Okahu Bay yachts, Auckland © Content Catnip 2018 www.contentcatnip.com

Every picture tells a story: Spectacular sunset over Okahu Bay, Auckland

Okahu Bay yachts, Auckland © Content Catnip 2018 www.contentcatnip.com I am writing this post on the 5th of January and all going well, we will leave our current home and be residing somewhere else by the publishing date of this post at the end of March/April 2019. Back to the future indeed. Time passes so…

Pygmy marmoset. Warsaw Zoo Copyright Content Catnip 2019

Travel: The sensitive faces of animals in Warsaw Zoo

Something unexpected happened to me in Warsaw Zoo today. Instead of enjoying myself seeing all the animals I felt really sad. Why? Because they came across through my camera lens as being full of emotion, sensitivity and immense intelligence. I connected with them and their pain in the same way I would if I looked…

Asakusa, Tokyo by Night. Copyright © Content Catnip 2018 www.contentcatnip.com

Every picture tells a story: Rainbow neon street scene in Asakusa

Asakusa, Tokyo by Night. Copyright © Content Catnip 2018 www.contentcatnip.com Here's another photo I took strolling around at night in Asakusa in Tokyo. In these little alleys, there is an air of intimate and cosy homeliness, I guess this is thanks to the locals. On a micro scale, these alleys had a really neighbourly and…

Every picture tells a story: Cutsey pancake van in Shinjuku

Every picture tells a story: Cutsey pancake van in Shinjuku

Cutesy pancake shop makes me want pancakes in Shinjuku Copyright © Content Catnip 2018 www.contentcatnip.com Like most things in Tokyo, I had only a vague notion of what the hell was going on here. It looks like a pancake van on cute steroids. Apparently to sell anything the best way to do it is to…

Day out in Wellington: The Terracotta Warriors at Te Papa Museum Copyright © Content Catnip https://youtu.be/qzl3CWQaXxM

Day out in Wellington: The Terracotta Warriors at Te Papa Museum

The first week that we moved to Wellington we went to see Te Papa Museum's landmark exhibition: Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality. Enshrined in darkness and dim light, the exhibition feels like being submerged into the underworld. The exhibition offers you a rare opportunity to have an intimate and immersive encounter with remarkable treasures from…

Looking down on epic Wellington from Mt Kaukau

Procrastination…argh!

I set myself some daily/long-term goals on a whiteboard earlier this year. They were as follows: To practice 10 units of Polish daily on Duolingo (prior to going to Poland in a month). To finish producing 20 or so videos from my previous trip to Japan (before April). To finish the first draft of a…

Book Review: She Rises by Kate Worsley

Book Review: She Rises by Kate Worsley

*Contains no spoilers. She Rises is an erotic, sea-faring adventure by debut novelist Kate Worsley. Under the tutelage of mentor and maven of the historical novel Sarah Waters, Kate Worsley has created a beautifully sculpted jewel of a novel set in an Essex fishing village in 1740. A word to the wise, the book is…

Ginkaku-Ji temple gardens, Kyoto © Content Catnip 2018 www.contentcatnip.co

Ancient word of the day: Apricity

Apricity was a term originally coined by English lexicographer Henry Cockeram to denote the "the warmeness of the Sunne in Winter". This photo I took during a particularly chilling end of autumn day in Japan in Ginkaku-ji Temple, Kyoto. Note how the sun falls in cascades of enveloping warmth onto the golden tinged leaves. Apricity…

Intricate and endearing chirimen crafts in Kyoto

Intricate and endearing chirimen crafts in Kyoto

What is Chirimen? Chirimen is a beautiful and intricate weaving technique that was developed in the late 16th century in Japan. Silk is folded to generate soft wrinkles in a technique called chirimen. According to a pamphlet I picked up from the Chirimen Craft Museum in Arashiyama, “the wrinkles are created by alternating two types…

The beautiful poetry of the Maori/Polynesian Star Compass - Atea a Rangi

Atea a Rangi: Star Maps of the Maori and Pacific Peoples

In the past, I've written about Maori sea navigation by the stars and the legend of Matariki. Although nothing prepared me for the utterly beautiful Maori star compass which has been carved and placed on a remote and wild beach in the Hawkes Bay, between Hastings and Napier. The Star Compass - Atea a Rangi…

