Thursday, May 31, 2012

Happy Gawai to Sarawak, Save the world.

It is the Queen's birthday in the British Commonweath. Once in Sarawak, we celebrated this too. When Sarawak joined Malaysia, we celebrate Gawai Day . It coincided with harvesting and can be considered as a harvest festival for the natives. It is celebrated in the 1st of June, but is stretched to a week.

Some of my family are Kelabits and Bidayuhs. I wish them a happy occasion.

Here's my niece Ruth dancing their traditional Kelabit dance. It is important to keep one's culture and traditions. My Save the world theme is just this, Preserve your culture.

This is Elley's relative dancing at Elley's wedding. He had a traditional head gear and long pierced ears. And I specially requested that I have a photograph with him. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

my world tuesday/outdoor wed/save the world

 Broadcasting Standards Authority was carrying out a research regarding decisions they make and the way in which they communicate these decisions. The purpose of this research is to see where their decisions sit compared with public opinion. I was invited as a focus group. It was one of the most satisfying evening I had. All of us had the common beliefs, the BSA has allowed too many indecent, obscene and violent images be screened on our airwaves to our homes especially at in appropriate hours when children are watching.

One my way there, I saw this tree among many trees along Meola Road. Instead of chopping the trees down, the council had saved the trees by giving it a special trim.  

How good it will be if we can cut parts of "nasties" on TV just like the way the council had cut of parts of the trees.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday Stills: Magic Wands

I am not into music, so I cheated and looked up wikipeadia, and did what I normally do in school, made my own magic wands which my kids love.  Harry Potter, came take your pick.

The band was formed in 2008 after Chris found a copy of Dexy's song, Teenage Love, on her myspace and the two got in touch.[2] Dexy moved from Los Angeles, CA to Nashville, TN and the two began to write music together. The name of the band stems from the gift of a magic wand from Chris to Dexy while the two were living on opposite sides of the country.[3]

In late 2008 the band signed to indie label Bright Antenna and released their first EP, Magic Love & Dreams recorded in New York City with producer John Hill (Santigold/Lykke Li) in 2009. In a review in Prefix Magazine the album was scored 7/10 and reviewer Matthew Richardson wrote that, "the whole EP is covered with the cosmic haze of dream-pop, while the Valentines maintain the attitude of punk kids."[4]

On February 17th 2010, the MP3 blog, RCRD LBL, released a download of the track, Warrior remixed by The xx.[5]

The Wands' debut LP Aloha Moon was released on April, 24th 2012.

Sunday Stills, the next challenge: Music Groups or Songs in Pics

This will be a fun and challenging challenge to say the least and will not only take photo  skills but a knowledge of music. So find a song or music group and then take a picture of someting that represents them, sounds easy but it may take a bit of creativity.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Photohunt: Famous Places: Franz Josef and Fox Glacier

In New Zealand, the beauty of going to the glaciers is, they are accessible and you can walk there, even if it is quite far to many people. Few people walk or would walk miles and miles in the freezing rain to terminus of the Franz Josef Glacier. 

We did, braved the rain, and the slippery rocks.

Fox was nearer to the road, we went as a family which included a 3 year old.

The Franz Josef (Ka Roimata o Hinehukatere in Māori) is a 12 km (7.5 mi) long glacier located in Westland Tai Poutini National Park on the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island. Together with the Fox Glacier 20 km (12 mi) to the south, it is unique in descending from the Southern Alps to less than 300 metres (980 ft) above sea level, amidst the greenery and lushness of a temperate rainforest[

Thursday, May 24, 2012

FSO: Made by hand - YoYo quilting

My secondary school teachers, Mr. Johnson and Miss Mamora. At the right is me, you see my very beautiful Sarawak beads. (Photo taken in Dec 1999)

Making rosettes or “Yo-Yo” or Suffolk puffs. A pair of very sharp scissors, a round shape like a can or CD disc to make your template. Trace out circles on fabric. Fold over/hem at the edge and make neat tiny running stitch to the entire edge. Gentle pull the thread to form gathers. You should get a round rosette. To the Chinese, you will think they look like Cha Siew Bao or Chinese roast buns.

When you have enough discs, join them side by side to get strips and lastly join the strips so each disc is attached at four ends.

