For You, Daddy!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

And The Mountains Echoed




So you know that in June, Mum and I went away for a break. Over three weeks, we visited family in two cities and holidayed with friends in two mountain towns.



We travelled over hills




And rolled across dales.




We watched Liam work his magic with homeless boys

This ‘flow chart’ is what changes a child’s life.
Liam believes, not just in second chances,
but in giving a chlld
seventy times seven chances.




 And gaped at Godbaby twist and not shout during her Capoeira workouts.

Godbaby: Après change of hairstyle




Mum hung out with her girls

L–>R: Godbaby, Mum, Big Sis
Godbaby: Pre-change of hair style




And we huddled around two ageing relatives whose photographs I have chosen not to share in a public space in an effort to afford them dignity that has fallen victim to the ravages of ageing.



I am aware that this is the fate of some of us when we approach certain chronological milestones, and it makes me incredibly sad to see how helpless some unfortunate people are against physical decline that technology has not conquered yet.



This trip was no holiday per se, for me. As I wrote to a friend on return:  



Our trip was a good diversion from routine, although not entirely a relaxed break for me. Mum, 82, is very independent, but since we were in new-to-her-at-this-age places and she does not voice her preferences/displeasures as loudly as I do, I had to constantly think of where she’d need physical assistance and I had to ensure her meals/snacks were on time. Like me, Mother eats every two to three hours. Like me, too, she begins to wilt when she gets hungry. Unlike me, she doesn’t turn cranky. You know what I’m talking about. Yup, I’m still the same. 😉



Before we left, I didn’t think of this trip as a break for me, so I wasn’t disappointed to not get to do what I wanted to at all times. I’m just very happy for Mum because the change of scene was a good boost for her already active life. .  



But I was away from routine and that made a few things come to light, especially when we were ensconced at Liam’s in the mountains. I’ll list three of them below. 




I. I realised I did not need that break. Because I wasn’t tired.  


Before we left, I had looked forward to getting away because I had not been on a holiday in 14 months. (Extra long weekends to neighbouring states do not count.) I wasn’t exactly tired before I went on the trip, but I did not realise how tired I was not until the third leg of the trip.



Before we left, I was looking forward to ‘unwinding’ and feeling ‘refreshed’ on the trip.



And nothing happened.



I then realised that it was because I wasn’t tired.



And I wasn’t tired because I plan, prioritise and pace all the activities I can when I’m at home.



I literally pencil in simple chats over coffee (for her) and green tea (for me) with BFF Two at my place or hers even though we meet at least once a week.



I feel nothing when I have to cancel plans to catch a movie or a play with friends when another friend calls and desperately needs a pair of ears for her woes.  



I am strict about when my personal contacts can call me for non-urgent matters. Before 8 a.m. and not after 8 p.m. Emergencies excepted. (It’s lights out at my casa at 9.30 p.m. and I wake up at 5.30 a.m.)



I am very strict with myself and the time I spend on line.



Writing personal mails tops my list of priorities. If I find myself interested in a new article or site, I squelch the slight twinge of disappointment that I could not ‘flip through’ some of my daily reads, which are primarily online newspapers.



I’ve RSSed a little over a dozen* blogs. At first, it was awfully hard for me to refrain from commenting on new blogs or even the ones I read regularly. I know how much I like receiving a ‘Like’ or a ‘Comment’ on my blog, but that’s not good enough to spur me to do the same on everyone else’s I read when I’m crunched for time.



I am just as strict with my time for myself as I am with others, be it in person or cyberspace. 



“A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.” ~ M.K. Gandhi  


*You want to scoff at the miniscule number of blogs I’ve RSSed? I’ll give you more fodder, friends! I do not have an account with any networking site**. Oh, dear. I’ll give you a few minutes to recover from that anticlimactic truth.



**I have access to Big Sis and BFF One’s Facebook accounts. The only time I stroll around there is with Mum by my side so that she can catch up with our relatives/family friends and my school era friends, respectively, around the world. (BFF Two lives in China and therefore, does not have access to Facebook. In any case, she’s like me; prefers deeper interaction with a small group of personal contacts.)



Five years ago, when I returned to live with Mum, people around me here slowly became acquainted with my unflinching firmness that they were not familiar with because I had left when I was a teenager. My rigidness was teased gently by most and I smiled sweetly in response. But stood my ground. I was ridiculed by a few, seethed inwardly in their presence and railed against them to my Core Four (i.e. the four people – a mix of family and friends – I am closest to). But I did not budge.



My body, my life, my rules. Period.



Five years on and I’m revelling in the results. I am not tired nor do I tear my hair at the end of the day. Or even at the end of 14 month holiday drought. 🙂




II. I stayed true to my intention of switching to ‘Unplug mode’ and I was okay. I was more than okay; I was absolutely fine being completely immersed in the real world. ^_^ 




I checked mail three times in the twenty days we were away. I had access to a computer everywhere we went, but I just did not feel like checking my e-mail.



I did keep track of my Core Four once a day with whoever’s Crackberry or Smartphone was at hand. But those were not my customary prolonged exchanges. Via a common message, I reached out to check that they were okay and to brief them on the highlights of our day.



Each of the three times, I wrote mails to my friends who were hurting in some way or who were celebrating a birthday that day.



Here’s an excerpt from a birthday mail I wrote to a friend: 



Mum and I are still in [the name of the state we were in at the time]. In fact, this is the first time I’ve checked my mail in 8 whole days. I know! If it wasn’t your birthday, Friend, I wouldn’t have even logged in today. I am enjoying NOT writing as much as I enjoy writing my regular reams!  




III. Before I returned home, I had a pretty detailed plan of what I would have liked my life to be like here after being away a few decades. Some things fell into place. Some did not. Actually, some of the big ones did not. I was angry, frustrated and …. angry. Yes, I know I’ve repeated ‘angry’. That’s because I was angry a lot.  



Three years later, I realised the anger was harming me, first of all, and only me for the most part. Thank goodness, I’m a narcissist. I decided to stop being angry because I do not like pain.



When I calmed down, I began to think of other options to fulfil my potential. And options came my way. Not always the ones or the way I had imagined, but they were options nonetheless.



I tentatively dipped my toes, loved how refreshed my soul felt and dove right in. And I’ve been doing swimmingly ever since. Hallelujah!




I am telling this without a sigh

Not ages and ages hence, but now   

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –   

I took the one not imagined by,   

And that has made all the difference.


Dear Robert Frost, thank you for inspiring me with your ‘The Road Not Taken’.

Also, I’m dreadfully sorry I’ve plagiarised and spifflicated your venerable lines.  




Liam, friend of our family, is a Salesian priest. Recently, he was transferred to a mountainous part of the country where he heads a shelter for homeless boys. His institution also has a fruit and vegetable farm, a chicken farm and a piggery on the same sprawling property.



While each of the four places Mum and I visited on this holiday is special to me, I will share my favourite moments from when those mountains spoke to me. 



1. Feeding the pigs. I used to feed the pigs a snack every day. I’d gather all the ripened apples from the ground in a pail and toss them to the pigs. Oh, I was so very tempted to hand feed them, but warnings from the elders and common sense got in the way of my fun. 😉 



I called the littlest pig, Babe. Babe was one greedy, little piggy. 



Being the lightest on his little pinkish tinged feet, with shocking speed one day, he grabbed the first apple I threw in. Then he grabbed the second apple as well … with the first still in his mouth! Not satisfied with two apples stuffed in his mouth, he darted between the big pigs and lunged at the third one! What a pig pet!



“Babe!” I admonished. “This is exactly how you will land up on a dining table, roasted to golden perfection with that d#mned apple in your gob.” Warning in vain, for sure.  



2. Playing with a glow worm. One patch of the massive grounds had openings in the mountain walls. Those ‘caves’, as I called them, were filled with glow worms. Then Liam picked one up and asked if I wanted to hold it. I froze while the thing wiggled in my hand. Gradually, I began to, um, thaw and I think I managed to stroke it, too. Aww. 



Watching all those glow worms was a treat. Playing with one made me want to flicker, too. I declared that they flickered because they were happy. So was I.  



3. Seeing thousands of newly sprouted wild saplings. One late afternoon, Liam, a colleague of his and I went trekking to the summit of the lowest mountain in the neighbourhood. I opted for the unbeaten, rough slope. I had trekked in that region a few years ago in summer and I knew those grounds are dry and barren at certain times of the year. 



I was shocked and delighted to see how much lies asleep until the rains come and wake them up! I rarely get to see newly sprouted plants. Seeing a huge carpet of them was pure joy. Like the glow worms, I insisted the sprouts were happy (to wake up).  



4. The view from the edge of a cliff. Not too early one morning, Liam took a group of his visiting colleagues, Mum and me for a drive around some of the scenic spots. He took us higher up the mountains towards a dead end. More of a dead drop, if you ask me. He had said the view of the valley below and the smaller peaks that stretched almost into the horizon, was a beautiful one. 



But when we got there to the edge, it was very foggy. Clouds of mist swirled around us and we barely saw land anywhere ahead of us; mostly fog.  



And that’s exactly why I enjoyed that moment. 




I love the mountains, I love the mist.

I had both there.

That magical moment up in the mountains

was my most favourite moment

of all the other non-family/friends times

I spent on this holiday.





::   ::  ::   ::   ::  ::  :: ::     CONGRATULATIONS   ::  ::  ::  ::  ::   ::   ::   ::   ::


Fresh off the press! Fresh off the press! The Hook got Freshly Pressed!


Here’s the article:


An Open Letter To Ellen DeGeneres


Hook, what I’m most excited about you getting Freshly Pressed is, that this, getting Freshly Pressed, was one of your many little dreams. And it gone done come true! Woo flippin’ hoo!


You’re next, Hook And Family’s Other Dreams! 


Thank you, Shogun 360°, Iaconis and JIMMY 2 HATSfor signing up to follow my posts.


