Friday, December 21, 2012

Off My Chest

Hari ni, Jumaat (21/12/2012), hari terakhir Aisyah bersekolah buat tahun ni. Tahun depan, 2013, In Shaa Allah, dia masih sempat bersekolah for a couple of weeks, before kena leave school for good utk balik Msia. So skang aku dlm mode sedih, sebak, pilu, campur2. 


Lately aku mmg dah terasa la aura2 nak balik Msia tu. Tak dinafikan, mmg sedih sgt2. Maklumlah, tempat jatuh lg dikenang. Inikan pula tempat bermastautin selama 4 thn lebih lama nya. Sebenarnya, sedih aku ni lebih kepada Aisyah. Utk diri sendiri tu ada la jg, tp aku dah biasa. Sebelum buat PhD ni pon, bbrp belas tahun dahulu dah pernah menetap di UK utk 3 thn lebih, buat O-Levels dan A-Levels pada masa tu, so aku dah bole agak mcm mana rasa sedih dia, dan mcm mana rasa transition yg akan berlaku awal2 balik Msia nanti. The first few weeks mmg akan rasa mcm blur2 dan x tahu nak start kat mana, but In Shaa Allah bole handle. Cuma the heat je lah, Masha Allah, will get to us, if I remember correctly from masa balik cuti2 tahun 2010 hari tu (air-cond 24 jam for several days!!!). 


But, bila tgk wajah mulus anak, rasa kasihan dan tertanya2 mcm mana penerimaan dia nanti. So far, bila borak2 topik balik Msia je, air muka dia mmg berubah. Dia mmg x nak. Mula2 dulu dia ingat balik Msia ni, as in pegi holiday kot. Dia suka aje nak jumpa Nek Mi, Tok dan cousin2 dia semua. Bila explain betul2, nak 'move' to Msia, dia mcm jd unhappy sket. Although she is only 4 yrs old, ckp dia mmg mcm budak2 besar, sbb aku slalu ajak sembang kot. Antara statement2 yg dia pernah ckp regarding this matter are, 'I don't want to go back to Msia. The children there won't like me', or 'I don't want new friends. I want my old friends', or 'I don't want to go to a new school. I like this school'. Dia dah slalu2 ckp tahun dpn dia masuk Year 1 (naik kelas kat sini). Paling heavy, smlm dia ckp, 'I don't want to start a new life'. Mana hati x robek?


Tidak lah ini bermakna aku ni ibarat kacang lupakan kulit. Bukan jg aku implying that UK is so much better than Msia, sampaikan x reti2 nak balik. Juga jgn lah kalo ada family member yg baca, sampai kecik hati. Aku tau diorg tgh counting days ni bila la kapal terbang kami nak mendarat di KLIA. Kami pon excited nak reunite. Cuma, it's never easy to make a change kan? We have been so complacent with this lifestyle now, and tiba2 nak uproot is just madness, I feel. Aisyah apatah lg. Though she wasn't born here, she entered this country at age 4 months. As far as she is concerned, THIS IS HOME. Kalo tanya dia pon, dia kata dia berbangsa 'English'. English is her main language, Plymouth is home, there are four seasons in a year, and never forget to put on your coat before you head out. Her first tooth, first steps, first school, first friends, and countless of other firsts, were all  made here. Her entire life (thus far) is here.  


Don't get me wrong, of course la excited nak balik jumpa family, nak settle down, nak fokus on family, work, nak beraya, nak balik kg, nak expose anak kpd Islam dgn lebih lg, and top of all, kalo balik dgn jaya nya mmg syukur tidak terkata coz that's what we came here for... but, God, I can't say I won't miss this place. 


