Sunday, 30 March 2008

Through the eyes of a loved-up me

This is a photo of the town hall in Manchester. I walk by this building almost everyday but as I was going through my old photographs, this one stood out. I took this photo with my crappy phone. It's grainy and blurry but I have never seen the town hall look so romantic, despite the crazy Santa lights in the corner.

Then I remembered when this was taken. It was Christmas of last year and my baby was with me. Things just look different when you're with your soulmate, everyday things seem a little more special.

I miss you.


One of my biggest concerns with regards to my current job is the fear of my job defining me. I fear that with each day that passes, I become less able to write creatively, more inclined to write in mechanical, concise and factual sentences peppered with legalese. Heretos and herewiths and forthwiths are no fun.

I envy people with creative jobs, jobs that create or jobs that makes use of the hands. This is why I enjoy cooking and baking, a chocolate gateux or row of sushi being the objects I create from raw materials, the presentation of which requires a little bit of artistic thought. I think architects and doctors have such interesting professions. I love the challenge of the legal industry and the corporate world, but architects have the pleasure of claiming both the challenging and the artistic.

My hope is that I never lose the ability to create something beautiful, provocative, something fun and exciting, something that evokes emotion. I hope I do not become uninteresting and routine.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Anybody there?

Mhhh.. I am feeling lonely today. It's days like this where I wish I was home or with my man. I don't have family nor my boyfriend here and as much as I love my friends, we are all at that stage in our lives where we are quite independent of each other. Some are attached but almost everyone has at least a best friend, a boyfriend or a family member here. We can hang out from time to time and I enjoy spending time with them, but at the end of the day, they do have other commitments, as do I, and our schedules don't always fit.

It's funny how although I have good friends, I haven't got a really really close friend in the neighbourhood. I used to think of LV as one of my best friends here and I really value of friendship but she has since moved back to Malaysia after graduating from her Masters programme.

Maybe I should make more of an effort to meet up with everyone. Maybe I am not too much fun to be with.

Well anyway - food diary:


2 slices of wholewheat bread. 2 cereal bars
1 slice cheese, 2 slices of chicken ham


Brocolli, peas, onion and carrot soup.
A spicy chicken thigh
1 slice Victoria sponge cake

2 crackers and low fat cream cheese
Red pepper, tomato and sausage stew
A little bit of cottage cheese and pineapple

I am too lazy to Google the calories for each. *note to Molie - yes that is what I do, search on Google for calorie counters!

I miss my old friends. I feel like the longer I stay here the more they will forget me.

Anybody there?

Monday, 24 March 2008

Four day weekend!

If you have not already guessed, I have been away over the Easter weekend. I had initially set my eyes on a sunny warm Easter in Cyprus but decided against it, firstly because I could not afford it but more importantly, S had very kindly invited me to stay at her cottage ("The Cottage") in North Wales.

Everything was perfectly inviting from my first step on the driveway leading to The Cottage up to the very last day. Pictures up later with a more detailed description but for now, a little teaser:

1. Quad-biking through sheep fields!
2. Horses
3. Mountains
4. Standing on the edge of the mountain overlooking the vast blue/green ocean
5. Chilly pebbled beaches
6. Slate mines
7. Golf!
8. Tea and cakes made of fresh cream
9. Roast dinners
10. Cruisin in my car CDs
11. DVD nights by the fire with a hot mug of tea

Ahhhh it was a lovely weekend and I am ready to face work again tomorrow morning!

As soon as I got back I cleaned the house and did all my muddy laundry.

What my holiday inspired me to do:

Run! Walk! Get out and work out! S and her sister K are such atheltic people and the weekend was just filled with walks walks and more walks (treks and so on) I felt so energised and could feel the weight very slowly coming off. I want to be like K who can just run up and down mountains and against strong winds for almost two hours, at a very good speed.

Oh and because I should, here's my food diary for the day:

Breakfast: Nothing

Mid morning snack:
2 boiled eggs, mushrooms and mayonnaise (300kcal)
slice of Victoria cake (400kcal)

Noodles with spinach, prawns and coriander. (450kcal)
Crisps and cheese/salsa dip (200kcal)

Ryvita and slice of chedder cheese (120kcal)
Slice of Victoria cake (stop eating so much cake lah!) (400 kcal)

Total: 1870kcal - bad!

If I took the cake out of the equation it would be 800kcal less. I need to throw all that cake out and STOP BAKING MORE CAKE!

Sunday, 16 March 2008

My weekend

On Saturday I went to Piccadilly Gardens at 12noon for an Outdoor Praise event which was absolutely amazing! It was just so great seeing men and women of God blessing the city with a message of hope, joy and salvation. Naturally being Manchester City Centre on a Saturday afternoon, it was mad crowded and it was just so great to have people come up to us to ask questions or just participate... or just watch! For anyone who caught us that day and want to know more, just contact us at

I stand with arms high and hearts abandoned
Went for coffee and cake at Kro Bar after with Martin, Denisha and Sharon and had the yummiest apple pie and black coffee. I noticed the funniest thing when selecting my choice of cake for the "Coffee and Cake" deal. It's 2.50 for a coffee and cake (which includes the apple pie) but if you get just the apple pie you pay 2.90... Illogical!
Had to leave in a hurry to Bella Italia to meet up with Z, Shilps, S, P, Adam, Daz, Jen for lunch. It was opposite day for me - dessert first then my main meal. I am still kicking myself for not taking a photo of my food because it was awesome! I can't believe I have never thought of this before. What I did basically was order a starter platter for two as my main meal. I'm the type of person who loves having a little bit of everything and that was exactly right. It had different types of dips, hommus, mayo, tomato basil olive oil sauce thing, garlic bread, chicken, ribs and crudites. Yummy! I had a nice glass of rose as well which was delicious!
Bella Italia was in the Arndale so we moved on to Costa Coffee (I had water because I was still hyperactive from the coffee from Kro.)
Then finally - shopping for the essentials! Woohoo :)

Sunday morning's breakfast before church.

