Updating older blogs

I am gradually updating some of the more popular blogs, where circumstances have changed.  For example, the train service has been significantly improved, so the blog needed refreshing.

These blogs won’t show up as new blogs, but updating already existing ones that the web spiders already know about is more effective in sharing the information.  However, it does look like I am doing less.

Gurney Wharf Project progress photos, 10th February, 2017

The Gurney Wharf project started at the end of February, 2016, which started as putting a fence along Gurney Drive.  So I will photograph progress from the same standpoint – in front of Bali Hai, which is around the middle of Gurney Drive. Or at least somewhere near there.

It’s been almost a year now.  here are some photos I took the other day, at low tide, and then a couple of days later.

Gurney Wharf project

Gurney Wharf project

Gurney Wharf project

Gurney Wharf project

Gurney Wharf project

Gurney Wharf project

Gurney Wharf project

Gurney Wharf project

Gurney Wharf project

Gurney Wharf project

 

 

Selfish car parking on footpaths makes walking more dangerous

One should apparently exercise at least 30 minutes a day, and possibly the easiest and most pleasant exercise is walking.  In Penang this has been difficult in many places, but footpaths are being built and upgraded, so the situation is improving.

Unfortunately, some car drivers see footpaths as a convenient place to park so that they don’t have to walk.  Often this forces pedestrians  onto a busy road with cars driving quite fast, so you have to wait for a break in the traffic to get past the parked car blocking the footpath. Or risk getting killed.  Of course, car lanes are quite narrow here, so you have to be careful.  Better signposts indicating where safe and legal car parking is available might help.  If these drivers parked safely and walked a little, they would also improve their health.  In fact, when you see strategies for scheduling exercise, they often mention parking further from your destination and walking as one of them.

Some motorcyclists seem to view footpaths as a traffic free speedtrack.  The other day I was surprised by a motorcyclist zooming towards me at around 40km/h.  Others see it as a way to ignore one way streets.  And others just to avoid traffic on the road.

Some cyclists also use the footpath, but in my experience they ride quite slowly, and I haven’t yet felt threatened – and I sympathise, as facilities are as yet quite poor for cyclists, although they too are improving slowly.  Faster cyclists tend to cycle on the road.

Here are a few photos:

inconsiderate parking

inconsiderate parking

and it's not only cars

and it’s not only cars – every other bike was parked OK, but this owner chose to block the whole path

inconsiderate parking

inconsiderate parking

rubbish is also blocking the footpath

rubbish is also blocking the footpath

inconsiderate parking

inconsiderate parking

inconsiderate parking

inconsiderate parking by bus – there is a long length of lane with a yellow line where he could park which would not block traffic, but instead he parks on the corner where he causes a jam when traffic is heavier.  These buses do this all the time – but occasionally a driver is more considerate.

inconsiderate bike parking

inconsiderate bike parking

inconsiderate parking

inconsiderate parking

I can squeeze past on the left - but he's also part blocking a car lane

I can squeeze past on the left – but he’s also part blocking a car lane

I can squeeze past on the left - but he's also part blocking a car lane

I can squeeze past on the left – but he’s also part blocking a car lane

hmm

hmm

did he really have to block - even parallel to the path would have been better

did he really have to block the path?- even parallel to the path would have been better

right in the middle of the path

right in the middle of the path

hmm

hmm

and a bicycle gets into the act - I almost fall down the embankment

and a bicycle gets into the act – I almost fall down the embankment

lot of them

lot of them

inconsiderate parking

inconsiderate parking

inconsiderate parking

inconsiderate parking

there's that rubbish blocking the path again

there’s that rubbish blocking the path again

inconsiderate parking

inconsiderate parking

motocyclist road - sometime they honk you to get out of the way

motorcyclist road – sometimes they honk you to get out of the way

motocyclist road

motorcyclist road

motocyclist road

motorcyclist road

motocyclist road

motorcyclist road

More people are walking today than before, I think – a mixture of tourists and locals.  It would be nice if pedestrians were respected.

Dealing with rats then wasps

RATS

While we were away in Pangkor Island rats took advantage of the quiet and moved into our ceiling.  Web sites say lay traps to catch them, but they were too smart / not hungry – anyway, they didn’t work.

