Sunday, September 27, 2009

Garden of weeds

A man of words and not of deeds is like a garden full of weeds. And when the weeds begin to grow, it's like a garden full of snow. And when the snow begins to fall, it's like a bird upon the wall. And when the bird away does fly, it's like an eagle in the sky. And when the sky begins to roar, it's like a lion at the door. And when the door begins to crack, it's like a stick across your back. And when your back begins to smart, it's like a penknife in your heart. And when your heart begins to bleed, you're dead, and dead, and dead indeed.
Jamie, OTH

Some people have no qualms about sharing the details of their life. For some of us, we prefer to keep things to ourselves, even from those who appear to be close to us. There is no need to tell everything. Some details are on need-to-know-basis, as we normally term it in my line of work. Sometimes, due to our hectic schedule, we simply forget to tell or it slips off our mind.

Then, when there is a constant bugging of spilling the beans, one cannot help but feel annoyed by the whole thing. Occasionally, it is easier to blurt it out to someone who doesn’t ask anything or even to a stranger. I suppose when one is not provoked, the flow of sharing comes naturally.

Perhaps my lack of enthusiasm is a puzzle for some but I rather have flowers or even vegetables in my garden. Wouldn’t you agree

Friday, September 25, 2009

Raya in a nutshell

I thought of writing a raya post as others but there is nothing much to share except that we had a great time. It was meant to be a low key affair ie invited 10 to 12 people with three quarter would be able to make it. However, just like last year, our home was ambushed by homeless kids who had nowhere to go after the prayers. My adik2 called, saying that they couldnt get rid of their friends and they begged to come to my place, without expecting me to serve anything. Somehow it felt dejavu and luckily I was smart enough to make soto. All I had to do was to soak a pack of bihun to accompany the soup. Thankfully, we had enough for everyone and they enjoyed themselves.

For the record, that group alone had 20 guests! I was told that the lamb cuisine was the talk of the town until late night. I reckon it was because they had typical malay food throughout the day, unlike the lamb dish.

My schedule is going to be very hectic for the next few weeks. I realise I have many things to do and none of them are work related! Slowly I am ticking them off from my list or at least, making some effort to get them done. I was told that the residency rules are changing again, which makes it more important to get it done. Yet, I do not see the whole point of doing so when I doubt we will be living here permanently. In the long run, it will be good for the young lady to pursue her education but what if she decides to go to the States or the Land Down Under? However, it is always good to have options, so I better get my ass up and start cracking (now why does this sound obscene?)

Oh well, at least I am making other plans, which is a good thing. Putting aside those dull tests and paperwork, I have pretty stuff to hunt which Ms V will be more than happy to help out. Something demure and a little bit of sparkle here and there will do the trick.

Thank god for polyvore for that! *wink*

*Ms B thanked her baju kurung for hiding her skeleton frame and made her looked curvy in the picture when taken at the right angle

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Spirit of Eid

In a few days time, we'll be celebrating Eid and I thought since most of you back home will probably take tomorrow off to make a headstart of the "balik kampung" trend, I decided to post something today.

Over the last few years I have developed my own annual menu. The young lady knows this too well. In fact, once she asked when Eid will be as she missed having my signature dish! I told her that we can make it anytime and not necessarily have to wait for the Day to arrive. Apart from yellow glutinous rice or pulut kuning, we will have beef rendang and soto. We usually host our open house immediately after prayers, which means I will be burning the midnight oil the day before and wake up very early in the morning to make sure everything is in order. Last year, we were fortunate (or unfortunate if you were the cook) to have an extra 10 guests, courtesy from my adik2 as they didn’t have anywhere to go. I had to make extra pulut during the day.

Just after lunch, we usually make our rounds to our friends’ place. Mrs Dior whose lemang is to die for (I must learn how to make this before either one of us leaves this place) and Mrs Rock who is now back in homeland. I guess this year we shall visit Mrs Patience to replace Mrs Rock’s slot. Her house is just 10 minutes walk from Mrs Dior, so it makes sense to kill two birds with a stone.

Anyway we would like to wish Salam Aidil Fitri and Maaf Zahir Batin to D, Momster, Kak Teh, Naz, IDB, n.i, Fizzy, Darlene, Jane, Hunny, Simah, Inah, Danial, Jumper, Aporn, Akmal, Pak Idrus, LHM, NJ, Cosmic Gurl, Touch Cookie, Missus R, mun and Hazia.

