Saturday, December 29, 2007

Flying, Anyone?

Often awed at the sight of beautiful kites fluttering in the skies above. On a breezy friday afternoon, we girls headed to the park armed with our beautiful kite complete with ribbons.
Being the youngest, Charming coral was given the task of running with the kite while, I held the kite in position for the lift off. Eldest watched, ready to take over when and if the kite takes off. It did. For as high as the tree then it nosedived down. Again and again the girl ran round and round the park. After a good hour of running, untangling and retrieving if from tree tops, we packed up and left. Deflatted.

Does anyone know how to fly a kite?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Year end

After Christmas, the days seem to accelerates fast towards 31st. Many are looking forward to the year end parties, fun and celebration. While the older, wiser, pensively reflecting.
Lunar new year is still two month away but, street decorations are up. Soon, very soon the goodies, and more yummies will be deck out for another round of frenzy shopping. Sombre colour of winter to bright hues of red and orange. From the wintery blue atmosphere to the loud colours of vibrance.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Eve

A blessed & Merry Christmas to all
On christmas eve, a time with loved ones around the dinner table rejoicing and toasting to another year of peace and love to mankind and mother nature.
"For all creatures great and small, all things bright and beautiful, all things wise and wonderful, the Lord made them all"

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Night out

A rare ocassion of this sequence. A cosy dinner. A drink alfresco by the riverside with a majestic view of the museum. A stroll cross the scenic bridge as wedding couples posing against the backdrop of the historical building, the Fullerton Hotel. An evening out with MDH to attend the performance of daugther at the Victoria Concert Hall on thursday last.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Passion transformed

After 4 months of hardwork and determination, finally culminated in a two hour performance at the Victoria Concert hall. For two nights, 19th and the 20th the young performers had a chance to show their proud parents and grandparents, their passion transformed on stage. Their parents effort in taking them to and from classes, sometimes up to 4 times a week are all well worth. Where little impatience fidgety 8 and 9 year olds can be darlings on stage. This year, the charity performance was in aid of the National Cancer Centre Research Fund. Seated on the circle seats at the top with a not so powerful camera and so was delighted that this gentleman had taken some photos of the performance. Incidentally he was seated the same row as I was but on a different day.
As eldest had bunion problem, she was busy backstage. Worknig on makeup, the buns and putting on and taking off costumes as the ballerinas sped through from one items to another.

Friday, December 21, 2007


Dear old gentleman next door's speciality on Hari Raya Haji. Every year, on the eve of this auspicious day, he will diligently prepare this dish with his sons. A time of bonding and learning. The next morning, us, the neighbours will each be given a bowl. Delicious topping of mutton rendang and ikan bilis. Sprinkle of spicy fragrant desiccated coconut. Yum yum yummy

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Peaches and Jelly

Agar agar is what the children like for dessert. With peaches or mixed fruits. Best if prepared by themselves. Simple and delicious to keep them busy during the holidays.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Splashing Christmas

Rainy day rainy day rainy day splash
Rainy day splosh and rainy day splish
Brollies and boots to go splashing around
Now the rainy hop has begun

(To the tune of jingle bell rock)

A morning outing with daughter down Orchard Road . Doesn't feel like Monday though, shoppers were everywhere. It's the festive season. A season of shopping and giving. On the contrary the rain had given many a reason to put on their 'cool' fashion and designer brollies.

Monday, December 17, 2007

What if.......

Chance up this while browsing among bookshelves at the Bishan library. All the imaginable questions, the children had one time or another had asked, quizzed and interrogated me.
What if.....
I don't bathe?
I touch dry ice?
I glued my fingers together with superglue, accidentally?
Been visiting the library more often than usual now that it's holiday season And the borrowing quota has gone up to 8 books!!! Seen mothers with trolley bags loads of books. Truly a book haven for children in Singapore.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Have not been writing. Needed time to sort the clutter in the brain thinker, reassess priorities. Most of all, to reflect on all the events of the past one year. Has there been personal growth? As the year progress, especially in recent years, time breezes by in a blink of an eye. Once again, the year is coming to a close. A new beginning. Time for changes. Have been neglecting my mental and physical maintenance. Need to oil, polish, tweak and stimulate this human machine. Served well for the last 40 odd years.
Take up a course. Go for a facial regime. Increase fitness and cardio exercise.

