Olivia Newton-John (26 September 1948 – 8 August 2022)

We grew up with Olivia Newton-John’s songs from her album “Let Me Be There” playing on my late sister, Jennifer’s potable Philips record player that worked with batteries, on the radio and at parties.

“Let Me Be There” was one of Jennifer’s favourites and ours (my brothers and mine), too.

Olivia succumbed to cancer, just as Jennifer did on 17 Mar 2019. You’ve run a good race and fought the battle. Rest In Peace, Olivia.

Olivia’s music and her warm smile will always, always live on.

Live On by Olivia Newton-John


“Life is not fair. Get used to it”.

This quote is often attributed to Bill Gates but it was actually written by Charles J. Sykes as quoted in Quora. It remains a mystery how it became accredited to … I don’t think it is such a big deal. A quick surf on the internet showed quite a few claims as to who was the first. I am definitely not going to write a thesis on it.

A couple of days or so ago, it was reported in a couple of non-mainstream news publications that 200 straight-A students failed to get into the govt matriculation programme due to what can be described as a “birth defect”.

Getting this far at being straight-A students at high school level, is itself, a feather in their cap. Whatever adversity they may have faced; they overcame with flying colours.

Now, they face a new challenge – they have been denied a place in the matriculation system as 90% of those places have been reserved for students based on race. This system has been in place for a while. The danger for the students in this 90% group who winged a place in the matriculation system without having to compete based on meritocracy, is that they may believe that this will be the system throughout their lives. In all reality, it won’t, especially if they were to go abroad. So, it can be viewed as a “disadvantage” if they are ill-prepared to face the world beyond their shores.

Back to these 200 students. In every adversity, there are great possibilities. They just have to look for these possibilities.

One of the greatest music composers of all time was Ludwig Van Beethoven (December 11, 1770 – March 26, 1826). Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany. A famous music composer while he was alive, legendary even today. What distinguished Beethoven from other famous music composers such as Johann Strauss II and Frederic Chopin was that Beethoven became totally deaf by the time he was 46 years old. (1)

Did Beethoven complain how life was so unfair? Well, we won’t really know for sure. But he continued his work.

So if Beethoven was completely deaf, how did he compose?

Beethoven had heard and played music for the first three decades of his life, so he knew how instruments and voices sounded and how they worked together. His deafness was a slow deterioration, rather than a sudden loss of hearing, so he could always imagine in his mind what his compositions would sound like.

Beethoven’s housekeepers remembered that, as his hearing got worse, he would sit at the piano, put a pencil in his mouth, touching the other end of it to the soundboard of the instrument, to feel the vibration of the note. (2)

But Beethoven was notorious for corrections, so the process didn’t necessarily come easily to him. Still, like all composers, he had an “inner ear” for music. By the time he wrote his Ninth Symphony — the one over an hour-long with full orchestra, chorus, and soloists — he had been profoundly deaf for nearly a decade (CPR Classical, Sept 28, 2020).

Beethoven’s love for music put it above and beyond the hearing impairment he had. It allowed him “to hear the way he wanted his music to be performed by a whole new orchestra”. His “inner ear” for music allowed him to explore music with no boundaries.

Life’s journey is only but just beginning for you two hundred students. Life never promised to be fair. Get used to it. Just like Beethoven’s “inner ear”, you must have the “inner belief” that you will accomplish all that you set out to do. Your altitude of sight depends on your attitude in life.

Beethoven’s deafness and his three styles


  1. Popular Beethoven
  2. Classic fm

“The Blue Danube” is the common English title of “An der schönen, blauen Donau”, Op. 314, a waltz by the Austrian composer Johann Strauss II, composed in 1866.


In the crowded business of his life, the writer tells his story through the carvings, drawings, painting formation of words… of sentences… on a canvas of a blank page in his notebook, his ideaSketchpad💡, his blog or a Microsoft word file.

Pictures form words….words form pictures. It is his expression of what he sees. Most times, if he has to relate a story… an event… an incident, his eyes or ears or even his nose, will dictate the story to his brain which transforms into signals flowing to his hands that are typing on the keyboard or his hand that holds a writing instrument. Oft times, if a story has to be told as it is; no feelings are put into it, as they are not required.

When no feelings are included in his work, then, he is like any ordinary painter or a person with a camera, just taking pictures.

Visions by Picasso (Singulart)

When he immerses himself in his work; he becomes involved. His additional sense which cannot be seen nor touched yet is so powerful, takes him over and beyond himself.

