Archive for October, 2007

Cornish Delights

A quick blog before we go…we’re off for a road trip this weekend! Headed for Cornwall :)

Pray the weather stays lovely!!!

Ok, update when we get back!

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Went to visit the British Library today. Found that its a library meant purely for research. No borrowing of books, no browsing unless you have something specific you are researching about. But it’s the kinda place that makes you want to have a thesis to research on :)

Saw this interesting quote on one of the walls – “we shouldn’t trust writers, but we should read them” :)

But as I was searching for a place to borrow guidebooks, I went round the block to a community library – the St Pancras library near Kings Cross. It’s a small single-storey library, with a modest collection. But look what I picked up for our holiday planning!

We don’t really know where we’ll be heading yet, but these books are just some possibilities :)

Dinner for today is grilled chicken w pasta & spinach :)

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What’s Cooking?

Just to show Jon isn’t starving. We had Moroccan style lamb with rice, and Moroccan style veg (which actually tastes quite Chinese) for dinner last night.

Anyway, yes, I’m running thru the Moroccan cookbook and seeing what interesting stuff I can make from there. I do like Moroccan food a lot. Its very flavourful because of the many spices used. The more common ones used in Moroccan cooking are cumin, corriander, tumeric, paprika, pepper, saffron, cardamom, ginger and cinnimon.
If I can find a pie dish, think I’ll try making Bastilla. Its a heavenly pie filled with chicken and pigeon (tho i’ll prob skip the pigeon since it’s hard to find), thats sweet and savory all at the same time. The one we ate in Morocco was really to die for. Full of melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Mmm…hope I can recreate that experience :)

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England loses again!

So England seems to be experiencing a losing streak.

England lost to Russia in soccer
England lost to South Africa in rugby
Now England loses the F1 Grand Prix as well!

Jon and I went to Ben’s place to hang out with Quack and Ben, and to catch the F1 final. Along with the hype around the rugby finals, there has been a lot of hype around Lewis Hamilton’s possible win of the F1. But alas, a mistake near the start of the race, plus a faulty engine left him catching up with the front runners for the rest of the laps.

The funniest moment for me was when Kazuki Nakajima hit his own mechanics when driving into the pit stop :) The poor things. One guy even flew off his feet and landed on the car!

And Nakajima won’t forget that incident soon – it’s already on Wiki!

Anyway Ben cooked a really yummy dinner of goulash type stew and onion omelette! (and of course photo evidence proves than shan helped :) ).

After dinner we embarked on some serious research into the history of Chinese High’s school song. It all started with us watching Dirty Dancing, and Ben telling us that there’s a song near the end of the show which has the exact same melody as the TCHS school song :) Of course, any excuse to watch tv right? So we watched the rest of the show to hear the song and confirm whether its the same :) And it was! (not that we actually knew what the TCHS school song sounded like, but we just took Ben’s word for it :) ).

Anyway, thanks to trusty ol google and the ever helpful wiki, we found that, indeed, TCHS song is…. *shock shock horror horror*…. copied!! It takes the tune of the Kellerman’s Anthem. And according to wiki, many many many other schools/institutions/colleges have adopted that tune for the own song as well. At least they aren’t the only ones, heh =)

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Rugby World Cup Finals

Met up with Hsu Hsien and Sathia on Sat to go watch the Rugby World Cup Finals. They had just arrived in the morning, exactly one week after us.

Before the match we were watching X Factor on TV – something like American Idol, but British. Quite an interesting concept. They’ve taken the usual format of a singing competition, but this time the judges have a personal stake in the outcome as well. Each of the judges has to recruit a team singers according to their given category. It’s split as follows: ‘above 25’ (dunno the guy’s name), ‘males’ (Danni Minogue), ‘females’ (Sharon Osbourne), ‘group’ (Simon Cowell). So it gets quite entertaining cos the judges will start bickering among themselves and questioning each other’s decisions and selections. It gets nassstyy hahaa.

Anyway for the real aim of the night, we headed for a bar in Farringdon area. England’s play was rather sloppy that night. They kept dropping the ball, losing the ball at the line-up, and making other mistakes. Pity about that try that wasn’t counted though. So close! Anyway, no celebrations in the town that night since South Africa won :) But at least I got to try cider! mmmm… :)

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Went to check out Portobello Market on Fri. Quaint little place, known mainly for its vintage shops. Here are some pics of the place:

A 1960s super retro shoe

(Mee: The little toy soldiers!)

Met Jon in the evening for a date at the Tate Modern :) Friday’s it opens late (until 10pm).

The Tate Modern from the Millenium Bridge

Twilight over the Thames (the British pronounce it as “Tams”)

There was an interesting piece of work at the Tate Modern called Shibboleth by Doris Salcedo. It’s basically a crack down the entire ground floor space of the museum. In the crack she has carefully embedded wire fencing. I really wonder how the work was done in the first place, and if they will ever patch it back up.Anyway Shibboleth according to the Oxford English Dictionary is “a word used as a test for detecting people from another district or country by their pronunciation; a word or sound very difficult for foreigners to pronounce correctly”. In Salcedo’s conception then, Shibboleth is intended to depict the separation between people. Interestingly this word refers to an incident from the Bible. The Book of Judges describes how the Ephraimites, attempting to flee across the river Jordan, were stopped by their enemies, the Gileadites. As their dialect did not include a “sh” sound, those who could not say the word “shibboleth” were captured and executed.

