Thursday, 24 December 2009

the Sunday before Christmas

last Sunday we went to the markets of Brick Lane & Spitalfields, dropping by for the salt beef biegel, grilled seafood and chocolate churros..

then we headed to central london for starbucks (why?!?!) , Selfridges and the Christmas Market at Oxford St..

next stop, Hyde Park Winter Wonderland!!! finally after 4 winters, i managed to come here!! the place looks superbbbbbb!! so colourful, so much fun everywhere and soooo christmasy.. the only flaw? its coldddddddd... brrrrrr...

around Winter Wonderland, rides, pretty decos, food stalls and ice skating rink..

and more of our faces..

dinner was back in Chinatown at a Taiwanese restaurant called Kee Lung.. my 2nd time here and it still doesnt disappoint me, besides a compulsory 10pds each person!

thanks for the Christmas pressies, the christmas cardsss, the cute paper pads, the stocking with teddy and the big big hugable panda.. but most of all, thanks for all your company and making my Christmas a great one!!

will be away for a week, so Happy New Year 2010 as well!! (more travel posts coming up soon!)

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Pre-Christmas

finally i went to Song Que cafe at Kingsland Road last Saturday. it was like a mini-Vietnamese town with so manyyyy Vietnamese restaurants. wonder why Song Que seemed more famous...?

now we know why.. the beef pho there is yummiesss and the noodle and starters were good too and its not too expensive! i would come back again for sure!

that evening we had a pre-Christmas dinner party back in my flat..

roast turkey, roast chicken, roast potatoes & parsnips, yorkshire pudding, stuffing, brussel sprouts, carrots, salmon starters, mince pies, mulled wine, christmas-in-a-mouth popia and lots of yummy starters like crisps etc..

with drinks and lotsssss of desserts & cakes..

the setting..

Secret Santa time.. everyone giving out their pressies to their lucky recipients who make a wish for their Santas..
hope everyone had a good time :)

thanks for everyone who came!! now to go back and entertain the four refugees guests in my room..
(which explains my sudden drop of blog rate..)

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Christmas quotes

a sweet christmas gift from my patient last snowy Thursday
(and wednesday.. and friday..)

a friend said i was lucky to get the nice patients, i think its just a balance as i've not-as-nice patients walking out of me beginning of treatment or threatening me not to return for treatment if i dont get things done right or losing the dentures i made for them.. perhaps God is taking pity on me..

some Christmas quotes to share..

Christmas is a season for kindling
the fire for hospitality in the hall, the
genial flame of charity in the heart.
Washington Irving

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree
Roy L Smith


Christmas is not a date.
It is a state of mind
Mary Ellen Chase


Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.
Hamilton Wright Mabi


The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree:
the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.

Burton Hillis

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.
Norman Vincent Peale


and my favourite, maybe cause its by Helen Keller..


The only blind person at Christmastime is he who has not Christmas in his heart.

Helen Keller


have a blessed Christmas with your loved ones, everyone
that's what Christmas season is about :)


if everyday could be Christmas
(isnt it cute? haha)

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

rolly polly polar bear

harder to wake up
more difficult to roll out of the warm covers
snuggling in bed more
being cooped up in my cozy room
eating more & more & more
getting lazier & less active
wearing thicker & thicker
increasing in size (no, its not the fluffy fur)

looks like this piggy/sloth has slowly transformed into..

a hibernating polar bear

what can i say? its Winter!! brrrr...

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

the days before Christmas

what i did during the days leading up to christmas..

thursday night: christmas carol service at st benet's chaplaincy in qmul
my first taste of mulled wine & mince pies this year
funny talk and a good choir performance as well

friday night: international student christmas dinner at st helen's church
(met a fellow Kuching girl here actually)

Why Christmas? is it really about crackers, roast turkeys and puddings?
the speaker is white, speaks fluent chinese & leads a chinese congregation, and is heading to malaysia next week, he even mentioned nasi goreng and all in his sermon, which is why his analogy can relate to international students away from home..

had my first round of roast turkey & pudding this year
no offence, but xmas puddings (or fruit cakes) aren't really my cup of tea

saturday evening: lovely christmasy covent garden as usual, there are even reindeers to pat!!
a meet up with friends over a round of waffles & hot choc

saturday night: international student Christmas dinner at east london tabernacle church
(this time, i met a Penang guy)
had a round of games, listen to a choir and solo performance followed by a hearty meal (i had 2 rounds somemore, which is why there are 2 pics) and a sermon reminding us the true meaning of Christmas


sunday morning: church service at hillsong, one of its kind with a christmas theater performance
a very good performance indeed!


