Thursday, August 31, 2006

TV Moments - #2 Christmas

Is it just my imagination or is Christmas starting early?

I was reading and have the TV on as background noise, and an advertisement pop up and at the end said something about Christmas! Whatever it was, I missed it... but I am sure that it mentioned Christmas!

Please let it be my imagination! Today is the last day of August and Christmas is not til the end of December! It must be a joke for them to advertise this early!

But then... the other day I was watching TV and about 21:30hours, there were advertisement on kids' toys! What kid watches TV this late??!! It must be targeting parents to brainwash them to buy the product for their kids for Christmas!

And... Check this out! Harrod's is already advertising their Christmas collection on their website!! AND launched their Christmas range early August! Followed by Selfridges and John Lewis! But at least John Lewis is not opening their Christmas section until the 1 October.

But still!!! 1 October is still too early for Christmas!

Christmas doesn't start til December for me... and buying presents for the selected few doesn't happen until, maximum, 2 weeks to the day itself!

Anyway... I have Ramadhan and Eid to look forward to. And that starts next month and the month after. Christmas can wait!

Merdeka!

It was 49 years ago that Malaysia's (Malaya back then) first Prime Minister, Allahyarham Tunku Abdul Rahman, stood in the Merdeka Square and shout out that word 3 times.

It a historical moment for all Malaysians... as it marked the country's independence from the British rule.

But... are any of us truly free?

Selamat Hari Merdeka to all Malaysians all over the world.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Another Note for Ayu

Hi hun...

Just letting you know that I've just came back from the post office to post your parcel. Registered mail to make it more secure! Hopefully it will reach mom's before you return to uni.

I know I said that I'd post it yestereday but I forgot to bring it with me to work!! My memory gets a bit scatty in my old age :-p

Anyway... enjoy your little pressie... when you get it!

Love you loads!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Put My Foot In It

Ever since I've started blogging, my life has been an open book...

My life has always been chaos, mostly by my own doing than anyone elses. And due to that I've lived with all the consequences and regrets... and misunderstandings...

And it is all there... laid out on the pages of my blog for the whole world to see. My life became open to scrutiny.

I know I'm considered cantankerous by some people... and I admit I do have the talent of saying the wrong things all the time... in person, on the telephone, on e-mails, in my blog, etc. So basically it is time for me to shut up and find my shell again.

Brilliant examples... One morning, I got up and blurry eyed and thought I sent a really thoughtful e-mail, thinking that I was trying to explain things and be really caring about things. Instead I've made things worse.

I've done that on chat to another person too... thinking that my sentence was joking and cheerful and the person took offence thinking that I was checking on the person. And when I tried to explain, it turned horrible.

On SMS to another person where, where I was trying to be supportive, it was misread and the person thought I was being patronising and lead to a huge misunderstanding.

On my blog, I wrote what I observed and was gunned down for it.

I'm not saying it's anybody else's fault. It is purely mine. I wish I could take everything I've said and wrote that unintentionally hurt the people that I care about... but I can't. Wish I could just crawl back into my shell...

But I can't... but I can fix one thing... my blog.

I should have kept my blog impersonal. I should have just left it as a place for me to put up things that I sketch and talk about things that I've learnt and observed... and just pictures of the food that I cooked.

But I let it all laid bare... and now I can't really take it back.... but I guess I could slowly mould it back into something impersonal.

And as for my communication with my sister... I guess I will create another private blog somewhere just for my on going letter to her. And maybe oneday transfer things over and close a chapter to this blog.

For all I know... I'm saying the wrong things now... I dream of a simple life...

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Roadkills

I was watching an old Top Gear show on TV today and they had Terry Wogan as a guest. Bless him, he went around the track at 2 minute 4 seconds... where the norm is around 1 minute 45 seconds.

He was funny as ever. In the middle of his interview, he mentioned that if you hit a deer, you cannot pick it up. However, the next person who drive past could pick it up and cook it for dinner... then he said that it might be just a rule that he's made up!

