Archive for May, 2010

rise sisters rise the world is all before ye

The other day when I was in Bishan, I looked around the MRT station and wondered where my alma mater could possibly relocate to.

Thus I was amazed to read this in Straits Times on Friday:

Raffles Girls’ School may be relocating

School may move closer to RI, due to Integrated Programme

By Liew Hanqing

FOLLOWING in the footsteps of school families coming together, Raffles Girls’ School (Secondary) (RGS) looks set to become a neighbour of its brother school, Raffles Institution (RI).

While the school would neither confirm nor deny the move, it admitted that its current site at Anderson Road was no longer adequate for its growing co-curricular activity (CCA) needs.

Responding to queries from The Straits Times, principal Julie Hoo said: ‘Our current campus at Anderson Road is good; there are, however, many new programmes and initiatives with the Raffles Programme in RGS. These are creating a need for more – and different – facilities.’

The school’s population has hovered at the 1,800 mark the past few years.

The Raffles Programme is the six-year Integrated Programme which sees girls from RGS and boys from RI progress directly to the A levels at RI without having to take the O levels.

Other school families that have come together include the Hwa Chong family, comprising Nanyang Girls’ High School and Hwa Chong Institution in Bukit Timah Road, and the Saint Andrew’s family, comprising the junior and secondary schools and the junior college at Potong Pasir.

Sources said it is likely RGS will occupy the former Braddell-Westlake Secondary School site along Braddell Road, across the road from RI. A Ministry of Education (MOE) spokesman would say only that development plans for RGS were ‘under review’.

Mrs Hoo said the school had approached MOE last year to help provide additional venues for CCA groups to hold practice sessions.

‘MOE kindly agreed and allowed for a few of our CCA groups to train at the Braddell-Westlake site, which is conveniently located not too far from RGS,’ Mrs Hoo said.

A spokesman for the Urban Redevelopment Authority said the site area of RGS’ Anderson Road campus is about 4.5ha, while the Braddell-Westlake site is about 7.4ha, or slightly more than 1.5 times RGS’ present size.

Alumnae responses to a potential relocation were mixed.

Miss Rachelle Goh, 25, a marketing executive, said: ‘I feel that the soul is lost when you up and move from a place with so much history. It won’t be the same.’

But not all alumnae are against the move.

Ms Chua Soh Kheng, 59, deputy president of SGP International Academy, said: ‘A bigger campus with more modern facilities and resources would provide a better learning environment for the students, and support the school’s needs.’

And it was accompanied by a second article:

RGS site could be worth billions if sold: Analysts

ITS students may be sad to see it go, but property developers will be eagerly eyeing the plum plot of land that Raffles Girls’ School (RGS) will leave behind if it relocates.

The school now sits on a prized centrally located site that is likely to be worth billions if it is converted into a residential plot, property consultants said yesterday.

‘This is a very, very prime site,’ said Mr Ho Eng Joo, executive director of investment sales at real estate firm Colliers International.

‘It’s been quite a long time since this kind of prime site has been released in the market, and at this size. There are no comparables, it’s priceless,’ he added.

RGS occupies one of the most coveted plots of land in Singapore, bounded on all four sides by some of the country’s priciest residential areas: Ardmore Park, Draycott Park, Stevens Road and Anderson Road.

Given the location, the size of the plot is massive: 4.5ha, or 10 times the size of nearby The Ardmore and almost five times that of Anderson 18. It is about the size of the sprawling Ardmore Park.

Mr Ho believes the site could go for $1.6 billion to $2 billion, based on a plot ratio of 2.8, which is similar to that of nearby developments. This would work out to about $1,400 per sq ft (psf) of the total floor area, which could amount to 1.35 million sq ft.

Ms Chua Chor Hoon, head of South-east Asia research at DTZ Debenham Tie Leung, has an even higher estimate at well over $2 billion. This is based on a possible selling price of $2,800 to $3,200 psf of the final units in the development.

If the Government decides to sell the land as 99-year leasehold residential plots, it will probably parcel it out into more easily digestible pieces, consultants said.

Nearby land plots have sold for record prices. In 2007, SC Global bought The Ardmore, with a freehold land area of about 0.4ha, for $262 million, or a record $2,337 psf of gross floor area.

Back in 1999, Wing Tai paid $1,100 psf for its Draycott 8 site, at the time a record price for 99-year leasehold land.

FIONA CHAN

PRIZED PLOT

‘It’s been quite a long time since this kind of prime site has been released in the market, and at this size. There are no comparables, it’s priceless.’

Mr Ho Eng Joo, executive director of investment sales at real estate firm Colliers International, on the land on which RGS sits

The Straits Times, 28 May 2010, page B6

Couldn’t help but be annoyed by the analysts quoted in the second article. They’re just like vultures already eyeing the place, and sound like they simply can’t wait for RG to pack up and get out. For that reason alone, I hope RG will stay for as long as possible and let them gnash their teeth in sheer frustration! Haha.

