Tag Archive for Novena

Christmas Day Lunch with Mum at Da Luca

For Christmas Day this year, and to enjoy the time with my mum who was returning back to the UK on Boxing Day, we booked up a table at Da Luca Italian Restaurant – in Novena.

It is still a little surreal to enjoy Christmas in the tropics, but we knew we were in for a good meal. It wasn’t massively busy, but we had a nice meal of Beef Carpaccio, Pizza and a Mixed Salad which we shared – certainly different from the Christmas Turkey and the trimmings – but delicious all the same.

It was great to spend it with my mum, rather than eating on my own, so I am glad I was able to spend it with her, and to ensure she had a relaxing trip back (on a full stomach).

Da Luca Italian Restaurant
1 Goldhill Plaza #01-19/21
Goldhill Plaza
Singapore
309012
Tel: +65 6258 4846
URL: http://www.daluca.com.sg

Walking Around Novena – Funny Times

When you walk around Novena, it is sometimes funny what you find.  There is not much around the mainly shopping and medical district, but if you search deeper, you do sometimes find a nice shop or two in the area.

I went with the girlfriend for a nice meal at Da Luca Italian Restaurant (at #01-19/21 Goldhill Plaza, 309012) for their lovely Burrata (this is one of the nice restaurants you find in the area), there was even a new spa (called Pine Spa - at 199 Thomson Road, 307636) that had opened up that month – and we were almost tempted to do this after our food – but we were so tired, I think we probably wouldn’t have woken up even if they forced us too – so we decided to pass the massage for another time.  BUT, it is a great treat, and now I know where it is – and it is 24 hours – what more can you ask for :)

We did find one particular restaurant / bar (forgot the name) near to Goldhill Plaza and Thomson road, which had a great window display – a big cuddly bear watching the world go by and relaxing with a beer (shame it wasn’t a Guinness!).  We then went to the Udders Ice Cream (155 Thomson Rd, 307608), an interesting place, and a nice variety of ice cream on offer – with no other that Oktobeer Ice Cream – that’s Edhinger Dunkel & Guinness Stout – yummy.

So as I said, there are a few nice places in and around Novena – you just have to spend time to walk around and find them… :)

Dentist – Q&M Dental Centre Novena

Well it was that time of year that I should have a quick dental inspection.  I didn’t get around to arrange this when I was in the UK in March, and it has been over a year now, so hopefully there are no problems.

I passed a dentist which was in the nearby Shopping mall a few times, so decided to pop in for an appointment.  The good news is that work will cover the cost of this, as part of the healthy living programme, which is great!

The appointment was scheduled for 2nd April – and I went just after work at around 6pm, which was perfect for me to return from the MBFC office.  The check-up was fine, no fillings or anything, and a quick check and polish came up at around S$96 – I guess that’s the score for dentists these days (that is around £50!)   The only comment the dentist made is that I brush too hard and had damaged the gums around my teeth, even though I told her that I used the automatic toothbrush.  So I guess, I should just brush more gentler, as I know the motor goes pretty fast on those toothbrushes – haha!

Q&M Dental Centre
238 Thomson Road #02-01
Novena Square
Singapore 307683
Tel: +65 6251 3233
URL: http://www.qandm.com.sg

Air Conditioning – New Contract, but a Problem!

Well another year, another air conditioning contract.

I decided to renew with the same company that I used previously last year (Atlantic Engrg & Air Con Services), and thought it would simply be a quick maintenance clean and inspection.  Only to realise that there was a fault with one of the units.

It appeared that there was a warning light showing, and after the maintenance inspection, they advised me that the required work was a chemical clean then refill the gas.  If this doesn’t resolve the fault, then the PCB would need to be replaced.  I checked with the landlord and his agent, and they advised me that the cleaning and gas-refilling was my responsibility and cost, but if the unit had to be repaired / parts replaced, then this would be borne by the landlord.  The quote came back as S$250 chemical clean + S$70 gas refill – ouch!  I had no choice but to settle this.

In addition to this, the annual maintenance cost was S$180 (luckily this was the same price as last year) – again, I have to pay this.

So unfortunately, it was quite an expensive maintenance service this quarter :(  Hopefully the next few servicing won’t cost this much!

Atlantic Engrg & Air Con Services
No 41 Toh Guan Road East #07-04
ADL Building
Singapore 608605
Tel: +65 6400 5196
E-mail: atlanticengrg@singnet.com.sg
URL: http://www.atlanticengineering.com.sg

New SingTel Phone Upgrade

I had purchased a 2-year phone contract from SingTel, and there was an opportunity to get a free upgrade after 12 months…free in the sense there is no additional contract charge, but the handset would still cost me $$$.

