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.