Sunday, May 29, 2011

Visit from Canada

My aunt and uncle from Canada visited us recently and it was really good to catch up with them. :) My uncle is amazing, he had contacts of his friends whom he hasn't met in over 40 years, all in a little notebook he carried around. So every day, he would meet up with one of his friends, schoolmates, ex-colleagues, neighbours and I even discovered I have a god-uncle!

See the guy in black and his wife beside him? He was my parents page boy when they got married. And that was the last time they saw him. In 1968. I kid you not. When my uncle contacted him, his wife was like, "I never knew you had a god-brother!".

His family were neighbours with my Mum and Uncle when they stayed in Melaka back then and he apparently used to stay over at their place quite frequently. So they are now in the Klang Valley and my parents finally have his contact. Wow!

Also managed to catch up quite a fair bit with my uncle. He came over to visit my new place and we chatted for an hour. He was passionately sharing about how proud he was of his kids, how well they are all doing, how proud he was to see the work of their hands. KS and I could feel it emanating from him. It was very touching. Kenny, Kelvin and Karen, I hope you guys know this. :)

It was really great to see them after so long.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Icing on the Cake

I've always wanted to try to make a chocolate cake, complete with chocolate icing. Several attempts failed until I read this blogger's recipe so I thought I'd give it a try.

At the baking goods shop, I spotted some cute sugary sprinkles in the shape of dinosaurs to give colour to my chocolate cake. So anyway, I toiled in the kitchen for a night and carefully spread the icing for a good hour (i hardly ice my cakes, so no practice) the day after. It so happened that night we went out to celebrate two friends' birthdays so I brought the experiment along.

Their comments were consistent and simple. "Cute dinosaurs!"

So my learning from this is, nobody really cares about the cake. It's the decorative icing that counts. :)

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Never Say Never

I've often said I would never be eager to go visit China. Despite my parents and my in-laws going there on several trips and having shown us photos and seeing photos of breathtaking views, my interest remained lukewarm. Why would I want to go where you have to be wary of what you buy, what you eat and worse, carry an umbrella whenever you need to use a toilet, that is, if I'll be lucky to have a toilet rather than just a hole in the ground with a heaping load of crap beneath me?

With that, yes, I am now booked to go China in June. And yes, I am eager to go. Simply because it will be the largest gathering of my husband's family at their ancestral home. A couple of years ago, my in-laws went together with newfound relatives in Indonesia and donated some money to build some er... building in that area. Now that the structures are up, there will be a huge opening ceremony and of course, all the donors and members of the clan are invited. So all my Masjid Tanah relatives plus the ones from Indonesia whom I have yet to meet and relatives from goodness knows where will be there.

I have been very keen on tracing my family tree and have started up a family tree online. With the help of relatives who are connected, we have managed to extend the tree horizontally. It's so fascinating to see people from all over the world related to one another, people whom I will most likely never meet in person, but just to know we are all related fascinates me.

So, this trip is one where I can see the vertical genealogy of the family I married into. My name is apparently in the family book there in China. So excited!

Which also means, my trip to US/Canada... :P... ah... never say never.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Not Again!

I think I will always have this demon plaguing me. The "DSLR or No DSLR". So here I am, happily trudging along with life, often bringing my new G12 everywhere I go but I don't take any photos. So yeah, I don't take much photos these days. Uninspired. Plus my iPhone camera takes what is sufficient just to show proof that I was there hanging out with my group of friends.

Then yesterday at a wedding, even though I could have brought my G12, I didn't. Instead, at my table, my friend brought her Nikon D40 with these awesome lens. I took one shot. Just ONE shot. And I swear, I'm in love.
Focussed on the wrong prawn though...
I love the bokeh! But but but... would I spend thousands just so that I can get great bokeh shots? My G12, great as a point & shoot and as a prosumer, isn't able to give me this. Plus, it's not even 6 months since I got it and yet I hardly take photos with it.

Just bear with me as I battle this one out again. I usually am successful at stamping out any spark of desire by vehemently declaring, "Die! Die! DIE!!" but this time, even after chanting it for a full day and then seeing the photo again and again, my valiant efforts are starting to wear thin, my sane reasonings on why I don't need one are flying out the window. 

Sunday, May 01, 2011


I recently bought some coupons from (which was bought over by Groupon not too long ago). My first two redemptions were done last week. The first one was getting 6 Chicken and Mushroom pies and one huge apple pie from this place called Mr Pieman. I heard the owner over the radio a couple of months ago. He explained he was trying to bring the pie eating culture into Malaysia, just like when he was staying in NZ years ago. I resonated with him, remembering my pie eating days in NZ, how affordable and widely available they were.

So I was determined to try them out and when the Groupon opportunity came along, I grabbed it. After all, we host our cell group in our place so it would be a good excuse reason to feed everyone. 

Unfortunately, only one person turned up for that day. And I bought extra just in case 6 wasn't enough. So I had 8 pies and 1 large apple pie. Unfortunately too, it was SO salty, we could hardly finish up one pie each! I drank 6 glasses of water to wash away the salt but it lingered. I will try to find time to give this feedback to the company because seriously, no one would go back for seconds and I'm glad I didn't ruin the brand name had all my guests come.

My second Groupon was for a mani + pedi. I was the only one there the whole two hours and the two staff attended to me. I got sucked into adding more services (paraffin wax treatment) and ended up buying a package for 5 times of mani + pedi. Oh well... I reasoned I would be doing this more often now that I've discovered I like painted toe nails.

One more Groupon to utilize. Will blog about that once I use it up :P