Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Feeling Motivated

Motivation is a great things and there is nothing more motivational than a reasonable pay packet and a feeling of worth, provided by regular employment.

Faced with a skills shortage and an aging population Singapore has two choices; bring in more people from outside to plug the gap or re-engage old workers who are past retirement age.

The first option is becoming ever more politically unpalatable for many and the second requires a re-think of the pay and condition for older workers who choose to re engage with the workforce.

While private companies have been to the fore in keeping 'retirees' on a salary base that is similar to their previous employment, others in the public service have been less fortunate - until now.

Singapore's newspaper Today reports that "From next month, all re-employed lower-wage public officers will continue at the same grade and earn the same salary as before".

Prior to this anyone reaching the ripe old age of 62 faced the prospect of having their salary adjusted down by as much as 30%!  Not that their faculties are diminished by 30% from one day to the next but that was the inference.

However, if you are further up the pecking order in a management role the prospects are not as great as you could end up being offered a pay scale two grades below when you start your 63rd year.
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Sunday, 28 July 2013

A Visit to the Auckland Museum

A visit to the Auckland Museum in the Domain yesterday.  These images are the result of a ten minutes walk around the building.

Rings 2



Love Singapore Sandals

Whatever you call them - sandals, jandals or flip flops - they still look great on your feet!

Love Singapore Flip Flops (Sandals)
Get a pair here.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Two New Prints - Clouds, Bugs and Goats

Cloud Bug - Roger Smith 2013
Cloud Bug
Roger Smith, 2013
Buy a print here

Cloud Bug (framed)
Roger Smith, 2013

Apocalypse 2
Roger Smith, 2013
Buy a print here

Friday, 19 July 2013

"Back Through The Gates" - A Boarders Memoir Published

I have finally put pen to paper and recorded some of the hijinks I go up to at boarding school in New Plymouth!

A direct link to the book can be found here.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Thoughts On Durian Wine

I was always brought up the belief that wine was "fruit of the vine", although clearly now it "grows on trees".  I can't really comment on the pros and cons of a good vintage, durian wine as I have yet to sample it.

Fruit wines though are hardly a new idea and I can't see why durian would be any different.  The British have a long tradition of making fruit wines and I remember as a youngster trying to make some out of plums (we had a tree at the time that was over-burdened with fruit).

Despite the fact of my mother gives me generous support the result was a syrupy mess that was completely undrinkable.  The pet dog was kennelled in the same shed and whined to get out - that's how bad the smell of the vintage actually was!

In New Zealand there is a South Canterbury company called Barkers and although they are today better known for their fruit jams, chutneys and syrups, it is fruit wine that made them a national icon.

Blackcurrants grow very well in Canterbury and it was this fruit that Barkers has been exploiting.  My grandparents who lived in Dyers Pass Road in the Port Hills of Christchurch had a large patch of blackcurrant bushes and I have fond memoires of fresh blackcurrant jam during my infrequent visits from the North Island.

So will the NUS graduates students who created durian wine no branch out and produce a mangosteen cuvee? One would hope they give it a try.
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Saturday, 13 July 2013

Singapore in 1962

Credit: Michael Rogge

Kees Renard filmed with his 8mm camera Singapore in 1962 when his freighter ss 'Straat Johore' called on the city.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Google's Singapore Haze Map

This map map from Google shows Singapore and Malaysia air quality in near real-time.  The original site can be found here.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Be It Ever So 'Umble

Queens - Stirling Road, Singapore
My home in Singapore (highlighted in yellow).  I spent almost four years in this condo and miss it still, especially the large pool which you can see in the centre of the photograph.

This image is taken by a friend and former colleague who lives in the high rise HDB ForFar Heights across the road.  Note the haze from Indonesia!

Queens - Commonwealath Avenue Entrance

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Trapped - new winter photograph

Photograph - Roger Smith 2013
I came across this winter leaf trapped in a web and appreciated the natural balance of the composition.
Copies of this print are available here.