Taken from the vantage point of the roundabout, looking down onto the cluttered, vehicle strewn street.

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I wanted to take a picture that was authentic in that it was true East London. I wanted to take a picture that could show what is different about the residential areas of London, compared to other cities around the world. What strikes me when I visit other countries – like in the States there is so much variety between the houses’ architecture and so much more land, in Hong Kong – everything is built/integrated into the malls and shops and most people tend to live in tower blocks.

In the area I live in East London in particular, there a lot of huge Victorian houses. And everyone parks in the street. We also have a lot of roundabouts – something I’ve noticed to be really uncommon in America.

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Photography

Photography 101: Street

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Life

Traffic Dos and Don’ts: A Checklist

Traffic Dos and Don’ts: A Checklist.

What better article to stumble across on my home feed, than an article tackling blog traffic, or lack of it, and how it affects your motivations to upkeep your own blog!

I should be more motivated to blog, I tell myself each day. In reality, I haven’t blogged in a while.

Why not?

It’s easy to lose motivation especially as the novelty of starting a blog has worn off.

It’s always exciting starting a new project – I wanted this blog to be a shining example of my creative ability! I wanted to proudly showcase what I was capable of, all within an internet portfolio that neatly collected my thoughts and creations. However, as I hit my double-figure posts, it became more of an effort to dedicate time to blogging.

It also becomes harder to keep motivated as you run out of fresh ideas to blog about.

Naturally, the more you blog, the more content you cover. Creating a personal blog means that my post content can range from photography to how I’m feeling that day. Covering such a variety of content means it’s difficult to track the direction of my blog and my writing. When focusing on a more specific topic I think it’s easier to know or decide what to write about next. By narrowing the theme of your blog, conversely to what you may think, by having less choice of what to write about it actually makes it a lot easier to choose what to write about next. This TED talk by Barry Schwartz is my favourite on the ‘Paradox of Choice’.

I know that my motivation and the amount of time I put into my blog are two things that eternally affect each other. If I am more motivated, I will blog more. But if I blog more (and therefore generate positive interactions), I should be more motivated.

It makes me think of an overused piece of advice regarding self-confidence – “fake it, till you make it!”

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Life

Hello Ryu

I gave my blog a theme makeover!

I’d realised, that as much as I loved the Oxygen theme with its clean minimalism, I never really felt it did what I needed it to do as a theme.

I wanted a theme that would make my photos pop.

After all, that’s why I’d started my blog. I’m not a professional photographer, I’m probably not even a bona fide hobbyist. I just really enjoy taking photos. And sometimes I just want to share those photos with those other than my family and friends, I appreciate the criticism as much as the praise, and hope that by sharing it publicly it puts a bit more pressure on myself to take it more seriously – maybe one day I shall be a photography hobbyist!

I chose Ryu because I liked how it’s not completely a photography theme, yet it doesn’t let my photos fade away in the background because of its theme format.

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Life

Daily Prompt: “It’s Pohlin, sounds like Poland but pronounced po-LIN… just call me Po”

This is what I have to go through every time I meet someone new.

Some days it’s easier, and people will remember the TV program – The Teletubbies – and understand Po, or perhaps find a more modern reference in Jack Black’s Kung Fu Panda.

Other days I might feel brave and introduce my full first name. “Pauline” they’ll guess, thinking I have an accent or they have misheard me. “No, Polin” I’ll gently correct them, with a slight air of impatience, yet forgiveness – it’s not their terrible name that’s making this so awkward. “Oh, Pollen, okay.”

My name is Poh Lin Lau. Pronounced POH LIN LAU. Poh, as in “Oh, I’ve forgotten my keys.” You think I’m kidding for needing to emphasis oh, but there have been many an interview where I have to endure being called Pholin (fo-lin). Or Poo-lin. Yes, over the years there have been too many Poo-lin’s, and much too much heartbreak on my end. (On a side note, I have to mention that the American interpretation of my name is by far the worst – Pearrrrl-lin)

Why, you are thinking, did my parents decide to name me so?

