Thursday, June 29, 2006

A Stranger...

After being locked up for so long recuperating from man flu and getting a bit bored with cutting off the split end from each hair on my head, I decided to go and get some food.

I love food shopping!! Going to the farmers' market, supermarket, corner shop or even shopping for it online! I love food! No way I can deny that... and no, lil sis ayu... let me emphasise again; I am not fat, I've got big bones! And that statement goes to you to s_d!

I bought too much grocery for me to carry on my own at my weak state!! As usual, I can't help myself and buy everything that's presented in front of me! It was a track carrying everything to the bus stop! But hooray me! I got there.

Got on the bus... and the journey home on the bus was as usual uneventful.

Got to my stop... rang the bell. Ding!

I walked towards the back door... it opened... and I jumped off! AND... I dropped my bunch of flowers!

Oh no!

A girl by the door picked it up to pass it to me... BUT the door closed and the bus moved away! Everyone was telling the bus driver to stop... but I knew he won't... because it was a double red line area... and bus drivers just don't stop for anybody for what ever reason!

So, I thought... hey... I know someone will enjoy the flowers... so no big deal. They were pretty and in my favourite purple colour! I wasn't that bothered..

I crossed the street and started walking home... stopped after a few steps to adjust the load and when I looked up, there was this guy walking towards me with my bunch of flowers!!! I was like thinking 'Wow!! This is just like in the movies!'

"Your flowers... from a stranger", he said...

Should have I replied 'You rescued my flowers... you are the so kind mister' in Cowboy-Indian movie style... but I just stood there and smiled... and thanked him soooooo many times!

He really didn't have to jump off the bus at the next stop and tried to find me to give me my flowers back... but he did... because of that he had to walk back to the bus stop and wait for another bus to continue his journey...

And I thought chivalry doesn't exist in this world any longer... how wrong was I?

What happened to me today made me smile and think that... There are nice people around and I don't even have to look for them...

And Drew Me Rrramone Did...

A couple of weeks ago, I went to rrramone's blog just to check out his drawings... I do really love looking at them as they are fun to look at! And the confidence of each pen stroke that I will never possess and how he makes it look so simple but intricate at the same time... Anyway, on one of his post, he drew a room somewhere in the world and asked us fellow bloggers to guess... I didn't take it seriously and just gave a silly answer.

BUT... when I realised that the winner would get a picture drawn... how I begged! Seriously I did! I don't like begging but I wanted to have my picture drawn by rrramone! On each e-mail I sent him I worded everything carefully... you know boys, they have to think that it's their idea *wink*

In the end he said that he doesn't know how I look like... so I put a photo of me up on my blog... basically, in the end he had no excuse... well... he does... he could have said that I didn't win the competition!

I pestered and pestered and pestered... think he got a bit annoyed and told me to 'hold my horses'... and voila! Today, when I was yet awaken rudely by my coughing stint again, I went and had a look on hotmail and saw that rrramone left a comment on my blog telling me to check his blog! And there it was... a drawing of me!!!

I will put up the picture once I've got his permission as it is his work of art... but for now... have a look at his wonderful portraits of the winners minus me! Well... I was the only person who didn't win that got drawn *grin*

update at 14:05
Rrramone gave his permission to put his drawing of me up here!! But that does not give you any excuse to not go to his blog site!

Now... enjoy rrramone's masterpiece!
rrrmone's sketch of me!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

No Football??!! Tennis Anyone?

Football17:00hours on 9th June was the first kick off of the first match for the World Cup. Ever since that day, there was football everyday on TV! Life was wonderful...

Last night, France faced Spain for a spot for the quarter finals at 20:00hours and France played well and beat Spain... and then the final whistle blew...

I woke up this morning... and since I'm still recovering from man flu, I thought I'd do my ritual of switching the TV on in the afternoon for a footie match... that's when reality hits me... there won't be any football on TV for the next 2 days! OMG!!!

Tennis BallThere's the Wimbledon, I hear you say... but somehow, it's just not the same as football. There's just something about 22 men chasing a white ball and their fans singing their patriotic hearts out! Wimbledon... you just sit there and clap! Even cricket at the Oval is better! At least you share cans of beer around while you're watching cricket, shout out '4' or '6' and people get more excited on the stand compared to the tennis audience.

That's where it's wrong! They are an audience. You sit there and be really civilised! Like watching a play or an opera. What other sport do you just sit there and be civilised? Snooker? Golf? Hmmmmmmmmmmm... Give me rugby and football anytime! Or even cricket!

Well... it is going to end once the final match is played on 9th July. Then it will be the wait for the Premiereship season to begin.

In the mean time there's BBQ to think about!

Oh yes... England is playing this Saturday... and it's football BBQ time again!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Rice Porridge

Still suffering from man flu; still feeling a bit crap! Probably an incy wincy better than yesterday... but not that much! Jules, bless him, got me a bottle of cough syrup yesterday. My chest was hurting so bad everytime I coughed! Felt like I was actually coughing my chest out! The cough syrup helped to ease the pain a bit... Thanks hun!

I was just wondering what I should eat since I haven't really eaten yesterday... apart from the bowls of soup and a small loaf of bread.

I remembered when I was a little girl, whenever I was ill, mom would make me rice porridge. Nothing fancy... Rice porridge with fried dried anchovies and soy sauce. It filled my tummy up, ease my sore throat and it was yummy!

So, here I am... and adult in London, copying what mom did for me, only I don't have any dried anchovies to fry... It will have to be rice porridge, fried egg, fried shallots, spring onions and soy sauce. Yum yum...

