Saturday, January 28, 2006

CNY peripherals

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Some of the nicer angpow packets I collected this year

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Kitty bought me this chilli-red knickers with the word "prosperity" sewn upside down to usher in the new year ;)

Gong Xi Fa Cai

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Here's wishing everyone a Happy New Year. May the Year of the Dog brings you good health, lots of love, laughter, great adventures, wonderful surprises and simple abundance.


More Patchi Chocolates

Due to popular demand, my hubby brought home more Patchi Chocolates. That means, I'd better make sure we have ample stock of Viva Cleanse Tea at home just in case....

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A Beautiful Wedding

I have to confess I don't like attending weddings, as I find most to be an absolute bore. But when I received an invitation to attend Anna's, I knew for certain that this was one special event I wouldn't want to miss for anything in the world. And indeed, I was right. Anna and Peng's wedding proved to be one of the most beautiful weddings I have attended thus far. It was beautiful not because it was held in a 5-star hotel ballroom nor because everybody was dressed fit to see the Queen.

It was beautiful because the atmosphere was filled with so much love, affection and jollity. Everyone was free to walk about and mingle. The best man and maid of honour's speech was suffused with wit and humour. The food and the wine was superb. There was an abundance of champagne. And the wedding couple was so obviously in love with one another I couldn't help but was moved just looking at them.

Having the wedding on the Lone Pine beach naturally went a great deal towards making it even more beautiful. Seated underneath the white canopy just a few feet away from the sea, it was BLISS for me, feeling the evening breeze gently caressing my arms against the background of the soft rhythm of the waves.

I had a wonderful time sharing the evening with Anna and Peng, and I am sure, so did the rest of the guests. Anna is an extraordinary woman and because of that, wherever she is, she fills the space with nothing but love and wonderment. Unsurprisingly therefore, her wedding turned out the way it did. I have only one word to describe it - MAGICAL.

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A Toast to the Wedding Couple

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All dressed in a splendid array of colour

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With the beautiful Maid of Honour

My Best Friend, Nazriah

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Thank You, Nazu...... for the beautiful CNY bouquet

I knew Nazriah since 1994 when we both started our pupillage. We clicked as soon as we met on that fateful day at the Penang High Court. I remember her walking up to me to introduce herself and as the saying goes, that was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

We have since come a long way and she was with me through thick and thin. She is what I'll call a ALL WEATHER friend, someone I automatically turn to whenever I need to bare my soul. Someone told me I would be considered fortunate if I had but one good friend in my life. I can say with conviction here that I am one fortunate woman indeed.

Our journey together........

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Helping out at my wedding gown fitting

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Matron of Honour's speech at my wedding

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An hour after my delivery of Zerlynde

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Delivery of Mia 10 days after

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Our children

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Her birthday last year

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My birthday last year

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At the LAC dinner Nov last year

Friday, January 27, 2006

The Ugly Aspect

Zerlynde is not all the time sweet and cheerful. She can throw one big hell of a tantrum when she doesn't get what she wants. Below are pictures of a situation when she was refused biscuits....

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Happy Birthday, Mozart

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Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus

Mozart is not one of my favourite classical composers. But he is undeniably one of the greatest.

Today marks his 250th birthday and this posting is a tribute to HE who has contributed so much to the world of music. Thanks to this genius we get to enjoy the following beautiful piece of music.

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Click HERE to read about how Austria is celebrating this special day. Note also that the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra is joining the rest of the world in celebrating the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth by performing many of his major works. See below for a listing.

Violin Concerto No. 5 in A, K.219 ‘Turkish’ Sat 18 & Sun 19 Feb 06 MPO/Lintu/Kuusisto
Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K.550 Fri 10, Sat 11 & Sun 12 Mar 06 MPO/Bamert/Platts/Lloyd-Roberts
Quartet No. 14 in G, K.387 Sun 2 Apr 06 MPO - The Danis Quartet
Rondo in C, K.373 Tue 2 May 06 MPO - Bold/Nakamura
Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K.491 Sat 6 & Sun 7 May 06 MPO/Mann/Abdel Rahman El Bacha
Grand Sestetto Concertante after Sinfonia Concertante in E-fl at, K.364 Wed 24 May 06 MPO Chamber Players
Cassation No. 1 in G, K.63 Sat 10 & Sun 11 Jun 06 MPO/Bamert/Davida
Horn Concerto No. 4 in E-fl at, K.495 Sat 10 & Sun 11 Jun 06 MPO/Bamert/Davida
Six German Dances, K.600 Sat 10 & Sun 11 Jun 06 MPO/Bamert/Davida
Symphony No. 28 in C, K.200 Sat 10 & Sun 11 Jun 06 MPO/Bamert/Davida

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Nightmare at Pacific

When told that the Pacific Mall was going to be opened for a period of 36 hours, I came up with the not-so-brilliant suggestion that we did our Chinese New Year shopping there after midnight on Sunday morning so as to avoid the crowd. So, after putting Zerlynde to sleep, the 4 of us, my parents, Kenzu and I drove to the mall situated about 15 minutes away from our home. To our unpleasant surprise, we were first welcomed by a long queue of cars waiting to be parked. Then we had to spend 20 minutes searching for a shopping trolley. Next, came the nightmare of having to manoeuvre the trolley amongst the rest of the midnight shoppers along the narrow alleys. By 1am, we were all so exhausted that we decided to go home but not before queuing for another 40 minutes to pay!

It would have been considered a disastrous event had we not chanced upon some Akemi lace and embroidered bedlinens sold at 70% discount. Mum and I got all excited that we grabbed 2 whole sets, paying RM360/- instead of RM1,200/- So, despite the exhaustion, we left the Mall with smiles on our face. We even had a little energy left to have supper in BM town.

And Kenzu said that next year, he will be there at 6am instead of midnight to avoid the crowd.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

What Does One Do in KL Without A Baby?

I was in KL last Thursday and Friday. Was occupied the whole day on Thursday at a Conveyancing Seminar till 5.30pm. Then, a friend Zani came to pick me up for coffee at Bangsar Shopping Complex. Was very nice catching up with him. After that, rushed to meet another friend Janice and her daughter Nicole for dinner at Taman Tun Yau Tak Teng Coffee Shop. Then she brought me to her house nearby where we chatted till 1am!

