Sunday, June 27, 2021


 Today’s pre-dawn was amazing. The temperature was only 24 C as we had a thunderstorm last evening. 

Twenty-four degrees Celcius is WINTER here. I “jumped” into my shoes and raced out fast but not furious, in shorts and a thick long sleeve cotton T-shirt. Don’t LAUGH at me please, I am used to a sizzling hot and sweaty 30 C. Twenty-four degrees is COLD, I might catch a chill 🥶. To top it all, I was accompanied by the str🍓berry moon at 6.30am. The 🍓 moon is the June full moon. It was first named "strawberry" by the native American tribes as its appearance coincided with the 🍓 season in North America.  I missed its full elegance which appeared four days earlier on 24th June. It was a cloudy night then. But I was lucky to catch its remaining fragment before the break of dawn today. This was the last super moon for 2021. 

It is Sunday. Homes were still dark as most folks were sleeping-in. Besides, Malaysia is still under total lockdown and has been so since 25th May. Alas, it was just Sassy JAM, a clean and crisp dawn, a soft breeze and the 🍓strawberry moon.  With the glare from the street lamps playing with the colours of dawn, I walked alone. But, my mind was blessed with thoughts  of how during this catastrophic year, I had lost no one. I still dance with the broom as I sweep the garden and cook dinner with the flourish and flair of Benoit Blin, although dinner may not taste like Beniot Blin's. I  WILL NOT complain as long as I can still feel fresh air, sunshine, rain and the darkness before the dawn (my favourite time of the day).

With the break of dawn, the colours vanished 

together with the quiet as joggers claimed their routes.
The flowers of this moringa plant appeared clearly in the first lights,
 the orchids,
 and Cody.

Our neighbourhood cat Manja soaks up the morning rays. A new day has began.


Sunday, June 20, 2021


 Birds are looking good at nine degrees Centigrade in Jells Park, Melbourne, Australia. So are the Ws. This couple keep fit daily in ALL weather conditions including winter 

with their puffy jackets, beanies to keep their ears from frost bite 🤣🤣 and gloves.

“Crikey! Winter has arrived in Australia 🥶🥶 and they are out by 9am.” WHY? I'll be warm and snug in bed.

The Ws at a cool 10 C in Scotchman's creek, a long trail that leads all the way into Melbourne city.  It is not just a stroll in the park, they chalk up at least 6km daily. 
Some days they get crazier clocking past 7km at 4 degrees C. OH WHY? God made winters for his people to stay in bed with a good book. NO?  
Today, they took a 5.9km walk up to the Dandenong Creek Trail. "Hmmm, it was only 6 degrees Centigrade today but felt like 4 C with a good sun shinning. Cold but no wind chill, enough to rug up but not freezing cold," she says!
This trail adjoins the Jells

 Park area and Australians are walking without masks. So good to see the situation has returned to near normal.
The dogs 🐶 are out 
including grey hounds in their winter jackets. 
A bird casting a gigantic shadow and  pelicans and ducks.

The Dandenong Trail starts when the gum trees start dominating the landscape. My goodness, Ms. W sure was well rugged up and the sun cast long shadows.

So was Mr. W. Brr, with the past year locked down, folks are eager to get out of hibernating at home. 

Image credit: JC
Melbourne is truly beautiful even in winter. Australia opens international borders only in 2022. What a long time to wait for a visit.

Monday, June 14, 2021

duan wu jie

 or the Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated today, the 5th day of the 5th lunar month. There will not be any dragon boat races this year but we will still make dumplings together as a family. 

Making “zongzi” is way too much work for a single person, thus it is family time together. But, today’s generation may not necessarily be all that keen into tedious work and making dumplings is painstaking. So, sometimes it is a group of friends coming together and getting busy with their hands and mouths (not eating, simply updating on news and gossip!) Here is Jocelyn in Adelaide, Australia getting the job done. 

A whole lot of ingredients - sticky or glutinous rice,Chinese mushrooms, water chestnuts, fatty pork (belly pork), mung beans, garlic and shallots. Bamboo leaves are soaked over night and string for wrapping the dumplings. These are for wrapping and keeping the ingredients inside during steaming, and not to be eaten.

