Archive | Friends & Siblings RSS feed for this section

Competitive Golf Again

14 Jun

Over the last two years, with the Covid-19 pandemic ravaging and upending the world, it was not just traveling and routines that got disrupted – sports and golf tournaments everywhere were canceled too.

At the onset, golf was not allowed in my country when the pandemic broke out. But soon, certain outdoor activities were permitted, and golf was on the list. Our golf club had to comply with the strict SOPs outlined by the government for golf.

On top of social distancing, players were not allowed to share the golf buggy. It was a single-player, single-buggy situation. And gatherings for meals before or after games were not permitted at the club, what more holding tournaments which draw a crowd, breaking social distancing rules. All these experiences and situations are now distant memories.

Finally, after a two-year hiatus of none competitive golf, golf tournaments are allowed again. And my golf club’s Annual Golf Championship resumed. Starting over the weekend for three categories – super senior, ladies, and juniors, it will continue for the next two weekends for the seniors and men categories. The thrill of high-level competition again!

I played over the weekend for my category over two days. What a battle it was. The adrenalin and pressure of playing high-level competition are totally unlike social golf. Every shot and mistake counts for your confidence and stress to do well. So how did I fare?

It will always be a what-if, could-have, and should-have situation.

Day One: what if I didn’t put the ball into the water on the approach shot on the first hole? What if I didn’t three-putt throughout the game for seven holes?

Day Two: how could I have dunked two balls into the water and returned with an incredulous ten for the Par 4, Hole 16? And I shouldn’t have four-putted on the relatively easy Hole 15, Par 3. But then, to begin with, I shouldn’t have teed into the water! The list could go on.

Disasters were aplenty, but there were some feel-good moments too. In the end, the bad moments far outweighed the good ones. All these are part and parcel of competitive golf. A little Lady Luck would have been better, and some calm nerves during the two days would have been helpful. Oh well.

I’m not complaining about the outcome of my participation this year; I merely need to build my mental strength to approach competitive golf better. And I need to trust my clubs and their distances more. Being unsure creates doubts, and this leads to disasters.

After all the golfing drama, the after-game camaraderie, drinks, laughter, and friendship with the other lady golfers mattered more than my performance at the Annual Championship. The occasion is now a cherished memory that was fun and challenging, and I certainly look forward to participating again next year.

When Life Gives You Bananas Instead

20 May

Recently the pandemic SOP restrictions for travels and visits have been lifted. So we visited my aunt and cousin – it was a fruitful visit, literally. We came home with papayas and bananas. So wonderful! It wasn’t a case of getting lemons and making lemonade, but bananas and making a bunch of yummies!

The papayas tasted very different from those from our garden, but nice nevertheless. We couldn’t figure out what species was the bananas, so we had to wait for them to ripen. And when they did, we still couldn’t pinpoint the species. Lol! Oh well.

We discovered the banana tastes best when combined with something. Eating it on its own does not taste as good. So what do you do or make when there are so many bananas?

First, there was the banana smoothie, which was so good and filling. I used lactose intolerant milk so that I could drink the smoothie too. Then there’s the banana bread baked by hubby. Delicious! After these two efforts, there were still a lot of bananas left, so I made a banana sorbet, which tasted simply heavenly.

Banana galore!

It’s such a simple recipe that I found online using just three ingredients. Bananas, which we had plenty of, and lime and honey! Blend them several times to be as smooth as possible, then freeze. Best eaten during hot days. So now you know, when life gives you bananas, make bread, smoothies, and sorbet!

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.

It’s a Small World

29 Mar

When we went to Forest City Golf Resort, we thought we had the perfect getaway from it all. Little did we know, we would bump into two golfing friends who were also there for golf. It’s a small world!

The first encounter was a brief one in the pro shop when the friend was heading out as we were walking in. A quick chat was all we had. The second encounter was equally brief, but we made plans to meet up for dinner as the friend had just checked in.

On Friday afternoon after our morning tee-off, M1 and I decided to visit Legoland, located not too far from the resort. Hubby opted out since he had work to do. So the arrangement worked out well.

Both of us spent the hot and humid afternoon wandering through the attractions at Legoland. The Day Pass ticket was not cheap. But we were upgraded to an Annual Pass as the theme park is trying to retain or attract visitors. So would we visit again with the Annual Pass? Perhaps.

No crowd, no queue, it was ideal

The plus side of a semi-post-pandemic situation is no crowds in a theme park. There was no queue at all the rides, not many wailing kids to contend with, and no icky arms close to us because everyone had to maintain the one-meter social distancing. It was perfect save for the humid weather.

The mini wonders at Legoland
Sealife at Legoland

After completing the outdoor attractions and rides, we moved indoors to Sealife aquarium. I think we enjoyed the air-conditioning more than the attractions! The rain came down when we came out from Sealife. It was a short drizzle, and the umbrella came in handy as we headed to the car.

That evening, we had dinner with our friends in the next township from Forest City, followed by a bottle of lovely French wine in the hotel lobby. It was a good getaway for us to rejuvenate and reset to face our daily routine.

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!

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!

What a Journey!

31 Jan

On Saturday, we left town to head North to hubby’s hometown. What a journey we had! The highway authorities had advised travelers heading that way to begin their journeys before 10 am to avoid congestion. So we did, albeit a little bit late, at precisely 9.51 am.

Heavy traffic in both directions

And dang, we drove smack into the worst snarl ever! Our past pre-Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner journeys were typically a six-hour drive from our home to hubby’s parents’ home.

This time, it took us 6.5 hours to reach Ipoh! Not even halfway to our final stop. This stretch is usually a 2.5 hours drive, but not on Saturday. It was a terrible drive. I wouldn’t even call it a drive but a crawl.

All in all, it took us ten hours to arrive, a record drive for a journey that would usually take 4.5 hours during the non-festive time.

But we were in good spirits as we had packed all the comforts in the car for the trip. And we knew there would be traffic woes, however, we didn’t expect it to be this bad.

It’s okay, this trip is for a good reason and that is to have the Reunion Dinner with the old folks, an occasion that we have missed out on the last two years because of the pandemic, lockdowns, and travel restrictions.

Forgetful Me

27 Dec

Last Friday, I inadvertently gave an inaccurate account of the previous year’s Christmas Eve Dinner. My bad. We DID have a family dinner together, but I honestly forgot about it. Was it so insignificant that it slipped my mind?

Or could it be with the last two years being in constant lockdown with the various Movement Control Orders (MCO), I lost track of time. I think the fact that it was just the two of us at the dinner sans both girls stuck in my mind more than anything else.

Or, in all honesty, I have become a tired and forgetful dinosaur more than ever!

Christmas Eve Dinner 2021

24 Dec

This year, we are thankful that we can get together with the family after missing out on the Christmas Eve dinner last year. It was the pandemic that derailed everything-from travels to gatherings-throwing festive occasions into disarray, and both of us had a quiet two-person dinner at home instead without much camaraderie.

This year, the SOP’s have changed with most adults in the country, all of us included, being fully vaccinated. So it is great that we can gather to celebrate Christmas.

I take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! Be safe, stay safe, and be healthy.