Friday, 20 February 2009


today the sunshine actually felt warm for the first time in a while. The sunlight shone through the windows into the lovely law bod over the staircase I was ascending. It literally 'dawned' on me (only in the sense of light, not time) that half a year has been spent. I'd like to think this means hope for brighter days to come.

This strange phenomenon of 'fifth week blues' in oxford refers to an inexplicable feeling of depression halfway through an eight-week term, assuming either a hardcore four weeks full of work and no break, and some psychological sadness called blues OR a consistent and continuous failure and procrastination that has built up to incredible stress, guilt, helplessness, and maybe despondency. Shouldn't dramatise this, but it's a very real feeling that comes in most terms. admittedly sounding a bit silly. A friend of mine described it in a very interesting way - the furthest away from two vacations. It's a fairly short term of eight weeks as people would intuitively think, but it's one thats quite intensive enough to create this feeling of prolonged mental and physical exhaustion - yes even though i didn't actually get much work done lol.

Guess what? I got an emergency chocolate for fighting fifth week blues from Lizzie! Thank you!

I'm going to WORK WORK WORK, and enjoy thinking about the law LOL.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Halfway through, and the superb The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: WARNING: SPOILERS

So i'm halfway through today (end of 4th week and beginning of 5th week of Hilary term - second term of the year) but i'm giving myself one day of allowance as transition to prepare myself for a desperate shift back to the right course. I mean to take action to rescue my degree! I've been lazy for too long and it's seriously terrible. I have entertained myself with enough excuses and procrastinated long enough. Yeah time to work, and otherwise i'd feel like hell at the end of the year. cant really face this myself. So this is my resolution - MUST WORK HARD!!!

It's been a month ^^ the first V day was lovely. Thank you.

SP and I saw the Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It was amazing. The picture was fantastic and it would be worth going to the cinema just for that.

(one of the prettiest pics of the film - Daisy dancing in some dim light)

But the story itself is v intriguing. It raises many questions. Imagine the clock turned backwards only for you against a whole world running in a totally different direction. Thats Benjamin Button - a man who ages backwards. As I interpret it, there are three interesting themes: 1. feeling out of place ; 2. timing; 3. eternality

the young Daisy

When he was born, his mother died, and Thomas Button his dad abandoned him after a long run in desperation and confusion. He was born like an old man with a deteriorated body. Maybe it was the combination of both the horrendous aged features on Benjamin's body and the death of his wife that led the father to leave him alone on day 1. So he was born abandoned.

He was abandoned at a very kind family's door and a black lady decided to adopt him and raised him up (in fact originally motivated by the mother's failure to conceive - he was initially only a substitute in some way). He thought he was an old man for quite some time because he grew up in an elderly's home. Ironically, every part of his external appearance resembled an old man, but he was at the same time different from any other old man - he was actually a child. It was an internal contradiction coupled with this external corroborating contrast - nothing seemed to match internally or externally.

He then went on to become a seaman for a few years. He met a woman during that period, but he could only see her during the night in the hotel lobby - it was all in the dark. One day the lady however left with a note saying merely 'it was nice to have met you'.

He went back to Daisy a girl with gorgeous blue eyes he could never forget, and Daisy liked him since she was 7 despite his appearance. But Daisy had grown into a famous dancer in New York and had her own life (her own suitors and everything). He wasn't ready for her, and she was no longer available for him.

An old guy going out with a young girl - whatever love that lies within doesn't matter; it's the external incompatibility that stings. Maybe they could have worked out, but neither of them dared try. maybe they just didnt love each other enough, maybe the obstacle was insurmountable.

Benjamin learnt of Daisy's injuries in Paris, and he found her lying in bed incapacitated. She said he was perfect then - for Benjamin had grown a lot younger into the handsome Brad Pitt look, but poor Daisy had aged a lot and wrinkles started growing, and sadly the inequality was exacerbated by her injuries. She said plainly, 'I don't want to see you, and I don't want your help.' Benjamin left.

After a few years, Daisy came back to find him, and they were still passionately in love with each other. They stayed together happily for a few years - that was the only time when Benjamin's appearance matches Daisy's., and they felt right for each other.

