25 February, 2015

A month!

It's been almost a month since I've blogged.  And oh, what a month it's been!  I came down with a sinus infection not long after my last post (imagine feelings of shattered cheek bones and numb teeth), and had a day off work, only to return in time for my birthday where I was brought cards by my students telling me how wonderful I was and wished well by colleagues and had a thoroughly lovely day.

Cue one week later and I was struck down with Shingles (something I've had too many times before) and ended up having another 3 days off work during which time Matt took me away to a hotel for our 22nd wedding anniversary (a little stay-cation down the road), and I shared a birthday celebration with a friend.  Back to work for a day , only to be told that I had to stay off work because of a change in my working permit (due to Matt changing his), so two more days off work.  Throw into that 2 days off for Chinese New Year, and I feel like I've hardly been there this month.  And I'm off to Chang Mai, Thailand next week for 5th grade camp for a week.  9 days of work in February so far!  And no more sick days left...

A busy month indeed.  Over Chinese New Year, Matt booked a little getaway to Batam, an island in Indonesia accessible by ferry from Singapore.  It's not the most luxurious Indonesian island (don't think Bali), but it was so nice to get away, and even nicer to do it by boat!

 The resort was fine- a little past it's day, but not horrendous by any means.

 This was the little beach...at high tide.  It was nice, except there were signs for stone fish and jelly fish, and when you swam you got covered in little bits of tar/oil washing up from all the ships out in the straights.  It was still nice to be by the sea.
 And to swim in the pool (even when the turkeys were out on their morning walk- can you spot them?).  The swim up bar was pretty nice too.
 That, over there, is Singapore; so you really feel like you're not that far away, even though Indonesia is really another world when you get away from the resorts.
 Being Chinese New Year, there were lots of little offerings, and lion dances, and banquets etc.
 Low tide: a whole other world.
 I kind of wished we'd stayed in these traditional Javanese villas which had the sea right up under them at high tide.  We ate at the seafood restaurant at the end of this pier 3 out of our 4 nights.  Lovely open and breezy.
 Singapore on the horizon from the end of the pier.

 The fancy new resort next door (at low tide).  Lots of local guys out catching something this time of day.

 Ella kept making friends with the local resort stray cats.  We named this little sweety "Sandy" after she came and hung out with us for an hour while we built sandcastles on the beach. Ella also made friends with "Soxy", "Stockings" and "Shitty".

 Sandcastles: a favorite thing for Ella and me to do.   We even brought out own buckets.
 I enjoyed sifting through the sand as the waves crashed in and finding bits of coral and shells to decorate the castles.  It was like making nature mandalas.

I have more photos loading from my phone onto iCloud, but it's late and I need my sleep.

29 January, 2015

out and about, this and that.

If there is one thing that my little pup has really done for me it is that I am getting out every day and exploring my neighborhood in Singapore.  Being the world's smallest "border collie" she is EXCEEDINGLY energetic; and a 5 km power walk when I get home from work barely dents her energy level and before long she's running laps around the lounge room again.  We did an 8 km walk on the weekend and even though she was turning around to go home at about the 5 km mark, she still had the energy to chase poor Loki around all afternoon when we got home.  

Anyway, some photos from my walks.  My dad is always asking me about "the real Singapore" and I think that lately I have been catching glimpses of it:

This, to me, is everything that Singapore really is right now: old, new, and construction.

I am such a sucker for the old "colonial" Singapore, and where we live, we are in the "medical hub" of Singapore.  For now, that includes many old buildings: the infectious diseases unit, the skin condition unit, the tuberculosis unit etc.  I am a little in love with these old colonial buildings with the grounds, the space.  Not for long though; construction is all around and towers are appearing right next to these places. It is quite fascinating to watch.
This is my new favorite place to walk with Meeka.  It's by a canal which only has water in it when it rains, but it's a fantastic "park connector" path with people riding bikes, walking, running, pushing prams etc.  Feels like a real community.
This is the most lovely old colonial building right next door to a Burmese Buddhist temple that we walk past.
From our roof top, we only see all the high rise.  The treasures are there, you just have to dig; walk down at street level and off the main drags.
A wonderful floor in a converted building: we went to a baby one month coming out party there last weekend
not just a pile of rubbish: the little black splodge to the right of that box is a little black street kitten we often see on our walk.  Ella has named him charcoal, and we try to leave some food for him.  He is always rummaging amongst the rubbish bins for food. 

 Some other recent photos: from the Australian school where Ella had her last touch rugby game of the season.

My girl with her short blond hair: number 3
 Some random Loki photos I found on my phone: this cat has a seriously gorgeous face.

 An art journal page (which reminds me that I need to buy the new Frankie magazine).  Seriously Frankie inspires my art journal pages!  I cut out some images I like, paste them in and then later I fill them out.  I really love doing this.
 And though it seems like MONTHS ago, it was only 2 weeks ago that my big boys left me....  They had a few days here on there way back through from the US to Tassie.  Here's Ella and Oscar (6 foot tall) measuring their hips against each other.  Ella is not yet my hight of 5 foot 6 and yet her legs are almost the same length as his!

 And the time Ella and I went to the cat cafe:

 And a reluctant last family "selfie together".
 This is a great cafe which is on Meeka and my walking route.
 No walks this week as Meeka was spayed on Tuesday...I can take her out again on Saturday.  Matt's headed down to Tassie tonight to spend some time with the boys.  I have to wait until April to see them again...I miss them TERRIBLY.