Pearl River

28 Feb 2011 – Weekend in Jiangmen

Jiangmen 江門 located in Gungdong province, SE China with a population of app 3.8 mil today. This is where grandfather LAM SongKwee came from. His older brother, grand-uncle LAM JeeChiew and he sailed down the PearlRiver to seek their fortune. Am not sure of the exact year but gathering from the info that the two brothers built KwongLeeMortgage&Remittance in 1905, Kuching, Sarawak/E Malaysia, it would be app 100yrs ago. From there and then, the family business KwongLeeBank was thus established. Branches were built along the N Borneo coast and the SIN branch opened in 1926. With the fortune acquired, they built the ancestral house, pond-house and hall in Jiangmen – positing 10 May 2009 for pix.

Sat: took the early boat from ChinaFerryTerminal/TsimShaTsui heading up the PearlRiverDelta passing by Macau and picking up more passenger at Doumen before Jiangmen (HK$500 RT for a VIP room is recommended!). Did this trip 2yrs ago but was not fully aware and focus then. Thoughts of how brave or how desperate for grandfather to venture out from his familiar surroundings. Today it takes less than 3hrs by boat from HKG, how many hours did it take them then? Not forgetting that all these built-ups areas did not exist. Met at the port by cousin LAM KwowkWei whose grandfather was my grandfather’s half-brother??

Thanks to the LAM family for a lovely lunch before checking into the hotel, CountryGardenPhoenix Hotel near the ancestral village. An hour of photography at family village pond-house, the main house and the hall was enough. After 2yrs everything have so quickly fallen even more apart and it is very disheartening. Will try my best to convince the uncles who still have the authority to these buildings to do something constructive and positive.

Delicious dinner of LonganLeafRoastGoose, wild grass flavoured-soup (the best soup ever), yam and many more fresh organic veggie@Eight Views Villa****

Sun: late morning walk@ChaAhPark. It is said that astronomers Tang, a monk and his entourage came here to observe and draw maps.

Another yummy lunch at the foothills of the park. The fresh water clam, free-range chicken and salt roast pigeons are just to die for! Appreciations to the cousins and their families for all their time and their kind generous hospitality.

Sun: Back to HKG in time for dinner@TrustyKingCongee***tasty chicken congee and the first time to taste cooked fish skin, crunchy and quite nice. The century year old egg, veggie are alright and good soya bean milk. Thank you Henry for being my translator and for keeping me safe in China 🙂

Mon: walked in this glorious weather. Pix have been taken the last couple of years from this area, so no need for any today!

None of us can boast about the morality of our ancestors. The record does not show that Adam and Eve were ever married – Edgar W Howe

No Major Changes

25 Feb 2011 – Refer to Posting 15 April 2010

For those who are interested and have not read or seen the pix, go to the posting below as if any posting for today will apply to that posting!

Fragrant Habour

Arrived to HKG last night and had dinner with Henry & John. Today, a lovely cool day, still smoggy but at least not hot and muggy. Staying@Henry’s and the view is the same. Walked around the Tung Lo Wan Rd area and to the Chinese Recreation Club to meet Harry for tea. Thanks for tea Harry and glad that Richard managed to join for a few minutes. Looking forward to catching up with both of them and a couple of Richard’s FB friends next week.

Do not know what is happening but unable to find the few pix taken today (found them after the China trip and learnt to upload into Henry’s laptop, just needed time to figure out new toys!), instead the pix taken when May & Bjørn were in SIN turned up!

Unfortunately unable to download those pix to the correct posting as this is Henry’s laptop and have no clue as to what is happening with the camera! Heading to Jiangmen, the ancestral village to take pictures early tomorrow morning. Please please do not let this happen. Will try and get a new memory card if possible.

28 Feb 2011 – problem solved and pix uploaded today, thanks to Viv in OR/USA.


At any one time, 15 % of the buildings of Hong Kong are being either demolished or rebuilt, renovated or restructured – Martin Booth


Thumbnail Size

24 Feb 2011 – Leaving on a Jet Plane…

but will be back in SIN 7 Mar to attend Mary Black’s reception performance… ie if no delay with the plane! And off again 10 Mar!!

