Friday, August 22, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sinapore wins gold after 48 years.

Bright tree east coast Singapore
At long last Singapore has won a gold medal, after 48 years of trying it paid off. Singapore has only been independent since 1943, so this is first gold medal as a Republic. Seemingly the winner of a gold medal, receives a wind fall of a million Singapore dollars. That is what Singapore's table tennis super stars have brought home for Singapore, gold medals. Everyone is jumping with joy. People in the malls all over town stopped shopping, yes people actual stopped shopping in Singapore, and watched the paddlers battle it out on the big screens. Great, good for national pride. Then you find out that two of the three became Singapore nationals last year and the top star this year. So is this really a win for Singapore? You would think the rules would be that you would have to be born in the country to represent the country. So does this mean a country can just go shopping and buy half a dozen top of their game athletes for the next Olympics, and bring back gold?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Red sky at night

Loch Vaa Scotland sunset  red sky at night

Camping last year with Stephen and Gary on Loch Vaa. As while we were preparing dinner we were treated to this amazing sunset. What a great way to end the day and enter the night. Red sky at night what a delight.

Outside apartments in Singapore I noticed these special bins for burning paper. They are usually the size of rubbish bin, with holes on the side for ventilation. So the paper would burn quicker. At first I assumed it was burning old newspaper. It turns out the Chinese use them to burn offerings to the spirit world. Paper money and other representation of the material world. So is the smog that plagues Hong Kong due to all this burning of paper, not factories. Also with China close to 2 billion and richer the situation is going to get worst. As they seem to do it every two weeks. Good business to get into, printing paper money to be burnt.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Culture at the Esplanade Singapore - Piano recital Georgi Mundrov "Dancing Keys"

View of the business district from the Esplanade Singapore's cultural cantre and concert hall

Escape to culture last night. Went to Esplanade for a Piano recital, Georgi Mundrov. Amazing how he became the music while playing. I could not get a seat at the side , so sat behind him so I could watch his hands. Could not see Georgi's face, so could focus on the music and the dexterity at the piano. Quite amazing to watch the translation of the dancing fingers on the keys into a amazing sound scape.

So many young children taken along, most young girls. Parents wishing the magic to rub of onto their children

It was in the recital room, not the main convert hall, so the sound was not as good as I was expecting. I was preparing myself to be awed by the sound on the Steinway.

Well that was my escape for the week from my routine.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Searching for independence, in Scotland.

Searching for independence in Scotland.

The link above shows us how many people have been searching on google for the word independence. As you can see since around April 2007 the interest has been very strong, then after Glasgow east it has just gone through the roof.
Google trends

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Symbols meaning different things to different folk.

Symbols meaning different things to different folk. - school bus

As you may know or not know in Asia the crocked cross is used to mark temples on maps, is a religious symbol. The Nazi's in Germany turned it around and used it for their on evil deeds. Across the road from where I live in Singapore there is a nursery school called Meri, day care for children. As the staff wear head scarfs I take it is a Islamic foundation that runs the place. Looking at the sign's on the bus that drops the kids off, the place takes children from across all faiths. It was shocking to see the following sign on one of the buses. I never knew the Nazi's copied the red circle as well. Looking at the photo, you can see that on windscreen, right hand side there appears to be sticker of the Japanese imperial Navy of the 2nd world war. Not really associated with being good as well. There must be no intention intended, just cultural differences. Symbols meaning different things to different folk.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Childhood memories - stills captured in the mind

Red hot fans at the red hot chilli peppers concert Scotland Glasgow Hampden August 2007

The memories that I can remember are the ones I knew at the time I would remember. Yes of course I could not think otherwise. When events in my childhood that I do not remember, I could not possibly remember thinking I will not remember this, otherwise I would have remembered them.
Sitting in a turquoise Mark I Ford Escort, the shape of the air vents fascinated me.
Hiding in a garage, full of bamboo sticks.
Driven to nursery school in a VW camper van, orange and white. Misty foggy day. The school was old converted stable yard. Remember playing in the back of the school, around a tree that had no grass, next to a forest.
Yesterday when I started thinking about what I could remember more, not today. Memories today seem far and distant and hazy, lost in the fog.
Getting lost when I went outside to play at gran’s house, thinking I was home and walk into a complete strangers house. The smell of soup, and seer-sucker table cloth, tree with miniature oranges at Gran’s house.
Waiting outside for a bus in the countryside after visiting Grandad in hospital.
Mum is very surprised how little I do remember.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Cycling and shopping

