Saturday, November 05, 2011

Employing gamblers?

Sending maids to queue for HelloKitty toys, for tickets and queue numbers I've heard, but getting workers (article)to gamble on the employer's behalf???? Chinese aren't known as innovative entrepreneur for nothing. When interviewed, one employer says he is too busy to gamble, and 5 gambling is better than one of him. Higher chances. One is barred from gambling so he sents his workers. Have these employers spare a thought for the workers? Yes, they get a cut in the winnings but it's also teaching them a vice. This is so not right.

Monday, October 24, 2011

My wheels

The DJ posed this question over the radio yesterday morning, in lean times, what is the one thing one cannot give up. Honestly I cannot give up the freedom of driving around. Though the petrol price is on the rise, the expensive parking lots are getting harder to find and not forgetting the ERP gantries.

I can dine out less, have one less pair of shoes but I want my freedom to drive.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

English in Malaya

The recent commuting between two capitals gave me time to indulge in my favourite pastime.
Ever wonder what sort of lives the british rubber planters in Malaya led in the 1950s? How they were selected and shipped here on a 4 or 7 years tour of duty to run an estate thousands of miles from home. To a hot and humid country infested with mosquitoes and snakes and sometimes miles from civilisations and a bathtub. Chance upon this book, "Eleplants, tigers and Tappers" by Micheal Thorp a planter landed in Malaya in 1956 barely 21. How he had to learn the malay language, the trade of planting rubber to tapping latex to running an estate of 600 workers. A must read for all those curious to know a little of this part of history not found in school textbook.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

MG Crisis

After 60 bottles of IvIg 19 days in the ICU dad was finally won the battle. Dad first realised he was suffering from myasthenia gravis disease, a neuromuscular disorder, when one day his right eyelid started drooping. After some lengthy examination, the neurologist comfirmed that he was suffering from ocular myasthenia gravis. For the next 14 years he was on steroid to suppress the immune system response until recently. As the dosage was decreasing over the years and nothing happened, the neurologist decided to withdrawl it totally. Then, slowly over the next few weeks, the eyelids began to droop, the head was just too heavy to hold up and chewing was a chore. The neurologist noted and decided to increase his steroid. A sudden increase in dosage and frequency, dad suffered an MG crisis. Barely made it to the A&E when his lungs collapsed. Intubated for the next 17 days. At 71 and with an irregular hearbeat, we were worried. Both hands and one foot had intravenous lines. He was drifting in and out of consciousness unable to speak he wrote. When he wrote about dreaming of his parents and his recently deceased sibling, brother got really worried. Then miraculously he recovered. The lungs strong enough to breathe on it's own. Yesterday, he was discharged from UMMC. 21 days later.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Getting more and more unusual. The local stamps.

Friday, September 09, 2011


30,000 square feet store boasts three levels of apparel and accessories but does not have a single public toilet. That is what I discovered at H&M. Youngest and I snaked our way into the entrance only to see more queues. At the dressing rooms and the payment counters. When I had the sudden need to visit the ladies, I was told by the staff that the nearest toilet was the next building or to 313 shopping mall. Better empty your bladder if you intend to visit H&M anytime soon.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Lost N Found

September started with me turning my drawers upside down the cupboards inside out desperately looking for the children's Msian nric. Kept in a drawer together with all the travelling documents. Horrors! when I pulled out the drawer and I could not find them. Panic, I searched through and for the next few days, every possible place I might have absentmindedly shuffled in, was rummaged. Everyone that I lamented to, never fail to remind me to check the drawer. Arghhh.... After spring cleaning and throwing out 10 bags of rubbish still no ic. Tonight, Husband, decided to look into the drawer once more. Sure enough, there was a narrow gap between the bottom drawer of this old antique bureau table. Upon Further investigation, he found all the 3 ics drop to the bottom compartment of the bureau. And I thought I was slowly losing my mind misplacing something so important. Now to proceed with the renewing of their passports.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Wet Monday

I saw a good deed today. She, at 167cm dressed in suit evidently on her way back from lunch. Wallet on one hand a packet on the other, glanced up, took a deep breathe was about to walk into the drizzle when she was stopped. A petite elderly woman, holding a single umbrella asked if young lady would mind if they share her umbrella. Stretching her hand up balancing the umbrella over young lady's head they walked into the rain. A touching act of kindness.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday Morning

