Tuesday, 16 December 2008


It's been nearly two weeks since I last posted! Well, I blame that on my internet having died-ed sometime ago >_<""

News updates:
1) Had a kimono meet two Saturdays ago! It was fun :) Will hopefully post pics soon!
2) Patty flew home two Mondays ago.
3) I barely managed to finish my Monday and Friday courseworks in time.
4) Watched House MD, Seasons 1 to 4 in 4 days.
5) Met up with Hong on Friday, Mel came over halfway through, and we all went to Il Bordello for dinner. I had the spaghetti bolognese, a classic. It was the best I'd ever had. Yum.
6) Went to Richoux for Saturday lunch with Mel. Had kedgeree and scones. Yum. Went to Harrods after that to shop abit. (We had fun walking around the food halls, dissing the fruits. "Oh. My. GOD. Lookitdat! You call that a papaya?!?!?! I call that green playdoh!" XD)

And most importantly....

7) I'M HOME!!!!!!!!

:D :D :D Yay! I flew home on Saturday and landed last night. Business class is so fun.

I also have a new laptop!! We were able to determine that my internet problem was actually a hardware problem with my laptop somewhere, and my mum said that rather than spend so much money constantly fixing it, I ought to just buy a new one. So I told my brother to buy me on over the PC fair last weekend (I didn't have any specifics I wanted - "lots of HD" and "works" don't count :P) and he did! I came home to a nice 15" Asus M51V series laptop ^____^

I'm still familiarizing myself with it nd Windows Vista, so I'm not too good with either (I had t cut my nails so I could type properly!) but as long as Microsoft Office, internet, Internet Explorer and iTunes work, I'm perfectly happy :D

Speaking of my nails, I had a clumsy flight D: First, I accidentally broke a nail getting my monitor out. When I say "broke a nail", I mean "ripped half of it off my flesh". So my left thumb huuuuurts :( After that, an air steward broke a glass over my foot (ehehehe business class gets actual glasses and not plastic cups!). Then, on the way out the plane, I slipped down the stairs >____< I'm really lucky I managed to catch myself after a few steps, before I pushed the lady who was standing below me! (Ummm in case you're wondering about the stairs, I was sitting on the upper deck, three rows behind the door to the cockpit).

I swear the only thing that wasn't clumsy was the flight itself! I dunno if it was because I was sitting on the upper deck, but the take-off and landing was really smooth. Blegh, I'm glad my clumsiness isn't infectious, but I'm not glad that my clumsiness has carried over till today >:( When I went out for lunch with my siblings and mum, I tripped over half the things I walked by.

I wonder if there's something wrong with me? :P

Friday, 5 December 2008


I am sitting here in the computer labs, just staring at the screen and trying to finish a report that's due by midnight tonight (but we're aiming to have it sent off by 6 at the very latest). I'm so sick of this report because I've been reading the same damn thing over and over and over again. I never want to be an editor professionally. I feel so damn bored I could cry just for the heck of it. Ugh.

*sighs* Patty is coming to London today. Too bad he's arriving so much earlier than he said he thought he would be! He originally estimated that he'd arrive in London at around 5 or 6pm or so, but actually he's due to arrive at 3pm -_____- I had planned my whole day around the 6pm timeframe - get to school10am, hand in dissertation proposal 10.15am, do coursework, meet Sita at 3pm for her contribution to coursework, meet Andrea at 4.30pm for her contribution to coursework, final proofreading of the report at 5pm, last minute changes and sending it off 5.45pm, go home 6pm, meet Patty and go to Il Bordello anytime.

Instead, I'll now have to try and rush to finish the coursework. Luckily, Patty has the spare key to the back door, so he can let himself in. I told him to come to my uni if he wants, so he can use the internet here (and watch us panic and run around like headless chickens :P). I dunno if he'll take me up on that offer or not, but either way, I'll have to ignore him for a few hours. *shrugs* Oh well!

Tomorrow, we're planning to go to Borough Market! April is coming down to London from.... I forgot where she lives, but she's another kimono friend (YAY for kimono friends!) :) She'll arrive in London at 11am thereabouts, and Hong and I will go pick her up and we'll all go to Borough Market ^___^ Of course, we'll drag Patty along. The three of us girls will wear kimono! Yay! I can't wait! Tonight I'll definitely have to coordinate an outfit hehehe (I only confirmed on going yesterday).

Okay, I've had my break and chocolate. Time to get back to work! (... it's 2.30pm and Patty just called to say he's at Heathrow already. At this rate, he'll be in my uni before I even meet Sita or Andrea! :P)

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Outfit Snap: Red Wool Komon & Parrot Obi

Finally, after nearly 3 weeks of kitsuke deprivement, I got to wear kimono today!

Actually, I wasn't supposed to wear kimono at all. However, the due date for one of my courseworks has been postponed, so I suddenly had a bit of free time!

Anyway, here are pictures of today's kitsuke:

The front:

The back:

With a shawl:

With scarf and hat:

With earmuffs:


The kimono came as a part of this lot of kimono I won for 2000yen. I think the lot had 7 kimono and 4 obi in it? Anyway, I calculated the prices and all, and I managed to figure out that each wearable piece cost about $17, shipping and all! So yay cheap stuff.

The kimono is red (slightly orange too) with a woven pattern that I can't seem to identify... The obi is a painted parrot obi that I bought a couple of months ago, because no one seemed to want it, and it was GORGEOUS. Of course, it's actually far too short for me, so I had aLOT of difficulty wearing it today! If I weren't so worried about bungling it up, I'd turn it into a tsuke obi! But first things first, I ought to try doing that on other obi....

I chose a yellow obiage to match the yellow flower and parts of the bird, and a green obijime to highlight the leaves, and to hopefully tie in the bag. I wore a white han'eri and white tabi with black zori.

This outfit seems to fit the Black, Red, White Challenge as well!

I actually changed my hairstyle after uploading these photos to braids, because there was something about the outfit that reminded me of my Showa Kimono Modan book, and lots of young girls had braids in those pictures. I haven't uploaded those pics yet, but I will do it soon.

I just realised I haven't posted pictures of the MCM Expo, or of my purple ensemble! *GASP* Must remember to do it soon....

Okay, back to work!

Friday, 28 November 2008

Busy busy week!

I haven't updated in a long long while! o_O In my defense, it's been a busy week!

In order of what happened:
1) I did a presentation. It sucked.
2) We had a presentation the very next day for the trouble coursework. I'll complain about this one later
3) A new coursework given, so I had to work on it.
4) A meeting for our troublesome coursework group. It sucked. I'll complain about this later too.
5) Dissertation meeting, where I had to finish my literature review (not that I did.. will have to add on to it later!)

Okay, bitching time starts now.

OMFG I can't BELIEVE those *bleeeeeeeep* who were supposed to do our Systems presentation! On Monday we met, discussed our recommendations, and decided to meet on Wednesday so that the presentors can practice in front of the rest of the group for critique and suggestions for improvement. So on Wednesday, right after my presentation, I went to meet them.

The slides weren't even done. It looked like they just barely started! The other two girls came along, one of them having travelled an hour from home just to see the practice presentation. A little while later, the presentors said that they had a lecture, so they couldn't stay anymore to do the presentation. We offered to finish up the slides for them, and they declined, saying they wanted to do it their way since they were presenting. We said okay, and told them to at least practice together once before the actual presentation. Would you believe they hadn't been planning to???

Anyway, they promised to be in school by 9am Thursday, just in case. The 3 of us said fine, we'll see you before the lecture, etc etc. On Thursday morning, at 10.45am (15 minutes before the lecture started - us 3 girls were in a 9am lecture), we met up with one of the presentors (Sophia) and she said that the other girl who was supposed to do the slides wasn't there yet. PFFT 9am my FOOT.

When the other girl (Trang) FINALLY came along, we demanded to see the slides, so we all trooped down to the computer labs. Guess what? THE SLIDES HADN'T EVEN BEEN TOUCHED SINCE WE LEFT THE DAY BEFORE. She hadn't even used the slides which I'd amended abit for animation and stuff! Obviously we panicked.

Luckily, our presentation timeslot wasn't till 12.30pm. So for one hour, we rushed to do everything, trying to add more stuff into the slides etc. But there was something wrong with the slides, and we couldn't save it. I kept trying to adjust it so it would be ok, but the others (read: Trang) kept pushing me away to do her own thing. Ugh. So the one who was supposed to do the slides said she'd just present like that - incomplete, with alot of blank slides and no pictures, diagrams, graphs, charts, nothing. She took her USB and left with Sophia. The three of us were left very upset and panicky and in a daze.

