Tuesday, November 30, 2004

China Away

My shopping excursion did not end with the Queens (see previous post). On Saturday (the same week) I was up just after the birds were, all ready and geared up for my china hunt at the Wedgwood Factory Shop Clearance Sale. I dragged a reluctant B and a cranky Zareef out of the bed. Hehehe... mummy nak shopping punya pasal, semua org kena bangun awal pagi2 buta hari Sabtu di kala musim winter ini.

I knew about this sale about a couple of weeks back and have been informing anyone that have crossed path with me about it. Hasil dpd pukulan canang yang maha hebat, I managed to round up 4 friends of mine who also roused up their disheartened families respectively. We convoyed all the way to Stoke. I thought we were among the early birds but was I wrong! The car park was already filled to the brim. Loads and loads of tour buses filled with aged ladies (true! must have left their slow partners behind) from as far as London were already queuing up. Man! The line was the worst ever, par none! Even the line for rides in Universal Studios couldn't compare to this. Luckily I had a friend way up front of the line, at the entrance door to be exact. So, dengan muka selambanya, menolak trolley yg berisi Zareef mara ke depan and terus beratur bersama2 kawan saya itu. Hhihihi... talking about cutting queues. Tiba-tiba, a tap on my shoulder and...

'Excuse me, why are you cutting the line? We've been waiting here forever and you simply waltzed in front of us'

'Oh... I was here before you but I went out of line to get the trolley so that I can put my son in it and the chinas too... See...' I showed towards Zareef (Nasib baik masa tu Zareef was fully cooperating and buat muka sejuk cum cute dia tu). Takde la nampak guilty as charged.

'She's with me. We were here before you were. She just went out of the line to get the cart.'

'I see. I'm sorry then.'

'It's alright.'

Phew! Lega!!

Anyway, it took me 30 minutes to go inside the warehouse from here. It was bloody cold. I stood for so long that my feet went numb. Zareef started to get restless so I called for reinforcements. Yupp... it's B to Zareef's rescue. I told B to take Zareef into the cafe in the factory shop and buy hot chocolate and some pastries for breakfast. After what I felt like an eternity, the staff that guarded the door let my friend and I in. Only two were allowed at a time. Apparently, the line inside the warehouse were not moving. Everyone were busy choosing but no one was paying.

When I got in, euphoria overwhelmed me. I couldn't breathe, I couldn't think, I couldn't speak and I dare not touch anything. My friend was going... 'Sabar Nora... take a deep breath and pilih cepat2. Nanti orang lain kaut banyak2, nangis tak berlagu pulak'. People were grabbing chinas like nobody's business. Berbakul2. Tak cukup bakul... bertrolley2!... I would say, some of them would have easily spent thousands of pounds.

After a thorough scouting and examining, I've decided to pick the Jade range and to completely furnish my Nantucket collection. I was utterly amazed at the price slash. Everything in the warehouse were discounted at 75% or more

These are what I got for myself. Yeah... all mine! My preciousssss!! Muahahahha...

Let me narrate and justify my purchases from left to right

1. Crystal tumblers and crystal wine glasses by Stuart Crystal. 6 for £10. Actual price was £40. Dirt cheap, eh?!

2. The Jade range. Bought a teapot, a tureen, a gravy boat and plate, a platter, 6 teacups and saucers and 6 8" plates.

3. The Nantucket range. Since I've bought the dinner plates aeons ago at the price of a quid each (bought 6 at first the topped it off with 10), I bought the tureen, a huge salad bowl and 6 small bowls. Darn it! Should have bought 12 of the small bowls. Nevermind. Kurang sikit cost.

4. Wokay... here's the price shocker. The Jade Tureen that I bought was originally priced at £210 but I bought it at £31.50, I think. I paid only 15% of the actual price!!! Mind blowing, ain't it?! Just zoom in and see for yourself.

5. The Jade teacup was originally priced at £95 and I got it for $14.18!!! This clearance sale is no joke, man! No wonder the sign says 'Multi Million Pounds Wedgwood Warehouse Clearance Sale'. They're not kidding, I tell you.

