A book is like a garden carried in the pocket. ~Chinese Proverb

I’ve never actually realised how many books I have until people commented on it. To me, it seems to be a normal amount of books..I mean, it would be abnormal if I have a library – you know convert a room into bookcases of writing materials, some comfy chairs and just-right-height side tables for coffee and drinks while reading with some nice comfy throws and cushions around (as you can see I’ve put this into thought before) but most of my books are scattered around. I admit I have three overflowing decent sized bookcases in the house – one filled with magazines (I never have the heart to throw them away..but then, I know I’m not going to read them again..maybe I should start recycling them) and two filled with fiction, non-fiction and thick fat medical textbooks.

I suppose you can call me a collector – I mean, I do love to read and I’ve been reading consistently for..I don’t know, decades? and I do have a habit of not finishing what I read or just lost interest in the story after some time. But my worse habit is buying books – I can’t help myself. I am the type that when I walk into a bookstore (second-hand, independent, chainstore, foreign language, online, eBay) must come out with a book – usually some obscure fiction but sometimes a bestseller (though I’ve learned from painful experiences, most of the bestsellers that I’ve attempted to read are NOT very good..plus, if a famous person recommends the book, well..it’s better to stay clear from it) and sometimes just something to say “I’ve been to this bookstore and yes I love it so much that I had to buy a book!”.

Books are one of those great comforts in life. I grew up being surrounded by books – my father has a stack of books from his studying times and lots of old ancient malay literature ones as well..I grew up reading classic malay history – the ones that you read about from our high school history lessons, we had them in print at home! My grandfather was a teacher as well with beautiful handwriting (he wrote excellent diaries which we all tried very hard to read) and my mother gave me her old English grammar textbooks from her time at the English Girl School to learn – unfortunately that didn’t go very well because until now, my grammar is just appalling.

Then it came to us three – the funny thing was my siblings and I all had similar reading styles except that my brother (who could and would read anything under the sun..that includes washing machine manuals) who read more fantasy and sci-fiction than us girls. When we all went overseas to study – we all came back with books. My sister being the traveller among us all, always came back with a book from a foreign country that she visited – and she always brought me one that I would just instantly fell in love it. My brother came back from America armoured with Harry Potter (though, he did accidentally left the 4th book in an airport somewhere in LA or NY) – which introduced me to the whole magical world of lining up for books and dressing up as wizards and witches. Of course the amount of books we had at home just keeps on piling. When I told my mom the amount of books I have in Melbourne, she instantly realized that what I’m trying to tell her is to install some floor to ceiling bookcases because my books are just A LOT.

We all learned to write our name in the books that we buy with a date and a place of where we bought it – my mom diligently thought us how to wrap our books – until now, all my textbooks are wrapped nicely. If I’m in a good mood -or trying to procrastinate-will start wrapping my fiction books as well..well, sometimes..haha.

Books? yes, I do have a lot and I’m sure I have more but others have borrowed it and made it their own but if someone were to ask between my shoes/bags/books which one I can’t live without?

It has to be my books.

Medicine for the soul.  – Inscription over the door of the Library at Thebes

Meddie B Avid Reader & Book Collector.

Published in: on January 29, 2011 at 1:11 pm  Comments (5)  

Spinning Wheel

This morning I woke up, brush my teeth, pull my hair into a ponytail, put on my trekkie daks, my old t-shirt, my slightly frayed socks, put on my dirty trainers, stuff my ears with white tiny buds, blast on Queen and ran.

It was drizzling and it was 16 degrees in Melbourne but I just ran.

Some mornings, you wake up and just know what you have to do – no rain no shine no snow no wind no hail no freak of nature shall stop you from doing what you’re supposed to do..and this morning was one of those days.

It was a perfect run – you feel like the whole world is still sleeping (as they should since it’s a public holiday) as your feet pounds the tarmac and the sky beginning to light with the sun.

and exhale slowly..

Published in: on January 26, 2011 at 9:45 am  Leave a Comment  

January 20th is my brother’s birthday.

He would have turned 32 years old.

Published in: on January 19, 2011 at 9:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

I Don’t Need Anything But You

Together at last, together forever
We’re tying a know that never can sever
I don’t need sunshine now to turn my skies to blue
I don’t need anything but you  – Annie

Today’s choir session almost broke my heart.