Some pics of the crack:

Besides that, we only saw the fifth floor collection. Some of the pieces was er..not quite to my taste. But there were some rather interesting pieces. There was this room with various takes on square and cubiod figures that I found rather intriguing. In particular was a painting that looked completely black from a distance, but on closer inspection there were actually squares of different shades of black – some with blue undertones, some with red or green.

There was also a video installation that was quite interesting. Confetti that is used for Mardi Gras celebrations was strewn among leaves in a forest, near an ant nest. The little ants started to pick up the colourful confetti and drag them into their nest. On first glance, it looks like the confetti is moving on its own. Then later you realise these ants are carrying them. It made for very interesting viewing to see the shiny colours flickering with the movements of the ants. Like they are having a celebration of their own as well. Their nest must look really beautiful after that exercise.. :) Free redecoration.

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Chapel Market

One more plus point for staying in this area – the Chapel Market! It’s like a wet market and pasar malam rolled into one.

On the way to Sainsbury supermarket (a great place to shop for groceries!), I stumbled upon Chapel Market! There are the usual knick-knacks and household items. And as I wandered further in, I found fresh produce galore! Fruit, veg, and even a fishmonger!!

The produce looked even plumper and fresher than that available at Sainsbury :) Guess I’ll be stopping by there rather often to get supplies!

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See Woo.. Who? Woo!

One of the best things about being here is being able to hang out with Shan! =) (yes you Quack!)

Had a typical English meal the first night we arrived — Indian food! Quack, Ben, Jon & I headed to Brick Lane for a yummy dinner complete with lassi :) Every restaurant there has touts standing outside trying to lure you in with free drinks, free this or that. It was quite funny, there was even one man who said something like “hey! i spoke you guys earlier! you coming here now?”.. but it was our first time walking down the road! =)

Next day Quack and Ben brought us to See Woo – a Chinese supermarket (or warehouse more like it). They sell 20 litre barrels of cooking oil, 25 kilo sacks of MSG, among other gimongous proportions. It’s like they plan for everyone to feed an army of people. Thank goodness they have smaller sacks/packets of things :) We didn’t buy that many things as we hadn’t yet moved into our permanent place. But we got a 1 litre bottle of cooking oil, and jon & i have a bet riding on it – if we finish the bottle of oil by April he owes me one teh, if we don’t I owe him a teh :) He thinks its too much for the 2 of us. We’ll see, we’ll see :) [The bottle of oil made it’s appearance in a photo in one of my 18 Oct postings!]

Ben: “Why is this crazy woman taking a photo of us buying groceries?”

Actually one of this nicest things about heading out to See Woo was the scenery. We drove past Shooters Hill. It was a lovely open field where people could fly their kites (some of which were quite large!). As the backdrop there’s a beautiful town setting with the classic church spire standing elegantly tall among the rows of houses. Didn’t take a photo of it tho, was just enjoying the view (to which jon said “wah! i’m impressed you are not taking photos”) :)

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A Taste of Morocco

Guess what I made for dinner today? A full Moroccan meal!

Here’s the menu:

Appetiser: Tomatoe & Onion Salad w Cumin

Starter: Zahluk (Eggplant Puree with Olive Oil, Garlic & Paprika to spread on bread)

Main Course: Moroccan Style Chicken and Olives

Dessert: Oranges sprinkled with cinnimon

Drink: Mint Tea (i finally got the right green tea!)


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Boeing Boeing

Yesterday we went to watch the play Boeing Boeing at the Comedy Theatre near Leicester Square. It was Jon’s first trip down to the Leicester Square area :)

Quite a hilarious comedy, premised on a casanova having 3 fiancees at the same time! All air stewardesses. He chose his ladies by carefully studying the flight timetables to make sure that at any one time, one is arriving, one is in mid air, and one is in some other country. Anyway, the arrival of the “Super Boeing” which shortens flight times basically screws up this careful calculations :)

The Italian actress was quite hot man, heh. Reminded me a bit of Eva Longoria – petite with a perfect figure. The funniest 2 characters of the night must be the German air stewardess, Gretchen, who was absolutely hilarious; and Robert, the old schoolmate of the casanova, who was a perfect comical blend of awkward, blur, and witty all at the same time =)

Hopefully we’ll be going for many more of these artsy things here in London!! Ballets lah, plays lah, movies lah, musicals, etc etc etc.

Speaking of movies, while waiting for him to come, I was squeezing with the crowd at the sidelines of the red carpet premiere launch of Eastern Promises. I saw Naomi Watts in the distance…really quite a distance. Was looking over the shoulder of some British dude, who was standing behind a barracade, which was half a metre behind a 2 metre high fence, which was 2 metres behind another barracade, behind another bunch of people, and then add 15 to 20 metres.

Actually I had never even heard of the movie until yesterday.

Here’s the link to an article on the event:


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