Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Urgent Run and UN World Toilet Day 2014

The rain gods spared us. Last night there was a heavy downpour. I thought there's a chance this morning's Urgent Run might be cancelled. My girl checked the weather forecast and it predicted a 3am rain. I hoped it would stop raining by 8am. And it did!

The grounds were wet and the field was muddy and filled with puddles. Still, better than rain which affected runners from another run which took place much earlier.

In case you are unaware, this morning's run, The Urgent Run is World Toilet Organization’s global mobilization event for UN World Toilet Day 2014 which falls on November 19. Yes, it's a real thing. Possibly, many other Urgent Runs will be held around the world soon.

Sadly, The Urgent Run did not enjoy good publicity. We didn't read about it anywhere and only found out about the run last week via a email from 8packs! I didn't expect many people to show up. I estimate over 300 participants in total. So sad.

The space booked for the event was huge.

So many toilets.

There was a giant air-filled toilet close to the Start line.

Many people were attracted to it. It was the star.

We even had to pose in front of it with a bunch of strangers. (photo filched from Lim Swee Say's fb)

Even the guest-of-honour, Minister Lim Swee Say couldn't resist coaxing a good photo out of the air toilet.



Speaking of Lim Swee Say, how fab does he look! He is 60 years old. Check out those legs and those arms. What does he eat? Or rather, what doesn't he eat? And how much exercise do you need to look like this at 60?

Hubs did his usual secret selfie thingy.

There was a group warm-up on the field before the run. The MC kept calling everybody to walk all the way across the mud to the stage at the other end of the field. But I was determined not to get my shoes wet so I did the warm-up on the raised platform near the start line. (meant for the flag-off as I discovered later on, oops). But look how clean my shoes are.

To compensate for my stubbornness, I did as much warm-up as I could. I usually have my photos taken without my glasses but it's hard to take the glasses off and on... so please excuse the unglam pics.

Finally the flag-off. But not before taking a few pics!

Everyone took off like a rocket. I immediately found myself at the back of the pack trying to catch up. My greatest fear was to finish last.

I struggled the first 2km. After that I felt less like dying. Towards the end I ran like the wind. Okay, it's just the wind blowing in my hair. Then I realised the grass was wet and muddy. My clean shoes!

Because I took my time to tip toe my way to the finish line to avoid getting my shoes wet, so many people sprinted past me. But I needn't have bothered. My clean shoes got wet and muddy despite my careful maneuvering.

I got my finisher medal. Can you tell what it is?

I used my stopwatch to time myself but forgot to press the stop button. I estimate I ran just under 30 minutes. This is not a good timing as hubs said it was less than 5km. (see how red my face is and why does hubs like to take photos at the moment when you are ready to collapse?)

I needed 4 cups of Milo to quench my thirst.

Last cup, promise.

Btw, the song Urgent by Foreigner was not played at the event. I was kinda hoping it would be.

There was a lucky draw after the race and fittingly, the top prize, a iPhone 6+ was won by a girl who was in the toilet when her bib number was drawn. Luckily, her friend ran to the stage with the winning bib to help her claim the prize.

Friday, November 7, 2014

New shorts for Melly, Mell-chan doll

Folks,

I complain a lot about Singapore weather. Lately it's been worse. Rain, haze, humidity. My home is mostly not air-conditioned. That means I feel hot all day. Well, we do have air-conditioning in the bedrooms but I spend most of the day in the study room which is also part of the living room. When I was growing up, my home did not have any air-conditioning. My brothers kept cool by going shirtless. They wore a pair of home shorts. I kinda wish I could do that as well. But I'm a woman. And I live with other people. And there are neighbours and laws.

I wanted to make Melly, my Mell-chan doll something to wear and since it's so hot, I thought why not let her lounge around in a pair of home shorts. She is young enough to go shirtless.

After much cursing and swearing, I managed to sew Melly a decent looking pair of shorts using my scraps. I haven't made doll clothing for so long I forgot how difficult it is to sew something so small. I don't know if you are aware, making clothes for dolls was my first love. I did that when my kids were little. I pretended that it was for them. But it was really for me. On the positive side, sewing doll clothing doesn't require much fabric.

Doll clothing is no different from human clothing. They need to fit.

Thank goodness the back of the shorts doesn't go too low to reveal the butt crack. (Melly went commando on account of the heat)

 Melly loves her new shorts. It's comfy too. Wait.

What's that hanging by the side of your shorts, Melly?

What thing?

You mean this? It's my cat.

Melly! Since when did you get a cat?

Oh, never mind. Why am I talking to a doll?

How insane is that? I made pockets for Melly's home shorts. It's one inch wide. I forced Melly to empty her pockets. Thank goodness I found only some hair ribbon.

Just to give you an idea of the scale I am working with, I have posed Melly next to a 600ml bottle of water.

Melly wants to stop posing for photos and play with her friends.

Oh look, Cat gets a friend to play with too.

