Monday, March 31, 2008

Enid Blyton anyone?

Check out Hsien's post about books she read as a child. I recognise none of them, save for Shel Silverstein's books, and that's only cos Brian and Sean love his books.

Is it just me or have the rest of you also not heard of these books?

Little Critter Stories by Mercer Mayer
The Great Brain series by John Dennis Fitzerald
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald
The Littles series by John Peterson
Jacob Two Two and the Hooded Fang by Mordecai Richler


Maybe it's me. I had not even heard of Roald Dahl till I went to university in Singapore! I hail from Malacca, a small town in Malaysia, and all through my growing-up years, we had a grand total of 2 English bookshops. Small sole-proprietor bookshops, not places like Kinokuniya or Borders. I think the shops' names were Lim Brothers and Tai Kwang, I can't believe I still remember their names! Ahhh, memories :)

I would hang out at the two bookshops (which were located next to each other near the town centre) as long as I could stand the glare of the owners, reading half a book today, half a book another day. Couldn't afford the RM4 each Enid Blyton book cost then (remember the Ringgit was almost equal in value to the Singapore Dollar then, yes, it was that long ago).

I couldn't get enough of Enid Blyton's books; starting with stories about pixies, fairies, gnomes and flying cottages, then moving on to children mystery-solvers Famous Five, Secret Seven, Five Find-outers, and then boarding school stories St Clare’s and Mallory Towers. Midnight feasts, funny and fierce Mam'zelles, all vintage Enid Blyton topics.

I also loved Louisa M Alcott's Little Women, Little Men, Jo's Boys...and of course, fairy-tales from Grimm Brothers and Hans Christian.

Both Brian and Sean aren't into fairy-tales at all. I bought some fairy-tale books which I would have LOVED as a child (with gorgeous illustrations) but the boys won't bite. Brian has read many of the Enid Blyton books; Sean's not too interested. Sean's starting to like Roald Dahl but mostly he just reads lots of non-fiction (oh, he loves Calvin & Hobbes and Tintin too).

What did you read as a child?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Proof of Ozone Holes!



Brian was asking me something about how long a day was in the North Pole. We did not get very far with that discussion because Sean jumped up to grab our globe (see picture), gleefully showed us the holes and said, "There's no North Pole, there's just a North Hole! Look! And there's no South Pole, there's just a South Hole!"

Yeah yeah, funny har har...that's our 14-year old globe that was single-handedly destroyed by Sean a couple of months ago. The globe was in perfect condition till Sean took an interest in it.

Back to Brian's question. Those of us who hail from around the equator take for granted our experience of equal day length every day of the year. In December, the North Pole experiences almost 24 hours of darkness and the South Pole 24 hours of day...the reverse is true in June.

Some links here.
BBC: The Seasons
Seasons & earth-sun relations

And extending on Sean's unwitting creation of the ozone holes.
NASA confirms North Pole Ozone Hole trigger
The Ozone Hole
Latest status of the Ozone Hole

Friday, March 28, 2008

Russian Ruse

Almost got duped this week. The water filter in our apartment needed to be changed and our landlord had said we'd need to get the guard downstairs to call a technician to come by. Our driver spoke to the guard, and an appointment was made.

Technician comes by, says we needed to change 4 of the filter tubes, not just 1. He'll buy the rest and come by the next day. I managed to have a look at the price tag before he took our filter tube to the shop, the tag said 150r (about S$10).

Next day he comes by, does his job, and said total cost 7000r (about S$400+). I said, What?? He said each tube was 1500r (S$100) and there was his service fees. But I knew the tubes weren't so expensive. I asked my housekeeper who speaks a bit of Russian to ask him for a receipt. He said he had none. I asked him to sign my receipt book to acknowledge the payment. He made some excuses.

Meanwhile, I called my landlord, who said No Way, at most any change in filter would cost a few hundred rubles, and his filters were self-cleaning ones, so the technician only needed to change it, no cleaning needed. Passed the phone to the technician, and I could hear my landlord and him talking very loudly.

After 5 minutes, technician passes the phone back to me, and while my landlord was telling me to pay him at most 1000r, the technician just opened the door and made an exit, without taking any money from me! He is therefore out of pocket by a few hundred rubles since he did buy a few filter tubes, I think.

Thank goodness I managed to get my landlord at the time. And that my landlord spoke good enough English to understand me. Most landlords here do not speak English.

