Monthly Archives: September 2014

i’m on my way!

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Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever…

We never know the love of the parent until we become parents ourselves…

The most precious jewels you’ll ever have around your neck are the arms of your children…

Greetings folks! I’m still on high from last night’s event, which was my son’s high school music concert. They usually hold their annual Inter-House Music competition at this time of the year (early Autumn), just a few weeks after the new school year commences. I took my big daughter and my middle daughter with me; my youngest girl just wanted to stay home with her papa as she can get a bit overwhelmed at public functions.

Concerts at my son’s grammar school are usually major events, 1000 tickets sold out in no time over the 2 day performance! We just about managed to get tickets. My son participated once before when he was in his first year, at that time they sang ‘Hey Jude’ by The Beatles. Since this is my son’s final year at his grammar school (Inshallah if he does well in his GCSE exams he will remain there for his A-Levels), he’s decided to take part in the competition once again. It’s a nice way for him to relax and have a bit of fun with his mates before they get all serious preparing for their major exam.

The overall show was really great, as ever. They always put on the best of shows, year after year. My son sang in the boys’ choir for his House, this year they performed a medley of songs by the Scottish group The Proclaimers. I’m familiar with their song ‘500 miles’ but I don’t think I’ve heard any of their other songs properly before. This particular song ‘I’m On My Way’ was the final one they sang and it was so good they received lots of applause and cheers at the end!

Anyway, I just wanted to remember last night and how I felt and the love for my children here in this entry. They are growing up real fast, wasn’t it only yesterday when I was carrying them in my arms? Just like the song, they are well on their way…becoming their own person, developing their own personalities. As a mother, I’m very proud of them all, and I shall continue to support and guide them in whatever path they choose to lead. To be wholesome human beings; with respect and tolerance for others, to strive for excellence in whatever they pursue. Right, enough chattering yeah, hope you’ll enjoy the song my son sang below, I love it! Have a fab weekend! 🙂

when they were babies: my son, my big girl and my middle daughter

when they were babies: my son, my big girl and my middle daughter

my son, a young man now! my daughters at their brother’s show last nite!

I’m on my way, from misery to happiness today…Enjoy the song! 😉

weekly photo challenge : endurance

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Endurance is not just the ability to bear a difficult thing, but to turn it into glory.– William Barclay

The men who learn endurance, are they who call the whole world, brother. – Charles Dickens

Nothing great is ever achieved without great enduring. – Catherine of Siena

Finally, as promised, my visit to Kilchurn Castle in Scotland. What a coincidence that this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is entitled Endurance. Kilchurn Castle came straight to mind, it’s been there by Loch Awe for 6 centuries! It wasn’t easy to find, but we hunted high and low until we found it. And it was well worth it. However, these pictures I’ve taken won’t do you justice, you have to go there yourself to experience it all. Romantic, serene, breathtaking; it took us to a different level altogether, a step back in time.

I guess that’s just old sentimental me; easily moved by things rich in history and character, surrounded by natural beauty and serenity. I often blog about these themes along with family love and values which I regard very highly. Simplicity in life is my motto, so you would be rather disappointed if you were following my blog for luxurious home deco or regular fabulous cooking ideas! Let me guide you through my photos now, and do have a listen to the Scottish Highland music I’ve included at the end! A wake up song to set you for the week! 🙂

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our journey began; hubby and our 4 children ahead of me

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that’s me, very excited to have found my castle!

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my lil one by the entrance

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view from the castle ground

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my 4 children exploring

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view from the castle window, a 500 metres walk from the car park

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one side of the castle

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view from the other side

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big sister and little sister having a short rest

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admiring the view by Loch Awe

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castle tower

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my youngest never gets tired from posing for me

view of the whole castle

view of the whole castle from a distance

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seek and you shall find!

 

special moments

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A memory is a photograph taken by the heart to make a special moment last forever.

Life is made up of special moments which make it worth living. There are many cherished moments that are missed due to the stress and fast pace of daily living. We must slow down and remember how precious it is to be alive and to love.

Hello again everyone! Hope you don’t mind me postponing my Kilchurn Castle entry (from my Scotland holiday series) for a bit, I did say I was going to post about it next. But a number of things have happened since our summer holidays, so I’d better blog about them quickly. Time passes by so swiftly these days, with many events unfolding right before my very eyes. But from time to time (as you know), I like to return to my homeland Malaysia in my blog, for my heart is still partially there! My family, several relatives and closest friends remain dear to me, I try to share in their happiness and be there for them when they’re low in spirits. My late dad’s youngest sister is another auntie I feel very close to. For as long as I can remember, she’s always been there in my dad’s life. They had their ups and downs (as most siblings in a large family do), but at the end of the day, you can count on her to be there.

Her youngest son, (half my age) tied the knot recently. Due to the huge age gap however, I never quite got to know this young cousin of mine properly. Unlike his two elder brothers and sister, who I can call my closest cousins during my adolescent years. They still keep in touch with me until today and I truly appreciate it. How I wish I could have been there with them during the wedding ceremony recently, which was held on Malaysia’s Independence Day (31 August 1957). I called my auntie that morning to wish her congratulations, I just wanted them to know that they were in my thoughts even though I’m thousands off miles away. The wedding went well, my young cousin looked really handsome next to his lovely bride. I can feel their happiness radiating through their beautiful pictures! Perhaps when I return home next (God Willing), they will be blessed with a little one or two! I pray for their happiness and hope their matrimony will be everlasting, like their parents before them. In the mean time, I’m sending lots of love and prayers from across the miles! I have also included a wedding song I like below, let us join in to celebrate!

