Pink Bougainvillea

I came across this intense burst of pink while walking along Keppel Bay. Such a dazzling display just at that particular spot.

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If I’m not mistaken, the condo around this area is called Caribbean or something. We were walking towards HarbourFront MRT to catch a train home.

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This particular estate is what I guess is considered posh as it is located in prime central area, and is part of a marina area, so to me it’s too bad that the architecture is plain and kinda boring, bearing the typical look of condos in Singapore I think. Thankfully they are low-rise buildings so there are less of them at least in this part of the area. What I do like about the buildings is how the green tint of the windows match the colour of the water in the canal! That’s pretty. The landscaping with the shrubs, palms and bougainvillea, and the canal, really make a difference in beautifying the place.

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Day 90 of ‘100 Happy Days‘.

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USB card-sized catalogues

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I don’t know how long these have been in the market, maybe for a long time already. What a cute little thing. We had requested some information from a furniture maker in Italy for a client, and besides the regular book-form catalogues, they also sent us the catalogues as PDF files, contained in a USB flash drive. Nothing unusual about that, but it’s the first time I’ve seen this type of flat USB tool, where it’s presented in a credit card or namecard style of form. Pretty nifty.

I imagine you can use it for a whole array of purposes. Not just for businesses as catalogues and corporate gifts but for individuals. For example, job seekers can fill it with their CVs, and not just the document itself, but pictures and videos of their extra-curricular activities. Designers and other artists can use it as portfolios of their selected works. Yes, sure, most designers have websites for that, but I just find the idea cool that when you hand out your namecard to give people your contact details, you can also give them a sample of your work in the same card.

The size of the device as something you can slip into your pocket or wallet is not such a big deal, as the regular USB flash drives are now really small too. Again, it’s just the idea of a namecard and portfolio in the same place that I like. I wonder if namecard printers now provide the service of printing on these ‘USB cards’, and whether these cards are available in the market like stationery shops, for individuals to buy in packs of only a few pieces, say, 5 to 10 pieces. If they are, then we can simply print out our details ourselves on transparent sticker sheets, to paste on these USB cards to serve as our namecards.

Related:

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Day 88

 

Visitor Centre at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve

I’ve always loved ‘traditional’ architecture. To me, it’s not only more beautiful but when it comes to low-rise buildings like double-storey houses, make more sense for example in terms of ventilation.

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I felt such happiness when I came across it at the beginning of my walk there with a friend. Even though it’s not a house. As indicated the above is the Visitor Centre at the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

In Thailand, specifically Chiang Mai, they are still making houses that look similar to this, and I think that’s so incredibly cool. I came across new residence that look something like that in recent years. It’s wonderful they still have an appreciation for traditional architecture even when it comes to constructing modern homes with all the modern facilities.

Maybe I’m wrong, but unfortunately this is not the case in Singapore and Johor Bahru. What I’ve seen are only typically modern architecture when it comes to the design of new landed properties, whether terrace, semi-detached or bungalows. What’s crazy is that the interior of these houses (the showrooms I’ve been to in J.B. in recent years) are so damn hot. You need to switch on the aircon almost immediately upon entering. There seems to be hardly enough thought for ventilation, for airflow. The logical solution is to have ceiling fans in every room, yet from what I’ve observed in some houses I’ve visited, some people don’t like the look of ceiling fans, so what happens is the aircon is often switched on for long periods of time when they are home.

Here are a few photos I took of some of the new houses I saw in Chiang Mai the last time I was there a few years ago. So amazing and wonderful how there are people there who still love and appreciate their traditional architecture, and take inspiration from it for their new homes.

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A residence that was still under construction.

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Day 87

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Nuts for Nutella

I haven’t indulged in the Italian chocolate spread Nutella for a long time. Today is yet more evidence that I’m a sucker for nice packaging because I picked it up at the supermarket just because I love their new jar. Or maybe I’m just using that as an excuse. But it is unusual and pretty.

Nutella 2014 front

A 1-kilogram jar. $10.90 at Sheng Siong supermarket. The print comes in several different colours. No purple, though :-(   but this pink kinda passes for purple.

Nutella 2014 back

The back looks the same as before except for the ‘2014’.

Nutella with sponge cake and ice cream

I think I opened the jar within ten minutes of arriving home, for an impromptu triple treat afternoon snack: Nutella on spongecake with ice-cream.

Photo from Nutella Italy's Facebook. Click image to go there.

Ah, it’s actually for their 50th anniversary and these are the four colours available together. (This photo from Nutella Italy’s Facebook. Click image to go there.)

Related:

  • Oh my God, there’s actually a ‘World Nutella Day‘!! Haha!
  • Grist – It takes at least six countries to make a jar of Nutella. Hello, Palm Oil (from Malaysia). Ugh.
  • BuzzFeed – How to make your own Nutella. (Goodbye, Palm Oil! Yay!!)
  • Mental_floss – 8 things you may not know about Nutella

Furious Pete eating an entire 750-gram jar of Nutella in the video below. I got furiously jealous watching it so I only managed the first minute. I don’t have the guts to enjoy life that much because I’m scared of getting diabetes and for my waistline, not that I am trim in the first place.

