The Village Hotel – Bugis

This was our home from home for two weeks and it really did become home. When you sit at home and look on a map, use trip advisor, you really are booking blind, you read reviews but you don’t know what you are going to get.

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As we drove into the city that first day I was a little daunted at it all, we pulled up outside at 9:30am and I knew we couldn’t check in until 2:30pm. I was worried sick. We’d been on a plane for 13 hours, I was knackered, filthy and had this feeling we would be made to hang around. We went up to the reception, which is on the third floor, and of course I was in my chair. I shouldn’t have worried, they upgraded us to a Club room on the 7th floor and a little closer to the lift for convenience, but not too close so the noise wouldn’t disturb us. They let us check in immediately at 9:30am so I could rest and shower !! I was so impressed I could have wept I was that tired. They looked after our luggage and bought it up to our room as well, that was a great help, the only issue was we had no small denomination currency, so the bell hop ended up with a Β£5 note lol

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That is pretty much how the rest of the stay has been, nothing had been too much trouble, they have looked after us at every step of the way. They have got to know us, always greeted us with the warmest of welcomes, it has been like coming home every evening. Every morning they have been polite and checked if we need transport or help.

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Finally when the rest of our group left we started to use the hotel facilities, the pool is gorgeous, a little piece of paradise tucked on the fifth floor!

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The food at the restaurant was excellent, we opted for the buffet at S$35 per head which included entertainment, the belly dancer.

We have chosen a late check out as we don’t fly until 11pm and again they have been amazing. Offering us S$15 per hour after 4pm that’s only Β£7.50 which means our belongings are safe, we can shower and change all at our own convenience. How perfect is that, the room should be S$165 per day, this hotel is so accommodating I can’t recommend it highly enough.

It’s a five minute walk from Bugis MRT station, it was a fifteen minute walk from the F1 circuit. We are within the Kampong Glam district and it’s fabulous.

If you are looking for a good value, lovely hotel with great staff, stay here, tell them Mrs Webb sent you πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘. I can’t wait to visit Singapore again and stay at the Village Hotel, that’s how impressed I was 😊

Our Final Day

Waking up and feeling like I was dying was never part of the plan, I had a raging sore throat, gastric flare up, a temperature the whole nine yards. I was awake by 8am and started updating my blog and left Andrew to sleep, knowing he wouldn’t thank me for an early morning alarm call. I dozed on and off until 11am, then decided it was time to wake him up.

If nothing else I could get up and make a start on the packing. I’d already doubled up my painkiller dose in an attempt to help relieve some of the symptoms. It bought down my temperature, but my throat was like I had swallowed razor blades. One problem I have is mosquito bites, I have them all over my ankles, wrists and upper arms. Sadly they appear to be infected too hence the temperature, now I’m wondering if this is why I’m feeling nauseous? I don’t fancy a trip to a hospital so if I can hang on until Monday I will be home and can see the GP.

Andrew woke up, I made him coffee and started pottering, I hate the thankless task of rearranging the hotel room into two cases. This room had been our home for two weeks and now I had to disassemble it, it was a sad prospect. It wasn’t going to take long, in fact within half an hour my case was pretty much sorted and Andrews was all laid out ready to be done.

Our plan for the day was to go out and grab any last bits we wanted at the Shopping Mall. Nothing specific just have a nice wander round, in the air conditioned atmosphere for Andrew more than me, remember I don’t feel this heat, at points it’s nice and warm, but I’ve not been sweating and hot like everyone else.

As it was the weekend the Mall was really busy, but it was nice, it had a lovely vibe to it. Families, young and old, couples, friends, it was fun watching Singapore doing what they do best, shop !! My only critique is they are so lazy, they have escalators everywhere but they use lifts, the amount of times I have been unable to get into a lift, and there is no apology, no exiting from the able bodied, they just look away, or look at their phones, ignore the person in the chair. It infuriates me !! Nearly as much as the staff using the disabled loo in the Fullerton 😑

We finished our shopping and headed back to the hotel, grabbing an ice cream on the way.