its about a busy man who prioritizes work as he rather go for a meeting than spend time with his family during christmas, notice the cute devil vs angel picture above the man sitting disraughted on the bench..

monday lunch: dentistry group christmas lunch with secret santa pressies at nando's (and guess what, mr sarcastic wasnt in today.. you should see how everyone's face brightened up as if it's christmas already and we are celebrating over lunch)
everyone with happy faces opening their pressies..


although it was so cold but i just have to get my favourite frozen yoghurt that i wore earmuffs while having it.. the boys seem to fancy the ear muffs more though..

group 5.6
thanks for the group lunch

whats this i see? another Christmas event with mince pies & mulled wine held by the my stewards in the university accommodation?
i think i had loads of those by now, and there's still 1.5 weeks to Christmas! :)
are those holiday love handles i see? :O

Monday, 14 December 2009

nostalgic

mixing around with the (slightly) younger generation, i could see the life in them, how active they are going to events after events, ice skating and all, taking the extra mile to travel all the way to central, eating out & having fun..

i remember the days when i was once like that, it wasn't too long ago but it felt lost in time.. where i was willing to travel for bowling twice a Week, so active in societies & attended every single event, stayed up late at night playing futsball, monopoly, risk, charade till the wee hours of the morning, making random plans, going for picnics, badminton, dim sums etc.. i could even eat-out more than eat-in in a week (and of course, watch my bank account shrink)

has the life been drained out of me? somehow i felt the good ol' crowd has slowly dissipated, everyone else just disappears slowly out of my life, for several reasons, perhaps having new lives of their own, new friends, relationships, new cliques, new hobbies, or just studying more.. (cause i would hate the thought that they are no longer my friends.. )

christmas 2 years ago with my batch & my seniors . bbq at dawson . paintball (and i dyed my hair maroon back then! now i am boring professional black-haired again) . malaysian society committee at a freshers dinner

"well, you are a finalist.. getting busier.."
hmm
a euphemism of getting O.L.D. (and i've not even started working yet)


no point dwelling over a distant memory & living in the past that could never be re-created, its time to make start fresh & make new memories now i suppose, and soon after i would be reminising of this day sometime in the future. funny how time works!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

grown up christmas list

what do you want for christmas this year?



if i could re-live my happier days
if i could undo the mistake i've made
if i could turn back time and make things right
if i could forgive and forget
if i could mend broken hearts and dry teary eyes
if i could be forgiven for my sins
if i could be accepted once again
if love & peace would fill the hearts of everyone once again
just believe, pray & have faith
and allow time for miracles to work

Saturday, 12 December 2009

take-home message

one take-home message for Christmas this year

the heart of the human problem
is the problem of the human heart

Friday, 11 December 2009

early xmas pressie

today a patient of mine gave me a 2010 diary & two night-light pens.. and he gave mr sarcastic the same as well! mr sarcastic was so nice to say "oh no..no.. its all her work!" referring to me but the patient was quick to add "..but its your brains!"

i have to agree with you, mr patient.

thank you mr patient for the early christmas present!
after all that hours in the lab & nights of worry, its nice to be appreciated once a while, certainly brightened up my day today
:)

Thursday, 10 December 2009

leona & mariah

i was listening to leona lewis on youtube when i came across one of the songs she sang on x factor 'without you' ..apparently a really hard song, and reading the comments, i wanted to make the comparison of leona lewis to mariah carey..


leona lewis


and mariah carey

my verdict?

leona lewis has a great voice, but i think mariah carey's voice is unique and a class above, she mastered this song so well. oh well, leona is just starting out anyway so give her a break! i still support you leona!

and just for laughs, our good ol' favourite.. 'ken lee'..



what did mariah say to that???


