Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rolling Greens

My best friend Linda wrote in to report how the family has been doing over in Newcastle. The content spilled me with the many picnics they are having and how much Aunty Wiz was remembered whenever they gathered for one. It is nice to be remembered in that manner, especially time makan-makan and kelah-kelah. Nothing is more glorious than the thought of being associated with food. I am not that good a cook, you have to trust me on that but I do try to prepare the little that I know when friends come for visits. And whenever Linda and family were in town, making their likes was on top of my list! Furthermore, they are such good eaters especially the kids.

I remembered having a picnic just outside of our house, on our lawn. Assembled our collapsable picnic table, lit up some candles, rolled out the hammock and brought out the food, glorious food and spread it on the limited table space. What I cooked wasn't that important but I remembered there were cakes of course, home made pizza, roast chicken I think, and a few side dishes to complement the meal. The company tasted better than the food actually, has always been that way. Under the starry night we all sat picking our food in the dark with the flickers of scented candles all around(that's the trick of not being a good cook, serve food in the dark, guests can't tell which is which, he he he). Kids swaying on the hammock and playing whose tummy could reach the floor(Jazmeen won! just kidding Jazmeen) Those were great times spent together. But now they are in New Castle and having a ball there!! Picnics amidst the rolling greens literally, instead of patchy greens at Aunty wiz's house with kemuncups here and there ahaks.

Anyway, I am here to write up my own report to what the kids and I have been up to. We had our very own rolling green kinda picnic in between a longkang and a football pitch. But it was a great picnic nevertheless. Made enough cupcakes to feed the entire football team and lotsa snacks, the four of us zoomed to my husband's football match located in the vicinity of his office and laid our picnic spread at the top of this hilly spot. Whilst Baba was struggling to run after the ball, mama without Baba's knowledge brought along cardboards and plastics for the kids to slide on, down the slope.
Mama wanted to slide too but there were too many people and some of them were Mama's students so didn't want to embarrass Baba. The kids had a jolly good time sliding and climbing and eating. They went "weeeee" all evening getting their baju and pants soiled .

At the end of the match, the cakes were fed to the football team to compensate on their loss. But you've got to give credits to a bunch of mid thirty year olds who came to play against the twenty year olds. They didn't puff and huff for nothing folks. All in the name for a good evening exercise he he he.

Unlike the rolling greens in New Zealand or Newcastle, the rolling greens here may not be as velvety or even as green. They are full of weeds and thorns but if you look closely, you might spot the little flowers in between. We found our little treats amidst the weeds folks and I guess we'll stay on and tend the greens over this side of the fence. Just like the saying goes...

"The grass is not greener on the other side of the fence.The grass is greener where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water or stay where you are and tend the grass there"

p.s. Naza, got this saying from your blog, thanks.

Feeling like the dancing queen this week. Don't just tap to the music, common sing along!
Dancing Queen - Abba
You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the dancing queen

Friday night and the lights are low
Looking out for the place to go
Where they play the right music, getting in the swing
You come in to look for a king
Anybody could be that guy
Night is young and the music’s high
With a bit of rock music, everything is fine
You’re in the mood for a dance
And when you get the chance...

You are the dancing queen, young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing queen, feel the beat from the tambourine
You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the dancing queen

You’re a teaser, you turn ’em on
Leave them burning and then you’re gone
Looking out for another, anyone will do
You’re in the mood for a dance
And when you get the chance...

You are the dancing queen, young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing queen, feel the beat from the tambourine
You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the dancing queen

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Feeling Feminin

I love flowers, but only fresh ones. The artificial versions are not much welcome in this house of ours solely for reasons related to our allergies. Having asthmatic mum and kid around it is unwise to have artificial ones collecting dusts in the corners of the house. Lagipun, my other half prefers one without any, since he said he has lived in a house full of fake blooms all his life(his mum's house is an artificial flower garden...a compliment of course he he he).

But .... there are times when your feminity calls out to you. The need to fill up the void which has been absent all these years suddenly resurfaced. It presses you on especially after visiting friends' open houses and blogspaces and seeing pastels patches and colourful bunches creating such soothing ambience in their beautiful homes. Do visit hart and mhb to see the beauty of flowers in their homes.

