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Friday, August 31, 2007

The FURminator

When I was in Oklahoma City, I managed to wangle a visit to PetSmart, in search of a grooming tool I'd promised my sister. The deal was that I'd do Circuit City with him if he'd do PetSmart with me ;)

Lupo has an incredibly thick undercoat and sheds like crazy all year round. Rhona spends (now spent) her life vacuuming and sweeping and all other methods of collecting dog (and cat) hair. I'd researched grooming aids before my trip and went in search of one. With a little guidance from the groomer in PetSmart, I chose the FURminator. Of course, dried liver treats were also purchased to accompany the package as they are his absolute favourite things and aren't available in Tenerife.

Ta daaaaaaaaaaaaa


Just as they promised and Rhona said there was LOTS more. You can see it's pure undercoat from the colour, snowy white versus his black/beige topcoat. She's happy to report that whereas it used to take him hour upon hour to dry after a swim in the sea, and he often had to go to bed wet, he's dry now within an hour. And in the heat over there, he must feel so much better with all that hair off him.

Of course, if there's attention of any kind being doled out, Sai-Loh has to get right in there:



A real bonus of the visit to PetSmart was the fact it was Adoption Day and there were loads of doggies wanting some head or chin scratches. I was in my element and the hardest thing was walking back out that door with just a couple of carrier bags in my hands.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Molly Movie

video


and a few more pics - Week 7 as a lab puppy:





my all-time favourite, Miss Bella:


and her fabulous green eyes :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Our Very Own Venetian

Yesterday marked the opening of The Venetian Macao, just across the Pearl River Delta from us, a short ferry or jetfoil ride from Hong Kong harbour.

"The moment it opened, the US$2.4 billion Venetian Macao became the largest single structure hotel in Asia and the second largest building in the world. Like its sister-property in Las Vegas, The Venetian Macao is a renaissance Venice-themed property featuring stunning replicas of Venice landmarks such as St. Mark's Square, the Doge's Palace, Campanile Tower, and three indoor canals with gondolas and singing gondoliers. The hotel has 3,000 all-suite guest rooms and with one million square feet of retail space, which is more than any shopping mall in Hong Kong, The Venetian Macao now becomes a major destination for the region's top shoppers. The casino floor, at 550,000 square feet, is the largest in the world and is home to 870 table games and more than 3,400 slot machines.

The facility also features the 15,000-seat Venetian Arena, which will make its debut by holding the hotel's star-studded Grand Opening event later this evening. In the coming weeks, The Venetian Arena will play host to a pair of NBA exhibition games and a match-up of tennis greats Roger Federer and Pete Sampras. The arena's seating capacity and state-of-the-art equipment instantly make it the top entertainment facility in the region.

The Venetian Macao also has 1.2 million-square feet of meeting, convention and exhibition space, more than twice the amount of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The facility features the largest pillar-less ballroom in Asia and has the catering facilities to provide a five-course banquet for 15,000 guests. Early next year, the 1,800 seat Venetian Theatre will open featuring an original production from world-renowned Cirque du Soleil."

Macau (or Macao) is an old Portuguese enclave which was ceded back to China in 1999 after 400 years, as our fellow 'Special Administrative Region'. It used to be a truly beautiful place, with a little piece of old-style Europe transported to Asia. There are still a lot of the European-styled buildings and kudos to Macau for preserving a fair few of them. I lived there for three years when I was very young and remember it fondly, up until the time we had to leave at short notice, when the Red Guard moved across the border and mounted a hostile, though ultimately unsuccessful, takeover. Similar activities were occurring in Hong Kong (1967) but not to the extent they happened in Macau. It was really quite serious and several British Navy ships from Hong Kong were standing in the harbour to evacuate British citizens, as all foreigners were being directly targetted.

