River and crabs

I drive to my work everyday except weekends. My work is 50 km away from home and it consumes almost two hours just for commuting on the road. So I always try to cheer myself by thinking funny things, listening to jokes on radio and trying to look out for nature while I am driving. Luckily, the scenery on the way to hospital is beautiful and there are lots of interesting things such as rising sun which gives orange hue and various pink color clouds in the morning, rainbows on the bridge,  lush and green forest and various color wooden cottages on the way.

I always cross the bridge called Kuntan bridge ( a) Tanjung Lumpur bridge and thought it would be fun to take pictures of Kuantan river from the bridge. The reason I want to take photos is the landscape from the bridge is very nice and it includes the river with colorful boats, forests, mountain and mangroves which are homes for variety of fish and aquatic animals. Some believe crocodiles used to be there many years ago.

gamuda bridge kuantan
courtesy to Gamuda bridge infrastructure. Website : below link

http://archive.gamuda.com.my/bridges_kuantan.html

Please bear with my mediocre photography skills and here, I have to include lots of photos because they are very nice to look at not because of the photographer’s skill ( It would be fabulous if I had a better camera than phone camera and IF I know how to take photo, haha) but the view itself is stunning.

To take all the photos, I have to park my car under the bridge , then I walked on the pavement till the bridge. It was very windy on the bridge as the breeze was not hindered by any building . It was not very sunny . I decided to take lots of photos from both sides. Sometimes the guys from motorbikes shouted and it startled me as I was very much engrossed into the view. For the bikers and drivers who passed through the bridge, it must have been  a strange thing that a woman was standing on the bridge alone and taking photos. All in all, I really had a good time there.

Before I climbed up the bridge, I walked towards the river bank and observed the marshes and the river. I saw a man  , fishing , sitting on the bank. There were lots of fishing nets pilling on the bridge. I asked him whether he got a lot of fish , he smiled and shook his head. I also saw a homeless man sitting near the river and washing his clothes. He looked a bit scary and scruffy . But if I have to start being scared of every homeless person around, I won’t be able to explore the areas I like anymore. So, I tried not to think of him and sat at the bank .

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taking photos from the bridge
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near the river bank
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fishing nets under the bridge
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marshes and mangroves
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mangroves and forests surrounding the river
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mountains from far

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while I was sitting at the bank of river, I found a lot of orange and white color things running on the bank. They are very tiny and I thought they were insects  , but found out they are actually crabs. I was fascinated because I never saw crabs as beautiful as this. The crabs has ten legs and they also have eye stalks so that they can see front , back and lateral. They also have two antenna which can detect the vibration and chemicals effectively. Once I step on the ground near their holes, they started to run inside their small holes.

To observe them effectively, I realise I need to sit and still at one area. I stopped chasing after them and sat quietly. Then all of them came out and started to dance. I know you will laugh if you read this. I also never thought crabs could dance like that. Their legs are very interesting, one of them is bigger than the rest. Some have big leg on the right side and some have on the left side. That makes me wonder whether crabs are left sided and right sided like humans. The reason one leg is bigger than the rest is they use the bigger leg to propel  them forward. I really think they are dancing because the way they move is very synchronized. For a few minutes, I was totally entertained by them. Later, they didn’t bother anymore although I clicked photos ( may be they can’t detect the sound and  only  vibration ). I had to be very careful to have close up photos because they could scurry back inside their holes.

Here are a few photos of crabs

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very tiny crabs like the size of finger nails

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can you see their small legs protruding out of their holes.

When the crabs realize I was not chasing them, they started to do their own business and didn’t bother about me anymore. If they could talk , their conversation would be like.

Crab 1 : Hey, let’s just chill and relax, the giant here is not going to catch us.

Crab 2: Ok, Ok, I m coming out.

Crab 3: Sigh! Definitely, we can’t be scared of anything .

Crab 4: let’s have fun and eat. I am starving.

Crab 5: How about practicing the dance, we promised to mom we would learn how to dance.

With that, they started their dance and I was totally amused by my own thoughts. I also wish I could bring my nieces and nephew later. My niece Cara who is now two year old is very fond of animals. But she might not have patience to sit quietly. Most probably, she would chase them mad.