That made me think... there are a few strange rules in the UK passed a long time ago and still valid laws, so, I decided to look up whether what Terry Wogan said was true. I mean with all the roadkills in UK, I might not be hungry again as long as I'm not the person who killed it first!

Just to put some minds at rest... I'm talking about roadkill of animal kind! I am not a cannibal!

Did a search on the web and I can't seem to find anything on roadkill but I did find out some pretty strange laws!

On shooting arrows:
  • In York - upon sight of a Scotsman, it is illegal to shoot him with a bow and arrow... except on Sundays!
  • In Hereford - it is legal to shoot a Welsh person the whole day... BUT only on Sundays, with a long bow, in the Cathedral Close.
  • In Chester - you can only shoot a Welsh person with a bow and arrow within the city walls AFTER midnight.
I wonder where is it legal to shoot an English person with a bow and arrow?

OK... I will make sure that if I'm in Scotland, I must not be drunk and in possession of a cow because that will be illegal! And so is fishing on a Sunday! Damn!! There goes my plan for a weekend fishing trip to the Loch!

OH MY GOD!! It is illegal for ladies to eat chocolates on a public conveyance! No more gorging chocolates on buses and tube and trains! But wait! Ladies do not gorge food down... that means I'm not a lady and this does not apply to me! PHEW!!

I think I'm going to find a book on the strange laws in England and see what I could get away with! *grin*

Friday, August 25, 2006

Illustration Friday - Run

Every lady's nightmare... a run on her stocking!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I See

Descartes once said...

je crois ce que je vois, je vois ce que je regarde et je regarde ce que je veux

I believe what I see... I see what I look at... I look at what I want.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Illustration Friday - Match (again)

This is my second entry for the subject Match for Illustration Friday. My last Match entry was of a different theme.The non-smoking law will come into force here in England next summer. Ever since I've found out about the new legislation, I've been collecting match boxes/books from the pubs and bars that provides them. It's a shame that smokers will lose their rights... why there can't be a choice of smoking or non-smoking bar, I just don't understand. So this is an ode to the redundant match boxes/books...

A perfect match... and in the end they burn each other...

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Don't I Deserve a Bit of Respect?

We were out last night and the conversation some how went to rules and then rules in Islam. Don't ask me how as I never instigate anything. One thing I try to keep away from is to speak about my religion to people who don't really seem interested in it... and as I myself feel that I have limited knowledge about it, I really don't want to explain what I can't.

But for some people to start talking about it, with the limited amount of what they know and stretch it to their advantage seem to be disrespectful to me. I don't want to seem the party pooper so I just laughed it off... even though I was really embarassed and a bit sad about the disrespect that was shown towards me and my religion. And even if I try to explain, they won't understand.

I did get some sympathetic look from some and a statement of 'How do you cope?'... which part of me feel thankful about. I don't like to be sympathised... but somehow, those little gestures seem to be more of them trying to say... I don't understand but I don't agree how this conversation is going out of respect to you.

I was hurting... and I know if I voice any disagreement, I would be put down for not understanding that it is all just a joke. But sometimes... there's just so much 'joke' that I can take. And it's moments like those that makes me think that I don't belong here.

I'm lost again...

Illustration Friday - Match

OK... they are not an exact match but when I first started them, they looked more like the one on the right (yellow camper). But then, Jules (the person these paintings are for), wanted them changed a bit, more like the one on the left. They are his paintings, so, I'm still... slowly... working on them.

Both of them are painted with acrylic on 40cm x 40cm deep edge canvas.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Where?

I'm feeling a bit lost at the moment.

It's been a long while since I felt that I'm lost and that I don't belong anywhere...

At the moment... that's how I feel.

And I feel sad...

Friday, August 18, 2006

Photo Friday - Friend

I thought this challenge would be difficult... because who would I choose? Not that I have many friends. I have a lot of acquaintances but I'm quite choosy about friends.

But it wasn't as difficult as I thought because the first person that came to my head (apart from my mom and Jules) was my little sister.

