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Thursday, November 30, 2006


With much sadness and a heavy heart, I have removed the link to DG's blog. It seems he won't be returning. I know there has been some speculation as to the reasons behind his sudden disappearance, there probably always will be.

For me, he was a good friend on several levels. I miss him and his words.

And I shall always be so incredibly thankful to him for encouraging me to start blogging. For it is through this medium that I have found new friendships, and more.

Wherever you are DG, may your journey be a safe and loving one. And if you ever drop by and see this, e-mail me damnit!!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Needing to be filled

I am able to breathe slowly, calmly, easily,
without restriction

My heart no longer hurts
isn’t feeling squeezed anymore

I feel strong mentally
able to put across any point I believe in

I feel secure in myself

I need no acceptance nor appraisal from others
to feel so

I feel capable and knowledgeable

I am comfortable with the responsibility that comes
with those traits

I feel safe
I am safe

I feel love
I can love

I can trust

I have no fear of the future

I know and understand what it is to feel

I am a complete person
Not bits and pieces inside
a bunch of skin.

~ Author unknown, used in treatment at Nechako Centre, Prince George, BC ~

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Animals Are NOT Performers

Goodbye to this kind of cruelty in Shanghai

Dear Fiona,

Fantastic news! Following our Executive Director Annie Mather's visit to Shanghai Wild Animal Park which documented the cruelty of the "Shanghai Animal Olympics" and our letters and calls of protest to the Mayor and local authorities, the event has now been cancelled!

The Shanghai Daily newspaper quoted a park official, Su Feilong, as saying that a negative public response had prompted the cancellation. "The games never caused any trouble before, but we received complaints this year, so we stopped them," Su was quoted as saying.

Those complaints came from compassionate animal lovers like you who were sickened by our pictures and information about these cruel and degrading "performances" and wrote in to the Embassies and China National Tourist offices in your country, calling on them to end the shows.

Thank you on behalf of all in the team of Animals Asia for proving that, together, our voices, our actions, can make a difference.

Animals Asia will be writing to those same authorities thanking them for their leadership in compassion towards animals in entertainment who have the right to be wild. We will also be asking if we can now provide a permanent home for the poor blind bear that was forced to stand for hours at a time while tourists posed with him for photographs.

Again, we are so proud to have friends and supporters like you who have helped us in this significant step to end cruelty in the name of entertainment. Thank you!

Warmest wishes,
Jill Robinson MBE
Animals Asia Foundation
Hong Kong

It breaks my heart to see animals 'performing'. No matter whether in a circus, show, sea-life park. The only circus I'll go to is Cirque du Soleil. I just hate to see it. I've never even trained my dog to do 'tricks'.

You may have noticed this link in my sidebar, it's a charity I've supported for many years.

Apart from these bears in Shanghai, Jill and her team have been responsible for rescuing countless moon bears from a life-time of the most atrocious treatment (caged into metal frames less than the size of their bodies, limbs sometimes removed) as part of the bile-milking industry in China.

They also do amazing work in liberating thousands of dogs from the food markets of Guangzhou. Though I have to admit, I can't look at that area of the website, nor read those newsletters, the pictures are too disturbing to me. I've lived here a long time, long enough to have seen too many of those images, many of which still haunt me to this day.

If you have a moment, please visit the website. (strong warning re contents in the 'Friends.....or Food?' tab)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Emotional Laxative

Does such a thing exist?

I could use some if it does. My emotions feel blocked. They've been like this all weekend. They are there, no doubt about it, but I can't seem to express them like they need to be expressed. I don't want to expunge them, just loosen them up a bit. Maybe, therefore, it's not a laxative I need, but an emotional stool softener? Just to get things moving again.

I think it stems from the solitary feelings that come from space, time, responsibilities elsewhere. When you love someone so deeply, to be in a position where you can't express it in the way you need to, constantly, can cause this emotional constipation. I have such an innate need to express, to show, to be in the moment and not merely talking about it.

