Fall Back 2019

30 Oct 2019 – Time To Head Back To Warmer Weathers

Sat: heading towards Aker brygge for early dinner on this cold autumn day

The Cantonese menu here@LingLing is based on Hakkasan’s signature dishes, but with Norwegian influences, local producers and ingredients, ie more fusion – pleasantly surprised with the taste. Liked the idea that the dim-sum wrappings were made of different flavoured dough. #6 Wagyu beef (they out of the other cuts) was just enough for him, thus did not get to taste his, but am sure it was good as he finished every bit.

Only complain there was the loud music – not quite my style or taste of music and dislike having to shout to talk to anyone.

Sun: Happy Diwali to all celebrating, looking forward to experience the lights when I get back to SIN. Happy 95th Bday to Ellen-Sr, L&M paternal grandmother, #1-6 great-grandmother whose father was the architect for Oslo&Sandvika CityHalls. Had to be reminded by May that today is Daylight-SavingTime and also tkx to her for a delicious home-made roast-chicken Sun-dinner. The last pix I took of Ellen with L&M was 2010, 9yrs ago and the last pix I took of Ellen was 2months ago when I visited with her in Tromsø then.

Mon: tkx to Mette for lunch company and for helping me to eat up left-overs. She is such a spot and has no problems with left-overs and I too also have no issues with left-overs unless it has gone bad.

Tue: waking up to frost on the roofs, grass, etc – also means that it is time to fly down south. Beautiful, crisp&cool walk to the grocery as #6 wants fragrant rice for dinner, ie chicken rice without the chicken. Usually it takes only 1min to walk to the grocery, but instead took a long detour on this lovely morning. Many of the trees are ready for the winter, pretty with the clear blue sky, but do look rather sad when it is grey.

#6 also told me that he wished it to snow tomorrow, but I then told him that I have a heavy suitcase and will be taking the tram&train to the airport! To that he replied, OK then it can snow after you get to the airport!!

Have no problems to pack for just a trip, but considering how I travel – away for months from the comfort-zone&conveniences+in different continents&seasons, making packing a dreadful nightmare for me. But it could have been worse if I could not have some stuff stored in the US with Linn and in Norway with May.

To me, the most worrisome part of traveling comes before any of the traveling actually occurs: the suitcase-packing process. It’s a challenging and anxiety-filled process – I am caught between wanting my suitcase to be light and worrying I am going to need every single item in my bedroom – Laura Marano


Wed: breakfast with #6, him flatbread with butter/Bremykt, me flatbread with butter/smør&smoked trout. Until we meet again, will just keep in mind his hug&him waving with the sweetest smile as he head off to school. The next 15hrs in the air with 1+hr layover time in DXB arr SIN Thu 31Oct sometime in the afternoon, SIN time.

When everything seems to be against you, remember that an airplane takes-off against the wind, not with it – Henry Ford 

Big Apple

25 Oct 2019 – For A Day

Tue: short uneventful flight time, just under 2hrs from CHS-JFK S$125, snoozing most of the way. Do not even remember when I was here last – being tired and not too focus, was nearly con for US$15 S$20, but got away for US$4 S$5+. Arr T5, brought my check-in bag+backpack to T1 for storage US$24 S$33, AirTrain to JamaicaSt US$5 S$6+/OW and subway $2.75 S$3+/OW – affordable when you consider that Uber will cost anything from US$60-70 S$80-96/OW and US$40+S$55+/OW for shuttles.

Visit with Kat+Devon&Elliot for the afternoon – how time flies, she tells me that she has now lived in US for 19yrs!

Yummy Vietnamese Phở lunch hit the spot (have not had any ethnic Asian foods since leaving SIN 3months ago!) and a short walk around the neighbourhood to check into Greg’s new office, sorry to miss him as he is out of town today. Tkx to Kat for a lovely afternoon and for introducing sour dough doughnuts, good, but the plain old-fashioned sugar-glaze is still my preference.

The new Essex Market will be quite something when all the stalls are in place up&running, would like to visit again. But until then, back to JFK to catch my Norwegian flight across the pond. Was pleasantly surprised when a young African-American lady offered me her seat on the rush-hour crowded subway, so that cancels out the not so pleasant experience with an elderly African-American man who tried to con me upon arrival – hahaha! But then had to pay US$45 S$61+ for my overweight check-in luggage on NorwegianAir, still less expensive than having to mail those gifts.

