Last night, I had a rare Girls’ Night Out evening. Two friends invited me for a ‘girls’ evening’. I don’t normally do ‘girls’ things on a big scale. Socially, I’m comfortable with no more than 3 girls. A social Girls’ Night Out involves hundreds of women. It was a scary thought. My friend bought me the ticket, so, to improve my social skill and to expose myself to new challenging environments, I gave it a go.
I told my friend that I was worried about ‘girls’ thing, but she joked that I was becoming a grumpy old woman.
The event was held by World Vision. It’s a Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice.
The Girls’ Night Out event promised that we would be inspired by Carrie Grant (a celebrity), be entertained by Jo Enright (a comedian), and be treated with goodies and delicious sweets. As Jo Enright was ill, Carrie Grant’s husband, David Grant (also a celebrity), took her place and entertained the audience with an engaging sing a long choir session. Continue reading
I’d never realised that my house could be that quiet. Eerily quiet.
This morning I’m officially a woman without her chickens. Two remaining chickens were killed, possibly last night.
I saw feathers scattering around in their chicken run this morning. One dead chicken was under a bush. One was gone. The fox must have taken her for her babies. The fox would come back again for this one, so we decided to leave the dead chicken in the garden for the fox’s collection.
Once I realised I’ve now lost all our chickens — 5 in total, since last summer, I felt a sense of loss. Suddenly the complete silence commanded the house. Continue reading
Yesterday I wrote about my expensive eye care in the UK.
The total cost to my optician yesterday was £457 before a discount. I also bought 3 items recommended by my optometrist. These are an Eyebag called MGD RX (£20), eye drop and an eyelid hygiene liquid called Blephasol. These items cost £39. The total cost for my eye care yesterday before a discount was about £500.
(My non-designer plain titanium frame cost £192 (the cheapest I could find; I needed a titanium frame because of my skin allergy to alloy) and the lenses cost £215. The examination and photograph fees were £50 in total.)
A few days later, I did a quick search online, and found that if I had chosen to buy the 3 items online, I could have saved myself at least £12.
Image by jjjohn via Flickr
My glasses snapped last week. I went straight to my optometrist at Rawlings. After thorough examinations and photos taken of my eyes, and a new frame and lenses, the total bill was over £400. I chose a non-designer frame.
Do I have a choice? No. Because I needed the service and my new glasses.
The alternative was to pay into an 18 month plan (at £8.50 per month). This covered free eye care, and the cost of my glasses and lenses will be cut by 25%. Continue reading
One day, coming back from swimming, I opened the door to be confronted by a distinct smell. I asked my husband a stern question, “Has CC (name of neighbours’ dog) been in the house?” “Yes! But how do you know that?” Husband apparently didn’t quite understand my question.
I told my husband that the smell of the dog’s presence was overpowering. If my husband had had a woman in the house, I would also have been able to detect the scent of a woman too. Scent is subtle. I can smell it. I don’t like bacon, for example, as its smell is too overpowering. A dog’s smell in a house is overwhelmingly strong if you’re not used to it.
Then we had a row. Continue reading
Sorry I haven’t been writing for a while.
I visited my friends the other day. Their dog barked at me, non-stop. I was smiling, speaking to the dog softly, praising him. His master also asked him to be good. “Darling, it’s ok, good boy!” They tried to calm the dog down.
The dog jumped on me, barking even louder. My friend said, “Janet, CC (dog’s name) is actually waiting for you to give him a stroke. Give him a stroke and he’ll be fine.” Continue reading
Today (Wednesday), the British Red Cross sent me a small packet.
This packet includes 2 greeting cards with envelopes (free), 1 bookmark (free), and the most amazing of all, a pen (free). Of course, it also comes with a letter asking for donation.
Here is the dilemma: a FREE pen from the Red Cross, sent to me by post. Should I use the pen to sign a cheque or give out my direct debit details? Or, does it make me a very bad person if I use this pen to doodle? Or even worse still, what if I chuck the pen — since the pen is not my kind of pen. I prefer Japanese gel ink pen such as Uniball Signo, or Staedtler Triplus fineliner from Germany.
