Month: December 2015

Passion fruit pruning allergy

This is an experience possibly no one else has had a problem with, but I’ll write about it anyway.

Being the end of the passion fruit season I decided to prune the vines about a half – some parts were dying off anyway.  I had been pruning just enough so I could  dry the leaves from what I had pruned that day.  Taking it slowly for this reason. The dried leaves are crunchy and can be crushed and put on the garden, in pots or in compost.

For around the same period of time I had a cough, my nose was bothering me, my face and neck were a bit itchy and my eyes were becoming itchier by the day.

I didn’t connect the two until yesterday.  My eyes were particularly itchy yesterday, so I used colloidal silver and a little spray bottle to spray into my eyes.  I did that a few times over an hour, and the itchiness in my eyes cleared up.  This was no particular surprise.  But also my skin stopped being itchy, my nose cleared up and my cough stopped.  And all I needed was a small amount of my home-made colloidal silver.  So the dust and pollution, possibly animal fur and worse, insects etc. have collected on the leaves, some of which are already dry, and they make me allergic.

Thus I have decided to do all the pruning at once, today.  I will wear a cap, safety goggles, and shower straight after, washing my hair too.  And spray my eyes before and after.

Jpeg

drying leaves

 

today's pruning

today’s pruning

And now, three hours later I have finished.  My neck is a bit itchy, but I am otherwise OK.  No allergic reaction.

 

 

Growing stuff on hot concrete – gardening in tropical Penang – what’s growing in December 2015

And to nicely end a cool and rainy year it’s – guess what – raining now.  We had actually had three whole days without rain, and I had to use town water on the plants this morning as I was enjoying the sunshine.  Then the sky became darker – and it rained! Quite a lot, in fact.

And an hour later it was back to beautiful sunshine.

 

collected eater after the rain

collected eater after the rain

That weather and the water caused the Canna lilies to explode in size since the morning.  A couple of months ago I cut back all the stems and took the bulbs from one big pot and put half back and half in another big pot.  There were 15 stems growing before repotting, and gradually over this time the number coming up has become 12 – three in one pot – and these three are quite big, and nine in the other pot – some large and some still tiny.  Which is encouraging.  I am hoping I will get back to 15 at some stage. One pot became immediately waterlogged and I had to cover it before rain, uncover it when sunny and dry it out for a couple of weeks, then give it minimal water for a while.  Meanwhile I kept on adding organic matter – compost and crushed dried leaves – to improve the soil. After three weeks I could leave it  out in the elements and water it every day. Canna lilies seem to like water, so long as it’s sunny. Here are some photos of them and the other plants today.

very happy canna lilies

very happy canna lilies

very happy canna lilies

very happy canna lilies

homne grown capsicum

home grown capsicum

despite protection the passion fruit were still attacked

despite protection the passion fruit were still attacked

a few passion fruit are still growing

a few passion fruit are still growing

but some of the vines are now dying back

but some of the vines are now dying back

with the rain there are new flowers

with the rain there are new flowers

It should be the end of the passion fruit season.  Only a couple of fruit are now growing. Last year it kept on raining during what is supposed to be the dry season, and passion fruit responded by having a second growing season, and I got fruit a second time.

limes are getting bigger

lime tree is getting bigger

hmm

limes are getting bigger

mock oranges love the rain

mock oranges love the rain

The usual time for mock oranges to grow from seed is around Christmas time. But when it rains a lot, as it did last year, they didn’t germinate.  With all the rain this year again they may not germinate, although I did put some seeds in the soil.

mock oranges love the rain - and are blooming

mock oranges love the rain – and are blooming

mock oranges love the rain - and are blooming

mock oranges love the rain – and are blooming

mock oranges love the rain - and are blooming

mock oranges love the rain – and are blooming

climbing beans are growing rapidly, but as yet no flowers or beans

climbing beans are growing rapidly, but as yet no flowers or beans

Passion fruit like legumes as companion plants, so even if the bean plants produce nothing they nitrogenise the soil.  But I will remove them before they totally take over if they produce nothing.

