Sun sets at 4:00PM.

The temperature here is about 5°-6°C, quite a bit of rain as well (it is England, isn’t it?).

The fire is roaring by the fireplace, radiating much needed warmth & cosyness.

The dog is lounging.

I awake every morning to the boyfriend making me a cup of tea to kick-start the day.

And I am drinking a tad too much tea. Maybe not that much, just a cup every 2 hours?

Life since I arrived hasn’t entirely been idyllic. Okay maybe just a little. There’s the whole settling down, unpacking, and getting used to the ever-changing weather. And getting over jetlag. It really has been a week. 

I thought I was all ready for the cold. I mean, I was one big whiny puss back home when it came to the scorching heat. And then of course I got here and the cold hit me, and I hastily retreat into my jumpers and coats, and I proclaim that I am in dire need of wintery clothings, and the boyfriend agrees. Well, this is home now. 

Getting started with revision (what a drag how exciting!) and being fully aware of the looming exam date have possibly contributed to my excessive tea drinking to calm the nerves (& shivering muscles). Of course I am also assimilating to the English culture, been away for far too long & the danger of me forgetting my profound love for tea is evident. Especially since coffee took over quite a bit of my life.

Exploring the little town that I currently am in is quite an adventure. There is a tea shop I have yet to discover, and a bookshop that I have already raided. There is a teddy bear shop I was dragged away from, only because I would attempt to give each and every bear in that shop a home. A fancy wine & cheese place that looks oh-so-inviting each time I walk past it. The houses are lovely, and the autumn leaves even more so.

Equipped with a lovely kitchen, it is once again a joy to be back on my cookery projects. Not to mention cooking for two (or more) people now makes meals a lot easier to plan.

This cold. I can’t help but sometimes miss the breezy beach sunset days. Maybe I’ll write about Bali & Penang next to warm up the upcoming winter days.

 

Excuse me while I go get myself another cup of tea.

 

 

Toodles. ♥

I’ve been busying myself on my days off (NO, I LIE – I’ve been lazing around!), decorating my room, personalising my four walls. I have some pictures up on the wall which I am very proud of, not to mention they make me happy every single time I wake up because they’re the first things I see. I still have a stack of Instax which I have not quite decided what to do with. Hang them up? Or stick them on the walls?

photo 3

So much space to fill!

 

Not to forget, a bunch of postcards from friends, from myself; from all the traveling I have done the past year. 

I found myself smiling as I went through them one by one, chronologically. Best memories. And then decided that they have to go up on the wall.

But then, wait.

How should they be displayed? Which side should I display?

The photograph side…or the messages that come with the postcards? D: Such a dilemma.

 

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There are more of these postcards!

photo 1

 

Ah, how I miss the simple joys of postcards-writing in various cafes of each city I have visited. :’)
(And then looking for a post office and attempting the city’s language, trying to get stamps and to send them out. Aha.) 

 

Both sides are equally as important and meaningful to me.
But what do I want to see more – the picturesque side, or the love notes behind it

 

 

Which side would you have these postcards displayed?

 

 

Let me know x.

 

 

Toodles. ♥

I was inspired by WorshipBlues and her post here on Sunrise in Zanzibar. It had photographs of the beautiful sunrise and a little nostalgic remnants of her past.

She asked her readers:

“If you could go back and meet yourself as a child. What would you say?”

 

It stopped me in my mundane tracks as I was transported back to the depths of my memories. What exactly would I say to my tiny teeny self?

 

Let’s dream away from here tonight;
Just let it go and close your eyes.

 

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I guess I would start with what everyone will say…

”Don’t stop dreaming. It might seem like these dreams are too big and too impossible to come materialize. But they will, if you work hard enough. Good things come to those who wait. And while they wait patiently, they must also work to make it happen because dreams don’t fall out of the skies, they are visions of what we want. ‘And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.’”

 

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“What lies beyond the valleys, we do not know. But we will, if we don’t stop walking towards it. One day, we will reach the lands unknown and maybe realize that this is what we have been looking for our whole lives. But maybe, just maybe, we don’t like what we see and we walk on; cross the oceans and the seven seas, dream about other lands we have yet to set our eyes upon. And that, my darling, is the great adventure – not knowing what to expect in the far distance.”

