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Sunday, 29 December 2013

Visitors and House-Warming Gifts

Tonight we had our first non-Medway visitors arrive for dinner.  As they can't come close to Daisy she had to hide upstairs (but made her presence VERY known), so when they left I gave her extra attention.
 They left us a house warming gift so I let Daisy help me open it up.  She is all about helping others...
  She loves getting her picture taken and Christmas is all about the kids...right?  
 Its behind you Daisy, turn around, the present is behind you! 
 Well, with all the excitement of opening stuff up I forgot to take a picture of the end result.  Rest assured we received some really delicious coffee as well as very pretty cushion covers.  I honestly couldn't have picked better ones myself, but our lovely friends did it without even knowing what our home looked like.
 Thank you again, you really spoilt us and there was so need at all.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Last minute shopping

We've slowly been getting into the swing of things in Singapore and getting ready for Christmas too. It's so odd to try to feel festive when it's warm outside.
I'm really glad I got all of my Christmas shopping done before we left the UK. This meant I got to hand over presents before we left....so I got to enjoy the best part, seeing happy faces with beribboned packages. Well, I say *all* but we did have one minor malfunction. We got some things from some super friendly neighbours down the road who I had only gotten some sweets for. This sent me into a major panic and I wanted to show that I wasn't being ungrateful or forgetting how lovely they were.
I don't know what people did before online shopping, but I don't want want to know!
I jumped online and bought some Halfords vouchers from voucher king and was able to relax knowing that I'd just gotten out of a tricky spot! I love voucher king as it's normally my first stop when I want to buy something. I always search for codes to see if I can get a per cent off or free shipping or even a little free gift I can put away, I just don't see the point of turning my back on a great deal.
I knew the vouchers were going to be well used as we always saw our friends out for a kong cycle ride to pick up shopping or just appreciating the beautiful landscape...yup, I feel much better knowing that the vouchers are being delivered for free and I now look super organised.
I may have been in the process of moving to a massive shopping hub but I am never leaving my frugal ways behind me!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

RDA and The Polo Club

The other day I was invited to go along to help out with the Riding for the Disabled Association of Singapore by Amanda ( aka, the hostess with the mostest who held the pot luck dinner). I'm pretty scared of horses and was never a little girl that just loved ponies so deep down I was a bit apprehensive. However, I did think it would be great excuse to get out and see people. With The Husband being away from home I also really needed something to speak about when he came back from KL.
Amanda asked that I be there for 8am as she was organising us getting a lift there, so this would be an early start for me. I dragged myself out of bed bright and early then headed off to Amanda's early as we planned to get so coffee in ourselves first. Amanda hadn't been sleeping so well, so when I went round she said that she had rearranged plans so that she'd drive us there herself. She'd also organised for Tcina, another newbie, to come along too. At this my ears pricked up....."someone newer than myself? Why wasn't I told?" Hmmm, long story short, The Husband hadn't been taking the new 'phone numbers list' home...grr.
After our shot of coffee we got in the car and headed off up North near the MacRitchie Reservoir just off Thomson Road. It's so pretty and leafy there and it's surprising to see so much space in this little island. When we arrived at the RDA we got to look around and watch the horses as well as volunteers setting up for the riders. Tcina and I got to chat a little and arrange a day out the next day as we obviously weren't allowed to jump into the arena. After filling out some forms we were allowed to shadow the side walkers which was really interesting and gave me a taste for helping out in future.

After such a busy morning Amanda invited us round to The Polo Club where her family has membership. Tcina and I were more than willing to dip into the pool or laze on a lounger and sip cool drinks. I loved the juxtaposition of swimming along, looking over the field to the sky-scrapers beyond.

After a bite to eat (satays....what else?), Amanda showed us Turf City and a really cool looking reclamation yard. Turf City is somewhere I am going to have to go with The Husband, I think he will love how quiet the Giant is there and I really need to have a better look around Paserbella, which is like a really pretty market.

All in all this is shaping up to be my busiest week so far. December is certainly looking a whole lot better than November and I love how full my days are getting.

