2017 in Review

A friend got me into this habit of reviewing my year, and I think this is my third review so far.  But now that I have this blog and I’ve gotten into the habit of writing in here on a daily basis (no matter how crap or boring or unproductive my day was!), I think I will have to do this review in here from now on 😊

1.What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before? I have done it before, but I stopped doing it ever since we moved down to Melbourne (and now SG). I started back up again this year: Adult Ballet. I freaking love this class / dance 😊

2.Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions and will you make more for this year? I think I made some progress on them, but progress became less and less as the year went on.  As for 2018, I will probably keep them all the same, as the goals are quite long term, but I’m going to really focus in on the process, which I think I lacked this year.

3.Did anyone close to you give birth? One of N’s family friends in Jan, and one of his close friends in SG in Feb

4.Did anyone close to you die? Parents of a few friends passed away this year. Really hits home when I hear about these. Also, Kitty is sick. I don’t know if she will be able to come home with us when we pick her up from the vet 😒

5.What countries did you visit?

  • Hong Kong
  • Taiwan (Taipei)
  • Japan
  • Australia

6.What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017? Consistency.  As I mentioned in a post earlier this month, this is my one-word theme for next year 😊

7.What date from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Not just one day, but a few: 1) Christmas this year wasn’t my favourite. Although it hardly ever is, but still, I was not impressed this year. And 2) the last few days of this year, when we received texts and emails from the cattery and the vet about Kitty 😞

8.What was your biggest achievement of the year? This is a tough one. Maybe having what felt like a five minute conversation in Japanese when we were there in November. It was probably only 1-2 mins and we were just talking about general stuff hahaha but the focus I needed for that conversation was full on intense!! πŸ˜… It has fuelled me to achieve that same level in Chinese, and to also improve my Japanese next year 😊

And also perhaps this blog. I’ve kept to my daily posts so far, which is a pretty good effort from me!

9.What was your biggest failure? I’d say not being focussed enough with my trading goal, and probably not doing the right things to progress with it.

10.Did you suffer illness or injury? Thankfully nothing serious, touch wood.

11.What was the best thing you bought? I’d have to say my Bullet Journal, which was just a Moleskine A5 dotted notebook. It’s really just a notebook, but I feel like organising / planning my life has completely changed for the better because of the Bullet Journal concept.

12.Whose behaviour merited celebration? The Australian people, voting “yes” to same-sex marriage laws 🌈🌈

13.Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed? Aung San Suu Kyi’s treatment of the Rohingyas

14.Where did most of your money go? Rent, again, by far.  This will continue to be the case, while we’re in SG πŸ˜”

15.What did you get really, really, really excited about? Probably my Bullet Journal 😁 and our holiday to Japan πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅

16.What song will always remind you of 2017? Good Life by G-Eazy & Kehlani

17.Compared to this time last year, are you: Happier or sadder? Fatter/thinner? Richer/poorer? I think happier, because 2016 was pretty bad hahaha; fatter because we didn’t do much dancing this year; and richer, because we focussed more on this during the year. This was probably the only goal that I actually met.

18.What do you wish you’d done more of? More focus on each of my goals. I felt like I was all over the shop with virtually all of them.

19.What do you wish you’d done less of? Ironically, planning!  I think I get a bit too excited when it comes to planning, and go a tad overboard with it.  Just a tad πŸ˜‰

20.How did you spend Christmas? With family, up in the northern beaches in Sydney

21.Did you fall in love in 2017? With my Bullet Journal and the whole idea of it, yes!  lol

22.How many one-night stands? HA!

23.What was your favourite TV program? Season 9 of Masterchef Australia was pretty good, actually. I was also introduced to House Hunters Asia and HH International this year, and now I’m sorta addicted, lol 😲

24.Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Aung San Suu Kyi. Although I still think hate is too strong a word. I’d prefer to just say that I don’t like her now 😊

25.What was the best book you read?

  • Fiction – Harry Potter #3 (Order of the Phoenix) was pretty good.
  • Non-fiction – The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin.  I think this was a real eye-opener, which explained a helluva lot of my illogical behaviour at times.

