Wednesday, December 31, 2008

La Ville-Lumière

The City of Lights, Paris. That’s where we were over the long weekend. Only for a day though. We spent three days at Marne-La-Vallée or commonly known as Disneyland Resort Paris. It takes only 35 minutes by rail from there to Paris city and costs only €13 for an adult daily ticket, covering 5 zones (including the metro in the City).

The architecture in Paris reflects attention to detail. You know you are in Paris just by looking at their windows. It makes me realized how fussy some of my British friends and colleagues can be on getting a Victorian style house. The Europeans are proud of their history, as seen on how they preserve the old designs.

Anyway, I’m sure you can read more about the city elsewhere. Personally, part of me feels that the city is a bit ghetto (is that right?). Their metro reminds me of New York. Not that I have been there but from what I can see in CSI NY, it has some resemblance. The people are carefree or perhaps, unruly. On that day alone, I’ve witnessed at least three people jumping over the ticket barrier gates in the metro. Blimey!

As for Disneyland, it’s a magical place. *smiles* Despite the freezing weather (at one point, the temperature dropped to minus 7 degrees. The ponds froze and the Skull Cave had icicles.), we had a great time. The shows, especially the ones held just for Xmas and New Year, were awesome. I think we covered all the special performances and parades, whilst the routine shows, only missed two. We also managed to get on more rides this time, tho we made sure that the waiting time was 15 minutes or less. Our toes would be numb by then, hence the cut-off time.

I thought we would come back to a warmer place but oh boy, how wrong we were. It seems that the freezing weather followed us back to London. However, it didn’t stop us from shopping. What do you expect? It’s Boxing Day sales and discounts were up to 70% (sometimes, up to 90%)! *grins*

It was definitely a well deserved break for both of us; the trip to Paris and shopping spree. Now I need to get a book shelf as Mini B got herself more books. We couldn’t resist good books, especially when they were selling 1/3 of their original price. Oh, I behaved. No handbags (thank God!).

I hope it is not too late to wish everyone Salam Maal Hijrah. Both of us would like to wish everyone Happy New Year! We would probably be in bed on NY eve, making sure the duvet keeps us warm. Perhaps we shall try to keep ourselves awake with a mug of hot chocolate. (yeah right?!?)

It also means that I'll be a year older next month. I wasn't planning to celebrate as most of my close friends have gone back for good (in the past, it was more for our kids to sing birthday song and have cakes). Mini B is still trying to get me to have a party but I reckon it is just an excuse for her to dress up. She's such a girl. *smiles*

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Revisiting 2008

"The ties that bind us are sometimes impossible to explain. They connect us even after it seems like the ties should be broken. Some bonds defy distance and time and logic; Because some ties are simply... meant to be."

It is about a week before we say goodbye to 2008. The year has taught me a lot on relationships; friends, family, love. *chuckles on the last bit* Looking back, I think the subject that was revisited most was friendship.

There were moments that the subject was tested. A friend told me that over the years, we change as a result of our circumstances and sometimes, we could not connect to the people we were close to before. Unless they are a part of our present life, they can’t appreciate on the things that we go through.

I have also learnt that we have friends and acquaintances. I may know you in the past but you may not belong in the first group. I make no apology for wanting to be cautious when people from the past try to be reacquainted with me. As I replied to someone, once bitten twice shy. We never know the people we claim as friends are more than capable to throw us down, literally speaking. Perhaps it is also a reason why I stay away from Facebook. *LOL* I know it is a lame excuse but I think friendship is too precious to be declared to the whole wide world. I rather have my friends text, call or email (not forwarded emails of course! By the way, I usually delete them without reading).

I fail to understand the need for some people to think they have the luxury to criticise others when they don’t like to be criticised. Just because a person appears different, what gives us the right to comment on the way they look? Does that define their happiness? More often I see people who have them all; beauty, fame, wealth; seem to be lacking of that area. From a friend’s observation, some people may have lost the perfect look that they had but somehow they appear content with life.

