Goodbye April Showers!

30 Apr 2012 – Happy Bday JohnC

Sat: chaos on the home grounds to discover a leak in the pipes from the hot water tank. The whole tank had to be replaced with a new one. Just as well that I was doing some spring cleaning when the leak was noticed. Would be really unfortunate to have gone off and return to a flooded flat!

Yummy dinner@PorKee Eating House****in Tiong Bahru with my favourtie coffee ribs. A night of karaoke@K Box/Kallang Leisure Park with the young people was a nice relaxing evening on this last weekend before flying off. Supper@Selegie Tau Hauy/bean curd**** Tkx to Leonard, Audrey for their lovely voices and to niece SueLynn for good company to get the mind off packing, closing down the flat, traveling,  etc 🙂

Sun: Casa Bom Vento****hot and spicy Eurasian and Peranakan lunch with KimBeng. First time tasting their food was nearly a decade ago when they catered for one of the Orchid Shows. Liked it then but they closed down and only recently re-opened on Joo Chiat Rd.

If you are a fan of this kind of cuisine, the Devils curry will do the job. It nearly burnt a hole in the stomach and probably kill my taste buds but it was delicious. Ayam Buah Keluak/chicken stew with black nuts was tasty and one could savour the distinct black nuts. Keep up with the good food Lionel and will be back with overseas visitors. This kind of cuisine is certainly Uniquely SIN 🙂 🙂

Have a wonderful 1 May tomorrow and welcome to the month of May…

Sweet April showers Do spring May flowers – Thomas Tusser

In Memory of Betty Tseng

29 Apr 2012 – Condolences to cousins Vincent, Jerry & the family

From posting Thu 9 Sep 2010: Farriess Court Care Home/Alvaston, Derby is a home where auntie Betty TSENG is now staying. She is the remarkable lady who married mother’s 8th brother Eddie TSENG who passed away in 1989. It is good to see her and to see that she is in good hands. She will be 93 in Nov. She told of how uncle Eddie proposed to her… she fell and was covered with mud and he thought she was the one for him there and then!

This was my last meeting with auntie Betty when she was then 93. She passed away on Saturday 28 Apr 2012 at 0300hrs UK time. Cousin Jerry told his bro, Vincent she was really cheerful the night before, and for the last two weeks. The carers who found her said she looked as if she was asleep – there were no signs that she suffered.

Fond memories of auntie Betty who was a real lady, graduated from the U of Peking in the 1940s, fought and survived stomach cancer in the 1980/90s, made the best Peking duck. May she now RIP.

Jerry used to tell us that his dad, uncle Eddie’s favourite quote to them:

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime – Chinese Proverb

Shakespeare in the Park

27 Apr 2012 – With The Lucky One!

The Lucky One***US Marine Sergeant Logan returns from his third tour of duty in Iraq, with the one thing he credits with keeping him alive-a photograph he found of a woman he doesn’t even know. Learning her name is Beth and where she lives, he shows up at her door and taking a job at her family run local kennel…

On reflection to this movie, many of us are lucky and blessed but seem to forget and count our blessings! One of the scenes (when Keith attacked Logan and how he handled the situation was admirable) really got me thinking as to when, where, how, why and what makes people turn ungracious and ugly?? If only there are more people like Logan, this would be a better world to live in!!

Shakespeare in the Park – Twelfth Night*** produced by SIN Repertory Theatre@Fort Canning Park.

Another coincident, met Juliana who was with a friend from NZ. Paul happens also to be a friend of Euphemia in NZ! Either that this is such a small world or many coincidences have been happening at this stage of life’s journey 🙂

It was the same scene throughout the play but nice, especially with the background waves of the sea. Food catered by Indochine** was decent with 2 glasses of wine. And the comfort of a chair under a tent is quite decadent 🙂 🙂

Tkx Clem and in good company of Ivy, we had a delightful evening in the park with Twelfth Night in a modern setting.

If music be the food of love, play on – Shakespeare/Twelfth Night


26 Apr 2012 – School of the Arts

Appreciations to John for his visit. Got to see and do lots in spite of the hot humid weather!

Wo Peng Restaurant****Furuma Hotel in Chinatown. Excellent BBQ Whole 3kg Suckling Pig enjoyed even by Lucas! If Beth has teeth, she too would have liked this dish but for now, her sucking reflex overpowers the suckling pig 🙂

The orange generation enjoying the Fried Prawn with Salted Egg. SunSun, like her father is not a fan of food! Memories of Lee having a mouth full of food which took him forever to chew!! The other dishes: Steamed Grouper in HKG Style, 8 Treasures Duck, sautéed Mini Fungus with Lily Bulb and Vegetables and Mango Pudding. Thank you to Lawrence for hosting the family dinner and to Les & Ivy for all the wines.

