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Musings at Waterstone’s: on Faith January 1, 2012

Posted by silverlinedletters in personal.
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Water by Philip Larkin

 

If I were called in

To construct a religion

I should make use of water.

 

Going to church

Would entail a fording

To dry, different clothes;

 

My litany would employ

Images of sousing,

A furious devout drench,

 

And I should raise in the east

A glass of water

Where any-angled light

Would congregate endlessly.

 

I was at Waterstone’s Piccadilly Circus to meet a friend for tea and scones when I stumbled upon Larkin’s Whitsun Weddings. Water, among other poems, left me mulling over it while I wandered off in my thoughts to muse about the fluidity and purity of religion and how it sharpens one’s perspective to bring the importance into focus.

Birthday Presents at 26 January 1, 2012

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I just turned 26 yesterday and I can no longer officially declare I’m in my early or mid 20s.

I went to bed feeling very grateful yesterday. I think the best gift I got this year is that of friendship. The three of us chowed down to simple fare as fit for all of us who were feeling under the weather. There we were sprawled out in Steph’s living room, legs splayed comfortably on the floor or propped against the cushions, and conversation flowed. I was with the same two people who had pulled off a series of surprise birthday stunts in the history of my well, not so short existence. They had showed up at my door at with a gift box that was massive enough to bury me, made an entire room of strangers sing to me, bought me my first box of macaroons – sidetrack: it was love at first bite with the rose macaroon.

This year, we chose to keep it simple and to pull a counter-surprise on Steph. The introvert in me never quite liked the big parties or a large crowd. I’d inadvertently shiver when a roomful of people sing happy birthday, the attention is slightly unnerving. Staying indoors to lounge in my slouchy tee last night was the instinctive option. I have also begun to appreciate the biblical saying that wisdom comes to a person in moments of quietude.

Steph laid down the gamut yesterday when she shared a realisation that while we may be quick to judge, sometimes we forget to look inwards into ourselves. It immediately resonated with me for I felt pangs of guilt for holding people I love to a high standard while I cut myself a great deal of slack. I am determined that Steph’s musings on looking inwards shall set the tone for my relationships.

Funny how as I grow older, the grandeur of birthday celebrations replete with balloons and presents seem to have lost its appeal. Growing up, I remember how my mother repeatedly spurned my requests for outrageous birthday gifts by informing me that that the best gifts in life are in the intangibles. My mother’s words never rang more true. I am reminded that the greatest fulfillment I receive are from my relationship with God and with people.

And yesterday evening was supremely rich, in thought, in tradition, in inspiration and in love.

11 December 2011, Sunday 11:55pm

Old friends October 28, 2011

Posted by silverlinedletters in glorious food, personal.
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Old friends

There’s something very comforting about being in the presence of old friends who knew you since you were 7. We chow down good hawker grub at a humid and poorly ventilated food court then we proceed to hunt down a cafe for desserts – chocolate flavoured, specifically. We finally settle on Laurent Bernard @ Portsdown Road. It’s the same cafe we’d visited in February. This time, we ordered something different. The souffle was slightly disappointing but the company certainly wasn’t.

I give thanks.

Illustration by Nicole Martinez

An Ode to O May 1, 2011

Posted by silverlinedletters in personal.
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I know I’m not there for you often
The absence adds to your frustration
But one smile from me
and that big teddy heart of yours softens

You talk to me while I sit in the dark
Make me laugh when I cry ‘oh shit, there’s a spark!’
My fear of the dark you find eccentric
Baby I think what we have is electric 😉

You fill my silly food cravings
Green tea with cranberry you’ve started drinking
I’m no domestic goddess but you don’t mind
Tho’ sometimes you must think she’s one odd female kind

Even though we straddle two continents
but my dear, that is never pertinent
Cause when push comes to shove
It’s you I want to walk down kallang bridge with, my love.

You chide me for having no surprises
For your patience you deserve the biggest prizes
The one thing I learnt from the times we fought
That the pen surely is mightier than the sword

So I put my thoughts into words
And I pray this time it’ll soothe instead of hurt
If it comes down to this please know,
Our love my dear, it can only grow.

(And it’s you I want to test my cold face theory with in the snow!)

Friday I’m in Love February 19, 2011

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We celebrated Geri’s birthday last night – just Steph, Geri and myself. I love how conversation flows so easily with them, it’s always so effortless and honest and we’re completely comfortable being our silly selves – bad jokes and laugh out loud laughter.

I love how our friendship has evolved over the years from primary school speech & drama classes to prefects’ campfires thru to university and post-uni. The both of them inspire me with their kindness and ambition, they temper me with their sensibilities and are also people I respect. Come to think of it, these are friends I’ll really like to keep, for life ❤

Picture credits: Ache

God’s Will February 12, 2011

Posted by silverlinedletters in personal.
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Such a meaningful song ❤

Sentimental mush December 4, 2010

Posted by silverlinedletters in London, personal.
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Some months ago in August, I remember saying goodbye to the girls @ Qua’rubar and thinking it’ll be awhile till I see them all again. And here we are in December and soon before long, I’ll be leaving this city that I’ve called home in the past 5 months.

