Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Project 365: Day 32 Crapness

Can't believe it's only 1 month and I already forgot to take a photo each day for project 365. Anyway let's make do with what I got, starting from last saturday. Went out for dinner at the favourite iranian place, Alounak on Westbourne Grove. Attendees for dinner were Francis, Sush and yours dearly. The lamb was as usual very tender and tasty, with a strong smoke flavour, yum.

After dinner, we went over to Soho for dessert and Princi's. Check out the nice deco for the table against the wall.

Water features, when placed appropriately, sometimes enhances the feel of a room. If you're a student of feng shui, you'll realise as well that it is also important to place water features at some places to lift the energy of the room. Think aquarium and why people build ponds to rear japanese kops, isn't it so?

Anyway, the night ended with some drinks at La Perla on Charlotte street for Tse Jian's birthday. I quite enjoyed the margerita there. One thing I forgot for the day was to be a vegetarian for the day. I guess I can substitute days..... hehe.

Best regards,
Jing Qi Quah

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Time at home and coming back to UK

Project 365: Day 28 Sister Caught me sleeping, @#$%^&

I was happily getting my back massaged on the massage chair the day after the funeral when I accidentally fell asleep (It was very comfortable ok......). Not the nicest of my pic but oh well, the kids sneakily took a pic of me sleeping. And this isn't the only pic they took, my life is ruin, NOOOO!!!! Can't they just let me sleep in peace?

Project 365: Day 29 Back at home in KL, here's my garden

I got back to kl after the first 7 days ended. I know I left out taking lots of pics but my mind wasn't set on taking pics. Had the pleasure of stopping by Ipoh to taste the "big head prawns" at Mun Choong restaurant on my journey back. With every bite, I feel my artery getting clogged up more and more, why are nice foods always bad for you??????

Anyway this is a shot of my garden during the one day I get to spend at home. My room has been empty for almost 11 months of the year and it certainly gave me a spooky feeling everytime I sleep in there. Guess I need to load it up with stuffs but what's the point in doing that when I'm not home most of the time? Sigh......

Project 365: Day 30 Bought myself a new pair of shoes

Went to do some shopping a few hours before boarding my plane back to London and bought myself a new pair of shoes. I kinda like the design at the front of it, at RM130 I think it's a bargain for it was really comfortable as well. I also got yours dearly her face wash set and boy were they expensive...... sigh.

Project 365: Day 31 Back in UK, on train towards London Paddington

A shot onboard the Heathrow Connect train back to Paddington (Heathrow express too expensive la since I'm not constrained by time). I was a bit depressed leaving home again and coming back to the cold weather here, just to prove that it was just too comfortable at home.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Project 365: Day 27 Some smiles to ease the gloom

If you've ever had to attend a funeral of someone dear to you, you would sense the gloomy atmosphere from 100 meters away. But thanks to my younger cousins this time, the atmosphere seemed less tense. Maybe they just don't know how to feel sad yet, after all the only emotions children know are happiness and anger.

Here's a pic of one of my youngest cousin, who incidentally tries to show off his dimples. Don't you just wanna pinch his face? Anyway I think they are just enjoying their time not going to schools.

Best regards,
Jing Qi Quah

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Project 365: Day 26 Business is resumed

Sorry for the lack of updates since last week. I was quite busy for the funeral and don't have my usual luxury of 3G on the go. Sigh, roaming charges are just way too expensive. Need to get my phone unlocked so I can use a malaysian sim card the next time I go back. So I shall try to catch up as quickly as possible to this Project 365 with a bit of cheating. Don't really have pictures of most days but I'll try to dig.

This is a pic of the sky somewhere between london and KL. The flight back was empty considering the price I paid for the ticket. Joanne told me (she took singapore airlines A380 the following day) that her flight was empty as well. Considering the size and capacity of the 380, each passenger might as well have a bed each to lie on. Air asia X effect maybe?

Best regards,
Jing Qi Quah

Monday, March 16, 2009

Project 365: Day 24 Airport and bad trading day

Market rallied in the morning which meant I made a small fortune and went into profit for the first part of the day. I then made the worst decision yet trading, buying goldman shares. Estimated loss at end of day is 170 which is a lot. Problem is I don't even know why the shares tumbled so quickly, on a day AIG gained 80%, gosh. Oh well yet another lesson learnt. In hindsight, I think it has something to do with AIG's statement which contradicts goldman's earlier comment about no exposure to AIG. Sigh, should've figured it out sooner.

Anyway, I'm in the airport right now waiting to board the flight back to malaysia. Here's a shot of the duty-free shops in heathrow terminal 3.

