Saturday, December 29, 2007

Moving In and Out

For the past few weeks two new families have arrived from Malaysia. Both the husbands are doing PhD but in the different schools. One is staying on campus while the other one is living off campus. It seems that more and more postgraduate students are coming over to Lancaster. The more the merrier I guess. However, last Saturday, my college neighbour, Asmadi is moving out to live off campus since his former flat had to be vacated to make way for a new development. Lancaster is changing so fast that you will always see new constructions and new structures everywhere across the campus. I'm just hoping that I'd be able to recognise the familiar places of it if I decided to come back for a visit in 10 years time though.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ilyas in a Nativity play

Imran as the drummer boy

Ilyas as the traveller

Today Ilyas is participating in his school Nativity play. His friend Imran is also in the play. I almost forgotten about it and went to the school reception last Friday to buy the tickets. Unfortunately there is only one ticket left so this morning my wife went there by herself instead. She took lots of pictures and videos so it is OK then. Better remind myself not to forget the next year's play.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

How to Identify An Idiot?

*received this e-mail from a friend :)

How to Identify An Idiot?

(1) He spends twenty minutes looking at an orange juice box because it said, "concentrate".

(2) He puts lipstick on the forehead because he wanted to makeup his mind.

(3) He gets stabbed in a shoot-out.

(4) He sends a fax with a stamp on it.

(5) He tries to drown a fish.

(6) If you gave them a penny for their intelligence, you'd get change.

(7) He trips over a cordless phone.

(8) He takes a ruler to bed to see how long he slept.

(9) At the bottom of the application where it says "Sign Here", he puts "Sagittarius".

(10) He takes 2 hours to watch "60 minutes".

(11) He invents a solar powered flashlight.

(12) He heard that 90% of all crimes occur around the home, so he moves.

(13) He misses the No. 14 Bus, and takes the 7 twice instead.

(14) He takes you to the airport and saw a sign that said, "Airport left", and he turned around and went home.

(15) He got locked in a furniture shop but sleeps on the floor.]

(16) He spends time reading thru the above 15 points and analyses if he is an idiot!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sad news

Lancaster Morecambe Badminton League - Cup Match

Tonight (or morning rather) is quite a tragic day for many people. Bailrigg A is playing against Ingleton A at away in a cup match. It's a knockout tournament and Ingleton A is currently in Division One. It's a bit different than a league match format in term that you win the match based on total points rather than total sets. So winning 15-0 will be a big advantage than winning 15-13. And lower ranked team will get an additional points which is known as handicap points.

Paul and I lost both our sets for the first time in this season by the score of 11-15, 12-15. Wan Huzaini, who is playing for the first time in A team, and who will be playing in Ingleton again this Wednesday for B team, is my second double partner and we also lost both our sets 11-15, 9-15. He managed to break his racket this time, the fourth time this year if I'm not mistaken. So it's a tragic day for him. Brenda and I also lost both our sets 12-15, 5-15. Overall we only managed to get 154 points against 258 points won by Ingleton A. Even when we received an additional 80 handicap points, the difference is too great to make any difference. So a tragic day for Bailrig A for being kicked out from the cup tournament.

But nothing compare to what happened to one of the Ingleton A members. As Wan Huzaini and I went inside Brenda's car, we noticed that the time was 11.30pm and the temperature is -2 Celcius. It was very cold and frost started to form on the car's windscreen. We began our journey home along the village and farm little winding roads. The journey was quite long as Ingleton is actually situated in Yorkshire district. Brenda was driving within the speed limit (30mph, although I had a suspicion that she drove a little bit more than that) when we came accros some icy patch on the road. Apparently there was a little stream of water running accross the road and it just went frozen. The car wobbled a bit when we passed through it but when we look further in front we suddenly realised that there is a car lying upside down next to the road. We stopped immediately and Paul's car who was following us also stopped.

Brenda, June and Sue immediately went to that car and to our horror, the driver was one of the Ingleton A ladies player as we found a badminton kit and the score sheet. I think the ladies knew the driver and they suspected that it was Rosie but it was quite dark and they just can't see the driver's face clearly. She was unconscious and therefore did not respond to our call. The driver area was quite crushed and Sue can only reach for her hand. She thought that she can feel a faint pulse. We immediately called the rescue and wait for the help to arrive. There is nothing that we can do except positioning our cars in such a way that other drivers coming into that direction will take an extra care when passing that icy patch on the road.

Two fire engines, an ambulance and several police cars arrived after 10-15 minutes and they immediately went into action. The policeman took our statements and after 10 minutes we are allowed back to our car. On the way back to Brenda's car, I noticed that the firemen have already extracted that driver out of the car but they just laid her down and cover her face with a white cloth. Only then I realised that she is already dead as the paramedics did not try to rush the victim back to their ambulance.

When Brenda started her car again, the time is already 12.30am and the temperature has dipped to -4 Celcius. It was a very slow journey back home and it was a very tragic night.

Monday, December 10, 2007

My second backgammon tournament win

Today I won my second backgammon tournament, another one pointer match. I'm quite pleased with this win. Next target is to win 3-points match tournament. I wonder how long it will take. Hopefully not as long as it took me to win my first tournament (9 months!).

