Friday, April 30, 2004

Lamb korma night over, I can start to concentrate on the exams at hand. Didn't manage to get puff pastry but got garlic croutons in instead for the chunky soup, which was a recipe offered by Megan Davies, so THANK YOU Megan... Lamb korma was delightful.. yay! It turned out yummy and I garnished both the soup and lamb korma with bits from my bag of parsley - except for those who managed to scream out 'Nooo!!!' in time. Chocolate cheesecake followed and I was slightly disappointed by Iceland's miniature portion - will get the giant gateau next time. Anyway, I think it went down well overall cos everyone looked quite stuffed - or maybe my eyes are myopic and everyone's busy muching away on snacks right now.

I can't actually think of anything to say right now, maybe because I'm so wholly satisfied (or tired) by today - a too 'full' to speak situation... hehehe. oh yes, one thing, am looking forward to X-men 2 because Holty told me that Wolverine kills more people there - yeah, staying true to Marvel bros. nature.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Woke up early, studied, cleaned the kitchen with Jo and bought FLOWERS (peachy-red tulips) for my room - it's been a pretty good day I think but with the flowers, I think I've gone a bit pansy. What do you expect? Exam info taking over and I'm losing my distaste for green things. After four hours study (including swirling around in room 4 in T4 in the library and scribbling random nonsense that came into my head which comprised not only random thoughts but also architechture plans, a rough music composition and African drawings depicting - or trying to depict - Michael Jackson), Jo and I wandered around Covent Garden, picked up stuff like Brie, tulips and lemonade and stopped for a bit at Mufinski for strawberry yogurt (her) and a banana toffee muffin, on Jo. I also got the Daily Telegraph to induce a bit more current news into my system. Michael Jackson's still singing in my head, by the way.

Jo and I 'sterilised' our kitchen; cleaned all the grub off and disinfected everything - rice cooker, sink, hobs, cupboard... Jo even cleaned the wall (partially). Maybe it's because of exam stress, but we've both seemingly developed a compulsion to clean. It's strange, new world for me. Well, better go off to zzzz since I'm repeating my early morning visit to the library before jetting off to Tesco in the afternoon.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

It's 11am and I'm in the Maughan library for the first time in 3 months. Ahhh.. so this is what being a student again is like. Had a large breakfast - woke up at 8am and again at 8:20 to prepare it and Jo hobbled in at 9. Am now off to revise for Criminal law (again) in the tower as apparently there're little rooms there where I can go bonkers at my own free will. So, with Michael Jackson in my ear, Criminal law in my head, a fry-up and Haagen-daz cookies and cream in my stomach and Jesus in my heart, I am off to STUDY!!!!
Cooked Joanna a lovely mushroom cheesy omelette tonight, as promised. Even garnished it with parsley after watching Gordan Ramsey on the box. Lamb korma night is coming up and I'm eagerly anticipating it. Might as well give you guys a taster of what I'll be whipping up:

Appetiser: Carrot and onion chunky soup with hopefully, puff pastry and whipped cream.
Main course: Lamb korma and PROPER pilau rice - not the coloured variation at Tesco.
Dessert: Still working on that - either a trifle, chocolate gateau or tiramisu. Was thinking of making a brioche-cinammon-hazelnut ice-cream concoction but as I don't have the necessary apparatus, I decided against it.

The 'venerable' Little Holtla will be 'leading' discussion on Bible related issues with (the guest list so far); Seneka, Andy, Yusof, Joanna and Stefanie. Ragu is still somewhere in India catching elephants but if he happens to come round, then he will be joining us as well. I will probably be standing in a corner, making sure everyone is happily stuffed and will be cleaning dishes as well - afterall, I don't want no guck in my sterilised kitchen. It doesn't look like it's going to be a strictly men's fellowship but a fellowship all the same AND there'll be leg room for everyone!

I stepped in a puddle today - right up to the middle - and had to dry my jeans off with my hairdryer set on high. Then, I set out for CU only to step in another puddle. I didn't want to get all my long sleeved clothes drenched so decided to go without sleeves for the night - cos if I don't have sleeves to get wet then my sleeves won't get wet :) Felt a bit spaced-out the whole night; seeing people I knew but didn't quite know anymore. I think it's cos of the break. A bit hazy everything is. But it's good in a way, so that I won't feel terribly lost next year when many of the familiar faces are no longer there. It's called getting detached. I do it automatically everytime I know I'm going to be apart from people I've known for (seemingly) ages. It supports the stubborn 'I don't cry in public' overture as well.

The only bit of slightly sour news was that Adam can't bring me to see horses this Friday. But that's because he's got a job, which is good news so if one outweighs the other, everything is back in balance. Happy bunny.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Am studying with Jo now - she's handling Ovid's Metamorphoses and ridiculous amounts of Virgil whilst I'm trying to figure out the fine line between sanity and insanity; seriously, that IS in the textbook, not just some random hoo-ha (finally, something interesting in law). A new girl has moved into Priss' flat - Stefanie, from Germany - and I, with my little, 'how to' German-for-tourists dictionary am starting to come to grips with words like 'ba-na-nen sho-ko-lade-milkh' ie banana chocolate milkshake. Will be taking her to Tesco tomorrow evening as well as stocking up on my non-existent supply of chicken flavoured instant noodles. Then will be rushing back to whip up a cheesy mushroom omelette dinner for Jo before going to CU. Stef LOVES coffee and I took 2 cups - two cups more than what I would normally take - with four sugars (I like things sweet) and now my heart is palpitating irregularly; it runs in my family of one-sided coffee addicts - I should know better.

Did more housing scans as well as fished for jobs and found several good bids for four, double bedroom houses at amazing rates. They're a bit far out but I've always preferred the countryside anyway. Have got eucalyptus balm rubbed all over my face and neck 'cos am actually feeling a bit ill at the moment and am sniffing it constantly to calm my nerves. People work on black coffee, I work on eucalyptus oil.

Monday, April 26, 2004

#Today's a happy day, *bom bom bom bom*
And I can't help this feeling,
It just wouldn't go away *Mmm ba ba doo ba*
Bubbles in the air#

I dare you to try wipe this smile off my face. This June, I might not only get whole my family around, but we'll be 'around' in Switzerland. Coolness - literally. I can finally learn how to ski and my sis wants to go to the museum in Zurich (what??!!??). You guys would probably never see me again as I try to fly over the snow-clad mountain tops... eeeeeee. Yes, a way of escape from the heat of cosmopolitan London!!! Ooooh, chocolate. Swiss chocolate, Swiss dogs, Swiss cheese, Swiss sausages, Swiss army knife... ahhhh! Might even catch a glimpse of those yodelling people in funny trousers. Tell me quick, where does Haagen-Daaz come from? Does that sound Swiss to you? Hooray!!!!! Not only will I get to go on holiday, I'll get to go on holiday with my baby brother, in Switzerland AND will probably get the other half of my wardrobe from home. Yay! Can't wait! This is better than giggling to myself in a french cottage in Calais.

My fridge is slowly defrosting as the circuits in my apartment decided to take a day off. If the chicken burgers in there fail to stand up to the thawing conditons, then that's what I'll probably have for dinner tonight - with brown rice and feta cheese.

Exams are nearing and this really is the last furlong. After taking a leisurely walk for most of the way I hope this, my final sprint (until next year), will get me to the finish line unbruised. To everyone studying hard, don't forget to give yourself a 'hug in a mug' sometime :) As for me, I'm off to (actually) study criminal law cos I don't want no more silly mistakes in my exam paper. Might down a fried omelette with mushrooms and feta cheese in the process. I'll be seeing you CU peeps tomorrow - it's been ages for some of us.
Am feeling quite chuffed today with the whole day. Had a decent night's rest, aromatic crispy duck rice for lunch and cleaned my bathroom and bedroom with a vengeance - citrus bleach, lemon washing liquid, pine disinfectant, pine air freshener... Also hoovered the carpet square foot by square foot with brute force, getting even the previous occupant's hair out of the wiry, green fibres. Drew open the curtains and aired the room for the first time in ages and it felt so good afterwards, I even contemplated buying a plant to make things look more alive. At least I'm working my brawn somewhat...

Was so satisfied that I finally got down to completing my long needed house chores that I decided to do the one other thing I've been meaning to do for a long time - go and see Alfred at St. Helens. Alfred is a lawyer at Slaughter and May and I know both him and his brother Brian, the latter being my age... or 8 months and 11 days younger than I, to be exact. His mom used to be my 'reading mother,' an embarrassing procedure (of reading aloud in front of someone) that every pre-schooler had to go through at my kindergarten. Ironically, whenever I'm back in Malaysia, I am the reading mother.. sigh... Among other comments (about me) aptly made Alfred included, 'she's got more energy than SESCO' - the electric powerhouse in Malaysia - and 'very bouncy.' Fun. I used to want to wring his neck. but with hindsight, doing so would just prove his point of my 'ability' to electrocute mercilessly if left unattended.

