Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Day 41: Winter Colours

Taken with Canon Ixus 75

Monday, 29 November 2010

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Friday, 26 November 2010

Day 37: W2

I got this for WH for our 3rd year anniversary.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Day 36: Happy Family

Taken with Blackberry 

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Day 35: Carnaby Christmas

Taken with Nikkie 
London 24th Nov 2010 

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Day 34: Les Incontournables

Taken with Nikkie 
London 24th Nov 2010

Monday, 22 November 2010

Day 33: Noah

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Day 32: Baby Joy

To my parents, Leah & Errick 

Parents & Ticke 

The picture today is a very old one. It was taken approximately a quarter of a century ago... I particularly love it because the cute baby in the polka dot outfit looks like both her dad and her mom. Not to mention she is me.

November 21st has now become a very special day. Not that it has anything to do with my parents and I but with someone else who is also very special. One of my close friends, Leah, has given birth to her little boy, Noah, at 9.25pm after being in labour for 12 hours. I haven't seen them and so there is no picture of baby Noah but I know I already love him like he is my own. I have known his parents since they met last year and been through their ups and downs with them, and have seen Leah's bump growing and growing. She is also the first friend at close proximity who has a baby so it is doubly special for me. Noah is going to be my practice for changing nappies and babysitting etc.

I think having kids is an amazing experience, even though I haven't had my own yet and cannot wait my turn. The close relationship I have with my parents (plus all the precious photos we have of baby me); seeing my friends' babies grow up virtually (yes, I follow their development on the internet) nothing seems more rewarding; family just means a whole lot to me. I wish someone would have the courage to start one with me soon! :) 

Just want to send out congratulations to my friends Leah & Errick. I am incredibly proud of them, esp Leah. They will be such incredible parents. I cannot wait to see little Noah.

Day 31:Home-made Pho

Taken with Nikkie 

I am not always confident when it comes to cooking phở so I rarely cook it at home. The broth is particularly tricky. However, I am now proud to say I have mastered the making of phở gà  (chicken pho)... This was my last batch so the broth isn't as clear but imagine the first batch. It was rather divine :) WH enjoyed three days of phở and he wasn't even sick of it. But that's WH for you, my food is always good and there is no limit to eating phở. 

Friday, 19 November 2010

Day 31: Without Fear or Favour

Taken with Nikkie 

If you are living in London and you know bits and bobs about the art scene, you would know that Ai Wei Wei's installation is causing quite a buzz with his 120million sunflower seeds at that Tate Modern. I also have my own personal photo collection of his work here.

I won't write much about Ai Wei Wei because there are some great materials out there about him. I just want to share this recent BBC documentary about him called "Without Fear or Favour". He is a very brave, bold (no, I don't mean his hair) and interesting artist... I really like his story. I am a big believer of a good, solid story! I wonder if there is a good biography about him out there? 

Day 30: I Am Always Horrified

To HH, my dear sis who shares my love for books (amongst many other things)

Taken with Nikkie
London November 2010 

For the past two days I have failed miserably at Project 365. I did not manage to take any photos. The project is coming along much more difficult than I had anticipated... Daylight is short these days and it's been so busy I hardly had a chance to look at anything. However, I am not giving up. I may need to approach it in a less challenging way. 

Day 30, I have a story for you. I got mail from HongKong this week. A friend of mine HH, who is currently studying there, sent me two stories and a lovely little message. I want to share one of them with you. It is taken from the book "An Apple A Week" by David Tang ( HH actually wrote an entry on this book here). According to her note, it sounds like I have a bit of a "reading obesity", something that my mum will be very proud to know. 

I feel very much the same way as David Tang about this topic. It is quite alarming that people aren't reading as much, and even more alarming the things some of them read. A lot of people I know personally don't read selectively, if at all. I am no one to judge but it does make me feel a bit sad. I have to say I didn't start out as a reader, my mum was always very unhappy about this. But somehow I found my way to books very naturally since I started college. 

As I don't have a photo taken for Day 30, I decided to use another one I took a while ago... very appropriate for the occasion. It is my stacks of book that have now been unpacked but no bookshelf-home to go to yet.

Thank you HH for sharing this nice little story. And did you buy this book in HK? It was a shame that there were quite a few typos non?

Hope you enjoy! 


