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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Sample of Daily Nourishments by Peggy Ling

Peggy prayed everyday via the Daily Nourishments she started... for everyone she knew... the people in her church choir... the people she worked with... in fact, she prayed for everyone she met. 
Peggy's Daily Nourishments was sent by email every day, for more than 3 years, without fail until  her passing to eternal life. She woke up every morning at 5am to prepare and send it. Exceptions were only if her computer or internet breaks down, or when she's overseas with no access to the internet. 
Here below, is a sample of her emailed Daily Nourishments. Note that Wednesday, 17 November 2010 was a Public Holiday for Hari Raya Haji.
Names have been changed to protect the identity of the people she prayed for.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Peggy Ling <email address>
Date: Wed, Nov 17, 2010 at 8:30 AM
Subject: DAILY NOURISHMENTS..reach out and hold onto God's healing hands..sense His generous heart..breathe His creations -17th Nov 2010
To: un-disclosed

"I've learned that..
- AGE 77..

   (from today's first reading)..   
"Worthy are you, Lord our God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things;
because of your will they came to be and were created."

Wednesday, 17th Nov 2010

Memorial of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, religious


·"the love of God is greater far, than tongues of man can ever tell.."..(from "Word Among Us").."Thank you, Father, for your boundless love!...."..

   listen      http://www.usccb.org/

Reading 1
Rv 4:1-11

I, John, had a vision of an open door to heaven,
and I heard the trumpetlike voice
that had spoken to me before, saying,
"Come up here and I will show you what must happen afterwards."
At once I was caught up in spirit. 
A throne was there in heaven, and on the throne sat one
whose appearance sparkled like jasper and carnelian.
Around the throne was a halo as brilliant as an emerald.
Surrounding the throne I saw twenty-four other thrones
on which twenty-four elders sat,
dressed in white garments and with gold crowns on their heads.
From the throne came flashes of lightning,
rumblings, and peals of thunder.
Seven flaming torches burned in front of the throne,
which are the seven spirits of God.
In front of the throne was something that resembled
a sea of glass like crystal.
In the center and around the throne,
there were four living creatures
covered with eyes in front and in back.
The first creature resembled a lion, the second was like a calf,
the third had a face like that of a man,
and the fourth looked like an eagle in flight.
The four living creatures, each of them with six wings,
were covered with eyes inside and out.
Day and night they do not stop exclaiming:
"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty,
who was, and who is, and who is to come."
Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks
to the one who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever,
the twenty-four elders fall down
before the one who sits on the throne
and worship him, who lives forever and ever.
They throw down their crowns before the throne, exclaiming:
"Worthy are you, Lord our God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things;
because of your will they came to be and were created."

Ps 150:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6
Responsorial Psalm

R. (1b) Holy, holy, holy Lord, mighty God!

Praise the LORD in his sanctuary,
praise him in the firmament of his strength.
Praise him for his mighty deeds,
praise him for his sovereign majesty.

R. Holy, holy, holy Lord, mighty God!

Praise him with the blast of the trumpet,
praise him with lyre and harp,
Praise him with timbrel and dance,
praise him with strings and pipe.

R. Holy, holy, holy Lord, mighty God!
Praise him with sounding cymbals,
praise him with clanging cymbals.
Let everything that has breath
praise the LORD! Alleluia.

R. Holy, holy, holy Lord, mighty God!

Lk 19:11-28

While people were listening to Jesus speak,
he proceeded to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem
and they thought that the Kingdom of God
would appear there immediately.
So he said,
"A nobleman went off to a distant country
to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return.
He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins
and told them, 'Engage in trade with these until I return.'
His fellow citizens, however, despised him
and sent a delegation after him to announce,
'We do not want this man to be our king.'
But when he returned after obtaining the kingship,
he had the servants called, to whom he had given the money,
to learn what they had gained by trading.
The first came forward and said,
'Sir, your gold coin has earned ten additional ones.'
He replied, 'Well done, good servant!
You have been faithful in this very small matter;
take charge of ten cities.'
Then the second came and reported,
'Your gold coin, sir, has earned five more.'
And to this servant too he said,
'You, take charge of five cities.'
Then the other servant came and said,
'Sir, here is your gold coin;
I kept it stored away in a handkerchief,
for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding man;
you take up what you did not lay down
and you harvest what you did not plant.'
He said to him,
'With your own words I shall condemn you,
you wicked servant.
You knew I was a demanding man,
taking up what I did not lay down
and harvesting what I did not plant;
why did you not put my money in a bank?
Then on my return I would have collected it with interest.'
And to those standing by he said,
'Take the gold coin from him
and give it to the servant who has ten.'
But they said to him,
'Sir, he has ten gold coins.'
He replied, 'I tell you,
to everyone who has, more will be given,
but from the one who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.
Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king,
bring them here and slay them before me.'"
After he had said this,
he proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem.