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Next stop the hotel pool, I had decided I was getting an hour with my feet up and a cocktail, this was going to be the only way to spend the last day. No rushing around for me !!

So as I sit here and type this, I sip on my Singapore Sling and reflect on my marvellous fortnight, the wonderful memories, how much I have loved F1, how I reconciled with my first born son which was truly unexpected and as I return home I am planning my first trip to Australia, that fills me with excitement.

So cheers everyone thank you for letting me share my amazing experiences with you these last couple of weeks xx

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Snapping Away at the Fullerton Bay

Andrew had purchased his camera tripod and now wanted to give it a go. We hadn’t been to the Fullerton Bay waters edge since day one. Knowing this would give us some magnificent views of Marina Bay and the Flyer we decided this was our destination. It was Saturday night so the MRT was really busy and it was the first time we had used it since everyone had left. We managed well.

We got to our destination and used google maps to position us and head towards the waters edge. As we got away from the financial district I began to recognise the F1 track, so much is still in situ. The Fullerton Hotel was in front of us and that was where we wanted to be. We crossed the busy road, where the cars had been racing not one week before and we were there, again one annoyance not enough lifts, wheelchairs have to take a much longer walk round the whole building whereas everyone else can take stairs straight down!

We got to the front and the view was breathtaking, we snapped away for ages on our DSLR cameras, enjoying the buzzy atmosphere of a Saturday night.

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Then suddenly at 8pm some music started from the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and the most amazing light and laser show. For eleven minutes we were mesmerised by this performance which we hadn’t expected.

We continued round to the Merlion to catch some snaps of him, spitting water into the bay, and then it was time to leave.

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We nipped into the Starbucks at the Fullerton as that had been our home from home, when the others were with us. I needed to borrow their facilities. The disabled toilet was engaged, a member of staff came into the bathroom and checked I was ok and knocked on the door and left me. Ten minutes later I was still waiting, ten minutes !! By this time I could no longer wait. I got Andrew to place my chair into a normal cubicle and remove it so I could lock the door, then reverse the process to get me out. Guess what it was a member of staff. That is the second time in the same establishment that has happened in the disabled toilets, it is NOT acceptable !! You want the disabled loo, have the disability !! So I left there really flustered at the inconsideration of some people!

We again took the long walk round the building (remember no lift) and found ourselves in the little Bay Area we had walked through on day one. Andrew was hungry and we found an English Pub, we sat inside and ordered some food and drinks. People watching and enjoying the football which was on. Soon it was time to head off, we decided to walk back rather than MRT it wasn’t too far and this was our last chance to enjoy the city.

So we wandered through the city we had become so accustomed to, we knew where our favourite Starbucks, meeting points and camera shops were. Most of all there was a tinge of sadness that this was the last night we would walk home, as tomorrow we would be homeward bound 😒

Kampong Glam

Without being aware we have been staying in the Kampong Glam district of Singapore. It is literally on our doorstep.

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Every morning and evening we can hear the call for prayer, the mosque is a place of great beauty. Arab Street is vibrant and full of fabric stores and tailors. Opposite the hotel is Zam Zam restaurant which is one of Singapore’s finest but most basic restaurants, yet we still haven’t eaten there, sadly I’m not sure my delicate digestive system can cope with much more.

Today we left the hotel and just wandered though the streets, it is hard with the wheelchair, each shopkeeper owns their piece of pavement, hence they tend not to consider wheelchairs. Some have a step, some have a ramp, so often you end up in the street and in danger. It was cool when there were so many of us, as I could be lifted up and down, now there is two, I have to get out of the chair or be bumped up and down steps, which is a nightmare.

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So today we wandered, it was really busy being a Saturday too, but the vibrancy of the city was amazing. We hadn’t experienced it, as last week we were at the circuit. Chris our son had suggested an amazing coffee house called Maison Ikkoku, near the mosque, we hunted high and low and found it. We booked in and it was a 30 minute wait. Now please, please book, or make sure you are prepared to wait! It is worth it, the coffee drinks are most worth it and the food was gorgeous. Andrew had Turkey Ham Eggs Benedict and I had Toasted Brioche with Berries, we ate until we were both full, which for Andrew involved clearing his plate and then a quarter of mine. The cafe is quirky, almost industrial in look, but it is fab. Go, it’s in the lonely planet guide and I can’t recommend it enough!

