Posts in photography
Inspire: Patterned Floors
 

We love patterns. I mean who doesn’t. They are pretty much everywhere if you look. 
We were going through some photos the other day and came across a bunch that we took in Italy last year,(mental note to label digital photo folders) and we thought we’d share.

 
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I mean they are pretty, don’t you think? These were taken at Pompeii and Herculaneum, have you ever been? It’s amazing how well preserved the floors are, and even more amazing how lavish the floors were back then. Anyways, finding these has us inspired all over again. 

 
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l o v e

v x

Analogue Love: Holga Happy Accidents
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A n a l o g u e <3

Holga - Happy Accidents

I took the trusty Holga (see previous here) out for a spin a few months back, as with these toy-like cameras unpredictability is common or at least it is with me. But I love a happy accident, don’t you? Anyways, Holga came with me to Bucharest and Scotland.

Bucuresti, Romania April 2018

Bucuresti, Romania April 2018

Bucuresti, Romania April 2018

Bucuresti, Romania April 2018

Bucuresti, Romania April 2018

Bucuresti, Romania April 2018

Bucuresti, Romania April 2018

Bucuresti, Romania April 2018

With light leaks, wrong frames and double exposures a go-go I think there is something quite interesting about them. Some disagree (the boy), I’m open to discussion.

St Andrews, Scotland June 2018

St Andrews, Scotland June 2018

Dores, Scotland June 2018

Dores, Scotland June 2018

Tayport, Scotland June 2018

Tayport, Scotland June 2018

#staybrokeshootfilm - am I right?

Happy Monday folks.

vx

All images shot on a Holga with Lomography 120 XR 50200 Redscale Film - can be found here

Travel Diary: Transylvania, Romania
 
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At the beginning of March, we took a very short but sweet trip to Transylvania, Romania. We didn't know what to expect from our first trip to the home of Dracula, but we have to admit, it excelled our expectations. 

From Berlin you can fly to Cluj, a University city complete with historical buildings and a bustling nightlife. We spent only a day here but it was enough to get a sense of the place and appreciate Romanian city life. We stopped for a coffee in a very hipster style coffee shop, Meron where we enjoyed some fancy pour-over and aero-press coffees. 

We were able to enjoy the nightlife without feeling like the oldest in the bar (it is a student town after all), favourite spot of the night was certainly Booha. Although the London Bar opposite looked to be the most popular amongst the locals. 

Most of the trip was spent in and around the town ( it was huge) of Sibiu, which with it's historical centre is a very charming town. From the clock tower in the centre you can have a 360 view of the entire town with the breathtaking Carpathian mountains in the distance. It is easy to feel that you are in a fairytale in Sibiu, he streets are narrow and the buildings have a very nice charm. It was also fairly easy to get into the countryside within an hour we were able to drive up to the cable car station of Balea Lake. Where in the winter they build an Ice Hotel where one can sleep overnight for a mere €150/night. I tried the beds, they weren't as comfy as I'd like. The snow had covered the lake and it was hard to tell where the land ended and the sky began at times.  

After eating our weight in fried romanian goodness for four days it was time to say ciao to Transylvania. Just a mini trip this time but we will be sure to go back. Soon.

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xoXo

B&W Photos: Pentax K1000, all others iPhone 6/iPhone 7

 
Analgoue Love: Hong Kong
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We've been located in London for just over a year now and we ain't going to lie, we be missing Hong Kong. The crazy weather, the friends, the streets. We came across some old shots taken from our time living in the 852 with our analogue gear the other day and we'd thought we'd share.

Wanchai

Wanchai

Connaught Road, Sheung Wan

Connaught Road, Sheung Wan

Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay

Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay

July 1st Handover Day Protest, Causeway Bay

July 1st Handover Day Protest, Causeway Bay

Mong MTR Station

Mong MTR Station

Mong Kok

Mong Kok

Cheung Chau

Cheung Chau

 

'Til we meet again.....xx

 

All photos by me on Pentax K1000, Diana, Holga and an old Nikon using mostly Lomo film.

