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Monday, 30 September 2013

Back Home

My parents are back home after 2 and a half months away. They were in England visiting my brother, my sister-in-law and my three nephews. They reached home at 6pm after their 12-hours flight. The girls were happy to see their grandparents. I am happy to see my parents too. Finally, someone to take over the nagging and scolding of the girls haha. :P
After settling down, we skyped with my sister-in-law and my youngest nephew, Yeun Zhen who missed my parents terribly to inform them that my parents have arrived safely in Singapore. The other two boys, Yeun Yi and Yeun Song were in school, I think.   
 My parents thoroughly enjoyed their stay in England with my brother and his family and they especially enjoyed their time spent with their three grandsons. :)

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Final Farewell

On this day 29 September 2013, I attended BC's cremation at Mt Pleasant at 9am. 
We arrived slightly earlier than 9am so that we could bid our farewell to BC for the last time before the cremation. BC looked as if he was just sleeping... his fur still felt so soft... I was almost waiting for him to wake up... Alas, it was only wishful thinking on my part. Although BC passed away on 19 September, the grief is still as great. :( 

Good bye, BC. Thank you for the fond memories. You will always live on in my heart.

No one ever really dies as long as they took the time to leave us with fond memories. ~Chris Sorensen

Saturday, 28 September 2013


Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.  
~From a headstone in Ireland

Friday, 27 September 2013

I Wouldn't Go In There

Both my girls and I have taken to watching "I Wouldn't Go In There" (IWGIT) on National Geographic channel every Friday night. At first glance, you would think that IWGIT is a typical paranormal documentary reality television series that aims more to scare you and give you more questions than answers like "Are there ghosts?", e.g. "Scariest Place on Earth". But IWGIT is much more than that, there is a little horror factor in the beginning when each haunted site is introduced but the horror would soon fade away to curiosity and the desire to learn the truth, for me that is.
What first drawn me to the IWGIT series is that the locations of the supposedly haunted places are all in Asia, places closer to home and more relatable in a way. :P 
Second thing that hooked me to the IWGIT series hosted by Robert Joe (RJ) is the way RJ tracks down the often untold but true stories hidden behind the most notorious haunted sites in Asia. RJ's working hypothesis for each haunted site is that there is something else much more real (and terrifying), beneath the tales of haunting, waiting to be uncovered. I enjoyed RJ's use of combination of gumshoe detective work and modern technology to track down what really happened at each "haunted" site. Often, RJ would discover that there is a horrifying event, such as incidents during a war, which people chose to forget or have forgotten with time and the rumours of hauntings would begin for the "haunted" location because people have forgotten what really happened there and only knew vaguely that it is not a good place to go to. 
To me, IWGIT series is good in teaching my girls that sometimes there is often more to be uncovered that what is widely believed. In other words, do not believe blindly what you are told. To borrow a phrase from a long gone series "The X-Files", The Truth Is Out There! You only have to look for it. :) The IWGIT series is also good in teaching them that evidence is important, always substantiate what they say with evidence. (Yes, occupational hazard of a researcher lol :P). For those two reasons alone, that's why I did not stop my girls from watching IWGIT and I would also explain to them as the show progressed so to correct any misconceptions.
I personally think that IWGIT series is educational (and does give a little kick of excitement - the supposed haunting) and I hope that NGC will make a second series. :)

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Star Trek vs Star Wars

And Star Trek won! Lol. 
Having grown up with both Star Wars and Star Trek in my life, I couldn't decide which one I like more or which one is more me lol. So I took the Blogthings quiz "Are you Star Wars or Star Trek?" to help me decide.
You Are Star Trek
When it comes to fandom, you are big on realism, technology, and science. You want to be able to believe what's happening.
Stories with a strong ethical element are compelling to you. You like to think about what's right and wrong.