Best regards,
Jing Qi Quah

Project 365: Day 23 Snow snow snow patrol and bad news

Got my haircut today and that sparked the first bad news of the day. For some reason the hair salon I go to usually in chinatown isn't making (enough?) money so the business owner is selling the business back to the shop owner but will remain as manager. They will increase the price from £15 to £19 starting april. Now I don't know about you but that's a whopping 35% increase in my books and I guess I'll have to look for new places now. Shame, I quite like that place.

Then I went for lunch with deno, raymond and jonathan at royal china on baker street. We were patiently waiting for more than 40 minutes when I got a phone call from Jo. Then came the worst news of the day, or even the year. Uncle kuat who is battling with cancer for some months now passed away sunday night in penang. I'm not too devastated since news so far have been bleak, but I was planning to go back hopefully in april to see him. Time is cruel. Making some last minute plans to go back now.

At night, we went to snow patrol's concert in o2. The show was much much better than I expected but most of the time I'm thinking more about my plan to fly back tomorrow. And I got my ticket right after the show. Will be flying back tomorrow night and coming back here the following monday arriving on tuesday. So hopefully will be able to come in for Metro's full year results and conference call.

This is a sad day.

p.s. might not be updating blog too often while I'm back in malaysia but will try.

Best regards,
Jing Qi Quah

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Project 365: Day 22 Karaoke rulez

After the fun night at madame jojo's last night, the day started on a slower note. Cleaner came over to do up the house and yours dearly bought sashimi from atari-ya for lunch. Readying ourselves for the karaoke session at night, we just chilled out, made a tiramisu cake and watched American Idol at home. It's gonna be a tight battle between Danny and Adam this year me thinks. Deno and ying ling were down to London today as well. Ahh how I love to have crowds here, makes the house feel livelier.

Anyway, it's sin yi's bday karaoke session tonight and we went all out for the best part of the 4 hours at china city. I feel a sore throat coming tomorrow. Note to self, singing and "kam heong" is not a good combination, especially when you end up with chilli stuck in your throat. Scary? Ou yea. Well we had a fun night out again nonetheless. Bring on snow patrol tomorrow woooshhhh.

p.s. Pics are a bit dark, that's the bad thing about camera phones.

Best regards,
Jing Qi Quah

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Project 365: Day 21 Fourth up day for Wall Street and Madame Jojo's

Spent the entire day in front of the screen monitoring market movements on a highly significant day for market sentiments. A fourth up day for the market means quite a bit to the psychology of investors everywhere. It gets people thinking whether we have reached the bottom or not, this is the first bear market rally for the year and true enough "bottoming" is the oft used word on bloomberg tv the whole day.

If you ask me, I'd still say the market's not bottomed out yet. It will bottom out once retailers start seeing less promotions needed to draw in customers I think. This is what we call consumer-led recovery from the recession. People keep saying that banks will lead the economy out of recession, at least from a stock market point of view. This is right from a sentiment perspective but wrong from a fundamental point of view.

Thinking is allowed and by any means I might be horribly wrong. Today I got myself a small fortune from the gains of next and tesco but no help from ahold yet. Gonna hold them as they still are undervalued. JPMorgan also bagged me some profits but went to the red later, same with GE and Citigroup. Key stock for me today is Microsoft, it took a battering and I love to buy on weakness. Will hold all these stocks through the weekend.

I went to madame jojo's at night for quite a fun night out with yours dearly and gabi. If you ask me about clubbing, funk and old school rock n roll is the bomb. So head over to madame jojo's in soho on friday night if you're in London and you want to get away from the usual RnB, you might just fall in love with it.

Best regards,

Jing Qi Quah

Project 365: Day 20 Day in the office

This entry is one day late again. Went into office today for 4 companies who were reporting in the morning. Carrefour, Delhaize, Morrisons and Home Retail Group. As usual Jimmy would've upgraded delhaize to buy had we have no cease coverage and were allowed to put out previews. I suspect that Carrefour should be a buy too on the back of the plans laid out yesterday by Lars. Both stocks were trading strongly from the start with delhaize up by double digits. Morrisons had a fantastic year and it remains to be seen whether they can keep the momentum up for the coming year against very tough comparables. Out of the 4, home has the least visible outlook and shares tanked as more unpleasant news were revealed during the conference call.

Well most of my bets for the day were not too bad as markets rallied for another day and I was at the right side of it. Still thinks that ahold and tesco are undervalued as they regain some of the earlier losses. But thanks to the rally in the US, which sparked a rally in the ftse, I was able to recoup most of my losses the day before. So net net I'm about £100 down instead of £200, not that bad for 3rd day trade.

Is it possible to get a pizza romana like the one from pizza express in malaysia? It's the one with the ultra flat base, absolutely yummy. Business idea? I think so.

