Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Lovely days in UK

Our faithful Garmin was down , the locals were not much help and gas was on reserve . In desperation somehow the free tom tom download on the  iPad seems to work , but true to Murphy's law ,the battery strength was at the lowest level and the iPad car charger was safely tucked in one of the main luggage in Manchester . At that juncture, I must admit I was panicking , totally dependant on Mikhail's verbal navigation from the fast dying iPad to take us out of London. First thing though was to locate a petrol station. Somehow   we manage to find one along the way  , a rather shabby one in the city centre run by an Indian bloke . He wasn't much of help in direction either . So we remain lost and unsure but at least we are all tanked up. But Danny continues to apply the fear factor warning us at too regular an interval , to the point of irritation , the countdowm of the iPad remaining battery life. Minutes later the  inevitable  " oh the iPad die already Pa" , says Danny. I looked  around , we are still in London with the motorway nowhere in sight . Out comes Mikhail's map on his iPhone ." Pa the map on my iPhone is not reliable "   Gosh that's comforting. During our eventful quest , the suspense was deafening . Eventually we found motorway A19 ,  but as I recalled we had to join linking highways but don't know where or when.  We decided to stop at the nearest R & R for lunch and to recharge the iPad and phones . 

Just then I  saw a phone outlet selling yes Garmin ! Man I could almost hug the bloke . He tried his best checking the settings and all but still the map just won't load .Oh no. It will be dark in a couple of hours 
( wow ! finally got to say that just like the movies ) so we had to continue driving . Nadiah had another try fiddling the Garmin to life and then I remembered that the UK map is stored in a memory disc . On closer re-examination we found the disc dangling slightly from it's slot , so that's why the maps won't load ! We reinserted the card and walla the maps were immediately restored giving details to the exact . When we rejoined the motorway ,  the patronizing voice of Samantha from the GPS never sounded so sweet . And so we safely made our way back to Manchester from London , a good 4 hours drive . Along the way I  guess Mikhail , Natasha and Danny must have been worn out from the stress and slept through . My faithful wifey , Nadiah, as usual kept me company making sure I  take the right turns although I knew she was tired too.  I was actually fresh ( munching chocolates randomly helps ) and enjoying the drive . Yup ,  I sure missed our cute car and the British way of driving .
                                                           our speedy gonzales

The drive back to Manchester marks the last of our three weeks stay in UK. The London experience was suspenseful but it just makes the trip more memorable , we had a good laugh over it and it add colors to fond memories.

We had spend Christmas and Boxing Day in London , seeing the sights and the ladies with their shopping escapade ..

                                                                     brr it's cold 
                                                      after a nice lunch downtown
                                                           catch that pigeon

                                                    horsing around at trafalgar square

                                                  errr , my pose did not quite gell

                                                            that's my danny  

                                                            shopping at bicester
                                                 my ladies in q to join the happy shoppers 

                                             fresh at the start of a long wait .. he he 

And so the last few days  was  a wind down of our activities as we prepare to leave Abang and head for home  .... but prior to that , what a jolly good time we had !

It may be winter in UK but there were warm hugs and kisses awaiting us at the airport :) 

                                            Arriving Manchester at the crack of dawn 

A few days later , we travelled north to the Lake District and stayed for a week at a really cosy cabin .

                                                          welcome to our lodge 

 We took ownership of a friendly white goose and a bunch of ducks to be our pets for the week . I remember taking shots of my family feeding Queenie the goose and the ducks in our pyjamas and sarong on a chilly and windy winter morning . I remember having a fun round of mini golf ( ahem of course I won with a few strokes ahead), outing to a historical castle , shopping on a weekend market and a designer shoe outlet ,

                                                     judges and dungeons

                                                             gasp !
then returning to our cabin for a warm delicious home cooked meal prepared by Nadiah. Then there were those energy sapping UNO session on Barbie cards and the shout of joy and exasperation when Danny loses. 

                                               Feeding Queenie & Ducks ( where are they?)

                                                          .....  and the ducks

From north we drove south to experience canal boat in a remote country side near Wales . I had a very relaxing time cos my main man Mikhail skippered our 55 feet long Scotts Fun Fair No 108.  " A natural," said Bob our cannalboat guide.

                                                      Mikhail takes over from Bob

Danny was a superb first mate  , capable of handling the boat himself too 
                                                     the skipper and his first mate

... ah this is just nice as I found myself cuddled in a corner engrossed in a novel ( a shocker cos not a novel fan or anything with pages in between) 

                                                             hot coffee on a winter morning 
                                                          with a grisham in hand 
Outside Natasha was pestering her big bro to moor the boat cos she wants to take picture of the scenery and herself in the scenery (but of course) and getting all  excited at the sight of sheeps in the distance .

                                                the sheeps were just too far and fast

                                                                 brotherly love

                                                   my sweet princess on the hunt for leaves?
The boat ride was truly a welcome break from the pace of our hectic life . Here we are strolling along the canal , with no access to the internet , no e-mails , no appointments .. we're literally following the flow, taking   our own sweet time , smelling the fresh air , admiring nature and mooring the boat when we feel like it. We spend a night in a quiet area where it was cold outside but warm in the cabin ,  and in the morning we explored the surrounding area where two adorable country puppies tag along

                                                          Danny and his two new puppies

 ..and i will always remember our walk at Bettisville , a quaint little village by the banks . We stop for water refill and stroll into the village . It was a lovely Sunday morning and I guess the folks were attending church , so we had the whole village to ourselves .

                                                           jumping for joy 

                                                        i don't mind retiring here ...
                                                             stop ! in the name of love
                                                                   born free
We walk pass the country houses to vast fields and had a merry time chamwhoring . Natasha and Danny even sneaked into a farmer's land to get a photo shot . 

                                                    hmm , trying to sneak in eh?

                                                           me lovely wife

Lunch by the canal on the way back was nostalgic , with our Scotty safely moored nearby.

                                                          yummy yummy 

Back in Manchester , Nadiah was in her usual self making sure that Mikhail's room is trim and proper. We found the vacum which somehow my son overlooked for the past 3 months .. and soon enough Room 5 is cleared of dust. Surprisingly though Mikhail's room was tidy when we arrived , I suspect he did a spring clean before we arrived .. in fact it had a rather pleasant smell quite unlike his room in KMB. Mother's instinct took him to the kitchen for the first time though .. ah yet another discovery . 

                                                         nice room bang , hmm clean too :)

                                                                 my vain princess

But my son is the Boss in Manchester . He was our local guide taking us out to the city and the sumptuous meal at Curry Mile 

                                                     on the way to Curry Mile

                                                       what a big helping , says tasha

                                                    no worries for my man 

Grocery time for tonite's dinner

oh gosh , i ain't eating that


                                          and he took us to Old Trafford , a dream come true :) 

                                                                  i'm finally here 

                                                                   nice one dikky 

                                                       mama, a  proud mother and his son

                                                 At the airport I have already missed Abang ,

                                                            jaga diri baik baik yang 

yeah worried about his coming days ..the exam that he will be facing soon and his meals . But we left knowing that he is in the care of responsible and loving seniors ...good guys whom I know will be there to be his interim family . I left with content, satisfied  that my son is doing great ,  his Iman Insyallah  intact ,

                                                            friday sholat

and sensing that  he will do well in his studies. I know he will interact well with the locals , learning their culture and thoughts .. broadening  his exposure to be a better person.

                                                            mama cries again

                               As for UK .... well I gotta a feeling that we will be back for more :)

                                                            celebrating life  :)


  1. Glad to see you haven't forgotten how to feed the ducks! And passing on the experience to the next generation....I taught you well...