Sunday, 29 January 2012

Life without a phone...

So it's been almost a week now since I lost my phone, and whilst I've stopped checking for an appearance of it on Ebay, I still would like some kind of justice to be exacted on whoever now 'owns' it. I'm disappointed that someone in the Chemistry department took it - maybe it's a naive notion, but I thought that students in Cambridge would have more morals than this. And let's not lie, it isn't even a good phone...on a scale of one to smart, it doesn't even have 3G.

Song of the day: The Heat by Good with Grenades (reminds me of my tween days ^^)

Rest in peace, my Tocco Lite of 4 months.

Meanwhile, life without a phone has been somewhat the good old days. And ironically enough, more people have been in touch with me than when I owned a phone but that's only because I sent out a mass email to everyone I know on Facebook asking them to message me their numbers. Even so, it's been nice catching up with people.

Although, meeting up with people proved to be a bit more of a challenge! Let me illustrate. Yesterday, T and I arranged to meet at Cafe Nero, but when I got there, I couldn't find her at all on either the first or ground floors. Telling myself to calm down, I went back outside and stood there for a bit before my gaze landed on the other beverage establishments nearby. What if she'd gone to Starbucks? Costa? The OTHER Nero? Pret? I'm sure you're aware by now that I am not a very logical person, so after a few more minutes I decided to go to Starbucks, but didn't stay long. Back outside, luck finally came to me at last, for I bumped into an acquaintance who ended up saving the day! J and I chatted for a bit and I explained my predicament. Unfortunately, J did not know T, but she lent me her phone, and I called someone on her contacts list who knew my brother's phone number. After acquiring my brother's number, I called him to ask him for T's number, so in a convoluted chain of people, I finally managed to get into contact with T, who turned out to be sitting on the first floor of Nero thinking, "oh my god, something's happened to her"... >_<

Second example - today I'd arranged to meet up with E at Patisserie Valerie but on the way, my bike brakes broke (I came to this realisation when I almost got run over but let's not go into that >_< ...if I had to go to hospital again then that would truly be bad luck...) so I had to walk for the rest of the journey. And since I had no phone, I had no way of letting her know that I was going to be late. Hell, I didn't even know what the time was! But turns out I was only ten minutes late. Not really sure how much longer this can continue but I'm pretty reluctant to shell out the cash since I'm going to have to repair my bike unless I want to walk for the rest of my academic life...and not to mention the fact that my beloved camera also broke a few days ago too. Dropped it. Instead of getting a quote, I got an email reply from a repair service that said it was too uneconomical to fix so I may as well get a new one. Great.

Things I bought on Friday after I made sure I had my card with me. Photo taken with a friend's Samsung Galaxy S2... T_T

From the webcam...

This was my dinner tonight - Japanese curry with potatoes, carrots, onions, mushrooms and prawns using a cube from my beloved Golden Curry stash. Sorry about the image quality!

Quote of the day: Maybe think about getting back into normal realms of communication before you go off taking pictures.
~ The brother.

So in conclusion, financially, emotionally and luck-wise, this has not been a good week for me, or a very prosperous start to the year of the dragon. But I made up for it by doing a lot of retail therapy this weekend (oh the irony) and if you are interested in my materialistic purchases, then please do check out my post here where I rave about things I buy.

On a final note, have you ever had to live without a phone for a while? And can you recommend me any mid-range models to buy for phone and a camera?

Yishi xxx

Friday, 27 January 2012

Warrior by B.A.P

It's been a while since I last did a music post. Anyway, this song is a bit of a big deal right now in the k-pop world, and after listening to it I can definitely see why! ^^

B.A.P. stands for Best. Absolute. Perfect.

This is their debut and when I first heard it, I fell in love with the song instantly. These guys are so fierce and full of energy, it's electrifying. I also really like the badass image and artistic direction of the video - everything works so well together!

Click for their official website!

Best of luck to them - I am seriously impressed with B.A.P. and will definitely be looking out for more from them!

Yishi xxx

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Baby we got chemistry.

