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Monday, December 31, 2012

Buttercake and Cream

Buttercake and Cream has good food at very reasonable prices indeed. We ate their Sumptuous Dinner for 2 priced at SGD49.90. The service was friendly and very prompt. The food was well made and the drinks were quite creative. It's the desserts here that really shine though. I really recommend this place for desserts.

It's a nice place to feed a family and certainly a nice place for a young man (with not much money) to bring his picky eater of a girlfriend.

Drinks that come with the set dinner.

Prawn cocktail and mushroom soup.

Magret the canard confit. This is HIGHLY recommended. It's the main dish I liked the best of all that we ordered.

Salmon on scallop.

Pork knuckle for 2 - but we are small eaters so it was enough for 3.

Tiramisu with vanilla ice cream.

Chocolate cake.

Cappuccino - doesn't come with the set though.

Punggol Prawning

Many years ago, I brought Little Boy to Bottle Tree Park in Yishun to catch prawns. For some reason, they were really really difficult to catch so we NEVER went back again. Maybe the line was set at the wrong length. Maybe there were too few prawns in the rather smallish pond. Maybe the hook was too big. I don't know. We caught ONE small prawn in ONE hour.

So, when The Husband's colleagues suggested to go prawning, we went along just to enjoy the company. Certainly not for the prawns we expected NOT to catch. But we caught KILOS of prawns. To be sure, there were very many people but still, some people caught a prawn every 10 minutes or so. It began to get really exciting! After the prawning was done, we were allowed 2 barbeque pits for grilling the prawns. The prawns were so good to eat that I had trouble looking like a lady whilst eating them.

So today, the whole family went prawning.

It costs $18 per rod for an hour OR $33 per rod for 3 hours. We spent 3 hours with 2 rods and took turns. We caught 18 prawns. Alright... alright... I know I can buy kilos of prawns at the market for $66 compared to the 18 we caught. Much of the money paid for the fun I guess. And hey, it was GREAT fun compared to our stint at Bottle Tree Park Yishun where we caught ONE small prawn after ONE hour. That hardly motivated repeat visits. No wonder we never went back!!

Punggol Prawning however gave us enough successes to feel rather eager to go back for more fun. Expensive fun though!!

The ponds here are way larger than those at Bottle Tree Yishun

Our 2 rods.

The prawns we caught in a bag with ice cubes.

The prawns we ate grilled with salt. Very sweet prawns.

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Power of Imagery

Watch your thoughts for they become words. Watch your words for they become actions. Watch your actions for they become habits. Watch your habits for they become your character. Watch your character for it becomes your destiny. What we think... we become.

- Margaret Thatcher -

There was a time when Singapore's mental image of an ideal system was that of free market competition. To increase efficiency and effectiveness, public services were privatised and quasi-privatised. School Principals were asked to be CEOs of their schools. Indices that paralleled stock market performance were created to measure schools (aka school banding). The way was open to brutal market competition between schools, which lead to competition between teachers... who then pitted students against each other and drove students (and their parents) ever onwards to greater heights of measurable and quantifiable success. See blogpost HERE. Never mind that some really important things in education cannot be measured. See blogpost HERE.

Much of the malaise Singaporeans feel today can possibly be traced back to this single thought - that the free market system is the perfect/best system and public service would do well to emulate its efficiency and effectiveness. It is at best an amoral ideal, i.e., an ideal devoid of morals NOT one that is IMmoral. In other words, I am not saying it is evil, for to be evil requires a heart turned bad. The free market simply has NO heart... NO capacity for empathy.

Now, let me apologise for the corniness that follows.

And so a darkness arose within our fair land, not unlike the shadows of Tolkien's Mirkwood and Mordor (à la Lord of the Rings). Schools fought among themselves resulting in huge variances in quality between schools. See blogpost HERE. Educators fought among themselves. Students, our very best, fought to best each other and keep the spoils. At first, it was friendly. Soon, it became vicious. The strongest schools paraded their spoils and the weak were left to languish with neither love nor pity. One by one, divided by strife, mistrust and corrupted by power,  the race of educators began to fall... first to prostitutes ... and others to depraved acts with minors ... and perhaps one more will fall presently to errrrrrrr... a travel agent? For like the One Ring, the image of the free market (effectiveness and efficiency) ruled our thoughts, and thus defined our actions. Darkness and evil crept into the void created by amorality. Kings of educators became ring wraiths (the Nazgul) too weak to resist the will of evil. Educators of valour became but shadows of themselves. The race of educators became weak. They forgot how to spell. They forgot how to teach. Some gave up on teaching entirely because it was far easier to rely on the Parallel Education system that had grown up alongside it, where educators who didn't like competing took refuge from the unrelenting competitive pressures of the MOE.

