Thursday, 31 October 2013

Friendship More Than Skin Deep...

In the last years of her life Jeannie had a group of younger friends whom she mainly met initially on the Net. Some of them still figure in our lives today and we take it as part of Jeannie's legacy. This video clip is from a short trip to Port Dickson in 2003 and it shows some of them discussing skincare with her. 

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The Art Of Vulgarity

This video clip must be from about 12 years ago when Paul/Chris got married. The clip shows how Jeannie and Paul got along so well. Kevin Lim was the cameraman and narrator; he used night vision mode. Kevin, this post is for you.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

An English Tea

In keeping with the current top English TV series, Downton Abbey we are watching, just had cranberry scones with mixed berries jam and cream by Krystyn Cheah...typically English tea fare. The first time she had scones, strawberry jam and clotted cream was in Windsor 1997. Time has flown and Krystyn has grown.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Paris In Fall - Louvre 99

Mona Lisa...
It was a tiring trip and Jeannie had not rested enough. Yet she could not resist a photo with the famed  La Joconde. More than words, this video and picture show it...right down to their tired eyes!

Monday, 21 October 2013

In Defense Of Hinduism

Courtesy of Mariyappan Munian Pappan. 

The difference is that they are comfortable in their own skin; extending their arguments in their own rationale. No need to defend their religion by violent means nor at the bottom line, do they see their religion needing to be defended. To each his own.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Dinner At Auntie Aini's Garden Cafe

Last night Mimi hosted dinner...again. This time it was at Auntie Aini's Garden Cafe in Nilai; a place introduced to her by a client and serves wonderfully authentic Negeri Sembilan malay cuisine. 

I shall not go into detail of the location or how difficult it can be to locate the place at night nor its description; there are enough articles on the internet including GPS coordinates (here, here, here, here, here and many more). It was Mimi's second visit and she being also from Negeri Sembilan I trust her taste buds when she waxed lyrical about her first culinary experience there. As for me, I was more interested in the various masak lemak cili padi.

We arrived late as usual but Mimi had already pre-ordered the food and we were ushered to a table that could accommodate the 6 of us. Nothing to complain about the service.

The main courses that Mimi ordered (shown here in portions for 3): 

(L-R) Pucuk paku masak kerang, sambal kupang, ayam kampung goreng, kangkung belacan, and signature dishes, daging salai masak lemak cili padi, telur itek masak lemak cili padi and the udang galah masak lemak tempoyak. There were of course many other dishes on the menu and the must try later would be the asam pedas and rendang offerings.  

How do I rate the food that we had? The masak lemak cili api dishes were of course exquisite with the rich santan flavor cut with the sourness of belimbing and probably asam keping. I think they reduced the hotness for us with less cili api. The poached telur itek would have been better underdone with the yoke still able to ooze out. Tempoyak aficionados would call me an idiot (I am not a tempoyak fan) for having just tried a bit of the udang galah masak lemak tempoyak for taste. The gulai daging salai to me was just perfect and the ayam kampung goreng was well marinated (a tinge of asam or lime sourness) and fried the way most Malaysians like; crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside.  

I suspect vegetables may not be Auntie Aini's cup of tea. The kangkung belacan and pucuk paku goreng kerang although not over-fried, lacked more distinct flavor normally associated with the two dishes. Being a masak lemak place a kerabu pucuk paku with santan would have been a better choice. The kupang masak sambal was nice but rather ordinary.

However, this dessert was by no means ordinary. Homemade tapai with vanilla ice cream!

Auntie Aini? Well, she is both a personality and a character. Go meet her for yourself as Auntie Aini's Garden Cafe is a must visit destination on the Malaysian culinary map.  

To Mimi, a big thank you.

Here's a preview:


Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Nice Touch From Pepe Reina

Goodbye letter for Liverpool’s fans: “Thanks for everything, I will see you soon”

It is a strange feeling for me to think that next season I will not be a Liverpool player. For the past eight years, that is all I have known. The club, the staff, the city, the people and the supporters have played a massive part in my life. Liverpool is special in a way that only those who are lucky enough to experience the club close up can understand. It has given me memories that will live with me forever and friendships that will last just as long.

But more than anything else, it has given me an understanding of what it is like to play for the most wonderful English club. I may not have won as many trophies and medals as I would have liked since joining in 2005 but the experiences I have been a part of are as important as any silverware. I now understand how supporters can lift a team and inspire them to do special things. I appreciate that there is something unique about Anfield and the atmosphere it creates. I believe that anything is possible no matter what the situation is because at Liverpool there is no such thing as a lost cause. And I have been humbled by the fight for justice for the 96 which showed me that the Liverpool people will always fight for what they believe in.

