Sunday, March 28, 2010

Short Trip Part 1 : The Scottish Antique & Arts Centre and Alyth

Well, as per normal, in the midst of preparing & completing chapters of my dissertation, I need a break before I burn the midnight candle. I need a breather and mostly it is a short trip.  So, we went to Alyth, The Hermitage Garden & The Beatrix Potter Garden in Birnam - all in the Kingdom of Perth & Kinross. However, in this entry I will be sharing only the earlier part of our little trip.

As usual the beauty of it all makes you thank the Al-Mighty for granting you the opportunity to wander & wonder (of His Greatness) in this beautiful world He created for us all to enjoy and appreciate. But today, there was a detour - while we were on our way to Alyth, we spotted a few cars parking by the roadside and we became curious. It is the Scottish Antique & Arts Centre! We have been following some TV programmes on antique eg. Antique Roadshow and Bargain Hunt. And we were quite curious about it and since we have never been into an Antique Centre, we decided to have a look.

The Exterior

Aqil already in love with an antique children chair costing £20

My trip-mates in front of an old wagon

Happy & Thankful that Darling Hubby agreed to drop by and "experience" the Antique

Well, truth be told I found a few books and some tea sets which I would love to have. But, we are not here to make any purchase, at least not yet, not a the moment and it is going to be a long long more moment. We (DH & I) both fell in love with some paintings of trouts too! But, hmmm.... it is too far-fetch from our Budget and Financial condition! Some snaps on the way to Alyth :

The Town of Alyth - We can't miss taking snaps at the bridge!

Below are some snaps at the town of Alyth :

How about that? Public toilet in a Hotel? And it is free too! I know coz I went in there! :-D

Well, will continue with the other parts of the journey perhaps tomorrow. I have to get back to my dissertation! Happy Sunday, yeah!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Blabbering of A Student Going Mad 2 (Who can't sleep either!)

Hmm.... perhaps it is true that a child is always observing what their parents are doing and imitate it when opportunity comes.  Reminds me of Jeremy Bentham's panopticon concept (something about observation and structural design) but I am not going to discuss this here.

It's nearly 2.30 am. and I couldn't sleep. I've deposited myself at around 10.00 just now but kept blinking. Such I decided to do something. I have been practising some Minitab exercises and looking at how to improve my Literature Review to be a smashing piece. Coming to think about it - could it be possible for a Literature Review to become a piece-de-resistance? Hmmmph.... I don't know. But, if it couldn't, let it pass - I am tired and in a blabbering mood now. Still.... I couldn't sleep!  Oh yes, I have side tracked of what I was about to share just now. Oh... just a couple of photos of Aqil trying to imitate me :

Taking over while Mom is replenishing her tea

Do you really understand what that is, Dear? C'mon! Study a different subject when you are older!

Embarrassed of being caught!

Well, anyway, next week will be my Reading week - followed by Easter Holiday from April 5 - 23. Next it will be the Exam week. In between deadline for chapters of our dissertation. I have a few invitations for a group discussion already. Can't have too big a group though. Another little something to add to my grey cells (borrowing Hercule Poirot's term!)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

An Interesting Fact I found

As all of you readers to my blog know and know only too well, I am currently in the midst of preparing my dissertation.  I have finally received the approval for the topic last week. Anyway, I am not going to elaborate on the topic. While going through articles related to my topic, I came across an interesting fact in the Washington Blog ( The writing was entitled "Islamic Banks Are Surviving the Financial Crisis Better Than Western Banks". If I may quote, the writer was saying, "As I have previously written, the Islamic banking system may survive the financial crisis better than the Western system because it forbids usury and the buying and selling of debt." Unquote.

It made reference to the Associated Press (AP) story in which it was stated :

Quote : "Interest payments, short selling and contracts considered excessively risky are also prohibited. That rules out some of the products that got Western finance into so much trouble such as subprime mortgages, collateralized debt obligations or credit default swaps."Unquote.

But the most that I found interesting is the following which reference was made to Michael Rivero's comment to the AP story. (Michael Rivero of WhatReallyHappened ( Rivero's comment was the Bible also prohibits usury :

Quote : "And, contrary to the popular myth promulgated by the "Clash of Civilization" afficiniados, the prohibition against usury (compound interest) is not confined to the Quran, but is found in the Bible itself.  The following are taken from the King James version of the Bible ;

25 "If you lend money to any of My people who are poor among you, you shall not be like a moneylender to him; you shall not charge him with interest.

