Sunday, August 23, 2009


"You need to be super quick," Mr S said.

It was because we were due to meet up with the group for a tour around the important mosques and sites of Madinah. I had nodded - I had about 1 hour before the time we were supposed to meet up with our guide at the lobby of the hotel - I was confident I could make it.

And so I walked with Mr S and the boys - they were going to send me halfway and just wait for me outside the mosque, in front of the men's entrance, as I wont be long. I waved to them once and walked briskly towards the women's entrance of the Masjid Nabawi, towards the back of the mosque.

I was nervous.

I was within the vicinity of Rasulullah SAW and I felt small and unworthy. I am not qualified to kiss the soles of His feet and I felt inadequate - even to ziarah his Tomb.

But I have to ziarah no matter what my feelings were because it would be
rude and inappropriate not to if you are in Madinah.

There were no rows and rows of people seated or standing in prayer lines in the mosque as was the norm during solat times. There were some women praying but I could probably count them with my hands - mostly there were small groups of women walking about, all either going towards the Maqam area or coming from it. And there were the Indonesian cleaners too, busy mopping, vacuuming, wiping, cleaning - I can imagine what a huge task they have to do daily or even hourly as the mosque is never empty.

Once I entered the mosque, I had to walk from the women's entrance at the rear end of the mosque back towards the front of the mosque where the Maqam is situated. Of course, this time I get to do it without squinting at the brilliance of the sun and instead, my eyes had to adjust in the cool and dim areas of the fully air conditioned interior of the mosque.

I walked fast - the clock was ticking - I was wearing my stockings and really, I was sliding on the cool marble floors where the carpets were rolled up for the morning mopping. And then, suddenly, I was stopped by a dark skinned female guard in burqa.

she asked me.

"Malaysia." I answered.

"Sana ibu.." she said, pointing towards a group of South East Asian women, all sitting down together, some praying, some reading the Quran.
I walked towards the women and sat down beside a young woman. I was a little confused. The last time (about 16-17 years ago) I visited the Maqam of the Prophet (pbuh) during the women's visiting hours, when the door opened, it was open season and the women simply, well, charged. There was no segregation of countries, no organisation whatsoever.

I looked around and saw that there were several other female guards holding placards with the names of countries; India/ Pakistan, Iran, Malaysia/ Indonesia and some of the guards were even giving talks in various languages to the groups of women, all seated according to their country of origin.
I didn't need to be a genius to figure out the system - we were only allowed to enter in groups according to country and each group will have to wait for their turn to get in.


I glanced at my clock - 40 minutes before our rendezvous with the guide.

30 minutes.

20 minutes and I was still waiting.

At that time, looking at the peaceful looking women who were patiently waiting, praying and reading the Quran around me - I thought I would gladly take the pushing and shoving to get in the
Raudah any day - especially today when I don't have the time to be patiently waiting. I calculated; it took about 5 minutes to reach the entrance from where Mr S and the boys were waiting. Another 5 minutes to walk across to the front of the mosque to the Maqam. And it will take 5 minutes to walk back to the hotel. So I needed about 20 minutes in all as I had to go up to our room once we reach the hotel to get my bag.


I said my salam anyway to the Prophet from afar, got up and walked carefully over and around the women in the group, careful not to step on anyone and quickly made my way out. As I slid across the cool floor once again towards the back of the mosque, I thought, maybe Allah has decided that I was inadequate to visit His Prophet after all....

But I did not give up and tried again the next day...

To Be Continued.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Whosoever Sows, He Reaps

The boys standing in front of their madrasah building.

For readers who have followed me since forever, you may remember that I took Big H out of the madrasah that had a teacher who was not very good with children and had actually hit the children if they didn't read correctly. Poor Big H was one of the victims of that teacher's impatience. He was so traumatised by his experience at that madrasah that he refused to attend the classes and in the end I had to pull him out from them even though we've paid the fees in full.

I decided to enrol him into another madrasah last September,
one that was a bit further away from our house but was highly recommended by some friends. I have been teaching both the boys at home but I haven't given up on the idea of a formal Islamic education for my children. Big H had rejected the idea at first but I gently persuaded him and somehow, he had relented.

Anyway, this time Big H wasn't alone - Little H was old enough to join the classes and many of their school friends also go to the same madrasah so I think he had really enjoyed the classes from the beginning - sebab ada kawan. Even now, when the madrasah is taking a long break for the summer holidays, both Big H and Little H keep on asking - when will they be going back to madrasah??