His feelings transform him from just being a painter to being an artist where every stroke of the brush, the way it is used on the canvas, the pressure applied in each stroke – a person admiring the artist work can sense the artist’s mood, excitement, sadness. It is quite remarkable.

The Use of Black & White by Diane Arbus (ArtDependence)

Framing a picture with just the right amount of light, bouncing off the subject to express an impression of people in the shot or impress an expression that the photographer wants to get his audience to experience…that makes him different from being someone just taking pictures.

As the writer awakes from his short nap, a well deserved and needed rest, he ponders on the silence within. The right amount of pressure on the “stroke of his expression”, the “light that filters to the word” that causes it to resonate with his readers, his audience…brings to life all that he wants to share… the exact angle… the point of view… as he sees it!

No matter how very hard he tries to captivate his whole audience, that are all his readers; there will be some who have no depth of field in life. These are the “some”, those who don’t leave a wonder in the lives of people; yet, wonder what has happened to life.

1. Some of the many artists that have influenced me in the way I see things, the way I write:
Frida Kahlo y Calderón was a Mexican painter known for her many portraits, self-portraits, and works inspired by the nature and artifacts of Mexico.
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, known simply as Michelangelo, was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect and poet of the High Renaissance.
Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist and theatre designer.
René François Ghislain Magritte was a Belgian surrealist artist, who became well known for creating a number of witty and thought-provoking images. Often depicting ordinary objects in an unusual context, his work is known for challenging observers’ preconditioned perceptions of reality.

2. Some of the many photographers that have inspired me to capture moments like no other:
Henri Cartier-Bresson was a French humanist photographer considered a master of candid photography, and an early user of 35 mm film. He pioneered the genre of street photography, and viewed photography as capturing a decisive moment.
Diane Arbus (March 14, 1923 – July 26, 1971) was an American photographer. … Arbus’s imagery helped to normalize marginalized groups and highlight the importance of proper representation of all people.
Cynthia Morris Sherman is an American artist whose work consists primarily of photographic self-portraits, depicting herself in many different contexts and as various imagined characters.
Ellen von Unwerth is a German photographer. She worked as a fashion model for ten years before becoming a photographer, and now makes fashion, editorial, and advertising photographs.
Dominique Issermann is a French photographer. She works primarily with black and white photography, and is noted for her works in portraits, fashion and advertising. 

3. Some of the many essays I’ve written that capture moments like no other:
At 33,000ft, July 20, 2014.
Jeff and Alfredo – The two uncles, Sept 26, 2015.
My Sister – The Fighter, Jul 26, 2018
LAURA, Jun 27, 2022


Trailer: Coming real soon…THROUGH THE EYES OF A 4 YEAR OLD BOY

At about 4 years old. The eyes. The curly hair. That debonair look of sophistication! That’s me.

The house, up the hill… from the school I was to attend in Standard One (year I) when I turn 7… the scary big man in red and white… coming up the road at the side of the house, carrying a big red sack over his shoulder. Maybe, he was going around looking for little children to snatch and carry off in that strange big red sack of his…

The setting: early 1960s… The place: Jalan Chantik, PJ (2).

Months later, a fierce colourful dragon jumping up and down, with its head bouncing from left to right and back and very loud sounds surrounding it… I didn’t know that dragons were real…

The same road saw a very old, small, dark skin man, carry a green table on his white, bandaged head. Daddy called him to come in our gate, which was not locked. This man was so black…he must have got burnt by the sun because we see him come past our house in the sun… His table had many small compartments, with several different nuts. As he walked along the road, he used to shout on top of his voice, “Kachang Putih! Kachang Putih!”. He would pass our house everyday around the same time, when the sun was shining and hot. We never saw him on days that had heavy rain.

Kachang Putih man, similar to the one who used to sell his tidbits in Jalan Chantik in the early 1960s.

I also thought he was dressed funny. First, he had the white bandage around his head. Then, he did not wear pants. He had a white cloth… like a skirt…

Then, there was an aunty, who wore a funny hat. She carried a long, wooden pole on her shoulder. At the ends of the pole, on each side; hung round baskets….

Another lady, a nurse I think, because she was always dressed in white, yet I think she may have just finished school as she carried a rattan / cane basket. But mummy used to buy soap from her. Maybe, after school, she sold soap part-time.

Thinking back….60 years have gone by.