I am always horrified by David Tang

Whenever I go into the house of others, the first thing I always look out for are books. A house without books is, for me, like a man without clothes on. Just as a man is what he eats,, I would say that he is also what he reads. Reading obesity is therefore a wholly acceptable condition. Conversely, a man with reading malnutrition is a man under literary nourishment, and sooner or later, he dies ignominiously. 

I am always horrified when I meet people who tell me they never read. I always ask, "Are you sure? Have you never read a book in your entire life?". "Never. I have never read a book in my life," they would reply. I find this proposition simply unbelievable. Once, a very well-known personality in Hong Kong was showing me his new home. It was vast. He had 10 bedrooms, 4 dining rooms, 3 sitting rooms, games room, cinema, sauna, steam-bath, swimming pool, tennis court - the whole lot. Yet I noticed, to my utter astonishment, that he did not have one single book on a shelf. He only had objects on shelves. He did have a couple of brand new coffee table books on a couple of coffee tables. But he did not have any proper books around. So I asked him why. "Why? I never read. I don't have the time. I have never read a book in my life." The first thought that came across my mind was utter disbelief, followed almost immediately with a huge sense of nausea and contempt; the intense irritation at the thought that here was a man rich enough to have a big schloss like the one he was showing off to me, yet so desperately poor in his grasp of books. 

I would never have a friend, let alone a good friend, who doesn't read. All of my best friends read. If you don't read, you are dead, as far as I am concerned.  For how else can your imagination be excited? How else can your experience experiences all the things you would never experience? How else can you be stimulated and excited by things about which you do not know. The philistines will of course stupidly and moronically argue that you can get all that on television. What utter tosh. Reading a book is an entirely superior activity to watching something on television. IN reading, you have to be proactive all the time. You need to make an effort to get through the pages. You need to concentrate and soak up the images and language of the print. You pause and you think; sometimes you re-read and re-think. You hold the book in your hand and you go around with it, half thinking about it and half-opening it and reading it. The whole ritual is enjoyment itself. Sometimes, we would come across pages which we cannot put down or marvel at the beauty of the prose. In television, by contrast, you don't have to be pro-active at all. You can be totally passive, switched off, anaemic, senseless, and yet you could still catch what flashes before your eyes. Because of this lower, much lower level of concentration, we naturally do not learn as much from watching the telly as with reading a book. 

I find any home without books a home nor worth living in. In Hong Kong, I see so many fancy homes, costing billions of dollars, yet in so many of them, not a single book in sight; or in some cases, even worse, lots of books which are there obviously for mere decoration. That phoniness is perhaps even worse. Bookless homes really turn me off. I physically go sick when I think that people can go through life without reading. And they are often the ones who are bored easily. For me, my book is my best companion (next to my wife and dogs, just!), and I would regard life as not worth living if I were not able to read. When I died, I like the following on my tombstone: 

"When I am dead, I hope it may be said:
His sins were scarlet, but his books were read." 

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Day 29: Where's My Bus?

Taken with Nikkie
London 17 Nov 2010

... shame about the reflection 

Day 28:Sorting Memories

Taken with Nikkie
London 16th Nov 2010

Monday, 15 November 2010

Day 27: Growing Old Together

Dedicated to most of them men

Taken with Nikkie 
London 15 Nov 2010

Along with this picture is a guide about how to take care of sick people, drawn from my own experience as a sick person. I was never taught how to and I guess not everyone was... I remember whenever my mum was sick, the household would turn upside down. Most things stopped functioning properly. I was always in a state of panic because I never knew what to do: how to cook congee, how to go grocery shopping or make ginger tea (I was in my early teens) etc.  I was a useless little kitten. Mum would get upset but then I never had to do anything until I have to do everything by myself...

This guide is not about what medicine to prescribe them but the general etiquette when treating the unwell.

1. Sick people like peace and quiet. They are self-absorbed, slow in responding, get upset easily so please do not ask many questions, just make sure you give them... a. something hot to eat, preferably home-cooked and not bought from the stores; b. orange juice; c. lots of attention & reassurance; d. gently hugs; e. remind them to take their medicine (if any)

2. Take the initiative in finding out what type of illness they have w/o them having to ask you to. This also helps you to know how to deal with their pain/discomfort.

