Category Archives: Life

Update time

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It’s been a long time since I wrote anything! It’s been a turbulent time over the last few months. I got made redundant from my job, which was a horrible experience, back at the beginning of November. I’ve also had some health issues – a trapped nerve – which has caused me a lot of pain and I’ve been spending time trying to resolve. Plus the usual end of year madness – preparing for and celebrating Christmas and the New Year with the in-laws. And now I find myself already a month into 2015 and trying to find some purpose.

I’ve been filling a lot of my time with trying to get fit. I’ve been doing a load of Pilates, plus my physiotherapist is a bit more like a personal trainer, and has me doing weights and lunges in the gym. I’m also trying to fit in some cardio and swimming as well, so it’s been a busy time. I’ve been making time to catch up with old friends, as well as exploring the island a bit more with my friend Crystal. I’ve also been advising a friend on a new business idea which she’s launching.

Anyway, hopefully I’ll be able to find a bit more time to get back into blogging again and share my latest adventures again.

Moving apartments

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We hit 2 years in Singapore back in November, and our old lease expired not long after in early December (most leases in Singapore seem to be 2 years, although you can negotiate different terms).

I’m not going to do a step-by-step guide to looking for an apartment, as plenty of people have done a much better job of it (like my friend Crystal over at Expat Bostonians). The process is well documented on a number of other expat sites too. All I’d say is make sure you have a clear idea of what you want (size, location and $$$) and don’t be afraid to tell your agent if what they are showing you isn’t working for you.

We were lucky in that we found a good agent pretty early on in the process, after a couple of false starts with some decidedly disinterested agents. Lynn helped us consider new areas that we’d never looked at before, but that actually worked really well for us, both in terms of budget, size of unit and commute for W.

We’ve ended up in a gorgeous new condo just off Old Airport Road and we’re loving the peaceful surroundings and the much more residential vibe. We definitely have a lot more choice of places to eat on the doorstep (or a short walk/bus ride away). Supermarket shopping is a bit more tricky but the local wet market looks promising (I still haven’t made it out early enough to make the most of the best produce!). I’m embracing ordering groceries online now – with sites like RedMart and the online butcher service. Definitely more practical than carting groceries around the island, although I do still hop on the MRT for a quick Cold Storage run!

A big fat Gujarati wedding

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In between Christmas in England and New Years in Singapore, Will & I flew to Ahmedabad in India to celebrate our friends wedding. They had already had a ceremony in England, but now it was time for the Indian side! Having never been to an Indian wedding, we were really looking forward to it but without any idea of what to expect.

Before we left Singapore we bought our outfits – a beautiful beaded sari for me and a kurta pajama (complete with matching shoes!) for Will. We picked up the outfits in Little India. Will’s was ready to take home, but I had to have my blouse made to measure. They were super sweet and turned it around really quickly for me (a couple of days) but I’d recommend leaving at least a week. I also got the skirt part of the sari with a lining stitched in and a wrap around hook-and-eye set up, making it really easy for me to put it on myself! Rather than having to have one of the couple’s aunties wrap me up!

Weddings are a massive event in India – the WHOLE family comes out for them and I think there were over 400 guests at this one. Vik’s family are Hindu, so what I’m going to describe is what we experienced – no doubt there are many variations on what happens and rituals that we didn’t get to see, as we weren’t part of the ‘wedding party’.

We started off with the Sangeet. The sangeet party is usually the most elaborate and grand part of the wedding and this one was no exception. We all got on a coach out to a country club about 30 minutes out of central Ahmedabad. The venue was beautifully decorated with huge flower displays and loads of amazingly colourful lighting.

Arriving at the sangeet

There was a huge buffet meal available, with everyone milling around eating and drinking fruit juices and lassi (being a Hindu wedding and Hindu state there was no alcohol available – kind of a relief after the boozy Christmas time we’d just had in England). The food was amazing with lots of different stations offering different vegetable curries, dhal, and roti. We sampled loads of different things – some were absolutely delicious, others blew my mind with the spiciness! We finished up our meal with condensed milk ice creams on sticks (not dissimilar to a Mini Milk…) which were flavoured with cardamom – delicious!

After the meal, we moved to the seating area. By now, the sun had gone down so the weather was actually chilly, so we were grateful for the big gas heaters that were strategically placed! What I didn’t realise was we were now in for 3 or 4hours of Indian dancing and singing! The sangeet was hosted by a famous singer who I think had appeared on Indian Idol (or a similar reality TV show). The best bits were when big groups of the groom’s family appeared on stage to perform set dance routines. The guys amazed me with their dancing – especially when it included some Gangnam style moves!

