bank, lunch, home shopping


More bank stuff today. Plus life insurance stuff too so mum came with us. The rep who helped us, the same young woman who helped us last time, was as helpful and proactive as before. She even anticipated our questions. Very grateful for the positive experience. Yes, we will need to go back 1 or 2 times, but that’s the nature of probate, can’t be helped.

Lunch at hmv. The set lunch was extremely good value. Starter two ways: quinoa salad and lentil soup. Sis and I had barramundi with tomato sauce and mum had chicken with mushroom. Also came with a lemongrass drink. Even with sevice charge it was less than local$100 (used to be less than £10 but now just over, fx). Their happy hour used to be 25%, they have a special promotion at 50% for regular wines, beers and cocktails. Worth trying. The place is huge and the restaurant is rarely full, not many people are buying anything either, I wonder if they even make a profit. I hope so.

Went back to the sportswear popup outlet with mum to look for casual shoes for her. The crocs that had her size and good design was too pink so we decided against it.

Some more home shopping at the teacher’s union shop: shower gel, handwash, olive oil then bus home. It’ll be a busy week, this is just the first of 4 consecutive days I have to go out.

vlm ballot result


Not that it was a great surprise, but I didn’t get a place in the london marathon through the ballot. This makes it 0 for 4 or may be 5. Why was I not surprised? Because it’s a scam. There are barely any places for people who just want to run, people who don’t want to be blackmailed into a charity place.

You get a free e-magazine as commiseration but I didn’t even click on it, because the sorrynotsorry email was already full of charity places! charity places! charity places! I have no doubt it’s the same inside the magazine.


Sour grapes? I don’t think I’m the only one who feel this. Others have described the whole thing as disgraceful and obscene. Even someone who ran it before with a charity has said never again because of the


amounts required by these scammers masquerading as charities. They want thousands of pounds. Thousands. If that’s not blackmail what is?

I agree with the ballot approach. It’s the only solution to a race that is so oversubscribed. But they need to be more transparent on how many ballot places there are vs charity spots. And to avoid turning it into a charityfest.

Of course, London is only one of many spring marathon possibilities. One of these days, I’ll be mentally strong enough to apply for Paris again. And of course there is always Brighton, Edinburgh (which is offering guaranteed places for London rejects for only £55), Barcelona, Amsterdam…and many others.

Someone commented that Chicago has pretty good chance (50% or higher) because they want payment upfront. May be that’s what VLM can do too, to get rid of those who enter on a lark. I guess until they start charging, I’ll still do my sign up for your free “sorry” magazine in october next year.

bbmm tea, sneakers, sake tasting


Met up for tea at toastbox; great value for money, we were at the café for more than an hour with just tea/coffee and toast. Spotted a poster for a popup sportswear outlet upstairs and got there to be faced with a literal mountain of sneakers. I got one pair and mm got 3 pairs, 40-70% off.

The reason for meeting up was to go to the japanese wine stands at sogo. We were there on thursday and bought 15 bottles between us. The promoters there said they were opening some new bottles for tasting this weekend, so we were there to try some new ones as well as re-taste others available. There were so many varieties of sake and umeshu. One of the tasting was from an interesting glass device. A small tap at the bottom and separate compartment for ice.

In the end we bought even more bottles, I have 10 in total now. Different sakes including one made from organic rice. Also different umeshu from different types of plums and aged for different times. One used whisky techniques, and tasted stronger. There was also a 3-year one that was richer and had more depth of flavour than a corresponding 7-year.

i am a swedish startup


Checked twitter and saw a notification of someone congratulating @watty. I get a lot of wrong tags for people wanting @wattpad, sometimes in other languages. I usually ignore. But this one had a link to a magazine article about European internet of things startups. All the way at the bottom of the page is from Sweden, whose product collects and analyses energy data:

to disclose the big power users in the household, like stoves or washing machines. Data is anonymized to hide the identity of the user. The system enables energy providers to develop new, intelligent services for conserving energy

Sounds innovative and something I would never have thought of. The world is strange, the things that come into our lives unexpectedly. I’ve started following them @watty_io although they haven’t replied. Wishing them luck.

typhoon haima


No 8 signal all day today as typhoon haima was almost a direct hit. Windy definitely but quite quiet actually, not a lot of rain. Probably once it passes us.

Good thing mum went to the market in preparation yesterday, we have plenty of food, enough to last more than a week.

office, bbmm hh

Office day. I finished writing the employee handbook.

relais01steak relais02dessert

Lunch with sis, we had to go to the bank to sign even more forms but the staff there were very helpful. We went to le relais since she had a voucher, but end up couldn’t get it to work. No matter. The light lunch was salad and a small plate of their regular steak and fries. Came with ice cream or sorbet and could upgrade to lemon tart or profiteroles. I had lemon tart. Quite a good deal. A couple of glasses of wine too.

