Monday, August 31, 2009

Would love find me?

Readers of this blog would have guessed that I enjoy taking personality tests so as to see if these would reveal a side of myself that I may need to learn about. According to this test, my "love is yellow". Love will find me.

I take this time to express words of gratitude to the kind and caring people in my life who have given me care and concern. Your care has brought light when things seem dark at times. Thank you.




Your Love is Yellow



When you love someone, your world is a sunnier, brighter, and happier place. Love is what you live for.

You believe in true love, and you remain optimistic, no matter what romantic problems you have in your life.



You are light-hearted and happy-go-lucky. You don't really have to look for love - it always seems to find you.

You have a big heart and are very compassionate. You have a lot of love, affection, and empathy to give.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The exhibition at the Art House



On 29 Aug 2009, I visited The Art House @ The Old Parliament. There's an exhibition titled "The Dead Sea Scrolls & The Ancient World". This exhibition will be there from 27 Aug 2009 - 20 Sep 2009.

At the exhibition, I get to see the Hebrew Sefer Torah written in Hebrew language, and the Dead Sea Scroll Fragments of Biblical texts. I also learnt about the King James Version Bible and so forth. It was informative to learn about the contributions that Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus, Martin Luther, John Calvin and William Tyndale have made.

The best part I like about the exhibition was that there were guided tour given by the curators. That enabled me to grasp a few key historical ideas in a breeze.

Admission is $20 per adult on weekends.

Official website: http://www.livinglegacy2009.com

Week 35 of year 2009 on the double bass

23 Aug 2009, Sun: I spent some time sight-reading a work, and then spent a few moments going through a few studies from Hartley's Double Bass Solo Book Two. I was feeling that I had reached a saturation point where practising is concerned, so I took a break for the rest of the day to get in touch with other creative works of art.

24 Aug 2009, Mon: Just to play anything but the exams' programme, I played a couple of studies from Bottesini's Method for Double Bass Part One. I then spent time working on Dragonetti's Concerto in A major which proved to be very challenging yet stimulating.

I then spent some time just to practise the triplet and semiquaver transitional passage in the first movement of Capuzzi's Concerto in D.

26 Aug 2009, Wed: I worked on two sight-reading exercises. Time was then spent practising the D major scale. Subsequently, I practised Faure's Apres Un Reve.

27 Aug 2009, Thu: I was not myself for the lesson. Sight-reading needed more work and my need for more confidence got me playing my worst rendition of Berkeley's Introduction and Allegro. It looks like the barrier is psychological to much extent. In addition to that, I realised that I need to go back to work on the fundamentals if I were to improve my musicality. I had realised that two years ago when I had failed the diploma music exams yet I was quite in need of clue how to go about doing so, and striving to pass my diploma music exams was my goal then. Now, I could say that my goal could be revised to going back to working on the fundamentals.

My music tutor saw me in the evening and he was very encouraging. He gave a sound advice that what I could do is to think of how to face the problems. I hope I could face them steadily and squarely.

28 Aug 2009, Sat: Though there is a practising block that needs to be cleared, I decided I would start working on Faure's Apres Un Reve since I was in the mood to play slow passages. Following which, I worked on the 3rd movement of Marcello's Sonata in G major and selected passages from my exams piece.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Season and soul test

I wish I could felt a zen-like calm now. I hope I can find the ways to face the challenges ahead squarely and steadily. Wish me all the best please.




Your Soul Is Connected to the Winter



You approach life with a zen-like calm that other people envy. Nothing rattles you.

You are smart, thoughtful, and very serious. You don't stress out, but you don't take much lightly.



You like to keep to yourself, and you've been called shy - even if you don't consider yourself that way.

You prefer a cozy, quiet life filled with ideas, books, and maybe a few friends.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The hunt for the best mashed potato in Singapore, part 47



I passed by the Mad Jack Cafe along Bt Timah, 6 Duke's Road, on 8 Jul 2009. Noticing that it sells mashed potato, I ordered a plate of Grilled Fish with Honey Lemon Sauce, served with mashed potato and peach salad from Mad Jack Cafe. This costs $8.90 before GST and service charge. If one were to order mashed potato on its own, one serving would costs $3.90.

