Archive | April, 2017

From Near and Far

28 Apr

It’s always nice to have a warm fuzzy feeling when receiving birthday greetings from family and friends, even strangers from near and far.

The first few birthday wishes came from the games I play (no, it’s not from the Candy Crush team but rather Monster Busters), strangers in other words. But I thought it was sweet and thoughtful. Gifted with a week’s worth of free play and 10,000 play coins, I think these game developers are very connected to their loyal gamers. Thank you.

And of course on the actual day, phone calls, emails, wishes on Facebook, WhatsApp and SMS/Messenger came from friends, family members as well as my bank, my credit cards, my loyalty program cards and even the local area politician, strangers in other words!

The world has become smaller—from the US, Bermuda and London to Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur—with the use of social media and technology to connect us on a daily basis and on special occasions. 

I’d like to thank everyone for your thoughtfulness and well wishes. Made the day more meaningful. To a better year ahead!

  

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Of SuperPig and SuperOwl

27 Apr

Lately I have this urge to create – draw, paint, carve or anything, just something to do to keep busy. There’s so much creative energy in me waiting to be unleashed. Must be the result of too much rest due to the tennis elbow.

Last week my golf buddies treated me to an early birthday lunch at Naughty Nuri’s and the restaurant gifted me with a souvenir, a wood carving of a piggy superhero. In fact, we were such good guests, the staff gave every one of us a figurine each! How nice.

This morning I looked at SuperPig with fond memories of last week’s good time with the ladies and made me wonder if I can carve the same. Hmm…

My last foray into carving owls stalled because the activity made the dining area messy. But with all this energy, maybe I should give this carving business another go. Perhaps a replica of the Naughty Nuri mascot or an owl with a cape? SuperOwl? Who knows?

There should be some spare balsa wood lying around and since I have to rest from golf, I will attempt this on top of the paintings, which are still ongoing with two canvases in queue.

  

Destination: Taiping, Part 2

25 Apr

Sleep wasn’t the most comfortable but I guess it wasn’t critical when thoughts of what we can eat made up for it. Honestly, it was the pillow and somehow, my little travel pillow didn’t help this time. Sigh…

The day started off early with a trip to the Casual Market for breakfast. Located in the middle of the town, this food court had plenty to offer. A friend highly recommended Stall 64 for the Curry Laksa but it was closed! Oh… disappointment kicked in.

But fret not, there were plenty of other choices and we had our fill. And the day was still young, so we headed back to Taiping Lake Gardens as the skies were clear and perfect to admire the trees.

It was indeed very pretty, all the trees leaning towards the water. The reflection and the surrounding was so peaceful and calming. We sat by the lake just to breathe in the fresh air and absorbed some Vitamin D (the sun).

Then we headed to Kuala Sepetang to visit the Charcoal Factory. It was very enlightening to learn how charcoal are made. After that visit, we went across the road and explored the mangrove forest to pass time so that we can have lunch at Lemon Tree Restaurant nearby (in Matang) for the recommended seafood porridge. Like last night’s dinner, the porridge was very good, and cheap!

Sated to the brim (burp), it was time to leave Matang and Taiping now filled with memories of cheap eats and wonderful discoveries. The drive back was pleasant enough and we decided to detour to Ipoh for coffee! After all, this was a gastronomic journey, why not cap it with some good coffee.

Now you see why the need for stretchy pants?

Closed! Not our luck this time.


But we had all these other options!

  

Feels like entering a long tunnel. Branches are so unique!




  
  

Mr Chuah has quite an impressive charcoal factory!


Mangrove wood are stripped of the bark, sun-dried first and then into the kiln they go


The backyard for all the wood supplies to reach the clusters of factories at this place

  

This kiln has been sealed to further smoke the 1,500 pieces of mangrove wood inside. 


This fella was getting some hot charcoal to actually bake some potatoes!

  

This kiln has yet to be sealed. Smoke coming out is actually the moisture from the wood. Foreground rubber wood are used for burning to smoke the mangrove wood


  

Laden with crab, prawns, fish, scallops and fishballs, best seafood porridge we had!


Iced coffee, iced milk coffee and toast before we head home!

Destination: Taiping

24 Apr

You know you’re courting fatness when you go on a foodie road trip and stretchy pants are intentionally packed along. All those food that will be eaten will surely go to the waist and the stretchy pants will accommodate this indulgence!

Well, with the tennis elbow limiting my exercise, an outstation trip this time is not a golf outing so a food outing is the next best thing. It’s an unexpected public holiday today and we made the most of long three-day weekend with Mom and M2 for the short getaway.

The destination: Taiping this time instead of Penang or Ipoh, our usual go-to places. The little town has a lot of cheap and delicious eats worthy to rival the two other famed destinations.

The drive on Saturday morning wasn’t too bad without the holiday-makers although there were some stretches that were slow and congested. When we finally arrived at Taiping, we looked for a place to eat for it was way past the usual lunchtime.

The Char Kueh Teow we had was good, at a ridiculously cheap price that you simply cannot find in KL – Four Ringgit. Even the Chicken Rice was Four Ringgit, and both had sizeable portions, not less at this price. Food prices in KL has soared so much recently and to find something good at this price was just amazing.

The rain was a spoiler especially when we wanted to see the famed trees at Taiping Lake Gardens. And came down even harder when we made our way to Matang for dinner but we took things in stride. No rush, no hurry, no stress, just go with the flow of the situation.

