Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tim's last day wearing a tie

Tim is on his last flight. He will get in 5 pm, and a group meets his last flight. Five of us are going out to be at Arrivals. Some management will be there and they do a little thing and cut his tie off. Last flight that Tim will wear a tie. He still has his little airplane that will sit at the dock at Southwinds, but no tie need. No shoes needed. No shirt needed.

But his last flight in a uniform, and this is the last photo of the "twins" at Tiger. Everybody confused Rod with Tim. They both look alike!? I guess to the Asians. But Tim is known as "the nice one" says Rod. They joined at the same time at Air Canada, were in line together signing up, and followed each other, one number away in seniority for 33 years. But funnily enough, Rod, 3 months older, retired before Tim, so Tim now has priority over Rod at AC. Finally a catch up.

I am really thinking I am going to find a closet full of junk that I have not dealt with. I had NOTHING to do yesterday so went off to Gardens by the Bay to see the tulip showing. It was voluptuous. The scent of tulips, the mass of colours. I have a zillion pics (at least) but will post two. Wafts of colours, and wafts of that delicate scent. It fed my soul. And primed me for my first Ontario Spring in three years. Whoopppee!

I find myself saying goodbye to things and people. I remember doing that when were packing from Connaught Circle, but wish I had a stronger memory of those farewells. So here are some for Singapore. The iconic Marina Bay Sands Resort downtown, the a amazing infinity pool on top, the views of the city magnificent, the logistics of the engineering with the curve supporting what is at the top. I love it. It commands a view from all over, it is the first place I suggest visitors go to, and I am so glad we did a staycation and I experienced that roof top pool.

Our apartment. 23-05 of Aquamarine Tower at 50 Bayshore Park, on Bayshore Road. The condo complex is wonderful. The grounds are very green and quiet and spacious, and wonderfully landscaped. (except the fake grass they have started to put in!)

The view from our now empty balcony. A somber day with some haze. I have heard that the haze is coming soon and going to be worse that last year (is it possible?) and for 2 months. Yuck.

So the last flight tonight. The party tomorrow night, then Friday Saturday empty !!! and we fly out very early Sunday. To Hong Kong. And then standby to TO. With 6 oversized suitcases, ($$$) and oversold flights. We could get in as early as Sunday night. 12 hours in the plane and get to TO the same time we left HK.

So this might be the last post from Singapore. Or it might not be.

Friday, April 18, 2014

well here I am back again, so soon

Packing up in the hottest weather we have experienced. No breeze and the awful humidity on top of the heat. YUCK

Our belongings have been procreating in the closets. We went off to Giant (a bargain department store) to buy big suitcases. S$40  each. Amazing. They only have to last one flight. We never travel this heavy!

Aside from stuffing belongings into these huge bags that are restricted by weight and 50 lbs comes too soon, there is also all these many currencies left over.

Nancy and Rod are going to buy some of our foreign currencies. We have Myanmar 1410 kyats which comes to S$1.84!
673,000 Indonesian rupiah comes to S$73.65.
The hard one to count was Vietnamese dongs 10,060,000. That comes to $597. Why did I have so much? I don't know. But counting those zeros. It took me many times over, I had to put them in piles, and count over and over. I will have Nancy check. I could be out by many zeros.

Our last sleep in our apartment is tonight. It is very charged. We have had such a lovely time, exciting travel, and wonderful time together. We are both a little soft about leaving that behind.

But the call of children and family and friends is loud. Such mixed yin/yang, bittersweet feelings, as is most of life, right?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Ten Days to go!!!!!!!!

Tim's sister Jeanette was our last visitor. Time is flying like greased lightening. It is scary fast.

We just had 2 weeks with Netty/Jeanette/Skip. It was a super visit to end this incredible chapter.
We had a slow start. Netty had been racing Masters Cross Country Skiing in Labrador, -30' , (5 bronze medals!) and stepped off the plane here in 30' and humidity. It was very hot while she was here.
We had a bbq so she could meet some of our friends. We can rent a bbq down by the pool. We pay $5 to reserve it, but  $50 deposit to insure we leave it tidy. When you are finished you call the security guard to come and inspect your tidying job, sign you off and you go to the office the next day to get your deposit back. Just like school children. Urgh.

We went to a concert of the SSO doing Bach's St. John Passion,  We did some sight seeing, Marina Bay Sands, I think the most amazing "must" in Singapore. An engineering feat, and so beautiful. The Art science Museum, again , an architectural jewel, built to look like a lotus flower, and saw a dinosaur exhibition that was wonderful. 

 Then we went to Norm's boat. Norm, our dear friend who was the reason we came here. He had come a year ahead, and called Tim to say this is fantastic, you should come. He is now retired, and his plan is to be 5 months on his sailboat out of Phuket, a month travelling, then 5 months in Barbados, (his home, his roots, where he has a house,) for 5 months, and travel a month. Sounds pretty nice to me. He is the most wonderful, generous, happy, interesting, brilliant soul. I do love him dearly. He had invited us for 4 days, it coincided with Netty being here, and Tim got the 4 days off.

Norm is very tall, and makes me feel petite!

