Last night a snake slithered under the washing machine and Sunday dinner was electrified by the gasping palpitations of the person who saw it as she walked past ; a breathless description of its tail to-ing and fro-ing, like a rattlesnake. A black snake, she thought it was. Anyone – like me – who has no desire to co-habit with reptiles will empathize with my … Continue reading Singapore’s amazing ACRES
On a sunlit shore, seemingly nowhere in particular, framed by palms and blue skies, within thatched enclosures, lulled by the continual boom and ebb of waves, there is a little hub of passion and devotion where little babies struggle to survive and grizzled men lovingly tend to the wounded, the resting and the trusting. This is the Kosgoda Turtle Conservation Centre, a serendipitous discovery beside … Continue reading Innocent, wounded, yet trusting
It was a rare convergence : a beautiful morning, clear skies, sunshine chased by a rippling wind into ‘shadow and seek’, the beginning of a weekend and an hour to spare. Carpe diem is my resolution for 2014. And so, when I find myself traveling alongside a lengthy, glinting stretch of silver fringed by green and framed by rain trees – an unexpected vista between … Continue reading A beautiful Friday morning …
2014 began cool and windy, unseasonal, a nip in the air … fresh mornings, bright sunlit days and the occasional need for a light cover in the evenings. This ? In tropical Singapore ? Yes, in tropical Singapore. And then, without warning, an autumn-like spell descended upon us, a browning of the green, leaves changing colour, dropping … carpets of red, bronze and brown with … Continue reading Autumn becomes Spring in Singapore
“Every life should have 9 cats” – Anonymous Our resident diva passed away on the 21st of November, having exhausted eight of her nine lives. (She donated one to our chocolate labrador). She lived a full life in her thirteen and a half years, more human than cat and more dog than cat (when she realised she needed to be the alpha dog, given that … Continue reading Fluffy : 2000 – 2013
Social capital, passion for conservation, art to provoke, technology to please and ease … issues that have remained relevant over the years. Zero Dark Thirty is being screened in theatres. It is a gripping, nail-biting experience; gut wrenching because it is of the now and you know it happened, or most of it did. It stays in the mind. It reminded me of an exhibition … Continue reading Then and Now
Early mornings are special … and tropical Singapore mornings bring a ‘fresh’ perspective to urban living. (A summer morning remembered, in the midst of this ‘wet’ winter). Tropical summers linger in the memory as alliterative summer days: lazy, languid, lucid … sweltering, sultry, scorching. This morning, a breeze tosses the leaves of the rain trees. The air is thick and heavy but a daybreak zephyr … Continue reading Urban Tropical : Golden Orioles, Parrots and a Cockatoo
John Gay declared ‘whether we can afford it or no, we must have superfluities’ … and so it is on Sentosa; visit and discover your nirvana. Capella, ah Capella ! Give us the luxuries of life and we will dispense with its necessities, goes the well-quoted quote and after a weekend (or more) at the Capella Singapore (+65 6377 8888), you begin to comprehend how … Continue reading Luxe and beyond, in Singapore, in Sentosa.
In Singapore, the Singapore Zoo has chosen the orangutan as its flagship species and oversees one of the world’s most successful orangutan-breeding programs. Orangutans, for most of us, are a must-see at the Zoo, and if they are not saved from extinction in the near future, a Zoo could well become the only place to see them. To avert this, a number of organizations around … Continue reading Beyond Ah Meng : Asia’s only – and fast disappearing – great ape
Where bargains mingle with new ideas, products and unusual folk … and people with the interest and the time can browse and cherry pick. The bazaar, the flea market, the fair, indoors and out … … are often the quirks and caprice of people who see the odd, the whimsical, the uncommon (or the unexpected) and who bring it all together at a single venue … Continue reading Singapore Fairs, Bazaars & Markets
The Katrinas, El Niños and La Niñas do not significantly impact life in Singapore (yet), hurricanes, floods and droughts remain distant, disquieting images on flat screens and websites. We, in Singapore, only know a world of plenty – plenty of water, when and how we need it. In an unvisited part of our subconscious we know our survival depends on water but for many of … Continue reading Water is Life, Water for Life
Some people see them and many don’t – but they are there, the pythons, the cobras (spitting and otherwise), the green tree snakes, the garden snakes and all the in-between ones native to the tropics. I have a number of enduring stories – and recollections – which hold audiences rapt and disbelieving, all ophidian; sinuously compelling narratives (judging by reactions to the tales) spanning more … Continue reading Is your python bigger than mine ?
The concept of ‘green lungs’ has become a part of Singapore’s argot. National Parks has done a spectacular job with the greening of the island, and the ‘park network system’ – when complete – will allow an enthusiast to explore Singapore through an uninterrupted corridor of green, some 360 kms long. NParks today manages 1,763 hectares of parks, connectors and open spaces, including some 300 … Continue reading From ‘Garden City’ to ‘City in a Garden’
Singapore is a city of secret gardens waiting to be discovered, and an excellent website makes the discovery exhilarating with extensive photographs and detailed information about the island’s flora. They are everywhere, Singapore’s secret gardens – across the wall, along the hedge, in verges and ditches, sectioning roads, above your head. That blanket of yellow peanut plants along the length of a drive, little sunny heads … Continue reading Secret Gardens
Perhaps because the issues that threaten their existence are the reasons Singapore experiences fluctuating (and sometimes alarming) PSI (Pollutant Standard Index) ratings ? Forest fires originate in Indonesia but the consequences affect us all – man and beast – in one way or another. The haze, that ghostly shroud of grey, that has become a recurrent annual phenomenon is a part of the same cycle … Continue reading Orangutans : Why Should we Care ?
Singapore, to resident and visitor alike, is many things – food, shopping and ease of living – and on this island (the second most densely populated independent country after Monaco), bats and butterflies probably don’t feature at all in the daily subconscious. But, did you know … … that you can explore a four kilometer trail down the most popular road in Singapore by following … Continue reading Bats and Butterflies that are free