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Monday, July 31, 2006
Day Twelve
Today is Day Twelve. Alex, who was working in Cumbria for three days, came home more loving and tender. He forgot his mobile and perhaps that was good for the two of us. We had time to think things through and analyse what happened. I returned home from London on Friday evening to his warm embrace.

We kissed and made up. I get my usual morning hugs and I give him his dose of morning kisses. Alex prepares the bath each morning and washes my hair. I dry his back for him each time we bath because he has a habit of not drying his back with the towel.

I told him this morning that I love him. I said that I love him more than anything in the world. That includes the cute guy we saw in Tesco, the one with the low cut denim and absolutely perfect body. We will grow up together and when we are ready, we will have a family. As crazy as it sounds, I think that is what we will do. Till then, we will just have our curry nights with friends on Mondays and fall asleep watching Green Wing.

This is a cautionary tale of how love is simply insufficient when it comes to love. No matter how prepared we are for love, no one has taught us how to deal with jealousy when it rears its ugly head. This is a reminder to all of us that we cannot love someone if we do not love ourselves. Sometimes even the best of intentions are misunderstood and that noble idea called love gets lost in translation.

I am much happier these days compared to all the previous days leading to the climax epic last Sunday. I opened a bank account on my own (ok, Kat accompanied me) and I am starting my Pilates and dance classes soon enough. I am walking around London in the craziest high heels and baby it feels good. My confidence has soared because I am doing something about my lack of work and money over here. I will be viewing the business soon and I have an interview when I feel that I am ready for it.

With four more articles under my belt and a nice stash of extra cash, I am quite the happy bunny. I have also received news that I will take over Good Editor's role in the next edition. It is still in discussion but if all things go according to plan, I will liaise with the chief editor. Hurrah, hurrah!

Alex has been a darling through the years and he has never complained about my close friendships with some other men such as R, BestGuyFriend and AB. I have never asked him for “permission” to go anywhere. He is the most un-possessive man I have had the pleasure of knowing. I never had to “report” to him, like many of my friends. I know I am lucky and this is the first time that Alex showed any signs of jealousy. For goodness sake, I maintain a blog talking about my relationship with different men and he is still fine with it. He is the correct Yang to my Yin, balancing me and my crazy ways.

Last weekend was quite a revelation for the both of us, I think. It showed a side to him that I have never seen and I guess he saw a side of me. I know he will never leave me and now he knows that I will never leave him. He is watching Top Gear (a British weekly documentary on cars) and I guess I should be joining him if I want to climb up the car magazine ladder.

Soon enough time will lick the wounds and we will forget everything. Or will we?

”If we ever break up,
you will soon find yourself someone who would love you.
I, on the other hand, would have none.”
~ Alex

“You know, if we ever break up,
I will be very lonely and I will not be able to find someone
who compliments me as well as you do.”
~ Otto

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Saturday, July 29, 2006
Fear And Forgiveness
"And forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us”
~ The Lord’s Prayer

One of the earlier reasons why I chose Alex was because I realised that unlike me, Alex is not broken. All of us seem to walk around with a emotional scar but Alex does not possess many, if there was any. He comes from a small family and his parents loved him dearly. There is only one crazy person in each relationship and in mine, it is good to know that there is someone there to ground me and to guide me on my way.

He is very sensitive to my needs. Alex recognizes whatever I say and he puts an effort to change whenever I complain. I appreciate this quality greatly because I do not want to be in a relationship where I have to nag a lot. He wants the best for me and he tries his best to give me the best. In return, I learn to give more and to love him more because he has shown me the meaning of love and devotion.

We can try our best and be our best but sometimes life just proves itself difficult. We prepare to the best of our ability but there is the variable called luck and timing. Thus far, Alex and I have never really argued. We might bicker over some issues but so far, we have given in to each other and compromised.

The previous week posed a huge task to the two of us. We discovered that perhaps it is not so romantic to work together. We both possess very strong characters. I play hard and I work hard. I do not admit to losing easily.

“You can’t be disappointed if you do not place any hope,” Alex’s father said when I brought this up to him.

“But I do not want to live my life without hope,” I replied with a smile.

When it comes to life, I choose to be optimistic while Alex can be the most melancholic being. I rather think of nice things that can potentially happen than to envision what is terrible. Our personalities clash each time we encounter tasks and we get irritated with each other’s opposing way of handling stress and life.

With the stakes getting higher each day and both of us realising that we want to spend our lives together, it is easy to lose sight of what is in front of us. Although it is not said, I know that Alex has the best in mind. I know the only reason why he is insistent that I find work soon is because he wants us to be financially sound. He wants us to maximize what we can both earn so that I will not need to work when we start a family. I am not getting any younger as each sunset comes rolling by.

The next 5 years is very important to our future, should we share one together and it is this realization that is driving a wedge between us. Alex is willing to sacrifice blood and tears for a house here in Kent. I on the other hand, want a house but it should not affect my pampering allowance - hair and body care, clothes and accessories. I also love eating out and hanging out in cafes, bars and restaurants, so I am pressured to churn out money like a photocopy machine.

When the investment goes wrong…
“Give me two weeks to find my own place to stay.
A month will be the maximum.
I will find a job and a place to stay. I will find my way.”
~ Otto The Nude

Fear is the most primal feeling each of us experience. Fear is a very strong emotion. Fear causes your eyes will dilate. Blood will rush through your body at a faster pace, giving you a higher blood pressure level. Feel good endorphin will release itself into your veins in anticipation of pain, real or imagined.

Fear is also life’s number one method of self-preservation. When we cannot control the situation because we feel powerless in this game of love, we take control by choosing an action that causes us less pain. Rejecting someone is less painful that being rejected. If our hearts know that we are going to be rejected, it is best to reject the other person first. At least the action gives us a measure of power and dignity. It sounds crazy but love often drives us to do crazy things.

Fear (and disappointment) taught women like I to be independent and to have our own personal space and life. Alex is the first man I felt that I could throw caution to the wind but apparently there is no such luxury in life.

When you reach this point in the game, what are your options? Come on. Come on. What are your freaking options? You can either pull out of the game or you invest more. Right? So the pessimistic will drop out of the game and the optimistic will invest more. More love, more attention, more understanding, more and more and more.