I started playing around with the slides, and I managed to fix it, so Andrea, Sita and I rushed to make it prettier, with animations, graphs, charts, etc. We saved it on another USB and brought it to Trang and Sophia, telling them we'd fixed it. Not like they even looked through to check what was on the slides before they presented! They ended up embarrassing us and making us all look like absolute fools. The last person in the group, who was there, had this look on his face that seemed to say "Why didn't you do any better???". Not "I should've done this, I could do better", but "why didn't you do any better???". Bitch.

That was really the last straw. After the lecture, Andrea, Sita and I stormed straight up to the lecturer and complained (I think that may have been the only reason why we got the marks we did - 12 out of 20, which was quite good considering ours was the worst presentation and we didn't get the lowest marks). She said she'd talk to the only guy in the group, because she's his supervisor for the dissertation and she had a meeting with him later that day anyway. Then she organized a meeting for everyone in the group on Wednesday so that we'd be able to discuss things with a mediator. The three of us went away hoping that she'd be able to do something.

Come Wednesday, we met at the designated time and place, except for Sophia, who didn't turn up for dunno what goddamn reason she had. That meeting was the most useless thing I'd ever heard of. She didn't want to talk about what happened in the past, or for us to point fingers and accuse others, and came up with stupid suggestions that would never work in our group. Hello?? The only reason why we wanted the meeting in the first place was to sort out all that and find out WHY THE HECK they didn't do their work!!!

Ugh, we still ended up distributing our work evenly (read: they won't do it and we'll get stuck doing all of it), and the ppl who didn't do their parts went away smiling like goons, as though they got away with something. I can already tell that they're not going to do their work. If I ever felt murderous before, it's nothing compared to how I feel now.

And to think I used to like Systems last year. This year sucks ass. I tell you, when the time comes for me to do that course review thing for feedback, I'm going to complain and bitch as much as I can.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Yamatoku Sales!

Yamatoku Classics has a sale on their website!! For 8 days (not sure when it's ending, actually, but I think it started today [Monday]), there will be a 30% discount off everything in their webshop!!!

I'm so excited - some of the things I've lusted after for ages but never bought because of their prices are so cheap now!! I'm very tempted to break my kimono diet and buy something from him, but the only problem is I don't know what to buy! Not a furisode - I've enough of those. Not a komon either - I've too many of those! Maybe an iromuji? I was thinking a houmongi or tsukesage. Oooooh what about that houmongi-juban set I wanted so badly? It's USD88 now, as opposed to USD130...

I was looking through my collection and decided that while my kimono collection is good enough for everyday wear, I don't really have much choice when it comes to semi-formal events. I only have three iromuji and one tsukesage here with me in London! Even at home, I only have two tsukesage that are wearable. I think I ought to get more tsukesage, houmongi and iromuji so that I'd have a larger choice of clothing of an acceptable formality level if I were to go out for a smart lunch or meeting or something. Especially since iromuji is so versatile in looks and formality levels! I really really want to get more iromuji...

I do think that wearing a wool kimono to Ikiteru, KL Hilton would be embarrassingly underdressed (though it'd be good for shopping!) while a furisode would be far too overdressed - think of wearing a ballgown to have tea. A nice komon or an iromuji would be a good choice. Tsukesage and houmongi would be even better if I'm going out with someone I don't know all too well, although if I don't know them that well, I don't think I'd wear kimono in the first place!

Yeah, my collection has an odd range. Alot of informal everyday wear for housework etc, a number of komon that may be suitable for nice lunches, very few semi-formal stuff, and a large range of furisode and one kurotomesode for formal kimono. I suppose it reflects my thinking that I'd rather wear kimono for simple everyday enjoyment, and when it comes to formal things, I'd rather wear a nice dress and blend into the background, rather than stand out and take attention away from the host/guest of honour.

Hm, I've been contemplating selling or trading off my kimono. I've got someone who's already interested in buying things I may have no use for, and someone I already am trading stuff with *cough*Hong*cough*, but other than that, I don't know if I'll ever dare to sell or trade online after so many stories of scams.

Ooooooh I wore kimono for a short while on Sunday! I was feeling really kimono-deprived, so since I was on a break, I wore my eye-popping purple and pink wool ensemble. I'll post pictures later!

It was so cold that night that wearing a kimono and haori together indoors made me feel perfectly warm and toasty. I'd hate to imagine wearing it outdoors! Plus, today was cold too! It's finally gotten cold enough that I had to break out foxy - and even foxy wasn't warm enough! O_O

It looks to be a cold winter this year, as opposed to last year's unbelieveably warm winter. Time to break out the earmuffs yet?

Annoying Coursework Groupmate

Once again, I'm complaining about that annoying guy in my group.

Today, we had a meeting where we discussed our recommendations to the client, our presentation and our final report. We also discussed how we're going to divide our work. Andrea sent out an email summarizing our meeting and stating who was to do what.

The irritating guy, who didn't even turn up for the meeting, immediately sent a reply saying he wasn't going to do the presentation because he did something and the others didn't. RIGHT. The others at least went to the first meeting with the client and relayed it back to us. He did the part we asked him to - two weeks after the due date of the report it was supposed to go in.

The next step of his part was that he compounded on what he was supposed to have written before, and elaborated it further for the report. We said what he wrote was good, but not enough, so we asked him to write it in more detail - he sent us a reply saying HE thought it was good enough, so HE wasn't going to write anymore, and if we wanted more detail, we should write it ourselves!! HONESTLY! The nerve!! And Andrea, Sita and I had written the whole interim report by ourselves!!!!!

Plus, he actually had the gall to say that HE was getting annoyed with the coursework group! He was saying we didn't communicate efficiently, blablabla, if we wanted someone to do something, we should ask, not tell. He said no one should assume they are the leader because no one is, etc. etc. >:( HELLO??? We communicated everything via email to everyone in the group! Chats, conversations, files, everything was on email, and we all decided email was the best way to communicate in the first meeting!

He said he was annoyed we tell him what to do and not ask - well, it's HIS own fault! He never turns up at these meetings! During those meetings, we all decide on what to do (we volunteer for parts and whatever is leftover is shoved to whoever isn't there) fairly and then we just send out what we've already agreed on so far. No one assumes they're the leader. In the meetings, everyone is on equal footing, and no one says "you do this, you do that", we all volunteer for the jobs. He's just taking it out on the person who sends out the summaries of the meetings by implying that she thinks she's the leader!

We've been discussing this problem for a week now, and I've relayed to the group everyone's advice on complaining to the lecturer. One of the girls was talking to the lecturer and mentioned that someone wasn't pulling their weight, and the lecturer said to include in her copy of the final report a breakdown of who did what and if someone hasn't done anything, just leave a blank. I'm not sure what will happen, but I hope to God that he won't get our mark.

Speaking of marks, I just got the marks for our interim report. We got a 22/30. Yay, or something like that. To be honest, everyone says it's a good mark, but I'm not happy with it at all. I feel we could've done a much better job and gotten better marks if everyone pulled their weight from the beginning. Am I being too critical? Or is this just the stress of the past two weeks speaking?

I decided to take the weekend off to relax and de-stress for a bit after the past two (going on three) hectic weeks. I kind of regret it now, because while it was nice to relax, this morning, I was in a full-blown panic and felt more stressed. And my workload is actually lighter! I just feel like I wasted time, even though I've just about finished everything due this week. Well, I ought to work ahead for things due in two weeks then (after my report and presentation this Wednesday, plus another presentation I'm not taking part in on Thursday, I've nothing due till 4th December. Hooray, or something like that).

I've got to do a presentation on Wednesday! I've prepared myself extra-well this time, so I hope it'll all be fine. Wish me luck for it!

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Inland Revenue

Ooooh something interesting happened this morning!

At about 11am, I woke up to this banging on the door. I jumped out of bed, pulled a shawl on and opened it up to a couple of men. They said they were from Inland Revenue and were looking for someone called "Miss Kalef" who had avoided paying taxes in 05-06, and that they had a warrant to search the house! I told them that there was no one by such a name living here. They asked to see the ID of all the people living in the house to make sure. (Oh, I did check their IDs btw)

I woke James up and they explained the situation to him while I went to get my passport. James did the same, but MeiZi wasn't in, so I just took our tenancy agreement, which they were happy to see. The good thing is that after seeing our IDs, they said they wouldn't bother us anymore.

