Thursday, December 15, 2011

The extended break

I have decided to extend this break until I feel things are more certain. At the moment, I am needed by my loved ones and to put aside my career is a small price to pay. I do not want to wake up one day feeling regretful for not taking this chance to be there for them. I am blessed for having friends who have been giving strong support during this troubled time, some have taken up my role by physically being there for my loved ones. I cant thank them enough and wish the Almighty to repay their kindness.

Most importantly, I am blessed for having a supportive partner and daughter to keep me going.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

I had better days

I lost count on the number of times when I had to face or handle challenging situation. So whenever someone asks if I am ok, I prefer to answer, “I had better days.”

Who am I to complain of my circumstance when I know some have far difficult obstacles and my worries are peanuts compare to theirs? I can make the situation worse by whining or moaning and add more misery to this world which has enough depressing stories as it is. Instead of putting another shot of coffee, why not add sugar or mocha and make it less bitter?

For the time being, I am focussing on the things that I am grateful for.

I am thankful that we have a comfortable home in a safe environment.
I am thankful that the young lady still maintains her adorable personality even when I know she can easily step up and be like the rest of her peers who are chic and trendy.
I am thankful that despite of my countless worries which have led to visible wrinkles, I have been mistakenly taken as being in 20s.
I am thankful that my friends have been there for me through thick and thin, despite our crazy ways. I am thankful that I took (calculative) risks which took me to soul-searching journeys.
I am thankful for being given a second chance in love.

So I hope I will remain strong and positive for those who need me now. The list should keep me going and smiling...

*Ms B dedicates this post to her mum whom the young lady inherits her passion for writing.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Diary of a SAHM

It is always assumed that SAHMs have the luxury to do whatever they desire but after taking this position twice in my ‘career’ life, the theory is yet to be proven. While enjoying my leftover chicken rice and waiting for the laundry, I am trying to squeeze a post to my neglected blog.

Our day starts with preparing kids’ packed lunch which varies from making puffs from last night’s meals (so far, lamb stew has been rated excellent by the young lady as the meat is tender and goes well with pastry) to freshly made salad pasta (imagine nasi goreng but rice is substituted with Italian staple). Breakfast usually consists of something warm such as sausages, scrambled eggs or pancakes.

After we drop the kids to school, there is the morning coffee session with other SAHMs or ladies of leisure. I usually take this opportunity to read the daily newspaper and catch-up on the latest issue or gossip for that matter. This can last up to 2 hours depending on the topic of discussion, especially if it’s about politics or economy. Then we’re back to our homes and tend to domestic routine. In my case, I was busy with her school’s needs (the agony of transferring to secondary school, both state and public) which saw me doing lots of research, attending open days and narrowing them down to those that met our requirements. Lately I have been performing pro-bono work reviewing documents for the partner and my dining area has been turned into a mini office. Not forgetting the volunteering role at school and as it is Xmas time, we have loads of activities to do. We have the school fair and performances coming soon.

Later during the day it is time to pick our kids who look forward to a nice tea at home. So far I have been creative, making tuna melt, mini pizza or smoked salmon with bagel. There are days where I’ll get something from M&S bakery (their donuts are so fluffy!). When I am up to it, nasi goreng will be served.

As for dinner, thankfully she’s not fussy but she loves variety. Our oven is highly utilised with a selection of pasta, roast chicken or lamb, baked fish, etc. Stew is another popular dish, best served with garlic bread. Twice a week we’ll have rice on the menu and Sunday is always the day we’ll make traditional malay meal.

In between tea and dinner, it’s time to go through her homework. Well, I’ll watch my Ellen show while she comes to me if she gets stuck. If she’s done with her work, we usually have an extra tutoring session where we’ll discuss complex maths or comprehension.

Just before she goes to bed, we’ll have a chat on school’s stuff (e.g. anyone is giving her a hard time) or girlfriend talk. Somehow, that’s the time when I am mentally alert and able to absorb her stories. The rest of the day I get lost in her bubbly chat no matter how interesting the topic may be.

As for night time, it’s when I indulge myself in guilty pleasures watching sexy vampires or hot agents in action. I see myself getting attracted to Damon each day. He can be a real sweetie…

Somehow being a SAHM I have no reason to decline social obligations, hence coffee and lunch sessions are common. The day just goes by before I know it!

So there are times when I miss working and have the ability to delegate everything. Packed lunch to the hands of the school dinner ladies, homework and house chores to the nannies, reasonable excuses to decline invitation etc.

Right, I better get going as the laundry is calling

Thursday, November 17, 2011


It was a heart-breaking scene for me, to see the young lady broke down and expressed her frustration. It was only then that I realised how much pressured she felt all these while.

“My teachers and classmates expect me to do well and I simply couldn’t handle,” came the words out from her mouth.

We were walking back to the station and I stopped halfway to give her the longest hug, oblivious to our surrounding.

It’s good to be recognised as gifted and able but along with it comes responsibility. She knew what it meant to perform well on that day; that her school is capable to produce bright students like her.

Regardless which school she attends, she has demonstrated that she is able to excel. Yet in her case, the reason she has managed to do so is because she feels tests are fun. Since they are done randomly, there is no preparation involved which makes it more exciting (her words, not mine. I feel exams are horrendous).

