I stumbled across this place yesterday...

A shop where you write a letter to your future self or to someone in your life and then you pay for it to be stored for a set length of time. When the time is up the owner will contact you so your letter can be sent to the appropriate address.

I know it's easy to be cynical, but coming across this shop has restored my faith in simple, innocent ways to create lasting memories.

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Instead of a boring sheet of glass like most shop fronts I love how the tea shop has used a floral display to create an aesthetically pleasing partition.

Pretty shop with equally delightful looking and tasting tea.

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The weather has taken a turn for the worse and the fog/smog/probably a mix of both has engulfed the city.

I feel like I'm on the set of a horror film right now...

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I took the Seagull (my lovely 35mm camera from a Chinese brand called Seagull) on its first day out last week. I headed to an area in Changsha where there's lots of little alleys brimming with neon signs and little shops and restaurants.

A few years ago I loved using 35mm cameras because the process is much more artistic - I find you put so much more care and attention into what you're trying to photograph when using a film camera because you can't afford to waste film. However when I moved to China a few years ago I couldn't bring my beloved camera and honestly, I kind of forgot all about my hobby.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when one evening I impulsively decided to buy an old camera on Taobao (a Chinese shopping website). While I was waiting for it to arrive I spent half my time looking forward to receiving the parcel and the other half worrying that the camera would be in an unusable state. Thankfully I lucked out and from what I can tell it's in good working order.


I'm definitely not what you would call a skilled or expert photographer, I'm just someone who just enjoys taking photos of everyday life. One of my favourite things to do when I have a day off is to just wander around an area looking at the way people live their lives, then trying out a little restaurant or street food stall. Documenting these very simple, ordinary moments has become something that I really enjoy.

Just one small problem, I have no idea where to get the film developed...

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Now autumn is finally starting to kick in I decided to go for a simple black and grey manicure to match my autumn wardrobe.

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The abundance of delicious street food is something I love about living in China and I think this might be my favourite street snack right now. It's a kind of flatbread filled with pork and preserved vegetables which have a slightly sweet taste.

Served piping hot and fresh from the oven it's completely irresistible and from the length of the line it seems like everyone else agrees with me.

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Candyfloss clouds and hot chocolate.

This has to be the most aesthetically pleasing cup of hot chocolate I've ever laid my eyes on. I still can't get over how pretty it is. While we were in the cafe my friend told me that this place has been really popular on Chinese social media here over the past few months because of this specific cup of coffee, who can blame them?

 I expected it to taste of disappointment because I've grown accustomed to really pretty foods or drinks tasting bad because all the emphasis is on the outward appearance. But thankfully this was different; the hot chocolate was a proper hot chocolate made with actual chocolate so it was rich and thick and the candyfloss was sickeningly sweet to the point where I could only manage a few bites.

All in all, a very delicious afternoon tea.

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A few weeks ago I unexpectedly got a chance to star in an advert promoting Lingshui, a little county on Hainan Island in the south of China. I've never acted before, except when I was a kid and I starred in a few school plays and productions in the village I lived in. Hardly professional experience!

So when the company I work for asked me if I'd like to be in an advert my first thought was "I can't do that!" and then my second thought was "Say yes because this is one of those ridiculous 'only in China' experiences and you'll regret saying no!"

So I said yes and a week later I landed in Hainan and there was no turning back.

The night before filming began I got really nervous because I'm not an actor and I was worried about letting people down. I slept really badly because I was stressing out and overthinking so when my alarm rang at 4am it's safe to say I was bleary eyed and not looking my best. Thank god for make up!

The guys from the production company came to the hotel, picked me up and we headed to the harbour where we'd be filming the sunrise. There I met my co-star, a Ukrainian guy who for the next two days would become my fake boyfriend. As you do...

In the early morning darkness the two of us boarded a small fishing boat with a cameraman and a local fisherman and set off.

Now is probably a good time to explain that the harbour is a little special; the fishermen both work and live there on what can only be described as a floating village. The boat motored through the narrow channels, flanked on each side by boats and these funny little floating houses.

I've actually never consciously gone to watch the sunrise, but wow, what a place to see it for the first time. The whole time I just kept thinking how bizarre this situation actually was; I was stood on a boat, holding hands with a guy I met about 20 minutes before, watching the sunrise while someone films us. If this was just the beginning what would the rest be like?

Luckily it only got better as the day went on and it certainly helped that I actually enjoyed the places we were going to because let's face it, it's not hard to act like you're having fun when you're genuinely enjoying yourself.

One of my favourite experiences during filming had to be visiting Ye Tian Ancient Village ( 椰田古寨 ), a cultural experience centre where we got to meet people from two of the local ethnic minorities. Here we filmed a dance scene with some of the people who worked there. Before filming I was a bit nervous because I am terrible dancer, but during filming I lost all my inhibitions, mainly because the dance only involved jumping over bamboo poles so there wasn't many ways I could screw it up. I also adopted the attitude of "this is cool as f***, I'm going to enjoy every last second of it" because why not? 

I'm not going to lie, filming totally made me feel like a rockstar because I got to go to all these beautiful places and have a once in a lifetime experience. It sounds cheesy but isn't life all about these moments when we get to do something extraordinary?

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