Sunday, January 21, 2007

Both hands full

You can't see my right hand, L didn't get it into the frame but it's holding a needle pulling thread, that's why my right arm is all stretched out. I'm very right bodied, I can only kick with my right foot, carry a bag on my right shoulder. But HRH is training me to be ambidextrous. I have to sew her favourite toy with my right hand while fending her from it with my left.

Tearing up toys for Mummy to sew appear to be the dogs' new hobby.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Spot the puppy

I missed a couple of cute pix yesterday -- nothing to do with the dogs this time, though. I drew back the curtains when I got up and found a pair of pantyhose dangling from the ledge on top of the window. I've had undergarments land on the kitchen window before, they probably blew down from somebody's kitchen window laundry rack upstairs. But the bedroom window? Hmm, all I could think of was somebody upstairs must've had a wild night. By the time I got the camera, the pantyhose had dislodged itself.

Then we walked the dogs in the field downstairs in what was the first sunny window we've had this monsoon. And there in the outdoors fitness centre, the newly built one which took the place of a few killed trees, somebody had laid out pillows and bolsters across the sit-up ramp and parallel bars to sun. L said we should take a picture of that to show the town council that we appreciated their killing the trees and we're putting the fitness centre to good use. Only by the time we walked the dogs, got them upstairs and wiped off and fed and watered, the sunshine was fast fading. I was about to go downstairs with the camera when I saw from the window that the pillows were being gathered.

Maybe when the monsoon goes away, we'll have another chance at getting this pix. Maybe, maybe. There was no sunshine today but at least there was a rain-free period where we took the dogs out for a long walk to get cabin fever out of their system. And a good thing too, it's starting to pour again.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

No need no-knead

The latest in bread-making, according to a colleague, is no-knead bread. There're a bunch of recipes on the Net, all you do is stir the ingredients together, leave it to proof for as long as 12 to 18 hours, stick it in the oven and there you have it -- no-knead, no-fuss bread.

And she's had good results -- after some experimenting with ingredients and proofing time and definitely no elbow grease. And if you have to wait almost all day for the dough to rise, then it's a lesson in patience. All good things come to those who wait, etc. I'm dubious. To me, zero elbow grease takes the joy out of breadmaking. It's the kneading and pounding and thumping that does it for me. I find it therapeutic and in a good session, you can really whack the blues out of your system. If all I needed to do was to stir things together and wait, I might as well make yogurt. Or use a bread machine. Or just get a store-bought ready-sliced loaf.

Monday, January 15, 2007


There's this supermarket near the office I go to now and then. It has a section where they display goods imported from different countries, so there's a Japanese section, Australian section and US section where the goods are arranged not in order of genre but by countries of origin. That's where in the US (section), God rules above tampons.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Gone to the dogs

You know you're in danger of being called that crazy dog lady when you realise you have on hand two sizes of Elizabethan collars and three sizes of pee pads.

Only the puppy doesn't need both -- good on the part of the e-collar, since he isn't going at his nether bits; bad on the part of the pee pads because it means he's going where he isn't supposed to. And he's on antibiotics. It's Housebreaking 101 all over again.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

He's home

A sleepy fox terrier is a good fox terrier. The vet decided to keep Rupert overnight, not because of any complications but because she wanted to keep him quiet and away from Queeni.

Queeni spent the afternoon waiting at the window, and also scratched to be let into all the rooms -- I guess she was looking for Rupert. She missed him for sure when he wasn't here but I can't say if she's happy to have him back. Unless a welcome home hump is happiness for her.

I must've been more worried about Rupe than I thought. The minute we got him home, I collapsed onto the couch and needed a restorative nap. And so did he.

Friday, January 12, 2007


That Dog is at the vet's and we're waiting by the phone and HRH by the window. Wanna bet that despite the humping, thumping and growling, she is actually missing him and watching for him?

It looks dark outside the window but it's only past 1pm. That's what two continuous days of rain does. Along with flooding the field and footpaths outside. We may have our own pool soon.

L took this picture of Rupert's dangly bits for posterity. Must be a guy thing. He actually wondered if you could preserve it the way the Chinese court eunuchs kept theirs.

Ve haf vays of making you zmile

Rupert has a snaggle tooth, which shows vampire-like against his black muzzle. L said if we had to rename him, he would call him Vlad. Which is a whole lot better than his joking suggestion of PAP -- for the little white lightning streak on his forehead. Mama C calls him Bao Qingtian -- Justice Bao, because of the white mark on a black face.

He gets neutered tomorrow and should be home by the evening. Please hold him in your thoughts. It's a routine op but I worry and don't want my little aberrant puppy to be the one that tests the odds.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Sponge Bob is hanging out in the kitchen. Because That Dog peed on it.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

At the beach

This was Rupert's first visit to the beach and he wasn't at all impressed. He wanted nothing to do with the water, wouldn't even go near it. Perhaps he thinks it's just one giant bath. Queeni at least went to the edge of the water and sniffed it but daintily skipped away as the waves lapped up so her paws wouldn't get wet. As you can see here, Rupert was more interested in sniffing her butt than sniffing around. Sigh.

Then he decided to see if sand was worth eating -- maybe because there was so much of it -- so he stuck his snout in the sand and got his nose and tongue all covered with the stuff. That Dog.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Back to normal programming

Christmas, the New Year and the holiday season are over. The Christmas tree (I'm calling it what I've known it to be all my life, "holiday tree" indeed) is put away and in its place in the corner, the deck chair is back, facing the window. Maybe this is wishful thinking also that the monsoon will go away and the sunshine will come back.