Monday, June 26, 2006

Man Flu

It's not enough that I'm suffering from blocked nose, red itchy eyes due to hay fever; Darth Vader's breathing exercised due to my asthma; I now suffer from the dreaded MAN FLU!

Yes... shudder and scream and run away with fright! It is not a lovely sight! (OMG!!! I rhymed!!!)

I've suffered cold before but this time it's worse because I have my hay fever and breathing problems on top of it... so since it's worse that usual, I'm calling it man flu as I really can't do much but do light things... like sleep!

Usually, even though I'm ill, I'll still be pottering about doing some cleaning, painting and food shopping. This time... I just want to rest! Basic symptom of man flu I think! Most guys think they are actually on their death bed when they contract man flu.

I got it off Jules... but bless him... apart from not being able to leave the flat for 4 days... he didn't really make a big deal about it... unlike most men!

I've had enough of being ill!

So... here I am... feeling sorry for myself... and wonder is this how men feel when they contract the dreaded man flu!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Illustration Friday - Rain

I wrote a post a couple of weeks ago about my love for rain. Probably, to me, rain means life. Everything turns greener after a good rainfall. How I miss the rain that they have in Malaysia. As my friend lyndt would say, it's raining baby rhinos and hippos today!

And due to the fact that I love rain so much, it didn't take me very long to finish my painting... or at least be satisfied with the finish product enough to put my signature down on it.RainAcrylic on canvas 30cm x 30cm deep edge.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Photo Friday - Health

This is the first and maybe the only entry from me to Photo Friday!

I go to the site now and again to check out all the wonderful and gorgeous photos from people all around the world! I'm not much of a photographer even though I have my digi cam in my bag and snap whatever that fancy everytime I go out... or even in the flat! But I do love beautiful photos...

Anyway, I was looked at this week's challenge and thought, 'Hah! Health! I'm having the worse hay fever I've ever had this year... which keeps triggering my asthma... Health! I don't think I have any to spare this year!'

Then I looked to my right... and there was a packet of fags with my inhaler on top of it... and I thought that is a picture of health... my health! Always have an inhaler next to your packet of fags as you never know when you're going to need it!

So here it is... my entry which I call Fag & Breath! Fags & Breath

Thursday, June 22, 2006

A Picture for Rrramone to Draw

Rrramone... I really hate putting my photos up... but since it's me who has been pestering you to draw me I guess you do have to know a bit how I look like. Why you can't go with my ninja bee name and work on that, I will never understand. But then you're the artist so you have you quirks. So here's a photo of me taken a few years ago when I'm still nice and thin! Cat_Haloween2004It was taken Haloween 2004. I was suppose to be a cat! (Still am a bit upset over Tina's death yesterday) Hope this is enough. Now you could draw me... right?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

It's Time for You to Rest

I came home, switched on my laptop, and there was a message from my sister:

Kak Ati... Tina dah mati!!!
(Big Sister Ati... Tina is dead!!!)

10 years 2 months and 11 days... Tina is no longer with us. I only saw her once a year for 2 weeks when I go and visit mom in Malaysia. But in a way, because mom loves her so much, I can't help but feel attached to her. And I am so grateful to her for being there for mom all through her hardships... her divorce, her children's antics... she's always been there for my mom, consoling her.

And now she is no more... and I know that my mom must be devastated. I haven't talked to mom... but I will call her once it's morning in Malaysia.

I can't seem to find any photos of Tina! It must have been on my Mac laptop, which was robbed from my old flat last year! The only photo I have of Tina is the worst photo ever! This is kind of upsetting.

Tina... I'm missing you already! To know that you won't be there to greet me when I walk through the door for my yearly family visit, for you to jump and sit on my lap, for you to come into my room in the morning and tap me to wake me up so that I'd go to the kitchen and feed you, to just sit by me (and everyone else in the family) when you know that I'm feeling sad and keep me company... knowing that you won't be doing any of that anymore... but I know I was lucky... we were all lucky to have you in our life. Though we know that Abang (my brother) was your favourite... we all loved you! Goodbye our dear dear cat...

And The Winner Is...

Joe and Stacey came over last night to watch the Sweden vs. England match with Jules and me. I think everybody was pretty fired up for this match. This match was the decider of who England faces first in the knockout stage... Will it be Germany (the host nation) or Ecquador (which has only been in the World Cup twice... including this World Cup).

After the Germany vs Ecuador match, which was played before the England match, where Germany trashed Ecquador 3-0... the feeling was quite unanimous that England would be better off facing Ecuador if they want to proceed further in the World Cup.

It was their 3rd match and I was expecting a lot from England. Especially since IKEA, being a Swedish company, was doing a World Cup bet! If England turns out to be the victor, they'll be selling their red and white Jeff chairs for a penny! If Sweden claims victory, then it's 10 Swedish meatballs for a penny!

Because of that, I so wanted England to win! I want those red and white chairs for my garden! 10 of them, please! They will only come up to 10p!!

The match started and 2 minutes later Owen was stretched off the pitch! He landed his leg awkwardly and I could see a bone popped out from under his knee!! ADOI!!!

I have to admit that it's the first England match that I stayed awake for the whole way through! Probably because they're are playing a bit better or maybe it's just because the boys are about and telling Stacey and me to shut up most of the time!

Joe started singing Cole, Cole, Give us a GOAL... and then both him and Stacey tried a few different versions... and on the 34th minute, JOE COLE SCORED A GOAL!!

