Thursday, June 17, 2021

MCO 3.0

I had my first dose of Astra Zeneca about 2 weeks ago. 

It was such a relief to know that Malaysia is getting more vaccine supplies in the coming months. After living with this pandemic for more than a year we all realized that life has changed. I can't remember how it feels to be sitting with friends in a crowded restaurant having lunch, or going to big book expo, or even participating in a mega Zumba event. 

MCO 3.0 is worse than the first one. This time the number of daily cases are way much higher. We know the virus is everywhere. Entering the mini market feels like entering a battle field. We don't know where the enemies are hiding and we can be shot at anytime. 

Many of my Zumba instructor friends are either doing online classes or started venturing into food business. Gyms and fitness studios will remain closed until further notice. Many studio owners decided to close down their businesses as well. There's no way they can survive. There was no incentive or financial assistance, yet they still have to pay for utility bills and rental. 

School children had only a few months of face-to-face classes with their teachers. Online learning has not been really successful either. Many less fortunate kids can't even join the online classes as they have to help their parents earn money. 

Everyone's hoping that things will get better in the next quarter. When more people get the vaccine, it's possible to achieve herd immunity faster. Only then more businesses can re-open and kids can go to school.

This feels like centuries ago

Miss this playground and the studio floor

My friends from different states in Malaysia


Thursday, May 28, 2020

COVID-19, MCO, life and the new normal

My family went for umrah and came back about 2 weeks before MCO started in Malaysia. Panic buying started a few days before the announcement. I went to the nearest grocery and bought some meat, chicken, vege and rice. I was thinking, ok we can still go out to get our essentials after this. Don't have to worry so much.
When MCO really started I realized that I didn't want to go out at all. So I stayed at home from 18th March - 14th May 2020. That was even longer than my confinement after child birth. Usually my husband or my eldest son would go out to do groceries and buy other essentials.
Before Ramadhan started, I was cooking 3-4 times daily and during Ramadhan I cooked once for iftar and sahur.
Aidilfitri came and went so smoothly. I didn't cook much for raya this year, only instant nasi himpit, rendang daging and ayam masak merah. We were only allowed to visit close relatives on the first day of Syawal and not allowed to travel cross state. So, I didn't get to see my family in Pahang this year. Hopefully things will get better in July so that we can go back for Aidil Adha.
As I'm writing this, we are in the CMCO (Conditional Movement Control Order) phase in Malaysia. Many businesses have started operating, the government is re-opening the economy. However, schools and universities are still closed. My kids are doing e-learning at home. My 2nd son is waiting for his UPU application result, so we have no idea whether he will start his foundation soon or not. New university intakes will have its challenges. Other uni students will continue with e-learning until December 2020.
The saddest part is there's still no news when gyms will re-open. I need to be at the gym to really work out. When I'm at home, I tend to spend more time in the kitchen, and then in front of the TV or my laptop. Getting myself to do some exercise during MCO is such a huge challenge. I need a trainer/instructor to scream at me every few minutes, otherwise I'll just sit around and sip coffee.
So, after 9 weeks of staying at home I finally decided that I should write. I went through some of my old folders transferred from another laptop and found a few chapters of a manuscript that I didn't remember writing. That's funny because I'd usually remember things that I created. So, I just copy pasted the content onto wattpad and continued with the story. Loop holes everywhere but I hope there'll be a decent story. Well, at least I'll feel good when I come up with something during this MCO.
Follow this link if you'd like to read it. The title is MIMPI.  Enjoy!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Before I forget...


I hope people still read blogs. And even if you don't, that's okay because I'll still update this page once in a while just to record what I've been up to. We forget easily, so it's better if I park the memories somewhere. (Note: this is NOT in chronological order. hehe. Yeah, I'm lazy like that.)

1. During the June school holidays we went to New Zealand (during bulan puasa hehehe) for a short holiday, but we managed to cover many places at north and south island. It felt very short because it was almost winter and day time is only from 7a.m to 5.30pm. Puasa was also short, which is a good thing. We only had 1 big meal a day - buka puasa. Sahur was really simple, it was either bread or cereal. Managed to shed a few kg after the holiday, which was unusual.

Family potrait

Pengantin lama

Di celah-celah gunung

2). I attended a script writing short course that was tailored for TV drama and films. It was fun, eye-opening and got to meet a few writers both experienced and new. 

 3). During PBAKL 2017 I was invited to become one of the panels for ITBM Sofa Putih session. We discussed the Coffee Table Book I did with my fellow Srikandis that was launched in Oct 2016.

I submitted a different photo, why lah they still use this old one?

 4). As usual, celebrated my birthday in July. This time I ate as much cake as I wanted because I lost a few kg during puasa, so didn't feel that guilty lah.

Celebrated at home

Celebrated at the gym
 5). Got my first ever duck as a token of appreciation after being in the Srikandi EXCO for 4 years. To tell you the truth, I still don't know how to style this shawl. Hehe.

Still can't figure out why this shawl is so mahal.

6). Went to Kuching for a short getaway. That was my first time visiting Sarawak. Loved the food. Brought back packets of laksa Sarawak gravy. 

7). My 4th FIXI novel was published in September. This one is quite different. Many of my readers complained it was nothing like SAMAR or JERAT or HILANG. Yeah! It's a kisah masyarakat. Not the usual kill-kill-kill-die-die-die type. I hope it will manage to stay in the market for some time. Haha!

Meanwhile, I'm still working on SAMAR part 2. I know it's long overdue. It's just that I still can't get a few parts right. I don't want it to be out yet. When things don't feel right, you know it's still not right.