Chinatown on a sunday morning. Today is the 15th day of the 7th month of the Lunar calendar. According to taoist belief, it's a day when the realms of heaven and hell open. Offerings are made as a mark of filial piety. Seen here, lanterns hung around the temple

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bluetooth & Handsfree

Handsfree means a bluetooth speaker phone. Loud and clear without having the ears plugged on a long messy wire. Quite fed up with the tangle wire and misplaced earpiece when I stumble upon this. Had it installed on the car visor. To answer, tab the "cannot miss" button . Control the volume with the big knob. Double tab to dial the last call made. Bought one for mum as she refused to use the earpiece as she finds them too troublesome.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Only happy thoughts

Have not been writing lately, cause it's only complain and grouse running round and round the gray matter. The stubborn, the paranoid and the quirk.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


90 minutes operation and one hour of recovery later he was up and chatty. That was 8pm on friday night. By noon the next day, he was asked to walk around wearing a lumbar support around his waist. A keyhole surgery on the spine known as XLIF(Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion) has realigned a slip bone that was compressing his nerves, giving him much pain and slowly numbing his ability to walk. Dr Benjamin Tow, spent a year in the states training for this procedure. He assured my dad that though he has only done 3 of this kind since his return beginning of this year, he has confidence that my dad will recover faster then the traditional open surgery. He was right. The wound was only two little holes and the pain minimal. By sunday he was ready to be discharged. Being a sunday, he had to wait until monday for the physiotherapist to certify him fit enought to leave.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Trick or Treat

It's hard to train old dogs new tricks Even harder to train smart dogs clever tricks.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cathy the Cat

She was forgotten when the owner moved away. Spents her days around the lift landing waiting. All that walk by never fails to give a pat or greet her. She is my Cathy.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Singapore's changing skyline. Marina Bay Sands icon ship design sky garden taken from the esplanade. 3 years ago it was just another piece of reclaimed land dotted with trees on this plain grassland.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


My curiosity got the better of me and I had to pick this book up and straight to the borrowing machine. I want to know what chemistry is involve in this passionated lip locking exercise which some cannot get enough.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Drink n be Merry

In conclusion, I have neither the taste buds to detect the fresh, fruity or honeyed nor the nose to sniff the aroma of lycee, greengrass or gooseberry. Over the weekend, on invitation of friends, attended a session on wine appreciation over dinner. Was all excited as until then, I guzzle my wine preferring the taste of white over red. Not knowing how to sip and enjoy. However, after going through Pinot Noir to shiraz and a bottle of sweet Riesling, I still prefer white wine. The next bottle of wine I purchase, I'll eye, nose and swirl the aerated liquid round my tongue.

Friday, June 24, 2011


The home, sanctuary for the body and soul after a grueling day at the battlefield. A refuge, comforting and secure, away from the maddening crowd. A quiet retreat to recuperate the weary bones and fried brains. A time to spend with loved ones. Sadly some dread the thought of going home.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Constructive Not destructive

Giving constructive advice is much more effective and productive then making cutting and sarcastic remarks which, not only gets one fuming but also no solution.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Searching For a Friend

Me : Hello, May I speak to Julie L**?
Stranger: Where are you calling from?
Me : I'm L**** calling from V*****
Stranger: I'm sorry but Julie has left the company 4 years ago.
Me : Oh! Is there any way I can contact her.
I'm an old friend of hers.
Stranger: Why don't you give me your contact and I'll pass to herwhen I see her.
Me : Do you have a contact number?
Stranger: No, but Penang is so small, we're bound to see each other.
(Not convinced and still determine to find her)
Me : Do you know where is working now?
Stranger: I think she left for W***** U
Me : You have the number of the U?
Stranger: Let me browse...... Ah, it's ****
Me : By the way just to confirm that we're talking about the same person.
Is she in her forties, shoulder length hair?
Stranger:Yes, yes, and Slim built and wears spectacle?
Me : Yes, that sounds like Julie. Thank you.
3 calls later, I had her direct line. The minute I heard her voice, I know, I've found her, my long lost friend Julie Lim.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

X Men

Friday night-Popcorn and movie night aka. family outing. Xmen 1st Class. Action packed right from the start, commented son, father thought it to be too predictable while youngest simply enjoyed the, not too squeamish plot. Eldest had to missed for she was working late.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Arrgh... just as the plot thickens, the story ended abruptly. Upon checking, at wikipedia, this novel is the 1st of a very ambitious 5 part series of The Clifton chronicles!! It'll be years before I can get to the end of this epic story.

