Thursday, 31 January 2008

Goodbye Cambridge

I wish my former company GG the very best, and to all of my fellow colleague in GG (especially my team mates) I will miss you all dearly. I really enjoy my 2 years stay with you folks. Apologise if there is any mistake that I made during my stay (Not to mention how many bugs I introduce). Even though I can't say a proper goodbye, but at least I attempted to. Thanks for reading my blog anyway... and keep in touch!!

Today, is my last day in GG, the employer that I've worked for this past 2 years. 2 weeks ago, my job (it's not me... it's my job!) had been made redundant. So, today, I am officially UNEMPLOYED.
I've not been blogging about the fact that my job had been made redudant, because I am afraid that it will cause some of my family member too much anxiety. Even when I told them that the company has paid me enough funds to last for couple of months. I mean, let's face it... I am the main breadwinner in the family has gone jobless.

Funny enough that I wasn't too sad about the fact. I understood clearly that GG need to cut cost and therefore loads of embedded job probably going to move to India, even when my team lead doesn't seems to be very anthusiast with the decision. Again, it's nothing personal... therefore I hold no feeling against the decision. Moreover, it's no one fault.
Sadly, I am not the only one... there are a bunch of other colleague of mine that end up on the same fate. I do hope in my heart that they will be able to find another job soon.

It does feel a bit strange, I don't have to drive the 44 miles one way journey anymore. And perhaps, Josiah is the one who rejoice the most. He doesn't have to be bored to death sitting on his car seat listening to my "forgotten" nursery rhymes for an hour or so.

From the day our boss make the annoucement, I was a little bit scared to know what's tommorow holds for me and my family. What if I can't find a job when the redudancy pay is all spent? What would I do if I can't find another job close to home? (Cambridge has been very famous for embedded job, Oxford even not a match to it). But quickly, I was comforted of the thought..."God is faithful". And today I want to reflect how true is that.

Today, I just sat for my first interview, with a company that making digital TV and setup boxes. I am quite a mountain tortoise on this field, nonetheless I prepare and do my best. I wasn't too worry about the interview, not even feel nervous. Which quite a strange thing as well, knowing that I am not all confident on the area. A day before the interview, I did ask my church's folks to pray for me, and I guess God really gives me wisdom, even to the point I am being offered the job an hour later!

So here I am, standing in amaze of God great plan. He purposely make Josiah's childminder gave up her childminding job, and then make me redundant, because He had a BETTER plan. He gave me a job that is only 20 minutes travel, better pay, less work hour and best of all I won't be seeing PRINTER for a while! And Josiah's childminder is only a mile away from home (not to mention that she charge better rates too!!). Everything has fall into it's place nicely, not my luck as I don't believe in luck, it's called "God provision".

If you out there reading my blog, and think religion is only for the foolish. I don't mind being foolish if that's mean someone more powerful than me will takecare of my needs, and all I have to do is TRUST and OBEY. My life is a proof of God's grace, the choice is open for you too... you can accept Jesus as your personal savior. And live a life like me, trusting things whatever befall... trusting Jesus, that is all.

Now, I can go for my holiday in states with a peace of mind that I'll return with A JOB! Praise GOD!

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Job interview DO'S and DON'T

Job candidates with excellent credentials can occasionally fall for the fallacy that showing up at the interview and answering questions is all that is required to get a job offer.

Even if the company is recruiting you, it is important to realise that you can easily blow your chances if you do the following:

1 Act disinterested. You are expected to demonstrate curiosity and enthusiasm when you come to an interview.

2 Don’t do your homework. You can’t ask intelligent questions if you don’t know anything about the potential employer’s industry, operations and performance. A close look at the company’s annual report and Web site is an absolute minimum before the interview. Don’t ask questions that are plainly answered in these publications.

3 Talk too much. When responding to a question or making a comment, get to the point. Nothing demonstrates your lack of self-confidence more than endless commentary that goes nowhere.

4 Talk too little. You are expected to be an active participant in the interview, not simply a head-nodder. One-word answers brand you as uninterested, nervous or uppity.

5 Display bad manners.

6 Run down your current or past employer. Badmouthing your present boss is perhaps the ultimate interview offense. Recruiters and employers know that if you air your dirty laundry about your current company, you’re likely to be unhappy in your next position as well.
Even if you’re convinced your boss is a criminal, stick to your own accomplishments and the company’s resulting performance when discussing your current situation.

