Manchester – My second Home

I don’t know why this article came to me via Facebook. It triggers a lot of good memories and makes me “home-sick”.

Manchester is my second home! I can always say this with confidence and no shame. It is the place where I knew the Lord Jesus, my spiritual birth city. Thanks for the many brothers and sisters at Manchester Chinese Christian Church who shared the gospel and their lives with me. Although it was more than 33 years ago, Manchester still has a very special place in my heart.

My two children studies in Manchester University, so my wife (I knew and married in Manchester too) and I visited the city more regularly these years. Whenever we were back there, we will not miss visiting our dear Christian friends, Elder Eric and Sau Ngor, Pastor Kim Lau and Josephia and Michael Poon and Swee Leng. Thank God for the long lasting friendship. Of course, we will visit our “home church” at Yarburgh Street, Whalley Range.

Visit my second home - Manchester Chinese Christian Church at Yarburgh Street, Whalley Range

Visit my second home – Manchester Chinese Christian Church at Yarburgh Street, Whalley Range

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Tips for Photographing Popular Tourist Destinations

I know you frustration…….

When you visit a popular tourist destination, you will probably find that the place has been photographed thousand times by different people and you could hardly find something “new” to tell. I came across this article by Digital Photography School (http://digital-photography-school.com/) which can shed some lights on your next visit to places like London bridge, Venice, Pisa tower, Pulau Langkawi, Singapore’s Orchard Road……….

Happy learning together!

Tips for Photographing Popular Tourist Destinations

As photographers, we often note that one way to make interesting images that are different from the norm is to get our camera to out-of-the-way places that haven’t been flooded with photographers. But what about those times when you’re heading somewhere that has been photographed millions of times already? Is it possible to create interesting photos of tourist destinations? Can you create something intriguing if you’re headed to the Eiffel Tower, Golden Gate Bridge, Great Wall of China or Mount Rushmore?

I say yes. Let’s consider how you can make an interesting photo, or series of photos, at a famous location. Let’s look at an example from Alcatraz Island, the former prison that’s now a tourist destination in the San Francisco Bay.

Ahockley alcatraz 1

#1 First, cover the usual

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Tips to Take Great Vacation Photos

Want to take great photos in your vacations? Here are some useful tips.

I received very useful photography tips regularly from Digital-Photography-School.Besides I also see great photos posted in the site, gratifying satisfaction of my visual desire.

This is one of the site which I would highly recommend anyone who is interested in photography to subscribe. The website address is http://digital-photography-school.com/

I must say I do not take any commission from the school in recommending this 🙂

Enjoy this article and learn.

10 Ways to Improve your Vacation Photos

A Post By: Kai Behrmann

dPS-Detail

This has probably happened to all of us. We’ve just come back from an exciting trip and want to share all the wonderful moments with our friends and family. But after a brief moment we seem to be the only ones still enjoying the picture-show. Everyone else has quickly lost interest.

So what can we do to stop putting people to sleep with our vacation photos?

Here are some tips to help you take vacation photos that everybody will love. It’s easier than you might think, and it definitely doesn’t require expensive equipment. Keeping in mind some basic rules, you can take stunning images even with your mobile phone.

Let me take you to Paris and show you how with these 10 ways to improve your vacation photos: Continue reading

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Being rich is not how much you have but how much you give

Giving is a virtue and it’s working out of our faith

I received this short film via a Facebook friend.

The story is very simple but the meaning is great, especially for those of us who strive so hard to be successful and rich.

What is success? To different people, it means different things.

Some measure success by the amount of money you have (I mean that kept in your possession), some by the number of properties you own, some by the string of status you put on your name card, some by the profession you are in, some by the number of friends you have (everyone is talking about EQ and networking now)……..the list if endless. However, we notice that these measures are all based on money, material possession and fame.

What is success? Continue reading

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A Real Touching Story of a Chinese teacher

Let us not love by words only but by actions

I received this video shared by Sister Adeline this morning. I find it a great encouragement for us to continue loving in actions and not only by words.

