Monday, May 23, 2011

A new home with a sky garden at Regent

A new home with a sky garden at Regent

With all the several months of preparation and numerous store trips came to one fine sunny morning in May 2011 when we moved out of Faber Avenue to the new home at Regent Park.

Thirty years in a landed 2 storey property with ample of room space and sizable garden, we now entered a new experience of living in an apartment overlooking a nearby school field and the entrance of the traffic tunnel from 2 expressways.

Prior to moving in, we reviewed the decibel levels of the new place and concluded that the noise was too hard to bite. Being familiar to a quiet surrounding of slow swaying trees and serene scenery with hummingbird chirping and chameleons occasionally appearing, the new apartment beside those fast moving cars and heavy trucks with their related noises proved too much for one of us. Headache and health problem was the last thing anyone of us would want!

A frantic search was made for an appropriate solution. Yes, we found them on the Net but they were from the United States. More searching and one week later we found someone locally to install an expensive 3 sets of soundproof double glazed windows.

More weeks later, the windows were installed giving a chic and smart appearance to our sheer delight. This simple solution saved us from the agony of living with high distressing decibels. With the thorniest matter resolved, we continued with much gusto to move in, especially for me who moved in bit by bit, little by little weekly for the next 4 weeks.

On the day of moving in early May of this year, I waited for the technician from the Power Department to cut off the gas, then the water and the electricity. Now the house I had lived for many years had become inhabitable from that afternoon onwards until the new owner would take over.

The Saturday before moving out, the whole family met for the last time for the final glimpse at the old house to be followed by a seafood dinner.

Those who were more sentimental took photos of the already bare house, whilst the garden was still intact and still blooming with many palm trees ,one mango and a rambutan tree. We also left behind for the new owner an adorable bird’s nest with two baby birds. What could we do except to leave them such a cute and welcoming gift for the new owner as we couldn’t bring along to the new apartment, could we?

Some of the family tried to salvage what the little that was left. Suddenly everyone began to feel the forthcoming loss of living in my late mum’s place where many members of the family had lived before but they had went on to live in better places after some period in the time of its history.

                             Two days henceforth, this old home could only be kept as a memory in everyone’s mind and for those who had lived in the home of the family. Sad, sigh! But that was life and we had to go on with our new life with a new beginning!

Now back to the new home at Regent, with the many trips to the plant nursery and to IKEA Furniture Store, the interior of new apartment became very Caribbean and very tropical.

It was mostly white for the furniture; the walls are mocha color with complementary similar shades. Most of the furniture was brought from the old house and they were either timber or rattan.

The whole interior now had a feel of a resort poolside; it was very woody and natural. It also carried as much memories of the past home and of my beloved mum.

At the corner of the living room which had the full view of the outside, we created a small indoor garden. The floor was laid with our late mum’s grass colored carpet being one of her last earthly possessions before she passed on.

A huge black metal planter with many pigeon holes was hoisted up at one corner. It was not as intimidating as I thought, contrary to my earlier gut feeling. With many exotic ferns and delicate colorful hanging foliages from the old house, the tiny garden patch began to possess a touch and feel of the former house. On the other opposite corner, we placed 2 striking big white and purple hued Thai orchids given by one of our brother in law, David as housewarming gifts.

Swiftly we had a beautiful neat tropical Garden of Eden, our exclusive special domain in the sky that overlooked the hustle and the bustle of the heavy traffic of one expressway converging to another.

Out of the blue, the apartment was no longer impersonal or concrete. In place we had our own private green garden patch that reminded us of the memories of the old home, of the memories of our late mum’s favorite plant which was the main feature with its leafy broad jade green leaves and slender stems planted in her favorite Chinese floral huge pot.

We had one special Korean Cabinet from the old house which belonged to my late mum. It displayed all memorabilia of her eye glasses, her Christmas teacups, her personal Chinese Bible and even her marriage certificate dating back to 1934 from Fukien Province of Southern China where my ancestors originated.

At another corner near the kitchen door, we placed both my parents’ marriage photo on the wall as mementos for both of them. Our late parents were often in our thoughts even in our new home, so that was the sole purpose for this unique spot.

As for me, though my tiny bedroom was only a fraction of the former, but with careful and precise interior arrangements, it became very personal with every inch laid with the old furniture with a sprinkling of a few new ones.

I also salvaged most of the old furniture whilst many other unnecessary items were given away unwillingly to the Salvation Army due to constraint of space. In lieu of impractical objects, I added more tropical blooming plants and many look- alike man-made flowers for more lively interior atmosphere with my own personal collections of favorite plants, of different types of teddy bears and numerous miniature tea cups and private collectors’ toy shoes.

My bedroom had also been transformed into another unique Garden of Eden, it was Hwa’s Garden of Eden besides the Eden of the Sky just 2 metres away.

One week in the new place, we had settled in. I had to learn to manoveroe carefully around the compact apartment and had soon got used to tread around, making sure and ensuring that I wouldn’t hit my thigh or feet into any corner of some furniture.

By the second week, everyone had settled now to their normal routine. My 5 months Indonesian maid was generally happy with her little storeroom where she slept nightly with the Venetian blinds of the bookcase louvered routinely for more air and ventilation from the nearest window.

The apartment in general received the morning sun on the living room. In the afternoon the sun came through the two bathrooms and these helped the plants there to be healthy and green. So some of my favorite plants were thus placed in the washroom, not only to liven up this essential space but it was also the best nursery area for these plants.

Our Garden of Eden overlooking the vast expense of the school field could be transformed into an aerobic cycling gym when one cycled on the stationery bike placed solidly on my late mum’s green carpet as the garden floor.

It was fun to have the California Fitness’s aerobic feeling and it must be cool to cycle in the only private garden amidst the concrete sky of Singapore whilst watching the world rushing hurriedly along the expressways totally unaware of being watched from afar.

One last thing about this new apartment, only 2 invited guests would feel comfortable at any one time in the new place due to constraint of space.

When 4 normal sized persons sat in the living room adjacent to the private garden, the whole apartment would reach its maximum capacity. Any additional guest would cause this place to be too crowded and too packed, sigh!

Too bad but that was what would be life here at Regent! That was what the new life would be like in the tiny compact apartment, so everybody had to bear with this!

In spite of all the highs and lows in this season of moving house, yes, it had been a wonderful new and learning experience so far. Thank God for everything, the place, and the strength for all the packing and unpacking, thank God for all who helped make this new place possible. Thanks to all who had given some gifts of some sorts in one way or another to make staying here at Regent possible.

May God bless these generous hearts!

So for now I wouldn’t ask for more or much, right? So everybody Hip hip hooray! Thanks for this opportunity to write this blog as a mementos. May God’s blessings be with all who read!

Entrance to our Garden of Eden at Regent

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Silverpen

Very well written. Thank God He has made everything beautiful in His
Time. Thanks for sharing.

Love BG