You know life's gone bad when your actions finally drive away the one person who meant everything to you, you're eating pot noodles for breakfast and you lose your phone in the freaking Chemistry department...! And then when you get home, you find that when you try to call your phone it's switched off which means someone clearly has picked it up because there was/is enough juice left in that baby to last a week! But this post isn't going to be about that; instead, today I am going to tell you about what I get up to in the lab!

Song of the day: Bad Project by Zheng Lab (Lady Gaga parody) ~ you really have to watch the video!

This year, as an undergrad Masters student, in addition to lectures, we also have a research project to complete and as mine is to do with organic synthesis, this means that I have to spend a lot of time in the lab making molecules. Yippee!!

In essence, the background to my project is this: for the sake of scientific curiosity, some people want to study how enzymes work. Why? Well, since enzymes are biological machines that catalyse essential chemical processes going on in your body - from digestion to hormone production to cell repair - people want to understand how they work so that they can find ways to fix them if they go wrong and cause diseases. Basically, without enzymes, you and I (and every other living thing) would not be here.

Right now.

To make matters more relevant to me, the enzymes that my group are interested in are present in pretty much every life form on this planet! However, it isn't easy to pick them out like the bits of food you don't want to eat because every cell will contain a soup of other enzymes. So this is where I come in - my job is to make a molecular sieve to catch them so that they can be purified for studying!

Gotta catch em all!! ^^

How do these enzymes work? Well, they've evolved so that they'll only work if they can find and bind to another molecule which is called thiamin diphosphate (TPP):

Sourced from here!

TPP is the activated form of thiamin, which you and I commonly know as vitamin B1. As I said above, for the TPP-dependent enzymes to work, they need to bind to TPP...or something that looks very similar to the structure of TPP. Over two semesters, I need to build a new molecule that looks similar to TPP but can also be attached to a solid framework. This can then be used as a sieve to catch the enzymes since the enzymes will still bind to the new molecule.

When I write it like this, it sounds all fun and sunshine and daisies, but when you've been staring at a small flask for weeks on end, willing chemical bonds to form where you want them to form, you kinda start to lose the will to live. Until something finally goes it did yesterday for me when I finally made some progress after a month of chemical roadblock!


I'm not sure if I want to do a PhD or not, as I'm definitely not smart enough for one, but it also seems that I lack the basic skills employers are looking for to work in the real world. I mean, really, if I had known that corporate grad schemes wanted students with prior programming experience and a keen interest in finance then I would have studied Computer Science and Economics. At the same time. Like a boss.

And on that note, I will now go to bed. Unless you have any recommendations for me on what phone to buy? ^^

Yishi xxx

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Recipe for My Udon Soup ♥

Hey everyone, hope you're well! Today I was in the lab and finally managed to purify one of my compounds after FOUR attempts so I'm pretty happy...although I ate my first proper meal sometime after 4pm so that balances it all out... T_T

Song of the day: Earthquake by Labrinth (Noisia Remix) heard the original on the radio earlier and at the weekend in Oxford!

Long overdue, but here it is, just for you Harley...the long awaited recipe for my udon soup! ^^

My dinner yesterday and 4pm breakfast today!

You will need:


One pack of udon noodles
One chicken breast
Some prawns
One pak choi
Shiitake mushrooms
One egg
One spring onion
Soy sauce
Fish sauce
Sesame oil
(Chili flakes - optional)
(Soya beansprouts - optional)

What to do:

1. If you are using soya beansprouts then boil them for about ten minutes before adding in chopped pak choi, chopped shiitake mushrooms and chili flakes if you want to include them.

2. Pour in one or two tablespoons of soy sauce depending on your taste preferences, and add in a few drops of fish oil. Adjust to your taste.

3. Throw in a diced chicken breast and simmer until the meat is cooked. Meanwhile, whisk an egg and chop up the spring onion.

