That’s a toughie! Almost a day does not go by when we are involved in a conversation or chance to overhear people talking about “woo-ing-men”. This conversation is either by men, women, or both.

So, we began to wonder why these people try to woo men. Sounds like getting them to fall into a trap. Many times they do.

Then, when you hear a conversation with “we men”, you may be forgiven to think that that’s all us men have to talk about besides, sports, drinks, business, gambling, investment and of course, women.

It all boils down to that – WOMEN.

The English language can be so confusking at times…well, actually most of the time.

Take the word, “Woman“. It is singular for a woman – a lady be she your wife, mother, sister, aunt, girlfriend. Woman is pronounces as “woo-man”, not “whoa-man” (sounding like this).

What is the plural for woman? Hang on to your seats…It is “Women” pronounced as “we-men”. Yes, take note of its spelling. It is not pronounced as “woman”.

So, ladies, gentlemen and those who rather not say, there you have it. A confusing word or words in the English language made simple to understand.

As this is International Women’s Day, I give recognition to the women who inspire me daily:

My wife, Jeannie; who has been by my side for over 27 years, supporting me in all my aspirations.

Laura, my daughter, who inspires me to think up new ideas and challenges.

My mother – who, by still making her world famous cakes, makes a statement that age is only a number.

Mother Mary, who has always been by my side.

The list goes on…

While this “celebration” or “recognition” is one day only, I don’t think it should be so. I think women should be recognized by merit in all that they do; every day. They are just as good or even better if given the opportunity to do so.

Celebrating International Women’s Day with Jeannie, we had dinner at Kar Heong Restaurant – Jeannie’s choice. The food was excellent. I had plain 1 ton noodles. It is Wanton noodles. Jeannie had plain Hor Fun (yes fun) noodles. The dishes we ordered were char siew / siew yoke; steamed chicken breast and tougey (bean sprouts). The condiments were the plain soup that came with my wanton noodles, the chili and ginger. The chili and ginger is a must have regardless of how crazy spicy they are. Perspiration for sure and tears streaming down faces for the uninitiated. The servings seem to be shrinking each time we patronize this restaurant. The prices remain the same.

Jeannie’s very green drink was umbra. Though one could feel the fibres going down as it was drunk, it was delicious. I went for the iced-coffee. Pretty good if I don’t say so myself. There wasn’t any after taste that many brands of milk have. So, I could actually get the taste of coffee.


With my two most favourite women, Jeannie and Laura. Perfect. This was Jeannie’s and my last day in Decatur, Illinois; just before heading to Chicago (December 31, 2022).
This picture was taken with a Samsung S21 Ultra. I wonder how much better it would be if it was taken by a Samsung S23 Ultra.

Dinner at Kar Heong.
I had plain 1 ton noodles. It is Wanton noodles. Jeannie had plain Hor Fun (yes fun) noodles. The dishes we ordered were char siew / siew yoke; steamed chicken breast and tougey (bean sprouts). The condiments were the plain soup that came with my wanton noodles, the chili and ginger. The chili and ginger is a must have regardless of how crazy spicy they are. Perspiration for sure and tears streaming down faces for the uninitiated.
Jeannie’s very green drink was umbra. Though one could feel the fibres going down as it was drunk, it was delicious. I went for the iced-coffee. Pretty good if I don’t say so myself. There wasn’t any after taste that many brands of milk have. So, I could actually get the taste of coffee.


A dream remains a dream unless you act on it.

Laura was like any other 12 year old girl, back in year 2013. Maybe, a bit different than most others. She had goals and she had determination. When she was 9 years old, she declared that she wanted to be a world champion swimmer. Three years later, she was still as determined as ever in getting there.

Her coach told her that she would need to go to the U.S., to train amongst the best to have a shot at being world champion. That is what she decided she would do.

Laura quickly rose the ranks to be amongst the top 3 breaststroke swimmers for her age group in Malaysia. At the same time, she kept abreast with the latest swim developments in the U.S.

In 2019, she was focused on Entrepreneurial Studies and swimming. Millikin University was the perfect fit.

Millikin University presented her a programme which allowed her and other students to explore, grow and develop ideas and at the same time, pursue competitive swimming, representing Millikin Swimming.


