Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Summer Vacation in K.L.

Our two and a half month visit to Malaysia has come to an end. We board the plane tonight for the VERY lengthy trip back home. We have been coming to Malaysia for the past twelve years and more! It has been the most wonderful time ever. The last six years we have come to help out with the care of Joshua as both parents work and since he has started school we have focused on being here for his Summer School holidays. As his school bases it's terms dates on those of the English schools he has two lovely long months off mid year. Of course being a teacher, the benefits of these long holidays for children is debatable but as many of the staff members at his school are from England one can understand their need to return home for a length of time!

We were fortunate to be able to visit Joshua's class and school at the end of the term for their sports day. It was a fun morning with everyone participating and having fun.

We attended a birthday party of one of his Mum's friends whom we also know. Wow....this two year old had the party of all parties! Loads of children and their families, loads of entertainment and caterers! Mum Nha and Dad are relocating to Vietnam where Nha originally hails from. It was good to see her again and meet Bey. I was very impressed with Bey's nanny who is young and friendly. She has a car and drives Bey to all his extra activities, does the shopping, cooks etc! What a dream helper!

Talking of helpers, Lorna who originally worked for Nick and Moira now works for Moira is also amazing. She is from the Philippines,lives in and does EVERYTHING that needs to be done. She also takes Joshua to his swimming classes and any other extra curricular appointments. In addition to this Moira has bought her a sewing machine and Lorna is making real quilts. She also learnt how to bead from Moira who gave her her starter kit and now Lorna has a very healthy bank balance from all the beading she does! So entrepeurnerial. We have enjoyed many delicious meals cooked by Lorna when visiting Moira and Joshua.

Once Oscar arrived Uncle Nick took the boys on all sorts of fun adventures including "Jump" . This is such a clever idea. The building was y a large warehouse and is now equipped with trampolines of every description. The whole system is amazing and one pays by the hour to use the equipment. The boys LOVED it and once the hour was up they were finished. Oscars red face tells it all.

We have been treated to Korean, Japanese,Chinese, Indian and Malaysian meals. We have put on lots of weight! We need to do something about it!

It has been great. During this time Nick introduced us to his girlfriend Elaine and when they went off to the Maldives he could not resist the romantic surrounds and popped the big question. Elaine came back full of smiles with a lovely ring on her finger.

We have met her folk and many of her friends. Elaine presents a T.V. Programme "Bella" regularly and I was privileged to be able to visit the studio.

Elaine also does lots of photo shoots and presents at various functions. She leads a very interesting life.

Nick continues to grow his chiropractic business and has to cope with lots of challenges which he does so well. He is an amazing Dad and we are very grateful to him for sharing his boy with us. We love you guys!!

Now it is time to go home, settle down, get a perspective on life and do lots of healthy things like healthy food and exercise!

But maybe...


Fabric Society.


Blue Florals Cushion covers

It be amiss of me not to have a special blog about "Fabric Society". Diana, our daughter in law and I, have apart from the obvious, one HUGE thing in common. We love fabrics. Didee, as I call her, studied textiles at university and when we met she was taken with my collection of fabrics. I think Christopher cursed the day we met.....although he too has always been interested in fabrics.

When in China, Diana and I explored the markets and of course we had to invest in just a few interesting pieces. When we got home with our stash I recall Chris looking at me, he shook his head and said "This is all your fault Mom!" I can take it.

After a long journey of visiting markets around the world and now settling near one of the largest markets in Australia, Diana has seen her Fabric Dream become a reality. She has opened her own "shop" at Eumundi Markets. Being a busy Mum of three children, running and maintaining her large home, this job suits her, as the market only operates on a Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

It was great visiting her shop and seeing all the lovely goodies for sale. Everything comes from India and is pure cotton. The colours are vibrant and exciting.

I loved all these wood blocks and chose one as a gift, which I want to experiment with when I get home.

Diana got me to work and I sewed on Fabric Society labels on to all 70+ quilts that she has stock piled for the next few months. Monsoon is coming to India which affects productivity and delivery so Didee has made sure she is well stocked for the next few months.

If last Saturday is anything to go by, Didee sold a total of twelve quilts...wonderful.


Diana has made her dream come true and is doing something she is PASSIONATE about! I am so proud of you.

We wish you all the very best with your exciting enterprise!

Four, five, six, seven, eight

Aren't we lucky! We are going to have all five grandchildren under one roof. Part of Sarah's travels was to visit her brother Nick and us in Malaysia. Just after arriving she popped off to Vietnam for ten days leaving Oscar with us and he and Joshua got to know each other all over again.having the pool downstairs meant lots of water fun and seeing Oscars swimming ability come on in leaps and bounds.

