Nov 25, 2015

Baking is Addictive!

Of late, I have been hooked with baking. I don't know why but the mixing brings calming effect to a tired brain and the aroma coming from the oven are incredibly irresistible! And of course, the eating part, scrumptiously joy. It is very different between homemade and those selling in the bakery/pastries shops- more and better ingredients and lesser sweetness. Some of the cake I made, I can finished them all and left little for the girls. I should not, but I am totally lost control!

That explains how I did not realised November zips by so quickly and I only completed one post for the month. I bake a lot since October When Little Bomber sees me taking out the mixer and what not, she would exclaims, "Not again?"

Anyway, for the record, I have been very busy!

Nov 22, 2015

Broadford Youth Hostel, Isle of Skye

Accordingly, we came to the forth 'pit stop' of our adventure in Scotland- Isle of Skye, after Edinburgh, Callander and Onich/For William.

My search for accommodation led me to one of the YHA(Youth Hostels Association)'s hostel in Isle of Skye.

This was the first youth hostel we had been to, after becoming parents of ourselves. Well, we had been to backpackers' hostel with the girls, not YHA's kind of hostel. (There is slight difference between both)

Oct 29, 2015

A Taste of Living in a Cold Chalet

Fort William/ Onich was our next stop after we left Callander or to be precise, the region of Stirling.

Together with Lochaber, Fort William are well known as 'Outdoor Capital of the UK'! and this was the day we arrived the Highlands of Scotland- which is very different from Lowlands, culturally and historically. When we were approaching the place, we gathered some information from Tourist Information Centre and learnt about Ben Nevis. Regrettably, it was more damp, gloomy and cold than when we just left Bracklinn Falls in the morning that day, we had to scrap the idea of having any outdoor fun.

Inevitably, I have equally fogging impression of Fort William, the Great Glen and the Lochs. All I can remember is the gloomy skyline and cold atmosphere.

Oct 14, 2015

Repair and Repurpose

1.  Repair

Remember the backpack that I almost lost in Edinburgh? I have not reveal its identity yet- a sturdy grey Deuter backpack. Well, the hanging loop was not sturdy apparently. After 5 years as travel companion, the bag gave up on me, the hanging loop particularly. I must have overloaded the bag too much and too often. Bad habit.

Without the hanging loop, the use of the backpack became very inconvenient. I had no help when i needed to lift up my bag, the bulky shoulder strap was the substitute instead. Cumbersome at times; panicking when the preschooler whining for immediate extra clothes from the bag. I had to adapt the old bag in a new way throughout the trip, as if it was another new bag that was without a hanging loop.

After our return, I was contemplating to replace the bag or find a way to repair the loop. It dawned at me that the small little hanging loop of a backpack was very important and I relied on it very much! I needed a backpack with hanging loop desperately. So it was timely when Agatha hosted a workshop on fixing haversack on her regular Fit it Friday Series. Gladly, I signed up and attended the workshop with my backpack.

Oct 6, 2015

Scotland: Eilean Donan Castle

Come to think about it, Eilean Donan Castle probably was the only castle we got to get so close in Scotland.

We were on A87 road, on our way to Isle of Skye, from Fort William. All of us needed a loo break after stuck in the car for almost 2 hours.

Sep 27, 2015

Bracklinn Falls, Callander

After a nice sleep and a full Scottish breakfast at the Waverley Hotel, we had a impromptu visit to the Bracklinn Falls. Simply because, the daddy took the leaflet "Callander Geodiversity Trail" from the one of the Information centres we popped by. He wanted the family to have some bear-hunt woodland adventure.

Apparently, it is a very popular beauty spot in Highlands.

Sep 18, 2015

Callander: The Hotel, the Main Street and the Meadow

Prior to the visit, I did not know anything about Callander. We were here because my dear husband suggested me to have a pit-stop somewhere near Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Not very helpful, because it could mean we stay a night in the freezing forest park. 

[You can check (click in to zoom in) my map below, Callander was the first pit-stop we had after we left Edinburgh. Isle of Skye was our ultimate direction to head to] 
Source: Google Map

So I looked around the region of Stirling. For a very long while, I satisfied with my finding of one rated-8.1/10 accommodation in Callander via Despite the rating and the pricing of the accommodation, Callander was less than 2 hours drive from Edinburgh or just another less-than-an-hour drive from Falkirk Wheel, for our case.

