Spread the Love – February 2017

My volunteers gang had a gathering during February thanks to Huiting’s recommendation of a vegetarian restaurant at Bugis.

Mingfa invited the volleyball gang down to Huayi Secondary for volleyball but only Bernard and I were available. Bernard arranged to meet me at Jurong East MRT to go down together. After that, he accompanied me for lunch.

As my beauty dish’s honeycomb grid was a little bended, I decided to add some sponge to the bag in case I accidentally got it knocked again. My mum helped me to cut and stick some sponge together.

Year 2016 – The Pressure

– Family
There was a dramatic change in my family as my elder brother and his wife moved to their new BTO flat at Marsiling, together with Luckie. From a badly clustered house to a house with only three people left, the sound of silence filled the atmosphere most of the time. There used to be a lot of unhappiness for everyone had very different lifestyle that we wanted to live in. The limited space had always been causing frustration and thus I could firmly testify against those rich hypocrites who were running the country akin to North Korea. I was probably too used to hearing complaint from my younger brother about how the couple forgot to switch off the toilet’s light and my mum who would bottom up every matter to grumble only in front of my younger brother and I.

With the reduction of conflicts, loneliness began taking over. I knew well even with the very limited help in finance in the past, my elder brother actually contributed in other ways. I never wanted to part with my elder brother but I knew it was inevitable. It was simply impossible for them to get a house within or near the CBD area – apart from having limited space for new flats, the price would be scary. Sooner or later, we had to move far away from the city.

I helped out a lot in packing up the remaining stuff to bring over to my brother’s new place. It took quite a number of trips to empty the room they used to stay in, even though my mum quickly turned the room almost as messy as before. It was not because she wanted to keep a memory of my elder brother by creating similar mess, but because she was simply a collector of everything. Somehow, everything could somehow turn useful one day for the poor, maybe no in near future.

Apart from the sadness from the moving out of my elder brother, Luckie’s absence in the house was a big blow to me. I was the one who used to sleep with him when he first joined my family. Since I worked from home, I was the one who had spent the most time with him. It was also because of him, I always hesitated to leave the house since he had fear in loneliness. I stopped my occasion afternoon jog to places like Marina Barrage and Henderson Waves mainly because of him.

The most dramatic thing happened soon after they moved out as Luckie got his first slip disc problem. His lower back caused his legs to become strengthless. After his operation, I went over to take care of him during weekdays since both my elder brother and sister-in-law had to work. Seeing Luckie in such sorry state hurt me a lot. Before he was fully recovered, he had a second slip disc that caused him greater pain than ever. Just as I thought Luckie would be out of my life, the couple spent another 10 grands to save him. I did my part by going over to take care of Luckie during weekdays.

– Friends
The closest friend I had was as usual, Gilbert. He helped me in everything without expecting anything in return – not that I was able to help him much in anything. Apart from him and my volleyball friends, I hardly had many chances to meet up with old friends. I also made many new friends through photography even though it was back to business that not everyone would keep in touch with me after they had gotten what they wanted.

– Relationship
In the third quarter of the year, my relationship ended. She was the most intelligent girl I had ever being with but we had very different priorities in life. She was more into the YOLO lifestyle while I was still struggling with my own life to make ends meet. There were also some differences that we had always struggled with, such as I felt obligated to stay over at my elder brother’s place to look after Luckie but she was fed up for she knew I was unable to work over there without even a proper table. I always felt bad for my mum’s attitude towards her even though she had always been showing respect and offering helps. Unfortunately, it was a bad start after all and my mum was more inflexible than me. I was glad both of us had tried very hard after all. I blamed myself for I was unable to give her a better life – not that I was able to.

– Health
Cough caught up with me for months and I knew well I did not recover because of the food I had been eating – my mum loved spicy food and she would deny cooking them. As for my injuries, my ex-girlfriend helped a lot. After her mum brought me to a Chinese doctor, my back injury improved a lot because it did not ache very regularly. Since she had learned some massages on the acupuncture points, she also improved the conditions of my other injuries, such as my right shoulder. Towards the end of the end, I suffered from a new injury on my left shoulder after carrying the bulky and heavy camera equipment for too long – the nerve was pressed too much that I felt weakness on my left arm.