Friday, I went berserk at KLCC. Spent a fortune on books at Kinokuniya, my favourite buy being DK's Cinema Year By Year 1894 to 2005 and Yasunari Kawabata's The Sound Of The Mountain (I found it finally!). I also got Zerlynde a lovely book entitled Baby Galileo Sees the Stars.

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Tracing the development of cinema from the first experiments of Edison to the global film industry of the 21st century, this bestselling annual is the definitive chronology of the movies. Packed with key events and facts from the history of film, Cinema Year by Year is an informative and fascinating reference for movie lovers. Great for film lovers or anyone interested in movies. Includes stills, portraits and posters. Covers winners from the 2005 Academy Awards

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Mesmerizing exploration of the beauty of the night sky. Each page contains raised day glow stars and ends with Baby Galileo™ spying one glowing moon. Large, sturdy novelty board book. Appropriate for ages 18 months and up.
Your little one will be mesmerized exploring the beauty of the night sky along with Baby Galileo in this delightful novelty board book. On each page, a charming narrative invites young children to accompany Baby Galileo and count the glowing stars that embroider the night sky. The book ends with Baby Galileo spying one glowing moon. Printed on high-quality glossy board book pages, Baby Galileo™Sees the Stars will provide you and your little one with endless possibilities for fun and interaction.

Mee Lin joined me for lunch at Little Penang Cafe at 2pm. The Lam Mee there was delicious. We then did more window shopping but our tasks were significantly impaired after awhile caused primarily by my limping away as a result of my unwisely wearing a pair of very high heels. Mee Lin's feet too were killing her (no more Bata shoes in future, she said), so we headed to Isetan to hunt for some comfortable shoes afterwhich we could be seen trotting gracefully in our new practical shoes to Parkson where we both decided to give ourselves a treat in the form of a bottle of Stila Midnight Bloom eau de Parfum for me and a bottle of shower gel for her. (My hubby later complimented that I smelled of Ice-Cream Soda, so I guess the money was well spent!) Mee Lin then gave us another treat in the form of a visit to the 5-star Ladies on the Ground Floor of KLCC. RM2/- per head was charged for entry. The place was spick and span and there were two ladies standing by the sinks to dry our hands after we've washed them. Eeeek... I am not used to such luxuries, really. So thanks but no thanks.

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Step into the garden of Midnight Bloom, Stila's intoxicating fragrance reminiscent of the deep, hazy aromas of a midsummer night. Designed with a spicy hint of gardenia, the rich and warm creamy-white flower of tempting twilights, midnight bloom is also arranged with the gentle green notes of sweet fig and the exotic notes of sandalwood and golden amber.

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Auntie Mee Lin bought this cute little bag for Zerlynde to keep her angpows during CNY

At 7pm, Mee Lin had to rush off for another appointment but I was soon accompanied by Kitty and my hubby who came to join me after work. We went to Marks and Spencer where I bought a box of puzzles for Jonathan and packets of custard cream (at 40% discount!!) to replenish my stock. Hubby indulged himself and got a pair of British-made pants. Then Kitty complained of hunger, so we had our dinner at Little Penang Cafe (again!). We did more window shopping after that until the shops closed at 11pm.

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Puzzles for Jonathan's birthday

I was at KLCC for a stretch of 11 hours :)

Oh! And not forgetting, I was greeted by a box of yummy Patchi chocolates on my arrival in KL on Wednesday evening. (Isn't my hubby soooo romantic?!) Stuffed myself silly the whole night which caused me to constipate for 5 days thereafter! Thanks to Vivalife Cleanse Tea I finally got my relief...

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Yummy! I love how each piece is so exquisitely wrapped

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Highly recommended for those who need a relief

Zerlynde is 17 Months Old Today

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Posing For the Camera

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More Posing

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Deep in Concentration [See the "Tummy Big Big"?]

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"Show Mummy Your Tongue"

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Mummy: Guess How Much I Love You?
Zerlynde: [streched her arms all the way to the back meaning "THIS MUCH"]

A Mystery to Solve

Earlier today, I received a call from a florist asking for my office address. Apparently, someone has ordered a bouquet of flowers for me for Chinese New Year. And it will only be delivered on Friday. As I was unable to contain my excitement, I called Kitty to ask if she's the mystery sender. No. Next, I called my hubby to ask the same. No. So, in the meantime, I have no choice but to wait till Friday to discover who the thoughtful sender may be.

Hmm... I love surprises.

PC Baby

Zerlynde is fascinated with the computer. So, I bought some CD-roms of baby activities for her to play and learn. Here, she is seen playing peekaboo in "Sesame Street Baby & Me"

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

2006 Sexiest Men in Malaysia (2nd Instalment) - Dr Ronnie Khaw


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Age: 39 (1967)
Horoscope: Capricorn
Tertiary Education: University of Sheffield, UK
Profession: Medical Doctor
Interest/Passion: Music, Movies, Travel, Food
Favourite Book: Da Vinci Code
Favourite Movie: Light comedy & romance such as Nottinghill and Meet the Parents but "would like to give local production a chance", thus enjoys Sepet and P. Ramlee black & white movies
Favourite Music: Light jazz both instrumental and vocals, also pop
Favourite Artistes: Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Harry Connick, Robbie Williams, Madonna
Favourite City/Place: Hong Kong
Response when told of inclusion as Sexiest Men: "Don't think I qualify though"
Most Intensed Experience: His wedding, his marriage being very significant to him.
If he could be someone else: Would like to be someone talented, perhaps a musician who composes, arranges and performs, such as Harry Connick (minus the drugs)
Message to Readers: "Laughter is very important in life. Make sure you can laugh with and/or at your spouse"

Why I Find Him Sexy: Ronnie is very gentle, helpful, attentive, easy-going, groovy, and sensitive to another person's needs. I also find him to be especially perceptive, a very rare quality to possess indeed. A lover of all things beautiful and "artsy-fartsy", he has great attention for details and is very passionate about music and photography. A man of many talents and extremely creative, Ronnie plays the piano, sings, composes and arranges music and songs. He is also sometimes spotted in town taking snapshots of old buildings and whatever that catches his fancy. Definitely a man to turn to if you need someone to analyse with whether a Nikon is superior to a Sony or whether Jason died in Sepet. Also someone to turn to if you've caught a cold and needed some tender loving care.

