Saturday, December 27, 2008

My Blueberry Nights

Been back to HK for a bit more than a week, Christmas slipped away swiftly.
I was determined to work on my essay, in fact, I am still trying to finish the incomprehensible readings.  My parents were not at home today, instead of staying at home alone, I wandered off to Cyberport Starbucks, walked along the quiet bit of the park after buying the drink. Reading outdoor in mild weather, under the cloudy sky is really nice and appropriate. Even though there isn't the usual Starbucks Jazz music, but the sound of the birds singing replaced the stony silence, my only worry was whether I would be hit by birds dropping hark. 
Went down to the park as I lose concentration, the park was full of dogs from other places on public holidays. Bumped into some friendly dogs from HKDR, and Lui Lui. Lui Lui's "mum" told me to go over to her place later on, to get some blueberry cheesecake she made! Haven't had good blueberry cheesecakes for a long time. 

Also wanna mention the great variety of Cyberport Park n'shop. There's everything you imagine, it's like being in UK. They probably "sync" the stuff from Waitrose, there's even eggnog, vegemite, marmite, AND hallomi cheese! lol. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My edinburgh love

I always wanted to go home sooner, but now, I feel very nostalgic! Which is expected.
I am going to miss this place and the people, and I am not even really leaving yet, it's like a preview of graduation. I love my coursemate, most of them are like genuine people from little village, some have pretty eyes, some walk really fast, some do really funny crits, most of them are really caring....

When we're sick of design, we order takeaway together and pretend the studio is the restaurant; we stood against the cold in Paris, and survived the year under Cary. We cook together to celebrate when crit's are over...

and it's not only my classmate, but also the place, the peaceful medieval city versus the grandiose Georgian town. People are generally sweet, the Starbucks people, the German Shepard that needs a wheel(chair), the old woman with her 9 month dog, Jane who i shadowed in Charlotte Square....

Why are people here so good, am I illusioned? 
I am shattered
Me and my memories are shattered.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Critical Hours of the morning

I'm in Starbucks again, like yesterday.
"I really love this CD, i wanna get this CD!" said one of the girl. ME TOO
9 am, Starbucks, the SAME people here as yesterday!!!! exactly the same people, I even know their names now.
3 American girls, on exchange, studying Vet here, one of the nicest girl is called Bethany. And an old man reading academic paper.
Their american accent is too strong... 
Yesterday they gave out free gingerbread cookies. I must revise now. I can't wait till it's over

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


In memory of Martin, that made math so much less dreadful (still dreadful, but less), especially comparing to oh gosh Ming in First year! Most of my really dear friends happen to be in this class as well!

Randomly thinking about LPC these days, I guess partly cuz I am speaking with contagious Holing often, so my procrastination centres around LPC memories. Maybe we should visit during winter break. and have Genki Sushi. Apart from the good and unique experience in LPC, some of the things I remember most vividly, are all the escapes we made, even though to terrible Sunshine City for Park n'shop sushi, omg, Leanne! I really wanna go back for some Cultural Evening, maybe in the coming semester. We need to think about how to get there though, as Holing and I both thought that the journey "back" to LPC on Sundays are really really dreadful! 

It's snowing outside. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Early Christmas Dinner

Just got back from a really amazing dinner, it's so nice that now that design project is over, we can just get together and talk about random things in life. There are things about my good friends that I don't even know before. e.g. Christina volunteered in Swaziland the past summer, teaching street kids about equality and women rights etc. It's so interesting.
I didn't eat any main course at all during the dinner, because I felt really sick, because of various reasons, so i just had the soup. I threw up after having the soup, but then felt perfectly fine afterwards, i almost fainted... hark, totally abnormal.  The gift exchange part was amazing. Can't believe that we are all parting in 2009, and then there's only 6 months left in 2010.... I really love my friends here, I think my university experience, in many aspects had been so amazing. 