Brilliant! I'll be heading off to IKEA in Croydon tomorrow after work!

That thought didn't last long as when the second half of the match started, Sweden discovered the weakness in England defence!!

Everytime Sweden won a corner they were ever so close to scoring a goal! England defence seemed to be dodgy when that happens... and sure enough, Sweden equalised soon after the second half started!

From then onwards, it looked dodgy for England! Until Rooney was substituted and in came Steven Gerrard!! He managed to bring pace back into the England team... even blocked a goal from Sweden!! And then went to score another goal for England!

Yes... the trip to IKEA is back on!!

Only to be disappointed again by the England's defence on the 90th minute! Sweden scored while England's defence team ran around like headless chickens!

3 added minutes for them to score again so I could get those chairs!! But no... the game ended with a draw...

And the winner turned out to be IKEA...

Monday, June 19, 2006

Illustration Friday - Dance

I wasn't even going to attempt this week's topic on Illustration Friday. Why? Because, like painting buildings, I'm also really bad at painting figures!! I can never get any body parts right!

Plus some people say I can't dance. How would they know? I might not be able to jump about like they do at clubs nowadays... but I was grown up to the rhythm of the joget (Malay dance) beat. I can move if there's rhythm... but not to the thump thump thump of drum'n'bass!

And I move to the rhythm of the bumble bee!

Anyway... instead of painting a full fledge figure, I thought shadows would do nicely... the wayang kulit (shadow puppets) play moves the shadow to the rhythm of the gamelan music (the gong, 2 string violin, the drum and something like the xylophone... if I've spelt that right)... so that's what I'll do... nice and simple. But not the intricate design of the wayang kulit puppets! I won't do the puppet masters any justice by even trying! Shadow Dance
Still working with acrylic on canvas and as with my Jungle painting, this painting still needs a bit of work to do... but I'm impatient like that!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Sand the Decking, Honey Bees, Flag Flying High

This weekend has been a quite busy weekend. After days of nagging and not getting through to Jules, I decided to get Seb to do the sanding of the decking... of course I had to tempt him by saying there's ice cream here. That worked!

And of course by telling him that there was free food as we were going to test the BBQ (see last post) helped too!

Boys at workSurprise... surprise... like I told you on my last post that Jules doesn't like to be told what to do... We were still chilling out trying to get sleep out of our head in the morning and watching a re-run of the A-Team when suddenly Jules got up and started sanding!! I looked at Seb and wondered 'why did I bother to ask him when Jules was going to do it himself??!!

So, like the A-Team, we got our act together and worked on the decking and the garden furniture. Seb eating yoghurt and I brushed the oil on to the decking. OK... Seb and Jules alternate with each other doing the sanding.

I was sent to the hardware store to get the right size sand paper for the sanding and discovered that the football shaped BBQ we bought from Robert Dyas was sold in the hardware store for £30!!! Outrages!!! We got ours for £14.99. Bargain of the century I'd say!

We worked the whole morning sanding and oiling... and I even cleared up some weed in the garden. The end product was just so lovely!! Nice shiny decking and garden furniture

With all that done... had a shower... and Seb and I made our way to Asda for BBQ food shopping. Yes... now that the garden is nice and shiny, we decided to have another BBQ!

HeronI decided that we will walk as it is a nice day and because I was feeling fat and need to make myself feel good by doing something. I know we've been working hard the whole morning but I still felt that walking would do me good. We walked through Wandsworth Common and passed the lake. I pointed out the weird bird and asked Seb for the name. He said that he doesn't know it in English 'but it French it's called heron' he said in his French accent... that is... you don't pronounce the 'h' and stretch the 'r'... and I said 'Oh... HeRon'. Silly boy!

Honey BEEWalking down Northcote Road, there was a honey shop. My hayfever is pretty bad this year and I heard that local honey might help. You know... local pollen in the honey... boost the anti-body against it... or things to that effect. So, I bought the 'Wandsworth honey', as I am living in Wandsworth Borough, and a little honey jar. The honey jar has a bee stuck at the end of the dipper that goes with it! Of course I had to buy it!

With all the food. We took the bus home. The first thing that Jules could say was 'Did you get some coke?'... Charming. Why doesn't he get out of the flat and get some coke? Men. (Sorry about this part... this is just a rant because 2 seconds ago the phone rang while he was eating his food. I passed the phone to him as it was his brother at the other end and he said 'I have to train her better and get her not to pass the phone to me while I'm eating'... the cheek... train me when he's not willing to change his ways for me??!! Eff off comes to my mind)

With all the food ready... we sat outside and had another BBQ.

Group of friends
England flagIt was kind of funny in a way. We had the BBQ for the World Cup but none of us watched the World Cup yesterday as we were too busy sanding, clearing the garden, BBQ-ing, me baking a Marble cake and chatting... but the England flag is still flyin high...

For now...

I still hope that Togo will get to the knock out stage...

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Testing the Football BBQ

This week Jules decided to buy a BBQ. I've been asking Jules to do for ages!! You know what... after this weekend, I've discovered that he would do the things that I tell him to do... but only if I don't tell him! How I'm going to do that, I still have to figure that out!

Footie BBQWell... we got a BBQ now and in the spirit of the World Cup, he went for a football shaped BBQ! Men I tell you. Try to make your garden look elegant and then you have a football shaped BBQ in the middle of it! Elegance just will not happen in this household!