What we found did work was simply keeping on a light that would illuminate the cavity area.  Brilliant! They moved out and haven’t been back.

WASPS

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Yesterday afternoon I noticed a local building issuing a lot of smoke – but it wasn’t fogging for mosquitoes, and it wasn’t on fire.  An hour or two later we noticed a wasp / bee nest on a branch of one of our large potted trees.  Scary.

I checked the web for self-help solutions, combined ideas, and then did the following:

I moved all other plants away so they wouldn’t get sprayed

Trimmed the tree a little, but wasps were flying around so I couldn’t get very close, and couldn’t do a good job.

Waited until dusk, when they would be less active, but I could still see a little

Turned outside lights on that were not in the direction I would stand

Had a quick escape route if necessary

Ensured I had antihistamines nearby in case of multiple stings.  You can also put ice on stings to help.

Mapped out a route to the nearest hospital in my mind, so I could quickly drive there if necessary

Got two cans of insect spray – for bigger insects like flies etc.

Put on thick socks, Wellington boots, thick trousers, shirt, scarf around neck, hat, raincoat, plastic poncho with hood, gardening gloves – in light colours as they prefer dark colours, and it’s also easier to see if any land on you if your clothes are light.  Kind of like a Ghostbuster outfit

There was very little movement at the nest by now – they were tired after a hard day moving house, I guess

Stood up wind about six feet / two metres from the nest and then directed both sprays against the nest.  The nest appeared to be wasps sitting on wasps all the way to the centre of the nest, so the whole thing just collapsed into an array of bodies on the floor after spraying for a minute or two.  Most were not moving, but some were – very few flew, and none landed on me. I sprayed in the air around me, then moved a little closer and sprayed the floor where the moving ones were

An hour later I returned and washed the bodies away, washed all the foliage of the plants to try to remove insecticide, and washed the floor – which was slippery

The next morning I strung up brown paper bags in the gardens as wasps won’t set up house near where other nests are, and they think the paper bags are nests.  When it rains they’ll become soggy, but in all the years we’ve been here this is the first problem we’ve had with wasps, so it’s unlikely we’ll have another anytime soon.  I just didn’t want any wasps that might have survived returning to set up home again.

And I moved all plants back and watered them

This all worked and I wasn’t stung at all.  Here is a dead one the next morning.

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And a fake wasp home

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Happy New Year

It’s New Year.  I love this time of year.  It’s very quiet – you can actually cross the roads on foot.  And the air seemed different walking around at about 8AM this morning.  It seemed like the weather was changing. The wind was different. Not that I’m predicting anything, as it’s not a forte of mine. At other times during Chinese New Year the roads are packed as everyone goes out by car at the same time.  But at least the first morning is quiet.  I tracked down a lion dance – I love these.

 

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Growing stuff on hot concrete – gardening in tropical Penang – what’s growing in January 2017

Well, again not so much has changed. Every time I think the wet season has ended it rains again.  It has been cool and rainy for most of January, too.  But a lot of Malaysia has been flooding, which thankfully we’re not having a problem with.

rainy sometimes, dry and sunny sometimes and they seem to do OK

rainy sometimes, dry and sunny sometimes and they seem to do OK

rainy sometimes, dry and sunny sometimes and they seem to do OK

rainy sometimes, dry and sunny sometimes and they seem to do OK

small Crepe Ginger are growing well

small Crepe Ginger are growing well

lime is flowering and fruiting

lime is flowering and fruiting and growing new leaves

I'm pruning the passion fruit vines now

I’m pruning the passion fruit vines now

however, there are still a few passion fruit growing, and some new flowers, too

however, there are still a few passion fruit growing, and some new flowers, too

smaller mock orange are flowering

smaller mock orange are flowering

grape vine growing - a grasshopper was eating it until we caught it

grape-vine growing – a grasshopper was eating it until we caught it

the best thing this month is the egg plant plant

the best thing this month is the egg-plant plant

lots of tiny eggplants to put in curry

lots of tiny eggplants to put in curry

So it’s been about six months now with not too many changes.  As that’s how long it’s been rainy and cool.