Thought of the day: next time I had better reflect on my trading strategies day to day.

Best regards,

Jing Qi Quah

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Project 365: Day 19 Why is stock picking so hard?

I've learnt that making a share price call or pick a stock is an easy thing to do.

Merely saying what number you think the index should be is also an easy thing to do.

Having the balls to press the button to commit yourself is hard.

Making a profit by betting the right direction is hard too.

Having the discipline to not touch something you committed not to touch is the hardest.

Tuition fees today: £150. Lesson still not learnt, freak......

Gain from the day: stocktwit.

Miss of the day: F**king Amazon.

Best regards,

Jing Qi Quah

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Project 365: Day 18 Yet another unproductive and unprofitable day

This is another unproductive day after yesterday and I didn't even manage to go to the gym today. Spent the better part of the day configuring my reuters xtra3000 and setting up the spreadbetting account with igindex. My first trade was betting that the eurodollar will rise when it fell and fell. That was a good 35 quids tuition fees and what I learnt from it is not to touch currencies again. Better be discipline and stick to what I know, retail stocks. Thursday would be quite active with 4 companies reporting but I won't be home to see and trade on it so it's another miss opportunity. Hopefully I could get it all set up on my blackberry tomorrow so fingers crossed.

Alright, today's pic is of yours dearly eating chocolate while watching my beloved juve team lose to yet another of my fav team chelsea. Sigh...... Just my luck hahaha. Oh well will work harder tomorrow to identify more opportunities for money making hehehe. Pray for me.

Best regards,
Jing Qi Quah

Project 365: Day 17 Of stupidness of banks

What an unproductive day this has been. Got to the gym early only to find out that body conditioning class is filled with housewives (didn't join them in the end). Cycled to burn some calories but felt kinda low on energy. Did some weights but don't have the strength. Seriously something is wrong today.

I went over to my bank after gym trying to get some stamped printed statements and a reference letter to be sent to the home office. There I was, queuing up obediently before it was my turn at the counter. I put on my biggest smile and said in my politest tone, "can I have a printed statement from XXX to XXX, stamped in every page please?"

"NO we can't do that" she said. "We could print it out but we're not allowed to stamp it." I mean dude, then where the heck should I go to get a stamp for those statements? The market?

Ok so maybe it might still be alright if it wasn't stamped as long as there was the bank's logo on it. I then asked her if I could get a reference letter. "NO, we don't do that," she said. Crap, now what do banks do then? Imbeciles!!! Bastards!

Feeling crappy, I went for a walk at the nearby whiteleys and finally got a chance to see the newly opened cha cha moon here. At least that made up for the rest of my day. Bad news is, the menu (and prices) are exactly the same as the one in soho. Didn't eat there today but will be back.

Stupid banks......

Best regards,
Jing Qi Quah

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Project 365: Day 16 Last day in Edinburgh

Trying to make our shadows look funny, taken on top of Calton Hill. Tasted a wonderful whiskey today up alongside my already favourite Glenfiddich 21 yrs, the Aberferdy 21 yrs. Next I wanna taste is some Dewar's whiskey, should not be hard to find......

Best regards,
Jing Qi Quah

Project 365: Day 15 Whiskey and Scottish landscape

One of the malts used for Famous Grouse is made here, the Glenturret.

More on trip later when battery charging is more accessible.
Best regards,
Jing Qi Quah

Friday, March 06, 2009

Project 365: Day 14 I'm in Edinburgh

With the guys and gals in front of Edinburgh castle. More posts on trip on a later date.

P.s. Can somebody tell me why does the blackberry bold drinks battery down so quickly? It can't even last a day properly wtf?

Best regards,
Jing Qi Quah

Project 365: Day 13 Codness me

Went into office again today for Casino's full year results which is actually quite an optimistic one. Definitely the numbers were at the top end of consensus and share price today was kinda flat compared to another day of fall in benchmark indices.

Anyway the highlight of the day was when I was strolling through whiteleys on my way back from the bank. I came face to face with a "I don't know" what. Took a question to the fishmonger to learn that the huge fish was a cod. I mean how many of you out there have actually seen a whole cod? I've seen cod fillets, cod steaks, heck even cod liver oil but couldn't recognise it whole.

Now I know cod this size should be normal. Black cods which we chinese adore so much back home is huge, judging by the size of the steam cod steaks we have back home. But if you're used to fish n chips here, you would be surprised to see an atlantic (or black sea) cod the size of this too.

They even dug a flatfish out of the cod's mouth believe it or not. Poor flounder........