Wed: JFK-OSL 7hrs uneventful on schedule flight S$245 sleeping most of the way. Arr safe&sound in OSL in the afternoon and could not have ask for better weather, a glorious clear blue sky against the warm welcoming colours of Fall to be with #6 – Heaven is this place on Earth for now.

Thu: a perfect rainy day to rest the body&soul, snoozing most of the day. #6 likes fried-rice and that I made for dinner.

Fri: TGIF – what a contrast from yesterday to wake up to blue-sky. The sun returns today with winds preparing trees for the winter!

Bouquet from me to #6 for his pre-Halloween decoration-party and May being as efficient as she is, everything is ready on the table before she left for work. Such a good idea arranged by the school.


4well-behaved kids (including #6) had a great time with pizza dinner&ice-cream dessert. Parents too enjoyed their snacks May made & Irish Coffee by me when they came to collect their kids. M&B are such good parents.


Charleston/SC Revisit 2019

24 Oct 2019 – 7 Years Have Passed By Quickly


Fri: TGIF and a good weekend to all. App 2hrs drive from CAE-CHS with a lunch stop, but seemed less with much to catch up during the drive. Tkx to HiHills/Glenda for driving us. In CHS to visit with AT-Hiking buddies. MoFo (trail-name who will be known as John here as we are not on the trail) met us@2Meeting St, a beautiful B&B out of my budget-range! White Point Garden must be one of the most popular locations for getting married.


The Battery – known for the stately&grand houses.


CHS&our host certainly lived up to the pineapple expression of Southern Hospitality. Walking on the cobble-stones sure brings back memories from students days in DUB. Halloween is in the air and anyone would turn into a skeleton too trying to fish for food from a sidewalk!

Some of the historical steeples – St Michael’s (1761), St Philips’s (1838), St John the Baptist (1890), St Mathew’s downloaded (1872).

The cast-iron gates are fascinating and could spend a whole day just admiring them. 32 Lagare St (Sword Gate/1849), last pix above has an interesting history behind it, but the other gates too have their own history which I know not of.

Every door&gate has a story but sometimes we stare so long at the closing ones that we forget to appreciate&see the open ones.

Sat: woke up to this view from our hotel window, The Holiday Inn Express&Suites@Mt Pleasant Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in morning, sailor’s warning. Expecting Nestor (tropical storm), thank goodness the forecast was not what it made out to be and continuing with our sight-seeing on 4wheels.

The Citadel (1842), a public college is one of 6 US senior military colleges. John’s family, from his grandfather, father, bro and now his nephew 4generations all attended this college, including John who did his MBA here – impressive place with the biggest class-ring I have seen.

Taking in every bit of the history (+imagining what it was like then!) from a knowledgeable local retired-architect guide. Today’s pix are not so clear, mainly with raindrops taken from the windows in the car.

While the rest were shopping,  had a yummy coffee-milkshake in this joint with this lovely painting.

and was checking if Nestor’s visit will flood the water-front – seems like the bark was louder than the bite.

Lunched@Pages Okra-Grill where I first tasted pickled-okra 7yrs ago and now my 2nd time and still like okra best this way – even their BloodyMary is garnished with okra.

The weather called for more shopping and was happy to just tag along with the group. Was told that this doughnut place Fractured-Prune made individual fresh doughnuts with whatever sprinkles you want – was too stuffed to try, perhaps the next time round!

Appreciations to John&Lynne for their gracious Southern-Hospitality with scrumptious home-made Low-Country-Boil, Melon-salad&Coleslaw

in their beautiful home@Mt Pleasant.

Sun: a breezy, refreshing wet walk across Arthur Ravenel Jr./Ravenel/Cooper River Bridge (1,546ft/471m), a cable-stayed bridge over the Cooper River connecting downtown CHS to Mt Pleasant.

Mt Pleasant Pier: under the bridge, a delightful pier built on the foundations of the old bridge with the tell-tale signs of the weather for the past few days. A goodbye breakfast@Pages Okra-Grill again before the ladies drove off. Appreciations to be included to John’s family dinner where I got to meet 2 (Amelia/7&Jack/2+) of the 4 of their grandchildren. One more night@the hotel as it was paid in advance.