I believe in the importance of being in a company of positive minded people. A good friend should have no problem to tell us that what we are doing is wrong. It keeps us grounded. Just as my friends and I tell each other we are yummy mummy or hot babes, we would tell each other idiots if we do something berserk.

Then, there are binds that we could not explain. I have friends for decades and probably see them once in a few years. Yet, we try our best to keep in touch and these days it seems I am able to call them more often than before (and I hope they are not bored yet with my constant phone calls.*grins*). Somehow, despite the time and distance, the moment we meet and catch up, it feels we pick up just where we left. I hope the ties that bind us remain strong.

I will be taking a long leave and as much as I hope to write before the year ends, past experience indicates that I usually don’t when I become a SAHM. Mini B takes most of my time (shopping, coffee, cooking etc). I would like to take this opportunity to wish you happy holidays. Make the most of the remaining days of 2008.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

What do you wish for?

Christmas is just around the corner. We decided to go to The Shopping Mall of the West End. We didn’t have anything planned for the day and I thought to check out the new place. The crowd was manageable. The lil one felt it reminded her of the malls back home. We went in and out of shops, trying to find a pair of boots for me but as always, we always find things that we want and not that we need. I found a few very nice pairs of shoes. It was very tempting to grab them but guilt consumed me, thus I managed to control those urges. Perhaps it could be the reason why I can’t sleep tonight as the image of the shoes keeps appearing. Hopefully I won’t dream of them.

I know it is not easy to prioritise our shopping list. The way we handle the list will usually correlate with our circumstances; students, working persons, singles, couples, parents etc. It is expected for grown-ups to have that thinking.

Yet, to see the same process is applied by my girl touches me. After all, she is a child who has many things in her wish list. She hardly asks for anything, even when we are in a shop full of fancy toys. All she’d do is to have a look and explore. The exception is books, whereby if she likes something, there is no need for her to ask. I will get them as I know she never gets bored.

I also realise how much she appreciates other things in life. Just the other day she had her school play and she knew I’d be coming along. She didn’t expect to see her “sisters” to be there. It really made her day. She was smiling and full of cheerful vibes for the whole day.

For this Christmas, I know what she is wishing for. I am sure that will make her happy. As for me, I suppose Christmas came early with the presence of good friends and warm thoughts from loved ones afar.

So what do you wish for?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Forgive yourself

I don't know if I continue, even today, always liking myself. But what I learned to do many years ago was to forgive myself. It is very important for every human being to forgive herself or himself because if you live, you will make mistakes- it is inevitable. But once you do and you see the mistake, then you forgive yourself and say, 'well, if I'd known better I'd have done better,' that's all. So you say to people who you think you may have injured, 'I'm sorry,' and then you say to yourself, 'I'm sorry.'

If we all hold on to the mistake, we can't see our own glory in the mirror because we have the mistake between our faces and the mirror; we can't see what we're capable of being. You can ask forgiveness of others, but in the end the real forgiveness is in one's own self. I think that young men and women are so caught by the way they see themselves. Now mind you. When a larger society sees them as unattractive, as threats, as too black or too white or too poor or too fat or too thin or too sexual or too asexual, that's rough. But you can overcome that.

The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself. If we don't have that we never grow, we never learn, and sure as hell we should never teach.

-- Maya Angelou --

It takes courage to ask for forgiveness. We try to be a good person but as human, we sometimes make mistakes. We then ask for forgiveness, whether or not the person will accept our apology. The idea of forgiveness is not only to acknowledge that we have done an error, but also to give peace to ourselves. If we hold on to our past, we can never move on.

Similarly, we don’t have to wait for the person to apologize for their mistake. It is easier to forgive without being asked.

Just by taking the step to say that you are sorry, you have become a better person than before. Even if they choose not to accept, the least you can do is to forgive yourself.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Men - vinegar or vintage?

“Men are like wine - some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age.”

When we are in our 20s, I reckon most of us will never consider going out with guys who are more than a decade older than us. In fact, I’d think again if the age gap is more than five years.