Abit of a shock when things like that happen. Okay, since I'm already awake now, maybe I'll clean up my room a little and then dress up in kimono. What should I wear...?

ROH tour + coursework rant

I had the Royal Opera House backstage tour for a coursework earlier that day, which was really fun! We saw the auditorium, the costume area, the backstage area, the place where they built the sets and the hat and jewellery department. It was so interesting!! The best part is that they had a rehearsal going on at the time.

Now, actually, when they're having a rehearsal, no one is allowed to go into the auditorium. However, that day, they were rehearsing a triple bill (three short operas/ballets? in one show), and they had a break in between to change the set, so we were allowed to go in!! We actually saw what it was like when they're having rehearsal - people walking on stage, making sure the set is absolutely perfect, adjusting the lights, people yelling, etc. It was great to see! *hearts*

That trip really made me want to go watch something in the ROH!

Speaking of courseworks, I've been really busy the past weeks. Ma and Pa will kill me if they found out, but for two weeks, I haven't really been eating or sleeping. I only slept an average of maybe 4 hours a night, and ate only once every 24 hours - even then it might just only be soup. And even after all that, I just barely manage to hand in my courseworks on time. On Wednesday, we submitted our coursework just a minute before the hand-in time!! We were so worried we wouldn't make it that we didn't do the best we could, I think. :( *sighs*

I blame all of that on the people who didn't do their parts!! If they'd done SOMETHING, I wouldn't have had to concentrate so much on that coursework and ignore my other coursework, which I then had to rush through! A part of me regrets going to that kimono fashion show on Tuesday because of that.

Oh and you know what? On Tuesday, we also found out that all the work we did wasn't what the client wanted. I mean, yeah, relevant, but still not what she wanted!! So we only have this one week before our presentation to get everything done. I'm doing the research side of things, and am supposed to get things done by Monday, but it's a little difficult because offices will be closed during the weekends, so I can't call our competitors to test their system *sigh*

You know what's the worst thing?? One of the ppl who didn't do any work argued that what the client wants isn't relevant to our coursework at all and what we'd done is enough! He actually told us to stop wasting time on it! It made the 2 girls and I who worked hard on it very furious - WE want the good marks! Who is he to stop us from working??? So we took a vote to see who wanted to stop working on it and who wanted to change our project - we won, of course.

That bit about what the client wants not being important? That's abso-effing-lutely ridiculous. Our presentation is going to be marked by the client - that's 20% there. The final report is specifically for the client, not our lecturer, so it's vital that we do what she wants. The final report is 40%. We told that guy about this and said it was written in the course outline, and he had the NERVE to say "I'm reading it and I don't see it. I don't know what you guys are talking about".

AAAAAAARGH I want to kill him. I don't understand HOW an idiot like that ever made course representative! Plus, our lecturer came up to us and said "Oh you have a course rep in your group! I'll expect better work from you guys then". Talk abour pressure.

I've been told by everyone to complain about this to the lecturer, who assigned us our groups, but she'd already specified in the beginning that if there are problems within the group, we'll have to sort it out ourselves. Usually, she's quite good about taking our complaints (she taught us last year) but this year, it's apparently a part of our coursework, as we are emulating a real life consulting group, with a client and everything.

James and MeiZi told me that there should be a formal way of lodging a complaint with the university itself. I'll have to look it up and see, and discuss it with our coursework group. I'll wait and see for our presentation. That guy is supposed to do the presentation, as he didn't do anything at all for the interim report. If he doesn't do the presentation, we'll most definitely complain.

Argh, I've been complaining and ranting about this coursework for weeks to anyone and everyone who would listen, and I'm still angry about it. Any ideas on what I can do to get rid of this anger? Shockingly, wearing kimono (Tuesday) didn't help, although that might be because we were late, so I was feeling really annoyed. But then again, cooking, playing the piano, reading and watching TV didn't help either. I'd only do it for 10 or 15 minutes before going back to work because it just added to my stress. I kept thinking "need to do work, need to do work need to do work, shouldn't be doing this!!" *sigh*

I pray that Ma and Pa won't nag at me to STUDY STUDY STUDY the next time I talk to them or I'll burst into tears. I KNOW I should study but I haven't got the time!!! Coursework is taking up everything in my life. Today's the first bit of time I've had to myself to relax and I still have a pile of books to read for my dissertation literature review.

I'll be so glad when December comes and I can go home. I've been craving for steamed pomfret and steamed soup lately.

Is working life also this stressful?

Event Aftermath: Kimono Fashion Show!

On Tuesday, despite having 3 reports due the next day, Mel, Hong and I went to see a kimono fashion show. Of course, we just had to wear kimono! We all decided on wearing furisode ^_^

I was supposed to meet Hong at 3pm and Mel at 4pm in my flat to get dressed. Instead, both came about an hour late *sighs* Hong and I managed to get dressed in time, but then we decided to dress Mel in her furisode too. That, plus the fact that we couldn't get a taxi, and traffic was bad, made us really late so we missed half the show! :( *sighs sadly* Oh well.. At least I got to see how kimono sensei dress other people!

After the show, which was lovely, there was a dinner that the three of us attended. It said to have kobe beef, but was really just a burger. *disappointed* At least the starter was unique and the dessert (apple pie) was gorgeous!

Anyway, on with the pictures! :D

I'm wearing my birthday furisode, paired with Hong's purple obi and my black accessories, which aren't actually formal enough for furisode, but we don't care :D The next time I wear this beauty, I think I'm definitely going to try for my red obi with orange accessories. Oh and I desperately need a juban for this. The night before, I was sewing up juban sleeves for this kimono! I ended up having to take up nearly 4 inches!

The lovely handara-inspired obi musubi Hong tied onto me. A little wonky in this picture (believe me, it was much prettier than this!) though. Sure beats the craptastic handara I tied onto her!

This is what Hong wore!! This furisode was originally mine, but it didn't fit me :( I bought it because I wanted a black furisode. The seller's pictures were awful, but I looked past it and saw the true beauty of this gorgeous piece, and bought it. I was so upset when I received it and it didn't fit me!

Then I met Hong, and thought that it'd fit her perfectly, so I showed it to her. I was glad she fell in love with it! Since this piece was rather expensive, I didn't really want to just give it away, so I traded it for her dance parasol, which I loved and she didn't like.

So everyone's happy! I finally got a parasol that I've been wanting for ages and she got rid of it. At the same time, she got a beautiful new furisode that fit her, and I gave away one of my precious to someone who actually fits it and I know will take good care of it ^_^

The obi she's wearing is one I bought specifically for this furisode. I'm contemplating selling it to Hong as well, because I don't have anything else it matches, plus it matches this furisode so well. I tried to get her to wear pink accessories, because the lining is pink and the general feel of the furisode screams "pink accessories", but she isn't too fond of the colour, so she wore red instead. I think it look nicer than I expected!

The craptastic handara I tied onto her :P It looked a bit better after I stuffed towels down her back, though!

After that, we dressed Mel up in the furisode I helped her buy :) Since we were running late, everything was rushed. I started pulling out every juban I had in the hopes that one of them would fit the furisode - thank goodness one of them did! While Hong dressed Mel, I grabbed the most neutral obi I had that matched, and then started throwing accessories to see if they were suitable! And all that was happening while I was helping to dress Mel haha. We managed to do it in 15 minutes, would you believe it?? For such a quick kitsuke for furisode, I'm quite proud of how Mel turned out!

Here's a picture of the three of us after the show:

And our backs. You can see us all lopsided here! Haha.

Here's Mel and Hong with the only non-Japanese model. I love her furisode!! Not too fond of the ensemble, but the furisode itself is gorgeous!

We got alot of comments and compliments ^_^ The sensei were very surprised to learn that we dressed ourselves! We did speak to the Japanese woman we saw in the koto concert - she was with a friend who was also a kimono sensei! *happiness* We got their emails so now we can get lessons!

Ooooh this reminds me, I haven't posted pictures of the MCM Expo, have I? Remind me to do it sometime this weekend!

Friday, 7 November 2008


*sighs* My lemon craving is getting out of hand. I'm dying to drink a lemonade, or eat a Carluccio's lemon tart or maybe lemon sorbet. My tastebuds are screaming for that sour tang that strong lemony stuff gives me. Maybe I should go buy a bag of lemon drops and act like Dumbledore (hwoh hwoh hwoh)

Am supposed to be doing coursework now (due date is tonight) but my brain is blank. I stayed up till 3am doing it last night and it still isn't done because I didn't have absolutely everything we needed for the report. At least it's almost finished now *sigh*

Okay, going back to work.