Analogue Love: Olympus XA2
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People often ask me why I have so many cameras (sometimes I question it myself), but each camera is different. For great photos I would always trust my Pentax, for fun double exposure nonsense I would use the Holga or Diana. I was without a compact 35mm camera for awhile, I had my eyes on the LOMO LC-A camera when I got my mits on the Olympus XA2 - a not so distant relative of said LOMO camera. This gem is small enough to go into a small handbag and is pretty durable, meaning it can withstand a day out with me. 

Yangzhou, China 2013

Yangzhou, China 2013

Yangzhou, China 2013

Yangzhou, China 2013

Yangzhou, China 2013

Yangzhou, China 2013

Another great function is that although it is pretty much a point and shoot you can adjust the ASA so you can (to some extent) use my fave Redscale XR film from LOMO. I've gotten some really great shots with this little gem and even though the redscale was a little too red on some I still love the outcomes. Perfect little camera for snapping fun times.

Siena, Italy 2014

Siena, Italy 2014

Siena, Italy 2014

Siena, Italy 2014

 
 

View from Victoria Peak, Hong Kong 2015

 
 
Lai Tak Tsuen Estate, Hong Kong 2015

Lai Tak Tsuen Estate, Hong Kong 2015

 
 
Lai Tak Tsuen Estate, Hong Kong 2015

Lai Tak Tsuen Estate, Hong Kong 2015

 
 
Maldives, 2015

Maldives, 2015

 
 
Strathaven Park, UK 2015

Strathaven Park, UK 2015

 
 

Happy capturing!

xoxo

All photos by me.

 
Analogue Love: Yashica
 
Analogue Love Yashica

When I was in the States a couple of years ago I picked up this little 35mm Yashica on a trip to Goodwill or was it Savers...where ever it was they are both filled with so many things I wanted. Thrifting is SO much better in America. Anyway, this modern film camera was a dollar fifty so I said to myself, why not! It unlike the rest of my analogues as it has an automatic progressing system. A basic point and shoot if there ever was one. I've not used it as much as the others but it has produced some interesting pics and may get another outing soon. I used the standard black & white 400 speed Lomography film, my go to place for film (the HK store is round the corner from my house). With some dodgy batteries and film in, I took the Yashica out on an expedition in and around the city. I wasn't so used to the way this camera functions and I was having trouble even taking photos (the dodgy batteries). Once I got used to the system it was easier to handle (slightly embarrassed at the lack of ability here). Unsure of what would be developed from the roll I am pleasantly surprised by some of the results, check them out below:

Analogue Love Yashica 1
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Analogue Love Yashica 3

The above shots were taken on the way and on Cheung Chau. A great little fishing village, 30 or so minutes from Hong Kong Island.

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Analogue Love Yashica 5

Back alleys are always a great insight on how a city lives, hanging laundry is a permanent feature of older Hong Kong buildings. 

Analogue Love Yashica 6
Analoge Love Yashica 7
 

The contrast between the cobbled streets and the high rises never ceases to amaze me. For how much longer we will have the older I am not sure. Think it might be time to dust off the ol' Yashica and capture some more moments.

It's almost the weekend!

vx

All photos by me. 

Travel Diary: Tokyo
 

I love Japan. Like really LOVE Japan. I knew that this trip to Tokyo would be amazing but it excelled every one of my expectations. Even with the bad weather. Japan, you stole my heart.

This trip to Japan was during our Easter holidays, a total of 12 days in Japan split between Tokyo and Kyoto - will update you in this very soon. We had planned this trip mostly to see the cherry blossom (as did thousands of others) but also because neither of us had spent any time in Tokyo and what better time to go.

We arrived in Tokyo very early Friday morning, but even then I could tell it was amazing. Even the taxi driver was excited - think he thought he was in a race his driving was so speedy. As it was high season we opted for an airbnb which was located in the Roppongi district. Known for its restaurants and bars we were lucky to discover that our place was still within walking distance to the main area but far enough away not to feel like we lived there. Although our apartment was small it was adequate and had everything we needed. I'd heard that accommodation in Tokyo was small for the price so it came as no real surprise. 