4. Next up, add the noodles and when they are almost done, toss in the prawns.

5. Now comes the fun part. Carefully pour in the whisked egg, spreading the egg around the mixture and giving it a quick stir or two to create a cloudy effect. I love watching the egg blossom as it cooks.

6. Take the pan off the boil, serve, and garnish with spring onions and some drizzled sesame oil!

Tada! A perfect little feast! Hoping to stock up on more Honey Citron Tea soon as I am definitely running low...

Voila, and there you have it! I'd remembered to bring my camera with me this time and took some in progress shots but none of them turned out great which is a little sad. But oh well. An episode of Superstar Express/To Get Her today made up for it hehe.

On a final-before-I-go-to-bed-note, I'm hoping to make a banana loaf in the very near future with some bananas that are vegetating rather fragrantly in my room as I speak, so I shall let you know how I get on with that! Until then, my lovelies, take care! :)

Yishi xxx

Monday, 23 January 2012

Happy Chinese New Year!

Wish I could cut paper as pro as this! Image source: here.

Hello everyone, and happy new year in the lunar calendar! This year, it's the year of the dragon, which means that according to tradition, this will be a year of progression, perseverance and auspiciousness.

Song of the day: Love You More And More by Fahrenheit (opening theme to Superstar Express/To Get Her! ^^)

For those of you that don't know, legend has it that back in the day, an Emperor decreed that there would be a race for all animals in order to determine which animals would be included in a calendar of years. There were only enough spaces for twelve animals, and the race involved crossing a river as the final obstacle.

At that time, the Cat and the Rat were good friends and rode on the back of the Ox, who had set off early because he was slow. However, when they got to the river, the sneaky Rat pushed the Cat off and jumped onto the shore, backstabbing everyone but earning his place as the first animal. But at least the Ox's efforts weren't wasted, for he came second. The Tiger came third, and the Rabbit fourth after finding some stones to hop across. Fifth was the Dragon, who had watered the land by spreading rain which slowed him down - he'd also helped the rabbit across. The Snake came sixth by sneaking a ride on the Horse and then scaring the Horse enough to steal the Horse's rightful place. The Sheep, Monkey and Rooster all worked together to build a raft, and earned their respective eighth, ninth and tenth places. The Dog came eleventh, having been distracted by playing in the water, and long afterwards, the Pig arrived, claiming twelfth. Unfortunately the Cat arrived too late, so now hates the Rat forever more!

There are many variations on the legend of the zodiac, but that's the one that I grew up with.

I've never celebrated Chinese New Year in China before but really want to, as it is by far the biggest festival in the Chinese calendar and tends to go on for AGES! There are lion dances, feasts, variety shows, fireworks, presents...the works! For me though, I've normally celebrated it with family and friend dinner parties. It is a tradition to eat dumplings, so when I started going to university, it was difficult for me to go home so I learned how to make dumplings and have done so every year now...apart from this one since all the people that I made them with have now left! :(

Pre-made dumplings just don't have the same TLC as home made ones...

Going off-topic, today I went to Mill Road which is where all the Asian supermarkets are. I was planning on buying kimchi, pak choi, udon, sauces, rice snacks, biscuits, sweets, and whatever else I fancied at the time, but in one of the shops, when I got to the till, I realised that I'd left my card at home. CRINGE. I only had a fiver too, so I had to do the really embarrassing ritual of removing items from the shopping bag but still ended up being six pence short. Luckily, the woman let me off. I hope she took pity on my broken Mandarin and was in good spirits because it was CNY! So, the image above shows the only things that I managed to buy... :(

A present from my friends that I mentioned in my last post.

Normally, it's a tradition for us to receive little red envelopes of money from our relatives, but when I checked my pigeon hole today, there was no pocket money from the parents. Hoping something will come tomorrow...! ^^

This is what I had for dinner tonight to celebrate!

I managed to take some in progress photos of my dinner preparations: udon soup and the dumplings I bought, so I'll put up a recipe for the udon soup...probably tomorrow.

