Wednesday, January 30, 2008

CNY soon...

New year will be coming soon...a year of rat...wishing Gong Xi Fa Cai to my family and friends. Satsumas only and no mandarin oranges...

According to the Chinese Zodiac, the Year of 2008 is a Year of the Rat (Earth), which begins on February 7, 2008 and ends on January 25, 2009. First in the cycle of 12 Animal signs, Rat Year begins the sequence and recurs every twelfth year. It is a time of renewal in so many ways. From New Year to Valentine's Day, to the arrival of spring, may all the blessings and delights of the New Year be yours.

A Rat Year is a time of hard work, activity, and renewal. This is a good year to begin a new job, get married, launch a product or make a fresh start. Ventures begun now may not yield fast returns, but opportunities will come for people who are well prepared and resourceful. The best way for you to succeed is to be patient, let things develop slowly, and make the most of every opening you can find. People born in an Earth Rat are said to be logical realists, shrewd, charming, ambitious, and inventive. Of course, the entire horoscope must be considered when making any personality assessment.

In Chinese, the Rat is respected and considered a courageous, enterprising person. People born in the Year of Rat are clever and bright, sociable and family-minded. They have broad interests and strong ability in adapting to the environment and able to react adequately to any changes.

They are gifted in many ways and have an easy going manner. They are active and pleasant, tactful and fantastic, and are able to grasp opportunities. They seem to have interests in everything and hope to participate in doing it and usually do it very well.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Around the City: Earl Grey Monument

The weather today was mistakenly summer...warm winter afternoon. It was sunny for the past few days. Just passed by this famous meeting point in town, the Earl Grey Monument or just known as Monument. Situated between Grey Street and Blackett Street, it was erected to acclaim Earl Grey for the passing of the Great Reform Act of 1832. The statue of Lord Grey standing atop a 41 m high column of the monument. Designed by Benjamin Green and sculptured by Edwards Hodges Baily. The monument is a popular spot for people as a meeting point or people-watching, often acts as venue for busker, most notably APU with their Andean music. 

Interesting fact that the Earl Grey Tea was named after Lord Grey! I thought that the tea was named after a citrus variety, Earl Grey orange because the tea has been flavoured with the earl grey essential oil after all...

"This column was erected in 1838 to commemorate the services rendered to his country by Charles Earl Grey K.G., who, during an active political career of nearly half a century was the constant advocate of peace and the fearless and consistent champion of civil and religious liberty. He first directed his efforts to the amendment of the representation of the people in 1792 and was the minister by whose advice, and under whose guidance, the great measure of parliamentary reform was, after an arduous and protracted struggle, safely and triumphantly achieved in the year 1832."

And on the opposite face:
 "After a century of civil peace, the people renew their gratitude to the author of the great reform bill. 1932."

The Spring is coming...soon!

The Fenwick's window displays have spring collections are on display and the spring is coming soon...yeah! will enjoy the blooms and greens...great time too because it is barbecue time too...

Friday, January 25, 2008

Almost flying...

Weather Warning

Friday 25 January WEATHER WARNING Persistent heavy rain across much of western and central Scotland could lead to as much as 50 to 60mm of rain and may cause local flooding. Severe gales, with gusts up to 70mph, will also affect northeast England and central Scotland. There will be some disruption to transport. Valid until 2008-01-26 0600GMT.

This pic taken from the Ward 30, General Hospital. Looked calm but the gales with strong gust. Today was a sunny day with 11 degrees celsius. I almost 'flying' when walked to Grainger Park before went to hospital to visit a friend, who was warded because of diabetes. Not so good because he has to undergo treatment and therapy. The face and feet muscles have been infected with virus and lucky that he acted fast to get the treatment. He could not smile like before yet, but there is a lot of improvement now with the feet slowly and positive recovery. Get well soon bro!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

PINK little devil...

I think it's cute little pink iPod nano...just adore it but won't buy one because already have two now, iPod Shuffle and iPhone...but i like pink...heheheheheheee...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Around the City: NewcastleGateshead

Castle Keep, where the Newcastle got its name.

The Tyne Bridge, originally built from stones in 1781.

The Gateshead Millennium Bridge, to commemorate the new millennium.

The Sage Gateshead

Angel of the North, welcomes you to Newcastle, the biggest city in the NorthEast England.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

An eulogy to broken heart...

© 2007 Trevor Morris. All rights reserved.

A really sad note that a friend has ended his own life out of heartbroken. yeah! when you have found someone, a will do whatever and devoted your life...but at the end you are ended heartbroken and it seemed he has lost his heart and hurt deeply and is blind and make people in peace my dearest friend, Teekay.

