it's a wrap!

just another manic monday…

Archive for Love

Heart of a father

Early morning, before the mall started to get crazy with people thronging its floors, we sat with our mugs of steaming coffee and danishes.
The lone grand piano sat at the podium, having a quiet moment before the pianist comes.
A little girl dressed in a tartan skirt, ballerina tights and sweet white sweater danced around the deserted podium, her father keeping his eyes on her.
With a smile, she beckoned a father to come dance!
He clumsily pirouetted and walked like a penguin, to the daughter’s squeals of laughter.
We sat, watching the short, sweet little pantomime, laughter bubbling.
The father and daughter was never aware how much pleasure and how much they brighten up our days, just by simply enjoying each other on a bright sunny morning in an empty podium.

an evening stroll

Walking pass an old man packing up for the day at a little green hut in a little lane, I was drawn to the music from his stereo, of “How Deep Is Your Love?” and the proprietor humming along to it. He was just enjoying himself, blasting music, bobbing his head along with the tune, folding up some canvas bags. I can’t help smiling because this is really one of those little pleasures in life that could just slip by quietly and unnoticed. Yet I caught this moment, and in turn, this made me smile! πŸ™‚

angelina jolie

F.Lew: What are you going to name your daughter?

CS.Lee: Still thinking.

F.Lew: I know! I know! How about Angel? Then her Chinese name can be Na! Ala AngeLeeNa!

CS.Lee: =.=

F.Lew: And if you have a son next time name him Jo. Ala JoLee.

Angelina Jolie.

CS.Lee: *speechless

The rest of us? Practically rolling around on the grimy, sticky green white tiles of an old coffeeshop with laughter!

What an entertaining lunch. I love lunch-mates that make me laugh.

one of those things

My weekend did not go as I anticipated but it was one of those things that went wrong and turned out unexpectedly alright after all! πŸ™‚

A group off us thought of trying out something we’ve not done before and we decided to go try out the ATV Adventure (All Terrain Vehicle).

I was leaning towards horse riding, but anyway that didn’t fly with some.

We were celebrating a few birthdays together this weekend, with mini surprises incorporated into it for some.

Initial Plan:

1) Pick Up – checked.
2) Surprise to be given at Breakfast Venue – checked. Slight delay, one car got lost.
3) Yummy breakfast – checked. With the works!
4) Drive to the ATV Adventure Park – checked. No getting lost..
5) ATV! – checked. Unforeseen accident.
6) Light Lunch – scrapped. Went to the doctor’s nearby for a checkup for the accident-ee.
7) Rest & freshen up for dinner – scrapped. We forgot to take the accident-ee’s travel bag with us! Drove back to the ATV park to collect it.
8) Cake Collection on the way to dinner – change of plans. Collected it on the way back after getting the travel bag.
9) Dinner out – scrapped. Everybody was too tired. Ordered in.
10) Drinks – scrapped. We stayed home to cut the cake, pass out the presents and pillow talked.

It all started with picking up from the various pick up points. And then breakfast. One car got lost and ended up in another destination altogether. That delayed breakfast a little.

When they reached, the beautiful little surprise worked superbly well! Our friend came back from China to give one of the birthday girls a surprise! There was the classic shocked/registering presence/ hugs/tears scenario, by the book!

Great breakfast, with the works, fluffy pancakes, fresh colourful fruits, French toasts, eggs, mind jarring coffee! After gales of laughter, a thoroughly noisy meal and photo taking, we set out on our little adventure.

It took us around an hour to reach our destination,, the ATV Park. We geared up, got our pointers for the vehicle, went a couple of test rounds, and off we went! I was gripping on to the brakes fro dear life initially, not daring to accelerate too much up those bumpy roads and sliding down steep inclines. But after getting the hang of the vehicle and how it’s constructed, I started to enjoy navigating the terrain and even managed to admire the tall bamboo plants, forming a graceful green arch above. We stopped by a small waterfall, the water was cold, my friend dipped her foot in. It was pleasant, sounds of the forest, lazily floating by. We were separated into 2 batches of 3 for the journey back. I was among the 1st batch.

We were getting all camera ready to snap pictures of the rest of them, and we waited. The call that came next almost gave us a heart attack, one of our friends got into an accident! Our hearts racing, we ran down the path, greeted by the sight of our dazed friend on the guide’s vehicle. We checked her for wounds anxiously.

