Christmas Past

31 Dec 2020 – Phase3 & Byebye 2020

Sun: needed today to myself to rest & take a break from foods&socials. Safe (1season with 8episodes), a British TV drama mini-series created by crime author Harlan Coben and written primarily by screenwriter Danny Brocklehurst. Not only kept my mind off the present situation but got me trying to guess the twists&turns of Chris’s death – good way for me to relax on this cool wet afternoon. Pix downloaded.

An English Tom Delaney, a paediatric surgeon and widowed father of two teenage daughters who is struggling to connect with his daughters as they still grieve the loss of his wife from cancer one year prior. After his 16-year-old daughter Jenny goes missing, Tom uncovers a web of secrets as he frantically searches for her.

Mon: good Mon morning from SIN as we open to Phase3, a good week ahead to all.

Throwback to 1976/44yrs ago in Tromsø/Norway with the Hald family bringing back precious memory of Christmas past! Thank you for those good old days when&where All You Need Is Love –

1st-born was only 2+ and 2nd-born was not even thought of then!

Was going thru’ some old Christmas pix to discover that the last 2Christmas spent with Linn&May in FL/USA was in 1997,

and then in 1998 when we were together for Patricia&Albert’s wedding in SIN. Have not had a Christmas together with just my 2daughters since then…

Tue: good to catch up with Seb for the afternoon. Lunched@MT Hawker and take away dessert. Tkx for helping to stream the BBC series so that I could watch Singapore Grip filmed in Malaysia. Agreeing with the critics, interesting, weird and dark, it took me long into the 6episodes to realize what the title really meant! AT hiding buddies (especially a young hiker by the trail-name of Magic/2005) would have got a kick from this title, hahaha!

Finally, just before the end of the book, he is told the true meaning of the term: it is the name of a very specific sexual technique (Look away now if you don’t want to know, but: the technique, also known as “pompoir” or the “Singapore Kiss”, involves the woman using her vaginal muscles to stimulate the man’s penis while both remain stationary. And now you know.)

However, the novel also suggests some alternative definitions for “The Singapore Grip”, including the ‘grip’ or ‘stranglehold’ of the British Empire and Western economies on the so-called “Far East”. Pix downloaded.

ITV drama called harmful and deeply upsetting… colonial history told through a white gaze.

Wed: the mind is telling me that paperwork needs organizing&filing, but the eyes prefer otherwise – not focus, getting distracted easily while trying to digitize some old pix&papers. 

Thu: goodbye and good riddance to 2020. Praying for those effected in this landslide. Tkx for concerns about my 2nd-born who lives in OSL and not in this area.

Will be celebrating this evening, the last day of 2020 at 28TemenggongRd which will bring back childhood memories – next posting as there will probably be many words!

31Dec 2020: WorldOmeter of COVID-19 deaths are as follow:

SIN/pop 5.6+mil in an area of 721SqKm – 29
SC/USA/pop 5+mil in an area of 82, 932SqKm – 5,249
Norway/pop 5.3+mil in an area of 365,268SqKm – 436

Season’s Greetings 2020

26 Dec 2020 – Season’s Socials

Wed: who can ask for more with desserts from Châteraisé+DimSum&Roast, a Cantonese starters&dinner last night. Appreciations for gifts-exchange and this yummy meal from CantonParadise/BedokMall in the comforts of my own 4-walls with good company of niece&nephew. Had to pick up these FestiveCelebrations-platters as they could not do delivery for these platters. A direct bus there-back cost less than S$2 and no delivery can beat that price!

Thu: thank you to CC management, staff&friends for the ups&downs in 2020. Just dropping in with season’s greetings&gifts+a glass to wine to cheer the end of this strange year and what a year it has been! See you all in 2021 for happier&healthier times. Pix credits to Helen.