Bulu Tangkis won the B-Active League

Today is the last match day of the B-Active Badminton League organised by the Lancaster University Students' Union. As expected, team Bulu Tangkis 'A' easily defeated Badminton Bads 3-0 to be confirmed as the overall champion whilst Bulu Tangkis 'B' remains second in the league after they beaten Lancaster Lemming with the same score. Full results and final league standing will be published afterwards.

Congratulations to all Bulu Tangkis players! Hopefully we will win this league again next year.

1. Sean Chua (Team 'A' captain) - Malaysia
2. Don (Team 'B' captain) - Malaysia
3. Ken Lee (A) - Malaysia
4. Wan Huzaini (A) - Malaysia
5. Ahmed Razman (A) - Malaysia
6. Ali al-Belushi (A) - Oman
7. Maulana Syuhada (A) - Indonesia
8. Romzie Rosman (B) - Malaysia
9. Steve Kong (B) - Malaysia
10. Owen Pryce (B) - UK
11. Devin Li (B) - China

Sunday, December 09, 2007

A visitor from London

Today we are very lucky to receive a visit from Ustaz Erfino ( all the way from London. He is an Education Attache for Malaysian Students Department so we took the opportunity to invite him to give a talk on how to live life in the UK as a Muslim. We had lunch first followed by his talk. After that, we took part in a Q&A on religion and we learnt a lot from him. I took the opportunity to be an unofficial photographer for that occasion and some of the pictures can be seen from my Flickr account as I haven't finish uploading all of them yet.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Xmas play - Mary's Knitting 2nd day

Today is the second day Maisarah is pretending to be an angel in the Xmas play at her preschool. This time she sat at far left of the stage but that has not stopping her from bouncing around and enjoying the show. Afterwards I ordered a DVD recording of both plays. Can't wait.

Xmas play - Mary's Knitting

This evening Maisarah is participating in her first ever play, 'Mary's Knitting' at her preschool. She is supposed to be an angel, just like Ilyas when he's in the play last year. Although much of her part is just sitting around, sometimes she follows the song and clapping hand together. She is definitely enjoying herself. Another performance is to follow this Friday.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Lancaster Morecambe Badminton League - League Match Eleven

Tonight we played against Ingleton B at home. It was our biggest win so far as we won 16-2. I won all my matches easily. With Paul we won 15-7, 15-2 and with Mark we won 15-6, 15-13. Last time we met Ingleton B, Brenda and I split our match. This time we won easily 15-3, 15-1.

Next week will be our first cup match. It's a knockout competition and we will be travelling away to face Ingleton A. Not really looking forward to it.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Sheffield Meadowhall

On the way back from Nottingham we stopped by at Sheffield Meadowhall, another shopping complex like Trafford Centre in Manchester.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Nottingham Sports Meet

This Saturday my family and I went for a little trip down south to Nottingham. Every year, the Malaysian students in Nottingham University hold an annual sports meet participated by Malaysian students all over the UK. I decided to play badminton in mixed double event as they don't have a men double event which is quite puzzling. My partner is Idlan, a former Lancastrian currently lecturing in Essex University. When I first registered, the competition is supposed to be in a round robin format followed by knockout matches starting from quarter-final stage. When we arrived there, we discovered that it will be a knockout match starting from the beginning! Imagine that you had to travel hundred of miles to come here only to play 21 points match which can lasts less than 10 minutes. That's what happened to me and Idlan as we lost our only match 17-21. Bummer...

Afterwards we went to buy lunch at the Portland Building where they have Malaysian Food Festival. Plenty of foods to choose, not unlike 'Pasar Malam' and in the end we bought Nasi Lemak, Cendol, Satay, Murtabak, Taufu Fa, Rojak Buah and various Kuih-Muih. Then we decided to visit Tale of Robin Hood situated near city centre. The kids were having fun and by the time we reach our Travelodge, everyone was pretty exhausted and so we had an early sleep time.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Lancaster Morecambe Badminton League - League Match Ten

Tonight is the start of second half of the league matches and we are hosting Kirkby Lonsdale B. Last time we won 13-5 at their home ground so we are not really worry facing them again. However Paul and I were fumbling during our first set and we eventually lost 10-15. We recovered in the second set and won 15-8. After that there is no turning back.

Tim was on holiday so Mark replaced him as my second double partner. We won quite comfortably 15-9, 15-6. Brenda and I then won another two sets with a score of 15-13 and 15-11. In the end we won 15-3 overall, our biggest win so far.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

My first backgammon tournament win

I joined on the 20th February 2007. After 9 months and 3 days and 792 finished matches(368 wins, 424 losses) I finally won my first tournament. What a relief, I thought this day will never come!

Friday, November 23, 2007

You're all the same

* received this joke in my-email today, thanks Bong

One Chinese person walks into a bar in America late one night and he saw Steven Spielberg. As he was a great fan of his movies, he rushes over to him, and asks for his autograph. Instead, Spielberg gives him a slap and says "You Chinese people bombed our Pearl Harbor, get out of here."

The astonished Chinese man replied "It was not the Chinese who bombed your Pearl Harbor , it was the Japanese". "Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese, you're all the same," replied Spielberg.

In return, the Chinese gives Spielberg a slap and says "You sank the Titanic; my forefathers were on that ship." Shocked, Spielberg replies "It was the iceberg that sank the ship, not me."

The Chinese replies, "Iceberg, Spielberg, Carlsberg, you're all the same."