Asakusa, Tokyo by Night. Copyright © Content Catnip 2018 www.contentcatnip.com

Every picture tells a story: Cosy Asakusa, Tokyo by night

You know when you just come across something so ridiculously photogenic on the street that you have to photograph it....this was one of these moments. As I have a strange and enduring obsession with all things neon, wandering around Tokyo at night taking photos is my ideal heaven. Asakusa, Tokyo by Night. Copyright © Content…

Kanpai in Asakusa, Tokyo Japan Copyright © Content Catnip 2018 www.contentcatnip.co

Every picture tells a story: Kanpai in Asakusa, Tokyo

As darkness falls over Asakusa in Tokyo, loads of locals who have just finished work head to their favourite local restaurant for some amazing and succulent ramen. A lady brandishes a treat in the air and makes her Chiba Inu jump and twirl for the entertainment of passers-by. Salarymen and tourists on their third or…

Kyoto river boat ride adventure by Content Catnip TV

Kyoto river boat ride adventure by Content Catnip TV

Arashiyama is a charming little town just on the outskirts of Kyoto that features a lot of highly regarded UNESCO Heritage sites such as the Kinkaku-Ji temple. Although we found that surprisingly the most enjoyable activity was simply floating along the river in an old wooden boat and being guided by two funny guys, along…

Five Summer Must-Dos On The Mornington Peninsula, Melbourne

Travel: Lazy summer weekend ideas on Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula

Only got a weekend in Melbourne, but want to experience the best of an Aussie summer? The Mornington Peninsula is where to go. This is where the locals flock for the best beaches and laid back holiday vibe.  Located in the south east of Melbourne, it's my original stomping ground and so I know it…

A photo of the day: Dusk in St Heliers, Auckland

Blue dusk in St Heliers © Content Catnip 2018 www.contentcatnip.com We have lived in Auckland for the past four years and every other day, I walk the length of Tamaki drive, a long 8 km sea-skimming road that is bike and pedestrian friendly. Although the city itself can be a pretty bland and tiresome, the…

Ahikabara Tokyo during the day Copyright © Content Catnip 2018 www.contentcatnip.com

Every picture tells a story: Mayhem and maid cafes in Akihabara

Very little can prepare you for how full on Akihabara or Electric Town is in Tokyo. This is the mecca for nerds and gamers, it has more square metres of computer shops here than anywhere else in the world. You can buy anything electronic here. Including ancient computers, gigantic robotic dinosaurs, sex robots, a gazillion…

Ancient word of the day: Thalassophile

Ancient word of the day: Thalassophile

A thalassophile is a lover of the sea or someone who is powerfully drawn to and by the ocean. This ancient word comes from the Ancient Greek θάλασσα (thálassa, “sea”), and φίλος (phílos, “dear, beloved”). I took this photo on Enoshima Island in Kanagawa prefecture, Japan back in early October last year. As the sun…

A fancy restaurant in the backstreets of Kyoto Copyright © Content Catnip 2018 www.contentcatnip.com

Every picture tells a story: Fancy restaurant in Kyoto

A fancy restaurant in the backstreets of Kyoto Copyright © Content Catnip 2018 www.contentcatnip.com In every alleyway and side-street in Kyoto and Tokyo there are thousands of stories. This alley was no exception. I can't exactly recall what this place was, but I just loved how it looked. Some shop fronts are adorned in such…

Polski jedzenie/ Polish food: My om nom nom nominations

Eight words in Polish that have no English equivalent

You may have noticed that I'm on a bit of a Polish love-spree right now. If you're still here and reading about it, that means you haven't tired of my meanderings into everything to do with Polish culture, food and art. Because of the PB I've decided to learn the language. After all, the PB…

Travel: Eileann Donan Castle, Kyle of Lochalsh, Scotland. Copyright Content Catnip 2010

Travel: A visit to Eileann Donan Castle

Eileann Donan Castle is near the Kyle of Lochalsh, Scotland. I went there once in winter and once at the end of autumn. This place is steeped in ancient mystery, wonder and a sense of the densely lived past. When peering over the loch and the pristine quiet wilderness, you are peering into the deep…