About Me

My photo
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
A 40 something dad of five and a half wonderful kids with amazingly different traits and temperament from whom he wants a break from at times, yet wish they never grow older.....and be with him always.....(howzat possible?)and now wishing that he can be a stay at home dad......

28 February, 2007

Smitten by Sukarsa

I am not an art collector nor am I an art connoisseur and I don't profess to be knowledgeable in this realm! But I do admire and appreciate them in a novice-kind-of-way. In other words, what pleases my eyes R O C K S!

So don't ask me about paint strokes, the elements, etc...! Maybe, I can identify some of the styles like impressionist, abstract, realist, surrealist, art deco or pop art.That's about it really! Beyond that...I'm hopeless.

The ones which I normally like and pick here in Kuala Lumpur are way too expensive for my pocket like Latiff Mohideen's work! I love Eng Tay's work too...(Met him once personally a couple of years back and that was a dream come true for me - a very down to earth and soft spoken bloke! Excuse me for name-dropping! LOL) - can only afford his prints though!

Last March, I attended a good friend's wedding in Bali and went on an art gallery hopping in Seminyak and Ubud after learning from friends that Bali has a thriving art scene! Traipsing through half a dozen of galleries in Ubud, due to time constraint, I was attracted to the works of an up-and-coming artist, Wayan Sukarsa - read his biography here [BTW for the uninitiated all Balinese are either Wayan/Gede/Putu (1st born) or Made/Kadek (2nd born) or Nyoman/Komang/Koming (3rd born) or Ketut (4th born)] who paints Balinese culture and the ones I saw was a series of the above painting which I acquired at a very affordable price! So now it sits pretty on my living room wall.

My preferred style has to be abstract as I enjoy interpreting them (like the one done by Sukarsa)! With his work, I was spot on in interpreting what he paints which was one of the reasons I had to buy his work. Click the picture to enlarge and have a guess what it depicts. You'd be surprised.....

The answer will be in another posting ...soon!

The wedding setting

27 February, 2007

Report Card

Made good progress with my attempt to lose a bit of weight down to my ideal weight. So my report card says:-

Body Fat down from 20.8% to 15.2%
Visceral Fat down from 14% to 8%
Weight down from 72.8 kg to 70.2 kg

Not bad for one month of exercise. The only difference now is that I have specific goals unlike before where I just exercised haphazardly. Needless to say I was at status quo at the end of it! But, still another kg plus to go!

26 February, 2007

Daughter's Point of View

I was pleasantly surprised when I was downloading pictures from my friend's camera which he left under my charge. I found the pictures which I've posted in this entry composed by my daughter. She was having a gala time in all sorts of yoga positions capturing what were pleasing to her eyes. She's a self-starter in photgraphy but all this while she's been using a point-and-shoot and this time a dSLR!

I have chosen some pictures which sort of explain two of my passions; old stuff and gardening!

Out of all the pictures photographed by my daughter, I like the above most. The lock featured in this piccie was handed down by my dad (not sure about this - he got it from my late grandad)and it used to be the lock to our front gate of our house in Batu Pahat - 32 Jalan Durian, Taman Ampuan, Batu Pahat, Johor. It now rests and guards our main entrance to my current house as part of a more than 100 year old Javanese door ensemble I purchased some 7 years ago from Aishah (an Italian lady married to a local whose interest is anything old from Indonesia. They used to have a guest house in Jogja).

I bought the door to remind me part of my roots. My maternal grandad hailed from East Java (I'm 1/4 Javanese, as my dad is a mix of Arab and Bugis and my maternal grandmom was a mix of Chinese from Yunan and Javanese).

This carving is part of the door too! The original door is quite colourful, typical and trademark of Javanese houses doors but I have left it un-restored to show the quaintness of it!

Part of my old tiffin collection. The white and blue one is new though - a housewarming gift from my partner

I've chosen this picture because of the congkak (a traditional Malay game) board. It was made out of old chengal wood by my late maternal grandmom from the remains of an old police station barrack up north. My late grandad was a policeman. My maternal grandmom singlehandedly carved out holes from the heavy chengal wood. I used to play with my kids quite a fair bit but not anymore. May be I should teach my younger ones how to play the game!

This congkak board has also doubled up as tea candle holders for those nights which I feel like having only candle lights light up our living room!

My yet to bloom stephanotis flowers aka Madagascan Jasmine (a native of Madagascar). They're sweet smelling when they bloom and I love it when I do my work at my home-office at night when the scent waft through my window!

My costus - Dwarf Orange Ginger . As my garden is not so big, I only have three species of Costus.

25 February, 2007

Bakso anyone?

