Saturday, 8 December 2007

To Move or Not To Move, Heck We’re Movin’

We’re been in Singapore for a few years now and the latter half of this month, yes just before Christmas our lease expires. Unlike in Australia where your lease expires and you go month by month (or you could sign another lease if you want to lock in time / rent). Here your lease expires and you either leave or sign a new lease and pay an additional bond if your rent is raised and rents here in Singapore have skyrocketed over the past two years, mostly between fifty and a hundred percent. Our agent, Catwoman was expecting us to sign again or signal our departure two months before our lease expired. One month before our lease was to expire we still didn’t know if we were going to stay or move, we like it here and its easier not to move but it a rather small apartment, having two kids we figured more space is a good thing, so we have found a four bedroom place in this area that is okay, it’s not great as the bathroom and kitchen are old and very bad colours, yes dusky rose and powder blue bathrooms, yes 1980’s style yet built in the 1990’s, trend setters! I’ll upload some pictures later for the strong stomached. We’ll now have a good sized guest bedroom with its own ensuite and room to swing a cat for anyone interested in visiting. As we’ll be moving before Christmas I’ve decide to hold off putting up the Christmas tree and the ten thousand twinkling lights, much to Marika’s surprise. Having a bigger apartment means we can get a bigger tree, our little three foot tree has served us well, maybe we’ll use it again this year and go tree hunting in the after Christmas ‘sell off Christmas crap’ sale.
Since I started writing this blog a few days have passed and its now official, we are moving later this month, we have signed a lease or TA (Tenancy Agreement) as they call it here for the new place, so I’ve been trying to sort out mover and getting the utilities sorted. And I’ve come to the conclusion that removalist companies here try to screw over the ang-moh’s (non locals). I assume because they think we’re all on expats benefits, which like many these days we’re not so we have to pay our own way. I’m tempted to hire a van and a few guys for the day to help us move. I guessing we would save between 50 & 75 percent on the average cost, the last two quotes have been better as I’ve let the guys quoting know that we have to pay ourselves and that we know what our local friends pay to move. Still their quotes have been considerably higher than what our local friends paid. Mmmm why do I hate to move? Oh what a big list that would be! The thought of not having to move was one of the great benefits of buying our house in Australia, alas a year or so after moving in we moved out, well we moved to Singapore, two years later we are moving again, why do I get the feeling we’ll be moving again in the next two years.

Monday, 3 December 2007

A True Unemployed Bum

Now I’m truly an unemployed bum, even going unshaven these days. I know I’ve said I’m an unemployed bum before, but until today I still had a job to go back to in Australia, however we decided to stay on in Singapore thus I had to formally resign my post. Maybe it’s time I start to look for another job in Lah Lah land. Hi Ho, Hi Ho it’s off to work I go, well maybe if can find a suitable position. Any employers out there that want to hire an Aussie expat with a very dry sense of humour.

Friday, 30 November 2007

It’s Been a While

Again its been a while since our last update, well about 6 weeks, we were away for about half of that time, a real holiday and to a different country and all, yep the UK, but we still managed to visit family. When you have family spread out across the far reaching corners of the globe it's a little easier to have a holiday that involves visiting family. Yes corners, globe, square, sphere I can see my misunderstanding of shapes.

Anyhow we have so much to write about covering the past six weeks, but where to start. Holiday, moving home, election, idiots, oh the choice. I know, I just won’t start now.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Believe it or Not, More Photos

Yes believe it or not I’m walking on air, Doup! Damn TV sitcom tunes just can’t get them outta my head, and that one relates to a show I haven’t seen in many many years, hang on a sec, I’ll just google the tune to find out what the show was called, something like “Greatest American Hero”, Woohoo the memory is not completely shot (yet), the show was called “The Greatest American Hero” and the theme song was believe it or not, “Believe it or Not” written by Mike Post & Stephen Geyer and performed by Joey Scarbury, all relatively useless information (except if you’re a trivia freak). I found the shows opening including the theme song Believe it or Not on YouTube, even found the lyrics. I guess I must have too much time on my hands, well it is the weekend.