– Finance
The tuition agency business dropped tremendously since both of my main coordinators were too busy with their lives. One of them had too much family issues to handle while another could buy a condominium just by giving tuition lessons instead. They were both not obligated to spend their time to help me in my business and thus I was more than happy that they still spent some time whenever possible to take up some assignments. Whereas for the rest of the coordinators, they were busy with their lives too.

For my photography services, I was still unable to make any breakthrough as there was a huge competition from photographers who undercutted the market while most enquiries were from clients with low budget. I knew the standard of my work and the market rates, and my strong principle insisted me not to lower down my value or further harm the photography market.

Spread the Love – November 2016

Weitat organised two volleyball games at Yusok Ishak Secondary school and one at OCBC Arena, which was booked by Jelly. We had late supper after the first game and Weitat specially instructed Steven to give me a lift home. Steven could have taken the PIE route home, which was much faster. After the second game, we had dinner at Bukit Gombak’s coffee shop. In order not to let “blackbean” uncle and auntie treat, I ordered my food from the western food stall instead of the seafood stall. However, SCDF uncle footed the bill for our drinks. For both the last games, Bernard gave me a lift home using Jingjie’s car as Jingjie was not in Singapore.

The process of doing photoshoot with Jasmine Tan was glad not because I was shooting a cute girl but because she was one of the rare models who could turn up on time for a 7am shoot. She was very cooperative and we managed to get many good photographs.

During the one-day reservist at Yishun Safra, Teck Hui met up with me to walk over. Then, Fabian gave me and Terry a lift to the nearest MRT station.

For the photoshoot with Wanling, Gilbert was the driver to send Yuko and I over to Wanling’s house. Candy played a good host, drove me to package dinner back and sent us to the shooting location and then sent us home.

For the photoshoot with Rouying, Guoxin was my best assistant ever. He helped me to carry my equipment, buy drinks for all of us on his own initiative, shine light for my camera to focus and even paid for the cab after the shoot.

In total, Yuko took up three shoots with me and I was very glad that she could use her talent to aid me in creating the wonderful work.

Gilbert booked a staycation at The Amara Sanctuary Resort and chauffeured both Wanling and I to and from our houses. He also paid a larger portion for the hotel fee. Lunch was on Gilbert and dinner was on Wanling.

Spread the Love – October 2016

I had a shoot with Beverley at Coney Island in the early morning. Gilbert gave us a lift over, helped in carrying my equipment and directed Beverley. He sacrificed his skin and blood to feed the mosquitoes and sandflies.

I had a beach volleyball game with my gang. Jingjie gave me a lift from Vivocity and Weitat sent me home after dinner.

Thiam Huat met me up at Tanjong Pagar for dinner. After that, we chilled up at Essen and he gave me two rounds of treat to drinks. We chatted till late and he had to catch a cab home.

My elder brother came to stayover with Luckie since my sister-in-law went overseas. During his stay, he tried to solve problems and passed me a good earpiece.

During my shoot with Dr Joy at her son’s birthday party, she treated me as a friend and not just a photographer. I was very touched by her kind gesture. During the entire evening, she kept asking me to eat. It was the first time I got to try out chicken from Jollibee.

I was so busy that I almost forgot it was the last public holiday that Tanjong Pagar Railway Station would be opened for visitors before closing down for integration work with the new MRT station. Just hours before the opening hour, I contacted Ahpa and Yoyo, who agreed to go down with me on such late notice – they reached home only after midnight. Yoyo had tried to accommodate to the choice of clothes that I wanted; discussion with both of them was much easier than many model-wannabes who had approached me. I was glad the simple shoot with Yoyo turned out quite well.

Spread the Love – August 2016

My mum noticed that I had many photography equipment lying around and she packed some space at the shelf previously used to put Luckie’s stuff for me to store things.

Gilbert had a free movie ticket as one of his colleagues fell sick and could not go. He even picked me up to go over to Lido together. I stopped him from sending me home after that and I actually made it home earlier than him. It would take him double the time if he were to give me a lift home.

During the re-shoot with Angie at her place, she cooked dinner for both her new social media manager, Mary, and me. It was great to be given a treat by someone of a high status who had cooked personally for us. In fact, Angie had arranged the shoot such that I would gain more exposure for Mary would be capturing the behind-the-scene photographs – if Mary were to use them on her publication.

