Saturday, January 08, 2011

Here comes the Sun...

Singapore’s weather rarely changes,

“...and today’s weather is.... 32 degrees with a chance of rain” 

In fact we have a theory, that they have recycled the weather forecast from 1977. One thing you get very accustomed to here is being prepared with an umbrella. I have some in my car, by the door, in my handbag. Regardless of how sunny it is, chances are that you will be caught in at least one shower whilst out.

It’s tropical, it usually passes very fast and always dries out really quickly. I don’t mind, actually, I kinda like it. I find it a welcome change as it usually drops the temperature slightly. Those in Oz are thinking 32.. Wow I’d love 32, but ours is a different heat, it’s a tropical heat that is paired with 95% humidity. We do occasionally go over the 40 degree mark, and those days are insanely unbearable.

Recently though, the rain has been persistent. We should be coming to the tail end of the rainy season now (November, December). That’s the only seasons we have, no summer no winter.... Just wet and dry... And dry is still wet, just wet is wetter. Kids new favorite activity is rain riding. As long as there is no lightning I indulge their love to frolic in the rain, in the puddles in the mud. Their bikes may rust a little faster, but this is Singapore, everything rusts faster here.  It helps to shake off their cabin fever... for me that's all that counts.
‘Living in Singapore, we are ranked the second highest rate of lightning activity in the world after the mountains of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.’
ALL houses/building have lightning conductors in Singapore. either our house or one of our neighbours gets hit at least once a week. I’ve even had one of our trees explode in the front yard due to a lightning strike, electric gates explode – it’s all very dramatic!

But, today was a pleasant day. Yes we had a shower just before lunch, yes a storm threatened, but it never eventuated, a cool breeze ran through the house and the kids got to hit the pool.


Friday, January 07, 2011

Done & Done

 Deadline met, even with an unexpected visit from friends after wrapping up last night's blog... friends that stayed for a few drinks.  ( not encouraged at all! )
This is what a quiet week looks like in the party bag world.
(and now I must say goodnight :-)


Thursday, January 06, 2011

The Art of Procrastinating

What did I do today?

Not much, and ALOT of it... but I was VERY busy whilst doing it.

Why is it, that a few weeks ago, I managed 1010 party bags (yes you will get this referred to quite a lot in my blog I'm sure, as I'm very proud of that weeks achievements!) and then one of the quietest week of my work year, sees me at Thursday night with my 100 bags still to do? All week I have found any excuse not to work, that includes creating a blog, tweaking said blog, reading other blogs, finding great blogs to follow, pondering exactly what I would post next as nothing interesting happened today apart from me doing alot of nothing & thumping away at the keyboard right now. Out of all the things I do well, I excel at the art of postponement.

I know that the bags will get done, I
ALWAYS meet a deadline, but why do I leave it to the last minute, when I've had all week to casually work through them? Now it’s going to be a long night or early morning... Who am I kidding? Looong night, I don’t do mornings remember?

I know it's not just me. My kids are also procrastinators, is that something they learnt from me, or developed all on their own? Let's not dwell the cause as I may not like the answer :-)

I know that family around the world are dying to know how the kids are doing, honestly not that much of an exciting day in the kingdom. It's holidays, we're bored, Mum has to work... but is finding other things to fill her day.

So what did we actually do today? 

(This is where I give permission for those not related by blood to tune out)

J & L had pretty much the same day as each other. Spent alternating on bikes, on Wii, eating, on bikes, on Wii etc.. everything in their own time. Ask them to do something, always found something much better to do, even if that thing was seeing how many times you could fold a piece of paper.
Wash your hands - -
‘in a sec mum, got to see which leaf is a darker colour.’ 
Please put the juice box in the bin - - ‘in a sec mum, I just have to finish.. ‘(trailing off into something indecipherable) 
Please put some clothes on L -  ‘I just have to...’
  J your shirt is on backwards, turn it around dude! - ‘After I kill this alien’
End result... sun has gone down I glance over at them caked in grime,  juice boxes littered the lounge, one naked boy, one with shirt on backwards debating who should go in the bath first. 

'But I can't as I am breaking the record for how long the spinning top goes for'
Sigh...I'll deal with them after I....

S slept in and I had to drag her out of bed at 7:45 (!) as she was going to the zoo with a friend. Although stupidly excited to go, I got greeted by a grinning grunt and a snuggle down further under her quilt, ‘Just five more minutes’  how old is she again? 7 going on 17. After taking FOREVER to do anything, I finally got her ready before her chariot arrived.  I get a text shortly after they arrive notifying me that she was now a honoree member of the 'A' family.  Their zoo pass was up for renewal and with the Singapore Zoo Family pass, you get to have two adults and three kids on the pass, which includes a photo. ('tis seriously great value! Plus, If you have a pass you can take an adult in place of your partner, and other children in place of your own - so you can have a completely different family for the day if you wish to do so). As the A's only have two kids, S got to be in their family portrait, and will have frequent trips to the zoo with the A's . (today's behavior dependent I'm sure)

Do we now have to hyphenate her name?

The Singaporean rain set in more than usual today, with the troupe making a premature departure from the zoo. S has decided to move in with her new adopted family, inviting herself for a sleepover, for which I don't blame her. Over there, she has two little sisters and NO brothers, plus they have hamsters - - thanks R... will never hear the end of it now! From what I gather, I believe she may have had a productive day after all?!?

