Sunday, 27 May 2007

Roadtrip to the Dinosaurs

I always knew that Canada was a big country. Big enough to once have had dinosaurs roaming it's land. Now that's pretty impressive.
The hubby, the station wagon & I just returned from a week long road trip to Calgary & Drumheller (where the dinosaurs are) in Alberta. Took us a good 12 hours to drive there from Vancouver and was somewhat tough on the behind, if you get my drift. Still, the scenery was quite worthwhile. To transverse from the wet & rocky coast of BC to the dry flat plains of Alberta was a lesson in real time as to how wide & diverse Canada really is.

Ok, back to the dinosaurs.

Drumheller is a little town in the valley of the same name. It's about an hour from Calgary if you gun it. You're driving through rolling fields which suddenly give way to steep, dry coulees (or badlands) ridged with the strata of hundreds of years of erosion by time, wind and the Red Deer River.

The cool thing is that there is a dinosaur called the Albertasuarus that was a tyrannosaurid. The same family as the famous T. Rex. and according to wikipedia " Albertosaurus was a bipedal predator with a massive head, jaws lined with dozens of large teeth and tiny, two-fingered 'hands'. It may have been at the top of the food chain in its local ecosystem. Although relatively large for a theropod, Albertosaurus was much smaller than its more famous relative Tyrannosaurus, probably weighing only as much as a modern black rhinoceros."

The Royal Tyrrell museum where I spent the best $10 in a some months was filled with tonnes of exhibits of full scale dino skeletons all hooked up in their larger-than-life glory.
Info on what the planet was like those 70+ million years ago when the dinosaurs ruled was clear and written magazine-like, which greatly appealed to my MTV mind.
Kids must love this place, because when we were there, there were hordes roaming the exhibition galleries. They had magical timing too. Just when you're about to take a photo, they'll step right into your shot. Well, at least I got these that I put here on the blog.

And when we got back to Calgary and went for dinner at a lovely steak place called Saltlik, I got chance to get a picture of another skeleton,. It's my favourite. I think I'll call it DinoHorsey.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Paradise Nearby

How much better can life get?

If you need a place to go to for quiet relaxing off-the-beaten-track getaway. Or a safe place for your kids to romp around getting to know nature. It's much cheaper than the over S$150 a night rooms in most places and definitely more bang for your buck. Because for about S$40 per night, you get to spend lazy afternoons under a dappled sky on an idyllic river, run with Toby (the sometimes guard dog but alltime fun dog, even during sleepy time) round the coconut grove & jump into the blue South China Sea and muck around on a powder white sandy beach.

And, you can have all this breezy coastal space to your own sweet self. No need for sharing and rushing with other guests because most of the times (especially on weekdays) you'd be the only guest in the laid back Mutiara guesthouse set in 8 hectares of beach front on the East coast of Bintan Island.

For those not familiar to Bintan Island, it's about 45 minutes by ferry from Singapore. And Mutiara is about an hour from the Bintan Resort's ferry terminal.

I visited my friend Marc on my last trip back to Singapore. He's the guy responsible for turning this little piece of paradise into a place where city folk can take wander back into the simpler, peaceful & charming kampung days.
Since February, he's added two more fun rustic bungalows to the existing guesthouse. The PONDOK, is built like a traditional fisherman's hut with attap & wood and can accommodate 4 people. It has a generous covered porch in front facing the sea and the most marvelous place for you to hang up your hammock for the afternoon snooze. The day rate if S$80 for 2 persons and this includes 3 meals.

The other addition is just brill. Called The KELONG, it's a unique floating eco-bungalow. Kelongs are traditionally used by Bintan fishermen for extended fishing stays out at sea. They raise anchor & paddle to move to the next fishing spot. This one has been modified to house 4 guests who want the novel experience of sleeping with colourful marine life dancing about under them. I'm told that the sunrises & sunsets are spectacular here. The day rate for the Kelong is also S$80 for 2 people. Since the Kelong is in the water, it's only available during the non-monsoon season from April to October.

If you'd like more info on these hidden gems so nearby Singapore, send Marc an email. He can be reached at

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Singaporean lah...

I had a previous post on an insight to the Canadian psyche a couple of days ago.
Now I find a counter balance to give my non-Singaporean friends a closer look into the Singaporean we all know & love.... with help from Hossan Leong & YOUTUBE.

I saw the clip with Hossan from a Mr Brown post some time ago. But this one's now got graphics. Really attractive to my MTV sensibilities.

Creating this post also forced me to learning how to embed YOUTUBE videos into my blog with which I am very well chuffed. Gonna be doin some more of it.


Thursday, 3 May 2007

Gorgeous Taffeta Summer Scarves

Ok. I couldn't help it. I saw the Eggshell blue one first. But it was what was waiting behind that bale of embroidered blue that truly frightened me.
There were seven other bales all of different colours! Mustard yellow, burnt orange, midnight blue.... Yikes! All feeling so smooth and silky and rich. How is a girl to decide? So many choices, so little space!
Having recently seen "Neat", a de-cluttering show on Home & Garden TV, I just couldn't buy them all. So I did the next best thing. I bought 4 colours. AND, only 2 metres of each. I have been a good girl!
And now, I'm happily sewing and turning them into gorgeous scarves.

This pretty eggshell blue scarf/shawl was finished yesterday. Imagine this under a tough black leather jacket. Rocking or what?

Tonight, I'll making another with both sides of different colours. The blue with the orange. So it's reversible and slightly more interesting methinks.

More will be on sale on Etsy. Enjoy!

If anyone has suggestions on other things to make with this fab material, leave ma a comment.