I added a pair of reading glasses. When you reach half a century, you need glasses to make neat dainty stitches.

make tiny running stitch round the fabric before you pull the thread to make gathers.
Cut disc left, rosette right, the rosette is less than half the diameter.
Choose a not too stiff material. My friend's top was made with silk cotton. If you look at the red discs, the hole in the centre is too big. No good for quilts, but ok for making toys. The lime green and purple material is soft, so the gathering is done beautifully and the hole is very small. For the bigger disc, I made lace disc to cover the big hole. You can also make lace discs and use them to make hair accessories. These ones are experimental ones, it was more than 25 years ago when I last made them to make a clown.

  I have been wanting to make these discs since Christmas. My colleague wore this top to our Christmas function. At the collar of her top, were these disc. It brought me back to my childhood. Known in USA as yo-yo quilting or Japanese Fabric embroidery.

I dedicate this post to my domestic Science teacher Miss Ada Mamora.( The woman in the photo, taken with my British teacher Mr. Johnson during my 28th reunion of our fifth formers in 1999. )It was 26 year since I saw my teachers as I finished my form 6 in Methodist school in Sibu.

Miss Mamora taught me domestic science when I was 13. She taught me to make things made by hand.  We did fabric dying, cross stitch and others I couldn't name or forgotten. She didn't teach me the above Japanese fabric embroidery. She taught my older sister, and I learn it from her. My sister made a clown in school. In 1985 I made one for my first baby who is now my 27th year old daughter.  It was one of it's kind and I was very proud of it. I had friends from all over the world and they had never seen something like that.

Going back to my colleague's top, I told her, I know how to make the discs. She was surprised because she had never heard anyone making them. Earlier this year, a student was wearing a dress with a few of these on the front of her dress. I was more determined to make it as I couldn't explain to my friends from Germany, England and Fiji. 

I asked my second daughter if she like a quilt made with these discs, since I had made a quilt for big daughter, and a cross stitch picture for my son.  It doesn't take a lot of time to make one disc, but it takes very meticulous and nimble fingers to make them, I will let you know if I do finish the quilt. You need to make thousands and thousands of these discs. So I am not very hopeful. Yo-yo quilts were very popular in the 1930′s and 1940′s.

If you have made something with these discs, I shall love to hear from you.

Friday My Town Shoot Out for 5/26: Made by Hand

link to Mr Linky at the Friday shoot out link below.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Outdoor Wed/Thursday Song: Goodbye Robin Gibbs

And the Children laughing: The happiest time for children is the day Santa comes to town.

The children might still be singing, but to many grown ups especially those of my generation, we are not singing. Robin Gibbs of the Bee Gees died of cancer at 62. He died on Sunday after a long suffering.

Last November, he toured New Zealand with the Pointer Sisters. The water engineer and I went to listen to him, a birthday present from our daughter.

I choose this song because I love children, and I work with them: And the Children laughing

Thank you Robin, thank you all the Bee Gee brothers, for making us laugh.

And The Children Laughing :
 Well, I've been working up a fever trying to
 straighten up the mess in my mind about this place,
 I can't contain myself anymore,
 can't you see it's written all over my face?
 Why don't you get on your feet?
 It's about time you got to think
 whatever happened to peace?
 Well, open your eyes and you'll see children laughing,
 voices singing, hearts beating.

 You're always talking right and talking about
 the world and its corruption and moral decay,
 but what you gonna do about it? Nothing,
 'cause you're more like children than children while they play,
 Why you're so clean through and through you won't shake hands
 with a negro who's maybe cleaner than you.
 Well, listen around and you'll hear children laughing,
 voices singing, hearts beating like they always do,
 so what's wrong with you?

 You're so blown up with anger about the world,
 you write the songs about it all,
 yet you don't even know your neighbour's name.
 And now you want to go to the moon and live there,
 when you know it'll only end up the same.
 How can he give you any gratitude,
 with your endless sickening attitude?
 You strive to get ahead
 but you leave each other dead.
 Can't you see children laughing,
 voices singing, hearts beating like they always do?
 So what's wrong with you?

 Children laughing, voices singing hearts beating.
 Children laughing, voices singing, hearts...