My Message To Him: Thanks for all the medical advice you gave over the years. And thanks for that most memorable evening in 1996 spent recording both of us singing that duet you composed, great acoustics and all, in spite of the stone-age equipments we employed. Thus far, you still rank No. 1 in my list of perfect karaoke duet partner - specifically for that Lionel Richie/Diana Ross number! Last but not least, here's wishing you a Happy Birthday...

Click HERE to listen to a song that speaks of the romantic soul Ronnie is, the song he composed and dedicated to his wife at their wedding entitled I Will Always Be In Love With You

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

2006 Sexiest Men in Malaysia (1st Instalment) - Nicholas Yeo


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Age: 38+ (1967)
Horoscope: Gemini
Tertiary Education: London School of Economics, University of London
Profession: Stockbroker
Interest/Passion: Wine & Food, Scuba Diving, Travelling
Favourite Wine: Chateau Leoville Las Cases 1986
Favourite Dive Spot: Mataking, Sabah
Favourite Books/Movies: "Too lazy to read/watch any"
Favourite Music: Those with meaningful lyrics, top on the list being Glory of Love, Stacey Kent, Here I Am
Favourite Cities: Penang, Hanoi
Response when told of inclusion as Sexiest Men: "I feel so honoured.. I certainly feel sexy!"
Most Intensed Experience: An exercise in a leadership training ("you know what I mean")
If he could be someone else: Would like to be Mother Theresa. "She is someone I daren't even dream of becoming"
Message to Readers: "Carpe Diem"

Why I Find Him Sexy: Nicholas is an intelligent, open, sporting, frank, articulate, spontaneous, outrageous and charming man with a refined taste for all good things in life. Deeply passionate, he doesn't think twice about going all out to achieve his goals, and most times than not, his dreams are realised - through sheer hardwork and persistence. He usually exudes great vibes and energy, infecting the people around him with his positivity. Nick is a gem because he is that kind of a man who has the courage to tell a friend what the latter doesn't like to hear just because he cares. Definitely someone to share an adventure or some light-hearted fun with, Nick is also someone to turn to if you are in the mood for an intellectually stimulating debate on any issues under the sky. More importantly, because he is deeply sensitive and compassionate, Nick is a great person to talk to about topics close to one's heart.

My message to Nick: Thanks for all the hugs. I'll always remember that moving speech you made on that particular weekend in January 2004. And I'll always look upon that outrageous performance [p.s. Shall I call it dirty dancing or strip-teasing?? ;)]at Soho in October 2003 with much fondness ;)

Click "HERE" to listen to a song which speaks of who Nicholas is.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

The Phantom Lover (Ye Ban Ge Sheng) 1995

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This is another movie that I really love. Starring Leslie Cheung and Wu Chien Lien, it is a variation of Geston Leroux's Phantom of the Opera.

To listen to a song clip, click here
To read the synopsis, click here
To read a review, click here
To see the movie trailer, visit the Official Site
To download the free eBook by Vernon Lee, click here

Perhaps Love's "Forgotten Who I am"

Thanks to my brother James who bought me a copy of Perhaps Love Soundtrack today, my Sunday evening was an enjoyable one spent listening to a few lovely songs, specifically Forgotten Who I am, World Out There, What If, You Do Love Me and of course, the theme song, Perhaps Love.

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Wang Le Wo Xi Suo (Forgotten Who I am)
It was you, no doubt – your voice, your back.
The distant look in your eyes puts me to silence
Are you testing me because you doubt me?
Perhaps my memory is flawed
You aren’t you after all
Who are you then? Someone who has forgotten her love for me?
My heart is enthralled by you, broken by you.
I regret nothing even if I should
Love that once existed, or perhaps, it was only my illusion.
How could you forget it all… Forget about me?

Who are you? Who’s this person gazing at me?
Is it déjà vu, or is it a dream?
I seem to have known you before
The love in your eyes is a feeling I don’t understand
Why do you have to ask me…
…ask me who I am?

Have I really forgotten…
…who I really am?
I did know you, didn’t I?
But who are you?

To download this song, click here. Enjoy!

To listen to another song, World Out There, click here.

35 Things To Do Before You're 35

I came across an article in the January 2006 issue of Elle Singapore called 35 by 35, basically a list of items a woman's got to do before she turns 35 to see that she's "not missing out on great experiences and milestones" in her life journey.

1. Travel Solo - travelled to Hong Kong alone in year 1999 but stayed with a friend who was posted there for work. So, maybe this is not counted?
2. Buying a car - still dreaming about my BMW convertible ;)
3. Road trip - to KL counted? I guess not...
4. A fancy dinner - thanks to my hubby, I've had a lot of this
5. Nude photos - hmmm.... this one is definitely a stretch...
6. Visit one major city - London, Edinburgh, Oxford, Cambridge, Paris, Lyon, Cannes, Rome, Florence, Venice, Munich, Lucerne, Salzsburg, Vienna, Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Kumamoto, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Bali
7. Getting your own place - 2005
8. Volunteering - I have a Swiss friend who's working with the UN. My dream is to join her for a couple of months sometime in the future
9. Adopting (charity, animal, or tree) - adopting a child in a third world country is definitely in the pipeline
10. Dump toxic friends - difficult to let go but yes, have done that a few times
11. Organise regular reunions - I have my regular lunch meets with friends who really matter
12. Attending a global event - hope to do the Cannes Film Festival soon
13. Online shopping - done too much of that in 2005!
14. Flirting - Err...
15. Knowing your legal rights - that I can say is not an issue
16. Take a family holiday - we've been doing this on a yearly basis for the past few years
17. Sharing a kiss in Paris, with someone you love - :) done that, also under many bridges in Venice
18. Making love somewhere unusual - Errr... we are asked to check out for inspiration.
19. Do the New York Times crossword - will head for this immediately after this posting
20. Planning for retirement - not got round to that... tsk...
21. Learning another language - attempted Japanese and French but can't boast of remembering anything besides "Aisteru" and Je'taime"
22. Commission a portrait - wait till I go to Cambodia or Vietnam
23. Run a marathon - this is another major stretch, possibly something I'll never do in my life
24. Have a mammogram - I heard this is very painful, so...
25. Overcome a phobia - Can't think of one at the moment
26. Living overseas - did that from 1989 Sept to 1994 Jan in London. Don't mind doing that again, next time hopefully it'll be in Paris or New York
27. See the wonders of the world - Eiffel tower and the Leaning Tower of Pisa counted?
28. Blogging - :) :) res ipsa loquitor
29. Get a full body check-up - done
30. Meditate - hmm... not something I'll enjoy...
31. Increase your insurance coverage - just done that
32. Quit smoking - I never smoked
33. Pop calcium - okay, 2006 new year resolution
34. Go back to school - considering...
35. Make a will - soon...

