Monthly Archives: March 2012

Aren’t They Beautiful?

The weather has been so good this week, reaching up to 23 degrees on Wed according to BBC. It is the perfect weather where it’s not too hot, and it’s warm enough to go out in a tshirt. Imagine that! If London has this weather all year round, I definitely will not leave this place! 🙂

I was tempted to stay out as it is still bright after work, hence what’s better than jogging outdoor- I get to enjoy the heat/sun while doing a bit of exercise.

Some pictures I’d like to share from St James Park near Trafalgar Square. Definitely brought back memories from first year as I lived a stone’s throw away.

Can’t wait till it’s summer!

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It Rains When You’re Here, and It Rains When You’re Gone

Skiing at Chamonix, Mont Blanc

I just came back from an awesome 4 day ski trip in Chamonix. It was great, magnificent and all the positive adjectives you can think of. We headed to Geneva airport on Wednesday night and came back to London Sunday night, so we had 3 full days and 1 half day of skiing worth. Now my whole body is aching, from my biceps to triceps to back to gluts to butt to shins to feet. Skiing is intense 🙂

Some pictures with captions below, enjoy!

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A few thoughts from my trip:

1) Skiing is a risky sport.
I have had quite a few epic falls (as epic as the mountain views) which involves falling down non stop through half a black slope on Day 1 and falling off a platter lift off a steep slope on Day 2. It was so epic that someone even recognized me later that day and said with my fall I could have been on  TV. Sounds funny when I recall it now, but the falls were at least 150m, so it was definitely scary when you can’t stop the fall.

2) Have faith and it will all turn out fine.
I felt that I had some bad luck at the beginning of the trip, misplacing my wallet containing cash, ID, train tickets etc (but not my passport hence I could still fly out of UK) + all the crazy falls. In the end, I just became more careful when skiing. And some kind soul passed my wallet to the Lost and Found counter, so I am very thankful that I am safe, and that I found my stuff.

3) I know nice people.
Friends who would help you when you need it are friends you should appreciate and keep.

4) It is fun to do something out of the norm.
I learnt some dance moves from the UCPA crew, spoke to some people from the UK, France, Belgium, Italy.. It’s definitely an eye opener speaking to different people from various countries!

 

For those interested in skiing: We went with UCPA, its the place to go if you want an all-inclusive, no hassle and simple trip. The package at about 280 pounds includes 3 meals per day, accomodation, ski equipments and ski pass to Le Tour, Les Grande Montets and Brevant (perfect for 3/4 days). So total trip inclusive of flight, transfers etc would be 500-550 pounds.. It’s definitely more worth it if you go for a 1 week long ski trip which should amount to 700 pounds inclusive of classes as well!

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KONY 2012- Do We Believe In Everything We See?

I saw many videos being shared on Facebook about KONY 2012. It didn’t really attract me, but curiosity got to the better of me and I clicked “Play” on the Youtube video yesterday.

First impression: Kudos to this selfless man/oganization who is fighting for peace and justice , I want to donate as well!

I have learnt about Joseph Kony- who he is, the crimes he committed, but what truly awed me about the video was how it fully leveraged on social media marketing (twitter/fb etc) and how it reached out to the public. Firstly, Jason (narrator of video and co-founder of Invisible Children) started telling the story through his son, knowing that people are usually more open and sympathetic when it comes to children. The Q&A with his son was brilliantly played. Secondly, he identified 20 culturemakers and 12 policymakers who has the power to make the different through their influence. Well, if these influencial people are involved and mentioned (which I then realize is totally different from them actively advocating it), that must mean that this is a sincere effort..

Isn’t it?

Then I did some research, and my verdict on KONY 2012: Not sold. Sounds like an Illuminati experience to me!

I thought the Guardian did a very good overall coverage on KONY 2012 which included some criticism, eg the current situation in Uganda (apparently in a much better situation than what was displayed in the video), the total force of LRA (said to be hundreds instead of thousands) etc.

***Read it here***

To get to my point:

This video was shared and viewed over 71 million times on Youtube, but before sharing, how many actually did a background check and researched about the facts presented in the video? It sounds like a noble cause. It certainly look very professional and factual, which made the video somewhat more trustworthy. On second thought, it just seemed so.. made up. I don’t mean to say that Joseph Kony/ children kidnapping doesn’t exist or that Invisible Children Inc is not fighting for a right cause, but there is just something’s fishy about this charity organization.

I have to admit I have not done any extensive research to conclude that this is really a scam (or not), but from what I have read, I’m just not convinced.

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Feelings & Music Aligned

How do you express your feelings? When you are happy, excited, sad, disappointed- do you let the whole world see it all, or would you keep it to yourself?

