16 Aug 2004

Taking a break with the Dunnings

Cameron Highland August 2004
Originally uploaded by kayrepin

Ye Olde Smokehouse Inn in Cameron HIghlands  August 2004

Dreaming again outside Ye Olde Smoke house. Built during the colonial era, Ye Olde Smokehouse is a hotel that has a lot of ambiance. Its typically Tudor architecture sets it in a class of its own and as can be seen here it looks so typically English one wonders whether the picture is taken in England rather than here in Malaysia. We're on holiday with the Dunnings and since Deb had not been to the Camerons before we decided to take them there. The hotel, which was very pleasant was Rosa Pasadena. I know the name sounds very cliched but it was a good hotel - clean and pleasant rooms overlooking the golf course. I think it used to be the Golf course Hotel or something like that. When I was at the Textbooks  Bureau we spent one week here, having a workshop. There were stories of "sightings" and even of someone being moved from one room to another. I don't know how far this is true but it was rather scary at the time.The hotel has changed its image completely now. It's brighter definitely and although there are no roses, there are lots of other flowers all over the place.

We had a restful evening, sipping tea and scones at the terrace of the hotel which overlooked the golf course. Then in the evening we all walked down to the town centre and bought souvenirs. The next day was spent driving to the garden centres, visiting the Boh Tea Estate and another walk to the town. All in all - a really relaxing and delightful break for all of us.

Holidaying in the Camerons with Deb and Jeremy

View from our hotel window
Deb and Jeremy infront of Ye Olde Smokehouse

Jeremy Dunning

Deborah infront of Chinese Temple

Originally uploaded by kayrepin

4 May 2004

Melbourne, Australia

Infront of the Market, Melbourne

Just finished our course on standardized tests in Sydney. Decided to go to Melbourne to visit Acom. Will be with her for a few days and then go back to KL.

Her house is pretty nice - its on a quiet street and is a single story detached. There are only three rooms though and I stayed in the guest room which is small but pretty and comfortable. That night we had dinner with the whole family - Paul came over but he had practically nothing to say to me. He didn't even ask any questions about Malaysia or about the course. Glenn of course did all the talking . Terry, Acom's husband was kind of quiet too but at least I know that he had always been the quiet kind. While there Acom took me to see her beach house which is about an hour's drive away. We brought along some sandwiches and cake and had tea there. Its a large house though there are only two rooms but I guess it suffices for a holiday home. The beach is nothing great - its not sandy like our beaches but its pretty enough. I even posed for some pictures with some divers I met at the pier! Imagine that. We also did some shopping , though not that much. I bought a handbag for Sara and Shasha. But shopping with Acom is not as nice as shopping with Pam. Pam just lets you buy whatever you want - but Acom will tell you that is too expensive etc etc. Anyway when I was with Pam I bought a whole set of Correlle dinner plates - lovely and simple green leaves. They were so cheap it would be a sin not to buy!! Ha ha. Spent 3 days in Melbourne and flew back to KL from there. Also met up with Rick while I was in there - took me out for a pizza dinner.

Melbourne is a really beautiful place, wish I can stay here longer. I love the greenness - large trees line up the roads and lots of flowers everywhere. The Fitzeroy Gardens was really a fantastic place - the colours and the variety of flowers are simply gorgeous.

They have roses everywhere - white roses lined the banks of so many roads - I've not seen that before, even in the UK.
Fitzroy Gardens, Melbourne


Just look at the roses in front of the church in Melbourne. Aren't they gorgeous?

Melbourne, Australia

After the course in Sydney I took a flight to Melbourne to see my aunt. Some aunt I'll say - she looked more like an older sister! She is so young looking and warm I felt immediately at home. Stayed at her place for 2 nights - on the third day she sent me back to the airport to go home to KL. Melbourne is really lovely - all gardens and so green everywhere. Acom took me to Fitzroy Gardens, a really beautiful park in Melbourne. The flowers are so gorgeous - just look at the pictures!

2 May 2004

Sydney, Australia

In Sydney for a short course on Standardised Testing. Was there with Hamidah and Shikin and while we were there met up with Pam and Aziz from Petronas days. It was lovely meeting Pam again. She's still as pretty as ever and her children are gorgeous. They invited us for dinner twice and Pam also took all of us for a shopping spree at the nearest mall. Enjoyed shopping here because they have lots of nice things. Pam also took us souvenir hunting at some place called Market street. Then during the weekend when we didnt have any class Midah, Shikin and I took a day tour of the Blue Mountains. That was a great time though slightly scary because the vehicle was an off road vehicle and we even forded a creek. The driver took us right to the edge of the escarpment where we could see the city of Sydney far away in the horizon. At one point of the trail we even had to walk along the path because it was too steep for the off roader to climb. It waited for us somewhere further down and we had to climb up and then down towards the path where it was waiting for us. On the walk down we saw the tea tree plant which is used to manufacture the tea tree oil. The plant grows wild in these parts and when I plucked a leaf and smelled it, it did smell of the tea tree oil, sweet and pungent at the same time.
We also went to a kangaroo sanctuary where the kangaroos roamed freely. In fact it was mating season and the guide told us not to wander off the path or stand too near the kangaroos for they can get nasty. They were hopping all over the place - very fast too and we had to quickly avoid them if we see a group jumping towards us. I saw a little joey , hardly more than a foot high, and it was so cute. But our guide told us not to touch it - the mother might not like it at all she said.
On the whole I feel it was well worth the money we paid for it - lunch and tea was provided and we saw a lot of rural Sydney which we otherwise wouldn't have seen. I hope one day I can take my children here for this trip. I'm sure they would love it.

4 Apr 2004


After the course was over, I went to Melbourne to see Acom. Jamil and the Lembaga gang also had to go to Melbourne so we all flew together - luckily for me because my bags were quite heavy already. Decided to take one day away from Acom so I booked in at the Mercure with the group and only called Acom the next day. That evening we all took a walk along the river and also took a ride on the free tram that goes all over Melbourne. Melborne is really a beautiful city - green and lots of gardens all around it. Ricky came to see me in the evening and we had dinner at some pizza place.

Early the next day, on 4 April Acom and her husband came to fetch me from the hotel. It was nice of them. They showed me around the city before we went to their house. We also stopped at the Botanical garden, Fitzroy gardens and went to the market place. The market itself looks beautiful - does not look like a market at all. Acom also took me to see this miniature Shakespearean village. It had some quaint looking Tudor villages, a blacksmith, tiny houses and even a puppet theatre.
Acom lives in a single story bungalow. Its a nice place, surrounded by large trees and neat gardens. It reminds me very much of Glendale, except in Glendale the houses are bigger. The streets are smaller too, but you can hardly see any cars. It's so quiet and peaceful.