Just do your best, David!

On our living room, we have this piece framed up, to remind us that hard work matters. There’s a verse in the Bible that goes “… suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5: 3-4)

Hard work doesn’t always translate into success and achievement, but hard work has value in and of its own, and that’s one of the values we try to intentionally inculcate in the boys. And when school is the topic, there’s definitely lots of room for talking about what hard work looks like and why it matters.

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Progress, not perfection

Last week, I attended the first of five watercolour classes conducted by local watercolour artist Tam Kwan Yuen. This week, we had our second class. We started off with a (according to him, “quite simple”) bunny, and I was quite happy with the finished result.

This week’s challenge – a mountain-valley landscape piece – was significantly harder for us, and I was somewhat not satisfied with my end product. But I think it’s a good kind of dissatisfaction that spurs me on to want to keep trying to get better at my craft.

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WICKED | Gravity defyingly good

1460707266537After a whirlwind few weeks of events, workshops and meet-ups with various ones, I was thankful for a relaxing evening out with my girlfriend E last night. And what better show to catch than WICKED, a story that revolves around the lives of two women who are as different as chalk and cheese, and whose journeys are inextricably linked – for good.


As a multiple award-winning Broadway musical phenomenon, WICKED tells the story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two girls, golden-haired Glinda and social outcast green-skinned Elphaba. The girls first meet as sorcery students at Shiz University in their youth. From there, due to a series of (un)fortunate events, their lives take very different paths, eventually leading them to fulfil their destinies as Glinda the Good and the Wicked Witch of the West. But lest you be lulled into thinking that this is just a feel-good show about Good triumphing over Evil, you should know that that’s not the case. In fact, WICKED reminds us, in most poignant and heartfelt fashion, that things are often not what they seem…

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Little drummer boy


It’s been well over a year since the boy stopped learning piano. For those who haven’t been following this blog for long, here’s the summary of events:

Two years ago, Boy announced he wanted to learn piano | Boy began private piano lessons with mummy’s friend | Boy realised playing the piano is not as easy as it looks | Mummy realised driving across the island with two noisy boys in the backseat during peak hour traffic once a week is headache-inducing and blood-pressure raising | Boy was very restless in class | Boy wasn’t keen to continue with piano lessons | Neither was Mummy | Mummy didn’t want to force boy to learn music, because she believes that the best musicians love their art, and that love can’t be manufactured through discipline | But Mummy nevertheless wanted Boy to understand the value of hard work and perserverance | Boy stopped formal piano lessons | Mummy decided to continue teaching Boy herself until the beginners music book was finished | Many tears of frustration and hi-fives later, it was done | No talk of music lessons until late last year when the family caught a band’s performance at the Esplanade | Since March this year, Boy began asking for drum lessons | Daddy and Mummy decided to wait this time and see if it was a passing interest | Six months later, David begins drum lessons proper

Phew, that was a longer summary than I expected! 😉

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When David met Annie

Annie Heidi Gray

Long before I could fully appreciate the wonders of live theatre, my heart was stolen by the likes of Holly Golightly, the Artful Dodger and Little Orphan Annie, thanks to the wonderful world of rental VCDs. It has been a good 15 years since I first watched the 1982 recording of ANNIE, and I was excited to see how the musical would bring this familiar classic to new life on the stage, for a whole new generation of viewers…

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I’ve got you


Ten years ago, a group of us were invited to attend and lead worship at an international missions conference in the region. As I was serving in a music ministry at the time, it wasn’t an unusual request or the first time that I was part of such an event, but it is only years later that I am beginning to understand what a truly watershed experience it was for me.

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