I tried to discuss my dilemma with my 12-year-old son. “Ben, do you think the British Red Cross should spend/waste their money and send everyone FREE pens and FREE cards? Do you think FREE pens will attract more donations for the Red Cross?” My son replied, “Mum, you asked the same questions last time. Why are you repeating yourself?” Continue reading
I read my emails after work yesterday. The Times had sent me a news update at lunch time. This was the message:
Here are the top stories on thetimes.co.uk this lunchtime:
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old student suspected of planting a bomb at the Boston Marathon, is said to have begun responding to investigators via handwritten notes despite remaining in a “serious condition” having survived a suicide attempt http://thetim.es/boston-questions
Jeremy Hunt has defended his plan to make aspiring nurses spend up to a year working as hands-on carers after it was criticised as “stupid” and unworkable by nursing chiefshttp://thetim.es/nursing-plan
Liverpool have said that they will not sell Luis Suárez despite confirming they have fined the controversial footballer and put him on a behavioural programme after he bit a Chelsea defender during their game yesterday http://thetim.es/hungry-dippo
Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, has admitted privacy concerns over the search giant’s Google Glasses and called for a “new social etiquette” to govern their use http://thetim.es/i-eye
The prospect of Formula One cutting its ties with Bahrain appears increasingly unlikely after Bernie Ecclestone indicated that a new five-year contract could be awarded to organisers of the country’s controversial grand prix http://thetim.es/bahrain-F1
And finally, a French sailor had a lucky escape after he was attacked by a crocodile while swimming off the north coast of Australia, leaving him with a “few holes on the head” and a remarkable tale of survival http://thetim.es/lucky-bite
Thanks for reading,…”
After skimming the text, I asked myself, has it improved my understanding of the world, or my empathy, at all? Do I, does everyone, still need to be fed current trivia of the 19 year-old loser? Continue reading
I tried to find out some information about the major earthquake in Sichuan, China, however, it’s almost hidden in the newspapers as the earthquake is not major news in the UK, comparing to Boston bombing. Today, I bought the Sunday Times, and expected the earthquake news to be easily found. It isn’t. From the front page to page 5, the news is dominated by Boston bombing, in great details. The China earthquake news is on the bottom right of pg 33 (the main section has only 34 pages of news).
I went for a long walk in a country park with some friends yesterday. It was drizzling and we still covered ourselves with thick winter coats. After a refreshing walk, I told my friends how grateful I was to be with them, as it was the most comfortable walk I have had for a long time.
What do I mean by being ‘comfortable’? During our walk, we walked more or less at the same pace, but sometimes the group would split into two, and some walked ahead and we would catch up later, or the other way round. We would stop for a short break, having a chat. It was simply a leisurely walk, with good conversation. We didn’t set a goal as to how many miles we would have to cover in two hours. Later, we even stopped for a hot drink and comfort food and had another long break.
There was no pressure of achieving any goal, apart from spending some time together out in the open. We didn’t stick as a group of five all the time during the walk. We all had total freedom, yet we enjoyed each other’s company. There was no competition of speed or knowledge into little unknown flowers. That was how I felt, being relaxed and comfortable, and I hope my friends have felt the same pleasure towards the trip too.
Image by ovizo0n via Flickr
Comment 1: “You walk far too slow”
Walking with friends has slowly become more and more difficult for me, as there’re many conflicting walking styles. Sometimes our expectations failed to meet each other’s, and without sufficient mutual understanding, the walks couldn’t be enjoyable. Once, my friends commented that we (my son and I) walked too slowly during a country walk with them. We were simply TOO SLOW. They emphasised this a few times and I asked them please stop criticising me. I couldn’t help how I walked. My son and I would sometimes stop and chat, and sometimes he needed to adjust his shoelaces (more than once), and he would complain the journey was too long. I was also worried being lost and kept asking where we actually were. It’s become clear to me that we had became a burden and nuisance in the wild and we certainly had reduced their joy of walking. Continue reading