Wednesday, December 27, 2006


In a span of 8 months, both my dad and FIL have been diagnosed with high creatinine level in their blood stream. Dad with 50% of the kidney still in good working condition while my FIL diagnosed 3 weeks ago with less then 15%. This is all so sudden. FIL has been fine all along never missing his 3 time a week 18 hole golf session for the last 25 years. The only time he had a major operation was in 1998. A man of moderation in his consumption of food and drinks. Goes for his annual check-up. What went wrong? Was it the diet? The prescribed drugs consummed over time? Or just genetic?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Shan was all excited when she finished the book" Charlotte's web" a day before friday. The movie started it's screening on thursday 21st December. She wanted to see if the movie had followed closely to the book.
And so we, Shan and I went for the movie at balestier on saturday while the rest opted for "Night in the museum". I was quite apprehensive at first but, to my surprise it actually turn out to be a delight. Dakota Fanning makes all the difference. A simple heart warming story of an unlikely friendship.

I am glad I went for the show. Yes, the movie had followed the book as close as possible except for the crows. They were not in the book.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Nature's wrath.

The flood of the century. Johor the southern most state in Malaysia has been hit by flooding since the 18th of this month. Used to think that such disasters never happen to us but suddenly mother nature's catastrophe is getting closer. We have been abusing what the earth's generous endowment. We waste it, trash it, abuse it and pollute it all to satisfy our needs to control and possess.

Saturday, December 23, 2006


On my way to the temple yesterday morning, I found these lotus pods. Bought two stalks. Remembered once during my chlildhood, mum bought a lotus pod home. She carefully removed the seeds of the pod, peeled the outer layer off. Encouraged me to take a nibble on the creamy coloured kernel. It's edible she reassured me. Truly refreshing sweet tasting. It's my turn to introduce them to my children.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Winter solstice

It's only in recent years that I understood the meaning of Tung festival . As with all chinese festivals, symbolic food is prepared for this occassion. On this day mum would prepare those little gluttonous red and white dumplings in ginger syrup. Pandan leave to add that unique fragrant. Never understood the significant of this day till I discover that it's actually the celebration of the winter solstice. After the Winter Solstice, days will become longer and longer. It's a time of rejuvenation and renewal.

Record rainfall

One for the record. Third highest recorded in singapore in the last 75 years! 345mm of rainfall tuesday 19th december.
While it rained outside, my children and I had a movie marathon. Catching up on movies we missed during the year.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Stranger than fiction

Having been following with interest on the Litvinenko poisioning case. In the papers hypothesis by a CIA agen turned novelist Charles McCarry. In most cases of extermination, the targets were taken by surprise unknown sometimes till after death. As to the weapon and assassin one can only speculate. How can this case goes so wrong? Intended to frame or throwing the scent off?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Wet December

It's tuesday and it's still raining outside. Raining for the past 54 hours.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Mum's cooking

Mum never fails to cook up something different everytime I am home. This time round, it's the chopped long beans in egg omelette. Comfort food. Simply nutriously delicious.


Recently in the papers, fathers are encouraged to drive their children to school. To strenghten that already fragile father and child bonding. Striking a conversation with your child while trying to rush through traffic and avoid bumping into weaving impatient drivers. Being able to communicate with each other is the 1st step to a better understanding of the child's take on this ever changing society.
Well, it does not work. I should know. Dad drove me to school during my secondary school years. The air was tense while dad inch his way through the jam. I would keep very quiet so as not to distract his attention. My heart would thump harder on days that I was late. Through no fault of mine but the traffic of course.
The same scenerio is repeated in present day as MDH drives the children to school. Most of the time the two teenagers have their ears plugged in or catnapping.
Truly not a time to listen, reflect or advise.
On the contrary, action speaks louder than words.
Spending time wrapping the child's textbooks and writing their names for them on all the textbooks and exercise books is one way my dad showed his pride for his children.
Personal touch goes a long way.
In keeping with tradition, I have taken the task of wrapping my children's books. Phew!!! two more stacks to go.

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Think of Penang and the nutmeg fruit will come to mind. On my trip to the Pulau Tikus market, I bought a kilo of fresh nutmeg. My salted vegetable and duck soup would not taste right without a crush nutmeg seed. That is the secret ingredient to this aromatic soup.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Popiah man

This popiah skin or flour crepe stall has been around for the last 40 years. Remembered seeing him when I was a little girl following grandma to market in Penang. His father started the stall and now him, continuing the family business. Simply amazes me how the slimy flour would blop around his hand as he expertly smear it on the hot plate to create another crepe.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


December 1oth is my daughter's 16th birthday. I could not help but to recall the times when, I first realised I had something growing inside me. As she made her way down the narrow passage, in all my agony and pain I just could not but feared for the worst. Finally as I held her for the first time, I was so thrilled. Thrilled to see that this little bundle of joy was all mine.
May her next 16 years be filled with love and fulfilment.

The Tan clan

After a week in Penang, I am finally back home. It was holiday cum get-together. The gathering of the Tan clan. Dad has 6 brothers and 5 aunts. Last week son of 2nd uncle got married. A much respected brother who had worked hard to support the family during the growing up years. Uncles and aunts and cousins from all corners of the earth came back. He worked as a teacher in far flunk Terengganu. The salary he earned was sent back to grandma. He gave tuition for his personal allowance. I remembered, when he was back in Penang working as a bank teller, he would come back with hacks sweets. Go the the kitchen and divide the just one sweet into equal portion for all the nephews and nieces hovering around him!!!
He finally agreed to an aranged marriage after all the siblings were able to established themselves.
However, the Tan clan family photo was still not complete. Never managed to yet. 1st aunt left Penang to Hong Kong in the 70s while 5th aunt to Uk for nursing. 2nd aunt was given away and now residing in Ireland, 4th aunt seattled down in the States while 4th uncle received the Colombo plan to further his studies in Germany. 6th uncle is now station in Shanghai while 7th has just retired from the Singapore airforce. This time around 1st uncle and 7th uncle 1st, 2nd,4th and 5th aunt could not make it back.

I remembered when grand ma and grand pa died 25 years ago not all made it back.
Needless to say the cousins are scattered all over. Some I have not seen for the last 20 years.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The rays

Indeed, Sentosa island needs a makeover. Visited the island last sunday after an 8 year interval. To my surprise, most of the attractions have closed or under upgrading. Have to admit, the underwater world has always been the sole reason for me taking visitors especially youngsters there. With anticipation, we headed straight for the cable car tower. Absorbing in the sights and views of the container port and the lush greenery of the island. Upon arrival, we check the route needed to get to the aquarium. The aquarium never fails to awe me. The huge groupers to the fragile weedy seahorses.
Schools of mantra rays swimming around the touching pool has my 9 year old daughter all excited as the mantra rays actually swims up to your hand.
Lunch at the beach was indeed another experience. Having a cool cloud weather helped. It was a delightful lunch by the beach watching children play. Prices were to my surprise reasonable and the food actually taste Good. Especially the indian fare.
I am glad I took up my daughter's strong request to see the rays in sentosa. Despite of all the works and the upgrading that is...