Mon: most delightful morning walk@ShemCreek Boardwalk along the Low Country Marsh Scene.

Softly, slightly rippling the water as it carried the heady scents of late Carolina springtime through the air. Honeysuckle. Jasmine. Ripe, pungent river mud. Ah, the world felt right ― Caitlin Rush

Forest Gump in mind with the shrimp boats.

Life is just so complete in this glorious weather, watching life go by, tkx to John for lunch and letting me stay@their place. Also time to thank my AT-hiking buddies+our charming&the best CHS guide for this most memorable stay.

Sugar had grown up in Charleston, South Carolina: possibly the most luscious of the world’s garden cities. Behind every wrought-iron gate or exposed-brick wall in the picturesque peninsula blooming between the Ashley and Cooper Rivers lay a sweet-scented treasure trove of camellias, roses, gardenias, magnolias, tea olives, azaleas and jasmine, everywhere, jasmine.

With its lush greenery, opulent vines, sumptuous hedgerows and candy-colored window boxes, it was no wonder the city’s native sons and daughters believed it to be the most beautiful place on earth ― Sarah-Kate Lynch

The hotel refunded 20% of the bill as the room’s fridge, micro-wave and coffee-machine were not functioning. So long CHS. 1st time flying off from this airport – tkx to John for the ride and for making me aware that one of Boeing Companies is located by this airport.

2019 SC Visit With My Flock

17 Oct 2019 – 20Days Have Passed By Quickly

Mon: Happy Thanksgiving to Canadian family&friends.

Appreciations to Linn for lunch@Publico, a fun&novelty hip bar&fusion restaurant in Five Points downtown.

Bulgogi Noodle Biff Bowl – was pleasantly surprised how tender the beef was, 1st time tasting Sopapillas –  Tex-Mex dessert. With 54-different local&craft beers on tap, one is not short of choices for beers there.


The backyard alfresco area adds a nice touch making it more attractive to families with the giant Jenga&Connect4.

Tue: more good deals shopping@TJ Max. Congratulations again to Irmo High School where the XC-Varsity-Girls placed 2nd&the boys, 6th@Lexington High School County Championship last night. #1, who is having a superb senior season continues to impress by finishing in 3rd place individually (19.30), sooo proud of her. Way to go for #1&2+their team and their coaches.

Was blessed that the rains did not start until everything was over in spite of the threatening dragon clouds during the start. Dinner@Arby’s with Jeff+#4&5, supposedly a fast food place but it took a while to get our food and got back home after #1-3 even though they had to ride the bus back to IrmoHigh. Of all days to forget my camera, pix taken by the phone and not as clear as I would have liked.

Wed: clearing my mess here to get ready for packing. Appreciations to cousin Wilki in HI for the care-package  (the Panda is new!) arriving just in time to get this goody-bowl together before taking off.

Anyone who uses the phrase easy as taking candy from a baby has never tried taking candy from a baby!

Thu: what never fails to give me a heavy heart  – leaving the flock&packing, this time for 3days in CHS/SC, 1day in NYC/NY before flying across the Pond. What makes it worth the while is when looking forward to catching up with AT hiking buddies in CHS and niece in NYC. Also on wards to 2020 when hopefully the age of 70 will continue to be blessed with new adventures&experiences – top of the list with  #1 graduating high-school.

Time to say goodbye.
Places that I’ve never seen or experienced with you.
Now I shall, I’ll sail with you upon ships across the seas,
seas that exist no more,
it’s time to say goodbye.

When you’re far away I dream of the horizon and words fail me.
And of course I know that you’re with me.
You, my moon, you are with me.
My sun, you’re here with me…

Cook And Share A Pot Of Curry 2019

13 Oct 2019 – IrmoHS XC-Girls’Varsity


Tue: shopping and a trip to the PostOffice since I had the car. Some good sale items@TGMax (2tops+1dress for US$40 S55) and a tail for #6 Halloween costume@PartyCity.

This annual curry event is about tolerance, understanding and fighting against xenophobia. Tkx to Haley&Brain for opening their house again for this. Appreciations to Sarah&Eric for ice-cream&cookies dessert.


