Saturday, December 26, 2009

of christmas and edible babies

Merry Christmas everyone! =)

Unfortunately christmas this year was a quiet event for me. We did have a lovely party yesterday evening though, hosted by our future Nigella Lawson aka. Irene!! *cue clapping from people* The starter was garlic bread with thick creamy mushroom soup, main course was turkey with roast potatoes, a side dish of ham and carrot&parsnips, and dessert was baked bananas with apricot puree and a topping of Viennetta. Yum! The food was excellent indeed.

Then I went over to Jeannette's for the faux-christmas countdown. Why faux? Because we were talking away too happily before we realised that it was past 12am! But nevermind. More food and drinks here, including the talented Chan Sing's alcohol mix. I had no idea what the drink was but it was the most delicious concoction tasting of fruit and custard and egg yolks! Yum again. And we welcomed Christmas in the most traditional way possible: watch a horror movie. And spent the rest of the night seeing monsters burst out of people's stomachs and people eating other people. Merry Christmas indeed, huh.

Fast forward to today.

I spent my morning in the dullest way possible, ie revising for my PP3 resit exam. How pathetic. But what needs to be done, has to be done. Then the bestie decided to make gingerbread men in the afternoon, so Sinwee and I became her assistants. And watched movies on her laptop along the way.

I'll be (trying to) sleep early tonight so I'll be able to wake up at 6am in time for the boxing day sales. Hope I can drag my sorry self out of bed tomorrow morning before the good stuff gets snapped up. I need to get myself a knitted hat for our cold cold London trip, and I'm hoping the headband I've been eyeing since forever is on sale tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

Merry christmas, indeed.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

when people from the tropics meet the first snow of glasgow

....they scream, shout, take pictures and throw snowballs at each other!

me and xinyi looking excited over the big blob of snow, and the rain of snow!

I didn't realise it when the snow started falling. I was sitting comfortable in front of my laptop, going through my usual daily routine of trawling blogs and websites, when I heard friends' voices from below...sounding very excited indeed! And I threw open the window, and lo and behold! White snow billowing down from the heavens, and covering the ground. Yay!

in front of excited people seeing snow for the first time.

brendan and I posing with the snow lol.

snow fight!

by the little river in front of SIPBS building

footsteps in the snow

The only downside of snow is that it complicates travelling and moving around, especially when it comes to flying. Many flights to and from London have been delayed, and even some Eurostar services have been stopped. Now I am a little worried that these will cause some hiccups to our upcoming London trip. Getting there probably won't be a problem as we will be taking the train, but I'm crossing my fingers that we will be able to fly back to Glasgow safely, and on time. Anyway I'll be packing some extra clothings just in case our holiday plans go awry.....but of course, hopefully not!

And of course, the awful weather. I really don't know exactly how much I should layer up so as to avoid becoming a human popsicle. A whole day out in a giant freezer isn't really a recipe for fun! Glasgow is still tolerable for now, but I'm not so sure about London. And I'm still debating on whether to stock up groceries and foodstuffs just in case Glasgow gets hit by an extraordinarily bad blizzard or covered in a foot of snow. Lets hope it doesn't.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

life is good. I'm not dead. Yet.

It's been exactly one and a half month since my last post.

I am officially a lousy and lazy blogger.

Life has been good those days my presence was missed. (yeah right!)

The weather in Glasgow has turned to be a gigantic natural freezer, in which putting anything in the COLD air will turn meat (ie. our fingers and toes and anything else exposed) into frozen meat, which is what you would expect when you put meat into YOUR freezer at home.

We're just starting our first winter, and so far the coldest we had was -3 degrees. On average the temperature here ranges from 3-8 degrees, for now. It was said that there would be snow on thursday (tomorrow!) so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. But Siobhan (my workshop buddy) said it had to get colder than this for snow to happen, so that may not be now. But snow in Glasgow is a relatively mild event for those who have pictures in their mind of fluffy white thick snow on the ground, so typical of movies. Apparently the average winter in Glasgow sees only a light dusting of snow on the ground, and the stuff doesn't stay around for long.

