The need for sleep

Tonight La Serpiente didn’t sleep so well. She first woke up, distraught, a little before eleven, and has basically been inconsolable ever since. At her age, it’s difficult for her to explain what she’s upset about. We can try to placate her by giving her toys to hug or cuddling her, but when we’re also shattered from a day of smog and nonsense, our skills aren’t spectacular either.
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Harris Finds His Feet



Harris Finds His Feet is a book that La Serpiente Aquatica Negra chose herself on her most recent visit to the Singapore National Library. I assume the bright yellow-green cover, with a picture of the eponymous bright orange rabbit was what attracted her, rather than the heartrending story of age and loss that was between those pasteboard covers.
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Rainy Monday Blues

Back in 2014, in either a display of preparedness or a fairly good demonstration of slamming the stable door after the horse has bolted, everyone in our HDB got given three free 3M antiparticulate masks by the Singapore government. About eleven months after the haze had gone up to 500, and then gone back down again. I stuck them in a drawer and didn’t employ them, until today when the air pollution index was up again past 100, and I still felt like I had to go to work.

It turned out to be remarkably efficacious; either that, or unnecessary. I walked to work, breathing just fine through the filter, and only saw one other person wearing a mask. I felt a little embarrassed that I wasn’t braving the elements like everyone else. Was I just wasting my mask?

At lunchtime, I went outside and left the mask behind. All afternoon I had a splitting headache and my left eye twitched. So when I left the office this evening, I put the mask back on again.

And then it started raining.

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Broccoli Casserole and its part in my downfall

After yesterday’s respite, the haze flowed back into Singapore today. We had been thinking about taking La Serpiente swimming, but with the pollution index well into the unhealthy levels, we did the next best thing and took the kids to the mall instead. This gave La Serpiente a chance to act out; she’s been pretty god for the first three months of the terrible twos, but today she was all kinds of obstreperousness, howling and wailing and throwing herself on the floor when we didn’t kowtow to her every demand. I had a headache and just wanted her to be a model citizen, and then Destroyer stopped being copacetic when we got home and we had the kids howl in unison.

But on the positive side, at least La Serpiente likes broccoli casserole.
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Track and Field, 2015

I ate something that disagreed with me in no uncertain terms yesterday; I have that to blame for feeling terrible yesterday, and then all sorts of upsetting and embarrassing behaviour when I made it out of bed at noon today. But you don’t want to read about all that crap. I was upset the haze had cleared as it meant my chance to avoid the races I’d so clearly failed to train for had evaporated, and I was going to have to do them.
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Another day where you can’t see the point

I looked out the window this morning, and all hope was gone. Well, the Central Business District was missing, and had been replaced by a big grey cloud. (For reference, the last picture here is what I should have been able to see.)

No, I don't need my windows cleaned.

Even now, at quarter to midnight, when the haze is easier to see through because there’s less light being scattered by it, it’s filthy out there is still a vague cloud of nothingness where Singapore usually is. The official air pollution index is up above 300 right now (200 is where even the able-bodied and healthy should stay indoors and not subject themselves to the air) and it’s showing no signs of coming back down right now.

I moved away from Hong Kong partly because I wanted better air quality. Oh woes.

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