Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Story of Ping

"My mother used to read stories to me when I was small. One of my favourite books was The Story about Ping – I read it at the launch of kidsREAD 10 years ago."
Lee Hsien Loong.

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had a reading session with some kids at the Ang Mo Kio library. He was reading a book called "Go to Sleep Gecko" , a but mentioned about an old time favourite of his called "The Story about Ping" . Written way back in 1933, it was one of those old school classics that I remember fondly. Ducks are such cute creatures and the sight of them waddling in groups and yet looking so graceful in the water always puts a smile on my face. 

The Story about Ping is about a little duck who hid himself as he didn't want to be spanked ( the last duck coming in always gets a little spank ). In doing so, he almost landed up as someone's dinner ! Due to his luck, he was released and was truly glad to be reunited with his master and friends , even happily receiving his little spank because he knew he deserved it. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Kki at SOTA

A friend of mine brought me to a cafe in SOTA ( School of Theatrical Arts) called Kki. It had a elegant wooden interior with beautiful Japanese artisan tea-ware and wooden spoons on display. I love the texture and feel of the wooden ware. They were beautiful and sensuous to the touch.

As I sipped on my Japanese plum tea , crumbled my chestnut puree Mount Blanc cake and appreciate the craft of Japanese ware, I made a note to myself to go out more often to beautiful places in Singapore.

Robbie Williams at the Singapore F1 weekend

Portugese singer Lura from Cape Verde entertains at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre 

Vintage cars on display during the F1 weekend 

Fabulous outdoor theatre Lady in the Moon performed at the Padang just before the race

Standing on equal ground with the audience  in the rain ! 

What a sport ! 

For these past few years , the Singapore night race has been described as a jewel in the crown of the F1 grand prix circuit . Unique because it is the only night race of its kind in the world and rousing because all kinds of festivities come together with the race as the main attraction.Before Hamilton, Rosberg, Alonso and the rest rev it up on the tracks, the Padang, the Esplanade and the surrounding areas host the performances of magicians, outdoor theatre and exotic sounds of world class performers. I was basking in the glorious night light that lit the grounds of the Marina Bay area, moving from the performance of Portuguese singer Lura at the Esplanade outdoor theatre to the fabulous outdoor performance of  Lady in the Moon at the Padang. It was breathtaking to take in the sights of red balloons in the air with a mascular performer doing his twirls in mid-air  above the crowd and in contrast, a lady doing likewise with grace and femininity.  

The highlight of the evening right after the race was Robbie Williams in concert . But just as he stepped onto the stage at 10.30, the skies let it go with torrential rain. The bright stage lights dramatized the impact of the rain which cooled the humid air all around. Feeling the raindrops come down on me and watching Robbie (who chose to perform in the rain) made it all so surreal. At this point, 2 beautiful English lasses pulled me up to the front of the crowd knowing how I was blocked by the much taller Europeans who were all around. I never had such an enjoyable time at a concert despite being soaked all he way ! Robbie let it go his way with his hits Come Undone, Let me Entertain you and even jazz classics ! By the time Robbie belted out Angel, the crowd was totally won over despite what the elements threw at them. 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Night Dresses - Dresses of Memory at the Armenian Church Singapore ( Singapore Night Festival 2014)

They look like dresses for royalty, illuminated from 40 kilometres of fibre optic cables floating in the dark. Night Lights : Dresses of Memory by Taegon Ki (France/ Korea) displayed at the Armenian Church created an almost surrreal, ethereal vibe, enhanced by the stillness of the surrounding environment at the church. Love the way each dress changes colour through the night. The Singapore Night Festival 2014 has certainly outdone itself this year with the variety of light installations and sculptures, lighting up the heart of the city with energy and vibrance. With Singapore celebrating SG50 next year, I can only imagine better things to come for the Singapore Night Festival 2015. 

Festival Village at the Singapore Night Festival 2014 at Cathay Green

This year, the festival grounds of the Singapore Night Fest 2014 consists of 5 key zones -
Pretty Arty - National Museum of Singapore
Young Hearts -  Singapore Management University and School of the Arts 
Block Party - Armenian Street 
Festival Village - Cathay Green
Roundabout Midnight - Singapore Art Museum and Queen Street 

Made my way to the Festival Village at Cathay Green, the place to relax, enjoy some chill out music and artisan F and B as well as do a spot of flea marketing. Love the atmosphere of the Festival Village with its white lights and lanterns amidst the greenery. Close by is an illuminated jelly fish like structure called Night Lights : Cyanea by Cumulus (France) . Here, visitors can walk in and out of Cyanea's curtain of lit tentacles.  What better way to spent a weekend with beautiful lights , chatter and drinks ! Wished it could be all year round though with a change of structural displays and food stalls each time. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

William Close and Phoenix at the Singapore Night Festival 2014

The National Museum of Singapore came alive at the Singapore Night Festival with a stunning music visual performance by William Close. He was joined by different artistes for each half hour performance scheduled at various intervals and over 2 weekends in August. 

I managed to catch him only last night when he was joined by Phoenix . With his Earth Harp, William Close converted the whole facade of the National Museum into a musical instrument that resonates with ethereal melodies .  Together with the drumwork of Phoenix and elegance aerial dancers suspended from the top of the museum in folds of cloth, the night became breathtaking beautiful. 

The Singapore Night Festival this year has spread into various hives of activities with a line-up of local and international artistes all using the concept of space - starting from the Singapore National Museum to the Singapore Management University and School of the Arts (SOTA) as well as to Cathay Green, the Singapore Art Museum and Queen Street. It also spreads out to Armenian Street with its display of night dresses on the grounds of the Armenian Church. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Laduree Singapore

How is it possible that a macaron shop can be that beautiful ? One can mistake the Laduree shop at Takashimaya Singapore as a perfumery with its showcase of brilliant colours. A treasure chest of macarons consisting of a few trays like the one above costs over a thousand dollars. And there are lots of other kinds of packaging which are simply beautifully ! The perfectly decadent way of indulging.  A perfect way to make a girl deliriously happy !

Snowskin mooncakes

Many hotels, restaurants and even TWG and SIA are after a slice of the mooncake market. Even the famous Hong Kong ones such as Peninsula Hotel has a stall at the fair. But after tasting different snowskin mooncakes at the Takashimaya Mooncake Fair, I must say I was impressed with the taste of the yuzu and champagne truffle mooncakes from Baker's Well , a small bakery in Katong. The taste of the snowskin was light and chewy, never over powdery like some of the ones I've tasted. And the yuzu was such a delightful contrast to the sweetness of the lotus seed paste. Heard that snowskin mooncakes are a Singapore creation. When eaten fresh, it really taste heavenly and the translent colours of the skin make them lovely for display, just as beautiful as macaroons I must say. However they are only available once a year during the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Hari Raya Puasa 2014

Each Hari Raya, my family will look forward to a sumptuous lunch at my sister-in-law's place where a huge Malay feast awaits us and all visitors.They even have catering equipment and heater to display the food they have cooked throughout the night. Beef beranyi, ayam merah, longtong, rendang, sambal tumis, achar and more. We had more than a serving each and I even had to skip tea that afternoon, something that is rare for me. Malay ladies do take a lot of pride in their food and it seems like a very natural tradition for girls in the family to learn how to cook. My husband's nieces seem to take on this course naturally. 

Beef  rendang 

Sambal Goreng with vegetables

Beef  Beranyi 


Ayam merah 

Sambal tumis with quail's eggs