2005-04-30

太座的自製墊枕套

全由舊衣舊布拼湊而成。

港人普茶文化

剛在網上發現一篇分析香港人愛飲普洱茶的文章(中國茶葉資訊)。我是只喝茶不喝水之人,而且對普洱情有獨鍾,特在此節錄該文跟大家分享:

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港人普茶文化

究竟港人何時開始飲用普洱茶 ... 普洱茶能盛銷香港有很多原因,藥用性是其一 ... 港人每認為綠茶,烏龍茶等皆性寒,而普洱黑茶性較和順正氣,老少咸宜,適合港人腸胃。

另外,普洱茶價廉可長久擺放和耐沖泡也是重要的原因。酒樓和一般家庭都是飲用普洱散茶,因價錢為普洱茶中最便宜者。對飲茶較有要求的人,則會選擇普洱餅茶。

普洱茶之得以在香港普遍流行,茶樓實在起了一個很大的推廣作用。嘆早茶,一盅兩件,是很多香港人之習慣,及港人又喜好大飲大食,而普洱茶最能消滯去積,故在茶樓這飲食之地便倍受歡迎。

除了提供飲食外,香港有很多茶樓在晚上都會有唱曲供茶客娛樂 ... 茶客可以邊聽歌,邊談話,到說得口乾時,便喝一口茶。由於普河茶可耐浸泡,沖了多次也不會有苦澀味,在這些場合就最適合不過了。這種聽曲談話之娛樂,直到八十年代初才在香港式微。

所以長久以來,普洱茶與香港人之飲食文化,娛樂文化始終都保持著一種很密切的民生關係。它只是很平民化的一種飲飲料,根本就沒有中原文士所謂茗飲層次之出現,反而潮州人之功夫茶,才給予香港人覺得是很講究之飲茶方式。普洱舊茶餅近幾年之身價,可說是從來未有過也。
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由於新近讀了雲南科技出版社出版,周紅杰編著的【雲南普洱茶】,故在此就上文提供一些補充:

1. 文中提到「普洱黑茶」。書中認為,雖然普洱與一般黑茶同屬後發酵茶,但普洱茶的加工與黑茶的由鮮葉至成品連續完成的加工有質的區別。

2. 書中提到,「香港和南洋的消費者,由於其距雲南較遠,氣候濕熱,即使是青茶運到那兒,如果不及時飲用,也很容易發酵陳化。長期的品飲中,他們還發現一種怪現象,就是:普洱茶經過長期的存放,有利於其品質的提高。」

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另外兩篇有關普洱茶與香港的網文:

何景成 — 從香港市場角度看普洱茶的分類:將普洱茶以藏放轉陳舊方式來品飲是廣東省一帶的傳統,尤其是香港,品飲舊普洱茶的習慣在雲南方面以往是鮮有聽聞。 ... 每當香港人一聽到普洱茶三個字,通常都會聯想到由早至晚隨時隨處都接觸到的日常飲料,並無甚麼稀奇特別。 ... 亦因習慣飲用普洱茶之年代久遠,從實況上得知此茶由三歲到八十歲皆可飲用, ... 又通常流行飲用的普洱茶,一般都是天然陳放變舊或經人工匯堆催化的普洱散茶, ... 主因是如使用普洱七子餅茶,普洱沱茶或普洱方磚,陳放時間較長而且需用人手拆散才可泡用,茶樓酒食店選用散茶是以節省人力為大前題,在家或在辨公室主為貪圖方便。(順帶一提,此文來自茶顛話茶。個人認為,茶顛話茶是最佳的論茶網站)

蔡瀾 — 普洱頌:來到香港,才試到廣東人愛喝的普洱茶, ... 初喝普洱,其淡如水。因為它是完全發酵的茶。入口有一陣霉味,台灣人...稱之為「臭普茶」。臭普,閩南語「發霉」的意思。普洱茶越泡越濃,但絕不傷胃。去油膩是此茶的特點。 ... 高級一點的普洱茶餅,不但沒有霉味,而且感覺到滑喉。 ... 普洱的唯一缺點是它不香又不甘,遠遜鐵觀音。有鑑於此,我自己調配,加入玫瑰花蕊及藥草,消除它的霉味,令其容易入喉。

2005-04-29

Pre-settlement inspection of new house

Pre-settlement inspection of the new house will take place on 12 May. Another 2 weeks will be needed to complete the paper works for settlement. So, looks like we shall be moving into the new house before the end of May!

