It’s rather difficult for me to carry on as normal right now, ever since I learnt of the missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) MH370 plane as I woke up last Saturday. MAS is the airline which my family, relatives, friends, fellow Malaysians and I myself rely on to travel back and forth across the globe. I have travelled from London Heathrow-Kuala Lumpur and back again numerous times via Malaysia Airlines throughout my 17.5 year stay in England. My memories on Malaysia Airlines have always been sweet; the comforting voice of the Captain, the smiley faces of the Stewards/Stewardesses as they went about catering to my every need. I was truly shocked and deeply saddened when I heard of MH370′s disappearance en route to Beijing about and hour after take-off. To date (on to day 4), there hasn’t been any concrete sighting of the plane, much to everyone’s despair. Many speculations have emerged but nothing has been confirmed yet. I hope and pray that something substantial will transpire soon to provide answers to the minds and hearts of everyone involved. A major catastrophe such as this is very hard to bear, especially for a peaceful nation like Malaysia. I may be thousands of miles away, but I feel for my fellow Malaysians and the Chinese (2/3rds of them on the plane) nation. I admire the unity and solidarity Malaysians of all walks portray as they try to shoulder the burden of this tragedy together. May God give us the strength and patience to endure this very trying time, my thoughts and prayers are with you and those on flight MH370…
Everyday is a new life. Seize it. Live it.
Enjoy the little things in life, because one day you will look back, and realise they were the big things.
And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years…
The sun shone brightly last Saturday, you could say it was the onset of Spring! My hubby suggested we go out for breakfast again, our youngest came with us of course. My eldest son was away for the day, he took part in an inter-school debating competition. Though they didn’t win, it was a good experience for him, boosted his confidence as a debater. The team from Eton got top marks by the way, they were all dressed like Prince Harry too, according to my son! My middle two girls were at the local Saturday Arabic school, they go each week from morning to noon. So that leaves the 3 of us, this time around we sat to eat at the terrace overlooking the canal. Although it was only about 11c, I could feel the warmth of the sun on my back, it was a nice feeling. I no longer take the sun for granted these days, like I did back in my homeland many moons ago. When the sun is shining, make the most of it! So off we went for a short walk by the canal afterwards. We saw some boats and barges, and a father and son fishing. There were others out for a walk too; some with their dogs, others with their children, a few old couples holding hands. The walk led us to a small woodland, which overlooked a new housing area. There was a playground there and my little one had a lovely time on the swing. I took some pictures via my mobile to share with you. I still miss Uncle Lionel next door, but I have a feeling that he would say this to me if he was able to speak now. “I have lived my life to the fullest my dear, for a whole 90 years, go and live yours the best you can.” And so I shall, Inshallah. Which brings me to the movie ‘About Time’ which I watched with my hubby recently, we both loved it. It’s about living your life wholly and cherishing every moment, both good and bad. It’s sprinkled with British humour, one of the Brit’s recent best I’d say. I’ve shared the movie soundtrack below, do enjoy it!
A house with daffodils in it is a house lit up, whether or not the sun is shining outside. -A.A. Milne
Let me tell you a little bit more about myself. I grew up in multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious state of Penang in Malaysia. I recall how my parents integrated well within the community they were in; people in the neighbourhood and at work. Everyone got on well and lived in harmony with one another despite their different backgrounds. We rejoice in each other’s celebrations. My own best friend at primary school was a lovely girl who had an Indian father and a Chinese mother, they were of the Christian faith. Since my father was Indian Muslim (known as Mamak in Malaysia) and my mother a very fair Malay woman, I am also of a mixed heritage just like my best friend. People even thought we were sisters, we looked very similar and we were very close. Altogether I had a very happy childhood indeed. Life in England is rather different though. Many Muslims here tend to keep to themselves, perhaps because they are of the minority, unlike in Malaysia where Muslims are the majority population. The image of Islam in the West is also tarnished, more so today than ever, as a result of radical Islamic groups/individuals who go around committing heinous acts under the name of Islam. It makes me really sad. My hubby feels the same way. He grew up in north England, the English people there were very kind to the Asian community who moved there in the 60s, his grandparents included. He did encounter some minor racial abuse at school amongst his peers, but I suppose that can happen anywhere on the globe. There are mean people everywhere! These days my hubby joins the local inter-faith group, where he has regular get-together with people of other faiths. I hope to join them soon, I think it’s important to represent the correct version of Islam to the community around us. We are not scholars or preachers, just ordinary Muslims who believe in being kind, tolerant, loving and helpful towards others, regardless of racial and religious backgrounds. This is what our true religion promotes, contrary to what some sick Muslims go around portraying. I still remember my local milkman when we first moved to our current city. He was in his 70s, a perfect English gentleman who was so kind and loving. He would give chocolates and toys to my young children every time he came to collect his payment on Fridays. He would always ask