Friday, March 31, 2006

Singapore Idol, final 12

Philip is the last remaining man in this year's Singapore Idol...

Thursday, March 16, 2006

TV debut!

Phil was interviewed by Channel NewsAsia at London Book Fair and the segment aired in Singapore on Monday night and Tuesday morning. It even played on the TVs carried on Singapore's bus network! Fame at last! At least among the commuting crowd. A surprising number of friends caught it. We didn't see it, of course, 'cos our TV remote has been broken for two years (probably out of batteries!) and we're too lazy to get up to switch channels.

Following is the transcript of the TV segment...

Channel NewsAsia
March 13, 2006 Monday 11:50 AM GMT

Strong showing of Southeast Asian publishers at London Book Fair

LENGTH: 410 words

There was a strong showing of Southeast Asian literature, and even some of its erotica, at this year's London Book Fair. Apart from established Singapore publishers, there were also first time exhibitors from Thailand and Malaysia. The London Book Fair is not the largest in the world but it is growing in importance. This year, quite a few companies travelled from Southeast Asia to attend. Nearly 2,000 companies from 59 countries gathered for this annual event.Nine Singaporean companies were present, including the established publisher Marshall Cavendish.Well-known for its educational material across Southeast Asia, it sees the show as a chance to attract a wider clientele."We are located in very strategic location and we can get access to authentic Asian content. Right now, many people are interested in China and India. And because our office is located in some of the Southeast Asian territories, it means that authors in this part of the world can get immediate access to our channels in Asia as well," said Elsa Tan, corporate general manage of Marshall Cavendish.Singapore publisher Monsoon was only created two and a half years ago but is doing well and is now hoping to spread the word about Southeast Asia literature."Look at popularity of Indian literary fiction, written in English; it's huge in Britain and in America. That's been going on for ten years now and I think it's time to shift from India to further east, to Southeast Asia," said Philip Tatham, a publisher at Monsoon Books."There's plenty of good literature coming out of Southeast Asia, written in English and written in vernacular languages. What we need is to be given more exposure. Maybe that means starting off in Asia but it'll go to England and America eventually," he said.Monsoon's stable of books includes some erotica, which Mr Tatham says is garnering much interest from other parts of the world.Many specialist publishers came to showcase their wares.Diving into this exhibition for the first time is Thailand, from where eleven companies travelled.The Thai organisers are hopeful that their books on cookery, philosophy and children's section will prove popular because of the West's interest in all things eastern.Also here for the first time is Malaysian company Edutool which says it has got some good orders already.All the companies we spoke to said they could foresee returning to the London Book Fair in future years, after a very busy but productive show.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Birds spotted in England

Birds spotted in England:

Birds eaten in England:
Guinea Fowl - 1/2 a bird
Wood Pigeon - 1 bird
Chicken - multiple bodyparts

Eating in London

Moroccan dinner at Peter & Renate's in London ... from the left: Mum, Harry, Dad

Peter & Renate ...

from the left: Peter, Nel, Justin, Ru (hidden), Phil

Dinner at St John's on Junction Road in North London ... what a great place. Living in soulless Singapore, you forget how much character restaurants in London (and presumably everywhere outside of Singapore!) have. This is a trendy but very down-to-earth gastropub with high ceilings, one long wall full of artwork, entertaining waitstaff and great food. The pub, which is connected to the dining area looks equally fun.

Straining to read the menu on the back wall. We opted for guinea fowl and cabbage (Phil, Nel, Charlotte), scallops (Dad), liver (Mum) and kingfish (Holly).

Guinea fowl and cabbage ... delicious!


Philip leaves hot and sweaty Singapore for subzero Willoughby on the Wolds in England.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Ruby and her Christmas present