The video is about a 30 year old man spending his time as a teacher in a poverty stricken village in Yunan Province of China. He can play guitar and compose songs. He joined a Talent Search programme with a simple desire to earn more money which could afford him to buy meat for his students. He did not mention a word of loving these children but his action spells “sacrificial love” for them and it can be understood by all.

There are so many passages in the bible telling us that our belief is like noisy gong if it does not touch others’ lives and make a difference. Continue reading

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Memorable Travel at Zhangjiajie – Part 1 张家界之旅 (一)

鬼斧神工的张家界

I cannot remember when did I create this video. It must be when I first came back from the tour and was playing with some kind of video editing software.

我已经忘记什么时候制作这部短片。我想应该是我旅游回来没多久,在尝试录影软件时制作的吧?

Anyway, I am very pleased to share with you this beautiful place in China. The natural landscape is amazing. As you stand and gaze at the majestic mountains and strange-looking landscape near and far, you will not help but to praise the wisdom and majestic of our Creator.

我很高兴能够跟你们分享这个中国土地上的一块珍宝。张家界的自然地势是让人惊叹的。当你站立在连崖上观看雄伟壮观的山群和奇山怪石,你只能惊叹造物主的伟大和智慧。

I hope you enjoy it.

我希望大家享受观赏。 Continue reading

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Travel Tips: How to choose a backpack?

Backpacking – the way to go when you are young…….

“I am probably too old to do backpacking travel.” This is a subjective statement, I know. Many travel enthusiasts will disagree with me, they can do backpacking though they are in their 60’s or even 70’s.

Well, I did backpacking in Western Europe when I was 20 with my then student flatmate Clarence Yeung. It was an experience that I would not want to exchange with any other forms of traveling. The thrill of finding all necessary information such as accommodation, eating places, supermarkets (for packed lunch), tourist attractions, train time table…..etc is really training us to make decisions quick in an unfamiliar land. We used to spend a few hours sleep on the bench (or even floor) in train stations just to get a connected train to a destination. Of course, you can choose not to do that. Being a student from Asian country where foreign exchange made it expensive to spend in Europe, we just tried to minimize traveling time and accommodation costs.

Both Clarence and I used backpacks. It was just not practical to bring bulky and beautiful luggage (this is reserved for exotic travel with escorted tours). My backpack was an inexpensive one made of nylon and with no famous brand. However, it had all the ingredients of a good backpack.

Yes. Choosing a good and suitable backpack is not an easy job. Most of the good and branded ones are quite expensive. Continue reading

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Good news for Japanese food lovers in Kuala Lumpur

12 Japanese Restaurants in Kuala Lumpur that are insanely delicious

My daughter knows that her parents and brother are Japanese food lovers, so she shared the following blog post with us.

I also know that many of my friends love Japanese food too, so here it goes……check them out and see whether you can find good ones without the “exotic” price tag. 🙂 Continue reading

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Valentine’s Day – You want to travel?

Blessed Valentine’s Day (3 days in advance)

I received this message from Lonely Planet…… sharing with me the 10 “best” traveling places on Valentine’s Day – well, at least for the rich and well to do couples.

Personally I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day because it is really too commercial. You may say I am not a romantic lover cum husband, I just don’t see the point to buy a stalk of rose for many times its’ price in “normal” days! My practical mind overcomes any slight impulse of wanting to be romantic. 🙂 I thank God that my wife Julia has the same idea. She said, “Why don’t we save that money and spend it on something else on another day, that gives us added purchasing power and value for the same amount of money.” Yay! It’s blessed to have a wife who has the same mind.

I want to share this not because I “condone” spending lavishly on Valentine’s Day………it’s just that the photographs in this are so beautiful that I want you to enjoy the places with your eyes if you are like me cannot afford to be there. Continue reading

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Life is like coffee

What do you value the most in life?

I received this inspirational video from Pastor Inky – and I like it!

