Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas eve

And Rudolph is attached! See you in Paris soon!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ball Crazy

Christmas is just in two weeks and I'm excited! Been in such a Christmassy mood a lot more lately, and feeling the buzz of the festives which puts me on a happy high. =)

Just a short "laugh or cry" moment to share. It's called that because when it happens, you don't know whether to laugh or cry. I chose to laugh anyway. That's what being married to Julien is about - laughing! Good things. =)

Okay so remember this from our childhood days?

It's the labyrinth puzzle and we had to try to get the metal balls into the holes? Pretty tough already I thought back then. Well, fast forward 2 or 3 decades later, and they came up with this:
It's called the "Magical Intellect Ball 3D Labyrinth IQ Puzzle". Already a mouthful for a toy name. I call it the hamster ball for easy reference.

So we were having brunch with some friends and Julien found this hamster ball, and he could not put it down! It was hilarious just watching him play this game. You can tell he can be very focused when he wants to be. He was really concentrated!

Who knew he would be THIS intrigued?! But he was. Lol. To give him credit, this game is really addictive. I didn't start because I know I wouldn't let anyone leave till I finished the game. I wouldn't be able to stop once I started. Julien really liked the game and wanted to get a set for himself, so we checked for a price or an address for a lead. Usually for games like that due to small parts, you'd think they were for a certain age AND ABOVE. We were so wrong. They were for ages 3 TO 6 years old!!!!! We could not stop laughing when we saw that! Kids these days are getting too smart!!!!

What can you do when he's into something this much even if it is a plastic ball? Support him.

Have a good rest of the week!


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Good Morning Singapore!

Nothing like a good sunrise for the soul. :)

Monday, September 5, 2011

What money can't buy

I'm home trying to work on my computer, but it's hard because there's all this drilling and banging and hacking going on in our toilets at the moment - the sewage pipes are leaking, and it took the owners more than 30 years to decided to change it. Apart from the noise, I also can't help but overhear my maid's conversation with this guy working on our pipes. It's hilarious!

Here's this guy who literally takes shit for a living and on top of that he's got to listen to my part time maid's questions about how old he is, how many kids he's got, how she thinks this is a tough occupation to have, and how she thinks it may not pay as well (very direct, but that's just how she is), which will affect his retirement, etc etc etc... and she keeps going on like a train. Intermittently she would come to me and talk to me, and then she'd go back to the toilets and watch and ask what he's putting on the pipes now, what sort of glue, why he's doing this and that. It's just fun to watch. You can tell he was trying to be polite at first, answering her questions, trying to accommodate her by delving in conversation with her, but as she starts criticizing, telling him how he should do his work, his responses start getting shorter and sharper. Lol. I think she must be bored, because she can't start doing what she needs to do until they're done, and sitting in the living room to read the papers doesn't sit well with her. She HAS to engage in conversation, even if it's with an unwilling party, and take on her self imposed role as supervisor. Lol. Really cute.

This though reminds me of something that happened not too long ago, which helped me reflect a little deeper into my own priorities. I was lunching with a group of lawyers recently, and it turns out one of them, was a prodigy. This individual managed to make it to equity partner of a firm in a short span of 4 years, and takes home a whopping 5 figure monthly salary excluding bonuses. Something in my stomach started to knot. I didn't know why at first, but I think it could be more jealousy or enviousness I was feeling - at how some ppl just have it easier than others in life. But thank goodness for family members that keep you grounded to what's more important to you, and remind you of your real values and of what you already have. I was told by different people in my family through their different life struggles, and experiences, that life, health, love, and enough to keep me comfortable is all that's really needed. And Min, my sister pointed out very importantly, that had I changed the course of my life in any way, I may have never met Julien. Now THAT strikes a cord deeper than fame, recognition, and financial success. And that's what no amount of money in the world can buy me.

I have everything I need in this world already - a wonderful husband who loves me, a great loving family with great advice, a good job that pays me to do what I like to do, wonderful colleagues who always surround me in an environment of encouragement.

So although this chap changes sewage pipes for a living, it's good enough to see his child through school, and be able to put three meals on the table for his family, and if that makes him happy and gives him a sense of accomplishment, then I'd say he has succeeded in life!

How can they say my life is not a success? Have I not for more than sixty years got enough to eat and escaped being eaten? - Logan P. Smith

The man who has done his level best... is a success, even though the world may write him down a failure. - B. C. Forbes

There is only one success - to be able to spend your life in your own way. - Christopher Morley

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Our Latest Project!

