Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Read: Morrie in his own words

Title: Morrie in his own words
Author: Morrie Schwartz
Publisher: Pan Books

This book was previously published as Letting Go, Morrie in His Own Words. The author learned that he had a motor neurone disease known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at the age of seventy-seven. This is the second time I am re-reading the entire book.

In this book, readers will have a glimpse to how Morrie chose to embrace his illness and live as fully as possible the time that he had left.

The author gave a voice to how it was like to face chronic or terminal illness in a most gracious way. I have found the chapter "Grieving for your losses" rather cathartic. The chapter starts with a quotation that goes:
"Grieve and mourn for yourself, not once or twice, but again and again. Grieving is a great catharsis and comfort and a way of keeping yourself composed."
The author also attempts to discuss the differences between healthy grieving and despair.

The chapter titled "Being Kind to Yourself" also reminds readers to be "loving, compassionate and gentle"
towards oneself.

The following chapter "Dealing with Your Mind and Emotions" offer some practical tips on how to deal with doubts. I like the quotation that sum up the tips. It goes:
"Accept your doubts about your ability to achieve any change in your emotional state. But keep trying. You might be surprised."

This is one book with remarkable life wisdom. Morrie died peacefully at his home on 4 Nov 1995.

Also see:

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sketching at Labrador Park

This afternoon, I wanted to be close to Nature and to enjoy some nice doses of sea-breezes. One of my friends who wanted to learn to sketch gladly went along with my suggestion to visit the Labrador Nature and Coastal Walk, as well as the Labrador Park.

It was relaxing simply to listen in to the sounds of the tidal waves. The weather for the day was pretty pleasant with gentle sunshine and beautiful clouds. When my friend and I found our way to one end of Labrador Park, we chose a spot facing the Reflections at Keppel Bay to practice sketching. I quite like the free-form structure of the Reflections at Keppel Bay. The challenge was to sketch in the surrounding plants, pre-war bungalows and the structures of the boardwalk to create a balanced and pleasing composition.

While I was sketching, there were several children who came near me and my friend. Maybe they were curious about our sketching adventures? One of the children, a six-year-old boy, remarked that he can sketch from memory! So thanks to my friend, she gladly offered paper and pencil to the boy, while I lent him one of my drawing pens.

Below is the sketch by the six-year-old Chinese boy. I overheard that he practices sketching this everyday. I think he would make a wonderful ambassador for the Marine Bay Sands if there is some good luck to find him, won't he?

A sketch from memory by a six-year-old boy whom my friend and I met at Labrador Park on 25 Feb 2012.

His elder brother also asked for paper to do a sketch. This elder brother is also talented in art. He drew the aerial view of Marina Bay Sands which include the famous infinity swimming pool. I would have like to share the elder brother's sketch too albeit I did not get the chance to take a photograph of his masterpiece.

One thing that left a positive impression on me was that the parents of the boys were encouraging and nurturing towards their children's interest in art. May the children continue to be encouraged to nurture their natural interests and talents.

I was reminded by a quote by the well-known late artist, Pablo Picasso,
"All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."
The six-year-old boy was keen to do more sketches! My friend generously allowed the boy to have an extra piece of drawing paper before we bid farewell to him and encourage him to sketch at a later time. These children would probably find it helpful to bring their sketchbooks and drawing materials out with them whenever they are out in Nature. Nature simply inspires.

For information on the Labrador Nature and Coatal Walk, please visit:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Places: Occupy Tiong Bahru, the OH! Open House

These two weekends, OH! Open House has arranged for the works of 15 artists to occupy six houses and a temple located in the Tiong Bahru estate.

For more information, please visit: Places: Occupy Tiong Bahru, the OH! Open House.

OH! Open House
18, 19, 25 and 26 Feb 2012
From 4 p.m. - 9 p.m.
(Last tours leave at 8 p.m.)
Tickets at $15 per adult, and at $10 per child, only available at the door
Sales start from 3.30 p.m. at Tiong Bahru CC, 67A Eu Chin Street.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Places: Sin Hoe Ping Puppet Troupe performs at ACM Green

ACM Green. Nearest MRT station: Raffles Place.

On the evening of 16 and 17 Feb 2012, the Sin Hoe Ping Puppet Troupe (新和平加礼戏班)performs authentic Heng Hua Puppetry at ACM Green, outside the Asian Civilisations Museum (Empress Place). Each of these nights, the Sin Hoe Ping will fascinate its audience with the art of puppetry, music and story-telling through puppetry. The show-times are as follow:

6 p.m.: Journey to the West (西游记)
7 p.m. Monkey's Wedding(猴子娶妻)
8 p.m. Wu Song Fights the Tiger (武松打虎)

More details can be found here: Places: Sin Hoe Ping Puppet Troupe performs at ACM Green

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Check out a.t. Bukit Brown

Image source: http://bukitbrown.com

Great minds think alike. A loose group of strangers who became friends on the Facebook page, Heritage Singapore - Bukit Brown Cemetery, came up with the online site, a.t. Bukit Brown, to share the stories and knowledge about Bukit Brown Cemetery.

