My body is my temple

I’m a real cheapskate. There was a yoga class on at the gym and I was going to go, but wanted to use the treadmill first, so I called to find out the cost.

£3.90 for yoga and £2.30 for the gym. EGADS. £6.20?! That’s over S$18!!! For less than two hours* at the leisure centre? That’s daylight robbery, that is. So I decided to walk the 20 minutes to the gym and think about running another day (and I’m on the brink of yet another cold).

My impression of my first yoga classI got to the leisure centre a little early, and the taekwondo class was still using the squash court where the yoga class would be held, so I waited outside the main hall for Carene, who was taking the Salsacise class before yoga. Now, I didn’t see any Salsa happening in the dying moments of the class, and techno is NOT salsa. Other people may enjoy these led aerobics classes, but I am not co-ordinated. There are years of incontrovertible empirical evidence to support this theory. The other really negative thing about this class was the instructor was waaaaaay too perky — after an hour of bopping around I don’t need perky to remind me how unfit I am.

So. Yoga. Things started out great when the instructor said she’d been listening to Marilyn Manson. Not one of those Zen fakers. I like. She took us through a ‘relaxing’ session, which, at one point, involved headstands while balancing our knees on our elbows (I managed a one-second headstand — wahey!). There were lots of poses (not that I could ever catch the names of any of them) that I think were complicated by my gangly arms and legs**.

My favourite part (well, the bit that made me giggle — not focused!) was when we were sitting cross-legged with our hands on our knees, palms up, and the instructor said, “Say to yourself, My body is my temple.”

Neil usually says that when he buys sugary baked goods. Or chocolate.

So I think I’ll go back to the yoga class, as it’s on twice a week (I’ll go on one of the two days). Hopefully I’ll get better at it, and it’ll help me with my flexibility and stretch me out after running.

About the running. Neil identified an open, well-lit route along the main streets of our neighbourhood well before I arrived in Scotland. I’ve jogged it a couple of times, and while the distance is ideal (just under two km per lap), something’s not quite right about it. I think I need to be able to KNOW exactly how long I have run, and to be able to do my version of speed training according to specific distances. There is a running track on the other end of town (it’s actually too far to walk there and back by any practical means), so I’m going to try and visit this evening to see what time the gates get locked. If I can get in an hour’s go at the track, three times a week, I will be a happy girl.

Update: I just called the club that owns the track. Access to the track is only available during the day. This entire country is set up to be a disincentive to work, I swear.

* That’s really all the time I can manage.
** I’m gangly for a short person.

The totally typical Singaporean post about food

Wow, I really miss seafood.

I’m eating an M&S pasta salad with prawns and tomatoes, and I MISS EATING PRAWNS on a regular basis. And crab (soft! shell! crab!) and mussels and stingray and crayfish and pomfret and clams and squid and cuttlefish (NOT battered calamari).

My mum suffers from an ailment I’ll call Food Fatigue. She’s fed up with trying to think of new things to eat because her disease is a particularly aggressive strain, it’s Fatigued Of Eating The Same Food More Than One Day In A Row Or Even Twice In The Same Month. She would probably D-I-E if she had to take on my daily diet, which consisted of a sandwich every weekday for three months, and I’ve just swapped to salads every weekday a fortnight ago.

I don’t think I’m difficult to please in the food department; I’m just as happy eating the second- or third-best _____ in town rather than queueing up for ages to get a bowl or plate of the best. Everything is good, unless it is bad enough to make me physically ill. For this reason restaurants should PAY me to be a reviewer and I’ll be set up for life.

Oh wait. I don’t like coconut. At all. Unless it’s in curry. Coconut juice taste like warm diluted seawater with a bit of sugar added. Dessicated coconut tastes and feels like bits of plastic raffia.

Yeah. I had a point I wanted to make. Which is.

Although I’m not generally too fussy about food (well, fussy for a Singaporean but a practically a gastronome here in the UK), I, too, am beginning to feel Food Fatigue. Lunches are, as I’ve described, sandwiches or salads (i.e. foods not requiring any sort of cooking or long preparation), and dinners are baked pastas or dry chicken or overly salty fry ups or meatballs and pasta or soggy fish. Complaining about someone else’s cooking is really not my style, so I’m feeling some mega guilt at not being able to finish my dinner because I’m bored with it.

There are days when I long for the soy sauce chicken wings, corned beef fried rice, half-boiled eggs with a dash of Maggi Seasoning, Teochew-style steamed fish (with all the bones!), even stir-fried broccoli (boiled mushy broccoli just doesn’t do it for me) or pork rib and winter melon soup. Or the Saturday arvo special, rice porridge with tofu ‘cheese’ and boiled peanuts.

I need a slow cooker.

I miss seafood.

Just having a decent service would be better

Public transport doesn’t have to be free, it has to be comprehensive in order to be an effective alternative. I am more than willing to pay a fair sum to get access to regular, efficient, and punctual trains and buses*. The problem is Scotland is so spread out, and getting affordable service to remote areas is going to be a major issue. I shudder to think how much it will cost to extend commuter services to the back of beyond, even in Central Scotland.

* For instance, the £96 I would pay per month for a ZoneCard is fair AS LONG AS the bloody train arrives when it should and isn’t stuck waiting for a platform at Glasgow Central for ten minutes in the morning. Or make my connection a more frequent service. Hell, make the first leg of my journey a more frequent service.

We don’t have a dark side

The Singapore government is banning a documentary on a former political detainee, citing its “distorted and misleading” portrayal as possibly undermining confidence in the government.