Presenting our future home! Riverparc@Punggol. *BEAMS*

It comes with some standard facilities like:

50m Lap Pool
BBQ Area
Tennis Court
and a pretty large kids pool

Where it's located:

Riverparc Residence is situated at literally at the furthest end of Punggol, at the eastern-most tip. It faces the Serangoon River (now Reservoir) to the east and the Straits of Johor and Coney Island to the north.

Directly west are 18-storey high-rise HDB blocks. Directly north lies the elevated LRT tracks and a planned school. Directly south is another planned residential area, which according to the URA Masterplan (see below), has the same plot ratio of 3.4 as RiverParc, meaning any high-rise residential block there will go up a similar height as this Executive Condominiums in question.

The Kadaloor LRT is a short walk away, four stops get you to Punggol MRT. There's a mini-mall called Punggol Plaza about 600m away where you can get your daily necessities. Nature-lovers will appreciate the many parks and rivers around the area, especially My Waterway @ Punggol which is about 170m away.

And finally, the floor plan of our new two bedroom apartment!

Getting really excited now! The catch is we have to wait 3 years for it to be built. None the less, we have our own home now!!!!! Yipee!!!!!!!!!!

Late Night at the Museuem

There was the Voyage Night Festival 2011 going on at the Singapore Art Museum, and we decided to head out and participate. Voyage Night Festival 2011 is an evocation of the spirit behind journeys of departures,arrivals,landings; of passages, pilgrimages, inter-marriages encountered in sound,movement and images.

When we arrived, there was already a performance going on in front of the museum, called the Corazon de Angeles in Paradise, by Theater Tol.

As a symbol of universal cultural unity, Corazon de Agneles in Paradise celebrates the inter-cultural wedding of a Groom and Bride from two different cultures. Audiences are invited to partake as witnesses to their union whilst guardian angels, universal to all cultures, watch over them and wish them good tidings.

This performance invokes the history and social development of Singapore’s Civic District that has seen the settlement of immigrants from Asia, Middle East and Europe since the 19th century. Images of old Singapore provide a powerful motif and context to the performance.

In a cinematic journey which combines music, dance, film, acrobatics, live performance and pyrotechnics, Belgian group Theater Tol consisting of sculptors, musicians, dancers and actors, takes the audience through a world of voyages and encounters, fascinating and magical, akin to summer night dreams. (National Museum of Singapore website)

After a very dreamy performance with cranes that suspended the performers in the air as they sang and danced, and threw confetti down at the crowd, we headed into the museum for some more fun!


As we walked through the different exhibitions, we were welcomed by this man into a huge room decorated with train tracks all over the walls and even the ceilings. The artist wanted to do his own video of kids forming train tracks as a competition in this room, but at 2am there were no kids, so we were asked if we wanted to participate. How could we say no?

The two boys who happen to be very competitive started work on the track straight away.

The girls were just creating our own individual tracks at first but then we started to join them all up. And our track started to take shape. One things for sure, and every one agreed on this. We wanted to be the best, and we wanted the highest track!

the centrepiece that we're really proud of!

It was a great ending. Our track was the tallest, and even though it looks fragile, it DID withstand the weight of the trains! SUCCESS! We even left a small stupid present for the creator.. courtesy of a said art director.
OH WHAT A NIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Saturday Dinner Party

When I was in Paris the last time, I took a cook-and-go course and what amazing things we made! Over the weekend, I tried to do a rendition of one of the dishes we made, which was to wrap mozzarella cheese and salmon with pesto sauce (I think) in a really thin baking sheet and pop it in the oven for about 15mins till the wrapping is brown and crispy, and boy did it taste goooooood! So I tried my best to find alternatives over here. I couldn't find that thin baking wrap, so I used spring roll skins as a subsititute. Also, instead of using salmon like we did the last time, I wanted to try it with scallops and shrimp. As for the sauce, they gave us ready made sauce so I kinda just used my own sauce.
I had wanted to do a nice dinner for Julien that evening, so I tried to do rice salad that I had learnt from Thomas at one of the parties we went to together. Thought that would go well with the fried stuff. I pretty much followed Thomas recipe. Couldn't find long grain rice so I used normal Chinese rice, olives and tomatoes. And I added in corn, japanese cucumber (great alternative to zucchini, also known as courgette) and tuna flakes. All this mixed with a generous amount of balsamic dressing, some salt and pepper.

