In Search of A/The Point of Life

Archive for December, 2010

‘LIST OF THINGS THAT QUICKEN THE HEART’: Closing the year (2010) with an other Chris Marker quote (1983), this time after Sei Shonagon (1002)

(Over)stretching ourselves in preparation for more mindbodyblowing trans-dimensional running in 2011

(Over) stretching ourselves to get geared up for more mindbodyblowing trans-dimensional runs (2 layers of socks) in the new year 2011.

Chris Marker, San Soleil, 1983: ‘Shonagon had a passion for lists: the list of ‘elegant things,’ ‘distressing things,’ or even of ‘things not worth doing.’ One day she got the idea of drawing up a list of ‘things that quicken the heart.’ Not a bad criterion I realise when I’m filming …’

Sei Shonagon’s elegant and evocative list, The Pillow Book, 1002 (italics ours): ‘Sparrow feeding their young. To pass a place where babies are playing. To sleep in a room where some fine incense has been burnt. To notice that one’s elegant Chinese mirror has become a little cloudy. To see a gentleman stop his carriage before one’s gage and instruct his attendants to announce his arrival. To wash one’s hair, make one’s toilet, and put on scented robes; even if not a soul sees one, these preparations still produce an inner pleasure. It is not and one is expecting a visitor. Suddenly one is startled by the sound of rain-drops, which the wind blows against the shutters.’

Kaidie’s list, post Xmas, 2010, on the cusp (cusp – what a lovely word) of an other new year, 2011:
1.    The moment of realisation that our legs have been working in perfect synchronicity with our arms, mind, emotions, environment, weather, and that we had been un-self-conscious of this happening; that we have fully inhabited, embodied and embedded running.
2.    The moment of realisation that we have been living+working+playing in the city of Nondon, and that we had been un-self-conscious of it; that we have fully inhabited, embodied and embedded ourselves in this great city.
3.    When beginning to structure and write a new chapter (it soon gets extremely laboured and tedious, and is nothing but meticulous building, or precise shearing and stripping of, block by block, bit by bit).
4.    Experiencing the transition/cut between from the black-and-white opening sequence of Tarkovsky’s Mirror (of a man overcoming his stutter) and the first scene of the film proper a-washed in luscious green.
5.    Experiencing the transition/cut between the closing sequence of Marker’s Sans Soleil and the final credits (of 3 children on a road in Iceland); the moment when the woman moves in La Jetee (1962).
6.    Experiencing the first notes of Glenn Gould’s rendition of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, and, with the assistance of good earphones, the melancholic-ecstasy in Gould humming/singing.
7.    When water from the very hot shower first hits our skin after we emerge from the lukewarm swimming pool (afterwards, it is merely utilitarian).
8.    In the first 30 seconds of acquisition, licking the foamy head off a very hot cappuccino thickly dusted with cocoa (but as soon as the bubbles fizzle off, so too, does our interest).
9.    The moment of falling into a deranged, swirling, topsyturvy, eternal, divine love at first bite with toro sashimi shrewdly laced with fresh wasabi (how it stings!); ditto, at first sight and bite, with Sainsbury’s bakery’s 99p cheese twist (or that pecan and maple pastry thing 79p) (Our heart quicken, and misses a few beats. Gulp.)
10.    The sudden / brief moment of mutual recognition of something of a spark of sorts happening (before it/whateveritis falls into numbing patterns that we run away from, and move on, hollering, ‘Enough!’, because we do not have the stamina or interest to sustain such a spark; that a spark is such only because it is momentary; anything longer than momentary ceases to be such).

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Merry mad/maudlin Xmas – apt times to ask the big question: ARE YOU ALIVE? ENTER QUIZ NOW! LIFE QUIZ C

FILL THIS UP AND SUBMIT TO KAIDIE, NOW! There are  more than 5 different quizzes. Do complete them all! And you can fill up as many as you wish. We will publish the most interesting ones! THOSE WITH THE BEST ANSWERS WILL WIN A SPECIAL, SECRET PRIZE FROM KAIDIE!

