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It’s been a month since I left The Pigeonhole, a digital publishing start-up, so for Throwback Thursday I’m going to recount my unexpected moments there:

  • Stroking a taxidermied pigeon.
  • Setting a lunch trend.
  • Encountering questionable websites in my media list research.
  • Trying to concentrate with a dog’s head heating up my lap.
  • Arguing over Brexit with everyone but the dog.
  • Receiving a photo of a newborn baby in an email.
  • Eating “the best falafel in London”.
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The BBC documentary ‘The Story of China’ got me thinking of the origins of the round table, or yuán zhuō (圆桌), which along with the lazy susan we nowadays associate with Chinese dining culture. From what I remember of my travels in China, the banqueting tables I saw in palaces and mansions were mainly rectangular or square, and the circular ones were in less grandiose settings, in teahouses and outdoor pavilions.

The round table puts everyone on an equal level, something we associate with the Chinese civil administration rather than imperial court. Since trends tend to stem from court fashion, I can’t imagine large round tables to have been in vogue in China’s imperial past. But it would make sense for it to have gained popularity in the Communist era, when the egalitarian spirit was forced into the Chinese, who had previously respected and fostered domestic and professional hierarchies.

My theory is that the round table is a western import (think King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table), that gradually became common among the governing class of China, from the last years of the Qing dynasty and gaining momentum after the abolishment of imperial rule. Now they feature in the most elegant and pricey restaurants, and are the must-have furniture for banquets.

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Just saw some mind-blowing maths, courtesy of my uncle’s wisdom, that shows why 2016 will be a wonderful year, and it’s all to do with numbers that we Chinese find lucky!

2016 = 168+168+168+168+168+168+168+168+168+168+168

2016 = 666+666+666+6+6+6

2016 = 888+888+88+88+8+8+8+8+8+8+8+8

2016 = 999+999+9+9

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From Monday there will be a charge of at least 5p for each “single-use” bag shoppers use to carry their packaged food. Why are they called “single-use”? I use them to line my bin, carry my shoes, etc. And the category “single use” should technically also include the thin clear bags we use to put our groceries in, even though the regulations specify that these clear bags should be exempt. Surely the name “single-use” encourages shoppers to think that their basic shopping bags are not able to be reused, and therefore throw them away though they are perfectly reusable if there are no spillages inside or holes in the material. Why not use the term “branded bags”, a name that will not foster such an unethical habit?

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Hello! I’m Pinky, a university student in my final year. As an antidote to my trepidation about the future and already feeling nostalgic for my time at Oxford, I am venturing into the world of blogging. When I’m not studying I’m cooking, dancing, drawing, reading, or singing. I love going to museums, galleries, historic houses, the cinema, and the theatre. I’m always on the trail for new and different cultural experiences, and hope that this blog will inspire others to find their own.