2005-04-28

崑曲初體驗

我愛聽音樂。雖無受過正式音樂訓練、感悟解聽能力也低,但不論中外古今雅俗音樂,我都滿有興趣地欣賞。唯獨戲曲例外。在我的藏碟中,屬於戲曲歌劇音樂劇的少之又少。

直至兩年前,我從未接觸過崑曲,只知是戲曲之一種,跟京劇有點淵源。京劇以前聽過一點,從此怕怕,故亦並不特別希望試聽崑曲。

但我的一位同事老友是音樂發燒友,更是戲曲癡。她燒錄了一輯由華文漪和岳美緹演唱的牡丹亭CD(一套三張)給我。我雖未聽過崑曲、更當然未聽過牡丹亭,但我是讀紅樓夢大的,對「原來奼紫嫣紅開遍,似這般都付與斷井頹垣」、「良辰美景奈何天,賞心樂事誰家院」及「則為你如花美眷,似水流年」等優美的詞句留有深刻印象。再加上曾讀過白先勇的小說「遊園驚夢」,故決定由「驚夢」聽起,不喜歡的話即時放棄,不再聽下去。

豈料,一聽之下,著魔了。但我也沒有聽下去,只是連番驚夢,到今天恐怕巳聽了近一百次。同事老友問我因何驚夢連場,我因為感悟解聽力低,只能老實答「不知,好聽」。

其後雖然也其聽過錢熠和沈豐英的驚夢,但水準相去實在太遠了。最近,已退休的華文漪再度登台,與蔡正仁在台北合演「長生殿」和「販馬記」。我的戲曲癡老友終償心願,第一次觀賞她的現場演出,並讚不絕口。

崑曲近年的確紅火起來,但單靠大製作及青春色相未必能真正令崑曲回生。華文漪等超級實力派的有心人,必須而且理應盡其餘力,多登台演出,令更多對崑曲抗拒的人踏出第一步試聽,也將我這類好奇張望的檻外人納於門內。

雨後彩虹

經過大旱的三月後,四月份雨水較多,夜間尤其多雨,清晨五六點時每有彩虹出現。

2005-04-27

Socrates: philosopher, or just an unhappy man

I saw someone quoting Socrates as having said that "my advice to you is get married: if you find a good wife you'll be happy; if not, you'll become a philosopher." A wise man indeed.

2005-04-26

郵包到了!

經過將近一個月的海上漂流後,由香港寄出的書與影音碟郵包終於今天到手,真真開心!在我的新增藏書/碟網頁中,4月1日新增的都是隨身帶回來的,而4月26日的則全是打包物。

2005-04-25

Dogme drama

Watched a Dogme film Elsker dig for evigt (Open Hearts) last night.

For those who are not familiar with the Dogme movement, please refer to the Manifesto of the official DOGME 95 website. According to their Vow of Chastity, all Dogme films should stick to the following rules:

1. Shooting must be done on location
2. The sound must never be produced apart from the images or vice versa.
3. The camera must be hand-held.
4. The film must be in colour.
5. Optical work and filters are forbidden.
6. The film must not contain superficial action (murders, weapons, etc.).
7. Temporal and geographical alienation are forbidden.
8. Genre movies are not acceptable.
9. The film format must be Academy 35 mm.
10. The director must not be credited.

And finally, "Furthermore I swear as a director to refrain from personal taste! I am no longer an artist. I swear to refrain from creating a "work", as I regard the instant as more important than the whole. My supreme goal is to force the truth out of my characters and settings. I swear to do so by all the means available and at the cost of any good taste and any aesthetic considerations."

Frankly, some of these rules are technical and trivial (IMHO), while some others are just plain silly - that the director should not be credited and that he/she should refrain from personal taste!



Turning to the film itself (Susanne Bier is the director by the way), it is about a young engaged couple being torn apart after the man is paralyzed in an accident, and the woman falls in love with the doctor in the hospital, who is the husband of the woman who caused the accident.

Dogme or not, is there any justification for the excessively dramatic story line? Can't she, for example, just fall in love with a doctor in the hospital? Isn't that dramatic enough?

Is America turning protectionist?

Putting up the barricades (Economist.com, 22/4/05)

-- China & WTO --

Jesus - Answer to All Problems

I usually carry my tiny digital camera around in my jeans pocket. When I find something interesting, I just take it out, point and shoot. Most of the time, after I have uploaded the photos to the computer, I would find them not interesting after all - because I do not have the skill to capture that which aroused my interest at that particular moment. And for those which I still find interesting after all, like this one I took when I was walking around the fringe of the town centre, I do not have the words to describe why I like them.

