Weekly Photo Challenge: A Taste of Venice

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Afloat,” as well as Writing101’s Day 2 Challenge: “A Room with a View.”

You close your eyes to appreciate this perfect moment. You are comfortably seated next to your special someone on a luxuriously upholstered seat; a warm, gentle breeze is blowing, and it enhances this feeling you have of gliding on air.

The only discernible sound is the gentle lapping of water, until the dulcet tones of a piano accordion permeate the silence with a romantic Italian melody. Suddenly a rich baritone breaks into an operatic classic by Puccini (or perhaps it’s Rossini, you can never tell the difference) and your beloved leans in for a soft kiss.

You open your eyes and the sight of your singing guide in his striped shirt and straw hat makes you smile, and you look around, expecting to be surrounded by the fading pastel hues of historic grand palazzos and gently arched stone bridges…

But – hang on a minute…this can’t be right. Trees? Parkland? Che cosa?

COAFT Afloat

No, you aren’t among the heave of tourists travelling along the Grand Canal in Venice, nor are you even in Italy.¬† You are, in fact, enjoying a glorious late spring afternoon gondola ride on the Charles River in Boston, USA!

Who’d have thought?

PS while we’re on the subject of ‘Afloat’ (and still in Boston)…is this not the most adorable houseboat you have ever seen?!

COAFT Afloat 2

I Made It! Monday (Weekly Event)

Look out world – here comes yet another blogging event..!

In this fast-paced world it can be very difficult to find the time or energy to tick off all those items on your ‘to-do’ list, or let your creative juices flow and make something…let alone give yourself a pat on the back if you manage to do so!

The I Made It! Monday” weekly blog event gives you the chance to take stock of the week that was and share your greatest (or favourite) achievement of the previous seven days with your some of your biggest supporters – the blogging community!

To make it super simple, there are no set themes each week; it’s just a case of searching your memory banks until you find that “Aha!” moment and then blogging about it. No matter how seemingly trivial or monumental your achievement may seem (a small win is a win, am I right?) – if you finished/did/made/achieved/got through it, we want to hear about it!

Refer to the I Made It! Monday” event page to find out more…I look forward to sharing our accomplishments ūüôā

Baking 1, 2, 3

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Rule of Thirds.”

As it’s been way too long between blogs (due to an unexpected hiatus on account of being unwell recently), I also decided to stay on topic and combine my Weekly Photo Challenge response¬†with another (admittedly¬†pitiful) Poetic Hat Trick attempt for Writing201‘s third challenge.

This time the theme was Trust, the form was Acrostic, and the device Internal Rhyme:

Beaters, to mix things quick (and later lick),
Apron, to catch the spills or whatever¬†doesn’t stick;
Knife, to help take the cake (or muffins) out,
Ingredients, which a recipe can’t do without;
Nervous, you don’t have to be, a recipe is all you need,
Go for it¬†– you’ll be so proud of what you achieve!

Enjoy (or jest) at will ūüôā

Where to from here..?

Although I created this blog in April last year, I’ve only really been working on it in earnest for the last 6-7 weeks, thanks mostly to the talented and supportive¬†team behind the Daily Post’s Blogging101 course, as well as the encouraging feedback I’ve received from the blogging community along the way.¬†I’ve learned so much in a very short space of time, and I continue to be inspired by my fellow bloggers.

Ultimately I’m happy with my efforts so far, but at times I worry that Confessions¬†is another one of my ‘phases’ and I’m going to eventually lose my blogging ‘mojo’ (hereby referred to as blog-jo)¬†again – particularly after the daily incentives¬†provided by the Blogging101 (and now Blogging201) course comes to an end. I can already see myself not spending as much time on my blog as I did in early January, and I know that once my university study recommences in a couple of weeks, together with my full-time job, time (and motivation) is going to be even harder to find.