And has been good. The boys just...fell in love with the Quran. They recite the surah by themselves and help each other before they go to bed! Little H said, "Mama, I can't stop thinking about the Quran!" Imagine that? And I know he really meant what he said.

I've been told by the other mums who send their boys to the same place that most of the teachers (muallim) who teach in the madrasah have been teaching there for a long time. I'm not sure if this is true but they are indeed very good at what they do - the kids learn really fast - they can memorize the long surahs without much difficulty and the muallim(s) are teachers who seem to naturally like children (in fact, they are truly amazing with the children!). The muallims are Algerians
I think and according to the mums who speak Arabic, the Arabic Language of the teachers is refined and tak kasar and this is what they're teaching the children.


(FYI, besides Arabic, the children also memorize the Quran, starting from Juzu' Amma, of course and they learn Hadeeths, Fiqh, Tauhid as well. The teachers speak English and Arabic in class.)

Little H got a remote control tank that can climb up walls for getting number 4 in class :)
Pic was taken with Big H's bike while he was still on the camping trip.

Last Friday was their prize and cert giving day.

Parents were asked to bring food to the madrasah and everyone was so generous. I saw a dad bring 5 big boxes of cream cakes, a mum with SIX types of dishes and someone also brought in briyani! Samosas and kebabs were aplenty, of course! I myself made 1 bowl of tiramisu topped with lotsa juicy strawberries - I think the presentation made up for the fact that I only brought ONE thing (I hope!) although sadly, at the end of the event, when I asked for my bowl back, I found that it was still pristine and uneaten because the muallims had put the bowl in the fridge and had forgotten all about it!!

Actually, when the muallim opened the fridge, I saw other dishes in the fridge that were still untouched as well - there were too much food brought in by the parents! Too bad I had to take my plate back, if I had made the tiramisu in a disposable bowl then maybe the teachers could have eaten it later on...

(But no matter, I had sedekah the tiramisu to a Malaysian family anyway after that since that was my intention in the first place - sedekah!)

To top it all up this year at the prize giving event, the madrasah gave boys who got number 1, 2, 3
in their classes bikes for prizes. BIKES!

Big H was happy to see the bike but he wanted to see his result slip first before riding it!

There were 6 classes in all I think, so all those kids who got the bikes went home happily wheeling their new bikes. I wasn't surprised when on the board, I saw Big H's result. He got number one during the first term and from the way he recites his Quran, (carefully and without mistakes) I was expecting about the same...yup, Big H got number 1 again. Little H, who was in a different class than Big H but nevertheless were amongst children who were 1-2 years older than him got number 4, which to me was so amazing considering his competition (and mostly depa ni anak2 arab pun..).

At first, I didn't know about the bikes so I was surprised to see the teacher wheeling a bike towards me that I was a little speechless - but my shocked expression no doubt turned into a wide grin when he told me about the prize. Big H was actually absent from the event - he was away at a scout's campsite near Southend, enjoying himself on a camping trip with his classmates on that day - so Mama had to do the 'wheeling home' instead!

Mr S and I already decided to give the children the thing that they've been begging us for for a while now - a Nintendo DS each - if they do well in their madrasah exams.
We had already bought them actually, without waiting for the results, together with some games to start them off with and had carefully hidden them in Mr S's clothes cupboard in the master bedroom.

Mr S and I knew that the boys have worked hard for their exams and will probably do well (we thought kalau Little H tak dapat no 1 pun takpe because he's only 5 anyway and he's worked hard for his exams too) but what we wanted
to do was to instill in the boys that if they do well in their madrasah that it's a BIG THING, something to be really proud of. And we needed them to understand the fact that their religious education is very, very important.

Hence the 'big prize'.

Little did we know that the madrasah itself would be giving away even better prizes to encourage the children!

What an incentive for them to do well, huh?

Just wonderful. Simply wonderful.

Friday, June 12, 2009

First Solat

The man who greeted us at the airport was polite and well spoken.

He was a tall Arab man with dark skin and he was wearing the traditional red/white arab head dress with the agal on his head. He directed us to our fully air conditioned bus where the children and I climbed straight inside to escape the heat while Mr S made sure the bags were safely deposited in the luggage compartment underneath the bus.