Thursday, 6 November 2008


Have you ever felt really frustrated by your coursework groupmates?

I certainly am. For one of my module's coursework, I was assigned to a group of 6 students by my lecturer. It was all fine and dandy at first, but as time went on, I came to realise only 3 of us were actually doing things. The others have contributed just about nothing (two of them went to interview the client and relayed it back to us, but nothing else) for our report (which I'm supposed to put together!!!!) and I'm sick of arranging meetings where only half of us turn up and actually do the work. It's irritating to have to do a coursework for people who don't do anything. But I guess that's life *sigh*.

It's getting really busy now. I've got to finish up one coursework (well, checking my group's English so that the report makes sense!) by tonight so that we can do the presentation in two weeks. The coursework I was complaining about has an interim report due this Friday (OMG STRESS!!) while I have another report to finish by the same day so that I can hand it in on Wednesday. Not to mention my dissertation..... I've got to write the introduction and the literature review, which means reading a pile of books and articles and reviewing them and their authors *sigh*.

Speaking of that, I was discussing with my dissertation supervisor yesterday about doing a Master's degree. I'm not entirely sure if I should or not... It's expensive, and I don't know if I'll be able to get in, but I did promise him that I'd give it a think. I would, of course, try to apply for either LSE or Imperial College's Tanaka Business School. I did think of applying for London Business School after working for a while, but I dunno.. It depends on whether I'm good enough, and if I'm not married or not by then (hahaha tough luck on that happening). If I do further my studies after this, my resume would look good though. I mean, graduating at age 21 with a Master's degree under my belt already? Nyehehehe.... Hopefully it'll get me a good job, although job prospects aren't exactly good right now. Still, I'm really hoping I can get a good job without a Master's...

*sighs* We all can dream, can't we?

Friday, 31 October 2008

It's my birthday!

Mwahaha, I turn 20 today! I am sadly no longer a teen anymore, and can no longer gloat that I'm a 19-year-old and in my final year of university D: Instead I shall now gloat that I will graduate at the nice even-numbered age of 20!! Yaaaay!

Were I Japanese, it would now be legal for me to drink, vote, own houses, etc. Banzai! I can move to Japan now!

Hopefully, I will receive my parcel today as a birthday present. The parcel has 6 kimono and 3 obi in it - Ling, don't freak out, it came as a lot and was bought ages and ages ago. All of that costs the same as one ball of yarn. AND I chose the cheap shipping too!

Oh Ling, my room was only messy that day because Hong and I were throwing stuff everywhere all over it! It's really much neater usually. :P And Pa's going to Osaka???? Nuuuuuuu!!! *flies home to be packed into Pa's suitcase* I'd give a shopping list, but then I'd have to educate Pa about types of kimono, formality levels, colours, patterns, how to buy something that fits and all that rot. So yeah, I'll save Pa a headache and just not ask for anything :D

Hm, time to do coursework... D:

Crazy Ideas: More pictures from last Friday

Okay, later than I expected, but I ended up being quite busy with coursework this past week. Actually, I'm supposed to be doing coursework now, but I'm taking a short break hehehe.

Anyway, here are more pics from Friday's kimono dress-up! I wasn't doing proper kitsuke, so I really wore this just like a robe *horrified gasp* :P It was meant to be trailing style, yet it's too short for that and too long for no ohashori. Oh well.

This kimono is a random striped one which I think comes from the 1930s or earlier. This girl's maru obi is also about the same age, I believe.
Striped Silk + Maru Obi
A "Naomi" pose variation!
Then we started imitating old shin-hanga prints! Here I am "reading"...
Running fingers through my hair..
"Oh! A rat just ran past!" :P :P :P
Imitating a pose from my Showa Modan Kimono book (that's a book with alot of old kimono paintings and prints)
That previous pose made me think of swatting flies. I couldn't stop giggling when we were taking this pic!
Another pose from the Showa Modan Kimono book. Of course, I look uglier.

Hehe it was really fun taking all those photos! Hong and I were laughing and laughing our heads off! Hong was the photographer and "director" and kept going "move there! Over there! Look serene. Look wistful. WISTFUL dammit!" Hahahaha XD

Okay, I think that's enough pics for one post. There still are lots of pics from Saturday's MCM Expo and I'll post that when I have the time to ^_^ Bye!

Ling, ;____; must you post photos of such wonderfully delicious food? (No, that isn't a request to stop posting them pics!!! :P)

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Closet Feature: Kurotomesode pictures!

On Friday, Hong brought over some of her kimono for me to try on! We took looooooads of pics ^_^ In fact, we took so many that I'm only going to post them in batches! Today, I'm posting the kurotomesode batch, where I'm "modelling" her kurotomesode.

Just to clarify myself, kurotomesode is the most formal kimono a married woman can wear. Unmarried women are not supposed to wear it at all, which means I'll have to keep mine in storage for a few more decades! Haha. Kurotomesode are usually worn to the most formal ceremonies like the weddings of your immediate family (siblings and children).

The room is messy because we were rotating my kimono (summer kimono go into storage, winter kimono get taken out) so everything was strewn all over the place! Also, I'm not really wearing anything properly - we were too lazy to actually practice our kitsuke!

This one is her absolutely gorgeous kurotomesode with an embroidered pheasant on it. It's so sweet! It's black, white and purple, my favourite colour combination! It's also got gorgeous gold decorations.

An upclose of the hem...

This is just a picture of the hem of my kurotomesode, which I bought over 2 years ago. I hadn't had any idea how unusual and unique this motif was on kurotomesode until I took it out on Friday! I can't believe I was contemplating selling it - it's a piece I'll treasure! Especially since it's one of my first kimono purchases hehe..

I love love LOVE the lining!! It's also got decoration all over it!

This is just a picture of the hem of Hong's ro chidori kurotomesode. THIS one was a really rare piece, and it cost her only JPY3000! That's about $30! O_O It's ro (summer-weave, semi-transparent, very light), it's got really long sleeves, and it's got chidori (plovers) on it!! We're not sure how old it is, but given the length of the sleeves, the feel of the silk and the pattern (it's "mirror image" - both hems have the same pattern mirroring each other), I think it's a pre-WW2 kurotomesode. For something so old, it's in fantastic condition. Here, we're just showing how you can see the pattern on the other hem from the front because of the semi-transparent summer weave.

Okay, that's all for now! :) I'll be posting the rest of Friday's pictures later tonight or tomorrow. I'll also blog about and post the pictures from yesterday's MCM Expo in a separate batch. *waves bye*

Saturday, 25 October 2008


Hong came over today! She came over at about 2pm and we talked alot and alot about kimono and all that. I rotated my kimono about while we were talking. I put away all my yukata and summer kimono, and took out my awase (lined) kimono. I really should've done this ages ago, but I guess I got lazy haha.

We decided on what we were going to wear for tomorrow (I'm lettind her wear my sakura hakama set! The both of us were practically drooling all over it!) and... chatted. Yeah, we talked and talked for 6 hours straight :P Of course, some of that time, she let me try on some of her kimono and we took loads and loads of pictures. It was really fun! Hahaha. I'll post them as soon as she sends them over ^___^

At about 8pm, we both went out for dinner at Il Bordello, which is right behind my flat. It's really close to church - just the next street over, really! I'm surprised I'd never heard of it before. It was absolutely packed! We were lucky that we managed to get a table as soon as we went in. It was rather noisy of course, but we still managed to have a decent conversation.

I had a linguini pescadora, which is linguini with seafood in a tomato sauce. I don't usually like "seafood" stuff in London, but OH MY GOD. It was absolutely fantastic!! Really tasty, the seafood was fresh, and the portion was HUGE. Think the Italian equivalent of Misato! I ended up having half of it packed away. Hong had this ravioli al funghi thingy (ravioli stuffed with mushrooms in a mushroom and white wine sauce) that was also gorgeous.

Of course, I didn't eat till I was really stuffed so I could save space for dessert. Hong had ice cream while I had tiramisu. Again, it was huge!! The whole slab of tiramisu was bigger than my whole hand! And it wasn't jelak either - it was quite delicate and the balance of cream, coffee, biscuit and alcohol was just perfect. I ate the whole thing of course! :P (whoa, I feel the need for a gym subscription...)

