Friday, February 29, 2008

My medical discovery

I've been pretty busy the past couple of days - shopping in Telford and dinner in Chester on Tuesday, then Birmingham for a photographic exhibition and drinks with Lowri T. Meant to take some pics with her, but forgot, so here's a random pic of some things I bought at the market here.

Nice, eh?? :P

For the past 2 months, I've been suffering, and annoying others, with a terrible phlegmy cough. I've tried chesty cough medicine, herbal solutions, downing lots and lots of water, even skipping dairy milk and opting for soy milk (for a while, but eventually gave that up). But nothing worked!

I made a breakthrough this week, though. I noticed that my throat was noticeably less congested and realised what fixed it. And I think this discovery ought to be made known to everyone... the solution to the chesty cough and thick phlegm is... the digestive biscuit.

I don't know how it works, but since eating heaps of it every day this week, I'm definitely coughing less and my phlegm is easier to cough up and out. My theory is that all the fibrous bits of the digestive biscuit must be catching hold of the gooey phlegm and ripping it apart, separating it into tiny bits that can be either coughed up, or processed by the stomach and got rid of through the no. 2. That's my theory anyway.

So the next time you get a phlegmy cough, just stuff digestive biscuits down your throat and you'll be alright in no time!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

And what do we get?

It's really cloudy today. It's nearly noon, but the sky is as grey as the 6.30pm KL sky.

I've been watching TV the past few nights and seen some good movies and programmes. Which got me thinking... the satellite company we subscribe to is Sky, and it has, literally, hundreds of channels. Their programmes are hardly ever repeated, and if they are, it's only 3 to 4 times a week at different times.

ASTRO, on the other hand... ho ho... ASTRO. They play the same movie every day, at the same time, for a month! And Mumsy's been telling me that all her favourite shows are repeats. And have been for several months. I hardly think people are going to watch different programmes just because theirs aren't available, do you? What's the point of bringing in new channels with different programmes, if you're not going to update existing ones? If I watch E! Channel all the time, and see something that I've seen before, am I likely to switch to Discovery Real Time until I've seen everything, then switch again?

Sky provides satellite TV, telephone services and even broadband in one package - at a grand total of... £19 (approx. RM130) a month. Shit, that's what we pay for a typical family's Astro package! And the broadband is up to 2mbps download speed! This is for a home user, mind you. In KL, we're paying RM188 (approx. £30) for the same download speed. No TV. No phone.

Okay, I'm not here to complain about broadband prices (and reliability), although researching it now is making me more pissed off. I'm here to complain about Astro. As the biggest satellite TV provider in the country, it should look less on profiteering from us, and more on giving us value for what we pay for. It snows, it hails, it's damn heck windy here in Northern England and yet there are never any interruptions in our TV-watching. £19! Shite... just thinking about what WE get for the same amount sickens me.

Friday, February 22, 2008

I'm lovin' it

I've just fallen in love.

In a country which labels sweet chilli sauce as "spicy", I've just discovered their little secret. It's Tabasco's Habanero Sauce! Omg, it's powerful. And tastes yummy. You need just 2 drops on a slice of pizza to have your tongue burning and prickling nonstop.

Good for clearing blocked noses too.

Here's a quote from Lewis, a British cop series, which I really like...

"Is this 'good cop bad cop'?"
"No, this is two good cops."

See the pun there? :P

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Mancunian weekend

Am back from a weekend in Manchester with Zlynn.

It's gone cold again over the weekend. Even colder than when I first arrived. At night it goes down into the negatives... -10℃ on Saturday night in the Midlands, apparently. And when we went out for the night in Manchester, there were girls everywhere in minidresses and bare legs! Wearing minidresses with tights is bad enough, but with their bare legs, I'm surprised they could even keep their legs from shaking.

We had lunch at Wagamama, a trendy Japanese restaurant just by the Arndale Centre. It was yummy (and packed), as usual. Then we just walked around taking pictures, and paid a visit to a Chinese minimart to get some Indomie and Maggi mee. And then to a Chinese bakery for some really good egg tarts.


