5 May 2015

hong kong | lantau island

I booked my flights to Italy (way back when ... this post is super overdue!) on such short notice that I had an unavoidable seventeen hour stopover in Hong Kong on my way home.  Oof!  Upon landing in Hong Kong, I unsuccessfully tried to get on an earlier flight but it was not to be, so I decided to head over to the airport hotel to hire a room so that I could shower, change my clothes, and head out to explore.  I was pretty jet lagged and opted to visit nearby Lantau Island, primarily because getting there required minimal effort (I really was just so sleepy!).  Upon setting foot outside the airport's air-conditioned goodness, I discovered that it was approximately a thousand degrees out in the real world (and the humidity, good grief!).  Wow it was hot.  I caught the hotel's free shuttle bus to a nearby shopping centre, wandered around in circles trying to find the ticket office for the Island and then, upon finding it, proceeded to queue for a very long time to buy my tickets, and then joined another massive queue to catch the Ngong Ping cable car across the bay to the Island.

Lantau Island was lovely but to be honest, I was so hot and miserable that I didn't love it as much as I otherwise might have.  My camera seemed to weigh an absolute ton, schlepping around in the heat just felt like a massive, unreasonable effort, and I was hungry but having trouble finding something meat-free to eat (I gave up eating meat just over a year ago ... I am now a pescetarian, though saying it makes me cringe somewhat as it sounds a little precious).  And oh, the endless stairs to get to the Tian Tan Buddha ... Basically I was just a bit of a whiny crankypants that day, though I had no-one to whine to, so I just whined to myself on the inside ;)

Anyway, in amongst the internal whining and searching for food, I did manage to take a few photos with my inordinately heavy camera, and here they are, if you would like to see.  Overall, I am very aware that I only saw a fraction of what the Island has to offer, but that's ok.  I felt much better after going back to my hotel room and having a nap (probably would have been wise to nap first, explore later but eh, lesson learned!).

The apartment buildings in Hong Kong are incredible!

I took this photo out the window of the cable car.  Readers who know me in real life will not be surprised to learn that I developed motion sickness whilst on the cable car, and spent most of the interminable (okay, 25 minute) trip praying that I wouldn't throw up on the family who had the misfortune of sharing the cabin with me.

Make a wish ... (I did not, although I wish that I had ... oh, see what I did there??).

1 May 2015

stuff & nonsense

[apologies for the completely irrelevant photograph of a teacup - I haven't been shooting in a long while!]

Last night, my mum, aunt, and I went to see Ricky Martin in concert.  Partway through the evening, I realised with some degree of alarm that the last time I saw him perform was almost twenty years ago, when my best friend in high school took me to see him for my birthday (holy moly, I am old).  Back then, we had seats in the second-last row of what was the Sydney Entertainment Centre, which essentially means that we were very, very far away from the front and could barely discern which of the tiny, writhing figures on the stage was our beloved Ricky (no giant screens back in my day).  I remember we kept leaning over to each other and screaming the following exchange: which one is he??  I dunno, beats me!  Anyway, last night's concert was great, and we were happily close enough to the stage to be able to, you know, see.  I have now gotten out all my old CDs and am reminiscing about the high school days of dancing around in my bedroom and swooning over ballads like this one, as teenage girls are wont to do (at least, I assume that it wasn't just this teenage girl.  Of course, now I have a whole apartment in which to dance and swoon around ;).  And I gotta say, Mr Martin has aged extremely well indeed.  Goodness me.


The internet at home was broken for a week and a half.  It was not a good week and a half! (first world problem, I know).  When I found myself using my iPhone as a personal hotspot for my laptop like some kind of junkie desperate for a Pinterest fix, I thought: hello, my name is Natasha, and I'm an internetoholic, to which an imaginary chorus of fellow holics responded: hi, Natasha.


