Sunday, 28 February 2010

Like Xena

When I was at a playschool this morning, I declined a young teacher's offer to help me unload heavy cartons from my car.

"It's ok. I can manage."

Not that I'm being a showoff or anything but I think I made lifting those boxes look quite effortless. Now, how can I make a sweet young lady heave boxes of soil from the car?

Later I swung by the mechanic's workshop. While he was checking the engine for suspected oil leak, I was busy reorganising things in the boot. He saw me lifting a big trolley with one hand and exclaimed, "My, you're strong!"

I wasn't sure if it was a compliment. I mean, aren't girls supposed to be girly and dainty, like damsels in distress? It made me self-conscious. I felt like Xena the warrior princess.

I was quite the tomboy as a kid. Sandwiched between two brothers, I was often arrowed to do the unpopular tasks like running to the provision shop 2 km away or helping mum in the orchid farm. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed those chores. I also loved climbing trees and catching spiders like the boys in the neighbourhood.

Even as an adult, I relish physical activities that make me sweat. I have lots of freckles to show for. My hands are calloused and the soles of my feet are toughened from all the running.

That doesn't mean I dislike girly things. While I adore artsy jewelry and pretty clothes, I could never dream of creating my own. My hands are just not made to handle delicate objects. When it comes to cooking, I'm the kind who whips up robust and hearty meals. I fail miserably when it comes to baking dainty cookies or decorating cakes. That's not to say I don't enjoy eating them.

I like being strong. Through the years, I have harnessed my strength and put it to good use. It has proven to be very useful and I'm glad to be built this way. Almost like Xena.

Weekend roundup

It's the last day of the Chinese New Year festivities and we ended it nicely with a yusheng tossing session with my parents and brothers. Even for a small family like ours, getting everyone together is not always an easy feat. When we do meet, we always have such a nice time. Thanks to my sis-in-law for treating us to the delicious yusheng salad!

When it comes to busy people, few can beat Amy whose social calendar is always packed to the hilt. She has visitors flying in to Singapore every week, yet she found time to invite us for lunch on Saturday.

She organised this little gathering so I could come face to face with Aunty Lucia. I don't know what I have done to deserve this honour but I was thrilled to bits. I got to know Amy after I read about her in the newspapers. We became friends after I attended her talk.

I became friendly with Auntie Lucia after she left comments in my blog. I particularly enjoy her blog because she's so well informed and she writes with such ease. Naturally I was most eager to meet her, I even urged CH to come along to join in the fun.

It was fascinating to hear both ladies discuss about their mutual friends, some of whom are well heeled people whose names I often read about in the papers. Some were their childhood playmates or schoolmates.

I wished we could continue chatting till late but everyone had dinner plans that night. I am grateful for the time together. It was fun!

Cheeses, smoked salmon, cold meats, pasta salad, lots of fruits, and wine too.

Auntie Lucia, me and Amy.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

My car is back!

Finally, my car is back! Life will be back to normal again. I know I sound like a whiny brat but I can't live without a car.

Firstly, my job requires me to travel to the far corners of the island. A customer from Australia was here last week to inspect some containers and it wasn't easy moving about without a car in those far flung places.

I haven't been visiting my parents lately because they live in one of the most remote locales of Singapore. It doesn't help that their house is situated right at the end of a long and winding road. The nearest bus stop is 3km away. Cab drivers pull a long face on the way in and shun the place if they could.

I've also come to realise that our apartment is a little too far from the main road. Of course it's no issue when I drive but after trotting up and down the hill for 2 weeks, I begin to feel sorry for the kids. SK has to leave our house at 5.55am to get to school by 7.15am. It takes me less than 15 minutes to drive him to school.

You see, my car is a real workhorse. I use it to transport soil and deliver gardening kits to schools. I felt so crippled when it was in the workshop. It's good to have it back as I have many cartons to deliver next week.

The car is also useful in so many ways. We're running out of detergent, rice, cooking oil and canned food at home. These are heavy stuff which I usually buy in bulk and you know, it's easier if you have a car.

Finally, I don't have to fret over what to wear anymore. The temperature is at an all time high, pick the wrong attire and risk melting under the heat. The best thing is, I can go back to wearing heels again but I think I'll miss the walking.

Oh, one more thing. I can bring Rusty everywhere with me now.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

A good start

I started my first gardening session with the school kids yesterday. I must say they're quite a handful but still, we all had a great time.

