Monday, 28 December 2015

Balustrades by the sea

Nice, old fashioned balustrades at the Changi Beach Club, previously the Changi Swimming Club. In 1972, the Singapore Sports Council (then known as National Sports Promotion Board) took this building over from the British Airforce Officer's Club when the British forces pulled out of Singapore. It became a private club in 1988. 

I am very fond of balustrades (don't know why). Here are the links to my other stories on balustrades: 
Mar 12, 2014 ... Balustrade outside temple (Tong Sian Tng Temple, built 1870) at Devonshire Road. Pic taken March 2014. I remember there was a little sandy ...
Mar 27, 2014 ... But I discovered so many other favourite things instead, like spiral staircases and balustrades. The irony was, I couldn't find the well despite ...
Mar 24, 2014 ... Raffles Hotel's trademark palm green balustrades Close up of those vase-like balusters below. Raffles Hotel was established in 1887. Pictures: ...


Sunday, 27 December 2015

A Christmas gift for M2

Look who has got a nice bright yellow raincoat. Mao Mao (M2) of course. Just that it is a wee bit too small and cannot buckle up at the tummy (er, waist).

Boxing Day trip to find an old friend

An old friend of ours, a tubby and friendly cat, lives in this monastery in Geylang -- the Foo Hai Chan Monastery. It wasn't anywhere in sight when we visited. Must be snoozing in some shady nooks. I would too. It is a peaceful place, with many bonsai trees and benches. 

The bodhi tree in the compound of the monastery. 

The Sri Sivan, view from the monastery. Glorious blue skies on 26 Dec 2015.

A boardwalk walk

I was early for dinner (a meet up with former colleagues from People's Association's The Citizen, and their spouses) so I went for a walk nearby -- the Changi Boardwalk at Fairy Point. 

I much prefer this place to any where in Sentosa. It has the old rustic charms of Singapore's former beaches.

The Goldenbeach Seafood  Paradise restaurant at Changi Beach Club. It's open to the public;
serves a mean black pepper crab. Peking duck too :)

The Cliff Walk which leads towards Changi Village.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Crescendo blues 2

I DO believe that my Crescendo blues -- or post Crescendo blues to be more exact -- are beginning to pale a little. Dream Makers 2 is beginning to pick up. There's another facet to Li Nanxing's character which the actor is better at portraying -- a side of him that is more brooding and serious. He was excellent in The Golden Path (2007). I always welcome serials with him in the starring role but I think he doesn't come across very natural when cast in comic roles.

Now, as for Dream Makers 2, the plot is finally beginning to boil.

Still, I hope there will be a Crescendo 2 ;)

Sunday, 20 December 2015

All I want for Christmas

Picture taken 20 Dec 2015 -- if you look closely you can see the number of parking lots available at the various shopping malls -- on the board near the X'mas tree. Surprisingly, there were two lots at Paragon still!

Toy soldiers on the roof of the bus stop outside Tang's. 

THIS Christmas season we have had two X'mas trees bursting into flames, a restaurant kitchen which caught fire and a blackout in one shopping centre. And of course, the collapse of a hotel roof. But the most important thing is nobody was injured -- seriously. And that's a blessing already. All I want for Christmas is that all creatures in this world be safe and sound -- and happy!

Monday, 14 December 2015

Crescendo blues

I was enjoying Crescendo quite a bit, the drama serial on ch 8 which ended recently. Acting was great, the plot was thick with ups and downs. There were those nice xinyao songs to boot. It is now replaced by a new serial, Dream Makers 2. It has most of the artistes I like -- Zoe Tay, Rui En and Huang Biren (she was great in Tiger Mum). But why is it that I always fell asleep halfway through the show? It could be the nice, cool weather. But after two weeks, it is still lacking little crescendos. So blah. The characters are just not very plausible. (Or do glitzy characters really behave like this in Caldecott Hill?) The plot has no texture, unlike Crescendo. Veterans Zoe Tay, Huang Biren and Qi Yu Wu pull their weight, but why is Li Nanxing's and Romeo's acting so exaggerated? I have enjoyed their acting in other productions. What happened ah? Nevermind, I'll watch some more. Maybe it will improve, when the plot thickens.

Monday, 7 December 2015

A love for humanity

The bas reliefs of animals at Wak Hai Cheng Bio (3, Philip Street) are my favourite, especially this family portrait. The three tiger cubs are so adorable. Below, tiger mum snarling just a little and the cubs trying hard to look fierce, but very cute nevertheless.  All pictures taken on 4 Oct 2015.

YOU can see the love this artist and craftsman (or artists and craftsmen) had of the world around. Why else would they have crafted them so lovingly, with such fine proportion and such spirit and character? True, the scenes, people and animals were mythical but they were modelled from this world, with loving care. One can spend hours just looking at all those wall carvings and murals, trying to decipher the stories behind.

The temple (built between 1850 and 1855) was made from rosewood and it is the only temple in Singapore to have such detailed sculptures on its roof and engraved on its external walls (practically every corner and cornices). The Guangxu Emperor presented a plaque to the temple in 1907. Crafstmen from Chaoshan region (east of Guangdong, China) were brought in to restore the fine work in 2011 (2nd restoration so far.) This was completed in a year's time.

Michaelangelo was not the only one who had to paint on a scaffolding, and probably with wet plaster dripping onto his face. 
The sun (?) is a soft-boiled egg -- the type you can find at Ya Kun, hehe.
Painting on the wall that looks almost like a water colour. 
This door god has a rather quizzical look. While the one below (on the right door), has a more stern demeanour. But he looks to me, to be pondering on some issues, stroking his beard.  I do believe they are among the best dressed generals in Singapore's Chinese buildings. Just for comparison,  two other gentlemen guarding the doors of another temple (bottom pics).