Tag Archives: education

merry may

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Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair and let us huddle together as darkness takes over. We are at home amidst the birds and the trees, for we are children of nature. Susan Polis Shutz

Greetings everyone! It’s been a while since my last chattering, boy, have I been busy! My hubby’s relatives came one after another to visit him after his operation, don’t think we’ve ever had so many of them visiting us in a year like that before. Alhamdulillah, my hubby’s fine now, he went off to The Netherlands for a week’s work trip right after his 3-week leave. I missed him like crazy whilst he was away, have got used to him being around 24/7 for a bit! Amidst all that, my son is currently going through his GCSE exams, fortunately it’s half term this week so he’s able to have a wee break. He was over the moon when his good old friends (more like brothers really) from the UAE visited him for a couple of days (read my previous post), that took his mind off the exam pressure a little. Back to exams next week when school resumes, my big girl will have her year-end exams too. Fortunately for them both exams will be over before Ramadan (annual Muslim fasting month) begins in mid-June, fasting in the summer months can be rather trying due to the long daylight hours!

Apart from that, I’ve been keeping my younger two busy outdoors. Everytime my good old friend M visits me (every couple of years), she will exclaim how much she misses the greenery in England. Having born and bred here, she truly misses it. She’s been in the UAE for a decade now, she’s settled well and is happy there. But nothing can replace the joy of being outdoors in England, that much she’s certain! I totally agree with her of course. That’s why we always try to take our children out whenever we can, ever since they were all little. My older two will sometimes look back at their old photos and can still remember all the lovely places they’ve been to. I think it’s important to create sweet memories for children, especially in today’s challenging and confusing world. Those simple happy carefree days I experienced as a child seem alien to many children of today. Sad really. I still recall my happy childhood, that’s one of the best gifts my parents have bestowed upon me. I would want my children to feel the same when they’re older, Inshallah.

We’re only human, therefore I must mention how I’ve learnt a harsh lesson or two recently. You know when you sometimes reach out to people, where you’re genuinely warm, open, accommodating and naturally expect them to reciprocate? Only to realise later that the other party’s only being amiable or pleasant towards you for some other reason? Not because you mean something to them after all. A minor thing perhaps to some, but to a sensitive soul like mine, it’s a big deal. I’m glad to have an outlet here to share my feelings a little, maybe another delicate heart out there can relate to it too. Well, life goes on, I shall move forward and focus on those truly worthy of my attention. Why waste time on those who don’t really care? People are people I guess, you get all sorts. Now in my 4th decade, I can see more clearly as to who’s a true blue and who’s a fake, wisdom does come with age. Right, I shall leave you on a lighter note. Here’s some memorable pictures I’ve taken recently, which captures the simple happy moments of our little life in England!

good tidings

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Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts Winston Churchill

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired and success achieved Helen Keller

SO PROUD OF MY LITTLE SISTER’S ACHIEVEMENT! MANY CONGRATULATIONS FROM US HERE! ❤

nana masters degree

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my youngest sister, with her thesis in hand

january blues

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The shortest day has passed, and whatever nastiness of weather we may look forward to in January and February, at least we notice that the days are getting longer. Minute by minute they lengthen out. It takes some weeks before we become aware of the change. It is imperceptible even as the growth of a child, as you watch it day by day, until the moment comes when with a start of delighted surprise we realize that we can stay out of doors in a
twilight lasting for another quarter of a precious hour. – Vita Sackville West

Time does fly, I can’t believe we’re at January end already. The wind is howling away as I compose this post, very gusty! It’s gone all dark outside; like dusk, in reality it’s only mid morning. Yesterday was a different story; rather mild for Winter, almost Spring like. It was a good thing that my daughter’s riding lesson was yesterday, today we’re just indoors. Was thinking of popping out to the library with the younger two in the afternoon, but I’m not so sure now. Don’t feel like driving in this sort of weather unless I really have to! I see the stems of my daffodils growing taller each day, but Spring seems ages yet. In the meantime, let’s wallow in my January blues. To be honest with you, it hasn’t been that bad really after all.

maintain summer, even in winter! my youngest by her sister's riding arena yesterday

maintain summer, even in winter! my youngest by her sister’s riding arena yesterday

January’s been a hectic month for us as a family. My hubby’s occupied at work after a long break back in December, he’s publishing several papers for conferences here and there. My son’s busy preparing for his GCSEs, not too long now, 4 months to go. He’s now looking at A-Level subjects, everything’s done in advance around here. I just feel as if it was only yesterday he started secondary school. And now we’re already looking at 6th Form options? Where has the time gone? My girls are growing up really fast too, involved with their studies and extra curricular activities again after the long Winter holidays. I’m there for them all, holding the family together, my best role ever. January’s also extra special because of my birthday, I’m now slowly but surely heading towards the 50 mark! I pray for a blessed life, to become a better person each day. I am grateful for all the lovely wishes from my beloved family and friends. Thank you for making my life so beautiful.

my 4 lovelies, growing up super fast!

my 4 lovelies; each with their own antics (spot the grumpy ones), growing up super fast!

I guess this post wraps up my entries for January. Every time I blog, I imagine writing a personal letter to my dear old friend, Shahnaz. We were at boarding school together. When she was doing her first degree here in England (I did mine back in Malaysia), we used to write really long letters to each other. We shared all our ups and downs. When she discovered my blog she said it’s almost like old times again, it’s just like the way I wrote to her! As usual, I end with a song. This time it’s a really touching Malay song from a superb Malay drama Satu Hari’ (One Day) I’ve been watching online recently. I love both the drama and the song! I can relate to it in a way; my younger self seeking adventure abroad almost 2 decades ago; by doing my Masters in England, hoping to broaden my horizon, leaving everything behind me…

my younger self, almost 2 decades ago

my younger self, almost 2 decades ago

Hurrah for happy endings, each genuine heart deserves one. Just the right drama/song for my January blues! 

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!

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!