Saturday, 29 March 2014
1. Time is of the essence, feeling much like a pressure cooker - especially for the next couple of weeks, so sorry for the lack of updates!
2. R's arriving from London tomorrow morning and I'm stoked ^^
3. The smell of rain is invigorating
4. Ginseng makes research papers so much more bearable
5. We'll weather the weather // Whatever the weather // Whether we like it or not.
Peace out till later.
Wednesday, 19 March 2014
Located North West of Central London, Regent's park is practically just a stone's throw away from my backdoor ♥ I've previously visited the park during winter so click here if you want some winter scenery, but come summer the park blossoms into an array of colours enveloped in a beautiful golden tinge. The abundance of summer sunshine gives it such an extreme makeover, I didn't know seasonal transitions could be so gorgeous!
Regent's Park is one of the Royal Parks of London and spans across the the London Borough of Camden and the City of Westminster - within which houses the London Zoo and Regent's University London. In the vicinity lies Primrose Hill, great place for a view of the city and stroll about in its tranquility; and you can definitely spot out the unique dome-shaped London Central Mosque in the skyline. In winter, activities are limited because of the buildup of snow (but of course snow fights are still permitted! And I saw a group playing football in the bitter cold) but come summer and the park comes alive with activities from tennis to ultimate frisbee, to lively children playgrounds and boating in the main lake - the latter of which I dearly miss being able to do. Or you could pop by the Garden cafe for a slow morning brunch.
I've walked around the park umpteen times but one of the little joys I never fail to engage in is duck watching. There's just that magical feeling of just gazing at them enjoying the peaceful surroundings and feeling so much in their element without bothering about us passerbys. Snapped these quick pictures with Ana when we walking through Regent's to get to Baker street - and it was just a lot of fun being silly cawing at them....and observing their puzzled responses. They are extremely graceful in the waters and are such a joy to watch!
What I love about Regent's that sets it apart from the other Royal parks is that it is a 166 hectares open parkland with different sections that you can never tire of wandering about. It consists of 2 circles, and the inner circle surrounds the charming Queen Mary's Gardens, an Open air theatre, the Italian gardens and English gardens. There are many quiet spots around the park to just laze and soak in the summer sun, or just to bum around with a good book and some quiet time - things I truly miss doing with such great weather! It is way too hot to do these outdoors in Singapore, and especially so with the hazy situation we are currently facing.
The nearest tube station would be either Regent's Park, Baker street or the Great Portland street, as they serve respective entrances to the park. This would definitely be somewhere I would visit again should I return back to London in the future, hopefully this coming December :) Ciao!
Wednesday, 12 March 2014
A great big world - Already home
It's no secret that when he's away, I'll always make a tiny wish that he would be back sooner: I wish you were home. And I woke up this morning with a recording R sent - which he sang and played with his guitar, and I was so touched that it brought tears to my eyes :') I've been feeling down this whole week because of the tons of deadlines crashing upon me, and it's always nice to have day brighteners like this! A long distance relationship is hard and many times, I wished that he was by my side to just let me bury my head into his shoulders and let everything else fade away, but these little joys makes it so, so worthwhile. Couldn't resist uploading this (not like he reads this anyway, missing all my dedications boohoo), all credits to R, thank you, 19 days to you being home ♥
You say love is what you put into it
You say that I'm losing my will
Don't you know that you're all that I think about?
You make up a half of the whole
You say that it's hard to commit to it
You say that it's hard standing still
Don't you know that I spend all my nights
Counting backwards the days 'til I'm home?
If only New York wasn't so far away
I promise the city won't get in our way
When you're scared and alone,
Just know I'm already home.
Tuesday, 11 March 2014
Took a weekend escapade down to Bali in January 2014 during term time with my closest friends from all my 4 years in college, and it was a good trip ♥ Just a 2.5 hour flight on Airasia, we were transported into an entirely different island and greeted with a beautiful myriad of colours in the sky whilst we were still on board - I remember inching from my seat against the window to catch a fuller view.
