Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Mayday 五月天 - Just Rock It Concert

The first time I heard about Mayday 五月天 was back in the year 2005. I was in Hong Kong looking for some  music CDs in HMV, I was looking for something different, a band... and I came across Mayday's 5th Album and I bought it! When I got back to London I listened to their album straight away, and I was surprised at the different sounds they produced... Very Indie style! I loved it and kept being their fan for a long time...

On Saturday 24th March I saw a post by London's Chinese Spectrum Radio - they were advertising Mayday's London Concert on March 27th in Wembley Arena. How comes I didn't know about this??!! So I immediately booked my ticket via ticketmaster. I completely forgot my password since I haven't used ticketmaster for a very long time. But eventually I booked my ticket! ^_^  


This was a birthday present to myself. Yay...!!

When I arrived at Wembley Arena, there were a lot of people about (mostly Chinese students - I must've been one of the older looking fans)... The following pictures was only the start of it.



At 6pm, the doors opened!! I thought the concert started at 7pm, but they didn't start until after 7.30pm, so I was there for a good couple of hours... I should've left work late!
Most of the fans there spoke Mandarin and Cantonese... And there were probably a few Taiwanese fans plus some British fans...  :)
I got a good seat but a bit far from the stage!


Monday, 26 March 2012

Home Steamed Dim Sum


Char siu bao (bbq pork bun) is also dim sum!
There's nothing like steaming your own dim sum 點心 in your own home. It's just like being in a restaurant but without the bamboo baskets and steaming trolleys that pass by for you to pick on the foods that you want to try and eat. Dim sum means "little heart" and is originated from Southern China. It is is a Cantonese cuisine and is mainly eaten from breakfast time to around 5 o'clock in the afternoon. Dim sum can range from small buns to fried dough with fillings to Chinese style "cakes" to glutinous rice wrapped in lotus leaves to little "meatballs". There's a wide range of it and I could go on for a very long time, but I seriously do not want to bore you!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Fabergé egg hunt - My Birthday Hunt ^_^

Report finished (but not handed in yet)! 

It's my birthday today and so on your birthday you can do whatever you want right? Yep that's right!

So my day began with EGG HUNTING in Canary Wharf.  (My friends don't seem to understand my obsession with these eggs at the moment - it's all for charity and the eggs are so pretty - plus it's my eagerness to hunt, plus I'm competing with a friend. But it's soon to end, and I have one more zone to go to!).

My trip started on a bus to London Bridge, and then I took the Jubilee Line to Canary Wharf. Blimey. That train was fast! I was there in 10 minutes - just 3 stops. I then followed the signs to the shopping mall and found a few eggs along the way before I strolled outside into the sunshine... Canary Wharf reminds me of Hong Kong with their tall skyscrapers and massive shopping mall! Wow!

I found 9 main eggs out of the 11 plus an extra egg... guess which one?! (Scroll down for the pic)...
I love Algorithm! So pretty ^^

Amazing!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Geeky Android Firmware Upgrade...

Being an absolute geek and staying up to upgrade my phone's firmware with Android's Ice Cream Sandwich... 


Just hope I will be able to go to sleep in the next half an hour -__-zzzzzzzz


1:18 am update: it didn't work... will try again later on today... zzzzzzzzz!


Update 22/03/2012: So it didn't upgrade to the icecream version - just the latest Gingerbread 2.3.5 version, which is S*** and should have upgraded last year! :( Oh well. Need to root my phone again toooooo....!!


Update 23/04/2012: At last T-Mobile!!! I finally get my upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich. ^^


Update 06/06/2012: If you decide to root your phone, follow this person's guide. I found it relatively easy compared to the previous way of rooting!

http://www.androidauthority.com/galaxy-s2-i9100-root-ics-xwlp7-xwlp8-u-k-ireland-australia-78995/
And...
If you need to download Samsung Kies to upgrade (in the UK) here's the official link: http://www.samsung.com/uk/support/usefulsoftware/KIES/JSP

Monday, 19 March 2012

Fabergé egg hunt - Another round of hunting

Last week was a busy week of entertainment! I did a bit of egg hunting too (and I only have 2 more zones to walk around!)...

One afternoon, I revisited Southbank (the Where's Wally Egg was underneath the London Eye - but I couldn't see it - didn't look hard enough).

