Category Archives: memories

old songs

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Greetings again! On to my second post of the year! Since my Instagram is already full of my family pictures and activities, I’ve kind of decided that my blog should focus more on myself. But you never know, it might change again as I go along, I’ll see how it goes anyway. As my regulars would know, I’m quite fond of including songs at the end of my blog posts. But you’d be surprised if I tell you that I hardly listen to them any longer. I think I kind of stopped listening to songs when my children came along one after another. It was only when I started blogging that I looked up for songs that meant something to me in the past. I thought it would be a nice way of spicing up my posts for a bit.

I started enjoying songs a lot as a teenager whilst at boarding school in Malaysia. We’re talking about growing up in the 80s here, the songs then were simply awesome! Not like today’s rubbishy trashy ones. Even all the supermarkets I shop at tend to play songs from the 80s and 90s most of the time, probably targeting middle aged moms and dads like me. We’ll buy more when we feel good, right? The moment the more recent songs come on I can’t wait to get to the checkout counter and leave! That’s how much I loathe them. Even my youngest girl who’s almost 8 agrees with me. She’s got good taste. But certainly not my eldest son who is 17!

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The good old days, with my best buddies from boarding school. Can you spot me?

Anyway, one of the cassettes (no CDs yet back then) I remember proudly owning of was Debbie Gibson’s. She’s about my age and I absolutely adored her, used to dance to her songs all day long. I’m sure both my younger sisters would remember if they read this post! We used to call the Royal Australian Air Force radio station based in mainland Penang to request for songs (I grew up on Penang Island, Malaysia). The DJ was Australian of course and the radio show was for the Australian expats living in Malaysia. But I tried my best to sound like an English speaking girl just to get my favourite songs aired. What a joy when most of the time he played them, I’m not sure whether he realised I was just a local Malaysian girl who was into music big time!

Alright, I guess I won’t blabber on too much this time around. Still trying to get the hang of blogging again! But yes, it does get easier for sure as several of you commented. I certainly feel much more positive after pouring my heart out about dealing with negative people in my debut post. Good to know I’m not alone. People are people, just have to deal with them the best we can, even the difficult ones! Anyway, hope you enjoy this Debbie Gibson number I used to love. Brings back memories of my teenage self bopping along to it. Hard to imagine, I know! But hey, everyone’s young once upon a time, right? When I reminisce the good old days I can’t help but smile. Always young at heart…

someone to love

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They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world:

someone to love, something to do, something to hope for. Tom Bodett

Greetings everyone! I came across this headline in The Independent newspaper today, ‘Loneliness a major problem in England.’ Hmm, what can I say, a very sad predicament indeed. In this day and age, when people seem to have everything, yet there are many out there who are lonely. I think it only emphasises that money can’t buy you happiness. Material things only give you instant gratification. Happiness comes from being with others. So what about the 24/7 connection you have with others then? We live in an age of high technology, we are all connected to everyone we ever knew as well as strangers. How can one still be lonely with thousands of ‘friends’ out there? Because those people do not really matter to you. They are not there for you in your ‘real’ life. At the end of the day, in your daily existence, you need someone to love, you need someone by your side. You need a family of your own. This is part of our human makeup that cannot be denied or substituted. No point saying, I’m fine on my own! When you get to a certain age, you feel the need to settle down with that special someone. Every normal living mortal will have that urge.

me in the early days of marriage

me in the early days of marriage

Memories of my own strong feelings to settle down suddenly came flooding back. Two decades have passed by, but I still remember it all. I was alone in a foreign land, pursuing my Masters program. I was to proceed with a PhD afterwards then return to Malaysia to teach at my alma mater. But I couldn’t resist this strong inclination to accept the marriage proposal from this wonderful man who is now my husband. Should I have refused him then, perhaps finished all my studies first? Would he have waited for me? That’s not even the point though, I really felt I should tie the knot at that moment in time, I was truly ready. It felt right. Like a jigsaw puzzle, suddenly all the pieces fitted well together. I knew marriage was the best thing for me. Nothing else mattered. Call me self-centred if you wish, but I knew I was embarking upon a lifetime journey, a new episode in my life. There was no turning back. And he wasn’t ‘foreign’, he was perfect for me! It felt so good and I was over the moon when my parents finally gave me their blessings. They flew to London with both my sisters to attend the wedding, Alhamdulillah! The loneliness deep within me disappeared, I then felt complete.

