Wednesday, 30 July 2003

i am not dead yet. but it is now past midnight and i had just got back and am really tired. will write more very soon coz i'm at the point of delirium.

p/s: the reason for my disappearance - i have been in Paris for the last 5 days...

Tuesday, 22 July 2003

my highlight for the weekend: I got a TV in my room!!!!!! Now I can officially become a hermit, stay in my room all day and watch TV!!!!

Oh. Wait a minute. British TV. Horrid programming...maybe not...

Friday, 18 July 2003

i thought that the writing talent in Singapore is virtually non-existent, but Mr Brown has definitely changed all that. Trust me, he's funny, he writes well and he captures the essence of Singapore perfectly (read: lots of satire and sarcasm).

A taster (heading: from the pages of TODAY (friday, 18 july 2003) by mrbrown.)

Thanks Faith!!
Who Needs Napster/Kazza When You've Got Google? thanks Davezilla

Here’s a great trick: How to find free hidden MP3s. A lot of people store their MP3s on unsecured directories, not realizing that they are connected to a web server. It’s pretty easy to track them down.
Go to Google.

In the search box, type: index apache mp3 matchbox twenty.
Obviously, you are going to replace matchbox twenty with the band or song you are hunting for. That’s it!

Thursday, 17 July 2003

my socks came back. and before any of you think it's coz i had stashed them behind a pile of whatnots, that's not how my socks returned. Herewith I present to you the tale of THE RETURN OF THE RAINBOW COLOURED SOCKS...

It was about 9pm, the sun was just beginning to set, and Kristin and I were sitting on my bed chatting. We were seated in such a way that my view of the window was blocked but Kristin had a full view of the window. Now let me also add the fact that my room is on the ground floor so that things don't sound too weird later.

Anyway, I was saying something when Kristin all of a sudden went "Yikes!" and then I heard sounds like as if someone was trying to break into my room through the window, and the next thing I knew I saw one pair of my lost socks come rolling on the floor towards me. At about the same time, Kristin exclaimed "socks!"

We both stared at each other in shock and amazement for a while before we both scrambled out of bed and tried to look out the window as to who it was. All Kristin saw was the figure of a guy wearing a black T-shirt turning a corner. Not enough for me to hunt down the culprit. Although I have a suspicion as to who it was...

To get back to what Kristin actually saw just before she went "Yikes!", she was looking out the window when suddenly she saw a very, in her words, "hairy arm" go through the slit of my window, into my room and fling something into my room. It gave her a shock of course, and she never saw the rest of the body belonging to the arm. All she saw was the arm, and then socks came flying into my room.

And that's how my socks came back to me...I'm happy. I really did miss those socks. Although I have since recieved 4 more pairs of socks as birthday presents since last night. Now I have one for each day of the week!!

On another note, am extremely flattered. I was featured on Faith's website!!

Oxford City - 15 July 2003


I felt alive in Oxford. My first experience with Oxford was on a bus, travelling through the city centre to Headington (5mins out of Oxford), where CS Lewis stayed. Even though I was in the bus, the vibrancy of the place still managed to touch me and I knew I had come home.

The numerous bookshops that lined the narrow two lane High Street, the funky clothes shops, the huge amount of people milling on the streets and crossing the road without care…the culture, the spirit, the atmosphere. My heart sang and my soul felt revived. The historically rich university city with its many Gothic buildings, where thoughts and ideas met and flourished, a place where intellectual activities were encouraged and embraced – it made me feel alive.

The funniest thing of all was the fact that I experienced all these while on the bus. It could have just been my wild imagination and my idealistic nature, but I honestly felt an immediate bond with Oxford. We were on our way to a CS Lewis pilgrimage, an author I totally admire, but I was really looking forward to returning to the city centre to actually walk the streets of Oxford and soak up everything.

But firstly, we had to do the most important thing – visit the grave of Lewis. The only problem was, we knew that his grave, his house and the church he worshipped in are in Headington, but we had no idea where specifically. To make things even more interesting, we didn’t even have a map. All we had were the names of the church and his house, and a one paragraph sentence on how to get to church.

Despite that, we jumped on the bus, asked the bus driver to let us know when we arrived in Headington and lo and behold! We stopped right outside the Six Bells pub. What are the chances of that? From church, we end up in front of a pub. As luck would have it though, there were two guys sitting outside the pub who knew exactly where we were going, and the church was actually only a 3 mins walk from the pub!

