Sunday, March 29, 2009

Trip to Reading

The hospital where Awa and myself were born

In front of Shima's former rent apartment

In front of The Oracle, Reading's mega mall

Ilyas and Maisarah trying to eat sushi with the chopsticks!

Today we went to my birthplace, Reading to meet and pick up Jo's friend from her apartment. She just quit her job at Microsoft and will be going back to Malaysia for good. On the way to her apartment I took the opportunity to stop near Royal Berkshire Hospital. However, I couldn't find my parents' old address, the sat nav just couldn't locate the postcode. Anything could happens for the past 30 years and the area might have just been redeveloped into something else.

After we pick up Shima and her belongings, we went to The Oracle, a huge shopping complex right in the middle of Reading city centre. We went to have sushi meals in one of the Japanese restaurants and I was quite surprised to see my former Lancaster seniors having the lunch there with their kids. Apparently both the husband and wife have been working in the private sectors in London for the past three years. 

We came back to Liverpool around 8.40pm and the whole house was in the dark. Apparently Awa is observing the Earth Hour!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ilyas' New Haircut

Ilyas says he likes this style because he now looks like one of his friend, Mason.

The Football Association Challenge Cup

Today Awa and myself went to our local ASDA superstore because the FA Cup is coming to our town for the photo sessions with the locals. The FA Cup is the oldest association football competition in the world (The first one was held in 1871-1872). However, the current trophy is the fourth trophy in use since the first one got stolen (and melted by the thief), the second got auctioned in 1911 and the third is now too fragile to be used again. I guess the next time I'll be seeing this trophy again will be in the Manchester United's trophy cabinet. 

Thursday, March 26, 2009


My friends just created this stoodle page about a month ago. Basically, the idea is to cartoonise other people's status in their Facebook account, hence Status + Doodle = Stoodle. The project is quite fantastic really and they have received lots of hits and there are also many projects on the pipeline such as general merchandise and promotions. One of their marketing idea is to have a postcard competition where random winners will be selected to receive their limited edition postcards. All you have to do is e-mail them and I did just that. And today they announced the winners and surprise, surprise I was among them! Can't wait for the postcard to arrive. :)

Visit by the UPM VC

Last night I went to Sheffield together with three of my colleagues from Lancaster to meet with the UPM VC, Prof. Datuk Nik Mustapha and his entourage. They are here to sign several MOUs with a few British and French universities. They also took the opportunity to meet and convey latest news and directives from the KPT and UPM to the UPM staff who are currently on study leave here. Overall, it was quite encouraging in terms of promotion (whether you want to apply for DS52 or DS54) and job enhancement (they encourage us to do post doc whenever possible) prospects. I told Prof. Samsinar, current GSM Dean that she is one of my guarantor so she'd better wish me luck on my study. I sat next to Prof. Datuk Wan Md Zin from the Faculty of Science during dinner and he told me his experience when he did his post doc.

My latest book

This book arrived yesterday at my doorsteep. This is the second novel by Khaled Hosseini, the author of Kite Runner. Let's hope this book is as good, or even better, as his first one is.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Liverpool Malaysian Night 2009

Last night we received visitors from Lancaster. They were staying overnight before taking a flight to the Scandinavian countries early in the morning. Jo took the opportunity to take them to the Liverpool Malaysian Night which was held incidentally on the same night. They were served 'Mamak' dishes but surprisingly there is no 'Teh Tarik' on offer. After the dinner there were traditional dances and performances by the students. There were also many British guests among the audience. I didn't go because Ilyas and Maisarah need to have plenty of sleep during the school day. But I'm glad Jo managed to enjoy her first Malaysian Night experience in the UK.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Disney Live! Mickey's Magic Show

We were not allowed to take pictures during the show 
but I saw some parents took them anyway

The two magicians

Smiling Maisarah and cheerful Danial

I wonder what he is dreaming about...

Yesterday, I took the family to watch a Disney Magic Show held in the Liverpool Echo Arena. Two families from Lancaster joined us as well. The children were quite excited to watch the magic show performance by Mickey Mouse and the gang. During the intermission, they rushed out to the stalls and demanded that the parents (that's us) buy all things related to Mickey such as the drinks, popcorns and soft toys. The price tags were quite ridiculous to the point that I felt it was an extended magic trick performed to make our notes and coins dissappear from our wallets in an instant! After the show was over, I asked Ilyas which parts of it that he likes most and he replied, 'All of it!' So maybe it's all worth it.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lancaster Invitational Football Tournament 2009

LUMSS 'A' in black and LUMSS 'B' in blue

Team Postgraduate

Today we went to Lancaster because Awa and myself are going to play in another football tournament. This time it was organised by the Lancaster University Malaysian Students' Society and there will be 8 teams participating. I played for LUMSS 'B' and Awa for LUMSS 'A'. Both teams lost all of our matches. My team lost to Lancaster University Postgraduate International 0-2, Lancaster University Chinese Society 0-3 and Cheetam Hill, Manchester 0-2. Afterwards we were having our annual Postgraduate vs Undergraduate. Last year the postgraduate team lost narrowly to the undergraduate but this time we easily beaten them with a 4-2 scoreline with Wan Huzaini scoring all the goals. Afterwards we went to have lunch in the Pizzeta Republic restaurant and visited houses of friends. 

