Monday, December 28, 2015

Red: woman in red

a woman in red playing with her dog. It just needs a few doodle of my coconut trees to complete the picture.

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Friday, December 25, 2015

beggar chicken

My brothers, Charles, Joseph and Henry are all good cooks.

This is Charles breaking open his "begger Chicken". The chicken is encased in a dough and roasted. Charles had to use a hammer to break the harden dough open.

This is similar to my Grand dad's salt chicken. Grand Dad would heat up a whole heap of coarse sea salt in the wok. When he deemed the salt hot enough, he would bury the chicken in it.

That holiday in Oz with D is very special to me. It was the last summer I had with my mum.

Monday, December 21, 2015


I was introduced to samphire at masterchef and I specially went to the marsh and look for them. The taste is very salty and has a tad bitter taste.It was like the taste of sea water. I did not harvest any.
Though there are two types of samphire - marsh and rock - only marsh samphire is widely available. Marsh samphire has vibrant green stalks, similar to baby asparagus, with a distinctively crisp and salty taste. It can be used raw in salad, though it tends to be very salty so it is more often boiled or steamed for a few minutes. Rock samphire has a rather unpleasant smell and flavour. Occasionally you may also find jars of pickled samphire in gourmet shops.

Friday, December 18, 2015

my christmas tree.

I put up my tree today.
It's a time to reminisce,
It's a time to reflect.
My tree has lots of baubles,
Once upon a time,
Our tree fell,
The baubles broke.
Dad said his wallet was broke.
We don't buy baubles anymore.
On top of the tree,
I put Andrew's dog.
On impulse, I bought it knowing Andrew was dying.
(4 photos)

Lantana purple

The name is Lantana. originally from Mexico. In Malaysia and Singapore, the common name is Bunga Tahi Ayam or in Cantonese, KAI SEE FA, both meaning Chicken Shit Flower.

I remember this with fond memories of my flatmate of two years, G. from Penang.

One summer, her parents and sister came to visit her. The sister went to pluck this pretty flower outside the garden to put as a centre piece on the dining table. We were have a big feast cooked by Grace's mum.

Then she said," CHOW! CHOW!" meaning smelly. She had to take a shower becuse she felt smelly all over. Even then, she still felt smelly.

As for the bunch of flowers, needless to say, it was thrown as far as we possibly could.

In Australia, Lantana is a obnoxious weed, and there is a lot of studies devoted to this plant.

No Blade of Grass (1970)

When a deadly virus strikes London, John Custance takes his family to hoped-for safety in Scotland.


I was twenty, straight out of high school when I watched this environmental movie. It had molded my thinking. I am a staunched thinker of keeping the world in it's natural form. Hence in my books, Mail Order Bride I wrote about saving beached whales,I wrote about saving beached whales. It is very sad to see whales coming to the beach and die.


A strange new virus has appeared, which only attacks strains of grasses such as wheat and rice, and the world is descending into famine and chaos. Architect John Custance, along with his family and friends, is making his way from London to his brother's farm in Scotland, where hopefully, there will be food and safety for all of them. Along the way, they encounter hostile soldiers, biker gangs, and all manner of people who are all too willing to take advantage of travelers for a mouthful of food.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

flax flower

flax flower

morning glory


There are morning glory plants in Borneo. I was surprised to see them in New Zealand. At the marine reserve, I was told that morning glories are not natives to New Zealand. They stifle and kill the native plants. Most of them are deep purple. This is an unusual light pink.

morning glory Calystegia silvatica is the largest species of bindweed and is a hairless perennial strong rampant climber growing to four metres

Friday, December 11, 2015


My father told me there is a folklore that it is very important to grow them the right way up, or the tapioca would be poisonous. It would be better not to eat them.
Tapioca is a dietary staple in Africa, Asia and South America, and you'll also find it in beverages and puddings in the United States. Although commercially packaged tapioca is generally safe, the plant can be highly toxic if not prepared properly.
Tapioca naturally produces cyanide, which is poisonous to humans; however, the cyanide may be removed during processing. By eating poorly prepared tapioca, you may risk cyanide poisoning according to the American Cancer Society. Symptoms include headache and dizziness; in severe cases, you may experience convulsions or coma. It is suggested that if a person is allergic to latex, it is best not to eat tapioca.

rubber tree

some 70,000 seeds being smuggled to Kew in 1875, by Henry Wickham, at the service of the British Empire, from Brazil and stole some rubber seeds aka Hevea brasiliensi.

From those stolen seeds, they grew to supply the rubber gardens in Malaysia and Borneo.
The original rubber trees were very good, but took too long to reach a productive age. Then the good old scientist developed a smaller tree but produced more and called it high yielding tree.

My plant is a miniature tree. It's a tribute to both sets of my ancestry. It was rubber that brought them to Borneo.In 1907, my Great Grand father was scouted to lead a developing company to grow this important cash crop.

During the World War Two, trading ceased. People stitched up rubber sheets and wore them. The more enterprising ones even made shoes.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Pop corns popping pop pop pop

Last evening, I watched one of those instructional you-tube videos with amazement. 

It instructs you to remove the husks off the cob, Put the sweet corn into two paper bags, (Opposite directions) Micro wave 3 minutes, and you will get pop corn.  Has anyone tried it?

I am rather skeptical, as pop corn we get from the supermarkets are dried. And I have cooked raw corn on the cob with the husk and and it cooks to a soft texture. Well, I didn't put it in a bag.

I really would like to know if it works.

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