Monday, October 31, 2005

Sis' pasta

Sis cooked some pasta earlier and I sampled a small bowl of it. It was quite nice - slightly mushroom cream sauce.

Interacting with the community cats

I'm on leave today. The initial plan was to go swimming with Sis but the sky was gloomy and then it rained. It stopped shortly and Mum, sis and I decided to go down around 10am to see if the cats were in the park downstairs.

We were happy to see the chubby black and white cat and the black cat. Both have left tipped ears. We fed them dry food and gave them water. The skinny black cat was a bit skittish and doesn't really take to us sayanging her.

The other cat was quite manja and he loves our stroking. He was rubbing himself against Sis' legs and Sis is quite taken by him. Hee.

The hunter came too and today he seemed less friendly than Sat's night and he also harrassed the black cat a few times and she was quite wary of him and ran away a few times.

Then the hunter went to the bushes in search of some prey that we couldn't see.

Some more lovely photos of our community cats :)

Mr Manja seems so at home while the black cat looks so sad and scared. Hunter comes and goes as he pleases.


Ruth looks so adorable sleeping in the tube, with her poo near her. hee :)

Hot and interesting Sunday!

My friend, Shuhui and I visited the World Animal Day event at Bishan Park before 11am. It was a hot humid day but it was nice to see dog owners bringing their dogs for a walk and people showing the support for the event.

We bought the ASD calendars and shirts. I got a shock when someone poked my side and it was my another good friend, Jasmine who was cooling down after jogging with a friend.

I was quite surprised to see NEA's exhibit panels on dengue and Shuhui was amused that there was a dengue talk @ 5pm.

I said hi to Dawn and had to leave soon before the merchandise for the CWS' shirts and bookmarks arrived. I shall get them another time :>
A curious dog was sniffing me for a while and that was why I notice this beautiful dog has lost one of its legs.

We hopped down to AMK library to borrow some children's story book for reference and inspiration. I found one about a hamster who has a diary. Isn't it cool?

We are taking up this challenge of writing and illustrating a story for children. I forwarded this initiative by MDA to some of my friends and when Shuhui suggested we could do it together, we have been brainstorming and decided our story will focus on pets. The deadline is 16 Dec, so if you are interested, there is still time.

After a fruitful discussion @ Shuhui's house in the afternoon and eating some of her mum's daosuan, we met our 2 friend from our secondary school for dinner @ Cafe Cartel @ Junction 8 to catch up. I didn't manage to find any community cats last night and went home straight.

Family outing on Sat

On Sat, my parents, sis and I went to Queensway Shopping Centre to check out the shoes and sports stuff. I bought some tennis balls and a racquet dampener. We walked down to Brickworks estate, wanting to eat our favorite soya sauce chicken from the hawker centre but it was undergoing renovation. We had to make do with the coffeeshop nearby.

Ikea, as usual, was crowded. Sis and I find this curtain very pretty.

Sis likes this UFO lights so much that she bought it.

I thought this sliding door cupboard looked kind of cool.

We had the vanilla ice cream cones from the Ikea takeaway food counter before leaving for Orchard. Orchard Road was filled with people too. We only bought bread and some marble cake from Takashimaya before having dinner @ Lucky Plaza foodcourt and heading home.

Sis accompanied me to see if there were any community cats in the nearby park while parents went home first. There was this stripey greyish brown cat without tipped ear. I fed it with some dry cat food and gave it water. After a short while, he exposed his tummy and I gave him a tummy rub and massage. Suddenly, he was alert to some sound we couldn't hear. Then we saw a tiny mouse and the hunter chased after the screaming mouse who went "ki". They went down the slope and while we couldn't see them, we could hear the mouse and its ki. Silence and ki again. Sis and I left soon after.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Tennis and dinner

Last evening, I managed to do a bit of exercise by practising my tennis. Adele's boyfriend, Melvin was very nice and patient to feed me the balls and give me tips on how to improve my strokes. I had fun hitting the ball against the wall when we had to leave the court and move over to the practice wall (I don't know the exact term).

