Part-time tree hugger

by FeR on March 9, 2019 in blabs,personal

Ugly sad face FeR – if you look behind me, that’s how far the glacier has receded (Nov 2018). It would’ve looked so different if I managed to visit before I left NZ (between 2008-2013).

For those who know me personally (and long enough), you would’ve seen/known how I feel about the environment. You may have even experienced/seen the craziness of how far I’d go when it comes to waste. I am a part-time tree hugger. I do the best I can but I’m not extremely strict (I just avoid putting myself in that situation if I can help it) and during this NZ trip, I found out that one of Eve’s pet peeves was littering. She would pick up rubbish as we walk through parks/hikes. If everyone do that little bit, the world would probably be better off that how it is now.

When I finally had my own place, I was able to have my own rules. :lol:
My council provides a big roll of biodegradable bags every year to be used in our kitchen caddy (also provided by the council) for food scraps. I make full use of my green bin because they take all food scraps – even meat and bones. The downside is that the bin only gets emptied every fortnight. This isn’t too bad in winter but it’s terrible in summer – phooey! I still persevered, though. I know WY didn’t like doing this because it smelt and there is a risk of ants (or other pests) making their way into the bins – so even though we live in the same council area, I never pushed for it when I was living with her. Her house, her rules, eh!

Needless to say, recyclables go into the recycling bin. My council takes coffee cups (some don’t) even though I now try to avoid having coffee in disposable takeaway cups. The last time I was in SYD airport, I wanted to have coffee but noticed all the cafes serve their coffees only in disposable cups (even though you’re having it in store) – I went without. I know it may seem insignificant for little ‘ol me to refuse that one cup of coffee but this is me making my stand (where I can). Makes me question – why won’t you serve me coffee in a proper cup/mug if I’m going to sit in and take my time? I have a feeling they will just push it back to “convenience”. I may have to consider taking a reusable cup with me wherever I go, or especially when I’m flying some where because they also use disposable cups on planes.

Soft plastic is a subject that is a little controversial. I’m not sure if they really do recycle them (our local supermarkets take them, not the council) so to avoid this dilemma, I try to shop with less waste. Bulk food stores, Central Market, farmers’ market, grow my own(!), community swap, choose things that come without extra packaging – choices like that. It’s difficult to avoid it entirely and it pains me to see people choosing to use disposable stuff (or not recycle and throw everything in the general waste bin). I have to not think about it too much, especially at work when we have perfectly usable cutlery (albeit the state of cleanliness is a bit dubious :lol: but I always wash before use if I’m suspicious) – why do we need to create more rubbish? And there is an ongoing debacle about taking out the rubbish. :roll:

With all that in place, I hardly fill my general rubbish bin and probably take it out once a month (not because it’s full but because, well, I want it emptied). I think what you’d find most in my general rubbish bin is hair. :pfft: :lol:
When my family came to visit, that was when my rubbish bin was emptied every week – oh my… I sort of gave up and didn’t want to stress mum further about what goes where, what/where she can buy/not buy, etc. I get it that no one fully understands how I feel or why I do what I do, so I pretty much prefer to not have anyone “help” me sort the rubbish. Even when Eiz and JoFo came to visit, they said, “Ahhhh! Too complicated, we leave it here, okay?” That’s perfectly fine to me! :hee:

I still consume meat, I still eat junk food, I still drive a car, I still turn on my air conditioning – I just do to the best that I can. I try to plan in advance with a container if I’m getting takeaway food, I avoid buying fruits/veges wrapped in plastic, I try to choose paper packaging if I don’t go to the bulk food store (eg. sugar – I pay more to buy the paper packaged brand from the supermarket), I take my rubbish home to recycle/compost, I reverted back to soap bars (I buy them from Central Market, no packaging!) and if time permits, I bus to the city. I think the most waste I’ve created is from buying things from Bunnings :pfft: – all those bags of compost/manure and potting mix.
I do try to consume less, buy less. We really do not NEED a lot of things in life. I have trimmed my wardrobe down considerably and be more conscious about buying better quality stuff that will lasts longer than fast fashion (though they are all very cute and tempting, price wise!). Mum is appalled at me buying second hand furniture! :lol:

If you have a bucket list of places to visit, do it soon. You never know if it’ll still be there in 5-10 years’ time (at the rate the world is going). Then again, air travel is not the most environmentally friendly mode of transportation. Yet I do this quite often. Ah! See the dilemma?



by FeR on January 1, 2019 in blabs

Well. My new year’s resolution is not to make any resolutions. :lol:

Especially if it’s anything to do with this blog. Oh dear. My last “real” entry was back in July. So much for trying to blog more (once a week, hah!)