She looked blank and asked repeatedly if her crash was serious and if she was hurt badly, she didn’t remember anything. We took her to a doctor nearby to do a check up, doc says nothing to worry about, gave her an anti-tetanus jab and sent her on her way. We had a quick lunch of fishball noodles nearby.

Then we headed back to get some much needed rest before the night’s dinner. Only to find out that the accident-ee’s bag is LEFT behind at the ATV Park! After a few calls, confirming that it’s there, a couple of us took to the road again, braved the traffic, narrow winding roads, praying that we’ll make it back out before dark, collected the bag and headed off.

We picked up the birthday cake on the way home, got another call to say, we are cancelling dinner and staying in for the night! Yays! I think the couple of us were just secretly heaving sighs of relief. Bone tired, that we were.

Once we reached our “holiday villa” for the night, we jumped into the showers to wash all the dirt and grime off our sticky bodies. While waiting for the food to arrive, we passed out the birthday gifts and watched the slideshow presentation the organizer did. Filmed the whole process of the birthday girls ooh-ing and aah-ing watching the video and their delight at the gifts! Girls will be girls, so fulfilling to see their happy, appreciative faces! πŸ™‚

The food arrived! We devoured them like vultures falling on their prey. Ahhh, so satisfying.

Cake cutting ceremony, photo posing/shooting/laughing at candid moment times.

Lazily eating the cake, we chatted, laughed adjourned from the dining table to the couch and continued the stories, while eyelids slowly falling milimetre by milimetre as time ticked by.

Our pillow talk ended at the grand hour of half past 12am!

Ahh, the glories of youth when pillow talks use to end at the minimum hour of 3am, are long gone.

Waking up, refreshed by the hours of sleep, we took our time getting ready, went for much needed fuel for the day, a meal of bak kut teh and sent our friends to catch a plane and a train respectively.

Conversations and laughter peppered the journey throughout. I’ll never cease to marvel at the wonders of my decades old friendships!

This weekend will stand out as one of the gems of 2012. It definitely taught me that, things that don’t turn out exactly as you planned it to, might not necessary be that bad! We had our shares of stomach curling laughter anyhow, and we have something to laugh about for the next 30 years Β πŸ™‚

Faces of Hong Kong

Some elderly men at the top of the stairs leading to the MTR station, near Causeway Bay. They look upon the world with weariness, as if they’ve seen it all and was tired of them all.
This being one of my favourite photograph. The lady sings her heart out, and she has a oh so sweet voice. She sang, brimming with hope. Ah, yes, she may have been through harsh times, yes, she has loved and lost. But any minute now, when she turns the corner, favour will be upon her and she’ll find joy! Any minute now. She has seen so much of the dreariness of life yet has not lost hope.
A little boy throwing his tantrum in the middle of the wet pavement. It was drizzling. He was pissed! A single glance at the face told me that, but I could not resist taking his photograph as he stomp on the ground. Ahh, the blissful ignorance of a child. Maybe I wouldn’t be so amused if it was my child. But I was amused with this child that particular day. Maybe it was just the holiday mood.

This little girl’s school had just let out. Her mom was speaking to another lady, she was waiting with her hair caught up in pig tails, munching on a snack. Peeking curiously at something, I caught her just at that particular angle. Such a pretty little one, she’s going to grow up to be a real heart-breaker!

The True Story

An actor said on the silver screen, “To use photography to tell the truest stories, that was his aspiration.”
He then told a story of a reporter who spent years documenting the journey of a president from his ascent to his descent from the post.
After that he said he wanted to be a volunteer and to photograph the reality and the impact of the Sumatran earthquake disaster upon the Indonesians.
It was just one of those cantonese drama series from Hong Kong, the title was Only You. Well, for documentation purposes, I need to record the name!
But truly, never will I have thought that I would hear the echo of the dream I dared not even verbalize, vocalized in such vividness. That shiver ran down my spine as the actor shared his dream with his partner.
And I realized that, hey, given a chance, that is precisely what I want to do.
To travel the world, to see what the different countries really are, not just lines and dots and names on a geographical map. But real people, flesh, blood, culture, smiles, tears, the living expression of those places, those names. I wanted to relate those countries with real experiences.
To take photographs and to tell stories through them.
To give the subjects in those photos, voices.
To let their stories be told through the generations.
To let the future know the past.
To let children learn from past mistakes and emulate past nobility.
To let those memories live on.

