E J H Corner House

I love this charming little bungalow, and its location especially, right in the middle of the Botanical Gardens. Until recently it was occupied by a French restaurant. It was formerly the residence of the Assistant Director of the gardens, and named after Edred John Henry Corner FRS, the Assistant Director from 1929 to 1945.

DSCN1563_01

DSCN1564_01

DSCN1566_01

Related:

***

Day 68

Advertisements

Haw Par Villa

DSCN2685_600x450

I have fond memories of the theme park Haw Par Villa from my childhood. There used to be a kampung (village) right behind the theme park where my aunt and her family lived. My family would visit sometimes especially when my late grandmother was staying with her. We would make our way through the park first because there was a side entrance from it that led to the village.

I took my Swiss tourist friend for a walk there for a couple of hours before we headed to Harbour Front. There is now an MRT station there since 2011, named after it and located right beside the entrance of the park.

DSCN2688_600x450

It’s a bit run down, but there obviously is still effort at restoration. Most of the paint on the statues look fresh, or at least still looks good, and we could see some ongoing restoration works there. But it still looks like considerable work needs to be done to polish it up better, especially water features like ponds, and the signs explaining the stories, many of which are faded. Remarkably, entrance is still free. I’d rather there be a nominal fee (like Sentosa Island’s S$1 entrance fee if you walk there instead of taking the monorail) if it could help with better maintenance, or at least the relevant park authorities contribute the funds and manpower for this.

DSCN2710_600x450

Whatever it is, I hope it’ll always be around because it’s part of our country’s heritage. Even if it’s not profitable, it should be maintained well as it’s a historical venue, like a museum. And museums are never profitable, right? But we always still have museums because they are a necessity, to preserve our history, or at least the history as written by the writers or whatever.

The park was built in 1937 by the Burmese-Chinese brothers Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par, the developers of Tiger Balm, as a venue for teaching traditional Chinese values. That’s before World War 2, and pretty old at least in terms of the young age of our nation.

Me, I just like it a lot because I find it so fascinating and unique. An entire park made up of artistic statues, and not only that, but they tell stories of legends and folklore.

DSCN2714_600x450

Related:

***

Day 41 of ‘100 Happy Days‘.

Happy meter: nostalgic

Henderson Waves

I’ve seen pictures of this gorgeous bridge and been wanting to visit it for the longest time. Now I’ve finally had the joy of seeing it in person and crossing it. It’s truly a remarkable thing of beauty.

Opened in May 2008, Henderson Waves Bridge stands 36 metres above Henderson Road and connects Mount Faber Park to Telok Belangah Hill Park.

DSCN2609_600x400

DSCN2610_600x400

DSCN2611_600x400

DSCN2612_600x400

DSCN2613_600x400

DSCN2614_600x400

Here’s a video by YouTube user market2garden:

Related:

***

Day 39

happy meter: fascinated

Scenic McDonald’s

This is the most picturesque McDonald’s I have ever seen here. I was walking along the road at Queensway, and I was surprised and tickled at what the trees parted to reveal. So unexpected to find the fast food joint in such a pretty setting.

DSCN2442_600x400

DSCN2443_600x400

24 hours! Dear God, it would be detrimental to my waistline to live near one of these outlets.

DSCN2450_600x400

DSCN2447_600x400

DSCN2452_600x400

It looks like such a nice peaceful place to hang out over coffee and a book. I’m glad it’s a McDonald’s there. With the high rental rates in this country, I guess only a massive corporation like them can afford to have such an uncommon and lovely garden location like that. Otherwise it would probably be some expensive posh restaurant if it’s some other company. At least with McDonald’s almost everyone can enjoy such a nice setting, and even with free wifi too, I believe.

***

Day 27 of ‘100 Happy Days‘.

Happy meter: laid-back

Festive mood at City Square Mall

We went to Mustafa Centre at Serangoon Road in Little India today, to shop for some particular grocery items we like to get from the supermarket there. To get there we got off at Farrer Park MRT station. The exit  of the station is linked to the basement level of City Square Mall. When we left the mall we were greeted by a mini funfair of sorts, set up for the Chinese New Year season.

