Monday, December 22, 2008

The big THREE-O

In less than a month’s time, the big three-O will be hitting me. I just couldn’t believe how fast time flies. It sometimes felt like it was only yesterday that I’d left the schooldays, joined the varsity took the plunge with the love of my live, got employed, and breed and raised our offspring. As mentioned in my previous post, being blessed with the little two angels-cum-rascals make me the proudest mum in the universe. Despite being blessed with a loving husband and healthy genius boys, I somehow feel like something big and important is missing from my life. And that something is my personal achievement as a working professional.

Through out my working years, I never had a clear vision of my career goal. Ever since I started being employed, if I was asked the question, “where do you see yourself in five years time?”, I could never provide a convincing answer to that question. Truth be told, I was never sure what I wanted out of each of the employment. In fact, all these years I’d never been bothered about the type of work or title of the post I held or if it’d help pave the path towards my dream career. All that mattered was, the amount of money received at the end of month that helped pay most of our financial obligations. Having family at a young age, left me and Fadz with no choice but to opt for any work that met our children’s growing expenses.

To be quite honest I really envy my life partner, Fadz, for the vivid vision that he has for his career prospect. He has my absolute respect every time I watched the determination that he puts in his work and the tireless efforts put forth in achieving the future that he dreams. I, on the contrary, am completely clueless of what I want as a working adult. With just a few days left in the year 2008 calendar, I become more restless as the vision of the big THREE-O hitting me become clearer. Not wanting to let the big question from eating my bubbly self up, I consulted my darling Fadz to shed some light into my cloudy mind.

After spending a whole night discussing the matter, I now have a better picture of my future career and what I’d need to do to reach for that dream. For the time being, I'm not going to unveil it here but I'm definitely putting down a plan to realise my hopeful thinking.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I'm on facebook!

I’ve just signed up on the infamous community network Facebook less than a week ago when Fadz invited me to join the network. Fadz finally decided to join Facebook a couple of months after not getting frequent update from his school mates from the other network that we both previously joined. Within the next couple of days after signing up, I was amazed at the many familiar faces whom I seem to have lost track of. All in all, I'm loving this new network community!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

My anguish mind

I realise that I haven’t been keeping this blog updated as frequent as I used to. I don’t exactly know the reason to this. I remember putting the blame on Fadz when his stupid laptop crashed, and joyfully he conquered mine and took possession over it. A good person would never pin-point other for one’s wrong doing; instead one would find out one’s flaws and search one’s genuine strengths that will slowly minimise the weaknesses over time. What exactly am I rambling about? Where am I leading my fellow blog hoppers?

To be honest, I’m not quite sure myself but I know for certain that this whole thought about blaming others arise soon after Fadz lead me into a heated conversation about how I should run my life. I appreciate his honest intention of helping me to achieve my golden goal which I constantly shared with him. It’s just that, I hate being treated like nothing more than a pretty face with dumb head.

There are times when I feel like I should just give up trying to chase the career that I’ve always dream of. But that would only mean that I’m nothing but a loser who raises the white flag before even going into battle.

When I was in the midst of completing my MBA course, my only wishful thinking was to get employed within the Human Resource line. I always thought that that’s where my passion lies. I searched high and low for any HR related vacancy but I was turned down soon after the interview was over. Having disappointed so many times in chasing my dream of becoming a HR personnel, I was by then quite desperate to get myself employed. Fadz told me that may be it was best if I temporarily land myself a job within any line and from there I could work my way out into HR field again.

I took his advice and decided that if I were ever called for another job interview, I’d sell myself out regardless of the type of vacancy or field of expertise the post required. Eventually I was offered to fill a temporary position in an organisation whose office is situated within walking distance from our resident. The job was quite dodgy in the beginning where there was no proper training or guidance given to help me perform the work. But after a couple of months, my supervisor; Martin noticed that I’m not quite as dumb as he thought. He started to assign me with challenging task. I thought I’d give it a try but after working on analysis on my own without prior training, I began to wear out of the job. I’d even thought of quitting and finding work elsewhere.

Martin was taken shocked when he was handed with my resignation notice as he thought that I was doing really well at every task given. I told him that sales analysis was never a favourite subject of mine in school. With the clock’s ticking closer to my last working day, Martin persistently persuaded me to say on by sharing his stories about how he started working for the company, just the way I did. He said that the work that I do here is very interesting in nature as it requires a lot of critical and analytical thinking.

After four weeks of giving the job another go, I finally decided that it’d be best if I just stay on working for the company (assisted with a lot of pushing from Fadz of course). And within that period of time, I also began to prove myself worthy. Every task given was delivered spot on. With proven track record under my belt, Martin started to put me in charge of certain area of his responsibilities. It was not long before I finally gained Martin’s complete trust of my capability. He began to put me the second person in command whenever he was away from work. Before long, I was promoted from a lame temp to a Retail Analyst Assistant. The recent middle of October, marked my first anniversary working there. I must say that the job could be quite challenging at times. These challenges don’t seem to exhaust me somehow, instead they are the main motivating factor that drives me to work.

Despite the increased responsibility laid upon me, I somehow feel that my work lacks of something. I guess it’s probably because of the fact that things had quieten down a little in the office due to the fact that most of the people there have finally grasped the new system installed. More often than not, during this quiet time my head keep screaming that I needed more out of this job, not material wise but the kind of exposure it brings into.

