A Very Quick Raya Haji 2009

The description of the routes would be understood only by those who frequent them ๐Ÿ˜‰ .

Last Thursday, after the visit to Ikea, we packed our stuff and headed towards our hometown, Kota Bharu. Thinking that the bulk of the traffic had left, we decided to take the normal Gombak->Raub->Gua Musang route.

We used the Mempaga by-pass, but some how missed the junction, and headed towards Lurah Bilut instead of Kelau and Sempalit. All these are part of Raub, but the later would bypass the notorious Raub town traffic. Hence we found ourselves stuck for hours ๐Ÿ™ .

We thought that was it, an a surprise we got when soon after we left Padang Tengku, the traffic just stalled. It was well before the Petronas station at Kg Kechau! Argh… So we got stuck again and the congestion only eased when we reached Cegar Perah.

We arrived at Gua Musang R&R at 10pm, a good 7 hours after we left home. On a normal day, we would have reached my MIL’s place by then. Iย  then took over the driving. On a normal day, from the R&R to MIL’s place would be about 2 hours. That night, we only reached MIL’s place at 2am! That’s a good 4 hours, instead of the regular 2 hours. So, all in all, it took us 11 hours to reach our destination.

What irked me the most were the drivers who jumped queues each time we got stuck (3 different places). They were so inconsiderate and selfish.

So, on Raya morning (Friday) I was so groggy and sleepy. I paid for the qurban (sacrifice) but got MIL to actually go the place where the qurban was performed. I only helped to cook the beef when she brought some home.

On Saturday, we visited uncles and aunts of DH’s before we sent Nafis back to his school. Nafis is sitting for his SPM (end of secondary school examination) which will resume on Monday. His dedicated teachers had earlier arranged some extra classes that were to start as early as Saturday afternoon.

To avoid similar jam coming back to Shah alam, we decided to leave home right after the Man U match vs Portsmouth that Saturday night (last night). And guess what? We arrived home 6 hours later! That’s a record as compared to the 11 hours we did the other way, last Thursday!

Here’s the orchid that I bought for MIL a few months ago,ย  which fullyย  bloomed again just the day before raya:


Happy Eid Mubarak To All My Muslim Readers

This morning DH and I went to Ikea to purchase our kitchen cabinets, but found out that they will deliver within 3 days if we do so, so, after consultation and choice of cabinets, we decided to postpone the purchase until we arewe are going toย  back in Shah Alam, and until the new home is properly secured (with grills and security tinting, wherever applicable).

While the pilgrims are preparing for the big day in Arafah (Saudi Arabia), we are going back to Kota Bharu for the eid celebration.

We are off for another long trip back to Kota Bharu. Wish us a safe journey home, and hopefully the roads are not too congested.

Will tomorrow be as wet as this?:


This Time 30 years Ago…

Nafis (my no.4 child) is now sitting for his SPM examinations. It’s now raining heavily in Kota Bharu (where Nafis is), and many roads out of Kota Bharu are closed due to flooding (as of today’sย  evening news).

Exactly 30 years ago, I was in his situation. 30 years ago I was in the final weeks of my Form 5, and was sitting for my MCE (Malaysian Certificate of Education) exams, which is equivalent to his SPM. I was in the last batch of the so called English medium, where we studied the Maths (Modern Maths & Additional Maths) and Sciences (Biology, Physics & Chemistry) in English, whilst the other subjects were taught in Bahasa.

Strangely, in 1979, it was also raining heavily, as we were going through our weeks of examinations. I remember, just a couple of days before the exams ended, there was a huge land slide in Kuala Bala – something like a hill collapsed and a clinic was submerged under mud! I remember I went to town (Kota Bharu) to buy a bag to pack my stuff. It was sunny in Kota Bharu. Over the radio, we heard about the land slide, and the following day Kota Bharu was flooded!

On the morning we sat for our final paper (Additional Mathematics) , it was raining heavily. We were in the school hall. The moment we stepped out of the hall, our feet were submerged in water up to our ankles! As if the tough exam paper (I did find it tough) was not enough, when we went into the Dining Hall, we were only served with HALF piece of a miserable dried fish (ikan kering) and a little sardine (canned) each! It was the last day, so the storeroom didn’t have much dry food. I think they finished the eggs for breakfast. Unfortunately, on that day, the area around my school (Pengkalan Chepa) was no longer accessible except by heavy vehicle, so our perishables didn’t arrive, hence the lunch with canned and dried fish!