The “scary big man dressed in red and white” was Santa Claus. No one prepared me for “Santa Claus”. Neither did they tell me he was Santa Claus. I would not have thought so since he was walking on the road by the side of the house. No one told me that he was the good guy, on our side. All “those years” of growing up, from the time we (my sister, Jen and I) were 2 years (which was the time we began understanding things – we were all grown up to be able to handle the “adult” stuff like understanding things) to 4 years; it was ingrained in us, “Don’t talk to strangers”. So, all strangers were “the bogeyman”.

Long before we ever watched Ultraman battling monsters on tv; the fierce colourful dragon jumping up and down, with its head bouncing from left to right and back again, and very loud sounds of big drums and cymbals clashing surrounding it… that was in celebration of Chinese New Year or lunar year celebrations. I reacted like any kid my age would have reacted at that time…I freaked out!

This monster size looking snake, with huge eyes, the size of bowling balls (not that I knew what bowling balls looked like at that time), snaking its way up the road at the side of the house. What more… every step it took thumped the ground with the sound of thunder (pounding of drums) and its hissing, the sound of the crack of lightning (clashing of cymbals).. No one told us that was supposed to be a lion. That sure didn’t look like a lion. I know what a lion looked like. Daddy & mummy had taken Jen and I to visit the zoo in KL (3). We saw what lions looked like. They sure weren’t colourful and didn’t look like what we saw on the road. Anyway, what was a lion doing, walking freely around the houses?

I thought that the man balancing the table on his head was from the circus. It was quite a feat as the table looked stable and he looked comfortable (“table” mentioned 3 times in a single breath) with it as he walked long hours each day, everyday. The kacang putih or white peanuts and other varieties he sold, was quite tasty. It must have been healthy food because he also sold salted fried parapu or dhal. That “uncle” is fondly remembered. We were thought to refer to every grownup man as an “uncle” and every grownup lady as an “aunty”. Oh… and his head was not bandaged. He wore a turban!

The aunty who wore that funny upside down filter-shaped hat could most probably have been from the same circus as the uncle above. Her hat was to give her some shade from the sun. She was very good at balancing several round baskets, one on top of each other; at each end of the pole. She carried her cakes in these round baskets.

Something similar to the lady selling cakes with round baskets at each end of the pole. This picture was taken in Hanoi, Vietnam; in 2008, when I just turned 50. Here, I am trying to experience what it was like carrying the pole with fruit laden baskets at each end of it.


She sold some of the most delicious cakes in many colours that were diamond, round or rectangular shaped. The red and white layered kuih in rectangle shape, the white rice with a sort of green custard on top, or the green sort of custard with a coconut layered custard on top, the blue and white colour rice with kaya jam. I think she started walking her daily routes early in the morning as her cakes usually sold out by noon.

Sometimes, another uncle will carry something similar to the aunty selling cakes. He, too; sold cakes, differently from the aunty; but he carried them in round aluminum-type pans.

The lady who I thought was a nurse because she was all dressed in white yet at the same time thought she was a schoolgirl because she carried a rattan basket, was actually a part time soap or clothes detergent saleslady. She used to carry packets of this detergent and go from house-to-house, selling them. My mother used to buy detergent quite often from this lady.


I had an enjoyable time writing this essay as it brought back many favourable memories. I have tried to depict this story as best as I can from the memories I have of the time we (my family) stayed in that house up the hill in Jalan Chantik, PJ. I hope you will enjoy this story as much as I enjoyed writing it.


  1. Fig 1: Malaysian Kuih: A marriage of flavours and cultures | Malay Mail :https://www.malaymail.com/news/eat/drink/2016/03/27/malaysian-kuih-a-marriage-of-flavours-and-cultures/1087719
  2. PJ or Petaling Jaya is a city in the state of Selangor, Malaysia.
  3. KL or the city of Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia.


It’s 11.00am on a bright, sunny Sunday morning. This was the Sunday that I was going to give Tom Cruise a run for his money – him and his P-51 Mustang against the hotter than “wild fire red” Mustang 5.0 GT I was in.

The Ford Mustang 5.0l (5.0 litre) GT

The Mustang was waiting to be let loose from it’s domicile home in PJ. Its owner and I were going to view some land off Karak (1) town; which was over an hour away. D.D. said I was driving.

This was not just any old wannabe sports car. It is big. At 188.5 inches in length, 81.9 inches wide (including mirrors) and standing at 54.3 inches high; this machine’s 5.0L (302 cu.in.) pumps out 450 horses, that pushes the pointer to 160mph. 0-60mph in 4.3sec.

