Friday, 28 December 2007

Christmas in paradise

Forget Odysseus' epic journey back from the battlefields of Troy, our journey from Langkawi to Koh Lipe was was far more hideous. Admittedly the early start wake up call was not a great start, but our hour ferry to the Thai mainland took a little longer than an hour and we were able to watch the whole of the Bourne Ultimatum in Thai. Once there we were told we couldn't get a ferry from there to Lipe but would need to get a taxi to Pakbara. Not a problem you would think, unless you had a driver who was refused to admit that he was lost and drove in perpetual circles while pretending to be finding us an atm. Happily we just boarded the next ferry to Lipe - a 2-hour trip and we would be there. Four and a half hours later squished together with fruit, plants, miscellaneous nik-naks and of course lots of other travellers we finally sighted our destination. Hoorah! Limping up the beach we checked into our huts and collapsed for a beer. After explaining our 12 hour journey the barman he collapsed in hysterics and informed us that there was now immigration on Lipe and we could have done the journey in an hour! Hmmmm not impressed.
However, the journey was well worth it. Our beach on Lipe has to be one of the most gorgeous I have visited. White sand, sun and Singha - what a way to spend Christmas. Of course we were also surrounded by national park so were able to enjoy snorkelling in crystal clear waters and relaxing on uninhabitied islands. I think this won't be my last visit to Lipe. Highly recommmended.

Langkawi Life

Helen and Kate arrived as soon as school ended and we caught up with Tom and Emma in Langkawi. I clearly should have asked our resort to warn all the bars and restaurants that we were arriving as disaster struck on the first night! The first bar ran out of Corona, the second ran out of wine, and the third ran out of vodka and gin. They clearly weren't prepared for the Sharman invasion. Needless to say we were a tad shocked.
The Beach Garden Resort was everything we could have wanted. Fantastic (included) breakfast, cute rooms and comfy, shaded loungers with a great view of the beach. Our time was spent reading, swimming, swimming and reading with the occasional stop for yet another plate of chicken satay and a leisurely wander down the beach. Not a bad way to unwind after a long term.
We did manage to venture from our beach one day and hired a car to take us round the island. We admired the view from the top of the highest peak, avoided the monkeys lining the road and enjoyed the virtually deserted beach at Tanjung Rhu.

Of course we also sampled as many delicious dishes as we could manage. Gorgeous fish, tasty curries and of course a fabulous meal at The Lighthouse.

Strangely our evenings seemed to gravitate towards Little Leilas, an entertaining beach bar. I'm not sure whether to believe the garbage that came out of Mr G's (our host) mouth but he was very interesting company, although I won't be taking up his offer of starting a school out the back of the bar. The bar staff were in varying states of inebriation, unable to remember orders or indeed successfully clear a table without all the empties falling on the sand. When we asked if they had vodka and lime one particularly sozzled guy plonked himself down besides us, announced "Don't ask me, I'm too f***ing wasted" then rested his head on the table and had a quick kip. The live music was also slightly suspect. The french busker approached our table and asked for a request. Anything by Jack Johnson was our reply. What came out of his mouth was unrecognisable, a low growl of unpronounced lyrics and confused guitar playing. We had some difficulty keeping a straight face - it has to be the longest 2 minutes ever!
After nearly a week of relaxation the Sharmans headed off to Lipe - but that is another story. And Tom and Emma headed to the Cameron Highlands where the very romantic Tom popped the question. Congratulations guys!

Thursday, 13 December 2007


For a local shopping trip my nearest mall is the appropriately named MegaMall, which leaves you in no doubt as to the scale of it. It is a prime example of riduculous town planning which allowed it to be constructed in the middle of a spaghetti junction-esque merging of main routes around the city. So not only does this roundabout have to cope with traffic in and out of the mall but also any traffic to and from all surrounding areas. The jams here strike fear in the heart of even the most muscled clutch-controller.

Once you have negotiated the snarled up traffic you then need to find somewhere to park. On Tuesday this took 45 minutes. The cars crawled around the airless underground carpark, beeping, revving and cutting each other up. In the middle of a total sense of humour failure I headed towards an exit (who needs christmas presents anyway?) when I spotted a space under some pipes and squeezed the beast in. Admittedly it wasn't an official carparking space but beggars can't valet park.

