April has become my Birthday and Anniversary Month. Facebook sent me reminders and photos on what happened in the first week of past years and I was somewhat amused with some of the postings. I was responsible for scripture readings at Ricci Hall in the first week of April this year and I am now accustomed to use my EV for these trips, which take only 15 to 20 minutes and $20 for the tunnel fees for the outward journeys, always in light traffic. The return trip depends on the time I take the journey, but I have absolutely no problem with the traffic arrangements or the charging systems, which I would say could well be one of the most successful traffic policies implemented, which have actually worked well, but alas, which didn’t receive too many praises in the media. Many of my car using friends agreed with me and we concluded once again that “silence means consent” applies to the media too.

We had been invited to the 70th Anniversary of a Rotary Club on 6 April and my host also booked us for a staycation so that we could spend my birthday quietly in the same hotel – Ocean Park Marriott – after the celebration, which was very thoughtful of him. It was our first visit to the hotel. We liked the hotel, in particular the service minded attitude of the staff; and we ended our stay with a long lunch in the hotel with another friend and a visit to Ocean Park on Sunday. We found that the Pandas had moved places and were surprised that there were not many visitors even on a Sunday. Meanwhile, many of my FB friends sent me birthday greetings through the social media, riding on a few platforms, some generated by Su and some by others, so that I lost count of how many of my friends had sent me birthday wishes and greetings, but they were all very gratefully and thankfully received. As a matter of fact, I am still opening up posts today on birthday greetings, including some posted a few days ago. I don’t think I have mastered entirely this particular social media.

Activities related to my birthday continued throughout the week in one form or other, mainly eating and drinking and cutting symbolic cakes, all very enjoyable, joyful and happy occasions. Inevitably, one tended to eat and drink too much, and worse, I failed to keep to my gym routines, and I blamed it on the leg muscles on the left acting up and displaying signs of fatigue or stress.

There was a time when I would hold parties at home with food and drinks serving non stop for hours. Typically, I would bring in those foam plastic containers and placed all sorts of drinks in them buried in ice, and I kept one empty container for the empty bottles and cans. Once upon a time, I lived on the top floor with access to a roof garden which was tailored made for partying. I had bought lighting equipment, chairs and tables for big parties which were always well attended and enjoyable. I had a staff who was a part time soldier in the Volunteers as a chef. And he often volunteered to come to these parties to show his skills. I had thought of putting in my next memoir – if it got published – the flats I had taken up during my career using my Private Tenancy Allowances or PTA which were rather generous. I very seldom stayed in one flat for more than two contracts or four years which meant that the family was always on the move, which was tiresome and somewhat wasteful. Most of the refurbishing and relocation work fell on Rosita who never complained. I was simply spoiled.

No, I probably won’t, for it would mean going through that part of my life when I lived to excess and made so many mistakes, but had no time to remedy them or to say sorry properly to the person I loved most.

Back to the present, we are leaving for a week plus to Taiwan tomorrow, initially to attend the anniversary of a sister club in Taipei, but Su had lined up a full programme – mainly eating and living in luxury hotels – that would last longer. It is April anyway, and we owe it to ourselves to enjoy it to the full.

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