Category Archives: The Byq List

A Year to Reflect?

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The New Year has gotten me thinking.

It started after Mr. Fix-it’s holiday started few weeks ago, and we had so much time watching TV and doing virtually nothing. One of the show on the telly was this series “It was alright in…”. There were three of them — 1990, 1980, and 1970. Get it? So there were three episodes of them, each represents the decade, and what was acceptable in that decade which is no longer or slightly dubious nowadays.

Some celebrities, coming from different generations and age groups, were invited to make comments on what they saw on the screen — whether it was how news were presented, the comedy show, the unPC comments on talk shows, or even the (lack of) fashion sense. And, it was meant to be a light hearted, and was supposed to be in the comedy side.

I did found some of them quite funny, or even embarrassingly hilarious.  The ones from 1980s and 1990s that is. But when we were watching the one from 1970, things got slightly disturbing — even for me.

Things have changed, haven’t they?

It wasn’t as far as the Elizabethan time, Victorian time, or even the world wars time. It was only forty years ago, and look how far we have moved on. How much we have changed, as a society. And even it does make me excited, enthusiastic, and hopeful, it does make me feel scared too.

It made me think of myself, in thirty to forty years from now, where would this blog be? Would my ideas, and ideology still be relevant? Would I be in the right side of history?

I would like to think that I am doing the right thing, but I am sure that there were so many people in the 70s thinking that they were one of the most forward thinking and open minded people too. And they were not. What if in decades from now I would be the bigoted one?

You know what?

I think I should start this year by apologise in advance. For me and for people in the future. If this blog is still around by then, and if the world has changed so much and this blog has become offensive, and no longer relevant to the current sociopolitical correctness then — I apologise.

This blog is not perfect, but today, in this time period, I am trying to do what is right according to our sociopolitical situation today. If there are any wrongdoing, offence, etc. it wouldn’t be intentional. It is just what is acceptable today.

We have different questions, different priorities, and different cultural movements compared to the world in the 1970s. I believe things would be different too in 2050s or 2080s.

So, apart from apology, I would also use this blog to reflect, review, and retrospect, or even retract. Things have changed, and it will keep changing, and the only way I could be relevant is by knowing the changes.

That’s for today. See you again soon 🙂

Happy New Year 2017

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Another year has passed. Although I couldn’t say that 2016 was a good year for me and (probably) the rest of humanity, I am still glad we have gone through it — alive.

Well, I am not going to talk about the past today, because I think new year is the best time to talk about the future. And for the very near future, a.k.a year of 2017, this is my resolutions:

  1. Since I managed to lose a bit of weight in 2016, why don’t I make it a promise to myself to be a better groomed person. I will take care of myself better — not necessarily full on make up everyday but.. hey, I am getting older. I don’t think it is a bad idea at all to take care of my physical appearance.
  2. I will read more. I will keep the target of 20 books I didn’t get to achieve last year. That was silly of me, but I think reading books would help keeping my brain sharp. I will have to spare more time to read.
  3. Blog entries? I will make it 200. I have at least two active blogs, and I managed to write 150+ blog posts this year, and… since blogging is the only way I could keep practising my writing skill, I should think of raising my game a bit. 200 blog entries in a year? I think that’s not too ambitious, is it?
  4. My German is getting better, and I was okay in trying to practise it everyday. BUT, it seems like I couldn’t be discipline when I am trying to learn other languages. Right now, I have Welsh, French, Hungarian, and Spanish on my list. I have to make up my mind and choose one instead of learning a little bit of everything. Let’s see how I can improve my language skill this year.
  5. Expanding my social circle. I find this the most difficult thing to do. My husband does have friends who are nice, and we get along alright… but unfortunately we have a complete different interests — in hobbies, political opinion, socio-cultural interests, etc. And, I can’t spend too much time with mums because somehow they would start talking about their kids, and it is sooo difficult to pretend that I care.