We had very still water. Which made sailing easy or even not enough and we had to motor. We were crossing from Phuket to Krabi. Tim and I had been to both places staying at resorts. I would look out at these beautiful sail boats and think "wow". Well we were the "wow". To see these beaches from the boat. Fantastic! We crossed the Andaman Sea from the east coast of the peninsula Phuket is on, to the west coast further south than the peninsula, to Krabi. The water there is scattered with these amazing islands. Limestone eruptions in the sea. Many have caves and chimneys carved out by millennia of sea water. They are spectacular. Photos do not do them justice. (see how quiet the water is)

We anchored three nights, and we had 2 kayaks for exploring, a little rubber dinghy to go ashore, and we could have gone diving. Norm has tanks, a regulator, the works.

 His boat is 50' long, has three cabins and a bow cabin, so can sleep 8. We were 5; Norm, Tim, me, Netty, and a young man, Ben, a son of a friend of Norm's, who helped crew. The boat is lovely. Called Barbados Bound, because that is where Norm lives, or has a house. (He commuted from Barbados to TO for Air Canada!)

We are just coming out of a hong cave. It is beyond description. We are in the dinghy looking at the BB anchored in the very still sea. Shallow water, vegetation growing on the walls - the will to live is dramatic- Sometimes the opening goes in to a cave, sometimes in to a chimney, that is either enclosed at the top, or open to the sky.

I felt like we were in the middle of nowhere, and yet the longtails come by with tourists to visit the caves. I think I have shown these longtails before, beautifully designed, sea worthy teak boats, with a motor (a very simple engine that sounds like piston beaver- that is very loud) that will draw very little water, so they can go in very shallow water. They ply the heavy seas beautifully too. But they are noisy.
We also were visited by fishermen, and we bought fresh prawns and bbq'd them.

Here is beautiful Barbados Bound anchored at a hong.

We swam in to this beach and wandered in on the island, through a slice in the wall, and followed a river. The high walls echoed the calls of birds, and I felt like Robinson Caruso.

We came back to Sg and went to Garden by the Bay. These fantastic structures, maybe 100' high, are growing living walls up them. They are very dramatic.

A lovely view of my favourite Singapore icon, Marina Bay Sands, from the Garden.

I am going to be very busy and somewhat scattered over the next 10 days. TEN DAYS!!! YIKES!!!getting this place closed up. We will finish here 25th and head back shortly thereafter. I have decided to continue this blog after getting back to Canada, because there will be a post script for me. The transition will be a big one. So I will record it.

Thank you for sharing my adventure. So far! It has been very important to me to feel I am connecting with friends back home. I so want to share the adventure, because I am so lucky to have done this. It has been fantastic. But to be sharing helped with the inevitable loneliness of being away. From very low depths, extreme ill health, to wallowing in the adventures we have had, it has been quite a ride. Thank you for sharing it.

Monday, April 7, 2014

I do love synchronicity

We still have three weeks before leaving, but I wanted to say goodbye to my dear friend Kate. She has the yoga studio I attend. Tomorrow I am off sailing for 4 days, and during that time she is off to South Africa to visit her family. She gets back the day we finish up here. So although very early to say a farewell, it would have to be. I was wondering how I could track her down with the bit of time I had today.

Shopping for groceries for our sailing trip tomorrow I bumped in to her in the mall! I came to her studio with her and was able to have a visit. It was wonderful to have a proper farewell. But I do have to say that I plan to come back to Singapore next Fall to go on her annual yoga retreat. So it was a 5 month goodbye. But to bump in to her at the mall. Wonderful synchronicity.

Tim's sister Jeanette, is visiting from Whistler. Actually she came via Labrador where she competed in Masters cross country ski. She got 5 bronze medals. She came from in Labrador -20 to  Singapore 30'! Tim, Jeanette and I are off to Thailand tomorrow. We fly to Phuket, and fly out of Krabi. Phuket is an peninsula that hangs down the west side of Thailand. We will sail with Norm east across the bay to the mainland of Thailand, to Krabi. We have been to both places on holidays so I know how beautiful it will be. But to spend 4 days on a sailboat there is beyond exciting.

It is a boat, I think 40'. It sleeps 8, 3 bedrooms below and one in the bow. Norm has all the diving gear on his boat, he has a kayak, a bbq, a bimini, and it should be very beautiful. We went with him way back when we first got here. I was still very sick, and could not manage the ladder so did no swimming. I am looking forward to be a part of the activities on the boat this time. I am taking ziploc bags of salads, (quinoa and bean) that can travel tomorrow on the flight, and am thrilled to be able to contribute to the kitchen. Oops, galley. Last visit I had no idea what to take. I did know not to bring rum. He has something like 13 bottles of rum!

We, the three Callahans, went to hear the SSO last week. St John Passion by Bach. It was wonderful. They did it with traditional instruments. That would be a theorbor, and a viol da gamba. A theorbor is a lute/guitar like instrument with a very long neck. Like three feet long. A viol da gamba is like a cello with no end pin, held between the legs. The sound is different to a cello. In all my years of playing, I never played with a theorbor. Again, the hall was wonderful, the acoustics perfect, and I was purring like a happy kitten.

Hoping you are warming up at home. I am beginning to think I am going to come home to snow! My sister Marnie was at our place in Bala Sunday, and the snow plow for the driveway has made an eight foot snow pile right where we hope to start building May 1. HA.