Keeping in Shape

August 31, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Posted in itchy backside | 2 Comments
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In July, Itchyfingers did two 10 km runs. One was the Great Eastern Women 10k Run, and the other was the Shape Run.

It was still dawn when Shape Run participants walked towards starting line 

The venue at Nicoll Highway was a very convenient one as the MRT is just
besides it

Long long queue at the mobile loos…Luckily I went to the one at the nearby
community centre…no queue at all! ;p

We were flagged-off on time by MP Dr Fatimah

But Tisu Girl was about 100 metres or more away from the starting point, 
so had to wait for the ladies in front to clear…

Meanwhile, Tisu Boy killed time by snapping photos of the other ladies as it would be a long wait before I slowly crawled over the finishing line… :p But it didn’t take long for the first lady to run past him at mid point…

Ms Eunice Nyawira Muchiri from Kenya soon came cruising past effortlessly…
She also swept away the first positions for four other runs locally and in the
region during her month-long visit

Fellow Kenyan Ms Esther Karimi came in second for the race more than one 
minute later!

And yet another minute passed before Ms Suzanne Walsham eventually
crossed the finishing line…Familiar face huh?

And then there was our own Ms Vivian Tang. She would have been the 
champion again this year if not for the foreign elite runners…They were
just too fast!

Hahah…no lah, Tisu Girl didn’t come so close to these elite runners…This
was at mid point, where the elites had already finished their run…hahah 

What was Little Miss Wise doing here? :p Do come back in ten years’ time! :p

The route was similar to last year except perhaps for the detour into Geylang Road and then Crawford Street, before going back to the F1 Track and finished off back at Nicoll Highway. The weather was cool and I had my own water so didn’t have to stop at all the water points. Must say the detour was rather interesting and different – I especially liked the run at the Kallang Riverside Park.

When I finally reached Nicoll Highway, couldn’t really believed myself as my watch showed a faster timing than expected! So I tried to speed up also at the last two or 300 metres or so even though I had planned to slow down there so that Tisu Boy could take a photo of me crossing the line…But couldn’t see him anywhere…

Tisu Boy was actually squatting down as there were other guys with big lens
blocking him, which explained why we missed each other. But he managed to
spot me later and shot this finishing shot…Tisu Girl was the one with bright
orange cap…See the timing board? :p

I was faster than my Great Eastern Run! And that was based on gun time, which would be more as I was at the back of the line. When I checked my watch again, it said 1:07 hour! That was my best time for 10 k runs so far! Yeah! Must really thank the good weather! (P.S. Actually my GPS watch showed the distance as only 9.64 km, even shorter than the GE 10k Run, which showed 9.96 km. So I guess this ‘personal best’ may not be that accurate…hahah…)

Collected my medal and the goodie bag while Tisu Boy continued to shoot the rest of the runners. Then, among the sea of blues, I saw Ms Vivian Tang chatting with her friends. This time I didn’t really hesitate and went up to ask for a photo together… :p

Ms Tang was so petite in size that Tisu Girl felt like a King Kong standing 
next to her and had to bend down to be at the same level… Haha…Didn’t
know then that she didn’t manage to defend her last year’s top position
but came in fourth, so I congratulated her after taking the photo. Hope
she wouldn’t mind. But you think it’s easy to come in fourth meh?! :O
Her opponents were strong! 

The routes for 10k and 5k

This year’s bag is huge!

And the Shape organiser took in our last year’s feedback and gave all runners
finisher medals! Yeah! So much better than the bracelet!

But something to improve on – they should put either 5 km or 10km run on
the medals. This is the first time I hear of runs giving medals to even 5km runs.
Had always thought 5km runs are fun runs and non-competitive. Didn’t know
Shape’s 5km run has prizes or medals…Maybe next year I should just run
5km to collect the medal? Hahah…. 

Also see related posts:
> Men Don’t Get It – Great Eastern Women 10K 
> Getting into Shape


Odd Encounter

August 22, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Posted in itchy fingers | Leave a comment
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Itchyfingers were wandering at Katong area trying to get some nice backdrop to shoot some photos of our little handmade miniature cats when Tisu Boy exclaimed in pleasant surprise and pointed to me a rare sight.