Yes, we’ve always known that RG would one day make yet another move somewhere.  And yes, KN, I know that the physical school doesn’t matter. But somehow when something one thought wouldn’t happen till years later is fast becoming reality, one can’t help but feel a little sadness……

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cpr & aed

Went to school for the two-hour CPR and AED familiarization programme in the afternoon of May 19. About a dozen people turned up. Half the class were older men and the other half was mainly students like me.

The main instructor went through the CPR procedure first. Then it was our turn to perform it on our mannequins.  I found it really amusing to be blowing air into the rubbery mannequin at first but I quickly got used to it. Although I carried out CPR on my mannequin perfectly, its chest stubbornly refused to rise. Haha. A couple of instructors came over and determined that there was something wrong with my mannequin. So I exchanged my dead dummy for a live one! :P

The class was then divided into two groups for more intensive teaching and learning. The instructors then went around and pointed out our mistakes and how to rectify them.

After that the main instructor went through the AED procedure. We’re supposed to remove anything from the person’s chest before sticking the pads on the appropriate spots. So if the person has chest hair, we’re supposed to shave it off using a razor found in the AED box. I don’t know how to use a razor, actually! :P

Within our two groups, we further divided into pairs. Each pair had to act out finding an unconscious person (the mannequin!) somewhere, carrying out CPR and then applying AED to them. I did the CPR and my partner applied the AED.

The class was really enjoyable. I haven’t had such great fun in ages!

mistaken identity

After the lunch interview, I MRTed to Tanjong Pagar (their underground passes are suffocatingly hot) and walked to the Nikon service centre and showroom located in the outskirts of the CBD.

Confirmed that the cost of fixing my Nikon is almost equivalent to getting an entry level camera. Alas!

They had set up compact cameras and DSLRs in a corner for customers to play with, so I went over and snapped photos on every single one. Some of them produced photos which were surprisingly clear!

Since I had walked quite a fair bit the whole day, I plopped down on a sofa and read Today. Then this scrawny older woman sat down next to me.

A while later a younger woman came up to me and asked, ‘Sorry you’re here for interview?’

For a moment I was genuinely bewildered. I was wearing shorts and sneakers for goodness’ sake! All I managed was a, ‘Erm, no.’

Turns out that the one who was going to be interviewed was the older woman. What a relief! For a moment I wondered if I had somehow scheduled an interview without my own knowledge, lol! :P

lunch interview

Boss had scheduled an interview with a Business Times journalist at a Japanese restaurant in Forum at noon on May 18 (five prepositional phrases! that must be a record! :P), and wanted me to come so I could listen in on their conversation.

While I was on the train to town, Boss messaged me to inform me that it had been moved back half an hour.

At 12.30 pm, we decided to get seated in the restaurant, Yotei, and order our food first.  The journalist, M, messaged to say she was reaching in 15 minutes. Well, she finally appeared about 1 pm.

Issues of punctuality aside, it was a rather interesting lunch interview.  Learnt more about our label’s history and philosophy, and gained some insight into the local fashion industry!

And it turns out that Boss and M (who is awfully tiny!) have many friends in common although they were born three years apart. Small world, and cultural capital!

double entendre

Spotted this Berita Harian ad in the Straits Times a couple of days back, and did a double take. At first I didn’t notice the photo and wondered what was so newsworthy about having four kids from poly. Then I realized……!

The Straits Times, Thursday May 27 2010, page A20

The ambiguous meaning arises mainly due to the word graduates. Noun or verb? Or more accurately, noun phrase or verb phrase? ;)

pink tulle

After my extremely filling lunch last Monday (17 May), I decided to go over to Ngee Ann City.

Walked past On Pedder, then turned back and went in. Looked around a bit, and then…… there, in a corner, lay the cutest purse in the world:

Doesn’t it look like a gigantic marshmallow? It’s a confection from Christian Louboutin, and is made completely of fluffy pink tulle! And the silver clasps are actually a pair of tiny high heels!

Took it off the shelf and tried it in the mirror. Completely impractical but totally adorable!!!

picture from christianlouboutin.com

lunch at lucky plaza

After Boss and I met with a potential stockist and then attended to some business matters in Tangs Orchard last Monday (May 17), she left for another appointment. As I had a few hours before my next appointment, I decided that it was the perfect time to go explore Lucky Plaza, which was right next door.

As expected, Lucky Plaza is frequented by Filipinos and most of the businesses sell goods or services targeted at this demographic. I kept a special lookout for food places because I was hungry!!! :P

Eventually, I settled on this place called GP Restaurant, located on the fourth floor.

Continue reading ‘lunch at lucky plaza’

arbeit macht frei

Just came home after spending close to eight hours at work.

