Goodbye 2014

30 Dec 2014 – Welcoming 2015 With Open Arms!

IMG_6789Sat: resting over the last 2014 weekend is the best I could do for myself and on a rainy and wet but enjoying the cool weather. Grateful to people for their thoughts –

Thanks to Linn&family for yummy Dove Chocolate which melts in your mouth and survived the mailing in this lovely tin-box


Quite a masterpiece by youngest grandchild Olai (3) – I see a dove flying for PEACE! May&family for snowflakes which fit perfectly into my ‘Frozen’ theme! Like us, here is to prove that every snowflake is different!


IMG_6831My gifts to Olai who is into swimming. Since Norway is in the midst of winter, it is easier for me to get the ring and goggles, for once I gave a perfect gift 🙂 Am so glad as both Linn&May learnt to swim before they were 5. Was rather particular that they felt safe in the water. May/1983 age 4+ in SIN with 3 different kinds of floats and she managed to learn then…

Appreciations to Les&Ivy for a wonderful trip, lunches, dinners and drinks; Chris (CC), Aileen & Zai (H&H), nieces Sue & Adeline and to Lisa&family (HI/USA) for their thoughtful and lovely gifts.


Sun: body still resting but the mind and heart went out to our neighbours in Malaysia that started the year with the missing MH370, then MH17 shot, the recent floods and now a missing AirAsia QZ8501 from Surabaya/Indonesia to SIN.  This flight normally takes app 2hrs, Surabaya being 1hrs behind SIN. For those who are not aware, AirAsia is a Malaysian budget airline and I have been on it many times! 2 above credits to ST.

096bb1cbe5_500x670_51523917a4[1]ed37595fe6_500x670_f865dc3ef3[1]Mon: decided to watch 2 movies before new movies take their place. Love On The Cloud***this romantic comedy follows a modern city boy who uses WeChat to make friends in hope of finding a true and sincere romantic relationship. However, he gets involved with a fashionable city girl in a one-night-stand. Despite that, he still searches for a true and pure relationship…

Saint Laurent***is a 2014 biography drama film about French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent. It centres on the designer’s life from 1967 to 1976, when his fashion career was at its peak but his personal life was on the other end of the spectrum. This movie is 2.30hrs and can be slow at times but did enjoy the music. Like that opera arias were used for the cat-walk.

IMG_6825IMG_6828Tue: in the CBD area tidying up loose ends, paying bills etc. Change Alley today is totally different from the one in childhood days!

When having to face these bills, I think of Jackie’s mom who just threw all hers on a bed and burnt them. If any of you have read ‘The Burning Bed’ you would want to burn the bed too but that is another entirely different direction of thoughts. Sooo understand Jackie’s mom as I feel the same when ever I see those bills 🙁

Good of Clem to meet for lunch – made my day!

Condolences, prayers and thoughts to the families & friends of the passengers and crew of flight QZ8501


One more day of 2014. Please do not let in any more bad and sad news. Has been a rough year in news and my own health. Hospitalized twice which also has swallowed a whole year of my budget! Hoping for a better 2015 and wishing each and every one of you

A Happy Healthy & Wealthy New Year for 2015. The CNY will fall on Thu 19 Feb 2015 and we will be into the year of the Goat/Sheep. Seeming the Chinese consider those the same animals, so now you see why we as Chinese are so screwed up 🙂

Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right – Oprah Winfrey

2014 Gatherings

27 Dec 2014 – Starting on Christmas Eve



Wed: thank you to Management and Staff at Hagley & Hoyle for a lovely Christmas Eve lunch and gathering. Am honoured to be invited. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all.


Last moment shopping for wrapping paper, was out of it. Bought a gigantic popper for tomorrow’s lunch.




Tkx to Les&Ivy we were 22 for this Christmas family lunch. Les, Jo and their entire family, Joyce with her family minus Yasmine&Andrew who live in L’don and nephew Clem. And of course needless to say that I miss Linn&family and May&family. From our father LAM TinYue’s branch we are a total of 66 at present!

Chickened out about popping the humongous ‘bazooka’ (as described by the nephews!) popper but did the smaller ones 🙂 This year the club supplied the small ones.


First day of Christmas and time for the this book to take over the Advent Calendar


Good to catch  up with Weng Kei&Siew Ngor Chen, cousins from paternal grandmother’s branch who I met when I was visiting Euphemia in Auckland/NZ 2008. They are on transit from NZ to Sibu in Sarawak.  Picked them from their hotel down town and brought them to meet Les&Ivy.