Anyhow back to the believe it or not comment, I’ve managed to add another series of photos to our site, yep I’m striking while the iron is hot, well medium warm. I’ve added photos from Christmas last year, don’t laugh Christmas this year hasn’t arrived yet though I’m guess the decoration will start going up soon. One thing I found amusing when living in the USA was holiday decorations, it seemed like the day after one lot came down the next lot went up. For example now in the states I would assume the stores have Halloween decos up, the day after Halloween they’ll disappear and Thanks Giving stuff will mysteriously appear, then the day after Thanks Giving all those decos will disappear and Christmas stuff will appear, but the elves help put up the Christmas decos so it not too much work for the poor shop staff. Mmmm Christmas lights, oh what fun one can have, get the back-up nuclear PowerStation ready to go! More power will be needed. Yes, Chevy Chase’s Christmas Vacation is one of my favourite movies, generally only to be consumed at Christmas time. I think I’ve watched it nearly every year since it was released. Yes some may consider me a sad soul.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Website Revamp Finished

Well I finally managed to revamp the website, I was partly forced to as I somehow managed to delete the majority of the website, you know when you hit delete and yes it just disappears. So I decided to try out some new software and rebuild the site from scratch, yes clean everything up, delete everything off the server, a fresh start, oh yes! After spending two days working on rebuilding the site I remembered that I have a back-up, yes it took me two days to remember I had a back-up. Now all you people laughing at my stupidity, ask yourself ‘do you back-up regularly’, ‘do you ever back-up’. If you answered no to either of these questions I would suggest now would be a good time to stop laughing and set about working on backing-up. Anyhow I (mostly) worked out the new software and build a site similar to the previous but with much less bulk, Woohoo so much more free space for more photo galleries (once I get my lazy bum around to adding them). There are some errors on the site but it seems to work okay in IE7 and firefox so I’m not worried. The only new aspects of the site are photo galleries of Isabella, yes I finally updated it to include photos from six to eighteen months, well seventeen months as she’s not reached eighteen months yet. Have a look at the site and let me know of any problems, you never know I might even be able to fix them, but don’t hold your breath.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

News, Drama, Entertain or Just a Waste of Our Time?

I can see why print news media is still the most trusted form of news and information. I spend much time reading different news website to see what’s happening in the world outside my door. I generally try to only read the sites that are connected with real print news paper. Being from Sydney I usually read the Sydney Morning Herald ( and its sister papers (The Age & Brisbane Times). I find the NY Time, UK Times online and Agence France-Presse (AFP) can be quite informative for a non Australian view point. I believe all news reporting has biases so you need to sample from different area. Some of you might be wondering where is train of thought came from, well watching the Australian news on cable this morning, there was this five minutes segment on the ‘controversial Tasmanian pulp mill’ that had just been approved. I figure about 4 ¾ minutes of this five minute report was a big waste of time. The mill has been approved, report finished, okay that’s only took about three seconds. The rest of the time was devoted to politicians and activist saying in reality nothing. For example the decision was based on scientific evidence and there are 24 tough environment conditions then the activist gets up and states the scientific evidence covers only one small area and then the news report turns the topic to whether the politicians involved will lose their seat and yet nothing was really said, what scientific evidence, what environment conditions, what’s not covered by the scientific evidence. I’ve felt for many years now that TV news is not news but just another drama series posturing as a relevant service to society. A classic example of this from a few years back was a factory explosion, the commercial TV channels had music and a specially added explosion soundtrack added to the video footage of the explosion and fire, according to the reporting hundreds were likely dead due to the explosions and ensuring blaze, the video made me think Rambo was behind the building laying waste to it. Then flicking over to a non-commercial channel and catching the same story, strangely there was no music or explosions just the slight cracking of the fire and the reporter was saying there were a few unaccounted for workers that have potentially perished in the fire, what no sensation, heck why would anyone watch non-commercial news, it’s just so lacklustre! The news paper the next morning sadly informed that one person had perished and several were injured, a far cry from the hundreds likely dead!

Yes I still watch the news on TV, what can I say I like the flashing lights, however internet news with its colour images and video is quickly filling the void and pushing flashy (often misleading) TV news out the back door. I just hope the online news sites get better editors to fix the grammar and stop reporting error.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Fun Day On Sentosa

Marika enjoyed her birthday. After a brief morning stint at work we all met up and headed down to Sentosa for lunch and dinner. We had a nice day wandering around. Bella (and Daddy) played in a water feature and on the beach, little miss wasn’t so sure about the waves but she meandered into the oceans water with a little help. On the way home we found four stray kittens near the monorail station, I’m guessing they were about seven weeks old as their eyes had mostly changed colour, playful little fur balls, they wanted to climb onto Isabella’s stroller and go for a ride. I think Marika wanted to adopt them, they were cute but a little too furry for my liking, mmmm all that cat hair would send my senses into full blown hay fever mode. It’s great to see that Isabella likes animals even though we don’t have any pets at home. We do have some local stray cats we see and feed most days so I guess that is almost like having pets at home.