After a few minutes, the sun started to go off and I decided to go up the bridge again to take pictures of sunset. I was quite disappointed because my photos were not as nice as real scenery outside. Please use your imagination a bit. The sun sank in slowly and there were lots of silver lining clouds on the sky. One time, it seemed like a crocodile ( clouds ) swallowed the sun.  I was very happy , imagining different creatures on the sky. The clouds were fluffy and moved along very gracefully. I wondered  “is there someone who is looking at me from above ? 🙂 In our Burmese culture, we believe there is an angel called ” Thagarmin”. He is someone similar to Santa Claus and he usually scribbles down the sins and merits of each and every person. Some believe he uses leather or hide as the paper. When a lot of people do bad things, his carpet start to get harden and then he always looks down whether we human beings behave well or not. Once a year, he comes down to the earth and we celebrate this by throwing water on each other. We call that ” water festival ” or ” Thingyan festival” . It is a very interesting festival because people dance, throw scented water on each other , wash the hair of old people, make snacks and distribute to neighborhood. Thailand celebrates that as throwing color powder on each other. You should witness it once in your life.

Thingyan festival
children enjoy the water festival the most

 

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I love the water in the river. It is still and not turbulent like the water in the sea and oceans. It gave me the sense of calm and serenity. I watched the sunset and came back home.

I am grateful for the fact that I can have this kind of view just three minutes drive from my home.

Nature is amazing .It is free and everybody can equally feel it regardless of their social status.. One just needs time to feel the nature. It is very difficult to enjoy when our thoughts are obliterated by greed, worry and sadness.  It gives different feeling to the different people at different time. I will try to catch up the river at dawn next time. Thank you for reading this.

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To “Lucky ” with love

I was very blue on  Valentine because I did not get any flower. I know, I know, I shouldn’t be upset for those wishy washy thing. But the thing is someone I really like greeted me ” Happy Valentine, love you Hnin ” and he also said ” If I were there, I would give you some flowers”. I wanted to say ” Hello, you don’t need to be here to give me flowers. The floral service can do that for you at any time and yes, it does not even need to be an expensive bouquet. A flower will do . Sigh! So I became sour and started to cry ( I know I shouldn’t ). well, Men…… I hope he will not read this,, usually he only read my blog when I send him the link.

So when he was earnestly talking to me, I ended the conversation because I was upset for not getting the flower. That reminds me of the following quote.

woman quote

If someone asks me why I particularly like the man I mentioned, he is very kind to animals. He genuinely loves animals and will rescue any animals in distress. One time, he called me and we were having good conversation. Then he said ” Hnin, please excuse me, I must go to my neighbour’s house and look into the problems of the cat.”. I said ” which cat?”. He said ” My neighbour’s cat has been crying non stop for past 20 minutes. I think he might be in trouble. His owners are not inside the house.His voice sounds he is in trouble. I want to help him” and then , he disappeared. hahaha. One time, he found out a small dog who was getting lost in the street. The dog was thin and malnourished . So the guy I really like picked up the dog and brought him to the vet. Then he gave him vaccines and named him as ” Chaska” meaning stars. Chaska has been perfectly happy and healthy since he was adopted.

I like guys who are kind to animals and kids because that mean they are genuinely kind. Well, I even think one day, I want to own a farm with lots of animals and vegetable plants. But I never think I am responsible or committed enough to own a pet. I have been always busy, always alone, always outside or always have things to do. If I don’t play the music, I write, I read, I go to beach and I paint to add to the full time job.( I am now writing this article at 2 am and that shows how I love writing) By the way, I remember there is a rehab program for drug addicts and alcoholics regarding relationship. To make good relationship, an ex addict has to buy a plant first, if the plant survive, he can go next step which is owning a pet, then if he is responsible enough to own a pet, he can start relationship. I can say myself as ” FAIL ”  in the beginning itself because I bought the plants and all of them are being taken care by a neighbor now.

