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Coffee with friends

I love meeting up with friends over coffee.

We enjoy the coffee, catch up on each others’ lives and keep an eye on the littles, all at the same time. Sometimes, a cake (or croissant) will sit on a plate on the table as we nibble while listening to the other speak. The afternoon sun will stream in, lighting up the place with its magical sparkle.

Every time I meet up with Y and her lil Missy, the conversation seems endless. We may not have seen each other for a while but there’s always something to say. And she is always taking me to new places to check out the coffee. Missy, on the other hand, will tell us stories and draw pictures and – in a recent development – send me Whatsapp messages, alternating between declarations of love and images of cupcakes.

This was exactly what I needed, a leisurely afternoon away from work. Forget about deadlines and that pile of marking, forget about the very little sleep that I had had the night before.

Coffee. And friends. A most enchanting combination.

The picnic that wasn’t

If you have been reading my blog long enough, you’d remember the fiasco that was our wedding.

Okay, to call it a “fiasco” is not to give it enough credit. It was a beautiful night and we did have loads of fun. But it certainly did not go the way it was supposed to.

We were meant to have a beach wedding but we got rained out 30 minutes before the ceremony started. It was, to put it crudely, a OMGWTFBBQ moment.

(Sidenote: I have a slight suspicion that the Universe NO. LIKEY. US. I mean, we planned for a beach wedding and got rained out. We planned to have children and were made to jump through crazy hoops for, like, two years. I was all geared for a natural birth and ended up on the operating theatre, being gutted like a fish. If I am living in a Taiwanese drama serial, I would be staggering at a beach, shaking my fists at the sky and shouting, “Why, God, why?” In the meantime, the rain would be pouring around me and then I’d get struck by lightning. Yup.)

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A few days before our little man’s birthday party with our friends, miss ene asked if we had any friends who wouldn’t be comfortable with having her dog Moon around their kids. Why would they? I asked. None of my dear friends are that sort of people. We don’t worry about pre-school enrollment years ahead of time, we don’t bother with flash cards. No, not my friends.

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So for Aidan’s first birthday, we decided to have a picnic. I didn’t want to have an elaborate party with magicians and whatnots. I just wanted to have a small and simple gathering of those who love us and, in turn, love our boy.

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We made pinwheels. And packed pretty wooden cutlery sets from Sucre Shop. And bought glass bottles with cheery yellow covers. And ordered yellow chevron straws to go with the bottles. And made little packs of snacks, crayons and bubble mixture for the kids. And fluffed out our lovely picnic mat in preparation.

The day started off beautifully enough. It was hot, so hot that we joked about getting a tan. I checked and rechecked the NEA website, which assured me that the southern part of Singapore would stay dry in the afternoon. I said a little prayer of thanks.

Then as we started our drive to Botanic Gardens, the dark clouds loomed low and threatening. Friends started sending us text messages, updating us of the weather conditions of their locations. My heart sank.

By the time we reached Botanic Gardens, it was absolutely pissing with rain. There was to be no picnicking at all.

In the end, we sought refuge at Food for Thought. Thankfully, miss ene was there to help us organise and arrange for tables. We were frazzled and completely exhausted from running around, ensuring that everyone had a seat and was comfortable.

And then, it hit me. As our friends and their littles gathered around the table singing Aidan the birthday song, I realised that he is very loved and so are we. And that it didn’t matter how we celebrated. It was who we celebrated with that mattered.

None of our friends complained about the rain on that day, just as they did not complain about the rain four and a half years ago. And just like on our wedding day, they brushed aside our apologies and told us not to be silly.

They came, despite the torrential rain, and celebrated our little man’s birthday with us.

And that’s what was important.

(You’d think we would have learnt that lesson four and a half years ago but nooooo…)

The joys of a new life

This morning, I switched on my phone to find a text message from my friend P: “It’s a girl!”

Such glorious news! I almost jumped for joy, except that I was at the bus-stop and my bus was approaching. Plus, the belly doesn’t allow me to do anything that’s gravity defying these days so I settled for tweeting instead.

P and I found each other on the Internetz shortly after we had announced the pregnancy. Throughout our pregnancies, we exchanged notes and, to the chagrin of our husbands, updates on sales for baby and maternity wear. We were both proponents of hypnobirthing and she was one of those who constantly gave me encouragement about gearing towards a natural, drug-free birth.

Earlier in the week, P was facing the prospect of having to opt for an epidural. I know, in the end, what should matter is that both mother and child are safe. But I also know how much she was looking forward to having that natural, drug-free birth and was hoping and praying that it would go the way she had envisioned. It did and that made the news even sweeter.

Congrats P and J on your little girl! She’s a lucky, lucky child.

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In December, I woke up with a strange dream. In it, friends of ours announced their pregnancy. I remember being genuinely happy that they were going to be parents, but also feeling slightly bitter that they were able to conceive just like that.

Later in the day, I related the dream to Mr Thick, telling him about the “pregnancy” but stopping short of mentioning my feelings. He proved that he may be thick in girth but not thick in the brains when he asked, “And…?” The man was perceptive enough to know that there was more to the story than I was letting on. Sheepishly, I told him about how I felt in the dream. He didn’t say a word but simply smiled and gave me a hug.

It just goes to show that even though I am on “the other side” now, I can never relinquish my identity as someone from that side. Yes, I feel truly embarrassed by that green-eyed monster that rears its ugly head whenever I hear of people who just bloody breathe and get knocked up and I try my best to beat it down.

Clearly, I have to learn to be a more gracious person.

Married life #19

Preface: Some of our friends work in the credit control department of a bank, where they have to call up credit card customers who have not paid up their bills. Typically, they would ask their customers to verify their identities with their IC numbers. One day, one of them had a customer who recited this over the phone to them: “My IC number is S1234567-Jack. Jack for Jorro.” He almost fell off the chair wondering what this “Jack for Jorro” nonsense was until he looked at the screen and saw that it was actually the letter Z. The customer had meant to say, “Z for Zorro” but had pronounced it as “Jack for Jorro.” We all had a good laugh when we heard it and since then, it’s been the stuff of urban legends.

Fast forward to the present. Mr Thick and I were in the car, on the way home.

Me: I’ve always wanted to give my kid a name starting with Z. But I don’t know any good boy name that starts with Z.

He: ZXXXX (some random word that he made up and which I completely cannot recall)

Me: That’s not a word.

He: Zidane.

Me: Don’t want. Will be like Pan Ling Ling’s kid, Beckham. So lame.

He: I know! He can be called Zimmy! After his dad.

Me: Zimmy Liew ah? Imagine the poor kid in school in future, introducing his dad to the teacher, “Hi teacher, I am Zimmy Liew and this is my father Jimmy Liew.”

He: Then the teacher will ask, “Why did your dad name you Zimmy?”

Me: His reply, “Cos he wanted to name me Jimmy Jr and he thought Jack is for Jorro.”

Okay. It sounds funnier than it reads, I promise you.
Come talk to me in real life and I will tell the story to you in person. I will try not to double up in laughter.

Little Darling

The scope‘s done.
Nothing’s missing from my intestines.
Phew.
But there’s still the biopsy results pending and that’s gonna come later this week.
If nothing is amiss, it means that all this gastric nonsense stems from…MY BRAINS!
STRESS STRESS STRESS.
I’m so terrible at handling stress. Gah.
I was always meant to be a tai tai domestic goddess, I reckon.
Somebody tell that to husband, please?

(Also, the doctor said to me before putting me to sleep, Ah, you are the girl whom I thought was Japanese! Was v glad he didn’t say, Ah, you are the girl who flashed her knickers!)

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I spent one lovely Saturday morning with a girlfriend and her little one at The Plain.
I adore them both, they are the sort of people whom the world needs more of because they are wonderful, generous and full of heart.
Spending time with them always makes me feel lighter, brighter and better.

Taking a self-portrait

Our coffees

Perfectly poached Darling's Eggs, half-eaten

I liked The Plain very much – yummy eggs, nice coffee and cosy relaxed ambience.

Sloshing in the mud

So despite the fact that it was pissing with rain yesterday, we had a brilliant time at the concert.

Hucks picked me up at 6pm promptly and we were bemoaning the downpour in the car. Bah. Thankfully, the rain subsided after dinner, although we were pelted with rain during the 45-minute queue to get into the grounds.

45 minutes!
Of waiting in the drizzle!

Am v patient.

Or not. Apparently I was grumbling at everything and anything during the wait. Well, you would too, if you had to put up with over-enthusiastic singing from kiddies behind you in the queue and intermittent buckets of water droplets from the skies above.

But it was all worth it. The moment we made our way into the grounds, we headed straight to the bar and grabbed a beer each. And you know what, that was actually one of the best things about being at an outdoor gig. Swigging beer, screaming the lyrics along with the band, jumping into the air, sloshing about in the mud and just being generally unglamorous.

There’s just no comparison when it comes to live concerts. The Script was marvelous live: they said the right things, had just the right amount of banter and were absolutely funny to boot. And Danny O’Donoghue was a livewire on stage, he was electrifying and bloody awesome.

We were a bit gutted that The Man Who Can’t be Moved wasn’t the last song as expected but the band did a fab job with Breakeven so it was still good.

Ahh. Fab night after a long day at work.

Next up: Sara Bareilles at the Esplanade!


I look like an auntie next to him, gah.

All photos stolen off of his Facebook.

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