However, I can do a quick (or as quick as I can remember) recap of 2018.

  1. January: Celebrated New Year’s with the Yeohs (actually woke up at 12am to watch fireworks on TV), went back to WA to work in Albany, signed up for a month’s pass to the gym to train for the fun run in The Hague.
  2. February: Went back to Margaret River (finally saw the stingrays!), skin improved (not sure if it was the sun/beach or the exercise or the diet or all of it!), interviewed and got offered a permanent job in back in Adelaide (to start in May since I have another locum job lined up).
  3. March: Flew back to Malaysia for a few days, renewed my passport on the same day I was flying out to Amsterdam (!!!), finished the 5km in 33:43, visited Shyuan (finally) in Nuremberg, saw snowfall in The Hague and London, brave the cold in London with mum and Aunty Mandy, went crazy in Primark (the last time I was in any of the stores, I was a poor student. Now, I’m a poor employee :hee: ), “kidnapped” Surt to go visit Chelle in Penang (with Sin), spent time with 哥哥 korkor and good friends, went to Sabah, got my eyebrows embroidered, ate a fair bit of durian!
  4. April: Did my last locum stint in Claire, renewed my driver’s licence to reflect my own home address, got new prescription glasses, house and “dog-sit” for Tim (so impressed with how well the dogs listen to a stranger when taken to the Oval for their daily exercise).
  5. May: Worked a couple of days in Burra and so proud that the ladies there have started using their own takeaway cups for their coffees, PH won the election (!!!), the Morgans came to visit, started my permanent job on the 21st, made my own kimchi and butternut soup with Melody’s home grown vegetables.
  6. June: Skin turned bad again (very sad!), the last time I saw Sarah & David’s Billy (he was sent back to Malaysia), started shopping organic locally and as waste free as possible, still unmotivated to get anything done in/for the house (I blame it on shorter daylight and cooler temperature)
  7. July: Got a food processor (decided that was the best middle but a month later, I still had to get a handheld mixer because the whip attachment is not that great :pfft: ), bought magazines (Better Homes and Organic Gardener – can you believe it???) for the first time in a looooooong time, got my fruit salad and dwarf persimmon trees, planted daffodils for the first time (experimenting), attended “Gospel of John” bible studies, started going to Central Market to shop for my organic produce, went to Katy Perry’s concert (first concert in Adelaide/Australia!) and I don’t even know the full lyrics to any of her songs, finally got a library card and discovered a vege patch outside the building, attempted TCM for my skin (the preparation had cicada shedding!)
  8. August: Attended an ink lettering class, took the bus to the city for the first time (had to Uber back home because we got locked out of Wei Yee’s office carpark :lol: ), received my “sticks” – bare root roses from Wagner’s nursery, got a handheld mixer because I wanted to make pup-cakes for Nicole’s birthday (the food processor couldn’t whip the buttercream – sigh!), bumped in Joycelyn when I was at bU, the stone fruit tree woke up from hibernation!
  9. September: Watched Crazy Rich Asian (we got a curry puff and a kaya bun as it was a Malaysian club event), tried the desserts at Eggless Cafe (finally), colleagues made fun of me being a witch as my bare root apple trees came wrapped and looked like a broom stick :lol: , my fruit trees were showing signs of life (plum blossoms, apple leaves, fig leaves, citrus flower buds, rose leaves), went out to the city in the evening for NN’s birthday (I seldom go out at night, let alone bars), attempted 公仔餅 gong zai peng (taste was there, unfortunately, hard as rocks!), two daffodils came out to say hello!
  10. October: Built the kitchen island and pantry cupboard 2 days before the family arrived, landscaper started work in the courtyard and front, Wei Yee baked me a durian cheesecake (which was divine!), made unicorn cupcakes, mum actually petted a cat while on her morning walk (!!!), introduced mum to Shiraz (she liked it)
  11. November: First rose from the William Morris (only this plant has given me any roses up to this day, the other two are not doing well), baked A LOT of sponge cakes (loved the coffee cake the best), attempted planting some vegetables (somehow they do not thrive like Melody’s despite using the same seeds), impulsively bought LightStim for acne because I was sick of paying for peels and light treatment at beauty centres (and skin is still horrible), the start of the long awaited NZ holiday (planned from a year ago) and we actually drove that huge camper van, the luge in Queenstown is more scenic than Rotorua.
  12. December: Kayaked (for the first time) at Milford Sound, completed Tongariro Alpine Crossing in 8hrs 20mins, stayed up and out the latest in a looooong while (to watch the stars at Lake Tekapo), had to be brave at Waitomo doing The Black Labyrinth (small space and jumping off an albeit small waterfall – in the dark! – challenges my fear of tight spaces and heights), enjoyed SUP and a swim in the sea, had afternoon tea at Cordis, came back to half dead plants at home (no edibles!), mouse in my house, enjoyed a quiet Christmas, went cherry picking on Boxing Day, finally made a burger with truffle mayonnaise (that I got from The Netherlands) for Wei Yee, successfully made 叉燒包 char siew pau (my 3rd try), saw a koala out “in the wild”.

