CNY cooking

Chinese New Year, or the Lunar New Year is a major celebration amongst the Chinese, occurring in January or February every year according to the lunar calendar.

In my childhood, I remember what an effort my Mom put in, getting up at dawn to cook for all the visiting relatives. There were so many visitors we would have to cook rice multiple times in the cooking pot, so some had to wait their turn to eat. All the aunts when they arrived would help serve and wash up, buy nobody could help with the cooking as that was Mom’s domain and she wanted no help.

There would be braised pork, chicken, mixed vegetables, stuffed vegetables, homemade Chinese sausages, pork stomach soup, bean curd skin with meat stuffing. Somehow I thought one day I would learn and magically produce these meals when my turn came, but that didn’t happen. Instead I learned my own dishes and produced smaller meals for smaller gatherings. But that too came to end with restaurant meals and restaurant quality takeaways.

So now we have instead learnt how to properly heat up delicious food from restaurants and plate them. The Covid-19 forehead thermometer has a setting for surface temperatures that is useful to check on defrosting foods.

Mom’s recipes are probably gone forever, although she kept handwritten books which may still show up some day. She went from not having to cook, to telling me she has forgotten and now totally forgetting that she could. We’re all happy that she continues to enjoy eating good food.


Mom used to spend time cleaning. Not a lot, but enough. She cleaned vigorously, not because she was obsessed, she just saw it as necessary and she didn’t like dirt.

She was good at clearing out things, tidying up and keeping a neat and tidy place.

In the early stages of dementia, she often packed and unpacked. And she started hanging onto stuff instead of throwing it away. Her surroundings became crowded with things, and that in turn made the packing and unpacking worse.

Anyway, as a child, I hated being roped in to help clean, and I suppose over time I learnt to tolerate some degree of mess and dirt. But I do try to keep up with cleaning, and am hopeful that someday I will do better. Pat on the back for myself as I tackled the fan. I am fortunate not to have severe dust allergies.

Day at Universal Studios Singapore

Universal Studios Singapore opened 6 years ago, but I’d never been there…. that is, until I got my free ticket! It would otherwise have cost at least US$50.


To get in you walk under the Sentosa Island monorail.

Under the monorail

It was Minion season, and there were fully costumed minions on stage and minion-wannabes on the ground greeting the crowd.

Minions and minions

This shopfront brought back memories – my Mom had a Singer and gave it to me, and I managed to misplace it. Thankfully, she doesn’t bring it up anymore.

Singer machine

I wonder how many Singaporeans identify with Marilyn, nonetheless she still draws a crowd, obviously.


The star attraction of Universal Studios Singapore is the Battlestar Galactica double roller-coaster ride. This was plagued with problems at the beginning and often out of action, causing much unhappiness with visitors to the theme pack. Today, it is fully operational.

Battlestar Galactica

One roller-coaster runs with it’s patrons suspended. You can see many choose to ride barefooted in order not to lose their slippers.Suspended

The other roller-coaster has its patrons seated, but it is no less thrilling, I’m sure.


The suspended people are sometimes turned upside down on their heads.Suspended and Upside-Down

Here’s a not very good picture of both rides intertwining.

Human Vs Cylon

Here’s another bad picture opportunity which I couldn’t resist, I call it “Facepalm”.


I decided to try this mini-ride because it looked safe. It’s called “Canopy Flyer” and it was terrifying.


Paid a brief visit to Sleeping Beauty’s castle, which was really very photogenic.


Jack’s Beanstalk tower concealed another ride for young kiddies.Jack's Beanstalk

Waited for Shrek he didn’t show up.Shrek

Took a last glimpse of the Battlestar Galactica: Human vs Cylon from across the waterAnother view

And I bid farewell to Universal Studios Singapore characters at the merry-go-round. It was a fun visit.

Last ride