For those who don’t know Sentosa is a small island just at the bottom of Singapore, which also happens to be a rather small island. Sentosa is mostly a tourism and leisure zone. There has been some residential development in recent years but mostly its resorts, marinas, golfing, amusements and beaches. The island is connected by bridge and cable car; this past year also saw the opening of a monorail which was our chosen mode of transport to the island.

Marika & Isabella On and Beside the Monorail

The monorail operates from Harbourfront and Singapore’s newest shopping centre Vivocity across the island to the beaches, with stops at Imbiah lookout and the former ferry terminal. It’s sad to see the classic old ferry terminal gone; it was a grand old building and looked to be in good shape (before the wrecking ball played with it).

Old Ferry Terminal and Gardens now Gone to makeway for IR

It had to go to make way for one of the new IR’s, that Singaporean for Integrated Resort, or in plan English a Casino and hotel. The government has tendered and approved the development of two IR’s, I think both are due to be completed by 2009 and they are very close together, I guess only a few kilometres apart and both are waterfront properties. Despite the fact they are casinos, they are going to be very interesting sites, fascinating building designs and a variety of tourism and leisure activities (other the gambling). I guess the IR’s are a way of combating the lowing appeal of shopping, yes it’s a sad story but Singapore is losing it’s shopping haven title as many cities in the region are offering bargain / cheaper shopping destinations. People here nip up to KL or Bangkok like someone in Sydney would duck off to Newcastle or Melbourne. Not that I’m implying Newcastle is a shopping mecca, it is great town, my hometown as such so I’m kind of biased. Caveat emptor, the nightlife / bars and clubs usually have a certain Neanderthal element, but then again bars and clubs all over the world seem to attract the Neanderthal element!

Sunday, 30 September 2007

No, No, No - Stinky-bum - Number Seven

Is it wrong that we have several nicknames for our daughter, I guess not, however I’m not so sure that it’s good she knows one of her nicknames is ‘Stinky-bum’. She does however live up to her nickname on a regular basis! Her new word this week in ‘No’ and boy does she like to use it, and usually when she is doing something she shouldn’t be doing. She has it down pat, so crystal-clear you are never mistaken as to what she is saying. She’ll start to unroll the toilet paper right in front of us repeating saying ‘No, No, No’ Yes she is so sweet but oh so naughty.
Can you believe it, seven blogs this month, okay two were just posting pictures but we have been a little more regular, mostly thanks to no more study!

Friday, 28 September 2007

Happy Birthday Niffy

It’s the wife’s birthday today, one of the so called big ones. Personally I just don’t get the whole idea of people stressing over reaching a so called milestone birthday, really it’s just another day. She seems to be taking it well, I went easy on the old duck comments this morning and you know that’s against my nature! Yes my ‘kick’em while their down because you can’t once they get up’ attitude just didn’t seem correct this morning, yet the day is still young, mmmm. Must remember, ‘wife, life partner, mother of child’, mmmm maybe I’ll just keep my mouth shut today!

Happy Birthday Sweetie, may your day be wonderful. (That will start her worrying as to why I’m being so nice)

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Our Friends Have an Eye Out For the Stork

Here’s a big congratulation to our three sets of friends that have announced they are pregnant and strangely they are all due around the same time, March-April 2008. Damn time flies as you get older, 2008 is almost on our doorstep, what ever happened to 1988, yep, Australia’s bicentennial was nearly twenty years ago. Back to the story at hand, thanks Bud; glad you read my blog after your wedding in June and got straight into your baby makin’ duties, mmmm bad visual, my apologies to other readers. And a special congratulation to the J&J partnership, it’s been a long tough road for you both and you have been in our thoughts and prayers. Finally but of course not least, congratulations to our varsity team with the announcement of their number two. May all run smoothly and your bellies get nicely rounded (the round bellies are optional for the males). Bella tells me she looking forward to having some more friends to play with.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Catwoman Calleth

