Archive | February, 2015

Letting My Baby Go

27 Feb

It is inevitable. M1 turned 18 early this year and it is college-bound year. Hubby and I have decided for her to go overseas for a four-year course, letting her go early instead of doing a year or so locally. She leaves in three weeks.

In short, we have to learn to let our baby (and Humphrey) go off, on her own (but with Humphrey), to college as a freshman and learn to be independent and be an adult.

Sob, sniffle and bawl…

Let’s Eat!

26 Feb

Although I have been mindful of my weight, I would not give last night’s dinner occasion a miss. It was a gathering with my old school friends. And when I say old, our friendship goes back to the dinosaur era when we were 7 years old. Told you we are dinosaurs.

Since it’s still Chinese New Year, all the more reason to meet up, chatter to catch up, enjoy a good meal and exchange Angpows (red packets) for the children! We took the opportunity to have the ‘Yee Sang’ for prosperity with all the good wishes recited poetically by the waitress and also had the ‘Poon Choy’ dish, which roughly translates to a bowl of everything. Very filling despite it being just one bowl.

Dinner gatherings with old school friends are unlike dinners with golf friends but both are always enjoyable. I only wish the school friends would do it as often as the golf friends. Friendship prevails when we make the effort.

Maybe after the festivity is over, we will prioritize meeting up more often, like hubby and his (and also my) friends with our Tuesday Food Club. After all, we have to eat. And why not eat with good old friends?

But I Sucked the Tummy In!

24 Feb

I knew I gained some weight when we took Chinese New Year family pictures because looking at myself in the group shots, on both sides of the family, I cringe with disdain at how I looked. And both times, I sucked my tummy in but I guess it didn’t work.

Gosh, is that really me? I gotta stop eating despite the gaping hole in my molar!

When we got home on Saturday after a nine hours and 45 minutes journey (yes, traffic was horrendous), I stood on the bathroom scale and cringed again.

The scale must be lying! I can’t be this heavy. Ooohh… with Chinese New Year being celebrated for 15 days and just about everyday, there is a big meal because it is a celebration, I better do something about the weight gain than just sucking the tummy in…


What! No Wifi?!

23 Feb

The few days we were back in hubby’s hometown was good and tough. Good because we got a chance to see all the elders and hubby’s cousins with their young families, enjoy his aunty’s mouth watering home cooked food and basically have a good time away from the office. The children also had the opportunity to bond with their cousins too.

The tough part was having almost no wifi, hence no connectivity. All of us had our devices but only two phones had data plan, so we were forced to practice limited usage and just learn to live life without internet. It was indeed tough.

Luckily my games could be played offline and I progressed on to Level 829 for Candy Crush, Level 678 for Farm Heroes and Level 208 for Candy Crush Soda during my time there. Otherwise, I think I would rake up my data plan bill!

Thank goodness we are back home (by Saturday) and connected (to the internet) again.

Eat ’em and Weep

20 Feb

Two days ago, we left our home early for the Reunion Dinner at hubby’s hometown up north. In the early hours of the morning to avoid the anticipated massive jam, we thought this was best to avoid arriving late. All these years we have never left at 6.30am on the day itself, as it is usually a day or two earlier. Typical times when we leave home at this hour are only to catch a flight at the airport or going for a 7.30am tee off golf game.

Anyway, being so early, breakfast had to be on the go. I was chewing on a doughy piece of bread with nuts when suddenly, I felt a sensitiveness at the back of my mouth. Oh dear.

I probed the bottom left side with my tongue and to my horror, discovered a gaping hole in my lower molar! Did I just swallow a portion of my tooth? Or was it the filling? What bread was that that caused the tooth to crack?

Dear, oh dear. Being away for several days without immediate rectification work on it by my dentist, it will be a challenge to savor all the delicacies this reunion has to offer.

And because it’s Chinese New Year and we cannot be rude or not obliging to the family, it’s been an eat ’em and weep experience so far.

