Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fly High with MNS !

No happier soul  than me
( all photos- courtesy of Ee Lynn)

I can fly! Of course I can. Just like the Little Red Engine, I kept saying to myself,' I know I can- I know I can- I know I can.'

So my worst fears were laid to rest - imagining myself spinning round and round, screaming like crazy to be let down, freezing in mid air and making an oaf of myself. Thankfully, none of this happened.

I was geared for the ascent up a tree via the Single Rope Technique ( SRT), a static climbing line system  used as a means of canopy access only. Judging by the queue, interest in tree climbing was encouraging. The members of the Caving Group, an interest group of the MNS (Malaysian Nature Society) were more than hands on to encourage first timers to give it a go. Onlookers cheered and shouted  words of encouragement to little ones as young as 7 years old  who pushed beyond their own comfort zones and admirably achieved their climb.

 I was nicely locked secure with strong metal clasps of  the harness and a snug saddle, not forgetting the important helmet. Once suspended, I swung a bit like a drunken sailor as my legs slipped into the foot loop. 'Hey, steady!' Calmed myself. Then listened intently to the instructor on the technique of the climb. My friend, Ee Lynn put it very nicely, 'If you can squat, you can do it.' She was there ready to catch me in action, camera in hand. Her encouragements gave me the push. 'Go for it!'. Getting  that kind of gung ho prod from a young friend, there was only one way to go. Up!

All smiles -  a camouflage for the wobblies in my tummy 

We have a lift -off!

Very soon my apprehensions fizzled away. It was the act of concentrating, putting in that extra ounce of energy on the sit and stand routine that got me going. I found myself inching a longer distance as as my technique got better. Somewhere higher midway, I let my eyes rove. Whoa! the view impressed - Taman Lembah Kiara in her green splendour.

Concentrating on the sit and stand  routine to get higher and higher until the destination

You can't catch me!

Hurray! The big overhanging branch was touch point. I arrived! Then it was smooth sailing down away from the majestic tree about the height of a two storey house. I waved merrily to the cheers and the smiles down below. My smile was the widest ever, as if my soul had been set free.


A wave to my fans down below

My buddy - she got me up there!

Such a wonderful end to an engaging early morning  start at the Malaysian Nature Society Open Day 2011 at the Kiara Park. I watched volunteer Ee Lynn having fun at her eco-friendly games stall and interacting with the public. We shared the same tent and according to schedule, I came on. It was storytelling  time with  kids. The fun was under the sea with Curious Clown Fish. On dry land we swam like the fishes and had a swishing ,watery time with the awesome marine creatures through songs and craft too.

Puffing up like the prickly puffer fish

Loving our stingray, catfish, shark and salmon...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Glamorous Heels

I didn't know where to fix my gaze. On display were such fancy shoes created by shoe designers. None  looked similar and each begged for attention. Each had a message to convey - thus the creation. The 1Malaysia International Shoe Festival 2011 had much to offer.

Fashionistas will be quick to point out the creativity and go ga ga over their favourites. Trend setters will be thrilled to see new ideas. As for me, up close with those high heels, it's mind-boggling. I mean the bits and bobs that are put together for that special look.

Those heels are certainly not low, neither are they 'mid heels' but high which is 4 inches and more. I have observed how the audience looks up to models  when they strut down the catwalks in their high heels. It seems the taller they are, the stronger the  appeal. Their commanding presence complement their effortless stride.

Some women might crave for such 'elongated elegance'! Much as I appreciate the  aesthetics, comfort is paramount to me. My kind of elegance sees me in low heels of 2.5 inches. Did I hear someone say,' Step aside, Keats. This is not your world!' Admittedly, I'm almost always on solid ground, feeling the earth beneath my feet as I'm inevitably in flatties or  low heeled sandals.

Nevertheless when I saw this display of heels, I  couldn't  help joining many curious onlookers and clicked away. After all, like them  or otherwise, these are the dreams of designers whose ideas have come to fruition. What I'd love to see finally is the total look - from top to toe, a lovely model all dressed  to showcase the flamboyance that will dazzle the audience.

Frills, feathers, buckles - take your pick

I can't make up my  mind! 

Radiating metallic shine

Roll on -  get to your date on time !

Beware the pointy bit !

If you are into baubles ...

Set sail - ahoy! but don't expect many leagues covered!!

The winner -  if I be the judge , this is for me too

Expect a  model exhibiting an' animal instinct' sporting  the same skin for a top.

In celebration of nature 

Whisk me away on this sleigh - find me a handsome prince.

