14 Jul 2010 – Singapore Garden Festival at Suntec Levels 4 & 6

Definitely worth the time and money. Opening to the public tomorrow Thu 15 July 2010 from 10am – 10pm, ending Thu 22 July. Highly recommended and see it the first few days when the flowers are still fresh. Bring your mothers to enjoy the show.

These pictures posted are only a tiny taste as the whole set-up was not completed when I took the pictures last night. More picture postings when I get the chance later and during the show. Was informed that there are app 27,000 stalks of the Oncidium Golden Shower/yellow orchid from the elevator to the entrance on level 4. If I ever get married again, will do so during the SGF so that I can walk this aisle 🙂

6th floor International Landscapes

4th floor Orchid Show and Market Place

This year, will be taking care of a new novelty gift stall Island Republic@The Market Place 4th Floor Zone A Stall 28. This is the 3rd show (bi-annually) and if I may say so, it is quite spectacular after the teething problems for the first show which I help set up in 2004. Hope to see you there and to wish you a Happy Summer. After the show… off to EU & the USA and will not be back in SIN until Oct/Nov.

Some are incredibly beautiful — almost magical. [A Cattleya orchid] … only blooms when it’s motivated. I’ve had it for 10 years now. Sometimes I wonder why I keep it. I’ve forgotten what it looks like so I’ll just wait and see when it does decide to bloom – Eleanor Mis

A Family Affair

13 Jul 2010 – Quiet Before the Storm!

Jul Special Dates

4 Jul – Belated Happy 4th to all my American family & friends

15-22 Jul – SGF

16 Jul – Happy Bday Winnie LAM

17 Jul – Happy Bdays Nancy McGEE-BOWMAN & CH CHENG

19 Jul – Happy 13th Wedding Anniversary Linn & Jeff HALL

20 Jul – Happy Bday David YEOH

21 Jul – Happy Bday Albert CHUA

22 Jul – Happy 11th Wedding Anniversary Dika LAM & Mark BOROWSKY

23 Jul – Happy Bday Lucas YEOH

25 Jul – Happy Bday Winnie LEE

Thanks to Les & Ivy for the family gathering on Sat night. Patricia, Albert & Kiera are back from Canberra for a break and it was good to catch up. Les’s new champagne stand is quite something against my ex-Steinway upright! And his latest hobby, the drums. The grand nieces and nephews are growing up fast and it is till difficult to believe that I have 2 grand nephews age 21yrs and a nephew who is over 50yrs (not in the pictures), but the thought certainly makes you feel your age 🙂

Yesterday was at the airport twice. First to see John off to HKG and then to receive Theingi from Myanmar. OpenNet was at my place installing the Optic Fibre for free and for someone who does not have TV or internet service… but who knows, I might have them all someday! For now I will have to deal with a leaking kitchen ceiling until the HDB officer checks it out 😦

From tomorrow until the 22nd life is going to be busy busy busy; will be minding a new stall from 10.00 to 22.00hrs for 8days Island Republic@The Market Place 4th Floor Zone A Stall 28 at the Singapore Garden Festival Suntec City/SGF. This is the 3rd show (bi-annually) and the 1st show was in 2006 where I helped at the Orchid Society of SE Asia. For more info and ticket prices:

Family life is full of major and minor crises — the ups and downs of health, success and failure in career, marriage, and divorce — and all kinds of characters. It is tied to places and events and histories. With all of these felt details, life etches itself into memory and personality. It’s difficult to imagine anything more nourishing to the soul –  Thomas Moore


12 Jul 2010 – Viva Espana/2010 World Cup

5 Jul: village by the sea – Garry in action with sea salt bargaining, salted fish and street vendor

6 Jul: Pura Tanah Lot is 20km from Denpesar built in the 15th century from a rock formation. It is home of a pilgrimage temple, popular tourist, cultural icon for photography and general exoticism. At the base of the rocky island, poisonous sea snakes are believed to guard the temple from evil spirits and intruders. A giant snake purportedly protects the temple. Kept a distance from the snake!

En route to Ubud passing thru’ Celuk, Angel To Angel (art of silver craft) and Mas (wood carving and glass).

Ubud: The town was originally important as a source of medicinal herbs and plants; Ubud gets its name from the Balinese word ubad=medicine. It is now a centre of artistic pursuit. Puri Saren Agung/Royal Palace, Water Palace, was the palace of the kings of Ubud until the 1940s, and some royal descendants live there to this day. Dined at the Lotus Cafe***with the Water Palace view. An entertaining evening of Legong Dance at the Saren Agung/Ubud Palace by the Bian Remaja Troupe

7 Jul:  a relaxing day swimming and lazing around 🙂

8 Jul: a beautiful walk with Ruth by Labuhan Amuk beach, under a pier and thru’ paddy fields

Snorkeling with the fish & corals

Lunch@Warang Merta Sari***featured in the NY Times… Situated in the small village of Pesinggahan on Bali’s east coast, it is known island-wide for its sate lilit ikan, a minced fish satay.

Pura Goa Lawah, the Bat Cave Temple, is located along the coast of southeastern Bali just west of Candidasa. The center of the temple is built around a cave filled with thousands of bats.

Most visitors to Padang Bai are there to catch a boat to Lombok. It is though a charming little place in its own right and spending a night or two here with basic accommodations, aimed at the backpackers. There is good diving and snorkeling in the immediate area and is also a fairly convenient base from which to explore some of the wider attractions of East Bali.

Thank you to the locals in the village, especially Katu & family & Ruth from Australia. Appreciations to Garry who shared his piece of paradise and for all his hospitality. Without him, Bali would not be in my agenda!

If you would be known, and not know, vegetate in a village; if you would know, and not be known, live in a city – Charles Caleb


9 Jul 2010 – From Paradise back to SIN

3 Jul: arrived into Denpasar, capital of Bali after dark and it was good to see the familiar face of Garry ROGERS amongst the crowd. The drive to his beautiful home/Pondok Pandnais took about 2hrs and we got a night tour from the airport to Labuhan Amuk.

Front and side views of Pondok Pandnais

The shower/bathroom and views from the master-bedroom with the highest & holiest point/Gunung Agung 3,142m in the backgound. This volcano erupted in 1963 and killed app 1,500 people.

4 Jul: Happy 4th to my American family & friends. Busy day at Pura Besakih, a must-go place where it signifies the oneness for the kingdom of Balinese Hindus. There are conflicting numbers on how many pura/temples are there within the massive complex. Literatures that I have read put it between 30 to 38 temples… did my offerings and no conflicts with all the pura 🙂

As the largest lake in Bali, Danau Batur is sacred to the Balinese, with the Goddess of the Lakes. It lies 500m below the crater rim. Villages that circle the lake are called bintang danu=stars of the lake. Lunched@Puri Sanjaya Restaurant***in Kintamani.

What we thought was a wood carving place turned out to be an Adventure Camp. Was actually heading to the Traditional Village but make a wrong turn and saw the sign BaliWoso 8 20’04” S  115 21’40” E, the first time I have seen a sign with both the latitude and longitude. It was an exciting experience to discover that there are a couple of the civic cats in captivity. These are the cats that contribute to the best and most expensive coffee in the world… kopi Luwak cat poop coffee!

Thanks to the two guides from BaliWoso, we were directed to and given a tour in Pengotan/Traditional Village. There are only a couple of families living here and the rest of the people will only return to stay for a couple of days during ceremonial occasions. And we were there when it was quiet and peaceful, except for the dogs who were barking at our intrusion!

To be continued…