Sweet April Showers…

29 Apr 2013 – Do Bring May Flowers!

Happy 17th Bday to grandnephew Stanley, eldest grandson to bro Steven.

And it has certainly been wet the past week but nice with the refreshing rains. Tomorrow will be the last day of Apr which means life’s journey will be on the go again soon. Somehow it seems that there was not much time this trip. Need to slow down and take time to do what has been on the shelves for the past years…



Received an invite to a high school graduation class of 2013 from Josh Bowman. How is it possible that he is already done with high school? Congratulations and good luck to Josh. It does not seem that long ago when his father, Matt graduated from LHHS…


which also means that the class of LHHS 1993 will be back in FL celebrating their 20th reunion this year!!!


Tea at High Society***in Marina Bay Sands, not that they are needed but some cupcakes will be cheerful to just look at and some will give energy so as not to feel the years flying by so quickly.

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Fri: grocery shopping and logistics for the UKc2c. Will there be enough energy to complete this 300km/190m trail? Another challenge and time will show, but looking forward to it.


Sat: was awakened by loud thunders, fortunately did not have to go out. Home-made lunch in delightful company of Hong & KK who is just as camera-shy as the one holding the camera! When Richard visited in Feb, forgot our annual pix. Above pix from 2012 – Richard & Hong looks exactly the same, and Hong, so does my place!! Encouraging to know that our memories are still in tact to be able to laugh about our mischievous good old childhood days 🙂

Made Salmon Sashimi with Sesame Oil for family and friends over the weekend and was all gone, so must be yummy! Am better with making food when there is no cooking involved 🙂 🙂


Sun: another tropical downpour early morning. Tkx to Leonard (in red) to more app for the MacBook Air, will learn to use it sooner or later. Without him, there would not have been a laptop, thus no blog either… 🙂 🙂 🙂

Dinner at Les&Ivy who want to change in this chandelier for a new one.

Again the blackbirds Sing; the streams Wake, laughing from their winter dreams, and Tremble in the April showers – JohnG Whittier

The Importance of Being Earnest

26 Apr 2013 – Evening of Satire & Wit…

earnest_A5_portrait%20for%20web529146_618528778161841_323658352_nWed: Drama Centre at the National Library: an entertaining evening with live music by The Ensemble Dimension Players who did a good job with their delightful playing and repertoire of music.

Two ‘romeos’ bend the truth to spice up their lives. Jack has invented a brother, Ernest, whom he uses to escape his dull country life, and to woo the ravishing Gwendolyn. His best friend Algernon also decides to take the name ‘Ernest’ to cosy up to Jack’s ward, Cecily, in the country. However, things get messy when their deceptions are discovered, threatening to spoil their romantic pursuits.

earnest---257Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest**** is a popular comedy with some of the funniest lines of the English language. In Wild Rice’s production and film director Glen Goei puts a provocative spin on this comic play by casting an all-male ensemble – revealing new insights into Wilde’s comedy about the foibles of high society. The truth is rarely pure and never simple.

The final drama was after the play when some woman’s long shirt was caught in the escalator as we were leaving… all’s well that ends well 🙂



Thu: another family dinner at Jia Wei Chinese Restaurant****in Grand Mercure Roxy thanks to Jo&Michael+family. Delicious food, especially the salted egg battered prawns. Lucas&Beth, the two youngest family members are well-behaved and adorable. And so are the other two from the orange generation too… 🙂 🙂


Since the beginning of Apr, earthquakes with a magnitude of M6+ have been happening in Sichuan/China M6.6, Iran/Pakistan M7.7, Indonesia, Izu Islands/Japan, Kuri Islands, Papua New Guinea, Russia leaving much devastation and deaths. When and where will the big one hit? The map above shows 242 quakes including those that measured below M6+

On top of the natural disasters, accident like the Bangladesh collapsed factory has taken at least 900+ life (edited 10May). This is not an isolated problem, hundreds of thousands toil in unsafe conditions on poverty wages to make our clothes – so is there a solution??

