I Am NO Bree Van Der Kamp

The last few days have been crazy! We micro managed our renovation project as we think it’s crucial to be more hands-on now that the house is almost complete. Since I have lectures and Hubby has a week off work, he was around the house more often, hovering over the workers, calling the contractor every half an hour and making sure all the small details and the remaining things to be done are in place. I am truly grateful for his commitment throughout this entire project because, to be honest, it is quite taxing! Ini rumah baru sekangkang kera dah pening, I can’t even begin to imagine going through all this for our real dream home in the future.

Anyway, one of the things that had to be taken care of was the curtains and seeing that we have a new home and all, I have decided against buying ready-made ones from Jusco like I used to (yea yea, I’m getting in touch with my snob side).

One thing that I learnt from this whole curtain-seeking business is that, curtains are expensive. Like, really expensive! Being the lazy-bone that I am, I hate the thought of measuring the dimensions of our new windows, going to Tangkak or Nilai 3 to hunt for cheap (or so they say) fabrics and then sending them off to some makcik or cousins for upah jahit. I know I may be able to save some big bucks by doing all that but seriously, who has the time now? I am up to here (hand under my nose) in waiting to move back into my newly revamped home, plus, there are loads of other tidbits to look after so I really can’t be bothered to do all that.. and that is why I’ve decided to join  the bandwagon and go to a “one stop” home deco center to handle the curtains for my house.

We went to SSF and booked for our window measurements and pictures to be taken. The worker came two days later -took the necessary shots, made the measurements and gave some suggestions as to which types of curtains can be done for each room. This afternoon we went back to the showroom and discussed in more detail with the consultant on the specifics i.e. the (OMG banyaknye jenis!!) type of curtains i.e. double or single railing, rod or no rod, classic pleat or not, Roman blinds etc, the type of fabric for each curtain and the colours that go with each room theme. We spent hours walking all over the showroom to browse at the selection of fabrics, mixed and matched here and there and made her give us alternative quotations for different designs and fabrics to suit our budget. Suffice to say, we ended up paying a lot more than we budgeted for but we’re pretty happy with the choices of curtains and their services so far. After all this, I really have a new found respect for people who take their time to beautifying their homes. I think I’m beginning to understand that adage “home is where the art is”. Heh.


Do You Mind??

One of the things that annoy me most is when another person stands a bit too close behind you at the ATM while you are withdrawing cash. I mean, come on! These basic things pun nak kena ajar ke? It is so rude to do so. I know lah, they don’t mean to look into your balance or anything.. but still, the mere act is almost neanderthal, like “Have you no manners? Or have you no basic common courtesy?”

Just this morning, I was lining up at the ATM at my office (yes, a place where supposedly the people are learned and perhaps, slightly cultured). As I was waiting in Q, I was happy to see nobody standing behind me until the very last minute when my turn came up, a chubby fella made his way behind me and as I inserted my ATM card in the slot, I knew he was standing a bit too close for my comfort -I could see his nostrils’ reflection on the ATM!

It is bloody annoying.

I Miss My Home

It’s been four months since we started our major repairs and renovation works on our home at SG. I don’t know how long I can take it anymore -traveling to and fro Klang to work at Gombak on a daily basis is driving me crazy. Some people enjoy driving, it’s like, their physiques are just built for the road. I am not one of those people. I get sleepy even when I’m on the passenger seat (my Hubby can attest to this). God knows how many times I fell asleep almost immediately the engine starts running. Regardless whether the journey is a long one, short one, bumpy one.. I have no problem dozing off. So imagine how hard it is I have to try to stay awake and alert now since I am the one behind the wheel. The long journey is really starting to take its toll on my poor ol’ body.

