Saturday, January 30, 2010

Punctuated. breathe.

Had another extremely wonderful afternoon in Peter's Yard, it's becoming addictive, and I badly need to sleep early. As I really wanna have early breakfast there before the sky brightens, they open at 7 am. I love the people there too, they genuinely wanna be friends with you, not just some marketing tactics. We went to Starbucks first, then got so suffocated and moved to Peter's Yard, loved the airiness and serenity there, a very carefully curated interior marked with sophisticated sense of materiality. 

Anyways, I really wanted to sleep really early tonight, but it's midnight already, it's precisely when I push myself to sleep, I counter-convince myself with concrete work to prove that I am still up for a reason! I don't understand this!
So probably this is one of the evenings that I have done the largest amount of work: which is - wrote three formal emails - to further facilitate my formal endeavors in the coming months.

Anyways, badly need a to-do list, even though since LPC, I know so well that to-do list is purely a list, like Angel (Cheung) and I both concluded, the process of listing is sort of comforting, it's a obsessive compulsive act.... But we never look back onto that particular list as we move on...

1. Sleep
2. Have Breakfast
3. Read my very interesting book for my very interesting essay
4. Draw a postcard and write the Japanese words on it, and mail it
5. Meet Stuart
6. Write traveloguesssssss for magazine! 
7. Illustrate my stories
8. Plan my graduation trip
9. Do design project? 
10. Finish my meaningless application
11. I still haven't decided whether to keep my dress, help...
12. Find out the address

the list goes on, dun underestimate those trivial items

Tomorrow will be a long day..... 
I guess I need yoga to calm myself down, focus just on breathing, and fall asleep now. 

Friday, January 29, 2010

Dance like nobody's watching!

Tell me, who would not love contemporary dance?

Contemporary dance classes at dance base has started three weeks already, but this was the FIRST time I went, there must be sth wrong with me! Remember in the past, I always struggled whether to go or not, as it's on THURSDAY night (night before tutorial/crit) at 20:30, way too late in my standard. But what always motivated me to go - was the memory of the amazing feeling after each class! 

Dance to me is like painting to (unnamed person who is still sleeping, therefore still need to ask for approval)

"I wanna paint. But without you, my motivation is not high enough, (...) it never occurs to me that I will be interested in painting. I think it is even better than writing. Usually, when I write, I am in really bad mood or confusion, as I write, I pour out all my thoughts in head. Sometimes it is painstaking. You have to confornt all the evils in your heart and you feel drained. I think painting, like what Blink said, is happened behind the locked door. You just let mind lead you. You are so focus/blank out on each move. No constraint. No need to worry about the handwriting, grammar, try to descibe something you simply dun understanding to reach a comfortable conclusion to console yourself." 

I guess that's how dancing is to me, so free, so emotional, full of expressions free of grammar. I love painting too, unluckily I must say, it probably does have some grammar to me, can't reach that state of totally carefreeness. 

I was thinking to myself, I wish I could come dance every night! Yes, even though I love yoga to the bits too, but don't be mistaken, I don't love everything! There are other kinda dances I have tried before that I very dislike, but thanks to Niki who recommended Contemporary dance to me! She said it'd suit me, and I totally see why. 

Contemporary dance is sometimes ground hugging, and high-reaching, personally I find it resemble yoga moves. But best of all, it's full of freedom to express. It's exciting. Often half way through the class, we line up in one corner, and walk diagonally towards the other corner, then start adding movesss, then forming a dance, in pairs. two by two, together with LIVE music. So cool ! like a catwalk! 

The whole room is like a nursery classroom :P fill with laughter, mistakes, tripping over, jumping, music, simple simple joys.................. instantly back to childhood

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Breathtaking Simplicity

The other night, we had long chats in our friend's living room - on architecture. on Naoshima. Seto Inland Sea. Miranda talked about the piece of architecture that touched her to tears. 
Yes. heart-beat, teary-eyes sensation
SANAA you are too ging, we love you! lol

Just like reading "JA" and El Croquis on Japan architecture, makes your heart beat. Frankly, I am not big big fans of architecture. Before ET and Seto Inland, (and I am not lying, if you know me, I must have somehow said it to you before) - I often feel like -"I have never seen a piece of architecture that TOUCHED me") -
"Which is your favouite building?" "Who's your favourite architect?"
I always see many famous building being famous only because, they marked some turning point in the history of architecture... and to people without architectural education - because they are irregular, they are pretty? Or because they used titanium to make a light floor that is removable but never removed in its lifespan? 

