My God-daughter, K (her name I will not disclose for her privacy); is a bright young 13-year old. Born from an extra-marital affair, where her father, a doctor and married to someone else; had an affair with an intern, who was not married. Her father did not want to have anything to do with her. Her mother migrated to another country with the promise of returning back soon. It has been nearly 5 years.
She is being looked after and cared for by a gem of a person, who is not of the same race nor religion as her.
She is a typical teenager who has the general same likes and dislikes as any other teenager around her age. Shy, she is a very sheltered “away from crowds” girl.
Young K, recently started having a health issue where her legs just collapse under her when she walks or stands. She was very reluctant to turn up for her appointment with the specialist for fear of bad news. A hospital diagnosed her to have fluid in her her spine, somewhere at the base.
This news itself, had literally frightened this little girl.
What more, now, she has to go for a 4 hour surgical procedure to remove the fluid. Her procedure is scheduled for December 21st. She will still be in hospital on Christmas day. She hopes to be out of hospital by her birthday on December 31st.
Her schoolmates, have been labelling her all sorts of names such as handicapped and “not one of us”. This has affected her badly.
She cried out, “I’m all alone!”.
I am making an appeal to all the 8 billion people of this world to like, send encouraging messages – to let her know that we, the people of this big blue planet, CARE, THAT SHE IS NOT ALONE.
You can send your care messages in the comments section of this article, share this article with everyone else on social media. You can even send messages through my email: firstname.lastname@example.org
K needs all the love and support she can get. On behalf of K, I thank you in advance.
The time: slightly after 4pm. It was a breezy, slightly warm Saturday afternoon in Cyberjaya. The sun was out but there were clouds that provided some nice shade.
We were greeted by this sign, “Happy 90th Birthday, Cik Ani Sayang; 15th October, 2022” at the front of world renowned celebrity Chef Wan’s residence.
There were many guests of all ages, which mainly made up his family members, friends, business partners and work colleagues.
Chef Wan was his usual self – entertainer extraordinaire. Datuk Redzuawan Bin Ismail, better known as Chef Wan, is a world-renowned chef.
Jeannie got to meet with many she knows in the food industry, many of whom she had worked with in tv production shows and commercials.
The very regal Sultanah Hajjah Kalsom D.K., the Sultanah of Pahang; helped lead the way on the dance floor, too. She showed the ladies some smooth moves.
Chef Wan was the perfect host. He went around making sure that the food, was displayed attractively, was made to his highest standards and there were no empty serving plates, that the food was replenished even before the plates were empty. Chef was was assisted by his son, Chef Nazri.
Everyone had immense enjoyment – the evidence was the smiles on people’s faces, laughter that could be heard everywhere in the house, the enormous spread of good food…I can go on and on. We can all agree this event was “Signature Chef Wan”. Fantastico!
I found this old draft of 3 year ago of my plans while searching up for something else on a different subject. I am leaving it in its original form without much changes, except for the here and there grammar mistakes. Grammar mistakes? What? Me make grammar mistakes? Hogwash!
Truth be told. At times, the keyboard goes off tangent and does its own things. Many times without my knowledge. If you believe that, then you believe that the cow did jump over the moon, while the cat was playing its fiddle.
5 days after turning 61 years of age, many would think of retirement. For many years, I have always told myself and my friends that I only plan to retire at 105. I have a whole lot of things on my bucket list that I want to do. I will be travelling next month and will be back in Malaysia by August 24th or 25th.
1. One of the first things I want to do is revive the volunteer standby group of donors of platelets and blood. We had this going for some years and anyone who needed donors, we always had a pool of donors to come to their aid. Anyone who wants to volunteer as donors can join us – this group of donors.