After work mm and I ended up at stone nullah tavern. They don’t have their $1 starter happy hour anymore, now for a fixed price (around 2 glasses of wine) it’s free flow wine, beer, basic cocktails betwen 5-7pm. Plus bacon and fried chicken. We ate enough chicken that we didn’t need to have dinner.

Tram to sogo for mm to hand in a credit card application. Walked around and spent the rest of the evening at the japanese wine stands, trying sake and umeshu. Tried so much that we got quite tipsy! I bought 8 bottles of various sakes and umeshus, happy with my selection. They even deliver so I’ll get them next weekend.



I noticed my mouse needed a battery change after only a few weeks, even though I don’t use it a lot. That’s not good, because batteries are expensive.

So I’ve been mouse-less for a month or two now. I still would prefer to have one, but it’s okay to use the trackpad.

taipei day 04


Woke up early to go to addiction aquatic development, which was a fancy name for fish market. Lots of fresh seafood: fish, crab, prawns. There were counters where customers could get seafood. Then a supermarket section with packaged sushi and cooked seafood. We opted for the supermarket part and got a bunch of sushi for lunch. Plus king crab legs, cooked fish to bring home.

Before we left, we went next door to the wholesale fruit market and bought 5kg of passionfruit to bring home. Also two local guavas? Not sure of name.


After lunch and packing it was time to leave, sniff. The end of the trip wasn’t as pleasant, as we got scammed by the taxi driver. Our fault for not checking that he’d turned on the meter. Worse was we ended up fighting over it. Lesson learned.

pics for whole trip: flickr set

taipei day 03

Breakfast of soy milk and stuffed rice balls from the street cart next to the hotel. Very traditional.


Destination in the morning was Tamsui, at the end of one of the mrt lines so it was a long train ride. Started raining so it wasn’t very pleasant to be walking around. There were many street stalls selling food, snacks and toys. We bought some to bring home and braved the rain to walk along the old street. Took the bus to fisherman’s wharf and lovers’ bridge at the end of Tamsui but pretty disappointing. The heavy rain meant nothing much to see or do and there were barely any people around. Nothing to eat too, we had tea at the convenience store.

Bus back to Tamsui and we found a whisky shop. OMG, so many rare bottles. I wanted to get ardbeg galileo and supernova but alas they only accepted cash and I didn’t have enough. Wasn’t worth trying to find an atm either. It is what it is.

Long mrt back to city and back to ximending to buy more duck tongue for mm’s nephew and niece. Ice coffee again, at the shop next to the shop we went yesterday just to compare. Finished off with mango shaved ice at another place.


Back to hotel to drop purchases and then bus to 12 basket restaurant from yesterday. It was so good we went there twice. No hotpot, just one steamed crab and prawn congee. Lovely lovely.


Bus to raohe street night market. Talk about street food galore! Meat, seafood, chicken, sausages. There were something like 50 stalls there. Almost everything was fried or grilled though and we were quite full already from dinner. Nice to just walk through the market without bothering to think about what to eat. Pretty crowded too. Bus back to hotel, around 9.45pm. We had a bit of appetite left so had sausages from the cart next to the hotel. Long day.

taipei day 02


Didn’t have breakfast, just coffee and tea in the lounge. Our hotel was near the taipei arena aka little big egg. There was a gym there so we tried to play but the gps was drifting too much so we decided to call it a day. Went to the nearby mrt station to get an easycard for mrt and buses. It was interesting to see a mobile library there, like a vending machine. That’s a good idea.


Walked around 20mins to our second destination hotpot restaurant, called 12 basket. Crab congee hotpot this time. Lovely server at our table did all the cooking for us. Before she put anything in, she had us taste the congee soup base. Then she cooked all the seafood: clams, prawns, fish, abalone. Much tastier and fresher than the ones from yesterday. We upgraded to a mudcrab and it was really great. Perfectly cooked, sweet meat.

tpe073crab tpe079crab

Next was a plate of lamb (we could have chosen beef or pork) which built the flavour. Finally mushrooms and vegetables. The congee was more like a soup, so she brought out cooked rice, 14 varieties in all. Added some eggs and the resultant congee was pretty heavenly. The dessert of ice cream and turtle jelly was nothing to write home about, only the honey that came with the jelly was any good.


Afternoon destination was ximending shopping district. We got off the mrt and saw the famous red house, which was under renovation so covered in a replica cloth. Inside were trendy shops and a display of an old chinese typewriter. Interesting.