I was named in disappointment that I wasn’t born a boy. Just kidding, but I think judging my all possible baby names, my parents were pretty much planning for a boy. Oops, sorry! An all-things-Asia aficionado, my white father wanted to name me Little Dragon 小龍 (Xiaolong). As in of Bruce Lee (screen name) fame, Little Dragon. Imagine if I had to excuse my father’s martial arts obsession for the rest of my life, explaining Xiao Long at every introduction. No, instead I get just as much joy explaining my actual name.

Poh Lin 宝莲 means Precious Lotus. Pronounced Bǎo lián in Mandarin, it sounds far better than it’s Cantonese counterpart – Boh Ling. Really, bowling?

I know, it’s like they hate me.

Lastly, to go with my Chinese name, I was given my mother’s surname – Lau. Just to make things just that little more confusing.

My Chinese eyes and fair hair.

My Chinese eyes and fair hair.

Looking like an Asian baby, people would question whether I was really my father’s daughter, with my Chinese eyes and my Chinese name. As I grew older and more into my Western nose, and finally each day looking more like my father, I begun to feel, and look, far less suited to my very Asian name.

Joining a new school, company or anything that required me to give up my name beforehand, I was always met with shocked or confused looks as people tried to work out the connection between my name and face.

How very 90's ~ Me at 18 months.

How very 90’s ~ Me at 3 years. (*whoops I was a bit out on my first guess)

But now at the ripe old age of 22, I can’t really say I hate my name anymore. When I was younger, and often bullied for having a different name (how cliché), I think I hated my name. It stopped me from being, well, normal. I don’t think now that normal is something to strive for, but I do believe normal would mean for me that my name could be pronounced correctly the first time. There was a time I believed my name stopped me from getting a part-time job in my very white town (at the time). I still couldn’t tell you that I firmly believe it isn’t stopping me from getting a job right now!

But I don’t hate my name. I appreciate my heritage, and I’m proud of my family. But do I wish sometimes that I had at the very least an English nickname (like most Asians)? – defeatedly, yes.

But for now, I will keep introducing myself as “Pohlin, sounds like Poland, but pronounced po-LIN.”

Chinese, really?

Have you found yourself frustrated at what your parents named you? Or just wishing people were a little better at pronouncing your name? Or have you found that your name has held you back in life, from that job or making friends?

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Life

Daily Prompt: (Thy name is) Procrastination

Daily Prompt: Procrastination.

What haven’t I been putting off?

I got upset with myself just today on this very topic. Procrastination. Now I don’t procrastinate occasionally, I’m literally one big procrastination. I don’t think that makes sense grammatically, but I think you get my point.

There I was earlier, lying apathetically on the sofa, feeling sorry for myself because I was too tired and sleepy to do anything. What am I thinking about whilst I laze? – How much I hate being lazy and feeling useless. And what do I do about it? – Not much.

Now today was a good day. I’m proud to say that after a good cry, I did get my miserable butt off of that sofa and went for a wheezy run to wake myself up a bit. But usually, I let myself believe that funny cat pictures* take precedence over job applications, exercise, blogging, and anything else that would actually make me a better, I-don’t-feel-sorry-for-myself person.

Well, here’s to tomorrow, let’s hope I can be more productive than the day before.

*I wish it was as purposeful as funny cat pictures, it’s more aimless Googling.

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Life

Inspire me?

Happy family

Happy family: my lovely boyfriend, myself, my younger brother and my itsy bitsy mama!

I am at that really frustrating period in my life, that time where you’ve just finished those long 18 years of education and suddenly that’s it. No more goals. Of course getting a job is the next goal, but there are no more pre-decided, easily laid out goals that I’m supposed to pursue.

It’s actually really scary. Up until this point you slowly made little decisions that would ultimately shape where you would end up now. Should I take up history? No, what about maths instead? Every time you make one of these decisions it narrows down your eventual path, but they never feel like a big decision. It’s not like at 4 years old I’ve turned around and declared – I know from this point forward, I’m going to be a doctor or an accountant!

It’s not until you finish University that now, you really have to make that big decision. What are you going to be?

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So please WordPress, inspire me?

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