Finally, before I sign off, want to know why firecrackers are so popular on Chinese New Year? Well, back in the day, once again, the world was dominated by monsters - a notable one was called Nian, who came out once a year on the same day to destroy villages and gobble up people. People lived in fear and marked the end of the year with the time Nian came out, hence why the word nian is year in Chinese. One day, a man proposed to light bamboo which was supposed to crackle really loudly and could therefore scare Nian away. It worked, and now, firecrackers are lit to reconstruct the crackling of the bamboo.

The end! :)

Yishi xxx

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Photo Diary: A Night with Harry Potter

I was going to title this post: A Weekend in Oxford but then I thought that the current one is probably a bit more eye-catching, even if it is bending the truth so much so as to go back on itself. Anyhow, yesterday, a huge group of us crashed Christ Church to celebrate a double birthday formal with two dear friends who had defected to Oxford after graduating from Cambridge this summer.

Song of the day: Harry Potter (Hedwig's Theme) by John Williams

The plan for L and I was to get on the 2pm coach to Oxford, but due to my lack of organisation and sheer panic at not being able to find a pair of bronze shoes to match a dress (why are gold or bronze coloured items of clothing not available during the winter!?), we ended up taking the next one at 3pm, which was just the beginning of our troubles.

This is the cursed orange dress that caused me so much grief:

According to google, black make you look like a pumpkin, white works but is too summery for winter, blue or yellow only works if the shade is JUST RIGHT, and gold or bronze definitely work...GRARGH!

And in the end, I didn't even wear it.

Did I mention we had troubles? Well, allow me to clarify. Not only did L and I forget to bring a load of stuff as we were in such a huge rush to pack (toothbrush, towel, sleeping grim... >_<:;), but also, halfway through our journey, our coach broke down so we had to switch onto the next coach. Since it was already running late, we didn't get into Oxford until 7pm, which is the time that the meal was supposed to start at. Now why does the timing matter so much? Well, the meal we attended is called "formal hall", which is a special three-course meal served by waiters that colleges in Oxford and Cambridge hold in the evenings. Students dress up in smart evening clothing, wear their college gowns, and stand up for grace before and after the meal. Normally lit by candlelight or some other intimate lighting, the main hall is transformed into a grand scene: the rows upon rows of tables look so cosy, but when your gaze is lifted upwards, you are overcome with the splendour and sheer history of the hall.

The Harry Potter hall is based on this one!

There are portraits of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I hanging on the wall!

Depending on how strict the college is, some ones strictly enforce the start time so if you are late then you are not allowed in even though you've paid! Luckily for us, Christ Church started late and didn't seem too strict about their rules, since no one came to tell our group off for pennying (a drinking game whereby you throw pennies into people's wine glasses and if you get one in, then they have to down the glass)!


After the fellows entered to take their seats at the front of the hall, one of them read grace, which we stood up for, before taking our seats again to wait for the starter. There were bread rolls and bowls of fruit scattered periodically along the table that made the wait shorter!


The waiters were swift with delivering the dishes to us. They gave us large platters of rice and vegetables for us to serve amongst ourselves. As usual, we had to ask for more, and as usual, our table was a mess on account of the pennying that was going on!


During the meal, I discovered that the staircase outside of the hall had been used for filming Harry Potter, so after the meal, naturally, our group had to go and take a gazillion photos there...including accosting some frightened local students into taking multiple group photos whilst shouting "Cambridge!!" instead of "cheese!!" >_<:;

Saaaay Cambridge!!

I'm wearing my Selwyn college gown, the heels I got for Christmas, the cardigan from Terminal D, a white top and a purple skirt. Luckily the light ray blocks out my face! ^^

Not gonna lie, attempting to sleep in your clothes with other people's jackets for blankets after too many Jaegerbombs whilst someone else in the room snores was not a good way to go, and I was definitely looking forwards to going home the next day, so sadly, didn't stick around to watch the guys have their college boat race.

I got this book as a present from H to read on the coach journey home:

He brought this all the way from Thailand for me when it was published in the UK?!

And two dear friends, L and O got me a box of chocolate as an early Chinese New Year present!

