Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I better try A.Karim's theory in case it works with me.  I like Dr.Azhar's new blog image.  He certainly would not like the black background staying much longer in his blog sphere.  BUT of course, he has choices, hasn't he? 

Most glad to know that ever since the demise of his mom, A.Karim was triggered to write something regarding the mystery of "Dr.Azhar's post" ...getting into my blog. He pleasantly wrote his theory and that gave me some lights to shed on as well.

Anyway, I must say that my 10 months 13 days old Harith is down with his fever again.  He brought it back from his holiday in Jakarta with his parents, Mama and Papa. He came home last Sunday after a three days holidays at his grand father's, Papa's dad.  

When asked Papa...
"Where are the pictures for me to see?"

"Oh! It was accidentally left in grand dad's car at the airport"

"OOOOooo, what a shame.  Then we shall have to wait until their next trip home (of grand dad and his family) to get the camera and those pictures shown". 

Today, he is still fevering and having cold.  Mmmmmmm, twice in a month?  But he moves about with energy, pushing his body here, there, everywhere in the house, eating normal, drinking normal and sleeping as usual...ops? Not usual.... he wakes up nights...

We hope with this, he would show his next progress ..either talking, walking (most probably) or running... What a wish from Wan!

People in the house about to contact fever from Harith: 1. Mama (of course) 2. Aunty Zaza  3. Wan (beginning to sneeze this morning).

ow o!..He is awake!... making his way to my table now... he has just managed to pull the remote control down... OW O!  I better run along... I have his milk in the warmer for his next feed.  It should be ready now. Chao!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Identity Theft (at RoyalTLady) Explained

Dr. Azhar's posting at RoyalTLady blog puzzled both bloggers. Hmmm ... how in the world did Dr. Azhar, intending to write a posting for his blog (Nature Lover), ended up in RoyalTLady.

Well, blame it on both of them. Blame the blog owner, for not remembering that she had allowed Dr. Azhar to be one of her blog's contributors and also blame Dr. Azhar for not checking whereabout in the cyberspace before starting a new post.

My theory is, after browsing RoyalTLady's blog and while still at RoyalTLady blog, Dr. Azhar wanted to write a new post (for his own blog), and at the write top corner (of RoyalTLady blog) he would see the "New Post" button - and he clicks on it. Little did he knows that he is still within RoyalTLady cyberspace.

And thus he is then writing a new posting at RoyalTLady blog and not at his Nature Lover's blog.

Simple ...

There is actually NOT a identity theft as commented by one of the visitors in the comments.

To prove the point ... I am also posting this at her blog too (besides my own http://akarimomar.wordpress.com/) ... doesn't it work? I am given the trust by RoyalTLady as one of her blog's contributors too - thanks.

Thanks to both of you for giving me this puzzle to solve as I had not been writing for a while. Still sadden with the demise of my beloved mother ... I keep staring at a blank "new post" page to write but the finger just won't type and the idea just does not flow.

Doa untuk Ummiku yang tersayang ... ameen.

To be or not to be?

Received an e-mail from a Sdara, Hamidin asking me whether I have made the final decision on early retirement.

Well Hamidin or just Hamjud as he is more well known as among us, it is as good as anyone's guess at the moment.

When the stress and strain of work is at its peak, I feel like just calling it a day even at 55!

But when I look at my youngest daughter and my current financial situation, well why not continue for another two more years? Who want to give RMxxxx that I am receiving monthly now?

Rationally speaking it will be best to continue...many will say that...but looking deep inside me, I feel that I have to go. There is something more important than continuing what I have been doing for the past 26 years.

Ismail Ahmad, another childhood friend, I heard has gone for a preparatory course.

Well Hamjud, I don't have to be in a hurry to decide. I have got a few more months to go before I have to decide.

Come to think of it seriously, it would be better to wait until I have gained 30 years of service...but will the waiting be worth it?

Thursday, November 20, 2008


When WAN JIE smsd to confirm she and Wan Put were coming, Wan was so excited and hurried into the kitchen ...getting prepared for these special visitors.
She thought boiled sweet potato would suit this branch menu.  It could be steamed, eaten with or without jacket.  We finished the whole lot anyway.  It provides vitamins and good for digestion.   Carrots were left eaten and added raw into the pasta sauce.  It tastes better then getting them all soaked in there.
The amber colored round serving dish was bought in England, before Mama was born, 28 years ago...Oval platter for sweet potato was a house warming gift from my younger sister, Noriati.
Wan was seen preparing the pasta sauce, boiling pasta, drained them and set aside.  It was very Malaysian-Italian, a bit more chilly and more minced beef.  To soothe the hot taste, Wan cut up small cubes of yellow and red capsicum and pineapple.

The rounded serving bowl was a wedding gift for Mama.

Pasta in this bowl was sufficient for three people... this pineapple...very sweet and juicy was supposed to be the desert.  The lot was finished.  It was a well worth prepared brunch for old time friends.
The oval shaped bowl is a heavy stone wear bought in England when Mama was little.  The green plate was bought by Mama ... an only two piece tea set.

Butterfly Award

Great news! An award from the Tea Time With Melody was kind enough to stop by and give me this award! Thank you Melody. You made my day.
The rules of this award are:
  1. Pick ten people to pass this on to.
  2. Contact them and let them know you have chosen them for this award.
  3. Also, link back to the person who gave you the award.
I bestow this award to the following:
2. Aurea.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

TAGGED!!!!!!!!My first time TO BE tagged too

(Thaaaaaaaaanks, JEN ;-))

OK ... If I understand correctly what it means to be "tagged": I am to write 8 facts/habits about myself, tag 8 other blogger friends and notify them. Here it goes puffin'!