The guys dancing

It was incredibly energetic to watch. Then the ladies all performed some routines as well – a beautiful mixture of elegant arm movements and swirling skirts.

Ladies dancing at the sangeet

After the formal programme – lots more singing and dancing (!) – we all got up to dance in front of the stage with the whole wedding party. Pretty soon this was one big undulating mass of people moving in time to the music. Quite an amazing spectacle and I felt really English, with my inability to do some of the same moves in the same way as the impossibly elegant Indian ladies!

Dancing at the sangeet – sorry for the slight blurriness, everyone was dancing!

Then people started getting onto the stage and dancing. Aunties pulled Will & I up there to join in. But before too long we were all being asked to leave the stage as they were worried it was going to collapse! I guess several hundred people dancing will do that! So we carried on dancing on the grass, until my poor little feet were too tired to do any more and we joined other guests back on the coach to the hotel.

The bride – Catherine – in the midst of all the dancing

The next day, we slept in late, before having a short walk up the road from the hotel, in search of an ATM and water. We didn’t have much luck on either front but we did get to see lots of market stalls, motorbike repair shops and kids playing cricket. Back at the hotel we donned our Indian outfits (we’d worn more ‘Western’ outfits to the sangeet so we could dance more easily) and got into a tuk-tuk to take us to the wedding venue. Speeding through the Ahmedabad streets with my sari on, I felt impossibly glamorous!

In all our Indian finery

We arrived at the wedding venue and met up with some of the other guests. As we were waiting, the bride arrived. She had to wait with her family whilst we all took part in the groom’s procession.

Catherine arrives at the wedding venue

There was a band lounging around in the shade who seemed pleased to see us and kept waving over! The guys got taken off to have turbans made for them. After that we had time for a few quick photos before exciting news that an elephant had arrived! We’d been hearing rumours about this, but it was still unexpected. We all trundled out into the street to find a big group of family waiting and there was indeed an elephant!

The arrival of the elephant

Vik, the groom, soon arrived in a car covered in flowers. The band started playing – lots of trumpets and drums – creating an infectious beat. It was time for Vik to climb aboard the elephant.

Vik getting ready to climb onto the elephant

All aboard!

Will kept commenting that it reminded him of something out of Aladdin – the bit where Aladdin arrives amidst great ceremony to meet Princess Jasmine! I think it was the little parasol…

The procession of the groom is known as the baraat. The music was going and soon everyone was walking in front of the elephant, leading him towards the wedding venue and his bride. Every now and then the band would stop walking, and this was an opportunity for the processional to dance and give the band money to continue. We would only walk a few metres before stopping again and dancing some more!

Dancing in the baraat

The groom’s mother in beautiful orange

There seemed to be some set dances that went on as well as lots of clapping. It was a great opportunity to learn some dance moves, and to admire the wedding outfits of the guests. Everyone was wearing rich, vivid colours and the women looked beautiful in their heavily beaded and embroidered saris.

Eventually we arrived at the wedding venue (it probably took us 45 minutes to cover about 100 yards!). Here there was more dancing – this time with lots of scarves being swirled around. Then the groom got down off the elephant and was taken to meet the bride and her family. I couldn’t see a lot of this – we were towards the back and there were loads of people. Apparently, the bride’s mother has to keep pinching the nose of the groom to put him off taking her daughter away. The bride then has to ‘catch’ the groom by putting a garland of flowers around his neck. This is greeted with lots of cheering and clapping from the wedding guests. We then filed into the wedding venue.

We were all seated around a big raised area in the centre, where the ceremony would be performed. At this point, I found the divide between Indian and Christian weddings greatest. Usually, the actual ‘marriage’ is very solemn and everyone pays attention at every wedding I’ve been to. At an Indian wedding, it is a lengthy process, heavy with ritual and tradition. It goes on a long time, so everyone wanders around, chats, and eats! Waiters kept bringing us drinks and snacks to keep us going! I found out later that the bride and groom aren’t allowed to eat anything until the wedding is over!

The groom arrives first and there seemed to be a long blessing and prayers. Then the bride arrived, accompanied by all her female family members, who tightly surround her, carrying candles. There is also a sheet carried over her head, so you can hardly see her.

The bridal procession

A brief glimpse of Catherine!

