First Day of Spring – Spring Gathering
Twit twit twit
Twit twit twit
The above marble sculpture of a young girl was by Alfred Drury. It was signed and dated in 1897. Apparently it was first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1897. It is now housed at the Victoria & Albert Museum. The young model for this work was Grace Doncaster, who was a daughter of one of Drury’s friend.
I was very taken with the facial feature of this bust. The girl has such a sweet innocence about her. Her plump cheeks and rounded chin are so lifelike!
The above object caught my attention immediately, not only because it was exquisitely beautiful but I remember I have a similar one at home, which Peter got me as a gift a couple of years ago.
I thought it was a perfume bottle. It was only during a visit to the Victoria & Albert Museum two days ago that I learnt it was a snuff bottle, which was used during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912).
Smoking a tobacco was prohibited during the Qing Dynasty, therefore nicotine loving Chinese and Mongolian people had resorted to sniffing powdered tobacco contained in snuff bottles. Inhaling finely ground tobacco was allowed as consumption was deemed medicinal at that time.
The snuff bottles were constructed as tactile as possible as they are carried by hand replacing the snuff boxes favoured by Europeans. There were really beautiful, work of art, snuff bottles as they were a symbol of your position, how high up you were in society. Sharing a snuff during the 16th century China was a form of greetings.
Wonderful to learn new things. I now know that my ‘perfume bottle’ is actually a snuff bottle. Where is the tobacco?!!! 🙂
Walis tambo is a cultural icon of the Philippines. The tambo is more than just a broom. It is part of everyday life for Filipinos. It makes for shiny and clean floor. 🙂 It is handy and can be used anywhere in the house (but not the bathroom as a mop or a walis tingting might be more useful).
it is known as walis tambo because the soft bristles are made from the phragmites reed called tambo in the Philippines. The reeds flower in December and the blooms are gathered together to make the walis tambo, much beloved by Filipinos.
Like most Asian countries, many in the Philippines still sleep on bare floors over a thin covering of mats and blankets, therefore there is a need for clean floors.
The walis tambo, is so portable and noiseless that it is more useful than a vacuum cleaner to sweep and clean shiny wooden and tile floorings at any given time.
Marilou, my sister bought a couple of walis tambo to take back to Los Angeles, CA. She insisted to buy the broom from Baguio. Apparently the Baguio made are thicker, thus sweeps better, and last longer. You learn something everyday.
This succulent looking plant is perennial. Beefsteak Plant, also known bloodleaf plant, Latin name: Iresine herbstii, has beautiful glossy deep red leaves, They are truly eye-catching and will certainly enhance the colour of the garden.
They can be grown as indoor plants which is a bonus as beefsteak plants cannot tolerate frosty condition. So at the end of the season, in autumn, border plants can be potted and brought inside the house and planted out again when the weather turns warmer.
The leaves are variegated with red and green markings all over.
Beefsteak Plant loves the sun and high humidity. The sunnier location it is planted the redder the leaves will turn out to be. As an indoor plant it should be placed near a south facing window where it can get the sun. Placing it in a gloomy area will result in the plant becoming leggy.
To keep the plant bushy, it requires a regular trimming. Keep it well water but with good drainage. It does not like being waterlogged.
Beefsteak Plant is worth the extra care as it is a stunning addition to the garden and as an indoor plant.
The above bust was of a lady from the Lupari family, a prominent family in Bologna during the 1460s.
The bust is made from terracotta and the sculptor was Alfonso Lombardi.
What is a bust?
A bust is a sculpted or cast representation of a human upper body, from the chest to the neck up to the head. The bust is often sat on a plinth to keep it secure. A bust can be made from marbles, wood, metal, or terracotta.
An aust is an equivalent to a sculpted head of mythical beings and animals.
My sister, Marilou, is obsessed with this fruit. Every time she sees one, she got to buy it. 🙂
But then again Marilou is very clever. She knows things that I need to know. Apparently it is widely known in the Philippines the wonder of this prickly pear looking fruit. It is so full of goodness that it is called a superfruit.
Guyabano is rich in vitamin C, vitamin B and vitamin B1. It also contains high level of carbohydrate and also fructose.
Guyabano apparently has anti-cancer and anti-diabetic elements because of its high content of anti-oxidant..
The goodness of the guyabano does not start and end with the fruit alone. Apparently the bark, the seeds and the leaves are used to cure some other ailments as well as used in the beauty industry. It is indeed interesting to research more on these properties.
Anyway, ripe guyabano taste very sweet but there is some sourness to it. It has rather soft spongy texture and you have to eat the flesh off from black seeds, it is like eating sugar apple (atis).
Guyabano is popular for juicing and making smoothies.
While growing up in Marag, Philippines, we used to have a ready supply of guyabano as they grew in our farm; one was even growing at the back of our house. We ate a lot of it as it was one of my father’s favourite fruits. He would cut the fruit in many portions and he would then expect us to eat our lot. We were willing as we did not have many shops around in our barrio selling sweets, cookies and candies.
Looking back, it was probably the many fruits like guyabano that kept us healthy when younger. Now it is a different story, perhaps it is time to start on guyabano again…..
In a few minutes I will be celebrating another birthday. I am thankful for that. Bring them on, Lord.
Anyway, as I near my birthday, as if by synchronicity, I found this little photo, the only one of me when I was still a baby.
It was taken by my father when we were living in Marag, Luna, Kalinga-Apayao. It is special to me because, he developed the film as well. This is rather stupendous in my perspective because during that time, Marag was so remote, a place where there was no electricity, therefore no gas or electric appliances to speak of.
I was too young to remember this picture taking but I did remember our little sari-sari store. I fondly remember that we used to sell biscuits called dapan, which means the sole of the foot. Well the biscuits are made to look like a foot. When I was about 5 years old, I remember Dapan to be so huge and I thought I would have trouble eating the whole biscuit all to myself. But fast forward 10 years later, dapan was tiny, the size of a 7 years old child. I would need to eat at least a couple to have a filling snack. I supposed perspective changes as one grow up.
We saw the strangest thing this afternoon whilst walking in Golders Green Road, North West London. From afar it looked like a member of the KuKluxKlan was on guard over at the KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken).
But at closer look, it was more of an elongated woman in a wedding dress.
Above were some of the photos taken with Peter’s iPhone. Where would we be without the iPhone. Thank you, Steve Jobs, we are much obliged. iPhone instant photography is Godsend.
Sorry I digress. We are still rather flummoxed, we don’t really know what to think but we are certainly very intrigued with what this stunt was all about? Who is this bride? Why KFC? The people behind the stunt looked like Eastern Europeans. I wonder why KFC and not the nearby Barnardo’s Charity shop, which needs a much more needed publicity for its charitable works?
I still remember that news about a jilted Chinese woman who spent a full week, 24/7, in a KFC restaurant in Beijing to get over her heartache. I can relate to that, there is nothing better than a finger-lickingly good chicken to cheer you up. 😉
Probably the Col’s bride above is a new take to Charles Dicken’s Great Expectations’ Miss Haversham.
But then again, it can be anything. If you have any idea, kindly let us know here, and of course we shall update you if we do get to the bottom of this mysterious event.
I just about remember this contraption. This was the scale used before digital came along. It was rather fiddly to use, ergo, some genius scientist had to invent something simpler and easier machine to use. But having said that this old scale at least challenges your motor neurone much more, which can only be a good thing.