Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Reminiscing mode

Off late occasionally when I read something, I switch to reminiscing mode.

I remember things I used to do with mummy and daddy when I was younger and look forward to doing the same with my kids.

So, things from my memory bank that I want to deposit into my son's are as follows. Some will be harder to follow exactly since I am in KL but others I will be able to do to the letter.

1) Picnics at the beach in Penang
Every Sunday morning (we were not Christians then) ever since I could remember, we always made our way to the beach for some sun, fun and family walks. And mummy always packed a feast...sandwiches, fruits, curry chicken and bread, fried noodles etc. We would build sandcastles, bury mummy's feet in sand, chase waves, hold daddy's hand and go for walks (mummy had to carry our slippers), throw sand in the air, have our food, nap under the trees. It was a whole day affair lasting sometimes till the sun set!

2) Making rock buns with mummy
It was an easy recipie with everything going into a big bowl, mixing it all up and then spooning it out onto the baking tray. And then watch it bake and contain it for daddy to eat!

3) BBQ dinners at home
It was made fun coz we had a dog that ate up all our bones so we didn't have much to clear. But I loved getting the BBQ set ready and fanning the coals and then watching daddy cook the chicken wings and after that throwing the bones to the dog!

4) Making kuih kapik
Oh...that was an experiment with the BBQ set as well and we were so happy it turned out really good...daddy said so! :)

5) Snuggling up to mummy, watcthing Waltzing Matilda and mummy feeding us dinner
My sis and I had a favourite dish that we always asked for when mummy asked us what we wanted to eat (that she will cook). It was minced beef with carrots and tomato puree (we call it spaghetti sauce) and we will normally put it on top of our rice and mix it all up in one big bowl. Else the other similar dish would be minced pork with small cubed potatos and carrot in black sauce. Also eaten with rice. But there was one night when daddy had dinner outside and it was just the 3 of us. And we got mummy to make that, put the whole chunk in a HUGE bowl and then 3 spoons so that we all ate from the same bowl with mummy occassionally feeding us instead coz we were all lying down on her. And we timed it so that it coincided with Waltzing Matilda!

6) Science experiments
Mummy was a Physics teacher in school so our exposure to science started at an early age. And back in Kuching, we were members of the British Council Library which held MANY great books from craft, science to fiction. So, I used to always borrow some science book and got mummy to help me with the home experiments and explain them to me. I loved my growing bitter gourd plant that I managed to harvest. And my other small experiments and mummy spending time with me doing them.

7) Library visits and the tons of books to choose from
This mainly happened the 4 years I was in Kuching. We joined 3 libraries then and used to visit all of them every other Saturday. Reading was a joy to us only becuase of the multiple colourful books we could choose from. And they were all clean and well taken care of.

8) Visits to the Sunday market
I remember this happening in Penang and in Kuching. We used to follow our parents to the market and mummy or daddy will explain what we are buying and what we plan to cook. I especially remember the fruit stalls coz the fruit shop man knew all of us so well and would always say hello to us! Even now when my parents go back to Penang and go to the same stall, the wife still recognises them. Partly coz we used to spend big bucks on fruits! The father has since passed away (sadly).

9) Ice cream and Sunshine bread
This was some of our little plesures. The roti (bread) man tinkling by on his motorbike, mummy calling for him to stop by, we following mummy out to the gate to buy bread. Then the next day, we will open the waxed paper that held the bread to look for the little picture card inside. And sometimes in the afternoon for our evening tea, mummy will take out a slice of bread for us and heap it up with ice cream for us to eat! What a treat!

10) Bicycle rides on our own to buy something or another
When we were bigger, about 12-13, we would fund great joy in taking the bicycle out to cycle to the nearest grocery shop to buy bread or breakfast or something or other. So, whenever mummy wanted anything, we would 'beg' her to let us go out on our own with our bike to the shop to get it for her.

11) Keeping a pet
Daddy loved dogs as much as us so wherever we went, if we could, we would adopt a dog from SPCA. Most of them had to be given back though when daddy announced yet another transfer. The one we had in Kuching we took along to Kuantan but he got knocked down by a car one day (sigh...).

