Family Flory

28 Feb 2013 – en Route to Brussels/Belgium

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Wed: Kiefer, Angelina & Kurt, lovely to see them and Kiefer is stretching and walking. Cute toddler who likes my home-made soup with rice! Safe journeys to them who are now on a 12hrs flight back to Belgium after their annual trip in KCH.

69628_108109239372842_562191768_nWould like to dedicate this Oscar posting to Alonzo DAWE, an amazing 85yrs gentleman, father of Jan SOSA, grandfather of Angie, Jackie and Amanda; great-grandfather to at least 7 kids that I know of! He is an inspiration to us who has recently joined FB to keep contact. Welcome Alonzo to the online world. So glad that we can keep in touch across these oceans.

Jan crossed paths with me during our FL/USA days where we both were working for the same travel agency. Coincidently Angie (Jan’s first-born) & I share the same bday dates and Al (Jan’s husband) and Linn my first-born share the same bday dates.

559781_10152587971485037_793547448_nWonders never cease. Thomas, our neighbour in Piggsoppgrenda/Norway from the early 1980s who used to only like meatballs and pancakes as a child has now written Norway Mat/Viten (Norway Food/ Knowledge) which won this year Gourmand Award International for best book on food in Paris last weekend!

Congratulations to Thomas UGELVIK and to Torill WISTNER/mother of Thomas who is a good friend. It seems like yesterday when Thomas & May were playing in the sand box at the tiny patch of garden we had then. Our paths crossed again in Bergen mid 1980s before moving to the US. Hope to be able to catch up this year…

Inspiration may be a form of super-consciousness, or  perhaps of subconsciousness — I wouldn’t know. But I am sure it is the  antithesis of self-consciousness – Aaron Copland

Blue Hope!

26 Feb 2013 – BlinkBlink…

The recent news of the US$50mil diamond heist at Brussels airport where armed men held up security van as diamonds were loaded to a plane brought back this other story of the Hope.

Not a blinkblink person but this particularly Hope has always fascinated me and still continues to fascinate at this stage of life’s journey! The dramas, history, intrigues, stories, etc are endless and interesting. Hollywood had a chain of movies base on this Hope which is 45.52-carat (9.10 g), deep-blue diamond, now housed in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington DC/USA.

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Several accounts, based on remarks written by the gem’s first known owner, French gem merchant Jean Baptiste Tavernier, suggest the gemstone originated in India, in the Kollur mine in the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh (which in the 17C had been part of Golconda kingdom). Tavernier obtained the stone, possibly by purchase or by theft and brought a large uncut stone to Paris which was the first known precursor to the Hope Diamond. This large stone became known  as the Tavernier Blue diamond. Smaller pix is a cubic zirconia replica of the Tavernier Blue.

Being the most famous diamond, it is also notorious for supposedly being cursed! Reading about it but of course the truth will never be reveled unless Hope can tell of all its experiences and sufferings. The Hope was first discovered in the 1600s and has been thru’ many owners. The original must be quite something. Bought, stolen, recut and shaped over the centuries and now finally at the museum, est worth US$250mil.

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Pix: owned by King Louis XV in 1722/Assembled into elaborate pendant Order of the Golden Fleece. And the Hope Diamond in its present setting. Pix and sources on the Hope are from Wikipedia.

When one hears, sees and reads about the stories and history when diamonds are concerned, it is sad to know of blood and tears shed because of greed. For those who have joy in owing diamonds, well each to their own!!

I  have nothing against diamonds, or rubies or emeralds or sapphires. I do object  when their acquisition is complicit in the debasement of children or the  destruction of a country – Edward Zwick

Tangyuan – 汤圆

24 Feb 2013 – Chinese Valentine’s Day!

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Happy Birthday to Bjørn, father to my youngest grandchild Olai, who is here car shopping for his father’s Bday present which worn him out!! Asleep safely with paternal grandfather, John.

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Sun: 15 and final day of the CNY celebrations is known in the Hokkien dialect as chap goh mei/十五暝, the fifteenth night. Rice dumplings tangyuan/汤圆, a sweet glutinous rice ball brewed in a soup, are eaten this day. Like them only when filled with back sesame paste. Candles are lit outside houses as a way to guide wayward spirits home.

