25 Jul 2012


Its already 5 days of fasting - time really flies and before we know it, Ramadan will be over and it's already Syawal and Eid. But this year I'm spending all or almost all my Ramadan days in Malacca - so I can easily go over for Taraweeh prayers.
Its a bit lonely though this year because Repin is in KL and I am in Malacca accompanying  my youngest daughter, who has been posted as a houseman at our General Hospital. I wonder about him and worry that he is not eating well and healthily but he says its only for another 9 months. Its the longest 9 months I've ever experienced though.
Yesterday we had a very simple iftar - just rice and some chicken curry and tom yam soup ( a Thai dish). Sarah loved it though. I  went to the Ramadan bazaar hoping to find something delicious to add to our meal but everything looked the same - sweet cakes, fried chicken, grilled fish and all kinds of sweet desserts. I dared not buy anything though because the other day we felt cheated. I had bought some popiah or spring rolls to add to our iftar feast but when it was time to eat them we found that all the vegetables were totally raw! How to eat? We just threw them away and I vowed I would be more careful selecting the food next time I buy at the bazaar.

We didn't get to eat sahur last night! Both Yatie, my maid and I didnt wake up. I don't know why. I was so tired - though I truly didn't do much work - and forgot to put on the alarm. We all woke up at 5.30 am - no time to eat but  did manage a drink of plain water and take my meds. I surely will not forget to put on the alarm next time!

18 Jul 2012

Just thinking

I can't believe that almost half the year is gone - there's only a few more days before we reach Ramadan and then it will be Eidil Fitr. Then the Haj season and before  you know it another year would have passed. So many things have been happening here too in my life that I hardly have time to blog anymore. Of course part of it is just pure laziness... ehem!
First - a few major upheavals in my neighbourhood. Late in December last year my neighbour's house was on fire. It happened in the middle of the night or maybe early morning - around 3.00 am. Part of their kitchen and a store room was destroyed by the fire but what we discovered later was even more horrifying than the fire itself. The fire had been deliberately started by someone our neighbour suspected was another neighbour! The fire inspector who came to investigate said there were signs of a break in and that it looked more like arson than a fire accidentally started by faulty wiring. We were all shocked to the core and quite frightened too. What if someone had died in the fire? Luckily Nadiah, the neighbour's youngest girl was woken up by noises which she thought to be little explosions. It turned out to be the glass of the downstairs storeroom window breaking because of the intense heat. She alerted her family and they all ran out after calling the fire brigade. At that time my maid was also up - she too had heard the sound and on looking out her window saw the neighbour's house on fire.

This brought on a series of security concerns for all of us - I had my house fixed with an auto -gate and an alarm system and for the first few days after the fire, both my maid and I could not sleep peacefully. We woke up many times during the night - the slightest noise and I would sit up in bed wondering. But worse of all, my neighbour, the kindly lady who would pass us some bubur durian or durians or rambutans during the fruit season became ill after the incident. First she had lost her appetite, then she started having nausea and vomiting which she assumed was caused by her loss of appetite and maybe gas in the stomach. She lost quite a bit of weight and concerned by it her family took her to a private hospital for checks. It turned out to be a kind of intestinal cancer. Within a week she was warded at the GH in Malacca but they didn't have a specialist so she was sent to Sungai Buloh instead for the operation. There she was too weak to have an immediate operation so they kept her to strengthen her immune system and enable them to have the operation when she was stronger. Sadly before they could do anything she died - and it happened within 2 weeks of the discovery. One day after her death, another neighbour also succumbed - he was a heavy smoker and was admitted to hospital because of a prolonged cough. While undergoing checks for cancer he had a heart attack and died without even regaining consciousness!  That was on Thursday evening. On Friday morning I had a call from a close friend to tell me that my former CEO, Encik Omar, who had retired in December, had also died of a heart attack/ stroke while waiting to fetch his wife from work! 

Three deaths in one week. It was a bit much. I still miss Kak Rohayah my neighbour who used to send over durians during the durian season. This year in fact I received more durians than before - from her husband.Sometimes while watering the garden I'd remember how we used to exchange gardening tips over the fence and that many of my flowers were  given  by her. She was always so generous - with her flowers and even with her time. Once when I admired her lovely beaded shoes she said she made them herself and that if I liked them she'd make a pair for me. That was more than 5 years ago but I still have them. They are so beautiful I felt loth to wear them for everyday and now they are precious memories of a loving neighbour.

Beautifully sewn beaded shoes made by my neighbor

A month after my neighbour's death a favourite aunt passed away.She was my father's eldest sister in law and had always been kind and patient with me. Then not even a week later, her younger brother also died - making him the last of my relatives on my father's side. They were cousins - in those days cousins often married each other and my uncle had married his cousin. So of my father's relatives, none remains now. His brothers and sister had all died in previous years, with my father one of the first to go  more than 20 years before.

Last week one of my nieces got married and yesterday another niece gave birth to twin boys! Both good news after a spate of bad. Life goes on...

10 Jul 2012

Books galore

Hurray! I finally finished three of my books at last! With Nora Roberts' O 'Hurley's Return I would have finished the ones I ordered from Fishpond.com but I still have at least 5 more waiting. Right now I just started reading The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown .Three sisters - Cordelia, Bianca and Rosalind have come home after years of being away. They each tell themselves that they have returned because of their parents, of which their mother is now down with cancer. But the real reason is that they have come back because they have all failed in life - their careers have floundered and they feel the need to come back and re evaluate themselves and what they wanted from life. I'm not sure I will like this book but the blurp was interesting and it is about relationships.

 Of course nobody writes about relationships as well as Nora Roberts - I did enjoy her books on the Quinn brothers and the Concannon sisters from Ireland (the Born in ... series) I have also just finished reading her latest book on the Inn Boonsboro trilogy - The Last Boyfriend. A warm and pleasurable book for a cool wet day - very pleasant reading. I have always loved the male protagonists in Nora Roberts tales - they are usually good looking though not too handsome, very kind and gentle though present a rugged exterior and are very family oriented men. Hard to find such species in these days of materialism and self centredness. I cant say this of the men only - women too are like that.

These days I seem to have too many books and too little time - there is hardly any time left for blogging. I thought staying in Malacca I'd have plenty of time to read but it seems not. Anyway right now I'm reading - Swift, by RJ Anderson and another book by her is waiting for me - Knife. Both these books are a departure for me - Swift is about a fairy who does not realise she is one and only found out about it accidentally. Living all her life underground with people she thought of as her kin, she only found out about her powers and her ability to change into a bird when she had to escape the very people who had brought her up - the gnomes. She manages to escape but badly injures herself doing it and gets the help of a human girl.