Sunday, February 27, 2011

Badminton, dinner & dessert

After our monthly badminton session, my 2 girlfriends, the little boy and I had our dinner @ Tamako Jap restaurant @ Casuarina Rd. Luckily I ate chicken soba soup and chawamushi, so I had space for honey green tea ice cream @ an ice cream parlour before heading home.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I pass JLPT 4N

I received the result slip on Thurs evening. I didn't have high hopes of passing as I didn't think I did well in the listening component. It was a nice surprise when I saw "Passed" on the slip :)

I was contemplating whether to continue with my Jap lessons as I don't have the discipline in revising and only spend my Sat morning to do my homework. It seems a pity to give up though and I have given up learning other things before.

I shall continue with learning Jap and see if I will work harder and improve :)

I had a set lunch of hamburger and toufu @ $10 @ a Jap restaurant in Cuppage Plaza with a friend. I wanted to give myself a treat for passing the test :)

Bob is better

After 2.5 days of antibiotic and steroids on Wed, Bob can hop onto the window seat, explore the kitchen when out instead of lying on the floor of the living room. He bites my hands and ankles sometimes but still wants my attention and hugs - the naughty boy is back! :)

Review of my driving lessons

Yesterday afternoon was my 6th lesson and I think I have made more improvement as compared to 4th and 5th lesson. I got 3 different instructors for those lessons. The first instructor for the 1st 3 lessons was the most encouraging and gave me the confidence to drive on the road. The next 2 instructors were older and more serious, still friendly but will shake their head when the engine stalled while I attempted to stop @ the junction and didn't do a full clutch while braking. Shaking head without humour is quite discouraging but I did learn from the process, just that it became a bit nerve wrecking and less fun.

For the lesson yesterday, the instructor ran through with me all the steps to start the car properly, feel the biting point, when to change gear, when to shift down gear to do engine break, pressing the pedals properly. He didn't make small talk, just focused on my driving and guided me as I drove around the circuit and the Ubi area outside of driving school. I still take too long a time to get the biting point and accelerate but I'm the way there. He didn't encourage or discourage. I prefer the teaching styles of the 1st instructor and the last one which make me feel positive and the lessons were enjoyable too.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Quick lunch with Sis

We had yummy lunch at this Jap food stall inside a mini food court in OUB Centre. I had healthy chicken udon and sis ate smoked duck curry rice. I helped her with the crispy lotus root, pumpkin and mushrooms, so feeling very full now. We learnt from the stall assistant that the stall will be closing and they have opened another stall @ basement of Republic Plaza.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Warming up before exercise

My friend heated up some leftover soup from her dinner yesterday and we had it before our jog. It was yummy and gave me the energy to jog about 3km :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Bob's limp

Bob started limping again and it got worse to the point he will walk less than a metre and lay on his side. He will be lying on his side too to drink, eat and sometimes to scratch the scratching post. He doesn't jump to the top of the fridge or table but he still clumsily hops onto my bed to sleep with my head at night.

We just brought him to Namly Clinic and after Dr Ling did an X-ray, we didn't any abnormality of his front left limb and back right limb and spine. Bob will go on 2 weeks of antibiotics to see if his condition will improve. He weighs 6.1kg, a slight decrease from 6.4kg last Nov and we have to continue to manage and reduce his weight.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

20 years of friendship

Last evening, I met my friend of 20 years and her little boy. It was her birthday on Friday and we bought some food as takeaway for dinner in the hotel room she booked to stay last night.

Before dinner we checked out the pool and took photos of the beautiful sky and clouds.

It's easy to be distracted or get busy with work and commitments, but I'm glad that my friend and I have been keeping in touch even though we went to different schools and we have different interests. Last Dec, we took a short trip to Taipei with her son. It was fun and we have good memories. This Dec, we'll be making a trip to Taiwan again and another good old friend will join us.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Seafood chowder

Today's dinner was a big bowl of seafood chowder from a stall at Great World City's foodcourt. It's not creamy and is full of celery, potato chunks, fish meat and some pieces of prawn. Mom didn't find it tasty enough but I think it's good enough for me. The bread roll was dry though so I didn't finish it. The soup cost $9.50 with bread roll or rice. A bit expensive. The stall also sells other kinds of soups and baked rice at lower price.

Work and drive

I have a good start this morning by going for my driving lesson @ 8.30am. This time, I could start and brake the car smoothly most of the time. The instructor also cleared me to proceed to new module the next lesson (tomorrow), as I have a better understanding of the gear changing and would able to do so as we drive through Bedok Reservoir Rd to Tampines and back to the school. Along the way, we would chat a bit about work and life.

