Thursday, March 31, 2005

The Rogers Indicator of Multiple Intelligences

I found this test at Waterfall's blog.

Not sure how accurate it would be when I actually did it late at night. But I do agree I have reasonably good spatial and visual intelligences. Maybe I should consider putting these intelligences to better use?

Here's my result for this test:

You scored as Visual/Spatial. You probably feel at home with the visual arts, maps, charts, and diagrams. You tend to think in images and pictures. You learn best by looking at pictures and slides, watching videos or movies, and visualizing. People like you include sculptors, painters, surgeons and engineers.















The Rogers Indicator of Multiple Intelligences
created with

Last midnight I had difficulties posting

Due to some technical problems, I had difficulties posting last night.

Anyway, yesterday, I started the day feeling pretty tired. Somehow I felt not too well. I wonder if it has anything to do with the recent earthquake at Northwestern Indonesia? The earthquake occured just past midnight on 30 March.

Thank goodness I managed to survive the work day. I was facilitating a group programme for children at a school yesterday afternoon. It went better than expected, thanks to the children for being more cooperative and participative.

I took time-off after 2.05 p.m. yesterday, so I travelled to the university to prepare for sectional and rehearsal. I feared I may not muster enough energy for sectional, but my worries were unfounded. Possibly, playing music can help recharge a person and heal him/ her from lethargy? I practised on my own before the sectional. I felt better by the time sectional started.

Sectional went well. There were lots of learning points. I sometimes wonder if I should be spending more time practising the double bass. Lately, playing the double bass has been satisfying and enriching.

Rehearsal was fun. Finally, we played the fourth movement of Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony. It was challenging for the double bass, but also satisfying to play.

We also played Mendelssohn's Fingals Cave. I felt the orchestra sounded commendable considering that yesterday was the first time that it had rehearsed Fingal's Cave. Alright, I had played Fingal's Cave with the orchestra, but that was at least six years ago.

However, it was as if playing music expended a lot of my energy, I felt pretty tired after rehearsal. Yet, I was not as tired after rehearsal as compared to when I had started my day yesterday morning. I wonder what was wrong with me yesterday morning?

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The day started with tiredness

I tried to write a post just a moment ago, but before I could save it, I lost whatever I had written.

The day started with me feeling pretty tired. I suppose I hadn't been sleeping because I was having some abdominal pain while I was in bed trying to catch up on my rest. I find it unusual that I felt pretty tired when I reached my office at about 8.40 a.m. I am usually quite a morning person, so I would usually be more energetic in the morning compared to in the evenings. However, today, I felt pretty drained when I started my day.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Lighten my workload

I am feeling tired after a day of work. There seemed to be a lot of things to be done, but I have only two hands. I wish the pace of work could be slowed down, so that the workload would lighten.

I would rather do a good job, than to achieve a lot but end up with a mess.

Anyway, I look forward to have sectionals with my double bass tutor tomorrow. There is also orchestra rehearsal to look forward to tomorrow.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Night of Baroque Music

This evening, I attended a concert titled A Baroque Celebration. I won myself a pair of tickets to this concert about a fornight ago.

I have the pleasure to have the company of one of my good friends throughout the concert.

Here's the programme for the concert:
  • Dietrich Buxtehude - Sonata á 3 in G, BuxWV.271
  • Marin Marais - The Bells of St. Genevieve of Paris
  • J.S Bach - Brandenburg Concerto no. 6
  • Johann Rosenmüller - Sonata 12 á 5
  • Antonio Vivaldi - Concerto no.1 from La Stravaganza, RV.383a
  • Antonio Vivaldi - Sonata in D minor op.1 no.12 RV.63, 'La Follia'

My favourites for this concert were Bach's Brandenburg Concerto no 6., Vivaldi's Concerto no.1 and Vivaldi's Sonata in D minor. I think they were reasonably well-played, and they sounded appealing to my ears.

I shall not be the critique tonight, so I shall not write in too much length about the concert. I could just sum up to say that I enjoyed the concert. Baroque music still rings in my ears.

My dear friend enjoyed the concert too. I am glad that she did.

For me, maybe the best thing that came out from this concert was that I had a chance to catch up a bit with my friend. Finally, here's wishing my friend a night of sound and good rest.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Last Sunday of March 2005

Today, we had orchestra rehearsal. We got to play the fourth movement of the Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony. I think it is the most challenging and exciting movement for the double basses for this symphony.

