Local Heart, Global Soul

January 4, 2017

The Battle Of Dessert: We Get The Message…

Filed under: FOOD,PHOTOGRAPHY,Rasa Sentosa,Rasa Sentosa Food,SINGAPORE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Back in December of 2013, family Kiwidutch stayed in Singapore on a stopover visit before flying on to New Zealand.

Himself and our Singaporean friend “Velvetine” made a day trip to Pulau Ubin Island whilst the kids and I rested at the hotel.

Staying here regularly as repeat guests, and the kids impressing the lifeguards with their swimming skills, we are now on first name terms with several of the hotel lifeguards,  especially Joseph who remember us well from previous visits.

Joseph is the man who helped organised some very special transport on an earlier trip so that I could go out for dinner on the beach with the rest of the family:  Dune Buggy to the Rescue!

After Himself and Velvetine got back from their trip, and rested a while whilst telling us all about their day,  Himself then disappeared into the shower and we all got ready for a nice dinner in the Rasa Sentosa restaurant.

We laughed at the sign that advised guests to be aware the floors were slippery,  whilst a tropical downpour deluged the terrace the sign was on. We were all entertained by the pea hens before heading to the restaurant too.

Our kids adore the buffet arrangement here, but Little Mr appeared to be a little confused about the order of the menu and was not amused when we said that his main course may not consist of items solely from the desert section.

He managed to keep a self-served icecream because it seemed a waste to just let it melt on the plate, but the marshmallows and cookies were removed until he had eaten some pasta and cucumber , but even those were a few spoonful’s at best. As the saying goes, this kid “lives on the smell of an oily rag”.

Eventually he settled on (of all things) buttered toast (really kid?) I know I know, as far as our kids eating habits are concerned Himself and I constantly feel like we lost the battle. The roast pork, seafood, vegetables, salad, rice, soups… so many other things to choose from, all rejected. Frustrated that he could not instantly get his own way, Little Mr got hold of a handful of small biscuits / crackers that were in the shape of alphabet letters and arranged them into a “You may get it and now” message whilst he demolished his toast.

Yes, he ate rather a lot of the unwanted biscuit/ cracker letters too… oh well, we were all jet lagged and sometimes with kids you have to pick your battles. Kiwi Daughter did better, trying bok choy and eating fruit before also heading off to the desert section with a grin. marshmallows on sticks would be dipped into a chocolate fountain or a few other sauces, Little Mr presented me with a “flower” made out of the marks on the plate from his left over chocolate sauce. Sadly, typical kid, the marshmallows were not part of the gift. We all enjoyed the band, who we also know from previous visits and Kiwi Daughter delighted over the creme brulees in their tiny little dishes.  Rested and refreshed it was then time to head on to New Zealand.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 22, 2012

More Monkey Business On Our Last Day in Singapore…

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,Rasa Sentosa,Rasa Sentosa Food,SINGAPORE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It’s our last morning in Singapore, we wake up early and head off to breakfast, the sun is just up and there’s a hazy tropical mist enveloping the harbour.

I can just make out the forms of ships, but as the sun rises the haze begins to evaporate so after sorting out most of the bags in the room we leave the room to bright sunlight: Himself and the kids heading  for the the pool and me for a little walk around as per my physiotherapists instructions, camera in tow of course.

All of a sudden I become aware of movement on the balconies to my right… monkeys! … and lots of them too, and they appear to be making their way to one specific area.

Someone has put food out on their hotel balcony table and word has apparently travelled fast in the local primate community that breakfast is to be had on the fifth floor.

I watch in amazement as the monkeys appear to defy gravity as they move with ease from one floor to another, even a very young monkey, considerably smaller than the rest makes a leap upwards from the floor below covering a space more than double it’s body length and with nothing apparent to grab on to.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

It disappears from view for a split second into the small space between the balconies and emerges by the railings of the balcony one floor higher before scaling the wall to include himself in the breakfast party going on on the balcony next door.

The rest of the day is quiet, the kids opt to spend as much time in the pool as possible. Our flight goes almost at midnight so we’ve arranged for a later checkout than normal and will even have time for an early dinner here at the hotel.

We’ve learned from past experience that the kids will be tired when we leave for the airport and that eating at the airport when it’s their usual bedtime will not be a success (Little Mr. having fallen asleep by the time his order arrived).

Both will be fast asleep on the plane before the first meal arrives so a relaxed early meal at the hotel will make a smooth start to the long journey ahead. Both kids opt for the  pizza Kiwi Daughter had here before, Himself and I go after our favourite dishes.

All too soon our bags are being loaded into a minibus and we are getting inside to go to the airport…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 21, 2012

From the Roof You Can Hear It… and Probably In the Helicopter Too…

Filed under: Kids and Family,PHOTOGRAPHY,Rasa Sentosa,SINGAPORE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,

It suddenly occurred to me that even though we’ve stayed at the Rasa Sentosa five times now over the years, I’ve only been up  to the top floor of the hotel on one occasion: the  night when the Zoukout Festival was on.  https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2012/01/14/new-531/

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Today is a beautiful day so whilst the kids and Himself hang out in their favourite place (the swimming pool) I take the lift to the top floor of the hotel and take in the views, this time in daylight and with clear skies.

