Carter’s Steam Fair

Hi, long time no see. Just a mini update – hopefully the intervals between posts get shorter!

During the summer, there was a vintage-y fair that came to town, called Carter’s Steam Fair. They set up shop in Royal Victoria Park and was there over the course of a week. Drawn in by the posters, I had to take a look and brought my camera along to capture the bright colours – enjoy!

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Till next time (preferable sooner rather than later),

Cheryl

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Carter’s Steam Fair

Melancholic Stuff Ahead – Beware!

It’s not easy to be the one leaving, nor is it to be the one left behind.

I’m talking about friendships. More specifically, when students leave their home country, traveling hundreds sometimes thousands of miles to seek education abroad. We leave behind family, friends and the sense of familiarity.

Yes, there are things like Skype and FaceTime which makes the distance in-between seem that much smaller. You get to see their faces in real time, hearing them laugh along with you as you relay the embarrassing moments of you living out your new life in a new place, learning the ropes as you go along. But when the Internet lags or when your video call crashes, you sigh inwardly as you get reminded of how you’re here and they’re there.

Things like Facebook and Instagram are amazing tools to bridge the gap between people. It’s heartwarming to see pictures of so-and-so’s birthday celebration or to see so-and-so’s new dog/cat. I honestly love seeing (and hearing) of how my friends are doing and seeing them get ever so closer to achieving their goals and dreams. However, sometimes it pains me a little inside when I can’t be there to bring a friend out on her special day or to give a much needed hug when tragedy strikes.

Looking back after finishing my first year of university, it’s safe to say that whilst the people back home have changed (some slightly, for others – a whole lot), I myself have also changed. We’re all growing up, constantly fitting and molding into our own different characters. And that’s not always a bad thing. The tiny pinch of seeing your friends from home live out their lives from a distance is equalized with the joy of making new friendships and experiencing different cultures.

It’s not healthy to be constantly focused on the bad and neglect the good.

I’m feeling all sorts of melancholic tonight and this is the result of it! Maybe one day I’ll expand on this a little more, maybe not. I decided to just write my feelings out, no plans of what direction it would lead to.

Some days I feel like mushing all of my old and new friends together and giving them a big hug and never leaving that comfort zone.
Some days I’m glad that I’ve ventured out onto new pastures and I feel a tiny bit braver than I did the day before.

Either way, I love the friends I have both then and now and appreciate the time we all have together even more.

Whee, I didn’t expect that to come out! Did you?

That is all, I feel satisfied. Goodnight and I will write again soon, I promise. heh.

Melancholic Stuff Ahead – Beware!

Updates!

Hi you! Yes, you lovely person. Let’s sit down for a cup of tea/hot chocolate/coffee and have a little catch-up, shall we?

EASTER
Easter came and went. It was a nice time to relax amidst the preparation for exams (which are actually happening now, heh). Another major plus was that the sun finally showed itself in its bright blazing glory. I think we had a solid week of good weather which felt lovely. Being a first-timer in experiencing Britain’s seasons, I couldn’t quite catch how gloomy and dreary the days were in winter until spring rolled around and brought the sun with it. Spent a fair amount of time basking in the sun and playing frisbee 🙂

A couple of friends swung by Bath to visit as well, so here are a few shots I got throughout the weekend!
Tried Shakshuka at The Jazz Cafe for the first time and it was delish!
Brought them to the Roman Baths and we got to attend a snippet of an evening service in the Bath Abbey.
 
Was craving some bagel action so I brought them to The Whole Bagel! We were all first-time customers and left feeling quite satisfied.
(I can’t remember what I got – possibly the pulled pork? Both of my friends got the smoked salmon.)

 

We also popped by Jacob’s Coffee House & got cakes and scones to share amongst ourselves. 
 
Brought them to The Circus and The Royal Crescent – the usual tourist haunts! 🙂
Stumbled upon the Botanical Gardens near Royal Victoria Park and we thought we’ll have a look around….
 
 
Before leaving, those two got me a sneaky Lush gift! So blessed with the friends that I have D;

 

The clock is now showing 2:43am; time for bed! Plenty of exciting things (at least to me) to come on this space – keep an eye out for them soon!

And thanks for sticking around till the end, you da best.

 
No really, you DA best. 
 
Okay I’ll stop now.
 
Cheryl 
Updates!

The Jotter – Writing

Hiiiiiii. 

Let me explain my history with writing. I’ve always been writing something of some sort – be it journals, essays, stories or a pretend wildlife magazine that I would produce for myself to read (true story). This by no means imply that I’m a good writer; only that its a hobby that I’m very familiar with and enjoy doing.