It was a cat. To be precise, it was a white cat sitting behind the glass window of an old but refurnished shophouse now used for residential purpose.

Recently Itchyfingers started to photograph stray community cats around the housing estates, so we have been on the lookout for cats to photograph whenever we are outside. Whenever we see any cats with interesting markings that we have not photographed before, we would get very excited. So far we have not photographed a pure white cat, although white cats are not uncommon. But what got Itchyfingersso so excited was that this white cat was no ordinary white cat. Why? Because it has eyes with different colouration. In Chinese, we could call it 阴阳眼 (yin yang eye), though in folk belief, this term is also used to describe the ability of some people who can see see ghosts or other supernatural phenomena invisible to most ordinary people. In a more scientific term, this is known as Heterochromia iridum, which refers to a difference in coloration, usually of the iris but also of hair or skin. Heterochromia is a result of the relative excess or lack of the pigment, melanin. It may be inherited, or caused by genetic mosaicism, disease or injury.

This pretty cat was sitting behind the glass window. We were so worried
that we might scare her and lose the golden opportunity to
photo this rare cat,
so had to be fast and extra careful. These so-called
 odd-eyed cats are almost
always white, with one normal eye (copper, orange,
 yellow or green) and a
blue eye. Itchyfingers decided to call her Oddie

In some countries and culture, the odd-eye cats are very popular. In Turkey, the pure white Turkish Angora cats are protected and considered a national treasure! The mascot of the 2010 FIBA World Championship hosted by Turkey was a species of odd-eye cat name Bascat! Cute!

After Tisu Boy secured a number of shots of Oddie, being Itchyfingers, we decided to come up with some mischief. We were curious to find out the reaction of Oddie if she sees my little handmade miniature cat, Mo

We caught Oddie’s immediate attention the moment we placed Mo on
the window frame!

Sniff, sniff…So cute! Oddie tried to check out the new little puss in town…
“Who is this little young lady?”

Then Oddie tried to claw Mo from behind the glass window! This was so
cute and hilarious! Itchyfingers couldn’t stop laughing! 

Oddie must be feeling frustrating not being able to get hold of Mo…

So she tried again! “This time I must get my paw on you and let you know
whose territory is this!” 8)

Oddie stayed with us for close to 10 minutes before she decided to retire inside her house. Off she went! Felt really lucky to have met Oddie and photographed her. But too bad she was indoor and behind a glass window. I was so happy the moment Oddie saw Mo! She was totally intrigued!

Mo, the customised miniature handmade cat made by Itchyfingers for a
friend. After this brief encounter between Oddie and Mo, Itchyfingers was
curious if my friend’s cats would be equally intrigued when they saw their
own little furry doubles…Find out more from the post here at the Mushroom
Creative Shop! 8)

Also see related post:
> Visiting an Old Friend 

Permanent Resident #1

August 15, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Posted in itchy fingers | Leave a comment
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If you visit MacRitchie Reservoir regularly, chances are, you would see this at one of the trails facing the reservoir. It has been there long before you and me were born; has ‘greeted’ joggers and visitors for more than a centuries and has witnessed the many activities and changes at the reservoir. Have you seen it?

This old mysterious tomb lies quietly beneath a canopy of trees. 
There is no record of this tomb dated back in 1876

Looks like a lady surnamed Fan was buried underneath during the Qing
Dynasty period under the reign of Guang Xu Emperor. The words are still 

readable although cracks have already formed on the stone. But it looks 
reasonably well-maintained for its grand age. Someone, not necessarily 
related to the deceased, must have visited regularly. It could also be more
than one person, maintaining and offering incense maybe out of respect for
the old tomb

Some people said that in terms of geomancy point of view, the location is good, with proximity to water and nature as well as a panaromic view of the reservoir. But this site said otherwise. There is no plan to remove this tomb unless someone applies for an exhumation permit. So it seems that the old tomb is here to stay. The next time you happen to go to MacRitchie Reservoir, do visit the old tomb if you haven’t, but do remember to treat it with respect!

Also see related posts:
> R.I.P. – Kranji War Memorial and Cemetery
> The Forbidden Hill
> Guardian Angel at the Forbidden Hill
> Carving a Living – Vanishing Trades

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