Category Archives: celebration

Malaysia : Re-Born 10th May 2018


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Dear Friends,

I am so elated, excited and over the moon.  After many days of prayer, sleepless nights and anxious moments, we got what we wanted.  A new Malaysia has emerged, reborn with a new sense of hope and destiny.  The results of the 14th General Election for Malaysia showed that the oppressive, divisive and corrupt incumbent government had been thrown out and for the first time ever (in 61 years), we have a change in government.

That this victory was achieved is miraculous when you consider how the odds were stacked up against the opposition parties.  The dirty tricks department had been hard at work on behalf of the government.  Not many had expected the opposition to win the elections.  Even the true believers were only hoping to scrape through.  But Malaysians flocked to the polling station on May 9th and achieved the unbelievable.  The land which has languished in darkness for so long is now enjoying the break of dawn.

Here are some highlights of what was achieved:

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If you are still not sure what has been going on, let me try to explain it in another way……

“Once upon a time, there was a Jedi and the force was strong with this one.  In fact, he was appointed the 4th Grand Master of the Jedi Order.  But having so much power began to sway him to the Dark Side.

When his first Padawan, began to challenge his authority, the Grand Master had him imprisoned.  Indeed, that was the fate of many who tried to defy him.

He then allowed his second Padawan to take over the reigns of the Empire.  But before long he was unhappy with his second Padawan for what he perceived as his weakness in showing tolerance to those who opposed the Order.

The old Grand Master then groomed his third Padawan to challenge his second Padawan for the throne and the third Padawan came to power.

But, under the influence of a woman who was the Dark Side personified, the third Padawan began to oppress, deprive and rob the citizens of the Republic on an epic scale.

The second Padawan who had previously been freed, tried to lead a Rebellion against him but was soon arrested and imprisoned again.

But the Rebellion did not die, selfless individuals carried on the fight for justice and righteousness for 10 long and difficult years.   The Empire had become so corrupt and so powerful, it seemed that it would last a thousand years.

Then, a new hope from and unlikely source.  The Grand Master himself (now 92 years old), pained to see what had become of his legacy, returned and joined the Rebellion.  And now, after 2 years of struggle, the Grand Master has led the Rebellion and the people to win the battle against the Dark Side.  With the third Padawan thrown down from power, the Grand Master has once again take control of the Republic.

With order and hope restored, the Grand Master will now release his first Padawan from prison and with the intention that he will eventually take over the duty of overseeing the well being  of the Republic, trusting him to govern wisely and not repeat the mistakes of the past.

THE END!

Surely that is worthy of a Hollywood movie!  Yes?

How about a Bollywood movie?  Make me an offer.

Christmas Wish


Dear readers, what do you want for Christmas?  What is your Christmas wish?  I mean, really.  In all honesty, what is your heart’s greatest desire this season?

You can tell your Uncle Squirrel.  No need to be politically correct.  No judgment here.  Just watch the following video first ……….. and I hope it will inspire you to tell it like it really is.

Outside Looking In


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My blogging friend, Debra – She Who Seeks, just put up a post entitled “Blue Christmas”.  Apparently, it is a tradition at her church to hold a “special service of meditation, quiet reflections and readings which acknowledge and honour the fact that Christmas is not always a happy time for everyone.”

How strange,….. I was just thinking about posting about that very thing (or what another blogger described as serendipitous convergence); that Christmas can be especially cold, sad and lonely for many who do not have the support of family or friends around them  or are going through difficult times.

None of the churches that I have attended had a ‘Blue Christmas’ service.  However, for most of my life, until recently, I have always preferred to avoid all the festivities like going carol singing or attending loud joyous celebrations and parties.  There was a time that apart from attending church, I would prefer to just have a quiet night and sleep early.  I didn’t do any of the exchange of cards or presents either.

