The street where I live when in Kuching. It hasn't changed much.
There has been both very good and very bad news in recent weeks. My friend Sue Falkingham, whom I've known since the late 1980s when we both lived in Hong Kong and who moved on to Portugal, Belize and just recently Guatemala, died suddenly of a heart attack last month. I visited her in Corozal, in Belize, in November. We had some funny adventures over the years and I'm pleased that I now have some very recent memories of her to add to the old ones.
I can't share the really good news just yet, but it involves a big arts-related project that I proposed and which has been given the thumbs-up. I'm very excited about it!
I'm catching up on this blog from Miri, in the far north of Sarawak where I'm visiting my friend Jennie. Jennie has as many pies in her life as she has fingers and toes. I don't think I've met anyone who has more interests and activities crammed into her weekly calendar. I met her in 2010 through her work with the Society of Sarawakians Writing in English (SOSWE). I spoke at a gathering here just a month after I had started my travels, and joined in a book-sharing event on Saturday afternoon with president Molly and other local writers. Yesterday afternoon I sat in on Jennie's practice session with the Miri Choir. It was fascinating to watch the director coaching out of the members the notes and modulations he was looking for. And they sounded beautiful. Some of them had sung at Jennie's daughter Cheryl's wedding last weekend.
Our run from Kuching to Damai Beach Resort (33 km) two weeks ago on Good Friday was a lot of fun. Seven of us started at the Civic Centre at 3.30 am. Min and I made it to the Santubong Bridge together, but the field spread out a bit after that. I was the first to reach the finish after Sam and the kids, who had run the last 10 km, which is hilly and hard going. We had a long breakfast at the resort with our support crew afterwards.
Our Good Friday run took us from town to the far side of Mt Santubong, shown here.
Tougher than that long run was my first-ever Pilates session with Sam and instructor Tatiana. I actually felt nauseous during it. It reminded me that I really need to work on strengthening my core area, right through to my lower back.
I've spent some social time with Emily, brother Darroll and Emily's friend Annie, who is a voracious reader. Lots to talk about with all three.
I've taken the opportunity while in Kuching to have a small medical procedure done. I'm very comfortable with the doctors at Normah Medical Centre after having been there for one thing or another during my last three visits to Sarawak. (My doctor said to the nurse when I walked in, "This isn't a new patient. This is an OLD patient." And gave me a big smile.) Sam went with me. I also visited her dentist, had one of Josephine's amazing three-hour facials (which is also a gab-fest), and had a hair treatment.
I'm not what I would call high maintenance, but it's reassuring to know that everything's in good working order. It's going to be an exciting year, and I want to be in shape to enjoy it.