Monday, January 28, 2008

Aunties Care Too

I love the new MotherCare's new Rock N Roll range of body suits. Wondering when will this range reach Brunei's MotherCare?
Baby K will look handsome in the salmon pink body suits. Who says young man can't wear pink haha ........

Sunday, January 27, 2008

My Shoes Paparazzo

I understood, But I Don't Care

One of my favourite pep talks ........

When things go wrong,
As they sometimes will,
When the road you are trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low,
And the debts are high,
And You want to smile,
But you have to sigh.
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest as you must, but don't you quit.

Life is full of twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns.
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out.
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you never can tell how close you are.
It may be near when it seems so far.
So stick in the fight when you are hardest hit.
It is when things seem worse
That you must not quit!

Meet my two idols:
Edna Mode

Trendy Wendy


I've finished reading John Twelve Hawks's "The Dark River" (see posting: 26th November 2007). As expected, the sequel could never fight the first book. I hope in the third book, Hawks could bring in more new characters and have more good people in the book. Bitter gourd may be bitter, but cooking it in different ways make it tastes differently.

Newton's Apple

See how much the Chinese Lily has grown!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I hate (notice: strong word!) men as well as women whom I don't know to stand very close to me and disregard my personal space because too much crime TV dramas have taught me that is a highly insecure and risky situation.

I received an e-mail this afternoon from a friend, which again proved that my theory and argument above are perfectly correct and relevant.

From a friend's friend ........

Ladies, must read, Never knew this would actually happen. Please read and take precautions. Beware, don't talk to strangers. Recently, a female friend of mine has encountered a strange incident. She was approached by a 30ish yrs old Chinese man carrying a big sling bag when she was waiting for her husband. I saw the man talking to her while I was walking towards her, and I was puzzled when I found her suddenly walked off with the man and I was more stunned when she walked past me without acknowledging my existence.

Thinking something amiss, I called her hand phone immediately! She answered the phone and was shocked to realise she was no longer near where she was. I knew something wasn't right, and told my friend to just RUN! She quickly ran off ...... She called me 15 minutes later and told me to meet at our usual cafe. She was shivering all over when we met and she told me she wasn't too sure of what was going on in the past 30 minutes. She recalled a Chinese man was asking for directions which she couldn't relate. The man repeated his question twice, and made some innocent hand gestures like counting which she later realised she might have been hypnotised. He spoke in a deliberate and slower manner, his hands moved in a way to help hypnotise.

People with ill minds come in all shapes. Some look like one and you can identify almost immediately and pay necessary precautions. Some appear to be more decently dressed, soft spoken like a normal guy on the street and this might not easy to detect. Above information was from a friend in Singapore, but same incident could happen in other corners of the world too. Please stay alert!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Chinese Lily

In these 2-3 years, we have many Chinese vendors bringing in things from China to sell in Brunei such as bonsais (too extravagant), vases (too "Tai-Tais"), palm trees (my garden is not big enough to plant them), Mystic Knot home decor pieces (too lazy to buy decor pieces that I need to remove after the festive reason), bamboo plants (too common) and Chinese Sacred Lily flower bulbs (just the right thing I want and at the right price)!

The Chinese vendor wanted to sell me a pot of 10 flower bulbs for BND15 initially. I had managed to push the price down to BND12, and bought one pot home last Friday.

The flower bulbs have grown fast in just six days, see the enclosed pic.

I researched from the net, and found that Chinese Sacred Lily is in fact Tazetta Daffodil. It is a plant with white petals and yellow bulb. It stays indoor and blooms in winter. I put mine in our main living room, and it grows very well. But unsure how my mother would think if she found out the plant would turn out white-yellow.

Even though we are the descendants of Nonya-Baba and my mother is only part Chinese-descendant (my maternal grandmother is Indigenous People), my mother still follows the strict Chinese tradition of "Only Red for Lunar New Year". I could picture now the dilemma expression on my mother's face when she discovers the plant I have just bought would bear white-yellow flowers. OK, I knew. My sister Woofhams will sure say, "Chuck away before Mama finds out" haha ...

For some who might be curious to learn more on "my tribe":

Who are Peranakan, Nonya-Baba and Straits Chinese?

Peranakan, Nonya-Baba (峇峇娘惹) and Straits Chinese (土生華人, named after the Straits Settlements) are terms used for the descendants of the very early Chinese immigrants in South East Asia, particularly concentrating in both the British Straits Settlements of Malaya and the Dutch-controlled island of Java. They are the group who has partially adopted Malay customs in an effort to be assimilated into the local communities.

