Annual Princess’s New Year’s Address – 2013

Thought I’d forgotten, hadn’t you? Delayed perhaps, but not forgotten.

It’s been an interesting year to say the least. Best thing I can say is that we didn’t lose anyone close in our family this year for the first time in years. We actually went from one Christmas to the next with the same number of people. My health took a turn for the worse last winter, but having resolved that, I’m still here. For that, I am truly thankful.

I’ve started in a role that I am extremely happy in, but I would just like to do more of it. But the move to Hamilton has certainly been a good one for me. It’s given me perspective and has introduced me to so many more people than I ever thought possible. I haven’t been doing much training over the last year in part because of the relocation, but I am optimistic that it will change in the coming year.

I’m going to keep the message short this year and simply say that I have many people and things to be thankful for this year and that the list is ever growing. To you all, I wish you health, wealth and happiness, wherever or in whomever you find it. Many thanks to each and everyone of you for making my life a better one by simply being a part of it.

Om Shanti.


Write About Your Earliest Memory

Write about your earliest memory.

I was visiting Hamilton City Hall the other day when I was reminded of one of the last times I was there. It was one of my earliest memories.

Hamilton City Hall from

Hamilton City Hall from

I was about 4 years old and my brother was 2 when my mother brought us to City Hall to visit my father where he was working at the time. My mother had also worked there, so she knew a number of the people around. We were waiting for the elevator when my brother ran off in one direction and my mother went after him. The elevator arrived and of course, I got on… alone. I remember turning around and watching the doors closing with my mother running to the elevator now to catch me. I looked at one door and then the other, much like a fast tennis match. I ended up on the top floor which was the cafeteria and two women found me and asked if I was lost. I told them my father’s name but didn’t know where to find him. In a short time I was back with my family safe and sound.

Annual Princess’s New Year’s Address – 2012

As the Princess, it is my place to give you not the Christmas Address (such as the Queen of England does) but a New Year’s Message.

It has certainly not been the easiest year on record for me. I will not bore you with the details of the past, but instead, will share with you plans for the future. Many years ago, I told my cousins that I would never move to Hamilton. Well, let me say publicly, you were right. I completed my move and once the house is set up, I hope to have some people over for a proper open house, which has been lacking in the most recent years. I’m turning tragedy into opportunity by moving into the house my grandparents bought brand new 50 years ago. So, I’m calling it my new/old home. I’ve known it all my life. New year, new home, new city… new life.

This is a chance for me to reboot my life. I’m not so far away from my old life that I’m not going to have it any more, I just need a change of pace and expand my horizon a little bit.

If nothing else that life has taught me so far, it is to not take anything for granted. Don’t just wait around for something to happen, make it happen. No more procrastinating. This is the year I begin to live again.

I toast you all that are still part of my life and continue to support me on my journey, as I hope I have done in yours. May the new year be fruitful, auspicious and kind.

– Shanta

P.S. If you’re looking for my Bridget Jones post for the coming year, that will also come soon.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Colorful

Weekly Photo Challenge: Colorful.

These photos were taken on New Year’s Eve 2008 in Hong Kong Harbour where I rang in the new year with many of my new friends while on exchange at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. I had trouble picking just one, so here are two of them. Neither one has fireworks in them, but it shows how colourful it was without them.

Hong Kong Harbour on New Years 2008

Hong Kong Harbour on New Years 2008

Hong Kong Harbour on New Years 2008

Another shot of the Hong Kong Harbour on New Years 2008

Name a food you used to like – what changed?


Soft-boiled eggs

Soft-boiled eggs

Name a food you used to like – what changed?.

Funny I was talking to someone about this just the other day. Soft boiled eggs. I used to love these, especially when I went to my grandmother’s house. But in my early 20’s, I found that every time I had them, I became ill. It didn’t happen (and still doesn’t) with fully cooked eggs, such as scrambled, but if the eggs are only partially cooked, I can’t eat them. This included poached or fried egg if the yolk was left soft. I used to adore eggs benedict, but now, can no longer have them, or my soft boiled eggs. And before you ask, yes, I’ve looked into whether or not it’s an allergy and it isn’t. I still have to get my flu shot every year, but that’s another story…

Assemble your dream dinner guest list

Assemble your dream dinner guest list.

This shows most likely how this dinner party would turn out to be

This shows most likely how this dinner party would turn out to be

The Challenge asked for 6. I’ve decided to go with 12. Here’s my list:

1. Miyamoto Musashi – the best swordsman that ever lived. Much of what I train in was derived from him. Would bring wonderful insight.

2. Jeremy Piven – One of my favourite comedians (and there are a few here). One of my favourite roles was when he played Cupid in a show of the same name. My favourite quote: “Coffee without caffeine? That’s like sex without the spanking!”

3. Gordon Korman – I have always loved his books and his I would never put down. My favourite: No Coins Please.

4. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – One of my favourite characters of all time is Sherlock Holmes, so why not invite his creator. I could see him, Musashi and Christie all chatting over a drink somewhere.

5. John Cusack – I never miss one of his movies. He and Jeremy Piven are like the Fry and Laurie of North America. Can’t invite one without the other.

6. Agatha Christie – Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple are next to Sherlock in my books (no pun intended). Can’t have a dinner party without her.

7. Stephen Fry – He and Hugh Laurie are geniuses of our era along with Rowan Atkinson in comedy. Putting these three in a room is sure to be a hoot.

8. Hugh Laurie – Been mentioned already, but really adore his comedy with Stephen Fry.

9. Lynda Carter – My female idol from having played my favourite comic book character, Wonder Woman.

10. Simon Pegg – British comedy for the new generation. Rowan, Hugh and Stephen are more my generation if not a little older. Simon brings the new comedy.

11. Rowan Atkinson – Not because he was Mr. Bean, but more for his work in Black Adder and more for his skits in various stage productions such as “We Are Amused”.

12. Zhang Ziyi – A wonderful actress. I never miss one of her performances whether in Chinese or English.

Write a story in just six words

What's Your Story?

Write a story in just six words

Write a story in just six words.

I came up with two of them:

I’ve been gone for an eternity.

It feels good to come home.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Broken

Weekly Photo Challenge: Broken.

Last year, I decided to make a gingerbread house. For a first try, not bad even if it was from a kit:

My gingerbread houses

My gingerbread houses

I decided to get the New Year off to a good start and did a “board breaking” of sorts on it at my friend’s house:

My gingerbread house - after the fall

My gingerbread house - after the fall

Ended up cutting my hand open. Guess I gotta work on that…

Cut my hand

Cut my hand

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sunset

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sunset.

This was an easy one, yet so difficult at the same time. There have been so many, but this is definitely one of my favourites.

My photo in Lafontaine, Ontario

My photo in Lafontaine, Ontario

Are you driven by your head or your heart?

Are you driven by your head or your heart?

Most of the time, I’m driven by my heart. But a recent event (which I won’t get into too much detail about) has lead me to think with my head.

It started with the heart. Everything in my being and some friends were telling me: RUN. But I thought, no, I need to give this a shot. So I did. And though my head was saying: “Don’t do this,” my heart won. However, unlike most times, I kept a level head. If I made a statement or a goal, I actually stuck to it. I didn’t give in.

Now, though the head has made the decision, it took some advice from the heart on how to end it.  Head wins…again