My last teaching stint was a long time ago when I worked as a relief teacher while waiting for my GCE 'A' level results. It was a daunting experience for an 18-year old. I was the form teacher of a primary 4 class in a neighbourhood school. The kids were not the most well-disciplined and I struggled to keep them under control.

It was the first time I came face to face with kids from diverse backgrounds. Many from troubled homes had difficulty paying school fees (already heavily subsidised by the government). Discipline was clearly lacking. Kids played and wandered out of the classroom while I was conducting lessons, it was exasperating.

Physical education (PE) lessons were the worst. My students ran all over the school field like wild horses, I had difficulty reining them in. Other teachers looked on with amusement while they organised their charges into rows without having to raise their voice. I was too busy yelling and pulling my hair out to care.

Nobody gave me any guidelines or showed me the ropes. I was given some text books and thrown in at the deep end. I stayed up at night to prepare lesson plans and test papers. I was particularly clueless when it came to music lessons. I think I taught the class 'Yankee Doodle.' It was lame but what do I know about music? I was desperate.

Once I had to bring a primary 8 class for PE lessons. It was a special class for retainees (and many troublemakers). The kids were mostly 14-year olds. And I was only 18! As you can imagine, my instructions mostly flew over their heads.

Everyday posed a new challenge. I was stressed out and I watched the older teachers breeze through their day with envy. They wore a smug look, as if they were happy to see me suffer.

I was quite relieved when my stint was over but my students were sad to see me leave. Many wrote me cards and letters. Some even said I was the best teacher they've ever had. It was very touching, I still keep those cards.

Now that I have kids of my own and more life experience behind me, I should make a better teacher this time round. I hope my time (only 2 hours a week) with these kids will be put to good use and I can instill some good values in them through gardening. It is a good start.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Hits and misses

After the not so successful attempt at making szechuan vegetable soup the other night, I redeemed myself by cooking my specialty yesterday- chicken curry of course. The boys said it's the best chicken curry ever, they can eat it everyday. Oh, that would be too sinful!

I've never bothered with the blending and grinding of spices, I always do the quickie when it comes to curry. Who has the time to slave over the stove these days? I rely on premixed curry paste but I always use fresh coconut milk.

Over the years, I've used a myraid of pastes which have yielded decent results. You can't really go wrong if you follow the instructions carefully. Lately I've started using the A1 paste that's highly recommended by the wet market vendor. Just chuck everything - chicken pieces, potatoes, A1 paste, coconut milk and water - into the pot and simmer away. A pot of fragrant (lemak) curry will be ready in an hour.

Adding little touches can make the dish even better. I like to brown some onion slices in hot oil before tossing in the chicken pieces. The searing process will help to seal in the juice and make the meat taste better. Adding in lemon grass and curry leaves will also give the dish an extra oomph.

I'm salivating as I write. Friends have been asking me for the recipe, hence I'm blogging about it now. I know it all sounds simple but I've done alot of trial and error already. You can make a good pot of curry if you've had lots of practice like me.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Proud of my parents

When I went to the car repairshop this afternoon, my poor RAV 4 was suspended high up there with the 4 wheels removed and gearbox gutted out. What a sorry sight it was!

The mechanic wanted to show me the damaged gear before they put the new parts in. Some parts are still being flown in from Japan, so the car won't be ready until end of the week. I've never worked with them before but they look like a bunch of good people.

I was eager to know the hows and the whys. My car is not that old afterall. The soft-spoken boss explained in a manner even a child could understand. "It is normal for cars to breakdown every now and then. Even people fall sick and die. Look at all these cars, yours is not the only one," he said, pointing out the Merc, BMW, VW and Mini Cooper glistening under the sun.

"And this big gearbox here belongs to a Jaguar."

It's comforting to know that even fancy cars end up here, likely with a larger repair bill than mine. I also know that I'm in good hands because these guys know my dad. They have been specially kind and civil towards me. Maybe it is because my dad has a good reputation. He has good ethics and is a well respected man. It makes me proud to be his daughter. I hope my kids are proud of me too.

You know how parents are always so proud of their children, but you don't hear people gushing about their parents. More often than not, they complain about their annoying habits or how difficult their folks are.

Over the years, I have learned to be more appreciative of my parents. These days I find myself reminiscing the old days and trying to recall the dishes we grew up eating. You see, my parents used to be alot more adventurous in the kitchen. Mum used to cook braised pork knuckles, ngoh hiang and other yummy things when she was younger. Now she only eats to live.