Then we reach our 30s and somehow, the idea of dating older men seems not bad at all. In fact, it is probably because by then we have more things in common to talk about. When we are at our peak of climbing the corporate world, who would be the best person to give advice other than those who have been there before? Our taste in arts and entertainment slowly shifts and merges closely with men in this age group. Also, by then our topic of discussion starts to revolve around bigger life issues (instead of handbags and shoes).

Some people think that middle aged men have nothing in common with women who are almost half of their age, hence they criticise. Who are we to judge on maturity? I have seen men who act like boys with no sense of responsibilities. At the same time, some girls have the maturity twice of their age as a result of life experiences. Sometimes love can be nurtured, with patience and respect. The qualities are usually found in fine men.

Some women hesitate to go out with these men even when they are eligible with great personality as they are concerned of what people might think. As one of you highlighted, happiness is subjective. Besides, what is there to talk about when the guy has no strings attached? I am only wary of men who claim to have mid life crisis (tell me why is this only applies to men? I have yet to hear women with similar issues). These men never seem to stop at one. As a guy once mentioned, “it’s no longer mid life crisis. That’s considered as perpetuity.” *LOL*

Anyway, don’t you want to go out with them if they fall under the most eligible bachelor with personality one can only dream of? If a single middle aged man looks like below, I’d gladly put on that red cocktail dress and accept a date. *winks* Well, I think he’s hot, thus explains why I rather spend my Friday nights at home and watch him.

- Gibbs in NCIS -

Friday, December 12, 2008

Is he yours?

Booth: Caroline went through a lot of trouble to get you private visitation with your father and now you don't want it.
Bones: The Federal Detention facility already has visiting areas.
Booth: Yeah, behind two inch glass, I mean, now you'll be able to give your old man, you know, a hug. (He hugs her from the side as they are walking)
Bones: I didn't ask for special treatment, Booth.
Booth: That's because you don't have to, because you are special.

My arms and thighs are sore. As much as I’d like to claim that it was due to an activity which had elements of kinkiness and sexiness, I have to disappoint you. They are in pain as a result of me taking care of my director’s baby. She had nanny crisis and took her son to work as she couldn’t reschedule her meetings. The boy somehow clicked with me instantly and since I wasn’t that busy, I looked after him while my director attended her matter. He is HUGE for his age! When I whisked him off to my director’s room, a colleague of mine said how natural I was with the baby. I replied by saying, “I should as I have one myself.” My colleague had a blank face and he wasn’t the only one. My secretary later told that some people asked if I indeed have a child.

One of the things that my senior MD shared during my interview was how she managed to climb the corporate ladder and juggling her life as a mother. She kept them separate and information was shared on need to know basis. People should judge you by how you perform. At least you know that whatever rating you get, you are benchmarked against your peers and assumed to have similar circumstances.

Anyway, back to this other director. When she came back from her meetings, she poured her heart out and thanked me for managing her son well. It kept her mind at peace and she could focus on her tasks. I understand where she was coming from. At present, her partner is away on business trip and she just couldn’t imagine how I manage. I said I have the support from people around me; friends, nannies, etc. It felt weird to be comforting and advising your superiors when usually they are the ones who play that role.

So that was another highlight for the week, being the nanny while at work. *grins* Tho someone asked if he was my child and that my partner must be really white that the boy has no Asian looks at all. *LOL* Mini B wasn’t that pleased knowing I spent the day with him. “I thought I am your only baby”, she said.

Yet she keeps asking me for a baby. Hmmmm.....

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


We enter the world alone and we leave it alone and everything that happens in between we owe it to ourselves to find a little company. We need help, we need support, otherwise we are in it by ourselves. Strangers, cut off from each other, and we forget, just how connected we all are. So instead, we choose love, we choose life, and, for a moment, we feel just a little bit less alone.

I had an interesting conversation with a friend today. We talked about life as a single woman. We agreed that it has some perks. It is not that we are discounting the life of a married person. It is just that for some of us, being single give us more flexibility to do things. As we are both close to family and love hanging out with friends, we can spend more time with them with less guilt or no question asked.

Undoubtedly, some of us prefer to remain solo due to responsibility such as taking care of family members. In these circumstances, it applies to both genders. I have seen a few men who choose to lead a life without a partner as they put their loved ones first. Factors include ageing parents, dependent siblings or being the sole breadwinner for the family.