7 Take credit for things you didn’t do. While it’s important to explain you role in accomplishing results, don’t overstate your authority or responsibility. Anything you claim to have done will be thoroughly checked with current or former colleagues, clients or bosses. And avoid saying “I” as much as possible. No one in a corporate environment does things single-handedly.

8 Hide holes in your resumes. Periods of unemployment, dates and degrees are all simple to detect. Address resume gaps or other potential concerns directly and have a good explanation about why they made sense and what you learned from them.

9 Show lack of confidence in the prospective employer. It is ok to express concerns about some aspect of the potential employer’s strategy, product line or operations – particularly if you can suggest another approach that works better. But don’t let the interview devolve into a critique session. Employers want managers who are excited by opportunities, not dismissive of past mistakes.

10 Negotiate too early. If you raise the issue of renumeration, it’s clear to recruiters and employers that your primary interest is money, not opportunity. Wait until they bring up the topic, and don’t negotiate during the interview. Take a day to formulate your response.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Wonders of Molecular Biology: DNA Packaging

Inspired by biophysics lecture by ANK

What is tennis ball having to do with biology?

There are many amazing facts you will encounter when you start looking at looking at life at the very small scale. This article is the first in a series of articles I am writing about the wonders of molecular biology.

As I briefly mentioned in my previous biology post, the cell is controlled through a pathway of information flow from DNA to RNA to protein. The first step in this flow is called transcription, the creation of RNA from DNA template. For transcription to happen, the molecular machinery responsible for transcription (the RNA polymerase[1]) needs to have physical access to the appropriate DNA region (the gene) to be transcribed.

It might not be immediately obvious why this is such a big problem until you compare the scale of things. In eukaryotic[2] cells, for example in human cells, DNA is localized only in the cell nucleus[3]. The nucleus in human cell is about 6μm in diameter (this is a millionth of a meter). On the other hand, the human genome[4] contains 3.2 billion base pair[5] of DNA, which translates to about 2 meter of fully extended length in diploid[6] cell. Now imagine squeezing something 2 meter in length into a millionth of a meter. This is equivalent to squeezing a 40km fishing line into a tennis ball!

[Figure of cell with nucleus, chromosome, DNA. Taken from Wikipedia]

So how is this compaction problem addressed in the cell? This is by no mean an answered problem in biology. What we know is that DNA is compacted in a structured hierarchy: short segment of DNA is bound to form “beads-on-a-string” chromatin, chromatins are packed in increasingly complex structure to form the chromosome. In human there are two copies of 24 different chromosomes[7] in one cell.

[Reproduced from Molecular Biology of the Cell – 4th edition]

Compaction is one problem. Another problem which is less well understood is about access. This highly compacted DNA is still needed for the daily function of the cell. It is not like going to self-storage company to dump all of your clutters and forget about them. The cell needs constant replenishing of proteins to maintain its normal functions as well as to respond to the changing environment. Going back to our tennis ball analogy, this is similar to having to pull out specific bits of the heavily tangled fishing line while still keeping them compact inside the tennis ball. There are different theories about this which I would not go in any details. In short there are two classes of thoughts:
  1. The passive access, where access is available through dynamic unwinding of the compacting structure. This is the same as having the fishing line wiggles around inside the tennis ball and at certain time, a specific region of the line will be exposed for access.
  2. The active access. In this scenario, the proteins play an active role by driving the nucleosome to open up certain region of DNA.
It is likely that a mixture of both approaches is used in the cell.

I think I should stop here for now. I hope that this post give you a flavour for the interesting world of molecular biology. If you want to read more about this, check out some molecular biology texbooks. Molecular Biology of the Cell is a recommended read for its clear explanation and illustration.

PS: This post is written to laymen. I have to simplify a lot of things. So biologist, please take with a (or many if you are a salty person) pinch of salt.

[1] polymerase: “-ase” usually indicates protein that functions as an enzyme. An enzyme is something that speeds up a chemical reaction without being converted into the final product. In this case polymerase means enzyme that catalyzes the formation of long chain of polymer. The polymerase drives the formation of this polymer, but at the end of the reaction, the polymerase is still at the same condition as when it starts and is not converted in the reaction.
[2] eukaryotic: A class of organism that is characterized by the presence of nucleus inside the cell.
[3] cell nuclei (or –us when plural): An enveloped region inside the cell that contains the DNA. The nuclei is separated from the rest of the cell by a lipid membrane.
[4] genome: the complete genetic information of an organism.
[5] base pair: The DNA is formed of nucleotides (coded as A, T, G, C), each of which forms favourable chemical interaction with a specific partner (A with T, G with C). A base pair (one pair of interacting nucleotides) is a commonly used unit for measuring the length of DNA.
[6] diploid: Having two copies of every chromosome. Most of our cells are diploid, except of our germ cells (sperms and eggs) which are haploid (carrying only one copy of the chromosome).
[7] chromosome: An organizational unit of tightly packed DNA. Chromosome is formed from one piece of very long DNA.

