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Sunday, October 29, 2006 @ 10:13 am

Daventry Country Park Bio Field Trip

Phoebe, May, me & Ruby with the quadrat frame
Nurul & me. Muak!
Nurul by the pond
Us in action, my size 7 Wellies

Dr Fitzsimon & Mrs Evans in the centre

I've been having nitghtmares since my Chem teacher told us about the tick that inhabited her brother's belly button.

"We tried every possible method to get the tick out, drown it with ethanol, rub it with oil, use a magnifying glass to burn it....once a tick buries its head under ur skin, it'll suck ur blood n grow bigger n bigger and eventually falls off. We did pulled it out with a tweetzer, the head came out but the nose stucked inside"

at which point ruby indicated her little finger , it was THAT big , she saw one back in Vietnam...i felt a bit faint n nauseatic oledi....god forbid any ticks to attack me..i am petrified at the very tot of any wiggly, multilegged, slimey crawling insects.

not surprisngly i stood as far away as possible from the bio lab bench when we're doing an experiment using woodlice. WOODLICE!!! u wan me die izit? i will never in my life, ever touch one. i looked on with pure terror as ruby n phoboe fondled gleefully with the creepy creatures.

haha, enuf account on that 'traumatic' experience. anw, we're very lucky as it did not rain on our bio field trip. i was all geared as if to fight against a tornado. had a tough time trying to manouvre around in my size7 wellington boots my teacher lend me, esp while we lumbered across the grass land, felt like a big fat elephant walking in a mud pond, lol. We did some quadrats, measured ivy leaves and did pond dipping for index of diversity in 2 stinking stagnant ponds where i was fortunate enuf to kiss the ground. YUCKS!!! i scrapped my knees:'( but still thank god i didnt joined the waterboatman for a dip.

since i was wet n dirty i cldnt care less and did actually enjoyed the pond dipping session, a few sweeps of the pond water using a fish net, dip our catch in a long dish. then everyone will crowd over the dish, squinting our eyes trying to identify the restless insects and pond life using the diagrams in our handouts.


Saturday, October 28, 2006 @ 10:53 am

The confession of a coffee addict

Costa coffee shop in town centreMay's hot choc & my cappucinoMy coffee storage bankmy instant coffeessss才记咖啡店 Cinnamon flavoured coffee, choc cake and tiramisu

Johor's famour kopi O

The Times
September 19, 2006

Why taste for coffee is all in the genesBy Mark Henderson, Science Editor

A TASTE for espresso in the morning may be genetic, according to research that has identified the first known receptor cells for caffeine.
Scientists have discovered that a single protein determines whether fruit flies eat sugar laced with caffeine or avoid its bitter taste.
It is not yet known whether the gene that controls production of the protein, Gr66a, has a similar effect in humans, but the discovery of a caffeine receptor does suggest that a taste for coffee is likely to be affected by genes.
Despite their fondness for human foods, Drosophila fruit flies normally avoid caffeine because of its bitter taste. When the scientists removed the Gr66a gene from the flies, the flies overcame their dislike of caffeine. Without the Gr66a protein, the flies seem to have been unable to taste caffeine.
Craig Montell, who led the research at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, Maryland, said: “The bottom line is that our mutant flies willingly drink caffeine-laced liquids and foods because they can’t taste its bitterness — their taste receptor cells don’t detect it.”
The researchers, whose work is published in the journal Current Biology, ran tests on the flies’ brains to prove that the change originated in the flies’ taste bristles, the equivalent of human taste buds. Neurons attached to the bristle cells showed activity in response to caffeine only in the flies with a working receptor.
Professor Montell said that Gr66a was not a “general sensor” for bitter compounds “but is required more specifically for the caffeine response”.

hehe, that sure explain alot for my caffeine addiction. Mum is to be blamed, my very 1st coffee tasting took place in Starbucks at Pacific Shopping Centre near my home and since then i am hopelessly addicted to coffee. mum calls me the kopi ong . I know, a true coffee lover will be horrified at the very thought of Starbucks coffee or instant coffee but till i pay my pilgrimage to Italian or French or Turkey coffee (shld b Ethopia coz that's where coffee originate frm), i will never noe the difference. plus instant coffee are much more cheaper. at least now i do noe the difference between cappucino, latte, mocha, espresso (beginners avoid this, may sound posh but the sight of the tenny weeny portion is enough to make ur heart bleed, not to mention the pure bitterness, tried warning a fren once but he turned a deaf ear) and macchiato(espresso n foam milk only, i zhong4 zao1 too)

people would pack their luggages full of clothings or food (esp instant noodles) but mine, hehe, is stuffed full of instant coffee mix as u can see frm the pic. BMW expresso, ginseng coffee, old town hazelnut coffee an 343 Cai Ji coffee from Johor. i will DIE without coffee.

on an average day i will down 3 cups of coffee, 1 after i wake up, 1 for breakfast, and 1 at tea break. no worries, instant coffee is low in caffeine, as long as i dun drink more then 3 cups it's perfectly ok and i still can live till 100 years old (housefly fossil). Even after i have my daily shot i still itch for one whenever i smell coffee. hmm, hope i wont die of coffee overdose (though tt will be a rather nice way of dying=p).

to tell the truth, the smell of coffee is much nicer than the actual taste of coffee. duno y, sometimes i experience a disappointment after taking a sip coz the taste does not always match up to the smell that 1st allure me to the coffee. shldnt use the term ' drink ' coffee, it shld be 'smell' coffee. wonder do they sell coffee perfume?

