Sunday, 26 May 2013

[絕對達令] Absolute Boyfriend Afterthoughts~

So I just finished watching Jue Dui Darling (after such a long time I know) and oh my, where do I start?

How about with this... much fanservice and so so guilty of enjoying said fanservice. But enough about my not-so-secret flame for Jiro Wang.



I had an inkling that the story would turn tragic at some point (it's an idol drama, come on, how could there not be any tragedy?), given that it's essentially about the love between a human and a robot, but I underestimated just how heart-wrenching this could be. In the last episode alone, I cried enough to fill a water bottle - was very embarrassing too, since I was on a train and discreetly trying to hide the fact that I was a) watching an Asian drama and b) flooded with tears. Had to pause several times to hold the gates back.

I'm glad they didn't drag it out (any more than they already did) - by this point, I was ready to believe that I was watching the death of an actual person, that's how 'real' Night had become. It was all so bittersweet and painful, knowing that everyone was helpless and that this was the final countdown. The ending itself still makes my tears well up - no hint as to whether he does get revived... :'(

I haven't seen too much of Jiro's work, but out of everything I have seen him in, I think this is his best show by far. He did such a good job as Night, and I don't really have anything bad to say about his character at all.

Xiao Fei, on the other hand...her character got exceedingly annoying in the middle of the story - is passiveness a common trait of all girls in Asian dramas? She just lets herself get carried into all of these nasty situations, and is just tooooo naive for my liking that it really started to grate on me. But towards the end, I let that go when she finally stopped dilly-dallying around and faced up to her true feelings. I thought the emotional growth there was very touching (and about time too!). Pity they never got round to consummating their love... >_<:;

All I can say about Zhong Shi is this: poor guy. He had to put up with so much crap, yet he stayed by her side until the end. If I had a friend as good as Zhong Shi I would never let him go. Same with Night... ^^:;

And Lei Wu Wu came into his own towards the end too. I always liked him, even though he is so obviously there for comic relief but also such a funny character too (I don't usually find Chinese comic relief characters funny as the humour is too weird for me -_-)! He always used threats but never really carried them out and always seemed to be a good guy at heart, so I'm glad he tried to save Night and saw him as more than a simple robot.

I wish there could be a single episode set in the future, just to wrap everything up - we deserve that, at least! >__<


And on that note, here's the music video of the ending credits song for you to drool over~~

Now to find a new drama to watch...any recommendations?

Yishi xxx

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Oblivion and Cass Art haul~


It's been a while since I last updated. If you've been following UK weather, then you'll know that the last few days have been full of sunshine, which has made for a very happy me!

Today I left work early to go to Cass Art in Angel ~ they were having a 15% discount sale on everything in their store, including all of their already discounted stuff. A good friend of mine had raved about this store for a long time now, so I made sure to stock up on graphite, charcoal and coloured pencils.

Afterwards, we wandered about for a bit before coming to a Japanese restaurant called Tenshi. Having gone dry on sushi for a few weeks now, I knew I could not resist so we ordered a massive stack of very decently priced sushi and some skewers of grilled chicken. It's at this point that I usually order a main too, since sushi alone is not enough to fill me up on my current budget, but this time I had a mini brainwave and just ordered a bowl of rice, thinking - how have I only just figured this out?! T_T

Once we'd finished eating, we headed to the Vue which is just down the road - but far enough such that an "are we there yet?" was very much warranted - for an evening screening of Oblivion. My first thoughts were: oh, Tom Cruise, the crazy-scientologist-I-used-to-crush-on-back-in-the-day-before-I-realised-he-was-crazy, followed by WOW, cinematography! The visuals in this movie are absolutely breathtaking, and the orchestral music is very epic too. I really liked the sweeping camera-work, the wonderful shots of the planet, and all of the awesomely cool CGI tech.

I just wish the plot had been as strong as the visuals and had more substance. Don't get me wrong, the premise is pretty cool but I think the delivery could've been less of an info-dump and crafted in a less distracting way. There were quite a few things that did startle me i.e. plot hole - such as how the characters could function at such high altitudes without asphyxiating or freezing to death - there was one scene in particular that really got me - the obligatory strip scene.

