Sunday 31 March 2024

Month of March 2024

I was privileged to be invited for lunch hosted by a prominent local businessman. Among the twenty attendees were mostly seniors in my industry and a few of my age group. We were brought to the penthouse level of a building that gave a bird’s eye view of the city landscape and served a proper Bordeaux amid six courses of wonderful modern Chinese cuisine. But to me, there was something even better. Candid sharing by everyone which was facilitated by the host asking simple and direct questions related to business challenges. He wanted to know how well Singapore’s SMEs are holding up. The often heard remarks such as lack of labour, input costs, inflation etc were presented. Those are problems but what are the counter measures, he asked and then added, sustainability mindsets could help to frame everyone’s next business decision better. To that, the older gentlemen became uncharacteristically silent. The bright and airy room suddenly turned gloomy. What an effective comeback, to the point and might have hurt a few resistant souls. He rattled off a few concrete examples from his business operations to complete the story. It felt like a teacher schooling children except the teacher addressed several of his students as elders. I was just taking mental notes and observed the posturing each took. Like the saying goes, there's no free lunch in this world, yet I enjoyed a lunch that was not only free but one that also provided honest feedback and meaningful conversation.

Since my nose operation last June, I was due for a final review. The doctor noted my slight weight loss and recommended to stay away from egg and dairy related products. After a quick scan, he declared himself satisfied and cleared me in a medical sense. It's a relief and what happens next depends on my discipline and luck, hopefully there's no recurrence for the rest of my life.

The National School Games has returned once again. In the sweltering heat, the children competed for honours while parents watched on. I could see the youngest son performing well alongside his rugby teammates and their progress was clear. In fact, most schools showed improvements. However, the local sports scene is poor. With twenty schools in the competition, there were about seven head coaches (excluding teacher in charge) doubling up for referee duties alongside some paid ones. Essentially, one could referee a subsequent game opponent. Some of the coaches even worked for various schools that could potentially meet in a match up. When I asked my son's coach on his view, he lamented that the career as a sports coach was not great and the number of coaches decreased during Covid. He's in his early forties and doing this out of interest. In Singapore, there's only around fifteen full time rugby coaches and this pool is aided by part timers.

Tip: Bourgueil Gauthier Pere and Fils 2020, inky purple, sweet aroma and soft body

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