Plunging into 2020.

We’re just over a week into 2020. I hope the new year is off to a good start for you. Otherwise, Lunar New Year is just two weeks away!! – A second chance to start everything afresh so keep your chin up!

Our last few hours of 2019 were spent around Les’s dining table where we had to steamboats running to feed the 10 of us.

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We very nearly cleared everything off this table aside from a platter of beef and some chicken.

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It stirred up feelings of warmth and happiness being in the midst of the friends I love most and who stood by Florian and I through the heavy storms that 2019 brought to us. We’re still standing only because of them, and the family we are blessed to have.

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Aunty Phay got us an array of nyonya kueh for dessert that were handmade by an old lady. Aside from those, Elaine and Antoine brought two pithiviers from Paul’s.

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Not the prettiest but they were quite delicious with crisp puff pastry and almond cream that held a good dose of rum.

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I didn’t have the luck of finding mini Paul within my slice. YJ did though, and was reluctant King for the night. The other mini Paul managed to stay hidden that night. I’m sure Matthieu found him New Year’s morning if he had one of the two slices left for breakfast.

With five of them on Aussie time ie 3 hours ahead, having just arrived back the day before, and the other five of us just getting on in age, it was rather a struggle trying to keep our eyes open until midnight. We should have brought some games along but it slipped our minds – age! We did however, manage to keep up our conversation until 8 minutes to midnight when we turned on the tv and waited to count down.

Compared to New Year’s last year in Germany, this year was very tame and sophisticated. We clinked our champagne glasses (for those of us drinking), hugged, and wished each other the best in 2020. I can’t say which I liked better… If I had a choice, I’d love for my beloved friends to experience New Year’s in Germany one year with us – watching ‘Dinner For One’, eating raclette, playing berliner roulette, and shooting off fireworks at the stroke of midnight. That, will be cool.

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2020 so far has been pretty kind to me. I’ve been taking it easy, yet been busy enough with work without getting stressed over deadlines and influx of orders. A few days ago, we managed to stop by Dan and Cheryl’s new baby – Cherylscones. We managed to spend the afternoon catching up with them after 4? years. It’s good to see them looking well, with the buzz and energy needed for a budding business.

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Cheryl bakes the scones in-house every day, making both sweet and savoury ones. We had the pleasure of trying her cranberry scone, sea salt caramel scone, and lavender scone. All were not very sweet (her recipe uses less sugar and are eggless), with the dried fruit and caramel pieces respectively adding pockets of sweetness. Although eggless, they were so moist and fluffy on the inside, yet crisp on the outside after being toasted before serving. I thought her flavours were well balanced, especially the lavender one. Lavender, in baked goods, can tend towards being too floral and soapy-tasting. Cheryl’s lavender scones were perfect.

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We were also treated to ‘lalapuffs‘ made using puff pastries. These were addictive little bites perfect for snacking on or for little ones to nibble on. Dan and Cheryl tried to get us to try their freshly baked Rosemary Cheese scone but we were stuffed by then. So, we brought it home with us along with a box of assorted scones to share with friends. Everyone couldn’t help but gush over the scones. There is no doubt how much love and effort go into baking every one of them.

I’m already itching to return for their lunch sets where they serve savoury finger scones with a bowl of their heart soups. Their soups are are vegetarian-friendly. The curried potato vegetable one based on Dan’s Mum’s recipe, and wild mushroom soup look exceptionally enticing.

On the 3rd of January, I counted down the hours to meeting Florian after work ended. We had a simple dinner at The Daily Cut before taking a slow walk round Marina Bay to MBS where we were going to watch Cats! I cannot tell you how elated I was when I opened one of the Christmas presents he’d got for me and saw these tickets. I had no clue especially since I know Florian isn’t so much a fan of musicals.

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Only a day or two before Christmas, I asked Florian if he would go with me to watch Cats at the cinema. He was noncommittal but I figured I’d make him come round or simply watch it alone. Then, reviews came out with critics slamming the film. That put me off a little. That, and the realisation that the lead was being played by a celebrity I’m not particularly fond of. Yes, I only realised a while later because they were so well made-up I didn’t recognise her. Anyway, when I received the tickets for Cats the Musical, LIVE!, I couldn’t have been more ecstatic!

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Florian really spoiled me with an awesome view of the stage.

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At the intermission, we could have taken a picture with Old Deuteronomy but we went to get Florian some M&M’s and water from the food stand first. When we returned, my hemming and hawing stalled us a couple minutes so when we finally decided to join the queue, it had just been cut off two people ahead of us.

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Oh but really, Cats was really outstanding. For days after, I couldn’t get the jingle of the chorus to ‘Jellicle Cats‘ out of my head. And if that wasn’t playing, it was ‘Macavity, Macavity, There’s no one like Macavity.Grizabella sang ‘Memory‘ so well I teared up. Florian and I went on spotify to listen to Memory again but somehow, the ones on that soundtrack doesn’t sound half as good. And Nicole Scherzinger’s version was just… don’t bother.

I am so thankful for being so blessed coming into 2020. I have a wonderful husband who loves me and treats me well. I cannot ask for more. I am blessed with great, supportive parents and a caring brother. I pray that my brother continues to be happy this coming year, and secretly, wish the same thing for him as my grandmother does. And I am blessed with the best friends no money can buy. I believe that the year ahead will be an incredibly one simply because we have each other. Whatever will be, will be. We will be more than okay.

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