I also thought that a lot of the intriguing concepts weren't developed enough or to my satisfaction, I really really wanted to know more about the sci-fi elements - can't say more for fear of spoilers - but I felt that that was the meat of the movie, and that was overlooked too much in favour of the personal journey approach. But oh well. I liked it nonetheless.

My friend said that he enjoyed the craftsmanship of The Host more so, and this is only surprising when I tell you that said friend is one hundred percent male...!

Anyways, it's getting late, so take care everyone~~

Yishi xxx

Sunday, 24 March 2013

D.I.Y. Spa Evening~


I've always wanted to try to create my own spa experience at home, and with winter showing no sign of being vanquished, what better time to do so than now? After all, everyone has such busy schedules these days that we hardly ever have any time to ourselves - something we don't even think about doing all too often. But as my yoga teacher keeps on emphasizing, putting aside time to focus on yourself is so important for your mental well-being!

This is such a fun idea you can do for a girl's night in, or for something you can do with your significant other, all on a student budget~

So you've decided you want to have your own spa experience now?

The first thing to think about is where to hold the session. A lot of professional spa treatments involve lying down in a comfortable place, so a living room or a bedroom are good options. We chose a bedroom, and immediately set about cleaning it as there is definitely something to be said for the ancient art of feng shui, and given that some people believe that a person's room is a reflection of the state of their internal self, I do believe that an uncluttered space will make you feel more relaxed.

Next, you need to decide on what you are going to do:

Face masks
Steam treatments

And what you will need! We went to Chinatown and picked up some incense sticks for £1.50, and in MUJI we picked up a scented candle and a bottle of essential oil for ~£7 which turned out to be our only expenses for this night - not bad, given that I already had some massage oil lying around and a lavender scented comforter that was oh so soothing when it had been heated and was wrapped around my neck.

Recreating a luxury experience in your own home is all about the details - we wanted to feel like we were being treated so fluffy white towels and bathrobes were a must!

Other details included some preparation before we began - switching on the heating to warm up our space, and lighting an incense stick to infuse the room with a calm and relaxing scent. We also had a supply of green tea on tap, as well as a soothing soundtrack that was oh so kindly supplied to us by Youtube.

I wanted to try a face mask and prepared one by mashing a banana, some honey and a few drops of lemon juice, but never got round to trying it out that evening. In the morning, it ended up becoming a sticky black goo, something I will spare you from seeing!

As it was quite late in the night (half ten...eleven?) when we started, we only got round to massages and steam - for the steam, we had a bowl of hot water infused with a few drops of lemon essential oil that we used to unclog our pores. But next time, there will be more! :3

All in all, something a little out of the ordinary, and well worth the preparation!

Yishi xxx

Saturday, 23 March 2013

London Chocolate Festival!

Hello everyone!

Today I dragged my housemate to the tenth London Chocolate Festival, a festival celebrating all things chocolate that is held at Southbank. 

Unfortunately, it started to snow really heavily on the way, so we had to wander around the festival collecting snowflakes on our clothes. When we got there, I realised that I'd been to Southbank before - this was where  Ping Pong was located, a restaurant that I'd visited years ago - so much for deja vu! (✿◠‿◠)

Anyway, here are some pretty pretty photos of the stalls:

We made it despite the "snowstorm"!
The first stall we saw was Hotel Chocolat so we ended up buying hot chocolate from them instead of a lesser known stall... >_<
Chocolate violins and scissors~
This stall sold cards with edible chocolate messages in them!
I bought some of this pretty pretty chocolate, but it looks too good to eat... :'(
We managed to get the last two tickets for a chocolate workshop with Damian Allsop who showed us how to make a dessert of Pacari Raw Chocolate, Green Tea Cake and Hot Fruit Gel.

