Thursday, December 31, 2009

What New Year resolutions?

It's that time of the year again when people will be making new year resolutions. Some do so privately, others eagerly telling the whole world (via twitter, FB, etc). There was a time when I was one of them. Not this year. I asked myself do I need to make resolutions come new year? What if I'm not up to it? What if I think that new year's eve is just not significant enough for me to make one? After all it's just another day.

Not that I don't make resolutions at all. I constantly make resolutions throughout the year -when something significant (to me, might not be to you!) happenned in my life. I remembered making one, recently, after Boxing Day. I was thinking,

"I have everything I need right now, I won't need to buy ANYTHING until next year".

... somehow, I got a feeling that 'until next year' really meant until 'the Summer Sale'... hehehe! Then, there was the time when I couldn't send my assignment on time. I pledged loudly to never do my work last minute ever again (to which the 'kakaks' at GSOE just laughed). Truth is, they and I know that is never going to happen. We need the adrenalin rush when we do our work at that most critical period. But deep down, I'm hoping that I can change this destructive habit as now I remembered that there's another assignment deadline coming up... :(.

There you have it folks! I don't have any resolutions specially made to commemorate 2010 :), I do it all the time. For you guys who have one, all the best in meeting those resolutions!

Monday, December 28, 2009

December Diaries

My last month in 2009 was filled with activities and happenings.

8th Dec
I was jolted from sleep at dawn by a panic hubby. The kitchen pipe had burst, water had flooded the kitchen and he couldn't locate the mains. So, in a daze, I made some calls and set out to mop the floor (which proved to be futile). Luckily our Malaysian friends who lived nearby, came after getting our SOS. They too, couldn't find the mains but managed to temporary stop the leak. Later a plumber came, located the mains in the most unthought-of place (inside the boiler) and fixed the pipe. Moral of the story: you should know where your mains for your electricity and water are if you are in the UK. It can be anywhere (someone's mains is even in the master bedroom). Kat Malaysia senang aje tempatnya...

9th Dec
Took time off from doing my assignments to watch my son perform in his school's nativity play in conjunction with Christmas. So cute :).

10th Dec
Handed-in my first assignment for the semester - statistics. I slogged it out for the assignment but was taken aback when I saw how thick the others' were compared to mine. Oh well, tawakkal aje lah. But what do you know... I did pretty well (somebody let me in on my results...hehehe).

12th Dec
Attended the first session of MCB's winter photography workshop. The instructors were Riezal and Omen. Some basics on photography but nonetheless, informative.

13th Dec
Added one more feather to my cap - DIY barber! Thought I could save money by cutting the menfolks' hair myself. Men's haircut here costs about 7 pounds (that would be about RM 35) and they don't really cut that much (macam trim aje). So with some encouragement from hubby and my friend, Faezah, I bought the Babyliss clipper kit which was on sale at Asda and set out to 'menggondolkan' all those bushy heads! Ngeh! Ngeh! Ngeh! It was not too difficult when you have the right tools (should have done this a long time ago!)

17th Dec
My forthnightly meeting with my supervisor. She told me not to kill myself over the assignments...hehehe...

"You don't mind getting a B or C, do you?"

she asked with great concern that I guiltily said I don't. Truth is I DO mind! Am going to confess about this mad obsession when we meet in two weeks time to discuss about my research questions. Ayoyo!

19th Dec
Attended second session of the photography workshop. The instructors were Akob and Nato, the humble 'photo-hobbyist'. Check-out his work at this link.

20th Dec
Teman budak2 play snow at the backyard. Wondered how they could last for so many hours in the plunging temperature. I kept running back to the house to warm my fingers and feet!

22nd Dec
Handed in my second assignment - a 20 page critique of a research article. In order to critique one article, I ended reading even more books and article. Lastly, dah tak larat nak baca, hantar je lah ...

23rd Dec
Chaperoned my two kids to watch 'New Moon'. The fact that I watched the movie a month after it openned, shows that I'm really not into all this Twilight-New Moon-Edward Cullen hype. I was really looking forward to the wolf-gnarling and Edward-bashing (no offence, Edward's fans :)) scenes that I saw in the trailer, though. Boy, was I let down. They were so brief! (just like in the trailer!). My verdict: the movie was a drag! I think Twilight was a wee bit better than this one (New Moon), although the former did drive me nuts with the oh-so-many scenes of the actors staring lovey-doveyly into each other's eyes :P. BTW Jacob looked so much better than Edward ... hehehe.

25th Dec
Spent Christmas at home - relaxing, watching TV, cooking, eating. Very merry indeed :).

