Saturday, November 27, 2010

Winter Wonderland

I woke up later than I expected today, and remembered that I had an appointment with some friends. I rolled out of bed, decided to let some light shine in and drew the curtains open.

Before I continue, let me show you the scenes I expect to see when I get myself ready for class.

Through my window.
The road leading to the Village (where I stay).

Earlham Park, on my way to campus
The morning light poured itself in as usual, immediately getting rid of the darkness hidden behind the green curtain. But what was this? What a different scene! It was impossible to miss. The whole area was covered with snow. Everything - the rooftops, the roads, the bushes, the trees - glowed with the shimmering colour of white. To me, it felt like the icing on a cake.

I like the way the tree had droplets sparkling in the light. It's as if Nature is reminding people that Christmas is coming by hanging some of her decorations.

See the difference?
I love this one - Like a postcard!
I was excited most of the time, even on my way into campus, that it didn't seem that cold after all. Or it might be because I had gone into the city centre and got myself a pair of gloves. I have several layers on now.

If you read my earlier post you can see the difference.
On the other hand, seniors told me that usually snow comes in January, and that they are bored with it. I might see it that way someday, I guess, but it won't be today. And to think that what was meant for January happened in November! Climatic effects are taking root! I can't imagine what it would be like come next year.
Snowball fight!
Well, what now can I do? Go with the flow. And enjoy the fuzzy feeling inside. And watch the scene outside my window change as the day starts to pall and part of the snow melts into slush.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Let it Snow

This afternoon I received a text message from Chiah informing me that Aberdeen is snowing while Nottingham is not. I replied saying that Norwich hasn't and I'm thankful for that because I'm not ready for it. I was going to get my gloves this Friday.

In a twist of irony, several minutes later, someone from the Creative Writing meeting cried, "LOOK OUTSIDE!! It's SNOW!!" And sure enough, there it was, the fluttering of droplets too solid to be rain right outside the window.

I feel like I'm in a movie sometimes.

Putting aside my shock and that slight annoyance that I cannot put off buying my leather gloves any longer, I was absolutely excited about watching the snow drift down. In fact, nearly everyone was fascinated by the sight. Their faces glowed mostly from the thought of being able to go home for the holidays. Mine was the pure exhilaration of the first time spotting snow drench the pavement.

It was somewhat amidst the rain, so everything dissipated once they touched the ground. It's not entirely official yet, but this only shows that winter is coming nearer and nearer, its frosty breath emitting down our necks.

Later that night, after our Asda delivery came by and we got ourselves food for the next few weeks (along with my bag of doughnuts), I went to watch 'Much Ado about Nothing' at the Drama Studio. It was good. I like that they interpreted it in a modern kind of way from the jazzy beat of 'Sigh no more, ladies' to a cute little twist in the ending, while retaining the language and ambience.  

During the break, I could not help but stare at the snowflakes outside the studio and it didn't feel as cold for just that moment. I'm not so sure if I would see it that way over the next few months, but that feeling was childlike and beautiful at the same time. I enjoyed that. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Streets of London.

Norwich is a small city on the outskirts; London is the big one where the centre of it has been bustling for ages. Travelling by train from the quaint little streets and shops to high-rise monuments and loud roads can be quite a drastic change of scene for anyone. Especially, of course, if this is your first time.

As was mine. I met up with my cousin, May Ling, in London last weekend. Everything seemed much busier than it is in Norwich. While I did enjoy myself, the city is so huge we had to walk great distances or take the tube. It is in this sense that I do prefer the little city I am in.  

In any case, I will write about my trip to London soon.

Here are some other notes I must post up:

1. All the best to those taking SPM and STPM!

2. The next issue of 'Concrete', my university's independent student newspaper, is out today and it looks good! Two of my articles and one of my poems were in it.

3. Had a complimentary Japanese lesson yesterday night.

4. Watching the Drama Society perfom 'Much Ado' tomorrow night.

5. Going for a Malaysian meal this Saturday.

6. I should post a photo of my flatmates soon.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Norwich Railwat Station
While I do love it in UK, sometimes it is good to meet up with Malaysians, which was why I attended the Nottingham Malaysians Games! Last Friday I took a bus to the railway station (basically followed the crowd carrying luggages) and off I went to Nottingham.

Three long hours later, Chiah and Erwan greeted me at the train station, and we went around the city. We had a Spanish dinner at La Tasca, which we likened to Spanish version of 'dim sum'.

Erwan and Chiah

Spanish Tapas

It was Guy Fawkes Night. It's when they celebrate the failed Gunpowder Plot. The lower class were trying to blow up the parliament, kill the king and replace it with a Catholic state, as I believe. Guy Fawkes was an unfortunate member who was captured and burnt to death. On another hand, his death is being celebrated at the masses with a large bonfire (We heard someone comment on how small the bonfire was this year) and lots of fireworks all around the UK. There was also a fun fair going on as well.


Fun fair

And there.

Fireworks here!

The Games took place the next day, and it was nice being able to meet up with people I haven't seen in a while. I joined in the Scrabble Competition and though I didn't get so far it was fun.

