18 July 2012


I have begun a new blog called SFGEMS!

If you are interested, check it out here.


07 July 2012

The End

As in all things, the end is not always sad. Moving on and starting anew gives life that slight edge to make it interesting.

Besides, I've learnt that second chances can be better!

STEEST gave me a wonderful platform to voice out my thoughts and an opportunity to meet some lovely people out there. For the latter, I am so glad that I began blogging.

Upon giving it some thought, I have decided to leave the blog as it is, without the images (see previous posting for this).  After all, it was what I wrote that really mattered. The images were just to enhance the package. 

Project 366 will continue in Facebook for my family and friends. When I am ready, I will create a new blog and write again.

STEEST served its purpose and, just like the owner, will now be retired.

03 July 2012

How now, brown cow?

Well, I guess Google+ is actually Google- because nothing positive came out of them linking the blog photos with the google+ albums.

Thinking I was being diligent in cleaning out my Google + photo albums, I, inadvertently, deleted all the images that were linked to this blog.

I doubt that I will go through the process of putting them all back here.

Hence, the question that looms overhead now is "SHOULD I CLOSE DOWN THIS BLOG?"

I don't know what's happened!

Every picture I have posted has disappeared in every blog post.  I hope it's just a glitch!

If you know the reason, please let me know.  Thank you.


Apparently, there is a reason which is explained here

So do be careful before you delete albums!!!!

24 June 2012

Of What Would Have Been

Today, 24 June 2012, would have been the official day of 20 years working at the Embassy of Peru. However, I retired on 29 February 2012, just short of about 100 days to this milestone.

To celebrate quietly, I spent the day browsing through all the photos related to this period of my life. This brought back so very happy memories. Here is the first official photo taken at the Hilton Hotel in 1992. I was 33 years old then.

Left to right: Ambassador Jorge Bayona, Datin Maria, Mrs Perez de Cuellar
Mrs Elena Bayona, Ambassador Javier Perez de Cuellar,
Mrs Daisy Ramos-Tee, me and Mr Pablo Albarracin.

This has to be my favourite, wearing a Peruvian costume. 

This is one of me on a casual Friday. The weekend starts
early for us as we work only until 1 pm on Fridays.

I had wanted to remain until this date just to be able to say that I completed 20 years but somehow I didn't give in to the temptation. When I left, the Embassy was without an ambassador and it seemed the perfect time for me to leave without feeling that I had abandoned my post.

Plus I didn't want to allow this to influence me about the date for me to retire. I would have had to remain until the end of June and then it would have just been that, another date on my life's calendar. It's no big deal really. Somehow it made more sense for me to choose the extra day of this leap year to end my career!
My office just prior to leaving the Embassy.

My work space with 19-inch flat screen monitor, colour printer
and everything else, within easy reach.

I don't miss these dictionaries and reference books!

I do miss the view from my window.
In any case, upon hindsight, I did make a good decision to leave earlier. My replacement had some time to settle down before the new ambassador arrived and I began my retirement much earlier than intended.

Ground-floor level where people can sit around.

I am now living in another country. It's just down south from where I was but it's like being in a totally different world. There are no more deadlines; nor accounts to balance; nothing to order, no staff to supervise or daily duties to worry about.

Unconsciously, I had been thinking of this day and now that it's here, it's time to really close the door on this chapter.

23 June 2012

Project 366 - Week 25 (June 17 - June 23)

June 17 - Morning sun!

June 18 - Seen on the side of a van! :D

June 19 - 5 levels high, not counting 
the basement level!

June 20 - Whether you are happy or sad, 
this will speak to you!

June 21 - Night cycling is not for me!
You CAN forget how to ride a bicycle.

June 22 - After my 3 km walk!

June 23 - With a partner, I did better!

22 June 2012

Of that four-letter word

Yeah, the first thing on most people's mind when they think of a four-letter word would be that "F" word.  For me, it's my nickname as it's also a four-letter word.  Of course, in my present situation, my days are filled with four-letter words:  dust, iron, cook, wash, wipe, etc.

All these are done with love, of course and, very often, I am rewarded with a kiss.  Not that I need it, but it's nice to be appreciated.

