Lights Up!

I had the pleasure of a quick night time drive through Orchard Road in Singapore in mid-November.

These shaky cellphone pictures from a moving vehicle really don’t do justice to the Christmas lights. The theme, which some have questioned as being un-Christian, is ‘A Disney Christmas’.

But what struck me was how, a three-minute drive from the end of the shopping belt, we came across this other light up for Diwali or Deepavali – the Hindu Festival of Lights, in Little India in Serangoon Road.

This festival celebrates the triumph of good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and light over darkness.

How wonderfully brilliant that two diverse festive occasions can be celebrated peacefully and harmoniously almost side by side.

RAGTAG DAILY PROMPT ~ BRILLIANCE

Plaintive Plantains

Yes, I know plantains are not bananas, but are members of the banana family. I’ve tried eating one on its own so I learned the hard way.

Nonetheless, I needed a creative literary sounding title to sum up this situation at the supermarket, hence the title.

A supermarket with a sense of humour is just the thing in the shops today.

Have a great weekend!

RAGTAG DAILY PROMPT ~ SHOP

Help Yourselves! ~ Acts of Kindness #33

My seat in the office is near a vacant desk. Nobody knows why there’s such a desk but it’s become the go-to place for homeless ownerless belongings; water bottles, pens, extra handouts … you know, the sort of stuff that appears after a meeting and noby ever comes back to claim? It’s the height of irony, really, that this desk gives all manner of stuff a temporary home but itself is unused for its original purpose of being somebody’s desk.

In late September, somebody put a box of cookies on that desk. Accompanying it was a stack of small bowls and a note that said, ‘Help yourselves! Have a great day!’ The other riff-raff items had been placed in a box on the floor and this treat now had pride of place in the middle of the desk. You can imagine the delight and confusion. Nobody knew who had done this and, while I sat close to this desk, I never saw who the benefactor was either. There were many smiles that morning.

photo by anaterate

A week later, a box of tea bags appeared. Then a large bag of freshly roasted nuts. Then some fruit tarts. Then a tin of chocolates. While we eventually learnt who had brought some of these items, nobody ever found out who put the cookies there! Or if anyone did, they never told me.

So, to the person who started the little hospitality table – my thanks to you. Your act of generosity and kindness brought more than cookies – it paved the way to other contributions, and our colleagues have stopped to eat, to chat with each other, and to catch a breath. We have slowed down our manic dashing about to say ‘hi’ and to give ourselves a little treat. Thank you, also just as much, to everyone else who brought something to share.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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A Bunch of Daisies

So here I am on another step of my bullet journal journey.

I’ve been dallying with daisies this month, doodling these dainty floral damsels to decorate my notes and planner pages.

But it’s this page, where I orchestrated a bunch of daisy-related phrases, that I had the most fun with.

Pardon the shaky lines and disproportionate design. Still learning…

RAGTAG DAILY PROMPT ~ ORCHESTRATE

What’s A Birthday?

Here are some questions I have been asked, have asked, and never dared to ask, not in the order listed.

photo: wokandapix

1. Are you celebrating a year well lived, or a good year ahead?

2. When you celebrate a baby’s first birthday, aren’t you actually celebrating the second? The first birthday was the day of the birth itself.

3. What happens if you have twins, one born at 2359 on 31 December and the other at 0007 on 1 January of the new year? One is ‘a year older’ but they are twins…

4. The Chinese are said to celebrate a communal birthday on Chinese New Year Day. So if you’re 20, you turned 21 on that day. So why aren’t you considered 22 when the day of biological birth comes round?

Please don’t think I’m being facetious. These are real questions whose answers are wide and varied, and sometimes hilarious. What might your answer be?

To anyone whose birthday is today, as you read this, Happy Birthday!

RAGTAG DAILY PROMPT ~ BIRTHDAY

Remaking TV

Is it just me or is watching TV these days akin to strolling through some kind of small screen memory lane?

I indulged in a lazy TV weekend and there was SWAT, MacGyver, Magnum P I, Hawaii Five-O, Poldark … and I realised I was watching exactly the same TV shows my father enjoyed 30 or 40 years ago!

Today’s series are not reruns but remakes that are basking in new casts, updated sets, snazzier special effects, more creative camera angles … is TV-land running out of ideas or is this a classic case of what is old is new again, and ratings gold?

Could this be next?

RAGTAG DAILY PROMPT ~ BASK

Journal Journey

I am a coward when it comes to trying anything new.

It’s not that I have a fear of failure because I’m completely familiar with that feeling! Nor is it the unwillingness to change. It’s more the trepidation that comes with not knowing what to expect.

Back in June, when I was diagnosed with Essential Tremors, I wrote a little (here) about these fears and about attempting to start a bullet journal so there’d be some order and planning to my life. I’d hoped the doodling and writing would help tame the tremors.

Well, I’ve bitten the bullet, to use a terrible pun. Many hours of YouTube videos and much scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram later, I started my journaling journey in July.

Nobody really needs to see my messy monthly layouts, clueless cover pages or the sorry state of my spreads. Don’t get me started on my horrible handwriting – alas, I can’t even blame the tremors for that one – or my clashing colour choices. Some day, when I’m less of a coward, perhaps I’ll share some of these pages. But not today.

Today, I’m writing about my bujo journey because I’ve filled up one Leuchtturm notebook, and it feels good! Also, the tremors have significantly reduced.

There’s nothing like looking back and seeing how you’ve lived your life, how much time was wasted overplanning for things that sorted themselves out, how the weekly shopping could be better consolidated with better planning…

I’m starting my second notebook for November. To mark the occasion, I’m sharing this page, inspired by the talented @spotgirldesigns.

I don’t do her artistry any kind of justice, believe me, but I tell myself I’ve managed an “arty”-looking page, crooked lines, weird spacing and all! So I want to thank her, and every one who has generously shared their journal ideas.

Kindness Dilemma ~ Acts of Kindness #32

I’m not entirely sure if I should smile or cry that this happened to me several days ago.

photo by quinntheislander

I want to smile because caring, gracious people are still all around us. I want to cry because I feel I may have offended the same gracious people.

What happened? I boarded the bus for home, carrying a tote and a small paper bag. As I passed the driver’s cabin after paying the fare, a young lady half stood and gestured to her seat. “You sit,” she said.

I thanked her politely and smiled widely, but declined. I had only three stops to go and was perfectly fine with standing.

As I made my way towards the rear of the bus, two students jumped up and chorused, “Auntie, you sit down!” Again, I thanked them and declined, assuring them I was fine.

But here’s my dilemma: should I accept such offers? I feel I should have because the rejection might send unintended messages to those of us raised to be gracious. Have I “taught” the students, for instance, not to offer their seats next time?

But why would I sit when my journey is short? And your day might have been more tiring so you deserve the seat even more.

The only thing I’m certain of is my gratitude that gracious kindness still exists.

What do you think? What would you have done?

By the way, I’m not yet a senior citizen and I don’t look elderly. I think.