Some Thoughts

21 Dec 2018 – As We Enter The Holiday Season

Mon: life is about being with family & friends and more so during the end of the year holidays knowing that time for the year is soon over. Appreciations to those making time to catch up and welcome to those traveling here to catch up. Appreciations to Carmel for lunch co. Unfortunately Kathleen (Carmel’s mom visiting from Ireland and Iren, who just returned from Norway), are both down with ailments. Thank you to Evelyn dinner co and for yummy home-made Tiramisu.

Tue: polyclinics for blood test and to CC delivering gift to Andrew. The expression Hanging by the rope came to mind whenever I see these colourful ropes! You can be sure that you are safe with these when & if you need them for work or play, some even strong enough for helicopter rescue.

Appreciations to PT with Aileen’s co for lunch@one of my favourite vegetarian places – New Green Pastures Cafe. Had to rushed back to get the cakes to put them into Clem’s freezer as there is no space in the tiny one I have.

Welcome back to SIN Larry from TX, USA – good to catch up for dinner at DinTaiFung and dessert at Privé@Paragon. Thought that the cheese split over this XiaoLongBaos=teamed pork dumplings, but turned out that it is how one can tell the chicken dumplings from the pork for those who do not eat pork.

Wed: @VivoCity flying high with my favourite Ben&Jerry’s Coffee-Coffee ice cream. Indian movie KedarnathUttrakhand floods that happened in 2013 where more than 5,700ppl were presumed dead.

Grateful to Daisy for the invite to an evening premiere of Mary Poppins Returns – a family movie for the festive season, thus spent the afternoon@Vivo.

Thu: thought I would have a quiet day to chill, but life is such that the kitchen ceiling had a leak and had to empty out the cabinate to dry and clean out the overflown basin there. It had happened before, (that why the basin was place there!) but the neighbour upstairs refused to take responsibilities then. Thank goodness when it happened some years ago and now again, I am here to take care of it, but will need to do something about it as I am not always here.

Fri: TGIF, last Fri before Christmas – a good weekend to all. Dental work@NDC and amazed at the nearly completed Outram Community Hospital (2020) which is by the National Heart Centre.

Walked to one of my favourite hotels – ParkRoyal on Pickering. Lovely to see the various shades of green flourishing so lusciously over the unusual different grey layers of concrete at this hotel. Such a clever way to soften the harshness of the hard concrete.

Tis The Season

16 Dec 2018 – To Be Jolly

Mon-Tue: hopefully the snail-mail will arrive to their destination in time for the seasonal greetings. The blog posting (except for 1more pix to be inserted on BoxingDay) is ready for the 2018 Season’s Greetings.

Wed: tkx to Ivy for delicious lunch@Paradise Teochew/Scotts Square, one of my favourite places for their mini egg-tarts. The chef here sometimes cooks for Les&Ivy’s private parties.

WOW! to all the beautifully decorated Christmas trees and to Chihuly’s works – my all-time favourite glass-sculptor.

Thu: back to the NorwegianSeamen’s Church to collect the Kransekaker bought@their Christmas Bazaar. Walking up that hill always tell me what bad shape I am in!! Never noticed these unusual red&yellow flowers growing on the same bush until today. Wonder what is the name to this??

Bus30 brings me all the way there and it is not often I take this bus. Passing by TemenggongRd gave me the chance to take some pix from the upper deck. Looks like some new construction on the old BATA shoe factory site. Buildings built-up on both sides of the road and the rambutan tress (back ground behind the coconut trees by the mosque) are sooo over-grown.

Welcome from HI/USA auntie Winnie (90yrs, wife of 12uncle John). What a lovely time reminiscing with someone who has an amazing memory of our time in TemenggongRd. She even remembers how I used to climb the trees there. Just snapped a pix of those from the bus this morning. Was it really 8yrs ago we last met in SIN?عيد-مبارك/

Fri: TGIF, running around picking up food for the weekend and Mon’s company.

Sat: @the market to buy a pot of poinsettia S$18. This new roasted&soup stall took the place of my favourite chai tow kway. The pix looks good, but will have to try someday soon.