Our dinner was so so cheap. I seriously think if we ate the same things back in KL, it would cost twice the amount! The portions were big and the taste… Oh so good.

Towards the end of the evening, the sporadic rainfall prevented us from coming out of the car. So we just drove around the town, which had a similar feel to Ipoh. Hubby and I agreed that the town is worthy of a revisit plus a golf game thrown in at Taiping Golf Resort.

We called it an early night as the next day, we had a more comprehensive food trail to do and sights to take in.

   
 
  
   

A fallen raintree that was equally appealing

  

Dinner was so good

 

Expectation vs Reality

21 Apr

I recently saw this idea of a bird shower on boredpanda.com and it seemed like a brilliant one. So naturally, I cannot resist anything that looks brilliant so I replicated it! I made a bird shower from a plastic bottle and hung it in the garden. But something doesn’t seem to gel. Expectation versus reality kicked in.

How do I control the water to have a constant flow like in the video? I can’t be standing in the garden and holding a hose to supply the water, can I now? Even if I was discreet, the birds that have been coming to eat all those bird seeds we put out don’t seem interested to have a bath. Can’t be putting a sign to direct them either, birds don’t read…

Or is this bird shower attraction only for a pet bird? Hmm… I will leave the home-made effort out for a bit longer and monitor. Only time can tell…

  

The Ride, Part 2

20 Apr

The lady motorbike rider I wrote about recently reminded me of my encounter with this mode of transportation dinosaur years ago. It was during an interim period and I was working while waiting to go off to college. I was an artist for a publishing house that produced educational books for children.

In the mornings, Dad would send me to work as my office was close by his office. Days when I finished early I would go home with Dad. But there were nights that I had to work late and I didn’t want Dad to wait nor did I want to take the bus home. Luckily, I had a co-worker who lived in the same town and I would go home with him. On his motorbike.

So there I was on a couple of occasions, sitting at the back of his motorbike, clinging on to my dear life as he hurtled along the highway in the night to send me home.

It was downright scary whether it was the first time or second time because being hit by the wind on the face constantly was foreign and rather terrifying. Then there was that firm death grip on the bar behind my seat throughout the ride to ensure I remain on the bike. And the awkwardness to stay balanced, tilting along and not against when he tilted the bike to turn…

Quite an experience. After those couple of rides, never again I rode on a motorbike.

Why Do We Exercise?

18 Apr

It was a big debate last night during gym on why do we exercise? This came about because my tennis elbow has not progressed in recovery and I should be resting instead.

I downgraded from the 4kg weight (the one I call my Birkin bag) to a two pounder and even then, I could not do a lot of the usual routines. Yes, it’s bad. Remember I couldn’t even lift a head of cabbage from the grocery store? And over the weekend, I was having a pint, it was so hard to lift up the mug. It’s almost funny when told to use a straw for my ice cold beer!

Hubby suggested that we should be like the cavemen of yonder years – just eat, sleep, hunt and not exercise (or exert) unnecessarily to preserve energy. He pointed out that these people possibly may have led lives with less sports injury, no tennis elbows or sprained wrists. Interesting theory but not scientifically substantiated. There could be injuries from hunting…

Nice try to escape exercising except that we don’t live in caves and physically hunt these days, hubby dear. We live in a nice big house and we have bills to pay. And we have to physically drive to work, use our brains and work – the modern version of ‘hunting’ to stay alive.

Modern people exercise to counterbalance the demanding lifestyles. Two issues come to mind: to destress from work pressure and to burn off the over-consumed food. Do cavemen have these worries? While they may not have bills, mortgages and credit cards to manage, there’s no golf, no alcohol… no friends… shudder.

Given such a scenario, I’d rather exercise to counterbalance my lifestyle, injuries inclusive.

The Ride, Part 1

17 Apr

It was a typical weekend evening routine. We were headed to our favorite mall for dinner when I spotted the motorbike rider along the highway. I managed to snapped a picture of her.

The lady rider was actually sitting cross-legged on her scooter! How does one do that? Then again, isn’t it dangerous? It’s not a country-side road, it’s the highway with lots of vehicles. It may be the weekend with less traffic but still, it’s a busy highway. Goodness!!!

It was amazing that she could balance and ride along safely.

Look closely at the legs!

 

 

The Prettiest Grocery List

14 Apr

Whenever I do groceries, I have to have a list. It’s a habit of mine that I prefer the old fashion paper and a pencil to check things off over a list keyed into my iPhone.

Sometimes I even add little doodles next to the items to make the list easier to see than read. After all, I am an artsy person, why not apply my skills to make the mundane more interesting?

When M2 was younger, I used to make her do my grocery list. There was once after she was done, she said excitedly, “Mummy! Here… You now have the prettiest grocery list!”

“See the flowers? They are growing!”

Indeed, my grocery list had very neat cursive hand-writing peppered with some decorations and a short sequence of the growing flower, from pod to bloom.

Pretty. I should make her do my grocery list more often these days.

Setback

13 Apr

You know you’ve got it bad when you’re at the grocery store and can’t even pick up a head of cabbage! And it’s not even like it’s the biggest one on the shelf. Uh oh.

I injured myself again last weekend during my Saturday golf game. I suspect it’s from the week prior when I played in a monthly medal game and the pain suddenly flared up.

This time it’s a tennis elbow problem and not so much my old injury on the left wrist recurring. Funny it’s called tennis elbow when the injury is actually from golf. Regardless, the right elbow needs to be rested and no golf for at least two weeks or more. Super sigh.