Wed: Jeff took off for NM dark&early for a work-conference. Tkx to Linn for lunch downtown @MenkoiRamenHouse.

Have not noticed these during my previous visits or maybe just forgotten about them! Wed is also Cindy’s day with the grandchildren – had left-overs curry and glad that she liked it as she was concerned with her first curry experience where she burnt her tongue!

Thu: online getting Halloween gifts taken care of since I am here with time on my side.

Fri: woke up with all kinds of joint-pains. Got the pasta sauce ready for dinner&vegetated on Netflix for the afternoon. Enjoyed 2entertaining movies, The Jane Austen Book Club (2007) where 5women and 1enigmatic man meet to discuss the works of Jane Austen, they find their love lives playing out in a 21st century version of her novels. The Music of Silence (2017), a true story of Andrea Bocelli, a blind boy, who against all odds becomes one of the most world renowned opera singers. To date, he has sold over 80mill records worldwide.​

Supporting the IrmoHS Football night on this beautiful full-moon evening.

Nice to see all these young ppl, especially the band performance doing such a good job.

Was saddened to just learnt tonight that #1 Indian friend Tanvi lost her father the beginning of this year. Sincere condolences to Ranjana&her family. Prayers&thoughts are out to them. Again so lost for words like when I met him 6yrs ago where he was there the day after the house-fire with his gracious kindness to help.


Sat: Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge has successfully completed the first ever marathon under two hours in the Austrian capital of Vienna, two years since he fell 25 seconds short. Pix downloaded from CNN


Would have liked to been@BobJenkins SCTCCCA CoachesClassic XC-Meet/Camden, but circumstances were not in my favour. Very excited that the Girls’Varsity took 1st place – way to go for #1&2 and their team+their coach Hall&coach Lewis. #3PR.


Pix credits to Linn. Glad to have Jeff back from NM safe&sound.



Sun: last Sun here for this time round to prepare lunch while the flock is@church. Shrimp-Cocktail for starters and Shephard’s Pie for mains.


What a delightful Sunday afternoon on the neighbour’s porch (my favourtie house in this neighbourhood) in the fresh-air with life cello music by her talented daughter. Thank you Elizabeth&Jessica.


#4&5 picking up pumpkins&flowers for the family. Tkx, Linn for my Tiger-Pumpkin. Appreciations to Haley&Brian for a spaghetti dinner with an unusual yummy sauce from WV.

Oktoberfest 2019

7 Oct 2019 – Goodbye Summer, Welcome Autumn

Fri: TGIF and a fabulous weekend to all. This year, Got Talent made its way to China in an adaptation known in Chinese as Dian Feng Zhi Lu=World’s Got Talent. While it’s a worldwide competition, one exceptionally stunning duo caught my complete attention and it must be the most amazing dance performance I have seen even when I am not a ballet fan!


Drove #1&2 to school to catch their rides to Jacksonville, FL New World Fall Spectacular hosted by BishopSnyder HS. Keeping my fingers&toes crossed for them – such a good experience&privilege for these girls to do an out-of -state XC-Meet. Shopped for hours to stock up grocery, etc while I had the car. Needed to also pick up some fall decorations, following the weather forecast and hoping that Fall will be here tomorrow.

#3-5+friend entertained us with #3 (12yrs) playing the cello – Grieg’s PeerGynt-MorningMood. Dinner from Chick-fil-A, my favourite fast food place for their Chicken-Strips, but unfortunately the coleslaw is taken off the menu.

Sat: bright&early to get chicken curry started. #5 kinda believed that the Fall decorations help to start this cool weathers! Just like his sister some years ago when I asked #4 to sing to the EasterCactus before she went to bed and the blooms will open the next day!! Absolutely lovely morning, paying them to pick up various cones outside – US$5 S$7perbag, making me US$70 S$97 poorer but worth it. Lunch was served@the Tree-House.

I saw old Autumn in the misty morn stand shadowless like silence, listening to silence – Thomas Hood

Oktoberfest in Newberry, a charming city app 32m 52km W of Irmo. Jeff worked there for 4yrs when they first moved here to SC.