It spells of wisdom from the professor and it highlights the main issues facing us today:

We chase after the unimportant things and forget about what is the most valuable.

What is valuable can be very different to different people. To me a simple test is this:

What money can buy cannot be most valuable;

I am looking for things which matter most in life – relationships.

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恭祝大家农历新年蒙恩 Wishing all a blessed CNY

农历新年终于到了 Finally….Chinese New Year is here

时间过得真快,一转眼明天就是年除夕了。除夕夜是华人全家聚集一起吃团圆饭的日子。现今的年轻人,因为个人主义抬头,大家庭制度的流失,已经无法明白团圆饭的意义了。

Time flies…..we are going to celebrate Chinese New Year Eve tomorrow. Usually it is a time when the whole family (including all extended family members) having a reunion dinner together. With the increasing individualistic value and extended family disappearing rapidly, the younger generations may not see the significance of this event.

可是,你们知道吗?这个简单的年夜饭是很多长辈日夜等待的日子,尤其是他们的儿孙没有跟他们同住的老人。

Do you know? For most of elderly family members, this is a day they have been looking forward for the entire year. This is especially true when most of their children and grand children are staying away from them for the rest of the year.

他们殷切盼望见到你们 They are looking forward to seeing you…………….

Continue reading

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Wow! These are in Malaysia.

I received this note from my friend, introducing 7 amazing places in Malaysia where we can visit without going abroad.

I have not tried them out, the pictures do look impressive. I guess they also come with quite a big PRICE Tag. 🙂

Extract from Female Magazine:

7 Amazing Places to Vacation at in Malaysia

December 27, 2013 2:36 PM by Rachel Au

Please forget to bring your passport and flight tickets.

Forget Paris and Hollywood land (okay, maybe don’t but let’s just put them aside) because if you’re really looking for a relaxing getaway, we say there’s no place better than home: Malaysia. We’ve listed down a range of spots within the country where you can just turn off and unwind for a few days.

 WITHIN KUALA LUMPUR 

villa samadhi

Villa Samadhi

Despite being 10 mins from the heart of KL, this villa residence is akin to a retreat within a retreat, where privacy and comfort is ensured. Especially perfect for couples, some rooms even come with a modern kitchen, a private garden or even a private Jacuzzi!

Psst… TripAdvisor rated it #2 of 245 hotels in Kuala Lumpur.

villa samadhi kl

Address: No. 8, Jalan Madge, 55000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: +603 2143 2300
Reservation Tel:  +603 2161 0769
Email: reservations@villasamadhi.com.my
Website: http://www.villasamadhi.com.my
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VillaSamadhi

anggun boutique hotel kl

Anggun Boutique Hotel

A hidden gem within the Golden Triangle, the cool retreat is as its name perfectly describes it: elegant. With the designs and furnishings (handmade, by the way) of a good ol’ Malaysian house, you’ll definitely feel at home instantly!

Psst… The building was once home to a very successful Chinese immigrant.

anggun boutique hotel kl 2

Address: 7 & 9, Tengkat Tong Shin, Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: +603-2145 8003
Email: reservations@anggunkl.com, hello@anggunkl.com
Website: http://www.anggunkl.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anggun90210

 AN HOUR AWAY FROM KL 

sekeping serendah 2

Sekeping Serendah Retreat

Two words: glass house. If you’re looking for an entirely unplugged weekend, this is the retreat for you. Nestled within 5 acres of a tropical rainforest, get in touch with nature and just enjoy the peace and quiet. Great for a party of people, there’s also a BBQ pit and a swimming pool!

Psst… There are also waterfalls, Orang Asli villages, fishing lakes, the Serendah golf course and jungle treks available nearby for you to explore.

sekeping serendah retreat

Address: N3.368050, E101.631150
Tel: +6012 324 6552 (Christina)
Email: serendah@sekeping.com
Website: http://www.sekeping.com/serendah/home.html
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sekepingretreats

 MELAKA 

calanthe artisan loft melaka

Calanthe Artisan Loft

Quick! Pack your friends and load them into the car for a roadtrip to Melaka coz we’ve found a pretty snazzy place for you to stay! A creative home concept, it’s comfortable for 4 peeps and is quite the sight for everyone’s eyes with its intense decor.

