12 September 2012


Now that September is in full swing, my life is becoming fun again. I talked to Katie this morning. She was telling me about her life and about her mom who is a newly-retired teacher. Vickie is enjoying her first September in decades that does not include a bunch of children in rows of desks. I wondered how she was doing in her first few weeks of retirement – not counting summer break, of course.

Turns out, she is doing just fine. She is cruising around on boats, lunching with friends, having dinner with fellow teachers – her calendar is full. “That sounds like my week,” I exclaimed, laughing.

This week is certainly one of those weeks that makes life fun again. For a while, I have been thinking about my lack of seeing and doing but this week, that is changing.

I am training for a 5k so, when I don’t feel like a lazy lard, I get outside and run. This morning I met my former walking group for a trek from Paya Lebar to the East Coast park and back up to I12 Katong Mall. I parted ways with the group at the mall since my house was one way and the end of the loop was the complete opposite. We walked 5 kilometers and then I finished with a walk/run for another 3.5 kilometers to my house – just as the rain drops fell from the clouds.

I forgot how much fun those group walks really are. I know the bus route from Paya Lebar to my house but I never – EVER – would have considered walking the distance. I was glad I rejoined the group after many weeks away.

Yesterday Nicola and I had some fun. We met at a neighborhood mall to stock up on crafty supplies – posters, markers, glue and plenty of glitter. We had an important mission: to channel the days of high school and college spirit events and pay homage to Singapore’s Paralympians who today returned from London.

We did great work and we were proud of our craftiness.

Everyone else at the event was impressed as well. We found ourselves quickly becoming celebrities as everyone wanted to see the signs. Once one person saw the signs, he or she would go grab another person to come see the signs. Why no one else thought to make signs I do not know but it did work out for our benefit.

Our celebrityness skyrocketed when I asked a local minister if I would be able to take a photo. I meant to ask him if I could just get a photo of the three men in front of me standing together and smiling but then he asked about the signs and, before we knew it, Nicola, Rosemary and I were standing with our signs in front of the minister and his team.

Larry, our RDA photographer on hand, started to take a couple shots. Then, suddenly, as if Will and Kate had appeared behind us, the crowd emerged and flashes abounded from all directions. In Nicola’s words, “It was a true paparazzi moment.”

We had a great time welcoming home the Paralympians, three of which represented the RDA in addition to Singapore in the equestrian events. Singapore’s sole medals, a silver and a bronze, were obtained by Laurentia Tan in the equestrian events. We also celebrated Max Tan’s and Gemma Foo’s incredible performances; we have worked with them several times leading up to this year’s Paralympic games and were thrilled to welcome them and their family members home. 

 Joining the Paralympians on their flight were the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Will and Kate did not arrive through the same doors – they were greeted at a VIP terminal – but that did not stop local fans from lining the arrival area, desiring to see the royal couple.

Though I am absolutely not sure how, the royal couple disembarked their overnight flight direct from London looking absolutely perfect in unwrinkled clothing and not a hair out of place.

They attended a ceremony at the National Orchid Garden where they were introduced to a new hybrid orchid named just for them; they were also introduced to an orchid created and named for Princess Diana, who did not get to see the orchid before her death.

Nicola was so excited about the royals’ arrival that I have about 50 text messages between the two of us on my phone within a period of 12 hours – and that is NOT an exaggeration.

Because of her excitement and her ability to throw away anything remotely American when it comes to the royal family and show all of her British pride, we are going to be true Singaporeans tomorrow and stand in a line for hours on end so that we can see Will and Kate in person. This is my life as a friend of a Brit.

No comments: