Daily Journal – September 24

Daily Journal - September 24

 

Transcription

Flying Swans

Three large swans flew over my head while I was walking in the garden! They were so near they caused a draft which alerted me to their presence so I looked up just in time to see them glide off into the distance! I didn’t even know before today that swans flew all over the country!

Acquiring a taste

I have decided to try to like dark chocolate to see if I can stop craving milk chocolate. I tried a square of Lindt 70%. I think I like the bitterness. It’s the sour flavour at the end that I find unpleasant and the 70% has more of it. Why? But I love the texture of chocolate so I will try more different % and brands!

Gratitude

Today I’m grateful for a tasty dinner.

Rant

Had a big upset while cooking dinner. I super hate cooking. I’ve been cooking for 6 years now and it still isn’t easier or better. Even on normal days, I am stressed throughout the process.

Tonight, I had chunks of raw turkey mince flying into different surfaces and boiling oil spitting in my face. It was one of those times I just wanted to give up and have a good cry.

On the bright side, the hoisin turkey mince lettuce wrap and fried gyoza were super yummy.

 

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When eating becomes a choice

Since I am blogging again and since I hardly do anything more exciting these days than play video games featuring tentacled monsters, you will be obliged to read about my cooking escapades, that is, after I’m done talking about my gaming escapades.

I believe I mentioned before that I started experimenting with cooking out of necessity. Missing the food in Singapore was propelling me towards a permanent hunger strike that led me to realising that I had to do something about it or starve to death.

The solution was to cook things that I never would in a million years have thought to cook had I still been in Singapore. Things like bak kwa, curry puffs and chicken rice. It baffles me why anyone in Singapore would make these things themselves when they can buy them really cheap and good, but they do. People just do.

I, on the other hand, have no choice but to make them because I would stop eating altogether, otherwise.

 

Tuna puffs

 

I made spicy tuna puffs once because I was tired of spending hours frying little potato cubes, but potato ones taste infinitely better.

I really miss being able to walk out to buy something good to eat, whether a snack or a full meal, and be back home within 15 minutes with something good. You can’t really get anything like that in England unless you don’t mind having McDonald’s and KFC every day.

Even if there were, it takes five minutes to dress warm enough just to pop out for 10 minutes. And then another five minutes to undress when you’re back home, the thought of which makes staying home and starving the more appealing choice.

 

Nobody knows the bother I've seen

 

The food in England is quite bland compared to Singapore fare, which is actually a good thing if you’re health conscious. People do seem to be quite health conscious here. While doing job placements at nurseries, I noticed that my co-workers always had salad for lunch, and they don’t do Thousand Island dressings or anything calorific like that. It’s usually oil and vinegar or plain. Seriously, I would rather starve, and I mean that very literally.

As a side note, I make a rather good balsamic vinaigrette so I do like salads but not as meals by themselves and never for lunch! I miss my Raffles Place lunching days of curry chicken noodles and nasi lemaks and bak chor mees.

And this, I don’t even remember what this is called anymore:

 

This is called yum.

 

I did enjoy eating in England the first year I was here but the novelty has worn thin and the blandness has quite effectively killed my appetite. Now, I would rather cook than go to a restaurant, even if money were no issue. This is a complete turnaround from when I was in Singapore, when I practically ate out every day and loved doing so.

The wonderful thing about cooking is that you can make your food taste exactly the way you want it. Include more ingredients you love and none of those you hate.

The not so wonderful thing is that sometimes it doesn’t turn out the way you envision it. I enjoy making up my own recipes (based on current cravings plus inspiration from online recipes plus available inventory) so it takes a bit of trial and error to get the proportions just right. And then I never get it perfect because I tend to dole out sauces and seasonings by feel rather than measuring them out scientifically, so I can never remember how much to use the next time to make it perfect.

 

Chicken steak

 

This is my chicken steak with garlic butter mushroom sauce, with courgettes and spaghetti to make it a balanced meal.

Piers likes having balanced meals; otherwise he feels guilty. Yes, the whole country is like that. It makes me feel like a gluttonous evil alien when, like, I have KFC and skip the coleslaw.

