I’ve been watching a building opposite my workplace go up for the last year and a half, maybe longer. Slowly, it’s been becoming more than just a steel and glass shell. There are plants on both terraces now, and I see that there are partitions being installed and the furniture has begun to dot the otherwise empty floor spaces.

Some days, I’ve arrived in the morning to find the roads around the building blocked off and massive steel cables stretching from all corners of the building and seemingly giant things being hoisted upwards.

I wonder how much longer. How many tenants will move in? Will the Lord Mayor or some other dignitary turn up to officially open the building? And I wonder if anyone has died on the worksite.

I’m not sure that’s a natural/normal train of thought, but whenever I see a young lad walking out of the site in his blazingly orange construction gear and hard hat, I have to stop myself from saying “Be careful today.”


Listening: Higher Than The Sun by Peace




The other day, I found myself thinking that people probably stay together because it’s much easier than breaking up – especially after a long time.

But for those of us who are actually happy being part of a twosome, togetherness is the best feeling.


I worry about being the one who doesn’t die first.

I am much too negative for my own good sometimes.


Listening: You’re My Rescue by Van She


Kings Park

When I was in Perth a month ago, I went to Kings Park one morning. Despite having lived in Perth for about a decade when I was younger, I don’t think I’ve been to Kings Park more than a handful of times. Seems odd now that I think about it. Besides being a beautiful place, it also boasts some stunning views of Perth. It’s one of those places that fills me with that Good to be Alive! feeling. I think a lot of that is related to the trees. The ones you see above, on Fraser Avenue, stand tall and majestic, having been planted in 1929. (Yes, I am a nerd who reads plaques. I also like to wait until the credits have finished rolling before I depart a cinema.)

I walked past the woman sitting in the shade (bottom left corner of the photo) a couple of times. Was it the headscarf over the bald head, her thinness, or her frail demeanour as she balanced somewhat precariously on her stationary walking frame, that gave her away? Further along was the white hospital van, with the driver/attendant waiting patiently.

I couldn’t help but think back to this time last year.

Yes, it’s almost a year since the cancer claimed my dad.


I don’t expect anyone (you) to understand why I would be thinking about what I’m thinking – but the clue is in the caption, so hover. Suffice to say, I’ve just added another item to my list of Things I Don’t Understand.

And now, it’s like when you get an ear-worm – a song that embeds itself in your head and you find yourself humming it all day, much to your chagrin – because it’s The Spice Girls or something equally embarrassing to admit you know the lyrics to that song! – but the thought(s) won’t go away, and you wonder how it could’ve turned out like this, and you remember things you hadn’t thought about since you were a kid, like the times your aunt used to comb your hair and you sat patiently as she worked her way through the knots, listening to her stories (one of which was about a movie she’d just seen called ‘Alien’ which sounded like the scariest movie ever!) and how you cried when she left Malaysia for a new life in Australia…

If we had known then what we know now about life, about death.

188 | RIP, DAD

On Saturday afternoon, I got the call I’d been dreading. It was my older sister, Flexnib, calling from Perth to let me know that our mum had rung to say that the time was close, and that she [my sister] was on her way to my parents’ house.

Despite the fact that it was in the middle of the day, I had been dozing – very unusual for me, I’m not a napper – and having received the call, I stayed right where I was. In fact, I scrunched myself into a ball and burrowed myself under the quilt. And I waited.

A short time later, a text message arrived. My father was gone.

First thoughts: I was glad I had gone to Perth when I did, and spent that week with my folks, and got to say goodbye to my dad – as hard as it had been; how was my mother coping? – I hoped she was alright; what about my siblings? And although I had been expecting this day for a while, I was struck by how sad I felt. At the same time, I was relieved that my dad was no longer suffering – because he had been – and my mum, too, caring for him, watching his decline, all this time. My tall, strong father reduced to a shell of himself. I won’t remember him that way.

I’ll remember him as someone who brought his family to Australia to have a better life than the one offered by Malaysia. (Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the country of my birth, but life was difficult there.) I’ll remember him as the dad who was quiet and sometimes moody – I suppose it’s inevitable sometimes, especially when you’ve got five occasionally-rambunctious kids running around the house -, but also as a man who was devoted to his wife. I’ll remember my dad as someone who loved music, able to play the guitar and the harmonica by ear; how he loved Elvis; my dad was also a member of a barbershop [singers] group; the time he bought my siblings and I our first cassette tapes and how we listened to them over and over and over and over again. I will always remember my dad when I watch nature/wild life documentaries because he loved them, too. My dad was pretty tough on us when we were growing up, and I didn’t always agree with his decisions or opinions, but I know that he was only doing what he thought was best. Sometimes that’s all you can ask for.

In later years, the happiest I saw my dad was when he was spending time with his grandchildren. I’ll remember him that way the most, I think.

Rest in peace now, Dad.


Two of my three sisters have posted here and here.