Happy Chinese New Year's Eve! :)

Yishi xxx

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Photo Diary: A Tour of Selwyn College

I really like the walking tours that Shannon posts about in her blog, so I've decided to do my own little series of tours around Cambridge, with the main challenge being to do a tour of every single college in Cambridge - bear in mind we have 31 colleges!

Song of the day: Nothing To Lose / Let Me Go by Zuno

So today, to start off, here is a tour of Selwyn, my very own college:

Selwyn was founded in 1882 by George Augustus Selwyn. One of his descendants attends this college and I share my lectures with him!

A view of the front of the college. This is the main entrance.

This is a dedication to the founder of the college. As he is from New Zealand, the college's official mascot is the kiwi bird. The unofficial mascot is Gus the cat.

A close up of the main entrance. Since Selwyn is not in the centre of the town, we don't get many tourists so I stood out quite a bit when taking these photos!

A view of Old Court. This is the court that I live in, the oldest part of the college. In the autumn, the vines turn a deep red and it's really beautiful to see.

Our Chapel.

The main hall and the bar. Selwyn is one of the more modest colleges in terms of finance and size, but it still takes a while to walk around the whole of the college grounds!

A closer up view of the steps leading up to the main hall where meals are served.

And some pretty architecture of the top of the building!

This is where the Master lives. Yes, we have someone here with a title of Master. Next I left Old Court, and walked down a path that leads to Ann's Court. To my left is the college library but I couldn't get any nice photos of it - will try again next time I go.

This is the back of Ann's Court, where I lived for the last two years. We had ensuites, huge rooms, really nice kitchens, and some of my best memories of Cambridge. Ann's Court was opened in 2008, so it's really new!

An artsy shot! ^^

I walked through the tunnel, and now come to the inside of Ann's Court.

Early flowers blooming in winter!

The Ann's Court bike sheds.

In the spring, there are some lovely cherry blossoms here. When the weather gets warmer, I'll take you on a tour of the college gardens.

Back to the main entrance.

A few minutes down the road is Cripps Court, the accommodation for all the freshers. It was nice living there as my whole year group lived together so we got to know each other really quickly. Great when we have a reputation for being one of the friendliest colleges! Also, between each pair of rooms, there is a shared shower, so you get to know your "shower buddy" really well too.

At this point, the sun finally came out.

This is a pretty lucrative fast food van that seems to live here. No one knows how the owner makes a living...

And finally, the Cripps Court lawn!

Well, I hope you enjoyed this tour! Today I had my first lectures of the semester, and also managed to fit in a twenty minute run. Since it's pretty late right now, I shall see you in another post! ^^

Yishi xxx

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Recipe for Mushroom and Duck Congee

So, following on from a previous post about congee, I've done enough experimenting to be able to provide you a yummy recipe for you to try yourself! ^^

Can you see the heart shape that I made with the soy sauce and sesame oil? :)

Sorry I didn't take more in progress photos - I made this in between my new "let's lose that winter layer" exercise routine...which was a fifteen minute run, fifty sit ups, thirty squats and a ninety second plank. We'll see how long I keep this up...!

You will need:

One cup of long grain rice (makes about two servings)
Shiitake mushrooms
Some shredded pieces of chicken or duck (I used leftover duck roast)
Half a cube of beef stock
One spring onion
Sesame oil
Soy sauce

What to do:

1. Boil the rice in a rice cooker or saucepan until the rice is soft.

2. Whilst the rice is cooking, chop the shiitake mushrooms into little pieces. If you have dried mushrooms, you can cut them using kitchen scissors and then let them soak. I find it easier to cut dried shiitake mushrooms when they are dry.

3. After the rice has cooked, add it to a saucepan and fill up the pan with boiling water to just cover the level of rice.

4. Add the chopped mushrooms, beef stock and shredded meat. Raw or cooked meat is fine - if the meat is cooked, then you will get some flavour seeping into the congee and if it is raw, it will boil in the water and fall to pieces more easily, which is what you want to happen.