Is it just me? Every year, for the past two or three years already, I put away the Christmas stuff only to find that I've forgotten about an ornament on the shelf or door or somewhere and it's too troublesome to untie the dust bag (well, garbage bag really) that all the Christmas stuff has been stowed away in. So I either leave those forgotten remnants out for the rest of the year till Christmas catches up again or put them away somewhere and hope to remember where when December rolls round.

My mother has drilled in me the necessity to remove the Christmas tree and decorations by Epiphany. Or it'll bring bad luck for the year, she says. I honestly don't know how much of this is true and how much of it was invented so you wouldn't still have the tree up and gathering dust in July.

It's the same with the superstition that you cannot sweep the floor during Chinese New Year or you would be sweeping away bad luck. I bet you a housemaid came up with this to get some time off.

With the holidays over, it's a dreary trudge back to work after so much time off. And it doesn't help that I'm going to have to do things I'm neither prepared nor equipped to do, and which take me out of the comfort zone of familiarity.

This morning, I made bread and whacked all the doubt and uncertainties out of my system. Tomorrow and the work it brings will be another day.

And there'll be more holidays next month with Chinese New Year. Ah, that's some consolation in living here. The Year of the Dog has brought us a new puppy, I wonder what the Year of the Pig will bring.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Book ends

And when they're good, they're very, very good.

That Dog!

This was what L came home today, having left the dogs alone for about four hours. HRH, he said, had slunk under the dining table, having none of this.

Rupert is incarcerated in his time-out in the crate in the corner -- which, in peace time, actually makes a very pretty occassional table with a bright lime green throw over it.

Sometimes, I don't know what to make of Rupert. He gets a time-out when he's done something naughty -- usually, a housetraining violation that involves peeing anywhere other than the pee pad. The last few times he did this, he put his tail down and slunk into his crate to time-out himself. If he knew he had been naughty, why did he do it in the first place?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Happy birthday

Like the Queen of England, HRH Queeni has two birthdays -- the actual birthday which nobody really knows when it is, and the official celebratory birthday.

Because she was adopted, I never knew when Queeni's real birthday was. She had papers but they got lost in transition. I know who her original owner is, and he should never have gotten a dog and by now probably would have forgotten he even had one, let alone know what he did with her papers.

C and the vet estimated her to be around a year old when I got her five years ago from him in January, so I decided to make January 4, the date I adopted her, her birthday.

The Queen is six years old today. She celebrated with a slice of cheesecake. Which she had to share with the puppy, much to her consternation. He couldn't stay still to pose for the picture, that's why you only see his butt. Which is so Rupert, anyway.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The times, they are a'changin'

This blog has started to change. I first started it simply because I could. I had just ditched my dinosaur Mac that had been upgraded to its limit and still had a browser so old, it wouldn't support the requirements necessary for most blog sites. So when I got the iBook, I started to do all the things that Safari let me do that Netscape (a rickety v 3, it was, I think) wouldn't and one of them was to start a blog.

The blog at first was great for sticking all the pictures of our new flat as we were renovating it at the time, thus saving my friends' inboxes from being swamped with jpgs.

Then it became a place to put pictures of the new puppy and talk poopy.

Now, the puppy pictures have decreased (even though the puppy is still poopy) and the blog entries are in danger of lapsing into ranting at worst, and navel-gazing at best. Ah well, it's my blog and I'll soapbox if I want to.

This entry has been ruminating for a long time and like the World Aids Day entry (, it took a while to fester. Maybe it was the no-man's-land period in the week between Christmas and New Year, when it's been monsooning for days non-stop and it's cold and wet outside, the turkey has been digested and you're wondering about the year ahead and the one left behind that festering thoughts start to take shape as you start to write.

In end-November, the Ministry of Law quietly said through a late evening release faxed to the press that it was updating the Penal Code to move with the times. By that they meant including regulations for cyberspace and updating fines and penalties to match today's disposable income. But Section 377A is non-negotiable and remains in place. That means that "unnatural" sex between same-sex couples is a criminal offence.

December rolled round with World Aids Day and all the angst that came with it. Dec 1 was also the day that the South African parliament signed into law same-sex marriages.

This was the government, that back in the 80s, was subject to a student economic boycott in the redbrick university I went to in the UK. We didn't bank with Barclays (I think it was) and we didn't buy South African oranges in Sainsbury.

That was also when a classmate of one of my friends had her boyfriend visit her and we put together a wedding for the couple in less than a week. They were South African, she was black and he was white and they couldn't marry in their country. I'm no longer in touch with any of them but I still remember the wedding. It was at the Chaplaincy, which is off a busy path running through the centre of the campus. There was a lot of people using the path and all were invited to join in the wedding celebrations. Complete strangers came in to wish the bride and groom joy and rejoiced with them that they could finally marry. It was one of the best weddings I'd ever been to.

Here, we've had the "regardless of race, language or religion" drummed into us since we started reciting the the Pledge at primary school and we pride ourselves on being multi-racial and all-inclusive.

But are we, really? Not when friends -- people born and bred here and would probably have stayed -- have to leave the country to get married because they can't do so here.

They are ordinary people, and all they wanted to do was to live like other ordinary people. To marry and to live their lives together. I don't know which part of that is mad, bad and dangerous and threatens the fabric of (straight) marriage.

It would be a crazy full circle if somebody went to South Africa to get married.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year

2007 crept up on us when we were walking the dogs. I guess that's kinda apt, it encapsulates what we'll be doing a lot this year until SomePuppy is reliable around the house.

We knew it was midnight when a burst of merriment escaped from all the flats around us. We went back upstairs, had a glass of wine and turned on the TV to the countdown show. Which was pretty boring, full of strangely-styled TV artistes and the MC/host's idea of whipping up a party mood was to shriek "Somebody scream" and everybody did. I wonder what he would have done if nobody did.

By 12.30am, I was wondering if that was too early to go to bed on New Year's Day.

Happy 2007, everybody.