Said Zahari was arrested in 1963 and held without trial for 17 years under the Internal Security Act. The Singapore government says all copies of the documentary, filmed by Martyn See (no relation, although I have communicated with him via e-mail in the past), are to be handed in by Wednesday.

According to the government, the documentary seeks to clear him of “his involvement in activities against Singapore”:

“The Government will not allow people who had posed a security threat to the country in the past, to exploit the use of films to purvey a false and distorted portrayal of their past actions and detention by the Government. This could undermine public confidence in the Government.”

We’ve always been at war with Eastasia.

I continue to be puzzled at why the government is so incredibly insecure that only THEIR view can be published. If there hasn’t been any sort of organic development of a credible opposition (because of a lack of fertiliser, or perhaps fertiliser is being reserved only for pro-PAP views — aren’t you loving the gardening puns), surely confidence in government could stand an airing of history that deviates somewhat from the official line?

Said Zahari has always denied the accusations. Surely a 78-year old should be given the chance to present his side of the story? Are Singaporeans not able to weigh differing opinions and come to their own conclusions? Are we not supposed to?

Or are we to deny that in getting to our current stage of development, Singapore has endured some rather dark periods — and not only the ones the government uses to justify the ISA. We’re not a fucking theme park (with tax breaks, hubs, and -polises for investment).

This is what disappoints me when I think of all the positive things about Singapore and why it’s a good place to live. Why can differences of opinion not be tolerated and openly debated? Is our social order so fragile that an alternative view of a historical event* cannot be broadcast?

The government likes to trumpet its record in creating social, racial, and religious harmony. If something this minor could destabilise order, the real record must be kind of shite.

See Said Zahari’s 17 Years trailer on YouTube.

Note: zero results (as of 11/4) when searching for Said Zahari on both the Media Development Authority and Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts sites.

* It’s intensely personal as well — it’s not as though Pak Said and Martyn See are denying the Holocaust.

Because I WANT the Ingterbloogoenvirons to be just like real life

Hell no, a code of conduct is a bad idea. If other people want to sign up to it that’s their business, but there is no way I would be comfortable being pressured into displaying one of those badges just to make nice with the PC police. I have to make nice all fucking day as it is, and I already know how to behave online and offline, so why the fuck should I let a code of conduct, authored by a stranger, keep things pleasant around here?

If commenters and other bloogers don’t know how to behave, that’s their social ineptitude, not mine.

Rotten, rotten idea. Possibly the worst there has been in a while.

41:01

The Tom Scott Race was very well-attended, there were HUNDREDS of people there. I recognised at least one face from the Oxygen Deficit 10k — they were doing the 10-mile race. The bloke who won the Oxygen Deficit didn’t win this time round, I don’t think.

The route was the same length, but different from the St Andrew’s Hospice charity race a fortnight ago. And it was marked in miles, which made it a lot harder (psychologically). I prefer seeing markers more frequently. When they are so few and far between, my mind is screaming, HOW MUCH LONGER, DAMMIT?

But I finished it without walking at any point, and although the old bloke I thought would be very embarrassing to lose to did beat me (he stop-started, but his starting was faster). I beat the young guy, though (he attempted and succeeded on one occasion to pass me, but fell back soon after), and I wasn’t last.

(No picture because Neil got bored as this is the third time at Strathclyde Park and I forgot the camera. I was number 817.)

What are you doing for Easter?

Today is the day before Good Friday (er, Maundy Thursday?). Live seafood in the, er, sea muct be quaking in their boots (if fish were inclined to wear boots — I bet they would if they had legs… actually, they’d wear flippers) because, as we all know, Catholics can’t eat meat on Good Friday (how come fish meat isn’t considered meat? Are fish non-believers? If someone ate mountain oysters could they argue that it wasn’t really meat?).

I’m at work, and have realised the golden rule: do not save all your work on the network drive in case your own PC dies, only to have the network itself D-I-E and the network administrator go on Easter holidays a day early. It’s been three hours, and only the bloke who kept his computer on and network files open overnight has any sort of access.

There’s only so much you can do when your entire job is dependent on access to the company network.

DaffodilsSo let’s talk about the weather. Scotland has been seeing stellar, superstar weather over the past week — blue skies, warm sun, and light breezes. It’s absolutely gorgeous out. I’ve seen what look like a blanket of cherry blossoms on many trees, the daffodils are springing up every-freaking-where, and I feel so lucky the one allergy I do not suffer is hayfever.

I’m filled with anticipation for the weekend ahead. If the weather keeps up, I envision bouncing around in the fields, surrounded by spring meadows (the reality is everything is covered in dog shit so bouncing around will be replaced with trading very carefully). Since Glasgow Central is going to be closed and all trains will terminate at Motherwell, we’ll only be able to get to towns via a limited and overly expensive bus network. Unless we drive, which we might if the car gets serviced quickly.

The bingMaybe we’ll go walk on the bings! And fall through and burn to death!

There might be crafting. I’ve got loads of projects on the go or in planning. I’ve got an idea for new amigurumi avians I want to try. I’ve got toys to make, shrugs to crochet.

I’m going to be back at Strathclyde Park on Sunday for the Tom Scott Race. Wish me luck, since I’ve only done a wee bit of running over the last two weeks.

It’s also actually a bit tempting to go to church, since Easter is one of two times Mass isn’t constantly reminding us how guilty we should be feeling over letting Our Lord and Saviour die for us, since he just rose from The Dead in The Miracle that is the… er… Resurrection (forgot what it was called there for a moment). I remember Holy Saturdays being about kissing The Feet Of The Jesus. I coulda caught oral herpes from that, but I didn’t. Not gonna tempt fate there.