Thank you, You’ve Been Hooked!  and FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie”, for commenting on my last post.


Thank you, Shogun 360° Marketing, You’ve Been Hooked! Dog Leader Mysteries and FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie”, for liking my last post.


Thank you, WordsFallFromMyEyes, for liking and commenting on my post titled ‘Loves’ Labours Not Lost’. 




P.S.: Cheerful Monk adds a footnote to every post acknowledging those who comment on her previous post. She also links the commenters’ names back to their own blogs.


I like both these practices of acknowledging the time and effort made to comment, and the free advertising! So I’m doing what I do well – being a copycat!  








Monday, 1 July 2013

Comment Ça Va?



Bien, I hope, mes amies?



(For those who do not understand French:

Comment ça va? = How’s it going?

Bien = Well/Fine/Good.

Mes amies  = My friends. )



What’s with the jingle-jangled English-French?



Well. It’s Canada Day today. So ‘Happy Canada Day!‘ to my handful of Canuck readers!



Is that why I bilingual-ed ?



Um, no.



Okay. I am too lazy to pretend much longer, so I’ll spit it out – this post is based on a reader’s comment, and I tried to hint at that in the title.



“Huh”, you say?



Right. I’ll explain.



As mentioned in my last post,

Listen to Your Heart

I was away on a 3-week holiday with Mum. Since I got back a week ago, I haven’t been in the right frame of mind to work on the topic that I had slotted for this month’s post.



I like to enjoy everything I do, my routine activities included. I do not like stressing myself out in any which way and I don’t like giving whoever or whatever less than my best. Hence, I’ve mastered the cunning wonderful art of pacing myself and prioritising.



Since I wasn’t in a mood to cobble together a regular post


Since I owed The Hook a reply to the comment he had left on my previous post

Two birds + One stone — Bam! —> This post!

Comment ça va indeed! 😉



Thank you, Hook, for bailing me out letting me reply to your earlier comment in this post. Take a bow:




You’ve Been Hooked!  

Observations from the trenches….




The Book of Terrible

Shining a Light on Mankind’s missteps…




The Hook and I have a few things in common. One of them – we love dogs. So does Bestie Boy.




Yes, this … this … is my friend.
And that’s the family pet.




Bestie Boy attended a doggie event over a recent weekend. Here’s an excerpt of his experience.



Bestie Boy: The annual Dog Club garden party was one of the weirdest ‘little [Name Of His Country]‘ events I’ve ever been to!  Literally hundreds of dogs running about sniffing each other’s ars#s and gobbling sausages and cake … what better way to spend a Sunday?



Fortunately, my other friend, The Hook, is tame and well behaved.



Hark! Check out ze cutie!




Meet The Hook’s doggie.
Call her Chelsea. She’ll respond to you.




Get this! Chelsea speaks! Like, for realsies, people! Check out her bow wows here:



Two Guest Posts For The Price of One!



Back to The Hook.



Chelsea’s Handler had a medical crisis in the family recently and he has written an uncommon, practical list of battle acquired tips after his too-close-for-comfort encounter.



If you happen to be in the same unfortunate boat, I recommend you head over to

The !ndie Chicks

and read:

The Hook’s Guide To Being A Medical Wing-man



Now, onto the comment and response.



Hook’s Original Comment

Kate, Thank you for the musical therapy, the journey through time, and for just being you. Be well, my friend. We’ll talk soon. The Hook.



My Response

>Thank you for the musical therapy,

– You’re welcome, Hook!


It is fitting that you use the word ‘therapy’. I thought of an article I had read that explained the science behind the therapy of music. Title, link and a key quote next.

Why Your Brain Craves Music

“When we’re listening to music, the most advanced areas of the brain tie in to the most ancient.”


>the journey through time,

– I’m glad that you enjoyed your flashback. I felt good, too, going back two decades while working on that post.  


I was quite a big Roxette fan(atic). Aped Marie Fredriksson’s moves, outfits and hairdos. I stopped at bleaching my spikes blonde though.


>and for just being you.

– Well, yes, I can be nice for the most part. Just make sure you don’t catch me when I’m hungry or angry. 😉


>Be well, my friend.

– I was, Hook. Still am.


>We’ll talk soon.

– We certainly did! Thanks for putting up with the outta sight chatter, too, especially when you and the family were embroiled in:

The Past is Behind Us. The Future is Out of Reach. So Live for Today.


>Glad to hear you and Mum had fun.

– The fun bits were guaranteed, so to speak, but that our travels across 4 small towns/cities were mishap free is something I am very grateful for. 


 I’ll spare you yet another 1,000 words and let Mum’s smile say it all. 




Still smiling when we landed a rustic town after a 14 hour train ride.

Oh, look! By responding to a comment here, I’ve managed to cobble together a decent post!



A novel concept? Not likely.

Convenient? Most definitely.

Cunning? Um, comment ça va, mes amies?




Thank you, ArchangelTravel and GLENN FOLKES, for signing up to follow my posts.


Thank you, You’ve Been Hooked!  and FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie”, for commenting on my last post.


Thank you, You’ve Been Hooked! and FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie”, for liking my last post.




P.S.: Cheerful Monk adds a footnote to every post acknowledging those who comment on her previous post. She also links the commenters’ names back to their own blogs.


I like both these practices of acknowledging the time and effort made to comment, and the free advertising! So I’m doing what I do well – being a copycat!  

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Listen To Your Heart




Oh, hello Internet! Couldja please indulge me while I … I … I’ll be back in five! Wait! I mean, 5:04!



I simply gotta, hafta, cannot NOT listen to my ❤ …..



*bouncing off my chair*





Song: Listen to your heart

Artist: Roxette

Album: Look Sharp!

Even here at home, with my little, humble speakers, I can remember the bass thumping the club floors all those years ago.



Thank you, Internet, for waiting patiently while I danced (YET AGAIN!) to that Roxette number in the vid above.




The month of June – past, present and future – has a few things that are important to my heart. Hmm. That’s just like all the other months in the year. Never mind. Since it is June now, I will list 3 of those important-to-my-heart things in the month of June here.



The order of the events I talk about in today’s post is:  

Future i.e. ongoing

Present i.e. soon-to-be present







It is World Environment Day on 5 June.

And you know I lurve ma otha mutha AKA Mother Earth.




Lovely pic, innit?
I stole it from

This picture reminded me of one of the few times in my life I felt my jaw slacken in awe. 

It was when BFF Two and I flew into Ürümqi, 

the capital of Xinjiang Province in North-West China. 

Shortly after the craft had begun descent,

I glimpsed similarly majestic mountains for the first time.







I live with my mother. Yeah. I’m one of thoseA parasite single. Bite me.   



I like hanging out with Mummy. Tomorrow, Mum and I will leave on a 3-week holiday. During this time, we will visit a few relatives who are now housebound owing to age-related incapacitation, and we will spend a week in the mountains with friends.



I ought to be anxious about this trip because this is my first long distance trip with Mum since 2006. Mum is bearing down on 82 now, and predictably, has slowed down a good deal since we traipsed across the Far East 7 years ago. Two years ago, Mum visited The Holy Land and parts of the Middle East with friends, but this unholy Jane did not tag along. Mum did very well on that trip and that is probably why, I am more excited than apprehensive about travelling with my older parent now. Meh, I won’t mess with my head-in-the-sand brain. 😉




Mum singing ‘Tennessee Waltz’ at her 80th birthday do nearly two years ago.
This song is one of many that Daddy and she enjoyed waltzing to.




Oh, since we’ll be outta here early tomorrow morning, if any of you* leaves a comment, I will only approve your comment, but not respond until we get back. I switch to ‘Unplug Mode’ in general every chance I get when I’m on holiday. Thank you for understanding.  


*I’m looking at you, Hook, and Elvie Rose. 🙂



Hook’s, um, hooked up at:


You’ve Been Hooked!  

Observations from the trenches….




The Book of Terrible

Shining a Light on Mankind’s missteps…



Elvie Rose blooms at:



MY WORLD IS A KALEIDOSCOPE OF COLOR! Paintings of my life’s journey, experiences, cherished memories, emotions, thought, ideas and other interesting stuffs.







Below is an excerpt from the newsletter  I sent out to my (personal) contacts in June 5 years ago. To be precise, I sent that newsletter on Friday, 27 June 2008. That date is significant to what I’ve referred to in the excerpt next.





Guess who’s my latest Hero of the Day?




This image is from ‘All Things D(igital)’.

When looking through Google Images for a picture, this one cracked me up.




Bill Gates. Yeah, THE Bill Gates.



I’m a decade too l8, you sneer? Oh. Actually, I didn’t much care for him during his reign as the human Uncle Scrooge.



[In the last annual listing of Forbes Fictional Richie Richs, Scrooge McDuck takes the top spot. 


The Forbes Fictional 15


( ]



Sure, Bill opened the floodGates in terms of technology in our daily lives and I tilt my hat appropriately to that.



But he’s landed on my ‘Wow’ list now because today, Friday, 27 June 2008, is his last working day at the almighty Microsoft. (Apologies, MacUsers!)




Nate’s a Mac user. It’s his birthday this month.




As you all know, Bill Gates is leaving that daily grind to focus on his charitable foundation. And that’s what elevates him in my eyes.



Why should he care about the underprivileged around the world?

I mean, why should he care as much as he does?

Doesn’t he have the world to run? 

The top rung to keep warm on that Forbes list? 



Those things might have been important to him earlier on, but apparently, not anymore.



There must be others like me, who cannot believe he’s chucking aside all that to pursue something less glamourous in the eyes of the business world mainly, but I admire him now for having the courage to follow his passion and go after what’s important to him.



I’ve got to add, that I believe, that what he’s going to do now on is no more significant than anyone who places their own personal happiness over the perceived standards of the world.



For instance:


A person who chooses to give up a powerful position at work to become a stay-at-home parent. 




A jet-setting professional who gives up a lucrative career to live on a farm. 



