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Summer Weekend away at Newquay, Cornwall England – Part 1

I call it the summer weekend away because Joy is having his placement during the summer, and we were only able to take time off to travel during the weekends! So this weekend, we went to Newquay, Cornwall! It is located at the South West Region of the United Kingdom.

Travel Itinerary (Train):

Bristol Temple Meads > Exeter St. Davids > Par > Newquay. ( 4 hrs 15 mins )
Newquay > Par > Newton Abbot > Bristol Temple Meads. ( 4hrs 25 mins )

Journey:

It was a smooth journey all the way on trains, the seats were comfortable, quiet and the transit times were not less than 10 minutes, giving ample time for the changing of trains. It may be a hassle to change trains, but I found it alright to get up and change trains after no longer than 2 hours on the train.

Newquay, Town

The Newquay train station is located in a very convenient location. It was nearby a large Aldi supermarket with all prices somehow cheaper than the normal supermarkets such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s. The train station is also located on a hill begins the main shopping street of Newquay. To briefly describe the location of Newquay, it is just like a long road filled with random mainstream shops that you may recognise such as NewLook, Peacock, Boots, Shoe Zone, etc. Then at the end of the main road, the road branches out and leads to various beaches. My absolute favourite beach was Fistral Beach, which is known as the best surfing beach in the UK (not that I surf).

Accommodation:

The hostel that we stayed in, was called “The Longbeach Hotel, Hostel“. The price was only 50 pounds per night for a twin sharing room with a shared bathroom. I know what you might be thinking, SHARED bathroom? I assure you, even with 7 rooms of various sizes within the house, it seems very rare to actually be queueing up for the use of the toilets. Most of the time, it wouldn’t be occupied, so the toilets would be used in peace. The toilet is kept very clean. The owner was lovely when we arrived. He told us the rules of the house, and off he goes! ALSO, he mentioned that this hostel supports recycling, so he urges us to bring down our recyclables to the reception. I thought this small gesture for the environment was great! More about our accommodation, it was clean and equipped with a sink, a kettle, a tv and a hairdryer. The tv was really oddly placed (under the sink), because of that, we didn’t use the tv at all. Other than that, the interior of the room was cosy! My best part of the room was the view! It overlooks the golf course and the famous Fistral beach at its best! The view was breath taking!

Longbeach Hotel Newquay

Longbeach Hotel Newquay

The rating I would give this hostel is 4/5!

Fishing Trip (Deep Sea Fishing) :

We went for an 8 hour deep sea fishing, 9.30am to 5.30pm. If you are interested in fishing, or at least would like to try it once, I would recommend this fishing trip agent, fishnewquay.co.uk. The skipper is named Wayne, and is said to run the cleanest boat compared to the other fishing trip companies. He is a great guy and very professional when it comes to angling. We could feel his passion in fishing and enjoys watching people catch their fish. A good skipper also knows the best places to fish and he did just that! Joy and I managed to catch around 20 fishes! Which is apparently quite rare for anyone of any fishing levels to be able to do. You will be provided all the tools for fishing, like rods and baits during the trip. Basically, all you have to bring is yourself fully clothed according to the weather, noting that it is cooler out at sea. I would suggest you not to bring great amount of food on board. It is recommended by myself to bring dry food, such as biscuits, plain sandwiches, or chocolate on board, this will ease your stomach as sea sickness is quite prone and these food may be your life saver.

fishing newquay mystiqueThe boat is called “The Mystique” on the left.
Wayne Fishing trip Newquay
Us and Wayne, the Best Skipper!

The DEEP sea fishing was a great experience! We were driven around 9 miles away from the Newquay shore, where we couldn’t even see any land. I have personally never been fishing ever in my life. Let alone held a proper fishing rod. It is crazy easy to fish actually. I was surprised at the simplicity. Basically, you learn from the skipper the basic mechanism of fishing, then it would become a norm after 10 minutes. It’s like riding bike really, when you get it, you just get it.

The main technique of fishing is: Put bait in sea > Release the catch that releases the line > let the line be released while placing your thumb lightly on the reel > Until you the line is not taunt anymore, close the catch > Start reeling the line up slowly > if there is fish, keep the rod bent > If you see your bait floating, start from step 2 again.

Fishing NewquayFirst time holding a fishing rod and fishing in the deep sea!

