Sunday, 28 June 2009

How I spent the Winter Vacation 2008


By end of December, the weather was pretty much wintry and windy in Durham. 2-4 deg celcius weather with strong winds were very usual.
This time around I received 2 visits: 1. visit from Tok Lang and Tok Pa, and 2. Visit from Firdaus and Ana.

Visit from Tok Lang and Tok Pa

I have a grand aunt and grand uncle living in Hackney, London who regularly drive up to Durham. They are permanent residents of UK. Anyway, they often come to Durham because their second son, Epi lives in Durham! Epi (atau nama sebenarnya Lutfi ) is a medical practitioner here at North Durham University Hospital. Epi lives in Sedgefield with wife Ezlin (I call her Kak Lin, who is also a doctor) and their daughter little Maryam (my cutest cousin, age two years!). Seronok sgat bile berjumpe, felt very much like home..:)

During the Christmas week, I spent most of my time in Sedgefield, played with little Maryam, and the best thing was we ate turkey on Boxing Day! (I told Sayang about the turkey meal and he said wah macam celebrate Xmas plak hehe). But indeed it was a real family gathering, and Tok Pa's special turkey was indeed Super Fulfilling! Syukur dengan nikmat Allah:). Sayang and Tok Pa dua2 minat Arsenal hheehe so bile krm salam through phone tu siap berpesan may Arsenal win hehehe.Twas fun...Thank you all for being there for me. Hilang sedikit rasa rindu pada yg teristimewa..ahaks.

Visit from Firdaus an
d Ana

By Dec 28, Firdaus (Sayang's best friend ever) and wife Ana arrived Durham. They've been travelling around; from Paris, Milan then London.And finally Durham.

On the same day Epi and Kak Lin took me to their friend's place in Newcastle for dinner and sent me home only 2hours before the couple arrived!! Sempat masak nasi tomato dan lauk ayam hhehehe...seronok jadi host ni...hehe..adala teman berbual kalau x duduk sorang2 kat rumah la jwbnya.

I just recovered from flu; alhamdulillah dh smakin sihat. So berjalan2 dgn Firdaus and Ana. They rented a car so we were very much mobile throughout their visit. 1st day bawa g York Designer Outlet and my gosh, they both (Ana especially) enjoyed shopping very much!!! Kita ikut je..hehe. 2nd day shopping kat Durham city pula. Unfortunately Magrib masuk by 4pm during winter so sightseeing activity was pretty much limited because daytime was sooo short, cuma 8.30am-4pm sahaja. So rushed jugala ke sana ke mari. Took them solat kat Masjid Durham di Old Elvet. Hehehe..1st day kita masak kari daging makan dgn roti nan as our bekal makanan dekat York, dan second day tu makan fish n chips kat Durham city. The night before they left Firdaus masak spageti hehehe. Best jugala kan..hhe.

The last day was sad...dah nak balik tetamuku. Anyway thanks for cheering me up, and thanks for taking me around as well! Don't mind at all jadi tour guide, lagi seronok adala..great escapism from research...haha:D..tapi ada sedikit rasa jealous sebab diaorg dh nk blk Msia. Kan seronok kalau saya dapat ikut..huhuhu.

Rindu mendatang..sabar2...uhuhuhu..

Welcome Induction= Amazing Race


Reminiscing the occurrence of 6 months ago brings a smile across my face. I had few friends, and guessed what prompted my social interaction? THE AMAZING RACE. One Malaysian student in Durham organised the know who kan:)

The Invitation
"Ko nak main game amazing race x?"one of the contestants of TAR asked.
"Ok boleh" I replied.

As simple as that. The game was tiring but fun. Sampai lenguh2 kaki berlari2 cari klu serata Durham city.But I got the chance to meet with some amazing, warm, friendly people of Bowburn. My social circle began to expand..from TAR (I didn't win though) I get the chance to know 5 Bruneians: Arni, Zatul, Zeah, Huda and Kam and 4 Malaysians: Yusran, Dija, Lutfi and Mahadi. Seronok sangat hr tu. Team yg menang ialah zatul-arni. Seronok btul tgok dorg wpon aku kalah hehe siap dapat tempat terakhir xpe, I gained so much than just winning the game; dapat kawan2 yg sgt best hehehe..trm kasih dtg rumah aku n made me feel part of the gang lah..hehe..



Saturday, 27 June 2009

Alone and Away (but not lonely)


Alhamdulillah for all the rizqi and barakah Allah has given upon all of us.

Winter Sonata

Since last November, I have been working on my literature review for my Phd thesis. I have been very busy throughout the winter season 2008. My time has been predominantly occupied by writing activities. I have been writing a lot. I put aside all the perasaan rindu, sedih and sunyi. Focus, and stay focus, that's what I have been telling myself. Jangan malas, usaha pasti membuahkan hasil biidznillah. Dengan izin Allah, pasti akan berjaya, tapi kalau putus asa atau putus usaha, tak akan dapat apa2.