Psst… It’s just a few steps away from Jonker Street.

calanthe artisan loft melaka 2

Address: 16, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, (Heeren Street), 75200 Melaka
Tel: +6019 656 5619, +6019 355 9829
Email: calantheartisanloft@gmail.com
Website: http://calantheartisanloft.webs.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Calanthe-Artisan-Loft/507937325901044

 PENANG 

Macalister Mansion penang

Macalister Mansion

Feel like a Queen when you check in to this ultra-luxe destination that has been designed based on an old English mansion. All 8 rooms in the boutique hotel are not the same; each has its own bespoke features and artwork to match its individual themes. Let’s just say, you’ll forget you’re actually still in the same country.

Psst… CNN listed it as one of its 9 Best Luxury Resorts in Malaysia!

Macalister Mansion penang 2

Address: 228 Macalister Road, 10400 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Tel: +604 2283 888, +6012 632 7729
Email: contactus@macalistermansion.com
Website: http://www.macalistermansion.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Macalister.Mansion

 IPOH 

banjaran hotsprings retreat

Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat

Rejuvenating geothermal hot springs, cascading waterfalls, natural caves; this place is fully equipped with the resources to put your body, mind and soul back to its peaceful balance. Located in a valley and surrounded by 280 million-year old towering Paleozoic limestone hills and a lush rainforest, it’s practically a sanctuary!

Psst… Other facilities include: a Thermal Steam Cave, Ice Bath, Garra Rufa Doctor Fish Pool, geothermal-heated swimming pool, Spa & Wellness Centre, jacuzzi and many more!

banjaran hotsprings retreat 2

Address: No. 1, Persiaran Lagun Sunway 3, Sunway City Ipoh, 31150 Ipoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia
Tel: +605-210 7777
Email: info.kl@thebanjaran.com
Website: http://www.thebanjaran.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/banjaranhotsprings

 SEREMBAN 

the shorea seremban

The Shorea

Built within a tropical forest reserve, the resort is an appreciation of nature itself. Build mostly from recycled shorea timber, it’s a great place for some R&R with magnificent views of the surrounding mountains.

Psst… You’ll also get to catch the beautiful sunrise and sunset at the Sun Decks.

the shorea seremban 2

Address: Kampung Kolam Air, Mukim Pantai, Jalan Jelebu, 71770 Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia
Tel: +6017 338 5698
Email: info@theshorea.com
Website: http://www.theshorea.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheShorea

*All photos via their respective FB pages/websites.

At the end of it all, you will probably exclaim “WOW”, hopefully it follows “it’s so amazing that they are all in Malaysia” and not “it is so expensive”. LOL

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More about Shakespearean Sites

Yesterday I shared with you our family’s visit to this beautiful English town Stratford Upon Avon. (Click here for details)

Today, I am sharing this great article published by Lonely Planet. It is surprising to see the Shakespearean effects in different cities and towns. We can find the shadows of William Shakespeare, not only in the beautiful English town of Stratford Upon Avon, but in many other places in the world.

Ten Shakespearean sites for travellers

by SARAH BAXTER· 28 October 2013

With 2014 heralding the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth, celebrate the Bard at some of his old haunts and best play places.

Shakespeare's Birthplace, in Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, England. Image by Glenn Beanland / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images.

Shakespeare’s Birthplace in Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, England. Image by Glenn Beanland / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images.

Stratford-upon-Avon, England

It all started on Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, in 1564. In a half-timbered wattle-and-daub house on a busy thoroughfare in this Warwickshire town, William Shakespeare was brought into the world. The 16th-century pad could hardly have foreseen its future stardom. Now, it’s one of England’s most famous dwellings, converted into a museum that recreates Will’s world, complete with period furnishings and a Tudor herb garden. But really, the whole town is Shakespeare-upon-Avon: pay your respects at Anne Hathaway’s comely cottage (former home of his wife), Mary Arden’s House (home of his mum) and the RSC Theatre, home of his living literary legacy.