We spent the next day wandering, we had picked up a free copy of TimeOut which was useful in someways but the free maps they have for each district are quite good and can be helpful when the GPS isn't behaving. Getting around Tokyo is fairly easy by the trains with most journeys costing between 150-180yen. We spent the morning walking around the Imperial Palace, (secretly hoping to see Murakami) the cherry blossom here was super pretty. When the wind blew it was like being inside a snow globe. My favourite spot we went to the first day was the 300 Bar, where everything on the menu was 300yen and you stood at high tables. It was a super hip and relaxed vibe with cool patrons and staff mixed with salary men. 

Tokyo4

On the Saturday were to join some of the boy's friends for Hanami - tradition of gathering at the park under the cherry blossom for a picnic, party, fiesta. We were to meet at Yoyogi Park near Harajuku. It is one of Tokyo's largest parks and yet it was filled with people all out to celebrate the season. Fast food vendors lined the entranceways selling everything from chocolate covered bananas on sticks to grilled octopus balls. Fast food is better in Japan. Once we located our party we settled down on the tarp and enjoyed the music from the surrounding groups. Some on guitar, some through speakers. Such a great way to spend spring afternoons. Saturday night saw us at Baseball. 'Let's Go Giants!' It was pretty hard not to get into the spirit of the game, especially when both the home and away crowd were so passionate. There was also beers, burgers and brass bands. What's not to love! 

Tokyo 3

The rest of the weekend was spent eating our way round the various districts, soufflé pancakes, ramen, Katsudon (so very delicious), DIY okonomiyaki, sushi we pretty much ate it all. The highlight of our Monday came from the fabulous and shiny Robot Restaurant. More just a show that a restaurant but it was so amazing I ain't going to argue. Seated in rows facing one another crowd is in awe of the spectacle of robot wonder before them. The story lines are a little strange but visually its worth it. You even get a lightstick to participate in for the final number. Sadly you had to hand it back. (reluctantly) If ever in Tokyo head to the Robot Restaurant in Shibuya it won't let you down. Check out TimeOut magazine and maps for discount on your tickets and recommend to book in advance - it really is that popular.

Tokyo Fish Market

With an afternoon flight to Kyoto the next day we thought we'd get an early night so we could head to the Tsukiji fish market early in the morning. And it was totally worth it. The fish was being brought in and displayed for sale in the many vendors within the market. Every kind you could imagine. And at the very back the prized tuna auction was taking place - which it seems we were not allowed to see. Ushered out by an official looking gentleman with a clipboard and a not before 9am sign. With our sneaking through fish moments over we headed to the area of restaurants to get some breakfast. And I am not joking when I say it was THE best sashimi i've ever had. Teamed with hot green tea ( it was chilly and rainy), perfect way to start the day.

We were able to spend the last couple of days of our Japan trip back in Tokyo.  When I told friends that I was planning on going to Disneyland, they were like 'REALLY?!'. They didn't understand the love I have for Disney. And I am not ashamed to say it, especially now that I have been to them all. (well almost, I wasn't allowed to spend another day at Tokyo DisneySea). Everything about Tokyo Disneyland was I had expected - Good Times were had. And how to finish the night after an epic Disney day?  A 3hr Karaoke session ofcourse, first song was ofcourse 'Let it go'. For this final leg of our stay we stayed at another airBnB in Shinjuku. This one was great, the space was a cute apartment with everything you could need and the host was super helpful and even had someone drive us to the station as it was pouring with rain. I would highly recommend his place. I only wish we had stayed there longer (didn't actually want to leave).  After reading something about this bar in a magazine the boy suggested we visit Kodoji in the Golden Gai. Similar to the hutongs in Beijing, the Golden Gai is a maze of mini bars (I believe I said it was AWESOME out loud about 10 times) with many up steep stairs. The Photographer's Bar as its known hosts exhibitions of local and international photographers. Once located (it took a couple of circuits) we headed up the stairs and pushed opened the door. We were immediately inside the bar. With only 2 spare seats (there was a total of around 8) we squeezed our way in and told the cutest little old lady our order. The walls and the ceiling were covered in images, with stacks of books on photography it obvious to see how it got its name. It's the perfect haven from the crazy streets of Shinjuku and if you have a love for photography you will most likely find someone in there to discuss it with.