And then slowly, all the other people in our group climbed in. As you might have guessed, a group of Muslims from London would comprise of people from many nationalities. There were Indians, Pakistanis, Iranians, Afghans and Egyptians. There were actually four other families travelling with children, and from that only three families were with young children. One particular family had five young children
with them but they also brought along their grandmother - I can't imagine what a challenge the journey would have been for the parents if they had to handle all their kids by themselves! The first thing that our guide - who said his name was Sheikh Al Abbasiy - informed us about was the prayer times. He said, in the way teachers like to prompt their students, "After all, we all came here to......?" And like good students the people in my group answered, "PRAY..!" At that moment, I blew out a long breath of air. I thought, "That's right. This is it. We are here to pray." I looked at the children and prayed that they were up to it and everything would be fine.
A few weeks back, at home, Little H had asked me, "Can we bring Wii to Saudi Arabia?"

Mr S and I had looked at each other and we both had shaken our heads simultaneously. "Nope."

"We are going there to solat ye," I said, "not to stay at the hotel to play Wii..."

And surprisingly, there were no groans nor complaints in response. And I had stressed to them many, many times;

"In Mekah and Madinah, we must go to the Masjid to solat, ok?"


"Five times a day, ok?"


And I had gone through with them other things as well to prepare them for the trip. I had drawn roughly the maps of Saudi Arabia a few times to show them our journey on paper, drawn the Kaabah and Masjidil Haram to show them the actions for Umrah, taught them the dos and don'ts of the ihram, the talbiah and the niat for umrah.

I'm proud to say both Little H and Big H memorized them all, mashaAllah. Kids! They are like sponges that absorb anything... it is really up to us to provide the good things for them to learn.


We were kinda late to go for our first solat at the Masjidin Nabawi.

The wait at the hotel lobby for our room cards took a good thirty minutes and we had about 20 minutes before the Zuhur prayers started.

After rushing the kids and then ourselves to wash, do our ablutions and change, Mr S and I took the children in hand and walked to the mosque in the blinding heat of the sun.

It was really, really burning hot. There was wind, but it felt like wind coming from a furnace and it did nothing to relieve us.

The nearest gate to our hotel, which was less than 5 minutes walk away was the gate next to Jannatul Baqee, where Saidatina Aishah r.a. Saidina Uthman Al Affan r.a. and numerous companions and family of the Prophet SAW were buried. All the shops were closing for the Zuhur prayers, everyone was walking towards the mosque in a brisk pace and we joined them - all walking in a straight line for the Central of Madinah.

The boys followed Mr S - simply because the men's entrances were numerous and directly in front of the gate - so the boys didn't have to walk with me in the heat. I wasn't certain of where the women's entrance was because I still haven't gotten my bearings but I followed the train of black robed throng of women walking slowly beside the mosque. I found that I had to walk all the way to the back area of the mosque, in the heat, around all that yellow tape surrounding certain areas outside the mosque (that made the walk longer than it should be, of course), to enter.

It was a challenge indeed but I walked fast, slipping through slow moving crowds where I can, determined not to be too late. It was easy when you're walking all by yourself without your kids in tow - it was like I was a single young woman again, free to do whatever I want, without any responsibilities, at least for half an hour of solat time.

The few women entrances were blocked by people standing to be let through by the strict women guards of the mosque, clad all in black jubahs and niqabs. Handbags were opened and checked on entry - handphones were not allowed so I slipped my small Motorola underneath my bra strap just below my left shoulder beforehand. Phones are vital in Mekah and Madinah in my opinion - it's the only way you can meet up back again with your family or friends in the mass of people - especially in Mekah.

I stepped into Masjidin Nabawi and felt the air conditioning and marble flooring cooling me down even though it was packed. Stepping in between lines of people already in their prayer lines, moving quickly in front of some who are praying before the start of the Zuhur prayers, I made my way further in, further in front of the prayer lines to find a good spot.

About three minutes later, I found an empty spot near to the 'walkway' across the middle of the prayer lines, near to the front but not near enough that I got to pray on the carpet. I realised that I was late - solat was going to start in a just a few minutes - so I faced the fact that this first time, I could not pray in the first few safs.

And then I heard the beautiful sound of the Iqamah. All the women around me started to stand up to correct the lines, Qurans were sent to the shelves, some empty spots were filled, little children were put down and handbags were put safely right in front of their owners.

