Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Celebrate with hues of orange and yellow

Time has just zoomed past me. Already it's March. I guess the year end  festivities and family celebrations of birthdays, including one  biggie 70th birthday celebration that lasted for 4 days, reunions all wound us up so much that we just enjoyed like forever. And then, thud, back to the daily grind.

So before March passes by without my remembering this is my 3rd year blogging, I best celebrate again. Hope these hues of orange and yellow will perk your day. They are found in my garden. These and other colours are there for me to cherish. They paint bright moods and they bring smiles as long as the sun shines. Why, a flower in my garden has a timeless name like 'Yesterday -Today- Tomorrow' - seems like an eternal clockwork reigns even with plants!! Hail the evergreen shrub, Brunfelsia!

Thank you for popping by, dear regulars and all. You keep the blogging alive in me! Do keep blogging yourselves and we stay connected. Till my next post, enjoy . Am off to soak in the colours and scents of India.  

Happy 3rd  Blogesvary to me!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Stalking my Dog

Let it be known I'm the grandaddy of the house. I've heard many tales spun, not least one of a certain German Shepherd, Czarina who lived to be 12 years old. Poor Suzie the dashchund, something  happened to her. Then, there was Ninja, also a German Shepherd. Well, wish me luck. Wish me more years. Thanks to my Scottish ancestry, I'm 13 and pushing on. But did my dear doc openly tell me sir, not to push our luck?  

They say let sleeping dogs lie. Whatever! This is my spot and where I like to lie. I own this spot. Much to the chagrin of me missus  (fierce one!!) and the others (hardly fierce!), they hop over me to get out of the kitchen into the terrace. Call me BodyGuard. 

Tip toeing around as I think I smell a rat. Heard the missus say she spied a small rat in the kitchen. but that's not my problem. Let the cats that come to pee and poo here take care of that.

Who cometh?  I recognise those legs but no one is opening the gate. Truth be told, my legs can still run and fast. Only a tad slower these days. Nobody knows FREEDOM like I do. Can't an old boy have some fresh air and scenery?? 

It's a bit of a maze here - heliconias, hydrangeas, tunerias, erythrina purpuras and pinks, and the newly grown passion fruit, all under the canopy of the erythrina glauca which has  garden -hump roots. Never let obstacles in your path deter one, I say.

Where's the goodies??  It's me feeling hopeless. See my tail hanging straight like a stick? Seems like  looking for a needle in a haystack!!  The gardener has just been and piled mountains of cut grass. Drat! Can't find the food scraps hidden well under.
It's the itch. 10 rounds under the phyllanthus is just so  heavenly.

This my daily workout  and it's only half way round my world ! In fact, just behind me at the wall ledge, I used to have free food from the neighbour who kindly kept some helpings of dhall. All 'forbidden fruit'  stopped abruptly when my sir came to know about it. 

Handsome wins hands down! She loves me and blows kisses all the way from Suffolk!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Who loves ya, Kopi Luwak?

Between 2 coffee drinkers, my  daughter's present from Indonesia to her father of the authentic Kopi Luwak was shared with his nephew visiting from Sydney.

So what's the verdict? Come on, out with it! After a couple of sips, both men offered : smooth. Did I hear 'Interesting' muttered . I wonder if it referred to having  a chance to taste the 'gold' from the civet? But I was too occupied to quiz them nor interested in 'civet coffee' . Also, I did not hear anyone asking for another cuppa! Well, there's more coffee to be drunk as the golden package sits in the pantry barely done.

We were in Georgetown, Penang, over the Xmas season. At lunch in a popular tourist centre, after our order of kueh, we were asked,' Kopi Luwak anyone?' No one jumped to it. But we were jolted out of our skin when told it was RM 65  per cuppa!

The bushy tailed and cat-like civet, Luwak ( local name for the Asian Palm Civet) is the darling of the Kopi Luwak. The half - digested cherry berries  found in the dung are reputed to produce the Kopi  Luwak. The animal eats the soft outer part of the coffee berries and excretes the undigested beans which the local gather. Voila! the world's most expensive coffee is in their hands.

But rising demands  have prompted producers to cage the animals  and feed them on a regular diet of coffee berries. Experts say the cage- bred ' civet  coffee' is not the same, its flavour is not as unique as those produced by civets that eat berries in the wild. Why? Experts say the civet's finicky feeding habits and varied diet creates enyzmes that enrich the fermentation of the beans.

'The coffee does not appeal to everyone - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono took some as a gift to former Australian  prime minister, Kevin Rudd, only to find local media dubbing it 'crappucino'. - Reuters.

Attractively packaged Kopi Luwak

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

At Teluk Cempedak

The sun, sand and sea beckon

The Sampan Bar  tells  many broken dreams of the Vietnamese refugees

This is part of their story

Climb every rock...
Tousled by the breeze

From the  Kampung Restaurant which enjoys a wonderful beach front

If someone tells me to 'go fly a kite!' I'd do just that. Ignore whatever message the person intended. I'd know where to head to - Teluk Cempedak.  There the breezes will just lift your spirits. Hold on to the kite string and just let the kite catch the wind. You've got a winner!

Over the Chinese New Year holiday, we had a mini escapade to Kuantan. During lunch at the Kampung Restaurant at Hyatt Regency facing the white sandy beach  and the South China Sea beyond, already the breezes were welcoming us. A few kites were  in the air and dancing in the late afternoon sun. So while the rest of  the family gang wanted to chill out in the air conditioned rooms, I walked the beach. The sun did not bother me. The sea breeze delighted me and I wasn't sweating. How nice.

The long uninterrupted stretch of beach is ideal for kite flying. Even in the evening as we sat at the Coals On The Beach, the balmy breeze just made it so right  to be sitting out and dining. As we sat waiting to be served, a young lass was delighting us with her nifty dancing on the sand. The breeze swirled  the hem of her lovely evening dress and billowed it. She was in her element and while dinner waited, it didn't matter to her. A kid nearby was flying a kite. Further up, where the fast food giants of Big Mac, KFC and Burger King are located, there was gaeity in the air. That part does attract  locals and tourists who just want to 'makan angin' ( Malay literally meaning 'eat wind'), sit around and watch families at play. The colourful  kites danced and twisted, swooped and climbed again and again, their tails always swing merrily along. The wind was just right to give the lift.

How mighty is the rock!

Rocks as hideaways for beachcombers

Inviting waters. We didn't see any red flags as that is a warning  not to tempt fate and play  as the waters can be rough . There are rip currents that endanger lives.

The Water Dragon visits Teluk Cempedak

A different feel on the beach at night

Take a stroll and enjoy  

On the boardwalk -  nice view that looks over rocks and the forest is just so close by.

People flock  to the beach parade  for fun 

Hear the swish  and swoosh of the waves as they hit the rocks

Hyatt Regency  by night