t h e i n t i m a t e s t r a n g e r

Archive for October, 2013

The magic’s gone

without comments


I used to like this wedding photographer’s work. He had such creative ideas and there was always this otherworldly and magical quality to his work.

But in the last several months, his work just seemed contrived, and painfully so. I actually thought it couldn’t be the same person. I wonder what happened.

It must be sad to lose one’s magic, but still have to continue with the nightly shows.

But the audience will still be there every night.

Because everyone wants to believe in the magic.


Written by The Intimate Stranger

October 28th, 2013 at 9:58 pm

Posted in words

Second best

without comments



More loot! Hophop! Not bad for someone who only started swimming regularly early this year, and training seriously in March :-)

Though it was less nerve-wracking than my first race in April and I did have more time to train, I was still very nervous. It was a bigger meet with swimmers from everywhere, literally — the Masters meet includes overseas participants who fly in as a group representing their swim club, and several of them were in their 50s to 80s! Competition is also stiffer. The 50 m Free for my age group had only 2 swimmers last year; there were 9 of us this afternoon. But, the more the merrier, and it makes the win sweeter ;-)

There were also a couple of close calls.

During the 50 m Breast, my goggles started leaking halfway down the lane. And then I felt the lens flipping over, which was still fine since I just had to keep my eyes open and go straight. AND THEN in the final stretch of 10 or 15 m, they started slipping down my face (WTF??!!!), and my nose — at which point I started alternating between cursing and choking — and my mouth. But thankfully, with a little facial contortion (very unglamorous, I’m certain, sigh), it slipped further down and stopped at my neck. I was pretty upset at that particular moment because it felt like I lost a precious second or two, and it would have cost me a place. But I touched home at 47.26s, just ahead of the other woman who was also my age, at 47.97s. Both of us were far behind the leader at 39.18s (ex-national swimmer, nuff said). But, it was also a Personal Best for me since the 49.10s in April, so I’m pleased :-)

The 100 m Breast was less eventful. I was considering dropping out because I wasn’t confident that I could recover sufficiently in the half an hour interval before the all-or-nothing 50 m Free. But I decided to take a gamble for a gold — the line-up was just 3 of us, with the woman who I beat at the 50 m Breast seeding 2s less than my 1m 52s. I also wanted to use the race to work off some nervous energy before the sprint. I really struggled on the returning lap with lactic acid build-up and touched home for a silver. I was a little disappointed but pleasantly surprised at another new PB of 1m 46.93s (49.67s / 57.26s) — 6s faster! The winner finished at 1m 43.65s — also a surprise to her. The third swimmer came in at 2m 12.17s, which was 2s slower than her seed.

I grabbed my third medal in the 50 m Free. Based on the Psych Sheet, my seed of 36s was ranked 4th behind the 3 fastest times of 31s, 34s and 35s. I was therefore prepared that I might not be placed, especially after the taxing 100 m; there was also the possibility that the slower seeds in the line-up could swim faster on the day itself. Anyway, the plan was to focus on beating the third seed who was in the lane next to mine. From the time we leaped off the starting block, she was leading the pack right until the end. (Darn, should have gotten SF to film the race for post-event review!) And again, I struggled the last 10-15 m, even as her club roared for her from the stands — I knew then that it was a close race, and also that she maintained her lead and touched home first. I was disappointed about not being placed, and it was only when I checked the results much later that I realised that I managed to make it into the top 3 with a timing of 35.09s, just behind her 34.58s. It’s not my PB but still, really chuffed! The second seed clocked a slower 35.56s while the ex-national swimmer maintained her form at 30.94s.

[Due to a mix-up in the results posted on the day of the meet, I picked up the Silver medal instead of a Bronze. Gahhh! Emailed the organiser but since there was no response, I guess we’ll just let it be. At least the results have been corrected. Heh.]

So the tally stands at 3 Silvers and 1 Bronze now. Hoping to pick up a couple more medals — hopefully Gold — in a few weeks’ time ;-)

In the meantime, I’ll have to work on not letting my nerves get the better of my swims, and the resilience and mental willpower to finish strong (and with more dignity, ha ha). All 3 races happened in such a blur — my breaths were painfully ragged, and my strokes were not optimised. Looks like my issue with anxiety attacks is not quite resolved yet… Hmmm. Interesting. I never thought swimming would provide a platform for me to work on my fears.


“Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.”

– Kurt┬áVonnegut, 5 Nov 2006

Written by The Intimate Stranger

October 27th, 2013 at 11:59 pm

Posted in i am arian

His little heartbeat

without comments




















His rhythmic panting paces our walks

It is the only sound I hear in the quiet of the park

At night.


It means his little heart still beats

And it comforts me

At night.



Written by The Intimate Stranger

October 26th, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Posted in uncategorised