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Lancaster Morecambe Badminton League - League Match Nine

Tonight we played against Bolton-le-Sands A at home, a team that only lost once out of 7 matches so far. They got relegated from Division One last year and are really determined to get back into that division next year. So we are not expecting much from them, just hoping that we will get a decent result.

My first match with Paul actually turned out pretty well, as we won 15-10, 15-6. However, Tim and I were a but unlucky as we lost narrowly 12-15, 16-17. This is the second time Tim and I lost 16-17. Somehow we just couldn't get the last point. As for the mixed double match, Brenda and I managed to split the score by losing the first set 9-15 but winning the second one 15-11.

Overall, we lost 6-12 but I think we still maintained our third position in the league. However, Tim will be unavailable for the next two league matches and a cup match, so it will be tough to remain at the same position.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Brian May named university chancellor

I tell you, I am rather impressed when reading this news. It's like Socrates, the Brazilian football legend during the 80s who is actually a doctor of medicine. But unlike Brian May, he earned his degree while still playing professional football.

LONDON - Brian May, rock star and astrophysicist, has been appointed chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University. May will be installed as the university's figurehead leader early next year, it was announced Monday. The 60-year-old Queen guitarist said the appointment was "a great honor and a great new challenge."

He is an honorary fellow of Liverpool John Moores University, which has a well-known astrophysics research institute. "Brian May is an intensely talented individual who achieved global success with Queen," said the university's vice chancellor, Michael Brown, in a statement. "In this age of celebrity culture, it is rare to find someone who has fame, fortune and universal acclaim and yet who remains true to his core values of learning and enlightenment." May succeeds Cherie Booth, wife of former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Liverpool John Moores University was formed in 1992 from the former Liverpool Polytechnic. May completed his doctorate in astrophysics earlier this year. He was awarded his qualification by Imperial College London. He was an astrophysics student at Imperial College when he joined Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor to form Queen in 1970, but dropped his doctorate as the glam rock band became more successful.
May is the co-author of "Bang! The Complete History of the Universe," which was published last year.

Monday, November 19, 2007


B-Active League

Single match with Ken (thanks Owen for the picture)

Starting last weekend, our badminton gang have entered the B-Active Badminton League organised by the Lancaster University Students' Union (LUSU). We sent two teams, Bulu Tangkis 'A' and Bulu Tangkis 'B'. Turned out that there are three other teams in that league. Last weekend Bulu Tangkis 'B' had their first match and they won easily 3-0 (the format is two singles and one double) against Badminton Bads. This weekend both our teams are playing but Team 'B' opponent (Green Street) didn't come so they receive a walkover. Team 'A' won comfortably against Lancaster Lemmings with a score of 3-0. I'm in the Team 'A' and partnered with Sean for the double match. After the match we play amongst ourselves for another hour or two. The interesting match should be next weekend where Team 'A' will be playing against Team 'B'. Whoever win this match will definitely win this inaugural league.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Visitor from Malaysia

Prof. Madya Dr Mohd. Sallehudin Abd Aziz from UKM is here for two weeks on a study visit to the Department of Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster University. We had dinner in my flat last night and we were chatting on many things, but one particular thing that interest me is the potential use of web-based system to assess students performance, which he is going to look further when he is meeting another lecturer in Newcastle University. Should be interesting.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Lancaster Morecambe Badminton League - League Match Eight

Tonight we played against Overton B in an away match. We won 12-6 last season at their home ground and with Sue playing again after recovering from her injury, we were pretty confident. However, we found out that they have a new player, a young boy on their team. And he is good, I mean really good. As usual, Paul and I started the match and we managed to win the first set 15-8. But we lost the second 9-15. And it all went downhill when Tim and I lost both our sets 11-15 and 10-15. Last season I drew both matches with Paul and Tim so things are not looking so good at the moment. Luckily our ladies were on form and they managed to win all four sets. So its up to the mixed doubles to determine the final score.

I had to play against that boy again in the mixed double and was not really looking forward to it. To my surprise he was not really know how to play mixed double quite well and Brenda and I won easily 15-4 and 15-6. Last season we won both our sets too. In the end we won 11-7. Oh, forgot to mention that all men were wearing the new Yonex shirts. So we won in style.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Young and Pretty

*received this in an e-mail yesterday

A young and pretty lady posted this on a popular forum:

Title: What should I do to marry a rich guy?

I'm going to be honest of what I'm going to say here. I'm 25 this year. I'm very pretty, have style and good taste. I wish to marry a guy with $500k annual salary or above. You might say that I'm greedy, but an annual salary of $1M is considered only as middle class in New York. My requirement is not high. Is there anyone in this forum who has an income of $500k annual salary? Are you all married? I wanted to ask: what should I do to marry rich persons like you? Among those I've dated, the richest is $250k annual income, and it seems that this is my upper limit. If someone is going to move into high cost residential area on the west of New York City Garden (?), $250k annual income is not enough.

I'm here humbly to ask a few questions:

1) Where do most rich bachelors hang out? (Please list down the names and addresses of bars, restaurant, gym)
2) Which age group should I target?
3) Why most wives of the riches is only average-looking? I've met a few girls who doesn't have looks and are not interesting, but they are able to marry rich guys
4) How do you decide who can be your wife, and who can only be your girlfriend? (my target now is to get married)

Ms. Pretty

Here's a reply from a Wall Street Financial guy:

Dear Ms. Pretty,

I have read your post with great interest. Guess there are lots of girls out there who have similar questions like yours. Please allow me to analyze your situation as a professional investor. My annual income is more than $500k, which meets your requirement, so I hope everyone believes that I'm not wasting time here.

