Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Story to Share

As part of the supporting documents to apply for my children's visa, we have to attach the Certified True Copy of the photo and  visa pages of my passport.  So, last Tuesday, we went to the City Centre - quite confident are we to get all three copies certified at the legal firm which service we have been using previously.

Unfortunately we were told that the Notary Public will be back only "after the first week of June". Hmmm.... that will be too late, we thought. We thanked them and left for another firm but this time we were told that we have to make an appointment and it will cost us £50. Well, if we are not watching our budget (we were charged £25 previously), we may say yes owing to the urgency of the matter. But again we thanked the nice lady at the Reception and we decided to look yet for another firm and this time the Receptionist explained apologetically that they only do such certification for their registered clients. At this point of time, we started forming plans A, B & C : A - to get the Head Teacher of the children's school to certify; B - to get the University officials to do it or C, go back to Firm no. 2. We kept walking though and arrived at another legal firm. My husband was asking me whether it is worth checking out. Since it is situated very close to where we parked our car, I decided to try my luck for the last time.

I climbed the stairs and I started regretting my decision - the office is much posher than the others - should I just turn back? But my legs kept carrying me to the Reception. I asked and was told that if I could wait, the person who is dealing with it will come and see me. I agreed to wait. A few minutes later, a man approached asking me how he could help. I told him. Yes, he said. He will happily do it. And I asked him how much will it cost me. And at this moment I really thought that something is wrong with my ears. I asked him again. He started smiling and said "You heard it right, first time - I was saying, how about a box of chocolate. I tell you what, this is too small a business to charge anything for.  Now, if you are all right with that, let's go to my office and get the documents certified."

Well, I think that story is worth sharing.  To me there are a few lessons to be learned as well. The next day I send him a box of  Thornton.  I really hope he enjoy it.  Anyone of you have similar stories of something unexpected? Do share, yeah! :-D And Happy Sunday!

Source of image of Thorntons chocolate is from

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Summer Bar-B at St. Andrews

Summer is really here. Feels so good going out with nice cool (not cold!) weather. There is no need for few layers of tops, no need for two or three pairs of long, thick socks and best of all you can just leave the thick woolly winter jacket at home! What a beautiful feeling - Suddenly travel light has a whole new meaning :-D

So last Saturday, all the 4 of us taking Anas (Boy! I think this guy is a genius! The kind who read everything and with an IQ of at least a zillion perhaps!) along with us to the picnic area somewhere along the beach at St. Andrews. The occasion? To be frank we do not have to have any occasion to for piling up to the beach do we? But anyway, it is supposed to be a get-together with the St. Andrews Malaysian students who are members of the Malay Dundee Community and also a farewell for some of them who graduated recently. 

Well, that's it. The photos will speak better. Here comes :

First the food. But these are not all. Trust me!

Khamsah's mouth-watering Kerabu Sohon - Yummy!

Let's just say that we won't blame her for any missing food... Our prayers to you, Noor. Can't wait to meet you new addition. Hopefully everything is going to be well and good, Insya Allah 

Well, will you believe me if I said this discussion was about how or who to call to bring the matches or lighter. You see, a Bar-B was planned - the chickens and lambs were ready - marinated and all. The Bar-B set already set up! And then somebody realised that nobody brought any fire starting material!!! None of them who have arrived smoke, you see! :-D

Our KMD women - Oh Boy! Wha're you guys doing under the shade?

And a Candle Prince (direct translation of Putera Lilin?) as well

My Mia getting so brown!

Ooopps... Actually this event is about running with a ball between your knees. But Aqil is too short for that. So, my Darling Hubby put the ball inside his shirt instead!

Strawberry, strawberry come to me

Wonder what Zaid & Hannan were doing

Farhan, after one of the events :-D

Oh yes...! It takes two to tango! Mahzan & his beloved, Ana

One for the album - Khamsah, Ellie, Noor, Amal and Kakak

All of us plus minus our guests

Well, we do enjoyed our day out. And it didn't stop there. The next day, all of us (those in Dundee) piled up to Taufik's house to celebrate Fathi's birthday. Well, that will be a different story, yeah! :-D Till then

Sunday, May 23, 2010

It's Sports Day! Hurrah

Phew! The weather is very nice lately. Looks like summer has already started smiling on us. And with summer, comes activities that have been forgotten in the colder months (which is about 8 months since September). Along the way to school in the morning, time-clocks and dandelions (yes! though weed still pretty!) greeting you, birds happily chirping and the best of all you can leave your thick winter jacket at home! And suddenly there is spring in your steps. Trees which gone bald the past few months have regain their dignity with new green clothings - Mmmm.... it is just beautiful!