The technician must have realised when the phone was passed back to me that he couldn't take this foreigner for a ride and that we were on to his ruse. He thus decided to scram before we called his company up. I guess some foreigners would have just forked up the cash without question, too bad he bumped into Madam Scrooge herself ;) Silly fella, I was gonna pay him 1000r.

Show or Tell

Brian said a woman (not his usual teacher) came to class today and taught them about Telling sentences and Showing sentences. Maybe some of you already know this technique of descriptive writing, but I had never heard of it before.

For example:

The room was messy
, is a Telling sentence. A Showing sentence would go like this, Clothes and socks were littered all around the room and it looked like a tornado had passed by.

These two were Brian's attempts.

Telling: The lightning flashed all over.
Showing: The whole village was lighted up as the flash of electricity came out from the dark clouds above.

Telling: The rose was so red, so delicate.
Showing: The tender young bud was as red as a strawberry in summer, and its stem was so fragile that it looked like it would snap at a single touch.

I've never been good at descriptive writing, not sure if it would have helped knowing this technique. It probably comes more naturally to some than others I suppose.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Made you look!

The boys are now into playing this silly game of pointing to something and going, for example, "Look! Fireworks!" or "Look! A monkey!"...the objective is to get the other person to turn and look. Any reaction is considered a victory, move your eyeballs and you lose, you've gotta feign disinterest at all cost.

To try to trip me, both of them go, "Mummy, look! Jason Castro!" @#$%^&

If only it were true.

Monday, March 24, 2008

A dog eat dog kids' world

This weekend, we watched a BBC documentary (title: Please Vote for Me) about kids in a Chinese school electing their class monitor. Both Brian and Sean were totally engrossed, maybe because they hardly get to watch shows that have kids who look like them. This show was an eye-opener, to see children this young (8-years old) use underhanded ways (and encouraged by their parents too) to win votes. After watching this, Eddie and I feel our boys are really too sheltered, they'll be eaten alive in no time if left to survive out there today! Watch out for the chubby boy Cheng Cheng, if he ever becomes leader of China one day, the rest of the world is doomed :)

PART 1


PART 2


PART 3


PART 4


PART 5

I'm not just the centre of his universe...

...I am his universe. Yeah, yesterday Sean said I'm the universe and he's the world.

What about Korkor?

Korkor's the sun.

Valerie is Pluto because she's so small (Valerie is our London friends' baby girl; she turned 1 a week ago, and Sean has not seen her since we left London last July).

What about Daddy?

Daddy's the Milky Way.

I take it that in Sean's eyes, Mummy outranks Daddy, that's my boy!

Speaking of Milky Way, here's Sean's drawing of different types of galaxies.



There's the Spiral Galaxy, Irregular Galaxy (big one), Elliptical Galaxy and Barred Spiral Galaxy. Did he miss out any others?

I just did a google search while typing this. What Sean attempted to draw was Hubble's Galaxy Classifications. There's an article here. This other article has yet another category, called Peculiar Galaxy, ie Galaxies that fit none of the above descriptions. I'll be sure to let him know when he gets back from school later.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Chinese (boys) whispers

The boys' bedtime routine is: 830pm, ready for bed, atropine drops for their eyes, we read stories or poems, or just talk silly stuff or make up a story where each of us takes turn to say 3 words, eg, I go "Once upon a" Brian continues, "time, there was" Sean goes, "a tortoise who" (I've banned the word tortoise). By 9pm, it's lights out till 7am the next day.

They usually chat with each other in the dark till 930pm, and laugh and giggle really loudly. I'll shout from wherever I am for them to Shut up, no more talking! If you can't wake up tomorrow morning, I'll cane (instead of wake) you up!

Two nights ago, I left them as usual, after we had each read 2 funny poems, and went to my room to surf the internet. But instead of chatting in normal voices, they've learnt to keep it really down. Whispering, and stifling their giggles and laughter.

Every 10 minutes or so, I would realise they were still awake, and shout out for them to sleep. It'd be quiet for a while until I realise they were still whispering and laughing. It was 10pm before they fell asleep. Luckily, they could wake up on time the next day or there would have been trouble.

Friday, March 21, 2008

My little Russian dancer



For the past two weeks, Brian and his classmates have been performing Russian dance for parents, and other children from elementary, middle and high schools. All children in his grade have been practising their respective dance routines since the start of the year, and they have a professional dance teacher (a man, I forget his name) come in to teach them. But Brian's class will be the only one performing at a public concert in the city this May, and the performance will be televised; the children are really excited about this. And next year, there's talk of a performance (not Russian dance this time, but American country!!) at the Kremlin Palace, no less!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Investigative Math anyone?

