The Blog of Dabido (the Baka one). Everything in this blog is copyrighted. Copyright 2004, 2005, 2006 by D. Stevenson.

10 August, 2005

Some Nick Knacks I have Collected.

After reading Suanie's post about Singapore, I thought I'd do a quick trip down memory lane. Especially regarding some Nick-Knacks I've picked up in my travels. Actually, it was her mention of the Singapore Merlion which sparked it. I have a Merlion Keyring from when I was passing through Singapore in 2000 (twice - once on my way to the UK and then on my way back to Sydney). Here are NikNax off my expensive bookcase. Books ... of course, with a Kurt Cobain Biography and 'Reading and Writing Chinese' on the left. They're sitting on top of some cards I use for memorising things I am studying. Books standing up include a Japanese History book, Pulp Fiction script and a multi-tude of Penguin Classics (mainly ancient Greek writing but some Chinese and Roman thrown into the mix). Actual nik-nax:
  • San Francisco 'tinsel bubble' - you know, you shake it and tinsel inside it makes it look like the city is having a parade. (Usually done with snow).
  • Flowerpot and Love heart with my name on it. The flower pot originally held a yellow rose! Nice thing to receive from someone.
  • A Cisco Juggling Ball. My old Networks Manager gave one Cisco Juggling ball to each of the three members of our network team.
  • Singapore Merlion. Actually, my friend Rizaldy gave this to me. He'd worked in Networks in Singapore and his wife ALSO was working there. He went to visit her during their engagement and brought me backa Merlion! So nice of him.
A little about my families connection to Singapore.
  • During WWII, my Grand Uncle George was on a troop ship which was sunk off Indonesia by a Japanese Submarine. The troops swam to Indonesia and tried to march down towards Australia. They were caught by the Japanese and he was placed in Changi POW camp Singapore. Later he was moved to the infamous Burma Railroad. He survived the war and was the head of the Australian POW's trying to get an apology from Japan for their treatment during the war.
  • My Grandfather Jack Elven was stationed at Changi after the war. He was overseeing the Ghurka's who were being used to remove the last of the Japanese from Malaysia. They'd go out on jungle patrols to locate and remove Japanese soldiers who refused to surrender (or who wouldn't believe the war was over).
  • In 1969, my family arrived in Penang. We visited Singapore a few times. I can remember the Tiger balm gardens and a few other sites. We visited Changi for my mother, as she had memories of her childhood from there. Today, it'd be totally different. There is also some famous park or garden there, where some of the trees and shrubs have been carved to look like animals and things. My Grandfather Jack Elven also had something to do with that, but I'm not one hundred percent sure what it was. I think it had something to do with the clock they have there. My youngest brother used to be able to speak Cantonese (thanks to the ahma). On one trip, I can remember him on the balcony talking to the people passing by, who were amazed that a white two year old could speak Cantonese so well. (He can't remember any now).
  • 2000 I went through Singapore twice - once on way to UK and then on the way back! I didn't get a stop over, which was a pity. I would have liked to have visited to see how much it had changed.
Next set of Niknax. This shelf mainly has my Science Fiction books. There is also James Clavell's Shogun and British Author Kazuo Ishiguro's 'The Unconsoled'. Niknax from left to right:
  • Flute
  • Recorder (hard to see ... it's there at the back in front of the books)
  • Lace Butterfly from Venice
  • Lace Horse from Venice.
Memories of Venice: Venice is a magical city. Basically built in the middle of a lagoon near a River Mouth. I spent an afternoon with Dave (from Edinbough) and Darryl (from South Africa) visiting the Academy Art Gallery. We started out (as most tourists do) visiting Saint Marco's Piazza (where the Church is, the bell tower and the Doge's palace are - plus the Bridge of Sighs etc). We then went on a merry trek up to the Rialto Bridge etc and a brisk walk down the other side of the Main canal through the back streets etc till we got to the Academy. Being Art Buffs we had to go inside. I completely recommend this gallery if you get to Venice. Full of many works of art by Venician artists, it was a great way to spend the afternoon. (Yeah, I did the Gondola ride and stuff earlier in the day and ate plenty of pizza. We also visited a Lace Factory and a Glass Blowing Factory. That's where I bought the lace butterfly and horse, as well as a lace bird keyring. All came with certificates of authentication ... they're expensive). NikNax on top of one of my bookcases. Left to right:
  • Chinese Herb pot. I bought it as I was undergoing accupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine for my stomach problems. Never helped. All I got was that pot, and a nasty burn on my right elbow from where the accupuncturist burnt me! I didn't even get an apology. Hopefully cosmetic surgury will advance enough that I can get it removed on day.
  • Photo of me leading prayers at church!
  • Soccer Trophy! One of many trophies. Most aren't out on display. Somewhere I used to have a medal for when my under eights side took out the premiership. Have no idea where it went. My mother has my old boxing trophies somewhere, though I never liked boxing.
  • Coach of the Year Trophy! This is an American Football trophy! Yeah, it needs polishing! :-)
  • Hanging off the trophy is a little bear keyring. I bought him before leaving Sydney on my way around Europe etc. I bought a Keyring everywhere I went on the way there, and on the way back.
  • Ushi the pinata. Bought him in Sydney. Thought he looked colourful and stuff. Hope no one ever beats the lollies out of him! :-) We were going to stick little army men in him at work and call him the Trojan Bull.
NikNax from left to Right:
  • Teddy Bear - My flatmate bought this for me for Xmas one year! I have NO IDEA why! Seemed like a weird present to me!
  • Ogg the Frog. I made Ogg in year eight sewing class - 1978. He's still holding up!
  • Large Candle with the Chinese symbol for LONGEVITY on it. Hopefully, the candle will last a long time! :-)
  • Egyptian Papyrus picture. Actually, I bought it on holiday in Cairns Australia. Difficult to see, but lying down in front of it are two Egyptian metal plates from Egypt! (Yes, authentic ones you can get for a few dollars almost Anywhere in Egypt!)
  • Bern Flag (in front) - I bought the flag as we stayed in Bern Canton Switzerland. I have fond memories of Switzerland. Especially going up the Jungfraujoch and mucking about under a waterfall at midnight (when the lights went out ... and we had to make our way back down in the dark).