Sunday, January 30, 2022


 is upon us and of course everything must be in RED or GOLD

except for the WATER TIGER 2022. 

The 12 animals - rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, sheep, horse, sheep, monkey rooster, dog and pig - in the Chinese zodiac are paired with one of the four elements - wood, fire, earth and metal. All things in the universe are connected with these five elements. Shopping malls had the dragons, 

baby dragons,


peonies and tigers up immediately after Christmas.

Remember the pineapples please! The Chinese word for pineapple, "ong lai" rhymes with "good fortune will come." Rhyming words and numbers are very important during festive days. Words like book (shu, rhymes with to loose) and four (sei, rhymes with death) are taboo. 

Words like fish, yu which rhymes with "abundance" are used in greetings - "nian nian you yu" which means "abundance/surplus/excess through the year" NOT "fish through the year."

Prayer items are also prepared and altars tidied. 

 "Nian gao," which rhymes with "getting higher every year (prosperity )" is a sweet glutinous rice cake offered to the Kitchen God before the New Year. The sweetness to sweeten his report of the household to the Jade Emperor and the stickiness so he cannot say too much. Aren't customs amazing? If only life was this easy.



Sunday, January 23, 2022



What gave me this idea of bottom-up? I was in Ipoh to attend a prayer function and was sprawled on the hotel bed when I saw this lamp from bottom-up. Wow, the light came through like planet Mars! What if I took pictures from a bottom-up approach? Hmmm, an interesting project!

      Chandelier in the Ipoh gurdwara where the prayers for Aunty were held. Hibiscus outside my sister-in-law Shil's house. 

    Parasitic plants hanging from tree trunks. We get so much sunshine and rain here, many of our trees support other plant growth, be it parasitic, commensalism or symbiotic. 
My pink lilies bloomed as the weather got hotter.
           The desert rose blooms all year. 

 Garlic vine flowers bloom in huge inflorescence in different shades of pink and purple that cover entire walls and fences. Unfortunately, they only last for 2 days tops before withering away.
This precious yellow ylang-ylang flower is used in essential oils and fragrances. The flowers attract ants that practically live on the flowers permanently. 
This variegated plant has its limes and leaves in a fusion of green, yellow and cream. I use the limes for cooking and to make calamansi ice cubes. 
This is my sky if I were an ANT.

Desert rose bottom-up.

Monday, January 17, 2022


PENANG - THE PEARL OF THE ORIENT.  Gismo Man and I visited Penang with his sister for a short break. Shil's husband had passed away in May 2021 from lung cancer. With the ban on inter-state travels, we were home-bound for quite some time.
       We were at Tsunami village for dinner. This was one of the many spots destroyed by the tsunami in 2004. This restaurant was rebuilt and renamed after the catastrophe. 
It is now very popular as it is built extending into the beach. 
Dinner in an atmosphere with waves lapping onto the beach and a cool sea breeze can build up an amazing appetite.
        Fishermen checking their boats
and repairing their nets before setting off at night to catch cuttlefish. 
Call for Magrib prayers at sevenish from the "floating" mosque. 
    Penang is famous for its colonial buildings. 
          Many have been conserved, but this one sits sadly amongst the newer buildings. I can imagine the opulence and the many parties this grand mansion hosted during its hey days.
            If walls could talk, there would be many exciting stories. But for now, this forlorn mansion awaits a new owner to return it to its former splendor and glory.

Monday, January 10, 2022



Finally after 10 years, I changed my whats app profile picture - the Brahminy Kite.  Change is the only constant in life - Heraclitus

Another of his famous quotes, 
" No one ever steps into the same river twice, for it is not the same river and he is not the same man. 
 Even Thory had a "change" and was upgrade with online "surgery" for doe eyes and "tattooed" eye brows. 
 Belle got her present on the Christmas tree. 

Neighbours sent over cakes but Rudolf’s anthers broke and Frosty started to melt. 
Gismo Man wanted to change the fish numbers in the pond, we were at Aktari Koi to get 3 new fishes.

We bought the cheap baby ones.
These lovely big ones were

priced between RM2,000 – RM10,000! I wonder if anyone would spend that much!!  
 I accompanied a close friend to the hospital as she suddenly fell ill. I was quite amused when I overheard the nurses, “Wait Miss, don't walk, we will send the hospital Porsche to take you to Cardiology.” 
YES, that’s the Porsche with number plate SC 7! 
 And to end the week sadly, my neighbour's cat was eaten by a python. 
The rains have brought the wild life out. 

ANother sssnake did a Christmas visit. We witnessed this Snake Patrol's arrival.
Arrr! Let's have a vote, 
WHO IS CUTER? The Snake or the Snake Patrol.