how we were, talked about the weather, gave me some general advice or another. We really liked him a lot. I was sad to hear of his passing last November, he was 82. Another wonderful person I would like to mention is my previous neighbour, we used to live in another area not too far from where we are now. She was a lively Jamaican lady who’s raised 16 children. She was in her late 70s at that time, she would always greet us happily and never failed to give money to my children every Christmas. She also passed away a few years ago, surrounded by several of her children. Uncle Lionel’s (my next door neighbour) recent death has made me realise how fortunate I’ve been to have known all these amazing people from the older generation. They all remind me of the golden host of daffodils that appear around this time of the year; so bright, lively, bringing cheer and joy to those around them. I do hope that their admirable character will rub off on me as I grow older Inshallah. I will never forget them, that is for certain. This includes my own precious father/grandparents/relatives who have passed on. And I cherish the golden agers I know who are still in my life. I end this post with a happy note, my beloved mom shall turn 72 tomorrow, Inshallah. She’s one of the strongest Malay woman I’ve ever known, certainly the loveliest. I am honoured to be her eldest daughter. Happy Birthday Mama, may God bless you for ever more with everything good. May we meet again soon, God Willing. I love you lots with all my heart. You are definitely one of my golden daffodils, the most significant one in my life.❤
After a horrible night of strong gales, we woke up to a fine bright day. It was Uncle Lionel’s funeral day. On the way to the church, I saw clusters of daffodils here and there, it’s a sign that Spring is well on its way. Such a glorious day (Alhamdulillah) but tinged with a bit of sadness as we paid our last respects to our dear neighbour, Uncle Lionel. He passed away so suddenly almost 3 weeks ago, the coroner confirmed that it was due to cardiac arrest, his 90-year-old heart had simply stopped. Somehow I feel a bit better knowing he had died in his sleep, not from a heart attack as everyone had thought in the beginning. There were about 30 people at the simple but beautiful service; Uncle Lionel’s relatives, his old friends, acquaintances, his former neighbour and wife (whose house we bought) and us; my hubby, our middle daughter and myself. I had to choke back tears when his coffin was brought in, followed by his relatives who were all teary. His beloved grand-nephew (our age) whom we’ve befriended gave a lovely tribute, relating his sweet memories with his grand-uncle during his lifetime. I’ve also learnt today that Uncle Lionel was in the army during World War 2, he fought in the Far East. Makes me wonder whether he was in my homeland which was known as Malaya at that time. Before we knew it, the funeral service was over and a classical song which he loved was played whilst his coffin was carried out for burial at the cemetery. He was to be buried on top of his beloved younger brother who passed away 8 years ago. We then went out to pay our condolences to the mourners; his niece (in her 60s) and his grand-nieces who helped took care of him in his final years. His only grand-nephew then re-appeared (he helped carry the coffin in and back to the hearse) and shook hands with my hubby, he was really grateful that we had come. Uncle Lionel was a good soul, we’ve been very privileged to have him as our neighbour for the last 3.5 years. Our middle daughter, our most sensitive child, had said that she’ll ask God to grant her wish to see Uncle Lionel once again when she gets to Heaven. She truly misses him. Farewell Uncle Lionel, the precious memories shall remain. I shall never forget you and Winter’s end 2014…
UNCLE LIONEL’S FINAL SONG…
LIFE IS 10% WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU AND 90% HOW YOU RESPOND TO IT.
ALWAYS FIND A REASON TO SMILE.
REMEMBER THAT LIFE IS FULL OF UPS AND DOWNS. WITHOUT THE DOWNS, THE UPS WOULD MEAN NOTHING.
Hello everyone! Hope you’re all well, wherever you may be. Do you believe in the saying ‘Time heals?’ And ‘This too, shall pass?’ I believe they hold true in everyone’s lives, there is light at the end of the tunnel after each difficult event we face. One cannot remain miserable for a long time, sooner or later there will be a reason to smile. Alhamdulillah, I’m starting to feel more like myself again, ever since my neighbour passed away 2 weeks ago I’ve been a tad sad. But such is life, one minute you feel like you’re on top of the world, the next minute you hit rock bottom. The main thing is to learn to pick yourself up once more, having loved ones and close friends you can confide in truly helps. And learning to forgive yourself is extremely crucial, especially for sensitive souls like me. Life is constantly changing, nothing stays the same for very long. I must learn to adapt and go with the flow, I shouldn’t be too hard on myself. Let it go, as they say! No point beating myself up over stuff that has happened, some things are just not meant to be. How long can one live with regret? Anyway, I thought I would blog about happy moments this time around. What came straight to mind was weddings of course. I love looking at wedding photos where everyone’s dressed up, happy and smiling. I’ve attended many family weddings (hubby’s side) over the 16.5 years I’ve been married and living in England. They’ve all been very festive and joyous, I’ve enjoyed them immensely. I do miss attending Malay weddings though, it’s been ages since I’ve been to one. Just waiting for my sisters to pull their act together now for some wedding bells to ring! I’ve selected several of my family photos below from the recent weddings we’ve attended over the past couple of years, blissful moments which have made us smile. Hope you’ll like them, a slice of my life here! Enough tears for now, let us cheer up and smile some, yeah!
I think this is one of the most commonly played songs at recent Indian weddings here, if you’re into them, have a listen!