Some time in the last week before 2014 ended, I kept wanting to come up with new year resolutions. I didn’t get that far.
Plenty happened in 2014. I made some difficult choices that upset and hurt many people. But these choices also made me a happier person. Something’s got to give. The price of these choices give me an inevitable isolation. My thoughts and my hurts are neatly boxed up in suitcase, boxes, poetry and the frame of my mind. I’m perfectly alright with that. Ultimately, my happiness is my own. And I’m happy.
So this year, I will do a few things that make me happy.
1. Take up Yoga or Pilates
2. Learn French language – At the rate I’m going with work, I’ll have to settle with self-learning
3. Go on nature walks – Average of once a month
4. Go on heritage walks in Singapore
5. Read more books – Goodreads recorded that I read only three books last year. This is embarrassing. I’ll resolute to read at least two books a month.
6. Work on creative projects via Atelier Li Foret
7. Volunteer – With my uncertain, sometimes crazy schedule, this may be a tricky thing to do but if not now, then when? I have to try.
8. Travel – The leisure kind, at least twice this year. I hope.
9. Save more, spend less. The goal is to save $3000 in the bank. It’s not much but I’ve to start somewhere. At 35, I realise that being penniless is not an attractive option.
10. Being green-conscious – Singapore is a country that uses an unimaginable amount of plastic bag and packaging. Almost everything goes into one single bin or down the chute. It’s extremely difficult to find recycling bins or they are located miles away. I’ll carry a calico bag with me, regardless how unglamorous or cumbersome it might be. When I have recyclable items, I’ll have to make the effort to go downstairs for the green bin.
There are many things I would like to do but I have to be realistic about what I can do given the timeframe , money and ability.
Let’s hope this will be a better year. Happy 2015.
(credit: snow-capped, jason mrachina)
Thank you for another wonderful night. It has been such a wonderful, (re)educational evening. I enjoy exploring our neighbourhood with you. I see everything from a different light whenever you are with me. You tolerate my ignorance and downplay the occasional ditziness I displayed. I need not pretend and you never tell me otherwise. Sometimes, I see ourselves on an adventure. Life has to have an adventure. Life has to be an adventure, no matter how small it may be.
I enjoyed my first experience of Nando’s Chicken. Who would’ve thought that I’ve never touched Nando’s Chicken until tonight? You must’ve thought that I lived under the coconut shell. Maybe I had been. I also enjoy being a part of your thought process and your taste for style. I love that you are like me. We both have a thirst for knowledge for our own faculty and what’s beyond. What we are lacking as individuals, we strive to know more; sometimes you are far ahead than I am. I appreciate that.
I like The Giver we watched tonight despite the unfavourable reviews. Have you noticed the similarity between the two films, Lucy and The Giver we watched recently? Both films are about individuals who realised they have a distinct ability that allows them to shape the world differently and for the greater good. The similarity stops there. I love Lucy for being the unlikely heroine but The Giver has such a beautiful, structured setting akin to the Metabolism Movement and Structural Expressionism of the 1970s caught between Modernism and Classicism. They must’ve fought hard to harmonise. And succeeded. I wonder and imagine how I would feel if I was living in that society. It would be a haven for the fickle-minded removed from choices in life. Speaking of society, the film tonight was a wonderful walk down my memory lane. The context and narrative reminded me the times in university where I studied philosophy, theories, ideologies and essentially, politics. The apparent themes are of emotions and adequacy but it is the lack of and the subtlety (consciousness, choices and awareness) that speak the loudest. I have forgotten the terminology that best describes this world but I am certain it will come back to me soon enough. I think I could stay up all night bothering myself with the theories, if I want to.
Hello Singapore! If you haven’t heard already, you should know that there’s a new pastry shop in town. In the east at 267 Joo Chiat Road, to be precise. Strictly Pastry is a wonderfully decorated little walk-in pastry shop by a wonderful pastry chef, Hannah Wong, who has won accolades for her work in the past. Her fiery passion and dedication to the art of pastry are evident in the beautiful sweet delicacies she made and perfected over the years. To see how delicious and exquisite the cakes and desserts are, visit the shop soon. Feast your eyes, tempt your tastebud and satisfy your tummy with wonderful, wonderful treats!
Strictly Pastry is also available for custom order for parties, birthdays or celebration. Now you can have your cake and eat it too!
I forgot to mention the soft launch of my design studio Atelier Li Foret’s website. Opps.
Following this is ALF’s first design, an elegant and simple clutch bag with stitch motif designed based on the study of Chinese screen patterns. More images at Atelier Li Foret’s Facebook page.
I haven’t been spending at much time as I like in the studio. Here are some snippets from the past few weeks.
1. A roll of paper
2. Screen printing
3. Speedball frame
4. Photo emulsion from screen printing
5. Sewing design
I don’t remember when I was first drawn to the elegance of terrarium but the fascination has never gone away. Unlike bonsai, which of course is an entirely patience-testing art form on its own, there is a million creative ways one can do for a terrarium. It’s like a mini-jungle of endless possibilities, combinations and of course, creative fun.
I’ve been trying to develop a daily creative routine for myself lately to ooze some brain juice to help develop the next design project. The routine hasn’t been very much a routine so far. So I’m in dire need to jump-start the under-performing brain.
Over the last few months, I’ve been so inspired by conversations with a few close friends about succulent plants. I have a few succulent plants which has been exposed to the elements, not watered frequently or replanted in any form since April this year. Yet, it’s thriving and flowering with the brightest of yellow petals. How baffling. It’s time to do something about it. Armed with two vases and very little knowledge of planting, I played around with what I have and came up with something simple. This is the something.
For all the legendary things I hear and know about coffee, it couldn’t keep me awake during those long nights of chasing assignments. You would think that a child born into a clan that is well-known for their coffee would have an intrinsic link to it by default. I’ll say that the smell of freshly grounded coffee is heavenly though. Long black or double macchiato is the only effective poison for the occasional late-nights.
So, I stopped drinking coffee for a few months now and switch to tea instead. I’ve taken a special liking to chai. Well, I’ve always drank chai latte anyway, much to the disappointment of all my barista-nespresso-coffee loving friends. There is nothing more soothing for a morning start than the whiff of spices, honey and milk.
Coming out shivering, fresh from the saltwater of Lifou, I said to the Melanesian man and woman at their makeshift ticket booth of a folded table and colourful umbrella, “Merci. C’est magnifique!“.
For a second of what seems like an eternity, he stared with amusement at the face of an Asian girl with snorkel and fins, dripping wet from head to toe. The place was crawling with tourists, mostly Anglo-saxon, white, polynesians and a sprinkle of Asians. French words spilling out from an Asian tourist on a remote island must be rare.
“Tu parle Français !??” He quizzed with a huge smile on his face. I love the Melanesian smile that I noticed throughout my short trip to New Caledonia and Vanuatu. Wide, genuine grin that flashes a set of white teeth. Never hesitant.
“Un peu…. a little,” I replied with a smile.
Amused, he laughed and I followed suit. I received similar reaction at a pâtisserie the day before so I could only guess that locals are glad to hear a foreigner uttering more than a few twisted syllables of bonjour and merci.
Beyond, it was a breathtaking view with no barrier between me and the Pacific Ocean of Lifou. It was clearer than turquoise, aqua, sapphire or any ocean colour that words could describe. I was in paradise. This is how I fall in love with Nouvelle-Calédonie.
A thought of a lasting seconds,
Crosses each other,
Launching a thousand
secrets of endless desires.
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