If this post seem abit wordy, please blame DITH. She has been urging me to write more in posts rather than posting pictures so this morning I'll try satisfy her reading hunger.
First and foremost, Puan Mama Sarah and I would like to say the biggest "THANK YOU" to all our friends in Cardiff - Rosli, Hila and family, Sabrina and family, Kak Sawiyah, Ajean and Juwaidah. They have all been extremely welcoming and accommodating. In fact, every single one of them have invited us to come over for dinner and/or to stay overnight and we feel the utmost regret that we could not entertain their requests.
A special thanks goes to Rosli, Hila and family for we had the pleasure of staying with them over the weekend. We have enjoyed it ENORMOUSLY, their house was comfortable, spacious and homely and they have catered to our tiniest whims.
Rosli, Danial and Hila at Sabrina's House over iftar. The picture was conceived and planned by Rosli and was taken using his Canon 30D and 70mm lens; I just happened to press the shutter.
One such "tiny" whim was my desire for photography. One morning, to capture a picture of sunrise over Cardiff Bay, Rosli even stayed up after sahur and drove with me in the cold morning to the Bay at 6.30 in the morning. Unfortunately, the sunrise was not at all visible over the thick haze covered skies but despite our disappointment, we carried on to take several pictures:
Cardiff Bay at around 7.30am. The hazy skies meant we were not able to capture the sunrise ;(
The Wales Millenium Centre at early morning. Reflections of the surrounding buildings were visible on the tall "water tower".
When I apologised for bringing Rosli so early in the cold-freezing morning to the Bay, Rosli answered with a smile, "My pleasure, it's great to take pictures with other people interested in photography" [translated from Malay].
Later that day, and without sleep to recover from the morning, Rosli and family kindly came with us to Penarth Pier (pictured above). The day continued to be unrelentingly cold but despite that, our children's animated stunts made us all smile throughout the morning:
The three children sprawled over the pier. (Picture taken by Rosli)
Amar in his eskimo jacket was unusually active. He was running around the pier with Sarah and Danial...
... and Sarah was eating icecream, despite the already cool temperature.
Amar struggling to be released at the Penarth Marina.
Overall, we as a family have truly enjoyed our short stay in Wales with everyone. How we wish Uncle, Auntie De and family were here with us! As for yours truly, the weekend was almost like a Photography Workshop. I have learnt A LOT on photography and Photoshop techniques from talking, learning, discussing and observing Rosli at work. We are both still learning, and I just hope that it was a learning experience for Rosli as well. The following pictures were all taken by Rosli, and to me they are all just amazing and very personal-looking photos. The thought that came to my mind was, "I've never seen Puan Mama Sarah/ Amar/ Sarah looking like that in a photo before". See for yourself:
Kak Sawiyah, Hila and PMS with Danial and Amar after iftar at Rosli and Hila's house.
Sabrina and her son, Erfan also taken during iftar the same evening. Rosli managed to bring out a sincere smile and capture the closeness in the mother-son relationship.
Puan Mama Sarah, Sabrina and Hila this time at Sabrina's house for iftar. I absolutely love the relaxed, informal pose - I think Rosli slid in a joke before capturing this picture.
Amar fervently biting my finger (he's still teething).
We love Wales, and during our visit we could see the "magic" was still in the air. Many of the buildings which were still in construction before we left Cardiff are all now completed and proud. Everyone seems friendly; during our visit to Caerphilly Castle, most passersby greeted us with a warm smile and a "good morning" in their melodiously beautiful Welsh accents. There are so many interesting places to visit in Wales and we have managed but a few. I am looking forward to a future visit, but this time complete with Auntie, Uncle De and family. And I can't wait for Uncle De to join Rosli and yours truly in the DSLR club!
Lastly, today Hila said that, "... after being married to someone for so long, your significant other somewhat stops being a "lover" and more your best friend ..." [translated from Malay, with inaccuracies]. During the first years of my marriage with Puan Mama Sarah, I thought in terms of we share little in terms of "common interests". However, lately, I've come to realise that we do, in fact, share a lot. We both love updating our respective blogs, we both love photos (notice I didn't write "photography") and most importantly, we both absolutely enjoy travelling. (Thank goodness I have an advanced, sophisticated, voice interactive GPS system* for travelling). So here's to my best friend ...
*my "voice interactive" GPS system is in fact Puan Mama Sarah - normally 95% accurate in finding our way.