The table next to us seated this couple. They were watching us eat, and when the dessert came, they asked us how the heck we were able to eat our mains and dessert, since we were "small"! Well, yeah, Hong's tiny, but I sure as heck aren't! Then again, compared to them, maybe I do seem small :P Either way, Hong and I answered things like "we've got a separate stomach for dessert" and "dessert goes into the black hole" haha. I swear, it was hilarious :P

Okay, I'm gonna go shower now and hope my hair dries. Tomorrow's the MCM Expo and Hong's coming over early in the morning so we can get dressed and go to the Expo early! *squeals* I can't wait!! :D:D:D

G'night! Ling, I'll send you pictures and a full review of Il Bordello when I get them pics.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

I want to wear kimono...

I'm seriously dying to wear kimono because I haven't practiced any kitsuke at all since the koto concert last Thursday :(

Why haven't I worn kimono since then?
1) I was bloated because my period was late. It was painful to wear kimono.
2) I was moody and PMS-ing and not in the mood to fuss about clothes.
3) I was busy doing coursework and my dissertation.

And why can't I wear kimono now?
1) My period is here. Still bloated. Still painful.
2) All my kimono bras are in the wash and won't be dry till Saturday D:
3) I still need to do coursework and my dissertation.

At least I'll be able to wear kimono on Saturday. But somehow, some part of me just wants to put together some kimono ensembles. Maybe when I'm done with these courseworks, I can put together a few ensembles and take pics to satisfy my kitsuke-lust.

Ling, I'm thinking of trading away or selling some of my kimono. Don't be surprised if I suddenly ask you to call me for therapy because I'm about to sell one of my babies. I think I'll still need another month to bring up the courage to start selling ;_;

Cabbages and Carrots

Remember when I mentioned that Waitrose was selling bags of vegetables for £4? I didn't realise exactly how much value for money it is. I bought it nearly a week ago, and I'm still eating the vegetables now! There's alot of stuff in that one bag - 1kg potatoes, 1kg carrots, 0.5kg parsnips, 1 head of cauliflower, 1 small savoy cabbage.

I use at least one type of vegetable everyday and maybe it's because I've kept them in the fridge and use them to feed only one person, but they last a really long time! I hope they'll keep this up - if they do, I might be able to cut my food expenses down from £50 per week to £20 per week! Especially if I go to the butcher's for my meat, which I've been doing quite regularly now. Just yesterday, I walked out of the butcher's with 2 burger patties, 4 sausages and 4 large (oooh very large!) chicken breasts for only £10. I think that would feed me for 2 weeks! I suppose I should start going to Borough Market for my fish, too, to save money. (Stupid credit crunch)

Tonight, I was craving for cabbage soup, for some odd reason, so I cooked cabbage soup. It turned out alright, as expected (I mean, come on! Such a simple basic recipe!), but I'm really surprised that the cabbage didn't turn out bitter and that the chicken was still tender. I suppose a few bad experiences with bitter cabbage and tough, dry meat makes me expect that all cabbages will be bitter and all chicken breast meats will be dry haha.

I seem to recall absolutely loathing cooked carrots since forever, even this summer! However, a few days ago, I had a craving for carrot rice (normal white rice, just cook it with slices of carrot thrown in and some fish stock), so I had it with baked salmon and courgettes. Now, all of a sudden, I'm craving for carrots 24/7. I suppose I'll be having carrot rice as often as I have green rice (rice cooked with fish stock and broccoli florets, sometimes with spinach) now.

..... Yes, I'm feeling lonely and really want to talk to someone, but everyone's busy, that's why I'm rambling on and on about vegetables, of all things.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008


Ichiroya's website is selling a contemporary pink furisode and a polyester striped komon for really really cheap and I want them sooooo badly, but I promised I wouldn't buy kimono anymore.... *sobs* Someone buy them and surprise me with them for my birthday ;_;

9 more days till I'm officially no longer a teen. How depressing. For this 1 1/2 weeks, I'll have to constantly gloat that I'm 19 and in my last year of university. NYAH NYAH!!! :P Brat? Who me? O:)

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Losing weight

This afternoon, I was very abruptly filled with determination to lose 50lbs or 20kg so that I can fit into my kimono (amongst other things :P). I'd start now, but I haven't any time to exercise because of my piling courseworks D: (Mwahaha, serial procrastinator, I am!)

Speaking of courseworks, I've got to finish half of two courseworks by tomorrow, 2/3 of one coursework by next week and about 10% of my dissertation (not including the research stuff I need out of said 10%) in two weeks. I haven't got anything due for another 2 1/2 weeks at least -_- *sigh*

But at least I'll be able to finish it all early and have time to do my dissertation and study.

Speaking of which, Mel and Hong are coming over this Friday to decide on what to wear for the kimono fashion show. At the same time, Hong and I will have to decide what I'm going to wear for this Saturday's MCM Expo! We're going to wear hakama, of course, but just which kimono I'm going to wear is an issue. I think I might wear a striped kimono, but I'm not sure... Definitely a kofurisode. Maybe I'll look up some anime characters and see what they're wearing? Hehehe...

Okay, I've rambled on enough. Time to do coursework!

Event Aftermath: Koto and Nihon-buyo Concert

On Thursday the 16th, Hong, Mel and I went to a koto and nihonbuyo (traditional Japanese dance) concert in Westminster Cathedral Hall. It was in aid of The Passage, which is a charity that helps homeless people.

It cost £20 each to get in, but it was well worth it because you rarely get to see Japanese dance in London! It was my first time seeing it, and I was quite enthralled - I kept trying to interpret each move! The only one I really got was the one of sakura petals falling :P I'm really glad I spent the money, because I doubt I'll ever get a chance to see it again (outside of Japan, of course), especially once I go home permanently!

Thursday itself was a hectic day - woke up at 7am, left the house at 8, classes from 9 till 3, rushed to Waitrose to buy loo paper and vegetables (OMG, Waitrose is selling such a good deal now! 5 seasonal vegetables -quite a lot of them- for only £4!! Of course I bought it. So what if I can't cook parsnips? I can learn!), then met up with Hong and we both got dressed. That's why my face looks so stupid in these photos - I was exhausted.

We left the flat at 6pm, hoping to meet Mel at St James's Park Station at 6.30pm. Due to a malfunction on my phone, we didn't meet till 6.50pm and was a few minutes late to the concert! Oh noes..

The concert starred the Haru Ichiban Group, which is a group of travelling performers. It consists of the following people:

Koto, Sangen, Voice: Rie Yanagisawa
Dance: Akiko Kobayashi
Shakuhachi, Flute, Shinobue: Clive Bell
Cello: Stuart Jones

I must say, the combination of cello and koto is surprisingly beautiful! The trio played the following songs:

1. Haru no uni (Sea in Spring) with koto, shakuhachi and cello.
2. Yachiyo jishi with sangen, cello and voice with dance.
3. Harusame (Spring Shower) with sangen, shakuhachi, cello and voice with dance. Hong said she's learning this dance! (She takes nihonbuyo lessons)
4. Aki no Shirabe (Tune of Autumn) with koto, flute and cello. This was also played in the previous koto concert, but it somehow sounded different with a flute and cello!


5. Gion kouta (Song of Gion, Kyoto) with sangen, shakuhachi, cello and voice with dance. Gion is a hanamachi in Kyoto - that is, a Geisha district. I was quite excited to see it because it's very famous and I've never seen it before!
6. Hokkai minyo chi (Song of Hokkaido) with koto, shakuhachi and cello. The first part of it (So ran bushi, Fishermen's song) was also played at the previous concert. I love that song!
7. Akikaze no kouta (Songs of the Autumn wind) with koto, flute, cello and voice. The poem this piece was composed for is very pretty! I'll post it sometime.
8. Sakura medley (Cherry blossom) with koto, shakuhachi, cello and voice with dance. It was a combination of 3 famous songs - ToRyanse (a walk through the Tenjin shrine), sakura sakura (an old folk's song), and Imayou (a famous 10th century song).

After that, we walked to Victoria Station, bought Burger King for dinner (haha) and took the tube home where we all sat around the couch and had a chip pile with mayonnaise. Oh, and we watched Black Adder haha. We ended up chatting for a long while. It was fun!

Okay, onto the pics!! Sorry for bad kitsuke and fugly face.

The front

The back

Upclose of my obi

My kimono was a mauve iromuji with a woven design of clear swirling waters. I get the feeling it's more of a spring kimono than an autumn kimono, but whatever! I hadn't any idea what to wear it with that wouldn't make it look too grey-ed out, but Hong helped me coordinate this outfit! This obi is a white nagoya obi with coloured stripes that I've had for ages and ages but never knew what to wear with. I'm glad I can finally wear it!