Z was the busiest of them all, waking in song, as usual; putting his nappy in the bin outside, as usual; helping fix breakfast, as usual; helping hang the clothes out, as usual; then he was summoned down the road to his girlfriends house - the gorgeous 'E' to play and entertain her for a couple of hours; back for lunch where he clowned around, as usual. The day goes on like this. He is a little hard worker, loves helping out, loves sitting a chilling as I try to work. His procrastination always lies around going to bed, not wanting to miss a moment of what goes on in the household, he starts babbling as much as he can. He is our comedian, with a dry sense of humor that would have rivaled my father's. You cannot help to laugh, scoop him up and listen intently as he talks about dogs wearing shoes and hats.... eyebrow raises followed by a giggle - he knows he is funny. Every day he fills my heart! He finishes off his day trying unsuccessfully to get out of going to bed, nigh nigh Z  'Noooo... I watch dis' pointing at my computer –, sorry buddy

So from here I MUST say goodnight, I seriously need to go make magic with these party bags.
Sign off, pour a glass of red. But wait... I haven't checked in a
G's blog yet...

Reflections of Friendship

The re-appearance of me, after 2 & 1/2 yrs, into the Blogging world, is primarily due to an Old friend, B.

B and I met over 12 years ago and were drawn together by our mutual crushes... mine on a singer, hers on a guitarist. Mine was a very fleeting crush (seriously I think the relationship lasted a couple of weeks) whereas she was already dating said boy, and later moved on to marry and multiply with amazing results!

Our face to face friendship was brief, as I shortly after met the love of my life, who swept me off my feet and whisked me OS at amazing speed. Great oceans could not destroy the bond that we had formed.  For this I pretty much had no part in, but am forever grateful. As life progressed and I failed at keeping bridges between myself and old friends 'back home',
B never failed to keep contact. When I just could not be bothered working at keeping communications open with old friends (for which I will regret for a life-time) she never failed to pop up unexpectedly, from changes in home, email addresses, phone numbers - - somehow she found me (and all before FB!)

I do admit at times I thought it was a tad stalkerish that she kept finding me, without any help. But perhaps I felt that way because I myself was making no effort at all to keep contact with those I had connected to over the years, and found it hard to believe that one would value my friendship that much.
After years of short email updates, one-liner emails to check how I was- acquaintance stuff... FB happened. Her Blog happened.

Now I could glimpse into her life on my terms (hmmm... Had I become the stalker?)

The girl I once knew, swapped clothes with, clubbed with, was no longer there. What I could see was an amazingly beautiful woman, both externally and internally. Dedicated to her business and encompassed by her family, that she adores with her every fibre. B inspires everyone that knows her to strive to be a better parent, a better partner/lover, a better friend and a better person in general. To live life with passion.  I love the way she speaks about her two gorgeous cherubs, the way that they speak about her. From love notes in lunch-boxes, on dressing tables, text message, to surprise cards - the writings of a child never lie. They are a complete credit to
B & Mr K, as they could have only learnt how to express themselves with such love through their parents.

But what I love most, is she admits that she is not perfect, that life is not perfect... the glimpses into her life are not falsities, they are her life.  It is all true - no pretend. Since our reconnection on FB, we have once again started talking, sharing intimacies of a friendship. A friendship I now cherish greatly.

As an expat I see alot of people come and go, trying to maintain the image, but there is no sincerity in their actions. I’m still not great at separating the Bull***t from the crowd, but am getting better at doing so, and stronger at avoiding those that aren’t real.  True friendship is quite hard to find and especially difficult in this transient lifestyle. I have made a handful of amazing friends throughout my years abroad and for that I am blessed.

The more we talk, the more I am amazed that it took me so long to embrace this wonderful woman, but I think I may have needed to grow too. Selfless, supportive, inspiring, dedicated, unwavering, vulnerable, passionate- - If just half of her could rub off on me I would be most honored.
Mostly I want to say THANX  
B! For our friendship, I owe you big time!
Who knew the party girls from years ago, would be where we are today. Mwawww Love you Chickee!


Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Laughter is the Best Medicine!

The last week (and then some) I've been really really ill,  barely able to drag myself out of bed, any activity was quickly followed by a return to bed to sleep. During periods of consciousness, what I could hear was raucous laughter. Sometimes one voice, sometimes two, sometimes the whole lounge room would erupt. I would drift to sleep dreaming of joining them. I am thankful for my secret weapon, she allowed me to recover with the knowledge that my kids were safe, entertained and most importantly happy. I could go on here, but she is a topic for another blog - - today is about the medicine that made me better.

This morning I woke to the most beautiful giggles...
Z was playing peekaboo with his teddies in his cot as the sun crept under the door. It's virtually impossible to moan and frown when the most precious littlen sings Old McDonald at the top of his lungs. Still it was early and I'm still groggy and weak from eight days of little nourishment, so I dragged myself to his room, inched open the door peeking around the corner, hoping to be able to spy on him unseen only to be greeted by 'Mumma!!!'

The flurry of activity then had me giggling as usual. I get ordered around in the most politest of ways
"Mumma, blanket, put back peeease " (please Mummy make my bed)
"Bottle Milk, Zaccy doit! "  (I would like some milk, but can I pour the formula in?)
"Peease Nappy in da bin, Zaccy doit " (Please change my pants, and I'll put the nappy in the bin)
As he threw his arms around my neck kissing my cheeks and pulling silly faces at me amongst giggles, it was amazing that I could feel my strength returning. We headed to the kitchen -
"Mumma cook eggs for Zaccy" please- I reminded him .  "Peeeease" (grin) then to the fridge to get the eggs.

As we hung out in the kitchen, one by one other kidlets emerged, grinning from ear to ear to see Mumma back on her feet.
L is next with the bear hugs, me realizing that he would now not leave my side for the remainder of the day.  S goes all giddy jumping straight into cutesy voice and strokes my arm like a pony.  J, the eldest gives me a hug and a kiss, then remembers that he is too cool for so much affection so early in the morning.

I am not a morning person. But if every morning started like today I'd be springing out of bed.