Friday, 3 January 2020

Orchids galore

The Orchid Gardens
Princess Diana Orchid
They have been days of development, with each event merging into another like rain running down a window. On Thursday, Edwin bought Golden tickets for the cinema next to the hotel to see Star Wars, The Rise of Sykwalker. It had reclining electric armchairs, blankets, and a button to summon the butler for service. There were barely twenty seats, but for the late show it was almost empty, or perhaps it reflected the eagerness of Singaporeans for Star Wars movies and all the affectionardos watched it on the day of release.

On Friday, we visited the botanic gardens and the  orchid gardens - the world's largest. I have been to orchid gardens before, but always in indoor hothouses in the UK. Here, we are almost on the equator, and all were outdoors with daytime temperatures of low thirties, falling to high twenties at night. They were banked up in a profusion of colour, following the contours of the hills in the garden, part of which was still pristine rain forest not yet smothered by the skyscrapers of the city. At the very top of the hill was the VIP garden where specially developed hybrids are named after visiting dignitaries. In dazzling, gaudy wedding white was Princess Diana. That dedicated to Queen Elizabeth on the occasion of her royal visit was small and dowdy. Others were to celebrate visits by Margaret Thatcher, and many other heads of state especially from the commonwealth, but we couldn't see any to an American president. Possibly Singapore is counted as beneath the dignity of so mighty a power to pay a state visit, but they do the island state a grave misjustice. It contains within its frame a secure and prosperous peace that many states might emulate.
The Queen Elizabeth Orchid

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