The Gloom of Autumn

The air running through the fingers
tells Summer is finally over
Spring is all bloom and Autumn is gloom. Autumn is here, 2 weeks late on the calendar just like last year. I cannot be mistaken because Autumn felt entirely different from Summer which just passed. Other than the stark difference in air temperature, it feels and smells different, apparent enough for me at least. Gone will be the famous clear blue sky till the end of the horizon, with swirls of clouds in replacement. The sky will be unfortunately greyish for two of my expected guests, a couple and a buddy at the end of March and April respectively. For the of less scenic photographs in their cameras, they'll be compensated with optimal temperatures to play and rest throughout the days and nights of their stays.

Autumn has always been my favourite season of the year despite it hadn't be nice to me. On my first Autumn, I got into a car accident and wrecked Barry White. On the second, I was diagnosed with bladder cancer. I lived to see another Autumn, so I cannot complain. Hopefully, it will be kinder to me this year. I will have to remember to call the hospital up and see when can I get my bladder checked and see if I can renew my "COE" to live another year.

My wife's birthday just passed barely a few days ago. I could have done better than that ice-cream cake. I knew I wasn't cut-out for pastry and was proven right again. She suggested if I want to make her another cake in future, I should do it with cooking, not baking. Interesting. I noted that down for the next year. She should be compensated for a dodgy cake this weekend though, despite how she looked genuinely happy blowing the candle with little Albany. It is time for another roam. It is Autumn, we cannot waste a minute of it.

A casual glance on the ticker shown it has been 900 over days since I came here. I'm glad I didn't remove the ticker as suggested by one of the earliest commentor. It still serves a purpose, never mind if it does me more harm than good. I can't believe I lasted so long here. When I first came to Perth, I didn't come with a do-or-die mentality. Returning to Singapore was always an option. Perhaps it still is, but its relevance has diminished since. The move wasn't casual but it wasn't taken that seriously either. We didn't come with much money, expectations or hopes. We just wanted to buy an experience we would never forget, though it might had came with an expensive price tag with the following break down; given up secured jobs, opportunity costs and having less chicken rice in our systems. We got lucky with our adventurous mindset. Instead of costing us, we were rewarded - at least that was how I felt, but I'm sure Jen agrees.

We met Richard, Father of the Duchess, last weekend. He shook my hand and told me I was looking good. It had been many years since I thought I look good in the mirror so that was kind words to me. Richard was referring to my health of course, he wouldn't lie through his teeth like that. Did I really not look like a sick note? I gave the man who hadn't seen me for ages the benefit of doubt, gladly so. Richard was looking good himself, who have been keeping himself gloriously active through his retirement. Privately (not anymore), Stephen told me that should be how people should treat themselves - by letting go early and experience what is really life with what's left.

What's left.

It's not as simple as you think. It doesn't just mean the amount of money we manage to gather by the time we decided to let it all go but whatever that is left on our borrowed time. I may be talking about freehold and 99 year leases all the time but in truth we don't own a single thing in life. When it is time to go, one leave with nothing and that can mean anytime. You can be on a plane that seemingly vanish into thin air or die being hit by a rock rebound off a speeding truck which spins it on a curving trajectory on a 0.0001% hitting rate -which means a chance in a million. You die when it's time to, sometimes it needs no explanation. 

At the moment, life seems to be a journey of fulfilling dreams. We spend most of us life fulfilling the dreams of others so when is the time to do it for ourselves? Over the years, I've learnt to respect the dreams of the others, despite how ridiculous it seems to me. My very own could be utterly incredulous to the others as well but I can only hope they respect mine just as I do for theirs. I cannot say for sure if Death visits me at night and tell me I have only a few months to live, I will feel contented enough for what I have done during my stay to leave. But I can tell you for sure I will feel worse if I never attempt this move to Perth. Richard told me I made the right decision to stay in Perth for my cancer treatment instead of returning to Singapore. He was damn right. Little did anyone know, last year I decided if I had to die, I chose to do it in Perth. At least I wouldn't add one more regrets to the list of things I want to do in life but haven't.

These may all sound strange to you but I think, only when one feels he is on a possible brink of death, he understands.


  1. I love Autumn

    Although Australian Autumn is not as good as Autumn in Europe or the US, I still know where to go for my feast of colours for the eyes.

