Sunday, March 25, 2012

Dugaan 2012

I haven't finished writing my summer tales. *shame on me*

I have so much to write. Tapi bila dah free dan ada kemudahan, malas pulak. Cemana kan?

All I can say is that 2012 ni tahun yang penuh dengan dugaan.

I think the series of unfortunate events started masa Faiq jatuh tangga. Bawak gi hospital and he was warded in ICU coz CT scan showed that there was a fracture. Alhamdulillah all was well.

Then my mom fell down flat on her face. She looked like orang kena tumbuk around her eyes.

Then I fell down at Aira's nursery. Scan showed that ligament torn. On the day I fell I couldn't walk. Then I moved around using my study chair. Alhamdulillah all was well.

faiq and Aira were hospitalised due to prolonged fever. Alhamdulillah they were back on their feet again in no time and all was well.

On 1 February Abah was hospitalised for degenerative bone. His spine hits on his nerve and he was in so much pain. He was hospitalised for almost two weeks. Luckily my exam ended so I managed to visit him everyday. He fell down when he went to the barber 2 days after he came home. He is recovering and alhamdulillah all was well.

On 13 March, during the school holidays, I went to watch Rafiq coached Faiq, Imran and Adam tennis. All was well until I decided to return serves and locked my knee. My knee gets locked once in a while due to a ^ years old injury. But this time around, it didn't unlock and I couldn't walk. Hubby had to carry me to the car and I was hospitalised. I moved about assisted by a wheelchair. MRI showed that my ligament was completely torn and there was a slight tear at my meniscus. The only solution was surgery. After consulting hubby's friend, we decided to carry on with the surgery. I was in the hospital for a week. Now I am recovering. I'm moving about using crutches and leg braces and attending 3 sessions of physiotherapy per week. I'm not allowed to drive for 8 weeks which is a bummer. Alhamdulillah I hope I'll be able to walk normally again in no time.

Insya-Allah all these ujian/dugaan adalah untuk menguatkan keimanan kita. These events had indeed made me  bersyukur.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Summer Tales ~ Birmingham - Windsor - London


We left Birmingham at 8.30 a.m. and headed to Windsor to go to Legoland. The weather was not in our favour as it was raining. Although it wasn't heavy rain, we were afraid that Faiq and Aira will get sick because of it. We arrived at Legoland at about 10.30 a.m. From outside of the park, excitement built as there were already Legos built to lead us to the park.

Once inside, we took a train to go to the amusement park. Each segment of the park are themed like pirates, viking, knights and dragons, spiders, dinosaur etc. The rides are of course normal theme park rides but each segment will have Lego construction of each theme. It was so fascinating!!

It was during this trip that I realised that Faiq loves roller coaster rides just like me. He's just not afraid of them and wanted to go on the ride several times. And like me, he hides his fears of the rides by laughing instead of screaming..hahaha!

Longboat Invader ride

Viking River Splash ride

Spinning Web ride

Jolly Rocker ride

At the Legoland playground

Queuing up for The Dragon roller coaster ride

Sleeping Aira with a Lego pirate

Pirate Falls Dynamite Drench ride

After we went on all the rides and lunch break, Faiq and Aira were both sleepy so they slept in their strollers as we made our way to the Miniland. If we were fascinated at the Lego construction at the theme park, nothing prepared us for the captivation at the miniland. I was just amazed at the effort, time and detailed works in constructing the scenes. Apparently over 40 million bricks were used for the whole Miniland.

Jedburgh Abbey, Scotland

London, England

Wembley Stadium, England


 John F.Kennedy Space Centre, U.S


Because the kids were asleep, we didn't go to many other themed park featuring Duplo constructions, the driving and boating school and the space tower. After the Miniland, we made our way to the souvenir shops. There were so many interesting things to buy  including Lego figurine keychains featuring Star Wars and Harry Potter characters. I think I only bought a brick key chain. I was disappointed they wasn't any fridge magnet's sold. We left Legoland at about 3 p.m. so that we will reach London before it gets dark. Based on the initial plan, there were other places to visit in Windsor like Runnymeade, Copper Hill and Eton College but we only managed to go to the Windsor Park. From the Windsor Park, you can get a perfect view of the Windsor Castle. We allowed Faiq and Aira to run around the playground whilst Rafiq went on the other side to watch a rugby game. i think it was almost 5 p.m. when we left Windsor.

The drive to London was a pleasant one although there was a slight traffic entering London.  It was already dark when we arrived and we got to see a different part of London in the night. We arrived at Amran's house at about 9 p.m., ate dinner and went to bed.

-To be continued-

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Last Thing I Wrote In My Travel Log

I'm looking at my travel log and the only thing I wrote about 22 July 2010 was: Left Birmingham at 8.30 a.m. 

And that was the last thing that I wrote about my trip to UK. So I'll be writing based on the pictures and my memories of the last few days of my our holiday.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud/ The Daffodils

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling leaves in glee;
A poet could not be but gay,
In such a jocund company!
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

~William Wordsworth (1804)~

Summer Tales ~ Edinburgh - Lake District - Birmingham


Today we bade farewell to Scotland and continued our journey back to London. Like our journey up north where we spent a night in Manchester, we spent a night in Birmingham for our journey down south.

We left Edinburgh at about 9.00 a.m. and took pictures of other tourists attractions around Edinburgh. There's so many that I wanted to go to but realistically, travelling with children, we were short of time so I guess it was suffice that we got to take pictures. Overall, I was just mesmerized with the ancient building facades amidst a city.

