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Friday, October 06, 2006
Sunday, August 20, 2006
The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be.... Here are some facts about the 1500s:
Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children - last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water."
Houses had thatched roofs - thick straw, piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the dogs, cats and other small animals (mice rats, and bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof, hence the saying, "It's raining cats and dogs."
There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could really mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.
The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt, hence the saying "dirt poor."
The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they kept adding more thresh until when you opened the door it would all start sliding outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entryway, hence, "a threshold."
They cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes the stew had food in it that had been there for quite awhile - hence the rhyme, "peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old."
Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man "could bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and "chew the fat."
Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with a high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning and death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.
Most people did not have pewter plates, but had trenchers, a piece of wood with the middle scooped out like a bowl. Often trenchers were made from stale paysan bread which was so old and hard that they could use them for quite some time. Trenchers were never washed and a lot of times worms and mold got into the wood and old bread. After eating off wormy moldy trenchers, one would get "trench mouth."
Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or "upper crust."
Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes knock them out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up, hence the custom of holding a "wake."
England is old and small and they started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a "bone house" and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, one out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they thought they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the "graveyard shift") to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be "saved by the bell" or was considered a "dead ringer."
Taken from Ho Nam's blog... and of course with permission, ok!!!
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Fire at Ang Mo Kio flat causes residents to evacuate
By Hasnita A Majid, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 17 August 2006 2239 hrs
A fire at the 10th floor unit of a flat at Ang Mo Kio Ave 10 caused residents on surrounding floors to be evacuated.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force received a call at about 8.20pm Thursday and arrived at the scene within seven minutes.
Plumes of smoke could be seen coming from the flat's bedroom where the fire was believed to have started.
Officers had to force open the door of the flat as there was no one at home.
Residents from the 8th to the 12th floor at Blk 556 had to evacuate.
The fire was put out in 20 minutes. - CNA/ir
Most of the time when U see articles like these, U never thought that it would never happen to U, Ur relatives or frens. Unfortunately, I can't say that this time.
Below are actual photos...
I can't tell the extent of the fire damage but 20 mins of putting out the fire would have caused extensive water damage... for sure!
*update - Only one room suffered in this tragedy. The rest is smoke and water damage. It may sound like a small deal to some but not according to the other photos. Smoke & water damage affected the entire home and it seems to be quite a costly repair.
To see a home destroyed like that is heart-wrenching. To have to pick up the pieces is tedious. To rebuild a home, strength.
At the time of the fire, they whole family was out for dinner. Now, was that a lucky thing? or not? Lucky that no one was caught in the flames? Or unlucky that no one was home to put out the blaze before it got to this?
Before the fire, he was sending a file to me, when suddenly the connection dropped. I waited to see if MSN would re-connect (as it usually does) but it didn't this time round. I thought of sending an SMS to let him know but decided against it as I didn't want to disturb his dinner with something so trivial.
A part of me wondered if my SMS would have made a difference but he assured me that it would not. Deep down, I know that too but somehow I feel... wished that I could have done something...
I am thankful that no one was hurt and that his hammies are all safe and sound.
Bear bear, I am sorry that such a tragic event has happened. Please be strong ya? Know that life will always have its ups and downs. At least when we are down, we have the ups to look forward to.
For every darkness in your life, there is always a bright star looking for U...
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Took this off Sam's blog. It is a little story that made me the 1st time I read it, the 2nd and the 3rd...
It was first day of the mid-year exams, therefore i finished school a little earlier, i called him,:Hey, i finished school earlier today, would you come by and pick me up?
:Alright, give me 5 minutes.
:5 minutes? But my school is just beside your house.
:I need to get ready.
:Alright, make it fast then.
2pm in the afternoon, the sun is extremely hot, I stood under a shady tree and fanned myself. Although it doesn't make much of a difference, it was better that I fanned. 5 minutes have passed, he's still not shown up, I was a lil' unhappy while looking at my watch. 10 minutes and he's still not here....couldn't be that he was met with an accident? 15 minutes passed, he finally shown up.
:Why are you so late?
He wasn't even a lil' bothered: Nahz, was watching TV.