Walked over to St Helens with Letty and Sarah and met Alfred - at the door (he handed me the bulletin). Cool (And here I thought I would have to wait for ages and try pick him out from the crowd). Second 'surprise' at St Helens was that Adam read the Bible reading for the day. Doubly cool. But the 'best' was yet to come - no, not the food, although that was yummy as well, seeing I didn't have dinner; sausage rolls and burgers - MEAT - and the confectionary was heaven... - the speaker William Taylor, paraphrasing, said our goal on this planet wasn't (merely) to work (and earn tonnes of money). Clearly he meant that work isn't the ultimate goal in life, God is, but for some reason my brain singled out the words 'not-to-work,' joined them together and made that the summary of the message - a really bad summary; if you want a good summary, go to someone more reliable like Carly. How can I possibly shrink a good message to that??!!?? Either I'm not working hard enough to concentrate on the important things or I'm just not concentrating. It's like forcefully extracting DNA strands and merging them with other DNA samples; you're bound to get some absurd result. I thought it was hilarious though and wondered what my dad's reaction would be if I told him I found a church that said I didn't have to work - that would, of course, be taking things out of context and that's why I did not tell him so - no worries.

Next best thing that happened was that Adam told me Ashley was getting baptised tonight (and he is)!!! Coolness. I wonder if it was the whole dunking in water thing or whether it was a sprinkle... Adam and I wired up a time to go see the horses at Kennington - this Friday afternoon, if anyone else is free, all you need's a bag of carrots. Carly was standing nearby and heard 'Holty' instead of 'horses'... oh dear. Then someone mentioned something about feeding Holty carrots - cos that's what one would do with horses. I, naturally, landed on the floor in fits of hyperventilating giggles. Met Jim as well and got some tips on what to do next year in the London Marathon - no joke. I'm gonna run all 26 miles of it if I'm still around to finish it. Will be training this summer on top of getting a job, seeing bits of England and moving into a new place.

Am off to absorb every single molecule of water from the drinking fountain now - the thing about drinking 2 litres odd of water a day is that when you stop drinking, you just dry up like a prune.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

As mentioned before, I've just finished watching X-men with Sarah-bear. Befoire I move on to my review of the movie, let me just say that I met Sarah's dad today and after wrestling with what to call him; Mr. Gosden and Sarah's dad being contenders, I finally hit upon a name that won bears down - Mr. Bear. Makes sense, doesn't it? Sarah Bear, Mr Bear - I told him as well and he doesn't seem to mind. Cool dad. I'm still not used to calling freinds' parents by their first name - it's a 'respect' culture thing that I brought with me and Mr or Mrs so-and-so seems so formal. Ahhh, at least I'll never feel uncomfortable when Mr. Bear's around :)

Movie moments. Wolverine should have killed more people, Cyclops is a pansy and Halle Berry should have added more kick whenever she called upon lightning - afterall, she did so in the cartoon and comics and I thought the whole point of creating a Marvel comic was to (doh) follow the comic. Wolverine should stick to his yellow spandex and mask, Cyclops should stop his kvetching and altogether more mutant powers should be shown - and I hope they do in the second one, which I will watch when it chooses to appear on the small screen. And I can't believe they chose to exclude Gambit!!!! Magneto was by far the most exciting to watch - manipulating electro magnetic fields and such (including flying) but I wouldn't want to kiss the mutant called Toad - for all the worlkd tells me he's gonna turn into a prince. Watch his tongue and find out why. Brrrr.... Not enough baddies all in all. I expected a whole den of them - not just 4. Never mind, give them time to develop charaters I guess. I'm hoping that Archangel's featured in the next sequel - by far the coolest. I think the mutants that look the weirdest are the coolest. Archangel has got wings, Nightcrawler's blue with a swishy tail and Chamber's lost the top half of his body due to an explosion cos he's got intense psionic energy - way cool. As you might probably tell from my excited chatter, I quite 'dig' X-men, to use an ancient slang.

I'm backk!!! Trailed off a bit there to catch up on X-men going ons and now it's tomorrow. Will see you around.
You're Madagascar!
Lots of people don't really know anything about you, making you buried treasure of the rarest kind. You love nature, and could get lost in it whenever possible. You're remote and exotic, and the few people who know you value whatever they share with you a great deal. For some reason, you really like the word "lemur".

That's what the quiz said and I agree. Didn't stick the flag up cos half of it won't show, seeing it's white. Tried to readjust my blog but only succeeded in turning everything black so will leave it as it is.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

I have a bone to pick with Samford Street Apartments. The fire alarm bell rang at 3.40am!!!!! Nearly threw up having to wake up at such a groggy time. Not to mention my head-banging migraine. Imagined a giant slab of ice falling from the sky - as it did in Superman II; the one with Christopher Reeves - to shut the alarm system up. Felt quite violent - but only in my head cos the body was to weak to respond. Sat near the bushes just in case I needed a bucket au natural. Seneka wanted to carry some conversation but with my 'dont-you-dare-talk-to-me' face, I'm relieved he thought the better of it. Waited for what seemed like eternity - and really it did - half expected God to boom out from the sky proclaiming that the time was up then the Stamford Street system would really shut up... *sigh* the things I dream of...

Parents just got back to me about Silas and Grace's wedding. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Honey-mooning now, but I don't know where. Double congrats to the Michael family cos David's a proud dad of a gorgeous baby girl. Am feeling slightly blue that I can't get to see all my homies getting married but hey, the ceremony lasts a day, marriage lasts a lifetime - that's my 'as-close-as-I-can-get' vicar-ish speech.. hehehehe. Conclusion? I should be back home to catch snippets of the marriage once in a while and the camera's always there to capture the wedding.

Tonight, ITV2 about 9:15 - X-men!!!!! Haven't watched it so won't be missing out on that. I very seldom go to the cinema - I wait for the movie to hit the small screen. Still feeling slightly groggy so will go back and cook myself a protein-packed meal. Will probably be back here tonight pouring over how cool Wolverine and Mystique are.
I took a test of my sister's blog. The result was hardly surprising as I have resigned myself to a life of Winnie-the-Pooh and cotton candy...


My life is rated G.
What is your life rated?

Friday, April 23, 2004

Friday at last. The day of anticipation. The day before the weekend before returning to college - I thought it would never arrive and now I wish it didn't. Criminal law starts today. I managed (hopefully) to stuff in a substantial amount of EU law into the cavities of my brain but started to slow things down after a bit 'cos I felt that if I overcooked it, the stuffing might fall out - as it would if you happen to be roasting chicken. So criminal law today - favourite subject 'cos I've done it before. Problem is, I might get over-confident in it and lose marks as a result which happened to me during my mid-sessionals (Fi, they DON'T count - the whole first year doesn't count). Slammed down all the defences needed for some eccentric I was supposed to advise but totally forgot to mention the crime(s) he was prosecuted for... so that was half the grade gone out of the window. Never mind. At least I know that I know something, if not everything.

David's birthday was yesterday, Philips' was on the 5th, Aazine, the 1st and Kaitlin, the 24th. If I've missed anyone out, give me a shout and I'll ad you to my personal diary :) I am going to try put up some sort of birthday calender so that we can all wish one another Happy Birthday at the right intervals. Just got in touch with several more peeps from back home - we're coming together!!! I remember writing a rather cheeky message back to my principal when I first came here, promising him that even as we were scattered to the far corners of the earth, we would reunite and bang(!) the cosmics would explode (paraphrasing). I also added that it was inevitable because the world had no corners and since everything was round, we would collide again. I wonder why he seemed so nervous to see me when I went back to see him last summer.

What should I do today to stimulate my funny cells? I could either go to Tesco to stock up on more instant noodles and strawberry yogurt (if I told Seneka that, he would write out a list of things for me to bring back - the last time I had to carry 2 chocolate indulgence cakes and 4kg of Basmati rice just for him and Ariel washing up powder for Yusof... all this being before I got my own shopping done). I wonder if Priss needs to go shopping today... might give her a call. If I can make it today, I'll be able to get some much needed cleaning products to sterilise my flat and at the same time will be able to go over the cost of cooking Lamb korma.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Before I start, there's some good stuff (although they're all good) worth giving a little think about in Boundless and Relevant Magazine (right hand side, under Good Stuff - now, where have I heard that before?). Wayne, if you want more 'soul mate' info to share, check out Has God Handpicked Someone... Cool.

Had the strangest dream last night - was more like an ongoing motion of things that just didn't make sense. I don't know how it started but it somehow managed to include the Royal family, 70s style, dressed in red mountain ranger coats, a girl called Beth, a swimming pool, a diving zone, American television, Buddhism, revenge, the Revolution, army trucks, my secondary school, Blade, an old lady in a blue car, army barracks and broken down shacks everywhere, Mowgli and an electric fence. It ended with me getting bitten by a black mamba (again) which turned into a rubber snake. Weirdness.

I have just been looking around for a good Animal Farm link to put up in Poodle. I remember watching the cartoon when I was much, much younger and it actually fashioned a large part of my imagination - talking animals etc etc. I cried when Boxer (the horse) fell down (and didn't get up) whilst pulling this heavy cart in the rain. I also remember wanting the dogs to tear the squeaking pigs apart as well... so my guess is it also instigated my slightly violent nature. It was only when I came to London for my A-levels and had to study the history of the Soviet Union (to be technically correct - most people assume that Russia and the Soviet Union represents the same thing) that I realised it wasn't a happy story about animals taking over the world. But I still like Boxer, Soviet history or no Soviet history. What are my favourite animal novels?

The Horse Whisperer, The Call of the Wild, White Fang, Black Beauty, Animal Farm, Moby Dick,The Ghost and the Darkness, Thor, Lassie Come Home - there are some who say it aint - it IS a novel!!! Wind in the Willow's, The Chronicles of Narnia esp Lion, Witch & the Wardrobe and the Horse and his boy, Watership Down, Tribe of the Tiger... more, more, give me more!

