Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The 5 o'clock tree

Have you heard of this tree before? I am sure you know this tree as it is commonly known as the Rain Tree. It is a common roadside tree in Singapore. Ever since I read the book, Durians are not only fruits, Little One and I had been observing Rain Trees. We noticed the leaflets would close during rainy days and evening. We even start to observe whether the leaflets would close at 5 o'clock.
These are the results.

12 noon

5 o'clock
Ehhhh...... sometimes, the leaflets close but sometimes, they do not. So what is wrong?
5 o'clock

After searching the internet, this is the explanation:

The tree’s leaflets close just before sunset. This is why it is called the Pukul Lima in Malay, which means ‘five o’clock’. The sunset hour in Singapore and Malaysia used to be 5 pm before changes were made to Standard Time in the early 1980s.

If you love to know more about this tree, read the below sources.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Lessons from the school holidays

In a blink of an eye, today is officially the last day of school holidays. Little One will have to resume her usual schedule next week.

As much as I wanted to prepare her to do more cooking this holiday, I realised we ran out of time frequently. Gathering with old friends, running around for free programmes and courses, nature excursions, catching up on schoolwork, juggling bits of household chore every now and then. We were so busy that I hardly find time to cook together, much less to blog. Fortunately, we managed to make tapioca pudding together.

In case you wonder whether schools assign homework for P1. I am not sure for the rest of the primary schools but there were none from her school. I issued homework myself as a form of revision. Also, I am focusing on Chinese, which is still her least favorite subjects. I am glad to say the past few days, she told me that I made Chinese more fun.

A lesson I have learnt this holiday is to slow down. First two weeks, we were practically running around from day to day. Yes, much of our time was spent on the road, travelling. I realised after a week or so, it was tiring to race round the whole of Singapore with her. We did not get the chance to fully enjoy ourselves and we had to start to journey again to the next destination.

I realised it was time to slow down. As her schedule was already being booked prior the holidays, I did not cancel any programmes and she attended them. I am aware there are plenty of fun activities that are going on this holiday but I try not to plan to have back to back activity. It will be physically demanding to rush around. Lesson learnt. The last couple of days we did not have any programmes on our calendar and we kept it that way. It is time to let Little One to fully rest before she returns to school next week.

Nevertheless, we had a fun filled holiday. I asked Little One what she enjoyed most during the holiday. Not surprising, most of the activities she told me are not the activities that I signed her up. Below are some of the activities she enjoyed most during this holiday.

Labrador Park during low tide. I never know the tides can be as low as this!

Labrador Low Tide Exploration
We did this during one of the low tide days. It was planned without any programmes to follow thereafter. We spent longer time than we expected. Little One loves capturing pictures of the place while I spent my time explaining to her the creatures we saw on the intertidal zone.

Not her first ride but she still enjoys it.

Bum boat ride to Pulau Ubin
We signed up for a Sensory Trail at Palau Ubin and guessed what, she loves the boat ride more than the trail itself. The ride is S$3 per pax/trip.

She had her first cosplay and attended a tea party. Kids who loves to dress up would of course love such activity.

Collecting saga seeds
This activity was conducted within the time we had after a nature trail with Nparks before we had our lunch.


I know what to look out for before I plan feverishly her schedule. Her interest has to come first and not to plan back to back to fully enjoy ourselves.

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