I did not have the pleasure to have Dinah as my stand partner today. MC, our young budding double bassist was my stand partner so that I could better guide him along. I shared with him about how to play certain passages as discretly as possible during the short break that we had, but I ain't sure how much would be assimilated. Anyway, hopefully, he would practise on his own and be able to play the entire symphony with greater ease in the near future. We will be having sectionals with our double bass tutor the coming Wednesday, but unfortunately, MC had to miss it.

Rehearsal ended early today. Dinah, Emily, Qiuhui and myself proceeded to Holland Village after the rehearsals for early dinner. I understand that Holland Village is a place where the expatriates often hang out. This place is also very popular with the yuppies. We had Vietnamese food for dinner. It was considered quite healthy and tasty.

Afterwhich, Qiuhui led us to one of the shopping centres in the area and we ended up window shopping. There were some exquisite items that I saw at the shop, but I was not in the mood for shopping, so I did not get anything at all. Qiuhui went to the supermarket to get some food items for her lunch tomorrow.

Our last stop at Holland Village was Häagen-Dazs, the ice-cream restaurant. I felt my throat was not well for ice-cream, so I ordered a hazelnut cake. It was a little too sweet for my taste.

I was pretty tired by the time we left for the restaurant. Anyway, I was glad that I had played the fourth movement of the Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony for today's rehearsal. Somehow, it was replayed in my mind while I was on my way home.

On my way home, I received a message from Mystic via the short-message-system of the mobile phone. I hope she would feel better tomorrow when she wakes up from her night of sleep. Take care Mystic.

Boats go by

Watching the boats go by Posted by Hello

I find the effects of light on the water surface to be quite interesting. Watching the boats go by also made me feel as if some of my worries have left with the boats.

For more photos, please visit the post titled Boats and Singapore River on my other blog, Places.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

26 March 2005

For today, I shall not take too much effort to think of a title.

Today, it was the Saturday that I was scheduled to work. I was supposed to conduct three sessions today, but one of my clients did not turn up. That makes two sessions in total at my office. Later, after noon, I had to make to make a homevisit. Apologies, no other detail could be revealed. Confidentiality is to be observed for whatever that had went on during the sessions.

After the homevisit, I left for Somerset, located within the town area. Met Dinah, Emily and Qiuhui at Music Essentials, located within Meridien Shopping Centre. We were trying to look around for good double basses for the orchestra. The boss was pretty helpful, he showed us to the double basses and allowed us to try on a few.

The boss even gave us a list of the quotations for the double basses. I secretly wish someone would be generous enough to sponsor a Wilhelm Klier double bass for me. The description reads: "Wilhelm Klier basses are made of older tonewoods to achieve a warm, rich sound. These professional instruments feature highly flamed European maple back and ribs, excellent German spruce tops, and a deep-coloured antique varnish. top quality German ebony fingerboards, and brass tuning machines ensure playability and reliability. The Wilheml Klier model is truly a prize instrument to own and play." Whoever wrote this description sure knows how to tempt double bassist like myself. If wishes do come true, may this be one.

Later, we went to McNair Road to attempt to look at a double bass, but it had yet to be set-up. Interestingly, we got to see how the interior of the double bass looks like.

After that, we decided we shall give the two music shops, Gramercy and Synwin a miss.

Later, Qiuhui, the connoisseur of good food among us led the rest of us to Chinatown. We settled for Chinese tea at this place called Tea Chapter. Qiuhui demonstrated for us the art of Chinese tea making. We had rice dumplings at the tea house too. I suppose it was an eye-opener for Dinah and Emily. For me, going to the tea house brought about a sense of nostalgia. It reminded me of the times when I had visited the tea house with some of our friends when I was much much younger.

Art of tea-making. Demonstrated by Qiuhui. Posted by Hello

Warming the cups. Posted by Hello

Ready to be drank. The cup on the left is meant for one to smell the frangrance of the tea. I remember that the tea would be poured into the cup on the left. Then one is supposed to transfer the tea from the cup on the left to that on the right. One would drink the tea from the cup on the right. But prior to that, one would hold the mouth of the cup on the left close to one's nose to smell the lingering frangrance of the tea. Posted by Hello

Rice dumplings. Posted by Hello

After the tea house, it was time for dinner. Qiuhui recommended us to try the food at Qun Zhong Eating House which was just very nearby to the Tea Chapter. There was quite a queue outside the Eating House. We waited for about half an hour before we were finally seated. The food was pretty good. We had the minced meat noodles, the Chinese pancake (with lotus paste fillings), the dumplings (commonly referred by the Chinese as "Xiaolong Tangbao") and the fried dumplings (Guotie). Oh, I love the dumplings and the fried dumplings. Very yummy. Try it and you will believe me. Specially thanks to Qiuhui for the recommendations.