Walking further, we got to an old-fashioned coffee place. All old wood and very 1950s feel. They had a bunch of ice drip coffee contraptions. I didn’t want to just have tea or soft drink so I ordered their ice drip coffee with ice cream. Not too bad, not bitter. The ice cream helped. Will it convert me to coffee? Not really.


XImending is a shopping area, with a rabbits warren of pedestrianised alleys and streets. Lots of fashion and accessories. Plus carts selling yummy street food: stinky tofu, spring onion cakes, taiwanese sausages. We had to try stinky tofu and taiwanese sausages.


The purpose of going to ximendng was for the traditional marinated meat shop. They basically sold duck parts: wings, feet, offal, neck and their most famous tongue. I remember when I first came across duck tongue with the attached bone and trachea it looked horrendous. More used to it now, and we bought many boxes to take home plus a selection for our dinner at the hotel.


To continue our shopping day, we got a bus to sunnyhills shop, which sold cakes and pastry. Their most famous pineapple cakes were worth the trek. Every visitor got a sample cake and a small cup of tea. The pastry was rich and one cake was quite filling. We (or rather, mm) got chatting with a group of women from Malaysia. By the time we left it was raining heavily so we got a taxi to a nearby sake shop. Looked at the map and realised we were within walking distance of the hotel so that was what we did.


Duck feast and sake dinner, yummy.

taipei day 01

Alarm was at 5.30am. Brush teeth, make tea, pack up electronics. mm texted that she was on her way at 6.15am so I took my suitcase downstairs to wait for her. I saw the gym was fightable so I quickly ran up the road. Before I even started she texted that she’d arrive already. Wow, without normal traffic it was quick. We worked out that it’d be more economical and way more comfortable to take ryan and park at the long term carpark. It was pretty full so many people had the same idea.

Check in was straightforward and we were at the gate fairly promptly. I scoffed the 2 hard-boiled eggs mm made for breakfast. The plane arrangement was 2-4-2 and we had the window and aisle seats. They even served us warm luncheon meat rolls, which hit the spot as I was getting hungry again.

We took a quick glance at the duty free once we arrived at taipei, bought a 4-day unlimited data sim card for my spare iphone for tethering and got bus tickets for the hotel. We debated whether to go to the restaurant before the hotel but it was raining pretty hard so I said we should check in first.


We stayed at the hotel quote, a boutique hotel near taipei arena. When we got off the bus it was still pouring, so it was a bit of a wet trek to the hotel. Very modern, comfortable room. Reviews say the rooms are dark, which we didn’t find to be the case. There weren’t any windows as such, what used to be windows were blocked off, may be that’s why people didn’t like it. The bathroom was open (with a curtain for privacy) which made the entrance area much larger, we had both our suitcases there and still plenty of room to walk around. Drinks in the minibar (water, soft drinks, tea, beer) were free and refilled every day.


They had a lounge and we stopped to get juice and a handful of snacks. They had soft drinks, juice, biscuits, coffee, tea and spare toiletries. Open 24hrs, a really good idea.


Taxi to the hotpot restaurant. We had planned on lobster hotpot but couldn’t resist upgrading to the live lobster. We got 2 soup bases, one with kelp and the other with kimchi. The lobster was really good, very fresh and totally worth the expense. They served it whole for us to take pictures, then took it into the kitchen to cut into smaller pieces. The other ingredients were less impressive. Too much fish and everything frozen. The ice cream, although offering many flavours and all-you-can-eat, we didn’t even eat aside from small tasting bites. Too icy, too artificial.

It was still early evening, we were full so we walked down the main street towards Sogo in search of whisky. The citysuper there was exactly what we were used to, but no significant whisky. The gym inside Sogo was busy busy busy. Walked slowly past more shops, found a night market but didn’t stay, eventually got some local sake from a supermarket for enjoying in the hotel. Early dinner meant early night in our room and more time to relax.

hedgerow consulting

In the office today in lieu of being away on thursday. Didn’t achieve much, mostly surfed the internet for taiwan travel stuff.

I’m not there as an employee. A freelance consultant is the best description. I had to set up my own sole proprietorship company, get a business registration certificate and all that good stuff. Luckily, my friend’s office admin helped to do that. I came up with Hedgerow Consulting because…dunno, it just occured to me. Something that evokes growth, stability, ethical standards.


I don’t have a logo yet, will ask my niece to design one for me. I have a vague idea what I’m looking for, and I can probably do it myself but it’s good for her portfolio and she’s way more creative. It’s hilarious to google “free business logo” and see all the instant ones that can be acquired with just a couple of clicks.

