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Filia Insolitus Aevi

Thursday, August 4, 2011

1:28PM - Travelogue

Syria and Lebanon 25 Dec 04 - 16 Jan 05: Damascus Part I and Part II, Aleppo Palestinian Refugee Camp, Lattakia and Markab Castle 

Luxor/Aswan 23 - 30 Jan 05: Nile Cruise 

21 - 29 Apr 05: Massawa, Ghinda and Asmara 

27 May - 4 Jun 05: Sana'a and its souq, Ta'izz, Jebel Sabir, Hajjarah, Kawkabam, Shibam/Thulla

Spain and France
15 - 24 Oct 05: Madrid and Paris

26 Dec 05 - 5 Jan 06: Vienna and Salzburg

Israel and Palestine
11 - 13 May 06: Jerusalem and Bethlehem 

6 - 8 Jul 06: Phuket

Spain (Camino de Santiago)
14-30 Oct 06: Estella to Logroño, Logroño to Burgos to Itero de la Vega, Itero de la Vega to León

19 - 22 Dec 06: Istanbul 

24-28 Feb 07: Ottawa

1-5 Mar 07: Manhattan

China 24-31 Mar 07: Yunnan

USA 9-26 Jun 07: Washington DC, Sacred Music Colloquium

Philippines 25 Jul-3 Aug 07: Manila

Switzerland 25-30 Sep 07: Berne

Portugal and Spain (Camino de Santiago) 16 May-9 Jun 08: Itinerary, Lisbon-Fatima-Batalha-Coimbra, Coimbra-Sao Joao de Madeira, Porto, Braga, Santiago de Compostela

France 8-17 Aug 08: Solesmes

USA 7-26 Sep 08: Washington DCNew York City

Morocco 24 Jan-1 Feb 09: Casablanca, Rabat

Indonesia 2-5 Apr 09: Jakarta

Australia 21-29 Aug 09: Sydney

Syria 27 Nov-9 Dec 09: Crak des Chevaliers, Aleppo, Qala'at Simaan, the Dead Cities, Palmyra, Damascus

Indonesia 8-11 Feb 10: Pontianak and Singkawang

Indonesia 26 Feb-1 Mar 10: Yogyakarta

New Zealand 20-23 Apr 10: Wellington

Malaysia 2-4 Jul 10: Kuala Lumpur

Indonesia 23-26 Aug 10: Yogyakarta-Surabaya

Indonesia 14-17 Oct 10: Bali here and here

Diving: Learning in Massawa, Diving in Hurghada and again, Sharm el-Sheikh I and II: The Return of the Sharm. And in Southeast Asia, Pulau Aur in West Malaysia.

Friday, November 5, 2010

9:11PM - Travel meme

The rules: bold if you've been there, italics if you really want to go there some day, strike through if you've no interest in the place.

As you can probably guess, I don't like amusement parks very much.Collapse )

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

7:43PM - Ah, Singapore

Was buying lunch at the coffeeshop near my hairdresser's today when I looked up and realised that the shiny new menu board said FLOGLEG PORRIDGE.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

1:26AM - Back from Bali!

Returned on Sunday night from a four-day jaunt to Bali.  Haven't been there since 2003, when tourism was at a low after the 2002 bombings.  Well, the white tourist crowd has definitely returned, pushing up prices to match.

Our two-room villa was a dream!  In a little walled compound complete with swimming pool (well, it was only 8 metres long) and gazebo.  Someone showed up every morning to cook us breakfast before we headed off sightseeing.

We went for massages, horse-riding on the beach, grilled seafood in Jimbaran, toured the cliffside temples of Uluwatu and Tanah Lot, pigged out at Bumbu Bali, ate suckling pig in Ubud, and sipped drinks at La Lucciola watching the sun go down into the sea.  Bliss.

Friday, October 8, 2010

2:22AM - Colour meme

svan_1004 assigned me red.  In alphabetical order:

  1. Blood
  2. Chinese and Indian weddings
  3. Desert sunsets
  4. Lipstick
  5. Lunar New Year
  6. Mary Magdala's gown in Frangelico's "Noli Me Tangere"
  7. Pomegranates
  8. Roses
  9. Valentino
  10. Wine
Respond and I will give you a colour.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

1:09AM - Vows

Looked up the Sarum Rite wedding vows. Rather conventional, with an extra interesting bit for the bride:

Man: I N., take thee, N., to my wedded wife, to have and to hold, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death us do part, if holy Church will it ordain, and thereto I plight thee my troth.

Woman: I N., take thee, N., to my wedded husband, to have and to hold, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to be bonny and buxom in bed and at board, till death us do part, if holy Church will it ordain, and thereto I plight thee my troth.

No wonder the Sarum Rite never quite caught on in Asia -- too many flat-chested women.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

11:47PM - And when the boy said, "What are you going to sing to the children?"

That's it.  I'm officially addicted to Cat Stevens' Islamic kiddie songs. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

11:59PM - Rite of Betrothal

In an event only slightly less nerve-wracking than open-heart surgery without anaesthesia, I got up there in church in front of God and my parents and promised to marry someone.