My Fieldset
 

cforms contact form by delicious:days

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As we stuff our faces with stuffed birds/puds/sprouts/mulling about, shall we have a DISCOURSE? (RUNNING TO & FRO, from the Latin ‘discursus’)?

Hard at work (as if): reading, or rather, posing with books that we have ordered for the library. If we hold the books close enough, hopefully our skin will be able to absorb all the contents, swiftly. And paraphrase them enough to regurgitate in our writing, too, hopefully.

Before you complain that we have been less-than-diligent in our postings in the past couple of months, we must tell you that it is because we have been extremely hard at work writing something else, namely our grand 80,000-word fabulousness and sweetness of our thesis, which theorises our critical strategy of trans-dimensional running for our 21st century technologically-enabled multiverse.

To write, we have to read too, of course. Here are some pictorial evidence of us (LOOKING AS IF WE ARE VERY) hard at work, reading some of the books that we have ordered. We particularly enjoy running with Dr Bernd Heinrich in his Why We Run: A Natural History. Himself is a TOP marathon and ultramarathon runner (coming in as champion, at the age of 41, a race of 100km in 6 hours 30 minutes in 1981 in Chicago!!), award-winning biologist Dr Heinrich presents a dazzling story of why human beings, compared to our relatives in the animal kingdom, run. One of our favourite quotes is found on page 103. It is a conversation between the author and his friend, when the former ran 5-minutes faster than what the friend predicted.

As is usually the case in science, you make a prediction, and if it comes out close, you are happy because you’re potentially right with one idea, and if it comes out different, you’re closer to some other idea that you didn’t even think of before. That’s even better.

What a beautiful, powerful thought. And this comes from the perfectionist and overachiever of the writer-scientist-ultrarunner. To stray from an expectation is not a sign of defeat, but instead, a potentially exciting route of discovery into something that one didn’t expect, perhaps leading one to something else that is even more interesting than where one could have ventured.

Dr Heinrich’s writing is simple and clear, while also loaded with first-hand anecdotes (so this is not some armchair critic/theoryhead who only sits on their fatarses in their ivory towers and conceptualise about the world and the moons and the stars till the  cows come home, or as one of our favourite artists ever, the brilliant Groucho Marx, says in the 1933 cccclassssssiccccc Duck Soup, ‘I could dance with you till the cows come home. On second thoughts, I’d rather dance with the cows till you came home.‘) We are, frankly speaking, dogtired of all those highfalutin empty gibberish expounded by the socalled pureminds of the socalled academia, some of whom really are only capable of blowing pungent wind through their holycracks.

We are however disappointed with Christopher McDougall’s Born To Run, albeit its extremely exciting premise of learning to run ultra-distances from the humble and hidden tribe of the amazing Tarahumara Indians of Mexico, who have run all their lives, since they first ran away from the invading Spanish (what a poetic and empowering imagery!!).  What we find disagreeable however is ultrarunner-and-journalist McDougall’s writing style which has the irritating trying-hard-to-be-cute-and-oh-so-personal-first-person-narrative-smug-frockingfullofselfbelief-noironywhatsoever-chest-beating-we-are-the-world-we-rule-the-world-yayyayay-watch-us-we-feel-ohsofrockinggood-about-ourselves approach also neatly encapsulated in the American talk show which we quite absolutely cannot stand (unless, of course, if it is so very bad that it is very good, out & out excessively trashy The Jerry Springer ShowJerry!  Jerry! we chant, fists in the air and on other guests’ holy bodies).

Philosopher and runner Michael Austin was the one who drew our attention to, in his good (although could-be-better, if each essay by the different philosopher-runners wasn’t so short but was more developed) Running and Philosophy, the etymology of the word  ‘discourse’, which comes from the Latin discursus, and which refers to a running to-&-fro! What a poetic image. We have said this before, but we will say this again (because we keep getting asked!), but to all the snobs who still insist that walking is the only valid psychogeographical strategy, we say that you are too closed-minded, and that you really should try running (YES WE CHALLENGE YOU TO SWEAT IT OUT AND GET YOUR ‘PUREMINDS’ AND FATARSES MOVIN’!) to see how it works. Alan Turing would go for a 2-3hour run midday, to run away problems from that he faced at work; yet, it was in the middle of such a run that he conceptualised the beginnings of the modern computer.