The Bilal called out 'Sauf! Sauf!' and then, the prayer started.

I raised my hands in Takbiratul Ihram following the Imam to start my prayers and out of nowhere, tears started to flow down my cheeks like a perpetual stream.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


It's funny that while we were having a light dinner at Heathrow, and I was looking around while chewing on the warm toasted cheesy panini Mr S bought for me with my left hand around the tall cup of hot latte I had ordered, the people I noticed , from the many, many people walking about, eating and drinking, all waiting for their flight there were the people who were also going on the same flight with me. One in particular was the teenage girl who was sitting on the tables and chairs reserved for the opposite cafe, eating a foot long sandwich. Her hair was ample, long, dark and curly, her face fair and beautiful and she had an air of well..."I AM RICH" about her. She was sitting opposite a similarly haired figure in front of her whom later I realised was her brother. She was tall and thin and was wearing a skimpy Burberry miniskirt and she was socialising with the other teenagers on the plane right next to Mr S's seat across the aisle. There were quite a few of them all looking bored and clad in designer clothes and bags. At first I thought they were children of British expats going to visit their parents in Saudi Arabia for the half term holidays. But then, I heard them talking together in English - with a foreign accent...

Oh..they were actually sons and daughters of rich Arabs who send their children to boarding schools in England..

Well, at least at the airport in Jeddah they would know how to speak Arabic and won't feel a bit I did the moment we stepped onto the hot and arid desert land...

It's not easy when you wanna go to a non English speaking country all by yourself. You feel a bit lost at times - especially at the airports where the workers there just shut you out when foreign words come out of your mouth and when other local travellers take advantage of you just because you look different.

I did feel a bit lost at the airport in Jeddah because of the differences in language, culture and system although I have to say, the workers there do understand a bit of English and we managed to check in our luggage for the domestic flight without any problem. But still, when you're travelling with kids, you feel a little bit more anxious than normal although Allah knows the kids themselves don't feel anything at all - only excitement.

We, as the parents are the ones who worry.

That is the reason why I had in the beginning wanted to treat our trip to Mekah and Madinah as a 'holiday' for the children.

It was because of my worries.

I worried that they wouldn't feel comfortable in the heat, they wouldn't like the crowd in Masjidil Haram, that they would be too tired to go to the mosque all the time and I worried that they wouldn't be able to benefit from the trip.

But most of all, I worried that because we had to look after them, Mr S and myself wouldn't be able to benefit as well.

And that would be the ultimate disappointment.

But even more than anything, I wanted so very much for Mr S to benefit from the trip.

So that left me. I decided I will have to be the one who will have to let go and sacrifice my time and extra ibadat there - for the children.

Crazy, I know. But that's just my demented way of thinking.

In order to quit myself from worrying, I made myself think this; "No...this will be just a holiday for the children..and I will not expect too much of them and I myself will not expect to get a lot from this trip."

There! Easy! So, it will be a sort of holiday for the children and I, no more.

But that was when my mother told me in a telephone conversation, "Jangan....perbetulkan niat kau tu...pergi ni nak beribadat bukan holiday. Niat mesti betulkan."

And then Allah gave me some 'time' to think. It wasn't easy...but somehow, I just learnt to let go of my worries.

I corrected my niat: no matter what happens, I want this trip to benefit all of us. We will all prepare for it and doa for the best.

And then I left it to Allah.

Friday, June 05, 2009

A Different Experience

The road to Mekah will never be easy for many people.

But then again, some people just loooovvveeee to ask for trouble - like yours truly.

The moment the words "it's just a HOLIDAY..." came out from my mouth, a dormant chicken pox virus in my body decided to reactivate itself and I started to get shingles.

Yes my dear readers, SHINGLES! The painful rash along the nerves that normally only people above 60 get!

You can call me silly, imaginative or maybe even 'superstitious' all you want but I believe, the moment Allah SWT sends an invitation to you to go to Mekah, you must set one thing straight - your NIAT (intention).

No doubt, when I was talking about our Umrah trip and said the word 'holiday' to my mother in a telephone conversation, it was in one breath with the word children i.e. what I actually said was, "It's just a holiday ~ for the children". But still, I do believe now that the word should not be uttered or even come to one's mind when going to Mekah....seriously.

