Friday, November 30, 2007

Stitches For Mr S

Mr S announced that he had a lot of things to do at work on Friday last week, just before he left in a rush to catch the bus to the tube station.

Not 5 minutes after Mr S went out the door, there was an urgent knock on it.

Through the misty glass window on the door, I saw a man standing there - from the silhouette it looked like Mr S but he was standing awkwardly so I hesitated, uncertain. Then he knocked again, louder, so I opened the door slowly to peek out..

Mr S was standing there, his mouth looking raw and bloody, while his left hand was cupped at his chin, trying to catch the blood drops and his chin look like somebody swung a strong right hook at it. His bottom lip had begun to swell and his teeth were bloody too.

"Ya Allah..What happened? Ada orang pukul kau ke?"
I asked, totally and utterly shocked.

But Mr S just kept quiet and walked straight into the kitchen.

"You should have seen the other guy.." was what Mr S was supposed to say but it turned out that the story was not so exciting after all.

Mr S was running for the bus. He just turned around the corner and saw the bus coming so he ran as quickly as he could towards the bus stop about 40 metres away. There was a very old granny walking slowly in front of him and Mr S was just about to overtake her when suddenly the old lady uncharacterisctically turned and swerved very suddenly and very quickly to the right, straight into Mr S path.

Mr S, being the good man that he is, immediately tried to swerve too, in order to avoid a collision with the old lady which can only spell disaster for such an old veteran - to Mr S's own detriment.

He lost his balance and fell face first onto the pavement!

Poor Mr S!

He felt a little dizzy after that fall and he just lied down while I tried to clean the wound with some warm water. Nothing works better than butter on lip wounds so after a few minutes, the swelling receded and we saw how bad the wound really was.

We ended up going to the hospital and Mr S had to have 6 stitches on his bottom lip on top of a tetanus jab which is advisable for such wounds, according to the doctor who treated him.

Suffice to say, Mr S didn't get to go to work and do all the things that he planned to do at work on that day after all!

I thank God that it was just six stitches and not a concussion or anything more serious than that!

But still, poor Mr S!

Monday, November 12, 2007


Craved for a rojak pasembor during Ramadhan just like the one our pakcik kantin at school used to make during the weekends. Got this recipe from - tried a few times already with wonderful results and praises from Mr S and friends. Just had to share it with you!

p/s: Our pakcik kantin left out the cucur kelapa and added things like tempe and kacang panjang that's exactly what I did!


**Bahan cucur udang**
  • 1 1/2 cawan tepung gandum
  • 1/2 cawan udang
  • 2 biji bawang kecil
  • 1 sudu besar cili boh
  • garam
  • air untuk bancuh tepung
  • 1 1/2 sudu kecil baking powder

**Bahan cucur kelapa**
  • 1 cawan tepung gamdum
  • 3/4 cawan kelapa (saya guna kelapa kering jerr)
  • garam
  • air untuk membancuh

**Bahan kuah**
  • 1 biji keledek sederhana besar (direbus hingga empuk)
  • 2-3 biji bawang kecil
  • 1 sudu besar cili boh (terpulang pada citarasa masing2 kalau nak pedas)
  • Sedikit kicap
  • Air untuk kuah
  • 1/2 cawan kacang tumbuk
  • minyak untuk menumis
  • gula merah & garam secukup rasa

**Bahan lain**
  • 3 biji kentang sederhana besar
  • 4 biji telur
  • 4 keping tauhu
  • 1 biji timun
  • 1 biji sengkuang
  • sedikit taugeh
  • Minyak untuk menggoreng