The boys' school uses Investigative Math in their curriculum. I do not understand it well enough to give a fair critique but there are plenty of people who lambast it, a simple google will confirm this. What I do like about Investigative Math, however, is that it challenges the child to explain to other children how he solves a particular math problem (I'll write about what I do not like another time :)). This is not as easy as it sounds. It can be very frustrating for a child who just sees it, to force himself to slow down and spell out all the steps required to get to the solution.

I wrote in my Squares & Stuff post that after some time, the child will be able to visualise the boxes required to solve multiplication problems. Sean is now able to visualise squares from 1x1 till 23x23, ie, solve these equations without pen & paper; I tested him during dinner yesterday (to counter my boredom when feeding him).

I then asked him to explain in his own words (which Investigative Math encourages) how he's using The Method . He refused but relented when I told him he'll be helping other children, hehe. Here's the video with full transcript below.

My conclusion: He understands how to use The Method, but I don't think he truly understands what's behind it.



I'm doing 23x23.
First I have to do the equation.
Hmmmm...23 equals...What? You don't know? Okay.
First I have to put 400 here, which is 20x20. I also have to write down, I have to write 60, which is three 20s to do it or you can call it 3x20 or 20x3, because I'm doing 23x23.
Hmmm...you need another 60, don't you think you need one? Of course you do. You need another 60.
Here's your 9. And don't forget your little tiny 9...
First you add 60 to 400 to make 460 and then you add another 60 to make it 520 and you also have to add your little 9, and here's the equation (he means answer of course), 529.

Math the Singapore Way

When I first discovered how Mathematics was taught in Singapore, I was really impressed. I saw things I never saw before, concepts explained in simple but clear ways, and I found myself wishing I was taught this way when I was in school. I found myself thinking, my gosh, why didn't I think of that?

Number bonds, horizontal addition and subtraction, the model and heuristic approaches; these are just some of the ingenious ways children are taught math in Singapore. I passionately believe that Singapore Math is the way to go, and having been away from Singapore for 3+ years, that belief is now stronger than ever before.

See this email I wrote to Hsien a couple of weeks ago:

"One thing I'm all for about Singapore is the way it teaches Math at the primary level. Here's an article from today's LA Times on Sg Math.

Check out this video which I forwarded to the boys' school some months ago! The presenter provides her views on the reform Math that many US schools are using and finally recommended Singapore Math in her conclusion."


The video can be found on Hsien's post. Hsien did more research and found this video being discussed in another site, which she linked to.

I expect to be writing more about what both Brian and Sean are encountering when doing Singapore Math. There are some very interesting questions especially at upper primary level that truly baffle me, so maybe some of you who are Singapore-Mathexperts could help us out yeah?

Thai lunch with Japanese mummies



I was fortunate enough again to enjoy the culinary delights created by my Thai friend May. Check out the spread above; the picture doesn't show the spicy tom yam goong that sent our salivary glands into major overdrive this afternoon.

Other guests today were the Japanese mummies from school, Kumiko, Noriko, Minako and Tomie. They are a really fun, interesting, and down-to-earth group of people. They too love Thai food, and were going 'mmmmm, mmmmmm, mmmmmm' the whole time :) Is it a Japanese thing? I was too busy chowing down to go mmmmmmm that much.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hi to Singapore Motherhood lurkers :)

PP/Cindy emailed me to say some of her friends from the Singapore Motherhood Forum have been visiting my little ole blog :)

These mums have children born a year later than Sean and they share lots about how they're bringing up their kids. I've read some of their discussions and these ladies really know their stuff and more importantly, are very supportive of one another.

A big welcome to all you ladies coming from Sg Motherhood forum and from Cindy's blog. Hope to see you here often, and do leave a comment if you visit so I'll know. Don't be shy, I won't bite...that hard ;)

Bionicle Boys



Hsien wanted a picture of the boys playing with Bionicles, I only have this one of Sean fixing the Inika Toa Hewkii yesterday. He still needs my help to slot the parts in, they are really hard to fix. Hsien's 5.5 year old boy Stephen is a Bionicle/Lego aficionado, he's like a walking encyclopaedia of Bionicle universe, and yes, he fixes Bionicles meant for ages 7-16, all by himself!