Wed: went to watch Homecoming/笑着回家***before flying off. This local production is about three stories of three different individuals going home for the Chinese New Year. Not a fan of Jack NEO and especially not his cross-dressing. But wanted to see Mark LEE as he usually gives a decent performance. After Tue’s rather serious movies x2, this uncomplicated light comedy is quite entertaining. A feel good movie with a happy ending 🙂

Appreciations to Ting, CH, KiWi and his wife Aya who came by to wish me a safe trip. Usually the pix in this blog are in thumbnail size, easier for layout but Ting made a comment about it. So Ting, the above pix is for your sake 🙂

After all the traveling, packing is still the least favourite thing to do. Will wait till the last moment to figure out what is really necessary and most of the time will pack the minimum. Last night, was a typical example, thus not getting to sleep till the wee hours of this morning. One would think that it will be more a routine by now. But strangely enough whenever the bags are out, this feeling of oh dear, packing again!

Excess baggage is a symptom of something we are missing on the inside – a fear that we won’t be accepted for what we are, as if our selves are not enough. We bring too much of our past experience, the clutter of our emotions. These things get in the way and keep us from getting close to others. Then we are left with the task of having to find someone else to carry it, whether it is our luggage or our loneliness – Mary Morris

127 Hours

23 Feb 2011 – A Sad Tuesday

Thought that the mind could be diverted after yesterday’s sad news but thank goodness cousins and families are safe and sound in NZ. The two movies did not help to uplift the mood, one of them being a reminder of a bad fall when hiking on the AT and another reminder is to always let your loved ones know where you are when out hiking or traveling. Traveling starts tomorrow, first stop Hong Kong 香港, The Fragrant Habour /HKG.

127 Hours***is a true story of Aron’s adventure to save himself after a fallen boulder crashes on his arm and traps him in an isolated canyon in Utah. Over 5 days, Aron recalls friends, lovers, family and the two hikers he met before his accident. Will they be the last two people he ever had the chance to meet? He examines his life and survives the elements to discover he has the courage and the wherewithal to extricate himself by any means necessary, scale a 65-foot wall and hike 80+miles to seek help.

Rabbit Hole*** Becca and Howie are a happily married couple whose perfect world is forever changed when their young son, Danny, is killed by a car. Becca, an executive-turned-stay-at-home mother, tries to redefine her existence in a surreal landscape of well-meaning family and friends. Becca’s experiences lead her to find solace in a relationship with a troubled young comic-book artist, Jason-the teenage driver of the car that killed Danny while Howie immerses himself in the past, seeking refuge in outsiders.

Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better take things as they come along with patience and equanimity – Carl Jung

New Zealand

22 Feb 2011 – What is Happening???

Was woken up with all these news this morning. First a death of a friend’s companion, then the news about the earthquake in NZ. Cousins and their families in that area, please stay safe. Yesterday an ST  link was posting in FB about the mass stranding death of whales. When will human learn from animals’ instinct with their warning signs? Life is fragile and so is our earth’s environment! If we continue to abuse our planet and ourselves, the future generations will suffer and so will we 🙁

Yesterday’s ST

Amy Lam Not good…

WELLINGTON – MORE than 100 pilot whales died in a mass stranding at a remote New Zealand beach, conservation officials said on Monday. Hikers on Sunday reported finding 107 whales beached on Stewart Island, off the South Island’s south-west coast, a Department of Conservation (DoC) spokesman said…

Amy Lam: Was yesterday’s link about the whales a warning?

WELLINGTON – A STRONG 6.3-magnitude earthquake rocked the southern New Zealand city of Christchurch on Tuesday, and there were reports of damage to some buildings. Radio New Zealand reported that a church near the city center collapsed…

A human being is part of the whole, called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space.  He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.  This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.  Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole [of] nature in its beauty – Albert Einstein, 1950

How OK Took Over the World!

21 Feb 2011 – OK

OK is everywhere, used every day: It crops up in our speech dozens of times every day, although it apparently means little. So how did the word “OK” conquer the world, asks Allan Metcalf…

… You won’t find OK in prepared speeches. Indeed, most formal speeches and reports are free of OK. Modern English translations of the Bible remain almost entirely OK-free. Many a published book has not a single instance of OK. But OK still rules over the vast domain of our conversation.

On the lavish buffet dinner spread@Marine Bay Sand’s RISE***,would it be OK to use the word OK here for the food? As impressive as this whole MBS Resort looks, and many wows it receives somehow does seem to have much effects on an aging grandmother! But the real impressive, wow and more than OK is the fact that nephew Clement invited the company of his havoc auntie for Sunday dinner! Thanks for the dinner and appreciations to his thoughtfulness.