I have a need to be 'in love' when I'm in love. It's my nature. I want to touch, taste, smell, hear, see. I want to use all of me to show my feelings. I want, no I NEED, to be in each moment, not talking about it as a 'when'. It's just so hard to be revolving around the periphery of the experience.

Does any of this even make sense? Sometimes it does to me and sometimes I think, get a grip Fiona!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Fish Tacos, Korean BBQ and Vienna Sausages

The excesses of Thanksgiving reminded me of an old woman Rhona and I met while we were on holiday in Hawaii.

As evening approached one day, we were discussing dinner plans. She had her heart set on Korean BBQ (again!!) and I was more fish-inclined. So we compromised and headed off to the food court at the Ala Moana Mall where we knew both culinary desires could be met. Along with pretty much any food requirement.

I decided on a fish taco combi and she went for her beef ribs with three sides (two kimchi and one spinach). As these options were at opposite ends of the food court, we'd picked a place to rendezvous beforehand. Luckily it wasn't too busy so we placed our trays on the nearest table and as we did so a rather frail old lady, balancing a tray on her walker, came towards the same table. Rhona took her tray and put it on the table, while I helped the lady settle into her seat and tucked her walker out of the way.

There we sat with gigantic platters piled high with food (gosh American portions are HUGE!!) and we both looked at her tray. She had a cup of hot water, probably given gratis by one of the vendors, and her own teabag. She then reached into her bag and pulled out her dinner. This:

Rhona looked at me in dismay. Her eyes dragging mine back to the woman's tray. Then she leaned into me and said "Fion we can't eat all this while she eats that, I want to get her some proper food." I said well you need to be careful, so as not to offend, older people have a lot of pride. She took the advice and we ate, at all times cognisant of the imbalance.

As the old lady finished her can of sausages and drank her tea, Rhona reached over and laid her hand on her arm, saying to her, "I'm going to get something else to eat, can I get you something?" The old lady, of Japanese heritage from appearances, said she didn't really understand, but Rhona wasn't going to give up and eventually they reached an agreement that she would like some fruit. So off she went in search of fresh fruit in some form.

While Rhona was gone, I tried to initiate conversation with the woman but she really wasn't understanding much so we ended up just smiling at each other. Rhona returned with a lovely selection of pineapple, papaya and mango and offered it to her. She tucked into it and finished it all in no time, while we sat with her. We'd been there a while and as Rhona and I had plans to see the sunset torchlighting, we indicated we were going to go and through a combination of mime and smiles and a few broken words, we asked if she would like some help with her walker. She politely decined and managed to communicate to us that she was going to sit there for a while. That's when we realised she probably had nowhere else to go and this was possibly a ritual she looked forward to every day.

It's the sort of thing that puts a dampener on your day, to know that there is a lonely old woman sitting eating a tin of processed crap for her dinner in a busy, noisy food court. Rhona was quite down about it all. She has a huge heart and feels so much for others. And I was so proud of her, how she handled it all. She has grown into a wonderful woman and so far from who she was a few years ago. She makes me proud.

I sometimes sit and think of the old lady in Honolulu and my heart does break a little each time. It must be so sad to be that alone in one's old age.

I will admit that it's one of my biggest fears.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving To My American Friends

The year has turned its circle,
The seasons come and go.
The harvest all is gathered in
And chilly north winds blow.
Orchards have shared their treasures,
The fields, their yellow grain,
So open wide the doorway - Thanksgiving comes again!

Today, I offer up thanks for blessings received. And for those yet unknown but already on the way.

I am thankful for my friends, my family and the love surrounding me, for my health and security. And for my freedom and the opportunities that affords me.

I have found more than I have lost and I am a better woman than I was 12 months ago. I am thankful for all my life's lessons in the past year, even the hard ones. Especially the hard ones.

May you all have a most wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving. And may your horns always be filled with plenty!!

