25 Apr 2011


The wedding is over now and things are back to normal. Mulan my cat is convalescing - after her operation. Do cats take time to recuperate from operations? As I see it Mulan is swishing her way everywhere, as if that scar on her tummy is not there at all, but I worry, in case she overdoes it. I try to keep an eye out for her, to stop her if she attempts to jump on to the sink (her favourite place to sleep) or on to the window sill. I worry that her stitches will burst open. That did happen to one of my cats ( I think it was Moshu) who had to go back to the Animal Hospital and be warded and re-stitched! WE told the doctor to keep her at the hospital until she could be safely let out and roam again. Mulan looks to be just as active, though yesterday she was fairly quiet.
Among other things, I'm back to my reading (YES!) and I'm glad to say I've finished reading Nora Roberts' romantic thriller The Search and am now reading another of her books - Chasing Fire. I've always enjoyed Nora Roberts and these are just as good as her other books. In  The Search, we have a spunky heroine, Fiona Bristow, who was once the victim of a serial killer; the only difference is that Fiona managed to get away while his other victims didn't. At that time Fiona was still a university student. Eight years later Fiona is a successful dog trainer and also a member of a dog rescue team, based on an island in the Puget Sound, off the coast of Washington State. Although she would never forget the trauma of being kidnapped, tied and gagged in the trunk of a car and with the knowledge that the man was a serial killer who had already killed 12 young women - all just like her- Fiona believes that she has control of her life and the past is well behind her. She reckons without the coming of Simon Doyle, a successful wood artist who creates gorgeous furniture out of wood. Simon wants to send his dog for obedience training and thus the two meet. From the first meeting sparks seem to fly - and Simon, who is used to more beautiful women than Fiona, wonders why he is attracted to her.

Fiona on her part is drawn to the kindness she sees in him and his quiet strength. But then something else comes into the picture - a serial killer who is killing athletic  young women is again on the loose and his methods were exactly like the man who had once kidnapped Fiona, the man they called the "Red Scarf killer " or RSK2. Is he Perry, the original killer, now let loose or a copy cat? And he is coming nearer and nearer to where Fiona is. And his method is exactly the same - and Fiona is again attacked by her nightmares.

I've always loved Nora Roberts' writing style - her descriptions are detailed and alive and her characters real. Her love scenes are usually very passionate without going over board. A really wonderful read, one that you simply cannot put down. I'd give this a 4 star rating - there are still other books that deserve that 5 star.

I'll keep the review of Chasing Fire for next time. I'm still reading it and also three others:
  • Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell
  • Water For Elephants  by Sara Gruen 
  • Thirteen Reasons Why  by Jay Asher
I got them at 30% discount from Borders yesterday!

13 Apr 2011

More wedding photos

After taking the vows, the bride kisses her new husband's hands

Group family photo

The couple with both sets of parents
 And now for the Malacca wedding! After this - one week of rest for me while they go honeymooning.

12 Apr 2011

Wan's wedding

Well, the main ceremony is over or should I say the main ceremonies, since there were two. But the most important, which is the nikah ceremony (taking the vows) went well.  It was held at Emma's house after the Friday prayers and my family assembled at my apartment in Melati before we all drove there in a convoy. We had to take with us all the "hantaran" or the gifts to be presented to the bride. These were: the money in the form of a banker's cheque (11,111); the mas kahwin or dowry which is according to Muslim law and the state the bride resides in (in this case KL which is RM300); the groom's gifts to the bride - a pair of shoes, a handbag,  a set of perfume and body lotion, jewellery and prayer clothes. These are optional and it is up to the groom to give them or not and up to the bride's family to ask for them or not. Normally these gifts would be presented creatively - beautifully designed and arranged so that they look like flowers, birds or some such thing.

The "mas kahwin" or bride money

When we arrived at Emma's house we were really surprised - they had put up tents and decorated the house. Everything looked beautiful. They even had a pelamin or bridal dais! Normally, among the Malays, the nikah ceremony is the most simple. We usually have it either at the masjid (mosque) or at the bride's house. This is performed by the local kadhi (priest). The vows are first vocalised by the groom  and the words are quite similar to the Christian version of it - the priest asks the groom - "Do you .... take .... as your lawful wedded wife with the bride price of ( certain amount of money is mentioned)" The groom has to answer in one breath - the whole phrase, without stuttering or repeating his lines. If he cannot say it in one breath, he has to repeat it until he can say it in one go without stumbling over the words.

Wan had to repeat the vows at least three times! The first time he got it correct but he forgot to mention the mas kahwin so he had to do it again until he could say it correctly. We had a laugh over it because he thought he wouldnt have to repeat.
I think the pictures below tell their own story.

The perfume set

Wan presenting the mas kahwin to Emma
The bridal dais

Emma, looking beautiful in her wedding finery

The prayer dress is arranged in the shape of a flower

Emma, looking beautiful

The jewellery set is put in here

Emma putting on Wan's ring

4 Apr 2011

Busy days

So many things pass through my mind these days. At night I lie awake, thinking of the numerous other things done or not done. First there's work - my classes have not ended. I still have a week of classes to go through and next week is the wedding already! When I think of it I get cold feet and start to wonder about all the things that can go wrong. There's our unpredictable weather for one thing - hope it stays fine on that day. Then I worry about the food - this is a new caterer so we're not sure. Of course we have gone for a food tasting and I've seen first hand his other functions - they seem well organised. So I guess I shouldn't worry? Then my class - I've got to finish all my marks by this Wednesday and send them to the department and fill in the required forms. Thinking of that my students all want to come down to Malacca for the wedding. Where can I put them up or should I let them worry about that themselves?

I've not yet met the kompang boys so haven't told them the schedule for the bersanding ceremony. Prior to the wedding we are also having a small gathering for my brothers and sisters and other close relatives - a kind of special prayer gathering. Last weekend we hung up the new curtains and I realised I didn't like the colour - they were too purple! OMG did I choose the wrong colour? The ones in the bedroom were okay because we had a lot of white but in the living room they looked a bit too much. Sigh...  Maybe I should have stuck to neutral colours. I just hope that once we have set up the pelamin everything will turn out okay.

Then there's my kitten, Mulan. Right now she's already on heat (is that correct?). Busy with the wedding I forgot to take her to the vet last week for her spaying operation. Just made the appointment today - I'll have to take her on Thursday. She's quite aggressively passionate about wanting to mate - she was howling away the whole weekend! Poor thing ! She only stopped howling yesterday but I think the loud miawing has tired her out and now she only wants to sleep. Today she didn't even take her food - just a few licks of the wet food. Every time I pick her up to cuddle her she stiffens up and refuses to cuddle. Just hope she'll be okay by next week.