Archive for July, 2011

Saw this event in the papers and was very keen to go.  I love books, inside and outside.  So I was eager to check out An Ode to Penguin held at the Arts House, which is an exhibition of more then 1000 Penguin books that the owners of BooksActually collected over more than ten years.  Even though that sounds like a lot of books, the exhibition is actually quite small. 

I’ve always been a sucker for covers, appreciating both the classic covers and the more elaborate ones.  I wish I had all the shelves (and money) in the world to acquire a beautiful library of books.  Alas…

The collection includes a book from the first 20 titles ever printed under the Penguin series (it’s the blue book in the picture above inside the ‘shield’ in the centre).  The exhibition showcases how thecover  design shifted from horizontal orange blocks, to vertical blocks; from a simple block design to include motifs, photographs, paintings, and even a gimicky design-it-yourself cover. 

Orange block covers

Lovely cloth covers.  Had seen these at a bookstore previously and was so tempted to get them cos they’re so pretty, but they were cheap, considering the price of a regular paperback.

The guide there was very knowledgeable and helpful, and I was impressed with his genuine interest in the design history of the Penguin covers.  He could trace the history from the birth of Penguin under The Bodley Head, to it’s breakaway, then the establishment of Puffin books just as World War II broke out, and then the founding of the Pelican series of non-fiction books.

I liked this.  The various versions of the Penguin logo before the final one (extreme left, middle penguin in black) was settled on.

An old copy of Mr Popper’s Penguins.  Apparently the Penguin logo took some inspiration from the illustrations in this book.

I remembered I had few old Penguin books of my own that I picked up from secondhand bookshops which were of titles they didn’t have.  Will look at them differently when I pull them out again.

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[pictures to come]

As a follow-up activity to our train ride, and mainly because I wanted to do it, we went walking along the train tracks twice at different stretches. 

On the Tuesday after the last train left Tanjong Pagar, the boys and I hit the Rail Mall section with my parents to walk across the steel bridge.  Walked just a short distance from Rail Mall to the Hillview crossing.  Even then we took an hour to make the round trip since we were walking quite slowly.  Asher did well walking on the stones, and had a good walk with Gong Gong. 

My Mum was tickled by how they looked like two people running away along the train tracks, although ‘running’ wouldn’t be quite how I’d describe it.  But Asher found that amusing and kept saying he was running away with Gong Gong after that :)

Then on Saturday we went with Jon’s Dad to the stretch between Queenway shopping centre and Portdown Flyover to walk under the flyover for a different experience. 

Compared to the Bukit Timah stretch, which was very lush (giant yam leaves, long hanging vines, large over-grown creepers, etc), this had a much more open feel.  It didn’t really feel like we were in Singapore especially when we walked past some abandoned ramshakle kampong huts. 

Being a weekend it was more crowded though.  There were even cyclists on the track…something I don’t think I want to do.  It looked extremely bumpy a ride.  I’d much rather walk. 

Anyway, if there’s a chance I wanna head for the other steel bridge near King Albert Park to relive that delinquent moment I mentioned previously.  Pity that the Bukit Timah Station is already cordorned off.  I didn’t know they’d be sectioning off that area before 17 July, which is when the tracks are still supposed to be open until.  The stretch between King Albert Park and Rail Mall will still be open until the end of July though.

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Rotating Houses

It was our turn to host another playdate for the boys.  As usual, almost all the toys were pulled out and they were running about before and after dinner. 

During dinner I think there was healthy peer pressure for them all to eat something.  Titus was the most guai, needing no prompting whatsoever to eat up.  But these boys are really fruit monsters, needing no prompting to eat their dessert of strawberries, peaches and apples.  Wonder how the meals will go when Ellery starts eating dinner too.  How chaotic will that be?  2 adults and 4 boys at the table :)

It makes me happy to see that Asher and Kaizer don’t just play alongside each other, but with each other.  They can now share an imaginary world and contribute funny ideas to the game.  Asher happily remembered Kaizer’s comment that they were sailing to “No island” – with a capital N.  It’s the name of the island.  The both of them found that really funny and were laughing away, and for Asher, laughing intermitently at the recollection of it up till bedtime!

The two older ones were lost in their world, so Titus busied himself with the other toys, and was happy to try on some of Asher’s hats, and looked very, very cute indeed.

I think Kaizer is repairing the broken telescope with a hammer?  They were in a ship on the way to No island (hee hee ha a ho ho)

Looking through their ‘binoculars’ to find…who knows??

Titus in the hat




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