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A morning visit to the Penang Museum to absorb some more information about the history of Penang and its diverse cultural mix. These photos include some Nyonya clothes and an opium bed, just in case you’ve ever wondered what furniture to use while smoking.

On in the heat to the Pinang Peranakan Museum (aka The Green Mansion). A very rich merchant family owned this 19th century house which, as it happens, turns out to be a good venue for wedding photographs.

Little India was going off around lunch time on this first day of the weekend. The Thali trays were coming fast and furiously out of the kitchen of Woodlands Vegetarian restaurant as sari-clad ladies who lunch caught up for conversation over food. One is definitely spoiled for choice in Penang with Indian, Chinese and Malay specialities easily available throughout the day and night.

It may be raining here in Old Hoi An (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), but there’s still enough to keep you entranced in between the heavy showers. The vendors selling raincoats are doing a big trade today, as well as cafe and restaurant owners, as visitors take shelter and enjoy some of the finest Vietnamese food and beverages around. See below for more details.

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Lunch today included this tuna wrapped in nori and rice paper served crispy with passionfruit, mint and yogurt sauce. followed by a mango salad with vermicelli noodles, crispy rolls, grilled pork with mango. The Vietnamese are experts at using fresh herbs to highlight flavours. And it’s always good to end a meal with a dense earthy coffee that benefits from the inclusion of condensed milk and ice.

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We arrived in Hoi An this afternoon after a flight from Hanoi to Da Nang.  The weather is hot and humid and we were grateful for a late afternoon breeze as we familiarised ourselves with the Old Town again after 13 years since our first visit. We fell across a couple of wedding photo shoots as the evening wore on. Dinner at the Rice Drum capped off a good day. And we’re looking forward to the Moon Festival on Friday night when more tiny water lanterns will be on display.

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I spent a rainy Saturday afternoon learning more about the joys of block printing. Messy is my middle name. I need to work cleaner with both the pencil and the inks, and be more consistent with the techniques. Still, there are many levels of forgiveness in the process and the results are never known until you peel off the paper. And learn as you go is the mantra.

It’s definitely paying off being a little more patient as far as the cutting of the block goes. Less is definitely more, and each level requires more concentration around what to leave and what to cut.

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The starting point for this print was an old computer altered image of mine. The subject matter, and the fact that the image already had effects applied, leant itself to a little more freedom and play.

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The reverse side of the tracing paper line drawing gets pressed onto the block

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First cuts – what’s going to stay white.

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It took a few proof prints before all the cutting was done.

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The second stage determined what would stay gray.

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One of the final prints.