 

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“Some days, the mountains between the valleys may seem frightening. Some days, the path may be so cobbled that it starts to hurt to move on. Some days, as you look out into the great unknown, all you see are dark clouds looming ahead, threatening to impede your journey, menacingly daring you to take one more step forward. And those days will happen, I’m afraid. It will stop you and you will choose to sit right where you are and you will refuse to budge. You will wait until those evil-looking obstacles clear off. You will stubbornly settle into what seem like safety and comfort where you are at that point. But let me say, that’s okay. Do what you feel is right for you, but remember, do not forget the dreams beyond those valleys. Do not forget the grand adventure you are on, and do not settle for anything less, just because. Those dark clouds may not move for a very long time, sometimes you won’t even see the sun. But have courage, have faith and keep going; just because you can’t see the light, does not mean that it is not there. Clouded, it may be but don’t let that cloud your vision.”

 

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“The road ahead is long and full of mini adventures, but it will be hard. And if there is one thing I wished, it would be for you to be fearless. You will come across a lot of bridges, and at one point you will need to decide which ones you will cross and which you will burn. Some you will cross AND burn. Don’t let that break you, because you will only come out stronger. And believe me when I say, you will be thankful for those bridges that you choose to burn. You may be alone but more often than not you will never be lonely. At some parts of the journey, when you find yourself completely alone and lonely, don’t be afraid. There are reasons why you must be alone at those points in your life and soon you will understand why. Embrace your own company and find joy in it. It is at those times when you may or may not remember these words to keep you company.”

 

 

Clearly, I am a long-winded old hag who would sputter all these words to a 5-year-old, expecting to bequeath wisdom upon her. I should know better that the 5-year-old me would roll across the room and stare at this odd lady who suddenly appeared out of thin air and start raving melancholically about life and future and all that shizzz when all I would really like is a bar of chocolate. 🙂 And knowing me, I would probably never remember it at all. Nevertheless, if I could go back to my little self, I don’t think I would change anything. Except tell her to be fearless. I wished I was more fearless as I grew up. But I guess, everything happens for a reason and that reason is what makes me who I am today. 🙂

 

So let me now turn that question to you:

“If you could go back and meet yourself as a child. What would you say?”

 

Share it, blog about it, leave a comment, tweet me – whatever. Have fun. 🙂

 

 

P.S. Photographs were taken while I was globetrotting in Killarney, Ireland a couple months back.

P.P.S. This should be motivation enough for me to battle on in my dissertation. *war cry*

 

Toodles. ♥

I was updating my Facebook profile picture just the other day when I paused, backtracked and clicked open my “Profile Pictures” album. I started going through it one by one, from the very first picture of myself I have posted on Facebook to the one I have just put up. I realized all these photos weren’t just random selfie photos I have taken out of vanity – each and every one of them had some sort of story to it. And what better to do in the very last few days of 2013 than to reminisce? 🙂

When I was much younger, I used to believe that I will grow up looking rather different than I was then, maybe turn into a gorgeous Disney princess, lol who knows? Of course, the years passed…and I still look very much like myself. The chubby cheeks which have been (and always will be, I gather) chubby all my life; my little buttony nose very much unlike my dad’s (or sister’s) tall and finely sculpted ones; and my eyes…(rather large eyes for an Asian, may I immodestly add). I sure didn’t transform much over the years, much less look like a Disney princess today. But that wasn’t the only thing I have noticed from the 31 pictures of myself. I saw different persons, inside, at each stage. Some innocent youth has been shed off in the process while the harshness of reality aged me and the fine lines it caused have never really gone away. It shows, it really does. But in each stage, I have always managed to find happy. And I am so thankful for that.

My latest happy – sun, sea and Italy. 

As with every year (and everyone), I have been doing a little recap of 2013. Facebook has been nagging me to “See My 2013 Year in Review” and to “look back at my 20 biggest moments from the past year”. Indeed. 2013 has not come short of its ups and downs. I probably have more than just 20 big moments! Just like every year, there have been much tears, laughters, joys and sorrows. But the lessons learnt in this past five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes are invaluable and never the same. I have made wonderful, lovely friends and strengthen some familiar bonds. At the same time, I wonder if I may have lost one very good and dear old friend. *sigh*

I survived the work place with awesome friends who guided and supported me throughout and with strong realization that I have much to learn. So much, it will never end. I became slightly more aggressive (no thanks to nursing, really) and knew I needed to be firm and fierce if I were to withstand the rest of my nursing career. Yet at the same time, it was so difficult for me. I can hardly say no to almost anyone on a daily basis, what more be a fighter and growl back at people/things I disagree with? But I gotta be assertive, I must. And Life in every way has been throwing out obstacles for me to practice but I just haven’t overcome that fear of saying no and hurting someone. I will, I promise I will. 2014 will see that. 🙂

I am not entirely lost, though. 2013 also saw the day I stood up for my dreams. I couldn’t be happier to have been accepted into King’s College London to pursue my nursing degree and for a while, I thought I had to give up that dream. While they try to assure me that I am still young and will have other opportunities, I disagreed. Second chances don’t always come by. I wanted it bad enough, and fought tooth and nail for it. Victoriously, here I am, in London, counting down to New Year’s (while my 2 soon-to-be-due essays lay abandoned wtf zunny). I couldn’t be happier.