The mirror was a nice touch for those of us sitting at the back~
We got to take part in some tastings too!
This is the green tea meringue mix~
Spreading the fruit gel~
The finished dessert for us to try!
We managed to catch the recipe:
1. Dissolve 10g agar in 1l water.
2. Once set, blend and add more water to thin the consistency into a custard or wallpaper paste.
3. Warm it up, then emulsify it with approximately 240g of melted 70% dark chocolate (the one Damian used is Picari chocolate). To do this, add a little bit at a time, then kind of scratch it in to make a shiny elastic mixture - like making a reverse mayo.
4. Leave for 4-5 hours to set. 
Green tea meringue~ 
1. Mix together water and green tea powder to form a paste.
2. Add an equal weight of dextrose, then 10% weight of egg white powder.
3. Blend together, then pipe and dehydrate in an oven at 50 degrees (can leave overnight to set). 
1. Add carrageenan sea moss powder to blackcurrant puree - or agar (1:10 ratio).
2. Heat to 95 degrees in a big flat pot - thick puree bubbles before it boils.
3. Pour onto a tray to set.
Construct all parts with dark chocolate to look like the dessert in the photo!
So, thanks to this event, chocolate has now been ruined for me forever. I don't think that I can eat Cadbury's or Galaxy anymore, or even Hotel Chocolat without thinking about the awesome samples we got to try at the festival.

Souvenirs that we purchased. The ginger and lemongrass chocolate was to die for! And I'll be giving one of the fruity chocolates to my parents when I go home this Easter! 。◕‿◕。

Yishi xxx

Friday, 22 March 2013

Hawksmoor and Paramount Bar~!

Haiii! :3

Tonight I got taken to Hawksmoor in Covent Garden, the "best steak restaurant in London", and ohmygoodness, it was so deliciously divine!

Tamworth belly ribs~ sooo yummy!!!
Sirloin steak~ ohmygosh, this was so divine...
Mash, mushrooms and beef dripping fries~
Tunworth and Appleby’s Cheshire cheese platter omnomnom~
Afterwards, we went to Paramount Bar, a bar on the 32nd floor of a building near Tottenham Court Road for cocktails~

Grey Goose Le Fizz pour moi~
Paramount Colada hehe~
The views from the top of the bar were absolutely stunning!

Oxford Street
Tottenham Court Road
Oxford Street and TCR
Playing around with the effects on my camera!
This is the first time that I've seen London from a height such as this, and I remember being completely awestruck at the views. Being a student, I felt a bit out of place here as it was full of working professionals and the price of the drinks was way out of my range, but I would definitely recommend going here once to check out the views of London from the top. What hit me was that buildings stretched out on all sides for as far as the eye could see - London was in every direction for miles and miles! Thank the heavens that the skies weren't too cloudy but I can only imagine how amazing it would be to come here in the summer...

Yishi xxx

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Side Effects

On Wednesday, I went to see Side Effects, a psychological thriller about the side effects of taking anti-depressant pills. I saw the trailer for this when I went to see Stoker two weeks ago, which had me absolutely hooked. Going in, my friend and I were both prepared for a courtroom showdown as the main focal point of the movie, but then it turned out that the plot was something different...and creepier.

I don't want to write too much about the plot here because I don't want to ruin anything, so all I will say is that you should definitely see this for yourself, and that it was a nice touch to have my expectations of the plot turned upside down.

I loved the acting - all of the central characters were really strong and I also loved the moral ambiguity they displayed, especially when you realise that not even the characters you root for are completely clean. Creepy. But fantastic.

On a side note, Ben and Jerry's milkshakes have become a bit of a thing now for me to take into the cinemas - you get three scoops blended with milk and both fudge and chocolate sauces. Had a lot of fun choosing flavours to complement each other, and settled on a winning combination of: cookie dough, chocolate fudge brownie and caramel chewchew. Yum! :3

Yishi xxx

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Pottery Class: Thrown into the Deep

Hehe, if you do pottery you'll spot the really bad pun, but for those of you that don't, throwing is the term used to describe the work done to a piece of clay on a potter's wheel in order to turn it into a piece of value.

Song of the day: To You by Teen Top (song introduced to me by my dance teacher~)

I thought I'd write about this as I've just started a beginner's taster course in pottery throwing, something I signed up to on a whim after meeting someone else who wanted to explore more creative things here in London. Unfortunately for me, they had to drop out of the course, but it was no big deal - I got to meet some lovely new people and still had a great day.

