Sunday, June 24, 2012

Dinosaurs Live!

The visit to the Kuala Lumpur Science Centre with some residents of Sel. Cheshire Home was greeted with excitement. 2 vans ferried the residents to the venue where Dinosaurs Live! awaited us. It was a big attraction during the school holidays just over and now we have the place to ourselves!

Memories of Jurassic Park emerged as we saw  towering  skeletons  of  dinosaurs on the ground floor of the building. Up the ramp we wheeled and guided  the residents to the 2nd floor of the building. Once inside, just allow your imagination to roam. Questions popped up.  A resident  asked one burning question, ' Why are they gone?' It was duly answered by a young, pleasant  guide. No doubt remembering the dino names is a challenge unless you enjoy spelling  or particular reptile is your passion. Who can forget the  ferocious predator, T-rex  as in the movie Jurassic Park. Give a child a dinosaur toy and chances are he's king among them!

The lights play a part in enhancing a world of the unknown. The silicone, soft rubberish bodies  give these giant reptiles a lifelike look but they suffer too from vandalism  from itchy fingers. Yes, tongues and spikes have been pinched. Poor dinosaurs!

With the residents we hollered to outdo the growls of the dinosaurs when it was time to have a group photograph. And my biggest ' high'  for the day was to have a ride on a dinosaur. I was surprised and asked the photographer if it was really alright. But measures are in place for a safe ride without harming the creature and the rider. All for a fee of RM10.00

It was a golden opportunity as it I saw it - ride a dino? Out of this world! That adds to my list of riding on a yak, camel, elephant, ostrich, donkey. Kiasu! I could only risk myself up there and not one of the residents. However she was happy to have  memories of a photo to take home for a lovely outing.

After that we adjourned to one of our members' house which is disabled friendly for a catered South Indian lunch with apple pie and ice cream and melon for dessert. Before anyone wilted in the hot afternoon  and a hazy sky, it was time to head for home, leaving the dinosaurs to rule ...

Big smiley welcome on the ground floor of the building

The largest carnivorous dinosaur  - Spinosaurus outclasses T-rex by 1 -2 tons.

A nice bed of teeth from the largest crocodile that ever lived.

Dino of the feathered kind

All meany and hungry !

Basking in the glow of being alive

Just snoozing, don't wake me up!

Go on, scream your hearts out!!

A photo souvenir - baring  teeth and  growling.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Handkerchiefs in the air!

I came upon this tree about 15 years ago at En Esa's nursery in Sungai Buloh.  He knows the botanical names like the back of his hand. If he has to refer, he would bring out his much -loved thick tome on plants to double check some info. Sadly, he passed away more than a year ago or even longer. En Esa introduced the maniltoa or commonly known as handkerchief tree to me. A maniltoa  tree now stands in my garden. and years later, I gave a plant to my sis-in-law and it is thriving.

 Really, it is not an outstanding tree 'coz it is just leafy green. But catch it when the little 'spears' appear- light pink. They then grow longer and more prominently pinker. Look out for the unfolding and the 'handkerchiefs in the air!
 You have seen how a magician holds a kerchief with the thumb and forefinger gently grasping the cloth which falls like an inverted V before mesmerizing you with what's under it or whatever! If I 've described it nicely, then you've got the picture!!

 Day by day, the pink turns to a light yellow /green and lightly wrinkled leaves hang in the air, opening up and getting longer and longer, cascading . What appears are the leaves enclosed in the 'spear'. Day by day, Mother Nature does its wondrous work . Finally, what you'll see are green leaves. What a transformation!

When  you come across a maniltoa, it will strike you in the emergent stage. That I would say is its crowning glory.

Look skyward and you'll not fail to see a different shade 

See the 'spear' opening up - hiding  the tender leaves

No more tightly enclosed -  waiting to be set free!
Light green in contrast to the 'old' green leaves

Leaves turning to a light green

 In its glory!

Unravelling and getting longer -  the handkerchief look

The cluster of leaves (just about the middle of the picture)  is already spreading out to be like the rest

Sturdy trunk

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Bits and Pieces of Holiday - North India (2)

I've been back for 2 months and am still talking about that holiday in India. So many pictures to share and stories to tell. This is the last though. Hope you've enjoyed the sights of  North India  through my eyes.

Our guide directed us to THIS bench, popularly known as ' Princess Di's Chair'. She sat on this bench during her state visit to India in 1992.

Back and front, this elephant  was adorned from tusks to tail! It was the Elephant Festival and were we over the moon, when we landed in Jaipur to find it happening. It was a colourful and riotious day, a memorable day with the jumbos. They even played Holi.
At Sheraton in Jaipur, this man entertained us while we breakfasted. Such a colourful character as he moved from table to table playing some traditional tunes. Rajasthan facinates !

Would you believe I went shopping  for saree material with 2 men - my hubby and a  friend ( translated Hindi for us) in choosing saree materials in Jaipur. I was shown so many and I shook my head, 'no,' again and again - I did not fancy the fanciful designs with the glitter. So plain Jane was quite happy with this!
Women power at work - at the Golden Temple, Amritsar. A happy lot of volunteers, conveyor -like, cleaning  the bowls  used for serving food to the countless visitors.
In Agra, marble craftsmen are a familiar sight. This master craftsman of inlay marble acknowledging my camera.  I am astounded by the sheer hard and oh so painstaking skill of  the craftsmen. Each piece done is a labour of love. That's what the Taj Mahal stands for - love unbounded and eternal for Mumtaz. 
Fancy meeting Dr Abdul Majeed, batik specialist who was so happy to have visitors in his house to talk briefly about batik. Here he's showing hubby some bits of info.

BOONDHI!  Little golden balls  being tossed into a big wok . Now as I pop some into my mouth  for the odd snack time, the puffy balls reminds me of the market place in Udaipur.

Another day at the market for  a mother and her baby. I didn't hear her cry. She was watching the the ins and outs of the constant weaving.

I never fail to visit crafts shops whenever I have the opportunity. It is part of my itinerary! My hubby and I were shown how a block print  is done, stage by stage.

Her name is LAXMI.  As the rickshaw circled a  roundabout in Udaipur, I snapped a picture of her. I love these animals.
A pit stop for the washroom and a cuppa on the bus to Agra. My hubby got talking to this man . He turned out to be a professor who was on his way to a remote village in Ahmedabad to continue his work with the villagers in the traditional art and crafts . He was full of praise for the food he enjoys in the villages - full of the good earth, so to speak.