Wednesday, 10 February 2016

The New Old: the Retro Revival of Ipoh, Malaysia

The revival of Ipoh Old Town thanks to the rejuvenation of Kong Heng Square, with Bits & Bobs, Missing Marbles, Burps & Giggles, New Star Salon, Sekeping Kong Heng, and more!

Ipoh Old Town, revived with vintage flair 

I chanced upon the most remarkable sight last November when I was in Ipoh to review The Haven.  
In its heyday, the North Malaysian capital of Perak was an icon of the riches of the Empire. But when the mining boom ended, its star faded as the Town Built On Tin became a shell of its former self. All that remained of Ipoh were decaying colonial mansions and shophouses whose weathered bodies whispered of its glory days of British Malaya. As my father did, many of the city’s young emigrated to Kuala Lumpur for bigger prospects, leaving behind a sleepy hollow seemingly inhabited mostly by those old enough to remember pre-independence Malaysia.  
Ipoh, whose star once shone as brightly as Singapore, was now an Adele lyric: “that town where nothing really happened”. Or so I had remembered from my family’s annual Chinese New Year returns to my paternal hometown - it was usually a stopover between Kuala Lumpur and Penang, albeit one boasting some of the best Malaysian culinary fare. Although in recent years Ipoh has become a family-friendly destination for wellness and relaxation, it was not a place I associated with a burgeoning arts and culture scene, and certainly not with the trendy young. 
I was about to proven so satisfyingly wrong.


Monday, 8 February 2016

Welcome, Monkey!

Gong Xi Fa Cai, Wan Shi Ru Yi! Wishing you all prosperity in the year of the Fire Monkey!


Sunday, 7 February 2016

The Joys of Flying Long Haul

Survive? What is this, Bear Grylls and The Chamber Of Secrets?
Let’s be real - there’s nothing to ‘survive’ on a flight, long haul or otherwise. You’re being fed, watered, and oxygenated; all you have to do is sit down, shut up, and not be a cheese-eating racist. Clickbait articles titled otherwise would have a generation of advice-seeking fliers believe that a long haul flight is an epic journey to Mount Doom when really it’s the biggest first world problem of all: Oh, you’re enduring the indignity of travelling thousands of miles over a relatively short space of time and degree of comfort to an exotic destination? Awww, poor thing, does somebody need a waaaah-mbulance? 
Let’s all not lose our heads but rather count our blessings. Not even regard a long haul flight as a means to be justified by the end, but the reasons why the experience is something to be welcomed as a privilege. 
These are the three things I love about flying long haul (not included - squealing WHEEEE! during turbulence).

Friday, 5 February 2016

A triangle bra for even the most bosom-y of wenches

From my new saviour - B by Ted Baker

 The love that dares not speak its name. That’s my euphemism for ‘titties too big for this bullsh*t’ - the collective cry of bosom buddies with more than a handful to spare. Myself, being the ambivalent bearer of an ample chest (all the more astonishing given my South East Asian ethnicity which tends to come with automatic admission into the itty-bitty-titty committee) have accepted that my DDs are persona non grata at the triangle bra party. Those underwire-less, ethereal, wispy lace handkerchiefs held up with nary but a spaghetti-slim strap? No chance in hell. How about this eggshell-coloured feat of support engineering that bears a passing resemblance to a chastity device?

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Knitwit II

Feeling as smug as a bug in a rug thanks to my knitwittery, plus hair and beauty magic by Cadogan Cosmetics and Duck & Dry.

(...and it's not just because I might have crumbs in my bra)

Heavens to Murgatroyd, it finally happened - I've hit all the high notes on the beauty scale.   

Monday, 1 February 2016

Interiors: The evolution of Regimental Vintage boutique

Interiors: The evolution of Regimental Vintage boutique decor

That's the reply I mutter under my breath to resentful indolents who insist their lackadaisical efforts are a protest against, I dunno, people with actual work ethic and initiative? It's also the mantra I chant, nostrils flaring, as I frantically 'Add to Basket' rolls of wallpaper, Farrow & Ball paint, and basically everything from English Salvage*.
It's a good mantra for entrepreneurs, bloggers, and Neanderthals to live by.
Shopkeepers prefer 'When you stop buying, you start dying' and while they're almost certainly referring to restocking their shelves I can attest (as will anyone who's ever violated a shopping embargo) that there's no bigger soul-crusher than stagnant surroundings. I call it the seven month inch - because I got hold of my very first commercial space in July and only now, after several small additions to my shop decor, that I've taken the plunge with a makeover for Regimental Vintage.

*sadly my own home does not enjoy the same decorating zeal (apart from my 'Calm Luxury' bedroom refresh)...



Wednesday, 27 January 2016

24 Hours in Brussels, Belgium: Eat, See, & Do

It's amazing how much you can see and do with 24 hours in Brussels (namely, how many carbs I can cram into my waffle-hole) when your nose isn't buried in your smartphone while you frantically Google "How to make the most out of Brussels: So many things to see (eat), so little time".
If there are 3 things I can take away from my city break they are: a) Brussels is far more civilised and empty on the weekends (the day-trippers will have departed for Paris by Friday, which sees hotel rates drop), b) despite the current climate, Brussels has never been safer - the constant police and military presence makes the recently-unlocked down city the place to visit right now, and c) you can cover all the highlights of Brussels in a day, but there will never, ever, be enough room for all the waffles, frites, mussels, and chocolate. Oh the chocolate.
So, in the time-poor but experience-rich spirit that seems to be the zeitgeist of every city break-taking millenial, I've put together this blog post: a photo-diary slash city guide for all of you who want to hop aboard the Brussels Express. Passports at the ready...

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