This machine Screamed, “Look at me at every angle. I’m sexy! You will not be disappointed”. It was already fast, just being stationary. It was in my favourite colour – race red.

The car with it’s wide door opened, makes it easy to get in and out of it. This is quite unlike some of its European competitors, which requires some amount of learning to get in and out of them.

The steering wheel on this car was carbon-fibre equipped. The seats were leather standard, with electronic adjustment. All accept the backrest. A chrome lever at the side of the seat at its axis, needs to be pulled to adjust it leaning forward or laying back. It does make sense that this is manually adjustable. Think about it. Eeeeeennnnhhhh(sound)…the backrest is adjusted electronically. Or, brrrttt(sound)…the backrest is adjusted near instantly.

There is a row of buttons on the centre dash, with believe it or not, red square caps covering them – fighter jet style. This is just below the screen with the Ford logo displayed when the system is not in use.

Flick open the red cover on the right, press the engine start/stop button; and all silence from miles around, is broken. The roar of the engine is so loud that it make the sound of thunder sound meek. I simply loved it! What Ford has done with the Mustang 5.0 GT is made the v-8 cylinder engine sound almost exactly to that of the P-51 Mustang’s 12 cylinder engine. Turn up the volume whole watching the videos of Listen to the sound (1) & (2).

The dashboard is in leather-stitched black, with easy-to-use aircon and radio controls.
This badge sits on the left side of the dash – the first Mustangs were produced in 1964.

Tom Cruise with his Mustang ride. Here is Tom Cruise wondering what he has got himself up against this time, taking on that guy Al Atkinson in the other Mustang.

One happy dude! I get to play with this toy. The look on my face says it all.

Driving this badass machine is exhilarating! This is definitely not the feather-lights of European cars. The steering is heavy though it is power-assisted; which is good because you have full control of the car on the road. Though the engine sound is loud in the cabin, we could still hold conversations without having to raise our voices.

The engine sound was sweet, pure growl. You betcha that everyone on the highway / freeway (American) was looking at us. We could be seen from miles around and before long, we were filling up the wing rear-view mirrors and the centre one of vehicles ahead of us as, as we approached them faster than a blink of an eye. At almost 7ft wide from the tip of one wing mirror to the other; the vehicles in front of us will not be able to see anything else but this menacing red fury on the road. That’s putting it mildly.

On our way back from Karak, I put this mean machine through its paces. Thump the gas pedal and the 450 horses pulls this red carriage at 10Gs, similar to that of TopGun Maverick’s 10Gs test flight😉. It stayed glued to the road. Immense!

The growl of its engine was excitement hardly containable. If you think the roar of this supercar’s engine is fierce when the car is stationary; the growl as it eats up miles of road when picking up speed is definitely an OMG!!!😲😲😲

I’ve driven the BMW M3 through its paces. Its an amazing car, on top of the charts when compared to other European cars in its league and higher. While the M3 has a bit of head knowledge and driving excitement, the Mustang just blows it away – from head knowledge to sight to deafening sound to sheer go from 0 to its top of 160mph to driving in town to attraction to deafening sound (did I mention deafening sound?) in almost every category. I’ve included a video “F80 BMW M3 vs Ford Mustang 5.0 I ROLL RACE” for you to get an idea of my experience with both these cars.

Many good things has to come to an end. I had to reluctantly detach myself from this Mustang to head for home. A massive “Thank You” to D.D. for letting me get into the cockpit and drive this Mustang off its wheels.

My Sunday drive: The growling fury of the Ford Mustang 5.0L Listen to the sound(1)

Stewart S 51 D * N1944 SD 480p Listen to the sound (2)

F80 BMW M3 vs Ford Mustang 5.0 I ROLL RACE, Two Wheel Turban

A little background on Mustang horses:

Club Cavallo Italia

The mustang is a free-roaming horse of the Western United States, descended from horses brought to the Americas by the Spanish. Mustangs are often referred to as wild horses.
Etymology and usage
According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the English word mustang was likely borrowed from two essentially synonymous Spanish words, mestengo (or mesteño) and mostrenco. English lexicographer John Minsheu glossed both words together as ‘strayer’ in his dictionary of 1599. Both words referred to livestock defined as ‘wild, having no master’.


What is it like being 64? I don’t really know. I’m just getting the hang of it. It’s only been a few days since I turned 64.

The mystery of life. Each of us can truly say we have not experienced the next moment in our lives until it comes…we are in that moment.