Speaking of our new and improved home, it really is a major piece of work. I can say that over ninety percent of the house is being re-done, with only the stairs and the ceiling untouched. Some may ask us, “why bother with all this?”. Thing is, the whole renovation process is not so much of making our home more beautiful, though it is somewhat expected, but it is more of repairing the thirty year old house. The roofs had to be changed, so does all the pipes and wiring.. not to mention we need to have new walls as the current ones are being eaten away by termites and other living things I can’t identify. We plan to raise our daughter during her primary years in that home, plus, we have another one coming into the world in a few months. Career wise, I have up to seven years bond with my current employer.. so might as well get comfortable and live in a nice, cozy home.

Hubby is taking a week off from Christmas to New Year to clean the house, so we’re hoping all is done by next week. But it still looks like there are lots of things to do around the house. I love our contractor -he’s meticulous, tidy and has workers with great workmanship.. but can you guys please move on a little! I miss living in our home. I miss my kitchen (wow, never thought I’d say that). I miss the SG surrounding and convenience, surprising as that may seem ‘cos the place is too crowded and busy at times.. even our daughter is beginning to doodle in her little notebook of how much she misses her home. She asked me yesterday, “Mami, how do you spell Gombak?”

*Sigh*.. Need a bit more patience.


Shopping Hates Me

I realized something. Whenever I get eager and enthusiastically make plans weeks before a supposed shopping trip, something would usually happen that prevents me from going, or actually enjoying shopping.

Take last year, I made plans to go to Cheshire Oak on Boxing Day with the girls in my family i.e. my sisters, my moms, my daughter, and hubby as the designated driver. I was so excited. I made the itinerary months before my family came to Malvern (where we were staying at the time), took note of which shops to go to first, second, third etc and what to get at each shop. I even elaborated a plan of where to park so we can ambush the Next shop easily. But on Christmas Day, I started to have this tummy ache, which then morphed into a massive case of diarrhea that dragged on till S-day… suffice to say, I ended up staying home while the rest of the girls (and hubs the driver) make their way to Cheshire Oak.

And this year, I made plans to go shopping on Oxford Street for a couple of days after my graduation. Again, super excited and I made a list of what to buy at each shop that I intended to ambush. Unfortunately, God has other plans for me when it comes to planned shopping. After missing my flight the first time, I was adamant to make the most of my trip. Alhamdulillah, I was alright during the first two days of my trip -graduation day inclusive. But on the third day, I started to develop an itchy throat, my nose started to get blocked and before I knew it, my temperature started to rise on the train from Nottingham to London. I spent most of the following day bed-ridden in Malaysia Hall, sweating buckets but at the same time freezing to near death as the weather was still sub-zero. I didn’t go to Oxford Street as planned that morning. I felt awful that I couldn’t buy the intended souvenirs I wanted for myself and everyone on my list so I did force myself to Whiteley’s shopping center  and part of Oxford Street later that evening.. but it was really difficult to enjoy shopping when your head is throbbing, nose is stuffed and body felt burning all at the same time. I swear my hands were shaking the whole time that my sister had to hold me and guide me through the crowd. I had to pop paracetamol every four hours to keep me going.

I know that there is usually a good thing behind every mishap, and although missing out on some great shopping is in no way a catastrophe, I still find it odd that shopping isn’t therapeutic to me, unlike to most other women. Instead, it makes me sick, literally!

On the Contrary, I Graduated..

I had my graduation ceremony today. It was indeed a memorable experience. Today’s event not only marked the culmination of my success as a result of a long three-year PhD study, but it was also a reminder that I am still an idiot who couldn’t read the time of her flight properly (see the last post).

The day began rather hectically as I didn’t have any outfit to wear or any proper shoes to go with what I didn’t have already. So after breakfast, the three of us rushed to the city and I made a dash to a couple of shops to find a suitable attire. This was not an easy feat. Looking slightly pregnant, I needed something loose around the abdomen but not too I-am-pregnant looking, which was what were available in the maternity department. I also needed something with a button down front to make it easier for me to hang the cape (er, do you call it cape?). So something shirt-ish might do the trick. In the end, I settled on this ladies shirt from Monsoon. It was on sale and could even be worn at other times i.e. when I’m not pregnant.

