Christmas 2019

26 Dec 2019 – Ring Of Fire

Mon: on these last 2days before Christmas, would like to first share my favourite version of Deilig er jorden (Wonderful is the Earth) – Norwegian version of the Christmas psalm written by danish poet BS Ingemann in 1850, based on a Silesian folk tune.

Tue: Christmas Eve and this would be an appropriate share – one of my favourtie versions of O Holy Night as we get our last minute preparations ready for the Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day🎄🎄

Appreciations for dinner@Les&Ivy, my contribution, gravlaks&kransekaker.

Wed: Season’s Greetings from my immediate family in Norway&USA+BG1LAM TinYue branch of the LAM-family to family&friends around the world. Tkx to GG6Les&Ivy for this scrumptious annual Christmas lunch – started from when PG16Kiera, their 1st grand-child was a baby then and today she is 16!

Tanglin Club does a good spread for this occasion and have not disappointed me over the years. Has it really been 11yrs ago (when I first started this blog) that the one&only Grinch of Christmas appeared?

Buffet of salads&seafoods. Last year and this year, the menu had some changes with a semi-buffet idea and there is just so much choices that –

Hazel commented – you have set me wondering, with the menu, what you ate! And my answer was – will you believe me when I tell you that I had a bite of everything – which was true.

Turkey, ham, poached-salmon,

desserts galore.

Les enjoyed shooting the 2party-poppers creating much colourful confetti and attention. Introduced this popper in 2013 and have been popular since then. The carolers ended this function on a high note with our regular server who has been serving us for the past 6yrs saying her goodbyes. A great time was had by all young&old – tkx to the gracious generosity of Les&Ivy.

Above 2pix credits to David.

Thu: Happy St Stephen’s&Boxing Day. Blessed to be able to have a packed-lunch by the sea at EC Pk, watching life goes by with clear enough sky that Indonesia can be spotted by the naked-eye.

How wonderful to be able to view this last total solar eclipse, Ring of Fire’s path in SIN for this life’s journey.

Within doors, or without, still as a fool,
In power of others, never in my own;
Scarce half I seem to live, dead more then half.
O dark, dark, dark, amid the blaze of noon, 
Irrecoverably dark, total Eclipse
Without all hope of day! – John Milton likened his own experience of blindness to eclipse

At the same time, checking out where I think #6 would enjoy most in this area. Not usually here in the middle of the day or in the weekends, but do enjoy my morning walks before sunrise here.


Most were too busy looking up at the eclipse, but being a typical hiker, and watching where I step to discover this most amazing&beautiful piece of natural art. Later I found the explanation

The Ghosts Of Christmases’ Pasts

22 Dec 2019 – Memories Of Christmases’ Pasts

Wed: exactly one week before Christmas Day. Thoughts are with Nils for a speedy recovery – Nils, who taught me my Norwegian Christmas vocabulary in 1968! Will be sharing one Christmas pix from various FBfriends from today until Christmas Day. Today’s pix credits to Carmel from the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd’s Carol Service – each flag represents the country of the Ambasssdors present at the service. Like all the colourful flags and the peace sign on top of the globe…

Also my first exchanging of gifts for the season@Raffles Hospital.

Thu: tkx to Janice&Tom for this pix from Disney/FL,USA bringing back fond memories from the FLdays in the PTA&PTSA during our children’s Linn&May, Steve&Scott school days (1980s-90s).

A last trip to Ikea/Tampines for the year to pick up some last minute shopping.

Fri: TGIF – safe shopping to all who will be doing that this last weekend before Christmas Day. Tromsø pix credits to Tage – I can so feel the serenity and hear Silent Night with much fond memories just looking at this pix.

Tkx to Peggy for lunch@SIN SwimmingClub. Errands@PkWayParade.

Downloaded 1970s&now pix from reminding me that the last Christmas I spent in Ireland was 1973 then and probably my last Christmas there! But as the say goes Ne-ver Say never!

