Sunday, 28 September 2008

See me smile

I just had my final exam. I've never felt so awfully free than today where I just stayed in bed until 3pm, only getting out to get something to eat. I'm so giddy from immeasurable relief that I didn't mind turning the webcam on beaming to my relatives in Norway and the Philippines our bedroom that was purely a disaster zone.

I watched tv in bed and didn't mind that the boys had turned their bedroom upside-down, inside-out. I didn't mind that my duvet would disappear and reappear in my bed. Or that empty milk cups piled up in my bedside table. I didn't mind stepping on lego pieces while trodding to the bathroom, or seeing my boys standing in front of me, sweet as angels, with their hands behind them, smiling so serenely, while their faces were covered in chocolate. Feigning ignorance, I asked them what they've been up to in the other bedroom and they replied rather defensively that they were just 'playing together nicely'. I smiled in approval, and confiscated secretly the stash of individually wrapped toblerones that was supposed to be their father's present to me for the hard effort I put into my exams. They ate my chocolates! but I didn't tell them off because I am carefree today. I am relaxed and excited that I could finally read fiction again...

Until next year when I start another round of reading cases and statutes.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Lesson 1

I let Zak stand in a corner for pushing Lewis. I sat directly in front of him while trying to pacify the screaming little one.

After a couple of minutes, he came up to me and said, 'I'm sorry Mummy. I thought about it and I'm never going to do it again. I've learned my lesson.'

Trying to look firm, I asked, 'and what lesson have you learned?'

He replied ever so innocently, 'only numeracy!'

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Does this remind you of your grandmother?

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Oh please don't lecture me about time and household management. I need somebody to train my husband the art of domesticity!

I don't like ironing clothes.

And I don't like putting them away in drawers and wardrobes.

I also don't like cooking, and dish washing, and toilet-cleaning.

So what does that say about my day today?

Frustrating and exhausting.

I ironed clothes while Jose Mari Chan was on YouTube singing that sad christmas song. I nearly burst into tears. Not because of the song, but because I just felt sorry for myself. I iron clothes once a month so you can just imagine how I was dwarfed by piles of babygros and shirts, trousers and jeans. And bloody bedsheets. I have never done ironing in industrial proportion back in the Philippines. And here in this sodding first-world country's.clothes. And putting them away as well, which is worse. It's like Maths for kids. All husband's shirts on hangers. All husband's long-sleeved shirts on more hangers. All husband's t-shirts on one pile. All husband's jumpers on another pile. And on and on and on. Then there are more clothes for the two kids which have to be sorted in different piles as well. And socks. It's hell. There are 3 pairs of socks worn everyday. When they go in the washing, they decide to go separate ways and when they dry I could never match them up again!

After I read the boys' bedtime stories, I went on my hands and knees to clean the bathrooms. Then my husband called me on the phone saying that 'there's a situation'. For a moment I thought, god, he's going to bring home another baby and I'd get more clothes to wash and iron, or, oh no, his parents are finally moving with us and there will be MORE clothes to iron. Fortunately, or unfortunately, he said, 'I have loads of potatoes and they need to be washed - in the bath - because the kitchen sink is too small for this lot'. I moaned. 'But I just disinfected the bath!' He said, 'don't worry, I'll clean up'.

After bathing his potatoes, he kissed the boys goodnight, got out of the room, went downstairs and sat down in front of his computer. Before I could get in the bathroom to check, he said, 'don't freak out'. So I peeped through the crack of the door. The disinfected, glistening white tiled floor 15 minutes ago is now muddy. Mudbleedingdy.

I turned off Jose Mari Chan. I closed YouTube. I closed my eyes.
I took out the gun lodged in my brain and shot the iron to smithereens.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

happy birthday to you!

happy birthday to you!, originally uploaded by Soyy.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Flop debut

I can't claim to be politically sound but I do have a little bit of political awareness. The interview debut of Sarah Palin just reinforced what I and a lot of people thought of her. I cringed all the way through the painful interview, and not just because 'Charlie' of ABC is awfully professorial to her, but because of her answers. She tried so hard to appear confident and knowledgeable but her answers did not have substance and were obviously rehearsed sound bites. When asked about the Bush doctrine, she just got lost.

