From Embarrassment To Icon

15 Feb 2019 – iLight Singapore 2019

Mon: today is the 7th day of the CNY traditionally known as Rénrì (人日, the common man’s birthday), is the day when everyone grows one year older. Enjoy your birthdays and a good week to start your PiggyYear. The Chinese character  Rén=human/person and when you add a bar across  =big. Lucy’s with sharp eyes commented – Man with the outstretched arms means da or big’ on my photoshop pix with a discreet white bar across; for me it is a reminder to keep learning&trying to be a bigger, ie better person for every 人日. Such fun learning Chinese.

Another enlightening&entertaining talk on Raffles – From Embarrassment To Icon, tkx to TP Barnard (NUS). For me to attend morning talks going from the EastC to ACM in town, means that I really want to be there! So far they have been well-worth the time. Appreciations to Yoshie for saving me a seat in this full-house audience. Always enjoy a durian ice-cream on thin wafers S$1 outside ACM by the river. Pix credits to Yoshie and tks to her for lunch@CC.

Dropped by to H&H to wish Peggy&Aileen a Happy CNY. A Journey of Happiness (HKG&Malaysia made movie)@Cathay Parkway. Nothing to write home about which might explain why I was the only one watching this movie!!

Tue: nice that this part of BoonTatSt by LauPaSat closes for traffic at 1900hrs every evening. Fascinating to watch how efficient everything was when the clock struck 7 on the dot, barracks were promptly in place at the junctions of RobinsonRd&ShentonWay, push-carts, tables&chairs were smoothly set-up and just before your eyes, the street turns into an amazing outdoor eating area. Been awhile since my last satay meal here.

Tkx to Clement for dinner and a short walk first to introduce Magnus to LeVel33+just a couple of the lights@iLight Festival, so far – Dune by DaanRoosegaarde/Netherland and TimeTraveller by EkoPrawoto/Indonesia. Will have to return another evening to wander about in these lights.

Wed: condolences to Ivy for the passing of her mom (99) known to us as porpor. May she RIP. Thoughts&prayers are with Les&Ivy, Patricia&family and Kat&family. The next few nights&days will be at the SIN Casket for the wake.

Thu: Happy Hearts Day on this 2019 10thCNYday. The origins of Valentine’s Day is a pagan festival, Rome’s Lupercalia, not as romantic as you would imagine! But love is blind and lust is innate! And there is a Anapgi=LoveCastle (for real) located in Gyeongju/S-Korea.

Lawrence arr from KCH to attend the wake&funeral and will be staying with me.


Fri: TGIF and Happy 40Bday to god-daughter Guri in Norway. Another day@SIN-Casket to support Les&Ivy+family for the loss of Ivy’s mom. More a celebration of life for her as she was blessed with a wonderful life surrounded and well-taken care by her love ones. In spite of circumstances, nice to catch up with Ivy’s cousin Irene&family from KL

CNY 2019

10 Feb 2019 – Continuing The Celebrations

Fri: TGIF and a great weekend to all to start the Piggy-Year. Tkx Gel for her yummy home-made Kimchi. Her vOOkvision is one of the most flexible glasses which will stay securely on, tkx to the clever hooked-shape design frame. Most highly recommended for anyone needing glasses. To sign up for email alert on their launch of pre-orders or for any info&questions:

Sat: @CC to wish Calvin&staff a Happy CNY. They will be moving locations in Jun, so enjoying what is going on in that area today – honey tasting@SAM at 8Q.

Beyond any doubt for me, the King of 鱼生 YuiSang=raw fish. Tkx to Ivy&Les for including me to Jessie&Franks’s 28ingredients 捞起 LoHei. Missed it the last 2yrs! Again, starved all day to taste this dish so that the flavour can linger till the next tasting, whenever that may be!

Sun: needed today to rest for both the body&soul after over indulging with last night’s foods&wines. Somehow feeling rather nostalgic, tkx to these Then&Now postings by JeromeLim – The Long&Winding Road, one of the blogs I like following.

Where those row houses&the coconut tree (now BayHotel&TelokBlangahHouse) are in the B/W – the ice-cream man on bicycle used to ring his bell when he was by the palm trees in the early evenings.