I can't stress enough how amazing Japan is, the people, the food, everything! Possibly one the best trips I have taken in a long time. I can't wait to go back. Stay tuned for the Kyoto instalment of this trip.

 

ありがとう Tokyo 

 

xo

All photos taken by me. 

Black & White : Pentax K1000, All others with iPhone 5.

 

 

 
Travel Diary: Shanghai

When the boy asks 'do you want to go to Shanghai for the weekend?' you don't hesitate to answer with a big YES. With our bags packed and cameras ready we flew up to Hong Kong's sister city.

I had only ever been in Shanghai for work so this was my first tourist trip and it was amazing. I didn't want to leave. Our refuge for the trip was a little apartment in an old building on Anfu Lu that we came across on Airbnb. It was perfectly located in the Former French Concession (FFC) with plenty of cafes and shops as well as hawkers selling their wares on carts.

Day one was to be a surprise I was told, I was to bring my camera and was assured I would love it. When I spotted a cute vintage motorbike and sidecar, I said 'thats what we need, one of those'. Little did I think that was actually what we were going to be sightseeing on. Best surprise ever (might have cried, but sh!). The sidecar belonged to a group called 'The Insiders' which you can hire for full or half day. The driver will take you wherever you want to go depending on what you want to see. I love 20/30s architecture and all things old timey so we drove across the city in search of hidden gems as well as soon to be lost ones.

Jack's Villa Shanghai 1930s house
Jack's Villa Shanghai 1930s house
Alleyways, Shanghai 1930s
Alleyways, Shanghai 1930s
Torn down housing Shanghai
Torn down housing Shanghai

We were told that due to the popularity of the Xin Tian Di area, older local communities were being forced to move to make way for more shopping areas. Some of the people living in these low-rise homes have stood their ground (for now) and are re-fusing to move, living in an area which the developers have already begun demolishing. It was quite eerie to see, but those that we passed seem to be continuing life as normal.

Driving through the city like we did was by far the best way to do some sightseeing. We whizzed past markets and weaved through busy shopping streets. Truly amazing.

Day Two of the trip started with some yummy breakie and then a wander through the street of the FFC. The FFC is beautiful, the streets are lined with trees, all the buildings are no higher than 3 or 4 stories. Such a contrast to the ever growing skyline of Hong Kong.

We ended up over at an antique flea market where there was stalls aplenty with various curios for sale. It is fair to say that I was more than a little excited by the many vintage tins and random pieces of furniture. I was kicking myself for only bringing a carry on suitcase. That Golden Cock biscuit tin though, that did make it home with me. I HAD to have it.

I also purchased this adorable mini doctors bag for the shop...you can take a peak here

Day Three involved lots of art...gallery and street types. We headed over to the M50 area, an industrial area which has been converted to art galleries. There were many different types of buildings all holding different types of art. There was also some interesting wall art around, I particularly liked the patterns on the bricks.

On another of our wanders we walked down The Bund and I was amazed at how amazing the many hotels and banks are. The interior details had me in awe, you can just imagine what it must've been like in the 30s before the war. We nipped up to the roof of the Park Hotel for a drink and stared out over to Pudong and its ever evolving skyline. The world's second highest building is currently under construction. I am sure it is a remarkable feet of engineering but give me the stone architecture of The Bund over it any day.

Shanghai stole a piece of my heart, take me back. Please!

xoxo

All photos by me. 35mm Pentax or iPhone.

