This is the fourth time in four years that I have been invited to attend a meeting by Bhg Pembangunan Kurikulum. They meet many times a year and it is usually a heavy time of brain-storming. This time the meeting was held in Federal Hotel; next to Low Yat Plaza.
Prof Mansor Mohd Noor from UKM was the guest speaker. The emphasis was on the element of citizenship and how it is to be incorprated into the teaching of History. A lively speaker who kept us laughing most of the time. He was very proud to inform us that he has 20 children! A friendly person who didn't mind at all sitting with me and Ms Chan during breakfast.
Lady boss....Pn Norzamani heads the History department in BPK. Her daughter was my former student. Very focussed in her job and we were totally pushed and driven to produce results that she wants in about 2 days as she has to present them to the ministry.

We were divided to three groups. I was in this group led by Cik Umi Salmah who was recently promoted to BPK. The other two men teachers are from NS. Cik Umi was teaching in NS too.


En Mohd Kamel is from Selangor and Pn Inthrani is from NS. Pn Inthrani is a familiar face around NS where History is concerned.


Pn Julita and Pn Salmah from Kuala Selangor and Sungai Buloh. Had a nice time getting to know them especially Pn Julita. Being in a smaller group helps a lot in terms of socializing.


That's me with them. Very tired already after using the brains too much.


The first group which was real loud and noisy. That man is En Muslimin who is one of the writers for the Form 5 History text. Jovial and loud.


Ms Chan Nelee; my roommate. She is from STPD and gave me a lift. She is also Chan Mee Lee's good friend (CML sits opposite me in the staff room). It was a last minute thing that I managed to get a lift from her. Next to her is Pn Halvinder (I think) from Selangor; met her in previous meetings. She is my students' aunt.
Well, that is some pictures from my experience the past couple of days. The team will be meeting again in a fortnight but unfortunately I had to decline. I feel bad for doing so...as Pn Zam says,' It's a privilege to be in the group as we are allowed to have some first hand knowledge into certain matters.' But I have to lay out my priorities and I'm afraid that my duty to my school comes first. I will be away for invigilation the next week and a half and if I take off to meet with BPK; it would mean missing school for two weeks. Too long away from the students...no I can't sacrifice my time with them.





I was away at KL for a meeting the past three days. KC took leave yesterday to send the kids to and fro school. I left very clear instructions on how to prepare the kids' food for today. Slightly after twopm, Dan phoned to report that he had reached home. Then he asked me where is lunch. He packed three slices of pizza to school to share with his friends (because the sister was doing the same thing) and had nothing left for lunch. (I suspect the father did not think of preparing lunch for them though I did tell him to do so.) Lyn ate cup noodle which EE gave from Korea and Dan toasted bread to eat. Thank God they are indepandent and know how to look for their own food.

When I reached home in the evening, I was surprised to see the aircond running in the room with the wardrobe and bedroom doors wide open. He must have pressed the delayed timer accidentally and the aircond went off.

Is it safe to leave the house to the man?
Three computers were struck by lightning at one go early this year. Sent two for repair (the other was beyond repair). Today both computers kena struck again. Why don't we ever ever learn our lesson? I'm just so upset with myself and the family.

Lyn did her folio in one of the computers and didn't save it in her thumbdrive. That's it. Gone. I refuse to have any of the computers sent for repairs and no more buying desktops for this house.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcLMH8pwusw&feature=related
Here is a song by Abba which I have never heard before...Happy New Year. Lovely.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WES0MwbzaY&feature=related
This is Tina Charles singing You Set My Heart On Fire. I was in primary school when I first heard her. Kor enjoys her songs tremendously. Whatever our older siblings enjoy; naturally we enjoy them too.

That was the disco era. I almost shouted when I saw the outfit of of the musicians and the backup singers. Look at Tina Charles herself and her dance movements. She does sing beautifully though.
Guess what? I've discovered Tumblr. Quite interesting and easy to blog on it. So I'm moving over there for a while. Need to fiddle with it a bit to get to know it better.
The hols are coming to an end...two weeks; how time flies. The first week had involved lots of travelling. Second week kind of slowed down as KC started work and Dan has school.

I have been totally lazy. I read my heart out and in between played SHOOT; a game introduced by Uncle Hoe. Was addicted to it many years ago and found it fun again. Working hard to break my old records.

The only frustrating part about the holiday is...internet line is lousy. Called 100 so many times and same procedure repeated over and over till I am so tired of it. Then no water supply since Wednesday. Today the water is trickling and I have to carry water into the bathroom and ration the water from the tank as the pressure is not strong enough to go up and definitely can't use the shower. The other regret is still did not make it to Broga Hill. Was supposed to go yesterday but Lyn had tuition in the evening and the book case we ordered came in the evening too. So....have to put Broga Hill on hold again.

I am having the blues now.....I hate going back to work after a long break like this. It's going to be real busy. Have to go KL for some meeting ( 3days 2nights) and then away from school for another week for PMR invigilation. When I return it will be the final exam. What a rush.