Palace of Holyrood House

Souvenir shop

Our next destination was Lake District. I wanted to go to Lake District because of Beatrix Potter and because many famous English writers/poets like Wordsworth and Coleridge  actually stayed there and was inspired. Everyone we asked said that we HAVE to go to Lake District to experience the beauty of nature. On our way to Lake District, I requested that we stopped by Rosslyn Chapel, which gained its popularity in Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code.

"Rosslyn Chapel - often called the Cathedral of Codes - stands seven miles south of Edinburgh, Scotland, on the site of an ancient Mithraic temple. Built by the Knights Templar in 1446, the chapel is engraved with mind-boggling array of symbols from the Jewish, Christian, Egyptian, Masonic and pagan traditions.
The chapel's geographic coordinates fall precisely on the north-south meridian that runs through Glastonbury. This longitudinal Rose Line is the traditional marker of King Arthur's Isle of Avalon and is considered the central pillar of Britain's sacred geometry. It is from this hallowed Rose Line than Rosslyn - originally spelled Roslin - takes its name." ~from Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code

Renovations at Rosslyn Chapel

I must have felt the same excitement as Robert Langdon upon reaching it. Unfortunately, it was undergoing massive renovations so I only get to take picture from afar. Throughout the journey, we saw some magnificent landscape and we as usual take pictures of fields with cows, horses and sheeps *jakun*. We reached Lake District National Park at about 1 p.m. and dark clouds were visible. We were praying for a rain-less day as most of the activity around Lake District are outdoor activities. With regards to the place, I think no words nor any of the pictures will do justice to the beauty of Lake District. It's just so beautiful..Rafiq said that he'd never imagined such place existed. No wonder all the writers and poets lived there!  

Cows and sheep melepak

Since I cannot put in words how the magnificent beauty of Lake District took my breath away, I shall make reference to Wordsworth famous poem "I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud", which I will post in my next entry. As a background, the inspiration for the poem came from a walk Wordsworth took with his sister Dorothy, around Glencoyne Bay, Ullswater, in the Lake District.

"When we were in the woods beyond Gowbarrow Park, we saw a few daffodils close to the water side. We fancied that the lake had floated the seed ashore and that the little colony had so sprung up. But as we went along there were more and more and at last under the boughs of the trees, we saw that there was a long belt of them along the shore, about the breadth of a country turnpike road.

I never saw daffodils so beautiful they grew among the mossy stones about and about them, some rested their heads upon these stones as on a pillow for weariness and the rest tossed and reeled and danced and seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind that blew upon them over the lake, they looked so gay ever dancing ever changing.

This wind blew directly over the lake to them. There was here and there a little knot and a few stragglers a few yards higher up but they were so few as not to disturb the simplicity and unity and life of that one busy highway. We rested again and again. The Bays were stormy, and we heard the waves at different distances and in the middle of the water like the sea."  Dorothy Wordsworth, The Grasmere Journal , Thursday, 15 April 1802

Our first stop at Lake District was the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction. It is the only official Peter Rabbit attraction in Lake District which showcased the life and work of Beatrix Potter. What was funny was the fact that Rafiq thought that there was a connection between Beatrix Potter and Harry Potter. When I mentioned that she wrote Peter Rabbit stories, he went, "Ahhhh.." I also told him that one of the reasons I wanted to name our daughter Jemima was because of Beatrix Potter's character, Jemima Puddle-duck. Although there were six parts of the attraction, we had to do a 'touch & go' visit because we were running out of time. After taking some photographs, we had lunch at the Beatrix Potter Tea Room. We had sandwiches and a lovely pumpkin soup surrounded by Beatrix Potter's drawings painted on the furniture.

With Miss Potter and her characters

Next on the agenda was the lake cruise. Since there are many beautiful lakes around lake district, the cruises ranges from 45 minutes to 2 hours covering famous lakes like Windermere, Ullswater and Grasmere. On our way there, we saw a signboard leading to one of the waterfalls in Lake District called Aira Force Waterfall. We had to take the 45 minutes cruise as time wasn't on our side. We truly enjoyed the scenery and natural landscape and thought how lucky it was for those people residing around lake District. It was surreal!! Agung sungguh ciptaan Allah!

Best nyer kalau tu rumah kita..hehe

After the cruise, we let the kids run around the park while we sat on the grass admiring the beauty of the place. We bumped into other visitors who told us how lucky we were to have such a beautiful weather when it has been raining non-stop 3 days earlier. Alhamdulillah.

This is life!

We wished we could stay in Lake District forever but we had to make our way to Birmingham as we had promised my friend Ayu that we would stop by for dinner. Ayu is my SMDU friend whom I haven't seen since she got married in 2005. Actually I totally forgot that she was studying in Birmingham until another friend, Cheq, mentioned it. If not, it would be lovely to spend the night at her house and catch up. But I found out on Ayu's whereabouts after I booked a hotel in Birmingham. Anyways, we arrived at Ayu's house in Selly Oak at about 8.00 p.m. Ayu served us with a lovely beriyani meal and a tiramisu dessert. It was nice to see her because when we were in school, we were so close. She used to lepak a lot at my house while waiting for her father to pick her up. It was then that I realised how I truly missed her. We filled in the gaps about what's happening in our lives whilst our kids played. We left her house at about 10 p.m. and upon reaching Travelodge, there was nothing else to do but sleep.