Preparations for Iceland

27 Aug 2014 – With Fingers Crossed…

Wed: that the volcanoes will not act up when are there. Sadly KK has to cancel due to his mother’s frail conditions. Sorry to miss his company. Peggy, Ian and I will continue if the volcanoes are not angry. According to PP, it seems that the Icelandics are rather blasé about their volcanic activity but then it is very much of their daily lives and we will have to go with their flow since we choose to visit there!

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Tue: to start a day with dental work is not much fun.  Oh how I dread shopping and packing but then it is a situation by choice, so no complains but just stating my mood! Shopped at Mustafa, the only 24hr shopping place in SIN and also the only place where one get practically everything under one roof, including money exchange, but no ISK=Iceland krona…

Advise from our Iceland tour consultant: all major currencies can be exchanged at the airport, banks and currency exchanges in Iceland. Due to currency restrictions, it is extremely difficult to obtain ISK in a foreign country before arriving in Iceland. Likewise, it is a good idea to exchange any surplus ISK before leaving Iceland. 

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Thanks to Henry for cheering me up and for the company. Dinner at Komala’s***and when in Little India, do as the Indians. This interesting dish looks like some paranormal blob from outer space. The Bhattura is a fluffy deep-fried leavened bread from North India. It is often eaten with chickpea curry, chole or channe. Here it ould barely be contained in the metal tray and it tasted good when eaten freshly made.

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Mon: appreciations to KK for a good Yong Tau Foo lunch at My Favourite Café*** Lucky Plaza, 6th Floor and for lovely gift.

Had to just get my mind off everything after blood tests etc… chilled with 2 movies.

56c8931d61_190x272_67ef463ca6Magic In The Moonlight***A Woody Allen comedy film set in the 1920s French Riviera starring Emma Stone and Colin Firth who is Stanley as a British stage magician brought in to help unmask a possible fraud spiritualist named Sophie (Stone). The magic continues and being a Colin Firth fan it was still magical and delightful even when he is not Darcy here!

Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen – Goethe

0491b419a2_190x272_592f23088cBoyhood****Filmed over short periods from 2002 to 2013, a groundbreaking cinematic experience covering 12 years in the life of a family. At the center is Mason, who with his sister Samantha, are taken on an emotional and transcendent journey through the years, from childhood to adulthood. Slow at times but realistic to life.

After A Week of 2014 SGF

25 Aug 2014 – With More Experiences Gained

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After being exposed for a week in the oppressive humidity and heat is not the idea situation for both head and heart. Tkx to Calvin to including me to his Camper’s Corner Team. Good to have done it and with a young and delightful companion of Chris, the week was filled with laughter and humour. Happy to know him better. Missed him on Fri when it was his day off. To Yukie, grateful for her bringing us food and for helping. Enjoyed her youthful refreshing company.

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The neighbouring booth, Nep’s Plants is one of the best neighhours who have crossed my exhibitions show paths. SIAW Yu Zhang launching his book XYZ’s Experience with Growing Tropical Pitcher Plants in Singapore. This young 17yrs man is knowledgeable and passionate about his air and pitcher plants with his whole family (3 generations) including grandparents supporting him thru’ out the week. Such a privilege to have met his family too.

Met some interesting people including Emiliano from Tahiti and a lady from Steward Island/NZ. First time meeting people from those places and learnt a bit from them. Grateful to others who stop by, especially to Christian who was busy packing to head back to Norway.

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The organisers will be getting feed-backs from the various booths where Camper’s Corner was also located to let them know that there were no signages to let the public know about the booths around the SuperTree Grove. The shuttle completely by-pass this area. The whole show beautiful as it is was too spread out and there were some fainting incidents and sirens were heard! As this is the first time using Gardens by the Bay for SGF, hopefully they can improve for the next SGF in 2016, ie if it is to be held in this same location.

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Sat: tkx to Les&Ivy for pre-dinner drinks at Pollen@the Dome and dinner at at SuperTree by IndoChine*** Perfect locations after a hot tiring long day! Good to also catch up with Lawrence who is visiting for the weekend from KCH.

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Fun paper chair, mini dome lights, remote-control VW van and a 4pp tent on display.

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Sun: happy to close this 2014 SGF. To Christian, Chris and our neighbour Richard (the heat took its toll), blessed to have these charming men crossing this life’s journey at this stage. Best of luck to all.