But there is yet hope in the strength of men... oops... educators.

The Straits Times today reported a message from Mr Heng Swee Keat - "A principal has to understand that his school is part of a larger school system, and have the "generosity of spirit" to not just narrowly focus on his school's success"

The image he paints for us now, is one of an eco-system wherein the diverse parts have each a role to play. It brings to my mind a piece of beloved biblical imagery from 1 Corinthians Chapter 12... Readers  of other religious beliefs, please interpret this post from the perspective/imagery of your own faith.

14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

There is much left to do... much toxin to purge before sunshine and fresh air can blow through our land again to make it fair (double-entendre intended). There is much left to do before the sunshine and fresh air of camaraderie and collaboration can strengthen the race of educators. 

It is only if all schools work as one body can the entire education system move forwards together. Else, if we stay with the old "free market ideal" the best get bester and the weak are left behind. See HERE. So yes... kudos to Mr Heng and I wish you all the very best in your efforts to make competitive schools collaborate. It starts there because school behavior is an important driver of parent kiasu-ism.

Progress is slow. Results will be even slower. I fear that in the wider scheme of things PAP may run out of time. It has begun to reverse some of the damage done by decades of free market idealism... and that is a good thing. However, it is not so easy to lift the darkness from a land... and for as long as there are still many on the ground who cannot yet see sunshine and feel fresh air, it will be to them as if nothing changed.

Does the government have time before it risks its own raison d'être at the next General Election? Gee... I don't know... because the darkness of the Free Market which once looked so fair of form (as Sauron was once fair of form) has spread into EVERY area of public service from transport to housing. It is an insidious darkness that will not be easily lifted... and many on the ground feel no change.i Some of these will lose patience and vote against PAP. Others, who have found opportunity to thrive in the darkness will begrudge PAP's new efforts to bring in sunshine and fresh air. They too will vote against the PAP.

I rather think things will get worse for the PAP before it gets better... Provided it has time to make things better after things get worse..

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Perfect Mother

Source of Picture HERE.

The perfect mother doesn't exist.

One thing I cannot understand is how some women put down other women for being variously...
- too kiasu if they worry and plan for their kids
- not responsible if they don't worry nor plan for their kids

In my opinion, whether kiasu or irresponsible, every parent I have spoken to can take heart in the message on the poster above. So Moms, let's not beat ourselves up over what we (or others) think we could have done better... or not done well enough. If God wanted us to be perfect, He would have made us that way, no?

Truth is, no one really knows how to parent the absolute correct way. It's a wonderful learning experience that opens women to God's grace and makes us into the Queen Esthers He wants us to become.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Stupid, and Loving It

Why is the PSLE So Difficult Despite Reduced Academic Content?
Yes, it is true that topics have been dropped from the PSLE syllabus. MOE has trimmed academic content to make space for students to learn to think and reason. I've said it before and I will say it again. The current version of the PSLE cannot be aced with drilling and rote learning. The difficulty of the PSLE lies NOT in the quantity of topics or facts covered. The difficulty of the PSLE lies in the following...

(1) the thinking and reasoning skills tested for those topics still remaining in the syllabus

(2) the large class sizes that prevent effective teaching of such skills in too many mainstream schools (especially if you aren't in a GEP centre that spills over GEP methods and materials to mainstream)

(3) the lack of quality pedagogy (textbooks, computer access, library access) in mainstream schools to teach these thinking and reasoning skills

(4) the lack of primary school teachers who can themselves think and reason well enough to teach these skills 

Here is an analogy. Instead of mastering basic skills for 50 dishes...
(1) chopping
(2) slicing
(3) washing
(4) storing

... our children now need to show mastery in in more complex skills for ONLY 25 dishes...
(3) braising (temperature control... water monitoring... mastery of pressure cooker... thermal pot... casserole in oven)
(4) roasting (temperature control... fan speed... differences between convection oven and conventional oven)
(5) baking (blah blah blah...)
(6) barbecuing (blah blah blah)
(7) broiling
(8) cuisson sous vide

Skills can only be learnt through sufficient practice and individualized feedback.

