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My 13-year-old niece, Poet Girl as she likes to call herself, often says things that leave me speechless with amazement. Her refreshingly innocent and unique point of view opens an entirely new window to my world.

Here are random thoughts inspired by a poem, Dreams, she wrote.

“… some dreams have to be set free,
For others to be achieved.”
she says.

Choices are important, I see
I wonder…

Do you have a dream?
I am sure that you do
I have too
Dreams, lovely dreams

I clutch them close to my breast
Afraid they will fade away

But now I know
Like love, I must set them free
Let them roam unrestricted
Unfettered they shall be

Those that spring from the heart will endure
And blossom into reality

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THERE is a welcome rain and a not so welcome thunder outside my window as I browse online through The Chosun Ilbo. The Tip of the Day is apt for the moment: To prevent the address on an envelope from being smudged by rain, rub a candle over the ink.

Hmm, commonsense really, why didn’t I think of this!

 TOTD often contains interesting advice. For example, ants seem to have a thing against rubber bands; to get rid of them, sprinkle salt or place rubber bands where ants are frequently spotted and, to keep ants out of a sugar bottle, simply tie an elastic band around the neck of the bottle.

Another usage of rubber bands – place them beneath an ice-cube tray to prevent it from sticking to the floor of the freezer.

Then there are the myriad uses of vinegar. It comes in handy when you want to add a sparkle to chinaware, make a rigid toenail easier to cut, reduce the foul smell from discarded food, refresh wilting vegetables, remove ballpoint pen stains from clothes, brighten faded cotton clothes…

I sip my tea, laced generously with ginger and cardamom, and listen to the excited voices of children enjoying the first real showers of the season. Tea can do more than just add zing to a rainy day. Black tea can keep the shape and improve the taste of a boiling a pumpkin and tea leaves can be burned to clear the smell from cupboards. As for green tea, drink it and avoid garlic breath.

I shall certainly try this piece of advice next time I go shopping: To choose the umbrella that is right for you, check if the color matches your complexion. Well!

And the next one right away – To peel ginger, use a metal bottle-top.

Coming up directly; some more ginger tea, and a lot more rain.

Lick a metal pole in freezing weather, that is. Never mind if it means having to call the fire brigade to get my tongue unstuck from the pole.

There are some things that just have to be done. Come what may.

Like sashaying down the narrow edge of the pavement, arms stuck out like a fairy with wings outspread.

Like jumping into and not walking round a puddle on a rainy day.

Like holding the umbrella upside down to catch the elusive raindrops while blissfully getting drenched in the rain.

Like racing down a slope on a bicycle, hair, arms and imagination flying.

Like sticking out your tongue to feel how cold a pole is on some especially cold day…

Childhood is incomplete without doing ‘silly’ things like these.

And, sometimes, adults like this one, want to be silly too.

How about you?

(Thank god the minimum temperature hovers round 14º where I live!)

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