Saying that, I also do feel that Allah wanted to cleanse me a bit before going can say anything you want but these things happen...dugaan (test), some people may call it.

To me, I just think that Allah SWT pitied me and wanted me to reorientate my bearings, before going to His House - to have some focus, you that I will fully use all the time I have there. So that my time there will not go to waste.

So I had about 7-10 days to re-orientate myself, while suffering from shingles.
And I thank Allah for it.

I have been to Mekah before, but at the time I was 17 years old and although it was a wonderful and exhilarating experience then, travelling with arwah ayah, my mother and my younger sisters, I was young, and saw everything with young eyes.

It's different this time around.

The whole experience was different and new. Not just because I was going again after nearly 17 years later - there are so many changes there, I can tell you that! - but also this time around, I'm travelling with my husband and my children who are my responsibility unlike the last time when I was more or less a 'free agent', being able to go to Masjidil Haram at 2 am without anything to stop me.

But it's also because we were travelling from the west this time around. Not from Malaysia with other Malaysians in our group, and Malaysian food served during lunch and dinner and tea and breakfast. This time around we were travelling with Indians, Pakistanis, Afghans, Iranians, some of them with British passports, some of them Immigrants.

The whole experience was different.

Will write more about my journey soon, inshaAllah.

Friday, May 08, 2009


In a telephone conversation between Mr S and I today:

"Pa..bukan semalam kita punya anniversary ke?"

Pause "Eh... ah-ah la..."

"Kih-kih kih....camna lah boleh lupa pulak..."

"Aku dah ingat dah Monday..ingat nak beli card....tapi terlupa..."

"Tu lah kau..apa lah..."

"Eleh....kau tu yang tak pernah ingat..aku setiap tahun ingat.."

"Aku ada excuse...aku tak kerja dah tak aware sangat dates-dates ni....tahun ni baru aku ter aware yang aku teringat ni...pause...laaa..patut la semalam aku masak lasagne!"

(I made lasagne yesterday after like 2 years of leaving the dish out of my menu..and Mr S had FOUR helpings of it!)

"Kih kih kih...Tak apa lah...hujung minggu ni aku belanja kau makan KFC halal."




How pathetic was that?

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Blood Test


That's me!

I rushed into the little room where the male phlebotomist sat by the table, calmly writing down something on a piece of paper.

My doctor had asked me to get a blood test - for the gastric pains that I have...just in case I have ulcer...
or something like that...

I wasn't expecting a blood test for gastric pains so I didn't come prepared. I was hoping to get that lady phlebotomist sitting on the opposite side of the large room...I had my little fleece sweater on - I hesitated a while because no way he was going to get to the upper part of my arm while I'm still wearing this thing..

The thing was...underneath the sweater I was wearing an even tinier little white top....pretty indecent for other people's eyes, not that my boobs would be spilling out of them once I take off my sweater but...I'm not used to showing off anything more than the skin on my face and hands...


I looked at the man again..he was writing something on my form...he looked like a mat saleh..although as I gave him a second glance, I changed my mind - maybe European kot....

OK lah..what to sweater had to come off.

After struggling to appear modest even as I bend and twist myself out of my sweater, I waited for a few seconds, before asking him, well, to cover my awkwardness really, and you know...just to make some conversation...

"You're going to do it here, right?" I said, confidently, pointing at the upper part of my Michele Obama - NOT!- like arm.

He glanced to where I was pointing at and smiled, kindly.

"No..that's where they give immunisations. I draw blood here," he said, pointing his finger at the crook of my arm - the part where normal people would have exposed easily by folding a bit of their sleeve without having to take off any piece of their clothing....

"Ohhh!!!!" I said a little sheepishly, a lot embarrassed.

My face felt hot as I awkwardly put on my sweater again. But as usual, when I feel embarrassed, my smile gets even wider - until you can see all the way to my brownish coloured molars (courtesy of the antibiotics administered to me when I was small - cost me a whole lifetime of sepia tinted smiles).

But...s' harm done what...this man doesn't care...he's mat salleh WHAT..........

The man kept his eyes down, his hand busy writing on the sure takes a long time to fill up that form, I thought.

But maybe he was kind enough to give me some time to compose myself...after taking my clothes off in front of him for no reason...

The man was finally done with the form. He took out a long needle. Now it was his turn to make conversation - presumably to calm me enough for him to do his job.

