Writing about Singapore and Donatella Versace

I was at a shopping mall in Singapore yesterday, waiting for my friend at lunch. The open restaurant is by the pool, with a nice smattering of what is called “Western food” here……..everything from Bangers and mash, Caesar salad to Tagliatelle.

As I sat watching people walking into and out of the restaurant without walls, I took to making notes of them. Here is what I wrote:

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Writing about Good Food, Great Friends and a Malaysian Road Trip

Malaysian Road Trip: KL-Kuala Selangor- Pangkor- Ipoh-KL

Life has not been very good lately, but I have learned that it is better to snatch opportunities to live, rather than just survive from day to day.

Of course, my idea of living tends to be intimately connected with good food and travel, so last weekend I did a bit of both. A sort of compromise: lots of good food (and I mean LOTS), and a day trip on the road.

Driving in Malaysia

A road trip in Malaysia (Click for the slideshow of trip pictures and scroll on the pics for titles)

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Writing about Making Chicken Soup for the Body and Soul

Writing about making chicken soup was not on the top of my list of things to do today, but then I thought, well, why the heck not?

It was like this: I heard some really, really, really bad news. My uncle lost his battle with cancer.

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Writing About Rain

Writing about rainWriting about rain comes naturally to me,  it is one of the things I can write about and never run out of things to say.

It always makes me a little sad, fills me with an unknown longing, it throws me sometimes into a spiritual trance in which all the life  around seems to take on a new meaning.

With each clap of thunder I can sense the retribution against injustice, with each drop of water that touches the earth I can feel the benediction of goodness, the blessing of plenty, the promise of well-being.

Writing about rain is a pleasure.

Letting myself be bathed in it is a greater one, one that I have denied myself over the years.

Maybe today is the day I should indulge myself?

Writing About an Italian Song on Complicated Love

I love this Italian song on YouTube by Giorgia, can’t get it out of my head—- one of those delightful, hummy little numbers. It is all about Love and the various things lovers do, feel, think and compromise on, but all in a song that somehow makes even the most unpleasant things poetic.

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I was a smiling nightingale this morning

I do not know how often this happens to you, but it happens to me some mornings.

I become, well, a nightingale. It is as if a song in my sleep continues into my waking dreams.

I can’t stop singing, humming, whistling, and invent a whole new repertoire of tunes that seem to have just been born. I half-listen, half-dream. In bleak winter or scorching summer, I can smell spring. I thinks of smiles in color.

Smiles in color

Sometimes the songs last through the day, seeping through the things I do, the grins I just cannot keep in, and the non-stop banter with no-one in particular—–crazily enough, sometimes even with the ceiling!

Sometimes they don’t. Don’t last, that is.
At other times they just hum and whisper in my heart, warbling close to my ear, and make me go quiet, joyous.

Today was one of those other times. Happy quiet, quiet happy.

So, how was your day today?

Writing About My Sam

This was a post I had done ages ago. A cherished few of you, who used to visit my old blog, might recognize it. I am posting it today (with an update) because I cannot forget dear, dear Sam for more reasons than I care to count.

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Writing About Being Provocative

I am sure only I could have written such an unprovocative title: the art of being provocative does not come easily to me.

I read on a fellow-blogger’s post today that being provocative is a great way to win an audience: get a controversy going, encourage discussion, spark debates.

While I agree at one level, the rest of me does not.

I’d rather read delightful, delicious posts like this one: Wonka is my reality or like the one that made me smile so many times within the space of minutes: F is for Frustration and Fridge Freakouts

I’d rather write posts like this one: Writing about winter sunshine, peeling orange

Or like this one: Life, death, and finding immortality through writing

I can’t help it, I like savoring a post, I like to twirl my mind around the aftertaste it leaves. I like blogs that touch me, not rouse me.

So, I will leave debating to those who are better suited to it. For me, I love writing, and I love reading, and having an argument is essential for neither.

Having a huge audience is a different matter altogether. But if you are reading this, I do have some audience, don’t I now?

Enough said.

Writing about coming back to life

Writing has been the least of my priorities these past few weeks, so it is with an almost unfamiliar fervor that I pick up my blog again this week.

As some of you know, my family went through a recent bereavement.

I come back to my life as it was in many ways a changed person.

I knew it all along, but this recent experience brought home to me with all the force of a sudden punch in the gut how fragile human life really is, and how transient.

One day you are here, smiling, talking, breathing in the crisp spring air and the next your lifeless body is carried away in a car, a van or a truck, never to come back again to those who love you.

It is a sobering thought, one which needs to be remembered….
…… while we bicker about trivial things (things which really won’t matter once we are gone),
…… when we stress the negatives in our lives over the positives (life is too short to focus on negatives alone),
……when we put off all the things we want or really need to do (as if we had all the time in the world to do them in)
….and the list goes on.

I suppose a life on which the shadow of death hangs all the time wouldn’t be much of a life, so it would be mad to think of the day we die ALL the time.

But it couldn’t hurt to remember from time to time the irrefutable fact that I am a perishable creature, especially when my ego comes in the way of my happiness, or when I am too lazy to do something or too driven to take a break, or too shy to speak of my love.

Keeping in mind the fact that I am here for a limited time could only help add that little bit of much-needed perspective.

It would help me live with an added feeling, a tangible poignancy: not to just exist from day to day to day, but to live each day to its fullest, beautifully and with meaning.