I have not had much sleeping luck over the past week. This, of course, is my own fault for having had TEN HOURS’ unbroken on my first night in Bangkok, and then stopping every single person who walked past to tell them about it. Smug comes before a fall, etc. The following night I was too full of drink to sleep properly, and then it was home and the usual bed-hopping / night-terrors / marauding cats etc. And – HORROR - on Thursday night I was woken up when an INSECT CRAWLED INTO MY EAR. (2am found me in the bathroom googling “what to do if you have an insect burrowing into your brain”.) Apparently it happens, which was not the reassurance I was looking for at all. And worse, the main culprits are those small cockroaches which are everywhere here (including, now, my ear).
Anyway. Today has been a day of good decisions. First I made this:
for breakfast - warm banana bread with bananas, butterscotch sauce and cream (practically health food) which I sold to the kids as “breakfast dessert”. (Not the best picture, admittedly; the Boy had scoffed his and was demanding seconds, but the only seconds left were my firsts, so he got half my breakfast). Buy the banana bread, cut the bananas, spoon over the cream, and make the butterscotch sauce from scratch: In a pan melt about 4 heaped tablespoons of butter with 5 (I know, just don’t think about it) heaped tablespoons of brown sugar. Stir like mad until completely melted then add 100ml or so heavy cream. Stir and stir and stir, then leave to boil - about 5 minutes of bubbling with the occasional stir. Add a good pinch of sea salt and, if you like vanilla, a teaspoon or so of decent extract. Stir, then set aside and leave to cool, while you heat slices of banana bread, chop bananas and chop some nuts you’ve had sitting in the cupboard for a few months, which even the hamster won’t eat. Assemble, serve, and take a bow. (Then sit down to your half portion and realise your resolution to metaphorically [although I assume also literally, if it came to it] fit your own oxygen mask first has, once again, failed).
Then I decided we needed to sweat off all that butter and sugar, and so we dragged the kids (and visiting Grandparents) to one of Singapore’s outlying islands. It was unexpectedly fabulous! At best I was hoping for somewhere to kill a few hours and remove them from the tv, but – no cars! Bicycles! Monkeys! Miles and miles and miles of traffic-free roads and lanes and paths, all through thick jungle, all powered by our own shaking legs. Tremendous. (Truth be told I got totally carried away and wouldn’t stop, ending my two-hour jaunt by bringing first the Girl and then the Boy on the back of my bike on a panting adventure, up jungle-hills and down jungle-dales. I am now shaking involuntarily and my legs no longer work.) Here look:
I appreciate that it looks even less impressive than this morning’s breakfast, HOWEVER. We are starved – STARVED! – of both space and peace&quiet here. There’s no such thing as a country lane in Singapore, and cycling with kids here is tantamount to parental negligence (unless they learned to cycle on the Motorway For The Blind And Insane, in which case they’ll be fine). So despite the humidity (about 178%) and the heat (41 degrees. Yes, Celsius.) it was blissful and we all had a wonderful time. (Well, I did, and that’s what counts, right?)
I’ll leave you with this, which my sister sent me – because I am now Crazy Cat Lady – and it made me laugh like a drain: (sorry, I have no idea how to incorporate videos onto this. Just click on the link.)
PS: Apparently there is some convention for Cat Internet people somewhere soon. Where do I sign up?