Lunch with Henry and dinner with Leonard. Blessed to be celebrating this annual end of the year holiday season with family&friends. Caught up with Henry&Leo for their 2018 happenings. Appreciations to all good company for crossing paths in these last 2weeks to 2018. A mini WinterWonder-Land on my piano to remind me that it is winter somewhere out there in the midst of the tropical surroundings.

Sun: appreciations for good company to share a meal on this 3rd Sunday of Advent.

Kransekaker decorated by me for the holidays. Head-piece with multi-purposes was needed to top the cake during dessert time 🙂 Edible flower to be used for tomorrow’s salad, tkx to TingTing. Pix credits to Bev&TingTing.

Everywhere in the world, both historically and in contemporary cuisines, the use of flowers in food has been special and exceptional and the flowers themselves have always been included with intent and care, never accidentally or without purpose. Flowers are used in food by someone who cares about you, and who cares about the beauty of what you are about to eat ― Constance Kirker

2018 Season’s Greetings

2018 was blessed with 6months of travelling to be with family&friends in Borneo, HongKong, UK, USA, Canada, Norway&Italy. As age catches up, the energy for such extended long-distance travels goes down! Not sure if I will be able to do what I did in 2018, but will try my best to visit as many as possible in 2019.

Jan: Kuching, Sarawak/E Malaysia with Lawrence&Mabel, Chuan&family+HS visiting from SIN. A new pedestrian bridge, DarulHanaBridge on the waterfront.

Mar: HongKong with Les&Ivy+David.

Apr: London/UK with Yat-Soon&family+Yasmine.

May&Jun: SC/USA with Linn&family; AT-hiking buddies in VA/USA.

July: SC/USA with the FaBuLous5; AT-hiking buddies and the last time with Bear in ME/USA.

Aug: Toronto/Canada with YunLAM, Jessica10thUncle TSANG YanChuen (1st meeting with him), KarLIng&Henry, Winnie&hubby+AnnaTSANG (maternal side), and Lock&May LAM.

Sep: Norway/Tromsø with Ellen (Linn&May’s paternal grandmother age94); Trondheim with Anne&family; Oslo with Olai#6 and his parents.

Oct: Puglia&Rome/Italy with early 1950s childhood friends PP&Ian+KK.


Nov-Dec: SIN with John+family and cousins visiting from Australia/CL, China/CE, NZ/CS&JW, USA/Wilki. With some of my siblings+their families during our annual Christmas lunch, using this 2013 pix as it is the best when we first saw what this popper was about!

Life is such that beginnings and endings are neither. For in fact, they perpetually lay the groundwork for the other ― Craig D. Lounsbrough

Red-Generation: grandparents, the generation where all have passed on
Blue-Generation: parents
Green-Generation: me
Orange-Generation: children
Purple-Generation: grand kids
Brown-Generation: future great-grand kids


9 Dec 2018 – Movies@Shaw Cinemas

Wed: movie time and 1st time checking out Nex, a regional shopping mall in Serangoon, within the NE-Region. Nice stomping grounds with a public library on the roof-top 7floor and bus interchange+MRT in the basements.

Cinemas, all kinds of shops, eateries+food-courts, 24hrs gym facilities, banks, etc conveniently under one roof – what else more could I ask for. In additional, the Shaw cinemas are the only ones offering S$4 for senior tickets, all the others charge more than S$4.

Thu: tkx Gel for dropping by with lunch, great catching up.

Fri: appreciations to Seb for his high-tech assistance and good to catch up over dinner. Strangely enough the last 4movies watched all started with the alphabet L – Love Actually (old flick I like to watch in Dec!) Last Letter (unhurried style ie on the slow side), London Fields (reminder of a femme fatal),  Life Itself (as literally as the title and if I were to give it a tagline, Such is Life!).

Sat: appreciations to Audrey for explaining about the rituals in the temple for those who have passed on, today paying respect to Betty. The ashes can be in another location where you can pay your respect, usually  on ChingMing festival, also known as Tomb-Sweeping Day. Now I understand why cousin CC has his tablet in SIN.

