Daily Journal – September 1

Daily Journal - September 1


Piers’ Birthday BBQ

Wake up prematurely. Try to sleep unsuccessfully for next 2 hours.

Bugger it. Get up. Wash. Tidy. Make breakfast.

Groceries arrive too early! We have a huge mountain of food needing 2 delivery men. Unpacking takes forever.

Have breakfast.

Bujo photography + posts. So not a good time for this.

Get dressed.

Yikes! Where has all the time gone?! Start prepping party food. Everything is a blur from here.

Piers’ family arrive and start helping!

Guests start to arrive and Piers entertains them in the garden while we continue making food in the kitchen.

BBQing starts late because Piers is too busy entertaining. Chef Humfrey to the rescue!

Finished in the kitchen. Time to eat and enjoy the party.

Guests start leaving in dribs and drabs in the next hour.

Lisa, Freya and Ian arrive. We have a cosy candlelit BBQ dinner in the garden. Then we watch Ian on the VR racing simulator. At 11pm, the party is over!


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Partying in England

I’ve been in England for about three months accumulatively and only just had my first party night out on Saturday.




That’s partly because I’ve developed an aversion to hangovers, but mostly because it’s been too cold in England to be out gallivanting in little party dresses in the middle of the night.

Even during the dead of winter, girls walk about the streets in tiny black dresses, high heels and little handbags. No coats, no scarves, no gloves. And the temperature would be about 0°C.

They would hang around in the cold, outside clubs and pubs, waiting for friends or just being seen, I don’t know.

I would see them while walking home with Piers after a late night movie. I would be bundled up in 5 layers of clothes, face hidden in a hood and scarf, and freezing, and think that the party girls must all be robots or vampires or crazy.

Seeing as it would be uncool to go to a club looking like an Eskimo, but there was no way I was going to subject myself to hypothermia otherwise, I never said yes to a night out.

Until last Saturday, that is.




Piers’ best friend’s sister’s best friend was having a farewell party because she’s going off and getting married in Scotland.

So we went out and had a party in her name but the darnedest thing was that, the entire night, I only saw her once for like half a minute because Piers doesn’t really know her that well.

It was about 10°C that night but warm indoors. I brought a coat to put on during the times we had to walk about, like getting from Club A to Club B. It was cold even then.


Sheylara and Piers


We had originally planned to eat out and then go to the party but Piers had a craving for dumplings when we went to a Korean supermarket in the evening.

We ended up getting a huge bag of groceries because he said, “Get anything you want cos we might not come back here again for some time.”

So I got tofu and and luncheon meat and rice. Yes, NORMAL rice. Fortunately, they have small bags of Thai jasmine rice in the store. We also got kimchi and raspberry wine and the dumplings.

On the way home, I said, “Where shall we go for dinner, then?”

And he said, “I don’t know. All I feel like eating now are those dumplings.”

So we went home and cooked.






Tofu with crispy pork floss and garlic


Meat dumplings


We didn’t go to the party until almost 10 pm.

It was great. I got to meet more of Piers’ friends.

And I discovered the people who had been making fun of Piers in my blog comments. Piers had suspected it was his friends but they had vehemently denied their mischief until recently.


Teasing comments



Teasing comments



Teasing comments


I find it all quite funny, though. We had suspected it was someone he knew, very likely his close friends, because it was just the kind of thing they would say to each other in real life. I think slagging your friends off for fun is a great British past-time.

So, this is them, the naughty people.


Piers' friends
(From left: Rich, me, Sarah, Piers, Jamie, Stan)


They were really nice and friendly to me but I wasn’t surprised because I’m sure Piers wouldn’t hang out with nasty people.

Yeah, but now their secret is out, they can’t make fun of Piers anonymously anymore.

The night life here is very much like in Singapore. Just a lot of drinking and dancing and yelling in each others’ ears.

Piers and I also spent half the night getting drinks because the bar was neverendingly busy and you had to wait ages to be served. We were drinking cocktails all night so finished them fast and had to keep going back for more.

It was a nice night out. But I would probably be happier partying during the summer when I don’t have to worry about hypothermia.

Maybe one day I will get used to the weather and be able to walk out into the cold practically naked like one of them robot vampire party girls.

Hard to imagine that ever happening because I so hate extreme cold, but who knows?

What happens when you feed journalists alcohol

When I was in Kuching, our unofficial tour guide, Malcolm, brought us to a traveller lodge belonging to a good friend of his.

We had a crazy party there, me and the journalists who had been invited to visit Kuching.

I made a video of the madness. I was frankly quite amazed at how talented my journalist friends were and by the fact that we all clicked like old friends even though we’d only met each other the day before.

Now, a bit about The Fairview because I really liked it.

It’s a large heritage house that’s been converted to a budget hostel and is managed by a middle-aged couple who treat guests like friends.

The Fairview

With a 25-guest capacity and a price range of RM25 (S$10.40) to RM115 ($47.90), it’s located within walking distance from the city centre.

There are dorm rooms (good for trips with friends) and different sized bedrooms for couples or families. Totally a great alternative to staying at a hotel.

The Fairview

It actually looks rather creepy when you first step in because it’s so old and the furniture and decoration are, like, antique.

The Fairview

The Fairview

But once you get to know Eric and Annie, the friendly owners, and settle in, you’ll start feeling cosy and comfortable. The place probably looks different in the day, anyway.

They served us tuak, a rice wine made by the natives in Kuching.

The Fairview

There are different kinds of tuak which use slightly different ingredients. I really like the sweet ones. The one we tried at Fairview was sweet and delicious!

