Spring Term Essentials

Winter has officially set its grounds over Colchester and it is freezing me to the bones! Funnily enough, most universities call the new term – which started today at my university – as “spring” term, and I can assure you that there is definitely nothing “spring” about the strong gusts of wind and the snow storm that hit us a couple of days ago!

As much as that sounds ghastly, I admit I couldn’t help but run outside to take photos of the beautiful white flurries falling from the endless skies, which I will hopefully be able to show you this weekend.

So, what do I have in store to keep me bubbly and excited in spite of the grey clouds looming over our heads this spring term?

Spring Term Essentials!

This year’s spring term is admittedly filled with many more events and happenings, which will require every ounce – whether big or small – of motivation, resilience and patience to get through. For me, I try my best to reserve some quality time with myself for the sole purpose of self-pampering and recharging, and curating pleasing aesthetics that are also practical is one way to do just that!

Here are ten essentials, some of which are not exactly newly purchased and/or university essentials, for the new term.


1. Kinfolk Volume 19 from Amazon UK at £12.08.

Since its inception in 2011, I have been an avid fan of Kinfolk, a quaterly magazine originating from Portland, Oregon. The magazine primarily covers food culture, community and lifestyle, which have both the aesthetics and content that clearly resonate with the philosophy that is central to this blog; unearthing, appreciating and curating all things simple, creative and rustic.

2. Backpack from Primark at £9.00.

After time and time again, I cannot emphasise enough how practical backpacks are, especially when you are travelling or simply walking from one place to another! I needed something affordable yet durable, and small yet spacious enough to accommodate my daily essentials (not including my typewriter, of course!).

3. Adler Tippa 1 from eBay at £25.00. You can read more about my typewriter here. (Note for the “good vibes” card: I printed it out myself.)

Not exactly a “practical” essential that I can bring around without me, but literally “practical” where I consider it as a daily essential after a long day at uni as a mean to unwind i.e. typing out poems, quotes, or even a things-to-do list, to be taped into my Plain Notebook (see item no. 4 below) with my washi tape (see item no. 8 below).

4. Plain Notebook from Pracht.

I bought this notebook when I was in Thailand as a youth delegate for Brunei to attend the ASEAN Youth Exchange Programme 2015. On one of the conference’s days, we were at Chulalongkorn University and dropped by their Book Center where I got the notebook from. What’s interesting about this notebook is that it was locally designed and produced and any products made by Pracht are only available in Thailand. Unfortunately, I can’t remember how much it was. Sorry!

It is a pretty notebook, isn’t it?

5. 2017 Journal from Poundland for £1.00.

Yes, you read that right! It was just £1.00! It’s even way cheaper than my usual morning cuppa on campus. However, the quality is somewhat questionable, but I’m happy with this purchase. Hopefully it’ll last me throughout the year!

6. Pentax P-50 from Cash Converters Colchester at £20.00.

I bought this film camera back in 2015 for quite a bargain. For the price above, the camera came with a standard lens, a telephoto lens, a micro-photo lens, several filter lenses and a flash. I would definitely say this set is the best bargain I’ve ever gotten for a film camera, but somehow, I only used it once, and then I never touched it again for the rest of the year until I came back to the UK for my final year back in September 2016. It was only then that I realised how versatile this camera is, especially with all of its varying accessories. Moreover, I’ve never taken any photos on film with a flash, so that will be something that I can play around with this term.

7. Kodak Portra 160 from Amazon UK at £27.99 (for a box of 5 film rolls).

It is no secret that my go-to film is Kodak Portra 160, which I found out from Parker S. Fitzgerald, a film-photographer who inspired me to take upon film photography myself.

From my first try at using this film, I could finally understand why this is his all-time favourite, and it became mine as well.

On the right side of this section, you’ll find an unedited photo that I took with Canon AV-1 using Kodak Portra 160 during my trip to Malaga back in 2015.

8. A washi tape from Waterstones at £2.99.

A few years ago, I remember when washi tapes were quite popular among my peers and I honestly didn’t find anything fascinating about it until I wanted something cute to decorate my typewritten notes with, aside from the convential clear tapes that you can find almost in any stores.

9. A calligraphy pen from Tiger in Malaga, Spain.

I also don’t remember how much this was, but it was a good deal at the time as it came in a set with other nib sections and ink cartridges. I believe it’s also widely available in their UK stores.

At this point, you must be wondering what the tenth essential is…

And nope, I did not lose count.

In fact, it’s quite a significant addition to my journey as a learning photographer that I think it is necessary to write a little bit more in-depth about it compared to all the other essentials combined…

For those who have been reading my blog since the last few posts, you already know that I’ve been meaning to invest in a digital camera. Thus, after a long while of researching, saving up and waiting, I finally bought one!

10. Nikon D5300 with 18-55mm Compact Lens Kit and Nikkor 50mm 1.8G ED Lens from  with Amazon UK.

The game-changers in choosing between Canon and Nikon were my current experience level and my budget. My experience with film photography doesn’t necessarily make me a professional photographer, which also means that I have yet to truly understand how digital photography works firsthand. So, I thought purchasing a highly recommended and affordable entry-level camera would be a great start.

Eventually, the winner was Nikon D5300 with 18-55mm Compact Lens Kit. I also bought the Nikkor 50mm 1.8G ED Lens to practise portrait photography with. When they arrived, I was in absolute awe of these digital wonders that I immediately played around with them and I even placed them on my bedside table before I went to sleep that evening. So, you can imagine how stoked I was!

There is so much to learn with this new addition to my growing family of film cameras. In no way has my interest in film photography started to wane. This is merely the beginning of my transition towards becoming a hybrid shooter. So, you have absolutely nothing to worry about not seeing film photography here!

And there you have it, my essentials to kickstart not just the term but the new year with!

I had always wanted to write a post on essentials, be it for travelling or going out, but I never got myself around it because I tend to pack on the go or the night before (talking about last-minute preparations!). Not to forget, I’m not a huge fan of low-lighting, especially at night, and as a film photographer, it’s really a 50-50 situation where the photos would turn out either extremely well or extremely bad.

But now that I have Nikon D5300 in hand, low-lighting shouldn’t be too much of a pet peeve for me from now on… We’ll see.

I hope this post is interesting enough as it is, and that you are excited to see more crisp photos to aesthetically please your eyes!

Until next time!


2 Replies to “Spring Term Essentials”

  1. Yes, this post was definitely interesting to read – I love reading posts on Essentials for some reason, and this one was no exception. I can’t believe how much of a bargain most of these stuffs are – especially that backpack, typewriter and film camera! (Especially especially the typewriter. I don’t know how much they cost normally, but I would have never guessed THAT price. I think I might be swooning over it). And though I’ve only just discovered your blog, your passion for photography definitely shows – so congratulations on getting a dream camera! Have a great term!

    With love, Iween | http://wendystrucked.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for dropping by! And thank you for the warm wishes. Hopefully the term will go well. I hope the same for you with whatever you’re up to! 🙂 I just went over to your blog and I LOVE your writing style!! ❤

      – Fifi x


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