Office Christmas Party (1 of 2)

This is the first Office Christmas Party with our new colleagues from the parent company, the second one is this Friday just with ourselves and a few from the old company.

The Fashion Gear

Unfortunately I had a change of heart at the last minute, didn’t like the Boxfresh shirt I was going to wear. I was going to wear a Hamnett one, just remember I wore it before in one of my last 7 office Christmas dos. So I went with my not so posh River Island short sleeve stripe shirt. Even when I was picking the pair of shoes I was in two mind. I hear you shout: “Simon! You’re such a women!”

The Walk

I live in Castlefield andthe Hotel is in Piccadilly. I walk along the canal then on Portland Road. In all it took me about 20-25minutes. It wasn’t bad at all.

The Pre-Chat

There were two types of people from the new company.

  1. Young and here to have a good time
  2. Experience and here to let you know of their proud careers.

The Dinner

3 Courses Turkey christmass dinner cooked by a machine (I think) and served by a gang of daleks (I think).

The food was somewhat mass produced. The tomato soup was aweful, a canned soup would taste much better. The turkey was surprising well cooked and very eatable, the pudding was pretty standard stuff you can buy from the supermarket.

Now the waiters, the gang of daleks I refer them as eariler.

They dress in black and ten all come at once.
They all ask the same question – “Have you finished with that?”
They show both their hands, take the plates and run back to the kitchen all in one breath.
They come back out, stand in a line and starred at each other!

Please  self-destruct!

The Party

Normally our office support staff hit the dancefloor before anyone else, but this time they were overtaken by a man from the new company. He seemed to be enjoying himself very much !!! Not sure how many he had already.

The Dance-Off

Run DMC’s song came on and there was a dance off between the new company and ourselves. Dare I said we won 3-0.

1st Round – our breakdance seal won with no reply

2nd Round – our spinning-on-his-backside-man won with no reply

3nd Round – our afician-shoulder-electrical-wave-dance won with no reply

(PS I am currently practicing my MJ moonwalk every day! Might come handy in the next dance off!!!)

The After Party

Sorry this never existed, most of the bars were shut when we finished and some decided to go home then. So I walked home with the Manchester rain.


There was no surprises, no rumours, no gossips, nothing that happen shouldn’t have. Everyone was enjoying themselves, and time has travelled fast that night.

We are all looking forward to this Fridays, I am sure something more interesting and funny things will come up.

There is of course the pre and after drinks at my penthouse this Friday. I am not sure the after drinks will be feasbile, apprently the party don’t finish until 4am!

Let the force be with you!

My Windows Mobile History

Why Windows Mobile? Because it let me do whatever I want and needed.

I have been a portable Windows Device user for sometime.

It start with my Compaq iPAQ pad 3600. It was running WM2003. I got it mainly for TomTom. It was year 2003 when SatNav is still a luxury. I bought a GPS jacket for my iPAQ and installed TomTom 2.

Then I moved on to a better iPAQ H5550 with fingerprint scanner, running WM2003 with TomTom3 and bluetooth GPS

Then I crashed it, while trying to update the ROM.

I purchased an O2 XDA Atom while I was in Hong Kong.

This was my first Windows Mobile (a phone as well as a PDA), it was running WM5. Now I can carry one gadget less with me. It was my phone, my PDA, my TomTom.

Next I upgraded myself to truly one of the great Windows Mobile.

The HTC Kaiser, with full qwerty keyboard and a tilting screen. It was running WM6 (later WM6.1) with 3G connectivity. It was great for my work, while I was on site, I can connect to 3G broadband. and was still my TomTom (now version 6).

Now I am using a Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 Windows Mobile. It is more stylish and still has the qwerty keyboard. The screen resolution is brilliant, can watch decent video on it. But it is more like a phone, compare to iPhonce, it can do much more. It is as powerful as a computer. It is still my TomTom (now version 7)

It is my phone, my camera, my emailer, my web browser, my 3G modem, my TomTom, my music and video player, my calendar, my contact book, my Twitter tool. It is no match for the iPhone or Blackberry or Android

Will do a proper review on it later.

The one Gooner Reason

When I was a kid, there was a program in Hong Kong called

“March to Wembley”

It shows FA cup games. Without any knowledge of football, you pick a team to support. This is normally by the colour of the kit they worn.