The facts:

1. I could live on fish soups, vegetable soups with noodles added into them...almost daily now! My body feels lighter and the weighing machine has stopped grumbling about my weight. The diet that took my cholesterol rocketing high was "Kuey Teow Beef Ginger" that I had from the golf club nearby my house.

2. My first home-away-from-home was at the raw age of 13 when I joined an all girl's boarding school until I aged 20 and never settled at home since. It was all "a home in school and college" after that which I enjoyed very much.

3. I have an irrational phobia -- I am dizzy with boat ride, dizzy with comfortable bus ride and "air sick" with "bumpy" flights when planes get into air pockets......

4. I never tire of "chicken Little, Madagascar and Garfield."

5. I had emergency surgery to welcome my third baby... cesarean!

6. I am eerily fascinated by stories of Jack the Ripper because I once lived in the Chapeltown district where he was believed to have striked.

7. I excelled in public speaking in high school simply because I was a chatter box.

8. I think I come across as pretty outgoing since I dare myself to some volunteering that might not appeal others. I even brushed shoulders with the Ministers during my active association days.

And here's who I'm tagging:

1. Ginnie at Goldendaze.
2. The Dutchess.
3. Sunbonnet Cottage.
4. The Voice Of Melody.
5. Laura's Paris Cooking
6. Donna's Art.
7. Fififlowers.
8. Happy@Home.

I wish I could tag all bloggers in my blog link...all are wonderful bloggers in their own ways.

Here are the rules of the game :

1. Each player starts with eight random fact/habits about themselves.
People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.

2. At the end of your blog post, you need to tag eight people and list their names.
Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’ve been tagged and to read your blog.

Remember to come back and leave me a comment after you've done your "duty!"

Happy tagging!

TAGGED!!!!!!!!My first time being tagged too

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My very first time to be TAGGED!

(Thaaaaaaaaanks, Luthien! ;-))

OK ... If I'm understanding correctly what it means to be "tagged": I am to write 8 facts/habits about myself, tag 8 other blogger friends and notify them. Here goes nuffin'!

The facts:

1. I could live on grilled cheese sandwiches. OK, so I would probably weigh 1,000 pounds and be extremely unhealthy and die prematurely, but what a way to go. Mmmmmmm ... cheeeeeeese. When I was small, I was a finicky eater and all I wanted was grilled cheese sandwiches. My mom asked the pediatrician for advice, and he said, "Feed her one for breakfast, one for lunch, and one for dinner. Pretty soon she'll grow so tired of the damned things, she'll never want another." Heh. Some expert he was.

2. My first home-away-from-home when I left my parents' nest was in Balibago, Angeles City in the Philippines. I was 19. It was an experience, to say the least.

3. I have an irrational phobia -- I'm freaked out by fish. Dead or alive, they give me the heebie-jeebies. Can't eat 'em either.

4. I never tire of "I Love Lucy."

5. I had emergency surgery to remove my gallbladder in March of this year, after 10 years of suffering from painful stones. Good riddance!

6. I am eerily fascinated by stories of Jack the Ripper. (And it's actually pretty gross that I'd follow up an entry about having my gallbladder surgically removed with a statement about Jack the Ripper, but there you have it.)

7. I excelled in shorthand in high school, back when it was deemed a vital skill for secretarial work. I still use it on a near-daily basis, although sometimes I can't read what it says for the life of me.

8. I think I come across as pretty outgoing, although I'm actually painfully shy much of the time.

And here's who I'm tagging:

1. Linda at Lime in the Coconut
2. The Yellow House at Our Big Yellow House
3. RoyalTLady
4. OhioMom at Cooking in Cleveland
5. Mindy at Good Times, Noodle Salad
6. Kahlanne at Long Ramblings
7. Darlene at Our Creative Life
8. Balego at Frayed Brushes

Here are the rules of the game :

1. Each player starts with eight random fact/habits about themselves.
People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.

2. At the end of your blog post, you need to tag eight people and list their names.
Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’ve been tagged and to read your blog.

Remember to come back and leave me a comment after you've done your "duty!"

Happy tagging!


Darlene - Our Creative Life said...

Hi Jen,
I'll try to think of some interesting facts about myself and post them son. Thanks for allowing me to play!
Take Care!

luthien said...

hehehe! thanks for playing! OMG... but why fish? it's my fav 'dieting' food!!!! oh dear... so the gallbladder is alright now? how long did it take to heal? CHEESE! YES!!!!!! and can i ask, you were working in the philippines? i've been there once when i was quite young... all i remembered was playing skateboard and falling down... hehehe... GREAT POST!!!!

Carolyn (Harbor Hon) said...

Love your tag post, Luthien tagged me too. I actually collect the old Gregg steno books! Even have one of the books that has the vinyl records, for the lessons, still attached in the back of it. Small world, huh? I was also very good, but now it's starting to leave me. I really should get back into it. Thanks for telling us more about you. xxoo

OhioMom said...

Jen, thanks for tagging me, don't be mad/sad if I don't post .. :)

I am sorry to here bout your surgery, and happy all turned out well.

