Friday, June 25, 2010

Of plants & flowers

Well, one of the many things I love doing is taking photographs. No. I am not good at it but since digital makes it so much easier for me and the fact that there is no film needed I keep on taking snaps wherever I go. And the size is so... travel-friendly I practically take it along with me anywhere I go. I have well, say come a long way since SLR. Oh yes! We used to have a Nikon F50 SLR before - oh yes, the one which lenses are much more expensive than the body. A lot of tricks as well. But, gone were the days where we have to carry a bulky bag and another for the stand. But, really, I admire those using SLR as to me, taking a photograph using SLR camera is about techniques, art, patience and improvements all the time. It is satisfaction in its own class.

But I am not going to write about cameras. I am in fact going to share with you some of the photos that I have  taken during my trips in this part of Scotland. One of my favourites is taking snaps of plants - doesn't matter - could be grass, trees, flowers - anything. Yes, I love plants. But, what really frustrating is sometimes I could not get the right name for the plants. Say for example here, these white flowers are everywhere by the river on our way to Alyth. At first I thought they are snowdrops. But, actually they are not.

Below are snowdrops. Realised the difference? Snowdrops are "facing downwards". They have different leaves as well. Though both of them seem to love rivers!

Same with the following two. I have yet to know what they are called. My search through the net gave me just "pretty yellow flowers". But, just when I thought these two are the same, they are not. Notice that the one below are without stamens? This photo was taken at Glen Isla just by the river.

While these have stamens and I took snap on the way to sent the children to school.

Well, enough of that. One of the species that we have in abundance during spring is of course, the daffodils. Or sometimes called Narcissus. On the way to Stonehaven, I have seen beds and beds of them. Perhaps they were planted for commercial purpose. Say, for perfume? 

I also love to take snaps of something like the two below. It is soooo... spring kind of thing - where there are new leaves, new shoots and everything started to become alive! err... again.

The two below, are photos of hyacinths (in the pot) and polyanthus (adorning the streets). These were taken in the town of Stonehaven.

And the one below is the climbing clematis. It was taken at the fishmonger's shop in Arbroath. It looks so pretty adorning the wall. 

And this one? I just cannot resist taking snaps of this handsome seagull perching right on top of the clematis.

This budding rose here was taken on our way to the Dentist. We have another appointment tomorrow. So, I am going to see whether it is now in full bloom or, if I am unlucky, wilted away. 

Ahh! These type of roses remind me of my Mum's garden. Well, a memory from the past to be exact. My Mum used to have something similar. I remember, we always have lots & lots of roses of this type. So, out of curiosity I searched for the correct name. Wow, it has such a long name really.

So, my friends, these are the Pink Grootendorst Roses!

So! Enjoy. I am sorry if this entry is not so informative. I am just a person who admires the Al-Mighty's creations and just love sharing them. But one thing, please do not pick or pluck just any flowers or plants that take your fancy. That is not fair to the others. If you have that habit, do stop. Take snaps of them instead. Oh yes, maybe next time I will share the snaps of a few varieties of tulips taken during the tulips festival at St Andrews. Till then... Oh yes, did I tell you that the carnation-like roses above are adorning the wall where we park our car?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

There was an incident at home today - in the kitchen to be exact. But I am not going to share that yet. I am still a bit shaken by it. So, let it cool down first before I have the courage to pen it down. The culprit is? Me. Again. It is no good doing two things which need deep concentration like... mmmm... I'll save that for later entry.

After my husband came back from fetching Mia at school today, he announced that we need to go to TESCO as there are a few things that we need especially some medication for Aqil. He is down with fever and we have run out of paracetamol. Hearinh that, Mia excitedly asked if it is OK for her to jot down the list of things to buy at TESCO. We said yes. So, she quickly took her notebook and a pen and jot the list down. Completed, she handed it over to me. And I don't know what to make up of the list. Can you? Here are what she wrote down :

I quote : "familee list
1. mango joos
2. uyins rad
3. egg
4. coff syrup
5. parstmol
6. dlack cArDAmoms
7. Dishwashurliqit
8. arafreshnyr
9. gulicbred

It's like a puzzle for me at first glance. Then I asked her to tell me what item no. 2 is. Even she took a while before she answered me. You see, item no. 2 is from his father, so, I am not aware of it until she finally tell me  
"It's onion, red, Ibu!" Blimey! For the rest, I think you guys can make up, ya? Do excuse the writing from a 6 year old.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

These Boots Are Made For Walking.....

Hmmm..... I know my Supervisor or my husband will not approve me keying in an entry at this moment. I am due to hand in part of my dissertation. But truth be told, though I still have a quarter more to do, I mean a quarter of 67 pages...! And I need to send it in shortly. I suddenly can't focus anymore! HELPPPP!!!!! At this rate, I am going insane! Not that I procrastinate either. Nope, I have been working on it all these while. But, you see, at this very moment, I realised if I just add something else (and that is not just one thing) my dissertation will be much much better than it is now. Hmmm.... Zura, if you are reading this, you know what I mean exactly don't you?

