Monday, 23 February 2015

pay to watch the Ocsars?

I love watching the Oscars on TV

In Singapore we used to get it on our free to air channels but the last few years the Ocsars were shown on one of the Cable channels.  First it was on the Star network on a channel everyone subscribed to, then it was on the Star (now Fox) movie channel.  It frustrated me that I couldnt watch the Ocsars so last year I subscribed to the Fox movies pack just to watch the Oscars.

This year they bloody changed it again.  I know they sell the rights to different channels, and I know its not the cable operators (in Singapore) fault, who gets the rights.  I am pissed that our free to air channels (which is  paid for by our very rich government) dont bother to get the rights to air something like this.

Its on HBO this year and I am not going to subscribe to HBO just to watch the Oscars like I did last year.  I will just wait for the news and E online to update us and then find out who won what.
Even  though HBO does have some good shows on ( not the movies) like Game of Thrones, I wont subscribe to it as in Singapore the censorship is quite brutal and you lose half the plot as they wont show nudity, sex and gay themes on TV.

So I sit in the office, typing out my annoyance and have E online in the background on my laptop, waiting to see who will win. Just to feed my voyeuristic habit  in a celebrity obsessed culture.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

restaurant feedback.....PS Cafe

I love cafes and eating out in places that give out that lazy ambient vibe.
I never fancied myself as a reviewer of restaurants as food is subject to personal tastes.  One mans meat etc.....but this time I just had to say something

I took my sister and her partner to a branch of my favourite cafe for lunch and expected to have a fuss free lazy afternoon.
We arrived on time and as expected we  had to wait to be seated. i dont mind waiting but i do mind the lack of communication and  the lack of a smile, I think smiles are too expensive in this place,  They  made us wait with no greeting, not even a  "I'll be with you in a minute".  we were ignored as they walked and stood chatting in front of us to set up a new digital interactive customer thingy.

good food....but water glasses were always empty
It was tedious trying to catch the eye of any waiter to get our orders once we were seated and even more difficult to communicate with one of the waiters that wore a badge stating he only spoke Mandarin. He was however  one of the more attentive waiters around.   I live in Singapore, its a multi racial country and we pride ourselves on having everyone speak some English. even if its broken English.  Yes service staff is hard to find as Singaporeans cannot afford to live in this country and work as service staff on the low wages wait staff earn.  Businesses depend on cheap foreign labour to work as wait staff, and there are plenty of young people from China here doing just that. What I hate is that they will not communicate in English but expect everyone in Singapore to speak Mandarin! OK rant over and back to the main issue here.......

The restaurant was not full,we were just made to feel like we were an encumbrance and the staff wished we were somewhere else and not sitting in the restaurant trying to have a relaxed meal ..

 Its one of my favourite chain of restaurants in Singapore and I frequent the one at Palais Renaissance alot.....the one at Dempsey, Harding Road is a beautiful place in a perfect setting for lazy afternoon lunches, food is good  but the service staff are pretentious and  obviously not interested at all in serving anyone.

It pains me that common courtesy and a simple smile was totally not forthcoming. While I sympathise with the wait staff as some customers are very difficult, I still think that if you take a job serving people you should be service orientated.

So while I may still go to the cafe at Palais Renaissance, I hesitate to head out to Harding road to be treated like something the cat dragged in.


Monday, 9 February 2015

things we do for our children..

Son no 2 still stays with me rent free and people I talk to are divided on whether he should or should not pay rent to his mother.

He earns a fairly good income, he doesn't contribute any money to grocery bills, or electricity or the cable bill or anything.

I wash his clothes and do the cooking and grocery shopping and clean the home. there are no expectations on his part for me to clean his room, but I do.....as sometimes the smells coming from his room can be quite strange.....and when I run out of spoons and forks and cereal bowls I have to venture into the dark abyss that is his room to rescue said cutlery and bowls and sometimes tupperware.

furry sandwich anyone?
After finding this tupperware with a sandwich that probably could have walked away, in his room, I am now determined to charge rent and a hazard fee........

I do know I am not doing him any favours by not giving him some responsibility for the home we share.
Perhaps that should have been one of my resolutions this year.....charge and collect rent from son.

too late to add on a resolution?