While it may sound like I’m already admitting defeat, I’m hoping to try and combat the seemingly inevitable and keep my blog-jo going by considering the following¬†(hopefully achievable) goals:

  1. Create¬†an editorial calendar of Confessions¬†for the next two months based on my¬†extensive archive¬†of food and/or travel photos. By nature I’m quite impulsive¬†and ad-hoc with my writing – I’m not very good with¬†detailed forward-planning (alas this¬†doesn’t bode well for me when it comes to university assignments, either!) Believe it or not, most of my posts to this date have been a result of coming up with the story behind the image/s on the spot. But should I not have the time or energy to spontaneously come up with something new, I’ll at least have some¬†‘pre-prepared’¬†inspiration¬†to fall back on. Think of it like preparing¬†a week’s worth of meals on the weekend so you¬†don’t have to cook so much during the week (nope…I don’t do that either). An editorial calendar will also allow me to ensure that there is plenty of variety in my posts.
  2. Post at least twice a week. Leading on from the first point, I know I will never be a daily blogger (I wish I had that motivation!), but I at least hope to keep posting on a regular basis. My ideal is to post something short and sweet in the middle of the week, and use the weekend to add more substantial posts and spend time exploring and engaging with my fellow bloggers.
  3. Listen to¬†feedback, and create a ‘You Asked For It…‘ feature.¬†You, yes YOU the fellow blogger/reader, are my biggest inspiration, that’s why I’m giving you a say in what my future posts will be. What’s the use of feedback and constructive criticism if you don’t do anything with it? I’ve put together¬†a suggestion box to get an idea for the kind of Confessions¬†you enjoy the most, and would like to see more of. Depending on the volume of feedback I get, I hope to build the results into a regular¬†feature where the ‘winning’ suggestion (as voted by YOU) becomes the post. Of course this means the suggestion box will be updated on a regular basis as well!

What do you think? Am I being too defeatist at this relatively early stage of my blogging career?¬†Have I set myself realistic-enough goals? I’d especially love to hear from those of you who have fought a downturn in your blog-jo¬†– did you get past it, and if so, how? Are you still dealing with it?

Please do share your wisdom (and confessions) below!

First confession – a brief history

Together with some encouragement from a few lovely friends, I decided to create Confessions of a Food Tourist as a dedicated outlet for exploring and sharing my passions…

A little bit about me

I love food. I love to travel. I love photography. I am by no means a professional or expertly skilled or trained in either of these fields, but they all make my heart sing. Another lifelong passion of mine is creative writing, although I tend to keep this one a bit more to myself. I enjoy each on their own, but if I have the opportunity to combine two or more at once, I am in my element.

For as long as I can remember, I have been very snap-happy. However, it’s not always about capturing the subject or landscape in front of me, but also the feelings I’m experiencing at that exact moment (mostly positive), and I relive these each time I look back at my photos.

In regards to food in particular, it wasn’t until I travelled interstate with a friend and colleague back in 2006 that I became aware of just how often I would (subconsciously) whip the camera out each time I had a lovely meal in front of me until she commented on it several days into the trip. A few weeks after returning home, I put together a slideshow of all my favourite images from our trip as a small gift, and she later called me in tears, saying “I know why you do it now, thank you for taking all those photos…even the food ones!”

At that point I became a self-confessed Food Tourist, and have enjoyed sharing my favourite food and travel experiences (which are generally among my happiest moments) with my loved ones ever since. This blog now allows me to do so without unnecessarily bombarding my Facebook friends’ news feeds with tedious posts!

What to expect

As well as lots of anecdotes and images from my favourite food experiences abroad (New York or London, anyone?), you may see more posts like this, thanks to my curious penchant for taking step-by-step photographs as I’m cooking, for the (so far) non-existent book of my all-time favourite recipes I’m compiling in my head.

Obviously I’m not here to change the world – I just hope to inspire, or simply provide an enjoyable escape from the everyday for fellow travel, food and/or photography enthusiasts.