Okay, so there was good news and bad news. Bad news was I had made way too much for two people. And when I tried to deep fry the packages, they all burst out at the bottom. SO they all ended up broken and ugly. The good news, is Jimme and Yihmay called at the right time, and so they popped over to help us with dinner. Turned out I made just enough for four! Also, even though the packages were all broken and didn't look very presentable after having gone through the pan, they retained their taste! And everyone loved it!

Best news was, we finished all the food. Greatest compliment to anyone preparing the food I'd say. Hehehehehe.... What started out as a romantic dinner for two, turned out to be a great dinner party for four, ending with ice cream dessert, compliments from our guests. =)

I'll definitely try something again soon.

Friday Date Night

We try to find an excuse to go on a date once a week. And dating AFTER marriage is more fun!

@ One Altitude, Raffles Place

A must try rooftop bar to visit in Singapore. What an amazing view. It's just too bad it's a little blur.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Hello! Yes. It has been a while. I know. And I think I am a bit behind on the stories since we've climbed a mountain, been to Paris, Dieppe, and Scotland from the last post. But anyway, while this is still fresh in my mind, I thought I should just share our latest weekend with you. Our time has never been this compressed with events since the last time we were in Singapore. Friday evening we attended a bbq and stayed up till 4am, and then we had another bbq the next day till 4pm, followed by a wedding that lasted till 11pm and rushed on to another party where the theme was: Nerds. Yeah, you read me right. it was geek night that ended at 7am for us!

Trying to dress like a geek is TOUGH. And it really took a lot of effort to research what a geek looks like and how & why they would come up with a combination of dressing that they do. We went to do a search on google for images, and then tried to look for the right clothes to look the part for the party. And believe it or not we looked for days!!! Just as we were about to give up and just go to the party in our wedding outfits (we were coming from a wedding to this party), we decided to drop by my parent's place and LO AND BEHOLD!!!! A treasure trove of old stuff, mainly from my grandmother's closet.

So we literally went from this:

To this. We were so serious about the outfits because there was going to be a dress up competition and we wanted to WIN. Lol. That was me voting for Julien.

Right so if I may take you on a short brief on what belongs to who...
Julien's nerd look. Top belongs to my dad. An old Hawaiian shirt that's too small for him now and obviously very out of style, hence it's been sitting in the closet for ages. I don't know why it wasn't thrown away but it doesn't matter because it made a perfect costume for Julien.
Next the jeans. Ahhh... the jeans. They belonged to my grandmother. And come to think of it, the fact that she owned a pair of jeans when she was her age back then, does make her pretty hip if you ask me. It went very well with the outdated shirt anyway. A little bit of hair gel and voila, a French nerd is birthed.

As for me, I just got the top from my grandmother too. and I wore her old stockings that reached up to the calves, just above the ankles. Tied up my hair old school like we used to 20 years ago, and slapped on a pair of glasses. Skirt's mine, contrary to what a lot of other people though. My outfit wasn't as funky as Julien's.

It was so warm after a while we had to change out AFTER the winner was announced. I'll get to that later. For now, what was really hilarious, was, as we were about to leave, Julien as usual, sits down to wear his adidas or globe shoes so Jimme and I chat and wait for him to do so...

But then he turns around, and HOLY GUACAMOLE!!! He forgot to bring his normal shoes so he had to wear the business leather shoes home with that outfit... It looked SO funny Jimme couldn't resist. He had to take a picture. And come to think of it, Julien should've just turned up at the party dressed as he was! No need for all that fuss with a costume. He already had one on all along!

The party was great except for one thing. Neither of us won the competition, because it went to the Angry Dutch Nerd from Holland.

By the way, that's Jimme. =p AHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!
And that was yet another awesome weekend for the Tardivats!!!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Poor Kitty

I was in Siam Reap, in the middle of the beautiful stone structures you see in pictures. The sun was scorching but I didn't care. Julien was burnt and wanted to leave, and then BLAM!!!

I shot out of bed realising it was just a dream. The loud crash wasn't though. I glanced at my watch on the night table. Shit. It's 3am. Julien was out of bed already checking the scene. It came from the kitchen. We were greeted with broken glass splinters scattered all over the kitchen floor, and a small puddle of blood. Who was hurt? The blood came from Mouse. He had stepped on a broken glass and cut his paw pad quite deep. We looked at the wound, and it was a mess. We were more worried if there was glass splinters in his wound but he seemed ok. We cleaned up the wound and it eventually stopped bleeding. Thank goodness. Let's 'monitor' the situation and see how it goes tomorrow morning we thought, and went back to bed.

