Jojo's Official Blog
Live The Moment


I was reading the article in the Star about whether mothers should get 3 months maternity leave before returning to work instead of 2 months. I’m not a mother myself so I want to try to understand what everyone’s sentiments are on the topic? Especially if you’re a mother or father yourself.

If you’re not a parent but you’re working, how much has a new Mum on maternity leave affected the smooth running of your department? or organisation? What do your bosses think about it? If you’re a boss yourself, what’s your view?

It would really help me immerse myself in the topic once I hear everyone’s pros and cons.

I know some new mothers who were barely adjusting to motherhood and were not sleeping properly due to round the clock caring for their newborns felt the pressure to return to work, “2 months just flew past and I didn’t feel ready. I was so stressed out with the breast feeding due to complications…and before you know it, I had to get back to the office” was what one Mum told me.

From an employer’s perspective, the article I read recently in the Star said companies complained it reduced their productivity yet some companies took it upon themselves to GIVE 3 months anyway because they felt that’s what a mother would need as a minumum to adjust to motherhood and her new baby.

Then there’s also the question being raised about paternity leave. How about fathers who would like to get more involved and have more time to bond with their newborn babies? Would they feel robbed because they simply aren’t there? Especially, if they’re working long hours stuck in the office?

Plus, what if their wives need their men to be there to support them emotionally considering how some women get post partum depression after giving birth?

I know it’s more than one question I’m asking you guys but any input at all would be really appreciated. There are so many angles to look at, so many perspectives to consider on the topic.

Thanks so much!!
Jojo Struys
Live The Moment


A friend of mine just shared this with me and I’m quickly writing the instructions down before I forget them!

Every action on ur blackberry is logged, which in time will slow your bb down. At least once a week, hold ALT key and press LGLG (the letters) while on your home screen. U will see the logs. Then click the Blackberry menu button and select “clear log” this keeps ur phone running much faster. It doesn’t wipe your mails out either so don’t worry.

Another thing which helps is clearing chats on the messenger and taking the battery out and re-booting your phone.

I hope this helps (for those of you on a berry) coz I noticed mine taking pretty long to load things up so I just tried the “clear log” function myself! 🙂 Jojo Struys
Live The Moment


I used to flat out in a place my friends would call creepy. Beautiful but creepy. It had wooden floorboards and it looked like a minimal art gallery. Long corridors, white wooden shutter windows, mood lit lamps in the corners and a balcony facing a forest.

One night, 2 of my friends visited me and one of their phones was ringing. When she saw who it was from, she was puzzled “why are you mis calling me? I’m right here” she asked her friend. The odd thing is her friend had left her phone in the car downstairs so how was it making that phone call? Plus, the time code was wrong (yet every other call on her phone was recorded at the right time).

Things were also physically moved which made no sense. For instance, when I wanted to walk the dogs, I found their leashes in the wastepaper bin. There’s no way any of us, including the maid, would’ve done that.

On one occassion, my Mum was picking me up and while waiting for me to come down the stairs, her car doors locked by themselves.

My friends recommended for a monk to come in and pray/bless the house. I also bought a rosary and left it on the ledge. I wasn’t taking any chances coz the fact “it” could move things around thr home made me uneasy. Ok, REALLY REALLY uneasy. And it didn’t help my dogs would bark with such intensity into thin air. Made me wonder what they were barking at.

Anyway, the monk arrived one morning and was solidly chanting for almost an hour, deep in prayer. When he was was finished, he sprayed holy water in every room and left.

Right after he left, the taps were running though no one turned them on and to my shock, I discovered that a room in the back with nothing in it except for a clothes line, and my dogs in it had the cement tiles lifted off the ground.

So picture this. It was a square room with cement tiles and the tiles in the middle of the room had popped up as if something from the ground was coming right through the house.

My dogs had peed in the room too though they usually do everything outside, not in the house (all this happened in the space of an hour while the monk was chanting). I would give anything to find out what they saw because they were there when it happened but of course our dogs can’t “talk” to us.

Call me chicken but I seriously didn’t have the guts to sleep in that big house alone after the tile lifting incident. It was just too much for me.

I moved out before the lease expired. This happened ages ago and thankfully, nothing like that ever since *phew*

From what Buddhists believe, some spirits are trapped between worlds still clinging to this material world. They haven’t moved on because they are still attached to their things, their relationships, their previous lives. It’s probably a good idea to send them love and light and wish them well because they’re probably suffering. Well, that’s what I promise I would do after the hysterics coz if I saw anything that wasn’t there, I would scream first for sure! 😉 Jojo Struys
Live The Moment


Well, as it turns out, the maid quit coz she was so freaked out. Jayse would never know if the girl lingered on in his bedroom or left. He never saw her though he heard his name being called when he was alone downstairs. He was watching TV one night and his name was whispered with the same intonation his mother and brothers use when calling his name. He didn’t turn around but firmly asked for it to please go away, while praying at the same time.