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Appreciations for the relaxing family champagne and caviar dinner at Les&Ivy. Jo made some food too. To be with family Lawrence, Jo&Michael, Les&Ivy and dear niece Sue is the priority. Safe journeys to us who will be flying off to our various destinations this week… 

IMG_4624One of my favourite displays at the 2014 SGF located at the Meadow/Gardens by the Bay. This simple serenity is pleasing to my eyes…

Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood – Ralph W Emerson

The Meadow

21 Aug 2014 – Bay North Entrance

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Mon: thanks to Pat for a drink. Already had lunch but good to catch up with Peggy and Pat, and nice to meet Keng Siong. A kind of alfresco place! to sit comfortably with a meal or drink, Pollen is located in the AC Flower Dome. Tired to take Christian there for a farewell drink the following evening but they were closed for a private function.

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Bay North Entrance, The Meadow with the Landscape and Fantasy Gardens is outdoor.  This is located at the opposite end of the Flower Dome, Bay South Entrance, The Canopy where the indoor Orchid Extravaganza is.

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The Meadow: Celebrations! Floral Table Series Miracle Dinning Table by TAN HanXiang won the Best of Show an the Gold for this category.

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The Meadow – indoor in AC displays and arrangements.

The whole SGF layout concept as beautiful as it is this year is not good, too spread out and too uncomfortable for all those who have to be outside all day. Must remember to make a note writing to the organizers about this + some feed-backs.

Festival Map (30 Jul) Low Res

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Tue: time to say farewell to Christian and hope that his stay in SIN was an educational and interesting one. Safe journeys to him and appreciations to Bev, CH and TIng for a lovely evening at ChinChin*** for dinner and a drink at Divine Bar/Parkview Sq.

All gardening is landscape painting – William Kent

2014 Garden Festival/SGF

20 Aug 2014 – Gardens by the Bay

Have been neglecting the blog due to lack to time! Helping out Camper’s Corner Booth at the SGF and at this stage of life’s journey, the energy is not as it was for the 1st SGF :-)

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Bayfront station on the MRT Circle/Orange Line will get you to Gardens by the Bay if taking public transport.

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Fri: set up day and a very wet morning which  turned into a hot humid day.

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Chris, a charming young man is a pleasure to work with. Looking at him one would think he is just a kid, and can looks be really sooo deceiving or it is just me getting older?? He is a father of 3kids, age 7, 5 and 3. Appreciations to Jack for the visit and good luck for his business trip here and KCH. Safe journeys.

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The Supertree Light Show is at 17.45 and 20.45hrs nightly. Somehow the music could be improved, but this is subjective, especially coming from one who prefers Classical music. The new Mini Dome lights (latest Camper’s Corner toy!) give a nice effect for our tent which is placed at the location where the light show can be viewed. Panoramic pix credits to Chris.

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South Bay Entrance, Canopy – The Flower Dome (indoor AC) is the Orchid Extravaganza where the prize winning orchid plants are. The sale booths are outdoor and it is hot and humid. Am overwhelmed with quite a headache at the end of each day!

Floating in Bubbles

12 Aug 2014 – Buffet Lunch@ParkRoyal Post NDP

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Tue: condolences to Robin Williams family and friends and may he RIP. The last movie I watched with him in it was ‘The Angriest Man in Brooklyn’ and he was the only reason I went to watch the movie just last month. The news of his suicide has somehow saddened and upset me more than usual :-(

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-28749702

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‘But oh, to be free. Not to have to go – Poof! What do you need? Poof! What do you need? Poof! What do you need? TO BE MY OWN MASTER. Such a thing would be greater than all the magic and all the treasures in all the world.

But what am I talking about? Let’s get real here, that’s never gonna happen. Genie, wake up and smell the hummus’ – Robin Williams as the Genie from Aladdin (1992)

You are free now, Genie, RIP

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Sun: what a spread and unlimited bubbles :-) The way to spend a Sun brunch from 12n to 17hrs at one of my favourite eco buildings in Chinatown. Lime*****ParkRoyal Hotel in Chinatown. Had to take a nap and even with a late nap, slept soundly for over 8hrs Sun night.

Mon: so much wonderful bubbles yesterday that I could not resist returning to the hotel but not for more bubbles, this time to pick up the precious camera which was forgotten and floating in yesterday’s bubbles :-) :-)

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Being in the same area, decided to check out the completed Skyline of SIN by the British artist Stephen Wiltshire who was recently here. Was informed that it will only be at the Urban Redevelopment Authority/URA Centre from Sep. Interesting wooden DREAM. The impressive model of SIN where Block 46 Marine Crescent can be seen (have marked with a red* here!).

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As it is, do enjoy visiting this location and always something new to discover, learn and see. Today it is the Heritage ShopHouses which are amazing.

