Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

In Between Appointments….

I do not like to lose time and I get annoyed when I have slots of times in between appointments, leaving me with a neither here nor there situation.

It means neither can I start on something as I cannot do much and get interrupted when I have to embark on the other appointment.

So here I am in between appointments, I get to do a blog post.

The day has been chokeful of work stuff. My lovely neighbor cooked fish curry indian style and provided me with naan, prata and basmati rice cooked with raisins. She wanted me to have extra for breakfast tomorrow too.

Good news is that this is our 12th day without community cases and just learnt that Vietnam has gone 81 days without community cases. I am happy.

How it works to have zero community cases is that both citizen and government cooperates, working together to manage the spread.

Of course as a citizen I feel the restraint of freedom to go about without a mask but I am not an idiot to know that this works against me.

I learnt that it is my responsibility to do my part to ensure everyone’s safety.

There is a lot of temptation too – drinking or partying but this has resulted in their being caught and charged in court for behaving that way during a lockdown.

Many will scream…freedom to act, freedom to speak but we have all that except we do it with respect and not insult other people’s race or religion. I was very sad about the Paris incident and that must never happen here as we have 4 major racial groups; Chinese, Malays, Indians and Others.

My neighbor is Chinese, I am Chinese but we are all united as Singaporeans.

Food unites us and the food that my neighbor cooked for me is Indian.

I am also glad that our pitch for Hawker Culture to be listed as a UNESCO heritage item.

Yes, food makes us happy.

Food creates friendships.

Food feeds the hungry and the celebrant.

Stay safe and healthy please.


Hoo Boy…Nana’s At Risk

This is not funny. I wonder which Prime Minister said it as the poor young one did not know if she does not practice good hygiene, she may be asymptomatic and pass it to nana or her parents.


Sunday Humor Before Monday Blues

I feel like a hamster, always running on the “proverbial wheel” as my life is pretty much the same.

Laundry, cleaning floors, toilets, disinfecting counter tops or surfaces that I use goes on and on.

Good news is that Bird sent me a photo of her egg plant showing the bud blooming into a flower.

Let’s hope the bees pollinate the flower else it will fall out and not fruit to become a brinjal.

Meanwhile lockdowns started back in European countries and Malaysia.

The travel bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong has been postponed from 22 November 2020 to be reviewed in another 2 weeks.

Apparently Hong Kong covid cases took a spike up. Wise to postpone and I am glad as Singapore is into it’s 11th day without community cases.

Lil Red Dot has been containing imported cases who enter our borders and serve quarantine or stay home notice and Covid swab tests catch these cases before they meld into our community.

2020 is ending soon and I am happy.

Hmm when Covid ends, how will it be celebrated?

Hoo boy. .Wifey’s in trouble?! Poor grammar or?
If it was maybe the vehicle for Ghost Busters?!

Death Know No Bounds! Thank Goodness I Am Surrounded By Kindness

People around me are dropping like flies and the sad part is, they should not as Death robbed them way too soon.

Mr X joined my company some 4 months ago and on the 4th month, he did a health screen as he suddenly started losing weight.

The usual colonoscopy was done amongst other tests. He was diagnosed with 2 large tumors in his liver and pancreas – inoperable and end stage.

On 16 November 2020, I was told he succumbed to the cancer and passed at age 38, leaving behind a wife and 2 young children. Mr X originates from the Philippines and became a permanent Resident of lil red dot.

My heart went out to him as all I could do in the last month or so was to check in and ask how he was doing and if the immunotherapy shots delivered by his oncologist was helping him. It is apparent it did not and he spent $1,800 plus per injection. Thankfully he had a good insurance plan.

Then, Mr Vendor I know who jokes and laughs with me or gets a thwacking now and then for not doing things right, suffered a stroke.

I am unsure how Mr Vendor is doing as periodic updates from his colleague said that he managed to come out of the coma but unsure what faculties are affected. He is in his 30s.

I am sad. But I also know that life is fragile and Death knows no bounds. It claims anyone, anytime, without care on age, looks or physical being.

just when I am enveloped by all this sadness, I was suddenly embraced with the kindness of a neighbor, that I say “hi and bye” to whenever we meet in the underground car park where we live.

Out of the blue Ms Neighbor asked me why is it she hardly saw me those times and I explained to her that I was ill and hospitalised.

Next thing I knew, she started to send me cooked dinners.

Top: Baked mackerel fish with assorted vegetables Bottom: Stewed chicken with stir fried nai bai vegetables. Each boxed dinner was served with a side of rice and a bowl of soup.

