Tuesday, 1 May 2018

the grown up bed

I finally have a grown up bed

My old bed from IKEA lasted 18 years... yes ...I still dont believe its been 18 years, and that includes the IKEA mattress too.. 

I have always had issues with my back muscles, and as I have progressively aged, my back in tandem seems to be acting up more, the old bed didnt help, I would wake up in pain and have to use my hot pack several times a day just to be able to move without wincing or moaning.

So after weeks of scanning websites, sales and going down to try out mattresses I finally bought a new bed. 

the old bed
My old bed was low, about 1.5 feet off the ground, which made it harder for me to get off the bed after a night of painful back breaking sleep on the woefully inadequate support mattress I had, but the bed frame was still in pretty good shape.  
Which led to weeks of agonising debate within myself, on wasting a perfectly good bed frame.. but it had to go.  So I did the next best thing, I put it up for sale on Carousell, where we in Singapore sell everything (I have sold my old corelle tea cups and my old winter coat) The bed frame sold within hours of me putting it up on the site which made me happy to know that the bed frame was going to be used and not just wasted.

The mattress however would not be good for anyone, so I would have to throw that away... to the landfill it goes I guess..

the new bed..cant see the bedside table in the corner

My old bedside tables are dwarfed by the bed, but I wont be getting rid of those as they are mid century pieces that my grandmother used.. but I finally feel like a big girl now with a nice adult bed..

the gluten free singaporean

I have always loved baking and cooking, trying out recipes and creating delicious meals and treats.

When I realised that gluten didnt quite agree with me I was pretty upset as it would be difficult to continue baking with normal flours.  That led me to experiment with different gluten free flours which took quite some time till I found the right blend of flours that would mimic wheat and gluten.

Once I got the balance right, I started experimenting with recipes and found that I could successfully convert recipes to GF baking.  There were plenty of disasters, I have had to throw loads of experiments gone wrong in the bin.
With practice came almost perfection, and the best compliment I get is, you cant tell its Gluten Free, so with the encouragement of the sons and the daughter in law and son no 2's girlfriend, I actually thought why not make it a sort of business..

I was never going to be the corporate goddess, I hate the corporate world and all the ass kissing that happens.  I am too blunt, sarcastic and just downright naive to excel in a world where the ass kissers and ball carrying  thrive.  So with me being employed (from tomorrow) on a part time basis, I needed something to pump up the income... hence the GF baking and the birth of the gluten free singaporean -  The facebook page

Salmon & Spinach Quiche
 the cinnabuns
The next step is awareness of my brand and baking.. which leads to more experiments in the kitchen of tarts, GF bread and cinnamon buns.  Bread is quite a challenge, GF bread is very dense so am still trying to get the right flours to make it lighter ( like they have in the supermarkets in the UK, best GF bread!)


I used to be the one eating all the baking I did, which had my waistline complaining, so now as I try to make rough puff, hot water crust and short crust pastry, I need a new plan on the ingesting of said experiments.

I  did give some to mum but after the last time I gave her the first attempt of
cinnamon buns ( they werent wrapped tight enough so the sugar melted and leaked out and created a burnt bottom on some) she complained that they were terrible... I may need to find volunteers that are aware these are experiments and I promise not to give them the totally gone wrong ones.....

I am also lactose intolerant, so the cream and butter in the quiches and tarts will have me running to the loo so I desperately need volunteers to eat all the stuff I bake.. any takers?
GF choc brownies - these are pretty good.. not on the taste test list..



Monday, 12 March 2018

epic fail starhub

so my cable company sent me a happy women's day coupon.....
ignore the very bad attempt at covering my name on this thing but seriously, to celebrate women's month, I get to feel like I need to achieve my ideal figure and get greater body confidence...






Saturday, 24 February 2018

recuperating needs nourishment

While son no 1 was in hospital, he had to rely on eating what the hospital fed him..

Eggs and muffin for breakfast.. 
roast beef..... dried tasteless.. I tried it..
I figured that there must be some nutritionist somewhere deep in the bowels of the hospital that worked with the kitchens to prepare something resembling good decent nourishing food for the patients.




beef stew.. 


