Nail in the coffin

** Spoiler alert: Game of Thrones finale**

It wasn’t the best of days. I was feeling rather down today, and couldn’t really shake it off all day. So as a result, it wasn’t the most productive of days πŸ˜” I ended up just reading / studying a bit more of my Chinese version of The Little Prince, and then watched a few more episodes of Nice Witch, my current Korean drama. It’s finally getting good! I’m glad I decided to persevere with it. It’s the usual over-the-top drama with a ridiculous plot, but I find that part of the appeal πŸ˜†

And then I ended the day with the most disappointing episode of Game of Thrones ever. It was really underwhelming, given how good the rest of the series was. And it was the final episode of the entire series, which made it even more disappointing. Just the final nail in the coffin of an already shite day, really. Sighhh… Fingers crossed tomorrow will bring more fun and happiness than what today brought 🀞

Feeling positive

I had quite a productive day today, successfully working on all my main goals today: my Chinese, my trading and my fitness πŸ‘

I went to the gym for the first time in aaages, ever since I got sick, so I didn’t feel all that strong today. But I just wanted to get back into the routine of going, so I achieved that, at least. But then about half an hour in, my earphones ran out of juice πŸ”‹ And I do my dance practice in the second half of my gym session, and my earphones died on me right when I needed them. Isn’t that lovely πŸ˜’ But that’s ok, at least I went, I just needed to get back into it today, that was really my only goal today.

And then we watched the latest episode of Game of Thrones. It’s still making me interested in reading the book series, so I’ve pulled out book one from the study – N has the whole series πŸ“– It’s thick as! πŸ˜† Like I mentioned before, it’s not a genre that I usually read, so I’m not sure if I’ll enjoy it, but I’ll give it a go anyway. I’m enjoying the tv series, so I’m hoping that I’ll get some level of enjoyment from the books too 🀞

New ideas

Do you remember my other blog that I started sometime last year? Well I sorta abandoned it when we moved to HK, while we were just settling into this city. Anyway, I’m thinking of actually deleting it and starting a brand new one: writing about my language journey as I learn Mandarin. And then hopefully other languages in the future as I continue on this lifelong journey. I’m really enjoying the journey, and I think it would be nice to have a written record of it, to see the frustrations as well as the triumphs, and to share with others on a similar journey the numerous resources that I’ve come across that have helped me (or still helping me) improve my Mandarin. Anyway, it’s just an idea at the moment, but one that is certainly piquing my interest 😊

We had bak kut teh for dinner tonight! πŸ˜‹ N bought a few bak kut teh packet mixes from the supermarket in SG while he was there for work last week. Ah SG, how I miss you πŸ˜”

And then we watched the latest episode of Game of Thrones (season 8 episode 3) while we ate our bak kut teh. Stressful episode! But a damn good one. I don’t know how many more episodes are left, surely they’re close to wrapping up the series? I am thinking of making my way through the books now, surely they’re just as good as the tv series, if not better?? It’s not quite the genre that I like to read, so I’m not sure how I’ll find them. Maybe I’ll give the first book a go anyway. I’ll let you know 😊

One thing taking longer than expected, the other taking a shorter than expected time

I found yet another good resource on YouTube, Iris Song, for learning Chinese. One of her clips has her reading a short passage called Burn the Midnight Oil, which I found really useful. So I copied the text from her blog and wrote it out in my own notebook, and actually studied the short passage, taking down notes, translating it, learning new words and grammar structures, then listening to her say it over and over and over again, repeating it with her most of the time, both looking at the text and without, seeing just how much I can actually hear without my usual crutch.

It took me way longer than I expected it to: I actually ended up spending the entire afternoon working on this 😲 Not that it felt torturous or anything, it was actually quite fun, believe it or not πŸ€“ Plus N wasn’t back from SG yet (I was tracking his flight while I was studying the above passage), and it was miserable outside, so it was the best type of day to study anyway 😊

How crazy busy is the sky at any given time??

