Tag Archives: Party

The One With How To Throw A Fabulous Party

This Charming Manâ„¢ is all about great parties and fabulous gatherings of friends and foes alike. Give him any reason – a birthday, a promotion, a festival, a divorce – he will find it worthy enough to get a party going.

More often than not, a gathering of This Charming Manâ„¢’s doing is but fabulous, to varying degree. But fabulous nonetheless. Here are his secrets, in order of decreasing importance.


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The One With The 30th Birthday Video

This came as a surprise! Didn’t know that Chris took a video of me cutting my birthday cake. Thanks dude!

And yes, I still hate my own voice on videos. Gah!

Here’s the blog post on my 30th birthday party

The 30th Birthday

And so, the birthday weekend has come and gone. I wasn’t expecting a big blast, seeing myself as being stranded half way between two countries, but the celebration was better than I have expected.

Of course, I spent the 25th June (pencil down in your calendar, people) in Hong Kong. I still remember counting down to my birthday doing a a list of my achievements in the last 10 years of my life, eating some instant noodle as a form of celebration alone in my hotel room, and feeling insanely contented with life even though I was all alone. I have Facebook and Twitter to thank for.

So the next day in office, all was quiet and calm as usual, and then the whole department went out for lunch at a nearby neighbourhood cluster for some Korean BBQ food. It was surprising good, not to mention cheap. Perhaps that’s because we were at Taipo, which is so far north of Hong Kong, everything is almost half the price of city’s price tags. I also bought some of my favorite egg tarts, priced at an unbelievable HKD2.50 each (that’s like SDG0.40!) without a care of my expanding waistline.

Celebration with colleagues at Taipo

There was a surprise cake… not so much of a surprise because I was with them when my colleagues bought it (I even told them which is my favourite), but they shocked me when they lighted the candle in the midst of a departmental meeting. So a red-faced me had to endure an entire Happy-Birthday-song in front of 15+ colleagues, whom by then knew I was still a “young” 30.

And so the next day, it was my flight back to Singapore. Have to wake up very early just to make my way to the airport. I was expecting to see a sea of passengers donned with masks, just like in a sci-fi movie, but to my disappointment (and fear), I was one of the handful who was wearing a mask. And the flight was a connecting journey for a load of Singapore-bound travelers from… San Francisco.

I am sure I was too paranoid when I donned this mask in a hurry while waiting to board the plane.

The flight was rather uneventful… except when a stewardess strode up my row of seats while I was asleep, asking my fellow passengers if it was one of our birthday. Of course they said no, and by the time I was awake enough to decipher what was being said, the stewardess shrugged it off as a mistake, and walked away.

Anyway, so I landed in Singapore, and soon a flurry of activities ensued as I rushed around to do my errands. Preparation for party, cutting my hair, buying clothes etc. I thought I would be able to have a relaxed time in Singapore, but it was more stressful than I thought.

Ah, but the end result was worth it. Very, very much so. On that Saturday night, the 27th June, I celebrated my birthday properly with a gang of close friends at my house. The theme was… well, you figure it out yourself. I will let the photos to do the talking :)

30th Birthday Celebration

The party props. Feather boas ruled the night!

30th Birthday Celebration

The sumptuous dinner spread that night, by Zingrill, the same good people who run Breeks. The food was very very good, and the price is similar to your typical half-past-six caterer out there. The service was also top-notch. Highly recommended!

30th Birthday Celebration

Chris and Jessie, who didn’t stay very long this time round. I think my parties must have scared them. LOL.

30th Birthday Celebration

My lovely Cheryl, who helped me a lot with the preparations for the party, gave me a wonderful gift; a framed threesome portraits of us and Shafik, whom at the time of party, must be crawling in mud at Tekong. Poor dude. I wished he was there.

30th Birthday Celebration

Yali and Tony came for night dressed strictly to the theme! Yali, I think I still have at least half carton of your beer in my fridge :)

30th Birthday Celebration

Niza and Anna were easily the best dressed for the night. Look at the shades of pink. I loveeeeeed it!

30th Birthday Celebration

Dora made herself famous with her deliciously lethal drinks that night, and Terence got famous because of his impeccable photography skills (and unsuccessful attempts trying to keep his wife in check), hehe.

30th Birthday Celebration

Eileen, I did invite you on my Facebook event page hor! I can do a screenshot to prove it :D

30th Birthday Celebration

Mak, don’t worry about your bitchy self that night. I think my friends kinda looked forward to have you around, and those who don’t, probably deserved it. LOL.

30th Birthday Celebration

Riyan came by complete with his crutches! LOL so cute. And he gave me the cutest present ever :)

30th Birthday Celebration

I got to know Justin through the imfamous AWARE saga rage on Twitter, and we have been friends ever since. This was the first night I met the man himself, and he has a delicious secret up his sleeves, which I think he will reveal when the time is right. For a peak into that, check out his Twitter account!