26th Dec
I couldn't have possibly rivalled Rebecca Brandon nee Bloomwood, but was knocked out all the same on Boxing day. Well, after working so hard, I should reward myself, right? Hubby pointed out:
"That's a shopaholic excuse."
Whatever, Jeej. I'm happy that I spent within my means, and I'm pleasantly surprised that you didn't nag.

... and that's all I have to say about my December.

Happy New Year everybody! :)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

It's snowing in Bristol!

They say this happens once in a blue moon. After all, Bristol is supposed to be a snow-free zone (most of the time). Snow was reported to fall rather heavily in February early this year. Now, 10 months later, it's back again.
view from the house
I don't know how I feel.... but I do know that a certain PYT is rejoicing :). The sons are sound asleep but I bet they'll jump for joy when they wake-up tomorrow. A white Christmas this is going to be for Bristolians. Cheers!
(might have to buy those red sleighs from ASDA after all...:))

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Bridge That Isambard Built

At last...
After about 2 months in Bristol, I finally set foot on her famous icon - the
Clifton Suspension Bridge.

I have been wanting to go there ever since I saw it two days after I arrived at the city. As I recalled, we were on our way to the north of Bristol when I saw this majestic structure 'perched' on the cliff. I was totally awed.

The Clifton Suspension Bridge was the work of British legendary engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel (even his name sounds like some legendary character from Tolkien!). He was 24 when he was commissioned to build the bridge in 1831. He did not live to see it completed, though - he died at the age of 53.

Amidst the low temperature and the cold wind, we took our time to savour the surroundings as we walked. I pretty much lagged behind, not because I was out of breath, but rather, I couldn't resist snapping the breath-taking views of the bridge at different angles.

"Nak masuk dalam blog lah tu..." Hubby perli :D

When we eventually crossed the bridge, I was surprised that I didn't feel dizzy at all. I even managed to stop midway (woo hoo!)to take pictures of Hotwells Road below, the River Avon and Clifton Village.

There was an information centre at the North Somerset side of the bridge. Hubby (who majored in structure, but ended up in the 'net':P) was so into the exhibits. So, we spent quite sometime there watching the interactive show and reading the historical bits and pieces. I bought a few memorabilia to signify our visit there. Then, it was crossing back to the other side.

Once there, we went up to this 'castle' which turned out to be an observatory known as Bristol Camera Obscura. We didn't enter the place because by that time it was almost Asr, so we had to hurry home for our prayers (siang dah pendek...).

We will definitely visit the bridge again on another sunny day (which is hard to come by these days...huhuhu).

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Memories of My Tropical Garden

Autumn is ending and winter is coming. It's cold, windy and wet in Bristol and other parts of the country. Just this morning, BBC reported floods in Cumbria, but I bet they're not as bad as the floods in Terengganu and Kelantan :P. As for snow, well, it doesn't fall in this part of England, but who knows if we are lucky (or unlucky?). After all, it snowed last February in Bristol after 13 years! Blame it on global-warming...

Kat sini, pokok2 semua dah togel and that reminds me of my garden back home. I'm sure it's in a mess right now. What remains is just memories of my tropical garden...huhuhu.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"I don't want to friend you..."

The other day, a facebook friend shared with us her thoughts and maybe feelings on being removed from being a facebook friend of a friend (talk about talking in circles...hehe). She wondered what she did to deserve that. So, there was a string of comments from her other friends, a lot, fiercely supportive (pooh-poohing the other party), others sympathizing, quite a few being reflective, and even one or two admitted to have done the same thing with reasons of their own.

My take, it has happened to me before but I don't lose sleep over it. There are a hundred and one reasons why a friend might do that and only he/she (and God) knows why. Maybe it is something you did (wrong) or say (something stupid), but you'll never know for sure unless you ask him/her. Even if you did, there's no guarantee that the person will tell you why. That's the way life is. Some people like you, some people hate you, some people don't like or hate you but just "dont want to friend you" (budak2 kat Convent primary suka guna ni...hehehe). So it's your call - whether to crack your head pondering over the matter or just get on with your life.

I know many people in Facebook who are willing to accept just anybody as friends with open arms but I also happenned to know an increasing number who are very selective of who they are willing to share their friendship with. Takpe lah... masing2 punya preference.

On another issue, who would have thought that Facebook which enabled us to track our long-lost friends of yesteryears, mend old ties and establish new ones, has it's hazards. It's really an interesting topic to research on (I'm thinking like a researcher now - Sally must be proud of me...hehehe). Any takers??? Too bad that my research interest is on technology...

