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Monday, 31 January 2011


It is certainly a LOAD off my mind now that I have submitted my dissertation to my 1st supervisor for a last look. The other supervisor already feels that it is good enough to be submitted for external examination. :)
Now is the waiting for my 1st supervisor to nod her head.

Sunday, 30 January 2011


It has been finalised. I have checked and checked till I can't bear another look at it. It will be printed out, ring-bound and handed in.

Saturday, 29 January 2011


I have been housebound for the past 2 weekends. No, I am fine, just that I am trying to tie up loose ends. As it has been really busy at work due to the new project, I could only find time to write really late at night and during the weekends.

Friday, 28 January 2011


I just realised there will be no Chinese New Year celebration for us this year. :( With my grandmother's passing, it would be after 49 days when CNY arrives, which means that I could still celebrate CNY. However, with the girls' great-grandmother's passing, CNY would be within 49 days. So NO CNY this year. It is going to be a very quiet CNY.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

The Send Off

The girls took leave of absence from school today to attend their great-grandmother's funeral. We went to the wake at 8am because the body would be leaving for Mandai Crematorium at 9am. There was a short service before the funeral hearse left for Mandai Crematorium. As the funeral hearse was leaving for Mandai Crematorium, we walked behind it for a short distance.
We arrived at Mandai Crematorium just after 9am. There was another service and the air-con in the hall was extremely COLD! The girls cuddled up close against me for warmth. We soon moved to the Viewing Hall to send off the the girls' great-grandmother for cremation. There was refreshment after the final send off. The girls and I reached home close to 11am.
At 3.30pm, we had an Ashes-at-Sea ceremony (the girls stayed home). A boat was rented to take 12 of us out to sea to scatter the ashes. The sea was pretty choppy and the boat had to stop in order to perform the ceremony but it went off without a hitch.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011


The girls and I were at their great-grandmother's wake at Mount Vernon. It was an experience for the girls because it is their first wake, and their first Christian wake. We left the wake before the service because the girls still have school tomorrow and Marieann still has homework to complete.
At the wake, the girls, especially Marieann, were initially curious and wanted to have a look at their late great-grandmother. But Juliane chickened out and closed her eyes when she got near the coffin. Marieann was uneasy after the first look. But sil made her look again before we left the wake. I was annoyed with that. It is their first encounter with death and their first close up view of the dead. It is totally understandable if they are uneasy and it doesn't matter if the deceased is family. I know of adults who are phobic of attending wake/ funerals because they are totally uncomfortable with/ about death/ the dead, let alone children. Some people believe in exposing someone repeatedly to something he/she fears and he/she will be cured of that fear. Unfortunately I don't believe that. If anything, it might make things worse, psychologically. Sigh. I didn't want the girls to be traumatised. I conducted psychological debriefing with the girls after we came home.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Operation Success

My father had the cataract removed from his left eye at a 7.30am operation this morning. It was a success. He was able to return home around 11am. He has since been resting and sleeping. The girls thought he looked funny with the plastic eye patch over his left eye. "Ah Gong looks like a pirate, so funny", they said. My father will go back for his post-op check-up tomorrow.

"Compassionate" Leave

At my workplace, compassionate leave is applicable only for immediate family: parents, siblings, spouse, and grandparents. Parents-in-law are still considered as immediate family but others are not. Others mean siblings-in-law and grandparents-in-law. Sigh. I will use my annual leave as compassionate leave then for the grandmother-in-law's wake and funeral.

Monday, 24 January 2011


Inevitable I
My father went to see the eye doctor at SGH. It is inevitable that he needed the cataract operation as soon as possible for he has delayed it for far too long. He will be going in for operation tomorrow morning!

Inevitable II
My grandmother-in-law slipped into a coma after being admitted into hospital yesterday. Today, she passed away in the late morning.

Sunday, 23 January 2011


The girls' father, his mother and his sister were supposed to be off to Hong Kong for their annual family overseas trip. However, a phone call at 2am+ threw their plans into awry. The girls' great grandmother, who is now at a nursing home, took a turn for the worse and was sent to NUH.
Things are not looking good. She is not responding to any medication...