Southbank eggs - the one on the right I have taken before 
Before I went into Yo! Sushi, I spotted another one in Carnaby Street.
So far up!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Yo! Sushi - The 97p Deal

I think from a previous post you have noticed that I'm a fan of sushi, so an opportunity came up when Yo! Sushi, another UK-based franchise was offering every dish on their conveyor belt at 97 pence in their Soho branch (Poland Street) on Thursday 15th March. That's right, 97p for one day only (they started out in 1997 - do you get the drift?)!! 

The deal was to celebrate their 15th birthday in their very first branch.

Was it worth it?


Yes it was. Look at that queue...

The massive queue!!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Villas Barrocal - The Apartments Review

When I booked this apartment from laterooms.com via easyJet hotels booking system, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Although the transfer was cheap it was a very long trip to Villas Barrocal (an hour more or less from the airport). The apartment itself cost €15 per night for two people, when I had booked it in December (what a DEAL!). 

The villa is situated in Pêra, which is in between Albuferia and Armação de Pêra. Make sure you have instructions ready for the driver (if you are taking a transfer or a taxi), because a lot of people don't know the area or the place.

The apartment itself is beautiful. I think they need to correct their signs, because we couldn't find the apartment at first. 
Inside the apartments
Local shops around the area are: a newsagents, cafes, Italian cafe, a vets.

You need to walk down further onto the left to find more shops and cafes. It looks like a run down area, but you will find that one street has everything - the local bank, post office, salon, graveyard and other stuff. 

If you are looking for public transport there are bus stops around but as every local had said to us - you need to prepare to wait around for the bus to come. Do some research on timetables before you go!! 

Don't ever ask a local (or even a tourist) how long it will take you to walk to Amacao de Pera from the villa - people say it's 15 minutes (probably if you run). It's actually about an hour via the beach. I timed it.

Good points:
Quiet,  big apartments, they have everything - microwave, kettle, fridge, cooker and oven, cutlery, local TV stations, free wi-fi - all you need is food, drinks and yourselves ^^

Bad points:
Far from all the touristy places - but you would expect that if you're staying in Faro!

Tips:
  • Rent a car or a bike - there is a local gas station Galp, which is just about a 20 minute walk (5 minutes by car).
  • Make sure you have enough Euro on you if you are not planning to bring a credit/debit card.
  • Some shops close for an hour or two for lunch - so watch out for that.
  • Be aware of pick-pockets! Always wear an across-body handbag.
  • Definitely bring sun tan lotion!!!!!!


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Mini series holiday: Portugal - Faro, day 7

Day 7 - our last day in Faro and we had nothing much to do... Sit around, eat the rest of our stuff, finish packing and sobered up from the night before, heheheh. We wanted to have a late check out, but the maids said we should ask reception (I'm sure I asked for a late check out!). Anyway, we ended up leaving the apartments a little bit early, left our luggage in reception, then went for a coffee at the snack-bar and then waited for the transfer to pick us up! 

Transfer was 20 minutes early. Yay, they found us! I forgot that the journey is about an hour-ish long from Pera to Faro Airport... It was an enjoyable ride, we kept seeing other vehicles just passing us when they saw a slow driver in front... Hahahahah.

Finally got to the airport, checked in (with someone's overweight luggage - not mine, uh-hm!), had an expensive hamburger meal for €13.40! :-O Shocking!! Even McDonald's is not thaaaaat expensive!!!!!!

After that we passed passport control and then the queuing started for boarding! So quick! As we were all queuing, some weirdo went down the escalator, then ran back up on the same escalator (when he could've got the stairs - OMG). PLONK. He fell over at the top of the escalator. LOL. More things started happening during boarding... There was a couple in front who held up the queue - the lady had two hand luggages (when you're only supposed to have one - as with all flights). The reception staff tried to explain that it is the airlines policy that they must state how much hand luggage they have, and that you have to pay extra if you have more than one piece... Don't these people read?!?! So in the end the couple had to pay and they got on the flight (without the police having to be there). I assume the couple will make a complaint! 

Finally got to London - then there was a VERY long queue at passport control - I didn't realise that they've started using the new system where you can self checkout if you have the new UK passport. (UK is getting very stylish indeed).

Following 3 trains, we finally got to our stop. As we were about to exit the station, a guy flew down the escalator and just randomly took a picture of my stunned face, then walked down further, and took one of Miss Pinky... He got down to the end of the escalator and took another pic of a lady sitting in McD's... Hahahahah. What kind of randomness is that!!

