Loading...

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Britain's Got Talent

Eye-opening experiences are the most valuable. My visit to the Britain's Got Talent show was indeed an eye-opener. It wasn't so much that I was starstruck but it was the opportunity that I had to witness the behind-the-scenes that made this experience an extraordinary one. 

Many people have asked how my boyfriend and I got the tickets for the show. No, we didn't buy them. It was free! While surfing the net, Marcus stumbled upon the ticketing website for British shows. BRITAIN'S GOT TALENT IS COMING TO MANCHESTER. At once, he placed our names up for ballot - not expecting much luck. To our surprise, we found 2 tickets in our mailbox a few weeks later! How blessed!

Everyone was in the queue, awaiting for their turn to enter The Lowry. One by one, the people ahead of us stepped into the entrance with glee. It was finally our turn!! At that instant, a security guard came up to us and stretched out his arm, preventing us from entering. Puzzled, we started looking around. "I heard the judges are coming!!" a lady behind us whispered with excitement. Oh. My. Goodness. How blessed can we get?! We had the perfect view of the judges. David Walliams and Alesha Dixon. We even took an (unglam hence not uploaded) selfie with Alesha!!











I've never given much thought to how reality shows are being filmed. Somehow, subconsciously, I always believed that what we see on TV is actually what happened live in the show. Before the show started, we were made to give applauses, shocked faces, and etc. In between acts, the judges' make-up artistes would come on and touch up the make-up on their faces. What's even weirder was that after one of the acts, the participant was made to walk up to the middle of the stage again because it wasn't recorded properly! It was rather funny how we, the audience, were asked to pretend like we haven't seen her performance. When I pieced these things together, I realised how different the show looks on TV than it actually is in reality! Nevertheless, her performance was AMAZING - my favourite of the day. Britain's truly got talent. It's a pity we weren't allowed to capture images during the acts. Thank God Marcus managed to snap some when the judges came.





Simon Cowell was 2 HOURS late!! The show started without him and that really put things into perspective. Prior to his arrival, many of the acts that weren't spectacular actually made it through. I was utterly surprised at how lenient the judges were. Dances with unimpressive choreography got a "YES" from the 3 judges. Mediocre voices managed to pass the auditions. However, upon Simon's arrival, the judges seemed to have gotten stricter. Simon. The judge known for his scepticism and cutting remarks. His presence seemed to have changed the mood (almost) completely. It wasn't just his "NO" that failed many of the acts that I thought were better than the previous ones who passed, but also the "NO"s from Amanda and Alesha. Oh, the power of peer pressure even in showbiz.

Overall, it was entertaining. Sometimes, it was puzzling how some people who (seriously) lack talent actually had the sound-of-mind to audition for such a large-scale competition. Well, I guess you need these people for the element of humour. Other times, I was awestruck by the skills and professionalism of the participants at such young ages. And disappointed was I, when some of them didn't get through. Although this show may just be a public stunt by the producers to earn big bucks (or maybe their vision is to recognise British talents, whatever), it represents a possible life-changing experience to each and every one of the participants. Whenever someone jumped for joy at four "YES"s, my heart inevitably leaped for him or her. Whenever someone (deserving) got buzzed, I couldn't help but frown in pity.

I'm grateful to have witnessed the Britain's Got Talent show being recorded live; and each time I'm given such an exquisite opportunity, I'm grateful all over again for the opportunity to be studying here in the UK.




Monday, 26 January 2015

Time is money

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of WonderApps. All opinions are 100% mine.

I don't know how many of you can relate but I've always struggled with this. Prior to the end of exams, I'm always making post-exam plans and daydreaming of (1) finishing the novel series that I'm halfway through (2) doing circuit training for toner arms, legs and core (3) writing out the blog post that I had an inspiration about (4) catching up with friends. Yet, as much as I look forward to doing these things, I never actually manage to do all of them before the heavy workload of the next semester kicks in again. Most of the time, unfortunately, I end up squandering a lot of my time on social media and other (I-don't-know-what)s. 

Thank God for ATracker PRO by Wonderapps, I can now manage my time so much more efficiently! ATracker PRO is a time-tracking app for iPhone and iPad users. The 2 main reasons why I would recommend this to Apple users would be because it's extremely easy to use and it's reporting feature is amazing! For an awfully lazy (I would prefer to call if efficient) person like me, I'm very particular when it comes to being user-friendly (or idiot proof). To my utmost satisfaction, I managed to master the use of this app within minutes. These are the few things I learnt over the Sunday that I downloaded the app:

1. You can set your own background image. Awesome, I need to have more pictures of my baby sis (that I miss oh-so-much) all around!