During the fishing trip, we were able to catch so many fish! We caught almost over 20 fishes! The fishes included Pollocks, Cods, Lings, Red Girdles, Spurdogs (Sharks, but we weren’t allowed to land them according to the law). OH! Apparently I managed to fish up a rare Spurdog that the skipper had only seen 3 times in his whole fishing trip life. I was dubbed the lucky star on board!
Spurdog Newquay

Spurdog Newquay Fishing

It was crazy strong! It was a challenge to fish him up alright! HIGHLIGHT of the day! Quite glad I had at least one decent picture of me holding my catch! I was really struggling to keep him still :X

pollocks newquay fish

This was our fish bucket, containing all the fish that was caught. They were all nicely gutted on the boat by our skipper. He said it was cleaner to clean the fish on the boat instead of on land.

In the end, we ended up only bring 3 fishes back because we wouldn’t have been able to take them all home! We took back one of each of type of fishes that we caught! So in Joy’s hands, there was a Cod, Ling and a Pollock! Glad that we didn’t catch too many types of fish, if not, it would be even more of a struggle to bring back to our hostel. It was around 20-30kg weight of the 3 fishes combined! We even had to ask the men on the boat to help us fillet the fish so that we wouldn’t have to bring such big fishes home!

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The longest fish you see in the photo was the Ling, and the meat is delicious. The skin especially!

The NEXT highlight of our day, had to be the sighting of FOUR dolphins following our boats! Sadly we couldn’t get great pictures of them! But I am sure you know how dolphins look like.. But the experience was amazing! Meeting wild dolphins just casually swimming in front of our running boat. It was exhilarating to watch!

Dolphin Newquay Dolphin Newquay

Just as we were entering the harbour, we were greeted by a really friendly… SEAL! His name is the Medallion Man. One of the few seals that you would rarely see wild at the Newquay harbour! Apparently, the seals here are very commonly seen around fishing boats! As it would associate boats to having fish in them! So it was there staring at me all big eyed, pleading me for fish! It was so adorable! ❤

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It was a great trip and experience! Til Next time for Part 2! ❤

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Day 4! The challenge Finale!!

So it has come to an end. The final lap of the 1 pound a day challenge! The original challenge is meant to be a 5 day challenge, but we are heading of the Newquay tomorrow! So we had to cut short our challenge! Well, I think we survived quite well and got the message of the less fortunate etched onto our stomach. A higher appreciation went to what we can get so easily everyday for granted.

Supper:

We started our day with a 1am. This is of just plain baked chicken wings! We wanted to change our body clock back to a normal time (instead of sleeping at 4am then waking up at 2pm), so we stayed up all night. However failing to keep awake, as we both slept at 7am and woke up at around 1, in time for lunch.

We tried to make some sort of dessert from the money left from the day before. So this is what we ended up with…

IMG_5499A literal ICE tea. xD

IMG_5500We thought of iced tea. Then Joy had an adventurous idea just to FREEZE the ice, hoping to make some sort of ice popsicle. It was lovely. It tastes like plain tea, but with a chilling sensation!

Lunch:

Remember when I said that I can’t tolerate another day of sardine sandwiches? We changed it a bit. It was a lovely sardine porridge meal. Added was spring onions that were forgotten in the fridge a week ago. So we assumed it was free. This little addition made our porridge less bland and filling.

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Canned Sardine with plain porridge topped with spring onions.

Dinner:

Dinner was very similar to the one we had a night ago. Its with the spaghetti and meatballs. It tastes really bland as the tinned meatballs don’t have much taste on it. But it was satisfying. The thought of having something in the stomach is enough to be satisfied at this point.

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I actually counted how many meatballs there are to split it evenly. (There are 16 meatballs, 10 for Joy and 6 for me)

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Last 1 pound a day meal for both of us! Filling as usual.

Daily Conclusion:

J: Really glad this is coming to an end. The hardship of limited amount and quality of food is not nice at all, and I appreciate that some unfortunate people have to suffer this for extended period of time. As a conclusion to the challenge I guess I have been well reminded of not wasting any bit of food as my parents have always taught me since very young. I’m very thankful of what I can normally have, and think a lot more people need to learn the same. It is a good challenge to go around the world and I think people should do it like the ALS ice bucket challenge!

