Thursday, 31 December 2009

2009 in Review

Before the 2009 bids farewell, here's a review of how my year went.

January, I got jobless right after the first week. I learned about affiliate marketing and purchased my own domain name. But it's rather embarrassing so I better not tell you what it is.

February, six months after submitting my application for residence card, it hasn't arrived and so I am still jobless.

March, visited Edinburgh and fell in love with this enchanting city.

April, revisited our friends in Suffolk who advised me to write the Home Office as eight months of holding my passport is quite unexplainable and illegal. So I did write to the HO stating that my passport was expiring in November so they needed to expedite the approval of my application.

May, two weeks later, my passport arrived with the residence documentation of course. I felt ecstatic. After 9 months of not having my passport I felt like I won the euro million lottery. By the fourth week, I got a job again.

June, working with Harford Manor school and meeting wonderful kids. End of month over the Alps toward Sicily. I met my brothers-in-law and father-in-law.

July, first wedding anniversary and we were not together. (sad) I was looking after my dear sister-in-law who had an operation after falling from a cherry tree.

August, visited other Sicilian cities such as Noto and Ragusa Ibla, these are two magnificent ancient cities like Edinburgh and so they are also enchanting. Also the prickly pears and almonds are ready. End of month, back to England. Ah! the cool, refreshing breeze after the scorching heat of Sicilian summer.

September, started working full-time. Thanks God, Yey!!

October, ummm can't remember pretty well...oh, yea, I started this blog LOL!

November, renewed my passport.

December, got a machine-readable passport. Spent Christmas alone. But nevertheless, am thankful to God for all His wonderful blessings.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

We live to work

Yes, that's what life is here in the UK. We live to work.

When my alarm went off this morning I didn't feel like getting up and stayed longer. Then I jerked when I saw it was 5.35 am. I rushed to the shower and while blowdrying my hair, put the bread in the oven and heated the left-over food--monggo and rice.

As I was waiting for the bus with my bus-stop mate, I couldn't help but express my what was in my mind--frustration over the crappy First Bus service and the crappy weather. Unfortunately, most people here in the UK live to work. That's what life is. People from all over the world come here to work. We're like the busy bees working our ass off to make honey.

Some people choose to just receive government benefits but the money bag is bucked by the workforce like me.

inaantok na ako..i'll continue this tomorrow.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Red roses from my back garden | Ruby Tuesday

I can't wait for spring to come again and see the red roses bloom in my back garden. More Ruby shots if you tap photo below.

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Healty Snack | Yummy Mellow Yellow Monday

This is my version of haystack sans beans and instead of lettuce, I used cucumber. It's absolutely one of my best favorites.
More MYM photos are posted here or click the button below.

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Saturday, 26 December 2009

5 years ago today | remembering tsunami 2004

These photos were taken on 25 and 26 December 2004 in Phuket. I can never forget that event. We were caroling along Patong beach on Christmas eve and Saturday afternoon we went back to watch the sunset. The beach was full of festive people. The sea looked so pacified and inviting. Sunday morning we wanted again to go back there to go swimming but our tour guide took us in a remote island on the western side of Phuket. There was grumbling and murmuring but thanks our tour guide couldn't understand us. Most of us were Filipinos and an Indian. You can read my detailed blog here Part 1Part 2 and Part 3.

Five years ago today, I and my colleagues had a close encounter with death. But thanks to the Mighty Hand that led us to a safe place on the western side of Phuket.
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Thursday, 24 December 2009

This Christmas Eve


I checked my pocket for the umpteenth time to make sure I got the key before closing the door behind me. If I locked myself out there's no way I could get in the house and I'd probably die in the cold. There's nowhere to go to--at least I thought. I paused until the reality has finally sunk in that I got the key. I'm home alone!

My day started by walking for a little more than a kilometer to a bus stop where there are more buses. I needed to do it because I had to get to work half an hour earlier and finish earlier as it's Xmas eve. Normally, I catch a bus just up the road. But for three days in a row this week, the buses came really late causing me to miss the next bus to get to work. So instead of standing there in the cold for about half an hour I decided to just walk. With my newly purchased quilted coat, I felt really warm and didn't mind the cold. But after the rain, the hardened snow has become really slippery so I couldn't walk as fast as I wanted to. To add insult to the injury, three buses came passing me by. Unfortunately I was halfway in between the bus stops.

As I was crossing the road to my stop a bus was passing by and I tried to stop it to wait for me but the driver's heart was as cold as the hardened snow. I couldn't stop but to say, "Evil, you're an evil!" as if he could hear me. While waiting for the next bus I felt a pang of hunger. I had a big bowl of pasta for breakfast but I don't know why I felt hungry again after about an hour.  A couple of minutes later a bus was approaching again and it looked familiar. So I muttered to myself, "Don't tell me it's 26" -- it's the bus I usually catch up the road. And it is! How interesting, isn't it? I walked that far traversing a slippery icy road on a cold Dec 24 morning to catch the bus that I could have otherwise caught up the road. As soon as I seated, I told myself, "This is life!! with a sigh!

Anyway, at least I got to work just in time. My nose felt numb because of the cold. I wish I had even a minute to sip a hot chocolate and warm up my bloody red nose.