Rambling on, today is supposedly the last day I study European law - oh dear. Tomorrow sees a dawning of a new era... criminal law.

B: Here we are, Pinky--at the dawn of time!
P: Narf, Brain. Wake me at the noon of time.

I realise why I like Pinky so much; he's just like me!

B: It proved that radio was a powerful tool. And now, Pinky, the advance of technology has brought us an even more powerful tool. Do you know what that is?
P: Ummm... the rubber band?
B: The workings of you mind are a mystery to me Pinky.

'As mysterious as the dark side of the moon' - Mulan.

P/s I've been sitting with one leg crossed under the other for so long, I think my left foot has just turned purple... interesting choice of colour.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Some peeps have inquired after my lack of wanting-to-settle-down instincts... ahhh, I knew that would have to come out in my blog one day. First off, I'm not a commitment phobic :) I only had one phobia and now that's gone so I'm phobia-less hehehe.. although I still get sheepish whenever I get too close to a snake. I'm actually highly (maybe too highly) committed to anything (anyone) I commit myself to and as a result, have had on occasion, suffered from intense levels of insane jealousy - not a nice feeling, let me assure you. So as a measure to protect both myself and my friendships, I have had to conciously remain 'above board.' The last thing I want is for the whole world to think I like someone, work everyone up to a mad, feeding frenzy and then realise it's not true.

'The heart is an organ that burns with fire,' from the English Patient starring Ralph Fiennes, I must add, does not just relate to our own respective hearts and the passion we feel and experience but includes the passionate emotions of every single person on this planet. Emotions are a delicate matter. They run wild, feel fulfilled and yet can yearn for more all at the same time. Therefore, shouldn't we all treat one another's hearts with as much care as ours, if not more, and guard them zealously as we would our own? This does not just apply to people we think we 'like' or people who cause our hearts to 'flutter' but to everyone we know especially our brothers and sisters in Christ for we're bonded in a much deeper relationship with one another in Christ than we can ever forge with anyone else.

I'm not saying everyone should become celibate for celibacy is a gift, which some can accept and some do. Marriage is a beautiful relationship and also a gift from God, which sadly the world often 'drags through the mud,' degrading its value and intended intimate purpose. For me, the issue of marriage has fluctuated over the years, from wanting 12 kids (hey, I was into football at the time and adotion's always an option) to wanting to 'officially' celibate myself. But now I focus less on what I want - globe trotting and planting churches in the most rural and inhospitable corners of the world - but on what God has prepared/ is preparing/ knows what is best for me. He is mine and mine alone in the same way He looks at us as though there were only one of us. I might get married, I might not. Might have kids, might not. It doesn't matter to me for my deepest love will always be for Christ. He is the unchangeable in any relationship I can possibly have; God is first, always. It is right that the husband is the head and submission is not something I have a problem with, but he is the head in Christ - Christ is the centre of everything; He created everything and continues to sustain it.

I have given my heart to God and it is up to Him to give it to whoever He wants to and I believe that He will open my heart to love whoever He gives my heart to. And if He chooses to keep my heart for Himself, should I not be called blessed? Psalm 84:10a "Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere."

Hehehe.. will tell you something. Some time ago, Priss (or was it Jo?) asked me what I would do if God put a guy in front of me and told me he was my future husband. And it wasn't just any guy - a hairy guy - facial hair, chest hair.. you name it (the said hair factor was only given because I get a bit squimish about things like... hair). My jaw dropped to the floor while I half laughed - screamed in mock horror hysterics, more like it - and half 'struggled' for an (alternative) appropriate reaction. On one hand, I remembered Sarah who laughed when God told her she would have a child in her old age and in all truthfulness, that's what I'd probably do. But then I also remembered Hosea who followed God's command to take an adulterous wife. All I can say right now is that I pray God gives me the wisdom to deal with it as it comes.

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, the goodness that God has prepared for those, who wait on Him, to hear His voice, [He says] "I am the potter and you are the clay."
I am blessed cos I have had the opportunity (and still do) to be surrounded by some of the most gorgeously beautiful people I know. Cindy Crawford's curvy, Beyonce's 'bootylicious' and all the other supermodels are 'insert-any-other-term-used-to-describe-them-here' - but beauty comes from within - Aha! Have just been to visit my friend's photo page - awhh, everyone is all grown up! Make up, pretty clothes and more make up! I wonder if the metrosexual or new hunk or any other trend to encourage men to indulge more in exfoliation and facial care, ever stepped foot in Malaysia. Maybe the government banned it, wanting to keep their men, 'men'. And the last time I saw some of the peeps 'featured' was about two and a half years ago. A seemingly distant memory, although it can be jolted back to awareness in an instant. Time to ask myself... have I changed?

No, I haven't reached 5 foot - unless I wear heels, then I exceed it :)
No, I haven't got a job - cos I'm too busy trying to cram EU Law into my brain
No, I haven't reached size zero - I'm in shape; round is a shape
No, I still don't plan on getting married (arguably we can actually plan for it)

Yes, I'm not in the same place I used to be - and not just geographically
Yes, Jesus can mean more to me than ever before
Yes, I am hungering for more of the Bible in my life everyday
Yes, I'm eating balanced meals hehehehe...

#I could dance a thousand miles because of your great love# - Matt Redman

You've so got to listen to that - country music, barn yard dancing style! Makes me want to tie blue, white and red ribbons and balloons around my room, bake some brownies, throw in some hay and have some well placed, stuffed black and white toy cows and spotted turkeys around. I've got a violin - although I can't play it that well (understatement) and I can put my hair into pigtails for added effect.

Went to HWW with Priss to play monopoly with Adam and Philip - Simpson monopoly. I used Santa's Little Helper (Bart's dog) as my strategy piece and bought the Tire Yard. But that was only accomplished after having paid large sums to Adam for use of his Kwik-mart, Philip's Itchy, Scratchy and Poochy studio and Priss' Burns Manor. The crazy game of who can lose the most money by ten to eleven ie 10.50pm, was followed by Adam and Philip's analysis of the monopoly internal market, complete with mentally drawn graph imagery - constant, concave, convex... communism's dependency upon capitalism and debated on whether lack of external factors influencing monopoly meant that the wealth never increased. Maths hits me at every corner even as I try to elude it.

By the way, I saw my favourite giant german beer mug (the only I know of in existence anyway). Overwhelming. Cracked right down the middle and helf up with superglue but still persevering. Go mug.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Am now 'relaxing' with Matt Redman - Priss' CD music is blasting into my ear as loud as my drums can take it since a certain unreliable bit of self-owned technology failed to give me Virgin radio - and head is bobbing to de-stress, unstress, distress... did I tell you she gave me Hershey kisses????!!!??? The only Hershey shop I know of is down at Bond street so will go there one day after exams - cookies and cream... mmmmm. Tomorrow sees me back at my table - I'll be back there tonight actually - will be burning em midnight oil til the wee hours of the morning. See what I mean by crazed??? Met up with Maria today - she's this super bright, super smart, super hardworking friend who's in the same law tutorial as I am; knows all the answers (and more!) - and she was trying to bring me up to speed on European law, to which I had the pleasure of giving her an absolutely spaced-out face. Any more spaced out and a vacuum will exist. Hahahahahaha. By the way, she flew in two chunks of authentic, greek-made, feta cheese for me which I indulged in tonight with Jo and will be doing so again tomorrow. Ooooh, yummy.

Tomorrow night, a few peeps and I will be going to HWW (Holty, Wilson and Wicksteed) to hang out - funny how abbreviation's such a long word. My tongue's in a right twist. I wonder if there'll be any rich and thick chocolate milkshake in a giant-german-beer-mug, awaiting my presence *hint*.

#What can I give,
What can I bring,
What can I sing as an offering...#

Awhh, you're sharing in my head bobbing moments. I've become a fruitcake, that's what and I don't even like fruitcake. How do you think the book of Isaiah compares to Romans? I'm reading both simultaneously to find out!!!! *Scooby-Doo chuckle*

One tooth at the back lower jaw is starting to hurt lately - unconcealed nerve ending - time to drill but as an international student who aint working just yet - no NHS cover!!!! Argh. The joys of it all. I don't think it's worth paying about £50 to have one tooth filled so unless Pete drills or extracts it himself in his garden shed with either a drill or wrench respectively, while I play with Max, my tooth fairy will have to wait. Extracting won't be too bad actually. More room for my other teeth to move about and my wisdom teeth to (finally) come forward. The one thing to consider is that since it's a molar, it'll mean less chewing on straws, less crunching of large chunks of whatever, hmm?

Monday, April 19, 2004

Woke up at 9 today. NINE!!!!! And that's a.m not p.m, mind you. Actually woke up at 6 am but that's an absolutely nuts time to get up (no offence Priss) especially since I slept at 2 am the night before. Was listening to, as usual, Virgin radio whilst (sort of) dancing and reading my Bible at the same time - yes folks, I've officially become a Bible fruitcake. Had a proper breakfast, rather than brunch, drew the curtains opened and let the sunshine stream in. That's how serious I am about cracking down to work - I'm letting the sun take over. Opened my European law text books and extra books, divided it into four with blue bookmarks - for the four days I will take to accomplish reading it - and then the phone rang. Went over to Priss' and chatted til a bit before 12. Just before I left, she handed me a whole bag of Hershey's kisses (for my brithday) - ooooooooh. Screamed til she begged for mercy then started munching. Hershey's not very generous with his kisses, I don't think.