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Wedding Lunch

The girls went with their maternal grandparents to a family friend's son's wedding lunch. Only family and close friends were invited. I stayed at home because I needed to work on my writing. According to the girls, it was a nice, cosy wedding lunch held at one of the rented chalets. According to the girls, they ate a lot! :P

Friday, 21 January 2011

Pocket Frogs

I have resisted the Pocket Frogs app for as long as I could. I have heard from friends about how fun it is and from my own girls who played it on their father's iPad. I finally downloaded the app two months back. As I slowly discovered the fun of it, I got more and more addicted to it. I am at level 6 now whereas my girls are still at level 3! Hahaha. :P

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Airplane Seat Quiz

This is very interesting results from Blogthing quiz! Especially with regards to what happened recently, and today... :P
You Are an Aisle Seat

You are an assertive and energetic person. You know what you want, and you're very decisive.
A colleague and friend said I am an Indian Chief.

You are willing to speak out, and you're definitely not shy. If you want the aisle seat, you'll ask for it.
My colleagues and friends will agree with this totally, especially with what happened today lol. :P

You like to stay busy, and it's hard for you to stay still. You definitely need to "move about the cabin."
Again to my colleagues and friends, it is very hard for me to remain ZEN and not do anything!! Haha. :P

You don't believe in obstacles... you overcome them. You are a natural problem solver.
Maybe it is the Indian Chief in me, need to have control, need to solve... lol.

It is quite interesting how I used to love sitting at the window seat when I was younger. However, I started preferring the aisle seat in the last 10 years or so. :)

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

My Father's Eyesight

My father's eyesight is failing him fast. He has cataract. He was advised to have the cataract removed a year or two ago but he kept putting it off. He was worried about losing his "freedom". He is a restless person, he loves going out, shopping especially and he loves to cook. But if he has the cataract surgery, he will have to rest for two/ three weeks, depending on his rate of recovery. I don't think he will be able to do that. But he will have no choice. His driving has become erratic since his return from UK because of his cataract. For his safety and for the safety of others, he desperately needs that cataract operation!
This coming Monday, I will accompany him to see the eye specialist and hopefully a cataract operation can be scheduled for him soon!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Fat Genes

Juliane tried to perform a magic trick with my ring. She ended up with the ring stuck on her finger. I was shocked at how chubby her fingers are!! After a little struggle and pain, I got the ring off her middle finger. I showed her how easily the ring slipped on and off my ring finger! Sigh.
I am afraid Juliane may have her father's fat genes, Marieann too. :( :( (Their father's family is on the heavier side and strangely, exercise hasn't really helped with losing weight, not for their father.) And coupled with the mother-in-law being the girls' "drug" supplier of all things sweet and junk, it won't be easy for the girls to keep the weight off. I hope it is just baby fat for now...

Monday, 17 January 2011

"Will I Die?"

That's what Juliane asked me when she accidentally swallowed her chewing gum.
It happened when it was almost her bedtime but she was still chewing gum. So I hurried her to brush her teeth.

Me: Get rid of your sweet and go brush your teeth.
Juliane: Ok Mama it is gone.
Me: Wait a minute, where did you spit it?
Juliane: I swallowed it.
Me: That's chewing gum!
Juliane: Ahhh I forgot! Why didn't you tell me?!
Me: (started laughing) (reason why later)
Juliane: Will I die?!
Me: Not sure but let me know if you do, ok? Haha.

I laughed when Juliane swallowed her chewing gum because she reminded me of me! I did the same thing when I was young. I too forgot that I was chewing gum and swallowed it. Lol. :P

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Mini Spring Clearing/Cleaning

We did a mini spring clearing/ cleaning today. Expected it to take only 2 hours top, it stretched to 5 hours. We, meaning my girls and I, cleared out piles of their stuff (books, toys, junk) in the living room, dining room area and in their grandparents' bedroom.
Now the place looks really neat and clutter-free! :) Just in time, the girls' grandparents (my parents) are coming back from UK tomorrow. Hahaha. Yes, that's our motivation for doing the spring cleaning because we didn't want to get a scolding from my parents for creating a mess in the apartment. :P Yes, even at my age, I dread getting a scolding from my parents lol.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Homework Day

Saturday is homework day for Marieann. She spent most of the day completing her school homework and her tuition homework. She also started to learn some of the words for her English spelling and practised writing the characters for her Chinese spelling. I am glad that she is off to a good start. :)

Friday, 14 January 2011

Submerged! II

The phone call I dreaded finally came. My mother called up and asked about the Brisbane apartment. :( For years, my father has been trying to get me to sell the apartment. But out of sentimental reasons and romantic wishful thinking - forever hopeful that I will one day return to stay in Brisbane, I have held onto the apartment. I told my mother to expect the worst. To my surprise, my mother was zen about it but I could hear my father in the background asking quesitons lol.
I guess she is right. There is no point being upset because it is a natural disaster. It is beyond our control. We can only be strong and move on.

