Life with Piers

After an extended long weekend, Piers and I have now settled down to the familiar rhythm we had established the last time I was here.

In the morning, he goes to work at the office while I stay home and work on my blogs and stuff. He gets home at 5:30 pm and we spend the evening together, eat out or cook, watch a movie at home or at the cinema, or go to Wing Chun, or play on our iPads, or sit on the sofa and chill out to nice music and candlelight, during which he inevitably falls asleep on me.

 

Piers sleeping

 

Yesterday we celebrated one of our little “anniversaries”.

You know how new couples always find all kinds of reasons to celebrate all the time, silly things like “1st monthiversary” or, “50 days since we first held hands”, etc.

 

From Urban Dictionary:

Monthiversary: Similar to anniversary, but occurring every month. For people who are overzealous about a new relationship.

 

We also do “weekiversaries” but we don’t go crazy about it. I think it’s just a way to mark the passage of our time together on a regular basis to remind ourselves to appreciate each other.

 

Weekiversary: When a couple has been dating for a week and the girl finds it necessary to celebrate. However her boyfriend doesn’t remember so he gets himself into some deep shit.

 

Contrary to the Urban Dictionary definition above, Piers actually remembers more weekiversaries than I do, which means I couldn’t ask for a better boyfriend.

 

Posing at home

 

A friend recently challenged me to name 10 things I like about Piers, thinking I would find it a struggle, because he’s a bit doubtful about interracial couplings. But then he got bored (or maybe sick) and changed the subject when I was only halfway through my list.

I hadn’t even told him all the little things like how Piers always makes sure there are tulips in the apartment because he knows I love tulips.

I found these sitting in a vase awaiting my arrival on Saturday morning:

 

Pink tulips

 

There’s also the fact that we both love food. Especially junk food like burgers and pizza and döner kebabs and popcorn. I can always count on him not to groan when I suggest having dinner at McDonald’s.

Recently, though, I acquired a taste for more premium burgers, so we celebrated my arrival on Saturday with a juicy beef burger at a nice restaurant.

 

Juicy beef burger

 

So much to celebrate.

Last night, we went to a restaurant near his place which doesn’t have the best food but which we like for the romantic ambience.

(It’s hard to find romantic restaurants in England because all the tables are packed so close you can’t have private conversations.)

We took the short walk to Alcatraz Brasserie at 8 pm and got a nice corner table.

Unfortunately, near to summer, it’s a bit hard to have romantic dinners because the sky doesn’t start to darken until after 9 pm. And it doesn’t get full dark until maybe about 10 pm.

There was candlelight but there was no darkness to set it against.

 

At the restaurant

 

I had marinated olives for my starter. Piers had cocktail prawns.

He always insists on us having two starters to share so we can have more varieties of food to pig out on. Sometimes, starters are as filling as main courses so we end up killing ourselves with food.

 

Marinated olives

 

Cocktail prawns

 

Piers is by now very used to me taking photos of our food before eating, and he always waits patiently, and sometimes helps me hold up my little pocket light when it’s too dark.

Won’t have any light problems now, since it’s always still bright when we have our dinner.

My main course was steak. I hurriedly took my photo so I could do Piers’ next. I always feel bad making people wait so I don’t spend a lot of time arranging and photographing my food like professional food bloggers do.

 

Sirloin steak

 

When I photographed Piers’ pizza, I included him in the shot, to his chagrin.

“Why am I in the photo with my pizza but you’re not in the photo with your steak?!” he protested.

 

Piers and his pizza

 

“Because,” I said, “Pizza is so boring to photograph.”

Which is true. There are only so many ways you can photograph a pepperoni pizza. (We always order pepperoni.)

So we ate and drank and got a little bit drunk. We walked home, put some music on and slow-danced to two songs.

Then we sat down on the sofa and promptly fell asleep.

Our lifestyle, I’m afraid, is rather bland.

But it is only when food is bland that you can taste its true flavour and characteristic, isn’t it?

This life, bland or not, I could do for a long, long time.

Pretending to celebrate Valentine’s Day

I haven’t really celebrated Valentine’s Day in a long while.