And I am an optimist.

"Quarrel at the bed head
And peace at the bed foot."
~ A Chinese proverb regarding love in a relationship

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Friday, July 28, 2006
The Love Roulette

When you put your heart on the table, placing a bet on this chance game of life, you risk winning big or losing all. And like in all investments, the higher the risk, the greater your reward. Or lost. That is how life works.

Some lucky ones placing a bet on one and gained a fortune while others invested all our feelings, only to survive life with a broken soul. If you feel that life has nothing to offer you, then I guess you, like me, had been taught by life. The one thing that life offered you was experience and the experiences thus far were bitter. Bitterness in return serves as a great life coach, often teaching us that life is not all rosy. Bitterness gives us a good wallop in the department of reality, teaching us to be careful and to be wary of this thing we all call “relationship”.

Some of us walk this Earth feeling safe and indeed these people live a safe predictable life. They grow up, study, go to work, find someone they love, settle down, get married, have kids and grow old. In between, they travel and perhaps buy some things that will enslave them to the job market until the day they die. And in the female instant, these curvy mortals nag their partners into submission.

The rest of us prefer walking on the edge, experiencing life to its fullest. We do not walk the safe route. We, the anarchists of love, embrace the love sphere with total abandonment. We give more and in return, we expect more. And if we have invested our emotions correctly, then we will reap greater reward when it comes to love.

That sounds like a good investment, better than what our banks are offering for a fix deposit at the moment, and often relationships are good investments. When it comes to Alex, I have invested a lot of everything. I have given 4 years of my young life to this person and I loved every second of it. The more I know him, the more I realised that this is the right investment for me. While I threaded with caution in all previous relationships, life with Alex has proven itself beneficial to my being. And of course, like all investors who invest more when the rewards are dripping in, I invested more in Alex as he proved himself worthy of my time, energy, love and loyalty.

When I was a child, I spoke like a child and thought as a child
and now that I am grown, I have put away childish things.
~ a short passage from the Bible, reference unknown.

That is a passage from the Bible. I don’t remember the verse or chapter but I remember its words. I think this passage is so apt and it highlights the difference of being a child and the process of growing up.

I have been a child for many years and even when I am grown, those around me make concessions for my childlike behaviour. “I can’t believe that you are 30,” BestGuyFriend once famously remarked. That remark was made when I raised my hands up, giving them a good shake and saying, “Yay!” and it was all for a bowl of fishball noodles. My brothers (who are 4 and 7 years younger) are in many ways, “older” than I. They are more responsible, often giving in to my childlike-self and most friends often mistake our positions in the family.

It is time for me to grow up. I would love to remain as a child forever but it is time for me to grow up and move on with my life. I have been a bubbling teenager for 30 years now. How long am I going to live my life without a care in the world like Tinkerbell? As I have mentioned to R earlier this year, even Peter Pan has to grow up one day. And it is time I do.

And who better to grow up with than Alex?

This relationship I share with Alex is special. Compared to all previous relationships, I am willing to invest my heart in it. I find myself willing to do many things. I will go out of my way just to be with this person and I am contemplating the most difficult decision in my life – am I willing to give up my life and love for my business in Malaysia in exchange for this person whom I love? Alex is worth more than all the effort I put in and perhaps even more.

Some of you might ask what is so different between Alex and everyone else. I guess it is a combination of various elements. I am not one that is naive enough to invest in a relationship without calculating its cost. Alex compliments me in many aspects. I am not one who will cow to anyone else and when it comes to men, I need one who has HUGE BALLS. So huge it might even put Kenny’s two famous coconuts to shame. Alex is quick witted and smart, often with smart remarks that leaves me totally speechless. And I love that in a man.

He leaves me hyperventilating when he talks about scientific things such as metal. Yes, a man who sweet-talks me about the use of Zinc, Aluminum and Copper Sulfate turns me on. Alex has really flexible hands and is able to put things together with his brain and brawn. He carries me like a hairy Neantherdal into his secret cave. With one swift scoop, he has me on his shoulders.

We walked in Phuket, in search for a room to stay. We did not realize that there was a festival going on that day and room was scarce. I was tired and was complaining as we took each step towards another hotel. I watched Alex walking ahead of me and suddenly I thought to myself, “Oh wow, that is a strong man and I love him,” when I realized he did not complain at all carrying his backpack and mine when one of his foot had a bad cut. Alex is a man. No, he is a man’s man. And I love that.

There are many other reasons why I think that Alex compliments my personality well but I shall spare you of all the mushy details.

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Thursday, July 27, 2006
Day Five

I snapped on Day Five like a dried up twig in an Amazonian jungle. I was deprived of private conversations with close friends (live ones like Kat and virtual ones like some of you readers). I was suffering from internet deprivation and I was beginning to worry about what I imagined as piles of work sitting three feet high on my desk at home. I missed my bed and my six pillows. Obviously I had a great time with Alex and his family. Who wouldn’t have fun with them when they are such good people?

But everyone needs a little private space. Everyone needs their own friends, their confidantes. Some needs less while others like myself, being the independent soul that I am, need a good measure of space. I spend my days observing people and reflecting on friendships and relationships. I sit in coffee houses and cafes more than I sit at home. But there I was, wearing flat sandals and grubby clothes. I had so much earth stuck underneath my already trimmed nails. My face was brown not because of sun tanning but dirt wiped from brow. I do not even want to talk about my hair.

Let’s agree that it was not the most glamorous side of me.

Everyday thousands walk through the Western and Eastern gates, to enjoy a fun filled day out in the sun. There are main 2 floral marquee where visitors can view examples of ideal gardens. These were created by the nursery folks and are judged. Our display won a Gold (the best award) and I had a hand in creating the display. I spent my two days of set up, crawling around the flower pots, stuffing empty spaces with upside down pots and newspapers, then filling the whole surface with bark, to create an illusion of soil found in every English garden.

There were two tents selling luxury items from limited edition artwork and specially designed fabrics with garden themes to jewellery and leather goods. There was a bandstand where musicians played the different types of music to liven up the atmosphere, giving the whole flower show a party vibe. Visitors sat on grass around the bandstand, appreciating the music as they had their little picnics.

