Saturday, January 03, 2009

I know I know!

*Warning Photo Heavy*

Yes it has been an age and a half since I updated this blog. I've almost forgotten what blogger looks like. But as usual the impetus to write only begins when one has something to say. And now I have something to say with Pictures.

Two years ago I posted about the Moonlight Bungalow in Cameron Highlands. Well two years later, I managed to get close enough to Moonlight to take these shots.

Moonlight is now for sale.

The view as you walk up the driveway

The path he ( Jim Thompson) may have gone down

Veranda view

The Veranda View

The StarBoard View Moonlight

The Chimney View


The Veranda

The story was Moonlight was bought by an English man some two years ago and he basically refurbished the ground floor. When he applied for a permit to build an extension and refurbish the upper floor, he was denied. The rumour was that the Sultan of Pahang did not want any part of the bungalow to be demolished or renovated in anyway for heritage reasons.

So the English man left the bungalow in its current state and put it up for sale. Anyone got RM 5 million in spare cash?

Are you ready for some photoes of the interior?


Staircase to the Upper level

Parlour Fireplace

Parlour Fireplace

Dining Area Fireplace

On the end of the big living space on the ground floor is another fireplace. The two doors beside it lead to two rooms with ensuite bathrooms.

Front bedroom

The front room, windows facing the driveway

Side bedroom

The back room, window facing the caretaker's quarters


The kitchen is seperated from the main house by a small passage at the other end of the Veranda. Here is where the cooking range would have been.

The upper floor and the caretaker's quarters were left in disrepair and I didn't want to take photoes of it. Didn't want to chance capturing some random orbs.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Gregory's first piano lesson

He's getting so big! Here's a little clip of Gregory playing the piano with Granny.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Cameron Highland - Bungalow Blues

I've wanted all my life to go to Cameron Highlands, never had a chance as a kid as my dad was not very keen to drive up the winding roads. It didn't help that he lost a cousin to an car accident up on the CH road.

Several items actually peaked my interest in recent years. I was in a quilters' list at onelist ( this is pre yahoo group days ) when one of the quilters in US wrote me and said she used to go to Boarding School in Cameron Highlands.

After the advent of Google I finally found out that the boarding school she was talking about was now Bala's Chalet. It used to be the Tanglin School for expatriate children. Check out its history here and here .

The School was closed in 1948 because of the increasing danger from communist insurgents surrounding this area.

Arriving at Bala's at drizzly late afternoon gave the whole cottage a serene cosy feel. We were tucked under the big umbrella, having hot masala tea and scones on iron wrought benches surrounded by the sweet smell of honeysuckle and jasmine.

The garden sported a moss sampler, different moss grown on little tiles

and a unique birdbath

Unfortunately I have lost touch with the US quilter who use to go here but I would be grateful if anyone has any memories or photographs of the school until its closure in the 1940s.


Cameron Highlands has the one of the highest numbers of well preserved colonial bungalows. Being a hill station established in the 1930s, many colonials would take this arduous journey up the montains, in elephants first then motorcars, to partake of the fresh mountain airs. The journey is still as arduous even in this modern day and age, but well worth it.

One of the bungalows that evokes the most sense of mystery is Moonlight, the bungalow Jim Thompson was staying in before his mysterious disappearance in 1967.

Many malaysians now will remember Jim Thompson as a premier brand for Thai Silk, never realising that he was a man with a quite sinister past. In fact his disappearance sparked a huge search by local and international jungle experts including many psychics. For a great read on his disappearance including a blow by blow account - you have to go to this site and read this forum thread . It's pretty old but in the later pages there are excerpts of the Book SOLVED! The Mysterious Disappearance of Jim Thompson, the Thai Silk King.

I'm unable to get a hold of this book and have written to the author but will update when I do.

Now when I arrived at Moonlight I was greeted by a very grumpy looking caretaker who did not like us looking around. he gave us 5 minutes and said - no photos. Fair enough! Looks like I might have to pay the RM 750 + for rental to justify the some serious investigation in to the place.

It was a bright sunny day but when I was walking in the garden, the sun went behind the clouds and it seemed to get darker. It was so quiet, almost as if the place was blanketed by time. Such an old place with so much history, I could almost see children playing in the garden and women have tea on the terrace. A peek through showed a parlour with an open fireplace where once men had sat and smoked their cigars and drank their brandy.

I wished I could catalogue the history of this place, the families who owned it and the people who lived here.

I'll just leave you with some bungalows we managed to snap - from afar as they're privately owned. Thank God for zoom lense.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Land below the wind

I'm off to Cameron Highlands this weekend to pursue my passion of photographing old houses.

Meanwhile I'll leave you with a video I took in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

We were walking down Tanjung Aru beach to pass the time before departure when we happened to catch a dance troupe at their rehearsals.

The bamboo dance is native to this region and there is a similar dance in the Philipines. The Sabahan variety uses 2 beats while the Filipino one use 3.
I think Sabahan dance is much faster by far.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Random conversations around the office

Amber Dives
Amber Chia, the darling of the Malaysian modeling scene is about to skydive at the Malaysia Skydive 2006 showcase in July.

What happens if she freezes??

RL suggests a follow up headline ..

Amber Kia


My Da Vinci Code review is up

Lighten up, it’s OK … just OK

I had confessed to RL earlier that I was intimidated by DA's review Brake the Code. To which he answered, "it's ok .. nothing you ever write will be comparable to the Great DA." Hence the title and format.

Another colleague suggested another cool title "Opie's Dei Out" but I somehow couldn't work the review around that theme since I didn't think he ( Opie) "outed" anything at all. Sorry CT.

Check it out.

Monday, May 22, 2006

why this blog exist

I've been thinking of setting this place up for ages. Thinking that there needs to be another place to deposit my random thoughts and photoes. Also to allow some of my non crafty friends to catch up on my life without their eyes being too glazed by the knitting or other craft related posts in that other place.

What really spurred this on is this blog post on The Star's Citizen Blog. The Citizen's blog is an outlet for malaysians to post about, well, everything. It is fast becoming a complaint station, an ethics calssroom and an outlet for victims of road rage and assinine behaviour by Malaysian drivers. Amid the earnest and serious post about malaysian mentality, Mother's day and father's day musings and various relentless "ciri -ciri kewarganegaraan" ( Reader beware= I have been known to make up words as I go along), here is an incongruous post about the dangers of poking oneself with a keyring.

if I may paraphrase
Whenever I accidentally hit my thumb to something or touch something whether it’s my towel or books, there is this indescribable PAIN. I felt it till my whole body tremble and I can’t help screaming,” PAIN! PAIN! VERY PAIN!” It has been two weeks now and there are still no improvement after applying few types of ointment. .."