Tuesday, 22 April 2014

The Korakuen Garden in Okayama, Japan

Well hello! I hope that you’re all well and that you had a fabulous long weekend. I just spent four days in Normandy, France and it was fabulous. Needless to say, I’m a little exhausted so today I have a guest post on one of the loveliest gardens in the world by my friend Fran. Enjoy!

Korakuen Garden in Okayama, Japan

In Japan they love lists of three. Three best views, three best castles, three best temples and above all, three best gardens. The Korakuen Garden in Okayama is on the ‘three best’ list, along with the Kenrokuen in Kanazawa and the Kairakuen in Mito. I’ve been lucky enough to visit the Korakuen garden twice now - once in March, when it was elegantly bare and once in the summer, when the azaleas and irises were in flower. I thought it was one of the loveliest gardens in the world.

It was commissioned in 1687 by the local lord, Tsunamasa Ikeda, and was completed in 1700. It was used as a place for entertaining important guests, though ordinary people were allowed to visit on certain days. In 1884 ownership was transferred to Okayama Prefecture and the garden was opened to the public. It’s suffered from the passing vagaries of history, including flooding in 1934 and bomb damage in the Second World War but it was restored using Edo period drawings and  extensive Ikeda family records so its appearance today is very much as it was when it was first made.

The garden was designed in the Kaiyu (scenic promenade) style so that as you wander along the winding paths you are constantly presented with fresh views of the lawns, ponds, hills, tea houses, and streams. The central pond is rather unkindly called Marsh Pond (Sawa-no-ike), but is far too well manicured to live up to its name.

Korakuen Garden in Okayama

The Enyo-tei tea house is the centrepiece of the garden. It’s surrounded by beautifully clipped azalea bushes.

The Korakuen Garden in Okayama, Japan

The Korakuen Garden in Okayama

The Yuishin-zan Hill is a steep climb but there's a panoramic view from the top.

Korakuen Garden

The extensive lawns might look natural to us, but they’re rarely found in a Japanese garden.

The Korakuen Garden, Japan

The garden has flowers for all seasons. In the summer it’s the irises that take centre stage.

Iris Planatation, Korakuen Garden in Okayama, Japan

Overlooking the iris plantation is the Ryuten tea house, which has no walls on the ground floor and a stream running through the middle.

Ryuten tea house, Korakuen Garden in Okayama, Japan

The garden even has its own tea plantation.

Tea plantation, Korakuen Garden in Okayama, Japan

Okayama is just under an hour by train from Osaka; it’s a convenient stopping off point if you’re taking the bullet train from Kyoto to Hiroshima. To reach the garden either take a taxi or walk (fifteen-twenty minutes) straight up the main road from the station. You won’t be disappointed.

Fran's book The Cherry Blossom Murder, a murder mystery set in Japan, is out now on Kindle and in paperback.


Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Confronting My Fear of Heights at Orlando Towers

Orlando Towers Johannesburg

Sometimes fear creeps up on you. Nothing specific happened to make me afraid of heights but all of a sudden it was there.

I first noticed it when Stephen jumped off the highest commercial bungee jump in the world at Bloukrans Bridge, in the Western Cape in 2003. The jump takes place from a platform under the arch of the bridge and the surface of the platform is made from some sort of chicken wire or other holey metal. I could see straight through it to the valley below and I practically crawled to the centre of the platform, holding on desperately to the sides. Out of the blue I was acutely aware that I was terrified of heights, in a most physical and immediate way. This was not helped in any way when Stephen bungeed off the bridge and promptly disappeared behind the perspective of the rope. I honestly thought I’d lost him for a moment!

When my fear of heights overcomes me, my whole world tilts sideways; I become dizzy and I can't think straight.  I don't mean to be contrary but no, Sartre, it has nothing to do with wanting to jump and knowing I have the freedom to do so. Psychologically I'm not afraid but the rapid heartbeat and inability to breathe make my brain think I'm afraid.