It has changed a lot with the advent of Las Vegas style gambling. The original casinos in Macau were locally-run, small-scale and a bit dilapidated but now the place is covered with Las Vegas type establishments. We have, apart from The Venetian, Wynn, Sands and MGM Grand, several Hong Kong-based and similarly over the top resorts. The place is booming. To the point it has overtaken the Las Vegas strip in annual gaming revenues, making it the gambling capital of the world. And with this new addition, they are forecasting Macau will, in 2008, overtake the entire state of Nevada in gambling revenues.

It is causing a state of crisis in staffing, however, as Macau is such a small place (23.5 square kilometres or just over nine square miles!). There is a massive movement of labour over the 'border' with the mainland daily. Additionally, contract staff from the region are recruited for the food and beverage and housekeeping areas of the hotels, and as croupiers in the casinos. When Macau had a smaller gambling focus, there was a different approach to it by the locals, in that it was perceived as something people came to do, not something they themselves participated in as punters. That has now changed and everyone is becoming a gambler. It was tragic to read of two very young croupiers taking their lives last week, because of their own gambling debts. While these mega-casinos may be a good thing for the economy of Macau, they are ripping at the fabric of their unique society. And it will only get worse.

Old Macau:

The old town's centre square (the paving is new and I'm not crazy about it)

...and so beautiful by night


The original barrier gate separating Macau from China


The Guia Lighthouse which still guides maritime traffic in and out of Macau


The
ruins of St. Paul's - after three fires, this facade is all that is left standing of what was once East Asia's largest Catholic church


One of the original Portuguese-inspired buildings


How many in Macau still live


The Old Protestant Cemetery, one of my favourite places in Macau.


The new Macau:

The Macau Tower and new bridge connecting the islands to the peninsula


The behemoths as they began to take shape

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Water Nymph


My sister is a constant source of amusement to me. She's also a bit of a daredevil. When I was on the phone to her the other day, she told me that she was having a day off work and the plan for the day was 'naked snorkelling'. Before I go any further, that is not her in the picture so no requests for her email please! Although it actually could be, she's in the best shape of her life.

She spends her life in the water and on her days off goes back into it. As a professional divemaster (she works in the dive centre I used to own) she has a very physical job. I know this, I've worked with these people and have the highest regard for the job they do. Not only is it physically demanding, they literally hold people's lives in their hands, thanks to the PADI system of certification and the fact that too many 'licensed' divers have hardly any time in the water under their belt. This leads them to being very unpredictable in times of stress, and there can be many of those at 20+ metres in the open ocean, for someone not used to being at that depth or in a current. She was telling me that the other day that she was leading a group of 11 divers with just one other divemaster. 11 people with a very diverse level of training and experience. One of them did in fact panic and had to be taken up to the surface by the other divemaster, leaving her with ten divers of differing ability to take care of. I think that was one of those days she'd gladly have traded in her wetsuit.

I never operated the business like that. I always ran smaller groups to ensure my divemasters weren't put at risk, nor were my customers. But times have changed. She also does a minimum of three dives a day with no meal breaks. Between the dives they are washing gear, filling tanks, keeping the wet area in shape. I used to make sandwiches for them, fill the tanks for them, clean the gear for them, so they could sit down for half an hour with something to eat and a hot drink. Just think, those people live in their wetsuits from 8am to often 5pm or beyond, cold and wet and soggy. I guess, though, the mighty Euro speaks. It was just something I couldn't do, running things to the point the divemasters were over-stretched. I'd never have forgiven myself if something had happened.

So come her day off, she's in the car heading for this little cove she's found. I asked her if it was totally secluded. Oh no, not really, people can and do look down into it. My sister the exhibitionist. I love her joie de vivre. And I envy her self-confidence in abandoning all clothing and just feeling the water on her skin. I asked her about nude diving but she assures me the BCD (buoyancy compensation device) would chafe just a little too much.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Eyes That Follow You


I remember once I went to
my great-grandmother's house.
It was a big white house & it
always smelled like slightly burned
toast & raspberry jam. She had a
picture of Jesus on the wall in her
living room. She told me his eyes would
follow you around when you walked. I
told a friend about it a while ago. He nodded
& said he used to have a Chihuahua that
did the same thing.


