Not everything has to be about my work. These are posts about my hobbies and interests beyond my professional life.
It started off as what I was used to for a "Medium". Steep, not amazingly well made, the odd chain or [keep reading...]
One of the local museums recreated the original Hyogo Prefectural Office. The craftsmanship that went into it is stunning, and while it has that beautiful "new wood" smell, I'm sure it will season beautifully in the years ahead.
Hyogo as an administrative region dates back to the 19th Century. It takes its name from the old Hyogo Port, which was subsumed into what became Kobe. The museum's compound is [keep reading...]
I bought a Lego Classic set. One of the big ones in the yellow box that looks like a brick.
Every couple of days I dig in and slap something together. No particular purpose to it. It's just a random collection of bricks that slowly take shape. I rarely [keep reading...]
After years of looking out my bedroom window at the empty paddy fields, I decided to track them down. [keep reading...]
As my 3rd Anniversary of living in Japan closes, this is a scene that stands out for those early days. I arrived in Osaka in the middle of the state of emergency when tourism was banned, and we were asked to limit our internal travel.
Living barely 20 minutes' walk from Osaka Castle, it became a regular haunt for our exercise and need to leave the confines of a two [keep reading...]
Sannomiya's Central Street is worth a visit. It's the main shopping mall in Kobe, and the start of an almost continuous 2km long undercover walkway.
However, it isn't a purpose-built mall. Instead it has the feel of a regular street with a canopy installed. That gives it a lot of irregular buildings on either side. Some of these are just a couple of floors, others have [keep reading...]
I go through phases with my photography. Current phase is a return to "slap a 35mm prime lens, set to black and white mode, everything else to manual."
Whatever comes off the camera is what gets used. At most I'll straighten it, maybe add a watermark. And I'm not allowed to shoot the same thing over [keep reading...]
Kobe is a walkable city. If you don't fancy all that legwork, you could rent a bicycle. [keep reading...]
Every time I hear a claim driverless trains or monorails don't work, I roll my eyes. I take one regularly. [keep reading...]
Sometimes I'll go for a photo walk and fixate on a subject. I don't mean I start following people around in a stalkerish way. My focus settles on a particular object or situation, and I start looking for shots [keep reading...]
I always take a photo on my phone. It saves the GPS data, which means I know where I've been. Useful for later edits on photos. [keep reading...]
In my experience there are two approaches to visiting another country or city as a tourist.
In the first the trip is meticulously planned. Countless websites are visited, brochures bought and influencers inspected. The trip becomes a confirmation that what we saw in our research was “true”. Variation risks us feeling cheated.
In the second, basic information is gathered. We arrive with nothing but a phrasebook and a mental blank canvas. What happens does so by accident, not by plan. It is all but impossible to be disappointed because we have no expectations.
I suspect my approach to travel is closer to the second. Much to the occasional annoyance of Mrs H.