Our World: Brunei Airport

Soon I will be making a flight out of New Zealand, away from the cold winter, to the hot tropics. I recount the trip I made a few years ago, and found that this post which I did for my other blog;

was featured in

Brunei Airport

Mitra World Media. World Media Resources On The Net. GMT:2012-05-21 10:00:58.
Media IconThis page contains a list of information about brunei airport that collected from credible media resources: CNN, TIME Magazine, FoxNews, BBC, ABC News, New York Times, CBS, Sky News, Reuters, World Magazine, US News, Newsweek, News of the World, etc. We also provide some recommendation so you can surf the internet faster and fun. Make sure to visit other pages that (may) related to brunei airport:

It is a great privilege to be listed and getting a lot of viewing. I don't know how long they had been listing it, as I don't normally check my blogs. But I did get a lot of views. May be I should make a detour during my next trip and drop in and get some VIP treatment.

We arrived from Auckland via Brisbane on Brunei Airlines. It was a long haul and we arrived in the morning.

This was a big column, the windy stairs leads up to the first class lounge. It also lead downstairs to the mens and ladies, there were showers, baby rooms, short term bed rooms, and a prayer room.

The information center had a lot of brochures but no personnel.

Upon arrival, you are greeted by masked health personnel. If you have a temperature, they make you sit outside the transit lounge.

Here's the sign where you can sign up for the various tours and the free tour if you are a transit passenger.

Sam and I flew on July 2 at 3 am from Auckland. It meant I had been up from Wednesday morning, and there wasn't any point to go to bed on Wednesday evening. Why did we fly Royal Brunei? Well, beggars can't be choosers. This was an impromptu trip and we wanted the cheapest flight even if it meant a transit of ten hours on our way there.

The flight was uneventful, and I had been told by my friend D who had flown before that they blessed the flight before flying. To the uninitiated, it is quite a long prayer. There no alcohol, not that I complain because I don't drink very much. I was unimpressed by the food though. A flight of nine hours usually would have a decent meal. They consider kids seventeen and below as kids, and Sam felt quite funny when the stewardess gave him a kiddy pack. Sam enjoyed the computer games.

Just before arrival, we were given a health declaration form as it was the height of the H1N1. After getting off the aero-bridge, we saw giant scanners. All the personnel in the airport wore masks. This included the cleaners and staff at the duty first shops. I noticed a row of passenger with masks on sitting just outside the transit lounge. I presume they had a temperature and were refused entry into Brunei.

The stewardess told me in the plane that Royal Brunei offered free city tour. But for B$40, we could get off and have a meal and do some shopping.I paid for the later, and met a Middle East Mum and son, and a British couple. We had a good tour of mainly palaces, mosques, big buildings. The guide took us to this I presume a Government tourist info place and eating stall. For B$1, you get to eat some rice and veg and curry meat. We ate, and I spoke to two friendly Brunei girls. I suppose being a mum and son, we are less threatening, both men and women would talk to us. I did my bit of promotion for New Zealand.

After the meal, Sam was so hot. He went to the men's room and drenched himself slashing water all over him. He went to the bus saying he didn't want to tour any more and wanted to get back to the airport. Fortunately, they refunded our money. We still had about five hours to muck around. People were lying across chairs and sleeping. This was because the flight from Auckland to London had a ten hours stopover in Brunei, and Vice versa. Passengers from London had the same wait.

Here's a funny story about Starbucks and internet. I was transit for 10 hours in Brunei on my way to Singapore this July. There was a sign, free internet at the Starbucks. Of course i didn't want to be "Shameless" according the Chinese saying, or don't want face. So I got a muffin for Sam, and we surfed the net to our heart's content there were no other customers.

At 7 pm, we left Royal Brunei and arrived in Singapore at 9pm. I told my sister Grace and Deborah that we could have arrived in London if we had taken a normal flight. But I can't complain, I got a bonus holiday to Mulu caves, which was such a fantastic holiday.

Two weeks in Singapore and some days in West Malaysia, meeting up with friends and relatives we have not seen for 3 year was such a nostalgic time. All too soon, we were off again.

On our way back, we headed to the same Starbucks. This time there were a lot of youngsters ,but I was just before them, and I just typed my first email, when everything went blank. Sam was still queuing for his muffin. I even got to talk to three Canadian girls who had spent a couple of weeks in Thailand, and they were going to Australia.

The Starbucks employee came to tell us, the computers were for customers. I told her my son was queuing to buy some food. The Canadian girls didn't have any more Brunei money. There was no internet connection, the youngsters suspected they turned the computer off.

Then it was time to board the plane. On this flight, there were no stewardess, all handsome men and young too. What a grand finale.Goodbye Brunei, we are going back to New Zealand.