These are actually pictures of my campus taken in the autumn. I don't have any winter ones yet because there isn't any snow that will give the winter-ish look and the trees are not quite botak yet. But the weather is winter all right!

So, moving on to what I've been up to.

November was a busy month. We had our research introduction, pharm care presentation, as well as a Drug delivery test to fill our time. But those are boring stuff, I shall not tell you more.

Then we chipped in for Jane's birthday (a grand event, as you would expect) by making cupcakes!

100% handmade, mind you! We spent a whole afternoon labouring away at the intricate designs and copying (and failing, somewhat) the cupcake designs we found online. Alas there is only so much a bunch of cupcake beginners can do, huh.

The three in the middle are MY handiwork! Unfortunately one was proclaimed 'jiang chou de??' and another was said to be pimples on a mountain or something like that. Le sigh.

The colourful toppings were moulded from an icing mixed with food colourings. It was like playing with Playdoh, like the olden days of yonder. Though I never really was a fan of playdoh. But it was a great afternoon of moulding and shaping, and girly chit-chatting. It was a lot of fun, to say the least. In the end everyone was so proud and protective of THEIR cupcakes that it became sort of a competition to see which cupcake would become the birthday girl's favourite. (and this is where mine was said to be 'jiang chou de', sigh....=PPPP )

Just kidding, little J. You know I love you. =)

And then, the parents came!!!

They dropped by Glasgow for 3 days. Unfortunately their visit coincided with the worst weather ever, with angry torrents of pelting rain and gales of wind that will blow you off your feet if your body weight is under 40kg. (another reason to eat more, eh?)

the 2 ladies on the front left are headmistresses. the couple on the front right are my parents. hahaha.

Brought them to Lauders for a taste of the local food and beer, and they loved it! But they're not so crazy about the weather though.

Oh, and once they left Glasgow for Paris, the weather here turned all sunny and happy again. Talk about bad timing!


Before sending the besties off for their trip, we celebrated winter solstice early this year!

Yes, that's right! Tang yuan in angmoh-land!!

We made the paste from mixing rice flour with hot water, kneaded and adding more flour until it turned the correct consistency. And then we quarreled on MAJOR stuff like whether or not to get red food colouring for the rice balls and whether to make them big (normal sized, actually) or small (like the 'pearls' in 珍珠奶茶.)

(We compromised in the end: first batch to boil = large balls, second batch = small ones. Both were equally delicious.)

And we lived happily ever after. The end.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

of gunpowder and fireworks

5th of November is Guy Fawkes' night, to celebrate the downfall of the gunpowder plot to bring down the Parliament Houses in London.

5th of November is also a night of extravagant fireworks display all around UK.

And we joined in the fun at Glasgow Green!

I didn't actually understand the significance of the celebration at first, I just went along for the fireworks. And boy, was it amazing indeed!
No pictures, videos or words can describe the feeling of watching fireworks burst into golden rings and stars right above your head.

It's like a miracle unfolding right in front of your eyes.

I loved every second of it.


I thought my research project was going to be a breeze, but I guess I was wrong.

Since I'm not a chemistry major, doing a research in advanced pure chemistry is no laughing matter.
My chemistry background is, unfortunately, limited to daddy's home tuition and bits and pieces of whatever little we learnt back in physical pharmacy. Or was it?...

It is like throwing a primary school kid into university and asking him to graduate with flying colours.

More than half the time, I'm actually trying to figure out what's going on above my head.
The other half, I'm furiously learning up on co-crystals and related information, trying to cram everything into my little brain in the least time possible.

I really want to produce at least one co-crystal from this project.
Initially (when I didn't know ANYTHING) I thought I would be able to make 3 co-crystals out of my materials.
Then when we actually started doing stuff, I realised how extremely difficult it is to make even ONE measly co-crystal.

Le sigh. Why does science have to be so elusive (and times).

Adding to my pressure is the fact that my lecturer in charge is one specialised in co-crystals, and I really don't want to disappoint him (and myself!)



Wednesday, October 28, 2009


...or are we?