A: I woke up in the morning knowing that this was the last day and concluded the fact that the lack of choices, and luxury tasting items is really a blessing to be able to have it as easy as paying paper money or swiping a card. It gave me a whole different perspective to life in general. No wastage of food and appreciating what we have is what I got from this challenge! Hunger is not a disease, so it doesn’t sound like its causing much effect on your social media. But TRY this challenge. You feel that hunger is the worst common disease ever.

ANYWAY! The challenge is complete! Hope that this blog entertained you, and opened your eyes about poverty and hunger around the world. So head over to the website to read about how you can help! https://www.livebelowtheline.com/uk. Helping is extremely easy. It doesn’t necessarily mean to donate, but you can always find a way to raise an awareness (Like what we did!). It was a great experience!

Any challenges that you challenge us to do? Comment below!

Til next time! ❤

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Day 3~

Hey everybody! This is the third day of our 5 day challenge in living below the line! Basically, we challenged ourselves to spend under 1 pound a day for food and drinks. This is our progress check of the day:

Lunch:

We had sardine sandwiches, banana and half boiled eggs. We didn’t wake up for breakfast today. So we had the banana for lunch instead. We just thought that the sardine taste was overpowering the eggs, so we ate it separately.

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Sardine Sandwiches! 3 sandwiches for 2.

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It wasn’t meant to be half boiled eggs, but somehow, the eggs weren’t cooked long enough. Which was weird because its the same timing as before. It may be because egg not as fresh anymore (?).

Dinner:

We were extra hungry today for dinner. Reason is that we played a full 2 hour session of badminton today! The sandwiches is definitely not enough for us for a full day of sports. Furthermore, we couldn’t get any cold, sweet drinks for after the exercise. We could only have cold water from the dispenser at the sports centre, which helped.

Anyway, dinner was lovely. Very similar to the dinner we had on the first night! Baked chicken wings with boiled broccoli, topped with a fried egg. As a carb filler tonight, we had rice. Lots and lots of rice.

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The plate is filled to the brim with rice!
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This beautiful fried egg costs 4 supper biscuits each for me and Joy. We were contemplating if we should have the egg in exchange for supper biscuits. We chose the eggs. At the present time, it was regretful.

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Daily Conclusions:

A: Lunch was to me, not nice at all. I just felt that canned sardines with bread does not fit well at all. However, it was the only lunch I was getting, so i had to eat as much as I could to be full. But because it didn’t settle in my stomach well, I could only muster 1 sandwich, then giving the rest to Joy. Made me think, for people less fortunate, there is no choice in what they can afford to eat and if push comes a shove, that sandwich may be the best sandwich of their life. :X The badminton today was a energy drainer. I was thinking of showering myself with coke the whole time I was playing. It was slightly torturous. I told myself, not everyone has the luxury of even cheap soft drinks when they are out in the sun the whole day, working and stuff. So I had to grit my teeth to finish the challenge, and gulp down the cold water. DINNER was a lifesaver. Happily full.

J: Even though I’m ok with lower quality food, the restriction on snacking is kind of killing me. Without doing this challenge I wouldn’t admit how much snacks I actually survive on! Chicken today was awesome still; would be awesome-r if I could have more wings.. Everyday we really spend to the fullest £1 – at night we finish the last couple of pennies with pieces of cookies. So many times we almost gave up today because we went to play badminton and I even cleaned my room a bit. Huge calories loss :S But I guess this is the point. Poverty must feel even worse.

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Day 2!

So this is day 2 of the Live below the Line challenge!
This was our meal plan as follows:

Breakfast: 

We shared a banana each and had our leftover used tea bags for our supper the night before as our form of hot beverage.

Lunch:

Joy had to go to Uni to do his research, so we woke up early to prepare lunch for us both. So we had sardine and boiled egg sandwiches.

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As you can see, I am still asleep. This is at 10am. I normally wake up at 1pm.
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Savouring every bit of sauce to spread on the healthy wholemeal bread. We couldn’t afford the nice tasting white bread as it was 5p extra cost. *Sigh*

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The egg was boiled perfectly! With the yolk in the middle not being overcooked!IMG_5490

So this is a person’s share of the sandwiches. We both had 1 and a half sandwich each. Just to perfectly share out the sardines and eggs within the sandwich.

Dinner:

Had Spaghetti with canned meatballs and tomato sauce with broccoli as greens.

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We didn’t waste any broccoli! Even the stalk of the broccoli was used. To be fair, it is my favourite part anyway!
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This meatball and tomato sauce can had quite a lot of meatballs in it! Quite happy!

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Meal for 2 Spaghetti and meatballs! We used half a pack of spaghetti in total.

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We stretched that 1 pound today! :S

Conclusion of the day:

J: There was no chicken luxury today and hunger actually had stricken us.. Sardine was fine but dinner is not recommendable. Although we will not give up to the nice food smells of the street!! At the end of the day we used the leftover few pennies for 5 biscuits (we did calculate and it is still under £1). I appreciate it so much more than I normally do :S

A: It was tough today! I was really contemplating sleeping most of the afternoon because I was afraid of the hunger that might strike when I’m done with lunch. The sardine sandwiches wasn’t very attractive to eat at all. So ended up eating each half every hour. But, we had to go out to the city today to run some errands and man… the smell of food. If it was any normal day, we would get anything we wanted off the streets stalls to eat just for the sake of mouth being itchy. But it wasn’t a normal day, so we had to avoid window shopping and go straight home! So glad that the pasta meal was filling. Loads of carbs! Snacking is a real problem. Resisting is painful.

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Live below the Line Challenge!

Hey everybody!
For the summer break, Joy and I have decided to start a live below the line challenge. 1.2 Billion around our planet live in extreme poverty. That’s almost 20% of the world’s population who live off £1 for food & drink, as well as housing, education, health and all the other necessities most of us take for granted. So by taking part in Live Below the Line, we are drawing attention to the lack of choice and opportunity faced by 1.2 billion people living in extreme poverty. With only 1 pound a day to spend, we will truly be challenged to make choices and sacrifices in our daily living just to learn to appreciate.

So to start, we planned our budget on an excel sheet with daily meal plans to keep track of our intake:

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So in the receipt, the rice and eggs were included as we bought them awhile before that. So the total amount is on the spreadsheet.
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This is the daily meal plan i made for us with the food we bought. There were some changes as we changed tuna chunks into an extra sardines, because we thought the tuna was a bit too luxurious (needed more meatballs)!

Meal 1 (Dinner)

We had baked chicken wings, broccoli, fried egg with rice! Our 1 pound was spent on this dinner as we only have one meal today. It was a great variety of food types. We had rice for carbs, chicken wings and eggs for proteins, then topping it off with broccoli as a green source.
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So for this meal, we had used roughly only 81p per person, which was great! Judging from the size of the meal, Joy and I enjoyed it!

Daily Conclusions:

A: The meal really well made, but with help of sauces and salt. We weren’t able to avoid spicing up the dishes which slightly extra cost. However, we calculated the amount we used, in relative to the actual condiments we would buy “in bulk”. It did go under the budget! Mostly full of carbs (rice) for this meal. So full! 😀

J: We allowed ourselves to use soy sauce, salt and oil because it is only realistic this way. These cooking accessories can’t be used up in 4/5 days so we decided to use and estimate some cost into them. If we had done this challenge for a much longer period, buying them whole would actually count. So yeah, I feel our use of spices and soy sauce is justified. The food itself didn’t feel different from my everyday cooking, as in it is as delicious and as easy to make haha. The coming days though might not be as easy as we spent almost a pound for just dinner!

Just to end with a lighter note:

IMG_5468After a mere 15 mins, “I want biscuits”

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Avengers, Age of Ultron Movie Review

Hi! I know this may be late for this movie review, but better late than never right? This review will not have spoilers apart from what you may be able to watch via the trailers!
Being a fan of the Marvel franchise, this movie did NOT disappoint! It included characters like Quick Silver and Scarlet Witch! Which came to my surprise that they did not use the X-men cast for Quick Silver. But I guess, if they did, they would have had to link both the avengers and X men worlds together. Which was a smart move to create another alternate universe for the Avengers and X men.

Brief Synopsis:
Following the events of The AvengersIron Man 3Thor: The Dark World, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Age of Ultron finds the heroes on a campaign to apprehend Hydra loyalists and secure alien technologies (that have fallen into the wrong hands). This brings Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Hulk, Thor, and Hawkeye to the doorstep of Baron Strucker – a Hydra officer who has been experimenting on Loki’s scepter in the hopes of harnessing its power.

