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Saturday, May 27, 2006

Money can't buy me love

But it can buy:

1. A chocolate angora wool cardigan
2. A cotton candy pink tie fronted blouse
3. A set of pasta dishes from Mark's and Spencer's
4. A stainless steel teapot made in Sheffield
5. Chocolate pralines from Thornton's
6. Dried fruits and nuts from Whittard's
7. A travel-sized hairdryer from Boots
8. Several pairs of cotton socks in shades of grey
9. Two blank notebooks
10. Four plastic food containers

Whee! It's nice to be able to shop and actually buy stuff!

I'm don't go window shopping - wandering aimlessly through stores just makes me irritated. I prefer shopping when I have something in mind that I actually need to purchase.

Today, I wanted to buy some nice soft cotton socks for my grandfather and get some "congratulations of your pregnancy" chocolates for one of my friends. Ended up buying a hairdryer for my mother as well and some healthy munchies for my father. Then I got the pasta dishes and teapot to replace the ones that the Out-laws broke on their last visit and the food containers to replace the ones MDH lost at work.

And the blouse and cardigan were from Benetton's 50% off sale. I don't really need a reason to buy those. *grin*

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

First Reserve

Another day, another 7 hour trainride north with the cold rain and the biting winds and the weather wasn't too great either, and there was another rejection, then another 7 hour trainride home. Open up the email, and there's another interview appointment waiting for me, also in the northern country. God must really want me to go and live in the north - all my interviews have been at least 6 hours away.

I'm not having much luck with trains either, I must say. Delays and cancellations and replacement bus services are my lot at the moment. On the way home from my last interview, the roof of the train caught fire. Don't ask me how - it was pelting down with rain at the time. The whole station had to be evacuated.

I stood on the platform, hugging my rucksack, watching the raindrops bounce off the tracks. A tired little boy cried and buried his face into his father's coat.

"Son, don't do that. Daddy's weary."

And so am I.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

You know you can't hold me forever

MDH has just accepted a post up in the northern part of Britain, in a large hospital to the east of Herriot country, north of the Secret Garden, just beyond Mr Darcy's estate. We are both very excited about this - it's a wonderful job for him, and it will give us both the chance to live where the fairies visit.

The Aged Ps were in the living room when MDH got the call on his mobile phone, and we relayed the good news to them with some trepidation.

The Aged Ps are happy and sad at the same time, and they are sadder still because, try as they might, (and they do try very hard, bless them) they cannot seem to rejoice with us. This makes them feel guilty.

Over the last month, MDH and I had been talking about the distinct lack of medical training posts in the UK. We had decided that returning Singapore would be inevitable if the job drought continued beyond August this year. The Aged Ps knew about this and I guess they got their hopes up.

It is so difficult to see the Aged Ps so vulnerable.

"Why are we so selfish? Why can't we be completely happy for you?"

I remind them all the time that we are all still a family, even though we are far apart. But it's hard for them to let go.

I suppose I will understand this more when I become a parent myself.

Monday, May 15, 2006

No confidence

Exams tomorrow.
Oh well.

The aged Ps!

The Aged Ps are here to visit! Yay! And they have brought goodies!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Into a bright blue day

It's good to wake up slowly in the morning. It's good to put on the weather channel and realise (to the oom pah pah of the background music) that the day is bright and blue. It's good to look out the window and see the valley and the mountain ranges stretching away into infinity.

MDH and I had decided to drive across to the famous fairytale Schloss Neuschwanstein, the prototype for Disneyworld's Cinderella castle. It was pleasant, zipping along roads that looped around craggy mountains and snaked through green fields. MDH had somewhat mastered the art of driving on the right (wrong?) side of the road, and was beginning to enjoy speeding along (literally).

We managed to get tickets into the castle before lunch, which left us with an hour to walk there via a steep and dusty path through the surrounding woodland (most people decided to take a coach or horse drawn carriage instead).

Once at the top, we were rewarded by a deliciously cool breeze...and a gloriously sticky chocolate covered giant pretzel.

The tour of the interior castle was well worth the money. King Ludwig II was obviously a talented designer and a raving loon. Wagner inspired murals everywhere. I was most impressed by the fact that he had flushable lavatory in his private bedchamber. And a tunnel leading from his dressing room to his offical rooms of state, complete with stalagtites. His own personal hermit's cave for spending hours in contemplation. Well, I guess when one is rich, eccentricity can be rather an asset.

