VLOG003 – Getting Rid Of Clothes After Losing Weight (20kg/44lb)

So here’s a great problem to have, getting rid of clothes after losing weight! I lost about 20kg (23kg to date) and obviously, my old clothes didn’t fit anymore, not even vaguely.

Getting Rid Of Clothes After Losing Weight

This video documents the fun journey of going through my old clothes (some of which I was deeply emotionally attached to) and getting rid of them.

This book helped a lot to be honest: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Those that were pretty worn out went to H&M for recycling and 2x 15% off vouchers for every 2 bags.

Those that were wearable and some honestly were like brand new went to Kedai Bless in 1 Utama.

And the MOST fun part started after, shopping for new clothes now I can fit into Old Navy, H&M, Uniqlo, FOS and even Top Man!

Remember SUBSCRIBE NOW for more VLOGS.

Camera used: Canon PowerShot G7 X

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VLOG002 – How To Install A NATO Watch Strap – 22mm AVI-8

NATO straps are super in at the moment, here’s a video on how to install a NATO watch strap – specifically on a 22mm lug AVI-8 Hawker Harrier II watch.

How To Install A NATO Watch Strap

The watch is an AVI-8 Hawker Harrier II my wife bought my for my birthday <3 - https://amzn.to/2h1xmvb

And the strap is an olive (military) green NATO strap with black hardware to match the face, 22mm for the AVI-8 watch – https://amzn.to/2gUXTeM

Camera used: Canon PowerShot G7 X – https://amzn.to/2gMBMKh

Remember to Subscribe!

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Continue Reading · 8 Comments · VLOG

VLOG001 – Easy Paleo Mayonnaise Recipe (Whole30 Compliant)

I started Vlogging (yay) and here’s my first video an easy Paleo Mayonnaise recipe which is also Whole30 compliant and of course SUGAR FREE.

Easy Paleo Mayonnaise Recipe




WildFit has changed me so much (totally changed our lives in fact) and I had a bit of a milestone today – I managed to buy a pair of Uniqlo jeans – which means I no longer have to wear ‘fat man’ clothes (which my wife calls choosing between ugly shirt A or ugly shirt B) and I can wear things I want to wear as I can fit in regular sizes on normal shops now – so I’m SUPER happy about that.

Anyway, I decided to try something else new as well, which is vlogging – many people asked about how to make Mayonnaise so that’s my first video, if you are interested in this kinda thing and more WildFit/Paleo/Whole30 compliant tips and recipes (nut butter, pickles, pancakes, deep fried oysters etc) tune in.

Here’s the video:




I’ll also be vlogging about other random other stuff as I’ll just be recording my life with my family and what I get up to (so expect to see some Liam too).

So please subscribe, share the videos if you find them useful and give me feedback!

If you have any questions, ask them below or on the video.

Here are my WildFit posts:

WildFit Challenge – Week 1 – Inner Dialogue
WildFit Challenge – Week 2 – Alkagizer Mild
WildFit Challenge – Week 3 – NO SUGAR!
WildFit Challenge – Week 4 – NO CARBS Or Dairy
WildFit Challenge – Week 5 – No Alcohol or Caffeine
WildFit Challenge – Week 6 – Entering Ketosis AKA Spring
WildFit Challenge – Week 7 & 8 – Staying In Spring
WildFit Challenge – Week 9 & 10 – Yah Still Spring
WildFit Challenge – Week 11 & 12 – A Small Break

And you can find out more and buy WildFit here: Why WildFit – a 3 Part Video Series

And remember to subscribe to my VLOG: https://bit.ly/2h7PmVu

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Continue Reading · 2 Comments · Food/Eating, Paleo, VLOG, WildFit

Resuming My Couch To 5k Training – Learning To Run

I started this journey way back in 2013 with my Couch to 5k training and my dusty treadmill and unfortunately this category on my blog has remained lonely with only 2 posts in it for the past 3 years.

But now I’m eating well with WildFit, I feel great and have loads of energy, plus I’m way better at committing to things now – I decided to take it up again.

I think last time I only documented the first workout of week 1 and probably didn’t manage to get much further than that: Couch-to-5k – Week 1 Workout 1 Conquered!.

This time though, I WILL FINISH IT! No promises I’ll actually be able to run 5 kilometres at the end, but I’ll give it a damn good go.

So yah, I started again. Started with walking at 3.2 mph and jogging at 5.2 mph – not too bad. Got a good sweat on and heart rate maxed out (my Fitbit Charge 2 arrived just in time!).

Resuming My Couch To 5k Training

It’s a good work-out, nicely paced and with 3.2/5.2 mph I find it very manageable to complete. The first week has you going about 2.6km in 28 minutes.

Fitbit Charge 2 - Couch to 5k

I’ve actually complete 3 weeks of the program now and am starting my 4th (tomorrow night will be Week 4 – Day 1) and I haven’t missed a single session yet, plus I’ve completed them all.

My speed is up as well, now I’m doing 3.4 mph for the brisk walk and 5.4 mph for the jogging sections (the past week had 2x 3 minute jogs – which was pretty intense).

