• Opening the Gates of Hell
    It is that time of year again for the Gates of Hell to open so the souls of the dead can once again roam the earth. If you are in Singapore at this time of the year you will come across food and other offerings in the street for example mandarins, roasted pig, bowls of rice and especially made Chinese cake.  It is considered very bad luck (and disrespectful) if you happen to be on your way home from a...
  • Sayang ah! (Such a pity!)
    Watching TV and movies in Singapore, in particular the kind of shows we like is an art form thanks to the rigours of Singaporean censorship laws. Swear words, even words the average person might no longer consider a swear word like bloody or Hell are edited as are scenes involving sex, drugs or violence. Quite often we’re left staring blankly and confused as a scene jumps inexplicably over the good parts to something more acceptable, thankfully or we would be...
  • What are we working for here at our lessons...
    I’ve just returned from a trip to my hometown of Rockhampton (Queensland, Australia) to celebrate 35 years since we, my girls and I, finished our senior year at the Rockhampton Girls’ Grammar School . But it was a celebration of much more than that. What we know now but didn’t appreciate then – we were in a hurry to be done and out of there – is that we had just spent five years of our lives in a confined...
  • It is the time, the place, the motion
    Back in 1978 when Grease was the word, I was on a school tour bussing our way around Tasmania . Grease the movie had just come out and like everyone else in the day we were obsessed with it, in particular, the music, featuring our very own Olivia Newton-John as Sandy. The soundtrack went into the bus cassette player and stayed there on repeat for 10 days. Imagine how traumatised that poor bus driver would have been by the end...
  • Life in the tropics
    We're celebrating, again, still. Today marks 10 years since we left our home in Sydney, Australia to live overseas for what was meant to be a two-year assignment. We never left, and in 2011 we were granted Permanent Residency.
    It is hard to comprehend that a decade has passed. This is the longest we have now spent in any one place including our hometown of Rockhampton post-marriage. We could not have imagined then that we would be living permanently and...
  • Rainy days and Mondays
    In just a few weeks, we will celebrate 10 years living in Singapore. When we left Sydney in 2004 for a 2-year assignment we never expected to still be here a decade later. It is not the same place today as it was then but at every stage, I have loved it. Today, it is, if I might quote Ryan Tedder from One Republic, “the most badass futuristic city in the world.” I don’t think there is any other country...
  • Pavlov says jump
    Next week we’ll be into March. That means a whopping 17% of the year is now history and I didn’t even notice it passing. This is completely contrary to my grand plan to turn off auto-pilot and engage with life on a daily basis. I want to be conscious of the beauty of life that is everywhere (as opposed to The News), conscious of how I devote my thoughts and time, and to look at people I pass in the...
  • The trouble with Leigh is...
    My name, Leigh, means meadow, which is a curious meaning to apply to a person although I do like the outdoors. Leigh and Lee are the same and traditionally, Leigh was for boys and Lee was for girls, but that does not seem to apply anymore, and obviously I have the boy's spelling and I am not. 
    I have never thought much about my name—it’s not an unusual name and it is recognizable in the west, but in Singapore it presents some...
  • Pedestrian etiquette
    I love living in Singapore as everyone knows, and have practically nothing to complain about, except for one major gripe—pedestrian etiquette. Since I do not have a car (I don't need one plus they are horrendously expensive here) this affects me every day. There is no pedestrian etiquette in Singapore, as there is in Australia, and in case you are not familiar with the protocol, I'll explain. 
    Sidewalks, or footpaths as we call them in Australia, are generally wide enough for two people to pass...
  • Miami without the vice

    I'm just back from a quick trip halfway around the world to Miami, Florida to attend and present at the  Readers' Favorite Book Awards ceremony  and accompanying events. Thank you to James Ventrillo and Debra Gaynor for their kind invitation! Debra also presented me with the gold medal won for Being Anti-Social at the 2012 awards program (Chick Lit category).


    Although it was a long trip, it was well worth it and I came away having met some wonderful people and...

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