Friday, 28 November 2008

The birthday cake....

My son's birthday is just on the corner. I find myself browsing for birthday cake on the net during break time.
There is one clue of looking for a cake for my son.

He loves TRAIN...

So I landed my eyes on this cake...
It came from "The cakes shop" in Oxford. And they produce a fine bakery not only with great looks but also great taste.

However....honestly, I liked this one better. I mean look at those cute animals :-)Sadly, I had to scrap the mission because the cake above cost... 99 GBP!!! Yes it is £99 (plus £5 for delivery still not included). Well it's kind of big cake which can serve about 30 people (mind you it is actually 3 tier). But to me, it just doesn't justify the price.


I think I am not going to eat the cake should that be the price.

Right, so I am on the search again... so I am opt to the idea of giving the bakery certain design and ask them to make it.I stumble upon this lovely cake made by 4goodnesscakes (BTW, she is in NZ). Which I think probably going to cost cheaper to make as it is only a single tier cake.


I ask a local bakery for quotation, and it came out as £58 for 30 person. Not too bad...

But then, I saw this over in Marks and Spencer online shopping...And that is £42 for.....50 people!!!! (Unfortunately M&S didn't do train design this year). I mean, M&S is NOT the cheapest place to buy cakes (there is still Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury which probably like Wallmart and Cotsco in States)...but it proof how much overprice is the bakery around here.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

The soft touch

I am joining the competition held by Wayfaring Wanderer, this time is about your very own favorite photographer. My choice falls for V2 studio in China. If you remember that I've blog about them sometime ago. (I upload many picture here).
It's easy to see why I fell in love with the way they took the picture. From the way I see it, their picture always has the soft touch amidst beautiful scenery, potraying a romantic yet elegant ambience.
There are loads of photographer with photo taking skill, but to me this one is special, because they combine the skill of taking excellent picture AND extensive editing skill, in which I've learn some of them (you can see under the "GIMP" tag on the right hand side).
And as you can see, the topic of LOVE never be out of fashion! (All picture belongs to V2 studio).

It could have been me

I was quite devastated last Friday when I received a rejection letter for my first job interview (Yes. I AM looking for a job). I thought that the interview went very well. There were very good overlap between my skills and what the company required. To make matter short, I wasn't in a very good mood through out weekend.




Come Tuesday. During our weekly journal club, one of my friend presented a very recent breakthrough in our field. It was exactly his PhD topic, only done (much) better. To his credit, he was competing against a $200M funded company with more than 50 staffs. I don't know about you, but if you are a PhD, getting your thesis topic 'stolen' from under your nose can have very disasterous results, for your immediate PhD project as well as for your long term scientific career.

How are these two events that happened during the weekend related? Reverse the time about 1.5 years back when I just started my PhD. At one point I was offered to take on that very project, however for reasons unknown to me my supervisor changed his mind at the last minute and gave it to my other friend. I was quite dissapointed as the project was very promising and have real world applications, something that I enjoy as an engineer.

This might sound silly to some people, but I believe that God planned all of these for me, even to the fact that these two events unfolded during the same weekend. I need to be reminded that He has my best interest close to His heart. What seems like a short term loss, might mean deliverance from future heartache. He definitely wants me to give it my best, but I also need to learn to trust Him for the results, like the old hymn says, 

Trust and obey, 
for there is no other way, 
to be happy in Jesus, 
but to trust and obey

Monday, 24 November 2008

Untitled this time

Okay, this picture were taken about 3 weeks ago now. Nowadays I didn't go to the park as the wind is too cold (and it rain and rain an rain these days). Nonetheless, I didn't forget the beauty of this year autumn.
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Simple breath taking.... Everything seems to made of gold!
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Born in UK, my son had to practice football early! The ground is rather muddy, nonetheless he is happily kicking the ball until his boot became so heavy with dirt!
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Tired? Thirsty? Lets find a nice place to sit down and drink your milk!
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It's been hailing recently, however the UK forecast has reveal there will be quite a number of snowing in south UK. So I am waiting for my chance to see a white christmas this year.
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Thank God that we had a wonderful time this season.

