Christmas Wish List…

Christmas Tree, photo by JMorton

I love everything about Christmas.  I love putting up all the Christmas decorations.  I love planning the Christmas meal, I love the meeting and mingling with friends, I love writing and sending the Christmas cards and most especially I love the shopping, the buying of gifts.  Though I love the latter so much, it does not mean I do not get stress about it,   It is hard to please everybody but at the end of the day, I chose the gift with all the love in my heart and if they don’t want what they got, well it is just too bad!  🙂

Christmas Wish List…

Backpacks are so in at the moment.  Probably because they are so convenient to carry and quite out of the way, freeing your hands and arms for other things. 🙂 There are some really nice ones in the market right now. DOLCE & GABBANA  Crimson or Aqua Canvas Backpack. 

Talk About Money

 Talk About Money

(Thought For The Day)

I don’t fell like I get germs when I hold money.  Money has a certain kind of amnesty… When I pass my hand over money, it becomes perfectly clean to me.

– Andy Warhol


Yep, I totally agree. Money Money, Money.

Money has a cache, which is all of its own.  You might not be beguiled by it but it doesn’t lack fans, which I am one, in this world.

Money rules.  The more you have the better it gets.

Money, money, money

Halloween Zippos Circus

Russian Trapeze artist, photo by PH Morton

As it was half term this week, we took our  8-year old grandson Nathan out for the day.

We conspired with his parents to keep our trip to the circus a total surprise.  We thought we should give him maximum excitement for the day.  We all imagined the glorious look on his young face as he finds out we are going to the circus.  Yehey a treat!

I did not take into consideration that I may have passed down my gene of coulrophobia to my grandson, afterall my son, his dad, has got it too.  LOL 🙂 🙂 🙂

Russian Trapeze artist, photo by PH Morton

Halloween Zippos Circus

There we were, about to cross the busy Prince Charles Drive into the circus when Nathan, suddenly threw a wobble.  “I am not going to the circus, I hate circus, I hate clowns!!!”  “I want to go golfing!  You said we are going to play golf.”

Whose idea was it to keep the circus trip a surprise?!!!  I was like calculating how much we spent buying ring side tickets at £27.50 each for Peter and I and £21.50 for Nathan.  Aw oh! Aw oh! (Tip No 1, circus in not everyone’s cup of tea, don’t keep it a surprise LOL)

I said to Nathan, I am scared of clowns as well so he has to come to the circus to protect me.  For good measure I told him I’ll buy him anything.

Peter, bless him,  said there are no clowns in this circus because it will be a Halloween special.

Despite trepidation, Nathan was persuaded to go in.  We arrived an hour early thinking there will be a long queue.  We were actually one of the first to arrive.  Thank goodness, we got our tickets online. (Tip No 2: Book online for hustle free time; save queueing)

We got into the circus tent entrance where there is a catering van like in fairs selling hotdogs, popcorn, candy floss, tea and slushy. (Tip No 3:  Bring your own snacks and drinks, food prices at the tent is horrendously expensive at £5 for a bucket of popcorn or candy floss.  Hotdogs are £4.50 each.)

Finally the circus.

We got to our ring-side seat.  The warm up was fun, even our nervous Nathan started to liven up.  Giving me instruction to applause, then Booo and then say WOW.

The ringmaster of Zippos circus is Norman Barrett, MBE (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire)  He invited us to sing a birthday song for the circus.  Apparently he will lead a show next year to celebrate the 250 years anniversary of the invention of modern circus.

The acts were incredible and some are death-defying that Nathan confessed that he found them disturbing.

He was really concerned with a lovely Russian lady did the trapeze, hanging on her foot on a swing suspended high up is both amazing and disconcerting.  So much so that Nathan said started to cover his eyes and saying “she is going to die”  Peter and I gave Nathan a hug telling him that the lady practiced the act so many times she’s an expert on it.  As I was saying this she put a noose on her neck and then started twirling round and round.  That scared me.  Nathan and I both said almost at the same time “Disturbing!” 🙂

The circus was a two-hour show from entertainers around the world.  There were a troupe from Havana, Cuba, a juggling American, horsemen from Kazakhstan, Knife throwers, Lucius Troupe in their phenomenally dangerous motorbike stunt inside the Globe of Steel.  Smoke blowing with a difference was also quite spectacular.

Though it was fantastic human feat, Juma, African contortionist, was just too excruciating to watch in the entirety of his act. OMG!  You have to see what he does to understand what I am saying. Ouchhhh

For Nathan and I, the highlight of the show were the budgies.  They were just too cute to be true.  Their showmanship was beyond amazing.  Peter said for him, the best part was Lucius Troupe in the Globe of Death also known as the Wall of Death.

With the entertainment provided, I would say they are worth the money we paid to see their act. But having said that, Nathan said he doesn’t want to see another circus for a long time.  LOL

By the way, not a single clown was on the show! 🙂



 Thought for the Day: Life

 Thought for the Day: Life

There never was yet an uninteresting life.  Such a thing is an impossibility.  Inside of the dullest exterior there is drama, a comedy and a tragedy.
– Mark Twain

I agree! That is why life, though often can be tough has also some respite of joy and happiness.