She might be 15 years younger than me... but she is the best... and she is the bestest friend that I could ever wish for! I love you babes...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Smells

How would it feel if you can't smell anymore?

I know somebody who lost his sense of smell... he seems all right. Plus, it doesn't seem to bother him when he was working in a morgue.

I've been blowing my nose so hard these past few days... almost a week now...

Yesterday, I was getting ready for work and sprayed some nice smells on me and I realised that I couldn't smell it! I put my nose close to my cup of coffee and I couldn't get a hint of aroma at all!

I was about to run around in a panic when I realised that it's no fun being panic when there was no one around to panic at!

So, I continued getting ready and went off to work.

On my way to the tube station, I past a dust cart which the smell usually makes me cringe my nose... but nothing...

Once in the station I jumped on a busy carriage packed with people, where being under someone's armpit is the norm and unpleasant as all the other smells you get in a busy carriage... but nothing...

Went to see a colleague at work and she apologised about the smell of food in her office... still nothing...

In that way, I really do not mind losing my sense of smell. It's not that bad...

But I hope it is temporary as I love to smell my coffee in the morning, the smell of my laundry when I take it out of the washing machine, the smell of nice fresh beddings, smell of flowers and the smell of the food that I cook...

Again, today I sit here with my cup of coffee and I can't strain any aroma from it...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Watch Out Peter!! There's the Wolf!

I was typing my previous post as Jules was playing his records in the background. Then he put a record on and I just had to stop... smile and can't help but let the happy feeling spread in me.

I wasn't really paying attention when he was mixing his records at first... of course he was spot on with each mixing... then I started hearing someone talking in the background to the music. I was thinking 'Did he put the TV on at the same time? Oh... Don't be silly!'

That's when suddenly it hit my head! He's playing Peter and the Wolf!!!

And I got my coffee... sat on the bean bag... and felt like a child again. When I heard the oboe I screamed 'That's the duck!' while Jules start making quack sounds and when I heard the clarinet... 'The cat's coming!'

I love it!!

Then Jules had to mouth some breaks into it... though sounds good... kind of spoiled the magic.

But then... the sound of the drums for the Wolf was just too good!

Not a bad buy from the charity shop down the road...

It's funny though... I can't seem to find anything about Richard Baker who was the narrator of Peter and The Wolf. I wonder who he is and if he is still alive. Anybody knows?

As If I Need Any Confirmation

I looked at my hotmail this morning and there was an e-mail from JL. He is so sweet and he's helping me with my CV, and his e-mail was so nice that I had second thoughts about my plan.

Then I saw a few people at work and I started to have doubts...

Until something happened... and I thought, OK... so, I made some mistakes... I didn't realise it was going to be put down in black and white what I said... that was my major mistake! Saying things out in the open. It's a bigger mistake compared to what was suppose to be my mistakes in their eyes, as when it was shown to me in black and white, I was taken by surprise and decide it's not worth it and I'm tired of defending... all I want now is to mend.

I'm not going to mention what happened as I don't really want to use this blog for negative vibes anymore. I have to take control of things and start stepping with a more positive outlook.

I took what ever in and made an effort to correct things. All I know is I don't want people to have a bad impression of me as that's not what I want to be remembered as, because I've done lots of that in the past. Usually I just walk out and forget about things... basically, runaway. People get the wrong impression of me when I do that... but I didn't care. In a way it was a good indication of who judged me and who didn't...

But that's not how I want to be any more. I'm going to make it right so that my plan will be fulfilled in the right way.

And now that the decision has been taken and the plan is slowly emerging and progressing... I don't see why I can't mend and rise above everything and come out better than anyone else.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I Have A Plan

Last night, I had a chat with Jules about what's been playing in my head for months. This time I am more determined.

He asked me to think it through. He wants me to be sure that I've thought of every possibility and that I won't get stuck in the middle of it as he does not want me to regret things.

As I said, last night I was really determined. I was tired of being ill all the time and I want a change. I want to get better again. I want to be in a situation that I know what I'm doing and am able to focus on what I am should do.

