bon voyage, congrats and happy birthday Ganda !


Note : On her birthday, Ganda leaves her native land for New Zealand.  What could be more eventful for a young girl of 19? ]

AT THE risk of raising eyebrows among your bros, I have so many good and funny memories about you Ganda, and they threaten to blot out all the negative memories (if any) I have of you.

Finishing half of a huge piece of brandy-laced fruit cake, and sleeping it off for hours and hours afterwards (at four years old).  Looking after the 14 newborn puppies of the pet dog and crying your eyes out when all but three of them died (at eleven, I think).  And changing your Facebook profile pic every week, after every batch of pictures taken, and after every new outfit worn (last I checked).

I remember the very first time I came home from overseas, and you would not allow me to sleep anywhere else but beside you.  You insisted on holding my wrists even as you were falling asleep, and of course I smiled at your vigilance, because before long my wrists were free, and of course when you woke up I was long gone.

I admit these memories are years and years apart, but they constantly remind me of the most beautiful thing in whose creation I have proudly made a small contribution, and that is you.  You are the one thing that I will never stop being proud of, and my one out of very few accomplishments (if you can call yourself that) that will never tarnish.  Your brilliance continues to dazzle, and your wisdom continues to grow.  I can honestly say that you have, enhanced by your youth, unlimited options ahead of you

It might be presumptuous of me to say so, but if you work hard, apply yourself to learning everything you can about New Zealand, and be unafraid to ask and ask some more, there is every reason to believe that you will fulfill your dreams and reach your goals.  Filipinos are known to be overachievers and success stories wherever they go, so you enjoy a rich tradition of success by those in whose footsteps you follow.

It is perhaps no coincidence that you leave the land of your birth on your birthday.  Old milestones are a great way to set new beginnings, and I can think of nothing more portentous than starting a new life overseas on your birthday.

I remember a nice quote from one of those Matrix movies that made your early teens so memorable, and I can’t resist saying it today : Yesterday is history, tomorrow’s a mystery, but today’s a gift.  That’s why it’s called the present.  And what a great present you have Ganda!  To start the rest of your life in a better land, full of promise.  I can’t think of a better birthday gift  !

I’m sure you will look back fondly on the Philippines, but after tonight you look forward.  I can’t wait to see you and Bunso,  I’m so happy for you.

I love you always, happy happy birthday!  Kaawaan ka lagi ng Diyos anak!

Noel

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All that is needed for evil to triumph . . .


[Note : with grateful acknowledgment to Mr Edmund Burke ]

THE NICE thing about keeping a blog is that it also serves as a sort-of diary, about your rants and raves, thoughtful and thoughtless musings.  You may or  may not be politically correct, socially conscious or morally upright at all times, and at the time you put pen to electronic paper, it’s not a deliberate thing, trying to be PC, a bleeding heart or a beacon in the moral wilderness, but things tend to be said, and remembered.

Like I said, I’ve always been more or less yacky chirpy and flighty, sometimes all of the above at the same time, and the end result is a blog posted, but I used to do it on our high school batch Yahoo!group page, and unfortunately my high school batchmates were unwilling sounding boards of whatever wacky thought-processes happened to clutter my neural paths and brain-cell boulevards.

But on one of those Yahoogroup blogs, I did note down that I was running around the block near Meadowbank, Auckland three years ago when a car sped past and the driver threw a tape cartridge at me, not intending to injure but certainly wanting to catch my Asian attention.  I picked up said tape cartridge, and it was an album of an unknown Taiwanese band.  Certainly no relevance to me, but the message was clear.  A little spittle of disrespect was hurled my way, no skin off my back, but quite unsettling, and almost surely from someone who didn’t like Asians in the neighborhood.  It didn’t matter that I wasn’t Taiwanese (although ethnically Taiwanese and Chinese are the same, and I’m part-Chinese), it was like a megaphone shouted in my face : just so you haven’t been made aware, you’re the visiting minority here, and don’t you forget it for one single minute.

Multiply the viciousness of that incident around a hundredfold, and you get an idea of what happened in Sydney Australia yesterday, and while it may be race-specific, the act I mean, it bodes forbidding consequences for all Asians and migrants like you and me.

I hope you either read the newsclip or viewed the YouTube clip above, or even better did both, but even if you didn’t, I can tell you that whether or not the alleged criminal youths originally intended it, the act degenerated into a hate crime, against Asians and more specifically Chinese as a group.

