Back To Food Paradise

14 Oct 2018 – And Constructions 

Fri: TGIF – good to see family again and appreciations to Les&Ivy for this WinePairing Dinner@Culina.

The cracker, fig, ocean trout and crab-cake were tasty.

My portion of lamb was just the right size size and done to perfection – brown outside and pink, moist and tender. Could have gone without the oxtail and if I had thought of it earlier, should have doggie-bag it like Les did. Poor him! coughing and wheezing away very badly!

The dough of the Profitroles could be thinner but filling with ice-cream helped. Had a sip of all the different 6wines. Did not like the Shiraz, the rest were OK but we are all certainly very spoiled by Les where wines are concerned. Am sure glad that I do not have to wash all these glasses.

Thank you to Wiggs for gifts from the US. Am blessed with such thoughtful family&friends around the world.

map downloaded

Sat: welcome back to the never-ending constructions, no NOT a complain, just an update! Looking forward to the completion of the TEL (brown-line) MRT. If still around, will be able to take the underground from where I am to Woodlands without any changes.


Looking forward to our local street food again –  2above pix downloaded. More so now that I have got news that cousin Wilki from HI will be visiting next week.

Started today with NasiLemak – just dawn on me that my neighbourhood NasiLemak stall-owner looks like Ali, one of the casts in SIN local drama Tanglin. Did asked and and he is not and no relationship, but was told that I was not the first one to ask – eye-sight must still be intact 🙂

Sun: a wake in the common area of some prominent soul or rather prominent survivours of the deceased. Have not seen so many wreaths in this area until now. Soon the paper mansion, Mercedes and chests of gold will be in flames and again I do question about these rituals? Besides polluting the environment, there are many issues that will open into too many cans of worms – each to their own beliefs but do wish that they do not have to go past 22hrs with these chanting and other noises. Count my blessings that besides my sight, my hearing is still intact!!

Finally in between snoozes, postings in this blog are more or less edited and updated over a lovely cool&wet weekend.


Condolences to all who have lost family&friends in Hurricane Micheal in FL, the strongest tropical cyclone to strike the US since Andrew in 1992.


And the snowstorm on MtGurja (7,193m), the lap of the south face of MtDhaulagiri in Nepal. Thoughts and prayers are out to all affected.

Most floods are caused by man, not weather; deforestation, levee construction, erosion, and overgrazing all result in the loss of ecosystem services –  Hawken

Back To The Red Dot 2018

11 Oct 2018 – OSL-LGW-SIN


IMG_9900Fri: tkx to Mette&Trine for meeting up@Egon Ullevål. Was not hungry, had just a milk-shade while they others had lunch. Needed to rest for the afternoon and had a good 8hrs sleep for the night.

Also a nice bath with this bath-oils from Lush – if anything else, the colour can remind me that only my toes touched the Adriatic&Ionian Sea

Sat: easy day snoozing, laundry&repacking. Congratulations to Irmo XC@2018 Asics Invitational in GA/USA. Proud of my first-born and #1&2 who placed #1 (20:27.16) & 8 (20:45.54) out of 196runners.

Girls -1st Place in the 5-7A Division with 35teams thru’out the SE.
Boys – 6th Place in the 5-7A Division with 36teams thru’out the SE.
Way to go runners&coaches Linn&Jeremy. Pix credits to John Goodale.


Sun: found this poor little bird on the balcony this morning. Took a pix to ask May what I should do with it? Was asked to put it in a plastic bag in the freezer as it is an unusual sort. Was later told that it is a stjertmeis-Long-tailed tit and it is not usual to find it in this area, so the poor little thing probably got lost during migration and flew into the glass door 😦

May&fam arr home in the early afternoon. Took #6 to a Norwegian movie he wanted to watched. Nice to have some hours with him. Have not been into this cinema since nearly 50yrs ago where I watched The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969). Am amazed with my own memory! Off to the airport with the last train.

Mon: dep OSL in the early morning rains on a 2hrs flight (fell asleep before take off and all the way!) to rainy LGW with 1hr layover there. 12+hrs flights snoozing, catching up with movies was smooth, uneventful and on schedule arr into SIN in the early Tue morning rains.

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12079703_10153067931781971_4289854151093350173_n - CopyTue: feel kinda out of it where time is concerned. Sad that my favourite Congee&ChaiTowKway stalls are no longer@the MT wet market. Was later told by Aud that they are gone for good cos folks getting old for the owner’s legs getting weaker so they rented out the place. 

