Monthly Archives: October 2013

Finally passed circuit test! :)

After more than a month attempting Lesson 4  – a test to pass before being allowed to ride on the public roads  outside the driving school –  I finally passed, at my 6th attempt this week (this count does not include the 8 revision sessions for self practice)!  Accumulated 16 points (to pass, need 18 or less) with 8 points “earned” at the obstacle courses – figure of 8 and plank, 4 points for each for failing to meet the timing requirements). Luckily, my riding was quite OK this time.  (see also earlier post: Zen and the art of motorcycle lessons, on my first 3 attempts at passing Lesson 4)

On Wednesday (23 Oct), I finally went onto the roads around SSDC (Singapore Safety Driving Centre) in Lesson 5. Must say it’s really “exciting” to be riding on the road. There is a whole new set of learning even though I have been driving for a long time  (e.g. changing lanes, u-turn, turning into slip road, when to check blind spot),

AND,
the feel of the wind and speed!

(next lesson – repeat of Lesson 5, but at night!)

 

 

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Teletubby Land (or Hobbiton?), but not all is well …

Somehow, this evokes Teletubby Land and Hobbiton for me, haha ...

Somehow, this evokes Teletubby Land and Hobbiton for me, haha …

Something “wrong” with this Teletubby Land painting … and it is not that they have upgraded their house!

Yah, the top and lower half are not connected/independent and can stand on its own. The only solution seems to be to extend one of the trees, like this:

Second tree from left, extended into the mist and mountain in the background ...

Second tree from left, extended into the mist and mountain in the background …

(the lines on the mountain now look too distinct 😦    ).

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Mount Pierce …

Mount Pierce (1510) ... possibly the highest peak in Singapore!

Mount Pierce (1510) … possibly the highest peak in Singapore!

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another view of Mt Pierce, with reflection in Lower Pierce reservoir

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Reflection of the pavilion; shot taken by climbing over the low concrete wall and getting down to the rocks just by the water edge to capture the light on the water.

 

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Waterfall (near view) and A Tranquil Scene

Waterfall and rocks

Waterfall and rocks

Waterfall and rocks (from class held on 10 Oct 2013, 3rd attempt!) Difference between earlier versions is that I realized the significance of the top right hand corner: this is where the water is coming FROM, and why the end of the line of vegetation must be drawn to bend slightly up and with thin vegation to suggest the river from afar. The other “aha” is that the rocks must appear smaller towards the left, being further away, in order to indicate the “width” of the waterfall, and the river bank line should bend “down” a bit. Amazing (and love) how these little details affect the sense of perspective!!

Tranquility

Tranquility (painted on 13 Oct 2013)

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Another world – an “abstract” piece

An out of this world scene ...

An out of this world scene …

Unusual colours, …

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Reflections of a “hunter-gatherer” life, sort of, …

While running along a less well-trodden path near the start of the tree-top walk which joins to the Bukit Timah nature reserve trail, it dawned on me that I was kind of enacting a modern version “hunter-gatherer” type of life, for large portions of my time!

As in, running around in the early morning like ancient hunter-gatherers, gathering images using my handphone camera during the run (but not always being “successful” in finding nice scenes to capture) and throwing sticks and stones if a wild boar should suddenly appear in my path. This is the first parallel. The second parallel is that hunter-gatherers spend most of their time in small groups, comprising mainly family members, and do not work in/for large organisations (a much more recent development in human history, resulting from the agricultural revolution 12 000 yrs ago and “progressing” to the corporations of today) – yup, that’s me as well, being around the house after morning runs, when the kids come back from school, living with in-laws, occasionally going to do “paid-work” (this is like a successful hunt, for it settles pocket money for the kids for a while, and some expenses).

Yet another parallel are the (cave) “paintings” on my wall – apparently, the ancient hunter gatherers had time to leave behind these works of art, because they were NOT spending most of their time working (for someone else i.e. being an employee). According to the prof  (Coursera: A Brief History of Humankind), the agricultural revolution, and more modern developments in human civilisation (e.g. industrial revolution) did NOT make life better for MOST people, compared to hunter-gatherer times, if we look at “work-life balance”, for example. As another aspect of not being better off: in modern life, people sit way too much, leading to all kinds of back problems, while apparently, the human body was adapted for moving (as in, running/walking/climbing, to look for food, hunt, and to stay away from predators).

But I must be careful not to romanticize the “hunter-gatherer” life too much; it works these few months for me because of  “capital” I have accumulated (i.e. some skills and shares), and the spouse’s support MOST importantly!  😛

 

 

 

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Is it popping out or sunken in?

Is this corner jutting out, or sunken in?

Is this corner jutting out, or sunken in?

Sunday night 10 pm, and I am lying down on the floor in the kids’ room, waiting for Si-Min to clarify on some math stuff for her exam the next morning.  I am also doing some sit-ups in between questions – each time she asks a question, I do a sit-up, and then I lower myself down after answering :). It so happens that I am looking directly at what is seen in the photo, a corner of the room  – the white part is the ceiling, and the other two are the walls that the kids and myself, painted two years ago (the walls are different because each one has their own favourite colour!).

I suddenly let out a tiny “laugh” and SM is wondering out loud, “What was that about?”. I had managed to make the corner “pop out”!

(btw, this is not a trivial matter, for it raises questions about “what is really real?” and “what is the relationship between perception and reality”).

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