   WORD AMONG US      http://wau.org/meditations/current/

"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty!" (Revelation 4:8)

How amazing heaven must be! In today's first reading, we get only a glimpse of its glory—and a secondhand glimpse at that—and still our hearts thrill. Imagine the throne of God, the twenty-four elders, the four living creatures, the flashes of lightning and peals of thunder. Just try to wrap your mind around the throne of God where, all day and night, an unending stream of worship, adoration, and praise rises up to the Father. And what makes this even more amazing is that all this is going on right now, even as the world continues to spin, as nations rise and fall, as armies amass, and as families the world over experience the ups and downs of life. 
Keeping this heavenly reality in our minds can help us find the right balance as we go through our days. Remember: One day, you too will stand before the throne of God. He who has known you from all time will not just sit there unmoved, either. He will rejoice over you!
Even now, God finds great joy in you. He delights in your faith, even as he sees the pockets of unbelief. He rejoices over your courage, your compassion, and your love, even as he sees your struggles with temptation. He enjoys touching your heart, helping you grow in holiness, and giving you a taste of heaven right now. All because he loves you.
There is so much we don't understand about God or heaven. Words alone could never capture divine reality—not even the words of the Bible. But there is one thing we can be sure of: God's love for each and every one of us is firm. It is unchanging. It is foundational to who we are and what we can become. Every hope and dream, every desire and longing, every purpose and goal in our lives finds its ultimate fulfillment in God and in the home he has prepared for us. 
So lift up your heart today, no matter what your situation is! Your Father has a perfect plan for you. He rejoices in you now, and he can't wait for the day when you will finally see him face to face!
"Thank you, Father, for your boundless love! As I walk through this day, help me to keep you and your heavenly home in the forefront of my mind."

   INSPIRING WOMEN EVERYDAY      www.cwr.org.uk 

Real sin, true repentance

'Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.' (v.10)
Psalm 51:1–19

David was an amazing hero – chosen by God in his youth; slaying a giant; resisting the temptation to kill Saul and make himself king; an accomplished musician who wrote uplifting psalms. He trusted God, he loved God … and God loved him.

But David was also an adulterer and a murderer (2 Sam. 11). He forgot about God while he pursued his own desires. But God still loved him. And it was on this great love that David threw himself pleading for God's mercy when the realisation of what he had done finally dawned on him.
David knew that he had sinned against humanity but that, ultimately, he had failed God (v.4). And it broke his heart (v.17). This was no cursory word of repentance. This was genuine grief over his sin. And David knew that God was the only One who could put things right (v.7).
Notice that David doesn't just ask for forgiveness and a restoration of the relationship – he asks to be changed: to have a pure heart created in him so that he isn't tempted to fall again (v.10). David knows that saying sorry is not enough. True repentance means being sorry, and proving it by turning away from the old ways.
But he can't do this alone. He needs the help of the Merciful One, the Great Forgiver. So he pleads with God not to take His Spirit away from him. He needs the support of the Spirit if he is to stay close to God. And a request for forgiveness and for the infilling of the Spirit is one that God will not turn down. He does not despise David's contrition. No wonder David rejoices (vv.14–15)!
Whatever we may have done, whomever we may have hurt, God is still willing and able to forgive and restore us.

   choir members..    

·desmond....elaine....dear Lord, we pray that You may watch over, bless and protect each of them as they take the flights and travel on the road..as he returns home while she leaves for a leisure trip..may Yur Guardian Angels keep them safe within Your sight..

·daniel C..dear God, may You continue to heal him of his asthmatic condition..grant him favours to recovery more and more each day and becomes less dependent on medications..