I woke up next morning with blood paw prints on the bed, floor, couch and every other place Mouse had walked on. And I panicked! It's the first time this ever happened, and I guess the only thing we knew to do was to bring him to the vet. Cat behaviour is really interesting to watch. We put mouse in a box and closed the door. Panda knew something was happening when he saw Mouse in the box but he wasn't quite understanding at first. He kept going to Mouse and sniffing him through the door. Then we took Mouse out of the house. That's when Panda started to Meow really loud and low. Like as if we were taking Mouse away and never coming back. I didn't quite have the heart to leave him like that, but we had to get Mouse's paw checked. So we did. We could hear him meow still while waiting for the lift.

The vet told us he needed 2 stitches. And because he had eaten something in the morning, we had to leave him there to fast for a bit before the operation. Mouse I realised is really well behaved and gentle when we're around, even with strangers. Just as long as we're around too. Julien had warned the vet that Mouse can get aggressive when he's alone, especially around vets. Earlier on, I had carried him while the vet was cleaning up his wound, and Mouse didn't even flinch! So the vet said he wasn't too worried. Boy was he wrong.

We left Mouse there, and when I picked him up after, I was disappointed. Not with my cat but with the service or lack of it at the clinic. Or maybe my expectations are too high? I don't know. It's my first time. The vet admitted mouse was a little hard to manage after we left. I don't blame him. Who likes to be left alone with doctors before surgery? I got home, and let Mouse out, and was shocked to find that he had vomitted in his box but they didn't clean it up for him, and I think he was nervous cos he pooed a little as well. He had already done his big business in the morning.

Panda was elated when I brought Mouse home. He could smell medication on Mouse, and knew he wasn't well. So all day, he just followed Mouse around and licked him, while he ate, while he drank, while he lied down, etc. It was so cute. He was happy Mouse was back. =) These kitties are amazing.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Le Chat Noir - In Loving Memory of Tom

My name is Tom.

I never really knew which family breed of cats I came from, but that didn't really matter to me much as long as I was still popular with the lady felines. Le Chat Noir they would call me. Of course my family doesn't know this. They think I'm a house cat. Technically I am. But hey, le chat noir has to keep the ladies happy. In my younger days of course. So don't judge. See, I'm 21 years old now. That's maybe a century for a human. If there were a cat Guiness Book of World Records for the longest living cat, I would definitely qualify.

Right now, I'm in a really bright room. It smells of chemicals here. I can't move. More because of the pain in my body. I see Michel through the window. He looks nostalgic, and sad. I may be just a cat, but I kind of sense that this will be the last of my nine lives. I want to get up and reassure him like I always do. Tell him it's going to be okay. But I can't move. Damn this pain! Maybe this is for the better. Am I ready?

Lying here gives me time to think. I do that a lot now at my age. It doesn't hurt as much when I'm not moving about. All I can think about are memories of my life with my family.

When I was younger, I loved to climb about and explore. The house seemed like a treasure trove to me! There were corners, and little spaces behind doors, under the beds, between the covers - countless places I found that made a good hiding place. Ideal for a kitten like me back in my days. There was a huge balcony filled with fresh flowers, and birds would perch themselves on the balcony rail. Another one of my favourite places. I think I was born with a fascination for these creatures of the air. They walk funny, they talk funny, they even look funny. The fat ones are the easiest to chase. They're so clumsy it must be hard and tiring for them to carry that fat body around with those tiny flappers. Chasing them off the balcony rail has become somewhat of a hobby and pleasant pass time for me. I could do that all day and before you know it, it's lunch time!

Lunches are great! So are dinners. There's salmon, ham, and sometimes leftovers from the table when Julien comes for dinner. I don't know when, but it was probably during this period that I developed an indescribable liking for PIZZA. Ah, pizza, the small of bread, tomato, bacon, cheese, and the occasional egg. All these individual ingredients are great alone. But combine them together and I'm whisked into a world of wonderous ecstasy.

I like Julien. He's a nice kid. We grew up together in the same house and spent a lot of time together in our childhood. I like being around him. When he was sad about something, or angry, I'd go up to him and tell him it was going to be alright. No one usually comes round him when he's upset. He doesn't allow anyone around him, except me. I think he understands me. We have some sort of affinity with one another. Then one day, he went off and never came home for a long time. I thought I'd never see him again. Now I'm blind and deaf, but my nose never takes a holiday. I could smell Julien in the house last Christmas. Could he really be home? I asked myself. Then he stroked me with his big warm hands, and I knew he was. He's back! Now I'd spend the rest of my life with him like old times. Truly the best day of my life, and one of the many great memories I would take with me.

