Although I have generally failed, over the last few years at least, to write about important events in my life here, I couldn’t let this one pass without mentioning it. The scholarship bond that has been hanging over my head since the age of 19 has finally been discharged. While I certainly benefited from it in many ways, it also affected my life in ways I would have preferred to avoid – such as requiring me to leave my life in London and return to Singapore after university, and compelling Alec to move his own life over here in order for us to be in the same country. Things have worked out okay for us, thankfully. So as much as I do wonder what might have been, I need only look to my wonderful marriage, secure finances, comfortable lifestyle and close friendships to know and appreciate what is.

Still…it feels helluva good to finally have a say in what I think I am worth, rather than having to accept someone else’s determination. And so it was that, with gratitude but also some sadness, I resigned my position upon completion of my bond, and am now free to decide how exactly to spend the rest of my life living off Alec.


But yes, I’m taking a few months off from gainful employment to think about where I want to go from here. It’s terrifying! The lower-level stuff is easy – I want to pull up my DJing/photography/dancing socks, invest my savings better than I have done thus far, tidy up our home, shed a few pounds, support my mother as she cares for my increasingly frail grandmother, and do some travelling. But stepping aside from to-do-listable items and thinking about what I really want still leaves me without an answer. Who knew the Spice Girls asked life’s toughest questions?

While I try to figure out all that, I’ll leave you with the latest salvo fired in the Alec vs Russ wars. This surprise delivery arrived today:

Surprise Delivery


Alec was out when the flowers arrived, but of course I couldn’t resist calling him to tell him about them. We had this conversation when he got home:

Me: Come see my huge bouquet of flowers from Russ!


My Best Men

My best friend Russ arrives in Singapore this Saturday and will be staying with Alec until the wedding. As long-time readers of this blog (if any of you are still around given its recent dwindle into shitness, that is) will know, Alec and Russ have a complicated relationship.

The two of them were on Gmail Chat today ironing out some arrangements, and the following conversation ensued. (To understand the joke you need to read this post’s account of what happened at my graduation dinner, and this and this add a little extra flavour.)

Alec: Michelle and I are discussing who will collect you from the airport. Michelle is full of noble intentions but I’m expecting a resounding Zzzzzz on the actual morning.
Russ: Haha. Don’t worry. I think I can make it to yours by myself :D I just need to remember which bus it is. Thanks though :)
Alec: Suits me though. I can say, I was there at 5 in the morning, to carry all your bags and drive you back and……Finally some closure on the awful dinner in London with [her parents]
Russ: Hahahahaha
But you’d have to do this at least six times
Alec: #$%#$!!!!
Russ: Hee :) Can I forward this conversation to Michelle? (Hee hee)

ATP 2007: Road-tripping

I explained before why I never managed to attend All Tomorrow’s Parties when I lived in England, despite it being my dream festival. But several years on, I’ve brainwashed Alec into liking cacophonous clangy music, Jeremy (long-time music benefactor – see last bit of this post) now lives in London, and Russ finally has more disposable income and better taste in music :P which meant we had a lovely little group for our Butlins chalet. After a seven-year wait, I was finally on my way to ATP!

Our road trip to Minehead was quite enjoyable. I fiddled round with Russ’s iPod to make a playlist for the car journey, asking thought-provoking questions such as “So which is better, the normal version of Mariah’s Breakdown or the Mo Thugs Remix?” and sharing unarguable truths such as “An iPod with only 1 Roxette song is an iPod not worth speaking of.”

Alec and Russ had fun too:-

#1 (Russ mentioned that he sometimes accidentally deleted entire albums from his iPod.)
Me: Just goes to show how much iTunes sucks!
Alec: No, it only goes to show how much Russ sucks!

Russ: I don’t know why, but the last few people I’ve fancied have all been Irish or of Irish descent.
Alec: Wow Russ, I didn’t know I’d made such a significant impression on you.
Russ: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…oh sorry, think I laughed a bit too loud there.

We intended to cook our own food over the weekend so stopped off in ASDA to stock up, where Russ and Alec (our cooks) proceeded to load our cart with about three times the amount of food I’d have thought we needed. I ventured the timid suggestion that we could maybe use dried herb mixes instead of forking much more out for fresh herbs. They looked at me in silent derisory disbelief. We got the fresh herbs.

Continuing on our way, ten minutes away from Butlins the playlist I’d programmed hours before turned out to have been perfectly timed – the song itself started on the car speakers. Yay.

After checking in and a quick spag bol dinner where the boys served me, unsurprisingly, three times more food than I could eat, we rushed off to see The Dirty Three (the curators) do the first big gig of the festival.

