A day out at Dismaland: Banksy's 'bemusement park'

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Japan: Day 20-26 - Exploring Tokyo - Tattoos, views, raw chicken and trainers!

It's not every day that you see a meerkat chilling in a Donald Duck outfit ... but hey, that's Japan for you!

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The Hunger/Burger Games Part 3: Stokey Bears and Shake Shack

It’s time for another instalment of meaty goodness! And in round 3 it’s a visit to Stokey Bears and Shake Shack:

Stokey Bears
Address: 129 Stoke Newington High St Stoke Newington, London N16 0PH
Instagram: @stokeybears
twitter: @stokeybears

I’d heard good things about Stokey Bears and seeing that it’s a 10-minute drive from my apartment I couldn’t put it off any longer.

This burger joint is pretty cool and stands out amongst the kebab shops and East London pubs at the north end of Stoke Newington High Street. The menu isn’t a let down either:

- The Angry Bear: A 100% Sussex beef patty (grass fed on East Sussex pastures), cheese, topped with Helluvapino relish & ribman holyfuck hot sauce in a brioche bun
- Angry fries

This burger was bloody delicious … but not for those who don’t like it hot! The Helluvapino relish and ribman holyfuck hot sauce compliments the patty cooked to perfection. The angry fries might have been a bit OTT alongside the angry burgers, but they were tasty as hell (I just needed a couple of litres of water to see me through the feast!)

My picture of Stokey Bears Angry Burger on my Instagram caught that eye of Buzzfeed and made it into their “17 Burgers You Must Try Before You Die” post. It came in at number 14 (I’d probably put it higher than that but at least it’s on the list huh?)
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Japan: Day 18 + 19 - Matsumoto and my return to Tokyo

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Japan: Day 17 - Takayama. Let the eating begin!!

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Japan: Day 15 + 16 - Kanazawa - The tranquil home of the Samurai

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Japan: Day 13 + 14 - Hiroshima + Miyajima Island

What do you find half way up a mountain on the middle of an island deep within it's thick forest, amidst monkeys swinging in the trees I hear you ask? Well, it just so happens that I know ...
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Japan: Day 12 - Himeji + Kurashiki ... Castles + Canals!

Today ended on a dry high ... and probably with a few of my favourite pictures I've ever taken, but that's definitely not how it started!

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Japan: Day 10 + 11 - The many heights and sights of Osaka

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Japan: Day 8 + 9 - Ryokans and Ghost Towns - Exploring Ise & Futamiura

I think the highlight of the last two days was snapping this pic of an elderly wheelchair bound crew to a desolate town for a picture with what seemed to be two papier-mâc style frogs! (p.s why is the woman second from the left holidng up three fingers on each hand? ... Extra peace?)

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Japan: Day 7 - Nara / Uji / Kyoto - Deer oh deer!

Today's excursion ends down back alleys and narrow cobbled streets ... but that's not where it began! 
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Japan: Day 6 - Monkeying around in Arashiyama

After a fun packed day yesterday there was still a few things in Kyoto that I wanted to do before I moved on to the next destination, but the last few days had been pretty intense so the snooze button got pressed a couple (at least 10) times! 

Once I was finally up and dressed I was ready to roll, and prepared for the worst as bad weather had been reported, but hoping for scenes like this ...
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Japan: Day 5 - Kyoto

An early morning was in order to take advantage of being able to watch the sunrise from the rooftop of Gion Yasaka house (one of the amazing apartments Japan Experience have available to rent in Kyoto) and was definitely worth it. The view of this amazing landscape with mountains surrounding the city from every direction except south is spectacular.
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Japan: Day 4 - Lake Ashinoko

So here's the highlight of today's excursion:
But we'll come back to that later ... After a pretty hectic day yesterday there was no time for any rest today as I had lots to try and do whilst I was still in Hakone before heading to my next destination; Kyoto.

After my first experience of an onsen last night, I booked a private indoor onsen session at the guest house for 6.30am to start the day off right. I see why they're so popular out here, I could definitely get use to starting (and finishing) the day with one.
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Japan: Day 3 - Hakone

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Japan: Day 2 - Tokyo

So this is Tokyo ....

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Japan: Day 1 - The Journey

So Japan's not close huh? 

I've spent the whole day travelling! Firstly I left North London at 6am and headed to Heathrow (that Piccadilly line takes forever but at least I just had to sit there and do nothing in my sleepless state, for what felt like 40 stops!)
A quick flight (and when I say quick I really mean it - 50 minutes!) to Amsterdam which was pretty much empty, except for a chap from Ghana who had 4 phones and couldn't seem to work any of them! A 2-hour wait at the airport was filled with checking out clogs, cows, china crockery, bread displays! (all the things Holland are famous for obviously) and taking a few snaps, before jumping on an 11-hour flight to Tokyo. 

Because Japan is 9 hours ahead I should have really slept, but I was too excited! So now I've spent a full day travelling but have arrived in Tokyo at the beginning of their day - 9.25am!! Today might be a bit of a struggle, but the journey was smooth, everything ran on time and I got to Japan in one piece! 

Time to get my luggage, go through customs and find my way to Tokyo ...
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Japan: The calm before the storm!

It's finally time!

Everything is packed and I'm ready for an early flight in the morning. I've got all of the essentials and have tried not to take too much ... BUT I find it really hard not to pack 4 of everything! Oh well, I'm the one that's got to carry it around Japan so I've only got myself to blame, huh!