Herring, Rye bread, egg dip
Tomato Lentil Soup

Main Course
Moussaka (Greek National Dish)
Big Salad

Minced Pies
Chocolate Fondue
Homemade Gingerbread

Homemade Mulled Wine

Gifts Exchange

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The 15th Crit in my life

Today, is the final crit of the only project of our year! I must report it as you have all helped me to select the project I have been working on this semester. 
Me being the secretary for the class as usual lol// Debs Josephine Kent and Maoshan fooling around in the back of a formal crit as usual

Brief: A Youth Centre for the Leith Community (which is kinda like a more deprived area in Edinburgh), the site consists of a listed building, that used to be a Citadel > North Leith Train Station > Pub etc. It is a real project, but has stopped as the client refused to fund it at some point this year, however, they are coming in to see our exhibition, and might take inspirations from our work lol. Part of the existing building is being refurbish at the moment, and the real architect in charge also came to our crit today! 
Proposition: I guess one big thing I learnt through doing this project is the beauty of simplicity. A great proposition don't necessary require complexity! Sometimes simple projects could be very elegant and powerful. =) 
Groupmates: Also really lucky to have great groupmates, a group consist of the really strong students in class, allow us all to maintain a certain level and strive for better. I also gave all my groupmates wonderful Chinese name! 
Shona Black 黑素娜, Ruth Acheson A烏乎, Laura Barr 巴羅拉, Laura Norton 羅羅拉, Megan Barbour 巴孖筋, Ben Watson 屈神笨, Georgi Radev 嘩阻住, Chloe Leen 年糕兒, Kitty Ho 何小貓, Doug Tullie 突吐利, Adam Neep 獵阿當, Phoebe Yu 余芷菲菲安娜, Miranda Ma 馬達 (real name), Lonling Tam 譚朗寧 (real name), Maoshan (real name)

Monday, November 24, 2008

My long distance relationship (with friends)

Just thinking about Winter, and how our BIG gossip parties couldn't happen because Matthew and Holing won't be in HK! We should organize an Anson family trip. Our multi-national relationship is difficult to maintain!!! 
GENKI I Want Genki sushi, my hood has cat ears!// the young us! 
"Matthew is weird" // That thing in the spoon was some mysterious souvenir Holing bought us! 

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mysterious Raw Chocolate

Today is Saturday, I had a wonderful morning! 
I travelled to a neighbourhood which require taking a bus. A neighbourhood with one main street, but many nice cafes and second hand bookshops. 

So i went to this place, that serves RAW food lol hahaa, I have been once and loved it, especially the raw chocolate, it's a mystery to me, the cake so smooth, more than 4 pounds a piece, a mystery!!! 
What's raw chocolate - without sugar and the cocoa has not been roasted (hence 'raw').
Edinburgh is like a pre-globalized city, you need to travel all the way to that unique cafe or bookshop, that has no branches. I was sitting in the cafe thinking about NOTHING
I also had a cup of "Total Energy" some warm smoothies! omg, u see, it's all a mystery, and that's what I like about it - Thai coconut water, wheat grass, kamut grass, barley grass, dates, Banana and kola Nut. 
Seeing dogs makes me so happy, there was one outside the fish shop! 
THE CAKE IS A MYSTERY, IT'S A MYSTERY [that's what I wrote in my sketchbook]

Friday, November 21, 2008

BBC Picture Book Series

Picture Book: Now We Are Growing Up

Series telling the enchanting story of childhood reading looks at books that help us with the growing pains of our early adolescence and teens.

Though words on the page begin to dominate, we still need strong visual imagery in books to understand darker and more complex worlds, as the magical interplay of words and pictures continues into early adulthood.

Books explored here include Treasure Island, Swallows and Amazons, Lord of the Rings, Stig of the Dump, Tracey Beaker, Northern Lights and Artemis Fowl, while there are interviews, readings and demonstrations of their art from leading writers and illustrators including Philip Pullman, Jacqueline Wilson, Eoin Colfer, David Almond, Ralph Steadman and Dave McKean.
Broadcast on:BBC Four, 9:00pm Wednesday 19th NovemberDuration:60 minutesAvailable until: 9:59pm Wednesday 26th NovemberCategories:
Sign Zone, Factual, Arts,Culture & the Media

Now We Are Six

Series telling the enchanting story of children's books continues by looking at the time we first begin to read, and how the magical interplay of words and images continues to shape our childhood imagination.
From the age of six we want books to make sense of the middle years of our childhood as we go to school and make new friendships, a time when we love books full of fantastical worlds, a comforting place of talking animals, but also a frightening one of wild woods and giants.
The programme explores over 150 years of classic books, from Alice in Wonderland to The Wind in the Willows, from Winnie the Pooh to The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, and features interviews, readings and demonstrations of their art from leading writers and illustrators such as Philip Pullman, Jacqueline Wilson, Anthony Horowitz, Quentin Blake and Raymond Briggs.