I guess it’s time for me to try and reinstate the adventures that the job brings. I’ve been sleeping on this matter and exchanging thoughts with Fadz about it. We both agreed that my current post is the best spot to prepare me for a higher managerial post when we return to our homeland. To ensure that I’d be gaining the most out of my current employment, I must express my concern and personal goals with my higher superior. But during the time this update is posted, I think it’s best to keep it low as all directors are busy carrying out the redundant policy.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

My children are my life

Since the very day I started having children of my own, my life literally resolves around them. I watched them grow up in front and observed how their demands change over time. I remember watching their favourite television programmes with them, singing along the theme songs with, and having to buy merchandise related to the show. Every single day of their childhood never failed to awe and amaze me with every little discovery they made.

In this update, I'd like to share the amazing talents that my children have. Let me first introduce my eldest boy. His given name is Azhan and he's now 7 years old. Azhan is a Year 3 pupil at St Luke's C.E primary school. Azhan's favourite colours are red, blue and purple. The most extraordinary thing about my darling Azhan is his artistic talent. At any pass time that he has, he'd always make drawing. Fadz said Azhan possesses a rather bold and daring stroke which could clearly be seen in all of Azhan's paintings. In this painting for instance, Azhan's stroke made the painting looked dramatic and alive.

I personally think Azhan is very creative; an attibute he takes after Fadz. Just look at this name plate that he made. Neither I nor Fadz could recall ever teaching or showing him how to make one but he creatively made one by combining plasticine of different colours.

I would never consider Azhan as a prodigy artist but he's just like any other boys of his age who still enjoys his play time with his little brother, Nine. Azhan's favourite toy is non other than the infamous Lego. Fadz just loves the way Azhan creatively built all the bricks and transformed them into something different than the Lego given manual.

It's time to introduce my next little rascal; Nine, a five-year old who's now in Year 1. Given name Zulkarnain but since the day he was born, we prefer to call him Nine. This youngest child of mine is very much like me in nature; chatty, bubbly and could easily become sulky. We also share the same interest; reading. Nine's linguistic ability has developed at the tender age of one. I'm always in awe at how quickly he picks up words taught in school. Even when he was in Foundation unit, Nine was already given the books for Year 1 pupils. I just love to listen to Nine's reading. He always reads stories enthusiastically; full of emotion and expression. He even makes different voices for different characters.
Despite his chatty nature, he usually shies away with any one new to him. But once he's got to know the person, he'd turn to his natural character.
There's another thing that Nine and I have in common, Maths. We both love learning Maths. Nine could quickly grasp any Mathematically concepts that his teacher taught in school. He'd usually share it with me as soon as he got back from school. I like the fact that Nine always finds ways of applying what he learnt in his play time.
All in all, I think that my children are genuinely genius in their own unique ways. I must say that my children are not only my life but my living pride (I'm sure every parent is proud of their children). I never regretted having them in my life. In fact their existence makes my life more interesting than ever.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My lil' project

A few months ago, I'd penned down a part of our England tour itinerary and I'd promised to resume my writing on our special tour. Somehow for some reason after pushing the special report a side for so long I'd completely forgotten about it. It wasn't my intention to abandon that special edition journal but the thoughts of the times spent with my folks here in England would only bring tears to my eyes and make me feel like returning home in the soonest time when I could hardly afford to do so.

On my parents' last day in Bury, my dad requested for all the photos taken during their special visit to be edited and compiled into a video for him to bring home and remember by. From the very day they departed for home up till the last couple of weeks I couldn't bring myself to fulfilling my promise. In the last few weeks, compiling the pictures and videos of my parents' visit has been the project that I worked full-time on as soon as I got home from work. I'd successfully edited nearly one-third of the project when suddenly the computer froze and all composition went hay-wired. It's nearly a week since then and I automatically felt put-off thus once again abandon my mission to granting my dad's wish.

Despite my misfortune of losing my invaluable project, I'd managed to publish a tiny portion of it. Here's a snippet of a small protion of my special project:-

I know the editing is far from the professional output, and as a once graduate of Multimedia Studies I should be embarassed of my little production. I should have been able to produce something better than this. Perhaps, it's time to polish up the video editing skill I picked up six years ago.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Post-Eid entry

Sebetulnye, sehari selepas Hari Raya baru ni I'd started drafting an entry in conjunction with the special celebration just for my own record of how I celebrated my 2nd Eid here. The only problem was, I could never get myself to finish the simple entry. The more I tried to write about Eid here the more teary my eyes became. I decided that it'd be best if the recent Eid festive is pushed aside from my memory hence resume my usual daily life here.

Summer is finally over. We're seeing less and less sunlight with every passing day as we head towards the Fall season. As mentioned in one of my previous entries, a lot of people think that those living abroad are very fortunate as they not only get to experience life in foreign soil but also associate the emigrants with lavish, luxurious lifestyle. I must say, a number of them do live lavishly but to me and Fadz that's not our main goal in being here. Our target is to obtain the best education for our boys which we know we could hardly afford. I'm not saying that the national education back home ain't good enough for them but our personal experience was a good evident that our boys deserve something better than what we had.

Last week, our children's school had organised parent evening as a way to update the parents on their children's progress in school. I was more than happy to be informed that they're both doing very well in class. The teachers also highlighted areas where the boys need to polish on. Within that less than 20 minutes meeting with their class teachers, I'm more convinced now that Fadz and I had made the right decision in paving our children's future path.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Azhan's first time fasting

As mentioned in my previous post, tahun ni tahun kedua menunaikan ibadah puasa di bulan Ramadhan bersama Fadz dan anak2. Azhan pon nampaknye sudah belajar berpuasa. But for the time being, we asked him to fast only on the weekend cause I think it'd be much easier for him to perform it while he's away from school and his non-Muslim class mates. Setakat ni, Azhan berjaya berpuasa penuh selama 4 hari. I know it may sound very little compared to young lads of his age back home in Malaysia. But do bear in mind that we're living in foreign soil where the Ramadhan fasting environment and spirit don't seem to exist at all.

