Thursday, 30 October 2008

on a rather lighter note

homeward bound from Bangalore i had a day to wander about in Singapore before a pumpkin-time flight back to South Australia. there's nothing that excites me less than a day spent trawling the shops so whenever i'm in this island state i hop on the free SIA bus, head into the city and find my way into the Botanic Gardens. here i spend a happy day inhaling orchid perfumes and reading the labels on the spice trees. 

curious things abound in these gardens and there is much to be learned. did you know that bananas belong to the Ginger family?
i didn't as well.

these brilliant blue berries/fruits are from some sort of ficus

and this delicious flower is that of the vanilla orchid. i have trouble believing there are sufficient of these precious plants in the whirled to support a certain soft-drink company's output of vanilla-flavoured stickiness

on the way to the Bot this time i became somewhat distracted by these delightful windows, so much more beautiful than all the motor spareparts shops at streetlevel below...

much later while walking back to the city along Nassim Road, i discovered leafprints on the pathway, stains from the heavens above. 

wished i'd taken my tiny travelling dyepot (recently acquired at a thrift shop in Ararat) with me. it's a miniature deep-fryer, electrically heated (airlines won't allow camping stoves in ones luggage) and just the right size for making small bundled dye samples. Unlike the Adelaide Botanic Gardens where one isn't permitted to pick up so much as a feather, many other such institutions have no problem with modest windfall collection for research purposes.

Singapore and Wellington (Aotearoa) are two such friendlies....and i'm looking forward to taking the travelling cauldron over there again in January! 


  1. I can feel the steamy atmosphere and the heady perfume from your description, vanilla's one of my favourite scents. Love the windows too, they look as if they're from the Indian side of town. It's a fascinating place to visit with it's many cultures, if you can get away from the shops and hawkers. We went on the train to a part of town where the locals shop and live, away from the glitz, it was much more basic and real.

  2. Thank you for the lovely Singapore photo-essay. The coronet of leaves against the washboart is delightful, Caesar would have been envious. I am glad not all the old buildings have been sanitized. Skyscrapers have their place, but not the charm of Singapore of old. Did you manage that G&T we talked about?

  3. should have stuck to G&T but was seduced by a Singapore Sling, and then another. in the clear cold light of day one recognises this for the sickly sweet concoction it is....but in the Long Bar at the Raffles it's a different beast entirely!

  4. you need thousand eyes to see what you see, up and down! I like the picture of the fallen leave and the print that it has left on the ground - to discover such a thing gives a rich feeling of welness. Thanks for sharing this. xD

  5. thanks India for your email. I'm not sure if my feedback was send to you, so I have copied it for here. The blog fontainefleurie is about our second home in France. I have read somewhere when you are travelling your eyes and ears are so much more concentrated than in an enviroment you already know. I'm not sure about that, because
    I recognised your attitude - seeing all the things through your specialist eyes - in your case you have a 'dyers-eye' I quess, all the things you see are automaticly translated into colour and possibilities for some creative
    experiments. Am I right?

    I have also have another blog with my own textile experiments - if found some time please have a look,

    And yesterday I have ordered your fantastic book (also the one with your felt). (I even say to someone that I'am infected by the 'india-virus'

    I'll keep following your blogs, love Dorie

  6. thanks Dorie for your kind and insightful words...
    it's a magical whirled we live in and i enjoy wandering about with my eyes open. there is a rampant two-year old living deep within who is usually in a state of wonderment and questioning about everything. or she's asleep.
    (anyone who is interested in felt should pop across to Dorie's site)

  7. yesh
    I got pisht in shingapore too
    Red Wagga Yellow Wagga

  8. i drew the line at 2....unlike the Irish gentleman who fell at my feet sometime later in the departure lounge, mumbled "don't let the plane leave without me lass" and promptly fell into a coma. i did try and wake him for the boarding call but i might as well have tried to wake up a wall. finally i left him in the hands of airport staff. he may well still be in Singapore...

  9. LOL, you are so funny India.(Reading the comments above)
    I am enjoying your meander through India and loving the photographs. I had no idea bananas were related to ginger. At the moment I am swigging ginger/lemon/honey tea to help me cut down on coffee. I am actually addicted to it and its so much healthier than the coffee.