Sunday, July 19, 2009


There is always something or someone who can spoil our day if we let them.

Mom and I were almost done in feeding the community cats. We were giving Noisy some water and food at one corner of the void deck. Usually the old folks or youngsters are alright with us feeding Noisy and/or Baby. But this particular Indian girl (a sec sch student) had previously told my mom last year that feeding stray cats is illegal. Mom had shown her the Cat Welfare Society Feeding Responsibly brochure and she became more polite to my mom and didn't say anything more. But we know she doesn't like cats from her stares.

This girl came to the void deck area with some other kids to get some drinks from a new vending machine and said clearly "It's disgusting that people are feeding cats". I heard her and turned around and she was just a metre away from me. She looked at me and I looked at her and went back to face mom and noisy. Mom heard it too. Then the girl said again "It's even more disgusting that they are feeding stray cats." I wanted to retort but I couldn't think of anything. So I kept quiet. I know whatever we said won't change her perception of the cats and us feeding her. I'm just glad she's a student and her words can hurt us but not the cats, as long as she doesn't try to abuse them.

It's kind of sad to hear the words from her as I'm sure she's not the only resident to think so. When I called the TC officer in charge of my area on Jun 22 (Mom's birthday), he told me that during the RC meetings, the RC chairman/vice-chairman will mention about irresponsible feeding at our block and other blocks, as well as the presence of many stray cats. I told the TC officer that we feed the cats using plates and we clear the leftovers. I asked him whether he thinks there are many cats in the area. He said there is. I doubt he bother to check and he probably just listen to the RC. Initially I was hopeful as the TC officer said he would ask the RC whether he could bring me in to the RC meetings and I could brief them about my work with the cats. However, he didn't contact me. During the recent call, he said the RC chairman said she had a meeting with me before. This is not true as I only visited her in her office last year and she told me she didn't have any problem with the cats and she doesn't want to interfere in the cat issues. Through some verbal checks with a few residents, we managed to find out that the RC vice-chairman was the one who approached my mom last year, telling her that he knows she's being nice but she shouldn't feed the cats. Of course, mom did tell her about us sterilising the cats, etc but that probably fell on deaf ears.

My parents and I just have to be extra careful when we feed. We feed in the park and no one complains. It's the void deck area that we have to be vigilant as we are more visible, even feeding at a corner, away from human traffic. We see litter at the void deck, kids peeing at pavements, people making a mess at the seating area and it seems these behaviours are acceptable. On the other hand, we can feed the cats responsibly and manage the cat population and still be seen as an eyesore. It's really ridiculous. A friend suggested I could join the RC to change them and improve the system. I don't want to waste my precious time volunteering in the RC. I know I can't count on our MP if I ever approach him for help.

I could only hope that the TC won't take any action to cull the cats and the RC won't ask TC to do so. The TC officer said he will do so if the cats pose a problem. I told him to let me know so that I can help. I'm not hopeful but every time I see them, I just cherish the moment of watching them eat, drink and relax.

Lunch @ Muthu's Curry

Today's lunch was at Muthu's Curry @ Race Course Road with another good friend. We had briyani rice with yogurt chicken, curry fish, cottage cheese with spinach cream and mango lassi.

We drove over to Ilumi which doesn't really appeal to me. Probably because I have nothing to shop for. I brought my friend to this little coffeeshop in Fortune Centre as she needs her cup of traditional coffee before we went home. It is another good catch-up session and maybe the next time we will meet for a movie or a swim :)

With all the good food this weekend, I had oatmeal for dinner and I plan to eat less and healthily the next few days and jog.

Dinner @ El Patio

Yesterday at 5+pm, My friend and I planned to have dinner @ Dempsey Hill initially but nothing, except Jones Grocer seemed to interest us. We walked down to Tanglin Mall which has no interesting eateries. We decided to visit Holland Village where we had dinner last month.

The restaurant we settled our dinner was El Patio. The last time I had Mexican food was quite some time ago. I prefer the fajitas to the burritos and echiladas (which were cheesy).

My friend and I had plenty to catch up even though we met about a month ago. We took a bus back to Orchard Rd and had a nice pot of tea (earl grey for her and chamomile for me) and shared the apple strudel with Movenpick ice cream. I know I overate but it was nice to indulge myself with my good friend :)

Tomato omelette

I like cooked tomato and before going for Jap lesson yesterday afternoon, I quickly made myself a tomato omelette to go with some bread that Dad just bought from the nearby bakery. Nice!


Another fruit other than durian that I grow to love in recent years is soursop.

Here was a slice I had recently :)

Eating dinner with parents

I was on course on Thurs and Fri and could reach home before 7pm to have dinner together with mom and dad.

On Thurs, we had

Mom and I didn't like the taste of the fishballs though but otherwise the food was yummy.

On Fri, these were what we ate with porridge:

Mom and Dad laugh @ me whenever I whip out the camera. I always tell them their food looks beautiful and I want to feature the photos of their food on my blog :)

Chasoba with salmon, tomato and broccoli

I cooked this for mom and myself on Mon. Mom said it was yummy. I like its slightly sourish taste from the tomatoes. However, we overdosed on the salmon. Hee.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Mid-year ramblings

Another week has passed and the weekend is here. As usual, the past weekdays were busy and eventful. As I attended a Powerpoint Version 2007 course the last 2 days, it has worked my brain a bit too. Hope I will be able to put some of the animation and creative tools to use. Maybe I can use it to entice some college students to join our organisation. Someone said I should try too hard and ruin their lives. Haha. I shall see if I have time next week to improve the slides from our HR people. Anyway, I am not a charismatic speaker too, so have to make sure I don't bore anyone to tears.