For other business stuff, I have a gmail address, that’s it. I was looking into domain name registration, custom email address, MS office vs google apps. Lots of comparisons out there. It boils down to which is more important for me: email or excel. Or to phrase it differently, can I live with poorer email or spreadsheet app. Sigh, as much as I love gmail, there is simply no comparison between excel and google sheets. Not totally necessary as I have everything I need at my friend’s office. Getting a domain name and apps is more for me personally than for the business. Then again, it’s a good time to get them, and a new computer too. These are tax deductions, cost of doing business.

sore from climbing

Not too much side effect from the dinner, a bit tired because I didn’t go to bed till 2am and woke up at 8am. The side effect from the wall climbing was very evident today. Arms a tiny bit sore, no big deal. My back, on the other hand. Ouch. Needed 2 panadols when I woke up and getting up from a sitting position was a slow affair. Once I got up and standing or walking it was okay. Used muscles I probably never used before.

kcl88 group dinner


KCL88 group dinner. This is a group I haven’t seen for a long, long time. One of the members very kindly did all the organising and made the reservation at Chez Moi, a french private kitchen. No corkage so we all brought lots of wine. Some people brought brandy and whisky too.

I shared with Dixon, so we could try more of the menu. Foie gras and scallops for starter, then a mussel, saffron and leek soup and sorbet. For mains we had two steaks, a rib-eye and a sirloin. We ordered rare, the rib-eye came medium rare and the sirloin was more medium. Still tasty. Dessert were walnut tart and pancake french toast. Long evening, lots of very loud talking and a great time. Way too much wine, I stopped after a while. Had a sip of brandy and whisky. It was a Singleton, and it’s a shame I didn’t finish it, didn’t feel like more alcohol.

It was midnight when we finished. Certainly a case of time flies when you’re having fun. Five of us shared a taxi, poor Dixon had a bit too much to drink and a couple of the guys got him home and settled. Wonderful friends.

#46 wall climbing


The one task I didn’t fully complete from 101.1001 was #46, to go wall climbing. I counted it as complete because I made the booking before the end of the challenge. So today was the booking.

I got to the ymca around 20mins before the course, to fill in forms and give them a couple of photos. There are 2 sections there, and one of the sections had a kid’s birthday party going on. It was a small class, just me and 3 young women, friends from Singapore I think. The first hour was going over rules, safety and first of all learning how to fall. Then it was earning how to use the harness and belaying system. Learning how to make knots, use a carabiner, use a <a href=”” title=”wiki’>grigri. We could climb up to 3m without a harness but anything above that we need someone to belay.

We were then paired off for our first climb as a team. Learned how to belay and steady our teammate. Checking each other’s equipment was paramount, as were the signals we have to give. Also learned how to fall and brace someone who is falling. The first time I did the fall I pushed off using my arms only and fell upside down, hahaha.






Climbed up and down a few times. I got stuck at the bit that was an outcrop but it didn’t matter. It was fun.

After 2 hours’ instruction was the assessment. Went through everything that we learned so far and made sure we did everything correctly. I was nervous and didn’t do too well. Was tired at that point too so couldn’t even climb very far. But I passed the assessment, so yay! Now I can book climbing sessions myself, but obviously without a teammate can only do the 3m or less bouldering. Definitely need more practice.

taiwan trip research


Spent the day researching for our short trip to taiwan next week. Just 4 days. Last time we were in taipei was 2004, excluding business trips in between. Our priority is time off and relaxation so not planning on doing the sightseeing thing. Food is probably the biggest focus. Hopefully we can hit a night market or two. New discovery is 上引水產 addiction aquatic development, a fancy name for a fish market/restaurant that apparently serves great sushi on counters and has a supermarket onsite too.

One of the most famous souvenirs people bring back from taiwan is pineapple cakes and one of the best of by sunnyhills. Around 20mins walk from our hotel according to google maps. They serve free samples with tea, so a good destination for relaxation.

We may take one day to travel outside the city to either danshui or jiufen. Danshui is a fishing village with shops and a famous fisherman’s wharf. Jiufen has cobblestoned streets. Or we may take the cable car at maokong, hike a bit and visit the teahouses there.

Also researched either sim card or pocket wifi. Either option is good and not too expensive. The more practical and value for us is to get a sim card when we arrive at the airport. I can put it in my iphone 5c and we can both tether. The problem is, niantic just disabled functionalities for trackers so it’ll take the fun out of hunting.

bbmm after work

After work today, we went with our friend B to japanese yakitori happy hour. 4 skewers each plus one drink. Very crowded place, good quality.

It’s started raining, so mm and I ran quickly to a nearby bookstore to look at travel books for our trip. By the time we finished it’d stopped raining.

bbmm l&p again


Met up with L&P again, this time the starting point was near where they are staying. Took an hour long rollercoaster-like bus journey to our favourite fishing village, with traditional stilted houses. Walked through the village a little, so close to people’s houses where they were preparing food, watching tv or just sitting out.