It is as simply as either Red or Blue. I follow the Arsenal is also relating to a piece of clothing too.

Not until I came over, it has became apparent amongst my boarding school room mates, I need to support a team (not picking a team by their kit). They suggested it that I pick a name out of the hat, which I refused and thought it was too random. What if I get Tottenham Hot Shit!

The school let us out on Wednesday and Saturday to go “Down Town”. That is the term, because my school is on the top of the hill. (When you are in the sixth form, you are also allow out, Friday and Saturday night to the pub!) I normal wondered in Sport shops, looking at cool surfing T-shirts. This sport shop I used to go, called Tony Pryce. They have a giant billboard with Ian Wright sporting the nike/arsenal kit. I have always felt it look great and he was and still is cool. Ian Wright Wright Wright

My cousin at the time, ran a Chinese Takeaway in Aldershot. He use to sent stuff down to me in Cornwall. Things like Chinese snacks, food etc.

One time, he went to a Nike Store and brought me a coat.. It was an Arsenal training coat. I have still got it at home in Hong Kong. So that was it, my first Arsenal merchandise and then I became a gooner.

Facebook and Me

It is August 2009, and I now have a facebook account. Reconnecting people I know, barely knew, anyone I merely remember talking to.

I still think Facebook is kind of evil, I won’t go into the detail. But I am on it now.

Exposed, cut wide open. But for sure I will use it as my photo gallery, an advert for my website.

Then the Me bit in this blog entry.

I don’t know if anyone know, I have an excellence memory, there are so much memories, stories in my head. I kind of need to do a download.

So coming soon to this blog, I will start writing a new category called “Stories around Simon”

These stories will range from when I was growing up in Hong Kong, Primary School, Secondary School in Truro, University in Manchester and Work in Manchester.

I will start one next, sometime our lives to so fast that we never have time to look back.

A “MBE” follower

This is where I currently live, on a top floor apartment of The Box Works.

If you drive along the Mancunian Way, it is behind that Urban Splash giant spaceship sales office thing.

One of my neighbour is Tom, he is the founder and Chairman of Urban Splash. (The Box Works was developed by Urban Splash.)

You can read about him here.

He recently spent a few bobs putting up many art works in our common corridor. I worked out it must be several thousand pounds or more on face value.

Very kind of him, it must also enhance the value of my property too.

I’ve just found out he tweets (use Twitter), so I thank him on that and he is now following me on Twitter too!


Day 2 of the Wedding

Are you ready for a long blog?

Day 2

Got up around 8 am. Already thinking fast, since there was a surprise planned for Dave. Our Chem. Eng. Uni. mate, Lawrence and his wife Connie had already travelled up the night before from Southampton to attend the wedding, and Dave did’t know this, but Charles did. I will have to pick them up from their hotel on route and not letting Dave know.

Dave’s mum offered Chinese tea and Dave’s dad’s home made roast pork buns, yum yum. The video man had arrived, and the whole thing of David leaving the house was filmed!

(sorry, I kept switching between Dave and David. We used to call him Dave at Uni. but he is known as David at home and by everybody else?!?!?!)

Natalie (Charles’s wife to be) decorated the already awaiting Bentley with a teddy bear couple in the front. There wasn’t anything else need to be prepared. I then set off with Natalie and two empty spaces in the back for Lawrence and Connie.

On the way to the hotel, I noticed someone else was following me, it was Heego, the other usher. I was waving frantically to signal I was not going direct to Matfen Hall. After a lot of waving, I did actually lose them on a round about. I did manage to call one of the passenger and luckily they knew the way.

Pick up Lawrence and Connie, who were in their summer wedding going outfittings matching with hats (very cool). They were going to get notice! We arrived at Matfen Hall at about 10am. The groom and some families had already arrived. He was happy to see Lawrence of couse, not quite a full surprise but very happy.

The sun has kindly came out for a lot of photos. Dave had hired a photographer couple, Nigel and Chrissie. With us the usher’s (more like pusher) help, a lot of photos were taken in the short space of time. We really did help them I would like to think. One thing never went missing was David’s smile. He must be very happy in side.