Tomorrow morning I embark on a 26-day trip around Japan, I'm ready for the adventure begin!
My next post will be from Tokyo! Arghhhhh
See you all on the other side ...

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Japan: The photogenic dream quickly becoming reality

In 6 days I will be on my way to Japan!
I actually can't believe how quickly it's come around. It seemed like it was only a few weeks ago that I thought this may actually be a possibility, and here I am putting together the finishing touches to a pretty amazing trip. All flights, hotels, rail cards and sumo wrestling tickets are booked. My itinerary is pretty much finalised and I've got a list of places I want to try and visit in each city.

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My tattoos ... so far (A work in progress)

I get asked a lot about my tattoos; what do they mean, who does them, why, didn’t that hurt, aren’t they going to look rubbish when you’re older etc etc
Tattoos aren’t for everyone, but I absolutely love mine. The more I get, the more I seem to want so I can’t see myself stopping any time soon.
Everyone has the right to an opinion and I’ll take anyone’s thoughts on board. Each to their own I say!
I see it as a really amazing way to express yourself

From here on in I’ll post any ideas I have for new work, new artists that I stumble across who’s artwork I’m a fan of and any work I get done … I already have a lot planned! But for now here’s a bit of a catch-up on some of my favourite pieces:

This ittle panther was done by Steve Boltz at Smith Street Tattoo Parlour in Brooklyn. It was a matching tattoo with a friend at the time during a visit to New York for NYE. The original artwork is a piece by Rik Lee
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Japan: Locations ... check. Route ... check.

Here it is ... the final line up.

After pinpointing the locations that I want to visit during my trip,  I've managed to figure out a route that means I can maximise my time in each city and hopefully give me quite a enough time to explore my top 3 - Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka:

The map above shows the route I'm hopefully going to take. The route includes the following places:

1. Tokyo
2. Hakone
3. Kyoto
4. Nara
5. Ise
6. Osaka
7. Kurashiki
8. Hiroshima
9. Miyajima Island
10. Kanazawa
11. Takayama
12. Tokyo

Now I have to work out the quickest mode of transport between each location and the activities I want to do in each city, which should then make it easy to figure out how many days I should spend at each place.
I do have a budget to try and work to so that will obviously have to factor in ... but this is a once in a lifetime trip so I'm going all out ... right!?!

Next ... the number of days per city and an idea of what I want to see and do in each place.
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The Hunger/Burger Games Part 2: Dirty Burger and Mother Clucker

So here's a few more to add to the calorie count (thank goodness for the cross-trainer huh!):

Dirty Burger
Address: Arch 54, 6 South Lambeth Road, London SW8 1SS
Instagram: @dirtyburgerldn
twitter: @dirtyburger

Dirty Burger is an unassuming little place, all salvaged wood and rusty chairs with barely enough room for 20 diners. Their menu is pretty basic, but keeping it stupidly simple at this shack really works.

I went for:
- Cheese burger
- Crinkle cut fries
- Onion fries
- Chocolate milkshake

The fries and onion fries were pretty average. The burger though is 100% dirty and hits the spot. It's a pretty greasy offering but the patty is cooked to perfection. And the chocolate milkshake is super thick and really compliments the burger. Definitley one I'll be enjoying again.

Mother Clucker
Address: Elys Yard, The Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL
Instagram: @cluck_you
twitter: @motherclucker

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Post Pop: East Meets West @ The Saatchi Gallery

This exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery brings together a couple of hundred works by 110 artists from China, the Former Soviet Union, Taiwan, the UK and the USA, celebrating Pop Art's legacy.
Post Pop: East Meets West examines why Pop Art has had such a powerful influence over artists from world regions that have had very different and sometimes opposing ideologies.
This has been my favourite exhibition of the year so far. I couldn’t believe that the whole exhibition is free! I’ve paid for exhibitions that haven’t been half as interesting! A few of the stand out pieces within the gallery for me are:

- Jeff Koons … Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank
- Alexander Kosolapov's Hero, Leader, God
- Gu Wenda's United Nations: Man and Space (Made of human hair, white glue and burlap)
- Tom Sachs Nutsy’s McDonald’s
- Rostislav Lebedev’s A Dream Comes True
- Leonid Sokov’s Two Profiles (Stalin and Marilyn)
- Vitaly Komar & Alexanfer Melamids Post-art No 1 (Warhol)
- Wang Guangyi’s Great Criticism

If you get a chance to check this exhibition out before it closes on February 23rd, do it. It’s definitely worth it!

I couldn’t help but to photograph pretty much everything in the gallery, so here’s a few of those pics:

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A Passion for Fashion ...The wardrobe breakdown!

I get quite a lot of questions on Instagram about where I get my clothes from, so below I've added the pics that have had the most questions and I've included links to the stores and brands where I got the items from:

Necklace: Chain from Amazon. Pendant from Vatican City!!

Necklace: Icon Brand from asos
Denim Jacket: All Saints 
Shirt: F&F @ Tesco
Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

Jumper: H&M
Necklace: asos

T-Shirt: H&M
Neclace: Chain from Amazon. Pizza Pendants from Amazon
Trainers: Vans

T-Shirt: All Saints

T-Shirt: H&M
Necklace: Amazon
Jeans: Topman
Trainers: Vans

T-Shirt: All Saints
Denim Jacket: Topman
Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

T-Shirt: H&M
Necklace: Chain from Amazon. Pendant from Vatican City!!

Denim Jacket: Levi's
Sunglasses: Oakley

Denim Jacket: Topman
Necklace: Amazon
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