From the standpoint of a business person, it is a bad decision to marry you. The answer is very simple, so let me explain. Put the details aside, what you're trying to do is an exchange of "beauty" and "money": Person A provides beauty, and Person B pays for it, fair and square.

However, there's a deadly problem here, your beauty will fade, but my money will not be gone without any good reason. The fact is, my income might increase from year to year, but you can't be prettier year after year. Hence from the viewpoint of economics, I am an appreciation asset, and you are a depreciation asset. It's not just normal depreciation, but exponential depreciation. If that is your only asset, your value will be much worried 10 years later By the terms we use in Wall Street, every trading has a position, dating with you is also a "trading position". If the trade value dropped we will sell it and it is not a good idea to keep it for long term - same goes with the marriage that you wanted.

It might be cruel to say this, but in order to make a wiser decision any assets with great depreciation value will be sold or "leased". Anyone with over $500k annual income is not a fool; we would only date you, but will not marry you. I would advice that you forget looking for any clues to marry a rich guy. And by the way, you could make yourself to become a rich person with $500k annual income. This has better chance than finding a rich fool.

Hope this reply helps. If you are interested in "leasing" services, do contact me


J.P. Morgan

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Body Fat Part 4

Rainbow in Lancaster

Today I went to the town with my family for our weekend outing. Only when I'm in front of Boots that I realised that it has been exactly a month since I last weight myself. I haven't really been dieting for the past month and I won't be surprised if I gain my weight. Plus that we have just celebrated Eid, what with all the visits to friends' houses with plenty of foods on the table. So imagine my surprise when my latest weight is 78.1kg, which is 300 grams lower than last month. Woohoo! Although my BMI is down 0.1 point to 25.8, it is getting nearer to that 25 treshold. And there is more good news, as my body fat has been reduced from 22.8kg to 21.5kg. In term of percentage it has been reduced from 29.1% to 27.6%. Time to start watching again what I'm eating? Hmm.. maybe not, let the nature takes its course.. eh!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Most Ludicrous Laws

I read this on BBC news website and thought it was an interesting article. I'm especially hoping that someone can explain to me what the law mentioned in the last line of this article really means!

UK chooses 'most ludicrous laws'

Legislation said to prohibit people dying while in the Houses of Parliament has been voted one of the most ludicrous laws in the UK. Treason laws which reportedly could be used against someone who places a stamp upside down on a letter were also cited by those polled by UKTV Gold.

Nearly 4,000 people picked laws on a list compiled by UKTV Gold researchers. It examined laws that have never been repealed even though statutes could have rendered them obsolete.
A UKTV Gold spokeswoman said many of the regulations were referenced in the book The Strange Laws of Old England by Nigel Cawthorne.

A total of 27% of those questioned by UKTV Gold thought the law against dying in the Houses of Parliament was the most absurd. Mr Cawthorne told the Daily Telegraph newspaper that anyone who dies in Parliament is technically entitled to a state funeral and the law is in place to ensure this does not happen. However, a spokesman for the House of Commons said: "The people who know about these things here say there is no basis for such a law, not to say it does not exist somewhere in writing."

Cannon firing

Other lesser-known laws making the list included one banning eating mince pies on Christmas Day and another from 1313 stating it is illegal to enter the Houses of Parliament wearing a suit of armour. Almost half of those asked confessed to breaking the mince pie law, which was brought in by Oliver Cromwell in the 17th Century.

Last year, the Law Society highlighted a number of bizarre laws still in existence on the statute book in England and Wales. These included a ban on firing a cannon close to a dwelling house (Met Police Act 1839); a ban on the use of any slide upon ice or snow (Town Police Clauses Act 1847); and the prohibition of driving cattle through the streets of London (Metropolitan Streets Act 1867). An ongoing cull of obsolete laws by the statute law revision team, has seen 2,000 abolished since 1965.

Dead whales

Among the most ridiculous laws listed by UKTV Gold were:

  • It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament (27%)
  • It could be regarded an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British king or queen's image upside-down (7%)
  • Eating mince pies on Christmas Day is banned (5%)
  • In the UK, a pregnant woman can legally relieve herself anywhere she wants (4%)
  • The head of any dead whale found on the British coast automatically becomes the property of the King, and the tail of the Queen (3.5%)
  • It is illegal to enter the Houses of Parliament wearing a suit of armour (3%)
  • It is illegal not to tell the tax man anything you do not want him to know, but legal not to tell him information you do not mind him knowing (3%)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Lancaster Morecambe Badminton League - League Match Seven

Tonight we played an away match against Kirkby Lonsdale C. They got promoted from the Division 3 last season as the league champion. However, things are not looking rosy for them in this division as they have been losing all their first five matches. So we are pretty confident when facing them tonight and in the end we won the match 14-4. It was our biggest win so far and I even managed to win all six sets for the first time this season. However it was a close match for me and Paul when we narrowly won 15-13, 15-12. I think we were trailing 10-13 in the first set and to win it was quite special. Tim and I finally managed to win both our sets for the first time this season and the score was a comfortable 15-5, 15-7. And Brenda and I managed to get our third 2-0 victory when we won 15-11, 15-5.

