Tag Archives: New Year

Living in Fear

17 Mar

When 2020 came around, there were many positive thoughts and attitude towards the new year. After all, it’s the start to a new decade, and maybe a better outlook after what felt like a dismal 2019. It will be the best year to come, many thought.

How wrong we all were! Barely three months into the year, humanity has been threatened by a new contagious virus never encountered before: the Covid-19. As such, everything has been disrupted with daily routines being thrown into disarray to circumvent the spread. You could say the whole world has almost come to a standstill with the pandemic outbreak. Unprecedented!

My country has not been spared. With a surge in cases at the beginning of this week, the government of Malaysia has imposed a partial lockdown starting tomorrow until the end of March. Panic buying has also occurred here. Luckily we were sensible enough to stock up our food supplies last week.

It’s as if the virus is a smarter-than-us alien attacking mankind like a gripping sci-fi movie from Hollywood. Always one step ahead to avoid detection, it lurks then pounces on the unsuspecting and weak. The intention: to take over our world and make it their own, wiping out mankind in the process. Horrifying thoughts in overdrive mode here. Shudder…

Do we need to collectively pray for divine intervention and perhaps a miracle to overcome this? Or should it be social consciousness or even civic-mindedness to prevent the spread? I can’t find the right words for this…

Every single human being has to do their part and be socially responsible, whether directly or indirectly to combat this together. The phrase “United we stand, divided we fall” is so apt right now. Otherwise the whole world will be living in fear until there is a breakthrough to fight this infectious virus. When? We don’t know… God help us all.

Beginnings and Endings

3 Jan

The new year started off rather quietly for us. We stayed home that evening and had a fun time cooking together, preparing dinner for a very leisurely paced New Year’s Eve meal. I felt this was better quality time instead of going out and be squashed in the crowds.

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Ushering in 2020 with some wine and cheese!

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Sautéd mushrooms, baked potato wedges, honey-glazed carrots, pork steak, greens and a pasta. Quite a meal!

By midnight after seeing some of the fireworks that we could see from our windows, we continued to watch Netflix, waiting to Skype with M2. After we finally heard from her, we went to bed after that! No revelry beyond as it felt just like any other day.

The new beginning is supposed to bring new excitement. We have not even fully digested the spirit of Christmas, New Year’s mood, suddenly at the turn, Chinese New Year things popped up! Decorations at the mall were updated, along with cookies, clothes especially Cheongsams and all things Chinese New Year related were on full display. I am so not ready yet for the next festive celebration.

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Roaring display of the lion dance at the mall

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The new beginning means an ending for us. The food trail is coming to an end as M1’s time with us is ending soon. It’s not sadness all over again but acceptance.

As we cherish the next two days before she leaves, we hope to spend quality time with her again in the future. It has been truly wonderful. Maybe we will visit her in the US again? Who knows? The year 2020 will be full of surprises.

Looking Back at 2019

31 Dec

Well well… it looks like another year has gone by again. Time to file the memories away to recall later fondly and another set of annual resolutions to make. Or break. But the end of 2019 is much more than another year gone by, it’s the end of a decade!

Looking back, I’ve had my fair share of good memories and heartaches with many things happening in the year. After all, there’s 365 days. What stood out most for me can be summed up to these.

Both girls are all grown up, with one having graduated and continuing on with grad school in the US and the other just starting college in Ireland. Proud parent moments. Then there’s me reaching the milestone big five birthday. Happy me occasion.

My carving hobby resulted in a mixed growth in Gigglesville’s population this year. There were only 13 new Citizens to reach 194 (I couldn’t push myself to reach 200), the Whales grew to 48, with 30 new ones while the Gnomes had only two new giant ones to make three dozen as of 2019. It could be better.

But with this carving activity, there was a price to pay: my aggravated injuries. My golf game suffered as a consequence and for the first time, I find myself not giving the sport any priority anymore. I lost the will to excel when injuries persisted. Hopefully this mindset can change to a more positive one come 2020.

Besides the sports injury, my endometriosis pain was well, a pain to deal with this year. More acute than ever, I was at the mercy of a monthly recurrence, it was dreadful. So I started the 16/8 intermittent fasting diet to manage the painful backache and cramp attacks. With a controlled diet and a list of food to avoid, losing a fair bit of weight along the way was a booster and motivation too besides minimizing the agony. It helped.