Inspired by Eating Asia's entry on Bakso , wifey came home charged with excitement after her weekly-Saturday-morning-ritual to Pasar Tani (weekly local produce open air market) announcing that we were having Bakso (meatballs) for Saturday lunch. The poultry and meat stall at the Pasar Tani sells the meatballs and wifey just had to cook the broth and boil the vermicelli.

Yes that was what we had on Saturday.

The broth above looks a bit blackish as it was mixed with sambal kicap (soy sauce with grounded cili padi (small extremely hot chillis), garlic and a little bit of sugar to taste).

Her recipe for the broth was given by Kakak who in turn was handed down by one of my brother's ex-maids who hails from Medan, Ngaini. No Bakso recipe in my wifey's blog as yet, but she has finally added another recipe after two weeks' hiatus!

24 February, 2007

Langkawi Herbwalk

Remember my Langkawi and encounter with ticks (kutu babi) postings where I briefly mentioned of our friend's brother, Dr Ghani aka Pak Din (a medical doctor who has put his career on hold to concentrate on his passion of herbs and traditional medicine) and his herbwalk? The herbwalk is up and running. It was officiated by Tun M.

Well here is the website for the herbwalk!

NB : Dr Ghani's picture is taken from his website

23 February, 2007

Golden Birthday

Wifey received two phone calls from M*d's other half and eldest child, A*na this morning inviting all of us for M*d's 50th birthday surprise bash. A*na co-ordinated everything from where to park the car, what time to arrive etc...

We've known M*d for five years now through a business which she introduced us. She was a senior manager with an investment bank and wifey was with a telecommunication company then (which she left and subsequently re-join after 2 years of hiatus) and only met during documentation meetings for a restructuring exercise.
And through M*d and hubby we met a lot of interesting friends (all of them were there during the bash) who have positive outlook towards life and they have definitely influenced and impacted us in certain areas of our lives mainly in parenting, life challenges and so forth. They are definitely friends to keep and could be depended on any time!

22 February, 2007

Ruby Anniversary - Venue

Well yes, we have decided to hold the Ruby Anniversary at Agrotek Garden and Chalets Resort in Hulu Langat. Decided on the theme as well - Swinging 60's as suggested by TRM (thank you TRM!) since the wedding took place in 1967!

We (wifey, my sis and hubby, my best friend who's emceeing and controlling the event and me)had our first meeting in PJ yesterday - fantastic skeletal programme we came up with. Will share later!

In the meantime enjoy the piccies of the venue.
p/s about 63 adults and 20 children have confirmed attendance. I wont be surprised that it will go up to 100 pax. We have firmly booked a total of 8 chalets and one villa!

Dewan Perdana (multi-purpose hall) located behind Nibong Chalet

Dewan Semungkis (open concept multi-purpose hall) with attached surau (prayer hall)

The stream runing through the property. The restaurant (where we are having the bash) seen next to it. The water was not very clear (it was after a heavy downpour)

Riverside terrace chalets.

One of the fishing ponds with floating gazebos

Another fishing pond with a floating dining area which can fit about 20-30 pax.

One of the many gazebos around the resort

Exterior of a Nibong Chalet

Interior of a Nibong Chalet (only RM90/night with buffet breakfast - cheap or what?)

What? I've been tagged?

Rules of the game :

Each player of this game starts out by listing 6 weird things about themselves on their own blog, as well as state the rules clearly. At the end you will need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list out their names. After you do that, leave a comment on their blogs letting them know you tagged them.

Gosh I have been tagged!
This looks like a chain letter thing. I dont really need to play this game coz there's no warning to say that misfortune will come my way if I dont carry it on! Anyway, for the fun of it here are my 6 weird stuff:-
  1. I can sleep anywhere I want to ... without much fuss. My daughter calls me "a cat" since I can curl on a two seater sofa sound asleep or snore on a reclining chair..You name it, I have done it!
  2. I get totally pissed off if the toothpaste tube is not squeezed bottom up.....Don't you just hate it if the tube is squashed in the middle with the paste accumulating at the bottom? Weird, huh....? As if it's the end of the world...Well that's me.....!
  3. I dont wear sarongs/kain pelikat at all unless decorum requires it (I still flout it, anyway...coz I loathe wearing sarongs)!
  4. I shake/tap/move about my legs before I sleep much to wifey's annoyance.
  5. This is gross....(decided against sharing with you guys....). May be some other time in another forum...LOL! OK I have to replace this with - I will pick up crumbs/wipe dry and clean the table whilst guests are still enjoying their food. I've mastered the art of doing it discreetly without offending my guests!
  6. I like to be at least twenty minutes early for meetings. I dont like people to wait for me. I do get greeted by "gosh-you-are-so-keen" faces everytime I'm way too early for meetings or appointments. Heck..that's me!