26 "If you ever take your neighbour's garment as a pledge, you shall return it to him before the sun goes down

27 "For that is his only covering, it is his garment for his skin.  what will he sleep in? And it will be that when he cries to Me, I will hear, for I am gracious (Exodus 22: 25 - 27)

36 "Take no usury or interest from him; but fear your God, that your brother may live with you.

37 "You shall not lend him your money for usury, nor lend him your food at a profit. (Leviticus 25 : 36 - 37)

19 "You shall not charge interest to your brother - interest on money or food or anything that is lent out at interest. (Deuteronomy 23 : 20)

7 If he has not oppressed anyone, But has restored to the debtor his pledge; Has robbed no one by violence, But has given his bread to the hungry And covered the naked with clothing;

8 If he has not exacted usury Nor taken any increase, But has withdrawn his hand from iniquity And executed true judgment between man and man;

9 If he has walked in My statutes And kept My judgments faithfully - He is just; He shall surely live!" Says the Lord GOD. (Ezekiel 18 : 7 -9) Unquote.

Now, this is something that I have to include in my dissertation! Though some adjustments have to be made.

(Source of Image : http//

An Evening At Dr. Hannah's

When at first I received the email of invitation to a party at our Lecturer's house, I did not respond immediately. First, the date - it was on a Sunday. Well, now the weather is better, Sunday is an Errol-going day. Second, I really would love to simply do nothing on the second part of my Sunday. However, when she sent the second email saying "... I hope more of you will be coming. Please be assured that I will only be serving Halal food and no alcoholic drinks. There will only be fruit juices and soft drinks..." I was touched. Well, Dr. Hannah took all that trouble and the only sensible thing to do to appreciate that effort is to turn up at her party.

And so, that particular Sunday, my husband transported the three of us, my friends Monica & He He to Dr Hannah's house. 

And here are some photos snapped at the party :

Dr. Alison Fox, Me, Monica & Sanzida

Dr. Christine Helliar (Dean of the School of Accounting & Finance, Me, Monica, Sanzida & Hebah

Mahmud, Monica, Me, Dr Gwen Hannah, Hebah, Sanzida and two others whom I not quite get their names

Nicole, Monica, Me, Dr Gwen Hannah, (xxx), Sanzida, (xxx)

The Four of Us

Yannick & Me

Mahmud & Me

Well, we have such a lovely time & Dr Hannah's party. The food is wonderful. We had pilao rice and the works and a very delicious dessert! But too bad, we are soo... eating and chit chatting that I have forgotten to take snaps of the food.

Thank you Dr Hannah! And Have a Wonderful Time for your Cruise to the Caribbeans! :-D

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Finally It's Over! :-D

Well, as if to add another challenge to the not-so-easy to understand 4 segments Burrell & Morgan Sociological Paradigms which is an integral reference when you are taking Research Methodology, we are required to put up a presentation on how well we understand the overall methodology.  So, as it was when presentation is required, you will feel uneasy (keeps nagging at the back of your mind) until it is done with. At least that was what I felt for the past few weeks after receiving the topic of the presentation.

I considered I am very fortunate to have group members who are dedicated and can't bear to let the group down! We discussed and argued (again and again - fortunately, we are also very critical!) and asked ourselves questions that might be asked by our fellow course mates and the Lecturer in charged.

So, panicked we all were when we arrived at Dalhousie building.  We ran our presentation one last time and then tried calming ourselves down - Wang Xi by walking to the Union, me by making the trip to the vending machine for latte, Vivien by walking around to get a breather and Fidelix concentrating of his part of his presentation. And, you can judge how panicky we were - we arrived 2 hours before the presentation started.

Today, we have four groups presenting. And here are the photos :

Lawrence & Soham - thumbs up! One team mate didn't turn up but, well The Show Must Go On!
Topic : Anomalous Evidence on the Dividend Annual Effect

My Group - Wang Xi, Myself (controlling the slides), Fidelix and Vivien
Topic : The Market Impact of Corporate Alliance Announcements : Value-Weighted versus Equally-Weighted Portfolio Returns

My turn, hoping the others didn't think it's a lullaby. I am talking paradigms & hypotheses!

Mobelix, Asheek & Prashant : Listening to Dr Boulkeroua's questions
Topic : Why UK Companies Hedge Interest Rate Risk

Albert, Omar & Nicole. Albert is explaining his point of view on the Pre & Post Performances of Takeover Companies  
Topic : Does Operating Performance Increase Post Takeover for UK Takeovers? A Comparison of Performance Measures and Benchmarks.