Another shorthand person, I use some of it especially in taking notes in the kitchen, a lady at the market asked for one of my recipes the other day and I had to catch myself, lol, I was writing my scribble.


balego said...

my goodness, I feel like such a slacker as I haven't done any posting or painting! Gosh Jen, I see I've been tagged and I'm flattered. But... um.... I don't even KNOW 8 bloggers lol! (And you know those emails where it says 'forward to 7 people and something wonderful will happen? I can't even come up with 7 people I could send them to so I never get to find out what wonderful thing will happen to me 7 minutes after forwarding it on). sigh.

I suppose I could come up with 8 facts about myself. ;)

kahlanne said...

Thanks so much. It is my first time being tagged as well. I left 8 probably boring facts about me but it was fun! Thanks, Carol

Anonymous said...

Oooooooo -- grilled cheese! Must be really darkly grilled -- none of that namby-pamby melted stuff on cold bread! BUT a really wicked good grilled cheese is especially good with tomato soup! One of my favorite dinners!

Jan at Rosemary Cottage

Jen said...

Well, I'm having a heckuva time leaving comments on others' pages today ... I get an error message almost each time I try. Anyway, just wanted to thank you all for playing along, to whatever extent you wanted to play along. It was fun just hearing back from each of you, and to those who posted their own "tag" blogs, I hope to get around to leaving a comment on your page as the system allows! :-)

RoyalTLady said...

Jen, I saw your picture in my blog...tagged but I did not know how to go about it until you told me to check it here.

Thanksssssssss Jen. I am excited about it. What I would do is...I think I am going to copy your Tagged post into my blog...may I? I shall wait or your green light... I'm excited!!!!!!!!

enjoy your Sunday

Jen said...

Absolutely, RoyalTLady! Copy away!


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Calling All Boaters

If you are a boater you may be interested in my husband's blog. Check out The Marine Safety Blog at:http://marine-safety.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, November 18, 2008



my SMILE CAME not long after
My chuckle came after that
Mama kept all the little events
In a log book that is half my size

Then at 7 months I tried to crawl
But my left leg wouldn't want to lift up
So I just managed a slow move
Most times topple onto the floor

At Eight months I manged to crawl
Luckily the floors are cleaned daily
I was constantly "keep-an-eye-on" by everyone
Afraid I would make a turn and down I came

Nine months... tasting and licking things I want to discover
When no one was looking
Quick! I managed to lick them
Corners of the carpet...yulk!
Arm rest of our chairs..yulp!
Corners of the table....iyukh!

When I play with toys
I threw them about
If they got stuck under the chair
I pretended looking BUT I was licking the floor

Wan would come screaming
But...cool it Wan! I gave her a cheeky smile
I always got away with it
When she lifted me up...
She cleaned my hands and mouth
She always sing "this is the way we wash our hands"

Bathing time was always cheerful
When bubbles got on to my lips
Yummy! I licked them
So blissful when in the water

Then came the marathon
Up and up and up the steps I got
First try was up to the fifth
That was enough to make me feel great

Second try... up to the sixth
Gradually..up and up and up!
Fifteen flight of steps I conquered
Voala! Tried to get down? Oh NO!

I have not trained for this part yet
So...turning to the right
And into Wan's bedroom I got
Yahoo! Plenty to touch on her bed
Small books, big books...they are there!

After these events, Wan put barricade of chairs
Two at the stairs landing
One into the kitchen
Stool towards her working corner

I managed to push into the kitchen
Using my head and my tears!
YES! I managed to push the meal table chair
With my head. YES!

Now at ten months...12th November...
Licking is now ...almost...a thing of the past...
Its more of chair climbing
Bed climbing and crawling at F1 speed

When the phone rang
I came to it, making such noise
I knew people wanted to talk to me
And surely they ask about me

So Wan usually email her work
No longer talking to her clients
While I am awake
Pity Wan, sacrificing for my sakes

But I would get over everything
Don't worry! I am getting bigger now
Things on the meal table
Placed on the corners and close to the edge?
Are reachable now...wonderful!

My height is the same as the table top
I am tall! I have grown!

Monday, November 17, 2008


Today, last Saturday, Sunday... I was fevering BUT for my grandma's blogger friends, here's my feverish smile.  The yellow wet towel is not to be removed, said Wan.
NOW! Lemme have the cam, Wan.  I also know how to shoot pictures 
Okay, okay, I lost in the fight!  I might  as well give you another smile
Ops!  Another attempt....failed...never mind!
Its ok Wan...I have something better to do...
 turning this yellow tub...upside down...one, two, .ops....oooovvveeerrrr! Voala!
HA! Now look. the carpet is soaking wet... Hahahahahahahahha.
Satisfied?  YES!  Never mind, it would get dried again.....soooooooooon enough I hope.

 pretending to watch Strawberry Shortcake on the Disney Channel.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


  • *** i found these scribes as i was passing...in the blog sphere... i thought i might just share with my blogger friends ... i was one of the late readers to these two books.
  • Note** *words copied as is ....RTL
Faces worn by courageous Princesses...
The image “http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/5883/2663/1600/Shahirah.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Read also The Raja Bahrain's traumatic story : A Father's Rescue Mission... the other side of the story

At the tender age of 17 Jacqueline Pascarl-Gillespie was whisked away to a marble palace in Malaysia by the dashing Prince RB. From the moment they married the charming, loving man she had fallen in love with in her native Australia Princess Yasmin, was forced to suppress her intellect and maintain a public facade of aristocratic solidarity.