Comment from Karen Scalf-Benham: I love these Campers Corner gatherings.
Reply: so do I, feeling comfortable surrounded by all these outdoors’ gadgets&gears and with ppl who enjoy the outdoors.
Fri: TGIF on this last Friday in 2020. For those who believe&celebrate today as the birthday of Christ – Merry Christmas and to others, enjoy the holidays.
In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it ‘Christmas’ and went to church; the Jews called it ‘Hanukkah’ and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say ‘Merry Christmas!’ or ‘Happy Hanukkah!’ or (to the atheists) ‘Look out for the wall’― Dave Barry
Yummy KCH Laksa home-made by cousinKaren and one of the best hams I have tasted, good consistency&not too dry with the best tasting glazed by Karen – ordered from Smoked Gammon Ham Bone-In but had to pick it up, again no delivery like my last order! 
Checked their site and the food there looks good!
So I will eat them in a box.
And I will eat them with a fox.
And I will eat them in a house.
And I will eat them with a mouse.
And I will eat them here and there.
I will eat them ANYWHERE!

I do so like green eggs and ham!
Thank you! Thank you, Sam-I-am! – Dr Seuss
Appreciations to Karen&Peter+Cala and LynneChan+TzeAnn for a lovely afternoon. Missing auntie Ngor/AnnaChan  
Sat: Happy Boxing Box and St Stephen’s Day. Have been wanting to taste from this stall ever since they opened here@MT-HawkerCentre and finally today, the line was shorter. Tkx to Henry for lunch – OK wonton, but will not stand in a line when there are more than 5ppl. Nice  to catch up with Henry before 2020 is over.

1st Covid-19 Vaccines Shipment (21Dec2020/SIN)

22 Dec 2020 – Small Family Christmas Gatherings

Sat: on this 4th and last Sunday of Advent, the thank you word is Grazie to the Yeohs for a scrumptious dinner of prawn-salad starters, chicken&ham, trimmings&sides, butter-honey-whisky sauce to top the Panettone. Even Rudolf without a red-nose but with its lovely lights shinning the joy of our family gathering with 3generations hosted by Pat&David+Lucas+Beth with Jo&Micheal, Les&Ivy and I.

No big family gathering this year, but many small gatherings limited to 5 outsiders (excluding those living in that household), it will go up to 8 on the 28Dec. Liz in France tells me that for them it is 6 in total which includes the household and guests. What then if your household is 7, like Linn&family???

Sun: tkx for this pix from Karen (Wigs), many have been and still are hanging on this year! Sometimes it is not a matter of hanging on or hang in there when the mind is not in sync with the body. Now it is a matter of accepting reality and doing it as graciously as possible.

Mon: delivered a gift to Theresa&ChengJun@MtE this morning, and also to do some last minute errands@PlazaSIN. The crowds (to me!) in an enclosed area for a Mon was more than I could handle. Got what I really needed and left the other errands to another day – probably after the new year when classes are back in schools.

Happy Winter Solstice/Dongzhi冬至節, the arrival of winter and the shortest day of the year. Enjoy your TangYuan湯圓, literally soup-ball – glutinous rice flour dumpling filled with various fillings like black sesame, my favourite. Usually just plain round balls either in white or various colours, but since I like to play with food, sharing these downloaded fancy ones! Hopefully a clear sky tonight to view the once in~400yrs? Christmas Star! Edited: here is one of my favourites of this recent Christmas-Star from BSU Planetarium in Idaho,USA.
A Singapore Airlines cargo pellet containing Singapore’s first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines is unloaded from the aircraft on Dec 21, 2020. (Photo: Try Sutrisno Foo).
Tue: what a delightful visit from eldest nephew, Mun&his wife SK. Their first visit to my 4-walls since moving in 20+yrs ago! Blessed&proud of all my children+their families and  nieces&nephews+their families, ie the OG&PG. Appreciations for lunch in my hood and for the honey, never sweet enough, so more honey is always good for the soul.
What is happening to me happens to all fruits that grow ripe. It is the honey in my veins that makes my blood thicker, and my soul quieter ― Friedrich Nietzsche

UNESCO for Hawker Centres

18 Dec 2020: Irish Lunch And NZ Dinner

Mon: Mountain-Top(2017), a movie about a lawyer-turned-preacher living in a small Appalachian town is pursued by an eccentric man to represent him in court. Now involved in a case that ties into his own small-town life, the former attorney agrees to help a man.

