This page is updated regularly. Old posts have been deleted. Posts are re-organised.
For the most up-to-date Table of Contents, visit this page.
I’ve taken up Lorelle’s huge challenge, Blog Exercises: Organise Your Content, to organise all my posts on this blog. I’ll explain in my next post the sweat, tear, and joy of completing this task. I’m keen to find out what you think of the outcome. Would you like to try organising your site too?
This task is never going to be perfect, but I’m willing to show you my attempts, my progress, or my failure.
Site Table of Contents
This Site Table of Contents is a microscopic view of my 195 blog posts published on Janet’s Notebook from 5 April 2012 till 27 July 2013.
It covers stories of my life before the UK and my life after living in the UK since 1996. It covers my hobbies, my identity, and my thoughts on history, language and cross cultures.
It depicts my life in the south of England, my family with a son with pets, my local community, and my moments of glory and sadness.
It also reflects my love affairs with WordPress, and how my life has been enriched and transformed with WordPress through this brilliantly supportive and engaging community.
Who am I?
Is there an easy answer? I’ve been searching for my own identity throughout my life. I love exploring my thought process to find out who I am — if there is a perfect answer at all.
In this section, you’ll find out about my root, my new life in England, and my hobbies.
I have a few hobbies, and surprisingly, they all have to do with paper.
Origami means paper folding – 折纸. I love learning about the mathematical structures of origami, and I love trying out endless possibilities with paper. It takes only 25 steps to make a crane, which symbolises peace. Welcome to the magical world of origami!
- Sharing my favourite things
- Origami Challenge: modular origami cube (deleted)
- Origami for therapy (deleted)
- Geometrical origami (deleted)
- How to Make a Chinese Takeaway Book in 10 minutes? (deleted)
- How to Make a Book in 2 Minutes? (deleted)
- How to Make a Beautiful Origami Accordion Book (like a Very Hungry Caterpillar)? (deleted)
- How to Make a Beautiful Origami Accordion Book? (deleted)
- How to make a stunning origami modular star with 12 units? (deleted)
- How to make an elegant origami cube with 6 units? (deleted)
- Origami joy with William Morris prints (deleted)
- Tea for Teachers
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Create with Paper (deleted)
- Borigami and Origami Daze (deleted)
Basic Book-binding and Card-making
Nothing can beat a handmade book or a handmade card. It’s enjoyable to create. You’ll put a smile on the face of your loved ones.
- The irresistible Pamphlet Stitching is SMART (deleted)
- Bookbinding is addictive! It’s fun! (deleted)
- It all started with my mother in law
- One way to make your child more popular
I collect modern British stamps. I buy them as they are newly released in presentation packs. These stamps help me understand the British culture. Now I have more than 150 packs of them, ranging from literature, entertainment, sports, history, invention, science and many other topics.
- Lest we forget (deleted)
- Delightful British Mint Stamps: Entertainment (deleted)
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine with British stamps (deleted)
- Delightful British Mint Stamps: Literature (deleted)
My Chinese Family
I grew up as the youngest child in a family of 10, in a very traditional Chinese family in the south tip of Malaysia. My family is split between Malaysia and Singapore, after Singapore separated from Malaysia in 1965.
My British Family
I married to a western man, who loves Doctor Who, and we have a 12 year old boy, who also loves Doctor Who. Ben is now taller than me. My parents-in-law live in a very typical, small English village and my Chinese face makes me stand out in the village.
My Son and His Illness
My son Ben was diagnosed with a rare disease called Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH) when he was 13 months old. The disease affected his multiple organs and abnormal blood cells spread through his lymph system. He received a year’s chemotherapy treatment with several operations. He’s now a healthy boy.
I refer myself as Chinese, Malaysian, British resident, Asian, a teacher, a mother…… in different social situations.
I sense cultural differences everyday. Before I’ve become too numb to feel the subtle differences, I write them down.
- Fiddler on the Roof: a treasure
- Christmas in China: from karaoke to saxophone
- Christmas in the eyes of a foreigner in England
- Shall we lie to kids about santa?
- My Apple experience
- What’s in a Dragon?
- Why ‘Opium Den’ is an offensive name
- 5 changes of a Chinese wife in England: on Language
- 5 changes of a Chinese wife in England: on Culture
- 5 changes of a Chinese wife in England: on Food
- Farewell 2012 — Raise your glasses
- Christmas vs Chinese New Year
- Love me love my dog?
