Tuesday, March 03, 2015

And just like that, March is upon us.

It's late and I'm tired. I've gone through one pullout (with a fine-tooth comb) and now I have to do the same for another. My eyes are scratchy and I just want to go home curl up in bed and watch an inane movie over iTunes or YouTube or whatever. Either that or read Love, Nina and then fall asleep.

Funnily enough, although it's just Tuesday, it feels like it's been a hard week.

Yesterday, I lost my phone and my morning pages diary.

Today, I found it again.

I guess I'll just keep that old nose to the grindstone until I'm done with what I have to do.

(Enthusiasm, where are you? Passion, likewise? Did you creep out the backdoor as I was editing pages and pages, with no clear idea where or when or how?)

If Mum was alive, I would call her now to chat. I'd say, yeah, been busy Mum, but will be done by today. Then maybe make plans to go back to JB to hang out with her.

If Mum were alive...

Somehow I think I am going to sleepwalk through the following days, stuck on autopilot, not seeing and not really caring. Not really there, if you know what I mean.

What I need to do is make lists and start doing practical things towards planning my trip because...well, it's creeping closer.

Without any warning, March is upon us. The ides of March. The time for take-off. Such things, such things.

And although it is March and speaks of tempests and tsunamis, floods and conflagrations, I would prefer to be calm, serene, mindful, untroubled.

Maybe I'll re-read Seeds from a Birch Tree again.

Or the Long Quiet Highway.


Sunday, March 01, 2015

Sunday, February 22, 2015


Today I finally finished my obstreperous novel. When I finally got down to writing again, the story poured out of me and I didn't quit until I was done. And that was when I realised. It was not about completing the novel. It was about hammering it into shape. Now I shall have to copy what I wrote into a word document. And commence: editing!

The working title is Pristine and I'm making fun of a lot of things but it turns out sort of tragic, anyway.

Now let's see if I can whip it into shape.

Monday, February 09, 2015

How long before my soul catches up?

Every so often a word, a phrase, a name
splashes across my life
like a bloodstain
Like blood
like a stain
And I remember
And I am filled with remorse
At all the things I did
and all the ones
I did them too

And I wonder what I can do
or be or feel or say
to stop staining it anew
to wipe clean the slate

To be, in peace, in calm
in serenity

And I wonder
how long before
my actions catch up
my thoughts catch up
my feelings catch up
with my soul?

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Would that I had more go

So, day three of operation, show him some attention, feed him some food. Today, as planned, I made the dry mutton curry, asparagus belachan and cocoa cake. The asparagus (because I didn't remove the tough gristly bottom part) and the cake (I left out ingredients and here is one cake where I shouldn't have used less sugar) left something to desired. But the mutton curry was sheer poetry in the mouth.

Dadda attacked it with gusto. So did I. He's at the table now having a late dinner (because we had a late tea). I and trying to psyche myself up to do some exercise or something because I've been gorging steadily all day.

OK, not all day. I started the day with a visit to the dentist for the last part of my root canal - the fitting of the crown. Then I got home, fully intending to start cooking but instead, feeling tired, I had some breakfast and fell asleep. And then I woke up and started...well, you know, the dry mutton curry requires 25 shallots - that is peeling and cutting them...among other things - so, well, by the time lunch was ready, it was pretty late. (Luckily tomorrow, everything can be heated up - there is loads of leftover)

Among the usual things I try to do every day, the boxes I want to tick...well I haven't done much of them. Other than cooking, I have been pretty lazy. I am doing precisely what I make up such elaborate to-do lists to guard against. Wasting my weekend, allowing myself to drift aimlessly.

Would that I had more get up and go.

Friday, January 30, 2015

There's something wrong with Elliott

So I made another boiled egg this morning (this time I timed it to see that it was properly half boiled and not three quarters boiled) and Dadda ate it with gusto. OK, well, he didn't grimace at it.

I spent a productive morning doing various things and then I got to work and went out for lunch at Beyond Veggie where I had a full plate of petai fried rice (which I would have never touched in pre-diet days) and it tasted so good. And it may be past six o'clock now but I'm still full. That's what happens when you go on GM. Your stomach sort of shrinks.