I know that I have been blessed to be part of a Club like that and I hope that in return I have always given my best and represented Liverpool in the right way. There have been good times and bad times but no matter what the situation has been I hope that my passion has been clear. I have been asked what my favourite Liverpool moment was and if I had to pick one it wouldn’t be a save or winning a trophy. It would be my celebration against Manchester United when David Ngog scored a late goal. That is probably the quickest I have ever run in my life! It shows what playing for Liverpool meant to me and also that there was nothing better than winning a big game at Anfield. I used to look at the Kop when we scored those kind of goals in big games and I would be jealous of the supporters going crazy. If the closest I will get to that is running the length of the pitch and jumping on my team mates backs then that will do for me.

Obviously, I won’t be able to do that next season but I hope that the supporters and my team mates will be able to enjoy many more moments like that. They deserve the best of times and it would give me so much pleasure to see Liverpool back where they belong, challenging for trophies and getting back into the top four. That was where the club was when I first arrived and although I am leaving a different club, one with new owners, a new manager, new players and new challenges, I honestly believe that Liverpool can reach those levels again.

I am disappointed that I will not be part of that and although it was not my decision to leave I will accept it just like I have always accepted any decision that Liverpool have taken for me. They signed me, picked me, gave me some of the best experiences of my life and looked after me. If they feel that the best thing for me and for them is for me to go on loan to Napoli for a season then so be it. Napoli is a new challenge for me and I know that the fans are just as passionate about their team as the Liverpool fans, so I am really looking forward to playing for them this season and I will give my all.

But if I have one regret, it is the way that I am leaving. It is only natural that I would be disappointed that the Liverpool management agreed to loan me to Napoli without telling me first, I thought that I deserved better than that even though I understand that difficult decisions have to be taken in football. A lot has been made about me informing the club that if an offer came in from Barcelona that I would have liked them to consider it. But I had also spoken to the club about the possibility of extending my contract if the offer was not made. I told the manager that I wanted to play for Liverpool and that Barcelona would only become an option for me if the opportunity arrived, like the rumours said it would, as it would be a chance for me to go back home. When it didn’t come I was happy to fight for my place so I was surprised that Liverpool decided it was in the club´s interests to send me to Napoli instead.

None of this will change my feelings for the club or the people in any way and now I have to look forward to a new challenge with Rafa Benitez, who I consider to be the best manager I have worked with, and I am fortunate to be going from one great club to another. Napoli remind me in many ways of the Liverpool I found in 2005, in all the affection they have shown me on my arrival, in having an ambitious project, even in coinciding and working with Benitez again…This memory which in part unites me with you, makes me happy and feel very motivated to begin this new project.

This is my chance to say thank you to everyone for everything that you have given to me and to my family. My children consider Liverpool to be their home and hopefully their love for the city and also for the club will only grow while we are away. I would have liked to have been able to say goodbye in a different way but because of the way the move came about this was not possible.

Maybe in the near future I can do it properly so that I can show my appreciation to you but all I would ask now is that you keep on inspiring the manager and the players just like you always have done and help Liverpool to become the club that you deserve once again. I would like nothing better than to come back at the end of my year away and for Liverpool to be back where they belong.

Thank you for everything. Good luck. I will see you soon.

Pepe Reina.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Prince The King (er...Scumbag)

J.J. endearingly calls Prince "Scumbag" and sometimes the word fits Prince to the "T". There are so many things that Prince does, the list is endless:

  • he will wipe his mouth on the nearest person after drinking water
  • wipes his ass on you as he pretends to be playing with you
  • wakes you up in the morning by covering your nostrils with his tongue or he licks your eyelids open
  • if the above failed, he would bark incessantly into your ears till you get up and take him outside to do his "business".
  • piss in the house as you tell him not to and while he is doing it stares at you as if to say, "come clean it up"
  • ...and on and on
The best part is, he never dared do it to Jeannie. For example, he would never have his backside at her face when he slept on the bed. Indeed he would even be in "reverse gear" when he moved away. He also did not dare wake her up in the morning and would only get up when she matter how late. At about 10.30 at night when Jeannie was at her computer below the staircase Prince would climb the stairs to her eye-level and softly bark at her as if to remind her of bed time. When she was unwell we once saw him pull her blanket to cover her. Not many people will believe what we say.

Domination? Took this photo at 3.30 am yesterday.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

All Blacks First Five Eights

Not a bad evening of sports. Liverpool are top of the BPL after a 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace and the All Blacks put up a solid performance at Ellis Park to beat the Boks 27-38. A real stand out All Blacks player today was substitute fly half, Beauden Barrett who came in to replace Aaron Cruden who together with Colin Slade are appearing to be pretenders to the fly half throne. It looks like New Zealand has found a natural successor to Dan Carter who himself replaced the great Andrew Mehrtens. Mehrtens was the successor to the legendary Grant Fox.

A Tribute to Andrew Mehrtens:

Tribute to Dan Carter:

Grant Fox: All Blacks Hall of Fame:

The gentlemen's game played by ruffians.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Pumas Vs All Blacks (Return Match) - La Plata

The match to watch will be the Championship decider this weekend between the Boks and All Blacks in Johannesburg. Anything can happen.