Monday, 27 March 2017

World Sparrow Day Is On 20 March.


Do you know that 20 March is World Sparrow Day?

Today is 27 March one week past already but its not too late to celebrate the World Sparrow Day by having a post dedicated to the sparrow today.

"World Sparrow Day is a day designated to raise awareness of the house sparrow and other common birds to urban enviroments, and threats to their populations , observed on 20 March" - from Wikipedia

Here around my house at times there are lots of sparrows. Seeing them always flying around makes me think that their population is not decreasing at all. But then my area is not considered urban. Its more rural than urban.

And I am kind 😉 and never a threat to the sparrows.

The birds build their nests under the eaves of the roof. I don't mind them being there. Their noisy chirping is not really a bother in fact it gives an air of cheerfulness especially in the morning.

What bothers me is when they bring in their building  materials like dried grass dried leaves and even twigs they are not careful enough ( careless like humans!). They drop it around and through the spaces of the louver windows on to the floor inside the house.

That is not so bad actually. These birds I sometimes see fight among themselves because they are so many of them squeezing into the hollow area between the roof and the wall. They peck at each other and their feathers would drop into the house.

The worst is their droppings. You can see it on the glass panes and on the edges of the window frame. Say if you leave the house or even if you are at home but not aware of whats happening after a few days the place is a mess and of course it is not hygienic. One additional task for the woman of the house. Hmm.

Its ok ok . . . they too want a place in this world so let them . . . just clean up.

To most of us old kampung people we don't give a hoot to the little birds. It is so ordinary and you can see them everywhere. They are small dull and not colourful. You just dismiss them. May be they can only excite the very young children.

Do justice to the sparrows. They exist for a reason. They with all other birds have their roles in the ecosystem. They help to spread seeds, they help in pollination. They also help to get rid of pest (insects) in gardens and vegetable farms. Want to know more of their roles in nature you can google yourself.

Meanwhile watch them. Appreciate them. Take their photos.

Sparrow on guava tree 

Sparrow perched on a mulberry branch after catching an insect

The sparrow is quite beautiful on a closer look

There you have it the common sparrow which most of us are very familiar with. Let us be aware that
20 March is World Sparrow Day!

Happy birding . . .

Bye . . .

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Buttercream Roses On Cupcakes

Hello everyone

Lately I was bitten by this bug again and I keep thinking and planning how to address this itch. Ho ho no not talking about the sandfly again. This, this 'sweet activity' which seems to be suddenly catching up on me again. Yes I have neglected it until just lately.

Yeah you guess it right. Baking and cake decorating. My blog is about cheering up life with hobbies and pastimes so it is just appropriate that I include this in my blogging which by the way is something I love to do.  I am not turning my blog into a cookery or baking or cake decorating blog. Am not qualified. Its just that I like doing all these and I would want to share my experience with my blog readers.

Last week a friend asked if I could bake for her some cupcakes and decorate it appropritely as a hantaran. She wanted it to be simple but sweet enough for the purpose.

Of course I said yes. This is a chance for me to have another small baking project  I offered to do it for her foc. And so I did.

I only had one and a half days. I don't mean I need 36 hours to bake those little cakes. I have to reserve some time for mistakes you see. I do not want to break my promise, what if at the last moment the whole thing turn out to be a mess, something of an embarrassment. I am not a professional, just a humble homemaker. Must give allowance for mistakes.

I finished baking at nearly one in the morning.

Uneven browning, the oven's fault haa

The next morning I decorated the cake. It was difficult to decide on the colour. If possible I would like to have a colour as vibrant as this flower.

Desert rose 
Or how about this more subdued colour of nature

Flower (name?) in my garden

I tried experimenting with the colours but I didn't like it too dull for the occasion.

Dull coloured 'flower'
 I have only a few food colors in my keeping. So I settled for something brighter and sweet though I wish I had other choice.

Bright colours, no more

So here's my masterpiece . . .

Buttercream roses piped using the russian piping tips

A box of cupcakes anyone?
Pheww . . ,what a relief. All done and ready for delivery.

And today I am getting a free lunch hehe.

Ok will be with you in my next entry . . . 

Bye . . .

Monday, 20 March 2017

Just Thinking

 Hi all

The weekend is over and its Monday again today.

In my working days I never welcome mondays with enthusiasm. In fact several hours before it was really the sunday night blues. And I nonsensically wished that there were more days to a weekend.

On anticipating a weekend I welcomed friday with gladness and envisioned a happy weekend with the family, eating dining jalan jalan and do recreation together as what a family should enjoy.