Following the birth of her two children, she returned to Australia, but far from walking toward freedom, she found herself enslaved again by a bitter custody battle which led to the eventual kidnapping of the children by Prince RB who returned them to Malaysia, where, seven years on, they still live without any contact with their mother. Once I was A Princess is 500 pages of almost unbearable pain. This harrowing autobiography of one woman who had to lose her own children before she truly found herself is not only a bitter account of a life of constant disappointment which begins as a child and builds to a death-defying crescendo in her adult life, but is also a story of love and passion so strong that a fight to the death seems almost inevitable.

A remarkable woman whose daily battle for her children has never lost momentum, Jacqueline has also found the courage to move on, setting up charities for children around the world and finding the strength to help other parents whose children have been taken from them. She is indeed a woman to be reckoned with. But behind the strength lies a sad, sad lady whose incredible past certainly makes for good reading, but is totally secondary to the fact that she is just a mother who, quite simply, wants her children back.
--Susan Harrison --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

In "Once I Was a Princess", Jacqueline Pascarl related the gripping story of her abusive childhood and her subsequent teen marriage to a prince. What should have been a fairy tale with a happy ending deteriorated into a nightmare of deceit and betrayal - ending in the kidnapping of her two small children by her former husband, who spirited them back to Malaysia. In "Since I Was a Princess", Pascarl peels back the layers of her life after the abduction. She tells how she channeled her grief, forging an existence as an aid worker and humanitarian ambassador in war-torn countries and working with refugees and the dispossessed. She describes how she persuaded some of the world's most influential figures to support her aid work and became a human rights activist on the international stage, championing the cause of other parents whose children had been kidnapped and reuniting scores of families. Pascarl also explains how she lived frenetically as she painfully rebuilt her life and re-evaluated her relationships, grappling with the emotional complexities of a new pregnancy and beginning a second family. And she reveals for the first time the dramatic details of how, at last, she was able to be reunited with her long-lost children and make her family whole. Candid and compelling, "Since I Was a Princess" is an unforgettable ride through tragedy, loss and, finally, triumph.


Can you imagine what it would be like to be swept off your feet by a royal prince to live a charmed life in the marble palaces of an oil-rich nation - and then to watch your fairy-tale romance turn into a nightmare of Islamic superstition, isolation, betrayal and abuse? What would you do if you managed to escape your life of torment - and then your children were kidnapped by their own father? This is what happened to Jacqueline Pascarl. In "Once I Was a Princess", Jacqueline recounts her part in this controversial, headline-grabbing international drama with heart-rending honesty.

About the Author

After many years of working and commuting between war zones, Jacqueline Pascarl has now settled in her home town of Melbourne, Australia, with her husband.

Every woman must read this most heart-breaking story., 3 Jan 2000
By A Customer
The most heart-gripping story told by an amazing woman with down-to-earth honesty and desperation. Jacqueline tells of a love that only a real mother could know, a love so strong it can "move heaven and earth".
Jacqueline teaches a mother to savor and cherish every moment with her child. She teaches us to be thankful for our family and friends. Every woman and man must read "Once I Was A Princess", but most of all, every mother. Jacqueline's love for and raising of her two children should be the role model for many mothers and fathers.
Truly compelling. A true tale of child abduction, 11 Feb 2000
By A Customer
One of the most evocative books I have read in a long time. You have to keep reminding yourself that it is actually a true story as it is hard to believe that so many terrible things could have happened to one person. Definitely worth reading.
What a sad story..., 18 Feb 2000
By dinapatel (UK)
I found myself unable to put this book down despite all the sad things that have been written.. I feel so sorry for Jacqueline, but it is good to know that her experiences have not made her bitter but have helped her help others. A fantastic but sad book....
explores survival, and a mothers love for her children., 3 April 2001
By A Customer
A touching book, on child abuse, the sub-ordination of women, and the strength of a mother's love. Pascarl-Gillispie exposoes the trials and tribulations of being a asian in an all white society, which contunes into her experiences as a malasian princess. She shows how muslim women are treated in a patriarchal society and the devastation of child kidnap, when the kidnapper is the childrens father. I couldn't put it down, it was an excellent read. Pascarl-gillespie is an extraordinary woman, with immense inner strength, who tells her story in a m'matter of fact' way. The book itself was humerous in places,and despite the content of the story, was not a depressing read. I would highly reccomend it to anyone who likes to read factual work, as well as human survival.

a captivating true story of one's horrible encounters, 22 Jun 2001
By A Customer
i have just finished reading this book and i could not put it down. it saddens me to think that such a person could get away with doing such terrible things. this truely amazing book engulfed me and i felt as if i was actually going through it with her. iddin would be a few years yourger than me now, and i can't understand how he and shahirah have not been able to contact their mother still.

Heartbreaking, loving and emotional, 6 Sep 2001

chockybananna (Australia, Sydney)
i was so deeply touched by this amazing story ! what a wonderful mother, wife and friend. courage love and strength shines in her book and shows such commitment to her childrens wellbeing. a must read to anyone who has a big heart like Jaqueline Gillespie.