Ended up at a café called three lanterns. European coffee shop with outdoor seating on a deck overlooking the small river channel. We’d just ordered when it started raining. At first just drizzle then got heavier. There was some cover provided by large umbrellas and large sheeting but there were spots where the water leaked. The owner offered to move us inside but we found dry spots and stayed put. It was actually quite nice, the rain and the breeze made it cooler. Finally the rain stopped and we had our coffees, teas and cakes. Chatted away. The owner gave us a couple of pots of tea free, because we stuck with her and didn’t run away. The rose tea was very good.

Decided against taking the awful bus back, so took a small ferry. Double the price but more than double the comfort. The ferry hugged the coast, so there was no turbulence. Airconditioning and we had comfortable seats. We all agreed it was the better option.

Dinner at a local restaurant at the shopping mall. After saying goodnight, mm and I hung around for another half an hour or so for pokemon go. Got our gym bonuses and caught a couple.

bbmm l&p

Met up with our Dutch friends L & P for tea at HMV café. Didn’t order the afternoon tea set at the end, had a few beers instead. The fire alarm went off and kept ringing loudly for 20mins or more until finally someone from building management came to turn it off. Dinner at the korean bbq place in the same building.

at the banks

Bank day. Met sis at 10am at bank #2 and stayed there for over 2hrs. We had to open a joint account, a securities account, an investment account and close Papa’s accounts. There was a mountain of paperwork. Thought nowadays banks should be more automated, but there seems to be only more and more forms to fill in. The staff weren’t slacking, they had 3-4 people working on our case and it still took them to lunchtime to finish.

Lunch was at a conveyor belt sushi place. The set was nice, the sushi plates on the conveyor belt were barely touched, as most people ordered directly.

In the afternoon we went to bank #3. The staff there was also very helpful and there were also forms to fill in. We have to come back in about 2 weeks’ time after they sort out one of the bonds.

Long day and pretty tired. Bought meatballs and salmon from Ikea and took the bus home.

bbmm elements


I wanted to go to morse park and nearby but ended up at elements with mm. The nest there changed from abra to gastly. I got there early and walked around the shopping centre, then met mm and we walked around again. Total caught over the course of a few hours were 17 gastlys, a whole lot of voltorbs and magnemites and others. I’m about 2 gastlys short of being able to evolve.


We stayed at the shopping centre, dinner was at a counter service semi-fast food place at the supermarket. I had beef set and mm had mackerel set. The best thing in the set was the cabbage salad.

errands, chicken and beer


Errands after work: bank, cancel internet and book holiday with mm. Our first choice dates didn’t have flights but the helpful agent helped us get alternative dates and the hotel we wanted. Time to do research.

Dinner was at a korean chicken and beer place. The chicken wasn’t really that great, frozen and lacking in flavour. The sauces were good. The beer was expensive.

Walked to v-park for vulpix and also got a few others. Bus home.

masterchef australia final sportsmanship

Masterchef Australia final tonight. Caught up with the semi-final beforehand so 4.5hrs of non-stop Masterchef Australia, wonderful.

Since the final has aired, it’s not a spoiler anymore. This is probably the best moment of all, and shows the type of people and show.

Their very last cook of the entire season. One minute to go. One contestant had a problem and needed help. The other contestant stopped what she was doing and went to help her fellow finalist.

If that isn’t the very definition of sportsmanship.

sis, sam, bbmm hh pokehunt


Met sis for breakfast at hmv. I had what they called a breakfast pizza: bacon, egg, spinach, tomato and hashbrown. We were the first customers and the food was obviously freshly made, came to the table piping hot. Large enough pizza for lunch.

The purpose of today was to go to the banks to deal with some of Papa’s stuff. Got one bank sorted. Gave documents to another bank and decided to leave the third bank for another day. Sis had to drop off a guitar, then we went to the yacht club for lunch. I had overcooked calves’ liver, a bit disappointing.

Waved sis off in a taxi and walked over to my hairdresser’s. They moved to a new place, much much nicer, more modern and roomier. I was there early enough so he could cut my hair, when mm came we had to wait for a couple of other customers. No big deal. Small (<10%) increase in price, he hadn’t increased our prices for about 10 years so it’s okay.


Happy hour at an izakaya. We had beer, vegetable gyoza, grilled sausages, shiso leaf tempura (delicious!), grilled chicken soft bone (yummy). Either a set with beer or 1-for-1 beer. Didn’t hurry, just ordered a couple of skewers at a time like we should at an izakaya. Nice industrial design at the restaurant, using pipes, sockets and bits of wood.

