Friday, April 25, 2014

FSO Let the bells ring, remembering Barry.

I remember Barry, He was the first few bloggers who became my real friend. Barry too, like me is a bereaved parent. We share something painful, but it changed us.


This bell was given to me by Bernard Bell. Bernard too has passed on, and Bernard was a bereaved parent too. He traveled round the world and perform magic shows for free.


Let the bells ring, I say Hi to Linda,.

So many of our participants are new so I thought that this week I would show and tell you one small bit of our history.  For those that have been with us nearly from the beginning will remember this and hope that you add your comments to help round out my story.  This is about how we were a group of friends, knowing each other only through blogging and The Friday Shoot-out, but caring about one another regardless.
We, the FSO Gang, got started in the early part of 2009 and one of the original 10 or so, was Barry of An Explorer's View.  He quickly became a favorite within our group plus 600 odd followers out in BlogWorld.  Almost from the beginning, we knew he had been diagnosed with a rare throat cancer and was battling for his life.  His writing brought us in and made us care about his struggle.  We got to know his wife Linda, and his special dog, Lindsey.  The battle became very personal to us all.
During a post about one of his visits for chemo, he talked about the bell that stood outside of the hospital that was rung by patients in celebration of a completion of another round of Chemo.  The idea flew around the globe, at 2 O'clock his local time, he would ring the bell and we, wherever we were, within our own time zone, we would ring a bell with him.  Here is my ringing of the bells for Barry.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Save the world: eat the weeds.

In our National Television, I like watching the cooking shows. One of the things I learn is everything you put on the plate must be edible.

This includes the flowers which I thought were decorations. Oxalis is a weed, but both flowers and leaves are edible. It is sour, and I am reminded of the Rosale leaves which used to be discarded can be used in a salad.

Friday, April 18, 2014

FSO: Museum in Sarawak and Auckland

When you have walked in the humid and hot Kuching town, the air conditioned building of the Sarawak Museum is a heavenly place to be in even if you are not into culture and artifacts. But once, inside, you won't regret going in.

The Sarawak State Museum is the oldest museum in Borneo. It was established in 1888 and opened in 1891 in a purpose-built building in Kuching, Sarawak. Sponsored by Charles Brooke, the second White Rajah of Sarawak, the establishment of the museum was strongly encouraged by Alfred Russel Wallace. It was modeled on a town hall in Normandy.

It is eye opening to see models of the habitats of different people and animals. I was always awed by the giant whale bones. When you climbed into a replica of a long house, you are feel with reverence for the darken smoked skulls hanging up the roofs. You see, One of the inhabitants of Borneo were head hunters.

Auckland Museum

Thursday, April 10, 2014

YMCA garden

A year ago, we went to replant the garden at Mt Albert YMCA. A year later, only the ferns and one bromeliard survive.

The water engineer. (Below) loves his water.
 This was Before, barely surviving Hen and Chicks fern. I gave them a bad hair cut.
 Beautiful bromeliards, makes me think of Grand Pa's pineapple garden when I was young in Borneo.
 Posing with the YMCA manager Jill.
 Robyn working very hard.
 Finished garden.  Come back in two weeks.
Today and tomorrow is our Love where you Live Community Service weekend. Together with The YMCA manager Jill Gibson and our church member Robyn (who also works at YMCA) the water engineer spent this morning transforming a drought stricken garden into a beautiful instant garden at YMCA.

It was good to have a man to do the digging. And I brought my camera to capture some of the hard working people.

Love Where You Live, a Community Service Weekend, is on this Saturday and Sunday - 13-14th April. We're inviting everyone in the area to love where they live by making this an even better place to live. As such, a number of community agencies are coming together this weekend around some key projects. Can you join us and get the word out to all your friends and networks too?

Official projects will include: Gardening, litter collection, painting, building, random acts of kindness, Salvation Army & food bank drop offs and much

All the details of the projects and how to get involved can be found at

FSO: Weather Changes

April is a transition time for us. We have been getting foggy weather, and it poured this afternnon.


Weather Changes [Friday My Town Shoot Out]

I don't know about you but the weather here has been very inconsistent, with sun and rain interchanging day in and day out. That's why we thought that this weeks theme should be about weather in our towns. Of course this doesn't have to be about the current weather. Be creative. For what weather is your town or city known for? What big weather events do you know of? Or simply, what's the April weather in your parts of the world. Show us and link up for everyone to see!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Alphabe-Thursday. Letter U for umbrella

Special umbrellas shading the statues of Buddha in Auckland New Zealand, during the Songkran festival of the Thai people.  It is also known
as the water splashing festival.

Jenny Matlock

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Drums at the Thai Songkran festival.

colourfully decorated drums at the Thai Songkran festival.
Photo: colourfully decorated drums at the Thai Songkran festival.

Drums at the Thai Songkran festival.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

RSS snapshots


We provide RSS snapshots

RSS data is continuously growing as the number and content of RSS feeds on the internet grows.
We capture snapshots of RSS feeds as their contents are udpated. These snapshots can be accessed by browsing through the list of snapshots for each RSS and the articles listed in each snapshot.

Friday, April 4, 2014

FSO:Out and About your town.

 Every Sunday, when I go to church, I drive pass my local public library where they circulate my books, I wonder who is reading my books.
 At my Asian grocery store, I see this machine. is it also called a forklift?
 Electronic payment is everywhere. sometimes, you can't find a dollar in my wallet.

Autumn/ Fall has arrived, and we have foggy mornings.

The weather still entices people to the beach.
April 4: Out and About - Take us on a walk through your town. What are the sights you see when you are out doing your daily or weekly chores, or when you are out for some leisure? (by Barb)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Alphabe-Thursday Letter T for Toadstool

a signal station for shipping, artillery emplacements and various concrete army bunkers, some from as early as the 1870s.

The red and white air vents camouflaged as toadstool on Mt Victoria were secretly painted by a couple of Devonport youths in 1988. I shudder to think if there was an air raid, the red color would give away what they are.

On Sunday, we crossed the Auckland Harbour Bridge and went to Devonport and drove up the summit of Mt Victoria. Named after Queen Victoria, the hill provides panoramic views of Auckland's Waitemata Harbour and the inner Hauraki Gulf.

Over the years the peak and upper slopes have housed a signal station for shipping, artillery emplacements and various concrete army bunkers, some from as early as the 1870s.

It has been used extensively for defence and still has the typical bank and ditch pattern of a Maori fortified site, as well as 19th and 20th century bunkers and ammunition storage tunnels which can be explored, and guns aimed out over the harbour entrance.

A newly opened park above Narrow Neck Beach is Fort Takapuna Historic Reserve which has in the past housed both Navy and Army.

This place holds nostalgic feelings for me. When my late father in law came almost 30 years ago, I drove him and made the same trip as I did on Sunday. He was very game and climbed down the bunkers. I did too with my eighteen month old daughter D.

search/label/Alphabe-Thursday. Jenny Matlock

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Alphabe-Thursday. letter T for The Trip


Prince William and Kate with baby George will visit New Zealand on Monday. Today, I was teaching my adult ESOL students about another Royal visit when Prince Charles and Princess Diana came. I was working in a 7 storeys  building, and we took turns using the elevator. My boss had given us 5 minutes to go down to Queen street. We took our time going back to the office, and the boss wasn't happy. We pointed and said," the elevator."

search/label/Alphabe-Thursday. Jenny Matlock