Thursday, December 26, 2013

My Dear Aqil

Aqil gained weight since we came back. Not just a bit but a lot. From a skinny curly haired boy to a .... well, how should I put it in the most subtle manner... Hmm... how about a little ... maybe the following pictures can help.

We're not really sure how it started. Suddenly he became bigger - bloating? Well, I started checking his weight/height statistic to ensure that he is not obese. Gladly he is not.

But what I am going to tell you is not about him being obese. All the while I thought only his Dad and I are worried about his weight. How wrong I was. What I heard yesterday opened my eyes that the 'Aqil's problem' is a family concern.

Damia : Aqil, you shouldn't be hungry again. We have just eaten.

Aqil : But I am hungry...

Damia : You are growing fatter and fatter Aqil. You have to control eating.

Baba : You should fast tomorrow.

Damia : If you do not want to fast, you should go jogging, do some exercises

Aqil : (quiet)

Damia : You should be able to run at least once around the house. But look at
you, you can't even run or exercise for 5 minutes when I asked you...

Oh Dear, I didn't realised that Mia is so worried about his brother until yesterday.

Something surely need to be done about Aqil.

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Setting It!

Since early this week, I was feeling unsettled. I tried to do my work but my mind wanders elsewhere. I am not always like this. Ooh...! The agony of waiting!

Some time in August this year I wrote an entry on how worried Danish is about sitting for PMR. To be honest, I worried more than he does. Once it was made known that the result will be out on December 19, I had butterflies in my stomach...

There's nothing else we can do. It was over and done with. For sure the result will be parallel to the amount of work put into it - simple logic. Of course with the AlMighty's Blessings.

So, on the way to school to fetch his result this morning, I suddenly felt a little emotional - hmmm... I remembered how hard he works for his exams, I cannot bear thinking of how disappointed he will be if his result is not as he had hoped for. So, I told him, "Danish, just remember one thing. Whatever the result is, we still love you so... much. Don't you ever think that we will be disappointed or sad, ok? (What can we expect when he has so little time to prepare..)".

"Yes Danish. We love you so... much." His father chipped in.

So, when the Headmistress was saying, "35 getting straight As this year. 23 last year". I was like, "ok..." I don't even dare to have a slightest hope! I felt so.. much for my son.

Then, all us parents were invited into the Hall. The Headmistress will be announcing the 35 names. I sat quietly in my corner. Just glad when names after names was announced. I was thinking how happy the student and parents might be. As for me... I will keep to my corner.

"Ibu, there's only two more names." said Damia when suddenly I heard his name announced.

Nothing can describe how I felt at that moment. I was elated all the while thanking the AlMighty. I looked for my husband. I can see tears coming down. We hugged each other, very thankful and at the same time glad for Danish.

Congratulations my Darling! You have set a benchmark for your brothers and sister. Hopefully they will follow your footsteps.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Aqil's Story

Among all my children, Aqil is the one who would want to achieve something at school and to get a gift from his effort. He always want to be something. Since he knew about a position called class monitor, asst. class monitor and prefect, he wanted to be them all. The other day, when he was at my Mum's place he found my name tag - Yeap! My prefect name tag when I was at school many moons ago (that long???!) - he was like "What? You are a prefect? How come you never tell me about this before?" As if I owe it to him to tell him everything! "I don't have to tell you everything..." I said. "But this is different! You are a Prefect!" - like it is the only thing that matters - he must be kidding me!

"How did you get to be a prefect?"

Oh c'mon! Is he real? I am sometimes amazed with my own kids!

"The teachers chose us. Then the whole school voted. That's how."

"Are they going to do the same at my school?"

"I think each school has its own way of choosing their prefects. Anyway, I don't think there will be any elected from Year 2. (He is going to be in Year 2 this coming school year).

"When can I be a prefect?" Now I almost feel it for him. I think he is going to make it a mission now.

"Maybe until you are in Year 4 or 5?"