Birthday Presence

So there I was, up to my ears in the details of an oil pipeline contract, and then I heard a voice outside the door of my office, asking for Michelle.

My first thought: Wah lau that bloody ________! Always barging into my office without calling first, just assuming I’m free to drop everything and attend to him. Too much!

My second thought: Hang on, that sounded like Alec. Wha??!

Next thing I knew, Alec was in my office with a bunch of lilies. :)

He couldn’t stay long because he had to rush off to work. I walked him down to the taxi point, and we had this conversation while waiting. Sorry if it grosses anyone out, but I thought it might amuse fans of the long-running Alec/Russ war.

Me: Aww, thanks for doing this. It was really sweet of you to bring the flowers yourself.
Alec: My pleasure. Anyway, I totally had to one-up Russ.
Me: Ha! I bet next year Russ will COME FROM ENGLAND to hand-deliver the flowers to me!
Alec: Well then the year after that I’ll FLY TO ENGLAND, BUY THE FLOWERS THERE, AND BRING THEM BACK!
Me: Aw. Okay, there’s your taxi. Bye dear.
Alec: See you later, dear. Happy birthday.

My Boys

Not only are my boyfriend and best friend in the same country as me for the first time in a year, they’re also living together. Given that my house doesn’t have a guest room, and Alec lives alone in my family’s old 3-bedroom apartment, it seemed to make sense.

In the run-up to Russ’s visit, the boys exchanged a number of affectionate emails. Here are some excerpts.

“we’ll be able to spend lots of time together – budddddiiiieeeeee” – Alec

“Oooh, lots of time with you (Alec). I wonder how that will turn out. Will we be best buds by the end of it, or will you suffer a fate of /accidentally/ falling off a balcony, or /accidental/ drowning? Who knows, we will have to wait and see.” – Russ

“I’d enjoy having you as a guest – you’d probably be my first visitor so I can work out all the problem with the guest room by using you as a guinea pig. e.g. ‘Hey Alec, this toilet doesn’t flush’ or ‘Alec, is that a dead rat in the corner?’… By the way, there’s a large pile of pigeon shit on the outside of the guest bedroom windowsill. You’d better bring a brush and sponge.” – Alec

Now in case anyone finds it puzzling that Alec would be mildly hostile towards my best friend (completely apart from the fact that Russ has a toned body, dances well, dresses well, has understood me intuitively almost from the day we met, and is a guy), let me recount a little incident from the past.

(Scene: the day of my graduation; dinner with my parents, Alec and Russ.)
My mum: Russ, I just want to thank you for everything you’ve done for Michelle over the years. Walking her home late at night, picking her up at the airport…
Alec, interrupting facetiously (I think): Ah yes, that’s what I wanted to talk to you about, Russ! I mean, you just make me look really bad as a boyfriend! All this picking her up at the airport at 9 in the morning…
Russ, interrupting facetiously (I think): Actually, it was 6 in the morning.
Me: Hahahahahahaha!
My parents: Hahahahahahaha!
Alec, seething quietly: Hahahahahahaha.

I think the flat will be big enough for both of them, don’t you?

How To Pleasure Your Girlfriend With Sheep

I probably big-up Alec here a bit more than is healthy for his ego, but really, what kind of guy dresses a ghetto blaster up as a sheep, complete with cotton balls for fluff and black socks on toilet rolls for hooves, and carries it across London to give his girlfriend at Christmas?

Judging from the malevolent looks he was apparently getting from other guys in the tube, some might say a specially sad kind of guy, but let me redeem him from male condemnation here.

I’m rather fond of sheep. I think they’re cute (and for the record, I think most baby animals, some human babies, and fuzzy things in general are cute too, so sue me). For my past two birthdays, Russ gave me these adorable sheep, which I’m inordinately fond of.

Alec, being a cynical old git, is less than enamoured with their ickle fuzzy nature. Add to this the fact that Russ has a proud tradition of giving me kickass presents, and has also thrown down some cybergauntlets of his own, and you get my boyfriend’s decision to dress his gift to me up as a big motherfucker of a sheep, and make it trample the two ickle ones.

[I should clarify: no bad blood actually exists between them. They accept each other as important people to me, who they care about, but also legitimate sources of mutual shameless wisecracking. I love both of them dearly, and all three of the sheep. I love my ghetto blasta’ from Alec (it plays MP3 CDs!) and my Daydream Nation on vinyl (with poster and promo photo of the band, press release, and cover print!) from Russ. I am a veritable love-fest these days, which is a nice if embarrassingly soppy thing to be.]