In the bitterness of your heart
You surrendered your soul
Buried deeply all your sadness and sorrows
of misery grieving love...


will not blog for a while,  time to grieve...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Bookshelf: Still unfinished...

These two books are still on my bookshelf, unfinished until now especially Last Watch of The Night: Essays too personal and otherwise by the late Paul Monette. I bought it in Singapore's Kinnokuniya in mid-2005. I have this kind of problem of emotional attachment to the book i read, i will feel very sad to part with it when it comes to the end of the reading. So, just to minimize this, i just read a few pages and keep it untouched for a few weeks/months...i think i need professional help to overcome my problem...hehehehehehe... (hjh esah can you help me?) 

A collection of ten autobiographical essays examining a wide range of subjects such as gay politics, the saintliness of priests and final resting places. It forms a harmonious combination of politics, poetry and human observation with the message - don't compromise, be true.

In 1982 Sally Morgan travelled back to her grandmother's birthplace, Corunna Downs Station in Western Australia. What started out as a tentative search for information about her family turned into an overwhelming emotional and spiritual pilgrimage. Sally Morgan and her family were confronted with their own suppressed history, and with fundamental questions about their identity. The author begins by tracing the experience of her own life, growing up in suburban Perth in the 50s and 60s. Through the memories and images of her childhood and adolescence, vague hints and echoes begin to emerge, hidden knowledge is uncovered, and a fascinating story unfolds - a mystery of identity, her Aboriginal background. "My Place" is an autobiography of three generations, an account of a search for truth, into which a whole family is gradually drawn. The momentum of Sally's narrative frees the tongues, first of her mother and finally her grandmother, allowing them to tell their own stories.

Bookshelf: New addition...

Some new additions to my bookshelf. Just got these at the Waterstones with a good deal, 'Choose from any 3 for 2' and since i spent more than £10, i got another book at the cost of £3.99 and another book free of charge...

Mariam is only fifteen when she is sent to Kabul to marry the troubled and bitter Rasheed, who is thirty years her senior. Nearly two decades later, in a climate of growing unrest, tragedy strikes fifteen-year-old Laila, who must leave her home and join Mariam's unhappy household. Laila and Mariam are to find consolation in each other, their friendship to grow as deep as the bond between sisters, as strong as the ties between mother and daughter. With the passing of time comes Taliban rule over Afghanistan, the streets of Kabul loud with the sound of gunfire and bombs, life a desperate struggle against starvation, brutality and fear, the women's endurance tested beyond their worst imaginings. Yet love can move a person to act in unexpected ways, lead them to overcome the most daunting obstacles with a startling heroism. In the end, it is love that triumphs over death and destruction. "A Thousand Splendid Suns" is an unforgettable portrait of a wounded country and a deeply moving story of family and friendship. It is a beautiful, heart-wrenching story of an unforgiving time, an unlikely bond and an indestructible love.

Twelve-year-old Amir is desperate to win the approval of his father and resolves to win the local kite-fighting toumament, to prove that he has the makings of a man. His loyal friend Hassan promises to help him? for he always helps Amir? but this is 1970s Afghanistan and Hassan is merely a low-caste servant who is jeered at in the street, although Amir still feels jealous of his natural courage and the place he holds in his father's heart. But neither of the boys could foresee what would happen to Hassan on the afternoon of the tournament, which was to shatter their lives. After the Russians invade and the family is forced to flee to America, Amir realises that one day he must return, to find the one thing that his new world cannot grant him: redemption. Now is one of the major films.

1940: The Spanish Civil War is over, and Madrid lies ruined, its people starving, while the Germans continue their relentless march through Europe. Britain now stands alone while General Franco considers whether to abandon neutrality and enter the war. Into this uncertain world comes Harry Brett: a traumatised veteran of Dunkirk turned reluctant spy for the British Secret Service. Sent to gain the confidence of old schoolfriend Sandy Forsyth, now a shady Madrid businessman, Harry finds himself involved in a dangerous game - and surrounded by memories. Meanwhile Sandy's girlfriend, ex-Red Cross nurse Barbara Clare, is engaged on a secret mission of her own - to find her former lover Bernie Piper, a passionate Communist in the International Brigades, who vanished on the bloody battlefields of the Jarama. In a vivid and haunting depiction of wartime Spain, "Winter in Madrid" is an intimate and compelling tale which offers a remarkable sense of history unfolding, and the profound impact of impossible choices. 'Sansom adroitly draws the disparate strands of his ambitious saga together. His non-pareil evocations of time and place anchor his characters with satisfying precision' - "Independent".