·peggy..dear Jesus, by Your gentle hands, may You heal and ease the tightness and tension of her nerves in her brain caused by the cold from the rain yesterday..

   members' families/relatives/friends..    

·john oh (patrick's granduncle) and his family..dear

God, bless and protect this elderly man who lives in Penang and has recently been diagnosed with stage 3 of lung cancer..we also pray for healing of the hearts within this family, especially those who are his carers and now adjusting to the fresh information and adopting little changes in their lifestyles..guide them in their decision about his medical concerns and treatments and their lifestyles..  

·rohani (peggy's colleague)..dear

Lord, we pray for this lady who has suffered the after effects from a bad fall and had a surgery..we pray for daily healing in her legs where one is giving her frequent nagging joint aches and the other with a metallic strap..grant her Trust and Strengths for recovery as she moves about with less pain each day..
·sandra tan (serene's twin sister)..dear Father, by Your Generosity, may You grant her daily healing of her aches and pain suffered from her recent minor car accident..

·evelyn ho (hilary's wife)..dear Father, we ask for physical wellness in her so that her body is physically ready and in good form for her follow up medical check tomorrow..may Your Trusted medical servants anointed to her bring good news of healing, with simple management that's within Yours and her resources..

·those in the homes, hospitals and hospices..dear Father, it is public holiday today, we pray for those who are residing not in their own homes but the homes for the aged, the sick, the abandoned.. whose hearts may feel a little withdrawn..perhaps their loved ones didn't choose to visit them today but have other commitments and activities.. we pray for their hearts to receive Kindness, Cheerfulness, Peace and Joy from those they meet today..

·walking daily with God..(from "Word Among Us").."....Father, ....As I walk through this day, help me to keep you and your heavenly home in the forefront of my mind."..

·real sin, true repentance..(from "Inspiring Women Everyday").."God, I'm so sorry for ... Don't despise my broken heart. Turn me away from my sin and back to You. Create in me a pure heart, ready to serve You and do things Your way..."..


Prayers For Jonathan Seet ~ by Peggy Ling

I am very sure Peggy will continue to pray for Jon as she had done so on this earth. This is the end of this archive but I am sure her prayers will carry more weight in heaven. From a collection of all her prayers for Jonathan, here is a paraphrasing of some prayers that Peggy has said for Jonathan which started on Tue, Mar 2, 2010 at 8:27 AM.
A Combination of Prayers For Jonathan Seet ~ by Peggy Ling
(Updated: Tue, 2011 May 31, 1458hrs)
Dear Father, with our sincere hearts, by your gentle hands and pure heart, and through the faithfulness of his family, friends and relatives, we pray for this youth who has been in coma since Mar 2009, before his 16th birthday, that he may show some signs of response. You know he has been coma due to a congenital defect that caused his blood vessel in his brain to burst. May his family (especially his parents who are yearning for a hope) and all those that visit him, bring Good News of Your Word, and may he continue to witness the goodness of your Daily Creations through his other senses. We ask that he may smell friendship and love through all the people he meets today.
We pray for his parents that they be eased with other matters in their daily lives by the end of each evening, so that they may be recharged, renewed and refreshed the next day to care for their Son. May their hearts to hold dear, your daily promises; when they lose sight of your light, may you send angels to them to comfort and pick them up once again.
We pray for his younger sister. Dear Jesus, give her a generous and understanding heart, especially so when her parents have to spend extra time to care for her older brother. May she be filled with prayer, love, compassion and patience, like how she witness of her parents towards her older brother. And may this little child of yours come to share good news of her daily experiences of joyful life with her brother so that he may come to know of your goodness and generosity in granting her abundances of blessings.
We pray for the Medical Servants looking after him that they would find joy and satisfaction in doing their job well and may their lives be blessed with peace of mind and good health, so that their gentleness of Care and Love will flow through every stream of blood in him.

The Show Must Go On ~ Queen

Yes indeed... the show must go on...

The Show Must Go On ~ Queen (YouTube video)

The Show Must Go On ~ Queen (Lyrics)

Empty spaces - what are we living for?
Abandoned places - I guess we know the score..
On and on!
Does anybody know what we are looking for?

Another hero - another mindless crime.
Behind the curtain, in the pantomime.
Hold the line!
Does anybody want to take it anymore?
The Show must go on!
The Show must go on!Yeah!
Inside my heart is breaking,
My make-up may be flaking,
But my smile, still, stays on!

