A Week Without Camera

28 Apr 2015 – Appreciations For Pix From Others

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Mon: bought an I-Discovery Uni-App Charger S$45 and learning how to use both the charger and this inherited Nikon S70 – a touch-screen affair is touchy and NOT my forte! Will give it a try until I get another hand-me down Canon. PixCredits to I-Discovery and Nikon sites.

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Dear cousin Amy in CA/USA. Thank you for this amazing postcard. Having fun with it like a kid – flipping it at different angles to see the effects. Yeah the camera works but I am not getting it quite right!

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These beautiful images reminded me of orchid shows where and when I tired to set up similar motif but due to the lack of budget and orchids they never turned out like these!

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No longer helping with set-ups of any shows or publications, just admiring and enjoying them. PixCredits to various sites for these peacock flower set-ups.

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Bringing back fond memories of the first and best SIN Orchid Festival at SBG in 2003. (ie personal rating from me as a member of The Orchid Society of South East Asia/OSSEA then).

Given 2 boxes of orchids, an attempt to set up a humble & modest peacock with Fred (no other helping hands!) in HKG&Taiwan 2004 Orchid Show.

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Also involved in the publication of the Malayan Orchid Review/MOR for a nearly decade and still with minimum knowledge of orchids then and now 🙂

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Vanda Miss Joaquim/卓锦万代兰/卓錦萬代蘭 – also known as the SIN Orchid and the Princess Aloha Orchid is a hybrid orchid cultivar that is SIN national flower. For its resilience and year round blooming quality, it was chosen on 15Apr 1981 to represent SIN uniqueness and hybrid culture. PixCredits to various sites.

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10360841_10153350865433081_3407912922993057991_nA rose can say I love you
Orchids can enthrall
But a weed bouquet in a chubby fist,
Yes, that says it all…

Thank you May for the lovely Olai pix. This is how feel when I think of Linn, May & their families – ie I feel it in my fingers and toes 🙂

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1BXTqRTGCw

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Appreciations to KK for bringing the 2books of the Iceland pix. Tkx to Peggy&Ian for these books and memorable shots. Experimenting with the Nikon S70 camera for OSSEA, MOR and Iceland books pix…

Tue: trying to keep to the brighter and more cheerful moments in the midst of the sad news with the drowning of migrants in the Mediterranean, Chile’s volcano eruption, Nepal’s earthquake, rapes, executions, and the list goes on. No pix needed for such depressing scenes.

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New places to visit when I get back from US and Norway are the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum.

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The National Gallery and LCKNH Museum PixCredits to various sites.

 

A Decade Ago

26 Apr 2015 – Does Not Seem That Long Ago…

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PixCredits and updates thanks to MoFo, Pokey, HiHills and Loon who are now on the AT. Looking forwarding to catching up with them sometime between May-Jun.

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Would be nice to be a trail and Trillum Angel, but without the 8 pockets red-vest 🙂 PixCredits to Loon taken 23 May 2005 somewhere between Roan Mt – Dennis Cove NC/TN.

Thu: morning at Mt E. Needed the afternoon to sort out the mess with unpacking and repacking for the US. Still no camera but will update post with pix when I get one! Just staying in the AC apt to chill and rest, My times are completely upside down but will be heading for the US soon. Not too bothered about napping whenever the need is there!

7bec47f4e2_192x272_377b42e82bFri: The Longest Ride****Elderly widower Ira  recollects his memories of his late wife and their life together as she appears to him, while a few miles away, college student Sophia finds unexpected love through Luke, a cowboy who is also a bull-rider…

A fairy tale ending with attractive young casts and a feel good movie!

c24d06382f_192x272_ecad7fec67While We Were Young***Josh and Cornelia, a married couple in their mid-forties who do not have any children, start to feel left out after realizing that their other friends are already having children.