Thursday, 13 January 2011


Looking through the Brisbane Times online website, my worst fear has come true. One of the worst hit areas by the flood in Brisbane is St Lucia! :( My apartment at St Lucia, Queensland is definitely hit by the flood. :( I saw a photo of the shops that are on the parallel street to Macquarie Street where my apartment is and they are almost 4/5 submerged by the flood waters. :(
My garage on the street level is completely submerged. My apartment, which is on the first level - I don't have high hopes of it staying dry. I have asked friends in Brisbane to pop over for a look once the flood has subsided and is safe to do so. I may have to make a trip back to Brisbane in the near future.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Back to Counselling

It's nice to see my counsellees again after the December holidays. Quite a few told me that they missed talking to me. That's really nice to know/ hear. :)
I am glad to be back doing my counselling work.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

My iPad crashed! II

A kind soul left a comment on my earlier blog post My iPad crashed! providing a possible cause on why my iPad crashed and a solution on how to isolate the cause, usually an erroneous app. Thanks much! The comment is really helpful and I really appreciated it. :) To help others who might have experienced the same situation, I have reproduced ipadupadweallpad's comment. :)

ipadupadweallpad said...
it's possible the crash was caused by one of your MANY apps lol.. sometimes when 'clearing' the apps, it requires that the OS makes a call to the app to close itself, and the app misbehaves and does something illegal (bad programming) such as addressing some wrong memory address, causing the ipad to crash. The ipad in general quite hard to crash and it's usually becos of an erroneous app...

See if you can locate the crash log': C:\users\AppData\roaming\apple computer\logs\crashreporter\mobiledevie\. TO do this you need to sync your ipad to itunes first, which will copy the crash log into your computer. The log name starts with the application name and have an extension 'crash'.

you can read about this here:

11 January 2011 22:28

Monday, 10 January 2011

"We do floods now"

It is a truly terrifying sight watching (on the news) the deadly flash flood that swept through Toowomba, Queensland. Cars were tossed around and carried down the streets by the flood waters as if they were weightless! Several lives have been lost and many more missing. :( Hope the missing will be found alive...

It is an inside joke that only residents of Toowomba understood. "We are on a bloody mountain. We don't do floods. Puddles, occasionally." But now Toowomba does floods.
The flood water is now on its way towards Brisbane... the residents in Brisbane have been told to evacuate... I have an apartment in St Lucia, just by the river... Crossing my fingers...

Sunday, 9 January 2011


The girls found this while looking for the song 'Dynamite'. They showed it to me and I am blown away by this young man's talent. This young man did a cover of 'Dynamite' A Cappella using just his voice and mouth and it is brilliant!
Here's presenting Mike Tompkins and his cover of 'Dynamite' (posted by pbpproductions)

Saturday, 8 January 2011

My iPad crashed!

Just before we went out for dinner, I was clearing the different apps on my iPad. As I was multi-tasking - clearing the apps and talking to my girls, I couldn't remember if my finger had hit the power button to switch it off. But I noticed the screen went blank really fast.

While waiting for our food at MeatWorks, I took out my iPad to play and I realised I couldn't switch it on at all!!! :( The girls' father suggested I bring it to the Apple shop to exchange for a new iPad. That will be the last resort. I searched the Internet for incidents of iPad crashing on my HTC but it was slow going. Getting really upset, I finally texted a good friend who has an iPad too. Bless him! He texted back telling me to try holding down the power button and home button together for about 10 seconds and it should start up again. Otherwise it would have to be hard reset via iTunes, etc. That was the longest 10 seconds in my life while waiting for my iPad to revive. And it did! PHEW!! For a while, I thought my jinx on electronic gadgets is back. :S Touchwood!

I am praying hard my iPad will never crash again.

Friday, 7 January 2011

First Illness of 2011

First, it was the girls' father who was down with cold on 1st January 2011. Now it is the girls' turn. Both of them are now down with cold (must have gotten it from their father). :(
Going to make sure the girls drink plenty of water, rest and keep away from me lol. :P

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Ghost in the Fan

The girls and I were watching television in the living room after dinner. The fan, which was switched on, was behind us. Suddenly, the fan went "beep, beep, beep, beep, beep". The three of us turned behind to look at the fan when the "beeping" was still going on. Marieann whispered, "There's a ghost in the fan". Collectively, we shuddered and then we turned back to watching the tv with the fan still turning.