"That's a long way yet."

"Yes Darling. Perhaps you just try your best to be a good student first."

That kept him quiet for a bit.

"How come you only put Danish's story in your blog? I received a gift too this year. From school."

Ok Sweetheart. I am putting yours now.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Animals Fan

Aqil loves animals. His last bid was in favour of kittens brought to school by one of the teachers.

"Ibu, do you like cats?"

Sensing there's a catch in that somewhat innocent question, all my build-in alarm systems started giving me a warm amber glow. I could swear I heard siren as well!

"I do but only if they are owned by other people. We cannot afford anymore pets after the bunnies."

"But these kittens are so... cute, I am sure you will love them."

"The answer is no sweetheart. And that's final."

"Oh...ok. But if we have more money, can we have a cat?"

"Not until you are responsible enough to take care of them. See what happened to the bunnies? They are yours and Mia's but it's always either me or Hakim or even your Dad cleaning after them and feeding them. Nope."

So the matter rest.

But during one of our impromptu Open House visits (we were at the beach when a friend invited us to their Open House - he said it doesn't matter if we are not in our Eid attire. So there!

And it was so much fun for Aqil as it happened, our friend has a brother who keeps goats. And so....

Hmm.... Trying the best approach...

Aha! Got that one!


Well, before there be another innocent question on goats, I have some explanations to do....!

Happy Saturday Everyone :D

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

"Sports Day"

After days (or shall I say, months) of practicing, finally today is the Sports Day at Damia's and Aqil's school.

Unsure of how the system is for other schools but at their school, the students are divided into two levels. Level 1 for Year 1, 2 and 3 and Level 2 for Year 4, 5 and 6. Such, today is the Sports Day or more to tele-match for Level 1 students.

So, off we went to their school together with throngs of other parents promising ourselves to be as supportive and gentlemanly to the eager youngsters.

Aqil waiting or his turn.

His Blue Team managed to get a second place.

A proud winner.

Once Aqil's event is done, it's his cousin Erwin's turn.

Erwin getting ready.

Erwin in action.

His team managed to get the third place. They were two members down and two of them including him has to go twice.
Unfortunately for him, the table tennis ball fell off from his spoon twice. But he is a good sport, Erwin.

Up till this point, my husband, Erwin's parents and auntie are here with me. But since they have commitments, I was left alone to support Mia. I guessed I will be a while yet as Year 3 has yet to start their event. Anyway, I managed to gather a few of her friends for a photo shoot.

Damia with the her friends Aireen, Azhira, Ain Sofea and Aida.

Part of the Team

Queuing for the medal

Two very happy Malaysian roses.

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Talking through memory lane

We were on our way home from visiting my Mum when the topic of conversation turned to the music scene.
"Hmmm... I hardly listen to any songs by the British singers though the radio here. I haven't heard any Dappy, Little Mix, Ed Sheeran, Olly Murs or even Adele. I heard One Direction once or twice. Maybe because I didn't listen to the radio often enough..."
"But Ibu, they are not famous here. The American singers are more famous here and Justin Bieber."
And of course one topic lead to another.
"I miss the programmes too! QI, Mock of the Week"
"Yeah... Top Gear, the Richard Hammond thingy,..."
"I miss the Antique Road Trip and the Game show..."
"Yeah... The Cube, £1 Million Drop..."
"Anyone beaten the Cube yet after Mo Farah? I wonder...on Saturdays, we will somehow watch Britain's Got Talent or X Actor whichever in season..."
Suddenly my husband who was driving chipped in.
"And Saturdays Margaret and her sister-in-law will be knocking at our door too... "
"Saturdays also remind me of going to the charity shop. Gary's shop. I still remember asking him once, 'Gary, do you have anymore of Harry Bowling's book?' And the answer came 'whatever I have Darling, have gone to your home...'".
"Yeah... That's Gary..."
And we have a good laugh when we thought about our neighbour's son Ali. Saturdays, I can almost be sure to come down to the kitchen seeing Ali and his brother and sister eating whatever happened to be on our dining table - biscuits, brioche, wafers, fairy cakes,... At first we were not quite sure how they got in but when we checked there was a gap through the hedge dividing the two houses and our sliding door which open out to the back garden was more often left unlocked. And Ali is a very mischievous boy. He will be knocking at our front door many times a day, standing or jumping on top of his Mom's car, running out of the house as soon as his front door is opened. Once it stopped an oncoming car as he ran right across the road! Hmmm... Ali!

