Monday night was sandpaper and roses.
My wife is helping out as stage manager for a play, and the director wants roses floating (stem down) in a fish tank. The stem-down part is easy: screw in a screw or a nail into the bottom, and it weights the rose enough that it floats straight (getting the right mix of buoyancy and weight does require some experimentation though).
The roses on the other hand ... what you see in the picture above are the roses that we bought from a nursery on Jalan Kayu at $14 for twenty roses. We didn't realise that they came with thorns and all - really nasty thorns - which we had to remove before they could be used as props. After a futile attempt with a knife, I figured the best way to do it was with sand paper. What you see in the photograph above is me sanding down the stems of some the most vicious and thorny roses I've ever encountered. It took a good 45 minutes to sand them all down, and the thorns were no joke: the gardening gloves didn't really offer any protection, and they were tough enough to shred my sandpaper.
The most ironic thing was that I'd bought another set of roses from a florist at the Paragon on Sunday night, at just $10 for twenty - and they were not only cheaper than those from the wholesalers at Jalan Kayu, but they were thorn-free. Just look at that photo above: the foreground stalks are the thorny ones, and the background stalks are the delightfully civilised and thorn-free ones. It turns our that the fancy-smancy roses from the high-street shopping centre are cheaper and better than the bulk purchase from the wholesale centre.
So this is how Monday night was spent: sandpaper and roses.