Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Winter 2016 : Storm G H

It stands for Gertrude and Henry.

Gertrude was on January 29 and Henry was on February 1-2. 
Scotland and Northern England was the most impacted by Gertrude (school closure, travel disruptions) but we can still feel the strong wind in Manchester. 

Henry? Horrid Henry. Northeast of England was deeply impacted with flood, fallen trees and overturned vehicles. Here, our storm windows were rattling like crazy at night. The wind was so strong. I cant imagine how people at the impacted areas put up with stronger wind, more than 100 miles per hour!
Poor man! I am glad that he is okay.
I have seen a few people blown off their feet due to the gust (sudden rush of wind) around my campus. There were times that I have to hold onto the wall or a bollard or my friend during the gust. It was so sudden and you can easily lose control, most of the time I felt like falling to the ground. Well, maybe because my backpack was so heavy. 

I still remember the time when me and my friends were walking from one lecture venue to the other in a chill winter afternoon. As the wind picked up, we have to walk backward or sideways all the way to the building. 

I am going to miss Manchester for this. Never in my life, I walk backward to attend any lecture.

Winter 2016 : ABC UK - Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch

Nazran borrowed this book from the library. The ABC to Z refer to everything unique about the UK, for example, A is for Arthur (as in the King Arthur), B for Beetles (the band), G for the Giant Causeway (in the Northern Ireland). For each letter, I will find some videos (about King Arthur, the Beetles, etc) and watched them together with Nazran so he can learn more about the UK. Night time is loooong in the winter so we read a lot to kill time.
When he arrive at the letter L, he said he cant pronounce the word. I asked him to try harder (I was washing the dishes and I didnt look at the book). He tried but still, he said it was too hard. I asked him to spell it. He did but I stopped him halfway because I think he was not making any sense. Until I look at the page.... then I understand his struggle.
 
Cool, isnt it?! Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch is a large village in the Wales. It means - Parish [church] of [St.] Mary (Llanfair) [in] Hollow (pwll) of the White Hazel [township] (gwyn gyll) near (go ger) the rapid whirlpool (y chwyrn drobwll) [and] the parish [church] of [St.] Tysilio (Llantysilio) with a red cave ([a]g ogo[f] goch) (Wikipedia). It is the longest place name in the UK and one of the longest in the world :)

Now, let's learn how to pronounce it!
It is surprising how much you can learn from a simple book of ABC!!!

Winter 2016 : Insect mosaic

We went to a charity event at a local school and came across this gigantic display of insect mosaic a la Christopher Marley created by a bunch of students. Marley used to be scared of bugs but now he is creating a wonderful artworks using colourful bugs.

Winter 2016 : THE BIRTHDAY PARTY

30 January 2016.
A day after the Storm Gertrude.

We were chatting with my parent via Skype when the guests started to arrive. My sons were so happy to see other kids came to their party. New friends in Manchester! They loves the cakes (of course!) and the M&Ms disappeared long before the whole cake finished, as I expected. haha.
 
We had a really fun art and craft sessions. I didnt mind seeing our living room like this as long as the kids were having fun and the guests were enjoying themselves, helping the kids to do some artworks.

My neighbour (who is also my junior in IIUM), a PhD candidate, was struggling to meet a submission deadline that day, therefore, she couldnt make it to the party. I asked her if she could send over her kids to my house and let them stay here until Maghrib so she could focus on her writing. I truly understand what she went through and that was the least I could do to help. And she did! 

It was good to see Naufal & Aesyah really enjoying themselves with crafts and the loud & colourful party poppers :) The kids made these, toilet roll ninjas (in our case, they were actually kitchen rolls cut into two) and straw sculptures.
I had so much fun baking, cooking and entertaining the guests! It is a good break from my study. Cleaning up that evening was a breeze.

I read the news online and surprisingly we are expecting Storm Henry the next day!

Winter 2016 : Planning for a Birthday Party for Nabil, Nazran and Nazmi

It was January 2016 and finally I had a free time (and extra money) for our sons' birthday party. Nabil and Nazran was born in December and Nazmi was born in February. First, to get things going, I designed the birthday invite. I just invited a few close friends.
It is going to be Nabil's 10th birthday, Nazran's 7th and Nazmi's 3rd. Good age combination. Those numbers (10, 7, 3) fit into the BIR7HDAY C3LEBRAT10N!!

On Friday, January 29, the day we welcomed Storm Gertrude to the UK, after sending off the kids to school, we went to get some presents for them and ingredients for the main menu and desserts.(Northern UK was the most impacted, but we still get the strong wind)
The night before, after they went to bed, we hung the birthday bunting, pump some balloons and wrap their presents. We keep a few blankets ready to cover everything should any one of them came down to get some water (they did that sometimes, in the middle of the night). 
They will get the light sabers they were asking for quite sometimes, books, stationery and some cool clothes. None of them knew we planned this party. We cant wait to see their faces in the morning! Waking up to the house full of balloons :)
The next morning, YUP, as we expected, they were cheering and laughing and running around the house in joy once they went downstairs and saw all the deco. As I was preparing the chicken rice, they helped me to spread the chocolate topping on the cake I baked the night before and topped it with a few packs of M&M. 
25% of the M&M went into their mouth but I just pretended that I didnt see a thing.

It is officially begin!

What? The intense blogging to keep up with the changing seasons.

I am glad that autumn 2016 will starts on September 22, so I still have time to complete the whole entry (winter-spring-summer) before the summer ends.

I have submitted my dissertation and finally I have a couple of hours everyday to update on our experience in the UK before we go back to Malaysia soon. I need to do this for my sons. This is the only place they could recall good memories from their childhood.

Stay tune.