I finally got home after getting two buses! ^_^ Yipee. Home sweet home.

Didn't take any pictures - sorry if I've bored you to death ^_^

Mini series holiday: Portugal - Faro, Day 6

Our final full day in Faro, so we decided to go to the beach again. We found a lot of shortcuts this time. So from our villa, we went through Vila de Pedro, crossed the motor way, into the same farmland - this time we found a lot of pathways that we could cut through, onto the sandy beach and into the touristy town again - Armação de Pêra! That took an hour. Fast walking this time round. ^_^


Local shop

Local shop

Friday, 16 March 2012

Mini holiday series: Portugal - Faro, day 5

As from the previous we decided to take a tour with Follow Me Tours. We booked a tour to a gypsy market today in Quateira for half a day for €10... It's really far from where we were! If you do decide to take a tour and you are staying in a far location, make sure you get up early and know where the tour bus is picking you up!!

We got to our pick up area very, very early (about 15-20 minutes) at the nearby petrol/gas station - Galp. There were two on either side of the road, so we didn't know which one to wait at... Cars drove by, people staring at us (probably thinking what are they doing), more cars, buses and minivans drove by, and then finally our tour bus arrived. Yay!

One side of the Galp Petrol / Gas Station

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Mini holiday series: Portugal - Faro, day 4

As Miss Pinky and I had nothing much to do during the week, the night before we asked our neighbour John if he could drive us to anywhere where there were shops and where we could spend money! He thankfully said yes, and had said that it wasn't a problem. So we got up and he took us to the Algarve Shopping Centre.
Outside the Algarve Shopping Centre
There were a lot of shops but it wasn't touristy enough for us - so we didn't spend much there... In the end we ended up going into the supermarket and bought some foody stuff and presents. We also booked a tour with the local tourist / holiday store (more of that in the next post).
Inside the Algarve Shopping Centre

Not much to do on day 4, so I ended up studying for the rest of the afternoon.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Mini holiday series: Portugal - Faro, day 3

It was either wait for the bus and go somewhere into town or walk to the beach on Day 3.

We walked to the beach!
The local bus stop stand - the usual bus stops
are in blue with a coach like image on it
It was a very loooong walk! We set off walking at 11am. Miss Pinky and I got lost a few times so that took some extra minutes into our journey (took some wrong turnings and went via the motorway)... After a few moans, we finally got on track we got to the beach by 12.30pm. An hour and a half walk! By the way, Pêra hardly has any pavements, so you should expect to walk on dusty sidewalks that are meant for cyclists.
We had to cross this farmland to get to the beach!
There are pathways, but expect cars to go through too!
Finally got to the beach with Amacao de Pera in the background!!! 

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Mini holiday series: Portugal - Faro, Day 2

So John our lovely neighbour took us to one of the neighbouring towns Albufeira. We didn't really want to bother him so much but he is an excellent tour guide after only being in the area for a month!
John took us to the local marina in Albufeira first. It started to get hot and sunny, but people staying around there said it's their winter season, so there weren't many tourists around and most of the shops and cafes were only opened during the touristy season.
The Marina in Albufeira 

We did our grocery shopping in Pingo Doce, which is like ASDA. We then went to another supermarket Continente in the Albufeira shopping centre to get more stuff (i.e. alcohol).   
Albufeira Shopping Centre

When we got back we relaxed and met a Scottish couple next door to our right! Lovely couple. All of us started talking about politics, the area, languages and food! Food - My favourite topic! Must do some more sightseeing on day 3!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Mini holiday series: Portugal - Faro, Day 1

For the next few posts I'll be showing you where I stayed and what I got up to on my holiday...

To get away from London for a week, you have to plan way in advance to get the cheapest deals and flights. So Miss Pinky decided we should go to Faro, Portugal where her brother was working (he came back to London when we went!). So I booked the cheapest flights from easyJet and the cheapest apartments (self-catering) that I could find from laterooms.com via the easyJet website in December.

So on day 1 of the holiday we got to Faro Airport just before 6pm. The airport is a bit chaotic. It seemed to be all over the place. You just didn't know where to turn to get out! We just followed the people in front of us who seemed to know where they were going.