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Once we had finished we headed over to Simlim Square, Andrew wanted a tripod and a remote for his camera. It’s another mall with six floors of tech. We had been warned you can get ripped off here, but just keep your wits about you. Nobody was pushy or rude. We just said no and they were fine.

After a couple of hours we headed back out, towards the hotel, via the Bugis Street market, wow that’s another busy one on a Saturday. Full of colour and noise, I even found this happy looking chap.

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With the last couple of hours we headed to the pool to enjoy our final Saturday in Singapore. What a wonderful day, I’m going to miss this place it’s been a real due opener and has given me so much more than I expected.

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So thank you Singapore x

Lazy Days

As everybody else had left we decided we had to get ourselves into full holiday mode. What better way than to find the hotel pool, yes the hotel has a pool, and a rather beautiful one on the fifth floor.

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Andrew found me a lounger and that was my space for several hours, I had wifi, I had sun and shade. We ordered drinks. It most of all we winded down, we needed to rest after all the rushing around Singapore for the last ten days. It was the most idyllic afternoon and I couldn’t fault our first day alone together.

Andrew was also buzzing up and down the stairs organizing our laundry, bless him, we are going home with everything clean so I don’t have anything to worry about it when I get back. He doesn’t want me to have to rush about when I get home, I think he is aware I’m not doing too good, a lot of this is a brave face. I can’t and won’t ruin this holiday for him or us, it means far too much.

So as the sun set, we headed back to our room, our plan was to go out for dinner but we noticed the hotel restaurant and thought we might go and look at their menu.

We dressed for dinner and came back down an hour later, the menu looked lovely, the a la carte was really reasonable, then the hostess suggested the buffet, we were totally unaware there was one. Andrew had a quick look at the food choice and opted for that immediately. We sat at a lovely table which opened onto the pool bar, so the warm air came inside. The food was amazing, I was full after one plate, but slowly tried plate two.

Then suddenly the music was turned up, what on earth? All became clear, the most beautiful girl appeared and started belly dancing around the tables. We were all mesmerised by her, she was stunning. She finished her routine and received a round of applause. Andrew ate his main course, I nibbled at a little more food, my appetite has not improved here.

Another half an hour later, the gorgeous young lady appeared again, for another routine. She really was talented, well that’s what Andrew called her lol.

She kindly let us grab a photo to remember our lovely evening at the Village Hotel, Bugis

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We then popped to the reception to arrange our late check out for Sunday … Which was so simple and easy, the hotel have been fabulous, again I will blog about them separately.

As we headed to bed last night it had been a lovely restful day, we knew that although we were coming to the end of our holiday, we were doing it the right way with lazy days.

Marina Gardens By The Bay

As we left Raffles and then made Andy’s last purchase, we headed back to our hotel. With Andy packed and changed, pictures exchanged we then made our way to the MRT, this was it, the goodbyes were starting.

First Andy, we had to leave him at Bugis. So the big group of seven became six. Lots of hugs and kisses and he wandered off down the MRT station.

We all hopped on the other line, Helen and Rob were going to Sentosa to get their bags, then to the airport, meanwhile we were going to the Gardens By The Bay. We all jumped on the MRT train heading to Marina Bay and we only had a couple of stops, as it got to our stop, the tissues came out, the girls were a mess. The locals thought we were bonkers! This holiday wouldn’t have been possible without all five of the others, they all made it unique. We got of the train and Helen, Antonela and I were upset this was it, the boys, seemed ok 😜 as the doors closed we waved until they were out of view. Seven had become four !

We wiped our eyes and headed off to Marina Bay, you need to walk through the Hotel to get to the Gardens By The Bay, it’s so magnificent. You spend all your time looking up and saying Wow!!

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It’s so beautiful that this has been created and it is still being created, it’s always evolving and growing. I love it, but be sure to cover yourself in bug spray!! I have been eaten alive, something has even gone through the sole of my foot, goodness knows how?