Xiaolong Tangbao (Dumplings). Yummy. Posted by Hello

Lifting the dumplings with a pair of chopsticks. One of the personnel from the shop (most likely the owner) taught us the art of lifting the dumplings with chopsticks, and the art of eating the dumplings. Posted by Hello

Here's the details of the eating house if you should wish to visit it one day:
Address: 21 Neil Road, Singapore 088814
Tel: 62213060
Closed on Wednesdays
Operating hours: 1130-1500, 1730-2130

After the dinner, we departed for home. I had wanted to expend the energy contained in the food that I had ate, so I walked from Neil Road to City Hall MRT Station. That was at least a distance of 8 bus-stops apart, but I had no measuring tape to measure exactly how far I had travelled. Why on earth does my friend, Mystic, say that I measure the Esplanade?

Now you see it

To satisfy your curiosity of how a practice mute for the double bass would look like:

Practice Mute (for Double Bass) Posted by Hello

Friday, March 25, 2005

Short trip to Asian Civilisation Museum

Asian Civilisation Museum, Empress Place. Singapore. Posted by Hello

I felt rather stifled being at home. The noise from the television was unbearable in the late afternoon. Too much things have been on my mind, and I have difficulties unloading. With all these physical and mental noises that I was subjected to, I decided that I should go out for a walk. Somehow, my feet led me to the Asian Civilisation Museum, Empress Place.

There is now an exhibition on the kebaya of the Peranakan. The exhibition is titled: Nyonya Kebaya: A Living Art. The term Peranakan is a Malay word for someone who is "born locally". If I have understood well, the word Peranakan refers to people who are descendants of an early Chinese community that settled in the Malay archipelago at least since the 17th century. The kebaya is a term given to a kind of clothing. Several of kebaya on display looked lovely. I like those with the embroidered designs. A pity that photography is strictly forbidded at the exhibition, or else I would have taken some photographs to share with you. Anyway, there is an article on the exhibition taken from AsiaOne Food & Entertainment Section. Happy reading.

Also at the Asian Civilisation Museum (Empress Place), there is a section specially dedicated to the Performing Arts of the Southeast Asia region. Here, one will find the gamelan. The gamelan is a traditional Indonesian instrumental ensemble comprising mainly of percussion such as gongs, metallophones, xylophones, drums and cymbals. I managed to find a site that offers information about the gamelan.

There are more interesting exhibits at this museum, and I shall perhaps come and view the rest of them on another day.

Closed-up view. Posted by Hello

Gamelan.  Posted by Hello

Thursday, March 24, 2005

What is she up to?

Disclaimer: If my dear friend, Mystic, does read this, this is meant for her sheer entertainment. Please don't take this too seriously, ok?


I wonder what my dear friend, Mystic, has up on her mind.

Some weeks ago, she said I have a hobby of "measuring" the Esplanade. Admittedly, I like going to Esplanade - Theatres by the Bay. Then again, I am clueless what she had meant by the term "measure". For goodness sake, I have never went to Esplanade with a measuring tape. Can anyone help tell me what she meant?

Then today, in the phone conversation, she seemed to keep coaxing me to be opened to get to know more male friends? Then she went through a list of my expectations for future partners. Next, she asked me to consider "keeping my doors opened". These are perplexing. Didn't she know that I am married to the double bass?

Practice Mute

Earlier tonight, I practised the double bass parts for Mendelssohn's Fingals Cave.

Are there any double bassist out there who have scores for this? I have a feeling that my set of scores is incomplete. I only have pages one to five. Strangely, I cannot find the double bar-line, meant to denote the end of the music, on my set of scores. Could I have been missing page six?

Anyway, at least I have five pages to start with. Hopefully, I will get to see how the complete set of Fingals Cave would look like when the orchestra's librarian distributes a set of new scores to each and every player.

There are many challenging parts for the double bass in Fingals Cave. I thought to myself that it has been a good thing that my double bass did not have too bad a set-up, and it was able to allow me to play those challenging parts quite with ease. At least, I did not have too much problems with strings crossing and the playing of notes at the higher position.

Towards the end of the practice session, I decided to try out my practice mute. I had acquired it some time ago, but have to use it. The practice mute did help to muffle the sound of the double bass. For one moment, I had thought that my double bass had a blocked nose. It gave a very nasal sound when the practice mute was put on to it. But wait, double basses do not have noses, let alone blocked nose.

The practise mute did help reduce the volume of the double bass, and also minimise the vibrations that came from playing it. I suppose it would come especially handy if I were to practise the double bass during the wee hours. Here is an excuse to play late into the night.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Quiet Time

Complexity. Posted by Hello

One way for me to recharge is to have quiet time, be it alone or with a company who respects my need to have quiet time.