Fabulously written biography, 24 Oct 2001
By A Customer
Heat renching memories of the past were caught on paper in a gripping and emotionally binding story of Jaquelines tale of motherhood. I was glued to this book.

the most heart rendering book in history, 1 Nov 2001
By A Customer
Reading Once I Was A Princess was the most emotional journey I've ever been on. It compelled me to the core and I was deeply saddened by Jacquelines painstaking efforts to find her children. I desperately become so engulfed by the trauma that she was experiencing that I wish I could have had the power to do something to bring her some comfort. I could not put this book down, and certainly never got through a book as quickly as this, but still have not been able to find closure. I'm not even a mother but I was overcome with grief for her and the two children, I have real admiration and deep respect for Jacqueline who has learnt to keep fighting everyday.I hope and pray that wherever Iddin and Shah are that they are well and learn the real truth about their mother before its just too late.

A gripping story and a compulsive read., 1 May 2002
By megblythe1 (N.Tyneside, England)

I read 'Once I was a princess' after reading a couple of books by Jean P Sasson. This book however, turned out to be a book that made me read the Qu'ran (KORAN). It was unstoppable reading. I steamrolled through each chapter like a thriller then realised that it was after all a true story. The wooing of a 17 year old girl into marriage, robbing her of her identity and forcing her into Islamic practices. This book leaves no stone unturned.  This book is a must read and although it does not have closure it does leave room for hope.

A very sad and heartrending book., 30 May 2002
By A Customer
I have every sympathy for Jacqueline Pascarl-Gillespie and hope that one day she will be able to meet up with children again. Sometimes circumstances do change and you never know what's around the corner.
The book is well written and reveals a parent's anguish of losing her children and also being married to an abusive husband who forces an alien culture on his naïve young wife. She finds herself virtually a prisoner and in isolation to the outside world. It should help people who have been in similar situations to come to terms with what's happened to them.
Finally she gets to see her children, 5 Sep 2006
M.Mukhtar (UK, Manchester)

This book is excellent in everyway. The details of the suffering and the introduction of the malaysian royal family is well described. This book relates and introduces each chapter and story well. There are many small stories broken up in this one big story about a father kidnapping his children and the consequences on the mother and how she builds herself to handle the situation. Also to see what the mother goes through afterwards and other peoples reaction towards her, her rejection and the effects on other relationships is reflected well and very saddening.
In the book it was outlined that the children didn't like spending time with their father and when they were due to meet him they would make several excuses to avoid seeing him or spending the weekend with him.
What was interesting to see was that after 14 years the childeren have been reunited with their mother Uddin felt he has two homes now. Sarah has decided to live in Australia with her mother and she wants to make up for lost time. Also sarah and her mother have been in secret contact for over 3 years or so via email after sarah was able to track her mother down. It shows a happy ending to the story, but so many years have still been lost by the children and thier mother.
Also many people quoted as saying the mother was after the publicty and wasn't really interested in getting her children back. Also if she was found smiling in public while shopping people would say 'shes smiling she cant be sad'. This is the general publics misinterpretation of this story.

All consuming & an inspirational journey, 3 Sep 2007
By Realistic Reading Fanatic
At last a book written by a woman who does more than whine about the tragedy in her life. Misery memoirs can be hard core wallowing, but not this book. Jacqueline had a terrible childhood of abuse, married her prince charming but did not get the fairytale royal ending in a muslim country, instead when they divorced, he kidnapped her kids and then cut them off from her for 14 years! Instead of turning into a puddle of mush like most of us would, she fought for her kids and what she needed and still made time for life outside her own problems becoming an aid worker in war zones and helping others as an ambassador for CARE International. An inspiring lesson to us all. I don't agree with the earlier reviewer about the author's name dropping - I think she uses the famous people she meets in her fundraising efforts to illustrate how bizarre the celebrity world is and how different real life is when people die from lack of clean water in her alternate reality. When finally reunited with her kidnapped children Jacqueline doesn't seek vengance for the stolen years, she decides on looking forward not back. A must read along with her earlier book, Once I was a Princess.

Straight talking and brilliant read, 12 Sep 2007
This woman's book was an eye opener for me. A female friend gave it to me and I found myself drawn into Ms Pascal's descriptions and amazing journey - her experiences really made me understand the love of a mother much more deeply. She describes the moslem world in detail but still doesn't bag the religion at all even though it was used as justification to kidnap her children, Eden and Shahira.
I'm now looking forward to reading her second book, Since I was a princess.

Terrific real life story, 22 Sep 200
By Nikki Vaz (Australia)
Amazed to read this woman's life story. True and honest book with warts and all honesty. A friend bought this book for me and now I think that all young women should read this and learn. I now have a better knowledge of the Moslem world and even Kosovo and Africa and I can think more of others with a global perspective. Her kids are lucky to have her. Jaqueline has passion and commitment to issues that I can only hope to support in the future. I felt ashamed that I knew only a little of her honest story - she should named a woman to look up to and a role model who never gave up on her kids or her belief in making a world better. I will now donate to CARE too.

Moving, 1 Sep 2007
By Tamara (UK)
Having read Jaqueline's first book about 6 years ago, I was surprised to see this book in my library as I had almost forgotten about this case (I think it was given a lot more publicity in Australia).
It is an interesting account of Jacqueline's struggle to live without her children, as well as many snippets about her aid work accross the world. It talks about her relationships and new family. The eventual reunion with her now grown up children is very moving.
The only fault I could find with this book is the endless 'name dropping' of famous people she has met as well as boasting about the glamorous life she leads. However, in this case, I think she deserves it as she went through hell for many years.
Gripping and a lesson in life, 12 Sep 2007
Amazingly well written with humour and insight to a life most of us would never cope with. I wept when I read about her reunion with her two kidnapped kids. The descriptions of aidworking in strife torn countries and the author's work in Africa moved me to tears. It made me realise how much bigger the world is out there than the mundane life I lead and gripe about. Kudos to Jacqueline Pascarl for her guts and determination. I will now go out and buy her first book to fill in al the blanks. A must read for people interested in a bigger life.

among the few exclusive emails between blog owner with the author

january 25th 2008
Dear Jacqueline

I have just receive both books from my daughter as my 53rd birthday present. Been reading intently...jumped pages sometimes due to impatience, then back on the track again...

