Archive | September 2009

Alphabet Wall: X is for Xebec

Now, how cool is this…you learn something new every day! 🙂
With the burgeoning pile of paper boats on DD’s table day after day that’s threatening to rival the opening scene from Troy, I’ve decided to capitalise on her current interest to teach her about a different variant of the generic “boat”. So we are going to be making a model of an eighteenth/early nineteenth century Xebec. Click here to read more about what a xebec is.

You will need the following materials:- Old magazines, blu tack, toothpicks, scissors.

X is for Xebec - materials

1. Cut out one square and two triangles from your magazines. Set aside.  [Here, we decided to make the square sail a bit fancier]…

X is for Xebec - cutouts

2. Fold one sheet of magazine paper into a basic boat shape.
3. Stick three blobs of blu tack on the inside part of the boat, at the front, middle and back.

X is for Xebec - blu tack

4. Carefully, poke a toothpick through each of the square and triangle sheets to make three sails.

X is for Xebec - sails

5. The square sail goes on the front of the boat. Bury the sharp end of the toothpick into the blu tack. Do the same for the remaining two triangle (lateen) sails.

X is for Xebec - completed

Run some water in the bathtub and have fun sailing your very own Xebec!

Definition from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary

Main Entry: xe•bec
Pronunciation: \’zē-,bek, zi-‘\
Etymology: modification of French chebec, from Arabic
Date: 1756
: a usually 3-masted Mediterranean sailing ship with long overhanging bow and stern

Wake up!

When the alarm rang in the morning, being totally reluctant to get up, I threw off the covers, and rolled onto my side with my knees sticking out off the edge of the bed.

DD who was just leaving the room with DH and DS, ran back, patted me gently and said “Mummy, lie properly. If not, you’ll fall down.”
Awww! And that’s one effective way to get mummy awake!

Art appreciation

Don’t these look like gold ingots? 🙂

Fried wontons

DH’s mum made homemade fried wontons for dinner. They were such a work of art.
And we polished off the whole plate in 20 minutes. 😛

Qun Zhong Eating House at Neil Road, Chinatown

Qun Zhong Eating House

If you don’t mind waiting in the hot humidity of a Sunday afternoon with grouchy kids who’ve been woken from their blissful naps on the car ride…this may not be for you.

But after all, this is Singapore. Where if you want good food, you must be prepared to toe the line in the queue. [pun entirely intended]
And face stubborn proprietors who will not budge on the way they allocate tables.
Boy, wouldn’t it be great if I could start a business like this – where I could just wave my hand at eager customers hoping to be the favoured ones to be assigned a table soonest, and ask “You, how many?”, and tell the impatient ones, “You just have to wait. I don’t know how long it will take. Hah, you want to split table? Cannot. Then I must reassign you to the back of the [now 8 table long waiting] queue. You say you want 7 person table, you must wait for the 7 person table.”

Anyway. After you get your table, the food arrives pretty quickly. And it is very good. For something where the filling is the same, only the wrapping is the guo tie and Chinese pizza. *rolls eyes* We are such gullible creatures.

Steaming hot xiao long bao!

Steaming hot xiao long bao!

Zha jiang mian (Minced meat noodle)

Zha jiang mian (Minced meat noodle)


Top - Chinese pizza, bottom - guo tie (fried dumplings)

Top - Chinese pizza, bottom - guo tie (fried dumplings)

Red bean pancake for dessert

Red bean pancake for dessert

The length of the waiting line outside never waned all the time we were there.  Phew. Like I said, super good business.  Damages came up to $112 for seven adults and three toddlers. 😛

Also found: One itsy-bitsy spider

Further to my post three days ago


Auggghh!!!!! I’m going to ask DH to clean up the kids’ room the rest of this week. Miss Muffet is staying far far away…

Paper treasures

I was cleaning up the kids’ room the other night and found these! 🙂


…a family of frogs…


…an army of crocodiles…


…a fleet of boats…

What are little girls made of?

Sugar and spice and all things nice.
Huh. Yeah, right.

Mine is currently besotted with grasshoppers, ants, frogs, and alligators.
Illustrations in books, folded paper ones, pretend ones and REAL ONES. City mouse mummy is squirming, “Eeeks!!”

No pics…I’m too squeamish!