3.  Make sure if your sick person stays at home alone, he/she has easy access to hot food, without having to walk to the store in freezing weather  or getting up to cook (soup is good as can always reheat)

4. Make sure there is an abundant fresh filtered water by their bedside 

5. Make sure they don't have to worry about household chores like doing the laundry or tidying up the room or ironing clothes

I really understand why my mum would get upset and said I was not observant. This is all common sense. Still, we all need a reminder from time to time.

Good Luck! 

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Day 26: Little Pug

Taken with Blackberry 9700
London 14th November 2010 

Day 25: King Kong

Taken with Blackberry 9700
London 13th November 2010

Guess what Mr King Kong is made of out?

Day 24: Ladbroke Grove

Taken with Canon IXUS 70
London 12th Nov 2010

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Day 23: Seagull

Canon Ixus 70
London 11th Nov 2010

I have been wanting to donate and get a poppy for a couple of days but I couldn't find any!!! I thought they would be more available than that.. The closest thing to peace I could find was a seagull... It does look a bit like a dove. No?

Hope everyone paid their respect with the  2-minute of silence today! 

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Day 22: Fight the Cuts

Taken with Nikkie 
London 10th Nov 2010

This afternoon, around 30,000 students and lecturers took the street of Westminster to protest against sharp increase in university tuition fee.

What started off as a peaceful demonstration turned into a rather violent clash between students and police.  I wasn't part of the march but I happened to be nearby around 2pm, when the demonstation seemed to be at its peak. It took me a long time to get to Tate Britain, having to take the south bank route to get to that end of Millbank. As I passed by the Conservative HQ, there was a large crowd of protestors and it started to look a bit out of control. I thought they had only started a placard bonfire there and was surprised that they were allowed to; let alone an hour or so later they had almost taken siege of the building.

The Met Police really did underestimate the risk of this demonstation, which was extremely alarming. Critics say this may have been due to the criticism of their handling Ian Tomlinson's death last year during the G20 Summit protest (so they had a softer approach this year?). But 200 unarmed police dealing with a potential risk from a crowd of 30,000 people (no matter how peaceful most of them are)... let's look at the maths here! There are always people abusing and taking advantage of the situation. Even though, I know, people tend to have a negative thing with the police, they are there for a reason... to prevent these kind of things from happening/getting worse.

Fortunately most of the people attending the protest came with peaceful intention so things did not spark out of control any further. 

The turn out was massive, showing how much students really care and want to be heard but the incidence that took place really left a sad, sad mark over Britain. 

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Day 21: Bedroom

All taken with Nikkie 
London 9th Nov 2010

I'm coming down with something. My throat has been hurting like hell since yesterday, so in order to stay healthy & to be in shape for my busy social life later on this week, I didn't roam the streets for photos... As I stay in I thought I would take picture of all the little things I like lying around the bedroom and put them into a collage. Photoshop neophyte... I never believed in photoshop but hey, opinions always change. 

Monday, 8 November 2010

Day 20: Metal Bird Upside Down

Taken with Nikkie
London Nov 8th 2010

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Day 19: ... of a Portrait

Taken with Nikkie
London Nov 8th 2010

I was at the National Portrait Gallery today, one of my favourite art galleries in London. I finally had time to take quite a few photos.. but somehow I decided on this one as photo of the day.

This portrait of Kate Winslet was taken by Jason Bell, who was inspired by the some of the 120,000 influential British men and women living and working in New York, and so he began a project that eventually turned into has a small exhibition at the NPG called "An Englishman in New York". The pictures were all BW, with captions from the sitter about how they identify themselves ... more American or more English. Most of them miss the sense of humour... something that really made me nod in agreement.

I like most of his photos, but this was definitely my favourite... There's something "je ne sais quoi" & very British about Kate that he captured very well. Just beautiful!

I love portraits, either photographs or paintings.  Because people are interesting especially when they are not (really) posing. As my fascination for photography grows, I reckon I will be more of a portrait photographer.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Day 18: Happy Diwali

Taken with Blackberry 9700
London 7th November 2010
My friend Rags and his other two "Idiots" (one of them is Ben in the photo) are about to embark on an amazing Indian adventure to raise money for charity. Please read their blog and donate here. I came along to his Diwali party to support them.. loving the sari!