On Saturdays too, if I went to work, the children and their father will have their little trips to the Galaxy where the cinema is. Every Saturday they will get the £1 ticket during the Parent and Child screening. The movies are all junior movies but they love them so much.
Well, at the moment, there's a lot more things came into my mind. Guessed I will continue on this some time later. I am feeling quite nostalgic especially
when thinking about friends who are like families whom we left behind... I need my own quiet moment now...

Happy Hari Malaysia :)
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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Our Little Escapade

More often than not when the weather gets colder, the children chose to stay at home rather than following us out during the weekends. Perhaps they got bored with our routine : Hitchin (our must buy - a few £ worth of flowers and honey roasted cashew) - grocery shopping (Asda/Tesco/Sainsburys) - Oriental Food Centre (in Union Street) - Home. The only variation is if we have some gardening to do and we have to drop by at B&Q.

On this particular slightly drizzling Saturday morning (it was pouring the night before), only Danish wanted to go with us. It started of with us meeting some Malaysians at Hitchin market. They informed us that they have just visited the Lavender Farm and we were like "What? lavender farm? right under our noses?" Hmm...

So, once we bought the flowers and cashew nuts plus browsing at one of our favourite shops (antique items i.e furniture and curiosities), we quickly made our way to the car and started browsing for Hitchin Lavender Farm - thanks to the satnav, we managed to find the location.

Yes! We found it!

As far as you can see it!

How pretty....Subhanallah

The face of someone who was forced "to enjoy
the scenery and drown in the smell" :)

But you see, when we arrived, there was a family with three young children going towards the farm. As there is no sign or anything on entrance fee to the farm, we made our way right behind the young family.

On the way out, we went to the Farm Shop, bought a bottle of lavender oil and a bar of lavender soap. Just as we were leaving we saw it! And we felt guilty : The signage on entrance fee!

Happy Weekend & Hari Malaysia Everyone :)

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Monday, August 26, 2013

A Mum's Rambling

I was quite pissed off. It has been a few entries now that the photos I attached simply couldn't load correctly.

Anyway, I have tried to "re-attach" the photos. Hopefully this issue I much dreaded is by now settled.

These few days have been quite a busy one for me. I am in the midst of completing my proposal for application to secure a place to pursue my Doctoral Degree. Completed one earlier but after giving a deeper thought, I do not think I can bear living with the topic for the next three years. Such I am now on a new topic. Quite a new one with less ready material - hmmm.... I like to suffer don't I? Hopefully I can complete it by next week...

As I wrote this piece I was actually under a very shady tree by the beach somewhere in Pulau Indah. The sea breeze pulling and tugging ...ohh... so peaceful.

My husband was somewhere with his friends checking the net which a few of them had set early in the morning. Hakim, Damia & Aqil were somewhere in the beach - swimming and making sand castles. Danish? Under the tree somewhere beside me, revising. Well, shall I tell him that all work and no play make Jack (or Awang or George or Lim for that matter) a dull boy?

Well, Danish is worried. So worried. We came back in February this year. He started schooling in March. And eventhough he was already in Year 10 (equivalent to Form 4) in England, since he has yet to reach his 15th birthday, he was placed in the 3rd Form. Of course he has to sit for PMR this year and knowing that PMR covers lessons for the past two years as well. He was devastated! Freaked out.

