Monday, February 23, 2015

Back to work

I was caught in a 4 hour jam yesterday afternoon. This saw me arriving back in KL slightly after 8pm. Now the slow crawl was expected but the sudden heavy rain on the outskirts of KL just before the toll was not. What started as a dry and warm drive suddenly became a tough drive with minimal visibility. The reflector i.e. divider was one of the two markers I used to drive, the other being the lights of the car ahead. Everyone oddly enough wasn't going very slowly despite there being water leveling up to about 2-3 inches at most. It was a scary drive. Am glad to be back safely. And now, back to work. But first, morning mass because this is Lent.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Have you read James Herriot?

Picture taken from the Daily Mail
I was introduced to James Herriot by Aunty Pat, a very close family friend whom we spent many holidays visiting en route to Singapore. We would break our journey in Port Dickson ( Where Aunty P and Uncle C lived) and spend the night there before continuing on. During on the these trips, after dinner, Aunty P opened her secret wall and revealed books neatly lined up. They were very neat people with clean lines and open spaces being the theme in their home. I got my James Herriot that evening.

It was slow going initially. I must have been less than 10 and perhaps unable to appreciate tales on Veterinary medicine even when written elegantly and simply. But a few years on, i re-read the book and went on to buy all his books, reading it greedily and absorbing the lovely quirky tales of country life.

I am currently reading " The Real James Herriot" a biography written by his son. ( I've come almost full circle) Someone ( it could have been me but I'm not sure) bought this book at a discounted price at one of the many booksellers. It's priced at a mere RM19.90. That's how I know it was bought at a sale.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Marian Keyes' latest book: a winner !!!

I bought this book before Christmas. I think. These days I don't write the date I buy the book inside the book. Maybe it's something worth reconsidering. Anyway, this book has been on the shelf and subsequently on my dining table for weeks before I decided to read it. Slow going. I brought this book back for the CNY break. ( Last time I did this, the book was left in the bag untouched different book, different holiday)

This year, I decided to be organized. Upon arriving home, I brought my bags and violin  down from the car straight away. And unpacked the violin and violin stand, putting the music scores in order as well as taking out my paperwork.( Paperwork still untouched...we're not perfect yet. Getting there getting there) And I also unpacked two of my storybooks ( One I was 80% through and this book by Marian keyes untouched)

The first few pages was slow going but after the third chapter it hooked me in. I was still reading it intermittently until yesterday when the story got interesting and have whizzed through it finishing it just before 12:30am today.

Here are the main characters: ( Let me see whether I can remember them)
Stella ( the main character whose life we follow through the entire book)
Mannix( the second main character, a close fight with Ryan, Betsy and Jeffrey because they all feature in almost every page)
Gilda ( I can't hate her really, only maybe a bit)
Karen: Stella's sister
Enda: ( Karen's husband who is a Gardai and is depicted as a boring person but turns out he is human too at the end of the chapter, he gets a whole paragraph about him)
Stella's mum and dad ( who don't really have names, Mannix's mum and dad ( who have names but I can't remember them)
Roland; Mannix's older brother,
Hero and Rosa: Mannix's twin sisters and their husbands and their children.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Happy Year of the Goat!( Reunion dinner picture)

Ta Daaah
Most of my favourite food are here. Not all mind, because we have small stomachs ( you wouldn't think, looking at this picture) Let's just list them out: Yam basket with chicken (minus the sotong which can sometimes be too chewy for my liking), sweet and sour pork ( yay),Yee Sang ( yay yay) Fried mini prawns ( with Kampung Koh Chillie sauce), Chicken lined with fish ( I think it's fish...which tastes very nice with some sauce) Pig's stomach soup ( for my dad not me) and fried fish with some sour and spicy sauce ( no yay for this cos I don't like fish).

Missing from this are two of my other favourite dishes:
1. Jiu Hu Char (shredded cuttlefish with vegetables) Nobody does it as nicely as mum. ( I bet all daughters say this!
2. Another dish called charr su-wee ( pronounced this way. Not sure whether it is actually as well known a dish as number 1, but my paternal grandmother used to cook this, and now mum cooks this for us)

Happy Year of the Wooden Goat!!! I shall end with a baba CNY greeting ( I received from an old family friend) 

Boleh Panjang2 umur, sihat2 dan happy selalu,peng ann in family & murah rezeki:)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Will there be a jam?


