Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Poem: The Rented House

From the corner of her eye the apparition
Dissolves into flakes as the shadow, glazed by light,
Rocks its faceless hand against the door.
The carnivorous blinds chatter with elation
To see such a sight: a dishevelled girl plagued by fright
While Peter Parkers skate across the floor.

 Arthritic stairs betray another arrival
Whose failed tiptoe amplifies into a carefree stomp.
The walls are ventriloquists contented with winning,
Establishing their presence to prolong their survival.
Home it may be, full of splendour and pomp,
Until the moon shines in. And that is just the beginning.

 Rachael Lum

Published in Concrete, UEA's Independent Student Newspaper (Issue 258)

 Four Leaf Clover Animated Divider from

 The rented house is great; don't get me wrong. It is just those few moments when the creaky house and the Peter Parkers by the heater begin to toy with the imagination. I quite like the poem, the fact being that I enjoy writing poems with just that little tinge of darkness to them.

That aside, I've not been posting over the past week because of how incredibly busy it has been. From plays to watch and food to cook, workshops and meetings to attend along with a lovely essay to hand up by the end of the week. Thankfully, after all is done, the days were much easier for me and I've been feeling relaxed so far.

Now to plan out my three essays. That's something to look forward to, ain't it?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Waffle House

I finally went to the Waffle House in town. I've always been told that the waffles there are delicious but it didn't bug me enough over the past year to go try it out. Only this time it did. Diba was my buddy for the day. I had the Banoffee waffle. 'Banoffee' is a portmanteau of banana and toffee, a combination that I see quite frequently in recipes.

For a good reason too- food is the ultimate paradise when it tastes good. It's quite a coincidence that I should mention this. During my Literature and Desire (psychoanalysis) seminar, we were introduced to Freud's concept of food and feeding as being the first form of pleasure, the first form of desire, particularly since it starts at the infantile stage. Freud also thinks that kissing is likened to 'tasting' and somehow or other sparks the desire to 'eat' them. Weird as it may be, I find that concept pretty interesting for the exploration of human psychology.

Banoffee Waffle
Anyway, let's get back to the day. Right after we finished our delightful dessert, we started talking about what all Malaysians talk about: food. It must be a habit or culture; to talk about eating after we eat. I can't fathom why and yet I can't get out of it.

Kek Lapis Sarawak Pictures, Images and Photos
Disclaimer: This photo is not mine but from Photobucket.
Last year I craved Char Kuey Teow (some kind of fried noodles). This time round, I am curiously desiring Kuih Lapis Sarawak (the layered cake you see above). It is as good as it is pretty.

Gosh, I have to stop talking about food.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

No Coldplay Tickets For Me

How I decorated my wall: There is something charmingly peaceful about it, I think.
Well, I didn't manage to get the Coldplay ticket in the end. It's not everyday that someone can beat devoted fans who came prepared with sofas and inflatable mattresses to it. They were all slouched in their respective comfortable spots in the line, either sipping hot chocolate, sleeping in, watching movies online or strumming guitars. That's a dedication I ought to have. I had a class from 1 to 5pm, and I heard that by 2pm, the line had reached its maximum capacity.

After missing Eliza Doolittle (the tickets ran out so quickly) and Westlife (they performed at the university about a week or two after I left for home) and now this, it's only natural to feel disappointed. It's alright, though. I doubt they'll come back again soon but there will be more artistes coming in.

On the bright side, above you can see the first page I ever laid out for the student newspaper. The programmes used are InDesign CS4 and Photoshop CS4, which seemed rather confusing at first although it does get easier after some practice. I'm not sure I remember the functions of some of the keys but I'm striving to master it by the end of one or two months.

Chocolate salami

Also, Caroline and I made chocolate salami using a recipe from her Italian cookbook. First thing's first- it's not chocolate-covered salami. The dessert is more sophisticated than that. It's a moist dark chocolate cake that is made to look like salami with roasted almonds and biscuit crumbs. With no flour at all, it is dense and rich and absolutely gorgeous. Food paves such a blissful road to paradise.

I suppose I could always use that 20 pounds meant for Coldplay to spend on good food. Things look so much happier this way.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Coldplay is coming to UEA!

Group Photo

I'm going to like second year very much, I think. Yes, I know how much work I would have to put into studies, as well as the gravity of every research paper I write, but other than that, it comforts me to know that I am already quite adjusted to university life.