The mashed potato has a firm and compact texture, yet soft enough. The brown sauce was not overpowering in its taste. It was light, yet has enough flavour to enhance the taste of the mashed potato. The brown sauce was a bit on the peppery side in terms of its taste. Overall, the mashed potato was average, yet good enough for me to consider another trial if I were to visit the Mad Jack Cafe outlet with my mashed-potato-loving friend.

I personally prefer to be given a more generous serving of peach salad. Anyway, since this post is about mashed potato, I shall not comment further on anything else but the mashed potato.

Mad Jack Cafe is a halal establishment. It opened its first outlet in year 2005 in Bukit Timah. That part of Bukit Timah has brought me quite a bit of nostalgia. My Secondary School building was located nearby. When it was school holidays period, I remember having to have lunch nearby that part of Bukit Timah simply because all the canteen-stalls in my Secondary School would be closed during the school holidays.

With this post, I wish my friend to whom this series of posts is dedicated to: delight in nostalgic moments.

***
Mad Jack Cafe's website:
http://www.madjackcafe.com

Monday, August 24, 2009

Serene Centre: During my secondary school days


I seem to have an affinity for the Bukit Timah area. My grandmother lives nearby Serene Centre, and my secondary school's premises used to be nearby Serene Centre too.

When I was a teenager, the indoor playground that used to be in the premises of Serene Centre's MacDonald's outlet was replaced by an area whereby people could hold birthday parties. I hope my memory got this right, did I? Anyway, during the teenage years, I won't have any fancy for the indoor playground even if it were to be there.

As mentioned earlier, my secondary school's building used to be located within walking distance from Serene Centre. If one were to take a slow stroll, it should take about 20 minutes or less to reach Serene Centre from my secondary school's building.

I used to be a member of my secondary school's Chinese Orchestra. If I look back, I think there was much enthuasiasm in me and my peers that we would actually take the trouble to go to school even on school holidays just to attend sectionals and orchestral rehearsals. One of the highlights for me during those school holidays was an occasional visit to the Serene Centre's MacDonald's outlet. We had to find a place outside the school-premises for lunch during the school holidays.

You see, during school holidays, none of the stalls in the school-canteen would be in operation. I can't figure out why during the school holidays, the Chinese Orchestra's sectionals had to be in the morning and the orchestral rehearsals in the afternoon. If I remember correctly, sectionals started as early as 9 a.m. Orchestra rehearsals would start by 2 p.m. Between the sectionals and the rehearsals, we would have about an hour or two for lunch. The lack of facilities selling food in school basically meant that we had to travel out of the school for lunch. Other than the nearby chicken-rice stall that used to sit along King's Road, the MacDonald's outlet at Serene Centre was the next popular choice.

Frankly speaking, I have no particular liking for the burgers or the fries. It was the spirit of camaraderie that I could enjoy when going out with my peers from the Chinese Orchestra that made the visits to Serene Centre one of the highlights of my school holidays. Firstly, it was a rare treat. Secondly, the place was one of the few eating-places in the area back then that was air-conditioned and fairly affordable to students. Thirdly, the people who were my companions added colour and fun to the visit and lunch.

Those were some of the memorable days in my life. The friends and folks who were with us during the growing-up years can in many ways make our lives so much more enriched. Thank goodness for peers who were with me during my teenage years.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Week 34 of year 2009 on the double bass

16 Aug 2009, Sun: The day's practice got me focusing on Berkeley's Introduction and Allegro. I worked on the intonation.

17 Aug 2009, Mon: I worked on Berkeley's Introduction and Allegro to focus on the intonation. Time was also spent working on certain parts of Capuzzi's Concerto in D major. I spent about half-an-hour at least working on sight-reading.

19 Aug 2009, Wed: I took time to practise sight-reading, a few studies, and the programme for the exams.

In the afternoon, I had a rehearsal with the piano accompanist and tutor. My key learning is that I need to work on develop an independent sense of counting so that I can count always. My thanks to my tutor and piano accompanist for their goodwill and patience with me.

20 Aug 2009, Thu: The work on sight-reading got me to realise that I fare a bit better if I play passages that are slow. When I felt the pressure to rush, I needed to work extra hard to stay centered.

