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July 19th, 2013 (02:11 pm)

Yay! Very thankful and happy. Briefly grumpy that I spaced out during the Listening test (would have liked a perfect score), but I quickly realised I was being silly. I am grateful. And I beat 18-year-old me by 1 point. So glad I didn't do worse, now that would have been truly painful! ;)

IELTS Test Results
Candidate Number:
TRF Number:
Overall Result: 9

Listening: 8.5
Reading: 9
Writing: 9
Speaking: 9

Overall: 9

Dancing Flames [userpic]

(no subject)

July 19th, 2013 (01:46 am)

I've been re-reading some of my old blog posts and it almost felt like I was prying into a diary of a stranger...how much has changed since I started this blog nearly 10 years ago. And yet, so much has remained familiar and endured.

S and I were talking the other day about how quickly time seems to pass us by these days, how each year seems to follow the previous one more swiftly than before. He said something interesting...perhaps time feels like it's going by faster because we pay less attention to what goes on around us. As a child, everything is new, fascinating and full of wonder, perhaps we just paid more attention to each occurrence. Now we tend to get so caught up in our 'lives' that we fail to notice and remember, hence when looking back feel cheated of the years that have seemingly passed all too soon.

So, I have returned. Hopefully in years to come, when the wrinkles have appeared and the silver strands outnumber the ebony, I will have at least my written memories to turn to, to assure me that it was not a life entirely wasted, or unremembered.

Dancing Flames [userpic]

(no subject)

June 26th, 2008 (06:48 pm)

hello world.

Dancing Flames [userpic]

when blue and red are just not enough

September 28th, 2007 (11:25 pm)

mustard, orange, ruby, cyan, purple, indigo, aquamarine, emerald, sapphire, fuschia, lavendar, lilac, moss, cream, gold, peach, ivory, silver, scarlet, magenta, black, apricot, white, brass, grey, maroon, lemon, rust, eggplant, horn, corn, garnet, nut, twig, peacock, tan, khaki, tomato, copper, pink, chocolate, mauve, crimson, peridot, ebony, olive

Dancing Flames [userpic]

The Velveteen Rabbit

September 7th, 2007 (07:48 pm)

From "The Velveteen Rabbit" by Margery Williams

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

Dancing Flames [userpic]

The countdown has begun!! Yippee!

April 20th, 2007 (01:37 pm)

After months of scouting around, I was finally frightened into booking my tickets today when one of the travel agent said that there were only 6 seats left on the date we picked! Once the booking was done, I also thought I'd try my hand at making a countdown clock too for the fun of it. Even though that shade of is not one of my favourites, I can see just how many days I have to gooooo! I also decided to skip the ticking seconds cos that just made me incredibly stressed *grins*

I have yet to apply for my three week leave officially, but Nelson has told me to go ahead and get my tickets and he'll manage the rest for me, big yay for a cool boss!
The return ticket costs about RM2,223 (inclusive of tax, but may vary slightly on the day i actually purchase the ticket according to the exchange rate at that time).

I've opted to fly Quantas via Changi, Singapore as that seems to work out best in terms of price and travel time.

Leaving : 24 July 2007 - 7.50pm flight, arriving at Sydney at 5.10am
Returning: 15 August 2007 - 3.50pm flight, arriving in Singapore at 9.45pm

There is also the option of buying a one month travel insurance cover for an additional RM115 - I have not decided yet about this one, but according to the website ( http://www.msig-asia.com/PerInsurance/Travel.shtml ), it includes :

Extensive Personal Accident Cover
Attractive Medical Benefits
Loss of and/or Delay of Baggage Cover
Trip Cancellation and Curtailment Cover
Missed Travel Connection Cover
Hospital Benefits
Loss of Personal Money Cover
Personal Liability
Delayed and Missed Departure
Loss of Passport
Rental Vehicle Excess Cover
Additional Costs of Rental Car Return
24-Hour Worldwide Travel and Medical Assistance Services
Automatic Cover Extension for Period of Journey