26.What was your greatest musical discovery? Julia Michaels πŸ˜†

27.What did you want and get? We got to go on a nice holiday in Japan and had a lovely time (as evidenced by this blog! lol)

28.What did you want and not get? I didn’t explore SG as much as I would have liked to this year.  I didn’t actively look for places to go, restaurants to try etc so we ended up going to the same places over and over again.

29.What was your favourite film of this year? It wasn’t released this year, but Cloud Atlas was probably my favourite movie out of all the ones I watched this year for the first time ever.

30.What did you do on your birthday? We went to Pollen in the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay, and I didn’t bring enough layers. I was freezing inside ❄️❄️

31.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? A better trading year πŸ˜”

32.How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017? Much of the same: casual, summery clothes that is line with the hot and humid SG weather!

33.What kept you sane? A good night’s sleep always does wonders.

34.Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017. I stumbled across this quote from somewhere: “Life is not about finding yourself; it’s about creating yourself.” Ever since I read that, I’ve stopped looking and started creating.  And now I feel like I’m starting to create the ME that I’ve always wanted.

35.Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. Lyrics to Stargazing by Kygo 😳

Now bring on 2018!Happy New Year! πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰

Friendship

It was all about friends today. Friends we’ve known for 20+ years. Friends who we now maybe see only once a year, if that, and yet it still feels exactly the same. Friendship that knows no boundaries, no distance, no time. Friends that you have chosen to be part of your extended family, and who have chosen us to be part of theirs.

Kitty is sick. She too has been part of our lives for 15+ years. And despite all the happiness with friends today, I also know that we have to return to Singapore and make some difficult decisions. Life has a way of balancing things out. 😒

Trains, yum cha and cats

We caught the train to Bondi Junction today. I told my mum that I’d look up the train timetable online, but then she gave me her paper version 😲 I’m surprised they still print these. Although yes, I know not everyone is online. But I still had to take a photo of this vintage item hahaha

The new timetable has express trains stopping at different stations. My first thought was “oh that’s annoying, less express trains for us! Grrr!”, but then soon decided that this was a fairer way to distribute express trains, so it’s actually not a bad idea.

But we caught an all-stations train anyway 😝

We had yum cha with the parents and N’s brother and his nephews at Zilver, and then aftereards we made our way to our old place, which we’ve rented out to a friend. The next door neighbour’s cat came in and hung out with us. I wonder if he remembers us. He’s so much friendlier than I remembered him to be. But Kitty was there too when we lived there, and so of course Ms Anti-social always hissed at him and chased him out of the apartment each time he tried to come in and make friends.

I wasn’t successful in stopping him from drinking out of the glass hahaha

Update on Kitty: the vet sent us an email and said that she’s not doing well, and asked us if he can do further tests to determine what’s wrong with her. I hope it’s nothing too serious. Sighhh… I really miss her πŸ˜” She might feel better if we were there with her. Part of me just wishes we could catch an earlier flight back πŸ˜”

Coogee to Bondi and back

We decided to start at Coogee because we figured parking would be easier to find. It wasn’t easy, but we did eventually find a spot on the north side of the beach. I still think parking would’ve been even worse at Bondi.

We got there just after 9am, which was better than I expected. The walk to Bondi took us around 2.5 hours, but we did stop and take a bajillion photos hahaha

The morning walk: Coogee to Bondi
Coogee Beach
Clovelly Beach
Bronte
Thanks Len πŸ‘
Tamarama
And finally, Bondi
This was pretty spot on, after allowing for daylight saving
The walk back to Coogee

We stopped at Bondi for lunch at Gabby’s Cafe, which was a bit mediocre. Plus we had to pay in cash, which is rather annoying, especially since we are now overseas residents and cannot just take cash out of the atm as easily as we used to be able to. I’m surprised they still do cash only anyway, with the rest of Sydney pretty much trying to go cashless.

And then after spending a few hours just chillaxing at Bondi Beach, we then headed back the way we came – ie Bondi to Coogee! We were all so exhausted at the end, and my feet were throbbing hahaha But it’s always worth it, the walk is just so nice 😊

I have decided that I prefer going from Coogee to Bondi because 1) it’s mostly downhill, and 2) there is a “big reveal” towards the end of the walk of one of the most iconic beaches of Australia.