Thank you Brian Andreas at
Story People

Friday, August 24, 2007

It Has Been a While

On my way home yesterday, I detoured to the big Japanese supermarket I love pushing (and filling) a trolley around, to find my perfect dinner:

(sorry about the quality of the photo, I didn't realise my settings were wrong until after I'd consumed everything!)

Tuna (not raw, blech I hate raw fish), egg and lettuce, sesame seed-encrusted sushi. And what must be one of the finest peaches in the world, the Hokkaido white. Sweet, juicy and BIG!

Aaaaaaah life can be good. And it was a treat for me post-dentist. He completed the work with no further removal of cheek tissue. Despite having seven injections, and an upper lip that was literally paralysed for four hours, the residual pain is negligible today, I'm glad to report.

The sushi and peach were consumed with gusto!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Squiggle of Puppies

Do you remember the puppies? Courtesy of D, we have an update. They're growing up. At five weeks' old, introducing:

Molly - Kenya - Basil - Bella - Darley - Bass - Vada - Splinter - Erica. They all have homes and Erica is going to be a guide dog! Cassie (mum) must be so proud.


Finally, some rest for mum!


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

He Asks




He asks: Will you miss your job?
My truth is: I'll miss some of the people I work with, but not really the work itself.

He asks: Won't you get bored living here compared to where you are now?
My truth is: I want to live there. I want to be with you. I could never be bored being with you.

He asks: Won't you need the satisfaction that the authority of your job gives you?
My truth is: I'd gladly hang up my tights and heels, and with them the shoulder-bending responsibilities. I'd happily work in a job that gives me the most time with you.

He asks: Won't you be lonely when I'm away on business trips?
My truth is: Yes, absolutely. But just imagine the welcome home's we'll have for each other.

I ask: Do you want this as much as I do?
His truth is: Absolutely, yes. We are meant to be together and we will be.

For me, that's all I need to know.

It is, certainly, a big change and I know he worries about me. I'll be going:

  • From a tropical climate, to one where there's lots of snow in winter.
  • From living in a skybox 35 storeys above ground, to having our own house with a yard (a big one if we get our wish).
  • From being part of an Asian lifestyle, to being part of an American one.
  • From being a city gal, to moving to the suburbs.
  • From being a single woman to a married woman, with step-children.
  • From contributing at an international level in a company with some of the best products of its kind in the world, to a smaller job with a much smaller scope.
  • From relying on taxis, to having to learn how to drive (eyes wide!!).
  • From seeing my chosen sister almost daily, to relying on email and phone contact.
  • From having to travel thousands of miles for 20+ hours just to see his face, to waking up with him every morning.

And so much more. Things we probably haven't even realised. All of which is perfectly fine by me, so long as I get to be with the man I love. I welcome each and every change with an open heart and an open mind. I'm not worried at all. I'm excited about the challenges and the opportunities. But most of all, I quite simply can't wait for us to start our life together. It is going to be one hell of a life, well lived, for us both.

And another plus in all this is: If I can wrest him from Rhona's grip, I'll maybe get to have Lupo with us.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Letting People Die


My mother, as some of you have read, is suffering from lung cancer. She doesn't want to treat the cause but has reluctantly agreed to some palliative care. She has chosen to treat each symptom independently, as though there's no link between each of her ailments. She refuses to have scans to determine tumour size/location. Instead she is treated for her COPD and breathlessness.

I've learned to go along with this. I've learned she wants to go down this road alone. I've learned all I can do is sit on the sidelines. I've learned she wants nothing more of me than to be ready for the inevitable and to step in to handle things when it happens.

I totally agree with non-intrusive treatment for something they are pretty sure she won't survive. They'd love to get in there with their knives and radiotherapy and chemotherapy. I agree with her not wanting to go down the route my father was pressured into taking. I'm also glad I was with her when she was told about the disease and, by being there, was able to be an independent support for her, helping her weigh up her options and ultimately form an opinion against the surgeon's counsel. At times it was downright bullying and she was reluctant to discuss anything but surgery as an option. My mother decided she didn't want any treatment for the cancer.

