Friday, December 28, 2012
I sounded it out to Friend and she being the ever enthusiastic agreed quite fast. A plan was hatched up almost immediately because time was short as hotels are usually booked end of the year. We managed to book ourselves into Rainbow Paradise Beach Resort. We chose the place because of its accessibility to the beach... easy for the kids.
One of the highlights for me was the early morning walk I shared with Friend. It was nice to just sit on the rock by the beach and talk while listening to the waves being pushed onto the beach. It's been quite a while since I did that with a friend. Over the years, I've been caught up by so many things that I forget the simple joys that time with a friend can bring. We talked so much.... my boy finds it amazing that we can talk so much.... morning, afternoon, night... Lol!
One of the things that many women forget is that to have friends in our lives is important too. Women need emotional support from each other. Family and work (for those of us with a career) take up most of our time that we have no time to build our own network of support among our lady friends.
For me, it was a nice time to spend with my friend and our families. We have been colleagues for the last 8 years in a friendship stretching more than 10 years, one that got started through volleyball. Next year I move on to another school... Our friendship will continue but am sad cos there are just too many things that I will miss... how not to, with the one person that I've spoken most to in the last couple of years!
The hols was fun for everyone, I think. Plenty of time in the sun (and some time with the rains). And there weren't any untoward incident despite the 21.12.12 (end of the year thingy). These are what memories are made for... of bonds built, the fun shared, the things that we do together... They color our lives.... make it more vibrant, give it more meaning.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Sunday, December 2, 2012
We have a taxidermist in the family... an uncle who has been in this trade for decades. Recently we visited him and was told that his collection of stuffed animals were going to go soon. These are all works of art.. One has to have some know how of anatomy, sculpture, painting and even tanning. One has to remove all the internal stuff and 'do up' the animal.
Uncle is one of very few people in this field. He says it's a dying trade. There are now many laws which prohibit the hunting of many animals in order to protect them from extinction. Moreover, it is also a messy job which involves digging up the innards.
His collection of stuffed animals or some might label as 'trophies' dates back many decades. Over the years, many people and institutions like the zoo would send animals for him to stuff and preserve. All of these come with proper legal documents too.
When we first came up north, this is one place which we would visit regularly and many of these stuffed animals were quite familiar to us. Our boy used to be afraid of some of them, especially this one huge crocodile head which would sit at the bottom of the stairs.
This would be the last time we'd be seeing these animals. Since Aunty passed away, Uncle has been away quite often at his children's place.
This leopard has been around for 40 years! It has been a familiar figure which grace the hall. And it's going to a new home too.
These are also works of art... the preservation of form after death. I know it sounds quite morbid but it's not as scary as mummification of humans.
These will all be soon displayed at the Natural History Museum in Putrajaya. I think they will make the bulk of the stuffed animals on display there!
A lifetime of collection here.....
Friday, November 30, 2012
I seldom do the movies at the cinema of late. Sitting still for almost 2 hours usually cause my back to act up the next day. And this time wasn't any different. Had to deal with a stiff back (and the continuous pain) the next day. Age is catching up. Body parts aren't that well oiled any more. And pain stays longer too. 8(Anyway, Son was the one who put it into the kids' heads this idea of going for a movie. We've been doing tonnes of stuff this hols but not done any movie yet. So it was not surprising that everyone was super enthusiastic about the idea. And I got talked into it.....
Finding a movie is a breeze these days with apps like CineApp. We decided to watch The Rise of the Guardians at Jitra Mall... for one simple reason. The kids wanted to adjourn to Tutti Frutti for frozen yoghurt after the movie.
We had a badminton session earlier in the day and so had to rush a bit to get ready. Friend bought the tickets on her way back home. Kids helped to hang the laundry while I rushed out to collect some goodies from another friend. We made it to Jitra in good time.
The cinema was quite empty when we got in. There were two other groups of people in the cineplex besides our group of 7. Movies aren't complete without popcorn and drinks. So we got those as well.