Then you have people like me who choose to be single again as we put our children’s needs above ours. My whole life is about the lil one and her needs are my priority. It gives me joy to be able to be a part of her life, to see her growing up, to watch her school performances (and make sure that my secretary blocks my diary for her school’s events) etc.

My friend said perhaps our status works best for our situation. No two persons are the same. We could relate how a friend has a wonderful partner who shares her values and interests. We reckon that until we meet someone who understands and accepts us for who we are, we are doing fine with the way things are.

Strange enough, sometimes I feel I already have that person, touching my life in a way he possibly can. My eid was special this year as I had a good friend to spend it with.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


A willingness to make sacrifices in our lives in order to stay on the Straight Path. Each of us makes small sacrifices, giving up things that are fun or important to us. A true Muslim, one who submits his or herself completely to the Lord, is willing to follow Allah's commands completely and obediently. It is this strength of heart, purity in faith, and willing obedience that our Lord desires from us.

I am grateful to be given the opportunity to be here, especially with the current state of the economy. I could see how it benefits the lil one. She has transformed from a fragile and timid little girl to this confident young lady. She has achieved a lot for her age and for this year school play, she’s going to be the narrator. Apparently it is a big part but mummy dearest was a bit clueless until she stressed out the importance of the role.

Knowing that I am considered as an asset means that I should maximise this opportunity. I shall continue staying here and contribute as much as I can. I understand that it also means we have to sacrifice other aspects in life. For both of us, it is being away from our loved ones; family and friends.

Yet, knowing the sacrifices that some of my friends have to make, mine is nothing. If our heart and mind is at the right path, somehow things will be ok.

Salam aidil adha from both of us. May you have a blessed eid.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Crazy rumors

I have never tried this lip balm before but the name and description sounds ironic. *winks*

Rumour has it that something bad happened to me today. Some people saw me kept going to the toilet and thought something must have made me upset. I suppose it was as it prompted a director to approach me and asked if everything was ok.

I blame it on the curry that I had during lunch and the annoying zits on my forehead when I need to look gorgeous for my date tomorrow. I reckon the latter made me checked the mirror at the loo often and tried to minimise the damage. My director laughed and said how people simply love to speculate.

Now, if I show up at work on Friday with a glow on my face, will that mean people think that I may have gotten lucky the night before (since some know that I have a date)? Or better, the big O? *lol* *evil thoughts*

Ah, perhaps I shall leave them guessing. Too many depressing news in the market that I think I should make the department livelier with my almost non-existence love life.

Right, about these zits. *mulling over on how to make it less annoying*

Monday, December 01, 2008

We are not together, are we?

picture taken from Elizabethtown
Claire Colburn: You know, you’re always trying to break up with me, and we're not even together.
Drew Baylor: I know... We're not?

What would you do when you realise you have a crush on someone and that person happens to be a good friend? Do you keep your feelings hidden for the sake of friendship, or would you take the risk and finally let that person know how you truly feel for him/her?

There are moments in our life that we’d meet someone and instantly feel connected to them. Somehow the chemistry seems right and we’d end up being good friends. Yet the same chemistry could also lead to falling in love and some only realise after years of knowing each other.

Why is it easier for us to profess our feelings to a person we’ve only met, say for a few months, than to a person who has known us for our lifetime? Could it be of the idea of familiarity? Is it because we have known each other inside out that make us hesitate to let our feelings known? Or perhaps the idea of rejection should the feelings is not mutual? What will we lose should that happen? I suppose it is our friendship that has been built over the years. The rejection will somehow affect the relationship and to go back where we left before will probably be awkward.

Yet, if that person is really worth it, surely we should take the risk. After all, what is more worst, to be rejected and impair the friendship which could probably be repaired after a few months of reconciliation between two good friends, or to not know what would have been if we had taken the risk?

There is nothing worse than missing an opportunity that could probably lead to a lifelong happiness.

*Ms B hopes this answers another question posed. She reckons it could be a quiet week due to work commitment. She will continue blog hopping for stress reliever.*