Mackerel Moments - 2014
23 January 2015
CAROL: Clearly, I love to travel. But 2014 was quite different in that I travelled so infrequently. And what little travelling I did was invariably work related. It’s been some years since my corporate job where living out of a suitcase defined my existence. These 2014 junkets were far more pleasant and pleasurable.
“Boleh” is Malay for “can do”. I find trips across the Causeway to Malaysia conveniently possible because it is only a hop, skip and jump away. And these little jaunts across the border usually have positive side effects. Because Malaysia is less vertically built-up than Singapore, its broad highways and low-rise buildings exercise my peripheral vision. The air is decidedly cleaner in some parts of the country, which gives my lungs a bit of a break from the Singapore smog. Most significant, however, is the slower living that is so characteristic of Malaysia. Her “roti canai” (pretty much a South Indian pancake), organic vegetable farms and heritage towns are welcome distractions from Singapore’s frenetic pace of life.
Together and individually, Marc and I supported and were involved in no less than seven arts festivals in the space of 10 months, both locally in Singapore and around the region (Indonesia and Australia). We performed, curated, managed and produced our weight in sweat and tears, and we were happy to be contributing to an already lively entertainment calendar of events. There are times when I venture to say that Singapore feels a bit like London; there’s always something to do or see every night of the week. Let’s be honest, it’s hard work; securing sponsorships, pushing publicity and ensuring that audiences have a good time. But it’s well worth it and being on both sides of a festival keeps us grounded, which means that we will just keep on keeping on.
MARC: I was very pleased to launch my fourth book of poetry, Animal City, in Singapore in August 2014. This was a project two and a half years in the making. I teamed up with illustrator Vanessa Chan to bring to life the unlikely animals that populate the book. There’s a dog who fell in love with the cat, a spider who fancies himself a sushi chef and even a whole gang of monkey Mafia. The poems in the book were also set to music with my band, Neon and Wonder, and you can listen to them here.
Text and Photos: Carol & Marc