Category Archives: Grape juice badge


I’ve been testing out my new Royal 1920s typewriter, (yes I have a new one, delightful photograph below), and its been settling in nicely. Testing and typing is therapeutic. I set up my cup of tea, lean back, type a thing, evitably make a mistake and try to backspace, end up making a mark that looks like a distressed bird, scrap it, retype, get lost, and as it turns dark. I’ve been penning strange letters to no one in particular as a result. I still can’t resolve the margin issues and now all my lines still look like they are free-flying. The ‘b’ key fails to work and so I venture to do a little skipping continuous click to keep up with the momentum. Faster and faster it is a race that I must catch – I am a little shopmistress in a cloth boutique handling the cash register – cling-ding!



The shop owner’s wife collects typewriters. She has a pretty one called ‘Princess’ that I love. My mind strays to an amusing anecdote that H had told me, about a little girl he met in Philippines during a work trip who told him that her name was Princess. H cannot stand princesses. He has high expectations of girls to be proper and independent and not whimsical and spoilt. I think otherwise, and that a Princess typewriter sounds enchanting! I had asked the shopowner if he had a typewriter in pink, or mint. He had laughed and said that those would definitely cost upwards of a thousand dollars, because of their rarity. For me, I feel my typing soul feels black and old. So the one I got is just right. Though sometimes I am charmed by a little bit of cursive, or a straying musical note. Imagine a typewriter that types music – Like the Olympia modified manual typewriters! Function or nostalgia?

“According to the History of Music Printing website, the MusicWriter was invented by Cecil Effinger, a noted choral composer and music professor who created his first prototype in 1946. His company, Music Print Corporation, worked with various manufacturers (including Olympia and Smith Corona, the creators of this particular model) to produce more than 5,000 MusicWriters from 1956 to 1990.

The keyboard was used to put musical characters on any page. You could work on manuscript paper or use the MusicWriter to create even the staff lines. Unlike a typewriter, the MusicWriter carriage does not advance after striking a key: the user has to very carefully position the paper wherever they want to add any character. Many items, including slurs, ties, and beams had to be drawn by hand. Details of how music was created with the MusicWriter can be seen here.

While ingenious for its time, the MusicWriter didn’t handle transpositions, apply music spacing, or do any of the countless things we take for granted with software today — even in the $10 Finale NotePad. A Boulder History Museum webpage acknowledges this disparity: “Unfortunately, due to the advent of computers, MusicWriters quickly became obsolete.” – finale blog

Some of my favourites that the shopowner has owned/owns:

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Authors and their typewriters…


The shopowner told me that they sometimes have gatherings at the Penny University cafe where all the typewriter-struck folks in Singapore gather, set up their typewriters and type their thoughts – a decidedly hipster affair. Lugging the box itself (my typewriter claims to be portable) is fatal. However, I still think it sounds enchanting! They also gather to do typewriter related craft activities and watch old documentaries on vintage typewriters. Somehow it sounds like something that you, Irving, would love to do too.

The story of how I came to get a typewriter- how and when did it start? But I had been flipping back on this blog’s archives one of those days and I had found that actually I had mused on wanting a typewriter AND a recordplayer in 2011. H’s declaration that I have been struck by G.A.D (gear acquisition syndrome) would be right. I think I am satisfied with these (for now, he claims), and dream on typing and playing a Carla Bruni record on a rooftop sometimes.

I’m thinking of taking custom orders for quotes, letters and such, but thats for another day…


Anna Karina – Jamais je ne t’ai dit que je t’aimerai toujour

I love this song so much and it describes the female psyche so much. Especially the delightful ending!

So fun!! Although my fate-line is short…at least it is a little point on my hand.

Irving, when you come, we have to dance like this all around the island! You have to do the twirl with me! Please watch and MASTER the video VERY carefully. Haha!

And if you complain, please note that at least I did not tell you to learn this one:

Ce Soir ou Jamais!

It’s real for us

*“It’s real for us,” said Snape. “Not for her. But we’ll get the letter, you and me.”

“Really?” whispered Lily.

“Definitely,” said Snape, and even with his poorly cut hair and his odd clothes, he struct and oddly impressive figure sprawled in front of her, brimful of confidence in his destiny.

This year, I found Harry Potter in one of my downloaded kindle collections and decided to give it a read, just for old time’s sake, and became quite addicted and finished all the books in a week. They are awesome. I always had my tirade against fantasy writing but J.K Rowling made all the difference. I feel towards Harry Potter the way I do towards little cats. Little leaps of affection when I think of Veelas, the twins, the Nimbus broomstick, or Cho, really.

Old Disney

Oh the sparkly, sparkly memories!

Winnie the Pooh

I am a fan of A.A Milne’s Winnie the Pooh~! And was thrilled to discover the trailer for the movie which will be coming out possibly end of this year! Will definitely be re-watching to relive the memories. More people will learn how to spell the word ‘hunny’, properly, now.

Also the old-fashioned version of the song, which I absolutely love more. I think Christopher is so handsome in the new movie, not how I imagined! And I love Eeyore. I think Eeyore’s my favourite in his despondent gloom. I can’t stand Tigger even if Irving says he is like D.

A callback to some of my old favourites from Milne!

“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh?” he whispered.
“Yes, Piglet?”
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. “I just wanted to be sure of you.”

I’m a bit like that. I like to be sure of someone, too.

