Edinburgh for CNY

Written by Shuyi aka Lavender at 9:01 pm

I am writing this before my blog switches back to real time, to be publish later, because I want to put my memories down in words when it’s still fresh. You know, as age is catching up, my memory often fails me…

It’s Chinese New Year and it’s my first time not being home celebrating with my family. It sucks being in England for CNY because, besides being away from my family, you can’t find any CNY atmosphere here unless you travel all the way to London Chinatown.

Well, when life gives me lemon (hard and dry ones) I try to make lemonade even if the lemon offers few drops of lemon juice. So, for CNY, I’ve decided to visit my cousin and his wife in Edinburgh, Scotland. I was delighted that they would take me in when I asked! Thank you so much!!! :-D

So on the bus I hopped and conquered the 9-hours journey to Edinburgh to spend CNY with some family.


Why did I use the word conquered? Let me tell you…

Things did not went well for me… I planned to catch the first bus to London from Hatfield which will take me to Buckingham Palace Road but I missed it by a few seconds. The bus came when I was about 10 steps away from the bus stop and it didn’t stop because there’s no one to flag it at the bus stop. And the driver just ignored me when I flagged it to stop when I was just 10 steps away, hulling a luggage and running towards it.

Luckily I’ve got Plan B. I called a cab to take me to Hatfield station and took a train to London.


What a bad start! What does a girl need to do to enjoy a decent CNY?!

Maybe it’s because I did not have my breakfast… But to get it I first had to travel from London Kings Cross to Victoria Station via Underground. From Victoria Station I had to walk a short distance to get to Victoria Coach Station. Somewhere in between I stopped by Pret A Manger for a proper breakfast to make my day better.


The yummy-licious, super smooth, ultra-rich, cursed beverage – Mango Juice.

There absolutely nothing wrong with the juice. Every wrong is on me! *slap self* I was recovering from a cough and once I had this I almost coughed my lungs out, again.

Anyway, then it was the 9-hour journey to Edinburgh. Eh, 9 hours very tiring one ok! Although I almost slept through the whole journey.

When I’m not sleeping I do the next best thing to do to let time pass by – cam-whore!


Cam-whore means that there’s more than one picture so…


Ok, that’s it… I know I look like s**t.

After 9 hours I finally arrive at Edinburgh Bus Station. It was about 6.30 in the evening and it was drizzling.

I think my cousin was waiting for me at Waverly Bridge because I thought I could hop off there and I told him I would. It turned out that the bus doesn’t not make stops at Waverly Bridge and so I walked out of the bus station to meet him half way.

Once out I saw a Louise Vuitton Shop right next to the entrance and I later found out that I was on the High Street of Edinburgh.

We headed straight for his friend’s house for dinner. I had a splendid Chinese New Year’s Eve where there seemed to be endless supply of food, especially the dumplings, and it ended with games and chicken soup back at my cousin’s place. Oh, and cough syrup. haha~

Hmm… the title of this post should be renamed as My Journey to Edinburgh. But I’ll just put a photo of Edinburgh to make it up instead.


The tall tower-like building on the left is the Scott Monument, a famous landmark of Edinburgh. The slope on its right is the Princes Garden. In the garden there’s a sign which introduces the Scott Monument. It says –

Edinburgh in 287 steps

The Scott Monument is built to commemorate Sir Walter Scott, one of Scotland’s greatest novelist. Scott’s novels includes Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, The Heart of Midlothian and Waverly.

The Monument is 200 feet and 6 inches (61.1 meters) high and there are 287 steps to the top.

The climb through the internal stairways is in four stages, with 360 degree viewing galleries on each levels.

The galleries provide unrivalled panoramic views on Edinburgh historic Old and New Towns.

One level is home to the Museum room where you can sit and discover more about Sir Walter Scott and the architecture of the monument.

9th February 2011

Chinese New Year 2011

Written by Shuyi aka Lavender at 1:08 am

Okay now… let me continue with my long overdue updates.

I assume that it is common knowledge that Chinese New Year is a big occasion for Chinese. The big fuss begins with a top-to-toe house cleaning before the occasion and stocking up packet/canned drinks and mandarin oranges.

Then the reunion dinner where the whole family sit down and feast together. This, to me, is the essence of Chinese New Year.

Beyond the decorations and merry songs that welcomes a new year, the essence of it is the simple act of being together. As work clogs up your life and bogs down communication with loved ones while life itself take people onto different paths, this special time of the year brings people back together, reminding us of what is important so that we don’t loose ourselves in the hussle and bussle of hectic city life.

And therefore CNY is a golden opportunity, absolutely-not-to-be-missed occasion, a time so precious that without the need to pen in down on the annual calendar, nearing that time of the year your heart automatically tells you that it’s time… to go home.

The saddest thing that happened to me this year is not being able to return home for CNY and I’m stuck in UK instead when my heart has flown across the dessert and the seas away from the cold and cheerless room of mine. :cry:

The only place that you can have a little taste of the coming of CNY is in Chinatown, London.