Right now, Jo's sitting next to me and we're going off in a bit to study and for me, lunch - beef stew and onion with toast - yup, I'm eating well. Can't think of anything else to write now cos' I've to harness my wild imagination in order to study. Who knows what will happen if I unleashed my excessive fantasies upon the world.
Schindler's List; two words - awesome (and I only managed to watch half of it). Kay, maybe not two words more two syllables, which can technically be separated to become two words... black and white with a little girl in red occasioanlly being shown running around. Jo said that I might come out of the cinema weepy but the impact's buried too deep for emotions. Would recommend it to everyone to watch - don't forget to bring along cinema snacks. Include a bar or two of chocolate, salted popcorn and coke. I only had a bar of Crunchie with me, which didn't last very long cos it doesn't melt well, hence the name crunch-y. Ele was SO nice to me today. Context: I was lounging around the kitchen, buttered toast in hand, as one usually does just before facing exams, wondering whether eating the said thing in my hand was good for my 'healthy diet' seeing I'd just eaten a fair portion of fried rice a few hours ago and dinner time was close at hand. All of a sudden, unprompted too, I must add, she said that I looked good.. hey hey hey. As usual, I stared at her absolutely clueless, the butter melting in my mouth. Then I got it.. heh heh heh.. cool. The healthy diet must be taking effect although I still only half believe her..

My 'new' diet comprises loads of protein, simply because I like it and not due to any one Mr. Atkin in particular and more 'vegetables' (like mushrooms and carrots and spuds - I don't consider them veggies cos they're not green and come to think of it, the mushroom is a fungus and the potato is a tuber so I'm not really eating any vegetables... ) and yogurt and dark chocolate (to keep the heart heathy - seriously - and young). An egg (or two) a day - I LOVE eggs - poached, soft-boiled, hard-boiled, sandwich, sunny side up, scrambled, omelette, with cheese, no cheese.. ahh, yummy. The egg was the first thing I learnt how to cook - even before instant noodles! What else? Loads of meat. Mince, steak, drumstick, roast, sirloin, rump, breast, the wings are actually only skin - very little meat so skip that - fish are rich in Omega-3 oils so get as much in as possible - even salmon, although I personally don't like them unless eaten fried/ grilled with lots lemon and sour cream. Kebab? No harm done and grab a duck if you can once in a while. Chinese aromatic crispy duck is by far the best way to go unless you go to a proper Chinese restaurant in Chinatown and get the Peking roast duck - oh yum!!!!

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Once again, I've been restlessly leafing through the pages of the Internet trying to satisfy some strange craving within me that I can't seem to let go. As you can see on the right, I have added several more sites and headed them so you can figure out which one you should go to :) Half contemplated promoting Malaysia as well, but then thought what better way to enjoy it than to go and experience it yourself. Just to let you know, I've asked my parents before hand (being efficient) and we can 'store' about 7 people at our place if you're interested; naturally this would mean sharing rooms, sleeping on the floor, in the living room, in the manggo tree... unless my parents decide to do some renovation during their leisure time or buy a new house. And what will a trip to see where Debbie was born and bred entail? I'll give a short description since I'm on the subject of home.

Shopping's GREAT (for those of you who know her, ask Caroline Speers to confirm) cos the GDP, GNP and other bla bla human geography stuff says it is. If you had extra cash, we could fly to Kuala Lumpur for more shopping, Kota Kinabalu for mountain climbing, Mulu for limestone cave trekking, Penang for noodles and Singapore for everything else. I come from Kuching (city), which is across the sea from the west bit of Malaysia, on a tiny island, (which we share with Indonesia and Brunei) where head hunters, blow pipes, loin clothed men in painted faces and cooking pots roam. Shopping's cheaper in West Malaysia because the import/ export people decided long ago that they didn't want to risk setting foot in Sarawak (state) where the rainforest is your back garden - or so I hope is still the case what with logging and everything. As a result, goods that get shipped over to Kuching have a higher tax rate. Food as always, is the best - there's no way it can compare to roast chicken or yorkshire pudding or roast beef - no way. Just thinking of it has set my stomach into a series a rumbles... And the best part in all this is... I'll get to drive! Just make sure your insurance covers manic turns and dips as we (try) get to our destination. #She'll be coming round the mountains...#

Reading my past few entries, I've been talking about home a bit too much. So change of topic... the batteries in my walkman went flat whilst I was listening to Virgin radio so now I'm slightly fidgity as there's no music to keep me calm except this tapping of my fingers, which I have to keep on keeping up lest I stop and my world comes crashing down because the systematic beat of life has disappeared. Ahhhh... I need to add a picture gallery somewhere, somehow. Thing is, I don't have a scanner on me and the one in the ROAR newsroom aint connected to this blog unless... brain is in a deep, thinking process so will leave the grey matter alone to figure out how to sway the situation to my advantage.

Am going off to get a chicken for Jo tonight and Priss too if she'll be around. So, keep up the faith and stay well.
My brain's about as clogged up as clogged up can get. Gemma came back last night to help out at the London marathon tomorrow - slowly the pack returns... By the way, randomly speaking, this is bad, but I'm relieved no one has seriously started studying as well (no one I've asked anyway) although from what I gather so far, I know my friend's boyfriend (that is, if they're still together) has probably rung up Japan to fire a whole bunch of constitutional questions. I'll probably get a tonnage of incessant outrage from my sis after she reads this - and she's my YOUNGER sister, mind you. Ahhh... whatever happened to respecting your elders? I seem to have lost some of the kiasuness of my culture, which is both bad and good.

Kiasuism is basically, hmmm... the fear of 'losing face' or being over shadowed by opponents, dishonoured or of lost of dignity, of position... bla bla bla. In fact, honour is taken so seriously that in some cases, people in the East who 'suffer' from this form of madness in the extreme would kill themselves, if for example, the stock market dips and they lose a couple thousand/ million dollars. Or in another case I've read of, a mother would kill her neighbour's son just because the victim was proved 'smarter' ie got into a better school than her own child. I personally don't think a bit of competitiveness ever hurt anyone if done within reason but this obsession of 'dishonour' within the Eastern community is starting to wear thin on me. I understand it, have been brought up with it but definitely know there's more to life than it. In the words of Pink, "LA told me, "You'll be a pop star, all you have to change is everything you are"" (double quotation).

As you can probably tell, my wires have successfully short-circuited and I'm half-inclined to just sit here and snort to myself in the PAWS room amidst conscientious people pouring over books, typing up dissertations and researching nothingness. Have been looking over various websites; from my secondary school's (dysfunctional) webpage to Silas' band (again) and finding out the who/ where/ how/ when Dover to Calais break I'm giving myself this summer (so far it's a tenner for a single ticket and I could rent a French cottage and I could go and giggle to myself there with no one bugging me). Would be helpful if I started learning French and how to swim (you never know) in the meantime. Should I go to Disneyland as well? Nah. Boring... the rides are all too big for me.

Rides. Hmmm.. was thinking of the water slides at Butlins, Skegness and the fact that I have not (seemingly) been able to get the chlorine smell out of my hair. Chronic. Fi, I think you'll like the slides though - they're worse than the ones Down Under. The dinghy ride made the Indianna Jones ride you forced me to get on look like something from Sesame Street - it didn't help as well that I couldn't shut my eyes or sing 'Jesus Loves Me This I Know', in the hope that 'someone up there' might hear me and I might get rescued from the 'torment' (plus there were no seatbelts!!!). There was this slide called the Space Bowl, which I know you would get on again and again - just to freak me out, thinking you might have gotten stuck halfway and was drowning - not my fault that I've got an extended collection of wild imagination. Then, there was this 'thing' called the Rapids which (seeing I had an almost two year lapse of proper swimming), seemed just a tad too fast but got the hang of it the second day when I realised the floor was 1.2 meters deep, meaning I could stand up if i wanted to if it got too much :) Fine!! I forgot that I could grab hold of the side but do you actually think through things like that when you panic???? Brrrr... I would so like to get into a Roman Bath right now - just relaaaaaax..... (sighs contentedly) that's the way to go. There was one on site but it was shut!!!! Argh!

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Saturday... my snoopy calendar says I should be jumping up and down singing #Night Fever! Night Fever#. However, considering that I jump up and down every other day, I should probably set Saturday aside to study. Woke up with Isaiah today and Virgin radio banging in the background - serves for interesting audio effects when trying to take in the woes of Israel and Judah. For those who don't know, Virgin radio is more:-

#It's a beautiful day#
#Girls don't like boys, girls like cars and money#
#Haven't you a heart worth breaking??!!!!# and
#High and dry#

and less of
#Unbreak my heart#
#Cry me a river# and
#Where do broken hearts go#

...if you get the picture... although it has to be said that my definitive music taste is still somewhat unsure as I enjoy #Can you feel the love tonight# (but maybe only because Elton John sang it and it was featured in the Lion King) and #You're one in a million# but then again, I like comedy and enjoy Sandra Bullock's antics.