I received a call from Catwoman yesterday, no not Julie Newmar, Michelle Pfeiffer or Halle Berry as that would be just down right weird as I’ve never met any of them. Catwoman, better know to her friends as Meow is our Singapore rental agent, yes her name is Meow, I’ve come across some great names since moving here, some Chinese names sound quite humorous (to my twisted English speaking mind) while some of the Indian names just annihilate my ability to pronounce them, some are so damn long with vowels and consonants all over the place (Yes I do have an English language mindset). Many people of Chinese descent here have two names, that is their Chinese name and their English name. I guess many people from non English speaking descent have anglicised names thus helping ‘Ang-Moh’s’ like me pronounce their name. I guess I don’t have to look far from home, well I don’t even have to look outside the home to see an example of this, Marika goes by Maria at work. Maybe I should try this next time I start with a new company I might tell them my preferred name is Conan the Farter, then again maybe NOT!

Anyhow back to the Catwoman’s call, as our lease is soon up she was calling to let us know the rent will be increased, a small increase, only about a 76 percent increase! After I picked myself up off the floor and was able to dial the phone I called Marika to let her know the good news, well maybe it time to move. I’ve heard of people that have had their rents more than doubled, if this happened in Sydney there would be riots, then again I think there are laws limiting how much rents can be increased in NSW, something like a maximum of 10 percent over two years. When we first rented this place nearly two years ago I was thinking how over priced the rentals market was here, now many expats are facing double that, maybe it’s time for the many to leave and find greener pastures. I say expats as locals can buy or rent HDB cheaper, much much cheaper. At an extreme guesstimate I would say some areas rents are up to 90 percent cheaper. Anyhow I yet again diverge, I’m about to start the new home search in earnest, I guess this time we’ll be looking for a bigger place with space for Bella to play. Which most likely means losing our view and moving further away from the city, or getting an older place, I hear terraces and houses can be cheaper to rent here as they are much older and don’t have facilities like pools and gyms. Personally I can live without these facilities; however the pool can be nice in the Singaporean heat and humidity. I like the Black & Whites bungalows here that the Government rent out; most are damn expensive however there are some bargains, maybe we’ll get lucky and find one of the bargains, look a flying pig! One down side of being at ground level with bush around you are the snakes and other creepy crawlers. They have King (Spitting) Cobras here that can grow to a nice size of about 6 metres, damn big for a poisonous snake, but they are kind of rare, which is okay by me. They also have pythons and constrictors. If we move into this environment maybe we should look at getting a dog, maybe a cat as well and shares in a sulphur manufacturer. You don’t hear of any snake bites here, but the scare factor if you find one in the kitchen will be fairly decent. Growing up in country Australia I developed a interest and RESPECT for snakes but they still make my skin crawl when their not behind glass.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Third Blog This Month, Gaming / Freak

Well it’s that time of year again where I sit down and write my annual blog, well not quite but I have been rather busy (or is it just lazy) of late to jot down my bloging thoughts. I am starting to think life is always busy with a youngon’. Speaking of Bella, the number ten tooth has really been taking its time cutting through; it’s finally through after something like three weeks. Hopefully happy times will soon be back! As you can see I finally uploaded some new pictures, so actually this is my third blog this month and it’s only the 10th. I do have some space time these days now that I’ve finished my studies for a while; gaming has stepped in to fill the gap! I’m thing Woohoo! Marika’s thinking Oh No! By the way for all those interested I passed my exams, okay mum I know you’re the only one interested, but I’ve gotta bang my own drum once in a while.

I’m thinking about joining the work force again, it much easier to get Bella in a day-care when she reaches 18 months, she turned 16 months yesterday. Not sure what type of work I should look for here, thinking something different is called for, time to broaden my experience; no streetwalking is not what I’m thinking! Maybe I should start an organisation or lobby group to make telemarketing and spamming illegal, I’ve already got the punishment schedule partly worked out, for the first offence, you wake up with a horse’s (or pig’s) head in your bed, second offence, we send some likely lads around to break an arm or leg or maybe even both, third offence something tougher and proactive, Castration! to stops telemarketers and spammers from reproducing in the hope to break the whole nasty cycle, and if they’re dumb enough for a fourth offence, mmmm I shouldn’t say in an online environment where the young and those with weak hearts can read. How does that sound, viable enough as a job? Mmmm maybe not and yes I do have some personal issues to deal with in regards to telemarketers and spammers.