So!, to take advantage of the good, beautiful weather, St. Ninian Primary School held their Sports Day last Thursday. I can't help thinking if Danish and Hakim are here, they will sure enjoy it. Anyway, together with Anie, Taufik & Faiq, we marched over to the school field to watch our children. It was handled in a very different manner from our schools back home.

Here are some photos to share with you :

Hi Mum! I have just arrived and was told that the children were divided into groups

At first when I saw Aqil here I thought it was just for watching but actually, he's part of the team. I was quite worried at first, since he has never done a team sports kind of thing before. But, somehow he participated well. Listening to all the instruction given. I'm proud of you, Dear. So proud. Aqil with Mia, Rebecca and Sela

Here's the whole team. Err... where's Mia?

Mia in the hoop with Rebecca

Aqil with Rebecca running to the finishing line 

Pass it over, Mia

My hat! My hat! C'mon Aqil, run, Aqil - Rebecca cheering for him

Aqil & Sela - after completing their turn. Sela  & Rebecca took turn to run with Aqil

Ms. Martin - Danish's Class Teacher. Guess what? Aqil took this picture. I was running for the ball which goes haywire at this time! Danish, if you are reading this, Ms Martin sent her regards to you and will email you something soon. Same with Ms McEwan for Hakim. They both asked for your email address. 

Well, what I can say is I really like the manner of which the sports day was handled. Nobody felt pressured. Everyone encouraging and supporting everyone. The elder children took charge of the younger. And they have fun along the way. I was so glad I came and watched. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

An Award & A Tag from My Dear Friend, the Bluesman :-D

Now that I have completed my exam, I am going to fulfil my promise to my dear friend the Bluesman of ( that I will respond to his earlier tag.

As it goes I have to share with him and other other friends a list of 10 things that can make me happy today.

So, here goes, 10 things that can make me happy today - not necessarily in this order :

1) if all my children are here with me;
2) knowing for certain that my family are always there to give me full support to go through my chosen path
3) if I can just finish my 2 chapters of dissertation so that I have a two-day lee way for checking prior submitting this Friday
4) if my friends still remember me and the memories that we shared can put a smile on their faces - I'll be so happy to know this! :-D 
5) a good cup of coffee - latte topped with cinnamon of course!  
6) a good book preferably by Alexander McCall Smith 
7) if I can afford to get a very good pair of comfortable shoes for my husband 
8) knowing that everyone I love and care about are happy
9) though ridiculous but if suddenly somebody opens a nasi lemak stall here in Dundee! Wonder if Mak Cik Tangling are thinking of going global!
10) if La Taza (yeah, the one close to Bayswater Station) can open a Branch here - I really miss the superb lamb kebab with rice - Awesome!!! - this is more achievable than no 9.

Whom would I like to tag? (Wish I can award it back to the Bluesman but I am not sure if that is allowable) but here goes my list :

1. Lemongrass of Salam Dua Benua
2. DrSam of Archive of Time (busy as you are! :-D)
3. Acik of My Life My world
4. Fa10 of Sekadar Coretan
5. Zue of DrZue
6. Mahzan of Dari Jendela Blackness Street
7. Ida of Borneo Love
8. Ellie of Chapters of My New Life
9. C|k^Tum of A Special Me
10. Machina of Kehidupan : Catatan Kembara 

So, guys what you have to do is simply :

1) Link the blogger who gave you the award on your post... (your choice really, not forcing you to, yeah!)
2) Write 10 things that make you happy...
3) Share it with at least 10 friends.......

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sunday Short Trip to Stonehaven

I am in the middle of completing my dissertation. But, I need to "let my hair hangs down" as well. Such, yesterday my husband took us to Stonehaven about 56 miles away in Aberdeenshire.  It is a small town along Route 19 - the Angus Coastal Tourist route.

We started our journey quite late - at 12.00. Actually, Sunday is our Car boot day but you see, now that my two elder children are not around, it feels quite awkward to continue with the routine - almost painful if I were to be truthful.

So, once we decided to go, we quickly packed our lunch and off we go.  Stonehaven is a small coastal town. But I supposed it is one of the more picturesque places in Scotland. Well, maybe you can be the judge of that. Here are some photos of Stonehaven.

