To Travel vs To Wander

28 Feb 2017 – To Wander Is To Be Alive

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Fri: TGIF@Bugis Junction Food Junction to lunch with Simplicius & Pat. Sim who is visiting from Sydney also only wants local food. Popiah&Rojak were so-so; the ChowKueyTeow stall is no longer, in-spite of this stall claiming to be selling Local Singapore Delights, but nothing on their menu was SIN food! Nasi Padang – their AssamFish&MeeGoreng were nothing to write home about.

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Chose this area to lunch as we were going to look for some music notes@Bras Basah Complex – not much business there! Thought that the Music Book Room was located on the 5floor but found them on the ground floor (2above pix downloaded). Selection very limited, but bought a Ukulee Chord Finder (S$12.60) which will hopefully be useful to me. Dropped by H&H to say hi.

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Happy Birthday Bjørn & Calvin – appreciations to all who contributed to this celebrations@CC.  Even though it was not quite a surprise, the thoughts and good intentions are what eventually count! If life permits, same time&place for 2018 🙂

Sat: after such a crazy week, need some space and down time this weekend to read, rest, reflect (3other important Rs for me besides recreation!) and get some work done in my living quarters!

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Sun: a late morning call from Clem with updates that Steven has been admitted into NUH. First time in that location for a short visit – he had another seizure attack and they found another bleed in his brains – his blood-pressure is on the high side but it is being controlled with meds.

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16807461_1439478639458692_6714527672975123306_nMon: thank you for a very delightful and interesting talk by Dr John van Wyhe in the Ngee Ann Auditorium@ACM.

Wanderlust: The amazing Ida Pfeiffer (1797-1858), was the most remarkable female traveller who ever lived. She was the first woman to circle the globe alone, and then to do so twice. Tkx to CH for the shared info about this talk.

The word ‘travel’ comes from the Old French word ‘travail or travailler’, which means to work, to labor; a suffering or painful effort, an arduous journey, a tormenting experience. Travel, thus, is a painful and laborious journey. Whereas ‘to wander’ comes from the West Germanic word ‘wandran’, which simply means to roam about. There is no labor or torment in wandering. There is only roaming. Wandering is the activity of the child, the passion of the genius; it is the discovery of the self, the discovery of the outside world, and the learning of how the self is both at one with and separate from the outside world. These discoveries are as fundamental to the soul as learning to survive is fundamental to the body. These discoveries are essential to realizing what it means to be human. To wander is to be alive ― Roman Payne, The Wanderess

Throwback Thursdays

23 Feb 2016 – With Friends From Early SIN & DUB Days

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15350503_10154371417398393_744622483113151509_nMon: Welcome Richard from Sydney and tkx for dropping by for NasiLemak. Appreciate the wine from HongSze. Forgot to take pix this time round – B/W from 1950s, first reunion 2010 and 2015 where there is not much differences from then with the guys but many different shades of grey for me now 🙂

Safe journeys to Kat&Greg, Devon&Eliot (pix credits to Greg) and their nanny Amanda back to NY. Glad to be able to catch up.

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Introducing one of the best playgrounds in MarineCove@EastCoastPark to Pauline&Tama, Ruben&Eva. Al fresco local picnic dinner on a pleasant breezy evening by the sea with brightly lit tankers views making them look like another island in the background. Tkx for the McD ice-cream.

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Tue: tkx for dinner Calvin. Have always enjoyed the MeePok at the coffee shop near CC.

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img_2712Appreciations to Yip Yew Chong for an educational & interesting evening@National Library.  He mentioned that TiongBahru is his favourite work. Will look forward for him to publishing a book on all his mural paintings.

https://amylamsg.wordpress.com/2016/07/11/heritage-muralstiong-bahru/

His drawing of his childhood days at SagoLane@Chinatown is amazingly descriptive. Remember hearing that the funeral parlours there also served as hospice facilities then! As a kid and now as an adult wonder what were or are his thoughts being surrounded by such a harsh reminder of the inevitability of death daily then?