- Love me love my dog ? Part 2
- Walking in the wood – Part 1
- Walking in the wood – Part 2
Wife in the South of England and My Community
Living in the suburbs in the south of England for the past 13 years, I’m surrounded by dog walkers, bird watchers, train enthusiasts and ramblers, and Jehovah’s Witnesses would knock on the door once in a while.
Living with Pets
We used to keep a few hens, but they all were killed, some in mysterious circumstances. We used to have a milk snake which went to a proper school with me one day. Now we have a 50cm long blue-tongued skink living in the lounge with us. I didn’t choose him as a pet.
My Joy and my Struggles
I had some extraordinary moments in my life. I visited Buckingham Palace on its summer preview day. Last year, I held two glittering Olympic torches. There were also some unhappy moments, but I’m coping fine.
- Magnificent display at Buckingham Palace
- What is this radiant triangular object in gold?
- Two for Joy
- What is the secret of expert tea tasters? My tea-tasting at Ahmad Tea
- Choice or illusion?
- Eyes: money and fear
- How much is your anxiety worth?
My Local Community
I live near the historical city, Winchester, in the south of England. I have wonderful neighbours. My neighbourhood seems to be famous for strange reasons: bank robberies, swingers, and dodgy politicians. Colin Firth went to a college nearby just 10 minutes’ away.
- Does your post office open everyday?
- Visit England’s village post office in Hursley
- My tranquil neighbourhood in Chandler’s Ford
- Morning scenes in my neighbourhood in Chandler’s Ford
- A Mix of East and West Fitting for a Queen
- In praise of my neighbours in an English suburb
- How to be a complete idiot?
- Which is worst – swinger, robber or liar?
- The Polish delight
- A touch of kindness with ceanothus
- Weekly Photo Challenge – Summer at St. Catherine’s Hill in Winchester
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Movement in Winchester
My Local Church
I go to a local Anglican Church, and help running a Fair Trade stall. From my house, I can hear the church bell ringing.
Leisure: Travel and Entertainment
I’m perfectly content in Britain. I would love to travel around the country more.
I go to different cities to teach at some weekends. Reading, Oxford and Winchester all have their unique charm.
- “Stitches in Time” by Heather Hems in Lyndhurst, New Forest, England
- Weekly Photo Challenge (deleted)
- Wool, paper and nuclear
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting moment in Oxford (deleted)
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Free Spirit on a floating house
- Weekly Photo Challenge — Hands (deleted)
- Some trivial facts in Winchester
I love watching British comedies, though I may not understand them. I love Stephen Fry.
Education, History, Language and Culture
I’m a bi-lingual translator and a language tutor. I work with people of all ages. I love to teach and inspire. I enjoy learning about languages, history and culture around me.
History Through My Eyes
I love finding out facts and exploring history. I love interpreting meanings in everything around me.
- Pondering Freedom of Speech during Ramadan
- Copyright violation: are you a victim?
- Do you remember the victims’ names in Asiana plane crash?
- Can spinach make you strong like Popeye? Blogging about mistakes
- Do sex, age and race matter?
- Those were the days…speaking on the phone
- Inspired. Entertained. Treated. Sponsoring
- Trivia news and perspectives
- What’s in the news?
- When marriage meets politics
- Visiting Brookwood Military Cemetery
- “Their name liveth for evermore” – Brookwood Military Cemetery
- Memorial: grief and celebration
- Queen Mother: A visit to Hampshire nearly escaped history
- Queen Mother’s letter: ‘a positive jungle’
Languages and Literature
I’m intrigued by languages and how language defines us, shapes our lives and enriches our understanding around the world. In this section, I share the delight of a few Chinese characters, introduce great Chinese writers and thinkers, and compare some interesting Chinese-English translation examples.
Chinese, Culture and Society
You’ll learn about some Chinese characters and a few sweet Chinese folklore stories. You’ll learn how the Chinese honour their tradition and worship their ancestors.
- Friend: the word to honour 2012
- Fascinating Chinese Character of the Year 2012
- Learning the Chinese character for Big (deleted)
- The only Chinese word you ever need to learn
- The enchanting Moon Fairy
- Who are the Butterfly Lovers?
- What is a Tomb Sweeping Day?
- Why do the Chinese eat Red eggs, not chocolate eggs?
