Living with Dyslexia in Malaysia

“Friends” and “foes” in my organic garden

This yellow dragonfly is found in my back lane. There used to be another red coloured dragon-fly.

Beautiful red ladybird on my kendongdong leaves.  Have not seen many ladybirds these days.

My camera is not able to take small insects or rather I am not that camera savvy. You can see a blur green spider which is hanging on its thread.Used a leaf to show the spider dangling down.

Red wrigglers from HS Wong’s DQ Farm.  Found out that I also have such worms in my garden.  Latest experiment is my wormiculture, started since June 2009. Have already harvested  my first worm castings in Oct.  As per Mr Wong’s suggestion, I made tea from the worm castings and sprayed all  over my garden.

Have yet to spot my old ‘friend’ – the chameleon, also the solo big bumble bee. There used to be many small bees hovering around my starfruit tree.  Maybe due to the rainy season, these creatures have gone into  “hibernation?”

OR most probably most of them have been snuffed out by the constant MPBJ’s fogging against the dengue fever.

Yuks! those creepy worms or larvae from butterflies.  No informed gardener would be happy to see these.  Neither would I be happy to see butterflies in my garden even though they are so colourful  and it’s so nice to see them flying around.  With butterflies around, you would sure to find their larvae on my lime leaves, the above caterpillar is very happy on my succulent jambu air leaves.   Notice the white jambu flowers on the bottom right. looking forward to eating my red jambu air fruits soon.

This grasshopper is easily 4 inches long. You can do your own comparison as this is the normal rectangular box you use when you ‘tar-pau’ your food.  These huge grasshoppers know where to get good organic leaves . They love my mango, longan and  banana leaves.

My ‘holey’ longan leaves – after the grasshopper had a feast.  Just one huge grasshopper is enough to wipe out all my mango shoots.

Thank-goodness I am not an organic farmer having to face so many predators and weather issues but just an ordinary avid gardener.  Can you imagine the heartache and stress they have to endure with acres of farmland  under such stressful tropical l environment.  I only have a corner lot and it’s pretty tough to handle already. Therefore we organic kakis emphatise with the truly organic farmers. Their life is not easy -having to till the soil and face so many problems…. so take heart when you buy their produce which is more expensive. They need to survive too…… just like the grasshoppers and caterpillars….not forgetting the  earthworms and the bees.


November 24, 2009 Posted by | Organic Gardening | Leave a comment

Session with Dato’ Lat – 1 Nov 2009



Thanks to my friend Wai Leng and her hubby KV Soon, we were invited to meet the famous Dato Lat. Dato Lat is such an unpretentious person.  So  friendly and approachable.  We were all so intrigued with his stories about his kampong life and his explanations on his drawings. The Q & A session was enlightening.

Dato Lat made it a point to meet up and talk to all the kids in the hall and gave pointers on their drawings.

My son, FS was very happy to meet up with this famous artist.  (We have many Lat books at home).  Dato Lat signed  2 of his drawings.  A drawing with Lat’s  signature as below.


Dato Lat gave lots of encouragement to the kids to draw as much as possible and he also  gave tips on how to draw.


This session has ‘opened’ FS’s eyes that one has to practice and practice a lot to be able to draw as fast and as creative as Dato Lat. This can be seen when Dato Lat went around each table and demonstrated his drawing skills with so much ease.


All the kids drew something in a  sketch book as a momento for Dato Lat.  FS did a sketching of Lat’s cartoon as above – with Sarong the local touch. (Not bad considering the fact that FS had his  index finger slammed in his dad’s car door just 2 hours before. Finger already swollen and blue black, so he had to hold the pencil with his 3rd finger)  On the right he wrote “Public toilet. Best in Malaysia”.   On the left, he wrote “‘First you take a bath and then only you take a photo” ????  There’s a camera in front of Lat’s picture. Camera with a stand if you take a closer look.


FS did his first sketch of a person  whilst we were in Laos with friends. He took 10 minutes to complete his sketch. Not bad for a beginner,  having witnessed Dato Lat doing caricatures of the kids.

Exposure is so crucial for our kids.  If not for the session with Dato Lat, FS would not have considered doing live sketches even though we have asked him to do so  a long time ago.

No guesses as to the national of his first human sketch  as above.  Such well done eyes and  eyebrows,  not forgetting the moustache and sharp nose.

November 9, 2009 Posted by | Foo shearn's drawings | 1 Comment