IMG_6819Fri: thank you Calvin at Campers Corner for a delightful Boxing Day gathering. The suckling pig was yummy and so were the mussels, prawns, squids, steaks etc. Unable to drink any alcohol this whole holidays, but it does not stop me for enjoying and having fun! Appreciations to chefs Roy & SengTeong  for their delicious cooking and to Sam & Mrs Cheah for all the kitchen chores.

Missed Chris who has visitors and unable to join us.


Sat: This weekend the body and stomach need to rest 🙂

Gluttony and idleness are two of life’s great joys, but they are not honourable – Julie Burchill

How Can Christmas Be So Soon?

Four-Lit-Purple-Advent-Candles[1]23 Dec 2014 – ‘Bitte Juleaften’

Sun: the last and 4th Sunday of Advent with Hope, Peace, Love & Joy all lit.

HOPE that all your Christmas shopping is done 🙂

PEACE be with us all and on Earth

LOVE sincerely

Give JOY for the Holiday Season


An easy day at the beach admiring grandniece’s sandcastle. Does not feel too much like Christmas, but then is there any child who does not like sand castles??  I know for sure that all 6 of the grandchildren do 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 Kiera did a great job with hers!


Yummy beef salad for lunch at Sands****on the beach. Interesting taste when it is combined with some Thai Fish Sauce, delicious and appetising. The view is nice.



BBQ for dinner where enough food for an army was sent to the Presidential Villa. Thanks to Les & Kat who did the cooking – chicken, lamb-chops, prawns, salmon, squids, steak were top quality. When Devon saw all the food and the table laid, her sweet tiny voice said We’re going to have a party’! When there is a 2yrs old in the dinner party, being next to the bedroom is the way to go.


Mon: a good morning massage and a pedicure before checking out. Uneventful flight and landed on time safely.


Tue: checked up at Mt E and medications to revise if necessary. Looks like a drug addict with all these mediation I am swallowing and wondering how my stomach is going to handle them. In addition both hands got infected and swollen from all the intravenous drips. Let’s hope all these anti-bio in me will kill the infections. Gifts are still not fully wrapped, and online greetings not done. Do not know when I felt sooo unprepared for the holidays…


Massage is the only form of physical pleasure to which nature forgot to attach consequences – Robert Brault

HinTa & HinYai

21 Dec 2014 – Grandfather & Grandmother Rocks


Sat: half hour drive south of the resort to South Lamai are HinTa and HinYai/Grandfather Grandmother Rock resembling the male and female genitals sculpted naturally by the sea. Quite an ironic name for such rocks considering the virility of grandparents 🙂


Whilst providing some giggles for many visitors, these formations are believed by the locals for their strength and virility-giving powers. The colour of another rock formation out towards the S China Sea is quite beautiful and the black surfaces are so smoothly polished.


Browsing thru’ the souvenir stalls and enjoying the Italian sorbet after seeing the rocks. Bought these adorable outfits for the 2 youngest grandchildren.


Continued sight-seeing towards  the centre of town in the resort’s 10seater chauffeured-driven van. Reminds me of SIN in the 1950s. To my surprised was dropped off at The Central Festival, a Snoppy dominated mall which is rather big for this island with an area of 228.7 km² and a pop of 63,000+ but an annual pop of 1.5mil, more than double the pop, quite amazing!


Koh=island and Samui=coconut, thus Coconut Island with history gong back to the 15C where fishermen from Malaya and Southern China first settled here.

Was informed that it would have taken 3+hrs to drive around the island but for this time round, here to relax in the resort and to use the SPA. Also neither the energy level nor mood are up to it. Who knows if and when a revisit will ever happen and if it does, might wish to see more!


2 above pix credits to Agoda Travels


A tastefully presented dinner at the resort’s Saffron****where it is the first experience that my hands were washed in such beautiful and fragrant flower petals water before a meal. Reservations with the name-sign painted on a leaf caught my attention – a memorable place. Pix not sharp but better than none!

Seems like the ‘Jumping Frogs’ are well received by 3 generations here! IMG_6653family-that-plays-wall-art-sticker-18-01[1]


20 Dec 2014 – Banyan Tree at KohSamui


Wed: all afternoon at Mt E for tests etc to ensure the body  is able to take a short flight tomorrow. Slowly but surely I can walk even when it is at the speed of a snail. Tkx to Clem for early Christmas dinner at Buko Nero****good food and a glass of wine before going on anti-bio because of the  ‘Helicobacter pylori’ attack causing the serve bleeding ulcer.