For those who don't understand french they just to explained her that this was from a music competition in Bulgaria. After the video she said that "anybody who has the courage to sing in television deserves an applause"! nicely said, mariah!

clumsy greedy piggy wiggy

a quote i randomly came across a few days ago, and i went"ya right.. wait it out till i am 30??"

today was another busy day. alot of things on my mind: clinics, lab work, patients, work, random stuff, christmas outings & parties.. and just when i was exiting the library thinking & worrying & thinking & worrying..

i slipped n fell! :(

clumsy-girl-of-the-year and her knee scratch.. i should have worn thicker jeans or knee-height-boots!

once i got home & dress the wound, i noticed that i've Got Mail!

my favourite 2 chocolates, Lindor & Maltesers!!! yummmmmsss.. and a 'fragile' card (for a fragile girl?) saying 'the best view I share is the one I share with you' with a rose inside..

thank you! great cheer up just a few hours after such a clumsy fall ..didn't realize that i didnt need to wait thattttttttt long afterall.. what perfect timing..

and i got ben's cookies today as well!! double cheer up, thanks!!

on a different note, Last night my korean coursemate (who stayed in UK for 9 years now.. UK-nized already) invited us over for sweet korean pancake .. its reallyyyyyyyy sticky and has nuts & sugar inside so it melts when you fry it.. yummm..

firstly oil your palm, spread the dough in your palm and put half a tablespoon of sugar+nuts in it then wrap it up (very similar to muaci/ moaci!) Fry it in the pan and dont forget to flatten it and finally flip it to cook both sides!

and guess who made some of them? Me!!
(memang import cheap labour..)

ps: missy photographer, next time please warn me first that you are taking so many pictures of me so i can at least look decent & pose???

after hard work of cooking, here i was caught red-handed digging into the yummy pancakes & helping myself to topping it up with ice cream & more sugar & nuts!! and there you see, the true happiness in my face when i am about to dig into food! i had 3 pancakes on top of dinner and loads of ice cream after that..
*burps*

simple things that make simple people simply happier.. korean pancake topped with ice cream, ben's cookies, japanese moci & my favourite chocolates.. and christmas fever hasnt even started! looking at my upcoming 8 christmas events even before Christmas Eve, i would be lucky if i gain only 2 kgs!! like i said, my favourite time of the year!

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Anti-Social? My Fault?? Really???

before my results came out, i was freaking out saying "i dont wana fail and resit/repeat.. i dont stay any longer.. " but my local/london friends reasoned saying "well u get to learn more.. its only more 6 months anyway, its not that bad.."

"but i don't wana stay on alone being the only malaysian.. "

"well thats YOUR fault for being so Anti-Social and not mix with Us!"

such sharp accusations! do you think i didn't try? that i enjoy staying in my room 24/7 and not talk to anyone else? that i want to isolate myself from the world??

the culture difference is inevitable. socially, i dont like to drink (alcohol), or smoke, i dont like music so loudddddd that i can't even hear myself, i dont like going out lateeeee and i dont see the point of making 'new friends' in clubs or drinking events, and giving hp numbers only to forget the whole thing the next day.

(oddly enough, most malaysians do that too)

since going-for-a-drink/clubbing is the way of life, that means i won't be joining any social events aka Anti-Social, unfortunately. i am a go-eat-person, not a go-drink-person. i prefer deep/connecting-events, like going out for a meal and getting to know each other better over a cup of coffee. clubbing is more surface to me, no offence to club-lovers out there, but maybe i just cant appreciate it the way you all do. perhaps its because i went a few times in the past 4.5 years and never came home with a good experience.

don't get me wrong, i can hang out with my local buddies, we have a good laugh, go for a meal or a movie, hang out together after clinics teasing each other or pulling each other's leg. i genuinely enjoy all that.

in fact i was starting to warm up already, i thought i could make real non-malaysian friends and overcome the culture, the colour, the differences. expand my circle.

then the fateful backstabbing-Southend-incident took place. it was bad enough to see a 'friend' bring you down.. but what was worse was when your other 'friends' whom you thought u can rely on, watch you as u go down..

if i am not worth standing up for, if such injustice is so easily overlooked, if you rather not-get-involved than offer me a shoulder to cry on or a hand to pull me up, i guess our friendship is just as surface as just-another-friend-you-meet-in-a-club-and-forget-tomorrow.

*shakes head* ..how sad, and i thought we were friends..

that whole drama kinda imprinted that NoOne-Is-Really-Your-Friend mentality in me..