City Lit, the college where the course is held, is located in central London, near Covent Garden. Today, the weather was stunning, a warm blue sky with hints of spring, wonderful for setting my mood~

The teacher showed us how to prepare the clay, a technique called wedging which squeezes the air bubbles out of the clay. This involved using wire to cut a slab of clay, lifting it up and using gravity to splat it back onto the rest of the clay, a very satisfying process. When we'd squeezed all the air out of the clay and rolled it into bread bun shapes, she took us to the potter's wheel and demonstrated how to transform the ball into something amazing:

I was absolutely speechless, seeing this happen before my very eyes!

And then it was our turn...

The process itself involves taking your clay and centering it on the potter's wheel - making a small cylinder and positioning it right on the centre of the wheel. To achieve this you need really steady hands, good co-ordination and a good control of the speed of the wheel. You're supposed to use your dominant hand and place it on top of the clay, and your less dominant hand to shape the sides, but I found it easier to do it the other way. Once you have a centred piece of clay, you make a hole in the middle, pull the hole out, and then pull the sides up to form your pot.

Here are my attempts:

My first try on the wheel. It was very frustrating to make so many mistakes so I ended up discarding this one.

This is the one I was most proud of. After five or six tries, I finally made something that could pass as a Chinese tea cup...or an espresso cup. In the end, I kept two tries which I hope I will get to paint next week! 

As this is a four week course, I'll keep you guys updated on my progress! :)

Yishi xxx

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Beautiful Creatures~

I must be on a movie roll this week, as last night I went to see Beautiful Creatures at the Odeon in Marble Arch. My housemate was very very resistant towards going to see this, but as we know, erosion is a very powerful force, and so like the wind is able to wear down stone, eventually I managed to persuade my housemate to come out.

Online ratings had prepared me for something average, so I went in not expecting anything mindblowingly awesome and in the end, I was pleasantly surprised (housemate less so). I liked the cinematography, the special effects, and the overall plot - teen angst is such a guilty pleasure of mine hehe.

On the other hand, I didn't think the dialogue was particularly great, and whilst I was impressed by the male lead's acting, physically, he was not my type... :'(

I love love love Lena's gothic make up in the movie. Despite it being generically gothy, it still looks really good - wish I could pull off something like that!

Anyway, this movie deserves less hate than it got - whilst it wasn't groundbreaking, I like it enough to want to watch the sequel if there is one, and will definitely be picking up the books!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

[排骨冬瓜汤] Rib and Winter Melon Soup

Hey there~

During Chinese New Year, I asked my parents for their recipe on how to make 排骨汤 (rib soup). Romanized, the characters read pai gu tang. It's a really simple but delicious soup made using the stock of pork ribs, that I find both 清淡 (qing dan, i.e. light) and detoxing. Perfect for if you are feeling under the weather.

My parents used to make this soup loads during my childhood, so when I made this for the first time last night, tasting it was like tasting a flavour of my home: nostalgic and warming.

So, I will share with you how to make this! ◠‿◠

You will need:

One pack of pork ribs (~ 500g, smaller pieces are better)
Winter melon (~500g, quantity not too important)
3-4 carrots
Some radish (optional)
Lotus root (optional)
6-7 slices of ginger
2-3 spring onions
Salt/sugar to season
Lots of water!
Large pot

What to do:

1. Fill a large pot with water and add the ribs, bringing the water to a simmer for around twenty minutes.

2. Chop the winter melon, carrots, radish and lotus root into small slices, and add to the pot. Quantities are not too important, they will depend on your personal taste. Add the ginger, spring onions, and a teaspoon of salt.

3. Simmer for at least an hour; the longer the better!

4. Serve with rice or bread, or just drink on its own.

I like to let the soup simmer for at least 3-4 hours, if not longer, since the flavour of the rib meat and the bones takes a long time to become infused with the soup. My parents would keep the soup on the heat for so long that the meat would eventually fall off the bones, and sometimes the bones would even crumble, releasing the marrow which tasted really yummy! ❀◕ ‿ ◕❀

Again, I hope you enjoy this recipe, and if you have any suggestions, do let me know~

Yishi xxx

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Warm Bodies!

