Saturday, January 31, 2009

Wanton for Dinner

We made some wanton for dinner tonight.

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Tastes just like kolo-kiaw back home :-)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

First Nursery Experience

Today, we sent chubby kid to the nursery.  We left her there for half a day for a tryout.

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When we went to pick her up, we were told that she cried for awhile.  Pity her, but she survived today, so we hope that she can survive the other days to come.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Home-Made Siew Mai

We attempted making some siew mai today.

Before steaming.

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After steaming.

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Hmm..yummy!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year

We would like to wish Gong Xi Fa Cai to all our family and friends.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Chinese New Year Eve at Liverpool’s Chinatown

This is my first CNY abroad. In the last thirty years of my life, I had always celebrated CNY in Kuching and once in Singapore. I have always wondered how CNY is like in a western country. Will it be as merry as it is back in Kuching?

Curious of how CNY is celebrated here, I decided to go to Chinatown. I heard that there was going to be a road closure, so there must be something happening there. When I reached Chinatown at 11am, it was already bustling with throngs of people. There was a food and fun fair going on in Chinatown.

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There were lots of Asians but to my surprise, there were equally as many Caucasians. They must really enjoy the festivities and noise of the CNY celebration. Sounds of firecrackers banging added to the noisy crowd. See the smoky air in the background where firecrackers were banging away.

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The crowd were enjoying themselves, soaking in the noise and watching all the colourful performances.

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All roads leading to Chinatown were closed, making it easier for people to roam about freely.

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While I was there, there was a crowd of people following a lion dance troupe. The troupe was performing outside an oriental supermarket named Hondo. I understand that the boss of Hondo is one of the earliest Chinese to settle in Liverpool.

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Oops, I missed the dragon dance. Just managed to snap a photo of its tail.

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So, this is how CNY is celebrated in Liverpool’s Chinatown. Certainly a different experience. By CNY eve, all Chinese shops in Kuching would have closed for business. But Chinese shops and restaurants in Liverpool were packed to the brim when I walked past this morning. Really good business, huh?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Newcastle

From Tantallon Castle in Scotland, we drove all the way to Newcastle.  We chose to stop by Newcastle as we wanted to visit some friends there.  One of them offered us her place to stay for two nights.  Thus, we were able to have more time to roam about in Newcastle.

It was such a delight to meet up with friends while we were there.  Familiar faces far away from home are always a comfort.  We had such a good time at our friend’s place, catching up with the latest news and visiting other friends.  Not forgetting, Malaysian food cooked by our friends were simply delicious.

It was rather cold and cloudy in Newcastle during our visit, so our sightseeing was somehow hampered by the weather.  However, we still managed to visit a number of places over our two days in Newcastle.

Our friend brought us to this really nice place by the seaside at Whitley Bay.  The place is called St Mary’s Island and there, sits a lighthouse, which is one of the tourist attractions in Newcastle. 

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Well, the place is not really an island but it is by the seaside and has a very nice view.  Cold and icy seaside wind attacked us when we were there, so we could not stay for too long.

After that, we proceeded to Tynemouth Castle and Priory.  We just observed it from a distance and took some photos.  Again, it was too cold for us to linger for long.

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This is the Tynemouth pier and lighthouse in a distance.

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A visit to Newcastle will not be complete if you do not go to the famed Gateshead Millenium Bridge.  My only regret was that the weather was too cold for me to walk the bridge.  So, we just took a photo of it and left.

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Nearby the bridge is The Sage Gateshead, a centre for musical education and performances.

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Our next destination was St James Park, the home of the Newcastle United Football Club.  Located smack right in the city centre, I cannot imagine the traffic there when a football game finishes.

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After that, we visited some friends and called it a day with a gathering at our friend’s house, enjoying delicious Malaysian food.

The next day, we got ready for our journey back to Liverpool.  On our way back, we stopped by another tourist attraction in Newcastle; the Angel of the North.  The weather was so cold and cloudy that we could not really take nice photos of the gigantic angel.  It was so cold that we could not even walk further up to take a proper photo of it.

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We quickly got back into the car after some miserable shots and began our long journey back to Liverpool.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tantallon Castle

On our way to Newcastle from Edinburgh, we did a little detour to visit one of the castle ruins near the coastal area of Scotland.

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For those interested in the history of the castle, you can read it up here.

I was in awe with the view of the castle ruins itself.  The view of the castle is really magnificent.  My Canon Ixus cannot do justice to the photos taken.  I felt a gush of regret for not buying the Canon DSLR that I had wanted for years now. 

Sitting atop a cliffside overlooking the sea, the castle ruins is to date, one of the places with the nicest view that I have ever visited.  Here are some shots to share.

The castle, looking magnificent from a distance.

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The entrance into the castle.

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A peek into the sea from the side of the castle.

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The Bass Rock, opposite the castle.

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Part of the castle, facing the sea.

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Rocky cliffside.

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Stairs going up the castle.

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Inside one of the rooms in the castle.

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View from the cliffside.

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Another part of the castle, looking magnificent even though in ruins.

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This was the kitchen or what was left of it.

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The well.

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The castle overlooking the sea.

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Somehow, this castle ruins reminded me of the adventure stories of The Famous Five by Enid Blyton, which I read when I was little.  It was fun going through the ruins and taking lots and lots of photos even though it was terribly cold and windy there.  It’s just too bad that we did not explore the upper floors of the castle, as chubby kid was on her stroller and it was not easy to carry her all the way up.  Nevertheless, we had a wonderful experience, which I’m sure would be unforgettable in years to come.

Monday, January 19, 2009

What is That?

Oh, it’s snowing.  Haha…

The Royal Yacht Britannia

Before leaving Edinburgh, we went to the Ocean Terminal at the port of Leith to visit the Royal Yacht Britannia, a former yacht of the British Royal family.

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There were a lot of exhibits on display for visitors to view before boarding the yacht.  Here are some of the exhibits.

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Some photos of HM, the Queen of England.

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We then proceeded to board the yacht.

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Life boats.

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View from the yacht.

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The command point.

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The Admiral’s cabin.

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The Queen’s Rolls Royce.

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The Binnacle.

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The Sun Lounge.

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The Queen’s bedroom.

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The Admiral’s quarters and dining room.

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The State Dining Room, where the royal family dine.

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My husband spotted these at the State Dining Room, on exhibit.  These are gifts from Sarawak when Prince Philip visited Malaysia in 1989.

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The Queen’s sitting room.

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The drawing room.

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The Chief Petty Officers’ mess.

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The infirmary.

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The sick bay.

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Here was where my camera ran out of battery and I left my spare battery in the car.  What the heck??  Luckily I had my handphone with me, so I was able to snap a few more photos, though they were not as clear.

This is the engine room.

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And that ended our tour of the Royal Yacht Britannia.  It was certainly a good experience to see what the Royal family went through when they were at sea years ago.  No doubt a comfortable home away from home.