poem of the day

Love Again

Love again: wanking at ten past three
(Surely he's taken her home by now?),
The bedroom hot as a bakery,
The drink gone dead, without showing how
To meet tomorrow, and afterwards,
And the usual pain, like dysentery

Someone else feeling her breasts and cunt
Someone else drowned in that lash-wide stare,
And me supposed to be ignorant,
Or find it funny, or not to care,
Even... but why put it into words?
Isolate rather this element

That spreads through other lives like a tree
And sways them on in a sort of sense
And say why it never worked for me.
Somethingt o do with violence
A long way back, and wrong rewards,
And arrogant eternity

Philip Larkin


singapore musings

the flight on the way back to london seemed to follow a carefully orchestrated flight path. it was as if the pilot decided to play join the dots with european capitals, and take the plane in paths over berlin and amsterdam, and some eastern european capitals such as bucharest. i can swear you're supposed to fly straight line. no matter... it was nice to pick out berlin sprawled out and circular, city lights and all from all that altitude.

15 hours, plane delay and long wait at klia later, the plane was about to complete its short hop from kl to singapore. i too, love window seats everytime i get them, although the received wisdom is that aisle seats are better, (better access to the toilet mah). so i try not to fight over seats... if you love windows as much as i do... go ahead, i don't mind aisle too.

having once known an air traffic controller, i appreciate being stacked and made to fly circles around singapore. i swear the plane chewed up 300km in 20 or so minutes and flew circles for 25 minutes. fortunately it was turning anticlockwise, so everytime the left wing dipped down i was greeted by a view of a chunk of singapore lighted up with street lamps. the reclaimed hook of tuas, jurong island, all these new additions to our geography. the unlighted portion in contrast, the central catchment area. just like returning to see the white cliffs of dover after crossing the channel.

home is two places, it's where you come from and where you're going to.

that's why i felt halfway at home. taking the mrt from woodlands to clementi at every stop i could associate it with a certain hangout place with a certain friend who lived there. i haven't yet lived long in london for "kentish town" or "royal oak" to acquire a certain meaning, although "angel", "holborn", "euston" and "camden town" already are special tops. so as clarence told me a long time ago as we were walking through toys r us in wisma, when you turn left you see a memory, and right another one.

now, food. i was pretty underwhelmed. no the food is still great. but as i sank my teeth into the next great delicacy i realised it tasted pretty much the same as that seared into my memory. haven't been gone long enough. so it's not the food, rather the availability of cheap supper after a certain time which i miss.

people. was getting used to how tiny singaporean girls are again. once more i felt like the correct size. and of course the fashion i'm used to coats and dresses and suits but here it's the less the better. nice to hear our local lingo again. it is very affectionate and we're pretty proud of it to foreigners who wish to learn. when i was waiting at singapore immigration though i just felt a little vibe of unfriendliness. some people were always pissed off (must be the waiting) and the service staff weren't really that nice and friendly and chatty. i tried to smile to my passport officer but at least that worked out fine.

shopping is fantastic still. cheap cheap. eating on the mrt, fine 300. what the. a bit not used to it.

at the same time i know i won't be hanging around for the next few months. i barely have time to get settled and make myself comfortable, search for concerts, sit around at borders. i just have this feeling that i'm in a rush, that i have only 3 weeks, and it's the certain kind of mentality that you have when you're doing whistle-stop tours of europe i guess. don't really get to settle down to the vibe of the place. so that's the second part of being home, knowing that it's somewhere to stay.

so for the next 2 years, home is london. although that seems woefully inadequate to bleed the city dry of that which is interesting. that and wanderlust means lots of boxes and packing and laundry and cooking and generally headaches but you asked for it.


derry, co. derry, n. ireland
another divided city but this time majority catholic

"peace wall" at falls road, belfast. up till today it still divides the catholics and protestants in west belfast so they won't throw stuff at each other.

more murals

things seem to be looking up in belfast though it's really full of friendly people and surprisingly many people from the rest of the EU. northern ireland was a surprise pretty good scenery and very relaxed and untrodden. it's so funny i remember we met keith in vietnam and he said he was from belfast. amazing how i actually ended up there and saw the "europa hotel" he spoke off which was the most bombed hotel in europe? well it didn't look that bad.

sea cliffs at carrick-a-rede. you can see across to scotland, the isles of arran

giant's causeway again, co. antrim. a combination of a basaltic lava bed, crystallization and erosion did this. there's even a little story about Finn McCool crossing it

i love mist and how it obscures
giant's causeway, co antrim, n. ireland

product placement. remember george lam?


baby got back

part 2 makes me laugh. she is presenting herself to the sun to be ravished.
or performing to an audience of grass blades.
that is how sunshine deprived we can get.
malahide castle, county dublin, at a seaside town called malahide

"riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay..."

view of Dublin from the top of the guiness tower, and look how this city worships james joyce.

the remains of dunluce castle, part of it has caved into the sea... county antrim, northern ireland

the river liffey, dublin