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Marvel's Avengers Age of Ultron Final International Theatrical One Sheet Movie Poster

The Avengers: Age of Ultron runs 141 minutes and is Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action, violence and destruction, and for some suggestive comments.

I personally don’t read the Marvel Comics to a great extent, and I have always enjoyed the Marvel Universe. However, I found this movie really captivating in terms of the story-line and the team dynamics. It is heart breaking to watch the team breaking apart, knowing they have the same goal of protecting the people in mind. Ultron, a destructive A.I. force hell-bent on playing god, was a twisted character that twisted the core quality of being a hero. I actually enjoyed the Ultron character in this movie very much. He was terribly witty and evil. He pulled the Avengers in new directions and challenge them in unique ways, rather than present an enduring villain on his own.Thats all I can say about it without spoiling. He was the most entertaining character in this movie.

There were many dream scenes in this movie that made the movie slightly confusing and slow. BUT, most of the dream scenes did give us more in-depth understanding of each characters, which was an great! I enjoy watching back stories of the characters come to life, instead of reading it after the movie. The build-up of the character Hawkeye gave the audience a greater insight of the importance of him being in the Avengers team. Which was very much needed as even I was having doubts at a guy shooting explosive arrows being an Avengers. Well this movie pretty much sums up why he is worth it!

The Avengers: Age of Ultron is solid popcorn entertainment and best experienced on the big screen. The visual effects and environment was well produced. There was also another impressive spinning team shot (this time in slow-motion) that was fun to watch! Anyway, it is a recommended movie to watch!

Rating: 8.5/10

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Comfort Bak Kut Teh (肉骨茶) Recipe, Student edition

Bak Kut Teh, Pork Ribs in Spices and Herbal Soup, is a dish of favourite of mine. When I am away from home (Malaysia), I would be missing this particular soup broth that warms my tummy. So today, I shall just briefly describe how I replicate this soup miles away from home! Not forgetting the favourite fragrant rice that we all love!
Ingredients (Serves 4):
Soup:
1 Pack of Bak Kut Teh Soup Pack
1kg of meat (Most commonly Pork ribs and Pork Belly)
2 Garlics
1 Pack of Fried tofu
1 Tbsp of Dark Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp of Light Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp of Oyster Sauce
Salt
2.5 litres of water
Eggs (as many boiled eggs as you want)
Iceberg lettuce

Rice:
1 handful of fried shallots
Rice

Steps (Soup):
1. Put the 2.5 litres of water into a pot and bring to boil.
2. Add the soup pack into the pot. (Do NOT break the pack, just put the pack in as the pouch)
3. Add the 1 kg of pork into the pot, allowing the soup pack to infuse into the soup, and the meat to be cooked.
4. Add the Garlic into the pot.
5. Add the sauces and salt and taste. You may add more of any sauce to adjust the taste to your liking.
6. Leave it to cook for the best is more than 1 hour of low heat. (This is to bring out the best taste).
7. Additional ingredients such as fried tofu, hard boiled eggs, and iceberg lettuce can be added to the soup for more variety of ingredients in the soup dish.

Fragrant Rice:
Just follow the steps you would to make normal rice, but add the handful of fried shallots to have that slight aromatic rice taste.
I have also created a sauce that goes well with the meat while eating the bakkuteh. This is done by chopping raw garlic and then mixing it with chopped chilli and a mixture of dark and light soy sauce with a tinge of sugar. This would serve as a lovely spicy dip for the meat.

IMG_5437Ingredients used for the bak kut the
IMG_5438Soup with the meat, soup pack and garlic!
IMG_5439My personal assistant adding the sauces into the pot!
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This is the end product after boiling in low heat for a few hours! It looks amazing! The tofu would soak up the soup and when you actually bite into the tofu, you can drink the soup too!
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The meal for the night! My boyfriend and I managed to eat this pot of bakkuteh with rice for 3 meals! We added lettuce the next day and cooked with the remaining broth. Then added hard boil eggs for the next meal. It’s fairly cheap, and customisable to your liking!

Thats all for today! Apologise for the infrequent posts! Have been gaming gaming gaming!
Happy reading!