30 Jul 2010 – Greetings from Spain

Arrived in Alicante ALC/Spain and 86km drive along the Costa Blanca, is the splendid seaside resort of Calpe, overlooked by one of the best loved landmarks of the Costa Blanca region – the Peñon de Ifach, Calpe is a very busy holiday resort, with a local population of around 26,000 (this of course rises considerably during the busy the summer months of July and August). Calpe is situated within the Communidad de Valencia.

Rita & Jürgen KOETKE met me at the airport. Rita and I go way back to the early 1960s when we were schooling in CHIJ Victoria St. She now lives in Calpe and has been living here for over 30yrs, lucky her! Great to catch up after all these years and good to meet her German husband.

Spent my first day lazing around their lovely house, swimming in the pool and driving around sight-seeing the area.  Yesterday, walked along the beach.

A pleasant drive to Denia Marina (20km from Calpe) app 29,000 habitants, Denia does not only make their living from tourism, it possesses one of the most important harbors of the area, with ferry connections to Ibiza, Mallorca and others.  

The pictures uploaded are done in Rita’s computer and not sure how to fix the colours. Will try to go back and fix them when I know what I am doing!

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil… (and do no evil!) – Analects of Confucius


27 Jul 2010 – En route to Alicante ALC/Spain via KL & London

The only disadvantage with budget airlines is that the connecting times are not so convenient, but why worry where there is no rush and the fares are affordable! Left SIN with Tiger Airways for KUL S$44, layover of 5hrs but was the first to check in on AirAsia from KL to London. The fare from KUL to Stansted/STN, S$490. No complains, both airlines were on time and even landed earlier than scheduled! Let’s see if the European budget airlines will be just as efficient. At present@STN airport where I have 10hrs layover and good time to up-date my blog 🙂

Memories from the 13hrs flight: it was exactly 45yrs ago when I flew from SIN-DUB via London/Heathrow airport LHR in a VC10 aircraft. A naive, insecure, etc 15yrs old then, and feeling lost with people in suits, even I was in a green suit. (Yesterday I was in a pair of green pants and green T-shirt!). An English boy about my age talked to me when he realized that I was not too comfortable. He told me that his name was Keith and he was on his way home to his farm in UK and kept chatting with me for hours. Upon arriving at LHR, I vaguely heard an announcement paging for a passenger LAM but not quite comprehending the Brits, I did not dare to ask. Only later did I pick up my courage to approach the info desk  to find out that my sister, Joyce was trying to see me as she was in London. Alas the meeting did not take place!

There is a great traveling accessory shop/The Tie Rack here using the same tag-line as me… Life’s a Journey! So many nice things in this shop, thank goodness I am traveling budget and every kilo over 15kg will cost a fortune!! The choice between food or shopping? Those who know me will know the answer! How times have changed and we have to move along but hopefully some of the old but good values will move along with us even if they go thru’ some evolutions. Compassion and decency are the few values which should always be with us.

As a consequence, geneticists described evolution simply as a change in gene frequencies in populations, totally ignoring the fact that evolution consists of the two simultaneous but quite separate phenomena of adaptation and diversification – Ernst Mayr

Lucas’s Bday Brunch

24 Jul 2010 – Chinese Swimming Club

Grand nephew Lucas turned two yesterday. Today his mom & dad celebrated his day for the family & friends with a lovely brunch@ The Chinese Swimming Club Tung Lok Classics**** The yellow balloon was but a short moment but the delicious chocolate bday cake made up for it! A cake decorated with his favorite cars & tractors which were his first words in his vocabulary… even before mamma & dadda 🙂

Great to catch up who Paul, David‘s brother who is studying in Cork/Ireland and now back in Malaysia for the summer. Was it really a year ago when we first met at Lucas 1st Bday? Paul hiked a part of the Camino that I also wanted to hike. Thank you Pat & David for a wonderful gathering of family & friends from Malaysia & SIN and for the yummy food.

The Chinese Swimming Club brought back memories from the 1950s when the pool was part of the sea but fenced-off, thus keeping fish etc out of the pool. It was like swimming in the sea without getting caught with seaweeds etc but that also meant that when the tide was out, there was not enough water to swim in the pool! Today, the new building (built partly on reclaimed land) for the club, restaurant and fresh water pool is across the road from the original but renovated building.

A two-year old is kind of like having a blender, but you don’t have a top for it – Jerry Seinfeld


19 Jul 2010 – Happy Anniversary to Linn & Jeff

Pictures of the SGF from level 6 with the Designer Gardens featuring creations by top award-winning international garden designers under the two categories of Landscape & Fantasy Gardens. So far the weekend crowd has not been too heavy, the roads closure due to the NDP rehearsal parades, the rains and the Youth Olympics might have been the reasons.

Thanks to Audrey & her mom, Cynthia & her auntie, Rebecca and Ting for stopping by over the weekend. Another four days more to go…

Again this year, the Night Festival at the National Museum was not within my reach :-(… perhaps next year!

You should set goals beyond your reach so you always have something to live for – Ted Turner


18 Jul 2010 – Market Place & Level 4 – is a brand incorporated in SIN to design, produce and market a range of merchandise that showcase the Vanda Miss Joaquim, SIN national flower. Island Republic (Hagley & Hoyle Ptd Ltd) is the stall at Suntec Level 4 Market Place, Zone A that I am minding and will be doing so until Thu.

Some of stalls from the Market Place at Level 4

A few of the many general displays from Level 4

To be continued…


16 Jul 2010 – Floral Designers, Penjing& Artistic Stone/Level 4

Will never be able to judge the 7th International FDSS CUP Floral Designing Competition (a professional & amateur category). All the displays and set-ups have so far been a feast to my eyes. Apologies for not taking pictures of only the winners and for not naming the winners. Just snapping pictures for my eyes and hope that you readers will enjoy them as much as I do.

Penjing & Artistic Stone: Penjing is the Chinese art of creating a miniature landscape, delicate and fascinating. An artist may use plant material and natural stone to portray an idylllic mountain retreat with a murmuring brook or a waterscape with a lush tropical island. Or he or she may design a much simpler scene where one single tree makes up the entire composition. Penjing and bonsai are closely related art forms. Penjing is the older form from which bonsai derived.

to be continued…


15 Jul 2010 – Orchids/Level 4

Have promised a co-worker that I will try my best to upload some pictures for those who are unable to attend the show. Attempting to do this with a system according to the category: orchid, flora arrangement, bonsai, landscape and stalls in the market place; there will probably be some misplacement of a picture here and then! Do not think there will be time to video but will also try if possible. In the meanwhile, the opening is today at 10.00hrs… good luck to all the stalls, especially Island Republic and hope to make plenty of sales 🙂

The judging was completed yesterday for both Levels 4 & 6 at Suntec. Pictures uploaded today were taken last night and are all located on Level 4 at the Orchid Show Section. This section is an appreciation for the work of the Orchid Society of SE Asia/OSSEA’s committee, members and volunteers. Congratulations to an excellent job.

Pictures are taken at random and not because they are winners but some are winners for either their societies, schools or individual.

To be continued…