Tag Archives: Australia

The Exploding Blundstone, Part 2

4 Jun

Last week I went to two different cobblers before making a decision to have my Blundstone Style 550 re-soled. I opted for the second cobbler, who happened to be the one who fixed my first pair when the boots had this Hydrolysis issue too. Even after all these years, the cobbler still have the same sole choice but I chose not to go with it this time.

Instead I picked something more rugged but heavier. It’s okay, I like it.

Also, I did write to Blundstone Australia to inform them that my boots experienced Hydrolysis. This time via Messenger privately and not publicly as a post on their Facebook wall.

They responded pretty quick and nicely too (best customer service, remember?), and directed me to Customer Service for Claims. So I filled in the necessary information, submitted my claims and within a short time, an acknowledgement email came stating a file was opened on my case. Super efficient!

I kept telling myself not to expect anything – after all this was already a replacement pair. Can’t expect another replacement for the replacement pair, right? What they did for me – replacing the first pair was already above and beyond, and to expect the same this time just does not seem right. Realistically, from the business perspective it would be bad for them as they just can’t go replacing every pair of boots with this known Hydrolysis problem.

The sole is a rubber/PU/TPU compound and over time, the material will disintegrate whether the boots are used or hardly used because moisture from the air is absorbed by the compound. If the boots are worn more often, Hydrolysis will still occur but possibly reduced.

After some back and forth emails to understand the mishap, the investigation concluded and Customer Service deemed there won’t be any compensation or warranty in this instance. The soles of my boots disintegrated due to Hydrolysis, a known common occurrence in humid environments and not because it’s a product, design or manufacturing fault.

I guess this is something one has to be aware of when buying shoes from overseas to bring back to your country. That being said, the humidity level in Malaysia is very high, so shoes purchased from overseas depending on material, may be prone to the humidity and disintegrate or explode upon pressure from our weight.

My only regret from this experience is that I didn’t wear this pair of Blundstone enough before this mishap. Oh well… Anyway, my boots are now fitted with new soles that I like and are still comfy. I should wear them more often and not just keep in the shoe closet. And I will happily go stomping in puddles when it rains because I know my toes will be dry.


Brand new again and looking fierce but comfortable!

Our Alphabet Trip

28 Aug

Our wedding anniversary is coming up soon. During the significant milestones, we make it a point to go off somewhere to celebrate and rekindle the romance. Sounds corny I know but necessary for the soul and that’s how it works. Away from our daily routine, away from the mundane and away from the stress.

I call this our ‘Alphabet Trip’. 

A to admire, B to buy, C is ‘see’, D to drink, E to eat, F* to… well, you get the idea.

There was one year hubby got the anniversary year mixed up. Thinking it was the 15th year milestone, he planned our trip to Italy covering Rome, Florence and Venice. We visited museums, admired beautiful architecture, ate and drank a lot and basically, did the whole alphabet routine.

The following year, when it was the actual 15th anniversary and realizing the mix up, we decided to do another trip and basically covered the alphabets again. It was from this trip to Sydney that I bought my Blundstone boots.

The years that followed were ‘insignificant’ years, so we didn’t do anything special or planned anything grand. This year, the 20th wedding anniversary is coming up!

OMG. Where did time go? 20th milestone. No wonder there has been an increase in white hair count, M1 has gone off to university, M2 turned 14 but going on 18 and perspectives on life has changed. But these are good accomplishments save for the white hair count, that can’t be good.

We will be making a trip and decided to extend the alphabet to include ‘G’. For golf. It should be an awesome time.

Here’s to many more milestones together. Happy anniversary to us!


10 Mar

What or who is Humphrey, you may ask? Well, when I first got it, I thought it was a hippo, hence the name Humphrey the Hippo. But after years of being associated as a hippo, I came to realize Humphrey is actually a cow. It came as a free gift with the purchase of a carton of milk from the supermarket, and it makes more sense for milk companies to give away cows rather than hippos with their milk products, no?

Humphrey has traveled the world much. It has been to Australia, college and the Big Apple with me. It also came along with us when we did our Great Adventure Roadtrip to the US back in 2012. A rather amusing moment when we were getting ready for inspection prior to boarding at HKIA. He was stashed in M1’s backpack and during security inspection, the officer dutifully unzipped the bag only to be taken aback when unexpectedly, a pair of huge unblinking eyes stared right back at him. Unable to hide his amusement, he grinned back at Humphrey’s big innocent eyes and cleared us.

We all love Humphrey, the confidante, the friend and equally a member of the family. Humphrey will accompany M1 to college.

Can you spot the purple Humphrey? Pic was during my college days.

Globe Trotting without Leaving

22 Nov

I was catching up with an old friend two days ago. She shared with me how her little boy has grown and how amazed she was at his ability and enthusiasm in learning new things. I thought her little game with him was a brilliant idea!