2005-04-20

001 java.net. UnknownHostException ?

If like me, you have recently been having problems using ftp to send your blogger.com blog entries to your site and receive instead this error message:

001 java.net.UnknownHostException


you should check out this blogger forum thread: bizarre error message 001 java.net.UnknownHostException.

Basically, what you have to do is to find out the IP address of your ftp hostname, enter that in your blogger settings, republish, and you should be fine.

More double bills

After the double bill of Fear and Trembling / Japanese Story, I had another two double bills over the past few days. One was Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise / Before Sunset, the other was Spanish Apartment (l'Auberge Espagnole) by Cedric Klapisch and The Housekeeper (Une femme de menage) by Claude Berri.



I have also watched Kill Bill 2 (Quentin Tarantino), Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (Jan de Bont), 功夫 Kung Fu Hustle (周星馳 Stephen Chow), The Scarlet Letter (Daniel Byun) and rewatched 花樣年華 In the Mood for Love (王家衛 Wong Kar Wai) since the start of April.

2005-04-15

一捧雪與長生殿 - 《紅樓密碼》

一捧雪與長生殿: (上) / (中) / (下) (馬以工, 聯副, 13,14,15/4/05) - 「本文想說明,作者如何善用他所熟悉的明末清初戲曲技巧,創造出半真半假、亦真亦假的人物與故事。 ... 書中曹雪芹將《南柯記》寫為《南柯夢》,脂批將《邯鄲記》寫為《邯鄲夢》,而《石頭記》最後也變成了《紅樓夢》。」

聯副文章只在網上存放短時期,請把握時間閱讀。(簡體字全文轉貼

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2005-04-14

Shit 有餘波:一樣的狗屎,兩樣的風味

據張作錦的鴻妃哪復計東西 (聯副, 14/4/05),原來因口出shit言而惹麻煩的不只是台灣的第一金控董事長謝壽夫,「新加坡議員王素琴在議事時說了「shit」(狗屎)這個不雅的字,被議會責難,最後向全體議員道歉,為自己損傷國會榮譽謝罪。」

張作錦感慨地說:雖然一樣的狗屎,卻是兩樣的風味。在星洲,是議員的自律,反求諸己;在台灣,是國會的律人,炫耀權力。民進黨立委林重謨不久前在立法院公開罵王永慶「混蛋」,是「最沒有良心的生意人」,專門捧中國的「懶葩」;這些言語,比 shit如何?卻未見立委、立院置一詞。只單向要求別人「是有教養的人」,自己一定是「教養不足的人」。

Crazy TV watching day!

I don't normally watch much TV. But yesterday was an exception. From 6:30am yesterday to 8:30am this morning, I watched:

2 Euro Champions League matches (4hrs)
2 films, both with a "Japanese" element (4hrs)
"Da Vinci Code" special on History Channel (3.25hrs) (actually 4 unrelated programmes put together: Leonardo Da Vinci, Mary Magdalene, Holy Grail and Knights Templar)
Morning and evening news (1.5hrs)
Cooking programme (0.5hr)
Segments of 羅大佑香港演唱會DVD (0.5hr)

That adds up to 13.75 hours of TV watching over a 26-hours period!

2005-04-13

Fear and trembling Japanese story

In Stratosphere girl lost in translation, I wrote: "Westerners are bewildered by Japan and the Japanese. And that bewilderment is often reflected in films they make about this country."

Today, by coincidence, I watched two films, both also with a strong "Japanese" element. One is Fear and Trembling (Stupeur et tremblements) by Alain Corneau. The other is "Japanese Story" by Sue Brooks.



Fear and trembling is based on a "true" story of a Belgium girl working one year at a Japanese trading house in Tokyo. The more eager she tries to get things done or please her bosses, the more cultural missteps she commits. She is demoted and humiliated. Yet, she has her own way to salvage her dignity. I tend to agree with the Village Voice critic that Fear and Trembling is "a culture-clash comedy that takes the notion of Japanese otherness to ludicrous extremes."



If you like the kind of film which deals with "the Aussie girl is carefree and aggressive. The Japanese man is reserved and demure. Will they fall in love while travelling in the desert?", then "Japanese Story" is not for you. It is a more complex film than simple cross-cultural romance. The did fall in love, but then disaster struck. The last third of the film is devoted to the emotional and cultural aftermaths of his accidental death.