Benjamin said, 'Nothing lasts.' Daisy replied, 'Some things last.' Maybe it would be fine from thereon.

Daisy got pregnant and gave birth to a lovely girl, Caroline, but Benjamin left them behind soon after, because he knew that he was just getting younger and couldn't be a proper father or husband - he wanted to leave before he left an indelible mark.

He started travelling again, this time on his motorbike. It looked really cool, but that belies his underlying loneliness - he has been travelling pretty much his whole life, for the reason that he felt that didn't fit in.

This feeling of not fitting in has stayed with him since his birth, and keeps him away from the people he loves.

After ten years, he came back and he was introduced to his daughter as a family friend. And Daisy was remarried to a terrific father. Though they couldn't be together again, their love for each other hadn't really dwindled. I think at that point, Daisy said to him, 'nothing lasts'.

In a way it seemed like such an irresponsible guy running away from all his responsibilities, but he did it all out of good intentions and partly compelled by his circumstances. It was probably for the better of the family that he did leave......

And later he was found in his old elderly's home, really 'an old person', but looking like a young boy gradually turning into a baby. Daisy went and started looking after him. Ironically, Daisy was like 60 or 70 but Benjamin looked like a boy - it's the contrast to the early scenes where old looking Benjamin met the young lovely Daisy.

Maybe some things really last - he found someone who could unconditionally love him finally. Benjamin also stared at her before he died as a baby - maybe he still remembered her.

How many temporal scales are there in life? We all seem to be living in the same time zone, but are we? Or is it all just apparent reality? If so does it matter?

For Benjamin and Daisy, there was only a very short period when the timing was really right for each other - how transitory. Benjamin tried to escape coz he felt he was out of place, but Daisy came back to support him when he was an old baby. Maybe that shows it doesn't matter after all, and some things do last?

There were a few really touching bits.

Benjamin's father Thomas abandoned him, and he still loved him.

Benjamin abandoned his own child, and he sent her a postcard for every birthday.

Thomas told Benjamin that he was Benjamin's father when he was almost dying.

Caroline (benjamin's daughter) was told that Benjamin was her real father when Daisy (her mother) was dying. All the cards he sent were only read after his death.

Benjamin was born abandoned at someone's doorsteps, but he died in Daisy's arms.....

Saturday, 7 February 2009





我更開始了花錢減壓,買了一塊壁球拍,70% off at £26.99 (discounted from £59.99) good bargain heh?

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

My second rant about nothing

Sorry ignore this if you dont want to read about my rant.

Disclaimer: I asked for this all because I didn't work hard enough apparently to compensate my brain and physical deficiencies.

The lifestyle of 4 seminars a week was already killing me last term. this term i'm having more tutorial essays to write on top of all these. The reading list for each seminar generally consists of a few hundred pages of reading, and i usually only have a day plus a bit to do each.

The whole evening i have miraculously finished a problem question answer in three hours and a half. i should be very pleased with myself this time because i actually tried to read all the cases (sort of - i realised i missed out a big chunk as i finish it up anyway) - this shows i'm not incorrigibly terrible i guess......and that i really want to rescue my degree. the reason for my suffering: i didnt do the work last term. and this essay means i have to do the work for week 2 of last term (for one of the subjects)... and i haven't read the stuff for the other weeks its going to be fun days this term lol.

okay the reason for my rant: it is actually not the essay in itself.

The last couple of hours after i changed libraries - from the faculty one to my college one at 10pm, just to finish the other half, I was thoroughly tested to the limits of my patience. As soon as I got into the law library and sat down having arranged everything (my laptop, all the books and notes i needed), just as i was about to start, the ceiling began to vibrate coz of some huge party noise right above my room. some idiots are playing loud music and this is really inconsiderate. i already had to bear with a trumpet for much of my second year, and a few days of yuck puke right in front of my room. i had to go to the library to avoid noise, and here i found myself never being able to escape from it.

after i came back, my lovely law fellow students very helpfully made a massive racket just in the room next door. they are still talking and laughing at each other's very good sense of humour in the most appropriate place - the library is for socialising apparently.

okay, guess what? i didn't scream at them. i politely asked the respective parties to do me a massive favour to keep quiet, and i even said sorry guys. The party noise has stopped. the lawyers however are still talking.