You appreciate the down to earth approach Star Trek takes to sci-fi. It's both relatable and relevant.
You could totally see yourself in the Star Trek universe. You'd be the first to enroll at Starfleet Academy.
Are You Star Wars or Star Trek?
So which one do you think you are - Star Wars or Star Trek? :)

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Double Trouble with Chinese

Today, Juliane has her English and Chinese oral examinations after school. She too reported that her English oral seemed to be easier than her Chinese oral. Juliane has always been strong in her Chinese so it might really be so. Sigh.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Trouble with Chinese

Today, Marieann had her English and Chinese oral examinations after school. She reported that the English oral seemed to be easier than the Chinese oral. I don't know if it is really so because she always has had problems with her Chinese. Sigh.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Roar - Katy Perry

Previously, I put up Katy Perry's Roar (Lyrics version) which is adorable. Now her official 'Roar' music video is out. It is also adorable. :) 

 (uploaded by KatyPerryVEVO)

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Almost Exams

The girls' oral examinations will be held this coming week. School has already began oral preparation with the girls. However, I still need to do my part as a parent. I tried my best to revise with the girls on their oral. I don't think English oral would be a problem but Chinese oral may be a problem, especially for Marieann. :(

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Happy Birthday, Yeun Zhen!!

Happy Birthday, Yeun Zhen!!
Hope your special day is filled with great adventures! :)

Lots of love from Singapore, 
Marieann 姐姐 and Juliane 姐姐, 姑妈, 姑丈
(Photo source: Priceninja)

Friday, 20 September 2013

E-learning Again

It is e-learning day again for the girls because it is PSLE Listening Comprehension today. Primary 1 to 5 students need not report to school today and instead would have e-learning via MC Online portal. Recalling how much IT issues the girls had for their last e-learning days, I decided to work from home so that I could help them out if they encounter any IT issues as well as to keep an eye on them.
Today's e-learning was a breeze for the girls. No IT trouble at all. :)

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Farewell, BC

Today, my friend's cat, BC passed away at 3:45pm. It is an auspicious day to leave for a better place as it is also the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, Mid Autumn Festival. The Chinese believe that only those with very good karma will leave for a better place either on the 1st or the 15th day of each lunar month. For that, I am very glad that BC left today. However, that fact alone couldn't take away the pain and grief I felt upon BC's passing. I still feel the pain and grief now.
Some would be puzzled as to why would I feel so deeply about BC, my friend's cat when I am not even his owner. I called BC my part-time cat because when his owner went away for holidays, ranging from a few days to 3 weeks, I would be taking care of BC. I would give him his medicine twice a day, feed him, change his water daily, clear his litter box twice a day, play with him and keep BC company. Most importantly, I gave BC my love and attention. BC, I am most honoured, returned the love and attention.
I am very glad that I managed to say my farewell to BC today. I was there with BC during his last moments, whispering in his ears that he has no need to worry about us, it is ok for him to go and I send my love with him to the next world. It is heart-wrenching to see BC whom I loved (and who loved me back) leave this world but I take heart that BC is now in a better place, in a England Hyde Park-like Cat Paradise chasing birds and sniffing the flowers under a blue sky dotted with candy floss like clouds and a warm sun.
Go with love and happiness, BC. Take care. 

Wednesday, 18 September 2013


Very uneasy, restless, unsettled, disquieted, fidgety, ...

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Latest Ever

Yesterday was the latest I have ever stayed at work. I only left my workplace after 11:30pm, Monday 16 September. My colleague/ friend and I were working on our proposal revision. With both of us being very conscientious persons, we checked and double-checked our revision before sending it out to MOE. My girls were actually worried and called me at 11pm to find out where I was. It was heart-warming to know that they cared about me. :)  
My colleague/ friend dropped me off me off at a taxi stand which cut my time in getting home as compared to me taking the public transport (and might miss the last service for the train and the bus home). Thank goodness, there was a long line of empty taxis at the taxi stand. :) By the time I reached home, it was already 12:10am. I was tired and super hunger as I haven't had dinner yet. Grabbed a quick shower and had a 4-yolk mooncake as my dinner lol. :P
I hope this is the latest ever that I have to work and I do not intend to break this record of working so late at the workplace. If any later, I might, as an ex-colleague and friend who is now studying in Brisbane said, as well sleep in the office over night. I do not hope for this to happen as I much prefer my bed anytime. Thank you very much.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

All Clear!