Australia Sydney Monal Vale foot steps on the sand Beach 071

Got up at 7, sent Paul to the airport. He had just returned from being out. He was catching a plane back to OZ. So called him a taxi. Had my super healthy breakfast, then of for a cycle.
Need to get out today. Plan to do some window shopping but I need to get to Funan Digital Mall. Have to get a book on SEO, as the site needs some tweaks to get the mass landing on the site.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

After a hundred

Jono and Graeme sitting outside in the grass marker after a night out.
Watched the the opening of the Olympics. What an event in itself. Anyway after the first hundred I went to bed, as it was after 10pm. As I get up early these days even at the weekend. So I can do my weekend cycle before it gets too hot. This week it has been really hot, up around and above 32. Did the cycle run, without Greg knocking anyone down this time.
Booked my flights for Japan, on the 2nd to the 16th. Flying Norwegians With an Attitude, NWA. Direct and a good price, 830SGD, through So far they have come up with a good price. Found them through Their "squirrels, do not seem to be doing a great job, as I found out about the NWA through another travel agent Which was a good price but not as good as the price on Changing from the 1st of October to 2nd of October the price was halfed. Which was not picking up on but on it was.
Looking forward to see the folks back in Tokyo, and the food. Yes the food. No Asahi dry this time, or atskan.

Friday, August 08, 2008

New Domain registered

Yesterday I registered two domains, and Now I need to create content. I am looking for suitable web hosting companies in the UK. So if anyone has any recomendations, please comment.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Still here - Singapore

Have not forgotten about the blog, just been busy. Really need to update more. As its interesting to read back what has happened.
Singapore has been everything I expected.
Have been leading the simple life. Work and gym basically.
The yoga at the gym is so different from what I was doing in Scotland, Alva and Stirling. Yoga teacher has a younger and fitter group to work with. So we really get pushed.
Have cut out another vice, chocolate.
So really getting rid of all the bad stuff, and in with the good stuff.
Will get back to you next week as I have some big news on the work front to announce.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Alva - Time to start packing my bags

Hi world. As my time back in Scotland comes to a close my new horizons open up in front of me. The plan is to depart Scotland the first week of June, and head over to Singapore. To continue the venture with Greg. Its different from the last time I left this house at the age of 17, 21 years ago, this time it feels final. Final about what I do not know. I see Alva, mum and dad, life , and of course myself in a different light. Uncertain and flickering light. I hope the winds of change does not blow that light out for me. I feel very privilege to have been able to spend time with my parents, and also have the opportunity with Greg to do something different. Maybe I have been hiding away from it all, it is time to stand in the sun again. I will miss the view shown in the video accompanying this blog.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A wise American

No not Tucker.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Benjamin Franklin
Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Friday, February 08, 2008

Camera Insurance -

Camera Insurance -

Sent the following letter to the Guardian Newspaper. No reply.

Dear Levene,

There is not much choice in the market place for insuring camera's. Special if you do not own a home, or have any other contents to insure, so not having content insurance of any description.

So after doing a search I could only find the following insure my Nikon camera and Leica compact. Covered for theft and damage.

I Am currently on holiday in Sydney Australia, lucky me escaping a Scottish winter. Well not all that lucky, as the Leica stopped working.

So I requested a claim form. In reply to the claim form I was informed that the excess would be 15% or a minimum of 300 pounds as the damage occurred while abroad.
Also I will have to get two quotes for the repair.

This was news to me. As I could not remember reading such figures. I looked through the web site and could only find this mentioned when paying for the policy, under premium rates.

On the page for the actual policy there is no mention of these outrageous excesses. This is a pure a simple rip off.

The camera itself new is 400 pounds. So repairing it will not cost over 300 pounds. So after paying 100 pounds for the insurance I feel swindled out of my money, and not covered for any theft or damage in the future.

The email from the company has been pasted at the end of this email.

I write to you to warn your other readers about this company, and ask you what can be done? Is this policy missing selling? Can I report them, get my money back? Is there are more reputable company out there that I can get my camera gear insured with?


Simon Kindlen


Dear Mr Kindlen

With reference to your voicemail received today 25/1/08. Have noted the information supplied regarding damage to your Nikon camera.

I can advise that you are covered for accidental damage to your camera. We will require a claim form to be completed and returned with two estimates for repair. Please find a claim form attached.

Please be advised that the excess on your policy is 7.5% with a minimum of £150 (excess is doubled for overseas claims).

If you have any further enquiries please call on 08449 809 640 or e-mail

Yours sincerely

Sheila M Tubbs

Senior Notification Advisor

E&L Insurance - Claims