I’m full on energy to start the week ahead.
I woke up at 6am on Monday. The sun was shining through the window and I felt a surge of vitality in my veins. I had a good sleep, a good dream, a good feeling. I was ready to face the day and the week ahead.
I had many ideas in my head, buzzing like bees. Ideas for work, for life, for fun. I felt passionate about what I was going to do, what I was going to create, what I was going to achieve. I had a vision, a purpose, a drive.
I looked at my to-do list and it was long. But it didn’t scare me or overwhelm me. It motivated me and challenged me. It was all self-driven, all things that I wanted to do, not things that I had to do. I was excited by it, actually. I felt like I had control over my own destiny.
I got up and got ready. I had a quick breakfast, a cup of cold chinese tea, a shower. I put on some music, some upbeat tunes that matched my mood. I checked my email, my messages, my social media.
I felt alive and happy. I felt like nothing could stop me.
I’m full on energy to start the week ahead.
And you know what?
It feels good.
I miss Tigger. He was my best friend for more than ten years. He was always there for me, no matter what. He had a way of making me laugh with his antics and his expressions. He was a smart cat, too. He knew how to open doors, how to play fetch, how to cuddle when I needed it.
He died four months ago. It was sudden and cruel. I didn’t have time to say goodbye. I didn’t have time to do anything. I just watched him fade away, helpless and heartbroken.
I still think of him every day. I still see him in my dreams. I still feel him in my arms. Sometimes I hear his meow or his purr, and I turn around, hoping to catch a glimpse of him. But he’s not there. He’s gone.
But he’s not forgotten. He lives on in my memories, and in my project. A project that I started actually even before he passed away. A project that I call “Tigger’s World Tour”.
You see, Tigger loved to travel. But he never had the opportunity to do so. There were so many places that he didn’t get to see. So many places that I wanted to show him. So many places that I wanted to share with him.
So I decided to bring him with me, in a way. I made a stack of stickers that look like postage stamps, with his portrait.
Whenever I go somewhere new, I stick one of these stickers somewhere visible, somewhere public, somewhere where other people can see it. It’s like leaving a mark of Tigger’s presence, a sign of his spirit, a tribute to his memory.
It’s also like sending him a postcard, telling him where I am and what I’m doing, telling him that I miss him and that I love him.
Tigger has been to many places since he died. He’s been to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. He's also been to Tulum in Mexico, and Santa Monica Pier in the USA. The Hagia Sophia in Turkiye. He’s even been up the Banff Gondola to the Sulphur Mountains. He’s also been to Pike Place Market in Seattle. That's the last spot he visited.
Pike Place is a famous market where you can find all kinds of things: fish and flowers and fruits and vegetables and crafts and souvenirs and more. It’s also where you can find a wall covered with stickers and posters and graffiti and art. A wall that represents the diversity and creativity and history of Seattle.
A wall that has one of Tigger’s stickers on it.
Can you spot it?
It’s not easy to find. It’s hidden among hundreds of other stickers, some old and faded, some new and bright.
But it’s there.
It’s there for anyone who cares to look.
It’s there for anyone who wants to say hi to Tigger.
It’s there for anyone who wants to join me in celebrating his life.
Tigger was more than a cat.
He was my companion.
He was my partner.
He was my world.
Boardgames at Purvis Street
28 Years Later
One More Time
With the restrictions coming in place, I thought it would be great to just drop by at Mom's salon and then spend a simple evening with her. Over the past few months, there has been movement of the tenant mix around her salon. The empty units were gradually occupied again. The KZX massage unfortunately closed, and was taken over by a partnership between HW and the owner of the maid agency on level four. They decided to start a "drinking place", which was kind of apt for my mom since she's seen as the "big sister" for the area, especially with her sociable personality.
In fact, mom has been putting this small round table with a few chairs right outside her salon, as a meeting point for her and her friends. When I visit her, I would hang out with her at this table over red wine, and then it would become a nice spot for us to catch up.
So this evening, I surprised her with a smart watch as a Mother's Day gift. I reckoned that while she's never really wore a watch before, a smart watch would be useful for her to track her steps, monitor her sleep as well as to measure her heart rate (and of course, the smart watch can be a nifty gadget in notifying her incoming messages while she's busy with a customer's hairdo).
It took a while for me to update the smart watch and pair it with her phone. Then I explained to her the various features. As she's not as technology-literate, I had to be patient to explain to her step-by-step on how to activate and deactivate the various features, such as DND (which is a useful function in case incoming messages after midnight will disturb her sleep).
She was confused with the Safety Entry for business (as I was), so we took some time to try to figure out how to set up her salon to be ready to transit to implementing the Trace Together scanning for customers.
Maybe I should send her a message now to see if she's activated the DND mode. Lol.
The Pitcher Plant
I have been staying in my current apartment for about twenty months already. At the thirty-sixth level, it enjoys great ventilation from the constant breeze from the south. There's also plenty of sunshine; the living room balcony faces the west, while my bedroom faces the South.
At such a high floor, I would expect no insects to be lurking around. Unfortunately, there's a minor insect issue in my bathroom. Due to the accumulation of water from the shower area into the drain pipe, I do see tiny drain flies for whatever they are called) flying out from the drain cover every morning when I am having my warm shower.
Initially, I left them alone, thinking that they were harmless. They proved to be harmless as expected. Life went on. Then one evening, I looked up at the corner of my bathroom ceiling and found a family of more than 10 drain flies staking their sovereignty in the tiny universe of my bathroom. I was perturbed. I pried open the drain cover and sprayed as much insecticide as it was possible, then covered the floor trap to prevent any insects from escaping. I believed there were many casualties from my actions. The drain fly population decreased for a short while. A week passed, and then they were back. This time round, they occupied three corners of the ceiling, as if they were trying to mock me.