I didn’t know what was happening most of the time after that but there is a really good guide to Indian weddings here. I know there was a fire, and they had their feet touched a lot. They also seemed to be given a lot of gifts.

Finally married!

After the ceremony is over, all the guests lined up to have their photo taken with the bride and groom. This went on for AGES! Apparently the line is formed by family hierarchy – with immediate family going first, aunts, uncles and cousins next, then more further removed family, and finally friends. After this, the bride and groom are finally allowed to eat! We expected more dancing, but there wasn’t any – apparently the sangeet is where the big ‘party’ takes place. The bride and groom then went off for further blessings and rituals at the family home.

The next day, Vik’s cousin got married so we were all invited along for that. It was a completely different wedding – the groom arrived on a horse and everything was done outside. It was nice as we got to spend time Vik & Catherine, rather than mostly watching them!

Will & I with Vik & Catherine

It was a fantastic experience – one I’ll never forget. It was wonderful to be back in India, celebrating such a happy occasion and getting an insight into a huge part of Indian culture. Thanks so much for inviting us you guys – we had a blast!

Candles and petals outside the wedding venue

As usual, there are more photos over on Flickr.

Exciting news!

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Hi folks – apologies for the long hiatus, it’s been tricky to fit in finding my feet in my new job, seeing friends, going back to England for Christmas, an Indian wedding, a friends 30th birthday long weekend, and blogging! Phew…

Anyway, excuses out of the way. I wanted to share some super exciting news with you – after a long time of knowing each other (8 years!), the boy and I got engaged over Christmas!

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He proposed near to where he grew up, on a beautifully crisp and cold English winters day – it was just perfect. It goes without saying that we are hugely excited about being engaged, but also the years we have to come. So, as if I wasn’t already busy enough, I have our English countryside wedding to plan now. That’s the kind of busy I really like!

One year today!

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Happy Singapore anniversary to us! Can you believe its been exactly a year since we first touched down at Changi Airport, ready to start our big Asian adventure?! Time has really flown.

Having said that, it does feel like a long time ago since we arrived at Changi in the pouring rain, anxiously peering through our taxi windows at the place we had to learn to call home. Fast-forward 12 months and I now feel like I know Changi airport like the back of my hand. Those tree-lined boulevards are familiar to me (I even know the names of most of them – PIE, ECP, CTE…). This Little Red Dot does now indeed feel like home to me. I know my way around the island fairly well, I know how I take my teh at the canteen at work, I’ve sampled chicken rice, got drunk in new bars with new friends and created a little space of our own in our apartment. I’ve also started working again, which has been a huge part of my finally feeling settled in.

This last year has definitely been a rollercoaster ride for me. There were certainly days when I was so homesick it was like an ache; all I wanted to do was crawl under the duvet (with the AC on, of course!) and hide. I missed my friends and family terribly. Then I had days where everything would all come together – a beautiful view, the right song on my iPod, the kindness of someone I’d never met before. I went out and met new friends, tried new foods and explored new places. I started to understand the charm of this little place.

There are so many people who have helped me along my journey to feeling ‘settled’ – I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family, friends (both old and new) and Will, of course! To all of you, I say thank you, I wouldn’t be here and feeling content without you.

The End of the Job Hunt!

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I am very pleased to report, that after several long months of searching and lots of dead-ends, that I have finally got a job! Hooray! I’m just getting into my third week now and it’s going really well so far. I’m working as a Project Manager for a company that produces a music education magazine and is also hosting a 4-day, 1200 delegate conference and trade show next October. So I am a busy bee! We’re only a small team at the moment but likely to be growing in the not too distant future.

I have to say, although I enjoyed my time not working and like to think I made the most of exploring both Singapore and the region, it is wonderful to be back in a professional environment. I’m asked for my opinions and ideas and I feel like I am exercising my brain properly, after it being a bit fat and lazy for a while. It’s great to have a new set of challenges to grapple with. Plus, having an EP (Employment Pass) means I can finally do things like have my own bank account, so I am feeling more like an individual again, rather than just being Will’s ‘trailing spouse’.

There were times when I thought I’d never find work. I found myself envying friends back home in the UK but also here, even though quite often they’d complain about their jobs to me. I suppose the grass is always greener! I was worried that the longer I was out here without work, the harder it would become to find something. It was already starting to get to the stage where recruiters would tip their head to one side and go ‘oh, so you still haven’t found anything?’. I went through a lot of disappointments – getting close to something but then it falling through at the last-minute, for a whole variety of reasons.

