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Saturday, August 30, 2003

Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!

It was that ever popular annual gathering again, the Malaysian Carnival 2003 at the usual place, the Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre in Brickendonbury, Hertfordshire which is about 30 miles to the north of central London.

The day was glorious; sunny + dry. The number of food stalls (gerai) was almost double than the previous years. Rambutan, durian, all sorts of nasi, all sorts of mee, kuih and god knows what...even ice kacang. As always, one had to endure the long and torturous queue at the satay stall. Tepuk dada tanya selera (and poket).

In addition: all sort of tarian (melayu, cina, india, kadazan), silat (a few of my friends came to perform), lion dance and gamelan. The usual lucky draws with the usual top prize of a return flight ticket back home from MAS; this year won by an ACCA student.

At 5pm (=midnight Msian time) we all stood up to the 'Negaraku'.

Everyone had a great day. Well done to the organiser! See you all again next year...same place same time.

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Daddy Day Care

It was probably my 1000th visit to the Bicester Village. A designers factory outlet at the outskirts of Oxford I started to shop since it opened its door during my univ days. Then, in its early days, there was no direct bus into the 'village'. We had to take the Oxford-Bicester bus from Gloucester Green, and stepped down on the main road into Bicester Town and made a few hundreds metres walk to the shops. There was no ATM machine either. So we had to carry lots of dosh. Since then, it has gone a few phases of extensions + improvements and lots of facilities added; direct bus, cash machines, info centre, children's playground, etc. Designed by my former office, LSH, it was done in a New England style to be a pseudo village high street. A stop at the Clarks outlet at one end would surely meet you with fellow Malaysians.

Today, we brought along a friend's mum, visiting from home, and her 4 year old grand daughter....and it was truly a daddy day care for me. It was 'fun'...though I must admit, was tough. I guess I have to start practising to look after 2 kids as my 2nd is due later this year. At the end I rewarded myself with a £10 (normal retail price: £40) Matinique blue shirt...and an Iced Caffe Latte.

Friday, August 15, 2003

Nak? Tak nak?

Went for a job interview earlier this morning; a 'small' office in a newly converted barn set in a rural area about 23 miles to the south of my place. There was even a paddock next to it. It was a 'Housing & Urban Design' wing of a big practice. The boss was nice and friendly, had a very informal chat. He does need a second person to help him with the design urgently. Now, it's all up to me... he offered me the job. Yet, I've a few other good options I have to consider at this moment. Things would be clearer by the end of the month, as there is another great oppurtunity lurky just around the corner. (Need to get in touch with RIBA for some advice on setting up own practice).

The other 'job' I was busy helping a friend since last week is pretty much settling. Though there is this NBS Specs that I need to do in these few days to come, as a draft though. This reminds me fo the Time Sheet I have to fill up, otherwise it would be just another of my charity works and that would simply blast my personal accountant (the other half) to the highest sky. Weather would be great tomorrow, as they told, we might go somewhere nice, or just here: bought some banana leaves at the Oriental City last weekend and surely nasi lemak is in the menu for tomorrow, yum yum.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Early Bird

Woke up at 6am. Boarded the fast train to London Paddington at 7:15am. Got to the Pavillion Holiday Villa at about 8-ish. Lots of guests were having their breakfast while a crowd of, I think, Italian tourists were loading the luggages into their coach..bye, bye London; I hope they had a nice stay. It was only at about 9am when my 2 friends emerged from their suite, and like myself, they too hit their beds at about 4am. We had breakfast...nothing much on the selection: cereals. Weather has been quite a pleasant day with nice cool breeze.

The whole day evolved around the project; met the contractor and went thru all the drawings we did so far. Things looked under control....

Monday, August 11, 2003

Broken !!!

Yesterday saw the Great Fire Ball unleashed its rays onto British soil and broke the all time record set in 1990. It went boiling up to 38.1C or 100.6F !
I was in London all day, running around from Bryanston Mews to Tottenham Court Road looking for an A3 printer. Then, dragged it to the Holiday Villa. Set it up, printed some preliminary drawings and went straight to work at the site. By the time I got to the Paddington Station, it was around 9pm and all the timetable panels at the Grimshaw-refubished station shown 'boarding delayed' message. At last, I got home at about 10pm... exhausted.

Worked on a few sketched floor plans. Had lunch with my ex-colleague at the Savacentre for some 'business' deals. Started work quite late....thumping and scrolling until 4am!!!

Friday, August 08, 2003

aRCHitect(ure?) reBOOTed

I've been slagging too much...not putting anything here over the past few days...

Wed: the mercury went up to the 36.4C mark, failed to break the all time record set in 1990 of 37.1C. It was scorching, and our visits to a few major superstores were absolutely frustrated; all fans and portable air-conds were sold out! Some even put up a notice at their entrance doors...