Further, the author of the article has added a "Five Must-Dos Before 40"

1. Own liquid assets
2. Change your fashion style
3. Learn a life skill
4. Deal with death
5. Turn down an unsuitable marriage proposal

Saturday, January 14, 2006

2006 Sexiest Men in Malaysia

In my posting of October 28, 2005 entitled "Sexiest Men Alive", I listed down 9 men who in my opinion are (obviously) the Sexiest Men Alive. All 9 men happened to be film actors, so the list is only "significant" insofar as it is considered in the realm of one's fantasy.

Since then, I started thinking about working on a more “personal” and "closer-to-home" list of “Sexiest Men”, hence my decision to post a list of “2006 Sexiest Men in Malaysia” in instalments.

Working on this list was no easy task. First, I had to search amongst my friends for those men who are both inwardly and outwardly extraordinary. The most essential criteria to meet as far as I am concerned is these must be men who whole-heartedly and passionately embrace life to its fullest despite all of its complexities, compromises and contradictions. These must also be men who have in one way or another made a difference to the lives of many others.

These men are kind, gentle, intelligent, caring, loving, honest, authentic, adventurous, diligent, witty, conscientious, courageous, confident, decent, generous, loyal, charming, sensitive, talented, powerful, inspiring and empowering. And these are men who would have been extremely eligible from many girls’ point of view had they been “eligible” in the first place. (Yes, unfortunately, they are all married!!) And last but not least, these are men who are extremely HOT & SEXY (literally), well, in my opinion at the very least ;)

So, watch out for the list, girls!

Love's Philosophy by Percy Bysshe Shelley

The fountains mingle with the river
and the rivers with the ocean,
The winds of Heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single
All things by a law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle
Why not I with thine?

See the mountains kiss high Heaven
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdained its brother;
And the sunlight clasps the earth
And the moonbeams kiss the sea:
What is all this sweet work worth
If thou kiss not me?

Guess How Much I Love You

One of my favourite bedtime stories for Zerlynde is Sam McBratney's award-winning Guess How Much I Love You.

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Little Nutbrown Hare, who was going to bed, held on tight to Big Nutbrown Hare's very long ears. He wanted to be sure that Big Nutbrown Hare was listening.
"Guess how much I love you," he said.
"Oh, I don't think I could guess that," said Big Nutbrown Hare.
"This much," said Little Nutbrown Hare, stretching out his arms as wide as they could go.
Big Nutbrown Hare had even longer arms. "But I love YOU this much," he said.
Hmm, that is a lot, thought Little Nutbrown Hare.
"I love you as high as I can reach." said Little Nutbrown Hare.
"I love you as high as I can reach," said Big Nutbrown Hare.
That is quite high, thought Little Nutbrown Hare. I wish I had arms like that.
Then Little Nutbrown Hare had a good idea. He tumbled upside down and reached up the tree trunk with his feet.
"I love you all the way up to my toes!" he said.
"And I love you all the way up to your toes," said Big Nutbrown Hare, swinging him up over his head.
"I love you as high as I can HOP!" laughed Little Nutbrown Hare, bouncing up and down.
"But I love you as high as I can hop," smiled Big Nutbrown Hare - and he hopped so high that his ears touched the branches above.
That's good hopping, thought Little Nutbrown Hare. I wish I could hop like that.
"I love you all the way down the lane as far as the river," cried Little Nutbrown Hare.
"I love you across the river and over the hills," said Big Nutbrown Hare.
That's very far, thought Little Nutbrown Hare. He was almost too sleepy to think any more. Then he looked beyond the thorn bushes, out into the big dark night. Nothing could be further than the sky.
"I love you right up to the MOON," he said, and closed his eyes.
"Oh, that's far," said Big Nutbrown Hare. "That is very, very far."
Big Nutbrown Hare settled Little Nutbrown Hare into his bed of leaves. He leaned over and kissed him good night.
Then he lay down close by and whispered with a smile, "I love you right up to the moon - AND BACK."

Don't you think it's such a beautiful love story?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

How Do You Keep The Music Playing

This is what I call perfection. Discovered this song in 1994 and have not stopped loving it since.

[Thank you, Michelle for giving me the link.]

Specially For You, Kitty

This song because it belongs to you.

song because you discovered it first.

And this colour because I love you lots.

Flying Without Wings

I found a friend this week, simply because he and I are both moved by the same song. Thanks WL for sending me this link. This song definitely belongs to you!

Those of you who have been reading my Blog regularly will have noticed that I have been experimenting unsuccessfully with "hosting" audio files here. So, the discovery of this link is a dream come true for me - at least for now...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Perhaps Love 2005

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I’ve been wanting to watch "Perhaps Love" ever since I realised it is directed by Peter Chan, the same guy who directed "Comrades, Almost a Love Story". So, earlier this evening, I set aside 107 minutes of uninterrupted time (well, almost…) to watch this widely advertised "first Chinese musical in 30 years". (I must add Peter Chan himself mentioned that "Perhaps Love" is not a musical, which I am inclined to agree after watching the same.)

So, what’s my verdict? Spectacular! "Perhaps Love", I must say, is one of the best Chinese movie I have seen for a long time. It is certainly an ambitious project, very complex and filled with scenes after scenes of beautifully composed imagery (not surprising considering the cinematographer is none other than Christopher Doyle), so much so that I personally thought it was bordering on being too contrived. Oh! And the songs are really superb too. I like particularly the one entitled “Who Am I”.

