Friday, June 26, 2009

old english town.

flowers along lake road
windermere, britain

love spring and summer. flowers bloom. blue skies. the sun shines and yet the temperature hovers around 21C.

back to reality. of temperature screenings, work emails, admin, unpacking, getting rid of jet lag, editing photos and whatnot.


highlights of london'09
  • watching ethan hawke, rebecca hall and company for a 2nd time this year, in the 2nd play of the double bill production by the old vic. i watched the winter's tale (shakespeare) in singapore for SGD123, and the cherry orchard (chekhov) in london for SGD20. ok the seats were crappy but i had no choice. theatre was full. nevertheless it was good, but i think the winter's tale was more gut-wrenching and emotional. although a plus point of cherry orchard is that ethan had a more meaty role. :)
  • hanging out with the sister, after so long. we had our own marks&spencer dinner in her cosy apartment after cherry orchard when everyone else had fallen asleep. some yummy meatballs, salad and red wine.
  • shopping was fabulous. the pound exchange rate was favorable and i shopped like a crazy woman at H&M. also bought lots of presents and stuff at harrods, whittard of chelsea, gucci (sale!), absolute vintage etc.
  • watched wicked for the 2nd time with the sister, cousin-in-law and niece. ahhh sister and i were so deliriously happy after the musical. (and before too). i remember why i love the musical so much. and it was good to hear the witty dialogue again. also bought some merch (don't care if it's super ex!).
  • the sister's cosy apartment with 10000 cable channels, pretty flowers, wooden floors for the living room, carpet floors for the bedroom, nice toilet, endless supply of wine, whisky, ginger ale, snacks and a well-stocked kitchen. :) we watched movies and tv shows on cable almost every night.
  • taking the red london buses everywhere. i realise i should take buses more often when i travel rather than the tube/subway/metro/trains. they go underground and you can't see the sights and hear the sounds. with the bus i got to see the sights around london, saw how londoners lived their lives.
  • exploring nooks and corners of london on my own. enjoying the beautiful weather. not a foggy day in sight!
well more highlights to come.

speaking of london, MJ was due to hold 50 concerts in london next month. and i remember lamenting not being able to afford/attend/get tickets for the concert. and i woke up today to sad news of his death. while i was supicious about his alleged accusations of child molestation and whatnot years ago, i can't deny his great influence on pop music and dance. that influence lasts till today and will continue through the years. his music and songs, often filled with socially-conscious lyrics (see Man In The Mirror, my all-time favorite; Heal the World, another favorite; Black or White, another favorite; Will You Be There, also another favorite).

as i tweeted earlier, my 1st memory of MJ is rocking out to the beats of Black or White. that was probably in primary school. and my 2nd memory of MJ was listening to 'Will You Be There' at the end of Free Willy the movie. and falling in love with the song.

i leave you with some lyrics to Man In The Mirror. :) respecting a great pop legend that paved the way for music that will inspire and transcend through the generations.
As I turned up the collar on
A favorite winter coat
This wind is blowin' my mind
I see the kids in the street
With not enough to eat
Who am I to be blind
Pretending not to see their needs


I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make a change.

Monday, June 8, 2009

the case for the single 20-something girl.

on top of Calton Hill
edinburgh, scotland

countdown to europe'09: 4 days

i'm dreaming of the sprawling views of lake district in britain now, and shutting out pre-trip jitters, troubles, unhappiness.

at the risk of sounding like a spoiled brat, note to self: do not offer to plan back-to-back trips with the family, free-and-easy. it's a thankless job that should be done once in 2 years (at least).


at the 2nd risk of sounding like a materialistic girl - i recently discovered something. i'm sure this stemmed from my 2nd sister, but being single in your 20s is a great thing.

meeting up with old friends, some of the conversations have shifted course. we're now in the territory of weddings, HDB flats, engagement parties, diamonds and such. at first i was kinda taken aback at this shift, because i was still thinking that we should be talking about jobs and money and repaying our tuition loan and promotions and stuff. but the whole picture of marriage has secretly crept in.

as i listen to my friends forking out $10,000 and above for HDB downpayments, scrimping and saving for their wedding dinners, looking at renovation costs, wedding dresses etc., i can't help but smile at my own freedom from all that.

well, no doubt, i can't deny the comfort of having someone you love to provide emotional support in these turbulent times of transition and change in our 20s.

but i saw the better side of singlehood. the freedom of my days to spend with family and friends instead of running off to meet the BF. to cultivate good relationships with friends and colleagues and inevitably - network - with people that may come "useful" in future.

and the ability to enjoy the finer comforts of life. after struggling as a poor student for so many years, now it's time to spend those hard-earn cash at pampering oneself with nicer things. you work hard, and play hard right?

i've been able to wine and dine at nicer restaurants with nice food, buy clothes/bags/shoes that are slightly more expensive and a little more often than usual, bake more often and let my friends reap the joys of home-made desserts, go for awesome concerts, gigs, plays, movies (monsters vs aliens and terminator salvation back-to-back), buy CDs/DVDs, zai zai lens for the DSLR, give a little more back to God and His Work, and most of all, travel and see the world.

of course, material things should not replace love. and i'm not advocating that.

my point is: i've seen many strong women in their 20s and 30s who are single and loving it. not in the i'm-pretending-to-love-it-so-i-won't-look-pathetic way. but for real. and i know that they are as confident and complete as any woman who is happily attached or married. these women have great relationships with friends and family and are happy with their lives. and more often than not, they are walking rightly with the Lord.

well, as and when my white knight comes along to sweep me off my feet, i will patiently wait and think about saving money for my wedding (hopefully i'd earn more money then, so the burden's not so great, heh). and meanwhile, i can pamper myself and do more things with the little money i have and the little time i have for myself, that is my own. without worries, for now.