#2027| equality or fomo?


If a marriage is a partnership then how is it that it is always the man who exerts himself jumping through loops and performing feats of love to win the hand of the woman, who is indeed a woman, and not chattel to be bought or haggled over –

Anyway I also proposed to Shane.


#2026 | Once upon a Friday

So many things have happened recently but here we are with a slice. Once upon a Friday I was busy being productive with my life, waking up early to work on script edits, going to the gym after TWO MONTHS of being out of commission (travel + work + shin splints and doctor’s orders) therefore nearly fainting post workout, heading to the hospital for two vaccination jabs, one on each arm (meningitis and influenza), and then heading to meet my girlfriend Georgina to bring her to a surprise dinner with the girls for her birthday.

Xiaoqi had booked a home dining omakase experience, which in my head translated to – it’s someone’s home, so it’s super chill. So naturally, I showed up with no makeup save for some smudged eyeliner from the gym which I got lazy to wipe off (it’s a ‘look’, i protested) and in an orange t shirt with sneakers, which explained G’s look when she gave me the once over and went:

You look… cute.

Anyway. I got us a grab to the secret address Xiaoqi sent me which turned out to be a three storey townhouse, and knocked on the door. When the door opened to a dining table which was completely unset, in my head I started thinking what an unprofessional dining experience this was because they were clearly not ready for our 8pm reservation and also this is why you make a booking at somewhere established aka Luke’s Oyster Bar or something because you wouldnt be caught in a situation like this on someone’s BIRTHDAY

While I was panicking (secretly texting xiaoqi WHERE ARE YOU WE ARE HERE AND CONFUSED), G started walking up the stairs and was like: Hey maybe it’s upstairs

And I went: Er G you cant do that i think this is actually someone’s house

G: No maybe dinner is upstairs

Me: No this is one of those home cooking experience things. You cant go upstairs!

And she just ignored me and started walking up anyway.

So I followed her up and the first thing I saw on level two was a couch and a side table with a gopro mounted on a little cardboard box labelled storis which is this engagement ring company in Singapore, and in my head I immediately went



Exact moment of absolute horror



And I tried to block the gopro with my body so she wouldnt see it




G: What are you doing
Me: Nothing. I think this is part of the dining experience.

G stared at me like I was crazy.

G: Er.. okay. Shall we sit down?
Me: Erm

Then music started playing, and our friends started walking out. The problem is, G and I being so close, have the SAME CLOSE FRIENDS. And so I got kind of mad because


All this time my face was trying to seriously play it cool because I didn’t want G to know I knew nothing about her proposal in case it bummed her out or something, but I was seriously cursing Fred in my head for being such a bozo.

It was only when I noticed they were wearing black shirts saying CREW and little red stickers going HELLO IM JEM and HELLO IM SHANE that i went

Oh. I guess I’m getting engaged!

So the moral of the story is I am not very smart.


Featuring Xiaoqi as Shane, Fred as Me, and Georgina as host (she’s holding a little pocket camera, not using her phone hahaha)

It turned out Shane and written and staged a short six act immersive play with our closest friends, one act for each year of our relationship, a play which was in equal parts dramatic and ridiculous and hilarious and sad, which somehow managed to find the space to mock my Dota playing skills, as well as incorporate a mid-show break for me to go change into a gown they had rented + do my makeup and hair, something which, when I relayed to my girlfriend in the UK later on, caused her to breathe a sigh of relief and go: I respect that.


Legitimately a whole journey

Act six saw me walking up to the rooftop alone, where Shane was waiting with a recreated scene inspired by our time in Ponza all those years ago, with Papa Americano playing in the background, so I guess that’s our song now. We had dinner (cooked by Roz, a near perfect recreation of the same pasta we had on a boat in ponza), and on the table was the theater programme booklet for Ortensia (the play), complete with playwright’s message, cast and crew, backstory, and script.

Kindly memorise your lines, Shane said, so I flipped to Act Six and saw:


This is as good a time as any
, he said, and he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

Being the annoying person that I am, I said: See how lah, which is a very Singaporean way of saying yeah maybe lets see how it goes, also the same thing I said 6 years ago when he asked me to be his girlfriend.

And he went WOMAN can you stick to the script

And I said ok lah yes

And that is how we got engaged!



The end, but also, the beginning. 🙂


*All pics here are screengrabs from a video that my friends took and Ian edited hehe.

#2025| Busy/ Not Busy


It has been approximately two and a half weeks since I have been engaged. In this time what have I done, I have changed my phone’s LCD screen, I have watched a play (Three Fat Virgins Unassembled by Theatreworks, described as such – virginity is not a state of the hymen, but of the mind), I have aggressively karaoke-d and also crossed the border with my family to play laser tag. My mother has been revealed to have zero compunction shooting us all in the face, which was predictable, but not as predictable as her pre-game spiel on how family should keep peace and how can we expect mother to shoot daughter and husband to shoot wife. Tugging on the heartstrings of the guilty she has come out top in all games we played. I see you, mother. I see you.