"So are you from Malaysia, SISTER?"


The term 'sister' obviously means that he's a muslim. And the fact that he's heard of Malaysia...


Malunya aku.

Somehow it wouldn't be too bad if he was a non muslim...the fact that he knew that I felt exposed made me feel even more so. Me and my modesty...and I ended up with the worst case scenario.

My face felt warm again and my molars flashed dully.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Just Delaying My Chores...

An observation since I've started to go into Central London a few times a week for nearly 2 months now:

Ramai mamat cina suka pakai cermin mata macam aku pakai and depa semua suka pakai bag sandang LV.

kuang kuang kuang

Yup. Believe it or not I've seen quite a few of these around in London. Is it a trend with these folks? was just an observation....just wondering if anyone out there has spotted these guys walking around...:)

Anyway, four and half years of not working and I was recently painfully reminded of why I used to hate going to work.


Let me describe one that I have (ehem) recently...met...

emotional.takes out stress on staff.annoying.absolutely incompetent when it comes to financial management.actress.bitches about staff in front of other staff.makes empty promises.annoying.always talks highly of her/himself.annoying.blardy damn annoying.

Sound familiar to you?

I guess that's because apparently all bosses have these traits (a conclusion I made after talking to some other friends who are unfortunately working)....

Well...that's not being fair and you and I both know that but I'm just going to leave that sentence there anyway...(just to blow off some steam here, people - just let me be!)

Enough of that.

Another little observation: Rich people don't know how to raise their kids. Apparently.

Isn't it such a cliché though?? Alah anak orang kaya....memanglah perangai macam tu..

But I've seen it again and again! And I'm asking myself why must it be that way? Some of the parents are really good, intelligent and hard working people and yet...

If ill behaved and immoral kids come with the package - I'd rather not have all that money.


Sorry guys...this blog entry will definitely fall under 'Ramblings' - just had to let it out somewhere..

And another thing...

What's up with everyone talking about brands nowadays..??? This brand, that brand, I want to buy this brand, oohh..I'm saving to buy that brand...

And in these dark days of the economic depression too...

I don't know...brands just don't do it for me. Tried them once or twice but they just don't give me a high.


And then I watched this on Youtube (saw it first linked from littlemuffins' blog):


And it strengthened my feelings on the matter....

And if there's a trend going on out there..well, I'm happy to be left out of it.

What I want to say to the people out there is: think. don't just follow.

Hey..But that's just me.

Enough rambling for now.

Friday, March 06, 2009

What have I been up to..??

I've been busy.

You know how I've been contemplating work for a few months now? It's because my kids have been schooling full time since September and from 9am to 3pm I've been free.

But I've always treasured my time at home. So when Mr S told me that maybe I should work part time to fill my 'unproductive' time and to get some extra money - I was not really persuaded. Okay..I did some applications but nothing really came out of them...perhaps because of the fact that I was half hearted in filling out those forms.

And then suddenly the pound fell.

The economy of the whole world has not been doing too good for a while now. If all the currencies fell, then we would probably still be fine. The problem is though, the dollar and ringgit have been pretty stable when the pound has been falling.

And that means....more money to send home to pay for all our hutang piutang...and less money to spend here...

Mr S has been doing a brave job of shouldering all these responsibilities but after looking at our family's financial statements - believe you me, Mr S the Chartered Accountant makes a monthly financial statement for the family!! - I decided, it's time I lend him a hand.

So, I told him grudgingly; Fine! I will look for a job!! But for once after the 4 years that I've not been working, I was serious. But what a time to look for a job, huh? All these lay offs and highest rate of unemployment in this country and I've decided to WORK??

But Mr S was optimistic. Browsed a few sites, and forwarded to me via email some interesting part time jobs he found. I applied. Got a rejection for one and a reply on the same day to come for a 'meeting'. Went. And got a job!

Just like that.


So yes...I've been busy.

And damn blardy tired.

The first few days, my whole body ached and I complained and complained 'until the cows come home' - berlakon sikit la...saja nak make Mr S feel guilty that I'm 'forced' to work..kih kih kih..But he will just encourage me by saying, "Come on Kapten Hoki!!" and really made me want to kick something.