The Holy Trinity Church is a really small country church, with lots of tombstones surrounding it. Try finding one person’s grave. Nat, Kristin and I split up to look for his grave and stumbled upon a sign that said CS Lewis’ grave and pointed in a general left direction. So we walked in the general left direction, home of at least 50 graves. Not much help there.

There were some old folks there though who we later found were actually transcribing what was writing on the tombstones. Nat and I were walking towards one of the old man when he looked at us and rather sternly indicated that we should turn around. Honestly. I thought we were being told off then for desecrating holy ground or something. But then he finally added, “it’s on your right.”. He was actually telling us we had passed Lewis’ grave!!

Kristin went mad when she saw the grave. Somewhat along the lines of how I reacted when I first saw the Colosseum in Rome. But honestly, it was amazing. It took a while for it to sink in that I was standing by the grave of such an influential, prolific and amazing author who had touched the lives of so many people around the world. For such a creative author, he had a really simply grave.

We just sat around the grave in silence, each lost in our own thoughts and then finally decided to do the touristy thing. Out come the cameras. Photos taken, we had to go into the church in which he worshipped and see the famous Narnia window. The church interior was really plain and simple, with wooden beams and cement pillars. Where he sat was even more interesting.

His seat was situated right next to a window on the left side of the church and the view he got…well, let’s just say if he looked straight ahead, all he could see was a cement pillar. I honestly have no idea where he chose to sit there, and remain sitting there.

Finding his house was actually more of a lucky break for us than anything else. It just so happened that the old folks transcribing the tombstones knew where he lived and managed to give us directions. Honestly, without it, we would have been hopeless lost. Not that we knew where we were going in the first place, since the only thing we had to work from was that his house, “The Kilns”, was 15 mins away from church.

Unfortunately for us, they were holding seminars in his house when we were there. One of the helpers did very kindly let us into his study as well as give us a glance of the dining room though. Then she told us about this lake that Tolkien (yes, Mr Lord of the Rings himself) helped Lewis clear just behind the house.

Happily, we trooped off towards the lake, only to be utterly horrified and disappointed. It was a rather huge lake, true. But it was d-i-s-g-u-s-t-i-n-g. It was dirty and smelly. Nevertheless, we sat by it and had our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Yes, we’re crazy.

Getting back to the city from Headington turned out to the most aggravating affair ever. Firstly, please note that it was blistering hot that day. Yes, I hear you say “Hot in England?”, but believe me, it was VERY sunny and VERY hot. I’ve since gotten browner because of walking in the sun the whole of yesterday.

Anyway, there was this bus-stop about 2 mins from the street on which The Kilns was on and we had actually ran to the bus-stop after the bus. We were so proud that we managed to catch the bus, only to have the stupid bus driver chase us off because although the bus was eventually heading towards the city, it was going by this other suburb in which the price of our ticket did not cover. We therefore had to walk in the stinking hot weather, with the sun shining into our eyes, for almost 30mins before we finally found a bus-stop in which the bus driver was willing to let us on. I honestly have no idea how the public transport system in England works.

Oxford City was, well, is amazing. They don’t call it the city of the dreaming spires for nothing. The academic buildings, and as you might have expect were numerous, all had Gothic architecture, with weird and bizarre gargoyles hanging on its walls. Well-manicured lawns, College shields, Latin phrases…they were aplenty in Oxford.

Walking down the streets, I can just imagine the famous writers from the past doing just the same. I even got to see the shop that Alice (of Alice in Wonderland fame) frequented to by sweets! I mean, to be in the very same place where all these brilliant authors…I realise that Oxford has also produced a great many other minds in the fields of sciences, math, law and what have you, but seeing that I’m a writer, I’m going to only focus on the authors. I really am finding it really hard to describe, but I am just absolutely awe-struck to be in a town overflowing with intellectual activity.

To get a glimpse of the colleges these authors resided in, some who actually studied there. To see the buildings that inspired the authors – we saw Radcliffe Camera, apparently Tolkien decided that this building, which is part of the Bodleian Library, looks like Sauron's temple to Morgoth on NĂ¼menor.