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Walked to check out the new revamped La Pa Sat=Old Market. Formerly known as Telok Ayer Market, the iconic 120yrs old market turned food centre in the heart of the CBD is managed by foodcourt operator Kopitiam. Its $4-million revamp took 9months, improving ventilation with eight industrial ceiling fans and adding extra seating for 2,500 diners now, up from about 2,000 before. 

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There are now 54 stalls and 14 mini restaurants

This heritage cast-iron building is worth the time to visit. Even the clock tower chimes correctly in time reminding me to enjoy every minute of the short time left in this life’s journey. Also to take the bus before the rush-hour…

From a NDP floating platform to a brunch with unlimited of bubbles should be enough to put me on the DREAM stool to stay afloat for the time being :-) :-) :-)

Time and tide waits for no man -

NDP 2014

10 Aug 2014 – Admiration & Respect to LKY

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Sat: lunch with Henry at Riverview Tandoor*** 2nd level at SIN Flyer. OK food, a decent place with a view in the comfort of AC to get ready, and only a few minutes to walk to the parade location.

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40 lines of security checks running efficiently and smoothly

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The area leading to The Float@Marina Bay where the NDP is held.

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2014 Goodie Bags, 3 above pix credits to various sites.

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The crowds and the heat!

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Salute to LKY who turned SIN from a 3rd world to 1st world nation that I feel proud to be in. He has not missed a NDP since the 1st NDP in 1966. Just being there whole-heartedly to take my hat to the only politician I admire and respect.

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And the show must go on…

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Athene's

Fireworks never fail to impress and pix credits for the most beautiful NDP shot to Athena TAN who is a profession photographer and one of the best in SIN.

Post NDP: Sunday

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Appreciations to bro Les for informing me and to Gel for posting it in FB. Usually read the news online and read the papers in the library later in the evenings. Looks like I have been spotted by the press, The Sunday Times in what Garry mentioned as my outrageously outfit but all in good spirit and fun. Who knows if there will be another NDP in this life’s journey.

Thanks to everyone in FB for liking the outrageous disguise. Rather surprised that I was recognised… :-) :-)

Thank you dear niece JenLeng for sharing another pix from NDPeeps’s photo. Would have not known if not for her. Seems like the press are on to me for being a good citizen :-) :-) :-)

One must understand human nature. I have always thought that humanity was animal-like. The Confucian theory was man could be improved, but I’m not sure he can be. He can be trained, he can be disciplined – LKY

Preparations for 2014 NDP

8 Aug 2014 – SIN 49th Birthday

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Thu: sad and most unexpected from the sleepy town of KCH in Sarawak/E Malaysia on the island of Borneo. My heart goes out to the families and friends of these 2 young medical British students. Not just to Brits, alcohol and drugs in a mix can be toxic for many. Whatever said and done do not justify murder (nothing justify murder). These 2 young Brits walked away from whatever argument but were pursued by 4 others in a car – according to BBC and above 3 pix credits to BBC.

Wrong place, wrong time and this location had been warned as there was another argument involving 2 young Irish just the previous night…

http://www.tnp.sg/news/two-british-medical-students-stabbed-death-msia

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-28685029

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Am usually not in SIN this time of the year, strange to see the flags up so early but nice and colourful. These are pix only from Marine Crescent, so one can imagine what it will be like where the parade will be held.

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Have yet to attend a NDP and this will be SIN 49 Independence Day, a young nation with its 1st National day in Aug 1965. Mother passed away Jun 1965 and I left for Dublin/Ireland Jul 1965. Even I am older than SIN :-) Was told that it was impossible to get tickets and even if possible, the crowds and heat might give me all kinds of strokes – and with a stroke of luck, there is a ticket.

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Rather fun to get all my red and white outfit, accessories etc ready. Thank you to grandniece Kiera for the Rainbow Loom bracket and to niece Sue for the face-tattoo. Running around town like a kid looking for all kinds of gadgets that are available. Certainly enough glow sticks to last for the evening! Could not find the bag in mind, so decided to sew one and quite pleased with it as the flags can be exchanged according to which country’s national day’s celebrations :-) :-)

Looking forward to experiencing my birth country’s NDP for the 1st time. Going with intentions to enjoy it to the fullest no matter of crowds or heat, rain or shine. Next posting will be only a pix posting of the NDP, unless something worth mentioning happens!

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Patriotism is a superstition artificially created and maintained through a network of lies and falsehoods; a superstition that robs man of his self-respect and dignity, and increases his arrogance and conceit ― Emma Goldman