Well, I don’t know if I missed anything out. I looked at what photos are left on my phone and went with it. Nothing utterly heartbreaking this year (or maybe my brain just chooses to block it out from my memory), I think. Can’t believe the trip to visit Julie was actually this year because it felt like ages ago. If you’ve not noticed, there were a lot of “finally” in my recap – there were quite a few things that I wanted to do/heard of and I guess 2018 was the year for it.

I guess if I REALLY had to make a New Year’s resolution, I hope to still be able to recap with some “finally” (or more) in 2019.

Finally get a cat…? :lol:
Finally get a husband…? :roll:
Finally get a dog…? :hee:
Finally get some produce from vege patch…? :lol:
Finally get to Japan…? :hee:
Finally get to set up my craft corner…? :roll:
Finally get to blogging regularly…? :sidelook:


Week 2

by FeR on May 31, 2018 in blabs,personal

My last proper blog entry was back in December! I can’t believe it’s been that long. I wrote about seeing a fig tree and how I felt it was a sign for me to stop wandering around. Now, I’m at week 2 of my permanent job (God sent!). I can start planning my edible garden and I can finally start unpacking the rest of my things that are still in boxes.

I’ve been tired everyday after work and I really hope I’ll snap out of the lazy cycle of just wasting after work time with mindless TV programmes. I gave myself a week to settle in but I think I may need another! :P
From here on, I hope to be able to do a post a week. What about? All sorts, I guess. What’s happening around me or what I’m up to. I hope to remember the less “out there” days of my life.

Speaking of “out there”, I have been working/living away from tanahair for 10 years now. I left KLIA on the 27th of May 2008. 20 years ago was when we left school, too. Wow. I’ve never wondered about what I’ll be doing or where I’ll be at this age (when I was younger). I thought I’d be married with (two) kids by 30 (that was the “ideal” plan) but I guess I thought wrong. I have always wanted to live overseas. I’m not sure if I’ll have the life I have now if I had stayed. Or if it would’ve been better if I did stay. I only know that if I don’t give it a go, I will always wonder, “What if?” and that is why I left NZ at the end of 2013 to come to Australia. I don’t know if it’s better but I’m grateful for all that I’ve experienced (good or bad).

The me a decade ago was rather narrow minded and naive, quick to judge (these days I tryyyyy to give people the benefit of doubt) and held on to a secret that I thought I would’ve kept to my grave. I hope I am a better person now, through past experiences and relationship with others.

I have had this intermittent dull ache on the left upper quadrant for weeks now (I believe since early April). Because it went away, I didn’t think too much of it. When it kept happening for more than 3 weeks, my hypochondriac mind went into an overdrive thinking I may have an enlarged spleen (my rational mind says no). It still wasn’t enough to take me to the doctor and instead, I turned to my health industry friends in a group chat. I did not get any answers.

I finally took myself to the doctor today. I had no pain going into the doctor’s office. She palpated my abdominal areas and I had nothing to shout about. She told me that my symptoms were typical of someone with constipation (I don’t think I am, actually) and recommended a few weeks of osmotic laxatives. Everything was fine until I left the building. The pain started again (it’s still here while I’m typing this, 5 hours later). When I push into my left side, it feels slightly tender (a bruised feeling). Sigh.

I could’ve gotten my blood tests done today – if only I hadn’t eaten that ONE Hudson’s sweet (I had a tickle in my throat before the appointment!), I could’ve taken the lab request straight to the phlebotomist. Now, I have to wait for another day.


