Scribbles in the Sand

All About My Life in Taiwan

Leave a comment

Moving House

My mums great blog.

Devon Country Diary Goes To Scotland!

Both Laurence and Verity have moved house recently, one in Taiwan and one nearer to home, in Bath. I was not able to help Laurie but he had his brother to help instead. I didn’t think that Verity needed me either as she had taken my advice and got some professionals to do the job but inevitably she had several car loads to move on top of the van load that had already been delivered so I was happy to go to the rescue. I stayed overnight so that I could take her to work the next day and get rid of the packing material that threatened to take over the house.

Matt is in Budapest for a short holiday and seems to have done very well with the apartment they have rented. Gwilym and Fiona have passed their Taiwanese driving test and are intending to purchase a car. Laurie…

View original post 146 more words



Last Weekend

This is actually a combination of the last couple of weekends, which we have recently made and effort to fill with lots of fun activities.

On a bright and sunny Saturday morning, I drove down to ShiPai石牌 MRT station on my scooter and met L on his newly bought second-hand bike.  Having past his test a week before, he was eager to explore the mountains that surround my flat, and the Northern parts of Taipei.  It’s only a short drive into them, and before long, you are towering above the entire city, and in complete wilderness.  It’s one of my favourite places in Taiwan, and something we should do more often.  In the mountains, which are part of YangMin Shan National park, you will find a multitude of hot-springs.

Beitou 北投 is famous for these warm thermal springs, and are visited by throngs of tourists from all over Asia.  I myself have only been a handful of times but last weekend was one of them.


After our short drive, we drove down to ChiangKai Shek Memorial Hall 中正紀念堂 and Joined F, Matt, and Kendrick for a spot of Archery at the municipal gym.

After this, we heard commotion outside, and witnessed a giant parade full of troops of school children, and old ladies in not very much clothing


After this we went to the old America embassy for a spot of food, then made last minute plans to travel back up into the mountains for some late night hot springs.  Laurie, Matt, F and I soaked in the volcanic waters until the early hours before returning home for a nice long sleep.


The following weekend, we had another date in the Mountains. This time we were in search of some roast chicken, baked in large outdoor furnaces.  It was impossible to find, but when we did it was worth it.  Two whole chickens later (and I mean Whole; head, claws, anus and all), we drove down to Shilin士林 for some casual browsing in B and Q.

IMG_3894 IMG_3897 IMG_3898 IMG_3903

The next day, we arranged to have a picnic in Nei Hu 內湖。 F and I prepared cucumber sandwiches, egg mayo, and left over chicken.  With a kite packed and two bottles of wine in hand, we got a taxi to Neihu.  Forgetting to bring a corkscrew, L had to improvise with a fork and shoe.  After this we took 4 stops back on the MRT and went to watch “Judge” at the cinema, starting Robert Downy Jr.


IMG_3907 IMG_3909 IMG_3914


D.I.Y Fusion Drive – Mac Mini 2012 – How To Guide

Disclaimer:  I’m not a tech genius, just an Apple enthusiast, and want to try and give  layman’s instructions on how to make a DIY fusion drive.  I’ll put links to all the Youtube videos and articles that I used and encourage you to follow them step by step. This procedure can be done by anyone but might involve  lots of pausing of  videos, lots of double checking for spelling mistakes in Terminal, and some moments where I though I had broken my new computer-I didn’t.  I would recommend reading all the source material that I use in this blog as a guide, and accept no responsibility for any date loss Continue reading

1 Comment

Thor in 4D on ‘Thorsday’

Thor in 4D on ‘Thorsday’

On Thursday, we went to watch the premier of Thor “The Dark World”. But this was no ordinary 2D/3D experience. This was 4D!

What is 4D?

4D is a marketing gimmick with some cinemas using the term 5D, 6D etc, but it is basically a 3D movie experience, with added sensory effects such as moving seats, wind, water spray, vibrations, and even smell! Continue reading

Input your Email or Username in Two Keystroke (iOS)

1 Comment

Sick of typing out your entire email or username each time?

If you want to bypass the long and tedious process of entering your email /username/password each time you can quickly enter a shortcut on any iOS device following this step-by-step picture.

1.Enter Settings.
2.Select General / Keyboards / Add New Shortcut
3.In the phrase field enter your email or username.
4.Add a shortcut such as the first letter and an @ symbol, (It can be anything).
5.Hit save.
6.Compose a message and see if the shortcut works.




Day 3 of Filming

Read Part 1, Part 1.5 and Part 2 first.

Click the pictures for true HD, pockmarked, freckled, wrinkled, wizened old faces.  

Hair and makeup was booked for 6am, but since Fiona takes an hour or so I decided to sleep until 730. We headed into Magong city for the first time and changed into our wedding clothes. Filming was taking place in the old town and when we arrived the crew had already set-up the camera and mics.

