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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

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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.

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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.

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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

Let It Snow!

Written by Shuyi aka Lavender at 8:28 pm

In December, it snowed!

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It’s not my first experience with snow.

My first experience is during my very first overseas trip back in my primary school days. My family and I went to Seattle, USA, then to Canada. It was early spring and sometimes it still snow a little. But very very little…

A trip up the Whistler Mountain, Canada, was the very first time that I get to play with real snow. I remember me and my brothers begging my parents to let us learn how to ski but Dad said we didn’t have enough time. Or was it too expensive??

Anyhow, my brothers and I were so fascinated with the snow that we tried to smuggle some down the mountain. We rolled them onto snow balls, carried it all the way down in the cable car. It was until we reached our rented car that we gave up and deserted our snow balls because they started to melt. haha… silly us!

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Although this is not my first time experiencing snow it is nonetheless a new experience because I didn’t have to deal with snow that much in the past. Now that I’m staying in England, when it snowed, I’ll have to make sure I have the right shoes on, the right clothes on etc etc…

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Snow snow snow! There’s snow everywhere! When it first snowed, it was so bad that lots of roads were closed causing serious  delay or cancellation of the public transportation system. Be it by car, bus or train.

Besides that, another major problem is clothing. Lots of layering and other essentials like ear muff –

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Boy, I couldn’t imagine how am I going to survive the winter without these furry comfy babes. Trust me, having this make a whole lot of difference!

The next thing that comes in handy is a pair of wellington boots!

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See my black and white wellies??

It waterproof so you won’t have to worry about snow melting on your shoes and it gives you a nice grip so that you don’t slip and fall on the icy snow.

I like my Wellies a lot but too bad, I’ve only worn them for less than 5 times and there’s no way I’m bringing them back to Malaysia so I’m still thinking of a way to deal with them.

Another nice item to have during winter is this –

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I have no idea what to call this. Furry indoor boots/socks???

Anyway, no matter what it’s called, this kept my feet warm and cozy during the coldest days in winter. As a bonus, I think it is really cute! Love the furry balls hanging on the side!

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Ok, back to the snow. It may be pretty, fun and all when the snow is still fresh and the scenery can be very breathtaking.

The downside of all this is the nightmare that comes along when the snow starts to melt and turn into yucky mud-like ice. The streets become dirty, slippery and wet and the sight of dirty snow is not pleasant at all!

I guess it a love-hate relationship with snow. You like when it’s new, fresh and fun to play with. But when it stays for too long, you start to feel fed up with it and things turn ugly. After all that, if it start to snow again you’ll still feel the thrill and wonder of it as if it’s something new and magical!

Anyway, that’s just how I feel about snow. ^^

23rd May 2011

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