Having Faith

23 Jul 2014 – Crossing this Life’s Journey…

IMG_3951Mon: had to run errands at IKEA and at the same time had dinner with Henry there. They now serve crayfish and not bad for A$5 with 5 of them in a serving. Saw this young lady eating them and when asked, she replied that they are OK. The teeth are not what I should be using to crack the claws with, so made a mess on the table using the handle of the knife to do the job. Good dill favour.

The chicken wings there are a must!

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One thing about IKEA is that even though you have no intentions to buy anything, you usually leave with something or other! Have been eyeing this tray for a while but did not think S$40 was worth it. Today there it was at the As-Is article for S$20. With 2 bunches of dried twigs, 5 silk flowers (thx to Clem for the magnetic vases) and other small purchases standing in line to pay! Was approached by the same young lady (crayfish) to ask if I had a car.

946329_10151654061468020_299341908_nShe asked if I could validate a parking voucher for her as she was driving. Did that and she offered to drive me to the bus stop. Parking is NOT cheap at IKEA if you are just there to hang out! S$12 she saved and when she realised that she insisted driving me home. Thus that is how Faith came into my path.

Thank you Faith for the ride and chat.  She does has a slight resemblance to the actress Joan Chen!

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Tue: doing some minor repairs like scraping off flaky paint from kitchen ceiling, bathroom floor and filling the gaps in the living room floor with wood filling. Made a delicious smoked trout salad serving on the new tray. Walked to the MP market to buy a durian to reward myself :-)

7jerseyboys00_450_190x272_3cc7e51f39Wed: am usually no fan of musicals but after the Broadway version of Jersey Boys, decided to watch the movie. From director Clint Eastwood comes the big-screen version of the Tony Award-winning musical Jersey Boys***

The film tells the story of four young men from the wrong side of the tracks in NJ who came together to form the iconic 1960s rock group The Four Seasons…

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Happy 3rd Birthday to my #5 grandchild, James. One of my favourite pix of him.

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Happy 6th Bday grandnephew Lucas. Appreciations to his parents for a delicious dinner at Imperial Treasure at Great World City****

To Faith, here is a quote for her!

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See The Big Picture

21 Jul 2014 – With Stephen Wiltshire

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Fri: from 16-20 Jul, Stephen Wiltshire will draw our skyline from memory live at Paragon as part of SPH’s 30th anniversary celebrations. Diagnosed with autism when he was 3yrs, Stephen is acclaimed for his astounding ability to draw detailed cityscapes from memory after viewing the scene once – amazing to be able to be in the audience this morning.

http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/more-singapore-stories/story/british-artist-stephen-wiltshire-draws-singapore-memory-

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Bus to Mandi Crematorium with Lawrence and Jo and a late lunch at AMK Hub FoodFare with SiongYuen/Charles and another of the ex-banking staff of the old family KLBank. Interesting to hear gossips from another era!

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Sat: Happy Anniversary to Linn&Jeff. Katy, Ellie, JohnW, Sophie and James are the smart and beautiful new generation after 17yrs :-) Am truly blessed.

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Art Apart Fair 2014 at one of my favourite hotels ParkRoyal on Pickering St – http://amylamsg.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/parkroyal-on-pickering/ on Level 14 with views of the  Pinnacle@Duxton stands tall…

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and the Presidential Suite where the Russian Contemporary artists were displayed. Another SIN Skyline by Studio 30 Lilia starting bid at S$18,000, anyone?? This art fair features 1,500+ artworks by emerging contemporary artists from around the world including -

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Kumari Nahappan’s ‘Point of View’. Her giant bronze chilli-pepper, Pedas Pedas/2006 was commissioned by the National Museum, the Saga/2007 at Changi Airport, the Nutmeg/2009 at ION Orchard.

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Giant Safety Pins by? Dolls by V Zhornik, glossy acrylic on canvas are by SionKhan/Korea and the glass sculpture by Orlina/Philippines.

