Sunday, July 27, 2014

Christmas in July

It's not exactly "Christmas in July" but it feels just like it. As you may know we are in Malaysia and being a predominantly Muslim country the last thirty days have been days of fasting and prayer for the majority. Imagine fasting from dawn till dusk. Hats off to all of the fasters. I do know that after prayers at seven in the evening, families gather and enjoy a really great meal together. Bukua Pasau it is called.

During the day the restaurants are often closed or not too full but finding a table at night is challenging.when we were on the islands the young fellows working at the restaurant attached to our hotel said the fasting wasn't so difficult but giving up smoking and seeing others smoke was the hard part.

Many malls are selling traditional food to break the fast including dates. It is believed that Muhammed broke his fast eating three dates thus Muslims tend to do the same. Now I know why I see dates for sale everywhere. The malls are decorated and looking very festive. There are sales on the go everywhere as Malaysians like to refurbish their homes and cupboards for the celebrations.

We live opposite a Kampung which is where some of the working class local folk live and last night the sky was lit up with firecrackers going off and the loud noises kept going to well after midnight. Indeed it is a joyful time as Families reunite and everyone enjoys the festivities!

We wish them "Salamat Hari "


Sunday, July 13, 2014

On top of the world!

The night of July12 th, 2014, was the best time ever to visit the "Helipad" in K.L. City Centre. Moira said she had a surprise up her sleeve for us and we were to be ready by 5:30 to go out. We drove into the city centre and landed up in a bar lounge decorated with everything to do with helicopters. We ordered our rather expensive drinks, looked out at the view and then ..... The Surprise! We climbed up another three flights of stairs! Oh wow.....we were gobsmacked! There we were on top of a 36 storied building with a 360 degree view, on top of the world, sipping our g and t's! How cool was that. Maybe we couldn't see the whole world but we could see the whole of Kuala Lumpur. What a magnificent sight.

The area has a yellow painted strip right around the edges, past which NO one is allowed to step. Two men dressed in black stand guard, quick to chase anyone overstepping the mark!

A pop up bar has been created on this roof top so after carrying ones first drink up the stairs which is the entry fee, one can order drinks and snacks.

K.L. always has a bit of a haze hanging over it but it wasn't too bad tonight and we could see for miles. The Twin Towers felt so close, as if we could reach out and touch it.

What great timing to be in this spot as it is the night of the Super Moon. (I kept calling it the Power Moon! )

What is the Super Moon? Google explains it as follows:

  • The phenomenon happens when the moon becomes full on the same day as its perigee -- the point in the moon's orbit when it's closest to Earth.

As the sun set and the moon rose more and more people arrived. We watched three young Muslim men. They ordered their non alcoholic drinks at about six thirty. They didn't touch them. Then at about seven they ordered plates of snacks. Again they did not touch them. Warren want over to chat to them and as expected they were waiting for seven thirty, when it is permissible for Muslims to break the fast and eat and drink. What patience! What self discipline! We were in such admiration as we enjoyed our second round of drinks!

Everyone was so friendly with lots of Selfies being taken, everyone chatting, the music starting and generally just having the experience of a lifetime.

Thank you Moira for giving us the best time ever.

The evening was rounded off at a Tapas bar not far off.

Can you believe it.....KL. experiences traffic jams as late as ten at night! I love K.L.


Time flies.

We are back in K.L. And I am so happy as Nick has set up my own little sewing nook in my bedroom. Everybody asks why I don't use the dining room table but with white floors and This not being my home, the threads floating everywhere with the fan blowing makes for such a mess. I prefer not having to move the machine every day etc. etc. so NOW I put the air con on, close the door and I can create to my hearts content!

Moira bought a pile of fabrics some easier to work with than others. I have been researching pinterest and the web and have loads of ideas on what I want to do. I will probably only make quilt tops as they are easier to transport home.

My aim is to make ten tops by the time we leave. The first pattern I have tried is disappearing nine patch. It is so effective. The "mistake" I have made is not using a contrast in the centre for effect and also I should have done more blocks instead of nine so the final quilt is bigger. Never mind. I will be doing more of these nine patch quilts as they are so effective.

I have also being carrying around scraps from a box of fabric samples I was once given and have put them together. I am not sure that I m going to add any more to this pretty kiddies quilt. I think it looks like tasty ice cream!

Some of the fabrics are just so synthetic but oh so pretty. I brought lots of vi-trace to use as a base so voila....I have made these pretty strips which I will compile into a pretty quilt. Oh what fun it all is. Unfortunately life gets in the way and I have to do other "things" so the quilting will be put on hold for a few days.

Diana asked me to go into Chinatown to price goodies for her from our favourite shop Peter Hoe! This was such a fun task to carry out. It was all pre arranged for me to spend time taking photos of the merchandise and recording the prices. The fabrics used are simply delightful.

Of course finding the fabric is an impossible task as Peter Hoe flies around Asia sourcing his products so that it is one of a kind. I am sure they will sell well in Australia!


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Island in the sun, fun for everyone.....

"Gili" means small and we have chosen to visit the middle sized 'small' island, Off Lombok, Gili Meno, of the three well known Gili Islands. The young chap at the resort in Lombok that we stayed at, took one look at us and announced "you must go to Gili Meno". The tourist info says of the three, this is the best island for families and honeymooners, who want the quiet life. Not sure where we fit in but the quiet life suits us! After a "bemo" ride....a sort of van turned into taxi.... to the harbour, followed by a very crowded ferry ride across the waves, here we are in Gili Meno.

Our tatty but hasty bemo!
The waters surrounding the island are clear, turquoise and stunningly beautiful! The white sands of the beach is just so amazing. I think we have found another Paradise! We are delighted to be here.

We are staying in Kontiki Bungalows and everyone is friendly and obliging. It is just a short walk to the beach where we spend the day on our Beach Beds, reading, sleeping and going for lovely walks or a swim and we do a bit ofsnorkeling. The beaches are well kept and generally free of litter!

It is all so lovely! The beautiful and varied fish are amazing and the coral is imaginable colour.Right next to our bungalows is a turtle nursery where turtles are kept until they are eight months old. At the moment there are two batches of eggs being protected and waiting to hatch. It is wonderful to know that this programme is being run and the turtles are taken care of.


I just love setting off down the beach and picking up shells. Those little cowries just have my name on them. I can spot their little shiny backs or their smiling side a mile off. I picked up so many but had to leave the slightly broken or cracked ones behind. There are lots of bits of coloured coral too which means the coral is being shattered and spoilt by all the boats and people standing on the coral.

There are no motorized vehicles on the island. It takes about an hour and a half to walk right around the island and twenty minutes to walk across it. We walked across the island yesterday hoping to enjoy a beautiful sunset but once we got to the other side we weren't all that impressed with the beach so we just kept walking around till we got back to base! Horse drawn carts are used to carry lazy tourists from the Harbour to their resort or to carry baskets of veggies, water and groceries to the resorts. I also saw local folk on bicycles which looked like fun.

When we travel we try to eat local fare but I have to avoid spicey food which means NO CHILLI! Fortunately there must be more travels like me as the request for no spice does not surprise the caterers. I enjoy Nasi goreng with seafood and Warren enjoys Mee hoon noodles with chicken in other words I like fried rice and Warren enjoy fried noodles! After nearly a week of this fare I am a little weary of Nasi Goreng and can't wait for a change of diet. Maybe it's time to get back to our base! We go home with our minds are filled with beautiful images and we have every intention to return to Gili Meno!


Sunrise on our last morning!