Tag Archives: 2016

Strung Words: Every Time

Every time I fall

I fall hard

And as a result

I bruise easily

Every time I love

I love with all my heart

And as a result

I’m at your mercy

Every time I feel

I feel deeply

And as a result

None can rescue me

But every time

every time comes along

I know the cycle repeats

internal controversy.

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Paul Donovan’s Keys To Success

Donovan during his "Keys To Success" talk at UCL.

Donovan during his “Keys To Success” talk at UCL. || Apologies for the poor camera quality; click to enlarge.

Months ago, a friend who I haven’t met in well over four years invited me to attend a guest talk titled “Keys To Success” by the CEO of Odeon UCI Cinemas Group, Paul Donovan. The talk was organised by one of the entrepreneurship societies here at University College London (UCL), and honestly, I was expecting a talk focusing on specific tips and tricks for achieving business success, and ultimately decided to go because I wanted to reunite with my friend.

Nevertheless, I was pleasantly surprised when, 10 minutes into the talk, it became evident that Donovan’s tips would not only be useful for aspiring businessmen/women, but also for anyone who will become or is already part of the world’s workforce. Granted, many of the tips are suggestions many people have echoed throughout the years (which arguably doesn’t undermine their value anyway), but a couple, especially those with a modern day twist,  I found rather eye-opening. Overall, the eight tips he elaborated across the hour reflect the wealth of experience Donovan has under his belt, and I found them so handy as well as agreeable to that I wanted to share them here for anyone to discover.

>> About Paul Donovan

In case you are unfamiliar with Paul Donovan and might therefore be questioning his legitimacy as a speaker – much like I was before the talk -, here is a quick bullet-point summary of his career progression thus far as told by Donovan himself during the talk (and as I later corroborated online after the talk [1] ):

  • Pre-1999: Held various commercial positions at BT, Cable & Wireless, Optus, Apple, Coca Cola, Schweppes, and Mars
  • 1999 – 2000: Member of the Executive Committee, Vodafone
  • 2001 – 2004: CEO, Vodafone Ireland
  • 2014 – present: CEO, Odeon UCI Cinemas Group (Europe’s largest cinema operator)
  • Other current roles: Non-executive directors, Millicom Cellular International and Upstream SA
  • Fun fact: Donovan is a UCL (my uni!) alumnus.

>> Keys To Success

  • The world is unfair, who you know counts
  • Numerical reasoning is more important than you think
  • Delving into the business world as a hired hand in a start-up is risky business
  • A blue chip start gives your more options in the future

    A bit on the technical/stock market jargon side here, but simply put, “blue chip” refers to corporations that are reputable, oftentimes globally-recognised, and can consequently reap profit despite market fluctuations – for the most part. Examples of blue chip companies include Citigroup Incorporated, Walt Disney Company, and McDonald’s Corporation.

  • Find companies that align with your values
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help and/or advice
  • Pitch your opening salary at the upper quartile, not the median 
  • Re-skill and up-skill on an ongoing basis

    Quick note on “re-skill” and “up-skill”, “re-skill” refers to learning new skills, whereas “up-skill” is elevating or sharpening the skills you already learnt previously.

Donovan then concluded his talk by listing the three most important personality traits that he believes make satisfying those keys to success all the more second nature: adaptability, communication, and curiosity.

>> What Do You Think?

  • Can you think of anything that’s missing from Donovan’s list?
  • Have you ever tried implementing any of the tips to advance your career? How did it go?
  • What do you think are the three most important personality traits for achieving any type of success?

>> Latest Post On This Category: London Livin’: Free Events In June

Food & Dining Review: Cocoro

>> At A Glance

Image credits: Cocoro

Image taken from Cocoro’s website.

* Restaurant name: Cocoro (Marylebone branch)

* Cuisine: Japanese

* Address: 31 Marylebone Lane, London, United Kingdom, W1U 2NH (also have branches in Bloomsbury, Highgate, and Bayswater areas in London)

* Opening times: Everyday 12.00 – 16.30 and 18.00 – 22.30

* Phone: 02079352931 (Marylebone branch), 02074360660 (Bloomsbury branch), 02083406000 (Highgate branch), 02072219790 (Bayswater branch)

* Website: cocororestaurant.co.uk/en/ (menu available)

>> Ratings

Rating Scale

* Overall flavour: 4

* Price for portion: 2.5

Whilst pricey food is nothing new for Central London, £13 for a single bowl of ramen is more on the expensive side for me. The portion fills you up, but I’ve had ramen bowls with similar or even more content for considerably less (i.e. around £6 – £8).

