troll and roll

 

 

 

Social media is an amazing thing, really. Dissemination of information – false and true and somewhere in between – quicker than you can say your own name. It’s a great space for many people with disabilities to connect, sans the traditional barriers. Yet, it’s also a grand circus for explosive and nasty battles where humans exhibit their common human DNA, regardless of superficial differences. Continue reading

Advertisements

crucial assistance

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Lucy came with me to the Arts & Disability International Conference today. It was a huge blessing to have her with me, well worth the small ‘inconveniences’, like having to take her outside for potty each time we had a break and thus missing out on food and beverage.

When we first arrived, I made the mistake of choosing to sit in a busy area where people were walking or wheeling back and forth, standing around chatting, and even striding over Lucy, who was laying on her mat next to me at my feet. The lights in the rooms were confronting, to say the least. Lucy took it all in with grace and quietude, and she kept a discreet whisker out for me all the time. I began to feel nervous and agitated from the constant noise, movement and frenetic energy buzzing round and round, and Lucy got up to indicate that we should move to a less busy spot. She led me to the far corner on the other side of the room, and we settled down comfortably there, until lunchtime. Continue reading

I.N.U. Review

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The family decided to check out this new (to us) dog-friendly place on Friday last week. We’d heard that they served really good local style food for humans, and we weren’t disappointed at all. Too many dog-friendly cafes  fail at dishing out good quality human nosh. This one is one of the unusual ones, like The Tea Party at Pasir Panjang, but the great thing about I.N.U. is that they are very near our home.

Lucy was disturbed at the beginning by a small unruly Frenchie named Rufus with an attitude far bigger than his size. He rushed at Lucy, who was nicely settled in her own mat, pawed at her face and attempted repeatedly to mount her. Lucy got up, tried to back away but she was stuck in a small corner and began to look really troubled at the very first launch of this unruly behaviour. I politely requested his humans to please quell their dog – he belonged to a man and a lady, the man completely ignored my requests to remove the dog and did not even glance our way, while the lady came quite reluctantly to remove their dog – but this happened once, twice, three times, four… again and again and again, and they never once offered an apology.

Righto, dog people, here’s some frank advice: if your dog has this kind of problem, please keep him/her leashed, or crated. This is just simple, standard basic decorum. I mean, would you like it if I kept rushing up to you and shoving you in the face and climbing onto you, engaging you in ‘friendly’ wrestling match, when all you’re doing is trying to have a quiet meal in your own little corner? Why should dogs be any different in terms of invasion of personal space, why should my well behaved dog have to put up with rowdy behaviour, even if not aggressive but overtly, inappropriately ‘friendly’?

My poor gentle Lucy was becoming more and more agitated at the unwanted visits (every few seconds) from the dog, and so was I, almost at my wits’ end trying to stay calm and composed while keeping that nuisance away from my girl. Another thing about this kind of anti-social dog behaviour is that the big dog who is the gentle victim is inevitably blamed if their threshold to endure is crossed and the big dog retaliates. What would happen to the small bully if Lucy were not so patient, long-suffering and retiring, and if I had allowed my girl to be continuously assaulted in that way? Whose fault would it be if an altercation ensued and someone got hurt? It was not pleasant at all, and I was just about to enter into the ‘near meltdown’ zone, when suddenly, the manic intrusions stopped.

What happened was something I didn’t expect but was very grateful for. The overly rambunctious Frenchie finally disappeared from view. I turned around to look for him, and saw that someone had placed him in the elevated section near the cashier and behind a sturdy baby/doggy gate. There, within that confined space, I could see Rufus running amok, but at least he wasn’t bothering my Lucy anymore. I presume it was either Cindy, the owner of the cafe or the dog’s own humans who placed him there. Very thankful for that extra space for ‘time-out’, a most well thought out design of space by the owners of the cafe. Thank you, Cindy!

The other dogs there were very well behaved and we made sure our little curious Tiny was similarly kept in check. That is the way playgrounds ought to be, spaces where children can enjoy themselves, interact safely one with another, with adult supervision, and the same applies to doggy-play.