Well I have decided to tag wifey, sister, Ahmad, TRM, Sherrina and my son to carry on the torch alive and kicking! Guys...you are the chosen ones! So be good sports, will ya!

21 February, 2007

Still without my handphone

I feel terribly lost without this gizmo....My dear cellphone decided to die on me the day before Chinese New Year...I just could not turn it on. Definitely not the battery...the keypad also went beserk. Had the keypad replaced and it went ok for less than 24 hours. The whole of my holiday was without a phone. It was peace and quiet for me....no clients calling. Feeling so inadequate and naked without it.

Case on point.....went out yesterday to buy, yet again, stationery for the kids (yes, they swallow erasers and pens) and groceries with wifey...In the middle of it wifey decided to make a detour and I decided to go separate ways and promised to meet at Gi**t on the ground floor. But I got a wee bit carried away at two sports shops which were having sale. Wifey was waiting for me for a little while and there was no way she could trace me as my cellphone was kaput.
I can't call or text anybody now as my address book is in my sim and memory card (sigh......). Still waiting for the shop to daignose what is wrong with it.....

Ruby Anniversary Update

Just got back from a visit of all sorts from about 3 pm today.

First stop was Agrotek Garden and Chalets Resort in Hulu Langat (Semungkis area; 14th Mile). Had a grand tour of the place with wifey, my sis and her hubby. I really liked the place the minute I set foot on its ground.The chalets are clean and most importantly the bathroom too! Room rates are quite reasonable ranging from RM90 (2 pax with attached bathroom), RM130 (4 pax with attached bathroom) and a two bedroom villa for RM250 (the most expensive). They have three multipurpose halls (one of which is an open concept). This is the only setback as I really like the restaurant at Riverstone Eco Resort, Ulu Yam. We'll see what I can sort out with teh marketing and sales people. The restaurant here is also next to a stream ( I hope my sis will post pics on her blog as I did not bring my camera just now).
I think, we have made our minds as to the venue - Agrotek it is!
My cousin has just confirmed to book 7 chalets for our guests and my family and I will be housed in the villa (what a corny name to the villa - O lala Tropika Villa....).
Need to meet the master of ceremony of the bash for the agenda! He's ever so busy...sigh....! (beggars cant be chosers since he's not charging anything for his sweat and blood)

20 February, 2007

Potpourri too

It's a lazy holiday posting:-

  • Yusof : He got back from school last Wednesday telling me that his English teacher ( a retiree from Government school) Puan Nor*** was suspended from teaching his class. She's an experienced teacher and an old-school-of-thought-disciplinarian (which I soo like). Reason for the suspension was that one parent complained that she is too strict. What's wrong with parents nowadays? At one end we bemoan the indscipline of school kids nowadays but on the other.......(fill in the blanks yourselves....). I was about to make a fuss with the school administration when Yusof told me that Pn N is back teaching him....!

  • Festive Holiday : Apart from wifey's brother's engagement trip, we have been doing practically nothing. Brought the kids (minus Missy K) to the pool yesterday and perhaps again today (along with my nieces who slept over last night). What a boring holiday so far....I need adventure! Wifey much prefers lazy holidays.....reading mags and books. I'm totally the opposite....We'll be going up north next month during the school hols..and have some interesting activities up my sleeves (including white water rafting) for the kids and I (minus wifey, of course!)

  • Ruby Anniversary: Went to view RiverStone Eco Resort on Friday. I like the place as it is very cozy and open (quite romantic ambience in the evening when they turn on hurricane lamps and light up the pelita (little kerosene lamps)! The owner's wife, Kak Hamidah is truly a PR person and very warm and we clicked almost immediately). She'll close the restaurant for us if we have about 90 attendees despite the restaurant's maximum capacity of 150 pax. My sis and I are viewing another place 3o minutes' drive from the city for alternative. My sister is back in our hometown for the break and personally inviting all our aunties, uncles and cousins for the do. Response has been encouraging although they are about 2 1/2 hour drive away!

  • Personal: Been bingeing over this holidays...I have deviated from Adelle Davis' maxim "Eat breakfast like a king, eat lunch like a prince and eat dinner like a pauper” . It's more like "Eat as if there's no tomorrow". Cant help it if you have a wife who loves cooking and enjoys it when her dishes get devoured to the last bit. This was our Sunday lunch (from top right : fermented shrimp with onions, chillis and lime juice; fried sardine, smoked beef cooked in coconut milk and stir fried french beans ----- fattenning or what?)

18 February, 2007


It's going to be a slightly longish post, to my standard at least, as I'm trying to cramp everything in one posting - the holiday/festive mood has sunk in (feeling lazy in other words) and why not do it in one shot - a potpourri post!

Firtsly, lemme wish all of you out there celebrating Lunar New Year a very happy and prosperous New Year and may great things in abundance await all of you out there (I need that wish too.....LOL).

