#21 Race Backward

Hey there. I remember the strange mix of feelings at the upclimb of this virus. I was worried and hopeful. I was hoping that the poles would stop melting, air cleaner, people thoughtful. Maybe life would be better for all. None of that happened. But life has gotten better for me.

My activity zone has been restricted to areas within 5km walk of my apartment block, with no rest stop. Panic turned into acceptance then into attention. It's like the difference of seeing in a foreign country by air vs train vs bus vs horse. Vantage and speed altered what I can see or hear. The areas enlarged because of the time I give them. Or did I enlarge because of the time I gave myself?

Time became irrelevant during this period. I did everything according to what is natural to me and I'd like to carry this attitude forward. Despite the increasing confirmed covid cases, most local operations are back to normal, I'm again feeling shoved into a packed train, heading to where-everybody-is. I’m paddling like a maniac, against the flow to maintain distance.


This week I borrowed a bunch of picture books and here are my favs.

Elizabeth Queen of the Seas

A story about an elephant seal in New Zealand, finding her way back to the city, away from others her kind. I love the story. I see in her persistence and the conviction of where one belongs.

Niko Draws a Feeling

Niko doesn’t draw what he sees, he draws what he feels. Misunderstood but did not change himself for others. Like Elizabeth the seal, he believes in his own truth and stood strong.


2 kitties born and avail for adoption this week. The neighbourhood walk abound with ‘community cats’ has given me a lot of inspirations. But unlike cat made in years before this, they are more bumpy and uneven in proportion and size. Looks like I’m finally mimicking life.

A tortoise / terrapin is sitting in corner contemplating life, refuses the burden of a shell.

These beakies, too, are waiting for adoption.

See a match? Give them a home. Visit the noisybeak online shop.


Talkie Walkie by Air

Detached and evocative, alternating from looking inward and out.


Midnight Diner

I’m finally into season 3. Still about strangers connecting in a mundane diner in a corner of Tokyo, the stories are more disjointed, some with less of a point. I wouldn’t have liked it last year, but do now. I have come to acknowledge sometimes things just happen without a point.


Some recipes are so simple yet delicious I feel stupid for slogging away at others. Then again, they may be easy to execute, but the strategic ingredient-match plus good grasp of heat and time takes years of knowledge and practise. Thankful for the connected web I get to ride on the waves of other people’s perspiration. Anyway Shimla Mirch ki Sabji, capsicum potatoes, is my favourite recipe this week. I gobbled it with stewed lentil and roti bread.

That’s all this week. See you the next, marn.

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