Monday, 9 December 2013

MRT and a look at Vivo City

On Monday I found out how to use the MRT and overcame a massive fear, I also got to spend the day with Sally who very kindly showed me how to use the MRT and therefore let me overcome such a giant fear.  I’d been spending a quite a bit of time around the house and had started to think this whole move malarkey was pretty boring.  It consisted of me cleaning the house and walking Daisy around Medway.  (Well duh Sheila, those things are boring.  What’s not boring is getting out of the house and exploring).  At the Christmas Party we had the most people come and chat to us since the pot luck dinner.  Along with all of the kind well-wishers was Sally who very sweetly enquired not only how I was doing, but what I had been doing.  (Possibly a very clever trick to make me prove I was doing fine and getting out of the house).  When Sally found out I hadn't been out and about beyond my local Fair Price she immediately set about planning something to keep me busy. 
Well Monday came around and we walked to the local MRT station, which in my case is Dover.  It’s quite a walk away which is why TH got the car, but it is close enough if I don’t have shopping.  We have to walk through the Singapore Polytechnic which I had checked out on Google maps.  On seeing the path there I thought I wouldn't even dare to venture out, but Sally showed me a really easy way to get into the station.
We’re on the green line and had decided that for our day out we would go to Vivo City so we only had to switch once onto the circle line.  I’d already been given a card to load up from Claire who I had gotten chatting to at the pot luck dinner, so I didn't have to pay the $5 for that.  I only needed to top up my card and get going.  It was really easy and so well signposted I wonder what I had been so afraid of.  I love seeing everything out of the window on my part of the green line and it’s definitely helping me to orientate myself around this place.
When we’d gotten to Vivo City Sally showed me around and explained that it was set out like three interconnecting circles which she assured me would mean it would be more difficult for me to get lost.  We then grabbed a coffee and chatted before having another look around and then lunch at the food court downstairs.  I tried to order chicken rice, but think I got something completely different.  Oh well, I guess I need to do more than point in future!  Whatever I had was really delicious and did have chicken and rice as part of it, so I guess I couldn't go far wrong.  The whole court is amazing and I can’t wait to take TH there for a very cheap feast.
On the way back Sally said she would show me the Cold Storage at Fusionopolis which isn't too far away from us by car.  We got off at One North and walked round to the shops and as Sally had organised for her husband to pick us up and take us home, I was able to get some heavier things I didn't really want to get without TH.
I don’t quite know what was so frightening about the MRT, but I assure you it is super easy to use.  It’s so quick, cheap and there are so many signposts around it makes me wish I had gotten out ages ago.  I can’t wait to jump on and see where each stop takes me!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Food Shopping

When The Husband said we were going to be moving one of the first things I found out was that Singapore is expensive.  Food would be expensive, housing would be expensive and cars are expensive.  Luckily TH's work has taken care of two of those things and in the grand scheme of things paying a little bit more for food shouldn’t really matter, however I didn’t want to just get ripped off.

When we first arrived we were so lost and well….a little bit hungry we headed to Market Place at Tanglin Mall.  It was easy to find as we could easily type Tanglin into Sat Nav and it is quite close to TH's work.  We knew it was probably the most expensive place to head to, but it seemed the easiest at the time.  Well, when we got there we did find it expensive, but knowing that we only needed a few essentials helped and it was nice having that little trip into the city.  Market Place has prices more in line with doing all of your regular grocery shops in Waitrose or M&S.  Actually a lot of the branding on tins was Waitrose, but a lot also seemed to be American as well.
Next time we needed shopping we went to Cold Storage at Centrepoint mall.  This is on Orchard Road so the very middle of the shopping district and it would mean us quite easily tapping into Sat Nav where we wished to go.  This grocery shop is all over the island and is quite popular as it does still have some branding that you’ll be used to from the UK.
Even Cold Storage was quite expensive for us as in the UK we really shopped around quite a bit.  I did keep reminding myself that although Singapore has a massive presence, it really is tiny and isn’t like Scotland and can hand over vast areas of land to farming.  “Of course it’s going to be expensive!” I reminded myself, “but think of everything you are getting in return.” 
OK-this is going a bit like Goldilocks now, but the third grocery shop we did was just right.  Finally we found a NTUC Fairprice which is excellent value for money and is much more comparable to the UK.  It doesn’t really have many brands but I’m more than happy to get what I need from there.  There happens to be one within walking distance from our neighbourhood and I’ve picked up a few things I would say were bargains there.  I got a pack full of 8 bulbs of garlic for $1.65, 5 carrots for 93 cents, 500g of spaghetti was $1.65 and quite a big shoulder of pork for only $3.16 (it was reduced from $7).  We are constantly snacking on grapes which are about $4.40 per kg which is the cheapest I’ve found whilst here.  Cheese seems quite expensive for really plain stuff so I got 250g for $7.15, but that’s without really looking about.  I only needed a bit of it for a pasta bake when I run out of ideas for tea one night! 
I also went along to Fairprice Finest when I needed to post some letters one day at Clementi Mall and found that the prices were relatively all right, for example I got 3 sweet potatoes for $2.32.  It’s a bit more Western and has more food similar to Cold Storage, but is still better value.  I did find myself paying $2.90 for a packet of beef gravy as I couldn’t find any at all.  Oh well, TH said it was nice and it went with (a much reduced in price) packet of rump steak we bought the other day.
I like shopping around and trying to make more interesting meals than I would have done in the UK.  I am trying to look on  Pinterest for ideas so that we have a variety of different things to eat, and we were always warned that is you try to just eat Western food the prices would be astronomical.  I find that a little bit odd though, as I wouldn’t want haggis, neeps and tatties here anyway!

