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Archive for December, 2008

2009

 
the slow ticking month clock shows that 2008 is soon coming to an end..
 
HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!
 
 
meanwhile, i have spent the last few days of 2008: 1) finishing ‘Wicked’ the book, 2) sewing, 3) procrastinating over putting up things for sale, 4) thinking of what job to get (because i cannot imagine staying at home for the rest of the months till july doing nothing.), 5) meeting up with jane, elaine and yokteng and then with claire and ailin yesterday, 6) thinking back on how it was in London and rest of England, 7) starting my sketch blog, 8) thinking more and more about university and such. hmm. fulfiling. Let 2009 be just as fruitful. 🙂
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skating

i went ice-skating with jane and elaine yesterday. FUN! but my legs actually ache now, strange since i thought i have been excerising quite a bit with all that fast walking in UK. there, everyone walks fast as we later realise that it’s the best way to keep warm! 🙂
back to ice-skating, it was quite enjoyable despite me having to step into slippery ice with almost NO knowledge of how to skate! thank you Jane! 🙂 i managed to move on ice even though it may not be that all-so-graceful way which you see on televsion. haha. and i did risk falling quite a few times if not for jane and elaine who managed to stablise me. haha!
after the two-hours we took a bus down to city hall to meet yokteng for lunch at asian kitchen. i finally got my ‘zha jiang mian’ fix which i had been craving for for quite some time already. 🙂 and then went down to far-east since elaine and yokteng wanted to shop. But before that… we headed for Esplanade since yokteng wanted to show us this great cookie place-The Cookie Museum. it is voted the best cookies in Singapore. the keyword is ‘Singapore’ because it has all these cool local flavours like ‘nasi lemak’, ‘chicken rice’, ‘laksa’, ‘hei bee hiam’ and ‘ikan bilis’. very interesting. we had a little tasting session which also included more ‘normal’ flavors like ‘lemon and cranberry’, ‘lavender’, ‘rose’ ‘green tea’… makes good new year cookies! 🙂
jane and i left the other two to their shopping and went home. i took the double-deck 174 and headed right to the upper deck and front row in hope to relive being in UK. but no, it wasn’t the same. sigh…
 

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My Sketchblog.

After reading jane’s latest blog post… I m inclined to wonder whether we have been in the same place of travel.

 

Firstly, the never-ending cloud of smoke (cigarette) which I had to walk into every time I stepped out of Paddington station or for that matter every time I stepped back into London (the rest of UK was smokeless as far as I remembered. Ldn. Was bad.)

 

And then the big shopping streets along with the tiny ones that really held the interesting independent shops. In UK, everywhere was having sales, so we had a fun time picking up bargains (ahem* woolworths* ahem.)  along with a lot of winter gears because of the weather.

 

Back to Singapore, I am finding myself with long agendas when it comes to ‘reporting’ my trip. I think I finally finished what I set out to do (photo uploads, blogging about it…) with the starting of my sketch-blog.

Yes. I started a sketch blog finally after much pondering over the name, which eventually came up to be something simple. I was very inspired by Danny Gregory’s books and the ‘Blog of Blogs’ he set up for many such sketch blogs. And now I have finally started one myself with the first posts archiving my travel journal of UK. I hope it is as enjoyable as the time I spent writing in it throughout the trip. Ignore the words and just enjoy the pictures, I don’t care. Anyway, what matters is how I feel about it not anyone else’s critiques. That is what I have been picking up from all the other sketchers. I got to get over the self-concious bit and be open to others’ critiques (and decide which of them to ignore and which of them to accept.).

 

the link to my sketchblog is on the sidebar, if anyone is interested. 🙂

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hah. i realise it is christmas’ eve already. where did the last two days fly to?

 

anyway. this is my official blog post about my UK trip.

it was AMAZING.

i traveled with my parents from Singapore to Heathrow airport in London on the new A380 airbus via the new terminal three.

that is already two new things i saw.

for those who are interested, the airbus is quite the same as a usual plane since i am in economy and not suite or anything like that. you just know that there is two levels to it (accounting for the two airbridges.). the seats are slightly wider (but i still can’t sleep) and the flight is more stable. you hardly feel the sensation of landing and taking off. that’s the best part.

then i stayed in London for three nights, visiting the train station to get train tickets, Apollo theatre to get ‘Wicked’ musical tickets, Victoria coach station to purchase tour of Bath tickets. Went to Carnaby street in oxford circus area, went to central saint martins, serpentine gallery in hyde park, expansive district Knightsbridge (Harrods). and ate a lot of sandwiches, drank a lot of soup…

then had a day tour to stonehenge (!!). really good. and to winsor castle and Bath.

 

Next, took a train up to York for two nights.

York. is very quaint. filled with elderly by day and youngsters by night. and always filled with tourists. roamed the streets lined with firstly, snow and secondly, old houses made with beams of wood, the Shambles.

 

Then, took the train to Edinburgh. Artsy place. as we lugged our luggage along princes street to our B & B, i realise that one side is the old town (with the castle and all..) and the other is the new town (filled with shopping and modern buildings). divided by a road. stayed there for 4 nights. went on a day tour to Saint Andrews (small university town, known for golf.), and the fishing villages at the coast. did i mention edinburgh was cold? it was. sub-0 degrees. brr… and visited the Edinburgh castle, grassmarket street, City art centre, fruitmarket gallery, Water of Leith, Dean Gallery (i really enjoyed this.) and camera obscura. The camera obscura was very ingenious and made me think of artists like Vermeer. and of course walked the two big streets, Royal Mile (exactly one scottish mile in the old town) and Princes street (divides old town and new town but considered new town as it is lined with shopping. also visited the christmas fair in Princes street gardens. ice-skating and all.