To satisfy this sudden craving, I made a trip to a flower shop last week with the intention of buying a pot of "artificialies". I was dismayed to learn how expensive they were. The price range was between 60rgt to 600rgt per arrangement. But the cheap ones looked uninviting, whilst the expensive ones were not within my budget. As usual, I ended up buying nothing. I went to another shop selling miscellaneous items like baking stuff, ribbons, and toys. To my surprise, they had quite a variety of flowers too. Picked up a few bunches of 2.50 sen each which looked the most expensive of all, tapi sebenarnya tak. Went back and checked out the store room to see if I had kept any vases and finally after much sneezing I unearthed one. Later, I was thinking "macam mana nak decorate ni?" And disebabkan tak pandai and also malas, I just stashed them all together to create "the wild flowers in a vase look", ha ha ha. I love daisies the most, so this bunch suits me well.

What say they:
My husband? he didn't even notice the existence of this bunchies.
My kids? Aaah... they are the sweetest. Innocently and maybe just trying to ambik hati-ly they blurted out"! mama panggil casa impian buat rumah mama ke? ha ha ha. And for that comment, they got themselves macaroni and cheese for lunch, for the second time this week.

Cakes with my new bunch of wild flowers in a vase. Did a lot of tiramisu and plain chocolate cakes this week folks. Not much of decorative cakes, so no pictures to share.

Ps. This song flooded back memories of my youth. I remember singing it on a speed boat with the technical team enjoying the wind in our faces and hair. We were on our way to Tioman Island without a care and worry in this world, maybe except for "if tenggelam boat ni, kita orang tak tau swim dalam laut sgt" he he he. It was fun. I'm sure you could sing along to this song too, so just let's! Common kids...and a 1 and a 2 and a 3...

Angin bayu membawa diriku
Sepintas lalu ku terkenangkanmu
Memori silam meresap malam
Kenangan bersama tersimpan selamanya

Walaupun kau pergi jauh dari diri ini
Cintaku masih bersemadi di hati
Keyakinan kita kan kembali
Menghidupkan semula janji bara cinta

( korus 1 )
Kita bersama mengejar mimpi
Terpisah sementara kupasti
Suatu hari nanti
Cinta kita bersemi
Kembali menerangi
Mekar di taman hati

( korus 2 )
Walaupun jauh pandangan mata
Kuyakin kau kan tetap setia
Begitulah ku jua
Keikhlasan di jiwa
Dan cintaku hanyalah

Saban hari diriku menuggu
Khabar berita darimu di sana
Gerimis senja kembali reda
Kerinduan di jiwa
Kau jadi penawar

Rinduku padamu tak dapat ku terkata
Setiap saat waktu bagai terlalu lama
Bila kita kembali bersama
Hiduplah semula
Janji bara cinta

( ulang korus1 & korus2 )
( ulang korus1 & korus2 )

Mimpi yang dikejar telah pun menjadi nyata
teristimewa untuk anda semua...

Untukmu - Feminin

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ya Habibi!

Just as I was about to raise my voice in the manner to reprimand a straggler in my class, a wobbly head popped up from his slumber and mumbled "...teacher, when you the go to the Haj?" A breath of reproach failed to fume out upon digesting his question of the day. I inhaled a somewhat fresher air at this point and answered him amicably, at the same time wondering if he was really interested to know, or was just trying to duck down from blistering badly due to the fiery breath of the class fiend.

"Well" I started.

"It's not that easy. To register, one needs to have a certain amount of money and even if one has enough, one has to wait in the queue of waiting list before one could depart for Haj. It may take around 2 to 5 years."

"How much you pay teacher for the Haj" continued the straggler.

"At least 15k" I said in assurance. "...maybe more, depends on the type of hotel, the food, the air fare..." and before I could finish with the rest of the explanation, he interrupted...

"...I live 10km away from Masjidil Haram teacher. I can get you the best hotels but cheap price and transport, you follow me and the locals, we do the Arab way. I take you on the village road, no cars teacher, only camels. Cheap this way. We reach there fast. We can finish do the Haj in 5 days. I will assist you teacher. No worry."

I gaped and practically popped out from my chair after listening to his invitation to assist. The thought of doing my haj earlier and with the locals at a much cheaper price intrigued me much. Being very animated in class, I was clapping my hands and feet to the amusement of my students. Some of the rest promised to greet me at the airport and join me and husband for Haj.

