Braveheart: eat your ‘heart’ out. It’s time for BRAVE!

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait until June 22nd. Not only is it my birthday, (oh yeaah) it’s also the premiere of ‘Brave.’ What’s ‘Brave’ I hear you wonder? Why only Pixar’s coolest idea ever!! I was sitting with my friends munching on some kimchi (Korea…mmm), when one of them was like ‘Hey Siobhan, did you hear Pixar are bringing out a new Scottish fairy-tale picture this year?’ Me: ‘Oh yeah, ‘course…awesome hey!’ (In my head: I should probably be aware of this seeing as it’s my current line of work, and I love fairies and my country and oh my…next minute, rushes home to check out the trailer)!

Finally a Pixar animation with a girl as the lead, a Scottish girl at that, one who does indeed have red frizzy hair and yes, she is fighting for her freedom. What can I say, us Scots just can’t get enough mmmk! FREEEEEEDOM! (I’d like to shout out that around here sometime…who knows what would happen…)

This girl might even rock the mismatched socks off of Pippi Longstocking (cannot believe I even just said that, she certainly will not). I can’t help but wonder why I didn’t know about it before. How could fate be so cruel? Why can’t it be meeee? Haha. Ah well, I guess Kelly Macdonald (Trainspotting, Nanny Mcphee etc) can probably pull it off better ;) But hey, now that I know Pixar are turning to Scotland for inspiration (finally, I mean, come on it IS stunning), who knows where the future for us Scottish voice actors might go? I have hope! I’m aiming for Meridan’s (lead girl) best friend from the local village, who loves dancing in fields and eating chocolate…Ha!

Check our the trailer here: (oh how I miss my homeland, mmm :)

Sometimes my links don’t work…so try again here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEHWDA_6e3M
I’m even more excited (if that’s possible) by the short animation ‘La Luna’ which is also going to be accompanying ‘Brave’ at it’s premiere! Now if you know me, you’ll know I love the moon and I repeat, LOVE the moon. So how could I resist something that combines animation with moon and stars and a cute little boy? I can’t freaking wait!
Again, here is the actual link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HVCXjmdMd4
My birthday is gonna be awesome this year!!

oh sweet incense, Macau.

“Ha, you’re going to Macau hey?! Don’t gamble too much!”

Really?! Do I look like the type who’d rather spend her weekend hovelled up in some glitzy casino with hordes of men from the mainland gambling away every penny?! Come now. Not that I wouldn’t be partial to trying it some time, just for fun, but right now I can think of hundreds of things I’d rather do with my sacred weekend.

Being my second time to visit Macau, I thought it’d be a good idea to acually see some of the cool architecture rather than bypass it all by heading straight for Coloane, the beautiful beachy village of the south, as I did last time. Now the only part I haven’t explored is the casinos. A strange concept for most people I’m sure, especially as that’s what Macau is famed for. Even so far as being labelled ‘Vegas of the East.’ Indeed.

Being the adventurers that we are, we decided we’d just use my flimsy torn-out-of-Lonely Planet-map and take Macau by foot. It made for an interesting day. Firstly, as the ferry came to a halting stop in what we thought was Macau, the lovely ferry lady announced our arrival over the mic ‘Welcome to Hong Kong!!’ Sorry, uhhh, WHAT NOW?! Thankfully it was just an error on her part, probably due to the fact that we were on the first ferry of the day. Hello exhaustion.

So we were in Macau, relief!! We started off at the ruins of the once beautiful, St.Pauls Cathedral with the other gazillion tourists, before quickly escaping down a back alley, past the delicious fruit market in search of more hidden delights. Immediately we stumbled upon the coolest park ever! Against the backdrop of the awe-inspiring colourful graffiti, an old guy was just casually doing some lunges, whilst two kids chased a cat as their grandparents played on the old peoples swings. (I love old-peoples parks!) Supposedly this was the park where an art fair was being held, but today of all days the sign instructed us to go in search of a different park where the fair would be held today only. Harriet hopped on the mission immediately and off we went to find this place. This place did not exist. Hours later we found ourselves back in the same place and there it was: the art fair. In the original place. Macau’s chilled OK. They don’t start early here.

The rest of the day was spent wandering. We covered the entire island. Twice. Without meaning to. I had the bright idea of checking out Ox Warehouse, a place where a group of artists can let their creative juices go crazy. It sounded really cool, but there was actually only one small video exhibition. Anyway the point of this story is that we wandered for a good hour looking for a taxi, on the opposite side of the city from Ox Warehouse, and yet where did we end up eventually finding the only taxi in the city? Yes. Ox Warehouse. Exact same spot we were dropped in only hours earlier. This world is bizarre I tell ya.

Apart from this weird coincedence, we had such a gorgeous day. Google weather informed me that it would be a sweet 18degrees. It was no such thing and we were freezing, but that’s OK because Macau is beautiful. Just as Shenzhen smells of sweet jasmine (at least where I live it does), Macau smells like incense and candy-floss. Wherever you go, you can see the smoky spirals (hallelujah it’s not nicotine-induced spirals) drifting into the air from their coily,twirly-shaped bearers.

It’s such a refreshing little place. People are unbelievably friendly. Two girls on the hunt for some art fair, huge map in their hands, and it seemed like everyone was stopping to ask if we needed help. I actually love Macau. From church to church to temple to park to tea shop to eating the most amazingly fresh cod-cakes and fish with tomato rice at ‘A Lorcha’ (famous Portugese restuarant), to chatting with lovely crafty artsy people in the park. We had such a wonderful day.

