announcement

so…

photobucket, the site that has been hosting my photos for more than ten years, from the very beginning of my blogging days, has suddenly decided that it no longer wants to do that anymore.

which is why my millions of photos on both houseofdays and lemonbarleystrawberry are no longer available.

and of all time, they have to choose now, when i’m so occupied with planning my holiday, setting up my new laptop, and you know, flying from one end of earth to another, sigh…

i’m at a complete loss now. i guess i can always look for alternatives. i’ve tried googling and apparently, i’m not the only one who is shocked and caught at a loss by photobucket’s sudden, swift and merciless cut of service, so yes, many kind-hearted techies are already putting up advice and tips on where else to host photos.

but i’m just so busy, and reluctant to sign up for new accounts, and learn how to navigate a new system. i’m very bad with technology, and also unwilling to change or learn when it comes to such things. i mean, my last phone lasted me for like i don’t know, four years or something, and i still refused to change it until D bought me a new one, and forced me to use it, hahaha!

it’s not just hosting the new photos, you know, it’s also the transferring of the old ones. call me ocd or whatever, but i cannot stand having that fugly dummy image anywhere on my blog, which means i have to migrate all my old pictures over too? who has the time for that, man.

sigh…maybe it’s all meant to be. it’s really, time to move on?

#70

SEVEN

we are celebrating SIA’s 70th anniversary this year! happy birthday, the pride of our little red dot, singapore’s golden bird, the best airline in the world!

SIX

this is my sixth year in SIA; it’s the first and only company i’ve joined upon graduation from school. it’s like my first love. and you know what people say about first love; no matter where i may go next time, i know SIA will always have a special place in my heart. ♥

FIVE

one of the BEST things that i’ve gained from SIA is getting to know the other five cambelles. we saw ourselves as the belles in the department, of which acronym is CAM, thus this group name, hahaha!

and to think that i was trying to distance myself from them initially because i thought i had too busy a social life to care, and that it is uncool to be close friends with my colleagues, pfft i was so silly!

the days we had spent together were some of the most insane in my life. ironically, these crazzayy bitches were the only reason i stayed sane at my job for up to two years, and even enjoyed, the painful office hours for five days a week.

through endless booze, regular extended lunches, late nights out, inside jokes, dirty secrets, taking jabs at one another, laughter, tears, and laughing tears, and erm…of course, serious work collaborations bla bla bla, our friendship grew, and stayed solid till this very day, despite physical distance and the passing of time. in fact, our whatsapp group is still very much alive today (though i don’t usually stay in any whatsapp group for long), and we always make it a point to meet up when any of the girls based overseas come back.

FOUR

believe it or not, as much as i love my job, it has only just occurred to me that i have been flying for four years. i guess this is what people mean when they say you don’t keep track of time when you enjoy yourself. though the beginning stage might have been tough, mainly due to culture shock and a steep learning curve, my last four years as the singapore girl have been the most amazing.

you know there’s a saying that goes “you should choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”. it’s kinda true, but only kinda, for me at least.

i have to say, flying is not as glamorous as what everyone thinks. i do work, very, very hard, for every single cent that i get paid.

i alternate between losing sleep, or sleeping too much, pretty much all the time. i always get bruises, scars and back aches, not to mention all the chemicals i have to subject my body to, from hair spray to nail polish to body lotion, and also the side effects of flying like accelerated aging, screwed up body clock, broken nails, irregular and unhealthy eating habits etc.

putting up with unreasonable people, and handling difficult situations, weird demands and ceaseless requests is all part of the job, not to mention the endless cycles of absorbing new information, learning new skills, adapting to new environments. walking (up and down the aisle) almost non-stop from beginning to end, on flights that can last up to 14 hours sounds painful, but it’s nothing compared to forgoing important occasions and precious time with loved ones.

now imagine doing all of the above, and much more, with a big smile on my face all the time, you think it’s easy? it’s not, goddammit, but do i love the job? HELL YEAH! every moment of it. that, is what they call passion, kids.

THREE

like what i said earlier, to join cabin crew is to embark on a journey of continuous learning. yes, after some time, you do fall into a comfortable routine when it comes to the general work flow, but there are still many things, like significant life lessons, that one can gain from every flight, or passenger, or destination, if one has the right attitude to always absorb, process, reflect and remember.

i’ve done a lot of observations, and self-reflections ever since i started flying. here are three takeaways, among many others, that i have picked up from my time in cabin crew so far, all of which have helped me in my character development, and i believe will bring me far in life.

manners

in cabin crew, we are taught our thank you‘s, please‘s, and sorry‘s, from the very first day we set foot in training school. whether we do it out of sincerity, or fear of authority, it will soon be drilled into us, and as time goes by, become a habit that is extended to our life outside work, which is not too bad a thing, don’t you think?

while i’ve always been a polite person, i admit that i’m now more sincere in delivering my pleasantries (as ironic as that sounds).

