Monthly Archives: November 2012

victorian encounter

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I made another trip to the Victorian Christmas Market, as posted in my previous entry, told you I was a bit of a history freak! This time it was with my youngest two and hubby dearest. Believe it or not, we were in such a rush that I forgot my camera! Both hubby and I were fasting (had to return by dusk at 4pm to break our fast), and we were also trying to escape a major downpour. Fortunately the heavy rain held off till late evening, only a light drizzle whilst we were out there. As a result of this, all images in this post were captured via my smart phone instead. I’m not wholly satisfied but never mind, will try my best to do better next time around. Yes, the Victorians descended upon us again, as they usually do at this time of the year. Watching 100 stalls’ vendors in their beautiful Victorian outfits is one thing, having many Victorian characters whizzing past you acting out their roles transports you straight back into Dickensian world! I cannot do justice with these amateur pictures of mine to capture my whole encounter last weekend. Absolutely fantastic!

If you get the chance to visit England do try to find places where you can travel back in time, I would highly recommend it. England is so rich in history and the Victorian Era was certainly one of the best. As a family we always expose our children to these events and interactive museums, they enjoy dressing up and doing art and craft. Having experienced this Victorian Christmas Market for the past few years I get to see the more important aspect of festive celebration here, the jolly spirit and warm atmosphere despite the cold wintry weather. It’s about the people and how they make the best of the dull and gloom around them. It’s all about the spirit, of how you feel inside, of what makes you human. I realised how festive celebrations such as Christmas and Eid have become more commercialised in this day and age, it’s a shame really.

I hope you’ll like the photos below, snapshots of my second visit to the Victorian Christmas Market this year. I’ve also included a lovely Victorian Christmas clip at the end of this post, perhaps you’ll get a better feel of my memorable experience through it, do have a watch. As we head into December and the temperature plunges further I’m getting excited by the prospect of seeing some snow again. I thank God for all the beauty around me, England is truly beautiful and memorable at this time of the year. I’m certainly glad to be here!

having a chat

amazing sight!

natural wood stall

lovely paintings

food and drinks stall

speciality tea

aromatic coffee

lovely potpourri

Caribbean food

girlies’ favourite

how the Victorians kept warm

queuing up for carousel

traditional carousel ride

traditional art and craft

papa helping lil one

you can eat him up now!

she even made her own peg doll with papa’s help!

This is truly wonderful, do watch it to experience a Victorian Christmas like I did!

victorian christmas

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The weather is really bad in my little corner of the world at the moment; gusty winds, lashings of rain (yes, the river has burst its banks) and bitterly cold! More such weather forecasted for the next few days as well! We were very fortunate however to have a brief break from this weather front on Friday, from morning till late noon to be exact. Just enough time for my girls and I to nip out and soak in the Victorian Christmas Market which is on for a few days till the weekend. I love such historical events, I try not to miss it. I must admit I am a bit of a history freak! I just love the buzzing atmosphere and the feeling of being in the past.

Below are some of the images I’ve captured, mind you, I’m no professional photographer like many of you out there, just a simple blogger who enjoys taking pictures to share with all! I hope you will like them, Christmas spirits definitely here despite the gloomy weather! Most of the vendors were dressed like in the Victorian era, some of them looked quite real! I do not celebrate Christmas (Eid is our main Muslim festival) but I cannot help but feel the excitement of this festive season. Everyone’s jolly and happy, they do not let the awful weather dampen their mood. Well, looks like I am going to be chilling at home this weekend, with more bad weather in store, time for sitting by the fire-place! I’ve included my all time favourite Christmas song at the bottom of this post, do enjoy it and have a smashing weekend! 🙂

Watch out for more Victorian characters in my upcoming post, hoping to visit this market again at the weekend! 😉

beef burger stall

traditional hot chestnuts

Xmas decorations

colourful macaroons

farm goodies

my girls’ favourite stall!

lovely trinkets

lovely

Victorian gentlemen

sweet treats

lovely

awesome honey

stuff made from recycled tin

Victorian musician

slate deco

olives

precious childhood

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The young remember most deeply…. When we are old and failing, it is the memories of childhood which can be summoned most clearly. – Dan Simmons

My children had the opportunity to watch Narnia 3 again recently, I couldn’t help but noticed how excited they were. They’ve read all the books in the Narnia series, so they really enjoy the movies too. My children are quite imaginative and adventurous, so stories like Narnia are among their favourites. I smiled to myself afterwards for I know how they would discuss the movie and the books at length and possibly imagine themselves in Narnia. They would also act it out during their next walk or play in the garden! This is how children ought to be like, all innocent and curious, not unlike my own childhood years several decades ago. I don’t know about you, but I often feel that the children of today are growing up too fast. Way too fast for my liking. I don’t blame the children, it is us the adults in the societies that we live in today who are responsible.

