THE PROMPTS FOR THE MONTH
1. RED: three of the kramas we bought in Cambodia now in Bangkok. They are even more lovely when there are not hundreds of others available.
2. WHERE I STOOD: Soi 21 Sukhumvit Bangkok
3. SILVER: Right now in Bangkok, with the king’s birthday just 2 days away huge portraits of him with one gold and one silver vase/urn displayed before the portrait to show respect are cropping up in front of every business, hotel, shop, government office and private residence.
4. TINY: I have worn this tiny ying yang earring in my left ear for at least 30 years. I only ever wear 3 different earrings and I have lost count of the number of times someone has asked me “Do you know you've lost an earring?” because this one is so small.
5. IN THE CUPBOARD: absolutely nothing as we are leaving this hotel today and training to Malaysia
6. SHADOW: this is actually a sculpture designed to look like graffiti but it could also appear as a shadow on the wall due to its tubular 2 dimensional construction. Thanks to monsoon season cloud cover there is no sun at all in the streets of Penang today so no shadows either
7. 6 O’CLOCK: and the bell has tolled for this old Chinese shop house in Penang – neither restoration nor renovation is now possible
8. I SHOP HERE: well I would if I lived in Georgetown Penang but currently, I am not a regular shopper anywhere since I have been on the move for over 6 months now!
9. THE WEATHER TODAY: here in Georgetown Penang is hot, humid and very sunny
11. GREEN: these lurid green sweets made from rice flour, tapioca flour, coconut, palm sugar, and pandan flavoring are available all over Malaysia. Lucky I am not a sweet tooth and have not been tempted.
12. JOY IS: finding a vegetarian restaurant with beautiful, simple, stylish décor, excellent service and delicious food made from fresh local ingredients without additives and all a very reasonable cost. 10 out of 10 Veggie Planet in Melaka! We will definitely be going back for more
13. COMPOSITION: highlighting the architectural features of the houses in the heritage district of Melaka.
14. DRINK: the ‘Purple Dream’ I ordered with dinner – beetroot, carrot and pineapple juice. Anything that colour just has to be good for you. Spillage entirely due to overexcitement!
15. LIGHTS: the night-lights along the Melaka River
16. MAKES YOU FEEL MERRY: the tinkling sound of the bells I collect from the places we have visited. This one is bigger than most and was bought from a yak herder at Pele La (Pass) in Bhutan and I often hear it ringing in my luggage
17. TREE: amid the glass and steel of Kuala Lumpur still many trees thrive and this one impressed me with its reflection doubling the greening effect
18. BIG: in KL when you think big you have to think the Petronas Towers KL’s signature landmark and from 1998~ 2004 the tallest in the world
19. ‘TIS THE SEASON TO: be pampered. New cut, new colour, new look and swimming on the 4th floor with the KL skyline as a backdrop. (Thanks to Ian for the photo)
20. I’M LISTENING TO: the torrential monsoon rain, the roar of thunder and the call to prayer while sheltering near a mosque in central Kuala Lumpur
21. ON THE DOOR: the Central Market in Kuala Lumpur clearly labeled on the door
22. SPARKLY: Australia’s best beer in its sparkly version – just perfect for the silly season
23. TRADITION: doing the shopping at Adelaide’s Central Market. We never feel that we are really home until we have visited this place and that was where we were about 24 hours after arriving back in Australia
24. WRAPPED: ever since living in Japan I have loved the idea of “furushiki” or wrapping cloths to carry food. My platter for the Xmas celebration tomorrow will arrive wrapped like this
25. BEST BIT OF YOUR DAY: after waking up to the warmth and love of one family, a wonderful day with our other family and perfectly delicious food, saving the best ‘til last, nature supplied the perfect finale
26. WHERE YOU SLEPT: we have had nights and even weeks of staying in this house with two very dear friends for the last 25 years and it never really feels like we are back in Australia until we have slept here
27. WHAT YOU’RE DOING: trying to reorganize the storage space so that some things I desperately want to take to Bhutan come out and some that we have recently purchased go back in
28. SOMETHING AWESOME: a kookaburra popped into the backyard for a lizard breakfast just as we sat down to eat our own breakfast this morning.
29. REFLECT THE BEST BIT OF 2013: although we have been fortunate enough to have spent time in 10 countries this year, without a doubt the best bit was surprising my sister and coming home on December 22nd unannounced to celebrate Xmas with family and friends
30. YOU: in my element at the beach in my hometown
31. CELEBRATE: all set to celebrate the auspicious start of 2014