Can anyone suggest a new (PC) game for me to play, maybe Doom 4, where the targets are telemarketers and spammers, Yes! Yes! I know issues to deal with. I’m keen on trying a beta of Starcraft 2 if anyone has it :-)

My spellchecker (aka Marika), just commented that I sound a little sick in regards to spammers, yes I’ve mentioned my dislike of spammer in several blogs over the past few years.

Friday, 3 August 2007

Teeth Bonanza

Well in the last three weeks Isabella's slow start to sprouting teeth has changed, her two little front teeth now have seven little friends and maybe an eighth trying to break on through onto the other side. I guess she really wants to eat steak after all! Feed the kid beef, well maybe not here as it's so dang expensive and crappy quality. She might have to wait until we visit family in Australia and maybe for her teeth to get a little bigger. She already has a strong bite, but don't worry my finger will recover in time, so the doctor tells me.

I told you I'd start posting Blogs more regularly, three last month and one already this month and it's only the third day into the month. I've given up on updating the webpage until after I finish my studies for this trimester, it crunch time at the moment, and exams are looming, only a few weeks to go now.
Yes, yes, I'll get around to uploading Bella pictures in the next few years!

Saturday, 21 July 2007

An Eventful Week For Miss Isabella

Well it’s been a big week for our little Miss Bella. It started with the arrival of three teeth, yes more teeth finally, she hasn’t had any cut through since the first two broke through last Christmas, yes she did get her ‘two front teeth’ for Christmas, they were the bottom teeth. Anyhow back to the new teeth, she has one top ‘front and centre cutter’ tooth to match the bottom ones, Woohoo now she can chew on steak! The other teeth are a matching pair; they are top side, right up the back. I’m assuming they are her doggy (canine) teeth, though they seem further back like the molars, time will tell.

The other events are tied together, firstly from a sitting position she stood straight up without any help, she has been standing for some months now, usually by climbing up the side of something like the couch, the table, her daddy’s leg, yes leg hair is really good for gripping, but dang it! It comes out far too easily.

And finally last night she decided, bugger it, to stop mum and dad from telling her to use her feet for walking (her knees were taking a beating from all her knee walking), she just decided to start walking correctly. I’m guessing she’ll be quicker on her feet than her knees in a few days, as it all happened quickly, she went from the occasional few steps between objects like the couch and mummy to walking around the house from the bathroom to the kitchen and back, she has no problem with corners though gravity occasionally kicks in and the nappy shock absorbers get a testing out. Today she has been doing circle work and dancing, I guess she like being on her feet. Oh I guess we have running and falling to deal with now, I’ll try to avoid my instinct to make the whole apartment like one big padded room, though that could be fun.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Back In Lah Land, Warm Again

Back in Singapore lah, arrh the welcome warmth of the equator. Last year when we visited family and friends in Sydney during winter we vowed not to visit during the middle of winter again, not that Sydney winter's are really that cold. However one year later we were back in the middle of a Sydney winter, we had no choice, a friend’s wedding vows are more important than our vow not to return in winter, hopefully next year we can avoid winter. Like our last winter trip we all returned with colds, yes that does suck! Strangely on our last three trips to oz we have fallen sick during the last two days before leaving, I guess that’s when we try to slow down and relax before non holiday life returns, that is when we have time to get sick so we do! I have this theory that busy people don’t have the time to get sick, so they don’t! I know my theory is flawed but I can live with that.

We had a great time; alas it was a short trip this time so we didn’t catch up with some family and friends, I was lucky and caught up with most of my friends at a mates wedding. Isabella really enjoyed having all the people around, she was great. We feared the worst as she hasn’t been around large groups of people especially for extended periods of time. She loved playing with her cousins and our friends kids. We think she has been missing her playmates and all the attention; she’s been a little clingy, wanting all our attention since arriving home. On a more positive note she has been taking more steps, she may even start walking soon, well on her feet that is. For the past four months or so she has been walking on her knees, yep, upright with her hands free to hold an item each, usually food and move around, she can even walk backwards and run on her knees, yes quite a funny sight, she likes to be chased, she stops to make sure you are chasing her, then takes off again. This might be a dangerous game once she is quick on her feet.

