Saturday, May 24, 2008


So, this is the last blog of our holiday, then normal knitting service will be resumed.

How can you summarise what we saw in Singapore in just a few pictures? First impressions - expansive airport, which could have been anywhere in the world. The midnight journey to Dave's cousin's place did not shout out "Singapore" - all the signs were in English. And they still use the UK plugs!!!

After a sound sleep we started on a two day personal tour - Jenny was fantastic and very keen we saw everything.

So, we took a trip to Sentosa Island (via Cable car), saw the huge Merlion (a big symbol in Singapore), visited the butterfly garden (which also featured parrots - see below!)

We were taken to the "beach" for lunch - actually a gravelly shore, covered with tons of imported sand and kitted out with palm trees, but with the odd background of oil tankers. Still, very warm (we were 50 miles north of the Equator) and although humid, not intolerably so.

In the evening, Jenny took us to the midnight safari, a must-see attraction. Basically, all the creatures of the night were out and feeding and we saw a Fisher Cat tiptoe across a small dam, grab a fish and disappear off into the night… lions…tigers….elephants…all far too dark to take pictures of.

The next day we were taken to the Singapore Botanical Gardens. A wondrous place, with the Orchid Gardens taking pride of place, a “cool house” (for alpine plants) and a mist house. Our first clap of thunder happened here and all those in the know started frantically looking for shelter. Apparently when it rains here, it really rains. But we were having none of that!

We were then taken for a bum boat ride on the Singapore river – very beautiful with the gaily coloured Merchant’s Houses, bridges, another Merlion and the magnificent design of the Esplanade Theatre…

Then off to China town and the incredible Buddhist temple…. Where everything was for sale (to assist in your redemption).

A visit to a Singaporean food hall (everyone eats there – it is so cheap) and then finally the piece de resistance – RAFFLES! One Singapore Sling later we were on our way home after an incredible few weeks and the horrific prospect by all our friends of endless reminiscences of a truly great holiday!

Now, back to knitting…

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Last days in Sydney

Fi is now very involved in her workshops and has given two talks already to clubs near Canberra and Newcastle. Today it is Sydney itself and then she has a half day break before we head off to Singapore for two days. The talks have been very well received and are deemed a success. Fi will tell more when she has a moment or two!

In the meantime Dave has been given a free reign to tour Sydney harbour at length and make full use of his travel card. He has been to Parramatta - the first outpost to successfully start a farm and therefore ensure the survival of the pioneers in Sydney. The first Government House was established there and therefore the oldest "modern" buildings in Australia. A very interesting place.
The Parramatta river flows from there into Sydney harbour and is a 1 hour trip. So that had to be done. The Cat Ferry fills the river at that point and is an "interesting" journey until the river widens. A great trip!

Dave has also been to Bondi (well you have to, don't you) and a beautiful bay it is too - amazingly to my mind not too commercialised and full of what I call 2 second amateur surfers - i.e. they never last more than two seconds standing up on their surfboard before they spectacularly crash back into the surf to wait for another try.
I then took a bus to Watson's point, which is the last outpost of the Harbour before you enter the Pacific (or to be exact, the Tasmian Sea). A beautiful place and with spectacular views of both the ocean and the harbour. I think this Harbour trip beckons again today as my last view of this amazing place before we reluctantly leave and start the final part of our holiday.