Everytime I'm with my family, I don't feel like a cat. I did everything they did. I ate what they ate. I slept on their beds, sometimes I'd go under the covers when it's cold. When I feel like reflecting, I'd sit on the couch. They made me feel like I was one of them. Like family. And that, to me, is what we are. Still. Sure there were times when I misbehaved in my youth. Like any teenage cat, I once peed into Julien's school bag just because it was fun. Also because I was all alone at home that day and I didn't like that. I felt bad afterwards, and tried to tell him. But he wouldn't listen. He carried that bag to school that day. Wonder how his day went. Other times, I get grouchy, especially when I'm hungry. Sometimes, I'd claw Elizabeth just to show my displeasure. I like Liz. She's a very harmonious lady of the house, who seems to always know what I want. That's why I am only comfortable to show my displeasure to her. A really good cook too - I've tasted her salmons.

Another one of my favourite pass-times, is to sit on the leather couch in the living room. It's a huge place - the living room. Sometimes Michel reads there, and I love to sit by him while he's reading, listening to the clock tick. It calms me. I like calm, quiet places. Which is maybe why I enjoyed going to the countryside so much when I was a wee kitten. I do remember a big field of flowers and the smell of fresh grass was everywhere. What a complex, yet delicious mix of smells. I was so engrossed with my new environment and new smells that my nose was detecting with every step I took; a flower, some grass, another flower, the moist scent of dew, the earth beneath my paws. It wasn't too long that my nose had caught on this foreign scent. I sniffed harder, and searched the ground with more vigour. Suddenly, the sky went dark. The air grew warm, and a bad smell started to linger. I slowly looked up, curious to know where the sun had gone, and came face to face with a huge ugly creature. It was massive and it smelt really awful. I didn't know what it was, but I do know I didn't want to be someone else's food. So I cautiously back tracked, my gaze firmly locked onto the towering figure before me. One step, two steps, three steps back. When I was far enough, I turned and bolted! My heart beating so hard against my chest I thought it was going to punch itself out of my body. Never again. I told myself.

Right now, I'm in a lot of pain and I can't move. There's this cold wave flushing through my body. Funny enough, I don't feel scared. I feel calm, and at peace, almost relieved. And tired. Yes. I feel tired. Like I haven't slept in ages. Ironic for a cat, since I sleep most of the time. I think I should close my eyes and rest. Yet I don't want to. Somehow, I know that if I fall asleep now, I may never wake up. I want to call out to Michel. I see him by the window, looking at me with such a longing gaze. Almost as if he was saying goodbye. Is this really goodbye? I want to call out to Michel, but I'm too weak to speak. I hope he'll know. I hope they'll all know - my family......

That it's going to be alright. That I have lived a full, good life. Yes. I am ready. I may not wake up from this sleep, but what I can leave this family with - my family, is my honest love and my eternal gratitude. I am the happiest cat alive.



Oh Putain!

Monday was the start of the great move, and we’ve been poking our heads into one box after another, reorganising and repacking some stuff. This continued all through to Thursday. Phew!! Who decides to do a surprise welcome for us in our bedroom, but the mother of all cockroaches we have seen by far. It’s gigantic, and very well fed, and it FLIES. I don’t know how it got into our bedroom or when, but we only took notice of it because the cats were trying to get to it.

This one was a runner too. We didn’t know what to do at first because we were kind of intimidated by its size, so we just stared at it blankly for a good 5 mins or so. Then it moved!!!!

“AAAAHHH........!!!! JULIEN........!!!! DO SOMETHING!!!!!”

“I’m thinking!!!”

“Just DO something!!! Take some tissue or something!”

“Did you see the SIZE of that thing???!!!”

“Yes I did, Take 3 or 4 sheets then!”

So I was instructed to keep an eye on it while he came back with maybe about 5 sheets of kitchen paper. We tried the good old method of catch. But this bugger was fast! He was SO fast Julien just wasn’t able to catch him by hand! It went behind the shelves, along the walls, on the floor.... and then... it FLEW!!!!!

This sent the both of us running out of the room screaming into the living room. (Gross!!!!!!!!) At some point it flew onto Julien’s T-shirt and crawled around a little before flying off again!!!! (Double Gross!!!!!!!!!) It took us some time to calm down, but we went back in to look for it again. We weren’t going to be sleeping with it in our room. Found it by the stereo. This time, Julien decides to try something else..

“I’m going to burn it.”