Enjoyed the movie despite of being not religious. Beautiful scenes of the mts – would be interesting to know where or if it was filmed on the AT? Tried to do a search, but only got Huntersville&Charlotte/NC stated as the film locations.

Tue: appreciations to Carmel for a beautiful&tasteful Irish Christmas lunch. Home-made Irish soda-bread, scones, puddings, bite-size egg-sandwiches, Ballymaloe relish with KerryGold cheese&butter bringing back good memories of the Emerald Isle.

What a treat to be in this lovely decorated home, makes me want to decorate my 4-walls – JK, hahaha.

Greetings trimming a colourful framed-artwork, a tree where Ireland, Malaysia&SIN are represented and a gift-basket filled with yummy Irish goodies. Go raibh maith agat for this enjoyable afternoon – so nice to catch up.

Wed: for those who like coconut water and the meat, this is so far my favourite (~S$4+), besides fresh coconut. Highly recommended. thanks for this good share, Jan! The best explanation in words so far and will be using this for my future season’s greetings which should be done by the weekend.

Thu: to all on the EasternUS-coast with snowstorm, and in Fiji Island with CycloneYASA, stay safe. Thoughts are with them all who are effected by the weather.

Hawker culture in SIN is now officially in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Maxwell being SIN oldest hawker center and  Chinatown, the largest amongst the ~110HawkerCenters here.

Kia ora (thank you in Māori ) to Pauline, Tama, Ruben & Eva for a delicious NZdinner.

GreenLip mussels cooked in wine&coconut-milk, BBQsurf&turf+potato&veggie, FeijoaCrumble, (first tasting of this yummy NZ-fruit), ANZAC biscuits from NZ.

With Eva’s lovely voice entertaining us on the keyboard, the evening passed by quickly in the charming&delightful company of 2well-brought-up teens&their parents. Such a pleasure to catch up with Dika’s Kiwi-sister. Has it really been 4yrs ago since they moved to SIN? How those teenagers have stretched! now taller than their parents!

Fri: laptop acting up and has been quite a challenge to even get this post up. Thanks to Leonard for coming by with another laptop which will be on loan to me. Am so grateful to have such helpful young ppl who can help. Teaching an old dog new tricks is not an easy task, and will be needing time to get familiar with this HP-ProBook.

National Library Board 2020

13 Dec 2020 – Happy St Lucia’s Day

Wed: got caught up with another Netflix-series thinking that it was only for oneSeason. How wrong can I be when Sweet Magnolias E10 cliffhanger ending left me in suspense – that will teach me to check more thoroughly before watching another series! Serenity, SC is a completely fictional town, was wondering how I could have missed a place with that name after all the years I have been visiting and driving thru’ SC? Also it was filmed in GA, not SC and based on a book by SherrylWoods. Pix downloaded.

Thu: donated my father’s LAM TinYue(1911-1996) old B/W photo albums (1920-1950s)+various original documents to SIN NationalLibraryBoard/NLB.

Sharing one of the pix in one of the albums (1920s-30s) – former General Post Office, now Fullerton Hotel. Notice how he used photograph corner-stickers – really classic, classy&tasteful against the black background. Wished he kept using them, but unfortunately he changed to glue in later years, making many of the old B/W photos to turn yellow. 3 of the original documents with the origin real postal-stamps.
Appreciations to MeiChenLEE&NLB-staff for taking care to preserve the LAM-Heritage for future generations who might have an interest – copyrights are still mine and NLB has been notified and they can be shared for research&educational purposes, NOT for monetary or for profit purposes. Tkx for the tea, looking forward to tasting it.
Fri: 11Dec – Happy International Mountain Day and the quote from J Muir makes me miss the being in the mts – The mountains are calling me and I must go but can only dream&imagine for now. The materials are donated and out of my hands, am still struggling to get gifts, etc ready before the rush for the seasonal socials, etc.
Sat: @SingPostCentre to do some shopping since I was in the area to meet for dinner.
Appreciations to Ting&CH+Bev for good company with my 1st experience@Providore. Good to be able to meet up for our annual Christmas gathering, this time not within my 4-walls. Lack of energy to host&clean-up nowadays. Tkx for all the yummy edible gifts, the best gifts to receive.  Delightful cool&wet evening dinning outdoors under the shade.
Sun: 3rd Sunday of Advent and Happy St Lucia’s Day. Have not made Lucia boller since moving away from Norway. Bought a packet from IKEA to taste, not enough of raisins, but being not a fan of raisins, it was OK for me. 