Whatever happens, I'll leave it all to chance.
Another heartache - another failed romance.
On and on...
Does anybody know what we are living for?
I guess i'm learning
I must be warmer now..
I'll soon be turning, round the corner now.
Outside the dawn is breaking,
But inside in the dark I'm aching to be free!

The Show must go on!
The Show must go on! Yeah,yeah!
Ooh! Inside my heart is breaking!
My make-up may be flaking...
But my smile, still, stays on!
Yeah! oh oh oh

My soul is painted like the wings of butterflies,
Fairy tales of yesterday, will grow but never die,
I can fly, my friends!

The Show must go on! Yeah!
The Show must go on!
I'll face it with a grin!
I'm never giving in!
On with the show!

I'll top the bill!
I'll overkill!
I have to find the will to carry on!
On with the,
On with the show!

The Show must go on.


Monday, May 30, 2011

Peggy Ling's Story ~ by CTK ~ G! Magazine

Updated: 2011 May 30, 2131hrs
Here's the file in PDF Format.
Click to View or Download it.


Original Entry Date: 2011 May 30, 1946hrs

Dearest Peggy, we will all miss you. Bye Peggy.

Peggy Ling's Biography


Saturday, May 28, 2011

My Vocal Coaching Skills So Far ~ by PGA

This was something I had wanted to share with a friend who had wanted me to help Vocal Coach the choir. I had drafted it in an email but I did not send it. She just passed away yesterday.

My Vocal Coaching Skills So Far ~ by PGA

My only experience in vocal coaching is coaching myself. I had to actually teach myself to sing because I didn't have much of a range, I only had half an octave to begin with. Now I have more than 3 octaves to play with, although the last octave is still experimental. I couldn't read music, so I had to teach myself that. I had slight pitching problems so I had to work this too... luckily this wasn't so bad... just the accidentals. I had to teach myself because I didn't know anyone (at that time) who could teach me and the only person who tried to teach me, gave up on me... he was my father. After I managed to learn a lot by observation and reading up in the Library... I was so confidant in learning on my own that I felt I didn't need a teacher. Well, actually I did need people to teach me but I knew I didn't have to pay for it because my observation skills were quite good. I joined some choirs and listen to what these vocal coaches had to say. The thing that made sense to me, I use to improve... and the things that made little sense to me, I treasured them and hoped to one day... better understand them.


Quote ~ Having It All

You can have it all, 
but not all at once!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Happy 50th Birthday

by Andrea Carter (Lyrics & MP3 Excerpt)
Do you know anyone who's celebrating their 50th Birthday?
While surfing, I stumbled upon this website that has this beautiful, jazzy Happy 50th Birthday Song. They even have an Excerpt in MP3 Format for you to download and listen. Have a listen to the Walking Bass Line as she sings. And the lyrics, they're good. Go to the links below to have a look-see.
Listen to MP3 excerpt from the 50th birthday song
Half Century Swing, Happy 50th Birthday
by Andrea Carter (Lyrics & MP3 Excerpt)
For A Man ~ MP3 excerpt (01:36m)
For A Woman ~ MP3 excerpt (01:35m)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Necessity Quote

Necessity is the mother of invention.
~ Plato, Greek author & philosopher in Athens (427 BC - 347 BC)


Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II

Rosary ~ My Favourite Decade

The 4th Glorious Mystery
Luke 1:46-55 (English Standard Version)

46 ~ And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 ~ and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 ~ for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 ~ for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
50 ~ And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
51 ~ He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
52 ~ he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate;
53 ~ he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.
54 ~ He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
55 ~ as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever."

Why I like it?

I like it because I can recite this reading from memory without any effort... 
... thanks to my father who brought me to Novena every Saturday while I was very young.

This reading is exactly the same as The Magnificat which is basically, Mary's Song of Praise,
and is recited in the Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour.

I'd say it as...

The Magnificat
My soul glorifies the lord.
My spirit rejoices in God my savior.
He looks on his servant in her nothingness, henceforth, all ages will call me blessed.
The Almighty has done great things for me, holy is His name.
His mercy is from age to age on those who fear him.
He puts forth his arm in strength and scatters the proud hearted.
He cast the mighty from their thrones and raises the lowly.
He fills the starving with good things and sends the rich away empty.
He protects Israel his servants, remembering his mercy.
The mercy he has promised to our fathers, Abraham and his children forever.