Friday, June 10, 2011


Spent few days last week with SIL. One year my junior a swing single and she has it all planned. For her retirement. She disclosed. When eventually she needs to be pampered and taken care of, she wants to Spent her days with her other single friends playing mahjong and doing her laps in a retirement village. Hopefully by then, there would be such village. If not then an 'atas'/exclusive home. For now, she is wisely investing all her ringgits in properties making sure it'll be enough for her to live in style.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Salad, Chinese style

Popiah, salad chinese style. Lots of vegetable, a sprinkle of protein and carb. Something crunchy with dressing in a form of sweet paste, chinese the way, of course. But, In this case, most ingredients are cooked and eaten warm.

Alway ready to try out the popiah at every new eatery centres I go. Yesterday morning at the KimKeat Palm hawker centre. For 90 cents, it's skin is still moist and soft with the beansprouts cooked just right and a hint of coriander.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

After Camp

Perspiring and sweating for 2 nights sleeping in the 5 man tent pitched in the middle of the school field. One whole day of trekking on Ubin Island in the sweltering sun. Youngest came home with a 38.9C temperature, sorethroat and a splitting headache with rashes all over her body. I'm sure when the fever subsides she'll tell me some good times she had. But for now, I'll have to bear with her grouch.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Only Time Will Tell

Finally the long awaited reserved book, arrived. Was looking forward to the hardcopy version for the bigger font. Better to read with. For the next few night, this will keep me absorbed?

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Deceiving Title

Titles and book covers can be deceiving. Recently was given a novel as a present. The title and the synopsis sounded like a traveller's tale on an ancient route. However, upon reading I found that it was not. Neither a lonely planet guide nor an account of the writer's trip but rather a fraction of her provocative imagination. I'm sure whoever who presented me the book had no idea of the content.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011


Youngest is off to a 2 day sec2 camp today. However, she is not looking forward to it.Grumbling grumbling for the last one week. She is fearful of heights and one of the activity is the flying fox. No air-con in classrooms where they'll be Sleeping in sleeping bags with 8 fans spinning as if it's about to take-off. No friends. All the girls are randomly group from across all classes. Luckily, She has one classmate in her group of 12. Last on her grumbling list, bathing. They are given only a bucket of cold water to wash from tip to toe. She is not bringing her hair conditioner. No fun when it's not spending 24/3 with friends screaming, laughing, gossiping and snoring. This morning I spotted girls pulling along trolley bag on one hand and carrier bag on the other. Must be taking the bathroom and the bedroom with them too. Wonder what stories will she tell me when I pick her up on friday.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


First introduced to black sesame dessert by my brother. He loves his dessert. Black sesame with soyabean curd! Yuks! but after a few spoon of the smooth sweet black paste, I was hooked. Two weeks ago at the japan food fair organised by Isetan Super market I spotted the bottled black sesame paste. Eaten with cheese crackers or bread. Had it with my morning bread and butter. Less calories than eating it as a dessert.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Frying in the Oven

The oven in my kitchen comes alive for the occasional baking and roasting. Other times, it doubles up as a storage space for all the baking trays and sorts. While browsing at the bookshop, I came across this book. After flipping through the pages, checking if the food presented is suitable for homecooking, I was convinced. I just had to own. It'll save me time cleaning off all the oil fumes and splatters in the kitchen. 3 steps, Prepare all the ingredients, marinate, into the oven it goes. Presto, dish is really. And the fact I recently acquired a supersteam convection makes this cookbook a must. Written by a Ms Jo Marion Seow, a Home Econ teacher with MOE, shows, how using the oven, to fry crispy teriyaki chicken chops and thai pandan chicken with just the oven. Braising curry chicken and steaming dum chicken briyani. So for a start, Tonight, stingray with tom yum paste, cooked in the oven.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Numbers reveal

The interpretation of the spoilt vote figures reveals the votes' feeling. In the papers today:-

"Spoilt votes was lowest in five constituencies where opposition parties fared the best. Hougang 1.13% whereas the national share of spoilt votes was 2.17%.
There were fewer spoilt votes in closely contested wards, or where the opposition was more viable, because the voter perceived that his or her vote was more likely to make a difference.