The battle continued to the present day. There seemed to be no effective means to eliminate the drain flies. What I could do was only to manage their population by not allowing their numbers to increase exponentially. I was no match for them.
Then, just this evening, after dinner with the guys, I passed by this newly-opened nursery. Aptly called "The Nursery", the place was nicely decorated and was brightly-lit, which attracted many passer-bys in the Lavender neighbourhood. We went in to take a look. I had no intention to get myself any plants. My last plant was a piece of ginger which was left unused for too long in the storeroom. It grew shoots. I was impressed by the ginger root's survivability and transplanted it in a pot of soil. That was during the COVID phase one lockdown period. The ginger plant sprouted stems and leaves and grew could the glass bowl couldn't accommodate it anymore. The ginger eventually ended up in a buta shouga dish.
Back to the nursey. I chanced upon a small pitcher plant. And immediately I thought about my squatter tenants in the bathroom. Perhaps they might be attracted to the pitcher plant. Perhaps I could try to keep a plant in my bathroom after all. I ended up getting the pot of pitcher plant and another small point of the Crispy wave fern. I reckoned that this fern might bring some colour to my sink, and keep the pitcher plant company.
Over to you, drain flies.
Since the last Royal Caribbean Cruise trip ended abruptly with a COVID scare, I was determined to use the cruise credits for another trip before the Quantum of the Seas sails away (I heard the next ship is a smaller vessel).
As we were already familiar with the cruise ship, we cleared the immigration checkpoints fairly swiftly and after dropping off our stuff in the cabins, we went up to the open-air deck. M and I got ourselves the beverage plan (what's a trip without beverages?!) and I immediately got myself my first tipple.
In fact, over the course of the next three nights, I would have consumed the following (in the right sequence):
I found the food to be rather decent (for the price which we were paying). There was no need to visit a specialty restaurant at all. As we went on this cruise during the low season, we were well-attended by the service staff.
Naturally, my favourite spot in the entire cruise ship was the solarium. The solarium was designated as a kids-free zone, so we could really unwind and relax with ambient jazz music, low humidity and fresh sunshine. I was determined not to get an internet plan, so that I could concentrate on some good ol' reading.
I prepared some ebooks on my Kindle, and started with The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin. I got to about 50% of the book but found it to be rather dry, and switch over to The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben, which I finished on Day 2. By the end of the cruise, I was also halfway through Persuasive Copywriting: Cut Through the Noise with Impact by Andy Maslen. I took some notes on my Ultra for future reference as there were some great tips which would without doubt come in handy for my Wellaholic marketing later on.
The other fun thing which I was looking forward to trying again was surfing at the Flowrider. Most of the slots for the Flowrider was allocated to the boogie board. In order to do the surfing, we had to wait for the 1630 to 1700 slot for advanced surfers. I wasn't very experienced in surfing, having done it only once at the Wavehouse at Sentosa, but I was resolute to try it again. And it was great fun!
All in all, it was a great trip, filled with great food and drinks, great company, excellent conversations and lots of exercise and group activities. With no overseas travel in the next year (or two), this cruise was a great respite from the humdrum monotony of daily work back in Singapore. I look forward to the next trip soon!
Actually, this journaling initiative was related to my social media detox. Since eons ago, I have stopped posting on Facebook (never really liked the format). While I have been posting regularly on Instagram, I did not like the idea of "likes" and "follows". The mechanism of posting for likes and follows tend to steer me away from a few things:
Authenticity — Sometimes, I just want to post about my cats. Or my workout. Or a nice sunset. But I do get influenced by the likes that each post gather, or the number of follows that I get over time. And then I end up not posting what I might have wanted to post.
Depth — I do lament about the good ol' days of journaling on Livejournal. Those days, we spent more time using words to express our thoughts and feelings. Somewhat, this gave a bit more depth to who we were and what we felt, as opposed to the fleeting, transient nature of stories or even Tiktok videos. Sure, watching some dance moves can be entertaining, but nothing beats reading a heartfelt post penned by another fellow (virtual) friend.
Personality — The world of Instagram, etc. is visual. The best-looking person gets the most likes and follows. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it does not facilitate connection on a deeper level. How much can we really know someone from a photo?
Hence early January I decided to go on a social media detox. “A social media detox is a conscious elimination of social media use and consumption for a set period of time. Generally, most social media detoxes are 30 days, but some people do seven days or even a year-long social media detox.” For me, it meant a short hiatus from Instagram. I didn't post anything, nor did I browse the IG feeds. Studies have shown that spending too much time on social media can be potentially hazardous to our mental health — social media can show distorted views of reality that make the readers feel inferior.
The social media detox turned out to be great. I wasn't really affected by the social comparison cycle, but I am by nature competitive, so this detox helped me to get away "from it all", even if there's a drop in my follower count, so be it — the FOMO aspects of it dissipated quickly, and I did begin to live more in the moment.
Until a well-meaning friend reached out to me. "Is everything alright with you," he queried. Apparently my radio silence got him worried. I quickly reassured him that all is well. I guess social media is still a means for friends to keep in touch, and as long as we make use of social media as a tool, and not become a tool of social media (and the community at large), it should be okay.
And since with my Ultra, the use of a stylus has helped me to write more. So let's see if I will write consistently. It's a little time-consuming though, but let's see. And here's a cute photo of Tigger yawning.
I am MrWildy and I am trying to journal more about my life and also my travels. Find out more about me here.