Quite a long while ago, I made an exultant post announcing that I’d pretty well finished the book. Hmm. I have had plenty of opportunity to regret that assumption. Apart from the ‘minor’ task of drafting dozens of maps, there have been 101 jobs to do still, big and small. All through yesterday for instance, I worked on the index for the book. How hard can that be, you might ask? Answer: like having your nails pulled out one by one.
Anyway, this time I *think* that it’s pretty well all done. Pesda are well underway with putting it together, one day very soon it’s going to materialise as a real book. Nothing can go wrong. All good. Fingers crossed.
Anyway, a few snaps from our holiday last week, before we return to normal service (i.e. pictures of the south west) …
The gentleman above is Thomas Stamford Raffles, who landed at that spot in 1819 and created Singapore from swamps and rainforest.
Here’s Heather doing the cultural thing.
All of the greenery is part of Bukit Timah, Singapore’s largest remaining tract of primary rainforest. Hot, humid, dense and full of huge lizards and weird flying mammals whose name I forget.
Because the standard of life in Singapore is so high, they draft in workers from the Indian sub-continent to do the lousy jobs. ‘Little India’ was quite amazing, a little slice of Delhi with its crowded streets, pumping Bollywood sounds and mouth scorching food. We’ll be in India proper in a few weeks’ time, this was a great taster.
The number of shopping malls in Singapore exceeds the actual number of residents (well, nearly) and it would seem that shopping – for expensive designer clothes, naturally – is the number one activity, indeed the only activity for most Singaporeans. Amusingly (for me, anyway) all the clothes that Heather tried on were too small – in Singapore, she is a giant among women.
I hadn’t been to a zoo in over 25 years. So why not? Like most of the inmates, these guys seemed happy enough.
Chinatown is great fun and always lively, especially given that the Chinese New Year celebrations were still underway. The food was awesome, I can never face a crappy UK takeaway meal again. I achieved a ‘Number of Chillis Consumed in One Meal’ personal best.
Pulau Ubin is an island on the border between Singapore and Malaysia, pretty much the only undeveloped island left, a lovely spot. We saw mangrove forests and floating fish farms amongst numerous other completely unfamiliar sights. We were lucky enough to paddle through and around Pulau Ubin in the company of two local experts; Huey and Justin. Cheers Guys, we had a great day!
Special thanks to the lady who pointed us to the competition in the first place. Watch for the postman, Helen …