Chinese lanterns are up and the shops are selling festive sweet and cookies. But that’s about it…

Feels kind of hollow if you know what I mean…

I know this post is like hanging somewhere in the middle but it is getting depressing so I guess I’ll just end here.

8th December 2011

So Random

Written by Shuyi aka Lavender at 6:29 pm

I was bored, sitting in front of my computer having nothing in mind. Wanted to search on something interesting to read up on but couldn’t think of any. Then, while thinking to myself that I want something random, I typed ‘random’ and Google-ed it. And I found this page which contains random facts.

It was certainly entertaining and really random. So random that I don’t think anyone has ever thought about them.

Did you know that -

President Kennedy was the fastest random speaker in the world with upwards of 350 words per minute.

and that -

In the average lifetime, a person will walk the equivalent of 5 times around the equator.

How about this? -

In the early days of the telephone, operators would pick up a call and use the phrase, “Well, are you there?”. It wasn’t until 1895 that someone suggested answering the phone with the phrase “number please?”


According to suicide statistics, Monday is the favored day for self-destruction.

Talk about Monday blues…

And also, did you know that -

The Eisenhower interstate system requires that one mile in every five must be straight. These straight sections are usable as airstrips in times of war or other emergencies.


It is believed that Shakespeare was 46 around the time that the King James Version of the Bible was written. In Psalms 46, the 46th word from the first word is shake and the 46th word from the last word is spear.

Is it just me? I find it fascinating!!! Who would go check out stuff like these??

Oh, this one is yucky yet very interesting -

The first known contraceptive was crocodile dung, used by Egyptians in 2000 B.C.

How?? Maybe I’ll look this up later…

And there’s more -

When you die your hair still grows for a couple of months.

Each of the suits on a deck of cards represents the four major pillars of the economy in the middle ages: heart represented the Church, spades represented the military, clubs represented agriculture, and diamonds represented the merchant class.

The Main Library at Indiana University sinks over an inch every year because when it was built, engineers failed to take into account the weight of all the books that would occupy the building.

Must be a lot of books. Are they saving the books before it sinks with the library? Or will they find a way to turn it into a underground library one day?

The sound of E.T. walking was made by someone squishing her hands in jelly.

So that’s how it’s made!!!

1 in 5,000 north Atlantic lobsters are born bright blue.

So rare, they must be beautiful. Don’t eat the lobster if it’s blue! Keep it as a pet.

There are 10 human body parts that are only 3 letters long (eye hip arm leg ear toe jaw rib lip gum).

The king of hearts is the only king without a moustache.

Mario, of Super Mario Bros. fame, appeared in the 1981 arcade game, Donkey Kong. His original name was Jumpman, but was changed to Mario to honor the Nintendo of America’s landlord, Mario Segali.

Luckily they changed the name. Super Mario sounds so much better than Jumpman…

There are more than 1,700 references to gems and precious stones in the King James translation of the Bible.

Who actually take note of this??! :-?

Mary Stuart became Queen of Scotland when she was only six days old.

I don’t know who Mary Stuart is but Queen when she’s six days old!!? Poor baby, so much responsibilities at such a young age…

Flying from London to New York by Concord, due to the time zones crossed, you can arrive 2 hours before you leave.

Dentists have recommended that a toothbrush be kept at least 6 feet (2 m) away from a toilet to avoid airborne particles resulting from the flush.

Yucks! I am so following that advice!

You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching TV.

Go to sleep people if you want to loose weight! lol…

The citrus soda 7-UP was created in 1929; “7″ was selected because the original containers were 7 ounces. “UP” indicated the direction of the bubbles.

So that’s why it’s named 7-UP…

Canadian researchers have found that Einstein’s brain was 15% wider than normal.

No wonder he’s so smart.

The fist product to have a bar code was Wrigleys gum.

The word “nerd” was first coined by Dr. Seuss in “If I Ran the Zoo.”

Haha… Everyone use the word ‘nerd’ so much but I never thought of how or where it came from.

The roar that we hear when we place a seashell next to our ear is not the ocean, but rather the sound of blood surging through the veins in the ear. Any cup-shaped object placed over the ear produces the same effect.

Hmm… listening to a sea shell is not so eerie fairy now…

Clans of long ago that wanted to get rid of unwanted people without killing them used to burn their houses down — hence the expression “to get fired”

Now we know why people say ‘you’re fired!’

The plastic things on the end of shoelaces are called aglets.

I know now and I’m going to try and remember it.

The earliest recorded case of a man giving up smoking was on April 5, 1679, when Johan Katsu, Sheriff of Turku, Finland, wrote in his diary “I quit smoking tobacco.” He died one month later.

So much for ‘live longer/healthier when you quit smoking’. Not very encouraging for smokers to wants to quit…

“Goodbye” came from “God bye” which came from “God be with you.”

I didn’t know ‘good bye’ is so meaningful… I’m going to say more ‘good byes’ from now on…

These are only some I find interesting. There are more on the page itself. :-D