Ytd May treated me to my very 1st cup of coffee in posh shop in town. ahhhhhhhhh, i was so happy~! thank you May may=) find 1 day treat u back ya. love making a milk moustache after taking a sip of brewing hot capuccino.

this summer when i went back to Johor to visit my granparents, mum brought me to Cai Ji coffee shop for a drink, there was a variety of choices and i wld have loved to try every one of it but can only drink one nia, so chose a cinnamon flavoured coffee (as i mentioned b4 i m all for anything with cinnamon) the coffee is quite nice but the cake...speaking of cakes, non that i tasted b4 can beat the cakes my Phey Yee used to bake for me=)

dream of learning how to roast coffee beans in europe. envy my fren who worked part time at Coffee Bean this summer. shall study very very hard, make loads and loads of $$$ , then go travel around the world trying diff coffee from every country. someday i wanna open my own coffee shop, housefly's kopitiam.


Thursday, October 26, 2006 @ 11:42 pm

Letters from home

I’ve been writing letters since I was in kindergarden, my mummy used to encourage me to make pen pals. My longest correspondence was with a childhood friend, Roy. He moved to Kedah when we were in Primary2. After he transferred to another school, I wrote some letters but he never replied, till I sent him a X’mas card with my address did I realised – I didn’t put my address in any of my previous letters! Stupid me.

When I went on a concert tour with JSCO, traveling southwards of Peninsula Malaysia to Singapore, I made some pen pals too, but most did not last for long. The only pen pal who I still keep writing and receiving letters from is Yi Liang=)

Hey, I was so crazy I even scribbled furiously in the middle of an exam (ok lah, erm, to beguile the long hours after completing Chinese papers or EST ) or on the bus!

Some never reply my letters even though I wrote loads to them.

But my dearest mum never disappoint me=)

Imagine being away from home in a foreign country, ridden with homesickness, a letter from home is priceless. Everyday I would check the ‘L’ column of the pigeon hole in college for letters. No matter how bad a day I had just endured, finding a red-blue stripe lined enveloped lying snuggly in the column will always lift my mood. Hehe, I don’t mind the envious looks from my friends=p

Mum would give me a vivid account of the latest happenings in my neighbourhood, about her orchids, about my brothers and my father. Occasionally she would send me some newspaper clippings on medical issues, recipes for beginners or anything she fin relevant (e.g. a photo of Mayday, my favourite band). I savour every word she wrote. While reading the very first letter she wrote in a packed Study Hall, I just couldn’t hold back my tears-yikes! That was pretty embarrassing…

I’ve been in the UK for half a year now and the amount of mum’s letters I’ve accumulated is amazing. By the way, I send her a reply once a week too, 50pence stamp fee.

After Easter, the stamp fee went up from 47p to 50p and I didn’t realised that, so I end up feeling miserable when mum didn’t received any of my letters (she did, eventually, it just took longer then usual)

Special thanks to ah ong, yin koon and my dear juniors from JSCO for the CNY cards.=))) and also phey yee for the lettersss all the way from Melbourne. I miss you all.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006 @ 5:48 pm

Great St Mary's - The University Church, Cambridge

After hopping off the train, we took at bus to the Camridge town center (gbp1.00). Great St Mary's is at the north end of King's Parade, facing the University's Senate House and overlooking the Market Square. It boasts of the highest tower in Cambridge with a spectacular view of some of the most popular colleges in the precinct. The admission ticket costs us GBP4.00 each. We climbed 123 steps going round and round the spiral steps till we finally reached the top and ..tada~!

Metal cages were installed (to prevent ppl from jumping off the tower i suppose?) but they left a small square opening for visitors to take snapshots of the breathtaking view.

The 'Metal Cage'

The Old SchoolsKings College Chapel blocked by treesGonville and Caius CollegeKing's College


@ 5:03 pm

Punting on River Cam

River Cam PuntingScudamore's Punting Station

Ever since I read 徐志摩's <<再别康桥>>, i longed to pay homage to the great River Cam Xu Zimo so reverently praised in his poem. I tried searching for an English translated version of this poem to post but the one Google offered was a bit weird...Apparently this poem is titled "Bear" in English.

When we came to the back portion of the King's College I didnt realise that we were actually standing on a bridge overlooking River Cam untill i asked a passer-by for the name of the river. It was really beautiful! Willow trees swayed on the river bank, punts sailing pass leaving a trail of ripples on the ink blue tranquil water.

After pouring over the map to locate the punt station, we made our way to Mill Lane , next to Trumpington Street , to where the Scudamore's Punting Station is. For GBP 12.00, we get to rent a punt for an hour. The maximum number of passengers for each punt is 6, hence the cost is quite reasonable once u split the cost. Another option is to pay GBP10.00 each for a chaffeured punt and a guided tour.