It will be difficult to find anything like these 2stalls in the neighbourhood. Will miss them, probably a reason to go on a diet…

Wed: had to watched this so much talked-about movie, Crazy Rich Asian – entertaining and feel good movie. Pix downloaded. Nice to see my old school’s CHIJ chapel – memories of the masses attended there. Wonder what the nuns would have thought to see the chapel decorated like this for a wedding? Niece Pat&Albert’s elegant wedding (Dec1998) in this chapel – without banana leafs, red lanterns&water 🙂

According to an old school-mate&ex-journalist Irene – in conversation with several nuns during and after the move, i found them curiously (to my mind) unemotional about leaving the chapel etc behind. But i guess that is what being a religious is about. Not being ridiculously attached to material things.

The mahjong scene was quite clever.  Pix downloaded. My children will probably agree with this quote below.

Twenty Ways You Can Tell You Have Asian Parents. Number one on the list: Your parents never, ever call you just to say hello ― Kevin Kwan, Crazy Rich Asians. 

Thu: morning has broken bright&early with a beautiful sunrise, quite a change from yesterday’s weather. Tkx to sis Jo for dinner and good to catch up with niece Sue too.

After 2nights of decent 8hrs sleep, am ready to tackle 6months of mail and dust! And also to edit&update blog when the mood permits! Strange, but having vague memories that I first got married today in Dublin/Ireland 49yrs ago!!!

Italy (6) 2018

4 Oct 2018 – Bus, Car, Metro, Train & Plane


Tue: back to Villa del Priorato di Malta by 0930hrs and thank goodness there were only 2ppl there ahead of us. My camera was not good enough to capture any shots, but Ian got some. This one is a pix of a book cover –  was well worth the time to peep thru’ this key-hole!

Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, national museum of 21st-century arts is a national museum of contemporary art and architecture and what a complete contrast from what have been in view for the past 2weeks. Liked the ceiling in the cafe which actually gave the sound like life-music thru’ the speakers…


The ink from this fountain aggravated my coughing and really got me sneezing non-stop that I had to leave the room.


Interesting sign and space usage. Nice sofa design, but not comfortable for short ppl like me! Maybe better for those with a more intimate relationship!!

Museo Nazionale Etrusco The National Etruscan Museum is a museum of the Etruscan civilization, housed in the Villa Giulia –


somewhere you can spend 1week and yet unable to see it all.


KK could live there 🙂

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National Gallery of Modern Art, is an art gallery founded in 1883 and dedicated to modern and contemporary art; the full name is Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea. Sometimes time&life can certainly be soo Out of Joint!!!

Was too tired to join the group for their evening walks.

Wed: group out shopping and more sight-seeing. Short morning walk by-passing this dog-walker. Decided on the bus-tour – do not deal well with the heat, crowds and noise. Even then someone tried to con me in bright daylight on top of the stairs by the Metro. Survivour of the fittest and hopefully I am no longer the naive person I was when I first visited Rome another life-time in LaLaLand.

Unable to live to the fullest in Rome – was just so out of sort the last 3 evenings, but still enjoyed my oldest friends to the fullest. Also big cites&crowds+the heat are no longer my forte. Maybe being on the go for 6months have something to do with it too.

Thu: dark and early to the Metro EUR1.50 S$2.40 to connect with the regional train to the airport EUR8 S$12.75. Fight from FCO-OSL was smooth&on schedule with views of the Italian coastline and beautiful sightings of the Alps.

Good thing about Budget flights is that you get the same views as full price commercial – KK

Arr into refreshing temps, 5-9°c with lovely Fall colours and the last rose blooms of the year. May&fam are away in Tromsø to celebrate B’s mother 70Bday.

Take time daily to reflect on how much you have. It may not be all that you want but remember someone somewhere is dreaming to have what you have ― Germany Kent

Italy (5) 2018

1 Oct 2018 – From Churches to A Palace

Mon: what a privilege to be invited to lunch by Princesses Niké Arrighi Borghese&her daughter Flavia@Palazzo/Palace Borghese in Artena. 

While waiting for Niké@MontiTirburtini Metro station, we spied these brave roof-workers in action! Not a job for a faint heart!!

Was excited to discover that Frascati, one of my favourite Italian whites is around the drive to Artena. Was driving in and out of rain showers with a typical Italian driver who would occasionally take her hands off the wheel when she felt lost! Ian had to close his eyes, especially after we got out of the car-park at the M-station…

It has been nearly 40yrs ago when I last met Egidio&Danellie, and now they are grandparent to 3. Good to know that Egidio still paints.