I don't know if you've watched this episode of Grey's. It's about the merging of two hospitals and the first day of work when doctors and nurses and other health personnel from two different environments come together and work together.

Because the series is based in Seattle Grace hospital, naturally it would depict the people from the other hospital as invaders. Basically what the series was trying to say was that the SG people found the 'invaders' to be annoying, irritating, and at times, infuriating. All because the people had come to 'their' hospital to work with them.

I think the concept was that SG somewhat belonged to them, and they didn't like it when outsiders who were not welcome, came.

Then it made me wonder.

Doesn't it make sense?
WE are invaders too, in a sense.
115 of us, altogether, came here to study with the homestudents, who have been together since 3 years ago, and probably have formed tight friendships with each other.
then we come and ruin everything.
We invade their lecture halls, making it cramped and difficult to find a nice spot.
We invade their labs and libraries, reducing the number of books available for them to borrow.
We invade their cafes and canteens, eating their food and sitting in their places.

In a way, I wouldn't be surprised if they felt the same way as the good people in Grey's. We were the invaders in the first place.

Of course I understand that the episode was stating that in a somewhat immature way, but you cannot say it doesn't make sense. If a whole 100+ bunch of students suddenly came to study with us in IMU out of the blue, we wouldn't exactly embrace them, lock stock and barrel. We would also feel that our space was invaded, to a certain extent.

But then again, to the homestudents' credit, they have been nothing but friendly towards us.
My buddy has been most warm and welcoming towards me, and for that, I'm grateful.
I didn't go to the pub crawl, but what I heard, there was much mingling and it was great between us and them.
Then again, I probably shouldn't think in terms of 'us and them', right.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

of movies and ramblings, and edinburgh

So I was watching the movie Mona Lisa Smile yesterday night.

I know I know. It's a little too late for a review of a movie that came out years ago, but still...

Well. For those who didn't watch the show, it's basically about this female art lecturer who had really avant-garde ideas about feminism and female rights and stuff, who wanted to make a difference in the lives of her female students. But her efforts were constantly thwarted by them, her peers, and the general society during that time.
Oh, and the movie was set in the 50-s.

What the movie was trying to say was that in those days, women belonged to their husbands and their families, and their right place was in their homes and nowhere else. Which, of course, is not true nowadays, but only to a certain extent.

It got me thinking.
How modern are we actually? When it comes to matters like this. We say females have as much capability as males (perhaps even more?) and we should be entitled to the same things as our male counterparts.


Why do parents always shush their sons when they cry, and not their daughters? Kids feel pain as much as one another, so why is it that people find crying boys embarrassing?

Why does it always have to be the guy who asks the girl out on a date? And pay for it? (at least on the first few ones?) If both parties are earning wages, shouldn't it be fair for both to pay their own?

Why is it always that girls are the ones to worry about 'not getting married off' at a certain age? And the guys don't? (well, at least not till they're 60 or so....)

Why is it that the female always has to be the one to give up her job once she has a baby? The baby came from both parents so why shouldn't it be the responsibility of both?

Why is it that the female always has to take care of the household chores, even when she has a regular 9-5 job? And all the husband does after coming back from work is to ask 'honey, where's dinner?'

Why is it that the general public sees middle aged unmarried females as 'failures'? As if not getting married after a certain age deems them 'leftover goods'? (don't laugh, I've heard many people say this about those unlucky girls!...behind their backs of course). And guys get more and more berharga as they grow older in the marriage market?

Why is it that females holding a high position in a company will be termed a bitch if she's too aggressive, and males who do that are said to be 'assertive'?

Why is it that males have porn magazines and websites with naked females, and we girls don't have magazines and websites of naked men?

Why is it that a handful of masochistic males nowadays can still say that rape victims 'asked for it' because they were dressed too skimpily? To say in front of everyone that their political counterparts will 'leak' every month? To say that if the rape victim can't get herself free of her rapist, to 'just let go and enjoy it'?

Why? Why?

I could go on and on. But you get the idea.


Moving on to prettier topics.