Before and after slimming teraphy

I was looking at Josiah's stack of picture on my computer last night, and just realise how much he had gone down (slim down) in this recent month. I mean look at these!! I think he can well be a model advert on slimming products!

Still can't control his eyes properly.

Nothing much he can do rather than lying about and suck his toe. I can't understand why last time he looks like has more hair than he is now?!

As you can witness here, LESS hair MORE fat! I just don't understand.

Look at those chubby cheek!! They are nearly fell off the ground!! I think this is the point where he's reaching to the peak of chubbiness. He had never grow fatter since.

And these was after he able to sit by himself (Well, as you can see, that is my attempt to shave him bald)

This is taken in Warwick Castle, he looks unimpressed for some reason.

This was how he look like at 11 month!!

You think you'll ask Josiah what kind of slimming pills he used?

Monday, 28 January 2008

Dinner with the Heggie

Last weekend was particularly special. We are invited by one of Yusdi's colleague, Mr Steve Heggie, for dinner at his residence. Unfortunately he lives something like 60 miles away from us. But doesn't stop us to try his and his wife best south african's dish!

Roast mince meat, yellow rice with dried grapes and peas

I had no clue what is the name of the dish, it made of roasted mince meat, egg, a bit of curry power, and some other spices, and it taste SO YUMMY!!! It goes really well with fresh tomato mariande in garlic and balsamic dressing. We have pineapple pudding for the starter, and apple crumble with cream as the desert. However, according to Yusdi, the opening snack, potato chips he bought from Germany is the best he ever tasted. As the closing, we had cheese and biscuit.

Me and Josiah, Duncan, Steve, Achillefs, Melanie, Joanne

We had a great time, Josiah was busy playing with Duncan, while all of us chatting away. We went home at 12.30 midnight!!! and still have to face 1 hour driving journey. But, we're really enjoying our time there. Thanks for inviting us!!!

Saturday, 26 January 2008

So tell me about yourself?

How much of yourself are you REALLY supposed to reveal when asked this highly popular job interview question?

A highly popular job interview question that really stumps jobseekers - and it's second only to being asked why you left your last job - sounds quite innocuous and even user-friendly on the surface. It's "Tell me about yourself." And if you're not prepared to answer it clearly and briefly, it may be the end of your chance to get the job.

The question is very common and employers can ask it in various different ways, but it's still the same question. They might ask, why should I hire you rather than the next candidate I talk to? And what they're really saying is, I'm going to give you a little bit of time to tell me anything you want.
Most job candidates hate this question, but it's really a friendly one: They're allowing you to say anything you want. You should be able to answer the question in "30 to 60 seconds." In that time frame, you have to concisely convey your interests, abilities, character, personality and what you're looking for.

You should use this short time to emphasize your "soft skills" in your brief opening statement. List your personal points of marketability, your organisational and leadership skills, your dependability and flexibility - you as a person, rather than your job experience.

But what will separate you from the others, is proof that you indeed have the skills. The proof will get you the job. If you say you have excellent time management skills, your next words should be: For example, I held a part-time job while taking college courses.

Ascertaining your soft skills is a necessary step to take so that you can use the time you have to your advantage. Think back on your life experiences, do a brainstorming exercise and pinpoint your personal points of marketability.

If you're applying for a sales position, the one soft skill you most likely would want to emphasise is your communication skill; an accounting job, that you are analytical and detail-oriented; and for most entry-level jobs, that you are absolutely dependable. Just give the top one or two skills in your reply - you can get to the others in the rest of the job interview.
Here are some suggestions about what to say in that less than one-minute window of opportunity:
"I am kind to my parents."
"My dog loves me."
"I donate blood."
"I help people across the street."

And most important of all:
"I'm someone who really needs a job!"