Despite all said, I must stress "Perhaps Love" in my opinion runs far behind "Comrades" in terms of the emotional impact it leaves on its audience. I remember crying buckets and at the same time smiling to myself during various scenes of "Comrades". "Perhaps Love" neither brought forth a smile nor a tear. Such is the difference between a classic film and a good film.

For more “Perhaps Love” synopsis and information, click here and here

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Breeze On By

Lately as I was driving back from work, this superbly smooth and breezy song which sounded oddly familiar, has been playing on the radio. I called a friend who shares with me a common interest in music twice to see if he knew the name of the song but on both occasions, by the time he tuned in, the song was over. Then one evening, the DJ announced that the song is sung by Donny Osmond. My, what a surprise! The Donny Osmond whom my sister and I used to love when we were not yet 10! The Donny Osmond whom I thought, has vanished into thin air.

Anyway, I found out tonight that the name of that refreshing song is “Breeze On By”, first track in the album known as “What I Meant to Say”, which scored a top 10 hit in UK in late 2004. And it samples George Benson’s “Breezin”. No wonder the familiarity.

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Breeze On By
Baby, Your Drivin' Me Crazy
I Don't Want Anybody Thinkin' About You
In The Way, That I'm Thinkin' About You
Oh Baby, Don't Keep Me Movin',
LadyCos' I Know That Your Feelin' Like I Do
And Right Now's The Time To Talk To You

No Matter What Happens, I Would Give It Up
Every Single Day I'm Fallin' Deeper In Love
I've Never Never Been So Happy And I Know Why
(I'll Tell You Why)

Cos' I, I Got Sunshshine Every Day
(Everything's Sunny, Everything's Right, Yeah!
Thoughts Of You Come Breezin' Through)
Why, Cos' The Clouds Aren't In My Way
(Everything's Sunny, Everything's Right, Yeah!
Summer Days And Nights Just Breeze On By)

You Know They Just Breeze On By
This Time Don't Give It Excuses
Cos' I Won't Take 'No' For An Answer
And I Won't Be Lettin' Go, Now That I Found You
Ooo Lady, Won't You Come And Save Me
Oh I Can't Imagine Livin' Without You
And Right Now's The Time, It's Up To You

You Are Everything That I Ever Desired (Ooo)
The Lovin' That You Give Is Just Takin' Me High
(Take Me High)
I'm Never Gonna' Stop, Never Gonna' Give In And Why
(I'll Tell You Why)

Cos' I, I Got Sunshine Every Day
(Everything's Sunny, Everything's Right, Yeah! (Oh Yeah)
Thoughts Of You Come Breezin' Through)
Why, The Clouds Aren't In My Way
(Everything's Sunny, Everything's Right, Yeah! (No Way)
Summer Days And Nights Just Breeze On By)

No Matter What Happens, I Would Give It Up (Mmm)
Every Single Day I'm Fallin' Deeper In Love (Ooo)
I've Never Never Been So Happy And I Know Why (I Know Why)

You Are Everything That I Ever Desired (I Desire)
The Lovin' That You Give Is Just Takin' Me High-Hi (Take Me High)
I'm Never Gonna' Stop, Never Gonna' Give In And Why (I'll Tell You Why)

Cos' I, I Got Sunshshine Every Day
(Everything's Sunny, Everything's Right, Yeah! (Woah-ah)
Thoughts Of You Come Breezin' Through)
Why, The Clouds Aren't In My Way
(Everything's Sunny, Everything's Right, Yeah! (Woo)
Summer Days And Nights Just Breeze On By)
On ByI've Got Sunshine Every Day

Click here to see the music video

Music Video Codes By

Monday, January 09, 2006

Here and Now

Once in a while, you listen to a song and you experience perfection. Tonight, that song for me is "Here and Now", a 1989 classic which won Luther Vandross his first Grammy in 1990 for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.

Click here to enjoy the song.

Here And Now

One look in your eyes and there I see
Just what you mean to me
Here in my heart I believe
Your love is all I'll ever need
Holdin' you close through the night
I need you, yeah

I look in your eyes and there I see
What happiness really means
The love that we share makes life so sweet
Together we'll always be
This pledge of love feels so right
And, ooh, I need you

Here and now
I promise to love faithfully (Faithfully)
You're all I need
Here and now
I vow to be one with thee (You and me), hey
Your love is all (I need) I need

Say, yeah, yeah...

When I look in your eyes, there I'll see
All that a love should really be
And I need you more and more each day
Nothin' can take your love away
More than I dare to dream
I need you

Here and now
I promise to love faithfully (Faithfully)
You're all I need
Here and now
I vow to be one with thee (You and me), yeah
Your love is all I need

(Starting here) Ooh, and I'm starting now
I believe (I believe in love), I believe
(Starting here) I'm starting right here
(Starting now) Right now because I believe in your love
So I'm glad to take the vow

Here and now, oh
I promise to love faithfully (Faithfully)
You're all I need
Here and now, yeah
I vow to be one with thee (You and me), yeah
Your love is all I need

I, hey...yeah...yeah...hey...
Uh, hey...
I-I, love is all I need
Love is all I need
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Saturday, January 07, 2006

101 Ways to Score with a Woman

[Extract from John Gray’s Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, in response to my brother’s posting of 3rd January, 2006]

A man thinks he scores high with a woman when he does something very big for her. This formula doesn’t work because women keep score differently. When a woman keeps score, no matter how big or small a gift of love is, it scores one point; each gift has equal value.

There are a variety of ways a man can score points with his partner without having to do much. It is just a matter of redirecting the energy and attention he is already giving. Most men already know about many of these things but don’t bother to do them because they don’t realize how important the little things are to a woman. A man truly believes the little things are insignificant when compared to the big things he is doing for her.

The way women score points is not just a preference but a true need. Women need many expressions of love in a relationship to feel loved. One or two expressions of love, no matter how important, will not, and cannot, fulfill her.

Following is a list of 101 of the little ways a man can [score points with women].