That night while I tucked her into bed, I told her that it is pointless to be academically strong when you are clueless about life. I want her to be culturally rich, understand and appreciate her religion, able to connect with other people, remember her roots no matter where our journey takes us.

Above all, I want her to cherish her childhood and explore things which might lead to her passion.

I am proud of her achievements and thankful for what she has become. I hope she knows that too….

But if you never try, you’ll never know
Just what you are worth

Monday, November 14, 2011

Cafe revisited

I wonder why people assume cafés are the best place to discuss issues not meant for the light-hearted. Ellen once highlighted this and recently I had an unpleasant encounter of such meeting which didn’t end up well.

I presumed this couple was on the verge of separation or finalising their divorce. The topic was the guy’s access to the kids which I think was increased from fortnightly to weekly. It was a good thing, however, the guy lives quite far and commuting to London weekly was not practical.

Imagine his horror when the rationale for this proposal was to give mum more time with her new beau.

Then the next topic was trust funds which the lady wanted to increase age of full access so that she has control of the money. Somehow image of that Beetles’ guy and his ex-wife crossed my mind. At this point, the guy was fuming mad and stormed out. I don’t blame him as I would probably go nuts as well.

I had to keep a straight face reading the newspaper when this couple was right behind me, trying to keep their conversation under control.

Totally awkward!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Splurge of the day

Out of the blue, I decided to head to the nearest HMV store and got myself the following:

I totally love their latest single, hence it was just a matter of time to get the album and check it out. I’ve only listened to it once but I feel it was worth it.

No doubt the song that makes people sway their hips has got my attention to get their CD. Unfortunately I have yet to play it.

As for the young lady, this was her choice:

Obviously her album has conquered the stereo. Hmmm…..

Perhaps I should come up with a chart and both of us have equal slot time to play our songs. Then
again, that wouldn’t stop her from singing her heart out.

Enjoy the weekend!

Friday, November 04, 2011


I am back!! *smiles*

Our home broadband was up and running since yesterday and I must say that the speed is one those things that I miss when I am back in Malaysia. Our place feels homely with pictures and adornments placed on shelves and walls. Her red bookshelf couldnt cope with her collection and they have occupied the corridor's spare shelf. I figured out how to set up the home theatre system (someone should have warned me that the speakers' base weight a tonne!) and all the channels are crystal clear.

As we will be hosting our house-warming this Sunday, I have started the preparation by making kerisik from scratch today. We are changing the menu slightly. Instead of soto, we will probably make nasi jagung which will go well with salad for my vegetarian friends. Pulut is a must and the young lady looks forward to it. Not forgetting chicken rendang and beef curry.

Happy Eid everyone!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Home away from home...

We are home.... and somehow I'm taken on a ride of yesteryears, back to where I had my first taste of live concert. It was worth every penny.

I cant wait for our things to arrive and I'll probably play their CDs the moment I get my hands on them.

Although we've come to the end of the road
Still I can't let you go

Monday, October 03, 2011

oh sunny days...

Due to the scorching hot weather, we decided to head to Southbank and checked out the area. On the river bank it was packed with street performers which ranged from sketch artists, group orchestra, hiphop dancers etc. Right before Royal Festival Hall, it had stalls set up like our typical street market. The young lady, together with the rest of the kids there, had a blast playing with bubbles which turned out as wide as your stretched arms.

Then on Sunday, as I made a wok of bihun goreng, it was fair enough that I took her and friends for a picnic at Kensington Gardens. I packed grapes, donuts, juices and Oreos and off we went. While the girls ran around silly and made up games, I sat on the mat and had a book to keep me company. It had been a long time since I last did so.

I believe the young lady deserves a break from her normal routine and as much as I want to prepare her for the upcoming entrance exams, she should be allowed to be a kid. Enjoying the buzzy atmosphere of the city and getting herself dirty at the parks are healthy and probably make her a better child.

So I’m maximising the remaining sunny days with lots of outdoor activities, though I think my legs should rest for a bit as I did too much of walking for the past week

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

September luck

The young lady has settled well at her old school and feels slightly pressured as her class teacher read her Year 5 year-end report to the whole class. We’ll be sitting with him to discuss her secondary school option which includes both state and public institutions. I think I have covered enough grounds and reached to a point that I couldn’t be bothered anymore. The idea is for her to be able to nail either top public (i.e. fee-paying) or good state school. Naturally we prefer she gets into those top fee-paying places, subject to she likes them. There is no point sending her to these schools if she doesn’t. So she has started her own research and whether these places have what she wants – Arts, Music, Science.

We managed to secure a place which is even better than what we had before and closer to the school. The young lady cant wait to move in and starts decorating her room. Our things are still in warehouse and since the storage fee is only GBP10 per week, I decided to let them stay there until we move to the new home.

Job wise, interview with the headhunter went well and she has highlighted which areas will be good for me. It seems she has to do her own research to find suitable roles for me due to my ‘colourful experience’ and seniority. Oh well, she gets good commission, so I am sure it will be worth her time.

At the same time, barely a week ago I received a phone call from a company back home who was interested in me. They were willing to cover my airfare and few nights of accommodation for the interview. However, I told them that since I’m back in UK, it is best that I focus on the job market here. If any of their bosses are in town, I am more than happy to have a quick chat over coffee to discuss future opportunities with the company.

On top of that, another ‘durian runtuh’ came to our lap and while we are thankful for it, it would have been nice to find out before us adjusting to London’s life. So for now, we’ll be based here and travel frequently to KL.