I found it difficult to make Azhan understands the meaning and importance of fasting during the holy month. I remembered trying to explain to him about the rationale of performing this task as a Muslim on the previous Saturday. It was the first day that he started to experience the feeling of fasting for the entire day. His daddy promised him that if Azhan managed to fast from dawn till dusk, he'd reward Azhan £2 for each day. Azhan took up this challenge upon learning the reward should he succeed. But by mid-day after spending the entire morning walking from one shop to another doing our grocery shopping, Azhan started to plead if he could have a sip of drink. He kept complaining of how thirsty and starving he was.

I tried to comfort him by telling him the importance of performing of this rather difficult task. I told him that the Muslims been summoned to fast so that we'd realise how fortunate we are compared to those living in poverty whom couldn't even afford to buy food. My explanation might have sounded too grown-up for a seven-year old boy to comprehend that he kept asking when could he have a glass of water. Neither I nor Fadz gave-in to his pleading instead we pursuaded Azhan to lie down and have plenty of rest. We kept telling him it was just a few hours more to go for Iftar. Fadz had even diverted Azhan's focus from thirst and starvation to the reward that awaited him. I'm sure someday when Azhan is older, he'd have a better understanding of the concept of fasting.

Awa's visit

I should have written about Awa's visit since last week. But for some reason, I somehow couldn't get myself to writing. Perhaps Fadz's PC which constantly request for MS Word product key had put me off from noting down something special about her visit to Bury. Some of you may wonder, who exactly Awa is in my life. She is none other than Fadz's youngest sister aka my sis-in-law. She's a medical student studying in Dublin. Initially, we planned to pay her a visit cause by Spring 09 she'd be heading back to Malaysia for good. So, we thought that it's best to spend our boys' summer holiday in Dublin while Awa is still staying in Dublin. Unfortunately, our financial obligation didn't grant us our wishful thinking. We thought it'd be more economical if Awa came to our place instead.

I hadn't seen Fadz's lil sister for quite sometimes. If I'm not mistaken the last time I saw her was about a couple of years back before she left for Dublin. To be honest, I was never really that close to her as she's one of the quiet ones in his family. I think any wives in their rightful mind would be terrified about the idea of having their in-laws around especially those whom they'd never become close to. Somehow out of the ordinary, for this occassion I was excited about Awa's visit. In fact, I was looking forward to having her around.
Awa arrived at Manchester Airport on a Saturday afternoon. We took a bus to pick her up at the airport. If I recall correctly, she looked slimmer than I last pictured her. We stopped by the City for a while to do a little shopping and some window-shopping. Due to our petite nature, we found it hard to find clothes that perfectly fit us. We then headed home and had dinner which I'd prepared before we left for the airport.
On the following day, I took Awa to our little town to shop for some clothes. For once in my lifetime here, I had a shopping buddy who was more than happy to tag along my shopping journey. To be quite frank, I didn't shop anything for myself. It was more of a shopping treat for Awa. But I did have a wonderful time going from one shop to another and looked for the perfect dress and shoes for Fadz's sister. I didn't mind spending for her in return for the good deed that Awa did for us during her fortnight stay in Bury. She had helped baby-sit our two boys, walked them to and from school. And because of that I think she deserved to be treated with some shopping spree in our little town Bury.

Awa had returned to Dublin about three weeks ago. I kinda miss her company somehow especially during this fasting period. Sigh

Friday, September 05, 2008

Ramadhan datang lagi

Hari ini masuk hari ke5 berpuasa untuk Ramadhan tahun ini. Tahun ini juga merupakan tahun ke2 aku berpuasa di perantauan bersama suami dan anak-anak. Unlike other school children back home in Malaysia, An dan Nine masih belum diajar berpuasa dan kewajipan berpuasa. My hubby and I have been thinking about exposing An to the concept of fasting, tapi mungkin sekadar hari minggu sahaja sebagai melatih An untuk berpuasa. Inilah setback hidup diperantauan yang majority penduduknya non-Muslim. Suasana berpuasa bagaikan tidak wujud sama sekali. Hiruk pikuk pasar ramadhan sebaik habis waktu pejabat jauh sekali. Jauh di sudut hati ini, timbul juga rasa rindu pada masakan mak, suasana berhimpun kami adik-beradik untuk berbuka puasa bersama. Entah bila agaknya dapat merasai itu semua kembali.

If this year’s Ramadhan is my second time fasting here, it’ll be the third year in a row for my hubby. I’m sure he feels the same way about being away and having to spend our Ramadhan so far away from our close families back home. Pada awalnya, we’ve been planning to celebrate the end of next year’s Ramadhan in Malaysia thus reuniting us with our whole family for Hari Raya. Tapi disebabkan ada ahli keluarga yang besar kemungkinan akan melangsungkan perkahwinan dalam suku pertama tahun depan, jadi niat untuk beraya beramai-ramai terpaksa dibatalkan. Tak mengapa lah, barangkali lain tahun baru dapat beraya bersama mak abah dan adik-adik.

To all my friends back home in Malaysia, I'd like to wish "Selamat berpuasa. Moga ibadah tahun ini lebih baik dari tahun-tahun lepas"

Friday, August 15, 2008

Make over

I've planned to give my personal journal a face-lift for ages now. In fact, I've been begging my ever-loving spouse to design a new look for "Bed of Roses" since the past few months. Honestly, not having my wish granted was the main reason why I decided to boycott this blog from being updated. After months of persistent begging and appealing for a new face, I've finally gotten the make over that this page deserves to have. I know the colour scheme may look a little too feminine to some people but personally I think the colour really suits the blog name, Bed of Roses.
Some of you gentle readers might wonder why this piece of webpage is named the way it is now. Some may even wonder if it carries a certain meaning with it. To be frank, I never knew the exact definition of the term 'Bed of Roses' but the main reason why I chose this title was plainly because I am a big fan of the flower Rose. I simply love roses not just for its very attractive looks but also the sweet alluring smell that it carries with it. Coincidentally, according to my dad my given name in arabic means roses. I thought to myself, what better way to describe this little collection of writings than Bed of Roses which I happen to have likened from the moment I first heard of it.