Washed my hair - I feel the need to tell everyone when I do that because of the 'freedom from guck' feeling. The combination of refreshing tea tree and mint shampoo mixed with the tingling sensation of eucalyptus massage oil makes me feel like I'm 'walking on air'... how many more advertisement cliches can I fit in? Felt like having chocolate yesterday - don't I always? But guzzled down about a litre of water instead and added 30ml worth of laxatives for good effect (just to clear cupboard space). Will be going round to Bayswater sometime this or next week to an exquisite place called Khan's. Their lamb briyani (lamb curry and pilau rice) is to die for... oooooh. I have to go sample a 'live' example as will need to summon it up, provisionally, in about 2 weeks time (ahhh!)for a men's fellowship I'm hosting at mine, to have one last sit down proper dinner with the fellas to tell them about the Gospel. So far, my 'to do' list for that function includes buying cutlery... can you believe it, I've lasted my whole year at Stamford street with a spoon, a pair of chopsticks (one pair broke cos I was practising juggling with them) and three bowls - practice for when I become a missionary to some desolate place with no running water and cutlery made out of clay; cool, I'll be able to relive my 'Play-Dough(doh)' years... - flat sharing is amazing hehehe, so I figure it's time I pulled my weight especially since I'll be living out next year.

By the way, Jon, if you and Julian and the gang's reading this, we should fix up another Nandos date or come with me to Khan's.

If anyone knows where I can get a fairly-priced street Bible, do email me at debbie_claw@hotmail.com so I can go learn some street, have a laugh, a taste of Harlem and read the Bible at the same time :)

Friday, April 16, 2004

Whoever hits number 100 please give me a tag in the pigeonhole!!!

Cool. It seems like the webmaster has decided to write off the www part of my blog site so now (if anyone did figure that out) no more www. just get straight to the blog's name. Might have to send out another email telling everybody about it. On the 22nd of April, will get to change my sheets again - by the way, that's the same day as David Beckingham's birthday - no, not David Beckham and this has nothing to do with Beckingham Castle, home to Posh and Becks. I actually have a friend called Beckingham and I think that covered one of the first topics of conversation we had - his ultra cool surname.

Also, if you go to the London Zoo link under 'Go Mad!' and click on Eggsplorer, you'll be able to see half of the quiz I had to fill in. I can't believe they only showed that part on the link - maybe the rest was just to get kids going... I certainly did - got all huffed and puffed up drawing oryxes horns in and filling names in and circling the correct answers...

Handed in my article to Nat a few days ago. If only writing essays for Law could be this fun. I could just go on and on and on... I've agreed with my superego - being defined by Google as the division of the unconscious that is formed through the internalization of moral standards of parents and society, and that censors and restrains the ego (Freudian theory) - to allow you to have a taster of what I've written. The context is writing about my 'experience' as an international student - now, how many of us can claim that status (which I'm SO sure everybody pines for)?

"This is not to say however, that all international students prefer to be left alone to enjoy life in harebrained solitude – I happen to have sprung up from a mysterious breed of hermits and recluses, who find that twiddling toes on pivoting chairs in the computer labs on various campus sites provides ample entertainment for the year..."

The article is littered with sarcasm and surprise, surprise, I can DO sarcasm. I just cannot grasp the dehydrated British sense of it, especially when I'm on the receiving end.

And a toast, "To all hermits and recluses around the world. You share a balance with the world that cannot possibly be found in the cracks of society."

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Big, big, BIG "Thank you!!!" to Joanna for the amazing time I had last night. I knew she was gonna bring me to watch some sort of theatre production for my birthday present but had no idea which one. Started guessing even before we left the apartment. Imax, Phantom of the Opera, movie, the Passion.. just rattled of whatever came to mind until she got all worked up hehehehe - sorry Jo. We went to Floral Bertorelli for a giant pizza each at the cost of Sante - yes folks, the £15 voucher thingy is back on! But only til the end of April - or so they say, so grab your vouchers online and make your way to the nearest Bertorelli, Chez Gerard, Live Bait of Cafe Fish.

After the meal, walked towards Leicester Square and I started my random guessing again - even mentioned 'Angus Steak House' but then I decided to concentrate on theatre productions. From 'Les Miserables' to 'Mamma Mia' to 'We Will Rock You' and each time Joanna shook her head 'no'. Argh!!!! We stopped by Haagen Daz - the best ice-cream parlour in the world - and Jo asked me to pick. what a task! I had to show favouritism and cruelly picked Tiramisu and Cookies and cream over the Banofee, Bailey's cream and Irish something... oooooh... the pain. If any third years are still around for a while after exams, I'll treat you to a 'farewell' meal at Haagen Daz. You may even have sprinkles! Hah, what a treat! I usually dislike farewells immensely but Haagen Daz is too good to miss and I don;t think I'll cry that easily with an ice cream cone in hand.

We approached Picadilly Circus and by this time I was blurting out everything I saw - from Starbucks to Trocadero to the cinema. And then I saw the Criterion - jackpot! It was the Criterion!!!! Yay! We watched the Reduced Shakespeare play, which made me want to read Shakespeare, although Jo did add that that wasn't the main reason behind the play. I've watched the Tempest before on stage and musicals but this was more interactive and impromptu than any other piece of stage work I've ever seen. I've read about 6 of his 37 plays and now I want more! I've got a set of Shakespeare back home but I think it's more poem related rather than plays. Nonetheless, I'm gonna hoard up his unabridged work during the summer holidays; from Midsummer's Night Dream to 12th Night to the Taming of the Shrew. It would so help if Kenneth Branaugh (I've no idea how to spell his name) stars in every single one. He's gorrrrrgeous to star in Shakespeare productions and should remain there, I think.

We walked back home reciting (or trying to recite) sonnets we remembered namely, Sonnets 18 and 116 - 18 being one of Shakespeare's most famed sonnets and 116 being the poem recited by Kate Winslet in Sense and Sensibility - "Oh, Willoughby" - cry, weep, wail. We spent the rest of the night half watching some Steven Seagal movie, half-sharing a packet of instant chicken noodles and half-going through the list of actors we watched that night perform on stage, whilst airing our hoity-toity views about poems and English literature like My Last Duchess, Kubla Khan and Orthello - three halves of a whole :) We also discussed the mechanics and techniques of the Victorian century and Elizabethan writers and the relations between Shelley, Byron and Milton. Found a poem by Burns that I had rewritten in my own words and read bits of Christina Rossenti - Rossetti? Rosenti? no idea.. the marks of a genius at work... oh puh-leez. Taking the mick...

Classics and literature's amazing. So many structural concepts and deep, hidden agendas have to be brought up before a fairly decent take on it can be formed and before the tutor will give the all clear, thumbs up, congratulations, you've not failed, signal. My English Lit. tutor actually told me that in order to write a winning piece, I had to 'murder' the storyline, general overview, my own perceptions of characters and be ruthless in laying bare the inadequacies of the story. Then I had to piece it together according to the genre I was given. I remembered having to draft my piece on Much Ado About Nothing about five times in three days, adding external views, subtracting waffle and multiplying contextual evidence whilst dividing paragraphs accordingly before my tutor gave me the official nod to write my piece one last time for marking. To think I thought I left maths behind when I left high-school.

That was one reason I hated Physics, found Chemistry formulae a chore and despised Additional Maths. That aside, I enjoyed trying to scald myself with concentrated sulfuric acid, picking apart a toad in Biology and wondering if the teacher could figure out I had learnt how to sleep with my eyes open. Funnily enough, I used to want to do extremely scientific things - marine biology, neurosurgery, nuclear physicist. I then moved to the less sciency jockey (not disk jockey) and wildlife reporter before heading towards the more art-ish architechture, fashion designing, interior designing and eventually ended up doing what I'm doing now - law, although at the back of my mind journalism, writing and classical mythology remains very potent. But all's well that ends well, I'm going to go into full-time mission work (I'll probably be a tent-maker person to ease the financial burden on the church and for that, my reason of still being stuck in university).

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Went to Tesco, just. Spent a bit more than I would have done at Aldi but the 8p noodles and Tesco's dark chocolate made it all worthwhile. I actually contemplated sweeping the shelves clean of chicken flavoured instant noodles but figured other people wanted to eat too (doh). I also realised that if one looks hard enough, the price of minced beef drops dramatically after an hour or so. From 96p down to 49p per package. Needless to say I'm a slow shopper and take my time, reading nutrition labels, comparing prices, colour, bottle and what else not - every corner shop's worst nightmare... hehehehe. I decided to be 'healthy' today and even got vegetables although I have no idea when I'll be able to finish them seeing I don't like them in the first place. After shopping, I was met by a black, long-coated Great Dane at the exit so that made my day :)

My hypothetical plan of reminding myself to eat so that I'll automatically read the Bible has gone quite well, I'm pleased to say. It does help however, when one leaves the Bible open 24/7 on the table. You're bound to read it - even by accident - and once you start, it's hard to stop. Also if you have a giant pin-board, I suggest sticking up memory verses on sheets of coloured paper alongside other things of interest - for me, that would comprise Godiva, horses, Max (animals in general), poetry and random Christmas deco. For those of you who spend quite a bit of time in front of the mirror making yourself look pretty, have you ever considered sticking bits of the Bible around the mirror as part of your beauty regime? Bathroom door, window, ceiling... go mad!

