A hotch-potch of some of my old travel photos. I've been trying to get my mess of photos better organized with proper folders and names and tags, kind of like spring cleaning for my computer before the new year. I should be uploading more hotch-potches along the way.

Doesn't the Solaris film give such beautiful colours?



The little cat in her favourite box.

It was actually the shoe box of HC's new trainers. We had put it near the door so as to leave it out for the recycling collector the next day, but she was in it in 2 bounces and claimed it for her own. It's placed now facing the entrance so she could peep through the crack under the door at the activity outside our apartment, and she would play, doze or simply sit in it for hours.



Been messing around with the digital again and having quite a bit of fun. I went for the easiest targets, basically stuff hanging around at home, like the globe that HC had since young, the pebbles we picked up from Gotland, and a rather sleepy little cat.

Come to think of it, now that I'm spending so much time at home, I've been developing more and more stepford-wife tendencies. I mean, I've picked up cooking and gardening. I potter around the house, keep it clean, go about arranging and rearranging bits and pieces, buy household stuff, and enjoying them all immensely. I think it's about time I start sending out resumes.

Oh and in case I don't get to see or hear from you these few days, merry christmas! We're having some friends over and looking forward to it. I hope everyone's having a good time.



The last from my Japan trip this year. It's time to welcome the new year and dream of new places to explore  again *lol*



I went to stay with Chiemi on the last 2 days in the Chiba countryside. It was a really nice and peaceful end to the whole trip. We did everyday things like going to the local bookstores and walking her cute little dog, Hana-chan (who very much looked like she would have preferred to remain under the kotatsu than go out into the cold).

Her mother was kind enough to drive me to the Umihotaru (海ほたる), halfway between where the Aqua-Line bridge dips down from the sea surface into an underwater tunnel. The view of the Tokyo Bay from there was just gorgeous.



I have been really lucky this Tokyo trip, made some new friends and met up with lots of old ones. Some of you might remember Chiemi, it happened that she was free during that period of time too so we went for lots of walks together. Above are the photos taken while we were in Hakone, coincidentally the first time I went there she was with me too. It was a relaxed trip, we took our time with everything and didn't do that much except to have some seriously good tonkatsu (it was the famous kurobuta or black pig meat) and go to the Little Prince Museum.

Below are the shots from Kita-Kamakura. The 2 of us discussed why we love Kamakura so much and somehow it's hard to pinpoint. It might just be the old and idyllic atmosphere of the place. Sadly we didn't have time for the Enoden (Eno train) this time round, I would have liked to see the Pacific waters again.

The last 2 photos are the main reason why we dropped at Kita Kamakura, it's a cat art gallery called "Neko no Hako" (read "Cat Box"). The owner is an architect turned artist and I love his paintings of his house cats (he has 5 of them) against the Kamakura landscape. Five of them are sitting on the walls of my home now.



The residential suburbs. On a weekday.

Check out Ateliers Penelope, which specializes in made-in-Japan canvas bags. It was quite difficult to find the place though, as it was sandwiched between all the residential homes. I think I asked for directions 4 times before finding the black and white building, one of those moments I wished I had a smart phone.



To be honest, I haven't touched a digital camera in years. I kind of gave up on them after I "discovered" film and mechanical cameras. But recently HC bought a Panasonic GF1. I got it for him in Tokyo for half the retail price (!!!) and I've been playing with it with interesting results. One thing I've realized for sure, it's definitely more of a breeze to chase our orange cat with the digital (try manual focusing on a cat who won't keep still).

Sometime back I also got a gift in the mail (thanks B!), a book called 「かわいい猫が撮れる本」(How to get cute shots of your cat) and now with the digital I'm going to put the techniques in the book to the test at last! So here's the start of the series "Hello Jiji".

Edit>> Her name is pronounced as ジジ (as in "gigi"). She was named after a Japanese cat character in a Ghibli anime.



I went for a walk with K-chan, one of my favourite camera friends. We haven't seen each other for 2 years but once we met up, pulled out our cameras, and laughed at how little we've changed, somehow everything fell back into place and it feels like the old times again.

For reasons unknown (to us only probably) typhoon-like winds swept through the whole of Japan on that day, bringing down trees and billboards, destroying crops and rooftops. I had problems steadying my hands for the camera, you can see the camera shake in one of the photos above.

The blue lights are the illumination displays at Omotesando and Roppongi Midtown for Christmas. An endless sea of twinkle lights, it was so beautiful.