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some -elements- (because ‘things’ is uninspiring, and a sentence filled with 10 nouns comma after comma is no fun) that inspired me this week:

Brain food

On friendships and how they shape our lives: https://www.brainpickings.org/2017/09/10/maria-mitchell-friendship/

This was linked in the previous post, about how friendship is superior to romantic love: https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/04/23/love-undetectable-andrew-sullivan-friendship/

Ear food

JT’s ‘My Love’ cover by the XX. Will you guys ever do any wrong?

And of course no trip to a foreign country, much less a 10-day solo one to Spain, a country steeped in culture and history, would be complete without finding your senses/tastes/preferences expanded/altered. It has certainly deepened my appreciation for the Spanish language and widened my awareness to its music outside of the cliché that is Despacito. Which to be fair they love too (who doesn’t!), albeit the original version not Bieb’s. The genre is called ‘Reggaeton’/’Regueton’ – think Gasolina, Danza Kuduro – which is “actual music, you know, that you can dance and move to. Not like the trash in UK clubs”. Loosely quoted from my dear friend. Anyway, Kali Uchis’ Nuestro Planeta is an edgy Spanish song. I discovered her via Daniel Caesar’s Get You which has been a firm favourite for months, still is.

Technically I didn’t hear this on Spanish radio so I’ll leave you (lol I’m talking as if there’s someone reading this) with another (i.e. apart from Despacito) hot favourite, Mala Mujer – it means Bad Woman!

And to commemorate the terrific evening I had earlier this week vibin’ out to this new space (Kilo Lounge) with reconnected/new people. P.s. Fkj is very enjoyable live.

Face food

While shopping for a friend’s birthday gift, I chanced upon Hourglass’ new range of lipsticks – Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim High Intensity. Truly ultra slim, extremely pricey (price to product especially so I’d imagine, it’s $56 for a tiny ULTRA SLIM bullet! Feels weighty and luxe though.) but damn if they’re not pigmented. Extremely easy to apply too. I was swatching practically every single colour. Not sure how well they wear but we’ll see. I like the colour range too. Most of the colours are sold out at ION, bit better availability at Takashimaya but best bet probably online. Got a warm brown – I’ve Been – from Sephora’s website.

Actual food

I’ve been preaching the Bakery by Woodlands Sourdough for the longest time. Haven’t spoken to the team that started it, would love to, but from what I gather (flavour combinations, vibe of the space – unpretentious, rustic (‘ugly’), casual, natural, wholesome, cookbooks stacked on the cooling rack) it seems they’re inspired by some of my favourite feeders e.g. Ottolenghi, Tartine Bakery. I don’t make it a point to go every week but find myself there every week anyway bc the inertia to try new places is too high, and I’d hate to waste a few hours of my precious weekend on a lousy meal.

Another space I’ve fallen in love with is the Glasshouse. It’s a cozy, light-filled space in Chijmes. Lots of green (of course), the warmest, friendliest staff and terrific coffee. Made new friends, another space I’ll return to for sure.

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I tend to go through phases with music but angus & julia stone have occupied a sweet spot in my heart for over a decade. I don’t rave about them very much but when I listen to them I always feel comforted. it’s already a rare and precious thing to find connection with (things/people/hm?) – all the more incredible when you realise these (things/people/hm?) have grown with you

been watching Big Little Lies, disturbing themes, scored, written and shot beautifully, A+ cast. have been enjoying it so much

‘transfer vietnam photos to external hard disk’ was an item on my to-do today. that led to an hour of reshuffling/renaming/reorganising folders in the hard disk and of course I went through some photos. got reminded of a time when all I had to worry about was what to eat/do/see the next day. brilliant company. felt terribly at ease and at peace for a whole hour. love how photographs…music…can evoke memories and emotions of a period bygone. immensely grateful to parents for gifting me my now beloved Fuji X100T, a beautiful, easy-to-use little machine that preserved the best moments of my life

this time last year I was having the time of my life in Paris, then Norway, then I think a bit of a break before Glastonbury, Iceland, Lake District and finally the epic journey to becoming fat, broke & unemployed

this year the first few hours post-exam was spent with xr and friends at bedok for soupy bcm & some other stuff like bbq stingray and sugar cane oh how refreshing and beautiful that was after ~8 hours of dehydration bc they didn’t allow water bottles in the hall (and we didn’t want to camel up bc we didn’t wanna have to go to the toilet in the middle of a paper…)