  1. Bersihkan kulit kentang kemudian rebus kentang bersama kulitnya sehingga empuk. Kemudian goreng kentang tersebut bulat2 sehingga kekuningan (tak payah potong2).
  2. Telur direbus (hard boil), kemudian buang kulit & digoreng bulat2 sehingga kekuningan.
  3. Tauhu digoreng sehingga kekuningan.
  4. Sediakan cucur udang. Gaulkan semua bahan cucur udang. Bancuhan seperti nak buat cekodok. Kemudian goreng dalam minyak panas sehingga kekuningan/ masak.
  5. Sediakan cucur kelapa. Satukan semua bahan. Bancuhan jgn lembik sangat, agak2 boleh kepal. Buat bentuk leper, kemudian goreng sehingga kekuningan/ masak.
  6. Sediakan kuah. Tumis bawang sehingga wangi, masukkan cili. Blend keledek dengan air, kemudian masukkan dalam tumisan. Masukkan juga Kacang, garam & gula. Masukkan juga sedikit kicap (just nak bagi color jerr). Masak hingga mendidih. Kalau nak pekat, boleh letak lebih keledek.
  7. Cara nak hidang, potong semua bahan2 yang telah digoreng tadi. Timun & sengkuang dihiris. Gaulkan semuanya. Taugeh dicelur sedikit. Tuangkan kuah ke atasnya.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Until We Meet Again

I have always dread going to visit the sick or going to a wake or a funeral.

It is
because of the fact that I cannot help myself from crying or feeling very, very sad from watching other people's loss or other people's grief and agony - I am very sensitive and soft at heart you see and I cannot stand to see other people, especially my friends and family suffer.

But isn't suffering and death a part of this life after all and thus we cannot escape from

I have not been in the mood to blog for a long time. It has been partly because of Ramadhan and all that but even before that I was in no mood at all to write about anything in this blog because ever since a blogger friend in Coventry had reported in her blog that her husband was at the last stages of cancer, I felt that surely everything that I have to report is so trivial compared to what she has to go through from now on everyday of her life.

We read each other's blogs, you see, and knowing this, I could not with a clear
conscience write about anything happy or cheerful, when I know their family is going through a difficult time every day.

You might ask, if she is my very close friend then, for me to feel that way?

The answer to that is no, not really..she is not a close friend although we have met
once (and now twice) and I slept over at her house for one night and our families had a wonderful day out together, but that's nothing, really...

I guess when one
blogs, one's readers feel that they know one well, even though they really don't (not by a long shot in some cases) and even though they have never met you or they have met you just that one time, they feel like they have known you forever...

But now (Saturday 27/10/07), I feel that I can go on blogging as I have been to visit
my friends in Coventry again and as expected, I came back very, very sad but also, I have to say, relieved.

Relieved not because I saw my friend's husband getting better, on the contrary,
since the last time we saw him, just less than two months ago, he has changed so very much, no more bubbly and funny but instead so very thin, almost skeletal and he has become very weak and quiet. He was in pain - and such pain it was that he had to be given morphine consistently and as drugs go, he was sleepy and not in the mood to talk.

But still I was relieved.

Relieved because I saw in my friend a very strong woman who
would not give up and would not let go without a fight, and a fierce and vicious fight she would put up too. I myself had to fight to put on a happy and 'normal' face while talking to her and later to him in the hospital room.

And all that time she spoke calmly, and it was easy for her to smile.

But still, I could not help from crying when we said our goodbyes at the hospital entrance. Her eyes had welled but she did not succumb to tears and I said to her what my thoughts were exactly at the time, "You're a strong woman..."

How brave and strong she is.

But if she was not, then, who would be for their family?

Thus, the reason why I was
so relieved.


I had started to type this entry on Saturday but did not have time to finish and post it and last night my friend had sent us a text - a simple and short one;

"He's gone..."

And those words drove me to tears -
for her loss and for her children's. They are so young to understand death and the responsibilities that their mother has to carry now, all alone. But I did not cry for him, as indeed, I think he is in a better place for surely, Allah knows best.

I remember when I last saw my father.

It was on the day that he was scheduled for a by-pass operation, which was on the same day I was scheduled to fly off to the UK to do my A-levels. It was pretty last minute and I could not change my flight date and I had asked my father then whether it was okay or if he wanted me to insist that my sponsors postpone the date of my departure to the UK.