Equally if not more alarming were the “environmental” facts around the incident, of the Chinese being assaulted and robbed.  One of the youths remarked that the group should focus their criminal acts on the Chinese because “they (usually) have money,” and that no one came to help the Chinese man defend himself.

It’s very unfortunate, but the acts of a very few people in civil society, when it is directed against a specific racial / demographic group, tend to incite fear, defensiveness and retaliation as well as other emotional responses in the group of the member attacked, and the group of the instigators.  Ironically, both groups end up getting defensive.

First of all, it creates the general feeling that there is a concerted feeling of ill will against a specific race or racial group.  Whether or not this is true, the fact is those youths believed that certain groups of people, particularly the Chinese, are better targets for criminal activity, not the least because they (allegedly) tend to have more money on their persons.

Second, the unfortunate consequence of the Chinese man receiving no aid from anyone else on the train creates the spontaneous (on my part) impression that (1) the bystanders were too afraid for their own safety to intervene, (2) they didn’t care enough to help their co-passenger, or (3) they didn’t think the Chinese man, maybe because of his Chineseness, deserved any help.

If guesses (1) and (2) were true, the Sydney commuting public and Australians in general have a lot to think about.  If guess (3) turns out to be true, then all migrants in Australia, and maybe New Zealand, and come to think of it, the rest of the world, have a whole lot more to think about.

***               ***          ***

It’s become a jaded observation in one PC-uptight country that a child-rapist murderer might get early parole if he plays his cards right, but not someone who makes the mistake of hurling racist epithets in public and has the misfortune of having his racist deeds magnified in media.  In short, crimes against race sensitivity have become so odious that they have acquired a stigma above all other crimes, sometimes at the expense of commonsense, like the Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin case capturing national attention beyond imagination.

But there is a reason for this, because racial sensitivity and understanding underpins the relationships of whole communities in societies and in fact between societies and civilizations themselves.  Being a member of good standing in the community of nations requires a basic understanding and acceptance that all races and cultures need to live and co-exist alongside each other.

If something like this can happen in First World, cosmopolitan Sydney Australia, a bulwark of the multi-racial 21st century global village, it could happen anywhere.

And that, my friend, is not good for you and me.

Thanks for reading!

hey Gloria !


[Note : Today three years ago, our high school kabatch Gloria Ang left us, and although her sis Pilar constantly reminds us of her, it’s nice to remember her on her own.  I wrote a short letter on her anniv and am sharing it with you! ]

Dear Gloria :

Just a few lines here and there while I wait for the rain to clear before a lazy jog around the block.

Wow, so many things have happened since you left for that great classroom in the sky.  I know we hardly met in the years after graduation, but I still feel a strong connection with you and every other high school batchmate.

I know your kids have sprouted like cornstalks since you left us, and they are almost all grown up now.  Your youngest will be ready for school in a year or two, of course they miss their mom, but overall they are doing the best they can.

Most of your kabatch are already in the zeniths of their careers, some like me have tried new career paths in different lands, far from the original routes charted, but adjusting just the same.  Others have done quite well in business, and as far as I can tell are giving back as generously as life has seen fit to give them.

You would be amazed Gloria at the next generation batch 82 has produced, future leaders, budding artists, and prodigies in various fields of arts and sciences, so prodigious has been our output in overachieving children that, looking back on our helter skelter and wild youth, you could hardly have imagined it.  Well, not you so much, but certainly not from batchmates like me. (obligatory smiley inserted 🙂 )

I probably don’t need to remind you that our 30th anniversary celebrations as high school batch 82 comes  this year, organized by our very capable batch officers.  Yes, it’s been three decades since we all shared our wonder years together, I wouldn’t have believed it had I not counted the years myself.  We will be there to recount all those happy times together, and of course I know you won’t make too much noise, but you will be there with us.  If you haven’t marked it down, kabatch will be in from all over, don’t dare miss it !

We all miss you Gloria, and we’ll be thinking of you there.