To me, (the examples of) the two people I’ve cited above are just as heroic.




I believe


the most important thing


for me

to direct my listening inward,

tune in to my heart



what my little ticker tells me

is likely

to make me





While doing what makes me happy, be it something elementary or eminent, if someone else can benefit, too, even better, me thinks! 



Bill Gates is yet another person I know of who listened to his heart.




For opening the Windows of the world to us




For being yet another person to propel me to listen to my heart,


‘Thank You’,




‘Good Luck’  

With your new “career”, Mr.Gates!





Thank you, Taking Back Earth, for signing up to follow my posts.


Thank you, You’ve Been Hooked! and FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie”, for commenting on my last post.


Thank you, You’ve Been Hooked! and FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie”, for liking my last post.


P.S.: Cheerful Monk adds a footnote to every post acknowledging those who comment on her previous post. She also links the commenters’ names back to their own blogs.

I like both these practices of acknowledging the time and effort made to comment, and the free advertising! So I’m doing what I do well – being a copycat! 





Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Loves’ Labours Not Lost

Filed under: Giving,Personal Beliefs — by For you, Daddy! @ 4:30 am
Tags: , , ,



Today is International Workers’ Day.



May 1 is also called Labour Day in some parts of the world.




This image is from




Last May Day, I wrote about some of the wonderful people who toil to make my life comfortable. That post is titled:


With A Little Help From My Friends




This post is about a few others who earn their living by making my life easier.



And it’s about what I try to do to ensure they receive a little additional gratitude. Hence, the twist of that Shakespearean story in the title of this post.



I am a little biased towards helping people I know personally. There is a need everywhere in the world, but I have found that, when I enforce my ‘Charity begins at home’ mantra, the personal interaction with my clients (as I call the beneficiaries) fulfills a certain emotional need in me.



Remember I said this a while ago?



I will share some details of my work with my cousins in a future post. Oh, don’t worry about making me cross my heart. I will brag. 🙂



In my first post of 2013? No?

That post is titled:

A New Day Has Come’.

Not even the faintest of tinkling bells? Oh well. You’ll just have to take my word for it then, won’t you?



Nearly 5 years ago, I gave up a high flying job and lifestyle and … whatwho?


The Monk Who Sold Her Ferrari?

Do I look like a person who has COMPLETELY lost her mind?

Why on this climate changed earth would I sell a Ferrari if I owned one?

Ditch those wheels to trudge up some mountain?






And to think, that you thought, that I was the ridiculous one. Ha.




So let’s get back to the point, shall we? I worked at a few companies in a few countries and I was happy. Until I grew a pair had the courage to admit to myself that it was ephemeral happiness.



Nearly 5 years ago, I moved into the slow lane. Seeing the difference in my life overall, towards the end of last year, two of my cousins decided to weave in and out of that lane.



Being the lazy wench that I am, I will copy the rest of the background story about my cousins from my earlier post.




Late last year, when I went away on assignment, September-October, to be precise, two of my cousins gave me a wonderful surprise. The timing is uncanny because these two cousins are not related to each other.



One is Mummy’s younger sister’s son and the other is Daddy’s younger brother’s son. Both are from different parts of the globe and though they have met each other on occasion over the years, they are not in contact with each other. But they both came up with the same thought, and they both approached me with the same request, at almost the same time.



They both wanted to do something about, what I call, their Personal Social Responsibility or PSR for short. Since I switched careers to social service 4 years ago and am thriving* in it, they decided to seek my guidance.



*Not in terms of salary earnings, but the emotional millions I’m raking in.



So there. That’s what’s been eating my time since October last year. Because this is completely new to both my cousins, and I work alone with each of them via Skype, I have had to spend time I didn’t quite have.


I call the cousin who is older than I am – Gun.

Because it’s his high school ‘street name’ for his biceps back then; which he only used to peacock around with, not beat anyone to a pulp.

Gun calls me ‘Chick’.

Not because I’m female, but because I’m the younger of two sisters. Chick is not offended in the least. She cheeps in delight, in fact.



I call the cousin who is younger than I am – Dawg.

Because we both like dogs. That’s a lie. But I really can’t tell you why I call him that.

Dawg calls me ‘Dude’.

Because I spent 5 years in my earliest career in his city, and during that time, I spent a lot of time with him and his (then) school and college bloke buds, who are still his closest mates today. I was (and still am) like just another dude to them.




I had a few ‘rules’ for my cousins when we discussed this project. The two biggies I insisted on were:



1. The clients be people I know personally.


2. Gun and Dawg would have to meet the people they help when they visit Mum and me. Until the visits happen, I would send them detailed reports about my interactions with each individual/family every time AND that I want feedback from each of them.



Both cousins requested anonymity with the clients (and in general) and I respect that, but I stressed that they must visit the families the way I routinely do.



Years ago, I’d found that writing cheques and giving cash donations to organisations made me feel good about myself, but interacting with the clients, especially in their homes, makes them feel good about themselves. And whoa! Don’t even ask how I feel when I see the unbridled delight over my visits to their humble dwellings!



Gun doesn’t travel very often on work, so I usually Skype with him.




Three years ago, Gun and his friends travelled across a few seas.
So did I.
We spent a few days being the kids we refuse to stop being.




Dawg has, what I call ‘ants in his pants’ i.e. he’s a globe trotter, so we communicate more frequently via e-mail.



Below is an excerpt of my mail to Dawg when I introduced some possible clients. He gladly adopted this group.




1. Gisele: As in Gisele Bündchen. That’s what Mum and I call our tribal banana woman.


We call her Gisele because years ago, when Mum told her she (Mum) wanted to get her (Gisele) a new pair of flip-flops to replace her well worn ones, she had told Mum she preferred the Havaianas* brand because she had heard that they didn’t hurt the feet. She walks around with a basket of bananas on her head. She’s pint sized and a very chatty old woman. And yes, Mummy did get her a very colourful pair. Mum said Gisele’s face glowed just as brightly as the new pair of Havaianas on her feet when Mum gave them to her.



*As you know, Havaianas  are originally from Brazil. Then they, like Gisele Bündchen, made a splash in the world of fashion.




2. Grumps: Our tribal veggie woman.


I named her that because it took me three years to get her to crack a smile. She used to be very serious, almost sullen. My ‘May God bless you’ in local speak, which works as ‘Thank you’, and ‘May God grant you a good day’, a typical parting line, were ignored the first three years. A year and half ago, she began grunting a response. A few months ago, she began to reciprocate more coherently; sometimes, not always. And she even manages a hint of a smile on occasion when I gently tease her.



Giselle and Grumps are a dying breed of door-to-door salespeople. They don’t have much longer either because nearly all the tribal women sellers are a weathered, wrinkled lot.




3. Smiley: Our baker.


Smiley is a very pleasant person and I bestowed that monicker because of his bright and ready smile to all his clients. I think he’s in his late twenties. He looks after his sickly mother and Smiley himself suffers from kidney stones. The boys at the traditional bakeries lead very hard lives. 😦 




4. Dormouse: He is a quiet, skinny, um, insignificant worker at our grocery store.


He has a 7 year old daughter. He hails from a very poor family, and he is oh-so-humble, Dawg, it makes my heart ache for him. 😦





The above mentioned four people and a few other families now enjoy the blessings (as I call the monetary assistance) from both Gun and Dawg every month.

Dawg is a Financial Consultant and has founded his own company in a country far from where I am now.




Dawg ‘n me
when his family and mine
went on a little holiday two years ago.




By January this year, barely three months in, Dawg developed a virtual umbilical cord with each of his clients. He was so thrilled with how well this had taken off, he got greedy. As in, he wanted to go for scale with this venture. So he dangled a delicious carrot.



Did this bunny bite?



Read on to find out.




Dawg: Yo, this gig is going great guns! I love reading the reports of your visits. It makes me feel like I’m right here with all of you! So I began thinking. What say we go global? Come on, Dude! Think about it. No, do it. Whatever you decide will become our CSR initiative and you will be officially appointed as the (Company Name) Brand Ambassador for this. 🙂



This is your project, Dude! Make a plan and let me know!!! 



Me:  Great stuff, huh? Not so fast, sez me.



CSR? No. I’m still for your PSR.



Brand Ambassador? No. No pictures of me on your website.



Well, I took on the PSR project with you because I really could not resist something so tempting. Sigh! But I ain’t signing on no dotted line, Dawgbert, because like it or not, I am grounded. I’m done with slavery work related overseas trips.



Hmm. I would like to think that you made me this offer because you think I qualify to take this on. But that’s not why I think you did it. You’re just jealous of the fact that I only traipse around the country on work now whereas you still do those crazy around-the-globe stints.


You know the me-of-old would have seized a juicy challenge like this, but, dear cousin, I am completely unaffected by your dazzling offer because I know you. You are so from the Dilbert world. Fancy shmancy title for blood, sweat and tears disguised as Air Miles. Keep ‘em f…lying miles, Dawg. 




Least concerned about his masking his intent, he shamelessly (as ever) returned volley with this cartoon clip.




This image is from




Still, my PSR work, right here in my own state, is not without its travails. As I wrote above, I meet and interact with the clients who mostly live away from my city. After I meet all of them each month, I send detailed reports to Gun and Dawg.



And then, there’s the accounting. Arrgh!



Me: Attaching the Excel sheet I’ve made for [client’s name] account.



Will send you the estimate for [another mini project] when my head stops hurting. You can work on it when you get back from … Singapore? Finland? Brazil? Japan? Where the heck are you this time, Dawg? Oh, stuff it. Who the eff cares? 😉



Dawg: Dude, I am really cool with you handling this as per your  judgment. What I am saying, O Cranky Cuz, is that you don’t need to keel over an Excel sheet with all the itsy bitsy details and then send all those details to me. Keeping me in the loop is good, but not if you tear your hair in the process. Leave Excel and numbers to the accountants, and do what you do best. 🙂



Me: You know how to tap into the best of a slave an employee!



