Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Goodbye, Auntie Allen

My Auntie Allen, one of my Mother's 3 sisters, passed away a week or so ago. I didn't realise that in March, when I was in the Philippines, was the last time I'd ever see her. Never again. Goodbye, Auntie Allen. Thank you for those times when you helped me look after my boy. Those days when you'd come and help me take my son to the hospital for check ups and for being there for my Mum. May you rest in peace, Auntie Allen. Now you no longer have to worry or to feel any pain that human life brings. All my love to you.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Michael Jackson dies, so why am I sad???

I still cannot believe it. This may have been said many times in the last couple of days. Michael Jackson is dead. I asked my husband, 'Why am I so sad??? I do not even know that man!' My husband, as understanding as ever just said to me, 'Well, love, someone just died, I think you are bound to feel that way. Also, the media has made you to feel that way.' Yes, that may have contributed to it. I shed a tear, to be honest, and I am not ashamed to admit it. But I know why. It is not because I love Michael Jackson. It is because I associate him with that part of my childhood when I was crazy over him. It was my lifetime dream to see him perform one day. When I was a teenager, I promised myself to save up to watch one of his concerts someday. Someday. I grew up and realised I could never afford his concerts! And even if I could, there were (and still are) other things that were far more important than his concerts. There are more important things to get from the shop than Michael's CDs and memorabilias so I must admit, I am a fan with no records of Michael. Then I had my son to look after, all the more the dream to one day watch his concert or even just see him in person went all the more bleak.
Then Friday morning, as I was walking along the hall way to get the lift to work, the newspaper on the coffee table caught my eye, 'Michael Jackson dies.' I could not believe it. Then it reminded me the previous night, my husband was telling me someone died as I was drifting back to sleep. I thought I was dreaming. That night, it hit me. Michael Jackson is dead....and my dream died with him. A childhood dream. That's what was hurting.
Not too long ago, I wrote a blog entry on my Friendster Blog with the title, 'When I went crazy over Michael.' I am re-publishing it here on my Blogger as a tribute to one of my oldest favourites, The King of Pop - Michael Jackson.
08 October 2006, Friendster Blog, I wrote:
Since it’s autumn and I’m awfully homesick…let me go down memory lane and take you to the time when I was only forteen. Never been kissed, never been touched. Let me share with you something that I never thought I’d be sharing with my friends one day…so before I change my mind about this whole thing, here you go…
Do you remember falling in love for the first time? I do. It was not with an ordinary person, though…and the sad thing was, he was not even a perfect creation of the male physiology – I mean, not a hundred percent. Let me say, maybe he was, what I may call, androgynous. Yes, I would like to call him that way, which is more respectable. After all, he was part of my life. Although I was never ever part of his. He did not even, and never will, know that I exist. But never mind my existence. I fell head over heels in love with Michael Jackson when I was 14 years old. I was in my 2nd year in high school. I was watching the 26th Grammy Awards in 1984. That was the year he won two awards – one was the Record of the Year Award for his song ‘Beat It’ and two, the Album of the Year Award for his album ‘Thriller.’ He performed live and I was so enthralled. Captivated by his charm. I got addicted and bought all the ‘songhits’ I could find to know all of his songs and see all the photographs I could get. I would spend my full week’s allowance only to buy good-for-nothing photos and posters of him. I had a huge collection of his cutout photographs and I knew almost all of his most popular songs. There was only one thing I did not do – I did not write to him. Hhmmm…why didn’t I do that?
My insanity lasted the whole time I was in high school. Those were really crazy years. My father used to tell me, ‘When you get older, you will realize just how funny you are at this age…you will laugh at yourself.’ I felt bad that my own father – the one person that knew how much I loved Michael did not take me seriously. I remember telling him, ‘No, you don’t understand, Tay. I will never ever get married if it isn’t Michael that I’m going to marry!’ He just laughed at me. Who wouldn’t? That was the daftest thing to say, wasn’t it? At that time, of course, I was dead serious.
When I reached college, though, someone stole my heart from Michael. Hold your breath, because this time it is even crazier – baduy kaayo! Oh yes, he was the man of my dreams! The man who stole my heart from Michael was Robbie Rosa of Menudo. Now do you ever remember this Puerto Rican group called Menudo that made many young girls scream their heads off in the Philippines? Once again, I fell head-over-heels in love with the boy. I did the same things I did when I was crazy over Michael. I collected photographs, songs - memorized all of them by heart - and danced to the tunes when no one was watching. When Robbie Rosa was kicked out of Menudo because of the ‘age rule’, the madness did not stop – my madness, that is. I waited for more to come…and something came. I was ready to do something more than just collecting photographs. He made a movie called ‘Salsa.’ I almost died when I heard he was coming back to Manila! When he did, yes oh yes, I rushed to GMA-7 to see him! There were so many young girls outside the studio waiting for him when my friend and classmate, Ellen, and I arrived at the gate. Surprisingly, when we got there, I was not too excited. I didn’t know why. I was holding my camera but as I looked around, I started to think. I saw these many girls going uncontrollably mental over one handsome human being who did not even know of their existence on the planet. One ‘demigod-like’ creature who didn’t even know that at that very moment some of them didn’t have a meal just to get there early to get a glimpse of him. I was watching and I saw myself in each one of them…a young girl so enthralled, so mesmerized, or should I say hypnotized by this celebrity’s charm!
My thoughts were interrupted when finally, the Demigod arrived! He was absolutely gorgeous! As soon as I saw him, I knew right away the reason why I fell for him. He looked just like Michael. What a resemblance. Then he was mobbed. You won’t believe this but I just stood right there, side by side with the security personnel. He was trying to protect Robbie Rosa from the screaming crazy crowd and I was there watching. I almost forgot about the camera but as soon as I remembered, I clicked away. When Robbie walked past me, I could not stop myself. I had to at least touch him. Insane but true. So, I reached out and slightly touched his chin. Then, I heard one girl say, ‘She’s so lucky she was able to touch him!’ I turned and saw, not a baduy-looking girl but an attractive, fair-skinned, mestiza lass. I could not believe my eyes that a young girl as beautiful as she was would waste her time for Robbie Rosa! I was starting to realize something. When the photographs were printed out, I wasn’t on any of it, naturally, because I was the one with the camera. There… all the photographs revealed the madness and delirium of it all. I could not admit to myself that I was one of these girls – going gaga over one Robbie Rosa…on one of the photographs, there was that mestiza lass, whose face did not leave me for quite a long time – she was almost drooling over Robbie, her face almost crying…begging. If this pretty lady could not get Robbie’s attention with her looks and all, how could I even make him glance at me? With all of these young women shrieking, yelping and wailing to get his attention, would he even realize there’s a ‘Len’ out there??? Well, even if he knew, would he care? Of course not. We were not even friends! I could see the insanity. Very clearly. It made no sense. I had to stop. I couldn’t let myself be one of those crazy girls. No way!
But for a few more years, I held on to the songhits and collection of photographs that I had. Then when I got really fed up of them because they got very old and started to fade, I burned them all. Including Michael’s. As for Robbie’s photographs, I gave them all to Ellen. I told my self over and over, ‘I can do better than collecting photographs of Michael and Robbie. I can read better books than songhits…’ (errr, I know songhits are not books…so forget I said that). I was finally over Michael. I was finally over Robbie. Thank God for that. P.S. Oh, okay, okay, I admit – I am listening to Michael’s ‘Will you be there’ as I write this. Don’t give me that look. What am I supposed to do? It is an addiction. I can’t help it!
Rest in peace, Michael.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Day Out with Husband

