Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy Christmas from Snowy Singapore!

Hi and welcome to my final posting of 2007.

If you celebrate it, I’d like to wish you a very warm and happy Christmas. Warm is not a problem here of course, though last night I took photos of a freak weather front that came in from Finland, ahead of Santa!

Much fun was had by all. It’s a bit suspicious however that the weather front arrives every evening in the same place in Singapore (a shopping centre) and lasts exactly 15 minutes each time. Meteorological experts are scratching their heads and studying the phenomena, wondering if it is connected to global warming……….

Joking aside it was great to see people have so much fun, and I hope the expressions on their faces, give you a sense of the fun that a Singaporean snow storm provides.

Most Singaporeans I have talked to do not like their tropical weather. They find it too hot and humid. They enjoy creating cold and even have ice bars where the temperature in the bar is at 0 degrees centigrade or lower. A good excuse to cuddle up close to your partner to keep warm………

On Monday 24 December (just two days from the moment of writing) Daniela and I fly to India. We are going to visit the Temples of Tamil Nadu, which is in the South of India. We’ll be back in Singapore on 5 January.

No need to ask, I’ll be taking my camera!

Happy New Year, may 2008 be a special year for you, and don’t forget to come back in January to see photos of our trip.



Just before the storm hit!

Santa's helpers arrive on motorised Rudolphs....

.....and join in the fun straight away

As do people from other traditions, snow is for everyone!

Daniela feeling the cold

Little one, not so sure of all this white stuff!


Everyone having fun!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Moments in Singapore

Hello and thanks for visiting my blog.

This is the penultimate posting before Christmas. It is “Moments in Singapore”. A collection of shots I took walking around. Many of them were a test shoot using a new Nikon lens that I had just bought.

There is no particular theme, just moments that show something about the nature and character of Singapore. Some people feel it is a sanitised, boring place but having lived here for 3 years I would dispute that.

It is a fascinating mix of culture and tradition that may not be immediately obvious if you just visit the shopping malls. But there are few other places I have visited where cultures and religions live so peacefully together, so relaxed in their own traditions knowing they will be respected and appreciated.

This is perhaps what we love the most. No-one is afraid of putting on Nativity plays here, or performing Pujas, or rejoicing on their Guru’s birthday, or celebrating Hari Raya. People don’t feel excluded or threatened by the celebration of another’s tradition, culture or religion because they respect it.

There will always be threats to that, as Singapore diversifies and develops further, but I hope that this little island, the “little red dot” as they call it, manages to preserve its tradition of respect and appreciation of each other, their cultures and traditions. Certainly it has a lot to examine and improve, but it has a lot to conserve and demonstrate to others.

On 24 December we fly to Tamil Nadu for 10 days to visit the temples of South India. Before leaving I will post a Happy Christmas to you all.



These first three photos above were taken at the Central Sikh Temple during the celebration of the birth of Guru Nanak who was the founder of Sikhism. Our friend Amrit (top photo with me) was our host and guide at the temple. Daniela is in the third photo.

The famous urchins jumping into the river at Boat Quay

The Hindu Feast of Deepawali. Bharata Natyam dancers from the Temple of Fine Arts

Hindu temple in Singapore

I'm so beautiful, adore me! (and she's not wrong!)

The mythical symbol of Singapore, the Merlion

A Malay woman, beautiful face

Muslim girls, and Esprit

A door! (You have to be patient with photographers!!!)

I wonder what they were talking about....

It's hot here.......

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Kota Bahru, and rural Malaysia

Hi, thanks for coming.

I hope you enjoyed the photos of Perhentian.

One of the places you can get the ferry to the Perhentian Islands is from Kota Pahru on the North east coast of Malaysia. It is the capital of the state of Kelantan, one of the most traditionally Islamic states in Malaysia.

We were there at the end of Ramadan. It was just a short stay, one night, but we had a chance to go for a walk and see the night market in the late afternoon, and other parts of the town the following morning before leaving to get the ferry for the Perhentian Islands

This is the last post on our holiday to Malaysia. In two weeks I'll post some photos of Singapore.

Here Christmas decorations are up everywhere and the count down has begun!



These first pictures show our walk around the town

The next five photos were taken on the way back from the ferry as we return home from the Perhentian Islands. The first two are of a Buddhist temple.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Perhentian Islands, Malaysia

Hello and welcome to this Malaysian tropical island issue!

October 9 was my birthday and I celebrated it in style, with Daniela, on Perhentian Besar. There are two islands, the other is Perhentian Kecil, and they lie just off the North East coast of Malaysia. Besar is the big island, Kecil the smaller one. The translation of Perhentian Besar and Kecil is Big Dropping Off Place and Small Dropping Off Place.

We dropped off on Big and had a fantastic time. The snorkeling was amazing. We saw giant turtles, stingrays, beautiful clown fish and a shark! They told me afterwards that it was a vegetarian shark.....I'm still not sure I believe them. We also saw myriads of other beautiful species, minute and huge that I cannot name, and gorgeous coral.

On land we saw the dusky leaf monkeys. Very cute. I managed to get a couple of shots.

When we weren't snorkeling we walked on the beach and lazed around. It was only 4 days on the island but a real break from 'normal' life.

Hope you enjoy the photos.

To get to the Islands we passed through some rural parts of Malaysia and also stayed in Kota Bahru, the state capital of Kelantan. Kelantan is one of the most traditional Islamic states of Malaysia.

Next time I will show you some photos of this part of our holiday.

Until then, take care and don't forget to come back.