Weitat arranged around three sessions of volleyball games at Yusof Ishak Secondary School and sent me home twice. During the last session, we had dinner at Clementi and I was able to go home by myself since the coffee shop was quite near to the train station. Alas, he was very concerned if I could catch the last train and I felt very touched. Alas, I could finally feel less guilty by not troubling him. After one of the games, our favourite auntie footed the bill for our supper at a coffee shop in Bukit Gombak, which made me feel very bad since there were quite a number of us. Jingjie bought many bottles of greentea for one of the sessions and shared with us generously.

As I was asking my elder brother about using HDMI cable to replace VGA cable for my computer, he told me he had a spare one. When he came back to my house, he actually remembered bringing it along.

My hairdresser endured another last-minute booking from me as I was about to go for reservist. As usual, she was not pissed off. Anyway, she charged me the same price since twenty years ago and she actually needed not take my business.

During reservist, the drivers Fabian, Melvin and Kenneth gave us free rides that had reduced the amount of time and energy used in travelling. I made a new friend, Teck Hui, a social worker, who gave me a treat on the second day.

Year 2015 – On the Verge of Breaking Down

Relationship

The most significant changes of the year was the removal of my “single” status. I was never ready to be grounded because reality was cruel and that money was as important as oxygen in Singapore; I didn’t want to take up responsibility that I couldn’t shoulder. Without money, I didn’t have time. For the past countless number of years, I had been alone not because I hadn’t met any nice girl, but because I wasn’t ready and thus didn’t take any action. In year 2015, while career was still vague, I still wasn’t ready yet.

As a photographer, I had countless interaction with pretty and hot girls. Most people would probably think that I was a typical superficial guy who would only go for “super model” type of girls with hourglass figure and flawless looks. Looks would fade but every aspect I loved about her would stay. She wasn’t my ideal type of girl by looks for I had always favoured the athletic build or “SYT” types of girls but her intelligence proved to be more tempting. Nobody could understand me more than her, although nothing and no one was perfect. She had also showed her thoughtfulness and tolerance towards me. Our communication was great and it was rare for anyone to achieve that with me. She had been my personal doctor and English tutor, displaying her excessive talents and appreciation for her imperfect boyfriend.

The biggest problem was that she was extremely clingy, which I liked, yet couldn’t afford to enjoy due to work. My mum often acted as if I was jobless, in fact, she treated any job without CPF contribution from a boss not a job. Therefore, the amount of time I had to spend on the two women was really killing me and sometimes I wished I could just give up on everything and laze around at home just to entertain both of them. There was a few times we got to meet each other for seven days straight. She was also a superwoman who could multitask and text me regularly. Work got piled up as my production rate declined badly. I couldn’t do some of my internet marketing work while I was forced to delay some essential tasks, such as posting my work within the golden hours. My private photographs taken with friends during outing would be delayed for many months before I could squeeze some time to work on them. Whenever she behaved like a little girl while showing her appreciation to me for doing some things, I felt more pressurized than ever for she was unintentionally expecting me to do even more when I had already pushed myself to the limit. Her optimism was a double edged sword for the positiveness would influence me; however, she took things far too easily, which differed from my style of doing things.

The journey to adapt to each other’s flaws proceeded beyond the end of the year.

Family

I continued to be the free receptionist of the family since I was at home most of the time. Everyone, except my mum, had been purchasing items online and the delivery-men would trigger the dogs’ (Luckie and the neighbour’s crazy dog) barking often. Salesmen, surveyors, flyer distributors and retired neighbours were culprits too. No matter how much you loved a dog, sudden loud barks would definitely make you “jump”. I was also abused by telephone calls from weird friends of my family even though everyone already had a mobile phone to attend to their friends. Luckie continued to bother me by waking me up with his barking and then pestering me either for food or to bring him down for a walk. My only break-time was when my elder brother reached home and until my sister-in-law went to sleep – Luckie would be locked out of the bedroom, which finally saw a change for the later half of the year. My mum would even call me just to check the location of anyone or if she had forgotten to switch any appliance off. Very often, she would also turn back to the gate after leaving home to ask me to pass her her forgotten items like mobile phone or keys. Instead of calling my mum directly, my elder brother would sometimes text me to tell my mum when he wasn’t coming home for dinner. Despite my mum would always go to my younger brother to seek help, nobody realised I was the one who had spent most time entertaining her since my elder brother would be inside the room whenever he was at home while my younger brother was not at home most of the time and slept before my mum got home from work. I was the one who had to listen to her grandma stories multiple times because she would tell me directly, loud over the phone to her many friends and then to my siblings. I even had to answer to my mum over any new or misplaced item in the house since I was home most of the time and she expected everyone to notify me everything. The list of problems was too long to be remembered. The perfect job of working from home was soiled badly, affecting the progress of my work.