Prayer for a Selfless Person who Suffers

Dear God, our Father...
We pray for this selfless person who prays for others... 
... despite suffering the pain of her own illness. 
Very saintly... her perseverance... she prays for people's needs... 
... more than they pray for their own.
May her Christ-like attitude to her sufferings comfort her... 
... and ease her pain as she prays daily for the people around her. 
A selfless person going through their own trials & tribulations... 
...is an inspiration to all who witness their goodness; 
However, we pray that you take this cup from her; 
yet not our will, but yours --- be done. 
We make this prayer through Jesus Christ, Your Son... 
...and his loving mother, Mary. 


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Frog & Fly ~ GIF

If only life could be so simple. You just sit by the pool and go for a dip anytime you feel like it. You don't have to work for a living. When you're hungry, there'll be food in the air and all you need to do is to reach out for it. It sure feels like a holiday. But then... you'll have to be a frog. Or you could be the fly... your choice.
Watch for it... 
food will be fly-ing pass soon...


Surrounded By "Toilets"

Don't you feel that sometimes, 
you're surrounded by "toilets"?


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tai Hwa Pork Noodle

We went there today at about 08:40pm. Queue was not very long, had about 6 or 7 people in front of me. We intended to have 1 bowl Kway Teow Soup & 1 bowl Mee Kia Dry but they've run-out of these and we were left with Mee Pok. We ordered 1 Mee Pok Soup & 1 Mee Pok Dry. 

Overall, it was good. Soup was nice, had dried black seaweed in it. Mee Pok wasn't so good as it was the thick type. The liver was cut very thin, just the way we liked it. Although we were disappointed with the Mee Pok, the taste gave us a hit of what it could have been. I normally don't like vinegar, but this one was more palatable for me. I should have added more chilly.

Would I go eat this again?
I've been wanting to try this ever since I heard of its reputation... but now that I've tasted it, I don't have that same longing. I'd eat it again if I do pass by that way. I'd like to go back but only if I'm sure I can get to taste it with the Mee Kia noodles.

Information is correct at date & time of entry.

Tai Hwa Pork Noodle
Bak Chor Mee (Minced Pork Noodle)
Open from 9.30am to 9pm; 
Closed on the first & third Monday of each month
Block 466 Crawford Lane 
#01-12 Singapore 190465
Tel: 6292-7477
Immigration and Checkpoint Authority Building, 
Lavender MRT (Train) Station
Previous Addresses:
From Hill Street (1932) 
To > Marine Square (1986) 
To > Crawford Lane (Since 2005)


God ~ Believe It Or Not

I've just updated and old entry... God ~ Believe It Or Not.


Monday, May 23, 2011

News ~ Brazilian Guitar Look-Alike

Updated: 2011 May 23, 1606hrs
Here's some info about the Cavaquinho from Wikipedia.
The cavaquinho (pronounced [kavɐˈkiɲu] in Portuguese) is a small string instrument of the European guitar family with four wire or gut strings. The origins of this Portuguese instrument are not easily found. Gonçalo Sampaio, who explains the survival of Minho region’s archaic and Hellenistic modes by possible Greek influences on the ancient Gallaeci of the region, stresses the link between this instrument and historical Hellenistic tetrachords. The author holds that the cavaquinho and the guitar may have been brought to Braga by the Biscayans. There are different kinds of cavaquinho. The minhoto cavaquinho, associated with the Minho region in Portugal, has the neck on the same level as the body, and the sound hole is usually in the raia format (raia is Portuguese for batoidea). The Brazilian cavaquinho, associated with Brazil, as the cavaquinhos associated with Lisboa and Madeira, differs from the minhoto in that its neck is elevated in relation to the body, and the sound hole is traditionally round; thus it is more akin to the traditional guitar.
Date of First Entry: 2011 May 23, 1553hrs

I like this news article because of these key words...

• Rebeca
 ~ a "rabeca," a violin-like instrument popular in Brazilian culture

• Cavaquinho
 ~ a "cavaquinho" -- a small, four-stringed guitar

• Alfaia
 ~ "alfaia", a drum popular in Brazil's northeast which resembles the drums used in 19th-century military marching bands

and for these likes as well...