I am officially off the chicken pox alert! :) I have passed 14 September deadline without developing any chicken pox symptoms. PHEW! :) Even though I took the first dose of the chicken pox vaccination, my family doctor told me it would not be enough to keep chicken pox away as I had been with my friend during her infectious period and my jab was only taken 10 days before my 14 September deadline. As mentioned before, I also have had close brushes with chicken pox in the past but never got it. It looks like I may have natural immunity to chicken pox. :P

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Grill-Out! @The Grandstand

This is the first time we are at The Grandstand, Turf City after its make-over into a family and lifestyle destination with lots of F & B outlets, kids' activities centres, and retail shops. 
We first went to PasarBella and it was really crowded. I enjoyed walking at PasarBella despite it being so crowded. It reminded me of the farmers' markets in Australia, with its farm produces, craft retailers and food stores - the bright colours, the wonderful aromas, the people. :)
Marieann and I both love this shop
As it was too crowded at PasarBella (which is located at North Grandstand), we walked over to South Grandstand to look for dinner. It took us a while to decide as there are plenty of choices. Close to 8pm, we finally settled at Grill-Out! for our dinner. Juliane and I had the Grill for 2@$35 which came with free juice and free salad or mushroom soup with truffle oil. We chose the pork chop and salmon from a list of 5 mains. I liked my salmon fillet with its sauce. Juliane's pork chop was tender and juicy.
Marieann had her usual Carbonara pasta and she never tires of the dish! The pasta came with generous amount of bacon. Yum! The girls' father tried the Barramundi which was fresh but the sauce was a little bland.
The prices at Grill-Out! are reasonable and affordable, and the food is good. :) 
After dinner, we went to Giant Hypermart to get groceries. I can see why The Grandstand is popular with families on weekends. :)  

Friday, 13 September 2013

Movie Time

The girls and I went to watch a movie as I promised to bring them to one during the school holidays. The girls initially wanted to watch "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" but they realised that it is PG13. So in the end, they chose to watch "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters". It is a nice family movie - there is enough action and humour to entice the children without being too violent. We enjoyed the movie, especially me because I have always loved Greek mythology. In fact, I love mythology of any kind - Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Mayan, Chinese, Scottish, Norse, Persian, Babylonian, Celtic, Welsh, ... :) 

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters trailer (uploaded by CieonMovies)

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Baking Craze

Marieann is going through her baking phase or craze now. 
Last week, she was trying to bake red velvet cupcakes but they didnt turn out right because she used too much food colouring and they tasted bitter. Oops :( 
A few days ago, she started baking banana cake and actually, they turned out quite good. :) 
Today, she started baking chocolate cookies. Not too bad either. :)
I wonder what is next... :)

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

September 11 2001

I still remember very vividly September 11, 2001. I was expecting Marieann then and was just relaxing at home when I saw this scene of two airplane flying into the Twin Towers in New York City on the television. I recalled asking myself which action movie was that... I was in total shock when I realised that it was not a movie, the attacks were real, they were terrorist attacks!
After the September 11 attacks, the world I knew changed. Security became tighter everywhere, especially at airports. New anti-terrorism acts and legislation came into place in numerous countries. Tension increased in countries between Muslims and non-Muslims. Suddenly, no one could take their security for granted anymore... Total Defence, suddenly, made more sense and took on a new meaning for me.
With the events of September 11 2001 in mind, I wish for peace and tolerance in the world.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

The Original

For some things, I still prefer the original. Just like Kit Kat. The original's the best lol! :)
Being practical and down-to-earth, that's so me.
You Are an Original Kit Kat
You are a very down to earth and regular person. And you are very okay with that... you're proud of your realism.
You think rules are important, and you don't mind playing by them to get ahead. You really appreciate structure and order.

You see the world as how it is, and you don't get caught up in unrealistic dreams. You have a good head for learning and remember facts.
You are a practical person who loves to think about how things work. You don't appreciate strangeness for its own sake.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Ben 10 is back!

I am really happy that, I mean my younger girl, Juliane is really happy that Ben 10 is back! :) Oh what the heck, yes, I do watch Ben 10 too and I totally enjoy it lol. 
Ben 10: Omniverse is a new installment of the Ben 10 series, following after Ben 10: Ultimate Alien! It is due to start on 12 September on okto channel, Thursday and Friday, 7.30-8pm. I will be just in time to watch Ben 10: Omniverse when I come back from work! :) 

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Lightning & Thunder!

