Tuesday, 31 August 2010


I am convinced that the older you get, the more you start fearing things. This is not about phobias like spiders, the dark or ghosts, but things like falling over and hurting yourself.

As a child, I don't ever recall fear stopping me from running at top speed, hurtling towards a goal, trying a new sport or climbing up a high vantage point (I grew up in Singapore, we don't have that many trees to climb).

My knees were constantly scabby from falling over. I would cry from the pain, scratch the wound, pick at the scab, and then forget to learn my lesson and start running all over the place again.

Fast forward a few years and suddenly fear sets in. I bungee-jumped when I was 18, but I can assure you there was not so much courage there as a fear and general wonderment as to why I had even wanted to do something like launch myself out of a crane several hundred kilometres up in the air only secured by a giant rubber band.

I have never had a fear of heights but today, I hesitate to walk to the edge of a cliff with a sheer drop and being on a tall building sometimes makes me feel like visiting the toilet in a hurry. And when it came to my skydiving experience, that first step off the plane was probably one of the scariest thing I had ever done.

And over the last few years as I'm trying to master the art of snowboarding, the simple fear of falling over and hurting myself has prevented me from snowboarding properly.

How is it that fear sets in when we get older? Do we get "wiser"? Do our bones get more fragile? Do we become wusses?

Is it why Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it" (Mark 10:15), because as we get older, we actually "fear" the kingdom of God and what it actually means?

Friday, 27 August 2010

Of interviews and transcribing

Since starting work with Signs of the Times, I've had a lot more opportunities to do more in-depth/longer interviews, most of which are also done via the phone.

With people speaking faster than I can write/type, the easiest solution is to simply record the interview. You place it in front of the speaker, hit record and then you can relax, listen to what the person have to say and think about what question you'll ask next. No more furious scribbling and fear of missing anything.

The only problem with that is the need to transcribe your interviews afterwards. An hour-long interview takes at least two hours to transcribe because of all the pauses you have to do to make sure you've typed everything in. And really, by the end of the interview, all you want to do is write the article, not transcribe it.

But I think the worst thing about transcribing an interview is when you've done a really bad one. Then you have to relive the experience all over again...

Thank goodness I don't have too many of those!

Well, back to transcribing now.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Winning the lottery

How many times have you wished you'd win the lottery, retire from work, move into a big house and live in luxury forever?

British man Neil Chester did but is actually (sort of) regretting it. With his winnings, he bought a £1.8 million mansion on an 7.3 hectare estate in Hampshire, installing luxuries such as an indoor pool, sauna and cinema. But it's not all roses and sunshine.

His wife says, "In a small house you are always all together. Now I have to make a point of finding them – we don't even watch TV together as we are all in different rooms."

And of course, "You don't realise how expensive running it can be, and there are rooms we never use."

It really makes the cliche "money can't buy happiness" ring true.

Too often, we dream of earning or having huge amounts of money so that we don't need to worry about life and have a great lifestyle. But a lifestyle is created from our habits, from who we are. Money cannot change that. Yes, it may make life a little easier, but I believe eventually, we'd still have the same kind of troubles if we don't change our attitudes and habits.

As for a huge house with all sorts of luxuries. Just think of the little luxuries that you've bought yourself. How often have you used that blender? How often do you soak in a bath-tub? How often have you actually sat down to watch a movie?

We're always gathering stuff in the hopes of attaining some form of satisfaction and happiness, but when we actually have the means of doing so, we realise, life hasn't actually gotten any better.

As for a huge house? It looks nice and impressive and all, but I think all the cleaning it requires will drive me insane. I can't even keep my two-bedroom apartment clean!

Friday, 6 August 2010

My first book!

Ok, it's not quite my first book in the traditional sense of the word since it's a collection of short stories, but hey, it's the first time I've been published in a book!

And this was published a few months ago. Yes, it took me that long to get it scanned and to put it up online.

You can read the story here.

And if you're interested, my (almost) complete writing portfolio can be found here.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Excellence in Mediocrity

Published in Signs of the Times, August 2010 (under a pseudonym).

Article first written here.

And if you're interested, my (almost) complete writing portfolio can be found here.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Bindi Irwin: A Grown Up Little Girl

Published in Signs of the Times, August 2010.

pdf available.

And if you're interested, my (almost) complete writing portfolio can be found here.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Flip-top mittens

Being a cold frog, I'm always extremely susceptible to the cold, particularly when it comes to my hands and feet.

I'd been using fingerless gloves for a while now because I love the ease of which I can still use my fingers for stuff. My hands feel a little claustrophobic when I'm wearing gloves and needing to do stuff.

And yet, it's not perfect. My poor little fingers still get cold. Sometimes to the point where I curl my fingers in underneath where the fingerless gloves end.

Well, gone are those days thanks to this wonderfully versatile flip-top mittens! Wear them as mittens to warm your hands when you're just walking and not needing your hands for anything. And when you need to pick something up, or actually use your fingers, pop your fingers from underneath the "hood", button the flap down and viola! Fingerless gloves!

The only downside I suppose is the fact that the thumb is not as versatile and always completely covered, but hey, unless I can be bothered to do a flip-top thing for the thumb too, I think I can live with one thumb covered.

I used the dorset buttons that I made previously and the match perfectly and beautifully!

Pattern here.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

The blog that was

I've just recently changed the look of Aussie Adventures and therefore feel the need to document and archive its old design.

Thanks yellow background and pink gerbera, I did enjoy looking at you.
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