Couch to 5K Training

It’ll be interesting to see what the coming week brings, I can definitely feel the difference in my cardiovascular fitness, stamina and ability to run. It helps a lot of Badminton (which I try to play at least twice a week) – and burns insane calories (1500-2000 in a 2 hour session).

Definitely getting thinner, fitter and healthier every day!

Get a great book to help here: 5K Training For Beginners: From Couch To 5K Runner In 8 Weeks Or Less

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Web Application Security – DevFest + GDay George Town 2016

Recently I was invited down to Penang for DevFest + GDay George Town 2016 to give a talk on Web Application Security. This is my 3rd year in a row attending (for a panel and last year a talk) and this year I managed to record (most of) my talk with my own camera.

Web Application Security Talk

The subject I covered was titled “An introduction to Web Application Security” mainly focused for web application developers (although most principles also apply to mobile and native or embedded apps). The talk covers the basic principles of infosec (CIA), do’s and don’t and the top 5 from the OWASP Top 10.

I thought what was the highest value subject that I have some decent expertise in and is relevant to the audience (mostly young or junior web and mobile devs), last year I already covered CI/CD and the tools used + some agile.

So this year I decided to go back to my roots and dive into security in a fairly holistic manner (without getting too technical).

georgetown_devfest2016-2

The slides are up on Slideshare here:

And the (almost) full video is here:

Apologies for the last 5-10 minutes being cut off as the camera battery ran out 🙁

Hope you enjoyed it.

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Continue Reading · No Comments · Hacking & Infosec, Internet & Tech

JavaScript To Mass Remove Facebook Group Members

So it turns out to delete a Facebook group it must have no admins, and no members, which seems kinda silly. So I found this JavaScript to Mass Remove Facebook Group Members and tweaked it a bit so it worked, it takes multiple runs to go through a large group – but in the end it got the job done and I could delete the group.

JavaScript To Mass Remove Facebook Group Members

Offical from Facebook:

If you’ve created a group, you can delete the group by removing all its members and then yourself. To delete a group: Go to the group you want to delete and click Members below the cover photo. Click next to each member’s name and select Remove from Group.

How do I delete a group? | Facebook Help Center | Facebook

The below code can help you with that, make sure you edit the excludedFbIds and enter your own Facebook ID so it doesn’t delete you first. You can find it here: https://findmyfbid.com/

It works fine in Firefox, so edit it, then paste in the JavaScript console and run it. It might have errors sometimes and hang or pause, just reload the page and execute it again. I did a fairly big group with a few thousand members and it cleaned them all out eventually.

And that’s it, just keep running it and you’ll get there in the end.

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CrashPlan Crashing on Synology DS412+ Keeps Closing – Increase JVM Heap

So I’ve had a Synology for a long time, and issues with CrashPlan Crashing – before this I used to have a great little D-Link NAS and I’ve been using CrashPlan on Synology DS412+ for a long time too (since I got it pretty much).

I upgraded from the D-Link for storage reasons, plus the apps available on the Synology + faster performance and you can install things like CrashPlan, Plex and so on.

I’ve forever had issues with CrashPlan though, crashing on scanning, crashing on upload because my file set is too large (my photos folder alone is over 120,000 files).

CrashPlan on Synology DS412+

And I’ve tried all kinds of tweaks, settings, changes etc and it was also getting really hard to get the CrashPlan client on my Windows desktop machine to connect to the headless installation on the Synology to configure folders, check progress etc.

Especially seen as though it crashed every few minutes, it always got disconnected.

So here’s how to get it all working as of now, with the current versions etc.

Installing CrashPlan on the Synology DS412+

This part is fairly straight forwards, find CrashPlan in the community section of the Synology Package Center.

Installing CrashPlan on Synology

Also at the same time, go and download the latest version of Oracle Java JRE (Which it will ask for, in this case speifically jre-8u111-linux-x64.tar.gz) – which you can find here:

Java SE Runtime Environment 8 Downloads

Once downloaded, copy it to the /Volume1/public folder on your Synology, select custom Java 8 and the installation should proceed just fine.

After it’s installed just click Run in the drop down menu and you’re good (check the log to make sure it started ok).

CrashPlan running on Synology

Configuring Headless Access from Windows 10

This part seems really technical, and honestly it is quite technical – if you aren’t familiar with SSH and PuTTY you might get a little lost here. You’re probably already using CrashPlan client on your Windows machine to backup your files (and if you’re not you SHOULD) so you have the client but you need to do a little fiddling and port forwarding to get it working.

Also close the CrashPlan client before you start any of this.

So first things first, you need PuTTY or an equivalent SSH client, and you need to connect to your Synology, use the login as admin and your admin password on port 22.

Get the Authentication Token

The first thing you need to do is retrieve the ID from the Synology CrashPlan installation which you can find with this command:

You’ll recieve a string like this:

This is the port, auth token, IP address. Save this somewhere as you need this to access the headless install with the CrashPlan client.

