Weekend 29-30 Aug 2015

It has been a month since APS. And for the past two weekends I have been so thankful I am free now. It just felt like I was forever “busy”.. with God knows what. There were times I felt I didn’t have a life. This new hair cut and new found freedom have given me a sort of re-start into doing things I have not been doing.. things I have been putting aside. Like spending time alone. Or taking long walks.


Saturday at Istana Woodneuk. Photo Credit: Dorothy Ng

On Saturday, Dot and I went to Istana Woodneuk. The last time I was there was possibly circa 2009; the first day by myself for a recce, and the next day with Shasha. I remember climbing over the gate at Tyersall Avenue, walking a long straight path, climbing up a hill and walking on muddy grounds. This time round, and with a bit more reading, I found a shorter route, next to that bus stop opposite Peirce Road. And boy was it easy to get there.

The Istana Woodneuk I saw in 2015 was different than the one I saw in 2009. I mean.. the physical space being surrounded by more vegetation was one thing. But it felt like there were more items being dumped there, like the concrete surrounding the area, the furniture, the emo-dump expressed by graffiti on the wall. Back in 2009 I was pretty sure I was the only human around. However, this time round, there were at least 6 groups of people in that span of 2-3 hours we were there. The place is definitely gaining more attention.

This time round I ended up taking more pictures of the graffiti. It did cross my mind how disrespectful it was to draw on this house, once owned by royalties. But reading the words, the emotions expressed, I can only wonder what happened to them, the people who vandalised these walls. Do they not have someone to talk to, to the extent they have to make their way to an abandoned house, to talk to these walls? Were they searching for attention, knowing that what was drawn on the wall, would be read by future visitors? ..Then again, that juxtaposition of the old and the new, the dilapidated wall and the new smooth paints, the grey sombre background and the vibrant colours.. I mean.. this place could be an installation piece of its own.


Sunday at Ground-Up Initiative. Photo Credit: One of the GUI volunteers.

And then on Sunday, I went over to GUI. Ibs had contacted me earlier to help out with a kite-making activity. I arrived earlier (thanks to the parents), and helped out a bit with the brick-path we were making.

I was checking the Flickr album and it says the last time I was there (proper) was in November 2014. I did drop by once in April 2015, for a short while. And I was never there in 2015. I’m asking myself why and I have no good answer. How can someone who has been regularly volunteering, almost every week, since 2012, just disappear like that?

Coincidentally, Terrance, who had been away for 6 months as he was in India also came by today. One of the things he helped out with was cooking lunch for those who were around. It still amazes me how some people can whip up delicious plant based meals with items from the SURF garden, the kitchen and the farm.

I guess we never really leave people who treat us like how a family would.


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