Wednesday, January 18, 2017

ABC Wed Letter B





http://www.stardome.org.nz/
We have our sweet story about the Stardome. Back almost forty years ago shortly after we were married. We didn't have children or nappies to worry about. We used to go around Auckland driving our Ford Escort. We were at the Stardome one evening, and we met this Japanese lady with her two pre-teen kids.
We said hi, and she thought we were Japanese.  My grand dad would have been proud of my hospitality and we struck up a conversation. They were very trusting when we offered to take them round Auckland. She was a plastic surgeon and was holidaying with her kids. We took them places that the tour  guides would not normally take tourists to.
The next evening, I cooked her dinner of pan fried mullet, steamed rice and veg. She was so pleased as they were tired of Kiwi food. When we took them back to their hotel, she told us to wait at the lobby
She came down with two beautiful dresses, a Japanese silk make-up bag, and two bangles. The dresses are long gone, but I can still remember them and the remarks of my Japanese dresses. One of the bangle was very unusual, it had some twenty "bangs" join together at the ends. The gold colouring had gone, and I asked a jeweller in Malaysia if he could coat it in gold for it. It proved too expensive, and he said, he won't recommend it.
I still keep them, as a token of our friendship. I have forgotten her face, but I guess she would remember the time when she met this couple who she said," very handsome couple who have no need of her professional services as a plastic surgeon." May be her son and daughter might come back to visit the Stardome and recollect the time they had pan fried mullet in our little apartment.

The other day, my daughter rummaged through my trinkets and found a neck version of the bracelet. I told her this story, and how I replaced the original bracelets had the plating gone.

I rummage for the Oroton bag I had and remembered this bag which in fact is a birthday cake my sister Grace made.



I have an anecdote of a metallic clutch bag. In 1990, my husband got a job lecturing in the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Before we left New Zealand, my girl friend B. said, "Ann, you will be an important wife of a professorie. You will be going to dinner parties, so let's go and buy you a good Oroton bag."

So off we went, I bought a silver metallic bag. In the sixteen years I was there, I have never been invited to an important dinner party, even though he became an associate professor. In reality, they didn't invite wives.

When I came back to New Zealand, I gave the bag to Deborah. Hopefully she will get to attend important dinner parties. LOL

https://abcwednesday-mrsnesbitt.blogspot.co.nz/





pigs and the family


Image may contain: grass and outdoor

As Chinese New Year approaches, I think of my parents and grand parents. I think of how the pig had played such an important part in the Chans and Kongs.

Last year, I spent time in Sibu, sharing a bed with mum's sister, my aunty Ngui /Kong. I learned something interesting from my Aunty Ngui-Kong. My grandmother kong aka bodai reared pigs during the war. Just before my mother went to her match making session, she played with the newly born piglets, and the sow bit her heel. That heel was very painful and mum walked with a limp.

The Kongs explained that Mum was gardening and while digging with a changko, she hurt herself. When she wore her wedding gown, she still had a limp and the Chans said she was a cripple.

On the other side of the coin, it was the pig that attracted my Ah Tai, mum's grandmother to the Chans. The first time, Ah Tai landed at the Chan's jetty she exclaimed,"Wah, during the war, you have pork." Ah Kung was washing his pickle jar where he had kept his pickled pork.

It was a source of contention leading to a family feud. I wrote this n my From China to Borneo to Beyond and World War 2 in Borneo.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

old Chinese Grave in Borneo





From what I know from my grand dad, at least the Quang Liang people, there is a communal altar, where generally every family would bring extra food. These are the family less souls, or those who died without burial who have become Kuai Zais aka homeless ghosts. (Guess who ends up eating them? The grave construction workers.) 

My Ah Kung was baptised, we went to visit the grave with white candles and flowers, but we also bought some oranges for us while we were there. Ah Kung told us eat throw some peels and orange segments around the tomb. This is done in the hope that the Kuai Zai won't come inside the tomb area and snatch the food. 