I am blessed by her kindness and eat every morsel with appreciation and thanks as she need not do. She is not paid for any of these meals and does it out of the kindness and goodness of her heart.

These are local Teochew pastries called Tau Sar Piah. It comes in sweet or salty filling versions. I bought some to give to Ms Neighbor as I feel it is nice to reciprocate her kindness as she will not take money.
I also added some egg tarts for her and hopes it is tasty.

Luckily Ms Feisty walked past a bakery shop and she asked me if I needed anything. Timely, as I could buy these for Ms Neighbor to enjoy.

I love Charlie Brown’s philosophy and agree.

My life has been filled with good and kind people and this extends even to doctors that treat me.

I appreciate the kindness of people and just as I mourn the loss of people I meet, I am reminded of the positives of those that are alive.

My belief is simply this; we meet for a reason and part when karma ends.

This is why some friends feature more in one’s life at one point or another than others.

Happy weekend ahead.


Cooking For Me Is An Achievement Of Sorts When It Looks Edible & Tasty!

I never thought I could get groceries this cheap at Cold Storage.

$1.20 each for the long stemmed greens call Chye Sim and for a packet of tomatoes.

What I liked about the tomatoes were that each tomato was a small one and not like those giant ones that I could not finish for making a sandwich.

Both veggies were from Malaysia and I was just delighted with my find.

Small things like these make me happy. Haha!

Fried rice vermicelli with canned braised pork trotters, cabbage and shitake mushrooms
Fried brown organic rice with egg, french beans, peas, carrots and minced pork. I add diced chili padi for that ‘kick’ for taste.

I feel so achieved…haha…that is dinner for next 2 weeks.


A World Unimaginable As We Digitalize

I belong to an odd generation of people that must innovate or die or be left behind to rot amongst the “unsmarts” – I am always caught in the middle!

By the time I am onto something, something new pops up that requires me to be up to speed on.

My work requires me to be IT savvy. I learnt to Zoom or use Teams for teleconferences as Covid ravaged the business world. I learnt how to approve payroll for more than 300 persons using E spreadsheets versus the old days of paper copies to check.

I do digital sign offs that are legally binding.

Suddenly webinars are everywhere for me to sign up and best of all, it is free!

I work harder whilst working from home. Time is not a factor as web based meetings can be called after working hours and Lords prefer to do their personal errands and start meetings when it suits them after 5pm.

Drones are used to manage the checks and balances of building works.

Tons of software for safe management measures – digital forms, QR codes, scan to enter and exit, Trace Together Apps, Banking Apps, Payment Apps, all sorts of apps.

I cannot imagine how my parents could survive in an economy like now. They are dinosaurs of the paper world and it is a challenge for seniors to keep up with scanning a QR code to pay for a bowl of noodles when they do not even know how to use android or smartphones.

I marvelled at how China has its seniors on board as it seems they used payless systems which gave Alibaba, WeChat and TaoBao online services for online systems to run their lives.

There are some things I am resistant to. I try not to use digital payments as I am wary of hackers and the world of cyber crimes.

Although I am not a gazillionaire, I am worried about unsuspecting seniors who get scammed and cheated of their life’s savings.

I really hate to be left behind and am worried that as the mega trends of IT and digitalisation progresses, I may become a new dinosaur in the new world.

My refusal to order online, do online shopping or stick to traditional newsprint instead of e copies is my style of trying to retain the old normal as I take parts of the new normal to adapt to.

I just cannot accept the thought of having groceries arriving with some rotting leaves or less fresh or not personally selecting the fish, meats or poultry.

Yes, I got to change.

Yes, I have innovated and become a digital nomad. (definition: a person who uses technology for work.) But I am not a coder or programmer to devise or figure which ports or LAN cable points to hook up my TV boxes as I leave that to the TV guy. Some things are best left to people who need to do it, to earn a living haha!


David Kwo’s Final Painting Gifted To Me By Mr Architect

David Kwo Cat2

Mr Architect knows that I adore my inanimate furball Garfield, a character created by Jim Davis.

But being the hoity toity bourgeoise personality that Mr Architect is, he felt the need to give me a gift of value through an art form.

I loved Garfield and since he hobnobs with artists of certain stature, he zeroed in on Mr David Kwo who paints cats!

He took the trouble to attend an art sale and had this piece painted by David Kwo bought as a gift for me. David Kwo passed away shortly after. David Kwo painted this at age 84 years old.

