Tag Archives: Marriage

brunch date

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Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.

The best thing in life is finding someone who knows all of your flaws and mistakes and weaknesses and still thinks you’re completely amazing.

It’s the first day of June today and I’m feeling as fresh as a daisy! My hubby and I have had enough crap from people by the time the weekend arrived, we therefore decided it’s time to focus on ourselves for a bit. As it happened, the ideal opportunity came up just at the right time. My son was occupied with his GCSE revision, my big girl and littlest girl were at their Saturday Arabic School and my middle daughter was away in the countryside for a residential trip. Such golden moments are very rare, so we grabbed it without further ado of course. This time we decided to venture further afield for a brunch date. I was so looking forward to it, almost like going out on a first date all over again!

We were spoiled for choice as to where to eat, but finally decided on a particular cafe based on the online Tripadvisor reviews. That’s one good thing about modern technology, I must admit. Food was exceptionally good, unlike our regular breakfast at our local Sainsbury supermarket cafe. It was a special treat, one we both deserved. We ate, chatted, laughed; it was a light, magical moment. Weather was perfect too, beautiful in fact. Blue sky, cotton wool clouds, 14c with no wind. Who would have thought a simple outing like this could bring out the best in us both? We made a mental note to go out on more dates in the near future, God Willing.

can you spot me?

can you spot me at the cafe?

feqgqe

latte for me and chai for my hubby

erherh

full english breakfast with duck’s eggs and bubble and squeak for hubby

my salmon egg benedict

my eggs benedict with salmon and chives topped with hollandaise sauce

hubby and I

hubby and I

After dining for an hour, we went for a stroll. The area we were at had many boutiques and bespoke stores, it was a great place for window shopping. We were like a young couple once more; giggling away at this and that, discovering hidden gems together. We ended by a bench overlooking a beautiful park, laughing away like mad as we tried to take a selfie together. My hubby said it was like getting to know me once more, I felt the same. It’s so easy to lose yourselves when you’ve been married for almost 2 decades, what more when there’s 4 children as well. It hadn’t been easy raising a family all on our own. But (Alhamdulillah) we managed somehow and now we can have a breather as the children are all older.

It’s time for us again now I hope, aside from being mom and dad we also want to focus on being ‘you and I’. It’s not in our culture to leave our children with babysitters, so that’s out of question I’m afraid. But we look forward to more opportunities such as this brunch date in the near future, as our children will have more commitments of their own as they grow up. Anyway, I leave you with some pictures I took from our brunch date, as always, not everything can be captured. You will certainly lose the essence of your special moment if you keep snapping away. Have a good week ahead folks! To fellow Muslims, our countdown to Ramadan has certainly begun!

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an aladdin’s cave we discovered

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leisurely stroll by a historical building

awesome architecture

awesome architecture

gerhber

we strolled passed my dream hotel, maybe a 1 nite stay on our silver anniversary?

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Sitting on the bench together reminds me of this song; our happy moment, Alhamdulillah! 

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.

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)

ramadan memories

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Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.

Memory… is the diary that we all carry about with us.

To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore it, and to render it the more fit for its prime function of looking forward.

Ramadan brings back many old memories for me; I treasure the ones with my family most of all. It makes me pine away for my growing up years, of being one of my parents’ beloved daughters. As the first-born, I took the first steps in trudging through all of life’s milestones. I am supposed to be the ideal role model for both my younger sisters, it isn’t easy sometimes. The photo below is truly special, it was taken just before my family and I flew to London for my wedding. My late father insisted on it, as it was a tradition for us to have a family photo taken every couple of years or so. Little did we know then that it was to be our last formal family photo with our beloved dad in it. I miss him tremendously, especially when I feel down. Doesn’t have to be anything major, it could just be a particularly bad day. I recall one of my cousins saying that I will always find my way to Ipoh, Malaysia, no matter how far I am. Simply because my dad is buried there, therefore I shall always return to visit his grave…

I don’t like to be too sad when I think of my dad these days though, like I used to be in the beginning. For I know he wouldn’t want to see me miserable, he would want me to carry on with my life and focus on those around me. Even though my dad was a bit broken-hearted that I was thousands of miles away after I got married, he knew that I was happy. He could see that he had passed his eldest daughter into the loving care of a very good man, who would InshaAllah (God Willing) love me forever more. I am also thankful to God the Almighty that my beloved dad managed to see his eldest grandchild before he left this world. In fact, he was there in the early days when my son was born, and he played the doting grandpa for 2 years, as I flew home quite often back then. Sadly, he never saw any of his 3 granddaughters, I know he would have loved them. I talk to my girls (and my son) about him from time to time and pray that we will all be reunited in Heaven, InshaAllah.

