Monthly Archives: August 2015

“Being happy with yourself is a huge part of being successful.”

In her article on 31 Aug 2015 in The Straits Times, Clara Chow wrote ..


Not so sure about her approving the tuition part, but my social-emotional intelligence tells me she is just trying to be funny … lol!!


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National Day, National Flower …

well, I suppose orchids in general can be considered our National Flower? or must it be Vanda Miss Joaquim?

Anyway, as August was National Day celebrations and all things related to Singapore, my chinese ink painting class focussed on orchids for 4 weeks!! and this was what I managed to do …DSC_0354




Cattleya – does not bloom very frequently!! I actually knew the name of this orchid when teacher painted it, lol, actually, just about the only one I know …


chinese orchids (cymbidium) grow on rocky soil, and not commonly the kind we think of as orchids in Singapore ..


classmates thought the buds looked very realistic!! told them it was based on my sketch of them when I visited the National Orchid Gallery!

sketch of the buds ...

sketch of the buds …


added the background (broad strokes, with very light colour) to this work in class, after the demo by Mr Ang … this piece done in class the week before, and decided to re-use it …I find it fun to do, but some classmates felt “scared” by this kind of thing as they think they will spoil their main work … haha, I volunteered to add in for them!

quite easy, and yet quite a difficult subject to do … especially the cymbidium leaves (how to arrange and do it with a graceful stroke, and the intersections and bending of the leaves), and also to have the flower petals look “fresh” and “light” and with curled petals!

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7 Letters (movie treat@Vivocity) and other freebies :)

Watched 7 Letters (for free!) with Chien, thanks to Straits Times! 🙂 Go watch it if you can to bring back the memories of Singapore from an earlier time (60s, 70s) and enjoy the funny and moving stories (showing until early Sep, I think).

I liked the last one (GPS – Grandma Positioning System) the best … but, this post is really about the queue when I went to collect the tickets … 🙂 and other free things I went for recently 🙂


(lol, in the ST photo above, the sleeve of my red shirt is actually visible on the left edge; amazingly SM noticed this when I showed her the ST article today, and I actually have a photo of this guy when I tried to take a shot of the long queue …


SPH subscribers could redeem 2 movie tickets upon obtaining a voucher from the SPH Rewards site and I managed to get the voucher on the day this was publicised on 21 Aug in the papers. The ticket collection at Vivocity where the movie was screened was a bit of a hassle though: seating and timing of the show (supposedly 6 or 7 pm) was based on a first come first served basis from 2 to 5 pm on the day of the show itself (i.e. 29 Aug).

I decided to collect tickets early and was at the GV lobby around 1:30 pm, half an hour before the tickets were issued. There were 6 rows set up, which corresponded to the screening time and the Hall where the movie would be shown:


Strangely, there was no body in rows 3, 4 and 5 when I arrived, and most people were queueing up either in Rows 1 (6 pm show) or Row 6 (for the 7 pm show). I decided to be the first person to collect tickets in Row 4 (for the 640 pm show). It was a good 15 min later, that another person appeared in Row 5 (650 show) and another queued behind me!!

We commented on this  rather puzzling “phenomenon”: people would rather wait in a longer queue than join a short queue, especially when the timing was not that far apart, in 10 min intervals. Then, one chap from the media (I guess) who had stood in front of us taking photos appeared and asked if I mind giving my particulars so that I might be interviewed after the show; ok, why not and I gave it (but they did not call me in the end; maybe not old enough and also not young enough, hahaha!) .. anyway, the rest of the day went by quickly, we saw the 640 show (did not really need tissue paper, like what the media chap recommended, haha) and were glad to have seen it! (the other one I liked was “Flames”(??) by Rajagopal, a lot of tension, in black and white, apparently a “true” story about himself as the yet to be born baby)

Some other free stuff I checked out recently (not all with success …) were:

Madam Tussauds, only for the first 100 Singaporeans aged 50 and over (till 31 Aug) … I joined the queue at 945 am and it was just too late as I was the 110 person 😦 ; but good thing one of the people in charge counted, so that those who were passed the 100th position could leave and not wait unnecessarily …


the queue at 10 am, outside Madam Tussauds Sentosa, on Friday 21 Aug … I was the 110 person, so no chance for free entry and left the queue to go somewhere else!

so, I walked around Palawan Beach for a bit, saw the start point of the Color Run that was going to happen over the weekend,


and then headed for lunch and Botanic Gardens, to visit the National Orchid Gallery ( free for Singaporeans, $5 entry fee waived until 31 Aug) to do some sketches of orchids (leaves, flowers and buds as we have been painting this flower over the past weeks in the ink painting lessons) ..


