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Archive for June, 2005

Luxembourg remembered

Wednesday, June 29th, 2005

There’re so many things I want to record and remember of my trip to Luxembourg, actually.  It was really marvellous to be alone, totally self-directed, and as Laurel said (as we walked to dinner after David Schwimmer’s performance of Some Girl(s) last night) “with nothing on the agenda at all”.  And the f

What a morning

Monday, June 27th, 2005

The Harrods sale started this morning, and wasn’t terribly impressive, at least from what I saw in the menswear departments.  I was in men’s shoes when Brittany Murphy went past with the band, although I didn’t spot her in the crowd of handlers, cameramen and police.  In fact I didn’t actually know who was the celebrity on hand until later when I looked up the news reports.

I managed to lose my phone this morning, although thankfully I managed to get it back during my lunch break.  That was a big hassle though.

the Luxembourg pictures

Sunday, June 26th, 2005

Taken on the Pont Aldophe in Luxembourg Ville, I believe, although I could be wrong.  That was a blazing hot day.

Me in Luxembourg (22 Jun 2005)


Ok, so I’m being really lazy with my Luxembourg pictures…  I can’t quite feel motivated enough to upload more than a handful, so for maximum impact I’ve made a collage of some (though perhaps not most) of the best pictures.  Oh, if you’re interested, ask to see my videos!  I have some cute little clips of fireworks and cool marching bands etc.

That was a fun trip.  Good pictures too.

Luxembourg collage (Jun 2005)


Back again

Saturday, June 25th, 2005

Today has been a really eventful day, starting out in Luxembourg and then moving on to the big Selfridges sale, then finally hurrying to the theatre… Guys and Dolls!!  So good.  Really.  Almost better than Chicago for spectacle and performance.  And so much star-wattage too, what with Ewan McGregor and Jane Krakowski as the leads, which of course produced an electric, sold-out audience.  And despite what you might have heard, I think it was really Martyn Ellis as Nicely Nicely Johnson who stole the show with “Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat”.

I’ll write more about my trip to Luxembourg tomorrow or sometime later this week.  Right now I need to get to bed.


Tuesday, June 21st, 2005

I have an 8am flight from Heathrow terminal 2 to Luxembourg tomorrow morning.  I’ll be back on Saturday (tragically after the Selfridges summer sale begins on Thursday morning :/)

I really should plan some kind of itinerary for what I’m going to do.  Probably visit a couple of castles, walk around… take some pictures, I guess.  The online tourism information is really great, actually.


Sunday in the Park…

Sunday, June 19th, 2005

…with Elizabeth and Victoria.  St. James’ Park, that is, just a brief jaunt away from Westminster Chapel, where I attended morning services.

Not to be confused with Westminster Abbey.  This church was established in 1840 and is just a stone’s throw from the gates of Buckingham Palace.  I was recommended this church by my church in Singapore via my family.  A warm, lively church.

Westminster Chapel interior (19 Jun 2005)



It’s been really sunny and warm in London, which has most locals complaining, and indeed air-conditioning is unheard of here.  Ok, pictures!

A detail shot of the huge fountain in front of the palace.  You can see the Union Jack fluttering above Buckingham in the background.  Observe how swelteringly sunny it is – not a photographic effect!

In front of Buckingham Palace (19 Jun 2005)


One of the few shots you’re going to see of me since I’m mostly travelling on my own:

I opted not to pay the 6GBP to enter the Queen’s Gallery (the current exhibition is of Dutch paintings – Rembrandt, Vermeer et al), although I spent 5GBP buying postcards for our Masterpiece collection.  Some tourist took this shot since I was by myself.

Standing before Buckingham Palace (19 Jun 2005)



And of course, those famous palace guards, probably fainting in the heat in those get-ups.  Overheard from tourists observing the scene: “They really look kind of like turkeys.  I wonder if the Queen secretly laughs at them.”

Taken through the iron fence around the palace as some detail change-over was happening.  The drill was actually pretty sloppy and unimpressive, certainly not at parade standard.  Still, I got my postcard shot, corny text and everything.

Royal Palace Guards (19 Jun 2005)


And yesterday I went to Camden market, another one of London’s many lovely street markets.  This one was exactly like a slightly posher Chatuchak, seriously.  I had excellent Chinese food, including (gasp) the first Singapore noodles I’ve ever had overseas that actually tasting precisely like something from Singapore (it was just fried bee hoon, none of this weird curry-powder stuff).  And it turns out there’s a big Aldo outlet store right outside the Tube station.  I bought three pairs for less than 30GBP!  That’s unbeatable, certainly half the price of on-sale Aldo shoes in the US.  And that includes 17.5% VAT!  (which means each pair was about US15).

I *heart* London.

Happy Father’s Day!!


Still here

Friday, June 17th, 2005

London is simply filled with iconic vistas.  This was taken casually as I passed through the Circus, headed from Regent Street to Tottenham Court Road.