To the ladies in the house, the young lady and I have chosen these for your gift. Feel free to take one and I hope we have enough for everyone.


I would also like to share this quote by Maya Angelou:

Well, I don't know if I continue, even today, always liking myself. But what I learned to do many years ago was to forgive myself. It is very important for every human being to forgive herself or himself because if you live you will make mistakes. It is inevitable.

But once you do and you see the mistake, then you forgive yourself and say, 'well, if I'd known better I'd have done better,' that's all. So you say to people who you think you may have injured, 'I'm sorry,' and then you say to yourself, 'I'm sorry.'

Quite often if we hold onto the mistake we can't see our own glory in the mirror because we have the mistake between our faces and the mirror, so we can't see what we're capable of being. It is equally important to see the mistake and to forgive oneself for it. You can ask forgiveness of others, but in the end the real forgiveness is in one's own self.

The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself. If we don't have that we never grow, we never learn, and sure as hell we should never teach.

If you have a moment to spare, please revisit my last year's posting on forgiveness

Of Eid Wishes.

May you have a blessed Eid!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

She got the look

I am planning to get my cookies today (Sorry Naz. I don’t think I’m up to it to make them on my own. You and D are the masters in this subject). My regular suppliers said that they have more selection this year but I only take the usual. I need to store them somewhere safe, even from my own sight as I know the iman could not resist.

Last year I got this lovely baju kurung for the young lady a day before our departure from a nearby boutique. Even after alteration, it was still too big for her and hence, it was kept in the wardrobe. I took it out yesterday and now, it fits her nicely. During the summer sale a few weeks ago, she spotted a peach dress to her liking from Monsoon, together with the accessory and it will definitely be added for Eid.

As for me, I cant remember when was the last time I got myself a pair of baju kurung. For the past two years, my ever-so-thoughtful baby brother got me one. Since I’ve only worn them once (for both years), I think I might as well don them again. My only wish is that I can get back to my pre-ramadan weight. Extra flesh is much appreciated, thank you.

The young lady needed a pair of party shoes (I doubt her Sketchers is suitable for the baju kurung and dress). Off we went yesterday to the department store to search for the perfect pair. However, the ones she liked were either none of her size or uncomfortable upon trial. Feeling despair, I thought I could cheer her up by getting PlayMais, a craft made from cornstarch with different colours. They look like those wine corks, except you can squeeze or shape them and stick to each other using water.

Anyway, we thought of ditching the whole shoe hunt when I realised that one of her favourite shops has them in their range. As we walked in, she found a few items that she loved and she ended up looking like this (note: some of the items shown were already worn):

Her choice

She really looked so groovy that she decided to wear the hat after I made the purchase. Oh, we found a nice pair of shoes, so mission accomplished.

Just a few doors down the road, there is a new MD outlet and imagine to our surprise when the store assistant said that they have kids collection, the first in London! Oh la la! However, the young lady was still happy with her recent grabs that she didn’t bother to get anything from there. Oh well, maybe next time.


Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Stalker & Shopaholic

Someone who follows or observes (a person) persistently, especially out of obsession or derangement. (source:

Have you ever been stalked? It could be anyone and for whatever reason. Maybe you have a die-hard admirer or fan (curse those beautiful skin and hair!). Or perhaps someone is in denial that you are not into him or her. Then, you have another type of stalkers; the one who dates or previously dated someone you know or close to you.

I am sure we have our own ‘leeches’ lurking around. I do not comprehend why they do so as I’m sure they have better things to do than getting the latest gossips or updates of our life (What is her latest handbag? What car is she using? Who’s her latest beau? Etc.) Perhaps they would like a slice of this lifestyle but they simply forget that one needs to go through much hurdle to be where we are, or we are just good planners and able to enjoy some comfort in life.

Once I was told that someone was checking me out when she heard the guy she used to date was about to meet me. We haven’t even met yet and it could probably end up as a lousy date (it didn’t, thankfully). Yikes! Just because we hanged out, it didn’t mean we were into each other. Besides, if the guy was on a dating spree (and probably so was I), should you be checking each girl that he was meeting?