Edit the Local CrashPlan Config

So now you have the token what you need to do is edit your local CrashPlan client config, for me on Windows 10 with CrashPlan installed for all users this was located at:
C:ProgramDataCrashPlan.ui_info

What you need to do is change the port to 4200 and replace the existing auth token with the one you retrieved from your Synology.

Start Port Forwarding with PuTTY

This is the final step you need to do before launching your client, so what I suggest is you save an entry in your PuTTY Sessions for the Synology and then you need to open the config section under Connection -> SSH -> Tunnels and add a port forward with the following details:

PuTTY Synology Port Forward

Click add, then connect to your Synology with this SSH session – this should activate the port forward.

Start the CrashPlan Client

Fire up the client, it might take a little longer than normal, but it should connect to your Synology and give you the option to add folders, configure the backup options and so on.

CrashPlan on Synology DS412+

So you can see it’s half way through scanning and already 80k files and over 250GB, my whole set is about 130k files and over 500GB and it works well with the below tweaks.

You can stop here if you have a smaller data set and not many files and everything will work just fine, but if you have a larger data set and are having problems with the CrashPlan service on the Synology crashing/closing/disappearing regularly (in my case every 1-2 minutes you’ll need to make the below changes.

Adjusting the JVM Heap size to accommodate CrashPlan

The problem is the Synology DS412+ is fantastic in many ways, but it only has 1GB of RAM – this is great for most things, but CrashPlan with a large data set is a hungry beast. Fortunately it also has 2GB of Swap so you can push the limits a little bit unless you dare to upgrade your NAS with more RAM (which is also an option up to 4GB).

Ok so what you need to do here is stop the CrashPlan service in the Synology dashboard so you can edit the config files. You’ll need to use vi (pain in the arse) but that’s what it has installed.

To get started, you’re probably still connected via SSH to the Synology, but if you aren’t reconnect. I’m gonna leave the vi lessons out here, so you’ll have to figure that out yourself.

To edit the first file use this command:

Have your password handy, as you’ll have to enter it again.

When you’re in the file, right at the top add:

Then for the second file:

You’ll find a really long line that looks like this:

You need to change that to:

These are the recommend settings for this model with 1GB RAM and 2GB Swap (the default config), obviously if you have more physical RAM you can go even higher.

Restart the service on the Synology, connect the CrashPlan client and check the config by double clicking the house, then typing java mx you should see this:

CrashPlan Java Heap Size on Synology

That means everything is good and your backups should work fine.

Mine hasn’t crashed at all yet.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask below in the comments.

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Continue Reading · No Comments · Internet & Tech, Sys Admin & DevOps

We Lost Our Twins at 24 Weeks 5 Days To Extreme Prematurity

So here I am, in my study, with some kinda relaxing classical music play-list on Spotify trying to gather my thoughts. I’m not sure why I’m writing this, or how I’m gonna even pen down how I feel, or if this will ever be published.

But I am here, and I think I am writing this mostly for selfish reasons. I need to get this out of my head and onto a page, I need to collect and structure my thoughts, try to distil them, feel them to the maximum of my capacity, then process them and move on. In some parts this whole thing feels surreal.

Some part of me feels like keeping this password protected, some part thinks I should do it as a Facebook note so only my friends on Facebook can see it, some part of me wants to not doing anything at all and just curl into a ball.

Also selfishly I want to avoid hundreds of separate, awkward conversations about this which will trigger a new wave of devastation each time I have to talk about it.

Our Twins

I also need to put a trigger warning here up-front, if you have lost a child, had a 2nd or 3rd trimester delivery (late miscarriage or pre-term birth) where you lost the babies or anything similar, this may be extremely hard reading for you.

Some people may think I’m over-sharing, or this is very private and should stay that way. You are probably right, but this is my way of dealing with it, I don’t really have any very close friends or support system and I have no other way to get through this. I can’t put it all on Kim, she has to deal with herself too and I truly believe it’s much worse for her than it is for me, and what I feel I already find unbearable.

For context, and for those that didn’t know. Kim was pregnant with twins, at first we were terrified because twins come with a lot of complications and our first child was already premature at 32 weeks although he made it through just fine with no apparent long term disabilities. They were due on December 22nd and we expected them to come out around mid November (around 36 weeks is normal for twins).

But we reconciled our feelings about it, we got excited about it, the magic of twins, we had plans, had accepted van life was becoming a reality, dreams, fantasies about our lives together. And we found out the twins were a boy and a girl – it could get no better.

The pregnancy was wholly uneventful, no spotting, no pains, nothing – no signs anything was wrong. Everything was going just fine, the twins were growing well, Kim’s cervix was fine and long – better than expected actually as they were both the size of regular babies at the last check-up. There were minor issues like the placenta was quite near the cervix, but not totally covering it (placenta previa) and Kim had low iron.

Honestly the pregnancy with Liam was far more stressful and showed many more signs of prematurity being a real risk. We were totally shocked when Kim went into labour at 32 weeks and we had to learn a whole lot about NICU and premature babies really fast, I wrote a little about it here: What It’s Like To Be The Father Of A Premature Baby (Premie).