As part of the arrangement, it was agreed that I would receive copies of her medical reports from her GP and her consultant specialist. Well, her GP has failed to keep his end of the bargain but her specialist does include me on all three-monthly reports. The latest one is a bit vague. For instance: "She denies weight loss, chest pain or haemoptysis." Does that mean they're not monitoring her weight? And that they suspect chest pain and coughing up blood but she's refusing to admit to it? Are their asses covered by saying "she denies" when asked these things? But to not even monitor her weight?! How can that be useful in her treatment?

They've added another inhaler to her existing medications. They wouldn't be doing that if things were unchanged, in fact they have noted: "Reduced air entry". One thing that stands out for me is that there very specifically is no 'Prognosis' indicated on the report. And I have learned that if my mother doesn't wish to know herself, they won't release the information to me, either.

So I guess I just have to read the reports as they come in and make my own determination of the situation.

Friday, August 17, 2007

In the Pink


Life is good. Actually, it's downright excellent. No sore shoulder, no pit in the inside of my cheek, no cramping tummy, could put a dent on how wonderful it is to love and be loved in equal amounts.

Not to say we don't have our 'moments', but the amazing thing with them is that we glide through and hardly touch the sides. And with each of them, we understand one another more. And love one another more. Appreciation is a keyword for the two of us, something we've not had enough of in our lives.

Work is still crazily busy but nothing that can't be handled. Actually, this whole process has shown me I'm a little more capable than I thought. Sometimes that's all we need to prove ourselves, the opportunity.

Opportunity is such a wonderful thing. Getting that chance to do something, be it work or life related. You can go bumbling along for years, getting used to things just being as they are and then suddenly an opportunity arises to prove yourself to others, and even to yourself. To find new pleasures, new successes.

Yes, it's all pretty damn good. I'm smiling (though it hurts just a little).

Every day is a day closer to our goals.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Gnash Gnash

The other day, as I bit into a rather yummy tuna baguette for lunch, a small piece of the edge of one of my front teeth decided to join the bread and fish and disappeared down my throat. It was noticeable enough to need repair so off I went today.

My lovely dentist kindly reminded me I hadn't been in for a year (well I had, but only for my routine clean and polish) so he said let's do an examination and see how things are. Well, drat, he only managed to find a large crack in an old filling and decided today is the day to deal with it.

In went two injections, into the gum and inside cheek, top right. And while those were settling in he fixed my little chip. Good as new on the front teeth. He then went to work on excavating the large filing right at the back. Way at the back. I don't have the biggest mouth on the planet (no cheap shots from the peanut gallery, please) so it took some doing to get fingers and drill right back in there. It's not something I particularly enjoy but I was feeling no pain, only anxiety. I always feel anxiety at the dentist, I had some horrific experiences as a child.

Buzz buzz buzz...vibrations running through my jaw and then I tasted it. Blood. And lots of it. He suddenly stopped and asked his assistant for gauze and started to pack my mouth. I'm thinking okay that was a deep filling. More gauze. And more. He raised the chair to upright and, with his hand on my shoulder, told me he'd nicked the inside of my cheek with the drill. My tongue explores but naturally can't feel anything so I smile and say no problem. He lowers the chair again and unpacks the gauze and I see all the blood. My eyes widen and he puts some sort of semi-rigid disc between my jaw and cheek and proceeds to continue on with the tooth. I seem to absorb Novocaine at an unusually fast rate so it was soon time for another two injections. I didn't feel them at all though.

An hour and a half later I'm good to go, he's thrice washed out the inside of my cheek with some noxious tasting concoction and applied a glob of something in there. He advised me not to eat on that side for the rest of the day (thanks, it's my eating side) and to rinse with warm salty water this evening. He did have a slightly worried expression on his face but I still couldn't feel a thing with my tongue.