Inika and Barrika Bionicles (chay-ay, I'm talking like I know when actually Hsien gave me a crash course on Bionicles a few days ago) were 30% off at a mall here, so I grabbed a whole bunch of them. The boys have fixed 6 of them so far, I'll take a picture another day.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Squares and stuff



This video shows Sean working out 34x34 using a method I taught him this morning. Although he's not doing it at lightning-quick speed like kids from abacus/kumon classes, I think something's clicking in there. Slowly and steadily.

I'm pretty excited about him understanding the concept, cos when I tried teaching this to Brian years ago, he didn't get it, in fact, as recently as last year, Brian still said he didn't get it. Granted, I've streamlined my method somewhat and it's lots clearer now than before.

I suspected Sean might be be ready for the method when I saw he's got his multiplication (and simple division) pretty much down to pat, not by memorising but through a combination of skip-counting, adding, subtracting, I dunno, just different ways.



The Method. Sean knows 10x10 right? So I showed him what 10x10 actually means, 10 squares by 10 squares (see top drawing in picture above), total 100 squares. Then I showed him what 15x15 looked like. First add 5 more columns of 10s, and 5 rows of 10s, this makes 50+50 which is 100, add that to the initial 10x10 square, so we have 200, and finally the small square of 5x5, altogether 225.

He was excited to 'see' this and insisted on doing 16x16 through to 40x40.

Here is 17x17.



And 19x19.



When he did 20x20 and got 4 squares of 100, somehow that got him jumping with delight. I told him from then on, the 20x20 square would form the basic square now. But that each additional row would be an extra 20 squares. Get it?

So here's 26x26....Okay, I'll go slowwwwwww....the basic box is now 20x20=400 right? 6 more twenties make 120, another 6 twenties make another 120...and you have the 6x6 box at the bottom which is 36. Altogether add that in your head, you get 676.



After 30, the basic square would be 30x30=900 and this is how 32x32 is worked out.



38x38.....



How do you like The Method? Of course, doing this by vertical multiplication with the carrying and all may be faster, but if you do The Method often enough, you're able to picture the diagram in your head and come up with the answers pretty quickly and accurately, without pen and paper.

Also, without realising it, Sean learnt to add in hundreds pretty niftily too today.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Poem in your Pocket

Today was Poem in your Pocket day at school. Everyone brings a written poem in his pocket and takes turns reciting throughout the schoolday. Brian remembered a poem he liked a lot at his last school in London (where teaching of English and creative writing was top-notch imo) and chose that as his Poem; it's by Robert Frost.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know,
His house is in the village though,
He will not see me stopping here,
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer,
To stop without a farmhouse near,
Between the woods and frozen lake,
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake,
To ask if there is some mistake,
The only other sound's the sweep,
Of the easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.


.......................................

Sean, on the other hand, did not prepare any poem, I didn't know he needed to...but came back proudly with a poem in his pocket (from his teacher), it was called Pop! and it's about popcorns sizzling and popping :)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Magnetic Math



Sean spends lots of time playing with his Geomags. The boys received their first Geomag set from Lisa, a farewell present when we left London. For Christmas, I got them more magnets and panels. Not cheap, these magnets, but boy, they sure are strong.

They are also good for reinforcing Mathematical concepts. Sean would measure his own height in terms of number of magnets tall. Isn't that what they do in Primary 1 Math, measure lengths using things?

Today, he made this 10 by 10 cuboid (see picture) using 100 magnets. When I saw this, I asked if he then knew what a quarter of 100 was, he said 25. He said a quarter of the magnets were red, a quarter were yellow, and half were silver cos he didn't have magnets of other colours. Asked what half of 100 was, he answered 50.

You could also use the magnets to reinforce learning of counting in 3s, 4s, 5s and so on. Who needs Montessori manipulatives when you have Magnetic manipulatives? Fun stuff.

It's not all Math of course, Sean likes running around the apartment all day holding on to the longest chain of magnets & steel balls he can make, going "Mummy, look, a snake." Yeah yeah...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Malaysia, Truly Asia


With all the news Malaysia is making these days (well, at least on the front pages of Singapore's newspapers!), and given that I have nothing to write about, here are some pictures taken during our trip back to Malaysia at the end of last year and early 2008. These ones were taken in Kuala Lumpur. I'll upload those taken in Malacca and Sabah another time.

How's my photo-taking skills?...Above shows the gorgeous Petronas Twin Towers.