Yes, you’re right. This stuff really freaks me out! I swear, you are the third* and last ‘money donor’ I’m taking on. But I want to do all the accounting myself because one of my big concerns with organisations is transparency/accountability.


*Big Sis was my first ‘money donor’ three years ago. Now Gun and Dawg have joined that club.



Second, I need to keep track myself, although my abacus era methods are foolproof. Then again, I’m the fool, so yeah, no jazzy formulae with me. 



Third, Daddy had taught me accounting* and this is my nod to him. Okay, this last one doesn’t make sense. But I feel nice thinking he approves of the colourful stuff in the spreadsheet.

*Daddy was a (Certified Chartered) Accountant.




Thank you, Sekhar Chakrabarti, for permitting the use of your image.


Readers, are any of you (postage) stamp collectors?

Then head over Sekhar Chakrabarti’s blog 



peruse your little philatelic hearts out!




I do not think the clients I help Big Sis, Gun and Dude with have the luxury of the second and third sections in the above photograph. I hope that the blessings they receive from my relatives and the time I spend with them help correct that imbalance in some manner.



And so, this is the reason, since the start of this year that I chose to further decrease my publishing schedule to once a month.



Working with Big Sis, Gun and Dawg means I don’t always read your posts upon publication.



It also means I comment far less than I used to. But when I do mouth off, by gad! It’s like I never left, yeah?



Oh, then you wish I would leave?



I can take a hint, people.



*storming off*




Thank you, The Ranting Chef, for signing up to follow my posts.


Thank you, You’ve Been Hooked! and FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie”, for commenting on my last post.


Thank you, You’ve Been Hooked! and FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie”, for liking my last post.


P.S.: Cheerful Monk adds a footnote to every post acknowledging those who comment on her previous post. She also links the commenters’ names back to their own blogs.

I like both these practices of acknowledging the time and effort made to comment, and the free advertising! So I’m doing what I do well – being a copycat!





Monday, 1 April 2013

I Eat, Therefore, I Am.



A big mouth. No, seriously. I have a big mouth. All the better to eat with and all that. Okay, I mean, I am a big mouth. Like, a really LOUD mouth. 



When I find something that has helped me in some way, I open my mouth nice and wide, and yeah, often put my foot right into it, but I also love to blab about what I’ve “discovered”.



And that’s what I’m going to do in this post. I’m going to blather about fodder.



Now there are reams of scientific evidence connecting good nutrition and a healthy body. Over the years, I have read many such articles and about 15 years ago, I began to adopt certain practices. I think they work.



I am healthy i.e. I do not have any known medical ailment to date. I go for an annual medical check-up and all tests have consistently been normal. Why I find that abnormal is, because every single classmate of mine, from my school years who I have kept in touch with over the years to date, has been diagnosed with some health related blip. Some are on medication, some have undergone surgery for gall stones and kidney stones, and one has even undergone a coronary bypass. His blockages were attributed to an unhealthy lifestyle.



So I really do believe that some of my “madness” (as my dietary adjustments have frequently been called) works to some degree. I have shared my diet schedule with people I know. I now feel comfortable enough to cast a wider net.



That Disclaimer Thing:

I don’t know how to do this in a way that will save my behind from being sued by anyone, but I’ll try.



1. Please consult your doctor before you decide to adopt anything I write about here.



2. Please read up as many sites and delve into as many sources as you deem necessary to be comfortable with the things I do before you decide to adopt anything I write about here.



3. None of this is scientifically tested or proven by me. It is all based on how I feel and how my body feels.



Another VERY important point about my ‘diet schedule’, if you will, of today is, that I began making tiny changes, one at a time, over a decade and half ago.



I had repeatedly read certain things in a variety of magazines (this was pre-Windows era), thought they made sense, and decided to give them a go. Having noticed a positive difference almost every time, I was buoyed by the success and adopted that new habit. When that practice fitted fluidly into my routine, I was spurred to try something else new. Nearly two decades later, and I have settled for the schedule I will chalk out below.  



ACHTUNG! When I talk about my diet schedule to someone for the first time, this is the most common response I get.







I normally get out of bed at 6 a.m. and crash at 10 p.m. I down something almost soon after I wake up and my dinner (the last meal/snack of the day) is at 8 p.m.





6 a.m.: One tbsp Honey  +  one tbsp Coconut/Apple Cider Vinegar with 250 ml warm water


6.30 a.m. to 8 a.m.: One and a half litre Green Tea  


8 a.m.: Porridge made with:  

400 ml Milk +  2 tbsp Oats  +   1 heaped tsp ground   Flax Seeds  +  1 heaped tsp ground Millets  1 tsp grated Jaggery  +  1 tbsp rehydrated (dark) Raisins  +  1 Date  +  2 threads Saffron  


2 sliced Bananas added to the above when cooked.


10 a.m. to 11 a.m.: 500 ml Green Tea 


11.30 a.m.: Fruit  or  Raw vegetable  or  Sprouts


12.30 p.m.: LUNCH


Main Course:

Brown Rice/Quinoa/Couscous/Wild Rice with an equal amount of Lentils/Beans

cooked with

A pinch of Turmeric  +  2 peels of dried Kokum  or  ½ tsp Tamarind paste  +  1 Red/Green Chillie


A Fish based dish with a thick-ish gravy/sauce


Cooked Vegetable


Entire plate topped with:

1 level tsp mix of minced Ginger, Garlic, Onion and Corriander Leaves



Two squares of Chocolate  or  a slice of Cake  or  a wedge of Pie  or  a small bowl of Pudding


3 p.m.: 300 ml Green Tea


4 p.m.: Processed snack: Crisps (Chips)  or  Biscuits (Cookies)  or  Savoury/Not-too-sweet Bites (Munchies)  


6 p.m.: 300 ml Green Tea

7 p.m.: 250 ml Yoghurt  +  Fruit  +  1 Walnut  +  2 Almonds  +  3 Cashews/Pistachios/Pine Nuts  


8.30 p.m.: DINNER


Main Course:

Beef/Chicken/Lamb/Pork cooked with a Leafy Vegetable and Soya Nuggets


Cooked Vegetable


Multi-grain Brown Bread  or  Whole Wheat Pita Bread  


Entire plate topped with:

1 level tsp mix of minced Ginger, Garlic, Onion and Corriander Leaves



Two squares of Chocolate  or  a slice of Cake  or  a wedge of Pie  or  a small bowl of Pudding 




And voila! Non-achy, non-breaky heart and the rest of me. 



There are many one-time variations, of course. For example, I will buy a carton of soy milk or rice milk on occasion and have that instead of yoghurt. Then, there’s my Sunday Breakfast that I mentioned in my previous post, ‘I Live To Eat, Too.



All the little oddities, like:

Saffron and millets in the porridge

Beans, turmeric and chillie in the rice


Leafy vegetables with the meats

are to add a little nutritional heft to the dishes since each of those ingredients are supposedly good for us, and I cannot prepare more dishes nor eat any more often than I already do to make sure I eat a little of those items on a regular basis.



What I like about myself where my eating is concerned is that I love my healthy choices as much as I do the junk. I also like that I’m not hung up on healthy food nor do I vilify unhealthy food.



Also, very important:

I do not inflict impose these culinary quirks on any of my visitors


I leave this schedule at home when I leave my house*.

So I get to indulge all senses when I abandon all sensibilities at spreads away home. Big whoop!

*Except when I go to work every day.



I have always had a ravenous appetite, so the frequent munching comes easily to me. (Thank you, freakishly high BMR!) What I have consciously changed is the poisonous high-sugar, high-fat fare I gorged on after I left home at 19 (no parental supervision, yaay!) until my mid twenties. That kind of food kept me satiated for longer periods, but when I grew older, I realised that although I could not see the flubber build up on the outside, I was most definitely lining my blood vessels and damaging other organs on the inside with my unhealthy choices.



There are a couple of  restrictions and preferences that I have with the source of my food. As I thought about that list, I realised it would fit better in a post of its own. I will share that with you all in a few months. I’ve got month related posts scheduled next.



Eating the way I do today, even though it was one teeny tiny change at a time, was not easy at all for me at first. Almost every ‘new experiment’ felt awful at the time (s~h~u~d~d~e~r) and tasted even worse (big, fat YUCK).



But years on, I am enjoying the results of my hard-at-first choices.




This was taken yesterday i.e. Easter Sunday.


This is in my (side) yard.

I was heading to the backyard when I got the whiff of our Easter lunch lamb ribs being grilled.


These are my ‘Yaay for yum!’, happy-left-feet moves that I was busting,

while unbeknownst to me, Big Bro busted my b#tt! 



When he guffawed over the exposé with the family later,

I realised this picture would be appropriate here because:



1. My halter top is from my high school days. 

2. My boots are from my college days.

3. My shorts are, um, new(er). Like, 12 years old only.


I have no doubt my diet plays a significant role in letting me gleefully get stuck in my sartorial past.




I wish the same kind of energy, health-problem-free confidence and zest of life for everyone.



Give healthy food choices a shot, e-Friends.



And while we’re at it, let’s try and keep our Mother Earth in the pink, too.




 Happy Earth Day!


This image is from
22 April is Earth Day.


Thank you, Matty Byloos, for permitting me the use of your image. 



Matty Byloos (

is a former-teacher-current-writer/painter.



As you, my regular readers, know, I’m no good at art. And I make no bones about that fact either.

But as you, my regular readers again, also know, I’ve got a green beating heart. And a big mouth! 🙂  



Nature lovin’ hippies like me, and what the heck, not-tree-huggers-yet, too,  (I don’t discriminate!),

check out Matty Byloos’ other passion – the environment.



For news in general about how our choices affect the environment


specific tips that we can use to reduce our carbon footprint, head over to Matty Byloos’s website:







::   ::  ::   ::   ::  ::  :: ::     THE  SEVENTH  SENSE   ::  ::  ::  ::  ::   ::   ::   ::   ::


Sandy Nana’s Fudge Cookies! Sorry, Friendskies, I’m not done talking about food. Or going back in time.


