Snow Patrol Boarding

January 11, 2012 at 12:10 am (friends, life!)

woke up to this song every morning for 5 days during our latest trip up North to snowboard at Glenshee. it’s an amazing song to wake up to.

anyway snowboarding trips are perfect for resetting your sleep/wake cycles because a full day of snowboarding tires you out so much (plus there’s nothing to do after it turns dark at 430 pm) so you tend to be tucked in by 9 pm and up by 7 am!


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Edinburgh First Month!

November 18, 2011 at 2:22 am (friends, life!, pictures)

and my 50 000th blog hit!

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Glastonbury Time

June 21, 2011 at 7:39 pm (friends, life!, music, movies)

some newly sampled bands that i’m rather looking forward to catching at Glastonbury tomorrow! (apart from all the usual mainstreams bands like Coldplay, U2 etc). the full line-up containing links from which i was sampling the bands can be found here:

anyway for those who want a couple of new bands to listen to, the ones listed below mostly belong to the kind of eclectic Brit indie pop that i dig!

Two Door Cinema Club


Metronomy (highly recommended. their sound is a mixup of MGMT and Black Eye Peas)
The Naked & Famous (same category! check out Young Blood)

The Gaslight Anthem (recalls Kings of Leon)

Pendulum (Pendulum sound a rocking band too; taking over from Linkin’ Park perhaps? i can imagine how awesome they’d sound live. pity we will be missing them as we are leaving Sunday night)

Primal Scream (reminds me of Stars for some reason. must be the haunting vocals)

Mumford & Sons (swinging sixties?)

Bright Eyes /  The Wombats/ Noah and the Whale (super Brit pop…you know; the kind they play non-stop in River Island and Topman)

Alice Gold (sounds like the lead singer of Metric!)

Anna Calvi (real attitude)

Foster the People (feel good vibes all round. a bit of Mika/Scissors Sisters maybe?)

Warpaint (rocking all female band)

Twilight Singers (personal favourite)

The Pierces (more feel good!)

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Glastonbury Festival 2011

April 17, 2011 at 3:49 pm (friends, life!, music, movies)

I GOT TICKETS!!! WHOOOOOOP. with 4 computers set up and a gazillion opened tabs on Mozilla, IE, Chrome and Safari between the 4 of us, we all too gleefully paid in full the 200 pounds for a 5-day camping experience at the biggest festival of it’s kind in Europe.
ten thousand additional resale tickets had sold-out within 2 hours (with the first main batch of tickets selling out last October); we were quite lucky to get ours within 15 minutes thanks to Yuxuan’s good fortune hahaha.

anyway to follow up on my previous post, Glastonbury Festival is basically Disneyland meets Quidditch tournament meets Entourage. but the main draw is really the 1000000 simultaneous gigs on 10 different stages playing on throughout the night and day (the headliners this year are Coldplay, U2 and Beyonce).

finding our tent is gonna be a nightmare..

read on to find out more about it! (culled from some random internet fansite)

What is the Glastonbury Festival?

Quite simply, it is probably the biggest and best event in the world!

Held on a dairy farm in Somerset in the shadow of Glastonbury Tor, the festival becomes the temporary home for around 150,000 people for a weekend in June. The entertainment comprises some of the biggest and best music acts from Britain and all over the planet, but there is so much else to see you could have a fantastic time without even setting eyes on a band. In this section of our guide we will attempt to explain all there is to see and do at the festival, and we thought the best way to take you through would be to go through all the various arenas.

The Pyramid Stage

The most famous stage at the festival, which in its time has been graced by virtually every major band you could name. The Pyramid has the largest field, and at night crowds of over 50,000 can gather to watch the headline acts. A big screen on either side of the stage ensures that those at the back don’t miss any of the action, as the bands seem little more than dancing ants from a distance. A 3rd screen behind the mixing desk was added in 2004, aiding the enjoyment of those watching England’s penalty failure in Portugal, the biggest crowd ever to watch a football game not in the ground. The Pyramid has a flashing top which can be seen from most places on the site, making it an easy focal point. However, don’t expect to try and meet anyone there, as everyone else has the same idea, making it impossible.