In all days except the monday of this week I have seen my ex-boyfriend who is now my fiancé which is a thing i like to say to throw people off. But throwing people off is one thing; I feel also, like i have been unbalanced in the days after. For example I have been regarding the word Engaged with some kind of curiosity. Engaged when employed regularly means busy. Busy, occupied, unavailable – the meaning of that last one pivoted to mean also, betrothed. It is funny because the primary meaning of the word is the opposite of what i have been. Ever since i have entered the state of engagement I have been anything but busy. I have been sitting around reading and also doing a lot of oversleeping. I missed a whole week at the gym because excuses. I have been afraid of my email. I have had my hand grabbed and examined more times than ever in my life. I have forced myself to work but felt unable to form an emotional connection to my emails. Again with the emails. I have so many emails. I used to feel so attached to my email but now that the attachment to my ex-boyfriend-now-fiancé has increased it feels like the attachment to other things have decreased. I opened three good emails and one bad one this week, the rest were more or less neutral. It sounds like a positive ratio but I dont know. I should feel more engaged with my real life but I have instead been infected with lethargy. When I have the lethargy i also historically make space for paranoia. So now I worry about things like crossing the road and the BULLISH MARKET that my phone’s news alert told me about this morning and also about my water intake. The sum total is a plus because I am very happy to be engaged to one of the people i love. But it feels like a weird trade-off that now i suddenly worry about the birds that have gotten into the recent habit of shitting all over my office’s window ledge. The ledge has always been there but the birds have only discovered it recently. We put some spikes on the ledge but whether or not this will be effective remains to be seen.


#2024 | reading update 2

Reading update for Jan-Mar here.

In the last three months:


The Sun on my Head by Geovani Martins
A Map of Betrayal by Ha jin
We, the Survivors by Tash Aw
Critical Incidents by Lucie Whitehouse
Hotel World by Ali Smith
The Wallcreeper by Nell Zink
South and West by Joan Didion
Swimming Home by Deborah Levy
The Changeling by Victor LaValle
This is going to hurt by Adam Kay
Delayed Rays of a Star by Amanda Lee Koe
Broccoli and other tales of food love by Lara Vapnyar
Lanny by Max Porter
The Lonesome Bodybuilder

Book of the month | We, the Survivors by Tash Aw | This is going to hurt by Adam Kay


Not that Kind of Girl
by Lena Dunham
The Farm by Joanne Ramos
Suicide Club by Rachel Heng
Crazy Cat Lady
Too Fat Too Slutty Too Loud by Anne Helen Petersen
Your Duck is My Duck by Deborah Eisenberg
A Free Life by Ha Jin
My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

Book of the month | My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell


Inferior by Angela Saini
Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
10 minutes and 38 seconds in this strange world by Elif Shafak
Lie with Me by Philippe Besson, Translated by Molly Ringwald
This is my family: New Singapore Plays Vol 2 by Checkpoint Theatre
How we Disappeared by Jing Jing Lee
Hereditary (Screenplay)
Insiduous (Screenplay)

Book of the month | Lie with me by Philippe Besson | How We Disappeared by Jing Jing Lee

I’ve read less than I’d like to – slower than I’d like to, essentially, but I have reasons.. !!

Reasons or excuses I suppose, depending on how you look at them. Regardless, hoping to turn this around in the second half of the year, which I am sure will be spent reading infinitely more.


#2023| Some important things of late


Lombok, Indonesia

1. Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse just dropped on Netflix, which is incredible news because it is the best movie in the entire spiderman franchise, and i will fight you on that.

2. I’m now writing for a new horror series which is going into production soon, slated to hit the screens end of this year. Sometimes life just comes at you like – Boo. (!!)

3. We wrapped for NBC’s E! Travel Diaries yesterday, which will be showing in the trans-tasman and southeast asia regions this August. Pretty psyched for this – this shoot was a dream. Great crew, amazing co-hosts, and happily, every last one of them enjoyed a glass of red at the end of a long shoot day. A dream, I say, a dream!

4. I thought I was pretty pleased with the latest iteration of one of my stories, a thai narrative set along the chao praya river, until I read lie with me by philippe besson, a masterpiece which made me ugly-cry. Back to the drawing board i go.

5. On that literary note, I was so very impressed with How We Disappeared by Jing Jing Lee this week, a totally immersive, incredibly beautiful intergenerational story about the ripple effects of trauma inflicted during the Japanese occupation. It follows the story of a comfort woman, but beyond that, explores the heartbreaking consequences that live on in one’s body and society even after escape. Absolutely destroyed me.