Now that we have a BBQ, time to test it out. Seb jumped to the opportunity of having free food, so when I told him about it Friday evening around 8pm (since Jules was on late shifts and came home around that time with coal and other boys' stuff for BBQ) he said he'll be over in half an hour!

Once he was here, the boys started preparing for the BBQ experiment feast! And the wait...

Burning the coal The wait
Felt a bit like campfire-ish... not that we started singing campfire songs and stuff as they did tell me to shut up when I said 'let's sing kumbaya'. I think it was just their manlihood that stopped them from wanting to sing that song... deep down inside, they wanted to! Campfire night
Seb the sausage burnerSeb as always, volunteered to be the chef! He's on of the people that I don't trust with fire... but since Jules is about to supervise I guess it would be fine.

Burn the sausagesSo, with Seb burning the sausages, it turned out to be a nice evening. We sat outside to have our BBQ food and the salad that I prepared. I cut some roses from the garden and put it on the table. Yes... I still managed to put some 'elegance' in the middle of the chaos!

Roses in the chaos

Thursday, June 15, 2006

England vs. Trinidad AND Tobago

I didn't go to work today due to illness. I hope that my managers didn't think that I'm skiving to watch the England match. I have made it known to everybody at work, and everywhere else for that matters, that I'm supporting Togo. It was a sad sad day for me when Togo lost their opening match...

But I was lying on the sofa in front on the TV with the England match on ITV. I think 24 minutes into the match I fell asleep. That's how exciting the match was to me! Again I thought they are playing like one of their friendly matches. BORING!

I didn't even realise that they substituted Owen for Rooney... BOOOOOOOOOOO!!

I woke up probably 20 minutes of the match to go. Had to force myself to stay awake!!

Part of me was thinking 'Well done Trinidad and Tobago' for holding England to 0-0 this long. Then suddenly Crouch scored! Dammit! Where was his robotic dance? How boring was that??! Dance Crouch!!! Dance!

Then Gerrard scored a beautiful goal!! Yes!! He's the man!

I'm still supporting Togo... but I also know that if and when England leaves the World Cup, there goes the World Cup anticipation and atmosphere here in London and of course the whole of England. Everyone will lose interest in the World Cup. Everyone will stop talking about it, as if the World Cup has ended... prematurely. The only reason I want England to stay on is so that the World Cup atmosphere will stay on... until the end.

Insufficient Evidence??!!

9 months ago, Kate Moss had her photos splashed all over the newpaper. They were pictures of her taking cocaine.

Today, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) concluded there was insufficient evidence to bring the case forward.

INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE??!!! Her photos were everywhere!! She didn't even deny it!! They could have called up the person who took the photos to testify!!

I have nothing against Kate Moss. I don't even care what she does in her private time. BUT she is considered a role model. Kids everywhere look up to her. And with the picture evidence, she's going scot free for taking cocaine??!! What does that mean?? What would people think?? That it's OK to drug yourself up??!!

Oh well... madness!! It's all pure madness!!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Illustration Friday - Jungle

When I saw the topic, I thought, interesting. And the first thing that came in my head is urban jungle. Well... I live in a city. There's not much jungle about!

And then I had a vision (with Jules' help as he is the visionary) of an urban jungle seen through a folliage (proper tree jungle).

What I discovered through trying to do this is that I am useless at painting buildings! The painting turned out to be horrible! It's not finished yet but I do hope you could see what I am trying to (miserably) achieve.
Urban Jungle

I'm working with acrylic on canvas and I don't think I would finish it before the next topic is published so I thought I'll just submit it anyway. Be gentle with your comments towards me.

I will finish it as I am determined to and I will put up the finish product on my blog one day. And once I get the buildings to look the way that I want them to, and the sky to be the colour that I want it to, I will either put a bee hovering somewhere... or an ant on one of the leaves. One day that day will come...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Red Sky in the Evening and My Delight

I was sitting in the garden in the evening yesterday with Jules. It started with a disagreement of me being unreasonable but it ended with us having a pleasant chat about Shaggy, raegge music and, when our neighbours made and appearance in their garden, football.

Red SkyAs we were sitting, Jules and I was thinking how lovely the sky looked. It was kind of reddish (OK... it's more pink but I did put 'ish' at the end of red... with an extra 'd' as required by the spelling rules).

And I thought of the old wives forecast poem:

Red sky at night; shepherd's delight
Red sky in the morning; shepherd's warning.
or
Red sky at night; sailor's delight
Red sky in the morning; sailor's warning.

Well... up to you if you prefer the shepherd or the sailor! *wink*

So how true is this? I wonder if there's any scientific study to this old wives' poem. There's always a study on something, so why not this? Well I found an article on Everday's Mysteries website which states:

Red sky at night
When we see a red sky at night, this means that the setting sun is sending its light through a high concentration of dust particles. This usually indicates high pressure and stable air coming in from the west. Basically good weather will follow.

Red sky in the morning
A red sunrise reflects the dust particles of a system that has just passed from the west. This indicates that a storm system may be moving to the east. If the morning sky is a deep fiery red, it means a high water content in the atmosphere. So, rain is on its way.

Does it always work? Well, when I woke up this morning it was raining! You don't know how happy that made me!! With all the heat for the past few days, all I wanted was rain! And it was proper rain! Not the usual mist!! Thunder storm in some parts of England during the night.

The rain did make it feel a bit muggy and humid... but it did cool the air a bit and that's all I want!

I got dressed for work and walked out the door. No umbrellas... I hate umbrellas anyway...

