Bombs, Clothes Lines and Jeeps

A partially opened door to our bomb shelter.

The entrance to our bomb shelter, note the ventilation hole above the door.

Our apartment in Singapore is like most apartments in Australia but one corner of it is quite different.

We have a bomb shelter.

Yes, our nine-year old apartment has a fair dinkum bomb shelter. This is because all apartments in Singapore are required to have a bomb shelter under Singapore’s Civil Defence Shelter Act 1997.

As you can see from the thick door and walls, this room is designed to withstand a blast.

The bomb shelter is the strongest place in the apartment so when an explosion hits the idea is that the building crumbles but the bomb shelter stands strong. The shelters in a building are placed on top of each other for reinforcement. You might be 23 stories in the sky with a sheer drop outside your bomb shelter door but you are safe, albeit squashed in a small, dark room on top of a lot of other small, dark rooms. Continue reading

History in the Building at the National Museum of Singapore

I find buildings interesting, not the rectangular glass and concrete blocks which plague cities world-wide, but buildings that have a story. The building may demonstrate thought in its design or it may have been a place where people made stories which changed their society at the time or which we are interested in today.

The building housing the National Museum of Singapore is one of those buildings. On the weekend we travelled through the concrete and glass buildings that dominate the roads of Singapore and there it was – a statement of Singapore’s British colonial past.

White building with dome on top.

The National Museum of Singapore.

It was opened in 1887 and has been extended and modified several times since. Most recently it was closed for over three years in the early years of this century for extensive renovation and expansion. Continue reading

Some Exciting News!

Stick in sand with footsteps sunk in sandYou may have noticed that my blog posts have been sporadic of late. This is because my life has been in turmoil.

I am writing this on the day that I am leaving Australia for Singapore. Hubble has a great new IT job and I am very happy to move to a new place and new cultures while still doing what I do online. An international move is complicated enough but then an unexpected thing happened.

The paper I delivered to the Australian Historical Association conference in Brisbane was received very well. Unexpectedly I have now landed myself the task of writing a book.

This all happened in the last month we were to be in Australia. So in the midst getting rid of a heap of stuff from our house via Gumtree, visiting four states to catch up with family and deliver stuff and more, I have been working out how to manage the research and writing of an Australian history. Continue reading