He made it home safely (and early! His plane was about 45min ahead of schedule!) and we ended up just watching the first two episodes of the new season of Game of Thrones, while having fish’n’chips for dinner. They were goood, as per usual – both GoT and the fish’n’chips! πŸ‘ πŸ˜„

Not feeling all that crash hot

I didn’t feel all that crash hot today, so I didn’t have the most productive day. I did manage to go to the supermarket to buy some food for both Kitty and for the hoomans in the house 😊

Speaking of food, Deliveroo has started a monthly membership deal of sorts where you can get free delivery. It’s HK$98 per month (US$12.50), so we’d have to be ordering more than five times a month if we were to get any value from it, as the current delivery fee is HK$20, I believe. We’d be lucky to order home delivery once a month, so this isn’t good value for us, but there must be regular customers where this monthly fee will work out better for them. It’d be interesting to hear how well it’s received by customers.

I did manage to go to the gym and did a little bit there, just to keep up my momentum. And then we watched another episode of The Exorcist’s Meter, our current Asian drama. Oh, and Game of Thrones is back! We must watch the first episode of season 8 soon 😊

A beautiful day

N and I were talking about gratitude last night, and I remembered our discussion again this morning. I mentioned to him last night how I’ve worked hard over the last few years to consciously bring more gratitude and mindfulness in my life, so now it comes much more easily to me. It’s not automatic, and I don’t think it ever will be, but there are definitely a lot more moments in my day now when I am appreciating the moment, and not worrying or complaining or getting frustrated at something or someone.

I think too many of us go about our day complaining about everything that’s not “right” in our lives. Case in point: I do it all the time on this blog! πŸ˜‚ But what we don’t do often enough is just stop and smell the beautiful roses that are right in front of us. Whatever those proverbial roses are in your life, see them for the beauty that they are, and appreciate them and be thankful that you have them in your life.

I read this blog post the other day, and I really liked her technique of stopping and letting herself take in her surroundings through her five senses. I’ve been doing this whenever I remember to, and it’s been such a wonderful experience when I do. I notice just how clear and blue the sky is; just how peaceful and quiet it can be at home; how soft Kitty’s fur is or the rug in our living room; or even the fact that I can actually breathe today. Because it’s not every day that you have a clear nose and can breathe with such ease that you don’t even notice it.

And on the bigger things: I try and appreciate our time here in SG, as we never know when we have to leave this country. Our friends moving back to Oz in the next month or two is a perfect example of how life can just suddenly take you places, whether you want it to or not. So whenever I can, I try and stop and appreciate this city: its unbelievably efficient public transport system; the various food options available – at all hours of the day and at all different price points; how so very clean it is; and how safe I feel in this country.

It’s very easy to just notice all the bad things happening around you and around the world, but there is also so much that is good and right and beautiful. We just have to make the time to notice those things too.

So here is my pause for the day, and I hope you can do the same sometime today too 😌

It was a beautiful sunny day today, and so after my usual FX seminar, I went for a walk around the Marina Bay area, as I figured the iconic attractions around the Bay would look very pretty on such a lovely day. I’m glad I went for this walk, even if it was a brief one- as I still wanted to be back at my desk in time for the European session – because the Bay looked very lovely indeed. Plus a clear day in SG = extra warm β˜€οΈ So I wasn’t keen on being out for too long.

N was catching up with a friend from our uni days, who’s apparently in town tonight, so that meant no dancing. As per my new habit, this meant I was going to the gym. So even though I was still feeling rather tired today, I made my way nonetheless and still put in a bit of an effort. Even though 3 minutes in I was dying on the elliptical, I stuck it out πŸ˜“ I also didn’t lift as much weights as I did last time I was there, but I don’t mind. The point is, I still made it. I could’ve made up any old excuse not to go tonight, but I still made it. I’m sticking with my “consistency” theme for the year, and I am really happy about that!

And I finished off the evening with a Downton Abbey Christmas special. Aaaand yet more people leave. It’s Game of Thrones all over again!

A day off (sorta)

N reminded me about the Singapore Airlines promotion that was in the CBD today, and he only remembered because he walked past their stall on his way to work this morning πŸ˜† They were showcasing their new business and first class seats on their new planes. But more pressing for me was their prize of business class tickets to either Sydney or Osaka! We go to those two cities quite regularly, so I wouldn’t say no to free tickets to either city – and business class ones, at that!