They had also hired the String Quatet, a 4 girls violin band playing exceptional music at the reception. As a very novice violin player myself when I was younger, I have very much enjoyed the performance.

The ceremony then took place, there was some readings, exchange of vowels and the registrar lady was good. The usual stuff then more photo opportunities. I do mean alot… David has a large extened families…

Next was the Chinese Banquet in Newcastle’s China Town. Not everyone was going to this. I was there though and the first task is riding an invisible boat with wooden paddles with the bride and groom behind us (ie passengers on the boat!). It was a very snakey boat I can tell you, we paddled and paddled around the Chinese Restaurant with loud drum beat. The paddlers included David’s very ecentric and energetic aunties, who were enjoying it very very much. Well as the boat sailed along, we the supposed strong lad ushers got into it, in an attempt not to be out-shown by the aunties. And it was being filmed as well and how embarrassing was this be, I won’t be able to imagine if not for the couple but for us.

Then food, I was starving by then after the paddling. Standard Chinese Wedding Banquet food came, Proper Chinese Roast Pork, Scallops in bird’s nest, Chinese Style Roast Chicken, Steam Fish, Whole Prawns, Shark Fin Soup! etc…It was alright, nothing special, ok average…

During the serving of food, there was some form of entertainment. Uncle 1 sang on karaoke, then Uncle 2 then Uncle 1 came back then Uncle 2 again. la la la la la. oh they have finished…

Some Hong Kong TV game show style games with David’s sisters and young cousins.

David’s Chinese Speech. I will just tell you the gem of a line.

David said to Joyce’s dad in Chinese, “You won’t lose a daughter, you will gain a son”

Applause everywhere, kind of standard stuff but you just have to hit it.

I really thought the best was the photo montage/slide show that they did from their young age to teens to be together. It was done up very nicely and very moving. (I will note this down for the future!) sweet…..

Charles then has to tell everyone their love story. It was interested to some but Charles kind of just did how they meet and how he had proposed. It included london eye and catching a bus. Please fill in the blanks.

Yes you are right, they met on the London Eye and David proposed on a bus.

Sorry I am only playing with you. He chase Joyce, while trying to catch the same bus to work and chessily as Joyce has described it, proposed during a ride on the London Eye.

And there were more photo opportunities with the couple, with Joyce in her Chinese Wedding dress.

Next was the tea ceremony back at David’s parents. We didn’t go, it was family stuff anyway. We drove to the Church where the coach will pick us up and go to Matfen. I was only thinking that we would be drinking so I ditch my car. While still has time, Charles has nearly passed out on Natalie’s lap. A quick Nlap, haha. (Damn I forgot to Twitpic it)

The evening reception started with some free drinks, great I need some after a long day! I was feeling a bit tired too. The main event for the night is cèilidh dancing.

I was very much unsure if this would be any fun at all. The bride and groom then finally appeared just about an hour late. They then went round the floor and greeted every guests. (This took really long). I was only saying to Samuel (the other usher) Speech and Cake, Speech and Cake. We were at the end of the line waiting for them for hours to come around. When they did finally came to us, I said exactly what I was thinking.

“Dave. Speech and Cake”

As directed Dave then delivered a quick speech and cut the cake with Joyce.

After then the first dance. …

The lovely couple danced for a few minutes before the best man (Charles) and the brides maid (Deborah) followed. But then after a few seconds Charles was dancing with Natalie (not sure I would call that dancing though). And in a split second I ask Deborah to dance, and in the heat of dance floor, I got her to do some spins. For this I am sorry! I hope the camera was still on the couple, that we haven’t stolen the show, or I hadn’t embarrassed Deborah.

Then we stayed on for the first cèilidh dance too, for this I am also sorry. But for what it is worth, I thought we danced well together, I kind of enjoyed too. Then everyone took some air and more dancing until the buffet dinner. Nothing much to comment there.

Next was the special lantern event, which was a surprise. We the ushers lighted the lantern up, let it gather hot air and off they went into the sky, one after another. The C in Charles really stands for competitive, and he said “wow mine is the first one yes.”. Yeah whatever… It was the most moving part that the big lantern by the couple went the highest. This is a very fitting sign and that I hope their life together will be forever lid-up.