There… Wish me luck, and I wish you the best with your resolutions — if you do have one, and wish you a wonderful year ahead — even if you don’t have any. I will see you soon, and hopefully more regularly this time.

Prost!

The 2016 End of Year Recap

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Golly! Is this that time of the year again? Time to recap the year and list of what I have achieved this year…

Okay. From the resolution, these are what I achieved:

  1. Mein Deutsch wurde besser. Ich kann manche sätze machen, obwohl es ziemlich lange dauert. Yes… It took a while to compose that sentence. In fact, it always takes a long time for me to make a sensible sentence. But it’s getting there. All I need to do is to get more learning sources so I could expand — as Duolingo is now a little bit predictable.
  2. I haven’t reached my book challenge, nor Nanowrimo. So both just didn’t work.
  3. I definitely reached the blog post goal, although it is not posted in this site.

Other thing that I have achieved:

  1. I have lost around 11kg since Chinese New Year. The reason why I didn’t lose too much after mid year assessment is because we went to Indonesia for a holiday, and since I have lost a lot the weight loss gets a little bit trickier.
  2. I get my visa extended, so it will be okay for the next three years. Wohoo!!
  3. I am doing well with handcrafting, and gardening — until I went to Indonesia again for my sister’s wedding in November and came back to the UK with a nervous breakdown.
  4. Mr. Fix-It and I travelled a bit, although it was our usual trip to Indonesia during Summer, and Wales for Christmas.

I really wish I could achieve more though… But I can’t complain too much… this year wasn’t a good one for me. Let’s just hope that next year would be much better than this — with less pressure from immigration, and new plan laid ahead, I think there would be some progress to be done next year.

But until then, let’s enjoy the last day of 2016.

See you next year 🙂

 

Mid Year Assessment

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Oh dear… Seems like I have been neglecting this blog again lately. Apologies.

I know that saying that life happens, and I had a terrible… terrible writer’s block is not a good excuse for not writing anything at all. Hope you don’t miss me too much 😉

Usually I make my mid year assessment — about what I have achieved for the year, and how far I have gone with the resolution — around June or at the beginning of July. But of course with my lack of discipline this year, it seems like you have to deal with me making the assessment a little bit too late. But hey! It is still summer here in the UK, so it is still officially mid year.

Let’s start…

  1. My German stuck. Not that I am not learning, but I kept forgetting the previous lessons so I decided to strengthen it first before continuing with the tree. I have completely abandoned the reverse tree, for now. But I still have another 5 months, and I am still slightly confident with my progress so far.
  2. Mr. Fix-It and I also started to learn French. It is very… incredibly slow. But I am not too ambitious about learning French for now. We are taking it really slowly.
  3. Books… well… Embarrassingly I have to admit that I only read 8 books so far. There are plenty in my bedside table, and every progress is slow. But I am getting there. I know that there are plenty to catch up.
  4. I definitely have posted more than 100 entries this year. Not only from this blog, but also from my other blogs. I still have 5 more months to add to that number. I might even double my target now that I am sure that I could write more after this.

I can’t say about NaNoWriMo — it needs to wait for November. But I have achieved other things. For example:

  1. I have lost 8 kg now since Chinese New Year in February. It was almost 9 kg but after I came back for a visit this holiday, I have gained some back. But hey… I know how to lose it, I can lose it again.
    Best thing is… I wasn’t on a diet at all. I eat what I want to eat, and I don’t exercise. Now I sound like I am advertising something lol. Nope.
  2. I started gardening. I never planned this, and I didn’t think that I am that kind of person. But now that I have a garden, I couldn’t think of me not having one. I think if we ever have to move to a new place, we wouldn’t look for a flat. I want a garden.
    It is a vegetable and flower garden by the way. Some of the vegetables has produced crops, and we ate them already.

See? This year is not too bad at all. Let’s see if in the end of the year I will end up with a finished NaNoWriMo story, and a visa in my hand.

Prost!