“What?! How???! It’s on your stereo. Won’t that catch fire too?”

“I’m just going to burn it.”

He takes his deodorant spray and his lighter, and sparks up a mini burst of flame. NOTHING. It’s still there by the side of the stereo and it didn’t even flinch. Maybe it’s burnt and dead? We took a while to look to see if it moved. It moved again! Then comes another mini burst of flames. It survived it still and it’s probably getting tired of us. So it makes a sudden dash, towards the door in our direction, which sends me screaming off into the living room again. This time my brave Julien stayed in the room. He was determined to catch it tonight!

From the living room, I thought Julien was dancing at first, but then I realised he was hopping because the cockroach was running about at his feet!!! The next few moments happened in a flash. I heard more feet shuffling, and a loud “OOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!”, and then I heard “THOUGHT I COULDN’T CATCH YOU, HUH???!!!!” and then, FLUSH goes the toilet. Then silence.

“You can come in now. It’s safe.” Julien, with his deep voice of chivalry. So different from the one when he was screaming.

MY HERO!!!!!!!!!!!! Hahahahahahaha!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Our New “Home”

I actually wrote a full blog and had published it, but just as I clicked “publish”, something happened and I lost my post. So I’m typing this again.

Hmmm, how should I start (again)? We’ve moved into our new flat and already we want to move out. There were a series of happenings that led up to our eventual moving, and it’s been tough. We just didn’t say it. But now I will.

When the maid came over to the new flat, she couldn’t stop about how old, run down and dingy this new place was. And that she couldn’t believe we were paying this amount of rent for such a place. What she didn’t know was: 1. That rental prices have shot up since, and 2: The previous few flats that we saw were a lot worse than this. This place that we’ve moved into is very similar to the first flat we rented when Julien came to Singapore, but we had paid rent for this first flat at a lot lower a price compared to the market rate. Our first landlord or landlady I should say is nice. She was a retiree and she and her husband were going to stay with their kids in a bigger home. She was really attached to this flat, and couldn’t bear to sell it, so even after she moved, she regularly came back to clean the flat. When I met the landlady, she told me that she wasn’t really renting the flat for the money, which explains why we got that flat at below market rate. She just really wanted someone to look after and take care of the place while she was “away”. So why did we not rent the same flat from our first landlady? Well, because she’s already found a tenant.

We had signed a 1 year lease with this landlady to be renewed yearly until we found a place of our own. She knew we were just married and looking for a place to buy. We’ve stayed there about 2 years, and our lease was almost up for the 2nd year. I guess perhaps Julien prefers variety and did mention loosely that maybe we should look for a new place to rent. If we did find a place we liked, good. If not, the rent will be renewed anyway at the end of that year, so we were not too bothered.

Lesson 1: If it’s too good to be true, then it’s not good.

I received a call from a relative one day, proposing us to rent his parent’s place. His situation was pretty similar to the land lady’s – he had bought a bigger place and the plan was for his parents to live with him. Hence, we could occupy his parent’s flat. A bigger flat for the same rental price as our first flat. That sounds pretty good. We were told that we could stay until we found a place of our own. The deal was on! We told our landlady that we found a bigger place and we didn’t need to renew the rent for the following year.

Lesson two: Pay attention to your spouse. They pick up things you may not.

When we went over to my relative’s parent’s place to collect the keys before the move, Julien had somehow picked up some vibe that his parents were not too keen on moving. I wasn’t feeling it, so I didn’t think too much about it. Looking back now, I do wonder if they wanted to move in the first place and what were they told about our lease at the first flat? Because I have an inkling that this could have been the cause of a huge misunderstanding. Now, it seems that they had the impression all along that they were doing us a favour by renting us the flat since our lease was going to be up. That’s not the case here. We broke our renewal with the landlady. The infamous line to us before we left, was “Anything can be discussed in the future since we’re all family”. That would be lesson 5 for me.

Lesson 3: Always, Always, Always draw up a contract, because it could be the only thing that could protect you, even from family.

So we broke our renewal and moved into the bigger flat. About 2 – 3 weeks after moving into the flat, we were told that my relative’s dad wanted to move back! What a situation to be caught in! What was funny about this, was that this news didn’t come directly from my relative or his dad. We had to hear it from other relatives who would call me up and volunteer the information. Apparently the news was passed around till it reached me – his dad would stress out his wife, his wife would call my aunt and stress her out, my aunt would call my parents and stress them out, then my parents would call me. I don’t like this merry go round system, so I called this relative direct to check if the rumours were true and they were. We even offered to move out, since we had time to move back into the first flat as the landlady had not rented it out yet, but we were told that it’s alright, and that he could be over reacting.