But I want to own a pet, because my friend would describe me or introduce me like ” this is Hnin , she is so independent , she has everything, EXCEPT  PET……” Damn ! Seriously, I thought of having lots of pets ranging from ” Guinea pig” to  ” Monkey”, but in the end, I just think of my vacations and I don’t have heart to make my pets as psychos just because they are so lonely and there is nobody who can talk to them. Bear in mind, when they become psychos, they might probably bite everything and anything inside my house. I have even read in the newspaper that nine Dobermans ( which were left by the owner for ten days without food)  ate the owner when he returned back from the trip. In the end, there was only remnants of him ( the head ) in the living room, discovered by the police. Believe me, it could be me if I had 9 dogs. For that reason, I gave up the idea of having a pet.

One week ago, I went to the wet market with Ma Win. We found a few chickens tied in the basket. The owner wanted to sell them as the fresh meat . Basically, if we order any chicken,, they will weigh it and then kill it for us to eat. The most surprising thing is all chickens look healthy but none of them were giving any noise. Usually, I am very much used to hearing the chickens cluck and cackle noisily in the basket. But they were not like any other chicken. May be they fear any chicken who make noise will be killed as priority. We can see similarity in human beings, whoever vocal can be terminated or demoted soon.  Exactly, these chicken were way much smarter than me because I am the one who would voice out for any injustice in the world. Sadly, I could only see despair in their eyes and its like they had already made up their mind to accept their destiny.

Being a curious person, I looked carefully at each and every  chicken. I found out one of them looks much younger than others. She is a young female chicken ( I just found out in the dictionary that she can be called as a pullet which means she is not ready to lay the egg yet). I decided to buy her  because she seemed like she would survive anything in life. I asked my maid whether she is ok to look after the chicken as I don’t want to give any burden to her. TO my surprise, she was very happy . It is because being a busy person, I cannot talk to her all the time. When I come back home, I am usually too exhausted to have human interaction as 90% of my energy being used up at work or with driving. So, having a third party or a pet at home was very promising for her.

I asked the owner whether she can put her in a cardboard box and we brought her back home. I named her “lucky “because that means she is lucky enough to escape from being inside the curry pot. Alternatively, I believe she would bring much luck to our life.

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Lucky at my house near the cloth liner.

She was limp and weak all the time in the car and as soon as we released her , she started to peck everything in front of her. It was amazing to know she still had so much of energy . Ma Win gave her some rice and she eagerly ate all of them. We had a big issue of where to keep her as I live in a terraced house and I don’t have a big yard . The only place I had is a concrete place in front of my house which is beside my parking place. So we tied one of her legs to a plastic string and allowed her to roam inside the front yard. She was very happy, but quite irritated with the plastic string and she tried to release it with her beak. I found her quite intelligent. We gave her some water and food. The problem was she tried to eat some of my plants and shit everywhere. I never thought a small chicken can shit that amount. Her shit was everywhere. My neighbour was concerned because we also lined our clothes in the same place and Lucky found the cloth liner quite comfy to make her bedroom. She flied there and sat elegantly on the liner.

It was the first day of Chinese New Year and I was invited by my landlord to participate in their celebration. After a few hours, I felt like going back home. It was a good thing that I went back because I found Lucky in critical condition. To make you understand, she was tied with a long string which is ten feet in length. I don’t know what happened before. I saw Lucky with the string attached and she was upside down as if she was hanged. The only thing which saved her was because the string was long enough and her head was touching the ground while one of her leg was in the air tied to the string. The string was wrapped several times around the pole. There was no sound from her. Her eyes were scary as if she was dead. She was immobile. I thought she was dead. The only thing I felt for the first time I saw her in hanging position  was guilt. How did  I let her die like that although I was supposed to save her life? She might even die in a better way in poultry seller’s hand. I called her name repeatedly, stroking her. There was no sound, but she twitched a bit . So I ran inside the house and brought back a scissors and cut the string. She fell down limply. It was dark in my patio and unfortunately, the lights could not switch on at that particular time. So I went back and brought the emergency light near her. I found out she had cerebral concussion. May be she hit her head with the floor and her leg which was tied to the string was severely cramped because it was in an  awkward position for a long time. What I did is I tried to massage her leg and I stroked her head. After a few minutes of massage, she stood up and as usual, pecked the floor. I said ” Oh MY GOd, Lucky, you just recovered and the first thing you want to do is eating”. And I laughed. I was so happy because it was my first resuscitation for the chicken and it was successful.