Laura Kristen Atkinson; B. Sc. Graduate, Millikin University
Dec 11th, 2022
With our ever gracious hosts; Dr Molly and Dr Alan Duesterhaus
Laura, with her college mates: Pete, Amanda and Kelli
All of us

Now, as the next phase or chapter of her life begins; Laura is actively working towards achieving them.

So, if your young child has fuzzy ideas, and says that he wants to be a paleontologist, or an inventor that will come up with a control to keep all A.I. machines in check; or she wants to be a world renowned fashion designer; help them develop that interest. You may just never know…



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 Kampar railway station must have done the trick.

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.

The story of the mandarin ducks.
The mandarin ducks coming up the porch of our room in Amsterdam, Holland.

9.15am, Wednesday, June 27th, 2001; a child was born. We named her Laura Kristen Atkinson

What joy! What blessings! Laura Kristen Atkinson

Laura’s baptism, August 2001. With us are her godparents; Dato’ Seri Jeffrey and Datin Seri Joyce Raymond.

Laura: I thought he was supposed to see that I sleep.

Anne Reburn: I want To Hold Your Hand


Camera shy. Not really.
Yes, I am cute.

With Grandma and Grandpa Atkinson


About to show her “Zhang Ziyi” martial arts stunts. She’s dressed for it. Location: A park in Perth, Western Australia.
Christmas 2007: Christmas caroling with her cousin, Sarah.

She’s up to something! ❤️
On one of our river cruises in Perth, Western Australia
Check out my shades

Freemantle, Western Australia

Arriving at Clark International Airport, The Phillipines in 2005

Beaconhouse Kindergarten. Laura was one of the 7 pioneer students for the Beaconhouse brand in Malaysia.
All of the June birthday celebrants. Laura, Kenneth de Souza and Joel D’Cruz are all on June 27th.

Graduation from Beaconhouse pre-school in 2007.

With her cousin Justin Ow.

One for the camera

…and another😏😉❤️

The competitor in her.

At the Ferrari store, opposite Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II , Duomo; in Milan, Italy.

In Venice, Italy; during the Carnevale di Venezia (Italian for The Carnival of Venice) An annual festival that ends on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday.

Laura drew this with an app on my Samsung Note 2, when she was 10 years old.

Club Med beach in Terengganu, Malaysia

Cousins from the Ong side.
Cousins from the Ong side.

Music graduation.

Laura with her grandparents.
Having ice-cream at Patisfrance in Taipan, USJ Subang Jaya.

Sweet 16, with cousins and friends from the teens group at Sunday School, church and swimmers from her swim team.

With the teens from church.
Swim teammates

She’s ready to par- teh…

In Malacca, on one of the swimming championship competition weekends. Shopping for yummy stuff.

Home was more at the pool and all the swim races and championships.

Overall champion
The Selangor team


With Coach Mark Chua and Selangor teammates at the Bukit Jalil National Aquatic Centre, Malaysia.

With cousins, and Rachel Arnold (3rd From left). Tim is Alana’s husband.
Winning the Japanese International School cross-country race.

Laura’s Confirmation at St. Thomas More Church, Subang Jaya, Selangor.

With Archbishop Julian Low. “Teresa” is Laura’s chosen confirmation name.

Just a small part of her medal tally.

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.

In Penang.

In Brinchang, Cameron Highlands, for coffee.

Now, this is how to play billiards! About to take the perfect shot. At Arcadia, Cameron Highlands.
Leaving on a jetplane. Won’t know when I’ll be back again. Leaving for the U.S.

Swimming for Millikin University Swimming.

Hauling medals and setting records for Millikin University Swimming
Us family, celebrating with Laura (Live – streaming. Laura is on the phone in Illinois) her 19th birthday.

Laura, with Janet Jin nee Danker in New York.
Just moved in about a month ago.

With her boyfriend, James.

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.❤️❤️❤️

Himesh Patel, Lily James: I Want To Hold Your Hand; YesterdayMovieVEVO


Either we are moving too slowly and time has caught us off guard, or time is moving at a relentless, breathtaking pace.

