The following is a quick write up of a rather long diary of the past 3 1/2 days .. I had a great long weekend - the `celebration' and fun began on Thursday evening...and didn't end till Sunday night!
THURSDAY NIGHT - IN MOM'S COMPANY
With mum in front of the restaurant
Two of the sumptuous dishes we had - Sashimi platter and a yummyTemaki which I forgot the name :p
After work, mom came to Bangsar and treated me to lovely Japanese food at Mizo, Bangsar Village. We didn't realise it's so costly but must say the food was very good - Sashimi, baked oyster, some special temaki, beef roll etc.. yum. Haven't had such lovely jap food for ages.. After dinner, we then went to Perhaps Love - I had two complimentary passes. But ended up getting 10pm tickets as there were so many people at the cinema! Too many new movies are coming up so this one was showing at a smaller theatre - and too bad it was no longer THX. The sound system was not so good but I still enjoyed it second time round.. Wonderful music and singing. Though mom question the logic of the love story. Guess love has no logic... though its hard for us to identify with their circumstances. Well, i would recommend anyone who likes love story or musical to go watch it.. nevermind if u dont understand mandarin (subtitles in English/BM!)
FRIDAY - ON LEAVE FOR BIRTHDAY!
Part 1: Woke up at noon.. Spent some times with two Js and then drove to Jln Ampang - to Vila Manja Day Spa - for my self-treat spa experience. Had a blissful close-to 3 hours package that has the following treatments: foot spa, body scrub, relaxing massage, foot reflexology and hot stone massage.. some of quite new to me and the one I really enjoyed was the relaxing massage. The therapist was really good in that.. I felt so relaxed and almost dozed off at some point. The ambience of the spa was very nice, with Balinese, Thai, Oriental themed deco. However, the damper that there was construction work going on near by and although the windows were shut, those annoying sound of construction works could be heard almost throughout the treatment. Really spoilt the wonderful atmosphere and the very soothing music.
Part 2: Jam, jam, jam on the way out of town. Met up with my Bible Study group for dinner at Delicious, Bangsar Village. It's a real bustling place! We then bought some desserts and adjouned back to Pat's house (also in Bangsar). Had an interesting birthday `cake' in the form of a Christmas pudding and a tall slim straw with crumpled paper on top pretending to be a lit candle! :D I even had to imaginarily (is that such word?) blow the candle!! Anyway, while eating puddings and Delicious' delicious cakes, we also had some fun sharings. Cody the plum Golden Retriever was really excited and couldn't stop humping me of all people. Could he smell dogs on me? ;)
Pretend to blow the imaginary flame on the `candle'; with my BS group members at Pat's place; and with Cody the over zealous and friendly dog!
SAT: TIRING BUT FULFILLING
The first half of the day was spent on `duties' so to speak. Went for a meeting with peer group leaders but had to leave half way to an assignment - the launch of the soundtrack and picture book of `The Third Generation' - an all local Chinese movie starring singer Nicholas Teoh, models Carmen Soo and Amber Chia. Intresting but risky combination I would say as all have NEVER acted. But lets see. Rushed home at 2:30pm - trainers came for the last time and gave some more tips on training Jojo and Jelly. Basically they felt we had tackled all the `trouble shooting' and now its up to me to continue giving him training. Jelly too, needs some serious training as she didn't even have her basic obedience.
A Long Journey to a Concert
Hardly had time to rest as I showered and got ready for the YTL Russell Watson concert! Because of the logistic problem, I couldn't go to the wedding. Met with cousin at Sentral station and we took the KTM train to Sentul station. Noticed some other concert goers were really well dressed. Was also quite impressed on how big scale this was - (well, it is after all YTL's 50th anniversary celebration) - and looks like all their staff are out on full force stationed at carpark, train platforms, at the commuter buses etc... There were tonnes and tonnes of people at Sentul Park and there were several large tents or marquee. We were assigned to the orange tent according to the invation card. The food was a little disappointing - very basic stuff and most were quite tasteless! Bumped into some church members! and later also met with some old friends! Looks like the whole world (well except for those attending the wedding) was there! ok, i'm exaggerating of course. And you know what? I've never queued this much before! We queued to walk into the tent for dinner. We had to queue for more tha 20 mins (the queue was soooo long) to use the mobile toilets. And we joined a very long queue to get into the open-air concert area.
With cousin at the dinner tent; at Sentul Park grounds later
Riveting Russell Watson
Russell Watson (from google image) and the beautiful stage
Our seats were not bad only thing was the person in front could block you. Surprisingly, the PM was there quite early and even the Agong arrived quite soon.. some guests who were at the end of the queue were even later than him! Then we had a few speeches - including a very long one from T.S. Francis Yeoh. Then the Adelaide Symphony Orchestar played the music and the star of the night - the charming Russell Watson came on finally! To be honest, the first half of the program was not that exciting and there were some technical glitches in the sound system. But the second half was simply brilliant - he sang Volare, Fenicuili Fenicula and my favourite that night Amore e Musica (title song from his new album). Almost half of the repertoire was modern songs like I Believe, You are So Beautiful, Music of the Night, Draw Me Closer. He is naturally talented, having no formal voice training. His vocal is so versatile that he is equally apt at singing classical and pop - in fact his voice changes to suit the style! He ended with Nessum Dorma but after shouts of encore, he sang You Raised Me Up and closed with a Christian song Above All.
It has started drizzling at the encore time but it seemed the fireworks display chased the rain away! After Russell Watson bowed off, the orchestra continued to play and was the accompaniment to the most beautiful, spectacular and amazing fireworks I've seen in Malaysia (another very spectacular one was during the handover ceremony in Hong Kong - orgnised by the HKSAR goverment)
Took some shot using the `firework display' mode on my camera
The (Long) Journey Home
It was l-o-o-o-n-g. Although I was to get a lift from my friend who gave me the invite and herself got a black-tie invitation. It was a long walk out of the concert area to where we waited for her driver. There I bumped into a long lost university friend who happened to be working with YTL. Also saw the media centre and my colleague covering the event... Then there was another incident for me and my cousin when we arrived at Sentral Station that caused us to walk up and down looking for places to get our carpark redeemed. By the time I reached home, it was 1:15am. I left home at 5:40pm. Probably the `longest' concert I have been to. I couldnt sleep immediately as I was hungry (hardly ate dinner) so I cooked instant noodle - showered and washed hair as I sweated so much. I was so exhausted..that I couldn't get up to go for church service the next day..
SUNDAY: SINGING FOR GOD. FELLOWSHIP WITH FRIENDS
Choir practice: This is our last Sunday practice and we accomplished quite a bit despite our conductor's absence. Rearranged our positions and went through the songs. More likely because of my lack of practice and also not physically in good shape, I knew I didn't do well in my solo part. One piece is also out of timing but other than that, it's progressing. A few of us stayed back to pray a while.
Dinner: A small group of my close gal friends, who also happen to be fellow choir mates to treated me to dinner at an Italian place at SS2. It was a quiet condusive place for talking too.. We feasted and then.. I must say I had the most unusual birthday song accompaniment when the nice tall ice-cream birthday cake was taken out. It sounded like the music to the horror movie Omen! (forgot the actual name of the classical piece as I was told later :p) It had two large and one small candles - I turned 21! Haha. Besides the nice dinner and cake and company, I got presents too -some lovely jewelleries and a box. (thanks again gals) Oh, and I also got updated of the interesting wedding that I missed the night before!
Zan, May, Lynn, HL and me posing for a pix. notice the peipako box at the right - we each were given one bottle by Zan to keep our throat in good form! :) Showing two of the presents I received, creatively snapped by Lynn.