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http://yipyc.com/blog/2015/08/31/memories-of-sago-lane-street-of-the-dead/

His works bring back memories of the bygone days for me and as he said so clearly that there are no messages or agendas hidden in them, they are just what you see, like his website, easy to remember: http://yipyc.com/

http://www.btrts.org.sg/history-of-sago-lane/

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Wed: had breakfast and saw Lawrence off at the airport/T2. Olai would have liked this wall 🙂

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MRT from airport to Tanjong Pagar took about 40mins to attend a free 2+hrs seminar on InnerQi by Tan Choon Kiang@International Plaza. Been a long while ago (early 2000s when H&H was down the street), since I set foot in this location. Engaging and interesting enough seminar but not enough to convince me to pay $3,000 for further training or workshop!

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Thu: tourist-guiding Norwegian visitors thru’ Heritage sites. The building highlights tour@National Gallery was excellent today. Learnt some history from our guide.

https://amylamsg.wordpress.com/2016/07/16/sin-national-gallery/

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Skimmed thru’ Fullerton Hotel, Victoria Concert Hall&Theater, St Andrews Cathedral, CHIJMES (my old school CHIJ from 1962-65).

https://amylamsg.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/chijmes-revisited/

b7806b67-d003-4afa-84c8-a75de176d31bBeing surrounded by 4 different roads, CHIJ must be the only school which could actually have 4 different addresses then – Victoria St, Bras Basah Rd, N Bridge Rd and Stamford Rd.

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/peace-still-reigns-at-site-of-oldest-catholic-girls-school

The chapel and the corridors with the spiral staircases are beautifully restored. Caldwell House, Gate of Hope and the section walls along Bras Basah and N Bridge Rd are also done up nicely. Sad that the classrooms with the assembly hall has been replaced by the out-of-place! MRT concrete offices.

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Raffles Hotel (mainly boarded up for renovations) and lunch@The Food Place@RafflesCity. 

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1967, 50yrs ago – Kathleen, me, cousin Yun, Josephine, Susan and Jennifer.

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2017, 50yrs later – sooo good to see Kat (Malaysia) and Jo (Canada) after 50yrs. Jen lives in SIN, so I do get to see her now&then! Cousin Yun (who was just visiting SIN in Oct/Nov last year) &Susan (anyone knows where Susan is?) are missing in the present pix.

We need old friends to help us grow old and new friends to help us stay young – Letty Pogrebin

Scotts Square

19 Feb 2017 – Dale Chihuly

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Thu: needed this day to rest after a day like yesterday and knowing the socials planned ahead! Some of the sculptures and art displays outside Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station where you not only See the World Through Rose-Coloured Glasses, but with Multi-Coloured Glasses!!

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Fri: tkx for dinner@Les&Ivy where we all contributed. Les with his yummy clams and mussels, Kat&Greg with their delicious thin-crust pizza and me with gravlaks. Even the shellfish were happily drenched in bubbles 🙂

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Sat: @Scotts Sq – first time in this trendy place where everything is out of my budget, but had fun looking.

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Was delighted to see one of Chihuly’s (favourtie contemporary glass- blower) works. Pix taken from inside out and at different floors. Walking by in the daylight, would have not step in here or noticed it thinking it is just another shopping mall.

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Interesting display of Fashion Meets Art.  In collaboration with Scotts Square, the works of the top 12 finalists are displayed at the ‘BAZAAR Art Prize’

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Somebody plx photoshop in 4 of my favourite guys here – lol 🙂

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Tkx to Les&Ivy for fine dinning@Paradise Teocheiw Restaurant*****and also time to say goodbye to Kat&family before they head back to the US.

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Seafood and veggie (Mustard Greens) – fresh and prepared to perfection.

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Excellent braised pig-intestines+tofu, O Luak or O jian (耗煎) fried oyster omelette (pix downloaded, had better ones at the hawkers!) and something new for me – Crispy, Sweet and Sour Noodles in Teochew Style 潮式干煎糖醋面(pix downloaded). Noodles here is made from duck’s egg-white, deep fried and then you add vinegar and sprinkle on the sugar to your own taste.

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Of course being in a Teochiew place, Greg had to taste their dessert, Orh Nee 银杏芋泥 – Yam Paste With Gingko Nuts (pix downloaded). Had a spoon of Les’s, being health conscious, the OrhNee is now made without the pork lard and does not have the umph, but Devon liked it. Les’s wine as usual complimented this evening’s dinner.

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Good night for now Scotts Sq, will visit again.