Now, the numbness has gone and my tongue has been exploring and oh.my.god there is a bloody great hole in my cheek! I can feel a definite pit with the tip of my tongue and the pain is awful. I've just downed 800mg of Ibuprofen and it still hurts. And I mean HURTS. Plus the outside of my cheek is bruised and I resemble a one-sided-ready-for-winter-chipmunk. If I get an infection in there I'm going to be well displeased. Plus my follow-up visit is in a week, to replace the temporary crown with the permanent crown. I can just imagine the anxiety at that visit. I don't think Novocaine is going to do the trick, somehow.

P.S. That is not my x-ray but would be pretty close to mine, except my wisdom teeth were removed a while back.

OUCH. Again.

Ginger Delight




This bevvy, from down under, is seriously good! I love anything ginger and have just added this to my regular shopping list. A real plus is that it comes in a bottle and things always taste better out of a bottle, rather than out of a tin/can/tin can.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Black, White and Shades Of Grey



I've been mulling over whether or not to vent privately, or publicly. I've decided to go out with this.

My post on Friday brought a commenter to my blog with a lot to say against me and my relationship. Fair enough, from her own personal viewpoint, she's a married woman with children, trying to get over her own husband's betrayal, but honestly not everything in life is as narrow as she presents it. What I took umbrage at was her accusatory style and I certainly won't stand by and let anyone label the love of my life as a liar. Sorry, you just don't get away with that one. Kindly refrain from judging the man I love against the standards of your own life experiences. Not all of us have ended up loving a liar, as you obviously have. And please don't deny it, you've accused him of being just that, time and time again on your blog.

At first I was angry, at her accusations. Pissed off, to be honest. But as I took it in, beyond the initial reading, I actually found a lot of amusement in them (and a post on her own blog tearing apart my whole relationship for the entertainment of her followers, who took up her cause while at first thinking she was speaking of her husband's affair). I just thought, wow, there's a woman internalising other people's lives to the point she gets that het up? Not a good way to be. She should be living her own life, repairing what she wishes to repair, instead of casting judgement upon something she doesn't have the whole story on. That kind of energy could, and should, be spent in a much more positive way. As for calling her sad and bitter, that is merely reflecting what she herself says. She is definitely sad about the events which unfolded in her life. And bitter too that it happened. Bitter to the point she comes here to throw daggers at my relationship.

I'm frankly a bit flabbergasted that she thinks I have the kind of juju that would make a man leave his family of many years, with supposedly nary a thought for them, and me living thousands of miles away. That she so kindly opined he has been playing a game with me with these kinds of results. This is so far from the truth. Good lord, what on earth has she been exposed to, or surrounded by, to have such a warped outlook on life? Oh, and please don't presume to know that I haven't suffered betrayal. I have.

I fully expected to lose readership after this post and I definitely thought that reader would be the first to stop coming by. I have to wonder why she continues to read something that so upsets her. If my activities irk her so badly, why keep reading? Does she need some sort of scapegoat for her own deficiencies in her relationship? I read her blog because I actually find it in turn to be amusing, enlightening and naive. I don't post there because, to be honest, our viewpoints are miles apart and what, really would be the point in me offering up my observation of her actions as at times being controlling, unreasonable and manipulating?

And just for the record, I don't "believe that (I) have the greatest love of all mankind", I've never said that. Nor would I presume to say such a thing. What I have said, is that this man is the greatest love of my life. And he is. And for that I make no apology. Many people have found such a love and I couldn't be happier for them. Sometimes, yes, sometimes, that person comes from an unhappy and unsuccessful marriage. Thank goodness we no longer live the way our parents lived, with a resigned acceptance of an unhappy life just to remain in a sham of a marriage. To avoid the disapproving finger-pointing of those lacking the courage to move on, but secretly wishing they could, too.

The comment which made me laugh the most was this one: "Or was he just telling you that so you felt sorry for him and slept with him?" What an odd concept. I'd never even have thought of that, but I guess she has? Sorry to disappoint, but I have never, and will never, sleep with a man I feel sorry for. I have slept only with men I have cared for deeply. All of whom I can count on one hand. Oh and by the way, "illiterate, stupid, needy and selfish" do not describe me at all.