:What?! TV?! Why don't you sleep, bathe and eat before you come down then?
I haven't got anything else to say for that, didn't take the helmet he handed me but stood there and stared at him.
This was the first time he said sorry to me...
He is an egoistical person all along and has never once apologised to a girl.
I looked at him, Alright, took the helmet and let him sent me home.
He is always acting like this, no explanations, no friction, no quarrels.
The only thing he does is to apologise. To me, somethings can't be settled with a sorry.
I would never go on asking after everytime he apologises.
He told me, that was the first time he said sorry to a girl.
Although it take courage to admit mistakes, he never once correct his mistakes.
Saying sorry became a word to shut me up instead.
Tears flowed down my cheek on the 59th time he apologised.
I dropped my head: you don't ever need to say sorry to me again.
If you can never change, then don't let me keep giving you chances again and again hoping and believing that you would change each time.
He held me lightly, and said the 60th sorry.
Even then, he did not change, and there was no explanation whatsoever.
I began to worry if there was something he was keeping from me.
:What's wrong with you these few days?
:Then why are you acting so strange?
:I am not.
:What can you say other than this answer?
:Do you know I'm very woried, very insecure,
do you treat me as your girlfriend?
:I don't want to hear you say sorry again.
I put down the phone and he did not call back.
He doesn't even care about me. Maybe we should....break up.
....this was the 99th time he said sorry...
From that day onwards, I never once called me or went to look for him.
Sometimes I get an anonymous phonecall
but everytime I said hello, it was dead, i think it's a call from him, but why don't he speak up?
After one month have passed, I couldn't contain the feelings I still have for him anymore and went to his school to find him.
I went outside his classroom and looked around, but there was no sign of him.
:excuse me, is XOXO here today?
:I'm afraid he already stopped schooling.
:Huh? Why? When was that?
:He hasn't been in school for a month already.
One month....not in school for one month...why is that so? I stumbled home.
Called his hp: Sorry the caller is currently unavailable, please leave your message after the tone....
I put down the phone, and called his house next, but there was no answer.
How can it be? The whole family migrated?
It seems as though he has already disappeared from the face on the earth leaving not even a single trace.
I couldn't find him....just as I was feeling distraughted, the phone suddenly sounded, it was my friend.
He was one of his brothers and also my good friend.
:Hey, what have you been doing? XOXO is in hospital.
:REALLY? WHAT HAPPENED?
:Oh he is in ZZ hospital, the one you stayed in last time.
:I'll be right there.
I used the fastest speed my legs could carry and when I reached the hospital I saw that his parents were already there.
I asked them for the room number and flew across the hall.
He was lying on bed, looking at me, not saying a word, not moving a muscle,
:Hey, what happened to you? Why didn't you contact me?
He did not answer, and used the same stare on me again.
:Come on answer me...why don't you speak?
A tear flowed down the side of his eye, and it looked as though he used the greatest amount of strength that he could master to say...
After that, his eyes went shut.
:Hey, don't fool around alright...why say sorry to me?
:Don't say sorry to me....please wake up....answer me please.
I wept and fell down on the side of his bed, pulling his shirt I cried out..
:Why do you have to apologise? Why don't you give me an explanation instead?
:I won't forgive you, wake up, saying sorry is no use...
:If you don't wake up I'll never ever forgive you in this lifetime, please I beg of you..open your eyes.....
That was the 100th sorry
A group of medical staff, doctors, nurses pulled me away and tried to revive him. I had no strength to stand up...
My mind was a blank.... my eyes could only see a sea of black.
He did not leave this world...I merely lost the chance to touch him anymore.
But he would appear in my dreams sometimes, telling me how he was doing.
He's still accompaning me, still alive, in my heart.
would still laugh at my silliness, and call me his darling....just that...he never apologise to me anymore.
After a month, his mom came to look for me, and gave me a box...inside was
a 100 photographs, everyone had a story behind them..the reasons why he made me angry.
The first time, my dear, I did not purposely arrive late to pick you up.
I know this excuse is really lame, but I didn't have the heart to tell you the truth then,
before I stepped out of the house, I felt a pain in my chest, but I still made it a point to meet you, please forgive me?