  1. Upon returning home find her first before doing anything else and give her a hug.
  2. Ask her specific questions about her day that indicate an awareness of what she was planning to do (eg., “How did your appointment with the doctor go?”).
  3. Practise listening and asking questions.
  4. Resist the temptation to solve her problems – emphatize instead.
  5. Give her 20 minutes of unsolicited, quality attention (don’t read newspapers or be distracted by anything else during this time).
  6. Bring her cut flowers as a surprise as well as on special occasions.
  7. Plan a date several days in advance, rather than waiting for Friday night and asking her what she wants to do.
  8. If she generally makes dinner or if it is her turn and she seems tired or really busy, offer to make dinner.
  9. Compliment her on how she looks.
  10. Validate her feelings when she is upset.
  11. Offer to help her when she is tired.
  12. Schedule extra time when traveling so that she doesn’t have to rush.
  13. When you are going to be late, call her and let her know.
  14. When she asks for support, say yes or no without making her wrong for asking.
  15. Whenever her feelings have been hurt, give her some empathy and tell her “I’m sorry you feel hurt. Don’t offer solutions or explanations why her hurt is not your fault.
  16. Whenever you need to pull away, let her know you will be back or that you need some time to think about things.
  17. When you’ve cooled off and you come back, talk about what was bothering you in a respectful, non blaming way, so she doesn’t imagine the worst.
  18. Offer to build a fire in wintertime.
  19. When she talks to you, put down your magazine or turn off the TV and give her your full attention.
  20. If she usually washes the dishes, occasionally offer to wash the dishes, especially if she is tired that day.
  21. Notice when she is upset or tired and ask what she has to do. Then offer to help by doing a few of her “to do” items.
  22. When going out, ask if there is anything she wants you to pick up at the shops, and remember to pick it up.
  23. Let her know when you are planning to take a nap or leave.
  24. Give her four hugs a day.
  25. Call her from work to ask how she is or to share something exciting or to tell her I love you”.
  26. Tell her “I love you” at least a couple of times every day.
  27. Make the bed and clean up the bedroom.
  28. If she washes your socks, turn your socks right side out so she doesn’t have to.
  29. Notice when the rubbish bin is full and offer to empty it.
  30. When you are out of town, call to leave a telephone number where you can be reached and to let her know you arrived safely.
  31. Wash her car.
  32. Wash your car and clean up the interior before a date with her.
  33. Wash before having sex or put on a cologne if she likes that.
  34. Take her side when she is upset with someone.
  35. Offer to give he a back or neck or foot massage (or all three).
  36. Make a point of cuddling or being affectionate sometimes without being sexual.
  37. Be patient when she is sharing. Don’t look at your watch.
  38. Don’t flick the remote control to different channels when she is watching TV with you.
  39. Display affection in public.
  40. When holding hands don’t let your hand go limp.
  41. Learn her favourite drinks so you can offer her a choice of the ones that you know she already likes.
  42. Suggest different restaurants for going out; don’t put the burden of figuring out where to go on her.
  43. Get season tickets for the theatre, symphony, opera, ballet, or some other type of performance she likes.
  44. Create occasions when you both can dress up.
  45. Be understanding when she is late or decides to change her outfit.
  46. Pay more attention to her than to others in public.
  47. Make her more important than the children. Let the children see her getting your attention first and foremost.
  48. Buy her little presents – like a small box of chocolates or perfume.
  49. Buy her an outfit (take a picture of your partner along with her sizes to the store and let them help you select it).
  50. Take pictures of her on special occasions.
  51. Take short romantic getaways.
  52. Let her see that you carry a picture of her in your wallet and update it from time to time.
  53. When staying in a hotel, have them prepare the room with something special, like a bottle of champagne or sparkling apple juice or flowers.
  54. Write a note or make a sign on special occasions such as anniversaries and birthdays.
  55. Offer to drive the car on long trips.
  56. Drive slowly and safely, respecting her preferences. After all, she is sitting powerless in the front seat.
  57. Notice how she is feeling and comment on it – “You look happy today” or “You look tired” – and then ask a question like “How was your day?”
  58. When taking her out, study in advance the directions so that she does not have to feel responsible to navigate.
  59. Take her dancing or take dancing lessons together.
  60. Surprise her with a love note or poem.
  61. Treat her in ways you did at the beginning of the relationship.
  62. Offer to fix her something around the house. Say “What needs to be fixed around here? I have some extra time.” Don’t take on more than you can do.
  63. Offer to sharpen her knives in the kitchen.
  64. Buy some good Super Glue to fix things that are broken.
  65. Offer to change light bulbs as soon as they go out.
  66. Help with recycling the rubbish.
  67. Read our loud or cut our sections of the newspaper that would interest her.
  68. Write out neatly any phone messages you may take for her.
  69. Keep the bathroom floor clean and dry it after taking a shower.
  70. Open the door for her.
  71. Offer to carry the groceries.
  72. Offer to carry heavy boxes for her.
  73. On trips, handle the luggage and be responsible for packing it in the car.
  74. If she washes the dishes or it is her turn, offer to help scrub pots or other difficult tasks.
  75. Make a “to fix” list and leave it in the kitchen. When you have extra time do something on that list for her. Don’t let it get too long.
  76. When she prepares a meal, compliment her cooking.
  77. When listening to her talk, use eye contact.
  78. Touch her with your hand sometimes when you talk to her.
  79. Show interest in what she does during the day, in the books she reads and the people she relates to.
  80. When listening to her, reassure her that you are interested by making little noises like ah ha, uh-huh, oh, mmhuh, and hmmmm.
  81. Ask her how she is feeling.
  82. If she has been sick in some way, ask for an update and ask how she is doing or feeling.
  83. If she is tired offer to make her some tea.
  84. Get ready to go to sleep together and get in bed at the same time.
  85. Give her a kiss and say good-bye when you leave.
  86. Laugh at her jokes and humour.
  87. Verbally say thank you when she does things for you.
  88. Notice when she gets her hair done and give a reassuring compliment.
  89. Create special time to be alone together.
  90. Don’t answer the phone at intimate moments or if she is sharing vulnerable feelings.
  91. Go bicycling together, even if it’s just a short ride.
  92. Organize and prepare a picnic. (Remember to bring a picnic cloth.)
  93. If she handles the laundry, bring the clothes to the cleaners or offer to do the wash.
  94. Take her for a walk without the children.
  95. Negotiate in a manner that shows her that you want her to get what she wants and you also want what you want. Be caring, but don’t be a martyr..
  96. Let her know you missed her when you went away.
  97. Bring home her favourite pie or dessert.
  98. If she normally shops for the food, offer to do the food shopping.
  99. Eat lightly on romantic occasions so that you don’t become stuffed and tired later.
  100. Ask her to add her thoughts to this list.
  101. Leave the bathroom seat down.

