And I cut his hair again yesterday! He says he prefers me to cut it instead of going to a hairdresser shop because he doesn’t want to wear a bib.
Today, K decided that he wanted to spend the money he’s earned since P1. He’s taken such a long time to get here because we don’t allow him to save his pocket money from school. That’s strictly reserved for eating and anything that’s unused gets rolled over to the next day. Some of the money he has earned was from a good boy chart last year. But we’re phasing out those charts at home and instead we have a system where he earns money from us. 10 cents for vacuuming the house or mopping the kitchen. 10 cents for reading every 60 pages of a chapter book. Sometimes he wheedles 10 or 20 cents from KL for putting in a lot of effort in Chinese or for completing some challenging Math assignments, though I’m not really keen to give him money for school-related work that he’s supposed to be doing anyway.
Money is quite hard to come by for him, so he’s v careful when it comes to spending his own money. Look at his serious face when he’s counting his money! Needless to say, he was exceedingly happy with his new toy! And he was generous enough to get a water gun for T from Daiso =)
Mr Bored ended school early and has been home since 11am. He’s been told NOT to talk to me because I’m busy with my own work. He’s only going out to play at 3pm so in the meantime, he’s finishing his homework, playing with his SG50 lego, painting, eating … and entertaining himself with a slew of out-of-focus selfies!
Brought the boys to Gardens by the Bay last weekend to catch the aerial and fireworks display. They were quite hungry when we got there, and between the two of them they polished off a box of rice that their por por packed, satay, chicken wings and ice kachang.
We honestly could not have found a better home in Central London. The quality of the accommodation was very good, and so were the facilities. The rent was very reasonable for Central London standards. Most importantly, we all enjoyed the time we spent at the college. Boys would hang out in the play rooms during the colder months and hang out in the garden during the warmer months. Boys also started piano lessons at the college, and they love their music teacher to bits. As a family, we all made a lot of friends, some of whom we’ll continue to meet when we’re back in Singapore.
Bye, Goodenough College! Thanks for the wonderful memories!
This is where I’ve been spending most of my weekdays in the past year! The Maughan Library is 15 minutes away from the boys’ school and I spend 5 hours a day, 4 days a week here whenever they’re in school.
The external facade of the building is quite cool, it dates back to the 19th Century! There’s also an awesome looking reading room on the ground floor that always seems to be crowded. Anyway I’ve never done my work there because I’m always parked in the computer labs. Love the 23 inch touch screen monitors that are in the lab! Writing is more pleasant and fun when it’s done on a huge screen!
K busied with playing ball. And shooting arrow straws from a small wooden bow he made in the morning at a children’s film club activity.
All the Year 3 – 6 students in K’s school were involved in a school production last week. They were supposed to interpret Benjamin Britten’s Ten Pieces, which is a short play about a community of people who have to face a storm from the sea. The entire production was very creative. Students apparently wrote the script, choreographed the dances, and composed the music, under the teachers’ supervision of course. K was involved with the artwork, and he’s proud of the collage that he made!
KL is really efficient. It’s only been a few days since he’s back and he got us a car already! It’s a 6 year old car and I’m calling it bumblebee for now because it looks so yellow in the picture he sent me!
As for me and K, we’ve been keeping busy exercising, reading and meeting friends for meals in our last two weeks here. K doesn’t like going to the museums as much as T so we’ve been heading outdoors to play ball and jog instead. K’s also finishing up his last few days in school. And while he’s home, he’s trying his best to read and review a couple of library books he has on hand. It’s for a program with the local library that encourages children to read over the summer with stickers/certificates/medals given out to the readers. K loves freebies and he hopes to get a medal by next week before we fly home.
Nothing too special for T’s last three days in London. He went to school as usual, and his classmates gave him a big card and plenty of arty-crafty gifts to say goodbye. Luckily everything could be squeezed into his luggage. On his last day at school, we also met with his class teacher to chat about his progress this term. She said that he’s been visibly happier and more confident in interacting with his friends. He has good literacy and numeracy skills. Unfortunately, he also has a really stubborn streak that needs to be corrected. He refuses to write beyond what he thinks it’s sufficient for whatever work he’s doing, and he will stubbornly stick to his decision even if it eats into his playtime. That’s exactly the problem we face when it’s weekend homework time. He is interested in many subjects, he knows a lot of things (through the educational videos that he loves to watch on YouTube), he’s perfectly capable of writing these things down on his homework book, but he just refuses to write it most of the time. I wonder how that will pan out next year when he’ll be forced to write a lot in P1. Speaking of P1, we’ve not registered him yet and intend to do so in end July at the very last phase for Singaporeans.
Anyway, T has certainly grown so much in the past few months that he’s spent in London. He looks so different from the babyish boy who accompanied me here last year! He’ll probably shock his grandparents when they see him this weekend.
We love the London Science Museum. It’s our favourite place to be on weekends, and no other place comes even close. There are so many exhibits to visit, so many games to play, so many activities to take part in. And T’s favourite strawberry ice cream too!
The museum shop is also where we go to when the boys need to spend their pounds earned on their good boy charts. I like it that the toys are a bit different from the usual ones you find at toy stores. K got himself a mystery UFO yesterday and he’s been happy to show off how that UFO can spin and be controlled without actually touching it and without batteries!