Chinese pay their respects to the dead throughout the year, so they also keep tablets with the names and sometimes the pix of the deceased at temples where the maintenance and the chanting of the monks are part of a package. Am amazed with the Coke cans creativity – reminded me of the movie The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980). No disrespect or offence here, but if I remember correctly this was a cute comedy flick.


WUFC8473Thank you to chefs Jamie&Giovanni for the yummy food@The Terminal Cafe – a combination for a memorial to Betty and a Christmas lunch. Chose this location as this is where we had our last lunch together. This lovely bird (Balearica regulorum) gray crowned crane, quite a tongue twister!) crossed our path in the car-park but nobody knows where it popped up from. Someone suggested that it might be a runaway from the bird-park, but then the bird-park is nowhere near here. Why did the bird cross the road?? Bird pix credits to April.

Collage set-up credits to May – food pix credits to Audrey. We have both April&May for company 🙂 Menu: omakase, ask the chef if you want the name of the dishes!

4peaceSun: 2nd Sunday of Advent, and how I do hope&pray deep down in my heart that ppl can live with love in their actions, mind, speech&thoughts. Need to get all the Season’s Greetings completed and out in the mail by the beginning of the week. Sent a Halloween card in Oct and it took 3weeks getting to the US even-though Surface-Mail no longer exist – Snail-Mail has truly earned its reputation. Card&letter writing seem outdated but there are still a handful who like to receive a hard-copy.


1st plate of Char-Kway-Teow, literally=Fried-Flat-Noodles (delicious&oozing with cholesterol) since returning to SIN. Was passing by one of my favourite locations (Zion Riverside Food Centre) for this dish served with ‘hum’ (blood cockles)+crunchy pork lard, and there was not much of a line. Also to have dinner with Clem before he takes off to work in KL for the week.


Was pleasantly surprised by this pix of John&Linn posted by AT hiking buddy John/MoFo this morning. After a few query messages, discovered that they just ran the Kiawah-Island Half-Marathon, proud of my 1st-born who came in 2nd for the Female-Master. He heard her name when she got her award – small world, pix credits to Erin&John.

When you run the marathon, you run against the distance, not against the other runners and not against the time – Haile Gebrselassie

Welcome Dec 2018

4 Dec 2018 – Less than A Month to 2018

Fri: TGIF and the last Fri for Nov2018. Getting the fruit-cocktail ready for tomorrow, usually taking much time cutting up fruits, but then they are at least fresh fruits of my choice 🙂

Sat: the day@MtE keeping Jo company thru’ her tests – she was admitted last night. Nieces Pat&family are away and Sue had to work. Thank goodness all tests showed no negative results. Like this fresh juice machine in the lobby and S$2 for a cup is reasonable&refreshing.

1st 2018 Christmas gift completed and the 1st 2018 Christmas gathering starts. It’s getting to look a lot like Christmas – let the party begin for this season! Cork-wreath pix credit to Calvin who has spruced it up with lights+van&trees! Packages of sweet goodness made by me and pix credits of that and Helen&I to Helen.

Cheers&appreciations to Calvin&staff+friends@CC for ringing in Dec. Fun night with the merry-makers – large group pix credits to Dennis.

Overdosed of proteins and alcohol – did not have the chance to take pix of the abundance of food behind by the kitchen counter. Supposedly to be a HAT theme, but only 1 or 2 on-takers besides myself.

Sun: welcome to cousins ChengEn/China, ChengLoon/Australia, ChengSong&JiaWen/NZ, Jason&Sara/SIN for lunch in my hood/EastCoast and to share and exchange info about the family heritage on this 1st SundayAdvent. Good to catch up with them and life is such that it takes a funeral to get the family together!