Manchester's quite a mixed city, with lots of old buildings combined with very modern glass buildings. Quite different from London, which has mainly old buildings. I guess that's because Manchester was bombed quite a few times in recent decades, plus they're trying to modernise Manchester to attract more tourists. There're also lots of Chinese people living there, I think mostly from Hong Kong and China.

On Saturday night we visited The Printworks which houses lots of restaurants, bars and clubs. Great thing about it is that smoking is prohibited in the entire building (as are all pubs/bars/clubs in the UK), so going out in England is really awesome since you don't go home all stinky and sickly. We partied at this bar called Henry J. Bean's... which I'm told is an American whisky. There were some drunken white dudes who were making a fool of themselves but they were alright. It was the creepy Eastern European dudes who were like "vultures" (according to G), standing all around the dancefloor just watching and staring at the girls dancing.

Since Zlynn hadn't done many touristy things since coming here, we took her to the Manchester Art Gallery (free entry, optional £3 donation) and spent a few hours admiring some pretty wonderful paintings. We also shared a tasty Double Chocolate Muffin during tea at the gallery cafe.

(Euh, I'm watching Life In Cold Blood now by David Attenborough, showcasing loads of interesting reptiles. I usually feel quite "geli" by them, but his shows are so amazing I can't help but be fascinated. I think he has to be the only one in the whole world who could make me watch reptiles with such fascination. You guys HAVE to watch it if you ever see it's on. Also watch the documentary series Planet Earth which is amazing.)

Poison Dart Frog. Photo credit: DBowen, obtained (without permission, I might add) from this blog)

But I digress... after the art gallery, we stopped by Wong Wong Bakery to pick up some delicious egg tarts. Oh! I can't believe I FORGOT... on Saturday night we visited Trafford Park to collect some Krispy Kreme!! Gosh I've been yearning for it ever since G reminded me that I'd forgotten to get some in London.

Well, we had to have some dinner before doughnuts, and we were actually at Trafford Centre in an Italian resto called Pesto, which serves tapas-sized Italian dishes. Good food.

Well, back to my TV programme now. How hot is it in KL now, I wonder?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine's Day

I woke up yesterday to my first Valentine's Day with G.

We've been together over 3 years now, but this is the first time we're actually together to celebrate it. Well, I say "celebrate", but we didn't do anything anyway, besides getting each other gifts. So far, we've been together during my birthday once and our first anniversary... that's all!

Anyway, I woke up on V Day alone since G left for work at 6.30am, but to my delight, I found a rose on the keyboard, with a heart box of chocolate truffles (my fave!) and a wrapped book. He also left a card which made me smile. How sweet. I left him a card on the door for when he left for work in the morning, so he thought I'd only got him a card (since I told him I'd been lazy and hadn't been to town at all this week... which was a lie!).

Truth is, I DID go to town on Wednesday which was market day, but by the time I reached town, they were just packing up. I was too lazy to walk down in the morning so guess that was my punishment! Anyway, G came home last night to find a Kinder Surprise Egg with a note on the kitchen counter asking him to look in the jam cupboard... which led him to a jar of homemade lemon curd (he likes that)... which asked him to look in the toilet (yes, the toilet, but that's cuz he was to find a mint and tea tree shower gel... he likes weird stuff)... the shower gel took him to his bed where there was a flower there, and underneath was his favourite magazine, which led him back to the kitchen to find two bottles of beer hidden behind the lettuce!

I could tell he was excited by this mini hunt cuz he was leaving all the cupboard and toilet doors open, lights on and all. How cute :P Anyway, I felt that it was all worth it seeing him find all the things he likes around the place. And when he went to sleep, he removed the top pillow to find one last chocolate champagne egg there.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Sex is back

Look what I found! This post is especially for Yelleh Belleh who will know EXACTLY what I'm talking about!

Do any of you watch the US version of So You Think You Can Dance? If you've been watching since season 2, you'll most definitely remember the characters that are Dave "Sex" Soller and his mum. Wooooo... wow I just have no words to describe what they're like.