Overall, it was a good performance for everybody and this will definitely set a good mood for the whole team when facing Overton B next week.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Fireworks in Lancaster

Guy Fawkes Night is celebrated every 5th November in Britain with fireworks celebration all across the country. Since this year that date falls on Monday, the celebration seems to start early with fireworks been going off here and there since Friday. However, the main celebration in Lancaster was on Saturday night exactly at 8pm. We took this opportunity to watch it since we missed it last year. So I took my family to the Lancaster City FC stadium carpark as it is situated next to the castle (which is where the main fireworks display will be). The fireworks lasted a full 30 minutes and by the end of it both my children are already inside the car as the night became quite chilly. But they did enjoyed it and that's all that matters.

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Malaysian Success Continues...

Yesterday I heard news that one of our postgraduate here has passed his viva. I managed to meet him during our badminton session last night. It was true, Ken Lee is now Dr. Ken Lee. Congratulations! I think he is the sixth Malaysian to get his/her PhD this year, an astounding record considering that there are currently less than 20 Malaysian postgraduate students studying at different years of study in Lancaster. I hope this good run will continues towards next year as there are several students that will be finishing their own PhD by next year.

As for myself, I am currently preparing for my upgrade presentation sometime in December. I've already collected the data, outline the hypotheses, it is a matter of doing the analysis and getting the results. Plus hoping that my supervisors approve of what am I doing at the moment. It's crunching numbers time!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Lancaster Morecambe Badminton League - League Match Six

After two consecutive wins, I was feeling a bit of confidence playing against Sunnyside C tonight. Little did I realise that we lost to them at home last season 7-11. And guess what, this time we lost again to them 7-11.

I partnered with Tim for the first men doubles, a change of tactic since Paul's partner, Sue is still injured. We were determined not to get split results again, and this time we do not get it, we lost both sets 4-15, 11-15. Last season we lost 12-15, 10-15 so it is getting worse. Paul didn't play against them at home last season because he was still nursing his injury. I played with Bazlan and we drew 15-9, 10-15. This time Paul and I managed to win both our sets 15-12, 15-4.

When I partnered Brenda last season, we lost 2-15, 11-15. This time we lost 4-15, 7-15. To be fair Brenda wasn't really comfortable playing because she felt something on her ankle or something and she doesn't want to risk it by playing too hard.

Well, next week we will be playing against Kirkby Lonsdale C at their home ground. Should be easy.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I think I'm addicted to Facebook. There are so many applications that you can install and use that you don't know where to begin with. I usually installed them and immediately uninstalled them again if I think it is not interesting. But total number of applications installed are still higher than those uninstalled. And now my wife is hooked on Facebook too. She is unfazed with the applications goodies, in fact she is just happy to reconnect with most of her long lost friends which she thought are never to see again.

I'm going to limit myself now. Only 5 minutes each day. Okay, that's too extreme. 10 minutes per day. Hmm, maybe 10 minutes each morning and evening. That's better.

Starting next week.

Monday, October 29, 2007

New Arrivals

Yesterday one new family arrived from Malaysia. The wife will be doing PhD in Management and she is here with her husband and their 3 years old daughter. Interestingly, she is the fifth staff from my own faculty currently in the Lancaster University. I'm in the Faculty of Economics and Management in Universiti Putra Malaysia. There are four departments in our faculty. Currently there are three staff from Department of Management and Marketing studying here (each in different year of study) and two from Department of Accounting and Finance (including myself).

Perhaps its about time my faculty branching out here? :)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Manchester Trip

Only manager wears black....

We are the champions!

Today my family and I went to Manchester to send my wife's younger sister, Julie back home. She was with us for a one week holiday together with her mom. Her mom will be staying with us for another two weeks. On the way to the airport we stopped by Old Trafford Stadium. I took the opportunity to wander inside the Mega Store (didn't realise that they are only selling the black shirt for one year only, lucky me). There are many tempting merchandise but I didn't purchase anything. I want to wait for my final year here in the UK. That way I will have something really latest to bring back home. So I let my wife do the shopping instead and she got us the whole family same t-shirts, with an exception for Sarah as there is no size for her. But it is still a lovely pink shirt for her, as of course, anything is lovely with Manchester United logo on it!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Lancaster Morecambe Badminton League - League Match Five

Tonight we played against Torrisholme A at home. It was a good game, as we won 11-7, the exact scoreline like last season at home. The similarity doesn't end there as I also won 5 sets to 1, just like last season. Brenda and I have also won both sets 15-11, 15-13 just like last season. The differences are in the men doubles results. Last season Paul and I drew but this time we won both sets 15-6, 15-7. Tim and I won both sets last season but this time we split 15-10, 9-15, our fifth consecutive splits to date. Perhaps, our opponent were already understood pretty much of our tactics and in the second set they just utilised them.Maybe both of us should play with our left hand during the second set instead!

Monday, October 22, 2007


This morning I received a call and an e-mail from my former Lancaster Uni-mates. Apparently our batchmate, Shahrol Nizam Yusof has passed away this morning (Malaysian time). Last time I met him was last March when my family and I went to KLCC and met him with his family near Aquaria. He was with Petronas (play for Petronas basketball team) and his wife (a former Lancastrian too) is also a friend of my wife. He got two lovely daughters and his wife is heavily pregnant right now.