Reached Boss’ house at 3 pm, right on the dot, and stepped into the midst of chaos. Boss and her friend were packing stuff to be shipped to London for our booth at an upcoming jewellery fair there. So I entered the fray – printing, arranging, packing, wrapping and taping!

Then my colleague arrived sometime after 5 pm and the three of us promptly plunged into discussions. The FedEx guy turned up about an hour later to collect the parcels. He was very amusing – when he left I said ‘Bye uncle!’ and he replied that he was (only) 46! Shortly after that we had dinner. And then it was back to discussions until it was almost 11 pm.

Super tired. Good night.

cats

KN and I walked through the passageway at AS6 just now and saw two almost fully grown cats hanging out at the top of the grass slope just beyond the metal railing.

KN: How come Arts also has cats? Must be imported from Science!
Me: Yeah they took [bus] A1!

Or maybe bus D! :P

sixteenth

Coach told me last week that I could join his Monday class, so I did.

Turned out it was a kids’ class! :P

They were doing their last few laps when I arrived.

Did 10 laps in the deep pool.

Then went over to the baby pool to look for my coach.

There are only five kids in the class, but all of them took up all of his attention completely.

Watched a little boy and a little girl, both from the class, squabble over a float, which was blue on one side and yellow on the other.

The little boy insisted, ‘Blue is for boys!’

And the little girl retorted, ‘Girls can have blue too; I saw a blue fairy once!’

Then I practised survival backstroke and floated around on my back for a very leisurely while.

walking past

The walls of the passageways at HarbourFront MRT are covered with gigantic posters of all kinds of animals which can be seen at the Zoo and Bird Park. P and I walked past them on our way to VivoCity.

Me: What kind of screwed up forest is this, 又有老虎又有狮子……?!
P: It is the Singapore Zoo!

fifteenth

Boss and I made an appointment with another potential stockist, but it was moved back, so was an hour late for swimming class.

Had worn my alldressedup black acrylic bangle today.

Was exchanging my matric card for a locker key at the entrance when the guy asked me, ‘Is that a watch?’

‘No it’s a bangle!’

Started at the deep pool.

Did only three laps and had to stop to rest occasionally.

Coach saw me stop during my second lap and asked me why.

Told him I was tired because I had run all over just now.

Think he thought I had gone running.

So we did treading water.

First attempt: one minute.

Second attempt: two minutes!

Then off to the baby pool.

My survival backstroke is ‘much better’ now! :D

Found a Casio analogue watch with a small face and thin black straps in one of the changing stalls.

Handed it to the guys at the entrance.

One of them exclaimed, ‘Wah you so honest!’ and then, ‘Since you are so honest, you can take this back!’ :P

After swimming went to Clementi for dinner.

Had chicken cutlet with no fries and extra coleslaw.

When the auntie brought me the food, she must’ve spotted my bangle because she went, ‘你戴这个什么来的?’

‘是镯子!’

‘镯子?很 cute hor?’

going down to the godowns

This afternoon I was supposed to go down to the Tangs warehouse to collect our deadstock (stock that does not sell).

So I took a bus from opposite VivoCity and got off a couple of stops later. Was totally amazed: that place was gigantic and there were warehouses everywhere, where was I to start looking?

Went over to the main building, and found an office staffed by two female auxiliary police officers. I asked one of them, ‘What is this place called?’  and she replied, ‘Keppel Distripark.’

Oh, the horror! I realized I was at the wrong distripark!!! Thanked the officer and flew out of the office before she could utter another word.

Hailed a cab and told the driver to go to Tanjong Pagar Distripark (which was actually near the next bus stop). He wasn’t sure where it was, so he turned on his handy dandy GPRS device, which issued directions in a feminine robotic voice every now and then.

After a suspenseful ride, we finally drew up at the right building! It turned out that we had passed the correct entrance earlier, but somehow the GPRS device had told us to make a u-turn, which eventually turned out to be superfluous. So the cab driver discounted my fare! :D

Walked to the far end of the building and found the Tangs warehouse, and collected the deadstock successfully. After that I walked around the place, peeked into other warehouses and took a few photos. Every so often I had to dart to one side as a forklift approached! Apparently there’s an art gallery on the second floor, but I didn’t have time to visit, as I had to rush for my next appointment in town!

水饺面

On the dining table at lunch today:

Fried shallots, blanched veggies, noodles and dumplings stuffed with chicken and pork!

Put them together and what do you get?

水饺面!

amazing

I got my Nokia 5320 in early August 2008, but I only bothered to flip through the phone manual for the first time today to find out the exact way to use the USB cable to transfer data from the phone to a computer or vice versa.

(I think I should read the whole thing to see what other hidden functions my 5320 has!)

Which means that I can finally upload photos from my phone to my laptop, and blog about what happened the past few days! :D


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