An hour early

“An hour early” was a form of birthday present at my Boarding School. It was not really a present; it was more like a plank!

This involved changing his clocks, watches to an hour early while he is fast at sleep. So he would get up an hour early!

I don’t know if this still exist amongst modern boarding schools but this is a classic.

Of course I did get the same treatment. But I made them work hard! As in those days I never took off my watch, so it wasn’t easy for them to change the time on my watch without waking me up.

So they did, and so I did wake up at an hour early. While I was getting dress and ready for Breakfast, I was surprised that no one was up, everyone was still asleep. I turned on the radio a little to find out that I have been done. My roommates were pretending to be sleeping and started to laugh at me.

I said “You bast@rds!”, before I burst out laughing too!

I know I soon be another year older. Although I don’t have any roommates, but this morning the time on my alarm clock was set to an hour early. It must be me during my sleep! As I was about to leave the flat, I noticed the real time from another clock. I was done… by myself!

Happy Birthday to myself then, my inner self send me a present, thank you! LOL!

It means that I am at work an hour early, so I am finishing early, after all its date night on Monday nights!

Take Care
Simon

Goalkeeping Mistakes

My Goalkeeping CV

95-98 Truro School – 3rd Team

98/99 UMIST – 3rd Team

99/00 UMIST – Chem Eng Team

Then I retired!

I love playing in goal, even though I was rubbish! My reflex is very good, it is just my handling is poor, and so is my kicking.

The feeling of catching a ball or making a great save is magical! I rather save a goal than score one.

I can remember lots of great saves but I also can remember lots of mistakes too! Most of those mistakes end up giving goals away. (Even now, playing in 5-a-side!).

It is a huge understatement to say that I know how “Green” feels. Even a world class keeper makes mistakes. You are really playing with luck sometimes.

To a goalkeeper, you have to wait. You have to wait for a shot, a cross to come at you. A goalkeeper can only respond and play then. Sometime you only get one chance to show your skills. Lack of concentration will make you do silly things. Well Green you just have to wait until your next match. Although I think James should play, Capello will probably stick with Green. Finger crossed, you are not cursed with making blunders like me.

From a failed Violinist to a unique hands-recorder player

When I was in Hong Kong, I noticed something under my bed. It was my violin. My name was written across the case. Then a flurry of memories came back to me.

BTW It was a waste of money because I wasn’t any good and I gave it up early.

I did not start learning until first year (aged 12 ish) in secondary school. I was still in Hong Kong then, in my “Form 1” at a school in Aberdeen.

School Choir, Trips and First Experience of the Violin

Every student was encouraged to take some extra curriculum activities. I chose to learn the Violin with a few of my school friends. However I had experienced playing the Violin a few years before that. It was while I was in Primary School, I was part of the school choir (yes I was!). It was seen to be a “cool” thing to be included in the choir. There was not many other external activities. To be in the choir, it meant school trips to Competition, Music Concerts and The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. It was that trip to the HKAPA where I first got my hand on a Violin.

The building itself was an art on its own. There are number of theatres and practice rooms. While touring inside the building, you could hear and feel the music coming from various musical instruments. We were all sat down inside one of the theatre rooms. Our guide at the academy was showing us a range of musical instruments. She pick me out as a volunteer to demonstrate some of the instrument on display. I picked the Violin. There I was in front of 30 odd0 people, played my first few notes on the Violin.

Violin Class and Teacher

I went to a boys school, and our Violin class was in a group. I think we muck about more than actually learn to play the thing. I am sure that our teacher was more focus on getting us to behave rather than teach us to play the violin.

But I did start to learn and like it. It made me feel more talented and whatever…

Taking the Violin to the UK

I didn’t stop when I came over to the UK. I asked my Hong Kong teacher to source me a violin, it wasn’t a top of the grade but it was expensive enough. I continue my lessons at school but it was becoming *uncool* and a burden. I didn’t really practice, so progress was extremely slow. Even more so in my school at Truro, everyone had to have some after school activities. My housemaster Dr Allen was so kind to arrange me to join the orchestra. I was only Grade 2 or 3 then ie not good enough to play there!!! But I went along, it was an horrifying experience. I didn’t know how to play, all I could do was “Pretend”, I was such a good actor that I didn’t get found out! So there I was playing air violin all that hour, so painful! Of course I never went back for a second time, even though I was sharing a music stand with a lovely girl. (Still have a thing about girls playing the violin, *wink*)

Unique hand-recorder player

In the end, my love of sports has taken over me. It was becoming more and more difficult to pick up the violin. I have no doubt that I will play again. I have no doubt that my violin will be used again, but for the time being it is safely stored under my bed in Hong Kong.

However there is one instrument that I am still practising and playing with, that is my hands-shaped like a bowl-sounded like a recorder thing. I have been playing it for more than 20 years. Never failed me as a party trick, or impress people. When I am brave enough, I will queue up for Britain’s Got Talent. But I think I will youtube it first and blog about it.

The only song I can play is the English National Anthem. Who would want to see/hear that? It beats the violin anyday!

Reflecting

Sorry for not writing a post for a while. Back with some deep stuff I guess…

Do you reflect? Reflect on what you do? How’s your day been? Where you are heading?

When I was little, my mum taught me to reflect every night before I go to sleep. Consider what I have and haven’t done well! Sometime I have to admit that looking back can be painful. I would rather look forward only. But you cannot really go forward without looking back, as your baggage becomes heavier and heavier.

One must learn about how ones behave today to correct ones behaviour tomorrow.

Reflecting is like facing your demons. I am human and make a lot of mistakes. Do I go over every mistake and learn from them? Probably not, but I try to. There are good days and there are bad days. But as long as you are honest with yourself then you can really clear your mind burdens.

Reflecting helps me, and gives me strength to get up the next day, do the things I do well and tackle the things I don’t do well. It is not all above criticising either, sometime it is also very positives. I can be jumping up and down before I go to sleep, because I have done something I am proud off. Give yourself a pat on the back!

You answer to no one, you answer to yourself. Why would you let other people judge you when you can be your own judge?

Reflection or Reflecting is actually a learning and self continuous improvement technique. You can probably find out more from Google.

Reflecting….

Simon