Mum & Dad Mencher visit to Singapore

Photos from Mum & Dad’s Singapore visit.

Amongst the sights: the Singapore Zoo, Haw Por Villas, Island Club, Mum’s birthday dinner on the roof of the Hilton, Gardens by the Bay, the Asian Civilisations Museum, dinner at Chee Hoon house, Jurong Bird Park, the Singapore river, walking to school, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, the Art & Science Museum Singapore, the Singapore Flyer (ferris wheel), Little India, Chinatown and more!

Christmas time vacation in the Gulf, Dubai + Doha

A first time visit to see Manuel, Lucy & Manuel Jr in Dubai and Tim, Nailya, Emily and Elise and Lilya in Doha, with side trips to the camel races, dancing fountains, the singing dunes and lots and lots of eating – kebabs, lamb chops, hummus, baba ghanouj, washed down with lemon and mint juice, not forgetting Lilya’s delcious plov!

You can view the photos here: Christmas time vacation in the Gulf, Dubai + Doha

Family Visit in CT

Clan Mencher

Yes, it’s the entirety of the Mencher Clan, (with the exception of a Mr Stephen Isles allegedly detained on important business in Malibu, CA). It only took 38 shots to get one in which most everyone was smiling.

There were plenty of good times including outings on Lake Candlewood, visits to the animal farm, ice cream runs and a couple of birthday celebrations. No major injuries and no one even got close to killing anyone else in the whole two weeks!

Photos are a mixture of pics from several cameras.

Winter week in the Maldives

The building excitement of a week in the Maldives – coral atolls in the south Indian Ocean – was only slightly dampened by profuse quantities of rain and wind during much of our stay. The pluses – enforced relaxation, no sunburn, the girls language leaping ahead from watching endless repeats of classic Disney films overshadowed the minor inconveniences. We snorkeled, we swam in the pool, we fed stingrays on the beach, bothered small hermit crabs, I went scuba diving, we ate very expensive and mediocre food, and came away feeling much more relaxed.

A set of people photos:

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And a set of fish photos:

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Long-overdue catch-up… [1]

This post is long overdue. Is moving 2 small children, a cat and 65 cubic metres of household particulars all the way across Asia a good excuse? I hope so, because that’s the only one I’ve got.

I’ve got a big batch of photos for you, but first a little chit-chat.


We took a visit to Bali in October before we left Shanghai so that Sharon could get a break before starting her new job. We went with Por-por, Kong-kong, Uncle Arthur and Aunty Iling, and had a great time lolling about at the beach. The girls really enjoyed playing in the shallows at low tide and I got some really good shots of them at sunset.

Shanghai to Singapore

The move to Singapore went smoothly, but it’s never easy. So many things to look after and (for me) learn about the new country. It’s a world away from Shanghai – warm, tropical climate, clean air and lots of good food – but much more expensive! The girls seemed to adapt very well, perhaps because they had visited several times before and all the familiar family and friends are here. They do miss their Ayis Nancy and Lilly, though.

Birthdays, Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year

We arrived to a long procession of celebrations, starting with Edie’s and Ilse’s second birthdays in October. We had a party in Shanghai and another little one in Singapore. This was swiftly followed by Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year. I think there was Hari Rajah in there somewhere as well, although I’m not entirely clear on what that is.

Elephant Poo

There is SO much for the children to do here. We have an annual membership to the zoo and bird park and go at least once a month. One of the most fascinating events is the 9:30 elephant feeding, where visitors can give them carrots and apples. During one of these sessions, one of the elephants (who are lolling in a large pond just below the walkway) did a large poo into the water, to the utter amazement of Edie and Ilse. This became a talking point for days to come and was raised in any conversation at any time:

“Come along, Edie, let’s get your pajamas on”
“Want fairy ones”
“OK, here are the ones with the fairy on.”
“Elephant did a poo”
“Yes, he did.”

“What would you like for breakfast, Ilse?”
“Elephant did a poo”
“Yes. Yes, a big poo.”

And so on. We’ve moved on from that now. Next items of interest: giraffe feeding and water slides.

The Tantrum Era (TE)

We have entered the Tantrum Era, which in Ilse’s case, sounds something like this:

“I want it! I want it!”
“OK, here you are, but don’t forget to say please.”
DON’T want it! NO!”
“I thought you wanted it?”
“I want it”
“NO! DON’T WANT IT! Waaaaaaaaaaaa!”

She starts her agitation by shaking her hands, then her whole arms, then starts jumping up and down and finally when the screams erupt, hurls herself backwards. Normal toddler, I guess. Edie has them as well, but isn’t quite as violent. Yet.

Here is the mammoth set of pics. See the slide show by clicking on the link and maximising the window.

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Our US family holiday [1]

3 weeks in the US

Our trip to the US went very well, considering it was our first with toddlers, a 22-hr journey and a total reversal of day and night 12 hour time difference. With that success under our belts, I’m planning a family assault on Everest summit.

The girls were really very good throughout and took about 4-5 days to get adjusted. We stayed in CT for the first 10 days to see the Richmonds and Mum & Dad Mencher. The girls loved seeing their cousins – Edie especially got on with Zachary and broke into a big smile whenever his name was mentioned for ages afterwards.

We relaxed a lot and saw virtually no one except family. There was a fun day trip to Stockbridge to see Aunt Rosa and Uncle Aaron, but besides visits to the Richmond house, blueberry picking, a town fair in Ridgefield and a regular sampling of local eateries, we stayed put.

I made my pilot’s licence current and got a few hours of flying in a Cessna over southeastern CT and NY state. Very pretty and much more varied than the midwest. Mum Mencher even came along for a ride and enjoyed it (see photo proof)!

We spent 10 days in CT and then flew over to Malibu to see the Isles. It was a daily routine of swimming pool, giant bubbles on the lawn, running around the tennis court, exploring the cactus farm next door, visiting the chicken coop and bouncing on the trampoline. Hard to get bored, that’s for sure.

Nic and Julie, Ethan and Geoffrey came over from Pasadena for an afternoon and the boys had a great time with Alex and Gabriel in the pool (most of that caught on video, perhaps to be published another time). It was great seeing them and catching up.

We enjoyed seeing Aunty Pammy who came down for a quick visit from Santa Cruz.

Here are the best of the photos:

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