Friday, December 30, 2011

Top Posts of 2011 - Part 3

Part 3 of my Top Posts of 2011 go through the months of January - April. Here are some of our best moments . . .

1. Right at the start of the year I compiled my top ten photographs of 2010 which I enjoy doing at the end of every year.

2. In January we had a most lovely stay at The Zenith Hotel courtesy of the General Manager. It had only just opened it's doors so we were among the first to see around the hotel and a short while later, stay there for a night.

3. I am a sufferer of headaches and migraines, and it is not at all pleasant, in fact it can be highly debilitating. So my blog post about headaches and migraines was long overdo and it was responded by some very positive comments.

4. In March there was a large fire just down the road which we first smelt, then viewed from the window, then I had to go down there and get some closer pictures. This image was the most enduring, with the young children looking excited in front of the huge flames:

5. During the month of April I took part in the April A-Z blogging challenge, which was one big highlight for me. I gained a wealth of new followers and comments, and good things happened during that month. I particularly enjoyed blogging about the letter 'X' for "xenodocheionology" which was a popular and unique 'X' post.

So that's the highlights of the blogging year done and dusted. The next thing will be my top ten photos of 2011 which will be coming soon.

Have a very happy new year wherever you are!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Top Posts of 2011 - Part 2

Today we are having a walk down memory lane from May - August 2011, looking over some of my favourite blog posts of the year.

1. In May 2011 Fidelia and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary, and on my blog I posted some of our pictures from our marriage in 2006.

2. Also in May, I had a fascinating delve into abstract photography which yielded some really intriguing results, like this picture below:

I indulged myself in a second round of abstractism with images such as this:

3. On 15th June, 2011, our second daughter, Leah, was born. Here is the blog post containing some of the very first pictures of Leah 

4. In July 2011, I had a great time photographing Kuantan old town and sharing the pictures here on my blog. These historical buildings are still standing and are in business today. It was great to see the sights and sounds and smells there.

5. In August 2011 I made a short trip to the splendid Singapore. It is guaranteed that I'll always return with a treasure trove of photos from this fabulous city-island. Four blog posts about Singapore were barely enough to do my trip justice!

The final part tomorrow will include January - April 2011.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Top Posts of 2011

I accomplished many things in 2011 which I'm delighted with and will continue through 2012.

I don't usually group things according to year, including new year's resolutions, which I strongly believe don't work. (If you're going to start something, do it NOW, don't wait for the new year!)

Anyway, seeing as blogging and posting are done according to calendar dates, I'm going to share with you some of my favourite posts of the year, as I look back on many good times we've had. Today's first part covers September - December 2011.

1. We were greatly looking forward to visiting KL in November of 2011, and I wasn't disappointed by the majesty of the iconic Petronas Twin Towers which I photographed from a number of angles, in the sun, rain, and at night. It has to be said that they look marvellous in every circumstance!

2. I loved sharing the wonderful pictures of a gecko we eventually captured in our kitchen in A Gecko Encounter. The "smiling gecko" has become one of my most favourite photos of all time!

3. In October 2011 we travelled to Kuching with our children to be present at my sister-in-law's wedding reception. We had a great time visiting Kuching for the first time since 2006 when Fidelia and I registered our own marriage. 

4. The Ten Thousand Buddhas Hall is a brilliant attraction in Kuantan. I happened to be there on the most splendid day, bathed in hot sunshine, making it perfect conditions for some beautiful photos. This buddha became a favourite image of a number of my readers:

5. We had a great time staying in the large, spacious rooms of M. S. Garden Hotel in September 2011.

6. We also enjoyed our stay at Vistana Hotel and becoming good friends with Wayne, the HM. Their suite is beautiful and we were given every generous courtesy during our stay there.

7. Meeting Blog Followers was a great post because it was so good to meet those people who read my blog online, in reality!

Tomorrow I'll be featuring posts from May - August 2011 . . .

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Zenith Hotel - one year in operation

Those of you who have been following my blog for over a year will remember I became closely acquainted with The Zenith Hotel through my blog.

I met the then GM Jerina Foong at the end of December, was shown around and offered a free night's stay.