As I mentioned in my previous post, we had a Malaysian Meet and Greet last week, and we've just discussed about our event next week. Lately there have been a lot of helpful talks and training sessions about how to run the club finances and how to go about running it. Hopefully they'll be put to good use soon.

Here's a big news on campus: Coldplay is coming to perform at UEA! There are supposedly only 1000 tickets up for grabs, and they are 20 pounds per ticket! That's frankly very reasonable with or without the conversion rate. The tickets are only sold in person at the Union Box Office and we can only buy up to 2 tickets each; no online bookings too. Hence, the downside to this publicity is that there will be a long queue and most people would be expected to camp out on Friday to get them on Saturday morning.

Which I will be doing. Wish me luck!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Updates in Big Bites

I've been filling my days with busy things, although on the bright side most of them ended up being pretty fun and I probably wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

There was a poetry and prose reading event at Birdcage on Wednesday. I didn't perform but it was great to meet people I haven't met for two months while listening to absolutely creative pieces. I couldn't stay for the whole thing, though. Nowadays one must consider the unfortunate bus schedule.

The Malaysian Meet and Greet was on Thursday. The whole afternoon to evening resembled a pressure cooker. Charlene and I went to my place to bake cinnamon rolls (we made two batches which made about 53 small pieces), then to Charlene's place to cook two pots of curries. All went well; they always do in the end. Plus, receiving compliments for the food really gets you going the whole night.

On Saturday afternoon, I went into the Concrete office to design the section layout. While it may be only one page and three articles, it did take a while. Particularly since it was my first time properly trying it out; Nisha showed me the ropes months ago but some things slipped my mind. Thank goodness for the chief editor's patience. I think it looks good! I'll post it up next week.

In the evening, Miki, Yuuka and I went to Nisha's place to have Malaysian dinner. She did a brilliant job; they were delicious! I especially loved the rendang (spiced meat broiled with spices and coconut milk). My hunger for nasi lemak (rice cooked with coconut milk, spicy sambal, egg, cucumber, fried anchovies and nuts) has been satiated.

That night, we attended the Navaratri Festival. That's a nine-day Indian celebration where people dance in circles clad in beautiful traditional costumes. It was so colourful, exciting and carefree. If only there were such events in Malaysia!

I've written quite a lot for now. I'll update again soon!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Last Sunday, we had a mini BBQ in our garden. The weather's been too warm for what's meant to be Autumn (this time last year it was freezing) and everyone's trying to enjoy while it lasts. I heard that these will change drastically soon.

Anyway, everyone's settled in well. It's so comfortable to be at home after long busy days. It seems that we've sporadically felt the need to bake (or prepare desserts). Mike's got us a chocolate fudge cake; Ezra baked us apple crumble. And I made cinnamon rolls the day we had our mini BBQ!

It could be because we now have a proper oven that, presumably, will not burn my pie from the inside out. We're trying to make full use of it while we can. 

In the Oven
They taste delicious so I am extremely satisfied. I will be making a large batch soon for the Malaysian Meet and Greet; wish me luck!


Saturday, October 1, 2011

New 'Housemate'

Alice Rose, a photo by rachlyf on Flickr.
Alice Rose by rachlyfI walked into our home the other day and introduced the new housemate. She will be living with us for at least two years, although most of the time she will be staying in my room.

Without further ado, meet Alice.

Yes, she is a rose plant. I adopted her at a sale on campus. I had been interested in getting myself a plant last year, but hesitated as I wasn't sure if I could take care of it. A friend of mine then told me that I should if I really want to- might as well while I have the time.

Why Alice? Honestly, I don't really know. I saw two plants that I really liked and decided that they were both called Alice. Later that day, one had been bought so I figured I should get the other Alice soon. It could be that it has been so surreal lately that it made me think of Alice in Wonderland.

Which, I must add, is an odd but beautiful story.

So far I am aware that she needs at least 4 hours of sunlight, which might not be sufficient considering the layout and position of our house, so I probably would give it supplementary light. Also, I need to water it only once a week. I'm not too familiar with taking care of roses (I used to be a cactus person) so do give me tips if you can.

Anyway, to end my little post, I am happy to have a lovely addition to my bedside window, had a not-too-brilliant seminar, a great night at the SEA Society Meet and Greet, walked back from university (with a housemate, of course) because I missed the last bus and I have three more episodes of Dr Who to catch up before tonight's season finale.