A couple of months back, John of drew&barry asked if I wanted to try some of their camera bags and accessories. You know me, bag addict that I am, I said, "Sure!"
The Wotancraft Ryker was the bag I got to use, and I have to say, this bag oozes luxury and leather loveliness. I am told this bag is not always available for sale because the Wotancraft folk are really fussy about the premium leather they use, so if that leather is not available, they won't make the bag.
The Ryker is just the right size for my mirrorless cameras and lenses, but I found it most suitable for my Fuji X100 cameras, both in size and in spirit.
I can carry an X100S (the silver one on the left) and an X100T (the black one on the right) in it, together with the WCL-X100 Wide conversion lens and TCL-X100 Tele conversion lens (seen in the middle). There is space to spare for other accessories like batteries and memory cards, and also a suede sleeve with flap, for my iPad Mini 3.
It is not the lightest bag in the world, since this much leather and metal does make it somewhat on the heavy side. But it isn't mean to be an ultralight travel bag anyway.
And another plus, I love that they don't use velcro or buckles, just a simple leather strip to hold the main flap down. Or if you want quick access, just leave the big flap be and use the magentic catches.
You can also close the inner main compartment with the zippered top cover for security, and leave it unzipped for quick access during use.
The hand strap on my silver Fuji X100S is a Barton1972 strap. I love the feel of it. The stretchiness of the strap design feels very natural. My black Fuji X100T is fitted with a longer Cub & Co. shoulder strap.
And who can resist decorating the X100's with soft shutter release buttons? These are Artisan Obscura ones made of wood. The only small annoyance I have is they sometimes come unscrewed. Nothing that can't be fixed with a little Loctite.
Just to be clear, this isn't a paid post. I shared this because I like their stuff and they make my cameras happy. Also, I have a soft spot for the smell and feel of premium leather and the look of real wood.
I just hope auntie next door didn't think I was off my rocker taking photos along the corridor, on my tummy.
We were at the mall today, to deposit the piggy bank coins that the kids have been diligently saving from their allowance. It was heavy to lug those coins to the machine, but fascinating to watch the machine count the coins so well.
Faith didn't quite like it there and she freaked out a little. It was probably the crowd and the music and the general noisiness overwhelming her senses. She can be a little vocal when she expresses her displeasure.
It is always interesting to see the reactions of people when Faith screams or shouts in a public place like this.
Some stare. Some look on with a smile of empathy.
Some actually get up from their seats and scurry away.
Faith's younger siblings ask me, "Why do they do that? Cheh Cheh is not a monster. They are being silly."
I tell them it's ok. Some people just don't understand the quirks of her autism so they are afraid. Or they think they might be blamed for causing her behaviour. People fear what they don't understand.
We who understand our daughter's condition, also understand why people don't understand. So we rarely get mad at them.
My buddies and I watched Brotherhood of Blades (绣春刀) in Penang because we were bored (hey you can only have six meals a day before you run out of space for awesome hawker food).
Also, movie tickets in Malaysia are so much cheaper than Singapore.
Didn't know a single Chinese actor or actress there but the made-in-China movie was not bad. Great fight scenes and a conspiracy plot that was actually easy to follow.
The story is about three sworn brothers-in-arms in the Ming Dynasty, who are lowly Imperial Assassins (kind of like Black Ops grunts) in over their heads with political intrigue, conspiracies and evil plots.
The women in the movie were generally 花瓶, to look cute or helpless, which was annoying. And sometimes, the acting was over the top.
Once in a while, you see a lost-looking extra who is supposed to be an elite soldier looking like an clueless recruit just out of BMT.
Still, production values remained generally high. Sometimes the show gets a little too violent for my taste.
The Chinese language used in the dialogue was cheem, flowery and beautiful, even to someone like me, whose Chinese isn't that great. Still, I was thankful for English subtitles.
LTA launches a taxi app that lets you see available taxis around you… but does not let you book taxis. Slow clap.
LTA Can't-Book-a-Taxi taxi app: "Hey look, another available taxi you can't book! Hey look, another available taxi you can't book! Hey look, another available taxi you can't book!"
Isn't it fun to monitor taxi movement, folks?
LTA statement: "With this information, commuters can better decide whether to continue waiting for a taxi on the street, walk to a location with more available taxis, book a taxi instead, or make alternative transport arrangements."
I suggest that LTA takes this app to the back of the barn and shoot it, to put it out of its misery.
I am trying to catch up on my travel updates and photo editing, so rest assured, more photos and posts to come. Especially want to share the lovely Airbnb places I stayed while in Japan. Here is a peek at the lovely cottage we stayed in at Karuizawa.
Here is the backyard…
I know. It is gorgeous. We were there just as autumn turned into winter and the leaves were in striking red, and the weather cool and lovely.
Over breakfast in the hotel room, I said to the wife: "Do you want some sugar with that tea? I have some sugar packets I saved from the restaurant and plane."
Oh. My. Gosh. I have become my mummy.
Not this mummy…
Not only that, during the entire trip, I was making a checklist of things I must add to my travel packing list, like 2-in-1 coffee, instant noodles, and the little thingie that boils water in a cup.
I actually found leftover 2-in-1 coffee in side pocket of my luggage, because we borrowed mom's medium-sized suitcase. I remember thinking to myself, "Bless her, now I have coffee to drink in the cold Paris morning."
There were also leftover disposable travel toothbrush/toothpaste sets in there, and a foldable shopping bag which was useful for my trips to the laundromat.
A foldable shopping bag is also essential when you go to the supermarket (they charge €0.15 for a miserable plastic bag that breaks easily). I know exactly which one I plan to buy, the Tom Bihn shop bag .
And when you travel with small children, you also save packets of ketchup and mayo from the McD's. Also useful, plastic cutlery.
Now if you will excuse me, I have to run out and buy some milk at the Paris provision shop. I don't know what they call that here in France, Le Chahp Feau Peau?
By the way, that's not my hotel room above. It's Napolean III's apartment at the Lourve and somewhat above my budget.