Thursday, November 20, 2014

MY NEW PML AND CROWN LAMP

My new PML! Yes, in this post, I will be babbling about my new PML or 'pinggan mangkuk lama'. I had been wanting to replace my Mum's old set of crockery for quite some time but somehow, the online traders whom I sent my email to never replied any of my queries (maybe they thought I was not serious enough). My Mum's old set of crockery is very precious to me and I believe, to her too although she has never explicitly said so. According to her, my late Abah (may Allah bless his soul) bought the set way back in the early 1960s, a few years before I was born. The whole thing cost about $200.00 (it was $ back then and not RM like it is now), an exorbitant amount of money at that time I would say. The set was rarely used except for very important family occasions such as weddings and such. Due to lack of proper handling by those whose who didn't know how to appreciate it, a few pieces were cracked, chipped, broken or missing. Earlier this year, I discovered a tea set exactly like my Mum's which was on sale on the Internet. I got pretty excited that I almost peed in pants (or was it a sarong that I was wearing at that time?). Immediately, I sent an email to the lady to obtain more information. I was really hoping that she would not be like the other traders who ignored my email. She answered my email and gave me all the information that I needed regarding the set. I decided to buy the set from her and we discussed how I wanted the set to be delivered. I did not want the set to be sent by courier since I did not want to take any risk at all. I paid half of the amount and asked her to keep the set aside for me for a while. The other half of the whole amount would be paid in full when I went to self-collect the set from her. Unfortunately, I had to postpone my meeting her (a few times actually) due to some unforeseen circumstances. Both of us finally agreed to meet during the first weekend of the school holiday since that would be the only time I could go and travel to meet her. She was accompanied by her family and I have to say that they are very nice people. They are genuinely friendly and I felt very comfortable with them. I almost cried (I was truly overwhelmed so what do you expect?) when she handed me the set, carefully unwrapping a few pieces for me to see. To top that, she even gave me a gift! That was something that I never expected at all since that was our first time meeting each other. She gave me an old oil lamp which now sits together with my Mum's old PML in the cabinet. I think the oil lamp is called Crown lamp because either the clear hobnailed body with the red, blue and green 'jewels' around it somehow resembles a crown or the brass ring burner securing the red glass chimney (which is very fragile) looks very much like a crown. This type of lamp was very common way back in the 50s, 60s and 70s when many homes in Malaysia still did not have electricity. They were not that expensive and most of them were made in Hong Kong. My Mum said it was her responsibility to fill the lamps with kerosene for the whole household when she was young. She also said that there were many other types of lamps which were used back then. Some were cheaper and those which were made in England were definitely much more expensive. Now, let me get back to my new PML. This pattern is is called The Old Mill (available in pink, blue, purple, brown and multicolour patterns) and was produced by Johnson Brothers, a tableware manufacturer founded in 1883. Production for this pattern ceased some time in the 1970s and replacements (although available) can be quite costly and sometimes, are not as advertised. There are other patterns as well with names like Khyber, Friendly Village, Bird Of Paradise, Harvest Time, Garden Bouquet and Old Britain Castles. The new modern range such as Athena, Denmark, Devon Cottage, Rose Chintz and Melody is much more durable and comes in more contemporary patterns. The tea set that I bought is for six and consists of six cups, six saucers, six dessert plates, a sugar bowl, a creamer, a tureen and a teapot. At the moment, the whole set is still in a box and I haven't had the chance to put all the items in my display cabinet. My display cabinet is quite small so I will have to figure out how I'm going to rearrange everything in it. I also have a few other items kept in the cabinet and I think some of them have to make way for this new set. No words can truly express my gratitude to this lady who not only sold the set and gave me a wonderful gift but also shared some valuable information with me.

Isn't the lamp beautiful?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

WHITNEY HOUSTON 'THE MOMENT OF TRUTH' TOUR BOOK

At present, this is the second Whitney Houston tour book that I have in my collection. I saw it on sale a few weeks ago and I was quite surprised that it was relatively cheap (well, at least it was much cheaper than the ones offered by other sellers). The tour book arrived much earlier than I expected. There aren't as many exclusive pictures in this tour book as in the other one that I have but that is fine with me. The book is almost in mint condition and I have no complaints about it so far. After all, you cannot expect much from a book that dates back to 1987. This is Whitney's tour book for her second worldwide tour which kicked off in Tampa, Florida and ended in Hong Kong. I wish I had seen Whitney when she was at her prime. I would have had a blast! The only time I saw her live was when she came to Kuala Lumpur for the 'Live 'N' Loud' show back in 2007. Sadly, her voice was already deteriorating at that time. I have been on the lookout for her other tour books online but none of them even comes close within my budget. I am quite sure her more recent tour books are much better than her earlier ones in terms of quality and content. I know her 'Nothing But Love' tour book (her final tour before she passed away) contains lots and lots of beautiful pictures specifically taken for it. Here are a few pictures of the tour book that I took before it was safely placed in my book cabinet together with my other 'precious' items.