By the way, what's it with me and this word 'efficiency' or 'efficient'? I got the end of it all throughout high-school and college with my teachers and friends. To me being efficient equals being organised, systematic and tidy. I'm none of the above although I try (it's so much easier to know that whatever I want is 'under that pile' of things rather than actually know where it is)! I remembered once at church camp, when people were grouped in groups of threes to pray for one another, my friend, Cheryl and I got grouped with another lady and she prayed, asking that I would be as hardworking as a bee cos my name means bee (paraphrasing). Yeah. I gave my friend a look of mock horror and she was stiffling her chortles cos my study pattern of cramming desperately at the last minute, panic, worry, spew all out in the exam and then forget what I studied afterwards has been a recognised and instituted way of life. By the way, all the (most) hardworking living creatures like the ant and the bee are puny - woo hoo! Another way to look at it though, is that they're all insects with six legs... hmmm.

Here's to lots of studying, reading, sunshine (although I personally stay as far away from it as possible - can't believe I used to live in the tropics) and looking forward to seeing you all soon -some today, some tomorrow, some next term and some next year!

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Finished writing my essay for King's Bench last night while going through various websites, filling in forum pages with dignified and articulate speech (hahahahahaha) and sending emails to everyone I needed to send emails to. Now that other 'distractions' have been put aside, I'm hoping that my conscience will start believing that exams are very much at hand and that if I do not study, I will be in deep trouble or soup. Speaking of soup, that's what I'll be having tonight. Will be going to Tesco and Aldi to buy my instant noodles (among other things) tomorrow seeing I'm doubtful they're open today. In order to decide what to eat tonight, I rummaged in my fridge, came across tomato soup, 3 onions, potatoes and a knob of butter. Mix that with some pasta and I'll get a fairly decent meal. Add a capsule or two of supplementary multivitamins and my body will have the needed nutrients for the day.

Alas, today is the day the McCheyneers finish reading Proverbs. At first glance, King Lemuel's epilogue on the Wife of noble character holds many, many, many (too many... hehehehe) instructions for Godly wives. She spins, she sews, she plants, trades and stays awake throughout the watches of the night... oh dearie me. David Sanford writes,

"...this passage of Scripture, like the rest of Proverbs, was written originally as a challenge to men. It's all too easy for guys to read Proverbs 31:10-31 rather flippantly - "Wow, if only I had a wife like this!" - without stopping to notice what these verses say about this woman's rather remarkable husband."

Hehehehehehe... (rolling on the floor now)... hahahahahaha.. not being mean or anything but I find (too) many things funny. It's a rather long article so I don't think I should post it up here but to all McCheyneers, look out for it tomorrow. Tried to send it off today but got a 'you have sent too many emails during a 24-hour period' message in return, To think, I set up this blog to avoid that...

Not many serious thought in my head I wish to share today. More frivolous - like wondering when Adam's gonna take me to see the horses *hint* and where Joanna's gonna bring me tomorrow for my belated birthday 'celebration' *hint again* and the least important question of all, how to blast this pimple on my face to kingdom come!

Monday, April 12, 2004

IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!

Happy Birthday to me... eeeyyyaaaa! Kay, what did I do today? Text messages!! yipee-doo-dah (Priss, we still NEED to go to that Kowloon bakery in Chinatown one day). Took a nice, long, hot shower and after a tuna sandwich with loads of mayo and cash card in hand, waved Seneka goodbye and went off to the zoo. Took the bus to Oxford circus and trod on foot, up Portland Place and through Regent's Park. I've only been there 3 times. The first was last year when I wanted to go to the zoo for my birthday (but got stood up so didn't go in), the second was when the youth group at All Souls threw me a farewell party/ Sarah's birthday and the third time was today. I have no idea what Regent's Park looks like in the winter, but in the summer, it's so pretty. Fountains, loud coloured pansies and dogs!!!! All over the place.

Finally got to London Zoo after I stood in line for about 45 minutes. Student price of £11 paid and armed with a map, I confronted... the zoo. Got lost. Being me, the map didn't make any sense what-so-ever. I stood at the entrance holding it sideways, flat out and even upside down. Still couldn't figure out which route to take. Wanted to go to the feline silhouette but didn't know how to so figured I'd do the old-fashion thing and see everything. The first animal I saw was the giraffe. Nice, nice, nice. Second was the Okapi, then the Bongo, then I took the river walk and stopped in front of the oryxes at which point, Carly texted me. I think I spent a good amount of time with these stark white antelope. Until one started to mount the other... oh dear. Hogs, camels - I asked after the camel rides but unfortunately, they don't do them anymore due to lack of staff (I don't mind helping out...), hippos, sleeping lions, red-faced, red butt monkeys, gorillas, petting farm... even the reptilian section. But I'll tell you what happened there after I tell you something else.

The zoo, due to Easter, was holding get this, an "Eggs-plorer" competition where you have to run round the zoo filling in this form about various different animals after which, if you fill it correctly, you get a prize. I walked by the information counter and was handed one competition quiz, to which I enquired if it were only for kids. The lady in charge of the flyers sort of giggled (there are SUCH nice people in the world!) and said, "Well, we'll count you as one then." Yipeeee! I was off! And that made my second trip round the zoo. Pen in hand I filled in all the blanks and drew all the necessary pictures into the space given before arriving at the first clue on the trail. All that was, except "Name three animals that start with 'S' at the petting farm." In my head, I got sheep and squirrel but couldn't think of a third so decided to go there once again. Sheep were there but no squirrel and no other animal I could see that began with 'S.' I decided to put down she-ken (chicken) for fun to see if the lady would accept it then got hit by a brainwave. Hunted round for a goat, made sure it was female, then wrote down 'she-goat' - Bingo! Couldn't put down she-cow or she-llama or she-rabbit so wandered around for a bit until I arrived at the pet care corner where I found my number three - spider. Yay!

So now, what of my reptilian adventure? First things first, I did not manage to hold a snake because there was none available to hold. But I did force myself to go through the doors into the exhibit. This was worse than a horror movie. Closed one eye so that my vision would blur and I wouldn't be able to see the snakes clearly but to my surprise, they were all coiled up sleeping... not all of them though. The pace was slow and everyone wanted to crowd round to look at the sleeping creatures. My fists were curled into balls, wondering if anyone would suddenly crash the glass, grab hold of one and throw it at me. Also, it didn't help that although only 12% of the snake population in the world is venomous, London Zoo had decided to house that very 12% and more. Wonderful. As I said, the pace was slow and I found muself having to log behind this family whose passion was very obviously legless reptiles. There was this noisy little boy in that family who kept on asking "Where are the snakes? I can't see them" to which I thought "Thank goodness." But after a while, his excitement wore off on me and I started to have this secret competition with him in my head to see who could spy the snake first. On one hand I thought, "I don't want to see it" but on the other hand, "I can see it and you can't hehehehe." Becasue the snakes were sleeping, I got to look at them more closely - the barrier helped loads. I thought the boa constrictor's skin looked like splotches of mud - which reminded me of Skegness. And the "ooohs" and "aaahs" of people around me about everything from skin colour and texture to how they stretched their heads and necks out with surprising ease even thought they had no obvious bone structure made me stand back and think a bit more. My bit of McCheyne today included Proverbs 30:18-19;

"There are three things that are too amazing for me,
four that I do not understand:
the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a snake on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a maiden"

Too amazing? I guess it is as wondrous as the giraffe's amazing heart which can pump blood steadily up to its brain and down when it bends to drink, without causing the giraffe cardiac and pulmonary failure of any kind.

I've written so much but there's one last bit. On the way out, I bought myself a zebra shaped balloon. A BIG zebra shaped balloon. Collected sweet, chewy fruity pastilles and Kit Kat freebies on the way out as well. Happily trotted back across Regent's Park and down to Oxford Circus with my balloon in one hand, a stick of chewy sweet in the other and a badge, proudly pinned to my jumper reading "Eggs-plored London Zoo". Caught a few smiles and out-right laughs and one wee boy told his dad "Look, the zebra ran away!" People can go walk their dogs all day for all I care but I was in my own glassy-eyed bubble world with my zebra. Was tempted to do a Roger Carswell though - going up to people and asking "Who created the zebra?" to get a conversation started but I thought the better of it. Now my zebra's flying next to my bed and hopefully tonight will bring flying zebra dreams.
My poem for Nat.. written whilst swinging non-sensically in my chair...

Life's Legalities

The points in Law that are so fine,
Are usually those that remind,
That life and law go hand in hand,
For without one can the other stand?

We contract a mouse,
To build our house,
Then lock it away,
When it demands more pay.

We constitute rights,
And put up a fight,
But at the end of the day,
Who's left to say?

And when the fat cat,
Escapes the old vat,
Is he hunted down,
To pay that last pound?

The Euro is big,
The Euro is strong,
Are we really willing,
To give it the throne?

On television, child abuse,
Yet nations readily blow their fuse,
"Quit spanking!" cries the street,
Would you rather that or them to cheat?

So you see, law ain't all about the Courts,
It's a lifestyle paid and bought,
And if we don't use it wisely,
We're just wasting our money.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Got this of my sis' blog so firgured might as well have a go...

1: Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, find line 4. Write down what it says.
"...appendage present on the surface of the donor..."

2: Stretch your left arm out as far as you can. What do you touch first?
The wall.

3: What is the last thing you watched on TV?
ITV London News.

4: WITHOUT LOOKING, guess what the time is:
4.15?

5: Now look at the clock, what is the actual time?:
4:17 - I'm a genius :)

6: With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
The ventilator.

