Day Two Writer’s Challenge – Believe

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Day Two’s writer challenge is about ’believe’. Here’s how it is defined in the dictionary:

be·lieve   [bih-leev] be·lieved,be·liev·ing. verb (used without object)

to have a conviction that (a person or thing) is, has been, or will be engaged in a given action or involved in a given situation.

I like how ’believe’ is defined both as an intrinsic attitude and an external behaviour. To believe I am a writer I have to write besides thinking of myself as one. Period.

As part of the challenge, we were challenged to get up two hours earlier than our usual routine and just write. I didn’t. Though I did end up waking up in the middle of the night and thought about what I would write.

Then I remembered an unfinished piece of writing I did earlier on about my puppy entitled “Lessons I learned from puppy Ginger”. I decided I would write about her. It also felt right to do that since I am holidaying and missing her terribly. Writing about her, in a way, would perhaps allay my missing her…

“Lessons I learned from my puppy Ginger”

1. Never sleep alone, if you can. The best way to sleep is to snuggle up to someone.

2. There’s always room for play anywhere, anytime.

3. You got to eat everything at least once and then decide if you liked it enough to ask for seconds.

4. Be friendly and accepting to anyone or any dogs. No matter how they look like – breed, size, colour. It really doesn’t matter as long as you are up for a good play!

5. Keep trying. When at first you don’t get your way, don’t fret. Just keep at it. And a dopey helps. A lot.

6. Discipline is hard medicine but love conquers all. Hugs and kisses that follow afterwards is proof that you are loved.

7. Sleep with abandon. I love how you could just fall asleep anytime and shortly after, be snoring away.

Day One Writer’s Challenge – Declare: I am a Writer

I am a writer. There, I’ve said it. But am I, really?

Who is a writer? Is it someone who writes for a living? Or who has published works? Or is it just someone who simply, writes.

As part of the challenge I had to declare to someone that “I am a writer”. So last night I told CS my significantly ’better half’ – “I want to be a writer! Will you support me?”

“Of course!” he nodded at me from across the bed. “Remember the time I got you that PDA because you told me you wanted to write?”

Oh yes, of course. I’d forgotten about that actually because the PDA broke down just barely after a year. And I returned to writing in notebooks again.

So am I a writer? No ifs. No buts. Today, I am declaring: I write, therefore I am, a writer.

Well, hello there…

I am breaking the blog hiatus by participating in Jeff Goins’ writing challenge.

Over the next fifteen days I will be writing on a specified topic and posting it here.

It’s good to be back…

Faith of the ‘what if’

What if you are wheelchair bound and your recent operation is the first of the two you had to go through?

What if you are the main caregiver of your aged parents, one of whom is also wheelchair bound like yourself?

What if your aged parents who have never being apart in their 70 years of marriage now face the prospect of moving into different nursing home ‘cos of illness and financial constraints?

What if your only child’s only son had Asperger and they live hundreds of miles away for all of you to be of support to each other?

Except these are not ‘what-ifs’ for G. This is her life.

And my faith, my so-called faith pales in the light of hers. My faith seems like a walk in the park even though it didn’t seem like it sometimes. Hers, on the other hand, seems like that of an athlete in a hurdles race.

Ironically it was me who broke down while praying for her. She didn’t even tear when she shared with me earlier. That goes to show the strength of her inner being as compared to mine.

And before going onstage to emcee at the church service later, I asked God for a word to encourage His people, particularly G. I was led to read Habbukuk 3: 17 – 19 (The Message):

“Though the cherry trees don’t blossom and the strawberries don’t ripen, Though the apples are worm-eaten and the wheat fields stunted, Though the sheep pens are sheepless and the cattle barns empty, I’m singing joyful praise to God. I’m turning cartwheels of joy to my Savior God. Counting on God’s Rule to prevail, I take heart and gain strength. I run like a deer. I feel like I’m king of the mountain!”

Still, I cried when we were worshipping God. I had no answer why certain things happen to certain people. But this I know – He gives grace and strength when we never thought they existed because I saw them in G today.

personal project\two people twelve times\December 2011

December 2011

This is our last couple photo for 2011. It’s a cliche to say time flies but I suppose it does when you don’t pay attention to it. Looking back, I could vividly remember those moments where we argued; we made peace. We disagreed; we compromised. Despite it all, we remain.committed.to.each.other.

