Friday, 25 July 2014

Magic candles! Don't miss the fun!!


Birthday cakes, well decorated with cream or sugar icing and candles always look delicious and appetising. Usually, candles are used to indicate the age of the celebrant (mainly children). They can also be used as a sort of decoration or "age decoding" for adults.

It has always been the norm "to sing, watch, clap and cheer as celebrants blow out candles before cutting cakes. 

My interest in this part of the celebration was greatly aroused when one of my friends used the so-called "magic candles" on my birthday cake some time ago. As the name implies, it's magical especially if you are involved for the first time. To be honest, I was not aware that this type of candle exists until that day.

With the well decorated cake set on the table and guests waiting, I was called to come and blow out my candles. Leisurely and gracefully, I made a great effort to blow out the candles in one swoop. It seemed like they went out but came back again before I knew it.

The guests cheered and urged me to complete the task. Like joke, I was standing there blowing away while my guests were roaring with laughter. 

At first, I felt embarrassed that I could not blow out "common" candles. And then I thought "seriously, what’s really going on with these candles?”
As I was blowing with all seriousness, I noticed that my guests were enjoying the scenario. It was then that I realised that something was fishy (not really my fault) and that it was a complete set-up. 

I must say that trying (unsuccessfully) to blow out the candles was fun, but not at the initial stage when I was unaware of the characteristics of the candles though. 

After this occasion, I developed great interest in using the candles and watching others blow away in surprise. I used them on one of my partner's and god son's birthday parties, and even on a baby shower party. It was hilarious!
What I find really funny is the expression on the celebrants' faces :-)

Have you used them before?

If not, I recommend that you use them when next you organise a birthday party or anything similar. 

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Can we live and let live?

Being mindful and considerate of people around us is very vital and the key to a happy coexistence in our communities. 

Many a times, people do not care about others due to the selfish nature of mankind. People are so engulfed in their own little bubbles that they forget that others exist.

The act of selfishness is displayed in every aspect of life. As a regular commuter passenger to and from work, I see examples of this almost every day. Some people get left behind in the bus and train stations, not because of being late but because there seems to be no room in the buses or trains when they arrive at the stations.

People always cluster the entrance to these transportation means even when there are still seats and space inside. It's understandable that some people prefer to stand because they sit almost all day at work. Fair enough, but just step aside for others to pass by!

The nonchalant passenger is the one who enters the bus or train and stands close to the entrance without caring to move inside or step aside for those coming in behind.

For those coming in afterwards, it takes someone who is considerate to ask the person blocking the entrance to make way. But this does not normally happen.

The next person coming in will likely stand behind thinking that there's no space inside and the queue starts from there.

In trains, it is difficult for the driver to monitor and control people coming in. In buses, on the other hand, the driver who is considerate can monitor and ensure that people occupy seats and move inside as they come in. In some cases, an assistant might be available, depending on the continent/country/region. 

I had a negative experience some time in the past when I was going to work. One cold winter morning, I was running for the bus only for the driver to drive off as I was arriving. The entrance was filled to the brim with people. But as the bus pulled out, I noticed that the whole centre and back areas were empty.

 It was a very painful experience - I didn't know if I should blame the passengers for blocking the entrance or the driver for not checking and ensuring that all spaces were occupied before pulling out knowing that it was rush hour in the morning and the weather was very cold, or both. 

If we all care about other people and are mindful of others in everything we do, we'll be able to avoid indirectly causing unnecessary pain to others. 

How can we ensure adequate consideration at all times?

Do you have any experience (positive or negative) you'll like to share?

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Shades of Comfort

Comfort is very important in life - be it spiritual, emotional, psychological or physical. They are all interrelated. When denied of any form of comfort at any given time, one might not know the value until one gets it back. 

There are many reasons why one might be uncomfortable at a given point in time.

Some of them could be:
  1. Out of ignorance of what one needs at that point in time. Sometimes, people are not aware of what they deserve to have.
  2. Fear of losing out on something else one already has. In many cases where people know what they want, there might be other things they fear will be unavailable as a result of making changes. They therefore prefer to leave things the way they are.
  3. No time or interest in going an extra mile to make a change where necessary. In other not to disrupt their daily activities, some people do not bother with anything that will take their time. 
I'd say that it pays to make ourselves comfortable wherever we are.

I remember when I lodged into a hotel some time ago and discovered that the window blinds was not closing properly. The room was facing a beer garden where hotel guests gathered to relax and the window was directly opposite the sitting area. That is, people outside could see everything going in the room at night.

Two things came to my mind:
  1. I was going to spend just few days;
  2. I wouldn't have the time to go and queue at the reception to request for a change as it was already too late and I was to go out early in the morning the next day. Moreover, I'll still have to repack up my stuff for transfer into another room.
To be honest, I was too tired to start complaining and asking for a change. 

Then I thought, even though I was going to stay for a couple of days and it'd be great to leave very early the following morning, it was still okay to leave a little bit late. The next morning I requested that the room be changed. After checking and consultation, the request was granted and my luggage was moved to the new room on another floor. 

Upon my return in the evening, I had my comfort. The window blinds in the room closed properly and I enjoyed the privacy of my room.

I know that you've had your own experience. 

Monday, 7 July 2014

Can’t blog? Why not?

There are great bloggers out there: recognized or not; gifted or not; talented or not, you just name it. There are still others who, even though they are great bloggers, do not engage themselves in any form of publication. 

Recently after discussing with a friend of mine, I wondered what makes the latter group of people inactive. 

I think that it could simply be an act of "procrastination". I, for one, am the type of person who simply postpones writing up a piece of work for no good reason. I keep telling myself that I'll do it but never come around to doing it. 

Other reasons may be lack of "Topics" to write about and "Time" to think about them.

Talking about “Time”, I’m always engaged in one thing or another but blogging. Usually, I'm out and about during the day and back at home in the evening to attend to personal matters and domestic chores and, of course, hang out with friends sometimes. Weekends are packed with social activities and other family matters.

In as much as we say that we do not have time to blog, we still find time to check our emails or go on Facebook and other social media where we spend so much time.

We can always find Topics to write about in between our daily activities. We can always draw inspiration from what we see or feel when we are on our way to work (either while driving and listening to the radio or while sitting in the train/bus looking out through the window, or even while reading the morning newspaper).

During lunch time, one can reminisce about what happened the previous day while munching on one's lunch (maybe how the lunch was prepared?). Ideas might drop in while taking a quick walk for fresh air (anything interesting that happened when you went shopping the other day, etc.?). In the evening, one can also get inspiration on the way back from work, when cooking or just before going to bed.

Thoughts noted down during these times will always turn out to big great pieces of work that can be shared with others. I sometimes note down thoughts as they go through my mind, but it’ll be a valuable habit and pays off to ALWAYS pen them down as they come through. 

Big challenges here though are editing and summarizing these thoughts and making final checks before publishing. The best practice will be to complete the last tasks in one sitting. 

You know how it works best for you.  

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