7: When did you last step outside? What were you doing?:
This afternoon on the way here.

8: Before you came to this website, what did you look at?:
Immediately before? My sister's blog.

9: What are you wearing?:
What I put on this morning.

10: Did you dream last night?:
Yes. A black mamba (snake) bit me on my arm and I told my sister, "Cool, I'm finally going to die."

11: When did you last laugh?:
This morning.

12: What is on the walls of the room you are in?:
The usual... "In case of a personal attack please activate the alarm by pressing..."

13: What book are you currently reading?:
The Bible and European Law (two different books - doh)

14: What is the last book you finished?:
Disciplines of a Godly Woman.

16: If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy first?:
A kebab.

17: Tell me something about you that I don't know:
What do you not know?

18: If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would it be?
If I had the power to change, I'd have the power to control and as it is, I don't think I want to.

19: Do you like to dance?
Absolutely.

20: What is the last thing you ate or drank?
A fry up of 3 bangers, fried egg sunny side up, two pieces of French toast and water.

21: Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?
Hahahahaha.. no not that.. ahh.. uhhh... well, you did say imagine... it depends on the surname. Probably a name off the Bible... or not.

22: Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him?
Likewise, lets have a look at the surname first. But for argument's sake, let's say I adopt as a single parent. Hey, that'll solve everything cos he'll already have a name!

23: Would you ever consider living abroad?
I'm already doing that.
Happy Easter everybody. This is a day to rejoice and be glad for "He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification." (Romans 4:25).

I've watched Ever After; the Cinderella story (starring Drew Barrymore) about as many times as I've watched the Lion King... t'was on again last night on ITV2. That movie is just works so well - castles, four-post beds you can get lost in, thick drapes and tapestry framing never-ending glass windows (and blocking out the sun's vicious rays at the same time), horses, the vast countryside... just call me a hopeless-romantic, country-bumpkin. I much prefer the more traditional genres like Cinderella rather than, let's say, the city-style While You Were Sleeping (and mind you, I DO like the latter as well).

Speaking of movies, I was watching Beauty and the Beast (special edition) with Olly, Joe, Tara and Charlotte the night we got back from Word Alive - another fantastic movie(cartoon). Gaston (the baddie) is not a charater you would love to hate (as you're supposed to with most rugged-looking baddies), you just hate him (to put it in literary terms as we should not really 'hate' anyone). When the Beast first appeared at the top of the steps leading into the drawing room where Maurice, Belle's father was sitting, he was on all fours. Oh wow. Makes me think of a savage creature lurking in the darkness, muscles rippling under a sheen of fur, ready to ravage his prey - yummy. Oh animals and nature - that's way up the list for me. Once, while I was in the Isle of Wight doing my Geography coursework, a random guy and his dog walked by. I instinctively jumped up from my seat and pressed my button-nose against the window. My friend Theo, hooted some comment about me looking at the guy to which I gave him an unquestionably blank look.

I fell in love with Mongolia's countryside through television when I saw a dark-skinned native ride, first a wild horse over the flat plains and then proceeded to rope up a camel and ride it unsaddled. Fell again, this time for Montana and the boundless Montana sky in particular, when I read The Horse Whisperer and have always been passionate about everything in Africa. Was never a big fan of Aussie though, as 7 out of the 9 deadliest snakes in the world find their habitat there. I went to this Aussie Wildback show at the Taronga Zoo once in Sydney, and when everyone had left the arena, plucked off as much sheep's wool I could possibly get my hands on from the wiring and brought it back with me to Malaysia. I gave some to my friend as what I thought would be the best birthday present ever but the aghast look on her face told me that perhaps I was the only one mad enough to enjoy the smell.

Martin emailed me yesterday, saying we might go hacking in a few weeks time. I can't wait!!! If my exams are over by then, it'll be soooo cool. Aaaahhhhhhh!!!!!!

Am currently writing another article (and poem) for King's Bench due in a week's time. Wonder what I should go on about this time...

Will be going to the zoo tomorrow :)

Saturday, April 10, 2004

The weird conversation in the tag box is between my (sibling) rival and I. Constant banter. Never saying what we really say, never meaning what we really mean - I think some call that sarcasm. The thing is the Brits' sarcasm is so dry that I can't get it whereas Asian sarcasm is less subtle so it's easier to catch. Even so, it took me quite some time to take in this 'new' form of communication and as a result, my IRC chat name was {^bLuR^}.

Right now I feel like my muscles and bones are all wound up like a spring. Feels a bit tight - might have to start cracking some of em old bones again. The foot bone's connected to the leg bone... *Crraaack*. Bend from your waist straight down and touch your toes... *CCRRAACCK* ahhh.. that felt good. This is what I call the indignities of the human body... it keeps reality in check; "a Romeo with piles" as written in DeBerniere's Captain Correlli's Mandolin, a book I had to masticate, digest and extract during my second year of A-levels and which incidentally, was written by my Geography teacher's wife's friend.

I have resolved not to let Saturday pass by without referring albeit painfully, to my European Law textbook and to swallow a pinch of Craig and DeBurca wisdom with in. The problem with reading books such as Disciplines of a Godly Woman or my 'Wonderdog' book as I personally call it, is that you remember it. It gets stuck in your head and refuses to budge... like a giant roast turkey refuses to be shifted from within the crevasses of your love-handles, in the words of Pete Chilvers, "Trust me, I know." On top of that, the Holy Spirit within causes you to act on what you've read and understood - probbing at your conscience, stroking up a wave of desire to actively pursue Godly discipline.

So here I will end and tomorrow wish you all Happy Easter.
The news I get from home can often blow me straight off my feet. But then, there's that whole I'm small but I'm heavy debate, so will I actually be blown off my feet? So, to rattle of a few home-grown updates. Maclean (my spiritual mentor in Christ) and his wife Sue (also my friend) are expecting! Jaw drops open. Wow. A soul has been created. Even angels can't do that! To think, when I next go home, I will be confronted by several new faces and will be therein bestowed the title 'Aunty'. Aunty Deborah, Aunty Debbie, Aunty Debooo... in any case, hands up, I'll be first in line to baby-sit!

Silas and Grace are going to ding-dong-bell April 24th, 2004. I bought them a toaster-oven way back in July 2003 when I was visiting my sister in Singapore so hopefully, since it's never been used, the warranty period wouldn't have gone 'kaput'. I remembered having to travel back over the border from Singapore to Malaysia with this huge toaster oven under my arm, hoping the custom guards would fail to notice. I purposely put my hair in plaits that day in order to look less grown-up so they wouldn't question me. With hindsight, plaits would have made me stand out but the guards didn't probe into the contents of my luggage.

Owen might be coming to GKT next year to do medicine! This is great! I can introduce him to Obi and Sarah and Deanee and Toya everyone else doing Medic. Wow. The world is getting smaller... wheeeeeeeee.....
And I'm still waiting for my laundry... I think it's great that there's a place I can just leave my clothes do stuff in the meantime and collect them later. So far I've completed everything on my list except actually getting down to th nitty-gritty of studying and will, with God-given motivation and restless strength, start tonight. Have had dinner at about 6 - first and last meal of the day (and I didn't wake up late... was trying out my food theory as previously revealed).

A few friends and I are taking up the McCheyne Bible reading plan and so far, am absolutely loving it. I know Bible reading is hard. Never used to like it unless it had something to do with the lions' den, Noah's ark or the dragons and beasts in Revelations. I became a Christian at 8 but only started going to the Bible myself (not including Sunday school) to read 'other bits' besides the stories of Adam and Eve, Moses, Samson and Delilah, and Esther at 12. I started really reading and exploring it at 14 - loads happened when I was 14 - but that was almost 6 years after I first became a Christian - the notion that kids are excused from reading the Bible counts for nonsense. My favourite 'serious' sections the Bible come from the Psalms and they have secured my faith in God over and over again. At 10, I developed major panic attacks that were to haunt me for many years to come and although I still get them occasionally, I trust in God's hand to rescue me and am no longer fearful. I couldn't go anywhere without a member of the family following me. I bribed my sister with coke-cola sweets to look out for me and to recite breathing instructions to calm me down - needless to say I didn't trust good triumphing over evil when it came to sibling rivalry one bit. When I was at my lowest and most desperate one night because I didn't even dare step out of the house to go to the supermarket with the rest of the family, my mom introduced me to Psalm 103, which amazingly, holds some of the words of one of the songs sang at Springharvest this year.

"As high as the Heavens are above the Earth,
So great is the measure of Your great love,
As far as the East is from the West,
So far have You taken our sins from us"

For some strangely fulfilling reason, I feel I've entered a new phase in life in singing those words. The first time I read them I was clinging desperately on to God and no one understood the turmoil that rocked inside me. Now as I sing the words back to Him, I am assured in His promise that He keeps holding on and will continue to do amazing things in my life.

It's been almost 10 years since my first taste of God's Word in a more 'serious' form which filled me completely. I suppose it's easier to forget to read or to acknowledge or to find time to digest and think about His words spoken to us in the busy schedule we all have when everything is going the 'right' way. A friend of mine once told me that he was praying for persecution to spread to churches all around the world so that people would turn and return to God.

I have to go get laundry now but hopefully we'll all encourage one another to read more of God's Word as the days and months and years go by.

Friday, April 09, 2004

Happy Good Friday all.

