Saturday, March 31, 2007

Fairy cakes

I revisited baking after stopping for quite a while. I used this BBC recipe of fairy cakes (cupcakes?) and improvise by putting choc chips in the centre and cranberries on top. The original cake is plain with icing on top to appeal to the kids.

I'm happy that the cakes turn out alright. Mum ate one and said it's ok. Dad wolfed down 3 :)

I shall let my friends try tonight.

Transformation of yam cake

Leftover yam cake. Mum came up with the idea of adding beansprouts, egg and minced pork. Dad did the cooking.

The additional ingredients and cooking added more kick to the yam cake.

Soot ball

This soot ball is one of the cartoon characters in Miyazaki's cartoon, Spirited away. I bought this keychain for sis when I was in Tokyo for a holiday last year. Sis finds this character adorable.

Last night, her friend was squeezing the soot ball quite hard. Sis wasn't happy about it and tried to take it back from her friend who resisted. Tug of war and the chain and the ball broke apart. Sis was angry but she didn't really show it but punched her friend on her arm. Her friend said Sis shouldn't pull it.

I am touched that the soot ball matters so much to her. She told her friends after her incident that I brought it all the way for her from Japan and she doesn't appreciate it being ill treated. So I sewed the ball and the chain back together. Sis is touched that I bother to sew it up and she's happy that her soot ball can be attached back to her handphone pouch again :)

More good food

My friends and I decided to treat ourselves to Sun with Moon @ Wheelock Place during lunch time on Thurs. One of them brought her daughter to join us before she goes for her afternoon leave.

I ordered this sushi and salmon croquet set lunch. It was nice but as I told my friends, it won't be enough for guys and big eaters.

Local delights

On Thurs around 9am, a colleague offered me an extra tapioca kueh that he bought from Maxwell Market. It was yummy and a nice treat.

This same colleague also coordinated orders from colleagues for lor mai fun (glutinous rice), yam cake and chicken pies.

So that night, that was my dinner with my family and dad ordered some fried bee hoon from the coffee shop downstairs. (Oops, I realise I didn't activate the camera's antishake function and the photos didn't turn out clear)

The quantity was too much for us, so we have to keep them for other days and I brought some to let my 2 friends try.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Cat Welfare Society's AGM

I attended the Cat Welfare Society (CWS)'s AGM last evening.
You can read about it on Dawn's blog.

Like the other events, it was a good opportunity to meet and talk to people who care for the community cats. It is always encouraging and inspiring to hear people sharing their experiences or showing their support.

Lunch with Esther

Today I had lunch with Esther at this Aji Japanese Restaurant at Basement 2 of Takashimaya. I think it's under the same management as Ajisen Ramen but targets at different group of customers with more authentic selection of Japanese food.

I ordered some shio ramen. The soup broth was not bad but was not as warm as I would like. It's a set that comes with sweet prawns side dish. Esther had some eggy chicken don and we shared Japanese pancake (okonomiyaki).

Esther is very sweet to give me stickers of cats that will come in handy when I start on the scrapbook on the community cats. Now I have to try to find time to shortlist photos and develop them :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Missing Nosy

Nosy the friendly young male unsterilised cat has been missing since Sunday. On Sun morning when I fed the cats in the park and didn't find Nosy running between my feet, I thought he may have run off somewhere to play. I still remember on Sat night he slept soundly on my lap. Then came Sun evening he didn't turn up. No sign of him. Mum and I hope someone nice has brought home.

Monday, March 26, 2007

my dear camera is back :)

I didn't aim and just took a shot of the couch in the Casio office's reception area when I tested my camera to check that it is really working.

While waiting for the train, I took a photo of my lunch bag.

My favorite photo of the day (and I only took these 3 photos) is mum's yummy fried rice!

Full of crabstick, minced pork, egg and cabbage. Mum also boiled the rice with garlic and stirfried everything with some sambal chilli.

Power Nasi Lemak

Fion was having a department retreat and when her colleague ordered nasi lemak for the department, Fion ordered extra to treat me and a few other friends.

It was quite funny to see "Power Nasi Lemak" printed on the box. I only ate it a few hours later around 12pm before I rushed down to Gateway West @ Beach Road to collect my camera from Casio office.

The nasi lemak was quite satisfying with egg, belachan (chilli), ikan bilis, otak, chicken wing.