I, myself; did my last donation, my 304th donation; on July 5th 2018, as I reached the maximum age limit of donors. I am getting in touch with the National Blood Bank to check if I can continue donating as my health is way better now, since I walk a minimum of 10km a day. I visited Sime Darby Medical Centre, Subang Jaya’s blood bank last week. They welcome me back anytime. According to their records, I am still their top donor in terms of number of donations. Records are meant to be broken. I hope many more will come forward to offer themselves as regular donors.
2. Encourage parents of young athletes to constantly support their children by giving them all the support possible, like taking them for training on time, all the time, constantly cheering them on in all they do. I will relate more to swimmers’ parents (I have had over 10 years of experience )
3. Finish writing the book I started a long time ago. For now, the only thing or things I jot down are ideas that come to me, zany or otherwise. I got this reminder from Dato’ Patrick Grove – founder of http://www.Catcha.com, who also writes down things.
4. Read more. I am reading Anthony Robbins – “UNLIMITED POWER”. Good stuff. I read about 4 books at any one time: one book when I travel on public transport, one at home, one on the “throne” and one on marketing. I think the Americans are the best, most innovative and hip about marketing.
5. Pick up my old Adamas guitar and start learning to play it again. I love the Adamas – not the conventional type guitar.
And the list goes on….. Many, many more things I want to achieve.
It looks like many of these things listed here 3 years ago, are still on my list, as I hold them dear to me. Writing that book: story of my life. Anyone want to co-write with me?
It was a lovely start to my 64th birthday, going on 65. Lots of “thank you(s)” are in order. Thank you all for sharing the beautiful music of LIFE, which God has blessed us with.
My wife, Jeannie and Laura; have always been my greatest support. Laura’s video call and message from the U.S. made it all the more special.
My dad and mum called. Uncle Gerald, mum’s brother; called too. At 87; ne never fails to call every year.
There were hundreds of messages from the many social media platforms: my siblings and their families; Uncle Ronnie & Aunty Maryjane, Aunty Yvonne and Aunty Val; both from Perth, Australia, all my cousins and friends from all parts of the world.
It did not stop at the end of yesterday. I had more wonderful messages come in today. I had a nice message chat with Judith Wong, my neighbour from the next street. We talked about making a difference and impact on peoples’ lives. She is a great encouragement towards my writings.
Then, there was Gordon Fernando – a fellow CHOICE (a Catholic programme for single adults. I am from the CHOICE 7 group of 1982). We are on a CHOICE Whatsapp group chat. He refreshed my memory that we met once or more before, near a friend – Maryann Sharma’s house in Malacca. I visited Maryann at her family home in Malacca several times in the mid-1980s. Gordon has been based in the U.S. for 20 years. He is in the aviation industry.
Our close friend, Richard Kok; came over to our house in mid-afternoon. He brought a lovely, delicious cake that his daughter, Maryann Kok; sent to me. Maryann was a highly medal and record decorated state swimmer, representing the state of Selangor. She was senior to Laura in the team by a few years. Thanks, Maryann. It was a wonderful surprise.
A couple of hours though my conversation with Richard and we were playing tag-team for dozing off, The afternoon was very hot. Though the aircon was on full blast; it didn’t stop us from nodding our heads and dozing off. I did my 10km walk just before Richard came. Do you think it is a good excuse for me?😁😉😂😅💤
I met Nash from 4C, on my walk; who stopped his car just to wish me. We had a couple of laughs. Messages continued coming in from Jane, Iqbal, Herman Danker, Nara, Nic, Daniel, Gina, Tony Albert, Soh Chin Teck from La Salle 1975, Klang, Angeline, Mel (Austalia) and Cecilia. I also want to give a shout out to Charles Rozario who tried calling me during the frenzy of all the messages that were coming in.
The celebrations continue tomorrow. I will be meeting with a dear friend, also from CHOICE – Sharon; whom I have not met for many, many years. Sharon flew in from Europe a few days ago.
A special “Thank You” to Liz, my Tudor neighbour of 4D. She has inspired me to see and live life with even greater fervor. My thoughts and prayers are with her always.