Although the meaning of this connotation does not mirror the primary contents of this webpage which focuses on the ups, downs, twists, and turns in mylife as a wife, mother, daughter, or simply as a lady; the definition of 'Bed of Roses' is a clear reflection of my true colour. I'm not afraid to admit that I'm the kind of person who loves trouble free mind. I could never carry huge burden on my own, I'd always have to share the weight with my life partner. I guess that could have been why this blog was initially set up; a place for me to pour myself out as and when I please.

So, to my faithful gentle readers I hope that you agree with me on the new look of this page. But, if you don't, I'm always open for other suggestions as I'm thinking of giving yet another face lift to Bed of Roses during the winter season.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My first anniversary

It's been months since the last time I updated this blog of mine. Looks like it's cobwebbed everywhere and there's gonna be lot of dusting off to do to make this blog ship-shape again. Anyhow, truth to tell, the reason for my long abandoning this blog from being updated is that I've been preoccupied following some programmes on the telly. Another contributing factor is that my precious laptop's been snatched by someone at home whose notebook's crashed and decided to use mine instead to keep his blog updated from time to time. Still, I should never use these excuses from updating this journal.

July 7th marked my 1st anniversary of living in England. 1st anniversary means a lot to me as it clearly indicates that I've successfully gone through the full cycle of the four seasons that the English faces every year. I remember when I first started working here sometimes in October 07, my superior told me that the most common subject that one can use as an ice-breaking conversation is the weather. I was puzzled back then as to why the English can be a little obsessive about their so-called English weather. Having completed the full cycle, I begin to understand why the weather is such a hot topic around here.

Picture this, you were waken up by the bright sunlight that went through your big window frame. You became thrilled and excited upon the sight of promising sunshine as you haven't seen that sunny ray of light for the past couple of days. The first thing that popped into your mind is you no longer need to wear long sleeves shirt to work cause you assume it'd be boiling hot in the office that day. Once you prep yourselve for work, finished up your bowl of cereal, grabbed your sandwich and opened the door to head for the office, that ray of sunlight had been blocked by dark clouds in the sky. From that moment on, that feeling of silver lining you had earlier slowly diminished as you grabbed your foldable umbrella and put your light jacket on. That's how miserable the English weather can be at times. It can change dramatically within the 24 hours period that you have in a day. So, if you happen to have the chance to visit England in the summer, be prepared to have a light jacket in one hand and an umbrella in another cause you'd just never know when one of them will come in handy.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Acorns don't fall far from the oak tree..

Last Sunday, my hubby and I took our two boys to an optician centre to get their eyes checked after hearing comments from their respective teachers about them squinting their eyes whenever they were asked to read the board from afar. We made appointments for both of them with the optician. They took turn to get their eyes checked and I accompanied them both during the whole process. After doing a thorough check on their eye vision, the optician confirmed and recommended that they are both short-sighted just like me and my dear hubby. I was quite astonished to learn that my two boys would be needing spectacles at a very young age. They are only five and seven years old. I remember having perfect eye-sight up till I was 17. I only needed a pair of glasses only a year after registering myself to a reputable grammar school. It was shocking when I was informed that my eldest son would need to wear spectacles with similar prescription as mine.

In contrast to my surprise upon learning of my children’s short-sightedness, my two boys were thrilled and excited about needing to wear a pair of glasses. My eldest straight away went to the samples of frames displayed for children as soon as he stepped out of the examination room. About half an hour later, right after my youngest boy had his eyes checked, his elder brother, Azhan led Nine to the display wall and showed Nine the frame that Azhan had chosen thus sweet-talked Nine to choose one similar to his which is labelled with cartoon characters that they adore; Batman and Superman. Honestly, my hubby and I didn’t approve the type of frames they chose mainly because they are steel-based which we thought could easily get damaged by our active kids. Looking at their faces that glow with joy and excitement, my hubby and I had no choice but to give in and let them have what they had picked.

My boys were even more thrilled and excited when they finally got their glasses last Wednesday. Look, how happy and cute they are with their new spectacles. I guess, “acorns don’t fall far from the oak tree” after all.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A trip to Remember...

About a week ago my mom and dad were here in England visiting us. They spent a fortnight here. Their only intention was to stay in our humble place and spend the whole period of couple of weeks at our place. Never had they known that my hubby and I had arranged ahead a plan of taking them places around England. Personally I thought one’s visit to England is incomplete if one doesn’t go and see all the main attraction and historical places that England has to offer. Thus, my hubby and I took the whole week off during my parents’ stay to (1) spend time with them, (2) take them and our children for a tour around England. Initially, I thought of taking them to Scotland coz’ my dad wished to see the snow and the northern Scotland is the land blessed with snow almost all year round. But after further discussion with my hubby, we finally decided to drive them down South of England since my hubby has a number of friends staying down South. A few days prior to my parents’ arrival, me and my hubby had it all figured out of the whereabouts of our trip.

