My glass slippers

Not many shoes fit me. Only two brands have never given me any problems. I owned two pairs of black Ferragamo’s Aubrey shoes a long time ago but never kept up with the ownership after they broke.

I own some flats which I leave under the work table. I wear sneakers and change into the flats if there are meetings to go to. Before the sneakers, it was vibram 5 fingers. An ex CEO use to be rather bothered by them. Being the perfect gentleman that he is, other than polite inquiries about their comfort he never said anything else.


The Crown


If any further evidence were needed to prove that we are a changed country than this is it. It’s all changed so quickly. Within a generation. Just 15 minutes ago, the British government and establishment were up in arms about my joining this family. I was a royal prince from a royal house. My great-great-grandmother was Queen Victoria. My father was a prince, my grandfather was a king and everyone was mortified at how inappropriate I was and how low you were stooping. I mean this fella’s mother is a ghastly social climber. His father’s a common-or-garden contract lawyer who buggered off with an airline stewardess and everyone’s throwing their hats in the air, declaring its a victory. Pathetic.

Prince Philip, The Crown, Season 2 Episode 7


Brought To You By The Letter F

It is not the word flower that my son wrote in the inner page of his homework that got him into trouble.

Accordingly, I over-reacted. We both did. Kid is eight. What business does he have with swear words? We already freaked out once, when called younger child names. (The word used was not doll-face.) He said he heard it from older boys in school who use it all the time. Why can’t he use it, he wept. Later on, he told on his sister. She used something other than freckles ubiquitous in telling her brother to be quiet. He said she learnt it from her 12 year old friend.

Whatever your leanings on this topic, indulge me. He is 8. His sister is 7. We did not allow screen time when they were small – we don’t have a television set at home. Older, I vet their youtube watching. Why are older kids letting younger kids hang around them? I remember we were barely ok with someone a year younger. Two years younger, we think they are babies.

At about 14, I was reading my aunts’ books I was introduced to adults using bad words. Using them requires friends to be of similar vocab – I am introverted and my friends are unworldly. This was different when I turned 17 and got myself more sophisticated friends.

You call your mum a [seaside], I asked, incredulous.

All the time, replied my friend.

She let you, I asked in wonder.

It’s just a word, she said airily.

I totally fell for it.

I am now 44 and can tell it is rubbish talk. Most of all, Aunty is a church going kindergarten teacher. The probability of [seaside] being “just-a-word” is really slim. From then, I had friends to practice these cool new terms with and usage flowered. We were not using these words at work or randomly swearing at parents, strangers, parents and neighbours. Just amongst ourselves.

When we all had children, it stopped. It was hard to eradicate them but I succeeded. (Mr TCM doesn’t use any of these words. I am the potty mouth in the house.) Except for the odd occasion when I burnt myself cooking, or I had forgotten a very important work requirement. I cleaned myself up.

I have no doubt, that after a while they will know the context to use it. They will also clean up their potty mouth eventually. Yes it could be worse. They could be sarcastic and cynical. At this point, I am not ready to handle little children who maybe calling their moms, a beach.

Bullet Journal

During one of the highest stress points while I was working from home, I discovered bullet journal from youtube. My favourite to watch is Plant Based Bride because I love all that gold colour she puts in the journal. I also used her rolling weekly spread for my work. Journal Away has beautiful drawings in her journal. I enjoy her channel for the art.

I was really stressed in March because the kids were home for a bit. I was doing a lot of meal planning on top trying to keep up with kids homework. I had to work. My journal was a mess then because it had the kids work, my work, the food for the day (meals + snack).

In April, before the circuit breaker kicked in, I bought a planner for their homework. I planned, my husband executed. I made homework and snack breaks my husband’s job. I only did main meals.

I was still stressed in April and May but there was a bit more order in my journal – it was all about work. My tasks list for work was endless. I ran out space on the notebook. I put June in a new notebook. After a few months of experimenting I got into a groove.

I discovered that planning to the gills made me more anxious. So I started leaving weekends out from the planner. I was working on weekends but unscheduled time made me felt less stressed up.

I liked having a time sheet to blocking out my meetings. I was trying to figure out why I wasn’t completing a particular project and started to track my time. I did not magically find more hours. I realised that empty slots were filled up with other work, eg emails, work discussion, thinking, etc. I am trying to be more goal oriented but my time seem somewhat dictated by urgent business for that day. I stopped being fixated with the idea that I must accomplish big goals only. These urgent businesses were part of my job.

I started out a page a day. It took up a lot of pages. Midway through I switched to a rolling weekly list which felt tidier.

This is a great system for completing things. There is something that I find it hard to keep track of – that is my completed work. Some of my completed work will be brought up again for fine tuning because some one else has seen it and need to include their point of view. My work life has a lot of those moments. Without penciling the completed work I don’t have a list of what I have done for the month, especially if my time is spent on urgent business of the day. Penciling in doesn’t really show up in a neat way so I’m still trying to figure it out.

The other thing that I thought I could but eventually gave up was having thinking notes in the same book as the journal. It was impossible to reference any of my meeting notes because even though I had pages, everything was in a mess. I gave up and split notes and planners into different books and I felt that was more orderly.

Home, working from it, other ruminations Work From Home

I am trying to recover from having immediately turned into a shrek like hue. One director just casually bragged that he had dropped 20 to 30kg and he completed writing a book.

My victories are small scale. I got to watch TV. I subscribed Netflix. I got to have adult conversations with my husband after the children go to bed. Working from home meant I don’t dress up and paint my face. I got a normal lifestyle during Covid.

When will my kids are not old enough? Would a normal lifestyle be achievable before the aches and pains set in? Or is it that I choose to overwork (easier) instead of losing that 20kgs and writing a book (harder).


3.26 蔡康永:做更好的自己