20140208_171335_01

I was impressed, especially since I didn’t see anything of this scale in terms of decoration by an individual mall when we were in Chinatown a couple of weeks ago. And here we were in Little India, where we found this big effort by City Square Mall. It’s so charming and cheerful.

20140208_171404_01

A massive and incredibly beautiful tangerine tree. There are two of these at the front entrance, and two more at a side entrance of the mall.

20140208_171649_01

When we were walking past this air slide, they were just beginning to have it blown up with a blower machine. I turned around barely a minute or two later and it was already all completely done. I didn’t know it was going to be that amazingly fast. It would have been fun to record it on video.

20140208_171607_01

There were also these gorgeous boards featuring all twelve animals of the Chinese Horoscope, with signboards featuring predictions of what’s in store this Year of the Horse.

20140208_171554_01

That’s my sign, going moo moo. Ox, or to be specific for those born in 1973, Water Ox. According to the prediction, it might suck to be me this Year of the Horse. I might even fall sick and everything. Dammit.

20140208_171529_01

I do love how the pink shades of the Indian lady’s elegant saree matches so well with the theme colour of the funfair. I also love how she’s nonchalantly rocking the grey in her hair, with a girlish ponytail! And that pretty pink on her! Surely it indicates a fun spirit. Effortless chic.

***

This post is Day 16 of ‘100 Happy Days‘.

Happy meter: cheery

A courtyard garden at Singapore General Hospital

DSCN0418_01

I visited someone at SGH when I heard she was hospitalised there. I had not seen her for some time and I wish we had met again in better circumstances. And there were other people around, family and friends, so conversation was a bit awkward. But it was nice to see her again and see she’s doing okay for now, so I’m glad I went, even  though I hung around only for half an hour.

DSCN0416_01

Then before I left the hospital I thought I’d look for the foodcourt to grab lunch, and came across this pretty courtyard garden. It was lovely just sitting there with my coffee after lunch, doing nothing but watch the people walk past and listen to myself breathing, reminding myself yet again to be consciously aware of the good health I had at that moment and be grateful for it. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? I guess there are other gardens in other blocks of the huge SGH complex, but I didn’t have time to run around exploring.

DSCN0419_01

DSCN0411_01

Sweet little green walls. They remind me of the massive panel I had seen at Raffles Place and featured in a post here.

***

This post is Day 7 of ‘100 Happy Days‘.

Happy meter: thankful

A colourful stroll in Chinatown

DSCN2148_reduced

Descending from the heavens above, wildly and joyously galloping through the city to usher in peace and love in the Year of the Horse.

We met some friends for lunch and I wanted to drop by Chinatown afterwards to check out the street decorations for Chinese New Year, which is just around the corner this Friday the 31st.

I don’t normally go for these things. For example, last year I didn’t visit Geylang for the lights during Ramadan. Neither did I go to Little India for the Deepavali festive season, nor Orchard Road for the Christmas light-up. But the venue for lunch was near the South Bridge Road/Pagoda Street part of Chinatown, and as I got closer I was drawn to the flying horses I could see from a distance.

It was only about 2.30pm when we started and it was already packed. At some parts we could barely move. But I really enjoyed the walk, even though normally I don’t like crowds. I guess the time of day we were there was good, as I imagine it would be far more crowded and festive later in the afternoon and evening. But on the other hand that’s when it will all be magically lit up and becomes a whole other experience.

DSCN2165_reduced

I love these tassels. I got some to hang from drawer handles. The bigger ones look pretty hanging from doorknobs.

DSCN2173_reduced

DSCN2174_reduced

Pussy Willow! I love that name, and the stalks themselves.

***

This post is Day 3 of ‘100 Happy Days‘.

Happy meter: relaxed

Green wall at Raffles Place

I just discovered another name for these vertical garden things, something I first saw some years ago, and fell in love with at first sight because they are so incredibly beautiful. And it’s such a brillant idea, allowing leafy nature to be part of modern design layouts in urban dwellings. Even in tight spaces, like on a balcony wall of a flat. Unfortunately I don’t have even that (a balcony), but I so would at the first opportunity.

It’s an American invention, I discovered at Wikipedia. An interesting snippet:

While Patrick Blanc is sometimes credited as having developed the concept in the late 1980s, the actual inventor is Stanley Hart White, a Professor of Landscape Architecture who patented a green wall system in 1938.

