Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012: through the wardrobe

2012 has been a very very good year. It started busy, what with two large work things in January and February then moved into hyper busy, with a Big Work Thing coming in the month before the wedding. Because of that, because of work, there was very little time to put in personal touches for the wedding. Time - or the lack thereof - was the reason Mr Grey and I pared the wedding down to its bare bones while still trying to incorporate the Chinese tradition of the tea ceremony and the reception and have a church ceremony on top of it all.

I only just told a couple of friends last night, just how much I loved the way Mr Grey and I arranged our wedding. It was over a weekend - with the church and traditional chinese ceremony on Saturday, then a lunch reception on Sunday. I told my friends how much I loved having dinners alone with Mr Grey - just sort of absorbing the events of the day and talking. But I left out my favourite part.

My favourite part of the whole wedding weekend was when the reception and ceremonies were all done and Mr Grey and I had a quiet dinner then took the rented car out for a drive - the first drive of our married lives.

We drove through NUS, around the west side of the island, along winding roads, up a hill then down another hill.... held hands in the car and talked. There was no planned route, nowhere we had to get to. It was just us and the night and the road ahead and for half an hour, that was all there was to the universe. No one else existed.

It's hard to explain how or why the drive felt so unreal and beautiful....but

Perhaps, just perhaps, that drive is like the first magical quarter of an hour through the wardrobe - when it dawns that this is Somewhere Else, that this is a different world, with trees and snow and a light.

Then you step out, all wondering amazement and of course, the faun appears and life is utterly and irrevocably changed.

So maybe, just maybe - in the new year, in this new life Somewhere Else, there will be Spring and talking cats and bears and Lions and witches too.

Happy new year to all :)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

O Holy Night

Blessed Christmas to all and sundry.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Veni veni Emmanuel

"I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth."

Monday, November 26, 2012

Ordinary Monday pasta

Mr Grey was sick and sniffling. I was tired from work and in my hurry to get home, I forgot all about the supermarket stop I was supposed to make..

Edible contents of fridge (excluding chocolate and fruit): half an onion (a bit sad looking), one left over sausage and garlic. There was butter, olive oil and tomato puree. Oh and some cheese – thank goodness there was cheese!

So I threw together whatever we had and it was surprisingly tasty. 

(Recipe is very loosely adapted from this one.)

To cook the sauce:

Slice the onion and garlic. Doesn’t matter what size, just chop it to whatever size you like. I like the onion pieces large enough to eat, so I didn’t chop it too finely.

Melt butter over the stove in a heavy pot. Add some olive oil.

Saute the onion and garlic in the butter/olive oil over medium heat.  Cook, stirring from time to time till the onion is soft and slightly translucent – 10 minutes at least. Do not skip this step. Do not fry onion/garlic over high heat. The idea is to let the onion release its sweetness by cooking it slowly.

Slice the sausage up and add it in, stirring a bit to release the smoky flavour. Add tomato puree and some water then let the sauce simmer. 

If you have it – add a few pinches of Italian herb seasoning or any other dried herbs - dried basil, thyme etc. (If you have fresh herbs, so much better but I'd forgotten to pop by the supermarket, remember?) Add about 1 tsp of sugar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in a small amount of butter at the end if you want; it makes the sauce more delicious. Finish the pasta by stirring it into the sauce so that the pasta absorbs the sauce then add cheese.

(Mr Grey is always in charge of boiling the pasta; I never get pasta al dente. Leave it to me and you’ll get over cooked pasta and a very unhappy Mr Grey.)

As an addendum:

Months ago, I was chatting with Ms E and she said that she didn't know how to cook the tomato sauce for pasta and always bought the sauces from jars. 

Well, for a basic tomato sauce, all you really need is a can of tomatoes -doesn't matter whether its diced, chopped,whole, puree - it all works. Some olive oil and garlic. Salt and pepper and that's all. 