And the Bodleian Library! Geesh! Never actually got to see the books. But I most certainly saw photos. Floor to ceiling of shelves and shelves of ancient books…gosh, I would actually be content to stay in there all day staring, fingering, reading the books.

We tried to find Tolkien’s grave as well. But seeing that we had a really useless map, we walked for close to an hour in the hot sunshine but was never able to even get a glimpse of what looked remotely like a cemetery. By the time we finally gave up, we could hardly walk, and were all dying of thirst.

Convenient excuse to step into the Eagle and Child pub, the very same pub in which a group of famous authors called The Inklings (Lewis and Tokien included) gathered to share extracts from stories they’ve written. It was your typical British pub (now, this is no indication that I frequent pubs) but its famous link just made it really special for us.

I know there is just so much more of Oxford that I have not seen. The walk by the River Thames, the parks, many more Colleges…but what I have seen was enough to make me fall in love with the place. Rome may be my favourite city in the world, but Oxford city just does something to my heart…

Wednesday, 16 July 2003

someone stole my socks. I can't believe it. SOMEONE STOLE MY TWO FAVOURITE PAIRS OF SOCKS!! The gall of it all!!!! if anyone sees someone wearing ankle-length rainbow coloured socks around Newbold, kindly tackle them to the ground and rip the socks off their feet. We can listen to their explanations later.

My thought on this issue: KILL FIRST, ASK LATER.

there will be no mercy...not when it comes to my fave socks. Especially when as a result, I no longer have any summer socks and it'd be ridiculous to wear thick winter socks right now when it's blistering hot in England!!

Tuesday, 15 July 2003

Earlier this afternoon, these two guys from the Maintanence Department come into the office grinning. Ruth starts asking them to what did we owe the pleasure and the next thing I knew, they burst out into their own rendition of Happy Birthday. It was hilarious. On top of that, my present from them consisted of a light bulb and 4 finger puppets. Crazy guys....

Then got brought to this Thai restaurant by my colleagues and boss for my birthday lunch....only to find Nat and Kristin there as well. Had a great lunch, although food tasted suspiciously like Chinese, not Thai. Was also given a really cool orange top bought in Italy, and this orange bag. Yup, I sense a theme here...but I love the gifts.

Time to get off work!! Am taking tomorrow off to go to Oxford with Kristin for our CS Lewis/JRR Tolkien pilgramage...

Monday, 14 July 2003

A revelation from God (which I should have realised earlier, but somehow didn't):

Had been wallowing in self-pity because I didn't get the Avondale job and was absolutely crushed. The main thing that disappointed me was the fact that without the job, I would most probably have to return to Singapore at the end of the year. I don't want that. I really don't want to spend "the rest of my life" in Singapore. And then God more or less slapped me.

Ever since I found God in 1999, I have been praying "I give my life up to you God. Let me do whatever is your will." It all worked out great! God led me to Avondale, Australia, then to England...I had no need to complain. I was leaving the country and seeing the rest of the world - something I had always wanted to do. Hurrah!

Then now, without the Avondale job, it seems that God has shut the door and is wanting to me to return to Singapore. I fight with all my might against that. I get devastated and think all my dreams are crushed. I get depressed. I cried. And then God spoke.

What happened to giving my life up to God? What if it is God's will that I return to Singapore? Why am I fighting it so? Am I going back on my prayer? All the while, my dreams had coincided with God's will and that's why I believe that doing God's will has been great. And then suddenly, when I'm supposed to return to Singapore, which may be God's will, I protest. I forget that doing God's will sometimes means doing things that you're initially reluctant to.

I'm at peace now. If it's God's will that I return to Singapore. Let it be so. I don't like the prospect, but I promised to do God's will. And I'm hanging on to the promise that God is not going to let me do something I hate, or let me lead a life I'd rather not. I can't see it now. But I sincerely believe that wherever God leads, I'd be happy. He's led me this far, I've been given the opportunity to see two different continents, I really don't have much to complain about.
Happy Birthday to Me, Happy Birthday to Me, Happy Birrrthday to Meeeee, Happy Birthday to Me

Am actually surprised by the number of people who know/remember my birthday. Not complaining...hee hee

Thursday, 10 July 2003

Hurt Before - The Corrs

She's a girl in a world
She's moving as fast as she goes
Loves her mom and her dad
The only secure that she knows
But at night she's alone
She's dreaming of somebody new
Her someone for to hold
She's praying the dream will come true

Show me the way
Show me, show me how
Help me, be brave
For love
Show me the way
Show me, tell me how
What do you say?