But instead, I won a 4-in-1 travel bag, which is perhaps a more realistic prize. But the staff member who helped me spin the electronic prize wheel said that the travel bag is actually one of the bigger prizes, so that’s pretty cool 😊 They are those packing cells that help you organise your clothes in your suitcase, so you can stack them all and makes your packing that little bit more orderly. So I got four of them, Matryoshka-doll style, with a small Singapore Airlines “New A380” logo in one corner. This was definitely a bigger prize than the Singapore Airlines pen that N won! πŸ˜‚

As we were standing around at the front of the stall chatting, the MC for the day came up to ask us a few questions. Ugh, I so don’t like attention – and especially attention that I am not prepared for! She asked us a few things, whether we travel much etc etc and at the end, she asked a True/False question about Singapore Airlines – I honestly don’t even remember what the question was, I was probably so stressed about all the unwanted attention that she brought onto me! – to which I guessed the answer was true. And I was right! And so won myself a Singapore Airlines lanyard! So at least I was rewarded with a small prize for the unwanted attention πŸ˜‚ It was all so very exciting 😊

I ended up not trading today. Well, I was there, in front of my computer, waiting for a trade, watching the market as it rocketed off without me. Normally if I’m too slow to get in, I wait until the market pulls back, and then I hop on when it starts moving again. But today it never pulled back! It just kept climbing higher and higher, never looking back. I just sat there waiting for it to come back, but it never did. So I ended up not trading. On the bright side, at least I didn’t lose any money today πŸ˜‚

And I have finally updated my decision about going to the gym. It’s probably only been a day or so since I started thinking about it, but it feels like it’s been about a week πŸ˜‚ Tuesday is now officially my day off. N doesn’t have karate on Tuesdays anymore, so we can both have an evening off. Maybe we can go watch a movie, either at home or at the cinemas, on Tuesdays. It can be our date night πŸ’‘ I feel very excited to have made this decision. It feels quite liberating in a way, making a conscious decision not to do anything. It is effectively scheduled free time, and this way, I think I will appreciate it more.

So N watched Deadpool 2 tonight – but not with me πŸ˜‚ He went with one of his mates who was apparently quite keen to watch it. So I watched a few more episodes of Downton Abbey. Omg people leave the show as regularly as they did on Game of Thrones! It’s all quite sad, because you get rather attached to the characters. I’m used to shows like Friends or Seinfeld where the main cast stay for the entire series! But new characters get brought on, and the dynamic shifts, so that brings fresh life into the story. But still! It can all be rather sad!

Going into autopilot; getting too complacent

I went to Liang Court this morning, to go and pick up some Japanese groceries at Meidiya, the Japanese supermarket here. I forget how awesome this supermarket is! I picked up some Italian pasta, Japanese mushrooms, oden, gyoza dumplings, Guinness potato chips and sushi for lunch! How international cuisine-ly awesome is that?! πŸ˜‚

I also dropped off some electronic waste for recycling too, they have e-waste recycling bins at Liang Court. Do they offer this service elsewhere? Coz I think it’s pretty cool. We never know what to do with electronic waste, so this service solves that issue. It’s really much appreciated.

We had dancing tonight. I left the house to go to the dance studio and went straight into autopilot. I got to the train station and then switched off my autopilot mode, starting to think about where the best place is on the platform I should stand, depending on where I’m going… Now where am I going? And that’s when it hit me. I don’t need to catch the train at all, I should have headed to the bus stop! Argh! But too late now, I was already on the platform. So I had to take the long route to the dance studio. Dammmmn. And there I was thinking that I’d be early today. Sighhh… Obviously that didn’t work out the way I had intended! πŸ˜” And the long way also involves getting on the crappy train line that is always packed. A double slap in the face for going into autopilot mode! Argh! It was funny though, coz as I was kicking myself for going the long way, N missed his stop and had to do the embarrassing walk of getting off his train, and then doing the 5m walk over onto the other side of the platform to go straight back the way he came πŸ˜‚

We didn’t have Latin practice tonight, so we went straight home after our Ballroom lesson and watched another episode of Downton Abbey. Characters keep leaving the show, much like Game of Thrones, they just don’t leave in such a dramatic way πŸ˜‚ But you still can’t be complacent and get all comfortable with the characters. A bit sad that the cast doesn’t stay constant, but it keeps you on your toes.