Timeless elegance rug

Rug is probably my best bet if you are too lazy to paste on wallpaper to change the room's personality. It's quite easy to paste (just by laying it on the floor) and tadah! your room change to it's new look. But depends on what kind of rug, it can be quite costly and hard to maintain.

So how to choose the right rug?
First, determine your decorating style. Buy magazines and pull out pages that attract you. You will quickly find the kind of design motif you want to recreate. This is your decorating style. Next, understand how the room is going to be used. If it is a high traffic area, find a color that will not show footprints or perhaps choose a patterned rug. If you are starting with an empty room, a rug can be the perfect place to start. Select colors you like and coordinate the fabrics of your furniture, color of the walls or artwork to the rug. If you already have furniture and just want a fresh look, take into consideration the colors and patterns already existing and experiment with fresh combinations. Then, estimate the size of rug you’ll need. For a visual representation, spread bed linens where you would place the rug. Measure the linens, and pick the closest area rug size. Bring any room plans, color swatches and paint chips with you when you shop for your area rug.
As for me, my taste has always been the traditional or aubusson rug (needlepoint) because I believe classic looks last longer and will never be out of date. Many state houses choose deep red or maroon as the main color swatch on the rug, which I think does make the room feels "elegant and rich". But coming to Laura Ashley make me change my point that traditional rug always have to be red or gold. They made me have to admit that playing with pastel or pale color can produce equally stunning traditional rug.

But the upkeeping of rug, especially those with pale colour can be quite challenging. Shoes, pets are the main verdict for stain, and sometimes cleaning it can cause the colour to be wither.
So, how do I clean my rug? Regular vacuuming will help rugs retain their beauty and will extend the life of the rug. For spills, you should immediately blot with a clean cloth; spot clean with a solution of clear dish washing detergent (non-bleach) and water, rinse with water, and blot dry. Professional carpet cleaning is recommended using the hot water extraction method. You should not dry clean your Mohawk Area Rugs and you should not use bleach.
Another type that I like the most is flowery rug, which usually goes well with shabby and chic french room.

Remember that rug durability is generally determined by the material, construction, and amount of traffic in a space. There are no precise guidelines for selecting an area rug size. As you can see from the picture above, sometimes a smaller less complicated looking rug may be a better choice. A good method to determine the right size is to spread bed linens to approximate the size rug you’d like, take measurements, and choose the closest size available. In the dining area, measure the table and provide at least four additional feet to the length and width. By allowing four feet, chair legs will remain on the area rug even when pulled away from the table.

Is an underlay (padding or cushion) necessary? Mohawk strongly encourages the use of an area rug underlay to protect your area rug from abrasion, impact and cleaning. A quality underlay can add years to the life of your area rug while providing additional safety, acoustical benefits and protecting the floor.

What is warp and weft in a rug? Warp is the term used to describe vertical strands of fiber that stretch from the top to the bottom of the rug. Knots are tied to the warp yarns to create face pile. Weft is the horizontal strands of fiber that are woven through the warps. The weft anchors and secures the knots.
All the best in your rug hunt!!
All picture are provided by Horchow.

Friday, 25 January 2008

The Top 30 Interview Questions

Knowing what kind of questions you’ll be asked at your interview can be a real help.
You won't be able to predict every question, but there are some common ones that most interviewers ask over and over again. Together with Richmond Recruitment and CollinsMcNicholas, we have put together a list of the most frequently asked questions at job interviews.

1. Tell me about yourself. What is your background?
2. What do you know about our company?
3. Why did you decide to seek a position with this company? What interests you about our company?
The interviewer is asking you to tell them about yourself as a person, not merely about your job skills.

Work Experience/Job Performance:
4. Why should we hire you? Why do you think you're the right person for this job?
5. What unique qualities or abilities would you bring to this job? Could you give me an example of how you displayed each of these qualities in your current job? In what ways do you think you can make a contribution to our company?
6. What aspects of your previous experience do you think will be most helpful to you in this role? Is there any unique experience that would be likely to be of benefit to you in this position. Please outline this.
7. What do you consider to be your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
8. Tell me about a time that you failed at something, and what you did afterwards. What major problems have you encountered and how did you deal with them?
9. Are you a team player? Describe a time when you worked on a team project. What was your relative position on the team? Were you satisfied with your contribution? How could it have been better?
10. How do you work under pressure? Give an example of how you dealt with it? How do you typically behave when a deadline is approaching?
11. How do you react to criticism?
12. What has been the biggest disappointment in your career to date?
13. What is your greatest achievement to date?
14. Describe your first week in the job if you are successful.
15. Why do you wish to leave your current position?
16. If you had a magic wand what one thing would you change about your present job circumstances?
17. What was the last thing/person that made you very annoyed? 18. How would your fellow workers describe you?
The interviewer is trying to determine if you’re qualified for the job.