St. Lucia Day marks the beginning of the Christmas season and honours the memory of St. Lucia, who was persecuted and eventually killed after she was accused of smuggling food to Christians living and hiding in the mazes of underground catacombs below the city of Rome.

Saint Lucy (Lucia) of Syracuse was a young Christian martyr who died during the Diocletianic Persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire in 304 AD.  According to legend, she converted to Christianity after an angel appeared to her. Lucy dedicated her life to Christianity and started giving away her family’s wealth to the poor and needy. She was betrothed to a man from a pagan family and when he heard that Lucy was giving away his dowry, he reported her to the authorities. Refusing to honour the Roman gods, she was put to death.

The tradition dates back to 1764. Travel writer Rick Steves writes, ‘the Scandinavian version of the legend is that a young woman born of rich and noble parents – dressed in a white gown with a red sash and wearing a crown of lingonberry twigs and blazing candles – traveled from one farm to the next in the early morning on December 13th. She carried a torch to light her way, bringing baked goods to each house, returning home by sunrise’.


8 Dec 2020 – Hyperparathryoidism

Fri: tkx to the help of Calvin, Chris & Andy, this mobile wall-bottle is finally corked with the collection from my bro, Calvin & Andrew over the years! Christmas gift to Campers completed. Cheers-  tis the season to eat, drink and be merry.

For my own 4walls, do not have the energy or mood to get out any of the decorations besides the hand-embroidered AdventCalendar made years ago and have decided to use it to learn to say thank you in 24languages. My host of 11GuardianAngels are always here, but this time as a reminder that there are only 2Fridays left to Christmas which will be a very different one without the usual family gathering. Appreciations to KK for the 1stChristmasDinner with Les&Ivy, KK has trained his helper well to make yummy healthy foods. How decadent to have coconut-water severed in this beautiful glass from Turkey+saucer from Iran.

Sat: somehow I should really get the decorations out, but the thought that they have to be put away in less than a month got me sitting in front of the screen, talk about laziness personified! Watched The Queen’s Gambit E1-7 and enjoyed it.

The Stranger E1-8 British mystery thriller series written primarily by DannyBrocklehurst kept me guessing who the murderer could be after guessing that Corrine was murdered.

Sun: on this 2nd Sunday of Advent, light a candle for PEACE and may you find PEACE in your life’s journey

Tkx to Clem for this Sunday’s Peranakan lunch@TingkatPeraMakan/ARC – for overseas families&friends, Peranakan or Nyonya foods are a blending of Chinese+Malay ingredients&cooking techniques, uniquely in SIN, Malaysia&Indonesia.

Cantonese/Chinese DimSum@CantonParadise –  we all thought that these piggy Salted Egg Yolk Lava Buns oozing with cholesterol, were cute, thus ended up here for tea. My favourite place for EggTarts are from all the CantonParadise outlets. Somehow these one-bite size with just the perfect consistency yummy filling taste in the flakey pastry is exactly how I like them best. Clem ordered the AvocadoPudding, but there was no hint to any taste of avocado! maybe they got mixed up with Pandan? being the same colour!!

Mon: an afternoon@SGH for my Hyperparathryoidism to check for the results of the ParathroidScan from 2weeks ago, but the scan could not pick up the problem even with another scan done today. More appointment and this time@NuclearMedicineImaging on my Bday! Oh well, no emergency and time will show. Should never have had that cuppa in the courtyard! kept me awake until the early hours into Tue!!

