Corrinne's Musings - A singer-songwriter's life.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

I write songs, I sing them... I play the piano and a little bit of the guitar.. I've released 5 albums of music, I love the scent of freshly fallen rain and the scent of lavender on bedsheets. I would drink tea all day long if the caffeine didn't keep me up at night. I hate driving in L.A traffic. I would love to one day catch the squirrel that steals the plums from my tree and make him a pet. I don't watch TV anymore. My 3 year old daughter is more entertaining than any TV show could ever be :)

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Thinking about John Paul II on the 3rd anniversary of his death - April 2nd 2008

I couldn't help but tear as I watched
a commemorative program on EWTN yesterday,
showing scenes from John Paul II's life.

Can't believe it's been three years since
he left us for our Father's house.

Truly, he followed the God he loved in
everything. Clutching, loving and
living the cross in his hunched body,
...he became increasingly fragile over the years.
Yet, there was such strength in his weakness.
Strength that the world can not understand.
The strength that can only come from God.

For as Pope Benedict said about John Paul II:
"We can not forget that in his last silent witness of love for Jesus. Even the eloquent scene of human suffering and faith on that last Good Friday, showed believers and the world the secret of the whole Christian life. His "Do not be afraid" was not based on human strength, or about successes, but only on the Word of God on the Cross and the Resurrection of Christ.”

Pope John Paul II’s conformity to Christ lasted until the end of his life, Benedict explained.

"Gradually, he was stripped of everything, down to those last words, his trust in Christ appeared with growing evidence. As it happened to Jesus, it happened with John Paul II to the very end when the words took place of the final sacrifice, the gift of self. And death was the seal of the whole existence given to Christ. [John Paul II] conformed himself to Christ even physically in the case of suffering and the complete confident abandonment in the arms of the Heavenly Father. According to a witness who was nearby, "Let's go to the Father", were his last words to fulfill a life of total striving to know and contemplate the face of the Lord."

Thanks to Salt and Light TV for the clip below :


Lyon to Paris - 2nd Feb. 2008

2nd February 2008

The next morning, a Saturday, I decided to attend a special mass
commemorating the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. I was told
that there were to be 500 nuns present to celebrate the occasion
and that mass would be at 9.30 a.m

So I woke up extra early and trudged up the hill, taking advantage
of the rosary walk, with its little metal roses planted on the path
to say my rosary.

It was heartwarming to see Notre Dame welcoming me as I trudged
up the hill :)

When I got up to the church, I was greeted with a beautiful view.
the sun was breaking through the thick morning clouds lighting up
the sleepy town below. So I took a photo :)


There were people gathered at the back of the church where
I entered and some votive candles were being distributed.
I couldn’t understand what people were saying, since it was
all in French, but I managed to hold out my hand for a candle
and waited around with the rest of the people at the back for
the mass to begin.

Mass soon began with a procession down the middle aisle where
everyone carried their lit candles to place them by the altar.

I found a seat between two elderly ladies. It was so cute,
during the mass, that the French lady to my right was singing
ever so loudly and enthusiastically, as I shared the piece of paper
with song lyrics with her, and she sang, and looked at me,
as if to encourage me to sing along, and so I did, with whatever
I could muster of my non-existent French, I tried to echo her words
as she sang and she seemed to be enthusiastic in her encouragement
and smiled at me.

I wish I could have understood what was being said in the homily,
but at least when it came to the liturgy of the Eucharist,
I understood everything. That is the beauty of the Catholic, ie. universal church.

It was a beautiful mass, with the whole church singing along.
Very nice melodies too. The French composers have a knack for
a great melody, that’s never too simplistic or cliché;
but very memorable on the ear.

After mass, I made my way back to Villa Florentine and woke
Kavin up, and we got ready to leave Lyon for Paris.

