Sunday, July 31, 2005

I spent the whole morning baking pretzels with cheese, raisins and chocolate chips. They look nice and their taste still needs improvement.

Bright Sunday morning

This was taken at 8.45am . Such lovely blue sky but it feels really hot indoors.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Be happy!

The above painting may look complicated but it is just made of 3 simple paint strokes of different colours overlapping one another. I have been filling up most of my free time after work with my hobbies and many activities - like exercising, reading, blogging, meeting friends, etc. Sometimes, my parents said I may end up with nothing if I keep trying out new things and not settle down. I disagree with them as I hope to learn new skills and things that I'm interested in before I hit an age where I'm too tired to do so. Even though my mind may be a colourful mess like the painting, the experiences I have gone through are enlightening and have made me who I am today. I may not be the world's nicest person because that is not my goal. However, I hope to touch the lives of my family, friends and people/animals around me, so that we can all be happy :)

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Me getting old

This morning I was supposed to join Slushy, her baby Ainsley, her hubby and Fairy Godmother for an outing @ the zoo. However, I have to miss that and a kayaking activity organised by my company in the evening because I woke up with running nose. I don't want to spread whatever weird virus I have to my friends. On Tues evening, I had fever of 37.3 degree celsius. I took a fever tablet and turned in @ 10pm. Yesterday morning, I felt alright with no fever. Last evening, the fever came back to haunt me. My temperature was 37.7.

This zoo outing has been planned a few weeks ago and I have taken leave and been looking forward to it. Today is also Slushy's birthday. Happy Birthday, Slushy! Hope you all enjoyed yourselves @ the zoo. Anyway, I went to the nearby clinic and got a MC for today and 5 different types of medicine (antibiotic, sore throat, flu, phlegm and fever). My GP is only interested in treating my symptoms and I'm still clueless how I fell sick. I also managed to go for a haircut nearby. I can't stand my unruly hair, so it's time for a trim.

Mum cooked her yummy porridge with crabstick, carrot, peanuts and cabbage, coriander, oat and also brewed some chrysanthemum tea. Mum and I suspect it's because I have been only getting 6 hours of sleep on the average and I'm not as strong as before. It's kind of disappointing that my body of 27 years is ageing so quickly but I will work with it to see how I achieve optimal hours of sleep. Hee. Gone were the days where I was healthy and not take mc for the entire year until 3 years ago.

Hope I will be almost as good as new tomorrow. I have already made plans to meet some friends for dinner tomorrow and lunch on Sat and I hope I don't have to cancel them.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

A cat among the grass

I realise I like the blue sky and green grasses or trees but the picture will look very boring if there is no human being or animal. So I added a cat :)

Interesting dinner cum meeting

On Mon evening, I met the fundraising committee of Cat Welfare Society and Dawn too for dinner @ Aiwo Restaurant @ Raffles City. It was nice to meet Dawn in person and some of the people she mentioned in her blog. Dawn brought the Real Singapore Cat coffeetable books and I bought 2. Some of the others took 10 copies to help sell to their friends. We ordered from the ala carte menu instead of going for the buffet dinner. I had the tower soya pancakes and it was yummy with diced veggies and some sweet salty sauce.

After dinner, we went for drinks @ Starbucks to continue our discussion until 11.30pm. I'm not from media or advertising companies and also do not have any good contacts with suppliers, so I hope I can help out in other ways based on my work and life experiences :)

Monday, July 25, 2005

Inspiration from ET

Last evening, I was watching Steven Spielberg's ET with sis and mum and we were crying a little at the end where ET, Elliot and his siblings were saying their goodbyes. The forested area where ET phoned home has inspired me to draw the following where my imaginary cat and I are camping under the starry sky. Sis actually laughed when she read that I wrote the cats in my earlier painting are my imaginary adopted cats. She must be thinking I'm quite pathetic to imagination/painting since I can't adopt a cat. Hee.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Juicy recipes

I borrowed this book from the library as it has some interesting recipes like fruit ice blocks with buttermilk froth, papaya & banana smoothie, red berry smoothie. I shall copy down the recipes and try them one day.