Details of our trip are elaborated in the following itinerary:-

Day 1: Saturday, 22nd March, Lake District

For the first day of our trip, my hubby thought that it was best to take them up north before we headed down south. Thus, our first stop was the infamous Lake District. It was rather chilly that Saturday morning. As soon as we walked towards the lake, the wind blowing was even chillier. I could feel my teeth chattering as we walked along the lake side. My boys were thrilled upon seeing the friendly swan lakes and ducks trotting by our side asking for food. My two sons quickly took out the loaf of bread that we brought purposely for feeding the birds there. We then took our boys and my parents for a boat ride around the lake which we thought would warm up my parents a little. Once we get on board and the boat headed towards the open lake, we were accompanied by the beautiful sceneries that the lake has to offer. We were astonished by the picturesque view as the boat took us around the lake.

Day 1: Saturday, 22nd March, Blackpool

Our second stop for the day was Blackpool which was only 45 minutes drive from the Lake District. Blackpool was crowded with people craving for entertainment since this place is filled with the many amusement centres for the young and adult alike. This statement about the crowd in Blackpool was evident when we had a hard time finding for a parking spot. It was drizzling in Blackpool when we first arrived. The Blackpool tower somehow in presence looks similar to the Eiffel tower except that the one in Paris is much higher and carries more prestige with it. Knowing that Blackpool is located within the coast line of England, we headed for the sea side and walked along it. It brought joy to our little ones upon seeing the sea side. To my boys, a visit to beach would only be perfect if they could get their hands dirty with the sand in the beach!

Day 2: Sunday, 23rd March, Bury was covered in snow

Bury was blessed with snow yet again. I guess God heard my dad’s wish and decided to turn it into a reality. I could tell my dad’s excitement when he woke us up as early as dawn which was soon after he realised that the streets where we live in were covered white. Upon hearing the word ‘snow’ my little boys jumped out of bed, put on their cold weather clothes and dashed out to get their hands on the white snow. My dad was ultimately happy that his excitement could be shared with his grandsons. Without a second thought, my dad joined my boys in our little garden to feel and touch the snow for the very first time in his entire life. I was very glad and happy that dad has finally got what he wished for in his visit to England. Thank you, the Almighty.

Day 2: Sunday, 23rd March, RAF Museum Birmingham

After snapping some photos of us in the snow, we left Bury to head towards our first stop down south of England; Birmingham. The idea of taking my parents to the RAF Museum came about after my hubby’s first visit there with his fellow colleagues. We were glad that the first stop was not a disappointment to my dad. In fact, he seemed to be engulfed in the many airplane models exhibited there. My boys were excited too especially my eldest. He was even thinking of making an airplane model. In fact, soon after we left the museum my eldest son made a detailed drawing of one of the flights.

Day 2: Sunday, 23rd March, Warwick Castle

This destination was rather a last-minute stop that my hubby decided to include in our itinerary. It was one of the castles around England that is well kept and preserved. It was not just a ruin of the late royalty but a palace filled with activities similar to those of the ancient day. I overheard one of the visitors there explaining to her daughter that the many activities featured could help expose and educate the young ones to years of feudal and how the people during those time lived their daily routine. I was dazzled by the vast compound of the castle which is on the contrary to the size of the staircase within the castle. I could hardly imagine how the king’s men (whom I assumed were gigantic in nature since they had to carry on heavyweight armour around them to battle) walked through the tiny flight of stairs. I must say, it was a destination filled with education.

Day 3: Monday, 24th March, Bath, Avon

From Warwick, we drove further down south to Bath, place nicked as the Roman City. In Bath, we spent the night at one of my hubby’s school mate who has been residing in England since she pursued her studies. I was quite excited about meeting my hubby’s friend who is expecting a baby soon. Ain and Syed had thrown us a very warm welcome. After indulging in the heavenly dish of nasi lemak, the parents-to-be took us for a walk around the little town they live in. My hubby and I couldn’t help but admire the unique architecture featured here. My mom on the other hand fell for the wild flowers blooming in the garden especially the sakura-like flower. She even wished that she could bring those beautiful wild flowers home to Malaysia. After our morning stroll in the little town of Ain and Syed’s, we bid farewell and resume our trip.

Day 3: Monday, 24th March, New Quay, Cornwall

I personally love the drive from Bath to Cornwall. It was one of the most exciting driving range ever. I remember being accompanied by picturesque view along the way to Cornwall. The road was filled with beautiful sceneries of the country side that was beyond my wildest imagination. The God’s beauty around me had defeated the fatigue-ness that I felt from driving, in fact I was wide awake along the way there. My boys on the other were only excited about the thought of going to a sandy beach. Their only wish was to make sand castle. Upon the sight of the blue wave hitting the sandy beach, my boys got thrilled. They quickly dashed out of the car as soon as the car halted and headed towards the nearest beach. They collected many sea shells buried under the sand to be brought home as mementoes for our visit. I made a vow that I would take my sons to Cornwall again coz we spared very little time at this beautiful beach.

Day 3: Monday, 24th March, Plymouth

From Cornwall, we drove further down south to Plymouth where one of my undergraduate course-mates is staying. Once again, our journey there was escorted by one of the many God’s wonderful crafts. As we got closer to our destination, we were blown by a wonderful surprise; a ferry ride to Plymouth. My sons were so excited when they got to know that we would go on a ferry to cross the Portsmouth Harbour. My little boys always thought that they could only ride ferry whenever they visit their great-grandparents in Penang. I reckon it had never occurred to them that they could experience a thrilling ferry ride in England as well. (to be continued...)

