This blog post is part of the Random Sampling Singapore project. The Project aims to sample 100 places on the island of Singapore over a one year period in order to gain an unbiased and holistic view of the city state.
Coordinate 62 is located at the sea horizon in front of ShangriLa Hotel at Sentosa island. My friend Jodi Chapman and her family made there a staycation in November 2021. As she already have walked with me 2 other coordinates, #17_Happy_life_with_friends and #51, I thought she might like to do that one with her family. I gave her some sample containers and that’s her valuable input:
My Happy Place, by Jodi Chapman
Sitting here looking out at the ever changing landscape. A cargo ship full of goods sets off slowly but steadily past the view of this co-ordinate. It is quiet amazing to watch these huge ships navigate around islands and boats and police boats. Looking out at the thousands of cargo ships each day that arrive and leave the port of Singapore, you have to wonder just how much “stuff” is being brought in every day and taken out every day. I took time to ponder on this thought. How much “stuff” on these ships are necessities and how much is consumerism gone mad….
I do love looking out at the ocean. Listening to the waves crash up against the rock wall. Today is unusually windy day so the swell is bigger than I have seen here before. Each time I come to Shangri La Sentosa I love to go for a morning walk and sit and listen to the waves and watch the life on the sea. It sure is a different experience I would get to sitting on a Queensland beach (my home state in Australia), where all you can see for miles is the horizon. Which I must say is beautiful and peaceful. But the outlook from Sentosa is interesting and ever changing. Seeing the ships of many sizes moving in and out of the loading bays. An enormous daily operation to keep supplies coming into Singapore and moving on to the rest of the world.
For me, just being by the water is my Happy Place..the water grounds me and relaxes all my senses. I can hear the waves crashing in, I can smell the salt air, I can touch the sand between my toes, I can taste the saltiness of the water, and I can see the incredible vast ocean that continues to move and ripple and helps us in so many ways.. and as can be seen from this co-ordinate, the ocean helps us to also move cargo from one end of the planet to the other.
On exploring the surrounds my children found some very interesting seed pods. We loved the round edges intertwining together to form a seed bud. We then located the tree sitting by the cliff edge and directly overlooking this co-ordinate. We have collected some fallen seed pods to look further at.
Nearby we found mushrooms of various colours on the old tree logs. The brilliant orange colour stood out to me and made for some fun photos.
Exploring by the water is My Happy Place.
The samples Jodi’s kids, Callum and Ben, collected are seeds from the Earleaf Acacia or Australian Wattle tree (Acacia auriculiformis).
The botanical name comes from the Latin word auricula, which means external ear of animals, and forma, meaning former shape, referring to the shape of the pod.
The tree is native to Australia (as Jodi), as well to Indonesia and Papa New Guinea. I was happy to read that Acacia auriculiformis is an excellent shade tree and a physio-chemical soil improver. The describtion fits to the photograph Jodi made from the tree on the beach with the bench.
When Jodi and her family have been at them staycation on Sentosa, I was thinking of them during browsing some calligraphy books. Suddenly a two character work of the calligrapher 张永明 (ZhangYongMing) caught my eyes. It is written in seal script, the ancient style of Chinese. The 2000 year old characters seemed to look back to me. The lower character seemed to swim.
I was reading the explanation text on the side: 观海 (guan hai), which means to observe the sea. The traditional writing of 观 is this character: 觀 – a combination of the word for stork or heron in the front and the word for view and opinion at the back. 海 shows the water radical and 母 (mu) with a roof- which means 每 (mei) -every or each.
The heron observing the ocean. A picture I can connect with my Australian friends.
I carved the the characters into linoleum and printed them on dark blue shell paper with white UV- fluorescent acrylic color.
I blended Jodi’s picture of the bench on the beach into my stamp picture. That was the outcome:
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