The housemates and I went to Edinburgh over the weekend!

autumn's here!

it was a wet day in Edinburgh

us in front of Edinburgh castle. I love my new coat! =)

the view which officially inspired Harry Potter...

...and the lucky cafe in which Rowling happened to be lunching in when the Eureka! moment struck.

And that's all for now!
Till then.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

a little something

1. Mood:
More towards crappy. cramps in my stomach making me tired and grumpy. Where did all that exercising go? I thought it was supposed to help with cramps. shoot.

2. List three things currently inspiring you.
Nothing in particular. Does a steaming hot cup of ginger tea count?

3. Doing what now?
Listening to jazzy music and trying to figure out our thromboembolic workshop.

4. Gladiator sandals?
I'm alright with them. Though I'm starting to think boots are the coolest shoes invented ever. =)

5. Lips and cheeks:
I haven't been using much lipstick, usually it's a slick of my Loccitane lipbalm and I'm good to go. Currently using No7's mineral blusher in soft damson.

6. What’s one quality you like about yourself?
Being neat and tidy.

7. Fragrance?
Victoria Beckham's Intimately Beckham.

8. Name three ways you’ve changed in the last 10 years.
10 years before I was..13. Form 1. Apart from about gaining a shitload of textbook knowlegde over the years, I suppose I have become more independent, and care less about what people think of me.

9. Outfit?
Since I'm in my room now, it would be a sporty long sleeve top and knee length pants, and fluffy bedroom slippers.

10. Weekly goals:
To at least get a start on my introduction for my research paper! There's only so long a girl can procrastinate.


And autumn's here!

Apart from the fact that leaves are turning shades of yellow and red, cold glasgow just became even colder.

I woke up at 9am yesterday and there it was, on my laptop weather widget: 0 degrees!
But it wasn't as bad as I thought. Even without the heater on and only wearing a normal t-shirt, I felt perfectly comfortable. Or perhaps our hostel buildings have very good inbuilt heat-retaining properties.

Sometimes I think that this world is so much kinder to beautiful people.
Life is so much easier if you're beautiful. You get the largest piece of cake, people actually stop to listen to you when you talk, and complete strangers will be nicer to you. You get to choose other equally beautiful people to be your spouse, and your children will also be beautiful. You get promotions at work more often, and most probably you will end up with an easy workload than others.

No? You disagree?
Well. Guys, do you dare to say that if given a gorgeous model and a plain ugly (fat, thrown in for good measure) girl needed your help, which would you be more inclined to help?
Girls, if a gorgeous, tall, hunky guy and a slight, plain guy with acne asked you for your number, which would you be more happy to give it to?

See, we're all shallow after all. Just that we don't admit it.
That's why plain people have to work twice as hard as beautiful ones to get to the same place.
It's a fact. Sad but true.

That's why makeup companies and slimming centres will always be in business.

Just thinking. =)

Oh and if you feel like doing the meme on top, feel free to copy and paste the questions and put in your own answers. It's good for a filler post when you have nothing else to say. =)


Saturday, October 17, 2009

fate (or not!)

Sorry I didn’t keep my part of the promise. Rome and the rest of Italy seems so far away now, I just can’t seem to find the mood (and time) to tell you about it. Once semester starts, the holidays just fall to the back of my mind. Ah well, probably those pictures and stories will see the light of the day, someday, when I have nothing better to blog about.


I was chit-chatting over dinner with a few girlfriends.

And somehow our conversation turned into a debate of which was more important in a relationship: fate, or making it happen.

It’s like this.

Which do you believe in?

a. Successful relationships were meant to be. Fate decides everything.

b. Successful relationships are a result of our own efforts.

And I was the one supporting the second theory.

I do not deny that we need fate to intercede in order for people to meet, and perhaps like each other.

Why would we be great friends with someone and so-so with others?

This is because we were fated to be.

Actually fate doesn’t really explain it all. 缘分(yuan fen, or yuan) would be more accurate.

We become close to some people, fall in love with a few, and hate the rest, all because of yuan.

In short, yuan determines what goes on in our lives.

If we fall in love with someone and become a couple, then it’s because we have a lot of yuan.

