Archive for June 2009

Happy Days

June 30, 2009




This is what I’ve been busy with since the start of summer. Back-breaking work but so satisfying. Next up – more planting and decorating of the front garden. I bought a garden gnome! Wait for the photos.

Le Papillon

June 25, 2009

I haven’t really found time to write since my trip home in May. It’s just all a bit crazy. R and I are both working seven days this week, me taking young people on a trip to North Wales over the weekend, and R with his extra shifts at the hospital.

I feel I am constantly on the go and I don’t really get enough time to plan and reflect. But somehow when you are living in your own house, there are endless chores to be completed. Carpets to be hoovered, surfaces to be wiped down, clothes to be laundered, meals to be prepared, dishes to be washed, rubbish to be cleared, gardens to be tended to.

On Sunday I almost killed myself carrying £30 worth of flowers and plants from the Garden Centre in an effort to transform my front garden into something more presentable.

It was looking rather drab with dried stalks of daffodil and tulip stems sticking out of the soil, after the blooms had long wilted. So I spent two hours digging up the garden and planting the flowers, only to be jolted awake later at 3am with a terribly painful shoulder, which had to be dealt with with two paracetamols.

Despite all that agony, I think I am addicted to the idea of gardening, simply because I am motivated by the results. I’ve told R I will take on the front garden as my project and he can do whatever he wants with the back. We’ve harvested dozens of plump strawberries which flourished under his tender loving care. There are more to come and we hope we will move faster than the slugs.

Things are good on the work front, I got a little pay raise which I am pretty pleased about. The money will definitely help, given the fact there are so many things which we need to buy or replace. For a start, that temperamental boiler which often leaves me shivering in the shower cubicle when the hot water doesn’t run has got to go. And it’d better be replaced this summer as I don’t fancy turning into a ice lolly (and a very big one too) in the bathroom during winter.

I am a lot more contented at work because I’ve given up trying to change things or people. Instead I am accepting the way things work and finding my own solutions around it. That probably has to be the most important lesson I’ve learnt this year- knowing what is and isn’t within our control, and not getting affected by what isn’t.

I mean I surprised myself at how well I held up emotionally despite seeing how much my grandmother aged in a matter of months, and how dire her medical situation is. Barely a few months ago, it was so difficult leaving my family, I was crying every night because she’s suffering and I was feeling so sorry and worried for her.

But I felt strong and rational during this trip home. She is lucid and she has a choice. She can stop smoking, she can heed medical advice, and she can do things which will help improve her condition. But if she chooses not to, then she has to face up to the consequences and even though I love her with all my heart, I have to say she hasn’t got much sympathy from me.

I still worry about her, but I think there is only so much we can do and if she can’t see what is best for her, then even an elixir can’t work miracles. Amputation of the right leg looks to be what’s on the cards and I am mentally prepared for it, in a way I never thought I would be.

It’s almost a year since I made that decision to move in with R and it does feel like I’ve done a 12-month crash course in growing up across all aspects of life. Family, work, culture, relationship, friendship, outlook, priorities, values, views.

I’m no longer the one who comes home from work and head to my room to chill out before my Mum gets dinner ready and I saunter downstairs to eat and leave my helper to clean up. That sadly will only now ever happen during selected weeks of the year.

I am now the cook, the helper, the nag, the gardener, the stingy housewife, the office worker, the sensible adult. A caterpillar has to leave its cocoon to discover life and be amazed by its own abilities to survive.


June 22, 2009


First stop: Factory outlet selling tartan wool scarves and blankets.


Cute picture in the War Museum in Edinburgh Castle.


The little dwarf along the Royal Mile.


I heart tartan mini skirts! But I had no time to get any.


The fabulous sunset at 9pm.


We stayed at the West End, which is home to the very picturesque Dean Village.


It was so Italian or French countryside that we almost forgot this was the supposedly wet and cold Scotland.


I was mesmerised in Cath Kidston while R said it made him gag.


We left Edinburgh with some handmade fudge.


June 16, 2009

Big fat red juicy organic strawberries from the back garden. Move aside Korean strawberries.


Now you see it.


Now you don’t.

A little celebration

June 15, 2009


He bought: Lovely roses


I bought: Yummy cakes

June 15, 2009

We first chatted online and exchanged a few brief emails as I wanted more information before my week-long holiday to the UK and he was keen to find out more about Asia.

On the first day that I arrived in London, we met at the British Museum and then to the pub for a cola. He bought me a rose. That was 10 years ago, on 15 June.

We both haven’t been back to the British Museum since that day a decade ago and should really mark the anniversary by revisiting the place, but instead, we headed to Edinburgh for a short two-day getaway last Thursday.

It has been a turbulent ride, some of which I have documented in this blog and most of which I haven’t. Lots of tears, fears, pain, hurt but plenty of fun and good times too.

There have been a number of major milestones over the years, with another significant one coming up in October and sometimes when I think about it, it amazes me that despite all odds we are still together.

We have chosen a road less taken and thank you friends who’ve accompanied us on this journey!

Juicy yummy

June 10, 2009


When I came back from Singapore, R brought me to see his pet project.


Cute white flowers and fat strawberries!


All growing well at the back of our garden.


Some are turning red so let’s hope we get there before the slugs.