Thursday 31 July 2008


Someone made me so angry this morning. I have not been so angry in years. The only person who has the ability to do that is my ex. I was shouting into the phone in what I thought was my angriest voice. Yet my colleague said "You call that angry? I would have been way way angrier if I were you!"

Yes, I was yelling at my ex. Once again, he did something so irresponsible that incurred my wrath. It's over now. I have vented and fixed the problem. I should have kicked his ass.

The yard

I was at the container yard this morning. This is where I make my living but it is also somebody's playground.

Look at these puppies! They walked into the yard some weeks ago and decided to stay put. This is now their home and playground. The workers take good care of them.

Wednesday 30 July 2008

That's just life

The kids have been asking, "When exactly are we moving into the new apartment?"

We're finally getting the keys next week and then what? I'm not sure. I have already postponed all furniture delivery till a later date, not sure exactly when... Simply put, I have lost momentum. After months of waiting, the excitement has somewhat fizzled out. Maybe I'll find that enthusiasm when I actually get hold of the keys.

The month of August is not exactly the best time for moving house or acquiring new property according to the Chinese calendar. I shall not go into details but it coincides with the Month of the Hungry Ghost. So, I'm in quite a bit of a dilemma. To move or not to move, that is the question.

Back at our current home, everything is still humming along as usual. Mum has been feeling poorly lately. Sometimes I return home to find her sitting in the corner, looking so sunken and sad. The tumour is affecting her well-being. Perhaps it has something to do with her age and consitution as well. She suffers from dizzy spells, headache, ear-ache, throbbing sensations all over her scalp and face. As if not enough, on most days, even chatting leave her breathless and weak.

Having visitors will not bring her much cheer because it is such a strain for her to talk for too long. Too much noise around her will make her head feel like exploding and her heart palpitate wildly. It is understandable why she feels miserable and depressed on some days.

It's sad to know that when a person is unwell, family and friends can rally around to provide support and love but ultimately the sick is still the one feeling the pain. The others will go on with their own busy lives.

Yesterday, she was a little more cheerful and bright. It comforts me to catch such glimpses of her in her old happy self. Living with her gives me an opportunity to monitor her progress. Once we start to live apart, this little opportunity that I had always taken for granted will no longer be there.

Tuesday 29 July 2008

Forever young

I read an article in the newspapers that made me smile and feel instantly younger! According to Dr Caroline Low, senior family physician in anti-ageing medicine at Raffles Hospital, if you've exercised for more than 10 years continuously, you will look as young as the day you started regular exercise!

Incidentally, this is the same doctor who attended to me during my health screening 2 days ago. She asked about my melasma (freckles on my face) that day but after explaining to her I spend too much time outdoors being exposed to the sun, she agreed that treatment would be quite futile.

Anyway, back to the piece of fantastic news. If you start exercising when you're 30, you would still look 30 when you're 40. Cool isn't it? Now I know why all my running buddies look so good!

As we age, our bones shrink and we lose height too. Exercising helps us maintain our muscle and bone strength. I really don't want to end up with a short and sagging body. I would rather have a freckled face and a body that looks 10 years younger. Plus a heart that feels forever young.

That's probably the best motivation for anyone to start exercising rightaway. Whether it is walking, running, yoga or even Krav Maga, just do it!

Monday 28 July 2008

Kicking up dust

Due to the pain in my neck, I skipped running yesterday which made me feel a little out of sorts. Running does funny things to you. When you're on a roll, you would find any excuse to go for a run.

Cool weather is perfect for running. Rainy days are perfect too. We run out the moment the rain stops to enjoy the crisp fresh air. Overcast days are also great. We try to complete our run before the thunderstorm rolls in. Heck, even sunny days are good. At least we get a tan while running. It's good if you can start the day with a run. A relaxing run before bedtime is even better. Anytime is a good time.

Then again, a runner can get into a rut and lose the passion for running sometimes. We have off days too. We start to skip one session. Then another, and another. We can always find an excuse not to run. The weather's too hot. Too wet. Too muggy. Too late. Too early. Too busy. Too lazy.

If we're lucky, someone comes around and kick our butt. We start out again with difficulty and rediscover the passion. Then we wonder why we had even stopped in the first place.

Believe me, it always feels good after a run.

Sunday 27 July 2008

Through the years...

Lately it feels a little different when I'm out with the kids. For a start, I can hardly call them boys now. With them towering over me, I feel like I'm protected by two bodyguards everywhere I go.

It wasn't too long ago when I was still changing their diapers and carrying them in my arms. How time flies. All the baby talk is gone now. We hold proper conversations and exchange stories about life, friends and music. We enjoy going out for a good meal together. We're the biggest critiques of TV shows and we argue and debate all the time.

Through the years, I have watched them grow. I can say I know almost everything about them. They are often baffled that I can read their mind. But of course. I'm their mommy. Regardless of how tall they've grown or how old they've become, they're still my kids.

Still very young.

Yah, bigger now.

Not quite as tall as me yet.

Catching up...

Back from health check

I'm back from my health check. Sorry to disappoint but the place didn't look anything like a resort. It is very pleasant and cosy but it is a hospital afterall. Besides, there were so many people waiting for their turn, this must be the most profitable business to be in right now. A package like mine costs $700 and multiply that by say 30 patients in one morning, no wonder the healthcare industry is booming!

I did a series of tests this morning and have to return for mammogram followed by consultation with the doctor in mid-August. Yup, they're so fully booked, that's the earliest date they could fit me in.

An attractive lady doctor attended to me today. I can tell from the gorgeous black frock she was wearing that she's a fashionista. I found out later that she's also an anti-ageing specialist and senior physician. That means she can give botox and filler treatments too. She said my blood pressure is borderline high. Gee, no improvement since my last checkup a year ago.