So, yes, I have a plan. Now, I have to list things out and make it real.

I woke up this morning... still ill... feeling scared. Will I be doing the right thing? Maybe it's not that bad... Maybe I'm just exaggerating... What if I'm not ready for the big bad world??!!

No!

I've been dwelling about this for months! Almost half a year actually! It's time for action.

I'll never know if I'm doing the right thing or not if I don't do it in the first place. I wouldn't know if anything is better if I don't try it. No, I'm not exaggerating if it's been affecting me for this long. And the world is not all bad... I've got people who care about me and be by my side and support me in my difficult times as I am lucky that way if not in others.

So, I will put my plan in place. Today... after seeing the doctor, I will sit down and list things down.

I have to be strong as I need to do this for myself... please let me be strong...

Monday, August 14, 2006

A Note For Ayu

Hello babes...

No, I haven't forgotten what I promised you. When I was in Amsterdam, I did get you a pair of Vans. It's just that I haven't thought of how to get them to you!
I don't want to post it just in case the postman decides that he needs some new comfortable shoes to wear! OK... that's not fair to postmen/women. I just don't want it to get lost! Maybe I could send it via registered post and someone will have to sign it... but that still does not guarantee it to arrive at your end.

Do you have any idea on what we should do so you could enjoy your pair of Vans?

In the mean time... at least you get to look at them!
hugs!!

Sick Again!

I am so tired of falling sick all the time!! I'm home and coughing my guts out and sneezing and blowing out every piece of my brain!

I've never fallen sick so often in my life and now I can't even count the amount of time that I am sick because it's happening a bit too often!

And I'm also tired of braving it and go to work when I'm not 100%... or even 50%! Why? It's not because I'm not dedicated... it's because I do think that work is the problem!

Before being in that office, OK... I've do get ill... but I've never gotten ill like every month!

A month ago, the Health and Safety Officer came into my office... and the first thing he asked was... Have you been ill lately?

What am I suppose to think? H&S guy came in, had a quick glance... and that's what he asked.

I'm tired of being sick, I'm tired of my body rebelling against me, I'm tired of working in that office! But apparently, nothing could be done about that office... to reduce my illness and stress level...

I guess there's only one way for me to respond... I have to leave. Once I'm well enough to sit for more than 10minutes in front of the PC, it is time for me to update my CV and put myself in the market again before I get more sick than I have now.

I'm just angry that it's affecting my personal life too. Weekend was spoilt because I was sick. It was Danni's birthday and I forced myself to go out because I don't see Danni that often and it's a special occasion... but I ended just sitting there trying to cope with the loud music and can't talk that much because my throat was hurting. I felt like I spoilt her birthday.

I didn't manage to do any cleaning or cooking or shopping or even write my blog... because I felt awful! This is the first time that I actually sat in front of the computer since Saturday morning after my 20 minutes chat with my sister... which is unusual because I'm always in front of my computer if I'm not doing anything else.

Weekend is my time and I didn't manage to do anything.

Jules was very patient and just let me rest... but I was angry with myself for being ill... though I had no say in it...

But that is wrong... I do have a choice... and my choice is to leave... It's time for me to really sit down and actually do something about it. I love most of the people that I work with... but it's not a reason to stay.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Photo Friday - Four

All things come in four?

Four Beer

Four beer




Four Knife Handles

Four knife handles




Four Wooden Tulips

Four wooden tulips



Four Limes

Four limes




Four Rubber Duckies

Four rubber duckies!




Thursday, August 10, 2006

Enough Time to Manage

Yesterday, I went to a time and self management workshop. I didn't attend so that I could learn how to manage time at work, it's more for how to manage my time out of work. I never seem to be able to manage my private time, and hence, I keep thinking that I don't have enough time!

And today, I received an e-mail from Nina that proved how crap my time and self managment is... and how badly I prioritise things!

The workshop was not what I expected. I don't think it was anything that anybody expected. I thought... and everyone else did too... that it was going to be a practical workshop. Something like 'Here's the work, tell me how you're going to manage it?'

