Friday, November 22, 2019


In March 2009 I received a message via Facebook from someone I hadn't been in contact with since 1989. I'd known her as Virginia Kelly and she had been traveling with her bosom pal Jane when I met the duo on Tioman Island. Jane and Virginia accepted my invitation to visit when they were in KL and I recall we had a real jolly time. Then they left for Australia and there was an exchange of letters for a period, but that eventually fizzled out.

Virginia sent me a lovely, chatty email along with a whole bunch of scanned images that effectively collapsed the 20-year gap. It was truly delightful to view photos taken in 1989 that I had never seen. Whatever happened to my youthful good looks? 😥

Anyway, I just felt like sharing this recently retrieved fragment of my past...

The Rt. Hon. Armpit or Nutopian Embassy Residence 
@ 7 Pesiaran Ampang Hilir where I lived from 1970-1991. 
Looked like a hovel from the outside but it felt like a palace to me!
The-Pyramid-That-Xandi-Built was located behind 'The Armpit'
and served as an exotic guestroom
The cluttered living room where I received a broad spectrum of visitors:
from junkies and prostitutes to princes, princesses, sages, wizards, kings
and queens in exile, and goddesses of all shapes and sizes
The cap was a present from Denis Hewett.
It's still lying around somewhere!
Roxanne, the neurotic dog I inherited from former housemate Jeanne Donven
Virginia's attempt at low-light portraiture...
or perhaps I was completely stoned at the time?
Jane and Virginia (wearing my Balinese jacket) dining at the Bangles
Mary, Virginia and Jane at CJ's pub
Aha! It appears I was there too...
Who dat Dancin' Fool?
Now he's making a monkey of himself on the drumkit...
Imbi Road was a favorite haunt (oops, whose earring am I wearing?)
Camera on self-timer. Sorry, my hand got in the way, Mary!
Warding off Virginia's pheromones (or zapping her with chi,
not sure exactly what I was up to)

The 1972 Fiat Polski I inherited from Xandi Hoesch, the famous pyramid builder

Hello dear Antares,

Thank you so much for your prompt reply to my message on facebook. I was so happy to hear from you. Sorry I have taken so long to reply, you must think me very slack...

When I told Jane that I had googled you on the net and had actually found you.... she was amazed and said “so did he remember us”? I said to her well he didn’t actually say if he did... I think he did... but I can’t be sure ha ha ha ha!!! 

You were a very popular, extremely charismatic and fascinating special being then with loads of friends, and I can see that continues with over 1,100 friends on facebook. Wow!!! So I think for you to remember 2 young Aussie girls that briefly passed through would be pretty amazing... although I do think we kept in touch for a little while - you wrote to me in London... I do remember you sent me that pic of you and Marilia (the one you have on your bio). So then I dug out my ‘ol travel pics and found some of us and thought I would send them to you. I assume you have broadband with all your blogging with loads of pics etc. (I do hope you do... apologies in advance for the large email if you haven’t!!! but I think somehow you must to do what you do on the net???)

Anyway none of the pics are fabulous shots but some are funny with the expressions on some of our faces!!! Anyway I hope that the pics jog your memory (apologies for the blurry ones!! but I still thought they were worth sending even if they were blurry!!)

Oh there was another thing I thought was funny and wanted to share with you... Jane & I were both reminiscing - about lots of things... then we started talking about the little presents that you gave each of us the day we left your place in KL. The little round tin you gave me with the dice in it. The blue scarab beetle you gave Jane. I have my tin sitting on top of my fridge and frequently give it a little shake of the die and I have a code for different numbers... for some answers to some questions... strange I know... but I have always had it not far from me all these years... and Jane (who is extremely minimalist) still has her scarab beetle in her bedside drawer... I was so surprised about that... She rents a little building on this guy's place (he had originally built it for his wife to use to massage clients... (she left him... for a client I think!!) anyway it’s just a room with another room with a small kitchen and small bathroom... So being so small she doesn’t have very much with her... I guess what I am saying that I think it amazing that 2 old women (I can’t believe I said that about Jane and I ha ha ha !!!) still have those gifts from so long ago and they both still mean so much to us both... Hmmm ain’t that nice... Got a nice warm feeling now have you!!! ha ha ha!!! Well you should - you deserve it!!

Well it is a couple of days later and I still haven’t finished this email... Andy and I just got back from Brisbane today... We went down to go see the band ‘Coldplay’ it was a good night... We both really enjoy our music. I like most of the music he likes but he doesn’t like a lot of music I do... I recently went down on my own to Brisbane to see Leonard Cohen... You’d know him wouldn’t you? He is more of a poet than a singer. I just couldn’t miss this tour... At 74 he decided to tour again... and said quite honestly it was because he needed the money. I love his music, in fact I can say it was one of the best concerts I have ever been to. Andy makes fun of him saying his music is depressing and he calls his music wrist slashing music to die to,,. I say if you think that you just “don’t get it” Ha ha ha!!!

I have so enjoyed looking through the pics you have on facebook and also the family pod pics... through other links. I see Mary is there... We met Mary, I am sure it is the same Mary... she is in the pictures I am sending you. What is she up to now? What about your girls... All grown up and have children of their own now... Jane reminded me that we met one of your daughters whilst we were staying at your place... and haven’t you got some gorgeous grandchildren... Sexy grandad indeed!!!!!!... And now you have a young son with Anoora... wow!!! I love touching base with old friends and getting the gaps filled in... what useful things have they done... and how have they spent their time. It looks to me that you have had a wonderful life (and still do!!)... Full of connecting with people from all over the place and through your blog informing and stimulating awareness and conversation about important issues... You are a very special being Antares!!!

