The Kanadias: TR5 (black-red, blue-green, white-red), TR6 (white-orange)
and TR7 (green-olive)
For a person who like running so much it is strange that I have not written an article on running in my own website : D
Not really a fantastic running since young, I do like running. It was not until the end of my days in national service, I met a crazy runner and I started runing mid distance 10km from my camp in Guillemard to East Coast Park. Then the year later I studied mechanical engineering in National University of Singapore and that four years I ran marathon with friends met in jogging club. My best marathon was in 1986 and subsequently getting from bad to worse due to more time spent on studies.
I had a bad right knee injury because of wrong trainging pace for my marathon in 1989 and after that I dropped long distance running for quite a while. I almost stopped running after my first kid, and not until one year in my department we were allowed to pack up early for sport acitivities that I started my run again. That first run I had very horrible feeling at all my joints and I was so shocked that I was wondering what had happen to my body. Lucikily after a few runs my joints went back to normal, and since then it is no turning back for me to run and exercise regularly.
I have been an Adidas supporter since my first marathon. Somewhere in between I think Adidas went out of fashion and I did switch to Brooks and Nike. Recently Adidas brand is hot again and I went for the trail shoes Kanadia and like them very much. I am a strange person where I very often buy things because of the look rather than functionality. But Kanadia serves me well and I also started trail running for many years.
I do not often go for races, except the once a year company cross country. But that activity was stopped in 2016 and after that some how I feel quite relief that I need not train for competition any more and begin to run the way I like. Now I am doing middle to long distance from 6km to 15km and sometimes running jungle trails. I do not have a clear competition objective now and I am not very sure whether I will go back to long distance marathon again.
Sparrow Building Nest
In 2013 a local film production "The Girl in Pinafore" 《我的朋友，我的同学，我爱过的一切》brought back memories for those Singaporeans who had grown up with XinYao (Singapore local school pop) with the song "Sparrow Building Nest" 《麻雀衔竹枝》.
There were stories about this song. Even the writer of the song Liang Wen Fu wrote an article in Zao Pow (Singapore local main Chinese Newspaper) on this song: it was the evening of 1st Aug 2013, for the first time in Singapore history, the top 3 main Chinese board casting stations of Singapore board casted the same song " Sparrow Building Nest" after the song was banned in Singapore for 23 years! One of the DJ said for that moment there was this urge to cry. The song writer could still recall the warmth of his father's shoulder while listening to this song of his over the air.....
Those year Singapore Government was promoting speak Mandarin campaign and all dialects were banned from TV programs and board casting stations. The aim was to have a common spoken language within the Chinese Community to forge better communication and unity.
It then made me start digging out my CD with this song. Actually there were more than one songs written by Wen Fu that were band. I do not have the original release, but I have this particular song under the CD collection 《笑说城事》, which collected Wen Fu works from 1987 to 1990. These works were about events and happenings in Singapore, with very strong local flavour. Some of the songs were "One Step at a Time” 《一步一步来》, "Eve of History Exam" 《历史考试前夕》, "The Good and the Bad" 《好与不好之外》, "Some People and Many People" 《有些人和很多人》, "Too Many" 《太多太多》, "Good Song" 《好了歌》, "Tragedies of a Eastern Man" 《一个东方男子的悲剧》, "The Town that the Somebody Stay" 《某某人住在很那个的小镇》, "Singapore Pie" 《新家坡派》, "New Flute Tune" 《紫竹吹新调》, "Love Stories" 《爱情烈士外传》, "Three Daughters of Mr Chang" 《老张的三个女儿》, "Rock and Roll Stories" 《摇滚话三分》, "Sparrow Building Nest" 《麻雀衔竹枝》, every song is a master piece by itself, with lots of local flavour, witty and humorous, and if you are not familiar with local Singaopre history, Chinese history and Chinese Swordsman Fictions, you may not be able to understand the lyrics fully!
Other than the outstanding music and lyric of Wen Fu, I also only discovered recently that actually the recordings were quite good indeed. As for arrangements, it has always been good in those days, where real instruments were used for recordings like violins, cello, piano, erhu, pipa, Chinese flute, percussion and etc, which to a classical music lover like me would find the music full of colour, rather than the artificial synthesizer.
Maybe Wen Fu's songs will bring back too much memories of the past. While listening to this song that was band for the past 23 years, I could not help but tears drop in the eyes........
This is my favourite US fight jet that served in the US Marine Forces for many years and is no more in service. My bought a few Tomcat models and here I attached photos of one of the model my friend made for me.
I am not really a fan of Fong Fei Fei (凤飞飞). But like many people born in the same generation, Fong Fei Fei is a name very familiar to us. With her passed away we loss yet another familiar Chinese singer of our era. But certainly many will remember her, and the beautiful past in that generation.
Fong Fei Fei's family had been very tight lip on her death news, which only release much later in 2012 after the Chinese New Year and thus a surprise to many of us. I quickly found from my CD collection some old CD recordings of hers. Although she is a good singer, her style not totally to my taste. I like only one of her late production 'Applause' (掌声响起).
To me 'Applause' is a nearly perfect performance of Fong Fei Fei. The rest of her songs are cordial, but this one is certainly grand. The song started nearly with solo vocal, and ended with grand orchestra support and great climax, that will touch the performer and the audience.
The song 'Applause' touches me because I was once active on stage in Chinese Orchestra concert performance. Those years of ups and downs in life, and the decade of hard work that we brought one sincere performance after another on stage. The feeling was complicated, when you heard the applause from the audience after a wonderful performance, that brought back to memories those tears and sweat that everyone had put in for a perfect performance. That kind of bittersweet feeling you know.
I once saw this so called audiophile CD of Fong Fei Fei and happily bought it. But when played back from my hifi system I found the vocal recording so harsh, definitely not doing justice to Fong Fei Fei's voice. So the CD was kept aside for a long time. After so long I listened again this time, and reached the same conclusion: could not make it. Lately after Fong Fei Fei passed away lots of CDs with her songs were released. I chose one of them and found the vocal recording so much more better!
After listening to this CD 'Fei's Favourite Songs, 'Must Listen' (飞常好歌, 飞听不可), I suddenly realised the drastic changes in Chinese pop music arrangement. In the 70s the pop arrangement used frequently violins. But not like classical music where violins play the role of key instruments, presenting the main musical themes. In Chinese pop violins are accompaniment instruments. But in pop the accompaniment role is not easy, where violins are required to play at very high register for long notes or running notes. And the tempo is not easy.
I remember when I was young and was asked to assist in a pop music live performance playing violin. We a bunch of young violinists were struggling in the high registers and the running semi-quavers, I must appreciated the conductor Mr Yeo could endure our standard hahaha! With this CD now I appreciate the musical arrangement of those years. Now a days the key instrument is electric synthesizer, which I find musically monotonous. Not sure in this expect has we move forward or otherwise.
We will still hear appaluses after each touching performance. The end of a era is the beginning of another. Is it not life just like performances after performances on stage?