Practise wise, I worked on Capuzzi's Concerto in D major with the metronome to work on the rhythm and to get me to learn to develop a steady sense of pulse. To much extent, while trying to do my best to prepare to pass the upcoming music exams, I realised that I have a lot of work to do on improving the fundamentals, as basic as learning to develop a sense of being able to feel the pulse independently.

21 Aug 2009, Fri: I continued to work on sight-reading and practised a few simple studies. The focus of the day's practice was on the first movement of Capuzzi's Concerto in D major. This is so that I can memorise a few challenging passages by heart.

Time was also spent playing Faure's Apres Un Reve to work on the intonation and shifting in positions. I also worked on selected passages from Berkeley's Introduction and Allegro just so as to secure the rhythm.

22 Aug 2009, Sat: I practised selected passages from Capuzzi's Concerto in D major. Afterwhich I also worked on improving my vibrato technique. Subsequently, I practised Marcello's Sonata in G major. My tutor shared that it would help if I could listen to the sound produced when I use the vibrato technique and work towards achieving a 'natural' vibrating tone.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The hunt for the best mashed potato in Singapore, part 46



2 Jun 2009 (Thu): Mashed potato from SOUPerlicious!

I passed by Suntec City and came across SOUPerlicious! This food establishment is known to sell soups, salads and sandwiches. Those were not what had attracted me to step into SOUPerlicious. It was the mashed potato! The very reason was that I was keeping my fingers crossed to get closer to finding the best mashed potato in Singapore.

The mashed potato from SOUPerlicious! that I tried had rather inconsistent texture. Some part felt as if the mashed potato had 'clumped' together. The waitress brought the pre-cooked mashed potato to heat up in the microwave oven after I have placed my order. This makes the mashed potato piping hot, so please be careful when eating it. The mashed potato from this establishment is rather below average. I would think it would be one of my last time eating the mashed potato from this establishment. The brown sauce that went with the mashed potato was a little on the salty side but it was bearable. Each full bowl of mashed potato costs $2.90 before GST and taxes.

The soup stole the show. At the very least, the soup tasted better than the mashed potato. I won't go there specifically for the mashed potato again. Anyway, this post is not intended to review the soup, so I won't do so here.

For folks who wish to know me better, I had a strong love for soup when I was a teenager. My maternal grandmother lived in the same household as me back then and she often prepared clear soups several times a week. Many of the soups that are available from food establishments can't compare to the soup that my grandmother makes since her soups are made with lots of care and love.

With this post, I wish my friend whom I dedicated this series of posts to: kins and friends who love her unconditionally.

***
Where to find SOUPerlicious!
3 Temasek Boulevard #01-152, Suntec City Mall.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Read: You are your choices

Recently, I finished reading Alexandra Stoddard's You are your choices. It is my resolution for the year of 2009 to read at least one book per month. I suppose this resolution could be my choice to ensure that my mind gets at least some nourishment for it to grow and to develop.

I personally find the book an inspiring and nerves-calming read. It was a timely read to much extent as I was hoping to learn more about how to make wiser and good choices for myself as I try to live life in a meaningful and joyful way that is true to myself.

I am hoping to read one or two more of her other books if I could get my hands on them.

Monday, August 17, 2009

People to be grateful for. Part 9



Last Friday, on 14 Aug 2009, I had the honour to meet up with dear Emily for dinner at Altazzag Egyptian Restaurant. The restaurant was located at 24 Haji Lane, Singapore (Tel: 6295 5024). We had passed by this Egyptian Restaurant quite a long while ago when we last visited the Kampong Glam area but we had not eaten there before. We ordered the Altazzag Super Special, and a platter that contains humus and other starters. Many thanks to Emily for her treats to desserts after the dinner, and the lovely postcards that she has got me from her overseas trip.

I am thankful to have a friend in Emily. She is an encouraging desk partner to have. In addition, she would candidly give me pointers to improve my double bass playing. My thanks to her for a great present, Aaron Copland's book titled What to Listen for in Music. It was a book that helped me experience greater enjoyment when listening to music.

I am also deeply grateful to her for being my piano accompanist when I took the ABRSM Grade 8 practical exams. She gave me a lot of pointers and encouragement.

