Friday, January 30, 2015

Lunch at the Bellevue.

 Again, our party of 5 had the hotel balcony to ourselves.  The hotel was once  residence of Mr. Halliburton, the first Sherriff of Prince of Wales Island (Pulo Pinang) and dates back to the early 18th century under the British East India Company, hence the site was named Halliburton’s Hill.

 Nice and cool, under and behind all that foliage.

 There are quite a few old-colonial style bungalows dotted around the hill.

Some in not so good repair, just waiting for some TLC.  Would I had the money.  I would not need twelfth scale no more!!!!  Love them.

Indian Summers in Penang

Here the Channel 4 trailer prior to the March launch.

Here one of the two bungalow complexes used by the film makers.  The old Craig Hotel was built by a Scotsman, Captain J. Kerr, who had leased a plot of land and erected his bungalow named The Crag here in the late 1800's.  Looking good for its age, I have to say.

A pull back to give you an idea of the view from the bungalow's balcony.  Marvelous.  Quite a few Penangites will be seeking a view of this series, given that the films 'extras' were drawn from its streets. One third of the Pearl's 800,000+'s population is of Indian decent.  

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Beginning of the End of old Bayan Baru

 Today the piling machine arrived in dribs and drabs.  First the feet,

 followed by the body.

By the end of the day, a complete machine.  Fortunately for us in 1-Sky, this is push piling machine, not the knock-knock type which would have been a pain in the ear hole

The old Bayan Baru is slowly disappearing as more and more people vacate and knock down their homes.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A new artistic departure?

Gek with some of her latest works, a miniature Turner Series in oil on canvas.  Still a few more canvases to christen but at least the frames are ready.  No pressure, honest.

In the back room, the Degas Series, water colour on paper.  How did the wandering monk get in there?

 Monkey, his colleague on the quest, clearly does not appreciate impressionist art works.

Both our favourite so far is Gek's impression of Turner's 'Yacht Approaching the Coast, 1840'.  I did not make the frame.  Don't you just love them?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Where Art meets Craft, Gek meets David

Gek now has a gallery to call her own, even if it is in 1/12th scale,

 with her name in silver over the door.

The ground floor is to display her Chinese Art, with the first floor reserved for her European art.  My bit is at the back, the cafe, the kitchen and the toilet.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Back on the Pearl

Now back on the Pearl of the Orient and ensconced on the 19th floor of our 1-Sky apartment, it is back to playing with miniature house settings as opposed to renovating life sized rooms.  And aren't I the untidy one?  As a toolmaker, this should never be but getting in the mood needs clutter!!  Mind you I always retract the modelling knife blade before I lay it down, no need to ask for trouble.   Picture frames are in demand at the moment, as Gek is into painting in miniature.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Book - The Story of Archaeology

Well, I did say we were making the best use of the Singapore National Library!!  Archaeology first came to my attention when our family visited Skara Brae, a 5,000 year old  neolithic stone-built village in the Orkney Isles, when I was but a young boy  This book connects the human timeline across our the planet, making it clear that peoples everywhere were doing it for themselves but in very similar ways.  Recently  'cave art' in Indonesia has been dated to around 40,000.

"It was previously thought that Western Europe (Spain) was the centerpiece of a 'symbolic explosion' in early human artistic activity, such as cave painting and other forms of image making, including figurative art, around 40,000 years ago," said study leader Maxime Aubert, an archaeologist and geochemist at Australia's Griffith University. "However, our findings show that cave art was made at opposite ends of the Pleistocene Eurasian world at about the same time, suggesting these practices have deeper origins — perhaps in Africa before our species left this continent and spread across the globe."

Or was it a parallel development in human tribes that could not possible have been in contact with one another,  as shown by later parallel developments out lined in Justin's book?  Hummmm.

Book - We shall fight on the beaches

Histories again.  Two quiet different conflicts but both with one of our  European neighbours.  A very detailed setting out of the preparations taken in the UK against the threats of invasion, much of which can still be seen along the southern English coast in the form of old castle works and pillboxes.  I particularly enjoyed the telling of why defences were laid out in the the way they were, often second guessing the likely actions of our enemies built on intelligence gleaned from diverse sources.  It was ever so , as today the country sets up it's defences of a different nature against terrorist attacks..

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Book - Previous Convictions

In the days of yore I used to read Mr. Gill's pieces religiously every weekend in the Sunday Times and I am sure I have read this book before, but couldn't swear to it.   Previous Convictions book is a selection of articles he wrote from assignments he undertook both at home and abroad.  He doesn't go where the average tourist goes and with his sharp awareness of the environment around him, his writing puts you right there with him.  The article on Haiti  had me disturbed for a couple of days.  BUT,  I would never have put Mr Gill and Mr Clarkson, of top Gear infamy, in the same room never mind on a 'holiday' together.  Truth is stranger than fiction,

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Book - George Orwell

Being back in Singapore, Gek and I made very good use of the National Library.  First up to read, Bowker's Orwell.  I have read other Orwell biographies but this is the first one that really gave me a feel for the sort of chap George was beyond the 'he did this, he thought that'.  You will have to make your own mind up but Bowker highlights the contractions in the man, a man playing at being a tramp, a colonial policeman or a soldier at different times but never really being any of them.  Still, makes for a full and interesting life assuming as many characters on this world's stage as you can handle.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Singapore Home

After a weeks worth of scrubbing & polishing and new day and night curtains hung to frame the view, Regent Heights is ready for our return.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Sofa View, Singapore

Balcony it has not but view it has all the way into Malaysia.  Within 12 hours of arriving in the apartment Gek and I had the same thought - why don't we move back here for the last 9 months of our Asian stay?  OK, why not?  June should see us set up in Regent heights again ahead of moving back to Wales in early 2016.  The only constant in our lives seems to be change!