Archive | October, 2011

Off on a writing break

31 Oct

I have finally decided not to join NaNoWriMo.  I’ve been dithering about it.  I’ve got so many ideas and in my head, 2000 words a night would be definitely possible.  If I had healthy wrists.  I’ve had my steroid injection to reduce the swelling in my wrist tendon and hopefully, in 6 weeks, when I go back and have the right wrist done.  So with a heavy heart, I’ve decided to not indulge this year.  But definitely next year.  Definitely!

My wrists really need rest.  So I’m going to try to take the rest of the week off.  I’ll jot down notes about my thoughts during the week so that I can try to catch up on the weekend.

A Girl Writing, Netherlandish, c1500


Autumn in Harwich

30 Oct

It’s gotten cold quite so suddenly.  The heating has been switched on in the flat and it does get cold in the evenings now (althou.  I don’t particularly love the cold but I don’t mind it as much, as long as it’s dry.  I don’t mind it if it’s cloudy and cold…as long as it’s DRY.  But what I look forward to the most is the colours this time of the year on the trees.  This photo was taken with my phone and taken really quickly to avoid an oncoming car (I love to live dangerously for my art sometimes!) so pardon the blurry quality of the photo.  What amazes me the most is how much to colour still jumps out.

Autumn has well and truly settled.

Autumn, Harwich, October 2011


Quiet days

29 Oct

I am thankful for the weekends.  I think God created weekends because He knew how frenetic life was going to be when things turned “modern”.  I wonder if He sits up in heaven shaking His holy head at his children running around like crazy and tut-tutting that we should all slow down.

Today was lovely and quiet and sunny.  Did I go out in the sun?  Not really.  I went out this morning to post a letter to my Duckie and a little gift to one of my church babies who has moved to Canada.  I went to pick up my prescription and went home.  Everything else was easy and quiet and relaxed.

I painted my nails today.  It was one of those fashionable gray shades and surprisingly, I LOVED IT.  It was a little frustrating because my hand started hurting.  The reminder that my hands aren’t well yet marred some of my perfect Saturday but I pushed that out of my mind.  Which reminds me, I need to wash my splints!

I managed to catch up on some reading.  I’m desperate to finish my Rosamund Lipton book and I can’t seem to read fast enough!  One thing I am pleased about is that I managed to read more of the Bible today, which was a goal.

I feel so blessed today.  I am thankful for the quiet days.

A book and tea from


28 Oct

Can you guess what’s hiding in this photo?

Colchester Zoo, April 2010

Lessons my father taught me

27 Oct

Father And DaughterThere are so many things that I learned from my dad.  From the simple and mundane to the earth-shattering.  I know that if  he didn’t share them with me, my life would be so very different and I wouldn’t be where I am now.

He has always insisted that you do not wash your hands with cold water after you’ve been working with your hands for a very long time.  I’ve always followed this advice, until quite recently, since my move to the UK and I think this has contributed greatly to the pain that I am feeling in my hands.

My father taught me how to cook.  I know that, traditionally, cooking lessons come from the mothers.  But I remember when we used to live in a little apartment in Teachers Village in Quezon City, my father used to cook us a really nice tomato soup with veg.  He let me watch while chopped vegetables and stirred the pot.  I now know that that delicious soup was minestrone.

When I was little, he always reminded me to have my head covered in the rain or when it’s cold because if you don’t, you catch a cold.  While scientists have disproved that idea that heat escapes from your head more than any part of your body, I still believe in the wisdom that having your head covered in the rain or in the cold will keep you healthier.

My father taught me how pictures were made.  He has a small dark room in his lab.  When I was little he used to let me come with him to work and he used to show me how he developed the pictures of the chromosomes that he took for karyotyping.  He showed me how the developer chemicals were mixed and how each roll of film was processed.  He even let me print a photo and helped me place it in the trays with developing chemicals properly so that the picture appeared, almost as if by magic.  It was very exciting for a 5-year old to know!

My father didn’t teach me how to drive; I went to a driving school for that.  But after I’d learned the basics, it was his backseat driving that taught me the importance of being alert and driving defensively, as opposed to driving offensively.  I’d like to think I’m a safe and smooth driver—and I drive a manual transmission car!

