The most expensive phone call in the world?

As my poor old phone has definitely seen better days

I decided to upgrade to a shiny, new, rose gold iPhone.

I rapidly installed email, added apps, put in a U.K. clock as well as a Malaysian one and felt very tech-savvy and pleased with myself.

Then I thought that I should add the number of this new Malaysian phone to my old phone and vice versa, just so that they could get to know each other, in a non-threatening way.

I was busy doing this in a blasé, technophile fashion when my old phone rang.   I didn’t recognise the number, so answered ‘hello’ in my best polite-to-strangers voice.  I was very surprised when I also heard my hello coming from the new phone on the table next to me.  ‘Is there an echo on the line?’ I wondered.

Then the realisation struck … I had just phoned myself; making an international phone call via England and back, in order to make contact with a phone that was approximately ten centimetres away.

Perhaps I’m not quite the digital native yet.

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Free Plant Sprayer With Every Meal …

The Kuala Lupur Botanical Gardens, as one might expect, showcase a magnificent variety of lush tropical species.

The Oasis Garden


even has its own water nymph elegantly perched on a rock.

And I do love a pretentious sign, so I was delighted to read all about the Oasis Garden

I would have said it was more ‘ the symbiotic harmony of flora and aqua creating a synergy unrivalled in the natural world’ … but then, what do I know about oasis gardens?


There is a strict code of behaviour displayed at the entrance, and I really must learn some Malay, because a couple of the pictures made no sense at all

The top right looks like ‘no fire extinguishers’ – but you wouldn’t need one anyway, because bottom right is ‘no matches’.  Then the one next to the fire extinguisher – is it:

No couples? No cameo brooches? No speaking to a member of the opposite sex? No silhouette artists?

I decided to avoid all of these, just to be on the safe side.

There is a beautiul orchid garden

and a hibiscus garden, where I managed to listen in on a tour guide telling his party that the hibiscus is native to Malaysia and Hawaii, and the red one is Malaysian

while the other ones are Hawaiian

There was a particularly beautiful, dark pink frangipani

And an impressive corrugated roofing plant.

And so to the plant sprayer …

The restaurant is called The Horbill Restaurant, and it is picturesquely sited next to the bird park, with the deck outside overlooking the birds.

The disadvantage of this is that the hornbills perch on the ledge next to the deck giving you evil looks and waiting for a chance to swoop over and grab your food

So every meal arrives with a plant sprayer

As soon as you spot a bird inching closer to you, you squirt it with water and it retreats … genius.

I feel that there are many other untapped uses for the plant sprayer, to repel all sorts of unwanted intrusions, and I will be investing in one immediately.

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The Year of the Cat?

No – apparently it’s the Year of the Rooster.

So I was rather puzzled to see an installation at Doha airport with approximately a thousand waving cats, wishing everyone a Happy New Year.

You may not be able to see clearly from the photo, but they are all waving their left paw stiffly up and down in an unsynchronised manner, like a mass physiotherapy session for feline frozen shoulder.

And I just wondered why.

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Mr Toad packs his suitcase…

… ready to head off to Malaysia.

He’s hoping that reports of a plague of toad-eating snakes in Kuala Lumpur have been greatly exaggerated.

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