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

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Once there was a giving tree who loved a little boy.
And everyday the boy would come to play
Swinging from the branches, sleeping in the shade
Laughing all the summer’s hours away.
And so they love,
Oh, the tree was happy.
Oh, the tree was glad.

But soon the boy grew older and one day he came and said,
"Can you give me some money, tree, to buy something I’ve found?"
"I have no money," said the tree, "Just apples, twigs and leaves."
"But you can take my apples, boy, and sell them in the town."
And so he did and
Oh, the tree was happy.
Oh, the tree was glad.

But soon again the boy came back and he said to the tree,
"I’m now a man and I must have a house that’s all my home."
"I can’t give you a house" he said, "The forest is my house."
"But you may cut my branches off and build yourself a home"
And so he did.
Oh, the tree was happy.
Oh, the tree was glad.

And time went by and the boy came back with sadness in his eyes.
"My life has turned so cold," he says, "and I need sunny days."
"I’ve nothing but my trunk," he says, "But you can cut it down
And build yourself a boat and sail away."
And so he did and
Oh, the tree was happy.
Oh, the tree was glad.

And after years the boy came back, both of them were old.
"I really cannot help you if you ask for another gift."
"I’m nothing but an old stump now. I’m sorry but I’ve nothing more to give"
"I do not need very much now, just a quiet place to rest,"
The boy, he whispered, with a weary smile.
"Well", said the tree, "An old stump is still good for that."
"Come, boy", he said, "Sit down, sit down and rest a while."
And so he did and
Oh, the trees was happy.
Oh, the tree was glad.

Self-Help Books

Most people don’t read “self-improvement” (self-help, self-discovery, what-is-our-purpose, relationship, love, spiritual growth, whatever-you-call-it) books, mainly because they don’t believe they need to improve themselves, or more possibly, because they don’t want to acknowledge there is room for improvement in their lives. Also, they question whether mere reading can create transformation.

I used to shy away from reading those types of books myself. To me, as long as we exercise our common sense, we are more than equipped to face the trials and tribulations of life. Moreover, people, I believe, are born to be good, so all of us do come into this world already with an innate sense of responsibility and integrity. Granted, sometimes we lose sight of what is right or wrong, in which case, we should just find ourselves a quiet corner and do some honest self-reflection, and it will all come back.

It must have been in 1994 when I read my first copy of “self-help” book, M. Scott Peck‘s The Road Less Traveled. It was on the best-selling list for months, so I was curious to discover what the hype was all about. I’ve forgotten the contents of the book since it’s been more than 10 years. But I remember I was very impressed with what I read. And along with that, my sceptism toward self-improvement books disappeared. This is not to mean I filled my library with tonnes of them since then. No, it merely means once in a while, when I am feeling a bit low and need a boost of confidence or when some friends recommend it, I'll grab myself a copy of such books to read.

To date, I have come across numerous books worth mentioning, books I turn to for inspiration or whenever I need to find answers in my life. Below is a list:-

1. The Road Less Traveled – M. Scott Peck
2. Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus – John Gray
3. Celestine Prophecy – James Redfield
4. Conversations with God I, II, III – Neale Donald Walsch
5. Livingstone’s Seagull - Richard Bach
6. The 5 People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
7. Who Moved My Cheese – Dr Spencer Johnson
8. The Giving Tree – Shel Silverstein
9. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R. Covey
10. Being Happy - Andrew Matthews
11. Romancing the Ordinary - Sarah Ban Breathnach

Got to think of it, these books should be more aptly called "Books of Inspiration".

Friday, January 06, 2006

BBC's Big Read

In April 2003 the BBC's Big Read began the search for the nation's best-loved novel, and readers are asked to nominate their favourite books. The results are as follows. (My personal recommendation in red)