The percentage of spoilt votes was highest where PMLee(3.01%) and DPMTeo(2.85%) led teams against relatively weak opposition.

Where WP was the party challenging the PAP they were willing to vote for the opposition. But if there were no compelling opposition candidate , they would rather spoil their votes in protest"

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hot & Hotter

It's been hot hot and very hot over the last few days. First it was the election feverish excitements, drummed up by the various opposition parties then there's the weather.
Yesterday 9th May must be the hottest. A check on the the inbuilt thermometer in the car showed 37C. Even the cold shower taken in the evening, was warm. My thoughts are with the many foreign workers spending hours under this sweltering heat, going back to the equally stuffy and hot dormitories in the evenings. All for the want of giving their families at home a better life.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Hot Steaming rice

The title "Cooking made us human" by Richard Wrangham sounds intriquing considering the fact that half of the working population these days don't even know how a kitchen looks like let alone cook. An interesting explanation on how we the human evolves physically all thanks to cooked food.


Cooking makes eating faster and easier, and wrings more caloric benefit from food. Moreover, cooking is vitally important to supporting the outsize human brain, which consumes a quarter of the body’s energy.
By freeing humans from having to spend half the day chewing tough raw food — as most of our primate relatives do — cooking allowed early humans to devote themselves to more productive activities, ultimately allowing the development of tools, agriculture, and social networks. Cooked food is also softer, meaning the body uses less energy digesting what it takes in.
Since physical remnants of fire tend to degrade rapidly, archaeological evidence of fire and cooking dates back only about 800,000 years. Biological evidence, shows that around 1.8 million years ago, Homo erectus arose with larger brains and bodies and smaller guts, jaws, and teeth — changes consistent with the switch to a more tender and energetically rich diet of cooked food.
Cooking is what makes the human diet ‘human,’ and the most logical explanation for the advances in brain and body size over our ape ancestors, It’s hard to imagine the leap to Homo erectus without cooking’s nutritional benefits.”

Monday, May 02, 2011

Lightning and Hammer

Never had there been more interest and enthusiasm on elections in Spore. For the the 1st time in many many years, 2.2m singaporean will get to vote for 82 out of the 87 seats on the 7th May. A walkover for MM Lee and his 4 other group representative constituency.

Huge crowd turns out to listen to the nightly rallies and memorabilia are used to show support and publicity.

I too have been following with interest for it's this constituency that is the fiercely contested. On one team it's the A list team from opposition on the other a foreign minister and 3 other members of parliment at stake.

How will the voters choose? MM Lee has spoken, choose wisely or ......

"The boss inspires fear; the leader inspires enthusiasm.
The boss says ‘I’; the leader says ‘we.’ "

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Book Exchange

It's an innovative idea indeed. For the 3rd year running, National Library Board organised book exchange event. Books that have been sitting on the book shelves collecting dust are give a new lease of life. The library issue coupons according to the number of books given. Long Queues were seen as early as 6am for the 8.30 opening, according to a volunteer. With 9 coupons between us, youngest picked 3 while I picked up "The God Of Small Things" and "The ripening sun" amongst the thousands of books that have been given up. Some came armed with huge luggages and trolley bags. Books still have a place in our home.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mobile Etiquette

She apologised for asking me again for a phone number I had sms her weeks ago. She explained that her husband had accidentally deleted all her sms while going through her mobile. It's a norm, she continued, for her husband to fiddle and spring clean her mobile now and then. The few of us who heard were startled. Does her husband not respect her privacy? Is it right for spouse to go through each other's mobile history and text messages? I don't and I do not expect him to go through mine. What is the etiquette on this issue?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Century Egg

It's translucent, and has to be eaten with pickled ginger for that exquisite taste of the orient. Century egg served at the Yung Kee rest, at Wellington Road, Hk. Went there for it's roast goose but, was not impressed. Too oily and tough to my liking.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Walking around fragrant bay

A good way to know the place better than to mingle and walk amongst the people.

Opted for a walking tour along the little shops pack with dried seafood and chinese herbs, up and down the cobbled streets into the bustling market. The long long escalator if the legs are not up to it. A rest and it's off on the bus ride. Passing through the many dwellings situated round and round the mountain side. With an international school and a hospital to complete the picture. The bus took a good hour to reach the peak but only 30min by tram.

