It’s Monday and Singapore turned 50!

August 9th was Singapore’s 50th birthday. For such a tiny nation, it’s come so far.

We attended an afternoon event held by the Singapore Consulate-General for the San Francisco Bay Area. It was at a hotel in Burlingame, near the airport. Unfortunately although we were on time, there was a long queue to sign in and all the goodie bags had been given out! There was a balloon artist and face painting for kids so the boys had fun with their balloon sword and dog. There wasn’t much else to do except queue for food which we didn’t want to do so we walked around the bayfront and watched the airplanes land at SFO, which was far more fun than what was going on inside. We were a little bit disappointed! And ended up driving to Palo Alto to hang around Books Inc and then eat dinner.

There was a huge celebration in Singapore with an extra-long Golden Jubilee celebration weekend – Friday to Monday!

We celebrated on August 9 Sunday in our own way, watching the broadcast of the National Day Parade on our TV (streamed online), the kids waving flags and marveling at the flypast and the mobile column and the very very many fireworks. It was the first time the kids had watched the parade and although parts of it went on for too long, they thought it was good fun. Well at least the four-year-old did. The two-year-old just wanted to wave his flag and climb over us and play with his trains.

Happy birthday Singapore!

Other things we ate this week!

Lettuce that F had planted! Farm-to-table. Sort of!

  Also Krispy Kreme. Because in Singapore they are ridiculously priced.






This Burns my Heart – Samuel Park (available on Scribd)

A rather melodramatic story set in 1960s South Korea.


The Royal We – Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

A rather fun fairytale-princess romp kind of thing. I am liking it more than I care to admit. Hahaha! It’s not really a book I would pick up but I was curious…!

Also I recently discovered that Scribd has an annual plan that is cheaper than paying by the month. So I went for it! Not too long ago I would’ve scoffed at a paid e-book subscription but I’ve realized that I really quite like Scribd. I’ve read quite a lot of books and comics on it. And I’ve even read picture books to the kids on it (useful when traveling and have to pack light). Recently we’ve discovered kids audiobooks and have listened to Neil Gaiman read his Chu books and Mo Willems read Knuffle Bunny, and more. The boys had fun with those audiobooks. I never thought to let them listen to audiobooks so it was a nice surprise. 



I finally watched Monsters University! I loved Monsters Inc all those years ago when it came out…wow in 2001! And I really wasn’t sure about a prequel, but it was just such good fun which had me smiling away.


There’s an SG50 playlist on Spotify!

(SG50 is what Singapore is calling its 50th national or independence day which happened yesterday)



I wish I could still be eating the kueh that my parents brought from Singapore (kueh ambon, kueh lapis and ang ku kueh) but they don’t keep so we had to stuff ourselves with them on the first couple of days. They’re full of sticky coconut-y goodness.

Instead I had some of this delicious chocolate cake from Satura Cakes in Los Altos. It has a lovely crunchy base and a mousse interior. So good.




Oxtail stew, hopefully, I can get oxtail.

Mee Goreng



Over at River City Reading, Shannon is already thinking about the 2016 Tournament of Books!

Savidge Reads talks about Not the Booker.

Also,  I really need to start keeping a TBR list for my kids. This picture book, Double Happiness by Nancy Tupper Ling, illustrated by Alina Chau, reviewed by Kirkus, sounds lovely. And there’s San Francisco!

A pretty good post in Food52 about substituting honey for sugar by Joanne Chang of Flour. Among the tips is to reduce the oven temperature as it browns faster with honey. Noted!

Also bookmarking this for myself as a place to maybe check out when I’m next in Singapore (later this year I hope!), Open Farm Community in the Dempsey area. Thanks imp!

I loved this NYT interview with Ursula K Le Guin. One of my absolute favourite writers.

Which fantasy novels do you consider the best of the genre? 

Oh gee, “best” again. And “genre.” Ow. I’ll pretend you asked for a few of my favorite fantasies, O.K.? And I am applying the Dirri (Do I Reread It?) Test. So, for starters: “Alice in Wonderland,” “Gormenghast,” “The Sword in the Stone,” “The Jungle Books,” “The Lord of the Rings.”

 Last week:

I read:

The Shining Girls – Lauren Beukes

Inheritance – Balli Kaur Jaswal

Sharaz-De Sergio Toppi (Illustrator), Edward Gauvin (Translator)
Miss Dont Touch Me Hubert and Kerascoet and Joe Johnson (translator)
Gingerbread Girl Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover
I posted:

Weekend Cooking: kueh kueh from Singapore

A Companion to Wolves; Uprooted


  1. Scribd has an annual plan?! I need to get one. We just had oxtail stew last week. I need to try it your way with star anise.

    Making a tbr list for the kids sounds like a good idea. Will you be able to keep up with their and your lists? 🙂 I’m currently reading Uprooted now. I just started and I already have to fight with my daughter over it!

    Have a good week.


    1. I found this link on a Goodreads forum and sent an email to Scribd support asking how to get on it. Essentially you have to cancel your monthly plan, wait for it to fully expire then use that link to re-sign up. All your saved books etc will still be there. And it’s $47.99 for the year!

      Hope you’re enjoying Uprooted!


  2. I’m with you in that I absolutely could not resist The Royal We, either! It was such a charming, funny read. Thanks for sharing my Tournament of Books post, I hope we’ll be at least a little bit ahead of the game when the time rolls around.


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