Still early so we went to v-park where I spotted a few vulpixes earlier in the day. Ended the night with 7 of them, from zero. Looks like a new nest there.

1hr pokehunt

Mum had last minute dinner with her friends so I took the opportunity to take the shuttlebus to morse park for about an hour. I saw snorlax there earlier and lamented that I didn’t have a car, or wasn’t obsessed enough to hop into a taxi.

No snorlax while I was there. Kabuto as usual, a farfetch’d, a nidorqueen and just as I was leaving, an onix opposite the bus terminal. I had just about enough time to sprint there, catch it and sprint back to the shuttlebus stop.

bbmm happy hour, family dinner

Dinner with mm’s family. We met beforehand to go to a street food / farmers market near her place but were a little disappointed. Around 20 stalls. The street food was expensive and although interesting wasn’t appealing. The organic veg was also expensive.

Had some time to spare so we ended up at a happy hour place, I had wine and she had a prosecco. Nothing exciting.

Got her car, picked up her parents, had dinner at the usual place. Her dad had complained about everyone being on their phones so we all knew to keep them in our pockets. But he couldn’t stop us from talking about stuff on our phones. Her nephew sat next to me and we were comparing pokemons all night. Fun.

spaghetti meatballs


This is the first time I made spaghetti with meatballs. All right, actually it’s capellini because that’s what we had. Combined minced beef and minced pork (around 60:40, but that’s because it’s what I have) with 1 egg, some flour and seasoning.

Sautéed some garlic and onion in a pan, added the meatballs to brown. Added water, tomatoes, tinned tomatoes, ketchup, worcestershire sauce, herbs, s&p and simmered for about 45mins. Could do with longer, had to turn the heat up towards the end to reduce the sauce.

Pretty good. Definitely tasted homemade, better than spag bol.

dragonite near market

We needed veg so I went to the market, with a detour to supposedly a slowpoke nest. Walked a little around morse park, got the usual kabutos. The slowpoke nest is a canal / sewage channel that’s closed off for…sewage works. Saw one slowpoke, grrrr. Probably too early in the day. Walked to another park, nothing much happening there either. There was a gym that remained empty for 5 mins so I couldn’t help but occupy it.


Slowly making my way back to do shopping and about to close the game. Took one last look at go radar and there it was, a dragonite with just over 6 mins to go. I had to look at the map and run down a couple of unfamiliar streets. Got there with 2 mins to spare. Definitely too early in the day, there were only about 10-20 people. Yes, CP only 46 but I got my first dragonite.

Icing on the cake, another slowpoke on the shuttlebus home.

bbmm computer and dinner

Went with mm after work to the computer centre to get her mbp repaired. Her hard disk is almost dead and last time at the genius bar it was taken out of the body completely. So the aim was to a) get the HD into an ext casing and see if it still works; b) install a new HD into the mbp. Got quotes from a couple of places and went to the first one. The technician was very helpful and knowledgeable, we wandered around the mall for an hour whilst they did the repair. I bought a new screencover for the iphone, the old cover had cracked.

As usual, mm had a million questions but the technician was very patient. Almost 8pm when we left. I was pretty tired and hungry by then.


Went to a nearby building and first looked at a korean restaurant then decided to go to the thai place one floor down. Had beer, chicken wings, grilled squid, whole grey mullet, cabbage greens and roti. The squid, greens and roti were good, the chicken wings and fish less so.

Walked to a nearby gym and got our golds. Didn’t even know there is a park at that location.

utilities change name

Called up the utilities companies to change to my name. All different procedures.

Electricity customer service advised me to not change for another month. When the next bill arrives, call up to cancel the autopay and let the deposit pay for the bill. Then change name. I thought it was great advice.

Gas needed a fax or email with all sorts of certificates, include proof of relationship. Really? But then once I emailed it was done quickly.

Water took my details over the phone and that was it.

hunting driving

Drove out to an out of the way town that supposedly has nests of several pokemons. Ended up at toastbox and supermarket for 3hrs. By the time we ventured to the park and pier where the nests are, it was getting dark. And add to that, couldn’t find street parking.

Drove to another town, with a detour for petrol. Still no parking.

Ended up at the place near mm’s sis’ flat, where I saw 7 pikachus in just over an hour that time mum was at the clinic. And yes, there were pikachus a few others. We also teamed up to take turns sniping a gym. It’s getting a bit cooler now so it was nice to be at the park with an open view of the harbour.

