postcards - claire dalgliesh's singapore

Saturday, 08 December 2012 14:00 by  claire dalgliesh

Ni hao! Our second snapshot in our series of Postcards From Overseas is Claire Dalgliesh, otherwise known as blogger Fellow Fellow. After growing up in Toowoomba and settling down in a small German country town, she has been living in Singapore for the past 18 months. She's been taking some snaps of its brightly hued exterior for us, and has also given us a little insight to its interior.

Happy browsing, and if you want to see more of her pictures or have a gander through her website of DIY delights, just head to Fellow Fellow.

IMG 0700

Please tell me a little bit about the neighbourhood that you live in.

We live in the southwest of Singapore in a really pretty and fairly quiet neighbourhood. We're only a 5-minute walk to the huge (and really beautiful!) West Coast Park, which is where we like to spend our afternoons wandering the endless paths and keeping an eye out for squirrels! On the weekends the park comes alive with loads of families and groups of people flying their kites. I love it! Also not too far away we've got a local hawker centre that has really cheap, really yummy food.

Is there a particular theme or style to Singaporean architecture?

I think Singapore has a lot of different and exciting styles of architecture. The one I love most though would also have to be one of the oldest - Shophouses. It's hard not to fall in love with the rows of these beautiful and historic houses with their lively painted facades. One day I'm going to live in a Shophouse (maybe!) but until then we call a lovely little three bedroom apartment home. It has its quirks (no hot water in the kitchen, anyone?) but it's new and bright and we love it.

Where did you grow up? How is it different to where you are now?

I grew up in Toowoomba, Queensland. It's a really pretty place that gets quite cold in winter and hot in summer. A lot of the shops don't open on Sunday and it's not uncommon to run into people you know in the street (for better or worse!) Singapore on the other hand is hot all year round, shops open every day until late, and I'm not sure I've ever run into someone I know in the street! They're quite different, but both great places to live.

IMG 2040

 

If you had a day to take an Australian around your town on a Sunday afternoon, what would you do?

Oh, there are so many places I'd like to take them! I think we'd start the day off with a trip to Gardens by the Bay to see the giant metal trees and take a stroll around the beautiful gardens, followed by the observation deck at the top of Marina Bay Sands for a great view over Singapore city. After that we'd be ready for some lunch, so I'd take them to my favourite dumpling restaurant Din Tai Fung to gorge ourselves on pork dumplings and chili crab steam buns. Next we'd take a bus over to the Arab Quarter for a wander and run our hands over all the fabrics on display, and maybe even stop for a quick Kopi (local coffee) on the way. Then we'd hop on over to one of my favourite streets - Haji Lane. There are plenty of cute little shops here to mosey in and out of, after which we would duck into an unassuming doorway and up to Bar Stories, where they create custom cocktails for you. For dinner, we'd make our way to Satay Street (at Lau Pa Sat) for a delicious evening of prawn, beef, and chicken satay, fried greens and lime juice... yum!

Tell us about the spaces and places have you photographed for us.

The photographs here are of some of my favourite places to visit in Singapore. Katong (known for its laksa), Tiong Bahru (has an art deco vibe), the Arab Quarter, Little India, and Geylang. They're all such eclectic places to explore!

double-1

What kind of stereotype has Singapore earned?

Unfortunately I think Singapore is sometimes seen as a big city without much to do, aside from going to the zoo. But I disagree! Since living here we've discovered so many great places to explore (including the zoo!) and foods to experience. That brings me to the other stereotype - that Singapore is all about the food. I really like this stereotype and am so glad that it's true!

 

What is different to Singapore than what people expect it to be?

I think people are often surprised by how green Singapore is. For a big city on a small island they certainly do a great job of keeping the vegetation. Along with tree-lined streets and manicured gardens, there are also several very large parks and nature reserves that allow you to completely forget you're even in a city.

 

IMG 2402

 

What is different to Singapore than what people expect it to be?

I think people are often surprised by how green Singapore is. For a big city on a small island they certainly do a great job of keeping the vegetation. Along with tree-lined streets and manicured gardens, there are also several very large parks and nature reserves that allow you to completely forget you're even in a city.

 

What album do you think would be the best soundtrack for walking around?

I'm going to go with The Paper Kites or Boy & Bear.

Where is the best place to have a picnic?

There are so many beautiful parks in Singapore, it's hard to narrow it down to just one! But I guess I'd say either the Botanic Gardens or West Coast Park.

IMG 2424

What do you do for a day job there, and what else do you do creatively?

My day job is running the Fellow Fellow blog and shop. There are always posts to be written and new products to create which keeps me busy! And if I'm still feeling creative at the end of the day, perhaps some baking, or DIYing, or watercolour painting or photography would be in order.

How has living in Singapore influenced your work?

I find that living here has really allowed me to be more diverse in my creativity. Having moved here after three years in a very small town in Germany, I find that I now have so many resources at my fingertips. If I dream something up it's not hard to find the supplies I need. It's also been a great place to start a business and has allowed me to pursue this dream when I might not have otherwise taken the plunge.

Anybody's works/creations you want to give a shout out to?

Absolutely! Sandy at Cookie Cutter makes super cute plushies, alter.sg is an excellent independent travel guide for Singapore and Hug A Porcupine make the cutest enamel brooches!

 

IMG 2433

Where is the best place to see a gig?

I've heard that The Pigeonhole Cafe has gigs from time to time, and it has a great atmosphere so I'll have to go and check it out!

Where is the best place to get a drink?

There are so many! My favorite would have to be the one I mentioned above - Bar Stories in Haji Lane. They don't have a drinks menu and instead prefer to chat with you about what you like and dislike in a cocktail, and then make you a custom cocktail to your specifications! They're super tasty and it's loads of fun.

Where is the best place to nab a vintage dress?

I'd probably recommend keeping an eye out for when the next Public Garden Market is on. They have some great vintage vendors that sell there! Also BellForest has a great selection of vintage wares and an online store, and lastly you could try Haji Lane!

 

Enjoy our second Postcards installement? Click here to view our first: Rebekka Seale's take on Nashville.

You might also like…