Thursday, 23 October 2014

Concluding thoughts after first semester

Our education system does not have mechanisms to shape us into fast, independent and creative thinkers and thus, learners.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Where to get soft pastel and fixative in Brunei?

JK brought me to WW Mart at Citi Square and the first thing that got me excited was the sight of soft pastel boxsets! I have tried looking for them at Manggis Mall but the Hua Hi there had only oil pastels. Here, not only they have soft pastel blocks but the pencils as well as fixative! And a whole lot of other drawing/painting materials.

We spent a good time there as I relished over the many different items I like. They have really nice decorative boxes, decorative paper for your scrapbook making.

Only thing that disturbed me was seeing a whole aisle of fake Lego. I felt as though my memories of playing with Lego and the essence behind Lego was defiled by the very items on that aisle. There can only be Lego looking like "lego" and nothing else. Sigh.

Soft chalk pastels, pencils and blending tools
Fake Lego

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Baby fruits

I love having a bit of a wander in the garden whenever I come back from work. The feel of the grass on my toes and the sight of fruits hanging like nature's chandeliers liberate me.

Today, I found some baby fruits just slowly transforming from what were once fruit flowers.

I was so close to taking a macro picture of a brightly greenish chrome-coloured insect perched on a grass leaf. As I steadied my stance for a closer shot, it darted out of sight.
Reddish spots on the edges of the pomelo leaves - is this a kind of crop disease?
A baby pomelo fruit forming from a fertilised flower
A baby soursop
The soursop develops inside the sepal of the fertised soursop flower 
It is just amazing that the macro shot taken from my phone's camera allows me to see the hairs on the grass leaf as well as on the ant!

Friday, 15 August 2014

Andrographis paniculata (Chuan Xing Lian, King of Bitters)

I had a bad sorethroat the one day and desperately needed to get well quickly to conduct my class. Dad had advised me to pluck a nice big leaf of King of Bitters, which I only knew then as "the really bitter plant" from our garden and to chew the leaf finely and then swallow it. 

This leaf is a lot more bitter than bittergourd. But, the relief it gave me to my sorethroat was almost instant. The sorethroat never came back after that one leaf. I came to learn that it is call Chuan Xing Lian in Chinese and this has allowed me to find the various resources about it from the web, including scientific papers about it. My dad had called it the Chinese antibiotics but I doubted him until I started reading about it.

Web resources on Andrographis paniculata (Chuan Xing Lian, King of Bitters):

Andrographis paniculata (Chuan Xing Lian, King of Bitters)

Friday, 30 May 2014

Loving Gyu Don at Bonzai Nottingham

As we are pretty much done now, JZR and I have found ourselves rather addicted to Bonzai, a fusion restaurant serving Japanese and South East Asian food. I am addicted to their spicy Korean beef dish. It is all very confusing as on one page they named it the Korean beef dish and on another, it was called the Spicy Gyu Bento. Both beef rice dishes tasted exactly the same to me! Anyway, I found that I have more space for some salmon sashimi, which is a must-have, if I order the bento as the rice portion is smaller. In addition, I get to taste the Agedashi tofu which I really like! *foodie mood*

Gyu Bento with Agedashi tofu

Spicy Korean Beef Don

The mandatory order for any visit to Japanese food serving place - salmon sashimi

Saturday lunches at Belle & Jerome

We have been frequenting Belle & Jerome for our Saturday lunch lately. The panini was good. But the jacket potato was not baked thoroughly. So, it was just cooked and not as fluffy as I had expected. Otherwise, it would have been more delicious as the topping was nice. The jacket potatoes from the stall at Beeston Square are nicer as they much softer and fluffier. 

Pulled pork panini with sweet BBQ sauce and cheese, served with salad
and nachos

Jacket potato with falafel in mint yogurt topping


I was waiting for the bus one day and decided to have a look around at the many shrubs around that were flowering. I found this one peculiar yellow flower with sepals that are star-shaped. After several play on the search words on Google, I came across a text description that matches what I was looking for and this was further confirmed by the similarity of the flowers in the images provided. According to, these are Jerusalem Sage. They are actually weeds but they didn't look so as they appeared tidily kept at our uni garden beds by the bus stop.

Jerusalem Sage at Uni Park, UoN 

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Lang Lang at Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham

13 May 2011

A colleague was asking around if anyone was interested to catch Lang Lang's concert. To be honest, I hadn't known Lang Lang at that time and was teasingly "judged" by my more cultured friends. As I have always enjoyed listening to the piano, I was thrilled at such an opportunity.

I was held captivated throughout the whole concert, not just by the music but the way in which the artist moved as he played. His facial expressions danced with his music! The concert was thoroughly enjoyable.

Lang Lang at Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham (May 2011)