The harmony was shaken a few times throughout the year in the low income family, having too many people squeezing inside a small house of two bedrooms. The biggest argument was about fairness. We spoke up our minds and finally, around five years since Luckie joined our family, my elder brother started allowing him to sleep inside the bedroom instead of bothering me at night when I was working.

My younger brother had his own way of pampering my mum that I totally couldn’t agree on, because it caused my mum to be extremely over relying on us while he wasn’t at home most of the time. My mum was often simply behaving like a kid and thus it was definitely more challenging. Being filial didn’t have to be overdone, even though most people would agree to over-pampering her since they didn’t know the full scenario. I was the quiet observer in my house who stayed at home most of the time and nobody knew what was going on better than me. I knew there should be a limit to everything and besides, I had my own limit too. To put it in simple words, I wasn’t as capable as my younger brother in term of money-making and I really sucked at it.

Friends

I owed a lot to Gilbert. He appeared most of the time in my monthly hero list. Often, I felt stressed for I knew I could never help him as much as how he had helped me, including all the small kind gestures.

The most depressing thing was when I tried to get back the money I lent to my old buddy years ago for his marriage, he suggested paying me back through installment but didn’t even make the first payment. I often recalled that time when he promised me to return me around two months once he received his salary, it dragged on for countless years without receiving any cent from him while his son was already three years old. The most ridiculous fact was I was probably the lowest income earner in our group of friends and I was the only one who lent him a hand. I felt betrayed and it caused me sleepless nights. I learned to be more careful with whom to help in future.

I made new friends through photography but unfortunately, I didn’t have time to meet up with most of my old friends. It was such a pity to drift away from friends who had been through a lot with me in the past. There were only a few volleyball games and thus I could only meet up with the guys once every few months.

Work

My tuition agency was giving me more headache than ever. Apart from the daily chores, I also had to build up on security for the website. It was endless trouble that most people wouldn’t know the effort and doing things behind the scene was making me feel helpless and unappreciated. The problem was that I could see many things had to be done but it was going to be a hell lots of work. All the automation and information would require time to work on, and yet without doing them, I would be doing some same boring stuff often. To sum up, the effort and time I had spent on the business overwhelmed the revenue. Eventually, it was years of effort that I couldn’t give up.

There was some slight improvement in my photography work but it didn’t make much difference though. The fund generated was not even sufficient to cover up the cost of buying the equipment. I couldn’t take up too many projects for the time I had to spend on post-production was too much. I spent more time on marketing than the actual shootings. Although I did meet many kind clients and nice models, I had also encountered many time-wasters online, in fact, more of the latter.

Fallback in Photography

I got badly slashed on the route to expand my photography portfolio when one of my younger brother’s friends showed her true colours. During the early days of my photography journey, she volunteered to collaborate with me for a couple shoot with her then boyfriend. As she was an educator and they were together for quite long, I didn’t anticipate any problem. I spent weeks to do professional post-processing work for the album and gave her ridiculously large amount of photos that would cost over three grands for the standard. Obviously, in the name of building a portfolio for couple shoot, it benefited the couple much more.

Unfortunately, they broke up a couple of years later and she asked me to remove the photos entirely because it would somehow hurt her whenever she got to see them, like as if she would even visit my portfolio. I explained to her professionally, including the fact that male and female models who didn’t know each other would take up couple shoot projects together. She probably knew the facts that I had the copyrights over the photos even though I didn’t raise the point, and she resorted in using bitchy lines to try to insult my professionalism. She was so disgusting that I could feel the chill deep inside my bones that I decided to take down the photos because having a bitch inside my portfolio would tarnish my reputation – not because I was afraid of putting my younger brother in a difficult position or what.

