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Archive for April, 2014

20140427_193802[1]Champagne Truffle and I were having a discussion on lavender the other day during Secretaries’ Week lunch which reminded me of the little container-full of lavender I have stashed on my piano gifted to me by Patrick the Chef some years ago.

I’ve used it once to make lavender chocolate cake (not very successful because it was way too flowery) while The Other Half tried to use it to infuse cream for chocolate truffles. Thereafter, it lay forgotten on the top of my piano.

So the weekend past, I had to make a birthday cake for my mother-in-law and decided to re-visit the pot of lavender and my recipe for lavender chocolate cake (with a greatly reduced amount of lavender).

The result, I must say, was really quite lovely.

(more…)

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This is a picture of my daughter reading Peter and Jane by herself one Sunday morning a few weeks ago. She was mucking about with books as usual, making up stories from the pictures like she always does with Lion. Then she started to actually pick out some of the words in the text. Realising the same, I brought out the Peter and Jane I bought some time ago and to my great joy, she could read some of the sentences in full. It was a really great moment for me.

My parents spoke mostly Mandarin and Hainanese at home. My father has a rudimentary understanding of English (sufficient for his work purposes) while my mother spoke no English at all. I was only read to in English when my elder sisters would deign to do so (which isn’t very frequent). I used to look at pictures in library books and pretend to read by making up stories to myself, just like my daughter and son do.

When I started kindergarten (or pre-primary), I did not know any phonics or read anything in English at all.

I managed to conceal that from my classmates and teachers for a while but it didn’t take long for the English teacher to realize that I couldn’t read at all. So she sat me down with a whole pile of Peter and Jane books and taught me to read from scratch.

That was the very start of my lifelong obsession with stories and books.

So when I saw my daughter reading Peter and Jane, I had to take a picture to immortalize that moment of her reaching a milestone and as a reminder of my own.

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I finally got my renewed Practising Certificate on Monday.

Having endured an entire week without being able to sign any of my own letters, defences, submissions etc, and not being able to attend my own hearings (I had to ask The Buddha to front my trials and applications while I tag along to take notes) I was really really relieved to see it lying on my desk on Monday.

On top of everything, I realized that while I spend a lot of time bitching about all the stuff I have to sign every day, I missed signing stuff. I missed picking up the pen that I signed stuff with. I even missed answering my mail! For every day last week, I started the day walking over to my filing clerks to ask them about the status of my missing PC. I then walked back to my desk disappointed and down. By Friday, I was absolutely angsty and was going completely bananas.

And then something bigger hit me.

If I could miss all of those little things so much, it probably means that I can’t ever bring myself to leave this job. I live and breathe it. If I can’t do it, I get hissy and upset.

So that philosophical discussion they always make you have when you first start Law School about whether Law is a calling or a profession? The discussion where you sit in the back and roll your eyes and wonder when the lecture will end so that you can go off and do something more real?

Ten years on, the answer just smacked me in the face.

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april fools

my expired PC

my expired PC

For the first time in 10 years, I am starting April without a valid Practising Certificate.

I have not quit practice. It is just that a confluence of events resulted in this cruel April Fools’ joke being played on more than half of the profession.

I sat at my desk all morning writing an Opening Statement I can’t sign myself, wondering about whether I could or could not attend a PTC tomorrow. An opponent calls and to ask me to mention something only to find out that I, too, had no Practising Certificate and technically cannot appear in Court.

At mid-day, Commando came to my office and signed all of my letters, including the Opening Statement. Our clerk came over and told The Buddha that maybe, just maybe, he will get his Practising Certificate by tomorrow morning.

When life throws you lemons, you make a hair appointment and leave work early.

Let’s hope that all of this gets sorted out by the end of the week, especially since I have trials to do next week.

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