Very nice type of Jam!
I've taken a day off work and will be traveling back tomorrow morning. All things being well, I hope to wake up,brush teeth, shower, have coffee and lug all my things to the car boot and be in the car by 0530.Do keep your fingers crossed that I shan't be caught in a jam.( On the side, crabtree and evelyn has very nice tasty jam....buy one and try)


Little goat
That's right. Tomorrow is the eve of the Chinese new year. It is also coincidentally Ash Wednesday which is the start of Lent for catholics. Thankfully we have been given special dispensation to fast and abstain on another day. ( I did mine today!) Chinese new year is observed as a public holiday in Malaysia and most countries surrounding us I believe. And so, we have Thursday and Friday off. Which naturally leads of an expected eflux of folks traveling out from KL to various other states.

Tomorrow everyone celebrating CNY will be on the road to end the day with the reunion dinner. Which is very important and a nice thing I think. The essentials are fish ( for brains...kidding it's actually for abundant year), lettuce ( for vigorous something...life I think) and shallots for wisdom and onions or is it celery I forget now. I'm pretty sure we're not having fish. I checked with my last weekend and unless I miss something, there will be no fish this year.


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Longchamp sale

Look, they're almost sold out!
LF and I went crazy at Isetan when we realized there are Longchamps for sale and they were in a different design from the usual La Pliage. If you can just about make it out in the picture, the main difference is in the color of the weather. No longer in the usual brown, you have a choice of white or black and this makes the contrast quite different. The original lady who served us was very cautious and refused us permission to take any pictures The second lady who served us allowed us all the picture taking we wanted.

In celebration of Longchamp's 20th anniversary, they got Sarah Morrison to redesign the La Pliage collection. The La pliage is a staple bag for most women, certainly true for me. It was first introduced to women in 1993.

Morrison the artist has created three different lines for Longchamp.  Of the three, i have one from the Le Pliage Sarah Morris Palette collection.

This collection comes in eight shades ( the handles may be either white or black); robin's egg blue, banana, pink, light grey, kelly green , red blue and classic black.
This version features eight bespoke shades in either white or black handles. 
Kelly Green
Here is the Kelly Green and no I didn't get this one. The size and handle was a little odd for my liking.

Bengkel last Wednesday


It's been a while since we attended any bengkels. This is my first for 2015. It's on history-taking for the year one medical students. And my first class with them will be the week after Chinese new year. I've actually done the topsy-turvy thing and taken a group for the clinical skills session without attending this bengkel lady year. So this year, I'm doing it the right way around. Bengal first....and then teaching session.

The preclinical building is up and functioning. This means we don't have to travel to the KL campus for these sessions. Saving a lot of time. And making it possible to still head back to the wards to do rounds ( if needed) once these sessions are over.

I'll put up a picture of the new building later. It's on the other phone which isn't linked directly to Flickr.( I need to sort this out too)

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Interesting things from the Phillipines

Forms to fil
At KLIA after getting through the gates, we were given these forms to fill. So tip number number for travelling, please keep a functioning pen in your handbag. Otherwise you will be forced to either wait until you board the plane and ask the stewardess for a pen or make some new friends at the boarding gate and get a loan of a pen. I prefer having my own pen.
So true
When we collected our luggage I saw this sign. Hilarious. I always thought it's dangerous how so many bags look alike. And I have seen some people lugging the bags off only to realise its not theirs and having to return it to the moving belt disappointed.  My bag is an old bag in dirty green. Easily recognisable.

Posters welcoming Pope Francis
It's amazing to see posters welcoming the Pope.You can  feel  just how holy these Filipinos are. Here's just one I caught en route to the hotel. We took some time to wade through traffic. It took us twenty minutes before we lost sight of the airport.  That should show you how slow we were driving.

Our room for the night in Manila
We then got a taste of the good life in Manila. We arrived at Edsa Shangrila to find ourselves greeted by very pretty ladies at the door, we were ushered to the lobby seated and served some delicious drink. Here is our room, nice and spacious with very comfy pillows to dig your head in should you wish. More pictures in another post. Time for  break for today

Tagatay, Phillipines Jan 2015

You can see the volcano crater in the middle of the lake
We flew to the Phillipines at the end of January. My first overseas trip for 2015. And an exciting one because it was my first trip to this country. I missed the Pope's visit by a week. (Darn!) We spent the first night in Manila before heading to Tagatay the following morning.

