Monday, May 02, 2005

Because we now have 2 cars between us, my entire family could have an outing today, this Labour Day holiday. We started early and collected mom, dad and my bro to meet my sis and her brood up on Kent Ridge Park. For the first time ever, my whole family took in the air in unfamiliar territory together.

Kent Ridge Park is the site of the battle for Pasir Panjang Hill and there is a small monument there to commemorate the event. There is even a leftover AMX-13 light tank on display, though it's presence is misleading. That tank never saw battle up on this height. It was imported in much later after WWII. It was still a talking point between my bro and me, though, as we reminisced over our own NSF days in the local Armoured brigade.

But we were here not for the nostalgia but for the trek through a pleasant canopy walk above the trees (a short one compared to the one at MacRitchie) and along the walking paths of the park. Not much to see of nature around our built-up areas, but where we have set aside some space for nature, she is lovingly preserved. The lush greenery and the abundance of wild animal life (think birds, butterflies and squirrels, not lions and tigers and bears) could almost make you think you were in some other country.

Here, even the public toilet is clean and dry -- a nice surprise considering the alternative might have been the biggest tree within sight -- and as the conspicuous signage proudly declares, the toilet is lighted by electricity generated from solar energy.

In order to get to the pond indicated on our map, we had to drive back to the much smaller car park 'A', a little lower down the hill. We weren't disappointed with the pond and its environs. We found a pavillion to sit in and chill out while my sister's kids decided to mostly hang out with mom who was intent on exploring the pond a little further. We had more important things to do, like decide where to go for lunch.

Settled for the Ghim Moh market hawker centre. Cheap and good. Between June and myself, we ordered a whole half chicken, with liver and rice, all for less than $10. Not sure about how the others enjoyed their lunch, but June advises that there is nothing special about the ah balling (glutinous rice ball dessert) and that she's had better.

Took mom, dad and my bro back home where we devoured some ice-cream before vacuuming the M2. Mom lent us a hand-me-down vacuum cleaner: a Miele with a printed label that suggested it might be at least 20 years old. That this antique could work with such effectiveness attests to just how well they made stuff back then, 20 years ago.

Too lazy to wash the M2 manually so we drove to our nearest petrol station where we had it foam washed instead, going quite against Eddie's injunction. Cost is $6 for cars, $7 for SUVs, $8 for trucks.

Managed to catch a short nap at home before heading back out to return Mimi to her home. We had dinner at mom-in-law's place where she fried up a delicious fish & chips.

Had another bowling session later at the CSC. Average: 151. OK, still maintaining.

Amazing how many activities we could pack into a day, if we simply woke up earlier.

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