For those less fortunate, spare a moment to think of them today. And if you are able, contribute to their betterment in some small way.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Six Weirdnesses of Fiona

I was tagged by Steve. And this is apparently how it goes:

Each player of this game starts with the “6 weird things about you”. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says “you are tagged” in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

OK then....six degrees of my weirdness:

1. I am dyscalculic. Mainly quantitatively. It's not a very common thing and doubly weird for me as I'm in the numbers side of HR, as compensation specialist! This went undiagnosed while I was in school so wasn't addressed as a learning disability and I was thrown out of maths when I was about 12. It just goes to show, I haven't let my limitations limit me.

2. I love to eat with my hands. Slap anything between two slices of bread (wholewheat please) and I'm happy. Anyone else like spaghetti bolognaise sandwiches? I know Chele does :)

3. I have a queen-size bed but sleep on about 1/6 of it because I'm a bed-edge hugger. On my right side, with my left arm hanging over the edge of the bed. Oh and I also hate my feet being covered, even if it's really cold.

4. I drink plain hot water. Actually that's not even weird in this part of the world! Most of us do it. Not warm water but hot-out-of-the-kettle water.

5. I'm a sequential eater. Not in the scientific sense, but if separate, different foods are on my plate, I'll eat one at a time. I'd never take a piece of meat, add a forkful of potatoes and top it off with some veggies and put it in my mouth. Oh no, first a piece of meat - well even all of the meat. Then potatoes. Then the veggies.

6. I don't like to sleep in total darkness. I dislike the feeling of sensory deprivation. Usually I leave my bathroom light on. Which also helps in avoiding broken toes as I navigate to the loo a couple of times a night to pee!

Well, now I'm supposed to tag six people. I'd rather just say, for those of you who visit and haven't yet been tagged, would you like to give this one a go on your blog?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

What Do I Miss?

Oh so many things.

The tactile nature of the two of us together.

The sharing of thoughts, even silently.

The awakening of all my senses.

The passion with which we connect.

The conversation, the laughter, the tears.

Looking into his beautiful eyes, seeing his gorgeous smile.

His kisses, oh how I miss those kisses of his!

But, most of all, I miss sharing space with him.

I miss being in the same room, or in the same car.

I miss sitting next to him in a restaurant booth.

I miss looking over at him, to find him looking at me.

I miss looking at him until he finds me looking at him.

I miss the way we lock eyes and then both smile.

I miss the way we fit together in every way possible.

I miss the comfort of him being close.

I miss just being with him.

I miss him.

And yet, I don't. Because no matter how many miles or time zones separate us, nothing can separate us.

Monday, November 20, 2006


Larger Than Life
Camels cast long shadows under the late-day sun as they search for grass in Oman.

Photograph by George Steinmetz, published in National Geographic. Taken in February 2004 on assignment for National Geographic, this photograph shows a unique aerial perspective of The Empty Quarter, the world’s largest sand desert. George Steinmetz took the picture looking straight down while piloting his motorized paraglider near Wadi Mitan, a remote part of Oman close to where Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Yemen meet. Since it first appeared in National Geographic, it has been included in numerous additional publications and exhibitions.

Update: Jac posted the most beautiful comment, that I want to share here in case you don't click on the comments link:

Jac said...
I had a bad night sleep last night. So in the morning when I looked at this picture it made me think that the camels are our consciousness, and the HUGE shadows are our worries, fears, concerns, expectations. Just as our worries loom large but are really only illusion, so it is in life. Sometimes the world doesn't even get to see the real us for all the shadows we cast around!

Goodnight To A Mother's Dream

I love this song, especially the lyrics. Actually I prefer the lyrics without the music, as poetry. It resonates.

