B is for Busy

Yes, I know I am on a break from work so technically I’m not allowed to say I am busy.

But I am.

My schedule looks something like this:

And I’ve actually ran out of space in my diary because I have so much to do in a day. It is now bulging from having far too many post-its being stuck onto the pages.

Just yesterday, I finally started French Class (Yayyyyyy!), which meant waking at 6.30am to take an early shuttle and fighting with all the good people in the world to get onto the train. (My teacher is great though – he caters to my need for specific and minute details… Plus he’s a cutie, so I’d say it’s all worth it.)

Right after French Class was Driving Class (I learnt to change multiple lanes without causing any accidents all thanks to S =D) , then home to prepare dinner before I headed out for a costume fitting. (Not that fitting. *rolls eyes*)

So yea, I’m living a 6.30am-to-10pm kinda busy. It’s also an extremely fulfilling and happy kinda busy – to be able to ‘do what makes my heart sing’ (à la Natalie Warne).

It’s been a while since I got to be a student again, so I’m pretty much learning all day, every day.

Today is a rest day, so apart from hanging with friends, I’ve been busy ABC-ing and 123-ing all day. (That’s Ah-Bey-Seh, Un-Deux-Trois from this day forth.)

At night, F + J took B and I out for dinner at this beautiful spot that was buzzing with life even though it was hidden in a rather inaccessible area.

Needless to say, we went home stuffed and wondering how many workouts we’ll have to pencil in before we feast again.

FYI, there’ll be all of… ZERO workouts on my end. Meeting cousins for dinner again tomorrow. o.o’ Will Power Walk my way to French and Driving Class to burn off that darn delicious cheeseeee. Yum. (And yes, it’s gonna be another 6.30am to X pm day.)

More, soon!

Advertisements

Maternity Madness

“After only four months in her new job as a client relationship manager at a global firm, Esther (not her real name) was doing well, pulling in S$250,000 in sales.So when the 30-year-old found out that she was one-month pregnant with her second child, she was not worried – rather, she felt that it was “only right” to inform her company so that it could plan ahead.

But the company dropped a bombshell: “I was on leave, on a short vacation overseas, when the company wrote to me to say I had been terminated. No reason given, nothing,” said Esther.

When she returned to work and pursued the matter, she was told by her human resource department that it was a “management decision” and she would be compensated one month’s salary.”

Above is an extract from ‘When having a baby changes your life … Wrongful dismissal complaints filed by pregnant women up 33%‘ an article by Teo Xuanwei in the Today paper.

In a country that considers her limited population to be its only natural resource, and has been desperately trying to bring up its birth rates for years, this piece of news just feels so…wrong.

I am not even remotely close to being a mother, yet the dissatisfaction from the lack of balance in my life when I was working has already made me take a long break. That is why I bow down to my friends who are working mothers. From waking at 5am to cook the entire family’s meals for the whole day before going to work; to those who have no time for themselves because they are juggling work and studies and young children and elderly parents; to those who stay back long after office hours to finish up as much work as they can so they can focus on spending quality time with their children… the working mothers I know all make huge sacrifices to fulfill their obligations both at work and at home, and I believe they deserve better.

Sure, some may argue that if we were to examine the article closely, there were “only” 112 such cases of wrongful dismissal complaints. However, it is wrong to assume that every female member of our workforce who gets wrongfully dismissed will file such a complaint; or have the means, knowledge, or resources to get in touch with someone who can render some form of help. Many will resign to their fates and start looking for their next source of employment because there is no point fighting with a company. Many will suffer in silence. And many, many more, will accept that they are as redundant as their companies have made them feel. After all, tough as nails as we all are normally, losing your livelihood out of the blue can send anybody’s world into a tailspin.

And while I acknowledge that most employers are supportive of their employees (or at least obliged to be due to legal reasons ), being dismissed because you were biologically designed to be the one carrying a baby into term is just ridiculous.

Why should women have to sacrifice the quality of their lives and risk losing their income when they wish to become mothers?

Why should women have to choose between getting pregnant and their careers?

Since when did pregnancy become a disability?

People never cease to remind us that our biological clocks are tick-tocking away, yet when the intrepid ones amongst us who are amazing enough to handle work and family and a growing belly obey their body clocks (and their government), they are punished for it.