He’s absolutely fine though, just past 2 years old and is developing into a smart, bright, loving, sweet little man.

We expected some level of prematurity with the twins, definitely not before 30 weeks (the danger zone) and hopefully after 34 weeks – for no NICU stay.

So what happened?

This is the most common question we get asked from the very few people we’ve told (currently single digits), and is fairly straight forward to answer – it’s also very unpleasant to answer over and over because it makes me or Kim relive the entire experience each time we have to tell someone about it. Which is really, really, genuinely horrible.

I’m gonna tell it as it happened from my perspective, it’s going to be detailed, gruesome in parts and emotional.

At around 6.10pm Thursday 1st September Kim sent me a picture of some discharge she had, she said spotting..but when I saw the picture, I very obviously saw a mucus plug (the thing which closes the cervix to the outside world). Which made me absolutely terrified, I was actually in the tail-end of a company off-site meeting and was already exhausted. I tried to stay mentally strong, and imagine it was thrush or just some mucus, or discharge.

Spotting & Mucus Plug

But deep inside, I already knew this was bad, really fucking bad. It was the same thing that happened last time, and last time 7 days later Kim’s water broke in our bedroom and she went into labour and gave birth the next morning.

I quickly read up on it again to refresh my memory, but I was right, it was a bloody show, it looks exactly like everything on Google image search for “bloody show” or “mucus plug“. If there’s blood, it’s bad.

At this point, I’m unsure if it’s better to know more or less, I already knew a lot about this subject, what it meant and what was imminent. I’m not sure if that’s more terrifying, or not knowing anything would have been worse.

Either way, it looked really bad.

I rushed home as fast as I could, after crying hard in the car for a while to try and get my shit together. I wanted to reach home and present a strong, positive front to try and make the best of the situation.

I picked up some dinner on the way back, and shortly after I reached, Kim lost some more mucus plug. I think at that point we both knew what was about to happen, the last thing that we wanted and something that had honestly never crossed our mind as an option.

We were very likely about to lose the twins.

By this time it was about 9pm, we’d managed to eat a little and feed Liam.

And then Kim thought she started feeling contractions, I tried to believe they were Braxton Hicks contractions, but we started timing them…and they were coming 5 minutes apart.

And having gone through labour before, she knew they were real because they hurt like period cramps, which real contractions do – Braxton Hicks do not.

We quickly gathered some things and proceeded to the hospital, we reached there at I’d say approximately 11pm and they took Kim straight into the maternity ward. I waited outside with Liam and tried to stay calm, hope they could stop the contractions and prevent the onset of labour.

I couldn’t go in as Liam was with me, so I had no idea what was going on.

About an hour later they let me into the ward waiting area, where I sat with Liam for about 20 minutes. Of course I was still hoping for the best, but by that time I had very little hope left and was absolutely physically and mentally exhausted.

The doctor came, and sat opposite me, he said Kim had already given birth to both babies naturally (not c-section) and was fine, they were just cleaning her and the room up and I could go and see her. By the time we had reached the hospital, her contractions were less than 2 minutes apart and she was fully dilated at 10cm, the doctor said for babies this small she only needed 6cm dilation to give birth.

When the nurse checked her dilation she could already feel the babies fingers.

There was absolutely nothing they could have done to stop or slow down the delivery.

He said the babies were very small, there were some signs of life, but they were extremely premature and it really didn’t look good.

Even though I was fully expecting it, it was still a shock.

Strangely I didn’t really feel anything, I felt numb and emotionless. He kept telling me over and over it was not Kim’s fault, and I shouldn’t blame her. I knew that, but I also knew why he was saying it as most humans have a tendency to blame as a first instinct when anything bad happens.

By this time it was about 1am, and they let us into the delivery room, Kim looked fine and healthy and we sat and talked about what had happened a little. I think we both didn’t feel much at this point. Things were happening faster than our emotions could process it.

Kim in Delivery Room

I think we slightly freaked people out with our stoicism, although in hindsight it was most likely shock more than anything else. We really couldn’t feel anything.

The paediatric doctor came in a little time after 1am to let us know neither of the twins had made it. They were born at 630 and 670 grams and were extremely premature, their eyes were still fused and they had no real lung capacity.

As we expected, we had lost them. They were born at around 11:47pm and 11:58pm and died before 1am, they lived around 45 minutes.

They kept asking if we wanted to see them, I refused, I honestly didn’t want to see any dead babies – even if they were mine and part of me. Kim didn’t want to see them either, she had seen them during birth and they were very purple.

The Doctor also warned us they were very bruised and in quite a bad way, especially the boy as he came out head first so the bruising was on his face.

We still didn’t feel much, we talked more about logistics than anything, the hospital staff were very empathetic but not very useful when it came to what we were supposed to do about the bodies, the registration of their deaths, was it considered a miscarriage etc?

They kept talking about Forensiks which I now realise is the mortuary and associated functions not actual forensic examination.

