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The write stuff

It's a little funny how I got into journalism. It hadn't been my first choice of a career, though at a young age I always loved reading magazines and the such. But in university,I'd actually studied cinema and radio production. Coming out into the real world when I'd graduated, I quickly realized that neither was going to be a viable option.

Why do I talk about this now? Because I'm slowly rediscovering the love I have for the written word. it might sound a little odd considering this has been my career for the past ten years or so (omg have I really been working that long!?) but somewhere along the line it had become more of a chore because I was just churning out text for the sake of it and not writing for the love of it. It's a fine line I guess - there's no way you can ever get out of writing things that you may not necessarily want to and often those can be good learning experiences too. But in the last few months, I've gone back to really reading and absorbing wonderfully written articles that's really inspired me.

And the funny thing I've discovered is that I'm also starting to feel the same way about photography. And combining the two is an idea that makes me buzz with excitement. Personally, I'm not sure I possess enough skill to take photos that matter or have any sort of impact to anyone but that doesn't really matter. What matters in the end is that it matters to me and hopefully someone somewhere out there will relate to it.


happy holga

i am insanely in love, and it's not with my husband.

i am in love with a camera. a lomo holga, to be precise.

i cannot explain what it is about this nifty little camera that i love so much. it's totally not high-tec at all - there are no electronic bits in it, and the only thing that requires a battery for it to work is the flash.

the thing is, i've always loved photography and i remember playing around with my mom's fully manual nikon camera when i was little. the iPhone made snapping pictures on the go much easier, but there's really something about shooting on film that feels so different. i love this camera so much that i've taken to just leaving it in my handbag so i'll always have it with me. currently i'm switching between shooting on 35mm and 120 film and shot about two rolls of 35mm pictures with it in Sri Lanka. (you can see the best pics here). hopefully i'll be able to get out and about and shoot as much as i can :)


i wonder if it's a combination of all the things happening in my life, or just the fact that i'm getting older but i've started thinking about what i want to do with my life, and in particular, all the places that i want to travel to.

i'm just a few months away from turning 33 and it feels like there's so much left of the world i want to see.

here's my bucket list of places i want to travel to. some before i turn 35, some before 40.
1) go on a road trip through europe (i'm happy to just do this one before i die)
2) go on a road trip through america (again, happy to do before i die)
3) roadtrip through australia (before i die)
4) visit macchu picchu (before i'm 40)
5) see the angkor wat temples (i'm sure i can do this before 35?!)
6) experience kathmandu (again, hopefully 35)
7) take a cruise around alaska (probably 40)
8) see st petersburg (probably 40)
9) take the LOTR tour in NZ (40)
10) go to bora bora (35 would be lovely, but 40 is fine too)

going to the movies

one of the things i love doing most is watching movies. of course it's been a while since i was able to do that because of little miss (in fact i think i can count on one hand how many movies i've watched since she was born, and that's almost three years...).

i loved movies so much i actually majored in cinema during my university days. it's both a blessing and a curse to study something that you love. to this day i find it difficult to watch a movie and simply enjoy it for what it is, because i'm too busy analysing the different shots - angles, soundtrack, lighting, the different pans, the plotlines and foreshadowing. there's really so much that goes into a movie, though admittedly the movies of yesteryear seem to be a lot richer and texturally layered.

what brought this entry on? the fact that sight & sound released their once a decade list of the top ten movies of all time.

most of the movies on this list are truly classics, and i've seen one or two. i think my bucket list of things to do before i die will include watching all the movies on the list. though i'm not sure if that'll be even possible!

recently i watched the single man, starring colin firth and directed by tom ford. yes, the fashion designer. it is an amazing film, truly breathtaking and with such wonderful cinematography. tom ford has really quite a good eye for film, and i hope that he continues to make more. while i am not an avid (or maybe it should be rabid) fan of colin firth, i do think he's one of the best actors there are around. if you can, watch it. but be warned that it's not one of those happy lighthearted comedies. but really, it's worth watching it alone just for the beautiful sets and costumes (which were not designed by tom ford, go figure).


It's about the drive through life...

Sometimes I wish I could just jump into the car and drive, drive, drive. Doesn't matter where I end up or where I'm going. It's about the journey along the way right? I think that's why I love road trips so much. I can see the scenery going by, and at the end of it, I'm hopefully somewhere new and exciting to explore.

One of the things I'd love to do before I die - road trip through Europe, through America and across Australia. Actually I wouldn't mind doing a road trip though Latin America too but I suspect that might get a little dangerous.

Drive, drive, drive.

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the signs from the universe

there's been a number of things happening in my life lately - i won't go into too much detail - but what i do know is that since then, the universe has been sending me some pretty strong signs. i've always believed in fate, in that cosmic entity that everything happens for a reason.

i've been struggling with some decisions that i had to make, and although i'd heard advice from all my closest friends, sometimes it just takes that little extra push for it to really sink in.

it all started when PFLS told me about how her assistant's mother passed away very suddenly of a heart attack. and we went on to say how life is just too short. that we had to seize the day and live life fully. do what we want to do and be happy. life is too short to deal with crap on a daily basis. since then i've had a few more similar signs of how life is too short, and to live it fully (one was even from one of the nat geo instagram posts...)

so i made a promise to myself:

life is too short. so i cannot, should not, and shall not live my life in a way that makes me anything less than happy.

once i did that, it seemed like what i needed to do became much clearer. and hopefully this means things are finally coming together.


write now, right now

one of my ex colleagues posted something on her twitter, and it touched me so much that i wanted to put it here so it wouldn't easily be forgotten.

it's from a website called letters of note.

this letter in particular, is entitled I love my wife. my wife is dead.