Please check it out here: http://bukitbrown.com/main/

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Good Morning Yesterday: Growing Up in Singapore in the 1950s and 1960s

Congratulations to Lam Chun See, who started the blog Good Morning Yesterday, for having published his latest book Good Morning Yesterday: Growing Up in Singapore in the 1950s and 1960s.

Life in the Singapore today is very different from the life in Singapore in the 1950s and 1960s. How was life in the kampong (i.e. rural area) in those days? How did people relate to one another in those days when Facebook, mobile phones and smart-phones were non-existent? How did children entertain themselves in the days when there were no computer games and iPad? Where did family go to in those days when air-conditioned shopping malls were not the norm?

In Good Morning Yesterday: Growing Up in Singapore in the 1950s and 1960s, Lam Chun See embarked on his significant project to share the stories from the past. The book is a compilation and reorganization of the stories that Lam Chun See has written about what it was like to grow up in a Singapore that was vastly different from today.

Keeping the Singapore story alive through writing about memories from past.

Who may enjoy this book?
The author wrote in the introduction section, that the positive feedback from the faithful readers of his blog gave him the much-needed courage to embark on the project to work on getting this book published. This book is as such, definitely a must-have for faithful readers of his blog.

Anyone who is doing research about life in Singapore in the 1950s and 1960s may also find this book an invaluable resource as it is written from a direct personal perspective.

Lam Chun See is an alumnus of the Chong Boon Primary School, Anglo-Chinese School and National Junior College. Existing students and alumni of these schools are likely to find it intriguing to read about school life in the 1950s and 1960s.

This book is also a worthwhile souvenir for anyone who wishes to have a glimpse of Singapore's past. The book contains numerous photographs that were taken decades ago. Grandparents may find this book an apt gift for their younger ones who are eager to learn about the good old days of the past.

At the soft launch of the book.

The relationship between this book and the Prime Minister's National Day Rally speech:
Interestingly, I learnt that our Prime Minister, Mr Lee Hsien Loong, had played a part in motivating Lam Chun See to write this book. Lam Chun See wrote in his introduction how a part of the Prime Minister's National Day Rally Speech a few years ago had reminded him of the necessity for our young generation to know the heart of the Singapore story and the stories of Singapore's past.

Where to get a copy of this book?
If you are, like myself, all geared up to get yourself a copy of Lam Chun See's Good Morning Yesterday: Growing Up in Singapore in the 1950s and 1960s, you will be pleased to know that the book is available from selected Kinokuniya and Times bookstores. The recommended retail price for each copy is $18.

Note: The publication is supported by the National Heritage Board's Heritage Industry Incentive Programme.

Acknowledgement: A heartfelt thanks to Lam Chun See for inviting me to the soft-launch of this publication. It was held at the Peranakan Museum on 4 Feb 2012. Many thanks to National Heritage Board for organizing the soft-launch too.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Labrador Nature and Coastal Walk

There is a new coastal walk to explore in Singapore. The newly opened Labrador Nature and Coastal Walk is easily accessible from the Labrador Park MRT station. A blog post by a fellow blogger, Leone Fabre, shows how one can get to the Labrador Nature and Coastal Walk from the Labrador Park MRT station.

The Labrador Nature and Coastal Walk stretches over a distance of 2.1 km. The boardwalk is wheelchair friendly and offers a relatively easy way for most visitors to enjoy the tranquility of the mangrove and coastal area. This walk consists of three distinct segments - Alexandra Garden Trail, Berlayer Creek mangrove trail and Bukit Chermin boardwalk.

The Alexandra Garden Trail of the Labrador Nature and Coastal Walk links visitors to the Southern Ridges. Nature lovers have more places to explore with the opening of the Labrador Nature and Coastal Walk.

View of Sentosa island in the background.

What I appreciate about the Labrador Nature & Coastal Walk was that it allowed visitors like myself to gain convenient access to mesmerizing views of the Keppel Harbour, Sentosa island and the Labrador Nature Reserve.

Reflections at Keppel Bay, and Keppel Harbour

The boardwalk also offered a way to travel to the Labrador Park to enjoy the sea breezes and the rocky shores of Labrador Park.

For information on the Labrador Nature and Coatal Walk, please visit: