22 Nov 2014

Manipulating Light + Weekend Links

On my travels this week I stayed at The California Hotel at Kings Cross in London. A sweet little boutique hotel with bags of personality in a brilliant location. Compact, bright and well decorated rooms at a really decent price - but by far the coolest thing for me was the light manipulation going on outside each room. Pretty nifty effect right? 

I was in the capital again for an exhibition I've been involved with and to visit the Pop Up Flea. And it's finally caught up with me - the late nights, endless travelling for work and no days off have left me without a voice and an ounce of energy. I need to relax. Please do send me over any interesting blogs post + links you've seen this week? Have a good one!

Weekend Bucket List

The Real Apple Store - Selling only apples
Freelancer's advice on how to prevent late payments from clients
The best bicycle bell in town
Hover boards just got real!
Cruising the Northern Lights from Norway
Speaking of extremely cold weather
A perfect trad-modern homeware gift
Incase you missed it - Yasumi discusses her thoughts on fading places

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19 Nov 2014

Visiting The Glenrothes Whisky Distillery

The Glenrothes Distillery, Speyside, Scotland

Scotland to me is like the old bus analogy – you wait for ages, then two come along at once. A couple weeks after I visited the Johnstons of Elgin Wool Mill I found myself preparing to catch the plane back up to the very same part of the east coast of Scotland. Bags packed for two days in Rothes at The Glenrothes' own house, for a tour of the whisky distillery, food and "outdoor pursuits". I'm not the manliest of guys but this trip was sure to hoick me up the ladder.

Another 4am rise for Buckets. People keep saying, "you must be getting used to it by now", yet it never gets any easier. But the thing is, just like my 3:30am rise for our trip to Paris, these travel opportunities rarely disappoint. In steps The Glenrothes, one of the most prestigious and acclaimed Single Malt Whisky Distillers of them all. I'm not one to doubt 130 years in the business. My knowledge of whisky mostly stems from Hollie's Dad's drinks cabinet – where I've been known to work my way through his Japanese selection – so in the scheme of things I know very little.

With something so specialists + subjective as whisky it's best to listen to the experts, and The Glenrothes team have it running through their veins. The live it. After a quick meet-and-greet with our travel partners (Foodepedia + Toms Whisky Reviews) and bag drop at The Glenrothes cottage we made our way through the local woodland to the famous distillery.

18 Nov 2014

Ideas | Penball Football Erasers

I wasn't planning to do any kind of "gift guide for Christmas" this year, rather carry on featuring products and items from around the net, that have piqued my interest. So what better way to kick things off with these natty foosball-style Penball Football Toppers. Back of the net!

Available to buy here with free shipping worldwide.

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17 Nov 2014

Pushing Forward with Victorinox Chrono Classic

I have an ongoing fascinated + appreciation towards the design of watches. Those little round things that sit on your wrist, humbly telling you which part of the day it is but they're usually built to be capable of much more. Take James Bond's watch in Live and Let Die for instance - that thing not only had a hidden buzz-saw to cut through shackles, it also had an electromagnetic field which could divert incoming bullets....chances are it probably stirred his Martini too. That being said, in everyday-life we really don't need any of that. The minimum we need is for it to keep good time, but it's those extra details and design decisions that really intrigue me.

Last month we learnt about the I.N.O.X a watch which is capable of withstanding some of the harshest conditions you will come across. This month we're looking at the more subtle and sophisticated Victorinox Chrono Classic. Fancy. For me, what's most noteworthy about this watch is the abundance of small details - which in many an argument is what menswear thrives upon.

The Chrono Classic takes its name from its chronographic movement meaning both regular time display and a stopwatch all in one and takes design inspiration from the original Swiss Army Officer's Knife. If you look closely you'll see that the individual number dials + hands resemble the shape of the their knife, the red second hand gives a nod to the iconic survival tool's colour and lower-central dial unit is made from the same material (almost file-like) as seen throughout their whole outdoor collection.

Boy, that was a mouthful, but in terms of what the Chrono Classic is capable of it's not very complicated at all. One of the neatest techy features of the watch is the perpetual calender, which automatically adjusts at the end of each month and also acts as the chronographic timer. For me, this dial is the coolest looking feature of the watch - and it would be the piece which Bond presses to eject the crumby bad guy from his brand new speed boat. Click play on the video to see the watch in action.

For more information about the Victorinox Chrono Classic visit here.

This post is in partnership with Victorinox. 

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16 Nov 2014

Yasumi Says | Thoughts On Fading Places

The world over small countryside towns and villages are falling into decline as the bright lights and the tempting promises of the big cities draw in more youngsters. 

I’ve seen evidence of fading countryside towns in every place that I have visited but for some reason seeing it in Japan really packed a punch. Perhaps the reason for my melancholy is partly because  when we visited Akayu, it was emanating natural beauty and at the peak of its sakura (cherry-blossom) season. Yet behind the blushing blossoms were a few stark reminders that the town is fading, more businesses are closing, fewer people are choosing to live here. Empty pachinko parlours, abandoned visitor centers, forgotten homes, none of this tells a happy tale of the little town.

I find myself naturally and inescapably compelled by abandoned places. I am drawn by their emptiness and their secrets. Exploring some abandoned places evokes immense trepidation and a claustrophobic mix of anxiety, fearful inner disquiet and at times utter sadness. I always hope that something good will come to each place that I visit. - Yasumi.

