Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Long strides and a chipper outlook

Our good friend, Iain Heggen passed away on the 11th of April in Geelong. Sam and I have known him since 1986 - we met during the Second Year of Architecture School in Deakin University.
He was one of the few that kept in touch after our return to Malaysia - which makes it hard to bear and harder to believe. There will be no more funny emails from Iain with photographs of Geelong.

His funeral was on the 20th of April - several of our close friends attended. Dianne who was unable to attend shared a touching story about how she first met Iain. She writes - 

"If I was to be there I would recall that I first met Iain when I responded to a notice he'd pinned up around the architecture studio. It offered free accommodation at My Buller during the week of the DU ski club trip.  The free accommodation turned out to be an igloo which we would build ourselves."

While I am glad that some of my friends were able to attend Iain's funeral. I regret not being there. I regret not telling Iain when I had a chance that in many ways he represented the Australia that Sam and I remember fondly to this day - the warm friendship, the irreverent wit and generosity.

Years after I returned to Malaysia, he would surprise me with phone calls - "because it is Easter
over here" or because it is my birthday (or his). Once I told him that I watched a televised
bike race through Geelong - he replied "Oh, I was there, did you see me waving?"

I took this photo of Iain and Wendy in our porta-cabin studio during Year 5; as an engagement present to the both of them. 

Iain Heggen; an all round good egg with long strides and a chipper outlook - as Cardie so aptly puts it.  

Friday, April 13, 2012

Wednesday was a good day

Kuching Council Flats on Ban Hock Road
Today is one of those days when all the simple pleasures of my life come together to make it something worth writing about. At 430 a.m. Eng Hooi and I ran to the Tabuan Jaya petrol station where Laffy and Peter was waiting to join our run to breakfast at 'Sexy Popia".

Sexy Popia is our name for the popia (picture) stall at Choon Hui on Ban Hock Road; sexy because the proprietress is fond of wearing short short shorts - which distinguishes this place from Aunty Popia at Nanas Road.  

A Breakfast of Champions in Kuching includes Sarawak Laksa, Kaya Toast, Popia (of course) and lashings of Kopi-O ini good company of friends and family. Usually followed by a well deserved nap. 
The Popia is the grand-daddy of the Spring Roll
After my nap, it was time for lunch. So off to another old part of town - Kenyalang Park for Fishball Soup with Taufu and Rice Vermicelli.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A long afternoon in Singapore

As much as I look forward to trips away from Kuching - such as the recent Taipei trip; I usually start missing Sam and the kids within a day. This is especially pronounced when I do not have enough to occupy my mind, or if I see something I know they would like. 

So after lunch with Stephen, SiYong and Peggy - I set off to 'occupy' my long afternoon. I got out into the heat, away from the underground shopping arcades.  I joined the tourists and Fillipino maids on their day off, at Marina Bay

After half an hour, it got too hot so I escaped into the Esplanade lobby where there are often free concerts in the afternoon. Today was no different; a local percussion band was playing, practicing actually but it offered a soothing backdrop to be in the company of strangers enjoying a free 'gig'

I sat on one of the triangular seats at the base of the columns; next to a dating couple and eavesdropped on their conversation. He is thinking of changing jobs; she thinks they should take that Europe trip. It was a bit warm and stuffy, I doze off in between lines on paper. Finally the sketches are done.          Time for my customary S$ 1 ice cream wafer