Oh, Sandy Nana was Mum’s mum. She passed away nearly 20 years ago. But I still remember her.


Sandy Nana wasn’t a terribly accomplished cook, but when I was little, I loved the Fudge Cookies she baked. I actually cannot remember the exact taste of those cookies, but I remember what I felt like around her, especially when she made up stories and made those cookies.


Which is why I got stupidly giddy today when I keyed in ‘Sandy Nana’s Fudge Cookies’ and Google NoseBETA whisked me back in time!


Google who? Google Nose BETA, people!


‘Tis this newest, whizz-est offering from the mighty search engine. You know how you can search for text/data, images and all? Well, now you can search for …. smells! I KNOW!


Go, watch the vid first, follow the instructions and and check it out! Make that – sniff ‘em out!


You can find the following link below the Search box on Google’s Home Page. (


Google Nose BETA


Oh, a confession tip. Actually, I didn’t look for Sandy Nana’s Fudge Cookies, I just typed ‘Fudge Cookies’. Duh.


And fell on my face.


Go forth and enjoy the same fate. What kind of friend would I be if I didn’t wish the same for you, e-Amigos?




Thank you, FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie” and You’ve Been Hooked!, for commenting on my last post.


Thank you, Rantings of an Amateur Chef, Kathryn Darvill, FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie” and  You’ve Been Hooked!, for liking my last post.


P.S.: Cheerful Monk adds a footnote to every post acknowledging those who comment on her previous post. She also links the commenters’ names back to their own blogs.

 I like both these practices of acknowledging the time and effort made to comment, and the free advertising! So I’m doing what I do well – being a copycat! 





Friday, 1 March 2013

I Live To Eat, Too.



And that’s an open secret with me because I believe that:





Thank you, Jessica, for permitting me the use of this image on behalf of your company.


There is some exciting bit of information at the end from Jessica’s company, 

‘Vinyl Walls Decals’  (




In this post, I will not share the obvious i.e. how much I love feeding my face eating, but how I ‘use’ food.



Food comforts; that’s a known fact. First, I will let an excerpt elaborate on how that fact plays out in my life.



This excerpt is between a friend, who I shall refer to as Friend, and myself. Friend’s words are in blue; mine, as always, in brown.



Friend: I try my best to cope with my problems, but some days, Kate, I feel like nothing works. So I work on keeping myself busy with stuff.



Me: This can be a good thing, Friend, but please make sure that your distractions are not related to work and chores alone. Indulge in activities that make you feel good. For me, it’s something as simple as my (childhood) ‘Sunday breakfast’ which, since my return to the nest, I do not have on Sundays anymore because I am happy to be home again after years of living like a nomad. But when I need a pick-me-up or even just to get a hit of feel-good feelings for the heck of it, I go for that familiar Sunday breakfast.



I take an egg out of the fridge the previous night. As I down my one litre of green tea (over a period of an hour) before brekkie, I anticipate digging into the finished product. The excitement builds as I begin making the breakfast itself.



I fry an egg, sunny side up, I slather one slice of brown bread with butter, turn the egg over on the unbuttered slice, spread the yolk all over, sprinkle pepper and grated cheese, and if I have some at home, I cover the entire slice with deli meat.



I’ve never liked to chomp into the whole sammy because I don’t like food getting smeared around my mouth. I feel uncouth uncomfortable, too, trying to grab the whole thing with both hands. So I cut up the sandwich into 2-bite, bite sized pieces, pull up a chair to face one of the open windows in my dining room, look out into the garden and HALLELUJAH! The winged ones go all Broadway on me. For realsies, Friend! 🙂



Then it’s onto the coffee preparation.  





This image comes very close to what my own cuppa Joe looks like

– colourful cup and non-pro looking, finished product.




I love coffee, but I drink it only when I’m extra happy or if I want to make myself happy. This process, too, is anticipated and salivated over.



The coffee I drink today is way better than what Isabella fooled me with when I was little. I still like it all-milk-no-water, strong and sweet, just the way Isabella lovingly made it for me, but in my early 20s, I discovered the magic of Bailey’s or Amarula with coffee. 🙂 Being a teetotaler, I detest the stench smell of alcohol, but I absolutely love how alcohol transforms certain culinary preparations. Over the years, I have gradually learned to, um, inspirit dishes from hors d‘oeuvres  to desserts, and of course, coffee. 🙂 



With both these, the sandwich and the coffee of my Sunday breakfast, every step is even more exaggerated than the way I normally eat. I am s~l~o~w, deliberate and then, I savour the sun kissed, ripened fruits of my patience.



My Sunday breakfast leaves me happy for a whole hour at least.



I’ve also noticed that when the high subsides, I don’t crash with a thud, but I am more mellow for the rest of the day, or that breakfast happiness sets off a chain of mini happy things for me.



What also makes me happy is reading or watching something funny. And another sure winner is music and dancing. I just turn it up and dance like no one is watching. Well, no one can watch me because I lock myself up in my room, blast the music and Harlem Shake off the blues. Half an hour is all I need.



Because I enjoy eating as much as I do, Lent is a particularly good time to test my willpower. Last year, I shared my food related Lenten experience in ‘Giving Up. And Taking On.’  We’re three weeks into Lent this year. How am I doing?



This excerpt between BFF One and myself will tell you. A little background first.



Growing up, BFF One and I lived two homes away from each other, and were nigh inseparable from primary school till we both left home for uni in different states. Today, she lives 15km away from my home. We meet every two weeks, speak over the phone every week and e-mail almost every day.



BFF One knows I’m greedy a foodie. So she regularly brings me some of my favourite food stuff whenever they eat it at her home. Last week, she came over with goodies as usual and … read the rest.



Me: Barbecued chicken. Sigh. Chocolate Mud. Sigh. Cheesecake. Sigh. Saving any of these items for after Easter would defeat the purpose of not eating them now.



Still, there’s your veggie stuff for me to enjoy. So yes, God still loves me 😉 despite all those things I won’t touch until the end of March.



BFF One: Ohnoohnoohno! Sorrrrrry, Katieeeee! I clean forgot your Lenten promise. Sooooo sorrrrry. I won’t tempt you again until Easter. I won’t bring any of your favourites until then. Sorry, Kate. 



Me: Oi, please BRING everything! I mean, whatever you want. Mum and Isabella enjoy these, too, you know?



My view of the purpose of abstinence in Lent, like Yom Kippur, Ramadan and Shravan or any spiritual fasting, is that it is to:



i. Avoid being dependent on the material world

ii. Acknowledge that the material benefits I have are blessings from God

iii. When not distracted by material factors, focus on God (through prayer and my deeds)   



So your yum temptations were good; they were my test. And I passed! Yaay!


I sniffed the Chocolate Mud (from [Name of confectioner in our city] in all likelihood; they use good quality chocolate and pure butter), sniffed the chicken (that familiar, great blend of your herbs), and of course, Cheesecake doesn’t have to do anything, I love it unconditionally. Ha ha!



When I sniffed each of those things and let my senses get washed over with the aroma, I did not feel the slightest desire to eat any of those. YESSSS! Victory.



In fact, like I always do, when I spread out everything to assess the bounty you bestow before I out everything away, I usually run to Mum wherever she is and gleefully announce her favourites or mine when I identify each item.





After you left the day before yesterday, as I divided my favourites between Mum and Isabella, I said to Mum, “God wants to test me? I’ll show Him.” And we both laughed. 




And because I enjoy eating as much as I do, I am intolerably intolerant toward those who don’t. 



The following excerpt between Bestie Boy and myself is a good example of how bad I can get.  



As always, Bestie Boy’s text is in green and mine in brown. This exchange was on this past Christmas morning.



Bestie Boy: Until we Skype later this evening, I hope, actually, I know you are having a suitably festive time and are enjoying all the best things Christmas brings – FOOD! 



Me: Yesss! Lots of this stuff, too.



Since Big Sis is to leave after Christmas lunch today (*WAAAIL*), you know I had ordered some of our Christmas goodies and non-Christmas yummies, every day from the day she landed i.e. the 18th. I hadn’t said a word to her about any of the things, and she got surprised every day. I wanted to make sure she pigged ate as much as she could before she left.



This is the booty of her first and second days.   




I’m grateful … and greedy for all this grub. 🙂



1. Pasteis de Santa Clara: Turnovers with almond paste filling, deep fried, and dusted with icing sugar.


2. Sozzled Trismas 😉 Cake


3. Chocolate Mmmousse


4. Brownies: I requested the confectioner not to cut the brownies into squares to prevent them from drying out.


5. Mint Chocolate Cake: Called ‘After Eight Cake’ in my family.


6. Bolo Caramel: You can’t quite see how tall this cake is, Bestie Boy. I measured it just now. It’s 14 cm high. 4 layers of caramel cake soaked with caramel (liquid) and cashews.




Oh, Mum used to order all these and other Christmas sweets every time I came home, no matter the time of the year. As you can see, too, not all the items here are Christmas specific. That’s because these are specifically Big Sis’ favourites. To borrow your words – I am not bothered either way. That’s because I eat everything. Unlike you. *grumble, grumble* Thank goodness Big Sis does not give me trouble with food like you do. Bad Bestie Boy.  




I’m wiff me big sister in the lil’ skirt!


I’m also stiff as the sign post behind me. Why?

We were on holiday three months ago


a handful (uh huh, that’s all it takes for this wuss) of locals

happened to cast

a few curious glances in our direction. Duh.




Bestie Boy: We’re having chicken for Christmas lunch because [his relative visiting from overseas] is not so fond of turkey – I am not bothered either way. 



Me: Arrgh, Bestie Boy! Your apathy towards food is long past surprising, confusing and shocking. I now get frustrated, maybe annoyed even. 



