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 no desire to co-habit with reptiles will empathize with my … Continue reading Singapore’s amazing ACRES

A fine balance of space, air, light and water

Simply put, this is vertical farming. Where all environmental factors (air temperature, humidity, water, nutrients and light) are controlled through computer automation and optimally customised to suit particular plant varieties.  Also known as CEA or Controlled Environment Agriculture.   Remember Ridley Scott’s 2015 film The Martian ? You recall the plot line. To survive, botanist Mark Watney, stranded on Mars, has to grow his own … Continue reading A fine balance of space, air, light and water

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 is the Kosgoda Turtle Conservation Centre, a serendipitous discovery beside … Continue reading Innocent, wounded, yet trusting

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 and framed by rain trees –  an unexpected vista between … Continue reading A beautiful Friday morning …

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 colour, dropping … carpets of red, bronze and brown with … Continue reading Autumn becomes Spring in Singapore

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 compelling narratives (judging by reactions to the tales) spanning more … Continue reading Is your python bigger than mine ?

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 hectares of parks, connectors and open spaces, including some 300 … Continue reading From ‘Garden City’ to ‘City in a Garden’

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 plants along the length of a drive, little sunny heads … Continue reading Secret Gardens

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 trail down the most popular road in Singapore by following … Continue reading Bats and Butterflies that are free