 

After that, took another train to Penrith, Lake District. The town itself is awfully small, so we moved around the bigger region of lake district, mainly to see- you’ve guessed it- Lakes. got to take the bus to the start of Ullswater lake (longest lake in lake district), and a steamer (boat) back. i love the lake views. i only wished it was summer so i needn’t be so wraped up to enjoy the breeze. still, in winter it was quieter. more contemplative and more meditative. also took a bus to Keswick, another town of lake district to see their pencil museum and the shops.

 

From Penrith, took the train back to London. and experienced severe train delays due to flooding of stations.

when we finally reached london, a day was wasted. oh well. another 2 nights in london.

saw Harry Potter’s 9-and-3-quarters platform at kings cross and ate at british library and went to see Statuephilia (an exhibition of contemporary sculptures amongst old artifacts in the british museum). very very very well curated. Also went to bustling Camden market.

 

Next, took another train for a short stay at the Cotwolds area. Arrived in small town, Moreton-in-marsh. got to stay in our very own cottage (17th century! with the same wooden beams running across the rooms. very quaint. Branched out to Stow-on-the-wold to see the stocks (which we caught just in time) and to Chipping Camden to see the thatched roof cottages. never thought they really existed. haha. of course there was the weekly market in Moreton which has been there for 400 years.

 

another train back London for a stay of 4 more nights. went to south bank of river thames for the christmas atmosphere, walked the very wild Hampstead Heath in the middle of the city (inspired C.S. Lewis to write lion, witch and wardrobe! and inspired painter John Constable and poet John Keats.). it was strangely Wild and huge too. walked endlessly. and at night, watched ‘Wicked’. i would say it is one of the best NEW musicals. Visited Cambridge town and also the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. Amazing christmas atmosphere. Also saw Portobello Market a third time and walked the Covent garden, Leicester square, Charring Cross and Picadilly Circus area. for shopping.

 

the next morning was a taxiride to the heathrow airport for the long flight home.

and now after two days of recovering from jet lag (i hope i have recovered.). i am back and blogging and realising tomorrow is christmas.

(there is no Christmas atmosphere here if you compare it to Uk. With wreaths (all made of REAL hollyleaves, berries, dried oranges, nuts….) on every door, Real christmas trees (spruce or pine?) adorned in every hallway, lavish decorations in shop windows, christmas light-ups in the air, actual snow on streets (in some towns), having to bundle ourselves up in heaps of warm clothings, christmas fairs in every corner, mincepies+turkey+cranberry sauce+fruitcake+roast offered in every restaurant or supermart and of course the never-ending line-up of christmas songs and movies played on television. that is the Christmas spirit.)

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone.

 

(i kinda edited the colourful ikea brochure a bit… haha.)

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because i was in London (or Britain for that matter), i had access to their music channel. (aside from watching a lot of BBC 1)
which, not surprisingly, supports their local music. i had huge doses of Take That songs. and it continues to play in my head…
This song was one of their most played. and it is good.

 

Watched the Royal Variety Performance on television which was so good. they throw in comediens (i couldn’t really catch all the british jokes though.), singers (josh groban, take that, leona lewis, duffy, rihanna…), snippets of musicals (lion king, zorro…) and dancers like the winner of Britain’s Got Talent- George Sampson.
 
The big finale in Uk was of the reality show- Strictly Come Dancing.
this show has newbies to ballroom dancing paired with a professional. Tom Chambers won. This last dance shows why he did.
the dance was more of a west end production with its comedy yet there is obviously quickstep and tango in the sequence. amazing.
 

  and i HAD to add this in because i enjoyed the musical so much. (this might not actually be one of the biggest things in UK now… since it started in 2006.)

Wicked the Musical London Trailer
    

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Wicked trip!

Hi all! I m back, haha. After watching the musical "Wicked" about 3 nights ago (I not quite sure how to count the time difference of 8 hours),I m quite hooked on the songs and most importantly, the story! 🙂
Still suffering from jetlag and the endless staring at the tiny plane screen so it will be a while till I upload the photos (and possibly my travel journal entries). Unless of course if i cannot sleep in the middle of the night (aka DAY in London).

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Japan Media Arts Fest at 8Q SAM with jane. loved it.

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us flashing those big ‘i-am-a-person-who-has-finished-A’levels" Smiles.
 
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Saturday: when i went out with claire,ailin and carolyn to have tim sum at ‘ulu’ redhill (according to carrot.) and then to Bugis and finally to Carolyn’s place.
i am obviously not used to wearing skirts but my pants are all packed in the luggage.
 
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this is my new designed soft toy.
 
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for those who haven’t seen my coursework, here’s a picture! 🙂
 
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exhibit at wheellock gallery. quite interesting.
 
and going back in time…
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oacians on the last day of school
 
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a few of my classmates during grad ceremony. (first pic: shima, second pic: nally and jiaxin, third pic: shan, fourth pic: pris, shan…)
 
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exam period. with study buddy chomping my notes and a very messy work table.
 
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and…this is brownie. 🙂
 
i have finally posted all the over-due photos. haha. i will be away for three weeks. Flying off today! 🙂 can’t wait.
 
 

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