The wedding was in Newcastle, so we got to see the beached coal ship, quite the strange sight to see such a big ship almost on Nobby’s beach and Nobby’s with no swimmers or sun worshippers, from some angles it looked like a low rise building had been built on the beach, after about three weeks they managed to tow the ship off the beach so now the insane winter swimmers and sun worshippers can return. The exclusion zone around the beached ship was causing all types of hassles, most of the east end was blocked off; the weekend of the wedding was insane trying to get around the city, twenty minutes, not the usual two just trying to get out of the CBD, getting into the CDB looked much worse. Well I’ve rattled on enough, plus my cold is making it hard to keep my eyes open and my fingers tapping.

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Darrell & Carla's Wedding

Congratulations to my bud Darrell and his new bride Carla on their marriage yesterday. Thank you for letting us to be apart of it, maybe one day you’ll forgive me for my traditional best man’s speech. Don’t worry everyone will forget the story about the goat. It was a fun day and a great time to catch up with our busy friends that seem to be spread across Australia and the world. We do wish them both all the best in their future life together, hopefully providing Isabella with a little friend to play with in the next few years, no rush of course but practice makes perfect! (And I don't mean the dogs, even know they are little friends, sometimes a little too friendly).

Saturday, 2 June 2007

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Isabella Turns One

Look, I'm Now One Year Old
I Want More Power and Style,
Overhaulin' & MTV Pimp My Ride

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

One Year Old (plus 6 days)

As usual of late, I’ve been too lazy to write a blog, but finally I have put fingers to keyboard and a new blog entry is born. That’s enough typing for now can I stop and call this a finished blog (you in the back stop cheering and sit down!)

As usual much has happen since our last entry; top of the list would be our little girl’s first birthday. She had a bit of an international party with her Grandad and Grandma flying in from Australia and her Aunty flying in from Thailand, she even had some birthday guests from our apartment block and on her birthday we even managed to get out and buy her something (we had to after not buying her anything for Christmas; well I guess she did get a trip to Australia at Christmas time). She did get one thing for her birthday that I would like to return (well other than winter clothes she will only be able to where when we visit Australia next month for two weeks) and that was a cold, she has a nasty nasty cough and a runny nose, and lucky us her cough keeps waking and upsetting her when she is sleeping, thus we are suffering from sleep depravation, just like when she was a newborn.

What else shall I tell you, she still only has two teeth, she poohed in the bath the other week, not a pleasant thing to deal with, rewashing her, the bath tub, her toys, towels and ourselves. She topped that off a few days later by peeing on me while I was giving her a shower, this time it was only me and the shower requiring another clean. She has started walking with assistance, usually holding our hands or pushing her highchair, pram or toy walker-thingy around. She is becoming quite the chatty one, taking after her mother. She comes out with some weird words, like ‘six o’clock’ (thanks to playschool or Here’s Humphrey), ‘theia’ (Greek for Aunty), ‘yia yia’ (Greek for Grandma), ‘dad is the greatest’ (well I’m still working on teaching her that one). She seems to be getting taller every day, either that or her arms are getting longer because she can reach more and more things that she shouldn’t be reaching, strangely they are all somehow moving to higher locations, yes the bottom few shelves and cupboards are mostly empty (except for the safe non breakable items).

Grandma and Grandad are enjoying their visit with Bella and she goes looking for them in the morning, even if they aren’t ready for her. My friend Michael dropped by for a few days on his way to China, his second visit and Bella seemed to remember him, she enjoyed playing with the velcro on his sandals.

Well I just about worn the tread of my fingers so I guess I should stop. I’ll try to be a little more active with my blog entries, but then again uni starts up again for me next week so maybe I won’t. Time will tell ‘six o’clock’, OK Bella but it’s only five o’clock.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Almost a Year Old

Well it has been quite awhile since we last updated the blog. Things have been pretty hectic. Isabella is growing so quickly and her personality is really coming through. She is quite the determined Miss when she wants something or wants to get somewhere. Marika has been in hospital getting a fibroid removed and is home at the moment recuperating. Jason is busily studying for his exam week which happens to be this week (motivation is a bit of an issue).

Marika came home from hospital on Friday and Isabella decided to test out her walking feet. She has been walking around furniture for quite a while but decided on the next leap and let mummy hold her hands while she walked around. I guess walking under her own steam isn’t far off. We were just talking today about how much she has grown and how independent she is already.

