Monthly Archives: May 2010

Rooms for you and me – (Shared from Irving, taken from Design to Inspire)

I dream, of having a beautiful vintage bookshelf (shelves), filled from tippy top to toe with the most beautiful, elegant first editions, the books I love, the books I’ve promised myself to read – from all genres, of every shape and colour.

Irving shared these pictures of architectural designs of bookshelves with me, and I am spoilt for choice for a favourite. What do you think?

I want to have whole collections of all my favourites! To fall asleep to a book! To refind a book which I’ve always wanted to read from my lover’s collections, to discover my lover has been reading the same sort of book. To discover secret messages in his books.

I grew up loving my books, and I am definitely less particular than Irving and JRV (I love a nice, woody vintage book filled with pencil scribblings) and it seems as though my romance with literature has not ended yet.

But enough of my rambling talk, and here are the gorgeous pictures (featuring some of my favourites):

Bill Kingston

Lili Abir Regen

John Barman

Eric Staudenmaier

Sköna Hem

Simon Watson

Grant White

Jan Baldwin


My new dress;

She has a name, ‘Holly’, and a colour – mint green charmeuse.

I am in love.



“you were always changing into something else
and always will be
always plumage, perfection’s broken heart, wings
and wide eyes in which everything you do
repeats yourself simultaneously and simply
as a window ‘gives’ on something
it seems sometimes as if you were only breathing
and everything happened around you
because when you disappeared in the wings nothing was there
but the motion of some extraordinary happening I hadn’t understood
the superb arc of a question, of a decision about death…”
– from Frank O’Hara’s Ode to Tanaquil Le Clercq
I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger as reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.” —Anais Nin

Dear Beansprouts, I found this photograph…from a long time ago. Do you remember where we were all heading to?

There was a certain dizzy lightness each time we headed out to the streets for the night. We would leave our law books behind, be wrapped up in scarves and late night jazz songs, head out for food options mostly recommended by P, walk on cobbled streets glistening from the afternoon rain…and I would be behind capturing your shadows, your every glance, your every step.

I am the mad, playful photographer who got her proper dslr and lenses too late, but there is always something in the little blurry images of above which bring a little tinge of a smile to me, in the lingering memory.

Just when I thought it would not get any warmer, W would break into sudden impulsive philosophies, P would theorize quickjack and translate jazzbeats into life and conversation, we would be ramen or London’s version of ramen or whatever it was, fish and chips and already you all filled me up with so much happiness. I would flutter off into half sleep but we would be heading for Hagen Daz at 2am and I can never remember the flavours we had but the cozy walks back to IH and the feeling that whatever would come, that would be for the next day, and we were left alone and free in London. I was surrounded by incredible souls who were willing and free to share these moments with me, who could not bear to return to the mundanity of any other sort of living.

If we were in a Victor Hugo novel, you all lived and thrived in the first few chapters where VH admonished the decadence. We were not romantic nor intense but we were happy beatling ripples dancing on the surface of the waters, we were the beings who would carelessly leaving our Fantines to cry.

Why is it that when I am with you, good food always has to be a part of it. Scones and jam is our space between us, Beansprouts. One day we must go on a HOLIDAY again and be alive again. Even if it is just you and me. Even if we spend our fortunes finding the best cognac pasta, fish on the beach before the grecian sea, wagyu a million miles above the ground.

And the day when we escaped in the afternoon during the law moot…and we went for Italian together… (was it?) and we had pasta and I had bites of your tiramisu (which is your happy dessert)  and you were sharing with me stories from your childhood. Best friend moments.

You were so happy when you were with me, and upon our release searching for food, you turned back and I caught you in this shot…

How you have humoured me all these years.

And the day you got funky hair! We all miss you with funky hair…

A song I know  instinctively that we will both love. That reminds me of you, somehow.

Co-written by Frank Sinatra for Ava Gardner. She was the love of his life.