Alas, she got what she wanted, from the start, a free professional couple shoot which many young couple were dying for and yet couldn’t afford, and eventually, the removal of the professional work when she no longer thought they were useful to her. However, this spoiled brat had also displayed her true self – someone who could be very nice to friends during good days but could do anything to them if they were to go against her childish demands, especially during bad days.

It was a gigantic damage to me because the shoot covered three locations and I had been trying to do photoshoot in different parts of Singapore to add to my list of beautiful places in Singapore. I could persuade my clients to shoot at the same locations but every shoot would occupy weeks of my time and I could only take up a few shoots per month.

Another hurtful thing was some friends took pity of the bitch just because she broke up with her boyfriend, likely due to having different directions in life and definitely not due to any unfaithfulness. None had considered the effort and time I had put in for the entire album of over 70 professionally fully edited photos for the couple who didn’t have professional hairstyling and makeup on when the gentleman had quite bad complexion. The travelling around with the heavy photography equipment and the weeks of frustrating effort to produce the final work were taken granted for. Even the lady who had insisted me in doing commercial standard of editing photos was soft on the bitch. Even though at this point of time, my equipment and skill in photography had already far exceeded the quality of that album, the master pieces of work were already better than most of the outdoor pre-wedding shoot albums I saw in Facebook.

Finance

Despite doing freelance photography, the income generated from the shoots was entirely spent on equipment upgrades and replacement. My main income source was from the tuition agency, which could hardly cover my monthly expenditure. Dating put further pressure on me even though my girlfriend wasn’t the type of girl who would demand good food and branded stuff. From a near zero spending staying at home to having to spend for two people made a very big difference.

My younger brother unintentionally placed huge burden and pressure on me since years ago by upping the sum of contribution to the household. I had to turn down wedding invitations and I didn’t even want to renew the ridiculously expensive Singapore passport. Years of having extremely low income together with the high expenses was a torment to my brain. The most ridiculous thing was that my monthly contribution to the family and mum was a few times higher than the combination of my elder brother and his wife’s, while their combined income was a few times higher than mine. Their reason was they had to save up for their new house. Nobody had probably given a thought that I had to save up for marriage and to get myself a house, which I was dying for, in near future as well.

While my mum’s fiance health was extremely good with the extra contribution from my younger brother, nobody seemed to know what she had been spending the money on other than lottery. Often, when I came to know that she had bought useless things after being conned by strangers or friends, I would feel very upset because I couldn’t even bear to pay for some essential things for myself; even when I had to carry 18 kilograms of bulky equipment out for work, I would rather risk injuring or over-exhausting myself than to spend money on cab.

I didn’t know how I managed to survive as there were months that I had to “eat into” my saving.

Volleyball

Weitat organised and paid for using the indoor court at the OCBC Arena a few times. However, my shoulder and feet injuries (could be plantar fasciitis) made me a cripple during my last two games with them. It was terrible to feel the pain before I could even take off to do spiking. I couldn’t jump to my usual height and even if I could reach the peak, my shoulder injury forbid me from doing the swing to hit the ball. It was pretty useless to explain about my conditions when everything I said was treated as an excuse, or at least I didn’t appreciate much of the sarcasm.

Alas, I was also quite unlucky that I was always placed in the same team as one of the most competitive and inconsiderate guys. He played as the setter most of the time and I didn’t get to spike even when I was playing as the main spiker. When I was lucky, he had no choice but to set the ball to me, which happened at most twice during every set of game out of 25 points. Since it was a “no choice” situation, the ball was always delivered badly while I had already given up and thus unprepared. Playing volleyball under such situation killed my confidence. Besides, he was quite a show-off and decided to waste lots of opportunities by dropping the second ball over, as if he had a high scoring rate. Of course, I didn’t voice out since I didn’t want to make anyone feel stress or awkward over such leisure games. I hated being there just to make up the number although my main motive was to spend time with them.

