Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Wishes 2010

To all my Christian friends and readers,

May the festive mood of Christmas fill your hearts with love and contentment throughout the day!  

To all the rest, especially those in Bristol :
Keep warm in this cold, wintry weather
Don't fret (yeah, you heard me correct!),
enjoy your white (and freezing :P) Christmas,
as snow doesn't come easy in this part of the land :P
Take those vits everyday
so that you keep flu at bay.
Enjoy your much deserved break
but don't forget to read those journal articles in bed ;),
Have a blast on Boxing Day, shoppers! :D
but spare some money for the gas (bills) shockers... :P
Cheers mate!

Tis the  season to be jolly... Fa la la la laaaa... la la la laaaa.... :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Winter in Bristol

Winter came early this year.  That's what they say.  Some places up north have been blanketed by snow for weeks now.  From Scotland, to Wales, why, even London got a fair share of snow!  Bristol?? Yeah, it snowed a few times but nothing compared to last year.  Maybe not yet :).

last year ...

This year ...

Thankfully, snow has not disrupted our routine.  The children went to school as usual. 

Albeit the small amount of snow, some people could still find ways to enjoy it! :D

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Year-end School Performances

It's that time of the year when schools here have their year-end concerts.  Well, actually, 'concerts' was the term used to describe extravagant end-of-the-year students' shows, when I was in a missionary primary school in Malaysia, many, many years ago :P.  Here, people don't call these shows, 'concerts'.  Maybe because they are done in small scale ... small but sweet I would say :).  Terms aside, it's a day to celebrate the children's talents, whatever they maybe - acting, singing, or playing musical instruments.  Lines might be forgotten, lyrics might be incomprehensible, singing might be off-pitched, but what matters most is that the children gave their very best.  

Students' shows are not annual events here.  They have them all year round, during what the people here termed as 'special asssemblies'.  In my children's school, parents would be invited to watch their child perform during these assemblies.  No well-rehearsed tarians or over-dramatised sajak delivery :P.  Just wholesome performance by the kids.  Students from a particular year group would be reciting a poem, singing a song, or performing a short sketch in front of other students and parents.  Bloopers were treated as part and parcel of the performance, not something that mars the performance.  It's really a good way to build young children's self-confidence.   

On the other hand, assemblies in Malaysia would be long hours standing in the hot sun or in the dewan besar (still hot!), listening to speeches from the guru besar about students' discipline, school developments and achievements.  Come to think of them, the speeches were fit for parents rather than students... pretty mundane... hehehe!  Once in a blue moon, there would be some 'interesting' events like public caning.  But that's story for another day :).  For now, it's about my children's performances in their respective year-end assemblies.

My Amirul performed in a string orchestra (again, the orchestra here was so much small-scaled, compared to the one that I used to perform in a Malaysian primary school), while my Jon performed in a Nativity Play.   Amirul's violin performance brought back fond memories of my own performing days but I must say, mama played better! Hehehe!  Jon was a camel in the Nativity play.  His first performance was better because he didn't spot me in  the audience.  The second time around, he was a bit 'malu-malu kucing' as he was aware of mama videoing him. 

Check out Amirul's performance :D!

After days trying in vain to upload Jon's Nativity play, I resigned to the fact that that's not going to happen :(.  So, pictures instead of my dear cute camel and pictures of Amirul the budding violinist.

Jon, Julia and one of their class teachers

The singing camels

The song...

tarian - dance
sajak - poetry
dewan besar - main hall
guru besar - principal
malu-malu kucing - Malay idiom to describe shyness