Friday, May 27, 2016

Winter 2015 : Christmas time - AGLC closed for two days!

...for Christmas. I was so panicked that I am so used to spend my time doing essays in AGLC. I need to adapt to the home environment (+kids, cooking, cleaning, no proper study table, cold, etc).

All shops will be closed during Christmas, too. Or at least their operating times will be different for the whole week until the new year.

I bought fruits for the holiday. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Winter 2015 : Colourful test tubes

My husband bought this cool novelty item. It is a food grade drinking tubes. We use it to drink fizzy drink.

Winter 2015 : Bowlers Exhibition Centre (huge car boot sale on Sundays)

We came here on a mission to look for a used sewing machine. I need to make a costume for Nazreen. Alhamdulillah, I managed to get a small battery-operated machine for GBP5. You can find almost everything in a car boot sale :) 
(focus on the sewing machine in the plastic bag please)

The seller said it is in a very good shape but unfortunately it didnt work at home. My husband opened it, tighten a few screws and IT IS GOOD TO GO!! 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Winter 2015 : Harpurhey Market

Buying some stuff for kids' school projects. I bought used duvet cover and curtains for Nazreen's school project at a charity shop. What project? Stay tune :)
The problem was ...we have the fabric, but we didnt have a sewing machine. haha.
I can hand-sewn it, no problem but I have essays to complete. We constantly pray for Allah to ease our journey in helping our kids with their projects. 

Winter 2015 : After the Christmas concert

Nazmi enjoying himself in Nazran's school gym.
 Nazran in his class and reading corner.

Winter 2015 : Christmas break

We went to Nabil's and Nazreen's Christmas performances. Their school didnt allowed students to be photographed in the school compound/during any event, so we just went there and watched. No photograph whatsoever.

 The next day, we went to Nazran's Christmas concert.
UK schools always have interesting programs a week before the school break/half term. And I really enjoy attending every one of them!

My friends were travelling around the world during this break. But, we choose to stay at home :)

Me and my husband strongly feel that it is just not right to spend the government allowance for travelling. The people's money is meant to ease our life in the UK (house rent, food, books, bus ticket to the campus), not to be spend on entertainment and travels. I use my saving for entertainment purposes (buy TV, toys for the kids).

Plus, I have to complete three final essays and helped my kids with their homework and projects. So our Christmas break was pretty occupied :) I didnt have the privilege to spend 247 with my family at home in Malaysia. So staying home during this long break is perfect!

Winter 2015 : A B C D E ...

This is how you read the sign.

Winter 2015 : Hello Neighbour!

Every time we gave Nazmi a chance to ride his strider, he will end up here. At his girl friend's house. Hello Aesyah!

Winter 2015 : Storm D E F

In December, we welcomed Storm Desmond (5-6 Dec), Storm Eva (24 Dec) and Storm Frank (29-30 Dec). These are some of the headlines from the Manchester Evening News:

Although we missed the worst of Desmond (Cumbria was the worst hit), we still get strong wind (strong as in you feel the wind could possibly blew off your roof anytime) and torrential rain. Maybe we got stronger wind because we are on the hill.

Eva gave us Boxing Day flood in the Greater Manchester. We didnt aware about that. We initially planned to go out but then we decided to stay at home. Little that we know that areas around us were submerged and there is no way out from here. River Irwell bursts its banks, Salford and city centre were flooding, Rochdale was submerged. Luckily we live on a hill. AlhamdulillahMe and the kids were on break so I didnt have to endure the flood in the city to go to the class. I just follow the update on the net while doing my essays. 

Frank, we missed him. But we still got the strong wind and rain. How people in the UK put up with these all this while...+_+ Storm after storm after storm banging our windows while I was doing my essays at night. The feeling is really unsettled.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Winter 2015 : Nasi lemak aka rice cooked in coconut milk

From wikipediaNasi lemak is a Malay fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf. It is commonly found in Malaysia, where it is considered the national dish, and also popular in neighbouring countries such as Singapore; Indonesia especially in Eastern Sumatra; Brunei and Southern Thailand.

Nasi lemak warmed up our cold winter night. I just cooked the rice and cut the cucumber. My husband prepared the rest.

Winter 2015 : oh yes, we bought a tv

The kids gave us their brightest smiles. They were TV-less for 4 months now. I bought the TV licence online for GBP150. It is compulsory to have the TV license in the UK if you owned a television or any streaming media.

Winter 2015 : New Smithfield Market

Our routine every Sunday, buying fresh salmon, mackerel, herring and haddock from our generous fishmonger. 20 minutes away from our house.