Friday, November 30, 2007


Catching up with the past week's news. Glad I did. Not a day goes by without seeing an advertisment on Lasik eye surgery. The advertisment gives the impression that it's normal. fast easy and Every shortsighted person has done it. The eye, window to our soul. The sense that can moves us to tears or tickle us pink. It's plain horror to see ophthalmologists treating this operation so nonchalantly. What are they thinking? Whatever happen to their conscience? The hippocratic Oath?
What is not reported is, the 2% Lasik operation that have gone very wrong. Had considered this op not too long ago as my eyesight has been deteriorating with age. But am I ready to put my eyes under the knife and pray hard that I'll be in the 98% category?

Water apple

Is there such term as childhood fruits? As we progress, so have the fruits. This is what water apples are to me. Small, red, a slight tinged of sour. Saw them again at the market at Bayan Baru. Seller havested from a single tree in the backyard of a kampong house. Fruit tree nobody would want to have an orchard for. Bought some for nostalgia. Children thought it looked and tasted unfruity?Strange that these were the fruits we grew up eating. Organic, wild and not GM.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


It's fun fun and more fun as she splashed in the pool with the other children. Doing laps with dad and sliding down with a splash with cousin. While son team up with others in a game of water basketball and table tennis.Amazing how boys can just team up with anyone around and play a game. After 3 days of submergence, Charming coral had to see a doc. Her ears where completely blocked with expanded earwax! Most enjoyable evening, at the beach, on the deck chair sipping a vodka line star gazing while listening to the music from the lounge nearby. Had a spectacular view of the beach, sea and garden.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Mother nature knows best. A mild cramp followed by light bleeding for the next 4 days. Finally a blood test at the A&E comfirmed. She might not be healthy enough to go through another pregnancy. Took the news calmly then off to the salon to get her hair dye and groomed. Life goes on. This time cautiously

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Coming together

A quorum of 4 attended. On the table, the numbers laid. Noughts and crosses marked as the meeting progressed. Finally, after much brainstorming and phone calls the date, time and venue confirmed. In attendance, top management, the welfare administrator, the part timer and the budding artist-to-be. Absence with leave, the trainee.
It has been decided. To be on the 21st to the 27th at the Golden Sands, Penang. The annual family gathering. Planing for family outing has been a challenge as the members aged. Each with their holiday commitments. Eldest, dance practises for the up coming Prom night performance on 1st week of december. Son, commitment to his holiday job. Youngest with her 4 times a week table tennis training in school and her year end ballet concert performance. Lastly equally important, advance notification to the head of the family.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Met up with girlfriend while waiting for daughter. She confided. At 45, she is going to be a mother. For the 5th time. Upon seeing the two lines, she, shocked while, husband, took it calmly. No more champagne popping excitment. Still thinking of a way to break the news to in law. With a son and 3 daughters yet.... Had often wonder why the Gynae did not advise her on the appropriate method but then again, Gynae is a mother of 7. Motherhood started at 35 and it has been a handful since. Two maids to keep the children, in-laws and the house in order while she busy with the children's school and enrichment courses. Most admirable as she is one of the most patience mother I have met. Though looking forward to the new addition to the family, carrying a child at 45 does give cause to some worry. Mother's well being and also child's.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


To invest is to plan for the future. To make provision that the organisation becomes a going concern. To provide the fundamental and wholesome needs to all who seeks. To stand on it's own two feet. To be independant from the continous need ask.
Is this what most of the charitable and religious organisations have in mind when public funds are used?

Friday, November 09, 2007

Deep inside

Sometimes, what is inside, we fail to see.
In a stalk of flower
In a silent child
In a concern mother
In the eye of a stranger
In the writings of another.

Teach less learn more?

Daugther 10, came home dissapointed. Dissapointed that she was being penalised for her quick thinking. Marks were deducted because the table used to prove the question was not comprenhensible. More numbers were needed. She could have transpose from else where. When nurturing young mind are we prepared to accept and encourage when presented with the unexpected? Give the benefit of the doubt to the child or squash any that deviate from the trodden path. Does two marks make any difference? Except a motivation boost for a trying child.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Sheer will

Impressive. After 3 sleepless nights, 69 hours 47 mins they are still going strong! I need my sleep otherwise, the bad, the ugly and the monster will surface regardless. The sheer determination by the 5 women and 3 men is nothing but awesome. It goes to show what willpower one has once the mind is set.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Cats are carnivorous

A week of frantic reading marathon. Acquired another book to keep the imaginative brain thinker running on overtime. Even had a matching bookmark.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Optical illusion?