In June of 1945, Arline Feynman — high-school sweetheart and wife of the hugely influential physicist, Richard Feynman — passed away after succumbing to tuberculosis. She was 25-years-old. 16 months later, in October of 1946, Richard wrote his late wife the following love letter and sealed it in an envelope. It remained unopened until after his death in 1988.

(Source: Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman; Image: Richard Feynman, via.)

October 17, 1946


I adore you, sweetheart.

I know how much you like to hear that — but I don't only write it because you like it — I write it because it makes me warm all over inside to write it to you.

It is such a terribly long time since I last wrote to you — almost two years but I know you'll excuse me because you understand how I am, stubborn and realistic; and I thought there was no sense to writing.

But now I know my darling wife that it is right to do what I have delayed in doing, and that I have done so much in the past. I want to tell you I love you. I want to love you. I always will love you.

I find it hard to understand in my mind what it means to love you after you are dead — but I still want to comfort and take care of you — and I want you to love me and care for me. I want to have problems to discuss with you — I want to do little projects with you. I never thought until just now that we can do that. What should we do. We started to learn to make clothes together — or learn Chinese — or getting a movie projector. Can't I do something now? No. I am alone without you and you were the "idea-woman" and general instigator of all our wild adventures.

When you were sick you worried because you could not give me something that you wanted to and thought I needed. You needn’t have worried. Just as I told you then there was no real need because I loved you in so many ways so much. And now it is clearly even more true — you can give me nothing now yet I love you so that you stand in my way of loving anyone else — but I want you to stand there. You, dead, are so much better than anyone else alive.

I know you will assure me that I am foolish and that you want me to have full happiness and don't want to be in my way. I'll bet you are surprised that I don't even have a girlfriend (except you, sweetheart) after two years. But you can't help it, darling, nor can I — I don't understand it, for I have met many girls and very nice ones and I don't want to remain alone — but in two or three meetings they all seem ashes. You only are left to me. You are real.

My darling wife, I do adore you.

I love my wife. My wife is dead.


PS Please excuse my not mailing this — but I don't know your new address.

the thing about me - i'm a romantic. at the end of the day, no matter how practical i am about things, no matter how cynical i can get about the world, i'm actually quite a romantic. i don't need grand gestures of love or dramatic declarations of infatuation. i love a guy who can readily show his affection, and knows that it's the small things i really cherish the most.

but i'm digressing a little. part of the reason i wanted to talk about this letter and the website was because i couldn't stop reading it. we take for granted how easily we communicate with each other nowadays that sometimes it feels like there's less thought put into what we want to say. after so many years in the industry i'm in, i miss writing. it sounds ironic, but i miss writing for me. i miss being able to readily pen down the things on my mind, or just the musings that i've been pondering. nowadays it seems like i churn out so much text that at the end of the day, the last thing i want to do is write some more. that's not a feeling i like, but i guess it's a job hazard. i'm slowly trying to rediscover my love for the written word, but i think it may take a while yet before i'm there again.

my favourite poem

i've recently discovered how wonderful e.e cummings' poems are, and this one ranks as my favourite:

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)

i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)


music, maestro!

music has always been a very big part of my life - i eschewed the traditional piano (though i can tinker around with it a little) and went for the violin. in fact, i learnt for more than 10 years and attribute the fact that i enjoyed most of it to the fact that my mother never pressured me to go for any music exams (thanks, ma!). if it hadn't been for uni, i probably would have continued on. in some little dark corner of my mind, i had always hoped i could get into the SSO or something like that. but of course, there'd be no way that could happen since i never took any of the exams...

in uni though, i always wanted to get into radio - i loved the idea of being able to interact with music the whole day and share the songs that i really loved with everyone else. though i studied radio production (i really enjoyed it!) in the end there wasn't any fate for me to take it up as a career.

but i digress. what i want to talk about now is music. songs, in particular. there are some that resonate very strongly with me through the years, and i always prefer to have some sort of background noise going in the form of the radio or my own music. even with S, i find i'm always singing some song or another, so i was pleasantly surprised when i sang, 'we all live in a yellow submarine', and she continued on 'yellow submarinneeee, yellow submarine.' she also can sing along to 'do you know the way to san jose'. very funny.

this evening, i've been taking a little musical trip down memory lane with all the songs i used to love while i was in high school. it's amazing the emotions a song can conjure up and i have a lot of songs associated with different people.

one of my all-time favourite songs. it seems to come back into my life when i need it the most...


three together in one

i love jewellery - not necessarily the super bling type, but i love all sorts of accessories, from earrings to rings to bracelets to necklaces and pendants. i think it's because i dress fairly simply. i'm not into bright colours and complex designs, so i use accessories to really jazz up my outfits.

i also love etsy. etsy is evil. i spend too much time and money on etsy, but i always end up with amazing accessories from there. recently i've been looking at trinity rings - it combines several things that i love in one. 1) it's something unusual. 2) it's something i can wear. 3) it comes in threes (my birthday month is a three). i've always loved the cartier ones but they were a little out of the price range (make that a lot out of the price range).

i love trinity rings and i love stars. win-win!
though this does seem a bit OTT

but what i love about etsy is that they have so many different types of trinity rings (also known as russian wedding rings, apparently), and some of them are so wonderfully unique.

a simple three coloured band

ones with lots of bling

ones that are a little more drama

and my favourite kind - the ones with just a touch of bling

and you can even get personalised ones! how cute is this?