As we left there at 11pm last night knowing this was our last goodbye to Antonela and Steve, it was a very heavy heart. In the space of five hours we have gone from seven to two, but for the next few days we plan on chilling out and doing some coupley stuff.

Thank you guys for an amazing holiday, you have been there for me, you’ve pushed me, carried my chair, waited around, found lifts, been patient, I can’t fault your tolerance…. I love you all for that xx

Raffles Hotel

We had wandered past once before and it’s one of the names that you know and have heard of, but to go inside is just wow !!

Well finally it was my turn to go to the Raffles Hotel and have a Singapore Sling, I’ve always wanted to and finally I did, and I got to share it with my Singapore GP buddies.

We had been shopping for the last bits for the rest of the group as the other five will have all gone home by the time you read this. So what better way to chill out than in the Courtyard of the Raffles Hotel

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We looked at the menu and well apart from Helen who wanted a cup of very English Tea, the rest were Slings. The staff took pictures of us all sipping our drinks together and we then toasted what a fabulous holiday we had experienced. We were just enjoying our surroundings, sitting there imagining way back when, because it is very colonial, you can imagine it. It’s also a sanctuary in the hustle and bustle of a manic city like Singapore, it’s perfect.

As for the Sling, it’s delicious, I drank mine very slowly as I don’t drink alcohol and it went straight to my head. So that’s it another experience ticked off the box 😊

Chin Chin 🍸

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Singapore Zoo & The Night Safari

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We left Chinatown and grabbed a bus this time heading way out of the city. Again disabled travelers are well looked after the bus is lowered, a ramp on the middle door is dropped and the driver loaded me on first, locking me in place before loading any other passengers.

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The downside I had to face rearward for the whole journey, cue travel sickness so after ten minutes I went a little quiet, after twenty I needed to close my eyes and concentrate. Just be aware if you do suffer it might be an idea to take travel sickness pills before you use a bus!

After a thirty minute ride we got to the Zoo, according to the others it was a really hot and humid day. The sun was beating down, I was loving that!

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We went to purchase tickets and I had read on the website that Singapore residents if they provided proof of disability would get in for free and two carers get 20% discount. Therefore assumed this would be the same for all visitors, nope, sadly they seem to treat visitors unfairly. We had to pay full price no concession. I was unwilling to argue so paid, even though I had my expensive wheelchair and blue badge! I was sick of “proving” or “arguing” about my disability on this holiday.

We went in and it was just amazing, that word just doesn’t seem good enough but the enclosures are barely that. The animals are almost within touching distance. There were orangutans swinging in trees above our heads, baby ones hanging off their mothers necks, it was a delight to watch.

Then the feeding of the giraffes well Helen and I just had to have a go at that, for S$5, which is Β£2.50, this was something I would never do again. I went in and these two magnificent creatures were just there waiting for there tea. We handed them their food stick by stick, as the boys snapped away. Their long swirly tongues tickled but it was great fun and both Helen and I loved it.

We found the Zebras which made me happy, you all know why πŸ˜‰

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And we just kept going, Helen and Rob rode an elephant, I would have loved to but there was no way I could have got on it. We found a polar bear at feeding time, meerkats that we all gave voices to, it was just an adventure and we had a great time. The time was rushing by and we knew we needed to leave the park to head for the Night Zoo so we headed for the main gate and took the short hop to the Park next door.

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In the half hour we entered the Night Zoo and by the time you watch a bit of the show at the front entrance, grab a bite to eat, the sun has gone down.

First stop the Creatures of the Night Show, this was your typical trained animal show. It was very good and quite enjoyable, as we went to one of the early ones it was extremely busy, so be warned!

We headed back to the main entrance to get the tram so we could head round the whole park and see all the animals. Now the queue was huge, they broke me and one carer off to wait separately and I would meet up with the rest of my party when they had queued.

