Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The beauty of Cactus...

"Cactus is a member of the Cactaceae family.... " and all these you can read from the Internet if you like to find out more.
I love these spiky plants in all shapes and sizes and they are so pretty to look at. I always kudos Mother Nature when I started to be awared of the surroundings and environment. I am curious about just anything that is a product of Mother Nature. She gave us so many beautiful things ranging from trees, to flowers, to plants, to animals, to minerals and crystals. The most complicated thing Mother Nature gave us is HUMAN.
Today I am here to share some of the pretty pictures I took of these spiky vegetation. Singapore is not a desert so we have to bring these plants into Singapore. We are hot enough for it to survive but not good enough for it to grow everywhere so we keep them in an enclosed plant-house, let it grow and "pay money" to enjoy looking at it.
These plants are edible since it is a source of food and water for human and camels in the deserts. I ate some Mexican Nopal by making it into soup, throw in some chicken, with garlic and ginger. The stock smell lovely and taste delicious.
Many know that the flowers from cactus plants are lovely and very very pretty. Their colors if not white are vibrant red or deep pink, yellow etc. There are also plants under the Cactus family that are non-spike like S-pipe Epiphyllum oxypetalum which is also known as Midnight Queen. Therefore when you are with plants, pick one and really look at it from the stems to the leaves and the flowers. Touch it and feel its texture. It is therapeutic to touch plants and healing to talk to a plant. At least it blooms to show its appreciation and not talk back at you.....


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My love for Trees

Many people love flowers and plants. I have a friend who is a layman but he took the trouble to remember the names of these plants as in botanic names. I am not able to remember too complicated names of flowers and plants and therefore bought a book. I enjoy looking at all the beautiful flowers and plants and the colours and shapes never fail to mesmerize me. 

I love Trees. If I can I like to hug the tree trunks. I like to look at the barks textures and their colors too. Looking at the trunks also make me look at all the parasite plants clinging onto the trees and realized that parasite orchids are so pretty and so are the stag-horn ferns.

Trees gave me a feeling of security. It is big and strong and animatedly friendly. Their roots grow right down and it is so ''down to earth''. It stands by itself and silently grow, spreading its branches and some reaching for the sky. Some trees have branches that spread out to give shades and sanctuary to both human and animals that come under them. It shade away the sun, to provide a cooling place to relax. Have you sleep under a tree? Try it. 

Some trees stand for a few hundreds years. It saw the changes of the earth. It saw changes of people, it saw changes of the landscape around it and that of many eras. If the tree can speak, it can tell you lots and lots of stories of past and present.

It is painful to see trees being cut. Can you hear the trees speaking to you, can you hear its whisper? It not only do what we see it can do, it also protected the environment.  How many of us see these, appreciate and are grateful of it presence? 

In Singapore, although we are a small island however the government keep this place green. Children are taught about the environment. We are never short of trees and places that are Parks for people to socialize and relax.

Here are some pictures of tree trunks that I took while visiting Cloud Forest and Flower Dome. Enjoy!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Phobias...and facts

Phobias...yes, frightened of something. I am scare of lizards and I will scream when I see them. I do not know why. Phobias have something to do with things that happened to us, whatever age. It doesn't happened when you are young, it happened along the way, whatever age. It is not born. We can be afraid of just anything or nothing. The things that you are afraid of cannot affect your daily life or else it becomes a ''sickness''.

I heard of a story that there is a lady who cannot see slabs on the ground. Due to this she cannot walk out to places where there are slabs and most of the path or walkway have this square of rectangle slabs design. However she seek hypnotize treatment. The treatment made her retreat to her past lives and that was the life she died when a big slab of stone fell on her.

Sharing something light, today I read something on phobias and like to share with my readers. I never knew there are so many names for various phobias....enjoy !

Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia - fear for long words
(Lian : After trying to read this lengthy word, surely I will be terrified of long words)

Phobophobia - a fear for developing fear
(Lian : I did not realized that actually being fearful is also a phobia of fear)

Didaskaleinophobia - an intense fear of going to school
(Lian : So now when your children die, die don't want to go to school, this could be the reason)

Trypophobia - a fear for holes
(Lian : Are you fearful of holes, anything that is round that give you a creepy feeling?)

Caligynophobia - a fear for beautiful women or handsome man
(Lian : May not be bad. Too many beautiful people out there and not beautiful like me may be able to find a husband)

Nomophobia - this is the fear of todays people, not having their mobile phone with them
(Lian : There are people 24/7 at all time and are helpless without their mobile)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Murder....for what?