Bye Lyon....(that's St. George church in the middle)

We took a cab to the train station, bought some sandwiches,
‘Poulet Roti’ ie. roast chicken sandwich, some Evian water
and took the 2 hour ride to Paris.

Cute sign on the train- silence that cell phone

Pretty clouds along the way

Then we took the Metro to get to the Hotel Des Academies et des Arts.
Kavin had picked the hotel and was looking forward to staying in it.

The rooms were very tastefully furnished, albeit on the small side.

The nice lotus flower decor on the wall.

We went to the nearby La Coupole for dinner on the concierge’s recommendation.
The place was packed but fortunately, we didn’t have to wait too long
for a table. Kavin had the house special lamb curry



and I had the saucisson in bread, served with potato. It was yummy.

Kavin trying to strike an artistic pose

There was a crepe-making station with a chef making crepes the whole
night. The waiter mentioned that it was a tradition to eat crepes
on this day, and only later when I went back to Google this shred
of information, did I find out that :

The Catholic holiday of Candlemas, on 2 February, is a feast to commemorate the purification of the Virgin Mary and the presentation of baby Jesus. In France, this holiday is called la Chandeleur, Fête de la Lumière, or crêpe day.

Not only do the French eat a lot of crêpes on Chandeleur, but they also do a bit of fortune telling while making them. It is traditional to hold a coin in your writing hand and a crêpe pan in the other, and flip the crêpe into the air. If you manage to catch the crêpe in the pan, your family will be prosperous for the rest of the year.

So, we refrained from the vino, but for dessert, we shared a Crêpe Suzette,( ie. a typical French dessert, consisting of a crêpe with a hot sauce of caramelized sugar, orange juice, lightly grated orange peel and liqueur (usually Grand Marnier) on top, which is subsequently flambéed.)
It was superb. And since I forgot to take a photo of it,

Here’s a link to someone’s blog on the pancake day thingie

And more photos from the day are here.

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Lyon, France (Day 2) - 1st Feb. 2008

Friday 1st Feb. 2008

This morning, Kavin and I walked up the hill for a close-up look
at the Notre Dame de Fourvière.

View of Notre Dame de Fourvière as one walks up the hill

Notre Dame de Fourvière

It was a long walk up the hill,
but the view from the top of the hill overlooking the town
of Lyon, bathed in the morning light was simply spectacular.

View of Vieux Lyon

By the Sacred Heart

The church itself was beautiful within, with the walls
and ceilings made up mostly of bluish-green mosaic.






A priest who could speak a bit of Mandarin came by to chat
with us. Apparently, there are quite a number of Chinese
students in the area. We had noticed the Chinese word
for love featured in a poster on the bulletin board of the

We went down to the crypt later and it was interesting to see
the different ways that various cultures have chosen to
portray Mary. The various statues of Mary holding the child
Jesus took on different cultural references in their dress and make-up.

A lovely mosaic of one of the disciples

After this, we strolled down the hill to see the ruins of the Gallo-Roman
amphitheatre. Kavin was pretty happy to see the ruins and awed
at being able to see a part of the Roman civilization up close.


Hopefully we’ll get a chance to go to Italy on another occasion
to see the Colosseum. Kavin would love seeing that.

Following this, we took the Funiculaire train down the hill. The
trip was much shorter than we thought it’d be, so we sat on
another trip up and down the hill before feeling a little more
satisfied with the whole experience.



Then, we walked around the cobblestoned streets, taking in the
sights. There were many cute stores and mouth-watering pastries
displayed ever so enticingly in the windows of some stores.


There was also a museum featuring miniatures. On hindsight , I should
have gone in to take a look. Well, hopefully next time.



We were a little hungry by now, and so stopped by a shop
to have some food. Kavin had his beloved saucisson (sausage)
and I had a Roquefort crepe, thinking that I’d be adventurous
in trying the Roquefort cheese. Now I know I don’t like Roquefort
cheese. It was stinky and strong like blue cheese. Ewwww.