There was more dancing, I kind of stay out until near the end where I was dancing with Lawrence! He danced like a girl! only joking Lawrence. Everyone was in the spirit of it. Girls were dancing with Girls, guys were dancing with guys anyway.

I really had fun, it was great time. I am really dreading the photos and the video though. And by the way, I was sober so I have no excuse either.

Thanks Dave for inviting me. It was great to see you on your happy day.

They are on their honeymoon now, around the world in 3 weeks! good luck…

3 Cheers

Hip Hip Hurray

Hip Hip Hurray

Hip Hip Hurray


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Day 1 – Picking Up the Bride and Games

Day 1 – 10th August 2009

The bride had a Chinese Banquet with her side of the family, she came from Edinburgh but it was held in Glasgow. In Hong Kong the Banquet is normally a joint event in the evening, but in UK this is normally in the afternoon, so that Takeaway can still be opened and people can travel home etc. I was not at the banquet. I was one of the ushers for the Groom. Therefore as one of the “brothers”, I had to be at the “Picking up the Bride event”. This was where the Groom literally goes to the Brides house with gifts and money in exchange for the Bride. In olden days, that what it was, like selling and buying a daughter.

David’s Auties and Uncles has brought with them to Edinburgh a trailer full of Chinese dry food and sea food. (These are expensive stuff I can assure you, dry mushrooms, dry scallops etc.) It is also a modern Hong Kong tradition that the Groom has to carry out a number of tasks set by the bride maid and sisters before he can go and pick up the bride. It was kind of a difficult barrier and for the sister to test the groom, but it should be in very good humour too.

Task No.1 – Press up and eat cream cake with just your mouth

The Groom was not quite warmed up yet and look over to see if any brothers of about 20 would help. But in the end, doing it himself, it wasn’t that hard, plate on the floor and just press down and eat. Yum Yum

Task No.2 – David has to sing AND DANCE with some brothers a song by Back Street Boys. This was because Joyce is a fan.

Oh being filmed as well! I was definitely not going to join in.

Raymond did and actually look really enjoying the dancing too. Right what’s next ladies.

Task No.3 – Blind folded David has to feed his brothers with Charles (Best Man)’s verbal directions

Feeding fresh dipping and chunky water melons with Charles directions. It fact it was way too easy. PASS, what’s next.

oh the reason for this game was that the sisters want David to understand he needs to be directed and instructed!

Task No.4 – Shout I love you in 10 different languages, I said to David to do it in accents. They won’t have it. Someone try to use their iPhone, I was using my Windows Mobile, we couldn’t get anything quick. He did manage to do English (obviously), American, Australian, Mandarin, Cantonese, French, Japanese. They kind off let David pass this one by asking him to shout I love you a few more times.

Task No.5 David has to read out loud a prepared note.

The idea was to embarrass David and put words into his mouth. He read it out and job done. Next.

Task No.6 – David has to identified his bride’s lip stick mark out of a pack of 20.

This was too hard, near impossible. And it was so difficult.

So he failed.

I can’t remember whether it was this task or previous task that there was a forfeit for failing a task. It was cutting Charles’ toe nails

It was kind of gross thinking about it then and now. Charles was being his sensible self and with common sense kindly reminded that once David has cut his toe nails, he would probably use the same hand to pick up the bride!

Common sense prevailed and not toe nails but hand nails then. There we were nearly 20 of us, none was coming up and say they have long nails. For some reason it ended up with me, so David cut my little fingers nail even deeper than it was!

Task No.7 – The apartment is on the 3rd floor, and for every step David took, he has to say something good about Joyce.

Sorry but I kind off used my “smartassy-ness” and said to Charles (who was also my mate at Uni) pick up Dave and he doesn’t actually have to do anything. There we were I was on the left, Charles on the right, picked up Dave and gone pass the sisters’ barrier. He was through…legging it up the stairs.

“Go…Go…Go…” we both shouted.

The sisters were obviously outraged that we had cheated them.

There we were blocking them (20+ girls) on the staircase. I have to let you know that I am 6’1+ and Charles is mid 5′ ish. We did form a very good blocker human wall. We slowed them down but the wall did broke down eventually.