The fear continued to grow once I moved to the UK. We had an open flat roof at my previous office and showing contractors around was a challenge in itself as I couldn't go near the edges. My first time in the London Eye was okay, just as long as I didn't look down because when I did, it felt as if the capsule had tilted on its axis.

What would you do if you had a dire fear of heights?

Well, I jumped free fall off a 100 metre high tower. That’s right, take another look at the photo at the top of this post because I jumped off that! See – that tiny dot in the photo below is me.

Power swinging from Orlando Towers

If you’re thinking I’m crazy right now and possibly a little reckless, then it is probably best that I explain just how right you might be. See, I had always loved the look of the Orlando Towers near Soweto in Johannesburg but there was no way on this earth that I was going to bungee jump from the towers or base jump into them. No, that was just too dangerous.

But then I visited the Orlando Towers website and noticed that you can power swing from the towers! Marvellous, I thought, I’ll do that!

I was also convinced that ‘power swing’ meant foofy slide or what you might know as a zip-line or flying fox

In other words, I was thoroughly convinced that I was going to take a rather tame and safe slide down the sides of the Orlando Towers and I remained under that delusion until after I had paid my R360 over to the nice lady and signed an indemnity acknowledging that I could very possibly jump to my death that day.

So what happened next?

Emm in Johannesburg

I began to look very, very worried. Please excuse the photo, I’m evidently not one of those people who manages to look glamorous as I walk to my death when travelling. You’ll notice that the man behind me was looking equally nervous as he pulled on his bungee harness.

The lift up Orlando Towers

We then clamoured into a lift that took the most torturously slow ride up the eastern tower.

Power Swinging from Orlando Towers, Soweto

I took a moment at the top to admire the views. It felt like you could see forever from on top of those towers and it was simply fabulous. I also graciously let several people go before me, good mannered person that I am.

This photo was taken at about the moment when I realised that unlike the bungee jumpers who are fitted with a massive attachment to the bottom of their legs as well as a harness, I was simply going to be fitted with a single rope attached by two clips to my harness.

Nervous laughter at Orlando Towers

Cue nervous laughter.

There was a rather tense moment when I kind of refused to step towards the edge of the platform and was politely reminded that if I turned back now, I would lose all my money. That didn’t work and so my chief torturer pictured above politely told me to “get your sh*t together”. Oh yes he did!

I don’t actually remember jumping off. As far as I can remember, I crouched down and dangled one foot in the air and then sort of fell forward.

And then I fell and fell and fell with my eyes squeezed shut for I had signed up to a free fall from a 100 metre tower, the kind of free fall that only becomes a swing once the very, very long rope gains traction from a point suspended between the two towers. And so as I continued to fall, I forced myself to hold on to the rope, to open my eyes and to enjoy myself. I wouldn’t go so far as saying it was exhilarating. Mostly, I was trying not to wet my pants, but once I got down to the bottom all I wanted was to go right back up to the top and try it again!

Orlando Towers Soweto

Would I recommend it? Absolutely, 100%. With the current exchange rate, R360 is about £20 and you’d be crazy not to try it.

Would I do it again? Yes. I would definitely like to give it another try and to try not to be so terrified this time because I really was that scared.

Did it cure me of my fear of heights? Sort of. It gave me the chance to replace my fears with memories of an exhilarating, exciting and triumphant experience. Of course, it doesn’t always work. I went on the London Eye the other day and purposefully looked straight down and had to sit down for a couple of minutes to compose myself!

Orlando Towers, Soweto
Dynamo Street cnr Old Potch Road
Phone: +27 71 674-4343
Email: info@orlandotowers.co.za

Have you ever done anything completely crazy but been too silly or shy or stubborn to turn back?


Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Must See: 'Experiencing Nirvana' Exhibition at Proud Camden

Experiencing Nirvana Exhibition Proud Camden

February 1994: I can remember it as clear as day. I was just at the end of a 9-month post-university stint in the UK and was on my back to embark on post-grad studies in South Africa when Nirvana announced tour dates in England for March 1994. Such was my love for the band that I almost cancelled my flight home (and my post-grad studies) in order to remain in the UK to catch one of their concerts. In the grand scheme of things, it would not have ended up being the craziest thing I did to see a band live but I’m eternally thankful that I made the decision to go home. By early March 1994, we knew that something was amiss when Cobain overdosed in Rome and went into a coma; one month later he was gone.

A couple of weeks ago, Melissa and I went along to the launch of the Experiencing Nirvana photography exhibition at Proud Camden. The exhibition features the works of Charles Peterson and Steve Double who photographed the band from the release of Bleach in 1989 right up to the beginning of 1994.

Experiencing Nirvana Exhibition

The photographs were simply incredible. I loved the mix of studio photos, promo shots and concert photos and it broke my heart at times to see how young they all looked. I was especially interested to see how the early photos featured Chad Channing who was replaced by Dave Grohl in 1990.

Experiencing Nirvana Proud Camden

The exhibition is highly recommended for fans of Nirvana and Kurt Cobain. You can purchase limited edition, signed prints of the photos and I have to admit that I was tempted. The exhibition coincides with the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s untimely death and it runs until 11 May 2014. Entrance is free so be sure to stop by next time you’re at Camden Market!

Experiencing Nirvana Exhibition Proud

Proud Camden
The Horse Hospital, Chalk Farm Road NW1 8AH
Telephone: 020 7482 3867
Opening times: Mon-Fri : 11am – 5pm Sat: 11am – 4pm. Main Gallery closes at 4pm Sun: 11am - 5pm
Entrance: Free
Information: info@proudgalleries.co.uk

Credit to © Steve Double and © Charles Peterson for the original works featured in these photos.


Sunday, 6 April 2014

Eating Out in Bosnia: The Best Meals of My Life

I know, it’s not Tuesday but when life gave me lemons this week, I had to turn them into Lemsip to treat a change-of-season cold that suddenly appeared. Speaking of food, this week I am joining Emma, Rebecca and Kelly on their monthly travel link up. We’re talking about about the best meals we had while travelling and I couldn’t think of a better reason to return to Bosnia! In a way, I’m pleased because I’m not a foodie blogger (I far prefer to eat food than write about it) but I had always wanted to share these culinary experiences.

Restaurant Šadrvan – Stari Grad, Mostar

Stari Grad, Mostar

I remember the Saturday afternoon we arrived in Mostar as if it were yesterday. I had seen so many photos of the old town but somehow remained unprepared for its beauty. The hostess of the Villa Anri encouraged us to enjoy drinks on the roof of the hotel but as we gazed down into the old town, we simply couldn’t wait to go and explore. We asked our hostess to recommend a restaurant with authentic Bosnian-Herzegovinian food and she wasted no time in recommending the Restaurant Šadrvan.

View from Sadrvan Restaurant Mostar

I will always remember that afternoon in Mostar. We sat under the shade of the trees in the Šadrvan restaurant, watching as people milled around the market stalls or began the steep incline towards the old bridge. It was a hot, lazy May afternoon with the temperatures already in the 30s yet there was an undercurrent of anticipation, as if we need only wait for the cool dusk to come and the evening festivities to begin.

Nacionalna Plate Sadrvan Restaurant Mostar

Located where Jusovina Street meets the main path through the old town, Šadrvan (meaning ‘fountain’) surrounds an old Ottoman-style fountain.

As I opened the menu and paged through the options, I had to laugh at the name of the dish that we were to order. Part of what attracted me to the Bosnian language in the first place was that so often, words are similar enough that you can derive their meaning; it’s just that words sounds so much more lyrical in Bosnian. I ordered the ‘Nacionalna Plate’ for two and thrilled at the way in which the words rolled off my tongue.

