#ThrowbackThursday Close to home, a duck came floating in…

This is my first #ThrowbackThursday post on the website, after doing a #FlashbackFriday last week. We all use social media, and this is a very fun way to look at some things that have happened in the past.

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Around May/June 2013 a giant yellow rubber duck invaded Hong Kong, and here is a post I wrote about it back then.

For those of you who don’t know, I was born and raised in Macau, China. This lovely little place and independent state, is very close to the previously British colony of Hong Kong. I spent a lot of time in Hong Kong and that side of the World is very close to my heart and a high influence in the person I have become and what interests me.

Now when a GIANT DUCK invades my home, I have to take note!

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Dutch conceptual artist, Florentijn Hofman, is responsible for the 16.5 metre tall bath toy Rubber Duck that since 2007 has travelled 12 cities in 10 different countries. It is now sat at the Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong, until the 9th of June for the marvel of all the curious citizens and tourists of the colony.

Hofman’s projects cause a certain relief and childhood memories to surface. Among the tension in today’s world, with the economic crisis and so many other problems, Rubber Duck offers the chance for some relief and happiness to enter our worlds.

Hofman says on his website, and I quote: “The Rubber Duck knows no frontiers, it doesn’t discriminate people and doesn’t have a political connotation. The friendly, floating Rubber Duck has healing properties: it can relieve mondial tensions as well as define them. The rubber duck is soft, friendly and suitable for all ages!”

Rubber Duck has bee travelling everywhere since 2007 and has graced the presence of St Nazaire in France, Sao Paulo – Brazil, Auckland in New Z, Hasselt in Belgium, Osaka and Hiroshima in Japan, Sydney Australia, Nurnberg in Denmark and Amsterdam in Netherlands amongst so many others.

It is a wonder that a figure of every child’s bathing time, has bathed the world’s shores of cruelty and brought only joy. May Rubber Duck continue to do so for a long while! After 6 years he is still here and we want him to stay.

Two years later this Rubber Duck is still travelling the world, doing what us mere mortals only dream of doing!

Having looked at Hofman’s work for the last two years, my curiosity continues to peak! As he is responsible for bringing such pure unadulterated joy, but also sometimes deeply disturbing us with these gigantic installations. It is a very invasive way of reminding the world to laugh a little, take things lightly and not let the child in us disappear. It works in my opinion, and I cannot wait to be in some place in the vast globe and come across one of his pieces of art.

Rubber Duck was last seen in Camden Waterfront and in Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia, to watch the “Parade of Sails” between June and July 2015. Taking part in one of the most attended festivals, celebrations or parades of the area, Rubber Duck has made a true impact.

Copyright – NJ.com Rubber Duck at the ‘Parade of Sails’

I am deeply distraught by the fact that Rubber Duck was in Norfolk, England, in 2014 and I did not know. I missed his presence, but I believe I will see him around. Perhaps he will come back to the UK and I can bask in his glory.

Hoffman continues to work his magic in other ways, so please check out his work, as we are all for supporting artists here in Discovering Diana. To follow Hofman’s works, look him up on: http://www.florentijnhofman.nl

To read the Philadelphia news report on Rubber Duck’s presence, please click here.

Oversharing, we all do it!

In a world where social media takes over our lives, it seems all we do is overshare. I am not saying I don’t, fact of the matter is I have a profile on LinkedIn, I share videos and funny things on Facebook, I tweet my thoughts on weather and food, and take photos of things I find beautiful for Instagram. I even have a blog where I share some of my stories with the world wide web audience! However, I am a firm believer that although these platforms seem to be taking over our lives, we choose how we use them and what information we want to reveal.