Got a text message from a friend, this morning, whom we are supposed to visit today (our yearly ritual during Lunar New Year) that her first child got infected with HFMD. Oh dear, what a way to celebrate Lunar New Year - cooped up at home; less hong bao to collect! He obviously did not contract it from Ib and Umar as they were not in contact when my kids got it. Apparently there is an outbreak of HFMD here. It was reported that a kindy in Shah Alam had to be closed temporarily because of HFMD. And my friend's sister in Johor Bahru told her that there are some kids in the school where her sister is teaching are also down with HFMD. My advice is, if you have kids, try to reduce their exposure to the public at large at times like this......!

It's my sister's birthday today. She's 30! By jolly....how time flies. I still remember the day she was born 30 years ago (I was in primary three). It was also First day of Lunar New Year then (year of snake).

The delivery was at home (we were all born at home btw....) assisted by a mid-wife. Geez....I don't think I'd be able to cope if I was in my dad's shoes..Giving birth at home? Thank you very much, not my cuppa tea! The labour pain was more than 24 hours... She's the rose among the thorns in our family and naturally the centre of attention!

I wasn't a good brother (I'd like to think I'm a much better brother now but this you have to ask her! LOL!)..... almost killed her twice!

The first incident was when she was about three or four month old. I was carrying her behind our house going to our next door neighbour's. There lies a one metre (in depth) drain behind our house.....I accidentally lost balance and dropped her in the drain....She got stuck half way at the bottom of the drain. A few days later she was hospitalised because she was constantly crying. The doc did not know what was wrong with her and scheduled her for an op. An old lady who was visiting her grandchild next to my sis' bed offerred to "examine" her. She's a traditional masseuse/healer. I don't kn0w what she did but my sister stopped crying after she massaged/caressed her tummy. Apparently her intestine was a bit misplaced/entangled (must be due to the fall...right?). A close call for an op all due to my clumsiness.

Second incident was when we were on holiday in Desaru when she was about 1 +/2 y.o. She was already walking, I'm quite sure. My brother, my cousins and I were playing with a reclining chair (the ones in the 70s you'd buy from Padang Besar, Thailand) brought by my parents. I was happily pushing the back seat of the chair back and forth without realising that she inserted one of her fingers into the gear (which controls the angle of inclination) and I almost got her finger severed! I was so scared (scared to be reprimanded or scared for her life - I'm sure it's more of the latter) that I cried.....! Luckily she didn't need stitches.....

Well, after those two incidents I was away in a boarding school and hence no near-death- incidents after that! (I'm sure she was thanking her luck star like crazy! LOL!) She's 30 today.....and for you, dear sis, enjoy this poem (lifted from the net) & HAPPY BIRTHDAY :-

From where love came, we cannot see: Perhaps, within us, born and bred

Or taught to us at parent's knee

Or instilled by God in heart and head.Perhaps it sprang from some kind deed

Which, long forgotten,yet has grown

To dazzling heights from one small seed

In the fertile soil of distress sown

Respect rises up so far above

The pettiness of separate viewDifferences bow before a love

And friendship that is blood-bound, too

May the bond between us stronger grow

May I prove the fondness I confess

Which my hand's service cannot

Nor my simple words ever express


We drove all the way to Pelong in Jempol, Negeri Sembilan yesterday for wifey's brother's (Mus) engagement ceremony to Ain. It was a loooong (but interesting) drive of about 3 hours from Kuala Lumpur. The tranquil and serene sceneries along the way (especially at Kampung Terachi and Tanjong Ipoh in Kuala Pilah) evoked many of my chilhood memories - I felt like I was in a time warp! What was interesting along the way - the stalls selling local produce ranging from dragon fruits, honey, palm sugar, smoked catfish and beef etc etc. There were many dragon fruits farms as well! The traffic was thankfully kind to us as we headed down south at about half eight a.m.

Mus has really grown in to a very fine gentleman. When I first got married to wifey. I almost became a victim of his temper. He was probably about 12/13 then. I was about to leave my father in law's house and was at the front door when Mus and Boy (Mus' older brother) had a tiff. The next thing I knew - one of Mus' sneakers came flying in my direction from his....! Lucklily I ducked and missed the flying sneakers. Boarding school made him more sedate and obviously a good training ground for him in anger management! He's now a chef (his interest was glaringly obvious since he was in Primary school) at KL Convention Centre (BTW he was the one who carved the ice platter on which the strawberry and choc dessert was placed on for Datuk Siti's wedding) and specialises in food and ice carvings. He just returned from China recently for an ice carving competiotion and Malaysia won 3rd place!

Hey, you can order from him ice and fruit carvings which he does freelance! Give me a shout if you are interested!