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Day 85

 

Orchids galore at Ikea

We were at Ikea as we ran out of candles, and to pick up a few other things at their Marketplace. It’s the place for candles for its sheer variety and reasonable prices.

They must have just received a recent shipment of orchids as the plants section was teeming with them. It was a gorgeous sight. I didn’t pick up any even though I was so tempted. We already have flowers at home. I almost wish we were visiting someone this weekend so I could buy one and bring it as a gift.

Here are just some of the variety available. The big ones cost $16.90 a pot, with one stalk of several flowers. I forgot how much the ones with the small flowers cost.

Orchids at Ikea - 17 April 2014 Thursday Purple Orchids at Ikea - 17 April 2014 Thursday

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Day 84

An inspiring life

I saw this sweet video of a Thai ad from the blog Bryan Patterson’s Faithworks a couple of days ago, and I’m still thinking about it. Yeah sure, it’s an advertisement designed to tug at the heartstrings but I love it nevertheless. The story depicts the kind of person most of us wish we were and so strive to be, without fanfare or praise, but just as a matter of habit, quietly and in peace. It also reminds me of someone I have the privilege of knowing, but who I’ve lost touch with, and who I should try to contact again, just to say hi.

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A snapshot in Bangkok

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Day 81

 

 

A stroll up to Mount Faber Park

At the very start of the Southern Ridges, a 10km walk of trails, bridges and walkways, is the Marang Trail, located right next to Exit D of HarbourFront MRT station. It takes about just 15 minutes to walk the trail, climbing some steps to reach Mount Faber Park, the equivalent of a 24-storey building, according to a guide from the National Parks Board. Perfect for lunchtime, if you happen to be in the area. Grab a sandwich and a bottle of water, walk up there, and enjoy the view and relative quiet while you eat. I enjoy this short walk when I happen to be in the area.

Marang Trail

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Cable cars from the station at Mount Faber Park which go to Sentosa Island. A return ticket costs $26 for adults and $15 for kids aged 3 to 12.

Related:

Related to cable cars in last photo:

  • Singapore Cable Car’s website
  • Trip Advisor reviews of Cable Car
  • The Jewel Card – according to website, the card offers unlimited cable car rides for $39 for individual, and $99 for ‘family’. Click link if you wish to find out more.

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Day 76

Eros Ramazzotti

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Randomly picked a disc to listen to and I got ‘Ali e Radici’ (Wings and Roots) by Italian singer Eros Ramazzotti. One of those singers I probably have ten CDs from. I haven’t counted, but we’ve been fans for a long time. This is his tenth studio album, out of a total of eleven, which he released in 2009. Most of his albums are released in both Italian and Spanish. I remember years ago when I was not aware of this yet, I had mistakenly bought a Spanish version of one of his albums. Which is okay but some time later I went back to buy the Italian one as well.

I haven’t played his music for a while, and forgot how much I love his unique voice and his gorgeous catchy songs. He has written and sang a lot of beautiful ballads too in his career that has by now spanned more than three decades. He was born in Rome in October 1963, so now he’s fifty.

The following is one of my favourite songs from Ali e Radici. Parla Con Me (Talk To Me) is the third song in the album.

I love so many of this songs, but just to pick two more to put here, well I love his two duets with not one but two ladies of music I absolutely adore, Tina Turner and Cher! Cose Della Vita (Can’t Stop Thinking of You) with Tina was released in 1998. The song is a ‘remake’ of a song he wrote and sang solo on in 1993. The beautiful ballad Più che puoi (All You Can) with Cher is from 2001.

Related:

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Day74

Ravioli

Bert felt like making some gamberetti (shrimp) ravioli and it was such a nice treat for me. Homemade ravioli is a special treat. I don’t even normally order it when we eat out at an Italian restaurant. Actually I believe I did exactly just once in my entire life, many years ago. I will always remember that when my order arrived, there were like just three or four pieces of ravioli on my plate. As if they were so friggin’ precious because they contained gold nuggets or something. I was appalled by how stingy the portion was. It was not some haute cuisine place, just a regular restaurant in a hotel. Okay, a rather nice one, but nothing posh or fancy. Italian food is mainly hearty country food anyway, and just how I like my food.

Bert and our other dinner companions laughed at my unfortunate choice while they feasted on far more generous portions of other pasta and pizza. I sucked in my cheeks like a supermodel and cut my four precious ravioli into tiny pieces so my dish could last as long as theirs as much as possible.

I never ever ordered ravioli again when eating at any Italian restaurant, not even in Italy. Of course one of the joys of cooking at home is that there is always lots of food, even leftovers for a meal the next day.

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Having a bit of the munchies standing around in the kitchen while he worked and I, err… watched him work, Bert whipped up some bruschetta with some bread he had made which was just perfect for it. It was satisfyingly thick and meaty, perfect for bruschetta, and just the load of wholesome carbs to make me happy. DSCN1499_reduced

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Day 73