Rants and raves about stuff happening in and around my life in Singapore

Saturday, December 26, 2020

What's the Skinny

What is it with pants and trousers these days. Super skinny, ultra skinny, super ultra skinny. I mean half the time I can't even get my foot in the damn things let alone the rest of my leg. Whatever happened to regular sizing? And speaking of sizing, why is it that sizing’s are different from manufacturer to manufacturer.



A 30 inch waist is a 30 inch waist (ok clearly not referring to me there but you get the point). Why label something as a certain size but then inform your customer you need to buy a size up or even two sizes up because the sizing is "on the small side". I mean what the hell does that even mean? Aren't all tape measures equal? isn't an inch or a centimetre the same the world over?

Some of us are graced with muscular thighs, we can't wear skinny or ultra-ultra skinny simply because our legs won't fit into the damn things. Or when we do manage to eventually squeeze into a pair we either end up with a severe case of camel toe or look like we are advertising for a screen test in a porno movie. I mean some trousers leave nothing to the imagination and I am certainly not going to do a drag queen tuck to fit into a pair.

Which of course begs the question for those that do wear them, either they're a total exhibitionist or ...... and trail off there leaving the rest of that statement to your imagination. But seriously, trying on a pair at times is almost like a full body work out. In fact throw that gym membership away and simply go trouser shopping, you might never fit into a pair but after a couple of months trying you'll certainly reap the rewards, and it's free!

But seriously, now that these ridiculous sizing’s have more or less become the norm, shopping for something that actually fits is a challenge. Don't get me wrong, these trousers look good on some people, on others they look like their legs are made of matchsticks and leave you wondering how the hell they can even walk without suffering a serious injury. And don't get me started on visible panty lines again because on some people the effect is well, quite frankly, disturbing to say the least.

They are simply not for me, apart from the struggle to even get into a pair, I actually don't want to wear a pair of trousers that look like they have been spray painted on, with pockets that are more for visual effect rather than functionality because there's simply not a chance in hell you will ever get your hand into some of them. But they are every where now and seem to be the "only" style available which of course is bad news for people like me who have been blessed with big bones, muscular thighs, not to mention some of God's other gifts. It's simply not me, personal taste and all that.

I think I am going to have to search for a decent tailor who can make a simple regular fit trouser, with a slightly tapered leg that don't give me a hernia when I sit down or bend over, and one made using a normal tape measure when it comes to it. In the meantime, I'll simply pray to God that this trend of tight fitting (or ill-fitting in some cases) trousers gives way to something more sensible. Although having said that I have visions (or nightmares) that the next trend will be the complete opposite and baggy will be back in, although thankfully we seem to have passed through the "show off your underway" phase already so there is hope, slim as it may be (and yes pun intended).

UPDATE 30th December 2021
Seems I'm not alone, thankfully. Read more HERE


Saturday, December 05, 2020

Celebrating Christmas

Christmas is almost upon us and the countdown has begun. The Christmas tree, the decorations, the yule log, mistletoe, the Christmas wreath on the door, holly and berries all symbols that many people will recognise for this celebrated Christian festival.



But Christmas has its roots far deeper than Christianity, and all of the symbols used to celebrate it are rooted in Paganism, and in celebrating the Winter Solstice or Yule.

The celebration of Yule was so ingrained in culture that Christianity's attempts to stamp out Paganism led to it usurping the festival of Yule to celebrate the birth of Christ, and Christmas (or Christ Mass) was born. In fact nearly every major Christian festival has its roots in Pagan tradition or directly usurps a Pagan festival for this reason.

So, as you put up and decorate your Christmas tree did you know that the tree was an important symbol in pagan yuletide tradition. Originally, it represented the Tree of Life and was decorated with gifts people wanted to receive from the gods. It was adorned with natural ornaments such as pinecones, berries and other fruit, as well as symbols sacred to the gods and goddess.

And mistletoe which represents the female element (hence the act of kissing under the mistletoe), also holds much importance in pagan yuletide tradition. It was used by Druid priests in special ceremonies during yuletide who believed that its green leaves represented the fertility of the Mother Goddess, and its white berries, the seed of the Forest God or Oak King.

Holly, which represents the masculine element, was often used to decorate doors, windows and fireplaces. Because of its prickliness it was thought to capture or ward off evil spirits before they could enter a home and cause harm. The holly leaves, symbolic of the Holly King, represent hope, and the red berries represent potency.

Many people will burn candles, or place a light candle in their window. Candles were another way to have an eternal flame within the home. They symbolised the light and warmth of the sun and were used to chase away evils and lure back the returning sun/son. They were also an invitation to a stranger that the house would welcome and feed them during the festival period.

Bells, another symbol often hung on Christmas trees are another part of the Pagan yuletide tradition. They were often rung during the Winter Solstice to drive away demons that surfaced during the dark time of the year.

Carolling was also another popular Yule tradition when young children honoured the Winter Solstice with song. They would go through the villages, singing door to door. The villagers, in return, would reward them with tokens and sweets and small gifts which symbolised the food and prosperity given by the Mother Goddess to all her Earthly children.

Even the predominant colours of Christmas, Red, Green, White, Silver and Gold are the colours used in abundance during pagan celebrations of Yule. Red represents the waning Holly King. Green represents the waxing Oak King. White represents the purity and hope of new Light. Silver represents the Moon. Gold represents the Sun/Son.

Today many devout christians still follow all of these traditions, keeping the spirit of paganism alive, unaware of the rich history it has or the true meanings behind the symbols themselves. Thank you.


