Sunday, June 28, 2015

Cambodia 21-24 June 2015

At first we had wanted to go to Scotland because I fell in love with the scenery watching an episode of Downton Abbey set there. Then we found that June is the hatching of the Highland midges, bloodsucking biting insects that I will certainly not be fond of. So we thought we might go earlier in April, since May is full of the children's birthdays as well as mid-year exams and this is an important academic year for Sarah taking the Primary School Leaving Examinations. But April would be way too cold for tropical me. Shelving Scotland for another time, we thought, let's just do a cheaper nearby thing. We have been going to Malacca a few times already, so I suggested visiting Angkor Wat, something I was sure Sean would like. Before I knew it, he had booked the flights and sussed out a really nice hotel! So we went.

Sean's beautiful photos are in his facebook album.

We stayed at a lovely quiet spa resort. Navutu Dreams is about ten minutes from Siem Reap's town centre by tuk-tuk, and 25 minutes away from the Angkor Archaeological Park. Our three-day park pass was fully utilized, and if we had had more time I would have wanted to see more temples. 

It was much better than I had expected! I was prepared for a terribly sweaty, itchy, possibly soggy and unpleasant time, but the ruins were truly impressive and awesome. Some were simply huge and grand (Angkor Wat), others felt tensely ominous (Bayon); Ta Prohm nestled within the trees' embrace as if it had grown itself out of the ground, and Preah Khan was a veritable labyrinth of concentric ever-expanding and contracting squares of doorways, corridors and chambers.

Cambodian food is the best Southeast Asian fare! Milder than Thai but richer than Vietnamese - a wonderful balance of flavour, spices and aromas. Sean and I have even indulged in the idea of starting a Cambodian restaurant in Singapore as there simply isn't one here at all, and it would be such fun to decorate it in the temple-ruin-style and classic Cambodian icons.

It's such a short hop away, a mere 2 hours by plane, I really do think that every Singaporean should visit. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Realer Racing!!

'Open only to Singaporeans and Singapore residents, 200 rookies will be randomly selected by ballot for the Singapore GP Karting Training Programme. These successful candidates will be trained in the fundamentals of racing with specialised theory and practical workshops from 18 to 20 June. Participants who show potential will then test their mettle in the Singapore GP’s Karting Championship on 21 June.

The Championship winners for each category (14 - 17 years old and 18 - 21 years old) will win over S$14,000 worth of prizes each, including a year-long karting scholarship sponsored by KF1 Pte Ltd and Singapore GP Pte Ltd, consisting of practice sessions, race gear and entry to karting competitions in Singapore.'

Matthew is lucky enough to have been selected! Terribly excited for him. Some drama was involved as they had sent the selection notification to Matt's email instead of ours and he had not checked his email until the reply date was over! But they were good enough to still take him in, so now he's off and I hope he wins the championship!

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Real Racing

Watched a powerboat race on youtube with the kids and the spills and thrills were so extreme that Matt exclaimed, 'OK I'll stick to karting!!'

Sarah said, 'I'll stick to NOTHING!!'

That's because she had tried go-karting together with Matt and has subsequently often referred to it as the worst 10 minutes of her life.

Monday, April 06, 2015

The Sleep Adventures of Andrew

This little boy is now too tall for his cot and so we have transitioned him to sleep on a mattress on the floor. He is rather younger than his older siblings when they did the same; he's not yet two.

The first day, at nap time, he didn't keep coming out of the room. Instead, he played quietly inside, taking all the clothes out of the wardrobe drawers, turning on the nightlight, fiddling with the toy kitchen set, and nobody knew. Helper found him sitting in the middle of a thrashed room, and Grandma helped fold back all the clothes while visiting us that afternoon.

Andrew particularly likes the wardrobe drawers, but he knows now that he is not to take the clothes out. So he merely keeps slamming them, if left alone and awake. The only thing is to stay in there with him until he falls asleep, and then creep quietly out. Sometimes I accidentally rattle the lock and he wakes up, so we have to start all over again, waiting for him to fall asleep once more. It's a very good time to pray the rosary!

The other morning, before sun up and when only our helper was awake and pottering about in the kitchen, she suddenly found Andrew there in the kitchen beside her! Quite a shock it was.

Another time, our helper had woken up and was on her way to the bathroom when she saw Andrew sitting quietly in the dark on a floor cushion in the living room. She led him to my room and I went back with him to lie down.

Once, in the middle of the night, I heard my bedroom door opening, followed by silence. I got up to investigate and found the door closed. Opening it, Andrew was standing outside in the dark corridor. I didn't feel like lying on the floor in his room, so I brought him to bed with me instead. I put him between his Daddy and me. Daddy was sleeping but suddenly sat up in the dark - he later told me Andrew was tickling him! Andrew also sat up, and to his Daddy he said, "Hullo!" We told him to lie down again and go to sleep, and he did.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Class 95 fm - "the best mix of music"

The girls are now Taylor Swift fans and Rachel was very happy to hear one of her songs on the radio in the car. This was followed by PM Dawn's "Set Adrift On Memory Bliss." After that, the DJ recited the usual Class 95fm tagline, "The Best Mix Of Music."

Rachel immediately went, 'It's not the best songs of music at all!"

She didn't like the PM Dawn song!

"Green" Building

I was quite excited to tell the children that I would be going for an excursion as part of my work, or what engineers call a technical visit. This would be to a "green" building that was built from 100% recycled materials, i.e., demolition rubble.

All of them were interested, and listened with attention. Rachel even asked, 'Is it light green or dark green?'

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Parents

We were gathered for bedtime prayers, and Rachel asked, 'Why do we have parents?'

Matthew answered, 'So that you can be born!'

And Rachel added, 'And play with you, and buy toys.'

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Teamwork

Matthew went for a project meeting at a friends' place yesterday. They had planned it for 9am-6pm and he duly reached home at 7pm. I asked him what the project was, and he told me they baked butter cookies as practice for a Food & Nutrition (i.e. home econs) test, and also composed a song for Music class (or was it Lit, whatever). I thought it was pretty cool. Then it struck me - 9 hrs to do that? I'm no baker but I'm pretty sure it doesn't take more than an hour to make a batch of biscuits. Turns out he didn't previously mention that they had also scheduled in LOTS of time to play halo, minecraft, skylanders!

Monday, June 16, 2014

"In My Heart"

Rachel developed Kawasaki Disease a few months back, and that means having to have heart scans to make sure that there's no aneurysm of the coronary blood vessels. Apparently that happens, but luckily hers have been just within the acceptable range so far.

At her last scan, the screen was visible to her and she was looking intently at the black and white fuzzy images while the technician was moving the handpiece over her chest.

We were all watching when she suddenly asked, "Where's Jesus?"

Nobody knew what she was talking about.

Slowly, it dawned on me that she was looking for Jesus because we have always been telling her that Jesus is in her heart, and prior to the scan, I had explained to her that the ultrasound is to see inside her heart and check that everything is alright!

Bless the little one.

We did see a pulsating image that looked like a figure jumping up and down, so I told her that was him and she was very tickled. I'm convinced it was, too.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Frozen Demand

Now that it's all the rage, Disney's Frozen merchandising has hit a huge supply shortfall and demand has consequently shot through the roof. A check on Amazon shows little girl Elsa costume dresses selling for a thousand US dollars apiece.

I remark to Sophie, "If it's going to cost so much, you might as well take the little girl to a tailor and have a dress custom made for her and it will fit perfectly and be of vastly superior quality. And it won't even cost a thousand dollars."

Sophie replies, "I know, right? Only problem is, I don't know any tailors."