Friday, December 31, 2010

Dramatic December

December has been an exhilarating month! It all started out with my Corporate Financial Management examination, of which I made a super boo-boo (unknowingly) - used the wrong buy/sell rate for calculation of mutual funds. Otherwise, I think I was way more easygoing this time around. Perhaps I'm just getting tired of exams!

And then it was full on to the planning of the CL's wedding reception decoration. We wanted to get the girl at the Section 9 shop to do some flower arrangements but when we went there on Sunday, the shop was closed and had a different name! So we started panicking and asked around if anyone who knew where the old shop had shifted to. However thank God a few days later we decided to try out the new shop, and voila, the girl was still there! She'd only changed the shop name, but everything was still the same.

And then came the rehearsal day. Nobody told me I was to be my aunty's chauffeur and so when I was awaken by a phone call, I jumped up, got dressed in record time and drove so fast. We went to SS2 for some last-minute purchases and 'char siew pau's for the tea ceremony. When we got back, it was already time to pick CL's best man from One World Hotel. I waited for my aunty while she went into the hotel to look for the best man. Unknowingly he was the one who was peering peculiarly into my car - and I thought he was just a KPC guy! hahaha (Note to self: shall not judge a book by its cover in future!)

Drove so fast on Sprint that I 'nearly' crashed into a line of cars stuck in a massive jam near Pusat Damansara. However thankfully we were able to reach church on the dot! The rest of the entourage was still missing btw! And I got yelled at by LK because he had lost his way somewhere in Damansara Heights. But ultimately, all arrived about an hour later and rehearsal commenced. I never knew that there were so many protocols to follow in a church wedding - from how you link arms and where to stand, to where the parents should sit in the front pews and when the couple should stand/kneel!

After the rehearsal, there was only enough time to send my aunty and the best man back and then fetch my friend (CY) to church to decorate the CRC for the wedding reception. Our problem was how to hang up the flower arrangement onto the brick arch at the CRC? In the end, dad suggested we hang the flower arrangement using the 'metal frame' of the ceiling and it worked!

Main piece of our decorations
The wedding was a nice one. We had great weather, thank God! I missed half of the church ceremony, manning the registration table outside, but I managed to witness the signing. After the reception, we hurried back to my aunty's house for the tea ceremony. And later on, I managed to catch some winks in the guest room before going for the Chinese dinner at Overseas Restaurant, Jaya One. Funny - CL managed to go for a jog/run before he dressed for dinner! So calm! haha

'Hollywood-like' IPOH sign
Good thing we managed to go for the Ipoh ceremony and dinner. This time I could sit back and witness everything! Although we reached the church a little late because we'd got lost in Ipoh... Anyway, I'm not going to elaborate here because the only person who'd be interested in reading it would be me! So on to the next event.

First time ever going to Lookout Point - it's somewhere near Hulu Langat! Journey was... interesting... we got lost and entered some sort of village road leading up to a dark deserted 'taman pertanian'. We, three girls, had to stop for directions three times but in the end managed to reach the hill. It was foggy when we were driving up the hill and parking was crazy up there! Food in Haven was ok, much better than I expected.

I had this - Chicken Chop
My friend had this - Lobster (was around RM80 - price ok right?)
The view - my hands were shaky and was using my Nikon point and shoot
And then it was Christmas! This year we went to DUMC for Christmas day service. I didn't realise that our church staged a Christmas musical on the eve, when I was falling asleep at our family reunion dinner. If I knew, I'd have gone for it - I was so near (location-wise), yet so far!

Christmas with the Wongs (gift exchange)
Christmas with the Leongs (Empire Hotel)
Christmas was nice. A lot of family moments - which is a rare thing, these days. Praise the Lord for Christmas!

However a few days later, my second encounter with flying objects occurred. My last post was about the incident with my windshield and a stone. Within that short span of time, I had another mishap. This time, I was waiting (stationary) at a traffic light near SS2, the 2 lane road next to an elevated portion of the LDP. I wasn't moving... yet some chunk of flying concrete found my car and collided with my driver's side door handle, scratching part of my rear side-window and paintwork on my door. The collision caused a loud whack sound, and I was worried that someone on the next lane had hit my car door (but my car didn't shake, so that wasn't it). At first I thought it was a stone flung by one of the passing cars on the next lane. But later, when I thought about it and saw that what hit me was like wet cement/concrete, I figured it could've been a cement mixer or truck traveling fast on the elevated LDP highway above us. I couldn't believe it that I'd had 2 close encounters with flying hard objects in a span of just 1 month! My car must've been some magnet towards flying objects! :(

Part of the damage. This was after I had scooped off a goop of wet cement/concrete
So ends my December and also 2010! Many sweet memories and 2 whopping flying objects!