One thing about my DSLR camera lens perplexes me;  I appear to be able to bring objects that are far in the distance right into view up close, but for instance, when photographing the peacock the day before yesterday I had trouble zooming in really close even though a birdie was just a few metres away.

Since I’m a bit of a technophobe I think it’s fairly safe to assume that the problem probably lies with me rather than the camera, but that’s why I was rather amazed that the close-ups that I made of the ships in the harbour came out so unexpectedly well.

Something funny happened too… whilst I was taking photos, two helicopters passed overhead very close to the hotel.

All of a sudden the noise of a child’s screams of excitement drift up to my viewing post from somewhere down by the pool area… then it dawned on me, I  recognise  that high pitched squeal…  yep that is my own seven year old Little Mr. notifying the entire hotel that a helicopter is passing overhead.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I mean, it’s not like helicopters are stealth bombers or gliders, but somehow my besotted-by-emergency-services-and-all-things-in-flight little dude seems to think he’s the only one who can see them and it’s his duty to inform the world in case they missed this amazing event.

In fact he gets so excited that I wouldn’t  be entirely surprised if somewhere at this point of the flight on the helicopter’s black-box flight recorder there’s a pilot’s voice asking if anyone else can hear a strange noise ?

I’m half tempted to yell over the rail’  “Sorry everyone for the noise, yes he’s one of mine!” but decide that I’m a coward and that saying and admitting nothing is the better course of action. The ecstatic squealing stops once the helicopters have gone away anyway.

The ships in the harbour are amazing, there are so many of them, not just the ones you can see clearly by the shore but also the ones so far behind in the distance that they are just fuzzy grey smudges in the background of the photos.

At the end of the photo series I also attach some of the night photos I took of the Rasa’s entrance, there are strings of Christmas lights on the driveway and entire trees lit up with fairy lights galore…  just a few days after I make this journal entry these views will just be memories…  but until then I’m enjoying the views and loving the tropical weather. Let’s check it out…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 20, 2012

Mother Nature’s Tattoos…

Filed under: ART,PHOTOGRAPHY,Rasa Sentosa,SINGAPORE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

If you have been following my blog for any length of time at all you will know that I like to take photographs of very ordinary things, extraordinary things (when the opportunity presents itself) and everything in between.

I’m a detail fanatic, possibly to the point of perversion on occasion (Yes, I did draw a portrait built up entirely of minuscule dots from a 1 millimetre fine-liner black pen once many moons ago) and I’ve been known to embroider on 120 count  (that’s the number of threads to the inch) silk gauze too.

Small is often very beautiful… so it’s no surprise that I’m the idiot photographer who, when there are stunning views to be had within Singapore’s Rasa Sentosa hotel, is the one who’s pointing my camera lens towards the floor.

There’s a good reason for this… (well in my little tiny mind there is at least LOL)… the paving stones in the floor have fossilised plants in them and I find them stunning, intricate and beautiful.

These little plants may have had the misfortune to get trapped in layers of mud instead of falling from their trees and contributing to natures compost but their mud pack served to keep them preserved for millions of years, or at least if the organic contents is long gone, the detailed outline of what they once were remains.

Whilst some resemble what the Amazon river must look like from space, I think others look like Mother’s Nature’s tattoo’s … this is rock formation  ‘body-art”,  the detailed artwork that adorns the greater body of nature for millennia and in the kind of tiny detail that human tattoo artists can only dream about achieving.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 18, 2012

Monkey Business Probably Stinks Sometimes…

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,Rasa Sentosa,SINGAPORE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In this blog you get to turn the pages of my journal and read all about our families adventures at home and abroad.

Earlier this year we we visited New Zealand and I’ve been blogging about our adventures ever since.

Yesterday I got a rare chance to photograph some of the local wildlife when a peacock turned up on our patio to take advantage of the old bread I’d put there, other birds joined it and I got some photos I was really happy with.

We live in an apartment and have no pets due to allergy issues so I don’t really get to take animal or bird photos much, so imagine my surprise when we take the little trolley bus from the Rasa to our favourite pizza place Trapizza on the beach and on the drive down the hill suddenly we spy monkeys!

The driver asks if we would like to stop and take photographs and our excited “Yes, pleeaase!!!” was received with a smile… one monkey was very close immediatly to the left of us and another  five or so monkeys were further down the drive on the right.

The monkeys on the right began to follow the one on our left so came right up to the low wall next to us that ran along the driveway so we get to see the at very close range.

Two walk off, one of the “pack” sat down on the wall, another joined it and started a detailed investigation of the first monkey’s rear end… all of the sudden to our children’s delight the second monkey puts it’s hand up to it’s face as if  to say ‘phrrr ewww ”  whilst the first monkey stalks off…  Little Mr. is certain that the first monkey farted in the second monkey’s face and is in muffled hysterics.