The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything. And I am not young enough to know everything – Oscar  Wilde

Goodbye & Hello

23 Apr 2013 – Partings and Reunions



Sat: Ciera & family will be moving back to Ireland after their 3+yrs stay in SIN. To Kitty & Dennis, safe trips back to Ireland via Saudi Arabia. Appreciations for a farewell get together in good company including His Excellency Mr&Mrs Joe Hayes, Ambassador of Ireland and patron of the Irish Graduates Association of SIN (IGAS). Thank you Ciera&Steve for delicious Thai food. To the Brosnan family go raibh maith agat for crossing my path and

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again…


Sun: met Lawrence&Mabel at the airport arriving from KCH. A very wet taxi ride to Les&Ivy, spending the rest of the day and evening indoors in this lovely cool wet weather. The heat and humidity have been rather oppressive the past few days the and rains are always refreshing in the tropics.


Mon:  speedy recovery to Gel who has recently undergone a major surgery. Tea with Gel&Millie at Dome’s/Dempsey Hill where there is a huge fish in the pond. Thought it is an Arowana but then does Arowana grow that large? Tkx to CH for the info about this fish-arapaima/pirarucu/paiche/Arapaima gigas is a South American tropical, freshwater fish. It is one of the largest freshwater fish in the world.


Appreciations to Les&Ivy for a ‘small’ family get together dinner at Long Beach/Dempsey**** with Yasmine&Andrew, visiting from London and her first experience with a fan without blades 🙂

I think the most beautiful thing is that we’re not parting because there were  problems. We’re parting because we’re celebrating each others’ growth – Kelly  Rowland

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

20 Apr 2013 – Old & Frail…

LONDON – ‘A new study suggests that age is a state of mind, and if you think of yourself as old and frail, your perception may become a self-fulfilling prophecy.’


Beetle - CopyThe mind is most powerful, thus self-fulfilling prophecy plays a significant part of the kind of life one chooses to live. The more one gets on in years, the faster time goes as one is at the shorter end of the stick. That is reality, so live life to the fullest while there is life…

Johnny in HKG commented on FB that the image is so me… :-)Managed to photo-shopped the VW beetle to red. The original image was a green car. Used to have a red one with eye-lids for years and both Linn & May learnt to drive in this stick-shift VW which was my last car. Believe it or not, they were taught to drive by me who does not even own a car now… 🙂 🙂

Seniors who are perfectly healthy but are either afraid or do not want to or do not know better than to just sit around complaining, grumbling or whining are really quite a pain to be around. It is sad to see how they are actually creating problems for themselves and their loved ones. Granted that we are not as fast and agile as when in our youth, but that is no excuse to be a couch potato stopping to learn or experience like the ‘living dead’!!

1950s1960s1970s (1)

Pix from over 6 decades: 1950s (SIN), 1960s (Ireland), 1970s (Norway),


1980s (Norway), 1990s (FL/USA), 2000s (back in SIN) and the circle made her round!! Now still keeps going round and round… 🙂 🙂 🙂

Had to really search to get these pix of myself as I am usually the one taking the pix, except for in the 1950s. Father was then a keen photographer and even had a Leica camera stored in an air-tight vacuum container. Certainly going on in years and sometimes the energy level needs to be recharged more often. As the saying goes, use it or lose it! NOT feeling or thinking old or frail and hopefully NOT looking old and frail… 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂


The only pix of father LAM Tin Yue with us 3 on his 80th Bday Jun 1991. That was the last L&M saw of their maternal grandfather. He passed on in Apr 1996 before his 85yrs. The 1953 B/W pix is of my branch of the LAM family, me being the youngest of a flock of 7! Today my parents and 2nd bro LAM Kwok Kiong are no longer.


This year my parents would have been married 80yrs. Mother TSENG May Lan passed on in 1965 after losing to a battle of cancer when she was in her early 50s. Pix of their wedding/1933 and their 25 wedding anniversary/1958.

Pessimism becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy; it reproduces itself by crippling our willingness to act – Howard Zinn

Crowds & Qs

19 Apr 2013 – Public Transport & Places

Thought that for once this will be a posting completely about SIN, but sadly more bad news from the US: ‘Like a nuclear bomb’, deadly fertilizer plant blast devastates Texas town…


AsiaOne.com: the Government’s latest move to ease congestion during peak hours by rolling out free train travel to the city before 7.45am has been applauded by some commuters.

