I spent the last few weeks driving around South Island, New Zealand. Confirmed what I’ve always suspected – that I enjoy long drives amidst scenic settings. The South Island of New Zealand is breath-taking, to say the least.

Back in Singapore, a few days before Adamson returned home on vacation. It’s great to have him back.

Am slowly reverting to the routine I enjoy – writing in the mornings, brisk walking and/or road biking in the early evenings, and reading before bed (of course, this last activity – reading – suitably lubricated with a glass of wine or cognac). Will get back to regular blogging soon.

Lisa decided to celebrate my birthday which fell on 11 August, a Saturday. I’m not into birthday celebrations but with age, one gets more pliable I reckon. She booked a table at the Fullerton and…

It’s great to have Adamson home but I also missed my eldest, Alicia. Sunday family dinners were the norm until 3 years ago when Alicia and then Adamson moved to work/study/live in Brisbane and New York City, respectively. Our youngest, Amelia, is in university and lives at home, for now.

Oh well, all three ‘children’ will be home for Christmas which is ‘only’ a few months away.

Saturday morning, I received the best birthday present ever – thanks to Adamson. As soon as I opened my eyes, guess who walks into the room with a great big smile – Alicia!

She had flown into Singapore for the weekend to surprise me – having departed Brisbane on Friday night and touching down in Singapore early Saturday morning. Adamson had organised her tickets and had picked her up at the airport. Even Lisa and Amelia were not privy to this pleasant surprise.

We had a great weekend and dinner, with much laughter, catching up and family bonding. My best birthday, ever. Praise and thank God.

Sent Alicia to the airport on Sunday night and she is back in Brisbane. Adamson returns to NYC this weekend. Though the reunion was/will be all too short, I rather count my blessings than dwell on the parting.

After all, Christmas is only a few months away 🙂

Special Request

I met Nicole Luongo in Blogsville. Though afflicted with cerebral palsy, Nicole cares for her mother who suffers from Alzheimer’s. Nicole needs a few minutes of our time to vote for her in a contest. She did not ask but I offered to highlight with a small note in my blog.

Please read her story here. It is not a sob story but a straight request for our vote > http://cruise.caregiverstress.com/entries/nicole-l/

Courage and determination needs tangible recognition, I reckon.

I’m happy to be back in Blogsville and shall restart regular visits to your blogs. Plenty of catching up to do…

All good wishes to all, Eric

******************

104 comments

  1. Eric, it has been quite sometime, I haven’t been hearing from you. Hope to hear from you soon. Thank you for liking my recent posts “Prayer for Israel” and “Sin”

    1. Hello Hikari – sweet of you to write in.

      Yes, I am bogged down with projects. Just can’t find the time to make blog posts, visit blogs, etc.

      Hope to re start after the ‘storm’

      Cheers, Eric 🙂

  2. May God’s blessing be upon you also.
    Thank you on behalf of Daylight Tune Ministry for liking post “Sin”, “Prayer for Israel”, “Obedience”, and “E=MC2”.

  3. Hawww! How on earth did I miss this post??! Well, dear Eric, happy belated birthday! You sure were blessed to have the family together on your special day! And, Christmas is only 3 months away — I am wishing your family and you a superb reunion soon. Keep penning — your ink is needed for the rest of us to inspire from!
    May God’s blessings continue in your life, dear friend Eric.

  4. Belated birthday greetings to you, Eric! Wonderful surprise there, too! My best wishes on the books too.

    I liked the line the best: ‘..i’d prefer to count my blessings…’

  5. Welcome back and Happy Belated Birthday! Sound like you had a good one, you got to see all your kids, thats truly a Blessing and Christmas will be here soon! God Bless 🙂

    1. Hope you get to do it too. There are such marvellous and breathtaking scenes of mountains, lakes, rivers…quite often, I’m the only one on the road 🙂 Coming from an over crowded city like Singapore…

  6. Happy belated birthday! I really enjoyed reading this post…family dynamics change so much as children grow up. We’re just entering the teen years with my own kids…lots of fun… 🙂

    1. Thank you Candace – please do forgive me for taking so long to respond. I’m playing catch up.

      Yes, family can be such fun, I agree. Enjoy the changes as we enjoy the seasons. Each holding unique joys and challenges.

      Peace and luv to you and family, Eric 🙂

  7. Oh, my goodness – JEALOUS! Oh, that ugly human emotion: jealousy!
    Jealous you have so many travels,
    but glad for you,
    Jealous you had such a great birthday,
    but glad for you,
    Jealous you’ve so many wonderful people in your life,

    but too glad for you,
    to be REALLY jealous.

    🙂

  8. Seems like someone had a great birthday!!! Happy Belated Birthday!
    I thought my reader was mad at you and din’t show your posts but now I know you were away. Silly me! Lol 😀
    See ya soon with your writings.
    -Naima.

  9. Welcome Back – HAPPY BIRTHDAY
    You were missed a ton ………..
    Gonna go visit Nicole now
    and yes i agree about the courage thing 🙂 Kudos mister 🙂
    huggggggs xo
    Cat

    1. Hello Cat – missed you guys too 🙂
      Thank you so much for your well wishes 🙂
      Yes, Nicole needs all the help she can get.