Just my kind of playground - why didn't I glide  down and have some fun?

Stamping, stomping your way 

Armoured in style

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I have 3 faces!

No guesses here. After all the name is the give- away. But if you had  asked, 'Who is this?' I'll say it's okay.  Imagine my  surprise when the artist handed the inked paper to me. A bystander was curious. He sneaked a quick peek  before my eyes rested on it. 'Hey, but you look different when you smile.'

Show your face elsewhere!! LOL.

That grumps is me - yep, I was the one sitting in front of the artist. Oh dear! What a sour puss! Locals say 'muka masam' also meaning equally sour! I remember being not the perfect model. I was in the queue and it was my turn. Beads of sweat trickled down from my forehead  to the sides of my face and under my chin. It was exasperatingly humid and caught in the midst of the burgeoning carnival crowd did not help any bit. So I mopped away, the facial tissues reduced to ragged bits too. In the meantime the artist was set on his task. He didn't pause for anything. I must admit I was not behaving, By this I mean I was fidgety 'coz I got out my camera  and caught him in action. Would all this have exasperated him??  Looking back, others walked away with their 'prize' pieces, satisfied. I took mine home with a story to tell.

The artist of Ms Grumps!

Three of us had three different sittings for this family picture at the Kumarakoram Lake Resort. How could I resist an artist's pen? So, my hubby and daughter were dragged in to complete the 'we were here' kind of pictorial story! Apologies to the friendly artist but I think the sun's rays played havoc with him for warts and all, I think the only person I can recognise is me! Anyhow, this momento is lying on the study table, so it still holds dear of a lovely holiday away from the madding crowd.

Only one person I recognise - ME!

I actually enjoyed sitting for this picture. And I rather like my diva pose. LOL. After all, when will I be perched on a high chair and taking questions from the papparazzi??  Mie Mambo surprised me by saying that he would like to give me a token of friendship. From the boot of his car, full to the brim, he got out the drawing  necessities. Then he reminded me of a travelling salesman. He drew me smiling as we chatted easily under a shady tree.

Mie  Mambo -  no mumbo jumbo when he's drawing! 

Ada  gaya !  Translate : Got Style! 

Well, by now you know I sport short hair. Never one to grow it long. I wear spectacles. How else do I describe myself ? - widening a little at the waist... You already know it - dare I ever dream of being on the cover of popular magazines, let alone launch a product like a washing up liquid !

Oh why do I subject myself to the artist's pen and whims? Really, it's just for fun and to be surprised. So, what a revelation! Nothing is constant, not demeanours, not anything not even how I look! Three faces but one and the same person. Now for a bit of advice about looking good - SMILE please!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Berries for dinner

Dinner everyone!

The other day, lying in bed  and browsing the daily papers, the quiet was interrupted by some excited chirping. Accompanying it was a sudden flutter of wings. Promptly I dumped the papers. I knew where to look. For the noises was just outside the nearby bedroom windows.

Such a flurry of activity greeted my eyes. Some birds had landed on several hanging strands of berries of the red sealing wax tree. Quickly I grabbed my daughter's camera. Without being intrusive, I zoomed the lens onto their preoccupation.

 I wonder if it was the considerably cooler air after the rain that brought  the birds here. First came the pigeons, then starlings, followed by the magpie robins. As they pecked and caught the seeds so deftly with their slightly curved beaks, the strands of berries danced in the air. It looked like a bird party - everyone was invited. Each bird seemed happily feeding away and there was no tussle for food nor territory. It was just past 6 pm and I reckon birds call it dinner too like us. Talk about eating like a bird! But they didn't seem to want much and soon flew to  higher look outs. The neem tree nearby was their perch - here again I managed to capture the plumage of the pigeon. Thankfully my friend, WChinner  identified  the specie, so now I know it's  the Trenon Vernans. I think 12 birds came for dinner in 4 different flights.

To think this was my lucky encounter with the birds after so many years of the plant standing right there. After all, this clump of lovely palm ( cyrtostachys renda) with its deep red trunk and fronds have been planted more than 20 years ago. The trunks have grown pretty tall and grace the front of the house. The horticulturist highly recommended this as it is a showy plant.  How could I have missed  the visitations ? There must have been many.

Having a berry -merry time!

Aiming for the choicest

Starling sharing dinner .

Fluffing up on the neem tree   

We have had our dinner. Time to catch up on news.

Can't possibly eat them all. Never mind,  I'll take it easy.

The handsome male-  Pink-  Necked Green Pigeon ( Trenon Vernans)

Acrobatics in the air