When We were very Young

Series which reveals the enchanting story of our childhood reading.
This opening part looks at our very first books and the picture-book heaven they create for under-fives, exploring the magical interplay of words and pictures and how they begin to shape our childhood imagination.
Featuring favourites from The Tale of Peter Rabbit to Charlie and Lola, from Noddy to Thomas the Tank Engine, plus modern classics such as We're Going on a Bear Hunt and Each Peach Pear Plum.
There are also interviews, readings and demonstrations of their art from leading writers and illustrators including Michael Rosen, Shirley Hughes, Alan Ahlberg and Lauren Child.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I have an extreme love towards the lovely dogs, my lovely friends, i love them, reading about Labrador makes me smile, in front of the computer screen. If I am in love with anything, it has to be big dogs, they make me feel secure, and never make me cry. They always want to be on my side. They dun make excessive noise like babies, and give you a healthy lifestyle. They are the cutest babies in the world. Only positive feelings attached. They are beautiful. 
"Labrador Retrievers respond well to praise and positive attention, and are considerably "food and fun" oriented. These dogs are loyal and good with little children. They may be used in shows. With training, the Labrador is one of the most dependable, obedient and multi-talented breeds in the world."

"As the name suggests, they are excellent retrievers. As an extension of this, they instinctively enjoy holding objects and even hands or arms in their mouths, which they can do with great gentleness (a Labrador can carry an egg in its mouth without breaking it)."

I would give up anything to have my own pet, some day, my own own pet, my own own lover, that waits for me at home everyday, and only think about me all day long!

Fairytale Edinburgh

Written during dinner | Edinburgh is a pretty place, it's a fairytale-like city, but I'm lost, when faced with reality. I'm having a romantic one person dinner tonight. 
I sat in front of the computer this evening, after working since 9 am, I felt so bored, unprecedented boredom, I need to do something, or go somewhere, so here I am, away from home. 
I am tired of always wanting to go "somewhere" - to a cafe, for a walk, the reality is there is no where that I feel at home, at ease. 
Sometimes I yearn to be alone, but when I am on my own, I wish there could be someone to share the beautiful surroundings with me. Maybe I should learn to be contempt. 
The view from Elephant House//Me and Debs last year
Maybe I am not feeling bored or tired, maybe I feel lonely. But what is lonely, does "loneliness" actually exist? Words are merely signifiers. 
This place I am at is the birthplace of Harry Potter, J.K Rowling finished a large portion of her novel in this cafe. With a perfect view of the castle. It's night time. Me, candle, sketchbook, postcards, bird purse, book, Mellow Delight, it's a mismatch, it's like a kids tea time in an Austrian/Parisian cafe. paris. paris. an enchanted city. 
At one point, I lost interest in travelling alone, or just generally travelling, but I think this desire has returned.
Edinburgh Edinburgh, I grew to love this place so much this semester. 
My night ended wonderfully, with my favourite friend here - Deborah Kent, joining me for dinner spontaneously. Deborah, a co-writer of my story (she gave me the cheese cracker lines) She always wanted to write for kids too, and she is so special, always colourful. 
Classic FM tonight: "Anne-Marie presents a musical celebration of Edinburgh, featuring three of the city’s resident orchestras, the Choir of St. Mary’s Cathedral in the city, and a host of fabulous music, much of it with a strong local connection." it's reli great :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Walk in Marchmont

Sunday evening, I strolled across the meadows, despite the winter sun, the air was chilly. I couldn't escape my bad habit - spent almost 100 pounds on shopping even though that neighbourhood only has approx 2 shops. There's a really pretty boutique, Bohemia, that sell unique designer clothes, some designed and made by students from Edinburgh College of Art.
Four in the afternoon, sky's all dark, I find myself in Starbucks once again, serenaded by Christmas music. Saw two big Saint Barnard dogs outside earlier on, their hands as big as mine, the pretty labrador on the side suddenly look so small. Click here for the pic 

Monday, November 10, 2008

Masterpiece of Animation

Hedgehog in the Fog. I first encountered this in the Ghibli Museum this summer
. By a Russian artist in 1975. Hayao Miyazaki cited this animation as one of his most favourite.  I really wanted to buy the book, but didn't end up doing so, I thought I would be able to find it everywhere else, but apparantly, that's not true. 

Please watch it, it's just so good. 

