Thursday, July 21, 2016

Winter - Spring - Summer 2016

Yes, it is already summer in the UK.
I am still updating on our winter experiences. A lot of reading and writing to do right now.

Please bear with me, especially to our family members and close friends in Malaysia.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Winter 2016 : The day somebody spilled his milk on my laptop

I left my laptop in the rice container overnight so it could soak up the moisture (of course, after I wiped the milk first). Flaked and basmathi rice are capable to absorb a high percentage of moisture compared to other types of rice. I am using basmathi.

The laptop is good to go the next day.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Winter 2016 : Crispy curly kale chip

This is my favourite healthy snack. Curly kale chip.

Kale is known for its superfood properties. If you did not know how it looks like, here, meet kale.

I bought a bag of curly kale which has been cut and washed. Spread it on a baking pan (I use pizza pan), pour a bit of olive oil and bake it for 10-15 minutes.
Tadaaa! Crispy kale chip. It has a natural savoury taste to it.
You can sprinkle a bit of salt (or paprika / garlic powder / curry powder / blackpepper - be adventurous!) before you eat. It tastes wayyyy better than potato chip!

Winter 2016 : The end of Semester One, you can go home, books

Alhamdulillah.
I marked the day by returning all the library books. We are allowed to borrow 20 book for the whole semester (not, 4, not 8, like other libraries. TWENTY and it is for nearly 4 months). If someone else wants to borrow the same book, they just recall the book the same day and I have to return it on the next day. 

Winter 2015 : Walking around the campus after 3 vaccination jabs

In mid January 2016, I was scheduled to receive yellow fever, typhoid and Hepatitis A vaccinations for my oversea trip. I received a box of malaria tablet to be taken for 50 days. I need to take it two days prior to the trip, during and four weeks after that. The nurse has shared useful tips for the trips and she warned me on the possible side effects of the jabs.

I walk around the campus after that, enjoying the view. 
Spring is in the air. This is the only time you can see daffodils coming out from the ground. They will hibernate after 2-3 months afterwards. The bulb will remain underground until the next winter/spring. 
By the time my husband picked me from the campus, 30 minutes after that, I started to have stiff neck, headache, feel nausea and I just need to lie down. It was the side effects of the jabs that I received. Luckily I had my recent tetanus shot while I am pregnant with Nazmi. So I didnt have to take another tetanus shot or else, I will also suffer with a painful arm and swelling where the jab was given (as my classmates!) on top of the side effects I am having.

Winter 2015 : Preparing for the trip

I need to fill in a health survey for a trip abroad. Counting days..

Winter 2015 : The day our boiler needs regular servicing

It is required under the boiler insurance. Annual boiler maintenance. It is free.

Winter 2015 : Tiny Tots and Toddler Time

It is held on weekly basis at the local library. The librarians teach the tiny tots and toddlers nursery rhymes, play with musical instruments and they read story book to the kids! The parents/carers are involved too.  
It is good to mingle around with other parents and grandparents! Nazmi seems to be enjoying himself in the library, looking inside interesting graphic books (he cant read yet) and trying to communicate with other toddlers of his age.

Winter 2015 : Bread pudding and custard sauce

Since Nabil and Nazran did not eat the bread crust/edges, I made bread pudding and custard sauce on weekly basis. 

Winter 2015 : The books

...they borrowed.
Kid's book in the UK is a huge industry by itself. They have a lot of renowned kids' book writers, good books and interesting graphic. Some of the books has also been a textbook for my sons' class. This is something that I would like to venture in one day.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Winter 2016 : Homemade keropok lekor in Manchester!

Oh yes, I made keropok lekor in Manchester!

From WikipediaKeropok lekor is a traditional Malay fish snack originated from the state of Terengganu, Malaysia. It is also called fish sausage, fish stick, or fish fritters. It is made from fish and sago flour and seasoned with salt and sugar. The origin of the word "Lekor" is said to be derived from Terengganu Malay which means "roll".

We went to our favourite fishmonger to get fresh mackerels. I clean, fillet and blend it.
Then mix it with flour and lekor it.
Finally, deep fry it. 

Winter 2016 : Borrowing books

After the Maulidur Rasul celebration, we went to the local library, register the kids as a member and borrow some books. Their teachers said they need to read more, so I asked them to choose and borrow 8 books each - the maximum allowed for 2 weeks. They were excited to use the self-checkout machine at the library (well, I did as well when I first borrowed books from my university library!).
Look at those I-dont-want-to-read-8-books faces. LOL!

Winter 2015 : Maulidur Rasul celebration in Manchester

There were built up events on Saturdays before the main Maulidur Rasul celebration in Malaysian supplementary school in Manchester. The kids participated in poster and card design competitions, learned about the Prophet Muhammad, watch educational movies and learned the selawat

On the real day, they participated in nasyid competition and Maulidur Rasul quiz. And they bring home a lot of present from the competitions and quiz. Well done! 
Our first photo in baju kurung and baju melayu together, taken in front of our house. It was freezing cold outside!

Winter 2016 : Chocolate chunk cookies

I didnt have chocolate chips at home, so I cut topping chocolate into small chunks, and fold it in the batter. These yummy chocolate chunk cookies only last for 24 hours!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Winter 2016 : EU Referendum

The result is out today - it is Brexit.

