Pearl Bank Apts & Pearl Hill

31 Dec 2013 – on this last day in 2013

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Mon: appreciations to Mica&Mun and David for a lovely evening at East Coast Lagoon Food Village. Enjoy this location in the pleasant evening breeze and only about 30mins walk from my place. Thank you Mica&Mun for The Peanuts who have been in my life since teenage times!

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Have been dining with cousin David from HI who stays at the Pearl Bank Apts /珍珠苑, a high-rise private residential building on Pearl’s Hill in Outram near Chinatown. Both David and Wilki stay there when they are visiting SIN. 4th aunt LAM PohKow who will be 100yrs in 2014 lives there with her helpers. Pix with Jo, 4th aunt, David and Mica from Dec 2012, 2013 to be uploaded…

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As the tallest (37 floors) and densest residential building in SIN when completed in 1976, Pearl Bank Apts was one of SIN pioneers of high-rise, high-density living, and influenced urban development in SIN and other cities in southeast Asia. The views from the top floor are stunning from this horse-shoe shaped apt building.

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Aug 2007, Pearl Bank Apts which is located on a 8,000sq m/86,000sq ft, 99-year leasehold site was put up for an en bloc sale.The tender closed on Sep 2007, but fetched no bids. Another tender closed on Feb 2008, failing again, and the collective sale agreement lapsed on Aug 2008. The split-level apts are not too practical for those who are not stable on their feet!

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Pearl’s Hill City Park is a city park built around a reservoir on top of Pearl’s Hill Terrace. It is located behind Pearl Bank Apts. Park-goers can experience peace and tranquillity in this 9 hectare corner of Chinatown, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. They can also climb the hill, or simply sit back and relax by the tranquil waters in the pond.

Thus making the location of these apts very desirable with both MRT and buses just at the foothills.

If  you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant  trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people – Confucius

2013 Holiday Socials

28 Dec 2013 – Party and more parties…

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Tue: thank you graceful Grace for including me to her interesting group of young friends. Surprised to hear a voice from the past Botanic Gardens days. Good to touch base with Bian and just checked into the date! It was in 2006, 7yrs ago when the 1st SIN Garden Festival had the office downstairs from yours at SBG!

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Grace did the honour with the opening ceremony by breaking into a bottle of Korean plum brandy! Interesting gift from a Korean friend of hers. A white hardy bottle packed in porous clay wrapped in plastic netting and one is supposed to use a wooden mallet to crack the clay. Thank goodness she did not break the white bottle otherwise we would not have got to taste this wonderful Korean plum brandy 🙂

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Thank you David for all the wonderful family pix. You are now elected to be the cameraman for the family functions. The new ‘popper’ was a success, and even Beth, the youngest of the purple generation is amazed 🙂

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Wed: Merry Christmas and appreciations to Les&Ivy for hosting a lovely family (green, orange and purple generations) lunch at Fireplace/Tanglin Club. Was it really 5yrs ago that a Grinch wanted us to dampen our merry spirits? Well we had fun then and now! And this year a new ‘popper’ in the market created more colours…

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Dinner: good to catch up with our annual meeting, cousin David from HI who will only be here for a week.

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Thu: Boxing Day but not much boxes to rid of this year! Gel & Mil, thanks for bottles and bottles, now can make more cocktails and Chinese Drunken Chicken! Glad to see Gel in cheerful spirits and enjoying the home-made lunch of soup, salmon, salads and sausages. Even with her on-going chemo treatment, her hair has returned with a twist, so lucky to have natural waves.

IMG_07791506509_10152146742423081_1938534352_nThank you for the most useful Christmas gift from youngest grandson, Olai & his parents May&Bjørn. This handy size scale, 10cm/5″ can weigh up to 55kg/121lbs. Perfect for my travels.

L&M will be happy now that I will stop asking them to check the weight of my bags 🙂

Good parties create a temporary youthfulness – Mason Cooley

Merry Christmas 2013

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MERRY CHRISTMAS

GOD JUL

NOLLAIG SHONA

SELAMAT HARI KRISMAS

聖誕快樂

क्रिसमस की शुभकामनाएँ

Pix taken recently by Linn from their condo at Sugar Mt Ski Resort, NC/USA where four of the grandchildren had a few days of skiing. Glad that they are getting their life back on the path and moving forward after the Sep fire.

