Thursday, May 29, 2008


The time has come. The movers are here, packing away 6 years worth of Singapore. I'm stuck in my bedroom, sitting on the floor trying to get enough signal to surf the net one last time before modem is disconnected.

I'm sad to be leaving. I'm tired - I didn't get to bed until 4am this morning, doing the final cull before the movers arrived. DH arrived back In SIngapore SUnday night, and I mistakenly thought he wouldn't be going to work - or have after hourse commitments. Whoops! Guess it really was up to me to get everything sorted!

Running into school soon for Ms A's class party. Tomorrow MrT has kindergarten graduation!

Think we have one last night in our apartment - sleeping on matresses on the floor! There was some misunderstanding about whether we had hotel booking tonight or not. The movers come back tomorrow afternoon to try and cram everything into the shipping container. Then we have Saturday to clean up the place, and hand keys back to the landlord on Sunday. MrT has a bday party for one of his best friends Sunday afternoon - we go from there to the airport!!!


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Learning from past mistakes

I saw a snippet of a doco about Cambodia yesterday. It captured my attention for a number of reasons, not least the fond memories I have of our trip there in Jan 2004.

The doco raised a number of concerns which suggested that maybe the Khmers haven't learnt from the mistakes of the past which saw their huge empire come crashing down in the 12th(?) century and that despite their great intentions history may end up repeating itself.

The story focused on tourism, and the management of the ancient temples of Angkor Wat and surrounds. Construction of hotels seems to be going on without any controls or forethought. Apparently there are over 100 hotels in Siem Reap constructed, or under construction - and most of them look HUGE! I can't remember if the doco said 8,10, or 12 years ago - there was only ONE hotel. (I'm sure there would have been guesthouses/backpackers etc).

There are environmental issues associated with water pollution, illegal logging, lowering of the water table etc. It seems ridiculous that the province of Siem Reap which is the heart of the tourist trade is the poorest province in the nation. The ranking of Cambodia as second only to Myanmmar as the most corrupt nation in Asia is alarming, but perhaps sheds some light on the great inequities in the country.

What happens to these people when the tourists stop coming??...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

It's Official

You Are a Werewolf

You're unpredictable, moody, and downright freaky.

You seem sweet and harmless, until you snap. Then you're a total monster.

Very few people can predict if you're going to be Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde.

But for you, all your transformations seem perfectly natural.

Your greatest power: Your ability to tap into nature

Your greatest weakness: Lack of self control

You play well with: Vampires

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

It doesn't matter how many time I see this, it still makes me smile. (But is it all a matter of "ego" *WINK*)

A woman, renewing her driver's license, was asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation.

She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.

'What I mean is, ' explained the recorder, 'do you have a job or are you just a ...?'

'Of course I have a job,' snapped the woman.

'I'm a Mum.'

'We don't list 'Mum' as an occupation,

'housewife' covers it,' Said the recorder emphatically.

I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Town Hall. The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient, and possessed of a high sounding title like, 'Official Interrogator' or 'Town Registrar.'

'What is your occupation?' she probed.

What made me say it? I do not know. The words simply popped out.

'I'm a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations.'

The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in midair and looked up as though she had not heard right.

I repeated the title slowly emphasizing the most significant words. Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written, in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire. 'Might I ask,' said the clerk with new interest, 'just what you do in your field?'

Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, 'I have a continuing program of research, (what mother doesn't) In the laboratory and in the field, (normally I would have said indoors and out). I'm working for my Masters, (first the Lord and then the whole family) and already have four credits (all daughters). Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities, (any mother care to disagree?) and I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it). But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money.'

There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she
completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.

As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career,
I was greeted by my lab assistants -- ages 13, 7, and 3.
Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model, (a 6 month old baby) in the child development program, testing out a new vocal pattern. I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy!
And I had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than 'just another Mum.'


What a glorious career!
Especially when there's a title on the door.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Is Ego a bad thing??

I was really hurt by comments/assumptions made by someone I respected (see previous post). I've spent a lot of time thinking about the issue and how (if at all) I should respond to it.

During this time I saw the end of an Oprah show about the Eckhardt Tolle book she is featuring in her book club. I erronously thought it was about the greenhouse effect and ways to reduce the impact of it in your everyday life. No idea where I came up with that!

Anyway, the book is infact a self help book ... and my initial reaction on hearing the man speak and listening to excerpts taken from the book was that it was too "new age" for me - and reminded me of a guy that Oprah featured years ago called ...umm, Gary Zukov (or something similar). I remember thinking at the time that he had a lovely "buddhist like" philosophy and was so gentle and calm - but also out of touch with modern living and technology. He didn't even have a TV. I knew that such a "simple" mindset and way of living wouldn't fit in our high tech home.