It has been inspiring to listen to Emily's works being presented in public. It got me thinking about how a composer tries to find a medium for self-expression and at the same time, write music that would inspire others. I am glad that I have had the privilege to attend a number of the concerts that present her works over the past few years. That helped me gain more appreciation of contemporary music in general.

Emily is one fun person to explore places with. We had explored pubs and heritage together. I have found it quite insightful to share heritage related issues with Emily.

In the meantime, here's wishing Emily all the very best in her future endeavours.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Week 33 of year 2009 on the double bass

9 Aug 2009, Sun: I started the practice with practising studies. Afterwhich, I worked on the first and second movements of Capuzzi's Concerto in D major

10 Aug 2009, Mon: In the hope to improve intonation, I started with practising studies. There are a lot of fundamentals to work on. I practised Marcello's Sonata in G major, Berkeley's Introduction and Allegro and Faure's Apres Un Reve.

12 Aug 2009, Wed: I spent some time marking the various positions on my double bass. The goal was to help me be familiarised with my instrument. I practised Faure's Apres Un Reve. Marking the positions did help with the intonation to some extent. I also worked on selected movements from the Marcello's Sonata in G major.

13 Aug 2009, Thu: In the morning, I worked on Capuzzi's Concerto in D major. Subsequently, I worked on Faure's Apres Un Reve and Marcello's Sonata in G major.

During my double bass lesson, the time was spent working on Capuzzi's Concerto in D major.

15 Aug 2009, Sat: I worked on sight-reading and needed more work on it! I requested that my tutor could let me work on the fundamentals especially after the exams because that seemed the way to improve my musicianship for I was in need of working on the fundamentals. I also worked on Capuzzi's Concerto in D major, Faure's Apres Un Reve and part of Berkeley's Introduction and Allegro.

My tutor reminded me that the frequency of the vibrato should match the vibration of the bowed strings that the vibrato was played on. More work to be done. I shall consciously choose to remind myself to be kind to myself, yet to constantly strive for precision in rhythm, clarity in articulation and musicality. Wish me all the best please.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Defense Mechanism test




Your Defense Mechanism is Sublimation



Compared to most people, you handle your problems very well.

You're good at channeling negative energy into positive energy. You know how to change your perspective.



You turn bad events into opportunities. You find strength in dealing with your problems.

You are inspired and productive. Some may describe you as a "tortured genius" - but you're not that tortured.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The hunt for the best mashed potato in Singapore, part 45


The hunt for the best mashed potato got me to sampe the mashed potato with bolognaise from MEGAbites Cafe, NUS Science faculty on 18 Jun 2009 (Thu). Each serving costs $2.20 net.

This mashed potato with bolognaise gives a delightful aroma. Credit goes largely to the bolognaise sauce. The bolognaise sauce gives a novel and interesting taste to the mashed potato too.

The mashed potato is however plain average, if not, below average, if tasted on its own. The texture is soft. The mashed potato was lacking in the earthy potato taste. If not for the bolognaise sauce, the mashed potato won't be worth a try. It's an interesting idea that someone would have thought of mashed potato with bolognaise. Improving the mashed potato used will enhance the tasting experience. The food from MEGAbites is halal. This means that the food from this establishment is permissible according to the Islamic laws.

With this post, I wish my friend to whom this series of posts is dedicated to: passion for life.

****
MEGAbites Cafe @ NUS Campus
National University of Singapore , Blk S16,
Level 1, Science Drive 1, Singapore 117541
Tel : (65) 6775 1383
Fax : (65) 6776 1373
http://www.megabites.com.sg

This is a halal food-establishment.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Read: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

On 18 Jul 2009, I watched the movie Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince with a friend. Subsequently, in the hope to have a better appreciation of the plot to come, and to figure out who on Earth R.A.B is, I borrowed J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows from the library.

It took me a while to read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as I was initially trying to figure out whom the various characters were. Frankly speaking, I find it much easier to read non-fiction books than fiction books. Nevertheless, it was quite an entertaining read, and I managed to find the answers to my questions.

Monday, August 10, 2009

My first visit to the Night Safari



I have been contemplating to visit the Singapore Night Safari for quite a long while, and I have finally got to doing so on 9 Aug 2009 (Sun). I have the honour to visit the Night Safari with one of my friends.

