Auld Lang Syne, the poem by Robert Burn written in 1788, has now become one of the symbols to embrace the new year. In Scotland in particular, this song about ‘old long since’, ‘old time past’ is sung when midnight strikes. Most people would also cross their arms when singing it, though the Queen preferred not to do so in 1999. No one knows exactly why arms have to be crossed and got pulled so uncomfortably, but again, it seems to be the ‘custom’ that most people just follow without questioning, just like people would respond with the silly horse riding dance once the music of Gangnam Style is played. It seems there’s something so spontaneous about Auld Lang Syne with arm-crossing.
Why crossing your arms when singing Auld Lang Syne?
I first learnt to sing the Chinese version of Auld Lang Syne when I was 12 years old. Our headmaster taught all Yr 6 students this song through the tannoy in our classroom. There are many Chinese versions of this renowned song, and the version, a popular and classic one, I was taught was called ‘Long Live Friendship.’ （友谊万岁).
The lyrics go: “Who would ever forget their good friends? Once you’ve parted, you’ll sure remember them fondly. Good friends will not be forgotten; friendship is as vast as the earth and sky. Let’s raise our glasses and sing in harmony; long live friendship.” Continue reading
Yesterday, I published my Top 18 favourite bloggers.
In fun exchanges with Robin Coyle, the ‘Strong vs Weak Words’ martyr, I was stunned to discover I could insert IMAGES in the comment box, like this: Continue reading
Through WordPress and links from WordPress, I’ve found incredible bloggers with their brilliant resources. They enlighten me, entertain me and they teach me new skills each day.
I’ve just dedicated a ‘Likes’ page to honour my favourite bloggers. These are my first Top 18 in 6 categories.
I hope you get inspirations from these brilliant bloggers too. Click on the image below and you’ll get to their websites.
My Top 18
Daniela is the Lantern Keeper in New Zealand.
On her WordPress blog, Lantern Post, she explained why she called her blog the Lantern Post: “…in a memory of a dreamy street lanterns I walked under in year 1980 and others, through cobbled streets of old Zagreb, reading poetry (V. Majer; ‘Plinska lanterna na Gricu’/ ‘Gas lantern on Gric’) and holding my heart just a tiny fraction above the abyss … on most days.”
Generosity from New Zealand
On Aug 3, Daniela wrote an illuminating post, Some Helpful Books For Writers. It’s inspiring. One of the books Daniela recommended was The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.
Later Daniela received some books of Steven Pressfield as gifts. She gave them all away for FREE. I’m one of her lucky recipients. Daniela is in New Zealand. I’m in England. Continue reading
It must be love.
WordPress has just launched a new theme: Twenty Twelve, designed by Drew Strojny.
It’s clean. It’s stylish. It’s clutter-free. I just need something so refreshing to recharge, and to re-invent myself.
I changed my theme instantly. Continue reading
Have you ever dreamt of becoming a tea taster?
Tasting 600 cups of tea per day. How does it sound to you?
Strong fragrance of tea permeated this large, clinically clean tea-testing room. 100 cups of tea were ready to be tested (some by me! I’m not kidding.) I was quite excited.
Today I discovered the power of blogging on WordPress.
After reading my blog posts, one renowned tea maker made a donation to Piam Brown Ward, a charity close to my heart.
On Tuesday, Ahmad Tea of London invited me for a VIP visit to its headquarters, and gave me a generous cheque for Piam Brown Ward.
Janet’s Notebook has linked a global enterprise and an outstanding children oncology ward in Southampton General Hospital. I’m very honoured to have connected the two through blogging. I’m very touched by the generosity of Ahmad Tea of London. I thank WordPress for this wonderful platform.
What’s a blogger for? We make connection. We build bridges. We spread kindness. We act.
Ethical Tea Partnership
In June, I wrote about Closeness with Cakes regarding our first fund-raising event for a children oncology ward, Piam Brown Ward.
To be honest, fund-raising in a school fayre demanded hard work and the preparation consumed a lot of my time. It was hard keeping sane as the wind constantly tried to turn the cakes into dancing cakes.
However, it was important to contribute to the ward which once saved Ben’s life. Ben’s now more aware of his medical history and is just mature enough to support the ward, in which he received supreme medical care, with the most dedicated and highly specialised team.
I later received this warm thank-you letter from Jane Buchanan, the charity fund manager.
“We value your support more than you’ll ever know.”
The letter ended with this paragraph:
“As always, everyone joins me in sending much love and our most sincere thanks. We value your support more than you will ever know.”
This personal, touching letter made the effort of taming the dancing cakes more worthwhile. Having straggly wind-tossed hair for a day was actually quite alright.
I was given some exquisite Ahmad Tea last week, when I visited Ahmad Tea headquarters in Chandler’s Ford.
Fine tea makes excellent gifts. It’s my son Ben’s final week at the primary school, and he will wave goodbye to his innocent years. He has many teachers and helpers to thank for.
I made these gorgeous teabag holders. In both pockets, Ben placed 2 packets of Ahmad Tea.