Category Archives: Miscellany

The Ten Commandments in Textspeake

A friend sent me this. Brilliant!

1. no1 b4 me. srsly.

2. dnt wrshp pix/idols

3. no omg’s

4. no wrk on w/end (sat 4 now; sun l8r)

5. pos ok – ur m&d r cool

6. dnt kill ppl

7. :-X only w/ m8

8. dnt steal

9. dnt lie re: bf

10. dnt ogle ur bf’s m8. or ox. or dnkey. myob.

M, pls rite on tabs & giv 2 ppl.

ttyl, JHWH.

ps. wwjd?

Juvenile Wit

A friend sent me these. Priceless….

TEACHER: Maria, go to the map and find North America ..
MARIA: Here it is.
TEACHER: Correct. Now class, who discovered America ?
CLASS: Maria.
TEACHER: John, why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor?
JOHN: You told me to do it without using tables.
TEACHER: Glenn, how do you spell ‘crocodile?’
TEACHER: No, that’s wrong
GLENN: Maybe it is wrong, but you asked me how I spell it.
TEACHER: Donald, what is the chemical formula for water?
TEACHER: What are you talking about?
DONALD: Yesterday you said it’s H to O.
TEACHER: Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we didn’t have ten years ago.
TEACHER: Glen, why do you always get so dirty?
GLEN: Well, I’m a lot closer to the ground than you are.
TEACHER: Millie, give me a sentence starting with ‘I.’
MILLIE: I is..
TEACHER: No, Millie….. Always say, ‘I am.’
MILLIE: All right….. ‘I’ am the ninth letter of the alphabet.
TEACHER: George Washington not only chopped down his father’s cherry tree, but also admitted it. Now, Louie, do you know why his father didn’t punish him?
LOUIS: Because George still had the axe in his hand.
TEACHER: Now, Simon, tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating?
SIMON: No sir, I don’t have to, my Mom is a good cook.
TEACHER: Clyde , your composition on ‘My Dog’ is exactly the same as your brother’s. Did you copy his?
CLYDE : No, sir. It’s the same dog.
TEACHER: Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?
HAROLD: A teacher

Stuck in a carpark (or why I hate monopolies)

First, thanks to everyone for the good wishes and I’m pleased to say the quarantine is over and we once again have free access to God’s great wide world.

So it’s ironic that soon after the quarantine was lifted, I found myself stuck once again. [WARNING: this post has nothing to do with parenting, and everything to do with Pilgrim Mom the irritated customer. Please skip if you have better things to do with your time….]

I had gone to Bukit Merah Central to run some errands and parked at the multi-storey carpark, a Cashcard-only facility. After my errands I was about to leave when I realised I had left my Cashcard at home (we had sent our vehicle for servicing and had taken it out of the IU).

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30 books of the Bible – but can you find them?

A friend sent me this wonderful puzzle. Easy peasy, I thought. But minutes later I had to get myself a Bible, and after that resort to my wordprocessor’s “find” function to help me with the rest of it. The poor kids were wondering why Mum was taking so long just to check her email. Sigh

See how far you get. And if you are ready to tear your hair out, send me an email and I’ll give you the solution. πŸ™‚

There are 30 books of the Bible in the following paragraph. Can you find them?

This is a most remarkable puzzle. It was found by a gentleman in an airplane seat pocket, on a flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu, keeping him occupied for hours. He enjoyed it so much he passed it on to some friends. One friend from Illinois worked on this while fishing from his john boat. Another friend studied it while playing his banjo. Elaine Taylor, a columnist friend, was so intrigued by it she mentioned it in her weekly newspaper column. Another friend judges the job of solving this puzzle so involving, she brews a cup of tea to help her nerves. There will be some names that are really easy to spot. That’s a fact. Some people, however, will soon find themselves in a jam, especially since the book names are not necessarily capitalised. Truthfully, from answers we get, we are forced to admit it usually takes a minister or scholar to see some of them at the worst. Research has shown that something in our genes is responsible for the difficulty we have in seeing the books in this paragraph. During a recent fund raising event, which featured this puzzle, the Alpha Delta Phi lemonade booth set a new sales record. The local paper, the Chronicle, surveyed over 200 patrons who reported that this puzzle was one of the most difficult they had ever seen. As Daniel Humana humbly puts it, β€œthe books are all right here in plain view hidden from sight.” Those able to find all of them will hear great lamentations from those who have to be shown. One revelation that may help is that books like Timothy and Samuel may occur without their numbers. Also, keep in mind, that punctuation and spaces in the middle are normal. A chipper attitude will help you compete really well against those who claim to know the answers. Remember, there is no need for a mad exodus, there really are 30 books of the Bible lurking somewhere in this paragraph waiting to be found.



“When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” – Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier

That’s what the Pilgrim family is celebrating today. Happy Easter!

Tagged: 5 Things About Myself

Brenda over at Little Gastronomy has just tagged me to reveal 5 things about myself that most of you probably wouldn’t know. Brenda, by the way, looks to be an absolute gourmet and if I were less of a kitchen dunce, I would give some of her brilliant suggestions a go.

