Growing up on the Canadian prairies, I belonged to our local 4-H group for many years. 4-H, so called because of the 4-Hs members pledge – head, hands, heart and health – is a global network of youth organizations with the goal to develop citizenship, leadership, responsibility and life skills of youth through experiential learning programs and a positive youth development approach. Through 4-H, I learned how to take care of and ride a horse, made great friends at the summer camp, practiced public speaking at the annual speech competition and always recited the pledge at each meeting.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. It can also be a huge headache! When feeding the 5,000 over the festive period there is, more often than not, a myriad of things to factor in, usually surrounding timing, preparation and kitchen space. So, here are a few hacks to keep your cool while catering for the masses.
For some, Christmas is all about a little indulgence, spoiling yourself and your family with all sorts of delicious food. If you’re looking to really go all out this year, get yourself some sturgeon caviar. Atop party canapés, or as a starter this season before festive feast, caviar is a luxury that never goes out of fashion. While the finest stuff originally came from the Caspian a
Relocating and starting a new chapter in another country can be an exciting and fulfilling experience. As expatriates, we recognize the opportunity and enrichment that living abroad may bring, but with any significant change or transition comes loss. As an educational psychologist working in the international context, I am often asked why relocating can be an anti-climax; why family life can suddenly transform from a household of calm and contentment, to one of tears and tantrums.
“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before,” wrote Dr. Seuss. “What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
December is here and with it the time of the year you might know to be cold and comfy. I, for my part, can’t help thinking of white landscapes completely covered in snow, children building snowmen and cozy evenings before the fire with a cup of hot chocolate to warm my hands. In Singapore, with an average temperature of 27 degrees and humidity of 80%, a tropical island completely covered by what seems to be a sea of apartment blocks and skyscrapers, this mental image appears to be entirely out of place. However, against all expectations, it is possible to experience winter in and around Singapore. So, all of you who miss the cold temperatures and the fun winter sports just as much as I do, here you will find some things to do that will give you a little …
Lapland’s attraction is undisputable; it is a place of magical, even otherworldly images – white landscapes of frosted forests and iced lakes. In this region of Finland, one of the coldest parts of Europe, the realms of fantasy often turn out to be more reliable than reality. Around 160,000 tourists travel to Lapland every year hoping to see the elusive northern lights, but the Finns have set up a sure thing: Santa Claus. Come cloud or snow, he’ll be on duty in Santa Claus Village with a warm smile and a beard fluffier than Rudolph’s tail.
October brings with it one of the most fun festivals on the calendar: Halloween. Nowhere celebrates All Hallows Eve quite like it’s done in the US, but that’s not to say there aren’t any opportunities to don your vampire cape here in Singapore.
If you’ve read Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels you’ll be familiar with the island of Laputa. If not, Laputa is an island about 4.5 miles across on which its inhabitants, who are obsessed with all things geometric and mathematical, levitate through a magnetic force in order to maneuver in any direction. At the center of their island are water basins to where rain gravitates and which are regulated by the sun to stop them from overflowing. Unlike other islands, though, Laputa floats high off the ground while Laputans peer down at the land below. That's what it feels like to stand at the top of Marina Bay Sands. You feel like you, the gardens and the 1.5 million liters of water in the infinity pool in front of you are somehow defying gravity.
We’re getting better at talking about mental health. Public figures have, in recent years, come forward to open up about their own experiences which, to some degree, has encouraged the rest of us to speak more freely about mental health issues. We’re still not quite there, though. Many find discussing mental health taboo, too complex, too difficult to define and so the danger that it gets swept back under the carpet is still very real.