But others were sceptical about whether the dangled carrot of monetary savings would be enough to make people leave for work earlier. This is because some employers may not be flexible enough to allow their staff to start – and end – work earlier. Early birds could end up working longer hours.

Singapore MRTmrt-commuters-crowd-squeeze-5336232776434467_7ce7075468_z

So will this be a solution to help ease with the crowds? Time will show. Whatever, but will not be with the crowds. In some countries, seniors go FOC on public transport. Hope that it can happen here soon! Pix above are downloaded from various sites. Walking will be my choice if caught in rush hours!


Was in Plaza SIN to catch a movie and took these pix of the lines for this recently opened Tim Ho Wan 添好運 Dimsum. A chain of dimsum restaurants from HKG helmed by Chef Mak Kwai Pui, which has earned itself an entry in the Michelin guide with their delectable dimsum. No matter how fantastic their dimsum are, NOT about to Q for hours. Perhaps when the novelty dies down, might find time to give it a bite!

pc_189x272Being a local production and in spite of the title, Judgement Day**with Mark Lee, one my favourite SIN actors, had to see it! A doomsday drama centring on several characters as they decide to share their deepest secrets when it is believed that doomsday will happen in 72hrs. Miraculously, doomsday did not happen and everyone survives. While the whole world rejoices; for those who made irreversible decisions, it is the end of their previous world…


Conclusion: with the downloaded above pix of Chinatown, Botanic Gardens and Bugis, people in SIN (and most of Asia) seem to like crowds and to stand in lines… 🙂

Where ever you may find yourself, even in crowds or Qs, have a wonderful weekend.

Solitude is strength; to depend on the presence of the crowd is weakness. The man who needs a mob to nerve him is much more alone than he imagines – Paul  Brunton

What in the World…

17 Apr 2013 – Why Why Why 🙁

With a heavy heart in a world of turmoil…


IMG_3072Tue: woke up in a sad mood and reading the news was no help. What is happening – bombs blasting around in the Middle East, nuclear weapons threats from N Korea are bad enough and now even at the Boston Marathon finishing line!

Linn has mentioned just a few weeks ago that she has plans to run this marathon in 2014! This is what she wrote after the news of the bombing… ‘I am still signing up to run in 2014. The evil cowards behind this will not ruin one of the most amazing marathons in our country!’

And my reply: will be planning my 2014 travels to fit in your run.

The Boston Marathon first run in 1897 is considered the most prestigious in USA and occurs every Patriot’s Day, a city-wide holiday attracting app 25,000 runners each year.

The outbreak of bird flu on top of the pollution issues are ongoing in China. Is this going to be another pandemic?

These kind of news are getting to be the daily read… ouch!

Escaped to the movies when evil is on a rampage and things make so little sense. Somehow these two movies were nothing much to reflect on, thus no help! Even when a natural disaster (or it is more a consequence, considering how we are abusing and misusing Planet Earth??), a 7.8 deadly earthquake was just added to this world in turmoil on the Iran-Pakistan border…

aYearI Give It A Year**British romantic comedy film about the trials and tribulations of a newlywed couple during their first year of marriage.

untitledIn the House**French film about 16-year-old boy insinuates himself into the house of a fellow student from his literature class and writes about it in essays for his French teacher. Faced with this gifted and unusual pupil, the teacher rediscovers his enthusiasm for his work, but the boy’s intrusion will unleash a series of uncontrollable events.

IMG_3151Akan datang-malay for coming soon, a movie with this title Escape from Planet Earth describes how I feel today

Exactly what I would like to do now…

Ignorance, the root and stem of all evil – Plato

Gardens by the Bay

15 Apr 2013 – a lovely weekend with ‘High-Tech Young People’…


Sat: located on a total of 101 hectares 250 acres, the Gardens by the Bay, has won the overall World Building of the Year Award at the World Architecture Festival (WAF) Awards 2012. The Gardens have been designed with the environment in mind, adopting environmentally sustainable technologies. In particular, the cooled conservatories are intended to be a statement in sustainable engineering and energy efficiency.


A lake system which takes into account the aesthetics and hydrology within the Gardens’ catchment has been incorporated into the Gardens’ design. It serves to capture run-off from within the Gardens and acts as a natural ‘eco-filter’, cleansing the water using aquatic plants before the water is discharged into the reservoir.