* Service: 4.5

Many of the waitresses were very friendly and responsive. They were constantly willing to top up our tap water, even without us asking. All of our orders were served nice and steamy within ten to fifteen minutes. Nevertheless, it was quite difficult to call the waitresses for ordering food and requesting the bill as not many of them circulate downstairs. That being said, they were very lenient in letting my friends and I talk for a while after we finished eating, even as we chat towards their closing time! 

* Venue / ambiance: 4

Centrally located in zone one, the place is rather accessible and is close to multiple tube stations (Oxford Circus, Marble Arch, Bond Street, and Regent’s Park). The restaurant itself is quite small inside; chairs and tables are laid out on the upper level, whereas horigotatsu seats are available on the lower level. My group took a horigotatsu spot and the lighting as well as layout downstairs successfully establish a relaxed and dynamic atmosphere that is perfect for gatherings. Furthermore, curtain dividers are available between the horigotatsu seats, thus providing some sense of privacy even in an arguably tight space.

* X factor: ramen toppings

Various ramen toppings were served separately on a dish on top of the ramen soup. This serving style allows the freshness of the toppings to be preserved and ultimately enables customers to appreciate the different components all the more. 

* Overall experience: 4

>> Dish By Dish Review

* Tonkotsu Ramen for £13 : 4

Click to enlarge.

The texture of the ramen is springy, smooth, and just amazing. The ramen soup comes with eclectic toppings including but not limited to pork slices, half an egg, seaweed, pickles, and onions. All of the toppings compliment each other and the broth extremely well, although more vegetables portion and variety as well as a whole egg serving instead of half would be much more ideal for the price. Additionally, the broth itself may come off as too salty for some people, and the apparent monosodium glutamate (MSG) aftertaste doesn’t necessarily help either. Overall, what goes into the broth is delicious and tasty, but the Tonkotsu broth itself could use a few tweaks. That being said, this dish is perfectly filling and I would recommend it for rainy days, which is notorious for being abundant here in London!

>> Other Opinions (on the Marylebone branch)

* On a food, travel, and cooking blog called “Eat Noodles Love Noodles”

* On a food blog called “The Boozy Bunch”

* Various reviews on:

Square Meal

>> Previous Post On This Category: Red Cow Carvery

Leave a comment below with restaurants you’d like me to review next! 

Are you affiliated with Cocoro? Reach out (christyzee98@gmail.com) and let me know if you’d like me to come back or review any new dishes!

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London Livin’: Free Events In June

Another month, another list of free public events in London! This is the third events list under my London Livin’ series; feel free to check out this post to read about why I decided to start the series in the first place.

That being said, I, unfortunately, will be taking a three-month hiatus from making these lists as I spend summer break in Jakarta and Hong Kong. Not to worry, though, more eclectic entries under the “What’s Up?” category will hopefully be coming your way throughout summer. In the meantime, please enjoy this list for June and I’ll catch you with another free London public events listing in September (for October)!

* Wed, 1 Jun

* Thu, 2 Jun

* Fri, 3 Jun

* Sat, 4 Jun

* Tue, 7 Jun

* Wed, 8 Jun

* Thu, 9 Jun

* Sat, 11 Jun

* Mon, 13 Jun

* Tue, 14 Jun

* Wed, 15 Jun

* Thu, 16 Jun

* Fri, 17 Jun

* Sat, 18 Jun

* Mon, 20 Jun

* Tue, 21 Jun

* Wed, 22 Jun

* Thu, 23 Jun

* Fri, 24 Jun

Ongoing Throughout June

>> Previous Post On This Category: London Livin’: Free Events In May

Design: Around

Around

>> Insights To Artistic Decisions

“You reap what you sow.” – Galatians 6:7

“Life has its ups and downs.” – Debasish Mridha, Author, Philosopher, and Physician

“[It’s] karma. You get what you give, whether it’s bad or good.” – Sandra Bullock, Actress and Producer

Life is often attributed to having a cyclical quality and, simply put, this design aims to represent such universal truth.