- Chinese version of Eats Shoots and Leaves
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside a gift
- I think it’s time I (and you) learnt some Polish
Remarkable Chinese Writers and Scientist
Mo Yan 莫言 is the first Nobel Prize Winner in Literature from China. I ‘interviewed’ him with an introduction to his major work. I also introduced writers Han Suyin and Li Shutong. You’ll read about Fang Zhouzi, a scientist in China who fights against pseudoscience and fraud in China.
- Weekly Writing Challenge: An ‘interview’ with MO Yan, potential Nobel Literature winner 2012
- Congratulations to MO Yan （莫言）！
- Mo Yan: a storyteller’s moving reminiscence of life
- What’s a Brother Coming?
- MO Yan（莫言) wants you to read this novel, “Life and Death are Wearing Me Out”
- Weekly Writing Challenge: Metaphors for Homesickness
- Where was HAN Suyin in Malaya in the 1950s?
- The most refined Chinese Farewell song
- Who is FANG Zhouzi? Meet The John Maddox Prize winner
English and Translation
Is translation the solution to the understanding of different cultures? Some Chinese and English are lost in translation forever.
I share useful educational resources. I particularly love all the wonderful talks from TED: Ideas worth spreading. I support Fair Trade and its effort to fight poverty through trade.
- Honouring Nelson Mandela: Make Everyday a Mandela Day
- Blogging: the quiet voice for an introvert
- The Power of Introverts: video went viral
- Professor Slavoj Žižek: It’s a good coffee karma (deleted)
- What is ‘censoriousness’ according to Rowan Atkinson?
- Dumb ways to die
- More than Just (deleted)
- Traidcraft inspiration (deleted)
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Purple with Traidcraft (deleted): Link to Traidcraft
My Love Affairs with WordPress
I’ve been blogging on WordPress since 2008, but I’ve only blogged in English since April 2012. In the past 15 month, I changed my blog title, I upgraded my site, I wrote about various topics, and I’ve made wonderful friends.
My Musings on WordPress
- Blogging in English: Who am I?
- How is swimming like blogging?
- I think I love ‘Twenty Twelve’
- Blogger Power
- I’m not Freshly Pressed
- My Likes – I love these 18 brilliant bloggers (deleted)
- What would you like to read in my blog? (deleted)
- ‘I like you very much, just as you are.’ (deleted)
- This blog is now called Janet’s Notebook (deleted)
Friendship Built on WordPress
I made some wonderful friends through blogging on WordPress. It’s not shallow friendship. It is based on trust and love, on the rock named WordPress. Some gifts are exchanged. Some words of encouragement are sent by emails. With some, we even meet in real life, and our families also get to know each other. From a virtual to a real world, I thank WordPress for building this solid bridge for us.
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Friendship via WordPress
- Leonard Cohen: Anthem (deleted)
- The Most Illuminating Lantern from New Zealand
My son and I stayed for 5 days with Tilly Bud, The Laughing Housewife, in Stockport, Greater Manchester. Here is a collection of my sweet memories. I also turned our stories into an ebook as a cherished token.
- When Janet met Tilly: an ebook
- Where’s Stockport’s new landmark?
- Stockport Air Raid Shelters
- What would you do for a friend’s friend?
- Milk in first with Earl Grey?
- Perfect tea
- Oxo cube: good or evil?
- Laughter and love
- The north south divide
- English in the north: dropping consonants
- Granny Liu
- Food, glorious food!
Simple WordPress Presentation Tips
I’ve picked up a few blogging tips, mainly presentational tips, which are helpful for blogging. I hope you find the tips useful.
- Turning your blog posts into beautiful Word Clouds
- 5 easy steps to create stunning Word Clouds
- How many ways can you view Tilly?
- 3 easy steps to add Print and PDF button (deleted) Link to Printfriendly
- How to insert an image in the comment box — on your OWN blog? (deleted) Link to WordPress Support Site: Insert picture in comments
- Istanbul Attractions: ebook by friendlytm (deleted): Source
I re-blogged the following 8 posts on my blog last year. I’ve stopped re-blogging as I found it a ‘lazy’ way to introduce great posts. More importantly, Re-blogging is not flexible for editing.
On revision this post in August, I deleted these re-blogged posts on this blog. You can still click the links below to be taken to the original posts.
- Reblogged from The Laughing Housewife
- Reblogged from Sequins and Cherry Blossom
- Reblogged from Ben Wiliams’ World
- Reblogged from Ben Williams’ World
- Reblogged from Faith and Culture Today
- Reblogged from biblioklept
- Reblogged from Kristen Lamb’s Blog
- Reblogged from Seeing Red in China