YLB Noel

candid haphazard & post-apocalyptic zombie thoughts before leaving for work


can't go to work without the bike, and can't bike without helmet and hi-viz jacket. 🙂

IT’S BECOMING progressively harder to jump out of bed these days, at 46 and a half.  Adding to hacking out of throat and lungs the congestion of the previous night, which tends to accumulate while you sleep (which is probably why it’s called congestion, duh), particularly during the cold, cold months, is a couple of inflammed joints almost once a week now, sometimes in the fingers, sometimes in the knees or ankles.  Used to be I thought it was because of alcohol, seafood, certain types of vegetables (specifically legumes) and lamang-luob, which I tend to avoid almost entirely now.

the gouty combination : beer and seafood, thanks and acknowledgment to localyte.com 🙂

But lately it seems I’ve been suffering from these comical but painful situations (think mascots hands and fat ankles and knees) more and more.  Usually they subside later into the day, but I don’t always have the luxury of coaxing them into functionality.  Unless I imagine it, my eyes prefer to stay defocused and languid the first hour of the day,which is probably not too uncommon for most of us at this delicate age, and these are signs I need to have eyes rechecked, and new spectacles prescribed.

Depending on what I ate the previous 24 hours, I also have to be accountable to my digestive system, and if it was a workday like most days, I manage to be more or less responsible with food intake, not too much, food groups in order, and the result is I don’t spend too much time in the bathroom (belated TMI alert, sorry!).

If however, like today, I just woke up from a (n ANZAC) holiday, there is usually hell to pay.  A glass plus of cheap Merlot to help me get to bed, a dish of ice cream which I eat on the sly (quite a feat, considering that esposa hermosa and I share a tiny flat with almost no one else for company; our flatmate and Panganay largely keep to themselves), a glass plus of Coke Zero vintage last week (which I stubbornly drink despite the mortal dangers of dark fizzy), miscellaneous chichirya of local and international origin, and whatever my omnivorous snout picks up from all over the four corners of the flat.  And that’s just shortly before turning in.

You can expect the messy results the next day, when I earnestly strive to purge myself of all poisons ingested and resolve to avoid similar behavior, which I happily forget the next evening before a free day or weekend.

Before I forget, I had a good reason for spreading a mini-feast of junk food/sinful food before beddy-bye time, and I’ll spell it out in four words : Walking Dead, season finale.

Our Walking Dead heroes pretend they're zombies, but who knows what'll happen in Seasonn 3? Abangan!

I wasn’t an instant fan, in the jaded way we all perceive post-apocalyptic zombie thrillers spiced with love-triangle and whacko-killing-fields subplots (at least the gory killing sprees are not gratuitous, you need to kill zombies indiscriminately, and the ratio of mindless zombie to tasty human is about 100:1, conservatively).  But because esposa hermosa is so seldom drawn to Kiwi TV fare and this was attracting her like funny cigs to Cheech and Chong (pardon the eighties reference), I found myself watching whenever shift work permitted every creepy Wednesday night.

The acting was good, the plot crisp and credible (in the way having zombies roam a post-epidemic Earth was credible), and I discovered a truth about my young wife : she is as fearless as any modern Pinay, but can’t go to sleep by herself after a ghost/vampire/zombie flick, yet loves to watch the wretched things.

Just a final comment about season finales : don’t you just hate it when as regards resolving plots and consumating climaxes, season finales are anything but satisfying?  They are mini-contradictions in themselves : They are supposed to tie up in neat (although bloody) little packages the story arcs of the season, yet are designed to be hanging just enough to hook you into waiting for, and watching the next season !  Now, how annoying is that?  It’s an ending, but not really an ending !

The added disadvantage Noel and his little wife suffered was that we had naively prepared to view a two-hour gorefest (there are surprisingly few scenes of zombies munching on human drumsticks, the producers apparently had their fill during the first and a half seasons) that would be the definitive end of the season, and the only possibilities by way of credible ending/s I saw (without sharing such with my companion, who was up to here [point to neck] in stressful viewing) were (1) everybody becoming zombie fiesta handaan, or (2) other survivors or government forces rescuing all our bida (protagonists).

Who would’ve known that in his little group, Rick Grimes (played by Andrew Lincoln) would declare martial law, and that most of the group (around a dozen) would actually survive the zombie raid on their redoubt ?  In short, almost nothing is resolved in the finale, except the scuttling of Shane (the main rival of Rick, in leadership and in romance), almost surely to keep us on tenterhooks for Season 3.  Argh.

And that’s why I ate too much, slept too little, woke up with the blahs, and trying to finish this before hurrying to afternoon shift.  Even when (maybe especially when) TV entertainment is at its best, there is usually hell to pay the morning after.