Words do not justify that feeling to watch your house and everything in it being consumed by fire. It was not even my house but that feeling of helplessness was just totally overwhelming. Tears of sadness had to be constrained as there were children there to take consideration to. If my feelings were as such, cannot image how Linn&Jeff were feeling then 😦

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Proud to see how Linn&Jeff handled the whole tragic situation. The teachers have been observing the grandchildren and have remarked that they are impressed at how resilient the children are and have moved positively forward. Katy/12, Ellie/8, John/7, Sophie/4+ and James/2+

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May&Bjørn and Olai/2+ are doing well in Norway. Looking forward to 2014 when I will for the first time have my whole family together. Will ensure that plenty of shots ( in every ways and angles) will be taken, can already hear the sights of exasperation 🙂

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Happy Anniversary to dear niece Patricia & Albert who could not keep his eyes off Pat then/24 Dec 1998 and still could not keep his eyes off her today/24 Dec 2013… 🙂 🙂

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Every year since 1947, the people of Oslo/Norway have given a Christmas tree to the city of Westminster/England. The gift is an expression of good will and gratitude for Britain’s help to Norway during World War II.

Now Norway has given Berlin/Germany (#7) a Christmas tree every year as a sign of peace since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Way to go, Norway, that is the true Christmas spirit!

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/12/19/travel/christmas-trees/index.html?hpt=hp_bn5

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Sobering thoughts as we enter the holiday season! It is important to remember that not everyone is surrounded by large wonderful families. Some of us have problems during the holidays and sometimes are overcome with depression and sadness when we remember the loved ones who are not with us. Some people have no one to spend these times with and are besieged by loneliness.

We all need caring, loving thoughts. May I ask everyone wherever you might be, to kindly give a moment of support to all those who have family problems, health struggles, job issues, worries of any kind and just need to know that someone cares. Nobody is immune…

This Red Dot

21 Dec 2013 –  Has Come a Long Way…

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Thanks May for sharing this interesting link. Proud of my birth country, this little Red Dot which has come a long way since independence in 1965!

http://e360.yale.edu/feature/singapore_takes_the_lead_in_green_building_in_asia/2720/

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Believe this or not, But SIN has also made the below list…

http://www.bbc.com/travel/feature/20131217-living-in-the-worlds-healthiest-cities

IMG_0683Wed: at Little India to get some pants sewn. Colourful and vibrant at Tekka Market which I always enjoyed shopping and eating there, and still do. Aileen, thank you for gift and lunch at City Hall Food Court, safe journeys to you and your family and Happy Holidays to all in H&H too.

7everybodysbusiness00_450_190x272_8daa48baf6SIN production movie: Your Business is Everybody’s Business***easy and light entertainment on a very wet afternoon where the Minister of Toilets! and her officers need to get to the bottom of a toilet hygiene problem that has resulted food poisoning.

Got back to the apt to discover that I have lost my keys, first time ever…!!! What is happening this year??? Thank goodness Sue has a set, so slept peacefully without any lock-smith but double bolted the inside bolts on the door!

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Thu: went back to the movie theatre at Filmgarde Bugis Illuma and thank goodness, the keys were at the ‘Lost & Found’. Appreciations to whoever who found them and delivered to the management.

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Architectural Heritage House awarded nearly 10yrs ago and this house never fails to amaze me! It is like walking into a museum except that this is someone’s home. Could just sit quietly and focus the eyes at the artworks on the wall and that will bring back memories of London/UK holidays from 1980s! How delightful to be treated to a delicious lunch today and then be lavished with gifts. Thank you.

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Fri: helped Henry to move into Sengkang New Town/盛港新镇, a relatively young satellite residential town located the NE. Originally a fishing village, the area is presently undergoing rapid development under the ambition of the HDB. Quite amazing to see the development, one of the 3 areas connected to the MRT by LRT.

Have learnt that SIN helps to provide a roof over your head if you are homeless provided you make the effort to pay S$50 a month and of course with much restrictions. Quite impressed by this tiny Red Dot in many ways and happy to be a Singaporean. Again this is relative as usually just here for the winter months!!

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Sat: pre-Christmas family lunch buffet at Aqua Marine @ Marina Mandarin***Appreciations to Clement for hosting and including me. Nice to get a family group pix but missing bro Steven!