My trip to HongKong. The visit would not be complete without a ride on the StarFerry and a visit to Poh Lin Temple.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Blood Orange

It's flesh, a deep crimson red, looks and taste like orange. This unique colour is from the chemical anthocyanins, uncommon in citrus fruits, with the blood orange being one of the exceptions. Powerful flavonoid pigments that exist in red and purple fruits and vegetables. Make a nice change from eating orange orange. Found these juicy oranges at Cold Storage.

Monday, March 28, 2011


When mum first saw this fruit, her mind went back to the times when she was a youngster exploring her family's rubbler plantation in Pahang. Picking up berries and mushrooms grown in and round the plantation. In mandarin it's "lau shou la tong kwa" (the melon dragged by the mouse) according to her, or locally known as "leletup" by the malays. I too, remember picking these berries normally grown by the wayside These are the local berries that have gone missing in keeping with development. Has it gone extinct?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Winds of change

Before, most eateries would proudly state that their raw ingredients are mostly air flown direct from Japan, Now, they are frantically sourcing from everywhere but Japan. An odourless, invisible and tasteless substance that can lead to painful death has made many wary. Meantime, indulging in a piece of cheese cake made fresh from Japan weeks ago.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


"Dear Ms Jeannie,
On the 10th of this month, my daughter urgently needed a pair of "proper shoes" for the her school band performance.And so we invested on a pair of HushPuppies from Isetan Nex. Indeed at S$119.00 for a pair of shoes which she will only wear for maybe a week in a year for the next 2 years seems a little pricey, but I insisted that it was for the quality that we are paying. Having a 1 1/2 in heels, I was particular about the cushioning of her arch and therefore chose HushPuppies.
My daughter called from school during practise last week to tell me that while climbing up the stairs, the heels suddenly buckle and broke. That was only her 2nd time wearing it.
I would like to know, if this is poor quality control, As I need to have it either replaced or repaired as soon as possible as the school band will be going for their SYF competition early april.
I would appreciate if you could get back to me on this matter.
Attached are some photos for your reference.


Had pondered quite awhile before penning this email sent out this morning. Will I get a favourable reply?

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Saturday lunch menu:
Tsukune rice burger for big chief, ebi rice burger for eldest, fish burger for son and chicken teriyaki burger for youngest. It's Mos burger saturday.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

New @ Nex

Did not understand, "Hundreds waited patiently for the doors to open at the new library @ Nex last friday" reported in the news. Not only school students but from all walks of life. I now know why. Visited the library this morning and I'm impressed. Just love the scent of the books. Everyone of them, brand new. With a tasteful interior design, One would think, they are in Borders or Kinokuniya.
A cinema, a library, shimbashi soba, Four leave bakery, Cold storage, Isetan..... looks like I'll be spending more time at Nex.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Destruction Wave

They are safe. My japanese friends, one in Osaka. The other in Yokohama wrote this:
"I was walking toward the bank when the earthquake occurred. I would not walk straight and waited it stopped. Although I kept walking, several quakes occurred. The electricity was cut, the bank was dark and ATM did not work. The traffic light was off. When I got back home, my daughter was home alone so scared, but prepared evacuation with backpack full of warm clothes, drinks and snacks. We did not have to leave home, stayed home with flash lights and candles without electricity even till dark. The only information we could get was from the radio powered by (my) hand. Because all the trains stopped, my son had to come home on foot. When the electricity got back on and watched TV, we were horrified what had been happened in Tohoku Area... "
We may have the most sophisticated equipments but mother nature is still unpredictable.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Going solo

Last month Eldest travelled alone up north to spent a week with Aunt, Son and his secondary school buddies went on a short holiday to a higland resort in Pahang. Tomorrow youngest will be going on a 4 days an immersion programme to HongKong with her school. One by one my brood is going solo.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Liam, Unknown?

Unknown, Liam Neeson is no Matt Damon nor Pierce Brosnan but he sure has character. A movie with a refreshing twist to the ending. Totally kept me mesmerised for 119 minutes. Fast pace action packed with no time for a breather.
Went to the shaw cinema at Nex last evening as hubby wanted to watch this on the big screen for a greater sound and visual impact. And it did. At some point I just had to shut my eyes to avoid the cars and buildings seemingly crashing towards me.