography

Kyoto, around Kawaramachi and Pontocho ・京都の中に河原町や先斗町の周り

For my second photo walk around Kyoto in January I took a stroll around Kawaramachi and Pontocho areas. Just across the river from Gion; the subject of my last Kyoto post.

Categories
Japan Photoblog Photography

Gion, Kyoto ・ 祇園、京都

It’s 2018 and I decided to start the first week of the year with a ‘photo-walk’ around Gion in Kyoto.

Gion is the traditional district of Kyoto, think old style restaurants, souvenirs shops etc.

Categories
Japan Photoblog Photography

Kyoto Railway Museum / 京都鉄道博物館

Today, I went to have a look at the recently opened railway museum in Kyoto. They have 53 historic train cars. I skipped the steam engines; which look quite similar to European models, and focused on the early diesels and electrics.

I don’t know a lot about trains, so I’ll list the model numbers in case you’d like to find out more about any of them.

Categories
London Photoblog Photography Thoughts on Life

Everyday sights in the city

Do you live or work in a city? What do you see on your day to day trip to work?

Last night after work I walked from my client office towards St. Pauls with a colleague. As we were walking I remarked, “doesn’t London have some amazing architecture?”. My colleague; originally from Bulgaria, replied that he loved the area.

Categories
Thoughts on Life

Brick lane, cultural contrasts

Brick lane is famous for it’s Indian restaurants. Historically it’s a Bangladeshi community. This makes it an interesting spot to walk around. In addition to the restaurants you can find market stalls and Indian sweet shops.

Brick lane also hosts food markets at the weekends. There are a number of intersting stores too; vintage fashion, art, vinyl etc.

Categories
Photography Technique

Portraits

A rather unusual entry on my blog. I did a portrait shoot. This is Rosie; a dancer, who lives in London.

Categories
London Photoblog Photography

Chiltern Street, London

Today I went for a walk around Chiltern Street in Marylebone. I think it’s quite a famous spot with its beautiful red-brick townhouses.

I also spotted a couple of nice cars.

I normally take candid street photos, but I’ve been wanting to work on my confidence to ask people if I can take their photo. I saw some friendly-looking people outside of ‘Trunk’ store, it was a lovely scene, so I asked if I could photograph them. They kindly agreed.

Categories
Switzerland

Zurich – a hidden gem

This last Wednesday I had an overnight trip out to Zurich for a business workshop. It was a 4.30 am start, but totally worth it.

The reason I love travel so much is the joy of having a change every day. Even a business trip is an opportunity to meet new people, try local food and if lucky have enough time for a stroll at the end of the day.

The Zurich trip was busy, but I managed to fit in an hour long photo walk around the old town area between eight and nine pm.

Categories
Poetry

Welcome to Fuxing Park

The skies were blue
The trees were bare

French in part
Shanghai at heart

Even with the cool winter air
Warm hearts were there

Dance, play mahjong
Or take a stroll with mum

Welcome to Fuxing Park

Categories
Poetry Thailand

Together

Are you going somewhere?
Wouldn’t it’d be fun if I came too?

I remember the daily trip to school
A mini adventure
On a big double decker bus

Categories
London

Barbican, London – The Japanese House

This year the Barbican centre ran an exhibition; ‘The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945’.

I was impressed by the creative layout, a large gallery was used, in the centre, a life-sized house and garden were installed. This was surrounded by individual galleries telling the story of evolving design in the post-war decades.

What better way to celebrate the economical use of space and thoughtful design present in Japanese homes than to make it a central theme of your exhibition.

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Uncategorized

I’m in Travel + Leisure Mag (June 17)

Good news!…

I’m in Travel + Leisure June 2017.

A couple of months ago one of their researchers contacted me about Shenzhen photos. Last year I spent a day in Shenzhen’s contemporary art centre; OCT Loft. I really love the ‘former industrial building’ becomes ‘contemporary art centre’ thing.

I think re-purposed industrial buildings hold a certain artistic commentary on life and hence provide an interesting contextual background to contemporary art.

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Tate Modern and East London canal-side

Last year Tate Modern; a contemporary art gallery on London’s Southbank, expanded by building a new wing called the Switch House.

One of my favourite things about Tate Modern is the building. It’s a former power station. I think that re-purposing industrial spaces provides a beautiful environment art while also preserving Engineering history.

Categories
Thoughts on Life

Ultimate Dubs UK 2017

I was lucky enough to be invited to Ultimate Dubs by my friend Angus. It’s a Volkswagen / Audi Group (VAG) custom car show.

The love and care that’s gone into some of the cars is really impressive. I’m especially happy to see the classics so well taken care off.

Let’s take a look at the car’s on show, I’ll go by model.

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Uncategorized

Happy Christmas 2016 from London – XMAS Day Photowalk

Happy Christmas to everyone here on WordPress and any others that have found their way to my blog.

Today I want to share a handful of pictures from my Christmas Day photowalk around London. Without further ado:

Categories
Thoughts on Life

A walk around Anstruther harbour

Whenever I visit my mum in Perthshire, Scotland I like to take a trip to the coast. Arbroath, St Andrews, Anstruther, Crail and lots of other villages have lovely harbours.

