Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year all

Going to bed now. Wish I was home!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

It's here.

Happy Christmas everyone!

Growing up Pa used to play this all the time (think he still has the cassette!) - to this day it isn't really Christmas until I hear this playing somewhere.

A MYF classic - we used to sing this to death every year - still remember the first time I heard it though.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Often quoted 1

And we know that in all things
God works
for the good
of those who love him,
who have been
called according to his purpose.

God works - not by accident or left to the vagaries of fate nor left to chance


a force with purpose and a will stronger than steel behind it, directing and guiding every movement, each action carefully gauged and measured to have maximum impact in every life involved.

For every time I've taken this verse to mean God blessing my efforts/attempts at various projects, I've failed to realise that it's God who's been working and using me

Hence when things don't go how I expected them to, its less of God not coming through, but more of God changing my poor and often wayward efforts into something worthwhile in the end.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

3rd post in a day - record!

My car is a transformer!

If anyone still wants to get me a Christmas present....

Snow In Southport

The heaviest snowfall here so far.
It was fun for all of 15 seconds as I realised there was no way my car was getting out of the parking lot that day.

A Narnia moment. Anyone want to watch this before it closes?

Things I'm looking forward to 3

Something else I remember about Christmas back home was carolling around the homes and hotels in Sitiawan with the church youth group. The run up to Christmas would be filled with morning practices - normally preceded by a coffeeshop breakfast as school holidays had begun. Bass, tenor, alto and soprano singers would be magically discovered within each batch of secondary school students, many of us not having any musical knowledge haphazardly separated by a pianist trying out our individual pitches.

Once slotted into our groups, we'd break up and learn the parts from indivisual songsheets with either a pianist or guitarist showing each group the melody. It was an exercise in memory as we'd learn the bassline, for example, down by heart and try to exorcise all memory of the actual melody of the song. An exercise that invariably broke down when all the groups regathered to try out the 4-part harmony together as the soprano singers (who always seemed to be the most numerous) ended up dragging everyone into their melody.

There were the staples from the Methodist Hymnal: Joy To The World, Silent Night (both of whom had their distinctive guitar intros that were reused year after year), We Wish You A Merry Christmas, which would invariably be sung repeatedly in an ever-faster tempo, O Come All Ye Faithful, Hark The Herald Angels Sing and Angels We Have Heard On High. On occasion, someone would produce new songs and arrangements, which after a year or two, became staples of their own.

While the practices were going on, the youth group committee would be gathering invitations from homes (mainly church members) to which we would then go on the nights of the 24th and 25th. On the nights themselves, we'd start off at Pastor's manse - always as a dry run where mistakes would be giggled at. After a final prayer, we'd split into 2 groups to cover more ground. And as the night went on, the singing became more and more boisterous as people grew more tired. The climax would normally occur at a house where both groups planned to meet up at - the singing would then increase exponentially in volume as both the musicians and singers doubled in volume and soloists found themselves dueting instead.

The real challenge of course, was waking up for Christmas morning service in church after a late night carol session on the 24th!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Things I'm looking forward to 2

If you played computer games from the 1990s to early 2000 and enjoyed classics like Baldur's Gate, Planescape Torment, Jagged Alliance and Duke Nukem, chances are you'll have heard of If not, here's a good reason to check them out!

Things I'm looking forward to 1

Happy pre-Christmas to anyone still reading this sorry collection of words and disjointed sentences!

My 4th Christmas in the UK and due to work am getting caught up in the swing of things a bit later than usual. The perpetual cold, tree branches sticking bare at all angles, moving shopfront displays (nope not actually IN southport!), christmas markets and carol songs blaring from every shop all add a festive mood to the air. The hospital wards with christmas trees are the good ones i think.