Unfortunately it wasn't so.
The nurses and staff at the hospital were wonderful, the care he received was brilliant but . the food, oh my the food

turkey meatloaf - not too bad pity about
the frozen veg
We feed our souls, we feed our bodies the right nourishment to get better.  I have always believed in that, the food we put into our bodies has to be fresh and cooked well.  I could not fathom the chefs on TV extolling the benefits of buy fresh and cook fresh, I thought that was what people already did, why was it such a 'new' thing to do, we had been doing it for ages.   then I came to North America and saw how people ate here.  Its scary.

Whats worse is that they feed that food to patients trying to get better in hospital.  It doesn't make people feel better.  One look at the food only made one feel worse.. much worse.

hard boiled egg... with shell.. how does a patient who has had surgery 
and cant use an arm, crack open that egg..

winter wonderland

So i got my first taste of what its like living in wintery conditions..

Vancouver
If adequately dressed its fine but when you have boots that arent made for icy roads it can be hazardous.. slippery and scary as I found out..













While son lay in a hospital in Vancouver post op, his wife and I were in a hotel close by and we would visit with him each day, getting to him early in the morning and going back to the hotel after 9pm.  and its been cold, -5 cold with snow flurries.. its really no fun walking in that kind of weather.

its not easy for me breathing in the cold air, its like the air supply suddenly slows down and you have to take deep gulping breaths just to get a smidgen of oxygen into the lungs.
on Vancouver Island.


but the snow is pretty, it makes everything look so calm and peaceful and when its falling its just magical. 
I know it disrupts everything, roads get wet and icy and its hard to walk on the snow without falling over and getting hurt for some but its just simply beautiful, for someone like me who lives in 30 degree weather all year round, winter has been quite simply beautiful.



Thursday, 8 February 2018

delays

I arrived in Canada last night, tired, jetlagged but happy to be with son no 1 and my daughter in law.
why do i have to call her daughter in law.. cant I just say my son just gave me the daughter i never had..but then that would be weird as my daughter technically cant marry my son... my head hurts..

well anyway, after delays on the ground in Singapore, there had been an incident on one of the runways, the airshow is being held in Singapore and one of the aircraft crashed on the airport runway which led to flight delays. I hope the pilot of that plane is ok

I was supposed to be airborne and on the way to Taipei where I would get my connecting flight to Vancouver by 3.45pm, but because of the delays, we only took off at 6.45pm which is a 3 hour delay....
which meant that I could miss my connecting flight out of Taipei.

so before we landed in Taipei, I spoke to the cabin crew and they put me up front in business class, for just the landing,  no i didnt get to stay in business class all the way, so I could be one of the first to get off the plane and try to run to catch my connecting flight.
I made it to the connecting flight on time, but was worried about my bags..... I did not want to end up with no bags..

In Vancouver, much to my relief, my bags were on the belt for me to take to domestic for my last transfer but there was another flight delay on the last leg of the journey... a 30 min delay to take a 13 min flight from Vancouver to Nanaimo..

all in too many delays, 24 hours of traveling, but finally arriving in Nanaimo.

Son goes in for surgery next week...

Monday, 29 January 2018

i lasted 5 days on tinder

I thought why not give it a go

P thinks I hide away at home and avoid meeting people and I thought yeah maybe I am hiding. But I also realised that I enjoy being at home, alone, watching Netflix. So thats not really hiding is it?
But it does get lonely sometimes and I do wish I could find someone to play house with, but as I dont go out or put myself out there, the chances are very slim.

I realised quickly that there were scammers galore on tinder.  I was really disappointed and maybe I should have given it a bit longer but as everyone keeps telling me that I dont know what I want so how the hell am i supposed to figure it out on Tinder, I deleted my account after 5 days.

Maybe I am one of those that will end up all alone, with cats, and a shotgun... for unwanted guests.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

the love life

I have been at this blog writing thing for a few years now and each year I check how many posts I do a year.  2017 was the worst, only 21 posts, each year they seem to be getting less and less and I am getting more miserable as time goes by, and not writing enough.
no wonder I am miserable, I am not writing enough!!