Aug 25, 2015

To Market, To Market: Admiralty Wet Market

Retrospectively, an established wet market then was in an open air context, where fresh produce stalls gathered and arranged uniquely along roadside or a vacant compound, ie open carpark space. Usually, siting in a shophouses area, brought in the crowds and business to kopitiam (coffee shop), kedai runcit (provision shops) or clinic(s) from morning to noon, vice versa. Sellers would think of a way to pipe in water, or set-up a gas and stove if cooking was required. Cages for poultries, big rotan baskets for bundles of green leaves, or sometimes, big lorry just behind the seller! Raining days brought in challenges to the sellers and patrons too. When a market was over populated, it would be expanded naturally to the nearby gas station, to next junction and into the minor arterial road in the adjacent housing zone, like crawling branches of a money tree plant. It caused huge chaotic to morning traffic in the vicinity, and everyone would do adjustment to each time of expansion. One of my friends was affected, the market nearby her house extended further and went into the road right in front of her house. Patrons' cars were parked in front of her house inconsiderably. Big frown. Essentially, market was where people had gather for purchase and sale of provisions, livestock and other daily goods. People didn't mind the disorder of a market place mostly, as it brought many conveniences than inconveniences. Maybe they minded, but just had to close one eye.

Well, I'm from Malaysia, grown up and stayed in a suburb of the city of Kuala Lumpur and then moved to a small town called Lunas, Kulim- up in the northern part of Peninsular Malaysia. Those were my past experience with pasar, aka wet market. People improvised along the way in siting a market or should I say it is the evolution of a market.

(To be fair, over these years, wet market is slowly becomes part of a township and well-planned to be fitted into a neighbourhood and serve the people, not just the morning, but until dusk too. There is physical, structured infrastructure to house a market orderly and provided ample car parking lots, such as the one in the new neighbourhood that my parents moved into few years ago. I have yet to familiarise with that market yet though.)

By and large, it is pretty different from local wet market, where mostly are sheltered and well-facilitated. Since we relocated in Singapore for coming to ten years, I didn't have issue with transiting and patronising the indoor wet market here in Singapore... except the stuffy environment part.

Supposedly, I am part of a blog train sharing about the market I frequenting here in Singapore. But the task of writing current unlocks my past. Those days, I was dragged to market by my mum, to learn to adapt the buzz and to help her with her loot. This part of the memory was locked for long, until this blog train. All the sudden the images of the old pasar I visited flashback, and I have to pen it down.

Aug 14, 2015

Edinburgh: Museum on the Mound

While I decided on visiting National Museum of Scotland, this was the museum, that handpicked by my daughter- Museum on the Mound.

The Museum on the Mound is housed in the marvellous, purpose-built head office of the Bank of Scotland. Today the building also serves as the Scottish headquarters for Lloyds Banking Group. Paid a visit to the bank sure got to learn more about the fascinating history of this beautiful building, as well as learning some knowledge of currency and monetary of Scotland. Unlike most countries where it is only the governments, through their central banks, who are permitted to issue currency, in Scotland, there are 3 banks are allowed to issue banknotes, namely Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale Bank and The Royal Bank of Scotland. 

Aug 3, 2015

Review: Jane Means' Gift Wrapping Workshop

On the first day of August, I had the privilege to attend Jane Means' Gift Wrapping Workshop. I got to relearn some of the skills I left behind for many years.

I no bluff. I was an excellent gift wrapper. I loved dong it and I could wrap a present beautifully with minimum 3 pieces of scotch tapes, just to seal the edges of the wrapping paper over the gift. Before I learnt about the use of double sided tapes, I could hide those scotch tapes if I wanted to(you probably know how). At one time, I was obsessed with fancy gift wrapping papers and I collected lots of them. Who doesn't like pretty things? I made good use of them for embellishing a bookmark or a card, or gift wrapping. I was good with pleating wrapping technique after seen it in a mall's gift-wrapping service corner. For many years, I have books' and dictionary's covers protected by beautiful wrapping papers. These days, I do more of impressing my daughter by recycling a page of Kikki K's catalogue into an envelop, neatly.

But I am not good with ribbon tying. Terrible, terrible, terrible. If you see one bow perfectly tied by me, it must be my lucky day!

So usually my gifts were without ribbon and bow.

"让生命稳稳流动(也)是我的功课之一。" by Bubu Tsai