Later, we had to think how to put her safely without any string attached and at the same time, not polluting our cloth liner and not destroying the plants. My landlord said I can send Lucky to his house as he rears some chicken himself. But later, we found out my landlord’s roasters are quite aggressive and they might kill Lucky. So we finally borrowed my landlord’s cage and we put Lucky inside the cage. The cage was around 2 feet wide and one feet high which is not spacious enough for her. Lucky was frustrated and as usual, she was always in her own shit as the cage was small and we couldn’t clean the cage many times a day. The smell was everywhere and it finally made me decide to release her somewhere.

It was a lengthy decision between me and Ma Win where is the most suitable place for her.  We don’t want to release her into a place where a lot of people can find her and kill her. We don’t want to release her into a deep forest because she is too young and cannot defend herself  from wild animals. We have a lot of monkeys everywhere but I tried to tell Ma Win that most probably monkeys will not harm her. I try to convince myself that wild Boars are also harmless to Lucky as they usually eat only dead fish and insects. ( I relate everything to Pumbaa from Lion King )

pumbaa

We brought her to the forest near the beach because that forest is not so near to beach and also has plenty of grass and young plants to eat. Lucky can also go to beach at night or early morning to find dead fish. She can make friends with birds. The only thing is she will not find her soul mate there ( my bad! I am going to carry this karma to next life for not buying a pair and only one chicken ) as there is no wild chicken in that forest unless she falls in love with doves and they will have beautiful offsprings.

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the beach is opposite the forest
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flowers at forest
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forest from far.

There was so much difference when we tried to tie her to keep her in the same box we brought her from the market. When we bought her from the wet market, she was completely quiet. Today, she made a lot of noises most probably out of anxiety. She had a lot of strength and resistance  most probably because of continuous feeding. But I also think she knew anyway she was going to be out of our house. When I drove the car across the hump, she clucked as if she was saying ” hey, slow down, you have a chicken in your car”. I said ” sorry, Lucky”. Then we took her out to the forest.

The forest has lots of plants and beautiful flowers. I can’t imagine how to describe the emotions of Lucky. She was very excited. She vigorously pecked the soil and tried to discover the area she had never been before. I tried to stroke her. Usually she likes to be stroked. You might not believe how much we have tamed her within a few days, even less than a week. She was curious about everything.

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I bet Lucky can eat those young leaves
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Lucky will peck at everything and anything, she swallows everything, quite dangerous

 

The hardest part is she tried to follow us everywhere we go. At first we went south, she followed us, giving a lot of sounds like ” hey, women, don’t leave me alone”. When we went north, she also followed us. It was like we were playing hide and seek with Lucky.

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I will follow you, follow you

 

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Finally we allowed her to explore some deep part of forest and we ran away. After a few minutes, we heard a lot of cluck and cackle from her and we ran back to her to see what happened to her. Lucky found out some insects and she was just excited. I found her peacefully sitting on the ground and she was completely at ease.

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The last photo of Lucky, there was some ants and she cried because of them

 

We said ” Good Bye” to her and headed back home. On the way back, I was thinking Lucky was just a child or may be a teenager. Would she be scared when thunder and rain comes? Would she run away when wild boars come? Would she survive?

One thing  I am sure is she  have at least felt the freedom during her short life span. Lucky is lucky indeed.

freedom

 

My beach stories

 

I came to Malaysia to work in 2004. At first, I was working in a small, peaceful district hospital, then an astrologer from Burma told my mom ” Your daughter is going to move to a new place which is near the beach. And she is going to be happy”. ( It’s our culture that parents tend to ask astrologer about children’s future in Asia ).

I was  skeptical , but hopeful at the same time. I never lived near the beach in Burma. Amazingly, I was transferred to a bigger city called Kuantan near  South China sea. Kuantan has plenty of beaches, one is even in black color, some are even suitable for windsurfing and some are quite isolated and not well developed yet.

My favorite beach is 3 km from my house called Teluk Chempedak. It is quite commercialized now, but I prefer the small beach which is continuation of Teluk Chempedak because the beach is deserted and there is a forest .