Riding my car

My family weren't doing too well this weekend. All kind of bugs coming and leaving, luckily, I kept some reserve for the blog update. Here is my son riding his car!
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This is the side view....
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And then the front view.
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And it has power steering!!!
p.s: we will be heading down to wales on Christmas day to be with the nicholsons (now it's appear to be an annual thing to do) . They are missionary from States to Abergale, Wales. You can see their family picture here :-)

Friday, 21 November 2008

Only happen in Japan

May this bring a smile on your hard core day of work :-)

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Worry

One of friend of mine just moved out to Australia few months ago. It was such an unfortunate thing that his job sector was hit by recession and the company he work for has to do some cost saving measure. It never be a lovely time to watch redundancy took place, either for the person who had made redundant or those who spared.
My friend were spared, I won't use the word lucky if you are kept and not lucky if the company sack you, simply because it's all so subjective.

I was made redundant back in January 2008.
This is my second job, and made redundant were never exist in my vocabulary.I knew the company doesn't to well, but never thought of such measure. You can see the log on my blog back to those period, I can tell you the worry and fear as I walk out the office building for the last time. Here am I, jobless... the main breadwinner and the visa holder, this can seriously mean deportation if I didn't act quick. And what about my house then? my mortgage?
There were some much things going on on my head as I drove home.

I was glad I decide to do the right thing.
At that moment of silence in the car, I decided to pray, and ask God to give me peace, and I surrender all my problem in His Hand.That decision was probably the thrid best decision in my life (right after my salvation and my marriage) as thing just getting better afterwards.

To cut the story short, I was offered another job in about 2 weeks time, right before my holiday in States! The job was better (as I finally doing the job that I interviewed for, not some random job that no one wanted to take like doing Macintosh programming which had nothing to do with either embedded or system) and this company properly assign a mentor for me, I am back doing proper firmware job as I did on my first job. And the location was somewhat 25 miles closer to home. Not to mention the pay is better too!
And when I thought the things can't get any better, I realise that the redundancy pay was actually quite a big sum of money, in which I can even pay 10% of my house mortgage with it.

Sometimes we are too carried away and think that the digit in our bank account that's all it matters. But I am glad God reminded me, that He is the one who make all things matters in the world, not money nor a job.
At certain point in time, I did feel sorry for my lost colleague.I have my God to depends upon, while they don't.
If you are just facing redundancy, probably this is the humbling time or God probably just trying to get your attention.
On the other hand, worrying won't make an extra inch in our life either.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Swing!

This is my 23 month year old son, he loves train, nibbling oranges, drinking warm milk, and enjoying wind blowing on his face when his dad push him on a swing.
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It's a strange thing that 2 year ago probably I had never imagine how he will looked like or how cute he'll be (well, I think he is cute anyway despite of small eyes and flat nose, others opinion did not count, this called the dellusion of parenthood!!!). Yet now, he is the best things that God ever gave to me and my husband.
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After a tiring day at work, buried in deadline, incosiderate colleague or pressurising boss. Suddenly all those washed within second when I see a smile like this on his face.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Peace

It's been a though time here in UK. The recession hit all people high and low. It is natural to feel anxious.autumn16
Sometimes we lost sight of heavenly things being so caught up in the news and media. But if we go back to the word of God, it shall give us peace.

"Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
"Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
"And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

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"Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
"Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
"(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
"Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
-Matt 6:26-34

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So should I be worried? I guessed not!
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Thank God for His wonderful peace.

Friday, 14 November 2008

A short life of misery and pain

I clearly have no clue how this happen. Britain certainly need to bring back Death Sentence. Read more here.


By John Murphy
BBC News

Two men have been found guilty of causing or allowing the death of a 17-month-old boy. The child's mother had already admitted allowing or causing the child's death.

The trial highlighted a catalogue of missed opportunities to save his life and the case has chilling echoes of the death of Victoria Climbie.
The boy's mother denied knowing anything about bloodstains

On 2 August 2007 police announced they were dropping an investigation into allegations of child abuse they had launched the previous December.

Baby P's mother was elated and told social workers she would go home to hug her son and bake cakes.

The next morning he was dead.

Baby P, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was pronounced dead shortly after midday on 3 August at the North Middlesex Hospital in Edmonton, north London.

But it was already clear when an ambulance arrived at his Tottenham home 45 minutes earlier that he had been dead for some time.

His mother described him in her 999 call as "blue, cold and stiff." In his short life he had suffered repeated - and unexplained - injuries.



The post-mortem examination revealed Baby P had suffered:


• Eight broken ribs and a broken back, with another area of bleeding around the spine at neck level.


• Numerous bruises, cuts and abrasions, including a deep tear to his left ear lobe, which had been pulled away from his head.