The obiage is Hong's and is a very refreshing shade of green. The obijime is a dark purple one, not sure of the name of the colour. I wanted it to be more young and modern despite the subdued matureness of the kimono, which is why I loved the striped obi with it. Also, I added on long dangly silver earrings and a huge purple ring to make me more.... "funky" I guess. Did I succeed?

Hong's ensemble

Hong's back

Hong is wearing a pale green tsukesage with pear green maple leaves. The pattern of the maple leaves look like swirling waters - I think my kimono matches hers! :D And the obi is maroon with silver, gold, orange and olive kikkou with gold kiku. The obiage is my olive obiage and the obijime is the gold and silver obijime I used in the RBW Challenge.

I helped coordinate this ensemble for her! This obi was actually a part of another set she'd bought (a bingata-inspired-style komon) but when I saw it with this kimono, I just HAD to pair them together! The green in the obi matched the kimono so well and the colour of the obi just made the whole outfit pop!

We both decided that the darker green obiage was best in bringing out the darker colours of the kimono while tying it in with the green of the obi. The obijime was to match the gold and silver bits in the obi. It looked like too much at first, till I realised that the front pattern didn't have much gold and silver, so it wouldn't be too overwhelming.

A nice Japanese lady at the concert

Same lady and her husband and friends

This lady was quite excited to see us in kimono. She insisted on taking pictures with us to show her friends in Japan that there are others who are also interested in Japanese culture and kimono. We asked her why she didn't wear one, and she said that when she moved to England permanently, she gave away all her kimono to her family and friends! How sad :(

We were quite popular during the interval - lots of people spoke to us and asked us questions about kimono :) I'm glad people took interest!

Ooooh guess what? That Japanese lady? She's also going to the kimono fashion show on November 11th! ^_^ Hong, Mel and I are going to that one and we're ALL going to wear kimono! *yay!* We're also attending a dinner they're having after that with Kobe beef. I honestly sincerely hope it's good stuff!! XDXDXD I still haven't coordinated my outfit for then! Hong and Mel are coming over this Friday to coordinate an outfit for Mel and I guess we can decide what we're going to wear then! Still, I've got to confirm with her what I'm wearing to the MCM Expo this Saturday hehehe..

Ling, am I going out too much? I swear, after the fashion show, it's the last event till I hand in all my coursework! (that'll be Dec 5th) Except maybe for a few exhibitions in a few museums... :P

That's all for now~~

P/S: My uterus was twitching the whole day because my period was due then. However, I've only JUST got it (my period) an hour ago. Talk about late! I've been PMSing and cramping for 5 EXTRA days because of it. I'm annoyed! >:(

Outfit Snap: IG Red-Black-White Challenge

Well, despite being late for over a week, here are pictures of me participating in the IG Red-Black-White Challenge!

The front...
The back...
With that cape I bought from Japan all those years ago. I never wore it till January when I discovered what a cute kimono accessory it made!
Sorry for the bad picture, but in here you can see that it's black and white stripes rather than grey!

The kimono is a black and white striped polyester kimono I bought quite a while ago. Very warm. The obi is a very cheap nagoya obi I bought from a UK seller on eBay. It has white maple leaves and butterflies on it! So cute!!

To tie in the gold bits, I used a yellow obijime and a gold and silver obijime. Yes, TWO obijime! Mel and I saw it in one of the kimono magazines I have and we decided to try it. I picked a white obiage to give it a lighter, cooler and more "uplifting" feel and also to tie in the white han-eri, white tabi and white maple leaves.

Unfortunately, the obi is a bit short for me, which is why it looks kinda ugly on me. Maybe I should sell it to Hong? Or trade it with something? I've already sold one of my black furisode to her because I can't fit it (it's too short) and it's perfect for her. It's black, lush, the right length and size, and has gorgeous embroidery on it. I'll have to wait till she gets cash, though, hehe. Then after that, I'll have to see if she still wants it *sigh*

Ling: There, tell the parents that I'm selling off my kimono rather than buying more.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Shopping Dilemma!

*sighs* I've been looking at this houmongi set on Yamatoku and this iromuji full set on Ichiroya lately. I really really want both of them, but the only problem is the houmongi is $130 and the iromuji set is $160 D:

I'd love to have them both, but it's either one or the other or neither at all. I want the houmongi because it's so pretty and my sort of colour (pink and cream) with really long sleeves, which is suitable for my age and very hard to find. It's perfect for my height and size and it comes with a matching juban!! I want it sooooo badly...

On the other hand, the iromuji set is absolutely lovely. The iromuji is green, a colour I don't have (not that I have anything even remotely similar to the houmongi!), and it comes with a juban, an obi, an obiage and an obijime. It's only $30 more expensive than the houmongi... But this set is a very "normal" set, easily replaced and put together again. Then again, the iromuji is much more versatile than the houmongi.. But that still doesn't help the fact that the houmongi is so much more difficult to find!

.. You know, at this rate, I'll probably keep going back and forth and back and forth without ever buying until they're both gone :(

Then again, with the current financial crisis, it really isn't a good idea to shop so much now, is it?

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

I want this! Birthday present?

I want this set for my birthday: CLICKY CLICKY! I don't care if 20 people chip in to buy it (come on, it's only $160... but shipping would cost like $50 :P) I want it ;_; Unfortunately, I've been buying waaaaay too much lately and I feel guilty everytime I so much as think of eBay. Buuuuut my birthday is in 18 days, so if anyone wants to surprise me... (HINT)

:P Nahh, I'm kidding. It'll be hell to ship all the stuff I have already. When I get home, I'm never wearing yofuku (Western clothes) except for the really really pretty ones. Like my dresses *heart*.

Haha, I'm feeling waaaaaay to girly at the moment! Maybe it's a side effect of trying on new dresses? See, I bought a semi-Gothic Lolita white shirt and red skirt set over a month ago and it's FINALLY arrived. Good thing it fits nicely (just a little loose HAHAHA) and is well-made.

There's just something about the outfit that screams "librarian" or "nerdy lolita", so I pulled my hair back into as severe-but-messy a bun as I could, then wore really red lipstick (the shade just about matched the skirt), added glasses, heels (also red) and an old hardcover book to complete the look. I'm not satisfied with the shoes I have, so I didn't take pics, but I'll definitely need a second opinion! I may wear this to the MCM Expo in two weeks.

On a side note, I met up with my professor today and he agreed to be my supervisor!! *thrilled* We have another meeting set up for next week and I'm to bring a partially completed project proposal then. Ling, remember those books in the study room at home? The ones about the '97 SE Asian Economic Crisis? I took them. Those were damn good books. Thanks!

About over a week ago, the Immortal Geisha forums opened a new forum called the "IG Kitsuke Challenge". Basically, there are threads that have themes which you're supposed to follow and put together an outfit based on it. I participated in the Red-Black-White challenge yesterday. It's a challenge where you have to put together an ensemble that's predominantly red, black and white, and "redefine" the colours (hehe).

Of course, when I say I "participated", it really means I put together an outfit I've had in mind for quite a while (the finishing touches tweaked with help from Mel!) and wore it, then took pictures and posted them haha. Everything is done in everyone's own time, so it isn't really a competition :) I'll post pictures as soon as I can be bothered to! :D

Ling, do you have something similar on Ravelry? Like, I dunno, a thread where you and a bunch of friends compete to knit the cutest socks or the most outlandish-coloured bags. It would sound like fun, wouldn't it?

Friday, 10 October 2008

Tiring Thursday

Once again, today was a very tiring day.

I got up at my usual time (well, usual time for 9am lectures anyway!), got ready in my normal amount of time, left the house at a very appropriate time according to my clocks. *sighs* And then, when I was on the bus, I was shocked at how much time had passed while I daydreamed at the bus stop, and rushed to school, practically running from the bus to the classroom. When I burst in, I was flabbergasted at how few people there were in the class - five, including the lecturer! When I took a seat, I asked my friend what time it was on her watch and found that MY watch was nearly half an hour fast!! -______- That means I was nearly half an hour early!! Bloody irritating, it was.

Halfway through my last lecture, I started talking to a friend from another course and found out we had the same preferred supervisor for our dissertations! I'd been trying to get a hold of that lecturer for months! He had a meeting with John Heaman (the supervisor) right after the lecture, so he invited me to tag along and ask if he would agree to be my supervisor. We waited for half an hour and he didn't come -_- We even looked up his schedule and waited for him outside the classroom but no one came! Owen kept trying to call him the whole time.

