4 Feb 2018

Events Last Week

Grandaughter A is nearly 11, and in the final year (year 6) of primary school.   Grandson B is 6 and in Year 2.  Youngest Grandson B is now in kindy.  These 2 photos are from DIL's Facebook.
6 years ago, when Granddaughter A first started school.
The big lunar eclipse last week saw me out taking some pictures.

I went to the local sports ground, where Fleming and I used to spend a lot of time together, to get a clear view, as tall trees around my home would block the view of the moon, at least in the initial stages.

When the moon was high enough to clear the trees, I went home.  Watched tv and went out to shoot the eclipse during the commercial breaks, till the eclipse ended at about 11 pm.

I took about 90 shots in all, and here's some of them put together in a montage.
 And some others, I put into a never-ending gif animation.
After procrastinating about 3 years, I finally finished my Myanmar holiday photo book and sent it for printing.  The pdf copy of the book, should you like to take a look, is in the free downloads section on the right side of this blog (41 MB).

15 Jan 2018

Sentimental Journey: Bali Revisited

When the Sea Princess anchored off the port of Benoa, we initially thought that we would not bother going ashore, as we had just visited Bali a year or two ago.

The ship had announced that their plans to charter a 300 seat tender to take passengers to the port had fallen through, and they would be using the lifeboats as tender instead.  At 100 heads per lifeboat, we thought that would take ages.

A little later though, they announced that they had secured another 300 seater tender to transport passengers ashore in addition to the lifeboats.

I then suggested to Grandma C that we go ashore and take a taxi to re-visit the hotel we honeymooned at way back in 1971.
The beachfront entrance to the hotel is pretty much the same.
The hotel was at Sanur Beach, and we were delighted to find that it had not changed very much.
The garden paths have been paved by now and the gardens look more professionally tended.
The chalets have been updated and look more modern.
And they now have a swimming pool, which they didn't when we were here 46 years ago.
The dining hall still sits in the same spot, though they call it a restaurant now, and we decided to have our lunch there.
How did 46 years go by so quickly?
Grandma C had sambal udang ...
... and I had satay.
What we used to do during our honeymoon, was to have dinner at our hotel, and then take a walk to a nearby 5 star hotel to have coffee.

We decided that we'd do the same after lunch and walk there for our coffee.

From memory, I thought that the 5 star hotel was a Hyatt Hotel, but when we got there, we found that the place had changed vastly, and nothing was recognisable.

We did have our coffee and I spoke to the waiter who told me that it was never the Hyatt Hotel, and was called the Bali Beach Hotel before suffering a fire in 1993 and then re-emerging in its current form as the Inna Grand Bali Beach Hotel.

I found later, via Google, that the Bali Beach Hotel in our time there, was indeed an Intercontinental and not a Hyatt.
Coffee at the Inna Grand Bali Beach Hotel.
I was curious about the hotel fire of 1993, and after we got home I found this story about the Bali Beach Intercontinental.

In 1962, when the hotel was built, President Sukarno had an active interest in it.  He wanted a room set aside for Nyi Roro Kidul, an Indonesian Goddess of the sea.

Room 327 was set aside for this Goddess, and the story goes, that in the fire of 1993, Room 372 was untouched.  To this day, Room 327 is set aside for this Goddess and remains locked with the original furnishings.

More colourful details of this story can be found in these three websites:

Mystery of Room 327

Fool's Journey

Goddess of Mystic and Mystery  This link also has pictures of the fire, and Room 327.

A view of Sanur Beach
One more thing, the Sanur Beach we saw in 1971 was a black volcanic sand beach.  It is now white, as white sand had been brought in and poured over the black for the tourists.

At the spot where the picture above was taken, we witnessed a Balinese cremation in 1971.  I took a Super 8 movie of that cremation and I reproduce it below.

Balinese Cremation 1971 from i82much on Vimeo.

3 Jan 2018

A Wet Christmas

No, it did not rain.  It rarely does in our summer.

Instead, we set up sprinklers for the kids to play and run through on a warm day.
Big Sister is now 10 years old.  The little one (4) enjoyed the sprinklers most.
Grandson R (6) decided he needed eye protection.  Naughty fella - calls me "Canada's Worst Handyman" after a tv show of the same name because I messed up a toilet plumbing repair initially.  Got it right in the end, but he still calls me that!
Eating my home made bak kwa in the "rain". 
Grandson B having a good time

24 Dec 2017

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year

Grandson No 3 not impressed by Santa
Pic above taken from DIL's Facebook page, and shows 2 of our 3 grandchildren with Santa. 

Grandson No 2 MIA, out playing basketball.

Our family Christmas card and our "annual report" is here.

15 Dec 2017

Sentimental Journey: The Peranakan Mansion

We hadn't been to Penang since the late 70s, and when I learnt that the Sea Princess was stopping there, I was excited to go see the Peranakan Mansion I had heard so much about.

The website of the Peranakan Mansion states: "At the Pinang Peranakan Mansion, the typical home of a rich Baba of a century ago is recreated to offer a glimpse of their opulent lifestyle and of their many customs and traditions. With over 1,000 pieces of antiques and collectibles of the era on display, this Baba-Nyonya museum is also housed in one of Penang’s heritage mansion of eclectic design and architecture." 

Thus, I was looking forward to spending a few hours celebrating my ethnic heritage and perhaps evoking some childhood memories.

As it turned out, the Peranakan Mansion was conveniently within walking distance from the Swettenham Cruise Terminal where our ship docked.

Impressive carved screens near the entrance

The central airwell - and looking up towards the second storey
We arrived just as a tour of the Mansion by this gentleman was about to start.
One of the many rooms, with furniture inlaid with mother-of-pearl
Looking towards the central airwell
Looking down the airwell.  Know what's on the table?
On the table were these cards, which as a child, I remember my mother playing with other female relatives.  Check out this link.
Display cabinet with the nonya crockery

Vessel for drinking water
The beaded slippers of the nyona ladies
The beads with which these slippers were made
The kebaya for the younger ladies

And the baju panjang for the older ones
The Mansion has an adjoining building which houses the family altar.
There is so much more in this amazing collection of baba and nonya artifacts, some of which were so familiar from my childhood days.  This was certainly an enjoyable visit.