Make Party | 2015

Every year in the deepest depths of the Kent countryside designers, creatives and like-minded individuals receive a coveted ticket to the "Make Party". 
After making it through the Tarmac nightmare of the Operation stack...we made it to the oasis of creativity and green.
Organised by Seb Cox and his brother, year on year is becoming larger and a highlight to the summer calendar.
 

By day everyone gathers to get creative in the woods with activities like:
• T-shirt screen printing
• Whittle a spatula with Barn the spoon
• Carving your own silver ring with The workbench (my favourite) 

• Dine beneath the trees with Olivia Bennet; so you could some your own food!
• Or find a space for wood whittling or swoon carving

 Workbench in the woods with Kirstie MacLaren and Katie Woodward; some serious concentration faces

Workbench in the woods with Kirstie MacLaren and Katie Woodward; some serious concentration faces

 The starting point....and Prosecco to get the creative juices flowing. 

The starting point....and Prosecco to get the creative juices flowing. 

 Nearly there....

Nearly there....

 Ta da! Check out my  instagram  for the final silver ring posted to me: so cuffed when it arrived! 

Ta da! Check out my instagram for the final silver ring posted to me: so cuffed when it arrived! 

 Spatula action.

Spatula action.

And by night the fun doesn't stop; with BBQing, and frequenting Liam Trenor Mojo bar.

Then boogying the night away under canvas (a 1954 army tent that has seen better days) begins! With a skilled set of DJ's that keep you on the dance floor until the early hours. 

Then refuge into our tents to sleep the remaining hours away.

In the morning its all hands on deck for the clean up; fuelled by Seb, Brogan & team amazing and much needed bacon sandwiches and Tea! 
Then like woodland imps we all disappear until next year!

 Bacon sandwich and tea production line...curing all beer endured headaches!

Bacon sandwich and tea production line...curing all beer endured headaches!

 All hands on deck.

All hands on deck.

 Goodbye until another year!

Goodbye until another year!

Weekend Meanderings – Bath

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As the last bank holiday of the year came and went; I consoled myself with a few days away in historic Bath. Blog_Kirsty Whyte_ Bath (8)

But it had more on offer than just 60AD Roman plumbing! First obligatory stop the merky waters of the thermal Roman Bath Spa.

Blog_Kirsty Whyte_ Bath (13) What remains of the huge sprawling roman foundations is fascinating; from the hypocaust heating to the original steaming water source.

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Most fascinating was some hand written ‘curses’ to the water goddess. With Romans complaining about stolen bags, scrawled onto lead and thrown into the water.

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On the bridge over Pulteney Weir was an amazing design boutique – ‘Found’ concept store, and I’m not the only one to think so as it has been voted Top boutique  as voted by The Sunday Telegraph Vogue and Glamour.

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A real treasure trove of stationary, home accessories, fashion and gifts.

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I love the old school gym equipment for the wrapping paper display.

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I managed to negotiate a trip to Bath Fashion Museum  which is housed within the amazing Bath assembly rooms; as you can see by the astounding high ceilings and chandeliers.

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The temporary show was Laura Ashley – The Romantic Heroine.

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A huge selection of the original Laura Ashley collection; now a far cry from what you see in their shop window of today.

Many of the dress styles really did feel like they had been pulled out of a 18th Century Novel; but the use of colour and contrasting pattern is what brought the dresses into the present.

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Then down in the basement of the building was an amazing display of fashion through the ages including the dress of the year 2011.

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A rainbow of shoes.

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Not to be outdone, I can’t pass up some ‘dress up’, so here is am as a Victorian child!

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The building also features beautifully kept parquet floor, wall to wall …all 8 walls.

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A much needed stop into Bea’s Vintage Tea Rooms;  A huge scone and loose leaf tea, sipped from an eclectic mix of tea sets; served by a lovely waitress  with a scarf in her hair and hot red lipstick.

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Keeping it fair after the fashion museum we popped into the Vintage and Rare Guitars shop, one of the finest in the UK. Three tiny floors packed with an array of these stringed wonders.

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Fortuitously the Bath Vintage and Antiques Market was on, feast your eyes on some of the discoveries:

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The Georgian architecture is a must see with the first Crescents in the UK.

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One final tourist stop; a boat tour on the River Avon. Which ended up being a rather intimate tour for two by Tony Murphy.

