Archive for February, 2014

breaking the duct

Whatsapp conversation with a few people this afternoon…

Me: D! Which side of the Court should we be sitting!!
C: Don’t you guys always try to get the right side anyways?
Me: Nono we always sit on the left and lose…
C: Hahaha…then try the right this time!
Me: Problem – we sat on the right side for [some other case we lost].
A: Lol
Me: Ok we got the right side.

[one hour later]

Me: The right side is the correct side.
A: What was the result?
Me: We won!


So we went straight from Court to the nearest pub and drank a bottle of champagne.



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I just lost something, physically and emotionally.

But I guess I will be fine. I will just work out my bitterness on the next three people who call me to tell me that my offers are too low and write some scathing submissions for my contested application on Thursday.

That’s why I love my job. It has kept me sane through a whole lot of craziness in my life. Or maybe my job is so crazy that everything else seems normal.

Whatever it is, I am really thankful for it.



We went to the Airshow yesterday with the kiddies.

Lion made us all walk around in the crazy hot sun peering at all of the airplanes until he passed out from exhaustion and had to be carried to the car.

Then before we went to bed at night, he had the following conversation with The Other Half:

He: Is it that when we wake up we can go and see the aeroplanes again?
Daddy: No, S. The aeroplanes have flown off home. We cannot see them anymore.
He: What if they accidentally shoot each other with the big missiles?
Daddy: They won’t shoot each other with the big missiles.
He: Is it that the big missiles are only used to shoot bad guys?
Daddy: Yes.
He: Can I sit on the aeroplanes?
Daddy: No, S.
He: Can we go back to see the aeroplanes next time?
Mummy: Maybe next time, okay? Go to bed.



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Fifteen minutes before I was due to leave work yesterday, a rather harassed looking Commando appeared at my doorway with a file and the following conversation ensued:

He: Hello. Are you free?
Me: I am actually in the middle of something. What’s up?
He: Can you vet something?
Me: Erm…I could except that I would probably have to leave abruptly in the middle of it like the last time.
He: That’s okay. You see, I saw a cockroach at my desk. I don’t know where it’s gone.
Me: So you decided to come to my room to let it have a chance of getting away?
He: …
Me: Wait. Are you scared of cockroaches?
He: I was trying to kill it. I came back with the insecticide and it was gone. I don’t know where it is.
Me: You are not answering the question. So you are scared of cockroaches?
He: …I lost it. It’s somewhere in my cubicle.
Me: Okay, never mind. You are like one of those shifty witnesses in Court who can’t answer yes or no questions. I will just take it that you are scared of cockroaches. And you have insecticide in your cubicle to deal with this? That’s a bit extreme right?
He: Nono! I borrowed the insecticide from someone.
Me: So you saw a cockroach and you borrowed insecticide from someone to kill it. But when you came back, it’s not there anymore but it is somewhere in your cubicle so you have come to my office to hide?
He: Erm…something like that.
Me: That’s really a first for me. Oh well. Let’s see what you’ve got for me to vet and I will ask Secretary M to go and kill the roach for you.

Something about the fact that Commando is scared of cockroaches is making me laugh like hell.

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I was sad for the last 12 to 15 hours or so over the Grounds of Decision which were released for one of our matters.

I am now not sad anymore, mostly because The Buddha made extra effort to cheer me up over lunch and Champagne Truffle took us to this hole in a wall coffee place along the river that had this really kickass coffee that kept me buzzing all afternoon while I devoured all the work I was unable to do while I was sad.

I work with amazing people. I constantly remind myself to be thankful for having them to go everything with. It makes it slightly more bearable.


“We will probably meet like heaps of lawyers there.”
“Then I think we shouldn’t go. Because, you know, I don’t like other people much.”
“That’s like your cat saying that she doesn’t like other cats much.”

But we went anyway and we didn’t run into heaps of lawyers.


I was asked last night how my day was and I tried to tell the person who asked me why I felt so down.

I could tell that by my second sentence, she had lost all interest. Then she proceeded to say that maybe I was feeling like crap because the weather was so hot yesterday afternoon.

That is the reason why I never talk about my work to these people anymore.

I hate it when people ask about my day when they are not actually interested in the answer. I don’t want to feel obliged to package my emotions into a bite-size template answer safe for public consumption.