At 3am or so, there was a heavy thunderstorm with loud booming thunder and bright as day lightning. Marieann woke up and she has never been one who is comfortable with lightning and thunder. In the end, the three of us - mother and daughters slept together on the bed with me squashed in between the two girls and the girls each held one of my hands as they slept lol. 
I felt warm inside when the three of us lay in bed and they were holding my hand. It was like returning to their younger days when they would look to me for protection or to soothe their fears. It has been a long while since they regarded me as their protector, other than their enforcer, the one who is always telling them to do homework and to study. More thunderstorms, please?! LOL :P 

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Dinner & Walk@Botanic Gardens

As Marieann went to River Safari with her classmate and would only return after dinner, Juliane and I decided to eat out for dinner at Botanic Gardens. 
Juliane went for Kaffir Lime Fish Fillet burger ($9). I decided to be adventurous and tried its monthly special: Mussels in Creamy Laksa Broth with linguine ($18). The fish burger was really nice but my mussels with linguine was too spicy for me :( although I liked the mussels. Next time when someone tells me something is not spicy, I will pass.
After our dinner, we went for a walk around Botanic Gardens as it was cool after the rain and it was still light. We had fun walking and taking photos. We were enjoying ourselves, feeling one with nature. :) 
Juliane with Singa, Tanglin Gate Visitor Centre, Botanic Gardens
Swan Lake and the Gazebo (built in 1850s)
Swan Lake and the swan sculpture
The white swans at Swan Lake
Sunset at Botanic Gardens
Good night, Botanic Gardens

Friday, 6 September 2013

Happy Teachers' Day 2013

Happy Teachers' Day 2013 to everyone who have taught me one thing or another. 

To my teachers in SCGS Primary, in SCGS Secondary, in NJC, in UQ, in NIE: thank you for passing on the knowledge and values. 
To my former students in SCGS: thank you for teaching me the joy of lifelong learning (you girls spurred me on to do my Masters!). 
To my former colleagues in SCGS and MOE HQ: thank you for showing me and teaching me how to deal with the world. 
To my current colleagues and friends in NIE: thank you for teaching me about research and stats. 
To my family, especially my mother: thank you for teaching me that there is more out there and that I can be anything I choose/want to do/be (which encouraged me to do my PhD!). 
To all my friends (local and overseas): thank you for teaching me how to be a better friend. 

To all who have taught me something, here's wishing you a Happy Teachers' Day!!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Teachers' Day Presents

The girls asked me for advice on what teachers like as Teachers' Day presents. Based on my personal experience as a teacher, I love things that are practical and meaningful. I told them I loved receiving red pens and I also loved receiving hand-made stuff, like cards, etc. That's exactly what they prepared as presents for their teachers. A pair of red pens and a hand-made card for each of their teachers! Lol. :)
PS. I also informed the girls that if the present a teacher received is above a particular value, he/she has to either return the present or declare to MOE (and MOE will decide what's to be done with the present). Otherwise, he/she might be perceived as receiving bribes because teachers are civil servants. So it's better to spare their teachers the extra paper works. This is little known to parents and students but known to all teachers and civil servants.   

Wednesday, 4 September 2013


As there is no counselling today, I went to the clinic to get my chicken pox vaccination. According to my family doctor, as I was with my friend during her most infectious period so it might actually be a little late for me to be totally protected by the vaccination as two doses (8 weeks apart) are needed. But at the very least, if I do contract chicken pox, the symptoms might not be as severe... My family doctor said if I do not develop any symptoms by 14 September, I am safe. CROSSING MY FINGERS!

PS. Ouch! I hate injections. :(

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Chicken Pox Alert!

My friend/ ex-colleague whom I went to the STGCC with on Saturday, is down with chicken pox!! :O Ah! I have not had chicken pox before. I have had close scares before but this time, it is too close for comfort as I was with my friend during her most infectious period for close to 6 hours in close proximity. It was good of my friend to inform me that she came down with chicken pox today so that I could take precaution.

Monday, 2 September 2013


Today, we had a really long work meeting (close to 6.5 hours), doing some recoding. Although it was really tiring work (recoding 152 projects), we did it! The camaraderie really helped in making the daunting work bearable. I am really glad to be a part of this team. :)

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Don't Know

My girls asked their maternal grandparents when would they be returning to Singapore. I guess the girls must be tired of eating the maid's cooking lol. My parents told their granddaughters, "Don't know" much to the horror of the girls lol. I guess my parents must be having lots of fun in UK with their grandsons, their son and daughter-in-law! :)