Archive for September 2008

Swooned over bee hoon

September 29, 2008

I experimented with making fried bee hoon the other night for dinner since we have all the ingredients needed to make it as authentic as possible. I used some pak choi, dried mushrooms (from home!), red pepper, shredded carrot and strips of fried egg on top. It turned out not too bad although I was disappointed not to be able to recreate that familiar taste of home. Could it be the missing yew cang (fried shallots) or sliced chilli or fishcake or tau gay? I don’t know… There is just something so comforting about stuffing my face with economy bee hoon, vegetarian bee hoon, or any bee hoon! I miss real food.


September 28, 2008


It was V’s 90th birthday on Thursday and what a lovely day it was for her. A non-stop stream of cards and flowers arrived for her and because she had gone out with R’s sister to visit her niece, I opened the door to receive all of her surprises. Later we had a delicious lunch at a pub restaurant and headed over to R’s sister’s place in the evening where everyone arrived for a small, low-key party. We had some wonderful sponge cake and toasted with Moet champagne, then came home with more cards and boxes of chocolate. I have to admit getting to 90 is such an incredible feat. I wonder how it feels like?

Roses and thorns

September 26, 2008


The last of my birthday surprises came on the night itself when R brought home a huge bunch of beautiful big roses on his bike and tried to sneak them into the house without me noticing. I was overjoyed and put them beside my bed. The great thing about cut flowers in this climate is they last forever, whereas in Singapore my roses would have wilted by the third day if I was lucky.

He was very proud to mention to his colleagues that he’s bought me flowers and they gave him serious nods of approval, until he mentioned it was for my birthday. “What?! Not for her birthday or Christmas. We mean you shouldn’t buy her flowers just on special ocassions, but also on ordinary days to show your affection.” And then they weren’t so impressed with him anymore. 

Poor men, they just never seem to get it right.

Home improvement #2

September 25, 2008










Like many other old houses, ours originally only had one bathroom next to the kitchen, which meant we had to go up and down the stairs whenever we needed the loo or the shower. But since there is already existing plumbing in one of the rooms upstairs, R got a builder to put in a toilet and shower, turning it into an ensuite guest room. So who would be the lucky one to be the first to stay there?











I like purple and all bright colours, but I’m always very hesistant about painting walls in other shades apart from white. I’ve always liked that I can easily jazz up whitewashed rooms with interesting paintings, plants, furniture, and change them whenever I fancied another look.

Having coloured walls would mean that I had to select the accessories to match the shade they were in, and I don’t like having such limitations. There have been many ocassions where I was tempted to experiment with rich hues or even beautiful wallpaper, but in the end I just wasn’t bold or creative enough to step out of my comfort zone.

As you may have gathered by now, we want to try to keep our house simple and neutral in terms of colour and design so that we won’t be in danger of “going out of fashion”. This room upstairs is a space for us to watch TV, read books and magazines, use the computer and relax. There is a futon behind the door and we plan to get a coffee table and maybe a small armchair. I think it may be my favourite room by far.

More home improvement tidbits to come.

Wrapped up warm

September 24, 2008



R came up with the idea of making vegetable wraps for dinner a couple of weeks ago and it’s so yummy and easy to make that we’ve had it a few times since. Basically you just chuck any chopped vegetables you like into the wok and stir-fry it. We have used onions, cabbages, peppers, mushrooms, broccoli and courgettes.

It tastes especially great when you mash up some avocados and spread it on the wrap before you load a few spoonfuls of vegetables on top. We also like to add some smoked mackeral and cheese, but you can try it with strips of chicken or ham. 

While R struggles with wrapping it into a neat parcel, it is relatively easy for me, because it’s just like wrapping a popiah. Do you reckon we should start a wrap business?


September 22, 2008

This arrived on Saturday. A chocolate cake packed in styrofoam! What a sweet surprise from Aunt and Mum, who when I phoned and thanked her, cruelly reminded me of my age and wanted me to start mapping out my life plan.


The orchid was left outside the door early on Monday morning. What a thoughtful gesture from the girls to pick a present to remind me of home! They are lovely and I put them in the living room upstairs on my freshly painted mantelpiece and fireplace. It also came with a blue soft toy which R and I squabbled over the identity till we got some sense to read the tag which said “Blue Hippo”.

I had a few pretty cards and well-wishes from his family, and can you beat this – a blank cheque from R! Woo hoo I’m laughing all the way to the bank! Alright, not. It’s for me to fill in the amount for my yoga lessons starting this week. So romantic right? What to do? Gotta keep fit now that age is catching up on me.

Still, I had a lovely day!

Summer in September

September 22, 2008

Summer finally came on a warm, sunny day in September so I decided to go for a walk up the common near R’s sister’s house.  

This year’s wild blackberries don’t look very good. It’s been raining too much.

Passing by allotments where people grow flowers and vegetable. I saw a huge pumpkin.

Entering the common where cattle grids are in place to prevent the animals from escaping.

Thought I’d see some sheep but they weren’t there. Instead, there were 8 lovely horses basking in the sun.

Why stand and eat when you can sit down? It’s easier to lie down too after the meal. Neighhhhhh!

All standing together for a happy family shot. Kinda like these patchy horses, although only a big brown chap dared to walk up to me and let me stroke its face.

There’s my stud!