I had ummmed and ahhhed for a couple of months already, as I knew the iPhone 5S would be out soon. I decided to take the plunge (or easy option) and simply upgrade my handset to the new iPhone, rather than switching to an Samsung S4 (which was a strong possibility). The key reason is that everyone I had was on my iPhone, it was working fine, I liked the ecosystem and size overall and I knew it was easy to upgrade (in a few minutes), versus having to configure everything from scratch on the new phone type. I also thing that for me it was actually quite a nice size for my hands :)

Anyway, it cost me S$668 (for another 2 years) – which I know is a bit pricey, but I think worth the upgrade. I also set-up my old iPhone 4S for me mum to have – aren’t I nice :)

The funny thing is that I actually have gone for the ‘S’ versions for each iPhone…3S, 4S and now 5S. I wonder whether I should wait for the 6S next year, or whether I would be tempted away at that point…well that’s another year to go…so lets see what happens.

Opticians – Eye Test and New Glasses

Well haven’t suffered a bit of damage on my glasses during a game of Futsal in May, I decided it was time to buy a new pair of glasses.

So I decided to source around for a good opticians, I went to a couple of places, but didn’t see a pair of glasses that I liked, so I finally ended back at Novena Velocity Mall, and didn’t even realise there was one right on my door step. It was called Northern Opticians, and then seemed pretty okay. I know there was a Japanese one that just opened up in Plaza Singpura – called OwnDays, and I also found one on Facebook called GlistVision in The Cathy, Dhoby Ghaut.

I know Singapore is a great health hub – in the medicare arena that is – so I thought eye care would no different. I wasn’t wrong, the eye test was done pretty well, and the good news is that there wasn’t much change to my current prescription. The only concern was my right eye was slightly weaker, and I sense this could have caused by the eye infection I had previously, but apparently they couldn’t say for sure it was linked. I then looked at the array of glasses on offer, and they had quite a nice display – however, the frames and lens were quite expensive, slightly more so than the UK I think. The Optician confirmed the same – that the frames are expensive, although the lens are about the same. Hey-ho, if needs must!

I purchase a nice pair of Guess glasses – half-frames, they were quite light, and they certainly felt very comfortable. Price-wise, it was S$380 all in all – about £190 – that is not too bad, although if I went for some of the other frames, it would have been more expensive indeed.

Anyway, at least I have purchased one. I know there were probably other glasses or Opticians that were probably cheaper, but that will do for a year or so :)

Eye Specalist visit – final visit this year…yay!

Well after my Langkawi holiday, I had one more appointment to see the eye specialist … Number 5 of this year.

I was hoping it was the last one having now been weaned off the inflammatory drugs and antibiotics for about 2 weeks, and it certainly was great to hear the words “all clear” from the specialist. Apparently the risk is still present, so any flu or virus might trigger a reoccurrence, but hopefully it will hold off for a while…well forever, ideally :)

Anyway, the next check-up is in a year, so August 2013. Hopefully by then, it will simply a quick check-up to confirm everything is a-okay.

Either way, this visit lasted for 5 minutes and cost me another S$88 bucks again…ouch! I definitely miss the NHS when one is ‘ill’!! Then again I would prefer to be healthy rather than ill no matter where I am in the world :)

Eye Specialist Treatment – Getting Expensive :(

Well having had a GP appointment and 4 follow-up eye specialist visits – and a fifth (and hopefully last) visit in mid August, it turns an eye infection can be quite expensive :)

The total charges for all of the visits to date are just over S$600 (approximately £300), and I am expecting the final costs to be about $680 (~£340). Luckily I have company mediguard insurance, but unfortunately, this only supports claim of $400, meaning I will still be out of pocket by around $240 but the end of the treatment…hopefully there are more specialist visits after the one scheduled in mid-August.

Hey-ho – there are always times when you recognise the positive notion of the UK National Health Service (NHS) – but you do have to pay a hefty tax rate to support it though…

Eye Infection – Worrying!

It started around Friday 14th, when during the day, one of my work colleagues ask whether there was something wrong with my right eye – I said why, and she said because it seems quite red.  I didn’t think much of it, but washed my eye with water and hopefully whatever foreign object that was in the eye would wash away.