Am not really looking forward to the year end holiday. Will be involved in the SPM invigilation. Then mid December; family from Vancouver will be returning. That is the highlight of the year. What rush and excitement again. Oh dear....not sure my heart can take so much excitement and activity.
The last maid and I shared a bank account where both signatories are needed for withdrawal. A few months before her contract ended, she ran off with an unknown person to us. (I never learnt from my lessons; my maids seemed to know how to be in contact with outsiders and I never seem to see that in them and trusted them wholeheartedly).

That was six years ago. There is some money in the account which was her salary. For the past few years, I have been checking with the bank if it is possible for me to make withdrawal without her. As usual, the answer is negative.

Today, I did it again (though I know the answer will be negative). I was in the bank to open PTPTN account (Dan thought it was piggy piggy bank) for the kids. I got new information anyway. In the 7th year, the account will be considered unclaimed (I protested....I had been trying to claim for years) and I will have to apply to the government for release. The government will send me a cheque under two names. I wonder if I can bank it into my own account or not. Anyway, I will wait till next year to give it a try. The officer told me to consider it as a donation to the government.

Lesson learnt.....never make both signatories compulsory but either or to sign.

The cheddar loaf viewed from the top.


The bread; toasted in oven and sandwiched with icecream. Most delicious!!!!!


It's so wonderful to walk in the house and smell freshly baked bread; especially cheesy bread. I tried this recipe yesterday. We couldn't wait till today to eat; almost immediately I cut two slices for us to share (we just had our dinner). It is wonderful...savoury. Reminded us of the cheese bread from Panash, Hong Kong. But the family complains that the cheese is not enough and I must put in chunks and not grate it so that can bite chunks of it. I did stinge on the cheese because it looked so much. Here's the recipe. Worth trying and eating. Will upload a picture of it the next round I bake.

Cheddar Loaf
180ml milk
2 tbsp butter
2 eggs
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
500g flour
1 tsp yeast
We hiked to lighthouse at Cape Rachado yesterday. It was cloudy the whole afternoon and we were pretty worried that the trip there might end up like the trip to Broga Hill. When we reached about 4pm, the sky brightened slightly. It had rained earlier as the path was wet and muddy.

The beginning of the hike....all smiles and still fresh looking.

None of us was too keen having our pictures taken. So the photographer decided to take pictures of the flora around him. I was slightly impatient as I wanted to get out before it was too late.

Quite sunny outside....but because of its thick folliage, it was rather gloomy and dark inside.


Some creepers.



Moss....


Our favourite....the log that looks like dinosaur.


Mushroom...we saw quite a bit of it here and there as the weather was damp...suitable for mushrooms to grow.


The journey up from the beach to the tar road leading to the lighthouse. This must be quite difficult for Dan as it is uphill all the way. He is totally unfit.


Civilization!!! He was so relieved. He didn't enjoy this hike that much...probably not fit. Look at his exhausted face. We must do it more often to get him used to it. It wasn't very difficult actually, took us 1 hour and 20 minutes at a leisurely pace.


The sight from the top.


Down at the beach near Bayu Beach Resort. We wanted to fly kites here but unfortunately there was no wind...much to our disappointment.


It was cloudy....not much of a sunset. So finally, goodbye to PD. We hope to hike up the lighthouse again very very soon.










Here are some pictures taken with KC's camera on our road trip north and south but none north; just KL and none south; just Melaka.

We have never walked this side of Melaka town; so that evening we walked behind the houses, by the river to look for food.

the whole stretch of wall is laterite stone...that was what A Famosa was built with.

As we walked along the river, Lyn remembered the house which the MYFers stayed in when they visited about a year ago....it is a house belonging to aunty Bernice's relative. According to her, it's a real lovely house...I believe so. There is a house which has been converted into a museum somewhere here too but I just can't remember where...must visit it again.


We saw two men; the shirtless man has his whole face painted green. We wonder why. Some of these houses have been converted into homestays. So he could be a foreigner staying in one of the houses.



I love this part of the river....so scenic and cooling especially in the evening like this.


This was at KLCC when we visited the book fair. We bumped into a cute looking guy wearing a cute hat.


The greens that is preserved around the park at KLCC. It's good that these old trees are kept and maintained.




The wading pool (far end) and the fountain at the park at KLCC. It's a lovely park but on a public holiday one tends to bump into lots of foreign workers from Phillipines and Indonesia and Bangladesh.....


The bridge which we have yet to walk across though we have been here umteen times and have promised Dan over and over that we will walk across it one day. I have my doubts...


Acting like tourists, as usual....we have taken such pictures so many times. I am so tired of posing with this building but for the sake of the cameraman; we are smiling!







Both KC and Lyn got real excited when they saw this book written by JEA Tyler. Anything by and about Tolkein make them excited. I was like...'do we need it?' Guess what was their answer? "Of course! It's cheap!"

The book is priced at RM16.90 compared to the original RM72.50. To them; it's dirt cheap as it has more than 700pages. Sigh...this is one way how the book shelves overflow....cheap books like this. I have books on how to tie knots and a variety of John Maxwells and what have you which I know have not been touched for years.