You are the muse of my life.

On another sidenote…

Sorry for not returning to Skype today, Beansprouts. The Patriach entered the room and started using The Screen, and thus I was blocked from using The Screen and the Talking Box for several hours, and in the end I gave out and went out for ice cream and dinner with JRV, and got a cute red polka dot dress. I know, how irrelevant in the middle of my finance exams, but what better way to get through portfolio management and all manners of corporate finance formulas, with a red polka dot dress.

I also found out from JRV that his best friend’s dad reads my blog. Oh, and that his best friend’s mother reads my blog too. 0.0

I’m sorry lest I am not parent-friendly, most of the time, ha ha!

I am in love with Karl Lagerfeld’s short film, Remember Now, a sort of frieze on bright young things in Tropez. It is a scattered masterpiece of sorts, and I’m in love with that dark mysterious girl who latches herself onto the old French gentleman…

Another of those entries, that lapses into a letter to you, Beansprouts! Sigh.

Recent ribbons;

White truffle sweets in the office!

Tuesday is fruits day in the office, and every person is given a free fruit (which changes every week). I was having too many reports for the day, so drew a crying face on JRV’s kiwi *hee…~

Beeg Rikkakumas in Marina Square! But its not as easy as it looks…I tried a few times…*attempt fail…

I refound a childhood notebook that day which teaches you ‘how to create kitten dimsum’. I kid you not…

My cat is named Tempura for a reason!~~

The Perils of Dancing – Javier Marias’ Trilogy

On F’s recommendation (always pleasant to pick up new reads on the recommendation of my readers), I have picked up Javier Marias’ trilogy – Your Face Tomorrow, beginning with the rather intrusive sounding Fever and Spear…which CR calls his version of a ‘Spanish Alice in Wonderland’. Puzzling and promising, I would say…

“The mechanisms of reflection and digression, broken down into their tiniest constituent parts, are always the focus of attention in Spanish novelist Marías’s sophisticated novels (A Heart So White; Dark Back of Time; etc.). In his leisurely, incisive latest, these preoccupations fuel a plot with a spy-novel gloss. Jaime Deza, separated from his wife in Madrid, is at loose ends in London when his old friend Sir Peter Wheeler, a retired Oxford don, introduces him to the head of a secret government bureau of elite analysts with the ability to see past people’s facades and predict their future behavior. A cocktail party test proves Deza to be one of the elect, and he goes to work clandestinely observing all sorts of people, from South American generals to pop stars. Deza also brings his finely tuned mind to bear on Wheeler’s mysterious past and on his own family history, both of which are shadowed by the Spanish Civil War. Marías’s long-drawn-out dance of withholding and revelation comes to a halt mid-step—the book is the first half of a single larger work, not a stand-alone volume—but readers with an appreciation for the author’s deliberate, exquisite prose won’t mind waiting for the second volume. (June 24) “Publisher’s Weekly

Work has been so fast-paced with the pending meeting coming up, and a scramble to get my report approved (with dividing opinions from the uppers’). Each time it is lunch, I feel a sense of guilt not being able to settle down properly and devote myself to exam preparation, but I can’t seem to translate seamlessly into another state of mind to properly memorize formulas. I feel like walking off the end of this world and hiding myself in a book and a glass of rose (which I’ve been craving for for a month, why is it so hard to find rose in Singapore?) or orange ices like the recent one I had in Orchard) and even if there is reading I need it to be frightfully absurd. I wonder if you might understand what I mean.