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An interesting hour chugging along the river – above the floor lines are marked to the bridge.

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The tour culminated in a photo opportunity right in the middle of the Weir.

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After an action packed weekend the Thermae Bath Spa, cannot be recommended highly enough. Floating around the heated pools and catching the last of the evenings rays on the rooftop pool; felt purely Mediterranean; just like the Romans intended!

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Weekend Meanderings–Copenhagen

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I love all things Scandinavian (apart from the pickled herring) especially one if my best friends Rebecca, half of the Green Suitcase in Copenhagen.So a catch up weekend sprinkled with creativity and culture was just what I needed.

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kirsty Whyte_Design_copenhagen_blog (3) Even tough we brought the UK weather with us our spirits couldn't be dampened, and in true Dane style we still went out cycling.

Some creative highlights were:

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An amazing flee-market in the Veterbro area, where vintage shops and car boot style stands jostled for space next to each other. It was amazing; designer sample clothes, mid-century furniture, lighting, ceramics and locals selling off once valued possessions.

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Unfortunately my suitcase wasn't quite big enough to fit most of these amazing pieces; next time I'll come prepared.

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Tivoli -

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The Tivoli gardens are a must for adults and children alike; originally opened in 1843 as an amusement and pleasure gardens, it has evolved over time, my favorites parts are the mid century style Pavilion and the Chinese theatre. Looks like I’m not the only one.

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There are many cool designer furniture high-street shops too. Being the design geeks we are it was fun walking around them. Which included Illums Bolighus, Stilleben and the highlight Hay House.

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Couldn’t resist a small purchase.

kirsty Whyte_Design_copenhagen_blog (11) Hay House - Blink and you'll miss it on the busy ...... Shopping street. Away from the bargain hunters and tourists you go up a lovely stairwell to Hay House. Filled with products and room sets from the Hay catalogue as well as selected items from other designers.

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kirsty Whyte_Design_copenhagen_blog (4) I also popped into Normann Copenhagen to say high and check out the flagship store. The Ready Hook/Mirror are now in stock so I made a purchase (thankfully they have me a special price) all I need now is a flat to put them up in!

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Amongst all the walking we managed to get the obligatory snap of the Little Mermaid too.

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Can't wait to go back.

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Weekend Meanderings – Brick Lane

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Despite being able to catch a cold in April, I decided to venture out and make the most of the blue sky. By going East side to my much loved London Markets; which I really missed in China and am still deprived off now I live West! Kirsty Whyte_Brick lane (8) It was officially ice cream weather! Brick Lane and Spitalfields are getting a bit posh (mainstream) these days. Sadly many of the stands in Spitalfields are becoming mirror images of each other with the same mass produced t-shirts and statement necklaces. Thankfully towards the Sunday Upmarket on Brick lane there are still the independent creatives selling there wares at great affordable prices and some vintage nuggets...it didn't take me long to blitz through my £50 budget!

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Two main stands I thought were worth a mention:

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Les 2 Coquettes L2C is a lifestyle project. it is fresh and immediate, everything is made with humour. loved their whole ethos and simple but perfectly executed little brand. So I picked up one of their fab Heart t-shirts, optimistic that spring isn't too far away now. If you can’t get east they have some items on ASOS.

I also met Michael of Penroll a great solution to all those loose pens drifting around in my cavernous handbag! I had actually already spent all my £ by then but he kindly accepted a rogue 10Euros from me instead.

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Kirsty Whyte_Brick lane (6) These are a great gift for any creative in your life or Moleskin hoarder.

Kirsty Whyte_Brick lane (10) Not a bad haul in all £45 + 10Euros!

TEDx Shanghai

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kirsty-whyte-ted-shanghai-3 Sunday is usually a day for relaxing and lie-ins, but not for Shanghai go-getters who want to be inspired and informed. A TED event is the perfect way to hear from experts in varied fields.

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We had managed to get free tickets courtesy of Dragonfly; one of the sponsors for TEDx in Shanghai.

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So at 8.30 in the morning on Sunday we impatiently waited in the rain for the doors of Shanghai Concert hall to open with lots of other TED goers.

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TEDx is a grassroots TED organised locally and independently with the theme “I am Chinese” there were 26 presentations from experts from all over the world speaking about a huge range of subjects from a Taoist monk talking about The Building of Inner Strength to the Penang Philharmonic Orchestra.