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Photo credit to Jonathan Wong @A Better Definition

our end-of-the-year roadtrip

Come 27 December, we will be leaving for a week-long roadtrip (our longest ever!) driving thousands of kilometres to the northern part of Western Australia. It is something we always wanted to do because we haven’t explored much of that part of Western Australia known as the ‘Coral Coast’ except for our last Christmas camping trip at Jurien Bay. Some places I am really looking forward to visiting are:

  • The beautiful landscape of the rugged outback Kalbarri

  • Getting up close to the dolphins at the World Heritage listed area of Monkey Mia

  • the must-visit Shell Beach

  • the Hamelin Pool Stromatolites
  • the Hutt Lagoon or the ‘Pink Lake’ as it is called

  • hanging out and chilling by our campsite which is metres away from the beach…bliss..

personal project\two people twelve times\November 2011

November

This month we celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary and also CS’ birthday. I love it that we are still having as much fun as we are as a married couple than we were as a dating couple. In fact, we probably enjoy each other’s company now more than ever! [Photo taken outside our house on the driveway.]

ten days, 240 hours, 14400 minutes later…

This is our fourth year in Perth now; and we are fortunate to make at least a trip back to Singapore to visit family and friends every year. This time, however, I decided to take note of what we did, who we met and what we ate. So this is how our recent Singapore trip looked like:

Thurs – Day 1

Breakfast with Liz @ Jalan Kayu – roti prata and teh-o ice

Coffee with Liz @Forty Hands, Tiong Bahru

Lunch with Liz @ Zion Road Hawker Centre – fried fish head noodle, Nasi Padang

Dinner with family@ home – steamed fish, soup and veggies

Coffee with Becky @Starbucks, Holland Village – Peppermint Mocha Frappucino

Fri – Day 2

Breakfast @ Holland V Hawker Centre –  Mee rebus, vegetarian Beehoon, soya bean drink

Brief shopping @H & M, Orchard Road where I bought a dress and two tops

Lunch with CS’ family @ Far East Plaza – Thai food – fried fish in sweet and sour sauce, stir-fry kang kong, beancurds on hotplate, prawn omelette

Unexpected stopover at Far East Plaza where I spent almost two hours in one shop and bought six dresses in one go!

Dinner with family @ Crystal Jade, Holland Village – handmade noodles, dumplings

Coffee with Pris @ Coffee Club, Holland Village – drinks, chocolate and banana tart

Sat – Day 3 

E only – Lunch with Esther @ West Coast Mall – Japanese food – raw octopus and sashimi, sushi and fried mackerel

CS only – Lunch with Arthur @ Bugis – Nasi Padang

Attended YAYP church service at Grace 1, Tanglin Road

Dinner with Huiyi & Joey @Dian Xiao Er, Vivo City – herbal roasted duck, broccoli with mushrooms, sliced fish, double boiled chicken soup, spinach with salted eggs in broth, pork belly

Coffee with some young adults @Jimmy Monkey, Buona Vista – raspberry mint tea, chocolate molten cake

Sun – Day 4

Breakfast @Redhill coffeeshop – chee cheong fun aka steamed rice roll, glutinous rice, rice cake with preserved radishes

Visited grandma

Lunch with Rach & Hann @Ikea – chicken wings

Afternoon tea with Huifen & gang @Jimmy Monkey – raspberry mint tea, chocolate molten cake

Family dinner @home – porridge – curry, veggies

Coffee with mum and bro @Coffee Bean, Holland Village

Mon – Day 5

Breakfast with mum and younger bro@Holland V – Beehoon with spam and fried egg, fish ball noodles

Lunch with family – Japanese buffet @Kuishin.bo, Great World City

Brief time at Great World City – played arcade games with the brothers and nieces and I bought three pairs of shoes from Tangs

Visited Garden by the Bay @Marina Bay with family

Went prawning at East Coast Park with family

Brief shopping time at Anchorpoint – CS bought 2 shirts fand a pair of shoes

Dinner with family @Alexandra Village Coffeeshop – string ray, hor fun, spicy egg plants, shell fish

Tues – Day 6

Breakfast @ Holland V- minced pork noodles

Lunch with David & Yihang @Maxwell Food Centre – Chinese Rojak, Ngo Hiang, Popiah

Quick visit to Sia Huat @Chinatown – a wholesale kitchen supply store

Afternoon tea with David @K.Ki inside Little Drom store, Ann Siang Hill – iced peppermint tea and basil infushed chocolate cake

Dinner with Liz, Cheryl and Carol @Long Beach Seafood, Dempsey Road – chilli crabs, pepper crabs, veggies, rice

Wed – Day 7

Breakfast with Kieran @Alexandra Village coffeeshop – soon kueh, glutinous rice

Visited grandma

Lunch with Jon and David @Central Mall, Clarke Quay- Japanese ramen

Visited Cats Socrates @Bras Basah where I exercised lots of self-restraint and bought only a bag, three paper mobiles and a post card….

