Monday, June 30, 2014

Mun Yee & Honn Ken

My cousin Honn Ken tied-the-knot with my then cousin-to-be Mun Yee on Saturday, 28 June 2014. As with such milestones and occasions of such magnitude, the entire extended family was on hand to celebrate. My cousins even came from as far as London and from across the causeway, Singapore.
The days and months leading up to the big day saw family members chip in to assist in whatever way possible, when requested by the couple. There is a fine line between helping and meddling, and all who were involved were reminded of this often, sometimes by yours truly. Managing a large family is never an easy task, and much effort has to be made by each and everyone of us. A close knit family should be able to handle this with aplomb, and this we did.
And so, we now officially welcome Mun Yee into the Thoo family. Congrats to the newlyweds.
The Thoo family, shot at Glad Tidings in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Dragon Boat Festival

The Wong side of my family recently got together for dinner to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival. It is a tradition that we have upheld for as long as I can remember. Those of us in the Klang Valley make it a point to gather for a good meal and to catch up.
When my grandparents were still around, all such festivals will be celebrated on a big scale in terms of the food served. A minimum of 8 dishes would be on the menu. We still try to keep up, although sometimes what is served now may lack in a bit of sophistication when compared to before. Still, I can't complain since I don't cook. Instead, I appreciate and am grateful for the effort that my extended family makes.
There are a number of festivals to celebrate yet this year, and I certainly look forward to each of them.
Dinner during the Dragon Boat Festival.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

C'est La Vie

I have lately found myself at a crossroads and once there, my instincts tend to lead me to a quick decision on which route to take. I am never one to spend too much time on weighing the pros and cons, or on the potential outcomes and consequences that my decision may result in. That has never been part of my character and it never will be. Whether rightly or wrongly, my innate trait of being decisive often makes the journey to come an exciting one, with the hope that it will be more of a pleasure rather than a challenge.
A friend I was having lunch with recently commented that I seem to move on rather quickly when a situation warrants it. I would have to agree. Life throws us curve balls, at times enticing us with the prospect of a promising endeavour and wonderful outcomes, while at other times disappointing us with circumstances that we all wish we never had to experience. C'est la vie seems to be the best attitude to adopt, with faith and hope our strongest allies.
I had the opportunity to re-connect in person with a friend of mine in Stockholm recently. At a café one evening, we had a chance to reminisce about the time we spent in Switzerland working a ski season and how our lives have evolved over the past two decades. We live in different parts of the world, work in different industries, he has two kids, I have no such responsibility, but as friends share some common interests. And of all the commonalities, the one that universally binds us all together is the desire to be happy. And for me, being happy means to always move forward, leaving the unpleasant behind, arms outstretched to welcome the good that is to come.
Cycling is very common in Stockholm, Sweden.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Busy All The Time?

Someone told me recently that I seem to be busy all the time and that it must take a lot of energy to keep up with my schedule. It was an interesting observation. I suppose I am fortunate to have good energy levels but I don't necessarily agree that my life is terribly busy.
Let's just say I see it this way. Life is meant to be lived, and I certainly enjoy living a full life. Whether it is work, friends, family or travel, I make the most out of my time. Sure I do enjoy lazing by the pool or tanning on a beach, sitting at a café with a good magazine, but by and large, I am not one to while away my time doing nothing. There is much to experience in life and too little time.
Of all that I fit into my schedule, the most important is time spent with family and friends, more often than not over a nice meal. Personal relationships need to be nurtured and maintained. Those who know me well would know that I do not store phone numbers of those who do not keep in touch regularly. Time is precious, and attention ought to be given only to those who reciprocate. Indeed, there is too little time to waste. So as I continue on with my journey, fast-paced at times, languid at others, I shall look forward to more interesting encounters along the way.
Shopping on Oxford Street in London, UK.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A Lesson

I recently posted a remark on Facebook that I had some-how learnt a lesson from a somewhat frivolous TV show. The post elicited a number of comments. Some were positive, others ridiculed my statement in jest, perhaps.
For the most part of the past year, I have had to summon quite a bit of patience on my part. It is certainly not a commodity I have in abundance, in fact, a good friend lamented that I may have used up two lifetimes' worth of patience, an observation which certainly holds some truth. Whether taking such a route - akin to sailing into unchartered waters when it comes to being patient - was worthwhile, is arguable. However, I am not one for regret. I appreciate the good, and accept the not so good as lessons in life. It added some dimension to my journey, that is certain.
So, what was the lesson I learnt from that particular TV show, some have asked. Well, it goes somewhat to the tune of when all that can be done has been done, and there is nothing more for one to do, then perhaps it is time to turn the page. And when one has done one's best, then there is no reason to look back on circumstances that one has no control over.
I appreciated Stockholm's serenity.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Family Holiday

My sister Suk Harn recently gave my Mum and I a treat, a two week holiday in London, Stockholm and Istanbul. Having been based in London for almost a year, the plan was for us to spend some time travelling as a family towards the end of her one year working stay in the English city.
For me, it was a return trip to London after two decades, to Istanbul since 2000, and a first sojourn to Scandinavia. For Mum, it was a trip down memory lane as she read law in London, with her most recent visit being a business trip with my late father many years ago. The other two cities were new places of interest for Mum, and all of us certainly looked forward to the trip.
An all expenses paid trip, other than shopping money, is something no one can refuse. All three cities provided wonderful experiences, sights to behold and food to savour. Most importantly though, traveling together as an immediate family allowed us to strengthen our bonds, even more. We look forward to my sister's return next month. Rest assured, more holidays will be in our plans.
Photo taken at Drottningholm Palace in Stockholm, Sweden.