When I have a shit day, I will say that I have a shit day and I will proceed to tell you why exactly it was such a shit day. If you can’t deal with that, don’t ask.


I started a little photo project over the weekend to take pictures of the things that my kids stop to look at while we wandered around on our various little gallivants.

It is quite eye-opening. Like the following picture of an olive tree:


Lion stopped in his tracks and started laughing at the tree, how it has funny eyes and nose. We pass by this tree so many times and I have never noticed that it looks like an Ent.

Or this frog in the middle of a pond by its lonesome self:


By this time, Peanut and Lion were running out of battery but they still found the energy to stand by that little window into the pond and croaked in unison.

I hope to continue this project on a regular basis. Looking at the pictures at the end of today is doing quite a bit for my sanity.

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I really wonder why people perpetuate the myth that the youngest child is the most doted on.

The person who started that myth was probably not a Third Child, in any case.

Being a Third Child is awful. It means that you spend a lot of time waiting around while everyone fusses over no1 and no2. By the time your parents had finished solving the problems of no1 and no2, they have little to no energy left to deal with the Third Child.

So the Third Child waits and waits and nothing much happens in all of that waiting.

Then somewhere in all of that waiting, the Third Child decides to do something about it. It starts with trying to find ways to deal with the boredom. Then you start trying to solve your own problems because no one is solving them for you. Then you work your way towards being a completely self-sufficient person without anyone.

One day, someone suddenly realizes that the Third Child had quietly grown up in the shadows of no1 and no2 and is a completely reliable person! The parents pat themselves on the back. The world continues on and no one remembers that the Third Child was left to grow up all on her own in dark places. There are many things hidden in those dark places. There are many resentments and secrets. Not so nice things. The Third Child hides those dark places quite well. No one should ever go there if one could help it.

Once in a while, when the world gets a bit much to handle, she creeps in there and curls up for a while until she remembers that self-pity gets one nowhere. Then she returns to the top of a hill that she climbed up through her own efforts, with those dark places grassed over. She stands in her usual spot in the sun and reminds herself how wonderful it is just to be away from the things in the dark.


Over the weekend, my cousin-in-law told us about how Niece Ying was so ahead in her math homework that her teacher refuses to tell her what is being taught next. She is apparently doing homework ahead of time in anticipation of times when she would be busy with other stuff [like the two instruments she play] and would not be able to do homework.

Niece Ying is a Third Child.

Being super-organised is probably her way of coping with the boredom of waiting around.


I learnt how to knit when I was 11 years old from a book I borrowed in the library to deal with the boredom.

For many years thereafter, my mother and sisters complained about me wasting money on yarn and needles and wasting time on knitting swaths and swatches of misshapen stuff. I quietly sat in my corner and continued knitting and knitting and knitting, like Madame Defarge in A Tale of Two Cities.

Then I made a top for myself one day.

Suddenly everyone wanted me to knit them something.


Someone once said that my default mode was “Bored”.

I get bored sitting at my desk. So I go to Court. When I get there, I am bored standing around. So I read a book. I get bored reading a book. So I chat with people. I get bored chatting with people so I walk off and play a tower defence game on my phone. I get bored staring at my phone. So I complain to the people around me that I am bored. I return to the office and I am bored at my desk again. I think about going home but the thought of the journey home bores me to death. I get on the train and I am bored. The train goes underground and I freak out if I don’t have a book with me because the underground reminds me of dark places. I get off the train and the thought of the walk home from the train station bores me to death. I walk home and I see my children.

And then I am finally not bored anymore.


Last week, I seriously considered having a Third Child.

Then I thought back to my childhood, to the waiting, to the dark places. I decided that I can’t treat another human being that way.


For the last couple of weeks, I have been getting the Third Child feeling full blown in my face. I have been spending inordinate amounts of time in my dark places waiting for the feeling to pass. It’s horrible. I feel like I have failed my children because they are children of a Third Child and are expected to be just as self-sufficient as a Third Child; like they will never be important enough in the eyes of others, like they will always be subjugate to the whims of others.

So I buy things to stave off the boredom, to alleviate the resentment. I walk around aimlessly wondering when it will all end, when normal programming will resume.

Maybe it never will.

So this morning, I reached the conclusion that I should just distract myself by working harder at my job, fixating on other people’s problems rather than my own.

That should work for now.

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