Friday, November 7, 2008


This year, I am working in two properties of National Trust for Scotland - as a gallery guide in Charlotte Square, and also an environmental educator in Newhailes.
Apart from designing an activity sheet/brochure for kids, I need to help with organizing school visits in Newhailes.
Today a group of fifth grader came, they learnt about autumn, we played a few games, that introduced birds migration and mushrooms (fungi) The kids here and at this age are so eager! so different from HK kids, really interesting to observe. Playing games with Children is totally like back to SB... I am like being a FT

Below is a wonderful programme on BBC iPlayer, unfortunately, u guys outside of UK can't watch iPlayer!!!!
Picture Book: When We Were Very Young
Series which reveals the enchanting story of our childhood reading.

This opening part looks at our very first books and the picture book heaven they create for under fives, exploring the magical interplay of words and pictures and how they begin to shape our childhood imagination.

Featuring favourites from The Tale of Peter Rabbit to Charlie and Lola, from Noddy to Thomas the Tank Engine, plus modern classics such as We're Going on a Bear Hunt and Each Peach Pear Plum.

There are also interviews, readings and demonstrations of their art from leading writers and illustrators including Michael Rosen, Shirley Hughes, Alan Ahlberg and Lauren Child.
Broadcast on:
BBC Four, 9:00pm Wednesday 5th November
Duration: 60 minutes
Available until: 9:59pm Wednesday 26th November

Monday, November 3, 2008


Just got back from Poppy, my host family's home. They showed me all about their trip in Hong Kong. She has left the city since 1984, and hasn't been back since then, this time she is back with her husband, daughter and her sister. She's got crystal clear memory of everything from back then! I guess that feeling of going back to a place that you grew up/studied must be really special, beyond words could describe. She managed to visit Cape d'Aguilar ;) with Dr. Gray leading them around the place. 

The past few days in London has been so hectic! Schedule fully packed. 
Thursday. arrived in the afternoon, tea with cynthia @ Sketch, Selfridges shopping time. 
Friday. V&A with Juliet, Lovely reunion with Chiara, and then dinner with the twins n' their bfs at Sakura!! 
Saturday. Met Steve - walked along the river to Tate Modern>St. Paul's Cathedral>The Courtauld > Covent Garden>Chinatown>JAPANESE LUNCH>Saatchi Gallery>Dinner (everything in the rain)
Sunday. left really early and arrived really late. Dinner at Poppy's

Met up with old friends and new friends. Revisited familiar spots, and explored new spaces. 
A few purposeful days, which allowed me to leave my stressful work completely aside. Bought some really interesting books. I so wish that I could take sometime off from "formal studies" and do just whatever I like lol. 
I am just SO tired now. sleepiness filled up every part of me

Friday, October 31, 2008

Nomad in London

"Art comes out of failure"
Dun erase, just paint. How difficult
- Anyways, if there is a wikipedia page about me, there must be a section about my "nomadic life" My fragmented life. I probably need to work harder to learn to enjoy this, as i must admit, if thought positively, I have gained a lot from this kind of life. But at the same time, i felt like a particle free-floating among other really ordered grids in the world. I crave to find my own permanent home, but at the same time would hate to conform to the unimaginative, characterless order
- I am not looking forward to tonight's dinner, my friends, you shall understand! Hope it turns out well.
- I enjoy picking the right gift for the right person, it's an art, and I am challenged now.
- I am reading two interesting books. really interesting. I love the bookstore in Selfridges, the right books, the right environment
- I wish to take a few months off from everything and just do something that I want to do.
- The white thick carpet and a sudden flow of scent reminds me of my home in Canada.
- I can't believe I gave myself a 24 hours packed schedule for the London trip this time! This kind of holiday for me, is supposed to be about solitude wandering, sitting, reading, and thinking....

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Becoming Jane - work.shadowing.

Edinburgh is really arguably one of Europe's prettiest city. The city was often known as the Athens of the North since Enlightenment, when I heard it, I can't help to re-name it as the Athens in the Cloud, or the Athens in the storm... 