As I sit here, in my corner of the 4th floor study room, it hit me once again, it’s going to be so hard to leave. I look out the window and I see snowflakes swirling and I remember what Sarah told me, that it hardly ever snows in London and snow this early in November is a rare occurence and that it’ll probably not last too long. It reminds me of my time here, fleeting, temporal and treasured.

I came here with plenty of excitement and a great deal of trepidation – not knowing what to expect, whether I’ll make friends etc. Looking back, I realised just how silly I was to be afraid. I recognise that it is only natural and to my friends who will be leaving the country, I wish I could tell everyone of you to dispel all the fears because you’re going to have a memorable, unforgettable experience. It’s the first time I’ve lived in a country with the 4 seasons for an extended period. Imagine my classmate’s surprise at my own surprise when I excitedly pointed out leaves caked in snow frost and stretches of snow collecting in a park along Russell Square. For a Swiss, these are sights he’s gotten accustomed to, for me, it’s like seeing the world in a whole new light.

I will miss my silly flatmate stuffing notes under my door asking me if I’ll like to do dinner. I will miss the bunch of us gathering in the pantry, sharing about what we do for christmas in our home countries. I will miss running into my flatmates in the kitchen, chatting while we prepare our meals. I will miss running downstairs to get myself mocha frapp/hazelnut latte/peppermint mocha from Starbucks or sweets from Paul. I will miss the delicious freshly made sandwiches at Wendells (notice how food is a big part of my missing!) and GU cheesecakes. mmm yummy! I will miss walks with classmates from the Birkbeck Campus to Swan House. I will miss bursting through the doors on Monday mornings and saying hello to Sarah at the Reception. I will miss both my friends and my independence.

Not everybody can speak of regularly booking flights on easyjet and lastminute.com, leaving the country for the weekend and meeting your best friends in a different part of the world. It’s a rare and probably a once-in-a-lifetime luxury.

It’s that time of the year when I make new year resolutions (which I’m horrible at keeping except when it comes to baking and eating cheesecakes) and when I give thanks. And for this, I give heartfelt thanks. Truly, I lucked out.

2 December 2010, Friday 2:35pm

Happy now November 4, 2010

Posted by silverlinedletters in London, personal.
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November is here – the days are getting shorter and when I look out the window at 4pm, the sun is slowly going into hiding. In less than 8 weeks, I will be packing my five + months here into a suitcase and will leave this special place for home, a place where my heart always has been. But that thought also brings to the fore, some level of trepidation that I am learning to face up to. On a phonecall with my mom just yesterday, I asked her, all silly, if I could live here for just another year. Though I have just about two more months here, I’ve always believed that when the experience is short-lived, you treasure it that much more because there is a twisted, fleeting kind of beauty in its transcience. On the personal front, I am looking forward to traisping several beautiful cities in Europe, ice-skating at Somerset House (where Love Actually was filmed) and spending christmas right here, in London. On the school front, I’d never thought I’ll say this but despite the strict attendance requirement, this experience has opened my eyes to the possibilities out there, challenged me to think and inspired me to consider an area of law that I’d scarcely thought of before.  They say you have to weather through the hard parts to get to the good stuff and I think I really, really lucked out – because I know for sure, I’m hardly the most deserving but I’ve seen so much beauty, in walkways lined with golden trees, in the thoughtful architecture of the nobel stair passage in City hall, Stockholm, in art and canvas, and perhaps, most significantly, in people.

Here’s looking at you, November + December – my two favourite months of the calendar year! Happy end of the year lovelies xoxo

On a side but related note, I love this post on notebook doodles about honesty and being true.

Credits: The post-it message is from the awesome Things We Forget

Protected: Minuet in G September 29, 2010

Posted by silverlinedletters in if music be the food of love, London, personal.
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Mmm… missing the taste of Singapore August 25, 2010

Posted by silverlinedletters in glorious food, London, personal.
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Looking at this photo of chao tar bee hoon from ieatishootipost is making me hungry. Note to self: avoid surfing local food blogs while in the UK. Ever since I got to London, I’ve been having sandwiches/salads/soup for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I’d thought I’ll never say this but I actually miss having a warm bowl of rice or soup noodles. I especially miss unhealthy yong tau foo with fried meat balls and beancurd skin like the one from Lucky Plaza or Henderson Road. Because I’m not a big fan of instant mee, packet instant noodles aren’t a quick taste-of-home fix either. My flatmates Ronnie and Min-ju have each told me they’ll like to do a cook-out sometime soon. Hopefully, we’ll be sitting down to a piping hot meal of chinese food soon!

On the upside however, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, apricots etc are very affordable here! There is always a generous serving of fruits at all CTLS receptions. Am really enjoying that 🙂

Source: ieatishootipost