I craved for her delicious szechuan vegetable soup yesterday, so I cooked it for dinner. It was a first for the kids. They thought it was nice but too salty. CH just gulped everything down. I had forgotten to soak the szechuan vegetable in water before cooking but what do I know, it was my first attempt. I should have asked my mum!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

JC gathering

I had an enjoyable Sunday meeting up with old friends from junior college. As usual, we gathered at Viv's house to do a cookout. The last time we did this was 5 years ago. She had just moved into the apartment and was expecting a set of twin daughters. Her son was just a toddler then.

At that time, I made a pot of chicken curry. Here is a photo of us beaming into the camera.

Five years ago.

I saw her adorable daughters for the first time yesterday. I really have a soft spot for twins. Twice as cute and twice the joy! Naturally, we spent the whole afternoon trying to tell the twins apart!

And look at how big and handsome her little boy has grown!

Yvonne's california roll and chawanmushi were the stars at our lunch yesterday. These things require lots of time and effort to prepare, only someone with her patience can handle. I'm all for quick meals, so I simply marinated teriyaki chicken and cod the day before and brought them over to grill and panfry.

Yesterday's gathering.

Needless to say, we had a really lovely afternoon chatting and laughing. ML is rather observant because she noticed my tan. Yah, I spent the day before on a hammock by the beach. I love lazy afternoons like that.

Lazy afternoon by the beach.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Magic wand

When I spoke to mum over the phone this morning, she sounded so weak and sad. She has been so unwell lately. It's hard for anyone to understand her illness especially when it is intangible like in her case. She suffers from dizziness and headaches all day. The nerves can't stop twitching in her head, it's like a circus in there. She can't sleep and leg cramps keep her awake all night. When she manages to doze off, she wakes up in a terrifying fright.

She thinks she is dying and it makes me sad. Doctors can't do much to alleviate her pain. Just bear with the side effects, they say.

Perhaps the stream of vistors during the Chinese New Year is taking a toll on her well-being. Even talking is a strain, it drains all the energy out of her. An out of ordinary day will leave her feeling out of sorts all week. She needs time and many quiet days to recover.

Being ill is indeed a sad thing. While others can empathise, the sick is the one who continues to suffer. Despite feeling unwell, mum tries to stay cheerful and positive so that she doesn't spoil the mood of others.

I had hoped and hoped that she will get better but hearing her sound so disheartened makes me wish I have a magic wand.

Sorry if I am feeling a little melancholic. While I was out walking Rusty an hour ago, I came across a tragic scene. Someone had just leapt from a high rise building. The lifeless body, maybe a teenager or a small woman, was sprawled on the grass. It is indeed sad to witness something like that. Why did the life have to end that way?

I wish I have a magic wand to make the world a better place for all.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Journey to work

This morning, I took a train and then a bus to work, something I haven't done in years. A journey that normally takes 15 minutes by car is now an hour long. I miss my car!

Today's journey costs only $2.40 compared to the $10 cabfare yesterday. I saved $7.60 but gained some new blisters on my feet.

When the kids complain about the long uphill climb home from the train station, I tell them it's nothing compared to my long walks with Rusty every day. Now I take it all back.

I realise that walking the dog in the cool evening is different from going up and down the hill in my heels. It becomes especially hard when you're carrying a handbag and laptop with the sun beating down on you.

Now I know that wearing sensible shoes and a light cotton dress makes all the difference. Of course I only realise that after making the mistake of wearing my new 3.5 inch platform shoes yesterday. I almost threw it away on the way home. It was that uncomfortable.

Did I mention my ultra comfy sandals broke when I was walking home from the train station the day before? I was struggling up the hill and the strap broke, just like that. I had to hobble home.

Before I left the house this morning, I examined my shoes thoroughly to ensure they would take me to the office and back without any incident. I also checked that I had enough coins in my purse for train and bus fare.

YK and I boarded the same train today. We ended up sitting opposite each other. For me, it felt strange looking at him across the cabin. I still find it hard to imagine my son is now a young man.

When it was time for me to alight, he looked up and waved goodbye. As I walked out the cabin, I turned back to see him still waving and smiling. I suddenly felt a rush of emotion.

It brought back memories of the days when he was a little toddler and I had to sneak out of the house every morning because he couldn't bear to see me leave. It broke my heart everytime I heard his cries when he realised I was gone.

