Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 - A Year of Mourning

Three aviation tragedies involving Malaysian airliners have struck at the hearts of people all around the globe. MH370 and MH17 brought Malaysia Airlines to its knees, while QZ8501 has blemished AirAsia's impeccable safety record. But of course, the real loss in these disasters are the 699 people who have lost their lives on these flights, and the countless families and friends who have lost loved ones.

For a man who has circumnavigated the earth in a plane, it is both terrifying and deeply distressing for me to attempt to imagine the final moments of these people's lives on a doomed airliner. It is frankly unspeakable.

In the coincidental lyrics of the song "This Love" sung by Adam Levine of Maroon 5, these passengers:

"got on a plane, never to return again,
but always in my heart"

The most puzzling of these tragedies is the saga surrounding the vanishing of MH370 on 8th March, 2014. Not a day has passed by during these last 9 months that I haven't thought about that flight and the people on board.

A man looks at the arrivals board at Beijing International Airport where flight MH370 would soon be declared missing. (Image taken from

Air Asia's flight QZ8501 appears to have encountered awful weather and crashed into the Java Sea off the Southern coast of Borneo with no sign of survivors as yet. Families' reactions have ranged from shock to hope to despair during the search process. Again, Adam Levine, through these unintended lyrics, summed up the abundant hope that once dominated, and still continue to dominate in the case of MH370, the thoughts and prayers of us all:

"I'll fix these broken things,
Repair your broken wings,
And make sure everything's alright"

AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes speaks with relatives of the passengers on board QZ8501 in Surabaya airport, Indonesia. (Image taken from

MH17 is believed to have been shot down by pro-Russian rebels, though Ukraine and Russia have done a dirty job of blaming each other so that NO-ONE has been held accountable for this outrageous cessation of human life. Adam Levine's lyrics continue to burn my thoughts:

"I was so high I did not recognize,
The fire burning in her eyes,
The chaos that controlled my mind"

The only thing I can imagine in all of these 3 flights is CHAOS. I cannot begin to imagine the scene. I am completely overwhelmed by the horror and sadness of it all.

My Instagram post in memorial of MH17
So while the world will be celebrating the beginning of 2015 with fireworks, music and champagne, I'll be mourning with those who mourn from 2014, hoping that truth will be revealed, and desperately hoping, wishing and praying that no such tragedies will befall Malaysia again. We've surely had our fair share.

"This love has taken its toll on me,
She said Goodbye too many times before,
And her heart is breaking in front of me,
I have no choice cause I won't say goodbye anymore"

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Manhattan Fish Market, East Coast Mall, Kuantan

The Manhattan Fish Market is one of a number of new restaurants lining the main entrance of East Coast Mall in Kuantan.

Inside The Manhattan Fish Market at EC Mall, Kuantan

I miss fish and chips back home in England. Nothing in Malaysia can come close to matching the fat and juicy chips of an English fish and chips shop. But the fish at The Manhattan Fish Market is the closest I've tasted to really good fish.

Just a couple of the menu pages at The Manhattan Fish Market, EC Mall, Kuantan

A drink and mashed potato at The Manhattan Fish Market, EC Mall, Kuantan

Fie and I ordered two sets of fish and chips. One of each of the two different types of fish, and shared a piece each. The fish was crispy on the outside and oh so soft and delicious on the inside, just the way it should be! The sauce covering the fish is to die for. We requested more of it and they readily brought along another small bowl of it.

Fish and chips at The Manhattan Fish Market, EC Mall, Kuantan

There are some delicious-looking desserts on offer at The Manhattan Fish Market too, but that will be for another day.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Lauren's Kindergarten Graduation at Wisma Belia, Indera Mahkota

Our eldest daughter has completed her two years of kindergarten training and will be starting primary school next month.

We attended her graduation ceremony at Wisma Belia in Indera Mahkota. 

Lauren receiving her honours

Lauren looking through her honours booklet

Lauren with a selection of her friends

Family picture

Can't believe Lauren will be starting primary school so soon! The two years have passed so quickly, like a blur. Our hopes for Lauren at kindergarten were that she would be able to learn Bahasa Melayu (the national language of Malaysia) and that target has been achieved. She is now ready for proper school. She can speak English (naturally) and Bahasa Melayu and is learning Mandarin Chinese.

Here is a photo of her last day at kindergarten:

With her two kindergarten teachers


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