Gong Xi Fa Cai

19 Feb

Today is the beginning of the Year of the Goat in the Chinese Lunar calendar. May the year bring abundance prosperity, happiness and peace in the world.

Here’s wishing all a Happy and Prosperous New Year or in various dialects (Mandarin, Cantonese, Teochew & Hokkien): Gong Xi Fa Cai, Kong Hey Fatt Choy, Sin Chia Ju Ee and Kiong Hee Huat Chai!!!

The Reunion Dinner

17 Feb

The reunion dinner is very important for Chinese families during Chinese New Year. All, if not most, family members will make the effort to be present for this occasion if possible. Every year, hubby and I alternates this duty with our parents, even years with my mom here and odd years with his parents at their hometown. This year, it will be with his parents.

And every year when we have to hit the road, the typical four and a half hours journey doubles in its duration because half the country will also be traveling either for this occasion or simply take this opportunity to go away for a road trip holiday. It gets worse upon return because that half of the country that travelled earlier decides to return all at the same time, clogging up the highway all the way; there was a year we took 10 hours to reach home.

With such ghastly hours, I dread the journey sometimes but it has to be done. So we brace ourselves with all comforts thrown in: iPods, iPads and phones fully charged for entertainment and connectivity, several powerbanks for backup power for the devices, lots of snacks and water for survival. It can be fun sometimes but only if we make it so. The girls would bring along pillows and blankets to make their travel more comfortable.

Well, we can’t really tell the traffic volume until we hit the road tomorrow and regardless of the duration—be it five, seven or ten hours—we will be there for the reunion dinner with hubby’s side of the family.

Fruitful Weekend

16 Feb

I feel as though I should give myself a pat on the shoulder for accomplishing quite a bit over the weekend. It wasn’t the big battle with the Chinese New Year crowd that I thought I’d have to do but my games!

The pat on the shoulder was for me finally crossing Level 185 of Candy Crush Soda, which was so difficult and also Level 821 of Candy Crush, which was even more difficult. I have been stuck at these two for sometime and perseverance finally paid off.

Honestly, I also managed to complete my Chinese New Year purchases without stressing too much. The secret? Online shopping! The bulk of the necessary was made easy with Tesco’s online services. With free delivery for this festive occasion, I totally took advantage of it and saved the hassle of going to the mall and fight with the last minute shoppers.

I am ready to usher in the Year of the Goat come Thursday.

Blundstone Reborn

13 Feb

I decided to resole my busted Blundstone to give it a new lease of life before the Lunar New Year. Not quite the same in terms of the sole pattern and thickness, I should at least be happy that the boots can be salvaged. After all, the top portion of it is still good and can be used. It’s just the bottom that experienced hydrolysis and disintegrated.

Anyway, with the repair cost only one fifth of the original cost of the boots, I shouldn’t complain. Also I had a brand new replacement pair delivered and with this pair repaired, I now have two pairs of Blundstone.

This is how it looks with the new sole.

A new sole

A new sole

A comparison of the old (top) and the new (bottom).

A comparison of the old (top) and the new (bottom).

My Collection

12 Feb

Whenever I travel, I am always on the lookout for animal figurines to add to my collection besides pieces of paintings.

For example, whenever I visit Thailand, elephants are in my mind and I will be on the lookout for them. My last two trips to Thailand (Krabi in October and Bangkok in December), I found a mama and baby elephant pillow from the island and two clay elephants from the Chatuchak market to add to my collection.

Besides elephants, I also have—from all over the world—a few pigs, hippos, chickens, mandarin ducks and a wombat. But I find I cannot expand their family anymore because they are not so popular and easily available especially in the ASEAN countries that I often visit. So I started a new line: owls.

Now owls are more universal and boy, do they come in all shapes and sizes. My recent trip to Penang, amazingly yielded these newbies to my collection.

Mostly from the Owl Shop on Cannon Street with a few from a little booth at Straits Quay, these owls are really beautiful and adorable.

I like.

I foresee the owl collection growing by leaps and bounds to rival the elephants!

Do you have to stare?

Do you have to stare?