The charsiew that Eddie raves about. The shop is located off Jalan Alur, don't ask me which road, it has a Chinese name I think; the charsiew is out of this world! Fatty, crispy, sweet. Okay, the word that I need to use is Caramelised!



Christmas tree in KL's latest swanky mall, Pavillion. Can you see tiny Sean on the right side of the photo?


The boys both insisted on having solo pictures taken, but Mummy said TOGETHER!! Show me some brotherly love!



Is this Putu Mayam or Putu Piring? I think it's the latter, how's that for jolting childhood gastromemories? Yummylah...part of the breakfast buffet at the hotel we stayed in. Malaysian hotels provide the best breakfasts.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

For Malaysians & Friends of Malaysia

Watershed weekend for Malaysia, wasn't it? The geniuses at ComedyCourt came up with this ditty so quickly, Goodbye Sam, in honour of Datuk Seri Samy Vellu, who lost the Sungei Siput seat he's held since 1974. Funny stuff.



And a song about the straw that broke the camel's back, the Hindraf issue, again, very funny, especially the last bit.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Of Fatty and Fingers




This is Sean's pudgy left hand. Today I heard him referring to his ring finger as Brother. I then found out he has his own names for the different fingers.

From right, what we call the thumb he calls Fatty, well, "that's the fattest one", so nothing strange there.
Next comes Poker "cos it's used to poke anyone", especially Mr Tortoise.
In the middle is Tower "cos it's the tallest one".
Next comes Brother and I'll tell you why later.
The last one, he said is, "Pinky or you can call it Baby."
So why Brother?
Sean said, "Because it's next to the Pinky, and the Brother takes care of the Pinky."

He's of course seeing himself as Pinky or Baby :)

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Starting Singapore Science

Since moving to Moscow, I haven't kept Brian up to date with Singapore school-work, just some Math. Science has been sorely neglected, and in his school's curriculum, science is taught as part of a unit of inquiry (some units do not contain science topics), not as a subject.

This evening, I decided it was time for him to start work on a Pri5 assessment book, which may be outdated since I bought this series some time ago, anyway, it's called Science Companion by EPH. His task was to read the first chapter on Solar System and then complete all the questions.

Some 5 minutes into his task, and on Page 5 of the book, he looked at me and said, "Mummy, this is wrong."

Me, surfing Malaysian election news (and some Jason Castro stuff of course) beside him, reply in an irritated way, "What are you talking about?"

Brian: "This part is wrong. It says that the sun does not move but I read somewhere that it moves."

See the 4th fact under Sun here, does not move.


Me, bewildered and worried that years away from Singapore have taken its toll: "WHAT??!! Of course the sun DOES NOT MOVE! Please ah, get your facts right okay!"

Brian: "But I read it in the Horrible Science book, that the sun and the whole solar system orbit the centre of the Milky Way."

Me: "Okay, then show me which book says this."

Brian: "Can't we just google it?"

Me, very convinced Singapore's workbook was right and him just mighty confused: "No, you always remember where you read stuff from. It can only be from Space, Stars and Slimy Aliens or The Gobsmacking Galaxy. Go look. You better get your facts right, don't get confused." I shake my head, big sigh in my heart.

30 seconds later, he shows me this and says, "See!"


Me: "Er...oh....okay, go google it and see what it says."

Brian goes off unwillingly: "But I've never seen anything that contradicts Horrible Science except this."

30 seconds later, he calls out to me from the study: "I found it."

Another confirmation.


Well, not only does the Sun move by revolving around the centre of the Milky Way, it also spins in a rotation known as a differential rotation, with its North and South Pole spinning a little slower than its equatorial centre.

Anyway, Brian said it's impossible for an object to orbit a stationary object indefinitely, cos the orbiting object would gravitate towards the stationary object and collide with it. I couldn't find anything on the net to confirm this, so if this is erroneous, please let us know.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Limerick laughs

A limerick is a kind of poem that follows a five-line AABBA rule, ie, the 1st, 2nd and 5th lines rhyming, and the 3rd line rhyming with the 4th. Limericks are meant to be funny. Brian had to write two limericks for his homework and he came up with these:

.........................
There once was a boy called Brian,
He had a mane just like a lion,
While he was on the street,
Out looking for meat,
People ran from the boy called Brian.


