Before boasting of any "accomplishments" etc etc, this post goes against my own upbringing and belief system, but honesty is overated when one simply wishes to rant over the past and drag it over the coals....provenance and GOD is recognised as essential to going from poor to wealthy, even mildly rich. It may mean the same, or it may be a wide gap.
For us, it was and is a WIDE very wide gap.
This picture taken before we became parents, married and happy in private practice way back in the year the Porsche 944 was a car for people like me who could not afford the 911, may NOT have been taken, if I had not made a decision minutes before.
After the HORRIFIC ferrari crash in today's papers, what happened could have been our fate.
I was driving this car, minutes before this picture was taken, when as I was an IDIOTIC , ego driven young man, no lack of education, but armed with a total lack of any form of philosophy, over took a lorry along west coast road, before Haw Par Villa, heading east...very narrow 24 years ago. As I sped over that lorry, I can still recall the terrifying sight of the long hauler head cab heading towards me! On the oncoming side of the road.
I moved my right foot off the pressure to see if I could slide back behind my lorry which I had just over took...to find in the side mirror that a car had CLOSED my position!!! All cards were on the table, probably within fractions of a second, that I slammed my foot down to feel the burst of acceleration that shot this 944 towards the oncoming lorry, and to slide infront of the vehicle we just passed. Thanks Mr Karsono Kwee for keeping your car in such good shape! (plate 1001)
That was inches...maybe less...that the oncoming vehicle missed us! I could feel the heat of the lorry's engine against my right cheek as it passed..missing the side mirror by less than a foot.
NEVER again will I ever drive like that.
STUPID. SILLY. SAVED.
I will not be here today typing this..my girls would not have been born...the watch industry may not have been the same...and ALL that I had built my life on..all that shit...it would have been gone.
In a small news column.
But coming back to now....19th May 2012
This was how EXTREME I was at age 6.
I took this minutes before I was to go on stage in ACJS, primary 1b, Barker Road, Principal Ang was to deliver to me a public caning!
My first. In my next 12 years at ACS, I was to come back to this hall, stand before the school and be caned.
Sometimes with friends, now CEOs of companies...chuckles...but the fact that I was so CRAZY about documenting my own life for fun...that I took a camera, this one a Kodak 126 cartridge film camera...to take a photo before CANING...man..even today, I wonder what kind of guy I was back then.
Its almost like a guy taking his camera to a hanging...
Next, always have loving close family.
My parents must have been devastated and ashamed of my behavior in school...but they never ever discouraged me in a personal way. Not a single word of disparagement...rather..I was reprimanded for wasting my time.
They were VERY advanced in parenting at the times...and Spock..the doctor, had just about finished his book back then.
I don't think my parents read it!
My mum below looked great yah? She is 80 now..and driving an RAV4.
I learnt to buy expensive and strange furniture at a young age.
Because of one Doctor Chee Pui Hung.
Winston Chee's dad.
His home at Ridout road was INCREDIBLE.
It had even a airplane hangar inside, it was converted into an amazing libreary with books he had read.
He has since passed on to a better place last year.
I knew then I had to be more matured, and be very consistant in hard work! To even accuire any furniture.
Hard work was NOT enough..I had to be passionate.
I risked my life to climb onto the uncompleted highway to take this picture, with the now head of the Singapore Cancer Center...equally passionate...and this was the skyline that today has Marina Bay Sands.
Later, I would also walk to Everest Base Camp 1...crazy.
This is a picture of my last free dive...the boy in the pic is hopefully alive with a family today.
Living in a village in Tioman is not the same as Singapore!
This was how dumb I looked back then, unboxing my new Nikon FE.
Even then I was an aperture priority person..because I always wanted a control of depth of field and bokeh.
Photoshop was not imagined as film was everything.
Meeting my wife when I was 28 was the best thing to happen.
I have seen so many marriages fail.
With or without divorce.
But Dolly was a girl who is and was then brighter than I was...and it was a natural that she could understand how difficult a person I am to live with.
She gave up a career that had twice or more what I could earn...ever.
Buying an unbuilt house back in 1989 was the next best thing.
Helping a few friends as well to buy homes back before 1990 was to stabilise my business for ever.
At $800,000 sgd, this later reached 7 million sgd.
Living within and at the edge of a forest reserve, with no surrounding neighbours except 1...or 2 and no back door homes has a certain value of peace that allows a great vision of what is "thinking and meditation".
The pool was and is a place where I hang in for thinking.
It always works.
I built it on a design that was then unique...it was a single bowl of concrete and steel, about 50% steel...the pool can be lifted out of the ground!
At 33 feet by 23 feet, it was then the smallest pool in Singapore...today, many pools are much more tiny.
Useful for long underwater laps in a deep silence.
Taking up collecting rare modern contemporary watches was to change my whole life...as with Netscape.Here, the purchase of the Ulysse Nardin FREAK. I was to meet Alan Teo at Millenia Walk.
More...I began to attend church..New Creation Church...not the same as other modern churches such as city harvest.
I don't like singing in church and bible study groups is not my thing.
My parents and wife built a loving family for me.
I could have ruined it with my career.
I was blessed and VERY lucky.
In fact, I became incredibly wealthy thru nothing but God's gift....people who helped me.
My obsessive love for form and art begins with museums.
Here was where I met the works of Herve Leger thru this...at the Pompidou Paris.
And from here, Dolly would almost always be the Leger woman....if you google me..that's what you will see.
Pois would gain an unusual customer...a guy..haha...
Becoming "known" had its own problems...ego.
That's an IWC calibre 5000, made then and hardly sold well.
Short sighted market didn't agree with me that it would surely reach investment value, even with scratches and all...it was $13,700 in rg limited edition with no date and a perspex like crystal ...lovely piece which I still own.
This watch and the Langes had earlier led me to one man...Gunther Blumlein, and even better...one Rolf Schnyder. Both have sadly left before their time.
Both changed my life. In a very big way.
Book signing. I never thought this would ever happen. I never had to print my own book...and that too I thought was totally unreachable.
This was how I looked back in 2002.
Now, I am 54..I plan to exercise and diet my way BACK to 43 by the next 2 years...say 2015 or so.
I need help.
That's a SEIKO 5 for people wondering....yes. Million dollar watch owners do wear good watches, not brands.