How, I mean, like, HOW can you not enjoy a particular type of food or preparation? Or the anticipation of your taste buds being tantalised, the pleasure while savouring every mouthful and the satisfaction upon satiation? Foodgasm isn’t an accidental portmanteau, you know?



Alright, alright! I know that you know that not very many people I know live to eat like I do. But it’s so much easier to snarl and underscore instead of smile and understand differences between myself and others. 🙂 



Food may not be Bestie Boy’s beast, but footie is!




A warm-up is as good a time as any to mess around.







I know

that living well

is also


being gracious and accepting

of the differences between people,




like to think

I have

a modicum of sense


my sometimes grouchy being,



make peace


people I know



drool over food

(or other things)

the way I do.





::   ::  ::   ::   ::  ::  :: ::     BLOG BUDDY BIRTHDAY  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::   ::   ::   ::   ::


Hi my blogging friend, Elvie Rose in the Philippines!


Someone has a little message for you!


This image is from


You were expecting him to say something else? Well, he’s doing it on my behalf, and there’s no way I can fool this clever canine. He sees right through me and speaks my mind!


But I do have another message for you – have a lovely day today, Elvie Rose! May you continue to spread your fragrance via your words in person to those privileged to know someone as kind as you, and via your words on your own blog ‘FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie”’ ( ….  and here via your comments!


Happy birthday, Elvie Rose!


Thank you, Lady Fi in Sweden, for letting me share your doggone cute pooch!


Readers, I’m not good with photographs, but some of you are.

So check out Lady Fi’s blog,

Lady Fi,

for what I think are very cool (quite literally!) pictures.



::   ::  ::   ::   ::  ::  ::  ::  ::     BLOG BIRTHDAY  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::   ::   ::   ::   ::


Yup, you read that right. A blog birthday.


A not-so-wee blog turned one last month.


‘Rantings of an Amateur Chef ‘

Food…cooking…eating….tools – What works, and what doesn’t!


Having eased off the Publish pedal here, I finally found the time to RSS your blog, Ranting Chef. Am enjoying what little I’ve experienced so far.


I like the little anecdotes that accompany the recipes and I like that the recipes come from non-professional (therefore, more doable in my eyes) cooks, but most of all, I like how you are generous and welcome your readers to post their recipes. It ain’t easy letting go of the spotlight.


Keep up the good work, Ranting Chef!


Oh, and Happy Belated Birthday, Ranting Chef Blog! 🙂



::  ::   ::   ::  ::  ::  ::  ::     KARMA CONNECTION   ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::   ::   ::   ::


Vinyl Walls Decals’ (

is a family operated company

based in Reno, Nevada, U.S.A.


When I contacted them to ask if I could use their image, which is at the very top of this post, they (Hi Jessica!) readily  agreed …. and threw in an offer for you, dear readers!  


When you go to their site


you see something you fancy


you decide to buy something from them


you use Code “FYD

(as in ‘For You, Daddy!’),

you will get

25% off all orders until 31 March 2013!

Wa-hay or wot?


Besides purty piccies and cutesy quotes for a variety of events and various rooms in our homes, they have some options in Spanish and Norwegian as well.  


So. What’s my cut for doing this for ‘Vinyl Walls Decals’ (


Bragging rights!


Dude, there’s nothing that lifts me higher than doing someone a good turn gratis


being able to blast my own bugle over it.


Oh, except building a bulge in my belly! 🙂


Oh! Oh! Oh! And with this whole doing-my-good-deed-for-the-day, um, thing … which is not really a thing, I smell fodder for a future post. Yaay!





Thank you, ROHAN7THINGS, for signing up to follow my posts. 


Thank you, You’ve Been Hooked! and FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie”  for commenting on my last post.


Thank you, You’ve Been Hooked!, Șic și clasic – “Chic & Classic” and FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie”, for liking my last post.


Thank you, A Clown On Fire  and Coffee, Camera & Kids – My Crazy Life, for liking my ‘About My Blog’ page.


Thank you, Moolta, for liking my post of 15 December 2012 titled ‘You’.   



P.S.: Cheerful Monk adds a footnote to every post acknowledging those who comment on her previous post. She also links the commenters’ names back to their own blogs.

 I like both these practices of acknowledging the time and effort made to comment, and the free advertising! So I’m doing what I do well – being a copycat!  


Friday, 1 February 2013

Love Is All Around Me



It is Valentine’s Day later this month. I am single, and I am not cynical about that crazy little thing called love.



Below, I will share excerpts of my correspondence from last year with two friends – BFF Two and Tina, and I will conclude with an excerpt from a newsletter I sent out (to my personal contacts) two years ago. My views on Valentine’s Day mentioned in all the excerpts, remain steadfast. Like true love. 🙂



This first excerpt is between BFF Two in China and myself two years ago.  





 BFF Two and me, trying to figure out how to get the grapes on the trellis above us.        Turpan, Xinjiang Province, PRC.

BFF Two and me, trying to figure out how to get the grapes on the trellis above us. Turpan, Xinjiang Province, PRC.




BFF Two’s text is in her favourite lilac (or the closest I can get to it) and my text in brown.





SUBJECT: Happy V-Day!



Or as you used to call it – ‘Singles Day’. Ha ha! To us, single people, cheers for having the strength to listen to our inner voice, for not compromising on what’s important to us and for remaining single by choice. And for our ability to be happy for those who experience romantic love.



Nothing decided yet for today. I asked Jake* if he’d like to go out. Don’t know yet if his schedule will permit it.



*Jake is my friend. He is a Human Rights lawyer (sigh!) with an international organisation, and therefore, has to travel overseas … a little too often for my liking. >< Boyfriend? Nope. Jake is gay. 



Later this evening, I will get chocolate pastries for Mum and Papa Saluzinho**.



**Papa Saluzinho and his family live directly across my home. I like all of them very much. Papa Saluzinho is 69, lost his vision completely 10 years ago, lost his wife, Mama Amalia, 3 years ago and their only daughter, Eva, 6 years ago. Eva was 31 and died in an accident. I drop in at Papa Saluzinho’s for a chat every day. The handful of times I’ve gone more than three days in a row without making a nuisance of myself visiting him, he’s got his son to e-mail me a reminder ….  from across the street! Aww.



Papa Saluzinho has a great sense of humour. His only son, Dave, takes care of him now. I call him Papa and (used to call) his wife Mama because growing up, I heard Dave and Eva call them that. That’s how I think of them, too.



Enjoy your day, BFF Two. One day, one sweet day, it will happen for you and me. Until then, be proud of your single status. I’m proud to count you as my friend.






The Caco-phony

BFF Two (fake) jamming with Dave and creating a hair-raising ruckus with Dave’s one-time Hallowe’en wig.




Dear Kate,


I logged on to write to you and wish you ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’. And there was your mail!



Yeah, our inner voices are very strong. I think most of the people must be wondering why those two bloody women (you and I) are still so happy, possibly even happier than some of them, even though we don’t have boyfriends. Ha ha!



We are happy even without boyfriends because we have not settled for just any boy to keep society happy. We are blessed that we don’t have any pressure from our closest family members and closest friends. I know many people tell us that we are too strict with our criteria for a boyfriend, but really, Kate, like you, I just cannot think of compromising on things that are important to me. We make choices that don’t have to include men as romantic partners and we have learned that life as single persons is no less enjoyable. Cheers to us!! 



But I also wish that people in love with a partner enjoy Valentine’s Day today.



So you and Jake are going out today? Cool! Is his boyfriend out of town again? Good for you! 😉 



Chocolate surprises for Mum and Papa Saluzinho. Cool, Kate! Give them both and Dave a hug for me. 🙂  



I am proud of being single and I am proud to count you as my friend, too, Kate. Enjoy your day, too.


BFF Two 





The next excerpt is with my friend in Toronto, who I call Tinamisu and a few other nicknames. Her name’s Tina, she’s of Italian origin and I like her as much as I like TiRamisu. She’s just so good natured with my um, name calling.





Tinsicle Takes On Tuscany




This exchange was during this recently past Christmas week. Tinamisu’s text in her favourite blue and mine in brown.



Me: I am happy to be home for Christmas this year, Te-yo. Not just because I have my nearest and dearest ones around me. It also means someone else not-necessarily-near, but just-as-dear isn’t struggling alone somewhere because guess where I would be otherwise? I am so very grateful that Mum and the rest of my immediate family understand that I have to ditch them at special times like this because I simply cannot wish everyone ‘Merry Christmas’ when I know that someone I care about is alone and sad at this time of the year.  




My Pepper and Latte

Some of my near and dear, um, wear fur! 🙂




Tinamisu: Just wanted to say I’m really happy that you got to be home this year for Christmas, Kate! I know very well that family, tradition, helping others and of course, food* are very important to you.  And when you can enjoy all of these in one place, all the better!



Me: You betcha, T-Ice! If I could have my way, I’d make sure we all live together in one big, beautiful place. We already do? It’s called Planet Earth? Oh. 😉 



*Have you noticed that T-Not-a-pain included ‘food’ up there in the list of things that are important to me? Will talk about this, um, other love of mine in my next post.   





This last excerpt is from my newsletter to my personal e-mail contacts on Valentine’s Day two years ago.



The Subject of that newsletter (via e-mail) was the same at the title of this post – Love Is All Around Me.



In that newsletter, I shared stories and photographs of some of the people (geographically and emotionally) closest to me:


Papa Saluzinho

My 5-year old neighbour, Cahill

My favourite in-state cousin, Henry


Mum’s (now) 92-year old bestie, Auntie Alicia  




90 Not Out

Auntie Alicia’s 90th Birthday Dinner

On the left:  Auntie Alicia with her granddaughter

On the right:  My folks

In all our excitement, we i.e. my family, forgot to take a photograph with Auntie Alicia that night, so I merged two shots (above) and sent it as part of my newsletter.