We celebrated dad’s 70th birthday. That was not too long ago. Then, his 80th came along and we all celebrated with him. All his siblings were with him. Aunty Maureen and Uncle Ronnie (& Aunty Maryjane) in Malaysia. Uncle Pat, Uncle Al and Aunty Val, all residing in Perth, Western Australia; made the trip for that very special occasion. At the end of his celebration on that day; we said we will look forward to his 90th. Phew! That seemed like (like?. Oh no… my English is like getting infiltrated like by the looks of things) only yesterday.

Dad, at around a year old; with his parents (my grandparents), Charles (left) and Julia Atkinson. Uncle Arthur Atkinson (Right), went missing during World War II.

Childhood years were spent growing up in Ipoh (1). A lad of St Michael’s Institution, he was known for his skills at cricket.

1950s – In England.

In the picture above, he was already in the army and was doing a stint in Sandhurst.

Trip down memory lane: This was home in Ipoh, for Grandpa (Papa) Atkinson and family in 1955 and before.

Their Silibin home (the picture above) was their last home in Ipoh before they moved to Kuala Lumpur (2) in the mid-1950s.

Their move to Kuala Lumpur was not without fanfare from what I hear from his cousin, Percival (Percy) Reyes and my cousin, Dato’ Seri Jeffrey Raymond.

The Atkinsons moved in with the Reyes on Lorong Hicks, next door to the Gomes residence. Uncle Gerald Reyes (Percy’s father) was my grandmother’s (dad’s mother) youngest brother.

On several meet-ups with Percy and Dato’ Seri Jeffrey separately, they would fondly reminisce on the past when they stayed in Lorong Hicks. Percy would have been in his teens at that time. Jeffrey, much younger; is the son of mom’s elder sister, Aunty Flory. Now, Percy and Jeffrey most probably have not met up for decades, even till today. But they both talked fondly about this young army officer in his spruced up uniform that would stop the world in its tracks whenever he came home from his postings.

Hence (a very old English word), mum and dad got married in 1956. If that did not happen, then my siblings and I won’t be here. Naturally, the Gomes family approved of him immediately because he had a couple of aces up his sleeve – he could sing and read music. I think that was more important to them than knowing the ABC alphabet, as “music” and “Gomes” were more often than not, in the same sentence.

Mum & Dad
(Third from left): Dad. Mum (Standing. 2nd from the right). Dad’s father (my grandfather) stands on the far left. This is what I believe to be part of the Church of the Assumption Choir in the 1960s in one of their fun gatherings.
A programme page of a musical that dad acted in.

In mid-1981, celebrating his 25th wedding anniversary with mum; with us, their children: Jennifer seated next to mum. Standing left to right: Malcolm, Terence, Nigel and me.

Jennifer, Nigel, Terence, Malcolm and I; grew up with music almost 24 x 7. Classical, western, rock n roll, choirs, music bands. And music is very much with Laura (Jeannie’s and my daughter) and her cousins, too.

With his siblings. In front: Uncle Ronnie (#5) and Uncle Al (#3). Seated on the chair, left to right: Uncle Pat (#2), Aunty Val (#6), Aunty Maureen (#4) and dad (#1 – eldest).
Dad and Mum, with Laura, Jeannie and me; celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary and mum’s birthday which was 2 days earlier.

On the steps of St Michael’s Church; Ipoh, Perak. A gathering of most of the Atkinson clan on a trip down memory lane.

Fast forward…. May 10, 2022. Dad’s 90th birthday. Dad turned 90 today, marking the beginning of his 91st year. Papa (my grandfather), dad’s father; always looked at birthdays that way.

The fourth generation Atkinsons (the grandkids); organised a birthday celebration last Saturday (May 8th) at dad’s & mum’s home in Klang. Aunty Maureen, Uncle Ronnie and Aunty Maryjane joined in the celebration, too. Terence was not well, so he and Mabel could not make it. Latest update today: he has almost fully recovered.

Dad wanted to have a picture of me with him in this shirt I was wearing. He has always commented that he liked this shirt. He said on that day, “I want a picture of you with that shirt before it fades or you stop wearing it”. So, here’s the photo, dad.

Dad, Aunty Maureen, Uncle Ronnie and me.

The grand Prince at 90. You know this is the work of the grandkids.

Dad gave an articulated, off the cuff speech. His mind is sharp. He thanked all of us, especially the organisers for that evening, for being there on that day.