Oh, and we found out the young lady will have another addition to her cousin clan, probably with blonde hair and blue or green eyes.

September has really been kind to us. Thank you

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Holiday review

Generally it was a good holiday and we managed to catch up with family and friends. The young lady spends every week with her cousins, strengthening the bond they share. Her group has been dominated by girls until the arrival of two nephews. The little ones are not amused and have been keeping everyone on their toes with their constant demand of attention. The young lady and her closest ally are sensible enough to mind their own business.

It also gives perspective to the young lady on why she prefers to live in London. Having big families requires time management, often results to the sacrifice of our ‘me slot’. Sometimes all she wants to do is to stay in the bedroom and enjoy her own company!

Perhaps I should consider doing contracting roles like some of my friends as they are able to squeeze 3 months of break in a year with their family, a good choice if they live on the other side of the world like Down Under. Some posts can lead up to double the remuneration of permanent jobs. Smart people tend to set up their own firm and engage headhunters to outsource contracting jobs to them in view of favourable tax. Perhaps I should explore this option if I want greater flexibility.

On the hand, I am also looking at possibility of returning given the right opportunity. Hence, I have spoken to friends if something comes up in their radar and mention my name to the party.

Hmm, my life seems to have constant changes. I am not sure if it is a good thing. Yet friends envy me for having some freedom to pursue what’s best for me and the young lady. In their eyes, I have wider options to go beyond. I should thank the path that was guided to me 15 years ago and just like a chess game, I made the right moves. Not all of them turned out well but the end results have led to where I am now.

Anyway, I am glad I caught up with my closest friends. The Professors – Fox and Chic, The Crazy Bunch, Ms Sixty who looks damn sexy despite giving birth a month ago, Single Lady, my trendy ‘adik-adik’ who are now working in the same line which I had 10 years ago, and Mrs Rock & family. Oh yeah, I managed to meet Momster briefly (we’ll catch up properly in few weeks’ time, ok?).

So I’ll keep you posted once we are back in UK. *smiles*

Saturday, August 27, 2011

of Eid

I feel there is a lump in my throat, wishing to be freed and let the world know without thinking of the consequences. Yet here I am in a society where one can only share so much. One should know when it is ok to speak up.

So I remain silent and pray that I can survive the next few days without losing my mind.

Strange enough, I don’t feel the enthusiasm to celebrate Eid as others. While some rush to get new clothes or shoes, revamp their house or pamper themselves to look good for the day, I simply make do with what I have. Last year’s dresses were only worn once or twice and they still look awesome. It didn’t even occur to the young lady to request for new stuff as she knows she has more than enough.

In fact, I felt more blessed when we were in London; feeling thankful with what we had and having her by my side was more than enough to make Eid memorable.

I suppose the feeling is normal when you have spent a number of years away on this special occasion.

As long as the young lady is happy that she gets to spend Eid here, I know I am doing the right thing. What matters is her happiness and I try to fulfil as much as I can, even if it means our actions may not conform to the ‘right’ way of doing things.

Yet culture is subject to change and if our action does no harm, in fact brings people together, I do not see the problem of doing so.

I hope you have a blessed Eid.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

what's your name?

What do you get when three old buddies get-together after years being apart? One awesome night full of crazy stuff! From singing birthday song together with the service crew to eyeing good-looking boys, it was as if we never left and didn’t age.
Of course the fact a friend happens to be VVIP of the restaurant due to her frequent trips there made the whole thing great. We felt at home and simply were being ourselves, which involved dance moves and being super-friendly with their team.

The bonus was a huge piece of delicious Pavlova for us to share. I settled for Tiramisu. The double-blow was too much to handle that I couldn’t sleep last night. Sugar and caffeine over-dosed.

Once again I became the victim as my friends ‘humiliated’ me with their constant questions about a particular guy who was serving us. It wasn’t easy for the handsome looking with nicely built body Uzbek that he blushed for a few times. As he’s pursuing post-graduate course, he definitely knew how to keep the conversation going.

Anyway, it was a great night. Lovely food and in company of good friends. I hope we’ll continue this tradition in years to come. Our group was incomplete as a friend is in Perth and it would have been crazier if she was there.

And it all started with a question to the Miller look-a-like, “what’s your name?” His smile made our day (me in particular). *grins*

Friday, August 19, 2011

New toy(s)

After searching high and low, days of pondering, I finally decided to get myself this new gadget. Our baby has served us for more than four years and since the young lady was given a Tab from her dad, I thought it’d be better to invest in a sleek machine for myself due to our constant travelling.

Easy to manage, light to carry even in my arm candies, I do feel it is worth every penny.

The sale assistant couldn’t believe that I was serious about getting this toy that he reconfirmed many times. I made my decision within minutes but little did he know that I have been searching for days at different places. As my negotiation skill was displayed at its fullest, added with the slight inconvenience caused by their card reader, I managed to get more freebies than anticipated.

It is also a bonus when your brother happens to major in computer-related courses that I got quite a number of software.

Suffice to say I was a happy woman yesterday.