Health

I got seriously ill for only a couple of times, which was much better compared to the previous years. However, more injuries plagued me as it further affected my mood for the worse. My right shoulder and feet injuries were the main devils while my girlfriend was able to reduce the pain of my back injury with her skill learned from a Taiwanese physician. She also brought me to a Chinese physician at Ang Mo Kio who further eased the pain caused by my back injury. I felt weak as all the injuries restricted my freedom of movements.

2015 was certainly one of the worst years ever. I was mentally stabbed and robbed of my calmness and patience. There were many lessons to learn from and the most important thing was become stronger and not give in to shit.

Spread the Love – December 2015

I made my second trip to the National Gallery Singapore just to accompany Gilbert. He insisted on giving me a good treat besides sending me to and fro my place. He always made excuses to pay for the bill because he knew I was not doing very well. I could have walked over to his office before the trip but he thought it was raining and thus more convenient to drive over instead. I was not sure if that would trigger an extra extortion from the bloody ERP system to his cashcard or he could have skipped all ERP system along the route to our venue.

I accompanied Jonathan Siah to look at a printer and then to the clinic. Before going home, he gave me a treat at Tiong Bahru Market before dropping me near my house.

I had breakfast with my mum and auntie Chwee Lian before going to her eldest son’s house for an interior shoot. Auntie Chwee Lian insisted in giving us a treat at the market.

At the end of an event shoot for my client, Eunice Seah, the couple gave me a lift to the nearest MRT station. Even though the distance was probably less than 500 metres away, it was raining.

Weitat organised and booked indoor volleyball games twice at OCBC arena. If it was not because of him, we would not be able to gather and play the game. It was not just about the money (court fee of $60) but also the trouble. He also took the trouble to give me a lift home as usual.

After one of the volleyball game sessions, we had our dinner at Newton Circle. Our favourite uncle and auntie insisted in giving everyone a treat at the end of the dinner. It was a very expensive meal for two people to foot but they would fight over the bill with us every time without fail, making us feel very guilty.

For my photoshoot with Kaijun, Ahpa came down specially from Johor Bahru to lend a hand, partly because it was a sexy boudoir shoot that I would need a female escort to make the model feel safer. Cherie was another angel who approached me to become my assistant just a day before the shoot. I was also thankful to Kaijun for approaching and trusting me as well. Despite things did not go as planned because our planned venue was cornered off by the police and that the sun was giving me headaches by the time we reached the beach, I had fun working with three of them. My lighting equipment fell though.

My December 2015 was filled with love from many good people.

Spread the Love – July 2015

Just as I was busy looking for a coin pouch to replace my spoiled one (somehow, the skin started peeling off), my mum offered me one that she had made herself. After I told her the size that I wanted, she did another two and one fitted what I wanted exactly.

Lovelle helped me to book for my staycation as she was able to get a good rate. I wanted to get one room at M hotel but she accidentally booked Studio M hotel. Eventually, she took up the Studio M hotel room and helped me with my M hotel’s stay.

Weitat not only made effort to book the indoor volleyball court at OCBC Arena, he also paid for it without asking us to return him our share. Other than that, he also took the trouble to gather everyone.

My elder brother bought durians for the whole family – he could have just bought it for him and his wife but he was not stingy over sharing food and fruits.

My voluntary group had a gathering till late. Yongsheng was not only the gentleman who took orders for everyone at the dessert shop and tried to get seats at the MacDonald’s, he also tried to send everyone home. I was really amazed over how he took initiatives like a real gentleman.

Year 2014 – Professional Photography Journey Began

Smart Tuition
The tuition agency business was somehow as stagnant as before. I did not have the time and energy to “expand” it. The lack of credible and suitable coordinators was the main problem. There were quite a number of people emailing us to take up the job but we did not want to take any risk as we really wanted to help clients and tutors to our best ability and not treating it like a business. It was thanks to the existing team, especially Tricia and ET, that the business was able to sustain. We continued to meet weird people along the way and I got more and more weary of dealing with ridiculous and cunning people as well.

Photography
I took my photography to the next level by upgrading to a full frame camera. More people started approaching me and I began to take up event shoot instead of just sticking to portrait shoots. It was a tiring journey. I got to meet more people both online and offline. I was very excited to interact with all the good people in real person. However, just as there were many kind people in this world, I had encountered many eat-full-nothing-to-do people. It was irritating enough for “shoppers” to enquire for the fees when I had already stated the minimal amount on the website, but there were also many who were worse. I had entertained many people who had shown so much interest in engaging my help. We chatted for long time and I gave them advices but they eventually decided to waste my time.