The Royal Shakespeare Company is based at the Royal Shakespeare and Swan theatres in Stratford; for program see www.rsc.org.uk.

Verona, Italy

‘But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?’ ’Tis likely the flash of a thousand cameras! The balcony of Verona’s Casa de Giulietta is not a secret spot. And though Shakespeare’s teen-love tragedy was set in the city, it’s rather doubtful that this humble 13th-century courtyard had anything to do with anyone who may have inspired Romeo and Juliet. But why let the truth get in the way of a good tourist attraction? Besides, with its enormous Roman amphitheatre, red-brick Castelvecchio, cobbled old streets and twisting River Adige, the city exudes plenty of real romance.

Entrance to the courtyard of Juliet’s House is free; there is a fee to enter the house and stand on the balcony.

Turrets and gables of Elsinore (Helsingor) Castle, made famous in Shakespeare's 'Hamlet,' framed in the castle gate. Image by Tom Horton, Further To Fly Photography / Flickr / Getty Images.

Turrets and gables of Elsinore (Helsingor) Castle, made famous in Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’, framed in the castle gate. Image by Tom Horton, Further To Fly Photography / Flickr / Getty Images.

Helsingør, Denmark

The first Kronberg Castle dates back to the 1420s, when it was erected on the eastern tip of Zealand to guard the narrow Øresund Strait. Then, thanks to Frederik II ’s fancy renovations in the late 16th century, it became one of Europe’s key Renaissance fortifications. This reputation obviously travelled fast, for when penning Hamlet around 1600, Shakespeare placed his troubled prince right here. Now forever known as Elsinore, the castle has embraced its literary associations. Frequent productions of Hamlet are performed within Kronberg’s walls, which over the years have seen Laurence Olivier, Derek Jacobi and Jude Law take on the role of the great Dane.

Trains runs from Copenhagen Central to Elsinore (45 minutes). Kronberg is a 15-minute walk from the station.

Scotland

Macbeth has a bad rep – Shakespeare did not write the 11th-century Scot well, making him out to be a power-hungry murderer with an unhinged missus. But was he really so bad? The Macbeth Trail driving route, launched in 2013, might suggest not, linking locations from Shakespeare’s play to the actual man. Glamis Castle (Wills called Macbeth the ‘Thane of Glamis’), Lumphanan (the Aberdeenshire village where Macbeth was killed in battle in 1057) and Cairn O’Mount (where Macbeth took his supporters en route to Lumphanan) are all on the trail – with some suitably dramatic Scottish scenery in between.

The castle and gardens at Glamis, 20km north of Dundee, are open for tours March to November (www.glamis-castle.co.uk).

Statue Of King Charles I with Scotland's Glamis Castle as the backdrop. Image by Helena Smith / Dorling Kindersley / Getty Images.

Statue Of King Charles I with Scotland’s Glamis Castle as the backdrop. Image by Helena Smith / Dorling Kindersley / Getty Images.

Maruyama, Japan

Did you read the one about the Bard and the bullet train? No one did – until 1997, when some Surrey-based architects built a slice of Elizabethan England not far from Tokyo. The flashing neon of Japan’s capital is still visible from Maruyama’s incongruous Shakespeare Country Park. An animatronic Will welcomes bardolators to this cluster of half-timbered cottages arranged around a village green, complete with stocks and maypole. Imported British oak supports the replica birthplace, Mary Arden’s house and a windmill, all constructed using traditional methods – though earthquake-proofed to suit the new location, 16,000km and five centuries away.

Shakespeare Country Park is around 80km northeast of Tokyo. The on-site theatre puts on Shakespeare’s plays (in Japanese).