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Resolution failure

I have failed miserably in keeping any of the resolutions and its only February.

Admitting failure early is better than stressing myself out trying to keep the resolutions.
They weren't that hard to begin with, extremely doable I thought....I obviously thought wrong

I wanted to write more, blog more.  That hasn't happened, not that I didnt have thoughts/ideas/screaming necessity to blog, I just didn't have the time.  During the day I am at work and fairly busy and one shouldn't be blogging while at work( its lunchtime now so don't judge me) and by the time I get home, I am brain dead.

Take time off to take pictures - I haven't taken any time off yet but I will .....my sister is here from London to celebrate her 50th birthday  so I will be taking some  time off to hang out with family and hopefully take some pictures too.

the last resolution I made was to be as honest as I can be.....definitely failed there.....but I am working on it so its not a hopeless case... yet.

There is alot I want to say, plenty of words floating through my brain all day and night. I just have to make the time to sit down and hammer away at the keyboard so that the thoughts that are all jumbled up in my head appear magically as a respectable want to read post.
soon........

Friday, 2 January 2015

another year gone

Its that time of year again, to lament on the passing of yet another year gone, so quickly that it left my head spinning.
I didn't make resolutions for 2014.  I figured, resolutions never got fulfilled anyway so just start 2014 fresh.  so this post is a reflections post rather than, did I fulfil my resolutions post.

I started a new job
where I learnt how to dodge bullets and stand up for what I thought was right. I am proud of this achievement.  I have always had and still have a very black or white stance on doing the right thing,  there is no place for grey here.  I stood up and defended my beliefs and I was surprised when people backed off when I did that. Its not easy and I know I will have battles in the future but knowing that I can stand up and speak and have people take a step back, knowing that I am no pushover, is a good feeling.

I blogged less
I blame the job, as I now have less time to blog and my best time when my head is full of words is in the morning when I have to be at work and have to rush headlong into the 'joys' of holding dual responsibilities in the office.  I also have been censoring myself as there were alot of things I couldn't say.

Heart vs Head
I had epic battles inside myself.  Go with the logical choice of the head or let my heart rule.......my heart won in the end.  Here is one instance where I have had to censor myself as I had to (and still have to) speak to those involved before I posted anything.....obviously I haven't been as honest as I should be.

Honesty...
sometimes isn't as great as its made out to be.

Its been a hard year for me, as I have tried to figure alot of things out.  I lost respect for some people, People that I trusted and thought were good human beings. I found some really good people to include in my life.  I realised that I couldn't save the world but I knew that I could still look myself in the mirror and smile. I learnt to trust my instincts and stand up for what I believe in.  I learnt how to use my new camera (and am still learning), which has been one of my greatest joys in 2014.
I learnt how to let go and not always be in control and it is a good thing.

So do I have a resolution for 2015?
Yeah I do....

Blog more
Take more time off to take pictures
And be as honest as I can be.....

endless possibilities in 2015 and I welcome it with open arms


Wednesday, 24 December 2014

the spirit of christmas

I am not Christian but I tend to get into the spirit of Christmas each year.

As a non believer of religion and perhaps even God, there is nothing in the calendar year that makes me want to spend time with family or actually have any goodwill feeling towards my fellow man.

 Throw a few lights on a gaudily decorated tree, blast some Christmas songs in the decorated malls and I become a totally different person. I embrace the consumerism of Christmas to the point that I am eagerly shopping for interesting gifts for colleagues that I actually feel goodwill towards.

My family tend to get together on Christmas eve to have a couple of drinks (lots of drinks actually) at the Club but this year Mum isnt too well so we wont be going.  We will however be having dinner at Mums on the 25th.  My older sis likes to do the turkey and all the trimmings, she spent 15 years in Hawaii doing Thanksgiving then Christmas and cant seem to stop herself from celebrating the Christian holiday and as her turkey is really good, we don't mind!

But its not just about eating and being merry, it is time to reflect on what we have and being thankful and thinking of others that  don't have as much.

So to Christians and all non Christians I say Merry Christmas and love and peace to all.  Can we please just forget for one day that there is so much hate and anger out there all for the wrong reasons...