I'd like to end this with: Dear blogger, Put away your pointing finger. I did not cause your marriage to dissolve, you and your husband did. There is no way any man will walk away from a woman he loves and cares for, from a life well-lived and happy, on the pure off chance that another woman might make for a better living arrangement. A fool might and while perhaps that is one of your issues, my man on the other hand is no fool. So go and live your life, I am living mine. Happily, I might add. I actually feel sorry for you. But perhaps, in time, you'll manage to unravel yourself from that self-imposed shroud of suffocating anger and vitriol. It is especially obscene when directed at people who have played no part in your situation. Look to yourself, for both your failures and your solutions.

Like so much in life, these experiences are found in the muted shades of grey, and rarely in the black or white of our existence.

Monday, August 13, 2007

My Last Trip

We had a simply awesome time! Two whole days just for us. That's the first time ever, we've had our own time. Without work, without computers, without errands to run for others, without calls coming in. Just 56 hours of time for us. My travel time took almost the same amount of hours and had a few pretty hairy connection moments, but all I'm saying is that I could have spent 112 hours on the travel alone and still been the happiest woman on the planet to get those 56 uninterrupted hours with the love of my life.

On the Sunday, we visited the Memorial. What an incredibly special place. The stillness, the absolute silence was very moving. Despite the tragedy, there was a feeling of serenity surrounding us. The pics were taken by my love, but I'll let Wikipedia tell us about each feature.

The Gates of Time:
Monumental twin bronze gates frame the moment of destruction - 9:02 - and mark the formal entrances to the Outdoor Memorial. 9:01, found on the eastern gate, represents the last moments of peace, while its opposite on the western gate, 9:03, represents the first moments of recovery. Both time stamps are inscribed on the interior of the monument, facing each other and the Reflecting Pool.

The outside of each gate bears this inscription:
We come here to remember those who were killed,
Those who survived and those changed forever.
May all who leave here know the impact of violence.
May this memorial offer comfort, strength, peace, hope and serenity.


Reflecting Pool:
A thin layer of water flowing over polished black granite, the Reflecting Pool runs east to west down the center of the Memorial on what was once Fifth Street. Visitors who see their reflection in the reflecting pool are supposed to see "a face of a person changed by domestic terrorism."





Field of Empty Chairs:
168 empty chairs hand-crafted from glass, bronze, and stone represent those who lost their lives in the tragedy. A bombing victim's name is etched in the glass base of each chair. The chairs represent the empty chairs at the dinner tables of the victim's family.

The chairs are arranged in nine rows symbolizing the nine floors of the building, and each person's chair is on the row (or the floor) on which the person worked or was visiting when the bomb went off. The chairs are also grouped according to the blast pattern, with the most chairs nearest the most heavily damaged portion of the building. The westernmost column of five chairs represents the five people who died but were not in the Murrah Building when the bomb went off (two in the Water Resources Board building, one in the Athenian Building, one outside near the building, and one rescuer).

The 19 smaller chairs represent the children killed in the bombing. Three unborn children died along with their mothers, and they are listed on their mothers' chairs beneath their mothers' names.


The Survivor Tree:
The inscription around the inside of the deck wall around the Survivor Tree reads:
The spirit of this city and this nation will not be defeated; our deeply rooted faith sustains us.



And Jesus Wept:

On a corner adjacent to the memorial is a sculpture of Jesus weeping erected by St. Joseph's Catholic Church. St. Joseph's, one of the first brick and mortar churches in the city, was almost completely destroyed by the blast. The statue is not part of the memorial itself but is popular with visitors nonetheless.



I think the most unusual part of our trip was sampling a local delicacy, lamb fries. Not for the faint-hearted. An odd texture and probably not something I'll repeat, but at least we tried them!

It was a superb trip, despite United being three hours late out of San Francisco, making me miss my Denver connection and robbing us of over three hours together. But my, oh my, were we glad to see each other! Over and over again (swoons).