I miss proper rain that they have in Malaysia. Instead of hujan renyai (drizzling rain) it was today as I was walking down the road, it would be hujan lebat (pouring rain). That's when you need an umbrella. That's when I don't mind people carrying umbrellas. Over here in London, when it's just mist (I won't even call it rain), pop comes the umbrella and poke goes you eye! What I hate most is the huge golf umbrellas with one puny guy/girl (let's not be sexist here) under it!

I walked in the rain from home to Tooting Bec tube station. And once I got off at Charing Cross tube station, I walked in the rain to work. I was soaked by the time I got to work but I felt so happy.

I felt like a child again... in Malaysia... when it was a hot day and suddenly the sky opened... and I ran out into the rain (against my mom's order of staying indoors as I might catch a cold) and just splash around. A cooling time on a hot hot day.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Yellow Card, Red Card, Debit Card, Bloody Heat!!

The yellow card has been given to a few players for the last few games in the World Cup. England got 2 for the fouls committed by Steven Gerrard and Peter Crouch. Have to admit that the decisions were harsh. Gerrard didn't even touch the Praguayan (Praguayish?) player!

I have to admit though the game was a bit boring... almost like watching one of the England friendly matches. Should have gone to IKEA. Bet it was so empty I could actually move around in there!

As for red card. I don't think there's one yet! Although the World Cup is usually on my TV, I have to admit that I don't really concentrate on it. Got other important things to do like...

Sunday, I did decide to go and do a bit of grocery shopping in Asda. Took my cash card with me and walked towards Clapham Junction. It was a hot day!!! 30C!!!

People keep saying that I must be so used to this weather and loving it. I was like... errrrr... I've been in this country for about 14 years and I'm not that used to this heat anymore! I'd rather have a pleasant 24C all year through. Even when I'm in Malaysia, most of the time I'd be in my mom's room because it is airconditioned. And if I go anywhere, I make sure that at the end of the journey, it's airconditioned. If I go gorcery with mom, it depends... if she goes to the market, I'll stay in the car with the aircondition on... if she decides on a nicely airconditioned supermarket, I'll push the trolley for her. The only place I don't mind going with no aircondition is the night market for obvious reasons. It's at night and it's then cooler to walk around the place.

After about 40 minutes of leisurely walk through Wandsworth Common and Northcote Road in the heat, I reached Asda. It's so nice and cool in there... but my goodness!!! The hoard of people in there!! I should have done my shopping during the England match!!

Got to the cash machine at Asda only to realise that I have no cash left in my account!! The woman who was there said that might as well use our debit card and get cash back in the supermarket.

I was thinking dammit!!! I haven't activated my account!!!

OK... Actually have £10 in my pocket and more somewhere else which I couldn't get my hands on at that precise moment in time. But I do still remember how it was...

I haven't had a debit or credit card for ages. At least 3 years now. Might as well be honest. I ran up quite a bit of debt. That was when my life was in a shambles and that's why I'm slowly rebuilding it again!

All my cards were destroyed! I cancelled my current accounts so I'll have no debit card or cheques that I might be able to use. I knew the only way for me to beat it is to go cash and no plastic.

But because I cancelled my current account and went into debt, banks just didn't want my business. I was stuck with my savings account which I still could access. It was hard... but it was good! Because of sheer determination, I now have a little savings, and on the weekend, for once since a long time, a bank accepted my application for a current account.

Sensible yati will be just fine.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Missing England Shirt

Woke up this morning to Jules scrambling looking for his England top.

Yes, England starts their bid for the World Cup today! It is England vs. Paraguay.

Jules has a work thing today. He's going carting and then watch the match with his workmates. I have the flat to myself today!!! YES!!

So when we got up, the first thing he did was to look for his England shirt. I told him that all his football tops are in the drawer, third from the top! But of course, the WHITE England top is not there. Why he can't wear the RED England top just baffles me. I don't know what happened to the white top. I haven't seen it for ages! For all I know it's still in one of the boxes in the basement which he still hasn't unpacked since we moved in here!

He just wore a non-England t-shirt and went out sulking! It must be my fault that it's not here!! I guess, that will be my mission for the day! Finding his bleeding white England top!!

The doorbell rang after half hour of him leaving... and there was a delivery for me. And the delivery guy was wearing a RED England top. I really don't see the fuss over what colour top you're wearing! It's still the same team!!!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Football Widow

At last blogger is working... I hope... Fingers crossed... Touch wood... and all of that.

Well... this is the time when sane men become superstitious and wear their lucky pants for weeks!! Unwashed of course!! Today is the day when women all over the world with partners will temporarily become widows. Yes, ladies and gentelman, Football/Soccer World Cup 2006 is here! Get in!

16:00hours BST, the ceremony begins! I can't wait. Marcia (a lecturer in the Department) and me are thinking of sneaking off early to watch the football! So what if I got caught... what are they going to do? Fire me? Ooooooooooooo... I'm so scared!

Anyway, I'm in a dilemma at the moment. I have no team to support! Gwawr and me, ever since we've known each other has been supporting Morocco during the previous World Cups... but Morrocco is not in the World Cup this time!! What do we do?

I don't want to support Brasil as they've won the Cup like 7 times. OK they are considered the best team in the world but I don't go for the best team! Errrr... Bernardo, if you're reading this, sorry mate!

I'm not allowed to support Germany by a lot of people... but... ehem... I've promised Marcia (who is Dutch) that I will be supporting Germany with her today... but just for today! It is the opening ceremony... In Germany. Jules... it's just for one match OK babes.