So after the meal, we walked around a bit more, and walked into
St. Jean the Baptist Cathedral Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Lyon
where a really old, 14th century astronomical clock stood to the
left of the altar.



We also stepped into St. George’s church for a brief moment,
then we waited to get a lift from my friend Eugene Soh
who recently moved to Lyon from Singapore.

Eugene soon picked us up in his SUV. I can’t believe that it’s
been 20 odd years since we last met or spoke to each other.
We knew each other back when we were both singing in the same
children’s church choir at Holy Cross Church in Singapore.
Strange how time seems to move along so fast sometimes.

It was very gracious of Jasmin, Eugene’s wife to cook
dinner at their apartment for Kavin and I and we all had
a wonderful time, catching up, chatting and getting
to know their 4 year old daughter Stacey and their
newborn, Jeremy who was adorably cute and charming.


More pics from the day are here.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Lyon, France - (Day 1)- 31st January 2008

Thursday 31st January 2008 - Lyon, France

We had a Nice speciality, Socca (ie. 'pancakes' made out of chick
pea flour, water and extra virgin olive oil) for breakfast.
It was delicious.


Then we checked out of the hotel and
took the tram-bus to the train station to catch the
TGV (fast train) to Lyon. After getting our tickets,
I walked to the nearby Chinese restaurant to order
some take-out food to take along for our train ride to Lyon.

I was surprised at how the food is served differently here in
Chinese take-out places. The food is kept in chilled displays,
instead of heated displays here in the states and in Singapore)
then when the customer orders it, it is heated up, and the
plastic container is placed in a machine which seals the
container shut with a layer of plastic wrap. Interesting.
It’s also interesting to see how the ethnically Chinese people
here speak French as their first language.
I guess it would be just as interesting for a Chinese
from China to hear me speak English.

The train station

Views from the train window, while on the way to Lyon


We got into Lyon after about two hours on the train and took the metro
into old town Lyon or as the French call it, ‘Vieux Lyon’.


With its cobblestone streets, it looked very quaint and pretty.
High up on the hill, stood a beautifully lit church. We did not know it then,
but we found out that the church was the Basilique of Notre-Dame de Fourviere.


We also passed by the St. John the Baptist Cathedral before making
the absolutely horrendous decision to lug our suitcases up a horribly
long flight of stairs, mistakenly thinking that it was the shortest route
to the Villa Florentine hotel where we’d be staying.

We almost died dragging and carrying those heavy suitcases up those steps. lol.
Must have been at least 300 steps up that steep hill. Along the way, a man
walking up the stairs seemingly took pity on us, helping me carry my
suitcase up one flight of steps.

Kavin taking a break from carrying luggage up the stairs

The staircase from hell...

After a whole lot of huffing and puffing, we finally got to Villa Florentine.
The room was gorgeous with a view that overlooked Lyon.



View of St. John the baptist Cathedral and the rest of Lyon


The hotel's pool and grounds

It was soon time for dinner and we met up with Andrew and the rest from
New Asia as they had also made their way up to Lyon from Midem in Cannes.
Andrew and the rest picked Kavin and I up from the hotel and after a little
merry-go-round to find the restaurant, we finally found our way to Le Nord,
one of chef Paul Bocuse's 4 brasseries in Lyon, for dinner.


I had a French onion soup for a starter and the main course was veal
coated with breadcrumbs, gratin potatoes and for dessert, meringue ice-cream
and fruit. Kavin had white basmati rice and chicken and he had a
sausage in bread for a starter.

The menu at Le Nord

Kavin with his starter of saucisson bread

My starter of a French Onion soup

Kavin's main course of basmati rice and chicken

Veal and gratin potatoes for my main course

Victor and Joe

Andrew and Joe's godsister Mala.

Joe and Mala

Through the drinking glass.

couldn't resist playing with the drinking glass.

Glorious dessert


Jessica and I

Good company and good food.

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