• "I learned to play with sheet music in church,"
• the fact that it is Green Friendly because of the use of recycled materials.
• The making of musical instruments... if only I am able to do this for a living... among other things...
• In the end, he gets to play the instrument he made.


Photo Caption: Young David Rocha has lost
count of how many instruments he has made.

He is pictured here with a Cavaquinho.

Young Brazilian craftsmen rescue indigenous music
Posted : 23 May 2011

SAO PAULO: In a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of Sao Paulo, the sounds of a fiddle merge with the buzz of an electric saw as apprentice craftsmen build Brazilian folk instruments -- often using wood found in city dumps.

In Sao Miguel Paulista, in the eastern part of this enormous Brazilian city, David Rocha, 20, shows off one of his most recent creations: a "rabeca," a violin-like instrument popular in Brazilian culture.

"I learned to play with sheet music in church," he told AFP.

Rocha is a member of the Tide Setubal Foundation, a community organization which is seeking to rescue the popular culture of a region of modest homes and widespread imigration in the impoverished Brazilian northeast.

To make money, he sells some of the instruments, which are made of wood and scraps collected from the banks of the polluted Tiete river.

With patience and skill, Rocha gently places his hands on the strings of his latest instrument, a "cavaquinho" -- a small, four-stringed guitar -- freshly painted, and made of three native woods: imbuia, known as Brazilian walnut, jacaranda, a blue-flowering tree, and an evergreen tree known as araucaria.

Rocha's rabeca was made with araucaria, imbuia and pau-brasil, a type of Brazilian timber that he took from an old bed.

One of Rocha's guitars was made from a box of imported Norway cod he found one day at the central market in Sao Paolo.

"I find the wood on a vacant lot or on the banks of the Tiete. When it is waterlogged, I take it back to the workshop and let it dry," said Rocha, who has lost count of how many instruments he has made.

Surrounded by handsaws and hammers, Renato Soares, 21, and Caique Aron, 18, are finishing their second "alfaia", a drum popular in Brazil's northeast which resembles the drums used in 19th-century military marching bands. Strips of rope wrapped around the drum's body can be tightened or loosened for tuning.

"It's for the five-year-old brother of a friend of mine," says Soares.

"Since he plays the flute, I promised him I would make him an alfaia, since it makes more noise," said Soares, laughing.

Back at the workshop, the cupboards are full of percussion instruments, both large and small, some with the leather already tanned and cured, others with the original skin. They will be used for music lessons for about 60 children who come to the Foundation for lessons.

Along with his percussion-making skills, Soares is one of the drum instructors. "I like building them," he says, noting how he makes the bright purple and yellow diamonds that decorate the sides of the alfaia with ink, glue and sawdust.

After creating his latest cavaquinho, Rocha must test it out -- and an impromptu samba duo with Soares on the alfaia is the best way to do that.



After The Proposal

I found this picture on the internet.
I find this an interesting picture. 
I've entitled it 'After The Proposal'.

Read this before you get married...

Those of you who are intending to get married... 
I wish you all the very best!  
However, please read this before you...
get married, 
get engaged, 
go steady or... 
just beginning to go on dates... 
in fact... 
maybe read this even before you start puberty. 
I found this to be good advice... 
for couples thinking of getting married... 
to make sure that you... or your partner... 
do NOT go down the same path. 
Having said said that, 
note that this article can also be read after you get married... 
but obviously... it's better reading this before.
To guys reading this article, it'll be good to know that... 
you could be doing the same thing, or worst still, 
you could be at the receiving end. Either way, 
it is NOT going to be pleasant if it happens.
As I said my vows, I knew I was marrying the wrong man...

One woman's confession about the most devastating mistake of her life

Last updated at 2:19 AM on 23rd May 2011

Walking down the aisle, I distinctly remember thinking to myself: 'I don't have to do this for ever if it gets too bad. Starter marriages are acceptable these days — almost fashionable. There won't be too much of a scandal.' What a terrible thought for a young woman in a £1,000 duchesse satin and lace dress to be having as she walked towards her fiancé, standing at the altar. But it was genuinely how I felt at that moment eight years ago.

I was so nervous that when I reached my future husband, Joseph, I blurted out: 'You look sexy!'