There are buttons on our fan that beep when they are pressed. Lately, our fan has been acting strangely. It "beeps" (switches) on and off on its own. Whenever that happens, I would check the timer on the fan but it is not activated at all! Ok with the single "beep" on and off, maybe I can still explain it as the "on/off" button being faulty. But with the continuous "beep, beep, beep, ..." it is like someone or something is pressing on the button continuously. I really have no explanation how that could happen, except...

Come to think of it, it is a wonder the three of us didn't just run off in terror when the "beep, beep, beep, beep, beep" started lol.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Good Start(s)

It's the second day of school. Things are going well. Juliane likes her teachers and her classmates. Marieann is doing her homework without having me telling her to. :) Both girls are off to a good start.

Not long after I have tucked the girls into bed, both of them came rushing out excitedly. Juliane was holding something in her hand and she had a bloody mouth. Oh goodness, Juliane had accidentally pulled out her milk tooth that was loose. After rinsing her mouth, she went back to bed. For Juliane, that's a good start, not afraid of blood lol.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

First Day of School

It's the first day of school. To my surprise, everyone woke up on time at 6am! :) Actually both Juliane and I woke up a few times prior to 6am. I guess we were both nervous?! Haha. I made french toast for Marieann as she thought I make the best french toast. :P At 6.35am, I waited with the girls at the lobby for their school bus. It arrived promptly at 6.40am.Although P1 girls could go to school later at 8am, I decided to let Juliane take the school bus to school, together with Marieann. If Marieann went to school on her own when she was in P1, Juliane could do the same! My girls are independent, like me! :)

The sisters waiting for the school bus

I went to SCGS just before 9.30am to see Juliane at recess time. She was definitely happy. I saw her interacting with her classmates. Halfway through recess, I saw Juliane looked for Marieann who was seated at the P3 tables. I am proud of Juliane for taking things in her stride. :)

Thinking about what to eat lol

"Mama", she found me amidst the crowd of parents

Waiting to return to class

I am also very proud of Marieann. She looked for Juliane at recess time and made sure Juliane was doing ok before she went back to her P3 designated tables for recess. That's looking out for her sister. Marieann has grown up. :)

Marieann grinning sheepishly because I caught her with a jelly drink

Monday, 3 January 2011

Eve of New School Year

There are a few restless people tonight in my household. Juliane, Marieann and I. When I walked past their room a couple of minutes ago, I could still hear the girls whispering to each other.
Juliane is definitely restless because she will be in Primary 1 tomorrow! It is going to be a whole different ball game as compared to kindergarten. She doesn't think so but I know she will cope well in Primary 1.
Marieann is restless because she doesn't know which Primary 3 class she will be in and how many of her friends will be in the same class. And she now has the added responsibility of looking out for her sister in school, at least during recess time and after school.
I am restless because Juliane is going to be in Primary 1 and I hope she will have a pleasant 'first day of school' experience. But now I am worried because I am not sure if both girls can get up on time tomorrow! I better have a few alarm clocks on stand-by haha. :P

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Happy 9th Birthday, Marieann

For the second year running, Marieann is able to celebrate her birthday in peace lol. :) Usually, 2nd January would be a school day, the first day of school to be precise. As I was busy working on my dissertation, I didn't have the time to arrange a birthday outing for her and her friends. Instead, we settled for a quiet dinner at the restaurant of her choice.
We went to Carousel. We invited Juliane's friend, Catherine too as the two girls are good friends and Juliane has been going over to Catherine's place to play for a number of weekends. It's buffet and I was surprised that the girls could eat haha. :P
There was a surprise for Marieann at the end of the meal. The staff at Carousel brought her a chocolate birthday cake and sang "Happy Birthday". Marieann was speechless and was quite shy about it lol.

Before we went to dinner, the girls were on Skype with their grandparents who are currently in UK. The girls' grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousins sang "Happy Birthday" to Marieann via Skype. Marieann was really happy about it.

Happy Birthday, Marieann! Wishing you lots of love and happiness.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy 2011!

Happy New Year!
May everyone enjoy good health in the new year.
May everyone enjoy good fortune in the new year.
May everyone have a wonderful and happy 2011!!