Sunday, 27 February 2011


Hello, Spring!
The weather was bright and sunny, lifting everybody's mood and also enticing people to head out just to be under this glorious weather.

This beautiful weather must have also made my regular fishmonger feel generous that he gave me a bag of mussels and two slices of fish fillets for free.

Mussels - I usually have them in restaurants, but never at home. So, I really had no idea what to do with it.
First thing I did when I reached home was to soak it in salt water, thinking it should be similar to lala..
Unfortunately, I was wrong.
I had this nagging feeling that I was doing something wrong and I had flashbacks of stories about people getting food poisoning after eating shellfish. So, I decided to google "How to cook mussels."

I read through three sites and all three stated that:
  • mussels should be alive when I cook it;
  • I should not soak the mussels in water because I will DROWN it!!
  • I'm suppose to knock the mussel's shell and if it opens and close easily, means it is safe to eat. If not, i should throw it away.
  • I needed to remove 'something hairy' sticking out of the mussels *It was icky*
  • I needed to scrub the shell to get rid of the other sea creatures that were stuck to it. *I threw a few mussels away because there were some really 'stubborn creatures'*
  • Any mussels with a cracked shell should be thrown away,
That's like a whole load of things to do. And I now see how there is always a chance of food poisoning when eating mussels in restaurants. Gotta be careful!

Oh, I actually don't know if my mussels were alive. I knocked it hard, but none of the mussels opened.....
So, I just dunked the scrubbed ones into hot boiling water... *I didn't hear any squeal like how live crabs do* After a few minutes, all the mussels opened up.... And I could feel my salivary glands producing more saliva in my mouth ;9

I made garlic butter mussels.
The mussels tasted really good. I could really tell the difference between those found in supermarkets and these ones. Its softer, juicier and very much less rubbery.

So, the last two rules of cooking mussels were:
  • Boil till the shell opens. Throw the closed ones away.
  • Do not boil too long if not it will be too rubbery
Too much of prep work to do for these mussels till I don't think I'd ever purposely buy them eventhough famous chefs say its the best thing to eat as it is fast to cook and absorbs flavours well.

On the bright side, I do love trying out new dishes to cook and watching people enjoy it too :)

One more benefit of doing stuff in the kitchn during spring - I get to wash dishes, look out the kitchen window, and see this:

Hello, spring again!

Sunday, 20 February 2011


A lovely blue winter sky (with the moon and a just-visible Jupiter below it) decorate the backyard of the internationally recognized Icelandic Nikita brand clothing store on Laugavegur. In winter, the store's owner, Heiða Birgisdóttir holds all-ages snowboarding competitions in this yard, and in the summertime the half-pipe in the left-hand corner of the picture lines with skaters big and small. Some amazing concerts have been held here as well, including Icelandic wonders GusGus and the very amazing Agent Fresco.


The daily mail wrote our Agung's name wrongly! They called him Yang Di. lol

They probably thought his full name was Yang Dipertuan Agung.....! Oh well, our Agung did get invited to Prince William and Kate's royal wedding :)

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Coloured people

A black man walks into a cafe one early morning and noticed that he was the only black man there. As he sat down, he noticed a white man behind him. The white man said, "Colored people are not allowed here." The black man turned around and stood up. He then said: "When I was born I was black, " "When I grew up I was black, " "When I'm sick I'm black, " "When I go in the sun I'm black, " "When I'm cold I'm black, " "When I die I'll be black." "But you sir..." "When you're born you're pink, " "When you grow up you're white, " "When you're sick, you're green, " "When you go in the sun you turn red, " "When you're cold you turn blue, " "And when you die you turn purple." "And you have the nerve to call me coloured" The black man then sat back down and the white man walked away...

Friday, 18 February 2011


Of late, Glasgow city has had two major building fires.
The first happened on 9th Feb, at one of the three shopping street I usually go to, Sauciehall St. CLICK TO READ THE NEWS.
Reading the article makes me add one more thing to my list of precautions when renting a place: Do not rent a unit above a restaurant.
Rent came to mind because its the time of the year to finalize our rent hunting for our summer placements.

