Flights of fancy – feathers, fashion and flat pack

2 Feb

…It’s all in a week’s living in Singapore!

Last Monday I took a trip to Jurong Bird Park, situated on the western side of the island. According to the Park’s website it holds over 4,600 birds and is the largest park of its kind in the world. It was certainly a riot of colour, and of noise, when I visited. From beautiful coral pink flamingoes to penguins that were even newer arrivals in Singapore than me, it certainly brightened up an otherwise dreary, drizzly Monday afternoon. The iridescent colouring of some of the birds’ feathers was just exquisite and a great reminder that if you want to find absolute beauty, always go back to nature.

I apologise for the lack of photographs – the weather was not the greatest, I feared my phone camera probably wasn’t up to the job, and I was battling with an umbrella. All in all, not the stuff that National Geographic images are made of! However, I would urge anyone visiting Singapore and looking for more than a whizz along Orchard Road and around the Singapore Flyer, to go. We have Mister Noodle’s parents visiting in a couple of months and we’ll definitely make a return visit. See, so good, you can go twice!

The Bird Park wasn’t my only encounter with feathered visions of beauty in the week. A few days later I took myself along to the Valentino Retrospective: Past/Present/Future at Resorts World Sentosa.

As far as I am aware this is the first large-scale exhibition to be held at the resort and it was a great way to kick things off. The exhibition documents the work of Valentino Garavani (‘Valentino’ to just about everyone in the world) and current Creative Directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli. Some of the more recent collections included beautifully constructed cocktail dresses, as above, with intricate feather trim, and even, in one case a most beguiling mini-bustle.

 Looking around the 100 piece collection I was reminded of how I used to sit in front of The House of Elliot on a Friday and the Clothes Show on a Sunday frantically drawing my own creations. Unfortunately the world of couture has yet to come knocking for the ‘House of Noodle’. However I have never shaken that budding eight year old fashion designer’s quickening of the heart, dizzy headed feeling when enjoying fashion and it all came flooding back as I toured the Valentino exhibition. My personal favourites were the 1960s pieces, including this beautiful lace dress commissioned for Jackie Kennedy’s wedding to Aristotle Onassis.  

(The image above is courtesy of a Brides Magazine feature on iconic weddings. Not quite sure if the SJP Sex and the City one is really that iconic but hey-ho!).

So from birds of paradise, via Jackie Kennedy and couture creations, we get to Saturday and…flat pack. On moving to Singapore an inordinate amount of an expat’s time seems to be spent in Ikea purchasing all the things that, in a fit of light-hearted abandon and panic packing, got given away. For nothing. Earlier in the week I had treated Mister Noodle to a rather lengthy one-woman rant about why I would never, ever be buying another wooden rolling pin in my life and by the weekend I was back in Ikea repurchasing more of the stuff we had foolishly scattered to the winds six months ago. Deciding to make this a solo mission (the number of miserable looking couples I encountered there justified this decision) I found myself grappling with two standing lamps, a selection of storage boxes, picture frames, folding chairs and other assorted, bizarrely named pieces of Swedish homeware. I don’t know whether it was the joy of a trip to Ikea sans marital argument or the giddy aroma of rock bottom priced hotdogs, but I felt the need to document what, in my humble opinion, I believe to be supreme trolley packing:

30-odd years (or 30 odd years) of experiencing how my dad can speedily pack furniture into a van* have finally borne fruit!

So, there we have it – my week in pictures. No photographs of the 4,000 birds at the Bird Park but we do have one of an Ikea trolley. David Bailey eat your heart out…and a happy Chinese New Year to everyone else!

Jurong Bird Park, 2 Jurong Hill Singapore 628925
open 8.30am to 6.00pm daily. Admission $18 adult, $12 children.

Valentino retrospective: Past/Present/Future,Resorts World Sentosa. Open until 13th February *plus* opening hours extended from 11am to 11pm 4th February to 13th February. Admission $12 (with various concessions).

*I should clarify that my father is in the auction business, and not a burglar.


4 Responses to “Flights of fancy – feathers, fashion and flat pack”

  1. floramoreno February 2, 2011 at 11:51 am #

    This post was really funny!

    I think all expats in Singapore (possibly elsewhere in the world) can definitely relate to buying shit at Ikea that we just gave away, or sold, or shoved in a relative’s house/closet/garage before moving abroad. I hate buying something there knowing that there are two of the same thing in storage back home. Such is the life now!

  2. stacey February 9, 2011 at 2:04 am #

    I love this post! I’m getting pretty sick of Ikea and the seemingly endless list of things that I also happen to own in another country.


  1. Chinese New Year breaks: Managing your expectations « Singapore Noodle - February 8, 2011

    […] there we have it. Chinese New Year. I really thought I couldn’t top my photo of an Ikea shopping trolley last week but it seems with the rusty shell of a warehouse I am really spoiling you, dear reader. […]

  2. Melaka Malacca – A tale of two cities « Singapore Noodle - July 16, 2011

    […] as I am responsible for taking a photo of a KFC sign reflected in a car window and previously snapping trolleys in Ikea we are probably well suited. Who knows, maybe one day National Geographic will bid for our […]

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