Analogue Love
holga lomography camera
holga lomography camera

The sturdier brother to Diana is the subject of this instalment of Analogue Love. Holga, boxy and slightly more manly in appearance than the Diana is almost the same in function, with the exception of the built in flash - not all models come with flash. I'm not sure why I needed to have one of these bad boys ( I had an overwhelming to desire to own one) but I managed to score this one at a flea market here in HK. It was so much cheaper than the Lomo ones online and I even did some light bartering. Win, win. We haven't had quite so many adventures together but when I have taken it out with me recently I have been using Fujichrome Velvia 100F slide film (this will need to be cross processed when developed). This film is best in bright sunny environments which South East Asia provides nicely (and thankfully) I was lucky enough to travel to various spots to capture romantic toy camera moments. As ever light leaks and double exposures are happy accidents. As you will see from my initial snaps I had some trouble with the film advance, at first I was kinda annoyed at myself but really it adds another layer (literally) to what could possible be a boring photo.

Church near Sedona, Holga
Church near Sedona, Holga

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Hong Kong Roads Holga
Hong Kong Roads Holga
Transport in Seminyak Holga
Transport in Seminyak Holga

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Bohol Street Holga
Bohol Street Holga
Hong Kong Harbour Holga
Hong Kong Harbour Holga

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It really is a super easy to use and handle camera with results that always make me smile. I'm not sure I prefer to the Diana but it is a close call.

If you had to chose which wins Diana or Holga?

Happy Snapping!

xoxo

Travel Diary: Umbria

When one of your dearest friends is getting married you don’t hesitate to RSVP. And luckily for me her wedding was in Italy, a place I had yet to travel to (thank you Amelia and Dave).  Her family had a home near Perguia in the region of Umbria, this was to be the setting for the wedding and it was idyllic. A picture postcard if you will.  We were staying at an agriturismo near by the wedding house - Sant’Illuminato. It was perfect, an ideal lodging in an ideal setting. Italy had won me over and I had only been there half an hour. (countryside, sunshine, wine and cheese - winner every time)

Asides from being in a great location the wedding was bringing together friends from all around the world. The wedding itself was incredible and there may have been some tears (sobbing happened), there was certainly some laughs and lots and lots of dancing.  A memorable one for sure. Such a beautiful day.

In the days after the wedding a group of us made the most of it and headed out on a road trip to Siena. Winding roads and hangovers aside the journey was a picturesque one. Arriving in Siena we made the most of the afternoon by grabbing a seat in the Campo and sipping on some Aperol Spritz. Before purchasing the worlds biggest hat and gelato, and wandering around the town.

On the way back we stopped for some more meat and cheese (obviously) and stared over Lake Turismo.

All in all it was a beautiful 5 days, amazing wedding, amazing company and so much good food I didn’t want to leave.

Gratzi Mille Italy (and Mr & Mrs Allen)

xoxo

All Photos by me  - iPhone, Pentax and Olympus X2

Analogue Love
analogue love smena

analogue love smena Sometimes I like to wander over to ebay and browse the many, many vintage cameras that people have to sell. In an ideal world I would trawl through charity shops and antique malls in person but I live in Hong Kong where these sorts of places are rare and very very tiny hole in the walls. With ebay you can search from your sofa and you can travel the world seeing what it has to offer. On one such wander I came across a Smena 8 camera, I liked the look of this little gem and decided to watch it for awhile. It didn't take me too long to go back and purchase said camera...be sure to check that if you want to use cameras bought from ebay (or other sites) that they are in working order. When it arrived a week or so later (from Bulgaria) I was very excited to use it. It was similar to the Diana but with more twisty bits with numbers, the instruction booklet was in Russian so I just trusted my gut and loaded a film.

Now, confession time. I have only shot with this camera once and had actually forgot about it until I was going through some photographs (I'm ashamed). That being said I actually like how some of the photos turned out and will need to pack it for my next adventure. Below are some of my shots from that debut roll, I was in Manila for the weekend and took the Smena with me. It's a wonderful city and had plenty of things to capture.