I never knew I had it in me to be a home-maker. I think it has to do with who I am doing it for.  If the one you love acknowledges every little thing you do, then you want to do more.  Very often I am told that I don't have to do it all.  I am not the maid, he says.  I like that.  It makes me want to do the best that I can because it is not expected of me.

If you want to know whether he is the ONE that you want to do all the four-letter words (cough cough) with, then you can check this

As I reach the final lap of my life, it never escapes me that I am blessed and that being with someone who can make jokes and say witty things does fill the heart with so much joy.

I know I'm not alone because there are hundreds, if not thousands, of these lovely pictures all over.  I've chosen the ones that resonate with my life today.

Many people don't get a chance like this.  Many people throw it away.  If they learn their lesson, they may do a better job, if they find love again.  

(all pics from photobucket and credit goes to all of them)

16 June 2012

Project 366 - Week 24 (June 10 - June 16)

June 10 - Before I retired, I never really saw the beauty 
in things. I was always rushing around. 

June 11 - Scouting for walking shows, I saw these! 
Interesting, but no thanks!

June 12 - Nothing like a tall building 
to make one feel small!

June 13 - What the fish????

June 14 - I love this but I'm a bit afraid
to walk underneath because of .... 

June 15 - Free reflexology but not for me.

June 16 - New shoes for the boss! 

09 June 2012

Project 36 - Week 23 (June 3 - June 9)

June 3 - A reminder to "slow down". :D 

June 4 - I've begun taking pictures of buildings from ground level. :)

June 5 - Random shot from the bus because of the different coloured leaves.

June 6 - Where everything is just S$2.00.

June 7 - What is this? Do you know. :)

June 8 - Surprise Meeting with the Rampals!

June 9 - With my favourite cousin David Ng!

02 June 2012

Project 366 - Week 22 (May 27 - June 2)

May 27 - Got a fright when I saw these two ladies standing motionless. Does anybody know what they were up to? 

May 28 - A watched pot never boils! 

May 29 - Natural light is always a good idea. 

May 30 - Grey!

May 31 - Living Maze at City Square

June 1 - I never tire to take pictures of these! 

June 2 - When I remember to track my steps! :D 

29 May 2012

Of Being Tired or Retired

I recently retired from work after 33 years of gainful employment.  It is a nice feeling to be able to look back and feel a sense of accomplishment, satisfaction and gratification.  

Over the last 20 years, I had been an Ambassador's secretary.  During this period, I served 4 Ambassadors, worked alongside 9 official Diplomatic Officers of various ranks.  We had 3 Presidential visits (1996/1997/1998)  from the former President Alberto Fujimori.  Some embassies have never even had one Presidential visit and I count myself fortunate at having had three experiences.  It was hard work but I learnt a lot more than what you find in secretarial books!

From day one, it was always challenging and interesting.  There were dull moments but most of all, I remember the happy times and laughter.  My memory is fresh with the days of long elaborate lunches, the jokes, chats, talks, gossips and heart-felt sharing with colleagues.

All of this shaped me into the person that I am today.  Each Ambassador taught me something valuable.  My colleagues always shared tips and tricks from their previous postings.  All of them inspired me in one way or another.  I embraced the culture of the Peruvian people and, likewise, they did the same for our Malaysian and Asian way of life.

Do I miss it all?


Or maybe not yet.  

Or maybe never.

It is funny that people found it difficult to understand why I would want to leave a prestigious job, with a good salary and a great team of colleagues. It wasn't an overnight decision. I had given this a lot of thought and the seed was planted last July. Just like a premature baby, it bore fruit at 7 months.

I hadn't realised that I was tired of the work. Stimulating and diverse as it was, I found myself repeating tasks for the fourth time around. Although it was easier, the joy or pleasure I used to feel wasn't there anymore.

Although I became efficient at my work, I found myself more tired at the end of the day. Age has a part to play in it but I suspect that when the heart is no longer in it, the energy is drained faster.

So it was a choice between "being employed and being tired" or "being unemployed and being retired".

My retirement has everything to do with having done all my duties, paying for my own way and, now, to finally live for what really makes me happy.  A huge "thank you" to my husband for his support and love.

On 29 February 2012, I retired.  It's been three months already.

Until now, I have to pinch myself to believe that I have retired.  

Until now, I am loving every second of it.