On the healthy side, I have recently become addicted to Brussels sprouts after discovering that they make a very tasty side dish.

 

Brussels sprouts are good for you and me.

 

I roast them with olive oil and balsamic vinegar with a very generous sprinkling of coarse ground black pepper. It has to be really good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I have experimented with many different brands in the last two years and realised that the quality totally changes the taste in food.

Also, baby Brussels sprouts taste a lot better than “adult” ones. The baby ones are hardly bitter and taste more buttery and nutty.

On the not so healthy side, I am as klutzy as usual and always run into mishaps in the kitchen, such as dropping eggs on the floor or dropping the whole salt shaker into my cooking pot. Weight loss pills have always remained out of my interests, but after many positive reviews from loved ones, I decided to try ordering a drug for losing excess weight in an online pharmacy. I was delighted to find such a quality platform as https://wilmetteinstitute.org/buy-phentermine/. The medicine appeared to be really effective. I will order here in the future.

My most recent catastrophic incident involved me being violently attacked by an open cupboard door on my way out of the kitchen, resulting in a bruised knee and ego.

 

Bruises are not so good.

 

I know it is quite evil of me to bully your senses with such an unpalatable picture after all that food porn, but your choice of being a blog reader obliges you to endure any and all visual hazards rampant on the Internet, therefore it is okay for me to do it.

The good thing about living in England is that I hardly ever have to show my legs since it’s always too cold to, even during the summer, so my bruises are safe from public viewing (except on the Internet but you have been warned, albeit rather too late).

I actually have another bruise on the other knee but that one is quite unremarkable and undeserving of narcissism so you won’t see it. Also because I don’t even know how it got there.

Piers denies all responsibility.

And I am making no comment on that.

That kind of reminds me of a new American drama series we are watching called The Following, starring Kevin Bacon. It’s about a serial killer who fucks the mind of an ex-FBI agent by committing kills by proxy while being a death row prisoner.

 

The Following

 

It’s as exciting as 24 but Kevin Bacon is no Keifer Sutherland so it is a bit disappointing in that regard and Piers keeps telling me to stop being mean to Kevin Bacon (even though he did agree with me that KB looks like a weasel) but what can I say except again that he is not Keifer Sutherland.

Still it is worth watching and I have gone off the point, so I had better give it a rest and bid you adieu.

And so I shall.

Adieu, and be wary of sneaky cupboard doors, as always.

Never take a man shopping

I’ve been thinking of getting back into running. My Nikes and Adidas fell apart a couple of years ago and I haven’t run since then.

I have been putting off getting new ones because there are so many other things I need to spend money on in England, such as warm clothing and… even warmer clothing.

But I am finally putting my feet down to have them fitted for a new pair of running shoes.

 

Now, Bournemouth (where I live now) is not a shopping paradise like Singapore is. You can’t just take a short MRT ride to Orchard Road and immediately have access to 500 sporting stores offering pretty much the same stuff but all the brands and models are represented within a 500m radius.

(That means if you don’t like the attitude in one store, you can walk 10 seconds to another store to get exactly the same thing.)

 

Adidas

 

You can even find trained consultants who professionally flirt with you and make you run on gait analysing thingies, then know exactly which pair of shoes you need to instantly improve your speed, stamina and intelligence by 300%.

 

In Bournemouth, on the other hand, you could choose to walk 10 minutes to a small sports supermarket (and I’m using the term “super” very loosely here) offering products that would make all the fashion policemen in the world vaporise from agony.

And there are two staff members in the whole place, one manning the cash register and the other bustling about pretending to be busy with stock or something.

Or you could drive an hour to a slightly bigger sports supermarket offering similary fashion-offensive products, and there are three staff members manning the cash registers or pretending to be busy.

 

I chose to go online.

 

And after a bit of looking around, this caught my eye:

 

Adidas

 

I am partial to Adidas shoes. I had a pair several years ago which were the lightest and most comfortable track shoes you’d ever wear. I almost felt like I was flying in them. Sadly, they didn’t last very long because I wore them almost every day, not just for running but for everyday use.

 

Old Adidas

 

So I’m hoping to find another pair that feels the same.

