Saturday, April 30, 2011


Much needed sleep...

Where else but The Veranda 
Add a few decades, that would be Grandpa.  Minus
a few, that would be Irfan.

End of a Challenge.  Thanks everyone!

Friday, April 29, 2011


The singing lawyer.

Kedah (Northern Malaysian state) born Yuna graduated with a Bachelor of Legal Studies (Hons.) As a side project she runs a boutique called IAMJETFUEL.

In February 2011 she signed with Fader Label music, New York.

She describes her music as "a cross between Mary Poppins and Cold Play" .

Listen to this:

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Take X as a symbol of something being wrong, and replace that something with the opposite and positive, we'll end up with a Tick or a Check regarding the state of our feelings:

X  (NO!)                                              Check  (YES!)

Anger ------------- with --------------- > Love

Resentment ----------------------------> Understanding

Hatred -----------------------------------> Love

Vengeance -----------------------------> Compassion

Ignorance ------------------------------> Love

False pride -----------------------------> Forgiveness

Sorrow ---------------------------------> Positivity / Hope

Regret ----------------------------------> Love / Prayer  

I have moved on.  I have transformed my heartaches and feelings of hopelessness and sorrow to love, forgiveness, and hope. (No, I didn't do it on my own - I'm not that smart - I did it with the help of  my blogger friends - your kindness, your prayers.  You know who you are.  And you know that I'm eternally grateful).

If I can do it, so can you.

The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything they have.
xo xo

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What a Wonderful World

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world 

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

The colours of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shakin' hands, sayin' "How do you do?"
They're really saying "I love you"

I hear babies cryin', I watch them grow
They'll learn much more than I'll ever know
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world
Yes, I think to myself, what a wonderful world 

Song credit:
Written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss
First recorded by Louis Armstrong.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


The Farm received a spate of visitors during the fruit season.

I had the pleasure of hosting blogger Wan Sharif and his wife.  Wan blogs at Minyak Gaz, often sharing religious articles and wisdom.  He is no stranger to The Farm as he comments frequently.  But that was the first time we met in person.  We shared many stories, and quite a lot of durians and rambutans.  I was so excited and a little weary from lack of sleep that I forgot to take any photo of the happening!  Which is a pity really as I would love to show you the gleaming red Mini Cooper (MG?) that the couple arrived in.

We then had Auntie Nor and friends, Irwan and Nadia (Irfan's parents),
and their friends.

This time everyone had his/her Canon or Blackberry or I-Phone, so I have plenty of photos to show you. Here are some of them:

Monday, April 25, 2011

U for Undressed

This was on Nadia's (Irfan's mother) FB:

Irfan asked me this morning, "Ma, how do we eat rake and sun?" I replied, "You can't eat those?" He replied back, "Caaaaaaan. Replace the 'r' with 'c' and the 's' with 'b' so you get cake and bun. Can eat wot?"

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

Another Award my way!

My dear friend Gary, owner and co-writer (sometimes Penny, his Jack Russell and modest internet star co-writes) of the blog klahanie, has bestowed me this classic Award:

Saturday, April 23, 2011


I should probably enter this under 'U', but patience is not my virtue.  Besides there are millions out there who stand to benefit from this amazing discovery, why should I wait any longer?

A plant known as TONGKAT ALI (Eurycoma longifolia) has been growing peacefully deep in the Malaysian jungle for many years, until one day somebody discovered that it can do more than cure malaria and diabetes: it can give Viagra makers a run for their money!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

S FOR STARFRUIT (With an Easter Update)

Also known as Belimbing or Carambola,  another exotic fruit grown on The Farm. 

It can be taken fresh or turned into a refreshing fruit juice.  Like most tropical fruits it is loaded with vitamin C, antioxidants, and is low in sugar, sodium and acid.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Also known as the 'hairy' fruit - another delightful tropical fruit grown on The Farm.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Quite Easily Done

School children nowadays have it easy with the Objective system:  multiple choice answers are given - they only need to choose which they think is the right answer.  During my time we had to 'prove' everything.

In primary school shortly after the war I enjoyed and always looked forward to the three 'R' classes: Reading, (W)'Riting, and (A)'Rithmetic.  Then the Arithmetic got more complex as we were introduced to Geometry and Algebra.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


What do these three totally unrelated and completely different things have in common?

They are all found at the night market, the subject of my letter 'N'.

My old faithfuls had all read about them, but as the A-Z Challenge brings me new friends and followers (and I'm out of ideas and rather desperate for time for my 'P'), I thought I pull them together in one post.

