Wednesday, September 14, 2016

HBD Roald Dahl

It is Roald Dahl's 100th birthday today!

Growing up, my favourites were the Witches (examining the scalp of every woman I meet) and The Twits (gave me anxiety attacks every time I was offered tomato spaghetti for fear that I am actually eating worms). Eventually, I graduated to his twisted short stories like Lamb to the Slaughter, which thrilled and terrified me in equal measure.

Today, I thought about how I probably only have 300 more books to go before I die (assuming that I live to be a 100, and that I read on average 4 books a year), and got very cross because I was at work looking at excel spreadsheets. Well, I guess it's time to toss out all the icky finance stuff.

The Wormy Spaghetti, aka the my biggest fucking nightmare as a child.

His granddaughter, Sophie Dahl, wrote about him here. The man calls his cigarettes gaspers. Swoon.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

The Sea That Surrounds Us

All night I have slept with you
next to the sea, on the island.
Wild and sweet you were between pleasure and sleep,
between fire and water. Perhaps very late
our dreams joined
at the top or at the bottom,
Up above like branches moved by a common wind,
down below like red roots that touch.

I have slept with you
all night long while
the dark earth spins
with the living and the dead,
and on waking suddenly
in the midst of the shadow
my arm encircled your waist.

Neither night nor sleep
could separate us.

I have slept with you
and on waking, your mouth,
come from your dream,
gave me the taste of earth,
of sea water, of seaweed,
of the depths of your life,
and I received your kiss
moistened by the dawn
as if it came to me
from the sea that surrounds us.

Night on the Island, Pablo Neruda

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Dads everywhere

“There are many different kinds of bravery. There’s the bravery of thinking of others before one’s self. Now, your father has never brandished a sword nor fired a pistol, thank heavens. But he has made many sacrifices for his family, and put away many dreams.”

“Where did he put them?”

“He put them in a drawer. And sometimes, late at night, we take them out and admire them. But it gets harder and harder to close the drawer… He does. And that is why he is brave.”

— Conversation between Mrs. Darling and Michael, Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Sunday, June 05, 2016


Have you heard? 

I have imposed on myself a month of no alcohol (MONA for short) During this period of extremely trying time, I apologise to anybody who meets me for the first time because I am likely to be absolutely un-charming. 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

No sound, no fury

Shakespeare had it right: “My tongue will tell the anger of my heart, or else my heart, concealing it, will break.” I never spoke of the anger in my heart, the mounting resentments and hurts, and neither did he. I never demanded attention or care, and neither did he. And that’s why we broke.

Monday, May 23, 2016

I wandered home saying your name

But there were nights in bars that I recall
Your breath was courage laced with alcohol
You leaned in, you said,
"Make music with the chatter in here
And whisper all the notes in my ears."

Oviedo, Blind Pilot

Monday, May 16, 2016

We went supermarketing...

Today, an ungodly craving for cookies led me to Nex's supermarket, a.k.a. human pits of hell. I was there at 4pm, during the golden hour of grocery shopping. What a gigantic lapse in judgment.

The scene was lifted right out of your primary school oral exam - you know, the one where they hand you a picture with too many things happening and you have to describe the picture sequentially?

It was UTTER CHAOS: there was an appliance promoter churn-rapping hype words, frazzled parents + crying babies, old people on those supermarket scooters (why do they even allow that???) and etc.

I don't know how some families turn this into a bonding session because it was nowhere close to my idea of a leisurely time. It was more like a competitive sport. Supermarket friend (SF) and I tried to strategise: you sweep the baking aisle and I'll take down the dairy section, I'll meet you at the onions!! Alas, it failed. We decided to band together after a while because SF was pretty close to tapping out.

When I was choosing the chocolate chips, which was a BIG deal for me, SF passed away multiple times. He breathing so heavily, I thought he was going to get fits. He did calf stretches in between to distract himself (hilarious)

At the long checkout line, SF launched into a thoughtful tirade about we need a new plague and how parents are the greatest. For me, supermarket shopping just takes me back to Belgium days. I thought about how lucky I am because if this were Belgium, I would have had to choose between the milk or the juice - I could only carry so much on the snowy 6km bike ride home. Those were dark times.

This might just have been the most simulating, introspective experience I've had in months.

P.S. If you were wondering how my cookies turned out... I added too many chocolate chips so some of them were structurally unsound. Other than that, they were great!  

Sunday, May 15, 2016

“I read once that the ancient Egyptians had fifty words for sand & the Eskimos had a hundred words for snow. I wish I had a thousand words for love, but all that comes to mind is the way you move against me while you sleep & there are no words for that.”

- Brian Andreas

Sunday, May 08, 2016

TEC: It's mother's day

Mother: Is this the new dress that you got online?
Me: Mmhm (chugging juice)

Mother: I like it. It fits nicely.
Me: Yea I'm pleased with it.

Mother: Aren't you glad you're born so average? It's so easy to find clothes that fit.
Me: Uhh, thank..... you? (bewildered)

My mom likes to wrap her compliments in reality checkers to keep me grounded. My sister and I agree that she has prepared us well for the real world: nothing you say can hurt because because our mother has probably said it to us before.

Happy mother's day to my mom and yours!