This has resulted in many mainstream parents falling back on private tutors and tuition centres with small classes, where teachers can and do provide the individualized feedback so necessary for SKILLS mastery. This has resulted in successful schools co-opting parent involvement in a very extensive way. Schools who turn out good results at the PSLE have an important core competency. They analyze each child's gaps and expect/hope that the parents are rich enough... educated enough... to bridge these gaps. 

Our Own Education Limits Our Kids
The problem with modern day Singaporean parents is that we are too educated. Unlike our own parents, who often received only a primary school education (and therefore wouldn't dream of coaching us), many of us are tertiary educated. We think that with a university degree... a polytechnic diploma... we should be able to master and teach the PSLE. This is not true. Our tertiary degrees are useless.

Like it or not, us parents, we grew up in an era where rote-learning gave us results. Some of us were lucky enough to have experienced university abroad but how many of us? Most of us feel quite overwhelmed by the current PSLE because a whole chunk of it tests reasoning skills that are

(1) are not documented in the textbooks
(2) are not modeled in videos
(3) are... errr... very simply, not documented
(4) WE were not taught

Overwhelmed, we scramble to learn with our kids in order to teach them without realising that our slow adult brains are actually LIMITING our kids ability to learn. It is a well-researched finding that older brains drop in fluid intelligence. Our children possess more fluid intelligence than we do. We don't learn new things as fast as they do. If we insist to first learn so that we can teach, then we actually are slowing them down.

Every time I play computer games with my son, I am reminded of how fast his brain works. He often takes in the situation and devised a logical solution before I have even understood the parameters of the puzzle before me. He is young and his brain is young. He is therefore FAST.

Sometimes, it is more effective to give up, sit back and admit that vis-a-vis the current requirements of the PSLE, our university degrees are about the level of the present day primary school requirements. As far as modern standards are concerned, parents should just admit that we're no more than Primary 3 educated.  If we can accept how stupid we are, things become way less stressful... and way more motivating for our kids.

How so?

So, What Can Parents Do, To Help

Coaching Chinese Whilst Being Chinese Illiterate
From Primary 1 to 3, Little Boy had a live-in Chinese tutor (Grandma) who taught him religiously from the textbooks. Yet, his grades in Chinese dropped steadily. Now mind you.... back when Grandma was young (back when PSLE was rote-learned), she was a star tutor whose clients numbered the Who's Who of the then MOE. Grandma's expertise limited Little Boy.

From Primary 4 to Primary 6, Little Boy had no Chinese tuition. Helpful and concerned Moms on the KiasuParents Forum messaged me and warned that I would regret. "Brave" they called me... but I knew they were thinking "foolhardy". Little Boy skipped all his Higher Chinese Language classes in school because I wanted him home by 1.30 pm. Yet, Little Boy passed Higher Chinese Language at PSLE... whilst other children with 2 types of Chinese tuition did not.

You see... I used computer technology to empower him to learn on his own. See HERE. I exposed him to rich and high quality material and left it to his natural child's ability to figure things out. His grades in Chinese moved towards the middle of the class rankings. 

Teaching Phonics Without Spending Time
I taught myself to read watching Sesame Street and The Electric Company. So when it came my children's turn, I didn't do cards and stuff. I bought some Phonics computer games, taught them to operate a computer mouse and turned them loose to figure things out.

Coaching Science Without Learning Science
I'm not crazy about Science. Little Boy taught himself Science by Googling and Youtubing.... writing reports and creating presentations for me. He found experiments that he wanted to do and it was my job to buy him what he needed. Then, he would teach me. I confess that I probably retain about 10% of what he taught me but that's fine. I am not the one taking PSLE.

During the school holidays, to get him out of my way whilst I worked, I would drop him at The Singapore Science Centre and sit at McDonalds to type my reports. When he came out of The Science Centre, I pretended to listen to his new learning and discoveries. "Hmmmm... really! Wow! So why does water droplets form on the cold glass of milk again?"

To ace the current PSLE, with its emphasis on HOT (higher order thinking) skills, the children need to be allowed to FIGURE THINGS OUT. That's what HOT skills are all about. The current PSLE tests your kids' ability to figure things out for themselves. When Little Boy explained the Whys and Wherefores to me, he had to research the facts and put them together with logical reasoning to develop an explanation that I could understand. If he could explain simply enough for me to understand, it meant that he had reasoned through the topic very well indeed.