Sailing @ Changi

I was inspired to paint/draw this after going for yacht sailing @ Changi Sailing Club yesterday afternoon with some friends. I also didn't bring my camera, so I couldn't share photos of the yacht and the nice scenery. We sailed around the area to a tiny island called Frog Island near Pulau Ubin. We didn't bring our swim wear but some of us jumped off the yacht to swim a short distance to the frog island where some Malay family camped there to fish. The beach was filled with dead coral and shells and we had to be careful not to step on sharp pieces and occasional glass shards. We explored the other end of the island which has algae covered rocks. We found some oysters sticking on the rocks. With the help of a rock, one of the guys managed to open the shells and we had a little feast of oyster flesh after washing with salty sea water. It was an enjoyable and interesting experience.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Running out of time?

Yesterday morning I was telling mum and sis that time passes quickly and it’s Friday again. Mum of course used that opportunity to tell me and sis that we should work hard to look for our Mr Right. Haha. I sort of expected that but right now, my priority is more to find my purpose in life, learn interesting things and if on the way, I find that someone, it will be nice. If not, I'm happy with the friends I make and how I live my life.

I am reviewing how I have been spending my time after work. With my swimming and tennis lessons, it means 2 weekday evenings gone. My friend is arranging for tennis practice session possibly every Mon and I will normally meet friend(s) for dinner on another evening. This means I’m left with a weekday evening to go home for dinner with parents and help mum to clean hamsters’ homes (or mum claims I’m more of a hindrance since I like to pick them up instead of picking up their little droppings). Luckily there is still the weekend. Sometimes I will stay @ home to relax, read, bake or go out with friends or family.

Hopefully after 6 more swimming lessons, I can swim front crawl as well as my breast stroke for a few continuous laps without feeling exhausted . Coach taught us the leg and hip movement for butterfly style and maybe I could fly across the pool after the lessons. Hee. Tennis has been an expensive sports to learn after buying myself a $270 racket and investing $240 in 8 group lessons with Singapore Tennis Association. My friends and I are going for another 4 lessons @ $120 to correct/improve our strokes. With their encouragement and my determination, my ball sense has improved slightly and I hope I will be able to play a good rally with my friends soon.

In about 2 months' time, I could practise what I have learned and lead a healthy lifestyle of swimming and playing tennis regularly. I will keep a look out and see how I can use what I have learnt and my work experience to help people/animals around me :) I'm not letting time run ahead of me. I will keep in pace!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

What should you do when you see an animal being abused/abandoned?

This topic was explored in Dawn’s blog. SPCA also has a short write up on their website.

Dawn has also provided the links to the relevant sections of the Animals and Birds Act that make abuse and abandonment of animals a crime and the police is authorised to arrest the person committing the crime and investigate the case. Or you can click here to go to Part IV on Prevention of Cruelty of Animals of the Animals and Birds Act directly.

I think it’s good to arm ourselves with such knowledge, so that if we do come across incidents of animal abuse/abandonment, we know we can approach the police directly or when we see people on the verge of abusing or abandoning an animal, we can tell them it’s a crime and this may prevent them from doing further harm to the animal. For such potential cases, it will also be good to report to animal welfare groups like SPCA and AVA to investigate since a crime has not been committed. They can help to re-educate the person or persuade the pet owner to find a home for the pet instead of abandoning it.

Do you know that HDB dwellers are not allowed to have cats as pets?

3 of my lunch mates didn’t know about that until I talked about it over lunch 2 days ago. They were surprised that dogs are allowed but not cats. I have recently commented in Dawn’s blog about the discrimination in the treatment of cats in our public housing policy.