Lesson 4: It’s easy to let someone in your home, but never as easy to get them out.

Over the course of about 6 months, things changed from, it’s alright, to yeah he’s a depressed but it’s ok, to I think you may need to start looking for a flat. And look for a flat we did! We looked hard. Most of our time, including our weekends, was spent either visiting flats, or looking through websites for property rental. Unfortunately, most of the flats we viewed we could not LIVE in literally. There was hardly any renovation done, no new paint, the paint was falling from the ceilings and the walls, the toilets were old and the squat type which are not ideal for our cats, some of them did not include any furniture at all. This went on for months! We got sick of looking at rotten flats we couldn’t see ourselves living in. So we asked for help. Our relative did help forward some links for property rental, but some were already rented out, others the agents did not even bother calling us back, and one or two, Julien was honest about our cats and we were rejected.

I don’t know when we decided this, but we were so sick of living at someone else’s mercy, and maybe also sick of looking at rotten rented flats, we changed our minds and decided to look for a place to buy. And we did view many flats. Even shortlisted 3 to buy. But for various reasons, we didn’t in the end. I was spent. I remember sitting at Holland Village after a viewing and I started to tear uncontrollably. I just felt helpless, lost, and homeless.

Lesson 5: At crunch time, there may never be room for discussion, even as family.

Another few weeks after, I received an sms from this relative asking me if we could let them know when we would be able to find a flat to buy so they can inform their dad, because he’s started to ask them everyday now when we are moving out. I think that was probably the biting point for us. I don’t know about others, but for me personally, I don’t know how to answer to a question like that. How long would I take to find a place I like to buy? I don’t know. When we see it we will know it. I didn’t want a situation where we committed a time frame and come that time, we still haven’t found anything suitable. What then? Are we to blame then?

One quick phone discussion with the Yeti and it was decided that we would move out immediately. This stress was just not worth it. Never mind that the rental prices have gone up. Never mind that the next flat is not even what we would like. Never mind that it’s far and inconvenient. We just want out. So the next day we just arranged for as many viewings as we could in that one day and picked the least lousy flat to rent.

Lesson 6: It’s always better to just be honest, even if it seems like it’s the hardest thing to do.

I’m pro honesty. Tell me the truth even if it hurts. That’s me. Perhaps for the longest time this relative has been trying to buy time for us (I don’t know that for a fact), by telling his dad that we’re moving soon, but at the same time telling us that things are ok and that his dad’s just over reacting. I don’t know this for a fact but I’m quite sure something along those lines happened. That the situation presented to me was not as it was completely. And probably more so for the father.

Lesson 7: Accept, Deal, Adapt, Forgive, Let go.

I also don’t know what had transpired between my relative and his parents, but it seems like they have the impression that they have “given us a lot of time to move but we didn’t do anything about it.” And I don’t appreciate their sentiments one bit. We were stressed, frustrated and spent just trying our best to find what was ideal. The maid complains about our current place, but she doesn’t know how bad the other places we had viewed prior to this place were. Given a choice, we wouldn’t even choose this place! We just did plainly because we had no choice.

We tried to think of alternatives for my relative’s father to move back in as soon as possible because that’s all he seems to be able to think about. It doesn’t matter that we don’t have a place to go to. It doesn’t matter that we need time to find an ideal place that’s liveable. It doesn’t matter that rental prices has gone up. It doesn’t matter that the lease was broken even before it was finished. It just doesn’t matter. All that matters is how much he wants his flat back. We proposed for him to move back and we take the guest room while he stays in the master bedroom, and we look for another place from there. But that was declined. Also, I’m just realising that had we really signed a contract with them, they would have to compensate us for the rest of the year since we moved out before the year was up.

So I’ll just say this. Stop the speculation/gossip. If you really want to find out what happened, then speak to me directly. There’s this great invention called the telephone. There’s no need to call up people who are not involved to stress them out unnecessarily, and there’s definitely no need to sift out information from the maid either, especially after we’ve moved.

I’m upset and disappointed, but I guess my next step would be learning to accept, deal, adapt, forgive and finally, to let it go.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

It's half past midnight and I can't sleep. I'm all excited since I should be up in the next 5 hours to be able to get to the airport on time to pick my Yeti up. YAY! My mind's racing at the moment so I thought I'd come on and write a post.