If we like someone but didn’t progress that far, we blame it on having too little yuan.

If we hate someone just simply because, we say it’s bad yuan.

But is it right to leave everything to fate?

I don’t think so.

In my world, good things came to me because I actually made the effort to achieve them. Not by waiting around and blaming the lack of yuan when I don’t get what I want.

In short, I fully believe that ‘what you reap is what you sow’.

Of course I understand that there are no fixed rules when it comes to relationships. I understand that even if you love someone doesn’t mean that someone will love you back.

But then again, if you didn’t even make it known that you love that someone (ie court her/him lah!), how are you going to blame it on fate when others don’t even know that you fancy them?

Yes, I agree that it takes a certain amount of fate for people to meet, and for sparks to fly.

But if nothing more happens after that, then the fate doesn’t amount to anything now does it?

It is so much better to love and live, than not loving at all.

Even if it might hurt lots and then some, it would have been worth it.

I would rather have plunged right in and did something from my heart, than NOT to do it and regret after that.

I do not like to have ‘what if-s’ in my life.

What if I had gone on that date with him?

What if I had called him after the date instead of waiting for him to call? (what if he never did call?)

What if I had initiated the second date instead of waiting for him to do it?

What if I had told him I fancied him instead of waiting for him to do it?

What if?....

See, that’s my point.

We never know what’s going to happen the next step.

We are human after all, not God.

So why not live in exuberance instead of tiptoeing through life?

Of course, I am not saying that we plunge through life without thinking.

Obviously if something (or someone) was a bad idea, a little logical thinking would tell me that NOT going ahead is the better choice.

But if your head and heart says YES! why not just go ahead? rather than crack your head and think, oh long distance relationships are no good la, he’s not rich enough la, he’s not funny enough la, he doesn’t take out the trash la, etc.

Anyways, I digress.

My point is,

It is simply not enough to sit around and wait for someone to come across you, sitting there oh so demurely.

Rather, we should go out there, and take our pick from the mix! Throw out the good girl and snag a fab guy, and we shall see who gets the last laugh!


p/s: actually I admit I’m somewhat a mix in between those two types. I sit at home all the time yet I still believe I should ‘make it happen’. So please do not laugh back at me when I eat my own words some time in the (near?) future. ha!

p/p/s: no, there is no guy on the horizon right now, unfortunately. this post was simply inspired by our after-dinner conversation, period.

Monday, September 28, 2009

part 2 - still paris

It's amazing how movies can transform your views and image of a place.

I have just finished Angels and Demons (the movie). I read the book a long time ago so I couldn't really remember the exact details in it, but watching the movie AFTER visiting Rome and the Vatican city is totally a different experience altogether. I can never look at St Peter's square and the churches in the same light again.

Come to think of it, I should have watched it before going, but oh well...

And now I kind of understand why she loved the Fontana so much after 冲上云宵. You know who you are, ha!

Part 2 - still Paris!

Had my first taste of foie gras at Pub 38 Eiffel. This was actually foie gras with baked egg, and It. Is. So. Good! The liver had a slightlly musky tang to it, and the combination with baked egg was perfecto. But bear in mind that foie gras does not appeal to everyone.

the bill in a tin.

We visited the Père-Lachaise Cemetery on our third day in Paris, much to the chagrin of the guys in our group (or so I think). It hosted the graveyards of a medley of different famous people, but the one I wanted to see the most was that of Chopin.

But unfortunately we made a very costly mistake at the entrance.
We decided not to buy the map of the cemetery for the sake of being economical.
We ended up in a wild goose chase around the cemetery, and failing miserably.
(and bringing our entire poor group members along..)
We had grossly underestimated the size of the graveyard, and the sheer number of graves in it.
In the end, we left the cemetery with painful feet (from all the pounding on the uneven pavement), aching legs, and not a sight of even ONE measly 'famous' grave.

one of the many angmohs who adores sunshine, unlike us poor asians

I had my first taste of macarons from a shop named Herve (I think), which apparently has won awards for its macarons. And it was really good! I wanted to get some from Laduree but..ah well. I just couldn't bring myself to pay 4 euros (RM20) for a single macaron which I probably could finish in 4 or 5 bites.

a lady with a hat musing on her own on the bench.....not! look carefully. it's actually a bronze figure!