Not everything was rosy and good though. My iPad Mini has been wonky and unreliable with each passing day, my MacBook Air had to be resuscitated but nothing compared to losing our beloved English bulldog, Rooney aka official pet number one to old age and sickness. It was the saddest day of our lives and suddenly, the house was emptier than ever and our lives changed.

Looking back, if I were to put 2019 into perspective of a phrase, ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’ aptly summarizes the year for me. Now as I ponder what to expect for the new year and new decade, I hope it will be one that focuses on ‘the good, the better and the best’. No resolutions needed though.

To everyone, here’s wishing you an awesome 2020 ahead, Happy New Year and Goodbye 2019!

Let the Food Trail Begin!

20 Dec

Last night M1, our firstborn came back from the US for the Christmas and New Year holidays. The flight was delayed two hours and it felt forever before she came out from the arrival hall at KLIA.

It’s a wonderful reunion again after visiting her in June for her graduation. Unfortunately, M2 opted not to return and instead has flown off to London for her Christmas holiday.

Nevertheless, a family get together is always about food besides the bonding time. Thus we will embark on a food trail to attempt to check off all the ‘must eats’ on her list. There goes the 16/8 diet! Oh well, it’s not always she returns, so we will indulge as well with her.

Thosai rawa

Roti bom

A Quiet Beginning

1 Jan

Unlike the nation and the world who ushered in 2019 with revelry, we welcomed the new year without much fanfare. In fact, no fanfare at all. It rained in the evening and spoiled the mood to go out. So we stayed home.

I decided to carved a Whale to usher in the year. Hubby has been down with a cough for several days, hence no alcohol for him, I didn’t feel like drinking or celebrating alone.

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Whale 14 in the making

Sure there were fireworks last night when the clock struck midnight which we could hear and see in the distance but I tuned them all out with my headphones and listened to Beyonce’s Listen, my favorite song.

The night before New Year felt like any other night in the week prior to midnight. And the first day of the new year is no different, a public holiday in the midst of a work week but kinda like a Sunday nothing-doing feeling. A quiet beginning is what it is for us.

Goodbye 2018

31 Dec

What a year it has been! At the beginning 2018, never did it cross my mind that I would be facing many ups and downs, making it a truly eventful year. Top on the up trend has been my musings and followers, and my carvings for Gigglesville and Gnomie-wood. The cumulative number of 273 pieces carved consists of Citizens, Big Citizens, Monuments, Whales, Ocean friends, Apeach, Dinky the dinosaur, Gnomes and their homes. But there were no increase in the Superheroes count.

And worthy to mention also is my chase on Candy Crush Soda to reach 1000 Days on my iPad. To me, the daily launch just to get the Daily Bonus is an up trend to achieve that number. I just hope the device don’t die on me as I inch closer to my target.

On the home front, my two girls are all grown up with M1 in her Senior year at University and M2 ready for the next exciting chapter in her life, college-bound having completed high school. Time goes by so fast. Too fast I feel sometimes.

On the down trend, there were notable events too that could almost rival the good ones. These are mostly health-related issues and I must say are pretty life changing.

I was diagnosed with Infectious Colitis in February after a Colonoscopy and Endometriosis in April after a Laparoscopic surgery. Not good so I had to change my diet and lifestyle to deal with these issues. I gave up coffee, eggs, cheese and avoid certain food groups but alcohol and chocolate are still hard to resist. I lost weight as a result from this change which was good until recently, I added some back. Oh well…

However my physical problems didn’t end there…

My sports injury exacerbated and the diagnosis turned out to be a Wrist Tendonitis problem due to my constant carving besides golf. When you think about it, subjecting the wrist to the constant swinging of the clubs and hitting the ball is actually too much to bear upon impact with a weakened wrist. And golf is a non-stop 4.5 hours or thereabouts, thus aggravating the problem acutely. Whereas for carving, the time spent on it can be controlled. I can carve for less than an hour or sometimes three to six hours at a pace without pain that can aggravate the wrist.

So I stopped playing golf for ten weeks to rest the wrist, and did treatment and therapy which helped. Carving continued though but only as and when I have time.

