I am an unlimited being living in an unlimited universe. Endless possibilities.

My life is in my hands. I am creating my reality.

After all, we are what we believe we are.

So, put your life’s paintbrush onto a new white canvas and paint the picture of how you want your life to be. And live it. The best part is: you can paint as many pictures as you want; each one a masterpiece on its own. Connect each one as you are about to start living that masterpiece.

Writer, Author, Storyteller

Teach them deligently


There seems to be a misconception that being financially free is the ability to pay your monthly commitments and loans. Well…not really. Though you may be able to pay for your house or property mortgage, car loans, investments (if any), utilities, food, other commitments, you are not really financially free. You are actually cash flow debt free.

To be financially free is to be completely debt free. If you have property loans, motor vehicle loans, credit card debt outstanding; work at settling them soonest possible.

Your income as an employee, regardless of how high up the rank or ladder you are at, is never guaranteed. Incomes of businessowners are never guaranteed, too. Outstanding debts remain…guaranteed. Repayments are expected as scheduled.

The “trick” is how to manage or balance your income vs expenses. Not too long ago, you would hear the phrase, “How to balance your cheque book, or for the Americans, checking account“.

One of the biggest headaches we have is what to spend money on. Spend with money we don’t have.

Wait a minute. Spend money we don’t have? “How is that possible?” , you may ask. There are many different types of credit made available to us everyday. Often enough, we did not apply for this credit but it is already preapproved. So, why not take it?

Taking pre-approved loans poses several problems. One is, since we had no intention of applying for a loan, we did not have a need for it. Here lies the problem. Now that we have the loan, we have to look for something to spend on. So, what the financial corporation that lent you the loan has done is: pass the buck. It had cash that it needs to make money from. It lends you the money and earns an interest from it. You now, have to figure what to do with the money.

You may most likely end up spending the funds on unnecessary things. You may beautify your home with home renovations. Or go on that expensive holiday just to take some pictures and post on social media: “I was here”. Note that spending on these activities in itself is not wrong. However, if you did not plan for it…

Here lies the danger…. you may get offers from various financial lending institutions, all at the same or around the same time. The enticement is that these loans are easy money. You may be approved for several of them at the same time.

You are now attracted to get that super luxurious vehicle or travel business or first class on a holiday. You may also get attracted to investing in various investments. All these you would not have done otherwise, based on your income and living standards.

Another point which can be considered as the most important point, is that you have to pay back the loan with interest. It would be good that you work out your income less 10% savings for future, all your existing commitments, living expenses and just-in-case expenses to see if you have any money balance to pay for the monthly repayment over the duration of the loan/s.

A good safety net to have is that you have cash the equivalent of the loan on standby in the event if the loan has to be cashed in earlier than the stipulated period. This could set you in the “financially free” category.

You are going to ask, “Why do you then need a loan if you have the cash?” This is a topic that can be discussed in a future article.

Who is financially rich and free: The man who lives in an expensive part of town, has several flashy vehicles, wears branded clothes, patronizes expensive restaurants and has to worry about payments? Or, the man who lives in an medium to up-market part of town with a small mortgage balance or none, drives around in a 10 year old, fully paid for vehicle, not flashy in branded clothes and patronizes fine dine restaurants that serve great food, not necessarily too expensive, and can smile, laugh and sleep easy at night without having to worry about finances?


The purpose of this article is to help readers come to a realization that if the world does go into a recession this year as predicted in news and reports from all the media over the last year or so has informed us; that we, be prepared and are able to weather this period of uncertainty. Put your views and comments in the comment section for discussion.

There is a misconception that being financially free is the ability to pay your monthly loans and commitments.


This is my life…my story…my book. I am the author, the only author of my life.

I will no longer let anyone else write it and be co-author.

I will accept suggestions on how to improve my story.

I will not apologize for the edits I make. People may or may not like me, but it is important to me to stay true to who I am.

Writer, Author, Storyteller

Picture Quotes


Focus on your goal. Focus on your goal.

Then, suddenly you come across an unplanned distraction, an obstacle.


“Eye on the ball”.