Thanks for reading!

happy birthday Panganay !


Dear Panganay :

In many ways you have not changed much.   You still leave your room in the same chaotic state, especially when you leave for work or for your dance practice, clothes strewn about, bed unmade and the windows open. I know I specifically asked you to allow air in to get rid of your musky aura, but just the same I make clicking sounds at the cold autumn air coming in.  I shake my head and prepare a lecture for you, before remembering that my own room when I was your age was just as hopelessly disorganized.

I still bang on your door when you get carried away practicing your swag, ask you often what time you will be coming home (if at all) so I can leave the door unlocked, and remind myself not to eat too much lest you suffer a munchies attack and scrounge around the kitchen for leftovers.  Buti na lang Tita H always cooks enough for three.

Yes you haven’t changed much, except that you’re taller than me now.  Your hair remains curly just like your mother’s, your eyes as large as mine are small, and I see evidence that you try scores of outfits and combinations before you decide on one, right down to the specific hat and shoes.  I chuckle at that, because when I was your age, I was probably just as vain.

On other levels you and I have changed as well.  Our relationship is no longer one of provider and ward.  I badger you weekly for your contribution to rent, make wry comments about how you can have time to endlessly surf the internet and yet have none at all to vacuum the common areas in our flat, and remind you constantly to do your share in the kitchen and toilet cleaning.  You  pretend not to hear, and I pretend not to notice that you pretend not to hear.

But in the grand scheme of things those appear, and rightfully remain trivial and a source of funny memories when you are a bit older.  Soon I know you will be making your mark in things you care about, and if your legs carry your there, you will probably even find yourself in Australia, the US or elsewhere.  You have as many options as there are dance moves in your YouTube clips, which I privately view and smile at.

In short, I may not always say it, but every passing day I find more ways to be proud of you.  I love you always anak, thank you for being my son.  Kaawaan ka lagi ng Diyos.

Happy birthday Panganay !

Love always

Papa

happy birthday Evelyne Sy – Yu !


Happy birthday to Ms Evelyne Sy – Yu !

I don’t know that much about you, siobe, but :

You are a great wife and mom, and I don’t need to look far to know this.  Awesome !

You have an uncanny way to make businesses grow, like vegetables from the mudpatch, fruits from the vine, and blooms from the thorns !

That’s not enough?  You enjoy the special gift of making others around you feel special, and this gift makes you an extra treasured friend.

It’s your special day today, and it’s your turn to feel special. 

Happy birthday Siobe, hope all your birthday wishes come true, and regards to Jason and the rest of your beautiful family !

Noel

happy birthday Dolly Agustin – Dy !


Happy birthday (24th April) to a fondly remembered classmate and friend, Dolly Agustin – Dy !

It didn’t take much to say hello and drop by a friend’s house, in the old days.  In our electronically interconnected world it’s even easier, just a point-and-click, a few choice words besides how-do-you-do-I’m-fine-thanks, to let the receiver know he or she’s important in your life.

It does wonders for the soul and ego, on both ends of the modem, and our friend / kabatch Dolly Agustin – Dy has done this to us often enough that we enjoy a regular rush whenever we see her name and pic on our screen, but not too often that we take her hi’s for granted.

Dolly has a way of making the happy happier and the appreciated things more so, and the pics you see of her and her family do nothing to diminish this effect.

Whether or not it’s her intention or it’s just part of the way she is, you never know, because by being your friend, she makes sure that’s the Dolly you see, every single time!

Happy birthday classmate, hope all your birthday wishes come true today, tomorrow and always, regards to your family and God bless!

YLB Noel

the last few hours before the rest of your life


hope it doesn't get to this point, but you may have to wait a while during connecting flights 🙂 thanks and acknowledgment to EarthChangesAirPortals6.blogspot.com

[ Note : As they’re on their way here, Ganda and Bunso asked for whatever I could offer by way of tips, on how to make the departure from NAIA as pain-free as possible.  It’s been some time since I left from the Phils, so some insight may be a bit dated.  Thanks for reading ! ]

Dear Ganda :

I know it’s a bit daunting, but traveling on your own with just Bunso to accompany with you is just the same as travelling with an adult, only this time you are in charge of yourself, and of course your brother.  You asked for some tips, and although I’m a bit out-of-circulation, here’s what I remember.