Anyway, Professor Thomas Allen, my supervisor has been very supportive; he has been giving positive feedback on my research and suggesting some useful materials for the literature review process. ..and since then I have been struggling a lot too. Managing my thesis, constructing the research framework, excetera excetera.Alhmdulillah so far so good. Thanks to my loved ones for the du'a...

Still, I tend to be sad and emotional at times. I miss my husband, my family, and I miss being in Malaysia.

When hubby left for Malaysia after my registration in Durham, I was devastated for a while. The first week without him was excruciatingly painful. Living alone in a 3-bedroom house, I just had to keep myself busy by attending endless research training courses, short seminars and working in the library almost every day. I go to the library kadang-kadang hanya nak siapkan task yg amat mudah, yg kiranya kalau buat kat rumah pon bolehlah. Contohnya nak type satu paragraph pun pegi library haahhaa..tapi sebenarnya amat rindukan insan yg teristimewa itu. Wherever I go, whatever I do I always think of him. Sedih sangat. Bila la nk jumpa lg..rindunya nak balik Malaysia. So pegi library tu ada tujuan serampang dua mata: Satu sebab nk concentrate buat kerja, dan satu lagi sebab nak kurangkan rasa rindu pd org tuuu. Hahaha.

But I am lucky; Shila, Maz and Bisha have been lending their ears a lot. We always chat through YM. Syukur kepada Allah sebab mengurniakan rakan2 sejati, ikhlas dan memahami situasi diri ini..they regularly ask me how am I doing, how has it been with my research , how am I coping with life etc. We share a lot with each other. Maz di Southampton, Shila di Jordan and Bisha pulak di Newcastle. Luckily I have them. Thanks to the three of you!!

FACT: Studying abroad and being away from loved ones is not easy.


I first realized this a couple of years back when I came for LLM. LLM is course-work based, hence having to attend classes 5-6 hours a week and to participate in seminars once a fortnight has kept me and classmates busy throughout the term. Being single and living in university accommodation with 5 housemates to a dorm, we regularly attend events organized by the graduate community room of the college. Seronok juga aktiviti Ustinov College; "macam2 ada". Greek dance la (tapi takla ikut menari, sekadar ambil gmbar dan beramah-mesra sebelum upacara 'minum-minum alkohol' .Bila alcohol beverages dituang apalagi terus naik dorm, tak nak join le), cultural day, Ramadhan celebration, etc. Mcam2 acara ada dekat Ustinov College..macam cogankata Astro pulak. hahaha..macam-macammmmada..keh keh..
I realize that being away from family was not easy but thanks to the considerable amount of human interaction and colorful events around the school and college, I was able to 'function' mentally and emotionally as student and person. A balanced lifestyle is the essence of success, insya-Allah. Alhamdulillah I passed the LLM and I went back to USIM to teach for a year. Teaching and nurturing has been a wonderful experience. Syukur kepada Allah.


After teaching Tamhidi (this is USIM term for matriculation program) for law students for a year, I came back. I am back in Durham! This time I enrolled into Phd program. I rent a private home in Bowburn so that it will be convenient when family/friends come for a visit/vacation; hubby plans to come and visit me once every 6 months; sisters will come every three months. So that’s the purpose of renting a relatively huge space for one person: me. Staying in college can be fun but restricted space-wise and privacy-wise. Dan klau family dtg susah sebab ruang kecik. Sewa lebih kurang je dgan rumah, cuma rumah lg besar spacenya, jd sewa rumah lebih berbaloi dr sewa bilik kat College.

I am happy with this new home. If only hubby is here….ooh hush hush my wishful thinking…
I enjoy researching; but the research-based nature of Phd worsens my internal self; writing law has a lot to do with reading and analysing facts, legal provision and case law. Well, the list goes on…the point though is that research throughout term without classes at all does limit social activities. I put effort to attend social meetings and to schedule meeting with friends even to sit down for a cup of coffee. Friends are all on the same boat and they understand my situation, and I understand theirs. The least we could do for others is to listen and lend ears...and I got that. I have best listeners all around me. I have Shila, Maz and Bisha. Dayana and Tamadoor, my Durham uni friends have been very understanding. Thank you for your kindness and may Allah reward you.'Thank you'' wish is hardly an adequate compensation to your kindness and willingness to spend time chatting with me. I move on with life because of your word of wisdom and you listening to my heart, and we must thank Allah for giving us the chance to meet and befriend in this temporary world.

So, I may be alone, and away from loved ones, but insya-Allah with the motivation I have, the friends around me and the daily du'a that I make, I am not lonely....(tapi mesti make a point to meet people, have a balanced lifestyle, and do good deed to others). Hush hush loneliness!!



Once...and None?

The discovery of one friend of this blog has made me realized how lazy a blogger I have been.

The precious discovery took place last night, where a friend googled me and said "What???Kau ada blog??? "
Ahahaha..Yes I do.

But the problem is, I have NOT been able to make time for it. I created a space but never update it; blogging at the moment has a status of 'little to none' rather than a regular thing.

Hope I didn't fall into 'none' status after my Nov entry.
I will start blogging...soon:)