Photos of Mini

The photos of Mini (the sterilised female cat) didn't look as nice on the computer screen as the handphone. They look pixelated.

But they are better than nothing as my handphone camera captured the cute/nice moments while my camera was away.

The photos were taken about a week ago when Mini was recuperating at our home:
Sis and her manicured fingers scratching Mini on her neck
I reached out to stroke Mini's head
Mini was resting on my lap while we were relaxing at the sofa watching some TV programme. I think I was too fascinated by the cat on my lap to pay much attention to what was shown in the box.
Mini wide awake :)

Photos taken of Mini's reunion with her kittens when we released her 2 Sundays ago. Time really flies.
Notice the bluish tinge on the white kitten. When sis and I visited them yesterday morning, her fur is off white. The blue colour has disappeared. This other kitten (male) is quite playful and a little less friendly than his 2 other siblings. His tall is long as compared to the short tails the other 2 kittens have.

Mini looking up at me as Sis and I left her and her kittens after we fed them some food outside the flat unit. The Indian maid in the house was smiling as she saw us playing with the cats.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Life without my camera

I can't make some of you drool over the food I have eaten.

I can't make my blog look more interesting.

I can't make my friends/family wait while I take photos of the food.

I can't capture the beautiful or cute moments of the community cats resting, eating...

I can't wait for my camera to be back in my life.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

red white & pure

On Thurs, Joan picked me up after work to hunt for a place for our dinner at Vivo City. In the end, we settled for red white & pure since we were curious about the kind of healthy food under the management of Eu Yan Sang.

We had nice salad of rocket leaves, lettuce, sesame seeds and soft toufu.

We also shared 2 mains - seafood butternut and some dory fish wonderfully cooked with sliced buttery almonds. We preferred the dory to the seafood and think we could also try panfrying or baking dory with almond @ home. The vanilla tea was refreshing while the apple tart with saffron ice cream was a disappointment.

The service is not very good. The service staff were not very attentive. They did not clear the plates when we were done and we had to remind them to get our tea after we finished our mains. We also had to gesture to them a few times before they noticed we needed help. The restaurant was not crowded at all and they were not busy. Joan and I were at the restaurant till 10.30pm. The staff were already in a packed up mood, eating their dinner (some fast food at the table behind us) and seemed to forget that we were there. I would be alright with that if they have been attentive earlier. Or they could have at least nicely tell us that the restaurant was closing.

The food is actually quite good but slightly pricey. We were quite surprised it seem more french/western than fusion since we will associate Eu Yan Sang with more chinese herbal food. However with such service standards, I doubt Joan and I will go back there again.

The joy of friendship

On Wed and Thurs, I met 2 different groups of friends for dinner after work. One was with 2 friends whom I have known less than a year - they have helped to man Cat Welfare Society's booth at animal events. Another is my dear friend of more than 5 years, Joan.

I always feel happy to meet my friends to catch up. We could have not met one another/each other for the few months and still have so much to talk about and enjoy the company. That is the beauty of friendship. We are connected to each other through the sharing of common experiences and our efforts to sustain this connection/bond by keeping in touch and wanting to find out how we are doing.

All of us are busy with work, other commitments and have only this much time to spend with family, friends and even ourselves. I am glad every time my friends and I can find some time, be it a few hours or half a day, to just hang out together. And it's from such meet ups that the friendship can grow because we will learn something new about our friends or find something in common that we can do together or it can just to reinforce the fact that we are here for one another, a phone call away in the little island of Singapore :)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Sis' morning with the cats and mum

Sis was on time-off today and accompanied mum to feed the community cats.

She has given me permission to blog the photos she took using her new camera Canon Ixus 70. I'm impressed with the nice photos she earlier took of me on the camera but I'm quite disappointed with the macro shots produced.

Of all the photos she took of the cats this morning, I like this one of White Neck best :)

Poor mum tripped over Nosy the new male young cat in the park. Sis told me Nosy just dashed out of the bushes and ran between mum's legs. Mum scrapped her knees while Nosy limped a little after that. Mum will be sporting these this week.

Mum said sis was laughing at her while she had to pick herself and the bag of cat food and water. Mum felt paiseh/embarrassed and wondered if anyone saw her. Nosy was frightened at first and went hiding in the bush but later he recovered and Mum massaged his legs. He seems to be okay now.