I do miss Christmas at home though, the staple of the season was the big Christmas dinner at the grandparents house where for one day of the year the big sitting-room tablecloth would be whisked away to reveal a dark polished wood surface. The kitchen would be occupied from early afternoon to dinnertime while the tabletop would be covered with large bouquets of flowers/fruits and the fancy dinner service would be placed next to wineglasses.

The family would gather at dinnertime and presents would be put on the sideboard. Uncles and aunts would bustle in and out of the kitchen bearing plates loaded with cuts of meat, pots of steaming gravy and bowls of peas and potatoes. The uncle in charge of the main bird for the night would be standingby the oven, forehead brimming with sweat, checking to see if the meat was cooked through.

And when everything was ready - the first course began - with everyone eating except the uncle in charge of the food who had to be continuously entreated to sit down and have a bite instead of running to and fro from the kitchen. Dessert usually consisted of christmas pudding set alight with all the lights off, after which the presents were exchanged - always the best part of the evening for us small fry.

And then followed a nice sit-down time with drinks where the cooks would be congratulated on their cooking, and various family members would put aside their differences and recall memories of childhood pranks and the doings of family members and friends long-gone.

And after that the food distribution which would last everyone at least till the new year..ahh Christmas at home.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

New post.

My first day on call back in acute medicine - though I haven't killed anyone that I know about, its been slightly nerve-wrecking. And the next day I get my own ward round. After my last job in which >2 inpatients was considered more than the average, to sort out 12 patients for the weekend without team support meant that I left an hour late.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

How random

Met a person on Battlefield Heroes going by the nick of Mabthera - lo and behold, a doctor from Hungary. Sparked off a conversation which took place while we weaved in and out of the ruins of Midnight Mayhem where everyone chatted about where they were from while complaining about the lag.

I've been playing this for a while on and off - still nice to interact with players like this rather than the usual noob-jeering and player taunting and crass language that normally goes on.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Song of the Week

Can't believe I havent posted this before - possibly my favourite orchestral piece of all time haha. I like how everything's broken down and comes back together at the end. Still remember listening to this just before I went for my music exams - was really nervous but by the end, just felt privileged to be in my own small way able to produce music and to call myself a musician.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

To those who say I don't bathe for long enough.

So I was thinking in the shower:

So who among us is good, really? The long-quoted phrase 'no-one is perfect' - how many of us would challenge this? Granted, being 'good' is different to being 'perfect' - we may be considered 'good' despite making mistakes. But even so, what is the definition of 'good'?

Oxford Dictionary lists the definitions (as an adjective) thus:
1. To be desired and approved of.
2. Having the required qualities; of a high standard
3. Possessing or displaying moral values
4. Giving pleasure; enjoyable or satisfying
5. Attributive; being thorough
6. Valid
7. Used in conjunction with the name of God or related expression as an expression of extreme surprise or anger

We can discard 4,5,6,7 from this discussion.

1. To be desired and approved of - whose desires/approval are we talking about? Each individual has different desires/ppl they seek approval from - therefore what is good differs from person to person. And this is where influence of people, for good or bad, is able to change the fate of nations eg apartheid in Africa, the Dalits in India, Nazism in WW2, 9/11 etc.

2. Again, whose standards are these? We may say we 'aspire to high standards' yet to others, our standards may be woefully low. What is impressive to me on the tennis court, is peanuts to Roger Federer for example.

3. Moral values, ah. This is the crux. To go back to Oxford, moral is defined as:

a.concerned with principles of right and wrong behaviour.
b.holding or manifesting high principles for proper conduct.

This is contentious; on one hand, everyone's right or wrong code is different. Someone may agree with cheating to get ahead as long as no one's hurt however others feel this is wrong. However we do consider some things that definitely are bad. eg. rape/murder/incest/abuse. Surely there can be no question of that? So, surely if we do not perform these 'morally condemnable' actions, we must be good, or at least, good-er than people who DID perform these actions.

But then again, is there a scale of goodness? Where we are ranked 6 above Hitler who is probably a minus something? And who decides this scale? Santa Claus?

