This Little India scene was rather challenging as it had many people in it (and people are much harder to depict than buildings!!)
and three water town scenes …
Finally went to the S.E.A. Aquarium yesterday with the spouse and girls 🙂 (& two years after it opened, on 22 Nov 2012)
And it is still fascinating as ever to see the marine life from up close … as the pictures below will show!!
(we parked at Vivocity ($1.20 per hour), walked and took travellator across (about 800 m). Entrance fees into Sentosa by foot per person was $1, payable by EZ link card.)
1) buy your tickets online (promotion now costs $25, valid till Mar 2015) because it costs $38 to buy it at the entrance for one adult! We got ours at a roadshow for just $20 (yay!).
2) the lunch at Malaysian Foodstreet was yummy, estimate about $5-$7 per person.
Finally visited the dragon kilns on Saturday (22 Nov 2014)! Not only that, was also able to see it being “fed” and with explanations given by a master artist (Ian Jones from Australia)
Having heard lots about it and driven pass the sign postings many times (when heading to NIE for my courses from 2009-2012), spouse and me took the chance to visit it during the Awaken The Dragon Festival held over the weekend.
There are actually two dragon kilns around the area, and while the one at Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle was being “fed” for the festival, the other one (Guan Huat Dragon Kiln) was “opened” for visitors to wander into its belly:
We learnt and saw lots during the free guided tours of the place (by visiting Master ceramic artists, the owners, and artists in residence). Our visit to the dragon kiln was made even more worthwhile, as we met up with KJ (an ex-colleague, ceramic artist, and school principal), whom we had not seen for a long time, at Guan Huat Dragon Kiln. Seems he has been doing this for some time, and he was very kind to explain all kinds of questions which me and SM (classmate from ceramic class) had when we were viewing the pieces on display. Thanks, KJ!!
One interesting thing that I never knew before was how the wood fired pieces actually made use of the ash in the dragon’s belly; the temperature is like 1300 degree C in the kiln, and the ash flying about had adhered and formed a natural glaze on the pieces that you see above! This is quite unlike the method of say, dipping or painting the glaze on.
To visit, it is best to drive or take a cab in:
Another thing to know is, the dragon kilns are only fed (fired up) like twice or so in a YEAR (i.e. infrequently), so it is best to either catch it when it is being fired, and/or to go there to take up a ceramic art lesson/workshop (regular sessions are held) … , and perhaps to add a sidetrip to nearby Jurong Point while in the neighbourhood (rather interesting “streets” like this one inside the mall:
Rather “hardworking” recently, as the tuition season winds down and with time on my hands, I painted these after the Chinese ink painting class 🙂 (the subject was “油菜花“, otherwise known as “rapeseed” and where canola oil comes from)
Take your bike or running/walking shoes and enjoy the autumn colours along East Coast Park soon – be quick though, before the leaves shed!
The best spots seems to be from the park area across from Victoria JC, and towards the National Sailing Centre side (all the way to the reservist recreational centre); but I may be biased here since this was the route I ran 🙂 Some of the photos below are near to the beach, and require a short detour from the cycling/walking track.
“So tired” is what one of my tuition student often “greets” me with … today is my turn to say “so tired.”
Went for a Level 1 climbing course today today with the spouse and her colleagues, and we had great fun climbing and learning about some basics of the sport. And best of all, we are all certified and are now able to do proper belaying (handling of a safety rope, through actions to ensure a climber is safe, because you are the person on the ground who uses this rope attached to the climber to “catch” or “lower” him down safety as he comes down (both when he falls, or when he has reached the top of the wall).
The really cool thing now is that both spouse and I can either belay each other at climbing gyms, or do it for the kids … next stop: SAFRA Yishun Rock Wall!!! 🙂
(and a special thanks to all the instructors and climbers who made the session today both informative and fun! 🙂 )
Not sure how anyone can say that Singapore is boring nowadays !!??!!
Had a most interesting Sunday today – saw the Subaru challenge outside Takashimaya (and visited the new Kinokuniya while waiting for 1 pm, when the participants were to be given their 5 minute break (1 every 6 hours!!!)),
and once the break started, they rushed either to get food and drinks, or to the toilet! and then, all too soon, they had to get back to their positions:
(but, not before a quick lie down and hanging up their feet (LOL!!))
After this, I was off to the Esplanade Concert Hall to catch a free concert by the RI Alumni Chinese Orchestra:
It was highly enjoyable to hear the popular songs from the 70 and 80’s (Beatles, ABBA, Xinyao, and Mandopop hits) performed by the 50+ strong orchestra, and especially so, now that I am learning the dizi and also heard some of the songs I had learnt to play 🙂
When the concert ended, was then entertained by a group at the open air stage area by the bay; they were rehearsing for their performance later the same evening (apparently, they were checking out the sound system, and testing it by playing songs like Bosssanova …. quite cool!!)
And rounding up this Sunday outing were these two events –
And going to all of the above did not even cost me a single cent 🙂