Sunday, December 31, 2006

The year in review - Jan to Mar 2006

Yeah... it's time to pop the champagne and don the party hats...

Time say goodbye to the old year and usher in the new.....

In less then 4 hours, it will be 2007.

Where did 2006 go? Didn't I just celebrate it recently? Time doesn't just fly. It zoomed by in a supersonic jetplane.

Is anyone making new year resolutions? I've never really done any New Year resolution. Perhaps because instinctively I know that I wouldn't really follow it through. But losing 2 inches off my ever-increasing waist would be nice.

January 2006
I saw snow for the first time. I was really excited. So much so that I woke up hubby, who was sleeping away soundly. Wonder why we still get excited over such seemingly small things? Perhaps nature has a way of affecting us that we're not even aware of. Isn't this beautiful?
This was part of my FIL's garden, covered in snow.

Rang in the New Year on the Isle of Man. (I just found out that the island is a possession of England. Hmmm... ) After the obligatory round of champagne and well wishes, the whole family was in bed by 12.15am. Very civilised. And yet.. it felt right. It was certainly nice to snuggle up in bed with with hubby, warmed by a few glasses of champagne. I'm either getting old or sentimental...or probably both. Above is photo of my BIL's garden. It's big.

In Scotland for the first time (at least for me), we visited our friend's lovely place by the stream in a small village called Garvald.

It has only a couple of roads and one restaurant/pub/ eating place. The post office opens only ony alternate days I think. And yes, everyone does know everyone.

In Dalrymple, Scotland, we stayed in this lovely 100 years old pub, Kirkton Inn. I feasted on my English breakfast (I wrote about my love for this breakfast here), whereas hubby enjoyed the range of whiskey available there to the fullest.

I was looked upon with much curiosity, though they try to do it as discreetly as possible, unlike Singaporeans, who often gaped at hubby when he ventures into the heartland areas.

Snapped this photo on the beach of Ayr ---->
I read that it gets really crowded during Summer. But on that day in the cold winter, there was only a handful of people out there...mostly walking their dogs.

We (or rather hubby) had to do a lot of driving along what the British call the motorways. I'm always intrigued by the rest stops along these roads. Not only do they provide a welcome break but there always seemed to be so much activities in these stops. They even provide free food and drinks for the travelling pets...but not for the owners though. Hehe!

Instead of flying into the Heathrow airport and spending time in London, we flew to Manchester this time. I like Manchester. Not as buzzing as London perhaps. But that means it was also less stressful. It had a more 'homey' feel.
Salford Quays

One last note before I finish off with Janaury, did you know that Robert Burns was born in Ayr, Scotland? Robert who? Don't know who he is? Perhaps you know this poem?

Red, red rose
O my Luvs's like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June.

No, then perhaps you'll find the song being played on my blog vaguely familiar?

Auld Lang Syne. The song that's played practically everywhere on New Year's Eve. Only that this was the orginal version. If you like this song, you can check out the album here

Auld Lang Syne
Should auld acquaintance be forgot, (Should old aquantaince be forgot)
And never brought to mind? (And never remembered?)
Should auld acquaintance be forgot, (Should old aquantaince be forgot)
And auld lang syne! (For old long ago)

For auld lang syne, my dear (For old long ago, my dear)
For auld lang syne. (For old long ago)
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet, (We will take a cup of kindness yet)
For auld lang syne. (For old long ago)

Lyrics credit: Robert Burn official site

Altogether now......

For auld lang syne, my dear (For old long ago, my dear)
For auld lang syne. (For old long ago)
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet, (We will take a cup of kindness yet)
For auld lang syne.

The all important Chinese New Year. I always make it a point to go down to Chinatown. Somehow CNY doesn't seemed like CNY if I don't visit Chinatown and jostle with all the crowd there.

Every year the prices for the BBQ Pork at this particular stall shoot up higher and higher... but the the queue continues to get longer and longer and it starts earlier and earlier. Wonder what time will it start this CNY?

But it is really nicer than the other brands. Yummy!

CNY lunch on the 2nd day is an event I always look forward to. Everyone (including close family friends) comes back for lunch. That means there are about 40 of us cramming inside my grandmother's small flat. It is also introduction time for that girlfriend/ boyfriend..... if it's serious.....
Men on parade...the men in my life...

This year, shortly after CNY, I did one of the craziest thing in my life. I went on a climbing trip. Though I'm not sure I'll do it again, I have no regrets and enjoyed every single minute of it...after it was over and I could sit down and reflect upon it of course. Hehe!

To read about my climb, read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3

Hmm... there was no no major events. What I didn't do anything special?
But as I read my blog.. I realised I had lunch with one of bestest friend. I worked. I went to the gym. I spent time with hubby.

Sometimes it's a joy to be just normal and ordinary. Doing the routine things can be special too... when you're healthy and am surrounded by loved ones.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The biggest joy of travelling

What are the joys of travelling?

No doubt there are many. That's why we travel.

See new sights
Meet new friends
Taste new food
Discover new customs

What I learn when I'm away in a different country, whether on business or pleasure, short or long...the lessons are invaluable. The joys and pleasure I derived from these visits are immeasurable. I realised just how small I am. The world is infinite. Maybe that's why men have travelled from time infinite.

To quote the Mastercard tagline- "Priceless".

And yet....what is the biggest joy of travelling?

The biggest joy, the best part of any travel is...

coming home

knowing that there's someone waiting for me...

I think that's the best part of travelling.

It's good to be home.