Tuesday, 3 March 2015


Public housing in Singapore is managed by the Housing and Development Board (HDB). The majority of the residential housing developments in Singapore are publicly governed and developed. As of 2013, 81.9% of the resident population live in such accommodation. These flats are located in housing estates, which are self-contained satellite towns with schools, supermarkets, clinics, hawker centres, and sports and recreational facilities.

There are a large variety of flat types and layouts which cater to various housing budgets. HDB flats were built primarily to provide affordable housing for the masses and their purchase can be financially aided by the Central Provident Fund. Due to changing demands, there were more up-market public housing developments in recent years.

Public housing in Singapore is generally not considered as a sign of poverty or lower standards of living, as compared to public housing in other countries. Although they are cheaper than privately built homes in Singapore, they are also built in a variety of quality and finishes to cater to middle and upper middle income groups. Property prices for the smallest public housing can often be higher than privately owned and developed standalone properties (Townhouse, apartment unit etc.) in other developed countries after currency conversion. Even though the majority of residents live in public housing, very few are below the poverty line.

This post is a part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Sunday, 1 March 2015


This is a piece of sculpture in the "Heide" Modern Art Gallery in Melbourne's Heidelberg. It is by Australian artist Geoffrey Bartlett (born 1952) and is called: "Circus by the Sea" (1982). The photo also shows my self-portrait... :-)

This post is part of the Shadow Shot Sunday meme.

Friday, 27 February 2015


This is a view downstream on the Yarra River at Warrandyte, an outer suburb of Melbourne, Australia.

"The Island" (seen on the right) is located at Thompson Bend, approximately 24 kilometres north-east of Melbourne. It was created by gold miners in 1859-60, during the Victorian gold rush. They dug a diversion channel to alter the course of the Yarra River, providing access to the alluvial gold in the exposed river bed. The canal was widened by subsequent flooding becoming the main river course, with the previous river bed becoming a willow-choked backwater.

We haven't had too a Summer this year and there has been some rain, ensuring that the vegetation is quite lush, with a reasonable flow of water in the Yarra over the hot months.

This post is part of the Friday Greens meme.

Thursday, 26 February 2015


Aechmea fasciata (silver vase, urn plant) is a species of flowering plant in the Bromeliaceae family, native to Brazil. This plant is probably the best known species in this genus, and it is often grown as a houseplant in temperate areas. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

The plant grows slowly, reaching 30–90 cm in height, with a spread of up to 60 cm. It has elliptic–oval-shaped leaves 45–90 cm long and arranged in a basal rosette pattern. A. fasciata requires partial shade and a well-drained, but moisture-retentive soil. It can also be grown epiphytically, as, for example, with moss around its roots and wired to rough bark. Root rot can be a problem if the soil is too moist.

Scale insects and mosquitos will sometimes breed in the pools of water that are trapped between the leaves. A. fasciata is listed in the FDA Poisonous Plant Database under the section for "Skin irritating substances in plants" and is known to cause contact dermatitis, phytophotodermatitis, and contact allergy.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015


Rhodes (Greek: Ρόδος, Ródos) is the principal city on the island of Rhodes, an island in the Dodecanese, Greece. It has a population of approximately 80,000. Rhodes has been famous since antiquity as the site of Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The citadel of Rhodes, built by the Hospitalliers, is one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe which in 1988 was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The City of Rhodes is a popular international tourist destination. The city is home to numerous landmarks. Some of them date back to antiquity and most of the others remain from the medieval period. They include: The Grand Master's Palace (15th century); Knights Street; Acropolis of Rhodes; Mosque of Suleiman the Magnificent; Medieval walls, created in the mid-14th century on a previous line and remade after the Ottoman siege of 1480 and the earthquake of the following year; Gothic buildings in the historical upper town. Recently, the Byzantine harbour was excavated, discovering medieval shipwrecks.

This post is part of the Waterworld Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015


Bangkok is the capital and the most populous city of Thailand. It is known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon (กรุงเทพมหานคร, ) or simply Krung Thep. The city occupies 1,568.7 square kilometres in the Chao Phraya River delta in Central Thailand, and has a population of over 8 million, or 12.6 percent of the country's population. Over 14 million people (22.2 percent) live within the surrounding Bangkok Metropolitan Region, making Bangkok an extreme primate city, dwarfing Thailand's other urban centres in terms of importance.

Bangkok traces its roots to a small trading post during the Ayutthaya Kingdom in the 15th century, which eventually grew in size and became the site of two capital cities: Thonburi in 1768 and Rattanakosin in 1782. Bangkok was at the heart of Siam's (as Thailand used to be known) modernisation during the later 19th century, as the country faced pressures from the West. The city was the centre stage of Thailand's political struggles throughout the 20th century, as the country abolished absolute monarchy, adopted constitutional rule and underwent numerous coups and uprisings. The city grew rapidly during the 1960s through the 1980s and now exerts a significant impact among Thailand's politics, economy, education, media and modern society.

Bangkok's rapid growth amidst little urban planning and regulation has resulted in a haphazard cityscape and inadequate infrastructure systems. Limited roads, despite an extensive expressway network, together with substantial private car usage, have resulted in chronic and crippling traffic congestion. The high population density and the busy streetscape at almost any hour of the day and night provides plenty of opportunity for the street photographer.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Monday, 23 February 2015


Brunia albiflora is a tall, slender, single-stemmed but well-branched shrub, reaching 2-3 m in height. The long, slender branches are densely leafy, with beautiful dark green foliage that resembles a pine tree, but is much softer. The leaves are 10-14 mm long and narrow (0.7 mm diameter), narrowly lanceolate to linear, black-tipped and covered with delicate hairs.

The flowers are tiny, and are crowded into tight spherical knob-like inflorescences (± 15 mm wide) that are clustered into flat, rounded heads. The knobby inflorescences are covered by scale-like leaves, and before the white flowers break through, they are green touched with black and silver and are also very decorative. Each tiny flower is about 7 mm long, white with yellow stamens sticking out, giving the inflorescence a yellowish tinge. Old flowers age to cream.

After flowering and fertilisation, the flowers turn brown and drop off. The knobby infructescence turns green, ageing to brown in time (seen in its natural colour in the first photo) and it stays on the bush for up to six years, so the remains of the previous year's flowerhead can be seen lower down on the stem. Flowering time is late summer to autumn.
I've digitally processed the remaining four photos through a lengthy and superimposed bunch of filters and colour effects.

This post is part of the Monday Mellow Yellows meme,
and also part of the Mandarin Orange Monday meme,
and also part of the Nature Footstep Digital Art Meme.

Sunday, 22 February 2015