Just as we got fed up and were about to leave (we were waiting for about an hour and a half), John called Owen and said he was ill. Owen was nice enough to set another date and time for a meeting with him and mentioned me to him! So I'm finally going to meet him at 1pm on Monday. I swear, that was the highlight of my day. After 5 months of trying unsuccessfully to contact John Heaman, I managed to do it completely by chance because I blabbered to Owen about kimono last year and made friends with him. Heh.

I finally got home (after collecting a parcel that contained the wool kimono I posted before, and buying dinner) at about 5.30pm. I was about to dive into my food (I was starving! At least I had a sandwich at about 12pm, though..) when I remembered I had to send a few emails. I'm glad I remembered to do it as soon as I got home, otherwise I may have irritated my groupmates for the coursework!

On a really random and late side note, I went to Camden Town with Mel last Saturday! We met up at about 2pm and had a foodie fest (yeah, in Camden Town of all places!). We were looking for this potato thing that I'd had many many years ago but we couldn't find it. Instead, we had takoyaki, this chorizo and chicken in paprika sauce thing that was served over linguini (oh my GOD it was gorgeous!!!), cider, belgian waffles with dark chocolate sauce and fruits, and a platter of some Turkish meal of couscous, pitta, lamb and chicken kebabs, lamb chops and grilled chicken with this most beautiful garlicky hummus that was soooooo addictive.

After eating, we walked around looking for some stuff I wanted to buy. I bought this really pretty statue of a fairy with 4 baby dragons around her, two of them just hatching from their shells! It's sooooo cuuuuuuuuute. I also bought a sort-of Gothic Lolita coat which I think can be worn as a dress. It might be a bit too warm to wear in Malaysia, but maybe if we went to somewhere like Cameron Highlands or Genting Highlands, it'd be alright. It's really cute! Even MeiZi thinks so! With Mel's help, I've put together an outfit to go with it, but I actually haven't gotten a nice skirt to match it. Still, I'll try it on sometime and post pics!

Blegh, I'm feeling weird. I think my eyesight's deteriorating by the second. I need new glasses. And I NEED TO EAT CHILLI CRABS. Ling, eat some for me?

Monday, 6 October 2008

Event Aftermath: Friday's koto concert

On Friday, my new study table was supposed to arrive, but didn't... Apparently, they didn't ring the doorbell, but instead just left a note saying no one was in -____-" And that was at 12.40pm - right when I was pacing around my bedroom wondering why it wasn't there yet! How irritating.

Anyway, later on that evening, Hong, Mel and I were planning on going to a koto concert near Camden Town. Hong and I had decided to wear kimono! In the afternoon, Hong came over and we both helped each other dress. I'd read that the weather that night was going to be rainy and cold at 6C, so we also put on ama-coats (raincoats). Thank goodness we did, because although it didn't rain, it was absolutely freezing out there! It was as though we were time-warped to early December or something.

We left the flat a little late, but managed to reach Camden Town station in time to meet with Mel, who was half an hour early. The walk to Cecil Sharp House took us about 20mins, and we got there just in time to buy tickets and get settled into our seats.

The koto concert was in aid of the RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) Northwood Sunshine House School and was held by the Kakehashi Koto Ensemble. The Ensemble itself was created by a koto and sangen sensei (master, teacher) who lives in London. Her name is Ayako Hotta-Lister. Some of the ensemble players flew in directly from Kyoto.

They played 12 songs according to seasons, as follows:
1) Nara no Shiki (Four Seasons of Nara) - 4 people on the koto, with traditional Japanese singing
2) Hana Fubuki (Flower Blizzard) - 2 people playing the sangen (a type of shamisen)
3) Tori no You ni (Like a Bird) - a koto solo. I loved this one! So beautiful and uplifting

4) Natsu no Hi (A Summer's Day) - 3 people on koto
5) Fuurin (Wind Chime) - a koto solo played by a British man
6) Yuugao (The Evening Glory) - a quartet of 2 koto and 2 sangen, with traditional Japanese singing. This was in tribute to The Tale of Genji, by Murasaki Shikibu, which was the world's first novel, written exactly 1000 years ago.
7) Itoyuu (Playing with the Strings) - a koto solo


8-1) Mizu Umi no Uta (Poem of the Lake) - a duet with koto and piano. Absolutely lovely! Combining two of my loves! *heart*
8-2) Tsumugi Uta (Weaver's Song) - another duet with koto and piano. Breathtaking piece! It was soft and slow, calm and gentle at the beginning, then fast-paced and incredibly cute from the middle to the end. I'm making this one my theme song! XD
9) Touginuta (Sound of Beating the Washing) - quintet of 3 koto and 2 sangen, with traditional singing. I must say, that after reading the description in the booklet, I finally understand why my birthday furisode is an Autumn kimono.

10) Yuki Hana (Snow Flowers) - a quintet of 5 koto and traditional singing
11) Fuyu no Kyoku (Winter Music) - a koto duet with traditional singing
12) Hokkai Minyou-Chou (The Fishermen's Autumn Harvest) - a koto sextet. Not a winter piece, but a cheerful Autumn piece to reflect the season and finish off the evening on a light note.

The pieces were ALL lovely :) I particularly enjoyed the piano and koto duets!

During the interval, we were allowed to touch the koto and play a few notes. None of us dared to, of course, but we did ask a few questions. We also got to take pictures with Hotta-Lister-san!

When it ended (an hour later than scheduled!), we went home to collect Hong's stuff so she can go home as she had to work on Saturday. Unfortunately, we ended up sitting around the kitchen and talking for nearly 2 hours! I ended up sleeping at nearly 4am that night haha. Tiring but fun.

Anyway, here are the pictures!
Hong and I had just finished dressing

A picture of how my back looked like

A picture of how Hong's back looked like

Hong, Ayako Hotta-Lister and I during the interval

Ayako Hotta-Lister tuning her koto before Mizu Umi no Uta

Kazuko Tsuchiya playing "Tori no You ni"

I'm not quite sure who this is, but I just love her kimono! It's shibori butterflies!

My kimono was a pale yellow silk awase komon with maple leaves drawn in red, blue, green, orange, and gold. I paired it with a black chrysanthemum and peony obi which was a little out of season, but what the heck. Accessories were red obiage and obijime, with red juban sleeves peeking out the back to match them, and red zori as well as black haneri and black tabi.

Hong's kimono was a purple silk hitoe komon with white bangasa on it. Her obi was a tsuke obi with chidori. So cuuuuute!!! And her kimono is actually waaaaay too big for her! I'm jealous ;_;

Did I mention that the Japanese women kept speaking to me in Japanese? Hehe. Ah, and one of them gestured at my kimono and said it was iki! (Iki means stylish. I assume it was because my ensemble actually reflected the season quite well) I'm absolutely ecstatic about that! ^______^

On Thursday 16th October, there is another koto concert the three of us are going to. It's more expensive than Friday's (Friday's was £8, the next one will be £20), but it'll also have Nihon Buyo (traditional Japanese dance) and Japanese snacks. All I need to do now is coordinate another ensemble! Hehehe..

What to wear, what to wear...

Friday, 3 October 2008


Today, one of my lecturers said the funniest thing. He was telling us a story about his pet cat years ago (it relates to our lecture, so no, he wasn't talking nonsense :P). And he described his cat as, and I quote:

"Standard house pet. Furry object." *makes gesture with hands indicating a mass about the size of a cat*

LOL the whole lecture hall laughed so hard! I had trouble keeping my giggles in check when he continued the story XD

Speaking of funny quotes from lecturers, my first lecturer this morning was talking about systems and how we could use things from our systems thinking module to apply to his subject.

"And to look at our situation, we could use.. that picture thing. Whatever it's called."

It doesn't sound quite so funny if you don't know what a "rich picture" is :P Think of it as an inside joke, I guess. But it was hilarious because the systems thinking lecture was right after that one! Hahaha.

On a side note, 6 hours of lectures may be torture on the stomach (it's from 9am till 3pm non-stop with only 10 minutes of break per hour), but at least the lectures themselves are interesting enough to make up for the growling tummies! I think from now on, I'll have to pack a lunch at home to eat in one of the lectures. Not enough time to buy a lunch D: Not unless I either want to be late or to give up getting a seat in my 1pm lecture. The 1pm lecture is great, by the way. Our coursework this year is on the Royal Opera House! We get to go on a field trip there for a tour and everything! *joyness*

Ling, doesn't my course sound so interesting? :D

Thursday, 2 October 2008


And so, the first week of my final school year has begun. A bittersweet moment.

I am feeling the stress of third year. And it's so ironic because all I've been to so far is one lecture. Well, that and a talk about our dissertation. It was really the dissertation that kills.