12) Learning poetry and play acting
Mummy used to tell me that my memory was not that good when I was young. So, in an effort to help strengthen it, daddy gave me his poetry book and used to read to me poetry in the most majestic voice that really caught my interest. Since then I have memorized 'Ode to an Elephant' and some others (of which I still remember vaguely now) and used to recite them in front of my parents and got such clapping when I managed to say it all by heart. It was an effort to help me and it has given me so much more. I love literature and words because of my exposure to poetry at the early age.

13) Club house activites
Also in Kuching, we were members of the Sarawak Club. Every Sunday we would wake up rather early to go for tennis, swimming, club library and sometimes ping pong. And our standard wonderful breakfast will be cheese on toast and milk shake. And our favourtie lunch would be beef stroganoff. In the evenings after all the activity, mummy and daddy will drive to the fried chicken stall and order some 20 fried chicken wings/drumsticks. Reckon it cost like Rm1 each then. And that would be what we had for dinner with bread and some vege. And of course our little doggie gobbling up all our bones!

14) Road trips
Daddy was always one for a road trip. He loved to drive around to the nearest wetland or park or hill to explore it. And he enjoyed the journey even though the road was long and we were not sure of when we would arrive. Being an adventurer like daddy, I used to love the road trips as well. So, I enjoyed the wetlands in Selangor, the hills in Penang and PJ, the gold mines in Kuching, some jungle trekking and loads of village exploring.

15) Celebrations
Every birthday or Mothers'/Fathers' Day, we used to make it a point to have a faily dinner. It would be a dress up affair for all of us coz usually we would go to a nice posh restaurant. And we would get to choose what we wanted to eat and would have a dish all to ourself. Or if we went Thai, the ambience would be totally different from the usual chinese coffee shop! After which we would always have a birthday cake and candles to blow. And presents to open or give. Sis and I learned to make cards and little home made crafts with mummy/daddy's help depending on whose celebration it was for. And sometimes we would have a treat when we visited the ice cream parlour and had all toppings included on our ice cream sundaes.

Memories as you can see are in those simple things. But now as a parent, what maybe simple to us as a kid actually required some planning by mummy and daddy. But if boyboy has fond memories like these when he is older, the planning and whatever hassle that comes with it is all worth while.

A cycle of happy memories begins with the first turn. And the first turn is always harder to start.


simon said...

wow that is A LOT of reminiscing!!! :)

Ponytail said... much nice memories :)

I grew up with Sunshine bread too :)

Hey, I planted my own brinjal too and took a big part of my Mom's little garden to do it. I did not eat the brinjal...too precious and kept it till it dried up :p

Childhood is so much fun and now its our turn to be the parent yea...hahaha

hissychick said...

Lovely memories. You've inspired me to do a post along these lines when I'm feeling better :)

Wai Yin said...

funny..i was thinking to write on 'what you want your children to remember of their childhood'... you have very good parents indeed, i'm sure you'll be one too.

andrewjune said...

this post kinda makes me drowned into my childhood memories too :-)
you certainly hv a lot of things to be cherished...
i reckon you & family stayed in penang before? and kuching too? but i thought you're from ipoh?

Julie said...

Ahh...Sunshine bread wrapped with the waxed paper. Our fav those days.

You surely had a wonderful childhood and good upbringing. People always compliment that a teacher's child are smarter and well behaved. you are in my gang too...haha...Both my parents are teachers. Too bad I'm not.

Did it take you hours/days to recall and write all these memories?

Ann said...

Simon - much indeed....there were loads of up and downs when you move around as much as I did!!!

PN - our childhood was a days slightly diff...less carefree, more danger...but still must find ways to make it great for them too outdoors!

Hissychick - looking forward to reading your post!

Waiyin - yeah...maybe watching the kids made us all think about our good old childhood days!

June - my dad was a Govt servant so we moved around alot. Spent the early years in Penang, Kuching, Kuantan and finally Ipoh

Julie - actually it has been on my mind a while it only took me a half hour to get it all in writing with as little spelling mistakes as possible!

Moomykin said...

You know, That's really a library of great stuff. :)

Guess that's really the plus side of moving around. I don't know if I'd have ever get use to that, having moved house only once as a child and then when we got married. I am pretty much a rock. Not moved much. :)

Now my future is in limbo as no dates have been given to determine Gadget-daddy's overseas appointment. Sigh...