Anyway, it was his engagement yesterday and glad that he decided, finally, to get hitched.

One of the hantaran (gift) to Ain accompanying the engagement ring which is a telekong (Muslim women prayer garb) with wifey's floral arrangement.

Three of the hantaran all done up nicely by wifey (Yusof looking bored and hungry in the background).

Our divine lunch - traditional malay food (Yusof ate three plates of rice)
Our dessert - traditional kueh-mueh (cakes).

For an update on my parents' ruby anniversary and our visit to Riverstone Eco Resort - please read here. I'll probably expand, if the holiday bug doesn't get me!

16 February, 2007

40 years of marital bliss

Mum & Dad are celebrating their 40th aniversary this coming 31st March (you dont have to remind me that I'll turn 40 next May......!).

My siblings and I are organizing a surprise dinner bash (NB : if you know my parents, hush hush ok? Comprende?) for them somewhere in a jungle retreat in the radius of 30 minutes' drive from Kuala Lumpur. I'm sick of the glitzy and often than not boring functions held at ballrooms! We were mooting the idea of having it at either Tanarimba, Sailor's Rest, Agrotek Resort or Riverstone Eco Resort.

Later today my sister and I are visiting Riverstone Eco Resort together with wifey, of course to check the place out plus a food-testing session. The restaurant, from the website, has this Balinese outdoorish restaurant feel (at least from the pic) and there is a stream running next to it- remains to be seen, though!

I have asked my best friend who has numerous years of experience in emceeing and handling functions for his company to run the show! The music machine plus karaoke system has been booked! We are cracking our heads now to come up with a theme for the bash....

Guests (my parents' siblings and their offspring) have been invited and almost everyone my sister called have indicated that they'd come (about 80-100 pax). Mmm....it'll be fun absolutely!

Will update on this from time to time!

15 February, 2007

Like A Star

Another youngish Brit singer songwriter, Corrine Bailey Rae whose song Like A Star has a laidback feel and her voice is a gem and angelic! This is the singer/songwriter whom Lilly Allen called boring which I totally disagree. Whilst Lilly was expelled from various schools (but a well read individual), Corrine, the more grounded one, graduated from Leeds University in English Literature.
They are neck in neck in terms of nominations for the Brits Awards 2007 which will be held in a few hours' time! Enjoy this song "Like A Star"!

14 February, 2007

Nice cozy mall

Pic above was taken at the entrance of Amcorp Mall, Taman Jaya in Petaling Jaya.

I used to frequent this mall quite a fair bit to hunt for old stuff - old blue and white porcelain, furniture, urns - junks basically. Come Saturdays and Sundays the mall will be filled with all sorts of stuff (new and old alike- vinyls, books, brassware, plants, toys, furniture and the list goes on) and peddled from temporary stalls all around the mall. It's a hive of activities. If you are looking for antiques, come really really early before the professional antique dealers swarm the mall!

However my mission this time, two Saturdays ago, was of a different kind. I had this craving for a plate of cantonese mee (deep fried vermicelli or sauteed kuew tiow (rice noodle) with a dash of soy sauce on which a thick sauce of chicken/seafood stock with egg is poured over) and Amcorp Mall came to mind since it boasts a few food outlets which I have not tried before save for the kopitiam (traditional chinese coffee shop) on the ground floor. Went round and spotted Uncle Chili which at one glance I thought was Chilli's!

Uncle Chili serves a variety of chinese noodles and dishes. Their specialty which I soon noticed (since the rest of the patrons were ordering) is deep fried fish fillets served in a bamboo container - quite interesting (which I will definitely try on my next visit)!

Of course I did not have to think hard and quickly ordered a plate of cantonese mee! It was reasonably priced - RM5.00 (less than USD2.00) and taste-wise - passed with flying colours. The sauce was neither thick nor watery...Ingredients were fresh and the noodle was just right (I had a mix of vermicelli and kuey tiow). They had pickled green chilli too!

I had some time to kill after satiating my craving and was told by TRM that Amcorp has a few bookshops (second hand and brand new) which sell cheap books! There is the Pay less Bookshop, three rental bookshops (one of which stocks really new books - opposite Book Axess), Book Axess (cant remember the exact name either Axess or Exess or ?) and a back-issue glossy mags shop (prices are RM5 - for offers and RM9.90 for the rest). As I did not have much time to browse...I only managed to get two books for Yusof (the Animporphs series 2 for RM10 and they were brand new!) , one each for Umar and Ibraheem (books published by Usborne for about RM12 and RM19 each - it would have made me poorer double the amount in other bookshops), old National Geographic mags for Khadijah and Vanity Fair (Suri and parents on front cover) & Home and Garden for wifey! Sigh.....again no books for me as time was limited (whoops...I did buy UK Men's Health November issue for RM5)!