Best regards,
Jing Qi Quah

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Project 365: Day 12 Ye same ol Italian again

Today, I went to Il Bordello again with yours dearly after her little trip to the doctors. She had some rashes on her face which she said were very itchy and painful sometimes, it even made her slightly feverish. Anybody has any idea what this could be? Doctor said it's normal but I have we have our suspicions that it might be a combi of winter rash and some sort of allergy.

Hence she decided this wouldn't be a seafood day, which was kind of a let down since I wanted to bring her to try their fabulous lobster aurora. Anyway, we had the deep fried mozzarella for starter (which tasted like deep fried chicken yum), calves liver and tagliatelle al funghi as mains. Food was superb as usual but yours dearly said that the calves liver at cristini's were better which I kinda agree since I prefer eating it with mash potatoes. There is nothing like a good shot of espresso to finish off lunch and keep me awake for the walk home.

Later, I took the curtains to the cleaners on my way to the gym for some solid fat burning. To sum it all up, it was a pretty ok day. What it lacks is something that makes me tick, some work, some project, some soul searching. Where am I going to go next? The industry I'm in now is a rapidly collapsing one even in the next boom period. It went from a 10-people team to 5-people team in a matter of years and now firms only want to hire a 2-people team. That's how much technology is improving a person's efficiency (more like man power is more expensive than computer power).

So this all boils down to one question. How to create new areas where man power is needed (and sustainably needed)? I really don't know. But I want to try, so badly. Deep thoughts...... Perhaps......

p.s. Get well soon yours dearly.

Best regards,
Jing Qi Quah

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Project 365: Day 11 Clean Curtains

Today, after a week since the dry cleaners told me that it's ready, I finally went to pick up the clean curtains on my way back from the gym. It was seriously a power walk session since I opted to walk home from bayswater instead of taking the bus and the curtains were f**king heavy dammit. Oh well, I'll just treat it as an extra workout for the day.

What's worse....... That's the lighter load. Tomorrow I'll have to carry some more curtains to be washed and those are twice the weight I'm not kidding. And this time, the cctv has nothing to catch on camera (hehehe got a very expensive tuition for waiting in the car on double yellow line the first time around).

Bring it on curtains, my biceps are ready!

Best regards,

Jing Qi Quah

Monday, March 02, 2009

Project 365: Day 11 Revenge is something really SPICY

Went to the office today with Ahold reporting some stellar results. For the 3rd year in a row, Ahold has met the targets they set for themselves despite economic headwinds. That, to me, is very impressive. I remembered during a recent job interview, the interviewer asked me if I liked the retail sector. The only company that came to my mind is Ahold, for some reason, although I remembered wrongly that we have a buy recommendation (I said we had an add). Sigh, I think that just cost me a job.

Anyway, gym followed work but it was a hurried section as I'm meeting yours dearly for dinner. And dinner tonight is at ............ NANDO's!!!!! Yes, I know, AGAIN!!!

And this time it's revenge. Haha, extra extra lots of extra extra hot peri-peri sauce. Ouuuuu Yeaaaa, the hungry stomach really needed that. Revenge time!!!!!

Best regards,
Jing Qi Quah

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Project 365: Day 10 Football and Nandos

It was a good day for football, not too sunny, temperature was mild and during Carling cup final (not much people in park). All that running left me absolutely starving and what's better than to go to nando's for some fiery chicken?

We went to the nando's near London Bridge. There was this odd thing on the way from station to restaurant. Think I saw Keng mention in her facebook that it's to hang people in the old days.

Yum, always go for extra hot peri-peri at nando's. I didn't realise they have a black bottle of extra extra hot until I was leaving the restaurant dammit. But it was good. Finished a quarter bottle of that yummy sauce myself muahahaha. So much so that I saw somebody (European!!!) who brought their own plastic containers to bring some sauce back, talk about kiasu.

And yours dearly tries to stop me taking a photo of her hahaha. Funny. What's funnier is nando's sign saying their peri-peri nuts may contain nuts. -_-!!!
Best regards,
Jing Qi Quah

Project 365: Day 9 Development at Marble Arch

Got this post one day late but what the hell. Went out to West Acton to get some fresh fish for sashimi from Atari Ya, a nice little japanese store full of surprises. The fish were top notch, fresh as sashimi you can get in London. No stomach ache so far so I guess it's safe to say that. So if u're a sushi fan, there's just one place where u'll not be disappointed (the selection of fish there is excellent too).

If you've been to Marble Arch in London before, you must remember that it has a quite complicated tunnel system which accompanies a stench of urine. Well the authorities recently decided to close some of these tunnels down and make people cross the road via traffic crossings. I'm not complaining, it makes more sense to do that since it's safer for pedestrians (in terms of burglary). Now with one of their usual shelter gone, where are the homeless going to spend the night now......

Best regards,
Jing Qi Quah