Thank you, Umei

This post is solely dedicated to my coursemate, Umei whom I have recently met at her residence in Plymouth. It's been ages since the last time I met her during our years in the varsity. According to my somewhat absent-minded memory, I had come to know Umei through our Art & Graphic group project. I remember thinking of her as a very religious person from the way she dressed. It never occurred to me that she's a bubbly and easy-going type of person until the day we officially engaged with the Art & Graphic project. Umei is the friendliest person I've met, not to mention a chatter box too.

p/s: thanks for letting us stay at ur place, Umei. we'll definitely visit u again someday.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Lately my eldest son has been asking for me to give him a baby girl. Truth to tell, I do crave for a baby girl to be a part of our small family as well but my not-so privilege childhood made me think more than twice about having more children. I was brought up in a big family with five younger siblings that I constantly had to help my mom care for. I distinctly remember having to help my mom change my younger sisters and brother nappies at the tender age of six. Two years later when I was in Standard Two and had just recovered from chicken pox, another new member of the family was brought home making six number of children occupying the quarters that we were staying in. It also meant that the more nappies that I would be changing. I always felt ashamed of admitting to have five younger sisters and brothers to my friends mostly because many of them had less number of siblings than I do. I could vividly recall my childhood being filled with nappy changing, bathing and looking after my younger siblings, and helping them with their homework. I envied my other school friends who didn’t have as much responsibility as I did. They could happily play with friends of the same age freely. Wherever I’d go, my sisters and brothers would be seen clinging on to me. Back then, I always wished that I had only had one younger sister in the family instead of five little ones. I remember asking my mom why she didn't stop breeding after having two daughters. My mom didn’t reply my questioning (Only recently have I had the answer to it.

Having to share everything that I had with my five siblings turned me into an adolescent who despises children, an attribute which is the opposite of my mom who simply adores children. I could clearly recall the times when I chased children (especially the naughty ones) out of my house during my teen age years. My mom back then frequently reminded me not to mistreat those children. She kept saying that someday I might be blessed with children who’d be handful. I guess God heard her warning and made them come true just so that I’d learn my lesson. My two sons were quite handful especially the youngest one. Whenever I see adorable girls in their girly dresses, I do feel the clingyness of having one but I always fight the sense that I had with thoughts of my past childhood and the heftiness of bringing up the two boys. Even before I started breeding, I warned myself and my hubby not to have too many children plainly because (1) I don’t like children, (2) I don’t want my boys to go through the same childhood which I had experienced. I do want my eldest son to have a sense of responsibility but not as much as I did. Plus, I personally think that I am not capable of attending and entertaining the needs of too many children. I had experienced the lack of attention from my parents when I was young (cause they were busy attending to my younger siblings) and so I do not want my boys to feel that they are any least loved by me or my hubby. I want them to have all the love and attention from us.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Bed of Roses was tagged

About a week or so ago, Quesera sera has tagged this blog of mine. I'm not really sure of the rules of tagging and how it works but I'm going to give it a go anyway. So, here's my long reply to being tagged:-

8 random facts about me
(1) I enjoy reading especially well-written novels. Lately, I fall for novels written by English novelists. Honestly, I think their books are brilliantly composed with vast vocabulary and beautiful prose.
(2) I love to day-dream. I could be day-dreaming while I'm in the shower, in the kitchen while preparing dinner, and mostly in bed before I finally fall asleep.
(3) I never like children before I finally have my own offspring. But I still find it hard to like children of others except my sister's and sister-in-law's. I just adore my nephew and nieces. I could spend a whole lot buying clothes for the little girls since I don't have one of my own.
(4) I used to love window-shopping. I still do. But nowadays I'd be doing it online. Window-shopping keeps me update with the new trends in the fashion industry. It also helps me to day-dream of my next perfect dress to be added into my wardrobe.
(5) I'm camera shy eventhough many people keep telling me that the camera loves me. Truth to tell, I'm never good at posing for the camera.
(6) At times, I'd be talking or babbling or nagging to myself about the many things going on in mylife. I could be rambling about my colleagues, my partner or even the people that I passed by as I walked to the office.
(7) I'm a chocolate lover. I find it hard to resist anything that's heavenly indulged in chocolate. It may be in the form of ice-cream, cake, biscuit, waffle, or even chocolate bars. If anyone offers me chocolate, I could never refuse it.
(8) My weight is always on my alert radar. Being a chocolate lover, I constantly watch over food and the amount of food that I consume daily. If I found myself gaining extra pounds, I’d quickly imposed a strict diet regime on myself just to ensure that I lose those additional pounds within the next couple of weeks.

FAVORITE BREAKFAST IS: nasi lemak (but there’s no instant nasi lemak here. Tunggu mak datang England baru dapat makan kot)
THE MOVIE I’VE WATCHED MOST NUMBER OF: P.Ramlee movies, but I’ve new craze; Mukhsin
SPEND MY LEISURE TIME: watching telly, reading novels
WORST SMELL? My housemate cooking khinzir. Bau hanyir gile

FAVORITE COLOR(s): Black, White, Grey
I’D LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED AS: A contributing community member
IF A BOOK WAS MADE INTO A MOVIE, WOULD YOU STILL BOTHER TO READ THE BOOK? Depends on the type of book. I’d never go for horror/thriller flicks
SPECIALTY IN COOKING? Laksa kedah, mee goreng basah, sambal tumis ikan bilis
PRESENT CRUSH(ES)? Jake Gyllenhaal, the late Heath Ledger (love his deep voice)
FAVORITE HANG-OUT? Bury Millgate, Mid-valley Megamall, KLCC.
DO YOU LIKE TO WATCH PLAYS? I love theater. Last seen was Ali Baba the Musical
FAVORITE PLACE IN YOUR HOUSE? On the sofabed which is next to the telly
BEST GIFT YOU’VE RECEIVED? Lancome Miracle with a bouquet of roses given 2 years ago during mother’s day
JOLLIBEE OR McD: Depends on my crave and appetite
COKE OR PEPSI: Neither. I like fruit-flavoured if I feel like drinking carbonated drinks
LAST TIME I CRIED: Early this month before I tendered my resignation notice which I then withdrew