Presenting our babies:

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Of holidays, home and ramadan

It's been 3 weeks since I last checked my gmail or blogs which I usually frequented. Life has been hectic catching up with family and friends near and far. Lil A and mom decided to pay us a visit and the four of us had a lovely girly time. The girls havent seen each other for a few years yet they are as close as ever despite the age gap, probably due to Lil A's sharp memory. The young lady also spent more time with an old friend of hers which included a sleepover at their place. I think she deserves to do whatever she wants to do this year, instead the normal routine.

It feels different to be here, agreed by both of us. The emotional attachment is slowly disappearing, a topic which I have been discussing heavily among close friends. I suppose we have our lives to lead and try not to dwell into petty issues.

Whatever it is, I am thankful with what I have, which includes true friendship. Perhaps the young lady is also learning this life's lesson and as such, looks forward to our new beginning. We feel his absence and wish we can be together, although it means high level of tolerance on my side due to the annoying tease between those playful two.

Anyway.... I hope it's not too late to wish everyone a blessed ramadan. Let's enjoy the bazaar! *smiles*

Monday, July 11, 2011

What's in my head

Apart from 'balik kampung' tune playing inside my head, I'm also experiencing flashes of the following:

*all pics were googled*

Cant wait!!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Perks of challenges

I’m having the place all to myself at the moment. I cant believe that I was actually missing this. Once in a while it’s good to be left alone and do your own things as you please. In my case, it helps the creative juice flow easily and let me enjoy the train ride of thoughts.

We are counting our days to go back to the land of nasi lemak and teh tarik for a good six week break. There are still many things to do before we leave. A twist of fate seems to be encouraging our move and perhaps the situation was a blessing in disguise. As some people say, the best is yet to come.

I learn that being tested in whatever form has its perks. When you have gone through so much in life, there is high possibility that you will sail through on your next challenge with ease. It is only when you are faced the hurdle for the first time that it’s hard to digest but once you complete that bumpy ride, you’ll realize things aren’t that bad.

It helps you to appreciate the more important aspects of life which many take it for granted as they are caught under the whirlpool of tangible or material race.

One day last week, the young lady came home with a glowing face and a cheeky smile. I couldn’t stop wondering what she had under her sleeves. Perhaps it was another day of girls chit-chatting in the toilet which seemed a growing trend among them at school. She handed a few papers to me, certificates to be precise. She was extremely pleased with her achievements and remarked that it was better than having ice-cream on waffles for tea!

Later that day, I crept into my bed and reflected silently. Tears of gratitude and happiness were flowing. She has blossomed into a lovely pre-teen, with her craze of pin-ups and passion for doing well in subjects she loves. She’s an idol to her young cousins and god-sisters, and has lots of patience for them even when they drive her nuts with their constant babyish demands.

Moments like this makes me feel it is all worth it. I am blessed.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Like a St Trinian

After watching this movie, I wonder whether I should think twice in sending the young lady to a school in UK, especially since I am also considering independent institutions which dominate the top spots in GCSE and A levels results. For some, they even publish the percentage of leavers who attend Oxbridge and facilitate the application to Ivy League should the students want to pursue in the States.

Surely they have their own culture which may or may not reflect St Trinians (the extreme side of course). Each school has their own mantra and I am sure the ‘elite’ ones are not spared. As parents, we can research, interview and select whichever school suits our kids’ requirements but the end results boil down to their effort.

I notice that in UK, we have the opportunity to be selective as long as we put in the initiative. No doubt the grammar schools are competitive but they accept all applications regardless your home address. Generally they have two exams where on the second sitting, approximately 500 will make it with a final interview to follow and only 100 will be offered a place. Tough indeed but hey, it’s free education and who wouldn’t want to send their kids to these places where two thirds obtain all As in GCSE.

For most middle class, private education is affordable but those with excellent academic (like the ones which publish percentage of Oxbridge!) are not easy to get in. One still has to go through entrance exam and interview to be selected. If you think you might stretch yourself on fees, fret not as some schools offer scholarship or bursaries. Just as the Trinians, they expect you to be all-rounder and I think the young lady has set her eyes on drama (yup, whichever school we choose must have performing arts as after-school club).

I still cant believe that I am researching high schools for her. It feels that she’s growing up too fast. If only we can freeze time…..

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Of being a survivor

Lately I have been reminded by those close to my heart that I am a survivor. I do not see it that way as I feel most people I know have had their fair share of challenges, hence looking at them, I believe we are able to pick ourselves up and move forward. Understanding their journey to overcome their hurdles helps me to think positive about life.

So when people say that my roller-coasters would have broken a person’s soul, I’d reply that they were nothing compare to what others have experienced which were far more challenging. To lose your loved ones, to have critical illness, to be physically impaired, a few bumps of life worth mentioning and to survive them deserve a standing ovation.

I refuse to bow down when things go bad. I do not give up easily without a fight. I always believe that there is a solution for every problem.

If I am criticised for being optimistic, so be it. I will not allow the presence of lemons spoil my mood to enjoy life. At times when it gets too much, I will pick the phone or text my sorrows to those close to my heart but that’s about it. I will pull myself together and move forward.

After all, I have her to think about. It’d be selfish for me to put my life on hold simply because I don’t feel like it. Life is too precious to be wasted on fears, tears or disappointments. I can either let a bump lead me to an emotionally-drained state of mind or embrace with an open heart and accept it as part of parcel in life.