I, for example, have recently made the decision to remove all my photo albums from facebook, delete all the people with whom I actually do not have a relationship at all, and only accepted as ‘friends’ in that phase of my life where it was cool to have over 1000 friends of people you’ve probably never seen in your life. I stopped discussing personal things on social media when I was around 18 years old, such as my mood, my love life, my work life, my family life. Facebook is great for me to share some hilarious videos, photos and snippets about Harry Potter and sea turtles. I erased a load of things on twitter, that I have no idea why I followed them in the first place. I have my instagram on private, so only people who are my friends are able to see and comment on my photos – aside from the instagram posts that I allow to be seen on the website. I have made a conscious and avid decision that social media would not take over my private life.royalty-free-photos-filmstrip-film-camera-42711935

With this in mind, I am still a blogger! And share with you parts of my life, such as food, arts, travel and some thoughts and opinions on some things … such as this! I will not, however, expose my love life, family life, friendships, working life, personal tribulations with any of you. A) it is none of your business and B) why would you care? You do not know me at all! Attention seeking is a very ugly thing, but can also be a disease. I admire all the bloggers I follow for selecting their content, and keeping their privacy while still sharing some of their passion with the world and that is what I am doing.

This has all come to me, because this coming weekend I will be going abroad again for a small city break. Where you may ask? You will find out post the weekend. However, I have made a very important decision, which might seem odd, but it is making me incredibly excited for my break. I am going to shed the facebook sharing, the photo overload and boasting, the check ins and all that, and simply instagram a photo or two of the most known monuments of course. But most importantly, my digital camera is staying at home and I have invested in two disposable kodak cameras which are joining me in my trip!

mOzPhY-ipfW4CTfRDNMajqAI have made the informed decision, along with my partner in crime, of leaving the digital world behind and going for the pure, unadulterated image of film photography! I know the quality won’t be the same, I know that the images will fade over time and that this will make life harder in terms of showing everyone where we have been. Yet all these things excite me more than they scare me. This trip will truly feel like it is just ours because no one else will be able to revisit the places we will see and capture them in quite the same way. I will not be able to put a filter on these images, or hide the fact that I might have a spot in my forehead for most of the trip. It will all be recorded, or filmed – pun intended – for all eternity. It will be a selection of photos that when my computer breaks down, I will never lose.

Now I promise I will take some photos of my destination to do a trip review and tips on the website, but I think this is the most beautiful and unexpected idea I have had for a while. As a member of the ever growing social media society, privacy is almost a coveted thing. Something you can only aspire to have, when all things you say, think and see can be published and shared with the world. We all over share! We like to share about our disdains, our victories, our hurt and our happiness. What I have come to realise is that this is causing a lot of people to lose the ability to reflect in their own sentiments and work their stuff out on their own, seeing as when you share everyone seems to have an opinion, and worse, your thoughts can go viral! Your photo can go viral! You can become viral!

Social media cannot be dismissed anymore, it is a huge part of our world and day to day living. People that are struck by poverty and begging in the street corners of London still seem to have access to a phone and internet. Future employers will look at your social media feeds and pages, you can track someone down by their use of social media. It has opened up a whole set of doors that can be quite intimidating, but it has also paved the way for open debates, movements that start online and can have a real impact on society. Like most things, social media has its pros and cons! Where whole conversations can occur and be misinterpreted and then blown out of proportion by the media on Twitter.

I am looking forward to having minimal connection with the world and carrying this particular trip just with me and my companion. As someone who works professionally in social media, I think people need to be mindful and responsible for the content they publish and share. All things can be held against or in your favour, and the choices you make about what you publish online are very heavily weighed against you now. People get angry over things on social media, where as before everything had to be discussed in person, people get heart broken and dumped by the click of a status box on facebook. I would like to invite you all to strip your profiles to a minimum and keep your profiles as informative or simply fun tools to enjoy. Not a medium to shed your most intimate stories, relationships and secrets on. Do that with actual people, in an actual conversation! It is far more satisfying.

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A rather green meal!

So I have been home sitting for my parents for the last week and one of my favourite things is being able to cook for myself. Usually I get home and meals are ready and all I have to do it eat, but they are not always what I should or would be eating if I were cooking for myself.

One of the best things, as a huge lover of food, is being able to go vegetarian once in a while. So I am here to share one of the meals I made and loved.