After tennis, it started to rain heavily and lightning flashed throughout the downpour. We went to Dunman Road Food Centre for char siew wanton noodle. The noodle is home made and fresh but the chilli is very spicy. Melvin drove me and Fion home before sending Adele home. I had a a good sleep after the workout :>

Fundraising committee and dinner

On Wed evening, I met Dawn, Michelle and other nice people to discuss about fundraising for Cat Welfare Society. We had dinner @ Timbre behind the Substation and we shared platters of foods. I like the ultra thin crust spicy cajun chicken pizza and the fries. It was a fruitful discussion. When the details are firmed up, I will let you all know and hope you will support us and our community cats :>

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Hazelnut cake

This is what I whipped up a short while ago. I like the aroma of the hazelnut and the slightly crunchy bite. However, sister finds it too sweet as I followed the recipe without reducing the amount of sugar. I may bake it again in future with lesser amount of sugar as the ingredients are eggs, sugar (brown) and grounded hazelnut (no butter and flour!).

Busy week

Finally, yesterday was the last day of the operation. For the past Saturdays since 17 Sep (except for 15 Oct when i was in Hua Hin), I had been working. The team of us who are assigned to help the department in charge of this operation will still have to help with the data analysis, etc for maybe another week and hopefully we could resume back to our normal work life.

After coming back from Hua Hin, I spent Monday till Thursday drafting my meeting report, checking with a colleague who is familar with the issue in addition to other CCA work and my core work. A number of things are due tomorrow, so I will have to work on them later in the comfort of my home after blogging.

I bought this cute scotch tape from Mini Toons shop @ Hougang Mall on the way home yesterday.

Seems like a cat who likes to bake. Hee. I can use it for wrapping of presents and sealing of envelopes to friends. I hope to be able to squeeze some time to bake a hazelnut cake. I bought some grounded hazelnut some time back and its expiry date is 28 Oct (Fri)! I will post photos of the cake if I do bake it later and it turns out nice.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Reflection about my experience in Hua Hin

It is heartening to see the other participants committed to this meaningful cause. Coffee breaks, lunches, dinners/hanging together in the evenings gave me and everyone an opportunity to get to know one another better and also understand the different cultures and lifestyles. Most of them are married or have children and quite often I was asked if I'm married or have kids :)

One of the organisers is from China and was happy that I could speak Chinese (although not as good as him). For the first time, I find some use of my knowledge of Chinese, making someone feel happy in finding someone who speaks a language he is comfortable in. Although I'm more comfortable to speak in English or a mixture of English and Chinese, it was quite fun making conversation in complete Chinese sentences. I also spent 2 evenings talking to 2 Swedish ladies. We had dinner together and also browsed through the night markets. We shared the kind of books we read (Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, Lord of the Rings, The Alchemist, etc), our religious beliefs, our lives, etc.

I was grateful that my colleague was very nice and helpful in answering my queries about certain issues. I called home everyday as mum misses me and I want to let her know how I was doing in Hua Hin. A good friend of mine also sms me almost everyday like what she did when I was alone in Prague for an international meeting on the same issue. I was very touched by her gesture.

I doubt I will visit Hua Hin again or soon. The 2.5 to 3 hour car ride to and from Bangkok and Hua Hin gave me a bit of aching back and bum but the memories of my experience will stay with me for a long time :)

This is the most expensive item I bought in Hua Hin. Every time I walked past the souvenir shop at the resort, I would look in and admire this picture of the 2 cats. On the last day of the meeting after lunch, I just walked in and bought it after fingering it for about a few minutes and paid 1050 Thai bahts. It was only after I was in my room that I realised I paid more than $40 for a batik scarf. But I have no regrets as I really like it. Not sure what I will do with it though. Anyway, I only bought a T-shirt with a dog cartoon and a pair of white shorts for myself. Sorry, friends - I didn't see anything nice for you.

I worked on my presentations and read the necessary papers at this table of my hotel room. It was not bright enough for me as I'm so used to florescent light at home and at work.

Lush greenery just outside the balcony of my hotel room. I didn't really stay out long at the balcony for fear of blood sucking creatures - the mozzies! Hee.

Isn't this breathtaking? :)

Such a picturesque scene before us when we had our lunch after a morning of interesting discussion.