I choose the latter.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Learning to fly

K, the young lady's bus-mate, has been coming to our place every Thursday. She's Scottish but been living abroad since small. At one point, the family stayed in Singapore, thus bihun or nasi goreng need no introduction. Last week, they decided to play outside and thankfully, the design of these houses creates lots of shades for them to be jumping in the shared garden. Weather has been pretty hot and each time we pick the young lady from her rounder's club, she's one tone darker.

While going through her homework (which of course led to many unrelated topics as always), we realised that the young lady has much to experience when it comes to nature. Perhaps our next holiday should be at a family-friendly wildlife resort. Prof Chic keeps taking her kids to these places and they love it, despite the complaints (city kids, go figure). I'm glad that during those years when we were in London, almost each summer holiday the young lady went to a local play-centre. She had the experience of visiting wetland parks and animal farms, riding ponies, etc.

I think she's missing her hometown and the older she gets, the stronger she feels about going back. Malaysia is a place where she gets to see her family members and have a little bit of fun but London is where she wants to grow up. She has the opportunity to be whatever she wants with less judgement; a malay, muslim, londoner. She feels at ease to be herself and has the support to do so. She remembers the challenges but at the same time, she sees the beauty of it.

She's learning to fly on her own....

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mirror mirror on the wall

It’s a high price to pay for beauty. I have nothing against those who go extreme measure to be the fairest of them all but to apply the same concept on your kids sounds hard to digest, even by those who provide these services.

I’ve heard girls as young as 10 years of age who go for waxing. Perhaps they do have serious hair issue but I doubt they should resort to such method. They have more interesting things to worry about such as the latest Barbie’s style, their fav artist’s CD or concert, new Disney movies etc. Besides, I think boys love their toys and gadgets more than babes at that age.

Now, imagine my surprise when I read the news about a mom giving her 8 year old daughter wax and botox. She actually administers the injection and the video showed the young girl appeared ok with the whole thing. In her defence, the beauty pageant for kids is a tough world and one has to be on the top to win the crown.

I personally feel that the mom was deprived from the prom queen title or the hunks when she was younger that she wants her daughter to materialise her own dream.

Such a twisted world.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Winter is coming...

Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.

After searching for almost a week, one shop after another, I finally found this book at Borders. Priced at RM50, I feel it was a good investment as I am already half way through and find it hard to put it down. It’s the second time that I hunted a book based on what I watched. The first was Percy Jackson and the young lady and I ended up reading the whole series.

The epic is not for those with a faint heart as the scenes can easily make you lose your appetite. In the first episode itself, there were many dismembered bodies and fights where warriors had their stomach sliced open.
Gory indeed.

Still, it got my attention as the story line seemed to trigger more questions and I began my googling. It was then decided that I should start my own journey of A Song of Ice and Fire.

So far, my fav characters are Jon Snow and Daenerys.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The story

I LOVE watching travel channel. There are quite a number of shows on Malaysia, from culinary to travel destination. They really bring out the best of us and of course, make me feel homesick. The producers take an extra step to cover the simplest thing like wet market, life of orang asli, fishermen etc.

When I see these shows, a sense of pride emerges and I long to be back to experience our local wonders.

Of course my idea of excitement is a walk to my nearby mamak joint, sip a glass of teh tarik while reading newspaper. On weekends, I head to pasar malam where my usual targets are nasi lemak kerang, hot tau fu fah and bihun soup with those chilli birds. At night, I can be spotted at regular hangout for mee goreng mamak, nasi lemak bungkus, roti canai or tandoori with friends or if they are busy, my brother will be the victim and unwillingly, accompanies me.

Looking back at the shows, sometimes I wished the young lady experiences what I had when I was growing up. I was fortunate that my late grandparents lived in villages instead of towns. Well, one side stayed in an upmarket area and they were considered as a privileged family as my grandpa was a religious scholar and worked for government. During those times, those professions were highly respected. Still, I looked forward whenever I had the chance to go back to either ‘kampungs’. From swimming in a river to trips to ‘pasar tani’, I had a blast each time the opportunity arose. Even when my parents were too busy to send me, my late grandma would take the bus and fetch me.

From time to time, I share these stories with the young lady. One of my grandparents’ places still stands and my uncle lives there now. The last time the young lady was there, she truly enjoyed the long house and ran from the living room to the kitchen, back and forth. We would sit on the kitchen verandah and listen to the sounds of roosters, ducks and goats.

I know she has a part of me in her through her love for nature. She’s a traveller, explorer and she digs deep to understand stuff (which sometimes tests my patience of course). Instead of chickens, she feeds squirrels and swans at the parks. My masak-masak game under the wooden house is reflected by her art of making meals from leaves and flowers.

We may have different childhood but ingredients are more or less the same.

All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I've been
And how I got to where I am
But these stories don't mean anything
When you've got no one to tell them to
It's true...I was made for you

I climbed across the mountain tops
Swam all across the ocean blue
I crossed all the lines and I broke all the rules
But baby I broke them all for you
Because even when I was flat broke
You made me feel like a million bucks
You do
I was made for you

You see the smile that's on my mouth
It's hiding the words that don't come out
And all of my friends who think that I'm blessed
They don't know my head is a mess
No, they don't know who I really am
And they don't know what
I've been through like you do
And I was made for you...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Forget about the price tag

The current song simply reflects how I feel strongly at the moment. I have been trying to channel this message across but sometimes it gets lost in translation, much to my dismay. The London trip was much needed, reminding me all the simple things that the young lady and I miss.