Now, what better synthesis of the mind-body-technology-imagination could you get??

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DEFENCE OF THE REALM: Running into bloodcurdling mannequins and pigeon-espionages. And Alan Turing, of course.

A couple of Fridays ago, on 26th November, we made a little trip out of Nondon, to visit Alan Turing’s playground in the legendary Bletchley Park. This was our very first time in the National Codes Centre, and our very first time in the new town of Milton Keynes as well. Both were – how could we possibly articulate this in a diplomatic way? – interesting.

Apart from playing a vital role in the second world war as the UK’s primary decryption centre, Bletchley Park is also known as the ‘birthplace of the computer age’, as claimed by the poster displayed in Hut 8 (as seen in the image above).  Hut 8, of course, was also where Mathematician Alan Turing worked. Like many, we are lured to the complex and, indeed, enigmatic Turing for several reasons, including how the Father of Computer Science was an obsessive AND VERY HIGHLY ACCOMPLISHED marathon runner, and who apparently conceptualised the beginnings of the modern computer in the middle of his run. The park itself was legendary alright – in that it actually looked locked in time, in roughly the period of WWII and perhaps, up to the 1970s at the very most. Look, for instance, at the numerous mannequins on display- what are they if not camp and scary? That the park was populated by otaku-type middle-aged men taking very diligent notes of the machinery and toys on display,  in the midst of a rather frigid Friday afternoon in a somewhat godforsaken place, also added to the sense of uncanniness that we felt. Our highlight of the day was the sight of  this poster, which condemns the ‘killing, wounding or molesting‘ (italics ours – BUT we SWEAR THE WORD WAS SCREAMING AT US IN ITALICS ALRIGHT) of homing pigeons. Anyone found fondling these sassy birds in an inappropriate manner against their consent will have to sit in jail for 6 months or be fined £100 (which must have been a lot of money  – we don’t mean to sound condescending – ‘in those days’). SHAME ON YOU, PIGEON-MOLESTER!!! Now go stand in your naughty corners, beside the scary parade of mannequins!! Oh, and put on that anorak (why else would it be there on the wall??) and cover your filthy, putrid little brains!!!!

By the time we made our way to Milton Keynes central late in the afternoon, the weather had become even more frigid. We trrrrrembled in pain as we walked/stumbled down the very wide streets, which somewhat resembled boulevards that are normally found in Paris (courtesy of Hausmann – better for the horses to trample on delinquent Parisiens), or the West Coast, rather than what we would normally experience in this sceptered isle. Would we run here? YES YES YES! The lovely wide roads look most inviting. Our ‘running goggles’ that we wear to filter every city were flashing and glowing excitedly. Would we want to live here? … ellipsis … We figure that we would not die if we lived here  – but perhaps worse that that we might live as if dead, or deadened, as we imagine we would in any city that is less than large/overcrowded/anonymous/mixed/always-changing/can’t-be-pinned-down-as-they-escape-easy-definitions, although of course we cannot and must not judge any place so quickly could we (that said, time does not guarantee good or better judgement – whatever that might be- and can infact invariably impede judgement…).

Yet, each and every of the cab driver that we encountered had moved there from an other city or country, and each sang praises of this new town (‘Everything that you need in life, you can get it here’;  ‘I moved here for a fresh start, from zero, after walking out one day on my marriage of 23 years’).

Ground zero, or as if ground zero (since total, complete erasure is never possible – hence the interesting, difficult-to-pronounce word: palimpsest), as if in a new land, as if tabula rasa, as if without histories, as if new, as if new encounters, as if new beings.

We have always liked that.

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WE TURN ONE ON 12.12.2010. WE HAVE 637 DAYS TO RUN TO LOOK FOR THE MEANING OF LIFE, before we die on the last day of the Nondon Olympics on 09.09.2012. That is the day we will cease our 1000-day quest.