Now, into his 91st. He still phones his siblings here and in Australia; us – his children, our spouses and his grandchildren; regularly, to find out how we are faring. He may not be able to waltz the whole ballroom away with mum, now; but I won’t put it past him, that he may do the famous “Eustace Atkinson twist” if prompted to.

We, his family; are looking forward to his 100th. Cheers, dad!


  1. Ipoh is a city in the state of Perak, Malaysia
  2. Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia


Portrait of Chen Cuifen in Changchun Pu villa. The original oil painting was by Chen Chudian. (SPH) (1)

As I penned down the last few words of my article, “Taiping – Town of Heavenly Peace” (2); I could not help but feel that essay was to a certain extent, incomplete. There I was, trying to figure out what was incomplete about it but could not seem to quite put my finger on it.

Our trip (Jeannie’s & mine) to Taiping was unplanned; so we did not have any expectations. Yet, when I wrote the article about Taiping and thought I had covered all or mostly all that I “trip-experienced”; I felt that I had to write something more about something relating to the trip. What was it?

I re-read my essay several times again (as I had read the article several times before it was published. And even after that). Until I saw “that” picture again; the one behind me in one of the photos I snapped (can’t use the word “took” which could insinuate I took one of the pictures from the museum 😅) while at the museum. (pic 2)

When I first saw the picture of this lady on the wall in that little museum at the Aun Tong coffee mill in Assam Kumbang; I was captivated by her beauty.

The word “assam” is a Malay word that means “sour”. It seems to be commonly used in names of areas in Taiping. “Pokok Assam” and “Assam Kumbang” are two that I am now quite familiar with. “Pokok Assam” in Malay means “Tamarind tree”. “Assam Kumbang” in Malay means “Tamarind beetle”. So, that explains why the char kuey teow I had for dinner that evening in Taiping; was not the “famous Penang char kuey teow ” or the “famous Ipoh char kuey teow” but the unique Taiping style char kuey teow. Its taste had that slight hint of lime added to it while it was being “char” or fried.

I walked away from this picture to look at the artifacts and other things considered museum pieces, but I kept coming back to this picture hung up on the wall. From whichever angle or distance I was from it; she kept looking directly at me. Unlike the very olden days style of portrait photos, where the people looked over-serious and dreary; this picture of Chen Cuifen shows her with a slight smile and relaxed.

Though staring at it a bit longer makes me think she was a Chinese martials art warrior, with lots of kicks-in-the-air fights. This must be from watching too many Chinese martial arts movies. Influence from Jeannie. During our courting days; I became an expert “movie sub-titles reader”. We used to go for Chinese romantic and martials arts movies. Hang on, did I say, “romantic”? Oh yeah. I did not know what the movies were about before we watched them. I was a good boyfriend. Jeannie would ask, “Shall we go for a movie?”. I would always say, “yes” without knowing what the movie was about until I was in the cinema, with the movie on. Hands on learning. I couldn’t understand Mandarin nor Cantonese nor Hokkien. I just read the sub-titles. Oooohhh, that is what this movie was about. Now, married – kao tim lah. (4) No need to go anymore.

While everything else in this museum was old or presumed old; the person in this picture was young, refreshing and didn’t seem to belong there.

Besides the room being small and filled with lots of things of the past, it looks like it is now being used as an office too; with three work tables strewn with current day documents. The chairs are those ancient-type Chinese barrel-shaped stools, with carvings on them.

From the coffee mill’s showroom / shop; there is a short flight of about 5 fairly high steps of an old-style staircase, leading to this museum. Shoes / sandals have to be removed to enter the museum. This museum is what I believe was Cuifen’s villa. The coffee mill is at the back of the villa.

Pic 2. Chen Cuifen’s portrait hangs on the wall behind.

Chen Cuifen’s “Changchun Pu” villa, Ng (3) This is the front of the villa , with the coffee mill at the side of it in the rear.

The villa

The Changchun Pu villa, looks washed out by the passage of time. A fan-shaped wooden plaque with the inscription Changchun Pu (长春圃) hangs on the building’s external wall, and a signboard with the words Aun Tong (安东) is prominently displayed above the door to the villa. Not far from the door stands a statue of Sun Yat-sen. (7)

The entrance of the Aun Tong Coffee Mill displaying the “Aun Tong” signboard and fan-shaped Changchun Pu wooden sign. (SPH)
The entrance of the Aun Tong Coffee Mill displaying the “Aun Tong” signboard and fan-shaped Changchun Pu wooden sign. (SPH)

Before that day, I never heard of Chen Cuifen. As I started researching about her, I noted that not much was said about her. The little that was written about her had conflicting information.