Brown the garlic in olive oil, dump in the tomatoes - if using a can of whole tomatoes, you can use a fork/spoon to tear/mash it up. Cook over medium low heat - about 15-25 minutes? Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Some tasty additions/variations:

Toasted pine nuts/almonds.
Herbs, fresh or dried.
Meatballs.This is an easy recipe. Cup of Jo has a not as easy but very delicious recipe in the 'best of' section.
Minced meat.
Ham/pancetta/bacon - any kind of smoked meat. 
(If using bacon, go easy on the oil. Bacon does release so much oil!)

Um. If there is leftover tomato paste and one is sufficiently ambitious, one may try Zia Nerina's Ragu alla bolognese

Friday, November 9, 2012

Make Peace

Listening to a gorgeous piece "Make Peace" - a Pat Metheny and Brad Mehldau collaboration.

The US elections are over - was I the only Singaporean who giggled slightly when she heard President Obama say that line about how "the best is yet to come"? - I saw it in a headline and snorted rather ungracefully.

Random things I've been enjoying recently -

One - A Zhang Haochen concert - he played the Rach 2 with such clarity and restraint. I'd never heard it played that way before - with such a cool hand.

Two -Turkish cherry and vanilla jam from Marks and Spencers - on toast with good butter every morning :)

Three - Monsoon thunderstorms while cupping hot tea/milo or while eating a hot meal indoors.

Four - Walks with Mr Grey - we spotted a little grey heron that day!

Five - piano lessons. This week's one went well!

Six - Sungei Buloh with the church mates. Not a single mozzie bite and we saw a monster monitor lizard.

Now reading John Stott's "The Message of Acts" - filled with scholarly explanations and I love how he's drawing out the background to Acts so clearly. Did everyone know that the line in the Mars Hill sermon "in him we live and move and have our being" was drawn from a Greek poem? I didn't - apparently Mr Grey did; he's annoyingly stuffed with trivia like that. Also, goodness me, that sermon at Areopagus has to be the most un-PC sermon ever.

Struggling and walking through problems together with some girls from church and I'm reminded all over again about the importance of being rooted in a faithful congregation of believers.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Recipes, port wine chicken and toast

After 4 long years, I finally made my favourite port wine chicken dish again. To celebrate with me, the sky poured down soothing rain when it was being served.

I really missed eating this dish. It was another winter favourite and I know when I first made it, I was just starting on the cooking journey so to me at the time, this was a "hard" dish. It involved ingredients I wasn't sure of (like port wine) and flavours new to me. Prior to this, my repertoire was mainly chinese stir frys and easy grills.

When I made it again last night, I was surprised by how easy it was.

A couple of notes:

You can't really find cremini mushrooms in Singapore (in fact I never found them in Melbourne either although the farmer's markets might have had them). Swiss brown mushrooms are the best in this dish. The normal white button mushrooms just don't add as much flavour.

I use chicken thigh meat instead of breast. It helps with the sauce - just because it is oilier. Plus, this dish serves four so I always had leftovers and I find that thigh meat reheats better.

In general, marinating the meat for a couple of hours in salt, pepper and a bit of olive oil ups the overall tastiness of the dish.

Also, use the very best tomatoes you can find. I loved using really good plum tomatoes to make this dish but all I could find were insipid cherry tomatoes at the supermarket so I had to go with that :(


Recipes to try

Double battered apple doughnuts (I KNOW RIGHT?)

French toast

Banana bread with bourbon (!) and chocolate

Blueberry boy bait

Almond olive oil cake 

Finally, this is the prettiest food blog I've ever seen - My Food Diary - with a recipe for latkes that I may try in the future.


I bought the brown sandwich bread from Simply Bread yesterday and there is only half a loaf left in the kitchen today. Mr Grey and I ate slice after slice while listening to an awesome YoYo Ma bluegrass album and just couldn't stop. It is really the perfect everyday bread and covered with sesame seeds so when you toast it, the fragrance is just indescribably lovely.

I am now planning a weekend wherein I buy that bread and eat it with this strawberry jam :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A side of memories

I've cooked this really awesome pork chop recipe for Mr Grey twice so far and I had to blog it; it's that much of a winner.