People whom I'd tag:-
1. Fadz
2. Yoe
3. Quesera sera
4. Besout
5. Scabbers
6. Lord Voldermont
7. Lindaz

To Quesera sera, thank you for tagging me. Even before this blog was tagged, I've long categorised the above lists as my favourite blog-hopping spots. I truly enjoy reading you guys' posts on your respective blogs. Keep up your frequent posts!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Beauty and Acceptance

"Some people are universally beautiful and some people are beautiful only to those that love them. Love changes beauty. When you love a truly beautiful person, they cease to be perfect and you love them more because you, and only you know their flaws. That's what makes them yours, the secret of the flaws. And when you love an ugly person, they become beautiful to you. That's part of the love, the fact that you know they are beautiful. People's features change when you love them. They become precious. And once you really know them, have held that face close and kissed every bit of it, you'll never recapture how it looked to you for the first time you saw it. But sometimes you see a face for the first time and know that is the face for you. And sometimes a face just grows on you, and there it is in your life, and your days would be empty without it" - Secrets of a Family Album, Isla Dewar

I was intrigued by this beautifully crafted philosophies on beauty and acceptance which was brilliantly debated between a mother and a daughter in another novel of Isla Dewar, Secrets of a Family Album. I couldn't agree more. When I first met Fadz, I was despised by his physical appearance. But somehow when I gave myself the opportunity to be close to him, I saw an inner beauty that no one else has seen in him before. The more time I spend my life time with him, listening to all his thoughts, the more I become accustomed to his unique face, hence the more I learn to accept and love him just the way he is.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Consequences of Marriage

Last week, I have just finished reading a book by an English novelist entitled, The Consequences of Marriage. The novel was about an elderly lady who had mistakenly thought that she was on the verge of facing the angle of death. With the thought of joining her late husband at the back of her mind, she decided to pay her last visit to the places that once held her life-time memories and say adieu to all her children. I just admire the way Isla Dewar unfolded the historical and memorable events of her life which had long been veiled from the knowledge of her offspring.

For this special trip (which she thought would be her last one), she decided to use the less-travelled road instead of the motorway. I thought she had made a wise decision on the path that she’d take as these roads offer more picturesque view compared to the motorway. I totally agree with her. Most motorway users only have one thing in their mind; step on the accelerator, speed up and reach their destinations in the least time. She was right about the route for her final voyage. Her trip to her destinations was accompanied by beautiful scenery where she halted to picnic and enjoy the magnificent view laid upon her aging eyes. It was at these brief stops (which she’d planned ahead) that her untold stories were unraveled and shared with her accompanying chauffeur whom reminded her so much of her lost child.

As she reached each of her destinations, all her fond memories kept within the place begun to unwind and play back in the corners of her mind. At times, she was so indulged in the flashes of her past that she spoke to her late husband’s soul. She even talked very affectionately about the place and the beautiful reminiscence that she once lived in when the reality of her previous past there wasn’t always as striking as her vivid recalls. As I followed her secret being unraveled, I begun to understand why she selectively recalled only the good old memories. I guess when one has to spend one’s golden age without the presence of one’s soul mate; one would prefer to unwind only the wonderful moments spent together than the hardship that they once lived.

When I finally read the last sentence of the novel, two things triggered in my mind. Firstly, I started to realize that I have never really had the time to appreciate the picturesque places back home. In fact, I was like the many typical motorway users who only wanted to quickly arrive at the destination. I shared this old lady’s wonderful journey with my hubby and thought that we should do the same during our next home visit in summer 2009. Secondly, the selective flashback that the elderly woman had made me wondered what would I be like when I’m older and having to spend my golden years in loneliness. I know now that I could never live my life without my soul partner…

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I was stupified

I think I will fall ill very soon. My throat is starting to sore, my nose is blocked. I have been telling people around me that I am fortunate that I hadn’t caught the infamous influenza in this horrendous weather. I did the most foolish thing to do in a freezing cold weather; eat a bowl of chocolate ice-cream. I just couldn’t resist the combination of my two favourite yet forbidden food (for weight watchers like me); chocolate and ice cream. I remember putting on nearly 10 pounds after last year’s Christmas. Who wouldn’t put on weight after indulging into the heavenly meal and definitely the many chocolaty sweets beautifully wrapped? I told myself then that I must commence my strict diet regime; no more in between meals and chocolate. Within less than four weeks, those extra pounds gained started to lose off and I can easily fit into all my size 6 clothes. My point is, I shouldn't have let the evil lured me into consuming those chocolate ice-cream in the first place. I felt so stupified. I should have know better the consequences of falling for the evil and now, I am on the verge of facing that consequence of my own foolishness; down with flu!

p/s: We finally had some snow last Saturday after having wait for it since Christmas.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

A quitter? Hmm...

There are times when I really regret sweet-talking my hubby to migrate here. Yesterday was one of those moments. I had a really tough time at work. My superior seemed to be expecting too much from me when the fact is I am not entirely ready to take up a job that I am never passionate of. I can foresee that the post may promise a good career prospect but what I fail to see is myself fitting into the job. I’ve always longed for a career within the line of study that I did for my post-graduate degree. I should admit that Operation Management was not my favourite subject, and the post he’s offering is very similar to what I’d learned in the course. He spent about 10 minutes to discuss what he planned to do to help me grab hold and grasp the essence of my new role. During this discussion, I started thinking that may be it will be best if I dismiss myself from the organisation before he spares his precious time at work to further explain something that I’m not entirely ready to commit to.