A young man accompanies his cousin to the hospital to check an unusual hearing complaint and recalls a story of a woman put to sleep by tiny flies crawling inside her ear; a mirror appears out of nowhere and a nightwatchman is unnerved as his reflection tries to take control of him; a couple's relationship is unbalanced after dining exclusively on exquisite crab while on holiday; a man follows instructions on the back of a postcard to apply for a job, but an unknown password stands between him and his mysterious employer. In each one of these stories, Murakami sidesteps the real and sprints for the surreal. Everyday events are transcended, leaving the reader dazzled by this master of his craft. "Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman" is Murakami's most eclectic collection of stories to date, spanning five years of his writing. An introduction explains the diversity of the author's choice.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


January 15, 2008 (
Apple introduces MacBook Air—the world’s thinnest notebook
Apple today introduced the world’s thinnest notebook: MacBook Air. It measures an unprecedented 0.16 inches at its thinnest point while its maximum height of 0.76 inches is less than the thinnest point on competing notebooks. In addition to a stunning 13.3-inch LED-backlit widescreen display, MacBook Air offers a full-size and backlit keyboard, a built-in iSight video camera for video conferencing, and a spacious trackpad with multi-touch gesture support, letting users pinch, rotate and swipe. The new notebook is powered by a 1.6 GHz or 1.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 4MB L2 cache, and it includes as standard features 2GB of memory, an 80GB 1.8-inch hard drive, and the latest 802.11n Wi-Fi technology and Bluetooth 2.1. Starting at just $1,799, MacBook Air begins shipping in two weeks. In UK the price starting at just £1,126.83 (for student). COOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLL...

Monday, January 14, 2008

Lonely Planet - Barcelona's Iconic Structures

Arc de Triomf is the formal gate to Parc de la Ciutadella and this massive red-brick triumphal arch was built in 1888. 

MNAC: the Palau Nacional was one of the emblematic structures of the 1929 Universal Exposition. Nowadays it houses the National Art Museum of Catalonia. Every night from 7 p.m. there is a musical fountain show at the foot of the building.

Hospital de La Santa Creu I Sant Pau is one of the world heritage sites declared by UNESCO.

Placa del Rei is the most beautiful part of the Barri Gothic. Mirador dei Rei Marti (King Martin's Watchtower) rises above the Placa del Rei.

One of the towers leading to the National Art Museum of Catalonia.

Casa Batllo is one of Antoni Gaudi's centerpiece with extraordinary facade.

La Pedrera - thought by many as a  crowning glory of the modernista movement. An avant-garde apartment built by Antoni Gaudi, which is the real name is Casa Milla.  

La Sagrada Familia is a basilica or church. Another Antoni Gaudi's masterpiece. Unfinished legacy, begun the building in 1882, this soaring 'Holy Family' church, is a tastement to his singular vision: the art of the impossible. It's bejeweled spires drip like melting candlesticks can be seen in the following pictures...

Torre Agbar (Agbar Tower) is 142 metres tall and its shape, colour and cutting edge structure have made it one of the icons of Barcelona's skyline. Designed by Jean Nouvel, a French architect, this phallic skyscraper illuminates at night with the color of Barca, the local futbol (soccer) team. It has 4,500 LED luminous devices that allow generation of luminous images in the facade

Friday, January 11, 2008

On air!...Interesting plant

Well, i can't stop myself from blogging...hehehehehehe...just take a break and have a KitKat for a few minutes from my to share this pic and maybe my friend, Josh the tree doctor, can tell me what kind of plant is? Found this plant during my visit to Park Guell, Barcelona...ok, back to work...heeeyyyyaaaahh...

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Lonely Planet - Barcelona, SPAIN

5 days/4 nights spent my winter/christmas break in barcelona, spain...a hot winter break with temperature reached 17 degrees Celsius. i just left my winter jacket in the hotel room, wore my t-shirt and jeans only...covered all interesting zones in barcelona, from La Barcelona Vieja old barcelona to La Barcelona Modernista modernist barcelona and La Nueva Barcelona the new barcelona.

La Barcelona Vieja
La Ribera-Born, Barrio Gotico, La Rambla, Raval, El Port Vell y Barcelona

La Barcelona Modernista
La Obras de Gaudi, L'Eixample, La Diagonal

La Nueva Barcelona
Zona Maritima Moderna, Gracia, Montjuic

GLOW - winter festival 2007

Glow mobiles parade for the new year celebration...started from Saltwell Park, Gateshead and continued to Baltic Square before moved to Times Square, Newcastle. The show continued at the Monument, then ended at the Civic Centre. 

Glowmobiles - a dazlling array of illuminated Art Cars and other amazing vehicles, Fire-projecting, music-making, wild-wheeled mechanical mischief on the streets...

Snow Effect