Thu: more blood test in the morning, packed and headed to the airport to discover that passport for sis has expired. At this rate life goes, might end up with a heart attack! Jo, had to go home while Lawrence and I checked into BKKAir, first for me! Hopefully things will work out for the best tomorrow and that she can have an extension for her passport and also there is space on the plane.


Glad and relief to discover that the passage sitting next to me is a young handsome cardiologist. 1.30hrs flight flew by with dinner served. Going thru’ immigration at KohSamui/Thailand airport felt nearly as long as the flight – perhaps it would have gone faster if I had Leon to chat with 🙂


Fri: a private jacuzzi and pool to every villa makes life quite comfortable. Indeed a relaxing and beautiful place to be with perfect temperatures with sounds of the waves from the S China Sea to calm body & soul. Appreciations to Les&Ivy.


Lovely breakfast with the family and good to catch up with Kat & family who is back for the holidays from NYC.


Must admit that the Thai are really good at their SPA and massage. Had one this afternoon and it really felt good.


Yummy rock lobster dinner at The Cliff****

Yeah, Jo arrived safely. All’s well that ends well…

Love all, trust a few,
Do wrong to none: be able for thine enemy
Rather in power than use; and keep thy friend
Under thy own life’s key: be check’d for silence,
But never tax’d for speech – Shakespeare

New Blood

15 Dec 2014 – An Unexpected Weekend


Sat: the last 2 movies The Monk and Revivre went to the drains and so were plans for wrapping gifts. Thanks to Les, Drs Ang & Tan and the staff at Mt E, blood transfusion was necessary and hopefully this will keep me going for this life’s journey. A serve bleeding ulcer caused by the HelicobacterPylori is no joke, especially when blood is coming out of both ends, and also when one is on blood-thinner! Looks like a vampire attacked my hands 🙂

Sun: the Third Advent Candle is the Candle of JOY and today, am both joyful and grateful that I survived thanks, to the excellent doctors and dedicated staff at Mt E.


Mon: Martin Place Sydney, Australia – gunman takes hostages in a chocolate café. Of all places Lindt Chocolate, one of my favourite chocolates!! Their demands, an ISIS flag and to talk to the PM Abbott. This ISIS ideology is really getting out of hand. Prayers and thoughts go to all who are affected in this Sydney Seige. Pix credits to BBC.

Gunman holds hostage in Belgium – what in the world is happening and what kind of evil and dark forces are going on??

Only have two wishes, PEACE and GOOD HEALTH. Maybe it is too much to ask for, but one can still dream and hope.



CondolenceCandle[1]Edited: 16 Dec 2014 – condolences to the families and friends of the 2 hostages in Sydney Siege. Prayers and thoughts are with them. The siege is over but sadly not peacefully. News that 2 hostages and a self gunman did not survive.

This is scary, many times when some dark negative forces take over, my health seems to be affected, including 9-11 and the Bali bombing! Getting totally paranoid. Consolation from KK, ‘There’s always sthg terrible happening in the world….

Snail Mail Out By Air

12 Dec 2014 – A Busy Week Of Entertainment!


As it is Changi Airport in SIN ranks the best in the world and has done so for the past few years. Would be interesting to see the rankings when this project is completed in 2018? Above pix credits to ST.


Mon: Mahalo/Hawaiian thank you for getting all the snail-mail (greeting cards + a couple of packages) out with a bill of S$50 in postage.

SGIFF NMS: SIN Girl, straight out of bad relationships, two lost souls strike up a friendship on a holiday resort island. How coincident can this be that the island happens to be Koh-Sumai in Thailand, where I will be heading next week!! Some of the dialog is in Cantonese and simple enough for me to understand…


Tue: OCBC Aquatic Centre for a good swim. Can’t beat this Olympic indoor pool size and a lane to myself again! The energy level and mood seem to always be better after a good workout. S$1 entry for seniors is really affordable. Had to even show my senior ID and maybe should take that as a compliment 🙂

Condolences to Calvin at Campers’ Corner for the passing of his mother. She has been suffering with cancer for a while and may she now RIP. Thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.

images[4]SGIFF: As You Were, two childhood friends who are now a couple find their relationship threatened by the mysterious working of memory and the troubles of familiarity. This film is ode to the passage of time and the persistency of solitude.


Shown at The Projector, Golden Mile Tower is my first experience at this location. Worn-down cinema but trying to revive by showing the not usually seen movies on the 5th floor. Seats need to be replaced and rather steep seating which is good as the chances of having a head blocking is minium! Not a desirable area with females at the entrance look like they are dressed to kill – did not have the guts to take pix here and it was past 2300hrs when the movie was over!!!