It took me a long time to understand that this shunning of festivities at Christmas was rooted in my own hangups ………specifically, that I felt that I did not deserve to be happy.   As a foreign student in the UK many years ago, I was on occasion invited to people’s homes for Christmas lunch or dinner with their families.  I always felt uncomfortable and was mentally squirming the whole time I was there.  Only years later, I understood that I felt uncomfortable because I believed that I had no business being there in their happy family gathering.  I felt like an undeserving interloper.

Regular readers will know that I went through a period of depression at one point of my life and this kind of thinking comes from that dark well.  Today, instead, Christmas reminds me that God loves me and that is all I need to chase the dark clouds away.

But all this is my way of saying that I know how it can feel to be the disenfranchised, the lonely, the foreigner, the migrant, the hurt, the grieving.  It is being outside and looking in.  Out in the cold with an empty stomach and looking through a window at a feast inside.  Seeing others celebrate but being left out.

So, I believe that the way to celebrate Christmas is to do our part to show God’s love to those around us.  Celebrate by serving, just as Jesus ‘did not come to be served, but to serve’ (Matthew 20: 28) and gave of himself.  Sure, it’s okay to have fun and celebrate at parties and dinners – I do so nowadays too but do more……..serve others too.

This year, I will be joining others to go caroling to those who are ill with cancer as well as to residents at a nursing home – to come alongside them, share their problems, pray for them and share joy.  At my church, we will also be opening our church on Christmas Eve for people to come in off the street for some food and drink.  We are making the church available to some of the foreign workers near us so that they can invite their friends to come in and join the festivities.

At Christ’s birth, the angels declared about peace and joy.  Perhaps, we should continue to pray for peace and help spread joy in this flawed world.  Blessed Christmas folks.

Well, I’ll be……


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A joyous announcement to the big, wide world,

Celebrating the birth of a bouncing baby girl,

My niece made her debut  on the 26th of January

Two days shy of the Rooster and still a Monkey

Her beautiful name is Sofia but pronounced Safia

So wonderfully appropriate, like the “sa” in sapphire

Shining brightly of joy, love and hope realised

Know that  you are now and forever cherished

And while in your mother’s arms you snuggle,

I suddenly realised that I’m a Monkey’s uncle!

Dearest Sofia,

As you get to know me, you’ll get to appreciate my off kilter humor…… I hope.

Love,

Uncle ‘Tiger’ Squirrel

Monkey Go – Rooster Crow


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Chinese New Year is on the 28th of January.  On that day, we say goodbye to the Year of the Monkey and greet the Year of the Rooster.

I am sure that for most of us, last year has been a bit of a shocker. The monkeys have really been up to their monkey business.

One hopes that the Rooster will crow in a better year and so that is my new year wish for all of us.  May it be the break of dawn after a dark night.  May it be a return to sunnier times.

There is an additional point of interest for me this year as my sister-in-law is expecting her first child, a daughter.  Her due date is 26th of January.  If she is on time or early then, the baby would be a Monkey according to the Chinese Zodiac but just a couple of days later and the child will be a Rooster.  With no track record (being her first child), the bookmakers are refusing to offer odds.

What do you think? Monkey or Rooster.  Either way, I pity the child cause we all know Tiger is best, Squirrel is ‘best’-er and Tiger Squirrels are the super ‘best’-est!

Hallelujah! Christmas Blessings!


‘Tis the season to remember the gift of God to all mankind.

For unto us a child is born, a son is given….. (Isaiah 9:6)

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16-17)

May you and your loved ones experience the joy and love of God this Christmas – a love that compelled God to send Jesus from the glories of heaven to be born in a lowly manger, to live faultless amongst ordinary men and women, and finally to lay down his life for our sake on the cross of Calvary.

It is reason indeed to rejoice and praise God. This following video is of Kaylee Rodgers, a 10 year old from Nothern Ireland who has autism and ADHD. She began singing as a way to build her confidence. Together with the Killard House School choir of special needs children, she sings a Christmas worship version of ‘Hallelujah’. Jesus would be pleased.