Clockwise - Carrots, grapes, celery, chedder cheese, sliced chicken roll, bread I baked the night before. And in the middle, a slice of apple & sunflower seed cake I baked a few nights ago.

Now I must say something about the bread I baked. I put bits of sunblush tomato, parmesan and chopped up some fresh chives and threw that into the mix too. The kitchen smelt beautiful and watching the dough rise and crackle as it baked was ooooh delightful. It was crusty on the outside an soft and fluffy on the inside. Warm bread fresh out the oven mmmmmmm... slice it and melt some butter over one side and mmmmm....!


I feel ill. Urgh. And I think it's because of all the stuff I have been eating.

I'll be going on a week-long fast which breaks on Thursday evening. A week before Easter :)

Sunday will be a complete fasting day for me. Water only.

Monday to Wednesday I will have breakfast only.

What I want to achieve:

1. A healthier body.
2. More time spent with God (as opposed to cooking or eating and snacking!).
3. Gaining discipline to not overindulge, to eat for sustenance rather than pleasure (food is pleasure for me, yum yum) and to show myself that I do have the self-control!

Will report back!

Friday, 14 March 2008

Sushi rants

I am at my desk at the moment, on my lunch break, yes yes don't be hating, I am not bumming at work trust me. It's a legitimate break where I have my "me time" unless the phone rings.
It's a Friday afternoon and seriously I am so HAPPY someone invented weekends. Oh my, if I had to work 7 days a week I do think I will go insane. Hmm OH WAIT I should be doing my food diary. Yes yes. Well here it is (so far)

Morning - slice of apple cake with strawberries and sunflower seeds that I baked on Wednesday (I really should get a camera if I am going to take this "document my life in a blog" thing seriously - I know, how 1990s - blogging is OLD, every Tom, Dick and Prince Harry has a blog can't you be a little more original, EZ?) The cake came out gorgeous, Ladies Man will propose in a heartbeat and declare his undying love for me if he got a whiff of it. Unfortunately he is still in LA at the moment and I can't exactly post slices of cake to him. It will get squished, or the dogs at customs and excise will tear it apart and wolf it down. I'm telling you, no one is able to resist my cakes. No one.

Half a glass of milk (I was rushing).

Mid morning muesli

Lunch - Sushi and a little bit of sesame noodles.
Ok here I definitely need to rant.
People - Hardened long grain rice wrapped with soggy seaweed does not a sushi make. Neither does smoked salmon. Neither does (gasp!) sweet chilli sauce from a bottle. I wasn't asking for much really, I wasn't expecting wasabi, just the regular soy sauce would do but no, the sushi was served with sweet chilli sauce. The sesame noodles was basically cold noodles tossed in sesame oil which got all over the hardened sushi and I DON'T KNOW WHY I KEEP BUYING SUSHI ON SUSHI DAYS WHEN I KNOW IT'S GOING TO BE THIS BAD EACH TIME! No wonder most people in the UK hate sushi - if I were subject to the sushi available in Tescos and Marks and Spencer's and Sainsbury's I would hate it too. I think P in the café has probably had enough of me nagging his attempts to serve East Asian cuisine. We love each other really - I nag him and he thinks I'm being overtly fussy and it kinda ends there. At least he makes mean English pub meals, and curries. And he knows how I like my cappucinno. And he's such a lovely guy, it just happens the sushi is crap.

Dinner - I don't know yet but it's firm drinks night so I expect a couple of drinks and canapes. I should really stay away from the canapes but ooooooh just one will do? I have no willpower...

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Food Diary

Breakfast (350kcal)
Cereal, weetabix and milk

Mid-morning break (220kcal)
3 jumbo caramel rice cakes

Lunch (500kcal)
Salad (cous-cous+potatoes+cucumber+egg+tomatoes)

Dinner (750kcal)
Chicken stew & Rice
Slice of bread with peanut butter & jelly
Handful of jelly beans

Total: 1820kcal

Exceeded my target kcal by 320kcal!

Yup I'm trying to only consume 1500kcal per day because I believe this is all I need in my sedentary life!

Saturday, 1 March 2008

You weird schitzo...

Dear Government/NGO/XX Foundation,

Hi it's me. Remember? You gave me a scholarship before and I must say we were such a brilliant team don't you think so? No bond on your part and I worked hard and uh... brought your educational institutions to new heights *ahcoughem*. I gave you up to pursue my own dreams and career and well, I'm ready to go back to school and be an academic now! Show me the money! It was the perfect synergy, you pay me to study and I make you proud and prove to you that it paid off. Look at me, I am the epitome of success, almost. Well ok, I haven't qualified as a lawyer yet but I am in the right direction, trust me! I just need another year or so to uh... bum around whilst doing a graduate programme reflect and gain new experiences exploring greater depths of my field of study.

Lets do this! Boo yaah!


Elle Zhang

Dear Potential employer

Don't listen to that deranged lunatic above who claims to be me. I can assure you I am READY for this grown up world of politics, business and corporate law. I can do this - I will be updating spreadsheets, manning my mobile/office phone, watching my Blackberry like a hawk, pinging off emails left right and centre, being completely diplomatic yet ruthless and most importantly, I am ready to be paid for the excellent work I promise I will produce. I will offer SOLUTIONS. I am ORGANISED, METICULOUS and plain AMAZING at networking. I am SMART and you won't regret taking me on your fine establishment.

Kind regards

Elle Zhang