NeedlesNCrafts October Stitching Bee

As the name suggested, it was last month, on 30th October, to be precise. I just didn’t get to blog earlier.

We, at NeedlesNCraft (NNC) normally have our stitching bee bimonthly. I had missed a few of them, so last month I made a point to attend and stay on for as long as I could!

Nik had blogged here. It was well-written and explained pretty detail on what happened that day πŸ™‚ .

I just want to add on with my own. We had many books and craft to see and admire:

As Anna was arriving:

Some books brought by Faizon:

I learnt some tatting techniques from Faizon. It’s on how to do the double picots (do i get the term correct). She had the tutorial on her blog but I just could not understand.. I need a live demonstration πŸ™‚ .

Veronica & June:

I went to the wash room, and as I walked back, I took this shot:

Jo showing the all-purpose bag that she made:

As Nik started the lucky draw. She prepared a gift for EVERYONE of us! I don’t remember who was drawing the lucky name here:

Here’s mine, purposely taken on a page of Faizon’s book because I like the little bird mobile:

And here’s the knitted scarves (yes, I knitted 2 scarves at the same time!):

Honestly, I think you get a better description of the day’s meet from Nik’s blog entry. I am too lazy to re-write what happened πŸ™‚ .

Love Never Ends – Air Supply

Last Monday (15th Nov 2010), I attended the latest Air Supply concert at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. It was aptly entitled “Love Never Ends”.

Both DH and I got the VIP tickets at RM304.50 each!

The seats were on the 10th row from the front and I got an aisle seat! The tickets were birthday gifts from our kids, Nuni & Nubli (the two who are now working πŸ™‚ ).

When we left home at 5.50pm, it was raining heavily. We arrived at KLCC one hour later. We went to redeem our tickets before going for our maghrib prayers. We had a simple dinner there too, after which we adjourned to the concert hall.

It was still pretty empty:

The stage then:

My friend Shima was also there with her hubby:

(pic taken using my N79 phone)

The organiser did allow still photography but video-recording was strictly prohibited.

The opening act which we didn’t miss:

The REAL show started with Russell Hitchcock singing solo:

His voice sounded as good as in their audio CD! I tried my best to remember the songs that they sang and in which order, but I was really hopeless!!

Graham Russell played the guitar like he used to, jumping around with full stamina.

and singing too!


With 135 concerts per year globally, I am sure they remember the lyrics (even the lengthy “Making Love Out of Nothing At All”!) very well!

DH took over 300 shots! Here are some of them:

Somewhere in the middle of the show, while Graham Russell was singing, I saw Russell H coming down from the stage on the right. He shook hands with some of the audienceΒ  in front. I was thinking to myself, oh no! I was not close enough to him.

Before I knew it, he dashed to the back! He continued to sing too, while shaking hands with some of the audience at the back. I think he took DH by surprise, that’s why he (DH) didn’t get many shot then. Here’s one of them:

While we were focused on Russell H, Graham R actually did the same thing from the other side of the auditorium:

Their performance was very entertaining:

At one time, Russell invited the audience to come forward to dance while they sang. Intially nobody went to the front, but soon there were many followers:

Many of them actually wanted to take close-up shots of the duo:

Many BBs too:

Soon the people on duty asked them to go back to their seats, which they did reluctantly.

Many times we were singing along or clapping hands while they sang. During the excitement, DH managed to snap this photo of me:

The duo started their show at 8.40pm, and they finished at 10.20pm. To most of us, the concert was a tad too short πŸ™ . We noticed some songs, such as “Two less Lonely People In The world” were missing… πŸ™

Ah, well, it was still entertaining, to say the least!

My verdict: it was very entertaining to me, and I was happy I got to sing along with them, hehehehe….. πŸ™‚

Thank you again, my kids!!

And, yes, LOVE NEVER ENDS!!!

A Bit of My Past..

This is not going to be a happy post and it’s photo-less too. Not that I am unhappy. In fact I am now very happy and contented. True, I was lonely a couple of nights ago but that was temporary.

I have been wanting to write this a long time ago, but I was afraid that I might hurt certain people’s feelings. On the other hand, I am close to 50 yrs old, I might not live long enough to have the opportunity to tell this to you (whoever is reading my blog). Today after reading a sad status of someone that I care on Facebook, I am moved to write a bit about myself, or rather about my past. I hope by doing so, I would be able to motivate that person to strive on and be strong to face life.