There's a pain in her heart
She's trying so hard to unwind
Makes her cry in the night
When visions so real make her blind
Wants to break through the fear
Erasing the scars from the pain
Start a new kind of being
She's down and she's praying again

Show me the way
Show me, show me how
Help me, be brave
For love
Show me the way
Show me, tell me how
What do you say?

You see she's
Turning the key, unlocking the door
Embracing the roller coaster world
Stepping outside with body and soul
Taking whatever future holds
Turning the key, unlocking the door
Embracing the roller coaster world
You're taking the stride, you're just twenty-five
You know we've all been hurt before

[Violin Solo]

You see she's
Turning the key, unlocking the door
Embracing the roller coaster world
Stepping outside with body and soul
Taking whatever future holds
Turning the key, unlocking the door
Embracing the roller coaster world
You're taking the stride, you're just twenty-five
You know we've all been hurt before
We've all been hurt before
See you're not alone, no
You're not alone
am slowly spiralling down towards depression. still wanting to trust that God's got something better in plan, but yet am feeling rather lost, confused, upset, and resigned. can't wait for Kristin to arrive tomorrow morning. At least I'd have one of my friends who truly understands me with me.

excuse me while I wallow in self-pity...
With regards to my Avondale job application:

Dear Melody

Thank you for your letter. Unfortunately for you, Heather has 6 years experience and ha 2 BA degrees which put her on top of the list.

Hope you find something you will love. I have just sent you your letter on Tuesday.

What more can I say? I didn't get the job. Back to the old drawing block. Feel that all my doors are being closed now, but I guess as Maya told me yesterday, I'm sure there are windows being opened. I am disappointed, I can't say I'm not. I really wanted that job. But I'm hanging on to my faith, knowing that God is going to provide something far better for me. (He'd better!! :o))

Wednesday, 9 July 2003

Go to google, type in:
weapons of mass destruction and click I'm Feeling Lucky

Tuesday, 8 July 2003

A letter I received at work from Zambia: (in response to this letter we send out to prospective students inviting them to come stay at the College for free for 2 nights to see the College for themselves.)

Dear Sir,

I would like to thank you most sincerely for your letter I received dated 10th June 2003. I greatly appreciate and I like coming to Newbold College for two days and two nights. I realise that education is the key to my success, therefore, I see it worthy to come there and see for my self.

Now the only problem I have is that, I am actually a vulnerable person, no parents hence in my first writing I applied for scholarship and understood it from another perspective that I can be offered sponsorship to be in College.

After offering me two nights free accommodation and free meals, I would be pleased if you send me an air ticket to and from so that please I can see for myself.

I am willing to do whatever except breaking the law of God for me to study from there. am I supposed to reply the letter??? Especially since obviously we can't provide him with an airticket...

Friday, 4 July 2003

Only in America......
Dear Shimona,

I forgot to mention that I finally completed all 5 levels of this ridiculous game last week, when I'm supposed to be working. Thank you for distracting me ;o)

Those of you wondering...the aim of the game: look for little coloured men and click on them.

With regards to grandma...Lyn is looking for another room for her, because it's getting ridiculous that grandma has to determine when I have a shower, when I have my music on, and to a certain extent when I go to bed! I believe that in the majority of countries in the world, I am legally an adult, so why the heck am I still being treated like a child! Thank goodness they haven't decided to give me a curfew. That would be horrid.

Oh, and I found the lyrics to the song!!!
Latest update on grandma: she complained to my friend Lyn, the assistant dean, saying that she "needs peace, and can't get it here because there's music going on in Melody's room at 2 in the morning."

What I'm wondering can there be music going on in my room at 2 in the morning, when I was asleep by 1am yesterday. Unless I sleepwalk and have parties in my room that even I don't know about, I think Grandma is hallucinating. Not only that, even if I happen to have music at that hour in the morning, it's usually easy-listening songs turned down extremely low because I like to relax at that time! Grandma either has supersonic hearing, or is hearing voices in her head.