L’arc-en-ciel

L’arc-en-ciel, the arch in the sky literally. it refers to the rainbow.
I cannot quite fathom why colourless, invisible light can be shattered into so many prisms of colour.
I cannot say I have found a singel person who hated the rainbow. But I have encountered many whom even though they have no inkling of it’s symbolic meaning, find hope in it. That is a mystery.
I guess that’s the one more of the many million things that I do not understand.
Oh it’s a good thing. The world loses it’s mystery if everything could be understaood so easily.
I guess that’s why there are many mysteries kept locked up, of some get revealed in due course, of some we will never know the ryhme and reason.
Maybe if all things were revealed, there is nothing left to look forward to, we already know what’s happening. There is no need for hope. NO hope. How dreary a picture that paints. And when there’s hope, then we have faith to sustain us. Faith to lead us through the uncertainties today to hope for a better tomorrow! πŸ™‚

Christmas is upon us

Christmas came upon me suddenly. Oh, I was aware of the passing days, and the dates slipping by. Almost like one playing with a strand of pearls, absent mindedly fingering the pearls one by one and letting them slip along the rope. Before you know it, I had reached the last pearl!
That was the feeling Christmas gave me this year of 2011. I cannot remember taking any good photos of Christmas lights or any thing that made me feel Christmassy this year.
Every single year, I get nolstalgic, remminiscing about the year gone by, wondering what have I done, hoping for a better, more fruitful year. Wondering if I’m getting the gift I yearn for every year. This year, all those listed and more. Feelings of anxiety and a little bit of timidness crept up. I cannot help but hope and wish, hope and wish, hope and wish.
Thoughts unspoken, buried beneath the layers of fear and walls that time has erected, needs to be vocalized,and finally, I think we’re getting there!
And so this is Christmas, for black and for white, let’s hope its a good one, without any tears.
Let’s hope for good tidings, shall we? πŸ™‚

Le Moment


I passed this cosy looking cafe a few years ago. I passed it another time, mentally resolving to sit inside for a drink later in the evening.
The white slats at the exterior of the building caught my attention, as did the wine bottles sitting in a jaunty row on the wooden slab, the black wrought iron, relaly narrow bar should have looked out of place as the wooden bar table and two chairs on the left should. Yet did not. Instead it added to the allure of the place.
I peeked inside and saw a smartly suited waiter, bending to place a fork at the precise location. The interior was decorated in white linen tablecloths, silverware and crystal glasses. Touches of golden light from the lamp bathed and highlighted the warm wooden furniture.
The one that really did it for me though, the chalkboard menu. I love those, white chalky, italized list of servings for the day.

Surprise a Success!


As my mom’s birthday drew near, I was wondering what I should do. Gifts? Have a bouquet of flowers delivered? Sent a loving message? Call her early in the morning?
In the end, I decided to surprise her by going home unexpectedly on that weekend. *Rub hands.
Having decided that, I wasted no time roping in the family for help. First, I got one sister to go home with me. Then another to agree to pick us up. The dad and the brother was included in the plans, we need everybody to work together to pull this off!
And so, the day dawned for us to go home. I barely had 3 hours of sleep, yes, I was a zombie. Trudged to the florist early morn to get the bouquet of flowers.
Some last minute hiccups which included the place planned was reluctantly accepted, so the sister had to go home and find out where they planned to go. Arranged for the dad to pick us instead. Mom was seriously in a chillax mode. No hurry at all.
So dad picked us, and we reached the original destination planned, PANIC! It was closed!
Emergency calls and last minute changes to the plans. We reached the new destination in due time and had time to set up the place and plan our surprise birthday song singing and presentation.
We pulled it OFF! The look on mom’s face, and her eyes that caressed the bouquet of flowers even after she has sat down, basking in love. It was worth every brain cell getting killed in the process of this.
Along the way the hiccups will go down in history as a story to tell our sons and daughters. Our siblings will have a nutsy time and gales of laughter recalling this. I loved the weeked! πŸ˜‰