I want to thank and extend a BIG WELCOME to The Farm to all my new followers - hope you'll have a fun time here.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

N for Nightmarkets

I am writing this from a South-East Asian perspectives, specifically those of Malaysia and Thailand, where the night market is a phenomenon.  It is perhaps in Indonesia too. I'm not sure about the Philippines, may be readers from there can enlighten us.

Before the advent of supermarkets and mega malls, all the marketing (of fish, meat, vegetables and other stuff required for the kitchen) were done at the wet market, also known as the fish market. These markets are literally wet, from melted ice used to keep the fish fresh, and from rain blown inwards by strong gushes of wind.

They are noisy too.  Fishmongers scream all the time, trying to outdo one another in attracting customers to their stalls.  Bargaining is also done at high pitch, if only because the buyer and seller can't hear themselves talk.  If a classroom is noisy the teacher normally reprimands the pupils by telling them that the class has turned into a fish market.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


When we were in Krabi, Thailand, recently we went to a cave full of monkeys.  Here's what we saw:

Friday, April 15, 2011


Panthera is hungry. She's been scouring the jungle all morning and had not come across as much as a little deer that she could have for breakfast.  Sometimes she wished she's a vegetarian.

It was almost lunch time.

She was about to give up and head for the shade when she spotted a dog.

"Here's my lunch" she salivates.

The dog was busy helping herself to some leftover bones.  She sensed danger.  As the leopard closed in, without turning around she said audibly:

"I never knew leopards taste so yummy!", and continued licking the bones.

The leopard stopped in her track, and turned back, tummy growling.

Witness to all this was a monkey.

"Hmmm...the dog is not going to get away with this! I'm going to tell on her".

The monkey told the leopard she's been tricked.

"Come on then, jump on my back and let's go after that dog", said the hungry and angry leopard.

The dog had finished her meal when she saw the leopard and monkey coming.  Would that be her last meal?

Turning her back to the leopard and the monkey, the dog let them approach to within hearing distance, then grumbled loudly:

"I wonder what happened to that monkey.   It was a while ago I asked him to get me another leopard"

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Planning a party?
Make it a DURIAN party!
Delivered fresh around Klang Valley
Book @ 019-3382320

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Wikipedia Map
Yes, that Republic in East Africa.

Once upon a time during the Gung-ho days of rat race and climbing the corporate ladder,  the powers that be in England decided the location of our annual convention to be Mombasa - an hour flight from Kenya's capital Nairobi.

The big boss had either ran out of venues or had not been to the African Safari, I thought.  We did have an office in Capetown*, but not in East Africa, so what other reason could there be for transporting his team three- quarter way around the world.

*(Sadly our colleague from South Africa was not allowed to attend the meeting - it was at the height of apartheid then).

As the only attendee from the Far East to these meetings I was excited at the prospect of seeing a giraffe in person.  The problem however was how to get from this end of the world to the other.

J For Joy - Joie de vivre!

Ode to durians

Getting up at dawn
Without even a yawn
Up and down the hill I hike
Pitch dark as the middle of night
The cold, the wind, sometimes I wish I'm inside
Armed with a flash light
I could see them, earlier not in sight

Family and friends will be happy with this bounty
As will be me
I had received bookings too
For a truck load or two
I'm not greedy
Just making some money
from my hobby

And that's how I celebrate Joy that is Life
Never a strife
Only my burning passion
season after season

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Planning a party?
Make it a DURIAN party!
Delivered fresh around Klang Valley
Book @ 019-3382320

Monday, April 11, 2011


I am still groggy from this.  The problem with me is even if I had just a couple of hours sleep during the night, my body's alarm clock goes off at 6 a.m, no matter what.  So I'll be up, whether I like it or not.  If I don't have anything important to do I'll probably take a short nap later.

This morning I'll put this waking up time to good use.  There's something I must share with you:  The name Deirdra Eden conjures up a mystical image of a princess in fairyland.  Well, once upon a time this stunningly beautiful princess came over to this blog and penned this:

"Love THIS!!!  I love your site and as I browsed your blog I decided to award you the Inspiring Blog Award.
Go to and pick up your award.

I was of course pleasantly surprised,  another Award coming my way - way to go Grandpa!

The Award is pretty too (designed by Deirdra herself - a pretty girl who can draw pretty pictures, ain't that nice?):

Now doesn't that look like a fairytale pic?  THANK YOU Dierdra for the beautiful Award.

Diedra blogs at A Storybook World.


Writing this at 3 a.m I must be one.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

H is for Horn, and Other Stories

I have related this one before - when I first started this blog.  For the benefit of new readers and followers I'm telling it again.

One day I was teaching our son, then about four or five, the anatomy of a goat, guided by a big outline picture of the animal.  Each time I pointed to a part of the animal and said out what it was my son would follow suit.

