Flashbacks, Health, Human Nature

Stress Pimple

For eight weeks, I have been an image of cool and calm. I thought I was okay all this time.

When I woke up too early in the morning, I blame it on the daylight and our open-plan house. For falling asleep on the sofa, I blamed it on the lack of sleep or the allergy medication I took. Then I had a cold sore which lasted for two weeks in April, followed by a blood shot eye a week ago. I am currently sprouting the third stress pimple since the lock-down.

Cold sores and stress pimples only occur when I have to think and plan a lot, travel long distance, or attend high-stress family gatherings.

In actuality, I am quietly worrying about everyone I care about. What is happening where they are? What are they doing to protect themselves physically and mentally? What kind of risks are they exposing themselves to? In so, I am not okay…

Events, Flashbacks, Human Nature, Malaysia

Rule Of Game

When I was born in the 70s, Malaysia was no longer one of the many colonies of the United Kingdom. But even though the colonizers were gone, many of their governing and administrative systems remained. So, I really did grow up playing by the rules of the once ruling British Empire.

In a blink of an eye, the weakened UK was replaced by the United States of America. America as number one world power was not too much of an adjustment. The English language is still widely used, Christianity is spreading and establishing itself across the continents, and most of us still dressed the same. The rules to the game did not change much.

Now on the world stage – The United Kingdom is barely limping, the nations of Europe are a bunch of selfish bastards, and America just freaking shot itself (several times) in the foot!

There is a worrying possibility that the next one on the world throne will probably not play by the same rules. How are we to play the game with rules set by an ant-hill nation? How to survive surveillance capitalism? Big data manipulations? I really do not know…

Flashbacks, Health, Malaysia

To The Hospital Again…

My father-in-law was discharged from the hospital last Friday. After being back home for a weekend, he was readmitted at UZ Leuven yesterday because of serious stomach infection.

This morning, D’s mother came by to pick us up, so that we may accompany her to the hospital.

At the hospital room, I was glad to see my father-in-law eating some of his lunch and keeping it in. The warm food and the cleaning up afterwards did wonders. A bit of colour and humour returned to his face during our visit.

Have I ever mentioned that I am afraid of hospitals? As a child, I was often left in the car along with a relative or one of the siblings, when my parents had to stop by the hospital. Consequently, I can only remember a handful of hospital visits in the almost 30 years I have lived in Malaysia. Oh the smell of disinfectants, the expressions on people’s faces, the thought of a place filled with injured, sick or suffering people used to give me dizzy spells. Whatever it was, I do not have it any more. The benefit of age and wisdom?

Never before had I spent so much time in hospitals. I must have seen and spent more time at Belgian hospitals than I ever had in all the years I have lived in the US and Malaysia combined. You may call me lucky, I guess. And I shall willingly share this good luck with the father-in-law. May he get some good news, have a speedy recovery, and come home soon.

Flashbacks, Movies, Books & TV Shows, Travels


The mind travels far and wide when one indulge in a good book.

Reading Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind is like entering a time machine, going back in time, to observe the past. The intriguing stories of human beings (specifically Sapiens) had me glued to the book for hours on end.

Incredibly, at certain points of my reading, the mind actually linked some of these past events with stories I have read in some of my beloved science fiction novels.

Does that mean that human minds wander the same subconscious territories regardless of time and space?

Flashbacks, Health, Jibber Jabber

Weird Health Issues

Since last November, the recovery of my injured finger has been a constant mention during my weekly chats with mom. This past Wednesday, mom suggested that I should look up some online videos to get more information regarding my condition. At my end, I rolled my eyes… and replied her with a very weak okay.

Today, with a wee bit of reluctance, I decided to give the suggestion a try and went looking for online videos with the topic of sagittal band rupture. I have to say, I got a bit wiser and more hopeful after watching two videos by a man who had experienced and recovered from this injury a year ago.

When it comes to health, I have always been the weirdo. I am the only one among my family who get hives. As a child, I get nose bleeds for no good reasons. When other people had only one encounter with measles, I have experienced three! I have had four tooth extractions so far and none of them were due to cavities. The lower wisdom teeth were impacted. And the two small molars had to be removed so that my canine molars can grow properly.

And now, I have to deal with a ruptured sagittal band. Good grief!

Flashbacks, Jibber Jabber

An Old Rubber Mattress

Under D’s old bed at his parents’ house, laid an old rubber mattress that was bought for D’s sister when she was a child.

When we started our move from Ghent to our current house, the rubber mattress was moved in so that D and I have a temporary bed during the weekends.

The mattress was then moved into the guest room when D and I bought a new one for our bed. Since then, it has been slept on by my visiting friend Judy, my parents, one of our nephews, and myself during those ridiculously hot summer nights when the fan is necessary!

End of last year, D insisted of getting rid of the guest bed. I agreed because we have a sofa bed and I always have the choice of buying a decent air bed for our future guests. So, the bed was given away to our niece, and the mattress moved to our living room, to be taken to the recycling park in the near future. For laughs, D posted the mattress online for €5.

Then an unforeseen incident happened in mid November when I injured my right hand. This put a hold on the mattress delivery to the charity store (wishcycle on our part) or the recycling park, because I really did not want to cause any more traumas to my weakened hand.

After Christmas, we received a message that someone was interested in purchasing the mattress. A man was urgently in need of a mattress for his guest from France, and could not find any clean and decent mattress at the price which we were offering. The transaction went smoothly and we got rid of the old rubber mattress which had been laying in front of the kitchen counter for 50 days. Alleluia! Or so we thought…

New Year’s Day evening, after a lovely but lengthy family gathering, we came back home to see a rolled up rubber mattress at our front door?! Well, I guess that just made us mattress renters. What choice did we have but to move the mattress indoors and laughed at the strange turn in events.

Yesterday, D carried the mattress and stuffed it into the car by himself. We then went to the charity store, crossing our fingers that it will be accepted. The person in charge unrolled the mattress to check for stains and defects, but found none. So to our relief, it was accepted and carried away! And since the kringloop winkel does not know where we live, the mattress will never find its way back to us.

Good bye and thank you dear rubber mattress! You have served us well for more than a decade.

Business & Creativity, Flashbacks, Numbers, Simplify

Save $1,047

Twice in this blog, I have posted about the ridiculous (but oh so crafty) American retail invention known as Black Friday. Just a moment ago, I read an article entitled: How to Save $1,047 This Black Friday, which stated that an average American will be spending a total sum of $1,047 during this 5-day holiday weekend. Good grieve…

In summary, the article suggested turning off the noise in order to save yourself that $1,047. I have been doing just that. I find myself tossing out a lot of advertisements that I am getting in the postbox. Yep, the infection has spread here. I am also actively deleting Amazon emails, I thought I have unsubscribed, go figure?!

I have no time nor energy for this Black Friday nonsense.

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.

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!