日本から沢山の乾物が届いた。お餅が入っていたので以前に頂いてしまいっぱなしだった小豆を煮る。小豆のパックの賞味期限は2016年。うーん月日が経つのは早い 笑。


# by uk_alien | 2018-02-13 23:55 | just a diary | Comments(0)


2017 was a funny year for us. My husband has had a very hard time at work (his new boss turned out to be a true nightmare). I really wanted to support him better emotionally, but haven’t been able to quite successfully. I guess I am rather insecure myself and have been shaken to observe how things are affecting him, the most important person in my life.

Health-wise, we have been fairly lucky except that my husband gained quite a lot of weight due to medication (and/or his excessive gin and wine consumption!); and that I had to have an operation in my mouth to remove infection in the bone of my upper jaw and to have all-on-four procedure done at the same time. God it feels like as though a huge chunk of toffee was stuck in my mouth. I just cannot speak properly. All of my pronunciation exercise books from the old days are being dusted off and I’ll do all I can to get rid of this lisp.

Walter the dog has been well, apart from this recent development of coughing, which a course of antibiotics failed to abate. Worrying. Henry the (deaf and very old) cat has had a few seizures in the past two years, yet he is VERY happy, spoilt rotten with cooked chicken and whole milk served at will.

I have been learning the piano for tree years now. My progress is painfully slow, but I keep at it, never to give up as I know I would be cursing and kicking myself with regret in my grave if I stopped trying. Currently I am working on Liszt’s Romance as a project piece while working on Graded Pianoforte Studies Book II for technical purposes. In addition, I will be taking Grade 5 Music Theory Exam later in 2018 (...or when I am ready eventually. Oh, how can you compose without the aid of an instrument!).

I had a membership with a local photographic society for a year. I did well and won several prizes including the best street photography and the best colour print at the final exhibition. Unfortunately, though, I didn’t quite care for the type of photography enthusiastically supported by the major stream of the society. Beauty to perfection with additions and subtractions to transcend (rather than enhance) the reality. I lost interest and left it. I will be taking pictures of course, but not competing in that manner at least for the time being.

I like the sense of closure at this time of the year. It somehow feels comforting and reassuring. I reflect the past and make plans for the future. Nobody knows what the year 2018 will bring to us, but I will be in it, with it and at it, as best as I can.

Merry X’mas and a Happy New Year to you all.

# by uk_alien | 2017-12-23 22:07 | just a diary | Comments(0)



# by uk_alien | 2016-11-01 04:31 | photography | Comments(0)

Just a little thought of the day


Are you afraid of changes? I am. I alway have. Very well hidden in my adulthood but positively yes. Do I still need to try to learn to embrace them? Maybe yes.
# by uk_alien | 2016-10-30 01:22 | just a thought | Comments(0)

The meaning of the life of gadgets


When does a gadget stop being a gadget and become a yester-appliance, even if it's still perfectly working? Realistically, I guess it's when the model has received more than two major updates and being labelled as "discontinued" must be a death sentence.
# by uk_alien | 2016-10-28 20:35 | just a thought | Comments(0)

Bye bye Photoshop


Some time ago, my PC decided it had enough and broke, taking my copy of Photoshop down with it. After switching to Apple, subscribing to Adobe's CC felt a step too far so I decided to purchase Affinity Serif. A far more reasonable option.

Do I like it? Well, it's OK. I wish it worked as seamlessly with Lightroom and Google Nik as Photoshop but it is much cheaper (and gets updated for free) so I can't complain. Also, at the moment, I am enjoying processing images only through Lightroom, especially the ones taken by M8. It's only 10MP so there's not much to manipulate!

I recently joined a local camera club and am entering a monochrome print competition for the first time. Having my digital images printed through a lab was exciting and I mounted them by myself. Yay! Will I win the competition? No way. The standard is really high but I am hoping to be able to learn by going through the process and also receiving comments from the judge.

It was foggy this morning so I took my camera with me when I walked the dog, hoping to be able to shoot some nice foggy effect. Unfortunately the fog was already lifted by the time we got to the woods. But I took some shots nevertheless. After importing those images through Lightroom at home, I just thought ... I can't get enough of this. I love photography. I really do.
# by uk_alien | 2016-10-27 20:58 | photography | Comments(0)

A Sunny Day Walk


Autumn, autumn, and autumn.
# by uk_alien | 2016-10-27 04:14 | photography | Comments(0)

Just a diary

It's been such a long time since I've updated this blog. Perhaps no one cares but I write nevertheless.

Autumn is here everywhere. Proper chill, lots of birds around the feeders, and leaves are turning. Very pretty. The arty side of me has been touched by the season, too. I've just started a new book - "The Nose" by Nicolai Gogol. Bizarre. It's as weird as Dostoevsky's "The Double" or Kafka's "Metamorphosis". Just my kind of book to read, wrapped in a blanket with a warm drink beside me.

Busying myself with photography, piano and animals nowadays. The house is good (we've moved out of the pollution laden Central London to the semi-rural area) and I no longer work (YES!).

I liked what I was doing on this blog earlier, i.e. sharing advanced level English words that I learnt everyday. Honestly I learnt a lot by doing that - and forgot a lot too, but it doesn't matter as that sort of vocabulary is not for active use but for passive recognition and comprehension (a very good excuse). Unfortunately I don't think I have time to write such structured entries for the time being but I might start again sometime in the future. Out of necessity, really. Whose idea was it that living and breathing a foreign language is liberating? Well I don't regret but I have to pay the price.

I do miss some people I've come across on this blog over the years. People do appear and disappear (like me). I wonder how they are. I hope they are well. I am sure they are.

I'll be back.

uk_alien xx

P.S. I'm so pleased that I'm no longer young and vigorous and ranty as before to write about Brexit.
# by uk_alien | 2016-10-21 00:44 | just a diary | Comments(0)

今日の5つの上級英単語 Part 44




hoard [v] to collect and keep large amount of food, money, etc., especially secretly
e.g. Squirrels hoard nuts for winter.

aegis [n] under the aegis of sth = with the protection or support of a particular organisation or person
e.g. The negotiations were conducted under the aegis of UN.

imbibe [v] to drink alcohol, to absorb sth (such as information)
e.g. Plants imbibe light from the sun
We often go on a holiday in Devon to imbibe fresh air.

virile [adj] showing masculine characteristics (strong, energetic, sexual etc). (positively used)
e.g. What can we do to change this somehow fixated idea that men continue to be fascinating and attractive and virile, while women age and no longer sexual or beautiful.

doddering [adj] weak, slow and not able to walk in a steady way especially because of old age
e.g. My mother-in-law detests the idea of ending up in a nursing home, living among doddering old people.


# by uk_alien | 2015-08-05 18:57 | 今日の5つの上級英単語 | Comments(0)

[復習編] 今日の5つの上級英単語 Part 26の復習

今回は今日の上級英単語Part 26の復習です。Part 26で学習したのは以下の単語:


さて問題です。次の例文の[ ]にもっともよく当てはまる単語を上から選んでください。動詞の場合は、時制は文脈によって変化させ、同様に名詞の単数複数も変化させてください。

An original Power of Attorney duly signed and [ ] by two witnesses is required in order for us to disclose any information in respect of your mother's account.

New regulations concerning smoking in public are expected to be [ ] later this year.

Harry and I met not in propitious circumstances to say the least, so our relationship was [ ] from the start and didn't last long.

He learned back, [ ] at the success of his plan.

Even after years, he still remains an [ ] to me.








# by uk_alien | 2015-08-04 15:00 | [復習編] 今日の5つの上級英単語 | Comments(0)

London, UK

by uk_alien