i make eye contact whenever i thank a waiter for his service. when a friend helps me in something, i make it a point to tell him how his help has made a difference for me, so he won’t feel patronised (though D says that makes some people feel awkward, hahaha!).

when i’m making a complaint over the phone, i voice my unhappiness and make my demand in a calm, reasonable way, also peppered with thank you‘s, please‘s. whenever i’m out having a meal with my friends, or at a party, i will eagerly help to set the table. they always tease me for that, saying it’s an occupational hazard, but i feel it’s actually just the proactive attitude ingrained in every cabin crew member, you know?

kindness

with my heightened sense of situation awareness that comes with my job, i’ve unconsciously become more sensitive to what’s going on around me, including people’s emotions. more importantly, i’ve become more bold and initiative in helping people. whenever i sense that someone is in distress, including strangers on the street who appear to need help, i no longer feel shy to offer my help, but will approach them to see what i can do.

on a similar note, i’ve learned not to judge one by how he treats his equals, but his inferiors, as what j k rowling said in one of the harry potter books. or maybe it’s not “inferiors”, but rather someone who can’t do anything back for him, like a junior who is new at work, or an old uncle having difficulty with pushing his newspaper trolley up a slope, or a friend facing some relationship problems; kindness in such cases, extended with no expectation of any return, is the most sincere.

i’ve also come to understand that kindness should be done out of empathy rather than sympathy. the former is to be kind to someone to make him feel better, while the latter is to make yourself feel better.

a thin line between the two, may not be mutually exclusive, nevertheless still makes a difference. i cannot say that i’m good at differentiating them, and applying them correctly, but i’m working on it.

integrity

to have integrity is to do the right thing even when you think nobody is watching. this is an important value that i’ve become more conscious of after joining cabin crew. i admit that i’m someone who craves for affirmation for doing well, be it in school or at work, but now i know that such gratification should not be the reason i work hard and do well.

more often than not, only i know that i don’t take shortcuts, or shortchange my passengers, that i make an effort to memorise rules and guidelines, that i stick to the black-and-white when preparing the aircraft for flight, and am always vigilant when doing security and safety checks.

only i know that i genuinely care for the passenger who is sick, or the mother travelling alone with her baby, or the passenger who hasn’t finished his meal. i may be end up being the only one who thinks it’s a flight well done, but so what? this is what i should do because it’s my job, so it’s only right that i give in my best, and take pride in it.

outside of work, i am also a strict follower of rules and principles, or what people often call kiasi. i don’t cheat in tests or exams, or tell lies to get free stuff, or betray a friend’s secret, or break my promise to someone, and i try not to be late to appointments, not because i’m afraid to be caught or reprimanded, but because it just doesn’t feel right. just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t make it right, right? HAHAHA!

TWO

there are two people whom i’m eternally thankful to have met during my career in SIA.

one is lipeng, my ex-boss in my previous department. while she is a quiet, down-to-earth person who doesn’t like to be in the limelight, she is a very experienced and competent superior, and a patient, understanding, and encouraging mentor. more importantly, she was the sole reason i could do an internal transfer to cabin crew, though this was mostly unheard of in the company at that time. in other words, she has helped me fulfill my dream. i think it’s not too much to say that she is one of my biggest 贵人 in life.

strictly speaking, another (group of) people i really want to thank is the cambelles, because they really meant a lot to me during my two-year stint at head office, where life in and out of work was not always easy-going. they made my time there so fun and memorable that my heart still explodes with fondness and happiness whenever i share our crazy stories with D.

but since i already mentioned them above, i shall choose another person to thank, and that is my husband, of course. if it’s hard to be cabin crew, it’s even harder to be the spouse of cabin crew, i tell you. though D and i didn’t meet at work, he has always played key role in my flying career throughout the last few years.

he has always been my emotional support, and a great help in the practical sense too, especially during the training and probation period, where things were the hardest. during training days, he had helped me with my school projects, and gone on numerous boring shopping trips where i had to hunt for the right eye shadow or lipstick or nail colours (ARGH!). ever since i started flying, he has always been my hair stylist, even if it means waking up with me at 3 in the morning to help me blow dry and spray my hair.

he sends me and picks me up for work whenever he can, and always listens to my endless stories (and whining) about my flights. he accommodates to my schedule whenever we plan celebrations or holidays, and tolerates my tantrums and lack of energy from work stress, jet lag and perpetual fatigue. most of all, he embraces the time difference and physical distance whenever we are apart.

even till today, four years after, he continues to shower me with endless love, and unwavering support in all ways possible, making me the luckiest stewardess, and wife, in the world.