I went home a little after 2am as Liam was getting very tired and cranky. I think I passed out for a while putting him to sleep around 2.30am-3.30am with the front door and grill wide open, keys still in the padlock.

I got up and did some laundry (Kim’s bloody clothes), read up a bit more about related subjects, had a shower and went to be around 4.30am.

I slept fitfully.

The Day After

I woke up the next day with Liam around 1.30pm after sleeping on and off. Kim had sent me a list of stuff she needed on Whatsapp to bring to the hospital.

I collected all the stuff (well most of it, I forgot some because my mind was a mess) and went to the hospital.

I arrived around 2.30pm and went to the ward, I couldn’t go in though because of Liam – no under 12s allowed as it’s an infectious disease centre.

Fortunately the guard helped me take Kim’s stuff inside.

And then something good happened, Liam’s Paedatric Doctor showed up, and asked me what I was doing there and who was warded, I said Kim and he said why? So I explained the situation to him, he looked genuinely sad, asked a bunch of doctor-ish questions, confused me with his big words (He asked if Kim is ambulating) and said it sounds like Incompetent Cervix.

He went inside and tried to sort things out, which he did. He’s the head of NICU in the hospital, so he said Liam could wait in the NICU counselling room with the counsellor while I went and got Kim sorted out, got a wheelchair, paid and so on.

I was and still am very grateful for his help, he made a terrible situation a lot less stressful.

We had decided we would let the hospital deal with the babies bodies, so we had to make a police report for that, which the hospital staff very kindly helped with.

By this time, the feelings were starting to sink in, and break through the numbness.

I got a wheelchair, made the payments and collected Kim, we got Liam on the way back down and I took Kim to the car.

And then we went to eat Texas Chicken, for some reason that felt comforting, and it was good, hot fried chicken, sweet tea and butter biscuits. We both felt a lot better after that.

We got home around 5pm.

Kim was in quite a lot of pain from her uterus contracting and we were both exhausted and the emotions were starting to come.

Seeing our Children

Kim’s dad just got back from Thailand and came straight over, we were grateful for that as it meant we could go back to the hospital to settle the death certs without Liam (we DO NOT want to take a 2 year old to a mortuary).

We also decided together to see the babies for one last time and say goodbye, I also rationalised that it’s possible I would regret not seeing them in the future but it’s very unlikely I’d regret seeing them – so logically it makes sense to see them even though every fibre of my body screamed no.

I think it was just fear of seeing them dead, perfectly formed would just make it too real, and be too traumatic. Although rationally I knew it would help me have closure, help me heal faster and I had to pay them respect, they were my children, however short their lives.

We went after the traffic had died down, I fell asleep for a while with Liam while he was napping, the stress of preparing myself to see them…was really hard on me.

I couldn’t speak.

We drove to the hospital and located the mortuary around 9pm, I just totally broke down, I couldn’t cope with what was about to happen.

It made it real, final. My babies were never going to grow up, they were never going to feel my love for them, I would never find out who they could have been. It destroyed me.

By the time they prepared the babies and brought them out, I had gone numb again, whilst in the viewing room Kim went into the state I was just in.

We spent some time with them, told them we loved them, touched them (they were cold and slightly clammy) and very bruised. I took some pictures, Kim was racked with guilt that they hadn’t survived, and I think she somehow blames herself even though it’s not her fault at all.

She kept saying sorry over and over.

The girl was so beautiful, tall and elegant with more hair than Liam had when he was born – with perfectly formed eyebrows.

The boy was absolutely battered, he looked like he had finished a boxing match. His whole head was terribly bruised.

But they were both perfectly formed, with high noses and they looked a lot like Liam when we was born.

Kim signed all the paperwork for the death certificates and the release to allow the hospital to dipose of their bodies.

We decided not to have any ceremony.

Emotions

I’m gonna run through the emotions, internal and external dialogue below in no particular order, because they just come in waves, sometimes one at a time, sometimes many at once, either way it’s very overwhelming.

They are all very intertwined and lead to each other.

Sadness

This is obviously the predominant emotion, and in comes in waves, not even waves, tsunamis – it’s like being hit with a sadness freight train travelling at 200mp/h.

When it comes it’s completely debilitating.

It’s deep, it’s almost like it physically hurts in your heart, your soul, your spirit or whatever you want to call the deepest part of your own self. You’ve become attached to these little people, you have aspirations, dreams with them, fantasies of them playing with Liam, imagining what their faces look like, imagining the love you will have for them.

Then all of that is ripped away, it leaves a big hole.

It’s constant at a low ebb, apart from when I guess it gets too overwhelming and you get numb again, which happens. And sometimes, usually after being numb for a while it comes back really hard, fast and abruptly.

The sadness also leads into a lot of other things, when you are in that deep darkness, you start questioning, your questions lead to confusion, guilt, frustration, anger and more.

Honestly I feel this one is only in check and under control because of Liam, he’s such a bright little spark, so full of laughs and giggles and physical affection, it just makes it impossible to become too self pitying.