I truly hope quiet time would help.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

A little better

The past few days have made me feel rather worn out. Perhaps with poor health, one gets more aware how vulnerable one could be?

It was comforting for me to receive a few well-wishes from readers of this blog. Thank you very much for your concern. I am feeling a little better.

I managed to practise on the double bass a few hours ago. Possibly, this is a good sign that I am not in the worst state of health? I do not usually take initiative to practise on the double bass if I were to be feeling too unwell.

Right now, I am looking forward to this Friday. It happens to be Good Friday, a public holiday. This means I will get an official day off from work that day. I need a break from the work routine.

Too much things on my mind right now. Too much such that I shall end this post with no sense of proper closure.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Health is precious

I ain't feeling well. I suppose I needed to feel better soon.

At certain points of the day, I felt so unwell, I simply had to take breaks to regain my focus. Health can be an invaluable asset. It enables one to be productive, to be at one's optimal.

For now, I shall just procrastinate and not try to accomplish more things than is necessary. Procrastination may not be that bad at times. When some battles aren't worth fighting, it is better to procrastinate or just let go.

For now, wish me health, please?

Sunday, March 20, 2005

A day of deprivation

This is one of those few Sundays that I stayed at home, and literally do nothing much except surfing the internet and resting. I did not even practised on the double bass, my most faithful companion.

I was not feeling quite well. Last night, my back was aching. It was the kind of ache that made me feel painful whenever I tried to bend forward, or move any muscles near the back area. At some point, the ache brought about such discomfort that it felt difficult for me to walk without feeling the sharp pain. That back ache struck me about three times last evening.

Somehow the ache reminded me of my mortality. From the pessimistic way of thinking, maybe one day, I may not be able to walk about? I wonder who would bother anyway? I did not reckon I would be blessed with longevity anyway. When I was 18 years old, I could only imagine that I could live till my early twenties. Thinking about years way beyond somehow feels far-stretched. I could try to imagine how things could be like thirty years later, I have good imaginations many a times. Yet I fear it would turn out to be a futile exercise of the imagination. Anyway, today, I am not feeling well to think too far ahead.

Maybe it is rather painful to think too far ahead when one feels that one does not even fit the world which one is living in. At times, I may have preferred to live in a world of my own. Yet, the conflicting thing is that being a human being, with its social needs, it is unlikely I could remain a hermit. How strange, in this external world that I am living in, I often feel rather misunderstood. Anyway, maybe it is because I do not enjoy the chore of making myself well understood. Perhaps writing this blog is one way that I try to make myself a little more understood. Anyway, I wonder who really reads my blog and understands me accurately through my writing?

Anyway, it must have been the result of a day of being stuck at home, trying to recuperate, that I had ended up rambling with a solemn tone of writing.

How, in the world, do I find my niche in this world?

But before I am able to do that, I better rest well and feel better soon.

A night along Singapore River

Merlion, by the night. Posted by Hello

After last night's concert, my friend and I strolled towards the Singapore River. It was not a surprise that I was rather intrigued with taking photographs of the night scenes. Yet, a number of the photographs were not up to my level of satisfaction. I wonder if it was my skills or the camera that had made taking night shots not so satisfactory. If you have any constructive suggestions on taking good photographs of night scenes, could you please share with me?

My friend and I had some discussions over a few issues while we were at the Cavenagh Bridge.

The night had seemed young, and I had wanted to take photographs near the Clifford Pier, near the Merlion. I made my request, and my friend kindly obliged. It had been a long and tiring day for her for she had to work yesterday, so I shall be thankful and sing her lots of praises here. So nice is my friend, isn't she?

So thanks to her, readers of my blog will get to see photographs of the Merlion, taken at night.

To view the photos, please visit the post titled "Beauty of the Night", put up on my other blog, Places.

Poet & Peasant

Clock tower of the Victoria Memorial Hall. Posted by Hello

I attended the concert titled Poet & Peasant this evening. I attended the concert with one of my good friends. This is a sold-out concert, so I could say that it has been very received.

Emily and Dinah were playing in this concert too. The Music Director/ Resident Conductor of my orchestra is also the Music Director of the orchestra who is playing this evening's concert.

The orchestra which is playing this evening's concert could be regarded as the premiere national orchestra for young musicians in Singapore. Many of its memebrs come from primary and secondary schools, junior colleges, international schools and tertiary institutions.