Sunday, 21 December 2014

the voyeur in me

Online dictionary definition of Voyeur -

1.  A person who obtains sexual gratification by looking at sexual objects or acts, secretively
2.  a person who derives exaggerated or unseemly enjoyment from being an observer.

So I guess I get unseemly enjoyment observing others... secretively.
People watching, taking photos and perhaps watching porn could all be voyeurism.  Introverts like me I guess are labelled weird anyway so voyeur is just another noun (it is a noun right) to describe me.

I recently went to the Botanic gardens again to take pictures as I am learning more about my camera each time I go out, and am enjoying it immensely.
This time my compositions were voyeuristic.  It started with a statue of a mother & child and somehow the pictures through the bushes were so much more interesting....
Then at my favourite pagoda, I was happily taking pictures when a young couple came along and spoilt my enjoyment.




 Lots of young couples come to the gardens to take pictures for their wedding albums.....
The one below is from one of my earlier forays in the Botanic Gardens, a Russian couple with a selfie stick



selfie
I am sure there is some etiquette or rule when taking pictures  of people you dont know.. but in a public place it would be considered fair game if you strolled into the path of my camera....and the voyeur in me just absolutely finds it hard to resist...........






Sunday, 14 December 2014

it doesnt help when I bake and eat cupcakes......

So yes indeed,  the exercise that I said I would do 2 weeks ago hasn't quite got off to the start I expected it to......
It actually never got started ...

It didn't help that I saw the French butter that is absolutely delicious, on sale in the supermarket, which in turn led me to a gluten free experiment of a very old cup cake recipe that we have used since we were knee high girls ( well not so quite knee high)

mess/prep
Your mood is reflected in your cooking.  If I am in a bad/foul mood, my cooking suffers.  When I am happy and relaxed, my cooking is pretty darn good, and baking is no different.  I was excited to try the cup cake recipe with that French butter and  make it gluten free.  I was even singing while baking.....

in the oven
I am not sharing the recipe as its not mine to share, its from an old Australian cookbook from the 1960's that a friend gave to Mum and we still use the basic foundation recipes for cakes from that book.  Its absolutely a hoot to read, especially the front pages advising women how to get more from the cuts of meat, cheap cooking and how to set a table etc....If I find the book online anywhere I will link the recipe but....

I even iced them
Anyway
the cupcakes came out divine...I do have an intolerance to dairy and butter is hard for me but sometimes nothing else will do....

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Epic fail.......

I still haven't got around to losing weight

I blame work of course, as I am too busy and stressed to eat right and fix proper decent carb free low fat meals for myself.
I lost 1 kilo then promptly put it back on and the exercise every morning ground to a halt.  I was stressed at work and with the year end Christmas party invitations coming in I was eating fabulous food with no exercise or restraint.....forget gluten free, I was popping everything into my mouth....

I hate the extra weight, I look like a ripe pumpkin ready to burst!

But the lack of discipline is what is getting me into this situation.... And the fact that I have no man to be slim for....yes we do it for a man.  No matter what sort of feminist independent career woman we are, we still go for fad diets and think about our weight and looks all for that man.
So I am doomed to be fat and fifty

I shall try, for next week to skip all carbs and get up early and exercise ........pipe dream or something I can do........I wonder

the walkway code

There should be a test for all pedestrians  to take, like the highway code test for drivers.

Living in a crowded city like Singapore, where you encounter swarms of people everywhere you go, walking is becoming a hazard.  Malls, pedestrian walkways, streets and train stations are places that should have signs put up for easy flow of traffic.

I commute to work via the underground train lines and one of the instances where human traffic is fucking scary is crossing from one part of the station to change lines.  Somehow the powers that be misjudged the sheer numbers that would use the trains as a means of transport.  This is one of the times where the walkway code would come in handy.

I imagine some of the rules of the walkway code would be:

1.  Speed limit in walking zone
2.  Slow walkers have to walk on the left
3.  Overtaking only from the right
4.  2 way lane traffic to be strictly enforced
5.  No Tailgating
6.  No using mobile phone while walking

Other places I see benefiting from the Walkway code would be the shopping malls and the streets.  Its bloody frustrating when you are in a hurry to have to walk behind people that are strolling along happily right across the whole walk way and people that are glued to their mobile phones.
City in China

There is a city in China that has opened a walkway for pedestrians using their phones.
See article HERE
Its a damn good idea........