Mood: Relaxed. Enjoying the long weekend with husband and son. Enjoying the sun!
It's been a long time since I last shared with you what's been happening with me and my family. It's been busy, hectic and challenging, I must say. My son was in the hospital for 7 days in March...and he's okay now, thank God! He is gaining a lot of weight which is good! We will be moving to a house that's suitable for his special needs soon but we still do not have the date. We are getting there. It just takes time.
On Saturday, husband and I were able to get a few hours respite (thanks to Crossroads). We did some shopping and had a nice, relaxing drive home. On our way home, we drove past Blickling Hall and decided to have a look. It was marvelous! Blickling Hall is a stately home in Aylsham in Norfolk, England. This is now in the care of the National Trust. This home was once in the possession of the Boleyn family, and home to Sir Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire and his wife Elizabeth, years 1499 - 1505. To know more, please click here. I have always been mesmerised by the structure and architecture of old English houses and buildings and this one had me in awe once again. It was just very nice to see. I cannot imagine anybody living in such a huge place! You would need an intercom to talk to each other in there! Sadly, husband and I didn't get the chance to see what's inside but next time we probably will.
Top Photo - part of Blickling Hall with the lovely flowers called 'wisteria.' They look really beautiful.
Bottom Photo - The marvelous Blickling Hall.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Being a Mum Again

My boy is finally here with us. We've been busy but I'm not complaining. But we've also been worried and stressed out because he was in the hospital for 7 days for chest infection. He's getting better now, thank God.