There are 2 archived news (16 May 2002 and 14 Oct 2002) about Cat Welfare Society (CWS)’s proposal and consultations with MND, HDB and other authorities. Personally I feel that the suggestions put up by CWS are sound and can be implemented, especially since CWS is prepared to help HDB to work with residents. Why should we not let the actions of some irresponsible cat owners penalise cat lovers who could provide a good home for cats in their HDB flats? If cats are allowed in flats and there are some people who break the rules, we can educate them and if they are recalcitrant, we can then disallow them to keep cats in their flats. This is more logical than a complete ban of cats in flats. It is ridiculous that most Singaporeans are staying in flats and they can only keep small dogs and not have the options of keeping cats open to them.

If you have any good suggestions that you think CWS could consider adding to their proposal when they float it up to the authorities again, please let me know or forward your comments directly to CWS at Thanks :)

Monday, July 18, 2005

Chubby hamster

I just drew this using ArtRage. I definitely need to get the graphite tablet and stylus if I want to do such sketches. My eyes feel very tired after staring into the monitor and trying to coordinate and execute the mouse movement with the cursor on the screen. I'm quite satisfied with how this hamster turns out. Chubby and cute just like my winter white hamster girl, Zap :)

Sunday, July 17, 2005


Today I mailed my application forms for membership in SPCA and Cat Welfare Society. This is another way of showing my support for these animal welfare groups besides buying their merchandise. I also hope to get news of upcoming events more quickly, so that I let friends know, post it here and help out if I can.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Good things must be shared
and we save some of the yummy food for Dad who went down to East Coast with auntie and uncle to look for the Straits Time's car (which I wasn't interested to know the contest details). Anyway, they didn't win the car or any prizes but Dad can reward himself with the food when he is back :)

Homemade Yam Pumpkin Abacus

Mum and Dad made their own version of the Hakka Yam abacus yesterday. Using mashed yam, pumpkin and tapoica flour, they rolled tiny balls and steamed them. The steamed balls were kept in the fridge when cooled for later use. So mum decided to use half a batch of th balls to make lunch just now. She first allowed the balls to cook in boiling water before draining the water. We then fried the dry shrimps, mushrooms and sausages before adding in the balls, spring onion and coriander. The abacus turned out to be really yummy. The balls tasted like fried oyster omelette when eaten with coriander. Mum also fried the oily carrot cake Dad bought from the market with shredded cabbage. Of course, the home-made abacus is my favorite. Mum said she can teach me how to made the abacus one of the weekends and I can bring them to work for lunch :)

Big O's cakes

We took away 3 pieces of cakes from Big O Cafe @ Wheelock Place last night after our dinner there. The slice of Fruits of the Forest cake was already in Mum's stomach and I wasn't in time to take a picture of it. The left plate had my share of the cakes. The right plate was Sis'. I let you guess which is the Big O New York Cheese cake and Indecent Obsession (a chocolate hazelnut cake). Both were very rich and creamy and I find them a little too sweet but they made a fulfilling breakfast.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

At 8.20am this morning, we received our copy of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince from the postman. Sis couldn't wait and has been reading the book since then. She is now halfway through the book and I predict that by evening or tonight, she will have finished reading. However, she has already flipped to the last page and told me the ending. Actually, I have yet to read the previous book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I couldn't get past the first few chapters as I couldn't stand Harry's bad attitude. But I guess I have to read that book before I can start on the latest one. Sis said this book has been intriguing so far.

Disappearance and appearance of Frisky

I had not seen Frisky around the shop at my block void deck for more than a week and I was wondering what happened to her. Last night around 11pm when sis and I walked towards the shop, I was shocked to see Frisky on a piece of newsletter with cat food near it. She looked much skinnier and quite botak - so different from the last I saw her. An auntie was nearby and asked if I have been taking care of Frisky. She told me she brought Frisky to the vet @ Mt Pleasant who couldn't find any fungus, mites on her skin. I explained that I had earlier brought her to Namly Clinic and the shopkeeper Uncle has been taking care of her. The auntie had been keeping Frisky at her house to feed her medicine and bath her but she brought her back to the void deck as she was planning to bring a sickly looking stray cat she saw @ a coffeeshop across the road to the vet and did not want either cats to catch each other's sickness at her home. Auntie also said that it will be good for Frisky to be back at the void deck where she can get the daily sun before she left home.