Lyrics for “Hallelujah Christmas” by Cloverton

I’ve heard about this baby boy
Who’s come to earth to bring us joy
And I just want to sing this song to you
It goes like this, the fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
With every breath I’m singing Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

A couple came to Bethlehem
Expecting child, they searched the inn
To find a place for You were coming soon
There was no room for them to stay
So in a manger filled with hay
God’s only Son was born, oh Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

The shepherds left their flocks by night
To see this baby wrapped in light
A host of angels led them all to You
It was just as the angels said
You’ll find Him in a manger bed
Immanuel and Savior, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

A star shown bright up in the east
To Bethlehem, the wisemen three
Came many miles and journeyed long for You
And to the place at which You were
Their frankincense and gold and myrrh
They gave to You and cried out Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I know You came to rescue me
This baby boy would grow to be
A man and one day die for me and you
My sins would drive the nails in You
That rugged cross was my cross, too
Still every breath You drew was Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Striptease


Hi everyone!  I celebrated my birthday last week and I left clues in one of my posts to let you guys know where in the world I was.  Well, I waited and waited but none of you showed up to my birthday party.

What’s wrong?  Couldn’t solve the clues? Got lost? Got mugged in Tokyo and loss your memory?  Got stomped on by Godzilla?

Well anyway, you didn’t show up and it was your loss cause I chose to celebrate my birthday in my birthday suit!  Yes…..au naturel.  Bet you are kicking yourself for not getting on that early flight to Japan.

After decades of thinking about it, I finally got a chance to go to a ryokan and go into an outdoor onsen.  And I took the plunge!  I embraced the whole experience which involves letting it all hang out in a public bath.

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I Mean, …Ten Thousand Monkeys Can’t be Wrong

For the uninitiated, let me walk you through the process.

Step 1: Get Naked. – all you take with you is a tiny towel that is barely big enough to cover your privates.  Now it seems that the native Japanese tend to strut around with the tiny towel folded neatly on top of their heads.  Those less accustomed to public nudity may rather uncomfortably use it to shield the nether regions from prying eyes but it really doesn’t help much.  I tend to subscribe to the strategy of using the towel to cover the face so that no one knows who you are.

Step 2: Soap and wash. – There are washing stations lined up along the side of a wall where you are expected to sit on tiny stools and wash  and clean yourself thoroughly. NOTE:- You Have to be CLEAN before entering the hot spring pool.  Soaping yourself in the hot pool is a major faux pas; nay – a major diplomatic incident; nay reason for going to war.

Step 3:  Enter the hot spring fed pool and soak while enjoying the cold outdoors.  The waters heal all kinds of physical and mental ailments and tiredness.

So here we go …….

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Dressed for the Occasion in a Yukata (which apparently should not be confused with Yakuza)

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To prove your worthiness to enter the waters of the onsen, some torture may have to be endured

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Isn’t this just magical?

Well, that’s pretty much the end of this post.  If you were expecting some nudity, shame on you!   Please remember this is a family oriented blog.

Now, do you really want to see the squirrel disrobed?  I mean, do you really?  Are you sure?  Your final warning.  It’s not too late to turn back.  Last chance to save your eyes.

If you really want to see then follow this link…… I WANT TO SEE!

P.S. when asked about wearing his birthday suit for the occasion, LGS merely told the paparazzi that “it needed ironing”.

Enchanted


You may have noticed that the Squirrel has been missing for awhile.  The excuse truth is that with all the bad stuff happening in the world lately, I was just hiding out in my panic room.  Well, while it is true that the shit  (please excuse my mild Deadpool language) has not stopped flying, the squirrel has decided to surface because there was a spot of light shining.

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I refer to the momentous and happy event of the marriage of two of my young friends. Their combined ages is equivalent to mine.  (Sigh).  In Malaysia, we would call them “young cikus”.  A ciku is a type of fruit – fleshy, sweet and distinctly aromatic.  A “young ciku” has a similar meaning to the phrase “still wet behind the ears”.