I am not a good writer but I managed to express my deepest sorrow for you THEN...
BUT now I am happy for you. Though a bit late to come to terms with all the news that was going on, I preferred to read it myself and refuse to listen to others.

Alhamdulillah, finally your children were sent back to you...by the act of The Almighty.


Dear Emy,
How lovely it is to awaken to such a kind message!
I managed to work out how to locate your blog by using Google, and read your poem. It is beautiful and I am humbled that my books have moved you to such empathy and poetry.
I am so fortunate to occasionally receive the reflections of others because of my writing and I truly believe that my life is blessed. I now know that all of my four children are safe and that they will, grow into be decent and caring people.
Best wishes and love from

PS: I am curious, where do you live and how old is your daughter?

Dear Jacq,
Guess what? After sending the previous email, suddenly it struck me if this is really you or not? I sincerely hope it is...panda lagi cakak terengganu?

Dear Emy,
Thank you again for your incredibly kind and understanding emails. In answer to your query, yes, it is really me, although a little sakit with a very sore throat – the joys of having small children is that one tends to pick up their bugs very easily!
It is lovely to hear that you are a grandmother and I am happy for you. What a joy to know that you will be an on-going part of your grandson’s life.
Yes, I do still speak pelak Terengganu – Pelak Kerabat Di Raja really. But I am hopeless at writing in the Malay language.
Best wishes for a happy and peaceful life with your family.
  • ..... since last January 2008.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Monsoon Cup 2008 – World Championship Final Round

4:38 AM Fri 7 Nov 2008
'Gilmour and Williams - Day 1 Monsoon Cup' Sail-World.com/ AUS © Click Here to view large photo
The climax of the 2008 World Match Racing Tour is the Monsoon Cup in Malaysia, which will be sailed from 3rd to 7th December 2008. The Monsoon Cup is the last stage of the 2008 Tour and is shaping up to be the most exciting event of the year.

For the fourth year running, it will be sailed in the eastern Malaysian state of Terengganu, on Duyong Island in the Terengganu River, which flows through this state capital. Over the last three years large crowds have gathered on the island foreshore to watch the action.

The pressure is on for the 2007 Monsoon Cup winners and 2006-2007 World Champions, Bahrain Team Pindar skippered by Ian Williams, who must beat France’s Sébastien Col to retain the World title. Col and his French Team/K-Challenge is in great form having won the Berlin Match racing event and his Tour record is good, despite having sailed one less event than the other two top placed teams. The current World number one ISAF ranked sailor Frenchman Mathieu Richard, should not be under estimated and indeed he too could win the Monsoon Cup and the championship title.

The current leader board, as it stands, going into the Monsoon Cup is

1st Ian Williams, GBR Bahrain Team Pindar 92
2nd Sébastien Col, FRA French Team/K-Challenge 88
3rd Mathieu Richard, FRA French Team/French Spirit 77
4th Adam Minoprio, NZL ETNZ/BlackMatch 53
= Torvar Mirsky, AUS Mirsky Racing Team 53
6th Magnus Holmberg, SWE Victory Challenge 51

In this final event of the season there are 150 World Championship points at stake. The Monsoon Cup winner will receive 38 championship points; the second placed team 30, third placed 22, fourth 18. Any of the top three teams could win this event and the 2008 Tour.

Splash and dash. Minoprio (NZL) vs Williams (GBR). Monsoon Cup 2007 - Guy Nowell © Click Here to view large photo
In 2007 Williams and his British crew were second on the Tour as they prepared to sail the all-important last event. After the completion of two days sailing and after some very ordinary flights, they finished in eighth place, almost missing the quarter finals. Williams regrouped, sailing the last rounds with the determination of a World Champion and went on to claim the Monsoon Cup and take the overall Tour crown.

This year consistency has paid off for Bahrain Team Pindar and after winning the Danish Open and finishing second in both the Korea Match Cup and St Moritz Match Race; they are at the top of the Tour leader board.

Williams and his Bahrain Team Pindar have a simple plan. Williams says, 'We are approaching the Monsoon Cup as a one- off event, as a World Championship.

‘We are going to get the best result we can. Of course we are going to be watching what Sébastien (Col) and Mathieu (Richard) are up to, but at the same time trying not to focus on them too much. Our approach to last year was to go out and try to win the event. In the end we won the World Championship the day before by qualifying for the final. Williams said

‘Our aim is to win the Monsoon Cup and therefore the Championship.’

Sébastien Col has a great success rate this year, with two wins in the Korea Match Cup and the Portugal Match Cup. Although behind on points, Col will ensure Williams does not have an easy path to the top of the leader board.

Col says, 'My first goal is the World Match Racing Tour title, the second one is the Monsoon Cup regatta itself. We will face eleven teams, any of whom could potentially win the Monsoon Cup. So we don’t think too much about the results. We focus, and will have to be ready in the best shape, highly motivated, as always, and above all, we’ll have to be confident. This year has already been a big 'bonus' for us, and now there might be ‘a cherry on the top of the cake’ as we say in French.

