Monday, September 29, 2014

Ian and Bala

I've two cats, one called Bala (above) and the other called Ian (below). Actually Ian was called 'Yi-En' by his previous owner, but being the English educated household we are (i.e. 'kantang'), and not wanting to have to fuss around with the proper han yu pin yin each time we wanted to call his name, we conveniently renamed him. 

Both cats fight alot. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that Bala (at 18 months) often picks fights with Ian (16 years). By often, I mean multiple times a day. In the cat world unfortunately, age does not automatically mean respect. (Although I suppose that can apply to the human world too.) Amazingly, no matter how many times Ian is attacked, he never bears a grudge and is always friendly towards Bala. In the cat world, that involves alot of butt sniffing, but I digress. 

The silver lining on the cloud is that Ian seems to have gotten fitter and more nimble, more like a Muhammad Ali, and less like Homer Simpson. He epitomises the adage "what does not kill you only makes you stronger."

Friday, July 25, 2014

A great reminder.

Photo taken at Seal Bay Conservation Park on Kangaroo Island

I've finally gone and done it. Under the encouragement of my best friend cum husband, and catalysed by a couple of life-changing events, I've left my job. I think this has been one of the most important decisions I've had to make in my life, second to deciding to marry Ed, which of course was not a difficult one. 

I genuinely enjoyed the work I did. It wasn't the drafting of submissions or putting together powerpoint presentations that kept me going. Neither was it attending meetings or conferences. I realised over the three postings and seven and a half years (I think. I've lost count.) that I get most of my energy and satisfaction from serving the people who work around and alongside me. I started out thinking the area of work I was in mattered for my personal job satisfaction. Maybe it does, in so far as there are definitely certain issues I feel more for and therefore would speak about with more passion and enthusiasm. Perhaps the realisation that the area of work didn't matter as much as my attitude to my job and the people I worked with, gave me some confidence that I would be able to find a place similarly fulfilling if I wanted to. Or at least, I could return to my old workplace ;)

Before returning to the workforce though, again under the encouragement of Ed, we are taking a long break to reflect and more importantly, heal. Hence the photo above of the unexpectedly beautiful landscape that confronted us when we were visiting the Seal Bay Conservation Park. I'm not sure I really fully got over the pain of the losses, and I'm not sure I ever will. But I don't think there is a better reminder of God's love and power than the things Ed and I have seen, heard, tasted or felt in the past one and a half months touring Australia. I've always told myself, and am occasionally reminded by Ed, to leave things in His hands and to trust in His will. I think the past one and a half months have helped me be more committed to that, and I find myself praying more and more, for His will to be done. 

For it if were not for the losses, I may not have left my job. I wouldn't be in Australia now, with the luxury of time to contemplate the endless options for our future. I really have much to be thankful for, and to look forward to. What a great reminder.

Monday, August 26, 2013

What is love...

Ever so often, Ed would teach me what love is.

It isn't the luxurious holidays, expensive gifts or grand gestures.

It is in all the smallest things, in the everyday, in the routine.

It is when he does the laundry.

It is when he asks if there's anything I need help with in the kitchen when all he really wants to do is take a nap. 

It is when he does the dishes the day after parties I throw a party for my friends. 

It is when he offers to fetch me from the office even though he is miles away. 

It is when he asks to hold my hand in the middle of an argument. 

It is when he empties the dustbins in the home. 

It is when he knows I'll be home before him, and leaves the light at the front door on. 

It is when he waters all the plants in the home. 

It is when he teaches me how to love myself first, before anyone else. 

It is when he does the laundry and the dishes and empties the dustbins and waters all the plants before I get home. 

Friday, May 17, 2013


If she were a girl, her name would have been Clare. For the short-lived 2 weeks after I saw that faint blue line with disbelief and joy all happily intermingled, I could just feel it - that she would be a chubby little princess with her father's beautiful lashes and stubborn heart. But God called her home one night, maybe because He knew best... No, because He knew best. So up she went to join her brother, who was probably going to be called Tyson. Or Paul.

I will always pray for you my babies, and know you will pray for us too.

Love you for eternity.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Being the salt

Today's homily was about salt. Ed and I attended different masses, but both priests talked about being the salt in other people's lives. We all know that salt, when added to food, well... makes food salty. But salt also brings out other flavours in a dish that may otherwise be muted. To cut a long story short, both priests talked about acting in ways to bring out the best in others.

The priest at S.I. talked about Mr Bai Fang Li, a rickshaw operator who devoted a good part of his life to secure a brighter future for orphans in his community. I read more about him here, and was moved to big fat tears. His story made me want to do the same, or at least get my butt moving to give back to the community no matter how small it is. The occasional cash donation eases my guilty heart, but only temporarily. And really, no matter how I think about it, I know I am merely taking the easy way out.

Mr Bai Fang Li makes me want to be a better person; his story has brought out the best in me. I hope to one day do the same for others.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Haji Lane rediscovered


Vintage dress from Dulcetfig
Ed and I hung out with a couple of kooky friends last Saturday and found ourselves in a cool new bar called Bar Stories at 57A Haji Lane. I craved for something refreshing and citrusy, so they recommended the Grapefruit Martini that was all I had asked for and then some. They were part furniture store, part bar - the kind of place I will henceforth bring alkie friends to in a heartbeat.
I used to visit Haji Lane every other month, always making a stopover at my favourite boutique - Soon Lee. This Saturday trip reignited my love for the tiny, nondescript lane. I went back on Tuesday to browse the stores and picked up a lovely vintage dress on a ridiculous offer. In addition to Bar Stories, a couple of other shops in the area are 'must sees'.
Salad Shop
25 Haji Lane
For home accessories and dresses
41 Haji Lane
For vintage dresses, accessories and cute clutches
Doinky Doodles
33 Bali Lane
For handmade dolls, laptop bags, handphone covers and all other random things
Piedra Negra
241 Haji Lane
Mexican food (ask for their deep fried bananas)
Bar Stories
57A Haji Lane
Cocktails and mocktails