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Today is our second wedding anniversary!


Of course, we ended up visiting the National Archives in the morning.

In my defence, I had a valid reason. I had applied to view National Archives documents for my ongoing research project, and some of them were for Restricted Access only. This meant I could only view them during office hours in the building off Hill Street. Since we were both on leave on a weekday, which was rare, we decided to head there and tick that off my to-do list!


It was my first visit to the National Archives since it reopened last year after extensive renovations. The interior is now newer, fresher, brighter - and its old rustic charm has vanished. Even the toilets with historic Save Water Campaign posters and old-school tiles have been completely overhauled. (They look like hotel toilets now.)

I should have taken photos of the interior before it closed for renovations.


Anyway, I had fun going through archival documents which probably haven’t been touched or viewed for years.


It’s the season for Qing Ming (Tomb Sweeping Day) again.


Today, we visited my maternal grandparents, who are resting in the columbarium of Tai Pei Yuen Temple, along Jalan Kemaman, off Balestier Road.

My dad brought some simple offerings for them.

The columbarium niches - high-rise living for the dead.

My grandfather.

My grandmother.

It comforts me to know that their urns are on the same floor, in adjoining rooms, so they won’t have to travel far to see each other.

Previously, I researched a history of Dover Forest, and explored Dover Forest East on foot. Then, I checked out Dover Forest West on a separate date.


Here is a map showing the route I took:

Base picture credit: Google Maps.

Starting at the walkway connecting Dover MRT Station and Holland Grove, I headed west onto the open field next to the forest, to Location A. Under a sky swollen with storm clouds, I tried searching for a path into the forest. But I couldn’t make out a clear track that had been used by people before. Hence, I chose not to venture in.

Instead, I tried what I had previously done with Dover Forest East - walk along the Ulu Pandan Park Connector and search for a path into the forest (Route B).


However, the undergrowth - at least for the northern part of the forest - was a lot thicker than in Dover Forest East.


Each time I tried to enter the forest from the park connector, I was stopped by a formidable expanse of grass which could reach up to or exceed my height.


Examples:

There were a couple of tracks that showed some promise for a short distance - and then were swallowed up by a sea of grass. I decided against bashing through, because I would be blind to any animal hiding inside, or sudden changes in terrain, such as holes.

A promising track...
But the track swiftly ends...
... in this sea of grass.

Also, I could not find any trace of old tracks that had been drawn on old maps.


Eventually, I reached the western boundary of the forest, which wasn’t Clementi Road - it was actually a canal a short distance to the east of Clementi Road. This isn’t very visible from Google Maps, because the canopies of trees block aerial views of the canal.

I travelled down the stone path next to the canal. My guess is that hardly anyone uses this path.

Yes, the path has been largely forgotten.

I ended at the School of Science and Technology, which had been carved out of the forest.


Thus concludes my brief explorations of Dover Forest East and West. We’ll find out soon how much of this green lung will survive the second decade of the 21st century...