I was a law student when I first started learning to cook and especially in the beginning, my criteria for a winning recipe were: a) cheap; b) easy (i.e. no more than 3-4 steps) ; c) effective.

(Here, effective obviously means it has to taste good.)

This pork chop recipe is all of that BUT.... my caveat on it is that for the recipe to really work, you have to get good quality pork. I've tried it twice and what it does is that it brings out the natural flavour of the pork but the lemon juice cuts the richness enough so that it goes down really easily. With good quality pork, this is a fantastic dish but with low quality frozen pork, it's not so great. Still good but less delicious.

I love my meals with Mr Grey and I love standing in our kitchen manning the stove with him.


Does anyone ever feel overwhelmed with guilt whenever they cook a certain dish?

I do.

One winter in Melbourne, the boy I was dating was homesick for his mother's roasted chicken wings and called home to ask her for the marinade recipe. She duly emailed it over and I'll never forget how happy he was when I made it for him.

I still have the recipe - I pretty much memorised it after the second or third time I made it. It's now my go to marinade for barbequed / roasted chicken wings and it's crowd favourite every time. But every time I stand over the bowl of raw chicken wings pouring in the sauces, I feel enormously guilty - as though making it is somehow a betrayal of those happy winter nights eating chicken.

Still I make it. It's a really good recipe and I try to make it for the people I love. But well, I guess the price I have to pay are the sides of guilt and salt tinged memories that go with it.


At the same time, I wonder what recipes will one day call up these lovely early days of being married to Mr Grey. I wonder if one day, maybe 30 years hence, I'll make pork chops for people and tell them about how Mr Grey and I experimented in the kitchen all those years ago, adding truffle oil and balsamic vinegar bought on our Italian honeymoon and going crazy over the resulting flavours.

Then we can sit together and marvel at how simple dishes can be made and eaten with so much joy and thanksgiving.

Monday, October 1, 2012


It's been ten years and I still miss the celebrations we used to have at my grandad's place.

No whining though! I had a weekend of lovely dinners - first with the church family then with mum, dad, my sister, Mr Grey and my two funny roly poly little cousins. Well ok, my cousins were once little and once roly poly but now they're two strapping teenagers who play tennis weekly.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

around the corner

But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.

Gen 50:20 NKJV

The last two weeks have been a really strange ride. There have been job things and a couple of heart breaking discoveries.

I'm waiting on God. Not so much to produce a miracle but I'm waiting on God because He has never yet failed to bring such good out of what seems so dark and evil. I'm waiting on God and looking back at the past, at the dark times when I couldn't see my way forward. Looking at my past used to depress me and now... now it gives me hope. I have been amazed at where God has taken me and I remain shocked that I have the life I live now.

Waiting on him for so many things and I think my heart will ache every step of the way. But at the same time, I'm strangely excited to see what God brings about.

R, I will attend your wedding one day and I think it will be amazing. Not because it will be some grand affair, but you and I will be astounded - methinks - at how it all came about. Thanking God for you and your courage.

Until then, we can only faithfully pray and wait upon God.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012



The green field and small woodland stretch near my home is going to be developed and I'm heartsick with sadness about it.

I grew up in a much less urbanized part of Singapore and I never minded my long commute to work or schools because my housing estate was just so incredibly green and quiet.

The area where I live is (roughly) bisected into north and south by the train line. I live on the southern side where there is still a tiny stretch of woodlands on a small hill and a large green field surrounding the estate. The enormous green field on the northern side was developed about 5 years ago and it's now all shiny new condominium projects. When the north side was being developed, the public response to the new condominiums was huge - people actually stood in line to get in and buy a unit. I knew then that the woodlands on the south side of the train line were doomed.

What can we really say? We need space. People need homes. And apparently, Singapore needs more people.


But I was surprised by the community response; people in my estate actually started an online petition to try to hang on to the woodlands. They took photographs of the woodpeckers, squirrels, kingfishers and palm civets and posted them online in a bid to try to keep the green space. They didn't succeed but at least I'll have the photos. Plus it's nice to see people try - gives us some hope for Singapore civic society.