Anyway, her tag is a little challenging because the regular readers of this blog include people who have known me all my life. But let me give it a go anyway:

  1. My favourite television series of all time (ALL TIME!) is The West Wing. I am a huge fan of Aaron Sorkin in particular. The Star Trek series comes in a distant second – and only Voyager and The Next Generation.
  2. My favourite book/movie of all time (ALL TIME!) is the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I am geeky enough to have read The Silmarillion and contemplated learning Elvish. Until I concluded that there are probably more useful things I could do with my time πŸ™‚
  3. My favourite music has strong melody and lyrics. I am a fan of the earlier albums of The Indigo Girls, in particular the songs written by Emily Saliers. I am also a fan of jazz and acapella.
  4. I multi-task too much for my own good. I am usually reading at least three books at a time, running several projects at once, and at this very moment have 7 applications running on my laptop….
  5. I am also a hypocrite: I forbid the children to drink Coke, and they are allowed one piece of candy a day. I regularly break both rules myself. Just another piece of evidence pointing to my soul-need for salvation!

I’m tagging

Happy New Year!

And may your home be filled with colour, life and love.


Grandmother Stories

Helloooo! I’ve been horribly remiss about updating this blog – in the past few weeks, I experienced a pile-up of work, the boys came down with an assortment of flus, and my grandmother passed away.

So let’s just say it’s been BUSY.

Still, I wanted to say something about my grandmother. We called her Mama, and last week Mama went to glory at the age of 94. She was born in Indonesia, but lived most of her life in Singapore. She had four children, seven grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. She spoke Teochew, a Chinese dialect which like other dialects in Singapore is no longer a language of everyday business. So as her grandchild, I always had difficulty communicating with her beyond basic functional conversation.

Yet I was never in doubt that she loved me. Hers was not a love that manifested in an endless stream of toys. Indeed, I don’t think I can remember a single toy she bought me. But there was a time in my life where she would babysit me, and she cooked wonderful meals of porridge and fish that are today still comfort foods for me. I remember her making 5 stones and pyjamas for me out of leftover fabric. They were never the most fashionable-looking, but I won many a 5 stone contest with the ones she made, and the pyjamas were oh so comfortable. And let me also say Mama had a wild side – she taught me how to roll paper cigarettes for her and play Si Sek (a gamblers game using long strips of coloured cards) πŸ™‚

At her funeral, we put up a board of memories, and it seemed no-one else doubted her love for us either. How true it is that love goes well beyond the limitations of language!

So here’s to my Mama – for a life well lived and a legacy that lives on.


Ebay Meets Blogger

I found this by way of Raising Mustard Seeds. It was so funny I had to re-post the link here. Having many kids is a sure-fire recipe to developing a sense of humour. You’d go mad otherwise!

Edited: The eBay listing is no longer valid but the seller reposted the piece on her own blog.

Happy Birthday Singapore

Singapore turns 42 today! She’s young by developed world standards, sometimes breaks my heart, but is otherwise an extraordinary nation, and a place we are glad to call home.

The Pilgrim family loves to watch the National Day Parade. The highlights for us are the heavy machinery (the flypast, the Chinooks with the flag), the Red Lions parachuting down, and of course the fireworks.

This year’s parade will be the first of its kind, held on Marina Bay on the largest performance floating platform in the world. A nod to Singapore’s perennial ingenuity.

I happened to be at the Esplanade for lunch yesterday and here is what I saw:

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Want to know more about infant vocabulary?

The NUS Dept of Psychology is conducting an Infant Language Study to better understand vocabulary norms for Sngapore infants (12 to 30 months).

If you sign up, you’ll be sent a questionnaire which will ask you to fill in a vocabulary checklist and to tick the words you think your child can say. You’ll also have to fill in a few details as well as a consent form. At the end of the study, NUS will provide you with a summary of the results i.e. what the vocabulary norms for Singapore infants are.

The study already has 200 parents and the researchers are looking for another 100 families before the end of the year. Do consider participating – call 6516 8768 or email for more details or to sign up!

Good Bye, Braddell Angsana

Every Sunday we go to Grandpa and Grandma’s home for dinner, and our journey takes us down Braddell Road.

Every Sunday without fail, I marvel at the magnificent angsana tree that stands in the middle of the road. It’s not just a grand dame of a tree (80-years-old!), it’s also a romantic, expensive oddity in practical, pragmatic Singapore. In 2005, authorities decided to spare the tree and build a new road around it, at an additional cost of $200,000. For me, the tree was a marker of a society that had come of age.

Every Sunday, the 5 seconds it took us to slow down and pass the tree was a time for quiet delight. In the tree, and in the society that would work its way around it.

Every Sunday until this Sunday. Continue reading

The Pilgrim Parent Star Cryptographer Award

In a masterful performance worthy of Bletchley Park, Rachel @ Pigstorm correctly decoded 2 of the 3 puzzles posed by 13-month-old Aramis.

