Can we do something about climate change?

There will be at least three or four articles on climate change when I read the news everyday. There is no debate about climate change. Only fools who want to find excuses to continue their irresponsible actions will argue that there is no climate change.What annoys me most is the nonchalant attitude that a majority of people take when confronted. A cardinal sin that is rampant in the UK is the amount of plastic bags that supermarkets give out to their customers for free every second! Virtually every single store will provide plastic bags for free even if you don’t shop in the store! Some of the more environmentally friendly countries have already started charging customers for plastic bags so that usage of plastic bags is reduced. Why can’t UK supermarkets implement the same policy? It really puzzles me and what is more embarrassing is that UK is one of the least environmentally friendly country in Europe. Fairing worse than some of the developing nations.With all the cheers and support to reduce carbon emissions, they can’t even implement simple and effective measures that will make significant difference to our environment. Most people seem to recognise that it is a problem but make no effort to do their part to save the planet. This is every bit real. It’s not some blockbuster movies that mislead people into thinking that everything will be fine when it is all over.

IQ test

Try this IQ test. Took me a while to figure this out though (I’m not going to tell you how long it took me :).Some background (in case you don’t know Mandarin):A family of six – father, mother, two sons and two daughters – got lost during a hiking trip. To make matter worse, they bumped into a dangerous prisoner who just escaped from the prison. Luckily the prisoner was captured in time by this off-duty policeman who was also hiking around that area. Otherwise the whole family could have been killed by that notorious prisoner. Due to poor reception around the area, none of them could make any mobile phone calls to the outside world. This means that the policeman was also unable to bring in any support…

Is the grass always greener elsewhere?

Today I received an email from my ex-secretary who is still working at the same place. She asked if it would be easy to get a job in the UK whether legally or illegally as long as it pays well. My immediate thought was I could not respond to her email using work email address as it would be hugely inappropriate.What concerns me most is not that she is willing to take up a job through illegal means but that she would sacrifice her time with her family and travel to a completely strange country to earn more money, and she is a mother of two or three children. Is it worth it? I remember my dad was abroad working for six months when I was very young. I remember missing him so much. We were very poor and had to go to a public phone booth to call him may be once a fortnight just to talk for five minutes. It was such a sad experience that I will never forget it in my life. Unless there is absolutely no other choice, I think parents should never leave their children to go abroad for money reasons. What you make out of your earnings is entirely your choice. The most important thing is to be happy and no amount of money can substitute happy times with family.

Fate calling?

I have started my new job for about slightly more than six months now. It has been a very fruitful experience in the sense that I am given a lot of time to learn technical knowledge to build up my competence at work. However, the downside is that I don’t always seem to enjoy what I do. There are times, more often than not, that I wonder if I had made the right career choice in joining this firm. They have taken on so many people at my level that there does not seem to be enough work to be shared among us. We have to be so competitive in maintaining a profile in the office to continue getting work from the partners and senior.When I was deciding whether to join this firm. I had another offer from a less prolific firm but probably a more cosy and friendly place to take my career further. I declined it because I thought the training would not be as good. Which is probably a very valid reason. In the past few weeks, I have been questioning myself whether I should resign and go back to that firm to take that offer. The partner told me that I could go back anytime if that position is still vacant. But of course I never have the courage to call and it is probably a little rich of me to ask, or so I think.I received a call from my ex-agent out of the blue today just for a chat and find out how I am doing. He also indicated that the firm is still looking and had not found any suitable candidates. Is it a hint from God? Or am I reading too much into this? When I took on a job previously in a highly stressful environment, I struggled with adapting to the culture too. But I hang in there and had actually benefit from the experience. I am not sure if I just need a bit more time to settle in. Is six months long enough to decide? I don’t know. But I definitely have not the courage to pull the alarm now.

Blog censorship in China

Unbelievable. Even my blog is censored in China. Well I don’t suppose there’s any reason to specifically censor my blog, but I didn’t realise that the Chinese government is so strict on blogs. According to my friend most blogs are censored in China, regardless of the content. Which makes sense for them since they want to have some control over the content, as it’s getting harder to monitor them nowadays. Tough it may be, but I don’t believe this level of censorship is here to stay. Someday China will relax the censorship policies, or maybe even remove them. However, for the time being, I guess it’s the right thing to do. You can not dismiss the possibilities that there are people who want to sabotage China, to stop them from becoming a powerhouse in the new world.


Originally uploaded by arctanck

We had a much closer look at Fiedlfare than the last, even though we were without a telescope this time. So far we have had quite good fortune birding around Thames Valley Park (we can’t believe the last time we were there was about half a year ago! Time really flies). Apart from this Fieldfare, we also spotted a Red Kite gliding in the sky and a Great Spotted Woodpecker high up on a tree trunk. Very pleased.

England qualifier against Croatia

Unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable. I always have a feeling that England might screw this game, which will decide whether England qualify for Euro 2008. 13 minutes played, and England are 2-0 down! Who’d have predicted this. Just shows anything can happen in football. I’m not England’s biggest fan, but IF they did not qualify I’m afraid that I will have a lot less games to watch come next year during the European championship! NO!!!!

China years: How many are you living?

My eldest brother recently sent me this article, “China years: How many are you living”. It gives you a sense of how quickly China is changing, compared to other parts of the world. Take for example, a year in China is equivalent to 3.1 years in the UK. “Tempted? Give up your sleepy French coastal town” is what the author says at the end of the article…Well, don’t think we are the slightest bit tempted:W: I think most people would be able to deal with tangible changes. It’s the cultural and social issues that normally cause problems. But if it was me, I wouldn’t give up my sleepy French coastal town chateau for a high rise flat in Shanghai, that’s for sure! It will always be French Chateau, anytime! Or even a French cottage, that’ll still beat a mansion in Shanghai.Me: What’s so special about experiencing this kind of change?! Everything is changing all the time anyway. If it’s just for the sake of experience then maybe. I’ve seen Kuala Lumpur changed quite quickly too. Was I blown away by what happened? Not really. So will I pack up and move to China, just because China is changing at phenomenal pace? Not in a million years. Changes at this rate if not properly managed will only bring hardship to a lot of people living there. And the effect can be long lasting. Let’s hope that this is not the case.

Winter blues

It’s that season of the year that I dreaded most, again. Born in a tropical country, I had never have to deal with the consequences of not getting enough sunshine, until I came to the UK. Initially I thought I was just being homesick but soon I realised that I was suffering from seasonal affective disorder. There was no explanation for the sudden change in my mood and the whole world seemed gloomy and depressed. It is really hard to explain how it feels like except that it is almost painful and the days (or rather nights) seem like the end of the world.It has been a lot better since marrying C because he keeps me company all the time. But the depression is still there. I have tried to do more outdoor activities with the few hours of sun during the weekends and it seems to help. I have been complaining more often than not about quiting my job. I am not sure whether this is due to me not liking what I do or the depression. I just can’t wait for winter to be over but it is just the beginning. And the winter so far has been comparatively lacking of sunshine.

Cosy cafe but not in Paris

The weather had been gloomy for the whole weekend. Initially I thought I would go birdwatching, but the drizzle just wouldn’t stop. Finally we decided to go to town for a walk and perhaps have a cup of tea. There is a little cafe newly opened in our town and we had been wanting to visit for a while. It’s probably the first of its kind in the town centre. The ambience reminds me of those Paris cafes which have a very cosy feeling, simple and yet have characters.