Mornings Like These. Sunshine run along the river, quick cold shower, loving smiles exchanged above bowls of purple berry smoothie and chai tea, walking to work with a friend by my side, a coffee from the bakery in my hand and yellow rays of sunshine above.
Barre Bounce. When I was in India last week, a bunch of nifty one-person trampolines moved into my barre studio, so on Monday morning I go for my first bounce class. All girls are childlike excited about it, teachers and clients alike. When the manager first announced the coming of this new accessory a few weeks ago, I was a bit curious to see if the bouncing would compromise the practice in any way, making the poses forced or awkward, but not only is it super fun, it also feels as if the exercises were created with an elastic platform in mind, a dynamic basis acting as a very efficient cardio machine, providing support for the barre, which you screw onto the middle of the trampolines, and generally amplifying the effect of the poses. I’m especially happy when we stand up and alternate between renovating our feet all the way up to the tips of our toes and bending the soles of our feet down to tip our toes upwards. Yup, that’s very simple – but the massaging movement feels very soothing after having jumped up and down and side to side at a sprinting pace for several intervals and pulling your chest or legs up towards the barre from under it. It’s good!
Comfort Food. As much as I care about eating food that’s locally sourced and inspired and all that… I look back on most weeks and know that I just don’t live up to that concern and really am not that explorative when it comes to food and beverages on an everyday basis. This week I meet one friend for a never-failingly delicious and fairly healthy lunch bowl at Aloha Poke, spend another lunch break enjoying satisfying homeland treats at Joe & the Juice with another (Scandi) friend and pick Shop Wonderland for a coffee date with a third friend because it’s close to both our offices and I like their floral theme and palm tree wallpaper. On most evenings, I cook at home – sautéed free range chicken, organic salads and oven-roasted organic potatoes. All shipped from Australia and marinated in the spices we purchased in India last week. On two of the evenings we go out for dinner – for ramen in Boat Quay and chirashi don in Rob Quay. Ingredients shipped from Japan? Not sure, but decor and staff at both venues are definitely from there, leaving me considering, only briefly, when and if I’ll ever start gravitating towards Singaporean, Chinese, Malay food?
Talk and Think. Except for lovely conversations with S, colleagues and friends, what inspires me most this week are the thoughts and ideas expressed by some cool women in media at two different events. One, ‘Breaking Barriers for Women in Film and Animation’, is arranged by She Says and hosted by JustCo, and focusses on the unforgettable stories given to us by various branches of the entertainment industry and how, while these are mainly played out, written, directed, produced and edited by men, there also are some quite awesome women who’ve made it in film and animation. There to talk are ladies from VSS (Vision Strategy Storytelling), Cartoon Underground, LASALLE (student and teacher) and One Animation, who all represent curiously different aspects of what it means to be a career women. One of the speakers is a friend of S’s, a cool Singaporean woman, and we hang around long after the panel discussion to chat with her. Her favourite fairytale is The Ugly Duckling, which I, of course, with pride, tell her was written by a Danish storyteller. On Friday morning, I jog through Rob Quay and Fort Canning Park to go to a Creative Mornings breakfast lecture at Singapore Art Museum, such a wonderful institution … at such a wonderful institution! A guy is playing the saxophone next to the cold brew coffee stand as a vibey introduction to the speech given by ‘third culture kid’ Anita Kapoor, not on what to think but encouraging us to … think. With that intention, I trot off to work through Bugis and Boat Quay in the sunshine. Such an inspiring start to the day.
Bars. Pretty spontaneously, S and I end up going out quite a lot this week, each night being so full of laughter and good vibes. We meet at Napoleon for a glass of red wine before the She Says event, a cute little wine bar set in a Peranakan shophouse in the CBD, where you can sit in its walkway and enjoy a very decent wine selection in the evening sunlight. Walking home after the event, we pass by the Oasia Hotel, and as I want to show him the pretty green carpet in the lobby, we sort of drift towards the gin bar at the far end of the room, Cin Cin, where we, without any of us suggesting to do so, take a seat and order a perfect cocktail infused with fresh pink grapefruit juice and Earl Grey tea. Picking me up from barre on Friday, he then takes me to a speakeasy-style cocktail bar hiding above a shabby kiosk in Boat Quay. While I forget the name, I’m pleased to now know that such a great spot exists in an area I had dismissed as being tacky and horrible. I’ll happily come back for an expertly crafted cocktail sipped with a panorama view of the quay and surrounding monumental buildings. On Saturday night, we dance the night away at the world’s fourth best cocktail bar, Employees Only, fuelled by three free cocktails (our friend works there) conjured up by acrobatic bartenders in iconic white jackets.
Singapore Design Week. I missed the design week last week, unfortunately, but luckily it has left a few traces around town. Feeling very restless one afternoon at work, I pop out for a quick stroll around the Marina Bay to clear my head, and here, between the Fullerton Bay Hotel and the water, I spot (well, given their skyscraper size it’s hard not to) a handful of giant white silk paper flowers that have been erected on tall steel stems spouting up through the pavement. I love how easy it is to be reminded of why I love this town – as if I even needed a reminder.
The Future. On Thursday night, I go for a glass of wine, a bunch of grapes and some ginger tea at my friend’s flat, which is located on the 26th floor of one of the sculptural pillars of what we have named The Future due to the sleek, streamlined, futuristic look of the condo. We watch He Named Me Malala, which is the strongest, most terrifying and at the same time most life-affirming thing I’ve experienced in a long time – watch it, if you haven’t!
Saturday Bliss. Snoozing, running, drinking coffee from the bakery while wandering over to have brunch at the Botanist, which is such a cute little place, with a cosy patio, good morning music, good healthy food, good cold brew coffee, lush hipster plants, a clean and neat roastery upstairs, of which the owner gives us an informative little tour, and then skipping over to The Daily Roundup for a dessert of our favourite açaí bowl in town and more cold brew coffee, newspaper reading, journal writing and funnily synchronous nostalgic reminiscing with friends on the phone – S with a Swedish friend who lives in London but is currently holidaying in Hong Kong, which is where they became friends, both of them agreeing that they had an awesome time when they lived there but don’t feel any attachment to the city any longer, and I with a Danish friend who lives in Stockholm and is off on a business trip to New York City tomorrow. When she and I lived together in London that would be something she’d dream about – landing a job like the one she has now and being able to spend time in the Big Apple, something she’ll have to do 10 days a month now. Well done her!
Sunday Bliss! Snoozing for hours, listening to old, mellow Katie Melua songs in bed, walking across the river to Rob Quay for brunch with a friend at Common Man, walking back to buy croissants at the Tiong Bahru Bakery to bring as a hostess gift for the 1-year birthday party we’re going to in the afternoon at an Orchard condo, coming back home to relax on the sofa, only getting up again to meet a friend for chirashi don in Rob Quay, and walking back home to listen to Katie Melua while falling asleep very early. Ahh.
This Week’s Specials:
- On Loop: Lorde’s Green Lights; the Beauty and the Beast theme song; and Kygo and Selena Gomez on It Ain’t Me and the Chainsmokers’ Closer in the Kabira/Vidya Vox Mashup cover version ft. Casey Breves.
- Gripping: You May Want to Marry My Husband.