Happy Diwali everyone!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Day 17: Self Portrait

Taken with Nikkie
London 6th November 2010

A bit self-indulgent today. It was hectic and I didn't take the chance to take photos while playing pool because I was way into the game... 
Was just thinking how old I have become, how much I look like my mother (she also has one eye bigger than the other) and that my eyes are a little crossed... 

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Day 16: Nuts

Taken with Blackberry 9700
London 4th November 2010

The only thing I saw today that inspired me was nuts.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Day 15: Monologue

Taken with Blackberry 9700 
London 3rd November 2010 

The thing with Project 365 is that it trains the eyes to look out for something interesting. Most of us are usually so absorbed in the bigger picture of our busy lives that we stop noticing the little things around us. Certain day I really struggle to find the time; let alone inspiration. Other days like today when I actually wanted to go out and take pictures, I realized that the sun now set at around 4.30pm, then found Nikkie without a memory card.

So I sat down in the corner of a Starbucks, disappointed and angry. I had been carrying this heavy camera around and it had become useless. Instead, I pulled out my Moleskin. These notebooks have been my soulmate for more than 3 years (one each year for now) ... they're patient with my frustrations, help me to remember things and ideas that inspire me, sometimes record sketches and scribbles. I adore them. But I also abandon them from time to time. Whenever I come back to them, I always feel pleasantly surprised... They're like really really good friends who are always there for you but expect nothing in return except your trust.

The only thing missing is those "dear diary" moments ...  I wonder how many old fashion people are still out there?

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Day 14: De Barcelona

Taken with Canon IXUS 75
London 2nd November 2010

There was nothing of Gaudi but I finally have a little something of the Guernica. Picasso was always our favourite painter.

Day 13: Being In Love

Dedicated to my yogi friend, S.S.Y

Taken with Nikkie 
London 01.11.2010 

I'm starting to notice a few things since I started this project:

1. Sometimes I post two entries on one day, to make up for the fact that on certain day I simply don't have enough time. I usually dislike that excuse, because if you really want to do something, you will certainly MAKE the time. This will have to change. No matter how tired or how busy I have been that day, I will spend at least 10 minutes on an entry. I need to discipline myself and stop making excuses.

2. What started out as an artistic project has also incorporated a lot of personal memories. I guess I have to redefine this project a bit. It's one photo per day, but it can be artistic attempt or memory-related, or anything that inspires me. The only thing is that the picture has to be taken THAT DAY!


For a while now, I have wanted to incorporate entries for books! Books are a big part of my life and the inspiration I get from reading is enormous.  So the first Monday of each month will be dedicated to a book that I want to recommend to you, my few but very much loved followers. 

The first book is called "Being In Love", it is my current "bible". It's written by one of  the very inspirational spiritual leaders of our time, Osho. Though the man himself had certain controversies during his lifetime, he was a human being and people make mistakes.  I appreciate his teaching, in which he uses a very clear and simple writing style. I have only read this one book by him, which happened in the area where I have weakness in. 

This book was recommend to me by an university friend S.S.Y,  who lives in the Far East. We met briefly through organizing an event while at Warwick. Our common interest in yoga has gotten us in touch again (mostly through twitter)... At the time of recommendation, I was going through a difficult time understanding love and what love really is. S.S.Y said I should read it so I went and buy it the next day (I also trust a recommendation from an yogi). I wonder what was going through her mind as she made the recommendation, maybe she felt the bitterness through my words. The book has not left my side whenever I have any doubt or negative feelings with regards to my "love life". Love life here is not just with my significant other, but with everybody. 

I believe everyone, spiritual or not, should read this book once. I think it will help us in the way we think about love, and how we love. It doesn't mean that you have to agree with everything but I am certain there is something you can get out from it. You can see that I have marked in all the pages I find helpful for myself. I have recommended it to many friends,  but many of whom I doubt gave it a chance... 

Ah! I just came up with a very good idea :) 

Monday, 1 November 2010

Day 12: Bath

Taken with blackberry 9700
Bath 31.10.2010

Bath was absolutely breath-taking. I had the very old Canon IXUS 75 with me, which ran out of battery after a day! So I had to shoot with my blackberry 9700, and who says those bb bad boys don't produce some interesting photos?

There were a few I really like but thought this sums up the city and what it is most famous for... history, architecture and colour.