Think of it. Each moment of our life is new. It is true to say that we cannot plan each individual moment of our life. We can, however; make daily plans. We can also set short, medium and long term goals.
Short term goals could be for a duration between 3 to 6 months.
Medium term goals could be set for a 1 year period.
Long term goals could be between 3 to 5 years.

I am 64 years old now. When I was in my late teens and early 20s; I thought people who were 64 years of age were dinosaurtically old. I mean really, really old. Grey to white hair people, that is if they still had any hair left on their heads; deteriorated eyesight with thick rimmed magnifying lenses framed with a thick black frame and almost always respond with an “aaahhhhh?” because their hearing is almost shot to pieces.

They would sit at coffee shops every morning, possibly holding on to a tongkat (walking stick) to shoo away the stray dogs that would come around them hoping for scraps of food.

They would be with the rest of the old folk and talk on subjects; aimlessly.

But having grown up in the town (now city) of Klang (2) and nearby Port Klang (3), especially amongst the elderly Chinese; I used to watch the art of drinking chinese tea. The kopitiam (Why not “tehtiam”? Don’t know.) fellas or ah moi (1) will pour the chinese tea from a big ordinary aluminum pot to a much smaller teapot made of clay. That aluminium pot is usually kept on a stove to keep the chinese tea in it, hot. Then, the tea is poured from the clay teapot into small cups with no handles. Maybe they got the idea from expresso coffee coming in tiny cups.

The explanation behind this system is that the teapot and cups made of red clay keep the tea warmer for a longer period of time. The small cups will contain tea enough for 1 or 2 sips. (I think).

We can say that this is a lifestyle we choose or perhaps we have inherited it from our generations before us. It looks like our minds may have been conditioned to believe this is the way, the only way? I dare say, “No!”

When I think of it, it’s kind of funny how I expected it to be something of a blast when I crossed the finish line of my 64th year; moving into my 65th.

Many people, when it comes to their birthdays; have this same old saying: “Nothing special. It’s just another day.”

I think it should not be treated as “just another day”. We have an opportunity to learn something new, experience something new. We can share what we have learnt and experienced, with others, and they; with other people, too – The Ripple Effect.

We are all explorers of life. I believe the opportunities are abundant – they are just waiting to be discovered.

Dedicated to the people who believe that “LIFE” is not just about life; it is about living: Jen, Liz

1. It sounds like Ah mui or Ah Muay, which in Hokkien is Little sister (阿妹or小妹) and is not derogatory. It is akin to calling someon “miss”…. http://www.quora.com
2. & 3. Klang and Port Klang are located in the state of Selangor, Malaysia.

Cliff Richard: The Young Ones. Check out the dance moves.


I have been loving every minute publishing all these articles and writings on this website, http://www.leatherpotato.com over the past 1 year or so.

Last year (2021), I had a goal to write 100 articles in total. Well over 60 of them featured on http://www.leatherpotato.com. The balance of the 100 articles were written for private companies / organisations and others. I did it. I did the 100 articles.
The Goal: I did what I had set out to do.
The prize: From the feedback I received from many of the readers, they could relate to the writings in their own personal way, their lives, the lives of their families. Many said it helped them take time off their busy, sometimes stressful schedules, just to have a breather and have a light moment or two.
The reward: I achieved and am still achieving: Helping people live in the present, while remembering the past and perhaps, just perhaps; take a break, even if it is a minute or two; from chasing after the future.

Having just arrived home from a KFC dinner with Jeannie; I suddenly felt the tiredness sort of bearing its weight on me. Suddenly, I have pain in the lower right side of my back and I feel tired.

Earlier this afternoon; I visited Mr Yap, my optician friend at his Optik Peakvision IPC store for an eye exam. My eyes are “A-OK” but the lenses on my glasses were worn out. So, I have ordered a new pair which will be ready for collection in about 5 working days.

Some of you may say about me, “He’s 64, time to slow things down, not just a great deal; but a whole lot”.

I have so much more I want to do. My goals, dreams, visions span over the next 50 years or more. I do not subscribe to the idea that the mandatory retirement age is 60. I have so much more to do. I know I have said that before, but it is a fact. And, I am loving every minute of it.

But I know when to take a break. This is one of those times. B..b..b..u..u..u..t.t.t, it does not look like I am on break right now. I am writing this.

I thank you all, for your incredible, immense support for http://www.leatherpotato.com. Your support encourages people to come forward to share their experiences with me and others, to tell their own story.