“I nominate you to be my friend today,” I said with a smile. “I would like to have an ice lolly by the bandstand. Would you?”

I do not know what made me be that bold, to say what I did. Maybe it was the stress of not wearing my three-inch high heels. Maybe it was just me rebelling against everything that was happening around me. Maybe I was trying to get out of the flower show routine – cut dead flowers, look dishevelled, carry pots from stock area to table, talk to customers and of course, pretend to have some knowledge of flowers when the only think I know about flowers is that they are pretty. Maybe I just wanted to talk to someone who was not a part of my family.

Perhaps I wanted someone to hear my stories, to re-establish myself and to breathe life into my own body again.

It was eight days since I started working on the show ground and I was yet to hear the band play. And so on Day Five, I found myself sitting on the grass with a beautiful stranger. We had an ice cream each and we just started to talk. Well, I talked a lot. It was my therapy session, you see. So I talked.

“You have a beautiful face,” he said.

“Thank you. Now if you repeat that to me a few more times, I will think that you are trying to pick me up,” I said.

“Is it that obvious?” he said with a smile.

I smiled. I suddenly realised that words were beginning to flow once again, after being locked away for the pass 10 days. I felt expressive again, with words pouring out like a hurricane. Words have the ability to make you think and rationalize many inner thoughts. Writers will tell you that they write constantly, to allow words to flow. It did not matter if the words would turn into a Pulitzer success, just as long as the words flowed. To open up the dam trapping words was difficult but once words flowed, they flowed easily like a river in spring.

His name is Paul and on that afternoon, Paul listened patiently to everything I said. I told him what I did. I told him why I was in the UK. I told him that I had a blog and that I wrote for practice. I told him that I wrote about men, sex and relationships. I told him about my work life and where I came from. I told him about my friends back in Malaysia. I told Paul about AB. I told him about Alex. I told him about all my lovers and the game called Kings.

“Are you observing me?” he asked.

“Yes,” I said, punctuated with a smile. I looked deep into his eyes. The windows to one soul; that is what eyes are. You stare into a pair and you will see almost everything. He had such beautiful eyes with the thickest eye lashes. Why don’t I have eye lashes like that, I thought to myself.

“You have very beautiful eyes,” I said. I blinked my eyes and looked away.

“Cheers. You have very beautiful eyes too,” he said. I gazed into his eyes again and remembered each line and curve he had on his face.

We spoke very candidly about things - about friendships, relationships and sex. I told him about taming men and he was shocked to hear that I could tame men. I can and one day, I will tell you, my dear readers, how to tame a man. It isn’t about controlling a man. It is about creating a bond, a friendship, with a man that surpasses lust. But that is another story altogether and we will reserve that for another day.

I asked him if all friendships are birthed from attraction towards each other. Like how we sat at the bandstand, listening to each other’s stories. He said that there were many reasons to form a friendship and it is not necessary always about physical attraction. Ah the beauty of being polite when you are strangers.

Let me be the first to admit that Alex would not have wanted to talk to me the first time we met in Perhentian, if he was not attracted to the fact that I was stick thin. E is thinner now and I often wonder if he would have chosen E instead, if she was slimmer in 2002. Would I have been attracted to Alex if he was not that tall, slim and tanned Greek god walking on the beach?

My Swedish Love would not have sat in Coffee Bean for more than 5 hours staring at me, if he hadn’t thought that there was something worth looking at. We would not have gone out for a date with PY as chaperon if I had not found him the least attractive.

And that is just my list of lovers and I have not begun on my list of guy friends.

Fact is, I am beginning to realise much to my dismay, that most boy-girl friendships (and relationships) begin with an instant attraction to the smile, the look, the eyes, the hair, the lips, the tits, the ass, the laughter, the humor etc.

I am yet to hear a guy say, “Yo dude, check out her honesty!” or “Wow, I dig that integrity!”. What convinces you the first ten seconds whether you want to form a friendship with another fellow sapien is a physical attraction. Full stop.

What I learnt that afternoon was that there are lines to draw. And sometimes the lines between fantasy and reality is blurred so terribly that you need a pair of granny glasses to make sure you know your way.

I might have been lost in the wilderness but I am sure that I have found my way home. I know where I belong and what I should do. I also knew what I should not do. Alex has given me the security that I lacked and I pledged my loyalty to him. Rules exist because it governs your life and makes certain decisions easier to make. Being with Alex made me more reserve as a person and not as cheeky as I would normally be. Meekness is a good quality to possess if you want a calmer lifestyle and that was what I sought.

A pair of feet pottered in front of me sometime later. I recognized that pair of leather shoes.

“My mother is searching for you,” Alex said. I got up and waved at Paul. I said goodbye and walked away with Alex.

“This is a break-up,” Alex said. “Go back and work. We will break up when we get back to London.”

It was Day Five and we were twenty steps from Paul when Alex said something that broke my heart.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Day Four

With Alex away for work the next few days, Kat and I had the whole house to ourselves. We were ourselves again, the way we were nine years ago when I was a child and she, a little more streetwise than I. Perhaps it is from the years she was in the US studying music and travelling alone. Perhaps I am just a sheltered child, over protected by my parents out of the goodness of their hearts.

We were in the kitchen, standing next to my most favourite electrical equipment in the mornings – the George Foreman’s Lean Mean Grilling Machine. I sliced 2 mushrooms, added 2 Cumberland sausages and a bacon slice onto the sizzling hot non-stick grill. That was just breakfast for me. Not much preparation necessary for Kat’s breakfast. She had some soymilk with cereals and some fruits.

She bought nine more violins and my house is littered with them. Some prettier than the rest but that does not matter after Kat gives it a good scrub. One should never underestimate what a little restoration and polishing can do to these old wooden string instruments.

And what did I tell her? I told her the week before. The week when Kat was in Vienna, Prague and Frankfurt while I was at Tatton park as a flower girl.

“You don’t look old at all. Come on, tell me how old are you,” he asked.

“Thirty,” I said, pursing a smile from the corners of my lips. “I am not that young.” I laughed. I am having this conversation way too often in the last few months. I am fine with my age and I am much happier at 30 than I ever was in my early 20s.