Where am I going with this?

I put it to you, that the term 'good' is something relative, not absolute. And that all of us who compare ourselves to others do so on an individual code of morality (that is, unless you are of a faith that says differently, in whatever way).

And so the conclusion is, none of us are really 'good' or 'bad'. The closest we can come to deciding that (without outside help) is by judging each other, rather pointlessly in fact when we think about it (but which we are really, really good at). For good people do bad things, and vice-versa, despite the labels we give each other.

And I also put it to you, that this often-quoted question 'Why do bad things happen to good people?' is thus rendered inaccurate.

As in, bad things happen, there's no denying that. But the people that they happen to, are neither good, nor bad. Indeed (if I may be allowed to use an expression from what I believe), we are all sinners in need of grace.

What do you think?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Weekend in Southport

One of the most relaxing weekends in Southport since we started here 2 months ago. Got up at the fashionable hour of 930am after which headed into town to get errands sorted. Tried out the HTC Wildfire at a Vodafone store. And then spent a nice few hours at Waterstones picking out books from a gift card (thanks MeiFoong!).

Which way to the sea?

Persuaded Jack to come out for a drive (he's been poorly the past week) and so we traipsed off to Formby beach. A nice walk over the dunes led us to a wide open beach with pretty fine sand and packed just nicely for running/horse-riding/frisbee.

The dunes were 'under construction' whatever that means.

Emo Jack

Walking out to the ship.

Southport sunset

No beach trip complete without creamy ice!

Then decided as we were so close to Liverpool (Formby is about halfway btw Liverpool-Southport) might as well pop over for dinner, so met up with CherHan and Victor for dinner and a tong sui supper. Ah, good times.

All possible because of this baby.
And this is home for the year!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Southport Musical Fireworks Championship 2010

An enthusiastic Woei Lin with an even more enthusiastic Sasha

I had no idea this was on until Woei Lin my ex-housemate asked me if I was getting tickets. Apparently held annually, it's between a few ?fireworks companies who spend untold sums on getting fireworks timed to music.

Yes it rained

The whole thing kicked off at about 7pm with a demonstration of different types of firework(?s) eg what a Catherine wheel did as opposed to a Roman candle or a tourbillion. Being a fan of Paddington Bear, E.Nesbit's The Treasure Seekers etc, (all of whom described particularly memorable firework segments) it was actually pretty interesting.

No my camera doesn't do night shots well.

The main event turned out to be better than expected, particularly the first performance which was themed around Britain's Got Talent. Favourite bits below.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Not my idea of fun.

This gave me wet palms before the halfway mark.

What is the point of wearing hard hats if you're climbing that high?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Well that was worth waiting up for:-)

"I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purpose for me." Ps 57:2

Time to get crying, then.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thank you Lord

For family and friends. Wish I'd brought my camera:-)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Song of The Week

Hall of Mirrors

Which is what my hospital accomodation should be called.

I've just realised that in my room alone there are 3 mirrors, 2 more full length ones in the hallway, one in the loo, and one more in the living room! I suppose Southport doctors have a reputation for being sharp dressers? Or just very vain in general?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Life of a CMT1 in Rheumatology 2

God I hate presentations.

Thanks for bringing me through this one though.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Southport 1

Southport Marine Lake
'Their portion is with the eternal'

Lord Street - where the fun happens

Visitors welcome:-)

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Life as a CMT1 in Rheumatology

A 40 minute drive to work along A and B roads with national speed limits. Weaving through roads where trees meet overhead and glimpses of farmland peek through the undergrowth, then bursting into sunshine with flat fields on either side. Over bridges with canal boats alongside, through little villages with mini roundabouts and small alleyways barely big enough for a car. Up a steep hill, past the pub at the top with a breathtaking view of the surrounding county spread out below, then a glorious rush down again letting the gears run free after the steep climb (am driving an automatic).

