Posts Tagged ‘Then & Now’



This day and age, it is so easy to snap photos on our phones and then wonder what to do with them. Post on social media?

I wonder if we ever go back to them again? Many tend to live for the moment.

In the old days (showing my age!) we would think twice, no thrice, before pressing the shutter. A roll of film did not come by cheap. After the roll was completely snapped up, one had to get the photos developed. I remember the days when we could send the roll off and get the prints a few weeks later. At that time, that facility seemed like a major step forward!

Then came digital cameras, and smart phones… and even better cameras. So yes, I wonder how much memory goes with each series of photos taken, seeing that it is so very easy to snap a moment.

Unlike this. I came across this photo recently. I can tell you the exact moment I snapped it – the occasion and location – and the story that goes behind the photo.

And the story doesnt stop with just the moment the photo was taken… There is a story after this story as well… but both would be for the next post…

Stay tuned….

Major changes


So I planned for a trip down memory lane. It was totally unlike what I had in mind. There were so many changes to the place where I used to live.

One of the most major change I noticed was the diet. This is what the local high street fare is now. No more the local chippie (fish and chips) let alone the Chinese take-away (although I am told that the Chinese fare shop is still around albeit the other end of the road!)  thumb_IMG_7286_1024

It’s kebab, naan, samosa, and the like. There was only one butcher selling pork in the local market and the clothing stores contained an amazing array of beautiful sarees, punjabi outfits and similar cloth which could be sewn up into colourful displays of the culture now more prominent. It’s enlightening. It’s more affluent. It’s a new east end of London.

Back at our friends’ home, it’s the usual English fare – bangers and not mash, but a typical Yorkshire pudding. The vegetables are boiled and they hold their natural taste without the added rich spices that one would find the neighbours using.

thumb_IMG_7305_1024I thought I would be re-visiting the place I called home for more than a decade. Instead I found myself in a totally different world and life despite the familiar road names. This is turning out to be a real holiday – a home away from home!



A Flashback to the Past



It was one of those rare days when I was just coming home at that time of the day. This van came along, tooting its horn. It did a swerve as it came into view and parked in front of my neighbour’s house. Almost before as the van came to a complete halt, the driver was out of the door. He strode to the back of his van and flung up the door. Then he stood waiting.

The neighbour came. My children went. It was treats time. Not a common sight these days. A van that bears bread, snacks and tidbits. This brought back memories. It would be a treat for us. My grandfather had a little tin pot of loose change just for such moments. It always felt special to be given permission to go to his table, pull open the top drawer and carefully select the allocated amount per child. It would be a proud moment to make sure that the correct amount was given to Grandpa and he would then allow us to choose. We learned simple mathematics. We learned to bargain with each other. We learned what was of value and what would be longer lasting. Those were the days. Long gone indeed….

IMG_6630I bought a little something just to encourage the old man that we would still welcome his services…. I hope he will continue for a long time more.


A Love Affair



Yes I am happily married, and have been so for over 30 years.

I refer to my passion, my desire, my love for these! Fountain pens!

I just love being able to write smoothly and nicely in cursive writing. Hmmmm I wonder if anyone knows what cursive writing is these days. It started in school but also from my maternal grandfather. He and my Mom had the most amazingly beautiful handwriting and I wanted to emulate them. So when I could afford them and when I wasn’t so busy, I got myself these lovely works of art.

My passion also runs along the colours of ink. I used to function with only one bottle. But not any more. I now have blue-black, green, purple and turquoise blue. No, my list isn’t in order of my preference. Which colour I use depends entirely on my mood except the blue-black which is for more formal.

“Wait”, I hear you say. “That’s four colours and three pens.”

Well spotted. That was an old photo. Here’s a more recent one!FountainPens4Taaadaaa!






It’s that time of the year. Thinking back. Remembering. Being soppy and sentimental, and being dangerously close to “emo” moments. Ahhhhh

This photo doesn’t help. But I was reminded of it when I washed my hair and reached for my curlers. Yes, I still use curlers. I sleep in them too so there!