Heart of the swan
Originally uploaded by
Sunshine follows me.
After the tour, we walked round the path until we reached a lookout point offering a magnificent view of town of Schwangau as well as King Ludwig's family castle.

There were some wooden benches under the pine trees nearby, so we sat and ate our picnic lunch there, just enjoying the sunshine and the smell of the forest.

Of course, a big group of tourists arrived soon after and began jostling for places on the lookout.

And over the din, there were the familiar sounds of home:

"Oy! I told you oredi, dun play near the etch! Wait you fall down, den you know!"

Yes, you in the Singapore Wind Symphony jacket, I was the shameless eavesdropper who was choking gracefully on her cheese sandwich.

(By the way, can someone explain to me how some Singaporean kiddies happened to be travelling in April, so close to mid-year exams - I thought school holidays aren't until June!)

Indulgence by the pail

Chocolate pail
Originally uploaded by
Sunshine follows me.
In Germany, only in Germany, have I seen chocolate pudding sold by the pail.

By chocolate pudding, I mean the rich, creamy, thick, milky, smooth dessert. Not the frothy unsatisfying mousse which is more air than chocolate.

We walked to our room. MDH carryied a rucksack of shopping. I skipped alongside him, merrily swinging my bucket o' chocolate.

A kilogram bucket of chocolate. And two spoons.

Bring it on!!

Yummy yum yum.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

What'dye lack?

City pride
Originally uploaded by
Sunshine follows me.

We squabbled over directions in the car on the way over, puzzled over cryptic road signs, windows rolled down so that the air blew in with gusty breaths, tousling our hair.

Finally, we found a place to park in front of the local Krankenhaus (a most appropriate name, considering it's function!). The car doors were flung open and we began our wander.

The city, obviously bursting with civic pride, had filled every available crack in the pavement with pansies, their little faces shaking with laughter. The sidewalks were lined with bright red tulips and yellow daffodils, nodding and bobbing as they gossiped with the wind.

Tuppence a bag (I)
Originally uploaded by
Sunshine follows me.

MDH toted a pretzel that was bigger than his own head, and I had a bread roll sprinkled with poppy seeds. We made our way through the city, betwixt the magnolia trees laden with spring blossoms and the painted gables of houses, towards the park, built on a wall overlooking the lake.

Our trail of breadcrumbs made us quite popular with the local inhabitants of the park, and they began to gather round us, twittering and bowing, fluffing up their feathers with importance.

It wasn't too long before we had them eating out of our hands.

As sparrows brazenly flirted with MDH (they barely cast an eye in my direction except to turn up their beaks at my poppy seeds), we talked about our careers and the stress of medical training and the fear of our (possibly inevitable) unemployment. At the end of our discussion, we each let out a great, heavy-hearted sigh.

Then, we looked at the sparrows playing hopscotch along the gravel path. We looked at the wild dandelions that grew carelessly yellow in the field. And we remembered not to worry about tomorrow, for each day has enough worries of its own and nobody can add a day to their life by worrying.

So we smiled and made an decision - if we are going to fritter our hours away, we are going to do it by enjoying what we have, not by worrying about what we lack.

I swear the sparrows winked at me as we left that park.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Not too far from home

Singapore in where?!, originally uploaded by Sunshine follows me.

So we drove several hours to a remote part of Germany, to stay in a little self-catering apartment way up in the mountains.

As we approached our destination - a small village nestled into the mountainside - we passed a wooden signboard that appeared to point to...Singapore?! What the...?

To top it all off, a bus unloaded a crowd of tourists as I was checking in at the reception. And what do I hear amidst the din of French and German?

"You know har, dis is my fus time to Cher-many! Yah, reallieee!!"

I guess I'm never too far away from home.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Keep clear!

Clear your mind, originally uploaded by Sunshine follows me.

Well, I thought it would be unfair not to post up just a small taster of my trip to Germany. I guess this photo pretty much summarises my entire holiday.

(Oh, and do you like my new sneakers?)

Too much for one day

My exams are next week. Will update about my holiday as soon as I'm feeling less overwhelmed about the number of job application forms I have to complete. It's all so stupid.

Sunday, May 07, 2006


London sucks.
But it's good to be home.
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