If you are interested, here was the programme for this evening's concert:
  • Franz Von Suppé Poet and Peasant Overture
  • Jean Sibelius Violin Concerto in d minor, Op. 47 (1st movement)
  • Franz Joseph Haydn, Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Hob.VIIb-1 (1st movement)
  • Antonín Dvorák Symphony No. 9 in e minor, Op. 95 (From the New World)

The Poet and Peasant Overture was nice. I like the rendition given by and the tone of the brasses when they played the first several bars of the overture. The cello principal was commendable. I like her tone when she played the cello solo passage in the overture. She has reasonably good pitching too. It would be perfect if she could let go of her restraint, and be a little more relaxed and free in her playing.

The Violin Concerto was alright. Acceptable for a youth orchestra. The violinist has a good stage presence. I quite like the conductor's interpretation of the concerto. Yet, somehow I felt the soloist and orchestra as a whole have not been able to have the depth and breath of life's experience to achieve the conductor's vision of the concerto. If I had heard the conductor clearly enough (Yes, before the orchestra played the violin concerto, the conductor turned to face the audience to give a short introduction of the concerto), the concerto has a dark side, yet there is a brighter side to it too.

The Cello Concerto was passable as a whole. The orchestra accompaniment was fairly good. If I had to state my preference, I would still prefer the rendition of this cello concerto that I had heard on a CD earlier this year.

During the interval, almost the entire double bass section of the orchestra went up the stage, had the stage by itself. Guess what they did? They played Saint-Saëns The Elephant. They played it from memory, it seemed. I wonder if they had done so to attract the official photographer to take a photo of them? Anyway, I noticed someone did go near the stage to take a photo of them playing The Elephant.

Dvorak's Symohony No. 9 is lovely. I like the orchestra's rendition of it, I felt it was well interpretated. Strange, but I quite like the way the percussionist played the triangle for the third movement. The tone and volume was just right from where I was sitting. I said it is "strange", for seldom does the triangle please my ears during a concert.

My friend told me at the end of the concert that she liked the Poet and Peasant Overture and Dvorak's Symohony No. 9. I share the same sentiments.

If there is anything to be changed, I would wish that some of the audience who had attended this concert could remain as silent as possible when the orchestra is playing. Perhaps most of them attends concert for their very first time? Those who have talked when the orchestra is playing seemed to believe that no one could hear them if they were to speak softly. Unfortunately, it is not that no one could hear, it is just that we hear and we try our very best to screen their voices out. Certainly, trying to screen their voices out has made it hard for me to listen to the orchestra clearly. I believe these people, being civic-minded, would have tried their very best to remain silent if they were to realise that they could be heard loud and clear even when they were to speak softly while the orchestra is playing.

Next thing, I just wish that some people in the audience won't uncontrollably offer their applause at the inappropriate moments, i.e. between movements. If they could learn not to applaud between movements, they will be rewarded with an appreciation of how the work would sound when it has no unneccessary interruption from audience's applause.

Summing up, the concert could be deemed to be successful. Congratulations to all those who have made it possible, directly and/ or indirectly.

(A disclaimer here. If you don't agree with what I have written, it is just because we perceive things differently.)

Saturday, March 19, 2005

The Sound of Music

The Sound of Music will be staged in Singapore at the Esplanade Theatre next month.

At the back of my mind, the tunes "My Favourite Things", "Do-Re-Mi", "So Long, Farewell" still ring vaguely. I vaguely remember that I have watched a television programme that featured the story of the Sound of Music when I was very young as a child. I have an impression that it is a programme with nice songs and beautiful sceneries, and charmed with innocence from the main characters.

According to the synopsis of the programme found on the ticketing website:
The Sound of Music is the inspiring true story of Maria Rainer. Set in Salzberg, in pre-World War II Austria, Maria serves as a governess for the seven children of the widowed Captain von Trapp. Her growing rapport with the von Trapp children, coupled with her generosity and spirit, gradually captures the heart of the stern Captain von Trapp. Upon returning from their honeymoon they discover that the Nazis have invaded Austria and have demanded the Captain’s immediate service in their navy. This sets off a rollicking adventure towards the mountains of Switzerland, and freedom.

Would anyone be interested to watch this with me? Else I shall catch it by myself.

Basic details can be found on the ticketing website.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Weekend's Here, Finally

It must have been an exhausting week at the workplace. Somehow, I felt pretty exhausted by the end of the day. I have a feeling that it was due to the cumulative effect of five busy and tiring days.

Perhaps that was why the speaker who spoke at yesterday's dialogue session hypothesised that a number of social workers have left the profession after some years of service due to high workload and unattractive monetary remuneration? I don't know. I don't have answers to everything.