School of the Arts (SOTA) is SIN first national pre-tertiary specialised arts school to offer a 6-year unique integrated arts and academic curriculum for youths aged 13-18 years old. With an unusual handicapped ramp and vertical gardens, this interesting building is located at the beginning of Orchard Rd.

Strange shape from the condensations of a passionfruit ice tea bottle@Cathay Basement. Lunching and saying goodbye to Tommy who will be heading back to the USA after his one semester@SMU. Safe journeys and good luck to him for his intern@DC and to his final year@Lehigh/PA, USA.

Lehigh is a reminder of the Twilight Zone from the AT Hike where a century of unregulated emissions from zinc-mining destroyed the surroundings. It was an extremely disturbing barren site then! Hopefully the new trees that were planted will grow again!

Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit under – Greek proverb

From A Curtain of Roots…

23 Apr 2012 – … to the 70th Floor!

Raffles City Food Court on the 3rd Floor – Mr Prata***

70th Floor, Swissôtel The Stamford– Equinox, City Space and Jaan which made the world list on CNN top 50 best restaurant some years ago! These locations are way beyond my budget!

Band Stand@Singapore Botanic Gardens SBG/新加坡植物园-Chinese, Taman Botanik Singapura-Malay. A new sign@the Tanglin entrance.  This is a 74-hectare/183-acre botanical garden. Half the size of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew/UK and around one-fifth the size of Central Park in NYC/USA. It is the only botanic garden in the world that opens from 0500hrs to 12 midnight every single day of the year, and does not charge an admission fee, except for the National Orchid Garden.

Theme with dried leafs promoting SIN Garden Festival SGF to be held in July 2012. Lucky me, SIN national flower Vanda Miss Joaquim are in full bloom and that is not the usual sight!

The Bookreader by the library. A real book reader on the lawn. A Curtain of Roots to protect a local from the tourist 🙂

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots – Marcus Garvey

From Stoneage…

22 Apr 2012 – to Delicacy!

Window shopping is another nice past-time, especially after a long  buffet dinner@Pariss Buffet & Banquet Restaurant***in Marina Square. Buffet is usually not on the top of my list but wanted to show John the wide selections of food here. Have had better and fresher food there!

Just around the corner from Pariss is Stoneage. Have always enjoyed looking at natural unpolished crystals and unusual stones. Saw a new piece, Desert Rose but could only afford a tiny piece. This is a beautiful variety of gypsum that forms in the spaces between sand particles. It traps the loose sand in a unique flower-like crystal structure. Desert rose usually forms spherical and disc-shaped crystals with a range of graceful curving lines. Very large desert roses are rare. The owner and her delightful daughter of Stoneage are most helpful and informative.

A whole month has gone since the birth of grand-niece Beth. Celebrated her one month’s day with red eggs and lovely cakes delivered on 17 Apr. Appreciations to PatLynn & David for the goodies and brunch on Sat in their condo’s clubhouse. Lucas was too busy with his balloon to bother about his sister’s one month’s day 🙂

The newly renovated Shaw Lido Cineplex, Orchard Rd has been long due and they have done quite a decent job. The Cesar Salad@Cine Cafe***was quite good.

La Délicatesse/Delicacy*** French movie about Nathalie who has the perfect life until one day her husband dies in an accident and brings her world crashing down. She then focuses on work, leaving her emotions on the sidelines. But in a surprise twist of fate, Nathalie kisses a most unlikely man…

True delicacy is not a fragile thing – James Broughton

Diversities & Good Food!

21 April 2012 – Live to Eat…

Lau Pa Sat (Chinese for old market) formally a fish market named Telok Ayer Market (telok and ayer Malay for bay and water) located on the waterfront designed by SIN first architect GD Coleman. In 1894 this original octagonal building was replaced by a cast iron building keeping to the octagon shape designed by James MacRitchie.

Located in the heart of the business district, it was converted into a food centre in 1973. 1980s was dismantled during the construction of an MRT line and then reassembled.

Today one can find just about all kinds of food and a good place to introduce the local food scene to tourists. Boon Tat St is closed to traffic in the evenings and is transformed to the Satay Club with various satay stalls to choose from. Live music can be heard from the raised platform in the middle of the market. Lau Pa Sat pix credits to various sites.