This book contains all the terms and names found in the LOrd of the Rings and whatever you need to know about Middle Earth. I have attempted the LOTR (I have a real thick copy which consists of all the books; bought cheap in Japan) but never got very far because it's too descriptive. Lyn is rereading it now for the sake of this new book so that she can refer to it. She has read it upteen times and get herself all depressed over it.

But the movie is FANTASTIC. It is a must watch! It's a pity that I didn't catch them at the cinema.
KC bought a thick book entitled as above by Richard Carlson at the Book Fair. I think he bought it for the price...it is only RM14.90 and it's three books in one: a. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff b. Don't Sweat the Small stuff at Work c. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff about Money.

I scoffed at him when he bought the book....when will he have the time to read it? It is now next to the toilet....to be carried in and out whenever we want. I must say it is really good reading material during that time. I am most impressed by the three motivational passages I have read so far.

Carlson is a totally postive person. The way he thinks and suggests that we should think is amazing. I definitely don't view matters that way. Take for example the article on 'Choose your Battles wisely'....let me quote; Many people...argue, confront, and fight over practically anything, turning their lives into a series of battles over relatively "small stuff". Which is so true of my life. I get so agitated with my neighbour for parking her old non-usable car in front of my house. Why waste my energy on such matter where there is still other spots for me to park my car though it is slightly further?

I get upset when the noodle I order didn't turn out as I want...like just the other day I told KC I wanted my kuayteow beehoon laksa but I was served kuayteow mien laksa. I was upset...I don't like yellow noodles. I never like yellow noodles unless it is mee goreng mamak or fried kuayteow mee. My dear man just looked at me and continued eating his bowl of laksa like it's the most delicious thing on earth and let me work out my fury on my bowl. Energy wasted on unnecessary anger again when I could be enjoying my bowl of noodle too!

Here is what Carlson said as conclusion : If you don't want to 'sweat the small stuff,' it's critical that you choose your battles wisely. If you do, there will come a day when you'll feel the need to do battle at all.

Looks like this is going to be good toilet reading material. Am sure I'm going to get lots inspiration and motivation. Whether I practise it or not is another matter but it's nice to be given such thots to digest.
Half of the holiday has gone by and what have I done? I've spent half of the time on the road!! First...it was up north; sent ma home to Sitiawan. Then back here again. On the way back we stopped at KLCC to visit the Book Fair. This time, I didn't even get a book for myself as I read ebooks now. The kids bought 11 books altogether and Lyn wanted to buy another one at Kinokuniya....I had to put a stop to it.


The next day, it was down south to JB. KC had a meeting to attend the following day so we kept him company as it's holiday. We stayed at Grand Paragon; upgraded to a junior suite and were pleasantly surprised by the size of the rooms. Lovely view from the 25th floor....could see the Straits of Tebrau and Singapore. Visited Danga City Mall and it was a big big disappointment. The place is half dead.


The next morning, I had got up early and watched the city awaken and the sky changed colours. It was really beautiful as the whole wall is made of glass panelling. So the view was really large.


We visited City Square before heading north again. We stopped in Melaka; hoping to get some local food at Jonkers' but unfortunately Jonker's Street is not open during weekdays. We ended up in a hawker center opposite Dataran Pahlawan. The cendol was lousy....not enough santan. The oyster egg was nice but Lyn prefers Sitiawan style (crispier). We wanted to walk around A Famosa and up to St Paul's Hill to the ruins. But it was dark; definitely not advisable especially as I am so fond of telling my students to imagine walking around the old ruins with Sultan Mahmud or Alfonso d Albuqueque (?) and all the people of the ancient days around us. I frighten myself.


Today, we decided to go up Broga Hill (which we have planned a long time ago). It was raining when we left. The rain got heavier as we go further into the hills and interior of NS. The road was narrow and winding. It was really interior. We passed Lenggeng, Ulu Baranang and finally reached Broga. The road up the hill was muddy and need to hike through the palm oil estate. Not a good idea to do it in the rain. We decided to drive further to Kajang; passing Nottingham University and Semenyih. Made a U turn as it was too early for dinner and returned home using the Lekas Highway. That was two hours on the road!!!


We decided to have dinner at Era Walk. There is Old Town Kopitiam and New Town Modern Coffee. We have always been to Old Town; so we thought it would be nice to give New Town a try. LOUSY and poor service. The toast was just toasted Gardenia bread which I can toast on my own. When I eat toast outside, I am very very particular that I am not served Gardenia bread...it must be the old fashioned bread or whatever bread that is different from a normal bread which can be easily obtained from the grocery store.


That is half of the holiday. Will be travelling up north again soon to bring ma back here. Kind of sick of sitting in the car. Would have love to upload some pictures but unfortunately my camera has gone to Korea for a holiday without me. Miss it a lot. Three things that I can't do without now, my phone, ipod and camera. I was having withdrawal syndrome just now while waiting for dinner because I didn't bring my ipod; so couldn't read my book.