We are all travellers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend – Robert Louis Stevenson

Christmas Decorations

17 Dec 2013 – More Shopping & Online Greetings to do…

Orchard Rd and Changi Airport T2 2013 Christmas lights and decorations.

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These postings about Christmas are dedicated to L&M’s uncle Nils who taught me with great enthusiasm how to say all these Christmas related foods and objects in Norwegian 45yrs ago, and still remember them very well today! Nils must have been a good teacher!!

Til Nils, 1968 juleminner fra Amy

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The miniature village of tiny julengler/angels, juledukker/dolls, juletre/trees, etc collected since 1968 are in place on the piano.

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Christmas trees are on the piano and kitchen/dinning table. No real trees or candles. The glass tree with green balls is the latest, thanks to Audrey. The one with 24 pockets, hand-sewn by me (completed in the mid 1990s) is used as an advent calendar and still trying to learn the word thank you in 24 languages. Getting there soon 🙂

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A lovely paper mobile from Olai and some local twigs and seeds sprayed painted with the Christmas colours are from 2012.

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The two hand-painted plated are set on the table. The silver plate (a gift for my 30th bday from family Hustad and family Stenseth) usually filled with greeting cards but not so nowadays as we do online greetings to save the trees. Still sent out a couple to the generation who are not computer savvy or do not even own a computer.

Yes I bother with all these decorations but not with the food when the family is not around. Need to decorate for any festival even if it is just a tiny thing. It is important to keep the good memories and also nice to make it special from the mundane of daily routines!

Our daily lives are so mundane, we get taken over by what is immediately in front of  us and we don’t see beyond that – Benedict  Cumberbatch

Antidote to Darkness

16 Dec 2013 – In Norway

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Dec is the darkest time of the year in this winter wonderland. During the Christmas period many of the food traditions come to the fore and Scandinavian hospitality expands. Have been fortunate to celebrate many Christmases in Norway with wonderful Norwegian families and got to taste the traditional dishes from various families.

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Rakfisktrondheim-rakfisk-7461381968: 1st Christmas in Tromsø/Norway when rakfisk was introduced, fish dish made from trout or sometimes char, salted and fermented for two to three months, or even up to a year, then eaten without cooking. The smell is so distinct that they have to be stored in the garage, but the taste is heavenly. Best with flatbread, onions and sour cream.

Since 1968, have celebrated Christmas in Norway until 1984. Previous posting about cookies so this one will be on some of the savoury Christmas dishes. Starting with the more traditional ones:

lutefisk1. Lutefisk: one of my least favourite dish. L&M’s great-grandmother made it yearly and have tasted it once and that was enough! It is made from aged stockfish (air-dried whitefish) or dried/salted whitefish (klippfisk) and lye (lut). It is gelatinous in texture, and has an extremely strong, pungent odour. Its name literally means ‘lye fish’.

ribbe2. Ribbe: similar to the Chinese roast pork and when roasting it, the kitchen smells delightfully delicious and is warm with all the cooking. Thank goodness the air out is usually cold and refreshing to open the kitchen windows. Sometimes the head of the pig with an apple in its mouth will be displayed on the table with this dish!

Medisterkaker__53749_std3. Ellen’s Medisterkaker: this is very special and really yummy. She mixes reindeer meat hunt from her own family mountain terrain. Reindeer steak is a bit on the gamey side for me but these meat balls are out of this world and the broth is a die die must try. Drank so much of that broth even Ellen remembers that she was nearly out of broth one year 🙂

rype4. Rype/Grouse: this is Kari’s tradition and they hunt for it in Rypefjord, Finmark/Northern Norway. Only she can prepare this dish to make it taste out of this world. Thank you Kari, will always remember this feast fit for the King!

bacalhau5. Balcalhau: is the Portuguese word for cod and—in a culinary context—dried and salted cod. Ingrid serves this dish, another yummy fish dish serve during Christmas and Easter.  There are some restaurants that serve this year round. Had it Sep 2012 when touring Norway with Peggy and Kenson.

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There are many other dishes which different families will have their own traditions. The other dishes will be smoked and salted meats, pickled herrings, variety of breads and beverages, both sodas and beers  made especially for Christmas.

