Leap Year

29 Feb 2012 – Greetings from HKG

Last day in Feb and this is a leap year. According to folk tradition, women on the British isles may propose marriage only on leap years. No worries, not heading to the British isles, and even when SIN & HKG were once part of the colony, have NO intentions to propose even though surrounded by such charming gentlemen 🙂

Why get married and make one man miserable when I can stay single and make thousands miserable – Carrie Snow.

Imagine being born 29 Feb? Does that mean then that you are only one year older every four years 🙂 🙂

Tkx to Johnny & LokLok for breakfast, Henrietta & Francis for lunch in the wonderful company of Chanel & Harry; and to Henry for dinner.

Two nights on HKG island. Appreciations to Johnny for booking the accommodation, perfect location just by the MTR and a bus to the airport across the road.

Tomorrow night lodgings in Tin Shui Wai so as to get on the trail 2 Mar by 0600hrs.

Hiking the MacLehose starting from Section/Stage 10/Tuen Mun. So if no words and postings, just means that the nature bug has got into the system. No worries, the pink camera will be a good companion to help update postings after the hike.

The weather forecast so far looks to be on my side… time will show 🙂

02 Mar
( Fri )
17 22 Sunny periods. Misty in the morning and at night.
Sunny periods. Misty in the morning and at night.
03 Mar
( Sat )
18 21 Sunny intervals with mist.
Sunny intervals with mist.
04 Mar
( Sun )
18 22 Sunny intervals. Foggy in the morning and at night.
Sunny intervals. Foggy in the morning and at night.


28 Feb 2012 – with a good moral!

Shared this on FB with a pix uploaded, thanks to KiWi.

A secretary got an expensive pen as a birthday gift from her boss.

She sent her boss a Thank You’ note via SMS. The wife read the text and angrily shows her husband the message:

‘Your penis wonderful, I enjoyed using it last night. Thanks’

Moral:- Space is essential in every successful married life and relationships…

  • Mette Backer Ooooops….. Ha ha :-)))

  • Aileen Koh-Tang LOL!!!

  • Helen Yow unforgivable mistake!

  • Helen Yow love the moral that came out of it though

  • Ravin Dimantha · LOL!
  • Amy Lam with a tickle for OMGIM (oh my gosh it’s Mon). Moral is good or perhaps a Freudian slip! Just a thought! LOL hahaha 🙂

  • Helen Yow Back in my childhood in HK, one of our very first English lessons was like this : ‘A man. A pen. A man and a pen’. Now I know why they taught us that early.
  • Amy Lam Perhaps man should not give pen, especially to woman. LOL.
  • Victoria Mitchell · Yep! Us mortals need both time and space. :O)))
Hugo*** the tale of an orphan boy living a secret life in the walls of a Paris train station who encounters a cold, reserved man who runs the toy shop. Hugo  is caught up in a magical, mysterious adventure. Had to see this movie before taking off or will miss it… but not really my kind of movie. Katy would probably have enjoyed it more. A fairy tale ending for this highly-hype movie and an entertaining way to pass an afternoon.

Will soon have to find my way for the Tiger heading to HKG to enjoy a few days with my HKG friends before taking off on the 100km hike. Mental space can be reached anywhere, just space out and not think.

To me being alone in nature is the physical space lacking when living in cities and it is time for some of that…

Nature has always had more power than education – Voltaire

150km Round Island Route

26 Feb 2012 – Park Connectors & Parks

A new loop linking four parks in Punggol and Sengkang was launched on Saturday by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean… DPM Teo also announced plans to develop a 150km Round Island Route to link more than 3.5 million residents along the route.


From my understanding this will still takes some years to complete even when over 60% are already completed. The Round Island Route (RIR) will be a seamless green corridor that goes all round Singapore, linking up many major natural, cultural and historical attractions to our parks, park connectors, and intra-town cycling networks.


How many days to walk it? And will there by any chance that the 150km RIR be in the agenda if still kicking around?? Or do I really want to walk 150km on hard concrete in this weather in my late 60s??? Perhaps it will be time to purchase a bicycle then! Was told by a cyclist neighbour that it will take him 9hrs to complete 150km.

Do not count the chickens before they are hatched, as the saying goes. First let’s start on HKG 100km MacLehose which is more in the nature, well, at least many parts of it! Life is such an adventure, so much to look forward to and so many blessings to be thankful for.