The first scene was of us having our wedding pictures taken, which involved filming an expensive camera with an even more expensive camera. We had to stop and move aside every few minutes to allow tourists and scooters to pass.

The next scene involved Fiona running down the narrow street, scribble something on a postcard, and me run after her while the proprietor shouted something. By this time the sun was high in the sky and the 8 or 9 takes that It took meant that I was baking, and kept requesting for tissues to mop my brow with.

After a few more scenes or running down passages, we arrived at the oldest well in Taiwan. It had previously been quiet, but as we set up, a coach-load of people and tour guides arrived and so filming was paused.

They didn’t look to be moving off anytime soon so the director decided we would film with people in-shot, and so I had to push through the crowd saying “excuse me”, pause, look around, and continue running. Not the hardest scene to do, but when 60 or so pairs of eyes are watching your every move it’s not easy.

In-between takes, people were asking to take pictures with me, and so up until the word Action! I was hugging tourist and flicking peach signs. Morning shooting was a wrap and we headed to lunch together.


In the afternoon we headed back out of town to pick up the child actor. At 2 o’clock we reconvened outside the Penghu County Government and filmed a scene where Fiona steals an electric bike while it’s being re-charged. Luckily my scene of stealing the childs bike to chase here was done in just two takes, so I went inside the Government building to borrow some conditioned air. Our friend Chloe came along to watch and brough us some fresh lemonade and took some fun pictures while we waited in the shade.

In the afternoon re re-returned to Gunyinting, where the final scenes was to take place. I finally caught up with Fiona who has been running from me all day. We were eventually happy with the take, but sadly the school nearby was being demolished so that the sound was unusable. We attempted to dub it there and then while looking at the playback of our selves onscreen, but this proved to be almost impossible, so we may have to go back and re-dub this at home.  I can’t imagine how this will look in the final cut, and could end up looking terrible. We took a final picture of us all together then changed into civilians and headed out to a celebratory meal courtesy of the director.

Plate after plate of delicious food arrived at our 14 person round table and beer aplenty. The table across from us was having a birthday, and so the restaurant sang a verse in Chinese, and then in English which was strange. They kindly offered us a huge wedge of the cake which I could not enjoy because I was already stuffed.

The other table next to us was filled with burley,bald-headed men, all with their arms covered in tatoo sleeves. The director’s girlfriend and brother recognised them as a Mafia family from Taipei, and they yelled over for the younger brother to have a drink with the family. Then they spotted me. I was unaware of these Mafia ties, and happily made my way to their table, complaining that my glass was not full and asking for more beer off of them, and then joking that his glass was smaller than mine. His son took some pictures of us embracing, and then we downed the glass while the entire restaurant clapped. I may find a fish head in my bed if I’m not carefull about what I write here.

And that concluded my brief stint of stardom. It has been a pleasure being pampered and looked after, having all our meals brought to us and bought for us, and having every onlooker thinking we’re someone famous or that we’re actually getting married and saying  “gong1 xi3” 恭喜/congratulations.

I am quite aware that our acting skills are terrible and that the film could potentially contain highly cringe-worthy scenes, but we enjoyed it immensely and so it doesn’t matter either way. The final edit will not be out for a few months so you’ll have to sit tight, oh and please stop sending all that fan mail.


Day 2 of Filming

三 days of poor light and rain have prevented filming so far.  However, when we awoke at 5:30am, the sky was a deep dark blue free of clouds which meant that filming was to proceed and that we would have no lie-in.

We had to re-shoot the first scenes of me proposing on the beach because the initial takes were too dark.

We drove out of town into the countryside to pick up a new child actor who was replacing the initial one who had gone on holiday. We arrived at Lintou 林投公園 beach at about 8 o’clock.

Unlike the first day where I had been extremely nervous, I was very calm and a seasoned pro by now, and so the scenes went by quite smoothly. I was required to bend down in the water and propose to Fiona. While opening the box I was meant to fling it open by mistake and lose the ring in the water. We had to time our dialogue with the crashing of each wave, and the crew were having difficulty maintaining their footing with the tide bashing against them. I had to kneel down in the sand for extended periods of time which was intensely painful because it was mostly made up of coral.

Another scene was shot at the harbour while Fi was getting her hair and makeup done. After this, we relaxed in a nice cafe for an hour or two until the final scene of the day at Guanyinting.  Despite hours of doing her hair, Fiona only had one short scene of her washing her hands, and you would think this would be easy, but it took about 10 takes because the director wanted a very precise emotion that was part surprise,delight,relaxed, nonchalance.  Around this time in the evening Guanyinting is a lovely location. The bridge is very beautiful and underneath it is a small lagoon/sea lake? where people come and swim.  I was required to scream “WHERE ARE YOU!” across the water four times which was pretty embarrassing and not something  I enjoyed doing too much.

The final scene was completed  just as the sun dipped out of sight below the bridge.

Come back tomorrow for the final instalment of this epic saga.