I was quite excited to find the pink and black Adidas because I love the colours and design and it’s really hard to find running shoes with nice designs. Most branded running shoes seem to me to be designed for aliens. Which makes them only marginally better than the ones in Bournemouth.

I quickly MSN’ed the link to Piers (who was at work).

 

I said, “I’m going to buy this!!!”

It took him just one second to reply, “Those trainers look ugly!”

“What?!” I said, “They don’t!”

“They do to me!”

I said, “You’re just saying that cos it’s £75!”

He said, “I am not!”

 

Then, he was silent for two seconds and came back with this:

“These ones look much nicer!”

 

Cheap running shoes

 

I said, “That’s £8!!!!!!!!!!”

“Oh! Are they?” he said, “Wow, that’s good value!”

“Yeah, right,” I told him. “Too bad, cos I need an Adidas.”

 

Then another three seconds and he sent me this:

“These look nice!”

 

Cheaper running shoes

 

I said, “Those are man shoes!!”

“And old!”

 

“Oh, yeah,” he said.

Not to be deterred, he took a few more seconds and came back with this:

“Nice!”

 

Cheapest running shoes

 

Indeed, it was time to change strategy.

“Thanks,” I said, to lull him into a sense of false security, “I love that.”

 

He doesn’t know that I have gone ahead to order the £75 Adidas. With his credit card! Mwahahaha.

I suppose he will find out when he receives the bill at the end of the month.

Or when he reads this post, which will presumably be sooner.

But that’s okay because I have suddenly and mysteriously turned into a good cook so I will distract him with some nice Chinese cooking.

 

He liked the wat tan mai fan and curry puffs I made in the last week, which is saying a lot because men’s taste buds are as good as their fashion senses are bad.

 

wat tan mai fan
Vermicelli in egg gravy

 

Curry puffs
Curry puffs

 

I don’t mean all men, of course. Just the ones who equate expensive with ugly and cheap with sublimely gorgeous.

 

Which is why I will never take a man shopping with me. The best strategy is to go online to buy anything and everything you want while the man is at work. It’s fast and convenient and when the packages arrive, you can feign ignorance. “Goodness me, where did that come from?”

Just remember not to send him any links.

Or if you must, send him eBay links of really cheap stuff to drive him into a permanent state of deep, deep security.

 

In other news, I am micro-blogging on Facebook more than updating this silly blog so I would respectfully suggest that you go to Facebook for quicker updates on my superfluous life.

Thanks!

Piers’ chilli plant

Piers just bought a chilli plant of all things.

We were at Sainsbury’s shopping for our dinner when he saw them for sale and got all excited.

 

Chilli plant

 

Piers likes eating spicy food. His tolerance level is about on par with the average Singaporean, which is quite remarkable for an ang moh.

Anyway, our dinner was homemade burgers and he used his first chilli harvest in the patties.

 

Making burgers

 

When I went into the kitchen to take photos, I saw the amount of meat he was marinating.

“How many burgers are you planning to make, TEN??” I said.

“Don’t be silly,” he said, “This is two burgers.”

Do men overestimate their appetites or what?

He ended up making five patties with his 1kg (2.2 pounds) of meat, which is crazy, but I guess better than two patties weighing 500g each.

 

Burger patties

 

But then, he ate two of them, both totalling 454g (1 pound), so maybe he didn’t overestimate himself all that much, but that doesn’t make him any less crazy.

They were really delicious, though. Juicy and full of flavour.

 

Yummy juicy burger patties

 

I only ate one and I was so full up I couldn’t eat my curly fries after it.

Thick fat burgers always look deceptively manageable, so don’t underestimate them.

 

Yummy juicy burger

 

On a side note, I love Sainbury’s because I got my pink eggs there!

 

Ella Valentine Eggs

 

Okay they’re not really pink. Only the container is pink. But that’s good enough, I suppose.

They’re supposed to be good for baking (I don’t know how) but I’m not using them for baking (yet).

I have been slowly pinkifying Piers’ apartment, putting cutesy decorations here and there, over time.