5. Turn up the heat and let the water simmer, remembering to stir frequently otherwise the rice will stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. Keep on simmering until the rice starts to break apart. If the level of the water drops below the level of rice before the rice has broken apart, top it up with more water. This step should take about half an hour, or until you are satisfied with the consistency of the congee.

6. Spoon out the congee into a bowl and garnish with chopped spring onion. Add soy sauce and sesame oil to your own personal taste (and maybe salt too although I didn't use any).

Tada, so sweet and so easy to eat!

Voila, a mild and easy to digest food, here for you to try! Please let me know how you get on if you decide to give this recipe a go, and of course any suggestions for improvement are welcome!

Before I leave, just wanted to share with you a spontaneous purchase I made today:

Click the image for more details!

And to leave you with a riddle that I overheard being discussed in the corridor whilst I was cooking. Honestly, I could not figure it out. And didn't understand it when I had the answer explained to me. In fact, I still don't understand it, but if you give it a go and want to know the answer, let me know in the comments and I'll get a friend to explain it to me whilst I take notes for a future post! ^^

Yishi xxx

Monday, 16 January 2012

Of bicycles and street vendors...

Hey there, hope you're well! I wanted to post a picture of the view from my window in the morning, but by the time I got up and found my camera, the sun had risen up too much and bleached out everything in sight. But hopefully soon I'll get to show you Old Court and our college Chapel.

Outfit of the day:

For more picspam, see my new style blog: mystyledchopsticks! ^^

Anyway, today I was re-united once again with my beloved and battered bicycle, after seven weeks of being apart. And boy, I could feel what those seven weeks have done to my muscles! I've missed my bike - I don't have one that's my size at home, and whilst I can get away with riding my brother's little bike or the one that I have owned since I was about 10, it just feels outright weird to be riding a kid's bike.

If you ever come to Cambridge, then you'll very soon conclude that Cambridge (although I'm sure Oxford would also pitch in for the title) is the city of bikes - you can't go for five minutes without the sleek sound of spokes whooshing by. It's an icon of the city and an icon of what it means to be a student here. Even if you live close enough to walk to lectures, most students still own a bike for ease of transport, although that isn't to say that there aren't those who make it a point to not own one!

Growing up, I had an image in my mind that cities in China were like this too, that they were famous for their two pedals:

Sourced from here!

I remember seeing old black and white photos of roads filled with cyclists and feeling awed by the mere thought of the words "bicycle kingdom", but in the three times that I have visited China, all I've seen are cars left, right, centre. It was quite a sad realisation for me as I'd really looked forward to seeing the views from the photos in real life, but in retrospect I guess they are now just a symbol of the past and of what life once was, you know, before everyone could afford a car. Apparently, bicycles in China were once held in such high esteem that they were included as wedding presents!

In my mind, there's just something that feels a bit more communal about riding a bike instead of driving, not to mention the health benefits. But speaking of that communal feeling, I got a lot of it today when I was in town on my shopping rounds!

At Market Square, I came across a Chinese vendor selling hats, scarves and other winter goods who was in the middle of haggling with two Chinese girls. I was standing nearby, browsing the cute gloves, and couldn't help but smile at the tactics that the girls were using: cuteness, appeal to race, appeal to the homeland, and "in [insert town name] we get it for only [insert price]!!!". Eventually, they walked off, happy. Now there were some items that I had my eye on, but since I didn't have the courage to try to bargain, I went to Paperchase for a bit and then came back, determined to give it my best shot.

The vendor immediately asked me if I was Chinese, to which I replied yes in Mandarin, and then he asked me if I was from Malaysia... >_< ...I made a face similar to that, so he asked me if I was from Guangdong. I was somewhat surprised as Guangdong is adjacent to Hunan where my parents come from, and I thought my accent sounded more foreigner-trying-to-learn-the-lingo than Southern China Twang. But if he did manage to detect any Southern accent then I am well impressed. On the other hand, if he thought I was Cantonese (on account of Guangdong) learning to speak Mandarin then I am less impressed. Those are answers that I will never know unless I visit his stall again, so I shall no longer dwell on the matter.