The food of the Balkan region is well known for its variety of stuffed vegetables and this meal was no different. At €18, it was incredibly well-priced and included japraka and dolme – peppers, onions and vine leaves stuffed with rice and meat. The meal came with loads of ćevapi which are minced lamb sausages, small savoury corn bread cakes known as ‘Bosnian cookies’ and đuveč, a savoury vegetable dish. The dish was completed with flat bread, boiled potatoes, rice and sour cream.

Sadrvan Restaurant Mostar

I’ve often tried to describe the effect that this dish had on us but seem to fail each time. I can say that it was so good that it puts every other dish I have had since to shame. That my mouth is watering as I write and that I’d climb on a plane right now if I could to sample that piece of Bosnian heaven again. It was simply delicious and when we were looking for somewhere to eat the following afternoon, we could not help but return to the Šadrvan again to eat the exact same dish.

Bosnian Coffee Sadrvan Restaurant Mostar

It was also here that we sampled Bosnian coffee for the first time and began what would become quite an obsession over the following five days. As I tasted that first cup of sweet, rich coffee with its gravy-like consistency, I knew that I would never forget that moment. And no matter how I’d grown up with Turkish coffee, I now knew that Bosnian coffee was the best on the planet.

Restaurant Inat Kuča – Sarajevo

Restoran Inat Kuca - Sarajevo

After such an auspicious introduction to local cuisine, Stephen and I were initially disappointed with the food in Sarajevo. We had prepared ahead, consulted Trip Advisor and gone to the most popular restaurant in town and while the food was good and the service fantastic, it simply didn’t measure up to our experience in Mostar.

Thankfully, we met up with Kenan, a local tour guide and he recommended the Restaurant Inat Kuča for an authentic Bosnian experience.

Sarajevski Sahan Inat Kuca

I chose the dish Sarajevski Sahan and it did not disappoint. It was a mix of Bosnian specialties and again featured stuffed peppers, onions and vine leaves, as well as ćevapi and bamija which is a Bosnian veal stew. We noticed the slight change in the food from Mostar, which is in the Herzegovinian region, with the introduction of veal and stews.

Mjesano meso Inat Kuca Sarajevo

You might have noticed in the dishes above that Bosnians love their meat and so do South Africans! Stephen was in his element with the dish he ordered, a mješano meso or mixed meat for one. Yes, all of that meat was for one person and cost an incredible 20KM or €10! My dish cost 14KM or €7.

Menu - Inat Kuca Sarajevo

The story of the Inat Kuča or ‘house of despite’ is an incredible one. The house was once located on the other side of the river Miljacka but in 1895 city officials wanted to demolish it to make way for the new city hall. The old man who owned the house was very stubborn and insisted that they dismantle his house and rebuild it, brick for brick, on the other side of the river. And so it is now, slightly lost in translation, the house of spite or despite.

Restaurant Inat Kuca - Sarajevo

It is a little difficult to describe exactly why we loved this restaurant so much and what it meant to us. We had spent the morning touring Sarajevo with Kenan, learning about the siege, driving down Sniper Alley and visiting the Tunnel Museum. It was a lot to absorb and I can recall us being lost in our thoughts for a while as we relaxed and enjoyed the superb food. I would say that it was a moment in time, a sensory experience which is burned in my heart and my memory and I can so easily recall the quiet and calm of that afternoon, the importance to us and, of course, the tastes.

If you enjoyed this culinary tour of Bosnia, please be sure to visit the hosts Emma, Rebecca and Kelly of the monthly travel link up for more meals from around the world.

Because I was so late with this post, I will be back on Tuesday with a little bit of local London culture.


Sunday, 30 March 2014

Catching Up With Emm in London

Eynsford Viaduct

Why hello there! It feels like an age since I’ve been here and in a way it is. At the end of January, I began to talk with my fellow blogging friends about taking a break from Emm in London. I was feeling overwhelmed and burnt out and I am sure many of us have felt that from time to time. I was thrilled when I had the chance to host the Colour Me Urban competition because that gave me a chance to take a step back while the competition was running. The problem was that the competition ran its course and I still didn’t feel ready to come back! It seems that my instincts back in January were right and I definitely needed a break.

