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My Perfect Weekend with landscape architect Srilalitha Gopalakrishnan

Who: Ms Srilalitha Gopalakrishnan, 44, is the president of the Singapore Institute of Landscape Architects and a postdoctoral researcher with the Future Cities Lab Global programme at research institute Singapore-ETH Centre.

Her research focuses on the design of dense and green cities, in particular vertical cities. Landscaping projects she has worked on include the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum and the Parkroyal Collection Pickering hotel.

She and her 47-year-old husband, who works in the trading industry, have an eight-year-old daughter.

“Our Saturdays kick off with tennis from 7 to 9am at our condominium in Bukit Timah. Our friends come over for doubles games. Tennis is fun and I get a good workout.

After a quick shower and breakfast, I send my daughter for carnatic (Indian vocal) lessons at 11am near Alexandra Road. The class isan hour – enough time for me to run some errands or catch up on the news while waiting in my car.

We return home for a family lunch. I usually cook – mostly Indian food – but I also like experimenting with other cuisines on occasion. Lately, I’ve been trying out hand-shaped puff pastry pies, with fillings like mixed vegetables or spinach and cheese. I love making patterns and shapes with the puff pastry.

After lunch, I take my daughter to her piano class at the Temple of Fine Arts in Havelock Road. It is just 45 minutes, so I either hang around at the class or wander around the school grounds, where there are always a lot of fine arts activities going on. Sometimes, I go for a walk around the neighbourhood.

In the evening, we head out for fresh air and a stroll at the Botanic Gardens before dinner. We used to eat out more often – at places like Patro’s Sports Bar & Restaurant at East Coast Park – but with Covid-19 restrictions, we’ve mostly stayed home.

Saturday nights are time for games like carrom (a tabletop game that originated in India). We recently bought a carrom board and it’s in the living room so we can spontaneously start a game.

On Sundays, we have an early start around 7am and head to parks such as MacRitchie Reservoir, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve or Dairy Farm Nature Park. We often pack a picnic basket of sandwiches, juice and snacks.

Lunch is another simple home-cooked affair as we have to send our daughter to badminton class at 1pm. This is in Clementi, which is always vibrant and bustling, so I like to run my errands there or browse stores in the area.

Then we might drop by a friend’s place for a teatime catch-up before dinner, which is often homemade pasta or pizza.

We wrap up early on Sunday nights as we all have an early start the next morning.”

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