A little about me

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Crazy Insomnia

I couldn’t sleep the other night, so I did the craziest of things and jumped in the car and drove to the 24 hour Starbucks in the city.  Singapore streets are always packed full, tons of traffic and people everywhere like little ants.  Well it looked very different at 2am.  

Friday, 28 January 2011

A Snarl Up

Well, its official friends, I seemed to have moved into my car. 

I have been absent from blogging for the past few days due to this reason. I have been at the steering wheel and not at the keyboard.

Singapore Parking Lot!

Where to start on the traffic in Singapore….. aaaaggghhh!

Cars are hugely expensive in Singapore.  It’s considered a luxury beyond many things and as a result public transport is indeed fantastic, you really can't fault it.  Buying a car is complicated. 

(CEO, certificate of entitlement is a program designed to limit car ownership, and hence, the number of vehicles on the country's roads.  Residents of Singapore  bid for the right to buy a car, with the number of certificates deliberately restricted.
The COE allows holders to own a car for a period of 10 years, after which they must either scrap or export their car with, or bid for another COE. On top of this cars are at a premium price just to make matters 10 x worse).

Okay, that’s the boring facts over with – the bottom line is, the number of COE’s issued has  risen and the roads are more like parking lots these days. And the island is too small for soooo many cars.

Yesterday, to cap it all off it rained.  Now I don’t mean a shower or a downpour, I mean serious tropical rain so heavy that it looked like a curtain falling.  So, throw this in with the already bumper to bumper traffic and…. Yeah, you get the picture!

And  it gets better…. of course yesterday it was ECA pick up.  I waited for over 90 minutes for Little M to catch the shuttle bus from the middle school campus to the elementary.   By the time she arrived, (all lovely and muddy and dirty from soccer), I had to decide there and then, did I have time to take her home, pick up Mr H and drive straight back to the middle school for parent teacher conference?  With the way things were, plan “A” wasn’t going to work, so I had to put plan “B” in place – which was, take poor Little M back through the traffic to the exact same place she left 90 minutes ago before she got on the shuttle bus.

Nightmare.  More traffic. Stinky muddy tired child.  Very fraught me.  Lashings of rain.

We made the 7pm parent/teacher conference in time (just) .  Little M sat in the foyer doing her homework, no food, no snacks, tired and fed up.  Only to have to get back in the car and fight our way home again…… and walk through the door at 8.50pm.  I was exhausted, how Little M was still on her feet I don’t know, having been out of the house since 7.45 that morning.

Today was also school pick up  – still not funny – still crazy but at least it wasn’t raining.
(I did see a poor squashed monkey on the side of the road when I was at 5mph – poor thing). 
Today's "better" traffic..... agggghhhh

There is an upside.  No school tomorrow, no pickups, no traffic, (no expletives!).
And to finish on a nice positive note – parent/ teacher conference,  Icouldn’t have prouder J

Ok, moan over.... normal service will resume tomorrow.... :)
Happy, safe driving, wherever you are!

Until the next time
Beth x
(Thank you for taking time to read my post)

Monday, 24 January 2011

A Small Drop

I have  two beautiful daughters that I love with all my heart.  I would do anything to protect them.  Put my life down if I had to.

How would I feel if one were to be snatched away, just like that, no idea by who, and with no money or resources to search for them?  My heart would be broken.

Working closely with different organizations in Cambodia for the past few years, stories of young girls being snatched are sadly are far too common. Taken away to an evil world where their bodies are sold to men for pleasure.  Locked together in the worst conditions, terrified and wondering what is happening.
Even typing this makes me emotional.  I have met mothers who have no idea where their children are and if they will ever see them again. And I have by the grace of God met children who have been rescued.  Words sometimes are not enough.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Only So Many Coffee Mornings...