I quit my job last year and had one project to do, and was totally with nothing to do from the middle of November.  I went off to Europe to catch up with P and have a good holiday.
To sort my head a bit and think about what I wanted.

I did go see P to see if he and I had any hope of having a relationship, but P didnt want a relationship and I wasnt sure about him.  Its like if someone doesnt show any interest, you automatically revert to being friends, so P and I are just friends, good friends and I seriously enjoy his company.

I had stopped seeing A since June, I hadnt talked to him since then either.  He texted a couple of times but I didnt reply.  I did start talking to him when I got back home after the holiday.  Not to go back to the way it was, I missed talking to him and I wanted to try to be friends.
Things did escalate to the point of him trying to persuade me to go back to where it was but I cant.  He thinks intimacy can be achieved without sharing a life. I cant do that.  He doesnt want the drama of living and being with a woman.  He wants the peaceful balance to remain in his life, being with a woman will upset that.  He isnt wrong in wanting that and I am not wrong in wanting a live in lover/friend/companion/partner.  its a pity we both want different things and as he keeps reminding me, "you cant always get what you want"
So after 8 years of fighting, going back and forth and trying to do things his way, I am done.

I still will talk to him, still text but hopefully we can keep it as just friends and not revert to old habits of flirting etc.

so that leaves me wide open to go find someone..... am I up to it?  Can I be bothered to start from scratch and trawl through online or tinder for a match?

Who knows..



Monday, 22 January 2018

almost done

The contractors have left, my home is back to what it was, well almost

I got rid of all the junk i had accumulated over the years and re arranged some furniture, got new curtains for my room and as I had to move lots of furniture around, the whole place got a marvellous purge of dust and grime. Oh and I finally cleaned my windows after 3 ( or was it 4 ) years.

There are still some bits left to do , like getting a new water heater, as the old one is rusty and leaking now..why does one need a water heater in hot and humid singapore, well because we're pussies and cant shower with cold water..
and had to change one of the old taps that suddenly sprang a leak once the contractors replaced my fittings in the bathrooms, and no they werent about to give me a new tap.

nice accent tiles
welcome to my wet room




















The place still has a thin film of fine dust, after they hacked away at the bathroom tiles but I think another good mop of the place should do the trick. 
There are exposed copper pipes in the bathrooms ( HDB does not allow water pipes to be hidden in walls as our walls are concrete and tiled) but I kind of like those pipes and I had them painted white before so could do that some day. and the grouting work sucks..


Bathrooms in singapore especially in the HDB flats are tiny and more like wet rooms, they get wet all over when you shower, unless you spend money to box yourself into a minuscule shower cubicle.

But I got  new tiles and everything for an extremely low price and all in my home feels refreshed, like a new start, just like for me...





Tuesday, 16 January 2018

nightmare

So today was the day the contractors would be fitting all the toilets and sinks ( the one they saved) and the accessories like towel rails, shower and bathroom cabinets (the one they broke).

But, there is always a but, they had not finished tiling my bathroom, it was impossible for the plumber to start.  I also had an issue with the section they blocked off for the shower area, it was too small to stand in and actually have a shower....
retiling today.. 
It was an exhausting day, i was yelling at them, getting riled up about wall plugs and fittings they had broke ( another thing they broke) and didnt tell me.

The best part was the plumbers supervisor telling me that the plumbing company will dock the workers pay for my broken bathroom cabinet.  I was horrified, and that supervisor knew he had a sucker on hand and he milked it.

 I found out later that docking the workers pay was illegal...
the lengths these contractors go to.. I was not amused!
Am i going to get my money for the cabinet... i dont bloody know!

So its been a nightmare day, for me and for the men working in my place today as I am sure I gave as good as I got.

Tomorrow is the final day and the handover... I hope there will be no more surprises...


Wednesday, 10 January 2018

i want to go home

So the Housing Development Board (HDB) in Singapore is  the government body that builds and sells high rise flats for the populace.  They also run and organise the upgrading of the older estates.
Singapore mainly consists of housing that is made up of high rise condos and these HDB housing estates.  These HDB estates are called heartlands where the middle to lower income citizens live.  These government built flats are by no means cheap to purchase but cheaper than private developments in land scarce Singapore.