End post. *Phew!*

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

2010 No Accident Record Shattered

Woke up late
Batu Tiga road jammed
Decided to turn off into Federal Highway (toll rate = RM1.10)
Federal Highway jammed, extended till the portion of road near the clock tower
Decided to turn off into Subang Airport road
All Clear
Took turn off route to Damansara toll exit
*Covers ears, squeeze eyes shut as auto reflex*
*Realises I can still steer the car - so it wasn't the tyres*
*Notices a 5 inch radial crack on windshield*
Continued driving
Stopped at the rest stop near the Damansara toll gates
Inspected damage
Called parents
Paid toll (RM1.00)
Continued on to office
Mechanic said the whole windshield would have to be replaced. He said we can claim the cost from our car insurer, as we did buy the rider which covers for windshield damages on top of the comprehensive insurance plan. He also said he could repair the more than 2 years old bumper damage from my first ever accident in 2008.

The damage
Apparently, the Myvi windshield has 2 layers of glass therefore the crack only penetrated the outer layer, and not all the way into the inner surface of the windshield. Nevertheless, with the crack, it would be easier for someone to poke a hole in my windshield if he wanted to.

I really thank God that the POP! wasn't my tyre exploding and that the crack was just at the corner and not my whole windshield. If it was either, I don't know whether I'd be here typing this now. I guess it was just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

A friend said I could make a report at the PLUS Highway office and make a claim from them - since the accident was caused by a flying stone from a grass-cutter along their highway. But I didn't take a receipt at the time, so it would be futile trying to prove to them that I was there at that time.

I can't believe that shortly after the incident happened, I started thinking about the mechanics of the accident. I was imagining how much kinetic energy the rock must've had in order to break the covalent bonds between the silica molecules in the glass. And perhaps the atoms/electrons would be spinning around frantically after the impact, maybe with some heat energy produced.

When I heard that the glass repairer could repair some cases of cracks, I started wondering how they would go about doing that. They would probably have to heat up the glass so that the displaced SiO2 molecules could realign themselves to a lattice arrangement and also the heat would provide the energy required for new covalent bonds formation. Anyway, I won't be able to see the outcome of a repaired glass windshield as mine is beyond repair and will be replaced with a new one.

So at the end of the day, I paid for an extra toll and ended up with a cracked windshield. Was it worth it?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Job Ad

I guess a job is still a job, irrespective of what it is - whether it is a GM or a GRO. I saw this job ad from a reputable job site daily digest in my email today:

High Pay Models : Beach Bash (RM1000 Per Day)
-We need you to be able to talk and look posh.
-We need you to be able to drink with vvip.
-We need you to be a open minded person hanky panky is POSSIBLE. (+pay)
-We need you to be a active person can run,swim,dance.
-On the job day (2days) transportation and accommodation is provided
-If you are shy,under age please dont apply

If you are interested please send your full-size most recent beach-dresses photos.Application without photos will not be entertain.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Imagination Plays in Dream

Yesterday on the way home, the car in front had a portion of a human arm sticking up from the sillhouette of the back seat. At first I thought it was a passenger holding up his hand to text on a phone or whatever. But the hand did not seem to move and looked pretty rigid and finally I saw that there was nothing in the grasp of the hand! That was when I started imagining there was probably a dead body in his rear seats - with rigor mortis, hence the uplifted arm! But let me be clear here that I do not have any proof of what I saw was what I thought it was - it could've very well been a mannequin's arm sticking up.

Anyway, the point of my post is that when I retired to sleep that night, I had a queer dream. We (a bunch of people whom I knew in the dream but none I could identify from among my real-life acquaintances) were at a private party in an old colonial building, wearing clothes from the 1920s. There was the usual pairing off and flirting of some of the guests. And at one point we had to buy some meat.

So, poof, suddenly I found myself in a butcher's shop (not like the Dettol-cleaned supermarket ones). There were packages of sausage and Chinese sausage on the wall racks and chillers with partially frozen packaged meats. I was in there with another girl, who was doing all the talking. She wanted to get some chicken thighs. I was just looking around when I started noticing certain peculiar looking meat cuts on display. And as I was passing one of the chillers, I saw this huge vacuum-packed thing - about 6 feet long - lying on the floor. At first I wasn't able to tell what dead animal it was but suddenly I realised it was a dead man inside the vacuum package. Nearby the plastic-wrapped body, there were human body parts partially butchered to be packaged and sold!

I remember trying to make excuses to my friend (the other girl) so that we could leave the shop immediately but she insisted on staying and getting what she needed. So I told her I'd wait for her outside and walked off trying to look as cool as if nothing had happened (but inside I was freaking out!).

I can't remember much of the rest of the dream after that. Talk about weird morbid dreams!?!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Bogus Traffic Report

After 5 detours and more than 2 hours on the road, I'm finally home! Let me just detail my time- and petrol-wasting adventure of the day.