Poppie has become the official swimming coach!

Once Sarah returned from her travels we packed up and headed off to Australia. Joshua was so brave leaving home for the first time ever! The children could not wait to play together.

Having had lots of rain Christoper did not miss a beat and when he saw that the sun was shining he had us packed up and off to the beach.


We had such a lovely day with so much safe space for the children to play and have fun. At one point a wild turkey attacked our lunch box and this resulted in the boys having loads of fun getting sticks and "protecting" us. The three boys, Joshua, Oscar and Ben had the best time ever!

While playing, we spotted this little creature running along the beach. An echidna. What a little darling! He was totally unperturbed by all of us and just sniffed and nibbled his way through the rocks and grass and looking for his dinner. He is otherwise known as a spiny anteater! The children were fascinated and watched for ages.

The second good day we had there we waited for the girls to finish school, packed up both cars and headed for the river to go fishing. The adults took the rods with the children having "turns" and serious fishing began. Sarah was DETERMINED to catch a fish. She tried and tried and fell on the rocks and tried. Just as she was about to give up Christopher suggested she take Ben's cheap little rod and have one last try. VOILA, a pround moment indeed as Sarah pulled in her first big fish. A Bream it was. My oh my! The children cheered, she cheered, we all cheered , the taste of success.


A wonderful ending to our second and only sunny day.

Fortunately Christopher and Diana have a huge home and the most wonderful playroom stocked with every toy imaginable. Unfortunately, the weather turned and we had rain every day. When a break occurred the children would be out playing on bikes, climbing, chasing, fetching eggs from the chooks etc.

Ben teaching Oscar to ride.

A visit to the girls school was a must do. It happened to be book week and Molly chose to dress up as a warthog as her story was all about the Forest and warthogs and Miss Hannah went as(of course) the Princess from Frozen. There was a huge build up to this function. As luck would have it it Rained and rained and rained. The Book Parade went ahead in the hall but the picnic had to be cancelled.

The Frozen Princess!

Our little warthog!

Molly showing us her work in the classroom.

Thank you guys for a super visit!


Side trips.

My dear Blog and my few loyal readers! I know I last wrote in July and as the saying goes "a great deal of water has run under the bridge" since then. I have decided to start at the end and work my way backwards.

We have just been on a side trip to Kuching, which is in the state of Sarawak on the island of Borneo. Kuching is known as the Cat island which has several stories attached to the derivation of its name. There is much evidence of cats all over the place, including a museum of cats and many statues of cats not forgetting all the cats roaming around. Joshua, a great lover of cats loved it when we came across a few REAL cats he could play with.

As this was our last weekend in Malaysia, after a two and a half month visit, mainly to take care of Joshua during his school summer vacation, Nick and his fiancé, Elaine treated us to this trip. They had a wedding to attend and extended an invitation to us to join them on this excursion.The atmosphere of the island is great and is my kind of place. It is a clean and interesting city with much of the activities taking place along the River Front. We took a cruise down the river just to get a perspective of the whole city from the river frontage.

Believe it or not these boats are really quite cool!

At the end of the boat trip, as an added extra, we stopped off at a "Kak Lapis" factory shop. This is where this multi layered colourful delicacy originates from. It is a cake with all sorts of delicios fillings. You simply can't visit Kuching without stocking up on Kak Lapis. Evidently after baking very thin pan cakes one uses a special device called a Presser, to flatten the cake.


Lapis cake always has more than one colour dough and is so pretty. There are all sorts of combinations of fillers and the best is one I read about on a blog called "Bitter Sweet Spicy". Nutella! The whole process is very fiddly but oh so worth it. Maybe I will get my sister to try this, as she is such a good baker.


The Presser. We may need one of these goodies to achieve the final product!

The first night Elaine and Nick treated us to the most amazing fish dishes ever. It was at a restaurant called Top Spot which is a food court with many outlets to choose food from, it is all very casual and child friendly so Joshua was very happy to be there. I love trying new foods and experienced many different dishes! The place is very popular and was buzzing!

(photo from Malaysian Travel Blog)

We also popped in to see Nick's rooms and to meet the staff. What a cheerful bunch and congrats to Nick on his super new Spine and Joint rooms!

Kuching has really looked after their history by preserving its buildings and along the river frontage one can visit several museums. I even found a Textile museum which highlights "Ikat " weaving procedures.


These "weavers" we're so lifelike and so eerie!

The city has beautiful trees. This one is eighty six years old! It is a silky cotton tree. (just older than us teased Nick.)

Joshie loved all the canons! It is such fun when the children can touch and climb all over the artifacts.

Thanks guys for a lovely weekend! I would love to return to Kuching one day.