I was surprised that the Auntie did not think that shopkeeper uncle is doing a good job in taking care of Frisky. I told her that Frisky was getting better when I last saw her more than a week ago and apparently Auntie didn't check with Uncle whether Frisky has been to a vet before bringing Frisky. I also feel that it was not very nice for her to do that without informing anyone. And I wonder if Frisky's condition has worsen because she was removed from a familar place to the home of a strange and it must have been a stressful experience. Sis and I noticed that she wobbled and she didn't approach me when I let her sniff my hands. I took a plastic crate from Uncle's shop as she used to sleep in it and luckily she found that familiar and quickly went into the crate. I managed to coax her into eating some cat food before going home with sis. I shall update Uncle later and see if he knows anything.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Swimming lesson

Last evening, my friend, Fi and I went for our company’s subsidized intermediate swimming lessons (8 lessons at $100). I have some bronze and silver swimming certification as swimming was my ECA in primary school. However, I could only swim breast strokes continuously for 20 laps. I can barely manage to finish a lap of front crawl without feeling exhausted.

Fi and I told our coach, Allan at the start of our swimming lesson that improving our front crawl strokes is our main goal. Allan has to manage about 7 other beginners and me, Fi and another guy. I think he is a good coach as he showed us the strokes, saw how we swam and he was able to pin point our mistakes and correct us. At the end of the 1.5 hour lesson, my front crawl kick is a more improved version(pointed feet like a ballerina and moving the legs from the hip without bent knees), so is my front crawl arm movement. Fi said I could be like Allan and teach swimming to others. Haha. Allan said he would teach us backstroke and butterfly style in subsequent lessons. I’m looking forward to that.

It is during moments like this that I feel good about myself and my life. I am learning something new or improving my skills :) Tonight we will be going for our 8th tennis lessons. I'm not a natural tennis player like Fi. My ball sense is quite bad and it is now slightly improved after I start to practise playing badmintion and learn tennis. Netball and other bigger ball games are definitely out for me. I have a phobia of the ball hitting my face. Hee. Fi commented yesterday that I'm a natural swimmer. I told her I guess each of us is good in certain things but as long as we are interested and willing to learn, we could enjoy the sports/game/activity. Anyway, we have signed up for 4 more tennis lessons and hopefully, I could become a better tennis player :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

My imaginary pets

Since I have drawn a bright daylight picture using ArtRage some time back, I thought why not draw one showing the night? So here it is finally done after I "painted" for the past 15 minutes. I always think it will be nice to have my pets by my side as I enjoy the night breeze. These are my imaginary adopted cats :)

Sunday, July 10, 2005


Yesterday morning I went back to
where I saw all these things
Don't they look beautiful? Actually, you can see them @ the Evolution Garden @ Singapore Botanics Garden. I went there with my parents and I had a great time walking, talking to my parents and also clicking my camera away. The Evolution Garden also has these beautiful flowers at the sides of the footpath:
Outside the Evolution Garden, I saw more beauties and some little "beasts" (ie. caterpillar and a moth larva which are quite cute since they are harmless:
I couldn't resist quickly taking a shot of the nice toilet outside the Orchid Garden before someone in the toilet cubicle came out and thought I was a weirdo. I was glad to see the 2 swans and the duck back @ the swan lake after the long renovation of that area.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Friday is Take your Dog to Work Day

My friend sent me this interesting link to an article "Friday is Take your Dog to Work Day".