Flavia was a professional chef at one time and made this delicious memorable meal.

An enchanting country palace with 3generations living there – Niké with her daughter Flavia and grand daughter Agata.

Niké – a beautiful person with many talents who lives her gracious life fully.

Appreciations to Niké for the highlight of this trip and a day to remember. The idiot-proof camera does not justify the pix here, but hopefully Ian has better ones.

The National Archeological Museum of Palestrina is housed inside the Renaissance Barberini Palace, the former baronial palace, built above the ancient temple of Fortuna. It exhibits the most important works from the ancient town of Praeneste.

The famous sculpture of the Capitoline Triad is exhibited on the first floor. The second floor is dedicated to the necropoli and sanctuaries, while the third floor contains a large polychrome mosaic depicting the flooding of the Nile (Nile mosaic of Palestrina).

Grazie mille to our Italian friends for all their kind hospitality. As we watched the sun-rays with Rome in the far background, I am at a awe and completely loss of words with the ancient Roman Empire.

Advice in old age is foolish; for what can be more absurd than to increase our provisions for the road the nearer we approach to our journey’s end – Marcus Tullius Cicero. And since the quote talks about death, it should be noted that Cicero himself was killed at the orders of Mark Antony (Marcus Antonius). Apparently, Cicero’s last words to his captors were – There is nothing proper about what you are doing, soldier, but do try to kill me properly.

3 Happy Bday CHONG SiongYin

6 Happy Bday David WONG

7 Happy Bday Leslie LAM

8 Happy Bdays Larry LAM, Audrey WONG and KONG HengSun

12 Happy Bday Karen SCAF-BENHAM

13 Happy Bday David YUNG

16 Happy Bday Patricia LAM

21 Happy Bdays Steve LAM & Dee HALL

27 Happy Bday Ellen HALD sr

29 Happy Bdays LAM KwokLock Kiera CHUA

31 Happy Bdays Adeline LEE, Mark BOROWSKY and Happy Halloween

Italy (4) 2018

30 Sep 2018 – Gagliano del Capo To Rome


Sat: condolences to Honey&family for the passing of Bear who I recently caught up with @2018TrailDays in ME. Such a privilege to have him crossed this life’s journey.


Last morning@our regular coffee-joint – our guy let me have a taste of the local liquor – Vecchino Amaro de Capo (the most loved Italian liquor), which should be served chilled. At a temperature of -20°C, the mint, aniseed and liquorice emerge in all their strength, while the herbs create a fresh taste.

Headed the other side of the heel towards Gallipoli. Tamer coastline, but with different beautiful blue shades of the Ionian Sea. Leuca, a charming seaside town where there is an underpass from some hotel to the beach and interesting Moorish designed houses.

Quite a unique place, SunsetCafe, Capilungo especially the restroom signs. This must be the only place on earth where there are so many do NOTs apart from SIN.

Winds were strong and was quite surprised to discover that these cairns are not cemented together. How on earth do these remain in tact??

Coastal Garden Racale@TorresSuda (The City of Folly).

Lunch@Marechiaro in Gallipoli – 1st taste of the larger type of raw bloody cockles, delicious

The old charming town is located on an island by the Ionian Sea, on the west coast of the Salentina Peninsula. 

Baroque cathedral of Sant’Agata (17th century). It has a richly decorated façade in carparo, a local limestone, with niches featuring statues of saints.

Church of Santa Maria della Purità (1661).


Last night with a beautiful sunset on the roof-top in this lovely house@Gagliano del Capo and was too tired to go eat out. Had simple and left-overs to clear out the fridge. Was hoping to have a night-cap at the local cafe after our guy gave me a taste of Vecchino Amaro de Capo. But alas had to pack – will have to pass love this time round 🙂

Sun: up bright&early on the road to Brindisi airport to return the Avis rented car (EUR200 S$318pp for 10days). Quite a nice airport for a small place – tkx to KK for this pix of the tired travelers on an uneventful less than 1hr flight.

The uber ride from FCO into Rome was quite a drama – poor driver hit some unavoidable metal debris from an accident ahead and we had to change to another van on the lay-by of the highway. Cough got worst, but thank goodness for travelling with medical doctors who ensure me that I will live 🙂

Nice accommodations on the suburbs of Rome by the Aventine Hills, one of the 7hills in Rome.