The Other Stage

The second biggest of the stages, where the acts are often a little more alternative than those on the pyramid, but can still attract huge crowds. When we first went to Glastonbury as 17 year olds hugely into indie music we spent a massive proportion of the time at either the Pyramid or the Other Stage, which was great then, but really that is just comparable with the experience you could have at V, Reading etc. There is far more to Glastonbury than just these 2 stages, as we hope to explain!

The Dance Village

What was the Dance Tent has now been removed, and replaced with several smaller dance tents and stages, the largest of which are the East and West Coast Dance Tents. Until we see it we can’t really tell you what this area will be like, but the old dance tent was home to pumping dance music of all genres, all day and all night. The tent was always well decorated with lights and neon to give it the feel of a club, but those wanting to watch the biggest acts and DJs struggled to appreciate these, as the crowds often extended far outside the tent. The tent achieved legendary status during the 1998 mud bath, as a machine used to clear the toilets was brought in to clear the mud from the tent, but the operator pressed “blow” instead of “suck” and coated the tent in what it had just collected from the toilets.

Jazz World Stage

Was known as the Jazz Stage, but changed in 2003 to the One World Stage to reflect the fact that barely any of the bands could be described as “Jazz”. And then changed back to being called the Jazz World Stage because everyone still called it that anyway. Plays some very eclectic sounds during the day, but at night provides another arena for big name bands who couldn’t be accommodated elsewhere. A great place to crash out during the day under the array of colourful flags, with the pear cider stall nearby to keep you refreshed.

John Peel Stage

What was the New Bands Tent has been renamed for 2005 following the sad death of legendary DJ John Peel. It will continue to host the best new bands, and is one place you can be sure to catch the winners of the Glastonbury Unsigned competition.

Acoustic Tent

Another Glastonbury misnomer, as you will often find instruments being used here which seem far from acoustic. Another great place to get some peace and quiet, as the tent is in a location away from most of the crowds, although the occasional big name appearance such as Robert Plant can soon change that!

Avalon Stage

Situated in the Avalon field, this is really entering into the realms of bands that are unheard of to all but specialist fans. Having said that the occasional well known act can still turn up on the bill, none more so than the legendary Rolf Harris in 2000, when the crowd was so big it almost brought the tent down.

Circus Tent

Something that took us a couple of years to discover, but well worth seeking out. Like many we first wandered in as a refuge from the rain, but once in there we stayed well after the sunshine had returned! All the usual circus acts are there, from magicians to trapeze artists, to strange women encouraging the crowd to roar like lions. The tent is the focal point of the Circus Field, where you can also have a go at things like juggling and trapezing yourself, or just lie back on watch the weird and wonderful go on around you.

Cabaret Tent

Home to many of the festivals regular performers like Attila the Stockbroker and John Otway, several of whom make multiple appearances over the weekend. Often the best entertainment is on during the daytime, when you can often catch a top comedian or “humourous” musical show.

Left Field Tent

Not a place to go if you’re a fan of war, the USA or Israel! The left field tent contains a variety of speakers and stalls promoting various causes, most related to either global or domestic politics. There’s plenty of interesting stuff to see and listen to if your into that sort of thing, if not the tent also has a bank of computers with webcams, which allow you to send e-postcards to those stuck at work, whatever your political ideas!

The Glade

Hidden away in the woods between the Other Stage and the Old Railway line, the Glade is a place to get dancing. Well at least it was, until the G Stage was shfited to the new dance village. Hopefully little else will change, as the area was set up to provide a complete sonic and visual experience, and you will find people “making shapes” at any time of the day. The Glade also has a café to allow you to have a rest and chill out for a while in relative comfort. After the 2005 festival we will know more about what remains in this area!