Oh, by the way, I sleep much better since I left the ‘job’. Money aint e’thing, eh? *wide smile*

Enjoy the song!

Seems like everybody's got a price,
I wonder how they sleep at night.
When the sale comes first,
And the truth comes second,
Just stop, for a minute and

Why is everybody so serious
Acting so damn mysterious
Got your shades on your eyes
And your heels so high
That you can't even have a good time

Everybody look to their left (yeah)
Everybody look to their right (ha)
Can you feel that (yeah)
We're paying with love tonight
It's not about the money, money, money
We don't need your money, money, money
We just wanna make the world dance,
Forget about the Price Tag
Ain't about the (uh) Cha-Ching Cha-Ching.
Aint about the (yeah) Ba-Bling Ba-Bling
Wanna make the world dance,
Forget about the Price Tag.

We need to take it back in time,
When music made us all unite
And it wasn't low blows and video hoes,
Am I the only one getting tired
Why is everybody so obsessed
Money can't buy us happiness
Can we all slow down and enjoy right now
Guarantee we'll be feeling Alright.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Making headlines

Sometimes our local columnists crack me up with their take on “issues” arising in our country. Their bold opinion from ‘forever young’ to ‘getting lucky’ certainly keeps me entertained. They are not alone. Even the partner has questioned my choice of daily news, thinking they are from the tabloids until I pointed out that they are from the mainstream.

It raised his eyebrows indeed.

Being abroad, you just couldn’t help feeling bemused at the highlights that make on the other side of the world as if we do not have pressing issues to be noticed by outsiders. Yet I am sure most of us are able to talk about it to people around us with a sense of humour as they would the same when similar news surfaces on their dailies. In fact, since everyone is engrossed with the hot topic in town, why not just join the debate? It’d be a good subject to kill time at mamak joints, with flows of teh tarik to keep it going.

Anyway, the young lady asked if it’s ok for her friend who lives nearby to come to our place after school. Since they are on the same bus, it makes sense for Kay to follow the young lady home straight. Thankfully the partner bought some mini pizzas yesterday. That should keep them entertained, apart from other girly stuff in her room.

Have a nice weekend!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

of food and TV shows

I am slowly getting used of not working (like a mad woman) and try to find myself a routine which involves none other than tv series, cooking and housekeeping, in that particular order. We still have the nanny but I am quite fussy when it comes to privacy and my room is strictly out of bounds, hence cleaning duty on me. It seems everyone is happier of having me home and so far, we managed to have nasi minyak with kari ayam, fried soles, lamb chops served with mashed potatoes and salad. In fact, we even had bihun goreng for tea yesterday. I wonder if the young lady will gain some weight after few weeks of having spontaneous dishes from me. Unfortunately, we do not have a weighing scale to measure her development.

Oh, did I mention she’s growing at a rate that will burn my wallet? Sigh... I thought we purchased those Espr*t jeans not long ago and they look rather short now.

Being at home allows me to catch up on tv series such as Ellen, Mentalist, No Ordinary Family, White Collar, TVD, Greys, Glee, NCIS (I am sure there are more). I haven’t figured out which channel has Bones but once I do, it’d be on my list. I also got myself hooked on ‘travel channel’ and ‘E!’. It beats me on how ‘Married to Rock’ managed to be aired here cos they can be quite flashy, if you get the idea.
Maybe I should go through the network guide and spot the good shows.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The trip

I have nothing to blame except on myself for the lack of blogging. I have been lazy and as I was in between places, it was just inevitable.
We came back from London two days ago and last night, the young lady suffered bad jetlag that she only fell asleep at 1am. Obviously she had to skip the bus ride which allowed her an extra 45 minutes of sleep and we sent her to school instead.

*The new cycles-for-hire which can be found at many spots in the city*

The trip went well with Mother Nature granted us beautiful weather throughout our stay. We spent our days at the parks, Regent St, Covent Garden to name a few. Trips to the museums were a must as well as indulging ourselves with M&S and Wasabi sushi. Oh, not forgetting countless visits to her old school that I kept asking myself whether we were on holiday.

It was refreshing to be back on familiar ground as if we never left this place. The young lady even remarked, “we are not tourist Mummy. We live here. This is our home.”

Indeed we had a wonderful journey in this city and those bittersweet memories will always play in our mind.
Perhaps someday we will return to this place and write more beautiful chapters.

Monday, April 04, 2011


There is one thing we should know about plans - they always change. Anyway, we're off to London tomorrow for school hols. Will try to keep you posted.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spanish surprise

A few things happened over the past one week that I am unsure where to start. Some are best to leave, especially with regards to the corporate world, if there is such thing. I am beginning to feel that my decision was wise. The deadline seems to have shift but I told the team that I am sticking to my end term. I may consider doing consultancy work for them, charged on daily basis. The partner thinks I should charge between $800-1000 as these are the rates that the company are paying for their consultants.

Yet I dont think it will be worth it judging the way things are done.