Whats worse, the fire alarm sounded four times, each time breaking the chain of thought in my head. Initially i thought it was sirens for a moment. I tried my best to withstand it all nonetheless, but it even changed its tune and I just couldn't bear it.

But I had no choice but to keep writing in the library and finish the essay up despite all this stupidity. it sounded four times. ARGH why does this always happen when i most need a moment of peace and quiet?

Actually this is quite symbolic - noise room as a way of torture. I however 'voluntarily' stayed in the library to listen to this noise. haha i find this quite funny.

My patience is really running out, and I'm sick of it. Oxford is a wonderful place, but does it actually have to drive people crazy?

I still have to read for tomorrow's seminar about subsidies and countervailing measures at 11am. I also have to print out my impressive essay and take it to my tutor's college although it's late. wahaha.

this sums up quite well. theres no choice in my life here. i can only plod on like an automaton. theres no escape. or maybe there's nothing to escape from coz i'm really ranting about nothing. i'm learning heaps (in terms of managing essay crises and controlling my urge to gag people up) and it's all because of my incompetence.

sorry i had to rant.

Monday, 2 February 2009

so here february comes: life in oxford, SNOW, iceland trip

SNOW in OXFORD - a morning walk is always rewarding

Just read about the possible lawsuit by this person called Wang Zhaojun against Sina for taking his post off his blog where he criticised the most sensitive areas of chinese politics (one party rule, falun gong etc). And he said 'I am not afraid to get into trouble because I know that 95 per cent of the Chinese people agree with me.' how feisty and how sad! and i like the figure 95% - i wonder if that refers to the accurate composition of party membership in the Chinese population lol. He has all the admiration I can give, to stick his head out this way against such a controlled environment. The sad bit is how that seems to be the way chinese will continue to behave - accept all the injustices, and i wonder how that subjective agreement will ever translate into a sufficient call for revolution or some sort of political power. maybe the 20 million unemployed migrant workers can join in..... really hope it will be a better year for china after all the disasters last year.

As for myself, so here february comes. i'm still a couple of days behind even in acknowledging the turning of the wheels of time. it's been a good month, and oxford has suddenly become a lot more agreeable and lovely, happy days. (not in terms of work though which is still seriously worrying because i'm catching up with week 2 work of last term - when i started giving up one subject entirely - i feel like heavily in debt). But here i am writing this because i have a god's gift of two hours free time after a bcl seminar on competition law is thankfully cancelled. It's some relief to me.

and now it's snowing. all this white fluffy stuff beating against my face as i took a nice walk around the meadows and the city centre. it's gorgeous though the snow hasn't quite settled yet apart from some patches of white. oxford is apparently less affected by the snow storm than many other parts of the country. fortunately/unfortunately?

life's slightly different now with an amazing companion :) i'm trying to find every chance to escape from studying lol. fun days. so what have i been up to the whole time??

I went back to hk for the break (mainly to take some evil conversion law exams for qualification purposes). i really hope i passed them. fingers crossed.
I went to iceland for a really lovely trip afterwards with Siu Po. A very unique, memorable experience in the most picturesque environment. we saw the northern lights, geysirs, gulfoss waterfalls, crossed the mid-atlantic ridges (the ends of the atlantic and eurasian tetonic plates), bathed in the blue lagoon... that was very relaxing.

And then i came back and had to do turn on my turbo again right away to welcome my 8 week hilary term, and very nicely packed schedule. i'm enjoying my seminars a bit more though am still lagging behind >< nvm. saw a movie (The Reader, absolutely fabulous), had a few drinks, a nice formal dinner with my Swire family and got interrogated at an unfair trial lol, and a few squash sessions, had Annabel visiting, an extended family lunch, went to my third oxcia chinese new year party and a lot of yummy food. and i think i have been showing people my nephew Theo's photos more than anything else. missing him!

happy times.

Swire Party

OXCIA Chinese New Year Party

Siu Po (left) and Annabel (right)

and yes i can finally tie a bow tie!


Mid Atlantic ridge

The Waterfalls

Thats enough procrastination. have to write an essay......