I continued to relax over that weekend, and I started to notice that the redness got quite sever on the Sunday, 16th June – so much so that it started to be quite painful to close my eyes and to blink.  I didn’t rub the eye, but I started to think something was wrong.  I went to the local pharmacy, and brought some saline eye drops to hopefully clear it up.  I previously had 4 bouts of an inflammation, in 2008 when I was working in Latvia, and 3 other occurrences since then, but those were in the left eye – this was the first time it was in my right eye – and I felt it was the worse occurrence this time around.

I then decided to visit the local GP at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital 24 hour Walk-in Clinic (part of their A&E department) – luckily for me this was in the vicinity of my apartment in Novena.  They advised me that it looks like a bad inflammation, and gave me a prescription of eye drops and eye ointment.  The GP also signed me off for 2 days on medical leave – providing me a medical certificate (MC) – she also told me that if things don’t improve to see an eye specialist – and she gave me a referral in case I needed it.  I went to work on Monday, finished off a few e-mails, and then decided to go home on leave for the Monday and Tuesday.  The Singapore Haze/Smog was getting progressively worse, so I knew I had to stay out of it to avoid any further infection to my eyes.

I returned to work on Wednesday, but the eye was not getting any better and remained very red and blurry.  I decided to visit the Eye Specialist on first thing on Thursday morning.  I visited the Eagle Eye Centre also part of the Mount Elizabeth Hospital complex – and saw one of the Eye Specialists.  The first reaction was quite worrying, in that it was not just a inflammation but a severe eye infection, which if left untreated could cause permanent damage to my eye and vision – it had impacted to the Corneo and Iris/Lens now, so it needed urgent treatment.  The doctor prescribed me a number of eye drops, tablets and ointments that I had to take intensively over a 2-day cycle, and then signed me off on MC for a further 2 days.

The treatment was as follows:

  •  GUT PRED FORTE – 5 drop each hour (1 drop / min for 5 mins ): Reduce Inflammation
  •  GUT CRAVIT Ophthalmic Solution – 1 drop every 3 hours: Antibiotics
  •  GUT ATROPIN – 1 drop 3 times a day: Anticholinergic and aids Dilation
  •  OCC MAXIDEX Ointment – apply once at night: Anti-Inflammatory
  •  IBUPROFEN – 2 tablets 3 times a day: Anti-Inflammatory
  •  FAMOTIDINE – 1 tablet twice daily for a week: Gastric Protection
My 2 Days Drug Store

My 2 Days Drug Store

He told me that there is no one cause of the infection, but likely to be caused by some other underlining issue – flu, food posioning, some other infection etc – and the eye just reacted to it accordingly.  But I didn’t have anything previously, so it was very strange.  He also said it was strange that only one eye was involved, as he would expect both to be affected (luckily it wasn’t, else I would be totally blind!)

Eye Comparison

Eye Comparison

I returned to see the Eye Specialist on Saturday morning, and the goodness that the intense treatment seemed to be making a difference.  The redness and inflammation had subsided, but the eye remained very blurry and he told me that I had to continue the treatment for the next 2 days, but if with a lesser dose of the eye drops – moving from 5 drops an hour to 1 an hour.

So hopefully, this treatment can really hit the spot and ensure the infection goes away.  I hope the blurriness stops – but it’s difficult to tell whether this is the infection or the eye drops causing it.

Either way, another visit on Tuesday afternoon – and hopefully I will know more.  The good news is that the infection is reducing – and I can return to the work on Monday (if you consider this good news), but the bad news is that he told me that the chances of a reoccurence in the future is relatively high – hey-ho, at least I know how to react if I start feeling issues with one of the eyes.

Cheap(er) Guinness from Cold Storage

During a recent grocery shop at the nearby Cold Storage supermarket, I decided to check-out the alcohol aisle – and noticed that there was one column of Guinness draught stout (normally it is the Guinness Foreign Export – which is much more bitter and a stronger taste – and personally so unlike the original Dublin variety).  Anyway, they had just 3 cans left, so I decided to buy them all.

Guinness Special Offer - Yay

Guinness Special Offer – Yay

I went to the till, paid and started to check my receipt and I noticed, to my surprise, that there was a promotion of Guinness – resulting in a small saving.  It was a buy 3 for S$12 (£6) offer, so equating S$4 (£2) for each can of Guinness, instead of S$5.35 (£2.70).  I did say only a small saving – lol!

And yes I know it is still expensive, compared with the local UK supermarkets – where you can get special offers equating to £1 per can – grrrr…. I miss those offers – haha!

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