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Sun: tkx to Mil for dropping by and for bringing lunch. Wanted to go to Amoy St to watch Yip YewChong painting the mural, but had to take a nap instead 😦 Pix credits to Yip YewChong & Yuen Oeij. Maybe next weekend, if it is not completed by then.

Work in progress of the Thian Hock Keng mural at Amoy Street. Many people were surprised when I explained that the shoreline was right in front of the temple (in this photo, it’s where the tall buildings are). The mural is, in a way, educational – Yip YewChong

Fallen Trees

16 Feb 2017 – Character From Trees
Mon: a day of unpacking and getting stuff back in place! Weather has so far been comfortably breezy – very pleasant. Windows and doors all opened wide to air the place after being closed for 3weeks.

Unfortunately too windy for some trees which have fallen and have caused one fatality and injuries. Pix downloaded from the links below.

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http://m.todayonline.com/singapore/fallen-tree-injures-one-botanic-gardens

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http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/one-hurt-by-falling-tree-at-yuan-ching-road-carpark

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Tue: Happy Hearts Day to all celebrating. Be good and kind to yourselves and to each other, not just today but everyday! Muslim nations like Indonesia, Pakistan, W Java have banned their ppl from celebrating Valentine’s Day because they believe the observance runs against Islamic teachings – it would be against any decent teachings if this day is celebrated according to the original pagan ways.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/indonesia-bans-st-valentines-day-as-not-part-of-islamic-culture-a6873226.html

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Origins of Valentine’s Day is a pagan festival, Rome’s Lupercalia – a festival of sexual license with rather barbaric gross rituals and not the least bit romantic. Thank goodness today’s Valentine’s Day celebration is not anything like that – hopefully!

https://amylamsg.wordpress.com/2009/02/14/happy-valentines-day/

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Tkx to Gel for good company. The breeze outside is perfect for hammock time. No worries, takes only a second to unhook it, so am not blocking anyone.

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Wed: what a day – out of my place by 0710hrs in heavy rains and traffic to catch the bus to MtE. Good news, no more Afib on ECG and hope that it will be this kind of results all the time! Continued to catch the MRT@RafflesCity and bus connecting to Nanyang Technological U. Stumbled on the 50th War Memorial Service commemorating those who died during Japanese Occupation.

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/50th-war-memorial-service-commemorates-those-who-died-during-japanese-occupation

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Tkx for an entertaining afternoon of Funk, Salsa & Swing from Simplicius & his jazz group@NTU. Keep your eyes and ears open for this delightful young talented flautist – Rit Xu.

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Nice to catch up with PatChee and to discover that Pat’s relatives are related to a class-mate@Alexandra School & College in my Dublin days, mid-1960s and have not seen her since after we left Dublin. Small world, would be fun to catch up with Kathleen Low again someday. She lives in Penang/Malaysia and is also a grandmother now.

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Took time to check out The Hive, nicknamed the dim sum basket building on this campus, designed by UK designer Thomas Heatherwick, the man behind the London Olympic Cauldron. Since it is located at the completely opp end (West) to where I live, would not have taken the extra energy or time to just check out a building. Like this unique building, glad that I made time for it.

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What a nice ambiance to be studying from at the top floor with a view in fresh air. Lucky students! Just walking around here makes me want to go back to school!

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/education/ntu-launches-new-facility-that-features-unconventional-teaching-method

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Restroom signs are Uniquely SIN, looking like the Hangman Game 🙂 staircase has lovely creepers to keep the sun out and other floors are lecture rooms.

http://ecocampus.ntu.edu.sg/Pages/The-Hive.aspx

By the time I got back to the East, it was past 1900hrs, was totally exhausted with a headache – ouch, reminder of age and condition. Bus, MRT and bus again took 2+hrs, including waiting and changing from stations to stations. No to studying at NTU, not even if I had a car. Do recall helping with a project there many moons ago (must be over a decade!) and had to give it up after some months bc of the communication time.

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Chap Goh Meh

13 Feb 2017 – Yuánxiāo Jié

TGIF – arr into IST on schedule and this time round, hardly any lines at the International transit security.

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This colourful display@Hermès caught my attention. Having an idea about the prices of this pace, did not even attempt to set foot there!