I've also made a tentative list of places and things to do in Sydney, but this depends on how much money we have to spend, what we both are interested in, as well as how much we can fit into three weeks after juggling Sudheesh's work and cuddle-muddle time *grins*

On the list so far are the typical touristy things - Aquarium, Sydney & Bondi tour, Harbour cruise, Pylon lookout, Taronga Zoo, Opera House, The Rocks, Blue Mountains, coastal walks between Bronte and Bondi, Paddington Market, Darling Harbour, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kings Cross, Sky Safari, museums, Centrepoint tower, plus a whole load of other more off beat things i'm still trying to unearth...

To be perfectly honest, I'm still finding it hard to believe that amma has actually allowed the trip without too much fuss...Considering she has vehemently opposed every single weekend getaway in the past, I was completely floored when she agreed to my three weeks in Sydney. I expected to have to cajole/plead/negotiate/fight tooth and nail to go!

Part of me is still so nervous that she is under some strange spell that I feel I should hurry up and buy the ticket before the spell breaks :D

I can't wait to see him and feel his fingers laced thru mine *hops, skips and prances around the room madly*

Dancing Flames [userpic]

(Mis)adventures in Johor (The Star/Comment, 15 Jan 07)

February 3rd, 2007 (01:03 pm)

(Mis)adventures in Johor


Trapped for almost three days after narrowly avoiding dangers. 

I USED to be cynical hearing stories of people hoarding supplies to get through difficult times. 

But after spending close to three days stranded in Bandar Tenggara, one of the worst hit flood areas in Johor, I now understand how easy it is for even the sanest of people to turn into a panic stricken “Hoardzilla.” 

Many a time, I fought the urge to grab bottles of mineral water from shops, especially after water supply was disrupted when the floodwaters washed away part of a road linking Bandar Tenggara with Kluang. 

Our (mis)adventures began when photographer Kenneth Wong and I were sent to Kota Tinggi on Friday to see how the local folks were coping with the floods. 

After sending our stories, we quickly drove back along Jalan Kota Tinggi as water levels rose rapidly. But our journey came to a halt after the Kulai junction; a major landslide had completely blocked the way. 

It would take at least five to six hours to clear the debris, so we decided to use the route we came – cutting across Kluang before turning around to Johor Baru via the North- South Expressway. No other alternative roads were available as even Sg Sayong in Kulai had overflowed. 

After driving more than 100km along the pothole-riddled trunk road in heavy rain and crossing into the Kluang border, we found ourselves stuck again. Floodwaters at Felda Ulu Penggeli had risen dangerously. 

By then, it was impossible to turn back to Kota Tinggi as another landslide had cut off access in Lenggiu, the road we had passed just a while ago. We were trapped! 

Dancing Flames [userpic]


January 28th, 2007 (07:21 pm)

Last night I was at Jusco Tebrau City mall, buying some coloured glass candle holders when I struck up a conversation with the Chinese sales boy in Malay as he packed up my goods.

He was young, his hair artfully spiked up with gel, and dressed casually in a tee and pants - just like every other teen around. I'm a regular at that shop, but his face was new, so my curiosity got the better of me.

He said that he had joined just about a month ago while awaiting the results of his Form Five examinations.

When I asked him if he planned to continue studying after that, he nodded his head and then said he wanted to study in Singapore.

"Mass comm," he volunteered after a brief pause.

"Mass comm?? I did that too," I exclaimed with the happy surprise of having found someone with similar interests.

He nodded his head with a slight grin before sharing he wanted to be an "artiste, like someone who acts in drama serials."

At that point, I started scratching my head confusedly. As far as I remember, my degree was endless essays and the occasional radio or tv production unit. Nothing that taught me how to become a tv serial artiste, save the Acting unit I took as an elective in my last semester.

His eyes widened in surprise when I told him that. He took a moment to digest the information and then said he would check thoroughly before enrolling into a university programme.