It's too late for that big green field on the north side of the estate though. I wish I'd walked around and taken some photos - it was that big. There was a stream that ran through the middle of it with a tiny concrete bridge and every day, I'd peer over the bridge to check out the fish. My favourite memories of high school are of walking through that field, the sky a constant blue and the stream sparkling in the sun.

(I wasn't nuts, it's just that my school sat on the other side of the field and that path through the field was the shortest route home)

Once - and this is one of my favourite memories - one of my classmates, a short spunky girl, S, came up with the plan of following the stream to see when it ended. That was one of the best afternoons. We  stepped off the path and started walking by the side of the stream. Further along, we alternately waded and walked on the side of the stream, stopping to peer at fish and birds and got thoroughly dirty. I don't remember if we managed to find out where the stream ended (or began) - it was probably inaccessible but it was so fun trying.

Royston Tan has directed a film - Old Places - and I think it has come at the right time. The kids of the 80s are growing old up and realising that the remnants of old Singapore that they knew in their childhood have gone or are going so... this helps preserve the memories at least.

There must be progress - so help us God - but least we'll hang on to our (green tinted) memories.

Oh Singapore. You make it so hard for us to love you.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

not good at all

photo above is of a spray of carnations i bought (they were the cheapest) about a month ago. yes i am the kind of foolish girl who buys flowers because they're pretty.

Anyway, i've always wanted my own home and my own space and i'm loving the odd freedom of buying flowers whenever i like. Mr Grey makes a great house mate - the best i've ever had  and we've somehow arrived at a fairly equitable distribution of housework based on the chores we like best. So none of this having to grind your way through the chores you hate just because its your turn.

In other news,  I'd planned to post about the lemon cake we baked but....the brother is awfully sick and in the hospital now so .... no, the week isn't going well. blogging is a great distraction though.

Friday, August 3, 2012

lamentations 3

In between the last post and this one, my sister graduated (yay!), Mr Grey and I went on our honeymoon (double yay!!) and we came back to reality and lots of laundry (ugh).

i kept meaning to write about all that and more but ... the last two weeks have been .... not so great.

But lamentations 3 helped.

trying to remember that there are lots of things to be thankful for and that God is so good still.

trying not to be mean or to be overly grumpy

trying not to lose one's temper and also trying not to swear too much (not really working)

but its Friday so mostly i am so thankful that the run of ... not so great stuff has mostly slowed to a trickle of nothing and i get to go home soon...

and also Mr Grey has promised to cook me a steak dinner tonight :)

(plus i bought dark choc ginger and pear biscuits from marks and sparks and they're really good)

*For clarity - the photo is not of steak cooked by Mr Grey. It is one of the steaks that Mr Grey and I ate a couple of weeks ago to celebrate something else. Actually, it was of MY steak. Ahem. Mr Grey ate his before I could take a photo.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

On leechblock and why it didn't work for me and finding a mountain

I installed Leechblock in a fit of trying to get myself to be productive.

And it didn't work.

It didn't work for several reasons - chief of which was the fact that I quickly discovered that I could STILL access the blocked sites on Internet explorer instead of Firefox.


Ok it semi worked - I.E is almost painfully slow and it would freeze my entire computer every time I used it for any of the blocked sites.

The second reason it didn't work is because I had foolishly listed blogger as one of the sites to block. I didn't realize it then, but I needed blogger. I needed an outlet. I needed to write things that didn't sound like I had something stuck in my bum. Because that's mostly how hyper formal letters sound and I spend a lot of my time writing those.

I really really needed to come on here, this space and blather on about extremely random nonsense like walking home, sunsets, my driving instructor and the blueberry scone I just ate which didn't have enough blueberries.

Finally - I didn't get more productive. I just found other ways to access sites and waste time I would have wasted anyway. I realized that getting onto blogger and blathering my wool gathering ways to the world was how I got rubbish out of my head and that after that, I could miraculously do my work.