Alexandria, Egypt

Antony & Cleopatra is all over the place: location-wise, the play flits across the Roman Empire. But it’s the scenes set in Alexandria that are the most exotic – and most tragic. In today’s Mediterranean-side city, mementoes of Cleo – Queen of Egypt from 51 to 30 BC – are scant. Her royal palace was destroyed by earthquakes, and lies sunken in the ancient harbour (though an underwater museum has been mooted); the Pharos lighthouse, built by one of Cleopatra’s ancestors, is likewise submerged. For now, the best bet is to promenade the Corniche, and ponder the glories that wait beneath the waves.

The Alexandria National Museum, located in an Italianate mansion on Tariq Al-Horreya St, documents the history of the city.

Mount Párnitha, Greece

Mount Párnitha National Park has nothing to do with Shakespeare. But since the main setting of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a rather non-specific ‘wood outside Athens’, it’s as good a bet as any. It’s certainly the most enchanting. While the capital’s suburbs have gobbled up much surrounding countryside, this swathe of caves, gorges, peaks, trails and fir forest – just 30km to the northwest – is an accessible and surprising wilderness. Inhaling its fragrant pine, walking amid its wildflowers and gazing up to 1413m Karavola (the park’s highest summit), it’s easy to imagine Titania and Oberon dancing amid the trees.

Bus 714 runs from central Athens to Thrakomakedones, where a cable car runs up into Mount Párnitha National Park.

Vancouver, Canada

Some historians believe Francis Drake stopped by the spot we call Vancouver in 1579; most think the Spanish got there first, but not until 1791. Either way, Shakespeare would have known little of this distant western land, and certainly set no works there. Yet, each year, Vancouver celebrates Will like he’s their own. Every summer since 1990 the Bard on the Beach festival has provided affordable access to Shakespeare: two stages are erected in waterfront Vanier Park, and a program of plays, talks and even a tasty bard-b-q is put on, against a breathtaking backdrop of mountains, sea and sky.

The Bard on the Beach festival runs from June to September in Vanier Park, Kitsilano; tickets and information are available from www.bardonthebeach.org.

Isola Bella, Taormina. Image by Slow Images / Photographer's Choice / Getty Images.

Isola Bella, Taormina. Image by Slow Images / Photographer’s Choice / Getty Images.

Messina, Sicily, Italy

Shakespeare set Much Ado About Nothing in Messina, northeast Sicily. A creative decision, or a hint at much more ado? In 2002 Sicilian professor Martino Iuvara put forth a theory: Shakespeare actually hailed from Messina. Iuvara alleged that young Sicilian noble Michelangelo ‘Crollalanza’ (‘Shakespeare’ in Italian) emigrated to England and went on to wed Anne Hathaway – an excellent translator. Maybe. Maybe not. But when it’s drizzling in Stratford-upon-Avon, Messina’s sunshine, pizzas and piazzas might seem a more attractive bard-honouring option.

Ferries connect Messina to Villa San Giovanni on Italy’s mainland (20 minutes).

Shakespeare’s Globe, London, England

The Globe, one of the first purpose-built playhouses in London, was constructed on the Southbank in 1599 – and Shakespeare was a shareholder. It burned down in 1613, during a performance of Henry VIII (stage cannons and thatch roofs don’t mix). Sketches of the theatre are, well, sketchy. Best guesses reckon it was a 20-sided roofless polygon built of oak laths and lime plaster. In 1997, these guesses took shape and a new Globe opened, 230m from the site of the original.

The Globe’s theatre season runs April to October; the exhibition and site tour is open year-round (www.shakespearesglobe.com).

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Stratford Upon Avon – A Beautiful Town with substance

Those of us who studied English literature would never miss this famous name, William Shakespeare. One of his well known quote, “To be, or not to be: that is the question”. – Hamlet (Act III, Scene I) is becoming a “must” when we talk about play and literature.

How many of us know the birth place of this great writer? We might have read “Stratford Upon Avon” as we studied Shakespeare’s life story but it seems to be a far away town that has no connection with us at all.