I still need to feed him, bathe him, care for him and his life goes on – he has no idea what just happened and honestly I think that’s really good for us. Because coping with this whilst also copying with a grieving child who has less developed emotions would be really, really tough (selfish thoughts again).

My first reaction was so deeply sad, I just didn’t even want to be alive any more.

But with Liam, that’s not an option.

I do suffer from depression sometimes, so I have to be very careful not to slip into a depressive state (another reason why I’m writing this), keeping active, the house is spotless..and I’ve been avoiding drinking as it’s a depressant.

I believe this sadness will get less and less as each day goes by, but never completely leave us. It will probably re-emerge at their birthdays or due dates.

Anger

I don’t think Kim feels this one much, but I do, I think deep inside me there’s still a lot of rage somewhere, and this brings it out. I don’t even know what I’m angry at, I just feel intense anger bordering on hate sometimes. I’ll be more specific about that below.

Angry at the world, angry at myself, at Kim, at the doctors, at random people on the road.

I just want to do violent things, hurt people, destroy things.

It’s totally irrational, and I don’t feel it much after day 1.

Even sometimes I’d feel pure anger at Liam, for being alive – which is ridiculous.

Numbness/Apathy

This was my default state at the hospital the night it happened. It felt weird, surreal, like a bad dream, I guess that’s what shock feels like.

I’ve never experienced it before.

It brings with it guilt as you wonder why you aren’t feeling sad, or angry or anything really.

After reading about it a bit, it seems normal and it’s when your emotions overwhelm your concious ability to keep up with them, which is basically some form of shock.

You shut down your ability to feel until you can catch up, when things happen too fast, and are too emotionally intense, you just can’t deal with it.

It’s probably the most bearable of all the feelings/emotions, but also the least useful when it comes to moving on/processing/grieving.

I think writing this post has put me in this state, as I don’t really feel anything right now – probably because my brain is using all it’s horsepower in recollection, ordering, typing and so on.

Guilt/Confusion

This is possibly the most horrible one and this also encompasses a whole bunch of “What ifs?”, self-doubt and some hate.

  • Could we have done more?
  • Should I have been stricter with Kim?
  • Why didn’t we put a Cervical cerclage and force the issue with the Doctors?
  • Should we have had more regular appointments at the hospital for a high risk pregnancy?
  • What did we do to deserve this?
  • How did we fail our son and daughter?
  • Did they die because of us?

And on an on. All these questions lead to more sadness, more hate, more anger..

I also feel horrible, that in some way, as soon as I knew Kim was really going into labour I hoped for them to die painlessly and quickly. Which sounds really inhuman said out loud, typed or even thought about consciously.

But it’s the truth. And it’s the thing that makes me feel most guilty. It’s also based on facts, stats and in a way is an extremely selfish and overly-pragmatic view. But it’s also my character.

The facts are, only 63% of 24 week old babies will survive and out of those 63% almost all will have some form of disability (84%). And with twins, the figures are even worse.

Birth at 24 Weeks of Gestation Source – PENUT Trial

No parents want their kids to just survive, you want them to live and thrive. And with children born this premature, they won’t have a good quality of life (they can be blind, or almost blind, have really bad breathing problems and have spastic muscles, low IQ etc) and most likely will die within the first few years.

You can judge me for this one, but trust me, I already feel way worse about it than you do.

Hate

This is probably the second most horrible, and totally irrational much like the anger which in a way manifests as hate.

I hate myself, I hate the doctors, in some part I hate Kim and her stupid cervix (please note I do not blame her at all in any way – this is just how I feel).

I hate that we didn’t do more, I hate that the doctors didn’t make us take more preventions (cerclage, progesterone shots etc).

Sometimes I just hate everyone, I hate people for having healthy kids, I hate Liam for surviving, I hate myself for being weak.

Thankfully this one passes pretty fast, and I know it’s totally irrational, so I just let it go as fast as possible. It’s now day 2 and I don’t really feel much anger or hate any more.

Just acceptance and sadness and sometimes numbness.

Don’t Be Insensitive

If you do choose to speak to us about this (which is not necessary, more below), please don’t be insensitive or inappropriate. People need to learn to speak with compassion to the broken hearted.

If you are a parent, you probably have some idea how this feels, but unless you’ve been through the same or a very similar experience, you have no idea how it actually feels. And even if you have been through it, don’t tell us you know how we feel, because you don’t. We all deal with things differently.

  • Don’t tell us we are lucky, we already have a child.
  • Don’t try and minimise our loss by offering platitudes like telling Kim she’s still young she can try again.
  • Don’t assume there will be another pregnancy.
  • Don’t think because they were so pre-mature it makes it somehow easier to deal with, it doesn’t.
  • Don’t try and ‘cheer us up’, grief is powerful and needs to be expressed.
  • Don’t fear making us cry, it’s part of the process.
  • Don’t be cheery and bright about it
  • Don’t be nervous and keep talking, silence is better

If you want to understand more read these:

Helping Someone After a Miscarriage
6 Things to Never Say to a Bereaved Parent
WHAT YOU SHOULD (AND SHOULDN’T) SAY TO SOMEONE WHO HAS LOST A BABY

Don’t Feel Obligated to Care

Honestly, if you don’t really care I’m 100% fine with that. I’m not hugely empathetic so I understand. I’m writing this part as a form of emotional protection for us based on our characters, and it may sound harsh but I’m writing it in the most straight forward, honest, open manner I can without beating around the bush, being subtle or avoiding the subject.

