Saturday, January 25, 2014
I have a long-term love affair with all things fragile and breakable when I travel. There is never one trip where I do not come home lugging back some glassware or china. Why can't I love wood or plastic? That would make life so much easier!
I love the look of mismatched china, I love drinking out of tea cups and saucers, particularly vintage ones, I love laying out my sweets and savouries on cake platters and stands. And I like eating and drinking tea a lot. I love taking afternoon tea. I love having tea parties at my house. I guess that explains a lot!
Saturday, December 28, 2013
Me and My Tiffins
Hence, I try to remember to bring my own containers when I go to the nearby hawker centre to buy takeaways. Instead of the retro tiffins of multi-tiers like the 2 I have above, I use a single tier one (since I usually buy a one-dish meal like noodles or porridge) which is made of stainless steel and insulated to keep the food warm.
Call it what you may - being green, trying to reduce our chances of cancer, or just not wanting to hoard more useless stuff, I think it is an easy thing to do.
Friday, September 20, 2013
On the topic of artworks, we sent our Aboriginal dot painting, bought from the Top End of Oz, to the framers about 3 weeks back and are finally getting round to collect it. It's been ready for a week but we were too busy to go last week (yes, we are social butterflies and our weekend calendar was full). Looking forward to seeing how it looks framed tomorrow.
Monday, September 16, 2013
A Romantic Property Dream
Property is a class of assets and investments which comes with emotional bonds, unlike other types of investments say stocks and shares. Technically speaking, one should be sterile and clinical about evaluating their investment decisions including property. But for some reason, perhaps because every man or woman wants to own their own home, this becomes an emotional issue, even if the property is not going to be the investor's "home".
Nostalgia and romance played a big part in our property hunt in Penang. My grandmother had a old Peranakan shophouse in Georgetown and I spent many school holidays there till I was about 15. That was the house my mother grew up in. Over the years, the dirt, grime, peeling plaster, rusty metal have all taken on a rosy hue. Add to it, beautifully reconstructed examples, both outside and on the inside, of such houses which would necessitate a long-time of indentured servitude to pay off the mortgage, have been all the rage in Singapore for the last many years, pushing many Singaporeans to look outside Singapore. For the ones with foresight and speed, they had snapped up these old derelicts when everyone was pooh-poohing them in Georgetown, many have been renovated and rented out for use as restaurants and retail shops, others with more passion and creativity, have turned them into boutique hotels and pioneered that in Georgetown. When Georgetown was awarded the UNESCO status in 2008, this pushed the prices of these charming shophouses skywards. However because the supply is much greater than in Singapore, there are still many rundown, derelict houses one could purchase for much less than back in Singapore. And then spend some money to do it up and still be ahead. However the Malaysian government has identified this as a risk/money-making opportunity and has mandated a minimum price threshold of RM2 million for these landed property should a foreigner wish to purchase. Hence effectively blocking the cheaper shophouses from the clutches of this group of buyers.
Sunday, August 11, 2013
Sunday, July 28, 2013
A Late Stroke Of Genius
Finally. It's over. This is our best idea which came late in the day. We changed the orientation of the bedroom door, moved it down the corridor, then up, then even further up and flushed with the built-in wardrobe. Then the light bulb came TOTALLY on, we started with a sliding door, were told no-can-do for various reasons, then we went with a regular door, reusing our existing door but fabricating a new door frame (which had to go to waste after being completed and paid for). Then with the light bulb going on, we reverted back to the idea of a sliding door but using the tracks of the new wardrobe. For some reason, this brilliant idea was fine with the contractor, who thought it was rather clever too.
So here it is, doors all shut, flushed against the wall.
And here with the bedroom door slid into the wardrobe, revealing the corridor leading to the front part of the house. A late stroke of genius but so totally worth it.
Monday, July 01, 2013
Home Renovations - Before
Finally, the renovations are about to happen. This picture shows the most detested feature in our house, this wooden parquet platform that was put in by the last owner who thought it was a brilliant feature he adapted from his last resort holiday and was so proud of. I really hated it because it was impractical and dangerous especially for those middle of the night loo visits when one could easily fall over. We overcame that obstacle by swapping the sleeping area with the study area. But it was still annoying because there was also the issue of stubbing your toe instead of falling over when you came from the opposite direction. We lived with that for 3 whole years and finally decided that we have to do another round of renovations and this was the first thing that had to be fixed.
I was pretty happy with the rest of the house, but our bedroom just seems to be a white, functional room. Even the roomful of vintage furniture like the Art Deco dresser and the mid-Century long blue bench (from the Sydney Opera House foyer) could not save the insipidness of this room.
So I am looking forward to having the works done and adding some colour to this room. The room will be getting the character it deserves after a long 3 years. I can't wait. 3 weeks to the unveiling!