At Book Axess, the shipment of new books, according to the salesgirl is once a month! They are cheap and spanking new!

Uncle Chili on lower ground floor of Amcorp Mall

My yummy cantonese mee

Littlest Things

This is currently my fave song...by Lilly Allen(who's only 21 + y.o.), a Brit whom has been a centre of many controversies.

13 February, 2007

Yusof's first swim meet that never was

I don't know whether yours truly or Yusof was more disappointed over what happened this afternoon! If at all I was upset was because Yusof had been looking forward excitedly to this swim meet ever since he was short-listed (read here) to represent Gombak district and later earned, quite deservedly, himself a place for the meet.

This was his first swim meet ever. He's been calling my parents and my sister almost every other day reminding them to come along and support him. Yes, my parents came all the way from Muar two days ago so that they could form a "mini Yusof fan club" cheering him all the way! LOL.

I took half day off and so did my sister!

We arrived at Shah Alam Aquatic Centre about quarter to two and the meet was scheduled to kick off approximately two p.m.. Yusof was with his coach registering at the secretariat when we arrived but was still in his sports attire. As the teacher and coach from Yusof's school were still new to the scene, the chaotic and frenzied activities at the poolside was quite overwhelming for them! The p.a. sytem was crap - we could barely hear anything; to make it worse, the crowd was a bit noisy . The information on the data board was flawed. In all this confusion and cacophony, Yusof missed his heat! He was to be in heat no. 3 but his name wasn't there! In his place was his friend's name who was not supposed to compete!

We went to the secretariat, we saw the referees, we met the officials - you name it we did it. Alas it was not meant to be!

Yusof was visibly upset when we broke the news. He put on a smile that only his dad knew that he was not ok deep inside. His coach was very apologetic over the incident and rgretted that he could not compete. But that's God's will!

I consoled him and told him that this is the beginning of many great things to come along his way!

His coach promised him that she will train him for the next meet which is against the sister school, International Islamic School.

No it was not time wasted...He had the exposure of a swim meet of quite a big scale; this "failing" will defininitely shock his ever laid-back attitude towards life.....That's what I call life-education!

Sleepyhead - sent Yusof to school so that he could attend classes before the swim team left for Shah Alam Aquatic Centre.

Frantically changing as all of a sudden his coach realized that his preliminary heat was being called. Bad p.a. system and incorrect information on the data board did not help either. His name was not on the board!

Putting on a fake smile when he got the news...He was visibly (only to me) upset when he realised that our appeal was not successful.

Jumped in to the high-dive-pool which was very deep to lighten his sadness. He realised it was very deep before completing his lap..Ha ha ha ..trust sanguines!

Emotionally eased and back to normal after the swim!

12 February, 2007

Wifey's blog

Wifey has finally given in to the pressure of joining the bandwagon of bloggers...Check out her blog here!

Ça me fait dormir!

A poem (not sure of the accuracy of her grammar but this is her class assignment last week) by my daughter:-

Ça me fait dormir!

Quést-ce qui vous fait dormir?
La musique ma fait dormir
Ècouter de la musique, me fait dormir
La pluie, ça me fait dormir
Ça me fait dormir de écouter la pluie

11 February, 2007

Three's a crowd?

Another amusing entry from this blog I read (the last time was "Mr Gay of Ansett Australia" entry..) .Check this new one out!

Spring Festival is here!

Look at this lovely decor at one of the malls in the Klang Valley, the Curve. I always lepak (hang out) at the Curve every Saturday whilst waiting for my daughter finish her French class..You will never fail to find me at Borders between 1.30 to 4 pm!

Cherry blossoms in Malaysia? This reminds me of one of my favourite spots at Nottingham University - the Cherry Tree Hill. It's so beautiful in Spring but it also meant that the exam was also quite near..sigh...! I'll try to post one of the pics which I have in one of my boxes one of these days.

The decor is for the coming festive season celebrated by the Chinese community - the New Year i.e. the first day of the first lunar month of the Chinese calendar which falls on the 18th of February this year (which is also known as the Spring Festival) and will end 15 days later (i.e Chap Goh Meh).

During this time of the year, Malaysians, like during the Eid, Deepavali and Christmas, take time off to visit friends relatives etc and eat a lot of mandarin oranges, which is the auspicious fruits during New Year! I cant wait to visit some of my chinese friends over the new year! One thing which I will miss now is the sound of firecrackers over the period of celebration as it has been banned here!

Really need a short break.....and looking forward for the festive season hols!

From another angle - a blend of the west and east!

10 February, 2007

On a serious note....

Interesting commentary and observation on our education system by Tony Pua; albeit written a year back, it is still relevant and certainly not outdated! The issue today is still the same - a lot of debates but the action plan remains moving at a slow pace.

