Monday, December 6, 2010

Frosty Anniversary of My Birth

Walking around in temperature of -2C with trees and grass all white with frost is actually quite a sight to behold, if not for the fact that my fingers and nose were numb with acute chill. It was not as bad as the other day when it was -5C but then again, today I am a year older, so that makes me a year more vulnerable to extreme weather. But of course, I thank God and count my blessings that at least Liverpool is not -20C like some place else in the UK.

Somehow, as years passed, and after chubby kid was born, my own birthday was not as significant anymore. I felt more excited about chubby kid's birthday than my own. Heck, I had even forgotten that it was going to be my birthday the other day because my mind was full of chubby kid's birthday.

Oh well, it is just another day and life goes on. Thanks to my loving husband for the gift, the one thing that I had wanted for quite some time. I thought that I would not be surprised but I pleasantly was. Now, I just need to patiently wait for my micro SIM card before I can use it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Third Language

When I was doing my undergraduate studies, we all had to take a compulsory third language course. At that time, I took Mandarin and studied diligently to get my strokes right. (But of course, I have forgotten all of it now.)

Now, in the midst of my PhD studies, I am going to take another "third language". It has nothing to do with my course but it is all for the sake of chubby kid. She has started pre-Braille lessons and I should properly equip myself with the same knowledge of Braille.

Otherwise, how am I going to check her homework in the future.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Where's the Light?

Today, I am officially starting my third year of research. I am supposed to be moving towards the end of the tunnel. But, where's the light? Why am I not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel?

Oh, it must be night time. I'll just wait for the sunrise.


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010


Early in the morning, on Friday the 13th last month, we drove through our usual route to the hospital. Chubby kid was due to have her bronchoscopy done on that day. In preparation, her last meal was the night before and her last drink of water was only about 20ml at 7am. We were promptly in the day care unit of the hospital before 8am.

After the usual pre-op procedure, we accompanied chubby kid to the operation theatre. I held her hand and we walked in together. She had absolutely no idea what would happen but I was very proud of her for being brave. I had never seen the inside of an OT before, apart from a few seconds of blurry recollection during my emergency caesarian. I had certainly never seen anyone being put under general anesthesia before, apart from myself that is. Chubby kid was knocked out one second after being injected through IV. That was fast. I had to leave her after that.

Some 40 minutes later, we were brought back to the outer room of the OT to bring chubby kid back to the day care ward. She was still unconscious and continued to sleep for another hour.

Upon waking up, she was not yet allowed any drink for another further 30 minutes. Hunger seemed to be showing in her although she was quite taken in by playing with the toy kitchen in the ward. When she finally was allowed a drink, we gave her a bottle of milk and then some custard and rice pudding. She was then discharged after a short discussion with the doctor, who said they did not find anything alarming. Thank God she was her normal self with no side effects showing after that. My worry though, is that she has to continue taking her weekly antibiotics till October. Can that be good? :-(

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Montreux, Switzerland

Montreux is yet another town located by the shores of Lake Geneva. A direct train journey from Lausanne to Montreux takes approximately 20 minutes and a return train ticket costs CHF20.40 per adult. Once we arrived at the train station, we headed straight towards the direction of the lakefront. The view that met us was superbly magnificent.

We could even see the snow-capped Alps some distance away.

A pretty flower arch with the lake and Alps in the background.

There are lots of hotels, flats, apartments all along the lakeside.

Breathtaking view of the mountains.

Amazing view of the lake. The water was so crystal clear that I was very tempted to jump in for a dip.

This is where the water from the mountain flow into the lake.

Our aim of visiting Montreux was to visit the Chateau de Chillon.

It was quite a distance from where we got to the lakefront. We could actually take a train there but we chose instead to walk by the lakefront and marvel at the view of the lake, of people swimming, sunbathing and having picnics. I looked on with envy, regretting that I did not bring my swimming suit along. There were lots of people even along the walkway.