He suffered a heart attack in his house in Taman Kosas, Ampang and was buried in his hometown in Kedah. He was 31 years old, same age as mine.

*pictures courtesy of Azlan Nache

Saturday, October 20, 2007

5 Questions

I've been tagged by my old (and best) friend Afida, so here it goes:

5 things in my bag:
*notebook (year 2006)
*pens (with lids missing)
*highlighter (yellow)
*papers (mostly rubbish)

5 things in my wallet:
*cards (library, credit, debit, sports, photocopy, rewards, IC)
*driving license
*money (coins mostly)
*notes (small details like phone numbers etc)
*picture of Maisarah (I must have misplaced Ilyas')

5 favorite things in my favorite room (I dont have favorite room so I choose living room)
*Manchester United scarf
*Family pictures

5 things I would like to do
*Spending more quality time with my family
*Travelling to Europe with my family
*Finishing my Phd on time
*Publishing 3 articles in top journals
*Finishing developing my own website

5 things I'm currently doing
*Playing badminton
*Playing backgammon
*Using Facebook

I only knew few blogger friends. So if you are reading this, Idlan, Wan Huzaini, Durra, June and Roheida, you guys have been tagged!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Lancaster Morecambe Badminton League - League Match Four

Tonight we played against Hest Bank C, a team that got promoted from Division Three last season (they were second in that division). We are not sure what to expect but strange thing was happening to our men doubles matches. The ladies double won both their matches and Paul and I won our first set 15-8. However, during our second set, everything went wrong and we surrendered the set easily with a score of 5-15. As for our second men doubles game, Tim and I again won our first set 15-9 and we were leading 12-7 in the second. But somehow we managed to lose 12-15. This is the fourth time in a row Tim and I split our matches. But thing is getting better when I partnered Brenda. We won both sets but it was close. We won 17-15 and 15-12.

In the end we won 13-5 overall. So that makes three wins and one lose so far. Not bad at all.

Body Fat Part 3

It has been 2 months since I last step onto that weight machine in Boots. So last Thursday (the last day of fasting month) I went there with full of confidence that my diet regime plus the fasting month will seriously make my body lean and fit. Just for a record, my weight last July was 81.4kg and last August was 79.8kg. To my surprise and horror, my current weight is 78.4kg, a reduction of only 1.4kg. Basically thats only a reduction of 23 grams per day! I've only managed to reduce 3kg of my body weight for the past 4 months!

And to rub salts to the wound, my B.M.I is 25.9 which still falls under the 'Overweight' category. And my body fat is getting worse, it's getting from 20.4kg(July) to 20.7kg(August) to 22.8kg(now). In term of percentage, it is getting from 25.1%(July) to 26%(August) to 29.1%(now). It hovers between 'Average' and 'Poor' now.

There is only one conclusion from this experience: something is wrong with that weight machine in Boots!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

New friend

Every Monday and Wednesday, Ilyas and Maisarah will receive a visit from Sebastian, their German friend. He used to be in the same class with Ilyas in the pre-school but now he is in Ellel Primary School, another school nearby. His mother works in the university and she needs a place to accomodate him from 3.30pm until 5pm on those two days. My wife and I don't mind because at least Ilyas and Maisarah will have someone to play around with. Perhaps learning a German word or two in the process!

Lancaster Morecambe Badminton League - League Match Three

Tonight we play against one of the strongest team in Division Two, Hest Bank B. They were actually got promoted last season due to becoming runners-up. However, their team A got relegated from Division One and the rules say that you cannot have a second team in a higher division than your first team. So team B remains in the Division Two, happy to beat other teams all over again. And that is what they did to us tonight.

Last season they beaten us 13-5. This time it's getting slightly worse, we lost 4-14. I drew both my men doubles (with Paul 15-9, 4-15 and with Tim 15-12, 10-15) which is quite an improvement since last season I lost all sets. But I'm not so lucky with Brenda, we lost 10-15, 7-15, compared to last season when we split.

I am not looking forward to play again with them at their home ground sometime in January. We lost 2-16 last season, our worst performance.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Car Boot Sale and British Honesty

I received this email today, forwarded by our LUMSS president:

Subject: Help in contacting a possible member


A Malaysian student bought a 'dinner/drinks' trolley from Greenhalgh Car Boot sale, Blackpool last Saturday (October 6th). The couple who sold it to her have visited the University today, as they noticed after they'd that it was incomplete. They have left the missing items with me. I was wondering if you would be able to contact your members in case it was one them. As this student is planning to leave at the end of the year I am assuming that she's a Postgraduate.

Regards Xtine

Christine Jones
International Students' & Money Adviser
LUSU Advice

Tel: 01524 593769

We already knew that Malaysians here are famous for scouring Car Boot sales every Sunday but I'd never knew that someone would travel more than 30 miles just for that purpose. I guess it was a special occasion or it could be that Car Boot sales in Lancaster no longer have any surprises in store for her (judging from what she'd bought, she could be right). Or I could be wrong, this Malaysian might be from other university which is quite near to Blackpool. Another thing that struck me is how much further this British couple is willing to deliver this missing item. They could just leave it like that, after all they were selling old items and these things are expected to missing a few parts here and then. The travelling cost (mostly car fuel) to Lancaster might offset any profit that they made from the sale of this item, but then, that's British for you!

