July 27, 2008
July 26, 2008
We were initially supposed to collect it last weekend, but when we went down to Car Times at West Coast and test drove it, something was wrong with the brakes so the dealer sent it in to Autofrance to check. And then after that, had to do the Vicom inspection for road tax renewal so we only managed to take ownership of our new 'baby' today. Actually the whole experience with Car Times was very pleasant, and Nick was impressed with their service.
I was kinda sad to leave Pedro behind but also look forward to zipping around in Pierre the Peugeot. You know, the fact that 'Pedro' and 'Pierre' both mean 'Peter' is a coincidence. And the fact that Peter is Nick's middle name is another coincidence. I hadn't put this together till today. Swana was the one who suggested naming the Picanto Pedro when we first got him. We had wanted something Latin sounding in P since Picanto sounded like some Mexican dish and Pedro was short and snappy.
And, at the back of my mind, I always knew that if we ever got a Peugeot, I would name him Pierre. Firstly it was French, and secondly it started with P. I had toyed with Philippe, Pascal, Jean Paul, Henri and Thierry but went with Pierre in the end, and today Swana pointed out that Pedro and Pierre both translated to Peter and I wondered how come it never occured to me before.
Anyways, it's been hard to keep the news from Mummy and we finally surprised her today when we went to pick her, Arlyn and Swana after collecting the car. She had been looking out for the silver car and didn't realise we were in the Peugeot till we pulled up. I managed to capture her expression! Must buy 4D soon!
When we were leaving the house to go out, I spotted a snake downstairs. Its head was sticking out from the a gap in the pavement and I was kind of shocked. Reminded me of the time I mistook a giant monitor lizard for a snake when walking home from primary school one day and ran all the way home crying, traumatised by the sight!
I was slightly calmer this time, more excited than anything. Had my camera with me and managed to snap a picture before it disappeared back into its hideout. Ma thinks it's a black cobra, I have mentally named it Caspian. Don't ask me why. I have a thing with double letter initials. I even named a stingray I saw along the beach in the Maldives while on honeymoon, something like Sam the Stingray, or maybe it was Steve?
Had wanted to call the AVA but didn't have the number on hand. Will take a look tomorrow if I go out and if it's still there, will call the authorities. Am actually inclined to leave it alone, but in case it is a cobra, better to alert AVA or something since kids play around that area.
In the end, I did most of the event management. I couldn't sit and watch from the sidelines while the committee ding-donged on every decision, so I stepped up to liaise with the event company and venue, sourced door gifts, sorted the lucky draw prizes with help from another colleague, and did the internal publicity and actual day event logistics including bus shuttles to ferry people out. Phew!
It all went well last night, I think majority had fun. We had about 120 persons including partners and overseas colleagues and people got hooked onto the Nintendo Wii game consoles set up, that it was hard to draw their attention to the stage. But overall feedback was that it was more fun than last year, because people did not leave immediately after the event. There were a few stray ones who stayed to continue drinking and explore the rest of HOUSE.
The food was surprisingly good, and there was so much leftover. I really enjoyed the roast chicken, grilled seabass with citrus sauce, mushroom soup and the coconut apricot cake, which I took home a large chunk of. There were actually some portions of vegetarian risotto prepared for some of the guests, and I had a one and a half plates of it. It was that good, just the right texture with some cheese, asparagus, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. Simple but tasty!
I even won a prize in the lucky draw, a 2D/1N stay at the Caribbean Residences, a service apartment at Keppel. Shall be checking that out soon! Here are some photos from the event...
July 20, 2008
However, I have not heard back from their customer service people despite 2 emails, so am still miffed.
Swana has been staying over the last 3 nights while Kevin's in India. Today she helped me sort some of the stuff that I am selling at my home bazaar. The original cost of the clothes on sale add up to a few thousand dollars! Scary!
But at the rate I am eating, there will be more clothes in future that don't fit. Last Thursday evening, I met up with some of the ladies from SES, past and present, for the Fullerton Hotel chocolate buffet. There was Yus, Emily and Theni plus Bona whom I had not met before but have occasionally read her blog. Caprice popped in for a bit too, I brought my camera but forgot to take pictures! Duh. But will take pictures at the next one, we said we should feast together regularly and have planned to attack The Line at Shangri-La next.
It was just like old times. I think out of all the places I've worked, the colleagues at SES still rank as the best. Despite the high amounts of estrogen in the air from working in an all-girl department, there was no animosity or politicking against each other, but we were united by a common enemy. I cherish all the friends made there and miss the good old days at Cathay Building and Goldbell Towers. Sigh...