30th Birthday Celebration

After knowing him for years online, finally Dickson decided to show his face for the first time at my party. Okay, not very much so technically, but just for the record he was the FIRST to arrive… after mistakenly thinking my party starts at 6 p.m. Haha!

30th Birthday Celebration

Terence Cheah, Tony and Terence Leong. I don’t know why they made me squat… and I don’t know why I agreed! It made me look hideous, really.

30th Birthday Celebration

For the first time after years of inviting, Chee Leng finally came for my party. And I hope she didn’t get the shock of her life :)

30th Birthday Celebration

Some of my SMC boys, Lucas and YK. Guys, hope your audition went okay. Sorry for not being able to sit down and chat properly with you two that night!

30th Birthday Celebration

Mark and Charles also came that night. Mark, thanks for your lovely set of a gift, and Charles, thanks for lending a hand at the “bar”!

30th Birthday Celebration

Elki and Willy. I just remembered… I think I have been taking my boas on and off in front of you two, saying it was too hot, for multiple times, didn’t I? LOL.

30th Birthday Celebration

Tess! Thanks for coming! And please send my bollocks to Thomas, Lisa, Daniel et al for not turning up. I demand a make-up dinner when I come back to Singapore next :D

30th Birthday Celebration

Aldo came along with a friend *ahem* LOL. Hope you didn’t feel too uncomfortable that night.

30th Birthday Celebration

Liang Hin came along with Reuben for the first time to my parties. Hope it didn’t shock you guys too much. Liang Hin, I am not too sure about the “people magnet” part, but I will sure do my best in HK. Thanks for your kind words of encouragement :)

30th Birthday Celebration

HOHOHO! I must buy lottery again. The elusive Jinguang actually turned up! Haha… okay, so he stayed for a grand total of five minutes, but that is better than none, right? Thanks dude. I am really happy to see you that night.

30th Birthday Celebration

Ian who will be joining me in HK later than expected. But that’s okay, dude. Late is better than never, and parties in HK never stop!

30th Birthday Celebration

Hey Raffy, thanks for coming. I heard that you just returned from a tiring trip to Germany, so really appreciate you coming by :)

30th Birthday Celebration

Mark and Kitson, the latter who came so late and so drunk that it didn’t take too much time for him to terrorise the rest of the guests. LOL, we all still love you, babe.

And also a shout out to David who came and left early, missing the chance to take a photo. Now… did I miss out anyone?

So the next day, with the help of my maid, we cleaned up the place. I mistakenly thought my flight was at 8 p.m., when it was actually at 7 p.m. So it was mad, mad rush to the airport. And again, the flight was uneventful, until…

Surprise from Singapore Airlines!

HAH! The cake finally arrived in flight, much to the amusement of my fellow passengers. Thanks, Niza, for arranging this.

And that conclude my 30th birthday celebration. Pretty mild, no? Hehe

And people… sorry if I wasn’t able to extend an invitation to you. The planning was very rushed, and since my current place is pretty small, I need to make sure everyone is comfortable, and that it won’t be a nightmare to organise.

Full set of photos on Flickr.

P.S.: If you are reading this on Facebook, chances are some of the photos won’t load here since the entry is automatically imported from my blog. Click here to see the full post.

P.S.S.: If you are reading this on my blog or in RSS feed, ignore the P.S. above :P

London Day 3 – Day Excursion to Oxford (Harry Potter!) and New Year’s Eve Countdown

OMG, I can’t imagine that it was already the last day of 2008! The day dawned pretty much crisp and clear, and at the spur of the moment, I decided to make a day trip to Oxford, and visit the location where Harry Potter was shot.

On to Oxford! At the train station

The one-hour train ride from Paddington station was pretty uneventful. But I almost missed the damn train. Went to buy some sandwich, coffee and cookies for the ride, and in the end had to run on the platform to get on the train. The moment I sat down, the train started to move. Talk about being onboard at the nick of time.

I was very impressed by the train system in London. The train itself is very spacious and comfortable, with convenient announcements on stops. I would love to explore England one day by trains.

City of Oxford

After an hour ride on the super comfortable train, I arrived at Oxford. And man, it was cold! I was freezing to the bone, but I really enjoyed it. This is what winter should be like. Snow would have completed the picture perfectly!

Oxford is a city, and the county town of Oxfordshire, in South East England. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through Oxford and meet south of the city centre. Oxford is home to the University of Oxford, the oldest university in the English-speaking world.

Buildings in Oxford reflect every English architectural period since the arrival of the Saxons, including the iconic, mid-18th century Radcliffe Camera, the hub of the city. Oxford is known as the “city of dreaming spires”, a term coined by poet Matthew Arnold in reference to the harmonious architecture of Oxford’s university buildings.