It will be so cool if I can bring my pet dog to work. Imagine my furry friend by my side as I'm working and during lunch time or after work, we can have a walk together before going back to work or going home. The problems will be: (1) I will need to have a car to transport my dog, (2) the cost of owning a car and (3) colleagues and boss may not feel comfortable about it.

It's unlikely to happen in Singapore but it's a nice dream. I think it will be great if people can bring their pets to work on at least one day of the year as colleagues who have been busy with work can have the opportunity to interact with the animals and some may find happiness in giving a stray animal a home.

Cat massage

I borrowed this book from library@orchard last week but so far I have only read the 1st chapter. I thought since I like stroking a few of the stray cats around my place I may as well learn some massage techniques. Maybe it can help my "guinea pigs" to relax and benefit their health. Haha. Okay, I shall be more hardworking and finish reading the book before the due date 2 weeks later.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Are pets our slaves and amusement?

Recently, someone in the SDU online forum asked me this question: If you really think for animals, what would be the basis for you to enslave them as pets? To keep them in captivity for your amusement?

My reply:
I do not see my 4 hamsters as slaves but our babies who are dependent on us as caregivers. They have been adopted from friends and SPCA. Mum and I clean their houses and feed them a few times a day and they have us and toys to play with. With almost 10 years of experience in caring for hamsters, I have learned how to sex them, tame them, know when they are sick or dying and cried when they died and most of them lived to their expected lifespan of 3 years. If surgery could remove tumour from my hamster and she could live healthily, I would spend that money. Having a hamster as a pet is not for our amusement but it's a commitment and a love for these furry creatures.

If all pets can be released in the wild and not impact on the ecosystem, there won't be SPCA, Cat Welfare Society and Action for Singapore Dogs. However, pets like hamsters, rabbits, cats and dogs have been domesticated by man for a long time and most of them can't survive in the wild. And some irresponsible owners abandoned their pets when they get sick of them.For a week in June, I learned to nurse a young baby mynah bird until it learned how to fly. It wasn't easy and we had to feed the baby every hour. I named it Dharma and it was so manja and wanted us to sayang it. But Dharma belonged to the wild. I encouraged it to practise flying from its temporary "nest" to me. Finally when we brought it to the park downstair, Dharma flew away to the sky.

Recently I have also fallen in love with some of the stray cats in my area but with hamsters @ home and being away from home most of the time, I could not give the cats a home and the attention. I have learnt a lot from my furry friends about life, myself, humility and I like to think this has made me a better person. This is something that I don't get from our school education system. Interesting topic and long winded me could go on forever because I have been exploring animal welfare issue with friends and family, reading Dawn's blog on her work in Cat Welfare Society and blogging on behalf of my hamsters, Dharma and cats.


Left: Mini Chocolate cake and Mini Blackforest cake, Centre: A box of 10 D24 durian puffs, Right: A durian puff before it disappeared into my mouth
I bought them from the Emicakes branch in Kovan just now after a dinner @ Sakae Sushi @ Hougang Festival Mall with a friend. Sakae Sushi @ Wheelock place is still better than this branch and some other branches. Anyway, the mini cakes are for my sis and dad who don't take durian puffs. I don't eat durian but its by-products like puff, ice-cream and cake. Weird, right? Hee.

Fantastic 4

Yesterday I watched the movie Fantastic 4 with my sis who has free tickets. It was screened @ Lido @ 7.15pm. If I have a choice, I wouldn't watch a movie @ Lido because their seats are so uncomfortable. The support for the back is horrible and if I were to slide down the seat and rest my head on the back of the seat, the edge is hard instead of cushiony.

Anyway, the movie is quite entertaining. The acting of the cast is only so so but as I don't know the story line of the movie, I find it interesting to see the development of heros from 4 ordinary human beings affected by some cosmic blast. I only recognise Jessica Alba (from Dark Angel drama serial) and Julian McMahon (from Charmed and Nip/Tuck) who played the baddie. The other 3 lead actors looked familar but I can't place them in any shows. The movie is almost 2 hours long. Of course, if there is no free movie ticket, I won't bother to watch the show because it's cheaper to rent the dvd than paying for the ticket.