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Song of the Week

A random listen on Representative of what I like in the genre, first introduced to me by Nickelback.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The ultimate boys toy.

Wonder how many years of work would I need to be able to afford something like that.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Song of the Week

I do love a good cover!

Sunday, May 30, 2010


So, no holidays to Korea anytime soon then.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Song of the week

Considering the amount of random music I listen to nowadays, I'm going to put some of what I enjoy here - unfortunately its going to be mainly a mix of pop-rock, electronic and choir-based with a very light amount of jazz as that's what I tend to bend my ears to.

Sang this yesterday in church - with a set of sore lungs and throat, it was great nevertheless, which is one of the great things about singing in church/leading in church - voice quality is but a minor inconvenience and does not hinder in any way the whole business of worshipping.

Now, will I get to go to Brussels or not?

Sunday, May 09, 2010

For the gamers

Saw this a few days ago - and decided to let anyone who reads this page into the secret!

If you're a gamer, or have a netbook and are wondering what to do in your spare time on the train/bus/plane, have a stab at this!

Offer ends in 2 more days!

And on a totally different topic - this one is for those who are disillusioned by Christians.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

I've been here too long

Sitting in the UK equivalent of a greasy spoon, minding my own business, that is to say, wolfing down a chicken fillet burger while chatting to Luke.

Dude from the table across us gets up and on his way out, puts his hand on Luke's bicycle as if to make off with it.

Sees me looking straight at him.

Grins sheepishly and says (in a Eastern European accent) "Of course, that's 'your' (emphasis with fingers) bicycle isn't it? It's definitely yours after you steal it."

Dude walks off.

I realise I'm wearing a hoody, with dark trousers that just might be mistaken for track bottoms and a pair of black shoes. If only I had a shiv sticking out, the picture would be complete.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

So I've been offered a job

As a Core medical trainee for 2 years in Liverpool, essentially. That which seemed far off and distant has quite suddenly appeared at my doorstep and somehow, like I was saying to a friend, it seems as though I'm committing the next two years of my life away. This is probably the longest I've stayed in an area away from home. I mean, IMU was 3 years-ish, and Liverpool has been nearly 5 years now. And its somewhere which I still don't see myself settling down longterm in, quirky and familiar though it is. The question therefore being: where then? And the slightly unspoken question's semi-identical twin hangs in the air.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

I really do not like

Electricians (however well-meaning) trampling in my room with bulky coats that look like they havent been washed in years, leaving clipboards and workboxes around which have been goodness knows where, then unscrewing sockets off the wall leaving dust everywhere sniffling rubbing their noses and then hands hands hands forgetting to take their shoes off after being told then stomping all over the house all after a A+E night when I just want to go to bed.

The price of living in the living room of the house-converted into a bedroom I guess. Man I'm whiny.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

How some things never change.

It can mean a couple of things:

a comfort post about how some things are stable and unchanging, veritable rocks to cling on to while the sands of life continue shifting.

Or a whine post where unshakeable (as far as we can see) circumstances remain firmly in place, bad habits continue to grate, and the past looms out of the shadows at every turn.

Or maybe, its neither of the above.

Maybe some things don't change because thats the way they are meant to be. Forever.
And maybe that's alright.

Sorry just thinking aloud and decided to articulate.

So how's everyone doing?

Hi blog, long time no see!

Dinner last night - a nice change from venison sausages with pasta.

It's been a while.

Fresh out of a week of nights. Mass Effect 2. Book to review. Bliss.

Woken up at 0938 by A+E Consultant. Can I do a locum shift tonight as colleague is sick. To sleepy to come up with a good excuse, and too me to say No.

Have loads to do but for some reason feel like trying a new eatery during the next couple of days off. Anyone reading this blog, and in Liverpool, let me know if you want to come with!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Alma - is an excellent short on Vimeo! I want to watch a movie by the people who made this!

Also found The Meatrix quite well made.