Nostalgia

This time last year we were billeted at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel before we returned to London, and I meant to write a review of our visit but life gets in the way, and other plans happen. I finally got to finish the draft I wrote last year. 
sofitelphilplazahotel25They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression. So when it comes to a hotel, the lobby needs to be the showpiece. As such, when I enter a hotel I always observe every detail in the foyer so I don’t entirely miss the impressive entrance hall they have so cleverly crafted.  Continue reading “Nostalgia”

Winter Delights (2nd of 2 Parts)

Here’s Part 1.
During the winter months when it’s freezing cold and wet outside (rain in London is always a possibility regardless of the season), some people are probably bored being stuck inside and spend a good hour peering their house windows wondering what to do. As for me, all I want to do is to reach into my pile of books and gleefully pull out a book or two and snuggle down on a sofa and spend the day reading and sipping a cup of tea. Continue reading “Winter Delights (2nd of 2 Parts)”

Winter Delights (1st of 2 Parts)

When I lost my mother shortly before Christmas six years ago, the approach of winter season took on a whole new meaning for me. Personally, the season came to represent three things: the death anniversary of my parents in November, Christmas in December, and my birthday in January. I am not stricken with dreadful thoughts about any of it. Not at all. With the exception of the bone-chilling cold days, I welcome the season with excitement, and I look forward to long walks in the park to witness the changing foliage, staying indoors to read more books, the Christmas parties to attend to, baking cookies and making gingerbread houses, and listening to jolly Christmas carols. And for all the cosy sweater, yummy pies, tarts and many other goodies.  Continue reading “Winter Delights (1st of 2 Parts)”

Christmas in January . . . The Pine Cones

It was colder in London yesterday, very grey with temperatures in the low 40s. It felt like a blank day. In the afternoon I decided to do some tidying up. I felt burdened with the problem of the day (involving some of our young people at church), and didn’t feel like doing any reading or writing so I began to look around to see what project I could get into to relax my mind. All of a sudden my attention turned into all of the stuff we used during the holiday season that need to be put away — all the Christmas ornaments, the silver fruit baskets, the placemats and napkins that are only used on special occasion, and many other things that were scattered everywhere. As I was carefully putting everything away, the pine cones caught my attention. I picked them up from the park in early December and painted some of the edges with white nail polish. These are natural and not artificial or man-made; a rather simple but unique pieces of ornament, all in different sizes. They reminded me of God and His beautiful creation. I wrapped each one of them with plastic, and carefully laid them out one by one inside a white box. Continue reading “Christmas in January . . . The Pine Cones”

Grateful for Many Things

This morning I woke up thinking about my family in the states, and reminiscing about the numerous trips we made to the US to join Jared’s family for thanksgiving celebration. A particular passage in the scripture came to mind as I was getting out of bed, 1 Thessalonians 5:18: “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”   Continue reading “Grateful for Many Things”

A Time of Grief and Joy

That’s the shadow of the tree next to my mother’s headstone. Took that picture on the fifth anniversary of her ‘homegoing’, and I thought I was fine when I visited her at the cemetery. But I blubbered all the way home. And I remember I took a walk in the woods (my brother and his family live in a neighbourhood with loads of beautiful old trees surrounding a golf course), to pull myself together before heading back for lunch with my family. That was five years ago.  Continue reading “A Time of Grief and Joy”

Sunset and Special Childhood Memories

The sunset is beautiful in and of itself.  Whether we attempt to capture it or not, it captivates us, stirs us and inspires us.  But, if we attempt to capture the sunset, what are we attempting to capture?  A photographer could take a perfect picture, but would that capture what is stirred within us?  A photographer can’t take a picture of the stirring in our heart, and that stirring, so flagrant in youth and, all too often, so withered in the old, is what poetry is all about.  A poem or a song attempts to express in words that which already exists — what a photograph fails to convey. Continue reading “Sunset and Special Childhood Memories”

Just A Normal Day in London

London might not be renowned for good weather but every once in a while, the sun is shining, the birds are singing and the grass are green, and we go out and enjoy the day! 🙂 The days are getting longer; it doesn’t get dark until after eight o’clock in the evening and it enables me to do more outdoor activities even late at night.  Continue reading “Just A Normal Day in London”