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In SIN & Malaysia, this day is celebrated by individuals seeking for a love partner, Chinese version of Valentine’s Day! Normally, single women would write their contact number on mandarin oranges and throw it in a river or a lake while single men would collect them and eat the oranges. Sweet ones mean compatibility 🙂

pc_189x272Hitchcock****based on Stephen Rebello’s 1998 non-fiction book Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho tracks how Hitchcock decides to make a horror movie. No studio wanted to finance him so he mortgage his house to make Psycho. The film centres on the relationship between Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) and his wife Alma Reville (Helen Mirren).

Being a big fan of Hitchcock, enjoyed this movie. Psycho is the best horror suspense movie ever made and directed.  Not a fan of horror movies but this one stuck in the memory, not for the horror but for the suspense.

The shower scene brought back memories from the early 1960s when I needed someone to sit by the bathroom door for a week after watching the movie! Also some unhappy memories, JFK assassination/1963, father flying off with mother to London where she underwent major surgery but returning to fight a painful losing battle to cancer.

pc_189x272Safe Haven**when Katie appears in small town Southport/NC, questions about her past were raised. She was determined to avoid people until a series of events draws her to Alex, a widower with two young children; and another with her single neighbour, Jo  As she falls in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her.

With Jo’s support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose a life of transient safety or one of riskier rewards. And I chose this ‘cheesy’ movie for the Carolinas low country landscape where I look forward to visiting again!

A bunch of teenagers sat in front and were giggling when ever the make-out scene appeared. Quite annoying but we were probably just as annoying, if not more when we were at that same stage 🙂 🙂 🙂

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Sat: appreciations to nieces PatLynn & SueLynn for including me for their dinner at Guan Hoe Soon Restaurant*** where authentic Peranakan cuisine has been served since 1953 which makes this place the oldest nonya restaurant in SIN. 

NickSelwayThis is talent with photography by Nick Selway…
Enjoy the last weekend to the CNY celebrations.
Seize the day or wave!

We must become so alone, so utterly alone, that we withdraw into our innermost self. It is a way of bitter suffering. But then our solitude is overcome, we are no longer alone, for we find that our innermost self is the spirit, that it is God, the indivisible. And suddenly we find ourselves in the midst of the world, yet undisturbed by its multiplicity, for our innermost soul we know ourselves to be one with all being – Hermann Hesse

The Presidents’ Men

22 Feb 2013 – And Women…

lincolnLincoln****Steven Spielberg directs two-time Academy Award winner Daniel Day-Lewis in a drama about the 16th President’s tumultuous final months in office. 1881-65 America was divided by the Civil War and Lincoln pursues a course of action designed to end the war, unite the country and abolish slavery. With the moral courage and determination to succeed, his choices during this critical moment will change the fate of generations to come and the consequences of his own life…

HydePkHyde Park on Hudson****1939, King George VI and his wife Queen Elizabeth (parents of the current Queen Elizabeth II) visited President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s country estate in Hyde Park Ny/USA.  FDR was growing closer to his distant cousin Daisy and eventual mistress, Margaret. No British monarch had ever visited the US before and King George hoped to bolster US support for the UK on the eve of World War II, which broke out less than three months later.

A true story and the real hotdog picnic video is shown in the credits. So do stay for the credits and let me know if it is the original…

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Thu: SIN at its best between 0600-0700hrs, cool quite and peaceful. A beautiful morning to try out the new folding bike, not easy with such small wheels and will take some getting used to. The day ended with the sky opening up and pouring rains on the bus back from the movies. The advantage of living in public housing, shaded walkways from the bus stop to the buildings.

65505_10151767097184126_1331966506_nTkx Cindy for sharing this on FB. Having just watched the movie Lincoln and even these great powerful people mentioned here are unable to convince people, then who can??

What we can really do is to live & love in harmony with one another and hope that it will rub off to one another, ie action speaks louder than words,  but unfortunately there are too many words flying around without action!

Interesting read for wine lovers. Hmmm… wonder how it will taste like:

http://www.wistv.com/story/21290409/wine-aged-on-ocean-floor-near-charleston-harbor

The human world is a mess. Life under the sea is better than anything they’ve got up there – The Little Mermaid movie

House on Wheels

20 Feb 2013 – ENOUGH, says the Stomach!

Sun: appreciations to Richard from Sydney/Australia for taking time to visit and for lunch.