Oh, how quickly he has grown.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

(Almost) back at work

We're back at the office briefly to do some work during the auspicious hour. The office building is quiet and there's hardly anyone at the foodcourt. It'll stay that way all week.

While everyone is still in the holiday mood, I'm quite ready to start work. The kids are having their exams/test next week, so they had better get down to serious studying.

When I was at the beach on Monday, the entire coastline was lined with tents. Families came prepared for a long stay armed with loads of food, portable stoves and camping equipment. Some even brought their own generator set to power up their TV set.

The nice weather contributed to a pleasant 1-hour walk from my house to the beach. CH caught up with me later and we ended up dozing off under the shady coniferous trees. Isn't it strange how the seabreeze can quickly lull one to sleep? If we were to live in a house by the beach, wouldn't we be so sleepy all day?

We had some visitors at home yesterday. My god-daughter came by and spent the morning playing with Rusty. I've not seen a young child who loves and cares for dogs as much as she does.

Bev and Hakim arrived just after my god-daughter left. I rustled up some seafood noodles for lunch and we spent the afternoon drinking cider and watching slapstick comedy in the cool comfort of our home. Another lazy day but a pleasant one.

Sunday, 14 February 2010


It's the second day of the Chinese New Year. V-Day has come and gone. The malls are still closed. And I am already bored to tears.

Since I am not visiting anyone today, I shall take a long stroll to the beach.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Chinese New Year 2010

The much awaited Chinese New Year is finally here! Here's what we've been doing the last few days:

Feasting with friends and family.

Tossing Yu-sheng for good luck.

Visiting Chinatown to soak in the atmosphere.

Decorating the house with flowers.

Stocking up on mandarin oranges and snacks.

Wearing colourful clothes.

Visiting family.

And taking time off to rest. It was so unfortunate that my car broke down on Chinese New Year eve. Though I managed to get it to the workshop just before they closed for the holidays, it will stay there all week until the mechanics return to work after their break. The initial assessment showed that the entire gearbox needs to be replaced, so I am bracing myself for a huge repair bill.

The timing is really bad of course. This is the time of the year when taxi drivers take a break to celebrate the new year. I wouldn't be able to get a rental car during this period, so we've been relying on public transport. The train was so packed today and the weather is so hot, I'm not really keen on going out anymore.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

In the garden

I spent a good part of the day outdoors, mostly under the sun. I enjoyed myself tremendously, especially when it's not a scorching hot day like this one.

Of course, I was happy because Chinese New Year is only days away and I was out in my parent's orchid farm cutting pretty blooms for my friends. Flowers are auspicious as they symbolise new growth and wealth, so I make it a point to give a bouquet to special friends. I mustn't forget to get some for my apartment when I visit my parents again. I need wealth too!

I was at the School of Joy this afternoon and boy, am I excited to start! The school garden is in a state of neglect and my job is to bring it back to life again. Before I can grow anything, we would need to get in loads of top soil and compost. It's almost like starting from a clean slate but I'm ready to take up the challenge.

I am impressed by the dedication shown by the teachers in charge of this special group of students. One of the classrooms is fully equipped with a kitchen and appliances for the kids to bake cookies and cakes. Cooking class is on every friday while my gardening session is scheduled for wednesdays.

The kids were practising line dancing when I visited today. The teachers ensure that they complete their homework before starting these extra classes. It's a well-thought out system that helps kids with behavourial problems learn more social skills.

Next week, I will be meeting the landscape contractor to discuss about how to spruce up the school garden. We'll work together to clean up the place, loosen up the earth and add in soil and compost. Once that is done, the kids and I can start growing herbs, vegetables and fruit trees. I can't wait!

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Some good news

I brought Rusty to the vet this morning and doc says the infection in his right eye has completely cleared. Except for specks of dried blood, the eye is no longer inflammed though it is already luxated meaning he is blind in that eye.

The good news is he doesn't have to go back to the vet anymore unless (touch wood) something else crops up. For now, I'll just have to apply eye drop daily until the bottle is empty.

Another piece of good news has something to do with the box of vegetable (lady's finger/okra) seedlings below. My colleague grew these by our office window sill and while mulling over what to do with them, I received a message from Petunia.

A school is looking for someone to help supervise their kids in the school vegetable garden and she thinks I may be interested in the job. Why, of course! Gardening is in my blood and I'm always trying to get more kids involved in this activity. So I quickly signed up as a volunteer.