Last week of work for 2017

by FeR on December 12, 2017 in blabs

This year has flown by. You notice it more as you get older. I have never used that phrase so often as I do now.

I have had many days off this year. I hope I’ll be more disciplined next year. I do hope to be able to live in my own home soon – as in, going back home every day kind of permanent.

This is my last week working in this store and also for the year. I will be heading to visit D&C on Christmas day and won’t be back until next year! 2018! Can’t believe I’m now nearer to 40. Some days, I don’t feel like it. It feels unreal.

I went to Bella Lavender farm last Saturday. I sat outside on the deck, minding my own business. I turned to my right and noticed this very green (very healthy) tree. It had a thick trunk and I also saw that it had many fruits – it was a fig tree! It took me a while to recognise it because most fig trees I’ve come across (so far), I would classify them as “fig plants” because non were like a tree, tree like this one. To think I thought Andrew’s fig “tree” was very fruitful, this would put his to shame!Perspective is important. Heh!
I don’t know if I came up with this myself (I don’t think so because at that point, I was lulled into a stupor by the cool breeze, infused with the scent of lavender plants in the farm) but I felt that it was a sign that it’s time to stop traveling around., to get established in one place (at least, for a few years). To start building and growing deep roots. I felt like it was a call for me to stay in one place in order to be able to make stronger connections. So that I won’t feel and act like I’m lost.
I also felt like it was a call to maybe hunker down and try to concentrate on refining one or two skills – rather than trying my hands at a gazillion things and having half done projects left, right, centre. That may be a bit trickier, I like to dabble in everything!

I don’t know if it’s just the hormones talking. Maybe it’s because I now have my own little nest that I want to be there everyday. I haven’t had the chance to really make it home yet. Every time I am back, I just feel like lazing. I have everything I need but I do realise everything is really bare. I still have things in boxes. It’s not quite home yet. I have plans to decorate, plans to get/salvage furniture, plans to plant edibles, plans to eat clean…all in my little spot. I pray for God to use me, to use what I have to reach out/care for others. I probably will be reluctant when He really presents me with something (an introvert trait, big plans but regret after) that kicks me out of my comfort zone – but I hope I do not forget, nor would I back out from it. I’ll probably TRY to negotiate my way out of it, but hey! I’m being honest.

Can’t wait to go home.
家. 我要回家了.


Where is the wonder?

by FeR on December 8, 2017 in blabs,just me

I was supposed to meet up with another locum pharmacist for dinner (we met when I was working in Burra) tonight. I called the pub across from work and they were fully booked. The pageant (Christmas parade) was on tonight and we thought we could make a night out of it.

This always happen (no wonder I have no friends. No new friends, hah!). I make plans because I know I should get out and socialise more but then when it comes to the day, I secretly hope that the other party would cancel. Today, I got an out after telling her that the pub is fully booked. She suggested lunch tomorrow after work instead. I was happier with that arrangement because it beats hanging around on the street with the rest of the town (and beyond! Apparently this is the best pageant in the Riverland area) and waiting until 915pm (heh-lo? It’ll be near my bedtime :P ) for the fireworks.

As for the fireworks, I thought to myself that I could walk to the lakeside to view it at 915pm (to be fair, it had to be at a later time as the days are getting longer now). I completely forgot about heading out (already in PJs, too lazy to change out of it and care too much to be seen in it outside of home) when I heard the distant “boom boom”.


It was sort of special when I could only view it once a year (New Year’s), I used to watch in wonderment. Used to look forward to them. Even waited in the rain (drenched) for them when I was in HK Disneyland with JoFo. Used to be something I find so beautiful and it can even be romantic. I shared my wonderment of fireworks with someone. That someone talked about marriage. Talked about Pangkor Laut. Talked about how you can set fireworks off at said island if one had a wedding there. I don’t know if I’ve become bitter and cynical. Or maybe I’m just more of a realist now. Maybe I’m more pragmatic now. Maybe I’m more green now. Maybe I just don’t like crowds. Maybe I’m just tired now. Maybe it’s not as exciting watching them by myself. Who knows.

Speaking of socialising, I just receive a message to say that lunch has been cancelled tomorrow, too. This time, I did not secretly wish for it. Then again, it’s not tomorrow yet. Hah! I will just have to go exploring elsewhere then. On my own.

I need a dog.