Friday, December 31, 2010

2010. End. 2011. Bring it On.

End of the year. This is my last post for the year 2010. Wow, that is fast.

I'll keep this short. You'll see my annual New Years post by tomorrow morning, wrapping this year up like a oversized fajita.

I'm off to London soon. Hopefully the fireworks will be a blast. Literally.

People have been telling me that they are not ready for 2011. Too soon. Unexpected. I've heard much.

I'm on the other end of the spectrum. I am ready for it. More ready for the New Year than I have ever been. And that's because there are many things I just long to set in motion. And the New Year will be what gets me going.

So what are we waiting for? Bring it on.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cloverfield Calenders 2010

Presenting my monthly 'harvests' from my Cloverfield in 2010!












All the images here were photographed by members of Flickr, while the quotes were discovered, as always, at Quotegarden. 'Harvests' from last year can be seen here. Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I'm back from my trip to Grimsby. Had a wonderful time there in Jess's comfy home, and everyone was really nice to me. Christmas was different this year, and I didn't need to celebrate it alone.

Right before I left I got this urge to clean up, which was about time because during coursework period there were books sprawled all over the table. Everything was in a mess.

I haven't posted any photos of my room since I moved in because in the first month it looked so empty and austere that it didn't feel like a room. Now that part is covered for, and since it didn't look that messy after I cleaned it up, here are some snapshots.

My room and table
It might not be this tidy all the time, but every other day when I feel the need to scrub, it would. This is where I will be staying in until next year. It's a small room, really, though it only feels cramped if there are too many things lying around. It's good enough for me.

What I see when I sit on my bed

A place where little bits and pieces end up in.

I like my decorations. I'm glad I brought some odd bits from home with me.
That's a bit of my life for you for now. I know I don't post many things up right after they happen (like that of my room for instance). At least I managed to post these up before the year ends, right?

Speaking of when the year ends, I'm looking forward to going to London!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

To Papa

Dear Papa,

Although I cannot be there to greet you personally...
Here I say a very very Happy Birthday!
Thank you for all you've done,
especially your support when it came to what I wanted to do in university.
Not an easy decision, I'm sure.

I hope you'll have a wonderful time in Ipoh and Penang.
And an equally wonderful year.
I can't wait to see you again next summer!

Love, Rachael

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas 2010

To all,

Merry Christmas!!! I'm celebrating this festive season at Grimsby. I'm enjoying myself so far. Everything's different and exciting!
I'll be back to update soon. But for now, thank you to whoever who gave me virtual gifts! I promise I'll unwrap them when I return! I hope my cards arrived safely as well, though I assume some will be right on time while others might simply get them after the actual date.

That aside, I will update soon. For now, have a good day.

Christmas Tree

 I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten,
and children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white

~White Christmas~ 

PS. My favourite Christmas carol of all time. I gather that it's because I enjoy things that are of nostalgia. Worth listening to if you have the time.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Curiousity or Uncertainty

I'll be heading up North soon, so I'm updating just a few more posts before I do.

I went to the city centre again yesterday, and didn't realise how much I had walked. I ended up somewhere near the cathedral once, though I had to turn back because I didn't want to go that far. I got to somewhere near the train station. Then I managed to find the Norwich Playhouse, an arts college, the Norwich Art Centre, some of the many churches and so on.

I was not lost.

Arguably, I did not have a set destination, which explains my ant-like movement across Norwich- squiggly down the paths, up and down the tracks, in and out some unique looking shops. Many paths chosen out of curiousity and left out because of uncertainty. Mostly, I relied on the road signs to find my way.

What I should have done was walk a bit further past the Playhouse (it's a theatre, by the way) which would have taken me to the Anglia Square, a place I've been told of but haven't been. It doesn't matter now. There's plenty of time to pay that a visit.

It's really therapeutic, this sort of walk. I should do that again. That's on my to-do list for when I return.

I found St Andrew's Hall

The bridge that goes to the Playhouse.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sit Still.

This is the fact: I can't sit still now that the holidays have started. I'm going to have to find more things to do.