Supertrees are tree-like structures that dominate the Gardens’ landscape with heights that range between 25m 82′ and 50m 160′. They are vertical gardens that perform a multitude of functions, which include planting, shading and working as environmental engines for the gardens. Fake vs real trees…


Tkx to good company of Chuan and WeiKhuen for a Sat morning walk. A shaved ice in the AC Marina Bay food court was well received. No, Chuan did not taste the KCH Kolo Mee! Continued for prawn noddle at Blanco Court Prawn Mee****on Beach Road



Hot and humid afternoon walking towards a new shop whose forte is on durian swiss roll, excellent; a new landmark (arch) on Arab St and finally to sit down in the shade quenching the thirst. Tkx to Leonard, soon ready for the transfer to the MacBookAir, but will take some getting use to 🙂


Dinner at 328 Katong Laksa***with Brian, Helen and the kids joining us. The sky opened and poured. Ended the evening in the apt and the kids were contented with eyes fixed on the screen like the guys earlier in the day, but now the guys are doing some male bonding 🙂 🙂


Sun: early morning congee breakfast at the local wet market and saw Chuan off to his flight back to KCH. Tkx for a nice visit and will catch up again in 2014! A delicious Bday popiah lunch tkx to Peggy, nice seeing old and new faces to our mature 60+ ladies group 🙂 Dinner with Clem at the Sin Swee Kee***chicken rice on Seah St. Better memories at the old Swee Kee, sin-meaning new in mandarin Chinese and SIN is the airport code!

For those who ask if being lonely or bored are ever in my vocabulary 🙂 🙂 🙂

I’ve got a great ambition to die of exhaustion rather than boredom – Thomas Carlyle

Changi Airport T1

12 Apr 2013 – Welcome back to SIN, Chuan


Thu: after just posting about SIN being the favourite airport, was there again to meet Chuan from KCH. The renovations and upgradings in T1 are completed and quite impressive. Many of budget airlines, Tiger, AirAsia, JetStar + other airlines land here in T1. In future must remember to bring the pinkhand to wave so that visitors find me – considering how the crowds can sometimes be here 🙂


Totally hypnotised by this new deco, Kinetic Rain weighing 24tons 21,774kg and consisting of 1,216 motors. This modern arts showpiece, featuring the dance of a thousand copper raindrops in the air with precisely choreographed movements is designed by Art+Com. Very appropriate with constant busy movements like the life in this T1.


Glad to see such creative recycle bins. Once again, Changi Airport has shown its innovative edge to be the world’s first class modern airport.


Dined at Jumbo Seafood/Indoor Stadium*** on black pepper crab, jellyfish, drunken prawns and fish. Somehow my favourite dish, Bamboo Clams was not available, neither was the lime juice or the coconut juice. And had to remind them about the mango pudding. Service has gone downhill in many places here in SIN.



An evening stroll by the indoor stadium for Chuan to see the constructions of the new SIN Sports Hub, World’s Largest Dome Roof and the stunning design of the Stadium MRT station.


Fri: 132****mee-pok breakfast by the local wet market. Discovered the neighbourhood’s 24hrs Shop&Save has been absorbed by Giant but thank goodness still 24hrs. That’s SIN for you, gone only a week and things change 🙂 🙂

Looking forward to a gathering of the young generation tomorrow evening. TGIF y’all and have a fabulous weekend.

Art is like masturbation. It is selfish and introverted and done for you and you alone. Design is like sex. There is someone else involved, their needs are just as important as your own, and if everything goes right, both parties are happy in the end – Colin Wright

World’s Largest Dome Roof

10 Apr 2013 – Superlatives…

Somehow after being away always make me appreciate returning back to SIN, ie until after a couple of weeks of the humid heat, loud & rude crowds, am ready to leave again 🙂


Due to a few hiccups, the initial planned completion date of 2011 for the SIN Sports Hub has come and gone. However, after construction finally got underway in 2011, the 35-hectare sports complex is on track to open its doors in 2014…


The centerpiece of the development in Kallang is the new National Stadium that, upon completion, will boast the largest dome roof in the world adding to the other superlatives. There seeming is a need for this red dot tiny island state and country to flex its muscles by having the world’s best and top of whatever possible. So size does not matter when you top the world’s superlatives 🙂 🙂


Unlike N Korea who feels the need to flex its muscles by testing missiles of destruction and might even accidentally start a war, ie if their missiles are miscalculated and land where they are not supposed to. Instead of feeding and educating their people, sad to see how power can be misguided and misused. Above pix from CNN.

