Flashbacks, Jibber Jabber

Stormy Saturday

It has been really windy this entire Saturday. Fallen autumn leaves are flying around like crazy.

The branches of the plum tree look like they will be able to withstand this stormy condition better than during the spring time. Being almost leafless and not bearing any weight from fruits, the branches are at low risk of breaking off this time.

Since it is too windy, too wet and too cold to be doing any outside chores, I kept myself occupied by doing indoor housekeeping as I usually do on Saturdays. I also found time to make some candied walnuts, following a recipe which I found recently. In my opinion, the oven-roasted honey cinnamon version is still the best.

It is cold out… stay in, stay warm, and stay safe.

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Belgium, Flashbacks, Jibber Jabber

Fall Back, Spring Forward

Today in Belgium, we switched to winter time. Since my days living in Michigan and learning the words “Fall back, spring forward”, I have had no issues with daylight saving.

The media kept mentioning one good thing which is the extra hour sleep everyone is getting today. Not in my case though… I woke up when my body refused to sleep anymore, and that is usually when daylight starts seeping through these very thin eyelids of mine!

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Business & Creativity, Flashbacks

Artwork

D and I both have artworks which we have stored away in the attic for years. We have to sort through these and find ways to show case the good ones throughout our home. This is especially true in D’s case because he had spent decades of his student life creating them. It is such a pity to put away and forget about the lovely work which were completed with effort, time, passion and creativeness.

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Flashbacks, Health, Human Nature, Simplify

To Not Be…

What do you want to be when you grow up?

That is a question that I have been asked countless times in my life. When I was a child, my answers had been a medical doctor, then a dentist, and later a veterinarian, because I loved all my pet dogs, cats, fishes, a turtle and a monkey. When I get to understand matters such as finances and rights, I realised and accepted what the world has in store for me and have thus carved my paths accordingly. I went off to business school and half a decade later, to design school.

When one has matured into a semi-stable personality, the real challenge is to distance oneself from the sort of people that can possibly mould you into the person you do not want to become.

What do you not want to be when you grow older?

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Flashbacks, Numbers

At 22

It was the year 1993…

A cousin, my younger sister and I will be spending the year in college, completing the first half of a US twinning program to Western Michigan University. The days in lively Petaling Jaya were filled with interesting college lessons, friends and many fun experiences. By the end of the year, my cousin and I flew off to Kalamazoo, Michigan to start a new semester in January of 1994.

At 22, I experienced my first long-distance flight crossing the Pacific Ocean. This will be my first time in America. Encountering my first Michigan winter. I shall not see my country, my parents and my two younger brothers till after graduation.

At 22, we live, learn, explore and achieve things in this world of ours! Sadly, life (and death) do not usually come with a fixed schedule. To the 22 year-old cyclist Bjorg, ride in peace, Matchbox…

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Belgium, Flashbacks, Numbers

Warm Mattress

I have survived yesterday’s dry heat which hit 40°C by mid afternoon. At bedtime, I only managed to fall asleep with the fan blowing over me. I woke up at 2.30am and moved myself and the fan to the guestroom. With the window wide opened (at this point, I did not care about mosquitoes), I slept till 5am. Belgian news keep calling this tropical heat, believe me, it is not. This is more like the desert heat which I have experienced in Las Vegas.

Today’s maximum temperature is 30°C. On top of that, it is a bit humid. Now, that is tropical heat. Am I crazy to be looking forward to this weekend’s rainstorms and plummeting temperatures?!

Also, I now know the average price of a decent mobile air-conditioning.

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Belgium, Flashbacks, Travels

European Holiday

Yesterday, D and I met up with a trio of old friends and acquaintance in Gent. The mother-daughter pair had flown in from Japan two days ago and only have a week here. The third person in the group was someone I met in San Diego more than a decade ago, and he flew in from the US. I had a wonderful time catching up with my Japanese friends, K and I, whom I have known in San Francisco since 2001! D and I enjoyed showing the three of them around our beloved Gent.

After seeing most of the popular sights in Gent, we packed everyone in our little car, drove home to show them our house. They have shown great interests in seeing the house we built. We then had a quick dinner in Kortrijk and sent our friends off at the train station. It was a very joyful meet-up, a wonderful time spent together, and a draining trip down memory lane for me.

In 2011, a 70-year old friend from New York City crossed the Atlantic to come visit me. This year, Japanese friends crossed an entire continent to be here for a short holiday and still managed to meet up. I crossed the ocean in 2007 to experience and live a long term European holiday. I would not have imagined that I possess such strong ties and influence to be able to motivate other people to come visit! How incredible!

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Belgium, Flashbacks, Health, Jibber Jabber

Warm Bedroom

D got up earlier than I this morning! We were unsure of the exact reason, but the most probable culprit was the increasing warmth in the bedroom. Welcome to the first day of this year’s first heat wave.

I have to admit that I slept relatively well last night. The comforter was taken out, leaving behind the cover as a light blanket. Our bedroom window was kept opened till 5am, I wore loose fitting cotton outfit to bed, I prepared an ice baby, and have followed some logic pre-bedtime procedures.

The temperature will be rising these next few days, making the bedroom uncomfortably warm. A good night sleep will be sort of a blessing for people without air conditioning. My backup plan and final option will be sleeping in a tent, like I did last year.

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