Breaking Fast in Lancaster Part 5

Main course


Today we were invited to break fast in Huzaini's flat, along with several other families and friends. It was a lovely dinner, plenty of food to enjoy. After the dinner, the ladies went to other flat to discuss ermm... ladies matters and the kids were in another room to play with each other. So the husbands were left to do something healthy and beneficial, like 'exercising' their fingers with carom pieces.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

LUMSS and KULM meeting

Today both Lancaster University Malaysian Students' Society (LUMSS) and Kelab UMNO Lancaster Morecambe (KULM) had their meeting in my flat. They were discussing on the Raya events to be held sometime next week or two. My wife is the LUMSS Vice President and hence the meeting's location. I just sat near the table whilst taking this picture. :)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Breaking Fast in Lancaster Part 4

Today, for a change, we break our fast with fish and chip. But it is not just an ordinary fish and chip, it is an award winning fish and chip. Apparently Hodgson's Chippy of Lancaster had won the National Fish & Chip Shop of the Year back in early 2006. Considering that there are over 11,500 chip shops across the UK, it was quite an achievement. I arrived at the shop around 5.50pm and people are already queueing outside the shop. Honestly there is indeed a difference between their fish and chip with others. The chips are not soggy and the haddock fish was simply delicious and covered with crispy batter. Tomorrow the Malaysian Students' Society will prepare 'nasi paprik' for the iftaar gathering at the mosque. If I had to choose between the two, 'nasi paprik' will always be the top favorite... hehe.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Manchester Mystery

Yesterday I received a parcel addressed to me (which is a bit unusual since EBay or other packages are always addressed to my wife). When I opened it, a brand new Manchester United third jersey with its label still attached came out, the black one, the one that I've always wanted to buy but could not afford it. But strangely, there is no note or invoice attached to it. Just the shirt and a blank piece of paper. The sender address was written on the packaging itself but there is no name. I looked up the address on the internet and found out that it belongs to a company in Plymouth. No one emailed me so far telling me that they bought the shirt and need to use my address for the delivery yet. How strange. It is tempting to treat this shirt as my own but I will wait until someone finally give me a call and clear up the situation.

Lancaster Morecambe Badminton League - League Match Two

Last night was our second league match, an away game to Ingleton B. We lost 4-14 to them in the previous season but hope is high since our win against Kirkby Lonsdale B last week. There was a last minute withdrawal from Paul Taylor due to some illness and he was replaced by Mark. Mark used to be an A team player until he suffered from knee injury. He is back now and has proven a major asset to the team.

My first match was with Tim and we had a very close fight in the first set in which we were narrowly beaten 16-17. We should have won that because in the second set we won it easily with a score of 15-9. My next match was with Mark and it was a breeze where we won 15-10, 15-4. Last season I played twice with Brenda against Ingleton B and we drew 2-2. This time we drew again with a scoreline of 8-15, 15-2. Overall, we managed to beat Ingleton B 11-7 and this makes it up for a long journey (17 miles or so) just to get there. In addition Ingleton Community Centre only had one court so we had to take turn to play. I finally arrived home at 12 midnight.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Mathematic question (or is it Accounting?)

I received this email a couple of months ago...

Kamu pinjam RM50.00 dari A dan pinjam lagi RM50.00 dari B. Maka kamu telah meminjam sebanyak RM100.00 dan kamu kini membeli sepasang kasut yang berharga RM97.00 dengan wang tersebut, dan bakinya masih lagi ada RM3.00. Dengan duit RM3.00 itu, kamu pun bayar hutang A =RM1.00 dan B = RM1.00. Manakala RM1.00 kamu simpan sendiri.

Maka hutang kamu dengan A dan B masih ada sebanyak RM49.00 lagi! Jika hutang kamu dengan A(RM49.00) + B (RM49.00) = RM98.00 dan campur dengan RM1.00 yang anda simpan sendiri = RM99.00! Di manakah RM1.00 lagi pergi ?

It helps if you think of this problem with asset and liability in mind.....

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Blackburn Rovers Reserve 1 Manchester United Reserve 0

Today Huzaini and I went to Christie Park, home ground of Morecambe FC to watch a reserve game between Blackburn Rovers and Manchester United. The kickoff is at 7.00pm but Maghrib is around 6.50pm. So we broke our fast with a chocolate bar and then performed prayer next to the car. After that we bought the ticket (only 3 pounds for adult) and went inside the stadium. We were in the standing section but decided to sit anyway to have our dinner first.

Both teams feature young players although I noticed that some of them looked a bit older. The only notable star among the Manchester United players is Dong Fangzhuo although his strike partner Febian Brandy looks promising. And I thought that Stephane Henchoz was among the Rovers defenders, but I was wrong. Rovers took the lead with a penalty and maintained it until the final whistle. Manchester United was granted a penalty too but Rovers keeper managed to block the shot. Attendance for the game is 493.

I've been to Manchester United, Manchester United Reserve and FC United of Manchester games. Now the only team to watch is Manchester United Under 18. I've been to Old Trafford, Christie Park and Giant Axe. Now the only stadium to visit is Deepdale. Probability of Manchester United Under 18 playing in Deepdale is maybe near zero but who knows.....