Friday, 22 November 2013

Pot Luck Dinner

Some of the wives here threw a 'pot luck dinner' yesterday in honour of Sarah and I arriving in Medway Park.  It was really kind, and also my very first buffet like this.  I'd found the name on pinterest before, but never really quite got it.  I'd called it and American Buffet before, but I don't know if maybe we actually have lots of these in Scotland and I'd just never been to one.

As Sarah and I don't have our shipment yet we were excluded from having to bring anything although we both brought something along as a token as we thought it might just be a little bit rude if we wondered into someone's house and started eating all of their nice things!
I'd went to the shops earlier to pick up some biscuits and muffins then went round to Sarah's house to meet up with her before we went round to the house of Amanda who was hosting the evening.  Sarah had borrowed her helpers casserole dish to make a potato gratin so I was feeling very underwhelmed by my tins of biscuits at this point.  
Amanda was the perfect hostess and welcomed us right into her home.  She had made so much already and put so much effort into everything that she made for dinner.  There were only a couple of people there before us so we got chatting and felt right at ease before the majority of people turned up.  
Amanda also graciously gave us a tour of her house which made me feel like these houses can eventually be given a homely feel.  Right now they seem to big and plain, but I know, as soon as our possessions start arriving in big boxes we will be able to create the same atmosphere too.  
I still feel a bit anxious before going to these things, but I'm sure in time that'll pass and I'll be able to go visiting without a major panic attack.  I had better be able to as Amanda has offered to take Sarah and I shopping and I need all the hints and tips I can get right now.
The night was really good, but I had to leave early as I had planned to phone my Mum in the UK at 10pm Singapore time so had to take a walk home in the dark - after an evening chatting about how all of the women were terrified of snakes and had seen them at some point in their time here.  Right about now would be a good time to say there are only 4 kinds of snakes I hate, big ones, small ones, living ones and dead ones.  Suffice to say I jogged

Pit and Peak

Well this has been my first week of being a house wife in Singapore.  Last week doesn't count as it was so much like a holiday.  TH only had to go into work a couple of times and we were mostly trying to get our heads around actually moving here.

  • Telling everyone who I am.  Constantly.  I know its the only way to make friends, but I feel that I should be very exciting or saying something wonderful, instead it’s the same old thing.  Quit job to come over here, no I can’t drive, no we don’t have kids.  I might start making up a new identity to get people ecstatic at the thought of meeting me, someone who has been in space (maybe I should make up a smaller lie to start with.) 
  • Going to a very fancy coffee morning!
  • Being welcomed into this new community.  We've had a couple of visitors and a card welcoming us to the area.  I've also been to my very first Pot Luck Dinner which was great fun.  The hostess really was everything you’d expect from a proper party planner.  She was also kind enough to show us around her beautiful home which was so pretty and homely.  I loved seeing what could be done with the blank canvas we've all been given.
  • (More to do with welcoming and the kindness of relative strangers) Being offered trips to the supermarkets and being told about lots of new places to visit.  We were also loaned books and DVDs to keep us going until our shipment arrives.
  • Still finding our way around but I have been to a local shop by myself as it is in walking distance.
  • Going out on the bus by myself to a mall-totally terrifying, but very proud of myself…it really was like getting a bus anywhere else….don’t really know why I got myself so worked up and scared of it!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Having Moved

When we moved out of our old place we got to stay at this great hotel...much grander than we are used to!
We sat by the fire and ordered afternoon tea...
TH had to take a few calls so i got started on the cake
We had a quick look into the bar at supper time, but seeing as Daisy Dog was allowed in the drawing room we had supper there too.  I'd been looking forward to that steak for ages!
The next day I had a walk through the walled garden and found some chestnuts.
It was such a perfect way to start our new adventure.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Where we are

Ooops sorry I have been so absent from blogland lately. We’ve been a wee bit busy what with the move, planning the move, oh yeah and organising for the move. We’ve also been selling stuff, organising some really odd dinners with people (where we serve odd concoctions full of all the store cupboard items we can lay our hands on), and all the regular stuff as well. We’ve been super busy as we have lots of medical appointments as we are going to the fertility clinic. We have been hoping for a little one for quite a few years now and we were recently allowed to go speak to some of the best fertility doctors around. The NHS centre we have to go to also does private work and is world renowned so we are thanking our lucky stars we have been given this chance. We’ve had all of the tests and we are very close to starting treatments.

