-Exercise frequently! Don’t let morning lethargy be an excuse
-Keep getting involved with different things
-Thrive on arts/creativity
-Don’t think negative! Think of how far you have come and how much you have to offer


things that I still keep doing wrong:

-pressing button number 12 on the lift
-forgetting to tap out of the bus
-feeling surprised at being able to get data on the train

I miss the Overground, the 242. the announcements on the bus going through Oswald Street, Mandeville Street, Daubeney Road….Liverpool Street, Shoreditch, revellers on the night, people saying hi….

I miss our concierge. I miss the kids going to school.

Ah it’s the beginnings that always take some time. Let’s keep going, planning, visiting things…make the most of every single year


ah the aura of Asia. So psychologically destabilizing if you’re not used to it, calm placid Singapore, the tepid haze, the sounds that you hear at night that are so different from the quiet of a wintry European night…crickets, chirping, warm tropical buzz.

I’m glad to be home (for now), surrounded by family and friends, luxuriating in the comfort of routine….but I am still enamoured by the promise of mystique, of stories and adventures that await, of new cities and buildings to sink my roots in….

swinging sixties

glamarous night out with J, G and G’s friend Chris. Steam and Rye, good old 90s classics booming from the speakers, cabaret-style vintage hits, burlesque dancers in leotards and thigh-high stockings….times like this I could have kept on dancing forever, could have twirled and swirled around in an endless sea of possibility, alive on the fact that life is no dead end but doorway after open doorway, teeming with dreams and new outcomes….

thank you J and G ; thank you for teaching me the meaning of strength and independence, the value of optimism and carefree happiness like this. six or seven months ago there was a similar night like this, a night when I stood by the bus stop waiting in vain for the 242 that never did come, shivering in a floral dress, makeup and thin black jacket in the thick of winter. I was in love with life then; I am in love with life now. I must never lose this memory, this feeling of knowing that life is more than what it seems on the surface, this feeling of wanting to claw beneath life’s surfaces, unravelling it’s quiet beauty even amidst the ugliest days….

also went back to TSURU+lim yesterday. each visit (november; february; september) marks a new phase in life….a shifting of identity. i celebrate each new phase by splurging on a new look, a new persona to mark this change…spoke to eng chong,the director. again a conversation that harked back to november…speaking about home, our moderated versions of home in our minds, the reminder that happiness is a state of mind, how london has all these possibilities but somehow, home will always be home…

Singapore, I am (almost) ready for you

Oliver Sacks on Writing

I am a storyteller, for better and for worse.

I suspect that a feeling for stories, for narrative, is a universal human disposition, going with our powers of language, consciousness of self, and autobiographical memory.

The act of writing, when it goes well, gives me a pleasure, a joy, unlike any other. It takes me to another place — irrespective of my subject — where I am totally absorbed and oblivious to distracting thoughts, worries, preoccupations, or indeed the passage of time. In those rare, heavenly states of mind, I may write nonstop until I can no longer see the paper. Only then do I realize that evening has come and that I have been writing all day.

Over a lifetime, I have written millions of words, but the act of writing seems as fresh, and as much fun, as when I started it nearly seventy years ago.


We all go back to here.


This morning, strolling on the streets on the lead-up to the Edinburgh Castle, green grass all around, sunshine. Lying on the grass in the middle of the Edinburgh University grounds, watching clouds pass, pigeons landing on the heads of statues.

On the bus to the city yesterday we all talked about our collective memories – I think about my parents, younger and more weighted down by life and hopes and expectations; the kind of things that they must have been thinking about while they were cajoling us on to the streets of Clarke Quay for the Buskers’ festival, while my dad was sipping coffee at that coffee shop outside the National Library – the place where so many alternative universes were carefully shored up within sacred pages.

Unconditionality – it’s that ache in your heart when you feel helpless and protective at the same time, when you are fearful but strong at the same time. It is tiring to love, but so immensely rewarding when you have learnt the right way of doing so. Unconditionality – for once, I am reminded that this is the most important state that I can find myself in – that I don’t need to feel like I have to BE BETTER for anybody, that who I am is exactly what and how my parents and my brother want to find me in. For that, I am thankful.

And I have learnt to reciprocate this. No more comparing and measuring, thinking that I / we can be better off, happier, living a ‘better life’ doing this or that. We all share the same powerful tool: the state of not wanting or expecting more than what we already have, the creativity to bend our minds around even the most challenging of circumstances.

The way my mother looks when she poses for a photo; no longer stoic, with a grim hard line on her lined face; just small and shy and tentatively curious about the environment, taking it all in. The way she couldn’t take it when the sunlight hit her face on the way down Princes Street, the way we all looked out for each other. The way we all talked about our trip last year, relieving meals, memories, apartments, places….

The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them. — Thomas Merton

Love is my dad taking me to the bookstore on my birthday to pick out a book I wanted. Love is eating at the hawker centre in Toa Payoh instead of attending speech and drama class because I threw a tantrum and suffered from anxiety about engaging in extraversion during class. Love is my mother treating me to a McDonald’s ice-cream cone and telling me to hush, not tell my brother because otherwise he will get jealous. Love is time, places, memories, stories of struggling on together….

Reborn – Susan Sontag

We said that one should always expect the worst in life – life being one long sordidness and mediocrity – that one should not protest, but, although assuming the necessary social responsibilities, withdraw, not involve onself, and, in the anticipation of the worst, perhaps be granted a few moments of happiness, not accepting life ‘conditionally’ was what I said…Take what you can – none of it really matters…

There is nothing that stops me from doing anything except myself…What is to prevent me from just picking up and taking off? Just the self-enforced pressures of my environment, but which have always seemed so omnipotent that I never dared to contemplate a violation of them…But actually, what stops me?