We watch the monkeys until they move behind us out of camera range… with kids giggling in the back of the trolley bus we continue our journey down the hill. Two ‘ wildlife” catches in one morning!  I’m buzzing…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 17, 2012

I’m as Proud as a Peacock!

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,Rasa Sentosa,SINGAPORE — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Another page of my diary where at the moment I am documenting our travels to New Zealand and back earlier in 2012.

Now we are on our way home to the Netherlands but since we have a friend here in Singapore our stopover’s here have gradually gotten longer and longer.

After a brilliant day-trip to Melaka, Malaysia yesterday everyone is feeling tired and lazy today so a little while after breakfast the kids drag Himself to the pool for a swim and I do a bit of cleaning and tidying in the room.

There’s a washing machine available in the hotel (that I posted about here: https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/new-572/) so I’m sorting dirty clothes so we can do a load of laundry and cleaning out the little refrigerator in our room because we put some bread in there for Little Mr. the day before yesterday and he didn’t eat it.

He hadn’t been hungry at breakfast but has an annoying habit of declaring he’s ravenous about an hour after we’ve left the hotel breakfast table so I’d packed some bread rolls and a croissant for him and put them in the fridge and half of it was still there two days later.

Now I’ve got some fruit I want to put into the fridge, and the bread’s gone rock hard so I broke up the bread and put it on the table outside our room for the birds.

About fifteen minutes later whilst I’m tracking down discarded kid socks on the floor around the pull-out bed in our room I catch a movement outside in the corner of my eye and look up just in time to see a peacock  flying up onto the wall between our patio and the next room.

Forget the socks, I’m now reaching for my camera as slowly and as swiftly as I can, scared that any sudden movement will frighten the bird away but also if I move too slow that the window of opportunity will be lost. My first shots are taken through the glass window but as both the bird and I grow more confident with each other’s presence I summon up the courage to ease the sliding door open  just enough to poke the camera lens out …

Bracing myself on the bed I attempt to try and zoom in as much as possible… a little drama unfolds as a little bird with a bright yellow beak and matching  knee socks joins us, then another, until peacock decides that three’s a crowd on the table and that the supply of bread looks like disappearing a little too quickly at this rate and shoo’s them off in no uncertain terms, but not before the interlopers had stolen some breakfast to take with them.

Peacock tolerates my presence at close quarters but then all of a sudden begins a song and dance that involves much feather ruffling and fluffing up of it’s rear end… did I startle it?  No… the song and dance turns out to be for the mate who turned up to see where the party’s at.

I get to see a full feather display but these peacocks have their bright colours like jade necklaces at their necks rather tan on their tails, very different from their European cousins. Wildlife photography is a bit of a hit and miss affair with me so far (actually if I’m really honest it’s usually “miss”) so I was delighted for a chance to  practice a little with an obliging and somewhat  tame model.  Here are the results…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

I’m going to call this next shot the “Vogue Cover Shot Pose’ …

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

And the shot I like best of all? …This one…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 16, 2012

Pippy Pizza Anyone?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We’ve had a long day visiting Melaka but now it’s evening and we’re back to the Rasa Sentosa.

Everyone is starving hungry so the kids are even willing to fight their tiredness for the treat of a mega quick dip in the pool before dinner.  We hadn’t realised it before but the Silver Shell restaurant also has a Children’s Menu.

Kiwi Daughter spies that there is Pizza available so is instantly happy and for Little Mr. we ask one of the chefs if it’s possible to get some plain boiled spaghetti with a little cheese on top and a few chicken nuggets on the side.

The chef was most happy to oblige and soon both kids were  tucking into their favourite dinners. (Little Mr. especially thought he’d won the lottery because  I severely disapprove of commercially prepared chicken nuggets at home, preferring to make my own so that I know what’s in them).

He was so hungry that he didn’t really want to wait for his food to have it’s photograph taken, covering it with his hands… so I did the old “Oooooh look over there!” trick and he fell for it and I got the one and only shot I needed.  Ah ha… a full ten second delay before he was happily eating.

Kiwi Daughter had a giggle when her pizza arrived, it’s the same mega thin crust that we love from Trapizza a little way down the beach (the Rasa own Trapizza too) but she thought it looked like it has “Pippy Langkous” (a.k.a. “Pippy Longstocking”) pigtails sticking out on each side.

This discovery caused the kind of hysterical giggles that kids ( and probably especially overtired ones) are famous for, you know the sort, way too much laughter in proportion to the joke… but never mind, we were dining late and were sat in the corner so I don’t think we offended other diners.

Dinner this evening ended up being more of a business than leisure affair as we raced to get Little Mr. fed before he fell asleep in his food. The inevitable happened just after Himself bought our desserts from the buffet to the table… Little Mr was awake but wanted a cuddle in my lap when Himself left the table and had nodded off before he came back so he slept in my arms during dessert and Himself carried him back to the room after dinner. A happy end to an excellent day…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

 

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