At last, we could focus on food and enjoying our evening. I ordered the beef tendon and brisket noodle, and the others had fried rice, pork ribs, and bak kut teh. This may seem like a tall order, but truthfully, every dish was delicious! The noodles were just al dente enough without being chewy, the broth aromatic and dark, and there was a good balance of beaf tendon, brisket and green veggies. I tasted some of mum’s fried rice, and although I am not a fan of fried rice, I don’t really like my food all mixed up in an indistinguishable mess, but this one was done right – the rice didn’t stick together in a goopy mass, the rice was lightly textured, and I was able to taste the individual ingredients quite clearly. I didn’t manage to take a photograph of the bak kut teh because my brother-in-law ate it all up rather quickly, nodding his head and making approving noises as he went. The pork was cooked perfectly, tender and the marinate zesty with a hint of spice. We had banana ice cream for dessert, but this wasn’t my favourite, as it was a tad overly sweet. Nevertheless, five big thumbs up from all of us (Nula, our helper too)!

Even Lucy eventually had fun – she decided it was safe to have a wander around after the rambunctious Rufus was removed from her vicinity, and got up from her mat to ‘mingle’ with the shorties (all the others were little ones) in her quiet, regal and slightly aloof way. Another delightful detail? The owner of the cafe has two lovely Shibas, gentle and perfectly behaved sweethearts with such adorable curly tails!

We shall return. Thank you for a lovely evening, I.N.U.!

inside clement space

Dogs are amazing creatures. I never wish to anthropomorphise them, because they are more beautiful than human beings in my eyes, so why make them into inferior entities by ‘humanising’ them? No. There they are, inside clement space, the way anyone should be when enveloped in tranquility and equilibrium – around them there may be a hundred thousand different things clashing, crashing, turning, pivoting, whirling and reverberating, yet, there, inside their little cocoons of grace, they lay quietly resting. Renewing. Refreshing. Replenishing.

Lucy Like-a-Charm and her two ‘cousins’ Bizcuit and Tiny. Blessedness.

expedition

Lucy is excited. We’re going out to the park! But mumma says, “Be patient, we need to wait for the Uber surge pricing to go down, ok?” So thankful for UberPets in Singapore.

It’s been over a year now, Lucy has not had an off-leash jaunt since bidding goodbye to her Greyhound Playgroup friends. Memories of our last playgroup still fresh, we set off today on our first adventure at the Bishan Dog Run, just Lucy and me. Beloved Sally has left us, as had Kerry Lee a little ahead. Today, we dedicate our first expedition in Singapore to our beautiful friends, Sally, Kerry Lee and Misty, who taught Lucy how to run for fun. And to Jack, Lucy’s first ‘boyfriend’, who was ever so gentlemanly towards her.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It was peaceful at the dog run, we had the entire big-dog run to ourselves until the end, when we were about to leave, and a sweet, mellow chocolate Labrador came. The little mini Schnauzer next door at the small-dog run kept trying to say hello, but Lucy wasn’t much interested. She was too busy sniffing around.

My girl has aged. She wasn’t keen on running anymore. Not even for the treats. Perhaps it is the weather here in Singapore, warm and humid, though there was a gentle breeze throughout the morning. Maybe I should take her there earlier in the morning next time. It was still lovely to see her walk around freely, unleashed, gently exploring. The other dog was dashing back and forth, very excited to see Lucy, barking at her from the other side of the fence. Lucy gave him scant attention, even when they were very close, Lucy just nonchalantly continued to sniff the grass while the miniature Schnauzer frantically tried to engage her. That’s my regal Greyhound gal. She’s not going to be swayed if she has decided on her desired focus.

The UberPets driver who took us there was very chatty and friendly. We talked about dog rescue and silly pet owners who do not know how to care for their pets. On the way back home, we had to wait 18 minutes for the UberPets driver to get to us. He was a bit sullen at first, but thawed in the end because of Lucy. He told us about how he wanted to quit UberPets, because it wasn’t profitable for him to have to drive halfway across Singapore just to pick up a pet-fare and the surcharge for pets is only $2. I agreed. People in Singapore who want to travel with pets have almost no other alternative apart from expensive pet-taxis. UberPets is a great service, and we are happy to pay more than that $2 surcharge for UberPets to continue. I do hope they won’t do away with the service. Lucy and I depend on UberPets to get around now.

The Princess had a bath when we returned home, she was not pleased at all, but it was a great way to cool down.

100T3390-lucy

zzzz

All happy now, snoozing the afternoon away in air-conditioned comfort! Happy Day, Every Bunny! ❤

trap

A little sparrow is trapped inside a corner in a large human-purposed shopping mall. It flies around looking for a way out, but to no avail.

