Sunday, October 31, 2010

I Know It's Halloween, But This Entry Is On the Underwater World, Not the Underworld :)

Hari ni jam dah tukar balik kepada Greenwhich Mean Time (GMT), maka dgn rasmi nya, sudah tamat lah British Summer Time (BST) dan sudah masuk la winter kiranya. So skang ni perbezaan masa antara UK-Malaysia dah berbalik kpd 8 jam lewat di sini. Majority sekolah2 di UK ni cuti last week for their Half-Term since mula their academic year late August lalu, so today was the last day of their holiday lah kan. A lot of attractions letak tarikh 31 Oct as their last summer opening times, and some places tu, today mmg last day terus la before closing down altogether for winter and only bukak balik next spring *sob sob*

And since it's half term, AND Halloween Week, byk jg tempat2 ni offer half price admission, so kami pon apa lg, merebut peluang ni jgk, kira mcm reward la jg apatah lg baru2 ni berjaya dgn misi megejar deadline (tp mmg berhempas pulas Allah je la tahu, sampai terabai blog terchenta hehe). Since the weather wasn't too nice today, gi yg indoor2 sudah - Plymouth National Marine Aquarium.

Selama ni mmg dah berhajat nak visit, tp pikir mcm nak tunggu Aisyah besar sket biar dia ingat, alang2 dah byr fees mahal nak enter ni kan biar berbaloi. Tp nmpknya Alhamdulillah, budak2 as young as two kalo dah kenal fish, sharks, dolphins, Patrick the Starfish and the whole of Bikini Bottom mmg akan enjoy sakan la dgn tempat ni. It is very educational, and kawasannya yg lapang tu bagus utk budak2 burn off their excess energy (read: balik tido nyenyak, dpt la aku memblogging ber-entry2, siap buat scheduled entry lg you for next week, sbb I tahu I akan bakal sgt busy semula, seminars and whatnot, ngehehehe).

And yg lebih bestnya, the tickets last for a year, so anytime nak visit lps ni free ajo2. Cantek! Ada la jg aktiviti free lps ni during the very boring, grey, wet winter weekends yg coming ni, and bila pergi ulang2, Insya Allah knowledge yg Aisyah dpt grasp sket2 psl underwater life ni will be reinforced. *pat pat kocek belakang jeans ala2 iklan Asda yg save duit*

Oh pjg sudah mukadimah aku. Terus pegi intipati karangan. Tempat ni menarik sgt, hari ni agak meriah dgn kanak2, yg bestnya yg sporting tu siap pakai Witch hats and costume gothic penuh, Halloween kan (Actually, yg terlebih excited yg tua2 kot, like org2 keliling rumah aku drpd smlm dress up party x habis2). Anyway, nak buat direct comparison dgn Aquaria di Msia ngakk la bole, sbb aku x pernah jejak kaki kat situ, but mana2 aquarium pon sama je rasanya. Kat sini ada beberapa level, showcasing Shallow Water, Atlantic Reef, Atlantic Ocean, Weird Creatures, and Coral Seas. Our favourite was of coz the Atlantic Ocean, ada sharks and huge stingrays, mmg best giler siap terantuk kepala kat cermin kaca coz it was a curved glass, tp excited punya psl x perasan, d'oh!

Setiap half hour ada free talks and shows, yg kitaorg masuk ialah talk psl 'The Dive'. Ianya dibuat dlm sebuah teater, yg mengadap cermin kaca yg sgt besar ni (ye la kan, sampai divers kena dive in pakai compressed gas bagai, mmg dlm and besar la ruangan ni). It houses many different species of underwater creatures, including sharks! Divers adalah masuk to feed the fishes, sbb kalo dia x buat gitu mmg only the bigger and faster fishes je dpt mknan, yg lain2 x sempat bcoz mknan x sampai to the bottom. And the divers also cuci the glass mirror from algae etc, so nmpk la diorg scrubbing away tahi2 ikan hehehe (siapa pernah bela ikan mesti tau).

Ada jgk 4D show featuring turtles etc, playing every half an hour, tp memandangkan kitaorg nak kejar solat Asar, so itu adalah agenda utk next visit la kiranya. Also ada indoor play area (padded), tp we didn't go in since Aisyah wasn't showing much interest. Maybe she had sized up her opponents kat dlm tu yg lebih besar drpd badan dia (wise girl!). To be honest, she was showing more interest in her juice box than the slides and trampoline, LOL!). Next time la kot, perhaps when she's older and stronger. Berfaedah betul dpt all-year tix ni, x de la terkocoh2 nak sumbat everything in one go hihi. Alhamdulillah, we had good fun. The only slight down side is kat dlm tu x bole pakai flash masa amik gmbr, so pics came out a bit blurry or just dark. Overall, it was a really great day out. May many more come our way, and semoga places like this keep our sanity during the cold and gloomy months ahead!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Squeeze a Little Update

These past few days have seen me being toooo busy, sampai x sempat2 nak update blog walau sepatah cuma. Have been working on a paper, and after 1-day extension from my SV, berjaya jgk siap. All in all 4 pages je, but I don't know why it took me forever to finish writing. It's not like this is my first time ke hapa, MSc dulu I had published a good four or five papers and one journal, but I never remembered being this mentally exhausted after.

