Hands across the world
Published on: Sunday, May 17, 2020
By: Sylvia Howe
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I went to a networking meeting 14000 kilometres away yesterday. Twenty people, bright and keen, with their businesses on the go, and looking for more customers and also – which made it different – more collaboration. I attended at the invitation of a friend, and said where I am, that I can’t earn money by working here, and that I was looking for ideas about what to do on my return. I don’t want to become a captain of industry, of course, but I don’t want to turn into a lump on my sofa either, and if I can be of use to others and myself that would be the aim. Let’s see what happens. I did connect with a very nice man who does Soundbaths using gongs etc – I tried one of his sessions (free at the moment, online www.tony-spencer.comsoundtherapy) and it felt great! Highly recommended. In these tense times, we need all the relaxation we can get.

Never a Crossword…

I am doing a weekly crossword session with a friend in the UK, who is much better at them than I am. I used to be better – my parents and I did the Telegraph one each day, and sometimes we even finished it – but I have regressed and I am starting almost from scratch. It’s a question of training your mind to mistrust the obvious, to think laterally, to find replacement words and concepts, and it is not easy. Very pleasing when you get a clue – how about “doctor and diplomat overseas go brown, with time (10 letters).” Answer and explanation at the end of this article. 

Quiz news

Doing better and better. Belgium has won twice, Sarawak/Australia once and my sister and brother in law send their scores in from a tiny village in Lincolnshire (but don’t win) so it is reaching out far and wide. Come on Sabah. Spread the word. We need a local winner. 


I have been able to persuade more and more people to talk to me about their work and their art – the sessions are on our website (www.wordpowersabah.my) and to date our talks under Life Lessons include international expert David Hensley about business branding, therapist Fiona Hooper with advice on how to support grumbling or disorientated young people at the moment, and Nick Keith about the power of connecting with people (something we need in these distanced times). There’s also Emily Barner and me talking about smashing a job interview. 

I have done short but sweet interviews with award-winning director Christopher Ling from theatrethreesixty in KL, who is going to bring actor Qahar Aqila (also interviewed) to KK from KL to put on Tom Pain when we are allowed to hold theatrical events. Now that will be something. There’s dancer and potter Christopher Liew; film maker Jo Luping; writers Nik Jassmine Hew, Gina Yap, Julya Oui; playwright Ann Lee; graphic novelist Edwin Kho; radio presenter Ben Uzair; animator Geoffrey Sinn and many more will join them – if I hear of someone who has something interesting to say I ask them for an interview for both the WPS website and the new monthly radio show with me and Ben that starts at the end of this month. Even if they are pretending not to see me, or hiding under a table. Tough luck chaps. I am working hard to make our website the place to go!

We have added all manner of links for young people too. Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) reading – what else? - Harry Potter; the wonderful Barn Theatre with The Bear who went to War; Andy Serkis (Gollum in The Lord of the Rings) reading The Hobbit.

Get along to www.wordpowersabah.my and make the most of these treats. They may not be repeated! They may only be live, with no recording to stream later, so keep checking to see what else is available. One other thing – I am reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and am on Chapter Three at the moment. Please let me know if you want more. Happy to oblige. 

Out and about – at last – with care

I went out to lunch yesterday and it was BLISS - principally because the food was cooked, served and washed up by someone else. My companion was a good friend who makes me laugh, and it’s always good to do that in person, and it was a change of scene. Joy unparalleled. With mask on and sanitiser regularly applied of course.

My apartment is very nice. Of course it is. I chose it. But even the fairytale castle of Cair Paravel (Lion, Witch and Wardrobe) would get a little dull after many weeks of not leaving it. And to pile on the treats, off to dinner with friends tonight. We may have to shout at each other from two metres away, but hey, what’s a shriek between friends. 

Getting back to normal?

You will have noticed that food and drink plays a large part in the column at the moment – it is also playing a large role (roll) around my midriff, and I am going to have to address this soon. ‘Dear midriff, please will you back to normal,’ I might say, but unless I stop baking, drinking wine, and eating the chocolate brownies I have foolishly taught my maid to cook, I doubt it’s going to happen any time soon. 

I need a brush up. I’ve been missing all the extras with which Sabah is so well endowed – manicures, pedicures, massages, hair dos… If this goes on, even my old friends won’t recognise me. But that’s not so bad. Nothing a couple of brownies won’t make up for. 

Crossword answer: Consultant

A consultant is a doctor

Consul = diplomat

Tan = go brown

T = time. 

See what I mean? Good for those leetle grey cells, non?

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