End of Year Recap and Review

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This is the time of the year again. I can’t believe that it is already the end of the year, and I have to say that I am very much embarrassed with what I have achieved this year — which is not much. I should admit.

Usually, I would start from reviewing my new year resolution and see how close I am to the target. But unusually, I did not make any new year resolution this year — something that I deeply regret. I found that setting a target in the beginning of the year has helped me to focus on doing what I want to do. It kept me on the right track, and I wish that next year (which would come soon) I would be able to do it again.

This year, there are so many things happening. For example:

  1. Mr. Fix-It has started a new job. It is a much better job from the last one, especially because now he has got to do something he’s been dreaming of doing for a very long time. I am so proud of him.
  2. The council decided to give us a new kitchen, so to celebrate it, we bought for ourselves a nice little new oven cooker. I am not the queen of the new kitchen. We so love this new kitchen. Unfortunately, when our kitchen was renovated, one of the electrician tripped our fuse, and blew our freview box. Guess what? We have spent the whole year without watching live tv and survived easily.
  3. I went back to Indonesia for a visit, because my sister is married. Reminds me of one wedding in Germany that I sadly had to miss out in Summer this year 😦 I still feel so bad about it.

And, what have I achieve this year?

  1. I have job in a charity organisation. I don’t want to give to much information about the charity and also my role in the job, not only because of how personal it is for me, but also because of the professionalism of my job. But I do love my charity work, and it has given me the sense of achievement. I would love to keep doing it.
  2. I have got a job that is not in a charity organisation. Again, I don’t like talking about this either, mainly because I have been told by the company to be really careful about what I am saying online about their company. So I would rather not talking about it at all, than saying a wrong thing about them (and get sued lol).
  3. I made friends 🙂 Yes, I made friends online, but friends nevertheless. I wish I would have the chance to meet some of them next year.
  4. I started learning how to bake this year 🙂 and, I have to say I quite enjoy the activity. Of course, one year of baking would not make me the expert in baking. Not yet. But I am pretty sure if I can keep my progress, I would be able to participate in the Great British Bake Off soon :p
  5. I also started learning a new language. The language that I have chosen is German because I planned on going there for a wedding (which I unfortunately had to miss :() Es ist ein langsamer Fortschritt, denn Deustch ist neu für mich. Aber, Ich bin froh dass mache Fortschritt ich. Danke. I know some of German speaking readers might cringe reading what I just written, I would welcome any correction too 🙂

I unfortunately haven’t travelled as much as I wanted to, and haven’t been able to be as productive as I think I could be. But then again, without a target goal it is so easy to go astray. I apologise for a very unproductive year, to you, but mainly to myself — for being a lazy procrastinator.

I hope I would be able to post once more before the new year, but it could be a bit tricky as Mr. Fix-It and I would go to Wales to visit my father in law. So, if just in case I wouldn’t post any more entry, I would like to say:

Frohe Weihnachten 2015 und Frohe Neujahr 2016.

 

What Did You Say About Online Shopping Again?

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I would have to agree with Princess AK that online shopping is definitely one of the most dangerous activity you could do online. Forget about the security reasons, that you might have to share your credit card number to a complete stranger, and hope that the person would send you the product you expect to be perfect. Forget about the scam and the fraud, because you could just go to the respected seller from an authenticated shop that would protect you from those things. You could always use the help of paying platforms which could save you from all the other hassle.

But yet, online shopping is dangerous.

Especially when you don’t have much to do during the days, and you are drowned in your hobbies. For me particularly they are reading and needlecraft. To support my hobby I would buy things, such as books to read and yarns so that I can make something out of them. And the easiest and the cheapest way to acquire those stuff is by purchasing them online.

Oh the tempation.

While in the actual store they price of the products includes the price of marketing personnel, shop assistant, interior decoration, the building rent, etc, online shop only needs few people to package and ship the products, customer services to handle the correspondence with buyers and suppliers, IT guys, and server for their website (although in a bigger online shop they might need more than that).

