Monthly Archives: September 2012

blog game

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As much as I enjoy blogging and sharing away my thoughts, feelings and experiences, I am also quite keen to get to know my readers a little. Therefore I’ve set up 5 questions for you to answer, I hope you will take part! If you can’t answer all of them, don’t worry, answer away those you can. I shall reveal my answers to the same questions in my next post. Hope to hear from all of you! Thank you for your time and participation, looking forward to reading them. These are in no way trick questions, they are just for fun, to break the ice so to speak, so feel free to share and be as spontaneous as you can! 😉

  1. If money were no object, what kind of car would you drive/want to be driven in?
  2. What is the most expensive single item you’ve ever bought/bought for you?
  3. What is the strangest thing you’ve ever seen?
  4. Where in the world would you most like to visit next and why?
  5. What is one quality you admire most in another person?

wedding bells

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wedding cake made by a friend

I’ve had the pleasure of attending two lovely weddings this year; a neighbour’s son got married in mid-summer and a couple of weeks ago my hubby’s cousin tied the knot. Both weddings were of young couples in their 20s embarking on a life-long journey together. Very exciting times indeed, such betrothment tends to remind me of my own feelings as a newly wed many moons ago. I pray that both couples find happiness and have a lasting blessed marriage. And just when I thought all wedding bells are over this year (as the winter months are dawning upon us here), I received a surprise invite to a henna/mehndi party last weekend! This almost 40-year-old friend of mine who got divorced last year suddenly announced out of the blue that she’s getting married again! We were all taken by surprise (my group of lady friends and I), some even thought it was much too soon. The bride-to-be however seemed eager to start afresh. So we all gathered at her place to see her have henna applied on her hands; and we had real great fun eating, chatting and laughing away together!!

bride to be with henna/mehndi decorated on her hands and nails

This is the second time around I’ve attended a get-together to celebrate a friend’s subsequent wedding. At first I did find it a bit strange, but of late I hear of more second marriages taking place, it has become a rather normal occurrence. Such was not the case when my mom’s generation were in their late 30s or in their 40s, it was almost unheard of. I know of several good friends (both in the East and in the West) who got divorced and have since remarried or are looking forward to do so. I admire these women who want to move on and start anew, after a failed marriage there’s always the fear that things might not work out again. But these women need companionship; and with several children in tow, they wouldn’t say no if the right man pops along. The sort of men they choose are those who’s been through similar circumstances; they are either divorced themselves, or have lost their wives through some illness or tragedy. In some Islāmic cultures it is also common for some middle-aged men to take second wives, I know of a few Muslim women who are in such wedlock.

As indicated earlier, I used to find wedding nuptials other than the conventional one (happily ever after young couples) rather unfamiliar and mystifying. But as I enter the second half of my existence, I find myself exposed to other kinds of union that doesn’t fit my idea of an ideal marriage. I have long learnt to stop judging people, I know I can never put myself in these women’s shoes. Each and every woman is different. I have now learned to accept and think positively of other types of matrimony, as long as all parties are happy with whatever works best for them, so be it. As long as one’s happiness is not built on someone else’s misery that is. In true Islam, women must be treated with honour and compassion. Enough said now, I wish and pray the very best for my friend, hopefully this time around she’ll find the contentment she’s been longing for…

A Muslim bride, photo courtesy of Google Images

Enjoy the wedding song below dedicated to all newly weds!

autumn leaves

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Autumn
by James S. Tippett

The green leaves are turning
To yellow, red and brown
And when the wind comes
Whistling by, they’ll
     all
          come
               sailing
                    down

autumn leaves in England

Falling Leaves

by Jack Prelutsky

Little leaves fall softly down
Red and yellow, orange and brown
Whirling, twirling round and round
Falling softly to the ground

Little leaves fall softly down
To make a carpet on the ground.
Then, swish, the wind comes whistling by
And sends them dancing to the sky.

red, gold and brown-autumn leaves in England

Leaves are floating
by Jack Prelutsky

Leaves are floating
softly down;
Some are red and
some are brown.
The wind goes “swish”
through the air;
When you look back,
there are no leaves there.

autumn leaves on the ground

Here’s one of my favourite songs during music lessons in my teens at boarding school in Malaysia. Little did I know then I would actually experience autumn every year in England from my married life onwards! More autumn posts coming up! 🙂

england 96-98

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Today marks exactly 16 years since I first set foot in England. I remember landing at London-Heathrow on a lovely autumn’s day, all wide-eyed and bushy-tailed. I’ve always wanted to visit England, having been inspired by my favourite childhood author, Enid Blyton. Therefore I was very excited indeed when presented with the opportunity to further my studies in Kent. I wanted to experience the England that I read from my childhood books; the beautiful green countryside, the endless tea picnics, dainty sandwiches, castles, camping and caravans! I spent my first week touring around London, in awe with everything, like a typical foreign student from the East who’s never been to the West! Below are some of the images I captured back then and still cherish to date. I simply cannot believe that 16 years have flown by, how time flies!

East meets West, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed

Big Ben

London Bridge

Buckingham Palace

Queen’s Guards

Marble Arch

Harrods

As much as I enjoyed touring all over London, I was doubly thrilled when I arrived in Kent (in south-east England) a couple of weeks later, where I knuckled down to pursue my postgraduate studies for a year. I thought to myself how my dream finally came true, I was in the lovely English countryside! I visited my very first English castle there, as pictured below, and have since visited countless more (I love castles!). Kent is one of the most beautiful counties in England, I had a truly lovely stay there. However, I also felt quite alone, life as a postgraduate student can get rather lonely at times. Particularly when you’re 6,500 miles away from home! I also came to the point in my life where I didn’t enjoy being single anymore, I felt ready to settle down. I was looking forward to sharing the rest of my life with this most wonderful man who stole my heart.

Leeds Castle

beautiful Kent

famous white cliff of Dover, Kent taken from my ferry crossing for a day trip to Calais, France

I received my Masters degree in summer 1998, a year after becoming the devoted wife of my British born husband. I shall never forget this memorable phase in my life, 1996-1998, where all my dreams came true. Setting foot in England, getting married and attaining my Masters degree. Praise be to God for His many blessings! And here I am today in England; enjoying my tea picnics, dainty sandwiches, cups of tea, ruined castles and green rolling countryside whilst blogging them away! Mind you, when I can steal some time from running a household and my four children who keeps me busy that is! 🙂

happiness on my graduation day

bleeding heart

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courtesy of Google images

This is my wee way of remembering those who have left us; as a result of major/minor atrocities/disasters/wars or due to more natural causes. A loss is a loss; none is more bearable than the other, those grieving will go through the same sequence of emotions. The bleeding heart will eventually heal; but each year, there will come a time when you remember the loved one, and the heart bleeds again, ever so slightly. “Missing someone is your heart’s way of reminding you that you love them”. I’m not very poetic nor do I have the time to appreciate today’s pop songs, but the ones which have moved me in the past remains in my heart. May those who have loved and lost find the strength to carry on and learn to smile again…