Thank you all, once again for giving me a wonderful start to this 65th year.
It has been a very busy first day of being 64th, starting my 65th.
I started my day by going for the 8.30am mass with my wife, Jeannie; at St Thomas More Church, Subang Jaya. (1) Gave thanks for the gift of life, for the gift of family, for the gift of friends.
Had a short snooze – first morning snooze at 64.
We were in Mid-Valley just after lunch. I wanted to get a pair of leather shoes, sort of a light tan in colour with white soles. Getting the right fit is not very easy for me. I have broad feet, so depending on the design of the shoes, I will fit anywhere between a U.S. size 8 to size 10.
Skechers didn’t have the type I wanted. Clarks was closed for renovations. So, Timberland was the next choice. After having tried on several pairs of shoes, all of which were not comfortable because the mid – to – front of the shoe design narrowed too much.
Then, came the right design, right colour which matched my clothes , my Bellroy Venture Sling 9l and my watch strap. And the right size, too. Most of all it was leather and the right exacting colour that I was looking for.
When or if you are going to the Timberland store at Mid-Valley shopping centre, Kuala Lumpur (2); you have to ask for their associate, Amir. This gentleman was so patient, explained the various leathers their stores were carrying, the sizes, colours, models. I had to try on many pairs and models until I came down to the ultimate choice. Due to his knowledge of the Timberland products; he was able to provide the solution to what I was look for.
I know that I will be doing a whole of travelling soon, so getting comfortably prepared with a bit of pampering, too.
Speaking of pampering: Jeannie and Laura are the ever-flowing, immensely wonderful blessings in my life. Love them much more than forever!
Now, to thank the hundreds and hundreds of people for their beautiful birthday messages and well wishes which they posted on the many platforms of social media like Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Twitter and more. These messages I received has made this day all the more special to me.
Stay tuned for more.
NOTES: 1. Subang Jaya is a city in the state of Selangor, Malaysia. 2. Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia.
It has been quite an eventful last 4 weeks in the Klang → Subang Jaya, Klang → Shah Alam and Klang → Petaling Jaya routes and back. Klang is where Dad and mum live; Subang Jaya is where Malcolm & Uma and Jeannie & I live; Shah Alam is where Malcolm & Uma live and Petaling Jaya is Klang to UMMC hospital.
The best baker of buttercakes, my mum – Philomena Atkinson; was at her usual at age 84 just about to turn 85.
It was one evening, somewhere in the first week of June, I get a call from mum. Oh, by the way, “best baker of buttercakes” has been bestowed upon her by the many. many, many people who have tasted her buttercakes and want more. Everyone keeps pestering her for her secret ingredient. Her “secret” ingredient is an open secret. Why? Because even if you know it, it would be impossible to duplicate. You may come close, but exacting it is not possible. This “secret” ingredient is called “love“.
You will agree with me that it is impossible to duplicate, just like a fingerprint. It belongs to that person. It is also just like colours.
Here, just when you thought the spectrum of colours had 8 – 12 (these were the standard colours in the box of colour pencils we used to take to school)…. The range started growing until smartphones were touting 16 million colours. Then, the “in-thing” phrase “A.I.” or artificial intelligence (don’t know what the big fuss is all about when politicians have been around for the longest time) has become a new buzzword which in turn has created a palette of 1 ber ber billion, yes billion; colours. So, the standard set of 8 -12 colours are now recognized in the different shades, most of which we think we don’t see; they are there. It is just that we don’t recognize them or take it for granted.
Back to mum’s secret ingredient in her buttercakes. It was that one evening…I get a call from her saying that she had a fall. I had just picked Jeannie up from work and was about to head home. She said that she was carrying a freshly baked cake out of the oven when she lost her balance and fell. I think at that time, dad was out on one of his errands. At 90, that man sure has a swagger.