When I was doing my bar vocational course in London some 15 years back, almost all the Singaporean law graduates of my batch (at least at the University which I attended my bar vocational course) graduated from British top law schools unlike their Malaysian counterparts.

We have brilliant students around but the system does not support them to grow and bring the best out of them. When I was choosing my law school 20 years back, there was no support at all from my lecturers and information was hard to come by (then of course there was no internet available for us students, unlike now). We had no counsellors as well! Can you believe that?

For a lot of my friends, they just simply hantam (gambled) when making the universities of their choice. In my case, I was lucky because I had some guidance from my friends who were already attending British universities and only applied to BTUs and got accepted to 2 top law schools, Nottingham and King's College. I'm not embarassed to say that I only knew the concept of Ivy League, Oxbridge and BTUs when I was 19 years old.

I have made sure that my daughter is exposed to this idea at a young age. Since the system does not provide this formal guidance, as parents we have to work extra hard to ensure that our kids are supported with quality information to aid them in making decisions!

Yusof the Boy Scout

Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell would have been proud if he had seen this piccie. Yes Yusof is finally old enough to join the scouting movement. He attended his first scouting session a couple of days back.

Yusof enjoyed the first session - and the first meeting...they had to choose the commander and assistant commander. And his first scouting deed was - picking up litter in his school compound. Good on ya Yusof!

I enjoyed the three years of scouting during my primary school years. My mum, who happened to be a teacher in my school, was the scout mistress along with Mr Tan Ah Beng whom I dearly miss- Mr Tan and she made it all the meetings and activities interesting (not being biased here; my friends can testify to this, I'm very sure). Lots of trips, jungle-trekking, camping and campfire organised by them both! A lot of singing too! Once we came out tops in a scouting competition in our district.

Decided to not continue when I continued my secondary school, in a boarding school somewhere in the central region of Peninsula Malaysia, because scouting activities were done Saturday mornings and the bed was more appealing to me that time! No regrets though...
Hoping that Yusof will enjoy his years as a boy scout as much as, or may be more than, I did.

09 February, 2007

Awkwardly robed

I had to go to the Kuala Lumpur High Court this morning for a reference proceedings held in memory for the recently departed members of the Kuala Lumpur Bar.

For today's proceedings, five members who passed on were remembered during the proceedings and one of them was the founding partner of my firm whose family came all the way from Singapore to attend this ceremony. The presiding Judge made this comment - perhaps the legal profession is the only profession which holds formal ceremonies to admit its members and sending them off upon demise. I'm in concurrence to this!

I had to dress up fully robed i.e wing-collared shirt, bib and the barrister robe. It felt so akward this morning, donning the full atire, as the last time I got myself robed was for a Court of Appeal appearance 12 years back! Since then, I have been more at ease in just shirts, ties and pants (occasionally a jacket).

My two younger boys, who are still quarantined at home, were very excited as this was the first time that I had brought back my robe from the office as I had to go straight from home to the Court. They were really curious and asked truckload of questions! I just let them fool around with my robe for a bit and you can see their excitement and content from the pics below.

Ib in the robe....looks like he's ready for Hogwarts.

Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin? Ready to be sorted!

08 February, 2007

Personal Trainer

I have succumbed to the fitness freak world to the hilt!

Got myself signed up with a personal trainer for 10 sessions, to my disbelief (wifey was knocked for six when i told her). My goal? To lose my flab in the abdominal area and increase strength and stamina generally (it's no joke raising 4 kids; to make it worse out of the 4 are 3 hyperactive boys. Keeping up with them is exhausting!) Ya ya ya...I can see the sniggering I-told-you-so-faces!

Been religiously going to the gym for the past 8 months on my own; lost a few kilos and a couple of inches around the waist and that's about it! The gut is still making its home here!

Attended 3 sessions already and.......? It's a world of pain I'm living in now! (Oh your muscle fibres are stretching and this and that...according to my trainer). It is good to note that the three sessions are showing results as the saying goes "no pain no gain".
Unless you have a gym buddy who is highly as motivated as you and knowledgeable in the fitness world your hours in the gym may prove futile and you will get discouraged and unmotivated eventually. It's all about balancing the exercise (done with the correct tehchnique) and nutrition. I have seen gym goers who maintain status quo despite exercising everyday. Did you know that you will only go into the fat-burning zone after 25 minutes of cardio? I don't blame you, I just found out recently from my trainer!

07 February, 2007


Brought Umar to the GP last night as wifey thought that he had chicken pox. But he already had it a couple of years back and can't possibly have recurred within such a short period of time! I was sure that it could not possibly be the pox!