Aku tahu, bkn anak aku sorg je kena melalui. Beribu2 lg anak2 org lain yg sama2 ikut mak pak belajar or kerja dan kena balik Msia go through the same thing. Like I said, me and my adik beradik did too. In fact, kami melalui nya bbrp kali. Masa aku baya Aisyah pon, kena separated with friends jgk, from Virginia, USA balik Msia, then later pada usia remaja tu from UK balik Msia. Tapi, penerimaan budak ni lain2, and I know my child, dia ni agak sensitif sket jiwa nya. Setengah budak 2 minggu terus bole adapt, setengah tu amik masa yg lebih lama. I myself have seen the effect of balik Msia on my two brothers, mmg efek jgk la academically and also self-esteem yg destroyed sket sbyk. Of course, it takes time nak put your feet in the ground kan, find new friends, be comfortable with the weather, food, catch up with the language, school work, etc, etc... Moga2 kami tabah.


My mom ckp aku ok je masa dibawak balik from USA dulu (baya2 Aisyah). I hope dia pon mcm aku, and I hope aku pon strong jg. Masa balik from UK dulu (post-A Levels), mmg I thought the world was unfair la (kes x nak balik sbb ada offer utk sambung degree undergrad di UK, tp x dak funding). Now dah x la, x de sbb nak rebel kan, dah lebih matang kan eheh. Semoga Allah permudahkan segala urusan kami, sebelum balik dan selepas dah balik nnt.


Hubs kalo entry2 mcm ni mmg ni muak, aku tahu. Maybe even mengundang tindakan tatatertib drpd beliau kjp lg (me might get a spanking, ouch! :P).  Even aku ckp aku sedih mengenangkan nasib Aisyah pon, dia bo-layan. Siap takut2kan aku dgn cerita2 org fail viva dsb nya, i.e. don't waste my energy pikir psl benda x leh ubah, baik pikir strategy utk lulus cemerlang dgn viva, something that I CAN and SHOULD be working for (his way of distracting me from sedih2, suruh takut2 dan gabra plak). Typical Martian betul org laki nih, x tahu ke us girls mmg mull over things yg sedih2 for a good while, then cry a good bucketful, tp lps tu baru la dtg kekuatan dari dlm. Tu la, org suh baca buku 'Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus' by John Gray, dia mencebik aje. Ish ish... tapi aku tetap tulis gak entry ni, sbb aku tau, bbrp hari ni je aku sedih2, after this, aku mesti dah x sempat nak syahdu2 sgt. With packing, shipping, terminating services, persediaan viva, and ultimately making our way to London to board on that flight, dah konfem x sempat nak pikir dah psl syahdu syahdan ni. So biar lah perasaan ini sempat didokumentasikan sblm tertimbus dgn segala mcm tugas lagi. At least bila dah siap tulis ni, rasa mcm ada closure sket, perhaps will get me working on my viva preparation. 


Ok, half an hour 'till home time utk pick up Aisyah. I'll end this post with a nostalgic picture of me (and my brother and mom, and another brother dlm perut ibuku, circa 1987, dpn Embassy of Malaysia di USA). Bless me mum, she is younger than my now age in this picture, and already anak nak masuk tiga org, semua handle di luar negara and jauh from family plak tu! Anyway, point is, since she said it wasn't big a deal utk anak2 adapt lps balik ke Msia and I guess she must right seeing what I fine younfg lady I turned out to be after being uprooted at 6 years old (hehe), I hope Aisyah won't be scarred for life too :)



PS: Comel x aku Ada iras x aku masa kecik and Aisyah skrg? 

PSS: Oh, oh, ni entry aku yg ke-1000. Woot woot!!!!



 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

No Angels Missing

Aisyah hari tu kan baru jek baik demam, but on Monday lps balik sekolah hari tu, tiba2 suara dia mcm nasally sket and temperature pon ada balik. Then on Tuesday (smlm), I kept her home all day, just to monitor and so that she gets some rest. Dalam hati agak cuak sbb Wednesday (hari ni), adalah hari Xmas Nativity play dia, takut2 dia x leh dtg, kelam kabut lah cikgu nak cari ganti sapa nak sebut part dia in the play etc, etc... dah la smlm dia dah miss full-dress rehearsal. On Monday cikgu dia dah beriya suruh prepare mcm2 for her part. Spt yg telah Aisyah bgtau kat aku sblm ni, watak yg dia pegang adalah 'Angel'.