I knew little about Science but I have been well trained in logical reasoning and analysis.

It was this messy and unstructured exploration of the world around him that gave Little Boy his A* in PSLE Science... and we didn't even do any Science Assessment books. The current version of the PSLE is designed to be taught amidst in a rich and living context. The exact kind of multi-sensory context that stimulates every one of the child's 5 senses and through such stimulation, helps retention and activates Higher Order Thinking processes.

Counter-Intuitive Response to Falling English Compo Marks
Little Boy's compo marks in end-P4 were reasonably good. In early P5, they dropped to borderline again. My first response was NOT to get him to write more. My first response was to increase the difficulty levels of his reading materials. From January of Primary 5 to June of Primary 5, we did no writing at all. Instead, we put in place an aggressive reading program.

This exposed Little Boy to rich and varied reading stimuli that activated Higher Order Thinking Processes. He had to figure out good writing from the complex stimuli. It was only after 6 months of Reading Acceleration that I attempted to structure his unstructured learning by isolating specific writing techniques for him to use in his compositions. By then though, he had already developed an intuitive grasp of good writing elements and it was easy for him to understand how to do them. He had seen them done so often whilst he read.

It's not enough to read voluminously. It is important to read voluminously at the right difficulty level so that the brain has a chance to activate the Higher Order Thinking Processes to figure language out.

Petunia is Stupid
Throughout my children's younger years, I celebrated my own stupidity. See, if you're stupid, then you'll be happy with anything your kids can do. Your happiness at their clumsy efforts encourages them to do more... practise more. The more they practise and do whatever (from piano to flute to science) the better they'll be. And then it's a matter of being unafraid of choosing material of higher complexity. Don't be afraid of complexity. Children are smarter and better at handling complexity than we think... or than adults can.

We make our children stupid by breaking things down for them.

And now, from pretending to be dumb, I realise that I have really become dumb because Little Boy knows so much more than I do in Chinese, Science and Math. He can do far more than I can in Chinese, Science and Math. He knows almost as much as I do in English because we race neck to neck when playing Hangman. I still have an edge in expository and argumentative writing though!

It's quite worth it to be the Family Bimbo if it means you don't limit your children's potential.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

God Sent a Dog

A little boy came by today who abhors playing the piano. His parents had placed their trust in me to make their boy WANT to play the piano. They had paid up for 2 full hours of One-to-Pair Motivation Therapy with the full confidence in my professional capability. When I told The Husband that I had accepted such an assignment, he raised an eyebrow - "Errrr... now you are teaching piano? You can't play it very well you know. I've heard you play."

I was a little peeved to say the least. First, he had just told me that he doesn't enjoy my valiant efforts at making music to soothe his soul. Apparently, my music doesn't soothe him at all. Second, The Husband still doesn't seem to understand the nature of what it is I do for a living these days. I was feeling decidedly UNsoothed myself. With all the cold dignity I could muster, I said "I don't know how to teach piano but I can get the boy to WANT to learn piano." Wisely, The Husband changed the subject and began to talk about HIS job, not mine.

So Small a Child With So Strong a Will
The little family arrived this morning at 10am. After 10 minutes with the little one, Petunia started to sweat. I was faced with a child no higher than the middle of my thigh with the strength of will to equal the mightiest river rushing towards the sea in the fullness of summer. I knew that the child had a strong will. I just didn't know how strong. This one was a Little Force Majeure.

The session started well. I had known beforehand that this child was somewhat strong-willed. I was ready. I started by diverting this force of nature. No one in his right mind stands in the way of a river... nor confronts it head on, even if it isn't a very big and powerful river. To master a river, you channel it. Open an avenue for that power to flow... but an avenue in the direction that suits you. In this way, the river roars not at you... but towards an end that you want. Many parents are blind to the raw power of a child's strength of will. We underestimate it because the children look so puny and small. Then parents get very surprised when their kids outsmart... outlast and outwill them.

But really... I learnt my first lesson in motivation on the streets of Paris watching dogs face off. It's not the size of the dog in a fight. It's the size of the fight in a dog. I've seen Alsatians hop nimbly across the road to get out of a Poodle's way. Petunia the Alsatian looked deep into The Poodle's eyes this morning and decided that she had not enough fight in her to face off and win.

Petunia Failed to Motivate
This little child came expecting that I would teach him piano. He expected a confrontation. He was completely ready for a showdown. I could see it in his eyes. Wisely, I created an alternative channel for that strong will to flow... away from me, but in the direction I wanted.