Such has been a busy week that I have been looking forward to the weekend by 4 p.m. this afternoon. Anyway, I could not afford to even wait at the desk for the official knock-off time to come. I never could. The best that I could afford is a 5-minutes break to attempt to make my mind more refreshed and focused.

There were a lot of paper work to be done even though my client who was supposed to see me at 4 p.m. had failed to turn up. So I worked on the paper work, and by the time I was done with one pile of it, it was time to knock off. Another pile is still sitting on my office's desk to be attended to next week. Thank goodness there weren't anything particularly urgent that needed me to work overtime to finish up this evening. I badly needed a break, a weekend break. Finally! Weekend's here! Time to rest and refresh.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Good friend?

My results when I did this test. If you care to read and believe. I wonder what results others may get?

You Are A Good Friend

You're always willing to listen
Or lend a shoulder to cry on
You're there through thick and thin
Many people consider you their "best friend"!

Farewell lunch

One of my colleagues from my centre will be leaving the organisation. She has tendered resignation and will be leaving sometime next week. A farewell lunch was organised. We employed the services of a food caterer for the food and held the farewell lunch at our centre.

A simple yet cosy lunch. A nice way to express appreciations to the colleague who is leaving, and bid farewell.

Dialogue session

This morning, there was a dialogue session held at the workplace. The Chairperson of the Training and Professional Development Committee of the Singapore Association of Social Workers came to have an informal dialogue session with my fellow colleagues from the various centres under my organisation. She facilitated the session. Most of the colleagues have training and qualifications in social work.

Among the topics for the session were: the registration of social workers, continuing professional education and the professional development framework. There was quite a fair bit of concerns raised by the participants of the session. Hopefully, this session would lend a humble contribution to the bigger picture of raising the standards of social work practice in Singapore. This, in turn, could help earn a greater level of recognition for social work practitioners.

I wonder if the speaker-cum-facilitator of the session was trying to be nice. She tried passing a compliment quoting my name in it. Basically, I suppose she had wanted to highlight that beginning social workers who have only been in the profession for two or three years may already appear confident and competent. Perhaps she was trying to indirectly convince the participants that the professional development framework will be achievable even for the beginning social workers.

Anyway, I felt I was singled out. I did not quite like compliments to be passed this way. Maybe it has to do with me being an introvert, or maybe not? Whatever it is, if you were to pass me a compliment the next time, please do not make it a public affair without giving me ample notice and preparation. I would prefer to receive compliments given in an intimate setting. If you were to make it a public affair, please at least give me some notice and time to prepare myself mentally. When the comment was passed, my colleague who sat beside must have felt my unease, and gave me a nice pat on the shoulder.

I survived the session alright. The professional development framework was generally fine, but I felt there were areas to be refined. I suppose the speaker will have lots of things to follow up on after the session. Appreciated her time and efforts.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Tiring day, but had the double bass' company in the evening

Today has been such a tiring day! I began the day feeling not quite well. It must be partly due to the poor air.

There has been quite a lot of work lately, and that added to the general sense of me feeling stretched. At the end of the work day, I was feeling tired. I tried to have as much quiet time as possible on the way home. That has helped me to recharge a little.

Later in the evening, I sought solace in the double bass. No playing of scales today. Instead, I tried to practise Mendelssohn's The Hebrides. The double bass parts of course. There was quite a lot of challenging passages in The Hebrides for the double bass. I had played this piece about six years ago, but I could not manage those passages. Now, I find the passages much more manageable. Perhaps this is an indication of some amount of progress and improvement in the level of my playing?

Then I practised the fourth movement of the Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony, just to familiarise myself with the fingerings.

Hopefully this evening's practice would help prepare me for the upcoming orchestra rehearsal on 27 March. I was not in the mood to practise any solo music tonight. Maybe I don't find it very appealing to play solo music on my double bass? It seemed to serve better for orchestral purposes.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Close to Luck

This morning, I was listening to my regular favourite Classical Music Station (Symphony 92.4) There was a pair of free tickets to a concert on Baroque music available to be given to the first lucky caller who would call in.

I tried my luck. I dialled the phone number. I got through!

The concert is titled "Baroque Celebrations". This is a concert that I have been quite interested to attend, so getting the pair of tickets is a great bonus to start the day. I could even invite a good friend to join me for the concert.