Our planned farewell party/meal in the classroom was so quiet and uneventful at all. It was attended by hardly half of the class, as most of my friends were fetched by their parents much earlier. I remember instead of fried noodles that we planned to have, we only had some dry crackers that my friends and I managed to buy at a small local grocery shop. It was surely a very sad moment. There was no cake, no jelly, no fruit as we intially planned ๐Ÿ™ . I think we had some ground nuts..

Now, with the heavy rain in Kota Bharu, I hope Nafis doesn’t have to experience what I did exactly 30 years ago…

Here is a shot of my school more than 30 years ago:


Note part of the roof of the dining hall (front left, behind the tree) which was grey. Now the roof is red! The wall-less middle block is our (then) newly constructed canteen.

And now (taken in 2007):


The canteen is now fully walled, and air-conditioned too! Note the same block behind the bare canteen? Now there is another building between that block (Block A) and the Dining Hall (red roof). The later has part of the Main Hall on the right hand side.

Another shot taken in 2007:

aidiladhha-2006-smstmfp-01-01-2007-11-46-49Both the dining hall (red roof) and the canteen have grown bigger (wider)!

It was so yellow/orange during my days:


Can you see the canteen again, behind the Main Hall (red/orange roof). There used to be a volleyball court next to the hall, but now there are covered car parks instead (see the earleir pic).

But very green now:


Footnote: Yeah, Nafis is my only child who managed to study at my alma-mater ๐Ÿ™‚

To Nafis, if you happen to read this blog entry, Mama would like to wish you all the best in the examinations. I know, you will not let any of us down!

The End Of A Chapter

The book is My Life. The Chapter is “Primary School Kids”.

Nah.. I’m just joking! There’s no book in the pipeline. It’s just that yesterday was the last day of Aina’s primary school. Since Aina is the youngest, yesterday too was the last day of me having any child in primary school. How fast they grow!! In fact, from next year onwards, only Mae and Aina will be in secondary school. Bok, will you be working soon? I hope so.

It was a pleasant closure of the “chapter” when yesterday Aina got her UPSR (end of primary school public exam) results and she scored all As (5 As). A week earlier Aina scored “Mumtaz” for her PSRA exam (this one is for the Islamic stream/subjects). Mumtaz is “high distinction”, with her getting As for all the 6 subjects. Kudos to Aina! I think that she did very well, despite missing so many days of classes, and even missing one of her PSRA’s trial exams (yeah, they had 2 or 3 rounds) when she had to follow us in our crazy trips.

I know primary school results are not that important, but they certainly add some “colour” to the kids’ memories of their primary school days.

Suddenly I feel so old. All my kids are grown up. I’d better end this blog with the last “complete” family photo, taken in Oct 2006:


To my new readers,

Standing from left: Nafis (no.4), DH, Ayi (no.3), Mae(no.5)

Seated from left: Aina(no.6), Bok (no.2), me, Nuni (no.1)

we’ll have to wait for quite a while another “complete” family photo because Ayi is still in Canada ๐Ÿ™ .

Just An Update…

It’s been a complete week since I last blogged. Time really flies.

The week has been pretty hectic, not so much about work, but more on the preps for the new home. I felt lazy to blog because I didn’t (still do not) have interesting related pic to put with the blog. DH said a blog with no pic is boring!

Anyway, let’s recap what I’ve done in the past 7 days (not necessarily in order):

  • Went to the new home for alarm testing and to measure certain corners of the house (I think I went twice, though DH went there more frequent).
  • Went to the shop that makes and installs grills (went there twice!)
  • Went to Al-jazeera, in Cyberjaya for dinner!
  • Visited Ikea twice. First to get some ideas on what to have or not have in the new house. The later visit was to get some measurement and quotation for the kitchen cabinets (yeah, i think we are taking Ikea’s product for that).
  • Visited a few furniture outlets and eventually bought (or rather ordered) some items (you’ll see much later when they are ready).
  • Went to Nilai to look at and eventually buy some fabrics for the new curtains.
  • Attended my niece’s son’s wedding (on Sunday). Yeah, my niece is 2 years older than me and that was wedding of her first child/son.
  • Sent Aina for her music class on TUesday night (this is a weekly routine, it’s just that last Tue DH came home late, so it was only Aina and me).

Argh… And we have loads more to do before we could move into the new home!

Oh, on the crafty note, I’ve got a lot more yo-yos since my last post about them. I also carry an “in progress” doily in the car whenever I go out with DH. He’d be sriving, and me crocheting (if I feel like it..).

Today (yeah, it’s another off-day for me) we are going back to Ikea!

Progress With My New Toys

I really don’t know where to start with the new house. Let DH worry a bit on that. We need to secure the house first -grill, anti-theft tint, or whatever to the sliding doors. Then comes the lighting and built-in cabinets. After that I guess, we can start looking for furniture, one after another. The lounge needs a new set of sofa, for sure. The current one (of low quality), when we bought 12 years ago, I expected to use for only 5 years max!