    Every year I would try to at least go to Canberra twice (easy 3- 4 hours drive if you live in Sydney). Autumn and Spring (for the Floriade). Ironically it is not the natives that put on the show but the imported Marple tree and other European varieties that turn to red during late April, early May.

    Also during these period (Autumn and Spring) the temperature is the best, though Autumn tend to have huge thunderstorm in Sydney

    Because of what is happening (the falling leaves) you can stand in the forest and look at the scene, with time to reflect upon what have happened over the last few months.

    Perhaps that's why you are doing that now.

  2. Autumn is really beautiful especially with the changing colour of the leaves. I love the four seasons except when summer is too hot and winter snowstorms.


  3. I can understand how you feel about making the right decision to move over and stay in Perth.

    I just paid up my deposit payment to Uni Mel last Friday. Despite paying more than S$12,000 as the initial payment, I felt tremendous happiness and pride. Suddenly, all that working for about 15 hours a day seemed so worth it.

    It's the start of the many more steps I have to take to fulfil one of my life's aspirations.Life is really short and we truly got to treasure every present moment.

    In Singapore, we are far too caught up with the race (to get what???) that really, we have truly forgotten what it is to let go and live. So be strong and carry on with the best you can.

  4. @ My musings,
    Good luck to embark on a new chapter in your life!

    @ XYZ, sinkie over,
    You've come this far from Singapore to Australia to see changing colours in autumn, seriously you kidding me?

    1. You misread my post and my intent

      I didn't come to Oz for the changing colours in Autumn, since the US , Japan, and Europe easily beat Oz for the sights. But I am making the best of where I am rather than staying at home wishing I can be somewhere perfect ( which as good as it is, Sydney is not perfect)

    2. Seems as though you're unhappy with Sydney. Would you like to share more?

    3. Oh, no @ A Blessed Singaporean

      I am very happy with Sydney by all means; but nothing's perfect (I accept that for some people can find their perfect spot but not for me!). In fact so far I don't think I want to live anywhere else in Australia ..... other than the southern part (Tweed-Coolangatta) Gold Coast area, if I can get a permanent job there!
      I like Canberra and Alice Springs too but they are not long term (> 5 years) place for me to live in.

      My personal opinion about Sydney:


      Plenty of shopping (for shopping addicts)

      Easy to buy cheap Asian foodstuff

      Easy to find good Asian eating place (including Yumcha!), or any food of any origin for that matter (just tried a Argentinian meat buffet the other day, slightly expensive but certainly enjoyed it without doubt!)

      Probably the state capital with the most nightlife in Australia (not as much as SIngapore)

      Jobs available for many areas, both blue and white collar

      Plenty of get-away places close by: Newcastle/Central Coast/ Blue Mountains/ Wollongong-Nowra/ Canberra.

      Sydeny Harbour, Harbour Bridge and Opera House. More than 20 years in Australia and still not sick of them!


      Bad traffic (worse than Brisbane and Melbourne; Perth's peak hour traffic is like Sydney on a Sunday afternoon)

      Bad public transport (but ironically still one of the best in Australia, other than Melbourne)

      Expensive housing unless you are prepared to live far from the city and place of work (very common for people to take 60 - 90 mins one way to get to work either by train or car)

      Plenty of ethnic enclaves such that I am not surprised that some Aussies get pissed off by migrants not attempting to participate in or contribute to the greater community

      Racism still exist like everywhere else, sometimes covertly (since everyone want to be openly politically correct)

      Jobs of specialised area/skill can be hard to find, plenty of competition

      Binge drinking violence still a big problem (King-hit etc) in CBD (which is why I dont go there at night anymore)

  5. @ XYZ

    Thanks for the comprehensive summary of Sydney! I can see you have accepted everything about this city - the good and the bad.
    Seems like you know Sydney very well. Should I decide upon Sydney to make my move, maybe you can show me around.

    1. I am afraid I may be one of those SIngaporean to be talk only no action kind, not because I am not willing to show you around but lately I am hardly in Sydney (last time I was in Sydney for less than 24 hours) due to travelling for work.

      BUT, if you call on me via this blog early enough I can see my schedule if it fits with your plan should you decide to come over.

      I will not post any email address as yet since I will be using a temporay contact address which will be unmonitored until I give it to you (and yes I am naturally wary of Uncle Lee's lackeys sniffing around this blog)

    2. :d You won't be the first or the last NATO Singaporean, I'm sure. It's always better to be safe than be sorry. I understand your concern. Let time do the magic.