Appreciations to Geoffrey for this info – when the Christmas lights were turned on in Dublin city centre this year, there were calls for the sign which announced ‘Welcome to Grafton Quarter’ to be removed and replaced by ‘Nollaig Shona Duit’ which had hung at the entrance to Grafton Street in previous years. The Irish-language sign conveys the message ‘Happy Christmas To You’, Nollaig being the modern form of early Notlaic, a word which was itself derived from Latin natalicia meaning ‘birth’.
Queen’s University Belfast University of Cambridge Joe McLaren Illustration eDIL

Sat: tkx to Jerome for his interesting A Lighter Side of History: The Ghosts of Orchard Road’s Christmases Pasts’, tracing the evolution of Christmas lighting along Orchard Road over the years. For me memories of SIN Christmases from 1964-1997 were not celebrated here, thus more interesting to learn about it.

Exchanging gifts with AudreyM for this season@NationalMuseum

with a side trip to explore the new revamp Substation area on ArmenianSt.


and a visit to CC before the rains to share this season’s wishes before Calvin&co’s Christmas trip to Taiwan.

No worries in these wet weathers when entertained by carol singers@CitySquareMall.

Prayers&thoughts for Terry (sil: Jeff’s father) in ICU who celebrated his 71Bday with his heart shocked, blood clots in both lungs and right leg bleeding from surgery.


12390943_10153174303191971_8629265540969691818_nSun: on this 4th&last Sunday of Advent before Christmas, there are still last minute preparations for the season like picking up my smoked-salmon&cheese. Happy Winter Solstice, also known as Dong Zhi or some Cantonese call it Khor Tong.

The origin of the word Yule, has several suggested origins from the Old English word, geõla, the Old Norse word jõl, a pagan festival celebrated also at the winter solstice, the rebirth of the Sun.

Peace be with you all no matter how or if you celebrate.

Interview With IGAS

17 Dec 2019 – The Good Witch

Thu: have been slagging here, too much going on and too little time! Picked up parcel from Parkway-PopStation and running around to do errands, etc…

Fri: TGIF on the 13th Friday, a good weekend to all. Happy St Lucia’s Day to those celebrating – did not bake any Lucia Buns (did you, Inger&Gayle?) and no candles on the head. Epigram Christmas Market 2019 Sales – well worth the time at this sales today for picking up gifts, especially at the S$1 corner, in spite of the heavy downpour. 28books@$1each and $10 Istana by Irene, CHIJ schoolmate from the 1960s. 

Those who are getting books from me this holiday season will get this gift-tag with a similar label pasted on the other side. Tkx to Epigram Books for the tags, but you need to get your own greeting labels or write directly on the other side of the tags.

Appreciations to Calvin&staff@CC for hosting this SG-TravelCafe talk on Bulgaria by Zhao Hong&East Greenland by Joedha with a good turn-out considering the wet&cool evening.

Sat: getting the potato salad ready for Inessa’s annual holiday gathering. Took 1.5hrs to get to Sengkang, first with bus and 2MRTconnections+1LRT. Pix credits&tkx to Inessa for a lovely evening – enjoy&safe journeys to all and to Philip&family who will be travelling for this holiday season.

Today 3ppl I know of have passed away –  JohnELLIOT, one of OSSEA’s X-presidents, Jeff’s uncle, CliffSMITH and DannyONG, Mabel’s youngest bro. Condolences to their family and may they RIP.

Sun: appreciations to Thomas&Fannie+their cute boys for the celebrations of Titus’s 1st-Bday on this 3rd-Sunday of Advent@AspenHeights. Adorable little Titus with stick-up-hair reminding me of Linn when she too had stick-up-hair at that age. Stayed for a only a short while as there are still 2 other events ahead for today.

Last month’s IRO talk, RevLiew caught my attention by turning water into wine. 2above pix credits to IRO

Today’s talk again@NLB, he tore a paper-napkin apart and abracadabra it back to a whole napkin! Was trying to remember when I first met RevLiew and then GraceWu pop up in my mind. Grace, another music-teacher was father’s friend and I only met her when I first returned to SIN in 1999. She has since passed away sometime after 2012.