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20130802-R1-09

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I love it when things are rediscovered, don't you?

 

xoxo

Analogue Love
analogue love2

analogue love2 In my opinion you are never too old to play with toys especially when they are toys cameras. My long standing favourite ‘toy’ camera is of course the Diana. I am lucky enough to own an original ‘Made in Hong Kong’ Diana, this was my first and we travelled far and wide together until I took just too many photos with her. Due to a spring malfunction on the aperture switch she had to go in to retirement. (There may have been tears in the back of Johnny’s tuktuk when this was first discovered, what can I say I get attached to things easily.)

 

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R1-35

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I loved using the Diana it was so simple and the photos always had an imperfect quality that I really like. And they are square! It wasn’t long before I came into possession of a new Diana F+ CMYK, which allowed me to continue to shoot square gems, and in the dark this time too.

HK

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R1-00

R1-11

Nostalgia gets me every time. Love these cameras.

 

Lomo-love

 

Happy Photo-taking!

 

xoxo

Travel Diary: Bohol

Travel more has always been on my goal list and I actually can't believe how lucky I have been this year with the travelling I have done. Very happy girly. Last month I ventured to the island of Bohol in the Philippines for a relaxing few days for the Buddhas birthday. Once we landed we were whisked away to the port to take our little boat to the island of Cabilao on the west of Bohol. Here we spent a couple of days soaking up the sun, snorkeling and I even tried Scuba Diving for the first time. *very pleased with myself face*

After Cabilao we headed back to the mainland where we rented some scooters to drive to Bohol Bee Farm. As it was my first time to drive a scooter I was a little wary and thought I was speeding at 40km/h - I'm so wild. We eventually reached the Bee Farm and were blown away at the location. Situated at the edge of a cliff with a sun deck on the sea you couldn't really ask for better. We scoffed some yummy organic treats before basking in the afternoon sun. Highly recommend it.

The next morning after some breakfast we headed to back out on the road to Anda with a (massive) detour to the Chocolate Hills. The road to the Chocolate Hills was long, winding and up hill but it was beautiful. Just fields of green and little villages dotted here and there. It was all worth it. Sadly the damage of last years earthquake was still very visible with many churches taking the brunt.

The road to Anda took us along the coast, it was incredible...until it got dark. Then it was just a race to get to our accommodation. With numb bums and sun burn we arrived at the guest house which would be our home for the next few days. It wasn't til we woke the next day we saw just the paradise out of our window. Crystal clear ocean for as far as we could see. It was amazing. For someone who after a bad experience of snorkeling in Bali (jellyfish stings etc) I was all over it in Bohol, even saw Nemo! And some really impressive looking urchins.

All in all, I loved this little impromptu holiday. Bohol exceeded my expectations and it was very hard to board the plane for the return journey home.

Take me back.

xoxo

all photos taken by me with my Pentax and iPhone. x

Analogue Love
analoguelove1

analoguelove1 It's a well known fact that I love film photography, so many things about it excite me. From taking the photos to the end results (especially the end results) I love the process. I am incredibly fortunate to have many a vintage and new film cameras and I thought I would share some of my images with these here.

First up is my favourite the Pentax K1000. It takes by far the best photos - i LOVE it. I have travelled to many places and captured countless images with this gem. I have used standard 35mm film which gives me gorgeous photos but I also love to shoot with the Lomo Redscale XR 50-200 which at the moment is out of stock - I do hope they make some more. This film is the best for sunny trips to the beach or desert as the colours are saturated and have a dreamier quality than regular film.

I don't shoot nearly as much as I'd like to, must try to change that. Here are some of my favourite images taken on my trusty Pentax.