Our shopping list was brief:
Christmas candy for the kids
Jusco vouchers for our TA's and cleaners
A get well pressie for the poorly Ed

In and out in half an hour? Not a hope.

The book store lady headed off to find the book we were looking for only to disappear into the ether. The CD shop had a great collection of Malay classics but not the album we wanted. A wealthy customer had just purchased the last 10,000 rm of Jusco vouchers. The usually slow malay walk had deteriorated into a slither and I was not finding any of it amusing.

Finally, with rumbling belly, parched mouth and a pounding head we managed to make our escape a mere three hours later. No wonder this place has been dubbed Megahell.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

He's behind you!

13 years after my acting debut as an ugly sister in Cinderella it was time to tread the boards again this weekend. This time I was a woodland creature (I still haven't worked out which one yet) in Little Red Riding Hood. It was our task to lead Prince Rupert out of the forest and back to his beloved Rosie. Unfortunately this involved dancing to You've Got a Friend in Me and scurrying about rodent like. The kids found it funny though - and have to admit it was a laugh.

Back in Bangers

I have no idea where the last week has gone but I just haven't got round to posting - a busy little bee I have been.

Last weekend I headed back to Bangkok to see the guys. After a ridiculous time spent being delayed I was finally able to fall into the Bulls Head and play catch up - which I did with suitable style.

It was great to see everybody and I have to admit I feel a little homesick for the old stomping ground. But don't worry I'll be back to see you all again soon. Thanks for having me : )

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Walk like an Egyptian

Kay'patra and Sharmanraman

And another dress up day! Today I was Sharmanraman, high priestess at the Temple of Osiris and the chief embalmer of both Upper and Lower Egypt. Our apprentice embalmers were accorded the great honour of preparing the royal pet of Rameses II, Bubbles the fish, for his journey through the underworld to the afterlife.

It was particularly gruesome and disgusting as my assistant Mr Gaskillkhamun slit poor Bubbles down the side and removed his internal organs so the children could place them in the canopic jars. There was lots of screaming, screeching and hiding behind hands. A few fingers pinching noses too. However, bubbles has been successfully mummified, placed in his sarcophagus and entombed at a secret location (so graverobbers won't find it).

Fabulous day! (yes there is a video!)

Monday, 26 November 2007

I've found my horn!

I am now truly a local. Instead of being frustrated by the suspect driving seen everyday on the roads of Kuala Lumpur I have decided to go with the flow. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

I am particularly enjoying the frequent, and very satisfying, blasts on my horn. With varying degrees of length it can mean; hey I'm here, get out of my way, yes I am going that way and what the hell do you think you are doing?

I also now just change lane at will without feeling the need to indicate in any way. I push my way into whichever lane I want -Hey afterall I am very big in my beast, and he's old and tough. And of course I change my mind about the direction I wish to take whenever I feel like it.

I know some of you will be shocked, but to be honest, it is a necessary response to the driving conditions here. The road signs are random at best, the roads loop round and round - aided by u-turn after u-turn, and the muppets on the road clearly learnt to drive at the demolition derby. Let's see if I can make it through two years here in one piece!

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Sad Singleton

I had a horribly stereotypical sad singleton saturday night last night! Pizza, wine and a Bridget Jones double bill. Lordy! I really am going to be found weeks after my death being eaten by the geckos that share my apartment. Come on Mr Darcy where are you?

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Long Live the Queen!

My Thai experience has left me under the misconception that royal families are revered and that criticism not tolerated. Neither should they be part of any joke or be ridiculed in any way. A fact that a Swiss tourist soon realised after he was sentenced to 7 years in jail for defacing a picture of the King.

Imagine my surprise then when listening to the radio on my drive to work I heard Shaz and Will, possibly the worst radio djs in the world, taking the piss out of The Queen. I am no royalist but I was shocked to hear Will mimicing Her Royal Highness, alluding to her sex life and marriage to Philip. Perhaps if there had been anything even remotely clever or witty about their skit then I might have found it funny, however, I don't think these two have it in them.

Please don't think I am condoning the restrictions on freedom of speech in Thailand as I am not. I was just astonished how I reacted to a silly bit of bad radio! What has happened to me? Have I been brainwashed?