Tkx to Leonard for getting me back to reality with a yummy Thai dinner and also for helping me with the new phone. Without Leo, my computer knowledge&skills would have been next of zero. A visit to Raffles Hospital before heading back to the EC to crash.

Mon: Season5 with all 10episodes of The Good Witch are out on Netflix and of course that will put me in front of  the screen for the next 12hrs, well not quite, but nearly – another visit to Raffles Hospital.

Tue: woke up to a painful knee, hoping that it is nothing serious and that too shall pass.

Tkx for the interview by Rosemary&BoonCheng – IGAS Oral History Project for IGAS members studying in Ireland in each decade from the 1950s to present day. The interviewee would talk about their experiences of life in Ireland and SIN and these oral records will be made available to the public universities/archives in SIN&Ireland for future reference and research – subject to any moratorium or request by the interviewee. A book about the history and legacy of the Irish graduates in SIN which will be published in Jun2020 – looking forward to reading it.igas_orig.jpgDublin student days seem another life-time ago. Has it have been 2+yrs ago since I last caught up with the LIMs? IGAS logo designed by Bro JoeMcNally when I was active in the committee.

EC-Park & Paya Lebar

11 Dec 2019 – New Venues

Sat: tkx to Calvin for food shopping at the wholesalers in Woodlands and also appreciations for the loan of CCs small freezer.

It fits perfectly into the back room where my storage space and for hanging laundry is – let the food shopping&preparations begin. Kransekaker is now safely in there and Gravlaks will be placed there after 2days of marinating with dill in the fridge.

Sun: tkx to Calvin, Sam, Pat & ChrisW for this refreshing 2nd Sunday of Advent morning walk from McD-Bougainvillea Garden-McD 8k on the EC-Park to discover new locations after a long time behind barricades. There is a PS Cafe@CyclistPk and swings where you can lie on@RaintreeCove, must bring #6 here when he visits.

Surprised to see a Hyperlite Mountain Gear tent and pink-portable-johnnies – wonder if they are specially for females? Calvin doing his business in front of a landing plane!

Random shots of life in my kampong on a Sunday morning. Usually out walking on weekdays before sunrise on my own and do not get the opportunity to watch life goes by.

Not many blooms at this time of the year – managed to only see this today. Looking forward to the day when I can walk this coastal stretch without any barricades or constructions and with more blooms.

Have not seen so many tents out here until today, but then knowing&understanding the tight living conditions here, it does not surprise me. Wonderful that ppl can enjoy this lovely public park as long as they clean up after them, and also explains why I do not walk here on the weekends.

Rushed to Les&Ivy to take them visit Steven in UnitedMedicareCentre@Queensway while Lawrence headed back to KCH this morning.

Mon: views from the kitchen window&front door with the relentless rains since the very early hours this morning, had to get up at between 3.00-4.00hrs to close the windows as it was raining heavily. A perfect day to get season’s greetings ready for snail-mail.

Tue: feeling lost here to learn that the Central Post Office is located@a tiny section in the corner on L1 while the rest of the building is just another shopping mall.

Strange that I do not recall ever being here but do have memories of being in SIN General Post Office (1950s) when it was at the Fullerton Building (now a 5*hotel). 2019 Season’s Greetings are now in the mail as I personally saw that they were collected. Out of power@my 4walls due to electrical installations, worked on the UKC2C pix book@CC.

Wed: did not get much sleep last night, forgot that 2Teh-Tariks were consumed yesterday in the late afternoon! Decided to catch a movie@PayaLebarQ since I did not have the time to explore this area yesterday – seems like a new mall is opened all over the island these days, wonder how SIN will manage to sustain&maintain them, especially when recession is predicted? The WhistleBlower – mining industry thriller was too much action&intrigue for me.