“So how old are you?” I asked. I panicked in realisation where this conversation was going to lead us to. “Tell me that you are 19 or 20 and I will go and die now.”

He had a sheepish grin. That is not a good sign, is it?

“I am 20,” he said, clearing his throat and stretching himself to appear a little taller.

“Ok I am going to die now. Bye.”

I was amused. I do not know if he was too but I surely was. How things have changed along with the times. Men much older came to court me when I was a much younger girl (that is under 25). I noticed a role reversal as I approached the great THREE ZERO. It was not a sudden change. It was quite subtle to say the least. All the boys were younger and they are getting younger by the day.

I was frustrated with Alex. Actually he has successfully pissed me off more since I arrived in the UK this year than all the four years we were together previously. That would be four years versus the last two months. I never wanted to believe the cliché “men change when they know they have you” but I am sure that I will convert if this goes on for some weeks more.

There are many subtle examples. Tiny little encrypted messages that told me that he no longer loved me as much as he used to. Naturally I hid this niggling doubt somewhere deep in my heart, so I do not need to review it too often and that was what I did. I just refused to acknowledge the fact that maybe, just maybe, Alex is like all other men. He will take me for granted after he feels satisfied and secure in his relationship.

The mornings were particularly stressful. He would instruct me to run some errands for the stock table. We had to restock the table and make sure that all the flowers looked fresh and clean. I carried trays full of pots, starting with four tiny pots and increased the quantity as the days rolled by. By Day Four and Five, I was carrying eight pots but that was still not good enough for Alex. He said I carried too little and that I was not as quick as he or his mother.

“Of course I am not as quick as you or your mother!” I screamed at him when I snapped. “I did not grow up carrying pots! I had maids that carried my things for me, ok!”

On most days, I stayed in the stock table while everyone took the opportunity to walk around the show ground. Almost each evening at 4 p.m. Alex would fetch me to walk around the show ground but they were hardly a treat for either of us. The metal plates laid on the grass as footpaths reflected the sun into our eyes. The weather was too hot and humid for us to cuddle up. We were hot and bothered.

And of course, I remembered how it was to take this daily walk with him. We walked through all the boy’s toys section from JCBs to diggers and tools when we were at the Birmingham flower show the month before this. Now at the Tatton Flower Show, there were many more girly treasures. When I found something I liked, I received the “Alex lecture” of how I do not have the money to spend on these things or in the case of the rescued pages from old 1940s Alice in Wonderland, Alex said that I should go to car boot sales and search for the old books.

So each morning, I left the stock table and took a long walk around the show ground on my own. It was my very own private time, just for myself, where I can do what I want and just be with myself. I resented feeling resentful towards Alex but I was beginning to resent him and what I deemed were dictatorial ways.

On Day Five, he asked me to clean some huge pots of day lilies. Instead of storming off, I stayed behind and did as instructed. I cleaned the pots and trimmed off the dead flowers and dying leaves. I stormed off for my morning walk when he came over and told me that I did not clean them. I insisted that I did and he insisted that I did not.

“I did not grow up doing this, how am I supposed to know that there is a standard that I have to achieve when cleaning the pots?!”

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Monday, July 24, 2006
I Fell In Love With A Beautiful Stranger

It is hard work. That is all I can tell you. Carrying pots of plants and standing for more than 8 hours in a day can do strange things to your legs and mind. I must have spoken to my readers a million times over.

There is the cleaning up the plants part. You have to cut out all spent flowers and yellow dying leaves. Then stack them all in a plastic tray and drag them across any distance from say a few meters to more than 20 meters away to the stock table. There are plants to be watered, especially when the temperature is rising up into the mid 20s and all the plants seem to die in the current temperature.

I personally love it though. Out came the sandals and shorter sleeved blouses. Forget the sweaters and jackets. How can one feel sexy when you are piled under 3 layers of knits and fabric? I would have worn my bikini, if I had brought it along with me then. But no, I had to do the practical thing. I wore a pair of nice Zara sandals until a damn twig rammed itself into my left foot, leaving it bloodied and me limping for the rest of the day.

When your hands have a life of its own, snipping the dead flowers away and when you are feeling all greasy and sweaty, all you need is a little eye candy. And there were plenty at a flower show such as Tatton's. If each dashing young man I saw was a card, I had a deck by day three, which was the official opening day.

And just when I was happy with my deck of handsome eye candies walking around the show ground, there came this totally sinful looking man. He was beautiful. That is the only word to describe the moment I saw him. I was carrying a tray packed with small mini pots of flowers in full bloom when I first saw him. He was walking about the stocking area without the hint of a shirt anywhere in sight.

So dear readers, let’s go through my list again, shall we?
  • Nice hair – check.

  • Something that resembles a goatee/stuble – check.

  • Beautiful eyes - check.

  • Body to die for – check.

  • Slim, tall and handsome – check, check, check!

He was putting up something there while I was walking in and out the stocking area. He had such mesmerizing eyes. And we exchanged smiles. I remember saying "excuse me" when he and his friend were blocking the path. He mumbled something but I could not hear it against the noise around the show ground. Ok, so I couldn't hear what he said because my heart was pounding furiously. I went on my way and did my things. My mind wondered the whole world over, probably even to Venus or Neptune. Don’t need no pot when you have a mind tripping like mine.

That few minutes of encounter set my head racing to giddy heights. Thoughts were everywhere as I began to think to myself what to write to you folks when I return to the blog on the 24th. And I suddenly realised, I fell in love with a beautiful stranger.

I would be lying if I said I did not enjoy the few seconds of appreciating that particular life form with my eyes. At that point in time, we never spoke more than the polite “good morning” whenever we did met each other. Each day dozens of people wish each other good mornings, so that was nothing so special. It was all in my mind and it is too sinful to recount. My mind raced through a million things.

Is it possible to fall in love with someone you just met for 5 seconds?

Is it love?

Is it lust?

Do all friendships begin with attraction?

What I realised by day five was, it is natural to feel attracted to another beautiful being. It is so natural, almost like your heart beating on its own accord. You will not stop feeling attracted to another person just because you are in a stable relationship. Having your own permanent partner doesn't turn you into a nun or priest, where you dedicate all your love and affection to merely one partner.

