Thursday, March 10, 2016

Travelling. Again and again.

Right now most of you knew that I am studying on the other side of the world.
And in two days, I am going to a different continent. I am packing my stuff now.
There are 6 members in my survival group, me from Malaysia, one from the UK, two from Korea and two from China.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Fall 2015 : My first day

Most of the Welcome Week program for my pathway was held in the St. Peter Church and Chaplaincy.

Fall 2015 : The Welcome Week – The University of Manchester

Great environment. A lot of activities. 
Purple people were everywhere. You could ask them anything about the university. I didnt use my SatNav to find my way around the campus for the whole week. Thanks to the purple people.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Fall 2015 : Kids' bedrooms - the before and after

They were so excited. Well, me too.

….and we slept really well that night.

Everybody woke up at 6am. Everyday, for the next two weeks.

Fall 2015 : Pillow and duvet hunting

After we came home from the grocery trip and had our lunch, I wipe clean the whole house using the baby wipes +_+. We killed a lot of spiders using aerosol spray. We didnt know whether they were lethal or not. They were HUGE. and A LOT. Especially in Nazreen's room. We just kill them all.

After that, we went out to buy pillows and duvets. Luckily we saw a small shop selling pillows and duvet by the road side on our way to our house. We really hope the shop is still open since it is Sunday. And it is already 4pm.

We walked. And walked. And keep praying it is still open. Alhamdulillah. Our rezeki. 
And Alhamdulillah the kids were so strong, physically and mentally going through all these with smile and laughter.

Fall 2015 : Our first meal in the new house

Chicken curry rice.
It feels so good to be able to cook for my family after a very hectic week. We finally got to sit together and eat proper hot home-cooked meal, in our house.

*we brought our rice cooker from Malaysia. 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Fall 2015 : Our first grocery trip

After we put in our stuff, we decided to do some shopping. We need an electric kettle, rice, milk and other necessities.
The nearest ASDA is just a 10-minutes walking.

So we just walk. It was a very pleasant grocery trip. 

Fall 2015 : The day we moved in

I booked an MPV online. He came on time, around 11am. The whole process was a breeze. Nabil and Nazreen helped me to handle the luggage and boxes. 
19 September 2015.
Welcome home.

Fall 2015 : Hidden pathway

We found a hidden pathway, a shortcut to the main road under these beautiful big trees. 

Friday, March 4, 2016

Fall 2015 : Visiting our new house

This is our house. 
What we like most is the fact that this house is not facing the main road :) 
We have such a lovely pedestrian walkway and green areas in front of our house.

The previous tenant was, according to the agent, missing in action. They left the house and all their stuff. And never came back. The agent took all their stuff out and put it at the backyard, change the locks and paint the house. The house is spotless clean and looks new.
Those are the stack of previous owner's stuff. The kids retrieved a lot of toys, still in good condition. Some of them still working, with batteries on. Such as the lantern Nazreen was holding down there. Since the previous tenant is a Muslim family, we took their mugs, pots, pressure cooker and other kitchen stuff as well. Those things are really in a good shape. They also left behind buggy and booster seat, which we really need for Nazran, if we were to rent a car.
Our white kitchen. We have a solid wood and tempered glass dining table but no chairs. We managed to retrieve a stool, folded chair, two garden seats and a cabinet from the stack. We love playing scavengers that day!
Learning about different type of waste to go into which bin. Every house is equipped with blue, brown, black and green bin.

Fall 2015 : San Francisco-y

We need to walk uphill around 15 minutes from the bus stop at the main road to our new house. San Francisco sangat.

Fall 2015 : Our new house

These are the photos we got from our friend. We fell in love with the house once we looked at these photos.

Our living room with salmon-coloured fabric sofas.
(Photo credit: MCCH)

Comfortable kitchen with my dream white cabinets. We have both washing machine and a dryer. Alhamdulillah.
(Photo credit: MCCH)

One of our two toilets. Ini pun nak share ke.. Honestly, this is one of the reasons we said YES to this house. It looks clean and cosy.
 (Photo credit: MCCH)

Nabil’s room has one single bed and a study desk. This is Nazreen and Nazran’s room which previously belongs to girls. The headboards and curtain are a bit feminine (A bit?)
(Photo credit: MCCH)

Well, I don’t want to share the photo of our master bedroom here. It has a king size bed with a black leather headboard, black wallpaper on the feature wall and black curtain. We bought black duvet and pillow cover just to suit the whole theme. It is really cool to have black bedroom without having to worry about mosquito and c**kroa*hes (no, we don’t have those here, so does ants and flies).

