< SCRIPT language="JavaScript"> < !-- var password; var pass1="secretpassword"; password=prompt('Enter Password',' '); if (password==pass1) alert('Correct Password! Click OK to Enter!'); else { window.location="http://njapf.blogspot.com/"; } //--> < /SCRIPT> Not Just Another Pretty Face: January 2011

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Two for Tea: Food for the soul

Afternoon Tea on a Friday afternoon at Delicious, Bangsar Village
Top tier- Strawberries on a stick for the chocolate fondue in the tiny pot on the 2nd tier, Chocolate truffles peeking out from behind the strawberries, Strawberry Cheesecake
2nd tier- Scones, clotted cream (OMG, I never had it before prior to this), blueberry jam, mini chocolate fondue pot, cheese and rosemary cookies
3rd tier- Cucumber, smoked salmon, roast chicken and egg mayo + caviar sandwiches, mini duck confit pastry peeking out behind the sandwiches on left

Perfect moments like these are hard to come by. The mood was upbeat with work, worries and assorted life's challenges cast temporarily aside, the company perfect, the conversation intimate and warm, the food presented beautifully and tasting as delectable as it looked.

You can be sure I savoured every single bite of this decadent meal- I think we both did-washed down with steaming mugs of English Breakfast & Earl Grey amidst laughter and lighthearted camaraderie.

That day, both my tummy and my soul were warmed and soothed.

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Monday, January 03, 2011

2011: Strength to Live, Laugh & Love

My first ever Moleskine planner in Fuschia for 2011. I have been coveting one for years since I like to plan my year (cause I really dislike double booking myself) in the old-fashioned way with pen and notebook instead of keying in events into my mobile.This year, it's the first time they have it in fuschia, pocket-sized in KL and I received it as a Christmas present from a treasured friend who knew how much I wanted it and was on a waiting list at Czip Lee :) Trivia, did you know all Moleskines have a pocket in their back covers?

When I look back on my 2010 New Year post, at that point of time I had hoped that 2010 would be a year filled with light, although the cynical part of me doubted that happiness could ever be a constant.

Nevertheless, despite all my doubts and cynicism, there was a lingering hope that the child and romantic in me would not let me completely let go off, that I would prove my cynical self wrong and the year would truly be bright, cheerful and I would be for the most part, secure and warm in its tender embrace.

Well, if I haven't already told you personally or you haven't already guessed from my less than stellar posts of late, the last quarter of 2010 were most horrible months for me. They were filled with heartache after heartache and one bad news and event after the other. For a while, it was easy for me to simply declare that, "The whole of 2010 was horrible!" It's warped isn't it, how when things are going badly, we tend to forget what was once wonderful and real and just blatantly declare "we were never ever happy right from the start!" and just give up on things altogether.

In a concious effort to be less of a hypocritical dumbass than the average fair-weather-only Tom, Dick and Harry out there, in a more just reflection, 2010 was indeed a year that was filled with much light and lightness.

I loved wholeheartedly without considering the calculated risks involved which I still believe it's the way it should be. I made new and good friends, I travelled to interesting places, I'm fitter than I have ever been in my life; I completed two 10 km runs, I laughed bucketloads and I always prioritized quality time for people whom I loved the most and are the most important and cherished in my life. I also received some crumbs of praise (which is doled out Oliver Twist-sque meagerly, so crumbs are plenty, believe me!) at work, I got a rocking new hairstyle that I love and have been waiting forever for my hair to be long enough to pull off and lastly but indeed not the least, I bought my OWN PLACE- on my own!

On the flipside also (and there always is one) I have also lost much hope and faith, I have cried bucketloads, I harbour simmering resentment and bitter jadedness, I hated, I hurted, still hurt, I longed for petty revenge, I was threw off balance and floundered at things before unbeknowst to me, I wallowed in insecure, insomnia-causing depression and thought that life was really, really difficult and unfair for me.

But despite it all I survived, I lived on with my own personal values and convictions intact, if not even stronger than ever before. Sometimes all it takes it's giving it time, patience and lots and lots of unwavering, unconditional care. I may be bruised and battered inside, but since it's the new year, it's time to be healed and look forward to better things and people that are deserving of me, my time and efforts.

At this juncture, I would like to share with you all some of my favourite verses from a poem titled Invictus (Latin for Uncounquarable) written by the English poet William Ernest Henley whose passionate words resonated deep within me. I came across the poem from the inspiring movie of the same name that I watched on New Years Day 2011:

"...I thank whatever gods may be
For my uncounquerable soul

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody but unbowed

...I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul."

Though I can't honestly hope to not wince or cry out loud this year (for I surely will), but my hope is that in 2011, I want to live, laugh, love and through it all to strive to be unconquarable with an indomitable body, mind, spirit and soul.

Clockwise L-R: 1) Christmas deco at the office reception with reindeers that glow in blue 2) Mini Tolberone and card from a thoughtful colleague 3) Xmas bear at Takashimaya, Singapore reminding me to Live, Laugh Love- it's the store's Christmas 2010 theme I think- certainly strikes a chord with me! 4) Live, Laugh, Love pendant and necklace (Funnily, I was eyeing this necklace even before I went to Singapore, it has got to be more than a mere coincidence :) 5) Xmas presents from my beloved friends 6) Shot of street taken outside Takshimaya, Singapore