Paris is said to be the city of romance. Well, I don't seem to see the romantic-ness about it. Glasgow is much more romantic to me. Paris is busy and noisy, and the streets are dirty (well, at least when compared to glasgow). That doesn't seem too romantic does it? The only thing romantic about the city is the people. They hug and kiss everywhere!

4th day is Disneyland day!
I am really not the best person to write about Disneyland day. I am not a child at heart after all.
Sin wee, would you like to be my guest blogger for the day?

my happy housemates. the one on the right is happier.

some random cute little girl who was dressed for the occasion

waiting in line for our first ride: Snow white!

side profile of Donald duck's I-forgot-her-name girlfriend.

that looks like some ancient 格格 punya headpiece from far

car stunts. it was AMAZING

ciplak HSM. I want Zac Efron!

I went to Disneyland and observed with a very logical heart and mind, and I got this conclusion.
Walt Disney is one helluva guy.
Did you know that Disney came very close to not existing in this world?
It is a perfect example of a blue ocean strategy.
The idea is novel, there was nothing like it, and there will be nothing quite like it in the future.
There is simply no comparison.
Even if there were to be another company producing cartoons and doing exactly what Disney does, it will never be quite like it.
Can you imagine a world without Disney?
I certainly can't.

Last day in Paris was off to Chateau de Versailles.

We paid 15 euros to enter the palace, but it was totally worth every penny.
As a matter of fact it is somewhat a cross between a museum and a palace. It was indeed a palace until the French revolution and the royal family ran away or something. I cannot remember the exact facts. Go wikipedia if you want more...

Next stop: Rome!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

part 1 - paris

And I'm back!

Really, I am afraid of updating everything after a really long holiday. The last 2 times I did (Hong Kong and KK trips) I ended up with a headache and giddiness, thanks to staring at my computer for so LONG a time. And lets not forget that I like to make collages out of my holiday photos. Now that really takes up a lot of energy!

I kept a little diary throughout those 17 days. it wasn't so much a diary of events; rather I think it was more of a memoir of my thoughts and feelings.

Am feeling a little lazy, so I'm going to keep this short.



We kind of lost our way the night we arrived in paris, and couldn't find our hotel. There were these two young parisian ladies who were SO helpful, they pored over the map with us and even called up the hotel itself to ask for directions, using their own cellphones!

Our hotel Andre Gill was actually quite nice. They served the same breakfast every morning (croissants and a hard bread, and coffee or tea), had 2 proud-looking cats, and a funny and helpful counter staff person. A few steps down the road and it was heaven for guys: the red-light district, ha! Moulin rounge was further down but we didn't go. Show me the money, man!

The first thing we did the next morning was to rush over to the Louvre as it was free admission day, which happens every first sunday of the month. I was slightly disappointed by the Mona Lisa painting. I did not understand the hype about it; I simply did not understand it. I am not an art student after all. Furthermore it was put behind a glass screen, and that decreased its magic somewhat.

The famous painting, blurred by my camera zoom....

...which we managed to get to the very front after battling the crowd.

Altogether now guys, stare down at your, erm...instruments?

doing the karen cheng using the powder table of a famous person...I think it was one of the French kings.

posing like him...not!

I find this kind of disturbing. How they managed to pose that way for the artist, is really beyond me.

Then, we went to the Orsay museum, for free again. Yay!

This painting is on my Chopin music scorebook which I used for 5 years+.

And then, Eiffel tower!

...and someone yelled in delight when she saw this, hehehe.


...both which I covet, but cannot afford. le sigh.

Diary musings excerpts:
  • We are all independent, yet interdependent too. There is no such thing as minding our own business. Others' business are also our business.
  • Had my first taste of foie gras! It is SO good. The liver had a slightly musky tang to it, and the combination with baked egg was perfect.
  • I like my new Loccitane Cherry blossom fragrance!

To be continued...