Writer, Author, Storyteller

Tut and Groan


It is a little more than a month away to the new year. This is the time to set goals for the new year.

How many times have you set a goal that is so big that it scares you? The fear of not being able to achieve it.

At the same time the goal is so exhilarating that it excites you.

Writer, Author, Storyteller


Leather has been a “material” if you can call it a material; that I like very much. Great leather shoes, belts, document folders, bags, furniture and more. To me, leather means quality, durability, strength and more. O yeah, and class; too. But really….I didn’t choose to like leather because of all those….words.

When I think back, I can’t remember exactly when I started liking leathers. Probably, when I started my working career.

Brands and advertising? Could this have been the start to my leather liking? Branded leather products means very expensive pricing to the point of it being exclusive. It also means top grade leathers. I was and still am attracted to leathers with advertised exclusivity brands. Nowadays, I look more for handmade products without branding or advertised branding. But the quality of the leather is still excellent.

An example of this is a leather bound notebook with leather tie straps, that I bought from a small, old cottage leather business in Venice, Italy. The tradition of making leather bound note books was 500 years old according to the old gentleman that made this notebook for me. Even the tools used to hot-stamp my name on the notebook, was 500 years old.

The leatherbound notebook I purchased in 2009. The leather is still in excellent condition.

The craftsman setting up the nameplate tools to hot-stamp my name on the notebook. With me and a nice pose from Princess Laura.
The raw, reverse side of the leather. The pages are made from cotton – cotton paper. Notice the rough edges?
The place where I got my leather-bound notebook. The little store on the top of the bridge of shops in Venice, Italy.

The intricate binding of the whole book. Very sturdy.

Many years ago, when I first started my working career; I decided that I wanted to have a brown leather executive office chair. The thing that held me back from getting one, right up till very recently; was the exorbitant price tag that always accompanied such a chair.

I didn’t want to get just any old leather chair or brown leather chair. I wanted a good quality one. One that had character. When you think one that is of good quality and character; you may picture a high back, winged leather chair that was in standard colours – either black or mahogany, with an old man dressed debonair English style, newspaper in one hand, a glass of neat brandy or whiskey in the other; and a cigar or poker pipe in his mouth; in a very dark room lit with a 1.5 volt torch light bulb. Ok Ok, My imagination is getting carried away. No, sitting in a good leather chair is not confined to one of those old English gentlemen’s clubs only.

I like bright, vibrant colours. The atmosphere must be easy going, not stuffy and filled with stiff, upper-lipped, not so friendly people. So, throughout my working career; I had many opportunities to buy one but never did.

Jeannie and I went to my youngest brother, Malcolm’s; and his wife, Uma’s house for dinner last evening. It was a gathering of family and friends, the people that helped make Uma’s 60th birthday party the Saturday before the last; a huge success.

When I walked to the kitchen; there was this brown sort of old-fashioned, yesteryear designed executive office leather chair parked along the hallway. I never thought much of it, until Malcolm was telling someone else that the chair was there because he was about to sell it. Someone had indicated to him online, that he was interested in buying this chair.

I asked Malcolm if the chair was sold, as I had an interest to buy it myself. Malcolm said the guy only indicated that he was interested in buying it; that if he wanted it, he would call Malcolm. So, I seized the opportunity and bought it myself.. Very reasonable price, Very happy with the purchase.

This chair is as retro as you can get.

A lifetime dream come true. Whatever I set to do or wanted to get; I achieved. Some of those achievements were not immediately, like the chair. But they were achieved.

Real retro. The adjustment knobs look like something from the America cars of the “60s.

I believe the same experience can happen to anyone. Please share your comments, experience and excitement that you have had where you wanted something or wanted to accomplish a goal you may have set many years ago and may have even forgotten about it, until… Until one day, it happens, and you may not have planned for it. But it happened. The power of dreams.


Was it like a week ago that it was last year? Why is that word “like” in there? It is a good sentence on its own without the need to use that overused, meaninglessly used word most times. It sounds good or “hip”. Anyway, we can go over the cliff talking about the use of this four-letter “L” word; so, let’s not….go over the cliff.