Harry from HKG said that they had to cancel their soccer game yesterday as the field was wet and partly flooded. It has been raining almost for a week and more rain in the forecast for the next few days. Let’s hope that it will dry out by 2 Mar!

The forecast by http://www.worldweather.org/002/c00001.htm

02 Mar
( Fri )
17 21 Sunny periods. Misty in the morning and at night.
Sunny periods. Misty in the morning and at night.
03 Mar
( Sat )
17 20 Mainly cloudy with a few rain and mist patches.
Mainly cloudy with a few rain and mist patches.

There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing – Alfred Wainwright

A Teacher from 1962

25 Feb 2012 – RIP Mrs Molly ONG

Fri: Condolences to Lynne and to her family for the passing of her mother. Mrs ONG was our teacher in 1962/CHIJ where Lynne was also in the same class. At the wake Thu and have not seen Lynne’s brother Yew Huat since mid 1960s, when was just a little boy then. Today he is Executive Chairman of Ernst & Young and a father of 3.

Both Lynne and Yew Huat gave wonderful eulogies of their mother@St John’s St Margaret’s Church in DoverAve. Rev David Michaels (with grand daughter, Florence), Lynne’s husband gave a short & sweet service@Mandai Crematorium. Rowena, Lynne’s daughter-in-law could not attend the funeral as her contractions started. She & Simon are expecting their second child.

Tkx Lynne for dinner at the SIN Island Country Club, a very different SICC from our childhood days where father was one of the early members. His membership number was then L10. Poor Lynne who lives in Cornwall, she is exhausted and overwhelmed with jet-lag, wake, funeral and soon a grandmother again.  Hope that she will catch up with rest and sleep when I get back  from the HKG hike.

My oh my, all those years with carefree memories when I used to slumber at Lynne’s home@Chee Hoon Ave after parties! Appreciations to Dr & Mrs Ong for always welcoming me in their home and for the yummy home-made food & cookies. Mrs Ong was a wonderful cook, who also was Rebecca, Irene, me, Angela & Lynne’s teacher in 1962/CHIJ.

One way to evaluate your own reputation is to think about what would be said of you at your eulogy – Brian Koslow

100 Kilometers/61.13 Miles

23 Feb 2012 – At Tai Mo Shan

957m/3,140ft, being the highest peak in HKG and between Section 8/9 on the MacLehose. AT is 3,500km/2,175mi with the highest point there, Clingmans Dome 2,025m/6,643ft. That hike was done 7yrs ago, and now it is time to challenge the mind and body again! Being out in nature is the best for the body, mind & spirit; just hoping and praying that it will not rain nor will it be too hot! Is that too much to ask for 🙂

Finally after days of planning with Grace, this will be our MacLehose Trail logistics for 2 – 6 Mar 2012.

Trekking it backwards Stages 10 – 1

Google maps of trail markers (M001 etc) here:

MacLehose Trail – Google Maps


2-Mar Friday Day 1: 28.5km/18mi Stage 8(part)-end M143-M200

3-Mar Saturday Day 2: 14km/8.7mi Stage 6-8(part) M115-M143

4-Mar Sunday Day 3: 23km/14.3mi Stage 4-5 M069-M115

5-Mar Monday Day 4: 10km/6.3mi Stage 3 M049-M069

6-Mar Tuesday Day 5: 24.5km/15.3mi Stage 1-2 M001-M049

TOTAL 100km/62.13mi in 5 days.

Looking at the logistic, it will be tough hikes alternate days but really it is a matter of discipline and wanting to do it. Will NOT be bringing laptop on the trail. Only a day pack with water, snacks and an extra set of hiking clothes. Hiking with a full pack was and never will the choice.

Not so fond memories when hiking with full pack thru’ the National Parks on the AT thru-hike, but thank goodness it was 13 days out of 127 days!

Most of the MacLehose Trail is near civilization, so it is easy to get off it if necessary but hopefully not. Getting off it means injury 🙁

If you are just safe about the choices you make, you don’t grow – Heath Ledger

Camper’s Corner

21 Feb 2012 – Preparations

Mon: Happy President’s Day, public holiday only in the USA. Tkx to Chloe, Grace, Leonard, TohXin & Tommy for meeting up@Camper’s Corner/51 Waterloo St where you can find your camping, hiking and trekking gadgets all under one roof. Gave the AT talk there 29 Apr 2011 and that was when Grace came for the talk. An excellent place for trekkers and hikers to exchange and share info.


