Wednesday, February 28, 2007

New Year, New Beginnings!

Too much food, not enough sleep, which pretty sums up Chinese New Year celebration for me!

Whenever anyone visits my grandparents’ place, they never go away less than bursting round the waistband. I brought 2 dozens Krispy Kreme doughnuts especially for my cousins Lin and her young brother, Ming but the greedy car companion ate half a dozen on the drive up already! I had to literally hide the remaining doughnuts in the pantry when we arrived! I had already supplied them with an assortment of chocolate treats, drinks and fruits for the car journey!

After a long drive (being an entertaining passenger is hard work too...) one would expect a long sleep... oh no. Being Chinese New Year my uncle, Sung wanted to welcome the year by taking money from his nieces and nephews... and the easiest way he knows how is over the mah-jong table! We played until 5am that first night! I won’t even say how much I ended losing during my time up there! LOL

There are quite a few superstitious rules we try to follow for the New Year – one must not shower the day after New Year as it is believed to wash away all the luck (?), not to cook/use knives, sweep/throw rubbish out, swear... that’s all I know and *try* to abide by.

Saturday 24th
When I graduated in 2005 I was so glad that I am no longer a student – that was until Shirin (and the constant nagging from my parents) talked me round into joining her at the College of Law to do the Legal Practice Course commencing this year. I went along to the Open Day on Saturday afternoon... I had a few errands to run in the morning so I had to forgo food and drink just to make it on time! I missed the ‘meet and greet’ refreshments at the start, so when the current students were giving us the tour round the campus, I was busy eyeing up the vending machine!

The Open Day lasted longer than I thought it would, and by the time we got to Ten Ten Tei, I had lost my appetite! I didn’t manage to finish my chirashi (shock)!

Tuesday 27th
Trees and Duong arrived back from their ‘wedding dress, bridesmaid dress, and photo shoot buying trip’ on Sunday. Lee and I was suppose to pop round that night to check out what hideous bridesmaid dress Trees is subjecting Lin and me to (to be honest, I just wanted to see what souvenirs I got – was hoping she got me my favourite perfume, Miracle by Lancôme, instead I got 3 little cute perfume bottle filled with an indescribable scent!) but Lee had plans so was postponed to Monday instead... that idea got postponed again and we didn’t manage to meet up until last night.

Right, I knew the bridesmaid dresses were going to be mint green (when she called me on Monday she told me and coincidently at the time I had on a mint green pashmina (a birthday present from Rani, ‘thank you’) – it’s a nice colour for accessories but as a dress, I was not convinced), and I emailed her my measurements... the dress turned out to be pretty nice but it doesn’t fit!!! No amount of dieting I do from now until September, I am not going to fit into the dress! My skeletal structure does not come that small! Hahaha

I have a meeting up town tomorrow, hopefully afterwards I can make use of late night shopping and check out a few department stores for ideas on possible bridesmaid dresses. But then again, I am planning to meet up with Shirin, we might just sit round drinking coffee/tea and eat cakes (yay, no diet regime for me)! LOL

Wednesday 28th
Oh, I had a lot of time in between meetings today and forgot to bring a book out with me (spent a lot of time in coffee shops trying to avoid drowning in the rain!) so on an off chance I brought a chicklit from WH Smith. I brought Chris Manby’s ‘Girl Meets Ape’, so far so good – the start of the book sees the girl attending a hen party she ‘organised’ for her best friend, starting a new job and finding out one of the employees working with her was the stripper from that night...


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Happy Chinese New Years!

Welcome to the year of the boar/pig! The nature of people born under this sign tends to be: ‘knowledgeable in organizing times for works and leisure. Fond of enjoying life and forgetting any targets in life. Should learn to work harder.’ I myself was born under the sign of the horse: ‘cheerful, quick witted and popular. Be regulated to her paces may have the chance to see things clearer.’ Sounds pretty good to me! LOL

This leads nicely on to the subject of my birthday! Only found out recently that my birthday falls on the same day as Ground Hog Day! That should make remembering a bit easier... my parents on the other hand some how forgot completely, using the excuse that my ‘actual’ birthday wasn’t until later as they go by the Chinese calendar... if that is the case, my ‘actual’ birthday this year was on Valentines Day!!! So depressing :(

This now naturally leads onto Valentines Day... the company I work for was having trouble meeting its quarterly quota so I had to work over time all of last week – didn’t get home until 8pm one night! Worked through Valentines Day and even forgot to go past the Krispy Kreme store to grab the limited edition doughnut – I did the same thing last year and missed out on the limited edition doughnut.