How far do you agree with this?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Brown rice I simply love
Rolled oats I can't get enough
kabocha tempura just melts in the mouth
Bitter gourd stew I so love that dish
Sushi and sashimi I cannot resist
Diligently a spoon full of honey in my tea
Drizzling olive oil whenever the pan is heated.
But, wait.
It was not too long ago, I could not swallow any of the above
What has become of me?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Listening story

While going through the library catalogue last week, I chance upon audio cd on "Sons of Fortune" by Jeffrey Archer, available for loan. Without hesitation, I made a reservation. Notification arrived, I picked them up this afternoon. In perfect mint conditon. All 12 cds. A first for me. Listening to a novel instead of reading. Had a quick listen. Still prefer to devour page by page, feasting each word with the eyes.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

For the senses

Had a sudden craving for something spicy, sour and fiery! Tom yum soup. Surfed the web and found. Diligently wrote down. A pot of nutritious stock. Sour lime excite the salivary glands. Subtle fragrant of the kaffir leaves and coriander sents the palate wild with anticipation. Tangy lemongrass, red tomatoes and exotic blue ginger add zest, piquancy of Tom yum.. A packet of spicy tom yum paste and chilli padi raises the body temperature. Fish sauce to blend all the sweet sour and spice together. Lastly fresh fish slice, prawns, squids and mushroom to makes this a fest for the senses.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

So early

When in the middle of the night the child under 4 develops a high fever or incessant coughing, any considerate mum would spent the night sponging the fever, worrying. A dose of paracetamol. Patiently wait till day break before, frantically calling the clinic for the earliest appointment. The good nurse would oblige. On arrival, there would be others waiting. At 10.30 a.m wiht baby in arm pacing around, the pediatrician has yet to arrive. The nurse, apologised. She has called. He is on the way. Probably making his round in the wards.
Many years later, I realised. Day does begin as early at 6.30am. A quick cuppa and then a game of tennis . A shower and breakfast with other fellow doctors. Finally it's off to the clinic. *sigh*


Amazing how these tiny tablet could give so much relief. Relieved from the constant sneezing, the congested nose and the sleepless nights. Dead against pill popping has led to months of discomfort and a very sensitive nose. Waking up in the middle of the night sneezing and a stuffed nose, breathing through the mouth, ended with me down stairs reading at 3a.m
Have been ordered to take one every night for the next 10 days.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Wait not

Last week, I had a mammogram done. A first for me. I am 2 years behind schedule. Pleading Ignorant is bliss. "It won't happen to me" thoughts calm the nerves and an excuse to put it off for another month or another year. However, only early detection can this one life be saved from the spread of this marauding savage cells.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

9 lives

If I were a cat with 9 lives, I would not have many left. Flipping through the pages of memories to realised how blessed I am to have someone up there watching over me.
At 8, the scene etched in my mind. Alone, inching my way across the busy after work traffic along the Ayer Itam Road in front of Chung Ling high. Standing at the painted road divider I saw an on coming car overtaking. I could neither move forward nor back, I shut my eyes, clenched my fist really tight waited.
At 17, went with my girlfriend Pat and her new found guy friend to a barberque. Shocked! Venue: by a stream somewhere in the Telok Bahang forest reserve. Time: 8pm. Company: 6 to 8 other strangers.
At 18, promised mum, I would be home by 9pm on a class outing on a bungalow stay up on Penang hill. Running late, my classmate from SXI on the motorcycle, sped all the way from Ayer Itam to Gelugor in DEC!
At 21, Desperate. Rented a room in a house siuated in a menacing neighbourhood at the end of a dirt track somewhere in Genting Klang, KL
At 23, on a camping trip to the Pahang National Park, our group of 5 girls and 5 guys chose to set up tent barely metres from a river as the designated camp site was occupied by a group of rowdy boys.
At 38, barely 4 hours after checking into the service apartment in Gold coast, the fire alarm sounded. Fire engines surrounded the apartment below. Grabbed my bag containing the passports, bundle the whole family into the lift. Despite knowing very well the warning: Never take the lift in case of fire. But we were on the 17th floor!!! Only to find out later that, the engine room of that very lift was on fire!
At 42, thanks to an observant eye and the strong advise from my doc friend, I was taken off the bactrim antibiotic that left scar due to fixed drug eruption though the gyne that presribed it, was vehement that rashes should cover the whole body not just a fixed spot.
When reading the papers, I cannot help but reflect on the danger that I had put myself in time and time again.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Jeffrey Archer

Have been burying my nose in my Current read.
Need a chill out and be distracted from present
situation. What better distraction than to read

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Not a sound

Hush no sound for there's only silence
Cry not for then the worms will infest
gnawing the sweet delicious juicy apple
Stoically walk on to salvage that pride

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Something Old

Things of old brings comfort and snugness.
A well worn shirt airy and loose
While that slip elastic band shorts gives you no reason to diet
So well washed, it's the scent of clean worn garment
Dusty with age pair of shoes that has walked a hundred miles,
mold into the feet, slipping in and out at a tug of the feet
My son just cannot part with his faded, loose and distorted pyjamas

Thursday, October 11, 2007


On a wet, rainy day, with an umbrella, I stood at the pedestrian crossing waiting. Around me, students with their colourful umbrellas and a caucasian lady. After much thought I moved forward, offering to share my umbrella with her. What she retorted next, startled me. " It's only rain. I like walking in the rain." I was stumped. The lights turned, she breezed ahead leaving me feeling silly. Now, if a compliment should be accepted graciously why can't an offer be taken gratefully?