‘At the Monsoon Cup we will fight hard and give our maximum, as we always do with my team.'

In third place Mathieu Richard and his French Team/French Spirit has a larger task. Richard beat Williams in the St Moritz Match Race final and is keen to beat him early in the Monsoon Cup Round Robin.

‘We still have a chance to win the championship, but for us to win the event then the other two would have to have been beaten early in the series. We have to be more aggressive because we are only third. We have to pass two teams first of all. They are quite fast’ Richard says.

‘Sébastien Col is having a great season this year … again beating him could be a tough job for Williams.

‘Sébastien and Ian have a very similar style. They are very good on the starts. They often sail at the same level, which is a high level.

‘Sometimes they can be higher, but not so much. We are different, we are a little irregular. We can be brilliant, but we can also be lost’ concluded Richard.

Crowded pre-start - Monsoon Cup 2007 - Sail-World.com- AUS © Click Here to view large photo

Ian Williams offers this commentary on his rivals.

‘We’ve been sailing Sébastien for ten years. He’s very solid; he’s very cool and very calm. He has quite a structured way of sailing. Sébastien understands the match racing very well and he’s well practiced at it. We expect him to be very strong. We always feel that if we really ‘step up’ and sail our best game, that we should beat him. But he never takes it lying down. If that doesn’t happen, he’s always there; he’s always sailing solidly and fast. If we make mistakes he won’t make many mistakes, and consequently he’ll come in strong.

‘We thought that Mathieu was going to be the biggest challenge this year. He was sailing extremely well in the early rounds of every regatta, often much better than us. He’s a big threat and certainly if he does win, then he’s got a good shot at winning the World Championship.’

West Australian Torvar Mirsky and New Zealander Adam Minoprio are great friends but bitter rivals out on the racecourse.

At 22 and 23 years old respectively, these two sailors are the young guns of the fleet. Mirsky beat Minoprio in the final of the prestigious invitation only Warren Jones Regatta, an event for under 25 year old Match Racers held in Perth, Western Australia. Minoprio however, has just scored a great second place in the recently concluded WMRT event, the King Edward VII Gold Cup in Bermuda.

With the large amount of prize money on offer at the Monsoon Cup both are hungry for a win, although neither can take the overall Tour title this year. At best, either could finish in second place, still a great achievement for 2008.

The contrast in their styles will be interesting to watch out on Duyong Basin. Mirsky is known for his aggressive tactics, whereas Minoprio has a more conservative style and the matches between these two will prove most intriguing.

Neither of these crews is leaving anything to chance with Mirsky training in Perth before the Monsoon Cup on Foundation 36’s. Williams and Richard will be joining him.

Boats wall to wall, Monsoon Cup 2007 - Guy Nowell © Click Here to view large photo

Minoprio on the other hand, will be in Auckland over the next few weeks at the New Zealand Match Racing titles. The competition will be tough and he will come up against two America’s Cup master match racers, Chris Dickson and Dean Barker. Add the multiple Olympic Gold Medallist, Team Origin America’s Cup skipper Ben Ainslie, and the racing is sure to be super competitive.

Ben Ainslie will be sailing in his first Monsoon Cup event and the crowds are sure to be attracted to this star.

The Monsoon Cup star-studded field of 12 includes two match racing veterans.

Peter Gilmour was the winner of the inaugural Monsoon Cup in 2005. In 2007 he finished second, in what he considers his ‘home’ tour event. Gilmour is the only four times ISAF World Match Racing champion having won the title in 1990,1997,1998,2006.

Magnus Holmberg from Sweden won the World Tour in 2000-2001. He finished third at Match Cup Sweden and second in the Portugal Match Cup and this America’s Cup skipper would like nothing less than a Swedish Victory.

There will be a total of 12 teams in the 2008 event; two more tour teams are yet to be announced. The Malaysian and Asian Qualifiers will round out the dozen.

The Malaysian Qualifiers, to be sailed 24th to 26th November and the Asian Qualifiers, from 27th through to the 29th November, will be conducted on the Terengganu match racing course. The ultimate prize for the winner of each event is entry into the Monsoon Cup.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Sunday November 9, 2008

Mercedes rides away with crown, UAE bag team title

SETIU: Spain’s Maria Mercedes Alvarez Ponton, astride Nobby, overcame thunderstorm, darkness and her male challengers to win the FEI-World Endurance Championship 2008 individual title at the Terengganu Inter-national Endurance Park (TIEP) in Lembah Bidong here yesterday.

The United Arab Emirates, meanwhile clinched the team title.

Ponton’s win underlined Spain’s supremacy in world endurance races as it was their second win in the individual category of the prestigious championship following Miguel Ubach’s triumph in Germany, in 2006. Ponton completed the 160km race in 8’48:06 to become the 10th woman to win the individual title in the 12 editions of the race since 1986.

Apart from Ubach, the only other man to have won the individual title was the UAE’s Ahmed Al Maktoum in Spain in 2002.

High-riding: Individual winner Maria Mercedes Alvarez Ponton of Spain in action during the World Endurance Championship in Terengganu yesterday. — Bernama

In yesterday’s race, Argentina’s Agustin Vita (Baraka Ibn Tamah) was second in 8’57:55 and the UAE’s Sultan Ahmed Sultan Sulayem (Tazoul El Parry) was third in 9’09:31.