I will be going to Grimsby later on in the week; Jess invited me up to her place for Christmas. It'll be a different experience. Then for New Years, I'll be in London with a couple of college mates, probably stuck in a crowd like a massive sardine sandwich near River Thames to see the fireworks display.

The days in between need filling in. My only agenda so far is to go into the city centre again soon, and this time I just might be able to travel about all day. 

Apart from that, I've to decide whether or not I should get my books online, or have my copies from the library. To save cost or forfeit convenience? This term, for my Literature in History module, it focused on poems and only one novel. Next term, there will be six books I have to chew on.

Memory from Saturday:

Ben: Will I be able to fly off on Monday?
Magic 8 Ball: Are you kidding?

Me: Will I be safe in Grimsby?
Magic 8 Ball: Absolutely not.

What a sarcastic, sadistic 8 Ball! Besides, Ben is already on the plane, so I'm not too concerned with what it has to say.

So now to decide. What to do, what to do... I think I'll go into the library today. See you guys later.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas on the Way

On the 12th of December, we carried out our Secret Santa gift exchange. Basically it goes like this - you get a group of friends, put your names in a container, each person gets a name, and you become the Secret Santa for that person. One gift each, no hassle over every gift, and it's great fun when you don't know who's your Santa or what they will be getting you.

We got ourselves a little Christmas tree with some decorations. On that day all the presents went under it, bearing our names and concealing our sender. In any case, it is possible to tell from the wrapping or the handwriting. The one I bought was just behind the tree with the wrapping paper ribbon decoration I did on the top, with newspaper cuttings for the name. Inside it was a shirt with personal designs that I bought online.

Fairytale of New York
I'm learning a lot of Christmas songs. Not necessarily new, just that I don't normally hear them playing on the radio. Apart from the traditional ones, there are songs that range from pop to rock to soundtracks etc. My friends claim that the best song (and played most often) is 'Fairytale of New York'. "It's not Christmas without that song." I was told. I have to admit that it is a really catchy hit and I'm listening to it on Youtube now.

Look what I got! Yes, there's several bars of chocolate and two candy canes (they figured out that I have a sweet tooth), a bar of soap from Lush, a small tube filled with mini colour pencils (I must have mentioned that I miss having craft materials) and a heat pack in case it gets too cold. I'm really happy with it, so thank you, guys!! And especially my Secret Santa, Caroline.

Christmas crackers


The next day, we had our Christmas dinner, with heaps of food resembling a mound and crackers by the side. Not the edible crackers, by the way.

Cooking them was long (because of the microwave), tiring and fun. It's going to sound strange, but I've not heard of some of these recipes before.

It was only then that I realised 'pigs in a blanket' consist of sausages wrapped with bacon. I thought Yorkshire pudding was a dessert when in fact it is a savoury dish. 

Christmas Dinner
Contrary to belief, I did inherit a strong stomach and can handle large meals without feeling too full. It is just that I prefer not to do so on a daily basis and my speed is slow and steady. Some of my flatmates eat twice as fast as I do. That evening, a couple of them got so excited they were done quicker than that.

Yes, it's my plate.
The food was gorgeous. I think we did well, and it was nice being able to eat together. After years of having an extended family with a food fetish, I did finish everything on my plate, which I am proud of (I was going to add 'secretly proud' of but now that it's out, I'll give it a pass), followed by awesome desserts.
Sinful chocolate cake paired with vanilla ice cream! Be jealous.
Later that night we had to take a rest in the corridor, which is in fact comfortable enough to sleep on. Later that week, the crowd dispersed, all going home now that the term is over.

Group Photo (it's not complete but still good!)
Not all returned home yet; it will be come Monday. I'll have time to plan my trips and go into the city again. I feel like watching a theatre. I might look into it. Until then, Christmas is on the way and it'll be good. I hope.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Technological Catastrophe

Should this have happened on any other day, I would have been fine. I would have had a few withdrawel symptoms, yes, but generally it would not have bugged me as much.

And yet this is the very week that we are subjected to this technological catastrophe.