Blanco Court Prawn Mee**** is one of the best prawn noodles in SIN. The broth is the whole essence to this dish and the main ingredients are pork bones and prawn heads cooked for many hours for this soup. This stall used to be@Blanco Court, now Raffles Hospital. Thus Blanco Court Prawn Mee is actually located on Beach Rd!

In the same area is the heart of the Arab culture with Arab St and Haji Lane. On this tiny red dot, one can enjoy the diverse ethnic food and culture even when it is just located on one or two streets. These are the diversities and charms of SIN.

Diversity in the world is a basic characteristic of human society, and also the key condition for a lively and dynamic world as we see today – Jinato Hu

Parkview Square

18 Apr 2012 – Food Tasting & Tourist Guiding…

Welcome JohnC from HKG for his annual SIN cuisine & movies tours! Appreciations for his help to pick the menu for Tue 24 Apr dinner! Watched two movies, Funny People & Street Dance. Nothing to write home about but good way to pass time on these hot, humid and rainy afternoons!

Food tasting@Wo Peng Restaurant****Furama Hotel in Chinatown for a family dinner next week to be hosted by bro Lawrence. The 3 dishes tasted were good, but on the salty side. Have requested to the chef on cutting down with the salt.

Stuffed home-made tofu
Stewed egg plants with minced pork
Roasted crispy pork belly

Completed in 2002, the bar in the lobby of Parkview Square has a unique 3-storey high wine chiller…

and is one of the more expensive office buildings in SIN. Interesting classic Art Deco style. Houses the embassies of Austria, Mongolia and the United Arab Emirates. In the centre of the plaza is a statue of a golden crane with it’s head lifted, pointing towards the direction of Mainland China, it’s wings in pre-flight mode. On the pedestal, a Chinese poem is written:



The poem refers to a mythical crane looking towards the direction of its temple (a place of worship in Hubei/China) and eager to fly the thousands of miles back — depicting the homesickness of the owner!

It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home – Author Unknown

Plus & Minus…

16 Apr 2012 – … that is what life is about!

Being so used to having all the conveniences, the weekend has been quite a challenge! The kitchen and bathroom are being repainted with a new sink and toilet installed. Sat 13.30hrs no access to both rooms for at least 24hrs. Decided to go for a swim at Katong Swimming Complex which has been avoided in the weekends. Weekdays would have cost me 50cents (seniors) with an additional 20cents for a small locker. Weekends cost 60cents. Because of the rains it was pleasantly quiet in the pool.

This complex is not new and as far as my memory goes, swam here with niece Pat/May when she was a toddler who is now over 40 with a daughter soon going on 9yrs. Took grand-daughter Katy here when JohnW was born. Certainly slightly run-down but clean.

Sun: early congee breakfast at the local market and to use the public restroom there. Was surprised how clean it is and having to pay 10cents upon entry was well worth it! Living is SIN really has many +++ but the – is mainly due to kiasu attitudes of the people caught in this rat-race which unfortunately often brings out uncourteous and ungracious behaviours 🙁

So very nice to catch up with Garry from Australia (his birthplace) and Bali (his retreat/hideaway!). Been a couple of years since we last met. Celebrating a belated 60th Bday lunch with him and nephew Clement who has recently renovated his flat. Congratulations to his tasteful designs. 

Have a wonderful week…

If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world – Francis Bacon

A Final-Year Project

14 Apr 2012 – Congratulations to 3 Fine Young Ladies…

With Singapore ageing population, there is a need to explore how seniors can be effectively engaged to remain active contributors to our society, and to promote the notion that seniors can and ought to live in a meaningful and purposeful manner. Through our Chinese news feature, we hope to address ageing issues and debunk stereotypes of the aged by profiling active seniors who will inspire fellow seniors and younger Singaporeans too.

…NG Sie Yen, SEOW Kia Hui and WU Shiyan for presenting their impressive looking final-year project@Nanyang Technological University NTU/SIN. Appreciations to be included in their project, even though unable to read Chinese 🙂

Has it already been 4 months ago since they interviewed me on a rainy day?

Seemed like yesterday I received their email explaining about their project and asked if they could include me in their project. Was then in the USA and explained that I will not be back in SIN until Nov 2011. Thus the interview and communications by email started in Sep/Oct 2011. How time has passed and now will soon be heading back to Norway & USA again!

Some might be reluctant to admit that we are getting on in age, but that should not stop us from living life to the fullest. Especially now in these ‘Golden Years’ when it is the last lap. Go live out your dreams with no regrets but without malice or harming anyone by actions or words intentionally!

Active aging requires us to go on living life to the full no matter how differently – Joan Chittester