In the mean time, let me just indulge in my hobbies. Using the yo-yo makers that I bought 2 days ago, I’ve produced these:


Oh, this one is clearer:


I’ve yet to join the pieces. I’m still looking for ideas on the Internet on what to do with them…

I’ll have many more by tonight ๐Ÿ™‚ .

My New Toys

I’ve heard about yo-yo makers some time back. I used to make them, but without any maker. I would just trace a circle on the wrong side of the fabric. I used the can cover (Milo!) to trace the circle. Then I would sew running stiches around it, just like demonstrated by Zakka life. In those days I couldn’t manage much because there were not much remnant fabrics at home. In those days we only had our dresses made once a year, i.e. before Eid Mubarak aka Raya.

A few days ago, while I was at my notebook, I decided to google for sites on “yo-yo sewing“. I really felt like making some of those flower-shaped yo-yos.

I was told by my NNC friends that Sakura Sewing Shop in SS19, Subang Jaya does sell those yo-yo makers. I called the shop this morning and enquired about them. I was told that they do have them.

Unfortunately when I went there, they only have the round-shaped (they thought these were the ones I was referring to as “flower yo-yo”).ย  Anyway, I decided to buy 2 sizes of the heart-shapes, and one for the plain round:


And tonight, I produced these:


The first 2 are not so nice, but the next two show that I’ve improved ๐Ÿ™‚ .

I am too lazy to demonstrate how it is done. Please read at Craftsylish or Lazygirl Design.

So far I’ve also made several of the round ones. What would I turn them into? I don’t know…. Not to worry, as the Internet is full of ideas/suggestions on what to do with them. Just askย  “Master Google”!

We Got The Keys! _ Part II (Ardisia, Setia Alam)

Now, done with the ground floor, let’s go upstairs:

We looked up as we went up:

Looking down once we were up:

To the left there are 2 rooms:

But first, let’s see the family area, just next to the stairs:

There’s another room whose door faces the family area and the stairs. That room will be our AV/entertainment room.

To the right of the stairs (as we were going up) is the master bedroom (that’s my room!). Part of it:

From the windows above we can admire the bungalows of Eco Park, Setia Alam:

To the left is the space for the built-in robes, and the bathroom.

View into the bathroom:

The glassy door on the left is to the shower area. I was wondering what I’d do with the space where I was standing (as in the pic above)!

View inwards, from where I was standing:

Yes, I am happy with this bathroom! ๐Ÿ™‚

Done with the bathroom, we looked out of our bedroom window again, facing to the right:

A bit to the left, we saw this:

Looking out towards the neighbour’s house:

BTW, the view from one of the 2 bedrooms in front (yes,the master bedroom faces the back, and yes, I do not have any pic of the other 3 rooms):

I think our front neighbours’ housesย  have better facade than ours.

The view towards our bedroom from the front room:

One of the bathrooms:

BTW, here’s the view of the laundry area adjoining to the neighbour’s side, from the front room:

click here for the floor plan.

Well, that’s about it…

ADDED 09/11/09

Yesterday’s pics of our house, thanks to Nizam.





We Got The Keys! _Part I (Ardisia, Setia Alam)

Today we went to Setia Alam’s Welcome Centre to collect the keys to our new home. We didn’t just collect the keys, but a whole lot of other stuff related to the hand-over of the vacant possession of the unit we bought last year.

Here are some of the pix that I hope can give you some idea of how the house looks like:

Driving towards the house:

Our unit is the second one from the left:

It’s the second unit of quite a long row of them:

Ours is on the right side:

Front view:

The driveway:

The view as we entered the main door (the lounge is at the back!):

There’s a mini lounge (taken from the staircase):

A friend suggested that I put a round table with a huge vase of flowers on it, just like the foyers of hotels!

The door on the left leads to the guest room (aka MIL’s room whenever she comes visiting). To the left of the door is the bathroom:

Done with the guest room, let’s see how the lounge looks like (empty):

Looking a bit to the right:

Here’s another pic, with me too tired from going up and down, round and round the house:

Looking outside, towards the other neighbour’s house:

Turn 180 degrees, and we can see the dry kitchen area (connected to the lounge):

The window and door on the left (above) lead to the wet kitchen:

The wet kitchen is a bit too small ๐Ÿ™ย  (note the same window on the left?):

I don’t think I can have an island table in this little space ๐Ÿ™ .

Outside the wet kitchen is the laundry area:

Outside the house:

View of the back:

Just outside our back fence (to the left):

Another view (to the right):

to be continued...