Tag Archives: outing

summer/ramadan updates 2015

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Happy is the person who knows what to remember of the past, what to enjoy in the present, and what to plan for the future.

We live in the present, we dream of the future, but we learn eternal truths from the past.

The future influences the present as much as the past.

Greetings everyone, hope you’re all well! Just a quick update from my little corner in England. I noticed that several more people have started following my blog, a big thank you from me. If you read my ‘about me’ and ‘about my blog’ pages, you will have a glimpse of me as person and my reasons for blogging. Hope that will help you understand this blog a touch better. I don’t want to bore you should my blog not be your cuppa tea! Anyway, back to my chattering, we are right in the middle of summer here. In fact, it’s predicted to soar up to 30c in a few days! That’s just like back in my homeland, Malaysia. A bit too hot, to be honest! Typically, I prefer the English summer when it’s between 20-25c, with the breeze blowing gently. Even then I suffer from hay fever as pollen levels tend to be quite high when it’s warm. I guess I have to stay indoors a lot more or make sure I take my hay fever tablets regularly.

As for my fasting, we are on to our 12th day today, time flies, almost halfway through already. I am looking forward to the Eid celebration at the end of our month’s fasting, InshaAllah. A wonderful reward indeed after a bit of hardship in Ramadan. I remember the Eids during my childhood very well, where our friends and neighbours from different races and religions also joined us in our festivity. I miss those times very much, they were extra special for sure. I guess you can tell I’m a bit homesick, don’t you? As mentioned in my previous post, I can’t help but feel melancholy during the months of Ramadan and Syawwal. Oh well, life goes on as they say, as I flit between my memories of the past, dreams for the future to my present life here in England. Such is the nature of my blog it seems.

Even though I’m fasting, I’ve been busy with indoor/outdoor educational activities with my youngest two. It’s been good, I must say! Each season has it’s own charm here in England, I try to capture them in my blog now and then. As for the rest of the family; my hubby’s busy at work as usual (he needs a long break), my big girl is finishing off her summer term with numerous interesting school trips. My son who’s officially a school leaver after he completed his GCSEs in mid-June, is currently doing voluntary work at a local organisation to pass his time. He hopes to pursue A-Levels in September, inshallah. Right, enough rambling, time for some pictures! They were taken at a museum and at a country park, during our educational outings. I’ve also included a picture of one of our Ramadan iftars (dishes for breaking fast) at the end. I’m not a food blogger, one is sufficient, yeah? Okay, maybe two. Till next time, take care all!

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my youngest two dressed up as Tudor (500 years ago) ladies; one rich and the other one less fortunate

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my youngest as a Victorian girl (150 years ago)

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posing by an old fireplace

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they love exploring museums

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amazed to find an old typewriter

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I love this little water pump and barrel

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WW2 air raid shelter

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summer blooms everywhere

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lovely summer’s day up the hills

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my middle daughter during our hill walk

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we were with a group of home educators tracking down Iron Age sites (2000 years ago)

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our simple Ramadan iftar

followed by main meal, the one Malaysian dish I cook often, Chicken Rice

our main meal, the one Malaysian dish I cook often, Chicken Rice

young summer

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What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade. Gertrude Jekyll

It is the month of June, The month of leaves and roses When pleasant sights salute the eyes, And pleasant scents the noses.  N.P. Willis

No price is set on the lavish summer; June may be had by the poorest comer. James Russell Lowell

warwick castle

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Is it so small a thing?
To have enjoyed the sun,
To have lived light in the spring,
To have loved, to have thought, to have done?  Matthew Arnold

April hath put a spirit of youth in everything – William Shakespeare

Greetings everyone! How are you all? We are still on our Easter break here in England, it’s been good so far, Alhamdulillah. Yesterday’s been such a lovely day, I just have to blog about it whilst the happy vibes are still with me! After what feels like a really long time, my family and I went on our first outing for this year. Spring is in the air of course, which makes it extra special. We visited Warwick Castle, we were there almost the whole day. As usual I have hundreds of photos from the trip, I’m feeling dizzy at the moment as to how to present them here. Never mind, I shall deal with them later. Right now it’s sufficient to share a few images with you, to mark our memorable day. As my son puts it, the main purpose of the trip is to bond as a family. It’s extremely crucial in this day and age as we’re all very busy, so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. Short breaks such as Easter holidays are ideal to spend some time together. Oh yes, we also got a bit lost on the way there, our sat nav decided to take us through a beautiful countryside instead of the main dual carriageway. But it was worth it, my adventurous daughter spotted a horse she really liked! She’s really horse mad at the moment ever since she joined the riding school. My hubby turned the radio on during our detour, I heard this very beautiful song for the first time, kind of apt for the day I thought! Melancholy but sweet as we journeyed back in time…

Stay tuned for more posts on our castle trip!

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the graceful white horse in the countryside

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we finally arrived at Warwick Castle after a slight detour

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beautiful setting on a gorgeous day

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my beloved family, my teenagers have certainly forgotten how to smile!

view from one of the many towers, breathtaking

part of the castle viewed from one of the many towers we climbed

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my 4 precious children and I

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family bonding time

me with my man, fortress and daffodils; my kind of Spring!

Has anyone ever written anything for you?

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

[pl,]

we love Oxford, hope to visit again soon!

fabulous totnes

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Always maintain a kind of summer, even in the middle of winter.

What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.

Summer always ends with good memories…

I was going through my summer holiday pictures and realised there’s quite a bit I haven’t blogged about. This is a good time I suppose, as we head further into dull gloomy winter. We took the children to South Devon again (after our Scotland trip) last August, we stayed at the same caravan holiday park. This time however we explored other areas near the English Riviera, including this historic place called Totnes. It’s a very beautiful old English town, full of quaint little shops. There’s lots of health stores too, much to my hubby’s delight! He even made another trip there before we headed home. There was also this costumes museum which my children really loved. The town has a bohemian feel to it; dads with braided hair, moms with colourful flowy skirts, walking around happily with their carefree children, all barefooted!

Well, I’ve put together some pictures from our trip below, I hope you will like them. I’ve also included a song at the end to match my mood, as I sometimes do. This time around it’s an upbeat Malay number from a romantic Malay TV drama I’ve watched online recently, Cinta Jangan Pergi. This 26 episode drama was screened in Malaysia early last year, but as usual I only caught up with the Malaysian scene much later! I give this drama my two thumbs up; certainly one of the best I’ve watched of late. Superb in every way, with a happy ending too. There ought to be a rainbow after the rain after all, right? Okay folks, till next time, take care yeah, and always find a reason to smile! 🙂

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Welcome to Totnes

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let’s explore the costumes museum first

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Jane Austen period costumes

so lovely

so lovely

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gorgeous

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lil ones wanna dress up too

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my youngest

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my Eliza Doolittle

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let’s explore further

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beautiful shops

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my son’s favourite

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my hubby’s choice

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shall we pop in?

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hmm, what’s not made in China these days?

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This one made in England for sure

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let’s find the castle now

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It’s this way Abang

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got side tracked by a lovely cottage

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Totnes Castle

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hungry now

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my 4 happy carefree kids

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let’s get some cheese to take home

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and some cakes for teatime!

flower headgears from totnes market as souvenirs!

flower headwear from bohemian totnes as souvenirs!

Have a good weekend everyone, enjoy this sweet song in my mother tongue, from a great Malay drama!