There I was, guiding the children’s choir through the famous Annie song. Then this kid (let’s call him Tiny Tim… you know, like the one from Scrooge?) burst into tears. Not the screwed-over-by-mom tears or the I’m-frustrated-I-can’t-get-it-right tears. This was something else.

Getting my assistant to take over, I guided the 12 year-old out of class to figure him out. In my mind, I was thumbing through the possibilities as well as their treatments… the probabilities are endless! Oh dear, don’t tell me he’s really upset about the death of his pet. I read it on his Facebook notification yesterday… and there was a sad emoticon attached. Firstly, I don’t understand how/why kids are so into Facebook… however, I’m thankful I saw it as it helped prepped the troubleshooting options in my mind then. Secondly, this is one of the few cases where children’s emoticons should be heavily considered and taken with a lot of weight. God forbid, the human form of expression has evolved to a handful of flipped symbols.

So I sat a sobbing Tiny Tim down and prompted him to speak his heart out. And I guessed right as he explained between heavy sobs how his pet of 2 years just stopped breathing. He talked about being helpless and clueless on how to revive it… about dealing with a little burial outside his home… about being confused at his current state of mourning… about confiding in his mom.

This kid had liquid pain streaming down his cheeks. It was heartbreaking to watch. As much as he gets on my nerves the odd occasion, my heart just went out to him and I had to fight back tears. I shared with him about the loss of my loved one and how death just makes us appreciate life even more… and that people who go through such tough times end up stronger… and that he was very brave to share his experience with me… and I thanked him. More importantly, I told him that it was OK to cry… even for a boy. He told me the song we were singing in the choir made him very emotional.

For a street smart, quick witted and smart-mouthed kid to wear his heart on his sleeve like that… I’m thinking he’s going to make a very good stage performer. On the flip side, I wish there was some power in me to protect children from experiencing such a raw emotion… I keep telling myself they’re not ready for this, children are supposed to be happy. But I guess some people learn life’s lessons earlier than others.

Since Tiny Tim requested for some alone time before rejoining the group, I had another colleague keep him company. Of course, the other children were concerned. I quietly explained the situation and reminded them to be supportive of a friend in need… which prompted a couple of testimonies from the choir on pet death. Tiny Tim rejoined within the hour and was seen being the hyperactive and silly class clown again… and I marvel at his recovery rate.

If only I could mirror that.

One for the Meddie…

Western classical music has commemorated death in ritual and pondered it in concert works. A deeper relationship to death exists in the very syntax of Western harmony

Read more: Music, Classical – body, funeral, cause, Origins of Classical Music, Death Motifs, Death Myths of the Great Composers http://www.deathreference.com/Me-Nu/Music-Classical.html#ixzz1BAjvIQHm


Very, very intriguing indeed!


The Musician

Published in: on January 16, 2011 at 4:14 pm  Comments (1)  

In medical textbook: “In many 19th century operas, the heroine afflicted with ‘consumption’ (pulmonary TB) died tragically but musically”

It’s nice to know us meddies do have a sense of humour ..though slightly twisted 😛

Published in: on January 15, 2011 at 6:43 am  Leave a Comment  

Dream On

I read mainly because I like it – it gives me the perfect opportunity to escape reality (though with an overactive imagination, I can escape reality just by tilting my head to the side..somewhat like JD in “Scrubs”) and I also do loads of reading because I have to – exams, anyone?

Honestly, if it was a good day, great weather, lovely everything..reading a textbook can be less of a chore. Most medical textbooks -if you can believe it- are written by sardonic people..there’s always an element of dry humour and a sarcasm remark here and there – about the art of medicine, the symptoms we see, the way we approach things. Of course things are always funnier when you’re reading it in a hysterical mode (which I always am) – and you are always somewhat hysterical when you find yourself cramming 200 pages in 24 hours ..for a much stressed study group.

Fiction on the other hand..well, if it’s the I-can’t-put-it-down books, you find yourself racing to finish it. If it was so good, you make plans to read it again. Once in a while you find one of those slow simmering ones..the ones that tells you to slow down and live the whole story in your head – and when you do find one of those books, get a non-working day/ a relaxing holiday and pour all over it..it’s worth it. Though, if you’re like me (all work, no play), then make it a daily thing – read a bit from the book everyday and savour it..like everything good, it needs to be savoured.