Wed: Merci/French thank you that I found the way by bus and MRT+LRT to Punggol/Purple Line for Calvin’s mother wake.


SGIFF Lido: About a Woman/Indonesia movie. An elderly widow finds herself alone and lonely after the departure of her maid. Concerned for her wellbeing, her daughter and son-in-law hire a live-in helper – a young boy named Abi – to keep her company. The widow and Abi slowly develop a kind of affection bond.

Did not make the other show Breaking The Ice and just as well. Totally worn out both mentally and physically after About a Woman, unlike the woman when she could still hiked the AT 🙂


Thu: chei-zu tin-bar-te/Myanmar thank you to Peggy for a veggie lunch at Fortune Centre and to a fantastic Musical Adventure Monkey Goes West at the newly revamp Victoria Theatre. Enjoyed this entertaining show with a fully local cast.


Like that the concert hall and the theatre are now connected (especially today as it was pouring buckets when we just got into the connection). The revamp has been tastefully done keeping to the white marble style as how I remember this location from the 1950s!

flm-WeWereThere-FilmStill-1-b[1]SGIFF The Arts House: We Were There, a trip into memory lane for six old friends. Was too tired after nearly 3hrs of musical to appreciate this flick! Was struggling to keep my eyes opened! Decided not to rate these SGIFF movies as they are rather different from the usual ones.

xmas14[1]TGIF and no movie today but more Christmas shopping and wrapping to do. Explored the new Bedok Mall and a trip to the Tampines IKEA.

Have decided against putting up my Christmas Village this year as I have been busy at the SGIFF. In addition, next week will be heading to Thailand for a long weekend!

This is what it looks like if it is up –

To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die – Thomas Campbell

SIN 25th International Film Festival/SGIFF

8 Dec 2014 – Snail-Mail Has To Go Today!



Thu: Dankon/Esperanto thank you. Opening of the 25th SGIFF at Lido by Minister of Communications and Information – Minister Yaacob Ibrahim with Ken Kwek’s debut feature Unlucky Plaza***is a black comedy that touches upon crimes and misdemeanours. Father. Restaurateur. Hostage taker. How did one man’s financial woes spiral into a harrowing crisis that captivated the world?


Fri: Sağ ol/Turkish for thank you to Evelyn who has managed to convince joining her Chinese class to see if I would learn anything! Appreciations to Yang & Yindi for a free trial Chinese class, have not been to a Chinese class since 1962! They make it interesting enough for me to want to return for more classes at the Poet’s Society after the Dec holidays!


flm-3Seconds-Filmstill2-b[1]SIN Panorama Shorts 1/Wedding Portrait, 3 Seconds, Three Little Pigs and The Longest Distance Relationship. These short clips shown at Gallery Theatre Basement of the Nation Museum/NMS are not my cup of tea but just wanted to check it out. Thus it would not be quite fair to rate them.


Sat: Cảm ơn bạn/Vietnamese thank you. Catching the bus this morning in the pouring rains (a motorcyclist had to take shelter at the bus-stop) and returning in dry weathers in the late afternoon! Crossing the overhead bridge in warm sunshine. No wonder these flowers boom so beautifully with plenty of sun & rain.

IMG_6466The OBS: A Singapore Story: following a local band, The Observatory (never heard of them) and observations about being creative in SIN. Not my kind of music (apologies to the band, but to my ears it was noise, not music!) but interesting to hear their views about trying to be creative in SIN.

Again not fair to rate this.

Dropped by at Marmot/Novena to say hi to Chris and was considering to check out Orchard Rd later. So glad that I decided against it – Pedestrian Night started tonight and the crowds would have crushed and killed me!


Sun: Thank you/thank you for today’s 2nd Sunday of Advent and 7th day on the Advent Calendar. Snail-mail has to go by tomorrow. The pile of greetings on the right are now more or less done. Online greetings will be the norm, but there are some who still prefer the hard copies. Gift wrapping (for gifts not needing to be mailed) will be on-going until 23!



Expo MRT station is fascinating. Had been a while since the last visit in this area and have not really had a proper look until today! Opened in 2001,and is part of the Changi Airport Branch Line to the existing East-West-Line. It sports a space age architecture designed by world-renowned architect Sir Norman Foster.