Food Discipline

Good food discipline is just not in my system. My SIL has regained her pre-pregnancy figure. A fellow gym-goer has lost 11 kg with her strict regime of stationary bike, treadmill and yoga in the past 6 months. Both of them don't take oily food and take little white sugar. I have a sweet tooth and I love oily noodles.

According to The Black Book of Hollywood Diet Secrets, Jennifer Lopez carries a vial of grapefruit oil around because her doctor says that the oil lets out an aroma that affects our liver enzymes, which activates the nerves that cause fats to be broken down and burnt off. Honestly, I would prefer to lug around a bottle of mineral water than grapefruit oil. Mineral water has zero calories and reduces hunger pangs.

John Cusack, meanwhile, stays away from everything white, including flour, sugar and wheat. I believe life would be dull when we confine it to only few good sectors. OK, may be ... I may try dieting when there is a better taste of Slimming Coffee around in the market!

I believe my food discipline would be worse when I have mastered my culinary skills. My new hobbies include cooking now. More specifically is, my entire family is addicted to Asian Food Channel (AFC) now. My brother DK said, we watch but we don't cook hahaa ... Jacques Pepin: Fast Food My Way (visit: is my most favourite AFC's programme. Needless to say, my favourite recipe from Jacques is "pancakes with apples" ;)


Answer: Bad Breath haha ...

Monday, January 14, 2008

New Projects

Holiday season is over. I am back to my busy schedule. It's not fun particularly when the internet connection both at work and at home are not working efficiently because of the disruption from the rare thunderstorm a week ago.

At work: I couldn't access my inbox at the time I want it, and I can't reply all my e-mails promptly. It is really annoying.

At home: I am learning to paint (both oil painting & water colouring) from all useful information available on the net. The internet disruption has put me on hold on my new projects. Sigh. Snippets of lady in London and Paris paintings from

I had a big breakfast this morning, but now I am hungry. I wish I could have a big bowl of vegetable soup now. Picture from:

I looked into my wardrobe, and didn't know what I wanted to wear this morning. Similar to my shoes theory: the more you bought, the more you tend to wear the old, comfortable pair. The busybody co-worker has started to hint at me: Hi, haven't I seen you in this green one last week? Pancake smiled: You are right. Green is my feng sui colour this month (I've replied in the House's typical self-satisfied smirks).

HaHa ... we are living our life fully when we manage to find ways to deal with the challenges.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Who Moved My Cheese

I am curious whether the way our head lay on pillow might have an impact on whether we are a left brain or a right brain preference person?

The following paragraphs in quotes are taken from Jim Rees's "Transform the way you live and work".

"Our brain works like a switchboard operator, taking in information, making judgments based on what we believe to be true, and then rationalise and making decisions. Of the many theories in neuroscience, that of the brain dominance is the chapter that I am most interested.

To begin with, our brain has two hemispheres, left and right.

The left brain is more analytical and is responsible for deductive reasoning, logic, discipline, structure, time sequence, mathematics, etc. People with a left brain preference will tend to learn step-by-step, beginning with the details and moving on to the bigger picture.

reading, crosswords/sudoku, logic, story telling, well-structured projects, being organised, rationality.

The right brain is considered to be responsible for the emotions, feelings, intuition, spontaneity, risk-taking, sensitivity and visualising, etc. People with a right brain preference usually start with the overview of a skill and then get into the specifics.

reading for details, intuitive problem solving, art, acting out stories, sports, team work and activities and multi-tasking."

Needless to say, I am a born "left brainer" and a natural nerd. HaHa ...
Now, come back to my question, whether our sleeping pattern might have an influence on our brain preference? I am curious. I am equally curious whether (1) it's possible to have no preference, but rather a balance of both left and right brain functioning, and (2) what is the benchmarking of the "balance"?

"Visualise success in order to succeed" - Jim Rees

Breakfast in Turin

I love this photo which I took in Turin about 22 months ago (check also my posting on 26th April 2006: Cold Winter in Turin). I love the look of the sunlight near the window which I sat for breakfast - very crispy!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Gone Running

I stumbled upon this picture when I googled for Adidas running wallpaper for my desktop background. This pic has caught my eyes, it is really a very nice family photo. The Adidas advertisement says only a newborn daughter could come between a dedicated runner's run.

Speak of running, I haven't been running for two weeks now. I have been lazy. My excuse is holidays. My thunder thighs are shocking the Brunei nation now. My face is as round as the Pizza Hut's double cheese pizza. Now, I have problems to fit into my Sportsgirl jeans and soon I might not be able to fit into my car. Sigh. One phrase: Get Off The Couch, Back To Running!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Happy Birthday With Balloons And Little Clowns

I celebrated my birthday last month in Paris, at Eiffel Tower specifically. My young cousin Ben asked me two weeks ago: Che, so how did you feel about celebrating your birthday at Eiffel Tower? I told him: I felt cold, I wasn't satisfied with my performance at the academic conference attended and I missed Brunei.

