It is an odd place, Shetland. I had never heard of it until a good friend of ours informed Jared and me three years ago that he bought a holiday home here. He’s been making frequent trips to Shetland since the 70s, and been inviting us to visit and explore the islands. Continue reading
Imagine just for a moment drinking champagne with 24 karat edible gold flakes and eating cakes and dainty morsels decorated with tiny sparkling gold leaf. But before you raise your eyebrows, or feel disgusted with the idea of ingesting bits and pieces of the world’s third most precious metal, let me just say from the outset that gold is totally safe to eat. (Gold is inert, or inactive, it is not absorbed by the body but goes down the digestive track without any trouble, though too much consumption can cause constipation.) Lest you think that it may have costs us an arm and a leg; no, it didn’t. It was my friend’s birthday and instead of allowing me to treat her for the special occasion, she didn’t let me, and would never let me. Ever. Thank you Adiben. And no, she didn’t miss her monthly mortgage just so we could enjoy gold tea. It did cost her only an hour of ‘sweat’ (or rather stress). 🙂 Continue reading
This rare and massive book is full of captivating old photographs of European royal families (mostly in ball gowns dripping in diamonds and other precious stones) during the Victorian and Edwardian era leading up to the outbreak of the First World War. Many of the featured dynasties were abolished, or forced to abdicate after the war. Continue reading
While most tourist are familiar with some of the city’s more famous locations such as Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, London has also some smaller and less visited parks and gardens. One of them is Holland Park in Kensington, the largest park in the borough and contained within the park is my all-time favourite Japanese Gardens. Aptly named ‘Kyoto Garden’ and ‘Fukushima Memorial Garden’ — both were presented by the Japanese people to commemorate the long friendship between Japan and Great Britain. Continue reading
London is a city full of unexpected surprises. Every time I am out, doing an errand or simply traipsing around the park, I always come across something peculiar. The group of ladies having a ‘Hen Party’ — Bridal Shower to Americans (featured image) at Hyde Park Corner is a classic example of this. I find this a bit odd because it is an event that’s usually done in private, but evidently not for some Londoners.
I’ve been particularly nostalgic about the good old days . . . it’s my father’s birthday and the overwhelming sense of loss of his early passing dominated my thoughts. He died quite young and he would have turned 85 if he’s still around. I’ve been pondering about it all, and found my diary from my last visit to Palapag, my hometown. I wrote down these thoughts, entry dated 28 November 2010, and wanna share it here. Too personal but please indulge me . . . 🙂
I’ve come here to visit my family home. It is a wonderful place. It’s been a long time since my last visit. Since my mother’s death, I had a deep longing to reconnect with the people in a community where I grew up. As soon as I arrived, my first instinct was to go straight to the nearest beach, Talolora, and on my way there I dropped by at the old cemetery where my ancestors were laid to rest. Continue reading
Other than seeing blossoms, there are other things I am so thankful for when spring arrives in London. For one thing, the sun finally makes an appearance; I get to wear my spring jackets and put away my winter coats! Consequently, I get to feel the warmth of the sun on my skin and get Vitamin D from sunlight. The days are also longer with temperatures rising; the trees begin to burst back to life, and the flowers are blooming making the parks and the streets look a little bit more magical.
It was quite an experience to explore Somerset House. I always associate this building with London Fashion Week (LFW) as it has been used as the main venue for this event since 2009. I had no idea until a couple of months ago that this iconic building has a remarkable history and was once an old palace and home to three queens, Anne of Denmark, Henrietta Maria and Catherine of Braganza. Continue reading
Unlike any other day, Notting Hill was unusually quiet and less crowded yesterday. It was Good Friday after all, and a long easter weekend in the UK. The week before, Adiben asked me to take her on a Christian heritage tour; the last time we did it together was seven years ago when her friend Annabel came to visit from New York. Adiben and I met up at church before 2pm; as soon as she saw me she told me she’s tired and hungry and would rather grab a bite and skip the tour. I was starving as well so I happily agreed. Adiben and I both love to eat you see. We’d blithely drop everything just to satiate our cravings and even travel to unfamiliar places to try something new. 🙂 Continue reading