papaya

papaya is happy, but no fruit – they don’t seem to produce if in a pot

drying leaves in the sun - attracts worms to the soil where I put the crumbled leaves

drying leaves in the sun – attracts worms to the soil where I put the crumbled leaves

papaya growing

papaya growing

pumpkin vines

pumpkin vines

the fist mini-pumpkin

the fist mini-pumpkin

hmm

plumbago doing well

hmm

chilli plant grew out of the compost and quickly produces chillis

lemon grass

lemon grass

aloe vera

aloe vera

ginger

ginger

little lime trees

little lime trees

hibiscus

hibiscus

papaya surviving

papaya surviving – being partly covered has helped them survive storms, but they don’t grow so quickly

papaya flowering

papaya flowering

yummy tomato

yummy tomato – I picked it, and within a few days it was red, and I ate it. It was delicious.  It was also the only fruit from three plants.  Hardly productive.  I really don’t have much success with tomatoes here.

 

 

Road safety enhancement and other mid December notes

Starbucks WiFi

Starbucks WiFi system has changed again. Before there was no need to register, as they had a register later link. Now they are determined to collect your data. Although I am tempted to object by inputting false data each time to discourage such practices, it’s all too much trouble and if I want an internet connection I use my phone, or use my phone as a hotspot. It’s much much faster and easier than using Starbucks WiFi.  Free WiFi increasingly means freely giving your private data to corporations, which use it and sell it.

Jpeg

Road Safety
Road safety has been enhanced on Jalan Edgecombe by the removal this week of the two speed bumps. I hope they do this elsewhere, too.

Rainy season?

One wonders if the rainy season continues or not. We might go a day, two or even three without rain. But then it rains again. Usually in the late afternoon or evening. The last two nights we’ve had two huge thunderstorms.

Elds 22 restaurant, Penang

On Friday we had lunch at Elds 22. They have a four course lunch menu starting at RM15 + GST – but no service charge.  Their a la carte menu is also reasonable.  And it’s pretty popular at lunch time with most tables full most of the time. Here are some photos and the bill.

Elds 22

Elds 22

interior

interior

some posters on a wall

some posters on a wall

set menu choices

set menu choices

pumpkin soup which I forgot to photograph before I'd almost finished

pumpkin soup which I forgot to photograph before I’d almost finished

Shogayaki chicken

Shogayaki chicken

citrus baked fish

citrus baked fish

dessert and coffee

dessert and coffee

the bill

the bill

 

 

The service was quite fast and friendly, and the food nice. The waiter also considererately asked if we’d like our coffee before or after the meal.  (Often in Malaysia they just deliver it before without asking.) They have WiFi too, but while my phone found the router and was authenticated, it didn’t connect. As I didn’t need it I didn’t pursue the matter.

The restaurant can be found next to the food court in Gurney Paragon almost at the Kelawei Road end on Level 5.

 

Elds 22
163 D Level 5, 16, 18 & 19
Gurney Paragon Mall
Tel: 04 218 9013

And the work goes on

In my neighbourhood they are building two new condos.  So we get the dust, noise and occasional road blockage.

For the past few months they have been improving the drainage infrastructure.  This is a good thing, as we used to get flooding, but never so bad it came into the house. So we get the dust, noise and frequent long-term road blockages.

Most recently TNB was laying new electrical cables in the road. So we got the dust, noise and road blockages.

All the road blockages made it difficult to use the car and added 40% to driving time in rush hour.

Then sometimes without warning the water has been shut off for a few hours.  Usually in the afternoon.

And we’ve also had electrical blackouts – two this week – both unexpected.

Despite the fact I am not quite sure if the rainy season is over – it rains still every two days – for some reason mosquitos aren’t the problem they usually are. Perhaps the haze – now thankfully over – and the dust have been keeping them away.  So at least this is good.