My body must have been timed to eat dinner at certain hour. While my initial plan was to catch a light snack while watching the Tribal Dance Performance that was to start at 7 p.m., I ended having dinner instead. My thanks to my friend for her treat to dinner.



The Tribal Dance performers enticed the guests with tribal dances, fire-eating and blowpipe demonstrations. I was pretty impressed with the blowpipe demonstrations for I think the marksmanship was great.

For the rest of the blog post, there will be no more photograph to see. I had decided not to take any photograph for the rest of my visit so that I could dedicate my energy to observe and to learn about the nocturnal animals in their various habitats. Furthermore, the Night Safari requests all visitors not to use flash photography. This is for safety reasons as flash photography may blind the nocturnal animals.

During our visit, I was impressed with one gentleman who stepped forward to remind a fellow guests not to use flash photography. Perhaps our society would have been more civic-minded if we each muster the courage to take responsibility and effort to remind gently yet firmly others of the important ground rules to respect?

Back to the Night Safari visit, my friend and I started off with the walking trail. Initially, it took a while for my eyes to accustom themselves to seeing in the dark night. Things got better as my eyes got used to viewing the animals in the dark. We saw animals such as the mousedeer, the otter and the Pangolin.

Interestingly, I had a pleasant surprise to see a photo of one of my ex-classmate when I was reading through the exhibition panels on a research about Pangolin. I found out that the Pangolin have large keratin scales covering their skin. As some Chinese believed that the Pangolin's scales have medicinal properties while others consider Pangolin's meat as a delicacy, the Pangolin have been hunted and their existence have been threatened. The various exhibition panels helped guests like myself gain a better appreciation of conservation issues.

During the visit, I had the privilege to get very close to a Slow Loris. It made movements that were slow and deliberate. Interestingly, I learnt that adorable looking creatures like the Slow Loris actually can produce a venom to use against its enemies.

I also saw porcupines live! It was fascinating to see how the porcupine appears to increase its size visually when it raised its needle-like quills.

After completing the walking trail, my friend and I took the 45 minutes tram ride. This tram ride comes with a live commentary and that greatly enhances our knowledge of the various animals. My thanks to msfeline for her tips and strong recommendations to take the tram ride. The tram ride took guests to parts of the Night Safari which would not be accessible to visitors who took the walking trail. The tram ride allowed guests to see animals such as the lions, the elephants, the Malayan Tapirs and the Flamingoes. I had the privilege to be pretty close to the Malayan Tapirs and a couple of deers while I was on the tram.

One thing that I have learnt from the tram ride was that the striped hyena is a scavenger, but the spotted hyena is a predator. Many thanks to the guide on the tram ride for her well-prepared commentary. Like msfeline had recommended to me, I too agree it will be a great idea to take the tram ride when one visits the Singapore Night Safari. Do check out the walking trails too. The walking trails enable guests to take their own pace to observe the various animals.

For more information on visitors' information, please visit the Night Safari's website: http://www.nightsafari.com.sg.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Week 32 of year 2009 on the double bass

2 Aug 2009, Sun: I put on new strings on my double bass. I practised Faure's Apres Un Reve. The goal was to achieve a warm, singing tone while playing on the new set of Pirastro Original Flat Chrome strings.

3 Aug 2009, Mon: I practised Faure's Sicilienne as I was in the mood to play anything that would be outside my exams' programme.

5 Aug 2009, Wed: I worked on Berkeley's Introduction and Allegro other than working on some quick studies.

6 Aug 2009, Thu: During the double bass lesson, I worked on Faure's Apres Un Reve to focus on improving the intonation. Of course, working on quick studies and sight-reading remained one of the things to do for the practice.

8 Aug 2009, Sat: I practised the first movement of Capuzzi's Concerto in D major with the metronome in the morning. The goal was to improve rhythm. Sight-reading was another component of my practices these days.

In the evening, I practised Marcello's Sonata in G major. More work is needed to improve the intonation.

**
May each practice be good enough to lead me towards my goal of improving my musicality.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

A Visit to West Coast Park



There are parts of Singapore I have yet to explore so I suppose I will never run out of new places to visit in Singapore. Quite a while ago, on 6 Jun 2009, I made a trip to West Coast Park in the hope of enjoying some sea-breeze.