As I was typing my last article on child abused, on the same day in the afternoon a gruesome murder took place in another part of Singapore. This news shocked the whole Singapore as it was a double ''Death" - a father and son.
As we read with tongue in our cheek, we were wondering who is this cold-blooded person who killed a father in their home and dragged the body of his son underneath the car for at least 1km.
Many were speculating who is this person. Some said it could be a relative, some said Ah Long, some said business competitors and all the mind ran freely, each developing their fantasy even when police said don't guess. Well everyone drop their spectacles, it is none of the above. The suspect is even more shocking - it is a police officer! The Police Force now have to stomach all the finger pointing, criticisms and of course there are public attack. There are those who must create discords or add some caustic remarks to the already remorse Police Force. However I kudos our Police Force!
Anyway, it is not the fault of the Police Force. Everyone themselves is a black sheep. The only reason is you did not have the opportunity to be one yet. So don't point fingers so fast. The suspect I believe is not a bad person but circumstances made it that he did what he did. I am sure there are better choice if he needs to solve his problems but he resolved to slashing the old gentleman and than his son to death. As a police officer, he knew he cannot escaped the gallow.
Till now we knew he was brought to court. He was charged this morning of double murder but what caused him to do what he did? Why did he needed to kill? The son who ran after him was ran over by the car he drove and was dragged 1km away and dislodged in the middle of a busy road causing huge traffic jam. How did the whole incidents took place, under what circumstances, how were the victims hurt, where/what was the weapon...still is a ????
I think we should not blame anyone for this unfortunate event. We just have to watch the happenings. The Court will give justice to the bereaved family. The suspect will have to pay for his sins - I do not believe it is manslaughter because he slashed the victims throat/ neck areas knowing this will surely caused death. Moreover he is a police officer, big and tall, trained in defenses - both victims had no chance against him.
In Singapore if a suspect committed a crime as grievous as this and in a rich man house, he has no chance to hide his identity - there are CCTVs in the house which already have captured his doings. In actual fact Singapore probably have CCTVs installed in most places i.e home, petrol kiosks, cars, neighbour's home - what chance of escape have one?
My heartfelt condolences go out to the victims' family. The old gentleman''s wife who lost her husband and son on the same day; the younger victim's wife and children and the whole family probably is still in disbelief and shocked.
My heart goes out to the suspect mother and family and he is the sole breadwinner. It could have ended differently if only one holds one's temper and not react at the spur of the moment.
Death is certain, the time of death is uncertain and the place of death is also uncertain.........

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Can anyone be a Teacher? Especially Teachers, do they have the empathy, energy, commitment to a growing child? Can Teachers take on so many children - crying, screaming, running around and some are hyper and difficult to control? Do Teachers have LOVE for children and are the Teachers supported?
Many who are parents can tell you that a child is most challenging to handle. I do not deny that at time you will wish to spank them but spanking them do not make them better. It will make them even more rebellious.
I may not be a teacher but I have been tasked to tuition a difficult boy who failed his examinations, refused to learn and I am the final straw to his parents. He is silently rebellious and hard headed. No amount of coaxing worked, no amount of kind and encouraging words helped and of course harsh words took no effect. I felt like tearing my hair and asking myself is he not salvageable? Then a little spark lighted my thoughts, could it be he couldn't read? I asked him to read a passage and other than I, he, she, is...he was not able to read. GOSH! all these years and this is his final chance to move on to secondary school...how to make it? I looked at all his other subjects - he was borderline in Science, History, Geography and he scored slightly higher in Chinese and Maths. Zero for English. I decided that I deduced correctly. I coached him on all subjects but spent hours with him in teaching him how to read a word... I would say c.o.m "com" and m.o.n. "mon" so when two of them joined, it is ''common". Once he got the hanged of it, he picked up very fast. He dissect the words and read the sound and when he joined them together, he got the sound of the words correct. This way he also learned his spelling. After one month he was able to read for me and when I asked him to spell, he dissect the words and spell to me correctly. Gaining confident in English, he started to pick up on all the other subjects too. When the final examination came, he sat and passed. With good scores in English, Chinese, Maths and Science, he went to an elite school. Today he is an engineer in the aerospace industry. He told his wife and children how I coached him. I told him  "There were times I wanted to give up". He is my achievement and did me proud,
Moral of the story - understand the child and why is he behaving this way. Some children want attention and will do rebellious actions or make noises. If the Teacher have no empathy than she is not fit to be one. For my case was he could not read and tried to avoid and know not how to speak up.
Coming from a affluent country, most are young working parents and they leave their children with Child Care Centres. No one is there to monitor whether the child is taught correctly. No one knows whether the child ate his meal, let alone being abused. There are also parents leaving children at home to be taken care by maids. There are incidents caught on CCTV on child abused. There are incidents of sex abused as well.
Gone were the days when we grew up under Mom's care. Mom who cook, wash, clean and took care of us and the family personally.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Co-Retreat 2013 - Bintan

We had our company yearly retreat and chose to stay at Angsana Hotel, Bintan. This is a sister hotel of Banyan Tree and therefore we expected good service and they did delivered. The concept is different from some family hotels where you have so many kids running around and the noise pollution of screaming kids and adults can be annoying. We took some beautiful photos of the group, scenery, food and the team building training that when on for 3 days 2 nights. We also did not missed the famous Banyan Tree Spa but it did not delivered to our expectation. However the Angsana Spa had a nicer, vibrant ambient and the therapists were engaging, friendly and warm. The Jamu treatment is highly recommended if anyone is going to stay at this hotel.
It is true that a picture speaks a thousand words and therefore I have many pictures to share here. Enjoy!