So now I have this ton of writing-ness that has been all blocked up within me for a few months and I'm bursting to say all manner of  inconsequential things. 


The main thing i wanted to write about today is Neil Gaiman's commencement address and the random thoughts I had which are mostly not really about Neil Gaiman at all.

I agree with some stuff he said but the first thing and the main thing that struck me was how he'd never gone to university. Never even started - he said. He didn't have a plan. He just had a list and he talked about how he kind of knew where he wanted to go ....

"And I knew that as long as I kept walking towards the mountain I would be all right. And when I truly was not sure what to do, I could stop, and think about whether it was taking me towards or away from the mountain."

And this reminded me of David. My driving instructor. Only the kindest most patient driving instructor who was like a father figure to me.

David taught me how to drive straight. I couldn't before because I kept thinking that the car was veering to one side or the other and I kept trying to "correct" it. So he told me to look into the distance, look further away and miraculously, if you do that, you really will drive straight. I drove straight, passed my driving license and stupidly forgot to stay in touch with David.

I wish I had. It's one of the regrets that will never go away. I wish I could have emailed him and told him about my getting married. I wonder how his kids are doing and whether his grand child is healthy.

So it occurred to me that I've always looked at the short term goals. The immediate road ahead. Not the mountain. Not the distance. Just the tarmac in front of my nose. 

Then I realized I'd gone to university - twice - because I didn't know what I wanted to do. Both times. I had no idea what mountain I ought to be looking out for. What mountain? And where?

To do for this weekend:

Find the mountain.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Love and hate - Singapore

Mr Brown's put up some lovely old photographs of Singapore circa 1966/1967.

One of the things I struggle with is that I find Singapore difficult to love. I don't hate Singapore; I am aware that are many many good things about living in Singapore but nevertheless, I find Singapore difficult to love.

I like the convenience of living here, the efficient public transport and etc but somehow, something is always missing.

But anyway, I saw those old photos and was suddenly overcome with this ofeeling of wistfulness. i don't know why. I wasn't born in the 1960s and I have never experienced 1960s Singapore but when I looked at these pictures, I was overcome by this.... wistful feeling that once upon a time, maybe Singapore was a place that was easier to love. Maybe.

But that feeling evaporated by the time I took the next train home. That train and some of the trains in the last few weeks have required quarts of patience and fortitude. Once I ended up hugging Mr Grey all the way from my stop to town - not that i mind hugging him - but it was that crowded. So crowded we couldn't afford to even have normal couple space between us.


But there are very specific parts of Singapore I do love - wholeheartedly and easily. I love wandering around the Katong area, eating nyonya kuehs, peeking into shops that sell Peranakan paraphernalia ...

I love my walk home and how the path from the train station into the estate leads me past a small patch of green and how on rainy days, the path echoes with the sound of a bull frog chorus. There are melodies and harmonies and I am in love with how it drowns out even the sound of the trains passing by. I love that path, that little itty bit of green with the occasional flashes of blue from kingfishers and the odd squirrel.


On a somewhat related note.

Just the other day, I was walking home in the dim twilight. Not on the same path as above, another one. (this is why I love my estate, it abounds in paths that cut through swathes of green)

As I walked, I peered out in the gloom and saw something that made my hair stand at first. Staring back at me was a pair of eyes, a tall great thing that seemed to come up to waist height. Then I realized the thing was a very very large bird on stilt like legs with banded brown and white wings.

For brief moments, I looked at the bird and it looked at me. And all the time I wondered - what breed? What species? Have I got time to take a photo? No, too dark. Argh.

Then it hopped away and was lost in the gathering night. 

(I have a very old book - Birds of Singapore - that I bought when I was 11. It has coloured pictures (not photographs) and is somewhere in the wasteland that is my room. I have GOT to track that book down and find out what bird that was.)


Random addendum

I look around at a lot of people who can't imagine living anywhere else. Then there are people who would jump at a chance to get out.

It's odd but I'm not really in either group. I like specific bits about here. Mostly that the family is here and so life is easier - the kind of ease that comes when you have a large extended family and their support.

