Saturday, May 30, 2009

SQ baggage

Got a peek into the world of SQ's flight crew. May needed a replacement for her cargo bag a.k.a. suitcase. She also needed a ride and new M2 was available, so we took her over to this pokey little shophouse in Siglap which happens to be THE supplier of cargo bags for SQ's flight crew. They also do repairs.

The staff looks to be all-male handyman types. Brusque in appearance, but they know their luggage and made very practical recommendations on the kind that could withstand the most punishment from airport handling. They actually talked May out of a more expensive but very lightweight Samsonite which she really wanted. It was simply too fragile for her and her frequent-flying career. In the end, she took home a sober-looking Delsey that looked and felt more solidly constructed than her preferred choice.

The name of the new M2 is still under deliberation. I've always wanted to name a Mazda "Hatta" so that his full name would be "Madaza Hatta" for a Lewis Caroll in-joke. But I'm also contemplating J0513, after Josie and her most aware Pussycats, 'cos when we acquired him was in the middle of their big hoo-ha and somehow the name stuck with me. At this point, I'm still open to suggestion.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Possibilities and definites

And so we have arrived once again at what passes for the summer vacation in the West. Those idyllic three-month long breaks, by the way, are a tradition that goes back some two hundred years when the kids of the farming community were needed back at their homesteads as farmhands. It wasn't really a "vacation" at all, unless you like farmstays.

Here, we get a month. Probably a holdover from when we once followed the colonial timetable, but we have taken it as our God-given right anyway.

Today our month of unstructured time stretches out before us with endless possibilities. Possibly we could go to the beach; possibly we could go cycling; possibly we could have long, leisurely lunches on lovely lawns in the sunshine; possibly we could explore strange, exotic and wonderful locations -- and I know of some people who already have that planned.

But there are also some definites too. Like we definitely have to finish our mid-year marking (plus last term's backlog); we definitely have to get our lecture plans firmed up and researched; we definitely have to meet among our various committees to assess our mid-year achievements and make plans for the rest of the year... um, that's all I remember so far. If I've forgotten anything, drop me a line to remind me, ok?

Anyway, I'm not planning to moan about it. It's the summer hols, and whatever the outlook the mood is upbeat. *rubs hands together with glee

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Down for the count

The daily fruit juices have not kept me safe from the flu bug. I've been dosing myself nearly every day with a pineapple-starfruit blend, but the last of my defences crumbled today. Perhaps I should have gone with a stronger, if less palatable blend?

Such a bad week to be incapacitated too, but then I could have said the same thing any other week before. Have to remind myself that I am not indespensible, and that a day's rest means a day's rest.

*clangs handbell and cries "unclean, unclean!"

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A place to mark

Today was a good day to get some marking done. June was away in HCMC and wouldn't be back till the evening and since campus should have been deserted I drove out there determined to focus on my scripts with no distractions. That worked well. I had a very productive couple of hours that put a more significant dent in my marking load than I had thought possible. Quite proud of myself for that.

What I hadn't counted on was meeting Jojo on campus too. Like me, she needed some place to mark while Derek gave tuition across the road. What she encountered on campus was this grizzled creature at its most unglam -- unshaven, in googly glasses, sans corset, dentures and botox jabs that help create the illusion of a younger person on normal working days. The horror, the horror.

Regardless, she recognised me and invited me to lunch anyway. So we made a threesome at Sizzlers for salmon and salad. A fitting reward for the hours of pain that "marked" the earlier part of my morning. :)

Yes, there's still quite a mountain of scripts left to be marked, but today's session tells me I may yet pull off a miracle before the week is over.