And so here is Tagatay at its best. Tagatay is pretty near Manila a mere 55km away so with minimal traffic you can get there in 1.5 hours. There is a highway leading out of Manila to Tagatay but once off the highway, the roads become narrow and a single-lane up and single-lane down from the highland area. The scenery is lovely as we drove up. And the best thing of course if the cooler climate. We saw a lot of corn being sold along the way, some furniture shop and tart shops.

We drove back to Manila on Saturday evening. And oh boy, we saw the long line of cars heading uphill enroute to Tagatay. Definitely a popular getaway from traffic laden Manila.

In 1729, the Taal volcano destroyed the entire place. There have been signs of unrest as recent as 1991 but I'm glad to report, we had no worries during our short working trip.  On arrival, all of us went crazy admiring the beautiful scenery and enjoying the weather, we walked and stared and breathed in the fresh air.

In the evening we headed out and found a starbucks nearby and sat outside drinking coffee. Lemme just say, with the wind blowing it was freezing. Almost felt like winter. That was a very nice experience.

Happy Valentine's Day 2015

Anya Hindmarch's lovely "eye" bag
I had a shopping outing with LF two weekends back. We went to Anya Hindmarch's shop at KLCC. LF bought this bag. And she had it monogrammed too. ( Woohoo!) I took loads of pictures and went home obsessing over the same bag and more. I think I'm now almost ready to own such a bag. The Anya Hindmarch bags that I knew was the " I'm not a plastic bag" and bags with photos on them (The duchess of York had one of her daughters Princess Beatrice and Eugenie) which I never really took to. But this season's " back to school" bags is very nice. The sticker collection is super. I dare you not to lust over at leastg one of them. I like the egg-oh one especially.
Stickers can be seen here


Korean lunch for Valentine's day

Barbacue meat and Banchan dishes around the pit
Long hiatus.( personal reasons but I think blogging is therapeutic so I'm back in business) Happy Valentine's day everyone. We had a very nice korean barbecue lunch this afternoon at the korean village opposite Ampang Point. The place has had some minor ( but significant changes) since I last came in in broad daylight. There are now two Iranian restaurants at the start of the block before you see the korean restaurants. I'm thinking, perhaps the koreans enjoy Iranian food. After all, the place is where koreans dine frequently. It is their version of "chinatown".

So let's get back to the business of review of lunch. I know some people dislike it ( from the comments on foursquare) but I like the canteen feel to this restaurant. You cant eat korean in a posh set-up it feels too hotel-lish. I had googled and read some blogs. And I think somebody mentioned this blog but when we chose this restaurant I wasn't too sure whether it was the same one. I didn't take down the name of the restaurant.

It has been almost 5 years since I ate in some of the restaurants along this row. The main change is the workers. We were served by Bangladeshi workers. Even the cooking of the meat was done by them. I thought the pork wasn't so nice. I remember having some very nicely marinated pork the last time. It was too die for. Today's version was okay but way below the standard of the last one.

Still, the banchan dishes made up for it. We had a nice selection all of which I enjoyed nibbling and poking through. We had the mandatory Kimchi soup which was very nice. They served us miso soup too I think. Due to the get-fit-motto for 2015, we hardly touched the rice. Yes evil carbs are something we no longer wan to enjoy to the max.

I'm giving lunch an overall 7.5/10. Am docking off marks for the tastiness of the barbecued meat. We will be returning but perhaps not to the same restaurant. Thanks WT for a lovely lunch!!

Monday, January 26, 2015

The year of the wooden sheep

A very feminine looking goat
We celebrate chinese new year in Feb this year. The shopping malls have put them the CNY decorations in stages. This is BIG's take on the year of the goat. ( Or wooden sheep, depending on which website you choose to follow)

Just as a recap ( for me, for me) there are 12 chinese zodiac signs. And they are;rat, cow, tiger, rabbit,dragon, snake, horse,sheep, monkey, chicken, dog and pig. What animal you are, depends on the year you were born. But here's the catch, when is the start of the chinese new year? All this while I thought it starts on the first say of CNY every year. Beep! Wrong, the Chinese astrological year starts on the first day of the tiger month, which is around the Feb 4th every year.( Which is the start of Spring) According to mr Internet, the easiest way to find out what animal you are, is to consult the chinese astrological chart, all you need is the year and time you were born. There!! You ( and I ) have learnt something new today.