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Half Term Part Deux

I am particularly pleased with how the holidays have fallen this term - instead of 1 week of half term in the middle we have had two 5 day breaks - fabulous! For this trip Sue and I headed off to Kuching and while the rest of the trip might not have been as side-splitting as the Cat museum we really enjoyed all that was on offer.

Kuching itself is really laid back and a great place just to wander round. The shopping is fantastic and the restaurants divine. We very much enjoyed the special offer wine and the beers that were sent over by the friendly locals.

Up bright and early the first day we headed to the orangutan rehabilitation centre and we weren't disappointed. We saw four orangutans - two adults, a young one and a gorgeous little baby. There were lots of ooohs and aaaahs and it was fab to watch them swing through the trees.

We also headed out to the beautiful Bako National Park. After a slightly damp boat ride we waded onto the beach to be met immediately by some cheeky Macaques and some rather large wild pigs. Although hot work it was great to walk along the trails and we were very excited to see proboscis monkeys. Not very pretty but there is certainly something very endearing about them.
I'm thinking that a return trip to Sarawak is certainly in order. Let's see what else they have to offer.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

The Crazy World of the Kuching Cat Museum

I am pretty sure I have NEVER laughed so much in my life as I did in the Kuching Cat Museum. From the minute we walked through the open jaws of a giant cat face that marked the entrance we were giggling but the further we got into the 'museum' the louder our laughs became. Soon we were clutching our stomachs, shoulders shaking and tears running down our faces. The disapproving looks from the attendant doing nothing to calm us down.

Although Kuching means cat opening a museum about them surely is one step too far. There were stuffed cats, photos of cats dressed up, cat trivia and even pet food on display. I was particularly impressed to see the Guiness Book of Records certificate giving the museum the honour of being the first Cat museum! I'm hoping one is enough and I doubt any other cat museum would be a patch on the one in Kuching. To whoever came up with the concept thankyou for a most entertaining half hour.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Deepavali Dress Up!

Yet another excuse to dress up - hoorah! Like the good little teacher I donned my punjabi suit for Deepavali dress up today.

All dressed up and nowhere to go? Not us! We headed off to Passage to India to eat delicious indian food off banana leaves. Mmmmmm.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Terry Fox Run

Me and Louise sporting the Terry Fox t-shirt

Bright and early this morning we joined the crowds heading to the Lake Gardens for the Terry Fox run for cancer research. The difficult bit was not the 5 km run, but actually navigating our way to the event. 25 minutes after leaving our apartment I realised that I had been directed in a huge circle and we were going to have to start again - clearly Jane has never seen a road map and the randomness of the road signs here didn't help Taras navigating.

Finally we made it and caught the tail end of the crowds of runners, walkers, roller bladers and cyclists. It was a lovely route and great to see so many people out. The monkeys were a bit bemused though!

Friday, 2 November 2007

Amazing Asia

Amazing Asia was the title of our activity week this week. Each year group took a different country in Asia and organised activities to do with it. Needless to say Year 4 took Thailand and our incredibly creative parents turned our shared area into Thailand complete with temple, beach and kickboxing arena!
Foolishly I said I would teach a bit of Thai dancing. Therefore, using you-tube as a teaching aid, the dancing could be described as 'experimental'. However, by the end of the week I had perfected the Loy Krathong dance and Sam's class were actually looking quite proficient!

The highlight of the week has to have been visiting each year groups shared area. We have been to China, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia and India. My favourite was Japan where the kids got to make origami and take turns singing karaoke! Poor little munchkins soon had to relinquish control of the mic so Miss Ali could belt out Gloria Gaynor and a bit of Brittany - they weren't impressed - but I had a ball!

We tasted delicious delicacies from all round asia, sang songs and participated in the chopstick challenge. We made origami cranes, vietnamese hats, chinese horoscope bookmarks and clay buddhas (which unfortunately looked more like BFG's).

The week was rounded off with a parade with all the classes in costume and performing either a dance or a song from their country. It was quite a spectacle! I particularly enjoyed the Air Asia uniforms worn by the specialist teachers - although I have to admit our Thai fishermen pants and yellow 'I love the King' teachers were particularly comfy.
I have to admit though it was terribly exhausting having so much fun! But I really appreciated the fizzy wine that was put on in the staffroom to thank us for all our hard work - but whoever decided that bringing the karaoke machine into the staffroom surely soon regretted it!