I'm aware that life elsewhere is likely to be tougher in some respects. But... when I think about having green spaces and my kids growing up to live in shoebox apartments ... there is a sense of worry and unease. This is no country for dreamers.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mr and Mrs Grey

It's been awhile since I blogged and I honestly contemplated beginning this one with "Reader, I married him" but stopped myself (sorta).

About 19 days ago, Mr Grey and I got married. It's been about 19 days and I'm still counting, still mildly incredulous that it actually happened. But every morning, I wake up to Mr Grey's voice (he generally gets up earlier) and I am reminded all over again - married.

He and I, in a church, vows, lots of people, white dress, toasting, our fun bridal party, my aunt's tears, all the fleeting hurried impressions of the day we got married.

His name isn't Mr Grey of course. I named him after his sleepy grey cat. The real Mr Grey - if there is ever such a thing - is a large grey cat who has a gentle nature and pads about looking curiously and sleepily at life. Nevertheless, on this blog and in this space, he is and always shall be, Mr Grey and by extension, I suppose I am now Mrs Grey.

All the asides aside, in the last month

I got married
went for a too short honeymoon in Bali
came back to work
did a lot of laundry
bought some carpets got sick and
read some poetry.


The Guardian has done up this fun interactive site where poets post up their favourite love poems. I love that Donne (my personal favourite) got picked three times :)

Monday, April 9, 2012

And now good-morrow to our waking souls,


Dear Mr Grey,

Borrowing the words of Donne -

And now good-morrow to our waking souls,
Which watch not one another out of fear ;
For love all love of other sights controls,
And makes one little room an everywhere.
Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone ;
Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown ;
Let us possess one world ; each hath one, and is one.

My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,
And true plain hearts do in the faces rest ;
Where can we find two better hemispheres
Without sharp north, without declining west ?
Whatever dies, was not mix'd equally ;
If our two loves be one, or thou and I
Love so alike that none can slacken, none can die.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I am constantly amazed at my friends. Not just that they are there, that they have stuck around for so long but also at the people that they are.

When wedding is over, the one thing I will give thanks for is the fact that the whole business of organizing it has really shown me who my friends are. And I am honestly amazed.

I don't think I ever expected my friends to stick around for me for so long. I've known some of them 10 or 12 years now .... and I'm still thankful for them.


The only thing that amazes me more is the sheer amount of help and love Mr Grey and I are receiving from our church group. Mr Grey and I haven't always been in this church; in fact, all things considered, we're still new-ish and in the last couple of years, we've really struggled to settle in.

One of the things we confessed to each other not too long ago, was that we'd each made the decision to quietly give up one of our other extra curricular activities.... so that we could invest our whole heart in the church group. Otherwise it would be too easy to get distracted by another group and have it "fulfil" all our social needs and just simply go to church group out of a sense of duty.

Plus in between work and other commitments, if we invested our time in other groups, there simply wouldn't be enough time to go around to church group as well.

It's so odd that we both made the same decision without even consulting each other but I'm so glad we did.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

on Christ and marriage

Marriage is not mainly about prospering economically; it is mainly about displaying the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his church. Knowing Christ is more important than making a living. Treasuring Christ is more important than bearing children. Being united to Christ by faith is a greater source of material success than perfect sex and double-income prosperity.

So it is with marriage. It is a momentary gift. It may last a lifetime, or it may be snatched away on the honeymoon. Either way, it is short. It may have many bright days, or it may be covered with clouds. If we make secondary things primary, we will be embittered at the sorrows we must face. But if we set our face to make of marriage mainly what God designed it to be, no sorrows and no calamities can stand in our way. Every one of them will be, not an obstacle to success, but a way to succeed. The beauty of the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his church shines brightest when nothing but Christ can sustain it.

-- John Piper This Momentary Marriage


I've had a trying weekend - what with Mr Grey being very sick and needing care and attention, trying to run errands and various other commitments.....