Coffee with Jon and David @Starbucks, City Hall – White Chocolate Cranberry Frappucino

Dinner with Lionel and gang @home – sukiyaki steamboat

 Thurs – Day 8

Breakfast with Ronald @ Jurong West – fish porridge, wanton noodles

Lunch with Pastor George @home – roast duck, century egg porridge

Coffee with Becky @Starbucks, Cathay Cineleisure – White Chocolate Cranberry Mocha & Toffee Nut Frappucino

Dinner with Jen Chong @Paradise Inn, 313 Sommerset – steamed pomfret, black chicken soup, wasabi prawns, veggies

Coffee with Jen Chong @Starbucks, ION – Toffee Nut Mocha Frappucino

Fri – Day 9

CS only – Lunch and movies with family

E only – Lunch and shopping with Melody@Carl’s Jr, Vivo City

Dinner with family @home – salted egg yolk butter crayfish, tom yum soup, steamed fish, veggies

Coffee with Huiyi & Joey @Starbucks, Holland V – Toffee Nut Frappucino

Sat – Day 10

Breakfast with former neighbours and the kids @Holland V – Mee Siam, Yong tau foo noodle

Lunch with Liz @ Holland V – claypot rice

Tea with CS’ family @ Terminal 1, Changi Airport – Polar pandan chiffon cake and famous curry pie

Noteworthy facts –

Unforgettable dessert – molten chocolate cake served with berry compote and vanilla ice cream@ Jimmy Monkey

Most extravagant drink – birds nest soup by mum

Best meal – Japanese buffet @Kuishin.Bo

Dish I will be relishing for a long time to come….Chilli crabs with steamed buns at Long Beach Seafood

Regrettable moment – lost my Starbucks water bottle and found out that Starbucks isn’t selling any at the moment…heart pain…

Best investment – the Ipad which made travelling on the plane a much easier task to endure – most of this entry was typed on it!

Most treasured momentos – drawings done by all our three nieces given to us

Best memories – Spending time with both our families, in particular our nieces – Ruth, Megan and Mazel

By the end of our trip, we had caught up with 47 people (families not included) over 22 catch-up sessions!

I think the photo below (taken when we took a stroll along Orchard to see the Christmas lighting) really encapsulated how I felt at the end of our trip..

reflections from a small island

1. Nothing beats local food. Period. The variety and the affordability. If only we could transport the food culture back to Perth!

2. The gift of friendship. From a girlfriend who spent her day off picking us up from the airport and driving us around on the first day to satisfy our food craving to another who came down all the way to where we were living, after a long day’s work just to have a coffee with us at night. Liz & Becky – we love you both!

3. Family ties that bind. Visiting grandma and mum-in-law and seeing their crown of white hair is a reminder that time is slipping away right under our eyes. Having fun with our nieces and being blown away at how much they have all grown is a reiteration of that. And that is why we had made family time a priority for this trip.

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4. Sense of welcoming. Since we arrive last Thursday, we have been catching up with different ones everyday. Most were organized only when we touch down but still folks went out of their way to arrange their schedule to accommodate ours. It definitely feels good to be in such ‘popular demand’ even though we had been away for years now.

5. Being on the receiving end. One thing that really stood out in this trip is the fact that many young adults whom we had known for years have started working and were eager to shower their generosity on us. As a result, most of the meals we enjoyed were free!

6. My brothers and I. This trip was the first time in many years that we had the chance to really hang out together. It made me realize how much we used to enjoy each other’s company and I hope we will continue to do so in the years ahead…

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We have reached the halfway mark of our holiday. We miss the comforts of home back in Perth but at the same time, the great company and food we had so far had been amazing. So we are looking forward to a better secondhand of our trip!

personal project\two people twelve times\October 2011

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Shortly after the photo was taken, we met an elderly couple strolling on the beach and heard their amazing love story which spanned over 52 years when they fell in love as teenagers. However, it was only two years ago through a Facebook search that they were reunited again at the age of seventy and sixty-eight years old. ‘We will never be apart again.’ she said.

I am glad that our love story started twelve years ago and still continues today…

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