Wikipedia says that Sun Yat-sen’s first concubine was the Hong Kong-born Chen Cuifen. (8) Other websites stated that she was Sun’s partner and one of his four wives.

She was regarded as the “forgotten revolutionary female”. Maybe that is why I had this “prompting” to write something about her.

She was “the first revolution partner” of Sun Yat-sen. Before marrying Soong Ching-ling, Sun Yat-sen had a 20 year-relationship with Chen Cuifen. Before I forget, Sun Yat-sen was the Republic of China’s first provisional President.

Wikipedia says that she lived in Taiping, PerakMalaysia for 17 years. Sun and her adopted a local girl as their daughter. (9) That is interesting. It means her adopted daughter is Malayan (Malaysian). Is she still alive? Does she have children and grand-children?

Wikipedia states that Cuifen subsequently relocated to China, where she died. Other sources on the internet states that she returned to Hong Kong where she died. Conflicting information again on the year she died. 1960 or 1962?

Am I the first Malaysian to write about Chen Cui-fen? I don’t know. As I ask questions, the answers I get leads me to more questions. Like what is her connection with Aun Tong coffee mill?

I would like to revisit this article again in the near future and perhaps, expand on it with an indepth research (hopefully) on the life of this lady whose picture hangs in a room on the wall; the room next to a coffee mill.


  1. Chia Yei Yei, (Senior Correspondent, Lianhe Zaobao); “Sun Yat-sen’s lover Cuifen and her Malaysia villa”, October 16th, 2019
  2. Alan Atkinson, “TAIPING – TOWN OF HEAVENLY PEACE”, https://leatherpotato.com/2021/10/18/taiping-town-of-heavenly-peace/
  3. Alchetron, https://alchetron.com/Chen-Cuifen
  4. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Richard Ng, Chen Cuifen’s Villa, Eat & Sleep, November 15th, 2010.
  5. ‘Kao tim lah’ is a colloquial term meaning “done, finished, settled” in Cantonese. It also is a way of expressing agreement. It is best uttered with an air of smugness and satisfaction in the finality of the matter. Just like when we have chosen the right place to dine at. http://kautimlah.blogspot.com/2014/10/greetings.html
  6. “Lah” is a mysterious word. As Urban Dictionary defines: “a slang used mainly by people of South-East Asia (Malaysia and Singapore mainly) to complement almost any sentence available in a social conversation. The origins of this slang is basically from the chinese language, yet it is now used by almost anyone in the two countries mentioned above who aren’t too shy to let their asian roots shine with pride. People who don’t use the -lah slang are considered snobs to a certain degree.” For example, here’s a mundane conversation you would hear when it comes to meal times. “Hey, where shall we have lunch today?” I don’t know lah. What do you feel like?” Hmm, I was thinking of curry. “Kau tim lah, Let’s go try that new banana leaf rice!” Kau tim? http://kautimlah.blogspot.com/2014/10/greetings.html
  7. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Richard Ng, Chen Cuifen’s Villa, Eat & Sleep, November 15th, 2010.
  8. Wikipedia
  9. Wikipedia
Chen Cuifen - Alchetron, The Free Social Encyclopedia
Chen Cuifen (3)


As I sit here, thinking of what I should write about Nigel, I keep asking myself what he would have liked me to write about him.

First of all, it was not in my plans or my schedule to pen down (actually “tap, tap, tap” on the keyboard. The sound was more like “teep, tap, teep, terp-tup, tick-tac”. The “ter-tup” is the sound when hitting the spacebar. The “tick-tac” is the sound of the mouse left-button click. No scroll bar sound on the mouse as I have it on free play so that I can scroll 1,000 lines per second or so it claims.)

There is so much to write about Nigel as he never led a mundane life. I wrote down three virtues in my writing “sketch” pad, which I will share here. He had many but I will talk about three for now.