The whole campus, the accommodation, even the student halls in the city centre had literally no network connection for over 24 hours. You can argue that we live in a world that depend on technology way too much than we should, which would be why everyone was not impressed by this Kafkaesque adventure. (To save you time: Definition of 'kafkaesque' from Google - characterized by surreal distortion and a sense of impending danger)

But the worst thing was not our supposed '21st century dependency'.

It is the fact that this is Week 12. The final week. The week when all courseworks and essays are due, when exams are meant to be going on. So you can imagine how stressful it was to have no internet, no phone network, no access to online journals or programmes, no working printers and in some cases, no working computers. And, of course, a deadline.

Oh, and unless you can gain access via 3G or resort to a Starbucks or so in the city centre, it is impossible to email our tutors for an extension.

All around the campus there are hilariously ironic notices that said, after an apology, that updates on this malfunction would be posted on Facebook or Twitter. I'm not entirely sure how that works.

The internet, as you may have guessed, is back on. There are still some hiccups here and there but I can survive through my final essay. At this point, all students, whether in frantic panic or not, have an extension to their work, while several exams have been postponed to January.

I'll still aim to get everything done by tomorrow though. I need to calm my nerves down by finishing everything off. Then hey, holidays will commence!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tarot Card Reading

I have a confession to make. I was, at one point in my life, fascinated by tarot cards because of the many 'secrets' they seemed to know. Nowadays I know very well that sometimes the readings are general, so much so that you might simply be imposing your own life into the cards.

But you have to admit, it can be fun to give it a try.

I noticed that Mei Shan's blog was on an online tarot card reading recently. Thought I'll give it a go during my break between essay writing. The website is here.

Four Leaf Clover Animated Divider from

Card 1 (The Empress) :
How you feel about yourself now

This is a time for nurturing, material and domestic comfort, a feeling of abundance, harmony, joy and love. A time for motherhood - you may already be pregnant or thinking about motherhood, if female of course! If male, this is a period of joy and abundance for you too - the appearance of The Empress here could also indicate that your mother or mother figure could be of great significance or comfort at this time. This is also a card of creativity so it is a good omen if you are feeling creatively inspired at this time.

I'm ignoring the first chunk as I am sure it's not meant for me. The last line is most valid at this point.

Card 2 (The Chariot) :
What you most want at this moment

The cards suggest that what you most want at this time is success, to win and not give up the fight. You are successful and assertive in most things, or if you haven't quite got the success you want, you will get it. This is a time of movement and change - expect a journey relating to work, or if you want that car you've been looking at, go get it.

To be fair, most people would want to achieve that in life. Well, that's still a wonderful plan. I shall aim for that.
Card 3 (The Hanged Man) :
Your fears
You fear letting go, yet this place of limbo and indecision is not a good place to be. Are you being emotionally blackmailed so you don't go? Don't be the victim. Sometimes we have to have the strength to let go to attract new positive possibilities in our life.

Card 4 (Justice) :
What is going for you
There is a karmic power to the Justice card, reward for the good deeds you have done in the past. This is a period of good luck even if you don't know why you are being so favoured. You will approach any issues concerning relationships or business affairs with calm, balanced logic and any claim will go in your favour.

I like the sound of that.

Card 5 (The Hierophant) :
What is going against you

You are simply struggling to conform to others expectations of you and everybody has an opinion of what you should do. Perhaps you are having a crisis of faith and are unsettled at a very spiritual level. Ask yourself who you really are? What is important to you? What makes you happy? Seek out advice or wise counsel if you wish, but accepting who you really are and going after what you want instead of what others want for you is the most important.

Card 6 (The Hermit) :

This is a time for you to be alone or may herald a time of loneliness. Take this time for quiet introspection and rest. Don't worry you will find the answers, but the Hermit signals a warning not to make hasty decisions. If you have been unwell this is a time for rest and recuperation.

Four Leaf Clover Animated Divider from

So what is it about these cards in the end? For me, I suppose what tarot cards are meant to do is not to show someone his or her future, nor is it dictatic in nature. Remember what I said about a person looking at the cards and interpreting them in the context of their own life?

That's exactly it. In a way, it makes someone think insightfully about who they are and what they might be facing. It is general, yes, but we're walking down the same path, aren't we?