      Much luv and hugz to my Canadian friend 🙂

  10. Great to have you back my lovely buddy and ‘Happy Birthday’. Here’s to more scenic travelling, family gatherings and happy times for you…much love and hugs xxx

    1. Hello there buddy. Thank you and great to be back. Hope all is well at your end. I’ve plenty of catching up and have started to read/comment. Much luv and hugz coming your way from Singapore 🙂 🙂 🙂

  11. Welcome back. Was concerned that you might “retire” in lovely NZ and not return to blogsville. Look forward to your postings soon.
    Oh, what a splendid surprise on your birthday. Couldn’t have asked for more. Christmas’ blessings do come in advance too. Happy belated birthday…

    1. Hello, hello, hello Jasey dear 🙂

      “Retire” – what’s that? NZ is great and it is the first of more such journeys…God willing.

      Yes, the best birthday ever, I reckon. Thank you and much luv and hugz coming your way, Eric 🙂

  12. Well it’s nice to have you back from your sojourn in New Zealand. It was also great to know you are sharing one of your family with us here in Australia. I was born in Brisbane and now live on the Sunshine Coast forty-five minutes to the north. We are hoping to move to an over 50’s village here on the coast when we sell our present home. A belated Happy Birthday.

    1. Yes, Alicia has been in BNE now for more than 2 years. She is studying in UQ.

      It is great to be back Ian and I plan to read through your posts – still have them all in my in-mail.

      Have a great weekend, Eric

  13. And to think, I was starting to fret about your welfare, Eric! So very pleased about your fabulous birthday, with all present! Wonderful! And how terriffic that you enjoyed tooling around on the South Island of New Zealand! Looking forward to great blog posts again here!

    1. Awww…you’re so sweet Granbee 🙂

      I’m back and hopefully can get cranking away again. Will be dropping by your blog soon.

      Luv and hugz for my Granbee 🙂

  14. Ok you are going to have to use your imagination – I’m singing this to you with a Scottish accent…..
    “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Eric, happy birthday to you”.

    Welcome back. I’ve missed your writing.

  15. Belated birthday wishes Eric. Seems like you had a wonderful day all round 🙂 Learnt about the contest via Boomie and voted for Nicole already. Shall do so again.

    1. Thank you Peg. It was a great day for me.

      P/S I posted a comment in your Capernaum’s Dust. It did not come through – please rescue it from your ‘spam’. Anyway, here is what I said –

      Dear Peg, This is beautiful and thoughtful. The promise of eternal life vs the investment in temporal gain. The choice is obvious – for those who have sight.
      Luv and hugz, Eric

    1. Thank you Ramu – much appreciate your visit and comment, Eric 🙂

      P/s Left a comment in your post How Do You Waste Your Time – you might want to rescue it from spam. After the first ‘rescue’ it should work ok for subsequent comments.

    1. Thank you Neel.

      I left a comment in your post “…scupltor dies…” If you could rescue the comment from ‘spam’ all future comments will come through all right, I reckon. Thank you, Eric

  16. The trip sounds wonderful – I visited the North Island many years ago as an exchange student.
    I sympathise re missing your kids – mine are scattered, too, and I haven’t had all four in the same place for over ten years but they are all coming here in December (pre-Christmas because of work commitments) and I am so looking forward to it 🙂
    And Happy Birthday 🙂

    1. Thank you for your well wishes 🙂

      I believe you’re in Australia – just a hop-skip-and-jump away and NZ opens up all her beauty and charms. Hope you get to visit South Island.

      Yes, I can well imagine how it is when the children are away – wish you a great get-together 🙂

  17. Happy Belated Birthday Eric and it is very good to have you back, you were much missed no doubt! But it is very good to hear you are back with happy memories to share =)

  18. Happy Belated Birthday Eric and it is very good to have you back, you were much missed no doubt! But it is very good to hear you are back with happy memories to share =)

  19. Welcome back, Eric and Happy Birthday. We missed you.

    I voted and would point out that this contest allows us to cast a vote a day in favor of the young lady who is taking care of her mom with Alzheimer’s. Just thought I would update your readers.

    Look forward to your next post.

    J.

    1. Hello J – Thank you dear. As you probably guessed, I’m working through all the comments and posts.

      Thank you also for pointing out about daily votes for Nicole – I’m doing it and hope others will also. She is so sweet and needs all our help.

      Look out for me – will be catching up on your posts soon.

      🙂 Eric 🙂

  20. I have a question re your experience in New Zealand. In the last four years, I have hosted two exchange students from Thailand. One of them had a friend who went to New Zealand as an exchange student and went home early because she found the people where she lived so prejudiced. Her host family was ok, but if she even walked very far down the street and at school, people made rude remarks, etc. I have another friend who is Mexican and just married a woman who lives in New Zealand. He says some people there are quite vocal about his being “brown” and her white. I told them I was not going to go to a country and contribute to their economy as a tourist when they behaved so awfully. Wondered what you experienced??? Juliana

    1. Hello Juliana – I’ve been travelling on business and holiday to NZ since the 1990s. My children and wife have also visited NZ on their own. Not once did we encounter any problems on account of our ethnicity. In fact some of my best friends live in NZ. During this most recent trip – I took away the same two impressions – how wonderfully beautiful NZ is and how gracious the people are.

      I’m truly sorry that the people you mention encountered unpleasant responses. I suppose every country have their share of bigots and perhaps my family and I have been fortunate in this regards.

      When I travel, I keep some thoughts in mind: I’m a guest and respect people and practises; I try to blend in; and I try to be extract nice. Works for me. I want to enjoy my trips and I’m in control of my happiness.

      Visit NZ and you’ll not regret it.

      Cheers, Eric

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