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Long Weekends

16 May

We seem to be having long weekends of late. Two weeks ago, there was that long stretch of a five-day weekend with the Hari Raya break. This week, it’s another long stretch, albeit shorter, with a three-day weekend.

It was Wesak Day yesterday, but as it fell on Sunday, the replacement holiday for it is today. It makes no difference to us, but we are not complaining. The good thing about this is that the renovation at the house behind us—yes, that’s still ongoing—is not allowed today. So there’s some peace at home.

We should enjoy these breaks whenever they occur, for it will be some time before the next long weekend comes around!

A Joyous Time

2 May

The announcement caught us all by surprise. Hari Raya was assumed to be tomorrow, but last night, the news broke that the first day of Hari Raya is today. It is a long stretch of holiday for this festive occasion regardless of this. Given that May 1st is Labor Day, but as it fell on Sunday, the next day is the replacement holiday.

This year is a meaningful Hari Raya because Covid-19 SOPs are now relaxed, and people are traveling again. Due to the pandemic for the past two years, interstate travel was very restricted, so this is a welcome change.

As for us, we are staying put because we don’t want to get caught in the traffic snarl. To those celebrating the festive occasion, here’s wishing you Selamat Hari Raya and happy holidays! Have a joyous time together with your loved ones.

A Welcome Celebration

29 Apr

What a difference with another year passing by for birthday celebrations! The existence of Covid-19 makes it hard for us to predict what can happen with its spread making daily situations so volatile. We cannot plan special occasions so far ahead because things are constantly evolving. Even as I write, the SOPs will change again come next month.

Two years ago, my birthday dinner celebration was a muted affair. We stayed home because of the pandemic and had food delivered. There were scores and scores of containers for the meal. It wasn’t the best in presentation, but being at home made up for it, given the virus fear and lockdown circumstances. Last year, it was a blur, and honestly, I don’t remember what we did on my special day.

This year, things are a little bit different. A spontaneous four-day gastronomic journey that began on Sunday to celebrate instead of a golf getaway like we usually do. Moreover, we just went on a golf trip to Forest City recently, so another trip now is too soon. This mission to discover new food to savor in the run-up to the actual birthday is much appreciated for the chef in me to have the week off from making dinner nightly! Woo hoo.

Lovely fine dining Japanese dinner
We ate to our fill!
We came home to cut my yummy Lemon Pistachio birthday cake
We played a post-birthday round of golf!

The birthday dinner was also a welcome change for various reasons. It was the first fine-dining experience after the many lockdowns we had during the pandemic. Secondly, it’s the first year with M1 joining us, being away for her education, and missing my birthday celebrations for the last six years. All in all, a welcome celebration. A toast to a good year ahead for me, and be in the best of health and mind.

The Perfect Ball

25 Apr

Last week, a golfing friend scored a Hole-in-One. We were thrilled for him when we heard the news. It got me thinking, when will my turn come for this elusive Hole-in-One? I have yet to achieve this feat despite playing golf for so long.

Perhaps it is the choice of the ball used? I have to admit ball choice was never a priority for me before. I used to play all sorts of brands to find the perfect ball for my game. New balls, used balls, hard balls to soft balls, the Hole-in-One is never within sight.

When I did commit, TaylorMade Distance+ was my preferred choice. But over time, I found the characteristics of the ball not suitable for my ball striking. The TaylorMade Distance+ Soft is no better. So I decided to stop using this brand.

The leading brand Titleist, favored by the pros, is too expensive for a social golfer like me. Although Titleist has a range of balls with different characteristics, it is not my go-to choice. Price aside, it does not suit me because my swing speed does not maximize the ball’s capabilities. In the end, it would only create frustration more than pleasure when playing.

So these days, I play with three brands mostly that are soft in characteristic – Srixon Soft Feel, Bridgestone Extra Soft, and Wilson Duo Soft+, as these soft balls suit my game better. However, I wouldn’t try the different ranges in each brand because, as I have mentioned earlier, my swing speed does not maximize the ball’s capabilities.

Often, social golfers neglect the choice of balls used, like me in the past. The focus is usually on the clubs, especially the driver, to tee off further. Next is the putter, but never the balls for the game. A golfer should understand their swing speed to make the right ball choices, but let’s not get into this. It can be endless and subjective, not to mention very technical too.

When I started to limit my ball choice to the three brands, my game improved by leaps and bounds, and it was gratifying. I have won some side money a fair bit during friendly matches but no Hole-in-One. Yet.

Since my friend struck his Hole-in-One using a Srixon ball, perhaps I should eliminate the other brands and stick to just Srixon, to increase my chances at this elusive achievement? Hmm. It’s a good thought, and hopefully, my turn at this feat will happen soon. And if indeed this happens, I have found my perfect ball for my golf game.