Personally, I think I would prefer the rocky beaches of Labrador Park than West Coast Park. Nevertheless, it was still a pleasant visit to West Coast Park. I enjoyed just standing at one of the look-out points to enjoy the sea-breeze. If not for the bright sunlight that was almost scorching-hot, I would probably have spent at least an hour at the look-out.

Interestingly, West Coast Park is fairly near my alma mater, the university, yet I have not visited it when I was a student of the university. I must have been in a mood for walking that after my visit to the West Coast Park, I walked from the park through Clementi Woods Park to the university. It was quite a bit of a walk yet I was glad that I had fulfilled my objectives of getting some fresh air and being close to Nature.




For directions to get to West Coast Park, please click on this link.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The hunt for the best mashed potato in Singapore, part 44



24 Jul 2009: After work, I headed to Vittles. It was about 10 minutes walk from my office. The reason for checking out Vittles was because I have found out that Vittles serves mashed potato!

After much thinking, I ordered the Parmesan Coated Fish Fillet (Dory Fish coated with Parmesan Cheese), with mashed potato and mixed veggies. This set will costs $9.90 with the reduced pricing. In addition, I ordered the gratinated potato that costs $1.50 per serving. The gratinated potato is actually sliced potato with gratinated cheese. It is a delightful and interesting side-dish that one will normally not get in most restaurants.

Vittles has reduced its pricing from 15% to 25% since the beginning of the year to help its customers cope with the economic recession. I think it is a thoughtful and generous gesture.

The mashed potato has an above-average taste. While its texture is not entirely consistent, I like the texture for its unpretentious, natural and earthly characteristics. Certainly, this mashed potato will not be made from instant mashed potato flakes. This place is one that serves mashed potato made from real potato!

The sauce that went with the mashed potato enhances the flavour of the mashed potato. It reminded me of chicken-stock flavour that is delightful and light in taste.

The main dish, i.e. the Parmesan Coated Fish Fillet adds interest to the palate. It is an innovative and good idea to coat the dory with Parmesan cheese. It adds an interesting flavour to the dory fillet. The tomato salsa adds a tinge of refreshing flavour to the fish. Food blog, ieatishootipost, has written a review of Vittles, and it is worth a read.

The mashed potato is above average, and while it is not the best in Singapore, I will be happy to return to Vittles for the mashed potato because of its good food, affordable pricing, and thoughtful services. Furthermore, there is free-flow pop-corns and ice-water for every customers. The place has a generally cosy and peaceful ambience. Vittles is a place which I would think would deserve our patronage.

With this post, I wish my friend to whom this series of posts is dedicated to: Deservingly, the very best in life!

***
Vittles:

369 Sembawang Road,
#01-05
Singapore 758382
Tel: 6756 1138

Website:
http://www.vittles-sg.blogspot.com
http://www.vittles.com.sg/index.html

Operating Hours are as follows:

Sun to Thurs : 12:00 am to 10:00 pm
Fri, Sat & Eve of Public Holidays : 12:00 am to 11:00 pm

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The test

May my life be a journey to learn to live life on my own terms while looking out for that special someone whom I can journey through Life together?



You Love Being Single



In general, you're very happy being single.

You like doing your own thing, and you're happy not to have to compromise.

You're not opposed to being attached, but you're not going to settle.

Someone else should your enhance your life, and you're happy to wait for that person.

Monday, August 03, 2009

From Hort Park to Kent Ridge Park



On 19 Jun 2009, I found my way to Hort Park after a leisure walk from Mount Faber. After a short visit at Hort Park, I headed for Kent Ridge Park. The challenge was this, although there were some directional signs, I could not find a map that would show me the shortest route to Kent Ridge Park. That day, I had to rely on my intuitions and some good guesses to find my way to Kent Ridge Park. Thank goodness that after some attempts, I managed to find my way from Hort Park to Kent Ridge Park.

Compared to Henderson Waves, the Forest Walk and HortPark, Kent Ridge Park appeared relatively much quieter and drew less crowd after the noon-hour that day. I felt I was almost all alone by myself when I explored Kent Ridge Park. Anyway, I knew I wasn't really alone when I caught sight of beautiful butterflies and colourful birds as I walked towards the Canopy Walk located in the premises of Kent Ridge Park.