But! the small primary schools in Japan, simple marine port... white residents stuck in the middle of dense urban intelligent, so smart - never ceased to tempt you to inhabit the space, like a string pulling you! that is attraction. 
The serenity, connection between interior and exterior, calmness, lightness... subtle undulating concrete ground.... it's a very zen feeling, like a perfect space for yoga. 

If there's one reason I am still studying architecture, I must be inflamed and inspired by Japan, as if there's still some hope shining through the tiny tiny cracks on the ground. We do sometimes ponder on tutors preference. But think about it, this is my probably my last architectural project in life, and I will do I what I like. I come here not to study somebody else's taste and preference! : )

Hello my linguist, artist, musician, sociologist.. or-whatever-other-professions-friends - why not treat your eyes a delicious trip to a Page One or the library - let your mind wander off the colourful pages - a magical box that contains the architects' years of struggles and innovations! 

Monday, January 25, 2010

Food for this week

One piece of news that got on Yahoo!US this week was about a mom who managed to half her family's annual grocery bill by planning dinner ahead for a YEAR!
I don't think I could do that, but I very much want to plan ahead for a whole week as well, instead of wandering endlessly in supermarkets, kept getting distracted, and bought things home but couldn't finish eating them! Also last week, wasn't the best, in terms of my healthy life plan, have space to improve, so today, I did food shopping for the whole week. I never knew that could happen to me, cuz I always wanted to just follow my heart, eat what I wanna eat that day, which is pretty wrong. End up spending more, and eating something not as good. Now though, I realize it's possible for me to follow plans : )
Still need to get 小白菜,帆立貝和魚。明天早上去買魚。明天下午去Glasgow. 冬天,煲湯好呢。
(the food in the pic is mainly mine, not that much really, even though it seems a lot hahaha, but I often cook for Phoebe as well : )
Lots of delicious healthy meals : )

Bake a (relatively) better cake

There are a few very low-fat. low-sugar. low kcal cakes recipes that I want to try baking. In case sometimes I want to eat cakes, these recipes will bake cakes that probably that are too rough, and made me decide i dun wanna have cakes anymore LOL :P normal cakes are just way too over, only fat, butter + sugar.... scary! not even ok to have it as a treat once awhile. There are also recipes I found that are to the other extreme - meaning it has no sugar, butter, eggs at all, wonder how they taste!
If I bake one of these to dinner party with my host family, will it scare them?

16oz silken tofu
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons soymilk

Prep a 9 inch springform pan by spraying the bottom and sides with nonstick oil spray.
Tip digestive cookies crumb into the prepped springform pan and press it evenly on the bottom.
Bake the crust for 5 minutes, then remove it from the oven and set it aside to cool while you prepare the filling.

Blend all the filling ingredients in a food processor (or blender) for about 30 seconds, or until smooth.
Pour filling into the springform pan over the cooled crust.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until the top of the cheesecake is lightly browned.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow it to cool.
Place the cooled cheesecake in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours until it is thoroughly chilled and firm.

To serve, take a long knife and heat the blade in hot hot water.
Slide the blade of the knife along the edge of the cooled cheesecake to ensure that it will separate from the pan.
Release the springform ring, slice, sprinkle with slivered almonds if desired and serve cold.

For Filling:
2 cups Silken Tofu, drained well
1/2 lb Cream Cheese, softened at room temperature
1 c. Sugar
2 Large Eggs, beaten
1/2 c. Fat free or Low Fat Yogurt
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Lemon Juice
1/4 c. Cornstarch

Ingredients (makes 1-8" Cheesecake, about 8 servings):
For Crust:
10 Vanilla Cream Sandwich Cookies
2 Tbsp Butter

Preheat the oven to 350F.
Crush vanilla cookies well. (You could do this by using food processor or placing cookies in a Ziploc bag and crushing them with small pot or frying pan.)
In a mixing bowl, add crushed cookies and melted butter, mix them together. The mixture will start to crumble and come together. Press the mixture on the bottom of 8” non-stick springform cake pan. Bake at 350F for few minutes until they are golden brown. Let it cool at room temperature. Reduce the oven temperature to 325F.