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And the last Christmas celebrations in Norway with L&M, their grandparents and aunt was 1991, en route back to the US after following the USS Missouri around the world on a good-will journey.

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With the 2 postings of some of the tradition Norwegian Christmas foods to wish everyone velkommen til bords/welcome to the table!

Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift – Mary Oliver

Snow in Cairo!!

15 Dec 2013 – What in the world is going on…

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http://www.news.com.au/world/middle-east/snow-in-cairo-for-the-first-time-in-112-years/story-fnh81ifq-1226783021497

Sat: shootings in Queen Subway Station Toronto/Canada and another one is CO/USA

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/queen-subway-shooting-leaves-man-in-life-threatening-condition-1.2463956

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/12/13/us/colorado-school-shooting/

A weekend on catching up with rest and sleep and enough of these kind of sad news, to some tasteful uplifting memories!

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Sun: thank you May for sending this pix of Olai with his first peperkaker/gingerbread baking at his great-grandmother’s. Good memories of Norwegian Christmas preparations to remember.

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The only pix of pepperkaker baking in Norway found was from 1978 where Linn and her aunt Cathrine were busy with a rolling-pin which is probably the same one Olai just used 🙂

The usual 8 traditional Norwegian I used to bake and every family will have their own favourites…

berliner1. Berliner kranser: eggs, flour, sugar and butter. Oven for baking

blog-fattigman2. Fattigman/poorman (check the ingredients and you will be poor after shopping for eggs and brandy!) : my favourite Norwegian Christmas cookie, egg yolks, cream, icing sugar and brandy fried in oil.

goro3. Goro: eggs, sugar cream, butter, flour and brandy. Need a goro iron for this.

krumkake_wide-426d7185ac2ab21c6e6cf99149f781323e061198-s6-c304. Krumkaker: cream, sugar and flour. Again another iron and this one can be shaped 2 ways, one like our CNY love letters and the other in a cone-shape so one can fill it with cream or jams etc

pepperkake5. Pepperkaker: gingerbread with various receipts, a must but not my favourite where taste is concerned. Good for all kinds of shapes to decorate with, especially for the gingerbread house.

rosett6. Rosettbakkels: eggs, sugar, flour and water. Fried in oil and need an iron

sandkaker7. Sandkaker: butter, sugar, egg yolks, flour and chopped almonds. Good plain or with various fillings.

KransekakeMain28. Kransekaker: coarse ground almonds, icing sugar and egg whites; an all time occasion and favourite cake/cookies.  One can decorate it to what the occasion calls for. Still have the rings if anyone in SIN wants to attempt baking it.

Christmas is not only getting too commercial, it’s getting too dangerous. – Linus in The Peanuts

St Lucia’s Day

13 Dec 2013 – Festival of Lights

St. Lucia’s Day: festival of lights is celebrated in Norway, Sweden and the Swedish-speaking areas of Finland on 13Dec in honour of St. Lucia. One of the earliest Christian martyrs, St. Lucia was killed by the Romans in AD 304 because of her religious beliefs.

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In Scandinavian countries each town elects its own St. Lucia. The festival begins with a procession led by the St. Lucia designee, who is followed by young girls dressed in white and wearing lighted wreaths on their heads singing traditional songs. The festival marks the beginning of the Christmas season…

This year no candles for the Holiday Season. Thank you for lunches and dinners with sis, sis-in-law and nieces throughout the week. To complete Christmas mailing,  shopping and movie catch up week:

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3 Peas In A Pod***SIN made movie filmed in Australia is a rather unusual film that will make viewers re-examine their views on romance and love. 3 university students studying in Australia (Penny from SIN, Perry from Taiwan and Peter from Korea) are good friends whose lives are intertwined with one another’s. Just before they graduate, the 3 friends decide to go on a road trip. Little do they know, this farewell holiday is a trip that would change their lives forever.

Diana***about the last two years of the life of Diana, Princess of Wales. The biopic focuses on her relationships with heart surgeon Dr Hasnat Khan and Dodi Fayed. How sad for anyone who is so beautiful and seem to have everything but peace of mind and happiness!

Don Jon***Jon Martello objectified everything in his life, his apartment, his car, his family, his church, and, of course, women.  Yet even the finest flings don’t compare to the transcendent bliss he achieves alone in front of the computer watching porn. Dissatisfied, he embarks on a journey to find a more gratifying sex life, but ends up learning larger lessons of life and love thru’ relationships with two very different women.

