Well, maybe not lazy because we’ve been pretty busy, especially Arlene, at school, attending meetings, and some friendly dinners and parties. We are still in the monsoon season, and get some rain every day, but when it rains, it pours, and the thunder & lightning are frightening.
I’ve never been a birder in Canada, but I’m starting to notice a few interesting birds here such as the grey heron and the white-throated kingfisher. The kingfisher is a beautiful bird in flight, displaying it’s bright, baby blue wings and upper body. When it perches on a branch and collapses it’s wings, you don’t even notice the blue, just it’s orangy, red beak. Another bird that I’ve been giving quite a bit of attention to is the crow, a la Alfred Hitchcok. On one of my walks, I heard the loud cawing of a crow and stopped to look at this huge bird perched above me on a light standard. I guess that was my mistake, because he/she took a mental picture of my face and now it stalks me on my walks down to the lizard pit. As I walked away after looking at the crow, I felt a gush of wind and heard flapping of wings right behind my head. As I turned I saw this huge crow and I swatted at it with my newspaper. It flew to the next light standard and watched as I walked under it, turning to watch me continue my walk. It kept moving from post to tree above me as it followed me down the road. I didn’t want to turn my back on it, so I started walking backwards. Once I was out of the zone it left me alone. Two days later when I walked this way again, the crow was back, and although he never got as close, he did swoop towards me as he ‘escorted’ me though the zone. I googled ‘attacking crows’ and found that there have been people all over the world, from Canada to India to England to Malaysia, who have had incidents with stalking crows. In some cases they have clutched a person’s hair with their tallons and pecked at their head drawing blood. This morning on my walk, the crow again appeared and seemed to be protecting his territory. The internet suggested that there are probably young fledglings nearby, and if you avoid the area for a ‘few days’ the crows will go away.
Arlene has had some meetings at the Sri Hartamas campus, as well as a meeting last Saturday morning at Taylor’s University at Lakeside. The University is beautiful so I took my book along, had breakfast and read while I waited for her. I purchased a GROUPON for printing of 100 – 4 x 6 prints at Foto Prime and with the help of my GPS, I took my files in and then picked them up two days later. This was a good deal for me as I still am old-fashioned and maintain a hard copy photo album. The 100 prints cost me $8 CAN. I receive GROUPON notices at least twice a day with deals on flights, hotels, electronic items, tickets, everything really. We presently have a GROUPON for a 3D/2N stay at a hotel at Cherating Beach near Kuantan on the east coast. This will be our first trip to the east coast and I’m looking forward to the drive.
Sunday we headed out to Ted Miles home in Bentong, to celebrate his 85th birthday. His house is on a hill, camouflaged by the jungle, and we drove by the entrance three times before we got it right. Ted, as you probably know from our previous post in December is a very nice man. He came to Malaya from the US in 1951 as a teacher at the Methodist English School in Bentong. His life has been an amazing journey and he has written books about his adventures and he loves to talk about them. For an 85 year old, his memory, hearing and eyesight are extraordinary. He lives alone in a big, old house surrounded by jungle. He’s not exactly all by himself, because he does have 7 or 8 dogs and a few cats to keep him company. Also his faithful helper, Lai Mei helps him out big time. Ted has one son, Kim Miles, who is married with a child and lives in Vancouver, where he works as a filmmaker.
Among the guests were Mary, a former Principal of Taylor’s, Phil, a Brit who spent some time in Australia and has been in Malaysia for twenty years, and has a durian orchard, Tommy, a former lecturer who likes to sing and can perform London Bridge and How Much Is That Doggy In The Window with a jungle leaf. Ted has many friends who visit him regularily throughout the year. Arlene brought him a gift from Canada of smoked salmon and Ted said “shame on you!” He certainly has a keen sense of humour and when Arlene said if this isn’t exactly what you want, just let me know, and he replied, “well take it back then.” About 40 people ‘dropped’ in on his birthday bringing food, so it was quite a feast. Ted knows how to get a free meal!
The next day Frank Meagher invited us to join him, as he had visiting professors from Queens University, the husband & wife team of Peter and Jane, as well as John, a Principal from the Sunway Canadian School over. Frank had a good supply of appetizers and hors d’oeuvres on hand and the conversation among this group of intellects seemed to be mostly about education. When I found out that John’s son was a scout for the Los Angeles Kings, I found that I had something I could talk about – hockey! Hard to imagine that after all this food, we went out to dine, but dine we did. The Asian stall called Popular City Restaurant is just a short walk from Frank’s condo, and an even shorter drive and that’s where we found some of the tastiest Chinese food I have had in Malaysia.
Somehow, this weekend we still found time to take in a movie. Now that we know how to go to a theatre here, we went to The Descendants with George Clooney. It’s a domestic story about a dying mother and wife and the trials and tribulations of a husband and father left with two growing daughters in a sometimes tragic, sometimes humorous slice of life. If the Malaysian Censor Board had taken the knife to Safe House, this one must have slipped through their fingers, as the language of adolescents is sparkled throughout.
Feb. 25 – Arlene is doing a workshop at a high school in downtown KL
Mar. 3-4 – BMW Malaysian Open Women’s Tennis Semi-Final and Final at Bukit Kiara Equestrian & Country Resort
Mar. 7 – Liam’s 24th birthday – “24 and there’s so much more”
Mar. 10-12 – 3 days/2 nights at The Legend Resort Cherating, Kuantan
Mar. 15 – Sins Of The Father, part 2 of the trilogy by Jeffrey Archer out
Mar. 24 – Tribute to The Beatles at KLCC
Mar. 25 – Photography Seminar with Bambi Cantrell at Saujana Hotel