Alhamdulillah, bgn pagi td temperature dia dah x de. Although she didn't sound 100% well, she was so determined to go to school and perform. Alhamdulillah jg, she played her part well. Actually, besar jg part dia sbg Angel ni rupanya, despite hanya lah perlu bercakap one liner aje (the Angels had to do a lot of centre stage singing and dancing). Video x transfer lg, ada dgn Ayah Aisyah, so letak satu dulu lah picture of my sweet Angel, kinda like a sneak preview, bole?



I'm on standby at home kot2 cikgu dia call suh pick her up from school (kalo2 she feels ill again, but as of now at 12.30 tghari the phone has not been ringing, so I assume she is fine. Let's all pray that it stays that way!)




 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Winter Wonderland 2012

Saturday yg lps, kitaorg pegi town pada lewat ptg satu family. Dah lama rasanya x jejak kaki gi town sejak sibuk hari tu. Asalnya nak do some grocery shopping and also keringkan baju at the laundrette, tp alang2 lalu sipi2 Winter Wonderland tu, of course la Aisyah beriya2 nak naik kan. The past years, Aisyah mmg x pernah failed la naik roller coasters utk budak2 ni, as posted here and here.


One of the 'scariest' rides peringkat kanak2 bwh 7 thn I think I was this Alligator Roller Coaster. Ni baru je ada tahun ni, sebelum2 x de. Siap tulis lg dkt sign tu, 'Parents Can Ride', kira dasat gak la tu kan. I was quite amazed that dlm byk2 rides, Aisyah pilih utk naik benda alah ni. She didn't even care yg dia naik sorg tanpa siblings or parents like most of the other children, macho aje pilih seat yg dpn. Aku plak yg debor sbb this ride increased in speed dkt hujung2 before finally stopping. Takut dia nangis nak turun je half way through, ahhh sudahhh... Alhamdulillah dia ok je. Siap kata it was fun lg. Okayy...








video

Yg ni plak plane ride. Compared to the roller coaster td, very mild aje lah ni. Nak amik video pon x sempat sbb dan2 tu x semena2 hujan turun. Main tetap main, but the camera x mau lah amik risiko kena hujan dan basah plak hehe..




Memandangkan hujan makin lebat lps tu, kitaorg pon mencicit lari masuk Sainsbury's and did our food shopping lah. X jadi round habis Winter Wonderland. Maybe next time. Belah2 hujung sana nun mcm2 lg ada, ice rink, Santa's Grotto, rides utk teens and adults, dan bazar2, tp semua open air. Xmas lights pon x sempat nak amik gambar lg. Kalo ada rezeki nanti sampai lah, In Shaa Allah. Tahun ni mcm x sakan sgt amik gmbr, padahal patutnya tahun paling akhir la bersungguh2 buat kenangan huhu...







 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Playing With Fire

Remember Aisyah's Circus Club? Last week we didn't go since she was down with the winter bug, so imagine our shock when this week, we discovered that the children were to train to twirl a baton, with FIRE!!!


It was really exciting, I must say!!! Aisyah was at first quite reserved, but after awhile, she warmed up to the idea (hehe get it, warmed up?). Due to safety reasons, the training was done outside in the school playground, but coats must be taken off. It really was cold but I guess the adrenaline kept us pumped up. These are some pics and videos of the training.






video
video


Oh, it goes without saying, 'Don' try this at home'. This 'stunt' had been performed under professional circus trainers for children, and high safety precautions were taken (extinguishers, no flammable clothes on children). Remember, if the worst happens, 'Stop, Drop and Roll' (Stop what you're doing, Drop what you're holding, and Roll on the floor). This is explained in this video below:


video



Friday, December 14, 2012

Lab Siblings

Smlm x sempat nak mengarang entry psl penat plak one whole day mcm 2 event berlaku. Tau2 dah masuk waktu tido, eh? Nak citer psl Aisyah punya Xmas party pon mcm x de bahan sgt, sbb nya bukan bole ibu bapa join sama, just budak2 and cikgu2 kelas dia je. But she did say it was so much fun, so I'm going to take her words for it lah. This is her lps dah balik sekolah. That was the dress that she changed into at school. Pandai pon pakai sendiri. Kalo kat umah, ikut angin dia, kdg2 merengek2 suh org tukar kan, asyik la kata 'I can't do it'. Kalo time ada kesabaran, pujuk la dia suh buat sendiri. Time2 x sabar, membebel dan tolong salinkan sbb malas nak ber-psikologi dgn budak. Awful, I know :P