Sunday I chauffeured Yu & Jason to balestier, then headed to town (WEW) for brunch with Amadea + errands. bumped into Claire & fam, LOL. Monday I went for 7am yoga with a teacher I am very grateful to have met (first virtually then irl haha), all them good vibrations!. in the evening did tipples with the colleagues. Wednesday I struggled but showed up anyway bang on time at 7am – but unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be. so I went again on Thursday 7am, reluctantly bc it was a Hot class but glad I did. then TGIF! first Friday at work in a while lol thanks to study holidays, but the week didn’t feel quite as long as I thought it would be. it was a good week at work. Friday evening was terrific, had a glass of white with my colleagues and spent an hour w Claire at a Power class where the mantra ‘Happiness is your Birthright’ stuck with me. it’s carried me through the weekend – thanks Kathy. after class we rushed to town for a quick dinner in order to make it to Tarte by Cheryl Koh before it closed hahaha. so nice seeing her and catching up after a month. feels so long considering how we spent pretty much uh every day together over months for three years. on the way home had a fit after finding out Father started watching House of Cards. Saturday morning continued fits after finding out Father & Mother watched HOC together. had brunch with them at Victor’s Kitchen, then headed to Claire’s for a girly stayover. that was nice – just like old times in Nottingham! groceries, make yummy stuff, work out, being bums basically. Sunday morning we went for a class at Lab East and then had Super Crispy Prata lol it wasn’t that crispy I think it was my fault coz I asked for less oil whoops. then I went to Haig Rd and Xr came bearing gifts, mostly food aaaah you know me too well :’) so glad to see him. gifts were seriously top notch too lol. spent the day lazing about, for about an hour or so we felt abit aimless because it was the first time in ~4 months we didn’t have the burden of having to study. ended up watching a Singapore Airlines feature by Nat Geo LOL that was fun. decided to get out for bubble tea & groceries, then made his belated birthday dinner to Foals’ Glasto ’16 set playing on the TV. a little mishap happened when we were draining the pasta. I guess we could say that the day was not perfect because of that, I was shitty about the mishap, but thank you for countering my shittiness with love. very grateful for that. absolute highlight was watching the sunset. totally spontaneous, saw that the sky was pinker than usual out of the corner of my eye so I went out to the balcony, saw that the sun was massive and very vermillion and exclaimed ‘omg the sun so nice’ (my vocab not so power spontaneously lah), he suggested watching the sunset and I thought, wow why not, so we did, and it was so comforting and beautiful and everything felt perfect. we watched the sky for ~20min as it evolved from something so gentle to something so so rich, and then mellow again. talked about what the clouds (it was very cloudy, lots of different textures too) reminded us of, mostly our travels. talked about life in general. I want to bottle up that feeling, that scene. penning it down because I don’t want to forget it

gratitude journal:

— grateful for colleagues who are nice and easy to get along with
— grateful for Yoga Lab opening at Boon Tat St which is terribly convenient
— grateful for my mom & dad providing for and loving me, giving me so much freedom to live and be
— grateful the workout routine I’ve begun – really hoping to keep it up!
— grateful for Xr’s love and generosity always

very excited for the coming weekend and the next – Beeston Buddies gathering, then Vietnam with my love!

as I was writing this I thought about how my week is going to seem perfect but the truth is it definitely wasn’t, I didn’t feel pleasant at some points and projected that to people around me / my surroundings. I just focused on the good stuff and that made me feel very at peace and happy and ready to take on a new week. we all do what we gotta do to survive and be better, kinder, I guess

have a terrific week

we been together for seven whole freakin’ years, been through way too much, grown a heckuva lot and we’re pretty different people today compared to our 17/18 year old selves, ha! not sure where we’ll be in 7 days, or 7 decades – saying this to qualify that I don’t believe anything lasts forever, not because they can’t but because we can never know ahead of time, but I think having stuck it out the past 7 years was no small feat, we’ve both made a ton of sacrifices – which haven’t been particularly difficult decisions either – so cheers, mate. I’m so grateful you are in my life now. dedicating this cheesyass beautiful song to my big big love