All these condiments have to be placed "strategically" into the centre of 2 bamboo leaves.
 I use the term "strategically" as it is not merely "dumping ingredients into the dumpling." If this crucial step is not done expertly, it is a disaster as all the stuff will fall and leak out during the steaming process. And you ain't getting a dumpling, but a real mess of sticky rice.
 It takes many lessons before one wraps a GOOD TIGHT dumpling. NOT TOO TIGHT or the steam can't get in to cook the rice. But, NOT TOO LOOSE or everything falls out. Just a RIGHT TIGHT! And "zongzi" must be polyhedrons like the Great Pyramids of Giza. Alas, a dumpling like me has NEVER managed to get this step correct.
All this looks simple but making "zongzi" is quite an art.
The dumplings (NOT ME please) are put into a steamer for cooking. 

It is a team effort cos "zongzi" is so yummy, the family shovels them quickly into their mouths! These wonderfully happily wrapped dumplings are hanging and waiting to be steamed.

All Images credit: Jocelyn

Wednesday, June 9, 2021


 Our lives run in cycles of unending change. I sometimes ask myself, “Did anything change in my life at all?”

Am I still the bashful slightly insecure child that got ‘trampled’ on occasionally? Did I really become tougher and erased the shadows in my mind? No one does erase ALL the shadows in their minds. When we erase too much, we are left with just an imperfect memory of our past. 

We just need to always look at life from different angles.This pandemic brought out the best in people, Lions "Feed the Hungry" project, Food Aid, 

and  Malaysians like Lee Shu Lin 
 Image Credit: The Star Newspaper.
who wakes up at 4am every weekend to prepare breakfast and lunch for 35 senior citizens in a nursing home. 
But, when our National Vaccination Programme started, I saw the opposite in some. People who just  moaned and whined. Nothing pleased them. When Pfizer opened for registration, 

many DID NOT register as they chose to believe fake news. We who registered, were on a long wait list. Thus, when registration for Astrazeneca opened on a first-come-first-serve basis, we grabbed it. Gizmo Man, Savvy K and myself were successful together with another 268,800 Malaysians and foreigners. 

"I want Pfizer or Sinovac, Cheap vaccine-lah that one!! Got blood clot one, Don't want take lah." These were some of the reasons.

The “anti-vaxxers” sat back as they worried about blood clot side effects and they wanted vaccines OF THEIR CHOICE. Unfortunately, Malaysia plunged into the 3rd wave and our positive cases peaked at 8,000-plus daily. 

"Faster go book. Ya lo, don't care what vaccine-lah, just take! Wah very serious now."

Suddenly, these ‘anti-Asreazenecans’ changed their tune, "Why non-Malaysians given the vaccine before Malaysians." " Not fair! Citizens first." Please, please, …. you were the very ones who rejected the vaccineThen, some who went for their vaccinations complained about the crowd, 

not getting the appointments at the exact time, not getting the correct dosage? YES, there was confusion and hiccups at the beginning, BUT 

Come on, with 7000 vaccinations per day in ONE centre, give the staff some slack. They even complained of having to walk too far from arrival point to vaccination booth. People, people THINK! How do you keep social distancing of 1 metre with hundreds of people, and yet not be expected to walk.

Constructive criticism is more effective than calling out names and lashing out. I MYSELF am guilty of  whining without doing anything. At 6,239 positive cases yesterday, are WE doing our part? NOT EVERYONE. They are Malaysians who book rooms in hotels to hold private parties away from detection, Malaysians who return to their home towns (and bring the virus home) as soon as lockdown is announced and Malaysians who gather at pubs behind close doors. And yet we complain why the government isn't doing enough to control transmission.

Some folks are QUICK to complain, yet SLOW to shower praise.   

It appears to be their life mission to apply to others the frost of criticism. WHY? 


This quote from a Zimbabwe ex-President may sound crude but it sure makes SENSE:

“Treat every part of your towel nicely, because the part that wipes your buttocks today will wipe your face tomorrow.” 

A video by Savvy K on her hassle-free vaccination.

We live 21km from the vaccination centre. It only took less than 2h to complete the process and she was home, safe in bed. 

For this effort, WELL DONE MALAYSIA.