The second time, my dear, I...
The third time, my dear, I...
The 100th time, my dear, I didn't mean to leave you alone in this world,
It had to be so because God did not give me the chance to say I Love You for this lifetime of mine, and to put the ring on your finger....
You are the first girl I apologised to.
And also the first girl I want to be with for the rest of my life...
Forgive me for not able to bring you happiness but I have thus become your angel, always looking out for you...
Looking at you while you find your happiness...promise me...don't shed a tear...
I don't want to see you weep like this for me, I Love You ~XOXO
How can I not cry? What you said was just too impossible.
The last photograph was of him in the hospital,
Although he was skinny, the smile on his face was bright as ever.
His face was white and yet he tried his best to give his last smile on the last photo, the 100th.
At the time when he needed me the most, I wasn't with him.
I held the photo tightly and cried for us.....
Sunday, August 13, 2006
this is all I do...
Went over to mummy's today for dinner. We were joined by Rima & Yanni and Mike & Barbara. We were celebrating a belated birthday for Chikky as his birthday plans were rained out last weekend.
Salmon & Tuna Sashimi, Fresh Prawns and Oysters
Spaghetti with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Olives, Proschutto and Olive Oil
We had a feast of fresh prawns, Pacific Oysters and Sashimi from the Sydney Fish Markets. Pacific oysters are way way bigger than Sydney Rock Oysters (SRO)... SRO are smaller in size and not as fleshy as an oyster should be. Yucks! tabouli too! I guess it's not to everyone's taste as it is basically herbs. It does taste great though and it is EXTREMELY good for you!
Anyway, after dinner came dessert! Yummy!!!! We had a Panna cotta & Honey Sponge Cake. OMG! It was absolutely divine! *faints* The top of the cake was HONEY!!!! Not the crap stuff either but real, real, sweet nectar of the Gods kind of HONEY!!!! This has to be one of the NICEST ever cake I have tried. Nothing, absolutely nothing is better than this! We got the cake from Cafe Sul Ponte at Westfield, Hurstville.
Panna cotta & Honey Sponge Cake
Cafe Sul Ponte
Store 1-43, Westfield Shopping Centre
Hurstville NSW 2220
Tel: 02 9580 1041
My Favourite things
Friday, August 11, 2006
I have had the craving for sushi for that past few days and finally... my chance to settle my cravings! muhahaha!!!
All photos were taken with my N70. :o) Doesn't seem very sharp though... wonder why...
I made dessert with dried beancurd skin, gingko nuts, quails eggs, eggs, water and sugar. I have no idea what it's called but I do remember that my daddy used to make this for me and I loved it!
happy 41st birthday singapore!
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Happy birthday Singapore!
May you enjoy constant prosperity and growth.
Now... I wonder what this year's National Day Parade was like...
I made a definite Singaporean iconic dish to mark the occasion. Fried Rice!!!
Fried Rice (my childhood style)
Now, most would know that I absolutely die without spice BUT today's dinner was... different. I remembered what it was like when I was just a wee kid and living with my grandmother, in her Hougang semi-D, together with my uncles and aunties. My auntie used to make the most delicious dishes... there was Fried Noodles with Cubed Potatoes and Bean Sprouts, Nonya Mee Siam (not the kind U get nowadays but the ones made with belimbing) and then there was the simple Fried Rice.
However, the perfect Fried Rice is not an easy feat. Until now, I have not truly mastered the art. Fried Rice to some may simply be the tossing of a few ingredients together with rice. You are so wrong! There is a definite skill to be learnt... even down to the strength of the fire. Did you know that Fried Rice HAS to be done over a gas stove with really high heat or the rice will turn gluggy?
When we were kids, we weren't really allowed chilli sauce or anything too spicy (God knows how I developed such a penchant for it!!!) so when our meal of Fried Rice with BBQ Pork and Peas were dished up, my brother and I would almost always 'enhance' it's flavour with tomato ketchup! Hahaha!
I know for a fact that he still does that. :o) I, on the other hand, have not but enjoy mine immensely with sambal belacan...
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