A young hipster couple Jamie and Darby catch their attention and get reminded of what it’s like to be young again…

Sat: checked out cameras at Challenger with Clement but did not buy any yet as I might inherit one. Was looking at some kitchen appliances which could be quite useful, but was put off by the staff there. Will write in to complain about that! Tkx for Clement’s patience and for food.

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It poured cats and dogs both Fri & Sat afternoons and felt nice and cool after the rains.

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Saddened by Nepal’s earthquake with death toll over 1,000. SIN prepares to send 55-man search-and-rescue team to Nepal. Prayers and thoughts out to all who are affected by this.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-32467986

Sun: tkx for dinner Les&Ivy and for the Nikon CoolPix S70 camera. Need to get a battery charger and figure how to use it.

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Reflections On Brunei & Miri

23 Apr 2015 – Goodbye Brunei, Miri And Camera

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Tue: congratulations to my first born for completing the Boston Marathon and beating her 2014 time by nearly 10mins. Good job Linn, so proud of her.

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Headed off to Miri and was there by noon. Checked into the Kingsely Hotel, decent clean room with bathroom attached – good deal S$58. The ceiling shower felt like refreshing tropical rains and the best shower I have experienced. Good afternoon snooze. Was told by LuLu that the receptionist told her that he did not think I was in the room when she called. Lulu told him to just put the call thru’. Now how difficult it is to put a call thru’???  PixCredits KingsleyHotel.

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IMG_8561My camera decided to run away between the cake shop and the Esplanade Beach  😦 (PixCredits VariousSites) Thank goodness all pix were loaded to hard disk.

Anyway it is time for a new camera as there is a piece of S-shaped dust stuck in-between the lenses and sometimes one can see it clearly and it is rather annoying!!!

Tkx to Lulu for a great evening and pix credits to her.

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Sunset at Canada Hill. We were trying to get to the Cafe for dinner but at the looks of it, I think that place has packed up for good!

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‘The Sky Garden’ alfresco dinning 17th floor Meritz Hotel. Best Satay I have tasted and even better with the moon smiling on us…

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Night scenes in Miri.

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Like many places in the world, the social consciousness with maintenance of the environment are still lacking. Being a visitor to these places, will only show the pix of the best sides but does not mean that I am not aware of the other sides but choose not to dwell on them.

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Magnificent as those mosques are in Brunei, I just cannot help thinking how this extravagance including the life-style of the royal family could have been used for the people and the nation for education, environment and health. The consequences of total power is usually total corruption.

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Others might think that there is charm and soul to these scenes. Panoramic pix credits to Leonard. Personally it is nice for a short holiday, but preference of places where education, environment and medical top the priorities are places where I will stay a little longer, like these 10 countries.

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http://edition.cnn.com/2015/04/23/travel/feat-world-happiest-countries-2015/index.html

Appreciate a good and constructive relevant dialog here, especially with one from UK, the other from S America – coincidentally Liz and Brian spent their childhood years in SIN. Makes it more interesting and less subjective. Tkx Liz and Brain for their comments.

Liz O’Regan/UK: interesting that most of them are Northern cold countries.

Me: less populated and more space.

Brian Hadfield/S America: I do not think that this accurate it is a snapshot of more Westernised countries another survey voted colombia as the happiest country in the World but who knows how they do this.I do see with all my travels that generally the countries that still have a bit of their culture remaining are more content which just goes to show that democracy is not the always the best way

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Me: all these statistics etc are relative. This is the only list that I have been to all the countries listed and having lived in Norway, I am of course bias and subjective about the Nordic countries…

the-next-chapter-1-470x264Wed: appreciations to LuLu for getting me to the airport and for breakfast – the Kolo Mee was disappointing. Everything on schedule with AirAsia, safe and sound back in SIN and looking forward to buying a new camera.

Goodbye Brunei

21 Apr 2015 – Boston Marathon

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Sun: beautiful sunset from the coast of Brunei out to the S China Sea. Goodnight sun. The real thing looks better and the beauty of nature can sometimes move one to tears…

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Appreciations to Husna, Nidzam and Yashreen for sharing their time and food. Nidzam was home for the weekend and bought back a bunch of food from a wedding and some home-made kelupis (glutinous rice rolls) attended. The tumpi were crispy and flaky, nice plain without any sauce.