1. Since there are just the 2 of you it might be better to just bring suitcases with built-in trolleys, the type you can pull, not the old kind. But I guess that’s not practical since you’ve a lot to bring. Sigh.

2. you might want to ask Nana to help bring you and Bunso to the airport, since it will be a chance to say goodbye and someone can help you unload and load the luggage

3. at the entrance they will already ask you to show your passport and ticket, because unlike airports in other countries, NAIA doesn’t allow non-travellers to enter the airport proper.

 4. so you won’t be inconvenienced, ask Bunso and yourself as well to avoid any metals in your possession unless you can put it in your bag. always have your travel documents ready so u can easily present it. and don’t forget to bring cash for the airport tax. last I remember, it was P750…

5. I think the last counters either left or right are the airport tax counters.

6. depending on the airline and how full the plane is going to be, boarding time will be 30 minutes to 1 hour from actual take off time. so you have to be nearby the boarding gate, because esp if there are lots of OFWs, it will be an early queue to the gate

7. There, you will be asked to present your passport, because they will examine your visa. they will probably ask you what your purpose is , even though it’s plain to see on the visa. They are watching out for white slavery and illegal recruitment schemes

8. All you need to do is tell the immigration officer that you are visiting your mother in NZ, and if they ask for how long, state the period of your visa. It’s a formality, and sometimes, sometimes they are asking for something else. But doing that to you is unlikely because you’re very young, almost a minor. But remember, you’re accompanying Bunso who’s really a minor.

9. As long as you’re direct in your answers, they’ll finish with you straightaway and you can proceed to the waiting area.

10. Because you arrived at the airport early, you will probably anticipate at least an hour’s wait, or more. But it’s a small sacrifice, I guess.

11. you can still say your last goodbyes at the waiting lounge / area with your cellphone, but that’s the last place where you can do that. i think there’s an area you can go use the computer and there’s wi-fi. you can check your emails and change your profile pic one last time. 🙂

12. going back to your luggage, most airlines allow 20 kilos luggage but if it’s PAL and you request nicely, they allow up to 25 kg. Handcarried is up to 10kg but the size of the bag allowed is not large, maybe the size of a briefcase maximum.

13.  Try to eat a lot before going to the airport, and eat as little as possible in airports because (1) you never know what’s in the food, and it wouldn’t be a pretty sight to try to spend some time in the toilet, wherever airport you are; and (2) airport cafes and food outlets tend to be expensive.

14.  If you’re in for a long wait, either in NAIA or during a stopover, I would recommend that you bring along a nice thick volume, like a novel you’ve been wanting to read but never had the time for.  You will breeze through it in no time.  Otherwise, the shops in NAIA are not the best, sorry to say, and their counterparts in Sydney or Melbourne are much better.

15.   I almost forgot, and I should be doing a facepalm for this, please don’t forget to keep with you the document showing parental consent and allowing Bunso to travel, and that you are his guardian / escort for at least the duration of the trip.  They will ask for details and documents at least once during your check-in processes, and don’t be flustered if they ask to call either your mother or me, for that reason it may be prudent to have lots of credit / load on your phone.  Just to be sure.

Overall, you’re in for a marvelous adventure, and that’s just getting here !  Just stay alert, don’t be too friendly with strangers, no matter how handsome or cute they are, and you’ll be here in no time.  I love you always, kaawan kayo lagi ng Diyos !

Papa

saying goodbye 2 part of Pinoy childhood, in a strange land


Your Loyal Blogger with Papa Stormtrooper and Baby Stormtrooper, outside their Death Star cottage. Mama Stormtrooper took the pic. 🙂

[ Note : I’ve never, ever ever done a photo blog especially in the way my esteemed bro Jude does, but it would be an eminent waste of pics and shots if we just chucked these into the recycle bin, even with my disposable camera, some of the pics feature a bit of eye candy! thanks for reading/viewing ! ]

TO BE brutally frank about it, some of the toys and collectibles sold, though flashy and gaudy, might be found cheaper elsewhere, the autograph signers were hardly household names, and sad to say there was B.O. in nearly every other corner.

But an event like this happens only once a year, and I’ll probably be too old to attend it in the next year or two, if not long ago.

