Monday, August 28, 2017

Cosmos

Cosmos is a genus, with the same common name of cosmos, consisting of flowering plants in the sunflower family. Wikipedia
Scientific name: Cosmos
Higher classification: Coreopsideae
Sonia Lahung J, my friend grew this in her school.

http://floralfridayfoto.blogspot.co.nz/


7 hrs

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Grieving and holidays

we went to America 3 years after Andrew had died. I was still grieving and the trip was blurry.
People say move on , isn't it time. I was grieving a long time because of my special circumstances.
I finally moved on when I finished the first draft of my book. I consciously told myself, move on, and help others. That was when Andrew would have been 21.

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting, tree and outdoor

A watery wedding, Kongs and Lais

Image may contain: 2 people, outdoor

When my parents were married, it was during the war. Mum lived up the Rejang River in Durin. Dad lived in Lanang Road in Sibu. Dad paddled a canoe with a wedding dress he borrowed from his very good friend Chew Chiong Tack's wife. 

We used to joke that she was Pochohunta paddling the canoe down and singing the Land of the Belian tree. We teased that she ran away with her man John because she didn't have a wedding photo. 

Today, a friend IDed the husband and bride of this photo. In my "From China to Borneo to Beyond" book, I mentioned back in the home land of China, in the Hakka village of my mum, the Kongs, the Kongs always married the Lai/Leas and vice versa. In deed my informant told me this was a Kong/Lea match. The husband could very likely be Mum's cousin, because he comes from the same lineage of Mum's ancestry.

This photo created a lot of interests. A certain doctor googled and read his dad's name, and he sent me a photo of his parents' wedding photo. His mum wearing her wedding dress which she very kindly loaned to many Sibu girls.

This photo raised a flurry of comments in blogger land. It was Chang Yi who first posted the photo. A Kai Chung School friend and a classmate who IDed the photographer who was my Dad's very good friend in Singapore.

Yellow magnolia

Image may contain: plant, tree, sky, flower and outdoor

http://floralfridayfoto.blogspot.co.nz/


Friday, August 25, 2017

Lantana and flatmates







Yesterday an ex flatmate asked if I knew the hostel he stayed before was to be demolished. I couldn't confirm this news, and this brought me back to 1978 and this lantana bush that was growing near our flat.

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.

And the food, we waited for the bad smell to dissipate before we ate them.

When I was living on the campus of Nanyang University, I was the secertary od the gardening club and had a online gardening journal. I wrote about why people would want to plant this KAI SEE FA. There was a bush in NTU.

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

http://floralfridayfoto.blogspot.co.nz/

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Kalanchoe Pumila...a succulent with striking silver foliage and pink flowers

a Chinese friend suggested we remember Kalanchoe. as KAILAN CHOI. a green Chinese leafy vegetable.

I was not sure, leaves thinner than normal plants, but not as thick as a succulent.  

Image may contain: plant, flower and outdoor

Image may contain: plant, flower, outdoor and nature

http://floralfridayfoto.blogspot.co.nz/

M J Coyle, Point Chevalier, Auckland

Image may contain: tree and outdoor

Image may contain: tree, shoes, table and outdoor

Image may contain: tree, shoes, table and outdoor
Image may contain: people sitting, plant and outdoor
Mr M J Coyle, a prominent person has the park named after him. This fountain is a memorial to him.

I have lived and work in this suburban and walked past this fountain many times without paying much attention. Today, I decided to find out more .

This is what I googled when I came back.

https://www.facebook.com/OldAuckCity/photos/a.445278715524990.114635.445220315530830/970774452975411/?type=1&theater

Image may contain: one or more people, people on stage and outdoor
Old Auckland
"Showing Mr M J Coyle (2nd from left) outside his coach building premises in New North Road, later 1911-14 he became Mt Albert's first mayor and 1907-11 he served as the last Road Board Chairman."
'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 7-A11268'
No date provided.
 if you need info on M J Coyle, leader of the Brighton committee, here’s his obituary as published in the Evening Post, 25 March 1941:
The death has occurred at Auckland of Mr M J Coyle, who had a notable record of public service on many local bodies for a period of over 40 years. Mr Coyle was born at Mount Eden 76 years ago, and spent all his life in Auckland. After passing through the Grafton School he learned the trade of coachbuilding, and set up a business of his own in Eden Terrace. Mr Coyle became one of the best-known men in public life in Auckland. His first experience was gained as chairman of the Mount Albert Road Board for seven years, and when Mount Albert was constituted a borough he became its first Mayor, and was twice reelected to that office. To the Auckland Hospital Board Mr Coyle gave 23 years' service, including 4½ years as chairman during the war period. Mr Coyle was one of the first members of the Auckland Drainage Board, and was chairman of the Point Chevalier Road Board, when that district joined up with the city. He served on the Auckland City Council for 10 years, on the Metropolitan Fire Board for seven, and on the Transport Board for three.



Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Sarawak Mulu caves

When I went to Mulu, I was treated like royalty. They danced for us.

Image may contain: 2 people

http://ourworldtuesdaymeme.blogspot.co.nz/

Mulu caves

When I went to Mulu, I was treated like royalty. They danced for us.

ABC letter G for Ginseng.

Ginseng Jawa (Talinum paniculatum gaertn.) surprised to see this in my friends garden in Auckland. Growing wild. They grew wild in my Singapore garden. I picked the flowers as cut flowers, but they drop off in a day. My aunty told me that it can be used as ginseng and the leaves are edible.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Flower Power

Image may contain: plant, flower, outdoor and nature
Image may contain: plant, flower, nature and outdoorImage may contain: plant, flower, nature and outdoor
 'In honour of @[100002531508875:2048:Nicolas Blackburn]'s Commonwealth school, my second blue flower.

Plumbago auriculata'
Image may contain: plant, flower, nature and outdoor
Image may contain: plant, flower, outdoor and nature
'Linaria purpurea special purple flower I just photographed from the garden for my other niece.  J @[100001955643386:2048:Ah Ling]'
Image may contain: flower, plant, nature and outdoorImage may contain: flower, plant, outdoor and nature
When ever I watch on television or print copies of advertisements of ladies soaking in a tub of water with orchids floating on top of it in a spa, I remember my grand mother’s flower power treatment.

The year was 1975, my sister had her first baby, and my nephew wasn’t sucking well. She was suffering from a breast abscess. Grand Ma sent me around the neighborhood to scour for nine different kinds of flowers. They had to be of different hues as well.

It wasn’t easy looking for nine types of flowers and besides I thought she was old fashion and I felt rather stupid going up to people’s house asking for some of their flowers. We were also new to the neighbourhood.

“I need a handful of your mauve colored flowers.”

“Why do you want my flowers?”

“Because my sister has………. breast infection.”

As a teenager, it was rather embarrassing explaining that part of the anatomy. Fortunately, the neighbors were very kind and helpful, and some even helped me pluck the flowers.

After I filled my basketful of flowers of nine different hues I came home. Grand Ma put them in the long bath tub and ran hot water into the tub. Then she and my sister locked themselves in the bathroom. I stood outside the bathroom listening to:

“OW!!!! HOT!!!HOT!!!”

“It’s got to be hot, otherwise it won’t work.”

After that hot flower treatment, my sister got better. But I was skeptical about Grand Ma’s treatment.

I said,” May be she would have gone better, with or without the flowers.”

Fast forward some twenty five years, I was living with my three year old son who became a scary cat after he was frightened by the loud engine sound of my friend’s old Holden. It came to a stage that it was so bad that he refused to leave the apartment. We were imprisoned in our own home because the old Holden was parked downstairs of our apartment.

Come another old lady to the rescue. My girl friend’s mother told me to get nine types of flowers to bath him. I remember my late Grand Ma’s flower power treatment. I went gathering flowers.

It didn’t work for my son, he refused to get into the tub with flowers floating on it. It took a long time, and a lot of coaxing, D even dragged Sam to no avail and finally requesting my friend to remove the car. She was very accommodating. At last we were freed of the clutches of fear.

In Singapore and Bangkok, I often go and luxuriate in the health and beauty spas. The aestheticism and spa technicians sometimes run a tub filled with rose petals or orchid flowers. They tell me their sing song English that the flowers have extracts that will relieve me of stress and relief from insomnia I laughed, my Grand Ma knew about this long ago.

Back in Auckland, I go for Chinese massages. The Chinese doctor soaks my feet in tiny red flowers in a wooden tub before he massages my feet and the rest of the body. Oh!!! I feel so pampered.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

pretty tiny white flowers




beautiful ground cover with tiny white flowers.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

ABC letter F for flood.





Image may contain: car, outdoor and water
Borrowing my aunty Francisca Leong's photo. I have often written about the annual floods in Sibu. The flood water usually comes at night, and Mum and Dad would get us all up to push the car to a higher place. We would wade in the water back to the house.