.........................
Sean's head is a head that's gigantic,
When seen it drives everyone frantic,
While breathing fresh air,
Bugs get caught in his hair,
Cos Sean's head is a head that's gigantic.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Tuned out of iTunes

I don't own an iPod, I could live the rest of my life happily without music, I don't have a radio in my house and I don't listen to music on my computer...BUT this week, I have actually tried buying songs from iTunes.

I was willing to pay US$0.99 per download BUT apparently, I can't download iTunes songs in Russia! %^&*()#$%...what the...

Really, really, really, really, really, want to get 3 songs. Is it legal for me to pay someone to buy these for me and email me the mp3 files?

Dreadheads Forever...

........................
Update:

I've got my 3 gorgeous songs by Jason Castro, thanks to the lovely Hsien! You're a gem! Happy Happy :)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Hallelujah

I was watching Jason Castro's breath-taking performance of Hallelujah on American Idol last night, on my notebook cos we don't get AI here, for the 10th time this morning when Sean turned to me and asked, What's Hallelujah?.

Hmm...I said I think it means Thank God, or Praise God.

He asked, "In what language?"

So I thought I should find out the origin and meaning of the word, and just log it down here.

Wikipedia says:

"Hallelujah, Halleluyah, or Alleluia, is a transliteration of the Hebrew word הַלְלוּיָהּ (Standard Halləluya, Tiberian Halləlûyāh) meaning "[Let us] praise (הַלְּלוּ) Yah (יָהּ)." It is found mainly in the book of Psalms and has a similar pronunciation in many, but not all, languages. The word is used in Judaism as part of the Hallel prayers, and in Christian praise. It has been accepted into the English language, but its Latin form Alleluia is used by many English-speaking Christians in preference to Hallelujah."

I know I'm a slobbering fool, but that performance makes me tear every time I watch it.

Hawking fiction to Sean



Sean loves his non-fiction books, and is not all that interested in fiction. He loves and re-reads stories from The 20th Century Children's Book Treasury, but not much else.

Well, I came across this book when I was in London last week, George's Secret Key to the Universe, written by Stephen Hawking and his daughter Lucy. Your eyes aren't playing tricks. It is THE Stephen Hawking, genius behind A Brief History of Time (don't ask me more) and this is the first children's book he's written.

Since Sean loves reading about the universe, poring over Horrible Science books such as The Gobsmacking Galaxy, and watching documentaries like The Elegant Universe, I immediately thought, "Perfect!" when I saw this book. He's not biting though. He read a quarter of the book, left it at that, and has not looked for the book since. No worries, I'll hawk it to him in a few months, and if he still doesn't bite, in a few years then.

Monday, March 03, 2008

What has wheels and flies?

Cindy/PP from Frankfurt challenged me with the riddle above in her comment on this post. I have little patience/aptitude for riddles and quickly googled the answer, and found it pretty funny.

This morning, I posed the question to Brian.

What has wheels and flies?

Brian: A plane?

Hehe, it's actually not wrong eh?...but wrong for this riddle.

Sean jumps in with: A smelly plane?

I asked why A smelly plane?

Sean: Because a plane has wheels and if it's smelly, then flies want to go there.

Haha, he's actually pretty close to the answer!

After typing all the above, I try again, Okay Sean, what else do you think it could be?

Sean: A smelly truck?

Again, really close.

Me: What kind of truck is smelly?

Sean: A dirty truck?

And the answer to the riddle is...
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A rubbish truck!

Half-term playdate



Brian (extreme right) running to his little fort for cover. Picture was taken last Friday when we visited our Thai friend May and her two boys, Kant (extreme left) and Krit, the shorter one in the middle. The tall boy is Kant's classmate, also Brian, and they are both a year older than Krit and our Brian. Krit and Brian were in a team, having a snowfight with Kant and Brian. Sean was somewhere else in this huge playground playing with slides and building a snowman.

Kant and Krit are fantastic pianists. Kant is only 11 and he is truly a prodigy. One day soon, I will take a video of Kant playing Chopin's Fantasy Impromptu and post it here. My jaw dropped when I first heard him play, his fingers were so light, they looked like they were barely touching the keys, it was truly amazing to see him play.

And the best part of it all, he doesn't even think he is that good. Really cute, unassuming, little boy. His mum is so, so, humble too. Very supportive without being stage-mom-ish.

So in future, when, not if, Kant becomes a famous pianist, remember, you heard it here first.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

What lies on the ground, 100 feet in the air?

Answer below, don't peek...
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A dead centipede