The Courts at Tampines was a disappointment, not to mention the layout sucked in terms of entrances, exits and escalators. In the end, Swana didn't buy anything from there nor Ikea, but yesterday she found a computer table she liked at the VHIVE Jurong outlet. Nick drove us all the way there and for dinner we landed up at Tanglin Mall. I opted for Spageddies and had my favourite crayfish parmagianna and picked off everyone else's mains. Such a glut.
Am ignoring my daughter by blogging, and I have to continue sorting out my inventory...ciao for now.
July 16, 2008
July 13, 2008
July 12, 2008
Kevin and Swana came over for lunch and as we didn't get a cake for Kevin last Wednesday, Swana thought of getting him a cake for today. But when I woke up, I decided to bake one instead since I had the lemon cake mix lying around, plus wanted to use my poppy seeds before they expired.
Sham popped by for a bit too and she minded Nat while we had a late lunch. Natalie really enjoyed her company, Sham seriously needs to get out from her ministry and find a job with less taxing hours, and then she can babysit next time. Ha ha!
Anyways, here it is, my lemon poppy seed cake.
Instead of trooping home, me and Ma decided to hit Centrepoint, dragging Nutty and Arlyn along in the process. I bought Nutty a number of toys and outfits, using up nearly all my John Little and Robinsons' vouchers. Luckily the peak period and city area surcharges were not in effect yet, so our cabfare home was relatively cheap.
At night we went out again, this time to Harbourfront for dinner and some groceries. Checked out the Mothercare flagship store, it was pretty big! However certain things at the Centrepoint outlet were on sale and I didn't see these at the Harbourfront store. For example, a changing table and high chair on sale at Centrepoint were not on sale at Harbourfront. Strange. Plus, I saw my B&W Oriental Hobo OiOi diaper bag at Centrepoint and the pink paisley print one I was originally eyeing. But there were no OiOi diaper bags at Harbourfront.
Anyway, back to the point about cabfares...after the last price increase at the end of last year, I had vowed to avoid taking cabs where possible...I just don't think all the surcharges and hikes are necessary to help the drivers out and improve availability. And yesterday they announced the implementation of a 30ct diesel surcharge, plus there are soooo many ERP gantries everywhere now. And there will be a public transport fare hike again around October.
A cab to Orchard from home during peak periods costs more than $10 now, when previously it was around $5. Everyone's feeling the pinch of inflation, rising food and oil prices but yet the powers that be keep raising prices! And as much as we complain, after a period of adjustment, everyone just accepts the changes. No strikes, no protests, no nothing.
The taxi companies should cut back on their rental fees as far as I am concerned if they want to lessen the burden of rising costs to their drivers. Can you imagine, one taxi paying an average of $90 daily for a year equates to over $30K. Multiply that by 7 years and taxi companies would have earned over $210K per car in a seven year period, way over what the actual cost of the car was and at the end of the day, the drivers don't own the taxi! The largest operator here has 15,000 taxis in its fleet...that's over a $1 million in rental income a day!
That's the problem when all these public service companies start listing themselves - profit and increasing revenue is all they care about and accountability to their shareholders. I have gripes about ERP too, not being ungrateful or sour grapes but I do personally feel it's a cash cow for the LTA.
Nick says he is starting to feel suffocated here, but the grass isn't always greener elsewhere. Hmmm, wonder if we will uproot at some point?
July 10, 2008
On top of things, I had to navigate Nutty's stroller with one hand and lug rolls of cloth to the counter one by one. I couldn't leave her with Arlyn because she was squealing and talking to herself and the aisle where the queue started was just too cramped and Nutty's stroller would be in everyone's way.
Nevertheless, I am still quite happy with my purchases...
July 7, 2008
July 4, 2008
Anyways, the munchkin is starting to assert herself more and registers her displeasure whenever something doesn't go her way.
For example, when she wants to be upright she will wriggle and protest while on her back, and if she's not picked up in 10 seconds, she'll wail like there's no tomorrow and as if the whole world is against her! And once you pick her up and walk a bit, she'll go, "Hmpfff" and give you a look saying, "Didn't you get the memo that I like to be upright these days?"
But she has the cutest giggle, and it's easy to make her laugh. Just act like a total idiot and throw all caution to the wind! Funny faces and sounds repeated over and over again do the trick. She also drools like nobody's business, sucks incessantly on her mittens and puts everything into her mouth, especially the furry parts of toys!
I miss her blobby newborn days when she would just sleep all day and stay still!