My highlights were:

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Chen Xi Huang an octogenarian Taiwanese traditional puppeteer.

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Stefen Chow who showed photos from his Poverty Line project.

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Jimmy Choo, who demonstrated how he made his very first shoefor his mother (plus an impromptu Tai Chi demo).

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An impassioned speech from Bonita Lim fashion designer and philanthropist about how her company is supporting the disadvantaged and disabled, allowing them to train and work they wait out of poverty. She spoke eloquently and having her note written up her arm did not deter her from her focus.

Jeffrey Leham who spoke about a Transnational Soul which I hope my sole is now becoming.

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And the highlight was the penultimate speaker Peter Ting the engaging and talented London based ceramicist, who spoke about discovering his identity as an international Chinese person and showed some of his work. So I’m glad that we stayed right to the end and didn’t miss a treat.

SOME OTHER HIGHLIGHTS:

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We got little red goodie bags with emergency biscuits and water, some people even got a Tai Chi robe, which came in use later.

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Local designers and shops sold their wears outside.

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Just about to start….

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Impatiently waiting.

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All the keen bloggers getting their snaps.

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For the morning break Wu Dang Shan got everyone participating in some morning Tai Chi, to wake us up and relax those stiff muscles.

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It didn’t work for everyone!

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Music from Anne Evenou

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Lovely lunch, served in these minimal but brilliant bamboo containers with the date of TED 20th May. These were promptly washed and reused at home.

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everyone enjoying and inspecting their lunch.

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I was less taken by dessert, knowing my aversion to E numbers, i thought it best to avoid!

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Then back in for the afternoon; the audience was dissipating, so the hard core TEDders got better seats as we moved to the front.

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XuHui Xing and Betty Ni being caught on camera.

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Instagram mania. The talks were in English and Mandarin, so we had instantaneous translation headsets. The girls translating really worked hard I was amazed how quickly they could do it.

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Everyone taking their final bow and thanking organiser Richard Hsu.

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Wow, and 12 hours had passed and Sunday was over! But we all left inspired and informed.

Arty Farty

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Its a rainy Saturday here in Shanghai, so no excuses not to do some design work (when there's sun it's much easier to be distracted).

Procrastinating at my desk, trying to think what I want to design with my time wasn't getting me anywhere. Back in the Uk I have boxes of art materials, wire, wood and. Adios model making paraffinalia for just such and instance where I can doodle and model make to my hearts content.

In Shanghai I'm severely lacking fun creative nick nacks.

So I threw my more frugal side to the wind and went on an art shop search.

A Taxi ride away on 859 Xikang Road was Marie’s Painting Materials an art materials oasis; reminiscent of my old friend Atlantisin East London. Trading since 1919 (that's what is says on the business card, although some websites say 1993), it is an Aladdin's cave, of brushes, canvases, paint a plaster busts.

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I didn’t realise Kryten and Ross Kemp were so popular in China.

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As I wandered around grinning filling my basket Paulsmiled and said "this is like the Apple store for you isn't it?!"

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Paper masks?

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Bust of Stalin for your home?

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Getting foam board cut down.

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All this for £27 bargain, finally something cheaper in China than the UK.

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I managed to get quite a hoard of all the basic materials, plus a few extras for nieces and nephews when I'm back home next

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Blog done, no excuses now; back to the design grind stone!

Creativity in Shanghai

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Living in shanghai isn’t all people in pyjamas, dogs in clothes and motorbike Jenga as my recent blog posts allude to. There is also culture and creativity around every corner if you're willing to look. Thankfully with plenty of free publications like that's shanghai and city weekend, you don't have to look far.

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Now the summer is truly here shanghai creatives are emerging from their cosy studios and setting up shop at the many design events around.

First stop DAFF (Design Art Fashion Fair) which this year took place at Wharf 1846 promenade, shanghai, right near the Bund so there was a welcome breeze from the summer sun.

There were lots of stands selling their wears from fashion to clocks, there was a central catwalk with shows throughout the evening, DJ’s and an art competition too. Plus the event was sponsored by Tiger beer, so cheap beers topped off the evening.

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a great location right on the Bund.

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The Best sausage in China!

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Some found the fashion show more interesting than others.

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I love these Flouro Vans.

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Some up-cycled biscuit tins from Jonas Design.

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some cool cushion raindrops from Cheng Cheng.