The whirr, whirr, whirring sound of the ceiling fan, the meaningless planking and plonking of a piano with a clarinet blaring (or is it blurting?) out some musical notes; filling the void spaces of the piano’s planking and plonking of musical notes, creating lounge jazz; being played out from Google Home Mini, with its volume set at 2. After a while, you tend not to follow or try to follow the music, just accepting that it is meant to fil the sound of silence.

The main LED light on the wall with the filler LED table lamp provides illuminance.

It has been a slow start to 2022; well at least for my new year’s resolutions. Let’s review them:

Writing my book. My first attempt. It has not moved much over the last two weeks. A bit worrisome to think that two weeks have gone by and I have not made much head way.

I know the gist of what I want to write. It is tending to be more on the science fiction story line. Will it give Elon Musk a run for his money? We will just have to wait and see. Nothing has firmed up yet.

Next item on the list is to be financially free. It may be too early to gauge any meaningful results, but so far it looks like it is heading in the right direction.

Weight watching. My weight is now fluctuating in a slightly lower band range, just below 74kg. This is good.

Though there has been some improvement in all three of the resolutions, I hope to speed them up.

I helped out as an official for the Selangor Age Group last weekend (Jan 7th to 9th). Jeannie helped out on Saturday and Sunday. It was awesome to see many new faces, most of them from the Groups 3 and 4 age groups. These kids just got onto the starting blocks and did their stuff. They raced and they gave more than their best.

Among them could rise state, national and possible world champions. These kids are the future of tomorrow. Sports (I am more qualified to talk about swimming, even with my limited knowledge on the subject) requires discipline in training to bear champion results.

Watching these children as they warmed up, prepared and raced; and then warmed down gave us a sense of nostalgia when we used to watch Laura (our daughter) do the same, from when she was 9 years old right up to the time she left for her tertiary education in the U.S. Great memories.

Met a parent, Adele; a pint-size, sweet, gentle lady; whose 16-year old son, competed in the SAG. Like many other people have told me many times before; she said, “I know you because of your, ‘Go Laura Go’ cheer at all the swimming championships that Laura competed in. We know that Laura would be racing at that time. The competitions are not the same without your ‘Go Laura Go’ cheer.”

Met many old friends there, parents whose children have grown up, some studying abroad, some already working. Among them were Susan, Harry, Kamarol, June, Mandy, Alan Teh, Daphne, Bani and Peter Chan.

Bani, Peter and I reminisced the time when we went to Singapore to cheer our children on as they took part in the Singapore Open.

Jeannie and I at the OCBC Aquatic Centre in Kallang, Singapore at the Singapore Open 2017

Laura preparing for her race at the Singapore Open 2017

We parents made the most of our “free” time gallivanting Singapore in search of good hawker food and shopping. We had an amazing time at Gardens by the Bay.

This was at a “famous” cafe in Johor, recommended by Trip Advisor.
The cafe served a good variety of Malay, Chinese, Indian and western cakes. Jeannie and me

At the Gardens By The Bay in Singapore. Left to Right: Ivy Kwan, Bani, Aya, myself and Peter Chan

Picture taken from the Gardens By The Bay, Singapore.
Resting by the beautiful flowers at the Gardens By The Bay, Singapore.

The Marina Sands Hotel, Singapore; behind Jeannie and Peter.

The beautiful Gardens By The Bay, Singapore.

Jeannie preparing Aya for the photoshoot at the Gardens By the Bay, Singapore

Jeannie, Ivy Kwan and Aya. Photoshoot in session, Gardens By The Bay, Singapore

Jeannie, Ivy Kwan and Aya. Photoshoot in session, Gardens By The Bay, Singapore

We also caught up with Laura’s former coaches, Mark & Marilyn Chua and Mr Ong Jin Kooi. We also met with Helen Chang (Mark’s & Marilyn’s mother) who like her children, encourage all parents to send their children abroad to the U.S. to further their tertiary education. “Let them learn the world from a different perspective”.