I used to tell my students about my past. My past is never meant to be a secret.It normally started when I tried to advise my students, and I got responses that are something like this: “It’s easy for you maam, because your life is good!” How wrong they were. And that would be the catalyst to a long history lesson for them πŸ™‚ .

I was adopted, as I once blogged here, but I didn’t know I was adopted, until I was about to get married. The only parents I knew worked hard to make ends meet, but they never made me realise that I came from a poor family!Β  They provided well for me. I never knew that a bus driver earned so much less than many other people. I remember how I used to stand up in class, loudly and proudly tell the class that my father was a bus driver,Β  each time we had to tell about ourselves and our families.

The only mother I knew (though not my biological mother) passed away in Mecca when I was in Form 1 (I was 13 years old), and my father passed away 2 months before my MCE (equivalent to “O-level”) examinations.Β  I just turned 17.

My parents had children from previous marriages, but between them they only had me. I have 2 brothers from my mum’s previous marriage. One was not so poor but was hardly nice to me (that’s the reason I do not go back to my home town) while the other was very nice but poor. I always had the impression that the former never liked me. When I became the state best student for LCE (equivalent to PMR) I received a lot of congratulatory wishes from friends and neighbours alike. But what did that brother say to me? I still rememberΒ  the cynical remark very well: “Pah mu raso mu biso lah?” (So you think you are so great then?). A neighbour said to me, if my mum was still alive, there would be a big feast from her to celebrate my success…

When I was at the final stage of getting the scholarship to study in Australia (well before I sat for my MCE), the same brother’s remark was (translated) “so you think you are so good to get the scholarship?). I remember he was reluctant to pay for my MCE examinations fees. I was lucky because I was one of the 4 Petronas scholars (for upper secondary school), and Petronas really took good care of us including paying for our examination fees!

His negative attitude towards me continued well into my marriage. By then I was indifferent towards him. I did help pay for some of his kids education but I did so because I kept on telling myself that they are my late mum’s grandchildren.

Apart from losing my mum when i was only 13, I also had 2 step-mums! The first one lasted for less than 2 years, but the second one lasted until my father’s demise. During the last few months of my father’s life, he was quite poor, and had his wife and 2 small kids to fend for (one from his wife’s previous marriage). He asked me to ask for help from the brother I mentioned above (to dad, it was quite fair because dad took care of him from the age of 9Β  until he got married), but getting money from him (my brother) was very very difficult. Most of the time I survived on the scholarship money, or money given to me by my close friends, cousins and aunties. Yes, I did have aunties and cousins who were sympathetic towards me, and they remain my close and loved ones.

Financial problems, emotional problems, you name it! My studies declined, but luckily it wasn’t that bad, hence I managed to secure a scholarship to study in Australia.

When I was about to fly to austalia, I asked that brother, how would he send me off. His answer was very demotivating, and again I remember it very well: “if you take the bus, I’ll send you to Kota Bharu, if you take the train, I’ll send you to the train station”. He was referring to the trip to Kuala Lumpur. At that time, Kota Bharu was easily 12 hours drive away from Kuala Lumpur. Most families would hire a car and come down to Kuala Lumpur to send their kids to the airport.

How on earth did he think I, a 17 -year old girl would find her way to the airport (which she had never been to?). I decided to leave from my auntie’s house in Muar (Johor) because my cousin (demised many many years ago) had promised to send me to Subang Airport if I were to leave from there. What do I get from my brother? A scolding for being biased towards my aunties in Muar!! How could I not be so? They showered me with all the love I craved for!

My auntie was only a rubber tapper. My cousin was a government clerk who owned a very old Volkswagon. They told me, they could help me as much as they could, as long as it didn’t involve money, which was scarce to them. Despite that, my auntie had a kenduri doa selamat for me the night before we left for Kuala Lumpur (airport).

Much later, when I was already working they told me that the volkswagon broke down in Port Dickson on their way home! The car never travelled that far before that, so maybe it was too much for it. There was only “Senawang-Air Keroh” highway, while the rest was done using the old federal road!

I still remember the night at the airport. While all my other friends were well dressed in 3-piece suits that their parents ordered for them, I was only wearing a pair of Peter& Jeannie cotton jeans, a simple blouse and my prefect’s (school) blazer! Luckily the scholarship officer didn’t seem to mind my casual appearance!