What was I thinking when I was at the 322 steps of the Eiffel Tower? I missed my family especially Baby K my precious nephew, I missed my home sweet home and I missed Bruneian food haha!

Angel of Doubt told me: Life is bitter.
Angel of Faith advised me: Next birthday would be better.
Joyeux Anniversaire!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Full Moon

We celebrated Baby K's Full Moon last week. My brother picked the cake design, I chose the cake flavour and my sister Woofhams designed the wordings.

The Full Moon cake is cute, isn't it ;)

Full Moon Must Have Number 1: Nonya-Baba (descendants of Straits born Chinese) style 'Nasi Minyak'

Full Moon Must Have Number 2: Most decorations in RED!

Full Moon Must Have Number 3: Lots and Lots of red eggs!

Full Moon Must Have Number 4: Lots of 'Ang Ku Kueh' (Nonya-Baba style sweet dessert in red & green) and pastries

Full Moon Must Have Number 5: Plenty of food ........

Maggie Cheung Interview at Edinburgh Cinema China 2007

Although I don't find Maggie Cheung a terribly good actor, I do admire her courage to "Dare To Be Different".

Note: I like the way she pronounced "immediately" in this interview - very French ;p

Live Life Well

Question: When I am not busy with work, what do I do to kill time?
Response: I play the Big Sister role to advise and nag at my siblings and younger cousins heheee ... Sometimes, I am also the marriage counsellor to my parents!

Topic: Speak Up
Few days ago, I was advising my young girl cousins that when they face problems, they must ask for help. Bottling up is not a solution. I also told them not to keep things from family, say what you want, "let it off your chest otherwise you will get stressed, unnecessarily burnt out before you could even think of a good antidote to your problems."

Topic: Be Bright & Bold
Be Bright & Bold is what I have been advising myself to do this year too. This morning at work, I was sharing with a colleague (a colleague whom my family used to think would be a good bf candidate, and a colleague whom once I was almost forced to accept as my bf. Thank God I didn't, I don't and I won't) some views on a work issue. He told me my decision few months ago has jeapardising one of his work projects. He cut my sentences many times when I tried to clarify. When he left me no room to defend/clarify/explain, I walked away.

Many of you might be thinking I have turned coward in this new year. No, in fact unlike him, I see my job as a sector of my life, not my entire life. Although he is not a bf material, but I see him as a good friend therefore I have offered my help. But he has taken my kindness as weakness, and he has taken my kindness for granted. I didn't want to kill a friendship because of work. Furthermore, I still don't think I have jeapardised his project. If I did, with his "cutting sentences" character, he would have confronted me many months ago. So, who is the coward and who is the hero in this story ;)

One day, he will grow up!

Topic: Make It Happen
I recalled in one of Maggie Cheung's Edinburgh Cinema China interviews, she said "I came here thinking I am doing this festival a big favour. In fact, I am the one who gains the most of all". She smiled and nodded her head at that point (will post that interview in my blog soon). I fully understood her point. Everyone has dreams. Some conjure up dreams and leave them in their head. Some know their dreams but don't bother to achieve them. Some work towards their dreams.

Topic: Don't Take Things For Granted
If some of you may recall, there was one posting which I talked about my parents always complaining they are incompatible to each other. When both of them went to fish market on separate route, they would come back more or less at the same time, with the same type of fish in the same quantity.

Some couples think they are not made for each other. I believe those couples have read too much Mills and Boons. There are no Mills and there are no Boons in this world. Being never married, I don't know what are the crucial components that will make couples compatible? But I believe if you think it's not easy to find the right pair of shoes, then it is 50,000 times harder to find the right spouse. So, don't give up before even you try. May be to begin with, you might want to communicate to find out the problems (see my first topic: Speak Up).

Life is short, Live Life Well!

The Greatest Game Ever Played

"Being younger doesn't imply incapable."
- Pancakeism

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year 2008!

I read my past postings at random in the past 45 minutes, and found my blog in the past 12 months was preoccupied with three categories: family, work and mid-life crisis (hehe ...).

I hope in the year 2008, (1) I could devote more time to my family; (2) I will improve my assertive communications at work and (3) I must learn to relax and take up a new hobby.

What are your new year resolutions? Happy New Year 2008!

Nitty Gritty