We Must Increase Our Bust

A slide show of the history of breast enhancement, told in patent drawings (Teresa Riordan, Slate, 11/4/05)

2005-04-12

New CD/DVD shelves

We have finally decided to custom build two identical multimedia shelves, each measuring 1.2m wide by 2m high. The are in essence open bookcases but with more shelves and shallower depth. Each will have the first three rows for CDs, the next three rows for DVDs and the last four rows for CDs. My rough estimate is that they can house 1,500 CDs and 400 DVDs, just enough for my current collection. That means my CD tower will be put in the garage until it is needed sometime in the future (I hope soon, my wife hopes never).

網路文學,沒落中?!

網路文學,沒落中?! (王蘭芬, 聯副, 12/4/05)

﹝引文﹞
蔡智恆《第一次的親密接觸》於一九九八年在網路上的誕生,打響了網路文學的名號,從此「網路小說」成為華人世界一個新的熱門文類。

那是一個對於有心創作及喜歡閱讀不同以往小說的年輕人而言,很美好的年代。BBS的小說板上,生澀的寫手孜孜不倦地創作著一個又一個雖嫌不夠成熟、但的確是充滿感情的故事;而讀者更是不吝於給予熱烈回應與鼓勵。 ... 二000年之前的網路小說,寫的人單純是被創作的渴望所驅動;讀的人則只是想閱讀好看的故事。

但這之後,實體書市中的出版社登上舞台, ... 於是《第一次的親密接觸》出版成書,兩岸熱賣了上百萬冊,蔡智恆紅了,接著藤井樹也紅了,還有各式各樣掛著網路小說頭銜的書本和作者連帶著也都小紅了。這時,BBS的小說板進入了戰國時代,湧進了大批不再那麼單純只是為了分享故事而寫的寫手,讀者也開始覺得自己的喝采具有「使某人致富」的力量,因而有些人變得小心翼翼、甚或尖酸刻薄起來。

出版社更是不分好壞,只要投稿者高舉網路小說大旗,一律搶著出版。讀者對於網路小說初期是有著新鮮感的,但漸漸覺得故事類型與內容重複性太高,那川流不息的出版量和千篇一律的封面設計更是教人看了就煩。

這一兩年來,網路小說的作者逐漸發展出「據地為王」的發表形態。大家不再像以前那樣天真無私地在BBS的公共故事板上發表作品,而是各自開了「個板」、「私人部落格」、「個人網頁」,在自我小小天地中發表作品、餵養私人粉絲群。BBS的故事板,冷冷清清。 ... 這樣一來,網路小說最初的分享、爭豔、百花齊放的精神已然不存,只能算是個人工作室開設了網路交易系統那樣,或許有它的好處,但少掉了聚集人氣與隨意逛街的樂趣。而最初網路小說的一鳴驚人,不就正是因為它的隨興與人氣嗎?

2005-04-10

2005-04-09

Busy shopping

Since coming back from Hong Kong a week ago, we had gone to check the progress of our new house. According to the building supervisor, it was on target for completion by late April or early May. That means after inspection and settlement, we will probably move in by late May/early June.

And that means we need to serious look for furniture and furnishings for the house now, since lead time can often be long (up to 8 weeks).

We have been doing some serious shopping around over the past few days. Unlike casual browsing, this exercise is much more intense and tiring, since we need to ascertain the specification of each product and compare among similar ones. Some which look wonderful may turn out to be not suitable to be put in the place we intend to, for example.

So far, we have placed an order for two sets of sofas from King Furniture. One is a conventional set, while the other is a modular one.

We have also placed an order to custom build a bookcase which will be 4.2m wide and 2.1m high. We have considered a bookcase from Singways, but eventually decided against it.

The CD cabinet has given us the most headache. At the moment, we are using a CD tower which houses 1,000 CDs. We still have 1,000 CDs more to put. Unfortunately, we have not been able to find a CD tower here in Australia. And the many US sites which sell this type of product all ship to the mainland of North America only. The stainless steel CD shelves from Boltz has a good reputation though I am not so sure about the steel "look" (fans of steel multimedia shelves may also consider those from AV Mechanica).

We are also considering the miltimedia storage cabinet from Can-Am, but the courier rate is punishingly high (almost twice the price of the cabinets - we are now exploring the possibility of ocean shipping). An Australian company Multifile sells a similar product, but we have yet been able to contact the company.