** IF YOU WANNA GIVE US A BIRTHDAY GIFT, DO SO BY MAKING A DONATION FOR OUR RUN FOR SHELTER AT THE 2011 NONDON MARATHON!! THIS (AND ONLY THIS!) WILL SEAL OUR FRIENDSHIP FOR EVER AND EVER!!!!! ***

One year ago, on 12.12.2009, we were born. Today, on 12.12.2010, we turn one. Before we die on 09.09.2012, we have 637 days left to look for a/ the Meaning of Life 3.0. We are Sagittarius according to our star signs – if you buy into / believe that school of thought/belief. To mark this occasion, we ran through the shopping districts of Nondon to the constellation pattern last month. But where oh where, on, or out of, googleearth might a/the Meaning Of Life 3.0 be?

We pondered on the question today, as we have for the last  year of our lives. Needless to say we have arrived at no answer/solution/conclusion. Yet / hence, we are running as we have for the past year, and more so than ever before. It does not get easier, but we are keeping at it. We have also (more, or less) kept our hair uncut for the duration of the 1000 days, as a measurement of the passage of time, nodding to the 1-year performances of one of our favourite artists Tehching Hsieh.

To work on our grand(ious) question, and to mark this grand(ious) occasion of our birthday (DO WE HEAR YOU SAY THAT WE LOOK OLDER THAN OUR AGE?????), we decided to do 4 things:

1) To compile a list of things we have done in the past year. By no means exhaustive, this list proves that we have put in much effort (without much returns?), but, like any good road movie/quest, it is always the journey that matters. So we are getting there, or getting there there.

2) The second thing we did today was to listen to Sugarcubes’ Birthday.

3) The third thing we did today to mark our birthday was to visit our local cinema to watch Palme D’Or winner at the 2010 Cannes, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, by one of our favourite filmmakers, Apichatpong Weerasethakul.  Even for a hardcore believer/follower/user/advocate of the law of non-linearity like us, we found this work challenging – which is also one of the reasons why we adore Apichatpong (for, what fun is there is things were too easy and obvious??). When, in a previous life when we curated his magical Tropical Malady in the ‘South East Asian Programme’ at the Cinema South Festival near the Gaza Strip in Sderot, Israel, we had a clear epiphany that Apichatpong’s films are best enjoyed when one is in the hazy, stony, liminal state of being semi-asleep-and-semi-awakeness. That is what his work does too – pushing one to (one’s) no-man’s land, in the chaosmos of realities, being at once exposed and vulnerable, as well as most lucid and mindful, in the chaosmos of feeling ill, and feeling ill with happiness, cruelty and beauty, predator and prey, a cat and a fish (and an ecstatic encounter with a catfish). This is what Tarkovsky, Herzog, Chagall, Bach/Glenn Gould and Garin Nugroho do to us.  It’s appropriate to have this done to us, on our first year running within and across Lives 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0.

4) Before doing all of that, we begin our day with a(nother) run. WE ARE ABSOLUTELY LIVID THAT ONE SECTION OF THE REGENTS CANAL IS CLOSED OFF DUE TO SOME RENOVATION/DEMOLITION WORK OF SOME SORT OR ANOTHER. So, no more canal-Victoria Fark runs for the next few weeks (or – horrors – months?!?!). We are back to loops at the Regents Fark.

Life goes on, or rather lives go on. As usual, if you have any advice for our quest, please DO write in. Contact us – click on comment here, or write to us at <dislocation@3rdlifekaidie.com>, become our friends on the evil FB, tweet us. There is more than one way to grab us.

Thank you for running with us in the past year. Are we ready to continue with the best run of our lifetime(s), this life, every life?

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2010 gigs listing

This page contains only gigs by Kaidie over the period of 12.12.2009 – 12.12.2010. For other gigs by Kaidies in other lives, please look here. For latest updates and details of each show, do return to site or look here nearer the dates of said gigs.