Recently I am working in one of the properties of National Trust for Scotland in Charlotte Square, a grand square, that anchors the grid of the New town together with St. Andrew's square on the other end. After a series of induction, I am shadowing other experienced guides in the property. They are all really nice and friendly, very approachable. I have a lot to read and learn though. (there is a big information pack for everything in every room of the property) 
These gallery rooms and houses on Charlotte Square allow people to get a glimpse of people's life behind the grand palace facades. There will be a Christmas party for all the staffs later on. Hey, in the Georgian House, totally reminds people of Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice and all those! Seriously! That's what people used to do in the drawing room, quite oftenly. The Georgian House on charlotte Square indeed reflects very closely the lives of middle-class families during Jane Austen's era. 
When i leave the place today, the sky was dark already, this depressing weather, really does bother me! There are christmas lights up when halloween has still yet to arrive. London is snowing already. All these mismatch of events leave me confused, suddenly missing home and people back home. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Studio Ghibli

In a conversation last week, Holing pointed out how I like Studio Ghibli so much lol as I was watching a documentary "The Birth of Studio Ghibli"

I have always thought that places in the movie of Studio Ghibli are real places. Until I recently realized that they aren't, I worked out that even if there are similar places, there might not be Totoro in the forest. But the belief has already been so strongly established, and impossible to discard.

As a forgetful person, I grew up knowing how to sing Totoro's theme song in Japanese, and had never managed to get over the feelings of losing my big grey Totoro.

Later on in my life, I remember spending my afternoons playing songs from Laputa on the broken piano of Martin Hostel, falling IN love with a fictional character from the animation, and painting the streets of Spirited Away. It used to be one of my own favourite drawing, but I have managed to lost it in LPC.

I can't help but wonder if we are all perplexed by the boundary between reality and fantasies? I have vivid memories of being on beibei's car on a stormy summer night - the sound of the thunder fusing with the Howl's moving castle soundtrack...

I live in a room filled with Ghibli's puzzle, sometimes, they discourage me from drawing/illustrating. I have always seen art as a gateway for me to reach my dreams, but those shots struck me, that I could never create something as good, and more importantly, I felt like I didn't have to *visualize* my dreams on paper anymore, as it IS there already. .

There were numerous other moments, one of the first gift I gave to bei bei, was a bear music box, coincidentally symbolic, with the song "Always with me"; one of my favourite gifts that bei bei gave me was the romantic story of Whisper of the Heart. My music boxes from Hokkaido that brings me into the magical forests in my mind....... I once said I didn't need to buy another Totoro doll anymore, "as I have already surpassed that stage of searching for something materialistic" the truth is really just because I can't find that, same one again....

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Infusion d'Iris

Infusion d'Iris is like a dream, an Italian voyage, an ambience, the clean scent of crisp linen sheets and naked skin. Infusion d'Iris combines classic, exceptional quality ingredients from Italy such as the Iris Pallida from Florence and the warm top note glow of Sicilian mandarin. 

I received a gift from Prada today

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Lion and the Wardrobe

Lion and cat both felt bored, so they each left their home and went for a walk.
They walked across the wide forest, along the rushing river, and bumped into eachother under the big yellow tree

"What beautiful eyes you have, Miss cat!" the Lion Growled, Do you want to have some cheese cracker with me?"

The cat was taken aback and a bit frightened

"I would love to" she said "But.... I am worried that our encounter will turn into a love story..... Actually, We both have beautiful golden coat why dun we gang up and rock the forest"
But they didn;t knwo what it meant to gang up. so they continue to talk and walk, until they arrived a blue-white stripped wardrobe.
"This is my home" said the lion " it is a bit embarrasing as it is so small but ya, this is where i live"
"May I come"asked Miss cat
"Of course - is your home nearby"
"Oh Oh , my home is red and orange, filled with the scent of lili, in the shape of a mushroom down by the sea. But... it got blown away during the snowstorm.
Your home looks really nice, who was the architect" asked the cat

Lion looked guilty, "I ... I actually found the wardrobe from a nearby village, everyday I fear that they will come looking for the missing wardrobe...." 
Golden coat cat decided to help Lion, and Lion secretly decided to help golden fur cat, so they moved the wardrobe together, deep into the forest, under the big yellow tree. 
And there they became wonderful neighbours, grew mushroom, and had catwalks everyday. 

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Colourful Autumn Leaves

Maoshan Connie watching the yellow leaves flying across the sky.
One of the tree outside is 1/3 red and 2/3 green - pretty, like a kind of jelly Candy.
Sitting in a Starbucks, in fact, just below my home, made a list, a lot to do.. dunno where to start, where is the best place to work? Some libraries! All my good friends are away from Edinburgh this weekend, all went home ... sighhh
Dear my dear, I realize another I lack today... I lack this in my life! And does it matter?
Luckily my Swedish friend just called me to join me. I need something soothing, to soothe my current unsettling heart. It's pretty outside, but I feel tense, and my hands were shaking this morning..

