Vanilla — a bittersweet tale…

Vanilla is the best loved flavour in the world today. Vanilla infuses cakes, ice creams, cookies, confections, yoghurts, fragrances, bath and body products, candles, rum, vodka, medicines, Coke, Pepsi…..the list is endless.   When you reach for ingredients to bake a cake, inevitably there is vanilla in the list. Never mind the flavour of the cake…

Study Group Wednesdays!

The new Study Group has begun! And it’s on a topic that appeals to the romantic, in each one of us- the Silk Route. There was an overwhelming response, and in the space of a mere couple of weeks we had 24 people who signed up to research on myriad aspects of the Silk Route….

Enchanting Malacca and Port Dickson

Malacca! ; Once the busiest entrepôt in Southeast Asia. A melting pot of cultures….Chinese, Indian, Arab, African, European- all jostling for trade and power. ; Godowns and bazaars, cheek by jowl with bordellos and opium dens. A babel of different tongues- Tamil, Arabic, Gujarati, Hokkien, Bengali, Teochew. Shrines to Mazu and the Guanyin, elaborately carved…