Part of it was that I was dedicating all of my creative energies to Emm in London when I definitely have other interests. When I finished studying last year, I had a long list of things I wanted to do in 2014 but the only thing I’d achieved by the end of January was posting more over here. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve taken the time to work on my other blogs, to see my friends and family and to work on further studies*. I’ve also rekindled my love of reading despite standing on and breaking my old Kindle! I’m hoping to maintain these other activities in future.

Another big part of it is that, for me, blogging is not just about churning out posts. It is about visiting other blogs, leaving comments and replying to comments on my own blog. It got to a point where I simply couldn’t keep up. I’ve had days this year where I barely had time for a toilet break and where I was setting my alarm to wake me up before my stop on the train home. I felt that if I couldn’t be a good blogging friend then I needed to take a step back until I could. (Because as you know, bloggers are powered by support).

So what changed? At one point I thought that I might never be ready to come back at all but then I was looking through my photos from Italy and I realised I still have so much I want to share with the world. In addition to that, I’ve received a couple of really exciting invitations lately to museums, exhibitions and art galleries that I really want to support and share too.

Eynsford, Kent

So what next? Taking a leaf out of Lady Loves Cake’s book, I’m going to be super strict with myself in future and only post once a week, on Tuesdays. I’m going to continue mixing my posts up so you’ll continue to see posts from previous trips to South Africa and Italy, posts featuring events and happenings in London and soon, posts from our upcoming road trip to France.

Our next outing is this Saturday 5 April to the London Sewing Machine Museum in Balham. Please do get in touch if you’d like to join us, we’re meeting there at 2.30pm.

And finally… a long time ago, I had a really nifty blog roll that populated directly from Google Reader. With the demise of Google Reader, my blog roll turned into a mess of ugly code and stopped working. I’m finally going to set up a new blog roll so do let me know if you’d like to be added. I think it goes without saying that this is only open to people who read and comment on Emm in London.

The photos above were taken at Eynsford in Kent. The first is of the famous Eynsford Viaduct, built in 1862 as a railway bridge to cross the River Darenth, and the second is looking across the river to the countryside.

* In case you’re interested, my other blogs Addicted to Media and A Passion to Understand. My further studies relate to required Continuing Professional Development now that I’m qualified and I’ve finally designed my own self-study course in Comparative Genocide Studies.

Why don’t you take the chance to catch me up on what you’ve been up to in the past month? Don’t forget to enter your blog URL and use CommentLuv to display your latest blog post!


Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Winner Announcement: Urban Colour Explosion

Southwark Lights

Can you believe that it is four weeks since I announced the Colour Me Urban competition? One month ago, I challenged my readers to chase away the winter grey and show me some colour. I was thrilled with the response and for the past month, my Twitter and Instagram feeds exploded with colour and cheer.

I’m thrilled to announce the winner is Ellie with her photo of the bright lights on Southwark Street. Congratulations Ellie! The sponsor will be in touch tomorrow and will send you your brand new iPhone 5S.

Thank you to everyone who took part and helped me promote the competition! I appreciated every, single share on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and I loved all of the entries.

I know I have a lot to live up to now but to be honest, it will be nice to return to normal blogging soon. I’ll just have to make sure that my posts are as colourful and cheerful as ever.


Saturday, 8 March 2014

Urban Colour: Inner City Shine

Stik Hungerford Bridge

I don’t want to speak too soon but it has been such a glorious, sunny week in London that I’m tempted to sing from the rooftops that spring is finally here! Of course, it is still cold but sometimes in the late afternoons it warms up enough that we’re beginning to open windows and let some fresh air in.

Part of the reason for my high spirits has to be the scores of colourful photos that were shared as part of my Colour Me Urban competition over the past three weeks.  I was really impressed by the fantastic creative interpretations of the theme and the bright, cheery photos.

The competition has now ended and here are the last two finalists. I hope you like them as much as I did!