But no... it was quite spiritual. He emphasise on taking control of the mind which is the first step of taking control of things around you. It was an eye opener.

I would have handled a lot of things differently if I had taken control of my mind... and things around me.

And to Nina, I can't thank and apologise enough!

Anyway... I did take notes during the workshop as I think it is important to remember certain things. So, I'm sharing it with you. Below is what I learnt from my time and self management course. Take it to heart and things will work out fine.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Nastiness

I know that I'm not the nicest person in the world, I never said that I am... but there are sure some nasty people about... and sometimes you bump into them... and you just have to grin and bear it.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Brunch - Sliced Beef in Spicy Tomato Sauce

Yesterday, as I was trying to clean the front room, I had the TV on and it was showing Saturday Cooks with Chef Anthony Worral Thompson as the presenter. I quite like him even though I've never used his recipe... he one round jolly fellow! My idea of a chef! Nowadays... most chef are quite lean. Somehow AWT struck me as someone who enjoys his food... and looks more like Father Christmas compared to the TV chefs usually grace the screen. Oh... and they tend to be good looking too... not that I really notice!

Anyway... I wasn't really paying attention but one of the guest chef... a French chef they call JC was making one of those quick meals. Through half watching and half listening, I gathered that he's making his mom's speciality. He gave it some fancy French name.

He made a tomato sauce, put half a pepper into the oven, slice the other half of the pepper and slice an onion. He then cut the steak into strips. He softened the onion in some oil, put the strips of pepper and the beef. Cook it quickly and put in his home made tomato sauce. Took the pepper out of the oven on to a plate, the beef on top and some herbs to add some crunchyness.

My version is a bit different. I put chilli in my tomato to spice it up. Sliced a red onion and some garlic to quickly fry with the beef. Boiled some baby corn, asparagus and mangetout. Sliced some French bread... and voila... brunch is ready!Ooops... the baby corns are not in the picture as it was still boiling in the pan.

Nice and quick meal for early Sunday afternoon. Lovely...

updated 7 Aug 2006 13:21
p.s. I forgot to write yesterday that once the beef turn brown but still a bit pinkish, add some balsamic vinegar... how much? Secukup rasa! (Up to your taste buds!)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

News on Alesdair Grice

The first time I met Jules, was the first time I met Alesdair Grice... or better known as Ali mad man.

Years back he lost his arm in a motorbike accident but I never thought about him as anything but Ali. He's a bit much for some people to handle and sometimes, I do get a headache around him! Nothing to do with him... he just says what is in his head... no filters and sometimes, people can't seem to handle it. My headache comes when my friends starts to disagree and argue with him. It is funny most of the times... but still it gives me a headache!

Anyway... about a year and half ago, he decided to buckle up and do something and get active... so he decided to compete in triathlons! Yup... a one armed triathlete. Madness... but then, it's Ali and I won't expect anything less.

He jumped into it... his fitness regime was incredible... all he talks about is his bike and fitness regime and which triathlon he's planning next and how fast he is on his bike to work... and sometimes he still talk about girls but not as much as he talked about his bike! He gave up cigarettes and he doesn't drink as much as he used to... and trust me he was a chimney and drank like a fish!

It's great to see that he's enthusiastic about it! I admire him as I don't think I could compete like him!

Last Friday, he came over and was almost in tears! He went to the gym for his evening workout, about an hour he decided to check on his bike and it was gone! According to the CCTV, someone stole it 15 minutes after he went in!

It was a bike geared out for a one armed cyclist! It will be totally useless for anyone unless they've lost their right arm or they have to remodify the bike to suit a 2 armed cyclist! I was annoyed for him!

He was so devastated... I never seen him like that. As I said, he was almost in tears... He kept saying it's worse than losing a girl... he loves that bike! And I was gutted for him as this means that he will not be able to take part in the London Triathlon this weekend!