Monday, October 01, 2007

New Arrivals

The past few days have been hectic for us Malaysians in the Lancaster. There have been several new families arriving together with single undergraduates and postgraduates to start new semester in a few days time. More are coming today and tomorrow. Hopefully everyone will arrive safely here, although I heard that one family missing their entire luggage. It happens sometime but usually the airport authority will find them and send the luggage right to their doorstep. Let's hope this is the case.

I got new neighbour now. A Malaysian family with two young children. The husband and wife used to be my juniors when we were undergraduates here. Yesterday my family and I took them to a car boot sale and shopping in Asda. They already have a car, bought from one Malaysian family leaving yesterday. £300 for a 1996 Ford Mondeo is quite a bargain honestly.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Breaking Fast in Manchester

Still sizzling hot

Yesterday Bong's family and my family went to Manchester to send two of the postgraduates to the airport. One of them is going back for good and another one is going back for Raya. Afterwards we went to my friend G's house near Whalley Range before goig out again to break our fast at a restaurant near Rusholme. This area is full of halal restaurants and shops and we were basically spoilt for choices. Finally we decided to try this one shop named Sizzler. I ordered 'Mix Grill' consisting a variation of lamb, chicken, kebab and other stuff all grilled and lumped together on a plate. Of course it was too much for me to handle so I split it with Bong. On our way home there was an accident on the M61 highway so the traffic was heavy. We finally managed to get back to Lancaster around 11pm.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Breaking Fast in Lancaster Part 3

Last night we went to Imran's, a new restaurant opening in the town with a couple of families and friends. They serve buffet style and charge only £4 for adult and £2 for kid under 10. Anything you can eat. Basically they have the usual suspects such as pilau rice, naan, samosas, kebab sausages, lamb curry, chicken curry, vegetable curry, dhaal, salad etc. The food was nice and we had an enjoyable evening.

Breaking Fast in Lancaster Part 2

Last night we were breaking fast in our flat with friends.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Shipping to Malaysia

For the past few months we have been helping Malaysian students especially postgraduates moving their belongings to the ship container as they have finished their study and are going back home for good. We thought of doing it differently, rather than waiting until the end of my study, we would send them bits by bits to Malaysia. This way, our small flat will not be too cramp with all the stuff and encourage us not to spend more on something that will be problematic to bring back home later on. These two large boxes cost us 58.48 pounds for shipping charges and will arrive at my parents' house in two or three months time.

Kuih Raya Making Session has begun!

Spiderman helping Sarah and Kakak June preparing the cups

Ilyas and Sarah proud with their masterpiece

Lancaster Morecambe Badminton League - League Match One

Today is the first league match for 2007/2008 season of Lancaster Morecambe Badminton League. I am still playing for Bailrigg A in Division Two. Last season we were fourth in the league. Our first match is an away encounter against Kirkby Lonsdale B, who were third last season. We lost 5-13 whilst away and drew 9-9 at home to them so the expectation is not that high. Besides, this is our first competitive match and most of us are still a little bit rusty.

But what a nice surprise it is, when we suddenly won both our men and ladies double matches. We are getting more confidence and suddenly we are cruising to an eventual 13-5 win. Paul and I won 15-9, 15-8, which is better than last year when we split at 15-12, 10-15. Tim and I repeat our last season result when we drew at 15-12, 6-15 (last season we split at 15-17, 15-9). And Brenda and I improved a little bit when we drew at 15-2, 7-15 because last season we lost 12-15, 7-15.

Next week match is an away against Ingleton B. We lost 4-14 last season but I had a feeling that this time it will be different.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sarah Scratched!

Sometimes life can get tough at the preschool. I picked Sarah today in the afternoon and to my horror found her face full of bruises and scratches. Apparently some little girl decided to play rough on her. From the picture you can see injuries on both cheeks, nose and above lips. I guess the other girl might be jealous of Sarah's cuteness. She didn't make a fuss about it though, acting like nothing had happened. Thank God it is nothing serious.

Breaking Fast in Lancaster

Last night, we were invited to one of the postgraduates' house (Novia, June and Fidah) near the town for iftar. They cooked Mee Bandung as the main course. Simply delicious! By the way, those 'pisang goreng' were cooked by my wife :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Reduce Re-use Recycle

This picture was taken near Lancaster University sports centre. I know in Malaysia we have 'Kitar Semula' which means Recycle but I wonder if they are focusing on the reduce and re-use as well.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Blackpool at Night

Last Friday Huzaini's family and my family went to Blackpool right after we break our fast. There has been a fireworks competition and Illuminations festival (where the streets were bathed in lights during the night) near the beach. After watching the fireworks we went to Promenade to enjoy the lights. There are lots of amusement parks there so we went into one to play some games. It was a good night out.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Congratulations Prof Tai!

The Minister of Higher Education has appointed YBhg. Prof. Dr. Tai Shzee Yew as the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Community & Industry Relations) of Universiti Putra Malaysia. The appointment is effective from 1 September 2007 to 31 August 2010. He was my tennis double partner since 2003 until the day I left for the UK. He is a very active sportsman, playing badminton and tennis every alternate days. I can count with my single hand the number of time I managed to beat him in a single match as he always had the upper hand. And to think that he is nearing his 50s! He is even my guarantor for the computer loan that I took to buy this notebook that I'm currently typing on. Well done Prof!