The Stone Circle

There is no organised entertainment up here, but for many people just sitting amongst the stones, looking down on the site is a highlight of the festival. We’ve never made it to the dawn ritual drumming at sunrise, but it is supposed to be an awesome experience, just a shame its so early in the morning.

Cinema Field

A great end to the night, the outdoor cinema starts up at about 10pm, and plays top films throughout the night. A unique Glasto experience as you can sit and watch the film as those around you sleep, light fires, or finish off their cider.

Lost Vagueness

Perhaps the strangest area of the festival, where you can find a chapel, a casino and a ballroom, as well as all sorts of strange objects. Its open later than the rest of the festival, which attracts huge late-night crowds, but the popular Lost Stage was removed after it caused safety concerns in 2003. A look at the Lost Vagueness website might give you some idea of what to expect.

Cider Bus

The most legendary part of the festival for the HMZ team, where endless hours can be spent savouring the Burrow Hill cider. Provides many with their first taste of real cider, and also sells the strangely popular hot spicy cider. All the workers are well up for a laugh and a sing-song at the end of the night, so long as all the songs are about cider! You can also hear the music on the Pyramid Stage clearly, which can be a right pain when the Manic Street Preaches start interrupting your cider drinking.

Band Stand

A small stage not far from the cider bus, the bandstand is usually the venue for musicians who have managed to blag a gig at the last minute. However, on the Sunday afternoon of 2000 it was absolutely packed for the appearance of the Wurzels, and for one fantastic hour the air was filled with “Drink Up Thy Zider” as the crowd danced the conga around the stage.


One of the major charities supported by the festival, along with Oxfam and Water Aid, Greenpeace have a field where they promote their campaigns. Among the attractions are a climbing wall, solar-power showers, and the “soul-mates” dating tent, where you can arrange a blind date during the festival if you want to add some loving to your weekend. Greenpeace also bring along a replica of their Rainbow Warrior ship, which makes for quite a good playground, whatever your age.

Healing Fields

Another part of Glastonbury you’ve probably heard a lot about, the healing fields consist of many small tents, offering all manner of healing techniques from head massages to herbal remedies. The effectiveness of these is obviously open to question, but the field provides a tranquil setting if you need to get away from it all for a while. There is also a huge variety of organic and vegetarian food and drink on offer, but don’t let that put you off.

Dance and Fire Stage

Hosts a fire show each night, attendance at which so far remains an unfulfilled ambition of the HMZ team, mainly as it usually clashes with the headline bands and we prefer to put on our own fire show. Hopefully 2005 will be the year we make it, in the meantime not much really to say about this field except that on our visit last year a samba band was playing and some people were walking round on stilts as giant footballers. And we met a group of horses dressed in dinner jackets.

Kids Field

Its not a condition of entry that you are young, but as you would expect the entertainment is very much aimed at children. Bodger and Badger usually make an appearance, and there is a helter skelter and some swings, other than that who knows what goes on in there?

The Market

Taking up a large portion of the centre of the site are the market areas. These range from food and drink stands, to stalls selling clothes, hats, camping equipment, memorabilia, legal drugs and anything else you can imagine really. The food on sale at Glastonbury represents all corners of the world, with the mass of burger stands matched by noodles, pasta, baguettes, kebabs, curries, pizza, fresh fruit and fry-ups to name but a few. The prices are a little higher than you might normally pay, but generally £5 will ensure you are well fed for the night.

below is just the circus and theatre portion of the festival.

40 years young

Aileen from Scotland

Amy Saunders comperes Mavericks

Bella’s Bridge

Bella’s prayer wheels

Betty Brawn and the Human Carousel

Betty Brawn, the world’s strongest woman

Cocoloco’s Alice and Alice

Dragon at dawn

Ed Byrne in the Cabaret

Ed Byrne speaks out

Elemental Entertainments entertain

Fancy a 99 anyone?

