Saturday, April 28, 2018

Elder care options

I guess as I journey through my senior years, one of the things I’ll have to consider is where I’ll live as I age. When I was considering an apartment to buy more than twenty years ago, one of the criteria was that it had to have an elevator. Where I was living was a walk-up apartment and I knew that I would one day probably not be able to manage the stairs. So when I moved to my current condo 21 years ago, I was pleased that it’s only on the 3rd floor which is manageable, and it also has an elevator. The irony is that it’s become so old itself that it constantly breaks down and is out of commission for weeks on end, waiting for its spare parts to arrive!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

More than making do with less

Way back when I was working full-time, I always thought that I needed all the accoutrements that came with corporate life. A nice car, lots of clothes and shoes, eating out at expensive restaurants and exciting holidays. Even though I was a single mum raising my son on my own and putting him through private school, making a good salary meant that I could treat myself and I considered these luxuries an essential part of life. Now that I’m out of the job market, my life is a lot simpler. But strangely enough, it's also become much more satisfying.

Friday, February 2, 2018

I miss the sun!

I recently spent two weeks in London, in the dead of winter, helping my niece who just had her second baby and spending a lot of time with her firstborn toddler. C is very particular in announcing that he is three and a half, not four or even three and three quarters. He can expound on any number of subjects way beyond his years. One day, when we were discussing colors, I asked him what color the sky was. Without even considering it or looking outside, he immediately said, “Grey.” I’ve always associated England with dreary weather and I was getting a big dose of it, bone-chillingly wintry cold and wet. What I didn’t expect was to come back to the tropics and face the same dull conditions!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

My hapless experiments with confinement cooking

When I had my baby, more than 30 years ago, I didn’t pay much heed to all the food restrictions and health tips that everybody else in Asia seems to be following. I considered myself a modern, emancipated woman who knew better than my elders what my body needed, and that included daily showers and hair washing although those were taboo. Now, perhaps, with hindsight, I should have paid more attention to all that advice, because my bones ache on rainy days, something the old wives warned about.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Travel troubles?

I’ve come to the conclusion (sad) that I don’t know how to pack light. Even if I’m going away for a day or two, my toiletry bag alone weighs a ton. And not because I’m bringing regular sized shampoos and cleansers. I've always admired those people who can just survive on what they've packed into a carry-on bag, even when they travel halfway around the world and through five time zones. It’s just that I have so much stuff that I need (or I think I need!) Now that I’m going away for a month, I’ve had to be really focused on what I need to do and bring, and what to ditch.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Hearty Beef Stew

When I found out that my neighbour will be between maids and need to feed her kids lunch as she’s a working mum, I volunteered my services since I’m home most days and need to make lunch for myself anyway. But while my lunches are relatively simple, I had to crack my head thinking up meals that would be nutritious and more importantly, appealing to teenagers.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Fishing for inspiration

I have to admit I’m not a great fan of fish, although you can tempt me out of any diet with other kind of seafood, from crabs to shrimp and shellfish. I find fish rather bland, with a mushy texture that reminds me too much of soft infant or invalid food. If I have to eat fish (and I know it’s good for me) I’d rather have it fried or grilled instead of steamed or poached, and slathered with a spicy sauce or accompanied by a piquant dip.