I was inspired to blog this post by a Malay drama I watched online, entitled Ijab & Qabul. This literarily means Offer & Acceptance, which forms the Islamic Marriage Contract. When a Muslim couple agrees to tie the knot, the bride’s father (or guardian) will recite the offer to hand over the care of his daughter to the man who wishes to marry her. This should be done in front of reliable witnesses. The groom will then recite the acceptance of the offer. When the religious official along with the guardian and witnesses are satisfied, a prayer will be recited and the bride is then officially under her husband’s care. A woman’s status is very high indeed in true Islam, they are supposed to be cared for and loved like gems, no loving father wants anything less for his precious daughter. When my late father closed his eyes forever, I knew that he didn’t have any major worries regarding me. I left his house to get married, and I shall remain in my husband’s house till the day I die. Thank you papa for handing me over to one as wonderful as you. I truly miss you, you’re forever in my prayers. Ramadan and Eid not the same without you here, but we shall carry on, you would want us to be happy. You always loved the blessed months of Ramadan and Shawwal…

nfadm

my beloved family and I

ijab&qabul

ijab & qabul over me

Theme song from the Malay drama, Ijab & Qabul, very touching! It’s about the eternal love a husband has for his wife, regardless of her shortcomings. He’ll uphold the Ijab & Qabul he contracted, he will honour his promise to her guardian…

 

 

 

life’s blessings

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johnodonohue526270

I finally found some time to sit down and write something, enough of my photo series for now. I just want to note down my feelings of being in this country which has been my home for almost 2 decades. A piece of memory prompted this post. I remember when I returned to my homeland Malaysia after I got married and we bumped into my good friend from University. My friend’s mom enquired whether I was happy living in England, she found it hard to comprehend that I had the heart (and guts!) to leave everything behind (family, friends, beautiful homeland). She also thought it was a temporary thing, in fact some of my close relatives still think that I will eventually return home.

I suppose they miss me, I know my mom and sisters and my close friends certainly do. It’s not easy, I wouldn’t encourage anyone to follow my footsteps, I cannot imagine my daughters marrying off and living thousands of miles away. But fate is not in our hands, we can plan things but ultimately God the Almighty knows what’s best for us. I never knew that I was going to end up here, so far away from all that I loved. But it seemed appropriate at the time and I was certain I was doing the right thing. Marriage to this wonderful man who proposed to me almost 2 decades ago was one of the best things that’s ever happened to me, Alhamdulillah. My intentions were pure and so was his (actions judged by sincerity in Islam), and for that I feel we are blessed till today and forever more I pray. Our 4 children complete our matrimony, they add colour to our lives.

I have also repeatedly mentioned that my hubby and children are top priority in my current life. For as long as I live I will be there for them InshaAllah (God Willing), I feel content when they are smiling! I won’t go on and on, suffice to say that I feel truly blessed, praise be to God. I stumbled upon this Malay song I used to like, it means ‘You’re My Inspiration’. I feel that it’s only right to dedicate it to my beloved hubby and children; they bring meaning to my life, I feel much fulfilled. None of them understand my Malay language though, I shall have to translate and my Malay is rusty! 😉 Anyway, I now bid farewell. To date we are half-way to the holy month of Ramadan, I hope you’ll remember my family and I in your prayers…

hubby and I revisited our memorable street in London a few years ago, that's where it all began...

hubby and I trailed down our memory lane in London, “Will you have the honour of becoming my wife, will you marry me?”

our 4 precious pearls, they make our life complete

our 4 precious pearls when they were younger, they add colour to our life together

I miss my Malay songs! 🙂