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.