And then in the evening, the cattery messaged me to say that they took Kitty to the vet, because she wasn’t behaving like her usual self this morning. She got yet another drip, and her blood test results were not that much different from last time, so hopefully she was just a bit dehydrated. Awww I miss her πŸ˜” We’ll get to see her in a few days. Not long to go now. Leaving her is the worst thing about going overseas 😞

Roselands and Bankstown

We didn’t really do much today. I just wanted to find my Maseur slippers, which I’ve been dying to buy for years – ie probably ever since we moved to SG!

So we went to two of the shopping centres that we grew up shopping in: Roselands and Bankstown. Neither of us had been to Roselands in years – probably decades, and so of course we didn’t even recognise it. They didn’t have my slippers, so off we went to Bankstown. And I got a pair! Omg I am so excited hahaha It’s so sad, but I love these slippers, man. I’ve been wearing them for yeeears, they just feel so nice on my feet. I always get the ones that give your feet an “invigorating massage” hahaha πŸ˜‚

And I’ve started reading my new Crazy Rich Asians book. It has a number of SG references, so it’s pretty cool knowing these things now. I even looked up on Google Maps a street mentioned in the book to give me some perspective on where it is in the country hahaha It’s not bad so far. I’m not used to reading books these days, I’ve been on audiobooks for so long now. So I’m probably reading much slower these days! 😝

And then we had to organise times and meeting places for tomorrow: we’re doing the Bondi to Coogee walk again! 😊 Actually we’re doing Coogee to Bondi, which is the direction that I actually prefer. I love that walk, either direction, it’s so nice. I’ll have to post photos tomorrow 😊

Traffic, Optus and my new books

I was sorta glad that we were leaving the northern beaches. The sounds of nature were starting to freak me out hahaha My imagination was starting to get the better of me 😳

The drive back to my parents’ place was a bit longer than expected. We were thinking of going through Homebush, but apparently that was chockers, with everyone wanting to go to the DFO there to get to the Boxing Day sales. Then Google Maps was saying that the road leading up to Birkenhead Point was also chockers, so we took some third alternative route. It probably added about twenty minutes to our overall trip, but at least we didn’t get stuck in traffic, which was our overall aim.

We fixed the internet at my parents’ place. There actually wasn’t anything wrong, they just had to register with Optus their newly replaced modem so that it was attached to their account. Not that anyone knew you had to do that, I just found that out when I rang them for tech support. That’s my one new thing learnt for the day.

And then we went to N’s cousin’s place for dinner. She lent me Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan, which is apparently all about the obsession with money in Asia. She said the books were hilarious, and that I’d probably appreciate it more having now spent a few years living in SG. And apparently Kevin Kwan was born and raised in SG. I’ve been wanting to read Crazy Rich Asians for ages, now I have it AND the sequel! I’m very excited! 😊

Christmas 2017

Merry Christmas!!

The love of family continues. We got up this morning and one of the first things that N asked me was “is it too early to have a beer??” πŸ˜‚ Sighhhh… I think next year we should just go and relax at a beach resort in Thailand….

We did have a lovely day just chillaxing at N’s brother’s place. We had lunch over there, and then just sat and chatted for the rest of the afternoon. Oh, N’s cousin and his “first cousin once removed” and aunt came to join us today, and they actually stayed with us last night. Wth is “cousin once removed” anyway?!? I’ve googled it and it’s still screwing with my head! πŸ€ͺ

We had some pretty cool weather today, so no one was dying of heat or freezation outside, and there were NO FLIES!! But we did get some other “lovely” Australian wildlife that unintentionally found themselves inside the house…

There was a scream, a throw of the box out onto the balcony, and N’s mum sweeping the huntsman off the balcony. She was very calm under the circumstances, I was very impressed. I could only manage to take a photo hahaha

So another Christmas Day is over. We survived another one πŸ˜‚ Thailand, man, Thailand. Have a think about it. You have another 364 days until the next time hahaha 🀣🀣

At the beach or at Coles

We spent the day pretty much either buying groceries or just chillaxing at one of the numerous beaches up here πŸ˜‚ We weren’t very organised with our grocery shopping, so we actually made about three trips to Coles 😲 Especially since nothing is open tomorrow, we figured we should buy whatever we think we need today. We probably overbought, but we figured we can just take back to my parents’ whatever leftovers we have left.