This experience and other incidents often make me wonder why often I am not able to find the awe, joy, wisdom and meaning in my work. My colleagues are nice, not back stabbers, my bosses aren't nasty but they are not of mentor material either because they are too busy or they don't care about staff development. Work is just reactive.

I know I am lucky too that this job can provide financial support for my lifestyle and my 2 home cats and about 10 community cats, etc. I also have time to pursue my interests after work and spend time with family and friends I guess I shouldn't complain too much but I like it that I am not complacent and still have the drive to find things to learn on my own. If not, life will be boring and meaningless.

Soya bean based lunch

I had the foresight to have a good nutritious lunch yesterday as my next meal was taken after 10pm.

At Nutrihub Cafe (Cuppage Plaza), I had soya milk bee hoon soup and soya ice cream. Yummy :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A good swim

I haven't been swimming the past few months and finally this evening my exercise buddy and I had a 30 min swim after work. I only managed 20 laps of breast stroke - my arms will probably ache tomorrow :) During a lap, when there was a small wave created by a guy swimming freestyle in the next lane in opposite direction, my head broke the water surface for breath and the water suddenly gushed in. I choked on the water but quickly recovered and continued swimming. My friend even commented that the pool water was quite dirty today. Haha. (I drank some concentrated brown rice vinegar with honey just now, hoping to destroy any bacteria in me.)

Dinner was @ Adam Road food centre. The stalls selling fishball noodle and fruit juice were already closed when we were there after 9am. Most people were eating Malay food. We decided to take prawn & pork noodle soup and Cheng Teng dessert which were the healthiest of the lot.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

AVA Pet Snap Photo Contest

For those of you who have taken a photo with your pet during the lunar new year period, you may be interested to take part in this contest.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

One of my favorite lunch places

I like the set lunch of rice and dishes and soup @ Nutrihub Cafe (located @ the basement of Cuppage Plaza). They are organic, vegetarian and healthy.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Pretty ang pow

This year's ang pow (red packets) are pretty. I'm keeping some of them and couldn't help snapping photos for remembrance. Chinese new year celebrations aren't as fun as when I was a kid. But it has been quite enjoyable catching up with close relatives and friends :)

Rumo the amigurumi kitty

My friend SP made me a small version of the amigurumi kitty. Isn't he adorable?

I name him Rumo after the book that another friend FR lent me.

If you are interested in getting one of the kitties, you can order from Simply Peaceable

Healthy soba salad

This was something I cooked a few weeks ago. It was quite yummy.

I was eating chicken curry for breakfast on the 1st 2 days of Chinese New Year and pineapple tarts are like my health supplements for the past 2 weeks! I am gradually going back to my healthy breakfast of capsicum wholemeal sandwich, cereal, etc after all the Chinese New year feasts.

Yesterday I even cooked myself dinner of soba and broccoli. It wasn't as tasty as my earlier version but I felt good :)

Changing gear

This is basically the gist of 3rd driving lesson earlier this afternoon. The same instructor taught me again. I don't mind as he's friendly and patient :) I could only change the gear from 1 to 4 slowly and mechanically upon his instructions, as the car picked up speed. I also kept forgetting to change the gear back to 1 when I stopped the car. There's a long way to go but at least I managed to brake and start the car smoothly.

Anime: Ouran High School Host Club

I just finished watching the last 2 epi of the 26-episode anime. It took me a few months to watch it as there are always other things to do. I declare it the best anime I have watched so far. Funny, heartwarming and beautiful drawings and interesting storyline. I even cried a little during the last episode and was smiling when it ended happily. Maybe I should look for the manga to read as I read from some reviews that the characters were fleshed out better in the manga.

The 2 reviews below kind of summarise how I feel about the anime:

Friday, February 04, 2011

Bob and his favorite chair

Bob and chinese new year goodies

Baking and cooking on Chinese New Year Day 1

Mom cooked her chicken curry as usual. I decided to make shepherd pie and coffee choc chip butter cake yesterday.

I spent the afternoon preparing the ingredients and mixing for both the pie and cake at the same time.

Under the potato pumpkin crust are stir fried ham, spinach, carrot and mushroom soup.

The shepherd pie turned out well but the centre of the cake was not well baked and I had to rebake it. Luckily it still tastes yummy :)

So yesterday's dinner was mom's curry, my pie followed by my cake as dessert.

Reunion dinner 2011

Like last year, we had our reunion dinner with our aunties, uncle and cousins @ Soup Restaurant. My favorite dish is the Samsui chicken.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Happy lunar new year!

A lomo photo of a pretty decoration in City Square Mall. I had reunion dinner with my family and relatives @ 5.30pm earlier.