Goodnight To A Mother's Dream
~ Nanci Griffith ~

Flippin' bottle caps through the ring around the moon
All alone on a Saturday night with the stars in bloom
Built this house out in the hills
All by my own will
I am a vision of my mother's dream come true
I've got love enough for two
But it's just me and this old moon

...They all want the captain's daughter
They want her beauty and her youth
And the sailors on the water
To grace their bow out on the sea
Me, I'm getting older and I'm plain
As plain can be
Got a bank full of mother's dreams
Maybe mother just didn't see

That love would be the only thing
Her daughter would ever need

Oh, I am the heart not taken
I am the late blooming rose
The one thought not worth breakin'
With only her mother's dream to hold
Who really knows
On this less travelled road
...Maybe the hearts not taken
Are truly made of gold

I'm gonna flip one more bottle cap up at the moon
But, when I go inside I'm gonna let my back door slam
I've got an early call with so much work to do
Mother, to tell you the truth
I would trade your dream away

Just to hear some loved one say
I love you, too

Say goodnight to the moon
I'll say I love you to the moon...
'Buenos sueƱos' to the moon
And to my mother too

Friday, November 17, 2006

Vroom Vroom

This morning on the way to work, in the space of five minutes, I saw not one, but TWO of these magnificent beasts, a red one and a yellow one.

And I couldn't help but laugh. Here we were, sitting in traffic, at times moving at a snail's pace. It's not like they could ever be driven properly anyway, the maximum speed limit is 50kph (30mph) in the urban areas and only up to 100kph (50mph) on our highways, of which there aren't many.

Just sitting idling, waiting for the traffic light to change, I could not only hear the ferocity of that engine, but I could feel its power vibrating down into the road surface and then up into the taxi, along the backs of my thighs. Yes, a VERY nice feeling!!

But it was all I could do not to laugh at the absurdity of owning a car like that here, where gridlock is the order of the day during rush hour. And I've seen both cars before, they take a similar route to me - a five minute drive to work and a 10-15 minute drive home. In traffic. Heavy traffic at times.

What a waste.

By the way, is it true that the red ones go faster?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Redcoats Are Coming...The Redcoats are Coming

No, not the Brits.....but the rotund elderly gentlemen with long white beards.

First, I noticed in the card shop, a whole section of birthday cards replaced by Christmas cards.

Then, I noticed the Christmas decorations beginning to appear around here.

I couldn't help but notice on my UA flight back to Hong Kong, that they were piping in Christmas carols as I boarded.

And my ears did not fail me the other day, when I noticed Anuja adding in some Christmas tunes to her repertoire (she sings a lot at work). I do believe I heard her own rendition of 'Do They Know It's Christmas?'. And yes, she sings all the parts.

But today at Starbucks, when my grande-skim-latte-with-an-extra-shot-please came in a red paper cup with an insulating sleeve decorated in white with red snowflakes, I knew that Christmas will soon be upon us. I skipped the gingerbread or eggnog flavouring options - all I can say is yuck-yuck-yuckity-yuck to that.

But I did have a cranberry scone and THAT is one of the best things about Christmas to me.

Ho Ho Ho.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Beta Boop

Sometimes I should just sleeping dogs lie. Or perfectly functioning blogs be.

I took the plunge and 'upgraded' to beta. Closed my eyes and pressed the button. Peeked with one eye, it looked exactly the same. Opened both eyes - yup all is good. Then....

When I went to add a comment to a post, that popped up - "The blog you were looking for was not found. Back to the Dashboard". My eyes went very wide at that point and I thought well poo, now I've lost all my comments?!

After fiddling around a little, it seems that the comments are only 'not found' in the Current Posts page and if you go to archive for November 2006, which of course includes current posts, you can see and add comments there.

Damned if I can figure that out but I've left a comment on the Blogger Help Board and let's see what comes from that.

Please don't give up commenting where you wish, and reading those who have. I'm afraid right now though, you'll have to click on November 2006 under Archive, to do so.

I suppose it could be worse. But it could also be one hell of a lot better too!

Update: Well that issue seems to have been resolved, thank goodness. However now it seems it's not possible to navigate back to my blog from my comments left on other blogs (mostly, I have seen one exception). While my profile settings are correct to be able to do that, it seems beta blogger doesn't care to oblige!!
Final Update: My profile link on comments at other blogs is now fixed. All systems are now go and thanks to the Blogger support team for their help!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Sotto Voce

There is nothing more wonderful than sharing soft loving whispers as I look into the eyes of the man I love. And to see his eyes looking back at me, returning that love tenfold.

