Sunday, 13 January 2013

The Singapore MRT Mousepad

Singapore MRT Mousepad
The Singapore MRT Mouse Pad - get yours
Travel on Singapore's MRT ( Tube / Underground) in complete confidence.  Ideal for new employees in the country and those travelling to Singapore.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Halimah Yacob to become Speaker?


Mdm Halimah Yacob
Minister of State, Ministry of Social and Family Development
MP for Jurong GRC
Wonderful news if it proves to be true. Of all the politicians during our time in Singapore Mdm Halimah Yacob was one of the most impressive.

Today Online reports that should she get the role it would be the first time that a woman would assume the office, which is behind only the Prime Minister and President.

It will be great to see a Singaporean woman achieve such a high office.

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Sunday, 6 January 2013

Today's Art - Waitara River Mouth Drawing

Waitara River Mouth Drawing
Roger Smith, 2013
Copies of this drawing (as a print) are available here. Prints on archival heavyweight matte paper are fade-resistant and have a 90+ year archival rating.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Today's Print - A Taranaki Summer

A Taranaki Summer
Roger Smith - December 2012
More to view here

Saturday, 22 December 2012

The Mokau Mine

The Mokau Mine

Let me tell you the story of a mine.  Not a gold or coal mine but the Mokau mine a fiendish explosive device laid by the Germans in 1942 and washed ashore when it broke it moorings.

I remember it well as the good townspeople of Mokau, a small town in northern Taranaki, erected the device on a concrete plinth in the centre of town.  It sat adjacent to the Mokau General Store and sits there still although the store is now a mere peeling shadow of its former self.

In 1960 when I was a pupil at Waitara Intermediate my best friend was Rodney Warman whose parents owned and operated the Mokau General Store. He invited me back for a holiday at his parents place.

There are things that stick in my mind; one was the smell of dog as Rodney’s parents had a house full. The second was whitebait for which is Mokau’s main claim to fame. The small delicacy makes it way up the rivers at certain times of the year in large shoals.

 In the times that I write about these shoals were huge – enough to fill a large kerosene tin with one scoop of a net. Whitebaiting was a main source of income for many and Rodney’s father took us up river to spend a morning chasing the ‘bait.  We travelled across by boat to the place where he had a set net, just in time to catch the incoming tide.

I have never eaten so many whitebait, before or since.  We got literally buckets full of them and a sizeable sample was put aside for our domestic use, to be turned into the Kiwi classic – whitebait fritters.

The final memory of have of Mokau was go to the ‘pictures’ ion the town’s hall.  In those days it was still obligatory to stand for the Queen - when here national anthem was played.  Those who dared to buck this tradition got a short, sharp jab in the ribs from the patrons behind, forcing them to stand to attention.  The movie ambiance where no the sort I was used to at Waitara’s Theatre Royal, run by a Mr Pizzey.  His theatre had a plush curtain, lighting effects and muted sounds that played before the curtain silently opened and the lights were dimmed.

In Mokau the make-shift theatre could best be described as Spartan with hard forms for seats and a cracked slide of the Queen when the anthem was played.  For all that we enjoyed the outing tremendously.

So it was a pleasure today to see that the Mokau mine was still in situ.  The cafes are still selling whitebait but I very much suspect the days of the ‘big runs’ are long gone.

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Friday, 21 December 2012

Death By Pizza


My goodness what are they trying to do?  Kill the population? A pizza within a pizza has go to be the most insane and calorie-laden piece of food around.  No wonder the Singapore fertility rate is dropping!  The body must be far to busy trying to deal with the fat intake from a meal like this.

They should be calling it "Double By-pass" not "Double Sensation".
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Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Love Those Love Vouchers

If you have demolished the last of your mints and failed to achieve a 'mint moment' you may have to turn to the latest initiative from the  Social Development Network, the agency that is doing its very best to push up the marriage and birth rate in Singapore.

Apparently one can now buy a 'love voucher' to give a 'love gift' to a partner of choice and there is even a web site set up to do so.

These are not the kind of 'love gifts' that would have enough value to buy a Dior handbag but ten bucks goes a long way nowadays.

To be more precise these are 'Love Gift Dating Vouchers' and you can only redeem them with an accredited dating agency. So if you have a sweet tooth and a box of chocolates was on your mind, forget it.  Its professional services and activities only; dancing and adventure tours included.

And you need to be somewhat of a speed-dater and make up your mind, as the vouchers run out in 4 months and are non refundable.

You have to give the SDN an 'A' for effort -  at least they are trying to boost Singapore's low fertility rate and have been doing so since 1984.  And the Love Vouchers are being followed later this month by the Dating Fest where singles will qualify for a 50% subsidy to "offset the cost of activities and events organised by SDN Trust-accredited agencies".

At end of the event, they hope to gather 500 singles and break the local record for the most number of singles participating in a speed-dating activity.

Think I'll stick to the mints -  it all sounds  bit too frenetic to me.
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