must see the real thing to understand the way way to paint it!! like how the leaves fold, and join to the stem ..


using these sketches, I produced them in a painting which my classmates were very impressed with … they commented that the painted buds looked so realistic (and when I showed them my sketch, they wanted me to whatsapp them the sketches! )



the orchid named after Mr Lee Kuan Yew

And incidentally, Friday travel on public transport for the rest of this year free for me too, using my POSB Mastercard!! Very good, as I zipped around here and there the last few Fridays on MRT and bus!! 🙂

oh, yah, and Nite Festival 2015 .. anookis show was cute!

anooki show on facade of National Museum, 22 Aug (Saturday)

anooki show on facade of National Museum, 22 Aug (Saturday)

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Free Concerts, YES! Queues, No Thanks!

So, the longest long weekend is finally over and must say it has been well spent, with family and friends! 🙂

Went for several concerts (paid and free ones) with wife and the girls, starting with Sing50 at the National Stadium on Friday (7 Aug). But must say the sound system was really awful and this was easily the worst concert I’ve ever been too 😦  ( their Facebook page was swamped with complaints/funny comments and my favourite was “leaving for home now to listen to my boiling kettle; sounds better”)

Before the start of concert ...

Before the start of concert …

during Tracy Huang's "Feelings" which got the crowd swaying along with lights from their mobiles :)

during Tracy Huang’s “Feelings” which got the crowd swaying along with lights from their mobiles 🙂

On Saturday, we went to the Botanic Gardens to catch the free concert by the Singapore Lyric Opera (SLO), and sat just slightly behind the stage (not a big deal for us as we could still hear everything well, and the sound was so much better than Sing50!!) where it was less crowded, and in the shade 🙂

windy and shady on this side of the stage, although we could not really see the orchestra ...

windy and shady on this side of the stage, although we could not really see the orchestra …

This view from near the Orchid Gardens ...

This view from near the Orchid Gardens …

The nice thing about such open air concerts is that we can walk about, and have a picnic (like what so many other groups were doing). After the SLO , the Sam Willows performed and we moved a bit to catch a better view:

Sam Willows performing after the SLO (but only 4? songs)

Sam Willows performing after the SLO (but only 4? songs)

After the Botanic Gardens, we caught a bus to Esplanade to watch the Asian Contemporary Ensemble (the group comprises my dizi teacher Joyce Poh, and her friends playing various “exotic” instruments) perform some local favourites and NDP songs. It was definitely very well received by the enthusiastic audience and we enjoyed it so much, that like many others, we stayed on to catch their next performance at 9:15 🙂

Joyce on the dizi ...

Joyce on the dizi …

the finale!

the finale!

Then, to round off this longest long weekend, wife and I joined some of my Tassie uni friends for cycling on Monday (doing the scenic East Coast Park – Marina Barrage – Gardens by the Bay – Flyer – Sports Hub route) –

our "tour leader" kept getting us to take group photos ... not difficult to guess where this shot is taken from!

our “tour guide” (centre, in black) kept getting us to take group photos … not difficult to guess where this shot is taken from!

And this was the queue still “left over” on Monday morning after the three free entry days (7 to 9 Aug) to the Art Science Museum was over, haha (probably early birds trying to get in early??). Btw, it does take some time (at least 3 hours) to do all the exhibits that are on now – The Deep, Dreamworks Animation, Singapore Stories)

No more free entry but still queuing ... maybe they are tourists trying to get in early??

No more free entry but still queuing … maybe they are tourists trying to get in early??

Apparently, the queuing time was up to 2.5 hours to get in during those “free entry days” but I guess this is not much compared to the apparently “10 hrs queue time” for free cable car ride queue on Monday!! Not sure how people can stand around for so long in a queue (not counting the queues in March). Definitely thanks, but no thanks for me!

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Rainy Days = Origami and Painting days! :)

Woke up to rainy days these two mornings and so my training runs had to be postponed, and they became perfect mornings for doing some indoor hobbies:


Decided to fold this shape called a “hyperbolic paraboloid”, not only just for fun, but also for use during a tuition session on “multi-variable calculus” to provide a tangible object to discuss z = f(x, y), haha! (check out how to fold by searching Youtube).

And yes, Pringles also have this form by the way 🙂


But for really cutting edge origami, really must see this *TED talk, Robert Lang folds way new origami and/or book by the same author (Origami Design Secrets)  (*thanks to Nikki for the TED talk) – some amazing folds including a black forest cuckoo clock, which maybe, one fine (or rather, rainy) day I might attempt!

The other “work” I did was this painting based on Thursday’s lesson from Tiong Baru last week: very pleased with it, especially the use of black ink for those parts in the shadows:)


69 cm x 48 cm Early Morning Run

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