Back to Eckhardt. One of the key points mentioned was that people should strive for/accept peace in the moment. It suggested that most often we struggle with this because we are either holding onto thoughts of the past (what if/why etc) or plans for the future which block us from just being happy and at peace in the moment. The reason we do this - we can't forgo our ego.

Hmm ...

After hearing that I realised that continuing to focus on the hurtful words said to me I was just making the pain last longer, and I couldn't "be" happy if I was harbouring these negative emotions. The more I thought about it, the more it hurt. I realised that "retaliation" or rebuttal wasn't going to achieve anything. I needed to let it go. So I deleted the offending emails. I felt better, as I wasn't reminded of the feelings of hurt everytime I opened up my email account.

Later in the day I was on the bus with MrM and the thoughts drifted into my head again. At the same time MrM stood up on my lap, looked me straight in the eye, smiled, then gave me a GREAT big hug. At that moment I understood what "peace in the moment" meant. Talk about the weight of the world being lifted off my shoulders - I nearly started crying all over again ... just because of the joy and relief I felt.

So it felt good...

Then I started to wonder why the comments hurt so much in the first place. Was it pride in my professional status? Was it ego?

I never thought I had a big ego. I never thought I cared too much about what others thought of me. I thought I was a pretty relaxed and independent person. I don't have that many close friendships and that didn't bother me 'cos I was happy in my own skin. Then I started to wonder ... am I actually a typical "martyr" .... sacrificing everything for my kids and family .... giving all of myself to my work (when I am employed!).

I imagine Eckhardt would say that this is all ego. The need to be wanted and valued.

That's where I have a problem ... whats wrong with feeling wanted or valued?? We are not loners. We are not pack animals either. But we do live in communities and family groups. My sense of identity and sense of self is closely linked to the roles I fulfil within my community. I chose to work in a service related industry because it makes me feel good. Does that mean I only feel good when I am recognised for helping others and I constantly seek that recognition? And is that "good" feeling actually pride? I don't think so, but it is a part of me.

I think I need to spend some time on "me". I am feeling so beat up with this move - I feel like I have aged 10yrs in the last 2 mths. I need to take time to reconnect with myself ... and my family. DH has been talking about our new home being a "seachange" for us. I think we need to take the time to find out!


Have you ever wondered what the alphabet tasted like - particularly the letter "E"?

Ask MrM.

Apparently "E" is very high in fibre, and hard to digest. It greeted me when I changed his nappy last night. There, sitting amongst the stinky stuff was a small white alphabet bead.

I have no idea when he consumed it. I assume it came from MsA's room and fell onto the floor while we were cleaning up. MrM has a habit of pursing his mouth and rolling his tongue around so that it always looks like he has something in his mouth. I've for the most part given up checking if he has something stored in his mouth ... I guess I need to be more diligent after all.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


Oh the power of the whispered rumour. What was that game we played as children? ... chinese whispers ... remember how the message relayed was always changed?

I've just had my own "chinese whisper" experience, and it hurts.

Suffice it to say that someone (who I thought would know better!) I know from my professional life heard a false rumour about me, and has accepted this falsehood as truth. The falsehood injured her feelings and made her question my integrity. Her reaction has unfortunately done the same to me.

Be nice people!

Friday, May 02, 2008

My baby girl is 9

A quick one to celebrate a fun and successful day.

Ms A is 9 today! She celebrated by having a sleepover last night with her two best friends, and then had 5 more friends join for a casual party today.

I admit I was concerned about how smoothly it would go, as I hadn't had the time to prepare as much as I had wanted. It was also a little sad as DH couldn't be with us.

The party went fine. It was refreshing to see that a "no frills", "back to basics" party is still OK. It seems that birthday "events" are "de rigeur" ... at least here, where expats tend to have high disposable incomes, and (as much as we don't like to admit it) get sucked into that whole "kiasu" mindset that is prevalent in Singapore.

One of the funny things was hearing the girls have their midnight chat. There was already "boy talk" ... who do you like, etc. It was still tinged with the whole "boy germs" thing, but it's a bit scary to think that Ms A is getting to that stage in her life already.

The cliche is so apt - they DO grow up too fast.

Our other news, DH bought Ms A a HUGE bday present: our new home! Yay! Offer has been accepted. Things are starting to fall into place.