I live in hope that someday the Walkway code will be created and implemented, saving pedestrians from each other......

Thursday, 20 November 2014

some people dont like me....

Most of us have the need to be liked, appreciated and respected.
I am no different.

I realised that some people didn't like me in the office pretty quickly.
My job requires me to be strict and instill discipline in the office and the managing of suppliers and purchase orders for events.
It is not easy trying to get adults to see that the office is not where you can mess things up, leave coffee cups all over the place, use meeting rooms like it was a lunch room and generally act like spoilt brats thinking that the office cleaner was there to pick up after them
(I blame the Singaporean culture of depending on maids to pick up after them at home)

I also had to set rules and create processes on getting purchase orders to suppliers before the events happened and take a look at the teams cost estimates before they sent them out to the clients.  Change and new rules have always ruffled feathers and I tried to ease them into it.  It has been 8 months with these new rules and people are still ignoring the process.  So I have to enforce the rules,  which makes me the really bad guy that everyone loves to hate.

I want to be liked, but not at the expense of losing who I am.  So its OK that I don't get the little goodies they give out to those that are in the "liked" group,  in appreciation of their work, its OK that I don't get invited to some of their parties.....
The people that matter like me, and that is good enough for me.  The rest haven't bothered to get to know who I really am and why should they,  its just work........

I have to remember that the next time I am not given the tasty little goodies.......






Thursday, 13 November 2014

public displays of affection

Living in a crowded city and travelling the trains cheek to jowl with your fellow commuter makes for interesting journeys.

Each morning I squeeze into a train bursting it seams with human traffic and try to ignore the loving couple pressed up close to me.

Its like having a front row seat at a porn movie, fascinating yet squirmy.

I can understand that its lust in its infancy ( and no not all the PDA's I see are teenagers going at it) but I do not need to be up close and right next to their faces when they kiss.

having his hand brush against me then have it cup his girlfriend/wife or partner's bottom was very distracting, to say the least.  I have nothing against two people in love/lust touching each other in public, but I do abhor the displays when they are in my personal space.

Why do they do it though?  Do they really have to keep touching each other in full view of the public, or in this case pressed up against a few of us who knew exactly what his hands were doing?

and to make matters worse they seem to have this smug look on their faces as if to say " hey look I am getting some"  it annoys me.

So next time you are on the train and have this immense desire to grab your girlfriends bottom when you are pressed close to other commuters.....stop and think about how it would make others feel.......
A big ask I know.....but one can hope that people would actually realise that it does make the majority of us  uncomfortable to be right next to a touchy feely couple....





Friday, 31 October 2014

standing on a hill in my mountain of dreams......

I find it really hard to make a decision.  I tend to mull over things and complicate everything in my mind.

I run each and every argument through my tiny little mind hoping to find some answers.  I toss the pros and cons around hoping that somehow the gods of decisive thinking will rule and show me the path I have to take.

I wish someone would tell me what to do, or perhaps steer me on to the right path with good advice..... Except that I dont take advice when I get it.

I guess decisions are based on knowing what I want.....herein lies the big problem....I have no fucking clue what I want.

I stand alone trying to figure out what I want, no one can tell me what to do, no one can make this decision for me.
I am afraid of making this decision.  I am afraid of the future.  I am afraid of what lies in wait for me after this decision is made.  Will I regret my decision?  I want things to be tied up neatly and no repercussions after I make up my mind.

But life holds no guarantees does it?  We take one path and never know what the other path would have been like, but human nature likes to wonder if the grass is actually greener on the other side......

For now I stand on a hill in my mountain of dreams telling myself its not as hard as it seems......but it is.....


Monday, 20 October 2014

I am sure that weighing machine is faulty.....

The initial diet a few weeks ago died a natural death.
It was resurrected last week and I stuck to a salad for lunch and no carbs for dinner.....

On Friday we had an office lunch which was catered,  everything deep fried and lots of rice, and on Saturday I experimented with another recipe for  butter chicken.

This morning I got on the scales and the slight weight loss during the week came back with a vengeance.  So it must be that the scales are faulty..... Right?
It could of course  be that creamy rich sauce for the butter chicken that I had on Saturday and Sunday.

