4/30/2016 10:03:00 pm

Hello, May

So I've been seeing a lot of bloggers write out goals for each upcoming month, and thought maybe I should try it, and maybe, hopefully, it'll help with my procrastination and all, since one of the tips to make your goal-making successful is to share them with a bunch of people.

Let's go.

May goals, which I may or may not complete 

1. Cover chapters 2-6 in geography, also complete the past year topical questions. Also speaking of school, stay consistent with revision and work and all that stuff.

2. Less screen time. Meaning, watch less Youtube. go on social media max 4 times a day on weekdays.

3. Get more sleep (basically sleep earlier and wake up early too)

4. Away with procrastination! Meaning, plan and schedule, improve in time management. 

5. Blog more consistently. And when doing that, be productive on the computer.

Arts, Books and Hobbies
6. Open my eyes and appreciate things in life.

7. Read more. (With this I mean more physical paperback books, not Wattpad ones, they don't really count here).

8.  Take more photos. Be less afraid to do so, just do it.

9. Also, my mum signed me up (and also I requested for) an electronics course thingy that included coding and physical circuits and all that things which I'm quite looking forward to. My brothers enjoyed the introduction course (which I had missed) and they told me how fun and interesting it was. At first I wasn't really keen, because I thought, I'm more of an arts kind of person. But really, why not, though? I figured it'll be an interesting hands-on experience and expand my knowledge. So, yeah.

What about you? Do you have any goals for the wonderful fifth month of the year?

4/30/2016 09:59:00 pm

April Highlights

With 30 days of April almost over and May just right next door, I thought I'd summarise what happened in April 2016:

  • Had my braces tightened for the first time and changed the colour of rubber bands to blue to grey.
Arts, Books and Hobbies
  • I went on a small photography trip with a friend and a camera.
  • I took lots of photos. Some of them you can find on the blog, some on instagram.
  • I finally started working on my Geography and revision for O levels, after dumping it since 2 Nov 2014- the date of my last Geography IGCSE paper.
  • Blogged more consistently- at least it was better than one post in March, right?
  • Made some changes to the blog design- that will be the only thing that's constant: change.
  • Discovered Kanra's Blog (more like she discovered mine and commented on mine, naturally leading me to hers)- The Lunar Descent.

4/29/2016 07:59:00 pm

the day after Chinese New Year

The red remnants from the firecracker that greeted the first day of Chinese New Year the previous day were left on the streets, for they symbolised prosperity and luck for the new year and no one in their right mind would want their prosperity to be swept into the drains.

The streets were surprisingly silent considering it was the second day of the lunar new year. Residents were either entertaining their visitors or out doing visiting themselves. Children no longer played on the streets with their friends and relatives who visited, instead now cooped up in rooms gaming or socialising through social media and networks.

Kenopsia. That was the word I needed to describe this lingering feeling I had wandering along the street, camera in hand.

n. The eerie, forlorn atmosphere of a place that’s usually bustling with people but is now abandoned and quiet—a school hallway in the evening, an unlit office on a weekend, vacant fairgrounds—an emotional afterimage that makes it seem not just empty but hyper-empty, with a total population in the negative, who are so conspicuously absent they glow like neon signs. 
 It was just two midnights ago when everyone came out of their houses to admire the display of fireworks neighbours had trolleyed out, to admire with their hands shielding their ears to watch the firecrackers, some holding out their cameras to capture the magnificent spectacle before their eyes.

And now? All there was left was a reminder of what happened two midnights ago- red bits and pieces from the firecrackers, and boxes of used firework cartons and rubbish from reunion dinner piled in garbage bins in front of various housings.

The small narration above was inspired by the photo taken on the second day of Chinese New Year.  I thought it'll be interesting to dig up photos I'd taken and try to recall the story or what happened, or make up one on the spot.

4/28/2016 06:14:00 pm

watercolours and brushpens

A couple of days ago at the library, while browsing in the art section looking for books on photography, I saw a book on lettering and borrowed it- The Art of Whimsical Lettering by Johanne Sharpe (link to website of author).
Filled my 5-page-filled-otherwise-blank sketchbook with a couple of starter quotes and words, then bought two brushpens from the stationery shop. This shop was rather small and didn't have a wide range of pens, so I decided on gold and silver (the others were blue, pink and purple).

I got rather excited and inspired, so the very next day I rummaged through the storage boxes and retrieved my watercolour set. 

I hadn't touched watercolouring since primary school. I remember sitting around a large table with my brothers and a couple of friends and their siblings, doing art as one of our classes in our co-op. So we'd study an artist and the type of art, then do some art. For example, I vividly remember lying on our backs and painting a piece of clay somehow stuck to a plank which was placed between chairs, because we had been studying Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel. As you can tell, it was a rather fun class and I had really enjoyed it, also bonding with my friends. 

Speaking of which, one memory popped up where a friend and I were arguing over whose work was worse than the other, while our siblings at the other table were arguging over whose work was better.

Okay, enough reminiscing, the past is the past and there's no use wishing going back to those carefree days.