To our shock and horror, he was diagnosed as having the hand-foot-mouth disease. This really caught us off-guard as there is no outbreak of HFMD reported in the news unlike last year when Lorna Whiston, the language centre which my kids attended, had to cancel classes because of an HFMD outbreak.

The GP, to my disbelief, only prescribed a container of cream for the rashes, paracetamol for fever (he wasn't having fever) and vitamin (suggesting that he's vitamin-deficient?). Doesn't HFMD requires admission and adiministration of anitibiotics?

Back at home, did some quick research immediately and found out form the Malaysian Ministry of Health website that in almost all cases that medication is not required and it should resolve by itself in 7 to 10 days. This was confirmed by wifey's sister who's a doctor herself! Phew....! Aiyah....I should be trusting the GP, right?

Unless your kids with HFMD show signs of lethargy or shortness of breath or look very ill, it's quite safe to just let them be! We just saw Ib with some rashes on his knee this evening. There were no symptoms at all for Umar except for rashes on his knee and his feet! He is still jumping and clowning about as usual and his appetite does not seem to be negatively affected at all.

Ib and Umar has been home bound since this morning. They are absolutely enjoying their freedom at home!

Nottingham Daily Photo: Bombsite City

Superwoman, ThushTruths and fellow Nottmites...Aint this sad?
Nottingham Daily Photo: Bombsite City

(yeayy...first time linking from other blogs)

Evening of all sorts

After my meetings yesterday, met up with my best friend, Nas* at Avenue K mainly to catch up and touch base as he has been very busy for the last couple of months as I have been equally so. Our friendship spans about 26 years this year! Aint that a long time. We opted for Uncle's Ho Food Court this time as opposed to the Italian ristoranti we normally would meet. Hey peeps, this food court has a hotspot!

We talked about family, life, politics and everything under the sun, really. Our crux of concern is keping up with the ever-raising inflationary pressure, mooting ideas and ways to make extra money - the cashflow pipeline so to speak. We have been discussing this for the past god-knows-how-long and sadly, we are still in the "ing" mode. Is that pathetic or what?

Char Kuey Teow from the Penang stall (or should I say Indon stall, considering the cook and staff are all Indonesians!) - Not nice at all!

Fried Lobak (my friend asked me whether it was fried carrot? BTW "lobak" is carrot in Malay). "Lobak" is actually Pork fritters. In this case, the lobak is replaced with rice flour cubes. (NB : The sentences in red were my original posting which has been clarified by FTM who commented this posting. For further clarification please read FTM's comments. Thanks FTM!) Not too bad this - but when it cooled off, it was too salty!

Penang Rojak (local fruit salad mixed with prawn paste sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds and grounded peanuts) - they overdid it with the prawn paste (but we cleared the sauce anyway!)

After bidding adieu I dropped by at MJ concept store which is spanking new; thinking that thay have a children/toys department which they don't have, to my dismay. The homes department houses the latest and expensive home furnishings and totally different from those at the rest of Metrojaya stores. Maybe because it's at Avenue K (where posh brands are the order of the day). Just feasted my eyes and off I went to Toys-r-us to get superwoman's son's pressie. Buying present for a boy is definitely easier than it would be a girl. I just zoomed in at the auto world section and within secs my purchase was done! It took the cashier much longer to wrap the pressie than I did choosing it!

My last stop at Avenue K was MBC (our favourite fruit shop on par with the Petaling Street stalls that we frequent occasionally) to get fresh fruits to juice! Normally, this is wifey's portfolio as she is practically a fixture (LOL) at Suria KLCC between 1-2pm everyday and Avenue K is just across the road!

Darn....still had two more stops...."One Stop Shop" at Taman Melawati (for school uniform, shoes and anything relating to co curricular activities) and KFC. OSS - for Yusof's scouts uniform (he'd better not quit scouting before end of the year like he did with his footie and tae kwan do last year!). Did you know that it would cost you about RM70 for a set of scout uniform (excluding the pants, mind you!)? I thought that the badges, scarf etc came in all in one price. Heck I was sooo wrong.... The shirt only costs RM19.50. The RM50 came in the form of accessories! Anyway, I do hope that Yusof will enjoy scouting as much as I did 30 years ago! "Home...home on the range.....blah blah blah......." (one of the songs we used to sing!)

Last stop was KFC to get a barrel of chicken to bring over to Superwoman's place to celebrate JoJo's birthday. Ate like a pig at Superwoman's....The kueh kasui (made of rice flour and palm sugar covered with grated coconut) whipped by superwoman's mum was delishh...Wifey and I finished a whole small-sized platter of the kueh, DENGAN TAK MALUNYA!

Retired or rather tried to retire about mid-nite with stomach bulging and body aching (from the previous day's training session)!

on my mind certainly constantly

on my mind certainly constantly