Sunday, 31 October 2010

Going out...not going out... the film Due Date

Have been sick lately, at first I thought it's just some really greasy Hong Kong cha chaan teng food I had in West End, but it turned out I had caught the flu and the virus went down to my tummy, hence the stomachache and... and headache and painful limbs and all that! It's been a hell of three days and I felt so lonely, though S was by my side most of the times like this I miss my family so much again!

Anyway...I got slightly better yesterday and couldn't wait to go out, though S didn't really like the idea of it. We went out anyway, had dinner in West End and caught a late night film at Empire. I've never been a late night person but it's the only screening available of the new Hollywood film Due Date, which is not officially released yet, so it's a preview screening and it's too good to miss! We had late dinner, then walked around and killed time in the game booths at Leicester Square. Of course I didn't play any of those games - throwing basketballs and throwing balls at cans - as I've never been good in them, but god, you have to see for yourself who are winning all those games! 9 out of 10 of the winners are - ASIANS, and I mean Chinese and Japanese! S said it's quite normal - these people have too much practice. ;) I was really excited for the winners too, as they got really huge fluffy toys! They're of course quite useless, but it surely feels great when you have one of those after winning!

Due Date was good - standard Hollywood film, and Zach Galifianakis is so cute - he's a bit like Jack Black but so much more adorable! Of course I saw The Hangover and thought it's hilarious, and this one is not just that...there's something more than just fun in there. Oh one funny thing - I was probably too influenced by the Sherlock Holmes film, when I heard Robert Downey Jr.'s American accent I thought, 'Oh he's quite good at it!' It's only after the film that I remembered... :P

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Letters to Juliet

Been sick and home bound for a few days watched this last night in bed:

For some reason I've heard lots of rave reviews about it, but really, it's a very standard Hollywood film... it's not bad, but it's not good either. There are episodes and details that don't make much sense to me, like, why would the granny be still living in her parents' home 50 years later, and what exactly makes the two young people click is totally lost in me. But hey, it's a Hollywood film!

Planned to see a film tonight. I'll only be allowed to go out if I'm really fine, so I need to take a rest now!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Manicure maniac


I love doing my nails. It's simple, easy to do (as I don't do any glitter / jewel / lace sticker etc.), and a good way to cheer yourself up. I tossed most of my nail polishes before I left HK, so one of the missions in the first month was to hunt for nail polishes. These are what I've acquired so far:

I'm not a pink person most of the time, but when it comes to nail polishes I guess I'm more 'conservative'? I dare not put on lots of weird colours, as they don't always look good on my nails. It has to do with your complexion and all that, and I'm not pale, so pink is quite safe I guess. :P The black glitter's a new try, I hope it's not too devilish! Just wanted something different from the rest. :)

Monday, 25 October 2010

Autumn...missed / stolen

It suddenly occurred to me that this year my autumn's stolen - it was still very hot and humid when I left Hong Kong, and all of a sudden all we have is this cold and wet weather. The weather here, to me, is abnormal; it rains all the time, and when it does it makes it colder, but when the sun shines it's very, very shiny, to the extent that you can't see properly what's in front of you. But it's still very cold most of the time when you're out.

These few days it's been freezingly cold, and my wardrobe still hasn't arrived. I'm reluctant to buy coats here now, as the mid-season sale's just beginning and I don't see the point of settling with a coat that's cheaper but poorer in quality. I'm also looking for a proper hat that can be paired with the slightly more formal clothes. All I have now is a grey one that looks kind of cute but also kind of silly when worn with a coat. :P And for scarves, I only have one that can endure the frozen air out there, and that's the cashmere scarf I got on my birthday. I miss my wardrobe, and I need to go shopping! Guess I'll wait a bit longer for the sale to mature!

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Krapp's Last Tape

Saw Krapp's Last Tape last night. Not impressed, honestly, as I didn't understand the point of having such a play. Of course it's Samuel Beckett and - what else do you expect? Well, I didn't expect much, as I know it's performed by one old man throughout (Gambon actually, not some awful old man, but his character's awful).

