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Life in the pond

There’s a pond in the garden at a friend’s home. While we popped out to get some fresh air, to my astonishment, I found lots of little froggy worms mostly clinging to some edges of the pond, seemingly breathing under the sun.

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It’s the season of the year, and you’d be surprised to find many lives in the wild…

Bluebells, trees and ducklings

Last year we missed out photographing the bluebells in the woods, in fact we didn’t figure out the best time of seeing them at all, even after searching for various woods nearby. I have been telling myself not to miss out again this year, so went out several times to the woods during the weekends, and then found the waves of bluebells uphill and downward. It got the lowest bows in the pictures below, yay!

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On the edge of the woods, we saw a small field of oak trees in adjacent to the woods but separated by a highway. I always like this type of tree not only because they grow tall solid and leafy, but also they can live very very long, hundreds of years easily. In recent decades, the housing development scenario in the local area witnesses the forestry reserves disappearing rapidly. I just wish this small field of oak trees would stand as long as it can be.

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In the woods, there is a lake that rather soothingly greets the forest walkers. We’d often sit on one of the benches to rest after a lengthy walk, and to my surprise, I find the duckling in the lake can actually fly really high, just like a bird, and then scooting down landing on the water surface. Goodness gracious me!

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I can tell the males from their attractive colourful head while the females are quite dull looking. Sometimes the animal world is rather opposite to our human gender perception (joking). Previously I only knew this kind of ducks were able to swim in the water as well as walk on the ground, but flying in the air was kind of a new discovery to me, maybe I had read too little about it before. Anyway, I feel the notion of a flying duckling pretty fascinating.

An impressive healthy diet

Everyone has own food recipes and dieting habit, depending on individual circumstances, it’s hard to say whichever is good or bad. However, I came across a story which tells an over 80 year old English man who lives alone healthily, and strictly sticks to the same diet for many years.

Here is what he eats daily: Breakfast is a big bowl of oats porridge when he gets up early, by 10am he will have a sandwich; Lunch is fresh salad with a bit of canned fish, or cheese, by 4pm he will have a cup of tea; Dinner will be well cooked by himself, varying every day on a weekly basis, it can be chicken, red meat, fish etc. And he only eat 1-2 eggs a week. In this routine, he buys the same amount of food once a week.

Very impressive!

Home made food (III)

We usually take turns to cook at home for ladies’ social meetings. It’s cheap and good try, some are better than others.

Below are pictures of a luncheon cooked by Mrs S. The main course was roast pork with crispy skin, the meat nicely done. The peeled pomelo was a type of Asian fruit with a sweet and sour taste, very juicy. Three/four courses in English/Asian style, simple and niche.

Some thoughts on Brexit

Not knowing much about politics myself but the movement of Brexit has caused a big stir in people’s daily lives lately. Why did British people choose Brexit in a referendum last June which seemed highly unlikely from prediction beforehand? Looking back I have some stories or personal encounters to tell.

The day prior to voting I went to attend a social event in a countryside village hall. Along the quiet narrow road, I saw many signs of “Leave” but not a single sign of “Remain” while driving through the villages. Then the next day we were shocked by the results.

On another club event, a pensioner lady said that we were a “small” island country comparing to the European continent, and could not accommodate with the influx of so many migrants, and our free NHS and educational system would be crumpled if this continued. These honest comments impressed me, and I thought the rest of many other locals in the room would probably share the similar views.

I also remember that I once attended a Christmas gathering in a private house whose owners were an Italian couple with three kids, both working at the same university. At the party the guests were either university staff or research students, coming from all over the world, but without a single original English person. I couldn’t help but think how Britain had widely opened to the world.

After living in the UK and being British for many years, I feel that it’s a great country, with an ingrained sense of fairness. Now it’s time for adjustments. I wish it all the best on the new horizon.

Home made food (II)

We had a nice lunch at a friend’s some time back, and I still remember it because the food preparation is not overly complicated. The main course turkey steak was simmered in sauce pan with seasoning and sauce, other side dishes included wok-fried mixture of seafood and vegetables, fried egg rice if you’d like, salad and fruit for adding up vitamins. Considering the food was shared by four persons, it was quite good value. Look forward to re-doing it.

Home made food (I)

Cooking at home is unavoidable when one has a family to raise, especially at austerity times. I tried to make some Baozi (stuffed bun) at home the other day, it turned out quite yummy, to my surprise. Below are some pictures of it. It’d be good with any meat mince, mixed with veges as stuffing, self raising flour to make dough, steam it for 30 minutes and it’s done. It’s a popular Asian food for breakfast or light supper, and goes well with porridge or soy milk.