1. Bright Lights on Southwark Street

Southwark Lights

Ellie took this photo of the bright lights under the railway lines on Southwark Street. I loved what she had to say about it: “I took it on Sunday night - it was wet & dismal but the lights still cheered me up in spite of the weather. This would otherwise be quite a dark, unimpressive space, probably plastered with flyers & posters but I think it's a great example of how colour can really change the look and feel of an urban space”. I think it is safe to say that I completely agree with Ellie!

Follow Ellie on Twitter: @Ms_Scatty

2. The Windows to the City’s Soul


This entry on Instagram really stood out and caught my eye but it was the caption that impressed me most. Katrina said simply that “windows are the eyes to the city’s soul”. I love that idea and I love how she tapped into the living, urban soul of the city.

Follow Katrina on Instagram: @katmonkey81

Runners Up: Lights and Lasers

Once again, it was a heart breaking process choosing my finalists because I knew it meant that I did so at the expense of so many excellent entries. Here are my favourite runners up.

Modern Terminus

Richey took this photo at King’s Cross Station and called it ‘Modern Terminus’.

Follow Richey on Twitter: @Driver_8_Ace


Jhan took this photo at the Sziget festival in Budapest. I am so envious, I would love to go to this festival and I definitely think I need to visit Budapest soon.

Follow Jhan on Twitter: @JhanB

I will now send the six finalists to the sponsor and I they will soon let me know who the winner is. Fingers crossed for my six fantastic finalists!


Friday, 28 February 2014

Urban Colour: Landscapes and Diversity

Burano, Italy

Wow, what a crazy week! The competition has definitely kicked off over here and I had tons of entries this week for the Colour Me Urban competition! I’m sure you know by now that I’m giving away an iPhone 5S and you have less than one week left to enter. The theme is “urban colour” and all you have to do to enter is upload photo to Twitter or Instagram, tag it #ColourMeUrban and tell me you’ve entered on the competition page.

Meanwhile, life changing things are happening in my real life and I was so busy on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday that yes, this post is a day late! I hope you can all forgive me for keeping you in suspense. I won’t keep you waiting any longer, here are my next two finalists!

1. Pluralism and Diversity

Pluralism and multi-culturalism

I really enjoyed student Zain Mitha’s interpretation of the theme. He took this photo at his school and said, “being pluralistic means working with everyone”. He added that the school encourages students to express themselves through art and that it shows them how people can com together. What a great message!

Follow Zain on Twitter: @ZainMitha

2. A Burning Sunset in Saltburn


There is nothing more gritty and urban than a steelworks but this photo is simply drenched in colour. This photo is of the Saltburn Pier looking towards the steelworks at Redcar in North Yorkshire and it is simply glorious. Something about it reminds me of the double decker highway in Johannesburg, also known as the City of Gold.

Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmybJimmyb157

Runners Up: Bright Lights and Urban Signs

I have to admit, it was not easy to pick the winners this week and there were so many good entries. These entries definitely deserve special mention:


I am very envious of Melissa’s recent solo trip to Morocco! Melissa took this photo in Marrakech saying, “Nicer than the spice. Flower buds looking and smelling heavenly in the Jewish market”.

Follow Melissa on Instagram: @wanderlust2311

Harris Flights Preston

Usually when you visit an art gallery, it is for the art inside but at the Harris Museum & Art Gallery in Preston, the gallery is part of the art! Tony Openshaw submitted this photo of the Harris Flights.

Follow Tony on Twitter: @TonyTwo

Busan, South Korea

Rose submitted this really colourful scene of the shop signs in Busan, South Korea.  She said that they really love colour there!

You can follow Rose on Twitter: @Happyhooe

Council buildings

And finally, Kelly submitted this photo of the old council offices in her home town. She said that the council decided to add colour to the windows to make it less of an eye sore. It will soon be demolished but has been standing like this for about five years!

Follow Kelly on Twitter: @kellydove3

Remember that there are just five days left to enter the competition! If you live in the UK, be sure to enter before 5 March 2014!