I was actually shocked that not everyone has thought of a title/topic already (the exchange students are excused :D). I'd set my heart on a topic a little less than two years ago, only wavering slightly last year before making a firm decision to stick to it. This summer I'd mapped out a general plan for my dissertation and written out potential topics I might want to put into it, which I'd discuss with my supervisor. And you know what? That's already half of what's due in December: the proposal. It's essentially a summary of everything I'm going to put into the dissertation, divided by chapters.

I'm thinking I can do about a third of the whole thing this term with the books I have, then go home for Christmas and spend some time in Ma's office and the National Library looking for records or something. Then, once I've collected all my data, I can spend my short holiday after the January exams doing another third of it at least, and the other third can wait till after I've consulted my supervisor to make sure what I've done is alright so far.

I also have to think about whether or not I'm doing the short dissertation (min. 7,500 words, max 10,000 words) or the long one (min 20,000 words, max 25,000 words). I've heard that the long one is really difficult and is already a quarter of a PhD dissertation. It does allow me to take one less elective, but is it really worth that much trouble? No, I think I'd rather take 5 electives.

Speaking of electives, I'm having trouble trying to decide which ones to take. I'm definitely taking "International Business Strategy" and "Management Problem Solving" this term. Next term, I'm all set for "IT for Business II" and "Emerging Markets". I still have to pick one more, and it's between "Virtual Organisations" this term, and "European Business Seminar" or "Advanced Strategic Management" next term. There is also "Advertising", "Arts and Antiques Markets" and "New Technologies in Marketing" next term, but I don't want the first two (unless it's all about kimono hahaha) and am not sure of the second.

A friend of mine mentioned that it would be better to take two this term and three next term because we have two core modules this term and only one next term. Maybe she's right, because I still need to study for the January exams as they're part of the final mark.

*sighs* Which should I pick? The deadline is next Friday....

*groans* I'm not looking forward to tomorrow. Thanks to the way I've set up my own timetable, I'll have 6 hours of classes back-to-back! It's like in school all over again. I guess I better go to sleep soon then.

Liss> Haha, yeah I know that feeling soooo well! Funny thing is it hit everyone in Concord really hard, but because I had my crying spree early on in the term, I was fine at the end of the year :P Funny, innit?

Ling> But it's expensive to fly back and forth! And I was already paying rent anyway, so I might as well have just stayed here. Oooooh what didja eat??

Monday, 29 September 2008

Happy Birthday, Ma!

Today was my mum's birthday! I didn't call her till the day was nearly over in Malaysia, so I feel kind of bad now. Maybe I should've called her last night instead...

Patrick came down to London yesterday. He left Concord at 11am, hoping to get here in time for Borough Market, but he didn't *sighs*. Luckily for him, I went there in the morning with Mel to get all his food stuff, so all is well and happy XD We ate scallops, fish and chips and an oyster, which doesn't sound much, but is freakishly filling. We didn't eat the chorizo sandwiches or the lamb burger or the venison burger because the lines were too long and we were short on time :( As it was, we just barely made it in time to get to Euston to pick Patty and his friend up!

After depositing their bags at the flat, we went to Waitrose to buy some booze (haha, such a funny word!), dumped it all back in the flat, then headed to Chinatown to buy some groceries for Patty and meet up with his friends for dinner at Misato. Patty had gyudon and I had the katsu curry rice. Yum, I really ought to have that more often.

After dinner, we headed to Troccadero to play in the arcade abit and digest our dinners before we went to Haagen Dazs for dessert. Yeah, we're pigs! :D When we were done with dessert, we went home, Mel tagging along, to watch a movie while drinking beer. Well, they watched a movie while drinking beer. I went to take a nice long shower and burn a DVD for Patty.

This morning, we woke up rather late at 11am. Patty and his friend rushed to pack while I cooked some venison burgers for brunch. I cut the patties in half, put ketchup all over them, then placed the half-patty into half a wholemeal pitta with salad. Patty also added mushroom pate over his.

At 1pm, we left the flat and reached Euston Station in less than half an hour (we took a cab) so they got to buy their 3 dozen Krispy Kreme and eat a pack of fries before they left.

I must say I'm glad Patty came to London because I was feeling a little homesick last week. I still feel homesick, but it's better now than it was before! *sighs* 6 weeks at home seemed like a long time when I was there, but now I realise it isn't nearly enough at all....

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Event Aftermath: Pink striped wool kimono kitsuke

Today, there was a Chado (Japanese "way of the tea") talk and tea ceremony demonstration at the British Museum. I was curious about tea ceremony, so I dressed up and went! Of course, I didn't go alone :) aoi84 said she was free, so we met up at Holborn Station and walked to the museum, which took about 10 minutes tops.

There were lots of people in kimono around!!! Of course, they were all in nice, formal kimono (I saw iro-tomesode, tsukesage, iromuji, furisode..), so I felt really underdressed, but the two women in front of me were wearing komon, so I didn't feel too bad. Only thing was that my kimono was bright, so I kind of stood out, but hey, I'm a young girl! :P

After the talk (which was really interesting and illuminative) and the demonstration (very informative), we went to Haagen Dazs to have ice cream, then to Kulu Kulu for dinner because I was telling aoi84 about it, and we both got hungry (yes, while eating ice cream). We both realised we live really close to each other - if the DLR wasn't under works, there would be a direct train from her place to mine with only 4 stops! - so we promised we'd meet often and maybe trade some kimono pieces when we need them to match with our kimono!

We also made plans on what to wear for the MCM Expo this October ^___^ If hellokitty8182 is coming along too, then we'll dress up as Meiji schoolgirls again! That is to say, we'd wear hakama :P I'll be looking for a yabana kofurisode or kimono for the next few weeks hehehe.

Anyway, here are pictures of what I wore:

If my hair looks funny, it's because it's a side-ponytail. Very Ah Lien (how do you spell that??), but with what I was wearing, I think it worked.

The kimono is wool and has stripes of pink, white and what I think is purple, but can look maroon. For a wool kimono, it was quite soft and smooth! The obi has a pattern of kikyo (Chinese bellflower). I'm not sure if it's an August or September motif but *shrugs* it's an autumn motif, that's for sure. The obiage is black silk with the motif of ume (plum blossoms), which isn't seasonally appropriate, but you can't see it so NYAH. The zori are also black, but I really actually wanted to wear black tabi with bright pink zori. *sighs*

The point of today's ensemble is actually the han-eri, which is the black collar sewn onto my juban. I made this han-eri myself (okay, okay, so I cut two strips of cute cloth and sewed it together. It took work!!) and was happy that it turned out so well. I know I'm showing an ungodly amount of collar, but I think it brings the black bits in the ensemble together.

Ling, this was collar thing was made from the cloth that we bought in Singapore! It works really well! I can't wait to see the other cloth you got for me! :D

Friday, 26 September 2008

Bukit Tinggi!

Hey Ling, when I go home in December, let's have a one-day trip to Bukit Tinggi. Liss had mentioned the Japanese Village there, so I went to check it out. OMG I really really really wanna gooooo!! *whines whines whines* Teach meh to drive there so I can go there myself :P If we go, I'm soooo gonna wear kimono! And if we stay there for, say, a night or two, I'll wear kimono all the time XD (well.. unless I'm having my period, in which case, I'll be in a bear suit >:3 Rowr!) *singsong voice* It's only 40 minutes awaaaaaaaay~~

I'm kind of hoping Liss and I can go there together for a short holiday :3 Nyan!

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Closet Feature: ool kimono shopping

I've been eyeing a few of Ryujiro-san's wool kimono lately, and yesterday, I'd noticed one of them was actually an ensemble! Ensemble = kimono + matching haori. I was so excited I decided to buy it straight off, and at the same time, buy those that I'd been eyeing too!

Here's a picture of the haori. The kimono is in the same pattern, which is red with white plaid/checks/whatever you call them.

I also bought this absolutely sweet kimono, which looks to be very transparent, so I'll only wear this in the spring or early summer.

Upclose detail.. I love the pink pattern and the ice-blue pattern on it!

AND I bought this piece.. It's white with multi-coloured stripes forming a plaid pattern.

Doesn't the pattern just remind you of a certain brand's bags? *cough*Coach*cough* I bought it so I can use those bags with this kimono :D I'm a little concerned that it might be a little too matchy-moo, but I'm thinking that with a nice solid-coloured obi, it wouldn't be too bad.

Ling, that last kimono was bought with you and Ma in mind :D