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Yashreen’s parents brought enough bananas to feed an army. They have a banana farm with 7 different varieties and the 3 – Kapas, Saba and Amas were plenty. And the Minions Banana Song to go with these tummy and sweet bananas… 🙂

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQQvanCpC3Q

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IMG_9024Was attracted to this colourful dessert – bought some to taste and they are good, but I am sure all the colouring is not that healthy for the body. Crispy cones (similar to CNY Love-Letters) filled with chocolate.

No did not buy this bag of frozen mixed veg but it did get my attention 🙂 Preferred the local fresh veg, especially the wild kind from the jungle which I did not get much of as the farmers’ market was only opened on certain days…

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Mon: blessed with 3 horn-bills enjoying their view and I am also soaking in the green jungle before heading back to the concrete jungle…

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Sunset at the farm and the colours are different but just as mesmerizing as yesterday’s sunset by the sea. Somehow the sunsets and the colours of the sky here are quite breath-taking and it is never the same.

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Leonard taking care of garbage and nothing goes to waste as the ashes will be used as fertilizer. Relaxing at the end of the day with Nidzam and Yashreen looking into the gender of some fighting fish…

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Thank you Leonard for putting me up and putting up with me the past 2 weeks. Being back to the basic and with nature does a world of good mentally and physically. Looking forward to hearing and seeing the progress of Adeela.

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As I say goodnight here, Linn started her run at the 119th Boston Marathon 1050hrs Boston time. Hope that she will PR (3:42:04 was her time for 2014 Boston Marathon) and a safe run to her. Olai is cheering her on in Norway and I will cheer her into the finish line in my dreams unless I wake up after 0200hrs!

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Adeela Concept

19 April 2015 – Moving And Still Life

Sat & Sun: a blissful weekend at the farm observing life in all forms and shapes, reflecting on thoughts from the past week…

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Domesticated life

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Wild life

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Beautiful and colourful still life in lush green surroundings with a nice shady spot for the car where I can vision a tree-house there in the future 🙂

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Quite amazing looking at the ariel view to learn that the whole farm (10+aces) was virgin jungle a year ago. Denis & Leonard cleared it, setting up the farm and living quarters (blue roof area) with minimal machinery and a few helpers to just pour concrete for the flooring in this unbearable heat. Total admiration and respect to them as I sit under the shade by a powerful fan hoping that cool words are not burnt in the fried brains…

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The Adeela Concept has much potentials combining a sea-bass hatchery, and nursery for the students from the fishery and agricultural school as attachments. Eventually a full fish farm will be the result when the ponds are ready to sustain the mature fish. The teething period is always painful but that too shall pass…

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Nidzam and Yashreen are here on attachment and so far they are attentive, cooperative and willing to ask questions – good signs. Also they are eating whatever I cook, another better sign 🙂 Training and disciplining them to learn the daily chores and responsibilities of other life than their own and also to handle the mundane monotony of cleaning tanks and feeding fish. Time will tell when the novelty wears out…

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Plans and visions are to build some shelters by the ponds and the Danau River. Sometimes visions will have to wait as the priority has to be the reality! More important for now is to set up a reputable sea-bass hatchery and nursery to cover cost and preferably with some profits for improving the facilities. Focus on the present to give future its turn when the time is right to move on.

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With Leonard running this place, there is no doubt that things will move forward in good time. Disadvantage is that this country is packed with bureaucracies and red-tapes!! Good luck and may the Force be with all who are involved here at Adeela – a just and worthy concept to pursue.

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Provision stalls and eateries within 5-15mins walk from the farm.

