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

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.

My first time in Manchester, 8 hours away from Cornwall

I went to school in Truro, Cornwall. I am from Westcountry. So don’t fool me with fake looking pasties…

This is a true account of the time when I came up to UMIST for my interview in Manchester for the very first time.

The train takes about 8 hours. It was a direct train from Truro all the way along the westcoast then to Birmingham then onto Manchester. The University has found me a cheap B&B hotel (Grafton Hotel £20). It was next to the Royal Infirmary just off Oxford Road. Although I was from Hong Kong and familiar to city life. I was little overwhelmed by Manchester at first, alone in a unknown city. All I remember people from Cornwall was saying: “Manchester is rough!” (They probably still think that now). So arm with this but also with my real excitement, as I really want to go to UMIST, I went to Manchester. It is also where Chemical Engineering had all started too. I was not a bright student, not good enough for Oxbridge, so UMIST was the next best uni in Chemical Engineering.

Got into a taxi heading for the hotel. My eyes kept looking out of the windows, there was nothing to see along Upper Brooke Street! The hotel was not modern at all, even worst than Trennick, my boarding house. The room was very small and there was no tele. For my dinner, I went out hoping to go to China Town. Not knowing any transport or directions!, I just kind of walked. My sense of direction is poor (still is), I went toward Rusholme rather than China Town. Got lost in little India. I was miles away and was so disappointed that I missed the opportunity. I was so looking forward to proper Chinese food. There are good takeaways in Truro, but it is not quite the same. Char Siu Rice ar….

Low in morale, low in energy, I had to settle for a pizza, not really wanting curry. Also went to the shop and got some magazines to fill the time in the evening. Back to the hotel and to my box room, ate the pizza, then had to open the windows to get rid of the smell. In the same time, feeling the cold wind coming in, you know Cornwall is much warmer. Then I was so tired, so headed for an early night for the important next day.

Our school has taught us well, encourage us to wear a suit to interview. I did and look pretty smart. Many other just turned up in their jeans and trainers. This was my first suit from the local Topman. I still have it in the wardrobe.

The one thing I was looking forward to is the Pilot Plant. UMIST is the only university has a pilot process plant. If you drive pass the new Macdonald Hotel near Piccadilly Station. The now named “Morton Laboratory” is still there, the hotel people want to have it knock down to improve their view but it is still there after a strong battle. It is there to stay!

The day was great, UMIST is a modern university, we got to go around Weston Hall. Ensuite Rooms, close to Uni & town, what sold me was INTRANET = INTERNET. No more 14.4kbps (yes 14.4kbps!) at school, it was 10MBps straight though to JANET, the inter-university link in the UK. I remember downloading was already at 600kb/s. This was more than 10 years ago! I still can’t get that speed in my new place…

Other than the attractive intranet, I was also impressed by my chat with my interviewer Prof Davey, who afterward became my tutor. I presented myself well and we chatted about what I was learning in Chemistry (btw Chem Eng don’t really have that much chemistry though). There were only good things that I saw afterward, the Joule Library, the Vimto thing, the statue of Archimedes, the computing facilities, sports facilities. I am definitely coming back and so I did with my luck.

I had to dash as the train was leaving at around 3pm. The train would arrived back to Truro at about 11pm just before roll call at Trennick.

I was both lucky and unlucky that I met my Physics teacher’s daughter who was travelling back down from Bath for her interview too. That meant two things, I can’t get await from the Physics test the morning after but at least I got a lift from his dad back to school.

That was my first time in Manchester and here I am now some 12 years after, the slope leading up to Piccadilly Train Station is still a joyful walk. I still called University of Manchester – UMIST, the Morton Laboratory – Pilot Plant, Sackville Street building – The Main building, Still stare at the changing colour logo at the top of Social Science building while driving on the Mancunian way (I will be careful).

Thanks for reading – My first Time in Manchester, 8 hours away from Cornwall!


Another old story – Schof

Hi there another old story today, quite a touchy one at the time and still is now.

2nd year in school (must be >15 ago). There were 4 boarders in my class. G-Man, Schof, William Wilson and me. I can’t remember when but WW left the school.

At the beginning I follow them alot. I hope they didn’t think I am too much of a pain.

It was biology lesson. Our teacher is Dr Blake (He always make fun of my surname!) He is the kind of teacher that carries enthusiasm and sense of humor. At the end of the lesson, he gave us prep (the posh word for homework!, stands for preparation!). I missed it. Don’t know what I have to do. So I wait to the end and try to find him after the lesson. But after I packed up, he was gone and disappeared. It was the end of the day so I went to catch the school bus back to Trewinnard Court (Junior Boarding House at the time). I then went to see Schof and asked him what prep was for Biology. He kindly told me what it was and then asked me why don’t I ask the teacher myself. He was trying to encourage me to do it. I explained and said I couldn’t find him. He pat on my shoulder in a very encourage way. I remember that even until now. That is real encouragement. He did not just say go away, not helping you. He encouraged me to break the barrier. The barrier of insecurity. He wanted to help me. That is maturity. In Hong Kong it would be very different. Definitely not that kind might even involve favours or money. Might be I have exaggerated.

Have you done anything to help anyone today?


Old Story – Journey to Alton Towers

Hi all,

Let me tell you a story long long time ago. (>10years)

It happened on a trip to Alton Towers.

It will take the coaches 8 hours from Truro to Staffordshire. We set off near midnight and arrive just before they open. So the good thing is that we would be at the front of the queue, especially on the new ride “Nemesis”.

Right if you imagine I am the saddo who always left behind when people picking for teams. (Obviously that is why I am a goalie.) You have guess it, I am sitting on my own. All my friends are already paired up. So I am waiting for the lucky person who will sit next to me. (I don’t know, but I might be lucky this time)

Someone I can’t remember her name, but remember it start with B (fittingly she has BIG breasts, not that I am a breast man, but it bloody stands out! You look at them and they look at you that kind of thing…..)

Anyway she is a year above me, and immediately some of my friends are already very jealous should I say.

We had a chat share a fews jokes and laughs.

She has been living in Africa or some sort. I am not sure. But move over to the school recently.

She ask me if she can borrow my shoulder to slept on. oh how sweet.

I said I don’t mind and there she goes use it like a pillow!

If there was phone camera and youtube in those days it would be on the web now. But lucky not and it will be in my memory.

Obviously there is also a return journey to talk about. But no need for the shoulder this time she is in my arms. Yeah right, I wished. I am dreaming this time……..

You know at Alton Tower they charge you alot of money for those photos taken at the rides. I had some of those and share them with her, had a laugh or two. Nothing special happened and that was that.

Everyone is very tired after a long day. We arrive back at school near midnight and straight to bed.

Take Care