Spinach and Mushroom Soup

I love a good soup! Spinach and mushrooms are two of my favourite ingredients, so I thought I would try the two together and it tastes great.

Ingredients:20150819_185200

  • 2 bags of spinach leaves
  • 1 box of mushrooms
  • 4 medium sized new white potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • Garlic cloves
  • Olive Oil
  • Seasoning – at your choice, I usually use salt and pepper but my aunty is allergic to pepper, so on the chance she might eat this, I used only salt

Preparation:

After pealing, chopping up and washing all of your veg, put it in a pan of water. Add a handful of salt, hard rock if you use it, and let the water boil. Once boiling let the vegetables cook. Season the broth at your liking. Once it is all cooked, blitz the soup until it is completely creamy.

Tip: like me you might usually add too much water, so make sure you pour some out before you blitz the mix.

After you blitz it, make sure all the seasoning is correct, add things that are missing etc, and add a dash of olive oil to soften the soup and mix it in. All done. Easy peasy.

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Ingredients

  • 4 avocados
  • 1/2 a lemon
  • Seasoning – pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic, rock salt

Preparation

Cut the avocados in half and remove the pip and skin and put the avocados in a bowl. Add your seasoning, squeeze half a lemon and mash the avocados to create the paste.

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Tip: I think it would be better to blitz this mix if you don’t like guacamole with bits. I personally really liked the bits, a bit of bite never hurt anybody.

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HAVE A MEAL

This is a great meal for anyone who needs a bit of a healthy kick up the backside! I think the guacamole goes really well with toasted pita or flat bread, it is also great with poached eggs on top if you fancy a bit of protein.

Both recipes are of my own creation and imagination, and after cooking guacamole for the first time, I then googled it to check if I had done this correctly. I was ALMOST there. It seems a lot of people like to add tomatoes to them, sun dried which sounds incredible, so will have to give that a shot at some point.

I have cooked soups before, but it was my first time mixing spinach and mushroom in a soup. A lot of mushroom soup recipes include cream, but I think it is completely unnecessary and only detracts from how healthy this meal is.

I hope you try out the recipes and enjoy them, let me know how you get on.

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A little hidden treasure!

Today is definitely a #FlashbackFriday type of day! As I am creating new content for you, here is a little look back at one of my favourite discoveries, only made in March/April 2014.

Having lived, studied and worked in London for the last 3/4 years, sometimes certain things go unnoticed. Like incredible street performers, new quirky cafes or second hand book shops. Little streets with beautiful windows and balconies, or a pub that actually has your favourite international beer in it. These tiny, simply yet incredibly significant things are not noticed. This saddens me immensely. And recently, I found my favourite hidden treasure. The roof tops of the Royal Opera House!

They are open to the public, with a cafe and the most stunning view of Covent Garden. These balconies are beautifully built, with sofas that you can sit on and sip a drink, grab a bite, or use and abuse of their wi-fi for some studying and/or writing. It is quiet and peaceful in the middle of the hustle and bustle, and you do not pay to go in. They are more often than not, completely deserted. Unknown to the public, hidden from sight, no one will ever guess they are there. Well this is my little hidden treasure, and hopefully it won’t be hidden from you now. I don’t want to shout from the roof tops about it – see what I did there? – but everyone deserves to glimpse this view of Covent Garden at least once. You should go see it, and try to catch a glimpse of the Royal Ballet Company’s rehearsals for some entertainment and if you want to be mesmerized.

Here are some snaps of the view!

1505016_10202654670666694_1525944825_n1522242_10202654671226708_563486517_n1524778_10202654669506665_330027656_nA little hidden treasure!

Discover the world with me

If you love travelling, everything cultural and artsy and most of all FOOD then you love the world as much as me and this is the blog for you. Discovering Diana will share with you adventures, stories, recipes, thoughts, advice, opinions, and so much more from someone who is loving discovering the world one day at the time and only wants to share everything amazing with you. I hope you enjoy it 🙂