High Rise Rubber

Jay Toor finale

Jay Toor shines

Kawa Circus dancer

Kawa Circus show

Late night variety at Mavericks

Love hearts from the Legendary Lynn

Malte from Spot the Drop

Matt Barnard

“Me through that? No way!”

Original Mixture

Product placement

Rimski’s Piano

Rumple in his finery

Rumple the Kangaroo Fool of Aus

Sally Miller sparkles

Sally Miller splits

Sharon Mahoney from Canada

Spot the Drop entertain

Sunset sitdown

The beautiful Cabaret tent

The Bowjangles

The Cabaret Stage

The Circus Big Top

The Garden in Bella’s Field

The Matchbox Big Band

The Sensation Seekers gather

Thomas Flanagan

Tom Flanagan climbs

Tom pours

Tom prepares to backflip

Trent Arkley Smith and friends

View from Bella’s Bridge

Woody Bop Muddy gets a face full of rice

Woody Bop Muddy gives the Mavericks crowd the same treatment

Woody’s rice bazooka

Zoid Productions, “Who are you looking at?”

now all i have left to do is get these pesky OSCEs and EMQs out of the way with (40 frigging percent of my 6 years university degree), and dream of the three and a half months of summer holiday after..

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Winter Wonderland

March 20, 2011 at 7:30 pm (friends, life!, pictures)

at Hyde Park, from Liang Ze’s visit over new year. his friend took this picture on her camera; the photo quality seems pretty crap for a DSLR, no?

anyway the affair has grown a whole deal larger since i first went 2 years ago. German markets, mulled wine, carnival rides (including a roller coaster, haunted mansion, crazy mirror maze and a huge Ferris wheel), funfair games, DJs and live music, talking reindeer and dancing tree stumps – definitely check it out during the Dec – Jan period if you happen to be popping around London for a visit then.

cookie dough please
PS every winter/cold snap Tescos and Sains sells BnJs and Haagen Daaz at 2 pounds each (one of the rare items you can purchase for a lot cheaper than in Singapore). guess how many tubs of both i have in my freezer now :]

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Menu Choices

March 17, 2011 at 7:38 pm (friends, life!, med, school)

what to pick????

1. lobster bisque/scallops
2. venison/lamb
3. crumble/brulee?

SMSUK’s annual dinner this year will be held at the Royal Society of Medicine on the 30th March! Be prepared for a sumptuous three course meal at this exclusive venue, and a very attractive Waterstones book voucher (worth £20) for each guest, courtesy of our sponsors MOHH and Thomson Medical. Join us for what promises to be a very enjoyable night of good food and great company.

There will also be a lucky draw for very attractive prizes, including 40 signed copies of Surgical Talk by Andrew Goldberg!

Here are the details:

Date: 30 March 2011
Time: 7-11pm (pre-dinner reception with free glass of prosecco)
Venue: Royal Society of Medicine, One Wimpole Street W1G 0AE (Map attached)
Price: £35
Dress Code: Formal

Menu (Choose one from each):

1. Lobster bisque with crab and spring onion ravioli
2. Seared Cornish scallops with celeriac and truffle remoulade, with a tomato chutney
3. Oven roasted tomato soup with a Confit vine plum tomato and chive cream (v)

Main course
1. Baked salmon fillet with smoked garlic and baby spinach, shallot and herb potato rosti and a red wine beurre blanc
2. Braised medallions of venison with sage dumplings, bitter chocolate sauce and served with a smoked creamed potato, with glazed baby vegetables
3. Oven roasted rump of lamb and rosemary, served with a bubble and squeak cake, glazed baby vegetables, carrot and cumin puree and a Madeira jus
4. Filo parcel of oyster mushrooms, feta cheese and tarragon with Confit tomato sauce (v)

1. Warm rhubarb and stem ginger crumble served with a shot glass of vanilla custard cream
2. Dark chocolate and mint bombe with maraschino cherries
3. Passion fruit crème brulee with a blackberry sorbet

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