Saturday, September 22, 2007

A Whole Day in a Morning

This morning, I was awakened at 7 by the rousing sound of the Irish national anthem. I stumble out of bed in a daze and realise it's D glued to the Rugby World Cup. I end up watching most of the Ireland v France game with him (save for the last half hour, when I fall back asleep!).

At 930 we decide to head out to Sentosa for a bike ride. We don't own our own bikes so we have to rent at the island kiosk. We're Islander members, which means we pay like $20 a year and we get free admission and transport to the island, as well as discounts (like 10% of the bike rentals, sweet!). D decides to transport his mountain bike from NZ back to Singapore when we head back for Christmas end of this year.

We cycle around the whole island for about an hour and a half. I don't recall Sentosa being this hilly! I'm a bit freaked out about our plans to cycle around the Mt Cook area come Dec/Jan. First I need to figure out how to work mountain bike gears properly! And I think I will also need to get ultra-padded bicycle shorts!

But my worries float away when we hit Tanjong Beach - or Dog Beach as we call it. It's the best place in Singapore to dog-watch, and get your regular dose of cute! So for non-pet owners like us (not by choice mind you, anyone know how to cure dog allergies??!), it's heaven. Today, we spot the motliest crew of canines, all fresh out of sea water being scrubbed clean by their owners around the public showering area. There's a resigned looking border collie, smiley golden retriever, a 10-year old pomeranian, a drenched and skinny mini-Schnauzer, and a terrier belonging to D's ex-boss, whom we happen to chance upon!

After our bike ride, we hop onto the chairlifts that will take us to the pizza place we decide to go to for lunch. The Sky Ride as it's called, is part of a kiwi-operated luge ride. It's only $3 up the hill each for members so why not. Plus we get to take cool pics and dangle our legs over the edge. Not many leg-dangling opportunities these days, so when they avail themselves, you just gotta grab em.

Back at home now - it's one of those scorchingly hot afternoons, where the light is a bit too bright and bathes everything with a garish glow! So sitting here in the cool shade listening to new awesome CD we bought, Yo Yo Ma's Appasionata, typing away. Nice. Feels like we've squeezed a whole day's living into one morning. Woo hoo!

View from the chairlift if I turn my head round.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A Tribute to A and his A380

Let's start at the very beginning: two chocolate swiss rolls, the wafer-thin tail (D's inventive prototype), and for the nose, a Kinder Bueno.

This post is a tribute to A, who out of all my friends, has displayed the most consistent obsession with the A380. A's just put in a winning bid for the inaugural flight on the A380. Our heartiest congratulations to you! Who'd have thought that two-and-a-half years ago, when we were putting together this cake as a surprise for your birthday, you'd become a part of history?

PS: our cake just rocked, didn't it?

And for the wings, two triangular pieces of sponge. Sculpted with precision.

What a beautiful thing.

Cover with a clean paint job of my secret icing recipe.

M&M windows, and a painstakingly recreated logo (procured from the A380 website no less) and there you have it... I'm pretty sure, Wellington Central's inaugural A380 cake put together using ingredients from Centre City New World.

Monday, September 10, 2007

I love Picasa

Posted by Picasa

I just downloaded Picasa and I love it! So easy to use. Created a cute collage of the Singapore leg of our wedding in three minutes. Can't believe all this software is free. Go Google! All for the democratisation of information and knowledge I say...

And then for practice, I did another collage of the Dunedin leg of the great Turnip matrimonial event.

For all those wondering about the genesis of the Turnip monicker, once and for all...


So there.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Post-Norwegian Wood Blues

I finished Haruki Murakami's Norwegian Wood last night, and am now suffering slight depression, I think.

I'm normally a pretty fast reader, but I lingered over every word of this unusual, beautiful, gem of a novel. I'm struggling to articulate why I loved it so much, but I think it boils down to the fact it contains all the attributes I look for in a good read.

1. It captures a time, place and mood to perfection. Tokyo, 1969, comes alive with such life and colour that you yearn and keen for it.

2. Characters grow and learn through tragedy, but the novel itself is not tragic.

3. Music is woven through the story seamlessly, and you can almost hear the soundtrack to the book as you read on. John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Ravel, Brahms. I was first reminded of The Virgin Suicides (excellent as well, but just not in the same league as this), then of the puny-by-comparison An Equal Music by Vikram Seth, which did have a companion soundtrack to boot. If Norwegian Wood went down that path, it would seriously kick some ass.

4. The story is underscored by a quiet symbolism - the balance of the mind, for example, reflected in the serenity of nature, or lack thereof. I was reminded about what so moved me when I was in Tokyo earlier this year.

5. I was lured into the story, I cared for the characters, I didn't want the novel ever to end. I read the last few pages so slowly, like how you'd want to prolong one of those great late night conversations with old friends. That's the kind of book Norwegian Wood was for me.

I don't know if it's everyone's thing, but this book is one of my top reads to date. Can't recommend it highly enough.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Class of '99

Me, V, S, C and S

An impromptu reunion, with the girls from Lit Hons class of '99.

On the Blackboard: Fantastic conversation.

Venue: Dome at Dempsey Road (the service there has to be personally experienced to be believed - maybe they were all just having a bad hair day).

Special Order of the Day: Being able to (unabashedly) weave in critical theory, Baudrillard and simulacra, while dissecting the wonder of procreation in glorious gory detail and Pan's Labyrinth.

Lovely to see the girls again - gotta revive that failed book club.