“Sometimes,’ said Pooh, ‘the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”

For the good or worse. I choose to look at the better!

“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?”

Please teach this to more lawyers.

“One of the advantages of being disorganized is that one is always having surprising discoveries.”

Like the time I found a $50 note in my library book.

“It’s snowing still,” said Eeyore gloomily.
“So it is.”
“And freezing.”
“Is it?”
“Yes,” said Eeyore. “However,” he said, brightening up a little, “we haven’t had an earthquake lately.”

Positive thinking.

“Wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.”

Sylvain-Emmanuel Prieur

Photographer Sylvain-Emmanuel Prieur

Photographer Sylvain-Emmanuel Prieur

Photographer Sylvain-Emmanuel Prieur

Photographer Sylvain-Emmanuel Prieur

Photographer Sylvain-Emmanuel Prieur

The first pictures reminds me of a video a good friend of mine, Chris, filmed of Trafalgar Square – blowing bubbles in the middle of Trafalgar Square, and many, many bubbles! Irving, my best friend, was also roped in to help. I am so envious, wish I had been London then to leap through soap foam!

Watch especially from 2:12 onwards.

Hooked up on us // jay jay pistolet

“I really miss drinking chocolat chaud
You’d pick me up discreetly at the end of my road
We would go somewhere quiet and drink ’em slow
And I really miss taking drives with you
Forests, fields, and villages we’d pass through
There is not one single thing I’d rather do…”

My current song on repeat. It is so lovely and dreamy, and has a lil of the Badly Drawn Boy/Magic in the Air spirit. Nothing quite like a soft chocolate song to start a Saturday morning.

My misty pennant this week would have read something along the likes of “I’m tired” or “I’m exhausted” … “I want to sleep in…” for it seems that the social life has hit me into overdrive and it is time for me to hide under the covers and read stories of the tear drop woman or overdue London book reviews and listen to sleepy songs. Even arithmetic and my bonds assignments look vaguely interesting. G keeps coaxing me to go over for rootbeer floats and whatnot but all I really want to do is to sleep for ages and dream of autumn leaves like a red squirrel.

I thought the best friend loved red squirrels, but what he really meant was a red fox. So intermittently I have been creating my own magic forests in my mind – based on stories shared by the lovely ZT of her visit to redwoods trees – the tallest trees in the world – an entire forest of tall, beautiful, graceful trees. Flowers with thick stems, lavender petals. Red squirrels that skeeter and tweeter, and follow a certain directed path (she drew it out for me, I love ZT for that as I trace the haphazard path). The way a squirrel makes decisions, the way I make simple decisions like where to eat and when to sleep. She tells me of mountain treks that seem to lead to nowhere on a tall mountain, and looking down to a whole forest of swaying trees. In my mind the forest is something I imagine of anime proportions, talking and whispering, tall trees with the deer she speaks about who are not elegant but instead hide in graveyards and have menace on their countenances. Webs or thistles on your faces- something uncomfortable, unsightly. Then the trees again. I imagine walking into such a forest very, very silently.

I like the way a person sounds over the phone at night, or the way the best friend talks about a longing for toast and a bath, and I ask him whether he wants toast or a bath first. He tells me of black death stories of people walking into rooms and corners of death and a man who falls in love with a dying girl. I tell him about the plot of my new book, where the girl marries a political something but falls in love with another american professor who actually reads her poems and after she dies, screams out each word into the sea, holding the hand of her little boy who was bred with another. He tells me about people around us who have grown up, who talk about law jobs and cameras and life. We talk about the shadows and thistles of life, but Irving, sometimes I feel as though perhaps if we walk for awhile, we might just walk into magical forests every once in awhile to see the red squirrels. You give me that feeling //thats the way I feel with you// just like that.                        

At this point as I write this the cat, longing for attention, leaps into my lap for a hug (she does things like that), and I realize JRV is right, perhaps I do behave quite like a cat, I draw near then turn away from people. I do my own thing then come back unexpectedly, without announcing my return. And I come back smelling a little like what I have been doing. I sometimes wish I was the other way. Consistent, steady, like a patient yellow river. My emotions strong and built on solid ground, the way ST is. Or like Irving, a contemplative, earnest soul – playful in mind and the life critic. But instead I have fallen to become a cat. And I choose my affections.

Here is the surface of my life. Writing legal papers and having the White Book/Black Book (civil procedure) as my new constant friends, learning ‘advanced’ excel with N, where we came across the coolest vlookups/if/macros/analysis tools and think it is all pretty rad to apply to our tasks (we will create colourful buttons for E for every research detail he asks me for), attending V’s lovely wedding, watching good (X-Men) and bad (Treasure Inn) movies with excellent folks. Playing my first game of Scotland Yard hiding away from detectives around a game board, and whiling away the evening on cosy dinners. Learning new formulas for punch.

But a part of me longs for something slow and quiet – like those long rides on old Japanese trains in the countryside, that pass by rivers to solitary towns that serve cha soba not on ice but on a tile, where you pass by cats in single numbers, where you contemplate what you left behind in the land of the living.

We’ll do all these things again Irving, and take funny photographs, and eat comfort food, when you come to Singapore. I’ll pat you down and make sure you speak only German with me, recite not one HK law case or write not one affidavit, and the only judge you see will be the absent stars in our night sky when we are telling each other stories on a balcony. We shall take our own trains.