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Went back to the store where I was at 3weeks ago and bought some small gifts, including a bottle of honey for me. The last 1kg NZ Manuka Honey from cousins WK&SG Chen in NZ lasted 2yrs+ still more to last me another month. Let’s see how long this 450gm Turkish Organic Creamer Flower Honey will last?

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Bought the first evil eye in IST 1967, and still find them fascinating now, so bought more. This blue evil eye in Turkey is used as protection against bad luck. The charm hangs in homes, business and shops and is a popular souvenir. Believed to be cast by a malevolent glare, usually given to a person when they are unaware. Many cultures believe that receiving the evil eye will cause misfortune or injury. Talismans created to protect against the evil eye are also frequently called evil eyes.

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img_4468IST-SIN: full flight and did not get much rest. Back in SIN on time and in time to be welcomed by Lion DancersCNY dinner hosted by MT Walk. Did have the chance to wish Mr Goh a Happy New Year! Good to hear and see that ppl were merry making. Living in HBD estates have their advantages, everything was cleaned and quiet by 2230hrs.

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Sat: Yuánxiāo Jié 元宵节 (Lantern Festival), but more known as Chap Goh Meh 恭祝大家元宵节快乐 here – today is the full-moon of the first lunar month, and thus marks the ending of the 15-day Lunar/CNY celebrations.

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Tkx to cousin Karen for a scrumptious lunch where auntie Ngor is an excellent cook and has pass the skill to her daughter. Their KCH Laksa is as yummy as ever. Good to be able to catch up with auntie Ngor but sad to see uncle Quan deteriorating who does not know or recognize me.

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Julie dropped by to pick up OSL map and info booklet. Had a simple supper outside@the breezy common corridor with the full moon slowly but surely showing her face on this beautiful night. Good night everybody and good night Moon.

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img_4523Sun: good of Clem to meet up for a tea. Tkx to Kat&Greg for a delicious dinner (Bacon-wrapped Pistachio Lamb and beef) and to Albert for the ham.

According to Kat, this was the lamb dish Greg made for her the first time he cooked for her. Can already see theirs will be a tasteful savoury marriage 🙂 Been a long while since sooo much meat was consumed!

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Great to catch up with Les&Ivy (proud grandparents of 3grand-daughters), May&Albert+Kiera, Kat&Greg+Devon&Eliot. It is such a seldom time when a whole family pix with any of my siblings can be captured. Today’s total for the Purple Generation in LAM TinYue’s branch is 24, the eldest, KeeYang (1989) and the youngest Eliot (2016)

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Found a pix of Greg&Devon in a sling from 2012 NY/USA visit. Here 2017 with Eliot but no sling – he definitely has the father’s whisper 🙂 🙂

The words that a father speaks to his children in the privacy of home are not heard by the world, but, as in whispering-galleries, they are clearly heard at the end and by posterity – Jean Paul Richter

OSL-IST-SIN

9 Feb 2017 – On The Go Again
img_438625589Mon: tkx Mette for meeting up for a cuppa. It is so convenient with Bicks (also know as Smart Environment Neighbourhood Cafe), just next door. Toril Syverstad, the owner welcomes everyone with her friendly smile. Just hope that she and her business partner Carl Steensen will manage to sustain this location.

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Tue: my Guardian Angel and the Sun are trying their best to break thru’ this cold morning, but the clouds will not give way. Olai who is now into chasing and collecting Pokémon is also putting a smile on my face.

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May & I are trying to organise his Lego and managed to find some pieces to built a treasure island where only faun, flora and animals are allowed, ie not building or ppl! There is a moat with a croc and a shark in it. Will still keep an eye for more pieces to build fences and gardens.

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Wed: (chart downloaded). Dressed in 3layers braving -4°C+windchill factor to deliver some papers to NAV@Nydalen and since I was out, might as well do some last minute shopping@Majorstua. Thank goodness for May’s boots which kept my feet warm. Too cold to take pix – wonder how I survived all those winters from 1974-1985?

https://amylamsg.wordpress.com/2016/08/07/nydalen/

winter-blues-book-e1460131485141Have been feeling rather in the dumps the past week – could the weather and or the consequences of the heart procedure be the culprits?? SAD – Seasonal affective disorder, also known as winter depression. SAD was formally described and named in 1984 by Norman Rosenthal and colleagues at the National Institute of Mental Health.