Appreciations to Clem for lunch at Crystal Jade Kitchen***B2 in Takashimaya. Back to Paragon

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10411365_756065587750168_600423030746780924_nThanks to Charles for this surprise pix of my back yesterday at Paragon. Was seen and photographed from the next level, Fri 18 Jul 1030hrs. Incase I am accused of any crime, here is my alibi :-) :-)

Sat 19Jul 1500hrs and the crowds were more than I could handle. Took a few pix of the progress and left. Drawing to be completed tomorrow 1700hrs but will not even attempt to be there. Stephen will be presenting the complete work to  Dr Tony Tan, SIN President and the crowds without a doubt will  be worse!

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Sun: breakfast with Lawrence at Changi Airport T3 which  is all set to mark Hari Raya celebrations. Safe journeys to him who is heading home to KCH via a few days in KL.

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SOTA with Audrey for the 2nd and last Piano Concerto Festival, works of Beethoven, Mozart and Rachmaninoff. Returned to Art Apart Fair with Audrey. Stanley Quek is now in oil on canvas by Tatiana – have known Stanley since our Dublin days and he looks the same since Dublin! Dinner in Chinatown with Audrey who is starting another chapter in her life’s journey. All the best to her!

Past 2 weeks have been busy with more than the usual dose of arts and music!

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Was not at Paragon today but it’s done. ‘ See The Big Picture’ (pix downloaded). Thank you to Stephen Wiltshire for this beautiful SIN Skyline.

Sometimes you have to disconnect to stay connected. Remember the old days when you had eye contact during a conversation? When everyone wasn’t looking down at a device in their hands? We’ve become so focused on that tiny screen that we forget the big picture, the people right in front of us – Regina Brett

Piet Hein

18 Jul 2014 - Happy Thoughts…

Niece SueLynn tells me that when the mind and thoughts are not in balance, think happy thoughts. Thank you Sue and if not happy, at least with some sense of humour :-)

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Tue: at one of my least favourite places and this time for root canal. Replant for one of the teeth was mentioned but at those $$$$, the half full glass with or without the teeth will be the choice :-) :-)

Movies make me forget the real world for awhile…

7holiday201400_450_190x272_837b65eff8Walking on Sunshine***set to the music of popular hit songs from the 1980s at a beautiful coastal village in present day Italy. After a fast romance, Maddie is preparing to marry the gorgeous Italian Raf, and has invited her sister Taylor to the wedding.

Unbeknownst to Maddie, however, Raf is Taylor’s ex-holiday flame and the love of her life…

7chef_sg00_450_190x272_4a61cf8442Chef****Miami-born chef Carl tries and fails to open a restaurant in LA. He returns to Miami to fix up a food truck he names El Jefe Cubanos and reacquaints with his ex-wife. His plan to drive across the country to reclaim his success in LA – a feel good movie.

Kind of neat to be able to see some of  the scenes after having driven across from CA-FL in the late 1980s.

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Following NTUC, Giant also now gives 3% senior discount on Tues. Just discovered that and for whatever reason there was a free gift when the bill totals S$30 an above for today. Quite a pleasant surprise and coincidently, S$31 was the total bill and this green blanket is added to my recycle gifts!

Wed: Watson had a sale today, buy 1 get 1 free of Watson’s brands. Have stocked up with body & hand wash, shampoo, dry & wet naps to last hopefully for the next few months, and all for under S$20. That will be my purchase for the 2014 Great SIN Sale :-) :-) :-)

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Thu: the morning sky opened and poured buckets of rain, much-needed after a couple of hot oppressive days but alas only lasted for a short while. Lawrence is back in SIN for a Rotary Function tomorrow night. Caught up with him for the afternoon and for dinner.

