Saturday, December 31, 2005

Looking Back and Stepping Forward

As the year draws to a close...I sat down on my bed this morning to look back on 2005. So many things happend this year...good things, bad things, happy things and sad things...

I graduated from Law School in July this year. It seemed like yesterday when I was struggling for my January and May exams. Now, I'm struggling again. But this time for another subject altogether. Something which I have chosen. And for better or worse, I will continue to strive hard like how I did for my LLB.

I met Vinz in January when MF invited me for dinner with Laura to celebrate his success in getting his dream job in HSBC London. We had dinner at Petite Paris; a cute little place above King's Walk which serves yummy French fare. My first impression of Vinz...funny. I met him again a few days later and that was when sparks begin to fly and cupid struck his arrow. We got together on the 20th of Febuary and we have not looked back since :)

My sister announced that she's pregnant with her second child and this time round it is a girl! The folks at home are delighted. So am I. Gonna be second time auntie soon!

2005 was also a year of death and sadness in our family. My beloved Uncle Bob Lim passed away of a sudden heart attack in Sydney. He was to turn 60 in a few months. A good friend of my parents died on the spot after being struck by lightning during a game of golf. God bless their souls.

My hopes and wishes for 2006 are...

That the world be a better place. No more wars. No more tsunami's. No more Katrina's.

That my world be better. That I get a job in the UK. That I pass my Master's. That my parents are healthy and happy always. That my nephew and new niece grow up well.

That Vinz and I continue to live happily...together...forever. (Whatever forever means....)

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Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Corridor...

It feels like only yesterday that I left primary school. I was yearning to start my 5 years in the secondary school just across the road. It was the school where all the big girls go to; where the kakak's wear turquoise coloured pinafores and kurungs and where the infamous band played every afternoon regardless of the weather. Compared to the adik school, the kakak school seemed so much bigger and better. The primary school was old. Really old. The desks had "moon craters" all over it which made writing rather difficult. The only way to even up the "craters" were to line the desks with layers and layers of drawing block. The corridors were dark and dingy. There were decades old cupboards which occupied half the walk ways. Sometimes I wondered whether any skeleton of a naughty girl from the past would just pop out if I opened any of them. It was on that dark corridor that many of my dreams for the past few nights occured...

I don't know why I have been dreaming of the past so much. Last night I dreamt of my primary school classmate, Khadijah Poh. She was clad in a customary tudung albeit with jeans and a maroon coloured checked blouse. As I walked past her, I found her face so familiar so I turned back and called out to her. She recognised me instantly and told me that she's studying in Pengkalan Chepa. I told her that I'm pursuing my Master's in almost the same field that she is in i.e. Environment protection except that my field is got to do with how corporations are responsible for such protection. She then gave me a book, some sort of an advertorial book on how to protect the environment which is sponsored by several MNC's. I thanked her for it and told her that I will use it for my dissertation.

Crazy dream. I don't know why I dreamt of Khadijah. The last time I met her was in Form 4 when both of us represented our schools for the district level English debate and we didn't even exchange any words; just a smile. Do I miss my old friend Khadijah? Is it a calling that I need to keep in touch with my old friends? That old as they may be...they can help me in achieving my goals still..?

So many of dreams have started at that dingy corridor. That dark...musty...corridor. It was at that corridor that many of the friendships I made in primary school started and ended. Maybe that it why I yearn to go back to that place...to relieve the happy and the sad moments.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Trip to Florence

All thanks to Florence, I am down with a horrible bout of flu. Worst one since I came back to Notts in September. My head is all fuzzy and I can hardly concentrate on anything. So I thought of resizing my photos and writing a bit of a travelogue. How difficult can that get?

Florence was...er...boring. But in retrospect, after looking at the photos we took, it doesn't look that bad afterall. It is actually quite picturerisque. I'll let the photos do the talking now...

We started off in Pisa. And Pisa being Pisa...what else is there to offer other than the infamous Leaning Tower.

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The tower was really leaning. I could feel the leaning'ness while climbing up the steep and narrow stairs. We climbed up the staggering 350 something stairs and caught a glimpse of Pisa's skyline.

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After Pisa, we headed off to Florence by train. The journey took a little bit more than an hour and we arrived all in one piece with minimal English and freezing feet and hands.

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That's me, Claire and Angela on the streets of Florence. It was super duper cold. No, correction. It was like a freaking freezer there!

The next day, we visited the famous Piazza Michaelangelo where the view was simply breathtaking!

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The statue of David - the fake one.

We visited the Ufizzi gallery as well. A place which I highly recommend to art enthusiast but not people like me who took a look at the place and ran off in search of food instead.

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Check out the cows. They were all over Florence!

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The Duomo. Lovely architecture. It looks 2D but its actually 3.

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What's a trip to Italy without trying out their spaghetti, pizzza's and rissoto's?

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I was so tempted to bring this darling home...