When I said "leg" he would say "leg".  On and on we went from one anatomy to another.  When we came to the head I pointed to the sharp protrusion on the head and said "horn".  He pressed his little finger to the horn and said loudly: "Pon!", "Pon!"

Fast forward some thirty years, his wife asked their four year old son: "What is lembu?"

(Lembu is cow in Malay).  He said "I don't know"

Mother: "I'll give you a clue - Moooo.....?"

Son: "Muruku!" (Murukku is an Indian savory snack made from rice flour).

Mother: slaps forehead.


Son: Mama, why is six afraid of seven?

Mother: why?

Son: Because seven eight (ate) nine!

Mother: slaps forehead again.

Friday, April 8, 2011


The temptation is enormous to go for G for Gerund.

But in the age of sms'es and short-cut text messages where lol and imho are quite freely used, I wonder if talking about  what requires a possessive case and when to use the objective case would be of any use.  I'm not sure if attempting to differentiate between a verbal participle and a gerund would be of any interest to my readers.

The appeal factor is questionable.

On the other hand I am fairly certain of the (sex) appeal of  Ginseng and Gear Box Soup.  So let's go with these, shall we:

Thursday, April 7, 2011


You know it's a matter of time before I come to this.  Durian was the obvious choice for 'D' but it had to give way to Dusty.  Then this idea hit me which allows me to still talk about my favorite fruit, under 'F' instead.

What is better than Durian?  Fermented Durian of course!  That's not a direct comparison though.  It's kinda like:  You like to eat grapes but you enjoy the wine better.  Except in this case it's reversed:  The main staple is fresh Durian, but fermented it'll make great accompaniment to your meals of steamed rice and other dishes.

Fermented Durian is known locally and in Indonesia as Tempoyak.  It is added to sambal chilli or pounded chilly paste and mixed with your rice and eaten with fish (normally salted fish), ulam (salads of raw cucumbers and other shoots).  It improves the taste of the food and your appetite a hundred folds.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Endless Love

She is sensitive to my nuances.  I think she knows when I'm in pain too.  I can see it in her eyes.

When we are alone together all she does is stare at me. Oh, those deep brown eyes!
She doesn't say a word.  She lets me do all the talking.  I like to talk in complete sentences, in whatever language I choose.  With her I get to complete my sentences, no matter how long they are.

I think she misses me all the time - whether I'm gone for a day or for a whole week.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

D for Dusty

And her song that I listened to everyday - one that gave me hope, when a loved one left.

It was also the time I made great friends in the blogsphere.  Friends who had tirelessly given me comfort, and had offered prayers and encouragement in my time of troubles.  
For your kindness, I'm eternally grateful.

(This April A-Z Challenge is brought to you by the following wonderful hosts:

Arlee Bird's Tossing It Out 
Jeffrey Beesler's World of the Scribe 
Alex J. Cavanaugh Alex J. Cavanaugh 
Jen Daiker's Unedited 
Candace Ganger's The Misadventures in Candyland 
Karen J Gowen at Coming Down the Mountain 
Talli Roland 
Stephen Tremp's Breakthrough Blogs )

Monday, April 4, 2011


Camouflage is a method of crypsis or hiding.  It allows an otherwise visible organism to remain unnoticed by blending with its environment.

Cryptic coloration is the most common form of camouflage. It is very common in the animal world.  Humans adopt the same strategy in warfare by having combat soldiers wear the colors of the jungle and cover themselves with jungle foliage.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


I think it was Bob Hope who said: "You know you are getting old when the candles cost more than the cake"

But we all love birthdays don't we?

I'm terribly busy collecting them durians, but no way I'm gonna miss my A-Z Challenge - not on the second day anyway. So I had to pass this task to a guest writer. May I present to you grandson Numero Uno:

Friday, April 1, 2011

I have Sold Off The Farm

That's what I told my family and close friends this morning.

I didn't expect the response -  messages and calls came flooding in. Why would I want to do that? I have got blood, sweat and a lot of durians falling there.

They all rallied around me, as they always do in times of trouble. Sometimes it's the only way to get their attention.  It's good to know they love you. And The Farm.

Of course I was just pulling their legs.  Everybody seems to be doing that today. :) :) :)



My first love, my vocation, and now my hobby and a source of income and endless pleasure.

It is also the inspiration and the source of materials for this blog.

I've found this place in the wilderness and made it my home. To all participants of A to Z Blogging Challenge I welcome you to The Farm. Please feel free to browse my older posts and discover exotic fruits, tall tales and the goings-on in the every day life in the tropical rain forest.