So, Danish has been studying from Day 1. His dream is to get into a boarding school next year. We set a plan. He has to take all eight compulsory subjects. He has to concentrate on these. We bought books from a few publishers for each subject, practice on past years questions, identify the favourite topics and of course - send his for tuition for BM. God! BM is difficult nowadays. Not just for Danish but also for his younger siblings. If I were to take the exam, there is no doubt that I will fail. I am pretty sure of that. Slowly Danish made a progress. A painful one for him.

A week after he was registered at school, he has to sit for the 1stTerm Exam. We put no pressure on him. He managed to get only 1A,  2cs, 3ds &2es. He was so down. We told him that result didn't count. What do we expect? He's only at school for a week. But that didn't cheer him up.

"Mum, some of the subjects are so strange to me - kemahiran hidup (life skills?), I never do geography and of course not Sejarah (history). And to think that I have to learn in these few months three years worth of syllabus for 8 subjects?"

Slowly we look at the subjects. We marked the favourite topics and we read the answers to the subjective questions. There is no time to figure out the answers ourselves. With answers from  a few publishers on the same question, there must be one better answer. Deep in me I know he will somehow try to do his best. And to be honest, I am not worried nor am I expecting miracle for him.

His journey must be quite terrifying for him. He is the eldest and he is very determined in setting a good example to his siblings. And we support him. His mid-year exam, he managed 2As, 3Bs, 2Cs & 1E (history) and his recent (PMR trial) he managed 3As, 4Bs & 1C.

"Do you think I can managed 8As Ibu? For the real exam? I want so much to get all As."

Well, I know he will be heart broken if he couldn't. But looking at the way he work himself each day, I hope he will. I can only provide him with some guidance and prayers. Whatever he gets he is still one of my beloved sons.

Happy Monday everyone :)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Our Day Out

Alhamdulillah...! As mentioned in the previous two or three entries (on Brecon Beacon), I have totally resolved my "picture attachment" issue. And so happy was I with that! Now I am wishing if ipad will have "paper artist" apps... I am so in love with it.
Anyway, I am not here talking about my "love life". We are one happy family who always have short trips and most were unplanned. Of course we read about it one day and either by chance some times later when we were within the vicinity of the area, we will like "there is a fruit farm around this area, let's check it out!" Or, "my colleague said there's a park here somewhere" or "Baba, my friend was here last week. There is a fair somewhere around..". And our visit to Leighton Buzzard Railway was a result of this.

I think it was one of the Bank Holidays. A very fine summer morning. Normally there will be car boot sales on but if I remember correctly we gave it a pass. Way when Danish and Hakim were around 5 & 3, we went to Pickering to visit the North Yorkshire Moor Railway. They wanted to see the real steam engine. We went there but unfortunately as we arrived there a bit late, we managed to just take photos of the engine but couldn't managed to get on the train. It was said that the engine itself appeared in the first Harry Porter movie.

Anyway, the engine that we embarked on at Leighton Buzzard is a 70 minutes light ride, passed the fields,

Village roads, (the gentleman wearing the cap? He was the driver that day as well as the signal man . Multi-tasking eh?)

village residential areas,

not to mention bramble hedges from Page's Park to Stonehenge Works.

"Are we there yet?"
For information the ride takes one from Page's Park to Stonehenge Works through Marley's Loop, Leedon Loop and Vandyke Junction ( steep gradient!). During the First World War the rail is used to transport sands from Belgium for the ammunition factories. This continue during the Second World War.
Among the locomotives that can be witnessed at Stonehenge Works.

To be honest we do love train. For leisure that's it. I don't even mind my daily trips using the First Capital Connect or East Midlands (not during winter though when there are always signalling problems!). But I sure do not always like the tube!

Happy Friday everyone :D

source of pictures 1 and 12 : Wikipedia

Location:Leighton Buzzard Light Railway

Happiness.... (The River - Sg Lopo Hulu Langat 2)

Happiness.... (The River - Sg Lopo Hulu Langat 1)