I would never say to anyone coming out here without work that finding a job here is straightforward. I am sure it can be much easier than I had it, especially if you are in law, finance or accounting. I found the most effective route was to shamelessly use my networks! I found that people in Singapore are quite happy to help out in that respect, as they know often you have left your entire professional network behind when you relocate. That seemed to be the best way of getting interviews, rather than applying cold through one of the many job portals. I’d also recommend familiarising yourself with the MoM website, especially their information on the different types of Work Passes available to foreigners. Some of these have quite strict requirements about qualifications and salary levels (if you have any specific questions do feel free to pop me an email – I’d be more than happy to help).  Most of all I would say, don’t give up! It can be tough and frustrating but if you put the effort in, it will pay off eventually.

I am sure that the day will come when I miss having the freedom to do what I like during the day, but for now, I am over the moon to be gainfully employed once more!

24 hours in London & a Tuscan wedding

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Back at the end of June we took a trip back home, and then to Italy to see our gorgeous friend’s Tony and Jacquie get married. I had been looking forward to this trip so much – I was going back to England! Only for 24 hours but still… better than nothing.

After touching down at Heathrow at 5am (ouch) we were suddenly sitting in a taxi going down the M4, towards Will’s parent’s house. All around me was the beautiful English dawn, fields either side of the motorway, and SHEEP (how long has it been since I saw a sheep?!). I just couldn’t help the tears that sprang to my eyes – all of this was so beautifully familiar – it was totally overwhelming. I found myself with such an ache in my stomach as I realised just how much I had missed my green and pleasant land. We spent the next 24 hours in the company of family – talking, laughing, catching up on news. We also went to visit the money pit flat, which actually was starting to look like it could be a home again, rather than just a pit of money with damp, crumbling walls.

I can’t tell you how much of a delight it was to see my Mum – to sit and eat lunch in one of Brixton’s gorgeous little eateries, and chat away like no time at all had passed. We then went back to Will’s parent’s place to sit and talk some more. Then my little brother arrived! I will embarrass him now but I have missed him very much indeed. We sat and ate proper English sausages, gorgeous English strawberries and drank cider. It was probably the most blissful afternoon I had spent in a long time. But all too soon it was time for them to leave, and for us to go to bed. My familiarity tank (thanks KJ!) had a much-needed emergency top-up.

The next morning left no time for wistfulness – we were straight back to Heathrow, this time to fly off to Rome. After security we went to find our friends Phil and Sat. Boy can those two give good hugs! It was so great to be back with people you’ve known for years – chatting and bantering away like we’d been away for no time at all. Phil used to live in Australia so he totally gets the expat weird thing which I love. After a short but bumpy flight we landed in Rome. I had forgotten how much I love Italy – the last time I was here was when Will took me for my birthday after I’d finished my finals, so some time ago.

We were in Rome just for a day – time spend eating and wandering around the city, before bumping into more of our friends by the Trevi Foundation (so strange to just be walking in a foreign city and then spot familiar faces).

Will & Phil enjoying a cold beverage in Rome

Trevi Fountain

That evening saw us meeting up with the bridal party, and enjoying some delicious Italian food, before watching Italy make it to the final of Euro 2012! This was followed up by much singing and dancing in some of Rome’s bars.

The next morning, a bit sleep deprived and hungover, we took the train down towards Pienza, where the wedding was going to be held. We were staying in a little agroturismo nearby to the wedding venue. It was a great option for our large group, as we all had our own rooms with en suite, and many of the units had kitchen/living rooms as well.

What a view!

That evening we went out into Pienza town, which is really picturesque. It kind of clings to the side of a hill, meaning you get the most spectacular views from the town wall. There are lots of twisty little paved streets, and apparently a great cheese shop (although I didn’t make it there myself). It was great just hanging out with friends, enjoying the view and a glass of perfectly chilled white wine.

View from Pienza

The next morning we headed over to La Bandita (the wedding venue) early, as Will was doing a reading and they needed him for a run through. I had a great afternoon getting ready with the bride and bridesmaids.

The wedding itself was gorgeous. La Bandita is set up on a hillside, with a big infinity pool – you can see more photos on their website here. They had set up the aisle outside, with a beautiful covered area next to the house where we ate dinner. We had a fantastic time, listening to all the readings and seeing our friend’s pledge to be with each other forever. There were definitely tears (I always cry at weddings!). I will leave you with some photos.