• Severe lacerations to the top of his head, including a large gouge which could have been caused by a dog bite.


• Blackened finger- and toenails, with several nails missing; the middle finger of his right hand was without a nail and its tip was also missing, as if it had been sliced off.


• A tear to his fraenulum, the strip of skin between the middle of the upper lip and the gum, which had partially healed.


• One of his front teeth had also been knocked out and was found in his colon. He had swallowed it.


The jury was not shown photographs of the child's actual injuries because it would be too upsetting but was shown computer generated images of his injuries.
The jury were shown computer generated images of Baby P's injuries

His mother, who is now 27, told her GP in September 2006 that her son "bruises easily" and she was worried she might be accused of hurting him.

The following month she returned to see Dr Jerome Iqwueke and explained away bruises on the child, saying he had fallen down the stairs the day before.

On 11 December 2006 Dr Iqwueke saw the child again and noticed more bruises, none of which the mother could adequately explain.

He immediately referred Baby P to paediatric specialists at the Whittington Hospital, where doctors concluded the marks suggested non-accidental injury.

Haringey social services were notified, Baby P was put on the child protection register and a police investigation began.

Five days later he was released into the care of Angela Godfrey, a close friend of the mother.

At the end of January 2007 social services decided to return Baby P to the family home.

Dr Heather Mackinnon, the paediatric consultant in charge of Baby P's care at the Whittington, said she had been unable to attend various case conferences concerning him but had made her report available.

She said she would not have supported returning the child to his family.

She also said she did not receive the minutes of any of the meetings until after Baby P's death eight months later - something she described as "clearly a systemic failure".

Dr Mackinnon said many of those involved in the case felt sorry for the mother and she said there was "a collective thinking that this was more likely to be neglect rather than deliberate injury - which was not my view".

The police officer investigating the suspected abuse, Detective Constable Angela Slade, said she had also been opposed to Baby P returning to the family home because her investigation had not been completed.

But she said she was told by social services the mother was working well with them and a delay in returning would affect the re-integration of the family.

Social services had also been given assurances - which proved worthless - that the mother was living alone and there was no man in the house who could have inflicted the injuries.

During the trial the mother admitted this was a lie.
The death of Baby P has chilling echoes of the Victoria Climbie case

The court heard that her 32-year-old boyfriend, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was frequently left in charge of Baby P and the first injuries coincided with his growing involvement in the household.

Baby P was taken to hospital twice more, in April and June 2007, with unexplained cuts and bruises.

The mother lied to social worker Maria Ward that she was away, which delayed a home visit for another six weeks.

When Ms Ward saw Baby P for the last time, a few days before his death, she found him sitting in his buggy, with a sore ear, a gauze over his finger and chocolate smeared over his face and hands.

Two prosecution witnesses claimed the mother and boyfriend had deliberately spread the chocolate on his face to hide bruises.

Baby P's final two weeks of life were marked by an escalation of the violence against him.

On 25 July Dr Iqwueke received a call from the mother, requesting his help to get social services "off her back".

When she brought the child in the following day the doctor noticed he was "withdrawn" and avoided contact.


The prosecution claimed the child's back and ribs would have been broken before 1 August, when his mother took him to a child development clinic at St Ann's Hospital where he was seen by Dr Sabah Al-Zayyat.

In a police interview Dr Al-Zayyat said she had been unable to carry out a full physical examination because he was "miserable and cranky".

But in court she said Baby P only cried for a minute or so before she began her physical examination and he was in the room with her for over an hour.

Asked why she apparently changed her evidence she replied that the police had not asked her the right question at the time.

Dr Al-Zayyat denied his back could have been broken when she saw him.

It emerged during the trial that the mother had been placed on a parenting course, had been given stair gates, a fireplace guard and, even, shortly before his death, an offer of a seaside holiday.

This is not the first time Haringey social services has come under the spotlight.

In February 2000 eight-year-old Victoria Climbie was killed in Tottenham after a number of failings by Haringey social services and other agencies.

So what happen to Baby P??
A 15-year-old runaway staying at the house had later claimed to police that the mother's boyfriend had carried out "brutal and sadistic" assaults on the child, jurors heard.

"She told them he would shake him, punch him, swing him around by his legs and spin him round on the computer chair until he fell off," said Sally O'Neill, QC, for the prosecution.

"He would wrap him up and leave him sweating until he was dehydrated."

Over the last seven or eight months of his short life, the baby was subjected to a course of assaults of increasing violence, Miss O'Neill told the court.

