Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sketching, sketching and more sketching

Posted by Hello I was sketching from behind the trees in the background.

I have bought for myself a smaller sketch book today. For the past few days and weeks, I have been needing a mood lighten very much. I would like to seek more care and guidance. I reckon it may be best to start off by lending care to myself by doing something that I like. I chose to sketch.

It was therapeutic to sketch. At the very least, sketching has helped to shift my mind to focus on creating a nice enough image.

Today, I did four different sketches in the early afternoon. Much of the time was spent walking. Hopefully I would feel better soon.

I wish I could find some guidance to the quest that I am now seeking. Wish me good luck please.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sharing a snapshot from Singapore

On 24 Oct 2009, I was walking across Coleman Bridge. The weather was good that night. I managed to get a snapshot of Elgin Bridge. I hope you may like this snapshot from Singapore. I like the reflections of the lights on the waters of the Singapore River.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The hunt for the best mashed potato in Singapore, part 55

On 23 Aug 2009 (Sun), I was so keen to continue to hunt for the best mashed potato in Singapore, I ended up at Werner's Oven.

The menu did not stated that the mashed potato is available on its own. Anyway, since I was hungry for lunch, I ordered the crispy pork knuckle served with mashed potato & sauerkraut. This costs $21.50 before GST. There's no service charge here. The set proved to be too large a serving for yours truly, particularly because I haven't been eating so much red meat for a long time!

The crispy texture of the pork knuckles is a good contrast to the soft and fluffy texture of the mashed potato. The mashed potato is made from real potato and not potato flakes, this I have learnt to tell after trying out so many mashed potato. The mashed potato has a pleasant tinge of sour flavour which reminded me of the taste of sweet mustard. I suppose butter had been added to achieve the creamy and buttery texture and taste.

Personally for me, I find the pork knuckles too heavy in serving for me. After having a few bites of it, I felt I had enough of the pork knuckles. The mashed potato as a side dish surprisingly refreshed the palate after eating too much pork knuckles. Frankly speaking, the pork knuckles here were crispy and juicy. However, I simply am not fond of eating too much red meat nowadays. It may be a long time before I would eat so much pork knuckle on my own.

The mashed potato from Werner's Oven is quite a delightful side-dish. I asked the waiter, and he shared that although it is not listed as an item on the menu, one could order the mashed potato as a special order!

With this post, I wish my friend to whom this series of posts is dedicated to: the wisdom to make good choices.

Werner's Oven
6 Upper East Coast Road,
Singapore 455200,
Tel: 64423897.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I think best outdoors

Going out to Nature or for a good walk about Singapore can be great for the mind. Nature inspires. I ask for care and guidance.

You Think Best Outdoors

In order to be able to think, you need to clear your head. And in order to clear your head, you have to get moving.

There's nothing like getting your heart pumping and breathing fresh air to drive you to greatness. Exercising outdoors makes you feel on top of the world.

There's nothing more awe inspiring than the beauties and challenges of nature. Being outside really puts your life in perspective.

You feel powerful when you're moving through a natural setting. You're more likely to think boldly and trust your instincts.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Week 43 of year 2009 on the double bass

18 Oct 2009, Sun: I sight-read study no. 33 and 34 from Yorke Solos for Double Bass Volume 1.

19 Oct 2009, Mon: After practising scales, I worked on a few studies from Bottesini's Method for Double Bass Part One. After that, in the mood to play more melodic lines, I attempted the first and second movements from Eccles' Sonata in g minor.

21 Oct 2009, Wed: I was given medical leave for the day. I decided to go slow and worked on a few studies from Bottesini's Method for Double Bass Part One. Afterwhich, I played the first movement from Eccles' Sonata in g minor.

22 Oct 2009, Thu: Much of the double bass lesson was dedicated to working on Eccles' Sonata in g minor. I have a feeling that my tutor was trying to guide me to develop a ear to play a musical phrase in the most musically pleasing way.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Read: In the presence of high beings: What dolphins want you to know

I have just finished reading the book In the presence of high beings: What Dolphins what you to know written by Bobbie Sandoz-Merrill. Lovers of dolphins and whales will especially find it a compelling and interesting read.

I have never seen a dolphin in the wild yet. After reading the book, I found myself hoping to have the opportunities to see dolphins at some point in my life.

In this book, the author shares with us about her personal experiences with the dolphins. In addition, she shared her thoughts about what she believes could be the dolphin's unique formula for rapidly attaining a high level of joy. To much extent, I think that they are indeed a number of ways in which we, human beings, can learn from the dolphins.