Friday, August 10, 2007

Lives Interrupted


There are times in our lives when our actions, our needs, our wants, impact others who had no idea this might, or even could, happen.

Two young lives have recently been interrupted by the needs and wants of two adults, one of whom they don't even yet know exists. In time, they will. And in time I hope I might become their friend. My greatest wish is that they come to know how important their father's happiness is to me. That I want to be in his life in a way that will help him be happier than he has been for a long time. And in a way that will help to support him as their father.

We were two people living our lives when we bumped into each other in here. We both found something of interest in the other, something we could each relate to. He spoke of his family, his work. I spoke of my family, my work. He wanted to know more about me, I wanted to know more about him. Gradually we opened ourselves to each other, sharing on a deeper level, sharing parts of our souls. Talking of our dreams, desires, needs. Of our failed and failing relationships. Our friendship grew. We offered companionship and understanding to each other. I shared my experiences in life, hoping these would help him with his. His insight brought a new perspective to my past, and he helped me see things very differently than I had before. We grew closer and closer until we decided we wanted to meet. It wasn't a decision taken lightly, and while we both understood the possible consequences, it didn't have the outcome either of us anticipated or intended. Interest led to love, love led to wanting each other, wanting each other led to discussions about how we could be together, discussions led to plans and the plans are coming to fruition.

Our eyes were, and are, wide open. Both of us know this will be a long road to travel. A long and at times painful road. More for him than for me on an emotional front. Which is why I have never asked for anything, never given an ultimatum. This is his decision, for his future, as well as mine. All along I have just believed that we were meant to be together and therefore we would be. It came down to having faith. I have always had faith in us.

At no point, have his children ever been forgotten. While their lives have been interrupted, they are in no way being pushed aside. So far, they have responded well to what has happened. The time he spends with them now, is of a different quality and depth. They plan things together, they devote time to being together. It's no longer just meeting over the dinner table or driving them to an activity. He doesn't sleep in the same house, but he shows his love for them every day.

These children are important to us. Everything we plan, includes them. Everything he is doing now, includes them. For me, it's vital that they know they will always be the most important people in his life, that they will always be a part of him. He will always be their father and I have taken it upon myself to relocate so that he can stay close to them and be part of their daily lives. I will do everything I can to provide them with a second loving environment, one I hope they will choose to sometimes share with us. We will make provisions for them to be with us, whenever they wish.

I know some of you are probably thinking, if they are so important, why did she take their father from their home? I didn't. He left because he had been so unhappy for so long. And he had tried to make things work, he had done a lot to work things out between himself and their mother. But she found loving him, simply too onerous. Too much of an effort. He was tired of alternately begging or bugging her for intimacy. An intimacy she simply didn't want to give him and hadn't for a long time. There were times early on when I questioned and questioned and questioned what we were doing, if it was the right thing. I admit that I tried to push him back into the relationship, as much as it hurt me to do so. I needed to know, as much as he did, that we were doing the right thing. That there was no way to save the relationship he was in.

These two young lives have been affected by this, as much as by my arrival in his life. So much busy-ness was created around them, to the point the parents had no time for each other. It was designed that way. There was always something needing to be done, time stolen from what relationships need to survive and thrive. Parenting is a time-consuming thing, no doubt, but when one person in a relationship refuses intimacy on an ongoing basis, or wants to schedule it, reluctantly, like it has become a chore, something is going to give, somewhere.