Oh, where was my other brother, you might be wondering…Β  He was very poor then, but his heart was (and still is) full of love. I didn’t like to trouble him, but most of the time, he was always there for me. He visited me at the hostel regularly. Each time he came, just before he left, he would take out his wallet, counted his money. If there was RM10, he would give me RM5 and said to me he would use the other RM5 to buy fish for him to hawk the following day!

He was very angry when I told him what the other brother said to me. So he went to see his brother, and he said to him “If you are too busy to send our little sister off, give me some money. I need to buy the bus ticket and I want to send her off!”. That’s right, at the airport, I saw him waiting and smiling at me. Even now, 30 years on, i’m still chocked with emotions when I think of that night. He came in patched shirt but stood proud of me. He related to me how he went to see the other brother and got the bus-fare money from him!!

The moment I set foot on the Aussie soil, I said to myself, “I am in charge of my life now. It’s up to me what I want my future to be”. And the rest is history….

I always tell people I can forgive, but I will never forget.Our history isΒ  a big factor to what we are and how we feel today, trust me!! And now I think you will understand why close friends and caring relatives are of utmost importance to me!

If you’ve been following my blog, you would know that I still visit that brother who now lives in the house I grew up, though I no longer spend my night there.

I’ll continue my story later, if I feel i am up to it, hence no promise of “to be continued” πŸ™‚

A Working Week in Alor Setar

This time 2 weeks ago (Tuesday) I was driving north, heading towards Alor Setar for a 4-day work assignment.

As mentioned earlier, I don’t like to talk about work. I’d rather talk about other things I tried to do to fill up the in-between time.

Why don’t we let the pix do the story-telling?

We stayed at the Holliday Villa (claimed by most to be the best hotel in town):

By 1.30pm, we were already at the place we were supposed to be:

That night we went to Kuala Kedah for dinner at this D’Perindu Restaurant:

We waited for the dishes to come:

and waited:

It was almost 1 hour after we ordered, and then only we understood why they had this notice at a few corners of the restaurant:

Translation: Please be informed that we take quite a long while to process your order.

One hour after our order, the food finally arrived:

We were surely happy when the dinner was over (it was about 11pm by then!)

On Wednesday despite being so occupied (the session went all the way into the night!) we managed to have a brief stop at the infamous Pekan Rabu:

hat we didn’t

We were there between 5.30pm and 6.45pm only, but we managed to browse through the shops there:

I’ve been here before (in 2005) but I still enjoyed this walk-about:

Another view of the arcade:

We were lucky to be able to catch the local lasses making/frying the local kuih karas:

Not satisfied with the shot, I took another one:

A close shot:

We bought some of the freshly prepared kuih karas, and walked up further to see other offerings at the bazaar.

Another famous product on sale is the ikan pekasam (pickled/fermented fish):

I am not so much a fan of the ikan pekasam, so I walked on and saw the locally ground coffee on sale:

We just have so many types of coffee at home, so I didn’t buy any, either πŸ™‚ . I managed to catch a friend doing her shopping, though πŸ™‚ :

Since we had to go back to the night session, we decided to have take-away meals from this shop:

On Thurs, we continued with our session until very late in the afternoon (almost 6pm). We also had our dinner with the participants.

When the dinner was over, we decided to unwind a bit by visiting the popular dataran (square) in front of the Balai Rong Seri:

With my N79 and E53 Nokia phones I tried to capture the famous icon:

And the mosque across the road:

Since we were still not sleepy, we decided to visit the nearby Stadium Darul Aman:

Initially I was wondering why should we go there, but when we arrived, I was surprised that the place was still alive with night stalls selling all sorts of goods:

It was Thursday night, and in Kedah Friday is the weekly public holiday (instead of Sunday), one shopkeeper told me that he might keep his stall open until 2 or 3am!

We left the place almost midnight.

The following day we finished our morning session just in time for lunch and for the guys to go for their Friday noon prayers.

On our back home, we stopped at the Sungai Perak Rest Area.

This was my first visit to the place since its renovation. The place looks very nice;

and more spacious too:

Since all of us had been working hard, and sleep-deficient, we took easy at the stop:

We took our time to savour the local pau:

and laksa:

and exchange notes on the recently concluded training/facilitation session:

Before we left the rest area, we visited the aboriginal stall:

and the fruit stall where we bought some local guavas and mangoes (no pic – too busy buying, hahaha!!).

We arrived back at our office at 7.20pm (to drop off the guys) and I reached home just before 8pm.

For the record, thank you Pokme taking over the driver’s seat at Gunung Semanggol Rest Area!