Ponton, who started the 160km race at 5.30pm on Friday together with 126 other riders who competed in the individual and team events, completed the final loop (Loop 7) at 7.18 yesterday morning. The final rider made it home at 11.40am.


Spanish rider wins World Endurance Championships

November 9, 2008

FEI World Endurance Champion, Spain's Maria Alvarez Ponton and Nobby. © Gilly Wheeler

Spanish rider Maria Mercedes Avarez Ponton and Nobby led almost from start to finish to win the World Endurance Championships in Terengganu, Malaysia, yesterday.

Ponton and Nobby, a 13-year-old French-bred arabian gelding, led the field of 126 in the 160km race all the loops except for the second to win in a time of 8:58:06.

She became the 10th woman to win the top title in the past 12 renewals of the event, since 1986.

Based in Dubai, she told Gulf news: "If I am standing here as the world endurance champion it is only because of the support of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai."

"He gave us everything. We owe everything we have or done in horses to him. This victory is his," she said. She first went to Dubai to work seven years ago.

In the silver medal position was Argentina's Augustin Vita riding Baraka Ibn Al Tamah in 9:07:55, and the bronze was won by UAE rider Sultan Ahmed Sultan Bin Sulayem, on Cal Ramon, in a time of 9:19:31.

The UAE team of Sh Mayed Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum (4th) Mohammed Ahmad Ali Subose (5th) Mubarak Khalifa Bin Shafya (6th) and Abdulla Thani Bin Huzaim (7th) also led from start to finish. They were unchallenged as they finished (27hr 57min 59sec) with almost an hour's advantage over second placed Qatar (28hr 47min17sec) who were two hours ahead of Bahrain (30hr 54min 22sec) which made a clean sweep for the Middle East in the Team Medals. There was disappointment for the home side, when their entire team was eliminated for a variety of reasons.

The best Australasian riders home were Penny Toft, riding the anglo-arab gelding Don, and Kristie McGaffin and Tierview Maverick. The Australians finished in 18th (10:17:44) and 19th (10:17:45) place, nearly 90 minutes behind the leader.

New Zealand's Andrea Smith and the anglo gelding Sierra Nevada were 31st, in 11:46:42 nearly three hours behind the winner.

The final rider home was Australia's Susanne Thumer, who finished the event four hours and 21 minutes after the winner, riding Galib.

The course was basically flat over sandy or fine quarry dust tracks. An enormous amount of work had been done on the surface since last November to eliminate the very boggy areas and provide a sound footing throughout. In addition 1200 LED lights, the same colour as the route, were used at night. The riders also wore these colour coded LED lights to assist the check points on course.

There was only one crew point on each loop but there were manned water points every 3.5km that offered iced-water for cooling, plus drinking water for horse and rider.

There was a heavy thunderstorm halfway through the race, and conditions took a huge toll on the field, with only 48 completing. More than half of the 78 horses who did not finish were vetted out through lameness.

At the 2006 trial event an above average completion rate was noted.

Among those who failed to finish were former world number one Datuk Kamaruddin Abdul Ghani, and the Australians Brook and George Sample.

The opening ceremony took place in the newly constructed Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium were the King of Malaysia, Yand di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin officially opened the event. The 48,000 enthusiastic spectators watched the teams parade before a spectacular light and sound show, fireworks, and a bareback riding performance by Lorenzo from France. The enthusiasm of the local population continued as 10,000 spectators watched the start at 5.30pm the next day.

The tab for two-way air freight for horses to and from Malaysia was picked up by the event's organising committee, as well as return tickets for riders and two grooms per horse, a chef d'equipe and a veterinarian per country. Accommodation, meals and transportation for all team officials, riders and grooms was also picked up by the committee.

The event offered a $US100,000 prize purse for the individual competition, and $US80,000 for the teams. The best conditioned horse will receive a $US20,000 prize, and all riders who completed were to receive a prize.

Today's prize giving ceremony - starting at 10am local time - is followed by a gala dinner tonight.

The event marked the first time a Far East country has hosted a senior FEI World Endurance Championship. It was also the first to be held in a tropical climate - and during the hours of darkness.

• There is a new "godfather" of endurance. The title of "Godfather of World Endurance Horse Race" has been bestowed upon Dubai ruler HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, by the King of Malaysia, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin ibni al-Marhum Sultan Mahmud. The title was granted by the King of Malaysia on behalf of all competitors in the competition, in recognition of Sheikh Mohammed's great contributions and support for world endurance horse racing.

Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum received the award on behalf of his father from Sultan Mohammed, the brother of the Malaysian King.

Individual - Top 5
1. Maria Mercedes Alvarez Ponton / Nobby (ESP) - 08:48:06 18.16kph
2. Augustin Vita / BarakaIbn Al Tamah (ARG) - 08:57:55 17.82kph
3. Sultan Ahmed Sultan Bin Sulayem / Tazoul El Parry (UAE) -09:09:31 17.45kph
4. Sh Mayed Bin Mohd Al Maktoum / Spenda Crest Kamouflage(UAE) - 09:14:42 17.29kph
5. Mohd Ahmad Ali Subose / Koum Des Jamets (UAE) - 09:21:38 17.07kph
Teams - Top 5

1. United Arab Emirates - 25:57:59
2. Qatar - 28:47: 17
3. Bahrain - 30:54:22
4. Portugal - 30:58:52
5. Spain - 31:25:25