How about England I hear you say? Yes, I've been here for 14 years... but I've never had the inclination to support England in their matches! I have to admit though that I was leaning towards supporting England for the first time as I was watching the a football match in aid for charity, where Robbie Williams was the England captain and Gordon Ramsey was the Rest of the World captain. It was fun to watch celebrities and former footballers actually playing proper football! England won 2-1! And Maradona scored the penalty for the Rest of the World!!

Anyway, at the moment the news around here is all about Wayne Rooney's bloody foot! I'm sorry but is he the only player in the England squad? I sure that the best players are picked to play for England. There's Steven Gerrard and I rate him more than Rooney!! Well... at least if he doesn't play and England didn't win the World Cup, they have an excuse! Lame as it is!

OK... how about a compromise? I'll support England when Rooney is not playing!

But wait! I've just had another look at the list of countries participating in the World Cup!! And I've decided to support Togo!! And why not? They've already won the Miss World Cup competition so obviously that means something!! Their opening match is next Tuesday!! GO TOGO!!

I really can't wait for the World Cup to begin! I just love the atmosphere. Just imagine if you're in Germany in the thick of it all...

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Good Luck vs. Bad Luck

I stopped at Balham station instead of Tooting Bec station yesterday. I keep reading how it's good to stop a station before and walk a bit more. Good for your health... good for your body. And I have noticed that I've put on a bit (to say mildly) of weight and walking would be a good and not too strenuous exercise.

So on the way home I stopped at a shop and bought some bananas... to make muffins!! Hey... I think I deserve a reward for doing something good! Errrr... see the above paragraph.

Black CatAnyway, as I was half way up Eatonville Road getting closer to home, I saw a black cat. Of course I can't help myself and stroked it and when I wanted to make my way, it crossed my path. And I thought to myself, is that good luck or bad luck?

Plus, since today is the 6th of June 2006, i.e. 666 so they say, I thought it's a fitting post to put up to comemorate the occasion.

The thing is, I've always been confused beacause on one end I was told that black cats are a symbol of bad luck and then I go in a shop and see a black cat on a good luck card, meaning that they are a symbol of good luck. Which one is it then?

Time to do some research I think...

I sat at work and asked a few people who walked through the door of my office. Sue said it's bad luck for a cat to cross you path. Pat said it's good luck (2 black cat crossed the path of her car the other day, but she didn't win the lottery!! Maybe it doesn't work when you're in a car). I asked Chris (a Professor in the Department) to get the Greek perspective of things, said it's REALLY bad luck. Milla, my Swedish/Russian office mate said NO NO NO it's not good!!! I wonder what Bernardo the Brazilian would say... BAD LUCK! Kathy came in and told me it's definitely GOOD LUCK!

With those conflicting answers, I turned to the world... the worldwide web that is. OK, let's search for:

black+cat+luck

Voila!

Found this page called the Black Cats Folklore. Hmmmmmmm... doesn't sound very good for the black cats apart from:

The Celts thought black cats were reincarnated beings able to divine in the future.

OK... another site I found about black cats and superstitions has loads of things jumbled up! This is what I've learnt:


  • If a black cat crosses your path, you will have GOOD LUCK. But for this to happen, you must politely greet the cat OR stroke it 3 times to bring the good luck.
  • If a black cat crosses your path, you will have BAD LUCK. To ward off the adversity, reverse your trail by 12 steps.
  • King Charles I of England owned a black cat and believed so much on its GOOD LUCK that he was so scared of losing it. It was guarded 24/7! Unfortunately, and this is where I think the black cat good luck started, when the cat fell ill and died, the next day Oliver Cromwell had King Charles I arrested, taken to the scaffold and beheaded!!!
  • Cats (not just black) are thought to have 9 lives, so aligned with the symbolism of 9, a lucky number. GOOD LUCK
  • Fishermen's wives kept black cats while their husbands are at sea as they believe that the black cats will prevent danger happening to their husbands and these cats are considered valuable that they often get stolen. GOOD LUCK
  • Not only is it BAD LUCK to meet a black cat at midnight (this is deem to meet Satan himself), it is also BAD LUCK to have 13 cats in a theatre.... hmmm... didn't say black here.
  • If a black cat passes in front of you by moonlight, it foretells death by an epidemic! BAD LUCK
  • I like this one... If a black cat comes into a house or a shop, it is considered to be a very lucky sign! note to self... buy lottery ticket if this happens! And that cat should never be chased away as it might take the luck out of the house or ship... GOOD LUCK
  • HAH!!! I've found now the cause of bad luck being stuck to black cats! In 1233, Pope Gregory IX denounced black cats as Satanic! Thousand of cats were burnt alive! And guess what... this lead to an increase of the rat population! The rats decimated thd food and carried disease and played their part in the Great Plague!

I also checked out Wikipedia which confirms that all across Europe, a black cat crossing your path was considered good luck until the church associate them with witches. So countries which were affected by the witch hunts, black cats became bad luck. And since Britain was not affected, it remains to be lucky over here... therefore, my conclusion, since I'm in Britain, it is lucky to have a black cat to cross my path! And it's considered lucky in Australia too *wink*

Oh... and Jules, to kill a cat brings complete misfortune. I know you're not superstitious... but think about it!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Illustration Friday - Portrait

This is my first entry to Illustration Friday which my friend Nina introduced me to. They are not my recent work as I seldom pick up my brush nowadays.