Reading this book reminded me how important it is to steer away from doubts, and to focus on our dreams, while being attractive to our dreams. One of the insights that I thought was most powerful was that of playing while we wait for our dreams to arrive. I suppose it was a reminder to myself to stay hopeful yet continue to find joy and to play while waiting for dreams to be realised.

The book also covers an important part to alert us mankind to the lethal harms of military sonar. We can do our part for the lives in the ocean if we could lobby for the use of military sonar to stop. I have found one link on this topic if you would like more reading:

Most importantly, after reading the book, I think we can learn from the dolphins to be more joyful and loving. I am still learning.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The hunt for the best mashed potato in Singapore, part 54

It was 22 Aug 2009, and I decided to continue my hunt for the best mashed potato in Singapore. A search up the various food directories got me to check out the Uno Beef House.

The mashed potato from Uno Beef House is shaped into a ball, lightly coated with crumbs and lightly fried. It is made of real mashed potato. The sign said that the mashed potato is sold at $0.70 'per additional serving' and since I was too full to have dinner at Uno Beef House, I ordered the apple salad to go with it. I didn't think it was appropriate to just order a mashed potato ball from the stall as the wordings had stated "additional mashed potato at $0.70 each". I figured it would be proper if I had ordered something else in addition to the mashed potato?

The serving of each mashed potato ball may not make a person full, but the taste of the real mashed potato that has a crispy thin outer fried layer gave a delightful texture. Just imagine, crispy on the outside, soft and warm on the inside. In general, I noticed that the mashed potato comes at no additional charge with the most of the grilled items.

By the way, this place is well known for its affordable and delicious Western food.

Please check the map for proper directions before visiting this place. Out of sheer wish to be spontaneous, I did not check the map (which is not the norm for me) and I of course ended up doing a lot of walking (about 45 minutes) just to figure out the exact location of Blk 51 Toa Payoh where Uno Beef House is located.

With this post, I pray that my friend enjoys the joy and good fortune of being spontaneous.


Block 51 Toa Payoh Lorong 5, 01-60
Tel: 9677-6007
Open: 12.30 to 11pm, closed on alternate Wednesdays.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Breakfast with Mystic, Part 2

Friends open us to new experiences and learning opportunities. On 18 Oct 2009, about three months after my last breakfast with Mystic, Mystic drove me to Dempsey Hill for breakfast together. I went along with the flow and followed her suggestions to try out the breakfast at Jones the Grocer.

We ordered the English Breakfast Set and the pancakes. I can't remember the full names of the dishes. Whatever it is, I was delighted by the tall ceilings at Jones the Grocer. The outlet is located in a pre-war building. The building used to be part of a former British army barracks.

The concept behind Jones the Grocer is interesting. The cafe operates in the same premise as the grocery. I later found out that the use of the long tables at Jones the Grocer was intended to create a sense of community. Many of the ingredients used in the food served at the cafe are also available for purchase at the grocery.

The English breakfast set was good enough. However, I have been watching my diet to minimise my intake of pork and red-meat. As such, it is unlikely that I would go back to Jones the Grocer for more English breakfast set. The eggs and the tomato were good. I find the rest of the items to be average. Maybe it was because I just do not have an appetite for red-meat nowadays?

The pancakes tasted good and they have a nice puffy texture. I find it a little too sweet for my liking yet it was worth to try it at least once.

Whatever the food may be, it was the company of good friends that matter most at the end of the day. Many thanks to Mystic for having breakfast with me at Jones the Grocer.

Jones the Grocer
Location: Blk 9 #01–12
Dempsey Road
Open: Mon 9:30am - 6:00pm
Tue - Fri 9:30am - 11:00pm
Sat - Sun 9:00am - 11:00pm
Tel: (65) 6476 1512

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Week 42 of year 2009 on the double bass

11 Oct 2009, Sun: I sight-read study no. 30 to 32 from Yorke Solos for Double Bass Volume 1. I had attempted study no. 33 but decided I shall work on it another time.

The rest of the practice was spent playing Capuzzi's Concerto in D major.

12 Oct 2009, Mon: I played the G major scales on the double bass. Afterwhich, time was spent playing Eccles' Sonata in g minor. I may have to take a break from double bass playing for a week just to rest physically.

14 Oct 2009, Wed: I went for orchestra rehearsal. The rehearsal got the orchestra rehearsing Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Overture and reading the first movement of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4. I think to some extent, my body found relief and therapy in the turmoils of the music rehearsed. Somehow, I felt a moment of relief from the baggage of the days. Perhaps that is why many say that music has healing powers and is therapeutic?