The forest is preserved by private property owner and it is the homes for variety of species especially wild pigs, monkeys, wild cats and variety of birds.  Here is the pictures of trees , some might be migrated from swamps, and some trees have flowers.  When you enter the beach during the time of blossom, you can smell that particular smell  which is quite fragrant.

 

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forest with flowers
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yellow color flowers with that particular smell 🙂

 

There are a few facts about this beach

  1. It can be quite deserted and sometimes you can be alone as most people in Kuantan do not know about that beach.
  2. The length of the beach depends on the season and the tide. When there is no tide, the beach can be long as you can walk further , if the tide is high, you can’t walk much because of large boulders .
  3. Some people believe there can be spirits as the beach is deserted and there are plenty of trees.

 

Whatever people say, this beach is the best place for me to hide away from the crowd and to be with nature. I can get lost there  , simply sitting on the stone under the shade with a book. Sometimes it’s very breezy and sometimes it can be sunny depending on the weather. I like to lie on the beach and even fall asleep sometimes .

 

 

I have seen some Europeans bring their dogs who like swimming in the sea. Sometimes, children sit and make sand castles. Some kids like to pick up sand and throw at each other, giggling. Sometimes I can see a few loners like me who like to come with a book . I never try to talk to anybody there because I know only people who don’t want to interact go there.

A lot of stones are perfect to sit and even to lie down. When I lie down , I can see the clear blue sky. It’s a very nice feelings.Sometimes people do swings and bamboo chairs which last temporarily. Afterall, everybody goes back to lie on the stone because they are more long lasting than man made materials.

 

Sometimes, I like to see fishermen catching fishes, crabs and clams. Some people just do it for fun.

 

Regarding crabs, they are wonderful creatures. They can really sense the vibration of the footsteps and before you catch them, they run away swiftly. I tried to catch a medium sized blue color crab in the sea and I could manage to grab it ,, but it tried to struggle and tickle my palm. I threw it away in alarm and he quickly escaped. The bigger crabs are cleverer and more elusive than younger ones. when I see the crabs, they remind me of my niece who is a toddler. She tends to walk side to side like crabs. They make me smile, thinking of my niece.

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Can you find the crab?

 

One time, I was strolling at the beach looking at the gorgeous kingfisher sitting on the stone with the background of the rainbow.

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Can you find the kingfisher sitting like a king on the rock. There was a rainbow behind him.

 

 

Suddenly I found a turtle near the water. He was not moving and when he sensed me, he quickly retreated his head. I bet he would be scurried away if he was a crab. But he is just a poor turtle who cannot even walk. May be I would never want to be a turtle if I become an animal in my next life. He seemed so vulnerable.
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The small turtle walking in slow motion. It was the size of a coconut

 

I picked him up and talked to him not to be scared. It was no use and just made him angrier, I guess. A lot of noise came out from his mouth. I never know somebody can piss off a turtle that much.

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He looks quite old. I kind of scrutinized all his body parts and clear off small stones inside his shell. He has beautiful brown eyes, wide and tender. He did not cry but looked very unhappy. I touched his claws . They are tiny.Amazingly he did not attempt to bite me when I touched his lips.

For a few minutes, I played with the idea of keeping him as a pet. He would be perfect, not dirty like rabbits, not playful like dogs and has no fur which is good for asthmatic patient like me. But he would be stupidly standing there if I ask him to come or to talk. No interaction. More than that he would become bored with me sooner or later. For the first time, I realize the stress of the pet owner, which is total lack of bonding.

So I carried him towards the sea and put it back in water. .Alas! he turned back. I asked ” where are you going Mr Directionless?” and there is no answer as I expected. Not even an angry sound. Its like he did not give a damn. So I picked him up and put him back under the tree where he can eat small plants and also cannot be seen by kids.