Sharing these shots again taken from 5TemenggongRd (early 1950s, presuming that it is taken by my father?) towards then Wharf#8&Pulau Blakang Mati now VivoCity&Sentose (2014 taken by me).

Tkx Julie/NC,USA for sharing her lovely 2019 CNY family pix. Reminded be of the last 2006 CNY with L&M. Have not been together with my 2daughters for CNY since with just 2grandchildren then. Would be another dream come true if we could all get together with 6grandchildren for a CNY someday!

Thought that MarineParade Lunar New Year Charity Dinner 2019 was last night and that I would have a quiet evening tonight, but alas I was mistaken. What a huge turned out – I spied Yusof@GoH-Table looking very distinguished with his halo 🙂 Tkx to him for the explanation – last evening was for residents. This evening were comcare, the lesser fortunate, those from elderly homes within the GRC. Thus the 2 evenings.

Cousin Karen thought she spotted me in the group, and after enlarging the pix to give it a proper look, discovered what she saw and no – not me, was not at this dinner (stomach needs to rest) Wow! she has sharp eyes.

GoH-ESM GOH ChokTong – how convenient to be entertained by just leaving the door&windows open. And on the positive note, this common area downstairs was cleaned and quiet way before 2200hrs. Time for some zzz before another busy week ahead.

I’m a dreamer. I have to dream and reach for the stars, and if I miss a star then I grab a handful of clouds – Mike Tyson

Welcoming The Year Of The Pig

7 Feb 2019 – CNY Celebrations

Mon: Reunion dinner tkx to Ivy&Les for LoHei 捞起 – Cantonese-style raw fish salad, personal favourite taste is with fresh 西刀 Ikan-Parang Wolf-Herring, anything else is not the same! Do remember all the auspicious phrases as you add the fish&other ingredients into the salad.

Tue: 恭喜發財 Kung-Hei-Fat-Choy to each and everyone celebrating the CNY, Chinese/LunaNewYear. May the Year of the Pig bring you all Good Health, Happiness and Prosperity.

Greetings from some of the Green (sitting), Orange (standing – Kiera should have been in the front row with the PurpleG) &Purple (front row) generations from the LAM TinYue (BlueG) – at present, total of 71 (including those who passed on+spouses still in tact) from my father’s branch on this 1stDay for the Year of the Pig. Appreciations to Ivy&Les for their gracious hospitality and for teaching the younger generation the Art of BlackJack 🙂 Family group pix credits to MeiPin.

Bro-in-laws Michael&Khalid; god-sister, Pat’s son SengYee; nieces Pat&Sue, Adeline, LIMKimBeng (Albert’s bro-in-law). MichaelCHUA&fam (Albert’s bro) left before I could get a shot of them!


2above pix credits to David

Continued my visit to 4Sis-in-law who is under the weather and then to bro Steven@UMC, Queensway. Tkx to Daisy for prata@Springleaf PrataPlace (TheRailMall ) and a drink@EagleWingsLoft, KingAlbertMall. Since we were in the area, wanted to take them to CAMACA which was closed by the time we got there. Very seldom in this area and now suddenly twice within the week!!

Wed: CNY is also the start of the Spring Festival and this beautiful blossoming tree is at Kranji MRT Station. Not out there for any horse racing on this 2ndCNY day, but to visit 2Sis-in-law who lives with her 2nd-born&fam. Tkx for having me over and for her delicious home-cooking, especially her curry.

2nd bro, LAM KwokKiong’s (may he RIP) 4children, JenMun, Jenleng, JenWee&Steve and their families on the 1stCNY-day. At present 17total from here and more to be added as time goes by. Eldest grandnephew SuiChang recently got married and when they start their family, the new generation will be colour-coded Brown. It would be a dream come true if I am able to gather as many as possible together from the LAM TinYue’s branch for a family reunion. Above pix credits to JenLeng. 

If my calculations are correct, the total count ( including those who passed on+spouses in tact) from paternal grandfather LAM SongKee’s+3wives trunk to the branches, sub-branches, etc is 159 for today.

Thu: welcome Magnus back to SIN. Has it really been 7yrs ago when I first met him&the SMUexchange group? Always proud to show off how garbage&graffiti free SIN public areas can be. Underpass leading to EC Pk and a beautiful day to have a picnic brunch there. For someone from a maritime nation like Norway, even he is amazed with the all the ContainerShips in the background.

Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another –  Ernest Hemingway

Bukit Timah

3 Feb 2019 – Old Railway Station

Fri: discovered a new cinema – EagleWingsCinematics, an independent boutique cinema@KAP-Mall/KingAlbertPk on BukitTimahRdJulian&LisaTheng are co-founders of the EagleWingsGroup. Medical doctor and lawyer siblings wanted to create a lively and vibrant hub that could enrich the lives, wellness, and growth in this community. It was quite a treat to share this new cinema with just one other person! The senior ticket is S$5.50, 50cents more than the regular cinemas but well worth it.

CAMACA ice-cream&coffee joint is fascinating. Now I understand what they mean by No Scooping. Ice-cream in a capsule and being pressed out by a machine, thought they were large macaroons on first sight. Smooth&delicious and what a novelty. Excellent service from Silver (yes that is her name, asked twice and she ensured me that it is not Sylvia!), the young manager who also demonstrated how the machine works.

Storm Boy – a man tells the story of his boyhood, when he lived a lonely existence on an isolated coastline with his father and with an orphaned pelican who changed his life. He hopes to prevent his granddaughter from making the same mistakes he made – a beautiful movie on nature, animal&human bonding.

And everything lives on in their hearts – the wind-talk, the wave-talk, and the scribblings on the sand – Colin Thiele

Had some time to explore the area before getting caught in the rush-traffic! Behind the mall is this house which reminded me of 5Temenggong Rd. Heading to the bus-stop (some joker had fun with the sign!) to discover with joy that the old BkTimah railway station is just around the corner. Oh yes, definitely a detour to see the changes since the last visit there, 3yrs ago.

Hope that the station&sign will be restored when the MurnanePipelineProject is completed.

Crossed path with a native and 2teenage-boys&their dog.

Assuming that this was the station-master’s lodgings and hoping that too will be restored and that the big old trees will stay after all these constructions.

Had to cross the road to catch the bus, might as well do so on this bridge which is more pleasant than the overhead bridge parallel to this – looked like rush-traffic has started. Looking back without the buildings or trains, no matter how long I stop or how hard I look or listen! Sign post pix from 2013 UKc2cHike).

Making sure of some proper shots of this bridge, never know when or if there is a next time, but do hope to visit one more time when constructions and restorations are completed.

Sat: commemorating SIN bicentennial, Dr Green from the BritishMuseum is here@ACM presenting an interesting talk on Raffles’s Collection from Java – European Evidence of Civilisation. 

The question (which can also apply to many ppl) on this poster will really open a can of worms, but will not go into it unless reading&research are done thoroughly. If you have read the old history books about the scholar Raffles, then do read the newer books and you will find both the scholar&scoundrel. Such is life with all humans and there is always flip-side in all of us – Dr Jackel&MrHyde

The universal opinion (has been) that in places carried by assault, the army was entitled to make an immediate distribution of treasure&jewel – Raffles to Lord Minto

Bumped into Milly and good to see her, tkx to her for lunch@Privé/ACM, not often one is served with a rectangle quiche!!

Sun: looking forward and gathering up energy&strength for the CNY celebrations ahead!


31 Jan 2019 – ByeBye To January & To The Dog

January will return again in 2020, but as for the Dog (Dog year ends 4Feb), will have to wait until 2030.

Mon: NDC to get stitches out after the extractions. Perfect timing for the annual trip into Chinatown to soak up the pre-CNY ambiance and see the lights.

Enjoying the Durian-Shaved-Ice@MeiHongYeun and watching life go by. OldChangKee, one of my favourtie curry-puff places has a branch located beside the HeritageMuseum. Like this shop with the various colours, sizes, shapes lanterns+all the other lights. A quick restroom call into ChinatownPoint.

Passed by LimCheeGuan – usually there is a line here that snakes around the corner with ppl bringing their portable chairs to wait in this line – the early bird catches the pig here!

And so it will soon be time to let the Dog out (pix from 2018) and welcome the Pig!!