My family had an opportunity to visit this Shakespearean town and was amazed by the richness it offers. We enjoyed the historical sites as well as the beautiful scenery (and the graceful swans too) along the river side. I am here to share some of the photographs captured in this town. Being a new and learning photographer, we did not manage to take great pictures. However, all these pictures form happy memories for the family – because we spent time together in this beautiful town together.

Stratford Upon Avon -  "Avon" literally means river. It is based on the word "afon" in Welsh, with the same meaning

Stratford Upon Avon –
“Avon” literally means river. It is based on the word “afon” in Welsh, with the same meaning

My two children standing between a "king" and a "queen" - we have to pay to take pictures with them though

My two children standing between a “knight” and a “queen” – we have to pay to take pictures with them though

Both Julia and the swans seem to love this avon

Both Julia and the swans seem to love this avon

A must place to visit - Shakespeare's Birth Place

A must place to visit – Shakespeare’s Birthplace

The old Shakespeare's Birthplace is now a library -  The more modern building next to it is where all Shakespeare's information and multimedia presentations are

The old Shakespeare’s Birthplace is now a library –
The more modern building next to it is where all Shakespeare’s information and multimedia presentations are

British starter at Red Lion Public House

British starter / snacks at Red Lion Public House

A statue in the middles of a garden besides the avon

A statue in the middles of a garden besides the avon

Henry had his favorite scone and tea set in a cafe by the quiet waters.

Henry had his favorite scone and tea set in a cafe by the quiet waters.

The house of Shakespeare's mother (Mary Arden)

The house of Shakespeare’s mother (Mary Arden)

The British is taking Shakespeare's historical sites very seriously, gradually unearth precious information for further studies

The British is taking Shakespeare’s historical sites very seriously, gradually unearth precious information for further studies

Shakespeare came from a rich family - but the facilities in the room is somewhat simplistic by today's standard.

Shakespeare came from a rich family – but the facilities in the room is somewhat simplistic by today’s standard.

Can you guess what this is? Well, it is used for toileting at night in the room.

Can you guess what this is? Well, it is used for toileting at night in the room.

A happy couple smiling away in the town centre. You would love to walk in these streets.

A happy couple smiling away in the town centre. You would love to walk in these streets.

One of relatively inexpensive way of traveling in UK is to stay in Bed & Breakfast. It is still expensive to me!

One of relatively inexpensive way of traveling in UK is to stay in Bed & Breakfast. It is still expensive to me!

Relatively comfortable room to have 4 of us staying in

Relatively comfortable room to have 4 of us staying in

It wasn't that sunny - the sunglasses just made us look cool - the entrance of B & B

It wasn’t that sunny – the sunglasses just made us look cool – the entrance of B & B

Do you believe that there are people staying inside this boat? It's a boat house.

Do you believe that there are people staying inside this boat? It’s a boat house.

We were told that this is a favorite spot for afternoon tea - but it's a bit pricy

We were told that this is a favorite spot for afternoon tea – but it’s a bit pricy

In front of the theater which screens Shakespearean plays

In front of the theater which screens Shakespearean plays

This is a typical tudor style buildings in Stratford Upon Avon

This is a typical tudor style buildings in Stratford Upon Avon

You shouldn't miss the farm where you could freely feed the cattles

You shouldn’t miss the farm where you could freely feed the cattle

It's an extremely precious shot - because 4 of us are in this picture

It’s an extremely precious shot – because 4 of us are in this picture

So dear friends, I hope you enjoy these photos. If you do visit the U.K., please consider include Stratford Upon Avon in your visiting list. You will not be disappointed. It is a beautiful town with substance.

Categories: Photography, Travels & Holidays | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Celebrating Chinese New Year with Songs and Red Decorations

RedNext Thursday is the Chinese New Year Eve. I decided to change the background of my Blog to reflect the festive season and its joyous mood.

It reminds us the year is coming to an end soon and a completely new year awaiting us. I pray that there is peace in every heart, peace in every nation and peace in the world.