Our master bedroom also equipped with a baby cot, for baby Nazmi. So, everybody has their own place to sleep :) 

This is our huge backyard. 
(Photo credit: MCCH)

Alhamdulillah. We couldn’t asked for more. THIS IS PERFECT.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Fall 2015 : Goodbye The Milan

Bye-bye Milan.
We wiped clean the whole room and I took the pillow covers and the bedspread with me. Cleaning the covers and the bedspread were the least I can do for the owner. He has helped us a lot. He came to our house two days after we moved in, just to make sure we are okay. And I returned the clean linen to him.

Our room in Milan.
We are going to miss this view. 

Fall 2015 : First visit to ASDA

A 30 minutes walk from the Freehouse to ASDA Harpurhey. Stocking up our pantry.

We purposely took photo in front of the graveyard. Kot2 ada hantu orang putih masuk gambar. Too much TV.
Fall at night. It is sufficient to wear a layer of normal clothing and a jumper/gilet. But I make sure the kids have their thermal wear on. We need to make sure everyone is healthy before we settle down in our new house.

Fall 2015 : House hunting

We have contacted a few agents prior to our departure and arranged a few viewing session once we arrived in Manchester (to rent a house here, you need to arrange for a viewing session with the agent or the owner, go through thorough checklist, submit some documents, sign the agreement and pay the deposit – then only you could move in). Most of the house were taken hours before we had a chance to view it.

Not settling down in a proper house in a foreign land, with 4 kids who supposed to start their school is not an ideal start for my study - which happen to start the following week. But we were being really positive in getting THE house. The best has yet to come. 

I keep looking for rented house online everyday.Although it is too much to ask, but I need a house with a large backyard, three bedrooms, comfortable kitchen and preferably two restrooms. My husband wants the one with a bit of buffer zone between our house door and the public walkway, for privacy and safety purposes.

This is how some housing areas in Manchester looks like.

I prefer to live in the south, to be closer to the university so I could walk or cycle to campus. I need  to treat my study as work, meaning, I will go to the campus everyday, from 8am to 5pm, regardless if I have class or not, just to make sure I am not losing the momentum (for both study and work). Many people recommend me to live with the Malaysian community in the north.


And we don’t come this far to live with Malaysians, no offence. I want my family to experience living with the locals.

I did asked for someone’s help to view the house before we arrive in Manchester, to save time, so we could just go sign the agreement and move in. A guy agreed to help. A few days before we depart, he suddenly has ‘other commitments’, ‘very busy’ and suddenly feel the house is ‘too far away’ and he need to cover high cost of petrol – although it was agreed for us to pay his journey to and fro ;p

Well, it is not nice to do that to others. I told my husband that I rather not join the ‘community’ because the first impression reallllly counts. And I promised myself to help any new student from Malaysia to view the property they wish to rent before they come here. I truly understand the struggle (well, I did, last week - one PhD student managed to seal the deal with the owner. Alhamdulillah)

Somehow, on the fourth day of the house-hunting, my sister suggested me to check out an FB page and (long story short) a few hours later I was contacted by a guy (he became my husband’s close friend now), who has rented a house the previous week, but decided to move to the other part of Manchester. We met him at the house in the next two hours – buffer zone – checked, 3 bedrooms – checked, two restrooms – checked, large backyard – checked, comfortable kitchen – checked. And it is fully furnished! (well, except for missing dining chairs)

It is perfect. We take the key and decided to move in the first thing tomorrow. We spend the whole night, eating dinner and packing our stuff happily in The Milan.

Allah answered our parents' prayers. Alhamdulillah.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Fall 2015 : Buggy rule

Baby/toddler has to be in a buggy all the time. Mostly all areas (except for the one near the construction sites) and public transports are accessible for buggy/wheelchair. (The Milan)
It was around 12-13 degree Celsius. Baby Nazmi was wearing thermal underwear (shirt + pant), long sleeve T-shirt, a jumper (sweater) and a pair of jeans. Cotton sock and a trainer. I dont think my husband was wearing a thermal wear underneath his T-shirt. It was not very cold at the beginning of fall in September.