Luckily, a friend is doing a research on social networking (Yes, Beb, I meant you :D). Am looking forward to read the outcome of the research.
(which btw reminds me that I need to critique an article, not blog...huhuhu)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The University a.k.a "The Climb"

It's anybody guess why I called the university "The Climb"... hehehe.
boleh kurus kering hari hari memanjat bukit nih pegi school ... :P

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My home is...

In a nutshell (Prof. Moses fav. words),

home is ...

a roof on our heads...

wholesome food on our plates ... (see that Kicap Kipas Udang & Lingham's sauce!)

long luxurious baths...

a warm, comfortable bed during cold windy nights.

Home is a "social context" (Understanding Educational Research! hehe!)

... a place of nurturing

a sanctuary of love ...

Home is where the heart is :)

(A feeble attempt at poetry...hehehe!)

Friday, October 16, 2009

On getting used to the weather

I can still remember the remarks of people back home when we told them that we're moving to UK:

"Eee! Bestnya!!!"

At that time, with a lot of things that we had to do before we leave, I would smile wryly and say,

"Belum rasa best setakat ni..."

And now, as I lie in bed, bundled up in my 13.5 tog duvet, I just can't stop smiling because if those people were to ask me how I feel now, I would still say the same thing...

Being a true hot-blooded mammal from a tropical country, I have not really gotten used to the cold weather. I go to school dressed to a T (as in THICK) that some of my classmates would tease:

"My! You must have come from a warm country!"

"Enjoy the sun while you still can..." the locals added, cheerfully. By their standards, Bristol's weather has never been better.

Blue skies in Knowle ...
... & Bedminster
Actually, I must admit that the weather is not that bad. It is sunny almost everyday and it rains only occasionally. But the coldness ... cold wind, cold water, that really needs a lot of getting used to. The cold made me appreciate the sun more than before. Now, I would even sit at the steps of the front door just to bask in the sun!
Anyway, aside from the temperature, autumn is just perfect for the avid photographer. Pictures will be posted soon!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Journey to Our New Home

We left Malaysia for UK on the 24th of September. Yeah, yeah, I know it has been 2 weeks but I'm still going to write about our travel, anyway. After all, it's not like I'm competing with CNN to air the latest news or the likes. This entry is for family and friends who have been waiting for me to update my blog...hehehe!

I did not have any pictures of us at KLIA, but it was so "mengharukan" that family members and relatives took the trouble to send us off. Amid all that, the 5 of us did not shed a single tear but I was told that Yasmin, my niece, cried all the way back to Seremban (don't know if my father exaggerated to make us feel guilty for being so 'heartless'! Haha!). Truth is, we were emotionally & physically drained by a lot of things for months that we just don't know what to feel, think and do anymore. We were thinking, let's get this over with and try to get some rest once we arrive in the UK.

Well, we did get some rest and pampering on the plane. Flying Malaysia Airlines, business class, the stewardess practically fluttered around you till you couldn't breathe! After all, we were reminded time and again that they were "award-winning cabin crew". Hohoho!

The food... well, even though I'm not into their elaborated prawn cocktail, the rest was OK. Yup, that's right: ONLY OK. I mean, food should be savoured in the right ambience. Eating satay on a plane? I'd rather have smoke sting my eyes while I enjoy my satay at Samuri's belakang stadium Kajang tu... Huhuhu...

Anyway, we appreciate our seats (and leg room) very much and ever the shopaholic, I managed to do some inflight shopping... Kui! Kui! Kui!

We arrived 13 hours later in Amsterdam, and had to wait for our connecting flight to Bristol for 9 hours. Luckily, there was this place at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport where we could lie down on reclining chairs and take a nap (they even have blankets!).

Then, it was off to Bristol.

All was fine. Even the customs weren't fussy with our baggage (Dang! Should have brought more ikan bilis, serunding, soto mix, etc! Sigh...). I had my first taste of Bristol's hospitality at the Bristol's immigration checkpoint :).

We were greeted by the MCBUK committee when we arrived (terima kasih semua!) and they even had a little jamuan for us (thanks Asri & Faizah :)).

... to be continued (really have to read those journal articles ASAP)...

Monday, October 5, 2009

D5000 Raya Pix

Our farewell raya poses captured with my D5000.

My favourite picture: Jon Syahmi, my cutie-pie :)

This would have been a nice picture of the Mister and Missus, if not for the 'noise' in the background (the telephone cable and that colorful 'flower' near my head!) Human hindsight.

2009 official raya family pix

... and one with the maid, Tutik.

The three men in my life...

To have and to hold, and in time, to let go...

With Abah & Mumsie.

My verdict of the D5000: sangat berpuas hati (though I have yet to explore the full potential of the camera.