As the result, most of the time the price of the products offered online is cheaper than it is offline. Of course you don’t have the luxury to touch the product, to feel how it would be in your hand, and calculate. All you could do is read the description in the internet (hoping that the online store would provide the correct description), and imagine the rest. But, after the first scary online purchasing which end up successful, you started to become a bit of an expert in it.

You could easily spot the fake seller, or selelr with bad reputation. You could easily see which product is better than the other. You become a online-shop-savvy. Compare the same product from different website, and calculate the delivery cost and compare it again by including the delivery time to the calculation.

You become awesome.

Until you realise how much it cost you. Literally.

The downside of purchasing online is that you sometimes forget how much you have already bought. When you clicked and saved, it was all about how much you might have saved compared to this and that, but not how much you actually spend. Sometimes it’s also because you did not see the product, or feel the weight of the shopping bag that somehow reminds you that you might have overspend. Sometimes it’s because you don’t take the money out of your purse, or push the pin number on the EDC machine. Sometimes it’s a little bit and pieces that you don’t do, makes you oblivious about your shopping activity.

You were browsing at one time, and end up buying something you don’t need.

How cool was that?

NOT.

Especially when you are not working. Like I am now.

Especially that you have a hobby that justifies all your shopping activity. Giving excuses that buying this and that would support me mentally because I could be bored at home and I need more yarn to make more jumper for everybody. And this hobby keeps my delicate motor skill in shape. It improves my focus, and also my mathematics skills.

It is scary.

Although, when I went to knit and natter (a knitting club — usually full with little old ladies who would talk about their knitting projects for someone else’s baby), I feel a little less weird. Apparently I am not the only one who stash yarns at home. These ladies have mountains of yarns and wools, and they are more than willing to spend more of their pension money for even more mountains of yarns. Just to cope a feel to the softness of the threads would give them the calm they needed through the day.

I can relate to that.

Anyway. I am sorry for talking nonsense. I need to keep my fingers busy, you see? Or I would end up buying more yarn now since I have got £38 in my bloody check out basket now.

HELP!!

Knitting Project: Simple Jumper for Mr. Fix-It

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It is my first ever attempt to make a piece of garment that is not for myself. It needs a lot of effort, you see, because you cannot keep measuring it while knitting it. The measurement is not the standard one, because my husband’s arm is a little bit longer than average man. He has a bit of trouble finding the right jacket in the shop because most of the time their sleeves are shorter than his arm.

I am glad the measurement is correct. And, after one and a half month, this is how it looks on my husband.

Hubbys JumperI have to work more on the neck line and the sewing. I am not too good at it, but maybe after few more projects I would be able to make it tidier.

It looks simple though, all you need is the 2k2p ribbing for the waistband and the sleeves, a vertical purl on the body, and a moss/rice stitch to decorate the sleeves. With 25% wool material it should be warm enough, although he might not need the jumper for awhile as the summer is coming 🙂

So, what’s my next project would be, I wonder…

 

I Like…

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I like… thinking…

I like thinking of things that I like in life
The first thing come up in my mind is that I like food
It reminds me… I like snacking while watching TV shows
I like my crisps not too salty, and like cheese flavours the most
I like dipping my nachos to cheese dips

However, I am a bit picky…
I like the my sunny side runny, but I like the white crispy
I like my tea hot and unsweetened, no milk, nor other flavour in it
But I like my coffee very milky and sweet — sometimes strong coffee affects my heart beat, and keep me awake at night…

I like staying up late but being able to see the first sun light in the morning
I like reading a good book before bed
And watching a good film in silence after dinner…

I like a good dinner, sometimes with a good company
I like cooking my own good dinner…

I like cooking in general, and I would love to be able to bake as well
I like learning new stuff
I like knowing stuff
That’s why I like reading and watching film… because I can learn a lot from them.