The fresh sea air is especially lovely when you normally live in a big city. It’s also fun to see the fishing equipment and people at work.

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Uncategorized

Christmas in London 2016

Five days left until Christmas, I think it might be time to inject a little festive cheer into my blog.

Last year I spent Christmas in London, I had a fantastic time taking photos and enjoying the quieter than normal city.  A lot of people leave; presumably to visit family or take the opportunity for a short break. This coupled with the beautiful lights make it a magical place to be.

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Thoughts on Life

Seoul – the view from Bukchon Hanok Village

Seoul – we’ve taken a look at the royal palaces Changdeokgung and Changgyeonggung, we’ve also seen the view from Naksan Park. Now I’d like to share the beautiful view from my favourite area; Bukchon Hanok Village.

It’s a village on a hill in northern Seoul comprised mostly of traditional ‘hanok’ houses.

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Seoul – Ihwa Mural Village and Naksan Park

Another good spot to check out in Seoul is Ihwa Mural Village and Naksan Park with beautiful views across the city.

It’s near to Hunsung University so there are a lot of cafe and cheap food options. It’s also a short walk from both Changgyeonggung and Changdeokgung.

Categories
Thoughts on Life

Changgyeonggung Palace, Seoul, South Korea

I recently posted about Changdeokgung Palace in Seoul. Following that post I received a recommendation to go to Changgyeonggung. It’s right next door. A smaller palace, but less busy and with more stand alone buildings and a park with a lovely pond.

The light was a little difficult when I went and autumn was just ending. But nevertheless some photos came out well; let’s talk a photo walk around Changyeonggung!

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Reflecting on the foggy Tay

Last night I was the lucky recipient of a lovely Christmas meal at The View restaurant in Newport-on-Tay, just opposite Dundee (Scotland). My mum kindly treated me and her husband.

Categories
Thoughts on Life

Bullet journaling and travel memories

A huge thank you to fellow WordPress blogger; bluchikenninja, who’s blog introduced me to the wonderful ‘bullet journal’ system – http://bulletjournal.com/

I love my notepads, but they are normally a mess. Bullet Journal provides a basic system to structure your notebooks for planning, journaling, reference etc.

Categories
Thoughts on Life

Bicycles

On a walk around Bukchon in Seoul on Monday I spotted a bicycle that was nicely colour coded with the background of its parking spot. I started to wonder, “Are cyclists trying to match their bikes to the background of their parking spots?”. I’ve seen this happen too many times for it to be a coincidence!

I cycled quite a lot when I was younger and lived in Aviemore in Scotland. I shared a fairly rusty old Raleigh with my dad. I think it’s given me a fondness for bicycles, especially classicaly styled steel frame bikes.

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Uncategorized

Stairs – a study, Dongdaemun, Seoul

There is relatively modern design plaza in the centre of Seoul. I decided to take a few photographs as the architecture is quite unusual.

This post is about one set of stairs.

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Uncategorized

Changdeokgung, Seoul, South Korea

I’m in Seoul, Korea now! I hopped on a plane and came to Seoul to see a friend. I’ve been travelling about 8 weeks now and I felt like I could really do with seeing a familiar face. I’ve also been dreaming about Korean Chicken and Beer for about a year.

This is my second trip to Seoul. On my first trip I went to one of the Royal Palaces; Gyeongbokgung – it was so beautiful. So on this trip one of my first stops was Changdeokgung; another royal palace, that happens to be a UNESCO heritage site.

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Uncategorized

OCT Loft (Shenzhen Contemporary Art Centre)

I went to OCT Loft in Shenzhen yesterday. It’s a contemporary art centre in a former industrial complex. The look and feel of OCT Loft reminded me of Moganshan 50 (M50) in Shanghai, I posted some pictures about my trip there last year.

I only had a little time so I didn’t go inside many places; but I am definitely going to go back, in the meantime I can share some pictures of the complex and exhibition hall A:

Categories
London

Qi Gong trip to Shenzhen

Another spontaneous trip. I was having a coffee in Hong Kong and suddently felt like going to China. It’s quite easy to get the China visa in Hong Kong, plenty of agencies will handle the whole process for a reasonable fee.

On my last trip I went to Yangshuo in Guilin to do some Tai Chi and Qi Gong. I also visited Shanghai.

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Hong Kong and 2 photos, 2 years apart.

I came back to Hong Kong. The last time I was here was early 2014.

When I was here last time I took this picture from Kowloon of a Junk passing by. That’s Hong Kong Island in the background.

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Uncategorized

Happy birthday Confucius

September 28th marks the anniversary of Confucius’ birthday. I think Confucius must be one of the most recognisable historical names. Do you know a lot about him? My knowledge was limited to some sayings of the form, “Confucous says……” On Sunday I went along to take a look at the Confucius temple in Taipei.

Categories
Japan

Rainy days in Tokyo and thoughts on meditation

I’m enjoying a few rainy days in Tokyo; it’s Typhoon season after all. The rainy days are quite refreshing and a little cooler than the normal late summer heat.