It is time to take another hike 🙂

I’m OK – You’re OK by Thomas Harris

Natural Highs

20 Feb 2011 – Linn & May’s Birth Countries!

Is it imagination or was there really a Tiger at the bus-stop? Have not even started the wine yet! And hey this is SIN where no littering is permitted! Thanks to Les & Ivy for a gathering with Bern & KweeKait (student days from Ireland) visiting from Melbourne. All of us now have grandchildren to remind us of our age, or are they more illusions 🙂

Ireland, where Linn is born and where I lived from 1965-1974 were impressionable years. Imagine the scenario, a young teenager from the tropics in a Lion City who has just lost her mother arrives in this strange cold foreign land to be placed in a boarding school. Lovely country with friendly people to smooth the paths which led to more paths towards a life’s journey…

Norway, where May is born and where I lived from 1975-1985. Adjusting life with the Trolls after over a decade in the Lion City and another decade with the Leprechauns was quite a maelstrom! A new language, culture, cuisine etc added to new paths. A country with one of the most beautiful and spectacular views, truly warm-hearted people (when you take the effort to get to know them!) helped to pave the most difficult path in life’s journey! And so life goes on to the paths of the Brave New World…

Today, searching for pix from those two countries brought back much memories. The ones in the albums are mainly pix of the children which will be here for them to scan or do whatever they wish. Instead have surfed the net to find these breath-taking pix which reflect the emotional highs felt in the two countries where my children are born. And yes, Lucy, have been to all those places but do not have some of the pix and the colour slides in the boxes are not up to the standard to these I found online. Enjoy the views!

1. Cliffs of Moher, County Clare/Ireland
2. Trolltunge=Troll’s Tongue, Skjeggedal, Odda/Norway
3-5. Lysefjord/Norway
6. Preikestolen=The Pulpit, Lysefjord/Norway
7. Svolværgeita=Svolvær Goat, Lofoten/Norway

Appreciations to Ellen BROX and FB+Blog friend Denise SCHADE who inspired this posting 🙂 🙂 🙂

Music is a safe kind of high – Jimi Hendrix


19 Feb 2011 – Night Views from a Secret Roof Garden!

AmyR who is also a member of the SFS attended the screening of White Days at the library@esplanade too. Again found it impossible to rate as it is not my kind of movie. AmyR fell asleep!  The ratings for our picnic bag dinner we brought along to the Esplanade Roof Garden*****was delightful with live music from the amphitheatre entertaining us and a view of beautiful lights with a full moon. This is not going to last, soon people will discover the location and the crowds will ruin the peace 🙁

White Days: A story about 3 people, one of them suffers from depression and finds it hard to leave his flat, other than to leave flowers at a road or to perch on his window ledge. Another wants to move to Taiwan in order see a part of the world evoked by such filmmakers as Tsai Ming Liang, whose movies about loneliness and urban isolation are a self-conscious influence on this black-and-white feature debut.

Today, thanks Hong Sze for a yummy lunch@Glory**** Safe journeys to Judy & Richard and see you both in 2012 the Year of the Dragon 🙂

A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity and once more in old age, as a fine building should be seen by morning light, at noon and by moonlight – Robertson Davies

Funnies for Seniors!

18 Feb 2011 –  Happy Bday Henry!

Do not usually put these on blog but they are just too good to pass, especially when you can laugh about it; also a reminder to enjoy and live life to the fullest for whatever time that is fated or destined to us 🙂

Thank you Richard TANN for sharing these and to everybody, have a wonderful weekend and do not forget to:

LIVE (huh… you still here reading this, go out and enjoy nature in fresh air!) while there is life to live.
LAUGH (with or without teeth!!) when you still can.
LOVE (even if it breaks your heart!!!) when there is love to give 🙂 🙂 🙂

Do not take life too seriously.  You will never get out of it alive – Elbert Hubbard


17 Feb 2011 – End of CNY Celebrations

Sharing this beautiful pix from South China Morning Post/SCMP, pix from Beijing with the new snow on the paper lanterns.

This day often marks the end of the Chinese New Year festivities. The past 15 days have been busy busy and eating eating. And now the time has arrive to take down the decorations until the Rabbit is done with its hopping into the Dragon year falling on Katy’s 10th Bday 2012! Who knows where life’s journey will be heading then! The plans for the next few months will involve much traveling. First to China/the ancestral village, then to HKG followed by N Borneo.

A nice gathering with Richard and July who are visiting from Sydney to celebrate the CNY and his mother’s Bday. Richard crossed my childhood path and we caught up only 2 yrs ago since 1965! He is a cousin of Pui Ah & Hong Sze. Planning to meet once more with Hong Sze, Richard & Judy before they fly back to Sydney. Have decided that we will try to meet annually if all of us are here for the CNY.

Today’s lunch menu was just simple fried chicken, Italian spicy sausages, deviled eggs with pasta and salad. Decided to have a fruit platter for dessert, surely everyone has had enough of the CNY cookies!

He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough – Lao Tzu