The programme for this particular concert are as such:
  • Marin Marais - The Bells of St. Genevieve

  • G.P. Telemann - Trio Sonata no.10

  • J.S. Bach - Brandenburg Concerto no.6

  • Antonio Vivaldi - Concerto no.1 from La Stravaganza, RV.383a
  • Dietrich Buxtehude - Sonata a 3 in G, BuxWV.271
If you happen to be in Singapore, and are keen in this concert, here are further details:

Date and Time: Monday 28 March, 7:30 pm
Venue: Esplanade Recital Studio
Performed by: Chamber Players & Friends

Official website of Singapore Chamber Music Festival 2005:

Now I just hope that my ears weren't playing tricks on me. I did got through and won the pair of tickets. Maybe I am just being paranoid with myself?

Anyway, if luck could be passed on, here's wishing you good luck too.

Monday, March 14, 2005

When my lips are hurting

I do not know why, but I have two wounds on my lower lip. From the way the wounds look, I suppose my dear incisor and canine teeth must have decided to bite on my lower lip while I was chewing my food.

When my lips are hurting, I do not even wish to talk more than is necessary.

When my lips are hurting, my lips get prone to drying up more easily. Then I would need to put on lip-gloss on my lips to keep them moisturised. If I do not keep them moisturised, my lips would hurt not from the wounds, but from the dryness.

When my lips are hurting, even eating hurts. This is especially so when I get food brushing against the wounds.

Thank goodness that the wounds are gradually healing. My lips still hurt, but not as much. Maybe my incisor and canine teeth should learn to look before they land.

Sunday, March 13, 2005


Life has been alright. It has its ups and downs. At the same time, there are moments of blessings that have helped to sugar-coat the day.

At the same time, there are a lot of questions that have been running through the mind. The surest vulnerability of mankind is that he does not have answers to all questions. Then again, maybe that vulnerability implies room for adventure, such that one could search endlessly for those answers that may not be answered within one's entire life time?

I do know that the questions are continuously rolling out of the mind: What is there to look forward to? What is my purpose in life? What could I contribute? What am I meant to do in this strange world? What is living all about? ...

These questions seem to drain rather than to recharge. Maybe they weren't intended to be answered through constantly questioning? Maybe they were meant to be answered in unexpected ways?

Anyway, I am feeling tired right now to contemplate further.

Congratulations to Denvers

A glimpse of Suntec City (left of the picture). Posted by Hello

This afternoon, I was at the Suntec City's Tropics Atrium to attend the National Cheerleading Competition, "Cheerobics 2005".

My youngest brother is taking part in this event as one of the members of one of the cheerleading teams. His team is named "Denvers", and is one of the finalists of the Open Category.

Good work Denvers. The team was one of the runner-ups. There were two runner-ups for the Open Category, so I would suppose there was quite a fierce competition?

Runner-up! Posted by Hello

Photos taken at Labrador Park

To view more of the photographs which I had taken at Labrador Park yesterday, please visit the following links:


Saturday, March 12, 2005

Afternoon at Labrador Park

Labrador Park Posted by Hello

Yesterday was the launch of the Labrador Tunnels located at Labrador Park. I was quite excited about the launch when I read about it on the Chinese newspapers this morning. While reading the newspapers, I was already formulating plans at the back of my mind to visit the Labrador Park soon.

I must report that the weather today has not been an ideal one. The air has been looking smoky since this morning. I was hoping for a more picture-perfect weather, but it did not happen. Anyway, I decided to visit Labrador Park today in the afternoon despite the poor weather condition. It was not raining, but the skies certainly looked dull and the air was smoky-looking.

Here is a piece of good news for the folks who wish to visit the Labrador Park, Singapore. There is a new bus service that goes direct to Labrdor Park, and it is commencing starting today! This bus service is Service 408 operated by the SBS Transit. It operates on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The bus service shuttles between Harbour Front Interchange and Labrador Park. There is a flat fare of $1.00 trip. I personally think it was worth it. Labrador Park is quite a long distance away from the main traffic. For someone like me who do not own a car and do not drive, I would either have to hire a taxi (cab) or to walk by foot about 10 - 15 min in order to reach Labrador Park. I find taking the bus service an affordable and alternative to hiring a taxi.

To provide my mind with information about the history of the Labrador Park, I purchased the book titled Labrador Park: The Adventure Begins by David Lim Kee Ann and Esmund Chua. I was fortunate to get my book autographed by both the authors. I have managed to browse through some of it, and I would recommend it as a good buy for the layman (I consider myself one of them) who wishes to know more about the history of the Labrador Park. Some of the information about the Labrador Tunnels that you would see on this post are extracted from the book. So if you enjoy the information that was offered on this post, it is likely that you would like the book too.

The main purpose of my trip was to visit the Labrador Tunnels, and my trip would not be complete if I had not visited it. As such, the very next thing that I did at Labrador Park after purchasing the book was to register myself for the guided tour to the Labrador Tunnels. I understand that admission (inclusive of the guided tour) is charged at $8.40 per adult. However, there is a promotion period right now where one would only need to pay half the usual admission rates. It is quite a good bargain, so I urge those history-inclined folks to seriously give this a consideration.