The following suggestions came in a sudden burst of inspiration in the middle of the night (as they usually do) and I thought that I would share them with you. Hopefully, they’ll help you in any form of writing that you’re in!


 source


1. Write When You’re Inspired

There will be moments when your mind just lights up with a flow of creativity or ideas – do not let those moments merely pass by. We’re only human after all and we tend to forget things. Be sure to note things and ideas down, on your phone or jotter.Don’t filter anything out as well! Make little bullet points; you can form proper sentences later when you do your actual writing. This prevents you from hitting a writer’s block further on and creating a merely average piece.


2.Brainstorm

Writing isn’t always like how they show it in the movies – no one creates a great piece of work by just writing page after page for hours (cue time lapse scene). Sometimes, you have to set aside time to connect the dots. Brainstorming helps you to link ideas and to create a writing plan later on. I would usually come up with ideas first, filter through them and arrange them to form a plan that would best suit the flow of my writing.  

3. Don’t Force Yourself

Writer’s block is a real thing and can induce panic when you’re rushing to meet a deadline. When you’re stuck on an unfinished paragraph, sometimes the best thing to do for the moment is to distract yourself for a while. Writing is like flexing a mental muscle; if you’re out of practice and flex it for too long, you’ll get a cramp. Take a break for 15 minutes; make a mug cake (like this one here), watch some tv and come back to your writing. I realize that this isn’t always an option (you can’t really walk out to grab a cup of tea in the middle of an exam) but if you have the luxury of doing so, then I would recommend it. 

4. Set Up Your Writing Space

When you’re in the flow of writing, you don’t want to constantly interrupt your thoughts by having to get up and grab something that you need. Keep everything that you’ll need around you – pens, notebooks, a cup of tea. Make your writing space conducive for you! One of the things that I find helpful when I write is listening to instrumental music. This has been a lifesaver on many occasions, especially in essay writing or studying.

Here are some playlists that I would recommend:


That’s all that I have for now. Have a happy Easter and stay inspired 🙂

Cheryl x
The Jotter – Writing

Inter-Semester Break ’15

After the January exams, we had a week off from university before the start of Semester 2. A week free to do whatever we wanted. Or do nothing at all. 


Whoop whoop!

I was really happy when I finished my last paper. I vaguely remember me just sitting in bed, catching up on shows and books that very night. After a few days of bumming around and ignoring morning alarms, I started my plan for the week.

warning: this is going to be a lengthy post.


#1: London

My last visit to London was with my mom, and we had just enough time to go around and do the usual tourist-y things. This round though, I was with a friend who lives in London (and I therefore deemed her as the resident expert). Because of this, I was somewhat determined to go to the less popular spots. 


On the first day, we visited Camden Market. Camden Town seemed to have a very urban and artistic vibe, with large and outlandish shop decorations dotting the streets and walls, graffiti colouring the alleys…you get the picture. There certainly wasn’t a lack of people in the market. Small seating areas were provided, however you’d have to watch out for the constant flock of birds circling the place. I had to keep a wary eye out for them lest they steal my delicious meal.


The entrance!

An overview of the market.

Top to bottom: My Swedish meatballs, with mash and lingonberry jam (just like Ikea’s!). The lady who served this was very chatty and friendly. Middle photo was a salmon wrap, with salad and bulgur wheat. The last photo was a bourbon-smoked burger (I forgot what the sides were, sorry!).

I think I can speak on behalf of my friends and say that it was all very satisfying to our tummies.


 These few photos were actually from Camden Stables Market, which was a short walk away and seemed to have much more variety in food. Will stop by here the next time!



Afterwards, we took a leisurely stroll to Primrose Hill which was nearby. It was an easy climb and it was lovely to just gaze at the London skyline while overlooking the park. 

PS: All the ‘models’ in the shots were random strangers.

Next stop was Chinatown. We had dinner there (no pictures of it, heh!) and walked about in Central London – Soho, Leicester Square, Covent Garden. 

We also watched Wicked that night. Beforehand, I wasn’t too keen on watching it but oh my, did it blow my mind. Defying Gravity was stuck in my head for days after! Highly recommended. 

Day 2 started off with a late, wet morning. We went to Borough Market for brunch and mmm, the smells wafting around was tantalizing. I had my first ever paella and it was scrumptious! I preferred Borough Market over Camden Market in terms of food as I felt it had more variety and also spanned a bigger area. The problematic birds, however, was present in both places. 

As the sky was still pouring down with rain, we headed off to the Natural History Museum. There were lots of interesting exhibits to look around, with the focus mainly on the theme of biology. 

While we had a short space of time left before dinner, we walked to the Science Museum which was nearby. Some of the exhibits there were interactive, which made it really engaging and interesting. If only we had more time to spend there 😦

Dinner was at Gold Mine in Bayswater, where their roast duck was rumoured to be among (if not) the best. Verdict? It was mouth-wateringly delicious. My cravings are now satisfied! Om nom nom.