Doesn’t seem right, does it?

Dinner Tonight: Lamb Sandwich

I had some leftover leg of lamb left from the night before, so I’ve decided to turn that into dinner tonight.

The raisin buns were made yesterday noon and just a little  toasting in the oven were all they needed. Now raisins + lamb = perfection. I love how the sweetness of the raisins enhances the lamb and at the same time, takes away some of that strong lamb flavour some people don’t quite like.

I shredded the lamb before warming it up in a pan, spooning a bit of the leftover gravy over the lamb to keep it moist.

 

To make the texture of sandwich even better, I piled some mozzarella onto the buns followed by the mushrooms I had browned in butter.

Great, simple dinner. Perfect with ice-cold homemade honey beer. =)

 

Dinner Tonight: Leg of Lamb

When B and I visited Adelaide a few years back, we stayed in a great B&B called Lucy’s House, which sat on the beautiful Heritage Wines Estate. Steve and Christine, the winemakers, were the most generous hosts ever. (Ever. Ever.) We’d wanted to use their BBQ to cook us some dinner and we had barely gotten the grill warm when they told us to join them for dinner.

Steve served us (continuously)  with wine he had produced. Christine, a fantastic cook, fed us better than we could have managed with their pit. The most memorable dish was the leg of lamb she’d whipped up, and since then, B has been obsessed with roasting his own leg of lamb.

But with only two people to feed, buying a bone-in leg was out of the question. Not willing to invite friends until we’ve perfected the leg, we had to settle for half a leg, which the butcher deboned for us. Just as well really, because we don’t have enough of the bone to hold on to so as to perform a Fred Flinstone-esque gnawing action.

So this was one of the meat packages we’d picked up on our last Huber’s trip.

After we’d stabbed it to death with a few rosemary sprigs, we rubbed it realll goooddd with rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper and doused it with lemon juice and olive oil. Then off to hell the oven it went.

After a good hour and a half, we rested the hunk of experiment and I worked on the sauce.

I loveeee deglazing pans. I love how the black brown goodness just comes off with the teasing of my spatula and yields the most satisfying of accompaniments to the meat I’m cooking. What would have been considered ‘burnt’ and hence inedible suddenly becomes perfect, just by adding liquid.

The final result?

It was not overdone, but a fraction more rare would have been better. B wanted more salt, but I thought it was fine when we drizzled the sauce over it. I loved the sauce. (Did I mention that I made it?)

We’ll be having the leftovers with homemade raisin bread tomorrow, and looking forward to the next time we get to try it out.

The recipe we used was from Emeril Lagasse, which you can find here. We pretty much followed the recipe in its entirety, tweaking only the proportions and cooking time to suit the relatively small cut of meat we have. And we chose not to strain the sauce.

P/s: If you ever head to Barossa Valley, go to Heritage, and stay at Lucy’s. Seriously.

 

Cat: Queen B

Cat: Queen B

This gorgeous thing was sprawling along a sheltered walkway at Beo Crescent. Judging by the swollen belly, she could be preggers. Then again, I’m no expert. Okay. I think that’s when she had enough. ;P

Moment of Lust: Wedge War

Image from H&M

Check out these cute sneakers from H&M! These babies are actually going at a price that won’t make my Momo’s eyes water.

Unfortunately, the local H&M and I just don’t mix.  Don’t get me wrong. I’m not being a snob. N and I have had plenty of fun at the H&Ms(sssss) in Amsterdam. But the H&M here, being the only one, is always so crowded… so loud… so full of … e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.

The first time I tried to shop there with Evie and Shaz, we fought our way halfway round the first floor to get on the escalator and then… swiftly made a turn to take the escalator down again. There were grannies there, checking out mini shorts. I asked myself, ‘Do you wanna wear the same mini shorts as your gramps? What if they look better?’ All that while people shoved me with their bags, stepped on my feet, and walk into me as if I’m invisible. I lasted all of five minutes, though I’m certain it would have been much shorter if not for the crowd.

So. The only way I can/will view them are over the computer.

Besides, I really shouldn’t be complaining when I have these girls.