Month: March 2016

An evening stroll along Gurney Drive, Penang

Jpeg

The fence is just past Jalan Pemenang, near Mr Pot

So I decided to go for a stroll along Gurney Drive. I wanted to know how far the fence has got, seeing as they started four weeks ago now.  The fence is now up to Mr Pot – just past Jalan Pemenang.  Yesterday it was finished to just before the same street, so it didn’t proceed that far in a day.

There is a set of pedestrian traffic lights, and as the road was busy when I was there, I had to use the lights.  The first two or three cars went through the lights after it was well and truly red.   Then it seemed safe for me to cross, ever watching out for motorbikes which characteristically ignore red lights.  As soon as I was half way across, a couple of cars went through the red light again.  One really has to be careful. It may be safer to cross without using pedestrian lights as you then have no expectations.

A few minutes later I saw four local police riding past on tiny motorbikes. They all stop at 7-11 and go in. Well, it seemed funny to me.

Walking the other direction I see a couple of guys sitting on a bench in the dark smoking a full-sized shisha. They first time I’d seen that.

And later I saw a trishaw with tourists making its way along Gurney Drive – with no lights.  And it was going the wrong way on the one-way section.  I would have thought the tourists would have been smarter than to do that, even if the driver wasn’t.  Apparently not.

I went home making no further observations.

Do grasshoppers read my blog? … and other matters

I mentioned in my gardening blog that the passion fruit seedling was doing well. And the next day it had been attacked. Looking around it seemed like it may have been a grasshopper.

passion fruit seedling was attacked

passion fruit seedling was attacked

 

looks like a grasshopper attack

looks like a grasshopper attack

 

I covered it with mesh but it doesn't like it - so now I only cover at night

I covered it with mesh but it doesn’t like it – so now I only cover at night

I love kaya toast.  The other day I bought some kaya at Old Town.

 

kaya from Old Town - around RM4 and delicious

kaya from Old Town – around RM4 and delicious

They have laid out the fence line for the Gurney Wharf project along the entirety of Gurney Drive now.  So far the fence is installed from the Gurney Roundabout to opposite Gurney Paragon.

end of Gurney Drive

end of Gurney Drive

 

to many people ride their motorbikes along the footpath

to many people ride their motorbikes along the footpath

 

Jpeg

fence line

 

Jpeg

fence line

 

Jpeg

looking from the beach

 

soft drink cans change shape

A few weeks back a new shape of soft drink can, with currently the same volume of contents, has appeared.  I hope it’s not a prelude to yet again reducing the volume.  Currently they are 330ml, but I remember them being 375ml, with bottles being double that at 750ml.  The shape has also changed for Coke, F & N etc.

new shape on left

new shape on left

Growing stuff on hot concrete – gardening in tropical Penang – what’s growing in March 2016

It’s hot and dry.  It has only rained briefly once since I last put fingers to keyboard on this topic.

hot and dry

hot and dry

 

papaya trees dying one by one

papaya trees dying one by one

I don’t know why, but every month or so another papaya tree dies.  In a few more months at this rate there will be none remaining.

I need to water the plants every day.  And they are mostly doing well.

baby lime

baby lime

 

lime tree is flowering a little

lime tree is flowering a little and fruit growing

 

passionfruit seedling

Passion fruit seedling.  Something seems to be eating the lower leaves.  Luckily it is not eating the higher new shoots and new leaves can develop.

I also put some passion fruit seeds into this pot, along with some mung bean seeds, which encourages the passion fruit seeds.  We’ll see if they germinate.

passion fruit seeds

passion fruit seeds

 

mock orange baby leaves

mock orange baby leaves

 

mock orange baby leaves

mock orange baby leaves

Until early March I was getting about two tiny pumpkins a day – they tasted like courgettes or zucchini.  Now they are not appearing, and instead five pumpkins are growing to full size.

baby pumpkin

baby pumpkin with full size pumpkin growing above

 

another type of pumpkin

another type of pumpkin – about 20 cm across now

 

pumpkins growing towards full size

pumpkins growing towards full size

 

 

 

 

Penang is changing and mostly improving – a few photos – Part 2

In the next few years several large-scale infrastructure projects are supposed to be implemented.  These include Gurney Wharf, new motorways to relieve the congestion, a road tunnel near Gurney Drive to Butterworth, and light rail from Tanjung Bungah through George Town to the airport.  There are others, but these are the ones that interest me.

What’s not improving is traffic congestion, but these new projects should fix that, with better roads that will keep through traffic out of the residential streets, enable people to cycle safely, and catch public transport.