Isabella is turning one in a couple of weeks so we are planning a little 1st Birthday party for her. Grandma and Grandad Bywater are coming for a visit and maybe Aunty Ning as well, so it’ll be an international, I guess it would have been anyhow as some of our friends here are expats.

A few weekends back we had visitors from Oz; an enjoyable weekend was had with our friends Sunita, Andrew and their beautiful daughter Tessa. It was of course hot and humid so we had fun sweating in the sun, especially on our day trip to the zoo. It was fun to see the girls play – Tessa & Bella and Marika & Sunita.

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Extra Pictures

I Can Drink From A Straw Now
And I Can Make A Mess Too
Now I've Made A Mess, It's Time For
Me To Clean Myself & My Clothes

Friday, 9 March 2007

Isabella Ten Months Old Today

Woohoo I'm Ten Months Old Today
And My Finger Is Chewy
Dad's Turned Me Into A Computer Junkie,
If Only I Could Reach The Mouse & Keyboard

Friday, 2 March 2007

Thought For The Day, All Spammers Should Be Neutered

All spammer, especially those Joe jobbing my domain should be neutered or spayed. Yes my friends there is need for more chlorine in the gene pool. What has prompted this hatred of spammers, well they didn’t bother me when they were sending me my daily dose of want-to-be ham in a can, as spam is so easy to spot it was all gone with the click of the delete button, but now they have over stepped the mark and are sending their spam making out like it is being sent from my domain, yes that right they are using my email domain name as their fake sending email address, so lucky me and my family using my domain name are now blacklisted with most large email filters. So basically I think all spammer should be neutered or spayed, better still taken out in the desert and given an inland taipan to play with, also know as the Fierce snake, which has the most toxic venom of any land species snake. I guess that wouldn’t work, they have such little mouths and are not that aggressive to human, mmmm are spammers human? Let’s make it a brown snake, yes a snake with a bad attitude and the bite with kick to stop these spammers in their tracks.

I was doing some research into Joe jobbing and there appears to be nothing to stop them doing this (except maybe my friend the mighty Brown snake). So people are telling me the spammers will stop after a week or so, here we several months down the track and the damn spammers are still at it! And most of their spam is getting rejected. So where did I put that chlorine? However if the powers that be in the internet world would pull their collective thumbs out of their bums and change the way emails are sent and received to stop this fakeness scourge, billions of people around the would be very thankful, spammer would be traceable (and get to meet Mr Brown snake) and so much bandwidth would be freed up saving time and money. So I ask you, why aren’t these changes made to eliminate spam?

In defence of spam, the real want-to-be ham in a can that you can buy in supermarkets, this was a staple food item when I was a kid, always taken on camping and road trips, aarh but I’ll leave that story for another blog as I think I’ve reached the limit of most peoples blog reading.

P.S. If anyone knows how I can stop these damn spammers drop me a note.

Sunday, 18 February 2007

Happy Lunar / Chinese New Year

Here's ours little welcome to the Year of the Pig (Boar).

And the good news is we get two days holidays, well really I'm always on holidays :-)

Sunday, 11 February 2007

9 Months Old Pictures

Look, I'm 9 Months Old and I'm This Big
For my 3/4 of a Year Birthday
I Read a Book after Breakfast
(Usually I Just Try to Eat the Books)
Look I'm Trying Out My New Highchair

Friday, 9 February 2007

¾ of a Year Old Today, AKA 9 Months Old

Well our little daughter is ¾ of a year old today, most people like to call that 9 months old. She is crawling and climbing everywhere. She likes to climb the side of coffee table (so nothing is safe on there anymore), when standing she lets go with one hand then lets go with the other hand, then all of a sudden she realises she can’t stand on her own yet and the floors jumps and hits her in the bottom, thankfully she has extra padding. I have taken some pictures today for uploading but Blogger’s not playing nice for me, so I’ll upload them later.

Thursday, 8 February 2007

The Air-Conditioned City No More!