But do you know what is even more blissful? To be able to share this dream with my dear soul mate and yes, traveling the world while we’re at it. Life has seen us singing on top of Empire State building and frolicking in front of the Statue of LIberty in New York City in 2011. Now Life is seeing us leave our footprints at just about every other iconic architectures there are in Europe. We are terribly blessed and I am terribly grateful. 2014 will be an amazing year indeed. 😀

Our selca needs are insatiable. Lol. There is an entire album dedicated to our vanity but let’s not go there now. 😀 

 

On a more personal note, 2013 has reminded me that opportunities are everywhere, we have to be brave to reach out and grab it. 2013 has also shown me that love can happen just about anywhere and any time, if you let it. Be it at the airport…or at a local weekend market. Sometimes, even while getting lost in the streets, in the rain or under pretty fairy lights adorning trees. Any time, anywhere. 🙂

 

So, here’s to 2014: 

 

To new beginnings; to new friendships; to love; and to more globe-trotting adventures. Not to mention, of course, to great results and graduating with flying colours, LOL!

I don’t have any resolutions (because I no longer believe in making them) but I can still make my wish: May I not let my fear hold me back from my wanderlust, whirlwind romances, and a lifetime of memories. 2014 is looking bright for me, for I have so many grand plans I wish to carry out. I will definitely keep you guys posted on the progress, just need to kick start them! 😀

kushandwizdom:

Everything love

 

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes,
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear,
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes,
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee.
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year in the life?

How about love? 

 

How did you measure your year in the life? 🙂

 

Happy New Year, everyone.

 

Toodles. ♥

It’s been a rainy, windy London since I got back from sun and shine Italia.

And baby, it’s cold outside.

And it’s Christmas.

 

I’ve always thought that Christmas is both a joyful and sorrowful day. I can’t exactly explain why it is so, just feels like it. While some celebrate it with much happiness, there will be a few who silently reminisce on the heartaches this day reminds them of. Some years, I’d be absolutely delighted on Christmas; some other years, as you can guess, I’d much rather be on my own and let nostalgia take over. This is one of those years – the latter, I mean.

We survived a grand history adventure in Italy and it has been swell. But now that I’ve returned to a quiet home on Christmas, I am feeling both relieved and lonely. I need this solitude, yet secretly the loneliness creeps in and infuses doubts and thoughts inappropriate for the season. Christmas is supposed to be all about the snow, the hot chocolate and the love, isn’t it? (And fairy lights!) 

Photo: Fairy lights make me happy.

 

Nevertheless, it IS Christmas and I mustn’t let the bitterness overflow. Some things are best kept at bay. 🙂 I can wallow in my own self-nostalgic moments but I must also spread the cheer and happiness.

What is Christmas without the love?

So here’s a short cover I did on Christmas Eve (because I was procrastinating and I felt like singing. Don’t judge!). Hope you like it, it’s not perfect but it felt like the moment to do it anyway, lol.

https://soundcloud.com/alexianatouillia/merry-christmas-darling-glee

 

I miss you. I don’t know who I miss exactly but my heart is aching with this longing, this sense of absence. I cannot explain this strange emotion because this yearning is not directed at anyone in particular. All I know is I can hear my heart speaking to me in volumes about this person whose presence I am pining for, yet I know not who this person is. My heart keeps uttering “I wish you were here” over and over again but who are YOU? Do you exist? And if you do, where in the world are you now? Why have you come into my mind and befuddle my heart? Who…or what am I seeking for? This is all so confusing to me, I can barely stand this pang of sadness knowing you’re not here with me…whoever you are. 

Where are you when I need you most? 

 

Photo: Cinnamon chimney cake & Bailey's hot chocolate muahahaha

Have myself a merry, little Christmas.~ 

Merry Christmas, lovelies. Have a joyful celebration and a happy New Year!

Toodles. ♥