This name calling happened every so often out of thin air. He would hear his name spoken clearly even though there was no one in the living room. Sometimes, it was accompanied by a hand on his shoulder but he never turned around.

Incredibly, he started to lose the fear of being called because it happened so many times. He just asked for him/her to leave and he would carry on watching TV. Wow, I’m not sure I could do that.

It is believed that fear feeds off fear so it’s better to remain calm, have faith and not give your power away.

I have a personal story I would like to share which makes me question whether “ghosts” can move objects or things around because something happened in my home some time back which really shocked me. I didn’t want to believe it but it defied logical explanation. I’m blogging right now about it. That’s my next story. Till my next post, do let me know if you think “they” can move physical objects around? 🙂 Jojo Struys
Live The Moment


When Jayse finished his supper, he waved goodnight to his maid while retiring into his bedroom. She had that silly smile on her face again, almost shy-looking. He was too tired to understand it.

In the morning at breakfast, his Mum asked him, “so did you sleep well?” But he was too busy reading the paper, “so how was it??” she asked in a teasing tone.

Jayse was confused, “how was what?” And that’s when she got impatient, “Stop beating around the bush. You usually tell me everything. Who’s the girl?”

“What?? I don’t know what you’re talking about Mum. There’s no girl. You know I’ve been looking. I would’ve told you if I’d found someone”

His Mum patiently explained, “our maid said you came home really late last night with a girl. She even described what she was wearing. She couldn’t understand why you didn’t introduce her”

“What???” The hairs on his arm stood up. There was absolutely no way that was possible. He came home alone.

His Mum noticed Jayse’s car was parked with the passenger door right next to the tree. Unless this mystery girl climbed out from the driver’s side, he definitely came home alone. She shuddered at the details her maid had remembered about the girl, down to her brownish hair.

Jayse went looking for the maid to tell her that she was mistaken. He had come home alone. She was shaking her head in disbelief. When she realised that he was trying to tell her she had seen a ghost, she went pale, “how can it be? I was smiling at her. She looks about 22 or 23, quite young. I smiled at this girl. Don’t you remember?”

Ah, that’s why she looked so shy. She wasn’t smiling at him. She was smiling at this ‘girl’ with him. The maid said, “She was wearing an ankle bracelet. When she walked, it made a sound like small bells ringing. I could hear the bells even after you closed the door. She followed you in to your room”

Jayse said, “I need you to check for me if she’s still there. I want my bedroom back!” He was freaked out!

To be continued…
Jojo Struys
Live The Moment


Is it just me or don’t you think Asian ghosts seem scarier than Western ones? It’s something about the pale skin, slit eyes and long black hair *shudder*

When I first watched “The Ring”, I was seriously disturbed. I think it was the thought of something literally coming out of your TV set that bothered me more than the white clad figure I saw in the movie.

What’s worse is when I came home, I realised the TV set in my bedroom was at the foot of my bed. When I lied down, I was facing my TV screen. I couldn’t look at it coz the movie was still playing on my mind so I put a cloth over my TV set so I wouldn’t need to look at the screen. Ridiculous, but true!

Speaking about true, a friend of mine called Jayse came home one night and asked his maid to help him reheat some food. She stared at him and smiled which he found very odd behaviour.

After she served him his supper, she still smiled at him. The sort of polite smile you use when you don’t know someone. Gosh, what got into her?

To be continued…
Jojo Struys
Live The Moment


The next day, her doorbell rang and Amy thought it might be a package but it was the boy! He was in his school uniform, hands in his pockets, looking down until she said “Would you like to come in Kenzo? I don’t have any more hot chocolate but I got you some milk” He looked up in surprise and quietly shuffled into into her house (almost as though he had to do it quickly before she changed her mind)

They slipped into a comfortable silence as she fixed him a drink in the kitchen and turned on the cartoon channel for him. He decided not to watch TV. He started sketching beautiful scenes of the country side and a house surrounded by rolling gardens. His mother was in all these scenes but there was never any man in any of his drawings.

Amy started looking forward to Kenzo’s visits. He came almost at the same time every day during the weekdays. It was nice hearing him laugh. She would show him her work and he would offer suggestions, pointing at colours or graphics he liked.

