House at Pooh Corner

House at Pooh Corner
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Monday, 30 September 2013

The Phone is Dead. Long Live The Phone

Whaaaaaaaaaaaa ..........................................................................t.



*panic panic panic PANIC* ......... sudden escalation to full blown *PAAANNNNIIIIICC* 

* breathe, breathe*  Gotta 'member to breathe.

This is ok.  You are ok.  
C'mon, you aren't THAT person.  

I am.  I really really am.  

I don't care.  I need my phone!

Stuff might be happening on Facebook/Twitter.  Things that I don't know about.
                               *  Likings    *  Sharings   * Hashtags un#'d     * Retweets going un-RT'd.
Emails, all the emails.
And ......Whatsapp. I can't, I WON'T pay for texts anymore.

Don't make me.

Some people, better people than I, say things like,

"Hey, enjoy the freedom.  I find it soooooo liberating switching my phone off" or
"I would quite happily not have phone at all, blah blah blah".

Know what I say to them?

A big fat hairy PFFFFFFFFTTTTTT!

So, anyyyyyyyway, that was where we were, about a week ago.
It wasn't pretty.
An ancient Nokia was resurrected.  And it stepped up.  Valiantly.

Sweet Nokia, we both knew.  We have outgrown one another.

Oh, we enjoyed our brief reunion.  We reminisced over early predictive text sans Qwerty.  We caught up over a game or 2 of Snake but it wasn't long before we knew we should leave the past in the past.

Dear Little Nokia, I know you will always be there for me, in a crisis.  Till then, rest now.


Hellllooooooooooooooo, gorgeous new Samsung S4.  

Not one, much, to be beguiled by flashy good looks & whizz-bang doohickeys, I have fallen hook, line and Android-y sinker this time.

You had me at "*zzzzt* twing". (default opening tone of the S4)

It is a beaut but the whole New Phone Admin rigmarole is a bit of a bore though, isn't it?  Or is that just me?

You know, changing your wallpaper, customising ringtones and notifications.  That stuff.

Until I have that stuff sorted out it doesn't feel like my phone. Feels like I am wearing someone else's underwear.

I imagine.

Just not right.

Until I am telephonically organised:
I won't answer the damn device cos I won't recognise the ring AND
I will miss out on that excited feeling when I hear a FB 'chirp' or a Whatsapp 'squawk'
Crushingly, I might EVEN find myself rushing towards an Email 'ting' ('ting' for boring).


4 Days In and I have claimed my phone territory thus:



BTW, it is a work in progress and the "Life Companion" isn't staying.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

"We all share the same Moon" - the Chinese Moon Festival

I do love a festival.

And my 2nd favourite Chinese Festival approaches:

The Moon Festival 

See, this is what I mean about digging the Eurasian thing - I get to do alllllll the festivals.

* Halloween
* Christmas
* Chinese New Year (my #1 Chinese festival), 
* even Tihar (Nepalese festival, that on one of the days celebrates the Dog - what's NOT to love about THAT one???!!! for crying out loud, just look at these Nepali police dogs)

.......I am all over ALL of them.

The Legend

There are a few variations on the legends surrounding the Moon Fairy.  You should know that there is also a rabbit, on the moon but I don't know really how the rabbit fits with it all.

Doesn't matter.  I'm happy to accept the rabbit. And am not one to get hung up on semantics.  Just as well considering  what we are talking about here.

So, here is the Moon Fairy:

Moon Fairy, Chang'e

 Her name is Chang'e.

And here's the story that my Mum told me.

A long time ago, in China, a strange thing happened one morning.
Instead of one sun coming up, suddenly......
... there were ten.

As you can imagine, this was exceedingly problematic.  

It was too hot, the crops wouldn't grow, they were all being burnt up.  The ground was scorched and there was not enough water.  
The people and the animals started to die.

Hou'Yi was a very skillful archer.  The best in all the land and he had an idea to save China.

He would shoot down nine of the 10 suns.

Which he did.

