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Had a lucky happy day!

After dropping Beam off, I went for my walk because I wouldn’t be able to make it for my 10:30 Japanese lesson if I joined my fellow Wabas for morning run. I was thinking about skipping it at first (What a good excuse! XD), but then, I got so fed up by the verb transformations. I said to myself, ‘If I don’t get out of it now, I’m gonna murder the first human I see!’

It went well. This time, no interruption at all. Just Mother Nature and me — the way it should be. Though I love and truly enjoy running with my fellow Wabas, like what many of the test results have revealed, I need joys of solitude in my life as well.

I managed to shower before going out again for my Japanese lesson. As usual, Charleelee greeted me with his dole eyes and friendly furry snuggles when I arrived. Though the newly-learnt verb transformations are killing me, my lovely sensei Hai Ying is kind and patient as ever. However lame I am in class, stuttering the ridiculously wrong answers most of the time, Sensei just laughs in a very caring and encouraging way which really puts me at ease.. though I still can’t help cursing ‘Bloody Japanese!’. I know I’m free to be silly, even dumb, in front of her ^_^

It was very enjoyable to be Sensei’s ‘prop’ for Miss & Mr Lithuania. To be truthful, it’s way more difficult to put what we learn into practice orally. Probably the hardest part of language learning for so many of us. Well, Miss & Mr Lithuania, 我們一起加油吧!(wo men yi qi jia you ba!)一緒に頑張ってみましょう!

After lesson, I dropped by Leiston Lodgings as promised. Ying Zi is leaving early tomorrow for the 100th day of her father’s passing. She invited me over for lunch. I had to decline. I didn’t want to trouble her as I had an appointment with my optometrist at 12:30. So I told her I’d be happy just to see her and have a chat. But Ying Zi was thoughtful enough to prepare lunch anyway. A lovely surprise. Ying Zi, I wish you and BB a pleasant trip back home and a wonderful summer holiday!

It must’ve been more than three years since I last had my eyes checked. However, I didn’t expect it to be so thorough here, which is very different from what I experienced in Taiwan and Singapore. The result: My eyes are very healthy apart from the fact that I’m very short-sighted. (When she broke this to me, I on one hand felt relieved, on the other hand, couldn’t help laughing XD)

I had a great time choosing a frame with the assistance of my optician Bob who’s in his early 60s. It was the very first time I heard about my ‘wide-set’ eyes.  I’m 38 going 39, and I had no idea. Never. All the way, I thought I just had a big head which gave me problem when I looked for a frame that suited its size and shape. Life’s indeed a never-ending learning process eh! Bob told me that this was the funnest (haha funny, not strange funny *bleh*) day for him because of me. Aww… :3

As I was walking home slowly with groceries, someone called me from behind. It was a mid-aged man driving a van. I thought he was lost and asking for direction. But hell no, he was trying to sell me something — The back of his van was filled with osteopathic mattresses. How bizarre is that? And the most intriguing part is that I AAAMMM looking for a new mattress because the old IKEA one collapsed some time ago!

After Maisie soiled it, I’ve been using the cheap single mattress on my bedroom floor. As Sushi Queen pointed out that good mattresses are always pricey, I planned to do more research and get it done only after we return to Leiston in mid-September. But thanks to this bizarre incident, I got a good King-sized mattress for only 220 quid — Actually, I didn’t have enough cash at home so had to run to the ATM machine. I bumped into Dani on my way out.

‘Have you found Maisie yet?’ Dani asked. She and her husband own one of my favourite cafes in town, Simply Delicious. They kindly shared their space on Facebook for me to post about Maisie.

She went on telling me how she heard from a friend that there have been some cat poisoning cases in our neighbouring towns. Frankly, what a daunting thought… But, I want to focus on the positive side — This is a  very kind gesture of hers. People actually care enough to stop and ask. That’s the magic of Leiston!

And while I thought this is the end of a lucky happy day… (I have happy days most of the time, but they’re not necessarily lucky ^_^) God proved that you can never have too  much luck.

For dinner, Beam somehow decided to try the organic burger mix I bought at SD quite a while ago. As she was cooking, I went to the bin to clean the green waste and saw John, who was inspecting his immaculately beautiful garden. He just mowed our lawn for us yesterday afternoon.

‘Helloooo ~’, I smiled.

‘Hello, Ja! How’re you doing?’, John walked toward me, smiling.

‘Good. You?’

‘Good. Good. Thank you. When does Beam’s summer holiday start?’

’21 July.’

‘Are you doing anything then?’

‘Actually, we’re going back to Singapore on 8 August. I’ll fly to Taiwan from there for a 10-day trip. Then at the end of it, the three of us are visiting Hong Kong. We lived in HK for six months so it’s sort of like a reminiscence trip.’

‘Er…’

I saw the curiosity and concern in his eyes which reminded me of a conversation we had last summer (https://maomeeja.wordpress.com/2012/09/02/%E4%BD%9C%E8%87%AA%E5%B7%B1-be-yourself/), and promptly reassured him, ‘Oh, we’re definitely coming back! This is our home and we love you guys!’

He beamed, ‘Good! Good! Make sure you come back, okay? You come back!’

He then went on asking how Beam’s doing at school, telling me that he knows Zoe and Tony very well because he worked on the road surface for Westward Ho. (John is a civil engineer.)

‘It’s essential allowing children the freedom to live their own life, not being pushed by the parents. You know, I’m in my 70s and I’m still working. I enjoy the buzz being around people, but very often, I get astounded by those university kids’ lack of capacity and ability of independent thinking. They may have learnt a lot of theories, but they’re totally ignorant of practical knowledge.’, obviously, the thought of it filled him with dismay.

I sighed, because this is part of the reason I decided to take Beam here, ‘Same in Asia… probably even worse there. Boey is a designer and he teaches design at a polytechnic as well. Designers are supposed to be thinkers too, but more often than not, the students just go to him and ask, “So, what do you want me to do now?” They’re simply used to having the life arranged and managed by their parents and other authority figures.’

John nodded, ‘You know, Beam’s very special. Seriously, she impresses me every time we talk. You can ask Jenny. I’m not saying this for your cakes, honest! She looks into your eyes, she listens and you can tell that she thinks before she speaks. And she’s always so earnest. Coming to Summerhill is really the best decision ever you’ve  made for her… And by the way, thank you ever so much for the Victoria sponge cake! The cream and strawberries… aww… that was absolutely lovely!!’

This cracked me up XD I accidentally froze the cream and strawberries, and the cake ended up a little bit soggy.

But, John’s always thoughtful and kind, ‘No! No! It was very good! Loved it!’

As I waved good night, I knew I just had to jot all these down. I’d like to remind myself of the importance of being grateful for all that I have, and to always remember how to appreciate all the fine (many times small or even tiny as well) details in life.

Here’s to many more lucky happy days!!

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