The main one which I've sent to Illustration Friday is my copy, acrylic on canvas, of a poster of Lisa Simpson Scream (which I also use my profile picture for my blog). I thought it is kind of a portrait as a lot of people do relate more with the Simpsons than real life human being!

Lisa Scream

I painted this summer 2004 for my fella, Jules, as he is a big Simpsons fan and had that poster hanging on the wall behind his bed. He is my real life Homer!!

Lisa is now happily hanging in our living room watching over us. I have to say that to date, it is my favouritest painting that I've done. Even though it's a copy of a poster. Well, portraits are not just painted through sittings... photographs would do nicely... and so does posters!

Below is just something I did when I was a bit bored in winter 2002. Someone told me it looked like I was influenced by Modigliani... and I thought cut your bullshit and pretending you're posh art critic.

Brown Lady

Frustrating Times - Non-Uploading Photos

Since Thursday 1st June 13:56hours, I haven't been able to upload photos on my blog!!

It is really frustrating!! I've followed all the advice on Blogger. I've e-mailed support and given them a complete description of my problem and I just got the normal please wait and be patient reply. Yes... I've been patient since Thursday!!!

I've joined the Google group for blogger-help and discussing the issues with other users. Although it's a relief to know that I'm not the only one, it is still frustrating! Though some of the users seem to be able to upload photos again, nobody seem to know what is wrong!! Some clues would be nice.

I've found a way of putting up a photo if I put it online somewhere else through composing on html. That means fiddling with coding. Although I know a bit of coding, the reason I chose blogger is so that I don't have to do any coding. If I wanted to do coding, I'd create my own website!

And through blogger-help, I've been reading of ways and tricks that other users been trying and succeeding. I guess I will try that next!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH!!!

Friday, June 02, 2006

House Arrest, Protests and Grocery Shopping

New Years this year... i.e. 1st January 2006... I was on house arrest for 2 weeks!!! No!!!!

Don't worry, I didn't get in trouble with the law! I'm too paranoid about getting into trouble with the law as I don't want to be deported!! Jules tried to tempt me into doing a protest at Whitehall. It is now illegal to do that! 2 women got arrested for protesting the Iraq war by just standing there and reading the names of the people who died there... So, NO! Even though I was very very tempted!!

So I wasn't in trouble with the law... it's just that I was contagious!!! I had the mumps!! Can you believe it??!! I thought kids got mumps!

My cheeks swelled up! I felt like a hamster! At that moment in time, I wish I was a hamster. At least a hamster has big cheeks because it stores its food there! I even had to watch what I eat! Anything sour just hurts!!! Seriously... try not to catch it... and if you're a boy, it might affect your ability to sow your seeds! Yes, you'll be shooting blanks!

Anyway, since I had to stay at home, who is going to do the grocery shopping? Jules didn't want to do it because he didn't want to get into trouble with me for buying the wrong things! Write a list I hear you say... it doesn't work like that!

So, desprately not wanting to eat pizza and chinese take-away everyday for the 2 weeks, we came up with the solution of shopping online!

I hated the idea. I like going grocery shopping and touch the food before I buy them. But there was no other way at that point in time!

So I checked out Asda, Waitrose, Tesco and Sainsbury's websites. You know what they say about it takes 10 seconds for you to make an impression on your website to attract customers thing? It's true! So what if Asda did free home delivery? Their front page was awful!! Tesco's was just too confusing. Waitrose... I can't stand their radio advertisement! Didn't even care about going to the site. Plus they're usually more expensive. I know you have to pay for quality... but my tummy says quantity!

I decided on Sainbury's as I could browse their grocery without registering first! And their website is so simple. I like simple websites! All those Flash moving things just annoys me most of the time.

This is the part that I like!! Armed with Jules' card, I started shopping!!

Ever since that day, we've been doing it once a month from then on!! No, it's not because I'm lazy. It's because it's convenient! We buy all the heavy stuff like bottles of cokes, beers, tinned stuff, cleaning products and what ever else that is heavy and has 1 month life time online. For fresh food, I still go shopping every week for meat and vegetables and other stuff that I forgot to put my order online! I do like to see the meat before I buy any. Plus for those I'll use my own money so I won't feel guilty about using Jules' card for the major shopping! *wink*

So, when the door bell rang just before 5pm yesterday, with bags of food arriving at my doorstep, it felt like Christmas!!!

There's something wrong with downloading pictures in blogspot at the moment. We (as in me and other blogspot users) are hassling the support team to fix it. Once it's fixed, I'll put up the picture of the shopping!! It really did feel like Christmas!

updated 4th June 22:56
I've kind of found a way to put photos up... hope this works!

So below was the home delivered grocery shopping!

Delivered Grocery

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Even Weed Produces Beautiful and Colourful Flowers

Think my last post was a bit too dark and to revealing...

So on a lighter and more like the yati that everyone knows note, I was going to do the garden today as it is 1st June and in my head the first day of summer! But it's starting to go cloudy and if the weather forecast is right, it will rain... so I'll wait for a bit. Weekend is suppose to be baking at 23C compared to 16C today

When I was out there, I wanted to start with pulling out some weed... But seeing the flowers with bumblebees hovering over them, I just didn't have the heart... instead I took photos and postpone my decision to weed the garden!

Purple Weed Flower
Bunga Taik Ayam
Yellow Bells Weed

Compare them with the flowers that I bought yesterday...Pink Flowers

The weed flowers are just as beautiful if not more...

