“Oh, to be in England now that April’s there”

There was so much excitement in April, that’s why I’m posting April’s Monthly Review only now.

First of all, after about 5 months, my new visa finally arrived. You might not realise what it means to me – I can finally step out of the borders of UK. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bored of the UK at all. But without a visa, I couldn’t see people who do not live on this little island. So we decided to visit my family on the other side of the globe straightaway – more about that to come. By the way, I was very thankful to my team leader at work for allowing me to leave with such a short notice.

Do you remember there were a few very foggy days at the beginning of April? My way to work was so quiet and beautiful (a bit spooky too).

Foggy morning Foggy morning

There’s a big Malaysian community in the North East of England. Some of our Malaysian friends are closely involved in the Malaysian Society, which produces an annual celebration called Malaysian Night. It’s amazing/shocking how I have never been to one for the last five years, especially since there have been so many good friends from Malaysia around. But I went along this time and was very impressed by the drama. Here are a couple of photos (I was so annoyed with myself that I didn’t have spare batteries for my camera that day!):

Malaysian Night 2014Malaysian Night 2014 Malaysian Night 2014

We went walking in the Lake District again – for all the beautiful photos, especially of the emptiness of the Skiddaw summit, see here and here. There’s one more coming soon.

There is a Monument in Newcastle City Centre. It’s one of the most popular “meet you there” places that new people get to know first and people walk passt it ten times a week. But few people know there is a staircase hidden inside. My husband knows, because he is a lover of all streets and buildings. I went to the top this month, and many other high vantage points around the city, saw this city from a very different angle.

Mini Newcastle - Easter 2014

I made a mini rockery at Easter and I’m very proud of it. Alan Titchmarsh once said, the garden keeps going after you go away from it till you come back again, unlike many other hobbies where everything stops as soon as you leave it. It’s particularly true in spring!

Rockery

It took me four months – I’m a bit ashamed to say, but I finished reading Les Miserables FINALLY, which means I can try to keep my new year resolution from now on. I’m not good at writing book reviews. So I’m just going to say – among all the characters in the book, I like Marius grandfather best. It’s so vivid I wonder if Victor Hugo had a real person in his mind when he wrote the stories about Monsieur Gillenormand. All the characters exist, talk and do certain things because the development of the story needs them to, or the author designed them to. But this lovely old man has so much character – he alone could make me laugh and cry.

I do not like Marius. He’s one of those typical useless leading roles – he tries to finish his own life just because he can’t have Cosette, he’s saved by Éponine first, and again by Jean Valjean, he’s so kind to the Jondrettes who caused all the trouble and so mean to the people who love him and help him.

It’s such a lovely spring. You might be tired of spring blossom by now, but they’re SO pretty!

Spring blossom Spring blossom Spring blossom Spring blossom Spring blossom

 

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