Red Joan

11 July 2019 – A Granny-Spy

Mon: appreciations to Gel&Yusoff Abdul Latiff with his lovely sketch about what I thought yesterday was a ruin, but was a Bali gateway probably erected by a Bali-themed restaurant cafe (Little Bali) that was demolished nearby. During its heyday the restaurant setting was well-landscaped like in Bali. I think they even brought in volcanic soil and lots of heliconia and water features. We painted there several times. We felt like in Bali. Its a pity that the landscaping was demolished when the cafe closed and the whole of Gilman Barracks was revamped.

I knew it reminded me of somewhere recently and checked my previous postings, of course, the new Sang Nila Utama Garden@FortCanning. That goes to show how recent memory goes faster that memory from 50-60yrs ago!!

Tue: feeling lost (like the sculpture of VanGogh by Catalano in the lobby!) trying to find my way to the PostOffice@Ion. Got side-tracked@OperaGallery as the guard looked so real that I had to in and check him out! Am glad I went in as there are two Chagall (one of my favourite painters of that era) paintings inside. No photography allowed inside…

SIN Straits Emporium/underpass from OrchardMRT-Tangs,

amazing place with all kind of goodies made from durian except the real fruit, I wonder why?? 🙂 No did not buy any as my preference for durians are the fresh fruits, and at present staying away from them as I am coughing till my diaphragm hurts.

The Penang trip was the 1st time I tasted RedPrawn/Hong Xia, Ang Hay – sticky with a sweet aftertaste, from the states of Pahang&Johor/Malaysia.

Welcome back to SIN Richard&Judy from Sydney. Good to catch up with them both+HS, childhood family friends from the 1950s-60s.

Food Republic, ShawCentre/Scotts enjoying our get together and as usual, much to talk about and too much eat on our annual meeting. There is a decent selection of food here, especially their WarungPadang. Was not hungry then, but after the movies had Assam fish+2sorts of veggie (S$8+).

Movie Red Joan@Lido – inspired by an extraordinary true story and unlike the Rotten Tomatoes+others’ reviews, personally I thought it a brilliant movie. Based loosely on real life granny spy Melita Norwood, (1912-2005) and what was so intriguing was that my thoughts in the beginning of the movie were completely changed at the end of it. Highly recommended.

It got me to reflect&rethink at what price does one have to go thru’ for idealism and the balance of peace, even if&when treason may play a part in it?

I did what I did, not to make money, but to help prevent the defeat of a new system which had, at great cost, given ordinary people food and fares which they could afford, a good education and a health service – Melita Norwood

Wed: reading The Hills of SIN where Farnham draws on the real-life historical personalities of the time, mixing fact and fiction to paint a rich portrait of love and loss in mid-nineteenth century SIN, at a time when triads, piracy and crime were rife and life in colonial SE Asia was anything but safe.

Interesting read about SIN&KCH then, both locations that are close&familiar to me. Need some time away from reality to stay sane and to calm the nerves&stress before heading back to the Western world.

Everything wise and true and old was Chinese, but everything new, everything useful for commerce, came from the West…

Thu: neighbour downstairs (6floor) is again complaining about the AC and seeming she is also complaining about her downstairs neighbour (5floor) that their AC is blowing too much cold-air up on her floor and she is unable to find a spot to kneel for a her prayers!

Another complain letter (2nd) will be in my mail, so will have to find a solution – if a 3rd letter has to be sent out, there will be legal actions!!

Appreciations to Gel for dropping by and updating her visions for vOOk. The very best to her and her new ventures.