Knowing that the rain would cause the 'highway-turned-massive-carpark' traffic phenomenon, well-talked of by Malaysian motorists, I decided to stay back in office and check the LLM Website for traffic updates. NKVE and LDP were reported to have high traffic. I could see the LDP photos to confirm the report, however the NKVE cameras were out, so I was solely relying on their text reports.

At around 7pm, after monitoring the traffic reports for at least 30 minutes, the NKVE reports changed to 'GENERALLY ALL TRAFFIC CLEAR'. So I quickly packed up and left my office, headed to NKVE and got stuck in a bad jam right after taking the toll ticket! After about 5 minutes of practically not moving, I decided to inch my way to the far right and go for the Kota Damansara exit (instead of my targeted Subang Exit). I was heading back towards my office area. So thanks to the NKVE traffic report, I had to pay RM1 (and petrol) to get into a massive jam and end up further from home.

To cut the long story short I then took the LDP, which was pretty clear, then had to make another detour before the 'new' ramp connecting the Subang airport road to USJ because the jam was spilling out everywhere. I took the U-turn back to Glenmarie, Shah Alam (avoiding the notorious Federal Highway) and got caught in another traffic jam around Section U1 or U2, made another 3 detours to finally get on to the road back home.

After 5 detours and more than 2 hours on the road, I feel like I'd just came back from an outstation trip! But it was just from office to home.... but the key word here is HOME. I'm home! Phew!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Shut That Gab!

Sometimes when I read our local news, I just wan't to lash out in public with unsavoury derogatory words, but I ALWAYS check myself and stop myself from doing so. If I can do it, then why the heck can't 'some people' do it too? Why the hell are all these politicians trying to stir shit? Making patronising, judgemental, racist statements! The reason of all our problems is SO clear but they just talk about it, saying that yes, we should do something about it and pretend to formulate campaigns. But is there any change in mentality? NO. Is anyone giving up their special rights for the better good of everyone else? NO. Do you really want US to be a part of YOUR TEAM? To the press, it is a 'yes', but deep down - NO.

So here lies our problem - this sham of a charade. What kind of leaders do we have - who do/say things just for short-term benefit, but which would have long-term damage. Aren't 'leaders' supposed to be visionaries? I guess that doesn't apply in this part of the world.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Crap Threshold

I used to think that my ability to accept nonsense behaviour, a.k.a crap, from people was pretty high. I would get annoyed but would keep it to myself and not disclose it to anyone else. However, when I have to face the same crap day after day, I've found that my crap threshold (for repeated crap) is actually very low. And I instantly feel like complaining to someone.

I just don't get it why it's so hard to make a simple unimportant decision - like where to eat? It's not a life or death decision. Go figure. I hope I myself won't turn into one of these in the future.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Funneh! Foolish Comments Wall War

This morning I read an MSN news article about TV3 pulling out their Raya 2010 advertisement because of an outcry from the public. I searched for the video and finally found it on YouTube. You can view it here and read all the nasty comments below the video.

Admittedly, the advert doesn't seem to emanate the Ramadan feel that good Raya ads are supposed to do. It was like a case of confused/mixed up cultural identity with a silly storyline. Perhaps the creator(s) were aiming to portray an assimilation of our many cultures into one advert and I don't blame them for trying, after so much press on the 1Malaysia concept and the idea of bringing Malaysians together again. However it was foolish of them not to realise that there would be a backlash from the viewing public. Never meddle too much with race and religion issues - most people are just not matured enough to accept differing opinions about their personal beliefs, and this is when things start getting nasty and personal attacks abound.

Reading the comments below the YouTube video, I was at first amused at how these people were in a war of words with each other and everyone else. I didn't manage to read all 800+ comments but the later ones were mostly personal attacks and not related to the video at all. There were many other comments which showed that there is still a bunch of racists and religion-supremacists in Malaysia. Sad case, but I guess these kinds of people will never become an extinct species. (I would trade one of these humans for the restoration of life of an extinct dodo bird in a heart beat! God forgive me for thinking such thoughts)

I really don't get it why people can't embrace the differences in our cultures. It is this which makes Malaysia unique and interesting - a home to many cultures. I mean, we're actually using that fact to 'market' our country as an ideal tourist destination to the world! So why don't we practice what we preach?

Every culture is important and should not be sidelined just because it belongs to a minority group. And when it comes to religion, I understand that everyone thinks their respective religious beliefs is the best and that it would be a better world if only everyone else would just embrace that religion (this is admirable as their zealousness probably shows the level of faith they have). However, if you really intend to propagate your religious beliefs, wouldn't it be better to win their hearts first, and then win their minds. Let others witness with their own eyes how your beliefs has made you a better person. Let every aspect of your life - your thoughts, your words, your actions - be a testimony of how great your god is. After all, what good is a religion if it doesn't change your heart, and subsequently your life?