To hold and be held in the deep of the night, without being enveloped in darkness. To leave the light on when we sleep so that if we wake, we will not miss a second of being able to see each other.

To breathe in his scent, his essence, while his breath pulls mine into his body. To taste him on my tongue and know from his soft moans that he is tasting me on his.

To caress his entire body with mine, from his toes to the top of his head. To stroke with the lightest of touches, every inch of bare warm flesh that I can reach.

To kiss away the tears from the corners of his eyes, as he does mine, when our emotions overflow. And while we do that, to smell the gentle scent of a dozen perfect red roses filling the room.

To trace the sign of eternity over his heart with my fingertip, when I tell him that I love him. And for our eyes to meet in silent understanding of the gravity, the joy and the inevitability of our love.

To hear the voice I now know so well, express his deepest thoughts and desires. The masculine strength of it, the way it breaks a little when his heart feels like it will melt. To listen to his every breath and the beauty of his laughter.

To fall asleep gazing upon the face of the man I love, and for it to be the first thing I see when I wake. And to kiss without having to move, that is how close I have rested in his arms.

To reflect on the words of Kahlil Gibran every single day:

To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

This man blesses my life by being a part of it.
This man fulfills my need to love and to be loved.
This man tells me I deserve goodness and then offers it to me.
This man appreciates me as much as I appreciate him.
This man is comfortable in silence with me.
This man embraces and engages the totality of me.
This man's heart beats with mine.
This man.....this man.

Sotto voce, tesoro mio.

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Other Man In My Life

Lupo. My adored little boy. I took this picture a few days after I found them. This is him (on the right) with his brother Love (pronounced loo-vay) who was adopted by a friend and now lives in Sweden.

I found them when I was living in Tenerife, abandoned and dumped just outside where I was living. The vet reckoned they were about four weeks old at the time and Lupo was very very sick, he couldn't even keep water down. I was told not to get too attached to him. Well you can see even in that photo that he wasn't quite as bright-eyed as his brother. I was working all day in the dive centre and when I'd take them out for walkies, each one fit in the palm of my hand. Those are cat harnesses they're wearing in the photo, that's how tiny they were and all long legs and feet and ears!!

I really was so worried about Lupo, he was getting weaker and weaker and then one day, about 10 days after finding them, he threw up and out came about three feet of cling wrap!! They must have been living on garbage but how they survived to even four weeks amazes me. After that he came along leaps and bounds.

I nursed them along and they were in my life 24/7 for the first four months and then a friend adopted his brother. I hadn't planned on having a dog as I had two cats already, but there was no way I could ever even think about giving him up by then. When my sister came over to run the business for me, she brought her little Jack Russell, an East-London dog she named Shaz. This is the two of them in their 'scuba' gear!!

Of course he has had his very naughty stages, like the time I bought him a new ball

and this happened to it - don't you love the look on his face? No it wasn't me, honest it wasn't...ummm ok ok and I feel so bad *L*

mmmmmmmmmmmm do I see steak?

My boy just loves the mountains

and the beach
but his favourite is the snow which he gets to run in once a year when the snow collects on the top of Teide (the volcano on the island)

and all that fun does make for a very yawny dog

and that of course means crashing with his 'sister' at the end of the day in their own chair

No matter how long I'm away from him, he always gives me the most wonderful welcome when we see each other again. Although he's now more my sister's dog than mine as she's had him for the past six years, while I was in his life for only the first year, we will always have that bond. He's so wonderful, one of those intelligent, kind, sensitive dogs. I do love him so.

And I'll be seeing him soon. January or February I'll be visiting him in Tenerife and my sis and I plan on having a vacation then, probably going over to La Gomera or El Hierro or La Palma (other islands in the Canaries) as they can be reached by ferry and the dogs get to go too!

My Lupo. My adored boy. Not only by me, but by everyone who meets him.

