Time for a change

You may have noticed that the face of my blog has changed from Sunrise, Sunset: Matters of Perspective, to All Things Bright & Beautiful: Delighting in Our World.

AllThings1
Sharing the pavement with a Malayan Water Monitor

It began with an encounter with Lizzie on a morning run. I was squatting on the ground, attempting to photograph him without scaring him off. Two fellow-pavement users walked by, balked at the sight of Lizzie & I (I’m not really sure who created a greater sensation) and exclaimed: “You’re not scared of it?!!!”

Up till then, it didn’t even occur to me that I should be frightened. Sometimes, ignorance is really bliss! Inevitably, my thoughts turned to the year that has gone by; June 2017 was spent

  • recovering so I could leave the hospital (after almost a month)
  • relearning to breathe, walk and perform an assortment of other mundane tasks so I could reclaim a semblance of my life
  • rehabilitating so that I could become independent again
AllThings2
I run past this bench at the Saraca Stream Walk, Singapore Botanic Gardens pretty often. Every time I do, I remember my first month of rehabilitation when I had to stop often to catch my breath, even on slow, short walks. I spent much time sitting here.

Memories of my ICU experience continue to elude me. The 12 days of the coma are completely lost save what is recounted by my loved ones. Even after I regained consciousness, my few weeks in the hospital remain fragmented and surreal. I was repeatedly reassured that I am the miracle of the ICU pneumonia patient who survived. Oblivious to the ramifications of my situation, I focused and worked hard on getting myself out of the hospital and back home. I chose to think on what I needed to do, as opposed to what I could not. Only now, I find out that my Loving Husband (and others) were watching & waiting to see how much I had lost, in brain & physical function. Their gift to me was to keep their doubts and worries to themselves, and to allow me to heal on my own time & terms.

Are you back to normal? is the most frequently asked question I’ve received since then. I’d like to think that I am better than normal, or at least, better than before this episode, since I am not quite sure I know what normal is.

I don’t think too hard before I try new things, I seek for Beauty & the Bright side of things, and I don’t apologise when I to do things for myself, like taking singing and piano lessons, choosing alone-time to scribble or nap, or to hold court with anyone who will listen about poetry, music, books and the less pragmatic aspects of living.

This year has been a reflective time of introspection & rediscovery. Of all the resolutions I apparently made while I was in a drug haze, I have cantored the Psalm in church, embraced new experiences rather enthusiastically (photography, healthier food, music-making), and though far from being written, continue to work towards that elusive book.

After meeting Lizzie in the gardens, I am inspired to move away from introspection to venture outwards; to look to this world I enjoy each day for the lessons Our World has in store for me.

Thank you for continuing to journey with me, to share in my Delights as I revel in the beauty of all things bright & beautiful, all creatures great & small.

Feature Photo is taken at Symphony Lake, Singapore Botanic Gardens.

 

 

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Of Fish and Abundance

As I walk past the fish pond at the Tanglin Gate of the Singapore Botanic Gardens heading for my morning run, I spot these lovely white flowers peeking above the water teeming with koi.  I can’t resist stopping to snap a shot of such a cheerful bloom.  What  intended to be a quick stop turns out to be me squatting there for another 15 minutes, waiting for the koi to come around so I can catch one in the same frame as the lovely flowers. Continue reading “Of Fish and Abundance”

Searching our Archives #1: Celebrating What We Have Done

One of my favourite blogs, Miss Gentileschi at Art Expedition, reposted some posts from her archives.  I thought it was such a fabulous idea, that those of us who have not had a chance to see them would get to do so.

I am inspired to do the same; repost something from my archives, perhaps once each month this year.  To my delight, I discovered that my 1st WP posts were made in February 2016, so this is just about my 2nd Year Anniversary Month!  What fun!

Care to join me and share something with from your Archives to celebrate our Pasts together?  Once a month, for the year of 2018.

I picked this post Seasons Come, Seasons Go, as we enjoyed an extremely cool breezy few weeks – extremely unusual for Singapore.  It almost felt like we had a Winter!  I am reminded that as we go through different seasons in our lives, each one good or bad will eventually pass.  My challenge is to live in the moment, whether good and ill, embracing the seasons’ joys and challenges.

All things bright and beautiful

Contrary to popular belief, Singapore does have seasons.  Perhaps not the traditional Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall, but we certainly have Hot & Humid, Very Hot & Humid, Rainy, Hazy.

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Blessed Beginning to 2018

This past weekend, we celebrated the Feast of the Holy Family.  As I am reminded of the gift of the Family, and in particular, my Family, both near and far, some related by blood, others in spirit, I pause to give thanks for those who are on my mind today.

May you have a reflective start to a year which holds much discovery for you!  Hugs and much love from my little corner of the world!

Feature Photo taken at sunrise around the Bandstand, Singapore Botanic Gardens.

A tart Yuzu Cupcake for a Sister’s Birthday

Younger Daughter’s celebration of Older Daughter’s birthday: sisterly love & Yuzu Cupcakes!

Crazy Little Cupcakes

Meg4Today is my sister’s birthday.  She inspires me in my favourite things: for my fashion paper dolls, she  buys me lots of pretty paper; in Maths, she helps me to get my homework right; in Baking, she gives me ideas for new cupcakes and sometimes bakes with me.

I have created a Yuzu Cupcake for her because she loves yuzu!  Happy Birthday, Meg!

Love, Jo

We used & adapted BenjaminWong’s recipes for the cupcakes & glaze from “Cupcakes with Attitude”.

Yuzu Cupcake, (makes about 10-12 cupcakes)

Meg3 Candied yuzu peel (left) and yuzu juice

  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 125g castor sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 20g candied yuzu peel (cut into small pieces)
  • 125g self-rising flour
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
  2. Line cupcake tray with liners.
  3. Cream the softened butter with the sugar until well-mixed.
  4. Add eggs and beat till well-blended, light & fluffy.
  5. Add salt…

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Sunrises & Sunsets

Sunrise or sunset?  Which do you think this is?  I am sure that if I caption it one or the other, I could persuade you to believe me.  It is all in how I frame it for you, yes?  I am beginning to appreciate the phenomenon of seeing the glass half empty or half full, depending on one’s frame of mind.

I turned 50 this year. Did I roll my eyes at the prospect of having to celebrate another birthday? Yes. How do I feel about ageing, gracefully or otherwise? I am not sure. Continue reading “Sunrises & Sunsets”

Lord of the Dance

As we greet the Christ child, we sing one of our family favourites: not a typical Christmas carol, but one which we feel reflects the joy of the occasion.

“I danced in the morning when the world was begun

And I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun

And I came down from heaven and I danced on the earth,

At Bethelem I had my birth.

Dance, then, wherever  you may be,

I am the Lord of the Dance,” said he.

“I’ll lead you all wherever you may be,

I will lead you all in the Dance,” said he.

Text: Sydney B Carter, Music: Shaker melody

Wishing you all a blessed Christmas!