I am in no way implying that I am what I've just described above, but I meant it more as an advice to those people who think they have a right to publicly condemn other races and religions and say things like "my religion is the ultimate truth and those who are not of the same faith will never be able to fathom this truth until they die and meet the creator". Honestly, if I was still seeking a faith to believe in, words like those would put me off in an instance. I would not want to believe in a god whose followers speak with arrogance and show no mercy. Although technically, it is not right to blame god for the follies of man, but whether we like it or not, each of us are ambassadors of the god we believe in. The moment we identify ourselves with our faith, our every actions are being meticulously assessed, constantly (be it consciously or unconsciously), by unbelievers (those of other faiths or atheists). Therefore a seemingly harmless move (to you) could stumble someone's walk in faith.

If only people could get it into their thick skulls that the way to win a person over is through their hearts and not by a battle of intellect or forcing them into believing something they have not 'experienced' themselves, then we would have so much more peace in the world! 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Reading the Word

I don't know if it is coincidence or not, but I find that sometimes when I read the Bible for different reasons (such as for WBS lesson, during service/celebration or when using Bible reading guide), the topics seem to overlap (unplanned). For example, when I've had a bad experience with someone, verses of forgiveness seem to jump out at me from the Bible study materials or the reference verses quoted, and all these are from totally unrelated sources! Is this how God is speaking to me?

Moving to another topic, yesterday I found an interesting part of the Bible - a talking donkey! In Numbers 22:28-30, Yahweh enabled Balaam's donkey to speak. God was angry when Balaam followed Balak's princes back and He put an angel with a drawn sword to block Balaam's path. The donkey was able to see the angel, but not Balaam. So she (donkey) turned away from the path and Balaam beat her. The second time she saw the angel in a narrow path, she pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam's foot, and he beat her again. The third time the angel appeared, she could not turn anywhere so she lay down under Balaam, and he beat her the third time. Then God gave her speech and she chastised her owner for beating her three times. After that, God opened Balaam's eyes and he saw the angel standing in the road with his sword drawn. Balaam bowed and fell face forward.

Now, on to another topic altogether, I remember one of the prayer items at the Saturday celebration 2 weeks ago (2/10) was to pray for the wellbeing and rescue of the 33 Chilean miners who had been trapped more than 600m underground for 8 weeks (then). The church prayed corporately during the Saturday evening and Sunday morning celebrations. Last Wednesday (6/10), I read on that there was a breakthrough in the miners' rescue and the rescue could start by the weekend! Well, the miners rescue did not actually start on the recent weekend but now, I'm watching live on CNN the second miner being winched up in a capsule! I just saw the rescue of the first miner a few minutes ago! Praise the Lord! =)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Why 'W' is called 'Double U'

I was caught in the web of words that has strung up for us, i.e. clicking from link to link, and I discovered this little piece of info (which is new to me, but maybe not for you).


In Old English, 'wynn' (ƿ) was a character that represented the sound 'w', that we know today as double-u. This was because 'wynn' was replaced by 'uu' which eventually developed into the modern letter 'w'. You can read more here.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Word(s) of the Day

Are You a Hypocoristic Nincompoop?

A coos to B: Honey bunny, sugar sunshine... I can't live a minute without you!
Observer C answers: Oh shut up, you hypocoristic nincompoop!

The above dialogue is an example for the use of the word 'hypocorism' - today's word of the day (thank you for providing the 'did you know' links, which are making me search for more unique words). The following definition of 'hypocorism' is taken from

[hahy-pok-uh-riz-uhm, hi-]

1. a pet name.
2. the practice of using a pet name.
3. the use of forms of speech imitative of baby talk, esp. by an adult.

When Beauty Doesn't Sound Like Beauty

When you hear the word 'pulchitudinous', what comes to your mind? For me, the image of something revolting and pungent with a hint of pettiness conjures up in my head (don't ask me why I see this, I just do).  So would you be surprised that the word actually means physical beauty? (not counting those who've already heard of this word prior)

[puhl-kri-tood-n-uhs, -tyood-]

physically beautiful; comely.

So if your suitor says "I think you are the epitome of a pulchritudinous being", don't go ballistic on him! Instead, smile sheepishly and run off to look it up in a dictionary... and then you will find that it is a compliment like no other!

Step Aside, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

Looks like Mary Poppins famous song is not the longest word after all! This 34-letter-long English word roughly translates to 'atoning for educability through delicate beauty' where the breakdown (according to Wikipedia) is as follows:
super - "above"
cali - "beauty"
fragilistic - "delicate"
expiali - "to atone"
docious - "educable"
Well, move over "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious", its time for the longest word in the dictionary to take its limelight - "pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis"! However, the meaning of this word isn't so noble like the former.