I asked him to teach me piano instead. This was so unexpected that with all the exuberance of a mighty river, he immediately began to bubble forth instructions and advice. Where is the Middle C.... where should your thumb be... no, no, no.... that is not the Middle C Auntie Petunia. As he taught me and advised me, he practised his piece twice in 10 minutes. Quite enthousiastically too.

Then I made a terrible mistake. I said, "Wow! That's beautifully played! Play it again!"

The Little Force Majeure squinted suspiciously at me, "Why again?" and that was when I felt the force of this mighty river hit me in the face. Silently, I pitied the boy's parents for having to live with so much latent power in a small body. With all the cold dignity he could muster, the boy declared "I am now going to take a break."

And that was that.

The mighty river had burst the banks of the canal I had devised to contain and channel its power towards my ends. It was now merrily going its own way. I stepped back to recover the shreds of my professional dignity. I left the child to play and took refuge in my study with his hapless parents, looking still hopefully at me. There in the sanctity of my study, I confessed to the child's parents, "Your child is challenging. He has so much emotional baggage vis-a-vis piano that I am not sure that I can do anything. I will try again. If I fail again, this session is free. You will get a full refund. "

An Angel in Dog Fur
I had to quickly devise a new motivation recipe for my new attempt.

At the same time, I had to help the parents plan a 3-phase Master Plan (with time frame 6 - 12 months) to get their child from hating piano to liking piano. Each phase needed multiple motivation strategies. I had to explain each one. I also had to read the 2 separate people's personalities and devise ways to best get them fully familiar with all the strategies they needed to implement the Master Plan. We chatted for an hour before I made my second attempt at the child.

I wasn't even sure that it would work at all!

In fact, I am quite sure I would have failed except that God sent a dog. For no reason that I can fathom, a Golden Retriever appeared from nowhere and sat right in front of our main gate. It sat in the middle of the driveway just outside the gate - a stunning Golden Retriever. It appeared at the exact moment when I needed it in my motivation strategy... and afterwards, it disappeared. Completely disappeared. The children and I have been out in the neighborhood. The dog is nowhere to be seen.

Do angels dress up in dog fur?

Anyhow, with the help of this mysterious Golden Retriever, my 2nd attempt went swimmingly well. The session ended with the Little Force Majeure willingly playing 3 different piano pieces, and beaming at his Mother once done.

If the Little Force Majeure's Mommy and Daddy are reading this, here is one last word of advice - if you don't hurry your child, he will progress much faster than you would ever expect him to. That is in the nature of strong willed children. If they have decided to do something, they will conquer every obstacle simply because they want to. So... don't stand in the way of your mighty river. Channel it instead.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Don't Wait! Buy it!

I took a screenshot of a Private Message someone sent me on the Kiasuparents Forum. This Mommy is number 54 in the queue for NLB's copies of Dr Pet's Book.

Whilst I am thrilled to bits that the queue for Dr Pet's Book at the NLB is so long, I would also like to take the opportunity to encourage parents to BUY the book. You see... this book won't help you if you read it and return it. Though the book is easy to read, the concepts and skills are hard to implement. This is a book that has to be re-read... tagged... highlighted... and referred to. You need to think about the skills over weeks and months, reflecting upon your everyday words and actions.

It's easy to read the book but very hard to change yourself. It is in the process of changing yourself that you will need to re-read the book.

Of course, it does seem that I am trying to make more money from book sales... but it's really not all about the money. This is a technical manual for motivation... written to look like a novel... and marketed as a self-help book... and priced reasonably.

In its capacity as a technical manual, it needs to be referred to every now and then, and if you have to wait for 54 others queuing before you every time you want to refer, your kids will be grown by the time to are able to implement the strategies in the book.

Trust me. Buy the book.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Waterfall Café

I have just discovered a new favourite place to hang out and chill out. Waterfall Café is relatively new. Most people who dine at the Shangri-La head towards The Line for its excellent buffets. However, if you go out the ample glass doors fronting The Line and head past the swimming pool, you come to an oasis of charm and good food.

Few restaurants do armchair seating. The seats are low and soft. The table is higher than a normal coffee table but lower than a dining table so that one does not have to hunch. It's a seating format that relaxes the whole person immediately. They do the same to you at Wild Honey. Wild Honey serves all day breakfast. Since breakfast is a meal one normally takes with hair disheveled and still in PJs, the armchairs and low tables dial down the formality enough within a restaurant setting so that you can wear nice clothes and still feel as cosy as in your PJs. It's a charming juxtaposition of spoil-yourself elegance and be-a-slob charm. 