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Has been feeling really tired these few days, but have no idea why, also feeling stressed with no idea where it's sourced...
Just went for a walk to the faraway neighbourhood to visit the black white cow, it feels natural, cats are natural animals, they are individualistic, always alert, and pays most attention on themselves. Watching the cow seems like the most natural and relaxing to do. I brought Whiskers biscuits for him.

It was cloudy and wet everywhere, I sat on some wet stone, cow sat next to me, I felt tired, the sky was grey, it felt like the most natural composition..

However, I still feel tired, after the walk, I identified that it's not just a mental feeling, but also a physical one - stormy and heavy head, suffocating, as if there's a big bag of air in my throat which I am unable to breathe out, very very dried and heavy eyes...
Hasn't been (able to) working all afternoon, worrying. I have no idea why I feel so, is it a mental thing or a physical thing, I can't tell.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Whisper of the Heart

Question - Should I keep it black and white, or add colour to the background (e.g. just one simple colour - greyish blue, dry pastel) urgent, advices needed!This evening, I feel very very tired, and felt my eyes being very heavy, literally, physically heavy and tired. (vulnerable) Can't think of how to continue my drawing...
So I shall just sleep early.. sigh, I feel bad for that and other things.

Just watched a bit of Whisper of the Heart (耳をすませば), aw, it's such a nice film, and also - suddenly - brings back memory from .... 2? years ago... reminded me of many places... It felt so different now and then, just in general.. how things are and stuff.
I always love Shiji's (the boy from the film) home very much! It has such an amazing view! Unlike the bathhouse in Spirited Away, I always believe that Shiji's neighborhood do exist! And once again makes me wanna go to Japan again (when do I not want to?)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Art and Bravery

Bringing SB Sprit to everyday life. Bravery and Support is what I need now! My IB art teacher also always encourage me to be "braver" in art. Oh, it's really difficult.... 
Haven't been talking about Architecture much since I am back. 
I am about to start the final piece of the current move (move 2) - a composite drawing - documenting a "fragment" of the building in a little artistic/abstract but accurate manner. My "fragment" is a pew inside the building, the background is ambiguous - as the site had been a citadel in the 1600s, then turned into a Train station, a pub and now a Youth Centre. So the area that I am working at could have been a waiting room of the train station, or the tables of the pub etc. 
Every groups in the class are documenting a different fragment of the building - cast iron column, corinthian column etc. all added on to the building from different period of time - and could be pivotal in our later design proposition, especially in our position towards the conservation of those fragments. 
Working on paper is so frightening, if I get the things wrong, then I need to redraft everything over again! Why is there no Alt+Z (UNDO) in real life! .....

Big P.S. the picture is such a WRONG representation of me, it's from relaxing Saturday - with Sex and the City and Starbucks! Today is FRESH Working Sunday, so just serious work

London London - overloaded emotions

After deciding that I will go to London in late October, there are a number of things that I shall decide
I want to see Elisabeth Vigee Le-brun in the National Portrait Gallery! 

- Which train to take
- Deciding what special people I need to see
- Which gallery to go to/any special exhibition i wanna see
- Which Musical to go (and who to go with)
- The places to eat at!
- Calling my host family's sister

In conclusion - Money money money AND
emotionally overloaded - too many mysterious links in this place... I re-covered more and more of those memories on an hourly basis! Do I still like the place!?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Delirious New York

"How to write a manifesto - on a form of urbanism for what remains of the 20th century - in an age disgusted with them? The fatal weakness of manifestos is their inherent lack of evidence.
Manhattan's problem is the opposite: it is a mountain rage of evidence without manifesto.
The book was conceived at the intersection of these two observations; it is a retroactive manifesto for Manhattan.
Manhattan is the 20th century's Rosetta Stone.
Not only are large parts of its surface occupied by architectural mutations (Central Park, the Skyscraper), utopian fragments (Rockfeller Centre, the UN building) and irrational phenomena (Radio City Music Hall) but in addition aach block is covered with several layers of phantom architecture in the form of past occupancies, aborted projects and popular fantasies that provide alternative images to the New York that exists.Especially Between 1890 and 1940 a new culture (the Machine Age?) selected Manhattan as laboratory: a mythical island where the invention and testing of a metropolitan lifestyle and its attendant architecture could be pursued as a collective experiment in which the entire city become a factor of man-made experience, where the real and the natural ceased to exist.
This book is an interpretation of that Manhattan which gives its seemingly discontinuous - even irreconcilable - episodes a degree of consistency and coherence, an interpretation that intends to establis Manhattan as the product of an unformulated theory, Manhattanism, whose program - to exist in a world totally fabricated by man, i.e. to live inside fantasy - was so ambitious that to be realized, it could never be openly stated.