(thus.. the Anti-Social attitude.. again..
sorry, but i cant fake friendships as good as you do..)

and there is a Difference of being International (esp Sponsored) student who is at High Risk to Resit/Repeat a year... you have sooooo much at stake: your government back home who handpicked and invested in you and therefore paid every single penny... your citizens/tax-payers waiting for you services... your friends who are all working already except you... your family & relatives, especially your ailing parents who are growing older and older, forever so proud of having their child overseas..

the pressure to graduate is ten fold. day and night, family talks about graduate costumes, about air tickets, about future plans.. meanwhile what's on my mind now is..

Can I Even Graduate from Here?

What if I don't? What happens then?

Being disappointed in myself isnt as bad as disappointing others. the thought is unbearable, which goes back to the initial conversation.

"i dont wana fail and resit/repeat.. i dont stay any longer.. "
"well u get to learn more.. its only 6 more months anyway, its not that bad.."
"but i don't wana stay on alone being the only malaysian.. "
"well thats YOUR fault for being so Anti-Social and not mix with Us!"
"we are just.. different.."

my local friends changed their perception after that, saying that they probably won't be able to do what i did that they probably won't be able to survive studying overseas.. thanks anyway for trying to understand towards the end..

don't judge before you see the whole picture,
don't accuse if you dont understand,
and don't pretend, if you don't see me as your friend..
(all this goes for everyone, really)

Monday, 7 December 2009

greedy piggy wiggy weekend

post-exams-results celebration all out.

brain has overworked worrying & body overworked staying awake, now time for mouth to overwork eating & tummy to overwork digesting..

Friday night dinner was udon, soba & sushi at Pham Sushi yet again!! (but the sushi Is yummy!)

jacket potato & italian chicken lunch at the Nucleus, not bad

grilled chicken kebab lunch treat, not drenched in oil or sauces, yumsss (thanks for the treat!)

Reese chocolate with peanut butter from US! its so goooood!! there's the crunchy cup version and the softer creamy version, i gobbled up like 7 at least, quite embarrasing to just help myself when offered (yes la helen so tak-tau-malu) , somemore it came from so far.. well, good thing its from US, if i can get my hands on it so easily i would be in big trouble! thankss!

Saturday night dinner was steamboat over at a friend's place.. (or a friend's friends.. ) right smack in central london. such a lovely cozy place with modern and simple designs with wide screen tv (showing X factor..) and a glass table.. feels so grand especially having stayed in student accom all these years!

nice place, good food, great company :)
thanksss for the friendly-homey-feel and the treatttt!

and the best part that took me by surprise? a Car Ride Home!
(this is definitely a luxury often taken for granted back in Malaysia..)
but here, after having such a good heavy meal and feeling so sleepy when its nearly midnight, it felt like a
dream come true to hop into a warm cozy car and just actually appreciate beautiful london at night (photos of bus 73, Dorchester Hotel, Hilton & Tower Bridge.. but we passed by Buckingham Palace and drove along River Thames as well looking at London Eye etc etc)

thankssss for the car ride home, especially to be dropped off at my own doorstep! really really appreciate it! (at midnight, trains in london are closed so you have to take buses which could take hourssss because no direct buses so need to change, then its cold and rainyyy and wettt and dodgyyyy to walk home alone with smelly drunkards around cursing at you..)

Sunday night dinner, my weekend ended with my student daughter, sarawak junior sarah sab cooking sarawak laksa, and flatmates ash cooking roti jala karipap and fatiha making air bandung.. wahhh best! sedaps tau!! best way to end the weekend! thanksssss guys, so lucky to have u all as my flatmates!!!

felt like this weekend makan too much budi (debts) already, having treat after treat after treat.. such a greedy piggy! :S so refreshing to be able to smile and be plain happy again after the months of study-exams-results-drama..

:) smile while i can..
for tomorrow is another early start with mr sarcastic :S

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Cheers

the agonizing wait is over.. what a relief..
thank you for all the well wishes and the prayers

congratulations to all my colleagues who passed today, for we are officially dental student finalists.. meanwhile, time for a gooooooooooood night sleep..

Friday, 4 December 2009

1300

1.00pm. just finished orthodontic clinic an hour before results are revealed. i was talking with a few colleagues.

"helen, do u normally freak out like this before exam results come out?" d asked

"well ya.."

"so it's normal.."

"er.. no.. this time i Heard people Did fail.. so this confirms that i have the Right to freak out.."

"but its a rumour.."

our ortho tutor (who Marked our Orthodontic Paper III for finals ) overheard and said "Yes i heard that people fail too.."

we were all stunned and looked at her..