But  most weekends for me was a time to settle all the week long backlog of house work and you know what those were. Very seldom you get what you wish to do because the precious hours were robbed away by the chores.

Indeed I felt saturdays passed too fast. The only day the mind was free from thinking about work or about going to work. Don't you know the traffic snarls in the morning? Ever experience getting stuck in a traffic jam? Have seen the husbands fidgety fingers on the steering wheels (?) as the wifes next to them applying lipstick in gusto ha ha. Everybody was so edgy as the clock ticked away and you were no where near your office.

Sunday morning would be occupied by marketing and buying and preparing provisions. Half of the day would be wasted on this. I wonder why I took so much time doing what I did. Lembab? ha ha. May be like most working women I was only trying to be organised.

Sunday afternoon would be a pay back time . . . for sleep. You need that. But on waking up it hit on you . . .  the fear of the monday. Through the night you would be thinking about tomorrow . . .hence the sunday night blues.

I notice people now have different attitude. As busy as they are they juggle their home, work and play easily so it seemed. The weekend is time of joy. A time to refresh.

Perhaps the situation is different now. Advanced communication and technology enable life not to be so manual like my life was. You can even order your breakfast lunch or dinner online. When you come back from a movie the delivery boy is there at your door step bearing your food. What a good life . . . if you are not thinking about the cost . . .

Anyway I don't grudge anybody or anything . Just thinking. As an old timer I try to fit in and go with the flow and try not to miss on anything good in this new world hehe.

Never too old to enjoy this

Happy(?) Monday to all . . .

Bye . . .

Friday, 17 March 2017


Hi friends

Have you ever been bitten by sandfly?

Me, yes. I have got a few episodes . Why? Because I like walking barefoot along the beach in the morning. Those nasty flies live there in the sand.

They hide in the damp the dark and wet sand and soil brought by the tides. They also live in the crevises in the rocks and on dead tree trunk stranded on the beach. Usually we cannot see those insects.

They are around when the sun is not yet high more so when the tide is low and the day is not windy. Thats my observation.

Its bite is many times worst than the mosquito bite. The fact is that you are not aware when it is coming near to you unlike the mosquito. With the mosquito you can get ready to slap as it is buzzing and zooming on to you.

The sand fly does not make any sound if there is we might not hear it. You don't realise their presence.

The insect is very tiny.

What I can notice the abdomen is whitish.  I think I can only see that because as it digs into your skin thats the only part easily visible. You may not be aware when  that fellow is digging into you and won't let go until you feel the bite and your reflex is to tenyeh as hard as you can at the spot.

Sometimes you don't feel the sting at the moment it occurs.  You only knew you were stung by the sandfly when you are in the shower later.

They also can fly high because I have  experienced been bitten on the face and neck and even in the scalp not only on the legs. They can go under your clothing and into your hair.

Usually after you tenyeh or scratch at the spot the irritation may go off. You may just dismiss it, just a little itchiness right?

Don't be fooled by this insect. The next day redness and bumps will start to show. and oh the itchiness . . .

Eagle are you itchy?
Another half day there will be more redness and swelling and intense itching and burning sensation and you will feel feverish at the height of your body reaction to the sandfly bites.

My experience is the reaction lasted for several days. Its horrible especially at night you can't sleep even if you already applied soothing ointment on the affected part and the surrounding skin. You may even scratch until it bleeds if you are not careful. Thats how intense the itch is.

The redness and bumbs subside after a number of  days. But the itchiness will still be there though not as bad as before. If you have dry skin around the bitten area the itchiness will not go off completely so you must always apply skin lotion.

Avoid scratching if you feel a little itch. If you start scratching then you cannot stop.

The body reaction to sandfly bites takes some time to completely heal. It will heal somehow so don't worry even the seven year itch also can heal ok  hehehe . . .just joking . . .

If the itch drag on and if you feel it's not likely to go away sooner then better go and see a doctor.

So now when I go for a stroll in the morning I would apply some kind of insect repellent. Even the ordinary skin cream would do. Or even the baby oil. If I get bitten the effect is not as bad when not covering the skin with any. And wear long pants and long sleeve and don't forget the cap.

So do not be alarmed by my entry ok. You still can enjoy the beach in early morning or late evening, just remember to take a little precaution.

Oh one more thing I'd like to add. These micropredators that bite and suck your blood are the females.

They are equipted with the right weapon to gore into your skin and suck your blood out.
(Hah . . .again . . . the females have got to do the dirty job.)

Don't get yourself bitten by insects. It can make you very uncomfortable. It can make you very restless . . .

If you cannot reach to scratch the back 

Take care .