This was the conclusion of that newsletter. True to style, it’s a long winding road to the end. 🙂





So there. Those are some of the people who put a smile on my face every time we meet, and who I am completely myself with because, like you all, they accept me for who I am, dazzling personality hideous warts and all. 



I deliberately chose to send this edition out today i.e. Valentine’s Day because it’s about some of the important people in my life. Also, I’m not a cynic about my single status; therefore, I do not scoff at all the pink and red hued stuff around me. I also do not delude myself by wishing my other single friends, “Happy Singles Day!” or some such thing that has caught on recently. Want to celebrate your single-ness? Get yourselves your own day, I say; do not hijack this one. Hoping to go there and do that*, I am happy for those blessed to have a spouse or significant other.



*Note to self: Please make sure you do not marry an adrenaline junkie like James Franco’s character in ‘127 Hours‘.  Sitting in your seat, you barely survived watching that part and that other part. Whew!



Changing gears.



I thought of all of you when I read this recently. This applies not just to the people I’ve talked about in this newsletter or the ones who live here in my city, state or in the country, but also to all of you, my dear kith and kin scattered around this big, wide world:  



Heart Song

This image is from






Each one of you contributes to the song that is my life. From some, I get the chorus, from some a verse, some a line and a few contribute a (musical) note, but every single one of you is vital. Thank you for filling my life with music. 




Heart Beat

This image is from






And you, dear e-Friends, provide infrequent, but regular beats to the song of my life. Thank you.



Love is all around me,

And so the feeling grows.



I, um, borrowed the title of this post and the two lines above from the following song:






::  ::   ::   ::  ::  ::  ::     BLOG BUDDY BIRTHDAYS  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::   ::   :: 


I hope I’m not ruining surprises for anyone with these very early wishes to two of my blog buddies.



1.  At first, I found a nice Canadian style wish, but I did not get a response from the blogger whose site that personal photograph is on. Then I saw this one.


Happy Birthday, Hook!

This image is from



I do not know what you look like and I do not know if there’s any truth to the statement, but I do know that you are a good sport (and a great husband, father, son and son-in-law!)


This year, with your book, ‘The Bellman Chronicles’ (, and with whatever else your heart desires, I hope you get things that are important, not urgent. What does that mean? Buried in the following article is what I’m on about. Not exactly what those words mean in the article, but for your life in general.


How to master your time


Oh, since you like lists, here’s one; especially for your birthday.


The 35 Dumbest Things Ever Said On The Internet


You’re welcome! 😉

Oh, and Happy  Birthday, Hook!! I hope you have as lovely a day as is possible on the 25th!




2. None of the, um, fun things in this picture come to mind when I think of you.


MJ's Birthday Wish

This image is from



Which is EXACTLY why I chose it for you! Ha ha!


It’s been a while since I enjoyed your posts at, but I know that that silence is for a very good reason. I’m also happy that your extended family and new(ish) co-workers are now enjoying your warmth and humour in person. I hope you and YLB (and Duke, of course!) are doing well in Nebraska. 


Breithlá  shona duit, MJ! May your Irish eyes keep smiling all day long on the 28th!


Thank you, A Clown on Fire,  for signing up to follow my posts.


Thank you, You’ve Been Hooked!, for commenting on my last post.


Thank you, You’ve Been Hooked! and Moolta, for liking my last post.


P.S.: Cheerful Monk adds a footnote to every post acknowledging those who comment on her previous post. She also links the commenters’ names back to their own blogs.

 I like both these practices of acknowledging the time and effort made to comment, and the free advertising! So I’m doing what I do well – being a copycat! 






Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Saturday, 15 December 2012


Filed under: Blogging,Celebration,Giving,Personal Beliefs — by For you, Daddy! @ 4:30 am
Tags: , , , ,



It’s that time of the year again when I take stock of my doings and undoings and mis-doings.



I have two lists specifically that I work on at this time. I call those lists ‘Diamond’ and ‘Coal’.



Coal is about the ‘bad’ things that were lumped my way this year. But those things are never bad entirely, because coal can turn into diamond. So one way or another, I’m wiser.  



Diamond is about all the precious things that were heaped upon me this year. Some rough, some sparkly, some well-cut, some odd shaped, but all of extremely high value.



The Coal list gets done with pretty quickly, so I get that out of the way first. And then I savour prancing around like Richie Rich with his diamond studded toys.  



Among the many things I am thankful for this year is



No, he won't hurt you.



Yes, YOU reading this right now.


(Bestie Boy burning up the floor with one of his classic moves.)



YOU have given me the all important impetus to keep this blog going since I began 13 months ago. If my Stats chart was white all the time, I would have given up writing here a while back. But I get white columns twice a month or so.



I’m happy with blue columns that reach for the top margin, I’m happy with blue columns that hover around the bottom margin and I’m happy when I get white columns*as well. Those white columns give me a fresh lease on my rather relaxed approach towards my blog.



*Non-Wordpress bloggers, blue columns correspond to the number of visitors to the blog i.e. y-axis on a particular day i.e. x-axis. The white column is really a blank column on the Stats chart; an indication of no visitors to the blog that particular day.  




The Stats chart in WordPress.



I am also very grateful that YOU allow me to maintain privacy with those ugly strips across the eyes. Avoiding the kind of attention I dislike is something I fight in real life. I’ve discovered I now have a reflexive aversion to most kinds of attention that come my way, until I feel safe or comfortable with the source. Here’s some more light on this matter.



This is an excerpt from my e-mail last year to a friend. 



I find it degrading that I garner attention primarily because of my matchstick body when I have so much more to offer as a person. Oh, I am very grateful that I get attention, even after so many spins around the sun. I’ve been blessed to never not get attention my entire life, so I don’t know what harmful measures I’d resort to if I were to crave attention. Still, I am human and it saddens me that people [guys especially 😦  ] do not see the non-physical side of me right away or even after a while.  



In some strange manner, covering my(/our) eyes makes me feel less noticed. For putting up with the (wholly inartistically) defaced photographs I (dare to) share, a special ‘Thank you’, dear readers.



So. Why all this gratitude towards YOU?



Because YOU – lovely peeps I do not know (personally) at all – make this blog happen.



Well, yes; I do all the writing. But how boring would my words be if I did not jazz up my somnolent soliloquy with a picture here or a quote there from YOU?



How would I have been thrilled had 13 among YOU not chosen to Follow my blog posts or subscribe to them?



How would I have felt that sudden, tiny surge of triumph and pride had YOU not Liked my posts?



How would I have been delighted to yammer away in response to practically every line had YOU not Commented?



I began this blog to merely share what I’ve learnt from and what I’ve laughed at in my own life. I wanted to share these in the hope that, just like I did via blogs of strangers I had read and stories I had heard in person; YOU, too, could learn without having to endure the uncomfortable side-effects of certain experiences, or to relish the fun of my lighter moments.



I have stayed on track with my blog


I could focus primarily on what I love i.e. writing


I did not have to fret about making my posts more visually appealing


YOU graciously permitted me to share material from your sites


YOU thrilled me when YOU






on my posts.

Oh, even when YOU visited and read silently. My Stats don’t lie, yo.  



For giving me the opportunity to bask in all those lovely feelings and for letting me enjoy the main reasons I began this blog, thank you, YOU. 🙂



But I’m not done.



You know how I like to brag, right? I also like the share the lurv



So here’s the Who’s Who behind making this blog one of my many bright spots this year.  There are four ‘categories’. They are



I. The Large Hearts

II. The Brave Hearts

III. The Make-Me-Chatter-Away-My-Heart(s)

IV. The Warm-My-Heart(s)



I will list every one of YOU in the following manner:



Your Website Name

Your Tag Line and/or Organisation

Your Website Address  


(A few names are repeated across ‘categories’.)




I. The Large Hearts AKA The Generous Lenders

I have been very lucky every time I’ve sought permission to “borrow” an image (primarily), a website or a quote. I have never been turned down by anyone. Had a few requests not answered at all, yes; kicked to the curb, no.



One thing that surprised me many a time, was how surprised people were that I made the effort to ask for permission to use some of their material when I could just, um, help myself. The blogosphere is a pretty big place, after all. But if I did do that, I’d be forgetting one of the many little lessons Daddy (and Mummy) taught me:



“Do not take someone else’s things without asking them first.” 



So, these are the lovely people who were generous with their material that I used in my posts since I began in November 2011.



This image is from

This image is from




Andrea Pascale

Word Decor ‘n More

I got my Gravatar image from Andrea. Daddy’s Girl is still lovin’ it!



Jean Browman

Cheerful Monk



Colin Gibson

Dunedin Methodist Parish



Van Wijnen



Sidney Snoeck

This is a photo blog about the Philippines.



Heidi McDonald
Creator and Website Manager
Unique Teaching Resources
“Engage Your Students in Learning!”




English Department of



Margo and Alan

DIY STRESS RELIEF everyday . living . better




Rocco’s Pop Revolution: Seen through the eyes of someone living it



Susan, John and Erin

Happy Life U



Bahar, Hadhoud, Rasha and Ahmed

Chapter Q8



Bill Hitchcock




II. The Brave Hearts AKA The Followers

I am a little possessive about my e-mail space and I do what I can to avoid waking up to a bulging Inbox every day. Not everyone has my phobia, it seems, because these people, by Following me, have chosen to let me invade that space with my posts that are hot off the press!



This group, Brave Hearts, also includes those of YOU who have RSSed my blog or Bookmarked me in some way.





Cheerful Monk



mj monaghan

A steeping cup of infotainment.



365 Veterans

Project 365/ honoring a Veteran a day, for a year.



Believe Anyway

Finding Ways to Be Optimistic Even During Trying Times




How Orples Came To Be, and other interesting stuff




Every single story has a beginning at its end.



Parashar’s Tales

Woman – Vulnerable, Strong, lover, hater  




MY WORLD IS A KALEIDOSCOPE OF COLOR! Paintings of my life’s journey, experiences, cherished memories, emotions, thought, ideas and other interesting stuffs.  



