dedication

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This blog is dedicated to:

My beautiful, big-hearted baby sister and her valiant, generous hubby, and my most loyal and supportive friend YS – thank you for helping me eat better, look beyond my feet, reach out, live my dreams and keep on keeping on, knowing always that I am loved.

My canine angel, Lucy Like a Charm, who shares this wonderful journey.

walk on

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Leftovers for Breakfast

Leftover fish and chips from Massimo’s Arthouse Kitchen for breakfast this morning. Our final day in Sydney. We said our goodbyes to beloved Paddington and our former neighbours yesterday. Very sad to learn that ‘Old Bill’ who lived across the road from us had passed away during our absence. He was always so gentle and kind, and Lucy loved visiting because Bill always had doggy treats for her. I remember the lovely Chopin Etudes he used to play on his little baby grand, it made me smile and yearn for musical days gone by. Walking down the street towards Wendy’s and Peter’s, we bumped into Judy and her sweet fluffy Sam. Fifi, the little rescued teacup poodle heard us and began to bark – Wendy came out from inside, and we were soon engulfed in animated conversation. Continue reading

beads

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we traverse…

Anxiety is a demon, roaring fury echoing in mocking silence, dancing tentacles teasing and mutilating quivering raw flesh. Shortness of breath and throbbing heart escalating into blazing fury, gasping for breath under thick smoking dusty throws, pearly beads of toxic pain oozing from unseen frantic pores.

The Canine Angel is a mysterious entity. One does not need her the way air is exigency for life’s breath. In fact, many inconveniences present incorrigible upon such Angelic visitation. The Angel does not wait for opportune time and space, her Beingness occupies your entire ecology. She creates calm from chaos, yet stirring waves so gently disruptive the heavens chortle in cruel delight. Continue reading

thugs, fools and salad

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Fragmenting. Imploding fissures. Tiny… tiny… very tiny… bits of gravel… rubbing against one another… producing contrapuntal friction that even nakedness cannot hear. Yet, it is felt. Like a thunderous tsunami. The soul shudders, staring at engulfing waves in wide-eyed petrification, rooted, transfixed by the shining brilliance of terror.

Thugs rule the world. Perhaps they always have? Perhaps we just live in an age where the camouflage of pretty adornment doesn’t anymore matter?  Continue reading

back to bacon

So, back in Sydney. No lovely sister to take care of all my gastronomic needs. And the food conundrum revives. After one very bad decision to have Indian takeaway dinner – chicken tikka and naan – which resulted in the return of runny tummy, I ordered Chinese takeaway of sweet and sour pork with fried rice. It lasted 3 meals. But I got tired of eating the same thing. Besides, Chinese takeaway tends to deteriorate with time. The zing and zap just doesn’t keep.

Thus… Back to bacon. And eggs. And icky oats. And marshmallow in Aldi instant coffee. The travelling scholar-on-a-budget-staying-in-AirBnB challenge has produced some interesting textures, even if the basic taste-sphere is somewhat staid.

Apart from the little problem with those odiferous pillows (which has now been solved), this AirBnB is peaceful and the kitchen is clean. No microwave, but I can improvise with the trusty old bacon and eggs. Had my rations delivered via Coles online. Even managed to grab some Aldi instant coffee too. I must say that the Japanese mayonnaise is a real blessing. Makes everything that much more palatable! Of course, olives always help add a dash of fun to everything. As for presentation, it’s been a bit up and down and all around – varying from meal to meal, depending on my sensory-emotional-mental state at the moment of preparation.

Instead of reading tea-leaves, I think one can read my food captures, to analyse state-of-mind, perhaps? (I am slowly slipping into gibberish again, must be the cold and cough medication….)

double wrapped

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Double Wrapped!

Double wrapped for safety. I think this will do ok. The heavy, ponderously thick odour is sufficiently masked now. I found two pillow protectors among my old junk (left behind at my former abode, the Sensory Hell place). Yes, I revisited it. And I sort of survived, apart from somehow most inconveniently coincidentally catching a horrid cold thereafter.

Back to the pillow-odour challenge. A few liberal sprays of lavender all over the existing pillows, then into the pillow protectors they went. Another layer of freshly washed pillow cases, and…. voila! Well, the experiment worked. At least to the extent that I am no longer being suffocated by the sheer weight of it.