2. You can create a random list of all the tasks that you have in mind. I love how they have really cute icons and different colour codes. (I'm all about emojis and colours! :D)


3. In order to track the time you're taking for a particular task, ALL you have to do is to click on it. As you move on and click on the next task, the time-tracking for the previous task stops automatically. It's amazing for lazy people like myself!! The screenshot below shows the time I took for each task thus far.


4. If you're a very organised person, you can make use of the calendar  to plan ahead of time as well! 


5. This is the best part. The reporting feature shows you how you've spent your day! With a pie chart and the different colour codes, it's very easy to reflect of your day. Yes, be prepared to feel bad if you've wasted your time! 


As Benjamin Franklin once said, "Time is money." What are you waiting for? Visit your App Store today for one of the best investments you would've made in awhile! 

Visit Sponsor's Site

Sunday, 25 January 2015

New year (ir)resolution

I never understood the hype of New Year,
As though it took away your greatest fear.
Better grades, skinnier thighs, and big innovations,
They were in the top of everyone's resolutions.

Each time someone approaches me,
To share their goals over a cup of tea;
I can't help but smirk and snigger,
"You fool, why do you seem so eager?"

I know I sound a tad bit sceptical,
I'm sorry but I'm just being practical.
New year resolutions may sound brilliant;
Wait for a month, we'll see if you're still efficient.

Someone asked me what were my plans,
I pouted and revealed my empty hands.
I don't know what's in store for the year,
But my aim for tomorrow, I'm very clear.

The year's aspirations won't get you far,
It's each day's commitment that raises the bar.
"I think in terms of the day's resolutions,
not the years," said someone who had the solutions.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, new year resolutions aren't the wisest and most practical things, but who says a new year wish list isn't feasible?

These are the few things that I'm excited to get this year!

(1) As a budding writer, I'm definitely hoping to possess a sleek fountain pen of my own.

(2) As a fervent and dedicated fan of Cristiano Ronaldo, I am adamant about inheriting my very own Real Madrid Cristiano Ronaldo 7 Home Kit Jersey!

(3) I'm getting extremely sick and tired of the cold winter. In anticipation for spring, the sun and outdoor activities, I've been eyeing a particular cosy cardigan. Check it out!

I'll stop with these 3 items for now, before I get carried away! Now that I've shared mine, what are some of the items on your wish list?

Monday, 19 January 2015

ELIZABETH


Envy burns in the eyes of many, when they
Look at you and me.
Immense differences between us -
Zouk is where you party
At home, I sip my tea.
But when the rubber meets the road
Even a tornado can’t pull us apart.
Twelve years of friendship
Happy 21st, my dear girl.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Our (love) story


Based on a true story.

I grew up in Sunday school. My dad was a pastor and my mom was one of the founding members of the church. Unlike some of the other kids who dreaded Sunday school, I loved it. Although I didn’t understand the concept of tithing at that point of time, I gladly saved up a portion of my pocket money every week. I gave with a cheerful heart - not because I was told to but because I enjoyed every single moment of being in Sunday school. It was nothing like primary school. We sang and danced, listened to bible stories and played lots of games.

The day that I was told to move out of Sunday school was one of the most dreadful days I had as a child. I was becoming too old for Sunday school. I was eleven at that time. I heard stories about the youth ministry – how it was a place that forces you to grow up, to leadership and to serving, a place where you are surrounded by childish boys who are in their rebellious phase, a place where worship becomes solemn and sermons, uninteresting.

It didn’t take a long time for me to come to realise that the stories were untrue. I enjoyed every bit of youth ministry. Well, almost every bit. I couldn’t avoid being surrounded by childish boys whom sole purpose in life was to annoy girls, and their cell group leaders. There was this particular boy who seemed almost gifted in annoying me, specifically me. Let’s call him Marc. The worst part was that he had a twin. An identical twin that was probably as annoying as he was.

I remember a particular incident that happened a year after getting to know them in cell group. (Cell group is a place where we go to, in addition to church service, to fellowship and study the word of God.) It was results collection day – the day that all primary school graduates had been looking forward to for the past few months, the day that determined where we went for the next 4 or 5 years. I wasn’t in a particularly good mood upon collection of my mediocre results. What I needed least was a call from Marc and his twin, asking me how I fared for the examination. I bitterly told them my score, expecting some form of comfort and encouragement. None. Instead, all I heard was their condescending laughter and exclamations of how I must have been lying. They couldn’t believe that my results were better than theirs. I had never felt as compelled to close the gap between our phone lines to smack them on their heads.