[noo-muh-noh-uhl-truh-mahy-kruh-skop-ik-sil-i-koh-vol-key-noh-koh-nee-oh-sis, nyoo-]

an obscure term ostensibly referring to a lung disease caused by silica dust, sometimes cited as one of the longest words in the English language.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

I Should Use What I've Learned

Since I live in this country and I've been educated in the national language (for two thirds of my formal education), maybe I should try writing a post in BM... After all, isn't the national language supposed to be a means of bringing the peoples of different colour and creed together? Funny how all this while I've been a pro-English language person (as in I support 100% the teaching of maths and science in English, just because I used to feel that it was a better language as a whole), I still am, but with the recent sensitive issues being raised from time to time and my re-education of the importance of BM by certain Christian friends and especially during 'celebration', I've come to realise that although I may not speak it at home daily, a large chunk of my fellow Malaysian brothers and sisters (especially in East Malaysia) use BM as their main and sometimes, only language for communication.

So, yeah, I don't think I should let my grasp of the language deteriorate (although my verbal ability has lessened significantly). I mean, I'm a Chinese (or well, technically - half Chinese) and I used to get As for my BM essays and I've never once memorised example essays from reference books (like most Chinese vernacular schools teach their students in order to score in their BM papers). So I think if I set my mind to it, I can re-learn to love this language again.
Saya percaya saya dapat menghayati semula keindahan Bahasa Melayu! (Penggunaan perkataan 'saya' adalah sebagai tanda hormat kepada para pembaca, yang pertama kali dapat menatap ayat Bahasa Melayu di blog ini)
Don't laugh, I'm trying very hard to rekindle the spark! :ϸ

Friday, October 01, 2010


I know it is sadistic to laugh when someone gets hurt, but when I read this on Bernama, I couldn't help it!

This guy was riding his bicycle in Jakarta, carrying a home-made bomb when it suddenly exploded in front of a traffic policeman. The policeman said he saw the guy sprawled on the road with nails scattered about him. He got up and tried to run away but was apprehended by the police. He sustained head wounds and a fractured right leg and arm, and was hospitalised. The policeman was unhurt, although he was only one metre away from the explosion.

The home-made bomb consisted of nails, sulphur powder, a plastic string and a lighter. There were two letters written with "warnings to the infidels associated with satan for killing the Mujahideen".

Somehow I keep picturing it in my mind like a comic strip.

  1. Guy sets out with evil intent on his bicycle
  2. Kaboom!
  3. Guy sprawled on road (Splat!) with bomb components around him
  4. Guy tries to run away but gets caught by police
Is this karma? hahaha
(If I could draw better, I would've added a visual to this)

Thursday, September 30, 2010


It is sad to see sisters in Christ speaking (or maybe the more appropriate word: boasting) of unforgiveness and putting a person down behind her back, in a somewhat public domain. I feel stuck in the middle because all the parties concerned are friends of mine.

However, ignorance is bliss. Whatever one doesn't know won't hurt one. So let this just pass as another case of virtual diarrhea. Praying that the cyber traffic turnover rate will be so high that the thread will be just like a grain of sand on the beach, where no one will make a double take on it.

I don't know what caused this hate and will probably never fathom how it must have felt like, but at this point in time, I am reminded of every time I have blown up in rage in the past and I forgive all those who have hurt me (wittingly and unwittingly), as I hope I have been forgiven for my volatile reactions. I take this as a lesson that, Christian or not, we are all still man - fallible and foolish.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Look Who's Ringing the NYSE Closing Bell!

Chris Botti (photo credit:
 Pink Panther! (photo credit:

Marley the dog from 'Marley & Me' (photo credit:

KISS (photo credit:

Darth Vader (photo credit:
Hello Kitty (photo credit:
and I just saw on CNN and on The Star and Bernama websites.... our PM Najib! (photo credit:

Monday, September 27, 2010

TGIF or TGIM (Monday)?

Yesterday's "celebration" message was about Moses - the three transformations he had undergone when he responded to God's call.
  • Skill transformation
  • Strategy transformation
  • Spiritual transformation
I'm not going to type out what I noted down, but at one point Ps Chris was saying that whatever our vocation is, when God calls you, your skills will be useful for His plan. So you do not need to be a pastor to be of good use to God. You can be an engineer or a sales man and still serve God well.

We can serve God in our workplace, just by being filled with joy. He also stressed that when we work, we must remember that we are working for God and not for our human bosses. So take joy in what we do!

