Thursday, December 31, 2015

Is Tranquility the same as Music Box dancer? Was it played by Frank Mills then?

I am not a music lover, but I love certain songs and there is one piece of music. It has much significance to me.

I first heard the music piece on the radio called Tranquility in 1984. I just had a twenty six hours of difficult time giving birth to my first born. When I went to my room with my baby, totally exhausted, this music was played in the pipe line. It gave me tranquility as I lovingly gazed at my sleeping baby.

I fell in love with the soothing music and it became my favourite music.

Is Tranquility the same as Music Box dancer? Was it played by Frank Mills then?

This same baby plays the piano, and lives thousands of miles in China. When she plays it to me over the phone, it gives me tranquility.

Many parenting experts suggest playing music to your baby while she/he is still in your stomach. D is the only child who plays the piano. I wonder if her listening to this piece when she was a few hours old have anything to do with it. What do you think?

Monday, December 28, 2015

ABC Wed: Letter Y

 I am wondering if those measurement can be regarded as a yardstick?
 a yellow sign

school yard

 My handsome guide, Robin telling me about these woolly poles. Cheeky me, I coaxed him to let me take his photo. I told him, we were outside the shop. They call this yarn bombing. May be because I am a grand child of the war. I hate waste.  Knitting takes a long time. To have precious knitting exposed to weathering, fade and tatters and become ugly is not me. In some places, they even wrap tall trees.
In Shenzhen, China , yarn bombing were introduced to wrap trees to keep them warm. It is meant with mixed feeling.

Yellow: Notice broad.

Can't remember where I took this.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

FSO: show us your snow landscape

 Helen with her daughter Olivier and youngest son Thomas.
Lincoln in Yellow, holidaying in Japan.

I just watched Nanny McFee, and remembered the grand aunty who had to audacity to say, " I will relieve you of the responsibly of taking care of one of your kids.

This reminds me of an anecdote in my parents family. Mum and Dad were in the era of the Chinese Confucian believes that families should have boys and of the Roman Catholic faith that they shouldn't practise family planning.

I was 11 when the twins were born. A boy Henry and a girl, Helen, the 3rd boy and 5th girl. I  was really looking forward to babying them. I was too young to enjoy the last brother. Dad was working at the Education Dept and had returned from England.

Two old maids came to offer to "relieve Dad of the responsibility."  They had university degrees when many girls in their generation didn't even go to school. They said that they would send Helen to study abroad. By staying with my Dad, Helen would have no chance of going abroad to study. 

Mum and Dad did not know how to reject their proposal and it would be rude as Chinese to tell them no. Eventually, they used my name and told them that Ann said "NO." They went away reluctantly tell Mum and Dad to dissuade me, after all how can a kid make such an important decision.

Very often I tease Helen that I saved her from an upbringing bereft of siblings and brought up by old maids. We often wonder why they came to us, a  middle class family, and why they did not go to the country to look for a girl. Perhaps they wanted the good genes of Dad.

Helen lives permanently abroad and has 3 lovely children.

This is her latest:news:

Lincoln has achieved the DUX academic award for his school.  He also received special science award  and small cash prize from Griffith University. We are very proud of him. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

ABC Wednesday: Letter X

X trees doomed to be chopped down.

Photos from Stuff NZ.

Land developer had been wanting to fell this 300 Kauri tree.

This is terrible, security guards, cutting the tree with chainsaws while a protester was still in it. Ring barking, also called girdling, is the process of removing bark in a circle around the base of the tree which often causes it to die - usually within a year.

The Save our Kauri group said neighbours tried to stop the men but were too late to stop them ring barking the tree.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

FSO: Share with us fresh (or old) snowfall in your town or surrounding landscapes.

I dug up my cold winter photos in the winter of 1975 when I was a student in Windsor, Canada. This school yard was behind the apartment I stayed. During the school break, school children frolick. These photos were taken during the holidays, and we went to try out this fun. A couple of Canadian kids were there to show us play.

That was my first ever winter. They reported it was the coldest ever recorded, a minus 28 degrees. A lot of melted snow had flowed under the bridge. I wonder where all those young men and women have gone. We were from Tropical Borneo and Singapore and were feeling very BRRRR!

Friday, December 18, 2015

My Mama's Christmas tree.

My Mama once grew a small cute tree. A mother bird made a unusual nest with eggs. My Mama lug it upstairs. My papa came home and scolded my mama. He made her take the tree down to the garden. My mama refused, she said it was too hard to lug it upstairs. My mama used a string and tied the nest to another bush. We didn't know what happened to the nest. We were not allowed to look at it.

No Blade of Grass (1970)

When a deadly virus strikes London, John Custance takes his family to hoped-for safety in Scotland.


