Archive for the ‘Festivals’ Category

The Best Place


I am convinced – I live in the best place in the world. God paints me a new sunset daily and I have the best view. Biased? Not at all! Haha! SunsetKKJust wait till Chinese New Year eve comes round. I can see fireworks from the vantage point of my home. The entire horizon lights up, albeit at different times! I wonder whether anyone bothers to synchronize their watch with the correct time! Or perhaps they are just being enthusiastic…. Anyway, even the neighbourhood joins in the festivities. We get to enjoy fireworks blasting from all sides  and even the housing estate below us, causing us to cram our necks to see where the next one will be let off. Our photography skills are put to the test yearly. Interspersing sounds of “Ohhhh”s and “Ahhh”s with “Waaaaa” and admiring silence, our friends and family join us to delight in this special time of the year in our special place, that is, our home.

Roll on this weekend!



I live in a multiracial country. Here, we have a lot more holidays than most other places because there are special holidays for the Malays, the Chinese, the Indians and the indigenous folk. This variety of holidays translates into lots of time to visit one another and to see the sights.

It also means that intermingling of culture takes place. For instance, the giving of ang-pows used to be only done by the Chinese. Over the years, the Malays do it, but their packets are coloured green. Recently the bank gave me some ang-pows to give away – for Deepavali. These were in purple!

Now, this fusion has evolved even to the interpretation of symbols. Take this mall decoration for instance. It’s the year of the Rabbit I am told. But the main features are butterflies. Beautiful colourful and lovely butterflies.

They settle on lilies, and the rabbits are pale in comparison.

I like the butterflies actually. It really does add to the variety!

It’s That Time of the Year


I am scratching my head often. What with all the things to do at work, children flying home, family gatherings, friends coming over, children’s friends coming over, days off to juggle….. at times I am amazed my brain is still in one piece, and my sanity along with it!

Over the next few days, I will have more guests over for dinner than I have had in a long, long time. Each group comes along with its own peculiarities and uniqueness. But one common denominator is fooooooood and gifts.

One group will have a gift exchange after dinner. Another group will have a white elephant kind of gift giving after dinner.

There’s the love-a-sing-a-long ensemble and a serious-discussion-over-coffee-always group. And I mustn’t forget the fruits-for-dessert gang and the brownies-and-cakes-post-dinner-delights crowd.

There’s the multiple-generation-and-diverse-age mixture on one day, and another one it’s more homogeneous.

Are you feeling tired yet?

So am I….. It’s THAT time of the year…

But I love it!

The Hills are Alive….


My title is the first phrase of a famous song.

It goes on to finish the sentence, “with the sound of music”.

I was reminded of this song because I saw a song being scheduled for this Sunday’s service, and realised that it was not just a song being sung, but rather that soon my life will be filled with the sound of…..

…. Christmas!

Night Out


Hubby was given two tickets to go out for a special dinner. It was a dinner about Korea’s Saranghaeyo Festival.

What a cultural delight it was! These dancing ladies were a visual feast.

Korea01But they were usurped by the men who followed after – I have never seen men who dance head-banging style and swing a long ribbon in the process. Who said men couldn’t multitask like women! Alas, I couldnt take good shots of them – they moved too fast for the camera of my mobile phone and I forgot to charge the battery of my camera!



I don’t really like big crowds. I dislike bigscale parties.

Then on the first day of Chinese New Year, we had a BarBQ and our children invited their friends. It started off with just a few, then to about thirty. Then it went up to fifty and we lost count. I only found out how many because of the angpow count after – ninety six! What a night we had!

Most of them came at around the same time – from 7pm – and stayed till after midnight. We were incredibly busy serving simple fare (fried noodles, curry chicken, sandwiches), making sure all were happy, ensuring enough soft drinks were flowing and those doing the barbeque were happy with a good supply of chicken wings and sausages. Their energy levels were amazing as they entertained themselves. They created their own fun as we gave them the space. It was nice to watch them enjoy themselves in our home.

But by midnight however, Hubby and I had to escape back to the seclusion of our room to sleep. We still had to contend with boisterous noise – groups upstairs outside our bedroom playing internet games (they brought their own notebook and linked through our home wi-fi) while another group was having a whale of a time downstairs with the PS2 challenging each other with electronic games (Guitar Hero!!!!). Some stayed on and some stayed up until six am before leaving.

Hubby decide that it was good to mingle with youth because it invigorated him and it challenged him when he had to keep a conversation going with them! I think it makes him feel young!

In total contrast, we had this visitor today! moth

Totally silent.



As silently as it came, it left.

The Duck Saga


We just wanted a duck. A roasted duck. It would be ideal for the Chinese New Year eve dinner. So we went to get one. We knew this shop opened at 8.30am so we set off to arrive at that time, bringing along our plate for it to be cut and arranged nicely.

When we got there, this was the sight that greeted us. duck01The queue folded back on itself three times!

So we asked our foster son to queue while we went to shop other things.

duck02And queue he did.

For half an hour!

This is the sort of thing that was on sale. He had duck, chicken and pork on sale.

duck04But what the people really wanted was the duck and the proprietor kept bringing in more and more of that.


Yes, we were all after the duck. One family ahead of us bought FIVE! At RM48 each, that is not cheap!

duck07So we got out duck finally and went home with it. But it wasn’t cut. The man didn’t have the time to spare to cut it up. He said in Chinese, “Every year also like this! I never cut! Never finish if I cut!”

Fair enough. So I did the chopping up. You can see the results of my mutilating act in The Hinge.

This Chinese New Year

Look at what you can do with a mandarin orange!
You’d never think that peeling a mandarin can be such fun!
See how creative you can be!

This is for real!
Look! It’s possible to do it!
And this young lady did!!!!!

In Preparation for Chinese New Year


I have been baking a lot of cupcakes lately. Part of the fun of making cupcakes is the icing after. I enjoy doing them. Here’s a selection of what I have done last year.

I have been experimenting for Chinese New Year too! These are my attempts at the lanterns. I needed to get a special nozzle size No 2 for this. I used to use a Nozzle No 1 but it was really too fine for the work I wanted to do.


This is my attempt at firecrackers! The red firecrackers are done with Nozzle No 5 and the yellow “explosions” are a star burst nozzle.


With all my baking and icing, together with flowering fruit trees outside the house, we have had a lot of ants visiting. The ants are God’s way of fertilizing the flowers so that they become fruits. But these ants are not satisfied with the nectar from the flowers. They love my icing and cakes too! So I have had to make little moats of water to balance my cakes on. They can be pretty precarious!

That is, until now.

Dear Hubby saw this at the top shelf of our local supermarket and decided to get me two!


What’s so special about this? Take a closer look!

cny061Yes, it has its own built-in moat! With less than a third of a cup of water, the moat and its crevices are nicely filled up.

Now I can bake even more!