Appreciations to Leonard for computer help; Chloe & TohXin for sharing their 100kms experience on the MacLehose; Tommy for meeting us on this short notice and how coincident that he knows TohXin; Disel for showing me pix of his trek. Have learnt much from today.

Having hiked the AT, one learns much as to the individual needs to be able to long distance trek. Bought a light-weight day pack, Marmot Kompressor Plus weighing 340g/12ozs (wish I had kept the red-vest from the AT hike!) S$55, 2L Platypus S$55, 1 pair FoxRiver socks S$25, 2 power bars and caffeine shots to have in the pack for emergency. Plans to only carry daypack and overnight at hostels, ie NO tents! Am looking forward to this trek.

Tkx for dinner nephew Clem.

Pix from Vermont/USA, AT Thru-hike Day 95 Tue 2 Aug 2005.

100kms and 10 sections marked. Have done Sections parts of 1-2-3 but will be a pleasure doing this beautiful part again. The spirit is high with anticipation, let’s hope the body will be in sync 🙂

Tue: tkx Rebecca for home-made lunch and for the company to watch:

The Iron Lady***biographical movie follows the life of Margaret Thatcher, the former Prime Minster of the UK and the only British female PM.  Thatcher came from nowhere to smash through barriers of gender and class to be heard in a male dominated world. A series of flashbacks will narrate her life’s story and the price she had to pay for such power!

Meryl Streep played well in this major role and won the Golden Globe Award for Best ACtress – Motion Picture Drama.

It used to be about trying to do something. Now it’s about trying to be someone – The Iron Lady movie

Annual Visitors

19 Feb 2012 – Catch-up Time

Sat: great to catch up with Richard (HongSze’s cousin) & Judy who are here on their annual visit from Sydney/Oz. Tkx for lunch and congratulations to them for their first grandchild to be born sometime soon! This is also catch up time with HS. Glory***our usual local food joint was OK, have had better other times. Back to the apartment for fruits, wine and cake. Appreciations to R&J for bringing the cake.

HKG FB friends are into some provoking political discussions concerning Tang’s wife comes under scrutiny over basement. The Buildings Department has launched an investigation into chief executive hopeful Henry Tang Ying-yen’s wife and others over an illegal ‘underground palace’ at her house in…  tkx to Helen for the funny. Henry Tang is the guy with the band-aid on his chin 🙂

Not being religious nor political inclined, do not get into these discussions but will follow with the HKG news as objectively as possible. After all that is where the MacLehose Trail is and will be heading in that direction soon.


My comment to this whole issue: 又要马儿跑,又要马儿不吃草 and the English version You can’t eat your cake and have it too! The usual sentiments to the HKG FB friends – people will say and think as they pleased no matter how senseless, that is not within your control! They probably think that we are senseless too, when not agreeing with them.

Just live and enjoy life with the best intentions of not harming others by words or actions.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend and to USA family & friends, have a safe long weekend for President’s Day on Mon!

In politics the middle way is none at all – John Adams/2nd USA President
You want a friend in Washington? Get a dog – Harry S. Truman/33rd USA President

Nature vs Arts

17 Feb 2012 –  Thoughts & Quotes

Feeling kind of losing grip with nature and lazy, this is the time when one has to really make the extra effort to do the things one enjoy. Thus planning this 100km thru-hike in HKG. But not having lived in HKG, have to research and read up about the MacLehose Trail. This can be time-consuming. Knowing oneself, the only way to really find out is to go and experience the journey by walking the path. Preparations and the mind-set are important for long distance hiking. But being over focus can also harm, again a balance!

Tkx a million to Jack/HKG angel who overnight The Serious Hiker’s Guide to HKG by Pete Spurrier, a perfect and ideal book for anyone who is interesting to hike in HKG. With this and the other info online, preparations and planning can be a breeze, hopefully 🙂

Walking around this Garden City with intentions to build, strengthen and disciplining the mind to walk an average of 20km daily for 4-5 days has been on going for the past week. And in SIN (the Garden & Lion City) the way to do that is early mornings , late evenings or in the large AC malls. Of course NOT during weekends or rush hours!

