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

Thanksgiving 2019

30 Nov 2019 – It Has Indeed Been A Busy Month

Wed: cousin Calvin in Brisbane/Australia made my day today – tkx to him for working out a comprehensive coding for the family tree to show how we are related. Will share this on the LAM TinYue Heritage FB-posting when I get my act together to provide him with whatever names and YOB&YOD I have in my notes.

Thu: Happy Thanksgiving to all celebrating. Reflecting over a decade of Thanksgivings, feeling blessed&thankful for everyday even without my flock who are always in my heart&mind and with our family tradition of 2019 Beaujolais Nouveau, if I can find a bottle here. Pix credits to Cindy&Linn.

Changi Airport’s tunnel leading to T4 – amazed how this location was once the budget terminal and now look at this – nobody in my way for these shots with how ice-kacang were made in the good-old-days. Have been trying to explain this and now finally an illustration speaking fluently, tkx to Yip YewChong.

Welcome Lily from KCH and Angelina&Zephyr from Belgium and if the Minions cannot get the attention of this adorable 3yrs young’s no one else can!

Welcome, Happy Thanksgiving&tkx for dinner to Lesley who is here for a short working trip from CA/USA. She is the only person I know of who has 39cats! Met at the new revamped Grand Park City Hall Hotel – sadly not what it used to be where I would occasionally pop in for a drink in this spacious lobby with a personality+pleasant life-music many moons ago. No recognition of the new tiny entrance/lobby or anything familiar to find my way about – only after asking to learn that it is on the 3-level. Pix downloaded.

BakKutTeh dinner@OldStreet/FunanMall. Koong Woh Tong’s Chinese traditional herbal jelly Guiling Gao 龟苓膏 is one of my favourites there and I like it best without honey or sweetener. The slight bitterness+herbal root Tu Fu Ling 土茯苓, Rhizoma Smilacis Glabrae, Glabrous Greenbrier Root compliments each other, especially after all the eating over the week, really needed this. Pix downloaded except for the one with Lesley.

Fri: TGIF on this Black Friday – a good weekend&shop till you drop! Thanksgiving is over in SIN and you can now bring on the Christmas! Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary Lock&May and Happy 13-BDay #3 who now joins #1&2 into their teen-age years. Had to pick up fresh fruits@Parkway for Campers Christmas bash tomorrow. Decided to watch Last Christmas to get my mind off things I do not want to do! Would probably forget about this movie soon, but it had enough moments to keep the festive spirit alive for now. Lovely rainy afternoons yesterday&today.

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart
But the very next day you gave it away
This year, to save me from tears
I’ll give it to someone special – George Michael/WHAM

Sat: was wakened to this sad news of the stabbings on London Bridge/UK&in the Hague/Netherlands. Family&friends all over the world, plx be safe&take care.


Even the Norwegian Ambassador, pastor&brass-band here@Sjømannskirken for the Christmas Bazaar with AudreyM, it was difficult to get into the spirit of Christmas in this heat.


but always enjoy their fresh-baked goods&open-face sandwiches and always manage finding something to add to my collection, no matter of size!


IMG_7882aGot the fruit cocktail to Campers’ and then off to watch a performance by The Ngee Ann Kongsi Theatre of Peter Pan in Serangoon Gardens@Wild Rice, Funan directed by Ivan Heng. Wendy, played by Mae Elliessa’s voice did sing to me. 1st time in this 358seats taking up 20,000sqft across three floors, nice design but tight on the leg-room and make sure you have a jacket with you here! Tkx to Clem for this musical, but poor him who really had so much pain with his knees by the end of Act 1.


Tkx to management&staff+friends of Campers’ Corner for the season’s 1st Christmas seafood bash – apologies for being late, but it was still Nov and this is the Big-One that did not get away! Appreciations to Pat@Owls Brew for preparing the food.

78808967_10157057945468795_8338760978929811456_oManaged to pull thru’ all these events in one day&one piece in spite of the worst day on the roads&on the buses. Was waiting longer for the buses, stuck in traffic+detoured prolonged bus-rides all day.

Everywhere red! Taxi stands overflowing with queues all because of the road closures for the StanChart Marathon+U2 concert. Tkx to Victor for his live-report while crawling on the road.

Perhaps all these detours are a reminder for me to slow-down at this stage! How life makes twists &turns and I never would have guessed that I’d end up where I am now, but wouldn’t trade it for anything else.