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Attic roof windows giving interesting angles to view the neighbourhood.

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The hippo brought back nostalgic childhood memories of L&M. May had this hippo in her room and now Olai has it in his room. A cute backpack where he has packed his little lamb ready for a getaway or hideaway 🙂 Any excuse to delay with my packing!

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Thu: after the farewells and hugs, now to pack. Olai liked the Remote Controlled-Snake and actually it does wriggle like real! Not sure what in the world made me get it, besides hoping that he will not have the phobia of snakes like his mormor!! Safe journeys to me who will be spending the next 24+hrs on foot, tram, train, bus, 3different airports and on 2different aircraft in the air…

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Edited: OSL newly refurbished airport@Gardemoen – departure level, more spacious and bright. Completion date, April 2017. Arrival section still looks the same. Only one terminal, so no confusion, yet!

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Was hungry as breakfast was neglected. After checking in the baggage and with only 5mins to get thru’ the new security lines (impressive), had time for a seafood open-face sandwich with a Solo NOK198 S$34. Quoting prices in Norway so that ppl will understand why we seldom eat out here, quite different life-style from SIN!

OSL- IST dep on schedule and had even an empty seat next to me.

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I am convinced that material things can contribute a lot to making one’s life pleasant, but, basically, if you do not have very good friends and relatives who matter to you, life will be really empty and sad and material things cease to be important ―

David Rockefeller

A Lesson In Norwegian

6 Feb 2017 – The Norwegian Is A person With Few Words

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Fri: TGIF and Happy Birthday Everyone – being the 7th day of the CNY known as Rénrì,人日, the common man’s birthday, is the day when everyone grows one year older. It is also the day when tossed raw fish salad Yuishang魚生, is eaten for continued wealth and prosperity. Jessie&Frank’s is the best I have ever tasted! 28 ingredients with raw 西刀鱼, Xi dāo, wolf-herring – all freshly and thinly hand-sliced. Any others are just OK.

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Tkx for meeting up at Bicks, Kris. Nice to catch up and appreciate the home-made mushroom soya sauce. Prefer this taste from the other soya sauce, not so salty and more natural. Delicious when cooked with salmon as salmon can sometimes be on the fishy side.

_93949235_gettyimages-125010265Being in Norway now, need to share the link below – makes you think twice about travelling or visiting the US. Do give yourself longer connection times, if you are travelling there and have connections to make. And that too is of course in my mind! Pix credits to Getty Images.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/03/former-norway-pm-bondevik-held-washington-dulles-airport-2014-visit-iran

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11164825_1601290980082610_4010550483126561223_nSat: the weather here is quite erratic, blow 0 one day and above 0 the next. Still prefer below 0 as everything seems brighter and cleaner. One has no choice but to accept and make the best of what Mother Nature provides! The Norwegian is a person of few words, but not Olai, who is a Norwegian of many words in both Norwegian and English 🙂 🙂 🙂

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Neighbourhood Skating Carnival organized by Ullevål Hageby. Impressed at the wonderful warm neighbourly ambiance with hot chocolate, coffee, home-baked cakes and grilled hotdogs for sale.

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Minion and a neighbour princess was there for the beginning but he had to leave early for dinner at his maternal grandfather’s. Good to see many taking the effort with such neat costumes. Heard the fireworks ending in the comforts on a warm sofa, dinning on yummy shrimp omelette with herbs! Norwegian eggs and shrimps are the best.

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Sun: hypnotizing and mesmerizing watching the snow fall. Last time I saw snowfall was in Oct/Nov 2008! Must try to find a classy snow-globe! A short stroll to watch Olai taking a pause from his outdoor play for a warm blackcurrant toddy. Nice creative stone-deco over one of the neighbours door!

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Grocery shopping at this new shop@Damplassen Kolibri – one of the few grocery stores open on Sunnice place but over-priced! One package Wolf-berries, Dates and Chia-Seeds, NOK235 S$40+

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Appreciations to May for a delicious belated Bday scallop dinner and cheese dessert.

Aurora’s popularity have been in great demand lately, especially from ppl overseas. First meeting was back in the late 1960s and yes it was and still is amazing and fascinating, eventhough our last meeting was in the late 1970s.

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