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.