my hubby, the 'foreigner' who stole my heart

my hubby, the ‘foreigner’ who stole my heart

All that seemed like a lifetime ago. Our son came along two years later, followed by our 3 daughters. I now have 4 other versions of my hubby and myself! My youngest is almost 6 now, where has the time gone? My son was just reminding me the other day that he will be off to University in a couple of years, all being well. I can’t believe it somehow. Seems only yesterday my late father was cradling him in his arms! Time goes by so quickly sometimes, it’s a bit daunting. But what keeps us going is that someone to love, who’s always there for you, no matter what. How do you find that someone? By being a special someone yourself, worthy of someone’s love and attention for the rest of their life. It doesn’t really matter if you found that person yourself, or arranged through family, as the norm with many Asian Indo-Pak families here in England. It’s your intention that matters. If you want your marriage to work, you will do what it takes to keep it going. Both parties have to give their best. Sacrifice, commitment, loyalty, some common words in your married life. Too much for you? Back to the headlines then, the dreaded word ‘loneliness’. I knew I didn’t want to stay on that path…

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no selfie yet at the time, just our camera on self-timer!

I fell in love with this song about the time I met my husband, I used to think how beautiful the lyrics were.

time after time

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Though miles may lie between us, we are never apart,

For friendship doesn’t count miles, it’s measured by the heart…

I’ve just about settled down into my dull gloomy winter routine when a ray of bright brilliant sunshine suddenly hit me. Yes, my two close friends visited me again, they both came around last year on separate occasions for work. This time however they’re on holiday, their youngest sister also tagged along. My close friends are sisters, they are only a year apart in age. I first befriended N (the older sister), when we were at boarding school together during our teenage years. I then met her younger sister, T, when I visited their family home in the east coast of Malaysia. Over the years N and I remained close, and when we all started our working life in the capital of Malaysia, we lived in the same house. N’s younger sister, T, lived with us too, along with a couple more of our boarding school friends. Since then we were inseparable. We’re like a little family. We shared both the good times and the bad times. We were there for each other until I left for England. I felt sad to leave them, but such is life, forever changing. I looked forward but they stayed in my heart…

A year later, all 3 of us got married around the same time. And the rest is history as they say. As the quote above rightly says, we’re never apart. Our hearts are still connected, we never miss an opportunity to meet up with one another. T has 3 children, I adore them as much as both N and T adore mine. It was good for our children to meet up again. I feel truly blessed to know these 2 special women and their loving family; it’s been 3 decades and I feel closer to them than ever. Thank you so much N and T for your beautiful friendship, I cannot express how dear you both mean to me. I pray our friendship last both in this world and the next. N asked expectantly whether I would blog about them again, of course I would. Thank you for the joy and laughter you brought to my home and my family over the past couple of days, the sweet memories shall warm the rest of our winter. May we meet again soon, God Willing! I dedicate my all time favourite song to both N and T; and to the rest of my ex-TKC friends who have sent their love and regards through N. I love you all for always. In my heart and in my eyes, we are still as we were at 16! Let’s walk down memory lane with Cyndi Lauper…  ❤

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N, me, and N’s sister T; we’ve known each other since the 80s, now we’re in our mid-40s!

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sunshine in my garden; N, me and T with their youngest sister (purple) and T’s daughter

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friends forever, celebrating 3 decades of friendship!

If you’re lost, you can look and you will find me, time after time…

run to you

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 My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.

A father is neither an anchor to hold us back, nor a sail to take us there, he is a guiding light whose love show us the way.

My father didn’t tell me how to live, he lived, and let me watch him do it.

my late beloved father, at 17 going on 18 (photo taken on 14/2/1955, Malaya)

my only son, looking more like my father each day

my only son, looking more like my father each day

my father, my son

my father, my son

I miss my late father, very very much. I sometimes wonder is it because he is no longer with us, that I long for his presence? Or is it because I have some regrets deep within me, wishing for the hundredth time for the chance to tell/show him how much he meant to me? I first heard this beautiful melancholy song during my son’s school concert recently. I don’t know why, but my late father came to mind instantly. When I feel bogged down with the strains of life, I wish he was there to pick me up, like he always did. Mind you, my hubby does an excellent job in doing so these days, but the little girl in me still craves for her father. The very first man I ever loved, the one who taught me how to love in return. To love deeply with all my heart, no holds barred! Oh Papa, I miss you so very much!!! But I look at your only grandson now and I see you all over again, Praise be to God! I found some solace in my grieving heart, 13 years on…

EVEN IF YOU CANNOT HEAR MY VOICE, I’LL BE RIGHT BESIDE YOU DEAR

REST IN PEACE PAPA (1937 – 2001)

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)