15 Oct 2009, Thu: During the double bass lesson, I started with playing scales while focusing on achieving a focused and warm tone. My tutor showed me that I could play the bow by holding it in the middle for just a while, so as to help my hand find a better way to hold the bow with greater balance. Afterwhich, I played a study and then worked on Eccles' Sonata in g minor. The entire lesson worked on phrasing, sound quality, use of the right hand, vibrato and many more.

17 Oct 2009, Sat: I practised scales and then played through Faure's Apres Un Reve and the double bass parts from Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Five years of blogging

I had realised sometime ago that this year marks my fifth year in blogging. On a fine day on 16 Sep 2004, slightly more than five years ago, I was on medical leave to heal from a surgical removal of two wisdom teeth.

Along the way, I realised that there have been a few major changes to the topics that I blog about. One of my dear friends, Mystic, had commented ages ago that she had found my earliest posts in need to be more accessible to read.

Subequently, I have found joy in sharing about the various places that I visit. Sight-seeing was a pleasure. The joy is doubled when I could share some of the beautiful visual moments from my sight-seeing trips with people through the internet. I hope you would find some beauty through the photos from my trips that I have posted.

In the year 2006, I was honoured to be given the chance to be one of the Friends of In the hope to share the joy of visiting a museum and heritage places with the online community, I started making a little more efforts to pen my thoughts and experiences down through blogging when I write about such topics.

Thanks to blogging, I have the pleasure to meet a number of wonderful people. To all my readers and friends I've got to know through reading, thank you for enriching my blogging experiences through your friendship and encouragement.

Fast forward to the year 2008, a meaningful and rejuvenating visit to Australia got me to decide to be conscious to choose to spread positive energy through all my blogs that were accessible to others. The credit goes to one of my friends, XS, for she was the one who had inspired me to make this conscious choice.

Right now, I have blogged for five years. My priorities have changed over the five years and that in some ways show through my posts. Whatever it is, this blog continues to serve to be a window to part of my inner world. Of course, you would have realised by now that I have a liking for personality tests.

Last but not the least, I wish you good health and happiness. May you find joy in spreading some good-will and encouragement through your blogs too.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Egg test

Maybe the results of this test help give me a clue why one of my good friends, Mystic, often described me as being "straight as a ruler".

You Are a Hard Boiled Egg

You are down to earth and hard to rattle. You have a good head on your shoulders.

You can be a bit stubborn at times, and your determination has only paid off for you.

You are straight with people, and you expect them to be straight with you in return.

You are very no nonsense. You don't have time for pettiness or drama.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The hunt for the best mashed potato in Singapore, part 53

I visited Tony Roma's to try its mashed potato on 16 Aug 2009. I could say that its mashed potato is worth a try. Made from good tasting real potatoes, Tony Roma's mashed potato comes with shreds of cheese and fried bacon bits on its top. These toppings add flavour, colour and texture to the mashed potato and makes it a tasty one. The mashed potato has a buttery flavour, thanks to the dash of butter that's added to it.

I had ordered a take-away mashed potato as I realised I was solely interested in eating the mashed potato and not the other items. A take-away would help free up one space at the restaurant on a busy weekend.

Each serving of mashed potato is $4.90 before taxes. The serving is reasonably small and good enough for one person with a small appetite. For its size, I suppose I would get one serving of mashed potato per person. It is certain not meant to be shared. It makes a good choice as one of the items for a picnic.

May my friend to whom this series of hunt for the best mashed potato in Singapore is dedicated to receive the blessings and good wishes that comes with each and every single dedication. With this post, I wish my friend, faith in life.

Tony Roma's Singapore

442 Orchard Road #01-04/05
Orchard Hotel Shopping Arcade
Singapore 238879
Tel: (65) 6738 8600

3 Temasek Boulevard #B1-007
Suntec City Mall
Singapore 038983
Tel: (65) 6337 9055

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Enjoy a meal with live Chinese instrumental music

Last Saturday, I was at City Vibe located nearby the Clementi MRT station. Most eating places in Singapore that provide live music usually use performers of Western instrumental music. As best as I am aware, places that provide live music usually get the service of performers who play one or more of the following instruments: piano, guitar, and violin.

What if one would like to enjoy a meal while listening to live Chinese instrumental music?