Tue: pix downloaded. movie Green Book – based on a true story on a bouncer about an Italian-American who is hired to drive a world-class Black pianist, on a concert tour from NYC to the Deep South. The Green Book (1st published 1936. last 1964) was a road-tripper guide-book for African-Americans. Confronted with racism, etc, they are forced to set aside differences to survive and thrive on this tour. Brilliant acting and heartfelt ode to the bond between 2real-life men who remained friends until they died. Could not get enough of the piano playing, so inspired that I had to dig up my notes for Chopin’s etudes!

Grocery day@Giant/Parkway. Henry is here to promote China&Taiwan Mandarin Oranges for the CNY – both sweet and good deals today.

Wed: being in SIN now and not ever having seen Aloysius Pang’s acting, had to see Young&Fabulous (2016) on the big screen in memory of him@Cathay/Parkway. Part of the proceeds will be going to his family. Nice to bump into Aileen as I was leaving – pix credits of me to her.

Thu: CNY-deco@Waterloo St where Kwan-Im Temple is located and it is considered the good luck temple, so who does want good luck! For me the trees also make a difference!! After seeing the decos in Chinatown, Waterloo St and neighbourhood/Parkway, time to put up the auspicious stuff in my own 4-walls so that it will not look like a pigsty 🙂 And if you believe these predictions, will need all the luck I can get as the Pig Year is does not seemed to be kind to those born in the year of the Ox. Anyway will still enjoy sucking pig even in the year of the Pig – hahaha.

All the inane, meaningless noises people make that pass for intelligent conversation. They might as well be pigs grunting in the pen ― Norma Fox


Edited: condolences to Jan&family for the passing of her father Alonzo, may he RIP. Prayers and thoughts are with her. Will always remember him with fond memories and glad that I was given the privilege to make them a meal (shrimp cocktail and bourbon-salmon), even if that was the last time I saw them in 2015.

Norway & Canada

27 Jan 2018 – The Size Of A Moose Statue

Wed: tkx to Dika for sharing NYTimes – Norway and Canada Go Head to Head Over the World’s Tallest Moose Statues. Some funny comments from my FB

Linn: Love that the Norwegian moose is named Storelgen, literally translated Big Moose

Ole: Very difficult to be Norwegian in Canada these days. May have to seek refuge at the embassy.

DikaNow the Norwegian tourism board has shown a video suggesting Moose Jaw paint its moose pink so it can have the tallest pink moose in the world. That is some expert trolling! Because…Norway. Trolls! – the city’s tourism department says Mac is one of the most photographed roadside attractions in Canada and the mayor of Moose Jaw has even suggested putting skates on the statue! 

Moose pix downloaded. Have not heard of these moose until now, so learnt something new tkx to Dika. Personally and as objectively as possible, preference to Storelgen in the free to MooseJaw fenced up which make it impossible to buckhead with Storelgen – hahaha!

There are talks about enlarging MooseJaw’s antlers and they wonder if Storelgen’s shiny complexion was due to a diet of herring and the respond – brown bread, not herring. Fun to see a lighthearted humorous feud, unlike what is really happening now Canada&China!

JimamiTofu, Singaporean-Japanese drama – Chinese SIN chef in Okinawa learning traditional Okinawan food after a breakup with Japanese food critic.  Through it he learns the balance of two cultures: Chinese and Japanese – a balance they never had in their relationship. Had to watch this in big-screen, after senior-discount hours S$9.50 and S$5 to taste this tofu with peanut flavour garnish with wolfberry – all worth it.

Highly recommend to go watch and this movie and taste the tofu (peanut flavour) before it is taken off the big screen. Winner of the Audience Choice Award at its World Premiere at the 37th Hawaii International Film Festival with SIN BananaMana Films in collaboration with the Singapore Film Society. Congratulations to our local actors&producers Christian&Jason.

Aloyscius Pang, SIN actor passed away from injuries in an accident while training as a reservist in NZ. Condolences to his family&friends. Have not heard of him or seen any of his acting or movies until now – so very sad when a young life(28) ended so sudden&unexpectedly. Pix downloaded.

Thu: tkx to DaisyC for nice lunch co&for these fresh Yellow-flower fish. Prepared it 2ways – personal preference is steaming with herbs and a few dashes of Kirsten’s home-made Mushroom-Soyasauce. Good too for frying, especially when it is fresh enough to curl in the pan.