It took us slightly more than an hour to walk there, so I estimated it to be about a four kilometres walk. An hour's walk was actually nothing much for us except that we were under extreme hot and bright sun, with an estimated temperature of about 33C at least. Mind you, just 30 hours before that kind of hot and bright sun hit us, we were under cool and cloudy weather of 18C in Liverpool.

As we walked along, the Chateau de Chillon appeared nearer and nearer.

And finally, we got there.

And then, we walked four kilometres back again under the same hot and bright sun. Hmmph... talk about determination of seeing one old chateau. Altogether, we must have walked more than 15 kilometres that day. I remembered myself falling asleep some seconds after my head touched the pillow that night.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Lausanne, Switzerland

Lausanne is a city also situated by the Lake Geneva. It is the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee and so, is known as the Capitale Olympique. A direct journey by train from Geneva to Lausanne takes approximately 35 minutes and a return train ticket costs CHF41.20 per adult. This is the Lausanne train station.

The first place we aimed to visit upon reaching Lausanne and after having McDonald's breakfast was the Lausanne Cathedral. Without a map, we just took the steep uphill route based on our hunch and my recollection of Lausanne on Google Maps that the lake is one side of the train station and the city centre is on the other side.

More uphill. Do not be deceived by the photo. It is pretty steep.

Our hunch was very fortunately correct. On our way to the Lausanne Cathedral, we passed by a market in the city centre. I think I read somewhere on the internet that every Saturday, the roads surrounding this area will be closed for the market to operate.

Here is chubby kid, busy surveying the fruits.

More vegetables.

A whole load of different shapes of tomatoes.

A huge Swiss flag.

See how insanely packed the streets are.

Yet another shop selling Rolex. They seem to be everywhere.

I think the sewer cover looks nice :-) (No, I am not out of my mind.)

This is the Lausanne Cathedral.

The view of roof tops of the city centre from the cathedral.

It is a very nice city to visit. We regretted that we could not spend more time exploring every nook and cranny of the city. We hurried off to the train station to catch the train to Montreux, at that time, not knowing how very delightful the Montreux lakefront was.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More of Geneva

For two years in a row, I have not been able to go to the Kuching Food Festival. Therefore, it was a happy coincidence that there was a food and fun fair in Geneva very much similar to the one in Kuching. There were international food stalls with all kinds of food.

There is also a concert stage with performers and a huge crowd watching.

One very interesting stall was the one selling cocktails. They had very intriguing huge glasses in which they stored the cocktails in.

And then there was the games section, where kids and adults went on rides and gambled away their cash for a stuffed toy.

And not forgetting the G-string candy ;-)

The food and fun fair was held in a section along the picturesque lakefront. They even had a huge statue of Michael Jackson there.

In the older part of town, we visited the Cathedrale St Pierre.

Drinking water is abundant throughout the city. Everywhere you go, you see a pipe spurting out drinking water. This is one of them which we filled our bottle with.

Nearby is the Parc des Bastions, a park within the University grounds, showcasing a giant chest set and the Reformation Wall. This is one of the University's building.

Play a game of chess if you are up to it.

The Reformation Wall, featuring statues of prominent figures in the Protestant Reformation.

Another place of attraction is obviously the United Nations office at the Palais des Nations.

There is this huge chair with a broken leg right opposite the United Nations office entrance. I must say it is quite a piece of art to look at.

Behind the huge chair, a series of mini fountains squirt out water every few seconds. Chubby kid just had to cry when the wind blew tiny water droplets onto her face. What a spoilt brat!

We also visited Carouge, a town referred to as the Greenwich Village of Geneva, modelled after the city of Nice in France. Hence, you can see that the architecture of its building is rather different from those in Geneva.

We also stopped at the Plaine de Plainpalais to visit the flea market. It is very much similar to a small section of Kuching's Sunday market.

While on our way back to Geneva city centre, we spotted this very old car. Hard to find nowadays.

Here are some miscellaneous shots in and around Geneva.