While my BMI reading of 24 is within the normal range, I feel it is surprisingly high. Despite eating small meals and running almost everyday, I can easily fall into the overweight category the moment I slacken. My weight has increased 5kg in 5 years. I look at my developed leg muscles and think they probably weigh a ton. In a way, that's a consolation but I guess I'll need to be vigilant and stay disciplined all my life. In case you're wondering who eats all those sinful food in my posts, well, I only indulge on Friday nights and occasionally over the weekends.

The complete results will only be revealed in mid-August. It's going to be a long and painful wait, especially since I woke up with a crick in my neck this morning. Hope I can straighten my neck by tomorrow.

Until then, fingers and toes still crossed.

Away from desk

Thanks for checking in on me but sorry folks, I won't be blogging this morning. By the time you read this, I will be getting pricked, scanned, X-rayed, screened and examined at the hospital. Yup, I am finally getting my health screening done.

I've been told the screening will take place in a warm and cozy environment that combines state-of-the-art technology with personalised attention from a dedicated team of healthcare professionals. I can also enjoy a healthy buffet breakfast after the tests, attend to my business needs and surf the web between test stations. They want to make my visit worthwhile and comfortable.

Well, I certainly hope so. Fingers and toes crossed.

Saturday 26 July 2008

Saturday happenings

I brought the boys out for lunch at our favourite Ajisen Ramen restaurant today. Of all the branches we had been to, the one at Lot 1 remains our favourite. For some reason, the food is tastier here. Maybe they have more experienced kitchen staff.

I tried the Volcano Ramen, touted to be the spicest dish in Ajisen. It wasn't tongue numbing hot and the soup was so delicious! YK had the Spicy Ramen while SK ordered a special Hokkaido seafood rice dish.

Volcano Ramen on the left, Spicy Ramen on the right. I couldn't find SK's dish on Ajisen's website.

We ordered some sides too - California Maki and Chicken Teriyaki.

We stopped by Ikea after lunch to find the entire store packed to the hilt. I couldn't find that candlestand that I was eyeing on but YK picked another one that's pretty similar. Unfortunately the cashier couldn't find the item in his system. Instead of holding up the line, he suggested we forgo the item and purchase it on another day. Oh well... it wasn't on discount anyway.
Since HortPark is pretty nearby, we swung by to have a quick look. It's my third visit but the boys' first. Being a new attraction, it was rather crowded too.

We were surrounded by lush greenery.

YK loves this bi-colour plant which has purple underside. We're going to plant this in our patio.

This old tree is draped with a kind of air plant. The effect is pretty interesting.

Lovely garden patch.

An attractive herb and spice garden.

I like this too.

I have a soft spot for this grass-like plant.

A cheerful and colourful garden.

We found this Heliconia in an unusual lilac colour. Really pretty.
Tonight we celebrated my sis-in-law's birthday. August is the month of many birthdays in our household. Next on the list is my other sis-in-law's followed by my brother's birthday.

Happy Birthday YL!

Friday 25 July 2008

Morning run

After an artery-clogging meal of bak kut teh (peppery pork rib soup) and braised pork knuckles last night, I couldn't bear to skip running this morning. Since it's a cool and bright Saturday morning, I brought my camera along with me. I've been running along the perimeter of an old army barrack these couple of months. The just under 5km route is pleasant and shady.

Starting point.

Inside the army camp. When I was in the National Cadet Corps in secondary school, we used to come here for training. We learned to strip and clean the rifle here.

The MRT train runs through here.

That's me running along the road. Guess who shot the picture? My new running buddy, SK!

We ran through the park connector. Can you see the MRT train overhead?

That's SK running ahead of me.

We don't have creeks and cascades along the way, but we have canals and running water.

As you can see, the old barrack is out of bounds.

The fence is now covered with morning glory.

Someone made a hole in the fence. They probably went in to pick fruits. I saw lots of rambutan and mango trees laden with fruits.

The Buddhist temple a the end of our route.

Thursday 24 July 2008

Singapore Garden Festival 2008

I arrived at the Garden Festival just after 10am to find a long line of visitors at the ticketing booth. There were retirees, school students, foreigners and people from all walks of life. The floral displays were impressive but the warm lighting in the exhibition hall made it really difficult for me to capture good photographs using my compact camera. Here are some of the better ones. Enjoy!

This is the winning entry by Peter Cheok. The clever lighting and arrangement really produced a mesmerising effect, like you're underwater!

A closer view. I was curious to find out what that plant with big green leaves is called. It's the first time I've seen this. I even wonder if it is real.

This is another nice entry featuring musical instruments in the background.

I love this safari inspired creation. The choice of plants and flowers used is excellent. Unfortunately I couldn't get any good shots.

This is a very cottage-like display. It's very green and natural, unlike most of the other colourful creations.

Yup, this is by a landscape designer from China.

One of the designers used lots of gigantic pitcher plants to create a miniature tropical rainforest complete with swamp and lichen.

This is one design I could replicate for my patio.

I even found my favourite hanging bubble chairs in one of the displays!

There's a photo exhibition by Kwek Leng Joo too.

Students from a primary school created parachutes and lollipops using orchids. Aren't they clever?

Ikea showcased some of their 2009 gardenware. Really impressive range I must say.
Right after the show, I went to my customer's office nearby. After the meeting, I had to hurry back to pick SK, so I couldn't go to Ikea. While walking towards my car, I saw a new shop across the road selling nice accessories for the home. I popped in for a quick look just to satisfy my curiosity. If I can't have Ikea, Friven will do too.