The damage? Quite a lot... The sale pretty much burnt a large hole in my pocket and this time I have no more pockets to seluk2. So, I'll be pretty much inactive in the shopping department for the next two months. But come Boxing Day... I'm backkkkkkk ... hehehehhe... I can already see B's head shaking and his eyes glaring at me like Ryan's of The O.C. but I don't care. I can foresee myself painting Bicester Shopping Village RED. Yupp folks. I'm heading there this Boxing Day for they have a Ferragamo and Bally outlet there! Muahahhahha.... But for now... I'll just be as quiet as a mouse.

Monday, November 29, 2004

The Queen and I

On the third day of Syawal (Monday), a friend called up...

A: Hari ni buat apa? Cuti kan...
N: A'aah... kenapa?
A: Jom pi carik kilang Queen Anne kat Birm tuh?!
N: Waaaa... menarik jugak kan. Kejap eh.. tanya B dia nak pi tak

And so after much coaxing (on B's part), we headed to Birmingham in our quest to search for the Queen Anne factory. Pusing punya pusing, berapa kali ntah buat u-turn kat roundabout, I felt the ray of hope diminishing slowly. Man! We're never gonna find this factory when suddenly... Voila!! There it was right infront of our very own eyes and we've drove past it TWICE!!! Aiyarkkk... buta sungguh co-pilot sorang nih but can't blame me though. I didn't have directions to this place. We were merely following the lead.

Hehehhe... adrenaline started coarsing through my veins and I feel right down giddy plus I couldn't help but smile gleefully. I had a glint in my eye. The palms of my hand started to sweat and itch at the same time. Yeah baby!! Shopping time!!! Nothing could or can stop me now. B's constant reminder of not to buy too many was unheeded.

The factory looked very old. In fact, it looked so factory-like that we weren't convinced that there's a shop concealed behind the old, ugly and smoky facade. There were no factory shops out front. There were no indications what so ever hinting us of the whereabouts of the gleaming polished silverware. There was only the sign of 'WORK ENTRANCE' right smack in the middle of the factory. B started to give me the look.

'Betul ke nih? Takde rupa cam ada kedai pun... Buat habis minyak je datang jauh2'.

My heart started to sink. Images of the silverware was starting to vaporize slowly.

'Tak pe Nora. Jom kita press doorbell kat Work Entrance tu and tanya' My friend said in an attempt to lift my spirit.

She pressed while all of us waited. A young lady appeared and said '

Are you here for the shop?'

Hell yes! but I politely said 'Yes please. Do you know where it is?'

'Follow me please'

Those three words right then were music to my ears. Yiehaaa... our time and effort weren't wasted after all. We followed her into the factory and straight through several doors before reaching a room filled with boxes after boxes of Queen Anne. When I went in and looked around, I felt like the room was spinning. Every nook and cranny, every inch of space on the table, every shelves and every gap under the table was filled with the silverware.

'These are all seconds. The price are half of the RRP in the shops. If you pay by cash, you won't have to pay the VAT but if you're using a credit card, then the VAT will be included'

I quickly scoured my purse and saw that I have £55. That's a relief. The prices are not bad at all. There's a file listing all silverwares available with their RRPs, second's price with and without VAT included. What you see below is what I bought for myself. The total came to a quid short of sixty. Yeah... B and I terpaksa menyeluk segala poket yg ada and came up with the balance in coins. The good thing is... since we spent quite an exorbitable amount of money (there were three of us), the young lady let us have quite a few of our small items come free. I got to have 3 freebies - the toast holder, the letter opener and the serviette holder. My friend spent treble of my amount and got a large oval silverware free! How lucky of her!!

Llah... this is the price breakdown of the items I bought above...

1. Double rectangular casserole £16. RRP is £32
2. Single oval casserole with warmer £11. RRP is £22
3. Single rectangular casserole with warmer £10. RRP is £20
4. Sandwich tray with holder £6
5. Bon Bon tray with holder £3

Ada banyak lagi. Round, Oval, Oblong Trays with and without legs (amat sesuai utk letak kek dan barang hantaran), tempat letak kuih (4,6 and 8 places), butter tray, jam tray etc. Lemme know...