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I really love these Frankenstein brooches made from all sorts, so wrong they’re right.

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Then the following week Central studios had a weekend market, with vintage fashion, food and table tennis.

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DIY Jewellery, great idea. when I asked her if she had a card (so i could promote her on here) she said ‘no it’s just for fun’, so cool!

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Time for a quick game between shopping and eating?

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And finally the week was topped off with the sublime 'What the Butler Saw'a minimal ensemble cast and crew from all over the world from the UK to Canada.

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It was a great 3 day production by TBC PRODUCTIONS and received several (scripted and intended) laughs and a round of applause and much deserved encore at the end. To find out more I formation about future productions 'like' their Facebook page.

 

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With lots of promotion on many of the Shanghai websites and magazines, the venue was packed every night, here people are waiting on standby.

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Ooooh the excitement builds as the curtain goes up.

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The cast taking their bow and much deserved adulation.

Congratulations to Owen, Emily, Farah, Ben, Paul, Luke, Bryan, Daniella and Fern.

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The creativity doesn't end here my creative shanghai partner in crime Paul has surpassed himself and managed to win 2 free tickets to this weekends TED lectures in Shanghai, score!

Hong Kong Styley

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kirsty whyte_blog_Honk Kong_May 2012 (18) Last weekend was a public holiday in china, so to optimise my holiday time I had a brief trip to a humid Hong Kong.

Getting on the design trail with trendy shops and furniture. Here are some quick pics and hot spots that I though I'd share.

Hong Kong is a real mashup of East and West, with the familiar of 3prong plugs, double decker buses, cabbies that speak English and areas like Stanley, Aberdeen and Hollywood street.

You don't even need to scratch the surface to see how deep routed it really is in Chinese culture, the combination is magical as the t-shirts say I <3 Hong Kong!

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First Stop Innermost who sell work by designers like: Jake Phipps, Corinna Warm, Jarrod Lim. They have a showroom in Hong Kong and London.

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There are so many cool little design boutiques like this one Konzepp which had design and fashion from all over the world.

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I treated myself with a little memento, these cool leather earrings by Korean designer Kim ji yeon.

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Loveramics,  had a great eclectic mix of ceramics, I couldn’t resist the Tripod Salt and Pepper by Simon Stevens.

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Many of the clothes shops had that cool east London vibe to them.

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Another good design/interior/gift shop is GOD (Goods Of Desire) the websites a bit rubbish but the product and display is great, here you can see one a huge suspended light, the smaller version can be seen all over the night markets of Hong Kong and can also be bought in GOD.

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Next stop was a scale up Lane Crawford, the Harvey Nicks of the East. They have designer fashion and furniture. There are 4 stores in Hong Kong & I managed to see 3.

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Also spotted the newly launched Carve Round Tables by G&T.

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Also spotted the Barton Collection designed by Sir Terence Conran for Ercol, I love the proportions and the simple handle detail.

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Loved this display of the new Victoria Beckham collection, really wish I could afford some of it!

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Next stop Horizon Plaza, 28 Floors of Fashion and Furniture discount stores; not for the faint hearted.

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From old colonial, to modern to traditional oriental antiques, if you have the stamina you can find it.

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My highlight was discovering Nook they had a really considered ranging and simple but cool store concept.

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The obligatory stop off in the apple store and we weren’t alone.

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OTHER NON DESIGN SPOTTING:

Some things that were too good to miss out the blog.

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Tung Choi Street, otherwise known as the Goldfish market for obvious reasons. Rows of shops selling a huge variety of fish, makes me think of finding Nemo.

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Would make a great jigsaw.

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The Ladies market in Mongkok. The best thing is the vendors don’t hassle you, you are left to browse! Quite a contrast to mainland China markets where I have been chased before with a market owner giving me his ‘best price’.

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Tasteful and comfortable mouse mats.

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Sooo many USB sticks.

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Angry Bird pants….they’re taking over the world!

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I also saw the Avengers (in 3D unfortunately) as it was released earlier that China. 3D messed up the scale a bit though!

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Labour day protests about pay for domestic workers.

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Taxi driver with 7 phones and a SatNav, think he had been to the technology market.

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Slight information overload at Wan Chai Technology market.

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Then a final stop off in the lovely Stanley, with sea a market and even fish and Chips.

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Yes that’s Size XXXXXXXXL.

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And then home….