One might argue that it’s wonderful for children to be exposed to a lot of ‘adult’ stuff at an early age, they are more mature compared to their peers who are just ‘playing’. For example, a young child who is hooked on Ipad is considered more advanced than the one who enjoys playing outside. So is the one with a smart phone and a cupboard full of designer clothes, absolutely more sophisticated compared to those who are not exposed to them. Or that little girl who’s like a mini Barbie compared to the one who is not even aware of her appearance. Childhood is such a brief period in a person’s life compared to adulthood, why rush it? There will be plenty of time to be real-time adults, where you will be exposed to all sorts you sometimes long to be children once again. I believe that a happy childhood with plenty of adventurous play and imagination is crucial in a person’s emotional development. Children must be given the chance to be children for longer, so that they grow up into more wholesome adults.

But this is rather impossible when even formal learning at schools begins at such an early age these days. My 3 year old for instance is expected to attend full-time schooling by next autumn, I find this absurd. But that’s amazing one would say, she would be such a clever girl, already at school at 4 years old! Yes, if you have a one track mind and tend to follow the masses, that’s what you would believe. But having home-educated my children for a decade now, I know differently. Yes, it’s hard sometimes to go against the current, to do things differently from the rest of the society around you. People who do not understand just label you as a weirdo. But you have to carry out what you believe is right for you. I am grateful to have been able to home-educate my children; I let them develop at their own pace where they play, explore, read and learn naturally. I only teach them to read properly between 5-6 years of age, with hardly any effort at all. They would’ve been exposed to plenty of books by this age, and this would encourage them to learn to read at their own will.

The rest is history as they say, for once you have a passion for reading, the world is your oyster. I then start to teach them formally at the age of 7 right up to 12, throughout their primary school years. The one to one education they receive at home is very effective for them, they become more confident in themselves and their way of learning. And this enables them to attain a place among the best secondary schools available to them. This is how we’ve chosen to raise our children, I cannot stress how important it is to us that they have the best childhood possible. We want them to be able to look back and remember their happy formative years; carefree, innocent, curious, full of life, adventure and laughter. When adulthood eventually comes their way and life is filled with responsibilities and challenges, we pray they would be able to handle it well, for faith and love will keep them strong…

Let children be children! Precious moments, my little ones at the beach, Summer 2011

mini blogathon

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There’s this blog game which has been going round amongst fellow WordPress bloggers, and I’ve been lucky enough to be tagged twice! Which means it’s time for me to acknowledge it without further ado. The rules of the game are as follows:

1. Each person tagged must post 11 things about themselves.
2. They must also answer the 11 questions the ‘tagger’ has set for them.
3. They must create 11 more questions to ask bloggers they have decided to tag.
4. They must then choose 11 bloggers and tag them in their post.
5. These lucky bloggers must then be told.
6. There are no tag backs.

I’ve decided to bend the rules a little, hence the reason for the title ‘mini blogathon’. I’m not going to post 11 things about myself, I’ve revealed so much already in my previous 90 posts! Nor will I create 11 questions to ask other bloggers, I have in the past created my own blog game along similar lines. Therefore no 11 bloggers will be tagged, you’re off the hook! However, I will answer the 22 questions posed by the two bloggers who tagged me. This in itself took me quite a while! The first set of questions came from Diana, a lovely young blogger. Nabadip is the other blogger who tagged me, another talented young person I admire, in my opinion they both write really great posts straight from the heart. Do check them out!

Right, let me answer Diana’s 11 questions first:

1Share one or more things that blogging has taught you. Blogging has certainly opened up my world; I enjoy learning about other people on the planet, both from the East and the West, it helps me understand and appreciate the similarities and differences in our vast life experiences, truly enriching indeed.