But believe you me, I'm not such a weakling. I am really a tough cookie inside (betul lah!!) although I like to act weak for the benefit of Mr S (kuang kuang kuang).... My job is part time and it's only a few hours a day and just 3 days a week but penatnya Ya Allah....I guess it was only expected after 4 years of staying home. The daily routine of cooking and cleaning, taking care of the kids and sending them to Madrasah everyday, making sure they eat, shower etc etc is still in the list of my duties of course...tu yang penat tu...

But after just 1 month of starting work, I somehow feel energised. Don't know why.

Now, I walk to the tube station instead of taking the bus and I walk back home too. For one, I get to save on bus fare (£2) and for tummy macam semakin kempis la semenjak jalan I must be doing something right ye tak?!

And I don't feel tired much anymore...still have a lot of energy to send the kids and 'layan' them at night before they go to bed. I treasure the days that I don't go to work of course (Thursdays and Fridays) during which I always just lepak and read a book and clean the house.

What can I say? Besides 'Thank you Allah!' for His blessing on me and my family, that is...

So my dear readers... that's what I've been doing...

On my next entry, mayhaps I will tell you about my work place which is pretty interesting because I actually do the book keeping and financial admin stuff for a CLINIC! And the clinic is in a posh area smack in the middle of Central London so you can imagine.....interesting!!

Nanti lah I will tell you more when I have the time.

Monday, February 02, 2009


It's been snowing in London since last night and it's still snowing now. Here's some pics for our folks at home...

We went to the small park near our house.

Little H's words early in the morning when he woke up: "This is the best day of my life!"
(hehe..he can be a little dramatic sometimes..)

The first thing Big H did when we reached there...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The River Ride

It was the X-mas holidays recently.

Therefore as usual, Mr S and I were desperate to create 'entertainment' for the kids. The thing about London is, there are plenty of tourist attractions but they are mostly pretty pricey.

The museums of course, are free...but we've been to almost all of those...
And the kids, being kids, got to run around in those museums looking at paintings and statues and bones and mummies...but let's face it, that's not much of an entertainment to them..

And for us parents, running around after the kids in these places - where they're certainly not supposed to
run or scream or play hide and seek behind the exhibits - is definitely not what we would call a jolly time either.

And so we had to look into other things to do...

That's our boat coming! Note that you can see through the middle of the boat.

View inside the boat.

Going on a cruise on the river Thames have always been one of those things that I had wanted to do with Mr S.
I've always imagined though, when we actually did it, it would be a hot summer's day and it would be just us...cruising together, the wind and sun in our faces...looking at all those historical sites and buildings around us from the perspective of the river...

But fate determined that on the day we went a sailing along the Thames, it would be just a boat, instead of a cruise, we were with the children - not just us having a romantic time together, and the weather was f.r.e.e.z.i.n.g. cold.

View behind us from the QE2 pier - The O2

But surprisingly, I had a really, really good time.
(As usual..I think I am quite easy to please lah!)

It was a surprise, really... We actually took the boat from the O2 pier which is the nearest pier to us (the pier is called the QE2). I thought I would be cold and uncomfortable (water sickness and what not) and I just thought it would be slow and boring and probably another session of running after the kids (this time to make sure that they don't fall over the boat)...but let me tell you, it was none of those things!

View of the David Beckham Academy next to the O2

First of all, it was because we didn't go on the actual 'tourist cruise' thingy. This one was basically a commuter. Thus, it was cheaper, which is always a plus point of course, and because of the fact that some people actually use this thing to go to work, it was quite fast!

The kids went in free and the adults only had to pay 5 pounds each and we didn't even need to queue up beforehand in order to buy the tickets - they have a conductor on board and we just pay when we're seated! Hassle free!

Just passed underneath the Tower Bridge

It was absolutely warm in the boat too and thus absolutely relaxing. And the kids were quiet -
somehow they weren't running around as much - maybe they were a little amazed (just like their mum) by the fact that we were on a boat on the river Thames. Towards the end of our ride though, Little H did ask me if he could 'run about'...

Well, at least he asked for permission and of course, the answer to his question was NO.

We went pass Canary Wharf, and saw Mr S's old office building there...and then we went under the Tower Bridge, The London Bridge and the Millennium Bridge and passed the Big Ben, The Parliament Building at Westminster and The London Eye etc. of course Mr S took out the camera and we were snapping away....

I tell you, I would have thought that going on that red double decker tourist bus would be enough for tourists in London but I think now I've changed my mind.

Big Ben and the Parliament Building in the background.