I haven’t felt more at peace with myself and where I am in life than I have been the past few months. coming of age? adulting? self-assurance? I definitely don’t have shit figured out ha, far from it, but I’m completely at peace, ok with surrendering control. completely aware of the privilege of having a supportive, loving family. incredibly grateful for the strong beautiful souls who inspire me and enrich my life. feeling a ton of great positive vibes and want to etch them forever in the interwebz, and pass them on!

ps. fav artistes this year: frank ocean, kendrick lamar, miguel, drizzy, j cole, sampha … just really feelin them rap/r&b vibez

today I recognise the transportive power of music and its effect on me. very grateful for its ability to bring me back in time and allow me to relive and feel certain memories and emotions. also immensely grateful for the massive variety of music made conveniently accessible via tech … this song above brought me back to Hallward, final couple of months in Notts studying for finals

been in a nostalgia-filled funk as the Beeston Buddies gathered on Saturday night for a few hours of what we do best — Resistance and drinks and nonsense until 3am, plus I saw La La Land on Friday evening (date night! ♡). I found it simple, easy to watch, despite the nature of the film (a musical) not filled with tropes and cliches, very well directed, and beautifully shot. I found some parts a little draggy — it’s not as tight as many other critically-acclaimed movies are but perhaps it’s not meant to be? don’t know, not a critic, not knowledgeable enough to comment on the merits/demerits of ‘tightness’, should probably read more — and it’s certainly not a ‘deep’ film with a ‘heavy’ subject matter / commentary on society / humanity, but I do still think it is worth watching, and it’s certainly not vapid as one may expect a of a ~romantic~ film especially one with a title like La La Land. I hardly ever feel inclined to rewatch films and I really want to rewatch it, I think because I want badly to feel again how I felt in the cinema. it was incredibly touching. definitely also helped that it was set in LA, one of my favourite stops in the states, I have such romantic memories of that sprawling, beautiful, hazy, congested, shiny city. music was amazing too, bloody earworms!

so many other films I want to see —

  • Moonlight — Mahershala Ali + Best Picture (that massive blunder tho…)
  • Manchester by the Sea
  • The Salesman —
  • The Lobster — been sitting on my desktop for the longest time…

this weekend I’m going to see Explosions in the Sky for the first time in my life finally after missing them at Glasto and I have a feeling it’s going to drown me in feels. cannot wait

current earworm:

I finally did it!!! drove home solo at night from Xianrong’s place! I’ve always feared driving at night because of visibility issues. but I took the plunge and I’m really glad I did — had to do it sooner or later anyway. it wasn’t easy overcoming the fear though, kept putting off leaving every fifteen minutes. so yes. +1 to life achievements!!!

this weekend was a weekend of tiny victories. I was very bummed about having to do work, again I also put it off — was meant to do it on Saturday afternoon but didn’t. thankfully I managed to finish it today. yeah, finishing it rather satisfactorily is pretty victorious imo haha got to enjoy my evening! seems like I work best when there’s some time pressure, ha.

speaking of procrastination, I’ve been postponing my CFA study plans. I was meant to begin in the first weekend of Feb, but I still haven’t done anything. I know I will regret this in time to come. I should really do this coming weekend, though it’s going to be a little tough since I’ve got plans, but hahaha ok no more excuses. anyway even if I don’t complete all I’ve tasked myself to, some progress is better than none!

what happened the past week:

  • got xr hooked on jamie xx’s remix of take care
  • Lin flew to Germany 😥 I felt so worried and sad before she left! but now I’m cool haha. so envious tbh, yes I’ve had my time, still…
  • received swimwear in the mail!!! kekeke
  • signed a package with a new studio, Yoga Lab! it’s at Duxton which is terrific — I’ll pass Hattendo otw from work LOL pre-workout snack how bou dah? *u* they’ve got a studio in the east as well, apparently it’s super nice cannot wait to checkit teehee
  • finally wore my new shades out FINALLY ah I love it sooo muuuch
  • parallel parked at frkn turf city without too much hassle — AW YISS. MAKIN’ SUMMA DAT LIFE PROGRESS

aite peace have a great week ahead everyone!