Girl Meets Bulgaria



domestic diva, M.D.   

my mother raised the perfect housewife…then I went to med school



Official Website of Alberto Monnar

Composer, Saxophonist, Pianist, Vocalist



JUMP FOR JOY! Photo Project

Showcasing the beauty of the human spirit — in mid-air — around the world




I am love. I am divine. I am grateful. I am bliss. I am here. I am Sufey.




III. The Make-Me-Chatter-Away-My-Heart(s) AKA The Commenters

Aww, you lot! YOU get me to do exactly what I was born to do love doing – blab blab blabbedy blab!




This image is from



I sincerely appreciate the time YOU take to think things over and type out those comments. It’s something I don’t do often on most of the blogs I read, but that’s a choice I make for a handful of reasons; the main one (which, I know full well, is also the most stupid one) being – EVERYONE will see me! (*rolling my eyes* … for you. 😉 ) So although I have things to say almost every time, I have to warm up to someone(‘s words) and THEN! Just ask the unfortunate ones below.




How Orples Came To Be, and other interesting stuff



mj monaghan

A steeping cup of infotainment.  



You’ve Been Hooked!   

Observations from the trenches….

The Hook’s got a book! It’s called ‘The Bellman Chronicles’. Deets on his blog.



Cheerful Monk




MY WORLD IS A KALEIDOSCOPE OF COLOR! Paintings of my life’s journey, experiences, cherished memories, emotions, thought, ideas and other interesting stuffs.



Parashar’s Tales

Woman – Vulnerable, Strong, lover, hater  




IV. The Warm-My-Heart(s) AKA The Like-rs

I like! I really, really like! I get royally chuffed when I see that YOU have Liked my post. It’s the simplest way to high five me.  




This image is from



But do I do that when I know I want to press a Like button on someone else’s post? Haven’t you been paying attention to my mewling? People will see me, um, People.



vikram roy’s blog

Free Thinking, Motivation, Poems, Art, Literature, Music, Love, & Oxygen: A Complete Blog



You’ve Been Hooked!   

Observations from the trenches….

Haff you checked out ‘The Bellman Chronicles’? Best place to start? Hook’s blog.



maze a day


Welcome to the #1 Featured Photographer Blog on the web!



mj monaghan

A steeping cup of infotainment.




How Orples Came To Be, and other interesting stuff



Bucket List Publications

Indulge – Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences







A forum for creative and analytic discussion of the text that surrounds us 



Rantings of an Amateur Chef

Food…cooking…eating….tools – What works, and what doesn’t!



“Ka-byahe ~ The Island of Your Imagination”

Robi assures you that through this blog, he will get you far than you imagined!






my zen city




Every single story has a beginning at its end.




Unique Art by RAY FERRER – Business or Residential








And that’s the end of one section of my ‘Diamond’ list for 2012. 




If you celebrate Christmas,


La Familia

My Family

To Yours,

Have a very merry one!



If you don’t celebrate Christmas,

May this time leading to end of the year

Be a cheery one!



 Cheer is a freebie!



And on that sparkling, frosted note,

My dear blings

(YOU’re on the ‘Diamond’ list, remember?),

‘Thank You’ very much


Your support and encouragement

in 2012.


See YOU All in the new year!



::   ::  ::   ::   ::  ::  ::  ::  ::     A SPECIAL HUG   ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::   ::   ::   ::   ::

I miss you, Marcy*. Every so often, I think of you, Magi, Oscar and Olivia, and everyone else I got acquainted with through your delightful narrations. I hope all of you are well. Please come back soon. Oh, and Dora** sends you the pip-pest of her squeaks. 🙂

*Marcy is The Orples’ – Olivia and Oscar – brain mama, as I call her. Because this lively pair of orange (the fruit)-people siblings were “born” in her mind. (

**Dora is my “pet” dormouse. Like me, Marcy is fond of animals and remembered my dormouse after I referred to her[(?) Dora] on Marcy’s blog a while earlier. Needless to say, I was chuffed that Marcy remembered me little, um, rodent.



Thank you, Sufey, for signing up to follow my posts.

Thank you, The Book of Terrible, for commenting on my last post.

Thank you, Urban Wall Art & Murals, The Vibe 101 and The Book of Terrible  for liking my last post.


P.S.: Cheerful Monk adds a footnote to every post acknowledging those who comment on her previous post. She also links the commenters’ names back to their own blogs.

 I like both these practices of acknowledging the time and effort made to comment, and the free advertising! So I’m doing what I do well – being a copycat! 




Saturday, 1 December 2012

Challenge: Below The (Water) Line

Filed under: Bestie Boy,Environmentally Friendly,Food,Personal Beliefs — by For you, Daddy! @ 4:30 am
Tags: , , ,



Two posts earlier, I began a series on the two challenges I set myself up for this year. This post is about the second challenge.



To read about the first challenge, please read:



Challenge:  Below The (Poverty) Line, Part 1 of 2




Challenge:  Below The (Poverty) Line, Part 2 of 2




This second challenge was close on the heels of the first one. Let’s head back to the excerpts of the conversation between Bestie Boy and myself.



Once again, Bestie Boy’s text in green and mine in brown.





Bestie Boy: I, too, read a blog by a guy who also leaned more on the pragmatic side of the story*. But it was entertaining reading nonetheless.



*About that blogger’s experience with the ‘Below The Line‘ ( challenge.



Me:  There’s nothing entertaining about the pragmatic side of things for me. And pragmatic is what it all boils down to eventually.



As I said above, knowing something and doing it are different. The latter is a lot harder, of course. Slacktivism is all the rage. Signing petitions, participating in rallies, awareness and fundraising events, donating cash or material kind; all these are wonderful and necessary, but to me, these are the easy ways out. More importantly, I do not think these practices alone are sufficient to reduce the damage in the first place, or reverse it.  



The only way to ascertain we meet these goals (reduce and reverse) is to roll up our sleeves and get dirty. An unexpected bonus? The feeling of satisfaction knowing that we are trying to make the all important difference. As with most things in my life, I prefer to be on the vaccination side than the Band-Aid side. Meaning, I prefer being proactive rather than reactive; prevent more than cure.  



I do not like the pragmatic side of the practices to help causes I believe in. Deprivation, in whatever form or to whatever degree, is not fun. So much so, I get quite annoyed with myself when I learn new little ways to do something to further a cause that’s important to me because eventually, it’s always about sacrificing. 😦



My latest ‘gig’ for example. The monsoons are upon us. Years ago, there used to be a fishing ban from early June to the end of August. This was not only because the waters were too rough for the traditional canoe-style fishing boats to venture into the deep sea, but also to allow marine life to breed normally.



Over the past decade, that has changed. From 3 months, the fishing ban was reduced to a shocking one month. The reason? Greed. Technology helped; with mechanised fishing trawlers that made it relatively safer for vessels to brave the raging monsoon waters.  





The green peeps here in my state fought and managed to get the ban extended for an extra 15 days last year. Only to have that decision overturned and trashed this year. And then, I just had to go and read an article, and discover what one of the pro-longer-ban guys, a scientist, said. I’ll summarise his rant concern below in blue.



Earlier generations did not eat fresh fish during those 3 monsoon months i.e. June, July and August. They survived on a variety of salted fish preparations. (Our family did, too, even until I left home for uni.)



Today, outside the banned period of one month, we eat freshly caught fish.

During the banned period of a mere month, we eat fish that has been caught earlier and frozen.



Both varieties come at an enormous cost to the environment. Eating fresh fish before and after the reduced ban does not allow marine life to breed normally and this results in the stock of fish not being replenished for the following season.  



Bottom line: An unsustainable practice.



As soon as I read that, what do I go and do?



What I did as a child.



No fresh fish for three months i.e. June to August. Arrgh!  




Thank you, Bill Hitchcock, for permitting me to share this image from your site,



Mum still has her quota of fish at lunch time and I don’t grudge her that at all. She’s 81; she’s, ahem, excused.



For her 81st three months ago, I had ’81 Is Fun’ inscribed on her cake.
Mother certainly lives it up!



I hate learning all these joy-of-life sucking tips, Bestie Boy. I hate that my conscience doesn’t permit me to not practise what I know (will help the causes that are dear to me).



Oh, but I LOVE bragging about these deprivation gigs.



I’m in the throes of a bragging episode right now. 🙂



Bestie Boy: Oh no! Wa-hay, here we go again! No fish for three months, huh? That’s a pret-ty big fish you’re chasing, Kate. You love fish, and you love pork, and yeah, yeah, you love basically all food, you grub hawk. Still, no fish for a flupping three months? How are you not going to be a fish out of water? Oi, no cheating with the frozen and tinned varieties, ya hear? No fishy business at all.



Me: I’m gonna try, Bestie Boy. This is going to be very hard for me. 😦



Bestie Boy: Meh. You’re going to nail this tail, K-Wizzle. I know it. Now go fish. I mean, don’t. *fist bump with pride*



And oh, the next time we go swimming and you see bubbles ascending from the depths, don’t yell at me in disgust, you mad piece of fool. It’ll be the ocean gurgling her gratitude.  



He’s BACK at it!



Bestie Boy just cannot resist a body of water. Despite the warning sign board, he flung off his shirt and cargo shorts and “attempted suicide”. (It’s what I ranted about after he had had his fun.)



Fortunately, he left his trekking sandals on. Oh, his Sponge Bob kecks, too. One can never tell with my dude bud.



And that uncertainty of Bestie Boy’s shenanigans is the biggest challenge of all for poor ol’ me. 😉



Thank you, You’ve Been Hooked!, for commenting on my last post.

Thank you, Bucket List Publications and You’ve Been Hooked! for liking my last post.


P.S.: Cheerful Monk adds a footnote to every post acknowledging those who comment on her previous post. She also links the commenters’ names back to their own blogs.

 I like both these practices of acknowledging the time and effort made to comment, and the free advertising! So I’m doing what I do well – being a copycat! 




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