Nostalgic Memories of my Childhood Home

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

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Spring Blooms in Notting Hill

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.

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Tour of the Somerset House

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

A Tale of Two-Foodie on a Good Friday

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

The Window Tax of Yore

 

Since time immemorial the ruling elite of this country have contemplated how best to fund the armies that protect the empire, maintain the roads and infrastructural needs of the country, and finance various public expenditures.  Taxation has always been the answer but in different forms. Once upon a time, just about 400 years ago, it was the humble window that was taxed.  Continue reading

No Bake Napoleon Cake

Every first Sunday of the month we celebrate the birthday and anniversary of our church members and regular attendees, and baking a cake for this occasion is part of my ministry.  On Saturday morning I was on Pinterest trying to find a no-bake cake recipe (the oven is broken), and found this Napoleon Cake.  I made a few changes though; for the biscuit (or cookies) I wanted to use Graham Crackers but the American Food Shop in our neighbourhood didn’t have any.  I then decided to go to Portobello Market to find Graham Crackers but for some reasons, all the shops I went to didn’t have it so I settled on using a similar biscuit called ‘Maria’ after I saw them at Garcia’s, a Spanish food shop on Portobello Road.  In the Philippines this biscuit is called ‘Marie’ and I grew up eating them.  Haven’t had them for ages actually, and seeing them again after so many years certainly brought back a lot of fun memories. 🙂  Continue reading

ARTea for a Birthday

There are so many great places to take tea in London and it’s hard to choose a favourite.  So last week I couldn’t decide where to go until I remember that a diplomat friend of mine told me to try Lancaster Hotel’s new playful twists on the traditional afternoon tea.  And that’s where my friend Yasmin and I went to celebrate her birthday. Continue reading