Besides from working all hours of the day and then coming home writing up reports, I was also busy house hunting for my parents! You may recall I mentioned in passing that my mum and my younger sister, Sally went to Hong Kong/China – well I spoke to them a few days after they landed to make sure they have arrived safely and enjoying their time there and one of the first thing they told me was they have managed to lose a brand new camcorder (which my dad only brought just before Christmas) and Sally’s DS Lite (which was a present from Duong to Sally for passing her exams) along with a dozen games! They managed this feat in the space of a few hours after landing in Hong Kong airport waiting for their transfer flight to China! LOL

Anyway, whilst my mum was in Hong Kong/China, my dad gave me the mission to find a few properties that they might like... I received no less than 20 emails a day and 5 phone calls – I had to silence my phone during the day as the noise was driving me mad!

The past month have not all been work – I did manage to squeeze in some culture and great nights out with my dear friends and family... went to see the David Hockney exhibition held at the National Portrait Gallery with Caf. I can’t say I am now a fan of his work, but I did like the ‘multi-point perspective’ work he achieved with a normal Polaroid camera. I am not going to waffle on about ‘pastiche neo-cubist paintings’ and the influence Picasso had over his work because I do not understand all that – I just liked how each Polaroid can be appreciated as a single captured moment in time, and then pieced together to make a picture as a whole... The rest of Hockneys’ work did not interest me as much as it did Caf... he did appear to be a very good artist but it was too real for me, it was portrait of real people in the artist’s life...

My parents may have forgotten my birthday but my dear friends and family helped me celebrate on 2 separate occasions... first a few of my dearest friends treated me out to sushi at Ten Ten Tei (organised by Shirin) where they lavished me with some of the most thoughtful gifts – including a pendent with my birthstone, a fabulous chocolate cook book and starter kit and chocolate fondue set, pashmina, bracelets and hat! They then finished the meal off with a loud rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ where a few others customers joined in and clapped – I turned quite red and couldn’t leave the restaurant fast enough! To follow we went to Covent Garden for a few rounds...

The following day Trees, Kim, Ping and Lin treated me to tapas at Canary Wharf, La Tasca. We stayed for hours, 3 course meal with plenty of English tea (!). At one point I was bridesmaid to 2 weddings this year but now I am only bridesmaid to Trees’ wedding, so whilst devouring the tapas, the main conversation of the night was wedding! Trees have agreed not to put Lin and me in pink/peach frilly things and I have been told to grow my hair or get extensions!

Oh, I nearly forgot the girls have again gone out and brought gifts for me with a budget of £10...

Trees: Hand warmers which look like leg warmers (!), a black clutch bag and a Lawyers calendar block full of lawyer antidotes

Kim: Pink thermal PJs (I thought they was the funniest thing I have every received!)

Ping: She checked out the blog and found out my latest celebrity crush was Richard Armitage and made a collage and then she found a picture of the cast of the Vicar of Dibley and framed the picture for me (she obviously didn’t read the blog properly... I only mentioned the show because Richard starred in the Christmas and New Year special – Ping and Kim was trying to figure out who in the cast I liked... it was either Hugo Horton (James Fleet) or Owen Newitt (Roger Lloyd-Pack), they never understood my taste in men so I wasn’t surprised (amused though) when they asked me after I opened the gift)

Lin: A mug with the word ‘neurotic’ on the side (I laughed out loud when I saw that!), a Momiji ( – I have 2 of the dolls now, might need to start collecting them so I have a full set...!) entitled ‘Missy Flake’ who apparently likes: log fires, chocolate money and adrenalin sports.

I just love my friends and families so much! They just know me so well and can always make me smile :)

Another thing I want to add before I finish this entry is: I went home to my folks last night where my dad challenged us to beat his high score of 91% on the karaoke machine with a prize of £100 on whoever can beat his score... spent all night singing and only managed 84%, the prize eventually went to Sally who got 92%!!! There is always tomorrow ;)

Happy Chinese New Years

Helen x