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Mr Turtle agreed to disappear into the forest, may be that’s his desired destination rather than sea.
I felt a bit sad when I said good bye to him. But definitely we are not meant for each other. But I still wish I can see him again.
One time, I saw two beautiful toucans. They were  fighting with each other. One of them wanted to destroy another one nest ( such a villain ). I shouted to them and said ” Hey, stop destroying other people, oops ( my mistake ), other bird’s property”. He clearly did not listen to me.
There is a family of kingfisher and  hawks. The male hawk is very big and it soars very high. Sometimes I  lie on the beach and look at him, awed at his freedom and gigantic wings. The stray dogs who usually roam at the beach are particularly restless whenever migratory birds come although they do not mind when kingfishers leisurely rest near the water. Occasionally , I saw the pack of dogs chasing at the paddy bird.
The dead fish and shrimps at the beach are forever favorite food for birds and wild pigs. One time, I saw a wild pig leisurely gnawing at the dead fish. There was a family of picnic goer near the pig and he didn’t even bother to move away. The children were amazed at its bravery. This is the example of how we should live in harmony with each other.
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The wild pig leisurely eating the dead fish
The animals which I am afraid are monkeys. If there is not much food in the forest , they tend to steal food from us.
We went to the beach for a picnic and on the way back, a big monkey came out of jungle and chased us. She was worried for her small babies as if we were going to harm them. We ran towards sea and walked in the water. I threw some fruits towards them and whole family eagerly ate them. Then they still chased us and I had to leave picnic basket behind and got inside the car. They took my chips and the whole bag of bread without messing with other plastic boxes which are apparently empty. We were amused although they robbed us in daylight.
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day light robbery by monkeys

Other creatures which are quite annoying are ants and sand flies. Ants can smell the food as soon as we put down our picnic basket and we always need to move the place here and there. Sand flies are nasty, blood thirsty insects. They can suck your blood with ardor until your skin swells into a  big bump and the itch will last for a few days. I avoid sitting on the wet log as logs are favorite dwelling place for sand flies.

In the late morning, the water is warm and it is wonderful to sit down in the water and feel the serenity . Many times, I said ” Thank you for allowing me here” to the sea.
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I usually come to the beach with children and it is the favorite place to find out the new types of flowers and sea animals.
One time, I came to the beach with a girl who comes from Singapore. She is around 9 and told me she is frustrated with a lot of homework. She requested me to drive her to beach. We sat at the beach side to side and simply listened to the sound of waves, rustles of leaves and the birds. The birds chips and the leaves fall slowly . We immersed in the pleasure which the nature generously offered us. I was amazed at the maturity of the girl who can sit silently and know how to enjoy herself at that young age ( what a privilege! ) After a few minutes there, we feel energized and come back home with optimism and happiness.
I owe to the beach for sparing me from shrinks. Thank you, thank you and thank you !
nature is my medicine

Three Quotes Challenge

I gladly accepted this challenge from Millie  https://milliethom.wordpress.com/ because I have a great fondness towards certain quotes. And Millie is someone I really admire, I found  her blog recently and I feel that I am fortunate to have read her writing. Millie is a British author and she has published a book about historical fiction in Amazon and her new books are coming soon. She is a retired teacher, an avid reader and above all, a loving mother of six children and you can see her fondness of children in all her writing. Apart from the fact that she is a great writer, she is also very honest with her feelings and writing. I want to advice other bloggers to read her blog.  I am looking forward to read more of her posts. Thank you Millie for nominating me.

Here are the rules for this challenge:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Post one fresh quotation on three consecutive days.
  3. On each of the three days, nominate three folk who have not yet taken part to continue the challenge.

According to Milie, the rules can be bent , you can write all three quotes in one post or you can do it slowly like day 1, day 2 and day 3. If your schedule is tight, you can take your time as there is no restriction of time ( I hope I am doing it correctly Mille, hahaha )

For me the quotes are great especially if someone who said is your favorite person or people.

Here is the first quote, it relates to me because everybody said I am quite crazy ( but in a very nice way, haha )

quote of the cat

The second quote is from someone I truly admire. It’s about courage and fear. So here it is from Aung San Suu Kyi.

Su Kyi quote

The third one is about not judging other people and regarding preserving  nature. ( at least that’s how I interpreted the following quote )

slogans-Aboriginal

Now I am going to nominate to three people. That is the hardest part because I don’t know well yet to some people who follow me except Barbara Kursten and here is her link

  1. Barbara    http://knackeredgrouse.com/about/
  2. Rowena    https://rowenamcgregor.wordpress.com/about
  3.  https://annkoplow.wordpress.com/about/

 

PS. I am sorry if my links are not working correctly as I have problem with technology and still learning how to blog. I hope we will read more quotes in near future.