The Rise of the Guardian had awesome animations. The story is about how Pitch and his minions tried to kill the innocence of the children of the world. He wanted to turn their hope into nightmares and fears, warmth into cold... the sort of evil schemes which are supposed to plunge the world into a cold and destitute place. Enter the Guardians to save the day... Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Sandman, Tooth Fairy... and an inclusion by The Man on the Moon of Jack Frost. Jack Frost is usually associated with the bad but in this movie he's the good guy who saves the day. Anyway, after some suspense and many intense actions, with the help of one sole little boy who continued to cling on to his belief of the existence of the guardians, Pitch lost and hope was restored. Where there is hope, there is also happiness. Jack Frost was the hero of the day.
This is a movie which probably would appeal to kids at different levels. Many Malaysian kids today are unfamiliar with characters like Jack Frost and Sandman. Santa and Easter Bunny are familiar enough because of their associations with Christmas and Easter. The Tooth Fairy is probably identifiable too. Anyway, it's action-packed enough to keep the eyes riveted to the screen. But many of the subtle and underlying tales (and origins) would probably be lost on the kids.
I think the themes are not bad... the belief of one child could ignite a fire for others to believe and in the end gave strength to the Guardians to overcome Pitch. Life is kinda like that too... we need encouragement from others to believe and hope often times. Strength from those who believe in us....
Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are the faces of commercial Christmas and Easter. The tooth fairy... well, Other Half and I used to play tooth fairy with our little gal, till we made a slip and our gal came to her own conclusion that her Papa was the tooth fairy. But all of us need a little magic in our lives sometimes.... the awe and wonderment, the belief in something, someone.... And we need heroes to admire too. So the movie was nice in that sense. Plus Good triumphs over Evil. Who doesn't like a happy ending like that?
And yes! We went to Tutti Frutti after the movie despite the rain. Friend and I decided to forego the dessert and sat outside but the girls were sweet enough to share theirs with us. In the end, they left theirs for us and went back inside to tax their brother's. 8) after Tutti Frutti, the kids were reluctant to part... so we adjourned for dinner at Rong Reang. Rong Reang is a Thai restaurant, quite popular in Jitra.
This is prawn tanghoon... supposed to be my favourite. But this one seems to need rice to go with it. It's not a dish that you can take on its own, despite being tanghoon based.
Our own local calamari... though not quite in ring form. They're a little heavy on the oil though. The kids are small eaters. In the end, I had to push them to finish this dish.
Seafood curry. Not bad. On a hungry stomach, this would be a winner. Unfortunately, most stomachs had yoghurt filling up most of the space. So finishing it took some effort.
Mantis prawns in dried chilli - Son's favourite. Incidentally, this was also a belated birthday treat for him from Friend. Since it was his favourite, he finished this one.... He has a penchant of ordering the same food each time we go out..... We need to make memories for the kids and ourselves. Time flies and before long, each one will be leaving the nest. Just like the Tooth Fairy who took the teeth to preserve the memories for each child... Memories give meaning to our lives. They put smiles (and sometimes tears) on our faces. Sometimes we forget the reason for many things. Memories sometimes serve as reminders and reasons, as Jack Frost discovered from his memory the reason for him being chosen to be Jack Frost and eventually a Guardian. As he remembered he became more convinced and determined that he should guard and protect the innocence of the children.
For me, this hols has been a journey of discovery too in a way. I am ever reminded that much of the meaning that we get our of life often comes from the relationships that we form in our lives. And these are memories in the making too.... It reminds me too of memories of recent past, when I used to do stuff like this for Son and co too....
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
We've done badminton, gone out for many makan outings and so far made one outing to the Muzium Arkeologi Lembah Bujang in Merbok.
I first went there many years ago and thus was pleasantly surprised by what greeted me this time around.
Monday, November 26, 2012
We left quite late for Penang and when we got there, the parking bays were nearly filled. Took us quite a few rounds to find one. The whole area seemed packed with shoppers and people out on a weekend.
We walked around a bit after dinner and did some shopping. Kids got themselves a Cluedo board game and we got a present for Other Half's godson... Got home quite late but I think we had a great time. And one more thing... it was nice to have a driver both ways too. 8)
Our boy is a young man already. How time flies.