We didn't really do much in Bali, except to relax, eat, drink and make merry in the enjoyment of each other's company (and also mishaps/dimensionally good times on the second evening), unwinding before the bouts of stressful deadlines come crashing on us. Bali is perfect for the easy-going traveller, with beaches peppered over the island, spas, massage services and even a happening nightlife at Kuta. But of course, for the adventurous, there's always water sports like parasailing and jetskiing available, or volcano trekking around active volcanoes of Mount Agung and Mount Batur. We were taking it slow this trip so while the boys surfed at Legian beach, the rest of us girls were lazing on beach chairs whilst enjoying the sea breeze. There were mobile massage, manicure and braiding services available - a shoulder massage cost us about 180baht for 3 people (so about 60baht = SGD2 per person) and while it was a pretty decent price, they didn't compromise on the pressure. Braiding cost about 25baht for 3 strands, but none of us did it.
Here are some visuals from my iPhone:
I think Jimbaran bay was one of the highlights of the trip, it's a peaceful beach which houses a stretch of restaurants and about a 45 minute car ride from Kuta. Like typical tze char (Chinese stir fry ala carte), you order dishes and can even opt to choose seafood cooked in different ways, the food wasn't fantastic (even though it was by far the best tasting roasted nut I have ever tasted) but the ambience was pretty mesmerizing - with the red table cloths blowing with the wind and wooden chairs on the beach screaming romance. Our table also had an unobstructed view of the sunset....of which was later ruined by my realization that the tiny specks along the beach weren't pebbles but rubbish strewn all over the sand. It was a lovely dinner nonetheless, and they had travelling bands wandering about asking for dedications. The meal was about 450baht per person, slightly extravagant but it was quite a feast and even included starter soups and fruit. The 3 group picture credits all goes to Xiner's wonderful camera.
The last day was spent wandering about the streets and pampering ourselves with massages, food and drinks. Already missing such carefree times, and definitely going to remember all the unspoken cherished memories for life - looking forward to our next trip together and they're all definitely a constant in my life in this safe box *winks for private joke* ♥
Sunday, 9 March 2014
My heart goes out to all the passengers and their families of the flight MH370 that was bound for Beijing from Kualua Lumpur. It was supposed to have reached its destination yesterday at CST 6:30am, but has been missing ever since. Life is indeed extremely fragile and unpredictable, but I'm heartened to see how many countries are chipping in to help! God bless them and all the efforts in trying to track them all down ♥
Friday, 7 March 2014
As a district in the heart of London between Drury Lane and St. Martin's Lane, Covent garden reminds me of one of the many European piazzas, the town square that is bustling with never-ending activities and splendor. And true enough, the place never fails these expectations - especially so on a sunny summer day.
Walking along the cobbled streets near the Apple market, you'll catch glimpses of the Covent garden market's former glory days, with the snapshots of old times being frozen onto brass plates nailed into the walls of the various wings. Since 1835, the market became the cultural landmark and heart of the city, especially so for the fruit and vegetable section in the Central square. Now, these have been revamped and modernized into popular shopping belts and iconic luxury boutiques in the North, with open spaces dedicated to street performers in the South. Since 1907, the Covent Garden tube station on the Piccadilly line has been faithfully serving the markets.
Nearby buildings are occupied by landmarks such as the Royal Opera House, the London transport museum and St. Paul's church. These are all worth checking out (especially the majestic St. Paul's church!), and the Covent garden square and market. The Apple market holds many handmade treats, such as the likes of independent label phone covers and jewelry. Even if you're no luxury shopper like myself, it's quite an experience to just walk around and busk in the merry spirit of the district - in summer, many of the Brits were perched on the sideways enjoying the sunshine.
There's almost a street entertainer at every corner pulling in the crowds, and even if you can't see them you'll still be drawn in by the crowd cheers! I've read somewhere they perform at scheduled time slots at designated areas such as the South hall courtyard, North Hall and the West Piazza. They're quite a joy to watch and many of them are really talented, with their respective skills and injection of British humour into their interactive performances. At the end of which, they'll usually pass around a hat for tips, giving a pound will be nice.
St. Paul's covent garden (or fondly known as Actors' Church) encompasses an intimate interior that houses only about 300 visitors, a small number compared to the main churches in Europe. It is tightly linked to the theatrical community of London, and many memorial plaques are hung around to pay tribute to many respected members of the community. Strolling into the blossoming courtyard, I stumbled upon a wind orchestra performance and was delighted to have sat in for a walk-in afternoon concert. (St. Martin in the fields at Trafalgar square also has such concerts, would be great to check them out)
The Apple market is a Neo-classical building from the 1800s and now sells handmade artsy goods.
Sunny days in London are quite a sight, even in summer - love how it busks everything in gold, such a contrast with the blue winter days! Ciao ♥