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Sunday, August 2, 2020

Weird Sky

The sky has never quite looked like this before.

It was a  little past 10.00 pm when I took these photos.





Sunday, July 26, 2020

Chow Chow

The hubs and I were passing a parking lot when we spotted this friendly chow chow in a pickup truck.

The owner was nowhere to be seen.
We hopped into a pharmacy nearby to pick up some meds and according to the pharmacist who was attending to us, the dog in the truck is a familiar sight in this part of the neighbourhood.

Apparently, the owner stops by regularly to run an errand while the dog waits patiently in the truck!

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Taiwanese Braised Pork

Turns out, many of us were channelizing our inner master chefs during the lockdown and I must say my recipe repertoire has certainly expanded, thanks to the myriad Youtube videos that kept popping up in my feed.

It took a pandemic to help me rediscover the joys of home cooking!

I found my zen garden in the kitchen.
Taiwanese Braised Pork Belly

A recipe to share


There you go  an amazing rice bowl that is topped with aromatic, toothsome, caramelized, melt-in-your-mouth pork morsels and a braised hard-boiled egg!

Enjoy!

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Moonbow

Last night, I was over the moon when I had the amazing opportunity to witness a moonbow for the first time in my 58 years of life!

There are some things you just can't capture in a photo. This shot on my phone  couldn't possibly do justice to what I had witnessed.

I was bewitched by the spectral sighting.

Never had I ever seen a rainbow haloing a moon!

Ghostly and alluring, it was like gazing at a portal into another realm!
Several conditions have to be just right for a moonbow to occur

Upon googling, I learned that a moonbow also known as a lunar halo or lunar rainbow, is a rare natural atmospheric phenomenon that occurs when the moon's light is reflected and refracted off water droplets in the air.

In other words, it is a rainbow produced by moonlight rather than sunlight.

It is believed that a moonbow brings good luck to the localized area it is viewed in.

In these strange and uncertain times, I have been looking up at the heavens a lot lately for signs of good things to come.

Perhaps this is a harbinger of something great on its way?

linking up with Creative in retirement

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Rice Dumpling Day

Last Thursday, 25th June, was Rice Dumpling Day aka Dragon Boat Festival.

More info about the festival here.

Pre Covid-19, we would be practising the tradition of dumpling exchange with our neighbours, friends and relatives. All the cousins would gather at my elderly aunt's house for a dumpling feast to savour the different versions of our fruits of labour.

For the first time this year, we decided to give the custom a miss. Instead, we stayed home to enjoy our store-bought dumplings.
The tradition of making these dumplings dates back more than 2000 years!

I can never get used to the element of surprise in uncovering these bamboo leaf-wrapped treats. You never know what 'gems' are buried in each parcel as the fillings vary from cook to cook.
Sweet, savoury, spicy, pillow-shaped or triangular, cream-colored and yes, blue(!), the dumplings are made of glutinous rice and packed with an assortment of fillings, from oysters to abalones to durians!

The *Peranakan blue ones are tinted with a natural dye that comes from the butterfly pea flower.

*Peranakan - A sub-ethnic community of Malay-Chinese ancestry.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

The New Normal

Finally, after being holed up in my own house for 90 days, I stepped outside and into our car for the first time!

At last, we were able to make that long awaited road trip back to my hometown to visit my parents whom I hadn't seen since lockdown.

Thankfully, my parents are fine. Angels had been looking out for them during the curfew. Strangers left food and essentials on their doorstep. A neighbour who fell out with them years ago even sent food over!

I guess you can say it took a pandemic to mend their feud of more than 10 years and over some silly tree if my memory serves me correctly!

The pandemic is not only healing the earth but it is also patching up broken relationships.

It has brought out the worst and best in people.

Navigating this new normal was initially awkward but I am adapting.

Masking in public is the law.

A masked society is somewhat freaky.

It's like living in a world without smiles.

Dining out and shopping are no longer what they used to be. At the entrance of every business premise, temperatures are taken and customers are required to leave their names, contact numbers and temperature readings either by scanning the QR code on their phones or by filling up a log book. Those who don't abide by the rules are denied entry.

I accept that these procedures are necessary for contact tracing but I am not at ease with the privacy trade-off.  I dread the thought of a security breach.

Dining out and indulging in the foods we had been craving since lockdown
Hubby's favourite meal of Ayam Goreng Berempah

Sambal Stuffed Fish

Hakka Noodles


Celebrating Father's Day in our favourite restaurant that has just reopened for dine-ins
X marks the spot where you can't sit



Yes, it was a bit strange walking into my favourite noodle shop  half of the tables in the shop had disappeared!

And it felt odd and absurd sitting with my family with empty chairs between us at a table marked with red Xs. When a fellow diner glanced in our direction, I flashed a smile at her. It was kinda sad that she couldn't read my facial expressions behind the mask 'cos a smile always makes two. And I'm accustomed to smiling at folks most of the time.


Sunday, June 7, 2020

RMCO

This is what I woke up to this morning.

The front page of our local newspaper.
Our MCO (Movement Control Order) that was implemented on the 18th of March became the CMCO (Conditional Movement Control Order) when certain restrictions were lifted and now we have the RMCO (Relaxed Movement Control Order).

We are on the road to recovery!

I don't want to jinx it but I think we might have flattened the curve.

Our borders are still not open for travel but meanwhile, I'd like to share with you this award-winning video and let you take a peek into my corner of the world.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Missing The Beach

Last night, I was at the beach.

I could breathe in that balmy, salty air.

My feet sank and squished into the warm, wet sand at the edge of the waves.

I never felt more serene and peaceful...

But alas, I woke up from that vivid dream and sadly realized that we're still under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO). The ban on interstate travel has not been lifted.

We have been under partial lockdown since March 18th.

My nearest weekend beach is just an hour's drive away but it is in another state.

It will be some time before I can hear the soothing sound of waves again.

From the archives
Port Dickson 2011

I miss the beach..


"A day at the beach restores the soul." - author unknown 

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Sign Of The Times

Would you have guessed that before lockdown, this was once a very crowded skating rink in a busy shopping mall?
image source - Instagram

Before lockdown
Over here in our corner of the world where it is perpetually summer, an indoor ice skating rink is a huge deal.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Day 62

Remember Penyu, the baby turtle I adopted and released back into the wild on a turtle-release excursion 2 years ago?  Story and photos here.

Oftentimes, I still wonder if my little buddy ever made it after we sent him off into the sea.

It is  estimated that only 1 in 1,000 turtle hatchlings survives to adulthood. Along with fishing gear and climate change, there are numerous human activity threats to sea turtles.

But for now, the fate of turtles may change and the Covid-19 pandemic could be playing a role.

Endangered turtles are thriving as global lockdowns vacate beaches across the world.

In Thailand and India's eastern coast, millions of endangered baby turtles were seen making their way on empty beaches to the sea!

From the archives
Penyu

Endangered sea turtles are  nesting in peace  at least for now.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Day 56

Bing! Bang! Boom! Boom! CLANG!

Of all the skills my son chose to take up during lockdown!

Haha!  Right back at ya, tone-deaf karaoke neighbour on the third floor!


Nah, I was merely joking. It's a digital drum set so all you really hear is the sound of the drumsticks tapping on the e-pads.

But it still is a tad annoying!

Linking with https://myworldthrumycameralens.blogspot.com/
                      https://natashamusing.com/