We rushed back to the B&B for prayers, changed our clothes and called the taxi to go the graduation venue. The day was supposed to be sunny but at a maximum temperature of -1, it was still freezing cold. I don’t know how the other female graduands managed to wear short skirts and pose around the campus whereas I was struggling to muster a smile in photos. I just hope I didn’t look too blue..

The graduation ceremony itself was pretty quick and laid-back, unlike the 3-4 hours sessions in Malaysia with all the Dulis and Tuankus, so it was quite refreshing. Unfortunately, the queue for the photograph session reminded me of home as it was excruciatingly long! I had to constantly remind myself that this was the last time that I’ll ever be graduating and that I never had any professional post-convocation picture taken before, so bear with it!

After hour of standing, posing, shivering and waiting, we finally went home. Overall, it was a good day.. but it could have been greater with my husband around 😦

The Most Idiotic Thing I’ve Ever Done

I made us all miss our flight.

Of all the careless, dim-witted and DUMB act that I did in my life, this is by far the worst. How on earth could one read the time of a flight wrongly?? Well, I never thought that I would but sadly, I am actually capable of doing that. We arrived ten minutes before departure, where the check-in counter was over an hour closed and other responsible passengers were already on the runway.. Obviously, we weren’t allowed to get on board. That moment truly felt like a nightmare. I kept wishing that it was all not real, that this can’t be happening! But the more I looked around at my surroundings -the angry faces (which later turned into frustration and sadness), the amount of time, effort and money spent in planning this trip.. the more reality sank in.

If you’re reading this and snickering about how rotten I was, I don’t blame you. It was an awful thing to do, accidentally or not. I felt terrible in the next two days. I couldn’t sleep and could hardly eat that night waiting for the next day to come to try and amend my self-imposed problem. I was SO angry at myself, but to be honest, I was more disappointed. Like, WTH?! $@$^&**%^!!!!!!! You got a PhD for goodness sake, can’t you do this simple thing right?!

There was only two things for me to do then. I could either cancel going to the UK altogether, which was what I was prepared to do or, I could re-book our flight (since these were promotional tickets). I had to consider the latter because this trip meant quite  a lot to the others too, especially my sisters. So I decided to give it a go and purchased new tickets. Unfortunately, given my limited funds, I was only able to support myself and two other people to come with me. Hubby was first on the list but he declined politely saying that this graduation meant far more for my dad as he was expecting this for a long time. Though I was saddened by his argument, he did have a point. So with a heavy heart, I decided to go to my graduation without my husband 😦

Now, almost 20 hours later, I am in the UK. In our B&B in the mighty -1 degree cold, turning blue with sadness as tomorrow I shall graduate with a mixed feeling. On the one hand, I am happy and proud to be able to make it through such a strenuous doctorate process but on the other hand, I am sad that because of my stupidity (the irony of it), I will not be able to celebrate the event with my beloved other half.

Leaving On A Jet Plane..

Well, sort of. Minus the word jet, a plane is still a plane.

My flight tomorrow will be at 10.10pm. We are expected to stop by at Abu Dhabi for a couple of hours before continuing our flight back to the UK. I read that some airports, like Gatwick, are closed due to the heavy snow. Let’s just hope that we won’t be facing any major setbacks during our travel.

Like most people, I’ve always liked traveling overseas. Packing (OK, maybe not so much), going to the airport and settling in on our seats in the airplanes.. I’ve always looked forward to flying. And I know this is weird, as my hubby finds it, but I love airplane food! Especially on air national carrier -MAS just serves one of the nicest food up on the air. And also one of the best orange juices. This time around, we’re going on Etihad though (for the first time) so I’m not quite sure what to expect in terms of food and other services.. but a plane is still a plane, right?