I heard a quote before about each of us being worthy of at least a book (biography)!  Unfortunately I can’t remember who said it.   But I am pretty sure he had  or still have an interesting life and as unique 🙂 as each of us.

Life is full of insecurities.  Even when everything is calm, the next moment can be an utter tragedy.  Just enjoy the moment.  If life is a bit dramatic, make it worth it.  🙂

Biko From Alma’s Kitchen

Biko, photo by PH Morton

Biko From Alma’s Kitchen

My sister-in-law, Alma is a very capable woman.  A good example of a decent human being.  She is friendly, she is caring, she can’t do enough to be helpful to anyone.

She is well like by everyone.

Her abilities go on and on.  What I like most about her is her cooking.  She can really cook up a storm.

Her biko is to die for.  Peter, my English hubby, who do not usually eat anything made of rice love’s Alma’s biko.

The above photo was from Alma’s kitchen.  Doesn’t it look so delicious?  And it was so yummy.

Click here for the recipe!

Biko a a favourite of mine.  It reminds me of happy childhood and young adulthood in the Philippines. It reminds me of my loving family, cheerful, always ready for a laugh and adventure.

I remember my mother going to market and coming home with biko, which we would share and enjoy.

I remember my grandfather coming home with ‘pasalubong’ of biko, amongst others, when he goes out.

Biko is a symbol of halcyon days for me!

Thought for the Day: Role Model

Children need models rather than critics.
– Joseph Joubert (1754- 1824)
French Essayist

Thought for the Day: Role Model

I think Monsieur Joubert has a point there.  Children are like sponges, they soak in everything.

Even those who seemed not listening is affected.

If they are forever criticised, these will impinged into their psyche.  They may grow up having low self-esteem and may lack confidence dealing with this mad world.

It is, therefore, more progressive to show these children kindness, respect and good hardworking ethos.  Be a role model to them.

Prepare these children to face the future with self-assurance, hope and conviction.  After all they are the new generation.

Thought of the Day: Having Chances

 Thought of the Day: Having Chances

The man who is not dead still has a chance.
– Lebanese Proverb

A very inspirational proverb indeed.  As long as blood is still flowing in your body, the heart is pumping and the brain is working, there is still a chance, even if a rather faint one, to overcome whatever upheaval one is facing!

Don’t give up too easily.

Sinangag (Garlic Fried Rice Filipino Style)

Sinangag, Photo by JMorton

Sinangag Breakfast , Photo by JMorton

Sinangag (Garlic Fried Rice Filipino Style)

Filipino fried rice called sinangag is the easiest fried rice recipe to do.

It is so tasty because of the addition of fragrant garlic.  It gets even tastier if the oil you fry it in was from the oil you fried your meat of dried fish in as it absorbed all the tasty residue of the meat or fish.

Fried rice are better cooked from left-over rice or at least rice that has been cooked a day or night before.  A day old rice has a a better texture as it had ‘dried’ up as it sits on the fridge.  A fried rice from a freshly boiled rice tend to yield a rather soggy mess.

Sinangag cannot be simpler.  It can just be from left-over rice, onion and garlic.  This is because it is often eaten with separately cooked friend eggs, salted eggs, hot-dog sausages or the best there is – tuyo or danggit.  (See above photo.)  All washed down with a hot strong milky coffee.


2 cups leftover rice, even out the clumps

4-6 garlic, peeled and chopped or minced finely

1/2 onion, chopped finely

salt & pepper to taste

1 tbsp cooking oil


Heat the oil using a wok or a large frying pan over medium to high heat.

Fry the garlic, then quickly add the onion.  Stir-fry until fragrant.

Add the rice.  Fry vigorously until the grains absorbed all the oil giving off a fragrant breakfasty aroma. 🙂

Serve immediately with any of your favourite meaty or fishy breakfast.

Enjoy! – Cell Control

The cell, photo by JMorton – Cell Control

My grandson, Nathan, recommended that I play this.  He said, it was quite good and it is free to play.

🙂  When he said the magic word, free, I was convinced.

I have to say that it is so addictive.  Not only that, it can bring out the worst in you.

By serendipity, we had just blog the movie by Steve McQueen ‘The Blob’.  The is actually has the same premise as The Blob. As it eats, it grows bigger and more ferocious.

And therefore, the game is a survival of the fittest.  You have to be able to dodge the ‘enemy cells’ to survive.  As you eat those scattered little circle, you grow in size and stamina.

It is a multiplayer game.  You don’t really know who the others were.  There are those who are veterans and they prey on newbies.

As you progress in the game, you are allowed to give your own cell a name and even for some ‘won’ money you can buy different ‘skins’, design to your cell.

You can play as a lone star, or as part of a team.

Again, it is highly addictive and can be stressful as you lose your cell and had to start again and again.

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