ICA 2019

26 Nov 2019 – Passport + IC Renewal

Sat: thank you PuiAh for dinner&safe journeys home to Vancouver/Canada. At Quentin’s with HS, Sam+Colin where one can also visit the Eurasian Heritage Gallery@the Eurasian Association.

This typical unique yummy Eurasian dish Feng (tkx to HS for the recommendation) is a yummy mild curry of finely diced pork, pork heart&liver – 心肝 literally heart&liver in Cantonese is a term of endearment!! for real.

PuiAh thought the OxtailCurryDebal too spicy – I  liked it, but then I enjoy spicy foods (again spicy here is relative). PasteisDeBacalhau, dried cod with potatoe, chopped parsley, cilantro&onions, whipped with eggs and fried. And of course the popular SugeeCake

Was@Quentin’s in 2015 with Clem and then again in 2016 with Yun.

Sun: OMG, The Crown – Season3 with all 10episodes are out on Netflix and yes watched some yesterday afternoon and the rest today.

Mon: made an appointment online some weeks ago to collect my renewed passport/S$70&IC/S$10. ICA impressed me again as they did in 2010&2015. The line snaked to outside&around the side of the building – was in by 0800hrs&out by 0815hrs. Yeah – another 5yrs to gallivant outside of SIN before having to renew the passport again!

Time for breakfast – crossing the canal to the food center, must have been nearly a decade ago since I had a bite here.

Nice to see these murals and that the place is brighter, cleaner and cooler with many fans.

Since in the area, heading to Arab St to check out materials, but alas, forgot to take with me the colour samples and as it was, most the the shops were still closed. Pleasant to stroll down this area in the shade where the only crowds were these figures in the side lane of HajiLn leading me to the bus-stop on OphirRd

At the MP Town Counsel to put a deposit (S$300, to be refunded 2months after the event) for reserving the Communal Area 44AS$85.60 including the use of water&power for the day is affordable. What a productive morning.


Tue: welcome Tore from Norway back to his other home here in SIN. Good of him to make time to catch up for brunch during his paternal leave here with Aurora.

A frustrating afternoon@Campers’ trying to learn to use the photoexpress App – am about to throw in the towel…

Home wasn’t a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go ― Sarah Dessen/What Happened to Goodbye

Affordable Art Fair 2019

22 Nov 2019 – Again Is Not Affordable For Me

Tue: nice relaxing day to calm the body&soul. Congratulations to #1, last high-school XC meet@Springdale Race-Course where she placed 18 overall&the team+#2 placed 12@5A-SC-State-Championship-Meet. Last banquet and a new chapter for #1 soon starts in USC/Gamecock. Looking much forward to being with my flock again for her High-School Graduation Jun 2020 before she flies from her nest! Pix credits to Linn&Elizabeth

Wed: a voice from the past – welcome Sven Poulsson (L&M’s father’s cousin) from Norway. We last met in the 1970s and no problems at all recognizing him today – sweet&short get-together to reminisce and tkx to KK for delicious wholesome home-made dinner. Seemingly Sven’s bro, Espen has been working here for a while and somehow KK recently became friends with Espen, thus connecting the dots! Saw Sven off to the airport and safe journeys home to him.

Thu: lunched@FunanKopitiam and to catch a movie@GV there, first time in this new cinema. The Good Liar, do not read too much into it and just know that the plot is about this elderly con guy who tries to con an elderly widow. If you read too much in advance, it’ll destroy the element of surprise. Went with just knowing that and enjoyed it. Read the detailed plot and the critics after watching it and was not what I expected. Thought that both Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren did good enough to convince me of their roles here.

Appreciations to Leo for helping out to download the PhotoBookExpress App which I need to work on for the UKC2C book for Camper’s. Tkx to Calvin for Pat’s home-cooked dinner@Owls.

Fri: TGIF and a glorious weekend to all. Welcome Siong from Ireland back to SIN for a buffet lunch with PuiAh, Meg, myself, Jo&Joyce. Good that she is able to take a break from her farm to visit her family here and tkx for taking time to catch up. Safe journeys for her back home to Ireland.

Was surprised to see hardly any crowds at Roxy’s Feast@East Buffet Restaurant. When we were last here 9yrs ago it was crowded.

Am wondering if they will be able keep this going when there were so few ppl even on a Fri??


Tkx to AudreyM for the invite to Affordable Art Fair which was not affordable for me even 5yrs ago, not to say now!

The only affordable thing for me is a yummy bite from Jamie@Gattopardo Ristorante Di Mare – nice surprise to see her working there. Speedy recovery to Giovanni who is in hospital getting rid of his appendix.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication – Leonardo DaVinci