1 July 2015 is the hottest day the UK has ever seen in 12 years! The mid-day temperature was a sweltering 35 degrees just now. Boys were dry when I sent them to school but totally drenched in sweat when I picked them up.
T had a nosebleed in school yesterday, a nosebleed after school today and another nosebleed at bedtime. He usually clots within 5 minutes, so he loses a lot less blood than K. But because T is always very slow in telling us that he’s bleeding, we end up with a lot of blood-stained tops, bottoms and bed sheets to wash!
Looks like they’ll have a hard time adjusting to the weather in Singapore, because 30+ degrees is the norm and not the exception back home!
Yay, last month of cooking for me! I’m very sure I’ll not be cooking so much in Singapore because the boys can get most of their weekday meals settled at malls/markets/foodcourts and most of their weekend meals settled at their grandparents’ place. We might eat Japanese and Korean food more often though, because the boys do like their teriyaki salmon, bulgogi, katsu and sushi.
Those are my meals. Prawns and spinach are staple food items in my fridge. They pop up in almost every meal that I eat at home!
We’re going back to Singapore very soon, so today we decided to visit as many city sights as we can. Those that we managed to see were the Museum of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, Big Ben, St James’ Park, Trafalgar Square, British Museum. That’s a whooping 9km on foot! I’m sure that’s the longest distance the boys have ever walked in a day. We took our own sweet time though, and along the way the boys caught a movie at the Barbican, had hamburgers for lunch, and jostled with tons of people at an LGBT parade (much to KL’s aghast).
For every nice shot we get, there’ll be a few more rubbish shots where T will be photobombing us. He looks hilarious dragging my bag and walking nonchalantly across the background!
This blog features a lot of pics of the boys looking happy. However, off the camera K has many emotional and jealous moments in a day. He couldn’t control his jealousy when I told him to leave the photo so that me and T could take one by ourselves.
And I must rave about T’s latest haircut. Two days ago when I wanted to cut his hair, I couldn’t find the one and only comb we own here. So I used a fork to help me with the haircut. Phew, luckily the fork did a good job! My mum says that she’ll never allow me to cut the boys’ hair again in Singapore, lol!
Had a chance to visit K’s classroom today. There are lots of things stuck on the walls and windows as you’ll expect of a learning space. The classroom is also chock-full of books and supplies because students are not required to bring any to school. Everything they’ll need for learning is supplied for them by the school. Even though the UK education system is known to be monolingual, some schools do expose their children to other languages. In K’s class, they learn basic French and basic Makaton (which is a sign language).
Spotted a number of K’s works on the walls and windows too. The portrait of the lady in the middle is ME! Although I don’t think it looks like me at all, lol!
We found this little gem of a place on TripAdvisor. It’s the tiniest science centre we’ve ever been to because the entire centre amounts to only ONE room. That said, the exhibits are mind boggling good. K’s favourite was the ball run. He spent more than an hour at the metal wall fixing tubes and magnets to make just a path to bring pong balls across the wall to an end point.
T’s favourite was the earthquake towers. He too spent more than an hour building and re-building magnetic structures. The strength of his structures are tested by pressing a button to activate the “earthquake” and turning dials to make the quake stronger/faster. T still fears dying in an earthquake or volcanic eruption very much, so it makes him very happy whenever he builds a structure that survives an “earthquake”.
It’s our first time taking the hop-on hop-off bus instead of exploring a city on foot. The audio guide of the city was interesting the first time round, but not when I had to listen to it for third/fourth time, lol! That’s how many rounds we went on the bus because boys loved hopping on it … the less walking they have to do, the happier they are.
Took pictures at the main tourist sights in the university. Unfortunately, a lot of colleges were closed to visitors because it was the exam period when we were there. K posed against the mathematical bridge. Being a mathematician is currently his third ambition, after being a football player and an artist.
Before I came to London, I’ve not gone out of my way to eat courgettes (otherwise known as zucchinis). I’ve never bought any from a supermarket before and they don’t feature in my diet at all. In London however, they pop up everywhere in the vegetarian meals I order … and I’ve come to like the taste very much!
Had courgette fries over the weekend and it was sooooooooo yummy! The boys ate their usual burgers, fries, mac’n’cheese, and none of them wanted to try any of my green looking fries (which is good for me)! The burger place that we ate at had a nice view of the chapel of St John’s College in Cambridge.
T has been interested in tying shoelaces after watching his brother do it so often. And when this little boy is interested in something, he gets rather obsessed about it. Sometimes in the evenings, we find him sitting at our shoe rack area and fiddling with our laces, which is ewwww so dirty. Last week, I finally got him a pair of shoes with laces! Here, he is seen busy tying his laces on a train ride to Cambridge. He only knows how to tie knots now and has yet to figure out the ribbon bit.
Both boys are feeling under the weather today. T had a three minute nosebleed in school and K is coughing away after having caught the bug from his best friend. K vomited some phlegm just now but I’m not sure if he can magically recover in a few hours because we’ve actually planned to make a short trip out of London tomorrow morning.
Back in Singapore, gong gong is not feeling well too. He’s warded for treatment. Hope this bout of hospitalization doesn’t last too long …