Education/Training/Future Goals:
19. What would you hope to achieve in the first 12 months?
20. Where do you see yourself in five years? 21. What do you see as the next step in your career? 22. Why did you choose your college and course of study? 23. What other types of jobs or companies are you considering?
The interviewer wants to know if you are serious about staying with the company and to determine whether you’ve given some thought to your future.

Company Research:
24. Why have you applied for this particular position? Why do you want to work here?
25. What do you know about this job?What do you understand to be the main objectives of this position?
26. What salary are you expecting?
The interviewer wants to learn what you know about the company and the job for which you are being interviewed.

27. When are you available for work?
28. What do you do in your spare time?
29. How would you describe yourself?
30. Have you any questions for us?
The goal is to persuade the employer that you have the skills, background and ability to do the job and can comfortably fit into the organization. So, be prepared to ASK questions such as
What would I be expected to accomplish in this position?
What are the greatest challenges in this position?
How do you think I fit the position?
The interview is not the time to ask questions about salary, benefits, hours or holidays. And remember lack of questions may be mistaken as lack of interest.

Why you left your last job?

Since I'll be leaving my current job, and getting some interview this week (Okay don't ask me WHY, because I am not going to tell anyone). Why not I share a bit of my quest finding out about how to "sell yourself"

"Why you left your last job?" It’s one of the trickiest interview questions and requires a certain amount of tact.

There is one question that is always dreaded in a job interview and that’s when you are asked "Why did you leave your last job?" It’s one of the trickiest questions and requires a certain amount of tact.
The main issue with this question is to maintain a positive stance - even if the reason for leaving that last job was due to job performance, poor fit, career change situations, money, politics, boredom, personality conflict or any of the usual reasons.
The best way to deal with the question is to always cite reasons such as job stagnation (no room for advancement), changing home location, want new challenges, company went out of business, you were laid off, it was a temporary job or you want a job better suited to your skills.

You don’t want to say anything negative about your last job, so make sure that you explain your reasons for leaving as positively as possible. NEVER launch into a tirade about how much you hated your previous company, or what a total fool you thought your boss was and so on.

Will your answer stand up to a hiring manager's scrutiny? Listed below are some answers you can give when asked in an interview why you’re leaving your job:
· I'm looking for a position with more opportunities for advancement.
· I'm looking for better pay.
· I'm looking for more challenging job assignments.
This is a nice way of saying that you weren't exactly challenged at your last job. Whenever possible. you want to turn the problems with your last job into a positive statement about what you are looking for in your next one.
· My career goals have changed.
If you’re going into a new industry or occupation, this is a great thing to say. However, companies want people who can step into a job immediately, so be prepared to show how your experiences in past jobs have prepared you to do this job.
· I was laid-off.
If you were laid off as part of a downsizing or staff reduction, say so. Remember; always be POSITIVE about discussing former companies. Don't ever bad-mouth a former job or boss. Stick to concretes, like long commute or hours, explain that the position is no longer challenging, or doesn't seem to be leading where you want.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Thinking about migrating?

Not that I am an expert, but some of my friends had asked me what makes me able (or may be prefer) to move from one country to another. If you think is the "money" thing which make me able to do so, that is just 9% right. There is more to migrating than just money. Of course you need to commit some extra fund before migrating, especially when you migrating to more "expensive" country with stronger currency.
I've only move from one country to another twice. Just wanted to quickly share what I've learned so far.

1. Do it while you are young
Most people know, the older we are, we tend to be more resistant to change around us. I mean, look at our parent. No matter how you convince them to migrate, if they are already 50 over. I bet they won't like to migrate anywhere.
The easy example is my parent. They only have 2 children, me and my sister. My sister is in Australia, and me in UK. We thought it's nice if they can spend their retirement in either country, but not in Indonesia. I mean look at what it has offers : political instability, high crime rate, high terrorist attack, poor medical service, outgrowing bribery, flood every year. But I guess they are "so" used to it that they think it's not of a problem.
Another thing that makes a good reason why you should migrate while you are young is financial commitment. Imagine if you have to move with 1 wife and 3 kids, compare when you only have to move yourself there?