Jeannie and I went straight up (or down?) to Klang from P.J.. We reached mum within 45 minutes. Dad was already at home by then. Mum complained about a bad pain in her leg. She was advised by a couple of friends to go for an x-ray at a nearby clinic.. She was hesitant and not quite up to going right there and then.
I called a buddy – childhood friend and classmate, Dr Michael Lee Pillai, up for advice on getting x-rays done. He advised that it was better for mum to get an MRI done at the hospital nearby so that a specialist could assess the issue mum had.
We took mum the next morning to have this done. Results showed no fractures or broken bones.
We celebrated her birthday over the weekend and on June 14th, mum’s actual birthday; Jeannie and I visited them. A few minutes after we left them; dad calls to say mum had another fall. We turned back and headed back to their house. We were less than 10 minutes away at that time.
She was climbing the stairs, with the aide of the prong walking stick; to go to her bedroom. Just after the first step, she fell backwards. We believed what could have happened was that the prong walking stick was not placed firmly on the step, which may have caused her to lose her balance. With a slight bump on the back of her head, she seemed ok. But, she did complain of a pain in her hip joint.
We, again took her for another MRI which showed no fractures or broken bones. She decided to take a break from her cake making and focus on her physical recovery.
A few days ago, dad called to say that mum was back at baking, but taking it at an easy pace. Many people who love her buttercakes expressed a great relief to hear that they can get her buttercakes again. Most common statement from them, “There is no others like your mother’s buttercakes”. Pictures of some of the buttercakes she has made are shown here.
Mum is also well known for her suggee cakes and fruit cakes. She would start preparing for the fruitcakes between 3 to 6 months. This story is for another time.😘
So, yeah! The best of buttercake baker is back!
NOTES: Klang, Subang Jaya, Shah Alam and Petaling Jaya are cities in the state of Selangor, Malaysia.
RCIA does have its perks, so it looks. In late 1993, this young lady, attending one of the two RCIA groups; caught my eye. I was one of the facilitators for the group.
Visited Jeannie in her hometown in Kampar, Perak during Chinese New Year in February, 1994. Spent the whole day with her. She took me sightseeing to all the local spots, including the railway station.
The Mandarin ducks. One of the countries Jeannie and I visited on our first trip to Europe, was The Netherlands. This was part of a European tour we caught from London, England. So, on this trip in The Netherlands, we toured Amsterdam and stayed for the night. Our hotel was by one of the many canals Amsterdam is famous for. Our room was on the ground floor, with a large sliding door leading out to a sort of garden and beyond that was the canal.
We saw many Mandarin ducks in the garden. So, we crushed some cracker biscuits and started feeding these ducks with the crumbs. We soon ran out of crumbs and walked back to our room. The Mandarin ducks followed us back, too. We had to close the sliding door quickly to prevent the ducks from coming in. The ducks were pecking at the glass door and only went away after a long while.
This was a bedtime story that Laura loved to listen. Almost every night for many years, she would ask for this same story. She always had the same enthusiasm about it and never got tired of it.
Laura, this is the first time, ever; you are seeing the pictures below of these Mandarin ducks. Searched high and low for them until I found them.
Home was more at the pool and all the swim races and championships.
Fun with us, her parents. 😁
Penang, part of her holiday visit of some of the states in Malaysia before moving to the U.S. to further her tertiary studies.
As you can see from all these pictures; you have touched the lives of everyone; especially us; mummy and I.
Happy 21st birthday, Laura. What a super fantastic milestone. Mummy and I are so proud of you, for who you are. We wish you an awe-inspiring life, filled with all your dreams come true. We love you.❤️❤️❤️
Mum turns 85 years old today, June 14th. Woo hoo hoo! And Dad just turned 90 last month. Bee bup a lula…
We, (mum’s children in case you may be wondering who the “we” are. Not the French meaning for “yes’😉) that is Terence and his wife Mabel, and their daughter, Ashley; Malcolm and his wife Uma; our sister, Jennifer’s (deceased) husband, Ray; our brother Nigel’s (deceased) wife, Shirley and their daughter, Sarah; me and my wife, Jeannie; gathered (better word than “assembled”😏) last Saturday (June 11th) with dad and mum in Klang; to have an early birthday celebration for mum. As for the rest of the family – Laura is in the U.S. (She will be calling mum today to wish her); Alana, Tim and Jay were working.