Monday, October 08, 2007

Mother's son

Every so often, as the car comes to a halt at the traffic junction,a truck load of foreigner workers stops beside. These mother's precious sons, toil in under the blazing sun, working with toxic chemicals at contruction sites or at shipyards. Many coming from some of the world's most populace countries. India and China. Ironically these are the two countries, where the male offspring is the most sought after. Where female fetus are aborted or killed upon birth. Often wondered what these men's childhood had been like. Did they, like our boys here at 7, put on a neat set of uniform, spotless pair of shoes, a bag on the shoulder proudly being led to school by their parents? To seek an education. A means to crawl out of the poverty circle. What were their ambitions? When did their innocence childhood shatter? When they had to go hungry? When were they forced to leave their mother's ambit? When the grumbling tummy became unbearable?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Night life

Owls, birds of prey that hunts in the dark. Spent the day sleeping for when it's dark, that when the hunt begins. Silent and swift, from above comes the claws in one quick snatch, the scurry little rodent's life is snuffed.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Charming coral

My daughter,charming coral born in the year of the oxen. Never wanted the pacifer since day one though papa tried very hard to tempt her. Partially breastfed for the 1st year of her life. Especially during the night feed. Too tired. A stroller baby as brother and sister would stroll her around the house when my hands were full. Spent most of the time in the kitchen playing with all the spice bottles, pot and pans with the kitchen cabinet wide open till the bottle of sugar spilt.
Spend her toddler evening sitting on the high chair at the study table together with the other two older siblings. Mum had to supervise. Slowly makes her way up stairs when mum's voice starts to raise. Cue to go to bed before mum gives her the glare. Her most unusual habit, keeping anything interesting under her pillow. Sister's hair pin, coins, small toys, brother's story book, stickers and such.
At five, screaming and crying, as she dash out of the ballet studio on the first day of lesson. Cried even louder when the wicked mum held her firmly, took her back to class. Yes, one dad commented that I should not have done that. Today she looks forward to her ballet lessons every week. Eagerly awaiting her second concert performance comes december 19th at the Victoria concert hall.
Reading at 4. She woud pick a picture book, looks at the illustration and give her account. Flipping the page once awhile. Just trying to be like the rest of us, who happens to be ardent readers. Baby see baby do.
An indispensible helper in the kitchen. Enjoy cutting french beans. long beans and celery. Doesn't matter how it looks as long as it's edible really, with a butter knife. Spent bubbly hours in the bathroom scrubbing her school shoes with the kitchen washing up liquid. Gentle on the hands. Always remembers to surprise brother, sister, mum and dad with a birthday present. A bar of chocolate at the very least when her little piggy bank is nearing E.
She is a gem to us.
Today she is 10

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

M for Maleable

When Joyce, a SAHM gave up her 5th maid for faking a suicide in a bid to be sent home, She made up her mind. She would not be render a helpless wreck without maid. The family will just have to adjust. The morning gallon fruit juice would be ceased to be on the breakfast table. An hourly maid comes in twice a week to give the home a mop out. The car gets a wash once a week ,at her convenience, at the petrol kiosk while the hard to iron clothes gets a make over, at the laundry service, when she does her groceries. Meals? Tiffin meals on weekdays and eating out on weekends. She prepares a dish or two when she's in the mood.

That was 3 months ago. She confided in me, while having tea,the other day, that she is a much happier and relax person. She now has a peace of mind and more freedom. An active daily routine has made her more alive and cheery too. Though there were grumbles and complaints but the children has managed it well. To be independant of a maid.
A blessing in disguise.

Monday, October 01, 2007

To love

On this day we remember the children. Children, our genetic linkage to the future. In every generation there are children forgotten, abandon or deprived. Deprived of care, love and guidance. Most painful are the ones, sold as child labours or left to fend for themselves in the streets. Children not only brings joy but strengthen the family bonding. Children rejuvenate the child in us. Gives us a reason to visit the zoo, ride on the swing and play hide and seek.
Only when we are committed to take responsibility, nurture and love the child, are we ready to receive god's creation into this big blue marble.