If you can identify which anime or gaming character she was trying to copy, then goodie ! She was a hottie too 1 🙂

I refer to Armageddon 2012 held in Wellington, a pop culture expo that features comics, toys, Japanese anime and cosplay costume competitions, sci-fi and fantasy premieres, and autograph signings from actors, directors, artists in the TV, film and gaming genres.

they were already tired by the time I asked if I could take their picture, another anime inspired pair of costumes

In short, everything a geek would consider interesting, this event showcases.  If you’re still at a loss on what I’m referring to, think Star Wars, Star Trek (and all its variants), Stargate, the DC and Marvel universes, the monolithic multiverse of Japanese anime and manga comics, and anything else that appeals to Sheldon, Leonard, Howard and Rajesh’s eclectic tastes in The Big Bang Theory.

Ah, I'm almost sure these were World of Warcraft inspired. They also wouldn't have worked if they didn't have the, uhm, figures for the costumes.

I definitely don’t have the IQ of a nerd, but I grew up enjoying comics, sci-fi books, and later in life enjoyed Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, whose popularity overlapped nerd and mainstream worlds of devotees.  I discovered that in my temporary adopted land, there was an umbrella event that allowed enthusiasts of all interactive media (think comics, books, TV, movies and all gaming platforms) to show off their rabid devotion to whatever drew them to sci-fi, horror or fantasy.

how could I not include Supergirl in this pic collection? The stuff of my dreams !

Truth to tell, there is no way to define what can and cannot be considered part of Armageddon, described as a pop culture expo, that I was lucky enough to attend in Auckland in 2009 but missed last year and the year before.  As long as its a product of the imagination, it can be admitted.

for effort alone, we give this anime other-worlder an A 🙂

And of course, the first to take advantage are the film distributors (Avengers posters and streamers all around), toy companies (action figures, costumes and toy weapons are extremely popular), comic and other print media outfits (not just the establishment DC and Marvel but anime and independent companies).

He's just waiting for the sequel now, you never know if a casting agent is around. The director by the way owns a farm in NZ, and may just drop by

But the most popular and cherished part of Armageddon are the cosplay or dress-up competitions, in which you get to prettify yourself in your favorite anime, comic book, sci-fi franchise or TV character, what have you.

Even Grandma Wonder Woman wanted to get a piece of the action 🙂

Expectedly, I was drawn to Star Wars costumes and memorabilia from the same era, probably because of my age.  But there were many, many other enthusiasts all decked out in costumes of their imaginary heroes, in what were obviously a labor of love.

Sailor Moon? Card captor Sakura? Whatever, her Asian-ness lends oodles of authenticity to her costume, and the Kiwi girls are envious!

I think I’ve said enough, here are the rest of the pics.  Hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

you could tell she dug deep in her daughter's bureau for this ensemble 🙂

she INSISTED that i take a full-body pose of her, and who was I to refuse?

happy happy birthday Achie Hedy Ong – Soliman !


Could a pair of lovelies look any lovelier? Our b-day celebrant with another kabatch Jocelyn Sy-Chionglo during a visit to Toronto Canada

Happy happy birthday (21st April) to a cherished high school batchmate, Ms Hedy Ong – Soliman !

Among the people I knew and befriended in high school, the results of QueenHedy’s life so far seem to be one of the most impressive.

Overachieving children, feel-good family life, an outstanding marriage with her high school love Jack, an age-defying figure many women half her age would love to have, and the proud results of half a lifetime of hard work and diligent saving.  Could anyone want more?

But if you go a little deeper, you could tell that our kabatch did it the normal way, which is inch by inch, drop by drop, day by day and step by step.  All you need to do is ask her.  The tried- and-tested (but not always obvious) tools like migrating to a better land, hands-on and caring motherhood, and working at your relationship, were the things she set her sights on as early as years ago, and remain with her today.

Of course, it helps that she has always been easy on the eyes, deceptively disciplined (makes it look effortless), and isn’t afraid of asking advice and help from whoever is around to offer it.  That’s why she still looks good by the way, and if you can believe it, actually looks better than she ever did.

A bonus of all the above is whenever you need an email of inspiration, a chat to make your day, or a hi for no reason at all, she is almost always there, like she reads your mind.  This is what Achie Hedy has been for me, and the least I can do is wish her well on her birthday, for she makes the world a happier place.

Happy happy birthday dear friend, hope this short greeting picks you up like you have picked me up many times, regards to Jack, Renee, Ashley and your other daughter 😉

Love always

YLB Noel