Singapore’s amazing ACRES

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…

Innocent, wounded, yet trusting

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…

A beautiful Friday morning …

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…

Autumn becomes Spring in Singapore

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…

Fluffy : 2000 – 2013

“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…

Then and Now

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…

Urban Tropical : Golden Orioles, Parrots and a Cockatoo

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….

Luxe and beyond, in Singapore, in Sentosa.

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…

Beyond Ah Meng : Asia’s only – and fast disappearing – great ape

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…

Singapore Fairs, Bazaars & Markets

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)…

Water is Life, Water for Life

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…

Is your python bigger than mine ?

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…

From ‘Garden City’ to ‘City in a Garden’

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…

Secret Gardens

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…

Orangutans : Why Should we Care ?

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…

Bats and Butterflies that are free

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…