I don’t think that the attraction stops when you dedicate yourself to one person. I don’t think it is a sin to think of others or to wonder. I think it is the most natural thing to happen. After all, it is a beautiful person. Beauty does not necessarily mean physical beauty (although it is in my case). You might be attracted to the way she laughs or his zest for life. You might feel instantly bound to someone who was confident and knew where he was heading in life. You might think of someone more than you should just because you thought she was “cool”.

One must realise that this feeling is fleeting. This feeling is an illusion and like all illusions, you should never touch it or know the truth. Whatever sensation you feel, whatever impure thoughts you have in your mind, you must realise that they do not represent reality.

Reality is the man whom you see walk through your front door at 5 p.m. after work. Reality is when you change your bed sheets together. Reality is taking a ritualistic morning bath each day.

It is a choice that we make. Some of us make it more often than others but I believe that each and every one of us face this situation at some stage in our lives. That few seconds I speak of is very powerful and evocative. It gives you hope and sends hearts fluttering. It makes you feel good. Sometimes it is so good that it feels bad. It does the strangest things to you. It makes you feel love and loved all over again. It feels risky and dangerous, enhancing the sensation.

It is addictive. Honestly I could live forever on that addiction. That split second when the most primal attraction happens. But I have come to realize that the swift feeling that makes me feel alive and light is not real. It is time to call it quits. While tempting, I know I cannot live on that feeling for the rest of my life and I chose reality.

Lots have happened since the day I fell in love with a beautiful stranger on day three.

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Saturday, July 15, 2006
Survival Of The Fittest

Some minutes after filling up the tank at Tesco (yes, Tesco does petrol here in the UK) Alex and I were on our way back to Scotland. It must have been 8 hours and something minutes since starting our journey at 4:00 p.m. in Kent. I was snoozing when Alex suddenly shrieked, “Aiyoh! Got a bunny!”


“You know the thud you heard just now?” Alex asked.

I nodded my head. Ahead of us was Venus. The planet named after the goddess of love resembled a beautiful blue white light due south. Everything was blurry because Alex was driving at a maddening speed.

“That was a bunny,” Alex said. “I ran over a bunny.”

There was a moment of silence before I exclaimed, “You killed a bunny, ar? You killed a bunny? YOU killed a bunny? You KILLED a bunny? You FUCKING killed a bunny?”

Alex tried to console me. Perhaps he was consoling himself even. He said that bunnies had eyes on their sides and therefore could not estimate the distance of an object or the speed at which the object travelled. In this case, the object was a car at a high speed and the result was a bloody death.

“How about frogs?” I asked, seeing we Malaysians seem to flatten so many frogs like raindrops on a rainy day.

“Frogs definitely got eyes on their sides,” the wise hairy boy said.

"Birds? I knocked a pigeon once," I asked.

"Pigeons too,"

"What about dogs and cats?"

"Them lot too," Alex replied. "Although they get splattered because they are stupid, not because they have eyes on their sides."

I sat in my seat, quiet for some minutes. Some moment of thinking later I quipped, “Oh well. That’s survival of the fittest, ain’t it? If it was stupid enough to stand in front of a moving vehicle, it deserves to die. It is evolution. Only the smartest and the best will survive to pass on their genes, less we get stupid bunnies.”

The car zoomed on. We arrived. My tummy’s full of roast lamb and 24 hours later, I laughed reading the Jolene vs Skyler fiasco at the related posts listed below.

Related posts:



Friday, July 14, 2006
Crazy And Butt Ugly

“Quick,” my mother said on the phone. “You will have to give me some of your photos.”

“What for?” I sounded annoyed. I felt even more so when I was actually at work tending to a client when my mother called me with a strange request.

“Well the lady wants your photos. There are some doctors who are interested.”

“Who lady?” I asked.

“I signed you up for a dating agency and the lady said that she wanted to see your photographs because there were some doctors who were interested to meet you,” came my mother’s reply.

“You mean the lady wants to see me, just to double check that I am not crazy or butt ugly....”


Small Talk
I shall be away for the Tatton Flower Show and will only be back on the 24th July. Whilst I am away, why don't you visit some of my regular readers?

Thank you for being a part of me for the pass few months.


Thursday, July 13, 2006
A Little More

I crept out of bed at 4 a.m. and whilst Alex was asleep, I drove towards Standsted Airport. I was not alone though because Kat was there with me. The last two days were brilliant, with the two of us girls zipping our way through the deep bowels of London. It was extremely warm, especially on the Tube and I was not sure if I was terribly happy about it. Thankfully I wore a short lace dress to the Sotheby auction and a white lacy top with a pair of deep blue trousers yesterday when we went to sightseeing (London Eye, Oxford Street, Trinity College).

“I am thoroughly amazed,” Kat said. “You walked the whole day through Oxford Street, to Heathrow and back and all the way to Orpington on THOSE heels!”

I smiled. My pet peeve and manic obsession with shoes would put me in the same therapy session with Sarah Jessica Parker’s character in Sex And The City.

The Sotheby auction was fascinating. It was my first auction experience and it was quite remarkable how violins were auctioned at the speed of light! And the most expensive violin? £55,000! I am beginning to wonder who would have £55,000 (approx. RM368, 500) in spare change to purchase a violin.

“A rare collector’s item,” Kat explained.

Ok. I shall pretend to understand how a violin can cost that much. According to Kat, £55,000 was a modest amount. The last auction had one that was sold at more than £120,000!!!

Anyway there was this cute guy who was working for Sotheby. He stood next to the auctioneer. He was really tall, slim and had really beautiful eyes. And he was looking straight into my eyes.

What does a girl do when a dashing Mark Darcy look-alike looks at her? She looks back. Well at least that was what I did. And oh, I smiled. You know, that room was filled with men and women who most likely kept thousand pound notes in their coin purse and I had to like the one who worked in Sotheby. Any smart girl would be working the social circles in the room, among the Sotheby customers, not the staff. No wonder I do not have luck riding in fancy cars. I keep going for the bellboys!


