Monthly Archives: December 2014

season’s greetings

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May your holidays be happy days, filled with love and laughter,

And may each day bring joy your way, in the year that follows after!

Just a quick update to wish everyone Season’s Greetings! And Merry Christmas to all my readers who have just celebrated this festive occasion. Even though I don’t celebrate Christmas, I like this time of year as I see it as a source of light in the midst of darkness. The bright Christmas lights, the colourful scented candles, the lovely decorations all bring warmth and cheer to the dark dreary winter. Not to mention the cold, it’s down to -2c this evening!

Back in my homeland, Malaysia, Christmas is not as huge as the Muslim Eid festivals, nor it is as festive as the Chinese New Year celebration. But over here in England, it’s a different story altogether. The fact that it falls in mid-winter makes it extra special. In Malaysia, it’s summer all year round, so I felt indifferent towards Christmas. In my mind now, however, Christmas and winter are interrelated. That’s what makes it so beautiful.

Anyway, my hubby is busy re-painting our living room at the moment so I cannot access our main computer. Will blog properly once everything is back to normal. I hope everyone will have a wonderful end of year holidays till we welcome New Year 2015. Last but not least, let’s not forget to say a prayer for those who are suffering, with every happiness there are tears of sadness flowing. Such is the nature of this temporary life. Take care everyone!

Season’s Greetings to all!

This beautiful song captures the essence of this serene time of year in England!

winter wanderings

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It is always lovely when my hubby is at home with us, especially at year end when he has to finish off his annual leave. We took the younger two to the At Bristol Science Centre, it’s a great place for hands on activities, you can check out their website here. They also had their ice rink on at this time of the year, so my girls had a go at skating too. We parents had to accompany them of course, it was a bit daunting really. I could roller skate awfully fast when I was young, but now in my 40s!? I ended hanging on to my little one’s penguin for dear life, she was the one who was daring enough to let go! 🙂

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another snowman (do read my previous snowman post) at the science centre, a cute one this time!

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the ice rink when it was empty

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time to get ready!

make sure your boots  are tightly secured

make sure your boots are tightly secured

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off we go, papa with little ones

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that’s me, clinging on to my little one’s penguin

Phew! Glad that was over and done with. Next time they could go with their older brother and sister, I think. Mama and Papa are just not cut out for this ice skating stuff. So off we went into the Science Centre to explore the exhibits. The girls loved it, especially when their papa went around explaining everything to them. Science and Maths are his expertise! The centre’s huge, with many sections to explore, ideally you should spend the whole day there. But we couldn’t stay that long this time around, perhaps another time. I’ve brought my older ones here a couple of times when they were younger, but it would be nice for them to visit again, it’s suitable for all ages really. Here’s some photos I managed to snap away, couldn’t cover everything though as we had to move fast between exhibits in order to experience them all. We had fun!

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watching water freeze at chemistry corner

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papa having a go at the biology corner

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my youngest milking the cow at the food corner

sampling different tastes at food corner

sampling different tastes at food corner

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a bit of physics for my little one!

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Bob the Builder has a lovely new assistant

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happy to complete this far with papa’s help

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outside the planetarium on the top floor

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my middle one with Wallace and Gromit

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my middle daughter having a go at making cartoon clips from scratch

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they really enjoyed making cartoon images

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Shaun the Sheep!

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exploring the magnetic field with papa

Right, time for some food now! All the skating and experimenting has made us truly hungry. Hubby took us to Za Za Bazaar, this buzzing buffet restaurant is just across the Science Centre. I shall return soon with the next episode of our winter wanderings. There’s just too many photos here already, I think it’s best to break it up. Stay tuned for more ok! 😉

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off for some food!

festive december

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“Frosty the snowman was a jolly happy soul,
With a corncob pipe and a button nose
and two eyes made out of coal.
Frosty the snowman is a fairy tale, they say,
He was made of snow but the children
know how he came to life one day.”
– Christmas Carol

I can’t believe we’re in December already, right in the middle of winter too! The days are so short at the moment, sunset at 4pm and sunrise at about 8am. I feel lethargic during winter, I have to find ways to stay upbeat! Fortunately there’s a few festive events locally at this time of the year, you can read my previous posts about them. We try not to miss the Victorian Christmas Market and the Festive Fayre, it’s just nice to be able to get out for a bit. I didn’t get a chance to snap too many photos this time around, I’ve shared loads in the past. Anyway, this year they had Anna and Elsa from Frozen at the Festive Fayre, much to my girls’ delight. Brought back memories of my own fascination with Snow White when I was about their age, my beloved father took my younger sister and I to a Disney pantomime in Penang, Malaysia. I don’t remember the details but I can still recall my excitement. To see my own girls’ happy faces with their favourite princesses was truly priceless indeed. I remember dreaming away just like they do, princesses are just part of a typical girl’s little life!