My senses connect with the bird in its distress and anxiety, I feel a tingling in my scalp, shortness of breath and tightness in muscles around ribcage. Nausea creeps in before I know it. The taste of my orange juice at the back of my throat has turned into a vile, sickly yet sharp dry metallic-sour taste, like acid burning the sensitive mucosa around my throat. Dryness is setting in and I must remind myself to swallow and breathe deeply.

The poor bird. My mind is working out ways to capture the bird and take it outside. But I do not have a shawl or towel with me, and it is flying too frantically anyway.

The room is tossing and turning in concentric circles around me, and the soundscape of human voices and piped pseudo-jazz music is slowly distorting in my brain into a muffled, slow-motion eerie kaleidoscope of dark purple colours and rancid vomitus.

And the hapless bird continues to fly, round and round, across, up and down.

The humans inhabiting the space, dotted around the room at small square tables, are all too engrossed in either their mobile phones or social chatter. Not a single person averse their gaze to look at the sparrow, not a single expression of concern. They share no empathic resonance with this sorry, desperate creature.

Soon, it will become too exhausted and maybe even crushed by the impact of smashing against windows, and will just fall to the ground and die. A slow, anxious, fear-filled death.

Just a sparrow? Not to me.

A small entity exuding overwhelming pain, confusion and wretchedly forlorn fear. Screaming fear, even. Fluttering. Flapping. Smashing. Falling. Rising. Da capo. Until there is strength no more. Not a twitter. No time and mental space to cry out. Just white hot futile determination. And then, there is silence and life is spent.

My heart feels squeezed tightly like a wrinkled old orange.

Heavy with sadness.

Overwhelmed by elemental empathy.

——

(Shop staff have become aware of the sparrow. Let’s hope something can be done to help the poor creature.)

here, me

IMG_6808-lucy-zz

what child is this?…

This weekend, I revisited an early musical work of mine, from 2008, about the agony of communication across neurocultural differences. I spent a bit of time contemplating the work, the obvious (that which is performed and disseminated), as well as the intimate and private (that which remains in the heart and mind of the composer alone). I also put in some closed captions, and, in so doing, realised that I was in fact creating another separate work, an extension perhaps but still separate from its original.

 

Almost ten years afterwards, my journey has taken me through amazing wonderment, experiences I couldn’t have imagined ahead of time, and some even surreal or bizarre, yet no less valuable intrinsically. Continue reading

fail

XT1C0355-lucy-zz

The dark despair of failure. Those depths of acrid, rancid, dissonant putridity. Purple – thick, viscid, slimy, clammy, choking and Stygian – swirling manic whirlpool inside corporeal core.

That feeling that one has failed a precious Parallel Embodied child. Closest companion. Most faithful entity who walks alongside without questioning.

Each and every decision affects this beautiful being – such cogent reverberations – in ways no human mind will ever fully grasp. Yet, just sensing the very peripheral waves, catching those soft crying top notes or unheard vibrating bass notes, is enough to thrust the human soul into the vortex of forlorn, hapless gloom. That is, if the human possesses just a sliver of empathic resonance for Other, and a tiny beam of light shining onto Self. Many, sadly, do not. Yet… Some humans really do. Some humans truly try.

What would one give to understand in full the abundance that thrives within the Canine Angel’s inner world?

What may this human proffer in exchange for this harmonic-rhythmic enlightenment  beneath the mantle of verisimilitude?

Would the knowledge and the weight of its pulchritude and agony annihilate the tenuous human fragility?

No words. No answers. The silence deafens, as the senses listen intently, skimming the surface of myriad textures, smells, tastes, vibrations, images, sounds… Ebbing, flowing, undulating…

broken angel

IMG_3365lucyzz-portrait

an angel’s trust

once betrayed

how soon

if ever

to win again?

rage deflected

fell

a deafening thud

upon innocence

blow once dealt

cannot be rescinded

how contemptible

such horror this?

devil’s mischief

humanity’s defeat

heartbreaking cry

angel’s grief

sleep now

my sweet

rock-a-bye babe

human tears

are made of folly

dear sweet angel

i have failed

your love

so undeserved

yet pleading

forgive me

my disgraceful

humanity

this morning

20161110_091423w

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