Seconds later I stood silently and was happily wondering to myself if I had in someway helped avert a career mistake, when he rung up my purchases on the cash register.

After a few moments, he turned around, held out my bag to me and said "Nandri" (thank you in Tamil) hesitantly with a shy smile.

I immediately burst into a huge happy grin.

"Nandri is correct, right," he asked timidly.

Even though in my mother tongue, thank you is said as "nanni", I was more than delighted to agree wholeheartedly with him just because he took the effort to say something in an Indian language.

"My friends used to teach me a little bit of Tamil while I was in school, but I have forgotten a lot of it now," he said softly.

As I took my bag of coloured glass candle holders from him, I grinned and said "xie-xie" to him, which means "thank you" in Mandrin.

His whole face lit up with obvious joy as he bowed slightly and replied with "xie-xie ni" in return.

I walked out of the shop with my bags, thrilled at our little encounter as he smilingly gave me a friendly wave.

As I headed to my car, I reflected that our brief exchange for a few minutes was really the essence of multiculturalism.

Albeit with limited proficiency, both of us had taken the trouble to learn, respect and use each other's language without discrimination or prejudice, which to me is one of the highest forms of acceptance.

After listening to the many hypocritical speeches made by politicians extolling the virtues of our supposedly tolerant and multicultural society, while blatantly formulating policies that strove to divide the races more than unite it, I had become unhappily cynical and bitter in the last year and a half.

The little conversation I shared with 18-year old Alvin last night gave me a flicker of hope that perhaps Malaysia could still be all that it was meant to be - given the right chance.

Xie-xie, Alvin. You made my day! :)

Dancing Flames [userpic]

Sudheesh's PhD & turning 25 :)

January 24th, 2007 (08:08 pm)

So much has been happening in the last 1.5months that I barely know where to begin!

But the best and most important piece of news first - We just got word today that Sudheesh got his full scholarship to pursue his PhD in Macquarie University, Sydney! Yippee!! This means he will be away for the next 3.5 years and that we are back to mega long distance relationships, but we are determined to manage somehow! I'm uberrrr proud of him *grins*

We had been wondering over it for weeks now and this morning, he was checking his mail while I was half asleep in bed. I remember hearing the computer being turned on and the next thing I can remember is him saying softly, "Sayang, I got it". Hehehe, I don't think I have ever gotten out of sleep or my bed so quickly before!

I don't think he has had a chance to properly digest the news yet tho...poor kuttan has been down with a terrible case of viral fever since last night. its strange to see him laid up in bed...i miss his cheeky smile:( but yayyyy for the PhD scholarship! :)

I also turned 25 two days ago.

It was strange not having dad with me, after sharing our birthdays for 23 years. It very quiet with just Sudheesh coming down to spend a few days with grandma, amma and me. All the years that Achan and I celebrated our birthdays together, we almost always had our traditional birthday lunch sitting next to each other with both squeezed at the head of the table. I could not face the thought of sitting down to lunch alone, so I brought Mandodari, the stuffed cat he bought me when I was a child, to lunch as well.

Mandodari was one of my favouritest toys as a child and I remember carrying her to bed with me for many years.

Sudheesh managed to make her crouch on the chair to my right where he usually sits, and there she remained through the entire lunch, with her eyes on my food and her front two paws on the table. It brought smiles to my grandma and mom and we all felt like we managed to include, remember and honour dad in our own little way.

Generous family meant I picked up a nice loot too *grins* Money, gold, a brand new handphone and lovely birthday cards. Phonecalls and smses too :)

I will save my stories on the floods for another day.

Today, I will just spend my time sponging him down and getting used to the idea that my love will be leaving in less than a month.

I will miss him.

Dancing Flames [userpic]

My Xmas Stocking -Caught it from Sudheesh *grins*

December 23rd, 2006 (07:57 am)

my xmas stockingCollapse )

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