Fri: breaking news – Oh no! NOT again! Malaysian Airways flight MH 730 disappeared in Mar and still has not been found yet: http://amylamsg.wordpress.com/2014/03/11/flight-mh730/

This is just too sad for words and or images. Prayers and thoughts to the passengers & crew and their family & friends.

http://edition.cnn.com/2014/07/17/world/europe/ukraine-malaysia-airlines-crash

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-28354856

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Have been a big fan of Charles Shultz’s Peanuts and Piet Hein’s Grooks since younger days and still am. Both have the rational and logical sense of humour with their approach to life. Many may not know that Piet Hein is a Danish philosopher, mathematician and scientist. Will be quoting him after re-reading his Grooks, enjoying them even more as the years and experiences contributing to deeper understanding in life!

ZOOM in to the AT Photo Contest

15 Jul 2014 – More Like FB Supporters Contest!

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Mon: thinking that it was the last day of voting for the AT Photo, but not the case – seems like voting is still ongoing. Winners will be announced the week of July 14. As Garry said, this seems more tedious than hiking the AT! Since I submitted my entry, will follow it thru’ and do my best as I did when hiking the AT thru’-hike.

Tue: appreciations to JohnK in Ireland for informing me that the voting is now closed.

405079_10151090114246971_1663177532_nTo all who voted once or more, sincere thanks for your support and for being such a sport. Without your votes (total 492), ‘A Glint of Paradise – On the AT (Craig Creek, VA) where nature and comradeship are at their best. Photo by Amy LAM (Tiger-Lil), Singapore’s 1st AT Thru-Hiker (2005)’ would not have placed 5th.

This proofs that I do have good FB supporters and need not delete my FB account… LOL

The reasons for choosing this pix is that it is sharper than most in my AT folder, for the colours and the trail marking. The tagline to this Photo Contest was: ZOOM In to the AT Photo Contest.

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Agreeing fully with my cousin – ‘This is a strange photo contest. I have viewed all the entries and many of them are just awful photographs. The number of votes have obviously no connection to any artistic merit and whoever wins is the one who can mobilize the most votes from their friends and acquaintances. Odd contest indeed’Lam Kwok-Lock

There were a total of 324 entries with some decent pix but did not get any votes. Those 0 vote entries probably do not have any FB friends!

original_e6bc40018207531cbd28d123739081f7The winner of 1,589 votes ‘Rainbow over McAfee Knob’ by Mark M deserved its placing. ‘A brief but heavy rainstorm hit when my thru hiking partner Mot and I were within a mile of McAfee Knob. But when we got within 1/4 mile of the knob, the sun came out and the skies cleared. I got my first glimpse of the rainbow as I started up the approach trail and immediately started taking pictures. The rainbow faded quickly and this was probably the best photo of it.’

original_2e13837a2936e6e5f1bedd9b1cc688e5Not too sure about the 2nd ‘Kennebec River Ferry Crossing’ by Stephanie M with 1,480 votes! ‘Registered Maine Master Guide, David P. Corrigan waits for hikers on the bank of the Kennebec River in Caratunk, Maine–May 24, 2014. Between now and October 13, 2014 well over 1,000 Appalachian Trail Hikers will cross the Kennebec River using this ferry service.’

Whoever David P and Stephanie M are, they must have many FB supporters!!

original_c609bdca13eb2b77ab1eb520c41afbd33rd ‘Machoosue Ladder’ by Kadra C with 844 votes. ‘As an avid ultrarunner, my husband completed a 71 day thru-run of the trail in 2011. This section of the Mahoosuc range, just south of the Maine border, was one of the many places I was able to enjoy as I hiked in fuel and encouragement to him. The most astounding feature of the trail is the time and effort it takes to build and maintain rugged, steep sections…

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Would have voted for the above 3 pix if I did not have to vote my own pix! These pix show that they are on the AT for sure, considering that the title of this contest is: ZOOM in to the AT Photo Contest

Red Road by Peter/29votes – after a few miles past Palmerton mountain. It was raining and foggy, you can see my hiking buddy at the top of the hill, the lighting was just right to let the fallen fir on the ground come alive…

Almost Heaven by Dale/4votes – On the trail near Roan Mountain…

Five Below by James/1vote – Photo taken 18 miles north of Damascus, VA on January 4th, 2014. Let us just say it was cold outside. Camera: iPhone 4S…

Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything – Aaron Siskind

Concerts

14 Jul 2014 – Esplanade & SOTA Concert Halls

imagesCAOP6YVH1878-79rue_montorgueilHappy Bastille Day/14 Jul to Jean-Baptiste and to those celebrating! Happy Birthday to Keith in France and hope that we will catch up sometime soon.