I've had this verse on my desk for more than a year - to remind me when I'm having a bad day.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men (Col 3:23)
Ps Chris asked the congregation whether we dread or love going to work. Do we whoop with joy when it is Friday? Or dread going back to office on Monday morning? Upon asking myself that same question, I can safely say that I'm quite happy going to work every morning. My bad days come when there are thoughts of insecurity in my mind. Otherwise, I like the free time I have to read stuffs and blog and study... but I still think I should be busier at my age... So here's to what the future may hold for me! Cheers! 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Churches And Cathedrals Visited

During my month-long absence from this blog, I was half-a-world away from home doing this: visiting churches and cathedrals to see how God's glory has inspired builders in the past!

Well, the main purpose of the trip wasn't actually THAT! But it was a bonus (and a touristy thing to do) on top of everything!

(1) Liverpool Cathedral (Anglican)

According to what I heard, Liverpool is the only city in Europe which has 2 cathedrals - one for the Anglicans and the other for Catholics. On the day that we arrived, my aunt took us to the Anglican Liverpool Cathedral, which is just a 5-minute walk from CL's home.

Liverpool Cathedral 
The Liverpool Cathedral is the fifth largest cathedral in the world, and the largest in Britain. It was completed in 1978, after 74 long years of construction. However the first element of the cathedral - the Lady Chapel - was opened in 1910. The cathedral is situated on St James' Mount and is dedicated to Christ and the Blessed Virgin. It is mainly built of sandstone, with gothic elements.

Eastern end of the cathedral, high altar
We went into the Holy Spirit Chapel (no photos taken) for a short prayer while we were visiting the cathedral. We didn't go up the Vestey Tower to see the 13 bells and 'Great George', the bourdon bell. 'Great George' is  bigger than Big Ben.

View of Liverpool Cathedral at night from CL's house, around 11pm
Originally designed to have two towers, the plan was revised to only a single central exceptionally tall tower - which was finished in 1942. The completion of the cathedral was hindered by World War II and inflation

View of Liverpool Cathedral from the River Mersey (in front: Liverpool Big Wheel)

(2) Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King (Roman Catholic)

The Liverpool Cathedral and Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral are located at opposite ends of Hope Street, facing each other. We visited this cathedral after coming back from London and before leaving for the USA (but I'm putting this here because it's more organised!).

Main entrance to Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral with bell tower
On the Duckmarine tour we took, the guide told us that the four bells were named Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (in order of descending bell size/weight) after the four Gospels in the New Testament. At first, I thought the stone was some sort of concrete-cement mix, but turns out the façade is made of Portland stone (limestone). The design of the three crosses represents the cross Jesus was crucified on (centre) and the  other two belonging to the two thieves crucified beside Him. One of the flanking crosses is studded with tears to signify the repentant thief while the other is left plain.

Circular nave - the High Altar
The pews in the sanctuary are arranged circularly to face the table of the Lord. Radiating from the border of the main sanctuary are a number of chapels. The lantern tower is directly on top of the High Altar - the culmination of a cone-like ceiling structure.

Lantern tower
The lantern tower is made of stained-glass panels which make up the world's largest window. Its design depicts an abstract form of the Trinity. During the day, this window casts colourful hues inside the sanctuary (as what I witnessed), whilst at night, it illuminates the city's skyline.

Chapel of Unity
Above is the Pentecost mosaic by Georg-Mayer Marton in the Chapel of Unity which caught my fancy. For some reason, the lighting and my shaky hands made this photo look somewhat surreal. There was another chapel which was beautiful - the Lady Chapel - which had a sculpture of the Madonna and Child.

View of Hope Street and Liverpool Cathedral (in a distance) from top of the stairs in front of  main entrance to the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral
The cathedral is situated on Mount Pleasant on top of Lutyens Crypt, which was part of a greater plan that never materialised. Unlike the Liverpool Cathedral, this cathedral took less than 5 years to build (completed and consecrated in 1967) after a lot of planning, canceling of plans, scaling down etc. since 1853.

View of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral from the River Mersey
The photo above was taken while we were on a ferry on the Mersey. The cathedral's lantern tower is visible with its 16 pinnacles and lattice-work crown.

(3) Frontline Church, Liverpool

The only time we managed to attend Sunday service for the whole month was when CL took us to his church - Frontline Church. It is a non-denominational Christian church. The service was contemporary and I found it very warm, spontaneous and personal, not so much fuss with protocol etc. Was blessed! =)

(4) Westminster Abbey, London

When we were in London, unfortunately Westminster Abbey was closed to visitors and it was a rainy day. So we only managed to walk around the parameters in the light drizzle. St Margaret's Church is also on the grounds of Westminster Abbey, but we didn't manage to go there because we were rushing for time.

North entrance of Westminster Abbey in a light drizzle
I have a better shot of the North entrance but there are people in it, so its a 'no go' for a blog post. I also tried stitching 2 photos together to get a complete picture of the North entrance, but it looked horrible.