ONE

finally, the story of one. thank you for having reached thus far in the post. is this the longest entry yet? hahaha…okay here goes, the most important part of this whole long, grandmother story.

ever since i was a little girl, there has only been one dream that i really feel passionate about, and that is to be a singapore girl.

i no longer remember the origin of this aspiration, but for someone with such a short attention span and way too many ideas and interests at all time, to carry this ball of fire in me for one single goal for almost my whole life, is a feat by itself.

i’ve come to realise that i have true passion for flying, and i love SIA, no matter what others may say about it dropping in quality or whatever. to me, it’s still the best employer and airline in the world.

somehow at the back of my mind, i’ve always known that i’m meant to fly, not for just any airline but SIA. have you ever had this kind of feeling, a calling, a strong sense of destiny? hahaha…i know it sounds damn drama, but there is no other way to call it. i knew it was my calling when i found in me this unusually powerful feeling of determination and confidence, despite having been repeatedly hit by obstacles on my way to being accepted by cabin crew; it was that calling which had pulled me through.

even when i took a two-year detour at the head office, and ended up enjoying the ride, i remained focused on my destination, and did everything i could to reach it eventually. later on, even when flying turned out to be more challenging that i expected, i overcame each and every hurdle, and am confident to say now that i’m good at what i do, and i’m happy doing it.

unfortunately, due to many practical reasons, i cannot stay here for long. while i’m already mentally preparing for that end, it’s hard for me to imagine how it will be like after i fold my wings. though there are other ambitions that i want to conquer, and possibilities i want to explore out there, i know nothing will come close to me accomplishing my dream as a singapore girl.

my journey with SIA may not be a long one, but it’s been, and i know it will continue to be, a thrilling one till the very end. joining this big family, and being able to fulfill my dream, enjoying, and excelling in it as much as i expected myself to, is one of the proudest things i’ve done in my life.

 photo dream.jpg

so SIA, thank you for the flights. you are, and will always be my favourite way to fly.

house of days

hello there.

it’s been a while since i last wrote, thank you for waiting, and for coming here with me.

so why have i decided to have a new blog? why no longer the name lemonbarleystrawberry?

if you haven’t already noticed, my updates on LBS have become rather slow lately, and i no longer feel inspired, or even interested to write, the way i was before. in fact, nowadays when i read my past entries, i cannot imagine how i used to have so much time and motivation for all those story themes, project ideas and photo-processing!

anyway, on a random day a few weeks back, i was reading my very first few entries on LBS when i had an epiphany – i needed a spur, a new spark, something to fire up my passion in blogging again. it eventually came down to having a face lift for LBS, or moving on to a whole new blog; it was a dreadful dilemma for me. after all, i have been using the same name since, i don’t know, my university days? or maybe even before that, so it would have been, what, ten years? (yes, i’ve been blogging for many years; definitely the longest hobby i have EVER had.)

from blogspot to tumblr to here on wordpress, i might have moved across different blogging platforms over the years, but the name has always stayed with me; almost like my personal brand, really. so you can imagine how difficult it was for me to finally decide on changing it. i knew i needed it though, a fresh start, or the writing will soon peter out.

in addition, i reckon that with the big 3-0 approaching, it’s high time i start anew. hopefully, stepping into this new stage in life will bring more fun characters and fresh topics to rejuvenate my passion in writing, and breathe life into this new blog.

while there were many other (more practical) consideration factors that went into my decision-making process, let me spare you the boring details. yup, here we are now, so hello there.

i will try to make this space as personal, fun and engaging as possible, and i definitely have to work on making it more informative and useful. photos, as usual, will be the staple, but better quality ones, maybe. D says i have to be more discerning in the choice of pictures that i post, rather than just dumping everything in like i can’t tell the good and bad ones apart, or worse, that i can’t tell that two photos are actually similar, hahaha. i guess what he’s trying to say is that it’s quality that matters, not quantity.

alright, so let’s get to the biggest question on your mind right now.

why house of days, what does the name mean? and while we are at it, how did lemonbarleystrawberry come about? yes, the latter has always been the most frequently asked question among my new readers, and i’m always very reluctant to explain (i just don’t like to explain things in general), but since we are saying goodbye, it’s better to solve the mystery once and for all; a proper closure.

now, there is no true meaning to the name lemonbarleystrawberry. and to be honest, i cannot even remember how i came up with it. it was just a random strike of idea when i was brainstorming on a new name for my blog. i am not crazy about yeo’s lemon barley drink, nor do i particularly love strawberries. it was just an idea that dropped from nowhere.

well, like i said earlier, i was very young when i first started blogging. young people don’t think very much when they do stuff, do they?

on the other hand, the name house of days is a little more meaningful, if i may say so myself. the real house of days was an art/science installation at fort mason in san francisco. it captured an image of the sky once every 24 hours, resulting in a sky diary, illustrating a day’s worth of changing light and weather. i have always been intrigued by that, ever since i came upon the structure on my first trip to the city.

so this is my version of house of days – something that encapsulates my life, pieces of my story, thoughts and memories that i share with you, my dear readers and friends, and for my own keepsake too, of course. you know how bad i am in remembering things, hahaha.

yap, that’s it then. you may want to update your bookmark now, haha. thank you for your support over the years back at lemonbarleystrawberry. i know you have enjoyed reading it, as much as i had writing it. and here’s to the equally, if not more, amazing future that we will have here at house of days.