Sunday, 21 October 2018

World Psoriasis Day 2018

The state-level event for the 2018 World Psoriasis Day in Johor was held yesterday at the AEON Tebrau City shopping mall. Unlike previous years when the event was held at government hospitals, the public venue gave the occasion a joyous and cheery feel. It also allowed the organizers a wider outreach to spread the knowledge of the skin disease.

Apart from the standard booths and displays relating to the disease and its various treatment methods, there was also a blood donation drive, free health checks and a lucky draw. My better half and I were there for short while to offer moral support and renew acquaintances with other patients and medical personnel.

This year's event was jointly organized by Hospital Sultanah Aminah, Hospital Sultan Ismail, Hospital Pakar Sultanah Fatimah, Johor Doctors Association and the Psoriasis Association of Johor.

Thank you to all involved in this wonderful effort to create better awareness of psoriasis to the general public.

On stage, just for the photo. No presentation involved :-)

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Do something green today...

The title of this post is a phrase often used by a veteran bonsai enthusiast from Canada, Nigel Saunders. I have been watching his youtube videos quite frequently for the past month or so because I've decided to try my hand at growing bonsai plants. Of the thousands of videos about bonsai planting on youtube, I find the presentation by Mr Saunders most useful and interesting because of his clear explanation, good quality recording and consistency of producing updates. At the end of each video, he normally close with this simple advice... `Do something green today.' Plant a tree, or ride a bike, or recycle your trash.

I would list gardening as one of my hobbies and I credit this interest as coming from my mother. My preference is growing plants in pots, especially the green leafy kind. Somehow, the flowering varieties do not thrive under my care. I guess this is due to my inconsistent attention. There have been times when I totally ignore my garden. No watering, no pruning, no weeding and surely no nourishing with fertilizer. When I hit this rough patch, most of my plants die. The few hardy ones that make it would be revived when I somehow find the passion to go green again.

While I may say that gardening is one of my pastimes, I cannot be called a keen gardener. I grow many types of plants but I can only name a few of them. Starting this month, I'm trying to change that. I've been reading up more about the plants and trying to remember their common names (the scientific names would take a bit more time to learn). I browse Google search images to identify plant types and watch youtube videos for gardening tips.

Why am I trying to grow bonsai? I have actually made an attempt at it many years ago but the plant died on me and I subsequently lost interest. Totally my weakness because I dived into it without proper reading of the subject.

This time around, I'm trying it again but with proper advice and guidance from the experts. As to answering the question `why?', I guess it's because of patience. Something that I find myself sorely lacking of late. I hope bonsai gardening would help me recover that trait.

Last month, I re-potted one of my bougainvillea plants which has the shape to become a good bonsai. Actually, I did not do the re-potting entirely correctly as I had not discovered Mr Saunders yet at the time. But we'll see how it goes and if need be, I'll re-pot it again next year.

I'm not sharing a photo of that first bonsai attempt but rather of another shrub which I'm in the process of propagating via stem cutting and later grow into a bonsai. I learned of its common name today. What I initially thought as a species of jasmine is actually something else. Orange jessamine (murraya paniculata), locally known as kemuning. Wish me luck...

Small white flowers with strong, pleasant scent