Missing the rest of the Green-Generation in the pix – 5siblings/SIN&KCH, cousins John/SIN, David&Wilki/USA, Lock, Yun&Chai/Canada; Annie/SIN. Yat-Soon/UK, Ken/SIN, David/USA, Yeng/Canada, Jing/?, Klaus, Susannah, Edith/Canada, Wilson/SIN, Fiona/Japan. TOTAL 34, including 5 (Lulu, Kiong, Robert, Desmond, ChengChawn) who have passed on but excluding spouses in this generation from our common grandfather LAM SongKee (Red-Generation).

Mon: back to MtE to check on Jo, everything is good and she should be home tomorrow. A good week ahead to all on this Mon. Getting into the mood of Christmas in the tropics is not always easy and here in TanglinMall, they at least try to create some winter feelings! Agreeing with DickLee here – maybe some ppl think Christmas is another fairy-tale!!![Emarsys_Newsletter]-20181203&extid=6934d0cfb7b252f1ae9f0dbddf5ff88ca8637e77&fbclid=IwAR0qKohoHC3jYqP2pnHueeublYtvvKQFS0zQCdpCsymoVxrxZdk4WhIkB_w

To Mark, AmyR, KatieM&DianaB and to all celebrating – Hag Hannukah Sameaj, Happy Hannukah –  may the glow of all the candles being lit for the next 8 days all around the world, bring the much needed light into our beautiful and complicated world.

Pix credits to Susana Garcia Behar.

Tue: finally the annual seasonal decorations are up within my 4-walls and welcome to this new angel into the rest of my angel family. Thought that there are enough to my collection, but this one speaks to be. The word angel derives from the Greek angelos meaning messenger. Go figure out what your messenger is trying to tell you!

It is impossible to see the angel unless you first have a notion of it – JamesHillman

13 Happy Bday Ingrid HUSTAD

16 Happy Bday Andy LAM

19 Happy Bday Rita Tann

21 Happy Bday Anna Tsang

23 Happy Bday Minos LAM

25 Merry Christmas

27 Happy Bday Lisa XIAO

28 Happy Bday Peggy LEUNG

26 Days To Christmas

29 Nov 2018 – Happy Bday John

Mon: the times to avoid the rush-hour-traffic on the CBD is after 1000hrs. Heading to catch up with Leng who lives near the CBD.

Welcome Leng &baby Aurora from Norway back to SIN. Fantastic views of the threatening rain clouds from her apt on the 24th floor, and fortunately those clouds did not linger and blew away clearing the sky with a zoomed-in view of a colourful elementary school.

Aurora, an alert cute baby-tourist enjoying the food here. Delighted to see the new Rail Corridor added in this amazing model of SIN@URA. Tkx to Clement&Hannah, it took me then 8hrs to do a thru’walk on this 25k trail 2+yrs ago on my 66th Bday.


Dessert in Chinatown and what a coincident to bump into niece Daisy&sis-in-law. Enjoying the sight of all the local childhood cookies – no did not buy any. Pix credit of me to Leng.

Korean movie Soul Mate/Wonderful Ghost 원더풀 고스트 @VivoCity: a patrol officer gets into an accident while investigating a case. His soul gets separated from his body where his wandering spirit tries to figure out and solve a case.

A reminder of the movie Ghost (1990) with PatrickSwayze & DemiMoore. These are the only kind of ghost movies for me! Have been entertained recently with similar movies on YouTube. Must be the Christmas mood.

Shopping for candies@Candylicious where I always feel like a kid and do not know what I really want from all the choices?? But how I felt and what I really am was reminded by the staff@Kopitiam who addressed me as Ah Ma – wow! for the first time, usually it is Auntie!!

Tue&Wed: a crazy rush to complete some of the gifts&preparations for the first Christmas gathering this weekend. Procrastination is my middle name – makes me more creative! Since I now have the reputation of a cork-collector from my wine-drinker male friends!! must make use of them. Last year, it was cork-boards and this year cork-wreaths.

IMG_0563Thu: Happy Happy 12Bday #3, JohnW Hall (2006). As camera shy as he is, happy to have these shots from the summer during my last visit. Hopefully all my children&grandchildren know that they are always deep in my heart even though we only meet annually.

Tkx to Les&Ivy for dinner tonight+a bottle of  wine.