I like fiction though. It helps my brain work in a more creative way.
I like being creative, I have spend my times doing art and craft while not working
I like crocheting, knitting, doodling, sketching, drawing patterns and painting murals
I like writing too

I like knowing that my brain is working, and being able to write something tells me that
I like writing different things
Fiction, articles, poem… Even thesis for my degrees…
I like it when I click the button, and post this to my blog

But before I do that I’d like to tell you,

I think I like you too 🙂

2014 Resolutions

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Gosh, it’s already mid January and I haven’t finished writing my resolutions? I am such a useless blogger. Anyway… Better late than never, here’s my rather ambitious list of targets for 2014

1. Read even more!
I think 2 books a month is good enough. So I would target 24 books in the end of the year.

2. Write more!
This year’s Nanowrimo? Or maybe write a novel like Merry DT?
Definitely 100 blog post this year as an initial target

3. Live healthily
I finally gave up smoking last year, what’s this year? Lose weight? 5 kg is a good number isn’t it?
I might be a little bit picky with food too :p

4. Groom!!
I know that I have been good to myself last year. I have done my skin care routine quite religiously BUT I haven’t taken care of how I look in public. So I would like to look better this year.

5. Learn a new language.
This is a bit ambitious, but I do want to learn a new language. I realise that I wouldn’t be fluent just in a year, but learning a new language is a process and I would love to start the process this year.

6. Earn!
MY own money. At least in the mid year I would have known what to do…

There are more such as social life etc. but that comes secondary.

I wish you all a good luck for your resolution, and will do mine my best.

Cheers

Alex Aan For Nobel Peace?

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Who Is Alexander Aan?

Alexander Aan is that atheist guy who’s got jailed because he posted comments and pictures on his facebook wall which was considered inciting religious hatred. His facebook comments and pictures has enraged many people. The ex-muslim was charged two and a half years and a fine of a hundred million rupiah for blasphemy and for calling for others to embrace atheism.

I believe you can wiki everything, so I leave you to that.

I am going to get to my point.

The imprisonment of Alexander Aan has enraged many religious freedom activists not only from Indonesia but also from the international world. Not only people talked about this in the internet, but many has also signed the petition, asking for the government to reconsider this decision. The Amnesty International, even, has asked the Indonesian Government to release Alexander Aan, and has considered his imprisonment as a setback of freedom of speech in Indonesia. This is a really bad promotion for Indonesia, I suppose.

Now, Alexander Aan is nominated for the nobel peace, based on Guardian.

I have a mixed feeling about this.

Having an Indonesian in the Nobel Peace nominee list is a really positive thing that could promote Indonesia’s prestige. Having him as the winner could show Indonesian people as well, that embracing the freedom of speech, and letting people to choose to believe whatever they want to believe, is a noble thing to do. Having him as the winner might knock down the religious arrogance of some hardcore believers in Indonesia who don’t understand the idea of “unity in diversity”. It should be a good thing.

However, the nominated guy is in prison.

The guy who is considered worthy a Nobel Peace nomination, is considered a criminal in Indonesia. When he is nominated, the world… the whole world could see how backwards the hardcore religious in Indonesia could be. The world could see how the Indonesian government are afraid of this religious mass organisation who threatened them with road blockade and house burning.

I wonder, who’s the real criminal here?

I know that probably Malala Yousafzai deserves this prize the most, but this guy could change Indonesia. I have a personal reason to support him to win this, and mum would hate me for this. Please click this link, and scroll down to choose Alexander Aan to win this Nobel Peace Prize. Don’t let my Mum unhappy for nothing. Thank you.

Sources:
http://www.theguardian.com/world/poll/2013/oct/07/nobel-peace-prize-2013-pick-winner-malala-yousafzai#votehere
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/may/03/indonesia-atheists-religious-freedom-aan
http://americanhumanist.org/HNN/details/2012-05-the-story-of-alexander-aan-an-indonesian-atheist-fea
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Aan
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA21/021/2012/en/9ce2ebf3-8112-49b3-9f5b-505d8b59dca0/asa210212012en.html