This morning’s drive to Standsted is the furthest I have ever driven on my own. Kat had a 7 a.m. flight to Sweden and I decided to fetch her there. Okay, the truth is Alex instructed me to do so because Kat would be able to save approx. £200 in lodging and transport. To be perfectly honest, I was nervous. I was nervous because I have never driven on that stretch of motorway on my own. It is compounded by the fact that I cannot pull over on the side of the road, to check the map if I was lost. It is illegal and unsafe. The one saving grace was that I drove the Audi instead of my measly Proton.

The sun rises earlier all through summer and today it broke dawn at about half pass 5 a.m. By then, I was somewhere near Dartford’s Crossing on the M25, famous for its traffic and notorious for its accidents. I was trapped at a gridlock for an hour. Finally I passsed the cause of the traffic jam - a totally burnt trailer. Two out of three lanes were closed down to facilitate the clearing up of the accident. Two fire engines and some firemen and policemen were there to control the fire and to contain the accident.

My mind wondered while I watched the sun climbing into a new day. That is the beauty of our minds, isn’t it? Our minds can wonder and be far and away, even when our bodies are stuck at the worst traffic jams.

The phone rang while I was busy chatting with Kat. We were both standing by the grill and watching the mushrooms and sausages sizzle. I rushed to the phone. I knew who it was on the phone. It was the lady whom I emailed my CV less than thirty minutes earlier. She sounded so optimistic and that optimism sparked a little flicker of hope within me.

I have an interview on 24th July. Don’t get too excited, dear readers. It is not a company planning to hire me. It is just a company, which helps companies search for a suitable candidate for their vacancies. But I did feel excited. I felt so excited, I emailed Alex with the details. The lady said that she was condifent that I would be hired by end of September!

“It’s just a HR company vetting and making sure that you are not a crazy person,” Alex replied.

My heart faltered. It was not the thing that I wished to hear. It was the truth but it was not necessary. We were looking at the flowers in the garden while Kat was cooking us dinner last evening. I sulked all the way to the kitchen after he said that.

I have struggled with my own insecurities for the past month. Are you surprised? I don’t know about you but I wasn’t too surprised. It is an amazing thought seeing that I actually do possess a really huge ego. But yes, in my quieter moments, I actually do feel small and self-doubting. I just do not let many people know this part of me – the lost child who is apprehensive and timid. (That’s why I need my high heels, you see? Higher heels means taller in height and taller people can see futher.)

I felt defeated before I even began the war. I was trying to garner courage to go for interviews and talk to prospective employers and I was basically left alone to these on my own. Everyone around me keeps asking me, “When are you going to work?” but no one understands how difficult it is for me to actually find the courage to go out and look for a job. Everyone just assumes that I am like them, that I had experience like them when in actual fact, I was a nervous wreak!

I was not sure if my experience and qualification would translate over here. I felt apprehensive whenever I thought that I would have to work under another huge ego. Ego and ego does not agree, you see. Some people are able to mask their intentions very well. I am not one of them. I am quite transparent and most people around me know instantaneously whether I liked them or not.

All these years, I never took shit from anyone other than my clients. There was no office politics as I do try to be fair in the office. But now I am s-l-o-w-l-y accepting the fact that I will have to be more diplomatic and compromising. Perhaps be a little more cheerful and friendly, smile a little more etc etc.

As the car ahead moved a few inches forward, I shifted into gear and moved mine the few inches closer to home. I was having a conversation with you readers. At 6 a.m. I knew that I had to write something and my mind was determined to resolve itself. I hate mopping around the way I did in the pass few weeks. I hate being dependent on Alex for everything. I hated everything and I hated myself.

I have always been independent. I was a strong willed child and a little rebel when I was a teenager. I heed my parents’ advices but I am not one who would do something just because someone in authority asked me to. I was extra clinging when I arrived here, mainly because almost everything was new to me.

As a result, Alex and I were having a power struggle. I understood why he was pushing me but he did not understand why I was clinging. This underlying tension caused a lot of mini lash outs, where I put my English vocabulary to good use. I made him understand why I am feeling this way.

There will come a day when I will no longer feel so anxious and I will feel that everything is under my control once again. A drive to Standsted will not feel strange anymore and the restaurant down the road would have been visited. I would have my own life, with my own friends and work to do.

I will not have time to cook like I do now. Neither will I have time to do the laundry or iron the clothes the way I do now. Last year I was just in charge of housework but this year comes added responsibilities in the form of freelance writing, blog writing, the book project and work trickling from my business. I have not found a fulltime job here yet but I am already feeling the stress.

Sometimes I feel like telling Alex, “Appreciate my neediness for this second. It does not last long. Soon I will find my own friends and I will no longer depend on you for my socializing. I will my own means of escape from the house and from the relationship. On that day, you will wish that I would cling to you a little more.”

I determined in my heart, in the middle of the traffic jam this morning that I will sign myself up for pilates and another dance class. Those classes will be the start of my socializing here in Sevenoaks. Hopefully I will find some new friends and I will not need to keep pouring everything to Alex. I will have a new bunch of girlfriends to have coffee with. I determined in my heart that I will find myself a job by this September and I will work hard to adjust myself better. I foresee that I will be busy with new activities in London as well as Sevenoaks.

I am smiling thinking about it. No more pity parties. No more feeling glum that I am stuck at home or that I have nowhere to wear my cute clothes. The girl in heels is back and she is in control.

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Sunday, July 09, 2006
Christening The Sofa

Who gets up at 8:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning and drives 20 minutes to Bluewater to buy a sofa?

You are right, if you have guessed Alex. Alex, King of bargain hunting and not Her Royal Highness, Queen of shopping, Otto.

He pushed me out of bed and refused to feed me my usual 2 slices of bacon, 2 sausages, cheese, mushroom, tomato and hot chocolate. Instead he dragged me to Bluewater early last Saturday morning to line up when John Lewis opened its doors on the first day of summer sales. It was for a summer duvet, one that was down filled and lighter, to keep us cool during the hotter months. It had to be goose filled because Alex's cute bottom deserves only the best. He made me add the last sentence.

But the shopping turned expensive when we sat on a leather sofa found in the bargain section. On that day, I think we basically spent more than £500 and contributed to the death of at least 2 cows. If buying the sofa was not enough, Alex came back home, went online to ebay and bought a recliner and a little desk in the corner for me to write nice posts to you.

