Showing posts from January, 2010

Happy Days

Swinging on the See-Saw, Max and Kev, Woonona, January 2010 (Image Credit - S Campbell)

At the Lawn Bowls, near the Brisbane River, 2006 (Image Credit - from collection of Darren *)

Phil and Kev at Bridget's party, January 2010 (Image Credit - S Campbell)

Prawn noodles (har mee) and KFC chicken wings, Chatswood Chase, January 2010

Sunny, Enna (back) Happy and Stuart (front) at Mount Kiera, January 2010

Dule, Kev and Nina, circa 2007

May Wah and Kev at the Nan Tien, January 2010 (Image Credit - Ong May Lin)

Balgownie Village, NSW in summer 2010 (Image credit - Ong May Wah)

Meanwhile, As I Dream

Fancy meeting Tom and Greg one beautiful morning, on the way to the office.  It should not be that of a surprise to me, as they have known each other for a long time, do work with each other and I have bumped into them before. However, the delight of seeing them shook me off the hanging cloudy air of lack of care I experienced from the few same individuals at my work place.Greg, Tom and I engaged in small talk and then on some catch-up topics and more. A meet up per chance, a definite pick-me-up to me in engaging with them, better than coffee and giving me a spring in my step.

Mid-morning, and I was thrilled getting two pieces of Saints Day cakes from Ves. I understand that Ves was involved in making a total of 17 cakes the day before. She was understandably fatigued, but she did have the look of an inner satisfaction in her face as well, that of doing somehting substantial for the family and her heritage. The Serbian creations were tasty, prettily presented and showed attention to de…

Deciding on National Days

It is observed that the winner writes and interprets history. History is utilised as the primary basis for celebrations and reinforcement for the future of a country. National Days are examples of such celebrations. The problem starts when the concept of a nation is viewed only from the perspective of the ruling power/majority population and not for all groups co-existing in a so-called nation.

Think about the origin of National Days around the world. In Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, most of them involve religion, race and/or the anniversary of liberation from the rule of colonists or parties with strong opposing philosophies, and where there had been hectic and intense battles in mind or spirit, political conflicts and physical toll in loss of life, coupled with economic destruction, before reaching the marked day of freedom. Nations become stronger with a greater sense of unity and shared philosophy when a certain extent of blood has been shed in a common cause an…

Memories Are Made of These

Rohan with Kev (Image credit - K Singh)

Rose chicken curry with side serves

Gaduh leaves for Straits Chinese dry salad (ulam) and juice from kumquats for garnishing and drinks

 Snapped at work - discussion at a forum.
(Image Credit - Mark Newsham)

Luv or dislike them - the king of fruits - durian.

Another Day

Aiya, don't forget dinner, I mention to Bee as she untangles tax related intricacies for her employer , still in the office.   On my side, I am trying to figure out how to download images captured on my Iphone to a computer, another kind of headache, as I seem to cannot locate the cable in the IPhone delivery box from mobile phone to a computer!

John, one of  my colleagues, kindly came to help me set up the monitor on my new tv cabinet - it needed a longer aerial cable. This was done under the suppression of the high of the Australian summer heat, amidst the joys of living in a small town....yeeya! Now the monitor sits nicely a bit higher on the pine wood cabinet, and I am half-watching a China movie on SBS 2. There are now 13 digital free to air channels in Oz.

Luckily Wollongong is near the ocean and around sunset (830pm currently here), more than a breeze blows in. I am half tossing about putting an air conditioner, but its only used for such few hot days in summer in the Gong.…

Gong Xi Fa Cai - The Lunar Year of the Tiger

Golden kumquats in Balgownie garden

Roses are red in Balgownie

Verdant green of the daun gaduh, an essential ingredient of Straits Chinese salads and the colour for calmness and harmony.

Goldfish are a sign of energy and plenty - denizens of Balgownie tank

A pot of jade plant

The ever useful bamboo

Flowing water and growth - good chi

Christmas Giving

A few work colleagues thought it was just the festive Santa in me which drove the provision of  gifts in the run-up to the most recent Christmas. What underlies the real spirit of giving?

Gifts, when shared or made, are best from the heart and obviously need not be material.  They can at least be gestures and tokens of the feelings they try to express,  at most are true sacrifices of time, sweat, concern and effort and, at best, be unseen and anonymous. Some of the fellow beings I am surrounded with have me amused, suggesting a myriad and complex framework of obligations that gifts must only be amongst family and those who decide or support their pay packet, or only when the giver gets something tangible in return, with the bathwater thrown out with the proverbial baby for others.  This makes culling easier for most, but to me is very short-sighted.

I feel strongly in making an expression to show appreciation for those who have been kind and helpful to me in the past year, especially …

The Migrant

It is said that each of us lives on a so-called island, that the grass looks greener on the other side and a man's home is his castle.

The quest for improvement - personal, family and community - never ceases to flow strongly in the human bloodstream.  With better technology and movement across borders, human migration patterns have become more intense, frequent and much easier.  Human community conflict - whether they be outright wars, incessant discrimination or religious beliefs clashing against each other - are the source of dissatisfaction, physical and/or mental suffering and the stirring of anguish. No one wants to leave his or place of origin, where childhood memories develop and where the senses of a rooted anchor begin. There may come a time when the three questions are confronted, even if one does not want to uprooot one's self - should we fight the injustice, or should we tolerate it, or should we flee?

Recently, Tamils from Sri Lanka were seen  in detention in Len…

Touches of the Heart for the Lunar New Year


A Conference in Adelaide - October 2009

Image Credits:  ANZUIAG

Life and Cinematic Art

From A Few Good Men to the 2009 remake of Sherlock Holmes, I look back at twenty years of watching cinematic movies.

It all started in a Christchurch, New Zealand cinema, when I saw The Last Emperor on a nippy autumn night.Thoughts about dynastic troubles in an agricutural community as far as you can get away from the stiffness of the Forbidden City!  It was a sign of the future, though, for Kiwiland was to become the favourite choice of location shooting in in the years to come.

Cinema Paradiso was the first non-English and non-Chinese work of cinematic art that I fell totally for.  I was overwhelmed by its nuances, its tones and its message. Toto the child, with all his enthusiasm for screening projector movies, was portrayed so emphatically in this film it spoke of  a universal longing for home after a life time spent away.  The Mexican production Y Tu Mama Tambien spoke too of unbridled youth, but in another place and time. Life is Beautiful from Italy brought the cinema art form …