I  started some minimal form of exercise, last week I managed to get up earlier and go for a walk twice, this week the aim is to increase that to three times...so far so good.
The haze is back though which makes it harder for me to breathe but I am determined not to make any excuses and continue with my exercise plan.

Having a goal helps but I loathe tagging a 'lose x number of kilos by when' date as I know I will falter and kick myself should I not achieve it...so I am just going to eat as healthy as I can and keep doing the necessary evil that is exercise.....fingers and toes crossed

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

a scotsman named Paolo

I have discovered a new singer.....

Well not exactly 'discovered' but I only heard this young man sing very recently.  Hes been around for a bit, having released his first album in 2005 when he was 18 years old.

I admit his name made me think he was a by product of the  Simon Cowell school of music, cheesy and poppy but a good looking young Italian boy...   I  made up my mind without listening to him sing.

I heard him sing earlier this year on the Graham Norton Show, a song off his third album and I was more than pleasantly surprised at the funk feel of the music. His voice made me sit up and take notice, and hearing him speak in that lovely lilting Scottish accent, I was smitten!
Paolo Nutini the half Italian Scotsman..
so cute!  

My pre conceived notions stopped me from listening and appreciating a young singer with bucket loads of talent.

This song is part of my morning commute playlist.......Better Man...... click  Here and listen.  The song reminds me of that movie with Jack Nicholson where he says to Helen Hunt "you make me want to be a better man"

I am sure a lot of women will agree with me when I say that those words are probably the best thing any man can say to a woman.
Cheesy I know but this kind of cheesy isnt bad, it fulfills our romantic desires...

So for now I will have Paolo in my ear every morning telling me that some men out there actually do feel that way about their women..........


Wednesday, 1 October 2014

fat dresses to the rescue

The extra pounds have crept up on me again......I don't know how they do it  but somehow without me knowing or realising, they find me and pounce and stick to me for dear life....

I have got smarter though...Instead of fighting and cursing that I have nothing to wear when the pounds increase,  I bought a few dresses that would tide me over while I was in my fat phase......

So now in the morning I don't have a very wide selection of clothes,  which makes choosing the wardrobe for the day so much easier that I am actually early for work...Perhaps it has its advantages...

It is now harder to lose the pounds, I used to be able to stop eating carbs for a week and I would be back down a couple of kilos, now it takes twice as long as I get bored with salad and buy chocolates before I hit the 8th day of no carbs.

Son no 2 said I need to exercise.....Horrors!  But he is right.  I do need to get off the ever increasing butt and start an exercise regime.....One of the good friends,  WL, even put a Pilate's workout on a thumb drive for me (I can plug it into my TV) but I still haven't had the motivation to do anything about it. Menopause doesn't help as somehow all the pounds seem to sit on the tummy!

I feel like Menopausal Barbie!
I have been on a diet now for 3 days ( help!) and will have to curb my natural tendency to cook lots on the weekend as I do go overboard and cook curies that just have to be eaten with rice.  Even gluten free hasn't helped as I have found a gluten free sweet cereal that tastes so yummy and on days when I was too tired (lazy) to cook, that was dinner.

But the bad eating habits have to stop...... am serious about this diet to lose those pesky pounds as I do not like my tummy looking so huge!
Next step is exercise......



Sunday, 28 September 2014

bali....

view from restaurant in Ubud
I like Bali, I think its a peaceful sleepy little island that one can go to for relaxation and to unwind........well that was what it was like a few years ago.  I hardly took advantage of the close proximity  to visit often.  I was there in 2009 for a friends wedding and again,  last weekend.

There didn't seem so many people about in 2009 but last weekend it felt  almost claustrophobic.  The main tourist area of Kuta was crawling with tourists and the once quiet area of Seminyak was now bulging at the seams with  new restaurants and hotels on every corner.

rent the land?

After the bombings, people stayed away from Bali and it affected everyone's livelihood . Things started to get better and now Bali has become one of the "must do" destinations.  The place for everyone to come  looking for their eat pray love moment.
I know that with the tourists flocking back into Bali and all the new hotels opening up, it is good for the Balinese economy.

good quality plumbing........St Regis Bali
But I hate it....I hate that Bali is getting busier and crowded and full of people looking for cheap drinks and cheap thrills.                            I probably  sound like a broken record,  lamenting the loss of innocence and hoping that progress would slow down.