But when i look back, i wonder if i could have been more patient, less crabby about it.

I mean, i did everything i was supposed to but I don't think my attitude was very good - i'm a person who loves her creature comforts and having to tend to a very sick person isn't the most cushy job.

i think i wrote before that Pray for Ian is one of my favourite blogs but it didn't really occur to me until now .... what an enormous leap of faith and love .... for Larissa to marry Ian.

And yet. what a crazy display of Christ's love it is too. Self sacrificial, looking heaven ward the entire time.... in the time I've been reading their blog, I think I've grown to appreciate heaven so much more and I've started looking heaven ward more and more too. Not in a crazy fatalistic way but in an appreciative way, knowing that what is sick and wrong with this world can never be cured without Christ.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

7 month itch

I have figured out the hard way that there is no way I can last more than 7-8 months at work without at least a 10 day break. By Month 6, I'm suffering from an extreme form of exhaustion, sleeping all the time on weekends and yet unable to get much work done.

Anyway. I'm holding out for just ONE more month before I get to .... run away somewhere but.... argh there is so much to be done in the ONE silly month!

At this point I just want to fast forward to the moment where i get to lie by the pool in a swimsuit and laze the day away.

However I take heart from the fact that things are moving, work has started on the long awaited kitchen and that I've found these cool recipes to try.

Easy sounding two step pasta

Lamb Tagine that doesn't require browning

Banana Cake

I suspect that the pasta might become a staple. I'm very fond of a quick and easy pasta for a weeknight meal - plus it sounds (sorta) healthy too.

My own kitchen! No more huntiing for spatulas and pots and pans through someone else's kitchen and having to ask where everything is! I will know! Because it will be MY KITCHEN!

Oh and Mr Grey's too of course :)

[insert appropriate territorial animal sound]

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

3 + 2 + 1

How sad is it that in the 5 week run up to my own wedding, I am thinking - not of flowers or make up or whatever - but about the fact that I have these hurdles coming up before the day comes:

3 days of trial

2 hearings

1 mediation.

They might need to peel my sleeping form off Mr Grey's shoulder at the reception.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

reading and writing

I used to read other writers / bloggers and feel small. I love writing and reading - but somehow, I never had the drive to go get published or ... well, yeah, just get published.

In my life, I've only ever sent one piece off to be published at a local poetry journal and once that was done and my curiousity satisfied, I stopped. It was there - in some kind of print and it was enough.

It's odd but there it is. I just don't really have anything I want to say badly enough to write it all down.

The one thing I do like about my job is that it involves writing - lots of writing. I like it when it's just me, a blank screen and my keyboard. I like shaping the arguments, finding the right ... shape to the whole story that I want to tell.

This place is just for the bits of non work writing that happens to spill over.


Ok so I've been on a non-fiction sprint lately. Read the Steve Jobs biography and now reading sl-o-owly through 'The Struggle for Europe' by Chester Wilmot.

WWII and the story of modern Europe definitely trumps the retelling of Steve Jobs' terrible and mostly weird behaviour.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

clear skies

Dear world,

I am in such a good mood that I have astounded even myself.

Work has gone well, other things in life are trundling along as they should be, the sun is shining and my head is clear and I haven't even had any coffee yet.

Do you know how miraculous that is?

some weeks ago it was all foggy and where a skyline ought to be was a cloud of smog. Yes, not just fog but smog. Ugh.

Thank God its clear skies today.

Mr Grey and I have been reading and praying from this book lately (the non leather paper back version) and it has blessed both of us immensely.

A common problem for a lot of Christians is that they don't know how to pray according to God's will. Prayer time becomes this laundry list of wants and needs ..... when it shouldn't be.

There's a prayer from the book excerpted below.

Have a blessed weekend!



O Lord, in prayer I launch far out into the eternal world, and on that broad ocean my soul triumphs over all evils on the shores of mortality. Time, with its gay amusements and cruel disappointments never appears so inconsiderate as then.