Not that many people on the beach yesterday. 

Seagulls - I've never seen quite as many "swimming" - perhaps enjoying some snacks

The Town Centre

The Harbour

Aqil - Ah! We managed to stop him before he jump!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Two Ladies & A Full Bloom Patch of Flowers :-D

Well, I have just finished my exam yesterday. My final paper. Anyway, I am not writing about what happened before and after exam yesterday - not yet. Perhaps later.

Last Friday (May 7) was our lab assessment. All the past few months lab sessions came down to this three hour assessment - If you ask me how am I doing, I am not sure - it was like I was drugged during that three hours, I can't really remember how I got through it. And as usual after almost every exam, I will always have a dream of which my lecturer will be asking me why am I not doing well. For the first paper, it came in the shape of Dr. Brown who's asking me on top of his lungs "WHY CAN'T YOU ANSWER THAT? WE HAVE DISCUSSED THAT, REMEMBER?! I HAVE EXPLAINED THAT STEP BY STEP DURING CONSULTATION!!". I woke up glad that it was only a dream. For the lab assessment, this time Dr. Brown was not in the picture, only his voice "Now, why did you use logic to answer that question when you have Minitab?" Phooooh! Well, the reality is, for some of the probability questions, I did use my logic on normally distributed data - Well! So, all-in-all I am not sure how my fate is going to be just yet.

Anyway, we studied hard for 5QM. And after the exam last Friday as we (my friend Monica & I) approached the School of Accounting & Finance Building, we saw the patch of garden across the street where I sometimes waited for my 73 bus to take me home to Dochart Terrace was in full bloom! So, since I have my camera with me, we did what I always wanted to do before - to take photos when the flowers are in full bloom - don't ask me what flower just yet, yeah!

My Dear Friend Monica


See the building on the right? It housed both the School of Environmental Studies and our School, the School of Accounting & Finance

River Tay

The spot where I sometimes waited for the bus

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Our Trip to Durham County Part 2

Guess it is time for me to continue with the story on our trip to Durham County last Easter hols. Our SatNav which is not of the later model old made our way not as straightforward. A journey which should take us around 4 hours turned out to be nearly 6. But, as it goes, there is always the brighter side when anything happened not according to plan. For us, it is the breathtaking view of the North Pennines. MasyaAllah.... that is all I can say. Looking at such beauty and serenity made me feel so small and humble. I kept on whispering Alhamdulillah and Subhanallah thanking the Al-Mighty for everything that He Blessed me with - of life, of a wonderful and loving family and I pray that He will never make me forget my humble beginning and most importantly never let me stray away from His embrace. Too mesmerized was I that I forgot to take any shot!

Rookhope is a beautiful village about 40 minutes away from Durham City. With miles and miles of farms and hills, farmhouses dotted along the way. And since it is already spring, there're newborn lambs lying beside their mums, some still wobbly, trying to get up and fall almost as soon, horses happily nibbling away. How I wish I could capture them all and share it with all of you. We kept imagining how beautiful Rookhope will be come summer.

Rookhope Burn Cottage is reached through a little wooden bridge under which flows a river. Such idyllic. And the cottage itself is extremely clean. Though it is situated in a rural setting, it has all the modern convenience expected for comfortable living.  The thoughtful caretaker even have some good books (by John Grisham and a few others which I have forgotten by now! Sorry) and a few games (dominoes and hoopla) to keep the children entertained!

Anyway, on the first day of our stay, we went to Shildon to visit the National Railway Museum. And what fun we have there.

Aqil looking at the whole plan of the Museum

Steam Engine Anyone?

Building 2 where we learn a lot about the history of railway at Shildon and Timothy Hackworth, the man behind it all 

We were all excited with this display! Keruing from Malaysia

Wondering what they were doing?

They were trying to assemble their own engine! Mia with the Work-in-Progress

In front of the goods wagon

Aqil feeling heavenly in front of the models from Thomas the Tank Engine. He loves Thomas & Friends!

Below are a few models of engine from earlier

Douglas or Donald with Emily?

Emily & Henry?

Mia concentrating painting her mug

Hakim designing his

Aqil was painting his mug when he lost interest and Danish had to come for rescue!

Well, we did have a real good time at Shildon. The children enjoyed it so. Next, our visit to the City of Durham. Till then :-D