Books Read in May 2021























































The Father

469 days after watching The Peanut Butter Falcon, I finally went to the cinema again!

The Father is a thought-provoking film about a man stricken by dementia. This deceptively simple drama is very realistic in depicting the mental deterioration in old age.

Anthony Hopkins (winner of the Best Actor Oscar this year) is Anthony, a man who refuses all assistance from his daughter Anne as he ages. As he tries to make sense of his changing circumstances, he begins to doubt everything – his loved ones, his own mind and the fabric of his reality.

Items such as furniture in Anthony’s and Anne’s homes, and the residential care home are all similar looking. Subtle alterations to colour schemes throughout (such as Anne’s clothes, day-to-day objects in the kitchens, different pictures on the walls hung in similar arrangements) add to the visual confusion of Anthony’s space.

One piece of classical music prominently used throughout the film is George Bizet’s Les pecheurs de pesles (The Pearl Fishers). This is Anthony’s favourite piece of music. This piece is not a familiar favourite but the textures (monophonic or basic, homophonic or clear, polyphonic or the simultaneous combination of ‘many sounds’) contribute greatly to the atmosphere (whether thin, thick or multi-layered; such as the exciting mood).

It is one film that must be seen on the big screen and should not be missed!

With the worsening (Covid) situation and escalating cases in the community and stricter measures being enforced from Saturday, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I don’t have to wait another 469 days to visit the cinema again!

A Special Paris Sunset

My best friend was shopping for her art materials alone when she chanced upon a shop that sells all sorts of puzzles. Knowing that I love doing jigsaws, she bought me a 1,200-piece Paris Sunset as a surprise.

The puzzle is indeed unlike all the different kinds I’ve done before, even the plastic 3D ones. Because the plastic pieces are interlocking, I got a lot of satisfaction each time I heard a “click” when two pieces fit together. And I’ve never come across a box that contains the pieces in four bags, one for each quadrant. I decided to work on the simplest quadrant according to the picture:

This took me just over three hours to complete.

On the second day, I started on the third quadrant:

This took less than three hours.

After lunch, I tackled the first quadrant, which was not as difficult as I had thought:

This took slightly over two hours to complete.

I left the most difficult quadrant to the last, and had to take a break in between because I was somewhat confused by the pieces:

I only managed this much after more than three hours.

Since there was “only a bit left”, I decided to continue after dinner and managed to complete the puzzle in less than an hour:


The next step is to frame it up:

Frame is recycled from another set of pictures.

It is now hung opposite my bed, so that I can look at it every day:

The previous set (featuring a piano and a violin) has been relegated to the left (piano not seen here).

A 1,000-pc Jigsaw Puzzle

I first saw this jigsaw puzzle about a month ago when I was looking for Chinese New Year cards. I was tempted to buy but wasn’t sure if I had a frame of the correct measurement. I kept thinking about it until I decided to go back to buy it last week after making sure of the measurements. A good thing I did because it was the last one left.

Like the previous two puzzles, the beginning was the hardest:

This alone took me five-and-a-half hours, of which half the time was used to fit the border.

After 7 hours on another day, I managed to see a semblance of the orchestra and the audience in the gallery.

Two-and-a-half hours on the first day of CNY lead to the completion of the puzzle. How lovely!

Update: 2nd attempt on 13 Feb 2021 (8 hours)

Another 1,500-piece Jigsaw Puzzle

My friend B lent me another 1,500-piece Jigsaw Puzzle which she said is easier than the one she lent me last month:

She said her neighbours (2 young adult sisters) did it in 2 days, spending only 2 hours per day.

Day 1

All beginnings are hard, and it took me 6.5 hours to get to this:

Day 2

The following day, I could see the picture emerging after 5 hours:

Day 3

Another 4.5 hours brought me to this:

Day 4

It was really exciting to see this after 5 hours:

Day 5

Again, with the help of my colour-deficient son (on the most difficult sections like the sky), the puzzle was completed in an hour:

I had so much fun that I’ve decided to dismantle it and do it again! I’m curious if it’s possible to complete the puzzle in less than 22 hours, with or without my son’s help.


The second attempt was completed on 6 Feb 2020 in 16 hours over 4 days.