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.
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.
So today, I managed to be the first in line to get the brand new Galaxy S21 Ultra. I have been using my Huawei P30 Pro for almost 2 years already. I reckoned that I could get this brand new device slightly earlier, and then come 30th April, I'll try to switch from the rather expensive Singtel plan and then switch over to either the Circles life plan or the TPG 8OGB plan.
The Circles Life plan is usually $18 for a 50GB plan, but it has limited outgoing call minutes. The TPG plan gives 80GB for only $18 and it is also rather Generous with free incoming and 300 outgoing minutes.
I don't really use much bandwidth, but I would not turn down more free bandwidth for that matter.
Here is a photo taken using the night mode. I think the Huawei P30 Pro camera is better, but let me take a few days to learn all the tricks to use these cameras of the 21 Ultra better.
Wakeboarding is a tiring activity!
Second outing attempt and still enjoying it, albeit a bit pricey!
Happy Birthday Tigger Boy!
Celebrated Tigger's Birthday on the 7th of November. Tigger just turned 7, and it's really amazing that he's spent seven years, or two thousand five hundred and fifty five days with me.
The amazing thing is the fact that Tigger has been sleeping right by my side, with his little square pillow right beside mine, day after day, night after night, without fail. With the exception when I would be away for my vacation.
Hence, if anyone were to ask me, "who's the closest to you?". My unequivocal answer would be "Tigger". Happy Birthday to you Tigger Boy, and may you have many more years of good health and happiness!
DD is a 20-year old granny cat that lives in Towner Road area. I was contacted by Cindy to help house-visit DD. This was because Cindy has just started work, and she was unable to do her regular feeding of DD. At 2pm to 3pm range, DD would rouse from her sleep and then look for food. But because DD was already very old (in cat years), she had difficulty lumbering over to the food area. In fact, when I first met DD, she was laying still and did not want to move at all.
Over the past week, I have been making long visits to her. I would check if she was awake. I would then prepare her meals, and then using a small teaspoon, help and assist her with her eating. Initially, she did not eat much, but over the course of the few days, I could see that her strength came back, and she was definitely more energetic than when I first met her.
Here's wishing granny DD all the best of health, and a long life!
My Random Encounter with the Otters
I do occasionally follow up with news about the Singaporean otters, mainly via the Otter Watch Facebook Group. What seemed to be one family of otters have now grown into different families, each having their own territories and territorial disputes. Nevertheless, the otters in Singapore have grown into a national animal of sorts - and they do look adorable, which makes liking them even easier.
Stopping by the Kallang River, and look what I found?!
So last week, during one of the evenings, while driving home from gym (at Millenia Walk), I decided to make a detour to take some 360 photos (my current hobby). To my surprised I saw a family of otters lurking around the water's edge. I got really curious and decided to move forward to have a closer look.
The otters were all eating fish
My first observation was that the family of otters looked very well-fed. Almost every otter has his own piece of fish, and without too many natural predators, they were able to enjoy their meals without a worry. I decided to move even closer. Interestingly, they were not bothered by me at all - they were probably already well-adjusted to living alongside humans.
I decided to zoom into one of the otters who was eating fish, and lucky for me, he did a few good poses. This shot was the otter almost finishing his fishy snack, before his sibling came over for the scraps.
Tigger plays Fetch with the Sock
The point about Tigger is that he's almost always initially wary when I return from a long trip. He's curious, and he would sniff, as if the only way to recognise me was my scent. He would scamper around uneasily. But this would quickly pass, and soon he would be back to his usual self.
This time around, it was obvious that Tigger missed me. It could possibly be a minifestation of what I wanted to see from Tigger. But there were telltale signs that he missed me. He stayed unusually close to me, and followed me around the house. He even entertained me with a game of fetch, which was something that he does not do often. (He has done this before as a kitten, but as with all cats, it really depends on his mood).
Now, for as long as I could remember, Tigger has been sleeping on his little IKEA cushion right next to my pillow, on my bed. On that night I returned, he returned back to the same spot to sleep. It was kinda strange, cos we installed a webcam in the house, so I was sure that he slept elsewhere in the house, primarily at the bay window area of the spare room. What this meant was that, he only goes back to his usual sleeping spot when I was around. When I was not around, he chose to sleep elsewhere.
So on that night I returned, he returned to his usual spot to sleep. Now, instead of sleeping on his cushion, he leaned so close to me that when I turned off the lights, I felt his breathing on my face. Tigger was sleeping so closely to me that he's invading into my personal space. But I guess that's love? So that night, I slept, with Tigger really close to me.
I am MrWildy and I am trying to journal more about my life and also my travels. Find out more about me here.