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2020 – The Year That Was

30 Dec

Well, another year has come and gone, almost. With another day left for 2022, it’s time to reflect on the year that was.

I have seen on the web that touted 2022 as ‘2020 Too’ and not 2022. Get it? A repeat of the year that upended everything. To a certain extent, it was true. But I think the good things that happened far outweighed the unpleasant, at least for me.

The highlight of the year for us was M2’s graduation, and we had the opportunity to travel to Dublin, Ireland, to attend the Commencement Ceremony. During that time, travelers no longer needed to be quarantined upon arrival, so that was good. It added extra days to our plans, and we added London to the itinerary to stretch the holiday.

The downside of such a long holiday was the weather! It was cold to the core, and at times, the numbness from being in the cold made the experience unpleasant. But we took it in stride, and it was indeed a wonderful time.

2022 was somewhat of a year of new beginnings for us. Regrettably, we gave up our office space and officially worked from home. However, it was a good decision and a blessing in disguise. We no longer have to stress over traveling to/from home/office and have more time and flexibility. And as far as work is concerned, well, there have been ups and downs, but we prevailed. Let’s hope the new year will be better.

2022 was also a year of medical concerns. With Covid cases on the uptrend, people I know were positive at an alarming rate. It was only a matter of time before I contracted it. True enough, I tested positive in June and had the most miserable week of my life battling it. I was in no mood to share my episode then and, as time passed, forgot about my ordeal. However, in the aftermath, I notice I frequently experience brain fog and memory loss! Yikes. And I lost distance when golfing. Double yikes!

Sometimes I say it was the booster jab that compromised my health. But then again, I should say the booster jab saved me from complications or worst. So I should be thankful in this sense. My golfing distance has since returned, but my brain fog is still there. Perhaps this is purely due to age instead? I have to monitor further on this.

The year also saw a decline in my miniature crafting. Weirdly, I have so much time, yet no time at all. We played golf often and ate out more, yet no progress for my miniatures. DIY project #25 has stopped for the longest time! Maybe 2023 will see a revival of my interest? We will find out.

So what do I envision for the new year? Well, nothing too extreme, better health would be good, after all, I am a year older. In short, let there be peace, harmony, and good health. Here’s wishing all my readers a very Happy New Year!

A Very Blessed Christmas

26 Dec

This year Christmas is a complete occasion for the family, particularly for us, with M2 having graduated and back from Ireland for good. It was a boisterous get-together, and everyone contributed a dish for our annual Family Christmas Eve dinner.

The cheese platters were so good!

And for a change, everyone participated in after-dinner games. There were non-stop screams of laughter at the performances of each individual during the games. It was wholesome fun and so much love.

I feel very blessed that this Christmas is more meaningful than ever. I hope this festive occasion is just as memorable for everyone. Here’s wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and cheers for the New Year!

The First Game

2 Dec

After close to a month of travels and no golf, I played my first game yesterday. So how did I fare?

Well, I have to admit the night before, I watched some tutorial videos on YouTube as a refresher to remind me what to do! And it did help, but only for a bit.

The first tee-off was such a beautiful shot. I was impressed that I could strike the ball well. Even the second and third shots were good. I thought my golfing touch was still intact. But it was downhill after that!

The shot game and the putting threw the momentum off. The shot game was off, and my putting was horrible. I could not feel the weight of my Scotty Cameron putter, causing a lot of two- and three-putts. Sigh.

After the disastrous welcome-back game, it’s back to the drawing board to regain the golf mojo and muscle memory. The Scotty putter will make way for the Peanut Putter, and I need to work on my shot game to be more accurate. Essentially, practice makes perfect is what this game is all about. I will be going all out to play as much as possible from here on.

Extended Holiday

28 Nov

It seems like the holiday is never-ending! It has been extended with a public holiday today. Unexpected but anticipated (because of the General Election results) and appreciated nonetheless.

From Ku De Ta to local delights, we tried everything!
The must-eat dish when in Bali

Bali was fun, and I was doing things, not up my alley, which was nice for a change. I got to know my high school friends better, and we did things together.

Throughout the week, we indulged, ate, drank, laughed, shopped, swam, and luxuriated in our private apartment and villa (we stayed at two different places) together. We also pampered ourselves with not one but two three-and-a-half-hour and four-hour spa sessions.

Our private villa

There was no golf, no playing tourist but merely enjoying the presence of each other and having a good bonding time to catch up. I am thankful that, at this age, I still have such friends. It was as if we were never part despite all these years.

After this trip, we understood each other better, with our friendship forged to a deeper degree. I look forward to the next trip with this bunch of besties.

Last local delight before we left
Goodbye Bali!

End of the Adventure

16 Nov

It has been a whirlwind trip for us, with the big city lights, attractions, crowds, sights, cold, smells, food, wind, graduation, colder temperatures, sceneries, and smells.

We took it all in stride. When we see what the other side of the world faces daily, I think it makes us appreciate our home more.

The cold weather and the wind were a challenge. And wearing four to five layers is not something we enjoy doing, but we have to do it to stay warm. The wind is the killer factor, and that makes it unbearable at times.

The graduation ceremony was the highlight of the trip. It is hard to describe our pride and joy in seeing our baby receive her degree. A new exciting chapter awaits her life.

