Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Travel Travel

It is the Golden Week National Day holidays in China, and we leave this saturday for Japan!

We are going to stay for a week in Osaka, and then do day trips to Nara and Kyoto. We'll head down south to Kobe for the scrumptious slices of cow and the onsen in the mountains...

It's going to be great.

I'll come back and work for a week, and then romp off to Singapore. I love this job!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

When did you know?

I was talking to my brother about his first job. I wanted to tell him - it does get easier with the passage of time. Yet I know that if someone had told me such platitudes when I started working, I don't think I would have believed them either. So I shut up, but this blog post is written with him in mind.

I have been a couple of jobs in my life, and I think I am really happy with this one. It's been coming close to 5 months now, and I am still going to work and coming home with a whole range of emotions including challenged, exhausted, stressed but never feeling that it was time to quit. Sure it is not perfect, I am sometimes swamped and feeling way out of my depth, but there is a basic amount of respect and openess in the office which I find quite frankly refreshing. Might have something to do with being in a start-up. Right now I am experience this kind of bliss. I'm happy to take it one step at the time and see whether this keeps up.

Flashback to myself in another life, I knew it was not a good fit quite early in the day when one collegue in my team sent an email circular about protocol for sending mobile phone text messages (I am not kidding!). It was the most ridiculous thing I had ever seen, but when nobody was rolling on the floor laughing, then I knew this was not going to ultimately work out. My only regret was not to have to guts to pack up and leave earlier, but I guess I needed to go through the CV stamping exercise. Man, I must have been a miserable old cow when I was working there, and I laugh at myself now.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Fitness objectives

I am horrified - I can still wear my second trimester pregnancy clothes!! My "think thin" clothes are horribly tight (the kind you need to breathe in to fasten).

Must. Lose. Weight.

Especially before going to Singapore (so that I can have my laksa fix, my chilli crab and oatmeal prawns, my carrot cake and char kway teow, roti prata and milo peng...)

Oh yeah - Rhys! aren't we (Pins and Elaine) supposed to have dinner at that awesome restaurant where the chef is your army buddy? I cannot remember the name in Chinese now, but I remember that it was YUMS.... Also there is Christmas in France and all its orgy of calorie laden goodness to look forward to.

Running? Star jumps? Any suggestions from all you fit friends out there?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

If your life was a movie now - would you believe it?

Sometimes I think I am living a dream. I read a couple of Facebook poll questions of the "where would you like to be" or "what would you like to do" variety, and I must be an exceedingly boring pollster. Or at least that is my excuse for not bothering!

I wouldn't want to change a thing. Honestly. My life is pretty far from perfect, but I can live with all its flawed and human glory.

Of course, that doesn't mean I don't want to ever stop trying to: (1) shed some ancient post-natal pounds (2) effect some meaningful change in this world (3) increase the number of personal vegan days per week. My complete to-do list is reams and reams of A4, but that was just a random sampling.

When I say I wouldn't want to change, I mean that I have stopped beating myself up for not achieving all these things. Somehow having a kid has made me a kinder person, begining with myself and my own (previously) sky-high personal expectations.

Fabien and I were talking about this last night, whilst reviewing our latest fantastic weekend.

If our life was a movie would you find our characters believable?

If our life was a movie now, I would spend all the time waiting for something terrible to happen. Somebody has to die, or at least have an affair, otherwise it would be a very boring movie.

Do you want to have an affair?

No, I got two really demanding women already, so I don't have any time.

Yeah - let's adopt another girl then you can have 3...

Monday, September 17, 2007

Kaapstad via London

Joan is part of our extended family - she's Sophie's godmother. So when she and her brother did the whistle-stop tour of China we enjoyed a Beijing weekend of great dining and an early morning trip (for them!) to the Great Wall.

I think it's wonderful that Sophie will have the chance to enjoy godparents from totally different cultures and environments to her parents. Fabien and I deliberately chose godparents for her that were younger (slightly) and with very different personalities from ourselves so that hopefully she will enjoy the diversity and it's a reminder to us that "our" way isn't always the "right" way.

Over a waterpipe and drinks, we discussed how Singapore and (White) South Africa are really alike because it's a small population with a constant siege mentality. And everyone is worried about "what the neighbours would say". Also we agreed to come back to whampoa club on a corporate expense account at some other time!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Cannot comment on other pple's blogs

I think censorship is stupid and internet censorship even more so.

But what completely hacks me off is when this theorethical debate translates into practical problems, like now, when I cannot comment on other people's blogs.

I always need to put in my 2 RMB worth of opinion. And now I can see the blogs courtesy of bloglines (*thanks to Mini), but I cannot post my comments.

soooo... 2 comments that have been on the tip of my tongue/keyboard...

@ Dos Centavos - I hope your dog is feeling better now. You didn't miss much of a game anyway.
@ Peter - your vacation photos are awesome! Makes me want to run around in leiderhosen (and yodel).

Monday, September 10, 2007

Photos are up!

If you are on facebook you probably already knew that, but I just signed up (finally) to this application because I was seduced by their unlimited free photo space, and figured I better sign up for it now before they start charging for this like flckr!

So some of my favourites (for those of you who cannot access facebook) are:

Sunday, September 09, 2007

It was GREAT!!

It is the last weekend with my mom in Beijing (she leaves back to Singapore this week) - so we treated ourselves and spent it here and I don't think we wanted to come back! The weekend was super because:

1) upgrade to a private villa (for the little monkey to get into mischief all over)
2) 20% off spa treatment
3) sunset views of the Great Wall

I will stop sounding like an advert (in a minute) but the last plug is this:- I found it better than banyan tree, because they cater both to kids as well as honeymooners.

Pictures to follow once I get my camera downloaded (no more battery) from very photogenic moments with daughter, husband, mom and wall.

Friday, September 07, 2007

The weekend is here again!

We are off for another great weekend away at the Great Wall.

I am soooo looking forward to it! This weeek was a non-billing week because I just cannot get my concentration to the level I want, and it is really useless to review stuff when you are just not thinking clearly.

Some exercise up in the mountains, yoga at sunrise and and lovely spa treatments, and I should be all set for monday!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Random Rant

Sophie likes car-rides. Sophie likes nursing. Can somebody PLEASE invent a carseat which allows for nursing your child in a moving car without compromising their safety?

My beautiful and independent toddler can entertain herself (and her rapt audience) for about an hour or so in the car-seat. She can look out of the window and sign the genus of all the animals she sees, and make all the related bovine/ovine/canine/porcine/feline noises (who needs a tour guide?!). She can entertain us with narrations (complete with the kissing sound-effects!) of the on-going (but ultimately doomed) love affair between the Very Hungry Caterpillar and Mao-Mao. (see below)

BUT when she wants sleep, then somehow those bottles of formula don't work the same soporific magic as warm mommy milk.

Then I have a real mommy-dilemma: Should I take her out of her car-seat and nurse her or not?

Damn it's sometimes so hard to be a parent. When you have to make such finely balanced judement calls in your personal life, those pain-staking cost-benefit analysis and decision trees I do up at work seem so simple by comparison. A multi-million dollar bid price for a project becomes a doddle !

Hit the road jack..

We love summer weekends hiking in the mountains!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Capturing the moments

There will be a time when our daughter's conception of fun doesn't involve being swung in circles by her papa.

Thank god that time is not now.

map reading

I am glad she doesn't have her mother's sense of direction!