Not being able to enter the church was a bit of a let down since Westminster Abbey is one of the most famous churches around. The present Gothic building was started by Henry III in 1245 but Benedictine monks began daily worship on the site since the middle of the tenth century. Therefore Westminster Abbey has more than a thousand years of history to its name.

The Abbey has been the coronation church and burial site of the monarchs since 1066. Princess Diana's funeral in 1997 was also held here. According to Wikipedia, the Abbey was the place where the first third of the King James Bible Old Testament and the last half of the New Testament were translated.

Sheltering from the rain
Reading up about Westminster Abbey, I discovered that there is a Poet's Corner where writers were buried or memorialised. Among these include Geoffrey Chaucer, William Blake, Robert Burns, Lord Byron, Tennyson, William Wordsworth, Jane Austen (my love), Rudyard Kipling, John Keats, George Eliot, the Brontë sisters, Charles Dickens and T.S. Eliot. Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin were also buried in the Abbey.

(5) St Paul's Cathedral, London

We didn't enter St Paul's Cathedral because of the hefty admissions fee. So this is what little information I've found to be interesting about this cathedral.

View of St Paul's in the City of London skyline across the River Thames from Tate Modern (note the Millennium Bridge)
The present building which we recognise as St Paul's Cathedral is actually the fourth cathedral to occupy the site since 604AD. This Anglican cathedral was designed by Sir Christopher Wren in the 17th century.

St Paul's Cathedral main entrance - Great West Door
The Great West Door is nine meters high and is now used only on ceremonial occasions. There is a clock tower on the west end of the cathedral.

St Paul's is a busy working church which holds hourly prayers and daily services. Important services have included the Service of Remembrance and Commemoration for the 11th September 2001, the 80th and 100th birthdays of Queen Elizabeth - the Queen Mother, the wedding of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer and the funeral of fashion designer Alexander McQueen.

South end of St Paul's Cathedral (approaching from Millennium Bridge)
St Paul's iconic dome is one of the most recognisable features in the City of London's skyline. It is one of the largest cathedral domes in the world and was inspired by St Peter's Basilica in Rome. St Paul's Cathedral is built in the shape of a cross, with the dome crowning the intersection of the arms.

(6) Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris 

Notre Dame de Paris, which is French for Our Lady of Paris, is one of the first French Gothic architecture in France and Europe. It is located on the banks of the River Seine. The first stone of this Catholic cathedral was laid in 1163 after the newly elected Bishop Maurice de Sully demolished the previous Paris cathedral - St Stephen's. The rebuilding of this cathedral was dedicated to the Virgin Mary (Notre-Dame). The cathedral was effectively completed by around 1345.

Notre Dame de Paris, Western façade
The symbolism of the Western façade shows that the cathedral was built for God (four vertical buttresses reaching to the top of the towers, heavenwards) but is also a cathedral for men (two wide horizontal strips brings the building back to mortal earth). Another set of symbolism are the squares which stand for created, limited space and the circle which stands for the boundless, perfect figure without beginning or end, the image of God. 

The large rose window forms a halo above the heads of the statues of the Virgin and the Child Jesus, whom are positioned between two angels. Below the balustrade is the gallery of kings, a row of 28 statues representing the 28 generations of kings of Judah, descendants of Jesse and human ancestors of Mary and Jesus. Under the gallery of kings are three large portals - the Portal of the Virgin (left, North), the Portal of the Last Judgement (centre) and the Portal of Saint Anne (right, South).

Portal of Saint Anne, on the right of the West façade
Notre Dame has the typical characteristics of a Gothic cathedral. It has a majestic façade, with expansive stained-glass windows to provide lighting, ribbed vaults to emphasise its height and its floor plan with a long nave making up the body of the church.

Ribbed vaulting
One of the many stained-glass window
Chandelier in the nave
Part of the nave
Sculpture of Jesus with children

There are five bells at Notre Dame. The great bourdon bell is called Emmanuel. If you recall Quasimodo from the Hunchback of Notre Dame (Victor Hugo's book or Disney's cartoon adaptation), he was a bell-ringer in the  cathedral. I seem to have a mental image of the cartoon character swinging from a huge bell - which I presume is Emmanuel!

A choir wall was installed in the Middle Ages around the choir to minimise noise where priests could retreat for prayer and reflection. There is a series of sculptures on the choir wall which depicts scenes from the life of Jesus. 

 Series of sculptures of scenes from Jesus' life and resurrection on the choir wall

(7) Saint Bernard Parish (now St Bernard - St Mary Parish), Akron, Ohio, USA

We went for afternoon mass in Saint Bernard Parish for grandpa's memorial. The parish was renamed St Bernard-St Mary Parish on July 4th, 2010 (the day we arrived back home).

Main entrance
This Catholic church was established in 1861. It is was designed by parishioner William P. Ginther, whom had designed numerous churches around the country, to have a German-Romanesque architecture with a Baroque influence. The church has twin bell towers.

