Saturday, December 31, 2016

Plunket and I, 2016

 It is summer in New Zealand. For many years, Mt Albert Baptist Church worked side by side with Plunket. We organised Christmas in the Rocket Park in New Zealand.

Today, I told my Swedish friend about this.

Many storylines of this book were based on my own life experiences. I was a Playgroup and Plunket mum. This book talks of a hotchpotch SAHM (Stay At Home Mums) jelled by a common denominator, the Playgroup.

Our church Mt Albert Baptist Church  decided to give the profits to Plunket. I was very happy because I benefited in a big way from Plunket when I was a young Mother.

I was organising my ESOL student volunteers to bbq the sausage sizzle.

I remember another event  when I overheard this lady saying that she is a Plunket lady. I went up to her and asked if she worked at Plunket Landscape Road, and she said yes. I asked if she worked there for a long time, and she said yes. As long as twenty years ago. She said yes.

I hugged her. In my heart, she is symbolic of all the good people who helped me when Andrew was alive. I told her that I was that mother whose baby died. It sort of completed my cycle just as I am writing my book and revisiting that horrible time.

The Plunket Nurse said her name is Jane and asked if I remembered the other nurse. I didn't remember their names or faces, but I remember their kind deeds. They took care of me and my children. Jane said she came to Plunket Landscape Road in 1990, and had heard of me. Of course, I was still going to Plunket in 1990 for my second daughter's excema problem and seeing Dr. Rowley.

Thank you Plunket. You are the “bestiest” as my ESOL kids tell me all the time.

Plunket’s Appeal raises vital funds for a wide variety of services , such as parenting education courses, car seat safety schemes, education in schools, toy libraries and many other valuable resources and programmes.

In the 80s, I was a young mum 3 times. I had no family in New Zealand. Plunket was family to me. Plunket's care was epitomised when I was sick when I was pregnant with Andrew and after he had died. I could never repay what Plunket did for me. I tried by collecting door to door, I tried by writing about Plunket. I wrote in detail about Plunket's help in my book and in my other posts.

Diary of a bereaved Mother

But the Plunket Society, it was different, for once I wasn't the giver. I was a recipient of their work.

When I was a young mum, I didn't have immediate family with me. It was hard especially when I was sick when I was pregnant with my third child. The Plunket society had volunteers and nurses in their Plunket rooms. When things were getting too difficult for me, all I had to do was to call them, and they would come to pick me and my girls D and G up. If I had a sleepless night, there was a comfortable room and bed for me to catch my nine winks and they would take care of my girls.

It is 27 years ago when I used their services. I am most appreciative of the last service they rendered me. They came when I called them, and one of the ladies drove me to the doctor when they felt I was really sick. I threw up in her car, and she said it was OK. She waited for me at the doctor's. The doctor said my pregnancy wasn't too good and told me to go to the hospital. The plunket lady drove me to the hospital where I was admitted. The other ladies took care of D and G until the water engineer could come to pick them up. It was a Monday. I was discharged the next day.

Andrew was born that Friday. He died shortly after. The plunket ladies sent me a card and told me that I could always go back to their rooms. I didn't like to go back because there was always babies there and I couldn't bear to see babies. But my daughter G had bad allergies and I had to take her there to see Dr. Rowley. The nurses knew that I wasn't sleeping well, and told me to rest while they took care of Gabrielle. Then I went to Singapore and never thanked them properly.

In my latest book, The Playgroup Club, I wrote about the Plunket helping young mothers.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Glamorous Boots

The PhotoHunt for today is Boots ~

Just as I was wondering why boots when I remember it is winter in the northern hemisphere. I have learned to wear flat boots, because heels hurt my calf muscles.  In the book, glamorous Laura likes to wear glamorous shoes, boots and clothes.

Closing ASB, Pt Chevalier branch.

Just as I am posting these photos, the bank which I have been using for almost 40 years is closing my branch and a near by satellite branch in a senior citizen home.
I don't think that it provides services to a senior citizens home by closing the branch.
In my Book, Playgroup Club, I wrote about senior citizens living in a rest home.
ASB will close two of its Auckland branches by the end of the year.
ASB's Point Chevalier branches on Great North Road and at Selwyn Village retirement home will close on December 23.
The closures come after the Australian-owned bank closed its Mt Eden branch on July 29 and its Karangahape Rd branch on March 18.
Get more out of Auckland, sign up for the So Auckland Newsletter
It follows a wider trend of big banks closing branches around the country as more people do their banking online.

peanut allergy

No! No! No! Linda in the Playgroup Club book shouted at other mums not to give her son peanuts, he might be allergic to  them. Many thought being cautious is just being paranoid. I wrote with passion, because I am allergic to peanuts. I don't only not eat peanuts, my nose can't smell well.