Annie showed us the guestbook, which has been signed by hundreds of happy and grateful tourists.

The Fairview

There was even a homemade thank-you card.

The Fairview

The Fairview

Most importantly, there’s broadband Internet, and you can make reservations online.

Actually, the guys in the video weren’t crazy because of the tuak and beer. They behaved like that the entire trip. It’s just them.


Cheers to Malcolm, Nicholas, Javad, Wai Kit, Lili and Soh. And, of course, to Eric, Annie and pretty Flora!

Photos from Nuffnang Christmas Party

I almost didn’t go for the Nuffnang Christmas party because I didn’t have time to get a costume.

The party was co-sponsored by vPOST and we had to go as characters or things beginning with the letters V, P, O, S or T.

Me and my friends were assigned the letter T.

Just a few hours before the party, Minou, myself and Unker Kell went costume hunting.

The Goonfather had class till 6 pm, so he was going to join us at the party. He said he’d go as a Tourist, so all he had to do was wear a big shirt. Which is what he usually wears, anyway.


So we decided to get him a prop camera. After getting our costumes at a costume shop, we went to Popular bookshop to get some supplies, then went home.

Unker Kell made this while I was getting dressed.


I decided to go as a Tooth Fairy, and Minou made this for me while Unker Kell was making the camera and I was getting dressed.


It’s a cardboard tooth which I tied to one of my necklaces.

Minou chose to be a Tiger because, she says, “I’ve always wanted to have a tail.”


I had to sit sideways in the car; my wings were in the way.

Unker Kell couldn’t find any suitable costumes, so he went home to dig out an outfit he had worn for another costume party. Haha.

He’s a Thug!

We ended up being two hours late for the party.

We didn’t do much there except take photos which, I feel, is the whole point of a costume party.

Here’s my photo with a famous old man.

His hands are pretty young, though.

Haha. The old man is Kenny Sia.

My friend, Timo, who went as Mr Paranoid:

He won one of the top three prizes for best costume.

The Goonfather came really late, almost missing the party, almost wasting Unker Kell’s effort of making him the camera.

I tried to make full use of it in his absence.

He did come, finally, like half an hour before the party ended.

But he got into the role of nerdy tourist very quickly.

Okay, I’ve run out of words, so here are just more photos.

Say cheese! =)

Attending the HTC Touch HD launch party

A while ago, I attended a joint StarHub and HTC launch event for the HTC Touch HD and Touch 3G.

It was a Christmas-themed party at Supperclub!

Christmas tree

We were entertained by a Christmas caroling group.

Christmas caroling

I love Christmas carols. I used to go caroling when I was a kid and loved the rehearsals and the performing. Now, listening to Christmas songs always transports me to a magical realm of love and happiness.

Anyway, this a cappella group at the party was really good. Here’s a video of the singing… and the models!

I had the chance to play with the Touch HD but it’s hard to pay attention to something when you’re busy taking photos and videos. I never really like testing gadgets at events because there are always so many other distractions around.

All I remember is that the Touch HD is very pretty. Also, having the word “HD” in any name instantly makes it sound impressive.

HTC Touch HD

It should be impressive. It’s meant to be an iPhone killer.

Oops, don’t let Miss Cutie hear that.

Miss Cutie is my iPhone and I still love her!

(Well, don’t look at me. I didn’t name her. The Goonfather did! Wahaha.)

Georgina Chang was the host for the evening, looking resplendent in her glittery golden top, so dazzling that you can see only a white blur in my photos.

Georgina Chang

Georgina Chang

She didn’t adhere to the dress code of the party, which was black. Very naughty. But I suppose hosts have dress code immunity.

I didn’t have such immunity, so I dressed in black… and kind of blended in with the HTC models.

Can you spot me? *lol*

Sheylara and HTC models

And then I realised that the majority of the guests were not in black!



I wanted to take photos of the food but they weren’t static. They kept moving about.

Food items were carted around on trays that night by waiters. I didn’t want to stress the waiters by making them stop in the middle of their routes to pose for photos.

Being so conscientious, I think I make a bad journalist.

But, well, I have more pictures of the models. That has to count for something.



And the mandatory underexposed, out-of-focus camwhore pic!


I was trying to be very subtle lah, so couldn’t spend a lot of effort getting a picture right. Since this wasn’t a blogger event, I was among people who aren’t used to the new age concept of camwhoring.

And I was already getting stares because I kept getting in the way of the models while taking videos of them showcasing the phone.

Maybe some people even thought I was part of the show, showcasing my camera, since I was dressed like the models, which wasn’t my fault because we were supposed to dress that way lor!

Ironically, while the organisers tried to get everyone to dress in black to look like the HTC phones, they went and dressed the phones in fancy colours, instead.



I find that amusing. But the phones do look quite appealing, even though I’m a proponent of simplicity.

Anyway, thanks to this party, I am now officially in the mood for Christmas! Will be playing my Jewel Christmas CD ad nauseum once again. Titled Joy — A Holiday Collection, it’s my favourite Christmas CD of all time.

I first heard Jewel’s Hark! The Herald Angels Sing in a Trans-Siberian Orchestra DVD (another favourite) and cried to that, which prompted me to buy her Christmas compilation.

Okay, that was quite a long time ago so I don’t want to make a big deal of it.

Oh wait, I found a YouTube video of that performance.

It’s such a beautiful rendition of a beautiful song.

If you’re wondering what’s up with the little girl standing awkwardly on the stage, this clip is part of a Christmas story about a girl who ran away from home and then decided to return after meeting an old man who takes her on a magical musical journey.

So, well… Merry Christmas in advance! Don’t wait to do your Christmas shopping!