Nigel was, is and will be for evermore a family man to his wife Shirley and daughter, Sarah. He would ensure that Shirley is seen off when she goes to work, do most of the house errands, making sure that the bills were paid on time, buy lunch and dinner for them or see to it that there were meals for them, ensure the house was always clean and tidy (here – he ensured that he would see to it as cleanliness and tidiness had to meet his standards). He practically did most of the things for them. Both Shirley and Sarah shared with us, his siblings; that they did not have to do anything, he would take care of everything as he always going to be around.

Though he was very protective of his family which included us, his siblings and our families, mum and dad and his very close friends; Nigel had a stubbornness for no nonsense. He was strongly guided by a set of principles based on his Christian faith and belief in God. He would not bend these principles even by a little bit.


On the stroke of midnight as we ushered in the new year on January 1st 2018, our cousins, Brendon Surin from Perth, Australia; Darren Atkinson; Nigel and I made a new year’s resolution to reduce weight and the size of our potbellies. In fact, we had pictures taken of the four of us – believe me, it was not a pretty picture. Haha.

At that time; we thought it was just going to be one of those “every new year make resolutions” and then forget about them the next day.

About a week or so later, one bright spark (can’t remember if it was me) came up with a zany idea that we walk from SS15 mamak restaurant (spelling is wrong – it usually reads “restoran”) in Subang Jaya all the way to KLCC Shopping Centre in K.L. (or Kay El or Kuala Lumpur). Jeannie, my wife; warmed up to the idea and said, “let’s do it”. She was the fittest of the four of us. We set the date on the 1st day of Chinese New Year, which was a public holiday.

At 5.30am on that February 16th morning, we set out from the mamak restaurant in SS15. We walked past Sunway Pyramid, turned into Sunway Bestari and crossed the Federal Highway.

Then, we cut across Petaling Jaya by walking though Kampung Tunku, SS1, SS3, Section 14, 13, 17, across University Malaya to Bangsar; our first section in Kuala Lumpur.

We went past Majestic Hotel where mum and dad had their wedding reception on June 16th 1956; headed for Jalan Ampang and finally got to KLCC. Sounds simple but it took us 7 hours to cover the 26 kilometer excursion. The weather was cool in the morning but got really hot as it approached noon.

Nigel was the man of the hour. He kept a steady brisk pace throughout the journey. Jeannie enjoyed herself as she got to see may parts of our journey in detail; which otherwise we would miss when travelling by car or other types of vehicles.

Darren, with his futsal training; kept up with Nigel. I, was the one who slowed down the others. I kept saying that this was a ridiculous idea to begin with and I literally struggled to keep up. And that’s putting it mildly.

These are the things we did for adventure, which reminded us of similar adventures we had during our school days, like cycling through what was once palm oil estates; now it is Taman Chi Liung and Bukit Tinggi housing estates in Klang.

We never repeated the KLCC walk after that, though nowadays; I am quite use to walks of between 15 kilmometers to 30 kilometers a day, every day.

May be an image of 4 people, including Alan Ian Atkinson, Darren Atkinson, Jeannie Atkinson and Nigel Atkinson and people smiling

Right to Left: Nigel, Jeannie, Darren and myself. This was taken near the Icon City, Petaling Jaya.

Here, I am looking at the time, distance covered, pace and estimated time of arrival. Darren is checking his phone for messages. And Nigel, look at him: he looks like he is impatient to get on with our journey. Haha (We will have to settle for “Haha” as my keyboard does not have a key for emojis.) This picture was taken near the Icon City, Petaling Jaya.


Nigel was not financially rich. It never stopped him from being generous. He always helped family and friends whenever he could, with whatever he had, even to the point on many occasions where he sacrificed and did without many things that he wanted. He always went beyond the call of duty. That was Nigel.

He and Shirley related some of the tough times they went through many years ago when they first got married and even through their married life. Financially; they sacrificed. It strengthened their lives together and gave them the resolve that they could do anything. They were happy. It was their 34th wedding anniversary a few days ago, on August 31st.

Today marks 1 month since Nigel left us. The only images I keep getting of Nigel is that he is always smiling , he is happy. And that is what he would want of all of us.