When friends automatically go and smell flowers, I don't.  This is the story why.

Entertaining with magic tricks and peanuts.

When Dad went to England, in 1956. I was twenty months. We moved back to the village in Lanang Road.

We did not have electricity, radio and TV. So we made our own entertainment. A favourite game the older kid used to make magic tricks. 
Once an uncle demonstrated by putting a peanut, it would appear in the armpit. Impressionable me, I was just four  years old, copied. It did not appear in my armpit. Instead it was lodged in my nose. 
All efforts to get it out failed, and Grandfather Chan said to leave it alone because digging it would only get deeper. 
I did not go to hospital. It remained inside my nose for months until one day I jumped from the jetty to the boat to Grand pa Kong’s house. As I jumped, the peanut came out. 
I was so happy to show everyone. The peanut had turned white. I am allergic to peanuts, the only one of 9 to have it. Was the peanut in my nose the culprit?
I told Father about forty years after. He said he was never told of this situation. Of course they should have taken me to hospital, if not, the peanut might travel up to my lungs and I would asphyxiate and die. 

Peanut allergy can be serious, people can die. I am only mildly allergic to it. When I have eaten peanuts, I feel a reflux, I feel like vomit coming out of my mouth. I feel the peanut have got rancid. If there is peanut oil in the food, I feel terrible the whole day.

I wrote part of this in my book,"From China to Borneo to Beyond."

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

mums and kids visit Ambury farm.

Playgroup mums and kids went to Ambury farm. Photo: Craig de stiger.

Don and Owlyn Dickson

I am reposting a five year old post. Don and Olwyn Dickson were wonderful to me. Don was with the ministry. Today, he died and went to heaven.

My book is out, I am invited to have a short talk at the Auckland and New Zealand's Baptist women's annual gathering. I will be given a table to sell my book.

I will be featuring the wonderful people who helped me walk my difficult journey.

This is Don and Olwyn Dickson. Don was the minister at the Auckland Baptist Tabernacle. Olwyn was with me when Andrew "died" that first time, Don was with me with Andrew was struggling. Olwyn said, I am available 24/7, and she said,"I am your mum now." ( My mum had died 20 months earlier)

Last year I posted in my Friday Shootout for my thankful post. /fso-thankful-don-and-olwyn-dickson.html. God has blessed Olwyn for her elegant look. Twenty years had passed, she looks the same.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Ashley and Arbonne

Arbonne Headquarters
9400 Jeronimo Rd.
Irvine, CA 92618


My friend Ashley Ruth Stirling is an Arbonne Independent Consultant. She does what Rita in my latest book The Playgroup Club does.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

A real life B&B, Falls restaurant

 When I was writing my B&B by the Sea at Herne Bay, I had this image in my mind.

Sally left me some brochures of the B&B, my eyes almost popped out. The building is a mansion, looking like the Alberton in Mt Albert. The brochure said,
‘Feel the warm sand,
Taste the sea salt,
Watch the sea gulls,
Smell the roses,
Stay for a few days,
Stay a long time,
Picturesque venue for a wedding.
Yours, ten minutes from the city.’
The B&B, Herne Bay.
“It took a long time for me to sink in.”
“The mansion had two stories, painted lime green with white wooden balustrades with pedestal and wooden veranda floor. There was the veranda all around the front and sides of the ground floor of the building. People could gather on the big porch and chat and just enjoy each other. In summer, people could have alfresco dining,” Ms Chan described.

So I went to check it out. The waitresses Mia and her friend were friendly and professional, Mia is Tongan and her friend is Samoan. Just like some characters in my book.

 The patrons enjoy the child friendly dining.

 I couldn't resist popping my book as a prop.

 Guess what, to my pleasant surprise, they have the same changing table in the nappy changing room.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

First Scene

When we were planning this trip, I was writing my The Playgroup Club. I incorporated First Scene in a chapter of the book. Becky and Amber went to First Scene to rent costumes for a Great Gatsby era them. Here is a student admiring a flapper dress. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Falls Restaurant in Henderson

This is Falls restaurant in Henderson. It is a very picturesque place from the photo.

It looks like the fictional B&B I have written in my Book, The Playgroup Club. I imagine the High teas and weddings I have described. . May be I visited it in my dream.

