After "many many hours of disciplined hard work", the baby is finally out of the oven. For Chun See, with the publishing of Good Morning Yesterday the blog into Good Morning Yesterday the book, all those hours toiling in front of the computer to write and rewrite the chapters must have been worth it. Congratulations to Chun See for achieving the next milestone in his heritage blogging career!
I was honored to be invited to the "soft launch" of his book at Ixora room of the Peranakan museum. As he explained in his blog article on the big day, a "soft launch" is one limited to invited friends. This is not unlike property "soft launch" in the market where massive discount would be offered to the privileged few. And in politics and elsewhere, "club membership" does have its privileges; the invited consisted of mostly FOYers and all of us received a complimentary copy of his book ... autographed. It was not unlike the "soft launch" for Dr Tan Wee Kiat's stamp books previously, a chit-chat cum makan session and we too received an autographed copy from Singapore's most prolific author of children stamp books. Well, not quite the same this time at the "soft launch" as there was no choice of soft drinks. Heh, but we did have something better and healthier.
The privileged few at the "soft launch" of Good Morning Yesterday the book.
Not to forget the bouncer who coordinated the "soft launch" and made it possible.
I arrived at Ixora room adjoining the main lobby of the museum a few minutes late due to a prior appointment. As if time is of the essence, the guests had started tucking in the small buffet spread prepared by the organizers. Well done, I had missed the introduction and opening of the "soft launch". According to Chun See, he couldn't think of a long enough speech to hold them back. His words somehow eased my guilt.
I scrutinized the guests in the room. There were many familiar faces. Indeed the group known as FOYers (Friends of Yesterday.sg) has come a long way since it started. I came to know this movement by NHB, their foray into social media and portal, around 3 years ago. Its members were, and are still, at the forefront of heritage and nostalgia blogging. Since then interest in heritage topics have grown tremendously, due in large part to government support which means increased funding to heritage institutions, and the popularity of the king of social media - Facebook.
Chun See, grinning from ear to ear, posing with Walter who was Yesterday.Sg's first boss.
I had a good time chatting and catching up with some of them. This is a group of very down-to-earth people, honest folks with genuine interest in heritage-related topics, which made for very enjoyable conversation, despite our age gap. I must be one of the youngest in the group, which means there is so much to learn from everybody. The group has a good mix of older and younger adults, with the latter contributing the technical know-how and providing the logistics for events, while everyone shares in one way or another, in our blogs for instance.
I received my complimentary copy of Good Morning Yesterday from Chun See, autographed and with the book cover in a very nice finish. Due to overwhelming demand at the launch, the author was autographing furiously at the presentation table as we helped ourselves to the delectable spread at the back of the room. He must have enjoyed the exercise in penmanship much as we enjoyed our "mouth exercise"."I don't mind," was his reply to us.
Autographing his labor of love for the guests at the event. Copies were also shipped overseas to friends.
My autographed copy of Chun See's first heritage book. Thank you for your kampong stories!
In-between conversation, bites of pastry and sips from the orange juice bottle we got instead of the usual fruit punch (or soft drinks), I flipped the pages. The content is familiar as I am a regular reader of his blog, even though much of it is rewritten, and not simply an anthology of his blog articles, to fit the topical approach in the book. I believe oldies will enjoy the book tremendously as his experiences of growing up in Singapore in the 1950s and 1960s resonate with them. Younger adults and kids too will love the book and its grandfather stories, as it depicts scenes from a bygone era that would not be experienced in Singapore again.
One invited guest who read the blog regularly standing proud with the book author. Check out other photos taken at the event.
The book must have been an easy read, as those who commented in Chun See's blog that they finished it on the first day would attest. Yours truly could have made it to the list, or at least bragged that he finished it in 2 days as a slower reader, but all hopes were dashed when his copy was picked up and read by somebody before him. Imagine my surprise when I found my other half, who is not a reader of the blog, engrossed in the book! I was told she read it out of curiosity and personal interest which had actually got to do with heritage. If time permits I shall blog about this very interesting bit of heritage I got to experience recently.