NMG here I come
What most people looked forward too was probably the food festival. We live by our stomach, no? The queue had to be in a standstill for hours before we finally got to the food. The nasi lemak was the most popular, no doubt, since people were waiting for the next batches to come. One even bought 20 boxes!

You know what this means

We also went to the lake. The scenery is lovely! It's greener here compared to East Anglia, and significantly larger as well.

Siew Ngap
We joked that food is always on our mind, and kept referring to the rather plump ducks we saw as Siew Ngap (roasted duck).

As the layout of my blog editor seems to be driving me insane, I shall end the post here. The next few photos are of some faces I met there. The other photos will surface some way or another. Till then. have a great day!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Poppies Grow.

The second Sunday of November is UK's Remembrance Day, whereby people commemorate those who perished in World War One. A way to notice it coming is when you see artificial poppies pinned onto their coats. Poppies are a symbol of death mainly because they grow by graveyards, by the underworld river in Greek Mythology and I only learnt that they have a relation to war through Isaac Rosenberg's Break of Day in the Trenches.
Nonetheless, the first time poppies are used to connote war and its devastation is through the World War One poem below.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

~In Flanders Field, by John McCrae~
I'm off to do some reading now. Have a great day!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Extra Sunny? Or suspicious?

I had to resist eating it out of the pot.
Our grocery delivery came on Tuesday. It's a glorious moment when you're a student living on your own. All your food at your doorstep. No hassle, no walking, discounted and it's your supply for the next two weeks (if not one)! Having managed to get myself some mee and meehoon, I had to quell my craving for soup noodles. And not the instant type either. I wanted it proper.

Jess told me that I'm adventurous though I see it as throwing them into the pot and hoping for the best. Basically it's ABC soup with additional meat chunks and an egg, left to simmer for a couple of hours before I added the meehoon.

By the time it was done I was so hungry after being subjected to the smell of the soup plus my flatmate's dinners. They are actually pretty good at cooking too, most of them.

It made me happy for dinner yesterday and also for lunch today.

I'm thinking of eating fried meehoon later this evening. Not too sure how I'm going to do that yet but it'll be alright.

Now to shift your attention to something else I want to add. Someone suggested a 'Secret Santa' game for this Christmas. We put our names into a hat, pick one each and depending on who we get, we have to get that a gift this Christmas. During that time, the person must not know who their 'Secret Santa' is. I find that wonderful since there's not too many gifts to think about. Then again, while I already have some ideas as to what mine is going to get, finding it would be the tough part.

I'm off to read now. Will update again soon.
Double egg yolk. Extra Sunny!...or suspicious.
PS. Today I broke an egg and found two egg yolks. There's still some mysterious person messing about in the kitchen. The weather outside is absolutely horrendous. Imagine a storm with violent winds. Strange things are happening today.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Packed Week.

It's been one packed week. I've completed and handed up the final two essays for the first half of term. My first one has just been handed back and it's a matter of having to familiarise with the British way of handling coursework to improve. I'm a little worried about my other two, though.

Apart from that I've gone to the Christmas City Lights and got back from Nottingham last Saturday. It was probably a very eventful day for many of us, be it in Norwich or Nottingham. Then on Sunday, we had Indian takeaway.

I'll update on the past events soon, I do hope so. While I am at it, I have to read New Grub Street by George Gissing, Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell and The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde by next week. I've read the third book before but it's a little fuzzy in my head now so I guess I'll have to read it up again. Wish me luck, or at least, bug me to continue reading and reading.

Till the next post!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

High in the Sky

Though it's darker than December
What's ahead is a different color
One day we're gonna get so high

It is really dark in the evening now. By 5pm it is so dark you'd think it's 10pm. And apparently it can go down to 5 hours of light in mid-December. It was a huge shock the first time when I came out of the library last Sunday, thinking that it's still early.

I was told that my fried rice didn't look edible and that I would probably be able to improve over the next three years. So here's a photo of a plate of fried rice I cooked yesterday, along with some ABC soup (Not the alphabet soup but that of carrot, potatoes and onions).

It wasn't planned so it might look plain. Normally I only decide what to eat when I want to eat, unless I have some inevitable craving like the chicken rice I had a few weeks ago.

Most of the time, I do make it an effort to cook something. My parents were shocked when they heard that. Is it really?

It is only on those rare occasions, those moments with the glow of the blue moon, that I simply shove a packet of food into the microwave and let it do the job. A student after all! Oh and blue moons don't occur very often here, if you're wondering.

This time I'll let you be the judge. The soup was a bit of home for me, though. I had it for dinner today as well...with a sandwich. It was a tiring day, and soon to be a tiring night.

Don't you think it's time you started
Doing what we always wanted
One day we're gonna get so high

That aside, I'm going to see some Christmas lights this Thursday, join the Nottingham Games this Friday, and coming back on Saturday night. It so happens that there is a Sparks in the Park event at a park near the university as well. It's November so it should be the Guy Fawkes Day event. Hopefully I can catch a glimpse of it at least.

Looks like a lot, doesn't it? Don't worry, I'll strike a balance.

'Cause we are gonna be forever you and me
You will always keep it flying high in the sky of love
~High, by the Lighthouse Family~