For many years before my Ah Kung died, the clan had bought a hill for their cemetery, and we had Ah Kung's tomb prepared. Every Ching Ming aka grave visiting day, he took us there. He told us, when I am alive, if you guys don't go, needless to say, after I had died.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

ABC Wed, Letter A for arugula



 Arugula rocket salad.  These are Chinese ones given by my student. Frisee is also marketed under the name Curly endive and in France as chicorée Frisée.
Image may contain: plant, flower and nature


 Image may contain: plant, nature and outdoor


Image may contain: plant, nature and outdoor
https://abcwednesday-mrsnesbitt.blogspot.co.nz/

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Auckland's little crooked road.



Once, when my friend A. came to visit me, I drove her to Auckland university and by accident, we drove to a very crooked road. This is unknown because it is a small one way road through the middle of the park, the Feijoa forest near the Justice building, and it didn't count because they blocked off the end of it. It required great skill to drive down the slope.

We felt sheepish when we came home.

Years later, the water engineer and I walked there and I told him about the road. The crooked road was in the patch of forest by the Alten Road. Zoom in the map and you can see it.


https://www.google.co.nz/maps/place/Alten+Rd,+Auckland,+1010/@-36.8506984,174.7728504,206m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x6d0d47e2a0fee95b:0x862e12887f26079a!8m2!3d-36.8516615!4d174.7733525

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Loom bands

Image may contain: people sitting

I recalled, these were called loom bands. my students making them. I did not show my students' face.

Recently I saw children making them.

Parents are being warned of a cancer-scare involving fake accessories for loom bands after tests revealed some imported batches were laced with deadly levels of chemicals.
Safety officials have issued the stark message after intercepting rogue consignments of the bands and plastic trinkets sold with them which were headed for British shelves from the Far East.
Scientists carried out rigorous tests on several loom band 'charms', accessories attached to necklaces and bracelets made from the colourful elastic bands, and each one was found to have dangerous levels of phthalates in them.

Fruit waste garbage






I am rather a laggard in experimenting in this exercise of turning garbage into Enzyme.

In 2009, I visited Malaysia and Singapore and I was introduced to making a multi purpose cleanser. A friend whose husband is a university professor gave me some leaflets of information of how a Thai inventor had started this. I was naturally sceptical. What good can come out of a third world country like Thailand.

Recently, I was talking to my sister E who had just retired as a school principal. I was telling her about my over abundance of plums from my plum trees. We talked about Enzyme, and she was very happy with hers. She said her floor was very clean after using it. I felt convinced to give it a try.










Here it is.

The proportion is 1 part brown sugar, 3 parts fruit and/or vegetable waste, 10 parts of water.



Steps:

1: Mix sugar with water, add the fruit/veg, orange/lemon peels will give a nice citrus smell.

2: Fill in air tight plastic containers/bottles, leaving about 2 inches for fermentation.













Steps:

1: Mix sugar with water, add the fruit/veg, orange/lemon peels will give a nice citrus smell.

2: Fill in air tight plastic containers/bottles, leaving about 2 inches for fermentation.

3: Store in a cool, dry and well ventilated area.

4: Do not put it where there is direct sunlight.

5: After the first week, slowly open the cap to release gas, be sure not to shake the bottle.

6: Push the floating veg downward every once in a while.

7: Ferment for at least 3 months.

8: Filter and it is ready for use. You get a brownish fluid.

9: The solids can be put in the garden as fertiliser. Some people recycle this to restart a new batch.

10: Add about 1 tablespoon to your normal washing solution.

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Sometimes you get a  jelly like layer is a scoby……see youtube..pa Cheng…Aunt Cheng…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZgT7Io2-Gw in this you see the jelly like layer..this is also used as a mother to make kombucha tea…

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The dishes are less oily, but it could be psychological.

I asked my friends in Malaysia, one told me an interesting use, her husband sprays it in her bird cage, and gives the cage a good smell.

Some people make a lot of claims about being environmentally friendly and saving money. I don't know about saving money, because you spent quite a bit on the brown sugar. Environmentally friendly, perhaps, since you reduce the use of detergent. I am still experimenting, I have started a batch with my apples.

Please give me your opinion.

Remember: The proportion is 1 part brown sugar, 3 parts fruit and/or vegetable waste, 10 parts of water.