The Republicans simply took a massive risk on her. I hope America doesn't.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

God help me

I'm trying to work on my computer. I needed to come up with a 2,500-word essay about what some bloke from Cambridge University said. If I don't do this well, all the work I did for the past 9 months would just go down the drain. Now, I'm not a writer, as you can see. It would take me 6 mornings to come up with a passable 2,000-word write-up on some legalese topics. I could patch up a couple of paragraphs for my blog in less than 10 minutes but that's because I am not paid to do so and I don't have a wide audience to appeal to - so no pressure there. Most importantly, my commenters are all nice people who tolerate my tendency to blabber incoherently - so that's the plus-side of it.

So I tried some techniques to get me back into focus. I made some popcorn. I ate it while it's hot, and then my mum-in-law decided to ring me at this most unsuitable time. I said, herro? and she said, what's the matter with you? I said, nohing! I'm eahing pohcohn! She said, you shouldn't stuff yourself with that! It's rubbish! Aren't you working? I said, I'm trying! Then she said, you're going to be FAT! I said, thank you!

Now, that didn't help at all, did it? So I went back to my computer. I have planned my structure about 7 hours ago and until now, that's the only thing on the page. My husband called and asked how everything is going. I said, it's going swimmingly. He asked me to remember my deadline all the time. This is no time to procrastinate, he said. I asked him how to spell procrastinate and he said, never mind that!

So I went back into eating the now cool (ish) popcorn. Still, nothing comes to mind. I see the words. STATIC. REGULATORS. JUDGES. EVIDENCE. But I couldn't connect them all. I couldn't make sense of these bloody words.

I got a call. How's the essay doing? I said, I'm writing. He said, good!

I didn't say I'm writing this post!

Black Hole

About 10 minutes ago, the Large Hadron Collider was powered on. I sat on the couch with my laptop perched on the arm. Lewis dumped his cup of water on me and I froze. I shouted for tea towel to absorb the water while my ears were glued to BBC Radio 4 doing the countdown. I was at the same time relaying to my husband what the French and English-speaking people were saying, including Andrew Marr's. Too much excitement!

But in bed this morning, I was ranting. '£5billion pounds! Think how that could help humanity! They spend that much just to satisfy scientific curiousity and yet there are people in the world who can't even pull their hair because of hunger? How could you justify that?'

My husband kept still and quiet, staring up the ceiling, possibly thinking, 'oh here we go again!' Then he said, 'Britain gives CERN £120million pounds every year.'

Then I said, 'go on Zak, get dressed'. I thought, do I really have to worry about these huge things beyond my comprehension? If black holes are inadvertently created, as some people claim, then earth would be sucked from within, and there's nothing I or you could do about it. I might be able to continue supervising Zak and Lewis get dressed, or not.

Then my husband asked how long it would take for earth to disappear if the collider goes wrong, the expert in me confidently answered: 4 years. He said, 'don't worry, we'll all be dead by then'.

When Zak and husband left for school, husband said, 'it's 8.39. I'll see you later, unless the black hole appears!'

Monday, 8 September 2008

Back to school

Zak - first day of Reception class. 7 September 2007.

Zak - first day of Year 1 class, 7 September 2008.
Zak started school today. I shed more tears again, silly me. I thought, well after 6 weeks of school holiday, our routine will be back to normal again. But when we got back home, it was just eerily quiet. We went out again, and through someone's window, we looked at the playground of Zak's school, and there we saw him, sipping his drink while running around with his friends. So I thought, hmm, he's happy now that he's free from the clutches of his mother and brother, so why should I feel down? Tomorrow, I'll be back at work as well. And until Christmas holidays, this will our routine.
But I can't shake up the thought of how he has grown since last year!

Sunday, 7 September 2008

How to be British

There is only one way to become a citizen of Britain: know how to talk about the weather.

You don't need to become a weather forecaster; you just need to have an eye for the weather and the right words and phrases to go with it. Learning to say something about it will take you a long way across the British Isles and into the arms of the most stiff-upper-lipped British.