Analogue Love 1

Analogue Love 2

Analogue Love 3

Analogue Love 4

Analogue Love 5

Analogue Love 6

Analogue Love 7

WWII Tunnels, Hong Kong 2014

 

vic & lily <3 angalogue

Happy Photo-taking!

xoxo

 

Travel Diary: Kyoto, Japan
 

This post will be as short and sweet as the trip itself but I had to share some pics and amazing vintage stores. A week after my beautiful Bali trip ended I headed to Kyoto for the weekend, complete opposites in more than one way. We landed in Osaka to find a light dusting of snow on the ground. Needless to say I was panicking - snow does not make for good marathon running weather ( the reason I was there). Trying to keep my cool we boarded the train that takes you to Kyoto Station and from here we took their version of the underground to our accommodation. We were staying down the smallest street in the cutest traditional Japanese style home that we found on airbnb. The marathon was on the Sunday so we had the whole day Saturday to explore the city while I still had power in my legs.

Despite the rain we managed to see quite a lot and enjoy some yummy eats. I absolutely loved Kyoto, there were sightings of Geishas, the smallest Scottish bar ran by a whiskey loving Japanese man and vintage stores galore. Not to mention the food. Food was good.

I managed to hit three vintage stores, I wanted pretty much everything especially the homewares but had to refrain due to lack of luggage (and cash, haha). There was Chicago which was the first one I came across down Teramachi. They had everything from dresses to denims and some pretty Kimonos. Next we wandered (read: I dragged the boy) into Roger's, this was where I fell in love with glassware, beer signage, round suitcases...I could go on. They also had a lot of clothing and shoes for both girls and boys. Finally, using some of the free wifi (we were the awkward looking tourists, hovering around) we managed to get the location of Hanjiro a vintage store I read about online. A few minutes later (thank you google maps) we arrived at the coolest vintage shop I've ever been to.

Bath tubs filled with fish, old stained glass windows and chandelier heaven, it took me awhile to focus on the clothing. I didn't leave this store empty handed, I picked up an old navajo style blanket and this beautiful red scarf. I love it, i've worn it multiple times since (actually wearing it as I type).

For antique homewares there was blue Parrot which had two stores at either end of Marutamachi Street. Worth checking out for sure.

Onto Race Day where I took to the roads of Kyoto to run 26.2 miles. I was incredibly nervous and wasn't sure if I was going to manage it. I wanted to finish in under 5 hours (due to lack of training), my target time was 4.30.

With the help of the amazing crowd (I love Japanese people, this became my mantra as I was running round) and an eclectic playlist (90s music never sounded so good) I managed to meet my target. It was as mentally gruelling as it was physically, but I did it and I am proud. I told myself I would never do it again, but then I entered the NYC Marathon draw. And I was accepted. I am a glutton for punishment.

I heart you Kyoto, take me back.   xoxo

All photos taken with my iPhone with exception of me running - courtesy of Kyoto Marathon.

 
Travel Diary: Bali, Indonesia

The year of the Horse brought with it a trip to Bali. A trip with some of my nearest and dearest friends was always going to be a good one but everything about this trip excelled my expectations.

I was lucky enough to stay in 3 different locations across the 10 days we were there.

First up was Seminyak. This area was a mecca for local boutiques of both fashion and interiors and there was some yummy eats too. We spent most of our time here relaxing and get some serious tan (read sunburn), the beach was close to our villa and we were within walking distance to places like La Plancha. Bean bags are always a winner for sundowners.

Next we headed to Ubud for some time with nature. And there was plenty of it. The villa we rented backed onto to rice paddies which was home to every insect imaginable and some friendly frogs. While we were here we took a cooking class with the friendly husband and wife team at Paon Bali Cooking. A meal is far more satisfying when you cook it yourself...we ate ourselves into a coma.

We also decided to rent some bicycles here to ride into town, great idea at the time but with narrow roads, traffic and torrential rain it made for some interesting cycling. We did however get to see some really pretty shops, temples and passed a couple of aggressive looking monkeys too (there is a whole forest you can visit).

Our last destination was the island of Gili Trawangan a 2 hour boat journey from the main island. To say its worth it is an understatement. Paradise (with an Irish bar) awaits you when you arrive.

