Recent Posts

Exploring outside the city

Singapore is an incredibly neat, pristine place. There’s no litter, no graffiti and everyone is incredibly polite. The streets are clean and practically all the buildings look like they’re brand new or at least well maintained. This along with the vibrant colours of the plants and trees, which due to humidity look highly polished and fresh, might seem to suggest an urban paradise … however such apparent prosperity and order has come at a price. Whilst it has consumerism and capitalism (with capital Cs!) they do have a series of rather draconian laws to keep everyone inline ( more on these in my next posts). However these laws shouldn’t denigrate what must be a national character that encourages neatness and good social responsibility that must surely be part of the Singaporean identity. However rather amusingly … one of these laws got me a mild warning and threat of a $500 fine for drinking Coke on a bus believe it or not! … more on this in my next posts though. We hopped on a bus today to explore outside the city where we ended up taking a trek through a rain forest and orchid gardens. Absolutely stunning … the cacophony of insect and bird noises that accompanied us as we walked in the 30C and 100% humidity was...

read more

Singapore revisited

7,265 miles and 12.5 hours later we find ourselves back in the steamy tropical fug of Singapore. Singapore is still as amazing and strange as I remember it from 7 years ago. It truly is a city state; a concrete, vibrant metropolitan futurescape. Everything is done on a massive scale with huge plazas, highways, walkways and shopping malls. Even the gargantuan skyscrapers that dominate Singapore are built in fascinating futuristic shapes and colours. There’s nothing urbane or straightforward about this city. It reminds me of something as a cross between the vision of the future as portrayed in the film “Logan’s run” where mankind lives totally cut off from the natural world and the optimistic ’50s style vision of the future as depicted in Disneylands future land. Only this is real and is home to some 5+ million people. Its a fascinating place of huge architecture and evident trading wealth. From our hotel we can see literally hundreds of cargo and container ships all moored in the straits waiting to disgorge or load up their cargo. 200 years ago Singapore was a small fishing village when Thomas Stamford Raffles stumbled upon it and established a trading post for the British East India Company. It became a pivotal part of the British Empire and grew to be wealthy and prosperous gaining its independence in 1965. It is still evidently prosperous and still seems very British , in a colonial sense today. We hope to visit the old colonial hotel of Raffles later in the week to try out the world famous “Singapore Sling”...

read more

Let there be light …

Jan 10, 12 Let there be light …

Posted by in Miscellaneous

Today marks a MAJOR milestone in the new house my parents have been building and which my Dad and I have been doing all the electrical work on Today the house was inspected, passed and finally connected to the grid by the States Electrical Inspector … YAY !! This follows a year of work involving planning, wiring, drilling .. you name it. A year in which we’ve layed over 4 miles of cable including : Cat V: video surveillance cable; satelite cable; and of course miles of multi-core cabling. There were only a few glitches but the place is now lit up like a Christmas tree, the PV’s are connected and the ground source heat pump is humming away and has heated up a tank full of water to 53C in only a few hours !!! … that’s water heated only from the underground pipes and passed through the heat exchanger … WOWSERS ! [check out the what & how here and below] The result is a state of the art , super-green , techno-stupendous house. My Dad has incorporated every innovation possible. It’s a Geek’s dream-house … A Ground source heat pumpGround source heat pumps use solar energy naturally stored in soil, bedrock and groundwater as a heat source. They do require electricity to operate, but efficiently produce up to five times as much heat energy for every unit of electricity they use. [check out this article I wrote on them here] Solar Panels (Photo Voltaic cells) capable of generating 3KW of energy [check out my article here ] Heat Recovery Ventilation System – a system whereby hot air can be redistributed from one room to another. LED lighting eveywhere … 5W LED lights generating the equivalent of 50W light from traditional bulbs Underfloor heating driven by the ground source heat pump. Underground storage tanks that collect rain water off of the roof for use in flushing the toilets and watering the garden. Everything is run from a central control room … VERY...

read more

Going … going … gone

Dec 01, 11 Going … going … gone

Posted by in Miscellaneous

Movember has been and gone and I’ve been growing a beard … and thank goodness it’s over … so say goodbye to beardy boy …

read more

Graduation!

Oct 12, 11 Graduation!