Piccadilly Circus (14 Jun 2005)



Whew, another week has gone by, still at a steady clip, I must say.

Highlights?  On Monday I saw the West End production of Chicago with Brooke Shields starring as Roxie Hart.  That was an *excellent* show.  So fun to watch, so much raw energy, pure physicality and unmistakable heart.  Really makes me want to see the movie again.

And on Thursday night I went to the Royal Albert Hall to see the National Ballet’s opening night production of Romeo and Juliet.  So beautiful, both the gorgeous building (just past a whole slew of breathtaking buildings including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Science Museum and the Imperial College of London), and the dancing itself.  Such a sad story though.  Again, makes me want to re-watch the movie.  (haha)

Taken during the first intermission of Romeo and Juliet.  The building is really stunning – the picture doesn’t do it justice at all to the scale and ornamentation.  And then the exterior facade is something else altogether.

Royal Albert Hall Interior (16 Jun 2005)



More updates to come…

Two weeks in situ

Saturday, June 11th, 2005

Happy discoveries:

– Bendick’s bittermints! Real peppermint oil and 92% cocoa chocolate!

– Lindt dark chocolate with hazelnuts! (Normally you can only get hazelnuts with milk chocolate.)

Taken at about 8pm just outside the restaurant Cantina Del Ponte where we had dinner along the Thames.Tower Bridge at Sunset (10 Jun 2005)“>


Taken at about 11pm after dinner.  Notice the crescent moon in the sky.  Aren’t we blessed?Tower Bridge by Night (10 Jun 2005)“>


Last night I went to dinner with Laurel and practically all of the Singaporean King’s College medics (and their attendant significant others) at a lovely restaurant along the Thames.  Afterwards some of us went to see Mr & Mrs Smith (very commercial, very entertaining).  It’s nice to be able to step into a ready-made community as familiar and comfortable as this; I’ll kind of miss them when everyone leaves.  And what can beat having a ready panel of people to answer my biophysiopsychochemical questions?  🙂 


Can you believe it’s already been two weeks??

 To market, to market!  The crowds are often said to be very bad on a Saturday, but despite the glorious shopping weather, I found Portobello Market considerably less crowded than Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok or a pasar malam in Singapore.Portobello Road Sign (11 Jun 2005) 


Today I went to Portobello market and had a great time walking around, poking through the stores and investigating their wares.  I got a Brioni blazer, a pair of Victorian mother-of-pearl opera glasses, postcards, and three scarves. 

A fairly typical street scene at Portobello Market during the weekend.  This is one of the little side streets just off Portobello Road.  The whole area is filled with interesting, sometimes warren-like antique shops, cafés and boutiques with lots of character and fascinating merchandise, and the market stalls along the street sell everything from antique scientific instruments worth thousands of pounds to fresh flowers and the sort of trinkets you would find along Ladies Street in Hong Kong.Portobello Market Street Scene (11 Jun 2005) 


And of course Portobello Market is an produce market as well, so there’s a lovely stretch of stalls selling fresh vegetables, luscious fruits and fragrant bunches of seasonal blooms.Portobello Market Fruit Stall (11 Jun 2005) 


For lunch I had a serving of Singapore noodles (heh, but it was so tasty!), and some lusciously sweet English strawberries (just one pound for a hefty punnet!).  Fun times.

Where have all the hours gone?

Wednesday, June 8th, 2005

Yipes, between work (which is only 7.5 hours a day), errands, commuting, grocery shopping, contemplation and settling travel plans for the summer, I’m left with barely any time at all each day.  *whew*

In other news, I finally have a London cell phone number.  I can be reached at:

+44 079 1368 8138  (You don’t need the first zero if calling from outside the UK.)

I’ll be in Luxembourg from June 22 to June 26 and in Paris from July 13 to July 17.  I’ll also probably be visiting Amsterdam from July 2 – July 6.  Exciting!

Tomorrow I shall try and visit one of the museums.  Maybe the Tate Modern.  Or perhaps I’ll just go to the British Library again.  Or Borders.  We’ll see 🙂

Summer starts

Saturday, June 4th, 2005

Taken by the bouncer, outside the cryptically named Yauatcha, a hip fusion tea-house/deserterie/restaurant (photography is not allowed inside).  Sort of like Finale meets PF Chang’s with really edgy décor.  The food was good and the company better – Laurel and I went to meet Linqi and her boyfriend Victor (they’re both finishing up their elective studies here in London) and Wanyi (who was absurdly late).  We spent hours there snacking on the delicious dim sum, tea smoothies and cake.

From left: Victor, Linqi, Laurel, Wanyi, me


The weekend’s here!  The sun only sets at 9pm, and there’re endless barbeques to go to.  It’s great seeing freinds from home again.  Amazing that we’ve known each other since we were teenagers.