Month: October 2016

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

It’s been raining quite a lot again, almost every day.  Some days quite heavily.  There was only haze on the odd occasion when it didn’t rain, but the haze wasn’t bad.  Usually October is wet, so it could turn out to be a very rainy year.  And quite cool.

I was away for much of the month, but what seemed to mainly grow was passion fruit vines and citrus trees.

citrus trees have grown really well with all this rain

citrus trees have grown really well with all this rain

 

citrus trees have grown really well with all this rain

citrus trees have grown really well with all this rain

 

grape vine

grape vine

 

hibiscus and bougainvillea in the sun

hibiscus. ginger poker and bougainvillea in the sun

 

duranta is happy

duranta is happy

 

bougainvillea

bougainvillea

 

rosemary

rosemary – so useful in the kitchen

 

likes the rain

Basil likes the rain, too

 

Canna Lily flowering

Canna Lily flowering

 

 

mock orange love the rain too

Mock orange love the rain too. They have grown.

 

really ripen

mini pumpkins

 

little pumpkins

another mini-pumpkin

 

passion fruit grow with the rain, but with little sun don;t ripen much

passion fruit grow with the rain, but with little sun don’t ripen much

 

squirrels are getting almost half of the passion fruit before I can

Squirrels are getting almost half of the passion fruit before I can.  So from this week I have been picking the heavy fruit even if very green, and putting them in a sealed plastic bag out in the sun when it shines.  It does seem to be ripening them. I keep the plastic bag more or less in my sight so that squirrels don’t find a new and very easy source of passion fruit. There are mangoes on the trees in the street.  Birds and squirrels should stick to these, I think.

 

mock

plumbago is flowering on

 

mockie flower

mock orange flower – very fragrant.  After rain they flower a lot.

 

passion fruit flower

passion fruit flower

 

It was actually sunny on Saturday, so I could dry some leaves to crush for compost

It was actually sunny on Saturday, so I could dry some leaves to crush for compost

Being almost November I would expect the rain to ease off, and it to become sunnier and warmer again.  We’ll see.  It’s the peak of the passion fruit fruiting season and there are probably 30 fruit growing on the vines, and I have maybe 15 in plastic bags in the sun ripening.  The season usually continues until around Christmas.

 

 

Riding in Romania – Balkans trip anecdotes and photos

This blog mainly concentrates on providing information that will help in living or travelling in Malaysia.  However, I do blog a little about trips abroad.  On my recent trip to the Balkans I’ll do a series of short blogs providing one anecdote per country, and then a few assorted photos of the country unrelated to the anecdote.

Romania Buddy Bear

Romania Buddy Bear

I started my trip in Romania.  In late September there was a couchsurfing event in Timisoara, Romania.  On the last full day of the event one of the Romanian CS members organised bicycles for us, and we rode along the bike path by the river for about an hour to a cafe on the river bank for lunch.  And then later back.  This also fulfilled one of my aims of my trip, to do a little cycling.  It was really fun.

gathering at the riverside cafe before cycling

gathering at the riverside cafe before cycling

 

cycling out of town

cycling out of town

 

on the bridge where the bike path changes sides from one bank to the other

on the bridge where the bike path changes sides from one bank to the other

 

cafe by the river

cafe by the river

 

cafe by the river

cafe by the river

 

cafe by the river

cafe by the river

 

cafe by the river

cafe by the river

 

returning to the city

returning to the city

 

returning to the city

returning to the city

AND SOME ASSORTED PHOTOS FROM DIFFERENT PARTS OF ROMANIA

Constanta, Romania - a club for senior men. So typical of the image of older European men - dresses in suits or similar, perhaps wearing a cap, and sitting with one or two others happily chatting

Constanta, Romania – a club for senior men. So typical of the image of older European men – dressed in suits or similar, perhaps wearing a cap, and sitting with one or two others on a bench happily chatting – or here in their club

 

The hotel I stayed in on my first night in Romania - Constanta on the Black Sea

The hotel I stayed in on my first night in Romania – Constanta on the Black Sea

 

Varma Veche - a resort on the Black Sea

Varma Veche – a resort on the Black Sea

 

Varma Veche - a resort on the Black Sea

Varma Veche – a resort on the Black Sea

 

Varma Veche

Varma Veche

 

sunset at Varma Veche

sunset at Varma Veche

a local train back to Constanta

a local train back to Constanta

 

a typical station - the station employee (right side in shadow of photo) standing at attention as the train leaves. I felt kind of honoured

a typical station – the station employee (right side of photo) standing at attention as the train leaves. They always do this.  I felt kind of honoured.

 

a tram in Bucharest

a tram in Bucharest

 

Parliament House in Bucharest

Parliament House in Bucharest

 

a first class slepper compartment on the night train from Bucharest to Chisinau, Moldova

a first class sleeper compartment on the night train from Bucharest to Chisinau, Moldova

 

early morning train from Brasov to Sighisoara

early morning train from Brasov to Sighisoara

 

Sighisoara, Transylvania

Sighisoara, Transylvania

 

Sighisoara

Sighisoara

 

Sighisoara, Transylvania

Sighisoara, Transylvania

 

Sighisoara, Transylvania

Sighisoara, Transylvania

 

a delicious Romanian stew

a delicious Romanian stew

 

Sighisoara, Transylvania

Sighisoara, Transylvania

 

Sighisoara, Transylvania

Sighisoara, Transylvania

 

Sighisoara, Transylvania

Sighisoara, Transylvania

 

Sighisoara, Transylvania

Sighisoara, Transylvania

 

Sighisoara, Transylvania

Sighisoara, Transylvania

 

Sighisoara, Transylvania

Sighisoara, Transylvania

 

Sighisoara, Transylvania

Sighisoara, Transylvania

 

Sibiu, Transylvania

Sibiu, Transylvania

 

Sibiu, Transylvania

Sibiu, Transylvania

 

Sibiu, Transylvania

Sibiu, Transylvania

 

Sibiu, Transylvania

Sibiu, Transylvania

 

Sibiu, Transylvania

Sibiu, Transylvania

 

Sibiu, Transylvania

Sibiu, Transylvania

 

western Romania countryside

western Romania countryside

 

Timisoara

Timisoara

 

Timisoara

Timisoara

 

Timisoara

Timisoara

 

Timisoara

Timisoara

 

Timisoara

Timisoara

 

Timisoara

Timisoara

 

In the very west, at the border with Serbia. Romanian border officials were very friendly.

In the very west, at the border with Serbia. Romanian border officials were very friendly.

G Hotel lunch deal

Eating out for lunch tends to be a better deal than at dinner.  And it gives you more time to digest, so I tend to think it’s less likely to put on weight.

G Hotel’s buffet lunch  seems a reasonable deal.  The third person is free.  Or if you are over 60 the price is RM55 rather than RM91.  Here is their brochure.

G Hotel brochure

G Hotel brochure