Anyway, we have many depressing stories going around that we’ll try to make this post colourful, ok? *smiles*

When the Partner said that he was going to Spain, there was no way I would let him come home empty-handed. I felt it was time to let him use his imagination in getting something for us. In contrast, the young lady gave specific instruction of the colour and the style of the outfit that she wanted. Oh, the partner has been disappointed many times whenever he tries to get her clothes. I told him that I stopped doing so a few years ago as I remember returning the ‘uncool’ stuff to the store. I always tell him that it’s best to get books or small accessories for her as these as safe items and face little rejection. *lol*

Apparently the Spanish trip was fairly relaxed that he had plenty of time to browse. It took me by surprise that he took the effort to step into the shop that I like. He usually leaves us whenever we start looking at shoes or bags and returns to the store when we have made our mind on the items we want.

So I thought my suggestion of that particular place would result to safe goods, something that I’ll use. You can imagine my face when it was rather different, compare to my usual style. I wasn’t sure about it at first but girlfriends were replying to my MMS at the speed of light (sometimes I wonder if they have too much free time or women simply cant resist fashion) and said it looked nice.

After a while, I grew fond of the candy and started using it. Here’s a picture of it though it looks much brighter physically:

Perfect for our night out!

As for the young lady, let’s just say it’s best to take her out and let her choose her things.

*Ms B still feels uneasy with the unrest in her neighbouring countries no matter how much people reassure that it wont happen in her city of residence. She can only pray for things to get better.*

Friday, March 04, 2011

Life as it is

These days I find myself feeling homesick; KL to be with my family members and dear friends at our usual hangout for a piece of roti canai or a plate of nasi lemak with a glass of teh tarik, and London to have a walk or picnic in the parks or check out new styles with the young lady and the Buddy. Perhaps my state of melancholy is attributable to the frequent travelling by the partner. Last month alone he was out three times, with one covering few different cities in Europe. As much as the young lady loves sleeping next to me when he’s away, she also misses him terribly.

After weighing all factors, I decided to leave my job, giving some flexibility to my Kapitans in order to see our restructuring goes through. I will stick around until the big piece is delivered, which means less stress for whoever will be replacing me.

Yet I feel much calmer since I delivered the news to my bosses. It gives me new perspective about this place and helps me to rationalise things. The other day while I was doing filing of our documents, it occurred to me that the partner has a good and stable career with one of the top places in this region. Given a typical management chart or structure, he’s within the top five people. The reason he has to travel so much is because he has to attend the regulated meetings of their major subsidiaries.

No doubt his company makes less headlines than their ‘siblings’, they just like to be low profile even when their investment is much higher than the flamboyant players. It’s kinda like him. He’s always in his tees and jeans whenever he’s with us and people might raise an eyebrow if he mentions what he does. *smiles*

Ok ok.. I am missing the other half, hence talking about him is unavoidable.

On top of that, the young lady has started to enjoy school more due to the recent addition of a fellow Malaysian girl. She’s in a different class but they always wait for each other for recess of lunch break. They have some things in common such as living in UK, taste of music and tv series, disliking the same person at school (lol!) etc. They often swap their lunch pack as the young lady brings typical ‘western’ stuff while her friend gets nasi goreng and pulut!

Education wise, she’s loving Islamic studies, music and language lessons. UK education is definitely better but her current school covers wider topics which she might not get over there. I am sure when the right time comes e.g. O Level, we’ll shift back but for now, she’ll be ok here.

So in a way, life isn’t that bad after all. I will try to make this place work for me. I will take my time in finding something I love which gives me the flexibility as a mom and partner.

Hmm, come to think of it, I might as well postpone any job hunting so that I get to spend two months of summer in our countries, his and mine. I am sure my family would love to have us back. More nasi lemak kerang for me then. *grins

Friday, February 25, 2011

Holiday summary

So I realised I didn’t give any details of the so-called mini break. It didn’t happen as it would have been hectic for us, or specifically for me, to be travelling during that time. Instead, we made a last minute reservation at a beach resort within a few hours from home. It was a good thing as I was working until 11pm the night before the start of my holiday.

I must say that the place had everything that we wanted. Soft sandy beach with palm trees scattered along, huts and cabanas to give more shade, pool that comes with a bar, Balinese and Ayurveda spas to choose from, restaurants that cover from Chinese to Italian food, just to name a few. We were there for two nights but it was enough to make me feel rejuvenated.

While the young lady and partner split their time between the beach and the pool, I on the hand was given the luxury to do as I please. I did not let this opportunity go to waste and headed to the spa. It was bliss! I allowed myself to be pampered by the lovely Indonesian lady who did her magic and took my worries (and wrinkles) away.

As we walked along the beach, we saw quite a number of baby crabs as big as the size of 50 cents coin. We even spotted fishes along the jetty located nearby! Not bad eh?

Anyway, it was a good holiday for all of us. Relaxing, refreshing, entertaining... I wish we could do this more frequent but it is quite challenging judging from the way it has been for the past few months.
I suppose it helped me to decide on my next course of action.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Reflection time...

I went to see the C*O to get some papers signed and out of the blue, he asked, “are you ok?”, with a very concerned tone.

Obviously it was written all over my face that even the boss noticed. *sigh*

It is definitely time to reflect.....

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Mini break?

The partner got back today after being away for almost two weeks. I think we did pretty ok without him, considering the challenges we face in this city. The young lady has conquered him the moment he stepped into the house and both of them are playing Fairy game with their consoles, giving me space to update this blog.