In a large bowl, whisk tofu and cream cheese together. Add sugar, eggs and mix until they are well blended. Add yogurt, vanilla extract, lemon juice and continue to mix well. Add cornstarch and mix until the batter becomes smooth.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 325F for approximately 50 minutes or until the center of the cake is set. You can check this by inserting a toothpick in the middle of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, it’s done.
Let it cool at room temperature for a couple of hours. Then refrigerate overnight.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

買魚 Best fishes in Edinburgh

Eddie's Seafood Market 強記 - An amazing miniature market, hidden in Marchmont, operated by a Hong Kong family from Aberdeen (the one in HK), since 1986, and with long queues outside their shop everyday!

This is my parents' favourite shop in Edinburgh :P
Maoshan - ms. nutritionist says you should at least eat fishes twice a week ;)

They have an overwhelming variety of seafood - mussels, exotic live big lobsters in the tank, crab, cod, salmon, scallops, haddocks, tuna, swordfishes, yellow trevally... all looking very very fresh and cut to size. Some people complain about the staff's influent English, but no worries for us, and in the end they are just really friendly and wonderful and typical HK people lol.

I especially love their adorable website. One page has a picture that says "What a variety.. can you name them? Come and visit... Bring the kids!" Don't you think it's sweet? One more word on their website, it has no opening hours and map... but it's so sweet and adorable, their not-the-best English + cute captions + pictures and even a page on their employees, totally show their genuineness!

A content spirit

Again, green tea over Chinese education and politics, cities, Naoshima Zen, nutrition, yoga, French movies, literature.......

This looks like something that would appear in a British girls school's brochure, one that a lot of Chinese secondary school girls flips with admiration and hope. Typically in those pictures, girls sit casually on the carpet of the common room, but wears relatively elegant clothes, or their very English uniforms.
Anyways, last night was amazing, went there at 6 pm, and chatted till well after midnight.

In the age of cities and cybercities, not only connecting within ourselves, or the nature has became rarer, but also a real connection between people, something I am learning more and more to cherish everyday.
I'm a person with so many imperfections, but countless wonderful tiny things in life blessed me with a very full and content mind and spirit. : )

A History of the World in 100 Objects

Almost everyone who visits London would go to the British Museum, but many might not know how to appreciate the objects inside.... hmm... especially those pieces of rock, (which showed clear evidence of human beings in certain area...) or mummies.... etc.

A History of the World in 100 Objects is a programme that I am so fascinated by recently, like all other BBC programmes, the script was so well-written (by the director of British Museum and many other related contributers), bringing us back to 2,000,000 - 8000 BC, looking at objects that shaped us into the human beings today.
The coming week will be "After the Ice Age: Food and Sex" - objects that gives us clue to why farming began after ice age.

A glimpse of the coming weeks, very exciting:
The First Cities & States (3500–2000 BC)
What happens as people move from villages to cities? Five objects tell the story.

The beginning of science and literature (2000–1200BC)
4000 years ago, societies began to express themselves through myth, maths and monuments. 4000 years ago societies were becoming more sophisticated. Amongst this week’s objects are the earliest examples of literature and science.

Old World, New Powers (1200–600BC)
Across the world new regimes create objects to assert their supremacy.

The World In The Age Of Confucius (500–400 BC)
2500 years ago thinkers such as Confucius and Plato were exploring how people should live, but can objects like the Parthenon sculptures or a golden chariot tell us more?

A museum, is no-doubt a walk-in storybook.
Frankly, I often feel that I receive more of my education from the BBC iPlayer than school. :) Share the joy!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Dancebase and Edinburgh's Sky

Have been in contact with a lot of my friends through e-mail these days, decided to bring this back to my blog too : ) So here, include some older emails:

Dancebase, where I go for yoga and dancing is my favourite building in edinburgh, how ironic, in such a historical city, my favourite building is a modern one, but i also thought of why they have such a budget to purposefully build one of this building for dancing classes for the city, there's a baby class now, i can hera their music, super cute lol.
I just went to the 8 am yoga, look at the sky colour, before and after. it's freeezing lor, and I miss yoga in HK, ging ging ging ging ging!



The baby class has reli cute music!

Every studio in dance base was designed for a different type of dance, the prettiest one has glass ceiling with the edinburgh castle above, very sucessful in such a sloped and tight site .................
cloudy sky again hark !