Amy found him very creative. His views were fresh and he understood more English than he spoke so she did most of the talking.

She started dating again and catching up with friends she had lost touch with during her depression. It’s strange how a boy so depressed himself had given her a wake up call. She honestly didn’t realise she was so lonely till he showed up in her life. Interestingly, the fact that she was able to make him smile and laugh again gave her confidence she could make someone else happy.

It was the companionship she missed. She had gone out of her way to avoid everyone thinking that’s what she wanted, to be alone but she was lying to herself. She did want a relationship but the fear of getting hurt and dumped made her avoid getting to know anyone.

The boy’s friendship alone made her realise it was worth the risk. Love is like life. There’s no guarantees. We just have to hop on to the rollercoaster and enjoy the ride! 🙂 Jojo Struys
Live The Moment


Standing on her doorstep was a small, sweet-looking woman. She was bowing while apologising, “So sorree to dis-tub. I was working and cannot coming soona. Sank you so march for looking afta Kenzo. Father no here. Just me and Kenzo. Sank you!” There was a bit more bowing and smiling at Amy who said, “No problem. He’s no trouble at all. Anytime”

The boy followed his Mum out and bowed to Amy before he left (well at least she got a bow from him because he hadn’t said a word to her all afternoon!)

Funnily enough, even though he hadn’t spoken to her, it was nice having him around. Her social life was non-existent and she didn’t think it was possible to meet someone more lonely than her but Kenzo wasn’t just lonely. He had this air of sadness about him, like there was no more light in his life. It made her feel helpless that she couldn’t make him feel any better.

To be continued in Part 4 🙂
Jojo Struys
Live The Moment


Amy opened her front door, surprised to see the security guard of her building standing there “Miss, sorry to trouble you but the boy who lives here doesn’t want to get off the school bus. Can you help? The bus driver doesn’t know what to do”

Amy didn’t think twice about helping but she was wondering how on earth she was going to get this kid off the bus. Doesn’t he realise he’s home? She had seen him before in the afternoons, usually alone by the poolside and always in his school uniform. He looked about 9 or 10 years old.

She climbed on to the bus and noticed the boy was seated by himself right at the back. She knelt down next to him, “ok, you’re home now. This is your stop!” he just stared straight ahead. Her smile faltered, “What’s your name?” But he didn’t answer. One of the kids said, “he doesn’t speak English. He’s from Japan”

This was going to be tough but Amy said cheerily, “well I have hot chocolate in my kitchen. I could make you some. What do you think?”

He got up slowly and started walking off the bus. The bus driver thanked Amy profusely for her help but she wasn’t sure if she did anything at all. The guard explained that his Mum works in the daytime and he usually goes home on his own because he’s seen the boy get off the bus and look for his keys. He didn’t understand why he didn’t want to go home today.
He followed Amy back to her home and she was amused when she walked into her house expecting him to follow her but he waited outside. “Please come in. Sorry it’s a bit messy”

He walked in, put down his school bag and watched her prepare hot chocolate (but he didn’t drink any of it)

He sat quietly in front of the TV set. She changed the channel to the cartoon network, then let him be.

2 hours flew past with her working on her lap top until her door bell rang. This must be the boy’s mother. She told the guard to let her know her unit no.

She wasn’t sure what she was expecting. Would the boy’s Mum be angry with her for inviting him into her house? Or would she be angry with him? Or embarassed?

To be continued in Part 3
Jojo Struys
Live The Moment


I have a girlfriend called Amy who’s always complaining about her non-existent love life. Come to think of it, she hardly goes out so how is she supposed to meet anyone?

She works from home. She’s highly creative despite being so depressed about her life and she lives alone. She buries herself in her work and rarely leaves the house unless she has to meet clients.

As time goes by, she has become more and more aware of her isolation. She is so used to being on her own that the prospect of meeting new people and socialising scares her. Having said that, she really misses the company.

I have always felt she’s a warm, bubbly people’s person deep down so it is strange that she’s so withdrawn from social circles. Almost like a plant that cannot experience full bloom because it hasn’t got enough sunlight, or it’s missing some crucial ingredients for its growth.

One of those basic ingredients was trust. She’s had a series of failed relationships, starting with her own father and her lack of trust has extended to the entire male race. It’s such a shame. Come to think of it, it affects all her relationships, not just the ones with men. She has trust issues. Period.

One day, a strange, random event happened which triggered off a kink in her armour. It was totally unplanned so her guard came down without thinking about it.

Out of the blue, on a quiet Wed afternoon, her doorbell rang but she was not expecting anyone! (To be continued in Part 2) Jojo Struys
Live The Moment