Our sole male mate volunteered to man the oars throughout the entire 'voyage' while ur girls sat back and enjoy the view, occasionally paddling. Thank you Luke!=)We did get a bit wet when he swinged the metal stick over our heads to change directions. We passed by the King's College, the Mathematical Bridge and lots of buildings that we have no idea what the name is in the abscence of a tour guide. oh yeah, we also passed by a few ducklings~ The Mathematical Bridge
Photo in courtesy of Lily

if it werent for saving money, we would have loved to stay on longer.

@ 12:35 am

Cambridge Market Square Pastries

My friends went to Macdonalds for lunch after we reached Cambridge town center via bus. while passing tru the market square i caught a whiff of this heavenly aroma of freshly baked pastries and was immediately drawn to it. i have just had lunch on the train- packed sandwich (hehe, woke at 6am to make it myself, juz eggs n meat floss wholewheat sandwich lar), but i couldnt resist the temptation...

the man selling the pastries was very pleasant, he would approach u cheerfully "how can i help u my love?" even though there was a lot of customers, he did not at the very least lost his patience when i took my time mulling over which pastry to buy. there was a whole array of choices! and believe me, making up ur mind would be a tough feat.

i eventually settled for a apple and cinnamon (i LOVE anything with apple n cinnamon) jackflap and a mango jackflap for GBP 1.50. it's sort of like cereal bars but not as crunchy. My malay fren bought raspberry & vanilla and chocolate jackflap.

after gobbling up my jackflaps, we went on exploring and found a stall selling all kinds of bread. ahem, i noe this might sounds greedy of me, but i juz couldnt resist the sight of pastries! i bought a huge apple sultana lattice for GBP1.00 and was soon munching away happily.


@ 12:10 am

Fitzbillies Chelsea Bun from Cambridge

While browsing tru Googles for day trip tour sites in Cambridge, i came across a recommendation of Fitzbillies Pastries Shop. Being a pastry lover, i couldnt miss the oppoturnity to try this out.

Fiztbillies is located on Trumpington Street. We happened to pass by on our way to the Punting Station. Gosh, i was squealling with delight~! I bought a Chelsea Bun (GBP1.20), the hallmark pastry of this shop.

The outer layer was crispy, since the bun consists of many layers, the overall texture is crispy and chewy. it's coated with sticky brown syrup (a tad too sweet though), with generous fillings of raisins, cinnamon and apple sauce.

Monday, October 23, 2006 @ 1:06 am

London Eye

London Eye side viewLondon eyethe cabin (my giant bubbles) Sunset view from london eye

Views from Londodn eye
Big Ben
The Parliament House

I finally made my maiden trip to London after studying in the UK for half a year. if u've never been to london, it's like u have never really been to England at all. the trips to heathrow airport doesnt count though.

my hk fren showed me the photos she took in london featuring the london eye, one of the must-go- tourist-destination in London. the tickets werent cheap at all, 12 pounds per ride, but this is a once in a life time experience! how many times in your life will u ever get to ride in a monstrously huge transparent bubble (yup, it felt like floating in a gigantic bubble) and treat urself to a panaromic view of the Big Ben, the parliament house, River Thames and the city from a bird's view?

it was near evening then, the sunset was breathtaking. i was busy snapping photos from every possile angle, taking full advantage of the 12pounds. the ride lasts for an hour. (if my memory hadnt fail me, it was 4 mths ago)

we bought our ticket at Madame Tussaud's wax museum together with the entrance ticket. it was 1 pound cheaper, we tot we escaped from the long queue, but hold on, there was a catch, it was not a ticket after all! we had to queue up to obtain the issued ticket. felt cheated...(own fault lah, never read the wordings carefully)by the way, we took the underground tube to Waterloo tube station after dinner at Malaysian Hall.

anw, luckily we didnt have to wait for long before it was our turn to enter the big ballooon=)


My Name Is...

coffee lover
Mayday fan
Siang to Vietnam mates
Ing to the rest

and no, my dad aint the boss of ING insurance company


Doc on skateboard

Coffee Time Reads

  • Brother
  • Chee Wooi
  • Chen Hueh
  • Chu Ann
  • Duc To Linh(pig wife)
  • Elin
  • Ghee Jin
  • Jasmine
  • Jeanette
  • Jing Zhou
  • Joe-lene
  • Jyh Yun
  • Khay Shi
  • LiYin
  • MaferSeow
  • Mei Lin
  • Mun Sze
  • Ninja Turtle
  • Pei Ni
  • Pey Wen
  • Phey Shan
  • Phey Yee
  • Puppy E
  • Rabbit Goh
  • Reno Hao
  • RuZhe
  • Sergeant Roy
  • Shin Hoon
  • Simon Tan
  • Song Keat
  • Tiong Kun
  • Wilson Wolf
  • Yean Fern
  • Yen Joe
  • Yi Liang
  • Yin Shan
  • Yoke Eng
  • a table for two
  • anthropologist in the kitchen
  • dessert comes first
  • the baker who cooks
  • Lily's Wai Sek Hong
  • Rasa Malaysia
  • Yesterday Once More



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