Then I thought, there’s six weeks of nothing doing for M1 and M2 if I chose to stay put this holidays. A typical day for them would be to wake up late and mess up their meal times, followed by couch potato acts with either the TV, iPod or laptop. Not very productive I must say.

What my friend did was to teach her son, each week, about a country in this world. He would learn the geography and landmarks of that country, and identify the country on the map. The fun part that she instilled upon him during the weekly project was to greet each other in the native language of the country, cook (or eat out) the food of the nation, listen to the songs and so on; basically immerse themselves into the culture and understand the country in question.

Now, if a little boy can do that, why not my two computer savvy girls? We could traverse the world and learn so much more without leaving the country!

So yesterday, I started the project albeit with some modifications for the girls. I reminded them before I left for the office in the morning. But I didn’t want to come across as a nag by calling them, so I messaged them about it. And last night they presented their findings to us. Although hubby was skeptical about it when it was mentioned, I think he was impressed too.

The country in question was Australia and this was what M1 and M2 presented to us.


M1’s efforts


More from M1


M2’s version


It would be a daily thing instead of weekly to keep the interest up. Initially, both chose the same country but I think after the first presentation, both decided to choose different countries for the next day. Looking forward to their next effort!

She’s an ABC

22 Oct

The term ‘ABC’ has several meanings to us Asians. Typically, it means ‘American Born Chinese’ or ‘Australian Born Chinese’ if the person came from Australia. Depending on who you meet, the usage and situation, ‘ABC’ can also mean ‘Air Batu Campur’ as in our local dessert with shaved ice and toppings.

Many years ago, my brother had some friends visiting from Australia. They are a lovely couple and I think it was the first time my girls met them.

“This is Aunty Connie, say hello,” I introduced a shy M2 to the guest.

“She talks funny,” whispered M1, standing next to me.

Without a thought, I whispered back, “She’s an ABC, that’s why.”

Overhearing what I mentioned, M2 asked,“Aunty Connie’s an alphabet?”

Err… Not quite but in a child’s world, it means just that.

Oops! It’s Not THE Anniversary?!

30 Aug

The wedding anniversary is coming up soon and it reminds me of us bungling the numbers. The hubby and I have been married for donkey years and sometimes we lose track of it. Four years ago, when it was actually our 14th anniversary, he got the math wrong and thought it was our 15th anniversary; so he made plans for a great romantic escapade to Italy. In the midst of the excitement, I got my math wrong too and thought, yeah, 15 is a great milestone to celebrate, and in Italy…. Hmm. How sweet!

So off to Italy we went on just a two-to-go adventure covering Rome, Venice, Florence and back to Rome for a 12-day getaway. It was after we returned, blissed and happy that he realized that he got the math wrong on the anniversary milestone! Oops. But I wasn’t complaining!

The following year, 2010 was the actual 15th anniversary which I pointed out to him that year. It was definitely the correct anniversary milestone after the screw up the year before. As we can’t be celebrating the 14th again, we can celebrate the 15th, absurd as it sounds in the rationale.

So another trip to celebrate the occasion!

In less than 48 hours and on spontaneity once we decided where, he booked us on the (then) all new A380 SQ flight to Sydney and we spent 6 glorious days there. He made it all the more special with our stay at the Four Seasons Hotel with a fantastic view of the Sydney Opera House! We even climbed the Harbour Bridge to mark the momentous occasion. Best getaway ever.

I guess we will have to wait another two years to celebrate the significant 20th milestone. After all, like I told M1 and M2 before, any number other than significant numbers (5, 10, 15, etc) for birthdays does not qualify to be celebrated with a big party. So same applies to wedding anniversaries, unless of course, you get the math wrong unintentionally. Maybe it is safer to just say “Happy anniversary!” instead of “Happy 18th anniversary!”

Sometimes it’s not the destination but the journey, cliche as it may be, but we have so far made our journey amazing! So, hubby dearest, happy anniversary and let’s continue making amazing journeys together!



Playing Host

19 Aug

I went to the school today after lunch to attend the Cultural & Educational Exchange Program whereby M1’s school hosted some Japanese students for a week long visit. M1 gave a very confident, warm and welcoming speech. I would have stuttered and err-ed and umm-ed my way through.

We are playing host family to a bubbly 17-year old student who will stay with us for 3 days to learn more about the typical family in our country. Unlike playing host for a party and having friends over for dinner, this is a totally new thing.

But this experience brings back some good memories of when I was 15 then and went on an exchange program myself. I stayed with an Australian host family in Gloucester, Australia for two weeks. That was a fun time dinosaur years ago.

Nonetheless, I hope she will learn a thing or two in terms of food, language, culture and lifestyle while we should seize this opportunity to brush up on our hosting ability.