Sight is about what lies right in front of us. Vision is what lies ahead – TH Church

Bandar Seri Begawan

17 Apr 2015 – Brunei’s Capital

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Thu: Yashreen, one of the attachments had to make a presentation at school in town. Took the opportunity to see a bit of the capital, app 70km and an hour drive on the highway from the farm.

These 2 mosque were on my list to see.

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Jame’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque locally known as the Kiarong Mosque, built in 1992 and is Brunei’s largest mosque is to celebrate the 25th year of the current sultan’s reign.

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I wonder how many tons of marble is used for the entrance stairs and the 30+outdoor benches??

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A mosque that is indescribable! The architecture is amazing! There are 29 gold domes, all of 24K gold-plated! Boy, do they ever shine in the sun! The fence posts are 18k gold. The fountains are beautiful.

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The long hall to hold shoes is unbelievable. If you go, ladies must have a scarf for her head. No shorts. Pix not allowed indoors.

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Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque is an Islamic mosque, considered as one of the most beautiful mosques in the Asia Pacific, a major landmark and a tourist attraction of Brunei.

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Built in an artificial lagoon on the banks of the Brunei River at Kampong Ayer – the ‘village in the water. The mosque has marble minarets and golden domes, a courtyard and is surrounded by a large number of trees and floral gardens. A marble bridge leads to a structure in the lagoon meant as a replica of a 16th Century Sultan Bolkiah Mahligai Barge.

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The barge itself was completed in 1967 to commemorate the 1,400th anniversary of Nuzul Al-Quran and was used to stage the Quran reading competitions.

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Kampong Ayer, or the Water Village is situated over Brunei Bay. 39,000 people live in there, roughly ten percent of the nation’s total population. All of the Water Village buildings are constructed on stilts above the Brunei River.

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Not much time to take pix, just these 2 random shots by the mosques.

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Fri: found this beautiful bug dead outside my bedroom door Mallotus Harlequin Bug Cantao parentum, commonly known as Jewel Bug.

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Tkx for the visit Kay (an English teacher here) and a pleasure to meet her. Way to go Nidzam and Yashreen for a good demonstration to the guest.

61By action life may become both paradise and hell;
This creature of dust in its nature is neither of light nor of fire.

Brunei Kuih/Kuey/Kueh

15 Apr 2015 – For The Sweet Tooth…

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Tue: 5-10mins drive to the mouth of the Danau River on one side and the S China Sea on the other side. Oil-rigs could be seen from a distance but was too early for sunset shots. Sad to see litter and garbage all around.

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Tkx for the drive, Nidzam and Yashreen

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Wed: Pumba the tom-cat was waiting for me outside my bedroom to ride with him this morning. To his disappointment, I went for a solo walk around the farm.

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Kuih (also spelled Indonesian: kue, Hokkien/Teochew: kueh or kway; from the Hokkien: 粿 koé) are bite-sized snack or dessert foods commonly found in this area. Kuih is a fairly broad term which may include items that would be called cakes, cookies, dumplings, pudding, biscuit, or pastries in English and are usually made from rice or glutinous rice. Kuih stall in Brunei and kueh stall in Miri.

Tkx to Husna for the 4 varieties of kuih for breakfast this morning.

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Kuih Lenggang: these green Spring roll-looking literally means Wiggle cake! It’s a pandan crepe filled with sweet dessicated coconut

Cucur Ubi: deep-fried shredded sweet potato.

Egg tart: on the rich side and the filling is more eggy.

Blueberry tart: similar to the Western ones.

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Leonard bought these a few nights ago and always fun to taste new food.

Kuih Penyaram or kuih UFO! main ingredients rice & corn flour, coconut milk, palm sugar/gula melaka known in Malaysia, but here in Brunei it is call gula anau.

Kuih Denderam: sweet snack resembles a mini doughnut but is made from palm sugar.

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Not easy here with daily cleaning and feeding. Leonard and the crew hard at work and deserve a good rest at the end of the day.

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Sunset and starlight from the farm – Mother Nature at her best. Starlight pix credit to Leonard.

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