Christ Church, Oxford

And so after walking around Oxford city center for a bit, I found what I was looking for. Christ Church was the location of choice for some of Harry Potter movies. It is one of the largest constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. As well as being a college, Christ Church is also the cathedral church of the diocese of Oxford, namely Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. The cathedral has a famous men and boys’ choir, and is one of the main choral foundations in Oxford.

Harry Potter at Christ Church!

After paying for an entrance ticket, I turned on my iPod to play Harry Potter soundtrack, and off I went to explore Christ Church!

Stairway Outside The Great Hall of Hogwarts

I followed the footsteps of the world’s favourite wizard. Many of the scenes in the Harry Potter feature films are shot in various locations of the College. As I walked around the cloisters and quadrangles it is easy to see why.

The Great Hall of Hogwarts

The Great Hall was replicated in the film studios to create Hogwart’s Hall. As Harry and the new first-years enter Hogwarts they are greeted by Professor McGonagall. This scene was shot on the 16th century staircase which leads up to the Great Hall. It was just as well they didn’t film this when the Hall was first built, since the wonderful vaulted roofing was only put up 150 years after the staircase.

Christ Church, Oxford

The cloisters in Christ Church were first built 1000 years ago. This ancient vintage made them the ideal setting for various scenes. It is here that Harry is shown the trophy his father won as a seeker in Quidditch.

Here’s a video I took in the Great Hall. In addition, I took a great many photos here at Christ Church, of which you can view on my Flickr set.

Outside Christ Church, Oxford

Leaving the compound of Oxford was quite an adventure in itself. The scenery was great, but since I had absolutely no idea where I was heading to, I was very worried that I wouldn’t be able to find my way back to the city centre. It did not help that the sky has started to take on the downcast look. After some half an hour of frantic walking, I managed to find the main road again. PHEW!

The Eagle and Child, Oxford

So off I went to find the “Eagle & Child” pub, recommended by Lonely Planet, to taste some authentic British pub grub. The building dates from the sixteenth century, and is popularly known as the “Bird & the Baby”. It has been a pub since 1650 – talk about being historical! As I walked through the main door, I found myself in a series of passage ways with varying height of ceiling, adorned by wooden tables and chairs of no particular designs… I was in a real British pub!

The Eagle and Child, Oxford

Happily I placed my order for (what else?) fish & chips and a pint of beer at the counter, and sat down to enjoy my meal. I noticed various interesting items decorating the pub – like the series of Tolkien’s LOTR books on the mantelpiece, and a canoe signed by some athletes hanging from the ceiling. This place was just oozing with character! There was an easy level of chatter among the early pub-dwellers – mainly university students and the odd professors.

But I couldn’t linger for too long since I need to get back to London before it’s dark, and I wanted to be a little early for my next destination…

London King's Cross Railway Station

King’s Cross! The train station was featured in the Harry Potter books, by J. K. Rowling, as the starting point of the Hogwarts Express. The train uses a secret platform 9¾ located by passing through the brick wall barrier between platforms 9 and 10. Unfortunately, platforms 9 and 10 are in a separate building from the main station; also, rather than being adjacent so that a barrier could be between them, they are separated by two intervening tracks. Rowling intended the location to be in the main part of the station, but misremembered the platform numbering.

The London Eye on New Year's Eve 2008, London

And soon I head down to River Thames, to make my way towards the London Eye. There was a huge celebration for New Year’s Eve at the London Eye area, along River Thames. Along with thousands of Londoners, I joined the madness for the countdown to 2009. Following the chimes of Big Ben at midnight, a spectacular ten-minute fireworks display was fired from the London Eye, organised by the Mayor of London and renowned pyrotechnician Christophe Berthonneau.

The crowd at the London Eye on New Year's Eve 2008, London

The crowd was total madness! I couldn’t get into the “real” party area, so a kind policeman told me to head off to an “unsecured” area which is near enough to all the actions at London Eye. And boy do the Londoners know how to party! Granted, things got a little too rowdy due to copious amount of alcohol, ladies in skimpy dress and guys too horny for their own good. I was totally on my own, an Asian in a sea of people. I was rather scared…. but when fireworks took over the sky, all my fears were forgotten!

The crowd at the London Eye on New Year's Eve 2008, London

The madness was in going home after the countdown. Human jammed for 3 hours for a mere 300m walk. I was literally sandwiched between people, and the crowd shuffled forward at snail pace. Though I managed to have some small talk with fellow party dwellers, including a group of teenagers who were very friendly and shared their travel stories with me.

That marked the end of my NYE celebration in London. Was it fun? Yes, definitely. Would I do it again? Hell NO. No way I am going to subject myself to that torture again. Once in a lifetime is more than enough!