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Down and Out

I've contracted the virus. Muscle aches... head is jackhammering away... eyes throbbing... throat sored and there's nothing that I can do except take paracetamol and sleep it away. Thank God B is the dad that I hope he would be. He's taking Zareef under his wings.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

I'm worth....

Got this from Osman... and.... *drum rolling in the background*

I'm worth $1,653,250.98!

Yeah... yeah... not as much as Osman there... but... it's more than $1.5 million!!! I must have done something good! kui kuikui...

Wanna know how much you're worth, CLICK HERE

Monday, November 22, 2004

Raya Chronicles

We celebrated 1st Syawal on Saturday. Yupp... it was a day earlier than our counterparts back home. It was a shocker for me as I was anticipating Raya to be on Sunday just like Malaysia and Saudi Arabia but noooo...

So... there I was in total frantic and kelam kabut, started cooking up a storm on Friday as soon as I knew about it officially on the Islamic Channel (836 on Sky). By 1 am, I've finished cooking the nasi impit (plastopat as my dad would call it), rendang minang (upon special request from B), kuah kacang and sayur lodeh. My plan to include lemang and to finish up my pineapple tarts and bake fruit cake did not materialize.

Sleeping late resulted us in waking up late the next morning and was late for the Raya Prayers. We only made it to listen to the khutbah gave by a friend of ours.

We spent the whole day visiting friends, going from one house to another. There was a total of 11 open houses on the first day but we only managed to do a round of 6 houses. The tummy was too full to accommodate anymore food plus I had to prepare for our open house the following day. Made mee jawa in addition to all the food that I've cooked on the eve of raya. Throngs of friends came. There must be like more than 100 people who visited us from 11 am right till 9 pm. I was so damn tired after that, that I left B to do the cleaning up while I dozed off with Zareef.

Raya in Loughborough was sooooo happening that I didn't even have time to be sad. Good thing, eh?!

Pagi Raya Posted by Hello

Saturday, November 13, 2004

1 Syawal

It was pretty in pink for Zareef in his first ever baju melayu given by his Wan (B's mom) last year. It was too big for him then but it fits like a glove now.
Posted by Hello

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Eid Mubarak

My family and I would like to wish all Muslims, our family, relatives and friends a very happy and joyous Eid Mubarak. May peace and harmony be upon each and everyone of us on this wonderful and meaningful day. In typical Malaysian style... ampun dan maaf dipinta atas segala salah dan silap. Bila makan ketupat, lemang, nasi impit, rendang, kuah kacang, lodeh, sambal goreng, kek2, kuih2 dan biskut2 tu... ingat2 la kat kami di perantauan nih... HUAHHHH... sedey aa nih... nak balik!!!
Posted by Hello

Kami di Loughborough, Leicestershire...
Bard, Nora and Zareef Imran

p/s: Us enjoying the gondola ride in Venice. But lemme tell you this... it's one hell of a smelly ride...

p/s II: Rini dear... aku dah buat hang nye cheesy spuds yesterday for buka puasa. You're a genius!! It was lip smackin', tummy filling, goobledegook fantastic!!! Kitorang makan tak ingat dunia dah... Thanx a zillion for the recipe. Will definitely make it again very, very soon...

Monday, November 08, 2004

Lunch time with his new shoes on... Oh my... is he going to turn into Mommy? I used to do this when I was small and it doesn't stop there.... Posted by Hello
He loves his new shoes sooo much that he won't even take it off while his eyes were glued to the tv Posted by Hello
Do I look good or what?? Posted by Hello
Zareef strutting with his new pair of Nike Total 90 Posted by Hello

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Shoes, Shoes and More Shoes....

Zareef has more shoes than any kid that I know. Even his shoes outnumber B's easily. I bought for him a new pair of Nike shoes at Fosse Park. B was going on about how many shoes does a 2 year old kid need? Well, I simply said it was his Raya shoes. Everyone needs a baju Raya and kasut Raya and everything Raya. You see, I was brought up by my parents that come Raya, all of us would get loads of new clothes and a pair or two of new shoes. When I was small, I'd have like 8 to 9 dresses and at least a new pair of shoes.