Excerpt from delirious new york, written by the God of contemporary architecture - my ex-professor worshiped him, Rem Koolhaas! big name big name, people's god!

Our tutor this year is very practical AND "REAL" comparing to him - Cary Siress, no fashion shows in crit (the way he wears) no pretentious speeches, imperfection accepted, briefs written in "English", no sarcasm 24/7, (No absurd hybrids between graveyard and school, no looking up weird names, no looking up weird graphs that make no sense, no seminars, no running to the copy shop at 8, no writing of Manifestos weekly...) 
but i guess we all miss that, miss that unreachable sacredness that scared the hell out of us. 

Friday, October 3, 2008


Feeling tired tonight, after brainstorming and drawing the A2 artistic drawing on a detail in the building! So boring, seriously. I should sleep soon! this is really discouraging!

Constructive relaxation. To follow what your heart wants instead of following instructions that you are unwilling to follow. When you are doing something that you are unwilling to do, your body is often *LOCKED UP* in a tense position, Just like the moment when you were suddenly startled, that moment of tense - when you constantly have million of task to do, and trying to do them, your body is tense, all your muscles your spine will be stressed. You will only be at ease when you follow your heart to do whatever you want - whether it's lying down, breathing... anything.. To be STILL, not at the tense startled state, but STILL while everything (in your body) is moving. Try it.

Apart from the workload, I think architecture course also includes too much competition and stress, it's all in that package. I dun see people doing other majors coping with so much stress. Expectation/Interpretation/Prejudice. We seems to live to learn the instructors' TASTE.

I actually intended to write an entry on my Japan trip, as I have only written one after the trip, and I was thinking about it tonight. Ended up writing this... I miss our trip to Japan, it was so great.. I just re-read that previous post, and there's no need to write more, it's so prefect already.... I'm really tired and sleepy, but I need to work, I played hard, now it's time to work hard...... argh..... YES! 

Sunday, September 28, 2008


I know of a lot of my architecture-mates who have abundant storage of wine and beer in their rooms, but I didn't know that I would become one of them! Not strictly true, but I'm here in my room drinking my wonderful drink, and often being called as a "Alcohol-ghost" (in Chinese) by my flatmate. 
Oh just had another sip, this taste absolutely heavenly! This is no ordinary wine that I am drinking, it's a Christmas wine! To be exactly accurate, I think I only drink kids-wine, whether there is such a thing as kids-wine is debatable... but all these alcoholic drink I consume, are so colourful and creative. 
Second-hand bookshops and Charity shop are places filled with hidden gems, ancient auction house catalogues, £1 CDs... I ventured out into the Saturday morning sun, wanting to get ONE book, but ended up getting, 4 books, 2 tops, 1 CD, 1 poster, 1 bag.... why? can anyone tell me why?? 
Emelie is coming over to visit me now. Jack Johnson, wine, warmth, nice lighting, nice flat... oh perfect saturday evening, no? 

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Achieving your dreams

Oh, dreams, dreams. "Oh, Connie, always lives in her own dream world" 
"Dreams' something quite luxurious, probably only the middle class could afford" 
Listening to a lecture on youtube, Randy Pausch last lecture at Carnegie Mellon. The lecture was published into a book. Books of these topics always appear on the market, but the name of one chapter attracted me constantly since I first see it. 
Oh, do you know I "am" always in constant struggle, in my mind, there are something that i really want to learn, and want to do. But how can I be sure? some would say that I am thinking too much... 