Here's a video off YouTube so you guys can see for yourselves. I normally don't like watching videos online cuz of the waiting time, but this is tremendously worth it, and doesn't take long to load.

This is Sex in Season 2 auditions. Watch this first.

Sex, the following season. He ACTUALLY CAME BACK.

Have you fallen off your seat yet, Yelleh Belleh?!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

News from the UK

I was sitting in the car yesterday listening to a programme on BBC 2 that has guests in the studio and people calling up giving their comments on current news headlines.

Sounds boring, but it really is interesting. One of the issues I listened to yesterday were the matter of the "batty old booby" Archbishop of Canterbury saying that Muslims in the UK should be given the opportunity to live under Syariah law. Wow, needless to say, loads of people calling up angry and annoyed by his comment. And the guest in the studio was a representative of some Muslim community in the country. To sum it up, my observation on the whole thing was that NO MUSLIMS CALLED the show (and it's a popular show) to comment on or support the idea. And some of my opinion is that most Muslims came to the UK in the first place because it's a free country and they won't be restricted by the Syariah law in whichever country they came from.

To read more on this very interesting issue, click here.

Another interesting story is of Chalford, a very hilly and steep little village in England, where its inhabitants (about 30 houses of them) have come up with the idea of using a donkey to help them carry their shopping and plants up from the bottom of the hill. Quaint and eco-friendly, you think, right? After all, horses and donkeys are used widely in the countryside where there are acres of land for them to be kept. But noooo... a representative of Animal Aid (who sounds like he's on his deathbed, incidentally) was in the studio to say how the villagers shouldn't be "using and abusing" this animal and what's more... when the spokesperson from the village was explaining the idea and calling the donkey (they don't have one yet) an 'it', the old man protested, saying, "Look, you're already calling the donkey an 'it', which denotes an object without feelings... this shows what you already think of the donkey"... something to that effect. He also said that people use donkeys to carry explosive devices for suicide bombers and terrorists, which of course, is akin to abusing the animal.

Can he blow anything else out of proportion? Explosive devices? Sheesh. People are talking about helping them carry their shopping, for goodness' sake. Thing is, if the donkey doesn't work, there's a very low chance that anyone will want to keep it. It costs a lot to keep such a big animal on your land. Some are sent to be slaughtered for meat. And secondly, animals DO like to work. It makes them feel useful and they would relish the attention they get from the villagers. Doesn't anyone read Enid Blyton anymore? :P

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The birth of a scone

When I write on my blog, I like to enlighten or share knowledge with people. I think it creates a sort of interactive thing, where I get to tell people how I feel about things I've seen, and they, in turn, can think about what I've said and respond to it.

Today, I thought I'd write about staying here in England. I don't think many people have been here as long or as often as I have, so it would be interesting to read about life here in the English countryside. It's quite different from studying or working in the city! Problem now is, I've been here so many times and for so long, that nothing is really new to me anymore, and so it's kinda difficult to write about it.

Therefore, I've decided to just write about what I do every day (or most days anyway, since sometimes I just sit and watch TV at home and do nothing interesting AT ALL) and you guys can read for yourselves, how it differs from where you live. Today, though, I've nothing exciting to tell, except that I baked scones! I present to you, a picture diary of G's and my baking process.

Okay, I know they look more like crusty rolls than scones, but trust me, they do taste yummy!

Monday, February 04, 2008

London London

Went down to London for two nights, first night to watch Varekai by Cirque du Soleil which was superb, incidentally - and the second night we had a night out at a very cool Notting Hill Arts Club with Zlynn and Jason L and their mates. So here are some pix from our little sojourn to lively London!

Sneaked in a pic of the Varekai stage inside the Royal Albert Hall before getting told off by an usher!

Taking a break in Leicester Square after visiting the National Portrait Gallery.

Joined Zlynn for a spot o' Indian lunch near her office at Farringdon.

Apparently Kate Moss hung out in this club a few days ago.

Me & Andrew T at Kensington in a really lovely French patisserie...

... as seen here behind a very excited G.