#2: Wales
After the trip to London, I went to Wales for a student getaway with my church. It was a little tiring to be traveling so often within a short space of time, but it was well worth it. The teachings were focused on 2 Peter. I felt really happy to finish studying a book of the Bible early on in the year and this has only left me craving for more 🙂 The getaway was definitely a great time to unwind and make new friends, as well as delve deeper into the Word. 

We had a bit of free time during the second day, so we caught a train to Barry Island!

sorry for the lack of good photos

So, yeah. That concludes my ISB. Is it bad that I’ve already mentally listed my plans for next year’s? 😉

All in all, thanks for sticking with me thus far and may Semester 2 be good to us all. Grateful to God for the many amazing opportunities that He’s provided for me 🙂

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11 
Take care and till next time,

Cheryl



Inter-Semester Break ’15

Stacking The Shelves


Hi guys! I’m going to jump right in about Stacking The Shelves. It’s a book-related meme that is about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves. (Learn about it here: http://www.tyngasreviews.com/2012/05/staking-shelves-official-launch.html). If you know me, you know that I do love my books 🙂

Here’s the books that I’ve gotten throughout the past two months or so:

After watching the last Hobbit film, I really didn’t want to let the series go. I grew up with LOTR and The Hobbit, and seeing the whole series end made me feel as if my childhood had ended together with it 😦 So to satisfy my Middle Earth cravings, I bought The Hobbit off Amazon. As you do.




A random buy at a bookshop, just because it was the Christmas season. Mini review: It started off really well. As I read further on, some parts felt like it was going nowhere. Towards the end, it got a little questionable. Three stars out of five. 

Have yet to see the movie, but am quite excited to read the book. Bought this at a charity shop for a pound. Score!


I remember this as the first book that I bought in the UK. Which happened because I was really attracted to the cover. (Yes, I’m superficial like that, sorry.)  I quite like this book. It looks like the usual light chick lit / YA novel, but it actually goes slightly deeper than the superficial. I even felt a bit choked up at one point (which is a rarity). Four out of five, I’d say. 


Agatha Christie. Enough said.


I heard a lot of good reviews about this book so when I saw the 3 books for 10-pounds deal on Amazon, it was a no-brainer.


….I just really like Jane Austen okay? 

Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

Similarly like The Night Circus, people seem to rave about Jenny Colgan so I thought I might see what all the fuss is about.


Kind of an impulse buy, but the blurb at the back sounded promising, so.. (Three ladies. One tea room. Need I say more?)



I’m familiar with Adriana’s work, and have enjoyed her books thus far. Hopefully this will be another good read!


Another random buy. I needed a dose of action, coupled with a strong heroine. 

A fun buy at Oxfam!

With impossible-to-get-wrong recipes.

And dessert-related quotes to boot! 🙂


Phew, that was a long one. What books have you gotten recently? Let me know so that I can go on the hunt for more!

Oh, and happy new year! (throws imaginary confetti and glitter around)

Take care and till next time,

Cheryl

ps: I got too lazy to switch the text to align on the left as per the top of this post. but hey, the middle alignment always looks good right? no? okay, i’ll take my leave now byeeeeee.



Stacking The Shelves

Major Updates!

Hiiiiiiiiiii. It’s been months, yes? Sorry about that. (As if there’s anyone reading to say sorry to, lol.)

Have been meaning to update you for ages but certain life events that happened the past few months have dampened and prevented me from doing so. It has been a roller-coaster of life-changing ups and downs, but now I think the curve’s coming round to a stretch. I’ve found my footing now and it’s time for you to be in the loop.

This post, by the way, is aimed to friends who want to know what’s been going on for the past few months or so. (Why not family? Well, they’re already in on it thanks to our family Whatsapp group which by the way is very vibrant). So for those who are clueless, what happened more than a month ago?


I uprooted myself from comfy Malaysia to the little, quaint city of Bath, UK.

Me, who only ever flew on a plane to Singapore. Which gives me a running total flight time of 45 minutes x 2.

I flew out to bustling country of England. 13,000+ kilometers. 14+ hours. With a crying toddler in front of me.

But hey, I made it! Not only that, I also survived Freshers’ Week (not that I did anything as much as the others).

Thoughts?

Definitely have had some Expectation vs Reality clashes here and there, but all in all I feel very contented and blessed to be where I am now. 

I love the historic look of the city; cobbled stones and all. I like how there’s so much history contained here – in the people who lived in this place long ago, the cultures which influenced the architecture.. the list goes on. I like how there’s a slight crowd during the weekends but never enough to make you feel claustrophobic. Some people feed off the buzz of bustling London. Similarly, I thrive on the quiet, more muted hum of Bath.


Goodbye for now,

Cheryl

 

Major Updates!