Whatever it is you are feeling, there are all types of music to match your mood and what you’d like to express. Say you want to shake your booty in a club, or declare your love to someone, or when you need some motivation, or maybe something to exercise to in the gym..

We might be complaining that the quality of songs produced have been deteriorating by the years, but one should never undermine the role that music plays in our life. It is one of the main channels of our emotions. Hence my little music appreciation post 🙂


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A Good Day To Me Is..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waking up at 9am after having a solid 9 hours of sleep. Fell asleep with Kevin Kern’s melodic piano pieces and woke up to it as well. How very soothing and calming.

Went for a relaxing 15 mins swim, followed by a short round in the jacuzzi and steam room. Came back, showered and started reading a bit of CFA stuff. Nodded off a few times but understood a concept that I didn’t get before, which is satisfying. But still not sure if I’m on schedule!

Cooked myself a healthy lunch with some spaghetti, a lot of veg and some nuts. I just went for a health check and it turns out that my cholesterol is higher than the limit, ie 5.37 vs 5.0 😦 So I have to eat more nuts and fish which is a good source of HDL (good cholesterol) which will naturally lower down my LDL (bad cholesterol). Bought a big pack of tuna and sardine immediately after that.

Read a book called Property Magic by Simon Zutshi that my manager lent me yesterday. It is really enlightening and encouraging, so I would highly recommend it to those of you who are interested in getting a property!!

And now the sun is shining through my window and this is totally making my day. Those who know me well will know that I absolutely love the sun, and bright days.

And I said hi to my cousin Martin who I have not seen in nearly 2 years now, and also to Shir Li who is a close friend from high school. It’s always nice catching up just because, not only when you need help.

Having a skype session soon regarding an initiative that I have been thinking about.. and off to Oliver’s birthday party later.

So yes, a good day to me can sometimes just mean that I am happy and contented with the little things in life which might seem mundane.

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Clos Maggiore.. and of Lousy Snogging Spots

Had a lovely dinner at Clos Maggiore, which was voted as the most romantic restaurant in London by Harden’s 2012. Our friendship is anything but romantic, though that didn’t stop Robert and I from marveling at the internal decor. I went here once late last year, but did not manage to get a seat in the conservatory room. We managed to reserve it today, and it is beautifully decorated with flowers all over and dimly lit with warm, yellow lights.

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We had a starter and main each, with one dessert and half a bottle of red wine. The bill came up to about 20 pounds each, very value for money, but only if you dine before 6pm weekdays!

Starter: Pressed smoked salmon
Main: Lasagna with  marinated mushrooms (R) Roasted pork neck (Y)
Dessert: Creme Brulee

The menu is definitely more sophisticated than what I have simply described. That said, the food was good (though not like oh-my-gosh-great) but the atmosphere is totally the deal maker! Definitely one of the restaurants in London to visit! 🙂

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On a totally unrelated note, is it just me, or do couples make out at the weirdest places in London? It’s an affair which makes me go “Whyyyy?” everytime I see it. I am totally fine with PDA (Public Display of Affection), but next time just pick a better place, and not places like…

Awkward Snogging Place #1: Near to or at the entrance of a tube station
I get it, his place is up North, hers is West and it’s time to say goodbye. BUT PLEASE: a tube station is where typical Londoners like us rush in and out like a mad person, and you hogging that spot there isn’t going to make our journey easier. Also, if you can’t get enough of each other, just head home together and voila, an extra 10 hours of kissing etc for you.

Uncomfortable Snogging Place #2: On the bridge, during winter
I get this too, the bridge can be pretty romantic as you are overlooking the Thames River and possibly Big Ben etc. BUT PLEASE: even during fwinter? It is fzero degrees, the cold is biting into your face, the wind is howling (especially so on the bridge) and your hands are freezing despite the gloves. Normal people would quicken their pace so that they can reach their destination asap and be out of the cold, but you stand still with your loved one being all loved up. When it gets so cold, I just lose whatever lust and passion in me, desiring only warmth for my body. And won’t your lips be cold and clammy anyway? Okay going to stop right here.

Gross Snogging Place #3: At the stairs
Not just any stairs, but dirty, wet and dark ones. I guess a dark/hidden area is ideal, BUT PLEASE: this is a place where drunkards piss all over, the walls are dirty and there are gums/ cigarette butts on the floor. I feel turned off just thinking about it.

This feels like a rant now. I guess everyone has their own right and reason to kiss wherever they please, and I will respect that. So yes, I’m not sure about you, but you definitely won’t spot me kissing at these places.

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