Alex started painting the living room (now glamourously named the Summer Room) since January and finally completed the room a day before the sofa arrived. I have taken some photos but I will only post next two weeks when the room is better furnished.

But until then, here are some photos of the day we christened the sofa with captions provided by Alex.

Photo #1

Photo #2

Photo #3

Photo #4

Alex said his caption sounds stupid and that he is going to bed. He is not responsible for the crap he contributed to this post. It's late, he said. He drove us to Longleat for a nice day of safari and those photos, my readers, will be posted tomorrow. I find myself agreeing with him this time and there will be no captions for the photos. While I am away, can you give some quirky captions for photos #1 to #4?

Till then, I need to tuck my hairy boy into bed. Bye!

Small Talk
Am watching Dirty Sanchez while I am typing this post. The word "bird" keeps popping up all over the episode and they were not refering to the feathery kind. Why? Why do men call a normal nice girl a "bird"? As in "that's why I fucked lots of birds".

*pause* I just saw some nuts got struck by a pool ball... F**k..... then a golf ball... and other balls.... thumb tacks... candle...


Friday, July 07, 2006
Goodbye My Lover #1001

Goodbye My Lover, James Blunt

"Tell me again, tell me if you do,"

"What? That if I love you? You know that I do,"

"Then tell me again, AB. Can you please tell me? Tell me why do I love you?"

"Because I am the opposite of you..."

I know your smell and I know you do not love me. I have said that a thousand times and I find myself saying that again and again, trying to convince myself that it is true. I know it is true. You do not love me and there is no reason for me to love you.

But I just do.

And love is blind and that I knew when,
My heart was blinded by you.
I've kissed your lips and held your head.
Shared your dreams and shared your bed.
I know you well, I know your smell.
I've been addicted to you.

Goodbye my lover.
Goodbye my friend.
You have been the one.
You have been the one for me.

It's been 6 months since I laid in your arms and 2 years since we shared your bed. It's time for me to let you ago. I am trying my best. This will be my one thousand and one attempt. If I try hard enough, I know one day it will come true. One day the sun will shine when I open my eyes. On that day, my goodbye will be the last and I will be free. I will no longer think of you.

Protecting ourselves

Related posts


Thursday, July 06, 2006
My Father, My First Teacher

I woke up this morning with a finger tickling me on my left side. I twitched my ten fingers and I was sure that the tickling finger was not mine. I laid still and pretended to be asleep, knowing that Alex is smiling like an elf if I turned over to look. So my 6 feet 2 inch pet elf named Alex continued to tickle and I continued to pretend to be asleep.

After a few minutes, I heard the woodpecker pecking at the bird feeder and jumped out of bed to watch the red comb baby bird pecking on some peanuts. Alex fetched for the white towel and went to the bathroom for his compulsory morning bath. That boy sweats a lot at night *bluek*

And suddenly, out of the blue I remembered an old song and my heart began to sing. Hey diddle diddle… The cat and the fiddle… The cow jumped over the moon… The little dog laughed…

There is always a long pause when the little dog laughed. That was how I learnt the nursery rhyme when I was a child, sat perched at the end of the table, listening to the vinyl playing in the old black plastic record player.

… To see such sport… And the fork ran away with the spoon…

I smiled, switched on the TV to my favourite presenter each morning and swayed my crossed feet as another nursery rhyme float into my mind.

Such were my childhood. One that was filled with books and nursery rhymes and memories of my father that stretches as far as I can remember. One of my fondest memory I have of my father is him singing “Kookoburra” to me. My father recorded his voice and mine, singing to this song, when I was approximately 4 years old. I always hear how much my father loves me each time I play that recording and what a spoilt brat I was then.

Kookaburra is the epitome of my childhood with my father. Playing tennis in the evenings, picking my mother after she finishes the afternoon session, climbing the rambutan tree for sweet treats and going to the market to purchase coconut hearts. I do not know what is the actual terminology for this part of the coconut but basically it is the soft, sphere shaped white of the coconut. The size of a ping pong ball, the heart is found inside some coconuts and is deliciously soft and sweet to any four or five year old child.

Thirty years might have passed but my father is still as entertaining and youthful as he was years and years ago, when I was a child. Recently he has become internet savvy. These days my father sits excitedly by his laptop whenever he has spare time and he reads news and political gossips. I think he is beginning to realise how addictive internet can be.

“You are STILL at the laptop?” I asked him some weeks ago when he first began using the search engines and owned his own mailbox.

“The dinosaur finally woke up,” he said. His eyes were twinkling like Santa's and he was gleefullly typing on his black keyboard.

I spent some time doing up this blog template yesterday when my father came online. I had a MSN chat with my father, with Ian in another box. My father was testing my grammar. When I told Ian that, he laughed.

May I remind you that I am already 30 years old but there my father was in the MSN box asking me questions such as:

The difference between:
  • Resistant and resistance.

  • Evolve and revolve.

  • Assist, resist and desist.

  • Pass and past.

  • Facist, pacifist and anarcist.

I had a ball of time chatting with my father. At one point of our conversation, I changed my MSN avatar to my favourite childhood photo; that of me on a plastic pony. He immediately typed, “Is that you on that plastic horse?”

Years might have passed but no matter how old I get, my father will always be my father and I will always be his daughter. He will always be excited by every little thing I do and he will always be my teacher; teaching me how to be an elegant woman, how a man should be, of love and devotion, grammar, spelling, reading and English.

My first teacher taught me about life and living - be your best and give your best.

Small Talk
Click here for a list of English nursery rhymes.


Tuesday, July 04, 2006
How It Feels When You Lose

I am running in a dark tunnel. My feet feel balmy against the cold uneven ground. There is a sense of urgency. The air is thin. I am gasping for a breath of air. There is hardly any. My lungs are chocking for fresh air but there is none. I am still running in the tunnel.

I cannot turn around and run. I came from there and it was as dark as it is now, if not darker. It was nowhere. So I can only run forward. And so I run. I am running as hard as my legs can take me. I am running forward with my feet bare and my hands feeling my way where my eyes cannot see.

It must been 10 minutes since I woke up in this black hole of a tunnel. There is nothing in here except for the occasional sound of a soft breeze. I must run towards the soft breeze. It must lead me somewhere, right? Maybe the soft breeze originates from a river or a waterfall.

