Archives for the month of: December, 2013

Xmas tree

Yes, it’s THAT season so it’s ‘happy holidays’ to you all – you see, I’m very transatlantic, even global with my greetings these days.

So, as is customary for a 44 year old mother of two, here is my letter to Saint Nick. Saint Nick, not Old Nick… though when I’m preparing for Christmas with often murderous thoughts, a letter to Old Nick may be more appropriate.

Dear Father Christmas,

However bad I’ve been, please please don’t let me have to go again this year to:

VivoCity
ToysRus in Tampines, the basement of Takashimaya or Daiso.
Malls with scented gingerbread candles
Supermarkets (actually that one is a year round wish)

Please can you also stop the children from re-writing their Christmas lists because they aren’t getting half the stuff from the first edition, let alone the 65th version?

These lists are not helped by the fact the best fun Ned has had all year was wearing a bucket on his head while his friends shot Nerf gun bullets at it and pelted his armoured head with lego. I’m not sure how we move on from that present wise.

ned with bucket on his head

Also, if one more pink toy enters Millie’s bedroom, we will all need therapy. Her online course in ‘breaking gender codes’ will start in January.

Although I don’t blame you entirely, it does seem that the majority of presents may well tip Dom over the edge as they need:

Knife/scissors/screwdrivers to get into the box
Knife/scissors/screwdrivers to remove toy from the box
Knife/scissors/screwdrivers to then get it to work

I am delighted that you have a sense of humour too as there is also stuff that needs:

Parental interaction

This list is not exhaustive but appears to include:

Board games *shudder*
Skateboards – I understand that they will not master this until at least next Christmas
Lego. Bloody lego. This year I will be firm and vacuum up pieces left on the floor. Unlike last year when I spent an hour rescuing Anakin Skywalker’s head from the Dyson.

I realise that our Christmas tradition of consuming enough prosecco by 10am to bring down a rhino may not help any of the above.

I also need to point out to you that being British at 3pm on Christmas Day we listen to the Queen’s speech. This is a time when all good parents put a napkin over their head for a quick and deserving snooze. In Singapore, am I expected to power through?

If I am, there will need to be an extra sleigh delivering more prosecco. With thanks

Love Sarah x

ps Any chance of it not raining and being damp and unbelievably humid while I cook a roast dinner with all the trimmings? I would be very grateful.

pps I secretly love it, but don’t tell the elves.

waterpotplant

It’s rainy season. With bells on. It is marginally, fractionally, just a smidge cooler though after a blustery shower which makes wandering around a little less hot and bothersome. In fact, I actually felt a bit chilly the other day. Saying that though, today is a scorcher!

Now, Minx is saying that she isn’t getting a feel of Singapore from the photos I am sending home. I should point out that we lived out here as a family 40 years ago and the Singapore my mother loves so much is gone. Maybe that is why I spend so much time looking for ‘old’ Singapore, perhaps it is some early childhood memory I’m trying to find.

This photo perfectly sums up the change. Gentrification is everywhere. I don’t mind that, I just wish it always didn’t all look the same. I wonder if these neighbours speak. I doubt it somewhow.

old and new

Shopping malls are another part of Singapore life – the largest one I have ever been to in my life is called Vivo City at Harbourfront. It is absolutely enormous. It’s the kind of place that I go to thinking ‘Let’s go to Vivo City, all the shops are in one place, brilliant idea’. Then you get there and realise that the shop you want is 5 escalators and about 2km away from the entrance. Bleugh. The last time we went there Dom was going up an escalator in a daydream and looked at the brushes at the side of the step bit. You know the ones I mean – the bristles that stop any rubbish getting stuck in the sides. Dom thought ‘I wonder if that feels nice if you brush your foot against the bristles’. Of course the pharmacist is MILES away from where you are as your foot gets sliced and bleeds everywhere…. Millie rightly said ‘You won’t do that again, will you daddy!’

Away from the malls though, if you look down side streets you can still see old shophouses open for business. How long they will survive? Who knows. I love them. On a hot (or rainy day) you can walk under the archways keeping cool in the shade.

hardware store

greengrocers

I also want to find the painters that, when refurbishing yet another row of shophouses into posh residences, didn’t paint over this. So grateful.

lucky book store

lucky book store close up

In my quest for space, we took the kids around Macritchie Resevoir. I wonder how much of this has been recently man-made or if it has been preserved as part of Singapore heritage? The following are some pics from there. Hard to believe this is in the middle of Singapore. I am going to point out though that it took a great deal of patience (which I deeply lack) to take pictures without hordes of people in it. The walkers, families, trail runners and meanderers make this a less restful place than it looks…

view from tree top walk

monkey

macritchie resevoir

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