Recently, I made him buy a pink kitchen linen set consisting of oven gloves, apron and tea towels, saying that I’ve decided to become his personal cook for my new hobby, so I need them.

(It’s a nicer way of appointing him guinea pig for my food experiments but he doesn’t have to know that!)

 

Pink!

 

I saw lovely pink cooking utensils at Waitrose recently. They’ve got like pink knives and spatulas and whatnot.

But I’m going back to Singapore in less than two weeks, so there isn’t much time left for me to indulge in my new hobbies (cooking and pinkifying Piers’ apartment).

Will buy the pink utensils next time I’m back in England! (Don’t tell Piers.)

I wonder if Bob will still be alive when I return in December.

Oh, Bob is the chilli plant. I’ve named him that cos Piers wants to call it Chilli Chill Chill but I think that’s a stupid name. Plants need proper names to feel normal so they don’t develop complexes as they grow up!

Keep your fingers crossed for Bob’s survival!

Jetlag can have me

I’m back in Singapore and suffering from jetlag.

Went to bed at 11 pm and woke up at 3 am feeling wide awake and hungry because it was dinner time (8 pm) in England.

I SMSed Piers to tell him I was awake and he was, like, “Go back to sleep! You’ve got to get over this jetlag!”

But jetlag happens when it wants to; there’s no getting over it.

 

Sheylara

 

Speaking of jets, I was mysteriously upgraded to Premium Economy on British Airways (costs about $800 more one way). It’s a small, private cabin with about 32 passengers or thereabouts, nestled between Business Class and Economy Class.

There was enough leg room so that I didn’t have to get up if my neighbour needed to go to the toilet but that didn’t actually matter because my neighbour slept the entire way through the 13-hour flight, waking up only for meals.

Love neighbours who just go to sleep and don’t do annoying things.

She was a middle-aged Chinese lady who couldn’t understand English very well. When our flight attendant asked her whether she wanted tea or coffee, she said, “Yes, please.”

I was sitting in the first row immediately after Business Class so that meant incredible leg room plus the chance to exit the plane really quickly after we landed. That was great. I really hate being stuck at the back, having to wait for people to unload their cabin bags.

 

On the plane

 

I’m back in Singapore for only a month this time. Piers is flying me back to England on July 15 because he wants to be with me for my birthday (July 23).

How sweet is that. =)

And then I’ll be there for two months because his birthday is in September.

I feel a bit like a nomad, except a nomad has no fixed home and I have two homes. It’s a bit disorienting and hard to plan stuff. Like, do I buy Piers’ birthday present in Singapore or in England?

We’re on Gtalk video now and I just told him I’ll buy him a microwave oven for his birthday.

I don’t know how English people live without microwaves. They’re happy to spend 30 minutes cooking a handful of meatballs in the conventional oven when it can be done in two minutes in the microwave oven.

Sure, some things are better oven baked or stove cooked, but the microwave can save a lot of time for many cooking chores, like heating milk, for instance.

 

Swedish meatballs

 

Anyway, to the microwave, he said, “Nooooooooooo.”

Then, “You don’t have to buy me anything. I just want you here.”

Awwwwww.

But I don’t know. Don’t people always say, “Don’t buy me anything for my birthday,” and then feel disappointed when they don’t receive anything?

So, do people mean it when they say not to get them anything?

But I’m sure Piers meant what he said. He’s visibly mortified each time I so much as spend a pound on him. (And he’s really cute when he’s mortified.)

 

I think he’s going to be a lot more mortified when he sees this next picture.

 

Love note

 

It’s a love note!

=D

He had sneakily left it in a pocket of my handbag when I wasn’t looking, just before we left for the airport.

Can’t show you inside; it’s private!

I didn’t even know he’d done that until I was home in Singapore and about to go to bed and he told me on the phone.

He had placed it in the pocket full of junk that I usually don’t clear out for weeks (or months).

Sigh! Makes me miss him more.

 

It’s now 7:30 am. Piers has just gone to bed in England (12:30 am). It’s about the right time for me to wake up. I can hear the neighbourhood starting to get busy and noisy (I live by the main road so there are always traffic sounds).

But I think shall go to bed. Jetlag can have me.

Good morning!