But for the moment here is a lovely quote from Javier Marias to revel in (from the beginning of Fever and Spear, with the various repetitions and variations as to the meaning of ‘telling’):

“Everything that happens to us, everything that we say or hear, everything we see with our own eyes or we articulate with our tongue, everything that enters through our ears, everything we are witness to (and for which we are therefore partly responsible) must find a recipient outside ourselves and we choose that recipient according to what happens or what we are told or even according to what we ourselves say. Each thing must be told to someone—though not necessarily always to the same person—and each thing will undergo a selection process, the way someone out shopping one afternoon might scrutinise, set aside and assess presents for the season to come. Everything must be told at least once although, as Rylands had determined, with all the weight of literary authority behind him, it must be told when the time is right or, which comes to the same thing, at the right moment, and sometimes, if you fail to recognize that right moment or deliberately let it pass, there will never again be another. That moment presents itself sometimes (usually) in an immediately unequivocal and urgent manner, but equally often, as is the case with the greatest secrets, it presents itself only dimly and only after decades have passed. But no secret can or should be kept from everybody for ever; once in life, once in the lifetime of that secret, it is obliged to find at least one recipient.
That’s why some people reappear in our lives.
That’s why we always condemn ourselves by what we say. Not by what we do.”

Salsa Dance

In the next scene, Marias traces the mental logic of the scene – the protagonist Deza is able to perceive his neighbor dancing, as he is used to watching for days on end, he cannot hear the music that they dance to.  So instead he begins playing the music he imagines they’re dancing to, in effect taking creative control of his–and their–environment.  And then Deza begins ‘dancing a dance that is his simulacrum of theirs’ – words of CR.

On the perils of dancing:

“I had started dancing, it was incredible, there I was alone in the house, as if I were no longer me, but my agile, athletic neighbor with the bony features and neat moustache, a clear case of visual and auditory contagion, of mimesis, encouraged, in fact, by my own musings. . . . [A]nd in my hands an open newspaper which, of course, I wasn’t reading, I had picked it up, I suppose, to provide an element of balance required by the dance.

And then I felt embarrassed, because when I turned to look properly at the original dancers, when I looked again–really looked this time, rather than while absorbed in my own thoughts–I had to assume that they, in turn, had heard my music during a brief pause in theirs–my window was open as where two of theirs–and they would have located me without difficulty, by tracing where the music was coming from; and, of course, they were amused to see me (the watchman watched, the hunter hinted, the spy spied upon, the dancer caught dancing), because now not only were the four of us dancing absurdly and wildly according to their choreography, there had been another contagion too, from me to them: they must have found my idea ingenious or imaginative, and so each of them was now holding an open newspaper, as if they were dancing with the pages, with the newspaper as partner.

I will be the rim of a stain that vainly resists removal when someone scrubs and rubs at the wood and cleans it all up; or like the trail of blood that is so hard to erase, but which does, in the end, disappear and is lost, so that there never was any trail of any blood spilled. I am snow on someone’s shoulders, slippery and docile, and the snow always stops falling. Nothing more. Or rather this: “Let it be changed into nothing, and let it be as if what was had never been.” That is what I will be, what was and has never been. That is, I will be time, which has never been seen, and which no one ever can see”.

The contrast between the snow and blood is evocative and acute, and the protagonist is unable to decide which he is or will be – and in that swaying moment in the middle of the rapturous dance, there is so much which surfaces in the midst of the last passage  in the persistence of memory. The protagonist realizes all at once that he will be as the ‘rim of a stain’, he cannot be properly effaced from the world, he is meant to be hidden behind the falsifying effects of an absurd surgery, he is influencing the world he lives in as Watcher.

How was the blood stain created? It remains a delicious, unresolved mystery…


Javier Marias is like JRV’s Dante, so hard to read though. JRV was by my side that day, penning through pages of Dante, observing the images and taking notes on the translations, it was beautiful to see his concentration.

Meanwhile Beansprouts, I shall stick to my sensational literature.

I found out this week, that a language called Old Persian exists. But each time I think of Old Persian, I think of a white persian cat, delicate and poised on a royal blue pillow. With an Aladdin like environment in the background…

Dear Beansprouts,

One day I will…grow taller than you.

Yours with toppings,

Cherry Pie

“We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think that yours is the only path.”