This site gives some more information, but seems rather negative, and uses the “s” word.  “Sustainable”.  This word has a different meaning to the normal English meaning when the United Nations and eco-warriors use it. Think Agenda 21, which has morphed into Agenda 2030.  You would think that collecting rainwater in your own rainwater tank was sustainable  – but it’s not “Sustainable” in the UN sense as some US jurisdictions following UN guidelines  (an even in Australia) have moved to outlaw it.  You would think that growing your own vegetables in your home garden was sustainable, but it’s not “Sustainable” in the UN sense as some US jurisdictions  have moved to outlaw it.  You would think that having your house disconnected from the (electricity, water etc.) grid was sustainable, but…you guessed, this has also been outlawed in some places.  Back to the topic at hand.

The March 1 – 15 State Government free newspaper, “buletin Mutiara” also gives some more details.  But they don’t seem to have a web page – only a Facebook page.  But I found the FAQ about the project online at http://www.themalaymailonline.com/what-you-think/article/faq-on-the-gurney-wharf-park-on-the-sea-project-lim-guan-eng

For me one of the most important points is that there will be almost 400m of sandy beach. They don’t mention if one will be able to safely swim, free of pollution and jellyfish.   One of the few downsides of Penang is not being able to swim in the sea, so I really hope this is addressed.

Here are a few photos walking from Northam Road to the George Town end of  Gurney Drive, and then towards the roundabout.  I had more, but these few weeks the Telekom Malaysia Internet connection speed is terrible, and I couldn’t upload more.

barges / dredges offshore

barges / dredges offshore

 

some kind of barrier

some kind of barrier

 

Northam Road outside Citibank

Northam Road outside Citibank

 

looking down towards the sea

looking down towards the sea

 

Northam Road

Northam Road

 

start of Kelawei Road

start of Kelawei Road

 

end of Gurney Drive

end of Gurney Drive

 

looking down Pangkor Road

looking down Pangkor Road

 

end of Gurney Drive

end of Gurney Drive

 

end of Gurney Road

beach at the end of Gurney Drive

 

looking up towards the start of Gurney Drive

looking up towards the end of Gurney Drive from the beach

 

end of Gurney Drive

end of Gurney Drive

20160309-34 (Copy)

20160309-35 (Copy) 20160309-36 (Copy)

20160311-02 (Copy)

20160311-05 (Copy)

20160311-06 (Copy)

20160311-07 (Copy)

20160311-08 (Copy)

20160311-09 (Copy)

20160311-10 (Copy)

Penang is changing and mostly improving – a few photos – Part 1

In the next few years several large-scale infrastructure projects are supposed to be implemented.  These include Gurney Wharf, new motorways to relieve the congestion, a road tunnel near Gurney Drive to Butterworth, and light rail from Tanjung Bungah through George Town to the airport.  There are others, but these are the ones that interest me.

So Gurney area is about to change. In fact, it has already started. Just the other day.  So I have been taking a few photos so I can look back at them in the future. Here are some.

Gurney roundabout

Gurney roundabout

 

Gurney roundabout

Gurney roundabout

 

Gurney roundabout

Gurney roundabout

 

so, this fence is new

so, this fence is new

 

the iea is that it separates the path from the land reclamation

the idea is that it separates the path from the land reclamation. Soil in the trough for plants.

 

and they are planting plants

and they are planting plants in the troughs on the other side of the fence

 

20160311-27 (Copy)

20160311-28 (Copy)

20160311-29 (Copy)

20160311-30 (Copy)

20160311-31 (Copy)

continuing down Gurney Drive

continuing down Gurney Drive

 

20160311-34 (Copy)

20160311-35 (Copy)

20160311-36 (Copy)

20160311-37 (Copy)

20160311-38 (Copy)

about halfway down Gurney Drive

about halfway down Gurney Drive

partial eclipse of the sun in Penang

Currently we are experiencing a partial eclipse of the sun – which started around 7.26AM.

Begins: Wed, 9 Mar 2016, 07:26

Maximum: Wed, 9 Mar 2016, 08:24

Ends: Wed, 9 Mar 2016, 09:30

It was cloudy around then, which is also more or less when the sun appears over the horizon, so I couldn’t see anything. But around an hour later the clouds cleared for a while, and I could see the maximum point. Then it became cloudy again. Here are a few photos:

monitor lizards up for sunrise

monitor lizards up for sunrise on the Gurney mudflats

 

8.20

above – 8.20AM

 

8.22

8.22

 

8.22

8.22

 

8.22

8.22

 

8.22

8.22

 

8.24 - the maximum

8.24 – the maximum

 

8.25

8.25