She added: "The Crown's case against these defendants is that either they themselves inflicted this unlawful force on him or that they participated in a joint enterprise to do so."

The eight fractured ribs were more than a week old, the lesions on his scalp and ears were ulcerated and there was a healing tear to the membrane between his lip and gum, she said.

The most serious injury had been the broken back.

Ms O'Neill said: "That particular injury requires an extremely forceful hyperextension of the spine by, for example, forcing a child's back over your bent knee or over a banister rail.

"The effect of that particular assault would have been to cause paralysis from the level of injury down."

Ms O'Neill added that the death of a child in such circumstances was "likely to fill any reasonable person with revulsion".

She said the mother and her boyfriend began a relationship in June 2006 when the baby was three months old.

After his birth she had been diagnosed with depression and, because of previous post-natal depression, the family had been placed in the "cause for concern" category by a health visitor, but they were removed shortly afterwards.

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It sadden me to hear this story, the innocent child being a target of his own parent bullies. Nonetheless, I am relieved that his suffering days are over as today he was sitting happily in Jesus's lap, enjoying His endless care and love.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Autumn, in memory

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Finally autumn is over, a sequence of morning frost and foggy day has welcome the winter. Nonetheless, this year autumn shall remain in my memory....
And today, I just read a poem...
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When autumn wind goes running
It does some magic things.
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It gives the shadows dancing shoes
It gives the bright leaves wings
When autumn wind goes running
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It curls the bonfire's tail of smoke
And shares a little whispered joke
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With cornstalks who delight to prattle
It turns a seed pod into a rattle
When autumn wind goes running
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Leaves in the Fall come tumbling down,
Scarlet and yellow, russet and brown,
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Leaves in the garden are swept in a heap,
The trees are ready for sleep.
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A fallen leaf is nothing more
than a summers wave good bye

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Just my baby and me

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Walking down the park just my baby and me...

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Cost of FREEDOM

Some people describe freedom as a ticket to do whatever they want. I recalled my memory as teenager, "freedom" means I can overwrite my parents' authority, and be my own boss. But really, after I grew up, I think freedom has a different meaning. I've also learn that it took a lot of courage to acquire freedom, is that money, pride, dignity and sometimes life.Last weekend was the Remeberance Sunday. It's a time to remember those who had shed their blood, risk their life, not for a selfish reason, but so that we - the next generation, may know the meaning of the word FREEDOM.

FREEDOM is not to do what one's desire, but to do what is right - Anonymous

Picture source : BBC NEWS

Kindness to The Nature

I am joining "share the love" held by Wayfaring Wanderer. Coming from third world country, the idea of "saving energy" or "saving environment" is a completely new way of thinking to us. Nonetheless, out of our conciousness we learn much since we lived in Europe (even though I believe most average european did much more than We do!!)

5 Things I do that can be considered ec0-friendly:

1. We bought small car with high mpg with low carbon emission (In the same time this reduce our road tax!)
2. We try to reuse my plastic bag by bringing it everytime I went for grocery shopping (plastic bag is free here)
3. We insulate my house well, put on styrofoam underneath the wallpaper to keep the room temperature, sew on curtain linings on each curtain or use combination of blind and curtain for each window.
4. We tried to use public transport whenever we can, and that's applied for travelling too. Our trip to Germany, Switzerland and Austria in a week proof that it is possible!
5. We hand wash the dishes and hang dry our clothes.


5 Things I don't do, but could easily start doing:

1. Groups all the plastic, glass, papers and cardboard on separate bags to be recycled (now I only do this in office)
2. Potty train my little boy so he is not nappy dependant!
3. Turn off my computer completely after office hour (I only hiberante or putting it on standby now)
4. Use less room heating at night and more of thermal blanket.
5. Cook my food in big batch and keep it in the fridge rather than cook it every meal.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Ducks watching

It was a sunny saturday afternoon.
On a lazy day like this, we walk down to Abington park to feed the ducks.It's been a while since we had never been there, regardless how close it is to our residence.
Here is my son try to feed the ducks.
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The were hundreds of ducks, swans, pigeons and any other birds in the park.
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This paddle duck looks like the one in children story books.
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To my surprise they are quite aggresive if you try to hide your food from them. Especially this one... And they are pretty big too!
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Nonetheless, the scenery was picture perfect!
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And the pond were covered in colourful autumn leaves.
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"Throw it further Daddy!"
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