walk in my shoes

We are all products of our parents, family, friends, experiences, and of the life that surround us – the good, the bad, the unimaginable.

Not everyone is fortunate enough to have people who love and care for them.

I always remind myself: don’t judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in his/her boots.


Listening: The Calm by Of Mice & Men


sunset on 27 year anniversary

Twenty-seven years ago today, my family saw its first Australian sunset.

My mother is on holiday in Malaysia right now. My dad, what remains of him, in an urn at Karrakatta Cemetery. If it hadn’t been for my parents wanting more for their family, we would probably still be in Malaysia. The air felt so dry that day we arrived, compared to the humidity of the tropics we’d just left behind. I’m spoilt for sunsets these days. I don’t remember ever seeing so many when I lived in London.

Funny how thoughts like these just park themselves in the head, in no particular order.


10.12.12When I lived in London, I used to call friends back ‘home’ when I was out; a lot of my calls used to take place in the early hours of the morning when I was tipsy and chatty. Now that I am living in the same country as family and friends, the calls don’t seem to happen as frequently. I know that sounds ironic and odd, but the fact is I hardly ever feel like talking on the phone – I have to psych myself up to do it.

These days, calls home are even scarcer because daylight saving has added an extra hour between Western Australia and New South Wales – it’s normally two hours and much easier to work around. On weekends, when I want to call, Perth is still asleep; when Perth is awake, I’m at the gym or having lunch or busy with errands; when I want to call before heading out for the evening, it’s naptime in the West. I just can’t seem to coordinate a time that works. I wish WA would get with the daylight saving/summertime programme.


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.


I need a burst of something bright this morning. (I promise, the colour wasn’t photoshopped, nor did I use a flash with these beautiful specimens.)

Received a mild remonstration from the Hub when I returned from my treadmill session this morning for waking up “in the middle of the night” to exercise. It was 5:30! Hardly the middle of the night.

It’s been an immensely long and challenging week. I had dinner with a cousin and her son on Tuesday – they were visiting from Perth – and was explaining that of late, 12-hour days have been the norm. “But you like your job, don’t you?” she asked, “I suppose that makes it tolerable.”

I said yes, but after yesterday I really wasn’t too sure any more.

…But my point is, if I don’t get up at 5:30 to fit in the exercise, it’s hard to find any other time in the day. I think it’s the norm for lots of us.

But the good news is: it’s almost the long weekend.


The photo was taken, from my balcony, one Saturday evening in August…

I was thinking about the days, the dates, and how the year is flying by (like a cartoon superhero all caped and colourfully suited) because I went to buy some birthday cards a couple of days ago, and I almost bought a card for my dad – then remembered that he’s not here anymore.

I will be seeing my mother in a couple of weeks when she visits Sydney en route to the US. I’m really looking forward to that.


There are weeks when you all you can do is walk, keep walking. Hopefully, it’s through the park with the whiff of springtime in the air.

I had a nice surprise when I discovered my sister had mentioned me in a recent post. I try not to think about missing my family too much. But I do. If I indulged that thought, I would struggle, much more than I already do with being my Perth-based family’s lone satellite in Sydney.

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.