Some images from my stay in Hua Hin

It won't be accurate for me to say the following photos are representative of Hua Hin, "the oldest beach resort of Thailand, 163 km to the south of Bangkok". If any of you have been to Bangkok, the town area of Hua Hin looks a little like Bangkok but less crowded. I have not really stayed and shopped in Bangkok. I merely had glimpses through the car/van window when I was travelling to and fro Hua Hin and Bangkok International Airport. The other participants of the meeting also told me that what the night markets in Hua Hin offer are not as good as those in Bangkok.

As compared to my past overseas meetings, the photos I took are considerably less. I only took photos in the resort. I didn't take photos of the food I had during the weeklong stay, photos of piles of fried insects, cages of young adorable puppies, rabbits, etc sold at the night market, photos of stray dogs roaming the streets, resting outside the shops or photos of beggars. I don't know why. I wonder if the Thai are happy with their life, selling their wares at the night markets. Perhaps with limited education, there is little else they can do. I saw some Thai trasvesites at night smiling and looking pretty. I saw a stray dog with injured fore legs, limping and crossing the road safety and wondered about its fate. I wondered if the young animals sold at the market will end up with good responsible owners. These images stay with me in my mind. Besides some disturbing thoughts, I have also learned more from this meeting and the conversations I had with the other participants. I will tell you more later.

However, there are some photos that I like and want to share with you :)

We had a few lunches at the Thai Restaurant of Hyatt Regency Hua Hin (the venue of the meeting and also where all participants stayed). It was a nice open air dining experience. Lovely sea breeze and greenery created a good ambience for dining and lively conversations.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Hua Hin

I will be leaving for an overseas meeting in Hua Hin, Thailand later @ 1pm. A last minute decision. I'm not longer handling the issue since a few months back but I have been asked to attend the meeting since I have no commitments. It has been a mad rush to arrange for air ticket, etc on Thurs and I have to catch with the issues to be discussed during the meeting and do a brief presentation on 2 topics. It should be a relaxed round table discussion. I will be back in Singapore on 15 Oct and will blog about my experience with photos! :)

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Community cats

This is another name for stray cats and I think it's quite apt as these cats seem to treat the park or the side of the HDB block their home. I have just discovered yesterday after work that the nice shopkeeper uncle @ our void deck has left and another indian shopkeeper has taken over. I felt a little sad as he had been taking care of the 2 cats and now I don't see the 2 cats around the shop anymore. I wonder what has happened to them.

I have been seeing this black and white cat from the window of my flat (11th storey) for the past few weeks. Mum said it has been hanging around the area for quite some time as the Malay family seems to be taking care of it. I thought I tried my luck when I was on the way home just now around 3plus pm and there it was lazing and taking a nap.

It was quite friendly and didn't mind me stroking it. I then decided to roam around the park to see if I could see other cats. A shy black cat was hiding in the bushes.

Then there was this friendly clean cat near the bushes. It has a collar with a bell around its neck. I wonder if it belonged to someone. It allowed me to stroke her, her face and gave her a good body massage.

Look like it's smiling into the camera. So adorable!

It seemed so at home and at ease, just lying there on the ground, stretching.

I managed to coax the little black cat from its hiding place with some dry cat food but it was quite skittish and fled back into the bushes a few times.

The beautiful cat also ate some food and continued to stay in its relaxed pose when I finally headed home.

Zap again

Zap is quite photogenic. I realise that it's easy for me to take photos of her as she seldom runs away at the sight of my camera and she is the chubbiest of all my 4 hamsters. Last night she was munching on a piece of almond while mum was cleaning her house.

My blog has been talking about my hamsters as I have been going home straight after working almost every day. My colleagues and I are very happy that we don't have to work today. It's draining physically and also mentally that we don't have enough time for ourselves to rest and relax with our family and friends. However, this work schedule is temporary (although we don't know when it will end). I'm glad that I still have time for my family and hamsters. And I'm definitely looking forward when this whole exercise ends and I can start to clear my 15 days of leave to bake, read Harry potter books 5 and 6, continue with my exercise regime of swimming, tennis, go for nature walks and take photos, donate blood, meet with friends, etc :)