We recently visited The Zenith Hotel to see their Christmas decorations. It has been in operation for a year now. Here's how it looks:

Absolutely love the blue lights on these stairs!

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Season of Giving

Christmas is most definitely a season of not only giving, but receiving also.

It takes both a giver and a receiver for a gift to be successfully exchanged. The example we refer to is the gift of salvation offered by Jesus Christ, which is not so often 'received' by people on earth. The commercialism of Christmas tends to get in the way of us 'receiving' this gift.

Though my gift today carries nowhere near the magnitude of the Saviour's gift, it is a little something which I hope will brighten up someone's day.

My gift today is a little bit of blog space to a collection of my top followers. When I refer to 'followers' I am looking at those who have taken their time to consistently comment on my blog, thereby being a support to my blog and helping to build it up.

Anyhow, commenting on other's blogs is also good business for you - if you type your name (or blog signature) in Google, you will find every single one of your comments you have made on other's blogs! So whilst helping to advertise someone's blog, you are also helping yourself.

I am not overly keen on statistics like number of followers, those whose faces appear in little square boxes on your blog, but I do take an interest in those who take an interest in me. So today I'm going to 'give' a bit of blog space to those who have faithfully commented on my blog throughout 2011 and hope that you will 'receive' them and check out their blogs if you haven't already done so!

In no particular order, here are the people and their blogs whom I'd like to say a big thank you to for supporting my blog with their meaningful and sincere contributions over the past year:

ordinary malaysian, thank you for your support and frequent contributions! If you want to know the latest news about events in Malaysia, particularly the political side of things, this is the blog for you.

Odie Langley, it's been a pleasure reading your lovely comments. Thank you for taking such an interest in my blog and my family! Odie can be reached here:

Diane AKA Thisisme, you have been a regular supporter of my blog, with comments filled with love and sincerity. Thank you so much! Diane has a lovely blog about her life in England here:

Fidelia, my good wife, thank you for your support of my blog and for being patient with me when I've spent hours uploading, resizing and watermarking pictures to share on my blog. Fidelia's blog about our lovely children is here:

Linda, thank you for your support and friendship through the blogging world, and for contributing to my blog regularly! Linda is living a good life in Italy, see it here:

Rosalind, I believe we crossed blogging paths during the A-Z challenge of 2011, am I right?! You have been a good supporter of my blog since then and I enjoy reading your comments. Thank you for your contributions! Rosalind is an excellent writer and campaigner. Check out her blog here:

Barbara, we too met during the A-Z challenge if my memory serves me right! Thank you for commenting on my blog and taking the time to do so. Barbara's blog about the English language is found here:

Leovi, thank you so much for faithfully following and commenting on my blog posts! It is great to have your support. Leovi is very talented in abstract photography, a blog of which I never miss the chance to see his latest work. Prepare yourself for some abstract photography here:

Lotta, I have enjoyed using Google Translate to help me read your Swedish comments in English. I'm sure a few things may have got lost in translation but the meaning is understood! Thank you for your lovely contributions to my blog. Lotta is a skilled photographer and takes beautiful pictures of scenery in Sweden:

Anna Mohamed Amin, you have been a consistent contributor to my blog on various posts of your interest. Thank you for your insightful comments and for supporting my blog throughout the year! Anna is studying in Russia:

Traveling Hawk, I appreciate your warm support of my blog. It's great to hear your comments of approval of the work I'm doing on my blog. Thank you for your contributions! Traveling Hawk is from Romania but travels the world. Read her journeys here:

Anthony Stemke, I have enjoyed your thoughts on my blog from time to time. Thank you very much for contributing and taking an interest in the Asian way of life! Anthony is pretty good with food. Here is his blog:

Michelle, thank you for supporting my blog through meaningful comments. It's good to have you on board! Michelle lives in Melbourne and writes about her life there on her blog:

Marie Harmony, thank you for your visits here to my blog and for leaving such nice comments, particularly on the Fidelia's Friday posts which I know you enjoy a lot! Marie is living as an expat in Ireland, here is her blog:

Thank you also, to all those who visit my blog but don't leave comments. Each and every visit is appreciated. If your name wasn't on the list, I'd love to hear from you, and I'll be sure to come your way in return. Let's get contributing!

