Friday, July 28, 2006


Breakfast: Coffee Bean Autocity

Lunch: 32

Dinner: Ben's


Our Little Tigger

Me think the tail is a fine touch...

An Afternoon of Leisure

Amidst the unfortunate event of virus passing around at home from one to another the past 2 weeks, Zerlynde and I recovered sufficiently enabling us and hubby to join some good friends for lunch and to spend the day at E&O.

The food at Jade Palace was predictably delicious and up to expectation. We 10 adults had a feast consisting of scallops, prawns and suckling pig. The babies/toddlers/children ranging from 8 months to 7 years were seated at the next table with their less exotic but equally nutritious meal consisting of rice and steam egg, tofu etc.

Imagine a roomful of 10 kids.............. I was kept pretty busy chasing after Zerlynde during the 2 hours but was fortunate enough to steal some time here and there to catch up with Cornelius, Mei Sien, Nicholas and Cheng Yan.

The highlight was the cake cutting. We had three cakes to celebrate two birthdays. The kids went wild with the candle blowing. Zerlynde was thrilled to cut the cake and was kept busy for the next 15 minutes or so stuffing herself silly with banana cake.

After lunch, we checked into E&O for the day. We were hoping for some peace and quiet then but Zerlynde absolutely refused to nap. So, she walked about the room, tearing almost everything apart. Daddy gave up watching after her after awhile and conveniently dozed off. So, the "burden" of watching over our little monster rested on her poor mother solely for the rest of the afternoon. Was I so very pleased when she finally dozed off at 6.30pm.

We later had dinner at Sarkies Corner with a friend, then adjourned to our room for a little chat before checking out at about 10.30pm. It was a very nice day indeed.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Myth of Mermaids

In my parents home, one can see a wooden and glass cabinet displaying beautiful gifts from friends and bits and pieces of memorabilias they collected during their travels. As a child, one of my pre-occupations was the arrangement and re-arrangement of all these little items.

One of my most favourite pieces from this collection is a little sculpture of a mermaid sitting on a rock measuring no more that half a foot in height. My sister and I used to admire this mermaid so very much, and many of our evenings were spent with us pretending to be mermaids combing our hair, wriggling around in our supposed tails, at the same time, wishing that we were indeed truly mermaids and not mere humans. I guess it was thanks to Hans Christian Andersen that we were imbued with this very romantic notion of this half human half sea creature. My poor parents must have had no easy time time answering our question of whether there really existed mermaids and mermans.

During those times, we watched television most nights. And once in a while, we would come across poignant love stories between men and mermaids which further fueled our already very wild imagination. I remember also watching this Thai film which depicted mermaids in a less favourable light, contrary to what we were used to imagining and "seeing". The mermaids were ugly, looking more like fish than humans. Then, there were newspapers reporting sightings of mermaids off the coast of the Philipines, and we were shown yet more "evidence" of these very ugly creatures of half fish half human. I think those incidents must have contributed no less to the imminent death of our childhood, just like how some of these Western children must have been so affected at their discovery of the myth of Santa Clause.

The older and wiser me of today have since learned that my favourite sculpture is a replica of the famous "Den Lille Havfrue" created by one Danish named Edvard Eriksen and is a cultural symbol of Denmark which can be sighted at the waterfront of Copenhagen. The older and wiser me of today also, although no longer believe in mermaids or Santa Clause, am still no less intrigued by the mythology of mermaids, fairies and angels...........

Umberto Eco's The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana

I thought I fell in love with Umberto Eco after reading his "How to Travel with a Salmon and Other Essays" a few years ago. It turned out only to be a crush. His novel "The Name of the Rose" was too difficult for my faculties as a result of which I shied away from him after the first 3 pages.

A few weeks ago, I came across Umberto's "The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana" in Bookzone. I was immediately attracted by the book when I realised that it contains many illustrations within. I turned a few pages. It didn't seem as unreadable as "The Name of the Rose", so I decided to give him another chance. Afterall, there must be a good reason why I fell in love with him "at first sight".

"Queen Loana" turned out to be a such a gem. I was down with a bad flu for almost a week and 'Queen Loana" accompanied me during those hours in bed. It's a story about a man who lost his memory and went back to his old home in search of himself. In the process, he came across the books, literatures, comic, music, etc which formed his childhood and adolescent years. I love the fact that there was so much reference to other materials. I was like on a trail of trivia pursuit, except that the pursuit was anything but trivia.

Suffice it to say that when I finished the last line last night, I had this urge to embark on a project to unearth the whole load of literary treasures in the book. So, I read the reviews (which were mostly only tepid in reception) and was I delighted to come across what's called the "Queen Loana Annotation Project", exactly what I was looking for!

Looks like I shall be busy the next couple of months on a treasure hunt.

And yes, I am back in love with Umberto Eco.