I have one answer to the above question. At the Uncle Sam's Claypots restaurant at City Vibe, #02-11/12, one could enjoy Chinese cuisine and various meals cooked using claypots while listening to Chinese instrumental music played on the yangqin.

The yangqin is a Chinese hammered dulcimer. Its origin is believed to be from Central Asia. Mallets are used to strike the strings of the yangqin so as to produce the music.

The combination between claypot-meals and Chinese instrumental music worked pretty well. The balance of the music was good for a restaurant setting. One could enjoy listening to the music played at a moderate and comfortable volume. Having live music played by a Chinese instrument adds a refine ambience to the dining experience at the claypot restaurant serving Chinese food.

Claypot Ipoh Hor Fun

If you ask me what food I would recommend, I will be biased to suggest the vegetables and the claypot Ipoh Hor Fun. Firstly, I love vegetables and I must say that the vegetables at Uncle Sam's Claypots is fresh and tasty. Next, I personally prefer claypot rice whereby the rice has a crusty and hard texture. The claypot rice dishes at Uncle Sam's Claypots did not quite fit with my preferences when I ate there on a separate occasion. I am however not insistent for claypot Hor Fun to have a hard and crusty texture. That makes the claypot Ipoh Hor Fun and its nice tasting sauce win my vote.

My reliable source says that unless the restaurant decides to change its mind about providing live Chinese instrumental music, diners at the Uncle Sam's Claypots can look forward to listening to live music played on the yangqin at the following times:

From Mondays to Saturdays:
12.00 p.m. - 2.00 p.m. and 7.00 p.m. - 9.30 p.m.
Uncle Sam's Claypots
3151 Commonwealth Ave West
#02-11/12 CityVibe
Tel: 6778 3088

By the way, I had specially went to have my dinner at Uncle Sam's Claypots last Saturday because I was there to support my friend who was the yangqin performer.

If you would like to enjoy the experience of listening to live Chinese instrumental music while enjoying Chinese cuisine, I hope that this post points you to one possible place to check out.

Week 41 of year 2009 on the double bass

4 Oct 2009, Sun: I sight-read studies No. 18 to No. 22 from Yorke Solos for Double Bass Volume 1. I also practised Study No. 110 from Bottesini's Method for Double Bass. The rest of the time was spent practising a few scales and Eccles'Sonata in G minor. I need more passion and focus.

5 Oct 2009, Mon: I practised Bb major scales to work on achieving a rich and full tone. I practised Study No. 110 from Bottesini's Method for Double Bass to work on technical aspects.

Afterwhich, I played Eccles' Sonata in G minor more to familiarise my fingers with the various positions on the double bass. I then worked on the third movement of Capuzzi's Concerto in D major focusing on playing by sight the various sequences of running notes in the movement.

7 Oct 2009, Wed: I practised Bb major scales to continue to work on achieving a full tone. Afterwhich, I sight-read studies No. 23 to No. 27 from Yorke Solos for Double Bass Volume 1.

I then spent time practising Capuzzi's Concerto in D major for it was an entertaining work to play.

8 Oct 2009, Thu: I love the sound of the double bass especially after my tutor shared with me a couple of strategies to achieve a more round and sweet sound on the double bass.

The lesson was simple, merely focusing on the first movement of Eccles' Sonata in g minor and the various ways to achieve a sweet sound on the double bass.

10 Oct 2009, Sat: I sight-read studies No. 28 to 30 from Yorke Solos for Double Bass Volume 1, and then tried reading the first movement from Cimandor's Concerto in G Major. The rest of the time was spent playing scales and working on the first movement from Eccle's Sonata in g minor.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Choosing Happiness, part 4

I have just finished reading Stephanie Dowrick's Choosing Happiness: Life and Soul Essentials, and I shall continue my humble project to blog about some of my learning points from the book.

This is a joy-inducing book to read, and I am grateful that I have found the time needed to read it from cover to cover. After reading the book, I have a better idea how happiness can indeed be a choice.

What does it take to be happy then?

The author, Stephanie Dowrick, gave a list of suggestions that can help make happiness easily available to anyone. I will attempt to list some of her suggestions that I have found worthwhile to share:

- Think well of ourselves. Give ourselves plenty of reasons to do so. When we let ourself down, learn something, make the change that's needed - and move on.

- Pay attention to what's uplifting - and be uplifted!

- Think and speak positively about ourselves and others.

- Choose work that supports one's integrity.

- Give time and attention to our close relationships.

- Be the friend we would most like to have.

- Practise kindness. Live kindly.

- On a daily basis, relish the wonders of nature.