Me being the illiterate I am in some literatures of course have never really read Beckett. All I knew was Waiting for Godot and that's it. My date of course has never heard of any Beckett - I'm not surprised and I don't blame him! To us, the failure of the play is in the play itself rather than the performance - I think it must be pretty faithful to the original work. Basically the whole play's just about an old man who records a tape on his birthdays, and every time he looks back at his past year and also his past life - by listening to tapes he's recorded before - and every time he does so he scorns the past self. The most important line in the play, which I think summarises the whole play (and therefore - the pointlessness of it all), is probably one of the last towards the end, which is from a tape he recorded when he was in his 30's or 40's:
Perhaps my best years are gone. When there was a chance of happiness. But I wouldn't want them back. Not with the fire in me now. No, I wouldn't want them back...

And of course he does want them back. Very badly, which explains why he's so angry all the time, as his life is clearly a failure, and he's just this lonesome old man cursing at no one for no reason. My point is that there's nothing interesting in this story at all, and the presentation is not in any way brilliant. I read some reviews which claim that this particular performance is 'impeccably paced' (which I strongly disagree, though it's just a 50-minute play), and 'delivered with humour and passion' - perhaps the part with the 1 banana which gets eaten and 1 that Krapp puts to his manhood to play with? Seriously, that's not what I call humour, but I don't blame the director or the actor, for the play itself is - krapp.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Oh...happy day!

Somehow can't get this song we sang in church off my mind... 'Ohh...happy day...happy day...' lalala but this post is about something else altogether!

Happy day for me. Finally had some decent barbequed pork today!!! Went to this little eatery on Oxford Street, thought I could get some dan dan noodles (craving...) but alas, they don't do the non-spicy version, so I settled with char siu fan instead. It's sooooo much better than Wong Kei's! Almost cried... it's the HONG KONG flavour!!!

Recently I've been asking myself... why am I here with the horrid Asian food at such prices... of course it's all silly thoughts but I didn't know I would crave Asian food s-o m-u-c-h. Not kidding. I really need to find a place for good dan dan noodles or I'm gonna have to make some myself!

Oh, this is the roast duck rice S had, not bad according to him!

And there's bok choy!!!!!!! Asian veggies are soooo expensive here... :'(

And of course a happy day's not complete without some new discovery.

Accidentally stumbled across these shelves, and god, these titles... they are just exactly what my two year's MPhil's about! And they're just perfectly happy sitting there... oh happy days. And even for a bat like me, the sunshine in an old library is just lovely. Lovely.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Recent nights out: Faust, Shirley Valentine

I'll say what makes me happy in London: the environment, when it's outside and you're not dealing with people or requesting services, is g-o-o-d. All those European trips a few years back just come back to me all at once - the air, the sky, the abundance of things to see and explore...this city is popular for a reason. We've only been here for less than a month and we're kind of laid back when it comes to going out, but we've already seen two performances, randomly picked by moi.

The first one's an opera by the ENO, a production of Faust.

Of course we all vaguely know the story, but to be honest it's really vague - all I knew is that there's this person who trades his soul for an eternal life, or something along those lines... and of course S didn't know ANYTHING about it at all. :) So we saw it one night, were a bit startled that there were still people who would dress up for events like this (well, it's probably our problem, not theirs), and I felt a bit tortured having to stay still in the seat for 3 hours. The performance was okay, but to be honest, without the subs we wouldn't be able to understand a thing - the singing in old language was really a bit of a challenge! Like I said, it's a good 3 hours, and it's really a bit too long, considering the second act's a bit tedious, as S put it. But it's a good experience overall.

We saw the second performance on my birthday.

I picked this when I saw who's in it - it's good old Meera Syal! I read a couple of her books some years ago, and I wanted to see her as a performer on stage. Of course there are always these 'stars' who try to make it on stage, but it's not always good. Syal is, I think, terrific in delivering the goods. She was performing alone throughout the 2 hours (which reminded me of Jim Chim in Hong Kong), and she's good. She plays this Liverpudlian housewife stuck in her home and marriage who decides to find her life back in Greece. The story's kind of cliche, of course, and it's really not worth mentioning much, but Syal's animated throughout, and I was particularly impressed with the different accents she adopted. An enjoyable performance!
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