Wednesday, December 23, 2020



The year was 1973. This is a photo of my mum, Mary Wah Kiew Chan Nee Kong.
On this day, I remember her and how she was taken away from us twenty one years ago at the age of sixty. Gone but not forgotten in her children's heart.
The second World War came and altered her life. She lived as a teenager during the war, and became a war bride.
For fear of forcedly made into a Japanese Sex Worker, my grand parents married her to an unknown man at fifteen. Loved blossomed and together, they had nine children.
This photo of Mum was taken as a group photo of some of my siblings as we were at the airport to farewell Elizabeth, the day of her engagement to Kalang.
Mum was dressed in a Kebaya, the national dress of Malaysia. People asked if she was a Malaysian Airlines stewardess. She smiled and said she was too old. We teased that she should have told them she was the director of the stewardess. At this time, she was the DEO's wife.
I wish my children got to know her, except for D, the others have not seen their wonderful grandma.
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Christmas pudding


My friend A, gave me this English Christmas pudding.
 this is the real McCoy, she made it herself from her old English recipe.
Here is my sister Grace demonstrating, "How to serve Pudding."
1: Steam the pudding
2: Pour brandy over the pudding.
3: Light the pudding until it flames all over,
4: Smell the delicious aroma.
5: Eat the pudding with custard and ice cream
my thoughts, stories and articles: How to serve a Christmas Pudding
my thoughts, stories and articles: How to serve a Christmas Pudding

giant prawns from Austrlia


Giant garlic butter prawn from Australia

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Meryta sinclairii, the puka or pukanui,


Meryta sinclairii, the puka or pukanui, is a large-leaved evergreen tree endemic to New Zealand that grows to about 8 m tall, with the distinctly tropical appearance typical of the genus. There are about 27 species of Meryta, all small, resinous trees of the subtropical and tropical Pacific Ocean. Wikipedia

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Monday, December 21, 2020

Wall climbing

 my son used to do  wall climbing

passion fruit

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monkey cups or pitcher

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Nian Gao

  nian gao in Chinese around the house for lunar new year celebration is not unusual in our house and I know for many others too. Like I’ve mentioned before, lots of Chinese food carry auspicious meaning. The reason many people wants to have nian gao for lunar new year celebration because they want a “higher year”. By just saying the word “nian” means “year” and Gao means “high/tall” in this context. I think you can see what I’m trying to say here. Nian gao symbolizes a high year, an increase in prosperity 🙂 We simply call it “ti kue” in Hokkien, which means sweet cake.


Other sayings that the people give the sticky cake to the kitchen god so he couldn't report to the Heaven Gods.

Nian Gao Chinese New Year Cake (Kue Bakul) #niangao #niangaoinstantpot #niangaorecipe 



husbands cooking

 My friends were saying that the husbands seldom cook and I almost echoed mine too. Then he surprised me by cooking brunch.Image may contain: food

Winter Solstice


Happy winter solstice Monday, 21 December Dongzhi Festival 2020. Winter Solstice (Dongzhi, 冬至) is the 22nd solar term in the Chinese lunar calendar which marks the arrival of the bitterly cold winter season. On this day, the Chinese will eat dumplings or tangyuan, carrying an auspicious reference to the reunion of family
This marks the start of winter.
In olden agrarian society of China, this festival is an even more important festival than CNY, especially in families with aged parents or grandparents.
Winter is the most trying and health sapping of time. Many weak old people will not survive through. So there is a gathering of whole families on that night as it may be the final time for a few old timers.
As winter has onset, all harvesting has been done. Using the newly cropped rice, tang yuen is made and the round shape signifies the complete circle of family members on that day as it was partaken.
That's why there is also a saying that you are one year older after eating tang yuen. This is to promote the elders one more years in age to bring good karma to survive through the winter.
This festival is not religious, but cultural. Please remember each of your origin. Every civilised race with a history has many such significances. Your location or citizenship can never erase your DNA.
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winter solstice

 Image may contain: one or more people and indoorMy sister making the tang yuen with her grands.

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Today is winter solstice. The Chinese eat little glutinous rice balls called Tang Yuen. I didn't make them. I bought them from Lims, a Vietnamese store.Image may contain: food

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Two of my books circulated in the library.

 Two of my books circulated in the library.

a coffee table weather project for work.

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winter solstice.


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Today is winter solstice. The Chinese eat little glutinous rice balls called Tang Yuen. I didn't make them. I bought them from Lims, a Vietnamese store.
Today is winter solstice. The Chinese eat little glutinous rice balls called Tang Yuen. I didn't make them. I bought them from Lims, a Vietnamese store.

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Chinese deity, the Kitchen God

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Joseph Chok Hiu was born on the day the Chinese deity, the Kitchen God goes back to heaven on the twenty-third day of the lunar month just before Chinese New Year to report on the family’s behaviour of the past year.

We joked that nobody would forget Joseph’s birthday, not our Ah Tai, not our Grandmother Kong, or our Grandfather Chan. Joseph was deemed to be a very important person.We had our little “Kitchen God.” 

He was born in Chung Hua road, in the middle of the night accompanished by heavy torrential rain and thunder storm. A concerto announcing the arrival of a god. 

Though the Chung Hua Road house was a small terraced house and without a garden, it was a brick house. In Sibu, only the rich lived in brick houses. It was the first brick house we lived in.
Grandfather Chan said, “Joseph is a lucky boy. He was born in a brick house, and his father became a teacher of teachers.”
Grandfather Chan’s prediction came true. Father was promoted again and again. 

         Joseph studied in Canada, England and Australia. He has a very beautiful wife, Audrey and his own law firm. They live at Clear Water Bay, a private island on the Gold Coast. He has three sons which are so important to a Chinese family, not so much to Joseph and Audrey but to the Chans.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

a native penan blows her flute.

an old grinding stone

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 Plums for ChristmasImage may contain: plant, grass, outdoor, food and nature

electric cars

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Helpful bus driver


I saw this friendly and helpful bus driver. An old woman with a big box and few bags. The driver stopped the bus and helped her carry her stuff into the bus. When her destination, he carried her things out of the bus.

free USB

 free USB for bus rider

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Vriesea imperialis


Vriesea imperialis is truthfully one of the largest bromeliads of the world, reacing a height of 1,2 m tall in foliage, although it can take up to ten years to get to this size. It eventually bears a sturdy red flower stalk lined with clusters of ivory flowers up to 3-5 m tall when fully mature. The long-lasting flower stalk is very showy and resembles an ornate, upright chandelier. Vriesea imperialis is the most regal and is considered the signature species of this genus.
Stem: Very short, stocky and woody.

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stinkyiries berries

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boating in the mulu mountains


I went up the mountains at Mulu. This was part of the popular tourist itinerary. The river flow was swift. There were parts where the water was so shallow, they had to use poles to move the boat. We respected the power of the river by wearing life jackets and not over crowding the boats.Image may contain: 1 person, sitting, tree, outdoor and nature

giant gourd

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