Good Morning Everyone, well OK I know its afternoon, well it is here in lovely Singapore lah. The sun is shining, however the clouds are blocking the rays from reaching terra firma, but I know the sunshine is still out there somewhere above the blanket of clouds. There is a refreshing breeze blowing through the apartment, actually there has been for nearly three weeks. Its dang near a cold spell, that is the temperature is below normal averaging about 27 degree Celsius. We haven’t had any air-conditioning on, Woohoo nearly three whole weeks without air-con, I’m half expecting a visit from the electricity people checking to see if our meters are working correctly. I’m guessing all across the island people are saving electricity and thus money by not needing the comfort of air-conditioning. Oh no! Is Singapore moving away from being the air-conditioned city. I doubt it, the breeze will go and the mid thirties will be back soon, after all winter for the northern hemisphere is soon coming to an end.

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Raspberry Blower

Bella has learnt a new trick - raspberry blowing. She delights in blowing raspberries as she is eating (by eating I mean Bella smearing food all over her face), Jason managed to capture it on video yesterday. Marika got to see it in action this morning as she was feeding her breakfast. While downloading old video footage from our video camera last night we realised that the raspberry blowing is not a new trick. She started doing it at about 5 months old, strangely about the time we started feeding her solid foods, she is much better at it now(eating and raspberry blowing). She has also gotten more comfortable in her new high chair so feeding her, the tray, the seats, and the sides is fun and a great cleaning up experience.

I think she is the fastest crawler in the Singapore and moves at lightning speed to be by your legs in a blink of an eye. We are getting very careful about where we step. Jason keeps talking about attaching a mop head to her belly so she can clean as she goes. I guess she has to earn her keep at some stage. Bella's favourite pastime still seems to be playing with the DVDs. Daddy says no pulls her away then she goes straight back and it starts over again. Great exercise for Jason!

Lucas & Isabella Playing in the Fountain at Vivo CIty

We are looking forward to Chinese New Year in 11 days. Two public holidays in a row so Marika gets to be home. Yeah for holidays! On the weekend we met up with some friends who have twin boys a few months older than Bella, at the new mega mall shopping centre extravaganza called Vivo City (Lovely view of Sentosa Island and the big Merlion. Bella had a splash around the fountain with the boys but I don't think she was too sure about it. We'll try again, maybe when she is walking.
Click on the title for raspberries video.

Friday, 26 January 2007

Happy New Year, Oops late again.

Wow, a whole month has passed since our last posting, lazy buggers that we are! Happy New Year! We survived our Aussie trip, yes for Christmas Isabella was spoilt rotten by family and friends, funny thing was she didn’t get any presents from her parents (they were the ones aware of the flight back to Singapore’s baggage limit). Isabella is truly on the move now, over the Christmas New Year period her crawling went from cautious to turbo (sometimes including face plants as her arms can’t keep up with her legs). She is learning how to climb and sometimes gets up on her feet, items on the coffee table are no longer safe, and we are teaching her not to pull out all the DVDs or play in the garbage bins in the bathrooms, alas the 40 odd times a day we tell her not to touch these things doesn’t seem to be sinking in. Although it is becoming a bit of a game with her, she reaches out for the DVD’s, we tell her No, she looks at us, smiles then continues to reach, we say No again, and she looks at us and smiles then continues to reach, the end result is us pulling her away from the DVDs and creating a distraction, sometimes it works other times three seconds later she is back reaching for the DVDs. Yes we know we could move the DVD’s etc but she’ll have learn boundaries at some stage.

We finally got our Christmas 2006 letter out mid last week. Hey we just don’t like to rush these things. Speaking of rushing things we finally purchased a real bed for the spare room. We put off doing this after testing a whole bunch of mattresses and finding my feet hanging over the end, something was wrong with these Singaporean beds, out came the trusty tape measure and what do you know, Singaporean Queen size mattresses are nearly 15 centimetres shorter then the Aussie ones, actually all Singaporean mattresses are shorter. I know many Singaporeans are short, but I’ve seen quite a few that would be taller than 190 centimetres. Yes I know how to rant when I get started. Anyhow we found out that most furniture stores can get longer bed as special orders with special prices to go with them. Luckily we stumbled across a shop with a bed we liked and they stocked the beds in Singaporean short lah length as well are the American longer you-all length (just a fraction shorter than Aussie beds). So for a minimum extra fee we were able to get a bed to suit people taller than six feet and one that our Aussie fitted sheets also matched. So the good news is that we now have a real bed for our guests, mind you the bed is quite big in the little spare room so any dancing will have to take place elsewhere. There are plenty of strays cats around but I don’t think Marika would like me testing the cat swinging ability of the room.

I have so much more to say, but I figured anybody still reading should get a hobby.