It was also quite an eventful day for our lab yesterday sbb Deputy Vice Chancellor dtg melawat kitaorg. My SV did most of the talking, and showed our group appearances in the media, dlm magazine Newsweek, Science Today, Wired, New Scientists and terkini MIT Technology Review. All I had to do was be there and sengih2 ajo hehe. My SV was very happy with the visit, and he's confident that kitaorg akan secure space di building baru yg tgh dibina skang. Oh well, by that time I have long graduated, in shaa Allah.. 


As our desks were at their best yesterday, aku gurau2 la nak amik gmbr those yg masih ada dlm lab after the visit finish. These were of Al and Dunston (bukan nama sebenar). I share my room with them. Dua2 ni staff, buat post-doc. 




This is my desk. Sgt la lapang sbb bkn main lama dah x masuk opis kan. Kerja pon dah submit, so mmg x de sebab nak kertas bersepah2, just kena sapu habuk2 je that morning, literally. Oh, and masa my SV dtg approached my desk after the event, tanya kat aku, so now aku buat apa? Aku bole jawab baca2 tesis, cari tips nak jawab viva and packing nak balik Msia. Tetttt... Tiga2 jawapan pon x tepat. Jawapan yg dia expect adalah: tulis journal. Eheh... baik, boss! Padahal ada je dlm my to do list, tp bole plak x tersebut. Nampak sgt fikiran aku masih x well put together post-submission, huhu...



Amik gmbr lab, baru aku perasan dah lama aku x update psl my 'adik beradik' se-SV. This past summer, Hilmi (bkn nama sebenar), dah pon lulus viva (baju jalur2 dlm gmbr). Dr Hilmi skang dah pon balik Spain sob sob. Ni masa a few days after dia lulus viva, mkn kat refectory, dia belanja everyone. I kinda miss him jg, sbb dia rajin bual2 and dgn dia x rasa intimidated sgt. even now pon masih ber-email2 and he gave a few pointers sblm aku submit hari tu.



Sorg lagi ialah Hans Guber, dah pon balik negeri jg (Austria). Dijangka akan submit thesis soon. Dia antara yg quite close in terms of progress with me, slalu tanya2 dia stage apa dia skang and update2 kalo ada apa2 yg aku or dia missed out, kitaorg sama2 share. This was us during coffee meet up to say Aur Wiedersehen kpd dia dan isteri. To be honest, aku akan miss wife dia lebih altho wife dia bkn student kat sini sbb dia peramah and slalu lepak lab teman laki dia buat keja hehe. Terubat gak la kesunyian jd satu2 student perempuan dlm lab ni.




Next to leave the lab, aku lah kot In Shaa Allah. Spjg aku belajar kat sini (2008), dah 7 org 'abang' di bawah seliaan Prof aku dah grad dan bergelar Dr - Maricel, Leo, Al, Pete, Joe, Nikole and Hilmi. Mudah2an Allah permduahkan kan laluan aku utk ikut menjejaki kejayaan mereka, Amin...




Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Aura Xmas

Aura2 Xmas dah mmg makin jelas kat Plymouth ni. Omputih ni kalo beraya, sakan. Kalah kita yg posa sebulan sebelum beraya hehe. Deco2 Xmas dah lama naik, Winter Wonderland, Ice Rink, Xmas stalls and Santa's Grotto kat town pon since hujung November hari tu dah bukak for public, but aku je x sampai2 lg. Takat lalu sekali dua ada la, tp x sempat amik gmbr lg. Kalo kat stall dia plak, sempat beli cinnamon glazed cashews je, makanan favourite di kala Xmas buat aku. Even Aisyah pon mcm x de nafsu nak naik rides, slalu nya tahun2 yg lps, kalo gi town and x naik tren or kereta pusing2 tu, x leh balik umah. Oh well... tgk la hari minggu ni ke kalo ada feel bole jengah2. Mungkin sbb thn ni winter came early, sejuk gile, malas lah nak kuar jalan2 x ketentuan hala.



