Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I'll try not to drown you in sentiment, in reminiscence or otherwise in too many words. But today marks the end of this project, the "photoblog" I launched three years ago as both 1) an an exercise in writing, as I was set to move to the UK to study journalism, and 2) a means of keeping you up to date on my adventures here.

The adventures soon transformed into the banalities of everyday life, and I hope that I've managed at least to keep the ordinary days interesting and to draw in some of the remarkable people and places I've encountered. But the lesson I learnt in my first attempt at photo journaling was that, indeed, it is often the most ordinary things that are worth capturing.

I called the blog 'Three-Sixty-Six' because it was intended to span the year from 1 July 2007 through to 30 June 2008, which encompassed the leap year on Feb 29 2008; however, I managed in the course to create a 'leap year' of a new form by first breaking my camera in early 2008 and then falling off the wagon in 2009 with too much on my plate to keep up the blog. In both instances, picking up where I had left off one year later. As a result, the blog spans 1) from my last summer in Canada, through my first semester at Nottingham Trent Uni, 2) then leaps to my working life in London a year later covering about two months to my visit to the countryside in Devon, and finally 3) leaps a second time to this spring and summer culminating today.

Appropriately, today's blog brings things full circle. Broken Social Scene, famed Torontonian indie band and mini orchestra on stage, are performing in the UK. I got tix along with a handful of friends, coincidentally a largely Canadian posse representing Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto and, of course, Windsor. In considering my company this evening, and the friends I have met here in the UK, the places I've travelled and lessons learned, I begin to find some understand the BSS debut album title, and one of my all time favourites, Feels Good Lost.

Over and out.
XX (those are hugs, not kisses, mind you, and sentimental nonetheless)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


The penultimate session in oil paints, and I actually feel like I've gained some skill and confidence in the art. The challenge today was not the lemon, or the garlic - no, I mastered that weeks ago! Instead, it is in the reflection in the silver bottle that stands tall behind the produce.

It's one of those that you need to stand (a barely perceptible distance) back from to appreciate, but that is hopefully good enough to ornament my parents kitchen or dining room wall one day.

Not only is this the second-to-last session in, but this is also the penultimate photo in this journal, which leaves me to reflect on more than just the reflection on the canvas.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Three summers ago, when I was looking to move to the UK to study, Maddy replied to an email in which I had inquired about a room in a shared property in Nottingham. She was candid in her reply and mentioned that she preferred flat shoes to heels and a cocktail at a jazz bar to a rockin' night out. As it happens, she does on occasion where heels and can party like a rock star, but my guess (with Casey's corroboration) at the time was correct: that we'd get on like a house on fire (NB: that's not a reference to the time I forgot the boiling egg on the stove and nearly burnt down our pad on Premier Road).

Three years on, we're living together and looking to find a flat for the two of us, as our current threesome is sadly breaking up. What we have learnt after a few days of flat hunting is that the market is a mess for people like us, looking to rent. Changes to the Capital Gains Tax instilled by the new Conservative-LibDem coalition has prompted owners to sell and a proportion of the property that would otherwise be available for rent is now on for purchase. Lots of people flat hunting and not enough flats to let means prices are jacked and turnaround is swift - in one case from my experience, gone within one hour.

And this is why today we were shuttled around town by various agents to flats, apartments, estates and even developments like this one - the foundation barely laid. Here's hoping we find something, and find something we love. A place where two flat-shoed, cocktail sipping, kitchen-bound busybodies plus one hamster can call home for a while.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Spot of shopping in the city, the intention being that most would be hitting the parks, the BBQs and watching England's knockout game against Germany at prime time, leaving the stores vacant but for a few indefferent female shopaholics.

That said, I don't actually fall into that demographic, which I would imagine mainly comprises women under 19. At heart, I was curious about the game, not just the outcome, but the action. While I did indeed get to the shops, I took an intermission to nip into a pub (albeit a touristy one) off of Oxford Circus to watch amidst a mixed crowd of foreigners and locals, with a half-pint in hand.

I was happy to lurk in the backdrop as England got smoked by their opponents, favoured to win just the same. In the end, the crowd shuffled out, heads hanging, while I enthusiastically resumed my tour of the mid-season sales.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


I felt a bit like a tourist today. Cycled to Windsor - the other Windsor - with the club. Covering over 60 km and holding 28-32 clicks most of the way, I was knackered once we reached the shop for a pick-me-up ice cream and cuppa in the middle of the Royal Park.

There was a funny sentiment about being in a place which my hometown is named after. I though of my home, off of Queen Elizabeth Road, which intersects with another street called Lloyd George (who I thought was a rock star, until I was at least 9 years old).

The Royal Park was huge, with shaded, hilly paves, a 5000 acre deer park and a wide-open space for Polo, where a few joggers were doing laps. We passed the equestrian statue of George III, overlooking Windsor Castle - beautiful view although it was difficult to take in as we were whizzing past at a quick pace.

After cake, most of the crew cycled on another 30 k to Clapham, and a few of us went into town to catch a train back, where I got a close-up view of the castle and a feel for the quaint touristy Windsor that in no way resembles my home town, apart from the namesake.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Walking into work, and I spot an woman with easel and a palette in hand. She is painting the fountain and foliage on Clapham Common. Her work is patient, relaxing to watch even. A moment's respite before I carry on my hustle to the tube and into work.
It reminds me of Art in the Park, the annual festival of crafts and creative works at Willistead Manor in Windsor. Casey and I were enthusiasts and loved to spin ideas off of the work we saw there, thinking 'I could make that''. But, then, I rarely put my word to the test.
That said, my recent endeavours in oil painting could sell for a few bucks at a stand...? Well, maybe a family member or friend would make a purchase, like the occasion over 20 years ago, when I spent an entire afternoon trying to sell painted rocks in my front yard, and made 5 sympathy cents off of Elvio, who lived across the street. All in the eye of the beholder.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Nearly forgot a photo today. Had a quiet one in, pensive. The 24th and, in hindsight, that's probably why. Spoke with my parents on the phone, who were bimbling in the garden as usual. Inspired me to take in the vista that is my backyard too, albeit not as green and invigorating as my parents. Instead, our terrace overlooks a schoolyard, which, thankfully, has quieted for the summer. I'm rarely home in the week, and when I have been the incessant hollaring is a contraceptive in its own right. It's pleasant at times, but mostly just annoying. Tonight, peace. But somehow the quiet disturbs me. Just one of those days.