28 Mar 2017

A Trip Down Monetary Lane

We found an envelope, the other day, containing old currency, which appear to have been a collection belonging to my father.

It is by no means a complete collection, and the old notes themselves are not in mint condition.   Most are worn, and some have burn marks (he was a smoker, after all!).

This 1935 note is the oldest in the collection.  Portrait is that of George V, who died the following year.

Curious as to its current value, I searched for it in eBay.

Quite a variation in value, depending on the quality, I would imagine.

This 1940 issue is interesting in that the reverse side is blank.  The portrait of King George VI on a bank note is somehow in my memory.

That is probably because he ruled till his death in 1952 and currency with his portrait would have been around in my early childhood.

The previous regent (on the $1 above), King George V, I cannot remember ever seeing at all on currency or stamps.

Finally, this one:
And the corresponding eBay entry:

There are a few more (will post some time in the future) from the Japanese occupation and the early 60's.

On another note (pun intended), here's a little newspaper article I found a week or two ago regarding the yucca.  If correct, I can look forward to the yucca flowering next year.

21 Mar 2017

35 Again!!

The birthday cake Grandma C did for me last year was always going to be a hard act to follow.
You may remember this bowl-of-noodles cake.
So this year, as I turn 35 again, she didn't even try decorating my cake.

Instead, we had a simple, but highly delicious cake.  In fact, having baked it a couple of times earlier, it has earned a place in our book of family classics.

The honey cake - one of the most delicious cakes I've ever eaten.  The recipe is here.  Go make it - you won't regret it.

New Skills

Saw this in DIL's Facebook page.

I so glad Granddaughter A is learning new skills and broadening her horizons!

More Art

The following are some pieces of Australian art which we enjoyed when visiting the Singapore National Gallery.
Frederick McCubbin, Violet and Gold (1911)

My favourite - captures our wheatbelt to a T, especially the tall, elegant eucalypts.

10 Mar 2017


Ever since this yucca, with its stiff pointy leaves, stabbed one of our visitors in the forehead, causing much bleeding, we have been trying to kill it.

This was in the front yard of our house and, because we had a swimming pool at that time with our kids and their friends running round, we were wary of it putting out one of their eyes.

For well over thirty years we have chopped it down, dug it up by the roots, applied Roundup from the Evil Empire of Monsanto and stripped it of every leaf that it sprouted.

Nothing could stop it regrowing .

Then this year, after we've given up the fight to kill it (never mind the threat to our grandchildrens' eyes) it sent out a long spike and flowered.

But as these beautiful flowers withered and fell, they are impaled on the spiky leaves below, a reminder of the constant hazard they proffer.

Even a sideways pointing leaf can slice through a petal!
I believe another name for this plant is Spanish bayonet, a most apt description.

2 Mar 2017

Artistry and High Tea

I did mention, a few posts ago, our visit to the Singapore's National Art Gallery and that I'd be posting more about it.

The exhibition that was on at the time of our visit was called "Art and Empire", if I remember correctly and depicted the growth of the British Empire.

The Gallery allows photos to be taken of all items but one, the copyright of which belongs to a certain Japanese gentleman I was told.

So here's a few I enjoyed.

This painting, by an unknown artist and entitled "The Departure of King Thibaw and Queen Supalayat from Mandalay at the End of the Third Burma War in 1885" was an especially poignant one for me as we had visited Mandalay and the Palace a few years back.

I have, in fact, a photo of the observation tower with the spiral staircase in the top left of the painting.
Wandering through the Gallery, we stumbled on Violet Oon's restaurant.
Recognising that she had been a contemporary of ours during our student days (though we never knew her personally), and being in need of a good sit-down, we entered the beautifully set up space and had high tea there.
High tea was $53 for the two of us, and quite a bargain we thought, given the ambience of the place and the generous amount of sweet and savoury delights reminding me of my Peranakan heritage.
I thought this tray was cleverly designed, being reminiscent of a tiffin carrier.

Pork bun and sambal sandwich

L to R: Otak, nasi kunyit, pie tee, and buah keluak

The sweets, and I can't remember all the names, though.

17 Feb 2017

More On The Drone

A couple of readers emailed me to say that the video in my last post did not portray the actual drone itself.  I had intended to include a photo of the drone, but, maybe due to my age, completely forgot to do it.

I still haven't taken a picture of my drone, but for those of you still curious about it, it's website is here.

Here, however, is a video (by Grandma C) of me flying the drone.  It may look like I was in complete control, but I can assure you I was not.  The wind, I think, was blowing the drone to the left of screen, towards the trees; and I was keeping the drone lower down so as not to get it caught up in the higher branches, as I am in no condition to climb trees!

The durian coffee also generated some interest and I have actually found that Grandma C did purchase another brand of that delightful drink, when last in Singapore.
This one states that it is a "3 in 1" coffee, whereas the one in my previous post was a "4 in 1".   They both tasted about the same, though.
What the missing ingredient is in this one, I don't know; probably just another carcinogenic chemical!