The clock started again yesterday now so if you haven’t entered yet, do so now!


Thursday, 20 February 2014

Urban Colour: Chasing Away the Grey

Helter Skelter

It’s been an exciting week here at Emm in London and I’ve been working overtime to spread the word about my Colour Me Urban competition.

For those of you who don’t know, I announced that I’m giving away a brand new iPhone 5S to one lucky reader. All you have to do to enter is upload a bold and colourful photo to Twitter or Instagram, tag it with #ColourMeUrban and leave a comment on the competition page.

Each week I’ll shortlist two entries and then the winner will be chosen from the top six after 5 March. Without further ado, here are this week’s bursts of colour.

1. Street Art at Southbank Undercroft

Street Art from Southbank Undercroft

The first entry, and the first to be shortlisted, is this very colourful photo of the street art on the Southbank undercroft by Sarah. In her comment, Sarah said, “I was torn on which photo to use - I had two that I particularly liked, one from Paris and one from London. I ultimately chose the one in London since, well, this is home now”. I’m glad she chose London!

Follow Sarah on Twitter: @Wanderblogger

2. The Pink Window at Peckham Library

The Pink Window at Peckham Library

Jenny was really proud of the fact that she took this shocking pink photo without having to use a filter! This is the view through the pink window at Peckham Library and in the distance you can see the Shard. I like the dreamy 70s Polaroid feel and the silhouetted figures in the foreground.

Follow Jenny on Twitter: @JennyWoolf

Runner Up: Lloyds Building Through Leadenhall

Leadenhall Market

Nick Board entered with this photo of the Lloyds Building seen from Leadenhall Market in the city. Leadenhall is always full of colour and scenes from Harry Potter were filmed there!

Follow Nicholas on Twitter: @tautau123

If you live in the UK, you have two more weeks to enter the competition. In the meantime, I’ll be forever grateful if you tweet about the competition using the hashtag #colourmeurban and if you take part yourself. Remember, if you get shortlisted, you have a one in six chance of winning!

Banish the grey and colour me urban! I’m looking to chase away the last of the winter blues with colour and vitality. Surprise me with your originality and be sure to enter before 5 March 2014!


Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Colour Me Urban and Win an iPhone 5S!

Put Some Colour Into Your Life

A couple of months ago, daring street artist Kostar attempted to inject some colour into the lives of Londoners when he transformed these four red telephone boxes outside Charing Cross Station. It was short-lived of course and the city had painted over it in no time at all.

Now the final weeks of winter are dragging and I’m keen to banish the grey with a burst of colour. That’s where you come in. Over the next three weeks, Emm in London will be transformed into a hub of urban colour. I’ll be asking you to submit your most colourful, bold and interesting photos for the chance to win (wait for it) an iPhone 5S!

All you have to do is upload a photo to either Twitter or Instagram and tag it with the hashtag #colourmeurban. Then leave a comment below to let me know you’ve entered and make sure to mention your Instagram or Twitter username!

Each week I will choose two of my favourite photos and then the overall winner will be chosen from the shortlist of six.


Competition Terms & Conditions

1. The competition is open to UK residents only.

2. The closing date for entries is 5 March 2014.

3. My favourite photos of each week will be displayed on Emm in London and I will shortlist two photos each week.

4. The winner will receive an iPhone 5S.

5. The winner will be selected from the shortlist of six photos. The winner will be contacted via Twitter or Instagram and will be sent the prize directly.

6. Each entrant may enter once on Twitter and once on Instagram. Only entries including a photo, hashtag #colourmeurban and comment below will be considered.

7. Entrants may use as many filters and processing techniques as they like including colour splash, HDR or tilt shift.

8. Photos should be of an urban setting including street photography, cityscapes, street art and derelict or abandoned buildings. Don’t forget your colour!

9. Ownership of the photos remains with the individual photographers and will not be used other than in the weekly posts and to announce the competition winner.


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