It is amazing that David Kwo can still hold a steady hand to complete this art piece for me. I was told it had 99 cats but I have not been able to count all 99 cats just yet.

I admit I am a dog lover but given Garfield is a cat, I have become a feline appreciator of solely Garfield as an inanimate cat. Still, this painting of David Kwo is much treasured as appreciated as it came from a dear friend who took the trouble to commission this for me and I cannot remember if it was for my birthday or Christmas.

Thank you Mr Architect for giving me a gift that is unique!

Mr Architect is happily based in Shanghai and living the life of a master of his sprawling house there. I am happy he is a successful businessman and has the ability to live a life that he enjoys – opera, fine wine, fine foods, classy outfits!


Get Ready For Christmas As Count Down Begins – 1 Month ++

I remember Noddy the Elf from Enid Blyton days. As an 8 year old, I was an ardent fan of Enid Blyton’s books.

The Famous 5 and Secret 7 series were also another great series of her works.

I learnt about elves, imps and goblins from Enid Blyton and she honed my English skills. She taught me to know of a land of fantasy where fairies and all things related to magic and mystery were.

But with political correctness and activists, Enid was unfortunately labelled as xenophobic, racist or elitist.

I wish people could read the books for the stories it tell and not see these as ugly things or thoughts.

I did not become influenced if any of the allegations were true but instead treasured Enid Blyton for giving me a good English foundation as I read voraciously and moved on to Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and classics like Little Women and other classic tales.

Uncanny look alike! The lad must be proud that he became a model for the elf figure!
2020 will surely end with a lot of criticisms and world’s first for contagious disease, US elections, LIl Red Dot Elections and other catastrophes. I am sure many cannot wait to see 31 December 2020 and herald in a much more better 2021!

No Outcomes Yet For USA Elections But Circus Begins

I can really empathise with the Americans at this stage of the elections as it has become so divisive and even if any leader emerges, every American would have lost.

I would hate it if the public went so far as to go against the parties each candidate represented and start to have riots or statements to tell those to remain in their states or this or that does not apply to you as you voted for the other party.

Governments are meant to lead and bring people together and I sincerely hope that Orange Man plays a fair hand and not obstruct the counting process. Let the citizens vote and have their voices heard.

I guess both must be magnanimous to concede defeat as there can only be 1 winner and not 2.

Life goes on for everyone I guess but what is key is that groups do not form and get polarised to start riots or cause unnecessary hardship for others who may innocently be caught in the crossfire.

I sincerely hope that professionalism, political courtesy and kindness prevail so that each person will be able to live in peace, harmony and equality so that America can be the big leader it can be for other countries to emulate.

All I can say is that both Presidential hopefuls must be feeling the heat and pressures. Is it really worthwhile at the end of it all? All the stress, anger, hatred or decisions to take or make must bear down hard on health.

May the best man wins and may the electors have their votes counted and heard.

Good luck America on the outcomes of choice……


An Extra Post Before Bedtime To Reflect On

Everything is going up in prices except wages. Well, I cannot blame employers right now as the market is at its worst, ravaged by Covid-19.

Just this week, our iconic departmental store of 162 years in lil red dot folded, Robinson’s Departmental Store.

I loved this grand dame of a store and remember going there with my mum to get bed linens and towels as the origin of this store hailed from U.K. It acquired Marks & Spencer too and I was happy to get my cookies and clothes from Marks and Sparks as I would call it like the locals.

Their service staff are loyal and some have stayed as their first and last jobs, working even at age 70 years old.

I did a part time stint there to earn pocket money in between school before I went to pursue my tertiary education abroad.

Many reasons led to its failure – it started bleeding when it could not hold onto market share and in the last decade, it was bought over by a company in Dubai and this Dubai company added brand labels and Zara and Mango.

For now, no news yet on if Marks and Spencer, Mango or Zara will fold too.

Other retailers have shuttered too – Esprit and sporting outlets too.

The major reason I felt was rental. Bricks and mortar units cost a bomb and with growing changes to consumer preferences to go online and where online stores are selling items much cheaper as they had not rental to pay for a sprawling store front.

Plus Covid-19 killed it when tourists stopped coming in as Covid-19 hit.

I now fear the other icons may fall – unless they re-invent selves to become an online store and be like BHG. Apparently this BHG has done well to survive as it has both online and bricks and mortar shops.

I am sad that Robinson’s fell victim to changing trends and times. I sincerely hope that its staff can find re-employment too as it is tough not to have a job these days.

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