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THE SARONG COVERLET

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Quite recently, my friend Jeannine who comes from Australia asked me to make a sarong bed-cover for her queen size bed and I couldn't resist telling her the story of another coverlet that had left for Down Under. Let me share that story with you.

One of my comforter covers is already in Australia.
Some twelve years ago I made friend with an Aborigine lady artist who had been invited  here in Kuching by Atelier Sarawak. Later, her work, painted on silk, was later displayed at the Petronas Tower Gallery in Kuala Lumpur.
Right away we stroke a friendship and I invited her to our country home where she spent a couple of days.
Her bed was dressed with one of my sarong comforter covers and she saw all of them in the other rooms. She asked if I would make one for her, and she went back to Australia with it.

My new friend was seriously physically handicapped; she had spent her childhood between foster homes and hospital rooms, mostly the latter. Despite such a confine life, she had managed to …

THE PHOTO BOOTH

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THE PHOTO BOOTH: The latest star at organised events.

We knew the photo booth in malls. A coin operated kiosk designed (I assume) for customers to make their own passport photographs; the ancestor of selfies! I remember it more as a fun place to take silly shots with my girlfriends. A great corner too, if you were young and in love.

Hard to believe that people were taking selfies as far back as Neanderthal Man’s times! Well not quite, still, and thanks to T.E Enjalbert, a French inventor, the world discovered the first photographic booth at the Paris World Fair in 1889. And, of course, the Americans made it better.

Fast forward to 2018, the photo booth has become a highlight at wedding receptions, birthday parties and anniversaries, and a great icebreaker at corporate events. It is still calling in romantics and goofies alike who can take home free photo memories of your big day straight home from the party!  The photo booth is definitely making it so much more spontaneous for guests to …

CURSE OF THE RED ANTS

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Some days are just not our usual "run of the mill"days Instead they seem to be controlled by a mysterious power intent on following an agenda of its own. Those days have the particularity to signal their difference as soon as we, innocent human get out of bed. You may, for instance, unavoidably  hit a corner for every piece of furniture in the house; or find that door handles are determined to catch your sleeve, all for no apparent reason. In my case, it also happens to be the time when most ordinary objects I reach for will rather attempt defying gravity and risk shattering to pieces upon landing on the floor rather than letting me grab them. Go and figure?  I call those "serial days" and today has been one of them with a particular theme: it has been an "insects day".

It all started this morning (it always does). As I was walking through our car porch I almost stepped over a huge rhinoceros that had crawled in there to end its insect life (what did you…

MASTERS of CAMOUFLAGE

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Stick Insect
The insect world will never cease to amaze me; merely observing those surprising creatures is an adventure in itself that does not even require me to leave my garden and often not even my house! 
Only this morning, as I was getting organised to spend some time on my lap top while seating on the terrace, I started moving one of the rattan armchairs to position it under the cooling draft of the ceiling fan.     

I am far from being the only one to enjoy the comfort of the semi-outdoors and I am not just thinking of my family and friends here: I often find tree frogs under the cushions (I guess they feel more comfy than they would on a branch) and more often than not one or two of the unavoidable abominable Cicaks*. There are also elusive night-birds that enjoy perching on the back of the chairs and leave droppings behind them, so I know they were there.������������������������������������������������������…

FROM A FRENCH FROG WHO LIVES IN BORNEO

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                TO AN ENGLISH PRINCESS WHO LIVES IN (I assume) ENGLAND

Dear Beatrice,

I am pretty sure that it’s been quite a long time since a frog was last in touch with a princess and I can only guess your surprise. I’d quickly recommend though, that if we ever come to meet, you wouldn’t, in any circumstance, attempt to kiss me. It’s not that we French are most certainly prejudiced against English kisses, but rather because there is no hope that I’ll ever transform into a prince for you see, I happen to be a girl frog.
You may, of course, be wondering what a French frog is doing in such an unlikely place as Borneo, and how on earth she may be able to write in the Queen’s language (or almost!)? May I recommend you look for the answers in my blog (http://www.anotherdayinborneo.blogspot.com/ and http://www.untoitaborneo.blogspot.com/ )

I was not always a frog like I have turned out to be; the incredible transformation only happened when I crossed the borders of my home country and as …

10 Seconds to Be a Hero

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From Basic Iban Design by Augustine Anggat Ganjing


It had been a spur of the moment idea. Dinner had ended and I had volunteered to throw the mussels shells into the sungai (river) which blesses our family by crossing our three acres property right in its middle, a mere fifty meters away from our terrace. The afternoon had brought some drizzle and left the grass quite wet. I had put on a pair of rubber thongs to walk the stone-slab-path which, lately, had become seriously overgrown with weeds. I had also remembered to bring a torch light, mere common sense after nine o’clock at night!                Here I was, holding the torch while trying not to spill the large glass bowl filled to the brink with half emptied shells and still hot with some of the stock. I was walking confidently, one step behind Caramel's cropped tail ( my devoted Toy Poodle) and I could already hear the river hitting and jumping over the man-made dam and rushing its swollen flow past underneath the belian* brid…

The Orang-Utan of Borneo

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“No. Once and for all Hollywood people in particular,there are no gorillas in Borneo; at least not of the great apes family anyway. We do have orang-utans though.”




Who they are:

Orang-utan in Malay and local dialects mean person (orang) of the forest (utan) or more simply “man of the forest”. Scientists however refer to these great apes as Pongo Pygmaeus of which they are two groups:  Pongo Pygmaeus Pygmaeus who lives on the island of Borneo ( round faced and covered in dark red hair) and  Pongo Pygmaeus Abelii who lives in Sumatra (narrow face and a clearer coat).






Where they live in Borneo:

In the wild,they roam the tropical rain forest and low-lying swamps.


In captivity, understand rehabilitation centers set up in sanctuaries: Sepilok, near the town of Sandakan in Sabah; and Semmongoh and Kubah near Kuching in Sarawak. Indonesian Kalimantan has its own program too.





What they look like:

Like men of the forest dressed in a red furry coat. Large body, thick neck, long and very strong arms, …