Didn’t have dinner so was famished. Fast microwaved noodles at 7-eleven.

taekwondo exam

My niece had her taekwondo exam this evening at the sports centre in one of the parks I go running in. Difficult to get to for anyone not walking though. She’s at red-black level 1 or 2 dan, I’m not quite sure. I remember she had to wait till she’s 14 to take this exam.

There were lots of kids taking the exam. The masters split them into 4 groups and they went through the exercises. First was sparring then board kicking. Quite exciting to watch actually.

She passed, of course. So happy for her.

organise stuff

Most of the day was spent organising ebooks and backing up the mba. I decided i had too many folders for ebooks so streamlined a little.

Inadvertently deleted the iphotos folder(!). Luckily I’d just backed it up to one of the ext HDs. Took a few hours of copying back and forth.

bbmm tomahawk steak, signal hill


Met mm for dinner. We’d bought a tomahawk steak voucher a while ago at 50% off. It’s a huge 1.2kg steak that the restaurant recommended for 3-4 people. We were like, really? We polished off 1kg steak at Hawksmoor and Bear just the two of us. A 1.2kg steak with bone yields may be 800g of meat, for 4 people that’s a measly 200g.

The steak came charred on the outside and pretty raw inside. They gave us a hot stone so we could cook it to our liking. Had to change the stone a couple of times because we took our time eating. The steak itself was okay. Quite a bit of sinew and inedible bits. Not bad in terms of taste. Came with chips, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and gravy. Everything got cold far too quickly. They charged us 10% of the full price for service, not the discounted voucher price. I guess the hot stone and cutting up the steak for us count as additional service.

Was quite tempted to take the bone home for stock but I mentally went through the pots and pans at home and decided I don’t have a pan big enough. Will need a saw to chop up the bone and it was too much trouble. Shame, because I can imagine how great the stock will be.


We had early dinner because we wanted to go to signal hill, a busy pokémon hotspot. Guess who we ran into? Our friend and fellow hunter D. He showed us all the local tricks, as he’s an old hand at signal hill. The top of the hill is reached by some very steep steps but very pretty, can see a long way. The moon was out too. Afterwards he took us to a nearby shopping mall with benches and seats for resting in air-conditioned comfort. Best thing, there were many plug and usb points for recharging our phones.

mid-autumn festival

It’s mid-autumn festival but tomorrow is the public holiday. Very thoughtful, people will stay out late to look at the moon and play with lanterns, so the day after is a holiday.

Thursday so office day. About 75% finished writing my paper, with just one or two sections to go. It’s over my 4 page target so there will be some cropping. Went to pick up my tenancy agreement and bought chicken sandwich for lunch. Happy hour with mm before going home. This place’s happy hour is normal priced drinks but $10 oysters. Good quality, sometimes cheap oysters are no good but this being a seafood restaurant seems to have gotten it right.

Mum was out with her friends but she came back for dinner. I cooked ribs and sweet potatoes yesterday already so she just needed to reheat it. Hahaha, she still managed to burn them, which is why I do the cooking.


Our mooncakes were ice cream, sis gave me a haagen-dazs voucher for 4 mini ice cream mooncakes. Perfect.

shopping with pokehunting detour

Supposed to be a super typhoon coming, so I went to the market to get some fresh food.

Detoured to morse park, hahaha. In just 5 mins I caught a whole bunch of pokémons. In 10mins I caught poliwhirl, abra, beedrill, ghastly, jynx, paras, clefairy, weedle, caterpie, and a couple of kabutos.


Checked goradar and saw an aerodactyl at the top end of the park. Only my second, the first one was hatched from a 10km egg.

Oh, market wasn’t too busy. Got some fruit, veg and frozen food. Took my cool bag with me so it was easy to carry. Managed to get on the shuttlebus with just one minute to go.

lazy monday

Mum had lunch plans so I had the flat to myself for half a day, yay. Did a couple of loads of laundry then lazed around. I did run out to the nearby pokegym when I saw there was an available slot to get my 10 gold. I can’t believe no one claimed it.

Too hot to do anything else. Turned on the tv and got engrossed in The Two Towers. It came out in 2002, and 14 years later the battle of Helm’s Deep is still as awe-inspiring as ever.


After church mum and I went for a quick lunch at a vietnamese place. Then to the market followed by collecting haagen-dazs ice cream moon cakes (sis gave me a coupon). It’s the middle of september and still 30ºC. Originally there were plans to meet up with mm and D for pokehunting but that didn’t happen. I stayed home and watched masterchef australia instead.

bbmm pokehunting


Met mm in the afternoon for pokehunting at a hotspot our friend Dixon recommended to us. First order of business, the train station we met is a gym. She got there first and managed to sneak in for her 10 gold. She helped me get my 10 gold by weakening the defending trainers, what teamwork! Walked more than half an hour alongside the river path. Didn’t see pikachu or too many rare ones but steadily caught pidgeys and weedles. We didn’t always have our heads down staring at our phones, I spotted this really great shot underneath one of the road bridges crisscrossing the path. The reflection of the underside of the bridge on the water together with the supporting pillars was a picture perfect example of composition.