So this watercolour set hadn't been touched for at least 4 years. The white tube of white paint has long since hardened, and I was amazed the paintbrushes aren't hardened.

it just shows I'm not a good artist

these are just backgrounds, letterings will come another day

Watercolouring and lettering is really addictive. After I finished one piece, I wanted to experiment with another shade, another hue, another colour, and I spent around 4 hours before restraining myself from continuing and doing it for the whole day. I think it's because I'm compensating for the neglected art in me for at least four years.

So at the end of the day, I came to a conclusion:

It doesn't matter if you aren't good in art, drawing or painting or whatever, just do it. It's satisfying, and more than that, it's a really good way to find your inner peace and release stress. Just you, paint and the paper. I myself enjoy this because I really like seeing the gradients and different hues of colours, and it's much easier to get this result with watercolours than with markers.
So even though it's rather obvious I'm not the best in drawing and art in general, I'll still do it, because it's not like there's a rule that says you have to be good at something to do it.

Until next time!

4/22/2016 12:00:00 pm

Adventures with a Camera and a Friend | Xiao Guilin |

A couple of days ago, a friend and I decided to explore this underrated park with amazing scenery- Xiao Guilin. I'll let my photos do the job of narrating our story.

Decided to go up this mini 'peak'
we're up

inspired by Wesley Chan of Wong Fu Productions 

It started to drizzle a bit, so we took refuge here for awhile

everyone has a weird photo obsession. hers is patterns- stone, tile, bricks and all that stuff. mine is people taking photos, so I take photos of people taking photos.
another one of those 'shells' at the other side of the lake, hence a different view

hello from the other side

I didn't actually use monochrome for this, it turned out black and white.
Hope you enjoyed scrolling through the photos.

4/21/2016 12:39:00 pm

a little happiness

komorebi (sunlight through the trees)
breeze against your skin
riding a bike downhill
writing with a new pen
starting a new notebook
finishing a notebook
receiving a letter or card
random little kids talking to you
falling asleep to raina
making someone laugh
jumping on trampolines
choir singing songs that we learnt a long time ago and haven't touched
choir singing in harmony
good book with good food
comfortable silence with good friends
being able to help a stranger and being appreciated
a stranger smiling at you
being out in the warm sun (not blazing hot)
watching popcorn pop
watching little kids or elderly get enthusiastic or amazed by simple things
when people you know from a long time ago remember you
finding a lyric or quote you perfectly relate to
hearing your favourite song on the radio
receiving flowers
sweater weather
colours pleasing to the eye
favourite channels uploading a video
lazy days
campfire and marshmallows with friends
smell of freshly baked cookies
when an old friend texts you to see how you are
walking into a bookstore or library
spending hours at the library
seeing everything organised
when people remember what you told them a long time ago
wave crashing
impromptu hangouts
deep conversations
watching someone grow over time
being able to open up
feeling confident
knowing that someone has your back
short and meaningful films
paper and a pen
climbable trees
stars in the night sky
sleeping in
knowing someone appreciates your presence
looking at childhood photos
when they text you first
finding the name of the song stuck in your head
a random shot turning out to be amazing

Happiness comes from small things. I try to appreciate every moment in my life, no matter how small it may be. I'd rather have a life filled with many tiny moments of joy rather than to waste my life waiting for a miracle and realising it was the small moments that mattered.

What is your little happiness?

4/07/2016 10:41:00 pm

Xin Yao | Songs of Singapore









特别的票 | Special hand-stamped ticket
On 16 Jan, I was invited to watch a documentary about xinyao, which is a genre of music unique to Singapore, composed and sung by Singaporeans. Naturally I was interested- I had grown up listening to xinyao, even though it's popular period was the '80s.

This screening of the documentary was held at the Capitol theatre, and viewers got special hand-stamped tickets that were similar to those in the '80s, I guess. The documentary itself was about the history of xinyao, how it started and the journey.

Though it might be a bit dry for children and teenagers, being a documentary, it is definitely worth a watch. I got a lot of nostalgic feels throughout the movie even though I wasn't even existent during that period.

All in all, it was a very inspirational and touching documentary. You'd have to watch the whole thing to understand what I mean, it can't be explained in words, and in English.

Trailer below:

4/07/2016 05:07:00 pm

Strand of Light

 Written and copyrighted by Zelus @ myhopefulpencil 5.11.15 

Broken heart
Scarred soul
Dreams out of reach
Crumpled, torn and tossed aside
Thrown into a dark abyss
She wallows in despair
Numbed of emotion
Nothing left in her possession

Days passed without any dreams
Nightmares came to her 
like an old friend every night
She saw no means to continue living

This day she looked around and
Saw nothing except
A small ray of light
Peeping through a crack
Calling out to her
Whispering ever so softly
Sweet and gentle
Raw and sincere

With that she gathered the last strands of courage
Gritted her teeth and rolled up her sleeves
Holding desperately onto that single ray
her shirt wet from tears or sweat she could not tell
Day by day, night by night,
She held on and climbed higher and higher

Rested she was tired
But her hands still gripping onto the ray
Her body urged her to let go sometimes
But determined her mind was
Until that small, thin ray

Became bigger, brighter stronger
And one day she reached the end
Looked around and saw

A green, sunny field.