I didn't book a transfer online but we managed to get a cheap transfer to our apartments in time for €28 (return transfer) using this company besttransfers4u, and we met a nice old Irish lady Olivia who kept us company. She's travelled to Portugal for 30 years! She even invited us for dinner but it's too bad we couldn't meet up with her - she was staying at a hotel that is very far from where we stayed!

The driver didn't know how to get to our villa - apparently it's a private area in Pêra but as soon as the driver found his way to our apartments we said our goodbyes to Olivia and on we went... 

We booked in at reception and we got our key, then got to our apartment door and we couldn't open it! A nice English gentleman said hello to us (and I thought he worked there - because he wore a hat bearing the villa's name!). Thankfully Miss Pinky asked about where there are food places around the area... not many unfortunately (I picked the cheapest apartments - but I didn't realise it was very far from everywhere!). The gentleman named John invited us to his next door for dinner. I was astounded! I couldn't believe we had met 2 lovely people within moments of each other after arriving! Amazing! That's what Portugal does to people I guess. :)


We had our dinner and John offered to drop us off to the cheapest supermarket the next morning - so grateful!

I didn't take many pictures on day 1, but here's my lunch at Gatwick airport...
Steak, chips and an omelette at Armadillo, Gatwick North Terminal 

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Fabergé egg hunt - The Sunday Walkabout

Before I start posting about my holiday, here are some more Fabergé eggs I found today! ^^

First I started off in Sloane Square...



After waiting at the wrong bus stop I eventually got to Green Park...




Friday, 2 March 2012

Fabergé egg hunt - Where's Wally Egg

So after the weekend egg hunt I found out that the Where's Wally Fabergé egg moves about London and I think I actually passed it on Sunday without even realising it was there on a tour bus in Charing Cross Station!!! How frustrating. It was sitting right underneath my nose. Boohoo.

There was a clue on Tuesday morning that it was still there, but unfortunately I got there an hour and a half late (a friend of mine spotted it earlier) - but it had already moved!! :( Fortunately I knew where there was another egg which I spotted on the weekend but I didn't get a picture of :P... So off I went to find this one...


And so the search continued for Wally...
I was free from work the following morning, so I was off again to search for Wally... The new clue said it was "eggsploring in a 21 acre site..."... I Google searched 21 acre site in London - and it came up with Southbank!! Yay!! Not a far distance from me. ^_^. 

I got there, searched for a few minutes... then boom, I found it (that's with some more help that I found online)! Unfortunately I think a lecture was going on in there, so I couldn't go in to take a pic!!!! Noooooooo... But I got his backside though (I went back later to get another picture - see more below). :)

 And I found this one at the same time...


After all of that I got really upset - it meant that after work I had to go back to Southbank and get a full picture of Wally... And so I did... I got there before 6pm, but how unfortunate for me again - the security guards wouldn't let anyone in the place. Queen Elizabeth Hall doesn't open until 6pm!!! So not faaaaaaaaaaair!!!!!!!!!! But at least the egg was turned the other way and so I finally got a full view of Wally. ^_^

What a search!!!!!!!!!!!!

And don't forget if you are going out searching for these eggs, don't forget to text the special codes for you to win that expensive egg prize and raise money for charity!! (^_^)b

Update 12/03/2012: The egg keeps moving - it's at the London Eye today !

Update 15/03/2012: It could be in Wembley today...
Update 18/03/2012: Looks like it's back in central London today... Covent Garden...
Update 19/03/2012: Look around Tower of London today ^^
Update 20/03/2012: Late update - Wally went to St Pancras Station today!
Update 23/03/2012: Wally has turned up in Canary Wharf ^^ (View my other post of Wally - there's a better picture of him: 
http://asimplegeekylife.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/faberge-egg-hunt-my-birthday-hunt.html
Update 27/03/2012: I have a feeling he is in The Goring Hotel today - but I could be wrong... :s
Update 01/04/2012: didn't update yesterday's location (I was busy egg hunting) - It's in the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green!!
Update 04/04/2012: From yesterday - Wally is in Covent Garden!! ^^ He'll be there until April 9th!!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Fabergé Egg Hunt - The Weekend Day Hunt

And so the daytime egg hunt begins! I went out with a friend (calling her Miss Pinky from now on) and her little brother (calling him Master H) on Saturday in search for more eggs! I was soooo egg-xhausted in the end but it was all worth it...



And then I went out again on Sunday (to do some errands) and found some more!!

Happy Hunting!!

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