As much as we enjoy going on an extended holiday, I’m glad our adventure is coming to an end. We now have to prepare for hot and humid conditions back home. It will be uncomfortable to readjust, but we have had enough of the cold and wind.

Goodbye Ireland, we leave with good memories.

Moving Around

12 Nov

Car rental in Dublin is so easy, unlike in the US. There is less paperwork required. Our spanking Ironman red hybrid SUV is comfortable, spacious, and easy to handle. With a built-in navigation system, finding our way out of the city was easy. The weather was good, and hubby drove along the non-toll roads toward Galway.

I am Ironman (hahaha) with this car!

When it drizzled, we stopped at a pub for lunch. I think we ordered too much. But then again, with the cold, we were famished. The portions always have a lot of chips (or mash) that we cannot finish, unfortunately, famish or not.

Lunch at this pub

We arrived at Galway by 3.30 pm, and just nice to check into our hotel. After a short rest, we headed into the town center. We were delighted to discover a Christmas fair at Eyre Square with things to see, buy, and food to savor.

Heading towards the Christmas fair

We had a good time browsing despite the large crowd and weather. For a change, dinner was at a tapas bar, with drinks, of course, to celebrate M2’s graduation.

The streets of Galway
We tried the Chimney Cake
Christmas atmosphere at the fair
Satisfying dinner

It was a long day, and we decided to call it a night earlier than usual.

The Big Day

11 Nov

Thursday was a chill day without any sight-seeing activities because it was the big day for everyone, M2’s graduation ceremony! After three years of hard work, determination, and dedication, it has come down to this moment!

The proud moment

The ceremony was very different from the one we experienced when we attended M1’s graduation in the US. Held in the campus auditorium instead of an open stadium, it was a cozy and personal affair. Both graduation ceremonies are moving for us nonetheless.

We could not be more proud as she had graduated with First Class Honors in her Bachelor’s Honors degree program. Our responsibility as parents to ensure both girls are well-equipped for the world is complete with this latest milestone in the family.

Playing in the Rain

23 Sep

During rainy days back in the dinosaur era when we were young, we used to think that playing in the rain was fun but were told not to do so. If we did, we would fall sick, and that’s not good. And if we choose to defy this, just be prepared for the consequences, be it a scolding or punishment, for not listening.

Strangely, as we get older, do we follow these rules set out for us when we were young? Of course not! A case in point is yesterday.

I woke up to the sound of a slight drizzle in the morning. Uh oh, a golf day, and it’s drizzling. It continued when I left the house but let up a little to allow us to tee off.

But after two holes, the drizzle turned to constant rain, and we were soaked instantly! We decided to wait it out at the nearby halfway hut. Fifteen minutes later, the rain let up a little, so we resumed play. Woefully, it did not last, for it rained again after another two holes. Sigh, and the second wait was longer.

Taking shelter to wait out the rain

It was not the most comfortable situation, with wet gloves and grips, not to mention clothes and caps as well. The umbrella did not help, unfortunately.

The two pauses in between rain and game were disrupting the game momentum. Yet, we continued or tried to continue. The situation changed when it thundered, and it was not feasible anymore.

We had to stop because it was dangerous to be out in the open with lightning charges in the atmosphere. It was the shortest game I have played in a long time, with only six holes completed.

The myth of playing in the rain being fun has been proven wrong! It was not fun playing golf in the rain at all. Maybe I should have listened to myself instead of braving the rain to play on. I hope I won’t fall sick from this outing.

Losing Track of Time

2 Sep

Two days ago, we celebrated our wedding anniversary. When one is married for so long, like me, the tendency to lose track of time is prevalent. I have stopped counting how many years we have been married.

Typically, we would go to our favorite porky restaurant to enjoy a platter each and a bottle of wine. But this year, we opted for something different – going with Chinese food and no wine. No wine?! Yes, for a change. The spread was sumptuous, and the four of us had a delightful dinner as the restaurant was not packed nor noisy.

The sumptuous dinner menu

When the girls were away the past few years, we never considered dining at a Chinese restaurant, especially to celebrate our wedding anniversary. It would be hard to order for the two of us, being small eaters. But now that both girls are back, we can have more options for dinner celebration venues. Isn’t it wonderful?

Here’s wishing us a happy anniversary, good health, and happiness throughout the year!

Traveling Again, Part 3

30 Aug

I have always flown into Singapore via Changi Airport. However, for this trip, I flew in via Seletar Airport. And what a pleasant surprise it was! There was no crowd, no queue, and no delays at all.

I chose to fly from Subang Airport instead of KLIA as it’s more convenient. Subang and Seletar airports are smaller compared to the two main big airports. And Changi is world renowned as a destination by itself. But being smaller, certain perks are missing, like buying duty-free things. Oh well, this is not critical.

The trip ended too soon, and the weather was not kind during our return flight. As the plane descended, we experienced turbulence going through the clouds. It has been quite a while since I flew, so the nauseous feeling was just ugh.

Leaving Seletar Airport

Thankfully, the journey was not too long, and we arrived safely. Rain greeted us, and traffic built up on the way home. Not the best welcome home situation, but it’s nice to be home after an enjoyable getaway.

Arriving at Subang Airport