Ten days after that, another fire occured at the East End. A wallpaper shop named Libby Libby was burnt down with the other shops next to it.... looks like a massive lost.

Fires are scary!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

More stamps on my passport, please...

There are things I will always miss and cherish as years go by. I've been fortunate enough to fly to numerous places... see and learn things... dwell on it... I wanna replay it, but there is so much more to see elsewhere....

Even an injury has a story to it to be remembered.

The time is nearing.......

Saturday, 12 February 2011

The pile

The reason for the hiatus: Things just keeps on pilling up!

Reason being 'everything learnt is new' so I can't just go home and throw the books aside, leave it for days and as those days go by, more new things are being taught...... Welcome to my life!

Why pay so much to be put under this incredible amount of pressure?
I guess its the love for a challenge. There's always the tendency to choose a task that is tough...

Going on with this rough ride because I'm halfway through and it is at a point of no return...

"If at first you don't succeed, try and try again."
I've come to love the above phrase because it relates to me and my attempt to make things. There is a perfectionist streak in me. I'll choose a project, and I will work on it repeatedly till it becomes successful. So, when I chose to make egg tarts, it needed to be perfect. Yes, the egg tarts came out perfect only after the fourth attempt.

Believe: There's always room for improvement as long as we persevere, push and aim for it :)

Tuesday, 8 February 2011


Gods on Mount Esja
Belief in gods arises from visions like this on the side of Mount Esja today.

Two faces peer out across the Faxaflói bay, disturbing my sensibilities and reminding me that it's not man in all our chaotic, often destructive, glory who owns this world, but some force we cannot understand. Painted in snow on a volcanic mountainside, this portrait of a man and creature lasted only as long as the incoming fierce storm permitted, and was witnessed by those who thought to look up, to look out a window, to see the world outside.

...and for our Bjössi, who recorded as biogen, and has passed: rest in peace, dear man.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Weather talk, again....

Treachorous! Thats what it is.

In Malaysia, I wished it was a bit cooler.
Upon arrival in Glasgow, it definitely was cooler.
But there's something called wishful thinking and also, doesn't the grass always look greener on the other side.
Back in September '10, the cool autumn weather didn't last long as I started experiencing raining spells and the occasional STRONG winds. Still BEARABLE!
Then winter came early. It became colder. Snow. Ice. Wet. Slush. After the first snowfall, I wished for no more snow.
Currently, I think it is spring already. Temperatures were good for a week or two. But the good never last long. Raining in Glasgow can be a bitch, but I think adding it with strong winds is ROAR!!

Today's wind+rain was horrid. It was possible to blow people away. I was drenched and pushed in the rain by the gusty wind. People's eye liner's on their face were even washed away. Hair on the head was a mess. WATERPROOF WINDBREAKERS WAS A NECESSITY (and waterproof shoes too)! I've definitely given up on using an umbrella. Basically the current weather makes me drenched, and also freezing cold!

This post came about after I saw tmr's forecast was not going to get better. Note the wind speed. Winter didn't really stopped me from going out, but i think this current weather could :(

Tuesday, 1 February 2011


...with Egypt on our minds while strolling through Perlan.

Amazingly, I found a book entitled Egypt and Iceland in the Year 1874, actually written in 1874 and published online in its original format. At first glance, it looks to be a 299-page travelogue written by a certain Bayard Taylor (1825 - 1878.) An absolute gem of historical knowledge!

For the more geologically minded, here is an article on the impact of the 1783 Láki fissure (Lákagígar) eruption on life in Egypt.

Regardless of any odd connections that we may have had in past centuries, though, today there is this one simple message that Iceland Eyes would like to send to the people of Egypt, one of the oldest recorded civilizations on our planet Earth:


(Parliament member Birgitta Jónsdóttir made sure yesterday in a Q & A session that Iceland's stance in Egypt's current affairs was clearly identified. You can read more about it here. )