Posted by in Cambridge 2011, Miscellaneous

The family’s all here in Cambridge to celebrate Julie’s Graduation!

read more

La breithe sona Deaglan

Sep 14, 11 La breithe sona Deaglan

Posted by in Miscellaneous

I’m across in London again, this time for a course in IT Team management. We’ve been out as a team of course … this time to celebrate Declan’s birthday with a szechuan chinese !...

read more

A Festival in a Day

Sep 12, 11 A Festival in a Day

Posted by in Miscellaneous

We’ve been in London this weekend to attend Radio 2’s ‘A Festival in a day’ in Hyde Park … We met up with Julie and stayed in a serviced apartment near Hyde Park. From there we proceeded to ‘do London’ .… Madame Tussauds, the West End show ‘The Lion King’ and finishing off with Radio 2’s live broadcast from Hyde Park on Sunday. The festival was fantastic, although a little damp, but our 2 golf umbrella and 2 smaller umbrellas meant we kept dry under our very own small tented encampment. We got to see some amazing acts like Jooles Holland, Imelda May, Lenny Kravitz, Caro Emerald, James, Blunt, Will Young and Gary Barlow… thankfully the last 2 didn’t spoil the former! … but hey that’s just my opinion I guess …Julie seemed to be pretty hyper about Gary Barlow though … even telephoning TA so she could hear him live over the phone...

read more

Workin’ on a chain gang

Aug 03, 11 Workin’ on a chain gang

Posted by in Miscellaneous

HSBC sponsored local community project work…

read more

Belly Dancing … part deux

Jun 23, 11 Belly Dancing … part deux

Posted by in Miscellaneous

This is getting to be a habit … A night out in London with the lads from the team and where do we end up again … Belly dancing !!! This time it was a Moroccan restaurant in Covent Garden and it was me that was selected to dance. The food and ambience, and of course the dancing , were excellent … all in all a fantastic night out...

read more

It’s a 1st !

Jun 08, 11 It’s a 1st !

Posted by in Miscellaneous

Congratulations to my ‘little’ sister Julie !!!! She’s been awarded a 1st Class Honours Degree in Graphic Design from the Anglia-Ruskin University in Cambridge. Am so very, very proud of her indeed...

read more

Au Revoir again …

Jun 05, 11 Au Revoir again …

Posted by in Cambridge 2011

Time to leave Cambridge again (for now). We’ve all had a great time. We stayed in a CityStay apartment very close to Julies digs. It was a very swanky modern apartment … I think that we’ll be using this type of accommodation...

read more

The Exhibition

Jun 04, 11 The Exhibition

Posted by in Cambridge 2011

Today we went to the Anglian Ruskin Degree Show to see the students final year exhibits. We met up with Julie’s friend Karen who’d traveled up from London to see the exhibition. We were also joined by some of Julie’s Cambridge friends Gavin, Annie, Richard and Dee. After lunch the whole posse headed off to the University to see the exhibition. Julie’s chosen subject was ‘Observed Expression’. It was very slick and professional, most impressive. But then again … I might be a little biased 😀 After bidding farewell to Karen and the others we also managed to fit in a spot of shopping later on as well as a meal in Jamie Oliver’s famous Cambridge restaurant “Jamie’s Italian” … A good...

read more

Feeding the fishes …

Jun 03, 11 Feeding the fishes …

Posted by in Cambridge 2011

“Feeding the fishes” … No we’ve not tangled with the Cambridge Mafia … but the girls have been to an ‘alternative’ beauty therapy where you immerse your feet into a tank of water for 15 minutes and let Garra rufa fish nibble away all the hard skin. I’m sure Annelies is now a centimeter shorter ! We’re back in the English idyl of Cambridge again to see Julie’s End of Year Exhibition. Yes, it’s the end of her 3 year degree course when the students display their projects for the public and wider Graphic Design industry to view. In a couple of days time shell know her final result! 😀 I can’t believe that its been 3 years now since Julie left Guernsey to start her degree course. I have to say I’m very proud of my little sister. She’s worked very hard and produced some fantastic work ( have a look here and you’ll see what I mean … jooles.co.uk). She’s also settled in and made a great circle of friends. Friendships for life. Tomorrow we’re off to see the exhibition but today we’ve spent ‘feeding the fishes’ and picnicking in the rather spendid National Trust Anglesey...

read more

Thuis

May 15, 11 Thuis

Posted by in Holland-Paris-Provence 2011

Home again after a great holiday in Holland, Paris & the Provence

😀

read more
Page 6 of 12« First...234567891011...Last »