Sunday, 4 October 2009

The Compleat Angler

No matter how busy I am on a Sunday, I make it a point to read the half page article by Lee Wei Ling in The Sunday Times. I enjoy reading all her insightful stories and I'm not saying this because she's the daughter of our Mentor Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

She comes across as a compassionate person, one who is full of humility and appreciates the simple things in life despite her privileged upbringing. Needless to day, her articles always leaves me feeling positive. Yesterday's article was another delightful one.

I lighted up when I read about her father's 86th birthday celebration at The Compleat Angler on 16 September. I always remember his birthday because it is just a day after mine. When I was younger, I was full of insecurities and didn't feel all that smart. But knowing that my birthday is a day away from the most charismatic man in Singapore made me feel better. Is that a smart thought or what? LOL!

There was no news of his birthday this year because he was traveling. So when his daughter wrote about the dinner at The Compleat Angler by the River Thames, it made me sit up. She wasn't talking about his birthday per se but sitting by the Thames made her recall the ambitious plan initiated by her father in 1977 to clean up the filthy Kallang River.

Thanks to him, speedboats, dragon boats, kayaks and colourful bumboats ferrying tourists can be seen plying the clean waterways of the Kallang River today. We can't compare it with the Thames of course, but Kallang River has certainly come a long way.

By coincidence, I was standing before The Compleat Angler overlooking the idyllic Thames River last December, wishing I could spend my next summer languishing in the award-winning hotel.

We didn't eat at the restaurant that day but as I stood on the Marlow Bridge, I imagined the kinds of people who have walked through the doors of the classic 400 year old English Country House Hotel. There must have been countless celebrities and noblemen in their finery.

Now I find it easy to imagine MM Lee Kuan Yew, his daughter and entourage dining in one of their sophisticated riverside restaurants. While eating, with his eyes cast on the iconic river Thames, his mind must have drifted back to our lively Singapore River scene.

5 comments:

Fresh Fry aka 福星 said...

yes, i enjoy reading Miss Lee's columes too. i feel she's trying to let us know that she's one of us instead of the elite many others would like to think. not many people of the prominent families are willing to go such lengths given their busy schedule.

glad to have found someone to share the same thoughts as i do, Blur Ting! =)))

Blur Ting said...

My mum loves reading her column too.

I appreciate her personality. I know lots of folks like her who're down to earth like her too.

Sadly when I googled about her, I found lots of cynics who think she's being a hypocrite. Sigh.

Amel's Realm said...

WOW...I LOVE the pics...they make me feel soothed and calm. Mmmm...

Fresh Fry aka 福星 said...

it seems that alot empathise (sic) with those who are wannabes but won't appreciate powerful ones who are down-to-earth.....haiz......

auntielucia said...

It's so refreshing to read online appreciation of what MM Lee has done! It makes me quite mad to read the outright lies and distortions and it's such a pity that too many in S'pore (I won't call them S'poreans becos with online stuff, who knows?) or elsewhere who feel they can be credible only when they damn. Praise is immediately equated with sycophancy; such is the warped mentality!

I find Ms Lee's pieces extremely sad tho! Most of her recollections of pple seem to be those who are no more! :(