Raffles Hotel in Singapore pervades my dreams. I feel sure I visited in a recent life. Perhaps I served 'slings to Somerset Maugham. Or frothed frocks from steamer trunks and laid them out for waltzing. I like to think I was some hack, one of those 'our man abroad' types. Serious talk in the Long Bar over Tall Island Iced Teas tossing peanut shells to the floor while the Japanese muster.
Singapore is extraordinary, that's all I can tell you. Less extraordinary than it was. In my time terrible things were trampled to make way for yet more neon plaza. As if Orchard Road wasn't emporium enough. In later years I slewed straight for Raffles and sought colonial reassurance in cool leafy pillar and haughty uniform. A weeks commission on satay sticks and the perfect Mojito. Those grand steamer hotels, the Eastern & Oriental of Penang, the Ambassador of Mumbai, they romance me of a time I never knew. An epoch of travel and niceties I covet. Fat leaves quiver heavy with tropical rain.
Margaret O'Hare and Fine Art Imaging offers creative commercial photography in Belfast.