Good views of St. Peter’s Basilica and The National Monument of Victor Emmanuel II (Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II)

Sant’Anselmo all’Aventino


Ppl-watching while we had something to drink and nice to see an elderly well-groomed couple playing cards and seemed to be enjoying each other.


Basilica di Santa Sabina  – the oldest basilica in Rome, built between 422 and 432. Ppl here put themselves on a 2yrs waiting list to get married in.


Villa del Priorato di Malta – at the northern side of the square the monumental entrance screen is located. The villa is best known for a small keyhole (Il Buco Della Serratura) in the arch-headed central portone, thru’ which the copper-green Saint Peter’s Basilica’s dome can be seen. Line was too long, will return Tue morning. Too tired to go out to dine, group got me some yummy bacalhau.

Cough has been persistent and now worse. Tkx to PP who started me on anti-B and another course of steroids. This too shall pass.

It’s not bad to cough. But cover your mouth when coughing. It’s not bad to complain. But cover your mouth when complaining, else you’ll spread infections of complains on us! ― Israelmore Ayivor

Italy (3) 2018

28 Sep 2018 – Lecca To Gagliano del Capo

Tue: last morning walk around Lecca while PP&KK at cooking class. Plazzo delCelestini and La villa comunale

Obelisco outside the wall,  PortoNapoli, gate by the University.

PortoRudiae by SanGiovanni Battisla restorations

Artsy street –ViaGiuseppe-Libertini where I managed to find an anniversary gift for P&I’s anniversary.

Lunch with Ian@St Patrick across from our Personé B&B which do provide an decent breakfast spread.

1500hrs headed South to Gagliano del Capo. Except for the stretches in and out of the build-up areas, app 70km 1+hr drive was OK in spite of the windy conditions. Found our accommodations Dimora Sant’Elia for the next 5nights and thank goodness a foc carpark less than 1min walk away.

Bought grocery and fish at the fishmonger, both places less than 5mins walk away. Enjoyed my fried mackerel, but the others thought it to be on the fishy side, not sure what the other 2fish were, but I thought them to be on the muddy-side!

Wed: early coffee@QuartaCaffé, around the corner, so far the best coffee&fresh Cornetti I have had in Italy. This will be my regular coffee-joint for the rest of the stay here.

P&I drove the car to Avis BrindisiAirport as they were not comfortable with the bump in the tire. K&me attempted to walk to the coast but got lost, so decided to take an easy day for the laundry. All’s well that ends well, another car and we will be on the road again. Good dinner@Sudest.

Yummy 3 course meal with an excellent wine to go with it. The octopus&potatoes from the starters were the really good, and it is just a 2mins walk from our accommodations.

Thu: coffee at our usual joint with a perfect clear blue sky for driving along the coast. S Maria di Leuca, the Basilica and the lighthouse and the meeting between 2blue seas, the Adriatic and the Ionian.

Towards Marina diNovaglie on the only bridge along this drive. A walk down and up 150×2 steps. The choppy sea was churning into the cove and to the rugged cliffs, not a place to swim in spite of the clear beautiful blue water. To our horror, we saw this pregnant mother with her toddler and the father who thought it OK to climb around…

Grosse Verde

Lunch@Ristorante Il Villino, Santa Cesarea Terme – beautiful ambiance in this family-run restaurant.

Tasteful starters and a wine complimenting every bit.

Seafood linguine and for dessert, a piece home-made sinful moist rum-soaked chocolate cake to share with PP.

Built between 1894 and 1900 by the will of engineer Giovanni Pasca, Villa Sticchi is one of the most important expressions of the Moorish style.

Otranto –  imposing castle, thick perimeter walls and robust towers built after the town was liberated from the Turks in the late 15th century dominate much of the town, giving way to a small port of turquoise water.

The delightful Romanesque cathedral, dating back to 1088 and boasting extensive 12th century floor mosaics.

Fri: Corigliano d’Otranto farmers’ market with Ian looking rather tired and I am feeling the same. Could not resist getting (in spite of the long lines) some chicken wings and ribs to taste and they were delicious.

Castle in Copertino, closed! Drove thru’ Nardo, not too much to see or maybe we were not sure what to see? Easy afternoon back in the house to relax before dinner in a castle!


Quite an experience finding Castello di Ugento – having difficulties to park due to some festival in town.


Unique to be in a castle with a newly renovated a glass floor which PP refused to walk on!