On top of that, I am feeling very anxious and Allah only knows how I must have felt at this moment, I have been in and out of the VFS website as well, in the hope some decisions have been made on my children's visa application. It is already 5 working days today since the application was submitted and .... well, I know I have to be patient. But realizing that does not help either. Ya Allah, have Mercy upon us... To Thou we seek Forgiveness.... To thou we seek strength.... & to Thou we have Faith.....

Well, let's stop there. I just need a space to release my feelings. And let see. If you don't mind I am going to talk about boots today. Boots?  Why boots? Well, I love boots, so why not? I am not sure how many of you out there like boots. But it doesn't matter. I just love them. My feet just feel more secure in them :-D I know it is summer now. But our summer up here is not as what you might think. There are days when the weather are very very good, but on most days, it is either cloudy, windy or it rains. So, I have yet to wear any sandals.

Anyway, here are my beloved boots :

Well, three of them are bought new through e-bay. The brown, the sage green and the black pairs in the middle. And they are only £0.99 each pair except for the black pair.

This is my first boots here. Found them at the Car boot sale in Errol. Cost me £1. Well, cost my husband, really not me. But I love them so... much. Tough boots they are. I wish I have a horse to match them.

I wear them when it rains (C'mon! It's difficult to find a cheap wellie at the car boot sale. Even if there are, the sizes are always too big for me) or when we are going to the country side. And still they are going strong. Once I took them down the river at Glen Isla too! Silly me!

I wear this pair inter-changeably with the black one. When it is not raining, this faithful companion of mine will get me to school, to lecture theatres, to discussion room, to the library, to the GP, the dentist, the City of Dundee and of course to the Exam Hall. :-D

This is my latest find. I bought the pair two weeks ago at the Errol Car boot sale. Well, the people at the stall were seriously getting rid of everything so, they sell everything for 10p. Yes, you heard right. I bought this pair for 10p.

You see? Still in very good condition. Even the sole still unscathed. Have yet to wear them though.

When I bought this one, I was thinking of sending them to one of my nieces. But after a phone conversation with her, she told me, she's not into boots. Arifah, are you sure you don't want them? What about Afiqah?Well, looks like I have an extra pair of boots. :-D The black boots in the middle? I think they look a bit like LG's boots (of Salam Antara Benua). But that is the most expensive of them all. Hmmm.... but don't tell my husband, yeah? :-D

And while I was taking snaps of my boots, Aqil asked me to take snaps of his wellington boots too. Hmmm... well, in order not to disappoint him, here goes :

He loves his boots as well. Coming to think about it, he will always ask to wear his wellie even though it is not raining. Hmmmph! Like Mother like son.....

Well, while we are still at it, Mia's pair of wellie. If this pair can cry I think they have done so long ago. Actually, they are a few scratches and a hole somewhere on them. Dear Damia - Never Girlish are you? That reminds me - to look for a new pair for her!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Oh Dear Children...

It was last May 1 that we sent the boys back to Malaysia.  We planned to send the visa application last week, but well, more documents were required from our side and it looks like it is only next week that the application can be sent in. Anyway, if this is a test from the Al-Mighty to see how patient we are or how well we are taking it in, we thank Him for trusting us to be strong and never lose faith. Thank you for choosing us to face the test - it may look small to the others who were tested in a much bigger way. No doubt, it is so difficult for us. And for me, they are not just my children, they are also my friends.

Little is known to me that these two boys have touched many hearts around here. Myna (one of my kindly neighbours) asked me the other day, " The boys here yet?". When I told her it is all depend on the visa, she said, "I hope they will be here soon. You have been missing them aren't you? Your children never fail to say Hello to me. They never pass me by without smiling, waving and saying anything nice. You will get them soon. Kind boys they are." And I was just lost for words. How I wish it is that easy.

 Their friends at school have been asking for them especially Sean Paul. Their teachers - Ms. Martin & Ms McEwan have been asking a few times now. And when I went to their school that day to inform that Mia could not attend school as she was down with fever, Ms Veal (the Head Teacher) & Mrs Longmuir (the  Asst. Head Teacher) asked about them too. "It's OK, they'll be here soon. We pray for them to come back." And if I think I can at least forget that not all of my children are with me, I can forget it. The guy at TESCO was also asking the other day, "The two boys not back yet?" Even the two kind ladies at the post office - guessed they have seen our faces too often!) wished that the children will be back soon. My friends, Monica, Hebah & Sanzida have been very supportive as well not to mention our Malaysian friend  here - asking and wishing that the boys will be back soon. Even the International Support team at the University! Not forgetting Bill the Lawyer who finally knew why I came twice to certify documents. Well, it is good to know that we are among friends only if, the situation is different.....

A week after the boys left, Mia was down with fever. She said she missed her brothers. Not long after that it's Aqil's turn. But I told them to be patient and to pray that Danish & Hakim will come back and soon. 

The last time we talked to them, my husband asked Danish if they have been enjoying the food back home, and he said "Not really." So my husband asked why and he answered back, "I miss Ibu's cooking." I don't know how to describe how I felt that time. I really don't. So, those of you who have children out there, please hug them, kiss them and tell them how much you love them and MEAN it!. Be a parent and a friend to them. Be there for them.

Sorry if this entry is a bore to you. But I need to write and at the moment I only have my children in my mind. Please pray that they will be back in my arms again, and Thank you. :-D