Fri: TGIF – somehow must have been tired to be dozing off all day! Tkx for Bday gifts from L&M – wardrobe now smells nice and besides the living room, the kitchen has a host of angels on the fridge. Mailing by AIR from US took 16days and from Norway 11days – maybe the angels with their wings helped! Still trying to figure out as to when roughly to snail-mail things. Only greeting cards from SIN and only during Christmas&CNY cost 70cents for international postage.

Sat: Happy Australia Day to family&friends DownUnder and to all celebrating. Pix credits to Kim Austin. Trying to find out what is the name of the tree? To nephew Vincent&family who have recently emigrated there, enjoy the long weekend and their 1st-AussiDay. Now that the Christmas deco are put away into storage, its time for the CNY deco to be taken out of storage, a week before the 1st day, 5Feb.


Sun: off to 4th sis-in-law today to learn how to make her Almond dessert-drink/杏仁糊, (literally translated to almond-paste) the best to my taste. This is time consuming (3-4hrs) and patience is the secret. The almonds used here are not your usual almonds, but ApricotKernels which are soaked in water overnight+a handful of rice. Blended, sieved a few times and finally thru’ cheese-cloth. Constant stirring the blended mixture while slow cooking to a boil before adding rock sugar.


Appreciations to Daisy for homemade PrawnMee dinner, the starting of the 1st CNY-Reunion-Dinner with Vincent back from Perth for a few days.

If words had flavors, hers would be bitter almonds and coffee grounds. – Jodi Picoult

The Intouchables

22 Jan 2019 – The Upside

Sat: still some bleeding from yesterday’s extractions! Taking it easy to do paper work and filling out financial aid forms.

Sun: welcome back to SIN Ann and tkx for Michelin-Starred Ramen@Konjiki Hototogisu 金色不如帰 Great World City with Ivy. Had their signature dish with the clear-soup-based Oyster-Shio-Ramen, tasty and hit the spot for me who has just lost 2teeth! The only problem was that I kept mistaking the end of my stitches in my mouth for noodles 🙂

Was there 11.45hrs (opens 12n) to stand in line as reservations are non-existence here. 5ppl were ahead and was seated before 12n. Ivy&Ann arr by 12n. Took a longer time in line to pay as their system was down, ouch – how dependent we are online nowadays! An afternoon visiting with bro Steven and sis-in-law, one in a home and the other at home! Plz shoot me before I get to that stage!!

Mon: phone rang as I was just about to take the bus for a scheduled appointed with the financial aid ppl. The call was to clarify that being a public patient, am entitled to aid, thus they will re-adjust my payment – yeah, no need to make a trip to NDC. More movies and prices have gone up to S$5 for seniors, and bus-fares too, up a couple of cents.

A remake of the 2011French movie The Intouchables, The Upside is about the unlikely friendship between a wealthy man with quadriplegia and the unemployed man with criminal record he`s hired to help him.

Seen The Intouchables a couple of time, a positive and feel good movie, but once is enough for Upside. Do enjoy the opera arias in both movies.


Tue: Happy Happy 17thBday to #1. Someone plx tell me that she cannot be 17?????

With all the hype of the Super-Blood-Wolf-Moon, took an extra early walk to EC-Pk this morning. No howling wolves or red colour, but still beautiful and the most serene time to be out.

Trees in the moonlight are just as beautiful.

Do not usually stop by MarineCove on my morning walks, but did so today to discover that the McD here no longer has 24hrs-service. Instead My BriyaniHouse next door is 24hrs, good to know and a Teh HaliaTarik (ginger milk tea) S$3 – would not make this a habit, but glad that there is a 24hrs eatery just within 5mins walk if needed.

Appreciations to Carmel for yummy lunch in good company of Kathleen&Ivy in Carmel&Soon’s lovely home. Safe journeys to them all. Group pix credits to Cian.


Found a pix from 2014 blog-posting of their home then and tkx to Carmel for the now pix where the garden is lusciously green and beautiful. She did mentioned that KokSoon, her husband, my cardiologist like gardening! It sure looks like the SecretGarden I always wanted! Not only is he a good cardiologist, but he also has a green-thumb.

The flower that smells the sweetest is shy and lowly – William Wordsworth