I was twenty, straight out of high school when I watched this environmental movie. It had molded my thinking. I am a staunched thinking of keeping the world in it's natural form. Hence in my books, Mail Order Bride I wrote about saving beached whales, I wrote about saving beached whales. It is very sad to see whales coming to the beach and die.


A strange new virus has appeared, which only attacks strains of grasses such as wheat and rice, and the world is descending into famine and chaos. Architect John Custance, along with his family and friends, is making his way from London to his brother's farm in Scotland, where hopefully, there will be food and safety for all of them. Along the way, they encounter hostile soldiers, biker gangs, and all manner of people who are all too willing to take advantage of travelers for a mouthful of food.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Cotton On Foundation.

I bought some of my Christmas presents here.

Not Just Any Charity.....Cotton On Foundation

We want to let everyone know that the Cotton On Foundation is Not Just any charity. Our people are not just any people, our goals are not just any goals and our products, you guessed it, are not just any products. Our new Not Just campaign aims to turn our customers' incidental and everyday purchases like water, mints and tote bags into funds that support local and international communities living in poverty. 100 per cent of proceeds from the sale of every Cotton On Foundation product help support our local and global projects, which focus on four key pillars of education, health, infrastructure and sustainability.

FSO Red and Green

Red and Green

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

abc Wednesday lettter V

 A local "What's happening" magazine was there.   volkswagen kombi van for letter V 
so was skinny, a telephone provider.  Our Youth worker works for them.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Flickering Lights Friday My Town Shoot Out

lights on the tree, Christmas is in summer here, you can't see the flickering. and as for Santa, he comes in a singlet.

Flickering Lights Friday My Town Shoot Out

Thursday, December 3, 2015

ABC Wednesday: Letter U

 My friend served me these uniformed cut pieces of cakes.
 Policemen in uniform
Lawyers in New Zealand wear uniforms like their UK counterparts.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

George Petelo Fa'apoi.

George in front of the coach.

A distinquished George now.

 Here I am with my ESOl srudent/friend George and his daughter Sita infront of his stall selling Tongan craft. See my Pasifika hat? I didn't like the feeling of the lei, so I wound it round my hat.
 On Wednesday mornings, I go to Mt Albert Baptist Church. The kids in school ask me why I go there. I tell them, I teach big people to learn English. I tell them there mums and dads can go and learn English and about New Zealand Culture.  I tell them about George. He is the best example to an immigrant to New Zealand.

Mālō e lelei - hello

I always greet George "Mālō e lelei" because these are the only Tongan words I know. My students in Pt Chevalier school taught me to say that and assured me that it is enough when I greet a Tongan person.

This is George Petelo Fa'apoi. He is 78 and comes to Mt Albert Baptist Church ESOL classes as a senior student. He is a very regular attendant and is such an inspiration. I don't teach him, so I regard him as a friend. He is what the proverbial phrase, tall, dark and handsome man and soft spoken that any woman, me inclusive, would want for her boy friend.

In his younger days, he had traveled the world with the Tongan Shipping agency and had been to Borneo. George's extensive CV was high lighted when he was the security guard on duty during the French bombing of the Rainbow Warrior. He was the first eye witness and he ran to the police station.

George is one of the few surviving Tongan rugby players that first played against the Maori All Black in 1966.

Now as a retiree, he doesn't twiddle his thumbs. He attended numerous courses including alcoholism seminars, Pacific Islands sexual abuse counseling course, interpreting in English and Tongan, to help his people.

George read the Tongan news at 104.6 FM at carrington. At 6am-8am, from Monday to Thursday.

At Jonah Lumu's funeral, George will be reading the news.

Instead he volunteers with the Friendly Islands Wardens Incorporated, and with 7 ex policemen. He provides security for Auckland City, Balmoral area, Sandringham and Avondale area. George is the manager. He is a friendly grand pa to many of the Polynesian kids.

He is one of the initiators of the Pasifika Festival Celebration in Western Springs. He holds a stall with his wife. Their stall won the best dressed stall in Tonga village in 2010. Such is the dedication and passion for his culture.

After more than 40 years in New Zealand, he can show the kids a thing or two. Life doesn't need to be a useless bum as is the stereotyping prejudiced ideas perceived of immigrant people from the islands.

George lives with his wife, has two children, and seven grand children, (6 boys and a girl). He attends church service every Sunday, and is an encouragement to those who know him. He is held with the highest regard among the Tongan community.

ABC Wed: Letter T

 Trolleys in the trolley park
 Three ladies on a trip
 Love this track lined by trees

A tidy toilet, the most important little room in the house and in the office and shopping mall.