Winter 2015 : Chemistry Building

I missed having classes at the Chemistry Building. I had Development Fundamentals in first semester and Development Research in second semester in this building. 
We enjoyed running out from the building in the middle of the class when some chemistry experiments somewhere in the building went wrong and triggered the fire alarm. lol. It happened almost every week in the first semester.

Winter 2015 : Manchester Museum

After the kids finished their classes at the Malaysian school (they attended Malaysian school every Saturday, apart from regular UK school on weekdays), my husband agreed to bring the kids to visit the Manchester Museum!!!  

Nabil was so interested with all the mummies, particularly crocodile mummies, while I was about to faint being surrounded my dead animals.
They were so happy to see huge planet models and other solar system-related exhibits which they have learned all this while :)
Nazreen loves dinosaurs since he was small. He spent a very looooong time at each exhibit, in various positions, appreciating God knows what and pretending like he was going to be eaten by the dinosaur.

Winter 2015 : Freaked out at the museum

I passed by the Manchester Museum everyday since it is located next to my school. One day, before I go home after my class, I decided to visit the museum for a while. I told my husband to pick me up a bit later.

The main exhibition was on 'The Gift For God' = mummies. There were a lot of cat, bird (photo below) and crocodile mummies. I freaked out when I saw a lot of mummified cats, so I quickly walked to the other section.
There are vivarium, dinosaur skeletons, planets and other interesting exhibits. These are the kind of things that I teach my kids everyday. 
....and my 'a while' is actually more than one hour!
It is very interesting that I told my husband that the kids should go there THE NEXT DAY!

Winter 2015 : Christmas jumper day

Everyone went to school in a Christmas jumper today.

Winter 2015 : Gearing up for winter

... some notebooks and stationery to keep them occupied since they cant play outside.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Winter 2015 : Escaping cold @ AGLC

I stayed up at Alan Gilbert Learning Common again to do my essays, in warm place. My house is just too cold.
I have a lot to do and I also have to prepare for final exam. Being in this place keeps me sane, to see that others are struggling as well.

Winter 2015 : Skateboarding

Nabil is getting better at skateboarding after one week of training and watching Youtube.

Winter 2015 : Brotherhood @ Sir Alex Ferguson Stand

Near Sir Alex Ferguson Stand, Old Trafford.
Love to see them very close like this.

Winter 2015 : Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester

The home of Manchester United.
As usual, the heroes really enjoyed it. The United Trinity.

This was how close we parked from the stadium. Only a few metres away. Very convenient.

The champion.

 Celebrating victory.

Winter 2015 : Nazran loves to read...

....catalog :)
I love to collect free catalogs. Full of inspiring ideas.

Winter 2015 : Manchester Town Hall, Manchester City Centre

Appreciating Gothic architecture at the heart of Manchester.

Winter 2015 : The red thing

We dont know what is the name of this beautiful plant. It blooms in the winter.

Winter 2015 : Manchester Arndale, Market Street

Our first trip to Manchester Arndale.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Spring 2016 : SUPER THURSDAY!

Today is Super Thursday where millions of UK voters will go to the polling stations. There are local elections in England and Wales and votes for Welsh, Northern Irish and Scottish assemblies. London, Liverpool, Bristol and Salford are voting for new mayors.

Spring submission update 03

I managed to submit the final essay earlier than expected. 

It is good to be surrounded by kids while doing essays.

Instead of sitting in front of the laptop doing the essay non-stop, I STOPPED a lot. I cook, I went out to play football with my kids and their friends (like, realllllly play football), I do laundry, cook again, clean the house, play with the snow (yes, there were snow in spring!), cook and do other things. I can constantly reflects on my readings (and connecting the dots) while doing other things. That makes me write quicker.

I hope I could maintain this momentum for my dissertation.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Spring submissions update 02

Now I am less than 3000 words away from completion.

When the progress was really slow and I was stucked in defining things that I am not familiar with i.e. hegemony, counter-hegemony, organic intellectuals and other Marxist things, I started to wonder why I am here at the first place, studying a totally different field from my bachelor degree. Why I did my Master here after 11 years working?

But when I progressed a lot, I started to think I should pursue my PhD after a couple of years (I have to work for at least two more years and apply for PhD after that). 

I have this love-hate relationship with academic.

Tonight, my husband stay up with me. Until now, he has made me two cups of coffee and brought two slices of cheese cakes he bought for my birthday today.
I hope I can do more than 2000 words tonight. I want to spend more time with my kids on the Bank Holiday.