Exactly 9yrs ago today, was on the AT and strangely enough tent next to a French hiker that evening – happy memories of France and to all the French acquaintances who crossed this life’s journey path!

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Fri: Esplanade with SSO conducted by Lan Shui performing Rachmaninov/The Rock, cellist Jan Vogler/Bloch’s Schelomo (Hebraic Rhapsody) was heartfelt but no fan of Bloch, ending with a delightful performance of Elgar Enigma Variations.

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Welcome back to SIN, Richard. Late dinner at Makansutra Gluttons Bay***which has been revamped again with more expensive food but not better! Too much MSG!! Was very thirsty after the chilli StingRay, fried Omelette Oyster (did not eat, like my oyster raw on the shell), HokkienMee, RoastPork (the best among theses dishes), fried BabySquids and Satay (late order). Live music entertainment by the on-going NDP’s rehearsals :-)

Sat: farewell dinner with cousin David at Pearl Bank. He returns to HI/USA tomorrow. 4th aunt is now home from hospital with extra help so that she can remain home. Safe journeys to cousin.

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Sun: SOTA/School of the Arts is the first national school in SIN to launch the IBCC/International Baccalaureate Career-related Certificate programme. The award-winning city-campus with vertical hanging gardens was designed by WOHA Architects/SIN-based architecture practice.

First experience in SOTA Concert Hall with Clarence Tan, conducting a young orchestra, M’Ode. The flutist did a good job but the brass section needs improvement. Enjoyed the performances of Tommy Peh’s Beethoven Piano Concerto #5/Emperor, Choon HongXiang’s Mozart’s Piano Concerto #23 and Louis Page’s Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #2 .

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/online-petitions-started–call-for-singapore-nlb-to-reinstate-removed-children-s-books-095911437.html

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About 400 people, including children, turned up at the National Library Building atrium on Sunday for Let’s Read Together, an event organised in response to the National Library Board’s/NLB removal of at least three children’s books…

untitleduntitledIn the midst of my cultural week and the World cup frenzy, this is also happening, putting SIN back in the dark ages where book burning is concerned.  During the Qin dynasty of Ancient China, Spanish Inquisition, Nazi, the Cultural Revolution,  and the list goes on with book-burning…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_book-burning_incidents

Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself – Potter Stewart

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With the world cup frenzy and lack of sleep for many but for me, I choose my sleep and rest more than soccer!  Advertisement in SIN warning against problem gambling has sparked much hilarity online even in the international media after Germany handed the Brazilian hosts a 7-1 thrashing last week. Good sportsmanship do exist when this gracious elderly gentleman handed the trophy to a German girl…

http://www.todayonline.com/sports/football/ncpg-continue-anti-gambling-world-cup-ad

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Clever twist and follow up against gambling…

http://www.straitstimes.com/news/sport/world-cup-2014/story/world-cup-national-council-problem-gambling-adds-new-twist-andy-ad-c

the end of the day, win or lose, the dangers of problem gambling, and the potential anxiety and pain that loved ones go through, remain unchanged…

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Mon: congratulations to Germany for winning the 2014 World-Cup, beating Argentine 1-0 on extra time in Rio de Janeiro/Brazil. Pix credits to various sites for the World-Cup, library books and Bastille Day.

Everything’s a gamble, love most of all ― Tess Gerritsen

Ode to Durians

10 Jul 2014 – And Similar Food

Durian durian, how can you be so sweet and smell like feet :-)

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The durian is the fruit of several tree species belonging to the genus Durio. There are 30 recognised Durio species, at least nine of which produce edible fruit. Durio zibethinus is the only species available in the international market: other species are sold in their local regions.

photoMay tells me that you can now buy durians in Oslo/Norway and the Norwegians are wondering what the strange/bad smell is. Never thought durians would ever make it to Norway but of course with the growing SE Asian population, it is only inevitable that the King of Fruits finally made its way there.