The bride and groom

Will & I all scrubbed up

A date to remember

6 months in

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Today is our six-month anniversary of arriving in Singapore. I cannot believe we have been here 6 months already! This is officially the longest either of us has ever been away from the UK so it feels fairly momentous.

I wanted this post to be a bit reflective, so I’ve been reading back on my old posts and I’ve realised what a journey I’ve travelled on. Before we left I was super anxious – I was nervous about what living in this new country would mean, and how it would impact my old life. I worried about everything – all the tiny details like where would we buy furniture or who would supply our mobile phones. I also worried about the big stuff like how I would cope with not working, the homesickness and how moving here might affect my relationship with Will. Man, I really worried a lot!

I think the one big thing I’ve learnt about living here for 6 months is that it is a real rollercoaster of an experience. You have days where everything is wonderful – the sun shines, it isn’t as humid, you go out exploring and see some wonderful thing, talk to some amazing people and eat delicious food. But you also have days where things are tough – everything reminds you of what you left behind, whether its people or cultural differences. Everything can feel like you are battling against the tide even to do the simplest of tasks. Those difficult days are now less frequent, and the happy days are more and more common. I have been fortunate to meet some wonderful people who have become my new social and support network. And I have my old friends who continue to send me long newsy emails to keep me up to date.

Life is richer I think. I experience something new almost every day, and that is something I will always be truly grateful for. I have had my eyes opened by the people I’ve met, the places I’ve visited, and the things I’ve seen. I have learnt huge amounts about myself, and realised that I am perhaps stronger than I sometimes give myself credit for. I have realised that its ok to miss people – it just means you know some great people who are worth missing!

I think most importantly, I don’t regret coming here. I am hugely fortunate to be able to be here, and see the world. I am also super excited about the next 6 months. Thanks to everyone who got me there, but the biggest thanks has to go to Will. I couldn’t have done any of this without him.

A little January update

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Sorry for the radio silence folks – we have been super busy since we got back from our Bali holiday.

First of all, we celebrated seeing in 2012 with some of our lovely new friends in Singapore. Pia threw a super fun ‘wigs & hats’ party over at her condo (which is walking distance from ours). So complete with dragon hat (Will) and crown (me), we saw 2012 in with much food, drink, laughter and silly dancing.

Does pink hair suit me?! 

We then had a lovely bank holiday spent with the same friends we were partying with. What started as a brunch at Epicurious at Robertson Quay, turned into a bit of a bar crawl and saw us sipping cocktails and eating cake at the PS Cafe on Ann Siang Hill, before moving on to the rooftop bar at Ying Yang. When we arrived they were playing atrocious club music at a stupidly early hour, so we got them to put on some reggae, and relaxed with some cold drinks and a cooling breeze. Great way to spend a bank holiday – thanks guys!

I also went with Laura back to the Asian Civilisations Museum, which continues to fascinate me. It’s such a great place to explore – I love reading all about the different areas and looking at the exhibits. In particular, we marvelled at some of the relics of language and how modern people had deciphered what was written, when no-one alive could speak the language. We had a great morning pottering around all the exhibits, before a yummy Italian lunch on Boat Quay, and a very long natter catching up on everything that we’d been up to and putting the world to rights!

Will & I finally went to Little India and had a delicious curry courtesy of Jaggis – brilliant Punjabi food in a no frills setting, exactly what we needed after the last few days of excess! I also met a fellow Claire, who is behind the gorgeous blog and company Fellow Fellow (beautiful handmade paper gorgeousness). We had a lovely evening with a cold glass of wine and surprisingly delicious calamari and truffle fries, at a bar on One Fullerton. This was followed up by eating ice cream by the Merlion and watching the laser show from Marina Bay Sands (still don’t understand the laser show, but its pretty!). Great evening, and great to meet another lovely person who calls this tiny island home.

On Friday, we went to the cinema to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I loved the books  (see my review here) but hadn’t seen any of the Swedish film adaptations. This was actually quite a good version, despite a bit of artistic licence with the plot somewhat! I would say that the rape scene and subsequent revenge scene is rather disturbing and not for the faint hearted! However, Rooney Mara was brilliant as Lisbeth Salander, and I did find it amusing how Daniel Craig has obviously made it enough to not have to put on a faux-Swedish accent!

Then on Saturday we hosted a birthday party for Nav at our condo – our first time BBQing in Singapore. Except although they are called ‘BBQ pits’, they are actually more of a hot plate – bit of a shock when we opened it up, but we managed to cook up a storm. Great fun, and great to find our ‘host & hostess’ mojo here in Singapore, as we were both missing having parties and BBQs like we used to in London. So we made some new friends, swam in the swimming pool after too much food, used every glass in our apartment when we had to move upstairs, and danced to Bollywood videos on You Tube. Awesome.