#5 enjoyed being in that giant bowling ball knocking all the pins down. #4 (10yrs) surprised me by climbing to the top of this stonewall. Have been informed by #3 that the Pelican’s snow-cones are the best, had a taste of his and it is pretty good.

Old Newberry County Court House (1852) built during the period of cotton-bred wealth, the Greek Revival structure was a testament to the success of the town’s merchants and planters.


Originally built in 1882 and recently renovated and reopened as of 1998, The Newberry Opera House is one of N America’s premier historical theaters and performing arts venues – it is supposed to be haunted!


Enjoyed the crafts and bought the pineapple-beer-caps art as a gift for a beer-drinker friend where the pineapple represents Southern-Hospitality, in Asia, it is wealth.


Need to make a collage of these interesting hair-dos. First time eating this yummy Funnel-Cake, scrumptious when it is pipping-hot&fresh, could feel the pounds adding on even just by looking at it – shared it with #3-5&Jeff who all also thought it delicious. After all these snacks, there will be no need for cooking dinner.

Buildings with personalities

Sun: creative chalk art-work on the driveway and movie day. Both #5&I have seen Aladdin but not #3&4 and we did not mind seeing it again US$3 S$4+pp which is even cheaper than the SIN senior-ticket. Tkx to Jeff – tasty Sunday roast for lunch.

Linn+#1&2 are home safe&sound and pleased with their 4th-place for the IrmoHigh XC Varsity Girls Team. Way to go ladies, proud&happy for them, she works so hard to get this team where it is today. #1 placed 6th out of nearly 200girls.

Mon: Happy Birthday to my dear bro Leslie in SIN.

Feeding My Flock

3 Oct 2019 – LAM Without The B

It’s a myth that generally Asians are mostly vegetarians. The Japanese are the kings of red meat, but it’s expensive. The Chinese and Vietnamese love their pork. Many Indians, especially the Muslims, can’t live without their lamb – Wolfgang Puck

Mon: without a car and no public transportation here, time to read&chill. Enjoying the Colombia Metropolitan Magazine, getting good Southern ideas for the Fall. Today’s menu – veggie fried-rice with meat o f the side from Sunday’s left-overs wild-rice.

Tue: a cuppa@Starbucks/TrenholmPlaza, tried their new Sous Vide Egg Bites made with Cheddar & Peppers Diced ham with roasted red and green peppers, inspired by the classic Denver omelet – quite good, but would have been better with a touch of tomato ketchup! Nice to catch up with Sarah who is just back from the UK and is originally from the UK, Linn’s running friend who once qualified for the Olympics. Today’s dinner menu, veggie paste+garlic-bread (to carbo-load the runners for tomorrow) with meat on the side.

Wed: this household starts their day before 0500hrs with #4&5 on their school bus before 0700hrs.  Driving onto the sunrise this morning as the school-bus for #3 did not show, drove him to his MiddleSchool, #2 to her Orthodontist and getting the car home in time for #1.

XC meet was hosted by ChapinHigh@CrookedCreekPk in 99ºF/37ºC, 65%+humidity is no joke. #3 looked as red as a lobster, but did finish his race. #2 did not run due to previous injury and #1 was running+pacing herself for practice, ie not racing – amazing and total respect to these young ppl for running while my head&heart were throbbing uncomfortably just walking in these conditions.

Did not get to explore the area except to walk across this bridge to the start&finish line. Tkx to Cindy for driving and for Caesar’s pizza dinner.


Thu: another hot day in the forecast – best to stay indoors in the AC and drink lots of water. Leftover pizza+taco for dinner. Record Heat Today and Friday, Much Cooler By The Weekend. 


3 Happy Bday CHONG SiongYin

6 Happy Bday David WONG

7 Happy Bday Leslie LAM

8 Happy Bdays Larry LAM, Audrey WONG and KONG HengSun

12 Happy Bday Karen SCAF-BENHAM

13 Happy Bday David YUNG

16 Happy Bday Patricia LAM

21 Happy Bdays Steve LAM & Dee HALL

27 Happy Bday Ellen HALD sr

29 Happy Bdays LAM KwokLock & Kiera CHUA

31 Happy Bdays Adeline LEE, Mark BOROWSKY, Haley (40th) and Happy Halloween