Spread the happiness spirit. If you have anything you have found useful to make you experience happiness, share with us through your comments. Or, you could pick the book, read and learn.

And after reading this book, I could better realised what had made my dear friend, XS, experience joy from within such that she sang one of the most lovely and joyful tunes when she drove me about Sydney in her car. With this post, I pray for happiness to be with her each and every moment.

Best wishes XS. I thank you for being the friend who pointed out to me that happiness can be a choice.

Entries in the series:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Friday, October 09, 2009

Having Dunkin Donuts with Mystic

Thank goodness for good friends. They can make ordinary meals seem so full of cheers, joy and good humour.

On 5 Oct 2009, I went out with one of my good friends, Mystic, for dinner. After dinner, we had a tour about part of the Orchard area. Mystic was very kind to accompany me to look for a book at various bookstores. It turned out that the following bookstores, Prologue, Borders Singapore, and Kinokuniya, did not have any stock of the book that I had wanted.

Anyway, we ended up having dessert and a chat in the night at the Dunkin Donuts outlet at Ion Orchard. We ordered the following donuts: Apple, Nutty Chocolate and Boston Cream. Mystic liked the custard filling in the Boston Cream donut. I personally prefered the nutty chocolate for its nutty taste.

Both Mystic and myself agreed that the apple filling in the Apple donut reminded us of the apple-filling in MacDonalds' apple-pie. The taste of the apple filling was acceptable, just that it felt ordinary.

Mystic wanted to know who were the developers of Ion Orchard. If I have got it correct, Ion Orchard is a joint development by CapitaLand and Sun Hung Kai Properties.

Well, it seemed that Mystic has such a love for food, I would end up reviewing food when I am with Mystic. I may have to seriously consider if I should start a new series of posts entitled Meals with Mystic whenever I have meals together with Mystic.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The hunt for the best mashed potato in Singapore, part 52

3 Aug 2009, Mon: An anonymous informant shared with me on a comment to one of my posts of this series about a food establishment called Potato Farmland that is located in Yishun. That kept me thinking about reviewing the mashed potatao there for the entire workday, so I attended to the thought by visiting Potato Farmland after my work day.

I ordered the Mash 'n' Spuds. It costs $3 per serving. Basically, it is French fries served with a topping of mashed potato with gravy. Here is where one can find good tasting potatoes at an affordable price.

According to the website, Potato Farmland uses carefully selected Russet potatoes and some Holland Coliban potatoes. Indeed the mashed potato was made of good tasting potatoes. That applied to the crispy French Fries that was served with the mashed potato. The French Fries added a bit of crispy texture to the dish. It was the first time in Singapore that I saw mashed potato served with French Fries.

The gravy reminded me of the taste of a mild form of black pepper sauce. The gravy enhanced the flavour of the mashed potato. While there seemed to be no butter added to the mashed potato, the good tasting mashed potato was good on its own. There were some bits of chicken ham slices with the mashed potato.

I found out from one of the staff that the mashed potato that was used for the Mash 'n' Spuds is the same mashed potato that is used for Potato Farmland's other dish: hand-whipped potato. The Hand-whipped potato costs $1.50 per serving. I went back to Potato Farmland on 21 Aug 2009 to try its hand-whipped potato. My conclusion is that the mashed potato that is used for the Mash 'n' Spuds is the same mashed potato used for the hand-whipped potato.

The hand-whipped potato.

With this post, I wish my friend to whom this series of posts is dedicated to: dreams come true.

Potato Farmland:

Blk 239 Yishun Ring Rd, #01-1152, Singapore 760239.
Opening hours: 11.30 a.m. - 9 p.m. Daily. Closed on 1st and 3rd Sundays.


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Adventure test

I am hoping for a long enough break, perhaps for two months or so. It will be lovely if I get a sponsorship to travel on my own and do some travel-writing on the side. How do I get closer to a sponsored travel about Europe?

You Crave a Cultural Adventure

Life has gotten a bit routine for you lately, and you'd like to broaden your perspective.

You want to learn and grow from your adventure. You want to know the place you visit as well as your home town.

You are an open minded and curious traveler. You're all about immersing yourself in local customs, no matter how foreign they are.

Whenever you're in a new place, you try to speak the language, eat the food, and meet the locals. After all, that's what traveling is all about!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Choosing Happiness, part 3

This post is part of a humble project that I had started a while ago. In appreciation to my friend, XS, who have introduced me to the concept that happiness is a choice, this series of posts is specially dedicated to her. May happiness and joy be with her.