All that time, David didn’t actually get into the apartment. There was a stronger barrier at the door, Joyce’s aunties. They were much more tougher than the younger sisters.

No games just negotiation. You know what MONEY. It is a Hong Kong Tradition. Charles has already prepared a red pocket of £100. Typically they would want £10,000 but £100 is realistic. The sisters would take this and share between them and return a penny. So it will be £99.99p. The Cantonese pronunciation of 9 sounds like “ever”. Therefore a lot of 9 = long 9 = long ever = forever. Sound good right!

Charles was being mindful and said, one hand money one hand goods (the goods was the bride!). The auntie sisters want to check the money first. Not until it was taken out from the red pocket, David was allow to go in.

But there was more procedure like presenting cups of tea to the bride’s parents, elder relatives etc.

Once everything was done and calmed down. We all has to make our way down to Newcastle where the real event was on the following day.

After a long drive from Manchester to Edinburgh now I have to make the journey down to Newcastle. It was very worth while and fun so far.

I pick up Charles and his wife to be Natalie, and we had a good chat on the journey. Charles is also a Chemical Engineer and currently working Night Shift commissioning a chemical plant in Saudi Arabia. More money but he said he would jump the chance to come home. It is kind off tough out there without pork and sex. (by the way I am not quoting him, but it is funny if he did actually said these words.)

Back to David’s parents house, where it would be my accomodation for the next two nights. We were greeted by his Mum and straight away she offered us some food, so that we won’t collapse. David must be so tired by now and deemed not able to take the bride to her hotel room at Matfen Hall where they married.

So Simon the driver step in, the bride, the bridesmaid, Charles and a lot of luggage cramped into my car. It was near 1am and I have done 7+ hours of driving already, but I had enough in me to take on this very important task. I drove steadily through the country lane after lane in pitch dark condition, after 30 mins safely arrived at Matfen Hall. That was half the job, concentrate Simon, you had to get back in one piece. And I did with Charles, David’s mum offered us some more food.

After a shower and wash up, there was more to do. Charles and I helped Susan and Amy (David’s sisters) to find a soundtrack and print out the lyrics for David and Heego to sing on karaoke. (They never did by the way!!!!!!)

Finally got to bed by half 2 ish. Eyes wide open, adrenaline was pumping, can’t get into sleep. When I did around 4am, needing to get up at 8am, at 5am, David had got up, and started to check on people. He came into my room,

“Simon” Dave said

“Dave” I said with a tired voice

“Nothing” Dave said and left my room.

Many Thanks Dave, and sorry for my panda eyes in your wedding photos.

end of part 1 the big day tomorrow. please read the next blog


How clever are you? Well it is very difficult to tell.

um I am more clever than so and so.

um but I am not stupid.

How can you tell?

Does being clever mean you have a higher IQ?

Not necessarily. But most likely.

Where is the border line between stupid and clever?

Can you learn to be more clever, developed to be smarter and most of all avoid being stupid.

I believe that my Intelligence Resource Methodology is here to help. It is a structured mind set that generate ArtificialIntelligence to help us become more smarter. I don’t think you can be more clever but more smarter will compensate for that.

Food for thought.

A rare exception!

I am by all means breaking my rules for starting to Twitter.

I regard Facebook and other social networking sites are evil.

So why I have change my mind about Twitter.

Don’t get me wrong, there are certain aspects in Twitter that is similar to Facebook.

Even if I block people from following me on Twitter. They can still see who I follow, my interest etc. The main reason is, Twitter is for grown ups!

This is the main advantage. There is no boundary for words either. You can chat to pretty much everyone (given they are on Twitter).

Twitting is email 2.0 with an open directory of the world.

However, I will not give up blogging, because I am long-winded.

Please FOLLOW ME at

Cheers Thanks Bye


What is Twitter?

My take on it. It is text messaging to the world.

Send short message and tell everyone what you are see, doing, eating etc.

It is bit like voluntary (CCTV like) message surveillance.

It is lazy blogging too. It is like telling you I have a new mobile and then stop there without telling you any details.

Remember RSS feed! It is not that different.

I just setup one, and don’t worry, I won’t tell everyone when I leave the house, so you can break in!

Followers!!! now you can follow me at