Wednesday, July 28, 2010

View From Our Windows

When we started looking for a flat 2 years ago, we wanted one with a 'view'- one with windows looking out to the park, garden, etc... We didn't want one that faces the corridor, school or the carpark.

I'm glad we found what we wanted...

The only minus is that it's 2 hours from my work place...
Well, I'm not working now... so that's no longer an issue...

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Visit to Woodlands Waterfront

Jerome's younger brother & family came for a visit yesterday afternoon. They are back for a 2 weeks visit from Perth, Australia. We went to the park in the evening. Here are some pictures of the children and the young at heart having fun :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Meeting with the Ms Tans

Met up with 3 'old' friends from NIE (National Institute of Education) last Friday for afternoon tea. We have known each other for about 10 years now since we went to NIE for our trainings to be teachers. We are the '4 Musketeers' or the '4 Ms Tans', always hanging out with one another back in NIE. We were all very passionate about teaching.

Ever since we started teaching, we have not been able to meet up very often. Hence, when J arranged for a meet up, I was very excited. I actually can't remember when was the last time the 4 of us had met up together. Maybe it was during my housewarming some 4 years ago?

Anyway, the irony is that none of us is currently teaching in school. 2 of them have coincidentally resigned in the beginning of the year. The other 2 of us are currently on No Pay Leave (NPL). See how much we have in common?

Together, we have more than 30 years of teaching experience and well trained...
1 is an experienced GEP-Math teacher for over 5 yrs
1 is experienced LSC who's also Brain Gym trained and got a 2 yr diploma from Britain to help children with dyslexia.
1 is an experienced LSM, who went HQ, got a MOE scholarship, & currently doing her masters in applied psychology.
Hence, it's a pity if we're not going to teach anymore.

Other than catching up with one other's lives, there were also proposals for businesses, something for us to collaborate together again :) One wanted to open a tuition centre, another wanted to open a student care centre. If you're working so hard, you might as well work hard for yourself & be rewarded... They're really thinking about starting their own businesses related to education.

Me? I was only thinking about my trip to Phuket the following day.

Anyway, went home and told Jerome about all these talks about businesses and making $ (Work less & Earn More :P) Jerome said I can forget about starting a business, I'm a lousy business person. For now, I can just worry about cooking delicious meals at home, pick up some life skills (eg. driving), bake and sell some cookies, just relax and enjoy and have a baby. And I can leave the $-making business to him...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Learning to Drive

Went for my first driving lesson today... well, not really my first time...
My first driving lesson was back during my Uni days. I had tried to get my driving lessons over 10 yrs ago until I was involved in an accident.

I was having my last practice session before my practical driving test when it happened. We were at the traffic junction when the traffic lights turned red. I stopped the car and waited for the arrow light to turn right. There was a motorbike on my left. When the arrow light appeared, I drove off. The motorbike of course went ahead and as he was turning, he skidded (there were gravel on the road) and fell in front of my car. I immediately jammed brake.

Of course at that instant, I couldn't see the motorcyclist. He was directly in front of the car or under it...
My driving instructor was looking at the newspapers and was only aware of the accident when I jammed brake. He opened his car door and swore. Apparently, my left front tyre was on the man's hand. He told me to reverse the car. Thinking back, I am glad that I didn't do anything horrendous like stepping on the accelerator accidentally and really running over that poor man... I've heard enough stories of drivers who accidentally step on the accelerator instead of the brakes.

Fortunately, there was an eyewitness who gave an account of what happened and that I was not at fault, that I did not hit the motorist causing him to skid. The traffic police came, the ambulance came. The traffic police said that the accident was a 'good experience' for me so that I would know how to react in an accident in future. I was told to go ahead with my practical test.

When I returned home and told my mum about the accident, she tried to encourage me by saying that experienced drivers also get into accidents. Then she went on to tell me about a recent accident about someone who drove up the pavement and killed 2 pedestrians along the way. What an encouragement... I chickened out... I didn't go for my practical driving test.

After that accident, I kind of have a phobia of driving. I prefer to just be a passenger. I don't want to be held responsible for another person's life. I'm wary of motorcyclist riding near to cars. They weave in and out of traffic, I fear for their lives.

Anyway, public transport in Singapore is just so convenient. Hence, there's really no need for one to drive or own a car. Owning a car in Singapore is expensive. The COE (Certificate of Entitlement) to own a car for 10 years cost about $30-40k. Then there's road tax, ERP (Electronic Road Pricing), expressways that are jammed..., I don't believe in getting a car at all.

So if I don't like to drive and don't believe in owning a car, why am I learning to drive? Jerome said that driving is a life skill. Well, I've survived without a driving license for over 30 years... Well, but really in case of an emergency, I can drive... And since I'm not working now, with time on my hands, it's a good time to pick up driving once again.

And it certainly helps when the driving school is a 5-minutes bus ride away...

Learning to Knit

Like a pair of chopsticks on blue noodles...

I bought myself  the knitting needles and yarn on Saturday from Daiso, thinking of starting to learn to knit. It was really difficult trying to understand the instructions... I'm stuck... for the time being... Going to try harder...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Prawn Fishing

Jerome and I started going for prawn fishing some couple of years back. We would always visit the pawning pond just behind the country club in Marina South. The pond was always very crowded even in the middle of the night. The workers would be releasing prawns every hour and the catch was good. We could easily catch over 30 prawns in 3 hours with a rod. When we found out that the pond was closing, we visited there every weekend. We would have a rod each and compete to see who caught more prawns. The loser will have to pay for the rods. 

After the pond was closed, we tried prawn fishing in other places. But nothing beats our prawning experience at Marina South. Now, occasionally we would visit the prawning ponds at Bishan. There are Barbeque pits so you have the options of grilling your prawns. We always bring our prawns home to cook them in other dishes. 

Well, it's definitely expensive prawns but it's really for the fun... 

Simple Joys

Last Friday evening, Jerome & I cycled to the Woodlands Coast Park after dinner. The 1st phase of the park was recently completed and the 2nd phase will be completed by the end of the year. We jog there at least twice a week and cycle there once a week. Then we'll enjoy the ice-cream sandwiched in crispy wafer biscuits. Enjoying an ice-cream is one of the simple things that will always make me happy :)

Hmm... I should probably make some ice-cream at home :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Visit to NLB

Just went to the library earlier to borrow some cook books but in the end I returned with 5 books and none of them is a cook book :P Hmm... come to think about it, it's my first visit this year to borrow books for myself.

Borrowed this Eyewitness Travel Guidebook as we're going to Phuket the next weekend!
 It's my first trip to Phuket. It'll be a great short getaway. Jerome had wanted to go to Tioman but the air tickets there are about 40% more expensive than the air tickets to Phuket. The last getaway we had was during the CNY when we went to a nice resort at Batam.

I've bought and read Julie Powell's "Julie and Julia" about how she started a blog to document her experience in trying out all the recipes in Julia Child's French cookbook. Well, she became famous, very famous and her story's been made into a movie last year. See... ordinary women in the kitchen who became famous... Hmm... when's my turn? :P

Picked up these two books at the Crafts Section... Yap, going to learn to knit... Wait & see...