Author Archives: happyrecall

About happyrecall

Just a very plain old man, with some knowledge of English

Enamelled Enamour Or Enamoured Enamel ?

Whichever way you call it, these fashionable utensils of the first 7 or 8 decades of the previous century are getting less popular by the day. 

They were favoured for their relative light weight, though the base material was ordinary steel sheetmetal.  The enamel coating imparted a decent degree of resistance to wear, and corrosion. And it came in all sorts of colours, and often with flowery decorations too.

However, the coating was vulnerable to knocks, which caused chipping, leaving ugly spots and patches,  which led to corrosion.  After prolonged use, the insides of the utensils could get stained too.

The photo shows 3 of the 5 or so pieces that are still left in my home,   Over the years, we had discarded at least 6 other items, in favour of stainless steel or porcelain or glass ones.

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Madness Raised To The Power Of 4

Relax folks, am not sending you back to Mathematics school to tackle some insane formulae.

“It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World” was an extremely hilarious movie of the mid-1960s.   It was rather  long and windy, with one goofed turn leading to yet another.

One of two notable scenes depicted the bad guy who kept the treasure meeting with an accident, and died – with the fellow shown to literally kick a bucket downhill.

The second memorable scene involved the mother-in-law who smugly put a bunch of keys into her bra and challenged the guys to get them.  So they grabbed her by the legs and turned her upside down and shook her until the keys fell out.

Finally the mystery of “W” was revealed at a site where 4 palm trees grew up in that formation. 

Dam Nice

It was (and hope it still is) one of the most serene and beautiful places on Penang Island – The Air Itam Dam and Reservoir. 

In the early 1980s, it was one of the favourite places that my GF (and now wife) and I loved to go there early on weekends, admiring the scenery (and each other) while soaking in the twin morning glories of fresh cool air and cozy gentle sunshine. Oh ! What A Feeling ! Those were most cherishable memories.

On most occasions, we drove via a small road through Air Itam village up to the Kek Lok Si Temple carpark, and then went on foot up the rather winding road  to the dam. 

After 1984, we only went back there once – in 2014.  We were glad that much of the old scenery was still intact.

I Have An Axe To Grind

It is about my belief that most millenials only know the Verb form of “Axe” and not the Noun form – as in these days of economic turmoil, heads freely roll when jobs get axed. 

But who has seen an Axe in real life or even used one before?  I had this privilege in my childhood days.  Not one, but two.  One was an ordinary type which we used for chopping small trees, and pieces of raw firewood to length.

The other one had a broader head at the top where the handle was affixed.  This type was used for splitting wood along the grain.  It is actually called a “Maul Axe” or “Splitting Axe”.

Some say that Axe is Axe, and Maul is Maul; I prefer not to get mauled by splitting hairs (but wood, ok) on this matter.

More Bang For Your Buck

My heart goes Boom-Bang-A-Bang when they are near, Boom-Bang-A-Bang loud in my ears.

Honestly I hate firecrackers and the din they make, except for the time when I was playing with them in my kiddy days.  And it was a hazard travelling on trishaws during CNY season, as unsavoury characters would throw packs of lit crackers at the passengers.

I remember in Penang, banks along Beach Road used to “challenge” one another with strings of firecrackers as long as 3 storeys tall.  And afterwards, the streets were carpeted in a sea of red paper “shrapnels”.

For centuries, the Chinese have exploded huge fortunes in setting off firecrackers, celebrating the Lunar New Year, weddings, etc.

Other communities in Malaysia now too have keenly adopted this noisy practice for festive occasions such as Deepavali and the Hari Rayas, though it is unlawful.

“Orr…Ee-Orr, Ee-Orr, Ee-Orr..”

Reminiscing here the exploits of Tarzan — Lord Of The Jungle — and his mate, Jane ! 

Unlike modern young men who go namby-pamby down onto their knees in public places with RM200 bouquets to win the hand of their heart throbs, our Ape-man simply swept his Lady Love off her feet – before she had a chance to figure out what was happening !  Wow, such Wild and Raw Romanticism !

And he carried her on his shoulder lest her dainty feet be bruised by the untamed flora of the jungle.  Such chivalry is not to be found again in our modern society.  And they lived happily ever after, swinging from tree-to-tree, with that primeval celebratory chorus reverberating through the green canopy.

To this date I still think Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O’Sullivan were the best pair for the act.

“I’ll Meet You Halfway”

You needed not be a member of The Partridge Family to sing this out in celebration of the climactic thrill generated when the upgoing tram met the downcoming one, and passed each other at the mid-point of the funicular railway – with passengers on one car waving and hollering at those on the other track.

Yes, Penang Hill had always been a favourite destination for family outings.  My first visit was made when I was around 5 years old.

Back then, the trams were of wooden construction and without airconditioning, but the natural ventilation was cool and refreshing, and the trams travelled at a tranquil, leisurely pace.

Sadly the trams today are too modern – fully enclosed, with aircon, and shoot up and down like express trains.  To rub it in, the Middle Station has also been eliminated – sorry, can’t meet you halfway.