The following few years in cell group were a blur of events, with me being the butt of their unintelligent jokes. Frankly speaking, it wasn’t too bad. It was in fact pretty intriguing at times; but otherwise, it went overboard. (Warning: Here comes the corny part.) I can’t remember how and why but there was a point in time, after knowing them for 4 years, when I started to enjoy and crave for attention I received from Marc – more than I should. Instead of my usual mundane comebacks, my responses to him started showing hints of flirtatiousness. That was when we finally started texting each other, despite having each other’s numbers saved in our phones for years. We caught on like a house on fire and within weeks, we started calling each other “best friends”. Despite how close we were becoming, I was never sure of how he felt about me. All I knew was that I was inevitably becoming more emotionally attached to him. I moved as he moved, I smiled as he smiled and my gaze followed him wherever he went.

I was becoming one of the typical teenage girls; head over heels in love with my so-called “best friend”. I would thrum my fingers impatiently for class to end just so that I could draw out my cell phone and reply to his text messages. I would sit at the edge of the chair, staring intently at my screensaver waiting for the “1 new message” to appear. I would plug in my iPod and skip all the songs that were on shuffle until I arrived at my favourite love ballads. I would glare, with murderous eyes, at girls who seemed to be catching his attention. I just wouldn’t stop thinking, thinking, thinking about him. And miraculously, he seemed to be responding the way I wished he would. Until one day.

He stopped replying my texts. He stopped smiling at me when we met up in cell group. It was like he was intentionally ignoring my gaze. It was strange. No explanations. Neither did I have the courage to ask him why. I just let it go, let it go… It was heart breaking but I, being the stubborn girl that everyone knew I was, pretended like it didn’t hurt. Pretended like I didn’t give a shit. Pretended like he never mattered. That was the worst decision ever.

He left cell group after some time, without a single word. It was unbearable.

“Where have you been? I haven’t seen you in ages.” I texted. I missed him so much that my pride no longer stood in the way.

“Busy” was all I got in return.

And that one word spoke so much. He had no interest in speaking to me. I had to move on.

A whole year passed by without his presence. I was surviving. In fact, I was recovering. I stopped going to cell group secretly harbouring the hope that he would somehow reappear. I stopped scrolling through our old text messages, wondering to myself what on earth happened that could cause such a drastic change in his attitude towards me. I stopped stalking him on Facebook, trying to figure out what was going on in his life. I started smiling at things that made me happy. I started telling my girlfriends about that new eye-candy in school. I started listening to love ballads again without feeling that tinge of regret in my heart.

Finally.

Yet, just when I thought I was about to be liberated from the misery I felt of losing him (or never having him in the first place), he (cruelly, selfishly, mockingly) walked right back into my life. He came back to cell group. He talked to me as though nothing had happened. He reinstated my position as a best friend. Stupid, stupid, stupid me allowed him back in without a single bit of resistance. It then amounted to that one conversation that we had over the phone till 3a.m. in the morning, which revealed the mystery that had been burning in my heart for the past whole year. He was together with this girl. But they broke up. So now he’s back.

Jerk. Mean jerk.

Despite my mind telling me repeatedly what an asshole he was for keeping me clueless and anxious for one whole year just to find out that he was with another girl, my heart yearned to keep hearing him out. Stubborn me. I decided to be there for him as he recovered from the hurt of his broken relationship. That was the best decision ever.

Throughout the entire period of his recovery, I remembered asking him repeatedly if he was prepared to consider getting into another relationship. “No, not yet. I want to make sure that the next girl I get together with is not a rebound.” I appreciated his sincerity but a part of me wished that he would consider me already. Our friendship grew deeper as we started sharing things that were intimate to the heart. Love languages, prayer requests, personal struggles, New Year resolutions…

It was the New Year again. 2012. By then, we had heard each other’s stories countless of times, we were becoming familiar with each other’s habits and peculiarities, and we were finally close enough to talk about relationships. The first time he mentioned it was when he told me that he was praying about a girl he was interested in. Call it female instincts or whatever – I knew he was talking about me. Of course, I pretended that I didn’t. I kept probing and probing, but all that time, he kept mum about it.

The wait was frustrating. 17th January. That was the day when I decided to drop some hints. I reciprocated by telling him that I, too, was praying about a guy I was interested in. I expected him to have guessed who it was but I was completely wrong about it. This was how it went.

“Who is it??? Oh my gosh. You have to tell me who it is.” He said.

“No! I’m not telling you unless YOU tell me who the girl is.”

“No way. You have to tell me or I won’t be able to sleep tonight.”

“I can’t tell you…”

“Why not???? You’re driving me crazy.” His eagerness gave me confidence.

“Because…”

“BECAUSE WHAT.”

“Because it’s against my morals.”

“…Huh?”

“For a girl to confess her feelings to the guy she likes.”

He pauses for a long while. And then, smiles.

“Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I like you too.”

And that was how it all began. 17th of January 2012.