Back then, mom would drag my dad and I to Jalan TAR and start combing every inch of the street. Her favorite haunt would be the Globe Silk Store and Mun Loong (takde dah... ganti with... aisey tak ingat dah). Then she'll let me roam the entire children's section on my own (Mun Loong used to have a good selection of branded wear like Ladybird, Kitikat, Kiko, Villa,Popeye apa2 ntah lagi) and let me choose my own wardrobe. Pretty neat, eh?! She'll sit down with my dad and wait patiently while I happily do my pickings. Later on, I'll present it to them complete with reasonable reasons that I could cook up at that particular moment as to why I should wear this and this and this. Hehheheh... guess old habits die hard because I still do that (the reasoning part) to B because he'd ask me the ever so famous 'WHY?' especially when it comes to shoes and bags.

Well, back to Zareef's shoe, he has like 3 Nikes, 1 Reebok, 2 Timberlands, 3 or 4 Nexts, 4 Clarks, 2 Gaps, 2 Bob The Builder and hmm I've lost count.

Let me see if I can post pictures of him strutting his stuff...

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Still Can't Get The Hang Of It

Argghhh!!! Learning new things are always frustrating at first. I'm still trying my way around the blogspot and it's already giving me stress. When I post, it doesn't come out. When I want to post a picture, it doesn't come out as well. When I edit, the old edition still exists. When I delete, it's still there!

Can someone tell me how to post pictures and write descriptions about it as well? How do I go about doing it if I want to post more than 1 pix and write description about it one after another i.e. picture, description then another picture, description?

Tuesday, November 02, 2004


Yeah... I'm literally typing this with Zareef hanging onto me for dear life. The problem with my son is that he doesn't like sleeping alone. He'll insist that Mommy sleeps with him so that he can gentel my mulut till he drops deep into slumberland. The problem with Mommy is that she really needs this nap time to catch up on housework, blog work and personal timeout. Ni sumer nenek dia punye pasal coz when he was small, my mom would cuddle him endlessly and rocked him to sleep. Now I'm paying the price of rearing a spoilt rotten grandson.

I know I've been a bit sloppy on updating. Here's a quick update...

Finally the apprentice ended (really miss it). The finalist were Kwame and Bill. Am really glad that Amy didn't get to the cut coz she sucked big time during the important interview with all the big kahunas of Trump Corporation. It's like she's living up to the dumb blond image. Bill got it! Yeah!!!... I was rooting for Kwame but he spoilt it for himself when he didn't fire Omarosa for fucking up and lying.

The Dad from 'Who Wants to Marry My Dad' chose Christena over Kristy. Hihi... the latter was a Miss USA once upon a time ago with huge made up boobs (they are huge I tell you! and hard too!!... ) Christena was chosen for her motherly attributes. Talk about having your kids choose a spouse for you... Quite a suspense

Zareef went to his first day of nursery last Wednesday. He had fun playing with other kids. However, the downside of being an only child is that he's used to playing alone that he doesn't know how to share. So when other kids started coming to him and playing his toys, he gets all cross and started to shout. Oh my! What a sight!! When his second visit came on Friday, his minder, Liz asked me to leave so that he'll get used to the idea of being left behind to play and picked up after awhile. When I walked out of his sight, he started to howl and wail with all his might. His screams vibrated the whole building and back. He made such a racket that I just couldn't bear to leave him behind but the nursery manager said that it's common for every child to make a fuss for the first time. I sat in the manager's office and I could hear him screaming his guts out crying for me "Nak mummy! Nak mummy!". The manager told me to be resilient and not break down to his cries. After half an hour of wailing, he finally calmed down but didn't want to play with others. He didn't even take his tea. All that time he was clinging on to either Liz or Vicky. When I came to pick him up and 4.15 pm with B, he cried again this time penuh syahdu. He'll go again tomorrow and we'll see how it goes.

Had a really weird dream last night and it wall about my ex's. All of them stuck in one dream. Didn't dare to tell B coz ironically he wasn't included. But after all... it's just a dream, ain't it?