Ghosties, Granite, and GIFs

It’s that time of year again — the time when hungry ghosts come out to eat at night, and people burn joss paper and leave offerings out on the sidewalk:

IMG_4233The Hungry Ghost Festival also falls at the same time in the Chinese calendar as the Mid-Autumn Festival, which means the arrival of lanterns in the trees (or the topiaries, in this case) …


… and mooncakes in our office:

IMG_4239.jpgMooncakes are usually purchased from fancy hotels and given as gifts, but mom of one of my students made homemade mooncakes and brought me a box. Mooncakes have various fillings, some of which I really like (red bean paste; pandan paste), some of which are just ok (lotus seed paste; five kernels), and some which I do not understand (salted egg yolk).

I have been writing college recommendation letters and reading students’ college essays pretty much nonstop since my return from Bangkok, but Prescott and I did make an escape from the apartment yesterday morning for a walk to the Singapore Quarry in Dairy Farm Nature Park.



Singapore’s hills are rich in granite, and there were multiple quarries in our neck of the woods for the better part of the twentieth century. The Singapore Quarry has been filling in with water since the early 1980s and is now a protected wetland area.

There were signs with descriptions of the interesting birds we might see there, but the only wildlife we saw on this particular trip were dragonflies and a whole bunch of fish.


We took a side spur off of the main trail to go home via the rail trail…IMG_4441

… where Prescott exercised his not inconsiderable balancing skills:


On Saturday night, Prescott and I ventured out to Gillman Barracks — old British military housing turned art gallery space.


We checked out some art in several of the galleries …


… but the real reason we were there was to meet Everett and Anna for the first-ever Singapore GIF Fest. Here’s Everett standing in the gallery:


Apparently, the GIF (graphics interchange format) is turning 30 this year — happy birthday, GIF! It seems that a number of Singapore artists are using GIFs as an art medium. I’m not sure this is my kind of art — something about the staggered images is disconcerting — but it was interesting to see for forty-five minutes.



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