  • Ower = flower
  • Namo = no more
  • Moo = moon

For that code-breaking feat, I hereby confer upon her the title of Pilgrim Parent Star Cryptographer! And ice cream on me when you come over for that playdate πŸ™‚

Ack, I’ve Been Tagged!

The always thoughtful New Parent has tagged me with the question:

“What is the meaning of your kid’s name?”

It’s funny he should ask. I’m now reading a book by Eugene Peterson, a pastor, author and professor of theology, who has this to say on the issue of names:

“At our birth we are named, not numbered. The name is that part of speech by which we are recognised as a person. We are not classified as a species of animal. We are not labeled as a compound of chemicals. We are not assessed for our economic potential and given a cash value. We are named.

A personal name, not an assigned role, is our passbook into reality…. Anything other than our name – title, job description, number, role – is less than a name. Apart from the name that marks us as uniquely created and personally addressed, we slide into fantasies that are out of touch with the world as it is and so we live ineffectively, irresponsibly. Or we live by the stereotypes in which other people cast us that are out of touch with the uniqueness in which God has created us, and so live diminished into boredom, the brightness leaking away.” (Run With The Horses; p25, 32)

So on to the question:

η›› ζ΄‹ 倩


The first character is Athos’ name, meaning “abundance”

The second character is Porthos’ name, meaning “ocean”

The third character is Aramis’ name, meaning “sky” (or more metaphorically, “reflection of heaven”)

I hereby tag the following three very fine ladies:

  • Mustard Seed Mom, because I am embarrassed to say that I actually don’t know what her kids’ names mean though I should
  • Rachel @ Pigstorm, because I recall that her kids have very meaningful names
  • Mama Stop Knitting, because her kids’ names (and hers as well) are the essence of bilingual chic

In Praise of Taxation

A gentle reminder to Singaporean readers: Deadline for filing your taxes is tomorrow! And 18 April if you’re e-filing.

Now I dislike taxes as much as anybody. So if I’m going to have to pay it, the process had better be as painless as possible.

And here I must pause to heap praise upon the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) – and you can go ahead and call me a dork. I’ve just filed my taxes online, and the process took me 10 minutes! It was so easy it was over before I was even warmed up with my documents, papers and calculator. They’ve linked up with employers, CPF, even the Central Depository, and they had all my details. All I had to do was update the system with any change in my status in the past 12 months (the birth of Aramis), and that was IT. No rifling through papers in search of elusive numbers. Nothing. I could even nurse while filing!

Times like these I find myself quite partial to the Big Brother.

In My Father’s Arms

Some months back, I took this picture of Aramis asleep in Pilgrim Dad’s embrace.


“If I rise on the wings of the dawn,

if I settle on the far side of the sea,

even there your hand will guide me,

your right hand will hold me fast.”

– Psalm 139:9-10

A Sweet Tribute to Tolkien (and Peter Jackson)

This is one of the top posts on right now – a guy and his kin recreate The Battle of Helm’s Deep, a scene from Tolkien’s/Jackson’s Two Towers. I thought I was a Tolkien fan until this. A labour of sweet, sweet love.

A preview of the sugary salute below. Click here to see the post in its full psychedelic glory.

Helms Deep

The Training Wheels Are Off!

Last week, we brought the boys to West Coast Park to cycle. Athos still uses training wheels but one of them came loose so Pilgrim Dad decided to remove it altogether. So Athos figured out how to cycle with just one training wheel – you could see the thrill of achievement all over his face!

Yesterday, Pilgrim Dad removed the second training wheel. Athos was nervous at first, and to be honest, so were we. But Pilgrim Dad, ever the braveheart, clutched on to his handlebars and ran alongside him for a few rounds. Soon he was holding Athos just by his shirt. And about half an hour into it, Athos had worked up enough speed (and courage!) to travel straight without any help.

Somehow it felt like such a major milestone. And my little boy continues to grow up….

A Funny Picture

I was organising our digital photo library today (oh, the modern curse of proliferating digital data!) Anyway, I came across this picture we took earlier this year of Pilgrim Dad and Aramis and it made me chuckle. Sasquatch spawns!

Happy Feet!

Sleepless in Singapore

Another one of those “why-oh-why” nights.

I’m having a nasty cough – something called mycoplasma, which sounds as bad as it feels – and the doctor prescribed me some medication which puts me in a stupor and wanting to fall asleep all the time. Porthos is also having the same cough, which was compounded last night by a fever and a blocked nose. He made a huge fuss of it, and cried so loudly that Aramis woke up.

Great, I thought. It’s 3am in the morning, I’m feeling lightheaded and woozy, and have TWO crying children on my hands. Honestly, I felt like crying too. Anyway, I told myself to get a grip. Then one at a time, I calmed them down – medication for Porthos, nursing for Aramis, and lots of warm cuddles all round.

By the time I was done it must have been close to 4am and I was exhausted. Thank God it was two and not three….