Being an expat wife is a funny thing.  Wives who follow their husbands and his jobs from country to country.  No roots and a very transient society.  We came to Singapore almost 13 years ago for a two year deal and apart from one year in Rome in between we came back and we’ve been here ever since. Our situation is unusual to say the least.  Young families drop in, two, three years max and then move on to the next posting, Hong Kong, Middle East, Korea, Japan…….  Expat children are used to having new kids in their class all the time and sadly having to say goodbye to classmates regularly. They are referred to regulary as "Third Culture Kids"

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Bipolar is Never Cured, Only Managed

I’m a poor sleeper.  It was 5am “last night” when I last looked at the clock.  (I didn’t used to be, to be honest I used to drift into a coma I’m sure rather than sleep). So today of course I’m a right old grump with a foggy mind and yawning nineteen to the dozen. 

There is a reason - I have bipolar, which by all accords is quite the “it” thing to have at the moment. No Oscar actor or Grammy award singer would be complete without bipolar on their list of accolades.   

The Year of the Rabbit is Almost Upon Us (+ gym update)

The Chinese zodiac follows a twelve year cycle, each of the years being named after an animal. The Chinese believe that people born in a particular year take on the characteristics of the animal associated with that year.
I am according to the Chinese zodiac, a Monkey. 

“Very clever, but mischievous. Loves a challenge and can wriggle out of difficult situations by thinking through difficult problems. Highly successful and well-liked”.

Friday, 21 January 2011

In time for the next Olympics.....

The recent unseasonably cooler weather here in Singapore has made me more active, it makes the world of difference and moving my body is more pleasurable when it isn't an 80% humidity and a 90% heat.  And  maybe it's why I did an unthinkable thing and signed up for a 10K run.   

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Unwanted Gifts

Apart from the odd goldfish that I won at a fair we never had a pet when we were children.  I was neither fussed nor afraid.  But Little M since we can remember has always been totally petrified of anything that had a tail and was furry. We decided then for her sake that maybe getting a pet would be a good idea to take the fear away.  Mr Jones, our ginger cat was three months when we adopted him from the animal shelter and was terrified to find himself in new surroundings.  For two weeks Little M ran from room to room in fear of her life in case this little tiny kitten was in any way going to attack her.  He didn’t and thankfully she relaxed and both she and Mr Jones became buddies. He was pampered and fussed over and became quite the little prince. Mr H, the head of the house  also welcomed the male cat to a house as it was "already far too full of female hormones" in his opinion.  It helped balance things out, so he said.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Myth and Legend

Legend has it that Lunar New Year started back in ancient days, when a mythical beast known as Nien, would linger around villages on the first day on the New Year to prey on livestock and devour crops, villagers and even little children

Down With the Old and UP With the New


A small part of the street celebrations

Singapore is a fantastic spectacle of twinkling lights, trees and baubles of all descriptions from November through the Christmas period

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Flora, Fauna and a Turtle Named Froggy

Back when Little M was in Grade 1 her teacher  returned to Canada leaving a problem of who would adopt the class pet , Froggy.  How it landed on us I have no idea, but we became the new adoptive family.  Froggy isn’t a frog as you would think but a turtle. He had a brother once upon a time who was now ‘swimming in a little pool at home’ (I guess that’s G1 teacher speak for “gone to the large swimming pool in the sky!". 

Let's Get This Thing Started

Well, that was easier than I thought. I imagined that I'd have to sit for days working through pages and pages of computer speak before getting here.  But here I am....

Really I should have started this blog weeks ago when there was a lot more happening in my life.  I wish I had now.  It's only through the boredom of "resting" that I took the plunge (and a bit of nagging from my husband). 

In Two Months I Will Say Goodbye to my Childhood

Sydney Harbour age 6
                          “In two months I will say goodbye to my childhood!”  
                                                   Big M’s tweet yesterday

                                     Reading that just stopped me in my tracks

Friday, 7 January 2011

Happy New Year

Phew it’s been ages, I didn’t realize how long until I began to recount in my head everything that has happened since I last blogged (Don’t worry I won’t bore you with all the details).

2011 is upon us.  The decorations are back in the storeroom, the turkey and log have long been eaten, school back on Monday and time to shake off the Christmas tv & chocie fest and get back out there.