After we got together, he revealed to me all the missing pieces of my mental puzzle. I asked him why he became so cold to me when he was with her. No, he wasn’t cold to me because he was with her. He was with her because he thought I was impossible. He was cold to me because he was trying to move on. I couldn’t understand. He explained that he had thought I was with some other guy, and that reminded me about the intimate pictures I had uploaded on Facebook with a close friend of mine. Oh, Facebook, what a deceiving world. Apparently, everyone thought I was with that guy… But that wasn’t the point. He liked me. I was right. HE LIKED ME! Damn it! I was so stupid to blow the whole thing up with stupid Facebook photos. What’s even stupider was that I confessed first. I know, I know, a girl should never confess her feelings first, whatever. I came to find out that he had planned to confess his feelings for me on Valentine’s Day. If only I waited for another month… But I guess it didn’t matter; we ended up together anyway.

During the first few months of the relationship, we - or maybe just I - were extremely awkward with each other. He would look me in the eye and tell me how much he loves me. He would grab my hand out of nowhere and tell me how he never wants to let go. I would be extremely jumpy and giggly, unable to reciprocate to his gaze, unable to look him in the eye. He could tell me all day about why he liked me but I found it so difficult to utter a single word of affection. For one, my confidence is in writing, not speaking. I could write letters and poems to express my love for him, but I found it hard to even verbalise the reason behind my love for him. Yet, he forced it out of me. He managed to force it out of me.

 “What about you? Why do you like me?” he asked.

“Hmm…” It took me awhile before I thought of my answer. “No reason.”

“Whaaaat? After all I said about you, you tell me there’s no reason?”

“Yeah. If there was a reason and one day that reason is gone, wouldn’t it make me stop liking you? Mm, no reason.”

He smiled, obviously pleased with my answer. I heaved a sigh of relief…

Three years have gone by in a blink of an eye. Many things have happened – some have brought us immense joy, and some, a similar or greater amount of pain. Yet, we have tided through and emerged even stronger. Occasionally, I would look at new passionate couples with envy, and worry about the state of my own relationship. We no longer post Instagram photos of each other with corny captions. We no longer look at each other with awkward-yet-excited grins. We no longer act like we’re in our own world when we are around our friends. I would ask him, “Are we done with our honeymoon period?” And each time I ask with uncertainty in my voice, he would assure me with an even deeper conviction.

“Don’t be silly. I love you more than I did on the first day we got together, and I love you more every single day.” Yes, we no longer do what new couples do but that doesn’t mean that we’re no longer passionate about each other. It’s no longer the thrill and excitement that I derive from getting his attention but the deep and quiet passion that makes me certain that he is the person that I am going to spend the rest of my life with. We no longer post Instagram photos of each other with corny captions. There is no need to when these captions have become our every day speech to each other. We no longer look at each other with awkward-yet-excited grins. We look at each other with certainty - knowing that this is the person that I am most comfortable with. We no longer act like we’re in our own world when we are around our friends. We’ve gotten so used to hanging out with each other’s friends that we are now all friends.

Our journey in pictures

When we first entered Cell Group. Yes, I'm the tiny little girl right there...

A few years forward, and we still aren't exactly very mature. Look at our (coincidental) kissy faces!

And things became awkward between us... Look at both our awkward faces! (He's the twin on the right, just in case you're confused.)

But when things got better, we started with hanging out with a bunch of close friends.

And then studying together...

And going out together...

And finally, we're together :)

But announced it on Facebook only a year later hehehe.

My source of support

In every thing I do

And in every decision I make!

Going on holidays with our close friends.

Finally, studying and exploring the UK together.

And making new friends in Manchester!

Walking hand-in-hand...

Through the good...

And the bad...

And the cool :>

Into eternity :')

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

苦茶


人人都有不同的经验。有的令人念念不忘,有的令人希望它从来都没有发生过。不愉快的经验就像一杯苦茶。虽然口味令人呕吐,人人还是喝下,人人还是承认苦茶健康的好处。你喝的第一口会令你愁眉苦脸。你也许希望能立刻把它吐出来,或许希望能快速的把它吞下去。不过,是当你一口一口的啜茶,你才会逐渐的习惯苦茶的味道。啜茶的过程或许不愉快,但你一旦习惯了苦茶的味道,健康的路程就不再会那么残忍。面对不愉快的经验时,我们应该采取一样的姿态。我们不应该逃避现实,也不应该匆忙的让它成为历史。反而,我们应该采取勇气一步一步的面对挫折,面对试验。一旦克服了不愉快的经验,我们才能变得更坚强,更有力量面对生活里的障碍。几年后,当我们回首过去的经验,喝过的苦茶,我们会发现不愉快的经验其实没那么不愉快,苦茶也其实没那么苦。体验过不愉快的经验,我们才会珍惜美好的日子。尝过了苦茶,我们才会珍惜甜甜的蜜糖水。

© Melody Sim | All rights reserved.