At the end of it, all of us were very glad that Dr. Boulkeroua was giving a real good comments to us all. It will really boost our confidence for quite some time. Thank you!!! :-D

And now, we can concentrate on preparing the Literature Review for our respective dissertation. And of course : EXAMMMMM!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Blairgowrie and Glenshee (err not quite!)

It's Saturday! Saturday is letting off steam day! Well, today it is Blairgowrie. It is a beautiful fine day today. We started our journey a little late what with getting four children who are quite reluctant to take their bath early. And since it is a good fine day, it is line drying time and we have two batches of washing to get out to dry.

Anyway, we managed to start our journey at around 11.00. Not without some food, fruits, tea and mango juice - hmm... the preparation is endless! We managed to get slightly lost too and gladly Ustaz Amin was available and provided us with the direction (Ustaz Amin has been here over 10 years like and we assumed that he knows almost every nook and cranny of at least Angus, Perthshire, Fife, Kinross-shire, Argyll, Ayrshire, ... best-kept secret included!).

And the journey is breathtaking! Here is some of the photos along the journey.

As we approached the town centre of Blairgowrie

Can't remember exactly what the statue is called but something to do with WW2 and Korean War


My Hakim posing

Poison Ivy

A gate to the river? Or was it that it was once a castle or something?

What about sitting on the bark and your feet touching the water?

      Danish with errr.... hmmm..

Brae Bridge

Breathtaking view welcoming us on our journey to Glenshee

Glenshee (we'll reach the peak in about 30 more miles perhaps?)

Still some snow left from winter

Don't quite understand why the fire

Well, you have to understand that my husband is a fishing fanatic. So, we have to stop by one of the commercial fishing pond on our way home. This one is called Ledyatt Loch.

Aqil, Danish & Mia giving a pose

    The two fishing enthusiasts with Aqil

Beautiful place, huh? This is the adult fishing pond

Don't you think it is smiling at you?

Aqil in front of the pond's administration office

My four children in front of the children's fishing pond

All in all we have a very good short break.  Who can complain when at the end of the day the driver, opps the Daddy is all smile when we agree to stop by the fishing pond.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Blabbering of a Student Going Mad!

Arrgghhh!.... I'm stuck! It's 1.05 in the morning and I can't add even one sentence to my literature review.  I have been trying a few starting points but.... arrrgghhh! Well, I need to do something - as my kindly lecturer Dr. Hannah put it, "When you can't write any more for your dissertation, write something else. You need to tell yourself you can write. Continue again later." And that is exactly what I am going to do. Boy! Am I glad that my blog is OK now!

A few weeks ago, I was quite down with a few problems :

(i) I was given a new Supervisor (who happened to be working with an Investment company; the previous was off may be for the whole semester due to illness) but after two weeks of no contact, I was getting panicky. Probably I am the only one who has yet to get in communication with her Supervisor. After a few follow-ups with the help of my two supportive lecturers, Prof. Haslam & Dr. Hannah, finally I was contacted by my Supervisor and he immediately given the go ahead to my proposed topic. And this is why I am now doing my Literature Review; And after reading two academic papers I am planning to give up :-(

(ii) Our car broke down and was written-off.  The period after we received the news from the Insurance company until we made the purchase of the current car was quite depressing.  Gladly we have kind and wonderful neighbours - Thank you very much Taufik/Aeni and Azhar/Fiza. My weekend? Not really spoilt - we took the bus instead. One Saturday during that period, we went to Broughty Ferry (again?). It turned out to be a good experience too! You see, we got to see the city from the top deck of the bus and we discovered a place selling out-of-this-world vegetable pakora (or is it pakoda?)

            Getting excited about going to Broughty Ferry by bus!

             The very spot to stop when you reach the City Centre

                  No! No! We are not planning to steal the spot!

                              Ohhhh... the heavenly pakora

(iii) But my greatest sorrow is when I can't log-in into my own blog. My blog! It is somewhat a modern version of an imaginery friend to me. No! No! It is somewhat an extension to myself!? Nope!A good friend who is willing to take whatever whenever I poured my heart out? More likely? And by blogger friends - they always make my day! Thanks to all of you, my blogger friends! So, you see?! My life is turned topsy turvy the past few weeks. Coming weeks? Hmmm... going to be more stressful - deadline for literature review; and of course exam week after Easter hols.  At least I have something to look forward to - a short break at the Lake District.

Oh yes! By the way, Spring is just around the corner! Hence the purple crocus. :-D

Enjoy your Weekends everyone :-D

Sources of Images : purple crocus from; Literature Review book cover from; vegetable pakora from