I had a really busy work day packed with appointments back to back sometime earlier in the week, and by the time I had settled my last appointment for the day, I was exhausted and starving. So I head to the nearest cafe I could get to for lunch at 5pm Singapore time. Finally! I thought to myself some good time to myself to unwind. I could take my time over my meal and then maybe dessert and then have a nice cup of tea to finish it off. My seafood aglio olio arrived shortly and I was starting on it when I don't know for what reason, I looked up at the entrance that I was sitting right in front of, and there who decides to walk in then but my ex boyfriend. So I wave hello, and go back to wolfing down my overdue lunch. Within minutes I had finished my main, and was looking through the menu for desserts, when I hear "HEY YOU!!".

Who decides to drop by my table, but the ex. Let's call him C. C invites himself to sit down and then asks how I am, what I'm doing now, etc etc. I tell him I'm in the same job in insurance, it's been about 4 years now, and I'm pretty happy where I am at the moment, etc etc. I don't really remember clearly what we were talking about really. What was going on in my head at that moment was how loud I thought he was speaking. He was talking so loud that the people on the other side could hear me. I know that for a fact (and I'm not exaggerating here) because when he moved to where he came from, which was right at the other end of the cafe, I could hear him loud and clear too from where I was. So he made me feel pretty uncomfortable. Somehow, I felt like everyone could hear what he was telling me. And within a short span of 10mins everyone knew I was in insurance for 4 years, and that it's something that he thinks suits my character and personality well. So that was the first thing. The second thing about him I noticed straight away, was how high pitched his voice was. It's like he never hit puberty. OK, now i'm exaggerating, but you get my drift.

So my mind kept wandering while he kept talking, and he did talk for a while. I didn't really know what to say most of the time. I guess I wasn't really in the mood to socialise to begin with. I was pretty tired already from my last appointment and all I really wanted to do was to have some time alone and relax; take my mind off work. De-stress.

He probably noticed that my mind was elsewhere and decided to say goodbye. He had to go for another meeting anyway, but just decided to come by and say hello. Which was nice. He got off the seat and disappeared under the table. Oh yes, I remember now. He's really short too for a guy ; 1.65m.

I know I'm exaggerating to some extent here, but honestly, there was a part where all I could think of in my head, was "what about this guy did you like then?". It's weird how just a few years back, I was crazy about this guy. And now I meet him again years later and realise there was nothing attractive about him. It's not like he had changed. He's still the same. He looks the same, he wears the same haircut, he talks the same, he sounds the same. Was it me that changed then? One thing's for sure though, we were totally incompatible even back then. That's why it didn't work out in the end. I was just too emotionally attached then to see it as clearly as I do now. Even his personality and character's the same. C was trying to impose some of his views on me about what he thinks about something, and in the past, I allowed that. Thank GOD I married the right person, because with Julien, he respects my opinions and never forcefully imposes his views on me. And since I've gotten used to that, I find what C was doing very off putting. Maybe that's why I wasn't really chatty too.

Someone once told me that marrying the right person's like days of Heaven on Earth, and marrying the wrong person's like days of Hell on Earth. To a certain extent, I do agree with this statement. I don't think I would have enjoyed my time with C as much as I do with Julien now if I had married C, and that was on the cards then. It just didn't work out somehow, and looking back now, I'm so glad it didn't.

C, I wish you well, and happiness with the right person, as I have found with Julien.

Okay off to bed!!! 4 hours of sleep! Yikes!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Crazy (Tissue) Love

So this is a continuation about Panda's love for my facial tissue. It's been a looooong time since I took it out of the drawer, but the moment he heard it (yes he can differentiate sounds), he ran in with a desperate look of anticipation in his eyes! He saw it and did not hesitate one moment. And this time he didn't care if I was watching!!! Crazy cat.

Zooming in on his target...

Got it...

And off he goes!!!

Tossing it in the air..

Clawing it....

Tossing it again... all this going on while Mouse (and I) looks on in bewilderment.

I try to take a close up shot of this facial tissue pack just to show how torn and tattered Panda has made it, but look at him!!! He wouldn't let me!!! He was literally wrestling with me for the pack because he thinks I was going to banish his love into the drawer of darkness again until he tries to rescue her from my clutches. Look at the determination on his face!
Panda fighting (hard) for his love

Check out the other beer holder pack I made him just to distract him from attacking my facial tissue years back. It's all torn and scratched!!! I was trying to distract him so I could keep the facial tissue, but he caught my bluff in the end. So I let him at it. What he doesn't know is that it's going to be a really short reunion.

You crazy little cat you.