Sunday, August 21, 2011


The past few weeks have been crazy in terms of work. Apart from having to meet editorial deadlines for The Hiplist 2011 which is due out next month as well as weddingsmalaysia 2012 which is in pre-production, orders have also been streaming in at That Special Occasion. These are good developments and I am thankful, but it also means that I am a tad more stressed than usual.

Being on holiday thrice since June adds to the chaos of the work schedule but it's not something I should complain about. In fact, such trips help me recharge and I often come back ready to tackle the challenges on the workfront. The upcoming Hari Raya and National Day holiday is something I am looking forward to. A chance to catch up with the extended family and have some R&R.

In the meantime, I could do with a badly needed reflexology and massage. If only I could find some time!

Photo of Elemis Spa at the St. Regis in Bangkok, Thailand.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Oscar Bailey

I am always on the lookout for new experiences and new challenges. Together with Veralyne, at first my client, then my industry colleague and friend, and now business partner, we are soft-launching Oscar Bailey today, 18 August 2011.

To be perfectly honest, the desire to embark on this venture came as a whim. I saw a beautiful pair of shoes by the late Alexander McQueen and I thought it'd be fun. My business partners would already know that I am not one to prepare business plans, not one to do much analysis. I just go with my gut feel and rely on my instincts most of the time. At most, I create a financial spread. For Oscar Bailey, I didn't even do that. I just called up Veralyne, invited her for a tete-a-tete over coffee one afternoon two months ago, and by the end of our chat at Backofen, we had agreed to give this endeavour a go, with me taking care of the business side of things, and her the creative and production aspects.

We are taking things one step at a time, with the premise being limited edition ready-to-wear designs. We are starting with six designs, with four sizes each, available at The Wedding Hub. And when one design sells out, we create another. Repeats are unlikely. We have also decided against custom orders. Let's face it, we are already up to our necks having to fulfill custom-made wedding gowns for our clients, and won't need the extra stress. It started just as a whim of mine and I hope it will be an enjoyable endeavour. A small albeit interesting endeavour. Fingers crossed!

Photo of one of our soft-launch designs in ivory with black trim.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Nella Fantasia

I first paid attention to this song when I was watching a clip from Korea's Got Talent. Since then, it has been playing in my head over and over. An Italian song, 'Nella Fantasia' or 'In My Fantasy', composed by Ennio Morricone with lyrics by Chiara Ferrau, is a beautiful and uplifting song.

In my imagination I see a fair world
Everyone lives in peace and in honesty there
I dream of souls that are always free
Like the clouds that fly
Full of humanity in the depths of the soul

In my imagination I see a bright world
Even the night is less dark there
I dream of souls that are always free
Like clouds that fly

In my imagination there exists a warm wind
That breathes on the cities like a friend
I dream of souls that are always free
Like clouds that fly
Full of humanity in the depths of the soul

Enjoy this performance by crossover singer, Im Tae-Kyung.

Photo of a palace in Seoul, Korea.

Monday, August 8, 2011


How time flies and how we sometimes let friendships lie dormant for years. Paul and I were school-mates in boarding school at Immanuel College in Adelaide two decades ago. Over the years, we lost touch. Facebook got us back in touch a couple of years back. And today, we reconnected in person. Paul and Karen, with three kids in tow, were in Kuala Lumpur on a 9-hour transit on their way back to Adelaide from a holiday in Phuket. A few emails plus numerous text messages later, we made arrangements to meet to catch up over a couple of hours during their layover.

It's funny how having not met for twenty years or so, friends can just reconnect so easily. I can't put a finger on it but perhaps it was because of the bonds we formed all those years ago, living, studying, socialising in a closely-knit school community. I was initially apprehensive as to whether we would have much to talk about after having not met for so long. The apprehension was unnecessary. I had a great time. Five hours is not exactly sufficient time to really catch up on twenty years' worth of news but I came away from this encounter with a sense of renewal, a renewal of a friendship. The few short hours I hope, will be a catalyst towards this renewal. Karen, who I was meeting for the first time no doubt, believes that our years in high school are the times when the strongest bonds are formed. And even after having not met for some time, those bonds can be easily re-established with friends whom we shared that phase of our lives with. There must be some truth to that.

Two fond memories come to mind. Paul a.k.a 'Father Jericho' was the one who gave me the name Kris when at Immanuel. And of course the force feeding episode where Paul force fed me Vegemite while the others held me down. Suffice to say, I have till this day not acquired the taste for Vegemite, no matter how much our friend David, an accomplice of Paul's during the force feeding, sings its praises. I hope to visit Paul, Karen and the kids in Loveday, South Australia someday. The vistas of their vineyard already has me thinking of a return trip to Adelaide and its surroundings soon.

Photo of David, Paul and I, once dorm-mates at Immanuel College in Adelaide, South Australia.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Remembering Dad

'If you know someone who fought cancer and won, or fought cancer and died, or someone who is still fighting, please add this to your status for 1 hour as a mark of respect and remembrance'. This request was asked of those who are on Facebook. I did my part.

It's been 20 months since Dad passed away from complications brought on by chemotherapy. I remember the doctor visits I accompanied my father to, the chemotheraphy sessions. It is indeed an illness that affects the entire family, not just the patient. Much perseverance and a strong will are required of the patient, much patience and strength are required of the patient's support group. Sometimes circumstances turn out good, other times not. Dad's fight lasted only 5 months from diagnosis. He was in fact responding well to the drugs as the tumours were shrinking, it was the side effects of the treatment that caused him to succumb.

Time heals and we have moved on with our lives. We think of Dad often, I do almost every day. When I encounter an amusing situation, I would chuckle at what his response would have been. When the extended family gathers for a celebration, I remember his commitment to family ties. I try to have his compassion but I do not always succeed. I say hello to his friends whenever I run into them; I made it a point to have lunch with his good friend and colleague when I was in Bangkok recently. And when I feel a bit discouraged, I remember his words 'It is your life to live, live it as you deem fit.'

Here is an inspiring story.

Photo shot at Prambanan in Jogjakarta on our second last holiday together.