Friday, November 10, 2006


On my flight last Friday, there was a woman sitting on the plane one row back and over to my left. She sneezed and hacked her way across the Pacific and damn her I think she infected me.

I felt a little congested while I was away but on Monday morning as I began my journey home, it started in earnest. I knocked myself out with cold/flu tabs on the 14-hour plane ride (headwinds added 3 hours onto the journey westwards), which in itself was a good thing as I hadn't slept while travelling eastwards, so at least I arrived home without feeling too jet-lagged.

I went to work on Wednesday and managed to crawl through the day but yesterday, it took me down and it took me down hard. I called in to work to say I'd try to get there in the afternoon but Nooj threatened to lock the doors if I even attempted it. Trust me, I'm not a wuss and I don't do the 'I'll just stay home in bed' routine easily. But anyway, I DID stay home in bed, medicated myself, went through almost a whole box of tissues and generally slept and lazed. Thank goodness for bootleg dvds!

Back at work today and while the congestion is definitely better, it has moved down my throat into my breathing tubes.....ouch ouch ouch. I'm dosing myself now with Pei Pa Koa syrup which is the best thing in the world.

If you ever see this on a shelf somewhere, grab a bottle. Mix some in with hot water and drink it down and you will feel it working right away. An all-natural remedy containing 15 herbs and man it tastes SO GOOD!!

But you know, not even feeling ill can dampen the joy, the delight, the magnificence of being loved by the most amazing man I've ever known.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Real Deal

Love. Fulfilling love. Healthy love. Mature love. Fun love. Balanced love. Comfortable love. Deep love.

I used to think I knew what love was. I used to think I'd experienced it in my life. I used to think it had come and gone. Everything I've ever known or thought I understood, has paled in comparison to what I'm feeling now.

Two days of the most soul-searching, passionate feelings. Laughter until there were tears in our eyes. A silent awareness of things shared. Common thought and common understanding, of a most uncommon intensity. Touches and caresses that went beyond the patch of skin involved.

I know what love is now. Forgive me if I don't share much more than this here, but it's just so deeply private and personal. Plus, in any case, I can't quite put words to it. I'm too busy just feeling so very loved right now.

And he is, quite simply, the best thing that has ever happened to me.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Kisses Met

It's time to head to the airport.

This, in the words of a very good friend, is kismet. Or kisses met. I like that!

I'll see you all in a few days. Be safe and be happy.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


A typhoon (hurricane) in November???????

I'm scheduled to fly out on Friday just after noon. And now THIS mofo is sitting out there.

In its latest advisory, the JTWC has favored a track towards South China near Hong Kong, Macau, and Guangzhou; landfall is suggested for Friday, local time.


Yes, that's correct. It's south-southeast and is moving north-northwest. I'm sitting on the coast where you see a sort of ^ indentation, just to the right of that.

I know it's selfish of me to be worried about my trip when storms like this cause such havoc and devastation, but excuse me while I express myself.....*&^%$#@+&^%*

Update (Wednesday afternoon):


Well at least WNW is better than NNW or NW but it still doesn't seem to have chosen its path yet.

Update (Wednesday night):


Basically it's just sitting there

Update (Thursday morning):


The JTWC is still going with a path towards southern China. But the starting point for the forecast track is necessarily farther east. Once again, forecasters at the JTWC have acknowledged that there are at least two likely solutions to the problem of Cimaron and its ultimate destination. Another path is for the stalled typhoon to loiter over the open South China Sea, ultimately getting squeezed toward the southwest by high pressure building over China. There is a small possibility of Cimaron heading northeastwards and it may become a weakening storm buffeted and broken by shearing winds, including a drift toward the west and south -- over the South China Sea for at least a few days to come.

There it still sits, no matter what, it's too far away to ground my plane now - Girls the dance worked!!!! THANK YOU!!!!

Final Update (Thursday evening) - No threat to my travel plans. I'll be going home soon to pack, and to primp and preen .... and hopefully get a good night's sleep.


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