Everything else (waiters and food) is classy but you don't have to be.

Fine dining isn't Petunia's thing. It means ya gotta wear high heels, walk straight and sit straight. It feels  like dining with one's mother. Mind your manners! Don't let your back touch the chair! A lady keeps her back straight! Put away that book please... no reading at the table. 

So hey... it's nice to eat fine food, be spoilt by butler-ish service... and know that the Slobbish Self can get away with curling up in the corner of an armchair (in shorts and slippers) under a standing lamp with a book. 

Let the service staff do the straight walking... I can do the slob sitting.

Comfortable Armchairs... pssst... the water comes with lemon fragrance!

Pasta... psssst... it ain't cream sauce... it's FOAMED cream sauce

Veal Cheeks

Chickpea Crackers with Grilled Vegetables (a medley of tinkling tastes that tickle the tongue that forms a counterpoint for textures ranging from crispy to soft to crunchy).

The Mocha that isn't on the menu.

Chocolate Lava

Lemon Curd on Shortbread

Kenneth the Server. This one didn't bat an eyelid when I told him I wanted a Café Mocha. I learnt later that there isn't any Café Mocha on the menu. This personalised service was more than impressive. When that Mocha arrived, I decided that I was so going back to the Waterfall Café. The service staff have themselves tasted the menu. I so like restaurants that allow their staff to taste the food. It's so important when they communicate to guests. So yup... Kenneth was no waiter. He was a Food Consultant.

Friday, December 7, 2012


Petunia's Book sells well. It truly does. The book distributor described book sales as "surprisingly good for a newly launched book". Kinokuniya took a few copies at first and this week, ordered 50. Only the Bras Basah Popular branch had a few copies at first... and now, many Popular stores across the island has it. Online, we have sold upwards of 1000 books. These are encouraging figures for a book that was launched without fanfair and barely 5 months ago.

I owe my blog readers a lot for this.

Blog readers were the first to buy the books, read them and recommend them. Without this initial push, I doubt Pet's book would have sold so many copies. Without the initial push by blog readers (especially the many that have become my friends) I also doubt that the book would become so popular that it never gets to sit idle on the shelves of the National Library.

I've checked the NLB catalogue once in a while and Petunia's book is never available... always on loan... always in transit to a reservation ... always reserved.

I really owe my blog readers, and I want to say a heartfelt "Thank You" for being the first to put your trust in Pet's Book.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

HOT Skills (English) Workshop for Parents

We will be launching Dr Pet's HOT Skills (English) Workshop for Parents. We are targeting parents of mainstream children who would like to learn how to train their children's HOT skills at home. As is our usual practice, the very first session will be FREE for all 15 participants.

We will pick the 15 free participants via a Lucky Draw. Please go HERE for more details on the Lucky Draw.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Bucket List

The Husband is getting in touch with his own mortality. A time comes in the life of every man when he realizes that he has only so much time left before he kicks the bucket. So all of this morning, The Husband has been berating me for sights that he COULD have seen but DIDN'T because when we were in the country, I didn't wanna go.

Niagara Falls: I had seen pictures and watched the Superman movie. I didn't wanna go there from Pennsylvania. It's been years and The Husband still blames me for it.

Halong Bay: My friend L dissed it. I didn't wanna go. This crime was overlaid upon the Niagara one.

The Great Wall of China: This one required climbing up steep slopes in the cold Beijing winter. I preferred to look at pictures whilst eating jiao zi. The Husband has been huffing and puffing his relief that he had INSISTED on going. I still think it was no big deal. One can google and see The Great Wall of China from outer space. Why go there?

I like to do things I can't experience off my laptop. Like eat snails and climb on salt boats and get silk dresses tailored for me. In Pennsylvania, we visited a Hamish family on a real working farm that doesn't normally accept tourists. Not many people get to see that but everybody sees the Niagara Falls. In Vietnam, we made salt boat friends. In Scotland, we campfired with some Scots who spoke Queen's English one moment and Hobbit English the next.

Hey... I've got but ONE life to live. Why would I wanna spend it living what everyone else lives? This said, I AM glad I married a very conservative husband. He's the only thing that keeps me grounded.