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Experiencing Autumn

Can't believe that I was still in HK last week today, it feels so distant already. And it's interesting how I thought so little about that this time when I am back in Edinburgh. Barely even thought about HK! Gosh, that's wrong... But perhaps it's cuz I have been preoccupied with different things since I am back. Meeting people, moving, helping ppl move, meeting my host family, meeting new people and starting project. New courses, new groupmates, new flats and everything. But one thing that ensured our mental health quality is obviously our flat! Both Phoebe, my flatmate and I enjoyed it a lot, and of course, feels very surreal.  
Had a lecture on Design Theory today, it's really interesting. Why do art/architectural historian speak so much more gently and wonderfully, impressive, but not overly pretentious (like some architecture professors lol). Storytelling. Today's lecture was on Origins. Oh, so interesting. 
Trees are still green, sky is bright and warm, but I am sure autumn is on its way. 
I love it when someone I love tells me that he loves me, simple but sounds so sweet... oh.... 

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Stanley and Pavlova

Can't believe that this is my last night in HK already, last night sleeping my in my bed at home. Being pampered, and getting to swim, to see dogs.... We had dinner in Stanley tonight, I felt like we are people from "Martial arts(?) novels" the last time we were here. It was nice. Stanley is not just pretty, but special. (of course). Then I had Pavlova with WWS, it was reli great as well, especially our chats. "You always remind me of something I have forgotten or something I have given up" I wonder what that is? Perhaps that's true for me too. Spring and Autumn are amazing seasons, they are seasons of "changes", and it would feel even more significant when I am back in Edinburgh. 
Ha, usually I feel positive when I am about to leave, as it's anticipated, for a long time, and I am well prepared psychologically, but when it comes to reality, when I realize that I am actually alone, I regret for being strong, feeling falsely positive - that's not true, not falsely, it's just that moment, when I didn't remember that feeling of actually leaving yet. Three months, as short as it sounds like, always end up feeling long. Especially with time difference, not enough amazing friends, too much work but too little warmth. Not totally in a negative way, but everyday passes so realizably slowly. As daylight gets shorter, bit by bit, I forget the feeling of being loved that I love, it's a very stupid cycle, but I guess it's difficult to avoid sometimes as that's the challenge of distance. 
Twenty three hours before I leave, feels very different from twenty three hours later. There was once when I saw my home from the plane, at night, and I can imagine that my parents are sleeping at home already, at my perfect home. Bad feeling. Sometimes I forgot how to stay strong. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


She loves him, he loves her too.
Perhaps they have different perspective on love
He thinks she's always bored and idle.
She thinks he's so busy, that she doesn't dare talking to him most of the time.
She needed to ask another friend to say goodnight to her every night, so that she felt that she's cared, and everyday would end perfectly. He did a great job, even when he's having a high fever, or out late, he would use every way to say goodnight to her. She thought she no longer needed that, and it's right that they stopped it.
He loves to invite others to their meetups, but she thought that a relationship is supposed to be among two people but not a group.

Perhaps she's unsuitable to be in love. For the last remaining 48 hours before they part again, she wish to spend more time with him, but that's unrealistic. Unrealistic. Perhaps there is something about the difference, that makes them unable to understand eachother.
They define love and relationship differently. Does she actually know him? Does he actually know her? Are they actually being themselves?
Should we cut short anything that hurt ourselves?

Sift | Creative Surprises

Really wanna have Sift! Didn't have it both Easter and Summer! Pavlova! and never been there at night. Sift is expensive, but professional! With really minimalist interior design, and really pretty view of the steep Graham Street 
Sift Chocolate Cake
chocolate ganache, jivara cremeux, praline crunch, chocolate fudge cake $72

Chocolate and strawberry pavlova
Chocolate and strawberry pavlova, chardonnay gelée $90

Maple and mascarpone cheesecake
Maple and mascarpone cheesecake, maple cream reduction, walnut shortbread $80

Raspberry, lychee rose macaroon sandwich, vanilla panna cotta, lychee ice cream $90

Chocolate Fantasie
Chocolate napoleon, chocolate crème brulée, warm chocolate tart, chocolate sorbet $90

Cherry napoleon
Summer cherries, almond pastry cream, napoleon layers $80

Sticky toffee pudding
Sticky toffee pudding, toffee sauce, banana ice cream, caramel crunch $75

Dark chocolate mousse, passion fruit cream, chocolate genoise $75

Molten choc cake
Molten chocolate cake, vanilla ice cream, chocolate almond crunch $85

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Mid-Autumn Festival

Mid-Autumn Festival is a great time for the family and relatives to get together!  We also went to my aunt's home to see the cats in the afternoon. 
Keep looking up things related to going back to school... :S dun wanna think about it 
The lantern we made from grapefruit skin
Jaci and I pretending to be veterinarian