Thurs: temp was better (a bit lower) than wed, fuhh. a long time friend suddenly rang my mobile!: "bila sampai, apa kau buat kat london ni???". "aku datang dengan boss ni, adalah project sikit." he said. we then met up at the Holiday Villa for lunch (Penang Kway Teow)... and talked about 'the project'. then, I went along to help them on their work. at the end of the day, a position was offered to me. we further discussed about the possibility of working as a team at the Mawar Restaurant, after a quick run to a print shop near Selfridges at Oxford Street. came back home to think about the proposition....should i? mmm....

Today: another hot day. went to pick up Naz who wanted a lift for Jumaat prayer. the packed prayer hall was even more stuffy and unbearable; a few small fans along the wall just not enough to cool us all. drawings of proposed extension + renovation of the Jame' Mosque have been on the wall for quite sometimes, yet the fund is still inedequate. few young faces from Hisbut-Tahrir, as always, distributed their flaming flyers outside the mosque after the solat. then, we dropped by at a motorcycle centre for Naz to get a few things for his 400cc red beast. i'll stick with my cute little Smart car, for now.

'water broke!" : yes, when we got to Naz's place... his heavily pregnant wife was on the phone, asking her midwife. then, the little panic started... packed her bag and stuff, and off they drove to the labour ward. later i found out that that the little boy is not coming out just yet... insyaAllah tomorrow. all the best....we all will be waiting for a new addition to our little Malaysian community.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Cenderawasih burung di awan...

Selamat Datang ke Malaysia Encik Putin! Yesterday a bilateral agreement was signed between Msia and Russia. Dato' Sri Najib told us that Msia will soon send its own astronaut (via Russian spacecraft, I suppose), and the programme towards that dream will commence in 2005. It's gonna be another gigantic Malaysia Boleh thingy after the recent Malik's achievement. Atok would wait until there's a call to design a Malaysian house/living accomodation in the outerspace... yesssss, that would be my Msia Boleh! Till then, mmm....
I remember this simple song by Kembara...

Ayahku dan Angkasawan
Lagu: Shahlan Tajudin
Lirik: S Amin Shahab
Album: Perjuangan - Kembara (1982)

Ada satu cerita dari ayahku
Kisah pengalamannya bertemu dengan
Seorang angkasawan yang baru pulang
Setelah menjelajah bulan dan bintang

Sambil menunjuk ke arah cekrawala
Dan berkata, "Sungguh indah..
Tiada hipokrasi, tiada korapsi
Tiada peperangan dan tiada benci."

Menurut cerita darinya lagi
Mereka hidup berharmoni
Begitulah dunia di sana
Dan ayah pun melihat sekitarnya
Lalu berkata,

"Sawah ladang ini adalah...
Hidup dan milik kita
Di mana-mana sama saja
Kerana kebaikan letaknya di jiwa sendiri."

Oh angkasawan
Oh ayahku.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003


The heatwave continues. At least we're experiencing the better of it, i.e., juz the heat... not the draught + forest fires like in the mainland europe. It's around 32degC today I think. Tomorrow will be at 36degC max... UK all time record is 37degC.

A neighbour a few doors away came knocking at our door this morning with her little daughter, asking mine if she wanted to follow them to the River Thames (a stone throw away)... to feed the swans + ducks with some breads. Off they went, after some application of sun block cream + sun hat.

It's my other half's birthday today. So we went for a lunch at the London Street Brasserie, by the canal: grilled sardin, deep fried seabass, pasta + iced tea. Came back and had a cold shower...what a pleasant feeling.

Dinner was at the Yellow River Cafe: Indonesian mee goreng. The assistant manager (from Penang) was not in today, otherwise we would have got a few 'extras', as always.

Reading a book on Art Nouveau at the moment.

"Soups and broths have fed workers and leaders alike since time can remember. Who are we to change history."
- Ken Hom

Monday, August 04, 2003

Makan and makan lagi

Dah a few days tak tulis apa-apa.

Friday nite, we decided to restart our fortnightly badminton session. It has been a while since we last swung our rackets. Then, we all went back to one of our friends for a nice chicken pie for supper.

Saturday, we were again hit by the heat wave from the Continents. Morning was house cleaning session. Then, had a feast at friends’ place… they just moved in, thus we had a simple majlis baca yassin, tahlil + doa selamat. Then… makannnnnn.

Sunday, the heat continued. Another makan session at another place. BBQ + ice kacang + etc etc. Yum, yum. Then, we had fun washing our cars on our driveway in the afternoon, followed by mee hoon and iced laici drink.

What a makan weekend it has been.

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."
- Virginia Woolf