Am currently waiting for my laundry so decided to pop round to wish everyone well. Heard a poem on the radio about Jesus. Not sure what counts as blasphemy in secular terms (there's a case relating to that in Strict Liabiblity in Criminal law) but personally, it 'cut to the heart' (using Acts 2:37 as part of my monologue). On the other hand however, to say that Jesus died so we could have designer cars and that He lives in the supermarket is so stupid that it's no wonder God laughs and scorns at the wicked (Psalm 2:4) and one day we will rejoice at His great power and absolute justice.

My parents finally contacted me today via email. My uncle had a Christian funeral the same day he passed away and a number of people from around the village area and surrounding towns who knew him came. I heard he accepted Christ a week ago (instead of two) and was baptised the next day. Hopefully, even through death, many will come to know Christ and be saved, including his own family. My cousins are only 10 and 7 years old respectively and to lose a dad at such a young age would naturally have a big impact on their lives especially on the son.

Well, am off to transfer my laundry from the washer to the dryer. Will probably pen down a few more bits and bobs when I get back. Today the 'to do' list says clean room, study, laundry, eat and email a few peeps. I'm testing out a hypothetical theory that if I have to remind myself to eat, I'll automatically read the Bible. A reversal of the physical and spiritual. Got the idea off Holty when he emailed the McCheyne-ers and with reference to Job, he said and I quote,

" "I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food." (Job 23:12)

...on reflection, when was the last time I unintentionally went for a day without food? I don't think I ever have. When was the last time I went through a day without having read my Bible...I can remember many such days."

So for a laugh, I'm going to start reminding myself to eat lunch and what else not so that my mind will constantly focus on reading God's word. Tricky, but it might work.
My self-written songs and poems are usually personal and find their place either on my bedroom wall, pinboard or in a file but today I sang this song to Jesse on the coach cos he managed to persuade me to and together we figured out a second verse from Psalm 62 (which I have not written down in this bit). It's a simple song, one verse, one chorus, one bridge so bear with me.

Cliche
Many people say,
"I love you" is a cliche,
That it aint original,
I guess they're too cynical...

Ch:
Cliche or no cliche,
I will say it anyway,
All my life, everywhere,
I love you.
(repeat ch)

Bridge:
Jesus, Saviour,
Best friend, brother,
No matter what the world
Thinks of me,
I will bless You,
Father, Creator,
And forever will say,
I forever will say.
I had every intention to burst forth with news of Word Alive. Don't get me wrong, it was amazing. However, I've just received news today that my uncle passed away whilst I was still at Skegness, hence the bittersweet feeling in my gut. In the bridge of a song, sang at Word Alive,

"You give and take away,
You give and take away,
My heart will choose to say,
LORD, blessed be Your name."

How easy it is to take the simple pleasures in life for granted yet how hard it is to let go. I have loved every moment at Word Alive 2004 and will certainly go next year. Anyone reading this, I'll look forward to seeing you next year and we can go dunking in the Skegness sea - beautiful! The caravans, the sun, sea, wind, gob-smacking swimming pool, freezing cold air, hot blackcurrent juice and Lauren's amazing parsnip chips - I used to dislike them as much as peas - made it all the more enjoyable. Not forgetting though, to mention the surprise party a crazy, crazy bunch of people held for me. A public thank you to you all. I know I've told a few people this but initially I thought the party was for Adam, who happened to me piggy-backing me at that point in time. Who was to know that the act of chilvary was merely an attempt to stop me from entering the caravan where creepy crawlies were gathering to spring out on me - in a nice way obviously. In fact, even when everyone shouted 'SURPRISE', I was thinking that I should get off Adam's back and let him enjoy his party...

Jude, the doggy poster you picked was and is perfect and I look forward to putting it up in a place of honour in my new house next year - next to the giant lion poster I have. If the lion will lie down next to lamb, then do you think it'll do so with the dog? But that's taking the Bible out of context so forget my foolishness and thank you, for, as Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 11:1, you're all doing that already - thank you Priss for infiltrating that little piece of God-breathed scripture into my system. It's amazing, quoting scripture and filling the soul with the Word of God. Indeed, it is better and sweeter than honey to the lips - although I don't like honey that much.

I also realised today (after returning from Skegness) that the Vaughn Roberts who taught bible leading and Ezekiel during Word Alive is the same Vaughn Roberts who wrote True Worship. Simple to read, easy to understand and small enough to bring everywhere - college, the station, chippy, water-closet... ahh, I might 'hunt' him down next year... meaning I'll be on that coach going to Skegness. Who will go with me :) ???

I can go on and on about all the exciting things that happened at Word Alive; the mad dunking in the sea, my experience for the first time EVER on water slides and rides that exceeded 6 feet tall - I was standing in line shivering out of sheer fright and getting angry at myself at the same time for being scared. In the end, the only reason I went down the slide was because I was about to cry in public (which is something I just won't do). But now, I'm looking forward to going back and maybe in the meantime, I should take some panic-control lessons so I won't have a panic attack in the water if the floor suddenly slips away from beneath my feet. The erratic water-heater, the meeting of new friends, the glorious mud and the many piggy back rides I got all added to the absolutely manic time I had; forget the camel at London Zoo, bring on the oinkies! - but what I chose to take away with me as most cherished was hey, His Word's alive.

Who's hungry for God's word? I certainly am. When you can't sleep at night, the best thing to do is take out your Bible and read God's word and not just because reading bits of Leviticus might send you off to bed. Hunger for it, long for it, breathe it in, for it is not merely an investment in knowledge and wisdom, it is the very word of God living in you, in me. Read Genesis and wonder if we are not too far off from the disobedient nation, Ezekiel; the adulturous bride, Jonah; the Holy Spirit's messenger. Hear God's voice booming in Job, putting all men's claims to shame and Jesus' anguished cries in Gethsemene and Golgatha. Does the Word of God not pierce through to your inmost being? Don't you desire to know more? Not just to learn more but in reading God's word, to experience God revealing Himself to you. Awesome.

Will be sending my clothes off to the laundry tomorrow and will have to begin my serious study for exams are coming up soon. Will post a bit more tomorrow but for tonight, this is Bambi (as Megan calls me) signing off, wishing everyone joy and peace and love.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

The (hourly) countdown to Word Alive has begun... I've finished stuffing all my necessary (much needed) possessions into two bags and a guitar sits contentedly in the third with the usual exceptions; alarm clock, bible, carrots... Went down to Tesco today to stock up on more chicken instant noodles but surprise, surprise, none to be found. Even asked the store manager to go check in the store house orr where ever they hide away their extra stash and he said there were none left. Maybe everyone read my blog then ran to Tesco in a mad rush... I wish.

I've decided to objectify my phobia as ophidio(singular noun) and ophidia(plural), respectively in order to help me distance myself emotionally from them. Somehow when I say ophidio, my mind tunes in to science and biology and cancels out emotional elements in my head. Science versus the arts. Contemplated turning to one of those 'I-can-cure-your-phobia' people but then figured I don't trust them enough. And it helps that the word to describe the pattern on most ophidia, reticulated, is also the same word used to describe the pattern on giraffes. Using specific names rather than ambiguous generalisations helps me focus on the stats rather than the emotional aspect of it. For example, if one says 'Bumese python' I'm fine with it 'cos I'm thinking of the Burmese cat at the back of my head - furry, blue eyed feline - so I don't feel too bad. As you can probably tell, I'm just trying to link everything to other animals to 'introduce' the ophidio as just another animal group. I'm also trying to concentrate on different aspects of it at any one time rather than the whole picture eg: the eyes. or one scale at the time. Just one scale - not a patch, not two or three but one piece at a time. like observing my own skin. If I look really close, it doesn't quite look like polished marble.

I needed the Bible to remind me that as unbelievable and horrific as it sounds to me, God created the ophidio and He saw that it was good (before the Fall that is). The word 'serpent' also sounds less threatening than the other S-word. Maybe 'cos when I think of serpent, I think of dragon and I like dragons. They rank the same as unicorns, dinosaurs and the saber-tooth tiger. Speaking of which, apparently another large sauropod has been found. Sauropods include the Diplodocus, Brontosaurus, Brachiosaurus and Supersaurus. It seems like T-Rex has been outsixed by the new Spinosaurus as well as the largest predatort dinosaur. Everything used to be so big...

The one thing that has hit me so far in my 'training' of self-control bringing the irrational down to earth to the rational, in the matter of the ophidio, is that my brain has had the weirdest dreams of late. I know I usually dream illogical thoughts ie merging the Titanic, Transformers and a rubber ducky together but this time round, every seems to have lost its rule of law - and I don't mean that in legal jargon. Rather, the laws of physics and science and behaviour patterns of the people I know in real life don't match up in my dreams anymore, leaving me frustrated and restless when I wake up.

I've also experienced bad, bad stomach cramps (something I get when served large amounts of stress) the past week and constant heaviness in my head, like the prelude and aftermath of a migraine for some time now. Weird. Maybe it's all in my head but it sure is manifesting itself physically.

Friday, April 02, 2004

Not a 'good' day today - haircut aside that is. In an attempt to ready myself for when I confront those S-things in the zoo, have been going through Google to search out S-phobias and tried looking (objectively) at S-pictures. So far, yeah, have been crying for the past three hours and will probably cry for the next three as well. Stupid, real stupid. I have no idea how I'm going to do this.