The next few days, the flood water would come to our knees. That's a fun time for us, swimming and paddling in a man made raft that Dad made for us.

When the water recedes, it is not nice, vegetables, papaya trees die, and worst still, dead animals float away

Did I ever tell you I have a phobia of rats and mice? During the flood, the rodents come up to the raised edges of the vegetable beds. I associate the rats with the plague of London.


Image may contain: tree, sky, plant, outdoor, nature and water
http://abcwednesday.com

Monday, August 14, 2017

Freesias 2017








Freesia is a genus of about 14 species. Freesia bulbs are usually grown for use asCut Flowers. All the 14 species of Freesia are African in origin. Of The 14 Freesia species, 12 are native to Cape Province, South Africa, the remaining two to tropical Africa, with one these species extending north of the equator to Sudan. Freesia flowers are very fragrant, typically white or yellow, and are borne in spikelike racemes. This blooming beauty captures your heart and is a springtime favorite.

http://floralfridayfoto.blogspot.co.nz/

Freesia plants stem from bulbs, so they should be planted in at least groups of three in high-quality composted soil. Grow freesias directly in the ground or in containers.

Freesias grow in my garden and bloom in winter. The winter cold


Chinese surnames







Sunday, August 13, 2017

conflicting beliefs.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/buddhist-ceremonial-release-captive-birds-may-harm-wildlife/

A young Vietnamese woman’s husband fell ill. Desperate for a cure, she later recounted, she visited the local Buddhist temple. A monk there instructed her to “release 40 birds, one for every year of your husband’s life.” So she did, purchasing and releasing 40 birds at the temple grounds. The woman soon rejoiced; her husband made a full recovery.

I grew up in a Christian family in Sibu where many people were Christians. I did not know about Fong San, "release a life" until I went to Singapore. An Indian friend's husband, a colleague of my husband, Prof in NTU found a tortoise with red paint written on the underbelly of the tortoise. She did not know what it meant. A friend explained Fong San. She said this is a bad custom, Fong San in this case meant getting the tortoise to carry away the bad luck/sickness to the person who picks it up.
I have found out since other reasons, and in my latest book, I wrote about it.
Thanks Ritchie for writing about it. He uses the term 放生 (Fàngshēng) which is in Mandarin.
Religion aside, some people during weddings and funerals, release doves etc. Environmentally this is frown on.

 A reader commented:

The truth meaning of fangsheng is not releasing bad luck or sickness. It's releasing of a capture animal's life to harvest good karma.

 May be some people in Singapore have other thoughts.

that's their own interpretation. That's loads of bullshit.
There is another bullshit thing they practise. If for no reasons they treat/chia you for a free meal/makan, it is usually a person in that family is very sick. By treating people to dinner/makan, the makan people who help spread the bad luck away. Conversely, a rich properous person has a birthday, people come to eat and even DAPAU/takeaway. The idea is to take the good luck home.
As a writer of both fiction and non fiction. For ficttion,  I write for entertainment. Recently, a man bought a tortoise for his pet. His wife asked him if he had checked for any paint. He retorted, of course I had, you think I am stupid.
Buddhists across Asia release wildlife as a show of compassion, but conservationists find that the practice tortures the animals and may impact threatened species.
 

New Zealand Chinese in Historical images by Phoebe Li


No automatic alt text available.No automatic alt text available.








Image may contain: 1 person


Image may contain: text

Image may contain: text





 Helen Wong, NZ Historian and researcher with Phoebe Li.

Had the privilege to meet Phoebe Li , Post Doc of Tsinghua University during the Auckland Family Expo. The New Zealand Chinese Association was promoting the above book.
She is currently working on the history of the Chinese in Australia through a media studies approach.

The Chan family came to NZ, we have two lawyers, a forester, 2 PhDs and a writer married to a PhD.

Huckleberry Finn


https://www.facebook.com/ruth.sibat/videos/vb.1449381876/10213318728469926/?type=2&theater&notif_t=comment_mention&notif_id=1502433077018786

Do you believe in Vibes? My friend from Methodist school talked about Mark Twain. I thought of Tom Sawyer painting the fence. My Friend Ruth posts a video of a raft. Ruth's bro Joseph was my classmate. The raft reminds me of Huckleberry Finn. I had to borrow the video.

Then we traced back to 1967, and found our teacher who taught us English.