Anyway, as I was saying, I was reminded of this photo when I was setting my hair in curlers. This is my Mom’s box of curlers. She has two sizes, and I had used the green ones before taking this photo. What is so special about this box is that opened red box you see. It is possibly one of the last, if not the last metal box that used to hold Elastoplast plasters! It is probably older than I am, and that says a lot!

12_04My Mom has used it to hold her hair pins for eons. Haha! Anyone want to make a bid for it? Is there an Antique Road Show anywhere near where we live?




If you had told me a year ago that I would dare to do something like this, I would have laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed. I would probably have shaken my head vigorously as I did so. I might even have got up from wherever I was seated and paced the floor because of the nervous, almost hysterical emotions that this roused within me.

Who would have thought that I used to score distinctions in maths.

But I did.

I even grew up playing numbers games with my parents whilst in the car – they would point out a car nearby and I would race with my brother to see who could total up the numbers faster.

And then I grew up, left home, and got married to an accountant… and I left everything related to figures to him.

Till about a year ago, I would face all sorts of challenges. Silly ones, such as adding up in my chequebook instead of deducting. (A deluded longing perhaps?) Or losing a zero in somewhere when toting up the purchases (another ploy to apparently increase the contents of one’s purse)

I know, I know. These things don’t happen to real people.


Then one day, whilst stuck in the airplane I picked up the inflight magazine. Because I had nothing else to do, and I had left my own amusement materials behind, I got into the activity page. I discovered that a numbers game called Sudoku was not as fearful as I had initially thought. I finished it before the plane took off!

And there began my journey of interest in numbers once again.

Today, tadaaaa! I even attempt the hard ones!

Yes, folks, I am pretty pleased with myself indeed!




When Hubby and I were talking about Arrow #2 graduating, we took a trip down memory lane. It seemed not so long ago when I was still in the labour ward pushing him out. Haha!

I remember too the trips to the shop I would make with him and his older brother using his special stroller (was it a Maclaren or a B-Ready stroller? Never mind! It was a good one!) Arrow #1 would seat himself in the special tray under the buggy seat when he got tired of walking. Facing each other as they did, they would then entertain themselves while I browsed some more.

Ah, memories! I wonder if the new strollers these days are just as good. Perhaps better!

I Wonder


Over the Christmas and now the Chinese New Year, I have missed my two older Arrows. One is south of where we are, the other is farther away, northwards. One is doing engineering, the other doing physiotherapy.

I don’t know very much about engineering, but having been a nurse before makes me wonder what is it like for our son now in placement in a hospital for his physiotherapy training. Would he need a uniform? When I was nursing, I needed nurses uniforms  and I recall the physiotherapists needing uniforms too. Would they supply him? I can imagine him looking quite dashing in white! Haha!

Sign of the Times


We go for breakfast in the local shop. All around, people are coming in for the same.

They enter the shop and find their table.

Seated, they look to place their order.

Orders placed for food and drink, they then do this.

They check their messages and emails before they engage in conversation with the person seated in front of them…..






I was preparing to go out for dinner the other night. Had my entire outfit planned. Yes, it was THAT sort of dinner.

Then I got stuck. I could not find my special clutch bags. My black one was with my white one which was together with my cream one.

The cream one. That was special. It’s from Mom. I still remember watching her get ready for dinner and I would wait for the moment when she brought this special bag out. I loved this bag. It came along with perfume for and makeup and special softness for the evening. I would wait for chance to finger the beads, caress the workmanship, and admire the entire workmanship. I would try to hang around and watch Mom get ready. I would wish I could go along and be a fly on the wall.

It was a truly special moment when on one visit home my Mom handed it to me and told me it was mine. Faded. Beads missing. Cloth showing in parts. But it was mine. As was all the memories. I am so, so thankful, even to today.

And yes, I found my bags, all three of them. No, the other two will never be as special as this one…. Thanks Mom