Posts Tagged ‘lion’

wedding speech

It’s been a couple of weeks after my best friend’s wedding and here, for posterity, is the speech I made that night which I wrote over a couple of days and after a fact-check meeting with him over cider:

I received a text message from Jeffrey one Sunday in March requesting me to make this speech on the account that I am one of his longest standing friends.

I am greatly honoured to have been asked but also greatly amused given that Jeffrey and I had once decided that I was probably his most embarrassing friend to be around since I remember stuff about him that he probably doesn’t even remember himself, like fights he got into in school when we were 8 when someone ripped off the sleeves of his school shirt, or how he spent a significant amount time at when we were 11 sitting beside me in class taking apart his digital watch with the screwdriver tool of his swiss army knife.

But he’s probably forgotten about that discussion we had too, like most other things. Good memory has never been one of his things.

However, in place of that almost chronic forgetfulness, Jeffrey has a wonderful instinct and great tenacity. He doesn’t say a lot usually but all the things that I remember him saying are quite illuminating. I can go on about what a wonderful person he is, what a great friend he is, but I am sure that most of us here are in agreement on that one already. Our friendship over the last 26 years is in itself a testament of that.

What I am going to talk about instead is Teresa, and in relation, Jeffrey’s great tenacity.

I first heard about Teresa sometime in 2003 or 2004, mentioned casually by Jeffrey in passing during one of our meetings. He told me about a girl from Malaysia he met through Soka who was some time an air stewardess, some time studying for her degree, some time living in KL. Jeffrey usually isn’t very big on details, possibly related to his bad memory.

Then after that mention he abruptly went off to London.

Sometime in mid 2006, Jeffrey finished his stint in London and returned home. We met for drinks one evening and made plans to meet again the following week so that he could meet my then-boyfriend now-husband. But the day before we were to meet, Jeffrey text me and told me that he couldn’t meet me anymore because he had to go to KL. I wished him well and told him “Don’t come back without her.” And what do you know he actually did come back with her the following week. So I met Teresa for the very first time in 2006 at dinner.

It was a great meeting and I remembered being hopeful but shortly thereafter, Jeffrey once again abruptly left the country to the US for the next 5 years or so.

When he next returned to Singapore in 2010, he told me he was back for good. I asked him what his plans were, having been away for so long. He told me that he was going to see Teresa again. She was now back living and working in KL.

So over the next 3 years, he would get on numerous buses up to KL on Friday evenings, even on crutches shortly after undergoing a knee surgery. He told me about long term plans, about Teresa trying to find work here, about relocation and then eventually marriage. The logistics were crazy, but Jeffrey and Teresa made it work and we are here today celebrating their hard-earned happiness.

The moral of the story I guess is that there is much to be said about hard work. Love is not just about finding someone you can get along with. The magic about Love is finding someone who draws you back again and again, like a ship returning to dock after sailing through miles of emptiness and unpredictable weather.

I have always thought that theirs is such a wonderful love story, how two people met and parted and met and parted and met again to realize that they still felt the same way about each other after all this time.

And that is why every time I see Jeffrey and Teresa together it helps me feel a little more hopeful in this cynical world of ours.

And with that, I offer my heartiest congratulations to Jeffrey and Teresa. I wish them a lifetime of happiness together.


It was a great dinner; one of the better ones I’ve been to in recent times. I didn’t get to take any pictures because Lion was being a little fussy that night. Oh well.


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It is my son’s 4th birthday today.

I just attended his Parent-Teacher Conference on Saturday and realized that he is a much-loved child, with his cheeky grin and ready hugs.

Yesterday evening, he drove me absolutely bananas while I was trying to bake a cake / ice a cake / pack all of the 25 goodie bags for his classmates in school. I ignored him, marched up the stairs for a quick shower, then returned to the hall to sit at the piano for a while.

After the second reading of Rachmaninov’s Vocalise, he came up to me and said, “I’m sorry, Mummy, for making you angry.” I stopped and gave him a hug.

Did I mention that we also held our wedding dinner 7 years ago today?

We are truly blessed.

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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 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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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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Here’s wishing everyone who drops by a happy and prosperous Year of the Horse!

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Joy is walking to the clinic in the evening with one kid holding each hand and singing on the top of your voices “Mummy called the doctor and the doctor said NO MORE MONKEYS JUMPING ON THE BED!” like you just don’t care.

Joy is having the kiddies declared free of HFMD by the nice doctor, who didn’t lose his patience even after Peanut and Lion asked him a billion questions about the equipment on his table and why they can’t lie on the examination bed.

Joy is breaking to the kiddies that to celebrate the end of their quarantine, they will be headed to the zoo tomorrow with Daddy and Daddy’s aunt and cousins.


I have a hearing this morning so I am not going to be in the zoo with them.

So I sat up writing cross-examination all night and will miss the kiddies horribly in between asking my questions in a cold room and yearning to walk in the sun with those little smiling faces while waiting for the right answers.



This morning in the car while The Other Half was dropping me off at my building, I pointed out the Subordinate Courts to the kiddies and told them that Mummy goes there to fight cases.

Peanut asked: What are cases, Mummy?

I replied: Sometimes, people get into arguments and fights. So they go to that building to try to settle their fights. Mummy’s job is to help them settle their fights.

Lion asked: Mummy, you go there and fight? With swords?

I replied: No no! Mummy doesn’t fight with swords. Mummy fights with a pen. And the pen is mightier than a sword!

Before we knew it, we were at my building. I said goodbye to the kiddies and wished them a good day at the zoo.

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