Tuesday, May 25, 2021


 I guess with lockdown and partial lock down, we all need to stock up. This monitor lizard in Thailand decided it has had enough of catching prey for food.What can be easier than getting meals in a supermarket? Or dropping into homes for comfort food?Now this is one animal that knew what to do during lockdown - eat and slumber along.Sighted at Raymond Island, Victoria, Australia.

Coco lives in an animal rescue sanctuary for lost, unwanted or abandoned animals. It was  apprehensive when the Wees went for their monthly visits. Coco came out quickly from its cubby hole when it saw the sweet corn and sunflower seed treats. Coco stayed with the Wees for 10 years enjoying eggs and bread with peanut butter. But Coco was a real diva with its repertoire of screeches and screams for attention. 

Sharon now runs Animal Rescue.

A thirsty macaw gets his own drink of coconut water. Macaws have walnut-size brains but they are the second most intelligent parrots. 
So here is a clever macaw taking its bath in the kitchen sink. My my, why do I still have to yell at Savvy K to take her bath? A macaw's intelligence has been reported to be  comparable to primates. Absolutely true!
My neighbourhood receives plenty of visitors who do not believe in social distancing. 
Baby monkeys saying "Hello" just outside window.
This frog came and stuck itself right on the glass door. 
Snakes are very popular where I live. 
We get about one catch of snakes every month.  But the monitor lizards really love it here. These bulky creatures can actually scale walls and fences. This one gave me a good scare when I came face-to-face with it during my morning walk. I screamed,
  it scrambled over the fence. Another one climbed into my garden. Thory went ballistic, I think I almost "pengsan" (fainted)! I had to handle a monster lizard and a rabid dog that was going for a KILL. The monster would have killed Thory instead, so I had no alternative but used a bamboo pole and push it back into my neighbour's yard. 
Sorry Neighbour!!
But, scientists in Mahidol University, Thailand are investigating the medicinal properties in the blood of these monitor lizards. They reckon that their immune system which allows them to inhabit in polluted waters and devour rotted meat (Yikes!, in the wild)  holds a key to tackle cancer, bacteria and viruses.  
Amazingly, preliminary results showed proteins in their blood samples stop cancer cell growth. Ah ha, their future research concentrates on these proteins against Covid-19.  Monitor lizards may be the key to unlock this pandemic. 
Sorry my friends, I treated you so unwelcomingly. Next time I will let you roam freely but, please don't eat my Thory. 

Saturday, May 22, 2021


  and siestas go together. Becos' after a banana leaf rice meal, I feel like a beached whale, unable to twitch a muscle. A few weeks ago when Malaysians were allowed to dine-in, Gizmo Man and I decided that our tummies needed a little "loving."

  Hence, we excitedly drove to Ravi's to give our tummies the TLC.  I must add we skipped breakfast in preparation for this tender loving care.
 Banana leaf rice is Indian cuisine and for the brave. So said becos' one has to be able to handle the  enormous amount of rice, curies and vegetables on a "eat as much as you like basis" at a fixed price. We use the phrase "semua taruh" translated as "everything put," as everything is heaped onto a banana leaf. Three types of curries are available - fish and chicken curry and dhall (lentils). Just keep scooping from the metal pots and absolutely no one bats an eyelid.
" Lunchers "(not diners) as banana leaf rice is only served during lunch time, are expected to "drown" their rice in these curries. Another rule is we eat with our fingers.
The vegetables vary daily. We were served "papadum" (spice crackers), cucumber, carrots and onions in vinegar, curried potatoes, fried onions and some cooked greens of which i couldn't tell what! We can eat as much rice, curries, "papadum" and vegetables as our tummies can handle. Just wave our hands at the waiters and they gladly do a refill.  We added the fish and chicken varuval as our eyes were bigger than our stomachs.
A satisfying lunch for two for 44 MYR (10 USD, 8 GBP) as we ordered a plate of extra chicken varuval, one fried fish each and an ice tea.

The last rule for banana leaf  rice: If you liked it, fold the banana leaf AWAY from you after you finish.
If you did NOT enjoy the meal, fold the leaf TOWARDS you.
Actions speak louder than words! Burp...execute me. please.
This is our famous Malaysian cartoonist Lat (Datuk Mohammad Nor bin Mohammad Khalid) catching the essence of banana leaf rice meals.

Monday, May 17, 2021


MOTHER'S DAY in Malaysia is celebrated on the second Sunday of May, 9.5 this year. OK, this post is way late but with Movement Control Order 3.0 (partial lockdown) imposed on 6.5, I should be forgiven. I had to run off to a friend's place to stay a couple of days to just chill before I start another routine of Cook, Cook, Cook. Mother Hubbard at her cupboard.

Kim has really thoughtful children. Not a year goes by without gifts on Mother's Day, Father's Day, Christmas, Chinese New Year and Birthdays. Her children are all working far from home, but they never fail to remember their mum.
Her daughter in Penang sent an "anypow" (red packet with money) and some crochet dolls and dresses she made. A really unusual and making something oneself for a gift is truly a gift from the H♥eart.
Her son and his girlfriend in Singapore sent a cake with fruit tarts 
and a bouquet of broccoli. Kim receives a cake for every occasion from Singapore. I sometimes wonder how she stays so slim.
Yeah, during lockdown, broccoli is more valuable than flowers. 
Ha... another thoughtful Mother's Day gift. This would have kept mummy and papa safe and indoors for at least one week.

My neighbour is a Supermum as she holds a full-time job plus taking care of 1 kid and 2 teenagers. Her 10-year-old daughter made her breakfast in bed. She woke up at 6am to prepare breakfast while the two teenage boys slept through. She tried to get her brothers to help, but the teens were hanging out of their beds "dead" to the world.
And from my Savvy K who daily pushes her borders and drives me up the wall.

Behind every child who believes in him/herself is a mother who believed first.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Rangoon Creepers

are stunning. They are a mass of colour tumbling down like a brilliant Turkish lamp,
or a carpet of inflorescent blooms spread out like an Oriental carpet.
Scientifically classified as Combretum indicum, these tropical vines are really hardy plants which hang beautifully over fences as seen on my neighbour's rails. 

Used to be found only in secondary forests of SE Asia, 
I am pleased that they have been naturalised as garden plants. Not only are they eye-catching, they also emit a strong sweet fragrance.

I have planted them in my back yard for added colour among the greens.
There is actually a reason the flowers are tri-coloured with age - white, pink and red. Starting with white blooms at night to attract hawkmoths with long tongues for pollination. Day 2 sees the blooms changing to pink and then finally red for the birds and bees who are also attracted by the fragrance.
These are the blooms hanging down in my back yard. Took me many months of  great effort to keep pushing the vines upwards using a ladder and poles. My neighbours were horrified to see me climb up my 7 feet ladder and seemingly wave bamboo poles and keep balance simultaneously. I admit it was fool hardy but I knew what I wanted.

Lo and behold, my
persistence paid off. 
The rangoon creepers have crept really high up almost 20 feet and entwined themselves around my palm tree .

Mornings are now so much more beautiful with a view and fragrance