May be an image of Nigel Atkinson and smiling

Nigel Edward Atkinson

(24th April, 1960 – 11th August, 2021)

Nigel, with his derby cap

Here I was, about to release my blockbuster of the week article with a little sense of humor (at least to me); and you decide to crash in, or check out, whatever it may be; without saying “bye” to all of us. You did not pull the rug from under us; you pulled the whole floor! (I would like to add a few cheeky words, but best not to; though you’d agree and laugh whole heartedly!)

Growing up with Nigel, was colourful, to say the least. He did things first, including his fist; then talk later. His friends in school… La Salle School, Klang had a subsidiary at 21, Jalan Ladang, Klang – our house. It was a very comfortable house with a large garden surrounding it.

Our house had a badminton court, too. You guessed it – Almost everyday, we had 30 or 40 boys – Nigel, Terence, Malcolm and my friends at our house. Jen and oh ya, my parents had their friends and family over, too but not as consistent as the guys from La Salle. We had badminton on the court, hockey in the garden at the side of the house, table-tennis (mainly Malcolm’s friends) – it was a daily hive of activity, from morning to night.

Nigel has always been a vain pot. Hmmm…. sounds familiar. Aah yes… our late sister, Jen. I used to say that “no camera could ever escape Jennifer.” It’s true! She was always insistent that we take loads and loads of pictures, especially at our very oft family gatherings.

Coming back to being a vain pot; you’ve always been a poser, Nigel, making sure you always looked good in the shots. Here, you were more a perfectionist and because of your eye for detail; you always made sure you looked good for every picture taken.

Nigel, from young, always had to look good.

Nigel was a stickler for being tidy and clean. When he arranged things in a particular way, it stayed that way. Nothing out of place, even the tiniest object, would escape his eye. Friends and family would often, purposely put Nigel to the test by moving things out of place. He would walk by these things, and instinctively move them back to their original positions. Another quirk he had was that the kitchen sink had to always be empty, cleaned and dried; before going to bed. All things in it had to be washed and put away. He would do the washing of dishes himself; to make sure the kitchen was tidy.

Nigel loved a good family gathering. You just have to call and he, Shirley and Sarah would be there. And when there was food; it had to be Asian – rice being the primary dish. He loved spicy, Asian food, especially the wide variety of Malay food.

Nigel, sitting behind the table, Jennifer is forth from the left and the rest of the Atkinson family. This picture was taken in 2018 when our cousins came visiting from Australia; special visit to Jennifer. Seated from left: Virginia (Australia), dad, Veronica (Australia), Jennifer, Uma. Standing at the back: Tim, Alana, Ashley, Mabel. Back rear row: Terence, Mum, Valencia (Australia), Audra (Australia), Ray. On the floor from left: Jeannie, Malcolm, Nigel (behind the table), Shirley, myself, Laura and Sarah.

Nigel did not have much material wealth, but he always gave more than his heart, always! He was generous to those in need. His friendship reached far and wide to Affendi – a gem of a guy and trusted mechanic, the plumber, the electrician…and the list goes on. In fact whenever we needed repairs to be done in the house or car, or needed to get something at the best price with trustworthy services, we will turn to Nigel for his contacts and recommendation.

Here, just after having lunch with Chef Wan at his restaurant in Kuala Lumpur. It was more than just lunch. It was entertainment. Chefy had lost none of his “charm” after all these years. Jeannie introduced Sarah, a budding chef in her own right; to learn from Chefy – his experience as a world renowned chef. He holds no punchlines and cakap faster than a speeding bullet train.
I know you will love, this Nigel. I think Laura was about 5 or 6 years old and Sarah was 8 or 9 years old when this picture was taken.
Nigel, his usual self – looking at his best!
Not adding this, his Mercedes Benz W123, would be a story left untold. Nigel has always loved Mercedes Benz. He laboured over this car to bring it to showroom condition.

Nigel loved to sing, besides being the live wire in any conversation or party. He was always full of jokes and always shared jokes in our family Whataspp group. The only thing he watched on tv were comedies. He will rattle away all the episodes that he had just watched, the actors, actresses and their punchlines.

The Atkinson brothers – barbershop quartet? R to L: Terence, Nigel, Alan & Malcolm
You would think this is Nigel singing as he often sang this theme song at our family gatherings. One of the tv shows he loved watching most.

I know that no matter how much I write, I say or I do; it is never going to bring you back. Ever. I love you, Nigel!

No matter what, you come back now, yer hear!