Until the last few days I had been mostly in t-shirts and trainers/sneakers (converse or vans) due to the heat. I prefer to walk around with shoes (brown brogues) and a shirt, so I am kind of happy with it being a little cooler. I can wear a shirt w/out immediatly soaking it in sweat!

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Uncategorized

Ford Ranchero, reading manga, and Nakano sights

I snapped a few nice shots around Tokyo in the last few days. I spotted another sweet classic parked up in Harajuku. This is a Ford Ranchero, it’s the first time I saw one in real life, I think it’s the slightly less popular competitor to the El Camino. This one looks awesome in gloss black.

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A short trip to Asakusa

Today was a chill day. I didn’t have any exercise scheduled. My main plan was to study some Japanese and graphic design and to head over to Asakusa and maybe take a few photos.

To be honest, the day was a bit of a fail, I couldn’t concentrate at all and it was way too hot to walk around taking photos for a long time.

However, I did take a few shots in Asakusa. The area is famous for Sensoji 浅草寺 – it’s a temple complex that many people visit. There are a lot of shops selling traditional japanese products. There are also a lot of traditional restaurants.

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Sendagaya Jeep

The highlight of the day was a classic jeep spotted in Sendagaya (千駄ヶ谷), Tokyo (東京)

I saw this on the way from the Tokyo Metropolitan Gym to Omotesando. The metropolitan gym has a training room, pool and finess studio available for public use for 600 yen per session. It’s great for visitors who don’t want the hassle of a membership.

Categories
Germany

London to Tokyo via Frankfurt

My last three months – suits, ironing,  americanos, the client office, ms excel, paper, meetings, timetables, stress relief beer, stress relief chocolate and escapism netflix.

But I finished up last Friday in London, it’s Thursday now and I’m sitting in Starbucks Omotesando in Tokyo.

Categories
Poetry Thailand

Look up, head raised high

Look up, head raised high,
Beauty hides plainly in sight,
Not just a blue sky,

In modern rushed lives,
Head oft down, in phones we drown,
Wake up! it’s a choice.

Categories
Poetry Thailand

Through the window (on the bus in Bangkok)

Young or old,
Is there anywhere you want to go?

Look out for them,
Charging around, in a bright flash of red or blue.

You have to share,
But a sense of community can be found their.

Relax in your seat,
A moment of freedom is found.

Books, music, snooze or chat,
What will you do?

I will simply sit back and enjoy the view.

Categories
Thailand

Getting wet in Bangkok

As I left my apartment I looked carefully in all directions; making sure it was clear, I immediately flagged down a taxi. I had to be quick, I knew they could be waiting, just out of sight, ready to get me. As soon as I was in the taxi the driver locked the doors and warned me not to open the window. We both knew the danger.

The roads were busy, but the driver was good, he rushed down some side streets. I might still make my appointment.

Categories
Thailand Thoughts on Life

Life’s changing perspective

Yesterday afternoon I was browsing wordpress and I saw the discover challenge  to post about perspective. Coincidently earlier that morning I took a photo of two work men from an unusual top down perspective as they sat on a truck cab.

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Christmas in London – part II

I survived Christmas alone in London.

Actually; and I feel guilty saying this, it was delightful.

I missed my mum; it is a time when everyone is talking about family. However thanks to yoga, meditation, reading and learning I was able to keep a reasonable perspective. It’s just another day, I saw my mum recently, and I will see her again soon. The other matter; a girlfriend, hopefully I will meet someone I match with soon.

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Christmas in London

Too busy to write. Just over 4 weeks ago I started a new contract. Despite quite a bit of experience I still feel nervous at a new client. That’s my excuse for not posting on my blog.

But I want to write. I want to post. I miss it.

I hadn’t taken any photos in 4/5 weeks. I was starting to feel as though losing myself. I finally woke up and took my camera out on Saturday, the thought in mind; get some Christmassy photos.

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Walk around Shoreditch

I’d love to take you on a ‘blog photo walk’ around Shoreditch; my favourite parts of East London.

Historically a poor area, with low rents it became a hub for creatives. As can happen the art scene attracted others, prices started to rise and some have been priced out. But, to my mind, it now has a good mix of artists and creature comforts; good apartments, cafes, bars, restaurants, independent galleries and fashion stores.

Categories
Poetry

Autumn leaves and Haiku thoughts

as autumn leaves us,
so do green leaves, goodbye with,
a final flourish.

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Uncategorized

Moganshan 50 Shanghai (M50)

I had a dream-like three weeks in shanghai earlier this year. I want to introduce you to m50; the contemperary art district.

Shanghai itself is a bit of an enigma, it’s China of course; but also very much it’s own place. The history is fascinating and provides background perspective on the modern day relationship between east and west. Shanghai also has it’s own dialect and other Chinese people may consider the Shanghainese as overly proud.

Categories
Poetry

Tower Bridge

Stately stone towers,
Stand over the Thames river,
Watching years go bye.

An iconic sight,
That sighs when misguided types,
Say “it’s London Bridge”.

Remember ’Tower’;
London’s majestic lady,
And favourite Bridge.