Sunday, September 30, 2007


Every so often we pop in and out of shopping malls. To run an errand, go for groceries or for classes. Do we, unconsciously expects some familiarity?
The very basic expectation, A foodcourt. Bright and cheery. The staple stalls of chicken/duck rice, western delights, yong tau foo, chinese rice and fried noodle cuisine, beef, fishball and fish soups. Any other additions will be a bonus.
We expect to see KFC, MacDonald or Burger King the very least at the basement if not the ground level.
Mall would never be complete without Giodano or Bossini or Hangten.
The anchor tenant would have to be either NTUC or Cold Storage.
Lastly for electrical appliances that would be Best Connection or Save superstore.
Yes, Popular is to stationery users as Yakun is to the egg slurpers and Starbuck and Coffee Bean are to coffee and free wi-fi lovers. BreadTalk is to bread munchers as Old Chang Kee and Polar are to pastry snackers.
These establishments are also a must see in all malls.
Would we feel strange out of place in singapore if none of these establishments were in a mall?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Maidenhair fern

Washing hair these days is a painful affair. After every wash, a quick glance at the water outlet shows a massive tangle of hair stuck on the trap. Been this way for the last couple of years. Been looking around for some remedy but so far nothing. A girlfriend recommended a drop of brandy or two after every wash. It worked for her. Her crowning glory shows it. MDD suggestd that it's a matter of time before I have to visit Svenson or Beijing 101!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


On this night the moon is the brightest and the roundest
family gathers sipping tea and savouring cakes
With caltrope, pomelo and little yam on the table
Children parade around with little lanterns

The fruit lady

She put a little red packet into my fruit bags.
"This wednesday, I'll be saying bye!" she said.
"Going on holiday?" I asked
"Didn't I tell you? I am giving up this stall. Taking a rest."
The day, I moved here, 18 years ago, Her fruits stall is the ONE I frequent.
She picks the choicest fruit for me, gives me sound advice on which fruit to eat when my family have minor ailments.
Now, after 20 years running the stall she is finally throwing in the towel. I will miss her.
Another familar face I will miss.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Mint sauce

Green with envy she sits, sipping a cool Green tea
Leafing through Graham Greene
Observing Green fingers pottering in his Greenhouse
With Greenhorn by his side
In a little cafe where but in Greenwich

Listening to Greenspan predicting on the Greenback
While practising his swing on the putting green
With Green beret cruising around incognito
As Greenpeace bid to save the whales in Greenland

Friday, September 21, 2007


Convent Light Street the school I spent 10 years of my learning journey in 1972. Started Primary two at CLS after dad was transfered back to Penang. As an 8 year old I was utterly delighted to go to school on a trishaw together with my cousin.

Quietly I sat on this very hall waiting for school to begin. A timid and quiet child as I spoke no hokkien. But that was not for long. Here in this hall too was where I had my first injection.

Physical Exercise PE was always the hightlight of the day. Facing the sea the breeze was always so welcoming. Being small, I always thought how huge the school was. Mind you, it housed the kindergarten, the primary and secondary school that comes equipped with 2 huge kitchens for home science and a sewing room. A private school all within it's compound. On top of that, it was also the quarters for the nuns. A large dining hall cum kitchen located near the secondary school canteen never fail to catch my curiousity as I walked by it every day. Peering into the ajar doors. The most peaceful place here in CLS must be the chapel. Rich coloured motif stain glass and deep rich antique mahogony wood pews adds to the serene atmosphere.

I used to cast my eyes to these windows of the nuns' quarter above the classrooms hoping to see what inside. I never did. I still have never been to that part of the building.

I sat beside this wall in Primary 6. Eerie as it may sound but, we were more curious than frighten knowing very well where we were sitting in used to be a POW camp. POWs inscribed their name on these wall hoping that someone would know of their whereabout should they not lived to freedom. Knowing very well, too that many might have been executed and tortured within these compound. Never stay past 6pm. though.

Probably that was the reason why frangipani trees were plant outside these classrooms. Looking forward to visiting this school of mine one day.
All these photographs were taken from this site

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Frizzy and carbonated drinks are never on my drink list, but had a sudden craving for the last few days, a tall glass of ice cool root beer. Twinkle toe had written it on the grocery list for our weekly sunday shopping. Yesterday at 4.15pm while waiting for twinkle toe, she, all sweaty from her table tennis practise came walking cautiously down the slope with one hand holding a full cup of drink while holding a thick file on the other balancing a school bag on the back. Gleefully she announced "Root beer for you mum. Bought it just for you". I was so touched.