I mean, sure, we go out for dinner (fast food) and, in some years, we even buy each other gifts. But then, we go out for dinner and buy each other gifts all the time, with or without Valentine’s Day,

Sometimes, though, you feel obliged to conform to society. People like to ask you how you spent your Valentine’s Day and it’s good to have something to say. So what I did was to make all my friends watch Dark Knuts: Welcome to Avenue Quantum, the much talked-about laugh-a-minute live parody show.

I booked seven tickets for the February 14th evening show.

For the day, I had originally planned to stay home either working or playing games, but then I suddenly remembered that I had a photo shoot in a few days’ time and badly needed a hair cut.

Continue reading…

The spirit of Chinese New Year

Something strange is happening to me. I swear I’ve gone nuts.

I have been really excited over this year’s Chinese New Year.

I mean, really.

The last time this festive season truly excited me was when I was, like, 12 years old.

As I grew older and the novelty wore off, CNY became an annoying routine. The noise and festive mood in the streets frightened me. The exchanging of oranges seemed crazy to me. The CNY countdown on TV irritated me.

Of course, I cannot deny that I love the ang pows and bak kwa and yusheng. But that doesn’t equate to liking CNY, does it?

This year, I felt the excitement about a week before CNY. I actually started looked forward to it. How freaky.

Two days before CNY, I had my first yusheng with my friends. After dinner, I wanted to go to the River Hongbao, but half the group didn’t want to. I can understand why. For as long as I can remember, I have avoided the River Hongbao like the plague. I have never been able to understand why anyone would want to squeeze about with sweaty bodies and have their eardrums violated by noisy ching chong music. What’s the fun or benefit in that?

So why do I suddenly want to go this year?

On New Year’s Eve, Elyxia and The Goonfather dragged me to Chinatown in the afternoon. They claim that it’s a yearly ritual for them to go check out the CNY bazaar. For me? Survival instinct dictates that I avoid Chinatown like the plague during the entire CNY period.

So why did I willingly go this year and even get all excited there?

After reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve, I went to the famous Loyang temple with my friends to welcome the Fortune God and to count down to the CNY. I never liked going to temples because the suffocating incense and the crowds really bother me. And I already mentioned that I hate CNY countdowns.

So why did I organise a trip there this year?

On New Year’s Day, we all woke up at the break of dawn to get a nice headstart to the new year. For the past several years, I’ve had to wake up at about 8 am for CNY visiting and I’ve always hated that.

So why did I happily wake up at 5 am this year, and with only three hours’ of sleep before that?

This year, the Goonfather took me along to visit all his relatives. And we’ve been having dinner at a different relative’s home every night since the second night of CNY. I’ve always hated socialising and wild horses couldn’t drag me to my own relatives’ homes past the first day of CNY, much less somebody else’s.

So why did I actually enjoy all the visitings and dinners this year?

Last night, the Goonfather’s uncle hired a lion dance troupe to perform at his house, where a whole load of relatives was gathered for dinner. I also usually avoid lion dances like the plague because they’re noisy and it’s like, you seen one, you seen ’em all.

So why did I get all excited over it last night and watch it like I’ve never seen a lion dance performance in my life?

For the past many many years, CNY has meant doing the mandatory first-day visiting and then it’s stay home and eat bak kwa for the rest of the 14 days. And that was the way I liked it.

This year, I find myself doing everything I possibly can to milk every single day of the Chinese New Year for its worth.

Yes, I am absolutely nuts.

I don’t have any answers to all my “whys”, unfortunately, but I do have some theories:

1. I’m getting old and senile.
2. It’s the dog year this year and I love dogs (lame).
3. My new cheena name has turned me into someone else. I have suddenly become proud of and patriotic towards my Chinese origins. Huh?

Honestly, I don’t know why.

All I know is that I’m having the time of my life celebrating CNY this year. This change in me is freaky, but it’s also kind of nice. As much as I admit to being a cynic, I have to declare that being the excited child always always beats being the cool, unaffected teenager.

After all, what’s the harm in embracing life and living every minute like it’s your first?

None, I think.

The Goonfather wants me to blog about the fact that he’s going to win this year’s $10 million Hongbao Toto by the power of wishful thinking.

Because it’s CNY, I shall be nice and not tell him to “go blog yourself lah, shen jing bing”.

Because if he wins $10 million, he is going to give me a million to make a low budget movie. And another million to go shopping.

Or else.