This week I have been rushing around preparing for the visit of our CEO, Tim Howarth, and our schools networking evening. The aim is to introduce affluent Singapore international schools to our school partnership scheme and encourage them to build a long-lasting relationship with one of our rural schools in Cambodia, Myanmar and, soon, Nepal. It only costs £16,000 (S$30,000) to build a school and £6000 (S$10,000) to maintain it annually, equivalent to US$1 per child per week. Talk about value for money! Continue reading
On 12 September 1945, Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten, Supreme Allied Commander of the SE Asia Command, accepted the unconditional surrender of all occupying Japanese forces in SE Asia from Gen. Itagaki, on behalf of the Supreme Commander Field Marshall Terauchi, who had suffered a stroke. Although the war had officially ended on 2 September, when the Japanese surrendered to Gen MacArthur on board the battleship Missouri, for those still interned in the noxious POW camps in Singapore the end only came on September 12th. Continue reading
Ah, I thought that would grab your attention!
Have spent the past few days making the long-awaited photo book for Louise. I felt compelled after reading my friend Sarah Helm’s harrowing account of the Ravensbrück women’s death camp, If This Is a Woman. It’s one of the real horror stories of the Second World War and was buried behind the Iron Curtain, with the Communists only commemorating their own, and not the thousands – maybe as many as 60,000 (not only Jews, but French, Czechs, Germans -asocials – Poles, English and American SOE agents) – who were murdered there. There was a strong link between the two camps to Auschwitz where all my Czech family, apart from my father, his mother, two uncles and two cousins (who were kindertransport) perished. I will never buy a Siemens product again. You’ll have to read the book to find out why. Continue reading
I thought this post from my healthylivingwithcancer.co site should reach a wider audience….
I was visiting a dear friend who has just been diagnosed with leukaemia and was chatting to him about why some people get cancer and some don’t. I expounded my theory that I am convinced that both Ross and I both became ill after the great grief we experienced when we lost our darling Louise. My friend was also trying to make sense of his illness, coming hot on the heels of his wife’s breast cancer (as couples we are members of our special cancer couples club, but we won’t invite you to join it, it’s terribly exclusive) and was able to contextualise their respective illnesses within a bereavement framework. It was he who pointed me in the direction of Prof Janet Lord’s research on how age alters our immune response to bereavement.
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The change of pace has been noticeable. Whisked away from London in some style on BA ( a windfall trip first class), I find Singapore surprisingly cool and pleasant. There’s a stiff breeze on our 11th floor balcony, and my plants are swishing and swooshing while the sunbirds chirp a merry greeting several times a day. The orchids have sprouted great long flower stems and I can admire them as I sit on my chaise longue, reading my friend Sarah Helm’s harrowing story of Ravensbruck death camp, If This Is A Woman. At times I weep from the gratuitous cruelty of this untold story. Continue reading