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Dancing the night away

This weekend Global Gathering came to Malaysia and we piled on down to Melaka ready to dance the night away. But there was not a tent in sight. Camping? Never! For us there was a bungalow with pool, and of course a fridge ready to be filled with alcohol and munchies. By 5:30 on Friday evening we were on lilo's in the pool beer in hand. The evening rapidly degenerated and we were soon playing twister and wondering how we had already consumed a crate of beer already.

As the event was being held at the terribly cheesy A'famosa resort we thought we should probably make the most of the facilities and saturday morning saw us at Waterworld zooming down water slides and floating in the wave pool. Not a bad wayto build up to the main event!

And what an event! We danced away to The Shapeshifters and Layo & Bushwacka, got wet in the foam bar, and wore sunglasses in the dark.

Having been very excited about the Retro roller disco I was very disappointed to find my roller skating skills somewhat lacking - although that could have had something to do with all the beers and the fact that my skates were 2 sizes too big. However, I did manage to stay upright a little more than Hannah and Cara! I'm a little sore but no huge bruises luckily!
Unfortunately the weather has been particularly wet recently so I have to admit the field was pretty reminiscent of certain UK festivals. Within minutes I had mud splattered up my back and in my hair and by the end of the evening the flip flops were abandoned completely.
All in all a fantabulous weekend - although I am feeling cream crackered today. I'll definitely be up for it again next year!

Global Gathering

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Feeling Jolly

Couldn't resist trying one of these. I think you'd have to drink quite a few to get 'jolly' but I have to admit it doesn't taste bad. I'll be having this again.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Happy Hari Raya

Today was Hari Raya dress up day at school to celebrate the end of Ramadan. You would think choosing a Hari Raya outfit wouldn't cause too many problems but unfortunately we girls can be a little bit vain and these outfits really do not do much for us. But I'm guessing that is generally the idea. Dee and I did have an entertaining hour trying different outfits on but when we realised we were gathering a bit of an audience each time we modeled one, decided to just grab the least hideous one so far.

Dee, Ed, Jane, Sam (glorious leader) and me!

I have been told that I looked like 'the help' and walking was a bit of a challenge as I am quite a strider - poor Jane even feel over when she tried to walk to fast in hers. I have attached a photo of the year four team - please excuse the fuzziness (I don't think our cleaner had seen a digital camera before) but I think it does give you and idea of the delightfulness of our outfits.


For the long weekend last week I headed off with the girlies to Penang for a bit of culture and R&R. Penang has its definite highlights but also a few lowlights too. Even though I had been told in advance that you don't really go to Penang for the beaches I was still hoping for a bit of a dip in sea - but the foam on the water quickly stopped that idea. And as for Batu Feringhi - eeeuuurrrgghhh/shiver/shudder - enough said! Admittedly I am spoilt on the gorgeous beaches front!

However, Georgetown is a veritable gem and I loved wandering round Little India and Chinatown. Cheong Fatt Tze's Mansion was gorgeous and I have already sketched my ideal home based on his for when I find that perfect plot of land by the sea. Aaah let me dream!
We visited plenty of temples, admiring the ornate carvings and lanterns, but I have to admit we got most excited visiting the chocolate museum. Greeted with the 'Healthy Chocoloate' sign we proceeded to devour all the samples there were to taste. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, chocolate covered coffee beans and a variety of fruit filled chocs. We even found 'Cara' chocolate. We were in heaven until we were presented with Durian flavoured chocolate. Yes they had decided to create a chocolate using that most potently smelling, repulsively tasting fruit. Obviously it needed to be sampled and ..... it tasted as bad as it sounds. But don't worry we washed it down with yet more yummy tasting confectonary.

After exploring the Clan houses on stilts on the coast we moved to the Eastern and Oriental for high tea. Dressed slightly informally in flipflops and vest-tops we created appropriate characters and I had a delightful tea (sandwiches with the crusts cut off, scones and a gorgeous array of cakes) in the presence of Lady Elizabeth, Lady Katherine and Lady Josephine. If you are lucky our conversation will be posted here at a later date!