I know my existence has had an impact on these lives. I know I have interrupted them. It wasn't a decision taken lightly by either of us, in fact we have both agonised over it. It is also one which will entail a long wait until we can be together. But our love is strong, our love is mature, our love will get us through to the other side. And yes, sometimes the grass IS greener on the other side. It is for us and it will be for the two young lives that are an unshakable part of the man I love. They are the most important people to consider in all this. Everyone else is an adult and will deal with the events as they unfold. And hopefully take responsibility for what has happened, where it deserves to rest. I know I have.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

I Love to Watch Him Sleep




I could stay awake just to hear you breathing
Watch you smile while you are sleeping
While you're far away and dreaming
I could spend my life in this sweet surrender
I could stay lost in this moment forever
Where every moment spent with you is a moment I treasure

Don't want to close my eyes
I don't want to fall asleep
Cause I'd miss you baby
And I don't want to miss a thing
Cause even when I dream of you
The sweetest dream will never do
I'd still miss you baby
And I don't want to miss a thing

Lying close to you feeling your heart beating
And I'm wondering what you're dreaming
Wondering if it's me you're seeing
Then I kiss your eyes
And thank God we're together
I just want to stay with you in this moment forever
Forever and ever

I don't want to close my eyes
I don't want to fall asleep
Cause I'd miss you baby
And I don't want to miss a thing
Cause even when I dream of you
The sweetest dream will never do
I'd still miss you baby
And I don't want to miss a thing

I don't want to miss one smile
I don't want to miss one kiss
I just want to be with you
Right here with you, just like this
I just want to hold you close
Feel your heart so close to mine
And just stay here in this moment
For all the rest of time Yeah yeah yeah

I don't want to close my eyes
I don't want to fall asleep
Cause I'd miss you baby
And I don't want to miss a thing
Cause even when I dream of you
The sweetest dream will never do
I'd still miss you baby
And I don't want to miss a thing

I don't want to close my eyes
I don't want to fall asleep
Cause I'd miss you baby
And I don't want to miss a thing
Cause even when I dream of you
the sweetest dream will never do
I'd still miss you baby
And I don't want to miss a thing

Don't want to close my eyes
I don't want to fall asleep
And I don't want to miss a thing


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

A Storm Approaches

Update Friday 10 August 6:15pm - what a crazy storm this one has turned out to be, it has made another 90 degree turn, it just can't tear itself away from us ! : AT 6 P.M. TROPICAL STORM PABUK WAS CENTRED ABOUT 50 KILOMETRES WEST-NORTHWEST OF THE HONG KONG OBSERVATORY (NEAR 22.5 DEGREES NORTH 113.7 DEGREES EAST) AND IS FORECAST TO MOVE NORTHWEST AT ABOUT 8 KILOMETRES PER HOUR ENTERING GUANGDONG. IN THE PAST HOUR, TROPICAL STORM PABUK TURNED ABRUPTLY BY AROUND 90 DEGREES. IT IS APPROACHING THE WESTERN COAST OF THE PEARL RIVER ESTUARY. GALE FORCE WINDS ARE STILL AFFECTING THE WATERS SOUTH OF HONG KONG. THE RAINBANDS ASSOCIATED WITH PABUK CONTINUE TO BRING HEAVY RAIN AND SQUALLS TO PART OF THE TERRITORY.

Update Friday 10 August 2:30pm - blimey, after passing just below us yesterday, the damn thing disintegrated into a trough of low pressure, sat out at sea gathering strength, turned a full 180 degrees and is speeding directly towards us having intensified again into a tropical cyclone. The No. 8 signal has just been raised (2:30pm) and everyone has gone home. But I have a teleconference starting at 4:30pm, on 2008 budgets, so I have to wait. Let's hope I can get a taxi home afterwards!



After clipping the southern-most tip of Taiwan, our first storm of the year is inching towards us and is anticipated to be here overnight. Right now, Pabuk doesn't look to be too much of a serious threat and it is still classified as a severe tropical storm, not yet a typhoon, although that can change at short notice. Plus its present track will give us a direct hit.

I'm sitting here hoping the rain doesn't start too soon, as I left some windows open at home to air out my apartment after it was closed up for five days.

We could be in for a bit of a blow overnight, but the 'no work' signal (8 or higher) will possibly be down by the time we're to be at work tomorrow.


Update : Thursday morning dawned grey, wet and windy but only the No. 3 signal is up. Pabuk fizzled out as it rolled along the coast last night and disintegrated into a tropical depression as it passed underneath us a couple of hours ago. The other storm out there is now Taiwan-bound.

 

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