Just missed the 196bus and had to wait 15mins for the next – had to pee so badly and Fullerton Hotel was a convenient stop. 

Both Fulleton&RafflesHotels are my favourites for their Christmas decorations here in SIN. These old colonial buildings have characters and fortunately they also know how to decorate appropriately for the seasons.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – Everywhere you go…

Was thinking of having a piece of cake, but instead this exhibition caught my attention. Collected stamps in my younger days, and still do like looking at them, so it was wonderful to see the postal history here today,
especially when I can remember buying stamps here across the tiny gates over the counter (pix downloaded from MITA). Such a different era when snail-mail was the norm and pen-pals were the way to go to have contact with oversea strangers – the anticipation when the mailman brings the mail.
Need to return for another look when not so tired, and then a cuppa with a piece of cake or maybe finding time&mood for HighTea in this old colonial-days luxurious ambience.
Tue: discovered this link with beautiful things, could shop till I drop here –
Grocery@Giant/Tampines (savings with Senior+PassionCard~S$5). IKEA is still out of the HoneyDillMustad. What a nice coincident to bump into SYin on the shuttlebus back to Bedok. Actually have not seen or heard from him for awhile and only a few days ago, I got to update his mobile#.

Christmas Lights 2020

3 Dec 2020 – Orchard Road

Sun: 1st Sunday of Advent, Happy 14thBDay to #3 (pix credits to Linn), the only one from my flock of 10 born in SIN besides myself! 15thDay in the 10thMonth of the ChineseLunarCalendar (if not too cloudy, look up for the moon tonight). 

Mon: great to meet up with Reis&Henry from TemenggongRd who will be writing a history and setting up a website of that road and the ppl who lived and still lives there. Looking forward to be a part of that.

Tkx to Calvin for providing this board and to Andy for getting this mobile wall-cork-board@CC to a bottle-shaped@CC last week while it is a total mess on my desk behind in my 4-walls. Today will need to start on corking the bottle – time will show where this will lead. So far do have a rough idea, but with long experiences, also aware that it might turn out differently.

Tkx to Helen for a bite and appreciations to Helen&Sam for the OrchardRd walk tonight. As beautiful as they can be, I can never understand why they are unable to keep to the colours of Christmas – red, green, gold and white??? 

Considering this year’s circumstances, this is a good message from Tangs.

My favourite for this year is this charming winter village. From the walkway, this humble and unassuming tree caught my eye and as we were passing it, I noticed the tiny houses and decide to walk up the stairs here at Wisma. Was delightfully surprised by this village with a moving locomotive. Nice to see such a tasteful display.

Mandarin Gallery

313, just noticed that the star on top of the tree looks like and angel when taken at this angle – had to enlarge to see that it is a star! Also a Ben&Jerry’s, wonder if they have my favourite CoffeeCoffee flavour?

OC with the moon over the OrchardGatway overhead pass and Paragon.

Christmas will always be as long as we stand heart to heart and hand in hand — Dr. Seuss

Tue: grocery shopping@Giant/Tampines, but unfortunately what I wanted were no more. Snail-mail season greetings out in the mail, hoping that they will arrive in time. Appreciations to Calvin for dinner@OwlBrews, dessert@EC Pk under the beautiful full moon to discover that this location, CoffeeBean@MairneCove opens 24hrs.

Wed: first Christmas lunch with HS&Boon’s cheerful company@NewGreenPasture/Vegetarian. Favourite VietnamRoll, first tried years ago and still like it, and now another new favourite, BambooRice. Tried all these drinks and like them, especially the Roselle Tea

Dessert@Merely’s/SunshinePlaza, ice-cream made from scratch – tried the KopiPeng flavour today and it hit the spot as I have not had my coffee this morning.

Thu: if you are thinking of visiting this temple be prepared to stand in line! Looks like some kid lost their grasshopper sticker on this sidewalk – cute!

9 happy Bday Stanley NEO

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

31 Happy Bdays Jordan&Jagger WONG