While dad potters around with things to do and looks for every (I could be overly dramatic here) excuse…reason… to run on an errand, no matter how small it may be; mum busies herself with cake making – the lady that makes the best butter cake in the world; umpteenth year running 🏆💖. Woo hoo hoo…Do the walk…
Mum quite often reminisces her younger days, especially when she was very young and a few years later, in school.
When she was around 5 years old, the Japanese defeated the British in Malaya, who at that time occupied Malaya (part of the British empire) which is current day Peninsula Malaysia. Thus, they, the Japanese; took over occupying Malaya. This was the period during World War 2 (WW2). Mum, together with her elder brothers and sisters, and their neighbourhood friends; were the kids of Lorong Hicks Road.
They used to play in the street. When the air raid sirens sounded; all the kids would run to the nearby Bukit Nanas hill forest, jump into the dug-out trenches and stay there until the air raid sirens stopped. She said the braver boys would run up to the top of the hill to watch the British bomber planes (aeroplanes / airplanes) bomb parts of KL (Kuala Lumpur) which presumably would have been where the Japanese military army were and perhaps the railway station and tracks in Bangsar, and also the railway yard in Sentul.
Mum remembered how the Japanese soldiers would come to their house, as well as other houses in the neighbourhood; looking for girls to take away to fulfil the lust and other unimaginable deeds of these said soldiers. Her late father (“Oli Papa”, my grandfather), would hide her and her sisters under his king-size bed, and cover the bed whenever the Japanese soldiers came to their house. Oli Papa’s bed was one of those beds which was quite high off the ground.
At the end of WW2, the British recaptured Malaya from the grasp of the Japanese occupation when the Japanese surrendered. Mum said the same Japanese officers and soldiers that used to terrorize them, were made to cut grass with small scissors by the British soldiers.
Mum was a student of the famed Bukit Nanas Girls’ school, which was near her house. She, her sisters and friends used to walk to and from school. Over the many years since leaving school; she had managed to connect with some of her classmates. Her most recent connection is one, Ms Stephanie Pinto. “Recent” means, August 2020.
“Hi Alan, tq for your prompt reply. I was going to call Mum, but glad I waited a while. Now I have more news to share with her. Yes I knew Mum’s birthday was on Sunday, 14th June and that she just turned 83. I will be 84 in August and Mum never fails to call me on my birthday. Your Mum always was and is a very sweet lady and a dear friend. Mum was a very good dancer and had many, many friends, but Dad was the lucky chosen one. We had many good times together and we laughed and a lot. Those were the days when we were so carefree, happy and enjoyed innocent fun.” ~ Whatsapp message from Aunty Stephanie; June 17, 2020.
There will definitely be more wonderful memories and stories from mum to come soon.
All of us, her family, wish mum a very happy 85th birthday; with God’s choicest blessings on her. We love you mum💖.
NOTES: KL Sentral which is in today’s Bangsar; is the central hub where the various main forms of land transport converge and connect to the rest of Peninsula Malaysia. The Kuala Lumpur railway station is very nearby to KL Sentral, but it has lost its importance as a centre for railway transport activity. The railway yard in Sentul, still plays a very role for the railway. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ May the peoples of this world strive to be at peace with each other always. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The photographs of yester-year is courtesy of dad.
Back in the old (not too old because…) days, when I was little or of toddler’s (I am not that old…60 is the new 30) age; when a baby cries, he is given Woodworth Gripe water to help calm him, numb him or knock him under. Now, I know why.