Pix credits to Linn and Elizabeth – made my day to see #1-5 having such a blast with family&friends, especially for #1 who is into her last semester@high-school. Great Vivaldi performance here, looking forward to hearing them perform Tchaikovsky? in May2020. Needless to say from a former music-teacher that I am indeed proud of them including #6 who all play a music instrument.

It’s easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself – JS Bach

Welcome Dec 2019

6 Dec 2019 – Wet Season In Every Ways!

Sun: and so starts the month of Dec with holiday thoughts&preparations+the 1st Sunday of Advent

Mon: shopping in the rains at ArabSt area, starting to get things ready for the Christmas. The colourful shops here do help to in the grey wet weathers. Dinner@Bugis – healthy soup&veggie+pumpkin-rice for me while Clem had the RedangChicken, tasteful&presented tastefully.

Tue: more shopping and catching a movie@PlazaSIN. Knives Out Acclaimed writer and director Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper, Star Wars: The Last Jedi) pays tribute to mystery mastermind Agatha Christie in KNIVES OUT, a fun, modern-day murder mystery where everyone is a suspect. When renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is found dead at his estate just after his 85th birthday, the inquisitive and debonair Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is mysteriously enlisted to investigate. Witty and stylish whodunit guaranteed to keep audiences guessing until the very end – Rotten-Tomatoes

Enjoyed the movie. Somehow I thought it was filmed in SC since the starting scene had a bus which had IRMO on it – goggle later to learn that the exterior shots were shot at an undisclosed location and the interior scenes were filmed at the Ames Family historic mansion in Borderland State Park, Easton, MA. Like the layout of the knives background – movie pix downloaded.

Wed: Isetan@Shaw this morning to check if they had the baby-crabs that Les likes, yeah in luck. Since in the location and with Downton Abbey showing, have not watched a single episode of the TV-series, but did enjoy this, even with the soapy moments+pomp&circumstances.

Dear Land of Hope, thy hope is crowned.
God make thee mightier yet!
On Sov’ranbrows, beloved, renowned,
Once more thy crown is set.
Thine equal laws, by Freedom gained,
Have ruled thee well and long;
By Freedom gained, by Truth maintained,
Thine Empire shall be strong.
Land of Hope and Glory, Mother of the Free…

With Ivy&Carmel to support a good cause for the Tabitha FoundationSIN who helps Cambodians out of poverty by helping people to develop inherent skills and resources that foster self-sufficiency and independence. Appreciations to Lisa for opening her house with a delightful music room for this charity-event.

Such beautiful silk decorations and things made of silk displayed for sale.

Tkx to Ivy&Les+Jo for home-cooked dinner to welcome Lawrence – all their decorations are up for this season.

Their wine-cellar is still my favourite room here – a good place to be when there is family drama! When dad was alive, this used to be the reading-room.

Thu: appreciations to Aileen@H&H for Nasi-Padang lunch&for helping me with my season’s greetings cards – let the writing&addressing of this year’s season greetings+wrapping of gifts begin…

Twice within a week to be in this ArabSt area and since I am here and with no lines, got some the durian cakes made with fresh durians – have to be consumed by tomorrow.

Odds&ends shopping around Parkway after watching a SIN movie Wet Season 热带雨, appropriate title for not only the weather now but for what is in the movie! –  says this week’s movie-buff!! Movie poster+scene pix downloaded.

Fri: TGIF – a good weekend to all. Here, living in the mists of TEL-MRT line constructions until 2023-4?? In the meanwhile, glad that my block gets a freshen up&surprise every time I am able to find the temporary bus-stop!

Life goes on and hopefully will get to see the completion of this. Those who are driving, try to avoid this area, especially the stretch of MarineParadeRd (jct of MarineCres onwards to Parkway), during rush-hour, you can get stuck here for 15mins+

13 Happy Bday Ingrid HUSTAD

16 Happy Bday Andy LAM

19 Happy Bday Rita Tann

21 Happy Bday ANG ChinSheng and Anna Tsang

23 Happy Bday Minos LAM

25 Merry Christmas

27 Happy Bday Lisa XIAO

28 Happy Bday Peggy LEUNG