Monday, December 25, 2006

Puan Mama Sarah's Birthday 2006; Cardiff

The Birthday Girl (... and husband)

Also the birthday girl, Safiya (and Mum)

The Preparation

Birthday Breakfast

The Birthday Cakes (Safiya's is on the left)

The Birthday food

Safiya enjoying roast turkey

The guests

Our hostess and cook - Mama Daniel

The Hosts (thank you!!!)

Party poppers

The Boys

Opening the birthday presents

Lastly, congratulations on your 1st birthday Safiya and 18th birthday Bie! Lots of Love from all of us

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Friday, December 22, 2006

Fogged Up Coventry

Turrets of the old and new Coventry Cathedrals seen obscured by the fog.

The Whittle Arch, during a foggy mid-day.

Even fog could not dampen Coventry's citizens from the spirit of Christmas shopping.

The Blue Walkway boldly prominent against the fog.

The Blue Ribbon, just after sunset.

Visiblity was limited to only around 10-20 metres causing massive traffic jams.

Higher Res images on my Picasa Web Album

Oh and by the way, Azim made it safe and sound to the airport and is now on a plane back to Malaysia, finally! The day-long journey was uneventful and smooth. Thank goodness.

As if to accompany him, the fog has also cleared.

Good bye UK.

Thanks to all who has helped Azim in his time of need.

Conclusion to Azim's Story?

Remember my brother Azim? Well, it has been around 2 weeks now since he was released from hospital after the accident. In the two weeks, Azim has been followed-up twice by his surgeon and the surgeon is happy with Azim's progress. Azim has also had several sessions of physiotherapy to mobilise his hand.

This is what his hand looks like two weeks after the operation. The graft has mostly healed well, with a few areas of breaks (which Insya Allah, will heal by itself after several days-weeks). To me, the wound seems to be nicely progressing. However, Azim says that his hand is very stiff - he is unable to move his fingers more than around 3 degrees - and that the hand is slightly swollen. He will need extensive physiotherapy to mobilise his digits in order to regain normal functions.

Now that all is well, Azim has been booked his flight back to Malaysia for this weekend. Everything was nicely planned, I was supposed to fly to Ireland tonight to help him with his bags and we were supposed to fly to Heathrow tomorrow.

However, bad luck seems to be following Azim like a shadow - this time in the form of fog.

For the past 3 days, England has been blinded by fog. Driving back from my oncalls last week at night, the visibility was limited to only 10-20 metres. To make matters worse, the weather was cold and the roads slippery with ice.

In response to the fog, Heathrow has grounded most, if not all, domestic (mainly British Airways) flights. Most other flights are either delayed or cancelled. Meaning that our flight to Heathrow had a high chance of being grounded too, diminishing the chances of Azim flying back to Malaysia! The weather was reportedly going to remain terrible until after Christmas - affecting tens of thousands of people intending to fly from Heathrow.

Thank goodness however, we responded quickly. We had Azim book another flight to Birmingham (where the flights are not grounded, as visibility there is probably better) at the earliest possible opportunity. Alhamdulillah, we managed to book a flight for Azim for this morning and now Azim has arrived safely with us.

It is still far from over though; Azim is supposed to fly from Heathrow tomorrow - and I hope there wouldn't be utter chaos. We have already booked the bus tickets to arrive at least 8 hours before the flight, to include delays. It normally would be a horrible day to travel tomorrow, as it is the Christmas Weekend, but I'm hoping that would not be the case.

Wish us luck.

  1. For larger fog images, do visit my Fotopages :)
  2. Oncalls has forced me to neglect my blog - I'm terribly sorry. Many updates planned for this Christmas holiday though :D

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Picture Onslaught: Winter and Festivities in Coventry

Winter could be a very depressing season. It is always cold and gloomy -making everyone prefer to hibernate indoors- and the day is extremely short. The sun sets at around 3.40pm meaning that on a weekend such as today, by the time we have all got out of bed and showered, it is already almost dark!

At 3.40pm, it was already almost dawn.

The family tends to stay indoors during weekdays when I'm occupied with work so every weekend, I always try to get take the family out to stretch their legs and get fresh air. It is very fortunate that today was sunny and bright; a marked change from the last 2 weeks gloom, rain and cold. Our destination this weekend was a walk from Swanswell park (above) to the city centre (below).

If the colours seem a bit garish that's because thanks to Rosli's recent visit, I've just discovered to hue/saturation tool in Photoshop. Today I've been tweaking the colours in my photos to death. One particularly unsuccessful attempt was this one:

I'm still finding it difficult to make my Photoshopped images look realistic, hopefully another visit to Rosli's would remedy that.

Above are pictures of the family on the blue bridge heading towards the Whittle Arch, which I've photographed again and again. This time Puan Mama Sarah is juxtaposed against the arches, just to give an impression of size difference.

At night is when the magic starts; the city suddenly jolts to life with a myriad of different colours from the Christmas lights.

Sarah indulged on several rides around town - even Amar braved one on a tractor. Just look at Sarah's delighted expressions! The atmosphere during this time of year is brilliant (unless it's rainy and cold).

It was really nice to bring the family out to absorb the atmosphere of the festivities, and believe it or not, all the pictures above were taken between 3 and 5 p.m. Talk about short day eh? After 5 p.m it gets so dark that we all tend to lock ourselves indoors and think about sleep. I'm already looking forward to next weekend ... hopefully, it'd be as sunny as today.