I notice that it also has an effect on my mood. I tend to fly off the handle a lot more easily now. Am I feeling deprived without knowing it? But then, I do feast on weekends. Yesterday I bought all the ingredients and today, when I get home (after this Skype interview that I have to do), I will be chopping up the various bits and bobs that I have to do.

Then tomorrow, after my visit to the dentist for the crowning, I will throw everything into the pot and start cooking. I am thinking that I probably should bake the cake tonight rather than wait for tomorrow. But hmmmm....don't really want it to be stale.

So yeah, maybe I will wait and then make it after lunch. Much better idea.

It's 6.20pm now. My 6pm interview was rescheduled to 6.30pm because my interviewee was having trouble connecting to Skype.

Let met check in again.

Later for you.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Three quarter boiled eggs and fish curry

So here's the way to deal with a hypochondriac when you're not sure if he's actually ill. My father said he was feeling weak...possibly because of his reduced food intake. So, this morning, I boiled him an egg. I had meant to half boil it but I felt it too long and it was three quarters boiled instead. No matter, he ate it with pepper, salt and not a little gusto.

Then for lunch I packed a good deal of fish curry and mixed vegetable and rice from Pakeeza. Enough for lunch and dinner for two days. This too, he enjoyed and seemed to be stepping more briskly.

And to top it all off, I finally got a maid service to come clean the house which was reeking with dust and filth...and well, that makes everybody feel a lot better doesn't it?

So now the house is clean, the father is feeling less neglected and more like himself and the dog (who really is a finicky dog and does not like dirty) is reclining happily in his doggie bed.

I bought all the ingredients for the dishes I hope to make over the weekend - which means I can start cutting them up tomorrow - ready to be mixed and made into something wonderful when I get back from the dentist on Saturday morning.

I'm wondering if the prolonged diet (although I do break it two days a week) is having an effect on my mood. If it is, I should stop because it's not fair for me to be moody and lash out because I'm lacking some chemical or other in my bloodstream or I feel deprived.

The funny thing is, if I'm feeling deprived, I really have no idea of it. I guess it is something subconscious.

Although I'm supposed to be finishing the fifth chapter of Leap of Perception, I have taken up Tempest Tost instead. I don't think I did it justice in my first reading of it. Now I am enjoying it so very much more.

I didn't drink coffee last night. Maybe, after I've finished the various bits and bobs I have scheduled for the night, I will fall asleep properly.

Later for you.

Christmas holiday

I have just booked myself a holiday for Christmas. Inspired by a former lecturer, I will be going to a place I've wanted to go for a long time but just never got around to, or maybe, never had the guts to. I asked two people to go with me. The first said yes and then had a minor meltdown. The second said Christmas is so far away and she would think about it. In the meantime, I just went ahead and booked myself a bed.

Why not?

I hated Christmas last year. I spent most of the day cooking for people who were ultimately ungrateful and I thought, hang on, this is not how I want to spend Christmas in 2015. I want to pick my own party. Even if it's a party of one. Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife.

I've become really good at being by myself. I prefer doing things along. Why not, after all, why ever not?

Alone, I can read. Alone, I can write. Alone, I can think my own thoughts without the screaming of another soul beside me.

So, alone it is. Alone it is.

My father, I think, sensing my growing distance and not happy with the diet I happen to be on which makes him not cook for himself...has started making his funeral plans. He feels ill now. So ill that today he started talking about death again. He told he that he has a fixed deposit at Maybank and to be sure to make a claim on it should anything happen to him.

So, tomorrow, with the new cleaner's coming in the morning, I will go pack some food for him to have both for lunch and dinner. Maybe if he eats, he will feel better.

The thing is, when I cook enough for it to last the whole week, he wastes the food. He finds fault with it. And then it has to be thrown away. And now he acts neglected. Dying. Sad. Abandoned.

So I will do the best I can.

But I will also be getting on with my life.

And I will people it with those I really want to be around.