Anyway, why has this brought the Squirrel out of his dark hole?  Well, the joy and love from this tying of hearts was truly “uplifting” for all who witnessed it.  I present evidence (see Exhibit A- otherwise known as the photo above) that gravity can truly be conquered by the power of true love.  It was…it was…like a enormous weight had been lifted from us.

But I digress unnecessarily.  I really wanted to share about these two “young cikus”.  Let’s call them Simon and Sue.

Sue is the one in the white gown, in case you hadn’t figured it out.  She is very young; an idealist;  one who believes in fighting for social justice for all and that money holds little value unless it can be used to help others.  And she is an incurable romantic and I mean, of the Disney Princesses’ happily ever after variety.  She has always dreamt of a fairy tale wedding and she wanted to have an enchanted forest theme for her wedding and celebration dinner.

Simon is the one in the grey suit and it is possible there may be a colony on the moon before we see him wear a suit again.  He is a simple man with simple tastes.  Indeed, he seems allergic to many society conventions.  He is his own boss and shows up to work (and indeed to most events) in T-shirt and sandals.  He has learnt to be extremely thrifty; some might even say miserly.  He would rather save money than splash it on a flashy wedding.

And so we witnessed this apparent mismatch; the hopeless romantic dreaming of a fantasy enchanted forest with her Prince Charming and the real world Simple Simon who would like the no-frills package.

Bit by bit we saw Sue’s dream of the enchanted forest slip away.  There would be no big church wedding or wedding dinner at a fancy hotel.  Instead, both would be held at a re-purposed industrial warehouse building. There would be no fancy caterers for the wedding reception but instead cakes and cookies baked by friends.  Decorations, sound system and even photographer were all friends.  Instead of a formal sit-down dinner, there would be a self service buffet.  But if Sue was a little  disappointed, she did not show it.

But Simon really worked hard.  Despite all his cost saving measures, in the end we could all see the thought, effort and love that he put into it.  Sue had wanted a photo booth that was the in-thing for weddings these days but it was deemed too costly to rent.  Well, Simon built a photo booth himself using a camera, a laptop and printer and a wooden box and had the whole thing mounted on a forklift from the warehouse. It was charming in an industrial chic kinda way.

Hats off too for Simon as under his direction, the warehouse was truly transformed into a magical enchanted place for the dinner.  He had done it with just a little budget but with great heart and not a little elbow grease.  It no longer felt like a warehouse but a beer garden in some enchanted woods.

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But there was still more.  Unbeknown to Sue, Simon and his 6 groomsmen had put in long hours of practice.  At the dinner, when Sue thought they were supposed to go round to talk to the guests, Simon took her and sat her in the middle of the room and then he and his backup danced and gyrated for her like court dances performing for the Queen.  It was as risque as a family event would allow and had Sue squealing with glee and the guests cheering.

Then came the speeches.  Sue acknowledged that they had known each other for 8 years and that Simon had been there for her all that time – a rock through thick and thin.  They both thanked their parents.  Simon said that he knew that there would only ever be one person for him and he knew it was Sue from the very beginning.  He then confessed that for him, the whole wedding preparations had been a very difficult experience for him and was so not his scene.  Indeed for someone who has seen his share of difficult times, he said that the whole wedding ceremonies and dinner thing was the hardest thing that he had ever done.  And then he said that he would do it all over again for Sue.

And there was not a dry eye in the house. Even Simon’s eyes were wet but he calmly informed everyone that he had something in his eye.

In the end, Sue had placed her faith in Simon and Simon did his best to live up to that faith.  Spending big money on a wedding isn’t necessary as long as the love is allowed to express itself – the love of the couple for one another and the love of all those gathered there for the newly weds. What a day! What a night! It was enchanted.

And even this cynical old squirrel believes that they had the best start for their life adventure together.