Hey all! Yesterday I went to the Empire cinema in Leicester Square to watch a movie called Warm Bodies. This was the first time I'd been to the Empire, and we managed to get a sofa to watch the movie on! :D

To summarise, this movie is set in a post apocalyptic world in which most humans have been turned into zombies. It follows the story of one of the zombies, a guy called R, who retains more of his emotions than the average zombie, and the events that he sparks when he eats the brain of one girl's boyfriend, absorbing his memories to fall in love with her. For a romantic comedy, it was pretty fantastic, probably the best love story that I've come across to date. This movie really warmed my heart, and I definitely recommend it to everyone.

R of course is a fantastic character - I mean, how much quirkier can you get with a zombie who collects things, hoarding them in an abandoned airplane? 

Plus, he is sooo freaking hot! :)

(I think I may have found a new crush <3)

I really liked the emo undead make-up, the ironic narrations, and the whole tongue in cheek aspect of the film - it gave a feeling of not taking itself too seriously, but could revert when it needed to. The skeletons of course terrified me, reminding me of another movie - Hot Fuzz, which for a comedy, was oddly scary too.

When I went to see this, I didn't realise that it was based upon a book so note to self: must acquire a copy! Maybe I can treat myself to a late New Year's present hehe~

~Yishi xxx

Wednesday, 6 February 2013


So recently, I've become a little confused about who I really am... @_@

I've noticed myself becoming more and more fixated on things like my appearance and my weight, even when I've been told that I don't need to worry about either of these. They're things I never really cared about when I was younger - back then, it was all about how smart I was and what I could achieve. I guess my parents kept me away from those kinds of influences, but they're both something that I've become more aware of once I went to uni and gained my own independence.

I find that I can't help but slip into self-deprecating chats with my friends, and that I may be developing some bi-polar esteem issues. It feels like there is an angel on my shoulder - the old me, telling me that I have nothing to worry about, and then on the other shoulder, a little devil, chipping away at my confidence. I look in the mirror, and see so much wrong with my body, yet, I am unable to have enough will-power to do much about it. I enjoy eating too much, and as for exercise, since I've been diagnosed with knee problems, I only do low impact exercises now, no more running or anything majorly intensive.

Regular thoughts that run through my head when I am out and about:

She's so pretty, her legs are nicer, she has such a small waist, she's so much taller than me...

I think a part of this comes down to me being attracted to people that are usually physically out of my league, a 7 or an 8 to my 5. Studies show that people of similar attractiveness tend to end up together, which is the matching hypothesis. I saw a great example of this on the Discovery Channel's The Science of Sex Appeal, an interesting social documentary you can watch on Youtube. If this is the case, then I can't really compete with the girls that the guys I like are interested in. Which leads to this spiral of self-esteem.

If people are happier with people of similar attractiveness, then I need to lose this shallow way of thinking~


Sorry about this depressing post, it was something I needed to get off my chest and I promise to make my next ones happier!

Yishi xxx

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Photo Diary: Regent's Park


It's been a while since I've done one of these, and as today was such a lovely day, I had to go to Regent's Park for a walk and to feed the birds.

Song of the day: Talk That by Secret (I recently discovered Secret and love them~)

Regent's Park is one of the royal parks of London. It was designed in 1811 by John Nash and is 410 acres in size~ too big to see in one visit. It encompasses London Zoo, a boating lake, and as well as being next to Primrose Hill, it is about three minutes away from where I live, making it a very convenient place for me to visit!

Prepare yourself for some epic picspam! (✿◠‿◠)

First sighting of the park!
You can see the remnants of sad... :'(
It doesn't look like winter, does it?
I saw so many people today enjoying the rare sunshine.
This is the lake where I feed the birds whenever I come here.
The last time I was here (a week ago!) it was covered in snow and ice.
I love how graceful swans are.
This looks kinda prehistoric, like something from Walking With Dinosaurs.
Do you see the pillars in the middle of this building?
I was told that that is one of the most expensive houses in London!
I got excited because I don't normally see herons!
They started fighting with each other for my bread... :(
I love this scene from Clarence Bridge.
There was a mother and child feeding the birds and they looked so cute!
From an exhibition I went to later on in the day!
I hope you enjoyed these pictures, and I will definitely endeavour to upload more photo diaries in the future! Watch out for more segments of Regent's Park, including a snowy diary hehe! 。◕‿◕。

Yishi xxx