Sunday, May 31, 2009
Finally I ended up buying half a kilo of dried anchovies . My two cats love them especially when fried. Anchovies are easy to store or keep stock of because in dried form they are very well preserved and can be cooked in various ways in short notice. Once a 'poor man' fish they are today very expensive. The highest quality sold now is at RM 34 per kilo. In comparison fresh and big river prawns can fetch only between RM 20 - 30 per kilo, while many deep sea fishes of above average quality will cost around RM 26-30 a kilo. I have a special liking for these minute dried fishes and could remember very well how my mother used to fry and pound them to be eaten with a bowl of porridge every morning or when we fall ill. That was about 40 years ago when there were about a dozen mouths to feed in our family. I still love to eat anchovies while taking snacks like groundnuts. Anyway I always believe that anythig 'fishy' is always good for the heart.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Late afternoon today, I went down town Kuching city. I felt released from my self-imposed six days 'quarantine'. Well, don't get me wrong. It isn't the influenza. It's just that after the exams last Sunday I had to finish 3 case studies and one major analytical paper for my Strategic Marketing course work. Dateline: Tomorrow! After submitting the assignments this afternoon a day before due date , I felt like unwinding and decided to while away the time at the Satok 'greens market'. Feasted my eyes on the yellow and big 'Honey Dew' melons, fresh green pepper corns, leafy jungle vegetables for salads, light green cucumbers, red hot chillies, sourish young and unripe mango fruits ( for salads,too) and various species of jungle shoots. Well, I think I'll do more weekend shopping tomorrow when the Satok market will be bustling with Sunday shoppers.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Yesterday I took an afternoon off to visit the Sarawak State Library ( Pustaka Sarawak ) and lucky I did. I rushed to return the books I borrowed earlier albeit with a fine of 5o cents for not having returned them yesterday.Hmmm...But better things to see outside the library.
I came across two flowering trees just around the library building. At the inset is a cu view of the inflorescence of the Rain Tree ( Enterolobium saman).
A ideal tree for car parks and big open spaces. There are home to a lot of wildlife and a wonderful host to ferns and orchids. Observe how the leaves curl by late afternoon. Over here the tree is sometimes referred to as 'Pukul Lima' ( Five O'clock Tree) to depict its particular habit of folding in its leaves as evening comes and will stay asleep in that mode throughout the night till the next early morning sun when its leaves slowly opens up to a new day. The inflorescence are in clusters, forming a gossamer web of delicate pink feathery flowers. The rain tree can reach a height of 20 m and its wide canopy can have a diameter of 20 m too. ( Please click at the inset to enlarge the photo)
Long Shot view of the Rain Tree ( Enterolobium saman ) outside the Sarawak State Library.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Heliconias have a unique tropical aura and exotic look to them since they are native to the deep rainforests of Amazon and Borneo. Commonly called 'Bird of Paradise ' or 'Parrot Flower', they are indeed long lasting as cut flowers mostly about 2-3 weeks with cut tips in water. The duration speaks volumes of its economics. I grow them for their very colourful bracts ( false flowers). My latest collection is the Rainbow Heliconia (Heliconia wagneriana ) as seen below. Other ideas I have for the show are; sketches, paintings, batik and abstract, photography, binders, post cards all based on the subject of heliconias.
Monday, May 18, 2009
The show is scheduled 14.10.09 which is about 21 weeks from now. The adrenalin rush creeps in slowly. This last week I was busy with checking out possible venue for my 2nd Art Solo. A few organisations have expressed willingness to allow their buildings/rooms as venue. Seems that venue is not that critical now.
The progress so far:
# Checking world art sites, artist blogger sites, photographer's sites - 70%
#List of songs to be recorded/rehearsed - 10%
#Framing of paintings - 10%
#Conceptual layout of exhibition space - 20%
# Marketing Plan for Exhibition - 20%
# Updating of my relevant blogs for the show - cats (current), floral arrangement (catching up), photography-Bintulu and Kuching (current), landscaping ( catching up), history (behind schedule), poetry (current), eco-farming ( behind schedule)
( Note: Next Review Date : 1 June - 1 July - 1 August - 1 September - 1 October )
Over the many trips to Kuching, I have managed to transport about 14 big paintings from Bintulu, with more to be transported in near future. The above are some of the collections already in Kuching and framed.
The doors of life are always open
But it is to open our mind and heart
To be self-concious of Life and Existence
That remains a task.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Today I decided to have plenty of rest. I've been very busy the whole week that made me feel stressed but all for a good reason of which I'll speak about in later postings. Since we came to Kuching last week the front garden has given us much delight unceasingly greeting us with its colourful blooms . It has now become a popular spot for birds to perch and sing. Today Inul, our cat caught a chick from the garden and brought it in the house to show me. Before letting it free I took a close up view of it and reminded of a poem I wrote a long time ago. If a bird must be, she must be.
Monday, May 11, 2009
I have been chasing after colours of the rainbow recently. I guess today would be a good time to show the results. About two days ago while shopping at Mile 7, I was lucky to come close to a drooping branch ( see inset) of the Golden Shower tree in the town's small park which was surrounded by rows of car parking lots. The Golden Shower tree ( Cassia fistula) is sometimes called the Indian Laburnum. It is deciduous to semi-evergreen in habit. During flowering the bright yellow flowers will drop or get blown by the wind forming a thin spread of golden droplets on the tree below which is most pleasant to see. If you walk past the tree you'll certainly be alerted by the drooping clusters of fragrant yellow flowers. A beauty to behold.
Golden Shower trees at Mile 7, Kuching.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Thus on every Sunday the sellers' repertoire is forever wondrously changing. This Sunday was no exception.
The thick skin of rattan shoots are peeled off exposing a soft core that are best served roasted or sliced into smaller pieces as cooked vegetables in curry, boiled or salad. Most popular rattan species harvested for its shoots are what the local Ibans here call 'Upa Lalis' ( Plectocomiopsis geminiflora)
Friday, May 1, 2009
While driving around Bintulu town this morning I saw lines of Yellow Flame trees ( Peltophorum pterocarpum) that were emblazoned with striking yellow inflorescence's . A considerable number of major roads in Bintulu were planted with Yellow Flame since 20 years ago. Next to the newly renovated Chinese temple in town I saw one very established stand that provided much shade and beauty to the surrounding area. Yellow Flame is also referred to as 'Batai Laut' in Malay and is a native tree to coastal areas of Malaysia, Bintulu included. It has a fast growing habit and mature tress can be planted as instant trees if you wish to enjoy its beauty sooner. Bintulu's sandy, well-drained clayey soils and sunny temperatures are ideal for its growth. Its golden yellow flowers are borne on terminal branches.
The leaves are dark green and its light grey bark is used to dye 'batik' clothes producing a dark brown colour by 'batik' makers in Indonesia especially on the island of Java.
Judging from today's excellent showing I wish more roadsides will be planted with Yellow Flame in future.