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Ilyas with his card to Umi

Ilyas also made a card for Umi. Inside the card he wrote, 

'To Mum, 
You are great and clever. I think you are the most wonderful mum. I love you. From Ilyas xxxxxxxxxxxxx'

Friday, March 20, 2009

Little presents from Maisarah to Umi

A yellow daffodil and a card

When I picked Maisarah up from the nursery today, she has in her hands a daffodil flower and a card. Apparently every child gets one to give to their mother. Maisarah is trying to make it a surprise by hiding them behind her back. Umi plays along by pretending to be surprised when she received them.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bailrigg - Liverpool Friendly Match

All the players plus Fiona, the organiser

Having a very late dinner afterwards at Pizzeta Republic

Last night was a special night, as for the first time the Bailrigg Badminton Club is having a friendly match with Liverpool Malaysians during their club night. It was supposed to be 4 doubles (i.e. 8 players) from each team and each double will play 4 matches with 2 sets each, rally point system. However, due to last minute withdrawal, our team are short of one player so some of us had to play more than 4 matches to cover the missing player. 

In the Bailrigg team, they have 3 English, 1 Welsh, 1 Indonesian, 1 Chinese and 2 Malaysians. As for us, there are 6 Malaysians and 1 Bruneian. In the first round, Liverpool Malaysians managed to beat Bailrigg with 12 sets won against 4. In the second round, where players swapped their partners, Bailrigg managed to beat Liverpool Malaysians with 9 sets won against 6. I guess fatigue has started to creep in among our players as some of us had to play extra sets. 

It was an entertaining friendly match and I hope there will be more like this in the future.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Visitors from Dublin

Watching YouTube together

Behind St. Helens car park building, where the car boot sale is being held

Harits (3), Maisarah (4), Shafiyah (4 1/2), Ilyas (6), Aisyah (7 1/2)

Over the weekend we receive a visit from a Malaysian family in Dublin, Ireland. They were coming to the UK for a short holiday. The wife (her name is Azlina Abdul Rahman) is an old friend of Jo and also my junior when I was doing a degree in the Lancaster University. Her parents' house is also situated in Sg. Ramal, Kajang, quite near to my parents' house as well. 

We took them to St. Helens for a car boot sale trip. Afterwards they went to Manchester to visit few interesting places.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sheffield Malaysian Games 2009

Lancaster team

Awa in action

The spectators

So hungry!

Ilyas took this picture

Caught in the net

Look at Awa's knees!

Yesterday evening I received a call from Syahir asking me whether Awa and myself can play for Lancaster football team again in the Sheffield Malaysian Games. Since we have nothing else to do on Saturday, I just agreed. So this morning, the whole troop went to Sheffield. Ilyas and Maisarah were quite excited because this will be the first time they will be able to watch their father plays football. 

We drew our first two matches, 0-0 with Warwick 2 and 2-2 with Team 1403 (I played in this one). Our import striker, Anthony from Hong Kong scored both goals. In our third match, our keeper doesn't want to play so Awa had to be a stand-in keeper. Fortunately, we managed to beat Bradford 3 with a 2-0 scoreline (Again, Anthony scored both goals). We have to win our last match against Bristol and psychologically we have the advantage since we have beaten them 3-0 last time in the Manchester Games. Awa was the keeper again and after a nervous start we finally managed to score our first goal and afterwards the goals kept coming from the Lancaster team. I played as a defender and there was one time when I managed to dribble away from two of their players and was about to shoot towards their goal when another player tackled me from behind. And I didn't hear this but Awa heard that the player said, ' Sorry, pakcik' to me. Ciss!

In the end, we won 4-1 with Anthony again scoring all those goals. We have achieved what we have fail to do in the Manchester Games, which is qualifying to the next round, in this case, a Last 16. Our opponent this time is Bradford 1, the group winner and a very tough one. However, we managed to score first through Syahir, surprisingly his first goal in this tournament. Unfortunately, Bradford 1 seem able to score from any angle or any position and by the start of the second half we were already 1-3 behind. Don managed to score another goal for Lancaster but Bradford 1 replied with another goal. In the end, we lost 2-4 but it was really a good performance from the Lancaster team. 

Meanwhile, Jo with Ilyas and Maisarah were busy wondering about in the sports centre, visiting the food hall and playing with other kids. On the way back home, the kids slept throughout the whole journey.