And everyone was greatly relieved and relievedly grateful - which, I guess, not being scorched up by 10 suns will do.

As a reward for his great service, the Heavenly Queen gave Hou'Yi a magic pill (some people say that it was an elixir but my Mum told me a pill so I am going with pill).

This pill was a Pill of Immortality.

Thing is Hou'Yi had his head turned by all the fame and gratitude and, as it happens, was not such a nice guy.

I don't have the details 'Not Very Nice Person' is enough I feel.

So much so that his Wife felt that it would NOT be a good idea that this guy lived forever.  So she went to find where he had hidden the Pill.

She found it but, almost instantly Hou'Yi discovered her.  She quickly hid it in her mouth but was so frightened by him shouting and questioning her, that she accidentally swallowed it!

Hou'Yi was furious & started to chase her.  Chang'e was terrified and ran away as fast as she could.  She ran and ran and ran ............................................ and ran and ran.  
She was so terrified that, when she got trapped, she jumped out the window ....................................................................................

...........................................................................................but instead of falling to the ground, she started to float. 

Up, Up Up Up Up she floated, with Hou'Yi still on the ground trying to shoot her down with arrows.

She floated all the way to the Moon & that is where she lives now, still.  With a rabbit.

How we celebrate Moon Festival

Well, if we were at home in Hong Kong, we'd go out with our Moon Festival Lanterns and look at the moon, with our family and friends.

Last night, my Dad messaged me that he and Mum were going to my PorPor's (maternal grandmother) for Moon Festival dinner, because Moon Festival is about gathering with family & those that we love.

There are some traditional things that get eaten at this time & the most well known would be the 
Moon Cake.
The egg yolk inside is
supposed to represent the Moon

Between you & me .... YUCK!

I am not into Moon Cake but, both The Trousers and The Boy love them!!

My favorite thing, hands down are the LANTERNS
Some of last year's lanterns

Our garden, last Moon Festival

Moon Festival is a time for gathering, as I say, with family & loved ones.  For those that cannot be with family, we can all look at the beautiful moon and think of them.

Short video about Mid-Autumn Festival (makes me cry a little but, look out for the rabbit!!!)

We are all under the same moon.

Ancient Chinese Poem: 

"The Moon was rising from the sea & 
all the people were sharing this moment"

This year, we will be meet with good friends & take the kids down to a beach here in Dubai in the evening.
We will have a picnic, enjoy a few homemade lanterns & looking at the Moon at her most beautiful.

As expats, there seems to be an extra-poignant aspect to it, being away from those we love, we will look at the Moon and think of those far away, that we miss at these times.

Happy Moon Festival, everyone.


You didn't believe me about the Rabbit, did you!?
He is the Jade Rabbit & HE is the one that makes the Immortality Potion/Pills.  On the Moon.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Michael & Me - hoping we have a chance

I'll be honest with you, it took me a little while to build up the confidence to tell people about Michael.  I mean, you just don't know how people are going to react.

But really, I should have had more faith in my friends & family.
He has only been in my life a couple of weeks but, I have been deeply moved by how so many have taken him into their hearts.

I don't know what it is but I am touched by how others seem to have formed a connection with him too.

Daily, people enquire after Michael.  It's nice.  People I care about, caring about Michael.

I certainly wasn't looking for someone like Michael to enter into my life & it has not been without its challenges but, we are doing ok.

We have had a couple of hiccups along the way but so far, so good.  I really want to make this work so, I am doing whatever I can to make him happy.

Some might say that his appearance in my life was a completely random coincidence.  Or was it?

Some believe there is no such thing as coincidences and that things happen to us all for a reason.

We, Michael & I, don't know where this is going, we don't know how long we have together .......... but we are taking it one day at a time.


Very recently we had a scare & I thought I had lost Michael.  When I shared the news, I had so many messages of support.

It was then when I realised that there IS something special about Michael.

Once Michael touches you, he is kinda hard to shake off.

Fortunately it was all a misunderstanding.  I'm not really sure what happened and I am kind of mad at him for scaring me like that.