I definitely recommend going on a boat (especially a commuter boat) on the river Thames if anyone of my readers come over to London. I think you'll enjoy viewing the normal sights
with a twist - from the water.

For more info on the river commuters: Thames Clippers

Friday, January 16, 2009

Birthday Lunch

Oh yes..

I forgot to tell you that Mr S also belanja makan for my birthday at the recently opened (well...not THAT recent) Jom Makan restaurant. For those who don't know, the restaurant is a Malaysian fast food restaurant, located just at the corner of the National Gallery, just across from Trafalgar Square.

Here are some of the pics we took:

It was zero degree that day so as we arrived at Trafalgar Square, it was literally freezing and the water in the fountain pools in the square had frozen over!

The kids horsing around in front of the restaurant.

Big H ordered nasi lemak. Although Mr S and I tried to dissuade him - as I just cooked nasi lemak at home a few days before that - he was adamant. Favourite food lah katakan...As you can see, the kids portion was pretty huge and the sambal and rendang tak pedas langsung!

Little H wanted roti canai - which, as you can see, was a disappointment. Not fresh and flat gitu...

And can you see that tall teh tarik glass? We wanted hot chocolate or milo for the kids but they didn't serve them and the only other hot drink (if I'm not mistaken) was Nescafe Tarik. Yang lain semua juice and since it was freezing outside, we gambled on the teh tarik for the kids. Every one of us had one tall glass each and I wasn't surprised when Little H couldn't sleep until 2am that night!

And that satay...Mr S ordered them as a 'main meal' but guess how many cucuk satay he got??


And there wasn't even nasi himpit included! What kind of a meal is that? And it cost £8+ too!

I myself had mee kari (no pic, sorry!). The portion was big but Mr S thought the kari tasted like kari semalam....a bit harsh huh??

Hehehe..kesian chef dia...

These were our desserts.
Puding sagu gula melaka and creme caramel which they made using coconut milk (I think).
They were sweet and these were good!

Oh..I forgot to tell you...During weekends the restaurant is offering free kids meals - we found this out while we were there, actually.

So, the kids' nasi lemak and roti canai were FOC! **BIG grin**

A little bit of help promoting the restaurant there...when we were at the restaurant, there were only 2 other customers...honestly, I would be surprised if the restaurant can stay open for long..

Overall I have to say the food was biasa je lah...nothing special.

I would say Malaysia Hall provides better tasting food and better value too.

But it was an experience and thanks to Mr S for the treat.

We had a great time anyway!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Double Three

It was my birthday last Thursday.

Didn't do anything special - just cooked some nasi lemak..which is something I always cook anyway as the boys love it.

Got a card and a box of chocolates from Mr S...

Inside, among other stuff, Mr S wrote "Happy 33! - You look 23!" (kih kih...Bagi chance la, huh?..)

Oh a few handbags too...but that was given to me earlier...bought during the Xmas sale ;)

Not really one for handbags - been using a 50p canvas one that I bought from a car boot sale all this while..

I guess it was high time that someone got me a proper handbag, huh?

Thank you Mr you!

Big H gave me a lovely card...

It was nice and colourful and I absolutely love it! And I know he put a lot of work into it because he's not a fan of drawing and colouring...

Thank you my lovely... :) Love you so much!

Little H also gave me a card.. he was soooo sweet about it!

Woke up in the morning, went downstairs, suddenly remembered it was my birthday and rushed back upstairs to get his card without saying anything to me. Came back downstairs with the card behind his back and surprised me with a very loud 'Happy Birthday, Mama!'

I was sooo touched.

Don't know if you can read what's written inside - there's a powim (poem) that goes like this...

Lad Glad
Mad Wum Bum

Don't ask me what it means...!!

The little darling gave me two cards actually...the second one (below) has a robot and a big heart in it (no doubt after looking at Big H's card he decided to draw the heart too...)

Thank you so much my dearest! Absolutely lovely!

No cake, though.

Mr S called me before he returned home from work and asked whether I wanted anything 'yummy' to eat that night...I told him to get some dessert (I cannot resist sweet food, you know..) and he got me a...(drum roll...)...

Strawberry Trifle...

Kuang Kuang Kuang.. (the sound effect for an anti-climatic ending..heheh)


Another year of my life inshaAllah. I pray that this next year will be a blessed one for me and my family, amin.