Family
Things were pretty much the same as previous years, except that we were all more enthusiastic towards the arrival of my elder brother’s new BTO flat, which should be ready by end of year 2015 or beginning of 2016. By then, our current flat would be more “spacious” and there would be less conflicts. My house might still be very messy since it was my mum’s characteristic to keep everything. However, there might be a change in her attitude when we had an “extra room” while my elder brother would not help to mess up the living room again. Eventually, there would be a big problem for the family as my elder brother was a handy man. Apart from that, my mum continued to put stress to me, while I worked from home, by creating

Health
I had my right arm and wrist injured for a long period of time. The arm was due to volleyball games while wrist was because of holding to the heavy camera on a single hand for long duration. I fell sick twice for a long period of time too, taking panadol tablets more than I had ever taken in my entire life. My health was badly affected by my neighbours’ puppy who barked loudly every morning. My neighbours were helpless over the aggressive dog who was trying to destroy their main door.

Volleyball
My gang was quite active for beach volleyball games until towards the end of the year. Everyone was very busy, especially for those who were doing shift jobs. We finally had an indoor court game because of Jingkun’s request before his marriage. That was the first time I played on an indoor hard court after years.

Friendship
I felt I was disconnected with most of my friends. The struggle for work and photography had massacred every single thought to catch up with my old friends. I had no time to think of giving away presents or whatsoever. In the last three months of the year, I had to attend six wedding though and I had to be the “brother” for two of them. Photography did help me gain many new friends but not many kept in touch with me, most probably because the models were mainly into getting good photos. At least, they knew my character and felt safe to be with me.

Love
Boy-girl-relationship was a flat zero score for me. Due to photography, communication with people was mainly about the hobby. I did not really find new net friends to chat, except for a few occasions, I was curious with some sites like OKcupid, Omegle and the phone app Tinder. I was too busy to utilize them. Besides, it was not my forte to fight for attention with thousands of guys.

Conclusion
My life was stagnant except for the progress in photography. I did not party nor meet friends often to chill up together. To many people, my life was boring but I was glad that I was living it differently and meaningfully. Some people might be seeking to enjoy their lives to the fullest by partying around, some wanted different experiences of sexual partners; I sought to establish a name for myself and be remembered positively after leaving this world.

Spread the Love – November 2014

It was my birthday month. Other than the advanced birthday present given by my best friend, Gilbert, my sister-in-law had given me a present – a bottle of perfume.

Max, the cute little dachshund, was migrating out of Singapore with his parents. His mum organised a farewell party for some of the closest sausage dogs and their parents. This Japanese lady was so generous that all the guests were very well fed with good human food in the pet friendly cafe.

It was Jingkun’s wedding month and he asked for playing of indoor volleyball for his “bachelor night” since we had not played on the court for years. Weitat ended up arranging for it by himself. He took the trouble to find an indoor volleyball court, paid for it himself and also gathered the large number of players.

Jingkun’s gate crash was in the early morning. Weitat had to work overnight and thus did not want to house me since it was quite inconvenient (I did stay over at his house before when we both teaching at ITE Clementi). Besides, he wanted me to rest properly on my own bed and not having to carry extra items (clothes, toothbrush etc) along. Therefore, instead of I took the trouble to travel to his place the night before, he actually drove over to my house to pick me up in the early morning. His place was nearer to Jingkun’s house and he had to wake up much earlier to travel all the way to central to pick me up and drive back to the west.

Tricia’s maid had left Singapore and she had finally decided that she was too jinxed to own a proper maid after changing around three to four of them within a year. She was very unlucky. Hence, she had become the new maid of the Foo family for the first time after over ten years of being a “tai tai”. Due to her detailed character, she became very busy. Despite this, she helped me to look through some of my photoshoot work.

While I was too cheapskate to get a flash band to tie my colour gel on the flash head, I thought of doing one by myself. To be honest, the main problem was I was afraid of getting a wrong one through eBay. With a mum who was working as a seamstress, other than having to live in a poor family, it was easy to get some rubber and sew one properly to cut cost.