Regarded by many people in SE Asia as the King of fruits’ the durian is distinctive for its large size, strong odour, and formidable thorn-covered husk is an acquired taste, not for the faint ♥

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320px-Singapore_MRT_FinesJan/USA asked what it taste like, JohnK/Ireland and I gave the same answer – there is nothing that is similar to the durian. Quoting from other sources… ‘thick, full creamy and mild sweet tasting and the unusual flavour and odour have prompted people to express diverse and passionate views ranging from deep appreciation to intense disgust’

Some public places and transport in SIN do not allow durians on their locations!

Audrey/SIN: LOL!!! I’ve been told it smells like feet!

Nancy/USA: Are you kidding me?? The Norwegians are complaining about the odor from durians? They make the king of stinky foods — what about lutefisk?

imagesCA5RJ5S9SISTEM~1The Norwegians have their and luteffisk and rakfisk’ which probably have the same effect to non-Norwegians as durians have to some Norwegians! I like ‘rakfisk’ but have not acquired the taste for lutefisk even after living there for over 10+yrs :-) :-)

First experience and introduction to ‘rakfisk’ was in 1968; unable to fit in with the Kings of Fruits, but same match will have to be another posting :-) :-) :-)

All pix are downloaded from various sites and thanks May for her pix which inspired this posting!

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Thu: thank you for grandnephew KeeYang for meeting up with Christian in Chinatown where the UFO costs $$$$. The new food court street there is so-so but was not hungry and tired a couple of the local dishes!

If you cut a thing up, of course it will smell. Hence, nothing raises such an infernal stink at last, as human psychology – DHLawrence

Cleaned & Cleared

9 Jul 2014 – After House Guest…

7cansongsavelife00_450_190x272_2fb9fd9becMon: had to get out after resting and cleaning. Movie: Begin Again***Gretta and her boyfriend that is passionate in making music. Things go wrong when Gretta’s boyfriend gets a deal from huge recording label and make his debut solo, dumping Gretta for all the fame and fortune in NYC. Just when she thought her life is ruined, a record producer appears out of nowhere, and gets captured by her singing talent. They decide to help each other out…

Some commercial was screening as I walked into the dark and a loud voice said ‘Amy, where are you?’ Quiet a shock to the already weak ♥

Tue: when one has a tiny place and not much space for hanging sheets etc, bigger loans of laundry have to be done over a few days. Yeah, all put away and now to something more exciting –  like planning to see 2 bridges which are in my bucket list :-)

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South of France (Millau Viaduct Tarn Valley) and Switzerland (Trift Bridge near Gadmen). Since Keith&Marianne have homes in these areas, wrote to ask if they would join me! Am told that they are afraid of heights but told them that they can just look straight ahead when driving in France and to wait for me at the bottom while I walk across the one in Switzerland :-) :-)

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Wed: not a soccer fan but this World Cup madness with Germany slaughtering Brazil 7-1 is posted just about everywhere, including this posting! Even the MP CC has balloons, voting boxes and believe it not – dropped my name into the Germany box last week . May the best team win, but will certainly not lose any sleep to watch :-) :-) :-)

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Lunched at Namnam**Plaza SIN. Welcome home Audrey; welcome Jinyoung whose gracious hospitality from Apr 2013 visit in Busan/S Korea and the surrounding areas is still fresh in the memory. Great to catch up and safe journeys to Jinyoung back to Korea. Good Luck to Audrey’s next posting in Beijing/China.

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Thank you Audrey for this most beautiful and elegant piece of Bach’s Minuet in G. Appreciations for her thoughtfulness and for remembering Mozart with sweet memories of Busan’s cherry blossoms

http://amylamsg.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/reflections-on-busan-%eb%b6%80%ec%82%b0/

We build too many walls and not enough bridges – Isaac Newton