Anyway, he told me straight away that since I was Chinese, he was willing to negotiate prices with me - he must've seen my grin when I was listening in on the girls earlier. Not that I was complaining, but when I think about it, it's pretty unfair on others that I get secret discounts just because of my race. In the midst of my bargaining session, I even saw some white tourists drop by and ask the vendor for the price of an item - for them, it was a flat rate, and whilst it may have looked reasonable to the tourists, the vendor and I both knew that the asking price is always much higher than what the vendor is willing to accept. I think this is just a part of Chinese culture, that at every small business shop, as long as the shopkeeper likes you, can speak to you in his mother tongue or is desperate to make a sell then you can very easily whittle the price down.

So with that in mind, I managed to score myself two sets of hats and scarves for almost 50% of his original price. Of course I threw in the "I have no money because I'm a poor student" card, but he already knew that, because I apparently looked so young. He also gave me a leaflet advertising a show about 5,000 years of Chinese culture that looks amazing but is too pricey for me to attend, since "I have no money because I'm a poor student". However, if any of you happen to be in London in April and are interested in attending then my good deed for the day has been done.

On a final note, here is a photo of Gus, our college cat, who decided to take up residence on my friend's bed. She actually called me over to get rid of him, poor thing!

So cute! ^^

Maybe I should've titled this post: how to haggle with a Chinese vendor. Answer: if you can't speak Chinese, then go with someone who can haggle for you.

Yishi xxx

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Photo Diary: My Cambridge Room!

Hey guys! Sorry for the lack of updates; had a pretty busy weekend and today I've just moved back to my room in college so this is the first chance that I have to post! :)

I guess I haven't really said much about the ex in my last few posts, so I'll just state here that although we're now on good terms, if real life was a Facebook page then it would read: "it's complicated". Anyway, I went to visit him last weekend, and this weekend too for his housemate's birthday. Below is a dish that I salvaged:

He tried to make a Korean beansprout soup. I rescued it and turned it into a yummy spicy udon soup.

Anyway, moving on...

Song of the day: Dreamers by afterschoolspecial

The main reason for this post is because I want to show you my room! Ever wondered what a room is like in a college in Cambridge University? Well, now you can find out if you just scroll down...*drum roll*...but really, it's not that exciting...

So many shelves...

This room shares a (thin) wall with the college bar, which has the unfortunate and unsurprising tendency to attract a lot of noisy students in the evenings, but normally my music is enough to drown out the unwanted noise. Although, tonight it has been ghostly quiet and I know not why...

Tokki, Snowy and my Graduation Owl to keep me company!

The heating in my room gets temperamental at times, but today it is fully functioning so I will be very warm (and happy) tonight! When it wasn't working last semester, it made for some very cold nights since my windows are single glazing and I am plagued by cold air drafts.

Pretty cupboards!

Decided to throw in a picture of the cupboard set as I quite liked the design.

Dinner...not very pretty I know, but I was too hungry to care at the time!

My parents bought a crate of instant noodles from Costco for me to get through the darker times of student life. The brand is called Mr Noodles, and the crate proudly proclaims "KIMCHI chicken, no trans fats" which made me very excited. However, one sniff of the soup base powder and I knew I would be disappointed, so it's a good thing that I added a load of extra ingredients to boost this dish: Chinese mushrooms, chicken fillet chunks, pak choi, spring onions, and one egg. Result? Something tasty that I gobbled down in minutes!

A little something that I'm making!

Finally, I want to show you a photo of a scarf that I'm knitting at the moment, to match a hat that I made as a Christmas present for SJ since I figured that I may as well not let the extra wool that I purchased go to waste. I started this project on Thursday night and managed to knit 80cm so far! If any of you want to know what pattern I am using then you can find it here from a lovely blog called Cotton and Cloud! :)

Here's to hoping that this will be a good semester for me!

Yishi xxx