Defy Time And Gravity

Prince. Whitney Houston. Michael Jackson.  George Michael. David Bowie. Dusty Springfield. Laura Branigan. As a member of Generation-X, I grew up listening to them over Sunday Radio “Top of the Pops” and Casey Kasem’s “American Top 40”. Today, they are all dead including Casey Kasem.

Think about Madonna, Mariah Carey, Cher, and Tina Turner. Tina Turner is nearing eighty years old and still rocking the world (fantastically, of course). Mariah, whom I am a fan of, turns 48 this year. I recall she was only twenty during the release of her debut album. These numbers tell me how time had gone by. Nearly three decades.

Of course that makes me almost three decades older since Mariah’s debut album. Madonna, Cher and Tina Turner, they all look different then and now. So do I.  Time has adverse effects on the youthfulness of our skin. As we age, our skin, the largest organ in the body has a magnetic affinity to gravity.  Several years ago, dark circles had begun to appear under my eyes.  Drier skin made the fine lines on my face more apparent. Not to mention, aging has led to the loss of fat pads under my skin. When that happens, the skin deflates, therefore the lines appear along with sagging skin and loss of volume.

I procrastinated on doing something for my aging skin for quite some time. However, upon a recommendation from a friend, I made an appointment for a skin consultation at Alainn Clinic where I met with the lovely and charismatic Dr. Ain. In an engaging session with Dr. Ain where I brought to her attention that the areas of concern are my freckles (pigmentation), wrinkles and dark circles, she provided me a few solutions to address these concerns, primarily using dermal fillers.

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I proceeded to the treatment room where Dr. Ain, with her sharp eyes and assuring manner assessed the condition of my skin. She used a pencil to mark the areas of interests. Next, my face was cleansed and topical numbing cream was applied to manage the pain.

A while later, Dr Ain began to work on my mid-cheek and then tear trough a.k.a. panda eyes with dermal fillers. Following that, she proceeded to the laugh lines. My lips were given some tender, loving care with lips rejuvenation treatment, greatly enhancing them with volume and definition. When the treatment was over for my static wrinkles and lips, she then worked on my dynamic wrinkles with Botox at the crows feet.

The whole procedure took almost 1.5 hours and the pain was minimal. I emerged from the treatment room looking 10 years younger without any swelling at the face, without the panda eyes. The results were immediate. Most importantly, there was not a bruise in sight the next morning.

Although I have not been to another aesthetic clinic, in my opinion Alainn Clinic is the best aesthetic clinic in KL (Kuala Lumpur) and PJ (Petaling Jaya) where I regularly look out for their monthly featured treatments and promotions.

Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding forefathers of the USA quoted, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”. Where death is inevitable, we surely can decide and choose to age gracefully, looking as elegantly as we can. Now, isn’t that fantastic?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Footprints with my Father

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Hello there. Thank you for landing on my fantastic blog and reading my first post where it is a tribute to my father. If it were not for him, I would not have ventured out of the cosmopolitan cities in the land of the All Blacks, New Zealand. The youngest country on earth. He pestered me for years to accompany him on a scenic and out-of-this-world journey. This explains my association with him and New Zealand and why New Zealand holds a special place in my heart.

When we think about New Zealand, most of us would think about sheep and more sheep. There is vast amount of land in New Zealand. She is a sheep country but much more than that. New Zealand is a beautiful and serene country (despite lying on two tectonic plate and very prone to earthquakes). Manuka honey is produced here. Gisborne, a city which is located in the East Coast of the North Island of New Zealand is the first city to see the sun each day.  To discover more about New Zealand, please visit their official tourism site here.

It was almost two years later that I decided to bring my dad to New Zealand on this much awaited journey. We flew into Sydney for a few days in the early Australian winter month. From there we flew 3 hours and 5 minutes by Emirates Airline to Christchurch. New Zealand is best ventured by hiring a caravan and staying at caravan parks. For this time a caravan was not necessary as we plan to travel by rail to be on one of the World’s Most Scenic Train Rides.

The much anticipated journey my dad was raving about was the TranzAlpine scenic train journey between Christchurch and Greymouth. In 4.5 hours the TranzAlpine goes from the East Coast of South Island taking in Canterbury Plains to the magnificent Southern Alps and Wild West Coast.

TranzAlpine travels across the Staircase Viaduct for elevated views.

From our carriages and through huge clear windows, we saw spectacular gorges and valleys of Waimakariri River below us.

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Otira Railway Station

The train climbs the Southern Alps via dramatic viaducts leading to Arthur’s Pass and onto Otira Rail Tunnel which is a tunnel created from blasting through 5.3 miles of solid rock. Otira is a town located 1239 feet above sea level.

 

 

Upon reaching Greymouth, we rented a car to get around the town. It rained very heavily that night. The next day, we drove to Franz Josef Glacier. Driving along the coast, we saw cotton white waves of the Tasman sea rolling high onto the beach a few metres away from us. A few cars and caravans past by us however, it seemed the entire stretch of the highway to Franz Josef belonged to us.

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Franz Josef Glacier

Due to global warming, glaciers all over the world are disappearing. The Franz Josef glacier has entered a rapid phase of retreat since 2008. When we went on our hike to Franz Josef Glacier, we were told we could not venture any nearer to walk on the glacier as the glacier had broken off the day before. Today, Franz Glacier including Fox Glacier is only accessible by air.

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Franz Josef Glacier Upclose

We drove back to Greymouth the following day to board our return train ride to Christchurch. As we showed our tickets for the train, we were told that a snow storm that night had covered Arthur’s Pass and it was inaccessible. We had to stay at Greymouth another day for maintenance workers to clear the snow that had fallen on the rail tracks leading to Arthur’s Pass . (Tip: always ensure you have travel insurance before you leave for a holiday abroad). 

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Snow-capped mountains along the Southern Alps

My dad and I had a day free to explore Greymouth. We arrived Christchurch safely the next evening for an overnight stay before getting on to our morning flight back to Sydney.

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The snow, mountains and the sky viewed from the Tranz Alpine

If you have had one too many shopping holidays or have had enough of Disney-themed holidays and wondering where to go on your next holiday destination, you could consider getting on the TranzAlpine during winter months in New Zealand. The breathtaking experience will be etched in your memory for a long, long time.

Fast forward 5 years today, my dad is now bed-ridden. However, the memories of our trip together have made his golden years happier and a life more enriched than it already was.

P.S: Thank you for reading my first post on my fantastic blog. Follow me for more fantastic posts and tips!