I guess if I had pots of money I would buy my own island and build a fabulous villa with good quality plumbing and nothing else on the island.

But that of course is just a dream.....like the rest of the world I have to jostle and fight my way to work each day and when on holiday we cram every bit of free time with forced relaxation on tranquil island havens that are fast disappearing.
Chasing the sunrise on whatever island retreat we go to, and posting it on facebook, instagram, or twitter or what ever social media that is the current hype.
I sound bitter....and I think I probably am.  tired of the rat race and hamster existence....
Oh for a a simple life......................
sunrise 


Thursday, 18 September 2014

why cant we have sanitisers in all public toilets?

One of the biggest pet peeves  I have is the state of the public toilets/mall toilets in Singapore, and this isn't my first post about it either......

Women wont sit down on the seat but they hover over it and splash pee all over the toilet seat and the floor, as sitting on the toilet seat will give you a million diseases.

But does it? I consulted the sage of all sages ( Google) and read here what the WebMD said about what you can catch in a public restroom ( although why they call it rest rooms I dont know, one hardly rests in there)

yes I took a picture of the sanitiser at IKEA
I was at IKEA on Saturday and had to use the toilet and when I went into a cubicle,  I got a little cheap thrill....they had seat sanitisers in each cubicle!
They have them at the airport and at my favourite bar so why cant they have them in every single public toilet/mall toilet in the country.

We would of course,  have to have a public campaign teaching everyone how to use the sanitisers on the toilet seats.  To educate women so that they can finally put bottom on seat and pee comfortably.

One can dream about having piss free toilet seats and less puddles on the floor......

Friday, 12 September 2014

home improvements...

I came home from work yesterday to find that I had a new sink and a new toilet....

When I first bought my flat in 1997, I didn't have the money to do any renovations or touch ups to the place.  Slowly over the years I have added new furniture (as opposed to having all the 2nd hand stuff) changed a few bits and bobs and now finally I am updating the toilets and sinks and giving the place a fresh coat of paint.

I gave the contractor a key, and I was a bit worried that I  let men into my home with free rein to wander around while I am at work... its a bit scary.
I wonder if they will go through my drawers and yes am terrified that they will manhandle my underwear.  Several people that I mention this to, think I am crazy, and some think its highly comical and some think that perhaps if they do want to rifle through my underwear I should be flattered.....

Its also scary as I am way out of my comfort zone....as in being in control of the painting and repairs and being there in the house while they do it.....

Painting started today and I had intended to take the morning off work and be there to make sure that everyone knew what they were supposed to do.  I gave them whatever  instructions were required and then I found that I was getting in their way, so I left them to it and went to work.  In reality they didnt need me there at all for any instructions.  I just stressed myself out with my need to be in control!

When I get home tonight I will have a freshly painted bedroom and the place will be in a mess.
 Its going to be total chaos with the painters coming in for the next few days but I am actually looking forward to having this mini home improvement done.

Time to go shopping for new curtains ......

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

i wonder about me sometimes.......

So I discovered something new today

Not a new discovery that everyone would go Wow, that's fabulous..... but something that's been available for some time now but I just never though about doing......

Online grocery shopping....

I have been stressing about the fact that my lactose free skim milk is only available at one of the branches of the supermarket chain I shop at, not where I usually go do my food shopping.... so I have been planning my weekly shopping around the place that stocks gluten free cereal, then lactose free skim milk then the usual food shopping......
Its been driving me absolutely bat shit crazy trying to get all the groceries done and get the milk etc etc....

then I got a brain wave, why not see if the milk was available on the online shop, as not all the items I want to get is available for delivery.... The milk was available and so were all the heavy duty large items that took me two or three trips to the supermarket/ shops.  I could actually choose these household cleaning thingys, toilet paper, olive oil...all the large bulky items I stressed about getting as I don't drive and I do all the shopping on my own..
They fucking deliver on a Saturday too!

So yeah, I wonder how the hell I brought up two sons and have a job and pay my bills on time and yet couldn't figure that I would be less stressed if I did some of the shopping online....

in Singapore we call that a "slap head moment"