After work, we went for a quiet drink: it had been a long week with much to do, and it was good to ease gently into the weekend.

Four bucket-sized glasses of Hoegaarden later, things were going a bit south. If we’d stopped then, instead of starting in on the wine, things might have been ok.

If we’d stopped then, instead of going back onto beer, we might have limited the damage.

If we hadn’t played an ill-advised drinking game called “Buzz Cock” then we might have retained some semblence of decency.

If we hadn’t decided to finish off with two hours of drinking cheap whisky and dancing like morons in an empty club in Clarke Quay, I’d have had some hope of being rested for the weekend.

Conscious that I’d turn into a pumpkin if I stayed out too long, I quit before midnight and began the short walk home.

After ten minutes I realised I’d walked in exactly the wrong direction, and somehow flagged a taxi down to take me back to Chinatown.

Please, no more booze.


Near my office is a cafe called Settlers; it’s in a row of shops and bars that starts with a vaguely lacklustre bar and ends with one of those karaoke joints where there are no windows and you have a terrible (but possibly unjustified) sense of foreboding when you walk past. Having said that, Settlers isn’t particularly dodgy; in fact, it won some sort of award in 2012 for being a good business in Singapore.
Continue reading “Settlers”

I’m not racist but …

How come you never hear the phrase “I’m not racist but …” apart from when it suffixes something racist? To my knowledge, nobody has ever said “I’m not racist, but did you know that bauxite is the most plentiful source of aluminium in the world?”

Then again, you never hear anyone say

“I’m not hungry, but I’m just going to eat this sandwich”
“I’m not interested, but I’m going to listen to what you say anyway”
“I’m not medically qualified, but I fancy having a go at heart surgery”

Hmm. Needs a bit of work, that one.


Today I read another book set partly underground, the rather odd Ribblestrop. Rather than being full ofexcrement-encrusted soldiers, it’s populated with some fairly likeable children (one with an indestructible head, another missing a toe but with a mysterious fortune, a feisty heroine, a gang of eccentric Himalayans), some unlikeable or ineffective adults, an underground labyrinth and a series of twists that are sometimes obvious (the money that rescues the school part way through) and others not (such as how the backstory relates to the present day inhabitants of the school’s grounds).
Continue reading “Ribblestrop”