School holiday has started and this time, I made sure I applied a few days of leave. Our initial plan to go sightseeing within the country is not happening. Instead, the partner suggested that we head here:

Perhaps it’ll be good to take a break from this place. My only reservation is that it is going to be really cold there. As long as it is not snowing heavily, it should be ok.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Count on me

This song is dedicated to my lovely friends wherever you are. Thank you for replying my sms in the middle of the night even there was a sexy man right by your side, picking up my phone calls without fail, cheering me up when I had unexpected health condition (or when my heart was broken far too many times I believe), giving the much needed support when I felt the world was bailing on me, urging me to splurge on bags and shoes as a way to reward myself for all the hard work (the list goes endless).

Ah, it also goes to whoever reads this place and kind enough to share your thoughts. Have a beautiful day!

If you ever find yourself stuck in the middle of the sea,
I'll sail the world to find you
If you ever find yourself lost in the dark and you can't see,
I'll be the light to guide you

Find out what we're made of
When we are called to help our friends in need

You can count on me like 1 2 3
I'll be there
And I know when I need it I can count on you like 4 3 2
And you'll be there
Cause that's what friends are supposed to do, oh yeah

If you're tossing and you're turning and you just can't fall asleep,
I'll sing a song beside you
And if you ever forget how much you really mean to me,
Everyday I will remind you, ohh

You'll always have my shoulder when you cry
I'll never let go, never say goodbye

Friday, January 28, 2011

Blue devil

This blog was left unattended for a good reason. I was not feeling good these days that I had to give myself some space from everything. Suffice to say that I was on the brink of depression, if that makes any sense at all.

One thinks that after constant relocation, the next place one heads will be a piece of cake. Even when you feel it’s for a good cause, there is no way of telling how you’ll cope with new environment and atmosphere.

There were many things that led me into thinking on whether this move was worthy. From school to work, daily trivial tasks to public perceptions and expectations, I was beginning to compare the life I had before and the one I’m leading now.

Then I realised it was like comparing Mocha and Americano, having the same coffee element but with different mix. It was not fair for me to be analysing the things that I achieved back then to the challenges I am facing presently.

Somehow I managed to snap myself from this blues yesterday as if I just walked out of a cave after a period of confinement. I started to see bright sunshine and blooming flowers, giving back the smile on my face which seemed to have lost for quite awhile. The dinner we had at a popular Venetian theme place last night where the young lady enjoyed a meal of beef ribs was lovely.

I am aware that things may not be as planned but I am thankful for what I have. For example, my job sucks and despite knowing my market rate is 20% higher than what I am getting, it is still a decent role and my spending power has doubled (or tripled), if I want to splurge of course. The young lady’s school isn’t that great but she is slowly enjoying it and the new guitar lesson seems to be adding joy to her life.

Most importantly, I am thankful to be doing all these in the presence of my loved ones

Monday, January 10, 2011

Birthday wish

I celebrated my birthday a day earlier with a trip to the hospital. Somehow, I was the worst among all and had to see the doc. We spent a good 3 hours there and while I was busy being attended by the staff, the young lady and partner squeezed some time at the cafe, eating tuna sandwich (I think).
I really thought I’d be strong enough to go to work but I supposed it was a wise move to stay home judging the lack of sleep and continuous coughing throughout the night. Doc gave me two days off and so did the young lady. She only had mild fever but doc thought it was better for her to recover fully before she hits school.

Apparently, doc told me to be careful whenever I get the cough bug as the climate isn’t kind to people like me. It will make it ten times worse. If previously I fell really ill once a year like my episode of swine-like flu last winter, I should expect more occurrences of those while here.

Hmm, maybe that will make the partner to reconsider moving back to Europe. *wishful thinking*

Anyway, we were too busy sorting out our health that even I forgot it was my birthday. *LOL* Geesh! That shows how old I am that I even skipped it from my memory.

So what do I want for my birthday? A new handbag of course! *grins* A big one which can fit everything as I have been using the same bag every day for work. Perhaps purple, maroon or beige. I expect this to come from my own sweat, which means the partner should be getting something different. It would be lovely if he is creative enough to find one which matches my current bling-bling. *winks* Yet I know him well enough that I should specify my requirements as often he’d be clueless.

As for the young lady, she made the card way earlier, complete with my favourite things e.g. Jason Mraz. *smiles*

I am sure the handbag and bling-bling can wait as the only thing I’d like to wish for is speedy recovery.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Weekend random

We were too lazy to go out, partly due to experiencing flu-like symptoms, that I ended up playing this:


Have a nice weekend!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Cruella de Vil

It feels different to be at home at this time of the day when I am usually stressing myself at my desk. I owe this luxury to my daughter as we have child-care issue today, leaving me with no choice but to cut my office hours short. I am sure (some) people at work are annoyed as most are burning the midnight oil but heck, I have very little to do with the things they are struggling.

So....I dropped the bombshell to my director last week just a day after he got back from his white Christmas holiday. He refused to accept. It took him a few months to ‘find’ me (the post was vacant for quite awhile) and he gave all these words that made me mellow, a sweet talker indeed. Oh, he’s the opposite of charming and you wouldn’t want to mess with him. He has no qualms saying those typical British curses and you just have to put a straight face whenever he blows up.

Instead, he’s planning to restructure the team which will give me more support. Eventually, I get to say who has to leave. The next few weeks will be interesting, in view of the power struggle and resistance from the affected people.

My role just got more challenging and I will definitely be awarded Ms Cruella title once this restructure is finalised.

It is not easy to be me.... sigh..