Happy reading everyone!


Published in: on January 13, 2011 at 8:31 am  Leave a Comment  

Houses Of The Holy

2011 means that I’ve been in Melbourne for 9 years…whoa, 9 years..that’s actually quite a long time.

How long do you have to live in a city before you can call yourself a native of that place? I remember in an episode of “Sex and the City”, Carrie asked the same question – I think she said you can start calling yourself a New Yorker after living in NY for 10 years – does that rule apply for Melbourne as well?

Should one person find a city they like and live there forever? Should one stay for a few years and then leave? Do you ever feel bored of where you are? If you are bored, when do you leave…if fact, how do you leave a place that you’ve invested so many years in?

I tell my friends that I’m bored of Melbourne but at the same time I can’t leave it. Not just because of financial/ logistic issues (yes, yes, I know I have a lot of books/ shoes/ bags – but honestly, if I wanted to I can sell them all!) but because Melbourne and I…we have a relationship going on here. Sure there are days when I hate Melbourne – the sunny days with bitterly cold wind, the 40+ degrees summer and hot sweaty nights, the icy cold wind, the public transport..and some days I just find myself giddy as a school girl (I was never a giddy school girl..not that I can remember) when it comes to Melbourne – stepping on an extremely crunchy leaf, singing in the rain, the way the Yarra River looks in the morning, the coffee culture, the arts centre, the bookshops, the small laneways, the people. Like any relationship, you have your ups and downs but one day you wake up and wonder, do I really want all this?

And I’ve woken up with that thought many many times.

Dear Melbourne, leaving you would be extremely difficult. Unless there’s a damn good reason to do so (love? money? family?) I might not be able to say goodbye..just yet…but I’m sure one day I will find the courage to pack up my bags and just go – and not regret it.

A small obscure cafe, a latte and today’s paper – the best way to spend a morning in Melbourne (on a non-working day of course :P)

For the meantime, Melbourne is home :).


p/s: HAPPY BIRTHDAY JIMMY PAGE!!!!!!! I still think you’re a gorgeous gorgeous man!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxo

Published in: on January 9, 2011 at 2:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

kitty in the middle

I just goggled “do male cats have nipples?”


Something is definitely wrong with me

(in case you’re wondering, yes they do have nipples.six to be exact :P)

B – I’m not perverted, I just wanted to know if that was a nipple or a pimple on his tummy!!

Published in: on January 7, 2011 at 10:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Ramble On

As I am as tangential as a centipede (that’s the first thing I thought..I don’t think centipedes are tangential though..they look quite serious..for a bug :P) but feel the need to express myself, here’s some short tidbit thoughts currently running through my head:

As I listen to my 70′s rock songs (Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd), read my drug related books (Burrough’s The Soft Machine, Kerouac’s Visions of Cody) and grow my hair to 70′s length, I realised that I was born in the wrong decade.


Oh god, oh god, oh god…I want to read this book soooooooooooooo bad but I so need to study. I looked like a total fool at work for not knowing stuff. Grr…but I so need to read this fiction.


What is wrong with this cat? why is he always on his back? Does he have some kind of spinal feline disease that needs operating?

God, I should go out for a run but honestly, sitting in bed with a bag of pretzels and reading a FICTION book is so much fun!

DANG DANG DANG DANG DA-DA-DANG, DA-DA-DA-DA-DA DANG DANG DA-DA-DANG (How to hum Led Zeppelin’s blues-metal Heartbreaker riff as per Nick Hornby’s Songbook – see, I do read books that don’t relate to drugs..well maybe)

Is it crazy to carry around a hot cup of latte while walking when it’s 40 degrees outside? It’s not 40 degrees yet but hey, it might be soon.

HAHAHAHAHAHA, i do read drug books!! Look, I’m reading textbook of pharmacology..getit? drugs? getit? getit?

Whoa..it’s already Thursday??

Haha, the cat squeaks a lot.

I would love some paella now.

I just bought myself a battery-operated pencil sharpener and it’s the coolest thing ever!! *eagerly sharpens every pencil that she sees*

Facebook is like, so yesterday 😛


Is there such a thing as “abstract fiction”?

*yawn* *yawn*


Published in: on January 6, 2011 at 4:00 pm  Comments (3)