It’s Sunday, the usual day of my typing and blog post on soojourn.com. There’re two posts this week because I missed out the post last Sunday. But today is a really good day too – Sabrina is in town and we caught up again.
We last saw each other in London in November 2017. The weather was beautiful and we had a morning run at St James’ Park. Today’s run was a very different (and difficult one) for Sabrina. She literally jumped into Singapore’s “furnace”. This morning’s run was at a sweltering 28-30 degree celsius! I am very proud of her for finishing 5km at a good pace, the humidity notwithstanding but also that she barely slept since her arrival yesterday evening. That’s what I do to good friends who visit – I make them run when they are super jetlag! Only close friends do that.
St James’ Park, London, 5 Nov 2017
Pit stop during the run, Singapore, 4 Feb 2018
Adrian joined us for lunch at Ce La Vi at Marina Bay Sands. It was our first time there since it changed hands (from Ku de Ta). The lunch menu had a good variety but three of us decided to have the sea breem with red curry (which was delightful)! We also had spicy tuna sushi, pork/shrimp dumplings and a bottle of Cloudy Bay’s Sauvignon Blanc 2017. Really nice catchup about work, life and everything else under the sun. The windy gust started to howl and we thought it would be best to take some quick snaps before a possible torrential rain comes. We took some happy shots and also a video for Alan (who was just waking up in London time).
Ce La Vie, Singapore, 4 Feb 2018
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, 4 Feb 2018
The three of us (plus Phoebe) balloted for the Royal Parks Half Marathon 2018 and we’ll know the results on 9 Feb. Fingers crossed, we’ll see each other again in Oct 2018 for the run.
The Running Typist
Blog Post 1 | 7 Jan 2018, Singapore
I am typing this letter on my red Olivetti Valentine typewriter, listening to Nina Simone over Apple Music. I first saw this typewritere model at the MOMA in NYC in 2010 (or was it 2011?). The fire engine red and design captivated me. This typewriter was designed by Olivetti in collaboration with Perry King and entered production in 1969. However, it did not achieve commercial success due to its price and quality. For me, this typewriter is easy to use, is portable and reminds me to be creative. It is not my first typewriter though. My first was a Remington Rand No. 5 which I love. It was a very distinguished art deco era piece and was made in 1939, the year my mom was born. Unfortunately, it rusted quickly in tropical Singapore and particularly since I live near the sea.
Typing on a manual typewriter does wonders for me. It slows me down tremendously and helps me process my thoughts. Unlike typing on a computer keyboard or on the phone, one needs to type “XXXXX” (as I did earlier) over typo errors. Re-typing paragraphs of badly formulated sentences or missing thoughts also cost time, paper and energy.
Recently, I sent two close friends (in London and Paris) letters for Christmas. They were utterly thrilled to receive the letters. I was candid about my life and also threw in some laughs so that the letters are not that serious in tone. I always make sure I handwrite my name at the end so that they know the letter was from me. I learned about that from something I read about letters sent during the first World War. The recipient would know that that the letter’s sender was still alive.
So why “The Running Typist”? The obvious is because I run and I type on manual typewriters. When I was thinking of the nickname, I got the inspiration from a pub I saw in London called “The Thirsty Bear”. It left a deep impression in me as I thought it was funny, appropriate and memorable. Such creative business names are uncommon in Singapore (where I am from and now live in). However, that is changing as we see millennials start new businesses with the most creative names.
If there is any typist (on manual typewriters) out there, please feel free to reach out to me. Or if you are a female and ardent about running, I’ll love to hear from you too.
The Running Typist
Cape Leeuwin, Australia, 26 Dec 2017