vickygoestravelling

my journey to health and well being via exotic destinations

May Day in Singapore springs a surprise or two

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Now back in Singapore after a smooth trip over. It’s been an eventful week with a public holiday, hard work for Ross and an unwelcome health scare to boot.

May Day takes us by surprise and with an unexpected free day on our hands and nothing planned – seemed naughty to take a long weekend after so much time away, as most of Singapore does – so we decide to visit the extraordinary Haw Par Villa, as recommended by one of Louise’s friends.

Entrance to Haw Par VIlla

Entrance to Haw Par Villa

Built in the 1930s by the two Burmese-born brothers who founded the Tiger Balm empire at a cost of $1m then – a small fortune now – it consists of a series of tableaux representing scenes from Chinese folk lore, set in a medium size garden. The brothers’ aim was to provide a stimulating yet educational environment for children to remind them of the old ways.

This man was kind to animals and is rescued by a sea turtle when his ship sinks. Everyone else drowns!

This man was kind to animals and is rescued by a sea turtle when his ship sinks. Everyone else drowns!

The descent into hell form depravity of gambling and stelaing

The descent into hell from depravity of  clubbing (top layer) gambling and stealing

The happy man is a good man!

The happy man is a good man!

A scene form the Journey to the West

A scene from the Journey to the West

The day we visit, it is not just children who are thrilled with the garish and kitsch statues: troops of adults, many in matching shirts (tour groups, loving couples) disport themselves amongst the various displays: the great Journey to the West, with evil demons and monstrous creatures trying to divert the saintly pilgrim; monkeys, snakes, pandas, tigers dragons, beautiful princesses, Buddhas of course; and cautionary tales of gambling, drink and indolence. Great stupas and violent colour schemes – all contribute an air of decayed splendour and a great sense of humour. We love it, despite the stonking heat. The photos are Ross’s by the way!

PRC ladies enjoying the sumo boys!

PRC ladies enjoying the sumo boys!

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Tiger, Tiger!

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What’s that hand doing? Journey to the West

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Journey to the West

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Journey to the West

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Not sure what’s going on here!

Filipina ladies posing, as they love to do!

Filipina ladies posing, as they love to do!

Ross decides to pay attention to the dull ache in his kidney area and visits the GP for a check up. After all our bad luck we are naturally apprehensive especially following his prostate cancer.  We fear for our mid-May trip to Koh Samui: we had to cancel our diving holiday to Wakatobi when I was diagnosed with the sarcoma and have been anxious about booking things in advance ever since!. Luckily there’s nothing too much to worry about – just the side-effects of ageing!

New orchids to brighten the balcony

New orchids to brighten the balcony

My bougainvillea has burst into flame coloured blooms

My bougainvillea has burst into flame coloured blooms

Meanwhile I visit Dr Ang for a quick acupuncture fix – three sessions. He is delighted at the progress of my leg, which is now shrunk back to normal size and has a good –albeit paler – colour. I have been getting back into cooking and experimenting with new ingredients and recipes for my book; also swimming 500m most days and have started going to yoga at the gym in the Tanglin Club. As Ross is going to be away a lot in the coming weeks, I will need excuses to get out and about.

Steamed turmeric crusted snapper with kai lan and shitkae

Steamed mustard seed, chilli, garlic shallot & turmeric crusted snapper with ginger-steamed asparagus, pak choi

Baked mackerel with a lemongrass, turmeric, ginger and chilli marinade, coriander baked sweet potato and baby pak choi

Grilled mackerel with a lemongrass, turmeric, ginger and chilli marinade, coriander-baked sweet potato and baby pak choi and shitake (all good anti foods)

 

Grilled lime-leaf covered Chicken kebabs, spiced basmati and ginger, lemongrass steamed asparagus, pak choi, sugar snaps and shitake finished w oyster sauce - and eaten to last episode of Series 4 Breaking bad. Badass!

Grilled lime-leaf covered Chicken kebabs, Vietnamese dipping sauce, spiced basmati and ginger, lemongrass steamed asparagus, pak choi, sugar snaps and shitake finished w oyster sauce – and eaten to last episode of Series 4 Breaking bad. Badass!

Home-made granola with tropical fruit

Home-made granola with tropical fruit

And goodbye from us!

And goodbye from us!

 

 

Author: vickyunwin

I am a writer and traveller. Our darling daughter Louise died on 2 March 2011, aged 21 (www.louisecattell.com) and I started writing as therapy. We never know how long we have on this earth, so I live for every day...in November 2013 I was diagnosed and operated on for a malignant soft tissue sarcoma in the calf, followed by 6.5 weeks of radiotherapy, so am embarking on a different kind of journey which you can follow here. I also have another site www.healthylivingwithcancer.co with my blueprint for health and well-being. My husband works in Switzerland so we flit from place to place anywhere else that takes our fancy

2 thoughts on “May Day in Singapore springs a surprise or two

  1. Simply can’t wait for your cookbook….And so glad Ross is OK.

  2. Thanks Janie, collecting recipes but need about 150!

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