Not only that, Grandma has been complaining that the dean does nothing to basically keep me in line. She told the head dean, who only laughed in her face. She told Lyn, and then added that Lyn does nothing coz Lyn's my friend. Lyn told Grandma to "go back home" this morning. Which is unbelievable because Lyn is just about the sweetest girl on earth who wouldn't tell anybody something that mean.

Grandma is beginning to grate on everybody's nerves...

Thursday, 3 July 2003

Dear Melody,

I am pleased to inform you that you have been selected for an interview for the position of Temporary Programme Producer. An appointment has been made for you on Thursday, 17th July 2003.

I'm ecstatic. Finally, I can say that there is nothing wrong with my resume and that I am able to get an interview based on my application. Helps the self-esteem. Besides, it's with UCB - Christian radio programming. Something that I've been doing for the last 2 years. Something that I believe in. And yet, there's something nagging at me.

1. It's a temporary position. What happens to me after the term ends? Would it be more worth it for me to stay here instead?

2. It'll cost me £30 and 8 hours to travel up there and return. That's just the train ride to Stoke-on-Trent. I don't even know how to actually get to the place itself. Is it worth it to go through so much for an interview for a position that I'm not even sure I want?

3. What about the Avondale job? Granted, I'm not sure if I'll get it, but if I do, why should I even spend so much to go for this interview? And I have no idea when will I hear about the results of my application to Avondale.

I'm thoroughly confused. Ruth has advised me to go for the interview, just to get the experience...but I don't know. I'm scared - being shaken out of one's comfort zone isn't a pleasant affair. It's time to start praying...

Wednesday, 2 July 2003

what's up with my and psycho roommates (well, technically we don't live in the same room, but share the bathroom)?!?!?!?! First, there's that grumpy Croatian girl who slips me threatening notes from under the door coz she's too afraid to even talk to me in the face....then there were the two men who tried to break into my room through the bathroom door...and now I have Grandma, and she seriously just incites homicidal tendencies in me. this is ridiculous! Beginning to think that the dean hates me and that's why she puts psychotic people in the room next to mine.

Grandma has been locking me out of the bathroom ever since she arrived coz she forgets to unlock the door whenever she finishes her, ahem, business. But it's not as if I can't unlock the door from my side. It's highly inconvenient, but it could be done. I forget to do it once, and Grandma WAITS UP for me till 2 in the morning, and tells me off. I tell her she does the same to me as well and she denies everything. I try to show her that she can unlock the door from her side and she tells me never to lock the door when I use the bathroom. I figured, she's 72, I'll respect her wishes and so we left it at that.

The next day, Nat happened to be in my room and wanted to take a shower. She locks the door, and Grandma actually UNLOCKED the door to tell her off. I mean honestly!?!? Nat was half-naked for goodness sake! Nat told her that she's locked my side of the door all the time and Grandma denies everything and decides to take the offensive by asking, "What are you doing here anyway? Do you live here?"

And then I find out from my friend, the assistant dean, that Grandma had complained to the dean that I had locked her out of the bathroom and has demanded to be moved. I wish she could. Problem is, all the rooms are full and she's got nowhere to go.

This morning, the dean comes up to me and tells me not to take showers after midnight because Grandma has complained AGAIN. That I wake her up whenever I shower and she can't get back to bed. What about the fact that she goes to the bathroom at unearthly hours and wakes me up? And the very fact that Grandma doesn't sleep that early anyway!?!?!

Tuesday, 1 July 2003

cydknee just hit me on the head coz she was ecstatic (something to do with getting hair extensions...) - the kind of abuse I have to put up with.

college has been invaded by group of giggly 16 year olds coz of summer school. VERY annoying. Also a sign of age as my friends and I are calling them kids and find them annoying, when we've only just passed our 20th birthdays not too long ago.

been watching waaayyy too many movies lately, but it's not as if I have anything much better to do - stayed up till almost 5am on Saturday night (we saw the sunrise!). Made some really good friends thanks to the fact that the "oldies" are now sticking together due to the invasion.

have a stalker in the form of a Japanese summer school student who does not possess the concept of personal space. not sure if i want to dwell on this coz he is really terrifying me. at least he only gets psycho when he sees me, so as long as I avoid him, I'm safe.
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