And for every Christian, may Philippians 4:7 be with us always; “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Red is the favorite colour in Chinese New Year. Wherever you go, shopping centres, markets, shops, schools, recreation places and streets, you cannot miss the “redness” of these places. I wrote a Chinese article last year about this special colour in this festive season. Let me share with you.

大家一起过个红彤彤的新年

前几天,我买了些新年装饰品,墙上贴上红春联,客厅挂一串闪闪发亮的红爆竹,角落摆设红扇,置放一束红桃花,一篮子的柑和礼篮,再从书房拿出杭州买的”枫桥夜泊”的字画挂在饭厅………….真的满室春意盎然.爸爸一踏进家门,马上露出笑脸:”哈 哈,这样红彤彤的才有新年的气氛!” 他拖着小侄儿的手,站在春联面前,操着浓浓的客家音念着:”甜甜蜜蜜庆团圆,欢欢喜喜迎新年.”

传统的新年是红色的.

近几十年来,”传统”这个词儿让人标签成”落伍”,”老土”和”退步”等负面的意义.记得很多年前,市场风行全黑的“乌鸦”装,爱“酷”的青少年,大年初一也百无禁忌,穿了一身黑向祖父母拜年.长辈一看,脸一沉,背过身去,吐口唾液:”大吉利是!”在当年的确掀起一场热闹的”代沟战”.老的说,年青人不尊敬长辈,年初一穿黑色,象穿孝服出街,别人不知情,还以为家里死了人呢!小的也不甘示弱,他们说,老一辈食古不化,颜色本身是中立的,他们只是随己好穿戴,没半点不敬之意.当年我是个年青人,纵使我不苟老人家的迷信,我选择体恤他们的心情.他们多数没受过高深的教育,他们用咸咸的汗水和坚挺的背脊把一家人养活.他们最怕的是天灾人祸,命运强霸捣碎一家的幸福,所以他们要平安吉利,要风调雨顺,任何触霉头的东西都避而远之. 其实,我还很庆幸,年轻人只是把黑色穿戴身上,而不是让它们变成”乌云满地”.试想想,门前挂黑布条,春联黑纸写,收到的红包是”黑包”………这是怎样的一种新年啊?

传统的新年是连串好话如玉珠洒满地的季节.

新年里,除了保持红润健康的面颊,笑容可掬,温婉有礼外,也要操练自己多讲好话,免说触”霉头”不吉祥的话.新年期间说好话是合宜的.你听,大街小巷播放的贺岁歌曲:”……见面第一句话,就是恭喜恭喜…….”你看,做买卖的最爱收到”恭喜发财,生意兴隆,大展鸿图”的贺年片,同学们互道祝福,”学业进步,万事如意”永远受落,市井百姓要求”年年有余,身体健康,吉祥顺利”.但愿这不是流于表面功夫,乃是从心发出的祝福.

圣经里的箴言如此说:”一句话说得合宜,就如金苹果在银网子里。”金苹果在银网的画面本身就是一种美,绝对符合赏心悦目的标准.如果我们常年都慎言,诚心用话语祝福鼓励身边的人,我相信社会更美,我们的面容也会变得”赏心悦目”吧? 我希望天天是新年,人人讲好话,一切的误会,不欢, 咒诅和怨恨,都要了结,定意要重建温馨和睦的关系.

也许你会说我很老土,我还是喜欢红彤彤的新年,爱听充满温馨关怀的祝福语,它让我看到中国传统的颜色,感觉新春希望的喜悦,增添温馨和喜气,更让人与人的关系有重新出发的盼望.

Besides seeing red everywhere, you also hear Chinese new year songs being played everywhere. Most of the songs are traditional with fire crackers, drums and cymbals as the background. They are great to add to the festive atmosphere.

However, I like a more sentimental Chinese songs sung by Kelvin Lau 刘勇男 & Angie Leong 梁爱慈 recorded in 1997. Click the video below and start enjoying it.

Categories: Christian Faith, Fun Time, Reflections | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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