New Toys!

I am happy as a kid, because I just got me some new toys! One of them being a SLR Minolta X-700, plus Vivitar Series 1 24-70 mm / 3.8-4.8 and Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm 2.8-4.0. The owner sold it to me for less that 40€ (so very very grateful for that). Right now I’m just trying to figure everything out and will soon head out to shoot that first roll of film. It is a beautiful camera and very nice to handle.

Thought I was ready to up my game in film photography, since I wasn’t really getting anywhere new with my ‘point and shoot’ Ricoh TF-900. It was starting to become an aimless enterprise. The X700 will definitely help me understand a lot more about photography and its ulterior mechanisms. And since you can’t just release the shutter (well actually you can, but that’ll come at a cost) I will have to sit down and LEARN. It was one of the last cameras without autofocus, so I’ll have to adjust that manually from now on.

I’ll be sharing the lessons learned, the fatal mistakes made and of course the successes!

The second thing: A mountainbike! Working a summerjob in Hamburg and having to cycle at least 30k on a daily basis, I figured it would be nice to invest in something better than my old Holland bike. I once took that old thing to the city, but it sure isn’t used to the ridiculously bumpy bikeways of Hamburg and nearly broke down. Say hello to Mrs. Kuwahara Cougar, fresh from the 90’s. The first 300k were already worth the money!

Funny coincidence that both the camera and the bike are 1) older than me and 2) designed and manufactured in Japan. Seriously, at times I feel like a Hipster in denial. But I guess it’s just where cupid’s arrow lands…

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Make your own soap

Why?
It’s cheap (or at least cheaper than any natural soap you’d find in the store/market), it can be a nice and personal gift, it looks quite aesthetically if you ask me and it’s fun and simple to produce. Even I (sometimes not so handy) can do it.
I learned it while I was volunteering on farms/for self-sufficient farmers (wwoofing).
Don’t worry; I won’t bore you with a recipe on how to make your own soap, since there are plenty of good ones out there, even with pictures and stuff (to name a few: here, here, and there)

Just so you know what’s on the pictures…
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Pavement

Isn’t it sad? The whole world coverd under a grey mass of asphalt.

It makes absolute sense that we consider this world a hard and cold one.
We designed it this way.

Who could feel at home, comfortable and taken care of at the sight of this hard and cold pavement? It’s everywhere.
That’s why I love to see those tough little plants that are able to break through the surface of the pavement and grow towards the sun. Quite impressive!

Maybe we could choose to design more beautiful, blooming pathways. And plant more fruits and vegetables all around the city (it’s already happening in some citys). Maybe that would make the world look a little less scary.

New Project: Gardening

I am a Psychology student… But somehow it seems more urgent to me to learn about gardening – and I mean immediately. So I basically started today, it’s a nice and sunny but unsettled spring day. I think I found enough space in the little backyard of my shared flat to get a few plants growing.

The first steps to take (if you’re a student like me and are living in a shared flat like I do) are probably:

  • tidying up the garden (students create a lot of garbage)
  • finding some gaden-tools (we have almost everything here, mostly hidden in the weirdest places, left by long-gone roommates)
  • gathering information asking the old folks, searching for books at the library or reading through some online stuff, if you know as little about plants as I do
  • buying plants or seed

I think I am going to start with: peppermint (I love the smell of it and it will be great for tea and Mojitos), salad and tomatoes (probably growing inside on the windowsill). Three very different plants. Tomorrow I’ll buy some compost and soil to create a nice bed for the new housemates and probably get the plants or seeds too. I’ll have to ask a garden lady if I should dare to seed them. My mum promised to give me some of her plant pots (for the tomatoes). For the salad I would like to have a more spacious thing. Like a little baby bathtub, that would look awesome! Maybe I can get that at one of the second hand stores here.