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Mon: lunched at Little India and durian in Chinatown with cousin Wilki&Patty before they take off back to HI/USA tomorrow. After today, the stomach really needs to rest. Consuming an overwhelming rich food daily over a couple of weeks has certainly been unhealthy, this has taken its toll and the body is certainly feeling the consequences…

Tue: found a decent airfare back to EU via Saudi, one way SIN – London for US$332 S$412. Connecting with RyanAir London-Oslo S$85.

VW

Saw a car that finally meets my needs – VW Transporter 5/House on Wheels.  Not too big and enables me to drive comfortably cross-country with it, perfect to be able to stop and stretch out to sleep . Only problem is that £55,00/US$85,000/S$105,000 is way above my budget. Not that I know much about vans or would buy one. But I have hoped to see a practical design like this to make me even want it! Finally this happened!!

http://www.doubleback.co.uk/

LoveN...LOVE … And Other Bad Habits** a SIN production. A look at 3 different kinds of relationships, from teen infatuation to the nuances of adult relationship. A divorced couple who might be on the path to reconciliation and a rekindling of romance. Two professionals who seem to be more dedicated to their careers than each other, until a workplace dilemma forces them to, literally, take action.

BcreaturesBeautiful Creatures**is set in fictional Gatlin, SC/USA. A supernatural love story tells the tale of two star-crossed lovers: Ethan a young man longing to escape his small town, and Lena, a mysterious new girl. Together, they uncover dark secrets about their respective families. Went to this one because it was filmed in SC but disappointed that the beautiful SC scenes were not included!

Good Lord Boyet, my beauty, though but mean,
Needs not the painted flourish of your praise:
Beauty is bought by judgement of the eye,
Not utter’d by base sale of chapmen’s tongues – Shakespeare

Rénrì人日, Everybody’s Birthday

17 Feb 2013 – Reunion with Family, Friends & Food/Part 3

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A week of visiting and visitors and such a wonderful way to start the new year. Thank you for a lovely surprise present from Les, MacBook Air. Another new gift to myself, a radio/CD player. The old one finally decided to say goodbye after a decade! Starting the year of the ssnake with a bunch of new ssstuff…

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Thu:  delightful 5hrs lunching with classmates from CHIJ/1962-65 Peggy, Rebecca and Winnie who is visiting from CA/USA. A simple local meal of nasi lemak/ناسي لمق  fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf, specially for Winnie who does not get much of these local dishes in CA. Appreciations to Winnie for taking the time from her short SIN 1 week visit with her family here in SIN.

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Fri: enjoyable dinner with the Chuas. Sharon & Alex are visiting from BKK/Thailand. Amazing to remember that Alex was the page-boy for Patricia & Albert’s wedding/1998 and now he is 17! Tkx for the visit. For them who lives in BKK, a Western style-meal of the salmon bugs, shrimp salad and clam paste was the choice!

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IMG_1789Sat: is the 7th day of the CNY traditionally known as Rénrì (人日, the common man’s birthday), is the day when everyone grows one year older. Tkx for lunch at Audrey’s (delicious home-cooked meal, hats off to the chef and will certainly return for leftovers!) continuing to another lunch at Les & Ivy who were hosting the clinic and hospital staff of Mt E. In paradise just tasting his wine collections in the late afternoon… 🙂

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Imagine the best, most delicious, and sensuous banana pudding you can imagine, add just a touch of butterscotch, vanilla, peach, pineapple, strawberry, and almond flavors, and a surprising twist of — garlic??!! Like many of life’s greatest experiences, eating durian cannot be adequately described with words. Durian has a characteristic delicious flavor, creamy texture, and tantalizing fragrance that is just… durian! — the king of fruits, Nature’s most magnificent fruit gift – Shunyam Nirav

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Appreciations for including me to their dinner at 2bro’s family to meet up with sis-in-law Yoke Sau, 1 niece, 3 nephews with their families. Should be a total of 17 in that branch, sadly bro Kiong passed on over 10yrs ago and 3 of the purple generation could not make it.

The eldest of the orange/children’s generation LAM JenMun (yellow shirt) born 1959, stems from this branch. The eldest of the purple/grandchildren’s generation also sprouts from this branch. From left, sitting LAM SuiChang & ANG KeeYang, both born in 1989.

A Sign!

14 Feb 2013 – Reunion with Family, Friends & Food/Part 2

Happy Hearts Day!

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BBC/Mon: Pope Benedict has shocked a billion Roman Catholics around the world, and his closest advisers, by announcing that he will resign at the end of this month. Within hours of Pope Benedict announcing his resignation, lightning struck St Peter’s Basilica. The Pope, who is 85 years old, has been the head of the Church since 2005.