2Share one or more things about blogging that you want to change. Quite happy with they way things are at present!

3Between present and past, what is the biggest good/bad change in You? Good change: I’ve learnt to let go of a lot of things, and I feel happier for it. Bad change: I’ve put on incredible weight, I need to lose it, desperately!

4. How do you prefer to spend your free time? Spending quality time with my family (as reflected in many of my posts) and reading of course, I’ve always read from a very young age.

5. Which place will you choose – an evening on beach, snow-clad mountains, a night in desert, a cool garden or at home with AC on in front of TV. I miss the tropical beach back in my homeland, Malaysia, therefore that would be my first choice, followed by a cool garden in England, lots more to explore!

6. Which new language you will like to learn? Urdu, most of the Indo-Pak people in England speak it, I wish I could too. I also think it’s a beautiful language after Arabic and before French.

7. Have you prayed for something? What is that? Did you get it? Prayer is my spiritual nourishment, I cannot function properly without it. It’s not about getting what I want, it’s more about finding peace. Everything in life has been ordained by God, therefore my prayers will come true if they’re right for me at the time. If not, another time perhaps, or not at all, in which case what I prayed for may not be good for me after all.

8. If I had got one more chance… Have you ever felt so? Sometimes…I would always want to improve things given the chance. After that, I try to move on, no point dwelling on something that’s not meant to be.

9. Which fiction character could you relate to the most? I’m not sure, but I admire Belle from Beauty & the Beast; her love for reading and wanting to explore more of the world, her beauty and grace, her ability to bring out the best in another and to look beyond first appearances.

10. Which is your favorite Cartoon character? Belle!

11. Are you afraid of dark? No, should I be? I remember a friend at University who was though, it annoyed the rest of us in the room when she insisted the lights on at bedtime each night!

Let me move on to Nabadip’s 11 questions now:

1. Why did you take up blogging? To fill the void after closing my Facebook account for good. My reason for doing so, read my very first post, why blogging. I also felt the need to express myself freely, blogging seemed to be the best option.

2. Ever wanted to get your works published? It would be nice. I’ve had simple articles published as an undergrad trainee journalist back in my homeland, and a few short lines recently on Merdeka Day for a Malaysian magazine pull-out.

3. Most embarrassing moment?! Let it be my well-kept secret! 🙂

4. What do you think was the biggest mistake in your life? Er,if any! There are no mistakes in life, everything that happens has a purpose to serve, there is great blessing behind every incident, even the bad ones.

5. Favorite author,and why? Enid Blyton, she brings back memories of my childhood; how I developed my love for reading and sense of curiosity about the world.

6. A lonely evening reading a book,or out partying with friends? what would you pick? I would prefer a book when I’m not in the mood to socialise, otherwise I enjoy meeting a bunch of friends for a ladies’ nite, usually at one of our houses, over tea/coffee and cakes, without husbands and children. Amazingly though the topic of conversation will always revert to our husbands and children! 🙂

7. The best post on your blog? Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy

8. How many friends from your school days are you still in touch with? (I have my own selfish reason for asking this one!) A handful, we’ve known each other since we were 13 at boarding school in Malaysia. They are my closest and most trusted friends, irreplaceable.

9. The happiest moment in your life? My wedding day, being married to the man I love, the man I realised I could not live without.

10. Your most cherished possession? My wedding and anniversary rings

11. One change you would like to see in yourself? Growing closer to God and less attached to this world with each passing day till my last…

Thank you once again Diana and Nabadip for including me in this wonderful mental exercise! I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome all my new readers and followers, and thank all the existing ones for taking the time to read my chattering from this little corner of the globe. My blog means a whole lot more with all of you out there reading it, thanks!

the present

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my hubby and our 4 children during our walk yesterday – more in my upcoming posts!

Children have neither past nor future; they enjoy the present, which very few of us do.  ~Jean de la Bruyere

The living moment is everything.  ~D.H. Lawrence

Rejoice in the things that are present; all else is beyond thee.  ~Montaigne

The other day a man asked me what I thought was the best time of life.  “Why,” I answered without a thought, “now.”  ~David Grayson

Yesterday is history.  Tomorrow is a mystery.  And today?  Today is a gift.  That’s why we call it the present.  ~Babat