I bought my flat after my divorce in 1997, and have lived there for the last 20 years.  HDB first did upgrading to our lifts, we didn't have lifts stopping on every floor, but now do.  The most recent upgrading was to our bathrooms.  Those of us that didn't do any earlier renovations to the bathrooms could opt to participate in the upgrading exercise to have both bathrooms in the flat completely gutted, and refitted.

furniture all wrapped and covered ready for contractors
I changed my toilets and sinks a few years back and was pissed with myself and the HDB because I knew that I had to do this upgrade as my tiles were in need of an urgent upgrade and that would mean losing my relatively new toilets and sinks
With alot of begging and cajoling I managed to get them to promise to save my sink when they were going to demolish the bathroom.  I am glad to report that they managed to do that.....but they damaged my bathroom mirror cabinet (some call it a medicine cabinet), I get to go get a new one which they will pay for... and rightly so!
They also broke my bathroom ceiling light...

all covered up...scene from dexter..

The whole upgrading of my flat will take 9 days and as there are no functioning bathrooms in the flat, I moved to stay with Mum for the duration.  I have had to go each morning to my flat to unlock the doors, then to lock up again in the evening which is excellent exercise time for me... however I wonder about the flat being left open all day... i have no faith in my fellow man and I am hoping some delinquent wont go in and damage or steal anything from the place.  I have locked most of my items that can be carried out easily in the spare rooms but one never knows.....
gutted...









I am missing my home.  I am missing my space and its only day 3.  Its not just the space I am missing, I am missing being by myself.  I am also stressed that I have errands to run and things to do, and make sure I go open and lock up each day.  The control freak in me wont allow me to relinquish responsibility to someone to help with the locking up.  I am stressed, out of my comfort zone and I just want to go home....

Monday, 11 December 2017

snow.. no not Jon Snow, just snow

I live in Asia, in sunny Singapore that has a hot tropical climate.  Rain, humidity and hot scorching days are our reality and when any Singaporean gets a chance to see snow, we take that opportunity.

But we dont know what to do when we do eventually see it.... well the snow virgins like me dont..

So on the last day of my holiday, P drove me to Limone Piemonte in Italy as I really wanted o see snow.  Its about a 2 hour drive through mountains and little villages, we drove from Monaco, to France, then into Italy and suddenly we were in France again and finally in Italy.  It was surreal.

P's friend had told him about a little restaurant before Limone, it would be a little uphill trek but manageable with a bit of snow on the ground...
Well it turned out that it had snowed more than P had thought and the little bit of a hard walk up hill in a bit of snow ended up as heavy going in knee deep snow at times.  Not forgetting that thinner air makes me lose my breath faster and asthma complicates it..

roasting chestnuts
We were not properly dressed for that much snow.  In trainers and jeans and coats not weatherproof (and a handbag for good measure, although in my defence it was more to carry my camera and bits rather than anything else) we set off to get to the restaurant.  it was supposed to take 20 mins but after 20 mins and still only half way up I gave up and whined and moaned and said I couldnt go anymore.
christmas market




The trek back down was a bit better, but I still moaned and whined about falling over and getting my camera wet and getting all wet etc.  Gold medal for P for letting me moan and whine and still taking me down to Limone for Lunch.  Gold medal to me for not killing P for not remembering that I was a snow virgin and a whiner.

bagpipers 















We then drove down to Limone for lunch which put me in a better mood and walked the christmas market.  I will include the name of the restaurant in an update later (after I unpack and find the card) as the food was really good.  Simple restaurant with great food.
It was a picture perfect day, a bit out of my depth but then thats life isnt it..

Standing on firmer snow, clutching my handbag on a trek.......
More pictures on flickr - https://www.flickr.com/photos/102809648@N06/albums/72157690793626925

Monday, 27 November 2017

OMG i am in Florence...

David
Its been a dream of mine to visit Florence ever since I did history and learnt all about the Renaissance, which was probably 35 years ago.

I had to pinch myself several times today while walking through streets and museums.
we started of course with David.

It is said that the private bits were scaled down so as not to frighten women... or maybe it was just to make sure women didnt compare their husbands with the actual depictions they saw on statues..