This is a bit of a sign of things to come as we have a busy January ahead:

  • a good friend of ours is coming over on his ‘look-see’ so we will be showing him the sights and sounds
  • we are going to Vietnam for Chinese New Year – flying to Ho Chi Minh, exploring the city, and then travelling down to the Mekong Delta. Can’t wait, as its my first time visiting Vietnam
  • hosting Will’s brother and a few of his friends as they stay for a few days, en route to a wedding in Australia

I am relishing the idea of being tour guide, as it’ll be nice to feel like a Singapore expert, rather than the ‘green’ newbie! Plus it will be great to see everyone and catch-up properly with all the news from home. I also think showing people around will make me appreciate Singapore a little bit more, as it’s always good to see your city through the eyes of someone else.

I am also on the job hunt, so if anyone knows of anyone who might like to give a great project manager/researcher/writer/events organiser/PA a job, then please get in touch! 🙂

The first two weeks

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We have now officially been living in Singapore for exactly two weeks. Wow.

I cannot believe the strange things that time has been doing to my perception of it, during those 14 days. In the beginning, the days and nights were both long. I couldn’t sleep well and struggled with jet-lag and generally feeling a little bit overwhelmed by it all. I remember lying in bed at 5am, thinking ‘I really must sleep’! The first week was also lovely as we had plenty to do, and I had Will to myself all day, every day. It all felt a lot like a holiday – despite looking at apartments, and opening a bank account for Will. We had a great trip at the weekend on the Singapore Flyer and visiting the Orchard Show and Gardens by the Bay (I will blog about those this week, I promise!). It was all exciting and new, and I think I walked around in a bit of a daze. Nothing really felt real at all.

The second week has been tougher for a number of reasons. I think it started to sink in for me that this is my life now – Singapore is my home, not London. I found that pretty tough and missed family and friends a lot. I found the time difference difficult as well, because every morning Will would get up and go into the office (he started last week) leaving me in the apartment on my own. All I wanted to do was pick up the phone and talk to one of my friends, or my Mum, but the time difference meant it was always about 2am so, much as they love me, I don’t think they’d have been all that happy!

But whilst it was a tough week in some respects, it was also a great week. I found my independence by doing lots of little errands, like going to post my first Singapore letter! I also took a trip down to the Furniture Mall  and picked out our bed from a lovely Kiwi lady, who’d we’d met back in September. I am so excited about this bed – words cannot describe! We’ve also ordered some sofas from Ikea, and our air freight has arrived (not all our stuff but a few little things, including kitchen stuff) which is all being delivered on Tuesday.

We also confirmed everything to do with our flat – including parting with a painful amount of money on the deposit – and we get the keys tomorrow! I can’t wait to move in and start making it feel like our home. The serviced apartment is fine, but it’s not homely and it’s not ours. The flat is in the Novena area, right by the MRT, and we’ll be on the 31st floor, with great views over the nature reserve. On a clear day you can see all the way to Johor Bahru in Malaysia! I can’t wait to be able to cook in a proper kitchen, and have people over in the evenings. I think once we are in, it will make everything feel so much more normal.

I also found some fantastic people through the blogging community – Leone has been an absolute gem, putting me in touch with people via Facebook. I also met up with fellow expat bloggers Laura and Bec, and had a fantastic afternoons eating lunch and then hiding from the rain first in Singapura Plaza and then in Mustafas (oh, yes I have been to the famous institution). We’ve even managed to persuade Bec to join us on Twitter – hooray! We’ve also been out with a few contacts that people at home have put us in touch with. It’s been great meeting everyone and starting to make some friends.

I also got my first iPhone (courtesy of the lovely Will … as I’m not working everything is in his name!). I am very excited about it! Its been great actually, as its let me stay in touch with everyone via Facebook and Twitter, as well as being able to pick up my emails on the move. It also has maps on it, which is a complete godsend for my exploring. Before, any trip outside on my own involved a massive paper map, with pen circles on it. The map is looking a bit sorry for itself, and has started to get holes in it, from where I’ve folded it over and over on itself!

I have decided that the best way to sum up the  past two weeks, is with the letter ‘F’  – fear, flats, furniture, friends, fun! It’s been hard but wonderful all at the same time. I am now looking forward the next two weeks, and the next two, and the next two….!