I have been posting snippets of our holiday on my other blog: You may like to pay a visit.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Photohunt: Auckland Town hall

The Auckland Town Hall is a historic building on Queen Street in downtown AucklandNew Zealand, known both for its original and ongoing use for administrative functions (such asCouncil meetings and hearings), as well as for its famed Great Hall and its separate Concert Chamber. The Town Hall and its surrounding context is highly protected as a 'Category A' heritage place in the city's district plan.


Town Hall entrance from Queen Street.

Overhead view of the Town Hall at night.


Opened on 14 December 1911 by Lord Islington, then the Governor of New Zealand, the building is one of the most prominent heritage structures onQueen Street. Costing £ 126,000 to construct, 

The water engineer and I had my university graduation ceremonies there.

I know this post is to feature our Town Hall, Town halls are not just the infrastructure of buildings. It is the people who live in the city. I like to introduce to the lovely people who run this Garden-NZ, I want to make a special mention because these are incredible people.

I went to visit a friend in West Auckland and saw this lovely plant with beautiful flowers in her neighbours garden. I asked my friend who asked her neighbour. He didn't know but offered me a sapling.

I sent a photo to Garden-NZ . They not only ID my plant, but to be sure, they posted this story. In New Zealand, as a teacher, I would say, Paki Paki your shoulder. Thanks Garden-NZ.  The world would be a more pleasant place if more people are helpful like them.
iochroma-annchin.jpgAt Garden-NZ we don’t like to blow our own trumpet, but when the challenge was offered by reader, Ann Chin, for us to identify this plant, we called in the cavalry.

Ann located this plant in a garden in Massey, West Auckland. The mystery shrub was approximately two metres tall. After rounding up the usual (and the more unusual) suspects, we think we have an answer for her.

Iochroma is an evergreen shrub that can grow to over three metres in height. Characterised by its trumpet-shaped flowers, which come in a variety of colours including purple and blue, this shrub is from a genus of roughly 34 species originating in South America.

Blooming in clusters of up to 20 flowers at the ends of the branches, Iochroma is fast growing and flowers from spring through to autumn. In the absence of frosts, however, it can bloom year-round.

The leaves are typically between 12 and 20cm in length and seven to eight centimetres wide. These shrubs also produce soft berries.  

Because of its rapid growth, those who have one or more Iochroma in the garden will need to prune them to maintain shape and encourage new blooms. That said, pruning should be avoided this time of year when the colder weather sets in. Slack growth should be staked. 

Although we may fancy ourselves as garden gurus, we have been known to be wrong before and identification from a single ‘mug shot’ is often tricky. So... if anyone out there thinks we may have the wrong man, please email us at: 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Sunday Stills Pink:: Sands Manukau

Sands mums wear pink hearts and butterflies to the memory of their deceased babies we call angels. Here is Sarah Numan  who runs Sands Manukau 24 hours. She has 3 angels, Hope, Noah , Willow and 5 living living. 
A Sands mum, I should ask Sarah if this mum has two angels.
 The "feathers" that lined the course were flapping high.  "Run Sarah Run." This was 2010. She didn't run this year, but was there to man the stand.
 The finish line was pink.
 2010 stand, lots of pink things you can't see. They reach out to people in their greatest time of needs and give them support..
 2012, the words of their mission in their banners were pink
 The women who ran and the women who stayed at the stand. Sarah with Josie Apelu, Sonia Prasad, Nina Numan, Annie OChen and Heather Clark.
 Baby Loss Awareness (NZ),  makes goodies.

 Booties that our babies didn't wear and worn out. I keep a pair too for my Andrew.
 Stickers with names of our babies who had become angels., 2010. Look below, where Annie is standing, the heart is now covered with pink and blue stickers of our angels' names in 2012.

 The sky turned out a pink show.
For all the Sands mums, a cyber pink rose bud for you from me.

There is a group of very active women and men in Manukau in Greater Auckland who belong to a club I sadly belong to. It is the club of bereaved parents or Sands.  Like me, they are belong not my choice but by compulsion. Because they themselves had gone through the pain of losing their babies, they understand and are better to comfort other parents. These ladies do a lot more than other chapters. 

They took part in the Duathlon either by running or manning the stand at Ambury Regional Park at Mangere Bridge.

These are the photos I took from their Facebook during the 2010 and 2012 event.

Contact Info

Hi Ed, a very unusual occasion for Pink. Thanks for this challenge. Just the right opportunity for my cause.

Sunday Stills, the next challenge: The Colour Pink