Think of it: every new moment in life is one that we have yet to experience life with. No one else can live that each new moment we have, that which is unique to us, for us. We have to live that on our own. Isn’t that incredible? So, it is up to us to decide how we are going to live that each new moment we have. We have to make the best of it. Each moment that goes by comes with a “non-returnable” condition. Therefore, it is the most precious commodity that we have.

So, it’s the weekend. I am going on a short break! My idea of a break is “just easing off the gas pedal a bit”, while still working. Will be back, all out in a day or two.

Have a great weekend! Salute!


Date: July 12, 2022

A quick trip to the Assemblyperson, Michelle Ng’s office in  SS14, Subang Jaya to collect the  annual gift (birthday?) voucher given to citizens above 60 year old. Hardly any wait. Was more like a dash in, collect the voucher, and dashed out; heading home, which was about 10 minutes away.

Got ready for the big event. anticipation without expectations. Yet there was excitement that was building to a crescendo…

Arrived at 1.55pm for my 2.00pm appointment. Always shying away from the popular Malaysian habit – always late. Reason for this habit: The other person will be late, too.😏 Sure one (Must have the “one” there, then sentence is balanced [noticed I left out the “the” before the word “sentence”? Then, more “oomph”]).😂

I am at “The Coffee Academics” at the Pavillion, Kuala Lumpur; waiting with bated anticipation to meet Sharon Ehler – after “many” years (not wanting to reveal sensitive information like age for example😘). I am more used to her being “Sharon Fredericks”. “Ehler” is her married name.

Sharon, in the centre.

I’m serious!

She is coming with her elder sister, Lorraine; whom I suspect is Sharon’s chaperone. This article is supposed to be with all seriousness, I mean  straight face serious; but by the looks of things, it is heading south. Ai ya ya yai,🎵 Ai ya ya yai.🎶

At the memorable camping trip in Templer Park. Sharon is first from the right. Lorraine is third from right.

New York, New York! Manhattan women are dressed in silk and satin… New York, New York, it’s a helluva town!!

And they are fashionably late, not Malaysian late. The difference is not that they use different time pieces. One is “fashion” fashion, the other one got the “one” one is Malaysian time. I still have not understood how this communication works; but a Malaysian communicating with another Malaysian, totally makes sense.

I chose The Coffee Academics because the ambience looked pleasant and comfortable. While penning / keytapping this article on the keyboard of my Samsung Galaxy Z-Fold 3 (In all my earlier articles mentioning the Fold 3, I left out the “Z”. Never too late to add it on😟); I did a quick research on this cafe, and found out that it had just set up shop in April of this year.

A few minutes into seemingly looking busy at work, on the “Z”-Fold3, they arrived. Her big, smile lit up, our long, long embrace and  the first few words of greetings – this is the same Sharon I knew from back then. Exactly! Wow! I was blown away!

Nice to meet up with her chaperone, Lorraine, too. The last time we met was about 3 years. They were accompanied by Lorraine’s son, Matthew.

At The Coffee Academics with Sharon and Lorraine.

Going down memory lane brought many, many wonderful long moments of laughter and smiles, over long blacks served in big (we had to reiterate to the waiter “big”) cups (saucers  not essential. We were ok if they did come with the big mugs). We had an orange muffin, and a couple of fairly soft brownie cookies with molten chocolate oozing from its centre when they were broken and shared between us, too.

Then, we went into the typical Eurasian mode. This is when we are related to everyone or everyone is related to us and whether we knew this person or that.  Matthew was pretty much on his own, as he was lost in our conversation.  He did the smart thing, smiled and played video games on his phone.

Though we talked a lot about our present and our past, there were many quiet moments, too; which I enjoyed thoroughly. In those quiet moments filled with love, gentleness and smiles, I resonated in the aura of calm that exuded in Sharon. Ain’t she sweet? That itself, spoke volumes.

Back to the future, today; we have our families, our loved ones; the ones who are the centre of our lives, whom we are blessed with.

We spent the next hour or so, “walking off” the long sit down at The Coffee Academics. Sharon and Lorraine shopped a bit. I just accompanied them.

Our meet-up ended at about 6.00pm. Lorraine leaves for the U.K. early next week. Sharon will be around til (I seldom use the word “un”til…don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I don’t plan on “un”doing anything(?). ‘Til sounds much better, maybe a tad laid back) the second week of August.

It was a reunion worth keeping – our friendship has become even stronger.

Ai ya ya yai… Ai ya ya yai!

Frank Sinatra: New York, New York

The Beatles: Ain’t She Sweet