Well, after attending the Labrador Tunnels, I felt I would still prefer my visit to the War Museum at Penang. Somehow, I prefer the pace of the tour at Penang: not too fast, not too slow. The tour guide at the Penang War Museum also seemed to be much more knowledgeable in history than the tour guide at the Labrador Tunnels. Nevertheless, I still greatly appreciate all the people who have made it possible for the public to visit the Labrador Tunnels. Whatever shortcomings in knowledge could still be brushed up upon, I suppose?

The entrance leading to one of the rooms of the casemate. Posted by Hello

During the tour, we were first led by the tour guide to visit the casemate. The casemate served as an ammunition store for the guns. The casemate had four rooms. One of the rooms held the entrance to a tunnel that led to underground storerooms. If I am not wrong, that room which led to the underground storerooms suffered bombings twice. Once by the Japanese soldiers and the other time by the departing British troops in an attempt to prevent their enemy, the Japanese, from getting the ammunition stored there.

I very much like the concept of keeping that particular room of the casemate preserved in the very way it was when it was first discovered after the World War II, after it had suffered the two severe bombings. Basically, most of the rubbles and debris were left untouched. A pathway was cleared of the debris so as to make it safe for visitors to walk through the tunnel, and that was all.

One of the rooms of the casemate. This room is filled with debris as seen on the photo. Posted by Hello

After visiting the casemate, we were led to visit another tunnel which was a fair distance away from the casemate. This tunnel lead to another underground storeroom. The storeroom was constructed to serve the Gun Emplacement Three in Labrador Park. A gun emplacement is a platform specially prepared to support large heavy guns and artillery. I got to have an idea how a cartridge store room, a lighting room, and a shell lift area would look like. It was a rather fascinating experience for me.

After the guided tour, I walked about the Labrador Park on my own. The difficulty in finding good company and my preference for quiet time alone could have led me to build up a sense of independence such that I was happy to travel about places even if I was alone by myself.

During the course of my journey alone, I walked past a gun emplacement. It was not new to me. I had attended the "Battlefield Tour" operated by the Original Singapore Walks, and I have learnt quite a bit about the history of Labrador Park and the Pasir Panjang Fort throught that tour which I had attended about a year ago. I would still prefer the tour by the Original Singapore Walks for I find the contents of the tour more thoroughly researched and well compiled as compared to the guided tour of the Labrador Tunnels that I have just attended today.

Aside from the gun emplacement, I also travelled to the Labrador Jetty. In addition, I managed to catch sights of the rocky beaches of the Labrador Park. I also tried to thrill myself by climbing up the aerial staircase that led one from the foot of the hill to the top of it. One can get a reasonably good view overlooking the jetty and the promenade while walking on the aerial staircase. It was nice to walk about Labrador Park, I felt I was close to Nature for the afternoon.

So if you would like to combine the appreciation of heritage with that of Nature, Labrador Park is a rather good choice, I would think.

Finally, here's some information about the Labrador Secret Tunnel. It opens from 10 a.m to 7 p.m. daily. The last entry is at 6 p.m. Admission to Labrador Park is free, though the admission charges to the Labrador Tunnels is at $8.40 per adult.

Also see:
A green sanctuary, a valuable heritage
Photos taken at Labrador Park

Lower Strings

A few more photos taken on 9 Mar 2005.

Double Bass section Posted by Hello

Cello and Double Bass section enjoying the playing. Posted by Hello

Friday, March 11, 2005

Quote by Marianne Williamson

Here is to share a quote. I find it liberating especially when I am faced with self-doubts or inadequacies.


Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love (New York: Harper Collins, 1992)

(taken from Zander R.S. and Zander B. (2000). The Art of Possibility. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business School Press.)

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate,

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous --

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small doesn't serve the world.

There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people

Won't feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.

It is not just in some of us: it is in everyone,

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously

Give other people permission to do the same.


Thursday, March 10, 2005

The sun has set

The sun has set. It's time to take a break. Posted by Hello

Certainly, it is time to take a good break. Somehow, I have been feeling rather tired the whole of today. I could not bring myself to speak an extra word other than is necessary. There is sufficient indicators to highlight that I must treat myself to a good break.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


These are photos taken during today's performance.

Rehearsing for this evening's performance. About an hour before performance. Posted by Hello

Playing Saint-Saëns Introduction and Rondo CapricciosoPosted by Hello

After the performance. Posted by Hello