We stayed on the North side of the island a short and sometimes risky horse and cart ride away from the main drag.  There is no cars on the island but it is walkable and you can rent bicycles here too - make sure its from a place with maintained bikes, you don't want to be doing an emergency chain repair in the dark. (Not that, that happened to us, ahem). I loved it here, there was pretty nothing much to do except relax. Perfect getaway. I did stumble upon a cute vintage shop, Casa Vintage which had some pretty dresses and leather bags. They also sell online too.

If you ever make the trip to Gili T I highly recommend sitting up top deck on the boat but when they say you will get wet the are not joking. Make sure you have a waterproof bag with you...or someone downstairs to look after it. The gentle sea spray turns into face slapping waves, which provided us with many a laugh inbetween.

Take me back...xoxo

all photos by me using my Holga(perfect for sunshine beach holidays), Olympus XA2 and iPhone.

*Side note: our evenings in Ubud were spent playing some hilarious games of Charades. We girls know how to have fun.

Travel Diary: Boracay, Philippines

Living in such a chaotic city makes traveling to paradise so much sweeter. I recently took a trip to the beautiful island of Boracay in the Philippines. With crystal clear waters and white sand it was hard not to love the place. My favourite morning ritual was to grab a mango and banana shake after a run, super tasty.

Quite the avid wanderer I took the chance to walk to the other side of the island with my camera in hand. Island life was a far cry from the skyscrapers of Hong Kong with many homes made from wood with woven leaf roofs. I instantly fell in love with the colours of the houses and local businesses. Such an eclectic mix making them stand out from the leafy green backgrounds.

Such an amazing place, with nothing to do but sit back and relax. The main beach offered various watersport activities and boat trips. I took the opportunity to go along on one of the boat trips which take you to the perfect snorkeling spots around the island with the hope of spotting Nemo. I didn't catch a glimpse of the little clown fish but did see plenty of others. The best grub on the island was most certainly the seafood that we had on our boat trip, we stopped in a cove where they grilled a whole fish and served it with a homemade sauce and rice. Simple and delicious.

With the cold weather still lurking here in HK I am dreaming of the warmer climes of Boracay. I will definitely be back.

xoxo

all photos by me on DSLR or iPhone.

Insta-vic...
insta-vic9

Its been awhile...apologies. While I haven't been blogging (hope to share a new post soon), I have been still using instagram to document what has been going on over here...hope you enjoy! [gallery columns="2" link="file" ids="569,570,571,572,573,574,575,576,577,578"]

1: Rear Windows / Staircase Patterns

2: Hollyweird Graff / Tarnished Surfaces

3: Umbrellas - HK most needed item / Bestie Back in Town

4: Adopted this little guy / Nature Strikes Back

5: One of the many Markets / A rare sighting of Blue Sky

What have you been snapping of late?

follow me: @vicandlily for more snapshots

xoxo

Insta-vic...
iv6

Some snap shots of my life this year (its been awhile, sorry)... [gallery columns="2" ids="549,547,548,551,550,552,553,555,554,556"]

line 1: Ferry Adventures / Sea & Sand on Cheung Chau

line 2: Fruity Beer (yum) / Starry Lunch

line 3: Fave new boots (I also have a black and leopard pair - obsessed?) / Heart this watch

line 4: Fabric market in SSP / Designing Fall Collection

line 5: Band Practice / #TBT Old pic of my sis and me

Have a happy and fun weekend all!

I'll be holding a stall at the Island East Markets in Quarry Bay for anyone in HK that wants to stop by!

xoxo

Insta-vic...
vic&lily

[gallery link="file" columns="2" orderby="title"] These past few weeks have been busy, busy here. Attempting to get back into the swing of things after a nice long trip home.

Here is what I have come across on my days back here in Hong Kong...

Line 1: Pretty Purple Butterfly / Press...woop!

Line 2: Market Day / Street Art

Line 3: Printed Vintage / Piggies

Line 4: Caped Construction Workers / Shadows

Line 5: New fave outfir / Sleeping Kitty

Happy Snapping

xoxo