I had a really good chat with the teacher and I'm so excited to start. You see, this school has an excellent after-school programme called School of Joy which provides a creative and non-routine classroom environment to educate and nurture pupils on the importance of character building, lifeskills, social entrepreneur skills and academic excellence.

I was told a small group of kids (10 to 11-year old) who do not do well academically are taught skills like baking, gardening etc. Everyday, after school, they don their gardening gloves or apron and participate in meaningful activities instead of loitering around in the malls.

Don't you think the school is doing a fantastic job? I am so happy to be a part of this. The teacher was worried that I may not be able to handle 24 hyperactive kids but I'm game to try. I'll be meeting up with the teacher this Thursday for a discussion and have a look-see. If everything goes well, I'll be digging around with little kids every Wednesday afternoon.

I'll be bringing along my box of seedlings to contribute to the school garden. Oh, this is going to be fun, and so meaningful too.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Chinese New Year

We're celebrating Chinese New Year in less than a week and I haven't done anything festive. There are no hanging decorations or festive goodies in our home. I have not bought any auspicious flowers or pussywillows for the garden. I have even forgotten to get the kids some new clothes until SK asked for extra allowance to go shopping with his friends. YK is too busy mugging for his final exams to care about clothes but he is looking forward to receiving hong baos (lucky money).

When we were living with my parents, I could literally feel the hive of activity building up day by day. Dad would go into a buying frenzy and there will be family discussions on what to cook for the reunion dinner. The mood was infectious.

Now that we've moved out and I'm not a stickler for tradition, I haven't been affected by the shopping frenzy going around me. Maybe I should make a trip to Chinatown to get myself into the festive mood.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Stop the violence!

It's a beautiful Saturday. As I was walking down the hill to get the papers, I heard a commotion from a 3-room flat nearby.

From where I stood, I could see a man through the metal gate. It was dark inside, I couldn't see much but I could hear the cries of 2 boys, one sounded like a teenager and the other one younger. They were begging their father to stop hitting them.

The cries were desperate calls for help yet the father continued ranting and scolding. Their wails were heart-wrenching. I couldn't believe how a woman next door could just walk past the commotion without even batting an eyelid.

I stood there, anger rising in my chest. The boys never stopped screaming in pain and begging for the man to stop. I couldn't tolerate the violence any longer and shouted at the top of my voice, "STOP HITTING THE KIDS!"

For a while, the father stopped, then I heard the kids pleading again. The father even had the cheek to say, "See, people are looking at us now."

Hot tears were rolling down my cheeks. If there is one thing I cannot tolerate, it has to be violence or abuse of any kind, especially to kids, women and animals.

The commotion stopped and I walked away. I was so angry with myself for not doing more. At one point, I had wanted to run up to the flat and tell the man that is not the way to discipline his children. I don't know what they did to incur their father's wrath but no kids deserve to be abused that way. I may be able to stop him today but what about the future?

Other passerbys or neighbours didn't seem to care. If I had called the police, they would just wave it off as domestic violence.

My heart bleeds for the kids. What miserable life they have compared to ours. They will grow up hating their lives and the family. I don't think I can enjoy my Saturday anymore.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

What's for dinner?

Knowing how my kids like the sweet & sour pork sold at the 'chye png' (rice/vegetables) stall, I tried to surprise them with my own creation last night. Alas, it was a flop!

The dish was a soggy mess, it didn't taste anything like the crispy and tasty ones sold outside. Well, I'll just have to blame it on the cooking oil I have at home. When it comes to deep frying, palm oil does the best job.

Palm oil, as we know, is high in saturated fats. For the sake of our health, I use only olive or sunflower oil at home. These are great for stir-fries, not for deep-frying battered pork. As if one mistake wasn't enough, I used the same oil to cook fried chicken which wasn't crispy as well.

The boys boycotted the meat dishes and ate cabbage, tomatoes and baked beans for dinner. CH, being the supportive one, ate the limpy meat and all without complaining. Rusty had the good fortune of eating most of the fried chicken.

YK tried to be nice when he found me looking so forlorn at the kitchen sink. "The food was ok lah. Next time you can cook the other dishes that we like."

I wasn't sad of course! But I tell myself I had better stick to simple fare at home and leave the deep-frying to the experts because we are simply not equipped like the commercial kitchens.

This will join the list of dishes that I won't attempt at home because it is not worth the trouble. I like cakes but don't like baking them because I lose my appetite when I see the big block of butter going in.