Monday, November 02, 2020

The US Election

When Donald Trump entered the race to become the president of the United States, the world looked on and laughed. No one expected him to win, no one took him seriously. And when he did win many like me thought what the hell is wrong with America. 



He has not disappointed either. His term in office will be looked back on as probably one of the worst presidents in the Americans history. There are so many things you could say about the man, about his continual bending of the truth or simply out right misrepresentation of the facts. He is so unqualified to hold the office its simply boggles the mind.

And now he is running for a second term, and make no mistake the people who voted for him last time will continue to do so despite his terrible handling of the Covid-19 situation there, or his pandering to the white supremacists and more. And the sad fact of the matter is, if he doesn't win (which is highly unlikely in my view) he is already on record that he will not accept the results. This fact alone is enough to disqualify him for the very office he is looking desperately to cling onto, after all the shame that goes with a one term president is something that he clearly wants to avoid.

And of course, when he is no longer protected by the office he now holds everything will come out of the woodwork, something clearly that must also be on his mind.

*UPDATE 8th November*

So now that the saga of the American election is over and Biden becomes the 46th President, American holds its collective breath and waits for #45 to give his concession speech. The question remains if he will show any level of graciousness in the last moments of his shameful single term in office or try to hold onto power by any means necessary plunging the country into even more chaos. If I was to answer that question myself I would say based on his character alone it's going to be a bumpy few months indeed!


Sunday, November 01, 2020

Hong Kong Travel Bubble

With the first travel bubble opening between Singapore and Hongkong on November the 6th, without need for quarantine at either destination. But travellers will have to undergo mutually recognised testing for Covid-19 that show they are negative possibly on departure and arrival at both destinations although that is still unclear.



They will also have to take dedicated flights that do not accept transit passengers and the number of these flights can be raised or lowered, depending on the pandemic situation in both cities. Air travel bubbles will be for general travellers and they have no requirements for a controlled itinerary (as is the case with some of the current green lane travel options), which is good news!

Of course, as is typical given the demand the cost of air tickets between Singapore and Hong Kong increased over night since the announcement and no doubt as demand increases, given that many people have felt trapped on this island of Singapore since the Covid-19 pandemic, we can expect the fare to continue to increase too. 

But on the plus side, it's a start of returning to normal and shows what the future of travel has in store for us. Until such time as a vaccine becomes widely available we can expect Covid-19 tests to become the new norm as more of these travel bubbles become available. And you can expect to pay a premium price for those travel options too. 

Let's keep fingers crossed that more and more countries manage to successfully control the spread of Covid-19 domestically, and that more and more people take personal responsibility for doing the same. There has been too much loss of life already with this virus. 

Sunday, May 31, 2020

After Covid-19

So, it's been a messed-up year. Covid-19 has basically stopped the world in its tracks. The number of people who have lost their lives to this disease is a tragedy that in some cases could have been avoided. Countries have responded in different ways, some faster than others. Emergency laws have been enacted to keep people safe, laws that for just reasons have restricted peoples right of movement with penalties in place for those that feel the laws don't apply to them, and borders have been closed globally.



Countries have reached into their coffers to help support their citizens as businesses shut down and people had their income reduced or in some cases lost their jobs entirely. Indeed, the impact of Covid-19 will be felt for a long time to come even as the world rushes to produce a vaccine that will ultimately stop Covid-19 in its tracks. But what will the world look like after Covid-19?

The world as we knew it has ceased to exist that much is clear.  The globalisation that we took for granted has highlighted just how quickly a virus like Covid-19 can spread and no country is going to want to take chances of this happening again.

The emergency laws on people's movement will stay on the books ready to be enacted at the first sign of any outbreak. Those businesses that survived with staff working from home will no doubt implement work from home policies as the new norm so that they are always ready. And those businesses that can't will look to other ways to protect themselves such as investing in automation as much as possible.

The hospitality industry, perhaps the hardest hit, will need to up its game. Initially we can expect cheap flights and accommodation as attempts are made to woe travellers back, but it will only be partially successful. Sanitation, disinfection, even sterilisation of guest rooms will drive up prices but will give guests the level of comfort they will now demand. Governments, if they are smart, will implement laws banning Airbnb or home sharing especially where those controls can't be mandated or effectively monitored.

Airlines will need to think differently too. The squeeze as many people on a plane to maximise profits will need a rethink, as will the use of recycled air on long haul flights. And just as we can expect an increase in hotel prices, prices for flights will also increase. I can almost imagine the new airline adverts, when you travel with us we provide you with your very own disposable hazmat suit.

Indeed, staycations will probably become the new norm given people will be reluctant to travel initially, a new booming industry in the making for those that play their cards right. Everything that we took for granted is gone, I wouldn't be surprised if public places such as supermarkets end up implementing one-way systems for our own protection (something they haven't done yet during the crisis which is surprising). Social distancing, masks in public and so on are with us for a lot longer than people may think, at the very least until a vaccine has been developed and widely distributed.

And we have yet to see the real fall-out form Covid-19. Companies that have or will be forced into bankruptcy, defaults on mortgage payments leading to repossession and/or eviction. That global tsunami is gathering force and its impact has yet to truly felt.

And on the global stage conflicts are brewing. The exchange of words between America and China has gotten increasingly heated and we haven't seen the end of it yet. China has implemented new laws in Hong Kong and threatened Taiwan as it continues to flex its muscle while America faces its own internal challenges lead by president who has taken to implement laws to restrict social media after he was called out for his own misleading tweets.

Anyone who expects to go back to normal once this crisis is over is going to be in for a rude awakening. The world has changed and we have yet to really understand just how much.