  • Black and white filter: conveys the components of life using typical colour associations – the bad (black), the good (white), and everything in between (grey)
  • Text positioning: under the photo’s light source, symbolises that the quote is an underlying truth of life
  • Font type: Snell Roundhand in cursive and italics, illustrates the way the concept is so embedded in our day-to-day lives that it sometimes exists in finer print
  • Text alignment: centred to align the two “around” within the quote, emphasises the existence of a cycle(s) in life and the theme of recurrence

>> Creation Details

>> Previous Post On This Category: Design: The Best Journeys…

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London Livin’: Free Events In May

Second post under the London Livin’ series! Listed below are free public events taking place all over London in May 2016. As per usual, please leave any suggestions you would like to add into the list and/or comments letting me know if you’re going to any of these events so that we can potentially meet up! If you’re wondering about my rationale for starting this series, you can quickly read about it on this post.

That’s all from me for this month’s “What’s Up?” category, feel free to reach out to me over social media as I’m always open to connecting with new people, considering collaboration opportunities, or just simply becoming a sounding board for fellow bloggers and/or YouTubers ☺️

* Tue, 3 May

* Wed, 4 May

* Fri, 6 May

* Tue, 10 May

* Thu, 12 May

* Fri, 13 May

* Sat, 14 May

* Sun, 15 May

* Mon, 16 May

* Tue, 17 May

* Wed, 18 May

* Thu, 19 May

* Fri, 20 May

* Sun, 22 May

* Mon, 23 May

* Tue, 24 May

* Wed, 25 May

* Sun, 29 May

* Tue, 31 May

Ongoing Throughout May

>> Previous Post On This Category: London Livin’: Free Events In April

Food & Dining Review: Red Cow Carvery

>> At A Glance

Red Cow Carvery #1

Click to enlarge.

* Stall name: Red Cow Carvery

* Cuisine: British

* Address: Greenwich Market, 5b Greenwich Market, London, United Kingdom, SE10 9HZ

* Opening times: 10.00 – 17.30 on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays

* Phone: (+44) 7775997435

* Facebook: Red Cow Carvery

>> Ratings

Rating Scale

* Overall flavour: 4

* Price for portion: 3.5

There was enough to make me adequately full, but that’s all there is to it.

Menu - click to enlarge.

Menu – click to enlarge.

* Service: 3.5

As the stall is in a market and surrounded by other food stalls, crowdedness is inevitable and tolerable. The vendor has a good line up system that’s clearly communicated, easily understandable, and doesn’t block neighbouring stalls. Service was quick and thus prevents the line from being too overwhelming. That being said, staff need to be careful not to sacrifice too much friendliness towards customers solely for quicker service.

Additionally, the stall serves everything on a rectangular styrofoam bowl. Whilst I understand that this is convenient, it would be great if a more environmentally friendly material can be used or maybe the vendor can offer a fair discount to customers who bring along their own reusable containers.

* Venue / ambiance: 4

Located relatively at the centre of the food hub, as far as market stalls go it’s pretty decent and accessible. The surrounding intersections amplify the rush and hecticness at times, but having two stalls merged into one certainly helps establish a less suffocating atmosphere for customers. Due to its central location, there are no seats or tables nearby.

* X factor: None

Can’t put my finger on any, great British food with great flavours, but nothing that makes me scream, “Wow!”

* Overall experience: 3.5

>> Dish By Dish Review

Click to enlarge.

* Roast Beef w/ Potatoes, Yorkshire Pudding & Gravy for £6 : 4

Overall, the dish was mildly seasoned and well presented. The beef was cooked well done and the Yorkshire pudding was tasty. For improvements, larger potatoes should’ve been cut into smaller pieces for a better and more uniformed roast across the potatoes. One or two extra Yorkshire pudding(s) and more caramelised onions would’ve made the price for portion more ideal. Additionally, I reckon some roasted or boiled vegetables can complement the dish rather nicely.

>> Other Opinions

* On ilovemarkets.co.uk

* On a food and travel blog…

>> Previous Post On This Category: Spatula

Leave a comment below with restaurants you’d like me to review next! 

Are you affiliated with Red Cow Carvery? Reach out (christyzee98@gmail.com) and let me know if you’d like me to come back or review any new dishes!

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