"..heard from other students..?"

"..no.."

we looked at each other in silence..

"you heard that from the orthodontic department? ..regarding ortho paper III ?" i was trying to pinpoint which paper as the 30% failure was Prosthodontics Paper I..

"General."

hmm.....

0600

6.00am and still awake. 8 more hours to go.

random thoughts going through my mind.. should i bring it home and reveal it in the comforts of my consoling bed with table side tissues.. or should i reveal it first and head straight to sainsbury for a tub of ben & jerry's choc chip cookie dough or haagen-dazs' cookies & cream. yes, it is a tough decision to make, especially deciding which ice cream it would be.

fear of failure

It is foolish to fear what you cannot avoid
Publius Syrus

It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed
Theodore Roosevelt

The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one
Elbert Hubbard

Our greatest glory consist not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall
Oliver Goldsmith

What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?
Vincent van Gogh

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing
Helen Keller

Thursday, 3 December 2009

of christmas and winter

thats one thing i like about being here.

the 4 seasons.

spring . summer . autumn . winter

each season brings a different mood, a different feeling... and we have different events/outings and wear different attires, making life so varied and fun! (and the wardrobe, so full!)

its gonna be my last winter here (if everything goes according to plan i.e. i can graduate next year) and as much as i hate the cold (i really Do!!) it is secretly one of my favourite seasons..

..the christmas atmosphere with the new year spirit
..the holiday season and the familys & friends gatherings
..the festive mood and the well wishes
..the beautiful lights along the streets
and the decorated christmas trees
..the pure white snow covering the streets (depends where)
..the fun of skiing, snowboarding and ice skating
..the cute thick coats, woolens, mittens, scarfs,
boots and berets especially on little kids
..the crazy crowd during massive sales
especially for christmas gifts
..the fat santa, little elves and white angels
..the juicy turkey with stuffings and sauce,
mince pies, mulled wine and crackers
..the glorious array of food, seasons greetings cards
and exchange presents
..the christmas movies or rom-coms and the christmas carols
..the christmas markets and christmas funland
..the feeling u get when u r snuggled nicely in bed
with a hot cup of choco and a good book
..the reason to laugh, to indulge, to celebrate

i think winter is a very romantic season.. call me a winter-sonata-junkie, but i think its really sweet to have someone to cuddle-me-tight when its subzero degrees outside, to throw snow balls at, to enjoy the christmas lights on the streets with, to christmas-present-shop for..

which explains why winter always make me rather nostalgic with sweet memories, leaving me all warm and fuzzy inside..

that makes me wonder.. isnt christmas a time to bury the hatchet, a time for forgiveness, a time to make amends, a time for new beginnings?


sometimes i feel like revisiting the past, its afterall just a click away, a call, a message, a few doors down the road, just to say 'hi.. long time no see, its that time of the year again, do u remember the times we used to..'

perhaps to say what i really think or how i really feel over all those lost moments of yesteryears.. perhaps to apologize or to forgive.. perhaps to clear up the air before i leave this foreign land which i have made my home..
afterall, once i leave this place..
it would never be the same again..

but i know that its the last thing i would do.. only because i shouldnt.. or i couldnt.. or someone else would kill me if i do.. or its not worth it.. or its too painful.. or i am only asking for trouble.. or i know its better if i dont.. or there's no point anymore cause its one sided afterall..
and whatever memories that remains
shall be buried deep under the snow of the winters from the past..


yes. this time around, it would be different. i would be asking for too much hoping for it to be as memorable (or even more memorable) than the many christmases of the past. but at least i know, it would still be a good one..

..because its my favourite time of the year again.


..if only i could tell you what i really feel.. but alas, it becomes a distant memory..

3 Way-Conferencing II

the website i introduced before could possibly have virus.. and we couldnt speak so we hunted a new tool: ooVoo!!! it looks like msn/skype, just alot more canggih!

introducing ooVoo.. all 3 of us could not only see each other but can TALK!!!

and the cute part is..

it can be a sidebar!!! so i dont even need to minimize it etc.. (yet to explore more features..) it can have a maximum of SIX participants!!!

which means i can blog like i normally do now (which is NoW) while the other 2 girls at the side of my blog are talking randomly and being rather noisy (oops..), bobbing their heads about..

CooL Beans!!!!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009