CONTEXT

Kaidie runs. Hers is a transdimensional and omnidirectional running as a critical strategy for our Web 2.0 (and Web 3.0) -mediated multiverse today. A Rough Guide To The Meaning Of Life 3.0 is a digital story/game, in which Kaidie (played by Kai Syng Tan) looks for the Meaning of Life 3.0 in Nondon (played by London), by running for 1000 days across various dimensions. Whether she succeeds or not, Kaidie dies on the last day of the Nondon Olympics. There are multiple manifestations, one of them being an ongoing travel blog/ running log <3rdlifekaidie.com>

SOME HIGHLIGHTS SO FAR
To date, in her quest for the Meaning of Life 3.0, the 6-month-old Kaidie has run in a 10km charity race and subjected herself to scientific experiments. In January Kaidie also visited her Facebook Friend, Heidi, in Heidiland in Switzerland, but alas, her imaginary counterpart was absent on her visit. Kaidie has also tried to conquer her mind using matter, and matter using mind, find love / find ‘many loves’, buy plugins for happiness, subjected herself to scientific experiments, visited several parts of Nondon, shapeshifted (sponge, hamster, cockroach, person) to get different points of views of Nondon, swam at Cally Pool N1, run at Regents Fark, flown over East Nondon and come face to face with an other self, dis-located a body part, and then became dis-located herself, being kidnapped by the ‘Good Pirate’. An artist collective whom Kaidie encountered via Facebook also wrote a piece of music for Kaidie, ‘someone who does not exist’, for her to listen to as she runs. In the next months, Kaidie will fight a Nemesis (70% chocolate!) with the assistance of 2 angelic girls, run with her own Sancho Panza called Chico, a many-toed cat who lives in Montana, and whose supportive owner is another virtual friend that Kaidie has met only on Facebook. Kaidie will also participate in her first ever marathon in Surrey in September, along the historical Pilgrim’s Route in Farnham.

ABOUT KAI SYNG TAN
The runner 3rdlifekaidie is the latest incarnation of artist/curator/educator Kai Syng Tan as part of her PhD research at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London. She had previously swum (Chlorine Addiction 2000), skipped and hula-hooped (I am Fit For Life 2001), hopped (ISLANDHOPPING 2002-2006), rolled (A Fool On A Stool In School Drawing Margins To Exercise Her Common Sense 2008), rode the Circle Line infinitely (The Amazing Neverending Underwater Adventures, 2009).  Trained in London (BA Fine Art, 1st Class Hons), Tokyo (MA Excellence Award, Distinctions) and Chicago, the diehard Singaporean posits herself as a traveller/tourist. Kai Syng’s interdisciplinary work has been shown in more than 40 cities (Guangzhou Triennale, Biennale of Sydney, ICA London, Cinema South Festival in Sderot, YIDFF). Kai Syng has won several grants and scholarships (Shell-NAC arts scholarship, JCCI), residencies (NIFCA in Helsinki, Japan Foundation in Beppu), and awards (SFIFF merit award, Young Artist Award, Most Promising Young Artist Award). Kai Syng is advisor in digital arts in panels in Singapore, and for 7 years, she was film lecturer and ran a Video Art degree programme fulltime. Her large-scale permanent artwork is on display in a central subway Station in Singapore. Kai Syng’s current research is  sponsored by the Graduate Research Scholarship and Overseas Research Scholarship from UCL, and is supported by the National Arts Council of Singapore on a Creative Industries grant.

KAIDIE’S WHEREABOUTS
*BE KAIDIE’S RUNNING BUDDY! <http://kaisyngtan.com/3rdlifekaidie>
*RUN ALONGSIDE KAIDIE ‘LIVE’! <http://twitter.com/3rdlifekaidie>
*MOVING IMAGES FROM LIFE 3.0! <http://www.youtube.com/user/kaidie3rdlife>
*IMAGES FROM LIFE 3.0! <http://www.flickr.com/photos/3rdlifekaidie/>
*TRACE KAIDIE’S ROUTES IN LIFE 1.0 ON LIFE 2.0!
<http://www.gpsies.com/mapUser.do?username=3rdlifekaidie>
*BE KAIDIE’S BEST FACEBOOK FRIEND! Add ‘Kaidie Nondon’
*BE KAIDIE’S BEST SECOND LIFE FRIEND! Add ‘Kaidie Absent’
*BE KAIDIE’S BEST FIRST LIFE FRIEND! Meet her during her Life 1.0 gigs
*EMAIL KAIDIE NOW! <dislocation@3rdlifekaidie.com>

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3 PRINTS GONE; WHICH IS YOURS?! Your donation of £100 and above for our RUN FOR SHELTER AT THE 2011 NONDON MARATHON comes with a SIGNED+KISSED+PAWPRINTED unique print from us! Come meet us on 2 March at WC1H 0AB FOR MORE PRINTS! (For the latest posts, sccrrolllllll below).