(Friend: "Which was scarier, God or your parents?"  Me: "My parents.")

Photographic proof!

See, that's why it's called a handfasting.

Behold, the ring!

Phew, that's over and done with.  Until the wedding.......

Monday, July 12, 2010

11:46PM - Opinions sought!

If you wanted a sapphire ring with diamond embellishments, which would you pick and why? (Don't worry about the colour, just look at the shapes.)

Emerald-cut sapphire:


Cushion-cut sapphire:


Asscher-cut sapphire:


Now, supposing you wanted it for an engagement ring ........ ?

Willow  :-)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

9:00PM - Birthday Greeties

A very happy birthday tokielbasa_007 , mare_in_flames  and erfalle  !

May your shadows never grow less!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

11:17PM - that was annoying....

Hooray, am back online.  Had to take my computer back to the service center, where they did a clean install of Windows 7 (which necessitated wiping my hard drive).  Thank God for backups!

Of course, now it's becoming clear to me how many programmes are *not* compatible with Windows 7.......

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

10:38PM - So Annoying!

Stayed up last night installing the Windows 7 upgrade (from Windows Vista) for my brand-new laptop, only to find that I'm now cut off from the Internet because it can't recognise my IP address.

Apparently a bunch of other users have had this problem, but I'm still trying to figure out how to fix it.


Monday, February 15, 2010

9:52PM - Happy New Year!

Happy Lunar New Year to all! 

and also happy Valentine's Day, for those of you who celebrate it.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

11:05PM - Banana sex cult chief splits

PORT MORESBY - PAPUA New Guinea police are hunting the leader of a sex cult who promised villagers a bumper banana harvest if they engaged in public sex, it was reported on Tuesday.

The man and his followers fled naked into the wilderness when police tried to arrest them over the weekend, the Post Courier newspaper reported.

The newspaper said the villagers in Morobe province, about 200 kilometres (120 miles) north of the capital Port Moresby, had been promised their banana harvest would increase 10-fold every time they had sex in public.

It said the cult leader was wanted for a range of alleged offences over the past four months, including threatening people and illegal sexual activity.

Inspector Adam Busil said he and officers surrounded the man's hut early Saturday but he refused to come out, then made a dash for freedom with about seven naked followers.

'He used his two wives as a human shield to avoid being shot at by the policemen,' Inspector Busil said. 'They were called on to surrender but they refused.'

He said extra officers were being called in to track down the cultists.

-- AFP

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

12:06AM - Firestarter question

Does anyone know if alcohol wet wipes (like baby wipes) are flammable?

As in....once you've used them to wipe whatever you want, can they be burned?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Myrkfaelinn co-hosting Crown.

What is the world coming to?

Well, as they say, when pigs fly.  Did they fly?  Well, swine flu.

Monday, May 25, 2009

9:57PM - I watched Star Trek today

My overall reaction was "WTF??" but I enjoyed the ride.

Here thar be spoilers!Collapse )

Friday, March 20, 2009

12:21AM - Birthday fun

Happy birthday to aerin888 !

And belated birthday love to erfalle  and mare_in_flames  -- sorry I missed your special day.  I hope you had a great time!

Love n hugs,

Friday, February 6, 2009

12:36AM - Reasons to avoid travelling with Singaporean package tours

1) People want Chinese food.  Even in the middle of the bloody desert.  Actually, we only had Chinese food on our last night, when the tour guide decided we needed a Lunar New Year "reunion dinner".  It was the best Chinese restaurant in Casablanca -- and it was appalling.  Lemon chicken tagine, anyone?

2) You get minimum of historical and cultural detail, and a lot of stopping in shops for people to buy hugely overpriced tourist tat.  We were rushed through the medieval medinas in under 3 hours because the tour guides were afraid of losing us in the crowds.  It was SO ANNOYING.  We didn't go to any museums or galleries and weren't allowed into the mosques.  In Fes I discovered that the Qantara Institute had just opened a Mediterranean exhibition that I would've loved to visit.

3) The Singaporean guide's knowledge of the local culture was, hmm, somewhat lacking.  When someone asked him why Moroccan men kissed each other on the cheek when they met, he said (in Mandarin) "Because they are all homo."

My family ended up doubling back to the souqs in our free time to do our own shopping.....at less than half the price.  Of course, speaking Arabic and French is an advantage, but just getting away from the herd helps A LOT.

So yes, if I ever go back, it definitely won't be on a package tour.  I've promised to take my parents on a grand tour of Syria.  Check this out.  Isn't it the awesomest?

12:00AM - Quick update

I'm back from Morocco!

Went there for a week with my family over the Lunar New Year break.  My first time in the country -- it was chilly, but there was good food and pretty nice Arabish things to look at, so Willow was happy.

I just have one thing to say though: NEVER will Willow go on a Singaporean package tour again.  Never ever ever.  Ugh.

Pictures to follow!

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