"We do together teacher, no problem. And you must come stay at my house in Jeddah" said one tough guy who happens to love my chocolate cake and who has been buying them every week now, he he he.

Another sweet student invited me to stay at his mansion over looking his date farm. He was the one who provided me with fresh dates personally plucked by his family member to be brought here for my consumption. How kind was that? The same sweet fellow will accompany my husband and I on our Haj insyallah and mentioned that some of the Imams in Masjidil Haram are his college friends. He used to study the Quran and I believe a tahfiz in his own right but he chose to be an engineer instead.

We exchanged numbers later and all was too excited of the prospect of a reunion in the land of the Prophets. A promise to gather approximately 4 years from now was made.(it couldn't be any earlier as they have to finish their studies here first)

Out of doubt I asked my students "...what if you forget your teacher, you don't remember me when I call. then how?"

A changed face from pleasant to seriousness quickly ensued upon hearing my qualms and in chorus they replied...

"We Arabs never forget our teachers, we never forget you teacher!"

I was so overwhelmed by their gestures. And suddenly the anger I brewed initially at the beginning of the class was soon requited. The fiery fiend has been tamed, I am all jello, mellow and pudding now. Pour me some vanilla caramel cream, and I will be complete.

"Ya Habibi" of my class.
habiby ya omry - amr diab

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Peek A Boo Hoo!

Here's a peek to my silence.

Thanks Kak Lin!

Thanks Kak Fiza!

Thanks Aunty Nah!

The silence continues in days to come,
managing thoughts and fighting qualms.
If the need to see me arises for some,
buried I would be in my raised palms.


Ku Mohon - Sheila Majid

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Special Delivery

My cakes bake their own stories of the hows and the whys to the ooops and the cries. It's like a
fairy tale filled with vivid images and similarly, like all fables of mother goose, my cakey stories would steer in that wishful direction, the start to many beautiful endings of "happily ever afters". As cakey as it may sound, I have only the best and the sincerest of hopes and intentions for all the cakes I managed to bake and deliver. Cake decorating has never been breezy, but the daunting task of creating them are amply rewarded with the deliveries. It's that first look on the recipients' faces that got me hooked into this venture. A kaleidoscope of colourful expressions illuminating those uninitiated faces. And being a person who thinks she lives next door to Snow White and all her 7 dwarfs, imaginations of golden light beaming from the cake boxes with twinkling stars escaping from them are not something unusual or make beliefs. They are as true as the magic carpet she travels on he he he.

Deliveries do take me places, sometimes to the far far away land. They even grant me many wishes of meeting long lost friends. I was fortunate to have met a dear one, 2 days before Raya. A friend whom I have not laid eyes on for more than 12 years. She was the songbird who often entertained us way back in our University years not only with English and Malay songs but in any other languages upon requests. She lives with her beautiful family now in this beautiful house on this beautiful road with this beautiful pool at the back. I was feeling beautiful arriving at her house bearing beautiful gifts of cakes and cookies. Everything was beautiful that day, from the weather to the meals we had for iftar at her house. It wasn't an iftar "do" which was preplanned but since we came late around 6.30, my friend invited us to stay for iftar and I am so glad we did. I bought some food at the pasar ramadhan and of course some cakes and she took out her iftar preparations of the day and we gathered at the table and shared whatever little food that we had. It was nice to sit and share our meals together and speak of old times and new ones. Our kids hit it off too, playing and running all over the place. Despite the noise they made, we did manage to exchange stories, the happy and the sad.

I hope in a miraculous way, for the cakes and cookies(gifts from her good friend Dee)to be able to cheer her up, even for the littlest of time on Hari Raya. She is hurdling through a stormy weather at this point of time in her life. But after meeting her that day, I am confident that she will cruise through this choppy sea and set sail to friendlier shores.

Not all deliveries end with "...happily ever after" folks. As for this this one, it aptly ends with "...forever and ever" of all of us becoming friends that is.

Take care Enida!

"Friends forever and ever"

Edrick with the magic wand. "I wish..."

Kitreena deep in her thoughts.

This song is especially for both Kitreena and Edrick from Kak Iman and Abang A'dnin.

Forever and ever - Pooh and Christopher Robin