Dare I Look Back Into My Past? The Beatings

I was reading Mrs J's blog and what she wrote brought back my childhood memories... including my teenage and young adult years. How hard I try to forget them but they're always there, lurking, waiting for moments that they could escape out of their box!! And I have to work hard again catching them and putting them back in that box, nail it shut and hide it way behind other boxes! Since I'm not that organise, I always hope that the mountain of boxes will form a maze as to when those memory esacape from their box... they still a hell of a long way to get out!

But they always do. Always at an unexpected moment. Always when I think I'm safe. Always bring tears to my eyes.

My friends say how they admire my strength, my tenacity, my gung-ho outlook in life - I'm going to do it my way and to hell to consequences! It's all untrue. Under that facade, I'm a coward, give up rather quickly and timid.

Dare I go on and open myself to everyone?

Since I started my blog recently, my stories are all randomness. I like randomness. Randomness doesn't stay. Randomness comes and goes. But randomness does sometimes, being random as it is, bring out hurtful memories. So probably... this story is a bit random too...

I was born in a little town (it was little back then) called Batu Pahat in Johor. I was told that mom was ill when she gave birth to me. She couldn't breastfeed me. I was a bottled formula child. And I have to say this about breastfeeding. You have a stronger bond with your mother. I never had that. Of course I love her to bits but I know there's this bond missing between us that she has with my older brother and younger sister. Try as we might, we can't seem to get close. It saddens me.

I try to fill my head with happy childhood memories. There are a lot of them but they don't cover the pain.

My first few memories are my life in Johor Bahru. How my brother (Abang), our neighbour's kids and I used to play fire cracker. That I used to have a goose. My mom finding a purse under this huge tree near the kitchen (I think my mom and the owner of the purse remain friends til now!). How I used to feed my cat the vegetables on my plate cause I hated vegetables and my cat just lap them up! At nursery school I got so excited about being in the front row of our dance show that I just stood there and waved at everyone instead of following the steps taught and was sent to the back of the group so the show can start again!

And now and again... the memory of my father's brother, who babysat me while mom and father went to work, taking me into the bathroom and wanked infront of me.

We moved to Segamat as my father got promoted to Segamat's District Officer. My father's brother still came and visit and babysat me when the maid was away. Somehow one day, he was found out. Mom told me that one day, her cousin was visiting us and I was just running around being a happy child when he arrived and my mom's cousin noticed that I looked so scared. My mom's cousin managed to get it out of me on what's been happening... and she told mom about it. Being 6 years old in the 70's in Malaysia, I wouldn't know anything about sex. Kids were still kids back then. So mom's cousin believed me straight away and so did mom... who told father.

But being in Malaysia in the 70's... this went no further. And no matter how many times I assured my mom that it's not her fault, she still blames herself.

Since it was never talked about. I always felt there was something wrong. I did something wrong. I think I lost my childhood when that came out in the open... at least when my mom and father found out about it. I was under my mother's watchful eyes all the time. She needed to know where I am, who I'm going out to play with, I always have to be back at a certain time... and I felt suffocated by mom and try to detach myself from her.

My grandparents' (mom's side) home brings me freedom! I loved it when mom say I could go there for school holidays!! That means I could go and run around without anybody putting rules on me... apart from granddad curfew of always have to be back in before Maghrib prayer time! About 6:30pm.

Then we moved to Muar and back to Johor Bahru.

I can't remember when the beating started... but I do remember clearly one day Abang got an answer wrong and father went into a rampage! My father went out side and cut a fresh bamboo and started hitting Abang. How my mom pleaded for my father to stop.

Abang will always be special to my mom. Not just because he's her first born... also because he survived pregnancy. Mom miscarried before she had Abang... and when she was pregnant with Abang, she went to see her neighbour and my father went berserk when he came home and she was at the neighbours without his permission and kicked my pregnant mom. No wonder Abang hates my father. My father was violent towards him even before he was born.

Anyway... since that day, I always try to get good grades so father would be happy for me. But I wasn't the braniest child. I don't think I even reached average. All I wanted to do was play but I know I have to get good grades. My grades were never good enough. And no matter how much money he spent with extra tuition for me, I could never get the grades that he wanted me to.

I was even sent for piano lessons. And all I discovered from my lessons was that yes, I can sight read and play the tune, but I'm tone deaf! I can't tell the difference between an F or a C or a B for that matters. I can still sight read a bit now... but I'm still tone deaf.

Get a bad grade I get a beating. Get a report from school for being a prankster, I get a beating. Arguing with my adopted sister, both of us get beating. Make a bit too much noise for his liking, I get a beating. No matter how much I try to please him, I couldn't.

Mrs J. You said that that's probably the only way your dad could show you love. Maybe it is with your dad but not my father. How I try to believe that he did all of that because he knows the best for me and I must have deserved all the beatings. I don't. As I told you, I always made sure to nurse all the scars and they healed well. But the mental scar remains.

And what hurts more is the fact that when I was a teenager, my father's brother came over as he was getting married and how my father forced my mom to forgive his brother. Mom told me to stay in my room that day because she didn't want me to witness her forgiving my father's brother. I don't blame her. I know if she didn't say that she forgave him (I know she didn't mean a word that she said to him) my father would beat her up.

There's too much tears in my eyes and everything is blurry... thank goodness that I know how to touchtype! I can't write anymore. It hurts too much and the memories are coming back like bullets... there's just too many for me to dodge. Maybe... oneday... I'll continue with my story.