An even bigger down trend is my iPhone5S. It is dying. I thought it would at least last until my birthday next year but the situation does not look good at all. The battery drain issue is just so bad, I find myself using the phone lesser and lesser. One charge can only last a quarter of a day if I even use it a little bit. Perhaps in retrospect, this is a good thing to be less device-dependent? Then again, I suspect this less device-dependency will change once I get a new phone. We shall see.

But I should not focus on the down trends to say life was not good in 2018. There were many up trends as well which I should be thankful for. And I have my friends to make me laugh and be happy, my carving to keep me occupied and contented, and my health is actually much better after those two main episodes.

So as I bid 2018 goodbye, I brace myself for 2019 to be an even more exciting year as there will be major changes, positive ones to look forward to. Thank you 2018, another year to remember by and to 2019, I welcome you with open arms.

A Quiet Start

2 Jan

It was a Monday but felt like a Sunday. The girls slept in because we didn’t have any solid plans and being so stuffed from dinner the night before and the many nights before as well! We have been dutifully ploughing through M1’s To Eat List before she goes back.

As for us, hubby was at his usual puttering around the garden and I was back at carving after a hiatus. With M1 back, there has been so much to do but unfortunately, sitting around at home to carve has not been one of the activity.

So yesterday, it was nice to relax at home and Citizen #120 was born! 120. What a significant number and on the first day of the new year. I have come so far for Gigglesville and I think this year the township will boom at an even greater pace. I am excited at the prospect.

It may be a quiet start but it’s a good start. We are back at work today and M2 is at school without any issues waking up.

What a Year 2017 Has Been

29 Dec

2017 is coming to an end with two days left to go. This is my last entry for the year and my, my, what a year it has been for me!

There has been many significant changes to our lives in 2017, the biggest one being the relocation of our design studio. We moved closer to home and it’s a mere 5km away only. What a difference for us especially when it comes to time management and traffic jam-free driving which is really nice.

It may be smaller in size but it’s a lot more cosy and I certainly feel happier. Work-wise we have been fortunate to be kept busy. Let’s hope this momentum carries onward to the new year.

On the personal side, I have been plagued with injuries causing me to lose interest in playing golf. While it’s unfortunate I lost my passion for the game I enjoy, it spawned a new passion, carving. Gigglesville was born with a whole new township of owl Citizens and Superheroes. They have been lovingly hand-crafted with each day of me staying home to recover from the tennis elbow.

Hubby also picked up a new interest in air plants. The house is now full of these everywhere and it’s nice to look at them. M1 had a good year at university, and did her second internship which we feel the experience was invaluable. She has matured so much. M2 turned Sweet 16 and doing well in school too.

We had several crayfishes that lasted and didn’t. These creatures are not easy to care for! Some fishes died too due to old age. Senior citizen of the house, Rooney, also official pet number one, turned ten and for the first time showed signs of his seniority. And demanding more attention than ever.

The list can go on for what happened throughout the year! As I reflect back, there’s more good and memorable ones than anything else and I carry these in my heart forever. With 2017 almost done––sometimes too fast with the days going by, sometimes super slow––I look forward to the new year and eagerly await what lies ahead with a positive outlook.

I want to thank all my readers, people from all over the world, friends and family who have followed me to read my stories and thoughts. It’s a nice feeling and I hope you’d continue to read and enjoy the musings.

A toast to 2017, thank you for memories and another toast to 2018, let it be an exciting year with lots to write, grouse and muse about!

First Day

4 Jan

It’s the first day for everything in 2016, school for M2, work for us and classes for M1 too except that her first day will be our tomorrow, being half way around the world from us.

It was a quiet start for me, with the laryngitis still persisting. I went and played golf on Saturday hoping maybe a sweat will work wonders. It did somewhat, some sound can be heard when I speak. But I think it was mostly a good rest over the long break that did the trick.

I am still thinking about the book to read to kick off the year but I am very pleased that my virtual games all progressed very well. Levels that I was stuck at were finally overcomed and it feels good.

Looking forward to a good year ahead!

A Quiet Start

1 Jan

Happy New Year! It’s a brand new year and a quiet one. Yes, I am still down with laryngitis and totally drained of energy to even talk. So we had a quiet unfancy dinner at home and quietly ushered in the new year at the stroke of midnight. Hopefully when the weekend is over, I will be back to normal.

Not quite the start to a new year that I had envisioned…