I recently finished reading David Nicholls' Us (no doubt aided by the lack of internet), and enjoyed it very much; it was really well written and quite funny.  Am not sure what to read next ... will have to visit the Land of Forlorn, Unread Books (also known as: the bookshelf).


Remember when you were a kid, and stuff always seemed like such a big, complicated deal?  Oh noo, it's the end of the world!  Yeah ... no.  Being an adult is kinda hard, or is it just that I make everything feel crazy by overthinking all the things?  It may well be the latter.  So ... how to stop the overthinking?


I recently decided to try out the Steller app, just for something to do, and put together my first little digital book of iPhone photos of my trip to the Cinque Terre last year.  It's pretty neat, and my mum will probably get a kick out of it :)


Speaking of Italy, I really, really want to go back later this year, I think to explore the south more.  So many places to visit, so little time ... !  And I am wondering whether to throw Naples into the mix - has anyone been?  Peoples' views seem to be fairly evenly divided but I have always been curious about visiting (whilst simultaneously kinda fearing the stereotype of being robbed senseless upon setting foot in the street).


Anyway, it's the weekend!  Not sure what it has in store for me other than trying to keep warm!  Wishing you all a good one, wherever you may be :)

6 April 2015

random post to interrupt the radio silence

Image © Natasha Calhoun

Oh, hello.

Lately I have been experiencing a bit of a creative block, which is somewhat problematic on both the photography and writing fronts, which in turn makes blogging kinda difficult (plus, I finally ran out of photos from my trip to Italy last year! so there went that good old standby).

Anyway, I still have no idea, but figured I would check in with one of those random update posts by way of saying "hey" in case anybody is still out there ;)

Okay, here goes:


Daylight saving ended last night and I don't like it one bit, although I guess I did appreciate the extra hour of sleep, so perhaps I liked it a tiny amount.  Meanwhile, the Fur Kid's Internal Food Clock has gone completely haywire, so the Dinner Howling starts at like 3.00pm now, followed by the I Forgot That I Already Ate Howling at around 5.00pm.  It drives me crazy, but I love her, so I just put up with it.  Sometimes I try to rationalise (eg. "You already ate!  I told you this would happen if you ate so early!  Clearly, I am capable of foreseeing the future!") but that is, as you would expect, a largely pointless exercise (Fur Kid simply stares at me, all "What does foreseeing mean?").


To add insult to injury, the weather is turning cooler and I don't like that much, either.  Plus, I don't know what is going on with the Autumn/Winter fashion this year, but there appears to be very little around in the way of, you know, sleeves.  It's a little odd.  I mean, I know it's Sydney and we have relatively mild winters, but ... well, what about my arms?


One of my good friends is getting married the weekend after next and I am really happy for her.  Am keeping my fingers crossed for good weather on the day, too.


I love Taylor Swift's 1989.


Visited Ikea the other day; always an interesting experience.  Finally bought one of those Ranarp desk lamps that everyone was blogging about awhile ago, as well as some bookcases for the living room as the book situation was getting kinda out of control.  And yes, I arranged my books according to colour ... a veritable literary rainbow, from white to black.  Incidentally, white and blue appear to be the most popular colours for book spines (well, in terms of the books that I own, anyway).


Speaking of books, this long weekend I read two: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (black spine) and Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill (blue spine).  I enjoyed The Girl on the Train - it's a thriller written in split narrative; interesting and unsettling, with remarkably unlikeable characters (truly, I don't think I liked any of them).  As for Dept. of Speculation, pretty much everybody raved about it, so I had fairly high expectations (always dangerous), and it almost lived up to them.  It only fell a little short, though I couldn't quite put my finger on why exactly.  The book is written in an unusual sort of way ... I think the best way to describe it is as a series of vignettes that combine to detail the breakdown of a marriage.  I did enjoy it, though, insofar as you can enjoy something about such chirpy subject matter!  Next up I am going to read David Nicholls' Us (red spine).


Alright I think I'm done!


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