The photographers Playbook — 001

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#FixatedAccents

‘AccentsofFilm’, as you know, has been running for awhile and it's humbling to see where i've started from — first, your everyday disposable camera and now, my thrifted Minolta XG-1 (£45 pounds from Bricklane, if anyone was wondering)

this series of pictures takes you through intimate moments of my days so far in London. This project, from The Photographer's Playbook, requires me to document failed projects — ideas that we've abandoned and quit. 

It’s 2017 and i’m sure by now, everyone who has followed me this far (thanks, guys) will know that I am the queen of procrastination. No, really, I’m not just making this up.

Over the past few years, i’ve had so many projects that were started on a whim, with a lot of passion, I must add, that have never made it out to see daylight. The last few months of 2016 saw me take a dive down the deep end of the pool where I was going through a lot of self-doubt and disappointment. But that’s a separate conversation altogether.

This book — The Photographer's Playbook — was brought to my attention by my dearest Faiyaz one day while we were both talking about how lazy and unmotivated we’ve been. 

Perhaps it could be the fact that everyone is blogging these days and that I’ve lost the purpose of it all. Who am i doing this for, anyway? And then I am reminded that I got on this platform when i was sixteen to document. And in the process of documenting, I ended up inspiring a few of you, who have reached out to express their gratitude to me.

I’ve always wanted to be someone who inspires other girls, other brown girls specifically, to love the skin they're in. To embrace their heritage and quirks that come along with it. I’ve wanted to be part of this thriving industry that creates and collaborates. Am i there yet? Not quite. But I'll keep working at that. But I'll learn to love my failed projects, and maybe try to revisit them every now and then to reignite something. 

 

Travel Diaries: AMSTERDAM

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Available here

 
 
 
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Pancakes Amsterdam

Prins Hendrikkade 48, 1012 AC Amsterdam, Opens daily from 8:00 to 20:00.

 

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Amsterdam was a dream.

Being in Europe makes me feel invincible. With every other destination on my travel bucket list a stone's throw away (or a EUrail ride away), Nic and i were spoilt for choice. But of course, having fallen in love on a previous solo trip, he begged for us to go back so we could experience the little quirks and charms of Amsterdam together. 

We stayed at a hotel that was slightly on the outskirts of the city centre, but still perfectly situated right outside the metro. Volkshotel is a cosy hotel cum co-working space with a brilliant open concept type lobby. Think concrete floors, hanging plants and all the jazz. On one end there was a bar, reading room and sofas and the other, rows of working tabletops and quiet corners. Quite a space, i'd say!

We had a wet and foggy start to our trip, especially with the darkening skies at four pm. Thankfully, it improved miraculously  the next morning (thank you, Big guy) as we breezed through the hoards of cyclists on our two wheels. 

"The best way to see this city is on a bike, you know"

I told Nic that i wanted to see the city like a local and immediately, we went to rent bikes at a place nearby. Bike rental places are commonplace here, especially since everyone cycles here. Moms with kids sitting in a little basket in the front, kids, senior citizens. Literally everyone cycles here! (Okay, they drive cars too...). After two days of cycling, I was navigating and signalling like a pro. I may have failed in attaining my driving licsense but I have succeeded in becoming a pro cyclist. 

DUMMIES GUIDE TO AMSTERDAM, OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

 

  • WALK — walk everywhere! Take in all the sights. Get lost in the streets. Discover hidden gems. That's what we did. Nic brought me to a local bakery he fell in love with the last time he visited, and he found it whilst walking back to his hotel that was along the same stretch of streets. Inside, I had the best stroopwaffels and surpisingly, a mozzarella and salami croissant slathered with tons of pesto. So good, I recreated it when i got home in London. The Red Light District was an interesting place we got lost at, actually. And after a while of turning into dead ends and seeing the same woman in the exact same window, we stumbled onto the grounds of the Oude Kerk, or Old Church. I love this about exploring a new city or even one that's close to home, that every time you get lost you find something new.

  • MUSEUMS — Visiting the museums in Amsterdam has got to be one of the most enriching experiences ever. I remember studying a couple of dutch painters in year one of poly and to see them in the flesh feels absolutely surreal. The entry fees are a bit pricey (average of 15-19 euros, depending on the museum) but luckily for us, we bought the IAMsterdam card. This entitled us to three full days of free entries to many of the Museums like the Rijkesmuseum, Foam Gallery, Stedilijk Museum and much more. We even got to go on a canal tour, and just in time for Amsterdam's Light Festival. (P.s, we also got 25% off our meal at Pancakes Amsterdam because of it)

  • EAT — FRIES. The one staple in my diet and Amsterdam is full of it. FRITES. I've been told that Manneken Pis serves up some of the city's best double-fried frites, with a range of different dipping sauces that range from wasabi mayo to sambal. When I first saw sambal on a menu here, the asian in me did a little skip of joy. There's just something about being out of your home country that makes you crave for asian food all. the. time. 

    And if you're like me and you can't live without a bit (ok, who am i kidding... A LOT) of asian food, take a walk down the chinatown of Amsterdam — I've had both Thai and Chinese and it definitely fared better than some of the better places in London. 

Also, when in Amsterdam... always pick pancakes whether it's breakfast, lunch or dinner. We had traditional dutch pancakes, which they also eat during dinnertime by the way, at a well-known joint called Pancakes Amsterdam. The difference between dutch pancakes and the kinds we make at home is the texture and thickness of it. The dutch pancakes we had were generally thinner and flatter, with the ingredients that are either savoury, sweet or both — I had a banana, bacon and chilli pancake, the best of both worlds. 

Getting around Amsterdam was also pretty easy, not forgetting the commute to and fro the airport is one of the least exhausting experiences i've had whilst travelling abroad. Spain takes the cake, but that's a story for another day. We cycled almost everywhere, enjoying every minute of the wind in our hair and also avoiding being hit by the oncoming traffic and other cyclists (I almost died, twice) But i guess these are all the type of memories we all live to reminicse on a rainy day.  

I'll see you soon Amsterdam, but the next leg of our journey brings us to... beautiful Barcelona! Stay tuned. 

Winter woes

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All clothing shown here from KODZ 

I don't know how people stay so unbelievably stylish with the erratic weather here (more than Singapore... or really?) I'm always having trouble finding the balance between staying warm and looking stylish. Fashion is, after all, a form of self-expression.

Well...To me, at least.

I have, though, been finding my way round this thing, figuring out what works best for me and how to make clothes like turtlenecks and midi skirts — something i never thought i'd ever wear — look effortlessly stylish all while still ensuring that my arms and legs don't freeze off my bones.

LAYERING — Yes! Layering. Even with pieces that aren't exactly winter appropriate, like slip dresses and bralettes, there's always a way to wear them; whether it's over thick, cosy knit jumpers or turtleneck sweaters. I swear, i thought i had it bad back home with the heat but really, I applaud every stylish person on the street who has either a) found a way to bear with the cold or b) mastered the art of dressing for the weather.

Let's just say that i've been taking the heat and the sun for granted and i absolutely cannot wait for it to come out again! But till then, i'll keep going at it.  

Sending out lots of love to KODZ  for these lovely pieces! X