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Robin Hood

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I remember there was a black and white Robin Hood series in TV a long, long time ago; most probably, it was the British version starring Richard Greene but then, I'm not sure, not being  a fan of series or movies of this genre. Understandably, when Robin Hood the movie came to town, I was not very keen to catch it; at least not until my nephew came back to town and we did the usual - go for midnight movies. The latest version of the legendary heroic outlaw of English folklore came rather a surprise to me. For one thing, Robin Hood began with him as a rather rich man who falls for a thief who happens to be Marion, who herself has been updated to a modern woman who does not hesitate to take a new lover upon being told that Robin has perished while fighting in the Crusades. Then of course, there is the surprise of Little John in the form of a black Muslim Arab named Yahya who taught and trained  Robin in the art of archery. While the movie bombed and garnered negative reviews from cr…

Garden Made in Heaven

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Plants are fascinating. Sometimes, their containers too. In a garden in Kuala Kangsar, Perak in Malaysia, I came across plants, vegetables included, grown in painted old tyres, cans and plastic bottles. How's that for your garden? That'll make it rather quaint, don't you think? Add in an old unused bicycle, old boots or unwanted toys here and there and voila, you'll have a garden made in heaven!

















Little Big Ciku

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There's a little supermarket in Sense Market in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam where you can get some groceries. I suppose that's the place where I first came across a really big ciku or what's known as sapodilla, a brown fruit originally from southern Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. The fruit grows well in the tropics and I remember one which grew into such a big tree beside the coffee shop in my hometown a long time ago. I remember the tree bore plenty of small, hard cikus but I don't remember seeing any flowers on it. And no wonder -  I just read that though the bell-shaped flower has six-lobed corolla, it's white and inconspicuous. Will look out for the flowers the next time the opportunity arises!

Lucky Flowers!

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In Busan, after a lunch of chicken soup, some of the holiday makers with us enjoyed s smoke or chat outside the entrance of the restaurant. My friends and I of course, took a snapshot here and there; not that there was a great scenery there but a blood red Lillium and some cactuses bearing yellow flowers had caught my attention. I haven't seen a red Lillium before,I think; but the last time I saw cactuses bearing flowers was in Paka, Terengganu in the early 90s. Then, someone said that it was not often that cactuses bear flowers and when they do, they bring good luck to the owners. Now, what do you say to that?

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween

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One day, in Taiping Mall, I just asked if my little grandnephew if he wanted to watch a movie. He was game for it and so was his sister. Since most of the movies then were adult fare, I picked for them Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween, thinking it was a fun animated movie. The Ari Sandel directed movie about two young boys who  accidentally brings Slappy the Dummy to life and releases monsters, demons and creatures in their little town of Wardenclyffe, New York was an entertaining watch but throughout the movie, I was rather worried if the children could take it. Slappy does look sinister enough to send chills down their little spines and there were times when they jumped in their seats. Frankly, I don't recommend little children for the movie and was surprised that it is supposed to be based on a children book -  R. L. Stine's  children's horror book series. Having been fed fairy tales as a kid, I wonder since when were horror books written for children...

More movies!

The Crown

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Some old friends called and we made a trip back to the old school where we used to spend our adolescence. On the way back, we made a stop at the old house where one of my friends used to stay. The house, now dilapidated, had new tenants. In the garden, there was a thorny bush bearing many green and a few red round fruits. It was the makhota dewa, translated literally as the deity's crown, Phaleria macrocarpa  God's crown; an evergreen tree, indigenous to Indonesia. The seed of the red fruit is supposed to be poisonous but the flesh, after being sliced and dried under the shade could be made into tea. Just add two to three slices in 300 ml hot water and drink thrice daily. It is supposed to be good for health. No more, no less!


A Garden by the Drain

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Someone said the Allamanda is a kampung plant, a village plant that is. In Malaysia, you'll find a lot of the yellow, trumpet-shaped flowers jazzing up the compound of a typical  Malay village. But the truth is the Allamanda is not a native plant here; rather it is from Brazil in South America; just that it grows well in its adopted land, thriving in open, sunny areas with adequate rainfall. I love the Allamanda  for it can be easily propagated from cuttings, easy to take care of, spread rapidly and most of all, it blooms profusely and perpetually. Never mind if it can be used to treat liver tumors, jaundice, splenomegaly, and malaria; at the moment  the plant is one of the several that hide the ugly drain in front of the house.What other plants can you identify here?