'Lovely day, isn't it?' is one conversation opener. Obviously, it has to be a lovely day as well or else you'll sound like a moron who says good when it's bad. You also need to learn how to moan. A lot. 'Ugh, It's too warm! I canna cope wi' this, ya know!' Or 'Horrible, innit? Bloody cold again, whadaya know?!'

Sometimes, it's just a straightforward commentary:

'Pissing again, isn't it?'
'It is, isn't it? Awful!'
'It was exactly like this ten years ago.'
'It was, wasn't it.'
'Oh, I remember it very well. 1998 it was.'
'Yeah, 1998. Yeah!'
'Or was it 1997? Yeah, 1997 I think it was.'
'Yeah, it was 1997.'
'I don't like the rain at all. I can't cope with it.'
'No, I don't like it either. No.'
'I don't like it when it gets too hot as well.'
'No, I don't like the heat.'

And so on and so forth. The secret is agreeing all the time to whoever you're talking with, especially if that person comes from the north of England.

Britain doesn't have tropical storms or hurricane and yet when the weather changes, like when it's been raining and then it stops and the sun comes out, oh! there's so much to talk about like a miracle has just happened.

And if the weather gets too bad and you have exhausted all the phrases you learned and you're fed up agreeing all the time, just put the kettle on and have a cup of tea. Yes, you also need to learn to drink tea with milk if you want to continue being British!

Tuesday, 2 September 2008


Cycling around Ladybower Dam, originally uploaded by Soyy.

I ditched my mountain bike 11 years ago.

Today, I thought I wouldn't be able to pedal anymore. I practised on my 5-year-old's bike but it wouldn't move a jot. I thought, oh maybe, the wheels are just too tiny for my size. I was told, no, 'you're just fat' and that I should get my arse off it and get real. I don't think I'm fat. I'm just oozing with sexuality - not lard!

So I decided to 'get real' and donned a broken helmet and walking boots, in case I'd end up walking with my bike around 15 miles of cycle path. The pod for the boys was attached to husband's bike.

I managed to keep the handle bars together without falling off and took 173 photos of husband on his bike. Imagine. He took 2 shots of me to prove to his parents that I'm really fat, I mean fit.

We were warned of the impending rain and we were continually watching out for the ominous clouds. It turned out that we had to race against the rain and as soon as we reached the car park 3 hours later, the heavens collapsed on us. Perfect!

Monday, 1 September 2008

I thought

Of facial reconstruction.

I can't understand why people take me so seriously, like everything I say is etched on two slabs of the commandments, and that everything I do or don't do has moral connotations! Don't they know what 'dry sense of humour' is?

I just happen to have tight ponytail/bun all the time. No, I don't let my hair down, literally, because I have frizzy hair and you know what, everything Vidal Sassoon said is a lie! What's wrong with neat hairstyle anyway? That's what they do at Ms Universe, I'm sure. And no, I don't do clips because they make me look like a 70-year-old who forgot her false teeth.

My hairstyle doesn't make me look like a hard-nosed businesswoman who doesn't have time for silliness. Okay, it's my eyes then. So what's wrong with my bloody eyes? They're piercing, but they're not looking through your soul? I'm short-sighted so if you're a mile from me, my eyes have to work hard to see the outline of your body. If you're wearing layered dress and it happens to be windy, then it would make me think you're a spider and not a human being. So I DON'T SMILE. You're a spider. Why should I smile at a spider!

I try hard to look charming, and soft. So once in a blue moon, I put on make-up. But the make-up makes my 2-year-old cry. And my 5-year-old would exclaim like, 'Mummy! You look like a witch!' And then my husband would smile, just smile, like a permanent smile, and become monosyllabic. How do I look? 'Eh?' And then he would smile some more. When my father-in-law sees me, he would turn his head and look on the wall, like there's something there he's not seen before. 'Oh, this tiny bit here needs a teeny-weeny lick of paint!' And my mother-in-law would say, 'Wow Soy, I like your ring!' And my ring is not even near my face! What's the matter with them? Or should I say, what's the bloody matter with my face/make-up/face?

That's why I should have facial reconstruction. What do you think of Rosalinda?

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