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3kg bottle of Nuttella!!

I came home with a runny nose and a sore throat. I also came home with Kinder Bueno's, Baci chocolates and yummy Italian biscuits. Not to mention black pasta made from squid ink and heart shaped pasta's. And...most importantly, I came home with a Gucci wallet for my baby and a Gucci handbag for myself :P

Would I recommend Florence to anyone? Yes, go to Florence if you are an art fan. Go to Florence if you love Gucci's and Prada's and LV's and D&G's and Ferragamo's...

Now, to leave you with a bit of England...yup...it snowed today in Notts. Finally.

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Friday, December 16, 2005

'Tis the Season!

Yup! It is the season to be jolly once more. Christmas is upon us again and being in a land where the birth of Jesus our saviour is celebrated with pomp and grandeur, I just can't help but carve a smile on my face when I see those twinkling Christmas lights decorating the dull streets of Nottingham.

The lights in my heart however, are not twinkling. They have actually been switched off for quite a while since Vinz went back to Malaysia. I am looking forward to January 12th eagerly.

I'll be off to London today and I'm going for my annual (hmm..not so annual already since I went for a trip in June) holiday to Europe! This time Eileen and I have selected Florence as our destination. I anticipate lots of shopping and photo taking and of course gelato eating :P

I will post up the photos once I get my courseworkS started and finished. So, I probably will not be updating this blog in the next couple of weeks.

Here's wishing my readers (if any of them still linger around here) a very Happy Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

Father Lord,
I thank You for Jesus...
I thank You for bringing Jesus to us...
I thank You for all the good things that You have given us...
I thank You for always being there for us whenever we need you, Lord.
In Jesus's holy name...
Amen

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Thursday, December 08, 2005

God is shining on me today and everyday...

I walked to the main campus this morning feeling happy because I will be able to collect my 1000pound scholarship cheque from the International Office. When I arrived in the office, it stiffling hot! So, I took off my cardigan and put it in my bag instead. I was given the cheque and I happily put it into my purse. I then put the purse on top my cardigan inside my bag. Just before I left the office, I put on my earphones and played some of my favourite songs on my Sony Ericsson w800i.

I walked out of the office and felt that my bag was a wee bit too bulgy so I decided to take out my cardigan and hold it instead. I walked on whilst listening to 'You Raise Me Up' by Westlife.

I waited at the Hopper bus stop to take the bus to Jubilee Campus and when the bus came in less than 2 minutes, I hopped on.

As I was listening to Samantha Mumba's 'Lately', I received a phone call.

'Are you Miss Jen Yu Lai?'

'Errr...yeahhh' (thinking to myself..you got my name terbalik lah..but nvm)

'You dropped your purse at the Trent building. You can come and collect it from now till this evening.'

'Ohhhhh...thank you so much!!!'

My God. How could I have been so careless! Thank God for the kind hearted soul who picked my purse up and turned it in to the security guard's office. Although I only had 5pounds worth of cash inside it, my credit cards, debit cards and the 1000pound cheque is inside.

I can't stop thanking God today!

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Thursday, December 01, 2005

I'm Coming Back to the Heart of Worship...

I am a bad bad bad child of God.

Since I came back to Nottingham in September, I can count the number of times I went for Solid Rock with just one hand. I attended one bible study and 2 worship sessions. I haven't been to church too. My excuse...too far to walk...too dark to walk back at night...too this...too that. What bad and horrible excuses. It is not an excuse for me to say that its too far to go to church! Its just a 20 minute walk. It is not an excuse for me to say that I don't want to walk back alone in the dark after SR. There are so many friends walking back to the Dunkirk area at 10pm on a Friday night. Sigh. What happend to me?

I suddenly had this wake up call from God this morning. I was sitting in front of my computer and staring at the screen blankly. Then I decided to check my email. There waiting for me was an email from SR asking help from people to bring food and be ushers for our annual Christmas event next week. Immediately, I felt that God was calling me to wake up and continue to be in His service. He told me to volunteer and be a part of this evangelistic event. He wants me to spread the Good News to my friends. I haven't been spreading any Good News this year at all. I have been really quiet about my faith. In fact, I have been so quiet that I hardly ever prayed to Him whether when I am down or when I am thankful. I have not given any thanks to Him. I have not sought for any forgiveness for the bad things I did and the bad thoughts that I had.

I have been a bad child of God. I have neglected Him.

Suddenly...I remembered one of the worship songs that we sang in church and SR...

I'm coming back to the heart of worship
And it's all about You,
It's all about You, Jesus
I'm sorry, Lord, for the thing I've made it
And it's all about You,
It's all about You, Jesus
(The Heart of Worship - Michael W Smith)

Yes, Lord. I'm coming back to the Heart of Worship. I'm sorry Lord for the things I have done. And now Lord...it is all about You now. It's all about You now. Amen.

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