People have been really supportive and very kind. The nurses at the hospital were great! The doctors were really good.

This may sound really weird - but it feels really peaceful being right in front of my laptop right now, typing away. It feels really relaxing. I haven't done this in ages...I've missed it. Life seems to have become so busy and fast for the last six weeks. No, don't get me wrong. I am not complaining. Seeing my child very ill and being at the hospital was so worrying and stressful. I want him to enjoy being with us and to be happy, jolly and healthy. But as soon as he got here, he was unwell. It felt really bad. I am only a human being and I get tired and weary...so now I'm 'typing-away' my woes so I hope you bear with me.

I haven't even told you about our trip to the Philippines and how enjoyable it was...and how sad it was to leave all my great friends and family. I will share with you all and of course show you the best photographs. Husband and I spent wonderful days and evenings with very good friends Ninang Ruby, Ninong Zal and their lovely children, Ninang Jill, Ninong Joe and Anton, and our good (I mean great!) old friends at WHO where I used to work. I'm missing them all. I really feel bad about not seeing my other friends whom I haven't seen for many years. We didn't have enough time to see everybody and I know some of them may have felt bad (we call it 'tampo' in the Philippines) and may have thought we did it on purpose but the truth is we didn't. If we were there for a longer period, we would have seen all of them, but we were there only for 2 weeks. But then, there will be a next time. Hopefully next time will be a better time and we will be able to see everyone. We may even get together for a really big posh party, who knows? So for now, I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

In the meantime, I'd like to enjoy being a Mum again. Having J around is bliss. It's nice. I am looking forward to seeing he has fully recovered and that he is so much better.

Will keep you posted.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

I will be a busy Mum again!

I know I haven't written anything for quite awhile. I have been really busy getting things for my boy, J. From diapers to fan heater in his bedroom. Husband and I are now getting very excited. It is getting warmer, a little bit, so I am hoping that the weather will not be too harsh when he arrives in England.

My life will change once again when my boy gets here and I am oh-so looking forward to it.

Of course, I will keep you updated. I hope you bear with me as my life will once again be very very busy being a Mum.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Me? Bake a cake? No way!

Yes, you have just read it right. I baked a cake. A loaf of banana cake. Unbelievable. I have never baked my entire life. I just got challenged that a male colleague was bragging about baking a banana cake and saying that it is so easy, that he just mixes all the ingredients up together and shoves it in the oven, wait for about an hour, and voila! It's all done. So, I was thinking...this bloke knows how to bake??? And I don't??? So, on the way home one Friday evening, I asked hubby to take me to the supermarket and we shopped for all the ingredients, with the list in my hand - and of course, a lot of assistance from husband (how do I know what 'self raising flour' is?) to see if I was getting all the right things from the shelves.
The result? My husband gave me a 10 out of 10! Not bad for someone who has just started baking, huh? Because of that very good rating, I am sharing with you the banana cake recipe that I got from Cook UK, please click here.
I used sultanas, instead of nuts, by the way. It was yummy! Yes, I'm tooting my own horn, ha!

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

How could anyone ever tell you?

Mood: Better.

I've just finished reading a fiction novel, Lottery, written by Patricia Wood, that really brought me to tears of laughter. Even days after finishing the whole book, the characters stayed with me. It was a really good book of friendship, of love, of loyalty, name it it's in that book. So now that I'm done with a fiction, I've started reading Wayne Dyer's Power of Intention. I love Dr Wayne Dyer. I've read his book, The Real Magic, a few years ago, lent to me by a good friend Ruby, and boy it changed my life! Last night, out of curiosity, I looked Dr Dyer up on the internet and of course when you are given links, you click on each link and the web just takes you to different sites. It took me to a lot of information about another one of my favourite writers, Louise Hay, and then it took me to youtube. After all of clicking away on these different links, I was taken to a very beautiful song called, How could anyone tell you? by Libby Roderick. Please click here to listen to this beautiful song and I'm sharing with you the lyrics as well (below). I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

How could anyone ever tell you?
By Libby Roderick

How could anyone ever tell you
You were anything less than beautiful?

How could anyone ever tell you
You were less than whole?

How could anyone fail to notice
That your loving is a miracle?

