Monday, 29 November 2010

Food, food, food

I just realised when I was in the shower (I always 'brainstorm' when taking a bath...) that I haven't written about the food situation here - weird, considering how I love my food! I can't have a bad meal or I'd be really unhappy...and I won't be able to forget it for the rest of the day. What we're doing now is (a) eat out, and (b) cook. More about the former later, but really, cooking was a mission impossible here, as we don't have a kitchen and aren't supposed to cook here. Of course, being the defiant me, I bought an electronic hob, a pot, a pan, lots of utensils (of course can't compare with my Hong Kong collection...*sobs*), and the latest addition is a 4-in-1 cooker. The only thing we really need but don't have is a fridge, and right now because of the freezing temperature outside we're just putting our food at the windowsill, which is actually okay if it's just for one day!

On average I cook about 5 times a week, meaning there are still another 9 meals...well, we just eat out, for I really can't bear the food downstairs. There are a couple of chain restaurants that we quite frequently visit, like Ask, Strada, Prezzo and Pizza Express, and mostly the food is okay. Apart from these we usually have Asian food - by Asian I mean Thai and Chinese mostly. After coming here I've been craving Chinese food like never before - predictable, but it still surprised me! I never thought I would really want dim sum, but we've actually had quite a number of dim sum meals already. The food's of course not superb, but at least it's available.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Lots and lots...the film Unstoppable, Brighton, .45 (theatre)

Have been kind of busy lately, I haven't written for sooo long (simply didn't have the time to...well) and here's a rundown of what's been happening these days!

If you know me well you would definitely know this is absolutely not my kind of film! Action films...ehhhhh too macho for me, really, but it's a nice change... :) Basically there's no exciting plot (as expected), but it's a good film to see in the cinema! Don't bother if you're thinking of renting it...  :)

We've been 'travelling' quite a bit lately - not exactly travelling, just having a change of scene and escaping from London! Trust me, once in a while it's really good to escape from the suffocation of rude / indifferent / inefficient services and people here.

We went to Brighton one Thursday and the weather was terrible. I last visited Brighton one summer with Janet, and it was so much more cheerful back then! A big contrast really, and there was significantly less to see, but S had never been and it's just 2 hours away!

And then last weekend we went to Manchester, Leeds and York. Packed I know! It's initially a trip to Leeds to meet up with an old friend with another friend who's also in London, but it turned out to be a visit to Manchester as well. My cousin's family's in Manchester, and when he knew I was visiting (I thought we would have dim sum lunch or something) he offered to get us tickets to the football match that day between MUtd and Wigan. I had never seen a footie game so I thought, why not! Then it turned out he got us VIP tickets, including buffet lunch in the VIP lounge, and he also arranged for car pickup before and after the game. It's totally VIP treatment that day, though I'm not as impressed by the supposedly super-expensive Bentley we got a ride in (the car's about the price of a Yuen Long flat in HK, we were told), but it's a nice weekend. We went back to Leeds Saturday night, stayed in the 'oldest' hotel I've ever been (think no hot shower, and super thin walls and door), and did a bit of sightseeing the next day. We also went to York on the same day! Didn't see a lot (and there's nothing much to see anyway) but it's nice catching up with old friends, I mean really old friends!

And tonight, we went to Hampstead Theatre for this theatre production that's unexpectedly enjoyable.

Had never been there before, or the neighbourhood, but it seems to be a nice area, and a fresh breath from the West End. There seems to be a booming art scene going on there, I saw a couple of theatres/cafes/bookshops opposite the theatre looking quite nice.

Snapped this before the performance started. The play's about how a girl tries to escape from her man who is prone to violence, and how, unexpectedly, she succeeds in taking revenge on him in the end. It's casually staged, and I was in the front row being really close to the actors (sometimes they were just walking and talking right in front of me), and it's a really great experience. It's not for the faint-hearted, as it says on the website, but it's a really superb performance! Prolly the best so far in London I've seen!

Added on 1 Dec 2010: Funny I totally forgot to mention the play's title - it's .45!

Monday, 15 November 2010

A Guide to Sexual Misery / Bliss, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

A spoon of sugar, and a spoon of chillies!

Can't believe we actually went to see this... @_@ we didn't make it on Halloween day, and yesterday was the last show, so we went anyway. I didn't expect much really, thought we would just relax a bit and have a jokes-packed night. Turned out it's okay funny, but only, kind of what we expected. :) Some people in the audience were particularly 'active' and kept answering / asking questions, but we being the 'typical Asians' just sat there...I LOLed a lot but S was kind of like...hidden behind his backpack. :P Guess he wasn't particularly impressed, he just went because I got the tix!

And today, we went to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - I didn't even know it was out when I was in HK, and they're running the first two films in the trilogy coz the third one's in cinemas soon. I didn't expect much, and it turned out to be a very gripping three hours - didn't expect it to be so long either! It's basically about a journalist and a young woman's attempt to solve the mystery about the disappearance of a girl 40 years ago. The film is peppered with scenes of sexual violence - that's the core of the plot, how different women are repeatedly abused sexually - and it made me sick. We all know how sickening and perverted sex maniacs and rapists are, but to see so many instances and examples on screen - it really makes one angry and frightened. There are so many pervs out there - you can't trust anyone, really, as even people closest to you can do that to you.

Didn't manage to see the sequel, but will definitely find time to see it...and the new one coming out!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

A list of stuff: Santa Paws, Vanbrugh String Quartet

We've been going places a lot lately. we went to see a film I really shouldn't be telling people about, for fear that it would make me even shallower than I already am...hah! It's The search for Santa Paws - Disney's new home video offering for xmas 2010.

It's not yet released, and we were seeing it in the cinema, so it's kinda nice, but you know from the audience that it's really, really a children's film. We were surprised to find that there were actually fun activities before the film at the cinema - face painting (really nice!), cartoon sketching and instant photos. We were quite shameless - we lined up for the instant pics! Hahaha...It's a christmassy film, though a bit cliched (and quite childish), and it's good to be reminded of the importance of good nature.

We've just come back from a Beethoven concert. I'm not a big fan of classical music, but I did play music and even studied music at school...well that's like 10 years ago! Not being a particularly talented musician, I can hardly appreciate the beauty of techniques etc. but one can tell really easily what's good and what's bad.

It's the Vanbrugh String Quartet series, and honestly they're good! It's really hard to play so impeccably, particularly when you're playing with others. This is not something we usually go to (the last time we went was when Simon's cousin Samuel was playing in Hong Kong), but once in a while it's good.
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