Finally, they arrived at their destination. It was a beautiful wooden double storey structure with white ornate balustrades all around the building. There was a massive manicured garden.
Susan was both impressed and envious with Kylie, “Lucky Cow!”
“Now, Susan, mind your language, we have little children.” Reminded Mary.
          “Sorry Mary, ‘B&B by the sea.’ Wow! Never in a million years did I think I would be having morning tea in such a posh place by the sea. This is a mansion.  

They returned to the B&B again. Fatimah set tables on the veranda. She placed white table cloth complete with white cloth napkins in the silver napkin rings. The petite sandwiches, sponge cakes and scones, some in tiered platters, were beautiful to look at. She picked long stemmed pink tulips which gave off a fragrant scent and freshened the table. The tables looked like a page in a house and garden magazine. There were four tea pots to serve four kinds of tea. They had the elegance of a traditional high tea.
The Falls is the only still standing wooden hotel from 1853 in the whole New Zealand which is being used as a Restaurant.

 The Falls Restaurant is an iconic events venue in Henderson famous for weddings, corporate functions, casual breakfast, lunch & formal dinner service.

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Falls restaurant in Henderson

This is Falls restaurant in Henderson. It looks like the fictional B&B I have written in my Book, The Playgroup Club. I share this photo. May be I visited it in my dream.
You are right Terry, it's the only still standing wooden hotel from 1853 in the whole New Zealand which is being used as a Restaurant.

 The Falls Restaurant is an iconic events venue in Henderson famous for weddings, corporate functions, casual breakfast, lunch & formal dinner service.[tn]=kC&ft[qid]=6357802856015694308&ft[mf_story_key]=-6906747776063050887&ft[ei]=AI%402c5794979203fd0b473914fa57b0a66b&ft[top_level_post_id]=10154231842359217&ft[fbfeed_location]=1&ft[insertion_position]=1&__md__=1&hc_location=ufi

My Burka family

My burka family. I had explained how I got this set. My Somalian refugee student sold it to me for $5. Ten years from when I got it, they served a purpose. 
In My Book The Playgroup Club, I had a Burka family. I was writing this during the time when France banned the Burka in some of their beaches. I had personally helped a family violence in a Burka family.

I just remembered yesterday and I told my new pastor. Few yrs back when I released my first book, I had this Muslim student who was kicked out by her husband. She came to me, and my church gave her some money and I took her shopping. I guess this is our "Needs"gift. I was reminded of this when I posted the Burka dolls.

Mr. Whippy, Icecream van

The kids saw Mr Whippy at Potter's park, and the mums gave them a treat.

bouncy castle during Olivia's wedding.

Bouncy castles, a hit with children. Kylie had a bouncy castle during Olivia's wedding.

Burka woman

In the chapter of Fatimah, she is abused by her husband and is rescued by her Playgroup friends. Kylie gave her a roof and a job.

Real Estate and Laura in ther book

I was interested in the real estate tent, in this case, The Goodwins.  They had a gingerbread house for a lucky draw, and free cupcakes made by one of the man.

I had a camera mal-function, and I can't show you the cupcakes and Wesley who made them.The Cupcakefairy.

In The Playgroup Club book, I have a real estate agent.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Survivng sisters

Double bed has taken a whole real meaning.

In Auckland, the kids played hours in this cradle or as my American friend S says, crib. her daughter liked it so much so I gave it to her, as Sam didn't want to play with dolls.

Deb and Gab were this age when we lost Andrew. They went to Playgroup

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

World Prematurity Day.

You write because sometimes you need to release what your feeling instead of keeping it all bottled up inside,
 some people tell me not to write and move on.
Sands Auckland Central Today is World Prematurity Day. A day to raise awareness of the 1 in 10 babies born premature each year in NZ, and to remember all babies and families affected by preterm birth.
It is also a time to thank all the staff in the neonatal units across the country for their care and support, and to the researchers looking for ways to prevent or manage preterm birth.

Four seasons in a day

Auckland's wet weather is brought mainly by its next most frequent wind, the north-easterly, and the rain that it brings from the subtropical high pressure belt is relatively warm.

The downpour can be torrential and brief, a relief from the clammy humidity that commonly precedes it. The dark passing storm cloud is likely to quickly give way to another burst of sunshine, the fabled "four seasons in one day".
In my book, "The Playgroup Club," I wrote about four seasons in one day. Today is one of these days, I hung my laundry and had to bring it in again

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


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Your book The Playgroup Club
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The Playgroup Club by ann chin

The Playgroup Club: Mothers and babies, toddlers, preschoolers

Nov 8, 2016 | Kindle eBook
by Samuel Chin and Ann Chin
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