It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light – Aristotle  Onassis

Trouble in Little India

9 Dec 2013 – Wet in Chinatown

This is NOT the kind of news anyone wish to deal with on a Monday morning!

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http://www.straitstimes.com/the-big-story/little-india-riot/story/singapore-police-control-riot-little-india-20131209

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-25294918

Mon: those who know me also know that I shy away from political and religious issues. But what just happened in SIN triggered a part of me that will not let me shy away from. Am both saddened about the situation in Little India and perturbed also at people who do not act in peace. But all easily said as the situation is more complex. C’est la vie mais la vie a sa douce côté trop…

‘Whatever events may have sparked the rioting, there is no excuse for such violent, destructive, and criminal behaviour –  Lee Hsien Loong SIN PM

‘Intolerable, wanton violence. It is not the Singapore way – Ng Joo Hee

Not only not the SIN way, violence should NEVER be the way anywhere!

Those who wish to visit or live in SIN should live by the SIN laws and if not, just get out, or change it for the better in peaceful and constructive methods. And those who create trouble should be deported. SIN has come a long way working hard to make this a clean and safe society.

Sun: Mario sent me a message that he will be late for our lunch appointment but was not online and thus did not receive the message. Imagine the relief seeing him after 1.30hrs wait and was just so glad that there was no need to file for any missing person. Learnt that for SIN, only after 40hrs one can then file for a missing person report, but for non-SIN, one can do so within the hour! Getting more paranoid after all that has happened in 2013 so far…

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Tourist guiding Mario thru’ Chinatown and explaining that it is not easy for SIN pop of 80% of the Chinese race to keep this cosmopolitan society balance!! Was impressed the he was game for trying frog legs, rawfish salad and even durians. Such a fantastic tourist to show SIN and its foods to.  The wet rainy weather did not dampen his positive spirits. Thank you for his sunshine. He can be my guest anytime 🙂

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Even managed to have a drink at The Dubliners Irish Pub located conveniently by the bus-stop where no. 36 heads direct to the airport 🙂 🙂

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Safe and sound journeys back to Ireland until we meet again, stay safe and healthy.

More Visitors

7 Dec 2013 – If only I am Superwoman!

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Thu: amazing how every one decides to travel to SIN around the same time! After seeing AmyCA off, bro Lawrence called to say that he will be arriving the next day. Started the day bright and early on the bus and view from the corridor at the National Dental Care. At cousin Ken for dentist appointment and the bad news is that one of the crowned tooth is infected and needs to be extracted and then implant! Ouch in every way, was told that the final bill will amount to S$5,000+

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Good to catch up with Leonard, my computer guru for breakfast in Chinatown where the preparations for the Horse year galloping in even before Christmas! Off to the airport (more horse!) to pick up Lawrence.

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Lunched at Paradise Inn***/Changi Airport T1 quite decent food and good soup. Thanks to Leonard for lunch. Lawrence and I took a short and quick trip to pay respects to our parents at Mandi Crematorium.

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The day ended at Les&Ivy for a hot-pot dinner. Kat&Greg and Devon are in town, good to catch up with Les&Ivy’s whole family. Was just adding up the numbers our branch ie my siblings and their families (green, orange and purple generation) and we are total of 66, probably the largest branch for the green generation!

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Fri: news of Mandela passing. This man spent 27yrs in prison for something he believed in and lived to see the changes he so hoped for! RIP Nelson Mandela! You were an inspiration to us all.

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Met with Mario who is on his way back to Ireland after his month’s stay in Australia. A trip to Tiong Bahru Market and the Botanic Gardens. Not a good day for the body. Had to stay and rest in the library while Mario went strolling about the gardens. Splitting headache and fever. Apologies, Mario unable to show you around in the afternoon. Need to rest for a day before I collapse.

Sat: our bodies hold all of the information we need to function at our best, but too often we ignore their messages and plow ahead with what our minds tell us ignoring what our bodies are saying. So now to rest rest and more rest. Coughing and no appetite, just as well… need to lose weight 🙂

Your body is a sophisticated, intelligent machine, but too often we fail to understand them because we don’t value them as highly as we should –