The tranquil environment of Kent Ridge Park offered me the needed space to reflect and to just enjoy the moments.

There is one look-out point at Kent Ridge that offered lovely views of the off-shore islands. I had wanted to spend my time there just admiring at the skies. However, I felt a little hungry for lunch and the dark clouds suggested that there might be a rain. As such, I decided to just spend a few moments enjoying the sea-view before heading towards the Canopy Walk that would lead me to the Reflections at Bt Chandu.


Magnificent view of off-shore islands from one of the look-out points.





Canopy Walk is a walk-way that links Kent Ridge Park to Reflections at Bt Chandu. It offered me a chance to be very close to the wildlife and plants of Kent Ridge Park. While there was no air-conditioning, it was a refreshing walk for the body and the mind. I felt glad that I had decided to go for that long walk from Mount Faber to Kent Ridge Park.

Soon, I reached a clearing that would lead me to the Reflections at Bt Chandu. This is a Interpretative Centre that commemorates "the gallantry and sacrifice of the 1st and 2nd Battalion Malay Regiment who defended the western sector of Singapore in Feb 1942."

I spent some moments at the Reflections at Bt Chandu. It rained when I was about to leave the museum, so I spent some time at the ground level of the centre reading a book. It was quite a pleasant time trying to while time away while waiting for the rain to stop.

If you are keen to take a walk along the Southern Ridges, from West Coast Park to HarbourFront, you may wish to read the blog-post Southern Ridges Visual Guide (west Coast Park to HarbourFront) by acroamatic.

In the meantime, I shall end this post with a photograph taken at the Reflections at Bt Chandu.


Sunday, August 02, 2009

Week 31 of year 2009 on the double bass

26 Jul 2009, Sun: I practised the first and second movements of Capuzzi's Concerto in D major with the focus in mind to develop a steady pulse and a better sense of rhythm.

27 Jul 2009, Mon: I practised some studies and orchestral-excerpts. Hopefully, such practices could help me sight-read better. I also played the first movement of Eccle's Sonata in g minor.

Before I end the practice for the day, I worked on selected passages from the first movement of Capuzzi's Concerto in D major with the metronome.

29 Jul 2009, Wed: I worked on the second movement of Capuzzi's Concerto in D major with the metronome. The focus was on improving intonation and rhythm. Following which I practised Lennox Berkeley's Introduction and Allegro

30 Jul 2009, Thu: This could be a mistakes-surfacing day. What would go wrong would go wrong! During the double bass lesson, I worked entirely on Marcello's Sonata in G major. It was strange, my intonation went rather out of hand during the lesson at passages where I used not to have much problem. Furthermore, I had cramps on my arms while playing a particular fast passages.

During the evening when I worked on quick-studies, my attempts felt as if I was merely sight-reading. I needed to feel more confident with my quick-studies.

My double bass tutor suggested that I practised even longer hours for the next month so that by the month of the exams, I could just cut down on my hours of practice so as to relax more. In essence, I need very much to pick myself up again.

1 Aug 2009, Sat: I worked through Marcello's Sonata in G major with the metronome to strive for precision in the rhythm. I also worked on the vibrato technique.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Overcoming a challenging structure to sketch



Today in the afternoon, I went out to chill and relax. Sketching became my choice activity for I've found it therapeutic to observe and to sketch. Well, since I have been feeling rather stressed and being too preoccupied about the upcoming music exams, I decided I could do myself a favour by taking a break to do something different. I suppose it would help me find some new inspirations for my music.

I attempted to do a sketch and study of Ion Orchard. I made three attempts to sketch this building. The first two attempts were done with pencil and weren't satisfactory. After my second attempt, I almost wanted to give up because it was not an easy building to sketch. Anyway, I am glad that I had persevered. At the very least, I have learnt to observe and to sketch something new today.

It's not a good sketch, but at least I have managed to come up with something decent enough. More importantly, I overcame the initial self-doubts about sketching this building.




After the sketch, I met a friend for dinner and to catch up. Many thanks to my friend for her treat to dinner.