Credit card problems on their side and PP pix tells it all where the patience of these 2grumpy old men are concerned 🙂


Had to get PP to stop by the lay-over to take a shot of the castle the next day! Not a good shot, but the best I can do when miles away with a camera like mine! Looked like someone from the car had fun with their iphone too 🙂 🙂

A neurotic is a man who builds a castle in the air. A psychotic is the man who lives in it. A psychiatrist is the man who collects the rent – Jerome Lawrence

Italy (2) 2018

24 Sep 2018 – Drive From Matera To Lecca

Sat: The Church of Santa Maria di Idris, also known as Santa Maria de Idris or Madonna de Idris, is located inside the rocks. It is a cave Church, that is carved into the rock. Santa Lucia alle Malve, another cave Church and photography was not permitted in both. And these amazing frescos will not be able to survive as time goes by.

Drinks@KeivCafe and got some take-away food for later – view to the caves across the ravine. Should not have had any alcoholic drinks, especially when waking on sunny days! Had a headache the rest of the afternoon and stayed indoors 😦

All’s well that ends well and things have a way of working out on our last supper in Matera without any betrayal kiss! A yummy and delightful evening dining outside the B&B room and did not have to walk far to the bed to get a good night sleep before driving off tomorrow.

Sun: got up bright&early to clear sky, unlike the last 2mornings where the fog did not clear until after sunrise. Had to take a walk towards St Agostino as that is the only direction we did not venture to.

In time for a beautiful sunrise – what a amazing way to give thanks for this wonderful stay. Thank you and good-bye Matera. 

The car was delivered to the BB costing EUR40 S$64 to valet park in a garage for 3nights in Matera. Headed towards the coast, Alberobello to see the trulli/conical stone huts. It was an enchanting place and another UNESCO World Heritage site. Some of these huts are found amongst the olive trees of the Valled’Itria countryside and in Alberobello there are 1,500 of them in the entire town.


Interesting huts and was also introduced here to this instrument Handpan which I heard it somewhere, but nothing like these tranquil sounds by Hunza. Bought a CD

A safe fairyland is untrue to all worlds ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Delicious fresh seafood lunch@Miramare da Michele, Torre San Sabina by the sea.

A short stop in Ostunni but was too hot to walk to the top, especially after a slight stressful mishap on one of the car tires!


Veggie dinner@ShuiWine in Lecca before retiring to our B&B@Personè

Mon: somewhere out there (Santa Maria de Idris/Matera & Chiesa Santa Maria della Grazia/Lecce) we are all under the same sky and moon. To all who are celebrating and where ever you may be – Happy Mid-autumn Festival and enjoy the Moon-cakes.


Lecce is a historic city with a pop app 95,766 (2015) and had a theater and an amphitheater. The Roman Amphitheatre is in Piazza Sant’Oronzo, the core of the city and no one knew of its existence until the construction of the building of the Banca d’Italia (Bank of Italy).

Duomo di LecceCattedrale dell’Assunzione della Virgine (1141) with the principal entrance on the northern façade, which is considered to be a masterpiece of Baroque art.


This must be olive oil and paste heaven@Valentine. Later to discover that their prices are way above others…

Built in the 2ndCentury AD, the Roman Theatre was forgotten for a long time, covered by gardens and palaces and absorbed by the 18thCentury city, until it was rediscovered in 1929.


Also an interesting museum there – the paving rocks of the Via Appia, a reminder to the years of AppianWay in Dublin/Ireland!


 A walk out of the historic district to discover that MuseoCastromediano does open until after 1400hrs; (KK returned alone later to discover that what he wanted to see were not there!). Hot stroll along VialeFrancescoLoRe to stumble upon lovely Morrish style buildings.


Had to stop for cold refreshments outside one of the historic gates.


Back into the wall to the historic district by PortaSanBiagio


Museo Archeologico Faggiano – a private building open to the public with long historical-archaeological evidences – highly recommended if archaeology is your forte.


Late lunch@FratelliLaBufala – 1st course-mussels with pasta and 2nd course-shrimps& calamari, lightly breaded+one bite of dessert – decent food. Too heavy a lunch for another big meal.


A small plate of the tiniest meat balls cooked in wine sauce somewhere outdoor? with a good saxophone player and an evening stroll ended this last night in Lecce. Too dark to take pix, took another stroll to the same street the next day to capture some shots – The Teatro Paisiello and could not find a name for the other baroque building which looked like some private residence?

When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness – Alexis de Tocqueville