Monday, May 23, 2011

Shopping companions

They are my 3 green reusable shopping bags. Since I want to go green, it is not enough for me to just use reusable shopping bags - they must be green in colour too.

Nah, I am only joking, not using plastic bags is a good enough move. The government is also doing its part to encourage us to ditch those plastic bags by getting retailers to stop giving out free plastic bags on Saturdays in their nationwide "No Plastic Bags on Saturdays" campaign. Unfortunately the results are not all positive. I overheard this conversation between a couple on a Saturday.

Man: Oh, I think our rice at home is running low, let's go and buy a new pack.
Woman: No, today is Saturday. They will not give us plastic bags. Let's wait till tomorrow.

I guess there is still a long way to go before it becomes a habit for people to use reusable bags. Especially when reusable grocery bags need to be washed carefully and regularly to minimise bacterial contamination.

My green companions

Monday, May 16, 2011

Donnington Castle 2000

Time to reminisce - one weekend in Aug 2000, we visited a ruined medieval castle situated north of Newbury, Berkshire. Details about Donnington Castle can be found at the English Heritage website.

We left home passing by our neighbour's house with its lovely garden
We passed through narrow roads lined with tall trees
We had to walk a short distance to reach the remains of the castle
Posing in front of the gatehouse of Donnington Castle 
The view from the site of the castle

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


My brothers and sister-in-law just came back from visiting my 94 years old grandmother who lives in Taiwan. They brought back some gifts for me. One of them is an ocarina, a musical wind instrument that is somewhat like a recorder. I will learn to play a simple song on it. For a start - I am working on playing "Twinkle twinkle little star". It is quite challenging as the ocarina is small and sometimes there is a need to cover only half a hole. Nevertheless, I will try to do it.
The ocarinas that they bought
My mother who is still in Taiwan has requested them to pass to me two packets of soft chewy date walnut nougats which I love to eat when young. She always buy them for me whenever she visits her mother. It has been many years since the last time I ate them. I did not even buy them the few times that I was in Taiwan because I have totally forgotten about them. This time I asked her to get some for me so that my spouse can have a taste of them. I like eating those that are not so sweet and I hope my spouse will like them too.

date and walnut nougats

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Substitute dog carer

Taking care of two thirteen years old dogs requires the carer to have lots of love for them. According to this "Dog Age Calculator", if our dogs were human they would be around 80 years old so their diet needs extra care. Twice a day, they are fed Eukanuba dog food that have to be soaked to soften the kibble. In addition to that, they are also fed steamed rice with shredded chicken breast meat and the whites of hard boiled eggs.

Now that my brother who takes care of them is away on his well deserved vacation, a substitute dog carer has been appointed. Her daily activities include feeding the dogs twice a day; scooping their poo and flushing the poo down the toilet; brushing their teeth with special dog toothpaste; and hosing down the dogs' "urinal". As the dogs are confined to a large area where they can run around freely, she does not need to walk them but the teeth brushing and poo disposal tasks are enough to keep her fully occupied. Further to that she needs to take care of the eleven year old cat too so she really has her work cut out for her.

My brother insists that the dogs' teeth are brushed daily and the poo are flushed down our toilet. Searching for other ways to dispose the poo, I googled and found this guide with the title "What to Do with Doggy Doo". Guess my brother is right, one of the responsible and correct ways to dispose the poo is to flush it down the toilet. So how do you dispose your dogs' poo?

Sleepy cat
P/S I am just the companion to the substitute dog carer because I just do not have what it takes to take on this important role.