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my little ones with Anna and Elsa

Another character that was there was the Snowman. My youngest one didn’t quite like this particular Snowman (Frosty), her ideal one is the round bubbly figure from the famous Xmas Cartoon, The Snowman. She refused to have her picture taken with him, my middle daughter however had no qualms whatsoever. My youngest was furious to discover later that the Snowman actually stood behind her whilst she was posing with her sister. Although we were at the Fayre only briefly, we still managed to have a fairly good time. Guess we just have to make the most of the 8 hours of daylight we now have!

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my middle daughter with Frosty the Snowman

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Snowman entered the frame too!

Christmas is certainly in the air now, my older children are looking forward to the winter holidays, they break from school at the end of this week. It’s not very nice going to school in the dark and returning home in the dark again, pretty gloomy really! My big daughter (12) is already planning to bake us all sorts during the holidays, she loves pottering about in the kitchen when she’s not busy with school work. She made us a delicious pudding at the weekend, I’ve included the picture below. We’ll have the fire-place roaring, with plenty of desserts and tea to warm us up this holidays. Looking forward to it! Do enjoy the song from The 1982 Snowman cartoon, I cry every time I watch it, it’s just a tad sad. Happy holidays to all!

my big daughter's hazelnut pudding, served with strawberries and choc sauce

my big daughter’s hazelnut pudding, served with strawberries and choc sauce

my lil one's ideal snowman!

my lil one’s ideal snowman!

Enjoy the song!

welcome winter

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WINTER, A LINGERING SEASON,

IS A TIME TO GATHER GOLDEN MOMENTS,

EMBARK UPON A SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY,

AND ENJOY EVERY IDLE HOUR… 

I can’t believe it, all of a sudden, we’re in Winter! I finally succumbed to the weather, I got my furry winter coat out. Along with my gloves. Cardigans and pumps not sufficient anymore. I have been wearing my boots since mid-Autumn. So yeah, let’s welcome Winter! Let me give you a quick update of my little life here. My close friends from Malaysia who visited me have now returned home, glad to be back in the 30c sunshine. I think they left at just about the right time, as apparently the cold Arctic front will bring freezing temperatures to the UK! My friends have had their fair share of cold weather when they visited France and Switzerland afterwards anyway.

Since then I’ve been busy with my little ones. The dull gloomy weather means we’re less motivated to do lessons at home like usual (I home educate them). So it was a much welcomed distraction for us when we were invited to the launch of a horse riding arena by our local farm. My adventurous daughter (9) was super excited. She loves everything outdoors. So horse riding is now next on her list! She and her best friend had a go at riding the horses, they also got a chance to groom them. She was well pleased. My littlest one (5) however was a bit spooked, the horses looked rather mighty to her!

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my adventurous daughter getting on her horse

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a bit nervous but a happy bunny

grooming away

grooming away with her good friend

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my lil one (black coat) didn’t want to be left out

my youngest and her gang

my youngest and her gang

gorgeous farm cake

gorgeous farm cake at the launch

Apart from that, we also visited Oxford once again (hope you’ve read my post on Oxford last Autumn). My hubby had to co-supervise a PhD student at one of the colleges, so my little ones and I tagged along for the day. I took them to the Natural History Museum and Pitt Rivers Museum, they were well worth it. We walked a lot, despite the cold weather. After all, Oxford is best explored on foot. I wish we had more time, there was so much to discover. We hope to go again the next time my hubby has to work in Oxford. I could even take my older two if it coincides with the school holidays.

As usual, I leave you with images, both from the horse riding arena launch (as above) and our brief Oxford trip (as below), hope you will like them. Winter’s usually associated with grey, gloom and depression, understandably. But if you wrap up and brace yourself out there, you can actually find ways to have fun and to collect some warm winter memories. That’s what I did. This song was playing on High Street in Oxford as we walked past; utterly classic, timeless really. There’s something quite nostalgic listening to The Beatles in wintry charming Oxford, I don’t mind playing it again and again!

Let’s try to have a memorable winter despite the obvious gloom! 

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welcome to the land of the wise!

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a fire juggler performing for us

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students’ bikes everywhere

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autumn leaves still visible

at the Natural History Museum

at the Natural History Museum

just like the fox we saw in our back garden!

just like the fox we saw in our back garden!

they had a good time

they had a good time

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we love Oxford, hope to visit again soon!