It does not matter if it was a river or a waterfall. I just want a drop of water. My throat is feeling parched. Argh! My right foot brushed against a rock and it is feeling cooler by the minute. Bloody hell, my damn foot is bleeding. I am in the middle of nowhere and I do not know what is ahead.

Where am I? Yes, I ask myself that as each minute passes by. My heart is beating so fast that I feel it is almost bursting ahead of me. Pearls of sweat are running down my chin. I am about to scream. A banging pain against my left temple. Grabbing the hem of my blouse, I rubbed it on my back. I am drying sweat from between my cleavage and under my breasts.

I am about to cry. What is it that I am seeing? My eyes are seeing a tiny speckle of light. I see a white light shining at the end of the tunnel. It must be the end of this darkness. It must be what separates me from the unknown and the known. It has to be. There is light just ahead of me and I can taste the victory on the tip of my tongue. I pick myself from the cold ground and start running again. I must have fell a dozen times because my knees are feeling sore. But I keep running and picking myself up to run again because I can see the light. It is ahead of me and it feels good to see the light.

This is the dash towards victory. My dash towards victory. This is the moment that everyone is waiting for. The defining moment of being a winner or a loser.

I must be running for more than 15 minutes by now. The light is not getting any bigger. It is still the same small speckle I saw 15 minutes ago, when my hope was soaring.

I am still running in the tunnel and I do not know where I am going. I can see the light and I feel like I am almost there. But the light is running away from me. The closer I run towards it, the further I feel the light source is. I am trying hard. God knows that I have. I am pushing myself. I ran. I run. I am still running but the light is not any closer than it was 5 minutes ago. Or two days ago. Or even a month ago. As a matter of fact, the light seems to run at the same pace as me and in the same direction.

One last gasp for fresh air. My lungs are collapsing. I guess I cannot win. Not today anyway.


Sunday, July 02, 2006
Mid Life Crisis #3

My four articles for the car magazine are finally published. I did my homework and discovered, much to my delight, that the magazine is read by more than 53, 000 car enthusiasts in Malaysia. A very good reason for me to celebrate!

My best article was of a concept car unveiled at the Japanese Motorshow and it was, according to Good Editor, the best page in terms of content and layout. It was just my luck, I guess, as the car was a marriage between car ingenuity and fashion design with me being good with fashion (and car, by means of research).

I should scan the articles as soon as the magazine arrives through my letterbox. I am collecting references and samples of writing, after all. I will be more than happy to forward these articles to any editors who might be kind enough to offer me an opportunity to write freelance.

Good Editor has, in the pass few days, asked me to return to Malaysia to set up a company with him. He has secured some new writing contracts and he had wanted to collaborate with me. Basically he wants to include me into the equation and make me his partner. I do not see how I am going home any sooner than September 26th, unless I have confirmed work here in the UK this autumn. But I am very excited about how things are moving along for the magazine and between the Good Editor and I.

I cannot say the same for the blog though. If I wrote more than I did last week, I would have written articles entitled, “Here’s One More Reason Why I Hate Him” or “Top Five Reasons Why My Blog Is Not Acing It”. Somehow when it comes to this blog, I feel it is not good enough. It is just not. The more I read my statscounter, the more depress I feel.

So as you see, the last few weeks have been spent reflecting on my life. I honestly think that I am going through mid life crisis again. Yes, you read it right. I am having a mid life crisis and this is my third. Mid life crisis #1 happened about 4 years after I working and I medicated that by pursuing a Master degree from Deakin University and sitting in the bathtub with HighSchoolSweetheart.

Years later, it happened again. Men are known to buy shiny sporty cars when they experience mid life crisis. I did no such thing! Retail therapy does miracles when you are sad but it was utterly absurd to think a little red car or a shiny new toupee will solve a mid life crisis.

Mid Life Crisis #2 meant breaking up with Alan, moving in with Swedish Love and travelling. A LOT. I started another business and then it morphed into something else. And then there was the dark ages, when I was just drowning in vodka, dancing and dreaming of AB. Since then, I have sold the business and closed another last year. Friends who were anything but true have disappointed me and I learnt to be apprehensive of smiles and wary of people who were exceptionately kind. I still feel the same.

Now is the official Mid Life Crisis #3. As you know, I have uprooted myself from Malaysia, on my annual migration to London for summer. However unlike all previous years, this year I came here with a work visa. Obviously I want to work but I catch myself questioning my inner self, “What am I going to do?”

My professional life has been spent working in my own business. During my mid life crisises, I dabbled with one beauty contest (because my mother said I would not survive it) and opened a furniture boutique specialising in Burmese antique and furniture. One of the reasons why I started writing was to discover if I could do anything other than what I am currently doing. That and my vanity for stamping my name in this world.

And the more I try to run away from my professional career, the more I realise that it is set into my life like bones. I excel in what I do. I know I do. It has moulded me to be the person that I am today and it sets me apart from everyone else. It has left its mark on me and I am beginning to realise that this is such a huge part of my life, so much so that I am afraid of losing it.

Unlike most people, I own my business. Many people hold the opinion that owning your business is good. Some of these people are the down beaten employees, who are fed up with their 9 to 5 job. Or like Boss Stewie, some are ambitious souls. I fall under this second category. However what many do not realise is that a business owner cannot quit her job on a whim. So I am torn. I want a change in my professional scenery and yet, I realised that my business made me who I am today.

Personally I do not wish to join the mad rush into London every morning, even though I am living in one of the closer commuter towns and cities. I would much prefer if I could work somewhere that requires no more than 45 minutes of driving. And guess what? There are two vacancies in two companies less than 20 minutes drive away. There is also a business for sale, which I could acquire and just work in my own business again. All are less than 45 minutes drive away.

I stare at myself on most days. I do not dare to reflect and dream. I do not want to think about the “what if-s” and the “what not-s”. I do not know what I should do and I do not know how I am going. All I know is that I have to go and hopefully it takes me to somewhere more beautiful, both emotionally and physically.

Small Talk
With a readership of more than 53, 000 in Malaysia alone, I am sure that soon my identity will be known. I would appreciate if you would not mention my name or business here, if you already know who I am. Thank you.