Annoying FB. Tkx to Dee for this message – Hi….I actually got another friend request from you which I ignored so you may want to check your account. Decided to make one of these posting for if&when it happens again – probably will as it also happened last month and FB is facing some issues at present. Pix download and edited. 

Glad to see niece Dika’s write-ups on SIN&Memphis/TN,USA. Pix credits to Pixabay&PhillipVanZandt

You can’t just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood. What mood is that? Last-minute panic – Bill Watterson

A Funeral In Johor

25 Nov 2018 – 29Days To Christmas

Wed: CC’s wake, where you meet members of family one seldom sees. Not exactly a happy occasion, but sadness is also part of life. A precious collage of the 3cousins+family&friends from their growing years. Being a mother I feel for 17thAunt and having been a wife, I also feel for CC’s pregnant wife, another Amy who is expecting their first child, a son in Mar 2019.

Thu: Happy Thanksgiving and this must be one of the few Thanksgiving where a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau 2018 could not be located. After trying and running around 3different locations, was too tired  to do anything. Glad that the family in the US is able to get a bottle as it is our family tradition to have the turkey dinner with this wine. Pix credits to Linn.


Appreciations to Mr Naoto Orui, the founder of The MusicalBox Museum for a most interesting and sweetest Thanksgiving.

Today I learnt and tasted 19different honeys and that the bee’s lifespan is a month and in that month, it produces only 1teaspoon of honey! Group pix credits to Yoshie.

Will definitely think more about adding that extra teasp of honey in the future. Many tkx Yoshie for the invite and to Mr Orui for a delicious home-made lunch by him. He mentioned that those who like his cooking will fall in love with him, but I must say that I have fallen for his cooking 🙂

A Taste of Honey, tasting much sweeter than wine – Beatles


Fri: not TGIF for me today – the last time I followed directly with my hands on the casket vehicle (for immediate family) was in 1965 when mother died, and we went barefoot then. Pix credits of cousin Sara&I to CE. Today no one had to go barefoot and a private bus took us to Johor/Malaysia for CC’s funeral. Anyone who has been that route will know the long lines at the immigration at both ends…

Not sure if it is coincidental or planned where this is concerned – CC lived on Jalan RumanTinggi/SIN and now he is buried in Nirvanna MemorialPark on Jalan KotaTinggi/Kulai, Malaysia – Jalan=walk or road, Ruman=home, Kota=fort in Malay


Do not mean to be blasphemous, disrespectful, out-of-line or rude in any ways, but this must be one of the most colourful light-show burial ceremonies attended!

Sitting at the back row and hoping that taking pix discreetly without flash is OK – 1pix tells 1,000words. The circular center opened and in a dark room and from the forehead of the deity KwanYin various colour lights beamed across the room to the back wall. The white lights were the finale, assuming that the soul/spirit is being beamed up to paradise. My personal thought – in this high-tech world, it would be quite something if CC’s image could have been incorporated into those white lights – no offence there, CC.

The burial grounds are tranquil and extensive.

Last stop – Chinatown Buddha Tooth Relic Temple back in SIN. Not sure about why here, but will edit when I find out.

Our dead are never dead to us until we have forgotten themCousin Lam ChengChwab, you will never be forgotten – RIP. Anyone who has seen Coco (2017), an animated film that celebrates the Mexican tradition known as Día de Muertos will be able to relate to the quote.

Sat&Sun: needed this weekend to chill and to start with the Christmas gifts now that Thanksgiving is over. A Christmas shopper’s complaint is one of long-standing but the nice thing about Christmas is that you can make people forget the past with a present.

IMG_0525Sun: tkx to Martin for lunch. Introducing him to my favourtie Popiah joint@Glory. Per his request for the foods (left-right) – Achar (Nonya Spicy Pickled Veg), Otak (Fish Paste in Banana-Leaf), Popiah (Springroll SIN-style), Chicken Rendang (Nonya-style) and Laksa (Peranakan style Spicy-Noodle Soup). This young German friend is a real sport and a pleasure to see him try everything with gusto.