We spent the whole day in museums as it was raining today and the best thing to do was head into the museums... first to see the David then onto the Uffizi Gallery.
There was a big sign telling people to be careful of touts etc but there were people selling tours and we got tickets to the gallery with a tour guide.  Laura, an Italian with a masters in Art History, was excellent in telling the stories behind all the art we looked at.
A Michelangelo painting
the town Lucca, we passed through before we got to Florence



more pictures on flickr

https://www.flickr.com/photos/102809648@N06/albums/72157663031715618


Wednesday, 22 November 2017

day 20 of no facebook.. or having a peaceful holiday


So its day 20 of no facebook and I feel fine
No withdrawal symptoms, no need to find out whos posting what even though facebook is being a dick and still sending me notifications that so and so posted a new picture.. its like its goading me.
Dont you want to see what picture they posted, what comment they  blasted out to the universe..
No Facebook I don't.  I am happy in my own little holiday world.

I was supposed to go out today to see the royal palace and cathedral in Monaco, but somehow as the day progressed I just got lazy.  so I cleaned P's apartment (he's at work being a productive member of society) and had a lovely hot shower and sat down again..

view of France from the apartment
the peace, the quiet, the relaxation is just what the doctor ordered.  I haven't burst into tears since I got here.. oh no shit I did,  but that's not because of me being depressed or suicidal or both which I have been for the last 6 months. The story about the tears will have to wait though..

Anyway

As I sit in the apartment, looking out at the hills which is France, I am quite at peace with no interruption from real life....

More pics on my flickr account
 Eze - https://www.flickr.com/photos/102809648@N06/albums/72157689833785295

Monaco - its so compact
https://www.flickr.com/photos/102809648@N06/albums/72157662864757748

and Fort Revere - where P made me walk up hill but did reward me with a picnic..

https://www.flickr.com/photos/102809648@N06/albums/72157689833845865


Sunday, 19 November 2017

holiday time

I am finally on holiday

in Monaco.
well its the start of a 3 week holiday in Europe with P.
As he stays in Monaco, that is my base and location to relax, go out and take pictures and just enjoy being able to do things for just me.

I landed in Nice and P picked me up from the airport, and let me tell you its really good to have someone  greet you at the airport with open arms and a big hug.
I have had too many airport arrivals and departures on my own that its a welcome change to see a familiar, smiling face at arrivals.

anyway

Monaco is this compact little high rise state that looms over the harbour.  Its like a miniature Singapore with hills.  and of course people speak french... the food labels are in french, the instructions are in french.... it will be a crash course in french, thankfully P speaks some extremely limited French which should help..

Pictures will follow but for today I am just going to sit here in the apartment and do nothing.  absolutely nothing, which is something I have not done in a very long time.


Thursday, 2 November 2017

social experiment

I wonder if we can disconnect from our mobile phones

Well maybe not totally disconnect but perhaps stop whatsApping and texting and  actually pick up the phone and speak to someone instead of messaging.

what people do..
I am thinking of telling all my friends that I will only respond to phone calls and not texts.... will it work I wonder.  Will my friends all suddenly stop texting me and tell me to go get a hobby and not start stupid experiments?

texting is like multitasking, you can have a text conversation with someone and still carry on doing what ever it is you are supposed to do, I guess thats why people like texting.
But I find that when I text I either piss someone off or I dont understand what they are trying to say.  I also feel very pressured to reply, even when I dont want to.

Then theres Facebook, which has become a bit of a bore lately.. so I deactivated my account today, I am tired of seeing ads and bullshit and have the added pressure of adding friends.....
At least I will stop reaching for my phone and scrolling through facebook the first thing in the morning and the last thing at night.

Lets see how long I can stay disconnected from facebook and if I can get my friends to call instead of texting..

Sunday, 29 October 2017

i cheated...

I have been faithful to my one and only hairdresser.

Until yesterday

I feel like I have betrayed someones trust, cheated on my one love...

It was a long time coming.  My old hairdresser was just convenient, first the shop was in my old neighbourhood, it was familiar, safe, then she moved to  the same building where I lived and it became even more convenient.