The Moment Of Truth Tour Book

The centrefold.

Whitney's sexy pose.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

LET'S KARAOKE 31 : TONI BRAXTON - UN-BREAK MY HEART

This is probably Toni Braxton's most well-known song and I don't think she will ever repeat the success that the song had either in terms of sales, popularity or longevity. It was released as the second single from her sophomore album 'Secrets'. The first single was 'You're Makin' Me High' which became her first number one hit. With 'Secrets' also came a drastic image change for Toni. Replacing her short and sassy locks were long and wavy hair extensions (or were they weaves?). She had also lost a lot of weight by then and was quite comfortable displaying her new toned body in extremely revealing clothes (remember the shocking almost not-there-at-all Gucci dress she wore to the GMA?). The video clip for this song featured Tyson Beckford (Ralph Lauren's former leading model for the brand's male sportswear line) who played Toni's lover and whom she was mourning for. There is also a Spanish version of the song titled "Regresa A Mí' which literally means 'Return To Me'. The complete video is actually much longer than the version usually aired on television. It shows Toni in the kitchen preparing breakfast for Tyson and reminding him about her performance. The song is one of my favourites whenever I go for karaoke sessions with my friends. I used to listen to this song and watch the video repeatedly even though they would make me feel so depressed. Now, only memories remain....

The single's cover

video

Don't leave me in all this pain
Don't leave me out in the rain
Come back and bring back my smile
Come and take these tears away
I need your arms to hold me now
The nights are so unkind
Bring back those nights when I held you beside me

Un-break my heart
Say you'll me again
Undo this hurt you caused
When you walked out the door
And walked out of my life
Un-cry these tears
I cried so many nights
Un-break my heart
My heart

Take back that sad word good-bye
Bring back the joy to my life
Don't leave me here with these tears
Come and kiss the pain away
I can't forget the day you left
Time is so unkind
And life is so cruel without you here beside me

Un-break my heart
Say you'll love me again
Undo this hurt you caused
When you walked out the door
And walked out of my life
Un-cry these tears
I cried so many nights
Un-break my heart
My heart

Don't leave me in all this pain
Don't leave me out in the rain
Bring back the nights when I held you beside me

Un-break my heart
Say you'll love me again
Undo this hurt you caused
When you walked out the door
And walked out of my life
Un-cry that tears
I cried so many, many nights
Un-break my

Un-break my heart
Come back and say you love me
Un-break my heart
Sweet darlin'
Without you I just can't go on
Can't go on.... 


p/s This post is dedicated to A. May you rest in peace.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

REVIVING MY BLOG

I've decided the hiatus that I took from writing this blog has got to come to an end. I stopped writing a few months ago due to circumstances that somehow dampened my spirit and motivation. Too many things (especially heartbreaking ones) have been happening to me and at that time, I thought of giving up writing altogether. I could not find any reason to write anything at all. None, whatsoever. It wasn't any form of writer's block since there were things that I could have written in this blog but I did not feel like telling them to other people. I wanted to suppress what I was feeling since I thought it would be better that way. At the same time, blogs are also becoming somewhat of a passé (some even say that blogging is dead). Netizens (especially the younger ones) have found newer services, social media streams and mobile apps that can cater to their needs such as Twitter, Instagram, WeChat, WhatsApp, Pinterest, Snapchat and tumblr. But then, I realised that too much love had been put into this blog and to simply abandon it would be a big mistake. I also realised that I did not have to follow what others were doing. All the other social networking sites, media streams and mobile apps are into what is 'now'. My blog is all about my life, my thoughts and my passion : past, present and future. It has been part of life for the past 6 years and I cannot leave it to crumble although many other blogs are dropping like flies. I am not giving up just yet. I also do not want everything that is deemed important to me to be transient and fleeting. I want everything to be recorded for my own reference in the future. That is why I have decided that I will write again. I might have to make a few changes here and there to accommodate the current trends and preference. I know it will be quite difficult but I am determined to write at least until blogger.com is no longer in existence. Until then, viva Elixir Of Love!