After ten minutes they got to the front, by which time I had noticed not every tram had a disabled ramp. How was I going to be put on the tram? The first tram arrived no disabled position we let it go without us. Next tram arrived still no disabled position, by now we’d been waiting twenty minutes we needed to leave by 10pm, our clock was ticking and I was getting frustrated.

I called over a member of staff and asked them when a tram with a disabled position would be available he explained at least another ten minutes. I said that wasn’t good enough. I wanted a supervisor, they were wasting our evening, we would have been there over 45 minutes by then. The supervisor came at that point, I stayed as calm as I could, I wanted to cry, I was tired and frustrated.

I told him that at the beginning of the day having been charged full price had been unfair to begin with. Now to be made to wait over 45 minutes purely because of my disability is unacceptable, especially when I had seen a VIP family get on a tram with a disabled space just before my group got to me, when they didn’t need it! That should not have happened. I told him I felt discriminated against and my day had been ruined. He went away and came back and said he had arrange for a VIP buggy to take my party around the Night Safari for the evening, he was sorry for any inconvenience, that was not the zoo’s intention. I accepted the apology and we got the Buggy ride.

The buggy arrived and the helped me onto it, well it was brilliant fun, our own VIP experience around the park, however half way round the heavens opened and we had a monsoon downpour, similar to the night of the Robbie concert. It was so funny, Andrew and Andy were at the back you could hear them laughing and I couldn’t stop giggling at them, then the driver started giggling at me. In the end the whole buggy was in fits of laughter.

We did see lots of amazing animals before the rain started though, so thank you Night Safari for the Buggy Ride, I’m still not impressed with the lack of concessions or lack of buses for disabled visitors (I was told by one staff member there were three in the whole park)

As we left that night we took the City Coach back it was S$6 per person and dropped us back to our hotel which was brilliant, but the rain didn’t follow us back to the city during the journey. By the time we got back it was dry. We said our good nights and for some that would be their last full day in Singapore.

We however would have until the weekend.

Job Hunting

Looking for work is never an easy task, I can remember when I first left school having to apply for work was a thankless task. Handwriting letters, waiting for handwritten replies thank goodness those days are in the past! These days it’s so much easier you can pickup your tablet or computer and look up sites like City Calling

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Step One, you need to sign up to City Calling, creating a profile which will ensure this will only match you to roles which you are suitable for.

Step Two, once your profile has been set up, any suitable roles will automatically be sent to you, how simple and easy is that?

Step Three, once you find the job you feel is suitable you apply, it’s as simple as 1,2,3.

City Calling already has some of the leading names on board including Allianz, Argos, British Gas and Homebase. They have over 3000 companies on their books so jobs listing are plentiful, it’s a case of you keeping your CV updated and being proactive with your applications. I’m a firm believer in using online companies as it puts you in control of your job application process, no more pushy recruiters telling you what they think you should be doing!

City Calling has a lovely clean lines look and easy to navigate feel, so it’s nice and simple to use, be it on your tablet or PC. So if you are stuck in a rut, want a change of direction, or just feel it’s time to achieve bigger and better things head over to City Calling.

Come on what have you got to loose? Try City Calling because it’s as easy as 1,2,3.

Chinatown

This was a very quick visit, despite Antonela and Steve staying here for the whole of their trip. To be honest when everyone else has gone home Andrew and I may go back one evening as it was that lovely. When we drove in we were greeted with this beautiful sight.

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There had been a festival recently, but our taxi driver explained that this would all be taken down soon, it seems such a shame as they are all so pretty.

The driver dropped us at the Chinatown Market and we were soon meandering round the stalls, they sell lots of souvenirs, the type of stuff you don’t want to take home, but dig a bit deeper and you will find some really nice Happy Cats or little trinkets that family may like.

I was just admiring the streets, while Andrew was just melting, he’s struggled with the heat this whole holiday.

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We soon realized it was time to head off to the zoo as that was our plan for the rest of the day/evening. So we headed to the MRT and left Chinatown behind, I didn’t feel daunted by the area, or at risk in fact the locals were lovely. It would be nice to go back if we have time.

I’ll leave you with one more picture of Andrew modeling this hat, I’m sure we should’ve got it for him 😜

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