Then SIN ways of flexing muscles are no doubt far more civilise and superior!


SIN is a SE Asian island city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, 137 km 85 mi north of the equator, area 710sq km 274sq mi, pop 5+mil. The earliest known settlement on SIN was in the second century AD.


Considering the short history and size! it has impressively advance to be world’s busiest port, largest oil-rig producer, 4th leading financial centre, 2nd biggest casino gambling market, one of the world’s top three oil refining centres and a major ship-repairs


The World Bank has named it as the easiest place in the world to do business and ranks it the world’s top logistics hub. It is also the world’s 4th largest foreign-exchange trading centre after London, New York and Tokyo.


Of all the airports, SIN Changi International with 3 top-class terminals all connected by skytrains is my favourite. Not having been to many others, this is only a personal view. As for SIN Airlines/SIA, could not afford to go on it but have heard many good comments from various people, including a bro who only flies on SIA!

Edited 11 Apr 2013 14.30-hrs: (CNN) — Singapore’s Changi Airport has been crowned the best in the world for the fourth time in 14 years at the prestigious World Airport Awards in Geneva.

Will not touch politics with a 10′ pole as that will no doubt open a can of worms… 🙂 🙂 🙂

All pix are uploaded from various sites, except the 2 on the constructions which are mine. Not patriotic just because this is my birth country and no, SIN Tourist Board has no part in this blog. Just subjective thoughts and feelings after the many years of globe-trotting.

None of the abstract concepts comes closer to fulfilled utopia than that of eternal  peace – Theodor  Adorno

Reflections of Busan 부산

9 Apr 2013 – After a week stay…

Mon: Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher dead at age 87. Condolences to her family & friends and may she RIP.


Busan located on the Southeastern tip of the Korean Peninsula, an area of 763.5km² with a pop of 4+mil and a seaport like SIN. The complex history of chiefdoms in Korea goes back to the Silla dynasty (57 BC – 935 AD), heavily influenced by Chinese civilisation and the longest reign. The Goryeo and Joseon succeeded until the Japanese invasion in the 1500s…


During the Korean War (1950s), Busan was one of the two cities in S Korea not captured by the N Korean army within the first three months of the War, as a result the city became a refugee camp site for Koreans during the war, along with Daegu.


Today it is the 5th largest seaport, SIN is still rank 1st! The world largest department store Shinsegau Centum City is located here. Haeundae Beach (1.7km), most popular beach in Korea had made the Guinness Book of Records (2008) for the largest number of beach umbrellas.


One week is not like when one lives, works, speak the language and integrating with the locals. Fortunate to be able to stay with Audrey and to have a gracious local guide like Jinyoung that made this visit a joy and pleasure. Both are teachers at the Busan International Foreign School. Being there with a local and an non-local provided some educational insights to many beautiful places of interest.


The cherry blossoms were stunning in spite of having to buy antihistamine tablets and eye-drops! How blessed we are to be able to see such natural beauty with the spring blossoms.

Perhaps the expectations about general Koreans being the soft-spoken bowing society (like Jinyoung) is not realistic. Due to some of the unfortunate incidents, the impression now are similar to that of the mainland Chinese, ie can be loud & rude and you can still see people spitting on the streets. Not knowing the culture, society or language, this of course are subjective observations.


Good food and all meals are accompanied with various side dishes of spicy kimchi which are excellent when fresh, especially for cabbage being the most common of the kimchi served. As for soju/rice wine, only had the chance to taste one and it was decent.


Many locals speak only Korean, thus not easy to communicate. Three wishes are to understand, speak and write all the languages! And these wishes have not changed since teenage days… 🙂


Good-bye Busan, an educational and enjoyable trip. On time and uneventful flights safely back in SIN with hopes for Koreans to live in peace and harmony with each other in their beautiful country.

The camera makes everyone a tourist in other people’s reality, and eventually in one’s own – Susan  Sontag