You’re not obliged to console us, or even talk about this with us, I’d prefer silence over shallow or insincere condolences.

If you aren’t genuinely feeling something about this, that’s perfectly fine, don’t feel weird, and don’t make it awkward by feeling some social obligation to say something to me or Kim

Just don’t say anything, please.

The last thing I want is a stream of “Condolences” on Facebook that are completely meaningless. If you do that, I’ll know you probably didn’t even bother reading this far and that will make me sad.
Even if you do feel sad or upset by this, but don’t know what to say, that’s fine too and as above silence is best. The whole reason I’m writing this post is to avoid having to talk about this over and over, endlessly.

So yah, if you do need to say something to us, that’s fine too, but please read up first how to be compassionate, do’s and dont’s and be careful. Because we are really tender right now.

Conclusion

I feel like I feel much better after writing this, even though I may just be feeling numb from reliving it all.

Certain parts did bring a tear to my eye.

Kim has read this and is ok to publish and let the world know. And I do have to write/publish/do something so people won’t wonder why we disappeared and won’t wonder why we look so sad and why we will be out of contact with the world for a while. Also I do know a lot of people do care about us, have been following our pregnancy and are excited for us.

Honestly Thursday and Friday were the worst days of my life so far, I hope to never relive them and for anyone that’s been through a similar experience, I am so so so sorry.

No one should ever have to feel this.

I imagine at some point Kim might write things from her perspective, as it would be very different from mine as she did with Liam: I have popped and this is how it went down.

As for cause, it really does look like Incompetent Cervix as the labour was much shorter than last time and the babies are more premature, which are both strong indicators.

We will have to seriously consider our future options, right now I’m torn between never wanting to go through this again and being fine with 1 child, to wanting to have another go. I think I have 1 more fight left in me.

It’s too soon now though, so we’ll have to see.

If you read this far, thank you, it’s half a dissertation (over 4400 words) – and is hard reading. If you want to talk to me about it, with the above caveats, please go ahead.

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Singapore Trip – Village Hotel Changi & Village Hotel Katong

So in January 2016 I headed down to Singapore for Applehops Beer Bash, celebrating their 2nd anniversary.

Obviously being in Singapore for a few days, I needed somewhere to stay! For the first couple of days I stayed at Village Hotel Changi which is a beautiful peaceful retreat on the North East coast of Singapore (near the airport).

It’s a beautifully breezy area, great for cycling and you can even take a daytrip to Pulau Ubin. It’s a really good choice for Singaporeans looking for a staycation as well as they have activity packages a great buffet lunch and it’s well away from the hustle/bustle of the city.

There’s also a pretty nice food court (famous for nasi lemak) right across the road (Changi Village Hawker Centre).

Someone was excited to get to the hotel of course..

Village Hotel Changi

It was quite a drive to Singapore, as I followed Google maps and for some reason it took some weird arse way to a ferry terminal that I didn’t even know existed..that didn’t have a ferry until 8am the next morning (Tanjung Belungkor).

So yah, we were really glad to be there!

Village Hotel Changi

It’s a nice, bright spacious room with a big comfy bed, a writing desk, a small sofa/seating area, a tv a minifridge and a bathroom with both shower and bathtub (great for a baby).

Village Hotel Changi

The sitting area is especially useful for us, dealing with a rambuntious toddler who we need to sit down sometimes to drink his milk, eat some snacks etc. Overall a pretty child friendly hotel.

Service was really good too.

We had the buffet lunch at the hotel which is quite good value for money and is available every day with a broad variety of local and international delights. All the way from stuff like porridge with all the trimmings.

Village Hotel Changi

Which includes yau char gwai of course – one of Liam’s favourites!

Village Hotel Changi

To Sushi – one of our favourites!

They all have a good mix of other stuff, roast and grilled meats and seafood, pasta, salad and much more.

Village Hotel Changi

The absolute highlight for us at Changi Village was the pool, the main reason we went there, located on the 8th floor with a stunning view of the straits.

Village Hotel Changi

It was super breezy, fresh and totally relaxing – we spent hours up there. Even though it rained, we stayed in the pool anyway! Of course Liam absolutely loved it too, and there was a nice jacuzzi area too with a ledge for him to play on.

Village Hotel Changi

I was literally late for my event because I had too much fun hanging out in the pool haha, was sooo relaxing. Totally recommend it.

Village Hotel Changi

So overall I think Village Hotel Changi is a good spot for a getaway, especially to get out of the city, or as a quick stop-over near the airport. It may be a little far (around 30 mins drive) if you want to do a bunch of stuff in the city – but even then, the pool is kinda worth it!