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
26. Tess Of The D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
101. Three Men In A Boat, Jerome K. Jerome
102. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett
103. The Beach, Alex Garland
104. Dracula, Bram Stoker
105. Point Blanc, Anthony Horowitz
106. The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens
107. Stormbreaker, Anthony Horowitz
108. The Wasp Factory, Iain Banks
109. The Day Of The Jackal, Frederick Forsyth
110. The Illustrated Mum, Jacqueline Wilson
111. Jude The Obscure, Thomas Hardy
112. The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾, Sue Townsend
113. The Cruel Sea, Nicholas Monsarrat
114. Les Misérables, Victor Hugo
115. The Mayor Of Casterbridge, Thomas Hardy
116. The Dare Game, Jacqueline Wilson
117. Bad Girls, Jacqueline Wilson
118. The Picture Of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
119. Shogun, James Clavell
120. The Day Of The Triffids, John Wyndham
121. Lola Rose, Jacqueline Wilson
122. Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray
123. The Forsyte Saga, John Galsworthy
124. House Of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski
125. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
126. Reaper Man, Terry Pratchett
127. Angus, Thongs And Full-Frontal Snogging, Louise Rennison
128. The Hound Of The Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle
129. Possession, A. S. Byatt
130. The Master And Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov
131. The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood
132. Danny The Champion Of The World, Roald Dahl
133. East Of Eden, John Steinbeck
134. George's Marvellous Medicine, Roald Dahl
135. Wyrd Sisters, Terry Pratchett
136. The Color Purple, Alice Walker
137. Hogfather, Terry Pratchett
138. The Thirty-Nine Steps, John Buchan
139. Girls In Tears, Jacqueline Wilson
140. Sleepovers, Jacqueline Wilson
141. All Quiet On The Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque
142. Behind The Scenes At The Museum, Kate Atkinson
143. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby
144. It, Stephen King
145. James And The Giant Peach, Roald Dahl
146. The Green Mile, Stephen King
147. Papillon, Henri Charriere
148. Men At Arms, Terry Pratchett
149. Master And Commander, Patrick O'Brian
150. Skeleton Key, Anthony Horowitz
151. Soul Music, Terry Pratchett
152. Thief Of Time, Terry Pratchett
153. The Fifth Elephant, Terry Pratchett
154. Atonement, Ian McEwan
155. Secrets, Jacqueline Wilson
156. The Silver Sword, Ian Serraillier
157. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Ken Kesey
158. Heart Of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
159. Kim, Rudyard Kipling
160. Cross Stitch, Diana Gabaldon
161. Moby Dick, Herman Melville
162. River God, Wilbur Smith
163. Sunset Song, Lewis Grassic Gibbon
164. The Shipping News, Annie Proulx
165. The World According To Garp, John Irving
166. Lorna Doone, R. D. Blackmore
167. Girls Out Late, Jacqueline Wilson
168. The Far Pavilions, M. M. Kaye
169. The Witches, Roald Dahl
170. Charlotte's Web, E. B. White
171. Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
172. They Used To Play On Grass, Terry Venables and Gordon Williams
173. The Old Man And The Sea, Ernest Hemingway
174. The Name Of The Rose, Umberto Eco
175. Sophie's World, Jostein Gaarder
176. Dustbin Baby, Jacqueline Wilson
177. Fantastic Mr Fox, Roald Dahl
178. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
179. Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, Richard Bach
180. The Little Prince, Antoine De Saint-Exupery
181. The Suitcase Kid, Jacqueline Wilson
182. Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens
183. The Power Of One, Bryce Courtenay
184. Silas Marner, George Eliot
185. American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis
186. The Diary Of A Nobody, George and Weedon Grossmith
187. Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh
188. Goosebumps, R. L. Stine
189. Heidi, Johanna Spyri
190. Sons And Lovers, D. H. LawrenceLife of Lawrence
191. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera
192. Man And Boy, Tony Parsons
193. The Truth, Terry Pratchett
194. The War Of The Worlds, H. G. Wells
195. The Horse Whisperer, Nicholas Evans
196. A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry
197. Witches Abroad, Terry Pratchett
198. The Once And Future King, T. H. White
199. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
200. Flowers In The Attic, Virginia Andrews

My Baby Standing

At 16 months and 12 days, my baby is still not walking. So we are all very thrilled at home to see that she's learning to stand now without support. The longest period she could hold herself up before losing her balance was 10 seconds last night. And each time she fell, she picked herself up and practised, over and over again. She was so proud of herself, I could see. And she was enjoying her trials and tribulations too.

Perseverance, risks-taking, having a good sense of humour and an ability to look at the bright side of things are traits we can all learn from our children.

When A Woman Loves a Man

When a Woman Loves a Man
by David Lehman

When she says margarita she means daiquiri.
When she says quixotic she means mercurial.
And when she says, "I'll never speak to you again,"
she means, "Put your arms around me from behind
as I stand disconsolate at the window."

He's supposed to know that.

When a man loves a woman he is in New York and she is in Virginia
or he is in Boston, writing, and she is in New York, reading,
or she is wearing a sweater and sunglasses in Balboa Park and he
is raking leaves in Ithaca
or he is driving to East Hampton and she is standing disconsolate
at the window overlooking the bay
where a regatta of many-colored sails is going on
while he is stuck in traffic on the Long Island Expressway.

When a woman loves a man it is one ten in the morning
she is asleep he is watching the ball scores and eating pretzels
drinking lemonade
and two hours later he wakes up and staggers into bed
where she remains asleep and very warm.

When she says tomorrow she means in three or four weeks.
When she says, "We're talking about me now,"
he stops talking. Her best friend comes over and says,
"Did somebody die?"

When a woman loves a man, they have gone
to swim naked in the stream
on a glorious July day
with the sound of the waterfall like a chuckle
of water rushing over smooth rocks,
and there is nothing alien in the universe.

Ripe apples fall about them.
What else can they do but eat?

When he says, "Ours is a transitional era,"
"that's very original of you," she replies,
dry as the martini he is sipping.

They fight all the time
It's fun
What do I owe you?
Let's start with an apology
Ok, I'm sorry, you dickhead.
A sign is held up saying "Laughter."
It's a silent picture.
"I've been fucked without a kiss," she says,
"and you can quote me on that,"
which sounds great in an English accent.

One year they broke up seven times and threatened to do it
another nine times.

When a woman loves a man, she wants him to meet her at the
airport in a foreign country with a jeep.

When a man loves a woman he's there. He doesn't complain that
she's two hours late
and there's nothing in the refrigerator.

When a woman loves a man, she wants to stay awake.
She's like a child crying
at nightfall because she didn't want the day to end.

When a man loves a woman, he watches her sleep, thinking:
as midnight to the moon is sleep to the beloved.
A thousand fireflies wink at him.
The frogs sound like the string section
of the orchestra warming up.
The stars dangle down like earrings the shape of grapes.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Solicitors' Remuneration Order 2006

Those who are planning to buy real properties this year, be aware that the Solicitors' Remuneration Order 2006 came into force on the first day of 2006, meaning your legal fees will be slightly different from what they used to be.

Purchasers who buy directly from housing developers will be pleased to know that they are entitled to a 25 - 35% mandatory discount depending on the purchase price. But bad news for those who are planning to buy second-hand properties. The scale fees have been increased to 1% for the first RM150,000-00 and 0.7% for the next RM850,000-00. The following RM2M will be charged a 0.6%, and the next RM2M, 0.5%. Anything from RM5M to RM7.5M will be charged a 0.4% whereas the fees chargeable for anything exceeding RM7.5M is negotioble but shall not exceed 0.4%.

Further note solicitors are not entitled to give any discounts save for the few situations provided under the Order.

Our Little Angel

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Zerlynde wants to carry baby Shaun...

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...but he turns out to be slightly too heavy for her

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Zerlynde amused to be sleeping in a baby cradle