My father taught me to appreciate languages.  He speaks Hebrew, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, a smattering of Russian (I think), and a sprinkling of Chinese and of course English and Filipino.  My father’s love of languages and his constant encouragement of our interest in learning languages have equipped us immensely.  When you understand the difficulties in direct translation because the nuances are lost, you are more inclined to be understanding of the people you speak to be cause you understand how easy it is for the intended message to be lost in translation.

My father taught me to about recycling and being resourceful.  In grade school, my dad helped me with my science projects.  When I say “helped,” I mean he built my projects for me. He didn’t buy the bulb fittings and switches from a hardware store and simply wired them up.  He taught me about conductors and fashioned the bulb fittings and switches from old milk cans.  He explained to me how the circuits worked, so that when I was asked about my submissions, I could explain them in my own words.  I felt really proud bringing in my school projects because they weren’t like everyone else’s.  They looked very original.

My father taught me to work hard and to make sure I tried to do my very best at everything I did.  He believed in my abilities and pushed me very hard to achieve at school.  I remember once, when I brought in my report card and I got a 97% grade a school grading period on a subject, which I think was English, my father pointedly asked me where the other 3% was.  I was flabbergasted because 97% was a very high grade and why couldn’t I just get a “well done!” or a “very good!”  I didn’t understand it at the time, but now I completely get it.  He knew what I could do and he knew that if I set my mind to it, I would be able to achieve more than I had thought possible.  I’ve learned to push myself hard now, to make sure that when I do something, it’s done to the best of my abilities.  I think that has allowed me to accomplish the things that I have done, so far.

This collection of lessons doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the things that my father has taught me, in word and in deed.  The most important lesson he has taught me is the lesson of love.  This man would do everything possible for his family.  He would forego eating his favourite meal if it meant that he would be able to share it with us.  He has made sure that he has been able to provide everything possible for us.  I don’t imagine us to be wealthy, but we certainly have not gone without and we have not grown up wanting anything that was important.  He has made sure that we did not want for opportunities to better ourselves.  And even now, even when his children are grown up and adults, he never fails to encourage us to continue to work hard, he never fails to be someone we can lean on.

I am blessed to have him as my father.

Happy birthday Abba!

Quotable Robert Furey

26 Oct


“Those who make compassion an essential part
of their lives find the joy of life. Kindness deepens
the spirit and produces rewards that cannot be completely
explained in words. It is an experience more powerful than words.
To become acquainted with kindness one must be prepared
to learn new things and feel new feelings. Kindness is more than
a philosophy of the mind. It is a philosophy of the spirit. ”
~Robert J. Furey

I loved this!  It was a good pick-me-up today (I haven’t been feeling well and I’ve been weighed down by things).  It’s a brilliant reminder that kindness, the consideration of others, does pay off.  You may not get anything monetary but the benefits are priceless anyway.  I still believe that life has a way of evening things out.

Kindness is as kindness does.


25 Oct

I enjoy the challenge that my job presents.  But for the past several weeks, I’ve been feeling really low in the motivation department.

I can always blame the environment and say that it’s not conducive to motivation.  But that’s probably not entirely fair because really, all I would be doing is attributing my general feeling of demotivation to one person.  A part of me refuses to allow that person to have that much control over my environment and my psyche.  I mean hey, it’s MY environment and my sense of well-being.  I should have control of that right? I mean no amount of swearing, jockeying for position, limelight stealing or general I-am-top-banana-here declarations should affect me.  I should have control over what affects me.

I also tell myself that my feeling of sluggishness is all because my diabetes has gotten worse.  I’ve been given 6 months by the diabetic nurse to improve my hbA1c levels or else I may have to consider insulin shots…which I do not want.  So I am trying to make sure that I am good (no more choccie cake for me!) and that my hbA1c improves the next time it gets tested.

I am a person with a can-do attitude and I am not a quitter.  I know I deal with stress well and people have always said that even when I say I’m stressed, they only ever see me with a smile (I’m like a swan, peaceful and serene on the surface, but underneath my legs are paddling like crazy!).  But I am also quite the realist.  I think it’s time to admit that there’s a need to change things around.  If, after declaring my opinions, nothing seems to be happening, maybe it’s time to change the environment.

I’d like to say I’m learning that in order to make things better, I need to be in tip-top shape.  And if I am going to keep myself in tip-top shape, my environment needs to change.