Friday, October 24, 2008

Unit Asia

A new jazz band Unit Asia performed their first ever concerts at the Singapore Conference Hall this week . By the reception given to the band, Singaporeans are hungry for live music. Example here. Very lively fusion, as the promotional material says of pop and jazz. And fusion of cultures, band members being Malaysian, Thai and Japanese, making for some entertaining asides to the audience between sets. Love music live. Best of luck to the guys on the rest of their tour.

157 Neil Road, Singapore

A newly opened restored Baba House to complement the new Peranakan Museum in Armenian Street. This is how the house looked in 1969.
and in 1986.
We attended a talk on the challenges faced restoring the house. Very nicely done too. The Baba House website has a video tour of part of the house. This is one of the last remaining Baba houses in Singapore that has not had the guts knocked out of it. In conservation orders for old buildings, only the external architectural features were covered, with a resulting loss of all the cultural related interiors. Crying shame. It is thought there are only 2 original Baba interiors remaining in Singapore. Panang and Malacca has more but unique to Singapore Baba houses are no more. Double shame.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

After the Storm

Short sharp thunder storms are an almost daily occurrence on the west of the island.

But yesterday saw a prolonged electric storm with simultaneous thunder and lightening directly over the apartment block. Scary! Then, mist rising from the trees.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Erdenetuya visits Singapore

An unexpect pleasure to meet up with Erdenetuya in Singapore! She was attending a conference at Nanyang University which is a couple of stops down the railway from us. We had an excellent day out together on Sentosa.

I took a couple of photos from her camera taken by her son. Peace at sunset

Don't know why but I like this shot.
And this picture sent by Selenge........snow on 7th Oct. Good to see the office car park finished.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Vagina Monologues

Spotted in the National Library promoting 'A Monologue on Female Issues'. Serious!.

Peranakan Museum.

The quest is on for anything Peranakan. (Thank you Wikapedia). A newly opened museum to the local born descendants of the original settlers brought by the trade between East and West. Most made their fortunes and returned home. These are the guys who stayed to make Penang, Malacca or Singapore their home, marrying local girls. Humm, sounds familiar. My interest is in the Chinese settlers, no prizes for guessing why! Most Chinese Peranakan are of Hoklo (Hokkien) ancestry, although a sizable number are of Teochew or Cantonese descent. Gek is a Teochew. A lot of her friends are Teochew.

The museum has some nice sets showing the typical contents of the Peranakan Chinese homes. These include shrines to both the Deity of the home and the ancestors, related to Taoism principles.

Characters representing Fu (Good Fortune ), Lu (Prosperity), and Shou (Longevity), concepts from Taoism.

Sun Wukong, the Monkey God. I was a big fan of the original TV series Monkey. It was aired in Singapore during my original stay here. Watched avidly every week. With the children, of course. Most recently Monkey has been staring in the opening credits of the BBC's 2008 Olympic coverage, with his friend Pig.

New Casino

Could not make up my mind which was the best picture, so left them both in.

The Business District with the 6 star Fullerton Hotel (ex post office) in the middle distance. In case you are wondering, Gek is repacking her handbag with 4 borrowed DVDs. Quite the Tardis, Gek's bag.

Swing round to the left 60 degs and you are confronted by a small Forest of cranes....the new Casino build.

A bit further panning left and the buildings to be completed first. The whole place is a gaming establishment. Singapore families can already register family members to be barred from entry. Smart move.

And dinner at the New, Old Satay Club at the side of the Esplanade Treatre.

Singapore Arts Fest 2008

Big exhibition of "commercial" art.

30 minutes and we were out of there.

Not our colour of pallet!!!! Oh dear, no 'Turner Light' at all.

Esplanade Theatre.

Inside the theatre, at least for this performance, everything was red. Contrasted with Cardiff's Millennium Theatre which is far less 19th century-esk. Discuss!!! Still, the Ulaanbaatar Opera is still my first love. I love that I can say that!!!!

Inside the foyer, a work of art in its own right.
Night time is the best time to view.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Night at the Ballet - My birthday treat.

Surreal performance of the classic ballet Coppelia by the Ballet Du Grand Theatre De Geneva. Follow the link to some photos and video clips. One of those shows where you are leaving thinking "I only just sat down". Amazingly weird.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Straits Settlement Houses

Aren't they lovely? These very distinctive homes were built by and for the Peranakan or Baba, locally born Chinese. Although the houses are only 20 feet wide, they can be up to 130 feet deep. This makes for some interesting design features which ensured the houses stayed cool in the tropics.

The 'Five Foot' walk, as it is known, connects the front of the houses creating a shaded walk way for the street.
If you hadn't already guest, this is a new fascination of mine, replacing Mongolian Trolley Buses!!!! Mind you, I also love the San Franciscan Victorian houses, which are not that dissimilar to the Baba houses. They too are 21 foot wide terrace houses and can be very deep. Hummm, I feel a model coming on.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Publicity Photo.
Hiroshi Motofuji, Japanese Taiko drummer, with his Taiko Unit played The Jubilee Hall at Raffles Hotel on 6th Oct. We was there. Electric.