Finally, our tour ended in Love Lane - could the perfect man be found here? ..... Clearly not - despite lingering obviously beneath the sign I failed once again. Hey ho!

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

In Need of a Spirit House

Bad luck seems to be following me at the moment. Firstly, I got home last week only to find my electricity had been cut off. Not a major problem but certainly very annoying. Then my car broke down. Today, not only is my toilet still leaking (mmm delightful), but the washing machine began its death throes and the tv has just blown up (and in the middle of Prison Break!). I really am beginning to wonder what is going to go wrong next.
I'm thinking I my need to send for my Thai spirit house. It certainly lookied after me when I was in Bangkok. It provided shelter for my uninvited spirit houseguest when I realised it wasn't going to let me sleep and, in line with Thai tradition, when I the spirits know that I was going for an interview they assisted me on my way. So who is going to protect my new home? Surely there must be a Malay equivalent of the Spirit House?

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Poorly Beast

(and I'm not talking about me but the car)

You know the day is not off to a great start when the 'work experience' yodler at the mosque wakes you up instead of the melodic tuneful sound I usually hear. I honestly thought someone was standing over my bed, with a loudspeaker trying to convert me to Islam.

Not long later, but still bleary eyed, I stumbled into the lift and as soon as the doors closed I was alerted to a frantic buzzing sound. Aarrghh. I was sharing the lift with two rather irate hornets. Trapped again! After squealing and dashing around while flapping my hands (thank god we don't have cctv in the lifts) I fell out at the fourth floor and decided to take the stairs. Bearing in mind that it is still dark and our building are obvioulsy too tight to actually provide lights on the stairs it was quite a mission.

Amazingly the day passed without episode and I glady left ready to pack for the upcoming Hari Raya break. After dropping Nic at Central Station, me and Ed (year 4 colleague and hero) happily chatted about our upcoming trips. Pausing at the lights in Brickfields I lamented the lack of aircon and central locking in my new vehicle. Both of which decided to pack it in within days of new ownership.

As the lights turned green I put my foot on the gas. Nothing. I turned the key again. Nothing. Rush hour in Brickfields meant untold amount of horn honking and light flashing behind me. Trying to keep my cool - quite a feat in an unairconditioned car - I tried again, but to no avail. Superstar Ed managed to push the beast to the side of the road (helpfully I was in the outside lane!), with bikes, buses and jeeps whizzing by, and we stood around scratching our heads.

Within seconds Alezandu introduced himself as a mechanic who just happened to be shopping across the road. Out came the tool kit and he tinkered for a good 3/4 of an hour while we sweltered in the sun. Declaring that it was beyond him he disappeared off for help.

Not long later Sara (the boy) joined us and declared it was the coil that was bust - but not before every Tom, Dick and Hari had put their 2 Ringgits worth in. Apparently it was not fixable on the side of the road and we were towed to the most rural part of KL that you could possibly find.

Dozens of mozzie bites and much revving and flicking of switches later we finally convinced Sara to nick the coil from a jeep he happened to be servicing so we could get home. Ed promised that we would go back and return it and be fitted with a new one and I have convinced him it would be bad Karma not to.

It has to be the longest journey home from work ever (and prob the last time Ed will ask for a lift), however it was amazing to be so looked after by random people in the street - What a truly friendly, helpful place this is.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007


Since being in Asia I have had many conversations about the suitability of having marble walkways and paving stones of other slippery materials in countries where it rains an awful lot. Barely a week goes by without going for a little slide with visions of broken bones flashing before my eyes.

WhileI have landed on my backside on more than one occasion nothing compares with the drop I took on Saturday. While we were pampered in the spa the heavens opened and the monsoon hit big stylee. As I cautiously made my way back to the car I managed to slip at the top of the stairs and land about halfway down.

Normally I wouldn't share pictures of my 'lower back' but my new mates have had enough of my whining on about how sore it is so I'm looking for some sympathy elsewhere! Thank goodness I didn't land on my head!

