Finally, we can all say "Thank god it is over"....I am, of course, referring to seeing the end of 2016. In a year that saw Brexit, the rise of Donald Trump as President-elect of the United States of America, numerous terrorist attacks around the world, terrible natural disasters in Italy, Chile among other places, and the deaths of many famous people, I am sure we would all like to put this year behind us and move forward.
For me personally, 2016 has been good because I got engaged to a wonderful woman, and 2017 is going to be an even exciting time as we both prepare to get married in January during Chinese New Year. I have been overwhelmed by a feeling of thankfulness. This year has been perhaps the best year of my life so far. I am grateful for the support and love of my friends and family and above else, I am grateful for an amazing job and a career that many others dream of having- I LOVE my job as a writer. I am grateful for my fiancée, Vicky, for the incredible positive influence she has had on my life and the constant motivation she provides to me.
This was my first time to visit the New Year eve's fireworks in London. Usually, every year we stay at home and watch the event on TV. However, given that I was provided two media tickets to cover the event, both Vicky and I enjoyed what must be the best New Year festivities ever. It was also nice to bump into the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who took time out of his busy schedule to come and briefly chat to the media. What a year it has been for him and if there is one piece of great positive news in 2016, then it has to be Sadiq Khan being elected by the people of this great city as their mayor.
One piece of advice for anyone who wants to visit the fireworks display next year - try to stay on the Embankment side of the river as that is the place to capture the best views (and avoid the thick smog from the fireworks afterwards!). Here's cheers to a healthy, prosperous, safe and joyful 2017 for all of us.
My latest feature article for the Shanghai Daily is a travel report on how to spend 72 hours in London.
The Autumn 'leaf-drop' season provides quite a spectacle in London with streets, parks, pavements covered in a stunning sea of red, orange and yellowish Maple leaves. Technically we are in Winter (albeit a mildly warmer start to one), however the leaves (mostly Maple leaves) are falling because we are experiencing above-average temperatures for Winter, and that's why the leaves are falling everywhere now. However it is also by coincidence that many of the capital's roads are being repaved during this time....so this also brings along an unexpected and unintended street art where autumn leaves have been embedded into the new tarmac (how the devil can one get them out?!)
Damien Hirst eat your heart out as the capital's streets are automatically being tuned into art display extraordinaire (!). No doubt will give the Mayor of London plenty of sleepless nights though..!
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