Yasumi has written quite a bit on the abandoned locations that she has visited, check them out here. Also recommended, Japanese-made socks by Anonymous Ism.

You can find Yasumi at - Stranger London | Worship Blues | Twitter

13 Nov 2014

Outfit | BOSS Orange Watches New York

For the second instalment of our partnership with BOSS Orange Watches we gave a piece from the AW14 collection the old road-test. You may remember our first feature on this season's collection, and having already covered the more techy details of the range we're excited to be trying out one of the watches, and seeing how it fairs within our daily routine.

To be a successful freelancer (still trying) you need to be very driven, committed and show passion towards every job at hand these too are the core values on which the BOSS Orange collection is built upon. The majority of the time I can be found sitting behind my desk-type-table, but on the rare occasion that me + Hollie time a day off together (super rare) we usually head to our local coffee shop. We get to catch up on the news from the week and discuss upcoming plans. On that day I decided to wear my BOSS Orange watch for the first time.

When I received the watch I was actually surprised how chunky it was, I'm more familiar with slimmer models but the architectural shape of the New York lends itself really well to its oversized shape. I wore it with a typical everyday-casual outfit of denim, sweatshirt and relaxed chinos but I can see it working well for the times I need to dress smarter for a meeting. Poking out of the shirt sleeve, I reckon it's sure to impressive any prospective clients.

The subtle mix of the brushed stainless steal face and rubber strap makes it fall into a nice middle-ground of smart and sporty a notion which I can definitely support. As I mentioned, size-wise it's larger than I usually go but I never rules styles out until I've tried them, you never know what you might miss!

 Wearing - BOSS Orange Watch* | Vintage Levi's Jacket | Realm & Empire Sweatshirt* | Universal Works Trousers | Albam Socks | Converse 1970s | '47 Brand Cap*

The New York model features a contrasting orange second hand and oversized pin, comes standard with Japanese Quarts movement and is fully equip for a 30 metre dive into water. Just to give you a bit of perspective, the watch measures at 50mm in width and 13mm in depth - so on my wrist it may look large but BOSS Orange Watches have designed this watch to take on a purposeful oversized appearance.

Thanks for reading guys, and if you like what you see look out for Part Three in our partnership where we'll be giving away a watch from their new collection. 
This article was written in partnership with BOSS Orange Watches

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12 Nov 2014

Monument Valley | Award-Winning Game Design

Akin to painting, sculpture, or photography, sometimes a product is so incredibly well designed that you can’t help but stare at it for hours. Monument Valley from ustwo studio is just such a product. A puzzle game available to download on the App Store, Google Play, and Kindle Fire, is so beautiful that it's won an Apple Design Award - and my eternal worship.
The game is a series of glorious isometric puzzles, taking the form of castles, caves, and inexplicable shapes. Your task is to guide a small character (princess Ida) through each level, by twisting and turning certain moveable elements and then pointing where you’d like the character to walk.

There’s no death, no guns, or angry birds (or is there?) - nothing that computer games are generally associated with - just stunning pictures that you can spend hours walking through again and again. 

Check out more screenshots in this short piece on the designers behind the game. For those guys who have Monument Valley already, there are some new levels out this week!- Nik

You can find Nik at - Conrad's Beer | Twitter | Instagram

11 Nov 2014

A Week In The Life | Idle Man Feature

Sunday - The Lake District 
You can find me on the Idle Man blog, where they asked me to document "A Week In The Life" from my perspective. You can see the full feature here.

"I was back in the office on Friday and Saturday - catching up with work, emails and articles for the blog. Sunday threw up another bit of travel, this time up to the Lake District, and what a beautiful part of England is it..." 

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10 Nov 2014

Win 100 Postcards Designs By Cocorrina x Bean Beam

You know if Cocorrina's involved in a project it's going to be a good one!

This week we're helping by buddy Corina, of Cocorrina, to celebrate the launch of BeamBeam's new innovative product, Pinto. This new devise is the World's First Storage Wristband with no USB plug! Corina's partner + team have been working hard to develop the Pinto to not only function in the simplest way (works via Bluetooth) but also to look + feel modern - We're happy to support this innovative idea as much as we can. Sometimes these things are hard to explain but their website is super digestible and walks you through how it all works. You can also watch their videos here and here. So excited about this! Designer, Corina, has created a set of 100 Individual Postcards to celebrate - and you could win the whole set!

9 Nov 2014

Taking The Rain Test + Weekend Links

Wearing - The North Face Jacket c/o JD | ASOS Hat

More jackets folks. But can you blame us, it's soaking about 90% of the time here. I'll be putting this "all-weather" Venture Jacket by The North Face through its paces over the next month - as the temperatures have dipped it's definitely too cold as a main jacket so I'll need to layer up good and proper. We'll see how it fares in the rain it's got a lot to live up to if my Marmot jacket is anything to go by. Which brands do you recommend?

Enjoy the rest of your weekend my friends, take it easy.

Weekend Bucket List

The decision to no longer accept comments on your blog
Here's what £495 socks look like
Riding the NY subway on a vintage carriage
This Swiss-made wooden cow
A new restaurant in London added to my must-visit list
Buckets & Spades made it onto a Top 10 list!
In case you missed it - I interviewed Travel Photographer Simone Anne

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