When I found him, just lying there like that, totally unresponsive ..........

 "Michael? MICHAEL???!!!!!!"         

It was such a shock.

The last time I had seen him he seemed fine, chomping away on his cucumber.  I can't think what happened.

Anyway, there was clearly nothing to be done.  I moved him to a position where I could see him, wondering if he might rally if I left him alone.

But I was not optimistic.

He was just lying there, on his side, letting me slide him about when normally he has such a strong grip ........ it was terrible to see.

I confess, I had Life to get on with so, I just left him there.

DON'T YOU......................................... DON'T YOU JUDGE ME!!!!!!!  


I thought he was gone ................................

He's I'm lucky I didn't put him in the bin at that point.

That evening, as I did the washing up, I glanced over sadly, "I guess I need to do something about Michael", I thought.

BUT HE WASN'T THERE.  *dah-dah-daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa*

He wasn't where I had left him, lying on his side.

I rushed over ..........

............................. and there he was ........... back on the cucumber ......... eye stalks waving.

Black & beautiful.

My Michael.

My Lazarus among slugs.


You DID know he was a slug, right?

Huh.  Didn't I say?

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Hail to The Crushies

Wow. Candy Crush Saga.

You may be losing me friends. And, sleep.

Just when does "I'll just have a quick game now, whilst I .........":

"wait for the commercials to be over"
"sit on the loo" (not ME, obviously, but I have heard people do this)
"just before I turn the light out"
"finish this cup of tea/coffee"

.... become a fully fledged (feathers, beaks n'all) addiction/illness?

I resisted joining Tribe CCS (I'm going to call us "Crushies").  I resisted and I resisted.

I'm still not sure how it happened.

You don't, y'see, it just kind of creeps up on you.

God, it was so irritating.  The constant updates, littering my Facebook timeline, of the progress of my seemingly bright, intelligent friends (boys AND girls) through Lemonade Lake and Muffin Land (or something) or their acquisition of a Coconut Wheel.

Sweet baby Jesus, I don't give a rat's @*@* who has Unlocked a Lollypop Hammer or has Completed Level 75!!!!!!!!!*

*I SO do now. Cos that is where I am stuck
Stuck at Level 75.
mind, this is nothing compared
to the bastard that was
Level 70

What on earth is the matter with these people, thought I.  These people I know, for a fact, have interesting lives.

They HAVE people who love them.

Fulfillment, intelligence & wit fill these people, for if they did not, they would be no friends of MINE.

If you have dabbled with The Crush and decided it wasn't for you, then, I salute you.

I confess I am now, hook, line & sinker, a Crushie.  And I love my fellow Crushies.


It is a caring sharing kind of world, the world of The Crush.

Facebook notifies us as to when one of us needs help and we spring to their aid.

Oh & the chats we have.  There have been difficult conversations & stern SMS's.
"Why won't you send me a Life?" (oh, the irony is not lost on me).
"Please, can you send me a Life?"
"Help! I can't enter the new land.  I am stuck. Send a Life"

NB I'm not being a weenie about this, you can't send Lives/tickets etc until you have proper www connection

Just this weekend, I floated about in a beautiful pool, with a good friend.  The sun shone, the birds tweeted, we had not seen each other over the Summer for nearly 2 months.  We had much to catch up on...........

"Have you got passed Level 70?"
"how DO you make a Stripy?"
"If you mix a Stripy and a Packet WHAT happens?? I had no idea! Amazing."
"God I hate that chocolate.  It comes so fast. How do I stop the chocolate?"

(these are all actual quotes from our joyful reunion, floating in the pool, within earshot of Real People).

Mere hours ago, sitting on the grass in the dark with some of my favourite horsey-friends, post-ride, horse quietly cropping the grass by our side ....... "Did YOU know about the stripes on a Stripy?"

If you HAVE avoided Candy Crush Saga up to this point, good for you.  Save yourselves.  Stay superior. Stay away.

If you have failed & are one of Us,  I am very pleased to meet you.

And, look forward to you sending me A Life.


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