Thursday, July 26, 2007

Home away from Home

Bright and early, I boarded the bus and headed out to meet Kak Teh at Malaysia Hall. There was no water to be seen anywhere along my route and I was waiting in front of the Bayswater tube stop - where the familiar figure of Kak Teh came up the street to meet me, and gave me a big hug. We started talking and did not stop until lunch time!

I knew it would be warm and wonderful to meet her, but it was underlined to me that she embodies all that is true and warm of the Malaysian personality - and to many of the community here, she is the heart and home away from home. Meeting her brought me in touch with a whole part of Malaysia inside of me I had not visited for a long time, and it was a gentle homecoming.

I think the cafe at Malaysia Hall is worth a visit. I will confess I was so intent on the conversation, I barely tasted my food! There is no picture of the nasi lemak as I had demolished it before I thought of taking a picture - aiyah, not a food bloggerlah! In the picture you can see the curry puff and a bit of the roti canai, a pot of my Frankincense potion, YM's book (for Kak Teh) and some Terengganu rendang and Asam kepala ikan that Kak Teh kindly brought for me.

Of course I would have carried on till dinner if I could, but I had an appointment with the Tower of London. Ahh, I drifted away back into the bowels of the city, the happy hum of friendly words in my head.

Wot I et: for lunch or comfort food in pouring rain

oo-er, is that a sausage or are you just pleased to see me?

Dodging the flood

Woke up today with more rain slanting across the windowpanes. The children are home at the start of their summer holidays - with its wet weather promise of indoor pursuits! We should be like true brits and don our wet weather gear and wellies and go tramping round the mud, at least to stop the cabin fever from mounting.

However, being a bad blogger mum - (Is that an oxymoron for the holidays? Blogging means "ignoring your children".) I have agreed that if they allow me some time to blog - I will allow them some time on their Nintendo DS. Which I guess will balance out our electronic burnout, I won't spend hours on this because I shall be aware that my little darlings are simultaneously frying their brains.

I was very lucky on Friday going up to London - I left on the 9.13am train and the drizzle was coming down steadily. By the time I arrived at Victoria Station, and got on the first train to my destination there was an enormous clap of thunder and the word "cloudburst" springs to mind. The train was cancelled. The roof of the station gave up the ghost and immediately sprang innumerable leaks as large as rubbertree trunks. It was amusing to see the waterfalls pouring onto the cash and ticket machines, and all the people taking pictures. I had to save the battery and find a train. Bagel, chocolate and flower vendors looked on in amazement at the encroaching flood. Large rivers of water began to snake across the white, slippery stone floors as I dodged huge drips and deluge from platform to platform trying to catch a train out. On my third try I was successful, and chugged away from the beleagured station into clearer skies.

My cousin YM from Fusionview picked me up and we had a huge gossip about blogworld, probably boring anyone else within earshot. Angie made us yummy smoked mackerel pasta with rocket, watercress and baby spinach (an added touch she said, owing to my post on tortellini - the blogworld is all about us!). The sun was hot and we decided to walk off lunch at the park, passing gardens bursting with roses and lavender. Two-thirds of our group being Malaysian, we stopped off for coffee and cake.

So while the nation looked like this:

photo by Peter Stewart

I was wandering around in weather like this:

Mr G phoned and said all the trains between London and home had been cancelled. Nobody had made it east since mid-morning and anyone headed west were stopped at Oxford and then turned back, but finally made it home by midnite after 7 hours. We were all shocked at the flood news, and our thoughts go out to those who are still struggling in the continuing rain. Thanks to YM for a lovely visit and more after the lunch break.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Off to the Tower with you!

Ooh crown jewels and ravens and the echo of the executioner's axe. Or I could just be fighting my way through hordes of tourists. Quite excited really, never seen a Beefeater close up before! I say!
This photo is from the Royal Palaces website.

I'm off to London to see the queen, err... I mean YM and Kak Teh. We're gonna have a grreat time!

Have a really really good weekend folks.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Wedding 15!

Happy 15th Wedding anniversary to Mr G and me! Oops we forgot till now - 5 minutes to midnight of tomorrow. What happens to old married couples?? Life, I guess. Still we ate dinner together, at least! Mr G's greek lamb casserole with tomatoes, cumin and fresh coriander. Blinis with sour cream and roe, sprinkled with chives from my garden. Hummus and pita and cracked chilli olives, a nice salad. Very companionable.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Tortellini Malaysian Style - wot I et for lunch

Mr G has taken to buying enormous packs of tortellini, which the children prefer in a soup - tortellini en brodo, I believe it is called. But there is only so much tortellini you can have in a week! And who is left to correct the food balance in the house? So for my lunch, I really really fancied pan mee, not that this is a craving from my childhood - we never seemed to have it in our house or when we went out! I figured the tortellini would do, as the fresh pasta is egg noodle dough, so I boiled it up with Marigold brand vegan low salt soup powder (!! don't ask!! Delia uses the regular kind, same brand.) and added two handfuls of Waitrose rocket, watercress and baby spinach salad from a bag, some mini corn and a big spoonful of chiu chow chilli oil. Happy!

And what else makes me happy? A bowl of lovely ripe summer cherries!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Sunny Intervals - Jacob's Ladder, Bath

This is only the middle bit of the climb up the hill. More steps before and more steps after. I don't always walk it, I confess. But I try to do it more than once a week, hopefully at least three or four times! I caught it in a quiet, summer moment between rain and schoolboys sliding down the bannisters. Apparently they have been doing that for decades from the boy's school at the top - sturdy steel worn smooth by There is always birdsong, you'll be able to see the year's progression from these steps: first Spring, now Summer. When the leaves begin to fall, I will chart them to the bareness of winter.

Monday, July 02, 2007

The Feeling Wet

You can see the rain on the back of these people's necks! Woo Hoo, it was fun though jumping up and down in the rain, the warm summery downpour, bass reverberating through your sternum.

(Bit busy with the daily slog at the moment, I'm behind in blogging!)