Happy Memories of Penang

Today I got one of those emails you dread getting…my Dad, who lives in the UK, has had a heart attack and is in the hospital.
He says he’s ok, wherever that means…what else would you say to a daughter who lives on the other side of the world?

He’s made of robust Geordie stock so it’ll take more than this to bring him down.

What to do when anxiety takes hold? Cook.

What to cook? Something that reminds me of Penang. That most magical island in Malaysia that holds a special place in my heart.
The Charms of Penang

Eric had been stationed in Penang during his time with the RAAF. He took me there and i fell in love.Thirteen years ago, we decided to get married there.

It was to be a simple civil ceremony, just the two of us. My daughter went to the inlaws for a Gold Coast holiday, Mum was living in France, and Dad, my stepmama and sister were in the UK.

That was ok, we were kind of used to everyone living all over the place. Not what we wanted, but ok. It would be a quiet, little wedding in a place we both loved. We’d honeymoon for a couple of weeks, then life would resume as usual.

Well, it all turned out very, very differently! The plane got into Penang around 11pm and we were checking into the hotel around about midnight when the strangest thing happened…

I looked over when a taxi pulled up the open reception area, it was late, I was curious. A woman got out and as she moved, I thought to myself, ” she walks just like Joan, that boggy hip, little bit limpy walk” Then, all of a sudden, my Dad appeared. It was my stepmama! They had come all the way to Penang to be wish us when we got married.

It was a fabulous week. Many shared memories. Loads of the wonderful food Penang has to offer. Bliss.
Roti canai became a favourite “go-to” meal for all of us. Somehow, we could always manage to fit in a freshly made roti and it’s accompanying dish of spicy curry sauce for dipping.
This is a packet of frozen roti – great to have in the freezer. They seem to call these roti paratha in some parts of SE Asia. I have also seen it called roti prata. It’s the same delicious deal, try some if you see it in the freezer at your local Asian grocer and make a pot of dhal or chicken curry for dipping.

Goodbyes are hard but those memories are irreplaceable.

That post is in the way but here's Dad having a cuppa in the garden.
That post is in the way but here’s Dad having a cuppa in the garden.

So Dad, tonight I’m thinking of you and making Malaysian chicken and sweet potato curry.


I’ve just spoken to my sister and am delighted to report that, for now, all is good. His main concern at the moment, apparently, is not getting insurance for his October Mediterranean cruise 🙂

September 13th: Update Great news. I am happy to report that Dad is on the mend and being released from hospital today. He is keen to get home but unfortunately the cruise is off next month. Don’t worry Dad! I’ll come over and we’ll get a barge and do our own cruise 🙂


2 thoughts on “Happy Memories of Penang

  1. I’m so sorry to hear of your father’s health problems but it sounds as if he’s handling it quite well. Nothing like looking forward to a cruise to help one recover.

    Thank you for the wedding memories, too. What a wonderful surprise to have family there after all.

    1. Thank you so much Lillian and I apologise for the length of time it has taken me to offer my thanks…As you can imagine, it’s been a topsy-turvy couple of weeks but I am happy to report that Dad is out of hospital and seems to be doing ok.

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