Smlm pon Hubs punya opis dah pegi makan Xmas lunch kat luar, kat Bar*bican Kitchen. Walaweh, satu opis shut down after 2 pm, dan x check-in langsung dah ke opis lps lunch tu, punya lama agenda makan2 diorg ni. Kalo tgk gmbr Hubs di bwh ni, jelas kemeriahan opis dia eh. Jeles plak aku sbb lab aku ni x de bunyi2 nak kuar lunch ek apa lg so far. Slalu ada jgk la nak dkt2 cuti tu. Last year dkt Koiishi.




Sekolah Aisyah lg la. Last week ada Xmas Fair, but since masa tu dia x sihat, so dah ter-miss. Tapi xpe, esok ada Xmas Party utk Reception Year (kelas dia). Wah, buat kat school hall, ada disco bagai (feeling2 prom sket di situh). Kena bawak party clothes utk salin in the afternoon (pegi sekolah pagi2 tu pakai uniform dulu, nanti lps rehat salin baju). Ibubapa kena sediakan food (donate a food item - kena suh Hubs kuar go beli jap lg, aku kan pemalas sejuk2 ni haha). Having missed the Xmas fair already, Aisyah is of course excited for tomorrow. Dah siap2 lay out dah esok nak pakai dress apa utk salin, and dah prektis pon pakai dress sendiri (I made sure dress tu bkn yg kena ikat ribbon kat blkg or button from the back, so dia bole pakai without help). So she's all set. Insya Allah how it went tu, kita blog kan esok.



Tu x termasuk Xmas Performance. Dah berminggu2 dah sebenarnya dia duk menyanyi lagu Xmas. Mcm biasa, tiap2 tahun ada show. Last year punya show bole refer di sini. Tadi kata dia, tahun ni dia jadi Angel, with another 5 girls. And dia sebut2 la jgk, kawan dia si Gha*da jd Mary, Char*lie jd Joseph, Ra*y blah blah blah jd 3 wise men, Ame*lia jd donkey... etc etc... Bukak2 book bag dia, terjumpa slip from her teacher suh Aisya prektis line dia sampai hafal kat umah. Haha, cute je, satu line :P



As for me, esok is quite a busy day. Deputy Vice Chancellor uni kami nak melawat lab, so SV aku kerah semua org berada di stesen masing2 esok and look busy. Haha... so mungkin belek2 tesis la kot esok, cari material sokongan and buat revision sket2. Tghari plak ada seminar after lunch until 3 pm. Tu kira one whole day gone  dah tu, sbb around 3.40 ptg dah gelap nak Maghrib huhu... 


Is it me, or has the time gone really, really fast these days?




Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Book Sale

Masa byk kerja, rasa mcm ada mcm2 cerita nak update. Skali mcm dah lega sket, rasa mcm xde cerita langsung, ish ish ish. Actually, ada la jg modal tu, tp mcm kena spend berlama2an plak nak menulis, so terus x feel. Ntah apa2 betul la...


Kat Msia hari tu ada Big Bad Wolf Books Sale kan? Wah... mcm best betul tgk org berpusu2 memborong, sampai ke pkl 3-4 pg pon ada some of my frens yg update FB dgn pics yg panas2 of the place, still packed! Amazing. Kalo kat UK ni, kedai bukak utk late night Xmas shopping sampai pkl 9 mlm yg berlangsung sebulan dlm setahun pon dah berbangga abis. Apa daa... kat Msia x de kedai pon tutup pkl 9 mlm. Habis busuk 10 mlm, itu pon taraf2 mini mart kan? 


Sini x pernah lg attend books sale se-grand kat Msia tu, tp baru2 ni our local library buat bok sale (2nd hand), and Aisyah and I went. Tu pon dah lewat sgt dah, tp ALhamdulillah ada lg rezeki kami. I bought a dozen or so books, totalling less than £5. Nak beli byk2 takut Hubs x approve plak, sbb ari tu kata stock buku dah enough utk shipped balik ke Msia. Nevertheless, it was a very good bargain sbb byk touchy-feely books, board books, and pop-up books, which would have costed a fortune otherwise. Gmbr kat bwh ni yg kat luar library (kat lobby), yg kat dlm ada lg, and filled with people, tp segan plak nak amik gmbr hehe..