At the shopping centre that was our destination, we sat down for tea and a chat. Had cheesecake swiss roll, she had chocolate and I had a butterscotch flavoured one. Looked online to find where to go for dinner and decided on an outdoor daipaidong all-you-can-eat hotpot place. Ended up hopping on a taxi, and the driver gave us a good tip about another daipaidong nearby.


The restaurant was messy and definitely not fine dining. Lots of choices of food, laid out buffet style. The beef wasn’t the greatest but there were prawns, oysters and mussels. All fresh and delicious and well worth it. We basically focused on the seafood. Unlimited soft drinks too. Time limit 2hrs, we were full in well under that time. Worked it off by walking around looking for more pokemons.

Followed the radar and our friend’s tip and found ourselves in a small park. We joined dozens of people sitting at an outdoor stage area in the middle of 4 pokestops that were constantly lured. I got a blastoise, which I’m so chuffed about but poor mm, hers ran away. We stayed at the park until closing time. On the bus home we both caught onix so it was a good day.

getting the flat ready


Long, busy, tiring but productive day.

The fridge delivery people called at 12pm asking if I’ll be there in 20mins. Even though the arranged time is 2-4pm. I said no, it’ll take me an hour to get there. The cheek.

Mum and I took a bunch of cleaning materials (I took a big bag already on wed) and today’s aim is to clean the flat until it’s as clean as we can get it. Mum tackled the bathroom and I got started in the kitchen. After I finished the kitchen I washed the windows inside and out and mopped the floor. The fridge people came at around 2pm and I’m liking the fridge I bought.

The dry cleaner rang the bell mid-afternoon too. I expected him to deliver the curtains tomorrow but bless him he got it done today. Perfect, this means I don’t have to come back tomorrow. We spent quite a bit of time getting the curtains back up.

By 5pm we’d been working non-stop for more than 3hrs. Everything was done except we needed to get a drain filter for the bathroom. Tired already but we persevered. Walked to the nearby hardware store. It was dinner time so we had noodles and treated ourselves to dessert at this 100+ year old dessert place. Mum had almond soup and I had sesame soup.

Walked back home, got the filters in and final cleaning. We did really, really well today. Thanks, Mum for helping!!


Second week of part time job. B was travelling so only us minions at the office. Read some more and wrote up some of the guidelines I was writing.


Had dinner with mm’s family but first we went hunting a little and for a quick drink. More chatting. It’s been tough for us, with mm’s illness and my circumstances. We’re supporting and needing each other in different ways from before.

rent, bbmm hunting chatting

A long, long, long day but productive. Went to the agent’s office first thing to sign the offer letter. Then I was going up to the flat and he kindly offered to drive me since he has to go do the inventory list. I took down the curtains while he was doing that and he offered to drive me to the dry cleaner’s.

I made my way slowly down the escalator and was in M&S when the agent called again. Did I have a spare key so the tenant can drop a few bags there? Sure, I said. They were meeting at Starbucks nearby so I popped over. Met the tenant, an analyst with a fixed income trading house specialising in distressed loans. Young, smart guy. He gave me the security deposit in an envelope of cash. I had to rush to the bank straight after the meeting finished.

globeleatherjacket globecarrotcake

Met Sis for lunch at the Globe. I had grilled leatherjacket, a white fish not unlike sea bass. Carrot cake for dessert and a glass of pinot noir too. Needed the rest and food.
Nice to chat and some things she said made me reflect and think of what I’ve been feeling and what I can do to help myself.

Bus to Ikea to get shower curtain and a towel for the tenant. His serviced apartment finishes on saturday and his shipment doesn’t arrive till October. I’ve been in his shoes. He asked for a towel, and it wasn’t expensive.

Met mm and bought fridge. Spent a while at the shop dealing with the fridge. Also saw this fabulous Bosch food processor that had both of us tempted. We were strong and decided to think about it hahaha.

Late tea / early dinner at toast box. We chatted and chatted and when we turned around it was past 6pm. Thought we’d walk around but ended up looking at the map and going after a kadabra, then a lickitung. Camped out at a gym to sneak in to get the 10 gold. Quick dinner at a food court, more chatting. It was almost 10pm. Went to the gym again to make sure mm gets her 10 gold, that was more involved, I had to fight to weaken the incumbent before she could sneak in.

Got home at 11pm, having been out since 9.30am. Still lots more to do in terms of flat.