Babai! Thanks for reading this entry!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Yarn Obsession

What to do when your manuscript is stuck somewhere and you're just too uninspired to start another one? Well, you can always crochet and make beautiful things. ;)

I started learning this craft when I was only 9. Back then, in my kampung we only had electricity supply from 7pm to 7am. So, in the afternoon, there's not much to do. No TV to watch, no video games to play and off course there was no smartphones. What the aunties in my neighbourhood would do then, they'd have lepak sessions or mesyuarat tingkap from 2-6pm almost everyday. My mom and I would join them sometimes. 
There was a time when some of them started bringing their crochet yarn and needle and made table runners, baby hats, baby socks and the most famous one was chair backs. It is so nostalgic now when I visit friends' houses and see chair backs in their living room. The popular design back then (even now, I think) was bunga nenas and spider pattern. 
After seeing the aunties making pretty pieces of chair backs, I asked my mom to buy me crochet yarn and needle. One of the aunties taught me to do 'tali air' that's the most basic crochet. She asked me to do 1000 'tali air'. So I did and made a thousand more until I was so expert I could do it my eyes closed. 
Once I've mastered that, I asked my mom to buy me more yarn. I started to pester my late grandma to teach me more. So, I went for a sleep over at her place and she taught me a few more basic crochet stitches. 

After that I started coming up with my own crochet pattern. Back then it was not easy to buy the pattern book. Some of the aunties had photocopies from their friends or families. The first thing I made was supposed to be a dark blue chair back. When I was half way done, one of my brothers told me that it looked like 'alas kaki'. Yeah, brothers are zalim like that. So, I un-crochet everything and started something else from scratch. I don't quite remember what I made after that but it was a very small piece and I used it as a radio cover. 
When I was 11, the sundry shop in my kampung sold a few new colours of crochet yarn. I was attracted to the striking green one and told my mum to buy a few of them. That was when I designed a water bottle sleeve and brought it to school. Off course I received mixed reviews from friends and teachers (not much different from writing books, eh?) The bottle sleeve lasted until I finished primary 6. When I went to STF, I had no idea what happened to that it. 

So, during CNY holidays this year, out of the blue, I took out my old crochet needle and yarn from my sewing basket and started a project. It was a telekung bag. I never knew I needed a telekung bag. I only go to the mosque a few times a year. But I just thought of having one would be nice. Once it was done, I put in a pair of my telekung and I liked what I saw. The telekung could 'breathe' too as the crochet bag had many lubang-lubang. 
After the telekung bag, I went to Daiso to see what kind of yarns are available and I fell in love with a few colours. So, I bought a few (6 balls of colourful yarns, to be exact) and started another telekung bag, followed by a few bottle sleeves. 
This seems to be an on-going project as I'm getting orders from friends and families who love crochet  bags/sleeves/table runners/chairbacks as well. 
OKlah kan? If my book project got shelved, I can always crochet. Hehe.

And the best part was when one of my gym friends told me, "ingatkan awak ni tahu melompat je. Ada soft side juga rupanya, ya?"

Have a nice day, peeps! Muah! Muah!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

NaNoWriMo2016 : Ada Apa Dengan Saleha?

apa khabar semua orang-orang di Blogosphere? Wujud ke lagi Blogosphere ni? Semua dah terjun lubuk media sosial, kan?
Ini ialah entry wajib setiap menjelang hujung tahun iaitu update tentang penyertaan saya dalam NaNoWriMo. Tahun ni sebenarnya tak rajin sangat pun nak participate tapi tiba-tiba ada orang bagi ilham dan peluang nak menulis, maka sayapun tulislah. 
Kali ini cerita asal adalah daripada karyawan lain, saya sekadar buat olahan dan ceritakan dengan lebih terperinci. Plot utama dah ditentukan semasa sesi brainstorming yang kami buat di sebuah kedai kopi yang jual pastry sedap di Paradigm Mall pada bulan Oktober haritu. 
Seronok juga mengembangkan cerita berdasarkan ilham orang lain ni. Ye lah, sekurang-kurangnya, takdelah kita syok sendiri berlebih-lebihan, kan? Bila rasa macam dah terlebih hanyut tu, tengok balik nota-nota masa brainstorming dulu, dan kembali ke landasan asal. 
Setiap kali menulis saya akan letakkan project code name (heh! mentang-mentanglah dulu selalu buat IT projects, semua projek pun nak kena bagi kod!) Projek NaNoWriMo2016 ni saya beri code name: Ada Apa Dengan Saleha? 
So, spoiler pertama ialah ada watak nama Saleha. Tapi, ada juga orang yang tanya Saleha tu nama orang ke, nama komputer? Hahahaha! Ni mesti sebab pernah baca Di Sebalik DINARA agaknya. DINARA tu lain, dek non! DINARA tu memang nama computer system, itu pasallah semua capital letters nama dia.
Saleha ni lain. Saleha ni perempuan. Dia ni macam kita semua - perempuan kompleks yang nak macam-macam dalam dunia. 
Eh, taknaklah kasi spoiler banyak-banyak. Korang tunggulah bila novel ni keluar nanti. InsyaAllah tahun depan. Tarikhnya tak pasti lagi. 
Bila keluar novel nanti, korang belilah, ya? Kasihanilah penulis kecil-kecilan seperti saya ini. Dahlah harga minyak dunia tak stabil, kan? Ringgit Malaysia pun jatuh teruk, boleh bankrap nak bayar Zumba subscription every month dalam dolar Amerika tu. Sobs!
So, nantikan kisah Saleha, ok? Tajuk sebenar novel ni sayapun tak tahu lagi. Hehe.