How deeply you're connected to my soul

It may take awhile before the song grows on you. I fell in love with the lyrics. I think that every human being must know this and hear this song. Each of us, no matter what we think of ourselves, no matter how horrible we see ourselves to be, I believe that we all must know that goodness is inherent in each one of us., that if there is anything that we should focus on, it is that goodness inside.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Winter Blues

Mood: Blah.
I have been under the weather for a couple of weeks now. Blocked nose, queasiness. I feel like I'm coming down with a flu. Yesterday I had a temperature and I felt so weak. I feel drained. I don't know what it is really.
I don't know if it's got to do with the weather and the temperature or the lack of sunlight but lately I've been feeling the blues. Even my husband has got it I think because we had a row twice last month. I'm beginning to worry now. Husband never ever had a mood as bad as these last two. Because we are both, as he calls it - 'strong-minded', we both ended up drained. Of course I ended up crying. Why do I always have to be the one who cries? I think I should stop that.
Anyway, I hope things get better. I don't like it. It's not nice. When my husband gets really annoyed and angry and says things he doesn't mean, I can see all love going away. I don't know if you feel that but I do. In the same way that I feel when my Mum gets very angry at me. I feel all love going away. I feel only anger. I feel all the negative energy around me and inside me. And it drains me. Sometimes I feel like going to sleep after crying so hard and after getting very very upset.

I've been reading the book 'Rules of Life' by Richard Templar. Rule No 11 says 'Be the last to raise your voice'...it's got a point, good point but it's too difficult to follow. Sometimes the only way to point something out is to raise your voice or the only way for someone to listen to you is to shout. I know, I know, most of the time it gets nowhere. I think I should just keep my mouth shut if I feel like there's an impending argument. Or some grumpiness is imminent. Count to 10. I've heard this before, I should know better!

So, yes, I am having the blues. I guess husband is also having it. I hope it goes soon. It doesn't help me when I get the blues. It just makes me feel so fed up of everything...of life most of all.

My cold is going. Temperature has gone down. Hubby made me a hot pea and ham soup on Friday morning when I was ill. So I think things are getting better.

I hope the weather also gets better. I like winter but I don't think it likes me the same way?

Thursday, 22 January 2009

My Golden Globe and Oscar Awards!

I would like to thank a fellow blogger and on-line friend, Glynis at New Scribbles From Glynis Smy for this Sisterhood Award. Glynis, I don't want the chain to stop but just don't have spare time at the moment to nominate other friends but I will do when I get the chance. I just don't want to miss thanking you. Thank you, Glynis! This made my day!
To my friend Ruthi at Carpenter's Wife's Toolbox, I know this is long overdue so forgive me. Do you know that you are the very first to nominate my blog as one of the coolest blogs you ever know? You won't believe this, I felt like I've won an Oscar. So dear Ruthi, thank you very much indeed for this award. I am honoured.

The Nicest Christmas

I know I should have posted these photos a long time ago....and I know I should have written this entry last month, but it's been a busy four weeks. Going back to work and all...and most of all, coping with my winter blues. So I'm sure you will understand.
Our Christmas was a blast. I wouldn't say I felt complete as being with family and friends in the Philippines is still incomparable. But husband and I tried to enjoy every moment of it. For awhile, it helped to be in the company of Filipinos - and yes, nice Filipinos for a change. This wasn't our first Christmas celebration with them. It was the second and...counting. Our good friends Anne and George invited us once again to come to the Filipino Christmas Party in New Milton where they live. We were welcomed and we felt 'at home.' My husband, as usual, enjoyed being with good old friends, seeing his good old friend George and one of his favourite nieces, Amiel.
Top photo - Almost everybody got very excited whilst we were taking photos
Middle photo - Jim dancing with dear Amiel
Bottom photo - Jim and I dancing - or should I say swaying? We don't know how to dance. No, really.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Did you have a happy new year?

I know this is rather too late to greet you all a happy new year. But just the same, I hope you had a very happy one. For the first time on New Year's Eve, husband and I were together. The past two new years, he had to work so I was left alone at home. I was asleep at midnight. This new year was different. We went to a friends' home for New Year's Eve and on 1st January, we went to see the fireworks at the pier.
Before Christmas, husband and I had a minor road accident. We were shaken and shocked but we were thankful that we were safe and unhurt and the car had only a little bit of damage on the panels. I thought it would ruin our Christmas and New Year but thank God it didn't. It was such a hassle and all having to take the car to the garage, shelling out money even if the car had a fully comprehensive insurance coverage (I still do not understand how it works, honestly!). But I am glad that we are here, alive and kicking, to meet the new year with optimism! I wouldn't give you the details of the mishap as I don't see it important.
So, again, its 2009. I would like to share with you some photos I've taken at the pier on new year's day. Nothing special, really. But just something nice to look at.
Again, happy new year to you all!!!!