He had said, "Tak apa lah. If anything happens..I go my way, and you go your
way..." and he smiled, his usual calming smile.

And I hugged him and kissed his cheeks - which I don't remember ever doing. And
I'm glad I did, for even though he passed away a few months later, and I was in the UK at the time and could not kiss his cold forehead just before he is wrapped in white cloth for his burial, at least I did kiss him while he was alive and smiling and his arms had come around to hug me and to pat my back to comfort me and say that it would be okay.


After a while, it will be okay, InshaAllah.

After all, the living must go on living.

And life is short after all and no one lives forever.

We just have to be brave and carry on.

Until then.

(*pic taken when we were walking towards the cancer wing in the Walsgrave hospital at Coventry to visit our friends.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

First Day At The Madrasah

Yesterday was Big H's first day at the madrasah.

He went to the mosque with the neighbours' children and came back two hours later sucking a sweet given to him by his teacher. The classes are conducted Monday to Friday in English and Arabic.

"How was your class, H***n?"

"It was alright."

"Your teacher's a man or a woman?"

"A man." Pause. "He said kef."

"Huh? What's that?"

"He said kef, not Kaf and he said hemzah, not Hamzah."


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Salam Raya

To everyone out there...

Berhati-hati di jalan raya


Selamat Hari Raya & Maaf Zahir dan Batin.

Sorry for the long silence.

Hopefully will be be able to pick up where I left when Syawal arrives, InshaAllah. Till then, here's wishing all of us a good holiday!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Talking About God

I have never been very good at talking about God and Islam with children.

Heck, I used to find talking to them about ANYTHING at all to be difficult, simply because one needs to put everything in a 'simplified' and at the same time correct and direct manner, to be easily understood by their young minds. But I think I have improved a lot in that department since we first arrived here and I started being a full time carer of my children and of course, they have also grown a little since, thus the reason why I find it easier to talk and explain things to my boys nowadays.

It is not always easy to explain any theological concepts to mere adults, so you can imagine how one needs to be creative and prepared for attacks from all fronts when children are involved! One doesn't want to make up stories that are in principle wrong although God knows that I am no expert in the subject.

And thus I sought refuge in the form of a book (pic above), which I found in a shop along the 'Curry Mile' in Manchester, during our trip there in August.

It's amazing how interested the boys were to listen to my reading the book to them outloud. They questioned everything and made their own examples from their understanding.

The book asks (and answers), amongst others;

Who made us?
Allah made us.

Who is Allah?
Allah is our Maker.
He is the Maker of everything.

Can we see Allah?
No we can't.

Can Allah see us?
Yes, he can see us all the time. He can see everything.

After the reading, Big H concluded; "Allah made my mother and father and brother!"

And Little H, not to be left out, concluded; "Allah has very, VERY BIG eyes so that he can see everything!"

Of course, one still needs to explain a little bit more with one's own words to make them understand even better.

That aside, I do recommend this book. So far it has been very helpful to me in teaching my children about my religion.

Monday, September 17, 2007

First Day

Today, 17th of September 2007, is Little H's first day of school.

That is, nursery 'school'.

After helping him to settle down in the play area and playing Legos and doing some drawings with him for about half an hour, I said, "Okay, H*****, I'm going now...ok?"

Little H looked up at me and said without any concern whatsoever, "alright...and you'll come back later to pick me up..."

I sent him to one of the nursery helpers who quickly involved him in a sorting game with another child, using little animal figures of different sizes - he was supposed to sort them out according to their sizes. Little H sat down shyly and I quickly made for the door.

As I reached for the door handle, I turned around to give him one last wave for encouragement but he was already talking and picking up the animal figures, giving the nursery helper in front of him his full attention...

My little baby is all grown now.