It is reported that this Gripe (and you may probably wonder why it is named as such) water has an alcohol content that would floor many of the sober, seasoned adult drinkers. And you wonder why homes are stocked, high; with this stuff, to the point of hoarding it. Parents must have been taking more than a swig of this, just to calm their nerves, so it seems. At least that is the excuse…er…reason given. I can only imagine what the people at the stores selling Gripe water were thinking. “These toddlers are topers”.
In the ’80s and ’90s of the last century and the early 2000s; the rubber stoppers became a “must have” and “don’t leave home without it (sounds like a tagline of a credit card, but that’s plastic) if you know what’s good for you and the community”. Yup… the sucker I am talking about is the “soother”.
Officially known as the pacifier, the sucking pacifier was also known as the teethe or the “plug” (for obvious reasons). This “device” was so important that it was not unthinkable to have several spares lying around all over the house or in the car, etc. The moment the wailing starts; the most important device known to mankind (at that time) is whipped out faster that you can say, “ya-a-ber da-a-ber doo!”
Have you seen how this sucker is shoved in the mouths of those angelic babies? It sometimes looks like it is being ram-rodded in the mouth. Or a person having difficult with stick shift (known to Americans) or shifting gears from 1 to 2, in a car. With almost brute-like force, manage to get the gear into 2.
Parents of today will go into hyperdrive freak out if cleanliness or hygiene was compromised, even for a little bit. The sucker-shoving parents of those days will not give it a second thought if the sucker / soother / pacifier was to fall out of their child’s mouth, onto the ground. They just pick up this ingenious device and put it back into the mouth of their baby, not even bothering to clean it or worse still; sterilize it again.
“Wha-a-a-ayyy!” the toddler wails, at the top of his or her voice. leaving nothing to imagination. One wonders how the lungs of these “angels” manage to hold so much of wind power that helps them bellow for the longest of time. To add drama and special effects, these angels throw themselves on the floor, roll this way and that way (one can’t help but reminisce some of the Bollywood  movies with loads of drama and excitement) and employ chameleon-like colour changes.
These angels seem to be keeping abreast of times. Shove an iPad in their face and all peace will settle in.
The ipad seems to be the answer to everyone’s prayers, even for those that don’t pray. It was a hit when it launched. The iPad reached out to people of all ages. The hundreds, if not thousands of games which have colourful graphics and exciting music and sounds on a big screen (about 10 inches) have gotten the attention of toddlers, and grown-ups; too. Yes, there are the grouchy, tantrum-throwers in their senior age, too.
There are the good and not so-good points of these electrical chopping boards. Since the iPad was introduced over a decade ago; the toddlers, who are now teenagers; have grown up with theses devices. During the same period; a slew of manufacturers have come out with their own tablets / tabs or big portable flatscreens, which have the capability of surfing the internet and being a smartphone. Parents are trying their best to detach these flatscreens from the faces of their children but seem to be fighting a losing battle. An idea that started out as good is now…not so good.
Steve Jobs, the developer of these well-known iPads and iPhones spoke about how he doesn’t let his children use them at all in their homes. “So your kids must love the iPad?” asked Nick Bilton, a New York Times reporter. “They haven’t used it,” replied Steve Jobs. (2)
From the original 10 inch size, the mini versions were introduced, too. Now, the trend is to compete with the 65inch to 85inch size LED tvs. The newly introduced models from Samsung and Apple are scorching the race track to come out with screen sizes past 20 inches.
Emotional support for who? The child? The parents?
Bollywood Hindi cinema, often known as Bollywood and formerly as Bombay cinema, is the IndianHindi-language film industry based in Mumbai (formerly Bombay). The term is a portmanteau of “Bombay” and “Hollywood“. The industry is related to Cinema of South India and other Indian film industries, making up Indian cinema – the world’s largest by number of feature films produced.