A perfect, ordinary Tuesday

I started reading a new book: Friend Request by Laura Marshall. It’s a mystery novel, a genre that I enjoy reading. I didn’t want to start it while N was away, coz I knew I’d get freaked out and I wouldn’t be able to go to sleep. I’m glad I waited until he got back before reading it: it’s already starting to freak me out! And I’ve only just started – and I’m reading it while the sun is still out! 😲

And trading was good, I traded the exact way I wish I traded each and every day. Trading is one area where my “consistency” theme for the year doesn’t seem to be holding too well – the one area where I really want it to hold! πŸ˜”

And then I went to the gym, so far still keeping that commitment of mine of getting to the gym on weekdays that we don’t have dancing. It’s only been one week, mind you, but it’s so much easier now that I’ve made that decision. Before I was always umming and ahing about when I should go, but now I’ve made the decision and I no longer have to stress over it each time.

  • Is it a weekday? Yes – go to next question. No – don’t go.
  • Is there dancing tonight? Yes – don’t go. No – go to the gym.

That’s all there is to it now, I just need to ask these two questions and I already know what to do. Less decision making needed, which makes it that much easier to get into the habit of going. I’m really happy with this! πŸ‘

And then I finished off the evening with a few episodes of Downton Abbey. Characters on that show keep leaving too, although they don’t exit in such a dramatic way as the characters in Game of Thrones. But it’s still quite sad, especially when you start liking them and then all of a sudden they leave πŸ˜”

It was just one of those days where everything was awesome. It was just an ordinary day, really, nothing extraordinarily good or bad happened, but it was still a wonderful day 😌 **feeling blessed**

A few goals in progress

We had our Chinese class this morning. We’ve almost finished book 3! How in the world did that happen?!? 😲 So we’ll finish this textbook this term, in June, and then we’ll be up to book 4. That’s crazy stuff – and a helluva lot of vocab and grammar. No wonder I can’t keep up. You really need to be reviewing and practising every single day. But there’s just so much to do! I am still reading my Orange manga, and I am also using a few different apps, two of which (Drops and Duolingo) I try to log into at least once a day. And then there’s exercises in our textbook. And then there’s watching tv and listening to the radio… Sighhh… So many resources, not enough time πŸ˜”

Plus Chinese and Japanese are two of the hardest languages for a native English speaker to learn, so that just adds to the slowness. And they’re two of four languages that I want to learn! But French and Spanish (the other two) are closer to English, so I find them easier to learn. But those two Asian languages, omg, can they be any more different to English?!? 🀣 But I do get a kick out of learning languages. I guess you could say that becoming a polyglot would be a long-term (read: life) goal for me. I only just realised this hahaha πŸ™„ I can be a bit slow at times!

I got N to watch the first few episodes of Downton Abbey, but as I had expected, he didn’t really enjoy it. Oh well. I was hoping it’d be a series that we could enjoy watching together, much like Game of Thrones, but I guess that isn’t to be. Oh well, we just have to keep looking for our next series…!

And I don’t know if I haven’t used enough lotion this time, but I’m not as Oompa Loompa as I usually am, so I’ve put on yet another layer of my fake tan. Surely this one will be enough. Well too late now to put on another layer anyhow, as the comp is tomorrow! So nails are also done, dodgily as per usual, but people won’t notice that far away. They just need to see colour πŸ’… so I’m as primped as I can be the night before a comp!

We are doing 20 dances in total tomorrow, across 8 different events, averaging around three dances per event 😲 That’s the other “problem” of being a ten-dance dancer. You do twice as many dances as the specialists, and only half the time to practice πŸ˜” I’m getting tired just thinking about how many dances we have to get through! πŸ˜“

Blahhh… I am feeling a bit anxious again, as I always do leading up to a comp. Let’s see how many of those 20 dances we can get through without making any mistakes! I can probably count them on one hand 🀚 But hopefully I can surprise myself, as well as the judges πŸ˜‚ Fingers crossed! 🀞Regardless of the outcome, we learn something about ourselves and our dancing after every comp. You grow after each one, even if it is an arduous process having to go through them!