Okay, the giving is done, I feel great! Now it's up to you to receive . . . 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Rainy Season in Kuantan

We are stuck in the middle of the rainy season in Kuantan and it's spoiling pretty much everything, making me quite annoyed and bored (not a good combination!), bringing along its fair share of runny noses and headaches too.

However, I've been able to once more whip the camera out and snap some rainy pictures. We even managed to have a little fun!

To see more rainy pictures, click the link to my nature blog where they are displayed in full - 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Christmas from Kuantan

(By multiple demand, this lovely picture of Lauren is now included!)

Whoever you are, and wherever you may be in the world, we wish you a very Merry Christmas from Kuantan and hope you are uplifted and edified in this season of giving and receiving.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Blog Flashbacks

On Thursday I posted some pictures of our home this Christmas and how we have decorated it accordingly. In this week's Blog Flashbacks, I'm showing you around my home in December 2010:

Back in 2009 around this time we were also decorating the house for Christmas. It's interesting to look back on these things to see how our decorational inclinations have evolved over the years!

Wherever you are, enjoy your Christmas, and the spirit of giving and receiving!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Fidelia's Friday - Lauren's different expressions

Here are pictures of Lauren with different expressions! 

Happy face!

Sad face!

Angry face!

Excited face!

Scary face!

Bored face!

Lauren loves to take pictures. She's good  at modelling!  

Which one is your FAVOURITE expression? Duncan thinks her bored face looks like her Aunty Rachel!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree . . .

With Christmas Day just ten days away, I'm sharing some pictures of our house, the Christmas tree being the focal point:

We have a few presents waiting under the tree

What would Christmas mean without a reminder of Jesus Christ, whose birth into the world is the entire reason we celebrate CHRISTmas?

And here is the imposter. I feel a bit strange having a picture of Jesus and a Santa Claus advent calendar almost side-by-side. It is nonetheless a lovely advent calendar. Thanks to my mum for sending that over a few Christmases ago!

And here is Mr. Bean. Mr. Bean however, has nothing to do with Christmas - it's just that Lauren decided to hang him on the tree! Makes it interesting :)

Had to snap a picture of my new favourite ornament - the vase!

A flurry of warm lights on the tree. Oh no, the imposter again!

We started off with one Christmas tree . . . 

Then we went for two . . .

We got a little greedy and had three!

If you are not Christian, do you still celebrate the real reason behind CHRISTmas, or is it just another holiday to you?
If you are Christian, does the pull of Santa distract you from the birth and life of Jesus?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fluctuating weather

Human beings love talking about the weather, and I'm no different. The weather acts as a convenient topic to begin a conversation with either friends or new acquaintances. Do you realise how often you mention the weather in your conversations with others?

In Kuantan, as indeed in all Malaysia, the weather is a 'hot' topic. But during the months of November and December, we have witnessed severely fluctuating weather patterns.

Check out the first example, from November 2011:

I started off cycling from home in clear blue skies. But after just a couple of minutes, the wind really picked up and began blowing in some grey clouds over the convention centre and Putra Zenith . . .

Cycling became suddenly really tough as the gusty winds pushed me back. I looked over my shoulder and saw this:

The beautiful sunny day was quickly turned into a dull, ferociously windy, stormy day. Thankfully I managed to get home before the downpour came!

This picture was taken a couple of days later as the monsoon rains slowly crept their way in to Malaysia - the sound of the rain reverberating on the old tin roofs produces such a heavy din, yet I find it hugely peaceful and calming.

But the rains come and the rains go, and we were about to witness the other end of the weather spectrum . . .

Still in November, we experienced a sudden change to striking heat, as shown on this beautiful day:

Shortly after these gorgeous holiday-weather skies, we sat in the Vistana Hotel gazing out at the pouring rain filling Kuantan with a hazy appearance.

We had four days of continuous monsoon rain last week, and then suddenly on Sunday, the weather changed to this beautiful day with fluffy white clouds against a blue sky. And it was very hot.

How is the weather where you are?


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