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Spoilt Rotten

This youthful girl turned 31 on Thursday - eek! How another birthday crept up on me I'll never know. I was determined to celebrate in a way that would befit someone my age and not with buckets of kamakazi.
The big day started being sung to by all of Year 4 who told me that I couldn't be a birthday girl - but that I was a Lady! Ha ha I really do manage to fool them don't I!
My new buds all spoilt me rotten and I have been showered with pressies and drinks (a few too many judging by how my head feels today). We enjoyed a lovely dinner by the pool on Thursday and I danced my socks off in Zeta Bar at the Hilton last night.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Would you buy these?

I'm all for safe sex but I will never buy this particular brand of condom found in Langkawi!

Langkawi Wowwee!

A Langkawi Wowwee at sunset

Headed off to Langkawi for the weekend and am now completely relaxed and chilled out. Pegged it out of work on friday and straight to the airport. Amazingly our Air Asia flight was on time and we made it to the Frangipani resort in time for a swim and a dip in the jacuzzi before having coctails as the sun went down.

As it is the off season it was lovely and quiet. The beach was nearly exclusively ours and I was able to curl up on a lounger with a book and a few cheeky beers. Not only is Langkawi beautiful but it is also duty free - yey cheap beer. We managed to sneak several bottles of booze back to KL. It was hard work trying to make our bags look light and simultaneously muffle the clinking of bottles but coupled with a winning smile we managed to elude customs.

More coctails with Sue, Lou and Lynsey

The resort was lovely and I particularly enjoyed my outdoor shower! I will be back to visit again definitely.

How many showers can I fit in a weekend I wonder?

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Ali and The Beast

Me and my new beast of a car. I love him! Not the best picture I know, but I was proud of my parking which is proving somewhat of an issue. I know I shouldn't admit that but it is more than double the size of my old Skoda! I'm sure it won't be long before I take out a pillar in a carpark. Watch this space.

Mooncake Festival

Tonight is the Chinese mooncake festival. I'm not sure that this is the correct name but this is how it has been explained to me. My favourite visit from a parent at school has to be when they are bearing gifts and yesterday it was a box full of mooncakes. This very kind parent then explained that in the middle ages-ish (could research it but I'm knackered) the peasants in China wanted to plan an uprising so they sent messages inside mooncakes. Eventually they were victorious so now it is celebrated. Hey any excuse for a party eh - and cake!

So for the celebration we headed up to the chinese temple nearby. The manic drumming heralded the dragon dance - I've always been a fan - and we watch entranced as they danced around and then negotiated the steep steps until they were balancing on top of each other on a tiny podium. We were surrounded by people with glowing lanterns and happily joined in the festive atmosphere. Happy mooncake festival everyone.

Saturday, 22 September 2007


Speeding along the highway in the back of a taxi on our way into town the other day I noticed a movement out of the corner of my eye. Trying not to unduly freak out my new bug-phobic friend I suggested gently that she move forward thinking that it was just a gecko or fly. However, her movement forward frightened the the giant bug which proceeded to run all round the back of the cab accompanied by the sound high pitch screeching. Unable to get out we tried to bat it back and fowards between us with whatever came to hand. Our initially alarmed taxi driver glanced back and, while weaving from lane to lane, informed us with huge grin on his face that it was only a cockroach. Needless to say this did not calm poor Hannah down nor endear me to the crawlie. When we were finally able to pull over and tumble out of the car a very large glass of wine was in order and shopping was well and truly out of the window.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Room With a View

I'm loving the view from my balcony. I can see the most famous of Malaysia's landmarks the Petronas Towers with the highlands just visible in the background. Below me is the local mosque which wakes me each morning with a very melodic call to prayer. I can sit for ages just taking in the view. Loving it!

Wednesday, 12 September 2007


In the middle of untold amounts of form filling recently a Chinese lady hung on to my passport with glee. Apparently the last digits of my passport are very auspicious.

6 - Always likely to get work
33 - Alive
8 - prosperous!

Sounds good to me. Bring it on!

Monday, 10 September 2007

Grown up? Moi!

Having never actually purchased a mobile phone for myself, having relied on hand-me-downs, I decided it was time to get a brand new one. This was not a decision I took lightly. Concerned about the mobile phone mountain (yes it exists) I justified my new purchase due to the temperamentality of my current phone that once belonged to my ex. Those of you who know me well will now realise that it was from the ark.