In prayer I see myself as nothing; I find my heart going after Thee with intensity, and long with vehement thirst to live to Thee. Blessed be the strong gales of the Spirit that speed me on my way to the New Jerusalem.

In prayer all things here below vanish, and nothing seems important but holiness of heart and the salvation of others.

In prayer all my worldly cares, fears, anxieties disappear, and are of as little significance as a puff of wind.

In prayer my soul inwardly exults with lively thoughts at what Thou art doing for Thy church, and I long that Thou shouldest get Thyself a great name from sinners returning to Zion.

In prayer I am lifted above the frowns and flatteries of life, and taste heavenly joys; entering into the eternal world I can give myself to Thee with all my heart, to be Thine for ever.

In prayer I can place all my concerns in Thy hands, to be entirely at Thy disposal, having no will or interest of my own.

In prayer I can intercede for my friends, ministers, sinners, the church, Thy kingdom to come, with greatest freedom, ardent hopes, as a son to his father, as a lover to the beloved.

Help me to be all prayer and never to cease praying.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

the apple of my eye

It's only our second valentine's day.

Last valentine's I made him a fruit basket with stickers (see photo above) which i downloaded for free because I don't believe in commercialized Valentine's hoopla.

Then we went out and deliberately ate an awesome meal in a run down coffee shop near my place. There were no candles but there was really fantastic chinese double boiled soup.

I think my only regret is that we have so few photos together. I've been looking through the tumblr blog of an acquaintance and she takes gorgeous gorgeous photos of her trips, of her boyfriend, of the stuff they do together etc etc.

And the only thing i could think of was: darn I should've taken a photo of us with all that fruit. Plus I'd love some blue sky photo of us all smiley and happy together like the world is just candy dandy perfect.

But never mind.

I have every reason to believe that *ahem* ..... the best is yet to be :)

happy valentine's to all and sundry!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Not good

"Everyone I know in litigation has health problems..."

Ran into a law school class mate on Sunday who said this and it bothered me.

It's halfway true in a good and bad way. Not everyone I know in litigation has actual physical health problems. But plenty of people I know in litigation have developed this.... aggression and defensive twitchiness.

Monday, January 30, 2012

When I have my own kitchen ....

I shall make chicken soup stock and store it in the freezer.

Then I will cook these .....

sweet and spicy mushroom stir fry

White bean kale soup

Caramelized onion tart with gorgonzola and brie

yose nabe with ginger chicken balls


My own kitchen again! In just a couple more months :)

Hugs self in happiness.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


WILT Thou forgive that sin where I begun,
Which was my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt Thou forgive that sin, through which I run,
And do run still, though still I do deplore?
When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done,
For I have more.

Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I have won
Others to sin, and made my sin their door?
Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I did shun
A year or two, but wallowed in a score?
When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done,
For I have more.

I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun
My last thread, I shall perish on the shore ;
But swear by Thyself, that at my death Thy Son
Shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore ;
And having done that, Thou hast done ;
I fear no more.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Renewal by Toh Hsien Min

In seven years' time there will be
Not one cell in my body that will hold
The faintest, fleeting, first-hand memory
Of you. As the surviving cells grow old
And die, so will you cease to live in me.
Your worm should vanish from my broken pith.
And yet I fear that I shall not be free,
That you will turn from history to myth.
It will pass on from cell to newborn cell:
That golden age, when everything was good.
The streets were paved with oxygen, the food
Was plentiful and birdsong graced the air.
New cells will sculpt the myth: Never so well!
Never so well! Would that we were there!


So I was talking to Mr Grey -

"So is it really true that all the cells in the human body renew themselves after 7 years?"

Mr Grey - who has a degree in biology) - "Actually, no."



Also it reminded me of this.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


From here.


Amazing room. Wish I had the eye for architecture and design - really appreciate a well designed space.


room update

Thanks to Mr Grey's strenuous efforts with the vacuum cleaner, the room is actually much much better.

But it's still horrendously cluttered and I still have too much stuff so the weekend before CNY is probably going to be spent decluttering SOME MORE.

But... it won't be for long ~hugs self in excitement~