Finding The Happy

Looking for joy in all the right places



Fresh eyes

Liz and I touched down in Changi Airport at 7:20pm local time (10:20pm OZ) last night and have spent 28 hours in the country eating and sleeping, mainly.

So far, Liz has been introduced to chee cheong fan, cha siew bao, sashimi and unagi, and usual dinner fare one finds at catered events (some sort of fried noodles, some sort of fried rice, some kind of fish and soy sauce, some kind of prawn…)

The timing of our arrival coincided with the church’s annual Missions drive, and a very special evening event where we officially recognised and appointed/reinstated 4 deacons. And then celebrated by eating more food. And then went out after that and had coffee.

New deacons getting their feet washed
Because nothing says “Welcome to Servant Leadership” like a good foot-scrub.
Rosie, Morene and Peter dressed in purple
Matchy-matchy! From left: A. Rosie, A. Morene and U. Chew (now a deacon! w00t!)
Liz and giant hot chocolate
Liz, holding up my Uncle Edward’s idea of a “small cup of hot chocolate”.

I’m gonna try and be a good girl and document this trip for a variety of reasons, the chief of which is how this feels a lot like the ending of my girlhood. But the very close second reason is how this is Liz’s First Trip Overseas (not including NZ and Tasmania), and her First Time in Asia, and her First Time in the Northern Hemisphere. And it’ll be a trip of a lot of her Firsts – which is such a weird and wonderful way for me to pay homage to my heritage as I play tour guide. I feel like I’ve been given a small chance to immortalise my memories, because now someone else from my present and future world knows, understands and cares about who I am and where I came from. And I’m so thankful to Liz and her generous family for giving me the opportunity to draw this beloved picture of my Country of Origin on such a fresh canvas.

The Schlep

I have Gail to thank for bringing back Schlep into my everyday vocab. It’s a great word, schlep. Here’s Google’s take on what it means:



Haul or carry (something heavy or awkward).
A tedious or difficult journey.

Arddun and I spend most days together out of the house, and have done so since she was a month old. I even have calluses to prove it now – all that schlepping about with her in a pram and a tonne of bags hanging off the sides. Except tomorrow, we’re doing it to cross a continent and a bit of sea so that we can tell Grandma Singapore that we love her and we hate that she hurts.

Yes, my girl and I are about to fly to Singapore together again. We leave tomorrow afternoon and arrive in Singapore 3 hours past Arddun’s bedtime. And because we’re going over for 6 months, we will be hauling:

  • 1 x Ladybug Skiphop backpack
  • 1 x stroller
  • 1 x handbag (birthday present from mum)
  • 1 x cabin bag on wheels
  • 2 x big-ass luggage bags

I’m hoping it’ll go more smoothly than it sounds right now.

You might remember my previous Flight to Remember. Rest assured that this time, I come prepared with a change of clothes and a buffet of assorted wipes, both dry and moist. Also, about 50 scented plastic bags and enough disposable nappies to wallpaper a small moon.

Watch this space, and wish me a most uneventful journey, please. xx


Scooting over to Singapore

So I just wrote this hugely ranty post about hoax emails, and how passing on advice about alternative cancer treatment can sometimes hurt and offend more than help and empower.

And then I decided it was a little too angry, so thankfully there was a WordPress glitch and it didn’t post on Facebook.

Sometimes, glitches are good.

I’ll be in Singapore from late 28 February to 9 March, for those on the island who might have time for a nightcap. I am there primarily to spend some quality time with my mother, though. I anticipate quite a few, “You’re BACK!” followed closely by, “Where’s Arddun?’ and then an afterthought of, “And is Tony here, too?” I don’t blame you. The munchkin is way more entertaining than the adults who spawned her.

So I’ll state up front that I’ll be flying back solo, and it’ll be my maiden flight on Scoot. And yes, I know it’s going to be cramp and uncomfortable, and I know that they had that PR disaster when they cancelled the flight etc. But they were the only ones who could offer a dirt-cheap ticket at the last minute. And besides – I get complimentary travel insurance with my bank. Sweet.

This will also be the second time that I’ll be travelling overseas without checking in luggage. Others might scoff at the big deal I’m making out of this, but you have to understand that Singapore has trees, food, weird architecture, too many people, and shops. Even their hospitals have shopping arcades and kick-butt food courts. You go to Singapore to stuff your face, and then try and fit into a size 6 dress. That is the Singaporean way.

My MIL — bless her — will be arriving from Brisbane on Wednesday to feed ducks with Arddun and watch her dance to The Wiggles. I’m so glad she’s able and willing to do this for our family at a moment’s notice, because the peace of mind is astounding.

So for those of you who have my email address and number, do ping me between now and Wednesday before I fly over.




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