Some photos of Mini

The photos are courtesy of Juls (my sis):

Mini was resting in the carrier on Sat at our home.

Mini resting in the balcony after eating and drinking. She looked zonked out.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Mystery of Mini's depression solved

I have been awake since 3plus am because I'm the only one in the family who adopts an open door policy for the bedroom. I checked on Mini who meowed at me when she saw me. She seems to want me to be around. I asked her to follow me to my bedroom and she rested on the floor. I stroked her a little before going back to bed to sleep. Then I heard her meow again and looking at me. I led her out of the room and she ate some food before pooing for the first time in the sand tray. By that time, it was 6am and I asked mum who woke up to take over to watch over Mini while I slept on the sofa in the living room till 9am.

Sis and I were puzzled whether Mini was depressed or just feeling post-op pain. She also looks like she's lactating (looking at her big boobies as Sis called them), so we were concerned that she has babies waiting for her to return. I was thinking about what to do with Mini while I was downstairs feeding the cats in the park. The usual bunch of cats, except for Fat Cat were at the park while I found Fat Cat in the nearby carpark.

At 1pm, I discussed with Sis and we decided to release Mini near where we trapped her near the edge of the park a few block away. Mini seemed quite happy to be out in the open. She first rolled and rubbed her body and started walking in the direction of the block of flat where I managed to trap her. Outside the flat unit at the ground level, she started sniffing some boxes near the stairs and we saw 3 kittens coming out to greet her. Mini lay on her side and one of the kittens, a white one, started suckling. The other 2 in black and grey stripes are friendly and started sniffing. So adorable. We are very happy we have made the right decision to release Mini who has 3 kittens. Mini has been such a darling. So gentle. She must be missing her kittens all the while. We hope to see Mini visiting us in the park as what she had been doing earlier before her sterlisation or we can also find her and her babies since now we know the location of their sleeping quarters.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Having Mini @ home

Dad and I collected Mini from the vet in the early afternoon and brought her home. When we opened the carrier door, she came out to eat the plate of dry cat food and drink some water. I gently cleaned her with a wet cloth washed with cat shampoo and another wet cloth with water (to remove any shampoo) as we intend to let her roam around our house. However, she just gave herself a tour around the house and went back to rest in the carrier in the balcony.

In many ways, Mini is like a baby. As she feels more comfortable with us and the house, she moves from sleeping in the carrier to the floor on the balcony to the living room. Once Mum and I even had her sleeping on our laps. This is the second community cat to sleep in my arms and lap :)

Even now she seems to be sleepy and tired. We wonder if she is feeling some kind of pain after sterilisation. I tried to put her in the sand tray but she didn't poo or pee. At least she seems to have a good appetite and has been drinking water. She also likes to just sleep on the floor near us or our feet. We give her our attention by stroking her.

Tomorrow I can release her back in the park in the morning if she seems more alert. However, Mum, Sis and I are also thinking of keeping her. Dad doesn't seem very keen about having cats at home though but he has been very supportive of us feeding the community cats. We shall see.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Before my camera breaks down

I managed to take lovely photos this morning:

We suspect this young cat to be the son of Mini. Both are small in size and have big feet.
He is so adorable and friendly that we are tempted to bring him home. But we haven't done so as we have 4 hamsters @ home and we have not kept a cat as a pet before. I have booked a sterilisation slot for him @ Pet Clinic on 20 Apr. In the meantime, we will think about whether to bring him home.

White Neck did one of his stretches.

White doesn't appear every night and morning but he did this morning. He looked so sad with the scratches on his nose and around his eyes. Luckily it doesn't look serious.

White Neck and the yet-to-be-named cat was looking up the tree at some birds but White Neck lost interest after a while.

This is really a cute shot of the young cat. (Just now he let me carried him like a baby and he slept in my arms and lap while I sat on the stone chair)

Bush in his playful and serious looks

The last photo I took before my camera went bonkers was of Fat Cat walking in the carpark after he ate some food.

I wanted to take a photo of the cat belonging to a Malay family and it turned up with white streaks.
The subsequent photos came with similar effects. I'm quite sad that my Casio Exlim has this problem. I got it since 4 Mar last year. I shall bring it down to the Casio office @ Beach Road during lunch time one of the weekdays and see if I should pay for it to be repaired or get a new camera. Now I must try to live without a camera. It will feel strange.