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Word Snapshot

Or maybe ‘Scribe Short’? ‘Script Short’? Anyway, observations in under 250 words or one page…

Because as an Enneagram 5 (thanks Bian for introducing Enneagrams!) I tend to live inside my head and in words and distance myself from what’s going on outside.

I love some daily art/photo sites but it’s capturing stuff I see/hear/learn from the ‘outside’ in words that I’m trying to work at.


Yesterday, on the way back from VivoCity there was construction work along Pasir Panjang Road. The road split for centre work and there was also other work going on on the left side of the road, so we were a very narrow single lane. The car in front was a posh white BMW and it was going very slowly (for a car) because in front of it was a cyclist (going very fast for a cyclist). Not a recreational cyclist in shiny helmet and bright shiny clothes on a shiny new bike but one who looked like a migrant worker–tall and leggy with longish hair tied under a head scarf, dark loose clothes on an old, dark bike.

We (the car in front, my car, the growing line of cars behind) were all going slowly because there was no room to overtake him. I was hoping no one would get impatient and cause an accident. If only the driver in front stayed calm he could ‘protect’ the cyclist from the anyone behind accelerating into him.
Then the road opened up and at once the cyclist veered left to the unblocked curbside. Instead of surging ahead, the car drew alongside him and someone inside waved and he gave a big grin and waved back: a gesture that seemed part salutation, part thanks.



Now eyes are ‘fixed’ (again!) it’s so good to get back to reading even though I’m not reading much yet.

Not going to be getting back to this blog seriously/regularly till this stabilises but want to say I was thrilled to read, in a review about a new book on Leonardo da Vinci :

Levenger Press: How did Leonardo combine what was on the page with what was happening in the streets around him for his writing?Ross King: Leonardo was a great observer of the world around him. We’re told he always kept tucked in his belt a little notebook in which he jotted down anything that amused or interested him. He also used to follow people through the streets of Florence or Milan, surreptitiously making sketches of their features with a view to using them in paintings.

I found that very encouraging–though totally in a different time & different league (probably different dimension) we’re still carrying notebooks around and observing and trying to figure stuff out even as we’re being entertained by it!

I used to do that all the time–the result of being kaypoh with a bad memory–like taking word snaps of people & places.

WordSnapShot taken at a cafe at Vivocity: there was a young woman who was telling the toddler with her what to do non-stop; “Don’t touch that!” “Sit Still!” “No don’t touch I do for you!” and “Quiet!” “Stop it!” The child seemed happy and healthy enough, interested in & wanting to explore its surroundings as it was transferred awkwardly (this took longer than it did for their order to arrive) from pushchair to child seat. The pushchair was left in the centre aisle but when one of the staff tried to move it between two tables the mother snapped as though challenged, “He’s my son I can manage!” She was obviously awkward with the child as well as his big pushchair. The woman was wearing a shirt and skirt that looked uncomfortable and unflattering enough to be civil service office wear but in low heeled slippers that kept catching on the wheels and table legs. She kept drawing attention to her mouth (a petulant mouth, I thought, sides dragged down by pronounced nasal labial folds) by dabbing at it and twice reapplying lipstick while she was still eating. When the child was quiet she stared at her mobile phone–without speaking or texting. When the child moved or spoke she went back to “Sit Still!” or “Quiet!” and put another spoonful or another sip into it.

Was wondering what the scenario could be, she seemed both unfamiliar with the mechanics of dealing with a child alone and defensive about being able to handle it.