Tag Archives: boats

The Sight of Smells

I was 15 when I first smelt Singapore. I landed with my school band (I played the flute). The aeroplane door opened. I stood at the top of the steps and inhaled.

Sultry. Complex.  Heavy with spice. Layered, year upon year like sheaves of history.

The aroma has drawn me ever since. I remember it at odd times. I have wanted to immerse in it again to enjoy and to refresh my memory. Alas, passengers are now funnelled from the plane directly into the airport building. By the time one emerges into the air, the aroma is barely noticeable. It has seeped imperceptibly into one’s olfactory system . The moment of immersion, of recognition, has been stolen.

I may never fully smell Singapore again.

But I have the sight of smells.

The durian, that contradictory fruit whose repulsive smell has earned it its own sign on trains, has reached gargantuan proportions.

Fun-loving architects have left a trail around the city.

In an interesting reversal, this boat carries its own expanse of water – a 150m infinity pool (accessible only to hotel guests).

The value of tourists is duly noted with them emerging from a cornucopia.

I’ve never been to Dubai, but the extravagant shopping centre at Marina Bay Sands had me feeling that I had been transported to that acknowledged showcase of resource-devouring, environmental remodelling. Even a shopping centre with one storey and old-fashioned floors can put me in an odd state of dislocation from the outside world. This one had a PhD in disorientation, with majors in wanton excess and fun.

Float from end to end in a sampan, passing beneath miniature Venetian-style bridges.

Hitchcockian lights roost above a stage.

  

For information on the Marina Bay Sands Skypark, including the public viewing area on the stranded boat, click here.

Summer Streets

Summer has hit the streets of Amsterdam.

I really need to qualify that and say that it pokes its head out occasionally. Often it gets frightened off by the cold wind and rain. Some days it sits out the morning then appears around 1 or 2pm for a few hours.

Nevertheless, the folk here are revelling in it. Continue reading

A Gaggle of Locals

The River Ouse…

I appreciate a misnomer as much as the next person and this is a splendid one. This river doesn’t ooze but I am always transported to medieval times when I hear its name, as if it was then a sludgy, slow-moving, reed-filled cesspool limping sore across the pristine Yorkshire countryside.

Continue reading

Lock, Stock and Boat

A delightful stretch along the Stratford-Upon-Avon canal near Lapworth, akin to the 100m hurdle for athletes.  Continue reading

Wandering Warwickshire

Standing beneath the skeleton of an ancient deer which is positioned as if gazing out of the window of the modern interior of a Warwick museum, I felt oddly out of perspective in both time and physical dimension – like Alice in Wonderland or something from a Magritte painting. Continue reading

Bristol – Large as Life

Bristol has been a hive of human activity since man first crawled out of the primeval slime (about 60 000 years ago, in Bristol’s case); although being a hub of the slave trade in the 1700s, would indicate that some people hadn’t crawled very far morally. Continue reading

Busy Little Craft

Loved this little fellow beetling about. Continue reading