Nature pix taken in KCH, the arts in SIN. Thoughts that it is no wonder that one looses much of one’s intuitions with all the man-made surroundings, even how beautiful art can be.  A comment made, not to me but could have been to me too and how sad to hear this, ‘the trouble with you is that you do not take care of your things like… who takes care of his things’ ! This was said in the context about a car!

We should love people and use things, not use people and love things –
Katie Stauffer

Condolences to Auntie KeiChan & Family

16 Feb 2012 – Visitor from Palo Alto/CA

Wed: lovely to catch up with Winnie. Must have been some years ago since our last meeting. Winnie is in SIN for a week visiting her bro & his family. Her parents and 2 elders sisters did not survive the 1962 Alitalia  plane crash, 50yrs ago. She is here to arrange a family reunion with her 2 younger siblings and their family. The afternoon just flew by. Glad Rebecca could join us even though it was her mom’s 100th bday!

Received sad news from cousin Mike in CA about the passing of his uncle Sou (in blue and grand-uncle LAM JiChiew’s son-in-law). Condolences to auntie LAM KeiChan (father’s cousin), cousin Michelle and their family. We met for the first time during the 2011 HKG trip when uncle Sou & Michelle made an impressive and  memorable 8 course lunch for auntie Helen, uncle YatMeng, cousins Andrew, Amy and I. That was the first and last meeting with uncle Sou.


Congratulations to cousin YatSoon & Helen (London/UK) for their second baby girl. The latest addition to the purple generation!

A trip to the main library. Sadly, one of my favourtie book store, Page One@Vivo City is closing down but happy to hear that Grace will be joining me on the MacLehose and maybe some of my HKG hiker friends are able to meet me when I have the logistics in order!

Met up with Clem for dinner@the Beef Kway Teow (established 1924) previously@Purvis St and now@Seah St***is the Hock Lam St Beef Noodle. Have always enjoyed this beef broth.

To a beautiful voice, Whitney Houston. May she RIP.

The human voice is the most beautiful instrument of all, but it is the most difficult to play – Richard Strauss

MacLehose Trail

14 Feb 2012 – Happy ♥ Day

Mon: had to be at the Norwegian Embassy to get some papers signed and stamped. It is still located on the 44 floor, Hong Leong Building, Robinson Rd/Shenton Way. The camera saw a chance for a shot on the way out of the building! First thought, was he really peeing but then did not think he was so daring or rude. On closer look, was glad to discover otherwise 🙂

Tkx to Geno for doing some translation for the family records from China. Very interesting to know about the ancestors!

Tue: had Lydia, Penny & Rebecca (classmates from CHIJ 1962) over for dinner. Tkx ladies for the company and the extra food. Was shopping@NTUC/Parkway early morning. The young Malay cashier lady made my day. Had forgotten that Tue is a discount day for seniors. She inquired if I was a senior and after answering, asked if she needed my card. She replied diplomatically that she will need to look at the card. Told her that I took that as a compliment 🙂 🙂

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around – Leo Buscaglia

Now to focus on the logistics for the MacLehose Trail in HKG that will take 5-6 days to do a thru-hike. Will be flying for to HKG 28 Feb and hope to start on this 100km trail on 2 Mar. Anyone having info regarding accommodations at or near the 10 different stages of this trail, would really appreciate to hear from you.

Section Route Length (Km) Time (Hr) Difficulty


Pak Tam Chung to Long Ke 10.6 3.0  *


Long Ke to Pak Tam Au 13.5 5.0  **


Pak Tam Au to Kei Ling Ha 10.2 4.0  ***


Kei Ling Ha to Tai Lo Shan 12.7 5.0  ***


Tai Lo Shan to Tai Po Road 10.6 3.0  **


Tai Po Road to Shing Mun 4.6 1.5  *


Shing Mun to Lead Mine Pass 6.2 2.5  **


Lead Mine Pass to Twisk 9.7 4.0  **


Twisk to Tin Fu Tsai 6.3 2.5  *


Tin Fu Tsai to Tsuen Mun 15.6 5.0  *
Easy Walk*  Fairly Difficult** Very Difficult***