Met with Clem for the last day of the MPH Book Fair. Got a decent deal for 10 children’s book at S$40 and Clem got 10 travel books. Now I know where I can borrow travel books 🙂


Lunched and shopped at ChangiCityPoint, first time in this location and also the first time to Wish Upon A Sphere – PEACE on EARTH and Good Health to All. More shopping@ IKEA/Tampines and again first time here. Discovered that there is a free shuttle from Bedok-Bus-Interchange which will be nearer for me and there is a huge Giant across the road from IKEA. Tkx Clem for an afternoon of new experiences.

This is the first convention of the space age – where a candidate can promise the moon and mean it –

A Fantastic Ghost Wedding****

4 Dec 2014 – Hello Dec

56a065c673_500x670_ce414e9e3f[1]This comedy drama tells the story of a young popular medium, who is hired by a Chinese ex-singer to find a spouse for her dead teenage son. The chosen bride turns out to be an unexpected person, and this snowballs into a series of events culminating in a Chinese ghost wedding…

Fantastic movie but like many of the SIN movies, you need to know the lingo or will be lost in translation. Constructive message to controlling and naggy! mothers…


Mon: last funny for 2014 Thanksgiving 🙂 Goodbye Nov – Hello Dec. Advent calendar is up. Those who are not familiar with this advent calendar – it is a piece of embroidery with 24 pockets switched by hand (took some years!). Will place a thank you note in different languages for 24days. Gratitude and well wishes are not just for the holiday season but for everyday.


Tue: lunch at Kallang Wave with Chem. New signs as to what NOT to do in the during events in the stadium!! Sometimes I do wonder if SIN tops the world where signage as not what to do are concerned 🙂


Good to see the Skate Park, Library and the Climbing Wall in good use.


Clem headed off to see the tennis while I went for a nice swim with a whole lane to myself. Happy to finish most of the Christmas shopping and hope to get those that need to be mail + the old-fashion snail mail greetings out by Mon. What a lovely productive day. The bus stops to & from the stadium are nearly completed and only just 15mins ride for me with a choice of 2 direct buses.


Wed: pot-luck dinner with Lynne from UK who is back to visit with her grandchildren. Good to have an annual catch-up with CHIJ classmates from 1962. Pix clock-wise: Penny, LaiToe, Cheng Hwa (the last time I saw her was in 1965), Lynne, Peggy, Shirley, Evelyn and Sylvia. Mary and Angela joined us later. Tkx for getting us together and safe trip back to UK.

Looking forward to tomorrow for the first show of the SIN 25th International Film Festival/SGIFF. Bought tickets to see 10 movies and the last one will be on Sun 14 Dec. Yeah!


Dec 2014

1 Dec 2014 – Forecast For Another Busy Month Ahead!

Goodbye Nov and what a busy month it has been.

DSC_0001 (820).NEFDSC_0001 (896).NEFDSC_0001 (918).NEF

Raw and untouched beauty in Iceland – an awesome place and even ‘more awesomer’ (as my grandniece would put it – It is so awesome it defies the rules of grammar 🙂 ), if and when you can be there in person to experience the country and the people. A place I would like to revisit some day!



Fri: appreciations to all at the Iceland PPP/Campers Corner, especially to Calvin, Sam and Seng Teong. Tkx to a great audience for their attention. Thinking of Leo & Chris, my high-tech gurus who were not able to be with me but grateful to Seb, Henry, Diesel and Roy for their help. With Thanksgiving and the Iceland PPP behind, can now focus on Christmas.


Sat: Happy Bday JW. Today 8yrs ago, #3 grandchild and only grandchild born here in SIN. Linn&family and May were attending their cousin’s Pat& David’s wedding here in SIN then. At present the Halls are at Sugar Mts/NC. Tkx Linn for picking out a present (Elasmosaurus – notice how the weapon is aiming at it 🙂 ) for JW on my behalf. Only a mom can know what their children really wants!


Sun: first Sunday of Advent and last day of Nov 2014 – looks like there is good snow for skiing in Sugar Mts/NC. Tkx to Jo for lunch & dinner


For those who are not aware, this is NOT good, as I had to explain to a health official who was testing and certifying me to be competent to work in public kitchens! The main cause of red tides was the release of large amounts of untreated sewage into the sea. Tkx to Martin in HKG for the share of his amazing photography and the awareness.

Special Dec dates:

14 Happy Bdays Ingrid HUSTAD & LAM Cheng Chwab

16 Happy Bday Andy LAM

23 Happy Bday Minos LAM

24 Happy 14th Anniversary Patricia LAM & Albert CHUA

25 Merry Christmas

27 Happy Bday Lisa XIAO

An old outdated Nordic joke says that it is easy to find your way out from the Icelandic forests – just stand up.