So I would rather pay for a good slice of cake that has been baked to perfection than to end up overeating a disfigured home-made one. It's simply not worth the effort or the calories.

Old lady part 2

I left the old lady's house feeling worse than before. The scars and marks on her face and arms are still raw. What kind of a daughter-in-law can be so vicious to attack a gentle, soft-spoken old lady? Even the 7-year old grandson is hitting her with a broomstick, the same one she had lavished so much love on when bringing him up. The situation is getting out of control, no wonder she's so desperate to get out.

She has gone to the police and social services but nobody is able to help her. There are even more severe cases than hers, she just has to wait in line and watch her back. Their family situation is already quite a complicated one, but having to live with a raging mad woman makes it even worse. I feel like I've been sheltered from the real world all this time, this is quite an eye-opener. I'm sure there are many people out there who are in need of help. It makes me feel bad that while we're discussing about exotic holidays and fine dining, some other people are living their life in fear.

Anyone who has a heart will feel compelled to help. I'm going to see what I can do to bring them out of this misery. Of course I recognise that I have my limitations but I'll try.

I must have learned a lesson or two from all this. Firstly, I must build my own nest egg so that I can stay independent in my old age. Secondly, I must have my own home. Once you've assigned it to someone else, even your own children, you become a guest in your own home.

As parents, our love for our kids is unconditional but we can't expect the same in return. Even then, between the wife and mother, who will they choose?

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

The old lady

I was quite surprised yet intrigued when I read about Fry's post today. She provides personal consultancy and fengshui readings for her clients. Sometimes in the process of consultation, her client starts to get emotional. I think a job of this nature can very energy-draining, really not the kind of job for emotional people like me.

I'm about to go visit an old lady. She's actually a friend's mum. I don't even know that friend very well but his mum took a liking to me after some of us visited their house one Christmas. Even now, years later, she calls me frequently because she says she enjoys talking to me.

I like chatting with her but sometimes when life gets too busy, I had to avoid her phone calls. The trouble is, her life is not all that rosy, according to the stories she tells. She talks about how badly her daughter-in-law treats her and how miserable life is. I get angry listening to the things she is going through, and that none of her 4 children are lifting a finger to help.

As an outsider, I feel helpless. I offer so many suggestions but the situation seems to be getting worse. I can only lend a listening ear or visit her whenever I have the time. Sometimes I wished I had an extra apartment so she, her husband and daughter can move out and live a better life. Other times I feel like shouting at her kids for being mean.

She probably feels that life has been unkind to her. She wants to leave the misery but she has nowhere to go, so she calls me for some comfort.

Honestly, her phone calls often leave me with a heavy heart and feeling guilty that I haven't done enough.

That's why I am going to bring her some goodies this afternoon. Hope my visit will cheer her up. And I can get rid of the guilt pangs.

Monkeying around

We live in a fairly built-up estate with no nature reserve or forest nearby. Yet I spotted an adult macaque running across the busy street one day. Where did it come from?

It looked like a male, a smart one who was clever enough to know how to dodge speeding cars. It ran towards the apartment blocks and disappeared from my view.

I forgot all about it until CH told me he spotted a macaque perched on a fence nearby. Some curious onlookers were seen whipping out their cameras. It must have been the same one I saw weeks ago. Looks like he has decided to stay put.

While I was out walking Rusty this evening, the macaque came charging towards our little doggie. Rusty was busy nosing around, he wasn't even aware he was about to be attacked. Thanks to my quick reflexes, I grabbed him and dashed across the road, away from the vicious monster.

The macaque sat there, staring at me with his scary eyes. And Rusty didn't even know what the fuss was about. I can understand that our doggie is partially blind but can't he at least smell the monkey?

This is the one!

Monday, 1 February 2010

Canned everything

On most days, I ensure we eat healthily. That means, steamed fish, stir-fried vegetables and a bowl of nutrituous soup at the dinner table. We don't eat normally red meat or processed food.

I felt like cooking Teochew muay (plain rice porridge) tonight. That's when all the forbidden food like luncheon meat, canned fried fish with salted black beans, canned cuttlefish and pickled lettuce suddenly make an appearance.

The kids love porridge dinners because every dish is salty and unhealthy. More delicious than the usual bland and healthy food, they say.

I guess it's fine as long as we don't do this too often. Rusty will be eating boiled chicken and rice for dinner tonight. At least he is eating healthily.