09 August 2011

a small sky

While London burns, if you crane your neck a little and peek just over the edge of the murky sky to the east, you'll see that it’s National Day here in Singapore. It’s 30 degrees in the shade at breakfast time, flags are fluttering, the kids are all on holiday, and later we’ll indulge in the shiny-eyed patriotism that is watching the National Day Parade on the telly.

National Day commemorates Singapore’s independence from Malaysia in 1965. It’s also a day when Singaporeans around the world celebrate their nation and its values. I can't see the concept of a National Day working in the UK (just look at what's going this week, not much national pride going on there). I suspect British people are too cynical to get behind overt patriotism anyway, and the nation's too much in debt to stomach it.

As National Day crept into its fourth hour I was wide awake; that tricky second night of jetlag. The first night is usually bliss - exhausted from the trip and the restless journey, you sleep as if drugged and wake feeling wonderful and just a little bit smug. You’ve escaped jetlag! But by the second night you’re screwed. At 3am, with eyes full of grit, your stomach grumbles expectantly while friends and family eat dinners thousands of miles away. The post-flight dehydration seems only to be getting worse, and then The Boss wakes up for a twilight blether about a bad dream.

The combination of jetlag and National Day reminds me how far away I am, both geographically and ideologically. But I took a photo last week in my garden in Scotland, and looking at it brings me a little closer to home. More than the granular quality of the dewdrop or the bloom on the alchemilla leaf, it's that the reflection of the sky is very small. Granted, it would have been a significantly better photo had I had got something clever reflected in the droplet, but today I just need the sky to look small, 'cos we're really not so very far away after all. Majulah Singapura.

To see some photos by people who would definitely have captured something cleverly reflected in that droplet, see Sweet Shot Tuesday.


  1. Hope you enjoy your time there. Beautiful picture.

  2. Thank you for stopping by...I love your picture. I have always wanted to try getting that perfect water drop picture (C:

  3. Thanks Susan and Kirstin. I suspect I could strive for a perfect water picture for years and years and years!

  4. I love macro photography!! You have inspired me to attempt, again, a water shot. Very nice.

  5. Eek! Shanna, thanks for your lovely comment but... confession time, this isn't a macro shot, just a crop. I've been longing for a macro lense for... hmmm... about 8 years (and a ring flash to go with, obvs!), and look forward to the day when I can honestly say "I love macro photography". For now, lucky cropping will have to do.


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