I’ve been really naughty though and not lost all of the weight I was tasked with so although we’ve got an appointment on Friday I don’t really think we’ll be getting help at the moment. That’s ok as they have dieticians and all sorts of people who can help if we need them too. More importantly is this amazing target we now have! We also know that when we move we’ll also be able to get any medical services we were receiving in the UK-which is a major boost! I’m still a bit cross with myself for being so silly. I guess whilst I was eating those slices of cake I didn’t really weigh up what it was worth, but least said better mended and all that!

We’ve been told that our Friday appointment will be our last one before treatment starts and it will be to discuss ‘What Having A Baby Means To Us’…hmmmmmmm a bit of an odd one really. I’m not sure what they really would want people to say. I know what I feel and I know what I would like to say, but it is all very ME or US centred. I want to care for/I want to give to/I want to share with…I keep second guessing myself thinking I should say something better.

Oh well, time will tell…just a wee update on what we’re up to! I hope everyone is enjoying this glorious Autumn!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

What to watch, what to read

I love finding new recipes, so while TH has been away i've been snuggled up cosy on the rocking chair making lists.
Daisy on my lap and just staring at the pictures and occasionally reading how to actually make it.
I love that when it gets colder we all go back to nursery food and i love knowing that there is something in the oven or slow cooker

I know what i want to cook.

I know what i want to bake.

I know just need to know when i will find the time!

I love the shows on T.V. right now about Autumn, i remember watching the Valentine Warner one a few years back and getting his cookbook then.  Cyclical-just the way i love it!

Our New Home

We've now been allocated our house in Singapore and it looks a little like this.  This house is just up the street from us, but i cant get a good picture from google of our own one, so until they forward us some pictures, this will have to do! 
How exciting, Daisy gets a nice big garden!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Things I'm looking forward to this Autumn

Things I’m looking forward to in Autumn:

Making a bonfire

Wearing pretty scarves

Making neepie lanterns

Making hot chocolate

Baking pumpkin related foods!

Building cosy beds made up of all the softest eiderdowns and blankets in the house

More roast dinners

Watching lots of family films on the sofa

Using lots of cinnamon and nutmeg in the kitchen

Making s’mores

Snuggling up with Daisy

Making applesauce and cosy meals

Smelling wood smoke

Carving a pumpkin

Decorating for Halloween

Seeing the leaves turn and kicking them into the air when they fall

Making toffee apples

Making apple and bramble pies and crumbles

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Man Drawer

With The Husband away at the moment I’ve taken the opportunity to pull everything out and start to get it organised. We have three bedrooms, a study, a dining room, living room and a kitchen as well as the two bathrooms in our house. When we moved from our sea side cottage it was deepest mid-winter and the heating was broken. We had very little time to pack up and make the new house habitable so we threw all of the things that weren’t immediately needed into one of the bedrooms and closed the door…fast forward ten or so months and we are now in a predicament.
Last night I started to pull boxes out of this room and can now see part of the floor in it. A lot of the things pulled out went into other rooms like shoes that I thought had been lost or the bag full of tubes of toothpaste (why did I do this?). I’ve filled a wheelie bin full of rubbish as well as boxes I’ve put into the garage for TH to take to the skip. I’ve also made up a box of electrical wires and switches that TH can sort out for himself, as he has several MAN DRAWERS full of rubbish!

Two different moving companies are coming on Friday to give quotes so we want them to be able to see everything and I also want to ensure that everything is in its right place before they start to put things in boxes. I have a fear that something’s going to be kept in storage in the UK when I really need it in Singapore, but all I can do is plan.

I’d love to say that I was sitting and reading or hanging out in the last rays of sunshine. I have been having long walks with Daisy Dog, but that’s only so I can attempt to get healthier before I head off into all that heat. I hope your September is more relaxed!


Keep Cosy

Brrr, this morning we woke up and it was soooo cold.  Im still not going to get a tank of gas before the weather turns so we are relying on our electric blankets and the wood burner.  Oh well, wood warms you through twice, once when you cut it and again when you use it!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Singapore Home

We have found out we will be living in the Dover area of Singapore.

So we've been looking at different blogs and posts about it here and here.

I can't wait to get some pictures for you!

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Tea Perhaps?

I've had some very good luck recently.  While working through our laundry pile I found some old unused, long forgotten vouchers for our favourite hotel in Aberdeen.

We went there for Valentines weekend last year and had so much fun.
We hung out in the drawing room reading papers and drinking tea.  We walked around the grounds, came back again and sat down to drink yet more tea.
We sat in the lounge and spoke to the First Minister (only for a short while mind).
We spent so much time just chatting to each other.
We ate nice meals and rested...away from any stress...

and when we came home we felt better and planned for our next trip, we told everyone how much fun we had and that Christmas we got some vouchers to go back....that is until they got lost in the move...
Some tea and cake perhaps?