So, yesterday as I was walking home, I thought of it thoroughly and decided that I don’t fit into the post offered and tender my resignation notice today. But my superior is not in today as he’s attending a very important conference in the City. I’d hand him my notice first thing tomorrow and explain why I did so. Some people may think that I am a quitter for quitting before the real hard work even begins. The truth is I’ve attempted to play my new role for the past couple of weeks without proper training and using only the very brief description of the job given. I thought to myself that before my superior or the people around me started to judge me as not contributing to the organisation, it’s better for me to leave.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Rutin harian di rantauan

Dah lame sangat rasanya tidak mengemaskini (update) blog dalam Bahasa Melayu. Sebelum BM saya bertambah karat, molek lah kiranya saya menulis sedikit di dalam bahasa ibunda saya. Semenjak saya menetap di rantauan, saya telah belajar menjadi manusia yang lebih berjimat. Misalnya, saya pergi keje dengan hanye berjalan kaki (maklumlah, saya masih belum memiliki kenderaan sendiri), dan saya bawa bekal untuk makan tengahari. Kalau dahulu semasa saya menetap di tanahair, setiap hari saya perlu memandu untuk ke tempat kerja, dan waktu makan pula, sudah menjadi kewajiban membeli di kedai makan sahaja. Pada ketika itu, langsung tidak terlintas untuk membawa bekal. Bukan setakat makan tengahari yang saya beli di gerai, malah boleh dikatakan untuk setiap sajian (meal) sehari-hari, dibeli di gerai. Sungguh jarang sekali saya memasak di rumah. Tapi sekarang, amat jarang sekali saya membeli makanan dari gerai, sebaliknya saya lebih selesa makan makanan yang saya masak sendiri. Bukan sahaja boleh berjimat, tetapi juga lebih yakin dengan tahap kebersihan penyediaaan makanan tersebut.

p/s: seksanya nak siapkan satu perenggan yang betul tatabahasanya (grammartically correct) dalam bahasa ibunda sendiri. I should be ashamed of myself.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My cheeky lil' boys

Last week was my youngest son's 5th birthday. The infamous quotation about time; "time waits for no men nor women" is truly true. I sometimes find it hard to convince myself that the active little boy whom I gave birth to five years ago is already in school. It felt like it was only yesterday that I cradled him in my arms (I still do though), and watched his progressive growth daily. He never fails to amaze me everyday with every little new things that he learns in school. Though this youngest boy of mine takes after most of his father's facial appearance, his linguistic abilities and physical feature are inhereted maternally. He picks up language very quickly and easily makes friends. Being born as a big baby, he is always thought to be the same age as his older brother. He may be physically big, but at times he still behaves like a small baby.
His older brother, my eldest son, contradicts my youngest in every way. Despite inhereting most of my facial features, this nearly 7-year-old boy takes after most of my hubby's artistic attributes. Has the love to draw and invent things, Han's set back is linguistic. As a baby, he developed his linguistic skill at a later age compared to boys of the same age. Being a practical person like his father, my eldest tends to learn language better when he could apply the words in his daily conversation.
Even though both of my boys are unique from one to another, when it comes to play time, they share the same interest. Both of them really enjoy building their Lego bricks, play computer games, and read story books before they go to bed. And they're also very cheeky whenever they're asked to pose for the camera. But most important of all, I love them both very much and they'll always be my babies no matter how big they grow!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

A belated 'surprise'

Last weekend was my beloved hubby’s birthday. We only bought a cake to commemorate that special day in his life. As we indulged ourselves into the heavenly chocolate cake, I started thinking to myself, “When was the last time I threw him a surprise for his birthday? Never! And when was the last time I’ve bought him something valuable besides clothes? Never!” I’ve been married to him for seven years yet not once have I ever arranged for a surprise for his special day. So, I started to layout a secret plan in my head. I had it all figured out; as soon as I finished work on Friday, I’d take the boys to our little town and buy everything needed to surprise him. Last Thursday night, as I was preparing dinner, I revealed my secret plans to my two boys and warned them not to disclose it to their daddy.

Friday set in. It was the day to finally execute my surprise project. Once I finished work at noon, I dashed home to fetch my sons and get them dress for our outing. As we walked towards town, I told them again that we were going to buy daddy’s birthday present and they suggested a few brilliant ideas to further complement the plan. Our first stop was a shop that sells cards. The boys picked a card from daddy’s section and I selected one that said ‘husband’ on it. After purchasing the cards, we headed to another shop since the other thing that we needed was not sold there. We roamed around the shop for a bit and came across a lovely frame with beautiful wishes on it. I grasped it and went to find ‘blow-outs’ and party hat. According to my eldest son, a birthday party wouldn’t be complete without those two items. With all the accessories in hand, we went to a music shop to get the present that I’d been eyeing for the past couple of weeks ever since I heard my husband saying that he would want to have one someday. We went into the shop and as I looked around I saw ‘it’, the perfect gift! Before we finally head home, we made one last stop to buy a pizza since the week before we’d already had a cake.

When we got home, my sons and I tidied up our little room, wrote our well-wishes in the cards, set up the table, wrapped the gift, lit the candle, turned off the lights and the telly, and waited for him to return from work. I had his camera ready in my hand to snap photos while my sons put on the party hat and grabbed their Postman Pat blow-out. As we waited in the dark, the boys kept telling me how excited they were. I could clearly see the excitement portrayed in their cheerful smiles. A few minutes went by before we finally heard him unlocked the door and turned the knob. As soon as he stepped into the room, we stood up from our hiding place and shouted ‘surprise’, my youngest son even blew his blow-out. My hubby was indeed surprised. He was even more surprised when we presented his birthday ‘gift’.

I’m really pleased that he loves the gift even though it wasn’t given on the exact date of his special day. Dragging my sons into my plan was the best part of the little project. Their genius thought of the little things like blow-outs and party hats made the small event even more special. Their little inputs had not only perfected my plan but eventually made them members of the project.

p/s: Happy Belatedy Birthday, Abg Syg