Also, I think it’s a bit extreme if you take the possession of your other half’s mobile and start calling the women on his contact list, telling them to stay away from your beau. For all you know the ladies are happily married with kids or in a long term relationship and your man is simply their best buddy. They have known him way much longer that you do, probably during the time when he was a geek wearing spectacles and with pimples on his face. It doesn’t make sense when you start harassing the girls with constant texting and calling. Some of us do have a life (and a job to keep up with). Just because they are close, do you really think they want a piece of him? Besides, since you are young and energetic, with a whopping 10 years of age gap, that should give you an edge compare to the rest of us who are in our blooming years. If this behaviour exists before tying the knot, I wonder how much it will escalate after.

Some people need to take a reality check.

Now on a lighter topic, for those shopaholics, Vogue editors are hosting a shopping night in 13 countries tomorrow. Here's a summary of what London will offer (full article can be found here:
Confessions of Vogue's Shopaholics.):

At Browns on South Molton Street, Marios Schwab, Roksanda Ilincic and William Tempest will all be pitching in as personal stylists on the night.

Go to Gap on Oxford street for a live performance by VV Brown, complimentary styling advice, beer, burgers, and the chance to by a limited-edition pair of jeans.

At LK Bennett (Regent Street, Sloane Street, or Bruton Street) guests will have the chance to design, and win, their own perfect pair of heels. At Burberry on Bond Street, the Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman will host a party from 6pm, and Burberry fans including Amber Le Bon, Laura Bailey, Lily Cole, Antonio Berardi and Jonathan Saunders will be browsing the store.

Head to Marks & Spencer on Oxford Street to take in four catwalk shows, and then on to Selfridges, where Agent Provocateur is launching a new collection and there’s the chance to win a £1,000 shopping spree.


Sunday, September 06, 2009

Matters of the heart

The school holiday has come to an end. We (or maybe I) survived the 7 week break without going bonkers. Entertaining kids these days is no joke, especially for a person who has limited vocabulary when it comes to fun and creativity. Thankfully we had the kids’ centre which provided the much needed activities. The young lady enjoyed herself, with trips to Safari Park, Zoo, theatre show, horse riding to name a few. On the days they stayed at the centre, they learnt arts craft, cooked/baked and played outdoor sports. All in all, I’m glad she had fun and made new friends.

We will go back to the usual routine but after weeks of having packed lunch, the young lady has requested for such during school term. I suppose it is manageable for the time being. Things might change after a few weeks, depending on the market. If it does, school dinners will do (it is actually lunch and I have no idea why they call it such).

The young lady looks forward to the start of a new term, but she knows it will be a matter of time for us to bid farewell to this place. Still, the heart hesitates for it longs for the presence of the rest of the loved ones back home. It doesn’t make it easier when they say one should follow one’s heart, only to be felt otherwise by the subsequent opinions given. If the heart rules, living back home is no longer ideal even in the long run. Many could not see the practicality of such decision.

Yet, if a compromise decision is made and in the best interest of all parties, surely it can be seen as a solution. What works for some, may not work for others. There will always be difference in opinions and to please everyone can be a nightmare.

There is one thing for sure. For the first in a very long time, I am looking forward to Eid...

Picture from MSN


Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Staying in

So where will you go for berbuka?” asked a friend.

Admittedly, I don’t really fancy having iftar outside. Over the years I developed the liking of dining at the comfort of our home. This year I have been lucky. My schedule is quiet and thus, I manage to cook almost on daily basis.

Unlike the usual food galore we have back home, ours consists of a main meal and two types of desserts. I try to prepare something special over the weekend or cater to the requests from close friends. So far, we had ayam percik, steamed seabass thai style, pulut kuning and rendang. Weekdays are simpler, with a touch of international fusion.

My next challenge is to make Malaysian delicacies as I don’t think they are hard to do (as texted by one of you). The young lady is looking forward to this experiment. Hmm, I wonder if it turns out well, maybe I can do this as a side income? The going rate for a piece of Malaysian delight is 50p!

Have I gone soft, for just wanting to have iftar at home? I rather host dinner for friends than having our meal outside. I know it is tiring i.e. cooking for a group of people, but probably for just one month, I'd like to stay in.

Somehow I feel the young lady appreciates it too. It reminds me of the saying 'a family that eats together stays together'