Wednesday, January 24, 2007

living next door to porky

I don't know why she's leaving, or where she's gonna go,
I guess she's got her reasons but I just don't wanna know,

'Cause for twenty four years I've been living next door to Alice.
Twenty four years, just waitin' for a chance,

To tell her how I'm feeling, maybe get a second glance,

Now I've gotta get used to not living next door to Alice.

that was smokie's hit song the year i finished 6th form. our class had 1 final get-together right after the HSC exams (now called STPM) - a day trip to desaru/kota tinggi waterfalls, thus ending a year & a half of comradeship & camaraderie. we had started out cautiously as a rag-tag group, picked from 6-8 different secondary schools in the district, & as we all shared the same route towards pre-university education, friendships were forged, strangers became buddies & we all became one. those were 2 of the best years of my life.

1 girl stood out in that group. she was affectionately called porky because she was very thin (i kid you not). however, she made up for her lack in girth with a friendly disposition & lively spirit, & that endeared her to mean, to our class. she eventually went to study at the univ of canterbury, NZ, then came back to work, got married & migrated to NZ. we met again with some of the gang once during chinese new year & it was a most enjoyable 1-night-stand.

reunion : the prequel (circa1987)

the reason for this bout of nostalgia is the orbituary in last week's papers of someone i had known from primary school. i called my friend K & she confirmed that our ex-schoolmate had indeed passed on. that prompted me to suggest that we (meaning she) should organise a 6th form class reunion, because we never officially had one since we went on separate ways. i'm glad she agreed - i must have sounded convincing when i reminded her of her sterling effort, as president, in a hugely successful rotaract club fundraiser decades ago. our reunion is tentatively planned for end of this year. so, watch this space!

yeah, for 1 & 1/2 years, i've been classmates with porky & i've never told her how i secretly felt. but i think she somehow knew.

30 years on, & i've already gotten used to not sitting right behind porky in class.


JOEPSC said...


Sorry to hear about your classmate's passing on. We know that's part and parcel of life.

The bout of nostalgia seems more therapeutic as one gets older; it provides some relief to an aching void left by a loss of a dear one, and also wakes our forgetful mind to realise how far we have travelled in life's journey and the need to be more appreciate and prepared…I may be wrong, but that’s what I feel.

doc said...


yeah, it's funny. of late, i've been thinking a lot of the past, like getting in touch with my primary & secondary school teachers & classmates. it's like i've been caught up in the hectic throes of modern living, the past seems to provide some sort of a reprieve. therapeutic, as you so aptly describe.

you were absolutely spot-on. sometimes we need to get back to basics.

LX said...

This is the 4th year since I left secondary school. We have reunions almost every half a year or so. But now it's getting rarer. Everyone is everyone around the world. Drifting apart...

doc said...


i wrote in a recent post that in this crazy, crazy world, it's even more pertinent that we ought to build bridges. in this era of emails, webcams & VOIPs, we have no excuses for not doing so.

& we only have ourselves to blame. (sigh!)

HappySurfer said...

"Living nextdoor to Alice", a great Karaoke number.

So sorry to hear about your friend. Life is so uncertain, it's wise to be living it in the present and savouring every day, every moment of it.

doc said...


yes, a great karaoke number, isn't it? it has remained my favourite song from that era, the other being "don't give up on us" by david soul.

the desire to live for the present is often easier said than done, but very crucial for peace & solace.

just me said...

My primary one school friend lost her husband very suddenly last year. She was devastated.That helped put things in perspective for some of us. It reminded me of the frailty and realities of life. Also, that one must not be too overdependent on her spouse for everything especially financially.
There are cases of course where the responsible husband has put his house in order before he died.
I always salute the full time home-makers in this respect.

Anonymous said...

This coming CNY will mark the 4th gathering for me with my Uni mates. We hardly see each others during the year but i guess somehow all of us try to make time for this occasion. ;)

doc said...

just me,

i agree that :

a) death invariably jolts us from our complacence,

b) one spouse should not be over-dependent on the other,

c) both spouses should prepare asset allocation (eg. a will) in the event that one or both should suddenly pass on, and

d) homemakers play as big a role as the breadwinners in keeping the family together.

doc said...


welcome & thks for your comment.

it's nice, isn't it, when you can get together with your pals at least once a year to catch up on old times.

unfortunately, most of my ex-classmates have relocated elsewhere. CNY is essentially an occasion for a family/relatives reunion for me.

hope you have a nice time & maybe post some photos in your blog.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your friend. It often is so shocking to see a familiar name in the orbituaries section.

You seem to have a lot of crushes from before... hmm...?

doc said...



the 1st obituary of someone familiar i ever saw was a patient of mine when i was a medical student. he had cancer of the colon & had an operation when i was doing surgery posting. we later became friends & a few months later, there he was - his photo in the obituary section. (in fact, in most instances, i recognise the picture rather than the name) last year, it was my ex-physics teacher's photo in the papers.

crushes - yeah, i had a few, & this blog hasn't seen the last of them. wait till i get a little mellow or sentimental.....

Captain Kangaroo said...

what a sad entry man,
it reminds me of the ending in Stephen King's 'Stand by me' the movie... where the 4 friend/kids went on separate ways, and 1 of them died tragically :)

nyonyapenang said...

ya...i'm waiting for you to get all mellow and sentimental. :)

doc said...


honestly, haven't heard of that movie. besides, i scare easily.

doc said...


don't hold your breath just yet!

but you can always tell us your stories in the meantime.

Las montaƱas said...

hmm... good to reflect, but not too much, especially sad events. Can lead to depression. you know, the mid life thing? yeah. things like having to view comtemporaries' obituaries, the need to catch up with old friends..etc.

doc said...

las montanas,

i realised what i've done may be a mid-life thing, but the possibility that it may lead to depression? now, you've got me WORRIED!

& i'm going to meet some old, old friends this weekend.

have a blessed new year!