We went up to Palm beach first and hung out there for a few hours; and then we made our way down to Newport Beach later in the afternoon. The weather was much cooler by the time we got to Newport, so there was no way I was going in the water there 😝 Although N probably spent more time in the water at Newport than at Palm Beach!

We got a bit of a sun shower while we were at Newport, that was actually really nice. The sun combined with the droplets of water was a nice way to balance the hot weather. Although we couldn’t quite figure out where the rain was coming from, coz the sky looked so blue. The sky still looks dark in this photo compared to how it actually was:

Where did the droplets come from?!? πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

Oh and we had to stop by the liquor store to help us get through the next few days with family hahaha πŸ˜‚ I got a clearskin cab sav – for A$5! Bargain! I like clearskins, they’re like a lucky dip with wines, but you still get a bit of a choice coz you get to choose the grape varietal. And the label also did say it’s from the Hunter region, so I effectively got to choose the region too 😊 So it’s a pretty good deal!

Omg so apparently, according to Wikipedia, the idea of cleanskin wines is an Aussie/NZ thing! I just assumed this was just a thing all around the world. Well that’s one thing I’ve learnt today!

Northern Beaches

We made it to the northern beaches! Such a relaxing place. It feels like one of the tropical resort towns/cities like Port Douglas or Cairns up here: people are wandering through Woolies in their beach gear, some even barefoot; there are a few bars and cafes that you can just hang out in on a lazy weekend arvo; and nature is all around you, the sound of the birds and cicadas is loud and constant throughout the day. The Airbnb place that we booked is huge, so there’s tons of space to spread out and just chill for the next few days. This was such a good idea, I’m so glad we decided to do this. And I’m so happy that I even found a place, especially since I booked so late in the year, and I didn’t think we’d have much (if any) of a choice.

The owners have quite an extensive collection of kids’ books, and through them, I have discovered Patrick Ness, an author of young adult fiction. Now I’m interested in reading a few of his books! 😊

A Rebel in Vaucluse

I discovered a little more about myself from The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin, one of the hosts on the Happier podcast. The weird, illogical things that I seem to do now makes perfect sense. In the Four Tendencies context, I am apparently a Rebel. I didn’t believe this at first, as I am not a particularly rebellious person and consider myself a rather logical person. So I thought I’d be an Obliger or maybe even a Questioner (but definitely not an Upholder! πŸ˜‚), especially since these are the two more common tendencies in the population. But as soon as I told N about the framework and how people are classified, he was immediately like “nah, you’re a Rebel”. There was absolutely no doubt in his mind. Hahaha hilarious!! The book goes through the whole thing, of course, but basically, it boils down to how you respond to expectations, both external and internal. You can take her quiz to figure out what your tendency is, and it could help you understand your own nature and how to improve your own happiness based on this. It’ll also help you to better understand those around you, and to communicate better with them. Fascinating stuff. So now I feel much more at ease with who I am and why I sometimes make these decisions that make no sense whatsoever, in complete contrast to the logical side in me hahaha And I am now more aware of how to better deal with this internal conflict that has apparently been raging inside me virtually my entire life! 😲

Anyhooo… 😊 I’m a tad obsessed with this podcast, as you can see… πŸ˜† And I’m STILL two years behind omg. I feel like I’m never going to catch up!

We met up with a few of N’s family friends for dinner tonight. We went to the Grumpy Baker in Vaucluse, which apparently turns into My Little Israel in the evenings. I like the identity change! It’s like Clark Kent by day, Superman at night 😁 That’s cool! The food was superb, and our waiter was really nice too. It was just a lovely evening on all counts 😊

A much better day compared to yesterday (let’s not dwell on the crappiness of yesterday…!) 😊