The SAG was a good meet. It is a good time as any for parents of young children to get them involved in sports. It requires commitment and dedication by parents for their child to succeed in a sport they get involved in. One good example is Victoria Boudeville. She travels from Seremban 5 times a week to & from Kuala Lumpur, sending her daughter for soccer training. That is around an hour’s drive each way when the highway does not have much traffic.

As we are heading into the fifth hour of the eleventh day of the new year; let’s keep our new year’s resolutions and goals in front of us to inspire us to get a move on. We can accomplish them. Most of all, have fun while doing so.


Remember the end of last year, towards the beginning of this year; when we were raring and eager to go and rush into the new year? We may have had one or two new year’s resolutions… or some eager beavers may have had a long scroll with a list of their new year’s resolutions from being punctual (it is said that being on time is being late, you have to be early), to exercising regularly, to eating the right food (organic – interesting. Depending on which angle you are coming from), to losing weight without exercising by working on some fancy idea…. and the list goes on. There were some on the floating flotilla – no plans, no aims, no news year’s resolutions (what good are they if we know we aren’t going to start because the results are the same as every year – none!).

Why the “floating flotilla”? As long as the boat is afloat… Some people believe same year in, same year out. It is status quo. Is it the same year in, same year out? Could be… except for the fact that we are growing older as each year goes by.

I used to tell my daughter and other sports people that “maintaining” seems like a bad word. There really is no such thing. We are getting older by the second. This means that what we achieved last year will require maybe a bit more energy, knowhow and training this year to get the same results as last year. If we don’t put in this extra effort; our results may be a bit lower or slower than last year.

Then again, here, people in this context of the floating flotilla; have no expectations of life and move from day to day, aimlessly. That’s because they have done it all?

What about those who are eager with their new year’s resolutions, but lose interest within the first few days of the new year? These are generally in the herd mentality crowd. Others do, they want to do. They want to be seen or be known as being in the “with it” or “hip” crowd. I wonder if “with it” and “hip” phrases from a decade or so ago are still current. A few days out of their comfort zone and it’s over.

There are those people who by now (the end of the 11th month of the year and the end of the 1st day of the 12th month, December; who have achieved some, if not all of their goals they have set out to do. Congratulations to them. They put in a plan, set out to make their goals a reality, and ta daaaa – they have achieved them

Then, they are some who are working at their goals as there are still 30 days left before the end of the year. I fall in this category. I am still at “battle royale” against time to achieve the three goals I set out for this year.

I am still at my 15 kilometer per day walks, working towards keeping fit, healthy and my weight down. I am not quite at my ideal weight and there are days, when I am slightly overweight. Yes, I weigh myself everyday and take note of a heap of other statistics, too. It is a work-in-progress.

My second goal, a private one; is also a work-in-progress.

My third and final goal for the year is to write 100 articles of a minimum 500 words and onwards. Up to today – 78 articles. I think the first half of the year, I was taking my own time, not pushing the envelope. Then, when I published my 25th article for 2021 at the end of June, and told my friend, Richard Kok, about it; he said, “Not bad… 25 articles in 6 months, you should complete 50 articles by the end of the year. Great achievement by itself.” Richard has always been a great supporter in all I do. He and his daughter, Maryann; have always been awesome supporters of my daughter, Laura; and her swim competition progress both in Malaysia and in the U.S. Maryann, herself was a state swimmer representing Selangor. It is the same team that Laura was in, except that she was 3 years Laura’s senior.

What? 50 only by the end of the year? A red flag went up in my mind, alarm bells started ringing. I want 100, not 50. I went into overdrive and so far have done 53 articles in 5 months. 22 to go in 30 days. I am going for it!

I like the challenge. I think it pushes me to see what I can come up with next.

Others would be more than happy if they had the results as what I have achieved. To me, the race is not over. I won’t slow down til I touch the wall; the finish line. It’s the same nail-biting, sitting-at-the-edge-of-our-seats thrill as watching Max Vestappen’s and Lewis Hamilton’s challenge to be Formula 1 World Champion 2021. Haha.

That is what it is. It is moving out of our comfort zone. I’m luvin’ it!

Well, it’s the final countdown, the last 30 days of the year.

Europe – The Final Countdown