We are running the 2011 Nondon Marathon to support Shelter. Shelter is a charity that works to alleviate the distress caused by homelessness and bad housing. It is cold to run in winter, but colder still to live in the streets in winter. Please help us in our tiny effort = running, which is what we are tasked to do this Life. DO VISIT OUR FUNDRAISING PAGE AND MAKE A DONATION NOW! ANY, ANY AMOUNT IS MOST APPRECIATED!

Thanks to the continuing excellent work of the ConDem (cuts, taxes and general feel-badness), our fundraising efforts has been going slow. Yet, homelessness remains a real problem, and we are running everyday in preparation for our race. For limited time only, WHEN YOU SPONSOR KAIDIE’S RUN FOR GBP£100 OR MORE, YOU WILL RECEIVE A UNIQUE, 1/1 PRINT  - Signed+Kissed! Autographed! Lovingly-gazed! Paw-printed! –  LOVINGLY CREATED BY KAIDIE, first shared at the our 14metre-Metamap wall-installation consisting of 120 maps, at the PhD Exhibition at the Slade School of Dine Art, UCL, Nondon!! We have paid £100 to run for Shelter, but EVERY SINGLE PENNY WE RAISE FROM YOU WILL GO DIRECTLY TO SHELTER. CONTACT US NOW! <Dislocation@3rdlifekaidie.com>

* COST: As tagged * DIMENSION: 42cm at the longest side (unframed) *EACH IS A UNIQUE, 1/1 PRINT: Signed, autographed with customised message! Kissed, lovingly gazed upon too. Paw print included if desired. *METHOD OF PAYMENT: ONLINE! CLICK CLICK AND CLICK THIS PAGE! * METHOD OF DELIVERY OF PRINTS: Nondon, London, Spore, Elsewhere, via slow mail, flesh-to-flesh, Trafalgar-pigeon-to-your-doorstep: in this day and age, worry not – we will find a way!* 110 OTHER PRINTS AVAILABLE!  We will however make only a small selection. * QUESTIONS? Contact us NOW! <dislocation@3rdlifekaidie.com> * As of 11 February, the Kings Kross print is the property of Mr Zadoc O’Higgins!


** ROLLING UPDATE: As of 11 February 2011 Friday: ZADOC O’HIGGINS, ANONYMOUS and ERIC AULD will each receive a SIGNED, UNIQUE PRINT for their GENEROUS DONATIONS! THANK YOU SO MUCH! A MILLION THANKS also to our friends MICHAEL DUFFY, SARAH YEE, CRISTIAN GARCIACHRISTINA MOK, LAURA, FERNANDO ODCERES, ANDREWS PARKES, MICHAEL DAYAN, PAUL KNEALE, UMI BADEN-POWELL for your donation and words of encouragement! THANK YOU Ms WOO YINGYAN of the Media Development Authority of Singapore FOR YOUR ENCOURAGEMENT! THANK YOU LOW SZE WEE for your generous support for our effort! Sze Wee is Deputy Director (heritage) of the MICA in Singapore – what a lovely Xmas gift! MANY THANKS also to the lovely dancer & choreographer (including of the SEMINAL DUMB TYPE!)/actor TAKAO KAWAGUCHI for your GENEROUS DONATION! You are our ABSOLUTE DARLING! THANK YOU TOO to our friends HILLARY CARTER and ANONYMOUS for warming our icy Nondon weekend! Hillary, one of the organisers of the very wonderful Farnham Pilgrims’s Marathon that all participants raved about, is himself an accomplished marathon runner WHO COMPLETED HIS 100th RACE in Surrey! Having slipped and bruised ourselves in the icy conditions in Nondon recently, we have relented and returned to the hamster wheel of the gym. Running on the treadmill feels oppressive, but as the donation of our friend MARC FLEPP (runner currently down with runner’s knee!) came in, we feel encouraged and will learn to work our body with machine. The £1500 target still looks very, very far away, SO PLEASE DON’T BE SHY AND STEP IN AND LEND US A HAND! Every single bit/penny matters!! And our most sincere gratitude to artist ANDREW STAHL, Mr BENSON PUAH, CEO of the National Arts Council of Singapore and two of our friends with the same name, ANONYMOUS, our friend SHAN, and adorable YENTHREE A FRESA – another wonderful ex-student from a previous life, artists PATRICIA TOWNSEND and SONIA BRIDGE, our ex-student from a previous life, VASSILI SIBIRIUS, urban planner DANIEL M FITZPATRICK (also a runner!), psychologist BEN VOYER (himself an accomplished MARATHON RUNNER!) and art teacher MS CHUN WEE SAN (who had previously supported our run for MSF too) and Collaborator-Conspirator JAMES ODLING-SMEE FOR YOUR GENEROUS SUPPORT SO FAR!!