I didn't try very hard to hide the raw seams. Serging these little pieces of fabric would drive me nuts so I passed. For the elastic, I used an elastic used for tying hair. It is much less bulky than the ones used for human clothing. I'm very happy with this pair of shorts. Next time I will give more allowance at the top so I could hide the raw edges.

Partaying with Sew Many Ways

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The urgent run 2014

Hubs dragged me into another 5km fun run. It's happening this Sunday morning at the East Coast Park.

The last time I ran at the East Coast Park, I was still a student and I was a member of the school's Jogging Club (it's a real club). The Jogging Club was made up by my form teacher who was ordered by the principal to helm a sports club of some sort. She decided the school needed a Jogging Club. (because it required so little effort?) Unfortunately, no one joined the club. I mean zero. So she used her power as our form teacher to force us to join her Jogging Club. Get extra homework or join her club. Her Jogging Club was our entire class. Every Saturday morning, we had to run at the park. Well, most of the students walked. I mostly ran just so I could go home. FYI, my form teacher never ran. She carried an umbrella, wore sunglasses and heavy make-up. At the end of the school year, there was a competitive 5km run at East Coast Park. Actually, my school called it The Marathon. But I'm too embarrassed to say it out loud. My teacher chose a bunch of us to take part and my bff and I were the unfortunate chosen ones. My bff had not much stamina but we were determined to finish the run. I practically dragged her by the hand. Close to the finishing line, I told her to struggle on her own. I was too tired and just wanted it all to end. I heard my classmates cheering me on and some of them kept yelling something to me. I tried to hear what they were saying but it was too noisy. Suddenly a girl came running past me. Immediately I tried to outrun her but it was too late. I crossed the finishing line just one second after her. Then my classmates came to tell me I had missed finishing 10th. Prizes were given to the first 10 runners. So I was very sore about it.

The name of the run? The urgent run. It's organized by Singapore's World Toilet Organization. Ah.......

I wonder if the organizer will be playing this song at the run? Urgent by Foreigner.
Urgent... so urgent...<urgent> <urgent> <urgent>

And the purpose of this run?

"The Urgent Run is World Toilet Organization’s global advocacy campaign for UN World Toilet Day 2014. It is a global mobilization event that involves citizens around the world joining or organising a run to draw attention to the urgent calls for action to end the sanitation crisis"
copied from urgentrun.com

Hubs' reason for joining this run?

Yep. To get this t-shirt. Don't be concerned. This is perfectly normal behaviour for hubs. Go here if you'd like to hear his side of the story.

These were in the race pack.
2 bottles of Newater - it is treated sewage water. (see the clever connection to toilet - pee and shit?)
1 Toilet Seat Sanitizer - so obvious
Tissue - for wiping you know what
Thumbdrive - someone on the committee was not on the same wavelength

At first I was concerned that the organizers were giving out only Newater after the run. But hubs said free Milo would be provided. Such a relief because the only way I will drink Newater is to be tricked into it.

Based on my Hello Kitty run's experience, I shall pack the following for the race:
- fanny pack
- ziplock for phone
- ziplock for cash
- foldable raincoat
- fashionable hanky to tie around my wrist

It's been raining every single day. I hope the run won't be cancelled due to rain. Because it will rain. The weather forecast for Sunday is "morning thundery showers". The run starts at 8am. The East Coast Park is really far from my home. I would be so angry to go all the way for nothing.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

September/October 2014 Giveaway Winner

Yo. My bad. I was supposed to draw and announce the winner yesterday but I took a long nap and then at night I went to sleep early. Anyhoo, this morning after my Pilates class, I remembered to do the draw and here are the results.

The first number drawn is 39.


The lucky commenter is Joanne and she loves the elephants brooch and the fabric so that's what she'll get.

The second number drawn is 16.

Lucky number 16 is Suzee who thinks she may be picked second!!! She gets the frixion pens which is what she wants! 

Congrats to both of you. Please come and claim your prizes!!! Btw, thanks to everyone for taking part in my giveaway. A few of you wrote jokes. I like this joke the best and it was submitted by Jeneta:

What do you call a deer with no eyes?

Answer: No idea.

Sorry Jeneta. No prize for the best joke. But for the next giveaway, I'm going to have 2 winners as usual but I will draw one winner via random.org and for the other winner, I will personally pick one that submits the best joke.

See ya.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Is it Movember?

Link
Please donate to my team. Here.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

It rained on my run

So Saturday was my Hello kitty run. I woke up at 6:20am to get ready. Our plan was to leave at 6:30am.

At 6:30am, hubs was in a photo-taking mood. Never mind I was sleepy, face still swollen from sleep and not completely ready yet. He checked the images and wasn't too happy.


I tried to look more awake. Finally hubs was satisfied with the images.

We had planned on taking the train but as we were busy posing for selfies, we ended up leaving home at 6:40am. So hubs panicked and decided we should take a taxi. He took a photo of me waiting for a taxi.