Well, good luck UK! I might have limited understanding on the impact because I only look at it from international trade perspective. I am sure there are a lot of gains in other areas - politics, security, etc. Brexit is interesting. A lot of new things to learn :)

The best feeling..

...is when you managed to settle your student loan earlier than expected. okbai.

Winter 2016 : Meet the teacher - Nazran

It was too, a pleasant session. We were the last one. I purposely wait until the last minutes so we can chat with the teacher longer :) 
 The workbooks:
His classroom. They have a huge touch screen TV in front of the class. The students always watch educational videos before they went home, or while waiting for the parents to pick them up.
 
Nazran didnt have to bring any stationery or book to the class. No bag as well. Since he is in Year 2, he is entitled to get free healthy snack and dinner (lunch). It was a fun year for him. For me as well, to see him really enjoy attending school without any bag.

Winter 2016 : Meet the teacher - Nabil

A few days after a meeting with Nazreen's teacher, it is Nabil's turn.
It was really impressive to see him art work being displayed at the gallery. Our discussion was around his artwork especially his history of Manchester project. He also has a lot of reading and catching up to do.

They learned about Earth and Space this term. They designed a space buggy.
Nabil's design:
These are the report in his book:
They also learned about Ancient Mayans this semester. I was surprised to know about this. This is a very good exposure for their age!
Nabil's ancient Mayans' mural made it to the gallery:
I am proud to see the comment by the teacher in his book. It is really good to know that they actually record everything, every artwork (scanned and printed), in the workbook. 
The kids will have a very good memory of the school, their teachers, friends and their study when they came back to Malaysia this year.

Winter 2016 : Meet the teacher - Nazreen

It was a pleasant session to discuss about Nazreen's progress with his beautiful teacher. Although he has a serious catching up to do (due to the difference between Malaysian & UK syllabus), but Nazreen is progressing well. He needs to read more.

Winter 2016 : Road cleaner

This is how they clean the road.

Winter 2016 : Homemade clean dough

I am busy shaping the dough and Nazmi wanted to help. I made him a clean dough. The kind of dough that does not stick to your hand or any surfaces and smells nice too. I just mix a plain flour with dish washing liquid. It is good to go.
It keeps him occupied for the whole day.

Winter 2016 : Doughnut hole, cakoi and burger Malaysia

After the final exam, I didnt have anything to worry about (not even my grades - I'll cross the bridge when I get there). I cooked a lot.
This was my first attempt to rise the dough. I put it by the window, to get the heat from the sunlight (the glass blocks the harmful UV rays, but I am not sure about the heat haha). It rose a bit. Then I placed the bowl in front of the portable heater. It worked, after nearly one hour. lol. After the agony of waiting for the dough to rise, my friend texted me a very useful tip - put the dough in the pre-heated oven. Gonna do that next time!
 Doughnut holes are ready. I filled them with custard and rolled it in sugar.
Then I made some cakoi (left plate, below), a deep-fried dough, originated from China. It is originally called Youtiao. Cakoi is a popular snack for tea time in Malaysia, you can eat it just like that or dip it in a peanut or sweet sauce. Chinese usually eat youtiao with rice porridge for breakfast.
I have some dough left, I made these savoury evening snack. I didnt know the name but since my friends called it burger Malaysia, so, let's call it Burger Malaysia too. It is a deep fried dough, filled with a slice of cucumber and sambal tumis (Chili fried with belacan shrimp paste, onions, garlic, tamarind juice. Tumis means "stir fry") with anchovies.

Winter 2016 : Cross the bridge when you get there (Matthew Alford, 2016)

We had a pathway dinner at a Chinese restaurant after the final exam, to celebrate the end of the first semester. 
I am so thankful that I finally decided to join this dinner. I was extremely worried about the exam grade to the point that it was so hard to sleep at night and also hard to wake up and face the reality in the morning. I just think about the grade the whole day. 

Somehow, during the dinner, I found that almost half of the pathway have the same concern and went through miserable daily life as I was since the final exam. Well I guess it is normal haha. 

I had a chat with my personal tutor during the dinner and he reminded me to "..cross the bridge when you get there". The grade will not be released until the next month and I should enjoy my life during the break. No point of worrying the whole time. It totally change my life.

Sometimes, it just took the right person to say the right thing at the right time.

Winter 2016 : Post-snowman

This is how we dry the gloves.

Winter 2016 : No green

When your eyes are really tired from reading and staring at the computer screen, you look out of the window to see some greens to relax... and you only see these:
It does add a considerable amount of stress on top of your exam stress.

Winter 2016 : Snow in January

We are going to miss this view.
From my bedroom window.
Our neighbours asked us to join them to the Heaton Park (a large park with hills covered with snows and you can sledge there) at 7am but I need to study. I am one day away from my final exam. 

Kids are having fun around the house, playing with what's left from yesterday's evening. So it doesnt matter if we dont go to the Heaton Park. Nazran went inside after 10 minutes because he cant stand the cold.
It was really hard to roll the snow to make a huge ball. I gave up half way. It was painfully cold working with a wet snow. Someone wore my snow gloves and I ended up with thin wool gloves. It got wet pretty quick.
They made these. 
They rolled the snowball at other area with thick snow and put the parts together in front of our house. I have a bowl of warm water ready for them if their fingers started to feel painfully cold.
The snowmen were still standing later that day (and the next day). I keep checking every 10 minutes because I was studying by the window. I saw passers-by took photographs and selfies with these snowmen. lol.