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Tue: more visitings. Tkx to Helen & Brian for the invite. Do lift my hat off to all the mothers of this gang. Fond childhood memories of CNY celebrations with all the cousins and a gang like this, except that we are all related! Great to catch up with my computer guru, Leonard who will be off to Japan for a week. Safe and happy journeys to him.

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Continued to catch up with cousin ChengEn visiting from Shanghai/China. Unfortunately cousin ChengLoon was out visiting but managed to capture a pix for his wife, Eva and baby who are visiting from Brisbane/Australia. LAM ChengLong’s (youngest son of 17uncle LAM Tin Yie) baby is the second youngest of the Orange generation ie my children’s generation. LAM Jayden Jing-De/born 2011.

Cousin YEO Yat-Soon’s who lives in London/UK (only child of 9aunt LAM Poh Kiu) baby is the youngest of the Orange generation, Ella YEO Tsing-Mei/born 2012.  And the eldest of that generation is my 2bro LAM KwokKiong eldest son LAM JenMun/born 1959.

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Appreciations to Les & Ivy, for a lovely evening with Clement, PatLynn, David, Lucas & Beth who returned back to SIN after their visit in Klang/ Malaysia where David’s family lives. Les made his delicious mussels in wine sauce, yummy and the best mussel dish I have ever tasted. Hope that Clement has learnt the secret in the sauce 🙂

shutterstock_68913355No woman will ever be truly satisfied on Valentines day because no man has a chocolate penis wrapped in money that ejaculates diamonds – anonymous

Welcome Year of the Snake

12 Feb 2013 – Reunion with Family, Friends & Food/Part 1

Sankes

The cutest greetings from the grandchildren in USA!

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Sun: appreciations to sis Jo and niece Sue for driving. 1000hrs first day of the visits, starting with the most seniority person, 4th aunt Poh Kau (99yrs) and always great to catch up with cousin Wilki & Pattie visiting from HI. Somehow the camera went into hiding after this pix, or more like forgot to capture the moments until evening. Ouch!

Continued to 10th, 11th & 13th aunts. Thanks to Les & Ivy for a lovely lunch. Thank goodness for the tentage as the rains were relentless for some hours. Mid-afternoon to aunty Kwok (99yrs) & KK, great to meet up with Ken who is visiting from London.

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Was fortunate to arrive at cousin Karen (in grey) to meet up her parents (who are visiting from KCH) and with 4 more long-lost cousins from paternal grandmother’s branch. Pix of 2 aunts with their families. Aunt Anna CHAN Ai NohKaren’s mom is the one sitting next to Karen, do remember aunt Noh from the early 1960s when she visited SIN at Temenggong Rd. She is the daughter of CHAN Hung Tong, brother to paternal grandmother, CHAN Swee Ngor.

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Karen, tkx for the invite and the scrumptious feast. First meeting with aunt Kit.

Cousin CHAN WengKei of this branch who lives in Christchurch/NZ has an excellent record for the CHAN branch who makes the best KCH laksa and they are all wonderful cooks, just do not understand how they keep so slim, must be the CHAN genes 🙂

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Mon: world’s best Chinese almond soup by sis-in-law Poh Kit and many tkx to her for sharing her secret.

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Yeah, Aleoca folding bike/S$89.90+accessories/S$40, Brother sewing machine/S$139 and Akira rice-cooker/S$21.99 which will be used more for steaming and slow-cooking were delivered today from Giant/ FOC delivery for S$200+ spent.

Look before you leap, for snakes among sweet flowers do creep – Proverb

Forecast for the Year of the Snake

9 Feb 2013 – for the Capricorn Ox

Now for some fun with all kinds of astrology readings 🙂

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This is for those born 29Jan1949-16Feb1950, the Earth OX

An Ox in the year of Snake will be a good year. Good times predicted for the Ox person. She will find it easy to make money. Things are all within her reach this year. YEAH to that! On the darker side, she may suffer from a misunderstanding with some associate or find that some friend betrays her confidence. Have given up on those kind a long time ago.  All her problems can be resolved if she is open to discussion. As long as those discussions are what I wish to discuss 🙂 🙂

The most reliable and diligent Oxen belong to this collection of Oxen. The Earth element balances many of their negative characteristics. An OX that trots on 4 legs will have better balance!! These Oxen are show good judgement, a good characteristic for successful financial dealings. Sure, that explains all the failed relationships and living on a budget 🙂 🙂 🙂

Other people tend to look up to Earth Oxen because of their reliability, sincerity and their modest ambitions. HuH!!! They are willing to tackle the workload when it become overbearing for others, Oh Yeah, talking to the wrong OX and are loyal and compassionate with family and friends. REALLY, that’s news to me 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Oxen are made of true resolute. A sustained effort allows them to achieve a very comfortable way of life. RIGHT on, for once!!!! They are conservative and responsible and will work long hours to provide their loved ones with security and comfort. 1st part yes, so 50/50 here.