I walked back home alone feeling a little bit sad and lonely...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Summer 2007 Holiday

As promised, everyone... pics!

The first day in Scotland we went to Edinburgh - took a train from Glasgow coz it's more convenient rather than to drive. The building behind the boys is the Glasgow Central Station. We were walking to The Queen St. Station to take the train to Edinburgh. It was wet in Scotland, as usual!

A pic taken at the Royal Mile. Edinburgh was full of people as it was the last day of 'The Fringe' i.e. the Edinburgh Festival! Lots of street shows about. There were tattoos and fireworks later in the evening but we didn't stay to watch.

There were even some Korean kids performing dances and playing their traditional instruments there!

The beautiful Edinburgh Castle.

At the back of the pic: The medieval part of town near the castle - pic taken from Princess Street, Edinburgh's high street.

The next day we started for the Highlands, a long journey to Inverness.
We made stop overs to take pics of rivers,

of valleys,

of lochs (the above pic is of Loch Linnhe),

and pics of all of them together as well!

There were castles too!
This one is Castle Urquhart and the Loch behind it is Loch Ness
(no monsters seen about, to the disappointment of the boys!).

We arrived at Inverness near sunset and that night we slept like logs in the Travelodge there. The next day, we drove back down another way, to Perth.

On the way there, we stopped to take a walk in the forest.

And visited a series of waterfalls (The Bruar Falls).

I saw a red toadstool along the forest path that I have only seen on the cover of Enid Blyton books and took a picture of that too!

We spent the night at another Travelodge in Perth and the next day, went to visit Mr S's Alma mater and mine, Morrison's Academy in Crieff, Perthshire.

The entrance to our old school.
(Will inshaAllah post more about the school and our visit later!)

Later that evening, we arrived back in Glasgow and spent the night at our cousin's again.
The next day, our cousin, who was on leave from her busy hospital schedule, had kindly volunteered to take care of the boys while Mr S and I went to shop for a few stuff in Argyle Street in the centre of Glasgow City. What fun it was for us to be relieved of the boys for a few hours!

The boys had fun too with their Auntie, playing 'rolling' (?) amongst other games!

Later in the afternoon, we quickly made a move on back to England.
The children said, "Bye-bye Scotland!" and "Hello England!" :)

We spent the night in Manchester and Mr S decided that first thing he wanted to do the next morning was to visit Liverpool instead!

It was a 40 minutes journey to Liverpool from Manchester and the only reason we went there was to visit Anfield Stadium - home of Mr S's favourite football team!

The children weren't really into football but they 'feigned' (see pic) cheerfulness anyway.
I, however, could not for the life of me see the reason why the people there wanted to take pics with trophies they didn't themselves should see the pics Mr S asked me to snap of him and them trophies!

"But...Why? Why? Why?!!", I had asked him...he he he..just to annoy him, really...

But I got something from the trip anyway.
A yummy bar of White Chocolate (Actually 4 bars..)!
And it tasted really good too!

Later that day, Mr S and I left the boys at our host's and went to the laundrette to get some washing done. We were out of clean clothes by that time, especially the boys'!

The next day, we finally went to Manchester City centre. Took a ride on the big wheel that every city worth its salt (??) seems to have now...The queue was short so we quickly joined the line.
After the ride we did some shopping and later started our journey down to Coventry!

While we were driving in the car, Mr S's mobile vibrated and we both looked at each other for a few seconds because we knew that it was the text message of Mr S's final exam results. We had been anxious the whole day about the results - we knew that a message was going to be sent at 5 pm that day to all candidates who had taken the exams in July. I tried to persuade Mr S to not read the message yet, for concern that he might feel down after reading it but Mr S went on ahead to read it and suddenly yelled "YES!"

Of course, I knew what that meant!

Needless to say, we were quite over the moon after that!

We didn't get much sleep that night because I stayed up to watch CSI but ended up chatting with D instead. All the children played together until quite late too and poor Mr S couldn't sleep because of the coffee in D's lovely tiramisu!