I think the smell of Lucy helps a lot too. Her presence in all its abstract and concrete glory is a stabilising counterpoint to the precarious balancing act of impermanence.

this morning

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Fish & Chips Da Capo

This morning. Today. A slowly unfolding, passing, flowing ‘now’… I am inside… Lucy is inside… We are both inside… Here…

They say the mark of a really good meal is in its rehashing afterwards. Well, I reheated yesterday’s fish and chips in a pan for a hearty late breakfast half an hour ago. In some ways, it seemed to taste even better than before. This AirBnB kitchen has no toaster ovenette – and I didn’t want to heat up an entire giant oven just for my leftovers – so, I used a frying pan, a dash of virgin olive oil, on low heat. The batter become crispier and the chips crunchier. The salad was fresh enough to not taste soggy-faded too. Thank you, dear Massimo!  Continue reading

paper wrap

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Warm Vanilla Hound

An old Chinese Cantonese saying: “Paper cannot wrap fire.” 紙包不到火

Olfactory guerilla warfare in an AirBnB bed. Since Friday evening.

After the sensory hellhole in Posh Bay, almost every other place seems refreshingly clean. Well, even if not sparkling, nevertheless still a relief in comparison. The feeling carries on reverberating. I arrived on Friday afternoon. A lovely little flat. Neat and decent kitchen. Somewhat spartan living room, scruffy old bathroom with yellowy-orangey chipped tiles, and stained carpet in my bedroom – but at least not choking with debris and copious layers of dust bunnies.

My hosts are pleasant, and best of all, they love dogs, so Lucy is welcome here. This immediately makes me super grateful, after the intensity of dog-hatred experienced here.

All is well. Or so it may seem. Continue reading

bump!

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Meltdown

It’s Wednesday. Midweek. Lucy and I hit a few bumps along the road today.

This morning, as if she somehow had an inkling of what lay ahead, Lucy was less happy than usual to get out of bed for her early morning breakfast. During our little walk around the block, she was sniffing around a familiar patch of grass, when she stopped, walked very deliberately to the gate leading to a gallery where I had held my first exhibition, and stood at the gate. She resolutely refused to move from that position, even turning away from her favourite lamb puff treat when I tried to persuade her. “It’s locked, honey, we can’t go in from here.” She usually understands this, and will follow me thereafter, but Lucy stood frozen to the spot, as if in a mini, silent meltdown. Her nose began to drip, another sign of distress. I checked her all over to make sure she hadn’t suffered any injury, or stepped on glass shards etc. All ok. Something must have triggered in her mind. A sensory issue? An olfactory memory? She seemed insistent on going inside via that particular gate. Or perhaps she was just reacting to the big change of being back with me after 2 months at ‘holiday camp’ with my lovely friends Jan and Pete, and their five dogs?  Continue reading

When Do We Get to Be Autistic?

This needs to be voiced, over and over, until the world ‘gets’ it.

The E is for Erin

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Image is a yellow/blue watercolored background with the text: I have been congratulated for “overcoming autism” : a well meaning gesture that means nothing at all. For a time I thought this was applause for having the ability to pass, but I have learned that it’s code for “we expect you to act normal now and anything that you can’t do we will consider a personal failing.” – eisforerin.com

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I’m seeing a new therapist and I’ve told her how much I like to write; last week I told her that I haven’t blogged in a while because I haven’t had the time, but this morning I told her that I’ve realized I am not writing because I don’t know what to say.

She told me that it’s important to keep doing this so that I have a voice.

So I’m going to try to say some things.

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I…

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olfactory travel

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Stand clear of the green arrow!

My first time in the MRT train in Singapore. An eye-opener. An ear widener. An eye-stabbing, energy sapping exercise. Most of all, a full-on olfactory incursion.

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Begin at the beginning…

Having never used the system before, I set forth for my 4pm appointment in the west, from the central area where I live, at 2.55pm. My only experience with the underground system were in Hong Kong and London. The trains in Hong Kong run at quite a speed. Based on this, I felt an hour would be sufficient to cover the distance. I was wrong. Continue reading