Friday, February 21, 2014


While driving on the middle lane of life, I sometimes feel as if I'm being tailgated, that another 'vehicle' is tailing me so closely that I'm forced to either speed up, or shift gears and move to the slower lane.

That's life. You sometimes cannot move at the speed you choose because of external forces around you. I was hoping for a good start to C's school year, a steady, problem-free transition to a new school, and for her to settle in quickly with her studies in her first year of secondary school. But alas, she had the challenge of having to deal with a class bully who targeted her more because she is one who does not take things sitting down. Anyway, that situation has improved after intervention by the teacher and principal and I hope it will continue to improve.

Then, there are minor changes to the school timetable. That's to be expected at the start of the school year as the school tries to find balance in distributing their teachers' time to match the needs of each class. C is re-learning Mandarin as she didn't learn much in her previous school, partly because she wasn't interested, and partly because the teacher wasn't 'interested' too. So for one day a week, her school hours are extended by an extra 30 minutes for Mandarin, an extra hour for extra-curricular activities. By the time she reaches home, it's late afternoon. It's a good thing there's not much homework so far. With music lessons two days in a week, that's about all we can handle for now. 

Lunch at school didn't seem like value for money after January's trial so I'm now preparing breakfast, snack and lunch every morning for her. That means having to wake up 15 minutes earlier every morning, and planning and preparing some food the night before so it's ready to be cooked in the morning.

The weather has been very hot and dry since Chinese New Year. Water levels are low so many areas in the Klang Valley are facing water rationing. Last Friday, water supply was intermittent at my place right up to yesterday. It's a good thing we are a small family so it's not impacting us too much. We're not short of water yet, only facing the inconvenience of not having running taps in the kitchen and having to be more careful and not waste what we have in our storage tank. Laundry is done at odd hours when water supply is temporarily restored, regardless of day or night. Cooking is minimised so food stalls and restaurants are getting more business from us.

I smell smoke in the air today. Is the haze back?

The one-week school holiday is coming soon in March. I wish to go somewhere nearby since we didn't go anywhere the last long, year-end holidays. The task of finding some place affordable nearby is not so easy. I would like a beach holiday but C does not. E is indifferent. Local destinations are more affordable but will surely be fully-booked if I don't decide early. And they will surely be crowded too. Hmmm, I'm being tailgated by choices and decisions too....

Que sera sera.

By the way, did you know that 'que sera sera' is not exactly Spanish or Italian? Here's what Wikipedia says:

The popularity of the song has led to curiosity about the origins of the saying and the identity of its language. Both the Spanish-like spelling used by Livingston and Evans and an Italian-like form, "che sarà sarà", are first documented, in the 16th century, as an English heraldic motto.[6] The "Spanish" form appears on a brass plaque in a village church in Surrey, dated 1559.[7] The "Italian" form was first adopted as a family motto by either John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford, or his son, Francis Russell, 2nd Earl of Bedford. It is said by some sources to have been adopted by the elder Russell after his experience at the Battle of Pavia (1525), and to be engraved on his tomb (1555 N.S.).[8][9] The 2nd Earl's adoption of the motto is commemorated in a manuscript dated 1582.[10] Their successors—Earls and, later, Dukes of Bedford ("Sixth Creation"), as well as other aristocratic families—continued to use the motto. Soon after its adoption as a heraldic motto, it appeared in Christopher Marlowe's play Doctor Faustus (written ca. 1590; published 1604), whose text[11] (Act 1, Scene 1) contains a line with the archaic Italian spelling "Che sera, sera / What will be, shall be").[12] Early in the 17th century the saying begins to appear in the speech and thoughts of fictional characters as a spontaneous expression of a fatalistic attitude, always in an English-speaking context.
The saying has no history in Spain, Italy, or France, and in fact is ungrammatical in all three of these Romance languages.[13] It is composed of Spanish or Italian words superimposed on English syntax. It was evidently formed by a word-for-word mistranslation of English "What will be will be", merging the free relative pronoun what (= "that which") with the interrogative what?[14]
Livingston and Evans had some knowledge of Spanish, and early in their career they worked together as musicians on cruise ships to the Caribbean and South America. Composer Jay Livingston had seen the 1954 Hollywood film The Barefoot Contessa, in which a fictional Italian family has the motto "Che sarà sarà" carved in stone at their ancestral mansion. He immediately wrote it down as a possible song title, and he and lyricist Ray Evans later gave it a Spanish spelling "because there are so many Spanish-speaking people in the world".[15][16][17]
In modern times, thanks to the popularity of the song and its many translations, the phrase has been adopted in countries around the world to name a variety of entities, including books, movies, restaurants, vacation rentals, airplanes, and race horses.[18]