There was an interesting movie trailer of Tim Burton's The Corpse Bride before screening of Fantastic 4. It's starring some plasticine skinny people similar to his Midnight Before Christmas and the lead character is voiced by Johnny Depp which my sis thought is my idol. I wonder why. I don't mind catching that movie though. Maybe sis will get a pair of free tickets. Hee.

Meme: My earliest memory

My friend, Slushy has created a meme on our earliest memory and tagged me and another friend. So here's my answer:

My earliest memory is when I was 3 or 4 years old. I remember my parents, sis and I would go to East Coast Park (the section between the jetty and PA campsite) together with my aunties' (my mum's 2 sisters) families and have picnics. There were lots of food but I could remember only 3 items (fried rice, curry chicken and grapes). We would play by the beach, build sandcastles, pick shells. And I don't remember the weather back then to be that hot. If it rained, we would take cover in the nearby pavillion, or use the picnic mat or hide in the car. It was so fun and carefree.

And I shall tag Rustic/Cheryl to participate in this meme :)

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

My friend, Joan's plate of food

Left photo: calamarie, beans and pork trotters, greens, beef and lamb

Right photo: Addition of yummy pineapples

My plates of food

Left photo: Mushrooms, brocoli, chicken thigh, pork sausage, honey baked ham, celery and cherry tomato.
Right photo: Greens, mushrooms, half eaten calamarie, chicken hearts, pineapples

Dinner @ Carnivore @ Chijmes

I had dinner earlier with 3 girl friends @ Carnivore @ Chijmes after work. As we arrived before 7pm, we paid only $29+++ each, instead of $39+++. We first helped ourself to the free flow of salads and vegetables and some side dishes. I like the rocket leaf and spinach and the mushrooms. When the friendly waiters came with skewers of grilled meats, I tried the lamb (verdict: a little dry), beef tenderloin, rump (verdict: juicy and tender), pork sausage (verdict: so so), pork rib (verdict: a little hard), fish (verdict: yummy with a nice tinge of lemon), chicken heart (verdict: yummy and I was guilty of eating 4), chicken thigh and breast (verdict: dry). They also have grilled pineapple on skewer and the taste of warm sweet pineapple is absolutely delicious and I ate many pieces. I can try grilling pineapples when mum buys some from the market :)

There is also an online review by Streats: Any of you think I have any chance of becoming a vegetarian? :P

Sunday, July 03, 2005


It's hard to reach out to Salt after Pepper, his brother has passed away in Apr this year. He becomes more surly. He would attempt to swipe at us if our hands approach him, so we would only handfeed him using a tweezer. I will be more daring and try to stroke his back but I must be quick to remove my hand when he suddenly turns around to attack. Also campbells tend to have body odour but we still love him all the same :)


I adopted Ruth from SPCA in July last year. She was very shy at first but slowly warmed up to us. Now she is very curious and will approach my hands to sniff and nip a little. If I catch her unawares, she would go "shhh" or "kiii". So cute :)


Zip is the brother of Zap. He is very gentle compared to his sister but very shy too and could never stay long in my hands before he tries to wriggle away. I was the peeping tom and managed to catch him grooming himself. Hee.


I took photos of Zap this morning. She is a ferocious creature most of the time but becomes gentle when she is active late @ night. Although she likes to bite me very hard (but no broken skin because my fingers will successfully escape out of her jaws), I still love her like the rest of my hamsters. The poor girl has some weird growth on top of her head which I suspect to be some tumour. However, there is no point bringing her to the vet as the only solution would be surgery and it's too dangerous to subject dwarf hamsters to it. Luckily she is still very active, eats well and alway ready to spar with my fingers :)