Some people have lost their common sense and prefer to believe so that they can live with this scapegoat and not take responsibilities for their own actions and consequences.

Fun to be able to do this once a year and check at the end of each year to see what a bunch of rubbish these so-called fortune-tellers, or rather fortune-hunters who con people to pay for this. But then there are those who want to believe. Each to their own.

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Capricorn is the goat of the zodiac and they are born 21Dec-19Jan. This is an approximation because of the irregular rotation of the earth and therefore not every year will Capricorn begin exactly on 21Dec or even end on 19Jan, like the Lunar Calendar when East finally meets West!
Oh East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great judgement Seat;
But there is neither East nor West Border, nor Breed nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face, tho’ they come from the ends of the earth –
Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936)

Normally self-confident, strong-willed and calm. Often hardworking, unemotional, practical, responsible, persevering, and cautious and capable of persisting for as long as is necessary to accomplish a goal they have set for yourselves.

year_of_the_snake_2013_happy_chinese_new_year_card-p137706419183686750bfjn0_400When the Capricorn is combined with an Ox, any one of those adjectives there will surely find a way to creep and fit in.

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Now that you have had your smiles, it is time to puff away the Dragon and let the Snake slither in to wish each and everyone…

Happy Healthy Wealthy Year of the Snake.

Party Like There is No Tomorrow

6 Feb 2013 – tomorrow might never come…

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Fri: arrived HKG in blue sky and warm weather. Thanks to John for meeting me and taking me to lunch before checking into the top and 21st floor of Habour Plaza Metropolis/Hung Hom in Kowloon. First time walking with John around the Whampoa area where a department store is built in the shape of a ship!

Appreciations to Harry for a refreshing midnight walk in the Hung Hom in search of supper.

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Sat: exploring the Tsim Sha Tsui area. The renowned Peninsula/香港半島酒店 opened in 1928 and has been recognised as an internationally leading hotel by Condé Nast  Traveler magazine and Travel + Leisure. Strolled down Nathan Road and to the Cultural Centre.

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Former Marine Police HQ/前水警總部 now known as the 1881 Heritage. This compound is one of the 4 oldest surviving government buildings in HKG.

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Waterfront Promenade and Avenue of the Stars/星光大道 opened 2004 is located along the Victoria Harbour waterfront honours celebrities of the HKG film industry.

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Fun celebrations, Bdays for Elize and Helen and anniversary for Helen & Brian. Dinner at Kitchen YinYang**** Ship St/WanChai.

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Painted the town red after dinner and did not get back to the hotel until 0300hrs. Appreciations to these young people for including this grandmother in their celebrations. Had a blast.

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Sun: lunched in town with John. Delightful live latin music while walking thru’ a mall with a cute little girl swaying in perfect rhythm to the music.

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Sight-seeing on the tram from Central en route to Tin Hau. The crowds in Causeway Bay was overwhelming and glad that it was not my stop!

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Johnny made a delicious and impressive reunion dinner. So nice to catch up with Johnny & his pet LokLok, Richard and their group. Thank you Johnny for a wonderful dinner and appreciations to Rico and Ryann for the washing up. Pix credits here to Richard and John Jonas. Another late night!

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Mon: with a cracked heel and Mother Nature not in my favour, it would be stupid to hike. In addition, the stomach and body are not happy with the over indulgence of good rich food and lack of sleep. Took an easy day, napped and located the bus stop for an early start tomorrow. Thank you Harry for delightful dinner company at the hotel.

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Tue: after going to bed between 0100-0300hrs for 4 nights in a row, managed to sleep nearly 4hrs on the Tiger in spite of a toddle kicking from behind! Uneventful on time journey to SIN. Need to rest before the CNY, could never even party like the last 4 days in my youth, so what on earth makes me think I can do so NOW 🙂