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Today is one of the saddest days of my life, as my uncle was laid to rest. This is the first time I have experienced the death of a close family member… close as in having spent time with them, growing close to them.

I know that death is a part of the circle of life and I am really trying to not think of how he died, but of how he lived… and there is one particular occasion that springs to mind.

Whenever I visited Hong Kong in my younger days, we would go bearing gifts to our family and I was always asked to get one for my cousin; more often than not I would get him a football shirt. One time, his father (my uncle) asked me why he never got one… I don’t remember how I responded and I don’t remember whether I ever bought him one in the following years, but all I do know is that I no longer have the chance.

I never really talked to him about football so I don’t know who he supported, he gave me the impression that he was a fan of football in general; but I do seem to remember that he “liked” Liverpool back then… so all I can do now is hope that they can win the FA Cup for him in two weeks time.

I have lots of family in Hong Kong but my uncle always made the effort to spend time with us whenever we visited; going to the beach, getting a bite to eat, trips to China and Macau… this is what I will remember him for.

My uncle was a happy person, always smiling… always laughing; and this is how I want to live my life.

RIP

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For as long as I can remember, falling asleep has been a process that lasted between 2 and 5 hours; a recurring battle between my eagerness to rest and my overly active brain. As a result, I’ve always been able to survive on just a few hours of sleep. So here I am, blogging at this hour…

My brain has always been able to randomly pick out a thought from within my head and turn it into a brainstorming session on it’s own. A simple thought could turn into questions, questions that needed answering; or it could turn into a parallel universe of events that may have happened if a specific incident hadn’t of occurred. Sometimes a simple thought would turn into a script for a conversation that I would be planning to have with a particular person… whatever my brain decides to do, it always stops me sleeping.

All through the night I would look at my clock and work out how many hours until I needed to wake up; 6 hours would turn to 5, and then 4 hours would turn to 3, the later it got the more I wanted to sleep… a vicious cycle has begun.

As I go through life on just a few hours of rest, every so often the lack of sleep would catch up to me and cause the most painful of pounding headaches. With blood shot eyes and nausea, there is no option but to crawl into bed and pass out… zzZ

However, the past year has been different, falling asleep could now be achieved in under an hour – the downside… waking up early.

One month… four weeks… thirty days… seven hundred and twenty hours… forty three thousand and two hundred minutes… two million five hundred and ninety two thousand seconds… is this a long time? In the life of a twenty eight year old, this is not a huge proportion of his life; but a lot can happen in a month.

One month ago I asked her to be my girlfriend and there began our wonderful journey…

She is petite but with a huge personality; cheerful, crazy, loud, and weird. She has a sweet smile that slants her eyes, a cute nose with a little dimple when she blinks. She is very caring and compassionate but also impatient and indecisive. She is determined but sometimes so dependent on others. She is focused but sometimes loses her way… and this is where I come in.

Maybe I was brought to this World to be her guardian angel, to guide her way when she is lost, to help her up when she falls, to cheer her up when she is sad. I am willing to do all this for her because to see her happy brings me happiness.

Every moment with her seems so special; cooking with her, eating with her, picking her up from home, walking with her hand in hand, watching TV with her, hugging her, kissing her, going to sleep next to her, waking up to see her, and even just laid there in silence staring into her eyes… every moment is one that I will cherish.

She is my princess, she is my angel… she is my best friend, she is my soul mate… and I want to protect her for the rest of her life… please let this journey last for eternity.

European ChampionsWhat were you thinking at half time? What were you thinking at 3-0 down after that abysmal first half performance? What were you thinking? Liverpool weren’t outclassed… Milan weren’t playing masterful football… all they did was find a weakness and went for the kill… Djimi Traore.

Did I blame him? At the time… YES, I HATED HIM! I hated his bald head, I hated his long legs, I hated his mediocrity, and yet he was playing in the Champions League Final, playing for the biggest, most wanted trophy in club football. What was going on? Why were Liverpool playing like a bunch of girls? They had no sense of direction, no emotion, and no affection. Where was the love for the game of football? Shouldn’t the wonderful history of the club be driving them on? Shouldn’t the title of European Champions alone be enough to motivate them?

As the great Bill Shankly once said, “Football isn’t a matter of life and death – it’s much more important than that.”

So what was I thinking? I was disappointed, I was frustrated, I was ashamed of being a Liverpool fan, watching my team about to be humiliated by the Italian legends that they already were. Milan have the best defence in the World, not even the great Brazilian sides would think they could come back from this. How can a Liverpool team that failed to beat Southampton even score a goal? I lost all hope, I considered going home, as did my friends, but nobody said a word, the pub was almost silent. It was well and truly over, the dream was crushed, no chance were they going to lift the cup for a 5th time.

♫ When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high, and don’t be afraid of the dark. At the end of a storm, there is a golden sky, and the sweet silver song of a lark. ♫

There was one man, a man who still believed.

Rafa… Rafael, Rafa… Rafael, Rafa… Rafael, RAFAEL BENITEZ!!!

The master tactician was about to do his wonders, “just keep your chin up and go for it, you have nothing to lose.” Can we still see a glimmer of light?

With a change of formation, we saw Gerrard with more freedom to run and to drive the team forward, and finally, Liverpool’s Captain Fantastic was back to his best and even better. He was made for this stage, and he alone turned this game around with his looping header from a sweet Riise cross. The fans erupted, a roar that could have been heard on the moon. Liverpool – You will never walk alone, the sky was definitely turning gold.

Smicer scores in his last game for the club, Xabi Alonso lashes the rebound from his saved penalty into the roof of the net, Traore saves on the line, Carragher makes 2 last ditch tackles with cramp. So it was 3-3 and then it was penalties. There was only place in the history books for one team. Milan were the better team on paper, but all the omens pointed to Liverpool. New Legends were born tonight, and one in particular was the un-consistent Jerzy Dudek, not only did he make an impossible double save at the end of the 120 mins, not only did he save three penalties, including one from Shevchenko, one of the best strikers in the World. But he did it by the wobbly legs, an impression of the famous Bruce Grobbelaar’s wobbly legs during the 1984 penalty shoot out win. He was the hero of the night.

Liverpool are the Kings of Europe 2005, the RAFAlution is here…