2. Don't delay, start planning TODAY
After you think about migrating, try to explore the possibility further. Your plan may be a possible or an impossible plan. There is 2 kind of plan, a good one and a bad one. A good one is the one that perhaps will work out fine even when you decide you don't want to return to your country of origin, a bad plan is like... getting into the other country as illegal immigrant.
Migrating to other country is a serious affair. Some people are so hesitant that they had never really "start" doing anything serious. It reminded me that we had ever did the same mistake. We thought of migrating to UK or US, but had never yet start executing the plan. My husband delaying taking his SAT test, and then causing another delay applying for scholarship... and the list goes on...

3. Looking at entry "option"
Obviously migrating is not just like fly... and land... and that's it. You need to think of how would you "stay" legally at certain country. Employment may be one of the way, but when getting the job across the continent before you make your jump is highly impossible, as in UK you can try to apply HSMP (High Skilled Migrant Permit) to enter UK with your own sponsorship. But there is a lot of catch with that as you need to prove that you earn quite significantly on your previous job and your ability to get another one as you arrive in UK.
The most economical in short term and less of a stress is becoming a student and try to get employment at the end of it.

4. Thinking how to survive
It's not easy to survive when you are thousands miles away from relatives and friends, surrounded by weird culture and unknow law. Make sure you are mentally prepared, and equipped yourself with knowledge about the country soon will you call it as "home". As I said, the easiest way to survive is as a student, as you won't be deported until your course complete (except of course, if you do some illegal stuff) and in many country, as graduate or undergraduate are allowed to work within 15-20 hour a week. This can help you a littlebit with your own expenses... plus gaining experience.
Things will be different if you have spouse or kids with you. As for my case, lucky enough that student dependant are allowed into fulltime employment in UK. So make sure you check the work permit situation before applying for visa.

5. Ask around
You can go to forum, or perhaps friends who already migrated earlier. It's always worth to find out from people who had gone through it before. Like me, I advise my friend Alice on tips looking for renting apartment in UK. It's obviously not as straight forward as in Singapore, and sometimes you may feel that the property agent are really siding at the owner's benefit. A worse story is when you try to buy a property. I should say getting a mortgage in UK when you quite new with the country (like less than 1 year) is trully a hassle. You may find yourself have to pay somewhat like 7.8% mortgage interested for 30 years!!!

6. Stop being PARANOID
Lack of planning is bad when it's come to migrating to other country, but being paranoid is worse. I've knew some people who's been complaing for ages that they don't like the place where they currently stay and looking for opportunity to migrate. But when I share with them what to do, they simply say... "that's to risky! No... I don't think I dare enough to put myself into that. Mm... may be I'll try next year". It's take TWO side to move to other continent... first is opportunity, another one is courage. Many of the time, the window of opportunity is there, such is taking master degree, or working holiday maker, or investment which lead to permanent residency. You may need to dig your own pocket, but sometimes the reward can be more than what you spend. Let's face it, there is RISK involve in every big decision. There is a risk that you won't find a job, there is a risk that you don't quite like the new environment, there is a risk you'll be deported if you are under company sponsorship and they make you redundant. But, is that mean you shouldn't at least try?

7. Determination
Yes, you have to be determine when it's come to migrating. Trust me, the first year won't be too brilliant for most of people. You'll miss friends and family, feeling home sick, missed the channel that once you always watch, missed the food you always eat... and many other. Enough the stress when you can't find the job, but I like the idea of setting a TARGET rather than a LIMIT. It's important that you set up a target and aim for it, remind yourself again and again not to give up.

8. Welcome to your new home!
Finally, I would like to welcome you to your new home and congratulation for making such an accomplishment! There is a tips to make your stay pleasant in foreign country, that is to make it your "home". Don't try to look for food you used to eat, or comparing the weather, or people's habit, or the television channel, but rather learn to explore new food, new exciting place, make new friends, and try to understand their culture.
And you'll be like me, I am loving UK to the bits!!!

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Josiah's first tracting

You must be thinking, mad... a one year old toddler, goes tracting!!! Haha, yes, crazy enough but there is no age categorised as too young to serve the Lord.
Anyway it was drizzly Sunday last week, but all of us were praying hard that the rain will stop and so we will be able to distribute tracts, listen to street preaching and sing some hymns. And... the rain did stop! Praise the Lord for He is good.