The Moossajee Family: Ryan, Andy & Gemma

I am also sending a fairly recent pic of Andy and Gemma and Ryan. Andy was born in England (Gloucester) but his Mum is Welsh (living in Australia now) and his Father was born in Mauritius (but has been living in Switzerland for the last 35 or so years) so in case you are wondering where the colourful surname ‘Moossajee’ came from. There are only 6 of us in Australia... Andy & I and our kids and Andy’s brother in Melbourne and his wife... so it is a little unusual over here... it is pronounced Moose-a gee!!! I never had to spell or pronounce Kelly (my maiden name) ha ha ha!!!

Anyway I want to get this sent to you so you can see the pics and see if you remember us... be honest!!! We won’t be offended... As I see it you have 1000’s of people pass through your life and you can’t possibly remember everyone...

Take care and I will be continuing to read your blog so I can get a picture and be informed about these issues that you write about... hopefully when you have time you can drop me a line (part of me feels like you have so many people to keep in touch with already that another will only burden your already overloaded cyber correspondence) but I will be happy to hear from you if/when you have time...

With love and cyber hugs x Virg

[First posted 18 March 2009]


Anonymous said...

whoah when was this pic taken? how old were you then ?

Damn, i felt nolstagic now.

Man, now I am looking back at my pasts...

Life is indeed too short to be wasted on things not worthy of our attention, like fighting and feeding our egos.

Starmandala said...

ShadowFox - At the ripe old age of 39! Sometimes I still feel 39, though my body is looking closer to 49... :-)

Azer Mantessa said...

nice :-)

hehe ... am not so sure what's wrong with me but i like to sniff my smelly armpit ... nice :-)

ada urrmmmpphhhh

Monsterball said...

Aiyoh, I hope you don't mind me saying....some of those photos looked like you were under the influence of something quite a bit stronger than alcohol...

You look a lot better these days.....kekkeke

Anonymous said...

I agree, you look better now. Also, you no longer look Chinese or whichever. Must be the broadness of your outlook on life... the all-encompassing nature of your thoughts and aspirations have moulded you into a person of the world, such that even the visage transcends nationality and race. It's just evolution: you're a precursor to an improved mankind in a new and better world!

newd acid said...

you really left a good impression on them.

Starmandala said...

Azer - You may have forgotten, but when you were a tiny tot, your Punjabi neighbor took a shine to you. She decided to take you under her wing & force you to smell her armpit. Now you know why you turned out so weird! :-)

Kittykat - Assumed you were female until I checked out your profile! How come you giggle like a girl (kekkeke)? Most guys go bwahahaha. Have we met in Penang?

Arnie - I've just arranged for another huge consignment of good karma to be delivered to your doorstep. Thank you! :-)

Newd Acid - Wow, you guys are a retro band or something? Nice!

Monsterball said...

Hi Antares...Kittykat's been my nickname for years, way before blogs existed...I'm definitely a guy...

Yes, we have met before, just casually, a number of years ago.
You are quite well known in local environmentalist circles.
I used to be quite active in Aliran, still a member, but too many commitments with job and family now.

By the way, we have the same name...bwahahaha

Pill Pusher said...

there's only 1 thing i wanna know.. is woodstock really that great? :)

Anonymous said...

Gosh! Even Antares was young once! Like your dancing picture. Wish it was a video.

Wish we were even younger: from a poem by Rose M Rideout:

So many years ago,
When we were oh so young,
We knew how to enjoy life,
Hang out and have some fun.

We didn’t need electricity,
Or batteries to recharge each day,
Our fun included friends our age,
And a neighbours yard just to play.

We didn’t need a cell phone,
Game boys or a coloured TV,
We just gathered up our friends,
And played together contentedly.

Starmandala said...

Kittykat - Look forward to bumping into you again sometime!

Tranquility - Can't tell you about Woodstock as it happened the year AFTER I left the US. But I saw the movie & there were some classic acts featured, including Jimi Hendrix's famous rendition of Star Strangled Banner... What Woodstock means to us in "historical" terms was the fact that the youth movement established itself mainly through music, not politics.

Anonymous said...

Hi Antares,
I am quite touched that you shared those pics and my email with your readers on your blogg.( I love your comments on the pics btw ha ha !!! :-))
They were great times, we were young & carefree and looking for fun and adventure. Oh those were the days!! Isn't that what it is all about -> loving and learning and making memories along the way!! ....and we did learn so much. My one year overseas turned into 7 years away and I loved every second of it. Meeting you was very special and for us to touch base again after all this time is fantastic.
You know I have never again had any problems with my thyroid since I spent time in that magical pyramid of yours. I can't explain that but sometimes some things don't need explanation just some grateful acceptance !!!
I am so happy that you have embraced the cyber world and therefore able to touch the lives of so many more folk out there in cyberspace. Their lives can only be enriched by your vast insight and knowledge. For that we should all be grateful !!!
with love & cyber hugs,

Starmandala said...

Ah, there you are, Virginia! Thank YOU for bothering to track me down. You can't imagine what a joy it was to hear from you after all these years. You didn't tell me your thyroid problem magically disappeared after your stay at the Wizard's Lair - but I'm glad you waited till now. At the time I would have taken all the credit for your healing. These days I'd say it was the right time for you to find your soul expression :-) Now wouldn't it be sweet to hear from Jane?

shanghai fish said...

You have lived a full life Antares. Woodstock'69 was magical to the youth of that time. Getting stoned was enlightening.Glad to be of acquaintance with you bro. Peace!