Enough With The Nostalgic Videos Already

I watched the LTA Bus Story Virulent Video and disliked it very much. I’ve had it with these nostalgia exploiting commissioned stories. But let me tell you my memory of buses from when I was a child.

I watched the LTA Bus Story Virulent Video and disliked it very much. I’ve had it with these nostalgia exploiting commissioned stories. But let me tell you my memory of buses from when I was a child.

I lived on Pasir Panjang Road, across from the police station, behind which was a beach. It was an idyllic place – there was a little jetty where fishing boats unloaded their catch, which was sold at Ah Heng’s fish shop on the corner of Pasir Panjang and Clementi Roads.

Right outside our bungalow on Pasir Panjang Road was a bus terminus. In those good old days, this was simply where buses stopped at the end of their assigned routes. There was a little structure where bus conductors busied themselves, I believe, with replenishing their bus tickets and other administrative matters. Bus drivers, who weren’t called captains then, would smoke, standing or squatting on the five-foot way on the other side of our garden’s brick wall. I could hear them clearing their throats and spitting. Sometimes, cigarette butts would end up in our garden.

Often, there would be too many buses that had finished their route and had to stop at this terminus, and our gate would be blocked. My father then had to go to the police station to complain and the policemen, yes, who wore shorts, would have to coax the bus drivers to move their buses so we could leave or enter our driveway.

One day, while we were going out, there was a terrible crash, and some frightening wailing, and I saw, lying on the ground in a growing pool of blood, an elderly man with a horrific head wound. Our path was blocked by the accident, and I was transfixed as I saw the SBS bus reverse away from the dead man.

So yeah, that’s my earliest memory of our buses. Now go make that a viral video.

The Last Minute Christmas Shopping Guide Part One

That’s it, it’s the last weekend before Christmas, and if you haven’t completed your gift-shopping, here are a few leads to help you along.

That’s it, it’s the last weekend before Christmas, and if you haven’t completed your gift-shopping, here are a few leads to help you along.

I’m always going to be biased in favour of Naomi’s business, so let’s get that out of the way:

Minejima & Co. – Playfully Useful Things

RuMe Everyday Tote
RuMe Everyday Tote – Medium – Moss

Minejima & Co. is the sole distributor and stocks the latest patterns and variants from Colorado-based brand RuMe – so if you’re looking for really useful stocking stuffers – check out RuMe’s range of bags, luggage, key, and pet tags.

Red Infernious Handlebar Hero
This is Red Infernious. He’s a Handlebar Hero.

If you know any kid (or adult) with a bicycle, kick scooter or electric scooter, you have to get them a Handlebar Hero. They’re $34.90 each for the large ones, and $14.90 for the tiny ones, which have been seen in a variety of uses – bag accessory, pony-tail tie, and bracelet.

Goodbyn Bynto Lunch Box
Goodbyn Bynto Lunch Box

What no child wants to hear: School will be back in soon after Christmas – and you may want to get ready with a Goodbyn Bynto lunch box – ours come with a water bottle and two sheets of stickers – for $36.

Minejima & Co. has also recently stocked the fabulous toy store Playhao with our range of award-winning Quut Beach Toys, so you can head down there and grab a set while shopping for other toys. Playhao is located in Forum The Shopping Mall on Orchard Road.

Delivery (free for purchases over $60) usually takes under two days, so you have time to order your stuff at minejima.co now!

It Takes Balls – Join The Maker Revolution

Cast Away Scarf Kit (No Needles)
Cast Away Scarf Kit (No Needles)

To bastardize an old saying: give someone a sweater and s/he has a sweater. teach someone to knit and…. you get the picture. Our good friends It Takes Balls not only has a great business name, they also sell these great knitting kits from another business with a great name, Wool And The Gang.

Join the Maker Revolution: Buy a kit and sign up for an It Takes Balls Knit Party. Email hello@ittakesballs.sg to find out more.

EP Crafters – Upcycled Glassware & Art

Cherry Noir
Grey Goose Tumbler

My friend Steve struck on a great idea last year – upcycling drink bottles and turning them into glasses, plates and lamps. It’s been a hit so far, and he’s now looking to produce more to meet demand.

Pick from vodka, whisky and other alcohol branded bottles which have been expertly cut and sanded into collectors’ item glassware. You could also collect an entire set of Grey Goose flavoured vodka glasses.

Playhao

Märklin Starter Set
Märklin Starter Set

I mention them again because they carry one of my childhood favourites – Märklin train sets, which I hadn’t seen in Singapore for at least 20 years. If you want to give your kid a proper train set – this is the one to start with. It has real metal tracks which carry the electricity to that powers the trains. A good starter kit can be had for $143.

Stay tuned for Part II!

Talking Point About Parenting

Kai and I pretending to have a boys' day out at a cafe, which is actually an event space on the 2nd floor of the Grand Hyatt.
Kai and I pretending to have a boys’ day out at a cafe, which is actually an event space on the 2nd floor of the Grand Hyatt.

Tonight, Kai and I appear on Talking Point with four other fathers and their children. The topic is fatherhood, the role of fathers in the family. It was meant to be a relaxed, shoot the breeze shoot, together with some attempt at cooking.

Naomi and I are very fortunate to have a wonderful boy who is a joy every waking hour of the day. We are hardly experts in parenting, and as I said to Steven Chia, the host of Talking Point, I’m just having the most fun being a Dad, and what Naomi does with Kai and I makes it all possible.

There’s a lot of time involved, but there’s no magic formula other than wanting Kai to be healthy, informed, compassionate and conscientious.

I have spoken with other parents about how we go about parenting, but this was the first time I’ve been presented with the question, specifically, of how fathers go about doing things. For us, gender has never been a factor in what roles are supposed to be played by whom – excepting of course the obviously biological – and I was slightly taken aback by the questions posed, and some of the answers given.

I would’ve enjoyed a longer chat on how my family feels about families, but watch if you can tonight, and leave your comments here.

TALKING POINT9.30PM Channel 5.

Watch a teaser here.

#CardboardConstable Origins

In case you didn’t know, #CardboardConstable was commissioned in November 2013, and  mrbrown and myself started Instagramming his deployment locations last year.

If you, like us, find the recent crime prevention video with the mass dance damn jialat, here’s a list of #CardboardConstable sightings on Instagram for you to enjoy instead.

This picture’s my favourite so far:

My heart is filled with so much love for this gorgeous…….. piece of cardboard………. ????????

A photo posted by KBL (@sundaykbl) on

For Cartophiles – Map Mania at the NLB

I love maps, and I was pleasantly surprised when I made my way up to rehearsals at the Drama Centre Theatre yesterday, because there was this display in the lobby of the National Library (Central) featuring the first topographical map of Singapore.

That is part of an exhibition on maps called “Geo|Graphic: Celebrating Maps and their Stories“. I plan to check it out when we get a break from preparing for the show. It (both the show and the exhibition) promises to be fascinating.

For instance, did you know that Tampines, Toa Payoh and Gelang were named more than a hundred years ago? Or that the terminal building of Kallang Airport still stands?

Bukit Timah 1947
Painstakingly preserved map of Singapore City from 1947 (from National Archives of Singapore)