High altar
The altar is made of white Italian marble and the wall decorations are elaborate, featuring the disciples, apostles and seraphim.

Decorated high ceiling
My photos don't do justice to the embellishments of this church. The interior looked very new and well-kept. The stained-glass windows were of a different style than that of the cathedrals in Europe (which we visited).

Stained-glass windows depicting scenes from the life of Jesus

(8) St Giles' Cathedral, The High Kirk of Edinburgh, Scotland

St Giles was a 7th century hermit (later, abbot) who lived in France and according to legend, protected a hind (female red deer) from a huntsman's arrow - which pierced his own body. St Giles is the patron saint of the town and subsequently the parish church of Edinburgh was named in honour of him.

In the 12th century, the Scottish royal family founded a small church on this very site in an effort to spread Catholic Christian worship throughout the Scottish lowlands. Fragments of the original church has been incorporated into the present cathedral. Later on a larger church was partially burned and over a century and a half, more chapels and altars were added.

St Giles' Cathedral - Gothic style, has Crown spire on the tower (behind)
An interesting bit of history: During the Reformation movement, St Giles was partitioned so that the building could be used for other purposes. Among these 'purposes' throughout the 300 odd years include a police station, a fire station, a school, a coal store, meeting place for the Parliament and Town Council, a store for the Scottish guillotine and the "Maiden" (torture equipment Iron Maiden) and a prison used for "harlots and whores".

West doors of cathedral (main entrance)
An important feature of St Giles is the Thistle Chapel which was designed by Robert Lorimer and finished in 1911. The Scottish Thistle is the Emblem of Scotland. I have a photo of this flower, which was used as the breakfast table decoration in a museum cafe in Glasgow, but that calls for a separate post on flowers (with much hope should materialise). The Thistle Chapel is the chapel for the Order of the Thistle - Scotland's great order of chivalry. It has stalls for knights, the Sovereign and royalty with lavish carvings of Scottish theme.

I didn't take any photos of the interior of St Giles because we had to get a permit to do so. However I remember seeing a Robert Louis Stevenson memorial cast in bronze on one of the walls. This reminded me of the RLS initials carved into a small stone column and surrounded by birch trees in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh. Well, now I know that R.L. Stevenson was a Scot! (I know, DUH!!)

(9) Saint Margaret's Chapel in Edinburgh Castle

Saint Margaret's Chapel is the oldest building in Edinburgh Castle. The chapel was built by King David I and dedicated to his mother, who was made a saint.

I did not snap a photo of the chapel's exterior, but below is a photo of Edinburgh Castle. If you want to see how small and simple the building looks, try Googling it!

Edinburgh Castle
The internal width of this chapel is 3 meters and we entered through a door at the back of the nave. According to Wikipedia, there were frequent services held in the chapel. I wonder how many people could actually fit into the chapel before everyone felt like suffocating? Perhaps the services were exclusively for the royal family, and other officials weren't invited. ;P hehe Interestingly, during the Protestant Reformation, the chapel fell into disuse and was used as a gunpowder store. 

William Wallace window
St Margaret window (I think)
The stained-glass windows were installed in 1922 and designed by Douglas Strachan. I did not manage to photograph them all, but they are depictions of St Andrew, St Columba, St Margaret, St Ninian and William Wallace.
St Margaret alter cloth
The colours and patterns of the the altar cloth all carry a significance. 

(10) Manchester Cathedral

Our drive to Manchester wasn't in our itinerary. It was a last minute plan on the last day of our trip. Our first stop in Manchester was Manchester Cathedral, just because CL had parked his car in the parking lot on the opposite side of the street.

Manchester Cathedral is located on Victoria Street and dates back to the medieval times. The cathedral is built in the Gothic style and according to Wikipedia, its construction spanned from 1421 till 1882. It looks newer than it really is due to extensive refurbishments conducted from time to time.

Tower of Manchester Cathedral (photo taken from car - thus the tinting effect, not a rainy day!)
In 1215, Robert Greslet, Lord of the Manor of Manchester decided to build the current church adjacent to his manor house.

Another shot of the tower. Look at the quaint topiary standing sentinel to the entrance arch!
I remember hurrying through the cathedral because they were closing. So this was a really brief look around. I did not get to see the famed Angel Stone, which is a fragment of a Saxon Church dating back to around 700 CE. The Saxon words "Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit" are engraved on the stone.

Regimental Chapel
Nave roof
Stained-glass window (all the Victorian stained-glass were destroyed in WWII)
I found a website where you can take a virtual tour of Manchester Cathedral, if it strikes your fancy. Click here. Somehow, when we were there, the cathedral looked more dusty and worn. Thus ended our cathedral crawl!

P.S: This post is a week's worth of sneaking in research time and many midnight photoshop-ing sessions! :P