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BRIGHTON ON THE ROCKS: In July, we asked for your advice for a short trip outside of Nondon; here is our VERY LATE postmortem!

It is already Winter as we speak and we are already nearly ALL OF  12-MONTHS OLD as we speak, but so many things have been happening in our lives that we haven’t had time to follow up and/or update you. If you recall, we asked for your kind advice over Summer for a simple day-trip out of Nondon, our favourite city on earth and beyond, and many of you very kindly wrote in to offer tips. MUCH THANKS FOR THAT, AND THAT!!! In the end, we took up the advice of Susan Collins, and visited Brighton for a day (THANK YOU SUSAN!). The day before we left, we also memorised the melody and lyrics of Brighton Rock by Queen, who is our favourite (and to our mind only valid) royalty.

Unfortunately, Brighton didn’t rock on this day we visited Brighton. Not only did it not rock, it was downhill, worse than a pathetic pebble or a piece of booger-looking plasticine also shat upon by a stray dog. It rained. And not only did it rain, it rained like it was nobody’s business. On and on. Already wearing our swimsuit underneath our clothes, since 5am when we woke up that morning (for the less-than-cheap coach bus that runs on ungodly hours) we went absolutely ballistic when rain hit hard, full on, at 9am when we arrived. Not only did we feel betrayed, we felt frocking humiliated. As you well know, we have been working bloody hard and running/living harder, and have not had the chance to have any break since our birth on 12.12. 2009, and the one single day we went on one, on a day which was technically defined as belonging to the season of Summer, so-called ‘Mother Nature’ has to screw it up.  Mother my foot. We felt sad too, as this was meant to be a trip we take with you, our Dear Co-Runners. We hurled all the ‘your mother’ insults we ever knew at the sky, stone, rocks, everything else, while ogling extremely jealously at runners going up and down along the coast. The above image shows the GPS record of our infuriated, heavy and sulky tracks. In pink.

Being tough (stale, even?) cookies that we are, in the face of setbacks, we can only be even more defiant. In the past week, when snow has made Nondon cold, miserable and ‘classic grey (or gray) Nondon’, we have continued our running, albeit all wrapped up as Michelin Man, along with his (defiant) smile. In reference to the ‘mountain’ of earth imprisoning them for nearly 70 days, one of the famed (ex-) ‘Chilean miners’ Edison Pena explains, ‘I could just lie down, but my fury has been channelled into a hatred towards this mountain. … I wanted the mountain to get bored, seeing me run … I am not defeated. I am fighting. I feel that by running, I am fighting to live’ [1]

1 year into our venture, we are so spent and pent-up that we MUST GET OUT OF OUR BELOVED NONDON AND HAVE A BLOODY BREAK. Yes we swear. So we will consult your list of advice. Perhaps we will (re-)visit Brighton, in the deep of Winter, and jump into the ocean for a dip, in utter defiance. Lubed and all wrapped up, like MM.

Oh yes.


[1] These are the words of the miner in one of many love letters he wrote to his girlfriend while he was trapped. Fiona Govan, ‘Chile Miners Attend Mass at San Jose Mine’, Telegraph.co.uk, 17 October 2010. [accessed 1 November 2010].


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