Nampaknya termungkir lg janji x nak beli buku tempohari ohoh!




Monday, December 10, 2012

Recuper8

(Eheh mcm geli je tulis tajuk mcm ni, konon nak taip the word recuparate in full, but just as i was typing recuper, aisyah bumped my arm and tertekan the number 8 plak on my keyboard, so I thought, hey, original la pulok spell it this way. Tiba2 terasa muda 15 tahun taip mcm ni, awww....!)


Pertamanya, terima kasih semua atas ucapan, kata2 smgt dan doa kalian di post yg lps. Tu la, lps submit je, terus mendiamkan diri, ala2 post submission coma plak gayanya hehe. The first two days tu, rasa numb semacam sampai x de nafsu nak tulis blog (could be from the lack of sleep for the past few weeks prior :P), but then on Wednesday night onward, Aisyah was hit with a really bad winter bug. 


It was a really nasty bug, we suspected norovirus bcoz of the speed which it had hit Aisyah. Daripada elok2 sihat at dinner time, tau2 masa bedtime, her temperature reached a burning 40.9C!!! And then the full-fledged vomiting followed la kan throughout the night, totaling 7 kali altogether sampai tinggal biles aje, poor thing. So yes, between nursing a toddler back to health, and basuh cadar, sarung duvet, pillow cases, and pyjamas, etc, blogging came nowhere near the top of the list la kan. Lebih2 lg kat sini klinik mmg overflooded dgn patients sbb winter kan, so imagine la, nak book Dr suh call balik for a diagnosis over the phone pon x dpt, apatah lg nak book in diri sendiri for a slot to see the Dr. Malas nak cerita. Mmg jgn berharap la dpt jumpa Dr kan. Syukur lah with just Calpol, Neurofen, 3 days off school and a lot of TLC at home, the bug dpt di-nyah kan slowly. Walaupon agak nasty, Alhamdulillah sgt, that this came at a time when I was the least busiest. And Alhamdulillah jg only Aisyah was affected, me and Hubs seemed to have escaped this bug walau duduk dlm such close space dgn budak manja itu. Kalo berlaku time kejar deadline nak submit hari tu, etc, lg haru, so syukur pada Mu ya Allah!



Cuma sayang sgt, Aisyah has tainted her 'never absent, never late record'. Aiseh, baru je hari tu dpt certificate for her excellent attendance. X pe lah, at least merasa jg dpt certificate for full attendance. 



Sini rajin bg cert mcm2, several others yg dia pernah dpt are 'Rainbow Award' (for doing something special), 'Star of the Day' (penerima anugerah kelakuan terpuji pada hari tersebut) and also certificates utk mark her reading achievements. She has several already, tp x sempat nak upload or share je sebelum ni. Anyway, last Friday I tidied up and packed some of her things away, including her past school stuff, i.e. certs, art work, work sheets, etc. Sedih ooo... I hope she will remember most of her school experiences here.





Keep praying that Aisyah gets well soon eh. Smlm dia komplen telinga dia sakit, and by the grace of God, hari ni slps aggressively calling the GP mornign and afternoon, (pakai dua phone serentak utk booking line, much like aktiviti tggu telefon utk masuk peraduan radio yg budak2 muda slalu buat dulu2), dpt la bercakap dgn Dr. Mendengarkan Aisyah in pain, dia setuju suh dtg pkl 4.50 ptg td (ad-hoc nya slot), and Aisyah is diagnosed with an ear infection. Alhamdulillah she is now prescribed with antibiotic, mudah2an cpt baik. Syafakillah anakku. Oh, and while we were there, terus renew prescription for several other of her 'staple' medication. Walau pon payah nak dpt jumpa Dr., sekali dah jumpa mmg senang dpt ubat, free plak tu, so must puji la where the credit is due.