Montenza Jewellery & A New Tattoo

Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Montenza Jewellery
Montenza Jewellery
Montenza Jewellery
Montenza Jewellery
Music Player Tattoo
Montenza Jewellery
Montenza Jewellery

Wearing: Montenza Caja Rings in Silver (sponsored); Montenza J'aime le bracelet de la terre Bracelet in Silver (sponsored). Photos taken by Hai with Canon D70 DSLR.

Hi guys. I hope everyone has been staying healthy and safe. This week I went back into the office full time after working from home since March and rotating into the office occasionally. It's been a journey for me (mentally) but I'm glad to be back. But then this week it was announced we are splitting teams and creating new teams, leaving 20 colleagues (including me) out of 60 spread out into new teams effective next week. 

It's been a shock to my system and I've been experiencing the ups and downs of not being able to work with my original team any more. I was just easing into my team dynamic and workload was easing up then management pulled the carpet from under us. I haven't had time to collect my thoughts but I'm starting to think I'm in a 'shock' and 'denial' stage.

The only thing that has been a constant for me is my music. It does not disappoint me and go around splitting teams up and causing chaos in my workplace :(
So here is a list of my September discoveries that have been on repeat:

Chvrches - Really Gone (Hasa Session); Grafitti (Hasa Session and original)
Johnny Stinson - Vacation
BTS - My Time; Dynamite; Spring Day; Pied Piper
The Weeknd - Save Your Tears; Hardest To Love
Halsey - 100 Letters; Colours; Be Kind
Harry Styles - Watermelon Sugar High
Red Hearse - Everybody Loves You
G-Flip - Lover; Killing My Time
Keshi - 2 Soon

When you get a chance, give these artists a listen. 
I honestly just love putting my noise cancelling headphones on and chilling to music. I often stop what I'm doing and just day dream; staring out the window. It's even better if it's raining. Time stands still. It's like I'm constantly collecting memories to tell myself when I'm older.

I've owned many mp3 players in my lifetime and like to create music playlists. I currently own a Sony Walkman so that is where my eighth tattoo inspiration comes from. In August I got music player buttons on my forearm as a tribute to my love of music. 
Interesting fact: When I inquired about getting some finger tattoos, the tattoo artist advised against it as during the pandemic the over washing of hands will mean your tattoo ink will just come right off in a matter of weeks. Usually you have to take extra care and keep your hands dry while waiting for the tattoo to heal. I wanted to get a moon and sun on my index fingers.

To show off my tattoo I paired it with some delicate jewellery pieces from Montenza. I especially love the Montenza J'aime le bracelet de la terre Bracelet as the world map represents my love for travel. Still patiently waiting for our chance to travel freely again. Keep wearing your masks everyone <3

Mayfield Garden's Winter Festival (Part Two)

Friday, September 18, 2020

Wearing: Wool Coat & Beanie from Nasty GalBettina Liano Jeans; Boots from Asos

Visiting: Mayfield Gardens during Winter Festival, 530 Mayfield Road, Oberon, NSW 2787. Winter Festival fee per person: $26.00 AUD per person. Last garden entry is 3pm. The garden shuts at 4:30pm (during Winter). All photos taken by me and Hai with Canon D70 DSLR

Following up from Part One of my trip to Mayfield Gardens, I am saving these photos so I can relive these memories from Winter. My favourite seasons are Spring and Fall but this year Winter left a lasting impression on me after visiting these gardens.

 At the Gardens, the leaves fell slowly, leaving brown and red ones still piled up on the ground while some speckled the tree tops. The leaves would crunch beneath my heavy boots while I traced my fingers along the cool stone fences. Air was chilly to breathe but it healed me every time because I was happy to be outside. I would wrap myself with my coat and pull my beanie down tighter against the breeze; the scarf I packed stayed in my bag as the sunlight kept me warm. Hot coffee in hand, my fingers were warm, but I would put it down every time Hai reached out to hold my hand. We sat down on benches hand in hand to admire the scenery in front of us, just like in the movies. The water still and the sky a pale blue stretched out meeting the hills. The world was big and we felt small in it. But it was okay because I had someone special wanting to walk by my side through this winter.

Japan Diaries: Nozawa Onsen Fire Festival (Part Two)

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Japan DiariesFire Festival (Dosojin Matsuri) at Nozawa Onsen Village, Japan on 15th January 2019. Photos taken by me and Hai with Canon D70 DSLR and Google Pixel 3XL.

Following up on Part One blog post of our trip to Nozawa Onsen where we witnessed the famous Fire Festival in January 2019, I am now going to talk about the main event - the 'fight re-enactment' and the burning down of the shaden (shrine).

After grabbing some dinner, we then went back to the clearing to patiently wait for it to begin. With thousands of villagers and tourists gathering at the site, the excitement was mounting. At nightfall, the group of 42 year old villagers, dressed in red, started to climb the ladder to sit at the top of shaden. The group of 25 year old villagers, dressed in blue gathered around at the bottom, holding onto ropes and they start drinking and carrying about.

A man dressed in orange at the bottom then starts yelling out, introducing himself and starts getting the villagers at the shaden to do so as well. Each man at the top stood up, drank some sake and introduced themselves proudly. Hai and I don't understand Japanese, but we could feel how wonderful and joyous this occasion was.

Soon, some villagers (dressed in orange/beige) started putting up more shrines, adorned with paper flags and flowers, and a chanting begins. A parade of traditional drums get bought out, a show starts and the chanting grows louder.

Then, the bonfires around the shaden are lit, and all the participating villagers sets their reed torches alight, and start charging at the men at the bottom, attempting to set the shaden on fire. The 25 year old men spends their time defending the shaden, getting covered in soot and ashes for at least an hour. They get hit in the face and upper body while holding onto the ropes.

Eventually the group at the top start throwing down more reed torches to the villagers so they can continue their fight. It was electrifying to watch. All the locals were chanting and the crowds gasped in laughter when the villagers got a good hit in. Sake was passed around and we got to drink merrily with the villagers.

After hours of this re-enactment, the men defending the shaden admit their 'defeat' and they start climbing down the ladder to clear the area. Then the villagers attacking the shaden take it seriously and finally light it on fire, throwing in all surrounding shrines as well. The fire is huge and you feel the heat from so far away; the smoke and ash reaching the skies. Everyone continues their deafening chants as they wish for luck and a prosperous year, celebrating another successful Fire Festival.

Hai and I left at around 11.30pm, covered in soot and ash as the shaden finally burnt to the ground. Our legs were so sore from standing all day. The next morning when I opened our hotel windows, something amazing happened. It was snowing!!! This is exactly what this village prayed for, and they got it. I was so happy for them. I am so happy I got to witness such a great event with Nozawa Onsen.

You can read more about Part One here.

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