In the taxi, I wanted to play plock but the photo taking marathon continues.

We didn't inform the taxi driver there was a Hello Kitty run and we ended up in a huge traffic jam. Perhaps we should have taken a different route. By the time we reached Vivocity, it was 7:45am. If we had taken the train, we would have reached earlier.

I was expecting a crowd but it was more terrifying in person. At first I couldn't even see the starting point. But we kept walking forward until we could walk no further and in the distance we could see the starting point.The mood was good and people were generally there for fun. Lots of kids, some in prams.


The MC announced that they expected 17,000 runners and that scared me. I looked behind me and there was a sea of people.

At 8am, the MC initiated the flag off. But he only allowed a small batch of people to go through. The next batch of flag off was in another 4mins. That got me really worried. Although we had gone forward as much as we could, we were still some distance away from the starting point. The night before,  my girl had checked the weather forecast and she told me it would rain at 9am. The delay in the flag off meant we could very well be caught in the rain. So every time I saw a gap in the crowd, I would move forward, dodging, bending, whatever it took and this got us much closer to the starting point.

In the third flag-off, I was worried we would miss it as well. Fortunately, some people starting posing for photos at the starting point and this gave us the space we needed. We ran for it.

It was quite hard to run. There was always someone in front of you. The route was scenic though. Lots of  photo taking opportunities which created bottle necks. The giant head in the photo above is mine.

The organizers put a lot of thought into decorating the route with posters, banners, balloons and there was a cheer leading group at the bus interchange cheering the runners on. I saw two water breaks areas, one ambulance and a few traffic patrol officers.

Oooh, there was a bubble blowing machine too. The woman on the right wearing the fashion forward hanky on her wrist is me.

Once we hit the beach which is sort of where the bubble blowing machine was, I saw huge dark clouds and a few fat drops of rain. Some people came prepared with umbrellas and raincoats.

The rain started to become a drizzle but we saw the finish line and we sprinted forward and finished the race. It was 9am. How is the weather forecast so accurate? And yep, that's me in my fashion forward fanny pack. See how hubs positioned the Hello Kitty hair ribbon above my head? To be honest, it didn't feel like a 5km run. But I didn't care because it wasn't pleasant running and stopping and running and stopping.

We went to an area where the crew were giving out a bottled drink, a Pokka white grape sweet drink, a pack of Hello Kitty biscuits and a Hello Kitty magnet. I was almost given a second Hello Kitty magnet but I rejected it because one was enough for me. By then the rain was pouring and there was no where for us to go but to join the crowd in the text nearby. The tent was small and cramped with people. I was worried that as more runners came in it would become very uncomfortable. After finishing our sweet drink, hubs said we should walk elsewhere. We decided to walk back how we had done the run and try to find the Sentosa express station. At least we could find a way back to Vivocity. People were taking shelter in whatever spaces they could find. The rain became horrific right there and then. We stood under a tree - the only shelter around and hubs said it was dangerous. I thought we were already wet so we might as well walk in the rain. We got socking wet. It rained harder and harder. My shoes were wet. My socks were wet. My undies were wet. Luckily we had a ziplock bag to keep our phones.

We took the tram back to Vivocity and on the way we saw runners taking the tram to Sentosa. We were really puzzled about that because why go all the way to Sentosa when it's raining and there's very little shelter. Later we realised that they probably went to collect the magnets which TURNED OUT TO BE the finisher medals. 

This photo was taken on our way home. We had become less wet by then. 

Honestly, for us, it wasn't a bad experience. Walking in the rain wasn't that bad. We were really lucky to be in the early flag off. We read in the papers many people had bad experiences when collecting the finisher medals. See report here and here. There was chaos and some people didn't get their medals or drinks as they had run out. It's possible some people got more than what they were entitled to. I'm glad I didn't take the 2nd "magnet" offered. Otherwise I would have felt so bad.

Anyway, if you want to get hub's account of the run, you can go here to read it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pot

A few months ago, I bought a pot of happy plants. No, I didn't make the name up. I was told the plants require very little water and care and could last a couple of years. I was very happy to make the purchase because I am a known plant killer and have never successfully raised any plants. Nope, not even cactus.


Fast forward a few months and I did it again. My happy plants or should I say unhappy plants died. They literally unrooted themselves from the pot. I don't think I should "take care" of any more plants in future.


The pot is rather nice. But it's very small and not very useful. The diameter is around 9.5".  Plus it has a hole on its base.


For now I have turned it into a pot to keep my pins. Usually I just scatter these pins around my sewing table.


In future, I may give it to Neve. She could use it to take a bath. Do you know in the old days, Chinese families have these very large pots which we use to store our water. The water kept in such pots are very cold. My family had one in our village home. I suppose it is possible to go into the pot when bathing but in our family we didn't do that. We use a plastic scoop to pour water over ourselves.
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