Tuesday, January 4, 2011

BBQ by the beach on New Year's eve 2010

My family and 2 homeschooling kids greeted the new year in Port Dickson.
A quiet beach on a beautiful starry night was the perfect setting for me as I bade farewell to 2010 and ushered in 2011.
More of my night time beach activities later.
For now my latest love.....

I have a panchent for lichen these days.
This one found on a tree by the beach is not as glorious and cabbage-like as the ones in Genting but beautiful nevertheless.
Everywhere I look I see lichen.

Adrian, Han and Ean looking at a rock. Now, don't dismiss a rock, especially one by the beach. Take your time, bend down low, look up close and you will be amazed at what you can find......

Sea anemone at low tide

A well camouflaged slug.

It was a peaceful day at the beach on New Year' s day. Ean and Han took a fancy to a line of foraging ants.

Fai examined this shell and said that it spirals like the carpark in Amcorp mall.

The big rock is Fai's speedboat and Ean was taught to place the smaller shells and corals on it as passengers. Vrrrrmm!

Without the distracting television and computer, the kids had to find other ways to keep themselves occupied. Here they are playing their own version of RISK.
Ean did some constructing with the Ello set. JY spent many hours playing with this set many years ago. Too bad it didn't catch on in Malaysia. We tried looking for more but the stores here no longer carry it.

Han drew a picture of his hero with bulging biceps and an armory of machine guns

Fai drew a picture of a giant snail with fiery spikes and a force field fighting a giant in armour. For size comparison, he drew a normal sized adult at the giant's foot.

Han spent a few hours helping in the construction of the kitchen by using the trowel to plaster on the cement.

We had Adrian and Thea for the New Year weekend. And they gamely joined in on our beach activities. Not many would willingly go out to the pitch black sea, lit only by torchlights, at low tide to help lay the fishing nets.
You can't see what you are stepping on, your vision is only about 5 feet ahead and there is the vast sea ahead of you....very thrilling.
Here Adrian is wrapping stones into plastic bags to be used as weighs for nets. The nets tend to drift when there is strong currents or when something huge (think turtle or shark or grouper) pulls it along. So weights are essential to avoid having to look for lost nets.

I had a wonderful time taking 2 foreigners up Tanjung Tuan reserve recently as they gave me a refreshingly different outlook on things I take for granted. A tree is not just a tree. Look at its bark, the leaves, does it have any medicinal properties.....
So I thought the 2 teenagers would enjoy the hike up to the lighthouse as well. The moment they caught sight of the obstacle course opposite Ilham resort, they took off running. Climbed up the wobbly 20 feet high rope ladder and scared themselves silly by daring each other to cross over on the rope bridge.
By the time they were through with the obstacle course they were too exhausted to hike up the hill.

Bee hive at the base of the rope ladder. Photo taken by Fai.

Back home, a proper game of RISK was played.
Fai was in the lead having conquered China but JY with her army in Africa and a few good rolls of the dice managed to win the game.
Fai was torn with anguish.
He was beyond consoling.
It was only later, that I managed to encourage him to analyse his moves and figure out how he lost. He felt much better once the analyst in him was triggered and he replayed the game verbally for hours after that.
He now says he loves RISK and can't wait for another chance for world domination.

Adrian was wonderful with the boys. Lots of rough and tumble as well as quiet moments in between when he read to them. Nice to have a big brother for Fai.

Now for the BBQ by the beach. My kids love beach side barbecues. JY is always asking for one. Here she is dragging a palm tree to use as firewood.

K preparing the bbq pit and Adrian helping to split wood.

My cowboy counting firewood.

Thea trying to get the fire going as JY nonchalantly munches on her watermelon.
With so many tending to the fire it was no surprise that we had a great fire going and the chicken wings turned out perfectly.
Our dinner consisted of corn (prepared by Adrian and Thea), ladies' fingers in sambal wrapped in aluminium foil (by Thea), mashed potatoes (JY), shitake mushrooms with garlic in foil, watermelon and pineapple. Simple and satisfying.

We had the beach to ourselves. We spent the evening by the beach watching the setting sun and looking at bats as they swoop down into the sea to catch fish.
Once it got dark, we took out the torchlights and went hunting for hermit crabs.
Fai dug a hole in the sand to house the many hermit crabs that he captured and assigned the post of sentry to Han.
Sentry Han had to sit by the jail and push any escaping hermit crabs back in.

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