I was at Raffles Place last week and saw a massive installation at one of the buildings right beside the MRT station, and decided to take some photos.

DSCN1867_01

^ I was fleetingly admiring the greenery on the wall on the left when big shiny balls caught my eye. I was drawn to them.

A1 DSCN1875_01

^ That was when I realised the green wall was a two-panel installation. Huge.

A2 DSCN1870_01

^ I didn’t realise at first that it was designed like a world map, but when I did it made me go ‘Wow!‘.

Can you imagine the maintenance?! The effort and equipment needed so that it stays nicely trimmed. I’m visualising scaffoldings and stuff. And it has to be at night or during the weekends because that area is crowded during office hours, as it’s not just in the central business district but right next to an MRT station.

A3 DSCN1874_01

^ As for the panel on the other side, it features a map of Singapore! How sweet.

A4 DSCN1879_01

^ This Paul pastry shop place looks posh, but a quick glance at their offerings at the takeaway counter shows their prices are not exorbitant. I was surprised because shop rental anywhere in Singapore is crazy-high and a location like that must be heart-attack inducing. But the prices seemed okay. For example I think I saw decently-sized chocolate eclairs at about S$6. I think I also saw crème brûlée; I forget what the price was but I remember thinking it was pretty reasonable. Next time maybe. There were queues both at the takeaway counter and to sit inside, and I had to run.

A5 DSCN1872_01

A6 DSCN1878_01

^ Going back to take a photo of this sculpture below the ‘world map’ green wall. So very pretty.

A7 DSCN1876_01

Related:

  • Buzzfeed: 39 Insanely Cool Vertical Gardens

Extended stay in Rome

One of the statues of the ‘Fountain of Four Rivers’ at Piazza Navona in Rome. Photo taken by me.

We are still in Rome as of today, though not at the partner’s hometown, but in the city itself, due to the unexpected development of a recent client back home in Singapore contacting us and asking us to look into ordering some stuff for her home.

So the holiday trip has turned into holiday-slash-work. No complaints, even though the scope of work is so small that there will hardly be anything one can call a profit margin, after expenses and time and effort are considered.  We’re basically doing the client a favour, someone we adore because she has always appreciated our hard work in the past. She knows we take pride in our work and do our best to deliver a good standard of work.

I hate how this sounds like bragging, especially since we don’t have the money bounty to show as a reward for all our work in the past. At the same time I don’t want to sound like we ‘suffer for our art’ or something pretentious like that. The simple truth is that while we think we are artistic and passionate, we really are pretty useless business-wise. We have our heads in the clouds LOL. Anyway, what I want to express here is that this client knows and appreciate good work, and so it is always a pleasure to deliver. We don’t feel like our effort goes wasted.

No complaints also because we love our work, regardless of whether we get down and dirty at the construction site, or sitting comfortably in front of the drawing table setting up designs. These past weeks, we have the enormous pleasure of working with an established textile house in Rome. I feel so lucky and priveleged and small. Their work is so steeped in history and art, and excellence. The company has been in the same family for so long. And we are actually working with the current boss whose generosity with his knowledge and skill, and his passion… it’s just been awesome.

I’m enjoying the extended stay, but I miss Singapore/Johor as well, and frankly I’m itching to go home. I think mostly I feel bad that my siblings still need to look after our cats for us, but also because I’m anxious at what the state of our house must be, and that I want to move on with the things I need to do back home. So I hope we’ll get a flight back to Singapore on the 24th or not too long after that. At the moment we’re on the waiting list.

I love Italy!

Photo taken by me

Finally, a holiday! Especially after two months of practically being slaves at work for that last project. Exhausted mentally and physically, being at the construction site the whole time. Finally in Italy with the partner for a whole glorious month!

Arrived on the 27th December and spent a few days in the city centre to catch our breath, relaxing and touring a bit with his brother who joined us. Then off to the small hometown located an hour and a half away to be with the rest of the family.

And just like that… two weeks have now passed! Lovely to do nothing but just spend time with loved ones. Catching up and taking long strolls and visiting other relatives in the town. Long hours at the dinner table and more hours preparing the meals before that. Bliss.