Oh, Silly Me!

8 Mar

The badge in the Fitness app showed the International Women’s Day challenge, and I wanted to attain it to add to all the other badge challenges that I have accumulated. So I went for my morning walk. And I clocked in more than the minimum required, which was 20 minutes or more.

But I did not get the badge. I was puzzled.

Why am I not awarded what I achieved? Is there something wrong with my AppleWatch? Is it not syncing? I even unpaired my watch with my iPhone XR to fix the issue. Hmm, something’s wrong.

Sigh, oh well, a missed opportunity.

This morning, the badge was still showing in the Fitness app. And a friend sent a Happy International Women’s Day wish. It is today, not yesterday! Oh, silly me. I met the challenge a day too early! Hahaha. Well, when the rain lets up, I will claim the badge today, the rightful day to celebrate International Women’s Day. Have an incredible day today, ladies!

On a New Mission

18 Feb

I have been snacking a lot lately. Too much, in fact. Two days ago, I stood on the bathroom scale, and the numbers horrified me! I need to do something about it.

Mind you – we have stopped our Intermittent Fasting (IF) regime ever since the pandemic broke. And it’s been a little more than two years already. Initially, my weight was stable, and it even dipped. I was pleased. But it has crept up again recently. I suspect it’s all that after-game beer and snacking on Chinese New Year cookies.

So right after the Chap Goh Meh dinner, I have embarked on a new mission to shed all those extra pounds. On top of playing my regular golf games, I will do a half-hour morning walk on days when I am not playing golf. It will be beneficial for my legs, muscles, and abs.

Let’s see how my number will be after a month on this new mission. Oh, I should also reduce my beer intake after all the golf games. Stay tuned for my progress!

Chap Goh Meh 2022

15 Feb

Today is Chap Goh Meh, the last day to celebrate the Lunar New Year. After 15 days of celebration, today is the finale. However, it has been a lack of celebrations again this year because of the pandemic and restrictions. But despite the situation, we are planning a big feast tonight to mark the occasion.

I have to admit I have gained weight over the past two weeks, eating and snacking on all the cookies without any discipline. So after tonight’s big steamboat meal, I will start my diet. From tomorrow onwards, no more cookies, more golf but no beer, and throw in morning walks to shed those extra pounds!

Happy Valentine’s Day

14 Feb

It’s Valentine’s Day today, so Happy Valentine’s, people! A day to celebrate love and all things mushy. But has it been a bed of roses lately? I’m afraid not.

Cases have been on the uptrend the past few days – it’s alarming! But we have been staying home as much as possible, minimizing the need to go out.

So rather than going out for a romantic dinner, it’s nothing of that sort for us. We will be staying home for a home-cooked meal on this special day. Regardless of the occasion, I cannot stress enough, better to stay safe than sorry.

What a Journey! Part 2

4 Feb

We came home on the second day of the Lunar New Year. And what a journey it was. So unlike the trip when we went, this return trip was so much more pleasant and unexpected.

There was hardly any traffic build-up along the way and smooth sailing all the way home. Another record of sorts as we made it home in five and a half hours with just two stops only. As far as I can remember, we never made it home in this time frame. Usually, it would take between seven to nine hours. And there was once we did it in ten hours.

It is nice to be back and chill at home. I’m not even working on my miniatures. For once, doing nothing at home feels great! Visits to family or friends are minimal, if not none. There’s now the Omicron, and we are being extra careful not to go out unnecessarily.

A Simple Reunion

1 Feb

Unlike past Reunion Dinner gatherings where most family members made the journey, this Reunion Dinner is a simple gathering of just six people for a steamboat dinner.

Even the dinner spread was simple and nothing extravagant. The occasion was more for being with the elders, who are fine and healthy, than the food.

But a trip back to hubby’s hometown is not complete without playing some golf! We managed to play two games. And we had the golf course all to ourselves as there were hardly any other golfers at all. You can tell by the absence of golfers when the tee box has a giant mushroom (in the foreground) as big as the tee box marker (in the background)!

Look at that mushroom!

The first game quickly turned into a case of being lucky and unlucky at the same time. My ball landed right on the line in the middle of the fairway for the NTL (nearest to line) novelty, held a day earlier! Oh well, but the thrill of this achievement was pretty exhilarating.

Right on the line!

We ushered in the Year of the Tiger without much fanfare – there were no fireworks at the stroke of midnight, which worked out well for us for a peaceful night.

As we welcome the Tiger, here’s wishing everyone ‘Gong Xi Fa Cai’, and may you have a roaringly successful year ahead despite the pandemic still being around. Count your blessings, be happy and stay healthy!