It also has a nice, convenient spacious car-park which is included in the room price. Important to me as I was driving. Plenty of good food around within walking distance, shops, convenience stores and yes, there are Uber cars around there.

After that we moved to Village Hotel Katong, which is still on the East coast but much further in and nearer to the city.

This is an exceptionally beautiful hotel with a Peranakan influence, it feels rather swanky and is super cool as it’s basically on top of a small shopping Mall (which gives you access to a big grocery store, a few restaurants and hipster coffee).

Village Hotel Katong

The style is a really nice mix of modern slick aesthetics combined with Peranakan zest and details, it’s really, really nice.

You can see the details in the tiles which were placed around the room, like on the luggage stand and in the bathroom.

Village Hotel Katong

Really nice room to hang out in, watch TV, drink some craft beers, wonder downstairs for some Katong Laksa, grab some stuff from the grocery store under the hotel and just chill.

Village Hotel Katong

And yah, Liam found his favourite thing..the telephone haha. He loved the room too.

Village Hotel Katong

Definitely looking forwards to visiting there again!

Village Hotel Katong

Honsetly didn’t stay there long enough to really take it in, I’d love to stay there longer as it’s a nice area and a really beautiful hotel. It does have a small pool at the back, but we didn’t really have time to check it out.

Now I’m feeling like it’s time for another trip to Singapore! I need to pick-up some stuff anyway, check out the newly opened Mikkeller Singapore and well, have a holiday! Probably when we get back from Europe we’ll head back over in June/July.

See yah soon Singapore!

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Singapore Craft Beer: Druggists @ Kallang

Druggists is another legend of the Singapore Craft Beer scene, and one which focuses entirely on draught (no bottles at all). Which is not surprising as it’s from the same owner of The Great Beer Experiment in PasarBella, so they’ve separated out into bottles and draught.

Serving kickass craft beers all year round, with food that pairs beautifully with the brews. There’s nothing more perfect than walking into a restaurant with 23 taps serving kick-ass beers from cult breweries across the world. That’s what we thought and so Druggists will be tapping Mikkeller, TO-OL, Amager, DeStruise, DeMolen, Rooie Dop, Magic Rock, Thornbridge, Prairie Artisan, Birra Del Borgo all year round. Wait, there’s food too- hearty, delicious and curated to pair with these kick-ass beers. Momma would approve.

It’s situated in the Kallang area, or some people might say Jalan Besar, it’s about 4 blocks from the Lavender MRT station – so it’s probably a good idea to Uber there ;).

So, let’s talk about Druggists – they have a very impressive 23 taps which are pretty much always all in use. This gives you a pretty staggering range of beer and almost guarantees something for every palate, all the way from lager/pils up to barrel aged imperial stouts and some pretty nice sours.

For the beer geeks: If you want to order a big stout, order it a few glasses earlier and let it warm up as it’s served way too cold. Also note from my experience, big beers are usually best from the bottle (for some reason?).

Druggists - Singapore Craft Beer

It’s a pretty cool location, very trendy hipster-ish – repurposing a historic building and keeping the original facade and floor tiles intact give it a distinct feel. Less cookie cutter than the average modern, overly sculpted bar. Inspired by Chye Seng Huat maybe?

Druggists is situations in you guessed it, the old Chinese Druggists Association building – which was basically the pharmacists’ association back in the day.

Druggists - Singapore Craft Beer

It has a pretty interesting feel to it, not really like a bar, rather like you’re drinking excellent beer somewhere you aren’t supposed to – which is nice haha. It has the original facade, floor and keeps a very minimal almost kopitiam style inside with marble tables and classic chairs.

Druggists - Singapore Craft Beer

It has the original signboard (of something?) over the door on the inside too, reminiscent of those sifus and their medicine halls in the old kung-fu movies about Wong Fei Hung.

It’s not a huge place, nor is it cramped – there’s a lounge space and quite a bit of outdoor seating too for smokers – but beware it is a popular place and does get busy (especially at weekends).

Druggists - Singapore Craft Beer

Also note, popular kegs can finish really fast – so get there early if there’s something you really want to try.

It has a great range of beers, well served, but slightly on the pricey side. But then the location is very special and you always pay something for that. It’s definitely worth checking out.

When we were there we had:

– Shiga Kogen Sono 10 (Anniversary IPA)
– Thornbridge/Sierra Nevada Twin Peaks
– To Øl Black Ball
– Prairie Bomb! (Very disappointing on draught)
– Buxton Battle Horse

Yah I wonder where the glasses are from?

Druggists - Singapore Craft Beer

And why does The Great Beer Experiment have it’s own nice glasses, but we go there we have to drink from plastic cups? Haha, must be a Singapore thing – Thirsty is down with the plastic cups too.

Facebook: Druggists
Instagram: @druggists_sg
Address: 119 Tyrwhitt Rd, Singapore 207547
Phone: +65 6341 5967
Opening Hours: Tues-Sun: 16:00-00:00
Ratebeer location: Druggists | Singapore – RateBeer

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Continue Reading · No Comments · Alcoholic Frolic, Craft Beer