Ready to run: Claire knew her marriage was a mistake, like Julia Robert's character in the Runaway Bride

It was the worst possible start to our marriage — the second we stepped out of the church, he pulled me towards him with a reprimanding, controlling grimace. 'How could you say "You look sexy" in a church?' he hissed. 'I wish you had more decorum.'

It didn't get any better. Our week-long honeymoon in the Seychelles was marred by a panic attack in which I honestly thought I was going to die and recurring nightmares that I was being suffocated. Whatever had I done?
To think, it had started so promisingly.

I was working in publishing when I met Joseph, a banker in the City, in a pub in Notting Hill, West London, when we were both 24. I was instantly impressed by his quick wit, fine brain and love for Broadway musicals.
He wasn't my usual type, but my spirit had just been broken by the epitome of my usual type (a tall, fair, sporty lad with bucket loads of swagger). So I stumbled, dragging my weeping heart and shattered confidence behind me, into Joseph's all-too-eager arms.

When, one year later, a sapphire ring was produced on a holiday in Spain, I loved the romance of it all — and the security and comfort I felt from knowing that a man wanted me. I loved being his priority, and ignored the tugging, uneasy feelings I had that this relationship was just a confidence-booster, a temporary filip rather than solid and everlasting. 

I turned a blind eye to other warning signs — that my friends and family didn't like how he spoke to me and thought he was trying to turn me into someone I wasn't. I decided they simply didn't know the real him. 

'We don't understand why you want to get married,' my mum pleaded with me at an emergency family conference soon after our engagement. 'Why do you want to trap yourselves so early on into a relationship that could run its course in a few years?'

'How dare you! I love him!' I barked back.

'I couldn't call it off. My pride was too strong. Besides, we'd put down more than £5,000 in deposits. The invitations had gone out, and friends who lived abroad had started to book flights'.

My divorced parents — who had not spoken to each other for more than ten years — presented a united front in the hope of shaking some sense into me.

'But, darling, listen to the warning bells in your head. We've heard you argue, seen how he treats you. Do you really think this young man can make you happy for ever?' my dad said.

'I know what I'm doing,' I answered quietly. 'You can't judge me by your own mistakes. Joseph is clever and witty and he's doing really well in his career.'

Flouncing out, I heard my father say to my mother: 'He's not lively enough to keep Claire happy,' with a sadness in his voice that made me lock myself in that café's toilet and weep over what I was about to do.

I won't: Claire knew her marriage wouldn't be 'till death do them part' when she said her vows

I knew then, unequivocally, that it wasn't right. But I couldn't call it off. My pride was too strong and I didn't want to lose face, especially to the naysayers who had tried to tell me I was making a mistake. Besides, we'd put down more than £5,000 in deposits for everything from the reception to the limousines. The invitations had gone out, and friends who lived abroad had started to book flights and hotels.

In the weeks before the wedding, I was on an emotional knife edge, knowing in my heart that I was doing the wrong thing but still desperately trying to make it work. I spent my weeknights flicking through wedding magazines, willing myself to become the glowing bride everyone expected to see — and most weekends crying pathetically and wondering why I was going through with it. I stuck my head in the sand and hoped for a miracle. I loved him, I just didn't understand why his actions towards me were sometimes unthinkably cruel and selfish: he'd go out all night and not come home, leaving me torn between hating him for being mean and worried that he'd been hurt.

Not that he brought the best out in me either. Around him, I was needy and insecure, calling and emailing him a dozen times a day, and sulking if he didn't respond immediately. I must have been a drain on his happiness, an energy vampire. But we both kept thinking that the other would change after we were married, and that the constant arguing, grumpiness and battles for control were due to the normal stress of organising our nuptials.

Neither of us discussed that we might be heading down a disastrous road, or ever said out loud: 'Let's cancel the wedding.' We were both too pig-headed and young to sit down and talk.

The wedding went ahead, of course, and was fabulous fun for all our 130 guests, who had no idea of my doubts. Many had flown in from Australia, Canada and Singapore to be with us as we said our vows in a 17th-century church in Surrey which we'd filled with £2,000 worth of flowers and candles. The reception was at an upmarket golf and country club.