I have been focused on reading Stephanie Dowrick's Choosing Happiness: Life and Soul Essentials such that I have managed to read about 90% of the book by the time that this post was written.

There is a chapter entitled Build Self-Respect, and I would like to share this section titled Turn a Difficult Situation Around. The author suggests that self-respect is gained when a person turns a difficult situation around.

I have found some of the questions that the author has suggested that we ask ourselves when we are in a difficult situation to be useful. Here's to share:
- What can I learn from this situation?
- What past experiences can I draw on?
- What values and qualities do I need to help me?
- How am I going to put those qualities into practice?
- What question am I not asking?
- What issue am I not seeing?

And if you have found some of these questions to be useful, do pick up this book and have a good read. I think it is better to read the various strategies in their proper context.

Entries in the series:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Week 40 of year 2009 on the double bass

27 Sep 2009, Sun: I played the second movement from Dittersdorf's Second Double Bass Concerto. In efforts to improve quick study skills, I have now embarked on a project to sight-read the exercises from Yorke Solos for Double Bass Volume 1 from the first exercise to the last. I managed to study the first to the sixth exercises, focusing on ensuring that I have got the rhythm, intonation and dynamics right.

28 Sep 2009, Mon: In the night, after a long day at work, I was glad to find myself loving the sounds from my double bass. I hope to practise on it for more hours so as to learn to bring out the beautiful sound of my dear double bass (the new hubby).

I practised the second movement from Dittersdorf's Second Double Bass Concerto and found myself needing some help with the cadenza section. Nevertheless, dear double bass sound beautiful when played in the peaceful hours of the night.

After that, I worked through the third movement of Capuzzi's Concerto in D major. Hopefully I could play this entire complete one day. I love the sound of my double bass!

30 Sep 2009, Wed: During the orchestra rehearsal, the orchestra rehearsed Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique. It was technically and musically challenging. I would probably need more practice!

1 Oct 2009, Thu: New hubby is very charming to play on. He has a lovely sound.

I continued on my project of sight-reading from Yorke Solos for Double Bass Volume 1, and I covered the studies from No. 7 to No. 13.

Afterwhich, I played through the first and second movements of Eccles' Sonata in G minor.

3 Oct 2009, Sat: Before my double bass lesson, I sight-read from Yorke Solos for Double Bass Volume 1, and I covered the studies from No. 14 to No. 18. Afterwhich, I worked on Eccles' Sonata in G minor.

During the double bass lesson, my tutor urged me to work on scales and focus on achieving a good sound. The rest of the entire lesson was spent practising just the first half of the first movement of Eccles' Sonata in G minor.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

The Mid Autumn Festival at Hua Song Museum

Many thanks to the National Heritage Board, I was one of the folks who were invited to the private party, By the Light of the Lanterns, held on 2 Oct 2009 at the Hua Song Museum.

Hua Song, means "in praise of the Chinese". The museum which is located in the new wing of Haw Par Villa, "offers visitors the chance to appreciate the spirit of adventure and enterprise of the early Chinese migrants around the world, who made countless sacrifices, seized opportunities amidst adversity, showed great fortitude and industry to make good in their adopted land." (source:

Participants of the party, By the Light of the Lanterns, could challenge their mind by attempting to solve the Chinese lantern riddles found on strips of paper that were hung from selected lanterns. Admittedly, I have found the riddles to be very challenging. Participants will find the riddles easier to solve if they were to have very strong knowledge of the Chinese culture and Chinese idioms. I managed to solve two of the riddles only and won myself two prizes.

Mooncakes seem to be the must-have for any Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations. At the party, one could find various types of mooncakes, from snow-skin to the traditional ones. There was even a demonstration of how to make snow-skin mooncakes.

The party also gave participants a chance to know a little more about the art of Chinese calligraphy. Participants could enjoy watching a Chinese calligraphy master demonstrating the art of Chinese calligraphy.

For the participants who want to get their hands a creative work-out, they could make their own lanterns using the colourful papers that were provided at the event. I wonder why people in Singapore associate lanterns with Mid-Autumn Festival. Anyone could please enlighten?

There was a special guided tour of the Hua Song Museum. I gave it a miss for I was feeling in need of some early rest after a demanding week. For the readers who have never visited Hua Song Museum and wanted to catch a few glimpses of the museum, do check out a post that I had written quite a long while ago: In praise of the Chinese.

In the meantime, have a joyful Mid Autumn Festival.

(Also see Seeing the Light (of the Lanterns) by peacefrog)