Padstow Weekend

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On July 1st this year Kabuki and celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary. As part of that celebration Kabuki organised a trip to Padstow, a quaint english seaside village in Cornwall (the southwest corner of England for those of you who don’t know). It was a nice chance for us to relax, get away from the city, and spend time together without too many distractions. One of the things that Padstow is known for is for its food. This is in part due to Rick Stein (a well known british chef) owning huge parts of the town … nice restaurants, fish and chip joints, bed and breakfasts, and more. We took advantage of this gastronomic inclination and ate like royalty … eating at Stein’s Seafood Restaurant and two of Paul Ainsworth’s restaurants (Number 6 and the more informal Rojano’s). In between meal sit downs we also made sure to break for the famous Cornish Pasty. Here are some pictures from the trip (for a complete set in higher resolution visit my smugmug gallery):

Seafood Restaurant

The town

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Istanbul Vacation

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We’re now back from our week in Istanbul. The vacation originated by a friend who lives in Istanbul asking if we were interested in running in the annual Marathon and culminated in us taking a week around the race to explore the town. The week started cold, rainy, and windy but ended up sunny and beautiful.

Throughout the week we were impressed with Istanbul. It is city rich in tradition but at the same time modern in outlook. I believe that cities have a personality or ethos that reflect the views and values of its people Istanbul’s personality is compassionate, friendly, and open minded. A few examples include:

  • When it rains people in cars slow down or go out of their way to avoid puddles so pedestrians don’t get wet.
  • There is a tremendous number of homeless cats and dogs but they are all taken care of … well fed, healthy, and people in the crowd seem to be happy to play with them and appreciate them.
  • The cabbies aren’t great at speaking English but are friendly and try to help. Unlike some Asian locations, you aren’t treated as some sort of weird outsider … there is never any sense of hostility toward “a westerner”.
  • Muslim mosques are everywhere and religion is important to people here but so is partying and lifestyle. It’s a balanced view that seems much healthier than what you might imagine by just watching the television or reading press releases out of Ankur.

Here are a few pictures from our trip. For a complete set of pictures choose the link at the bottom to my SmugMug site.

The Blue MosqueHagia SophiaIMG_7661IMG_7900IMG_8065Ken and KabukiIMG_8011Christian, Kabuki, and Ken

The complete set of photographs – in full resolution – are available here:

SmugMug::Vacation::Istanbul

Istanbul Run

Kabuki and I are in Istanbul today to run the Istanbul Marathon. Now let me set expectations immediately … the race is called the Istanbul Marathon but there are 15k and 8k races and a walk as part of the event. We did not run the full marathon, opting instead for the 15k race. For me that was still a great accomplishment as I haven’t run any sort of organized race for years. Kabuki’s the runner in the family having run several half-marathons recently but for both of us it was an opportunity to get out of London and experience Europe’s gateway to Asia.

We both finished in reasonable times.I finished with an average pace of 8:33 min/mi which placed me 794th out of 2275 male runners. Kabuki finished 131st out of 807 women! Awesome.

Since completing the race we’ve just been chilling back at the hotel, eating a little, sleeping, reading. We have another 5 days to see the city but with the run and weather (it’s rainy and colder than London at the moment) we decided to start the exploring tomorrow.

Xmas 2010

Christmas Ornaments

Kabuki and I went to New York and Connecticut this year for Christmas and for reasons unknown to me I did a lousy job of getting the camera out. I did get it out some though and here are the pictures worth posting. A number of the nature shots were an experiment with HDR (high dynamic range) photography. I’m hoping to do more with this as I’d like to understand it better and I think it might re-motivate me to start taking more pictures.

 

Xmas TreeFIreplaceDried BananasIMG_6635IMG_6658Maddie GidmanFrozen RiverIMG_6684ReflectionsIMG_6682Classic CT MailboxLocal Maple SyrupIMG_6721IMG_6722IMG_6724IMG_6723IMG_6738Local ArtWeathered Barn

Malaysia Trip

Kabuki and I just returned from a trip to Malaysia. The trip consisted to two stops: first, we went to the northeast of Borneo near the town of Kota Kinabalu where we stayed at the Shangri La for the wedding of Mona and Johan as well as some general relaxing. We followed that up by a brief stop of 1 1/2 days in Kuala Lumpur where we stayed at the Mandarin Oriental right next to the famous Petronas Towers.

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If you’re interested in seeing the full set of photographs you can find them on my smug-smug site:

all photos | wedding only

Funny Foreign Marketing

Whenever travelling to foreign lands its interesting to see the variety of products and language used in marketing. In Malaysia – where Kabuki and I just returned from – there were three categories that i noticed:

  1. Flowery language with no real meaning. Unfortunately I didn’t capture this on film but there were a tremendous number of examples of people falling in love with a set of words strung together but that actually means absolutely nothing. This probably happens in all markets to some degree but the extent and volume of silliness was quite noticeably higher in Malaysia; even in high-end stores and hotels.
  2. Ambiguous Analogies/Associations. Describing products in ways that are incongruous with the product … I mean, is any facial scrub really “fascinating"? 
  3. Wacky/Weird Products. Sheep Placenta? Really? Needless to say I didn’t buy any and I don’t think I’ll be able to reverse this decision when back in London due to a general lack of interest in sheep placenta in the western market.

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