Today is the happiest day of 2016.
What a surprise it is to me.
I have been terribly busy lately. That explains why I have been MIA since *shrug* dunno when.
Like the past few Autumns, this one is going to be a life-changer for me. This year, I will be moving house yet again, after staying in this lovely townhouse for a couple of years by now.
It has been a great a few years staying in this townhouse owned by Savvy Steve. Here, I watched my daughter grow up from a barely walking toddler to an intelligent 4 year old. Savvy Steve never increased rental even once because of our secret pact. In exchange for my handyman services, I get no rental increment and peace in return. I have never seen Savvy Steve ever since I moved in.
Then Savvy Steve turned up one day with a big proposal. He gave me the opportunity to live in a small house in my favourite suburb in Perth. It was his new house and he was willing to let me stay there just like how it has been for the last few years. In exchange for low rental and peace, I will have to provide labour to finish up his entire interior painting as well as flooring. Without any hesitation, I agreed.
For the past week, I have been busy with getting the preparation done for my painting work. Fortunately, Lord Hardy Teo of the Brook volunteered to assist me in my quest. Knight with a big heart, that fellow. Despite that, the painting job is a handful for just the two of us. Putting in a few hours after work each day hasn't been making a huge impact but there progress has been encouraging. This weekend is a make or break one for me. Lord Hardy has pledged a few hours of his Saturday morning to keep me company. That shall make me strong.
I felt like a dead dog when I came home the day before. Albany's cries from afar pierced my heart. It was only two days since I had time in the evening to interact with Albany and I already felt terrible. I wondered for a moment how parents in Singapore could go on for weeks returning home and waking the next day to sleeping children. They didn't know what they missed in life. Regrettable.
Jen seemed to be unable to cope without my presence. I told her it was a bad move to order Albany to sleep by herself in her own room while she tried making Pui Pui sleep in another. Albany started to make all kinds of excuses and cried when Jen rubbished her claims. In truth, Albany wanted nothing she asked for but Jen's attention. I wanted some time by myself. Returning home to a war zone was the last thing a man wanted after a hard day's work. I couldn't afford the luxury just yet. I finally sat down by Albany's bed, stroked her and told her to stop crying. Within 5 minutes, she fell asleep. There wasn't a proper dinner out there.
Today has been a challenging day. I am growing exponentially tired as the week advances. What a pleasant surprise to return to a quiet home. I peeked into Albany's room and saw her asleep. Yet another day too many without interaction with her. Then I saw a half asleep Jen holding Pui Pui in her arms. He was also asleep.
In the dinner area, a delightful meal awaited me. My eyes lit up after taking a bite of the noodles Jen (I hope?) prepared for me. It was delicious. Yes, I was hungry, since I had no breakfast and lunch earlier in the day. However that wasn't the reason why the noodles tasted delicious. In fact, it was already cold and slightly bloated because it was prepared hours ago. Well it wasn't restaurant delicious but home-cooked-by-mother delicious. It tasted like nothing like the usual fried noodles I always cook, which by now has reached an acceptable standard. It was a taste that I could never reproduce on my own. After all, it was the Mother of all Noodles.
Today is the happiest day of 2016.