We now have the option of custom building a similar cabinet with timber. We are also looking at a huge cabinet of CD pigeon holes by a Melbourne-based furniture maker.

Good Food 街 久休復出!

獻上是日晚餐:南瓜炆豬肉及旗魚酥蒸豆腐。

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新井一二三評黑夜之後

作為現代不夜城故事,《黑夜之後》算是滿成功的。但是,我看了之後覺得不滿意,因為作者是村上春樹。不用說早期的代表作《聽風之歌》、《尋羊冒險記》多棒,二00二年作品《海邊的卡夫卡》也既有可讀性又有深度;比起來看,《黑夜之後》不能不顯得淺薄了。

更令人困惑的是,作者似乎面臨成熟困難。 ... 曾經做了都會青年代言人的村上春樹,相信今後還會寫出很多優質作品來。不過,再往前走之前,他似乎得克服青春情結了。


村上春樹的青春情結 (新井一二三,中央日報,20/2/05)

另外,我在香港時,曾在書城雜誌讀了林少華論黑夜之後對惡的描述的文章。但由於沒有把雜誌帶回來的關係,已不能確定是那一期了。不知是不是05年3月號呢?

2005-04-07

小心!你的命運可能會落在它人掌握之中!



還記得傳說中的男廁告示:「命運在你手!」嗎?

黑夜之後的村上春樹

在香港的整整一個月,除了報紙雜誌外,書只讀了一本:村上春樹的黑夜之後。村上的吸引力是很難形容的。作為一個村上迷,我覺得他的魅力正在迅速減退中。以往讀村上新作是「大事件」,很特殊的經驗,現在則只不過是「讀一本書」而已。

What Dan Brown hasn't told you about electing a new pope

Do you know what language the cardinals use during the "conclave", or how the new pope chooses his name? Read Daniel Engber's "explainer" article in Slate (6/4/05).

2005-04-03

Back to where the sky is blue and the sun shines

悼洪葉

洪葉書店命懸一線,其實早露端倪。到今天,真正全面結業,雖不能說震騖,但始終有點可惜,畢竟洪葉曾經是香港較有個性的文化書屋。

好書店的壞消息 —— 洪葉結業前夕專訪葉桂好 (鄭依依,明報,3/4/05)

散記香港遊

自零四年六月離開香港到澳洲布里斯本過退休生活後,上月首度回港探親訪友,逗留整整一個月。

三月真不是香港遊的好月份,大多數時候天氣都是陰陰冷冷、灰灰濛濛、潮潮濕濕的,陽光普照的日子寥寥可數。再加上當時正是流感高峰期,身邊親友不少都相繼病倒,今人鬱悶。

不過,香港人的心情似乎較我離開時晴朗得多。經濟改善、樓股飛升,「事事往錢看」的香港人豈有不鬆一口氣的?想當日,經濟處於谷底,港人怨氣沖天,每天對特首喊打喊殺。到今天,特首辭職與否,只要不影響樓股升勢的話,隨便!

雖說是香港遊,但其實「遊」的成份很低,「吃」倒佔了相當比重:有時是自己覓食,有時是朋友宴請。總之,每天都是吃、吃、吃。

不過,遊或吃都沒有買書買碟那麼令我振奮。回程時,我將20公斤的書碟裝箱郵寄,另外10公斤隨行李上機。

在香港,很多時候要客氣地回應別人客氣地說羨慕我壯年退休,不時要解答我一般每天如何度日打發時間,也常常要更正我不是住雪梨或墨爾本,而是布里斯本,那個就在黃金海岸附近的布里斯本。

長時間外遊回來後,總有「回家真好」之感。這次香港遊也不例外。我在另一個blog上寫了:Back home, back to where the sun shines.



在機場候機回澳時,看到不遠處有人買了一袋「華榮手信餅家」的手信(見圖。因不便使用閃光燈,故畫質較濛)。既有榮華,又有華榮,香港餅家業可謂一時瑜亮矣。

2005-04-02

我的「十全大補湯」

每逢我經歷一段較長時間的暴飲暴食(例如三月香港遊)後,我都會喝幾次我的「十全大補湯」清理腸胃、恢復常態。所謂「十全大補湯」,其實十分簡單,不過是將蕃茄、洋蔥、紅蘿蔔、西芹、椰菜和其他蔬菜切細煲湯,芫荽(或西芹葉)後下,不加肉類或薯仔。清清的,甜甜的雜菜湯,就是我的「十全大補湯」。