'We still lived together in our two-bedroom flat but otherwise we were leading separate lives'

No expense was spared and Joseph and I paid for most of the £15,000 bill. My parents had offered to pay for more, but I think my inner guilt stopped me from taking advantage of their generosity; I couldn't let them struggle to pay for a decadent wedding that would possibly not be my last. In fact, I had spent more time worrying about the party aspect of it than the commitment, which was a sign to which I should have paid more attention. I was so consumed with the 'event' that I was in denial about the future.

I knew within months of tying the knot that my gut reaction had been right and I had made a terrible mistake (Joseph was clearly not happy, too, but also in denial). 

{The importance of counselling & therapy}
However, for three years I tried to persuade myself I could save our relationship and save face. I begged Joseph to try couples therapy, but he refused. I tried to bury myself in work, but it wasn't enough.

We silently agreed to stop having sex, and any physical attraction that we once felt for each other disappeared. We still lived together in our two-bedroom flat in Clapham, South-West London, but otherwise we were leading separate lives. He'd tried to mould me into his idea of the perfect wife — docile, compliant and quiet — by little things, such as criticising my behaviour on nights out, saying I was 'too loud' and trying to turn me against my friends because he didn't like them. But I refused to play along; it would have been like having my natural personality removed. He responded to my rebellion by staying out night after night with his colleagues, drinking and partying, while I took holidays on my own just to get away from my sad married life. It's no surprise that shortly after our three-year anniversary I decided this was no way to live, so I asked for a trial separation and moved into a friend's spare bedroom. 

No expense spared: But Claire's 'perfect' wedding day didn't lead to a happy marriage (posed by models)

Afterwards, Joseph felt immense anger towards me. But living away from him protected me from his outbursts, and although we'd communicate via email, I didn't face the daily drama and fighting. My overriding emotion was of being a failure and the first few weeks were hell. My friends fell into two camps: those who had seen the writing on the wall and were happy I was finally admitting it, and those who thought I hadn't tried hard enough. Perhaps both groups had a point. 

{The importance of counselling & therapy}
I started going to therapy on my own, to talk through my decision with a non-biased, objective person and I soon started to flourish again. Admitting out loud all the hidden fears and shame I'd stored up for so long made my decision seem real and my reasons clear.


A pearl engagement ring is said to bring bad luck because its shape echoes that of a tear

Then my family commented on how they'd got the 'old Claire back' and I was shocked. I hadn't realised how obvious my unhappiness had been to them. Their vote of confidence allowed me to imagine a better, easier, happier life. 'The rest of your life is a long time,' my mum said. 'You're only 29. Be selfish. Think about yourself.'

So, buoyed by my new inner contentment and my family's support, after a few months of living apart, I asked Joseph for a divorce. 'I'm sorry,' was all I could pathetically offer as he flipped between hysterical tears and aggressive threats when I told him in our just-renovated kitchen. I watched with a coldness and distance that I was shocked by, as if I was looking down on someone else's defining moment.

'You can't change my mind. I'm sorry,' I said matter-of-factly as he made futile promises to change. I knew he couldn't.

Too much had gone on between us for me to feel regret at this stage. It may have come as a shock to him, but I'd known since before the wedding that I had to end things. I just hadn't known how. So I planned a life without him — without giving him the opportunity to win me back, without me even looking back. Emotionally, I'd checked out. I wanted to cut my losses and put it all down to a stupid mistake in my 20s. I certainly didn't want to have children with him, and I knew that would have been the expected next step. And I really didn't want my heart to feel this cold for ever. I wanted to admit that I had failed and to move on. I had a few months until my 30th birthday and I was, somewhat naively, determined to be happier by then. Now, five years after my divorce, I'm happily married for a second time. Following a much-needed three-year spell of being single, I met a man who is kind, honest and loves me for who I am rather than what he thinks he can change me into. And I have never felt such overwhelming love. I'd do anything for him — happily — which is not just a sign that I've matured, but that my second husband deserves it. My second wedding couldn't have been more different from the first. I wore a simple cream shift dress and we hosted a dinner at a local restaurant for 60. This wasn't about showing off, this was about true love and the start of our future together. It was the best day of my life.

If I could offer advice to a bride-to-be or future groom who think they could be making a mistake, it would be to listen to those warning bells. Don't ignore them. It would have been better for everyone if I'd had the courage to cancel my first wedding before the big day arrived. But, as it was, I wasted everyone's time and caused a lot of heartbreak — especially my own.