Maybe sbb this time, after attending the course on plagiarism, aku adalah sgt berhati2 semasa menulis, and I tried my hardest utk paraphrase. And also masa MSc dulu x byk explain algo kot, just tweak a bit here and there, got results pastu published, but masa PhD ni byk plak nak kena explain our own contribution kan, and that was the hardest part to write for me, to be honest. Or maybe masa MSc dulu I wasn't really tied up with responsibilities that I have now (dulu2 single lg), so masa tu suka hati la nak tulis bila2 pon, kalo x siap jgk mmg salah sendiri. Or maybe I am just old, so that means I'm not as quick as I once was? Panic!

Apa2 pon, dah submit kat Prof on Tues, he's read and returned them today. Whilst waiting, aku adalah berehat balas dendam, tido from 11 pg - 3 ptg today haha (sambung tido after breakfast, dah x pernah bole sleep in dah skang ni, always bgn 6.30 pg utk solat Subuh then buat breakfast, mkn with family, or whatever, bkn mcm zaman bujang2 dulu - another sign of aging!). Smlm pon did some grocery shopping too. Mmg focus all out buat kerja from last week sampai x membeli belah kering kontang dah dapurnya. Spjg kejar deadline, asyik masak simple2 like pasta bake di bawah aje, if not beli kebab aje then Hubs masak nasik aku buat kuah sup sayur huhu...

Then today became a little domestic goddess dgn menyental cooker (dapur masak) dan the filthy microwave oven, before finally tackling Mount Everest and Mount Kinabalu (my two hampers of laundry). Dah lipat dah kain baju semua, lega... Esok nak tackle correction and final editing before submission. Baru tgk satni, diaorg dah extend tarikh submission. Typical. Tp x pe la, submit aje once finished. We'll see if that gets accepted somewhere not (hopefully yes la kan). Next week ada seminar that I have to present on Thurs, so I gotta start working on that plak.

Ok, I'm stopping here. Before I forget nk bgtau, on the 27th whilst I was busy hari tu, kitaorg dah genap 2 tahun berada di UK. And the weather on that day pon was quite similar to when we had first arrived, wet and unmercifully windy, langit plak grey and gloomy. Quir scary bila ingat2 balik I have more or less a year to finsih what I have come here for, but I have promised myself I won't freak out yet hehe... Cuma bersyukur sgt2 have managed to get to where I am so far, and berdoa smg rahmat Allah itu x putus2 dan bertambah hendaknya...

These last few days cuaca and temperature x menentu. Earlier in the week we've had frosty nights, tp langit cerah dan cantik. 2, 3 hari ni plak the sky has been grey and wet, wet, wet, tp suhu agak ok 9C mcm tu, not bad. I guess those are the trade off.

Ni pic aku on the day nak kejar deadline hari tu. It was raining and I was soaked. And I had panda eyes too, from lack of sleep and staring too long at the screen demi menyiapkan kerja. Very flattering (not!)...

Oh, one last quick news, Aisyah smlm dah bole sebut IBU dgn properly, finally! But dia bole sebut je la, she still addresses me as Ammi or Mummy, ikut suka dia. So I am torned between Mummy and Ibu jg skang ni. Mummy is more practical for her here, nursery and all, but Ibu is so much sweeter to my ears, and we won't stay in this English-speaking country forever, altho kat Msia panggilan Mummy has become acceptable jgk... what do you guys think?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Camping In The Lab

Uber busy.

Tu yg lama x update. Esok kena submit a paper to my SV. Looks like I'm camping out in the the lab mlm ni, dari pg lagi dah terpacak kat sini. Don't worry, ada bekal. Not healthy at all, not to mention sabotaging my diet plan, I know, but it's Sunday, and kedai di serata alam ni semua tutup after 4 pm, so seeing that it was already 3 pm, bergegas pegi kedai, capai aje whatever. Cukup la buat alas. Lapar jgk nnt, it's time to go home. Org2 kat umah tu pon lapar jg, kesian diorg...

Ok, doa kan aku siap on time. Asyik2 mintak extension je, tebal dah mukeeee...

So, how was your Sunday? Better than mine, I bet.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Autumn in Plymouth

Or is it Plymouth in Autumn?

Anyhoo, there's no denying skang dah masuk Autumn. My favourite season. I'm uploading some pics of Plymouth in Autumn. I totally have my Mom in mind whilst doing this coz I know how much she loves the change of season.

Yg ni all taken on my way to Uni today. You can really see the colours of the leaves have changed, paling pretty ialah daun2 kaler merah of course!

Ini plak taken last Sunday, masa jln2 around The Hoe because the weather was surprisingly warm and pleasant. Pegi naik Honeybun Trains then lepak2 plyground. Wish there were more play area for children dkt2 ngan rumah. To get here kena menapak for nearly 40 minutes, naik bukit some more... But it was so very worth it!

Don't you just love Autumns?