We had a good time and fellowship before lunchtime, and then after me and yusdi decide to go to subway to find a seat whereby we can feed Josiah. Josiah does learn to hand out the tracts (more like holding it and attempt to eat it), I hope he'll get better as the year goes by.

There is a lot happen recently. But I don't think I will blog about it at this point of time. I just pray that God give us strength to always be thankful, after all He is indeed good... not some of the time but ALL the time. I do hope that this can open a chance for unbeliever to kneel to their knees and admit there is God who is much more powerful than us. Life is full of uncertainity, but there is one thing that certain in this life, that Jesus able to give sinner a new hope, a new life.

Yet, another wedding.... to attend

This will be a short post, an update from another close friend of mine (my ex-high school friend). He is getting married this year too!!! Sure enough I will need loads of fund to travel across the continent to attend this wedding. Well, I am still not so sure whether I can attend, even when I really LOVE to be there!!! I knew him quite a while, back then both of us still single. We used to chat hours on the phone, and I really enjoy drop by his place to chat with his mom and dad (believe it or not, I still do until TODAY!!) I used to tease him for his sport's ability appear to extend as far as playing chess. Can't really imagine that now I know his wife to be, and he knows my husband... and my little Josiah, it does sound weird if I recall those memory. But I am glad, both of us remain a very good friend, a brother/sister in Christ, even when changes happen around our life.
Anyway, he is one of the couple that I've been waiting for to get married. I've been praying that he gets a "suitable" wife, in term of faith and ability to support him as future pastor. I am sure not many are qualified. But God had made all things possible!
Nevertheless.... steve, congratulation. I hope to your other half in person one day!

Sunday, 20 January 2008

When sunset doesn't come

It's always be my dream to have a picturesque photograph of sunset for my as part of pre-wedding photo collection. However, I have to realise that it is not all the time (and all the place) possible. For example, looking at England weather this year which mainly decorated with loads of cloudy sky and drizzle all day long. It's just NOT possible to get any lovely colourful sunset sky. Singapore sky has a slightly better chance even though it might not as nice as sunset in places like Bali.

Real sunset in Bali
(taken by Anom Manik Photography, location : seminyak beach)

Here is a useful tips. Ask your photographer to bring a sephia filter. It's looks like a brownish plastic film (not even attached to the camera lens, that day my photographer just held it infront of the camera) that will filter the sky colour into orange yellow tone.

Artificial sunset
(taken by : Ah Soon, Z-wedding D'sign, location : Changi, Singapore)

The result is may not as good as real sunset as shown in my first picture. But that is better than no sunset at all. Mind you that these picture were actually taken at about 5.30, which is about 2 hour before the sunset (in Singapore). So it's not actually sunset time. But... I think better be "yellow" than nothing, don't you think?

Saturday, 19 January 2008

My dream bathroom!!!

Design by AQHayonCollection

Okay, I am quite amaze at what I found. Even though I am not a great fan of contemporary art nor retro design, but I must admit that "THIS" looks "RATHER" cool! A bath tub with handpainted wall-art... mmm... I am sure this cost quite a shocking amount, shall I consider painted the wall myself?

Friday, 18 January 2008

My first step

Watch the video might see my first step.


My favorite pastime

This is two of my favorite wedding picture that was taken without posing for it. Thanks to Manik, our great (yet affordable) photographer!

Honestly, whatever he put in his website doesn't really judge the quality of his work. On my future post I'll reveal how good he is taking pre-wedding picture. He is quite affordable too! So, those of you who is thinking of doing your pre-wedding picture on exotic place, this is your chance!

In case anyone is interested here is his contacts : (Location : Bali) It's quite a surprise when I went to the website, I saw my cousin-in-law picture on his website.

Location : Tirtha Uluwatu ( Bali, Indonesia

Cupcakes for wedding

People has different opinion when it comes to wedding cake. Some prefer a sky-high elaborate wedding cake, some prefer simple 3 tier wedding cake, some even think no wedding cake at all. But if you are thinking of doing something different? There always be an alternative.
Use cupcakes instead of wedding cake, it's easier to distribute... and perhaps more personal (and might be cheaper too).
Here is some design ideas.
photos are from Le Cupcake (I think she is the one who made these lovely cupcakes too)

Wondering whether I can order some for my boy's birthday this year!!!

This entry dedicated to Agustina (so I heard she is going to use cupcakes instead of wedding cake).