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I suspect you will never hear the end of this in days and months to come, in years to go but it has been decided that if the work trip does not materialize, I will end up taking the flight out into the world of old charm, the city of romance, the place where levels of Topshop will stack like legos instead of the miserly corners it occupies now in shopping centres in Singapore.

I will unearth my berets from behind the wardrobe, all waiting sullenly in a box to see the light of day and show off cute little vests and wrap thick, warm-as-toast scarves around my neck. I will walk the Rose Line in the Da Vinci Code, organize a picnic in Hyde Park with a plaid mat and saunter proudly into Hotel Costes but in the meantime, I can only dream, listen to Edith Piaf’s rendition of “La Vie En Rose“, hum to the gay tune of “Aux Champs Elysées” and tighten the waist pouch (as if it is not). Every penny counts.


Polaroid taken off this flickr

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Gtan, she obviously cannot estimate for a 13 person proportion. She bought enough food for another round of party and the round she cooked for us on Saturday was more to feed an active 26 than than the odd, impecunious number of 13. I’ll engage her as my caterer for a void deck wedding, I told her in cheek. I’ll pay for a hundred pax and get two hundred pax worth of delicacies, I surmise. It all makes good financial sense.

But it must be known that I appreciate all her efforts to whip up a homemade feast for us. She planned way ahead in advance, she was worried about her housewifely attempts, she fussed, she nagged and she tried to make it perfect. I enjoyed the ham and cheese croquettes and her fried chicken wings. Since there were more than enough food to go round, she packed everything in plastic bags and fostered it off us to take them home. I had them for lunch and dinner on Sunday too. And for those lonely men who did not have their families in Singapore to celebrate the Winter Solstice (冬至) with, we gave them double portions so that they can have a share of family warmth (we know in reality we needed people to bring back everything!).

Caterer Tan's Creations

I have not watched a movie in ages and I know it sounds incredulous that with my taste for independent, foreign and strange movies, I chose Twilight, a novel-turned-movie by Stephenie Meyer. It bored Mouse to sleep but I was deeply and wildly infatuated by Robert Pattinson, whose fair and vampirish looks stirred the deepest desires and his eyes, oh his eyes, held me spellbound. Which vampire when coming into contact with Sunlight has his trim bodice turned into a mass of glittery specks and so beautiful that it hurts to watch him?

He did.

Robert Pattinson

And I attended this graduation party for people who took up a program aimed at changing something in their lives. It was like intensively reading “Chicken Soup for the Soul” in 3 hours. These people are obviously looking for something, in need of something and want to do something about it.

I was touched yet unaffected. It’s obvious the program brought a change to their lives. They found the courage to believe and the tenacity to do things. It may not necessarily be a grand scheme of things. It could be something as simple as learning to improve family relationships and in the case of another girl, seeking to break free from a marriage that no longer had any worth in retaining. It involves discipline and structured actions on how to achieve it in a matter of 7 weeks. I was touched because most of the attendees were depressed and inferior to begin with and through the program, they found a network of supportive individuals who render them the assistance they need. I don’t know if you believe this but if you rally yourself in a group of highly motivated individuals, the positive energy has a way of rubbing itself onto you and you find yourself doing what the Romans do. I was unaffected because I just know that I can do whatever I want if only I set my heart to it and I am not about to pay a good sum of money to learn what my capabilities can realize me and garner a cheerleading team.

But seeing the change it brought to my two friends, I had nothing but gratitude that their lives are not made the same. If that is what it takes, it is what it is.

Pancakes

DW, you know I totally meant to keep my promise about buying your book when it comes out next year.