the fact is, i plain forgot it was the 25th of may (the glorious revolution) until yesterday, and by then, remembering, and wanting to make up for the now-past date, remembered also that there are no lilacs in singapore to wear. yen thought i might get away with any light purple flower though, but even those are hard to come by - there are not many native plants that flower light purple, are there? morning glories involve tumbling through lallang fields, and orchids are decidedly in the wrong spirit. light pink, yes, and purply pinks, and dark pinks, and dark purples, and mauves and reds and blues yes, but not anything of a pale blue-purple. (i am nowreminded of when heath was here a few months ago and we saw a lot of halyconias (which are really just another a kind of ginger, you know.) and they had names like "sexy pink" and "cardiac arrest", which confirms my feeling that the palette of flowers in singapore is warm rather than cool: reds with more orange in them than blue, and sunny colours like oranges and yellows - while the pinks and the whites, even when present, seem to be falling in with the general effect of warmth - look at your average windowbox of mixed japanese roses. speaking of pink flowers i must tell everyone that our water lotus is flowering again. three consecutive blooms there were, over four days: there's one just fanning out its petals, and there's the older one with all petals shed overnight, pink boats floating on the water surface, and another bud hidden beneath the green shades, raising its face to the sky.)

there was that hot spell towards the end of april, and all had seemed lifeless and parched and somehow without brightness and polish, there's a slight curl and droop in the shape of leaves and arc of branches, and then the return of the rain immediately after, day after day, and when the rain stopped the country had regained its usual lushness -- not that i think singapore is ever really lacking in greenery, only the green had a sluggish and unwashed quality, somehow shrunken and withdrawn and not quite present, so much that even when one was in the botanical gardens even the swans looked tired - not that i'm particularly fond of swans, mind, at least not after i went into the boston public gardens full of childish enthusiasm because of the trumpet of the swan, and came out realising for the first time that how terrible the story of leda and the swan was -- but oh, suddenly the colours have come back into focus, and the leaves gleam green and have recovered their poise, and it looks like a garden city again, the one i thought i lived in. and all the jasmine and wild water plums (wrightia religiosa - for some reason this scientific name has stuck) in our garden were white over night - leaving us giddy with their musky perfume.