It is also inspiring to know 2 colleagues who have also been learning Jap. They are definitely more advanced than me the beginner. I need to find a way to practice my Jap and also get used to listening to it. I still have to rewind the sound clip for the listening comprehension section of the homework everytime as I can't catch most of what they are saying. Jialak. At least I'm not giving up learning yet :)

Tonight and tomorrow afternoon I'll be separately catching up with 2 girl friends whom I initially worked with them on community cat welfare issues since and we have become good friends. We can talk about our cats (home and community), our life, food and almost everything. Sometimes I feel inspired after talking to these 2 strong women to continue in my work with the community cats.

I have another girl friend who is going through a tough period now. I hope with whatever time left, she and her hubby can together find the peace and strength. It's strange to face terminal illness and death at our age and with medical advancement but it's fate or life playing a joke and we just have to rely on ourselves, our beliefs (religious or just personal life philosophy), our loved ones to live the rest of our life as meaningful as we can until our body can no longer support our life anymore.

It's a stark reminder that we should sometimes just stop in our tracks and ask ourselves whether we are walking on the right path. Will we have any regrets if suddenly we find we or our loved ones only have this short time to live? What can we do now? Sometimes it's simply spending more quality time with our loved ones or slowly change our lifestyle or doing something meaningful/learning something instead of procrastinating or waiting for more time. By now, we should know we will never have enough time. It's about sacrificing time for something else. I won't suggest sleep as sleep is important. I think it's about planning but I'm quite a bad planner myself and still trying to find a balance between work, spending time with family, cats and friends and also have time to bake, tidy my room and cupboards (reflecting a cluttered mind :P) and of course time to learn my Jap and new stuff.

Life is beautiful when we are healthy and we can think about all the things we can do and enjoy and also give love and concern to our loved ones and people around us. And hopefully when our end is near, we are stronger in mind (if not body) and have no regrets leaving this world.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Dinner @ Fish Mart Sakuraya, Village Centre

After our zoo outing, we took a cab down to South Buona Vista Road as our friend likes the food there. We were really glad we traveled all the way there as the food was yummy. We reached there before 7pm, before the crowds started to appear.

We had some salmon belly and unknown fish selected by our friend. She has good taste :)

Potato salad recommended by her too.

Sushi - fish roe and fatty tuna. Oishii!

Curry croquette. Not bad.

Teriyaki gindara (cod fish)

Salmon fish head.

Salmon maki to complete the meal

It cost us $60 altogether which we feel is a reasonable price.

Zoo outing with friends

I took half day's leave on Fri afternoon to visit the zoo with my 3 girlfriends. We boarded the zoo bus from Grand Hyatt around 1.10pm. By 2pm, we reached the zoo and had our lunch near the entrance. There was a power failure and we were surprised that the electricity didn't come back until we were leaving the zoo around 6pm. We also couldn't enjoy the 20% discount from my OCBC credit card as we could only pay for our admission and tram ride by cash ($23 per person). My friend told the staff that they should feedback to their management that the customers shouldn't be penalised as the power failure wasn't our fault.

The photos I took:

The otters taking afternoon nap :)

The children dressed in colourful t-shirt. I took this while in the tram. If you could see through the blurriness, one of the kids in the centre in the purple top seemed to be sticking out his tongue. Notty! :)

The elephant show. I was lucky not to get squirted with water by one of the elephants even though I was sitting at the front row.

The Carribean manatees who looked gigantic and cuddly. Some hyperactive penguins swimming while the others just seemed dazed on land.

A colony of baboons either grooming each other or looking around. We also saw 2 males fighting and making lots of noise.

The White Tiger just resting and then grooming himself. That scene reminded me of my home cats and community cats :)

Another performance by the seal.

The last shot of another animal (the wolf) in the zoo.

Sis asked if I took this photo because of the half naked boy. Haha. Of course not, the subject is the jeep which is used to educate the visitors about illegal wildlife trade.

Somehow, the zoo doesn't seem as interesting as before when I visited a few years ago or when I was a young kid. There is also this question whether some of these animals are doing well in captivity or they are bored in their enclosure. But it was still fun to spend the afternoon with good friends.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

purple sweet potatoes

Mom made some lovely dessert of sweet potatoes and fungus. I like the colour :)

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Comforting porridge

Last Thurs, my parents cooked yummy dishes with plain porridge. It was the day after my brief teary moment. My mood had already lightened up and I took a photo of the food - omelette, super salty mini anchovies, pork floss (strange that mom added in), kailan with some fish prawn cake.

On Sat evening for dinner, I quickly whipped up some porridge using the Jap dashi (fish) stock and the rice that Dad had bought to go with his soup and couldn't finish and added some left chicken meat from dinner a few days ago. I also threw in some shitake mushroom and coriander. It tasted nice :)

[Looks like something is wrong with my home PC as I can upload the photos using my office laptop :(
It also shuts down on its own and I just upgraded it late last year. Perhaps I should consider a MacBook. ]

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Problem with blogging

I can't seem to upload my photos. I'm not sure why. I wanted to blog about what I did over the weekend and tried to upload the photos with my text but was unsuccessful :( I'll try again tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Feeling better after a cry

I came home after work, feeling hungry, tired, stuffy nose and with a headache. While eating my dinner halfway, I just cried. For myself. For not being able to rest because of all the work deadlines and follow-ups. I felt miserable. But strangely after the brief crying, i washed my face and could think clearer. I went into my room to check on Bob and he bit me on my arm, probably because I touched him on the wrong place. I was not angry with him. I sat there in the dimly lit room and just looked at him, stroked him. I decided to go downstairs and joined Mom and Dad to feed the community cats. The breeze and fresh air felt good. My headache had disappeared and I told them crying was healing. I guess sometimes I just need to let go and move on :)