This is now the fourth time that we have had to experience the worst day of our lives: the day that Louise, our beloved daughter, died.
Arrived back from Mumbai to very welcome news that two of Louise’s school-friends, Kim and Charlie Sachs and their friend Sarah Johnstone would be coming to Singapore en route to Vietnam for a few days.
Of course they must stay, even though our tiny serviced apartment only has a minute spare bedroom.
When they arrived we also met up with another London friend, Andy (our age!), and had a delicious Chinese meal – after several pink gins, as taught by Mumbai friend Cindy (half/half soda and tonic water with the gin and bitters).
The second morning we walked down Robertson and Clarke Quays to pick up the bum-boat to do the river tour of Singapore; grey day and windy….wah, my hair!
Then off to Little India, where I had never been. Going from the real thing to the Singapore version was a great disappointment: firstly there seemed to be more Buddhist than Hindu temples, and more shops Chinese than Indian, apart from right at the end when I discovered the food market (by the MRT station.) Now I know where to get fresh curry leaves, alphonse mangoes and baby aubergines.
Nevertheless we had a good lunch – a thali for me, and veggie lentils for the girls – and enjoyed the 24/7 hypermarket full of tat. Interestingly we followed the Lonely Planet foot tour and, now, checking some names in the Footprint guide, it seems we missed out on a whole load of more authentic stuff. Will have to re-visit.
So while the girls were doing their own thing – a chum of theirs’ is in town for Singapore fashion week, a hunky male model, and I have sworn not to share some of their photos but can attest that Singapore is not quite so sterile as one might be led to believe judging from the evidence – and Ross was over the border in Malaysia, I went out with Andy for a yummy Chinese in the Goodwood Park hotel; Peking duck as it should be. Andy particularly liked our gorgeous waitress!
A vist to Singapore is not complete without an outing to our new ‘home from home’ – the Tanglin Club, where I took the girls for drinks and dinner – to see how the other half live. We had a lively discussion with one of the ‘old-timers’ about the glass ceiling and the need to give parents tax breaks to stay at home. ‘All children should be brought up by at least one parent – being brought up by a nanny is a great disadvantage.’ ‘Do you have children?’ I asked innocently – for dear reader, this was a woman speaking. I only found out later that David Cameron has being banging on about this – so it was neither original nor enlightened thinking! Small society can addle the brain.
So goodbye to the girls and to Singapore – we venture to Taipei tomorrow for a week.