Macau may have been handed back to China, but it still has a completely different air about it. (No, but literally, it’s fresh like an incense daisy.) The stunning Portugese-esque architecture is everywhere, infused with a Chinese twist. And it’s got the feel of a little town rather than a big city. I could wander along the cobble-stoned alleys forever with their colourful street art and delicious biscuity snacks that are neverendingly delicious. The architecture alone is like something out of a story book. Ah, so pretty.

Macau, I’m sure I said this last time too, but for really, I’ll be back to explore you again. Soon soon.

                                                             Just look at how lovely it is:

hello cool cling-film arty people.
bit of art gazing, big of lunging.
oh so pretty architecture.
sweet smell of Macau.
just chilling on my horsey.
i could certainly live here. no problem.
my favourite graffiti in Macau. reach for the moon…

St.Pauls ruins.

kiss me in the rain.

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It’s raining outside, it’s raining inside (seriously!). The sky is blue, the sky is gray. We have no moon. From two-moon land 1Q84, to no-moon land. Shenzhen has gone crazy.

It’s one thing to come home to a chilly apartment, but to come home and to see water literally pouring down your walls, and having to slip and slide through an inch of water just to get to your bedroom, well I don’t know what the heck’s going on. Humidity? Or just plain weird?! Now rain outside, well that’s OK. Especially if, like Holly Golightly it involves kissing a handsome gent, or dancing without an umbrella (not a common sight in China, they LOVE umbrellas here!). It’s cleansing. And it produces rainbows. Cool!

But raining indoors wasn’t the only strange part of today. I actually saw an old Granny steal a kids bike. As she rode away, the child screaming behind her, she cackled into the wind and sped off. I sincerely hope she was just joking around. Poor kid!

Just another surreal day in the big city.

harrietta

I wonder if it’s spelled B i r d w h i s t l e? ‘Cause that would just be awesome. Sadly, it wasn’t. But she more than made up for it. Harrietta (two t’s ;), or Birt, as she is also known, is one of the most wonderful creatures I’ve ever come across. From the moment she sent me an Audrey Hepburn cup in the post for Christmas, I knew it was set in stone. Oh boy, I wasn’t wrong. We’ve been through it all. From the highest bungee in the world in beautiful South Africa, complete with rocking dance party to get the adrenaline flowing, to standing on the edge of a river cliff in hysterics as she almost tumbled to her death in a random-ass village in China. As she so wisely told me…you know it’s a true friend when they’d rather laugh and snap photos of you than save you from near-death by falling-in-dirty-river, off edge-of-cliff. Yeah, I love this girl!

She knows everything. I kid you not. I mean I’ve been living in Shenzhen for approx. 1 year now and I’ve never had a hot shower. Well along comes Harriet, who speaks no Chinese (apart from ting bu dong ;), reads no Chinese and yet she still manages to point out that maybe, just maybe, my water gas heater thingy (yeah, it was always gonna be a problem for me) was turned the wrong way. It was really as simple as that. Also there was the time where she kindly showed me how I could listen to music through other programmes other than i-tunes which abandoned my laptop last year. Then there was also the time where she pointed out the various plug points around my apartment, and figured out how to work a Chinese dvd player where everything is in Chinese. Yup, she’s got it going on.

So now she’s gone. Prancing around on some tropical Fiji island, how dare she! ha! Well actually she darn well deserves it after putting up with China for one whole month (or rather…me!)! Now that she’s gone and I’m suffering from Post-Harriet-Departure-Depression (it really does exist), I’ve got to thinking about how amazing and quite simply, essential it is to have a best friend living in your apartment. Not only do they figure out all the weird and wonderful ways in which technology is supposed to work (these hi-tec savvy kids, I love ‘em) but they also cook for you. And it’s delicious! And they have dance parties with you and eat chocolate with you and drink tea (ALOT OF TEA FOR THIS LADY) with you and listen to you and make you laugh non-stop for one whole entire month and everyday becomes a total magical jam.

Everyday is fun when Harriet’s around. A few of my favourite memories from our friendship so far…

*St.Patricks Day, 2007, Knysna. That’s all I’m sayin’…
*Sledging in the Highlands of Scotland.
*Attempting to skinny-dip at 2am in Scotland.in winter.in -20degrees Atlantic Ocean. Yeah, we’re clever.
*Coming to Newcastle for 3days and not leaving your house. For some reason we make everything hilarious, such as sitting on a plane in Sichuan where nothing is even happening…but there we are, bawling tears of laughter, bordering on hysteria.
*FACE. Your face in a crowd of 20million crammed into a tunnel, underground, levitating on the busiest day of Chinese New Year (sorry!).
*Pandas…
*Russian/Polish/Chinese political upheavals in parks on a sunny day.
*YAK, Chicken feet, pig!!!! and all that other weird food. NZ ICE CREAM anyone?!
*General chaos in Sichuan. Trains, planes and cows.
*Macau. Ox Warehouse. ‘Welcome to Hong Kong…’
*Hong Kong…Pandora. defo ’nuff said.
*Just general laughter at everyday things, like the excitement of having hot water.
*Yellow nails. forever. amen.
*You. Just you. Too awesome.

So Harriet, now that you’re living your life on a beach somewhere, and I’m shivering in my pod, hows about you come back hey?! ‘Cause I miss you and China does too. China misses the only blonde in the village. And if you don’t come back sometime you know what that means right? Losing face. Noone likes a lost face. I think we both know that mmmk :)

Just kidding! Go rock that pretty world out there and I’ll join you soon for some galavanting! I love youuuu!

                                                                     Some photos :)

Rocking the dreamy, other-worldly look. It’s all the rage right now.

Damn our younger selves. Dr.Feel Good…do your job!



When she invited me to join her daily bathing sesh, I knew it was meant…

                  Hey, I wonder where the next adventure will take us… ;) ? Peace out Panda buddy!