So off I headed with my only requirements being to be able to phone and text and if possible to be pink (I'm going through a pink phase!). Needless to say this didn't actually impress the salesman who wanted to set me up with camera phone, bluetooth, etc etc. No really, I assured him, I just want to phone and text. Sneeringly informed me that there were no pink phones in production at the moment (I stuck with what I know - Nokia - and wasn't about to trail round just to find a pink one).

Displaying the available phones in my price bracket only one caught my eye. Compact and black, with slidy pop up thing I loved the secret agent look of it. I could see myself doing commando rolls and abseiling off the roof of the mall while talking to MI5 on my new toy. The salesman did look amused as explained to me that this was actually the last limited edition TRANSFORMERS phone. I had to have it! Sorry kids, Miss Ali got there first.

Monday, 3 September 2007

A Bad Day

Saturday arvo I moved into my new pad – admittedly a tad hungover from the night before - when I realized that the new place was in need of a damn good clean. That is only to be expected in a new place and I scrubbed for a couple of hours before sampling the local cuisine in my new area. Not so bad.

Sunday, however, was a different matter. I awoke and thought I would enjoy the sunshine streaming through my window and finish my book, after all how better to start a Sunday morning. This was my first fatal error. Despite realizing within the first chapter that my book was going to take me on an emotional rollercoaster I didn’t quite expect the number of tears that flowed by the final page.

However, although sad it was also very uplifting and I set about on my first challenge for the day: assembling my IKEA chest of drawers. I possibly should have realized that this shouldn’t be attempted on my own when the instructions had diagrams of two people doing but being an independent kinda gall I continued regardless. Using my feet and knees as the extra pairs on hands I required whilst balancing on my bum and hammering all at the same time I was actually doing ok. Then I made a mistake and try as I might I just couldn’t pull the bugger apart. The lump in my throat started to rear its head so I changed focus.

Turning the music up as loud as I could I set about cleaning. I always find a strange kind of satisfaction from a good clean and yelling along to some loud drums and rock guitar – but even I wasn’t prepared for this flat. I scrubbed and scrubbed every single tile on the floor and walls of both the bathrooms and the kitchen until they changed colour completely and all my nail varnish had been scraped of my newly manicured fingers. However, despite being at it a fair few hours, instead of looking around and surveying a beautiful flat I only saw more grime. No I will not cry.

Instead I will have a closer inspection of what needs doing. It was at this point that I realized that the sink was broken and leaking on the floor, one toilet seat was bust, the other didn’t quite flush, the aircon was being temperamental and my fridge had a life of its own. What had I done?

OK – back to the chest of drawers. A change is as good as a rest. I pulled and yanked and pushed and grabbed but still it would not budge. I used hammer, screwdriver, wrench and pliers. But to no avail. The only thing I managed to do was drop planks on my toe and pop something in my back.

Only one thing was going to salvage this day. A nice cold beer.

Upon opening the fridge I remembered putting the beers in the freezer the previous day as I had only just turned the fridge on. Cautiously opening the freezer door I gently took the bottle out – whereupon it promptly exploded all over me. That was the beer that broke this camels back. What came out of my mouth shall never again be repeated and as for the water that came out of my eyes


What a great time to arrive in Malaysia! On the 31st August the country celebrated 50 years of independence. Up bright and early we headed down to Merdeka square to watch the procession. We had had varying pieces of information regarding what time it started and when we should leave the hotel to get there erring on the side of caution we got there dead early which ensured us a good spot. I would like to say ‘good seat’ but we didn’t have seats –however we were compelled to sit on the floor – and but like good little primary teachers we did (he was in uniform and had a large baton!).
There was much cheering, singing and flag waving (I’m very proud of my new Malaysia flag!) but the prize for enthusiasm has to go to the very entertaining ladies infront of us who not only sang heartily, heckled loudest and laughed longest, but had also made their own outfits out of the Malaysian Flag.

We had marching bands, dancers, flag twirlers, firemen, jungle ops, ex-ministers in old fashioned cars, floats and not so scantily clad women (it is Malaysia after all). Strangely there also seemed to be a group of Flash Gordon wannabees and an invasion of astronauts. However, the show was stolen by the airforce and their wonderful aerobatics accompanied by the appropriate Oooohs and aahhhhs.

Happy Independence Day Malaysia!