The next day, D and family took us to Coombe Abbey. Had a light lunch there and played some games before adjourning to a halal Thai restaurant - Mr S belanja due to his exam passes!

Alhamdulillah...Burp! :)

And finally, here are some pics of our trip to Coventry...

The Abbey itself, now restored and a hotel, with a wonderful garden in front..

D and the children after feeding the ducks.

D is a very efficient woman, I would let you know...In a trice, after breakfast of roti jala and kari ayam which she made that very morning, she had prepared and packed a light lunch of sandwiches, popiah goreng and the roti jala left overs and also packed some bread crusts to be fed to the ducks at the abbey as an activity for the kids!

Mr S, D and Mr D with the children walking slowly, looking for a place to picnic.

Our children playing in a very interesting play area in the abbey grounds.

A solitary bench for us to rest by the trees..

At the Thai restaurant - D's youngest son taking a picture of my eldest while he was trying to take a picture of him!

Monday, September 03, 2007

I Have Been Away...

Embarked on a long journey to Scotland last Friday.

It was supposed to be an 8 hour journey but due to jams, traffic disruptions and stops, the journey lasted for 12 hours instead and by the time we reached Glasgow at Mr S's cousin, Mrs Cey's place, we were, as you can imagine, limp and near to collapsing in utter exhaustion.

That explains the bags under my eyes in our holiday pics although I have to say the kids and Mr S look well enough and cheerful as normal in all of them.


Spent 4 nights in Scotland driving around and visiting various places which really, I have been to before during my school days, but all the same, visited again for the sake of the kids and for the sake of our holiday.

On the way back to London, we spent two nights in a friend's house in Manchester (our ex-housemate, Serigala London) and then one night in blogger D's house in Coventry! By the way, I have never met D before, except of course on the internet and Mr S said sceptically, "Betul ke kita nak tidur rumah orang yg kita tak kenal ni?"

He he he...

But it turned out to be a wonderful visit and we had fun getting to know each other and most importantly, our kids had fun too, playing together!

Thanks and multiple gratitudes to our cousins in Glasgow, Serigala London and family in Manchester and D and family in Coventry for their generous hospitality during our sleepover at their respective abodes. You all made our holiday really wonderful and an experience that we will inshaAllah remember for a long time to come!

In the next entry I will post some pics of our Summer 2007 holiday.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Weekend pics..


'Big baby' relaxing at the park, on the new mat sent to us by my mother and my sister Ayu from Malaysia by express delivery - Thank You!

Mmm..I love to drink juice!

Mr S teaching our eldest to ride the bike without training wheels..

Ok...keep pedalling..try to balance!!!

Mama also had a go trying to teach Big H while another small person keeps on disrupting the lesson..

I'm thirsty after all that bike riding...

Tell you what..I can get us some ice creams...Accio ice cream!

"Huh? I'm under-aged and can't use magic to get ice cream??"

Little H: "Told ya I can magic some ice creams..."
Big H: "Yeah..whatever..just finish yours quickly before Papa does HIS magic and makes the ice creams disappear...!"


A picnic with friends by the river Thames at Henley, Oxfordshire..

The adults relaxing after nasi lemak, lasagne, hotdogs and home baked cookies.

The children, a little shy at first to play together..

Not for long though..let's play tag!
You can see my eldest (Big H), wearing the red jacket and facing the river - alone and not joining in as usual. He's slow to warm up to other children, unlike my youngest, Small H
(in the orange jacket). BTW, the boy in the yellow T-shirt is actually 3 years older than Small H and the little boy wearing blue shoes is actually his age!! 'Small H' is not so small compared to his peers!

A river pic...a couple in a boat - rowing slowly but steadily..

Some other people on the river, this time going fast with the help of motor..

The children walking towards a children's playground along the river...took this pic for the nice background view.

A wonderful weekend indeed!