I hated going to the hairdressers, maybe because she never listened, never gave me a good haircut, but because Mum still went to her and I couldn't be arsed finding another hairdresser who I was comfortable or knew, I just stayed with her.

Before I left for the sons wedding last year I got one of the worst haircuts from my hairdresser and still I didn't stray, then she just kept giving me that bad, mullet gone wrong haircut.

So I had to do it, i cheated on my hairdresser and found a new one, and I am loving this new haircut.
oh how we fall and cheat just to feel good...

Now all I can do is pray she doesn't see me in the lift as she works and lives 5 floors below me...






Saturday, 28 October 2017

pick myself off the damn floor

So I read all my posts for 2017 and what a miserable read it was.

I seem to be wallowing in self pity with a woe is me attitude.
That is not me, that is someone I dont want to become.

Its been a difficult year but I need to shake myself up and get rid of this doom and gloom feeling.
Yes I am unemployed and will be till I start looking for a job next year.
But I am now working part time just to tide me over till the middle of November, when I leave for my holiday.
That has been my light at the end of the tunnel.  I go to Monaco to visit P and we are driving to Italy ( well P is driving me) to spend about 10 days visiting Florence, Sienna, Venice, Verona and any other little Tuscan town we can.  Tickets have been bought, hotels booked and I cant wait..
I need this holiday, I need to get away and relax and be free.

Then once I am back in Singapore after my Italian escape I have to deal with bathroom renos and then off to Canada in late January for Son no 1's operation.

My life is what I want it to be, so the possibilities are endless, I just need to take the bull by the horns and do it.. and kick myself for letting the bad year bring me down so much.




Sunday, 15 October 2017

Walk with me



always alone
Its taken me a long time to wake up and realise A will not be who I want him to be, a partner in my life.  Someone who will walk with me in my journey.

Between the times I told A to fuck off and leave me alone, I tried to date other men, One of them was P.
When I started going out with P I did see what relationships were supposed to be like, and it did scare me.  P scared me with his intensity and I retreated,  and when he found someone else, I thought I had lost him totally.  But we did meet up again as friends and his friendship has been invaluable.
I believe I carried on with A  because I thought both men were giving me a little of what I wanted.  It doesnt work that way does it. When one half is taken away you realise that the other half is woefully inadequate.

Sex once a month or less, hardly any contact, hardly any conversations, hardly anything.  When son no 2 went into hospital, I really needed someone to be there for me, and A didnt want to be that person,  why should he, he wasnt a boyfriend or partner, all we had was an arrangement,  nothing else.

Well I dont want an arrangement, I want to grow old with someone, I want a companion and partner for my remaining days on this earth.  Someone who makes me a priority, someone who isnt afraid to walk with me.


Sunday, 17 September 2017

healing the broken

There has to be something fundamentally wrong with someone who keeps fucking up their own life.

I took on a new job at the end of 2015, I went back to a company I worked for from 2001 till 2010.  They approached me and asked me to go back and I did, with a pay cut and to work a 4 day week.

The saying that one can never go back is true, I had changed but the company hadn't, and I found that people I trusted didn’t have my back.  The 4 day week wasn’t working and the numerous whats app groups and messages on Sundays were not something I wanted.  It was stressing me out. So I quit.

Yes, I do things on impulse without thinking of another means of employment, because I reach a point of no return, and just do.  Not an ideal situation but I just can't help myself.

I was reaching the stage where I seriously thought that I was going to have a nervous breakdown.  Being told repeatedly that I needed to take on more work to prove to ‘people’ that I was actually doing something and that maybe I might be thought of as redundant.  That ‘people’ kept asking what it was that I did in the office. 
Did no one know what I did, and for me it was, how could they not know…

Take on more duties and responsibilities….
I wasn’t paid to do that, nor was I offered more money or an alternative position.  I already was working on Fridays and coming back to the office when they needed me,  I was made to feel like I contributed nothing to the team, and all this came from a good friend and colleague who thought she was doing me a favour and being honest with me. How could she not speak up for me, or even think that I could be redundant?

I felt betrayed by a trusted colleague and friend. 

So I am without a job at 55 and close to a nervous breakdown.  Not an ideal situation but I am resilient and know that I will be ok, I just need time to heal the broken me.