Yesterday, Jules came home and said that Ali was in the papers! He went on the South London Post website and there was the headline Disabled Athlete's Dream Shattered!

I was like cool! I know someone who is the papers!

This morning, Ali came over... he was like, I've just been interviewed by ITV London News! So at 16:55 I was in front of the TV... and he made it as the second headline for the London News! There was him swimming at the Tooting Bec Lido and him in front of the gym where his bike got stolen... and the final words were 'He just wants his bike back... no questions asked'

I hope he will get his bike back and will compete in tomorrows triathlon... but being in London, I know how unlikely that would be. If he's competing... HEY! I'll be there cheering him on!

Good luck my friend!

Photo Friday - Private

When I was in Amsterdam a couple of weeks ago (feels like forever now!), Jules took me to the Old Church. He said he wanted to show me something there. I was amazed as church is the last place that Jules would want to go to. When we got outside the church, he told me to look for something out of place and it could be anywhere outside the church.

It was a bronze sculptor on the pavement and considered to be a graffiti by the Dutch authority. It's a hand clutching a breast... which I think is a private moment and perfect for Photo Friday!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Do I Have Time to Breathe?

One thing about working in education environment is the relax atmosphere. When I first started this job, it was seriously so much fun. Summer tends to be quiet because the students are away and I get extra days holidays for Christmas and Easter.

But somehow, I can't remember the last time that I had a quiet period... or quiet day... or quiet lunch even!

About a month ago, a girl from Graduate Admissions came over work shadowing me. I showed her all the things that I do and her question was, do you have any quiet periods in the year? That question stumped me. I actually thought really hard for a good few minutes, going through the terms, months and weeks in my head and said 'NO'.

I'm not even sure whether I have any time to breathe!

My Outlook calendar might be quite empty when I start the day... but by 10:00, I will be scrambling to find space to add things on it. Meetings, auditing, courses, phone calls to make, welcoming people, preparing my negotiation for the next meeting, reports to write, the list goes on... on top of that, students and academics keep asking for my assistance! And with all that, I'm having problems finding 5 minutes to light a fag or go out for lunch or get coffee. There are times when I forget to eat! Can you believe that??! ME FORGETTING TO EAT??!!

Then I get home starving! But of course my day goes on. If I'm starving, I have to cook something to eat... and then cleaning the dishes and pots and putting them away... after all that, I just collapse and look forward to the next working day!

And I just realised something... I haven't picked up my paint brush for ages!

p.s. It's 14:27 and I've just read a couple of my friends' blogs... it seems that finding our own time is a common thing at the moment! It must be that time of the year!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

What Day Is It?

It seems that every day is a cause of celebration. Mother's Day, Father's Day, Secretary's Day, Sport's Day, No Smoking Day, Smoking Day, Eating Pie Day... and the list goes on.

Today I found it is Yorkshire Day.

Apart from Jules being Yorkshire man, I don't know much about what this day is about!

I told MW about the day as he's also from Yorkshire and tried to ask him what is it about? Is it about the War of the Roses? He said maybe... hmmmm... but didn't Lancashire won the War of the Roses?

Basically MW is rubbish. I think I know more about that than him! He's not even watching the football anymore as Leeds is not in the Premiership... and I asked him how he felt about the Leeds Rhino losing to the Huddersfield Giants last weekend for rugby league... basically he was gutted and tried to change the subject to cricket... which Yorkshire is not doing very well either!

This is not a piss take about Yorkshire achievements in sports. Leeds Rhinos was the favourite but you can't really predict Rugby League as you can't really predict football or whether the number 139 bus will bother stopping at Aldwych as it rather zoom straight to its last stop in Waterloo. Actually, I was a bit gutted that Leeds Rhinos lost...

Oh well... first thing I'm going to do is to go home and learn more about the War of the Roses... as it seems I'm more interested in the history in this country than most of English friends!

Interested... yes... but I don't know much! As everytime I ask someone on the history of an area in this country, I either get laughed at for being geeky or I get weird looks for being geeky!

Be back soon for your first history lesson!