MUBARAK/TAHNIAH/CONGRATULATIONS TO MY DEAR COUSIN!

my cousin and his bride after taking the marriage vows

my cousin and his bride after taking the marriage vows

the wedding stage

the wedding stage, I love the red!

the radiant couple

looking dapper, my handsome cousin and his lovely bride

my auntie and I along with my then 3 children (2006)

sweet memory; my auntie and I along with my then 3 children (2006)

scotland part 4

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A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It’s earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature Henry David Thoreau

Make your heart like a lake, with a calm, still surface, and great depths of kindness Lao Tzu

Greetings everyone! Hope you’re well! Been so busy with the children, what with the new school year and all. My son is doing his GCSEs this year, time for him to really knuckle down! My big daughter is now at secondary school too, having been taught at home throughout her primary years. It was the same with my son. We only ‘release’ them into the big world at secondary level, after having ensured they secure places at the top grammar schools available. To enter these grammar schools you need to pass the entrance exam, they get harder and more competitive each year. Whatever’s meant to be really, I just do my best to home educate my children for as long as I can. The benefits are immense, but that’s a story for another day!

Let’s proceed with another adventure of my Scotland trip, this time it’s our loch cruise experience. We went on a cruise boat on Loch Etive, not too far from Loch Awe where we stayed at. This loch is really dark, looks like black ink spilled in abundance! We had a smashing time during this 45 minute ride, it was just us on the boat. The Captain served us biscuits and the best hot chocolates ever! He also let us drive the boat, it was great! The view was magnificent, huge mountains all around. The highlight of the cruise was seeing the seals on some rocks far out into the loch, we came quite close to them! The lochs here (we saw three during our trip) are really huge, it’s almost like being out at sea. Here’s some photos for you this time around! Stay tuned for my next Scotland outing to Kilchurn Castle!

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my 4 children by the jetty

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that’s our cruise boat!

all aboard!

all aboard!

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lil one and papa on the boat

Having a go!

loch looks dark!

loch looks dark!

my children soaking it all in!

my 4 children soaking it all in!

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magnificent view!

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we spotted the seals!

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seals up close

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lil one enjoying her snack, her siblings’ turn driving the boat

our ever so nice Captain!

our ever so nice Captain!

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thank you, we had a truly smashing time!

my older two, time to work hard!

my older two, time to work hard now!

 

scotland part 3

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Shall we have a cuppa tea now? After all the walks we had (I have never felt fitter in my life), we decided to check out this manor hotel about 10 miles away from our forest lodge. We saw a sign for it 7 miles in after we left the main road, but we turned right for another 7 miles to get to our accommodation. From that intersection (a small village called Kilchrenan) to the hotel it was about 3 miles to the left. But mind you, these country roads were all very winding, hilly and bumpy, so the journey felt twice as long! The scenery made up for the inconvenience though, I took a couple of shots along the way. We only passed by one or two other cottages, the hotel (and its massive grounds) itself was the only building at the end of the 3 miles! We almost thought we were lost at first. As we drove into the hotel driveway, I thought I saw a woman looking out from the the top window. She was brushing her long hair, dressed in Victorian outfit! I looked up again and the curtain closed. A bit spooky! I suppose it was just my imagination running wild, the hotel dated back to the 1800s after all.

Anyway, we had a warm welcome inside, the staff were friendly and accommodating. They served us cream tea by the piano in their grand living room. We explored the two main rooms downstairs, took some photos as it was truly beautiful. My little ones and I went for a short walk in their gardens afterwards, the rest were not dressed appropriately. The rain is always a hit and miss in Scotland, best to be in your macs and wellies permanently like I was! It was chucking it down when we came out of the hotel! For those of you curious about this old manor, please click here for further information. Who knows, you might want to hold your wedding there, or go for your honeymoon. Or to celebrate your anniversary perhaps. Or like us, just go and explore and experience it all! The scones were the best I ever tasted, that’s for certain! 🙂

sign to the manor hotel

sign to the manor hotel

view of loch along the way

view of loch along the way

lots of farm animals here and there in the countryside

lots of farm animals here and there in the countryside

view of hotel as we approached it

view of hotel as we approached it

the reception

the reception

stairs visible from the main entrance

stairs visible from the main entrance

main living room

main living room

we were sat across the piano

we were sat across the piano

join me for tea!

join me for tea!

best scones ever

best scones ever, served on slates!

family relaxing!

family relaxing, entertaining my son’s dream of becoming a manor lord someday!

view of Loch Awe by the living room window

view of Loch Awe by the living room window

the other half of the main living room

the other half of the main living room

the study room, turned into another living room

the study room, turned into another living room

my girls played chess there

my girls played chess there

the fireplace

the fireplace in the study

lil ones after our walk in the hotel grounds

lil ones after our walk in the hotel grounds