Normal day at work

When I entered the office I expected everybody or at least most in my team to be donning a Xmas hat but only half of them did and I hesitated for awhile to wear mine. Meanwhile, I started my main routine for the day--writing letters. I was rather quick today. I thought I was going to work whole day until 3 pm but by noon there was no more work. I was happy to go home early even if it would mean less pay. But amazingly, they're gonna pay us whole day today.

Be kind to animals

I wanted to do some window shopping but I thought about kikiriki (our hen) and decided to check on her and bring her more food. I checked the bus schedule and gladly there was one coming in a few minutes--if I'm lucky, which I am, thankfully. The road to the allotment was icy as expected and twice or thrice I almost fell on my butt so I had to walk down the pedestal where the cars' tires have been and so it was clean. But it was dangerous as some people do love to speed even in this situation.

The gate was still locked at half past two pm and I thought that nobody wanted to visit their garden today. Unbelievably, Kikiriki has almost finished her food. I gave her a large box filled with grains on Sunday and I couldn't believe she's eaten all that. I gave her more pellets but I think she doesn't like it very much. But she has to eat if she doesn't want to starve. I also brought her warm water.

On the way home I took another route and asked the kind driver to drop me at the park. It's much closer to walk but I think I made a regrettable choice. The park was more icy than the road. What do you expect? No cars passing by and so the ice stayed on the ground. I had to walk really slow.

Christmas dinner

I didn't feel making any food at all. I had banana, Fuji apple and crisps.

I ended this day talking to my husband and chatting to my nephew.

Merry Christmas to all!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Ruby Tuesday

I think this is my first Ruby Tuesday entry from this blog. I took this photo on my way to work. I thought I had to photograph them after the rain and before the snow comes.
Again, I need to ask if anyone knows what this plant is called.
Sorry, I have never seen this plant until I came to the UK that's why I don't know.

For more ruby photos, tap the shoes and join us.

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Monday, 21 December 2009

Summer blooms | Mellow Yellow Monday

Took this photo last year's summer. Can someone tell me the names of these flowers please? Thanks.
By the way, for more mellow yellow photos click the button below.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Christmas sales: They just want to make you spend

On Thursday I came home early because there was not many things to do. I was sad because I would get less money but also I was happy I had time to go around shops. However, because I knew what I wanted to buy and what I needed so I was kinda focused and was not buying on impulse. First I went to look for a nice party dress that's not gonna cost me an arm and a leg and I did find one for £10 which is really a good bargain.

Next I needed a pair of warm tights made of wool. So I went to H&M where almost everything is on SALE! I could have easily acted on impulse and swipe my credit card but then I realized comes January I would be driven up the wall at my unwise spendings. I really hate spending my money before I earn it except for extreme emergencies. Luckily I found what I needed--a pair of leg warmers made of wool. They are really warm and feel so soft on the skin.

Then I thought I also needed this and that--because they are on sale. So I picked flannel hat but again decided I really don't need it and so back it went to the shelf.

After paying for my item, I went to look for other stuff on sale but ended up not buying anything else anymore.

This time of the year you just can't ignore the magnetic effect of the word "Sale" written in bright red or white against a red background. And many people spend so much thinking that they got a good bargain. Sometimes or many times people buy things they don't even need or want just because they are incredibly cheap. Then they come home and realized they didn't even want it. Unfortunately some items on sale have a "no return" policy while some can only be returned within 7 days as opposed to 28 days on regular priced items.

At the end of the day I realized those shops just want people to spend their money by offering sales. They know people would be giving away gifts and they would suggest this and that which most of the time are actually just a waste of money because they are not useful stuff.

Well, folks this is just my two cents.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Good news for BA passengers, strike is lifted

There are two groups of people affected by this event -- the passengers and the British Airways cabin crew. One is rejoicing, the other is mourning.
On the bus I found a newspaper left by a passenger and I couldn't resist not to pick it up. There was an article about a woman who was getting married early next year. She's working in the US and this is the first time she's coming home to spend Xmas with family before her wedding. But the news of the BA crews going on a 12-day strike devastated her and her family. Well, now she can rejoice as the court sided with the BA and banned the strike in favor of the passengers. Read more >>>

Monday, 14 December 2009

Yellow lily in Sicily | Mellow Yellow Monday

Took this photo of a yellow water lily in an arboretum in Palermo, Sicily which is rather unexpected because I never saw it in Thailand where water lilies abound. For more Mellow Yellow photos click the button below.
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Saturday, 12 December 2009

My most favorite bone tickler | X Factor funny auditions

Have you had enough yet?

Here's another one.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

20% off everything at Barrats

Barrats shoes is extending their 20% off everything when you buy online until December 13 so take your order now before it closes on you. Discount code is AMAZINGB. The shipping is quick. I ordered on Saturday night and Monday they had my boots delivered. Also their customer support is superb. I'd definitely love to shop at Barrats again.

They also have 25% off party shoes and bags which also ends on December 13. Discount code is PARTYB. Available only online. This is not available on pickups even if you ordered online. The postage cost is only £3.95 anyway so you still win.

Make sure you enter the code at the top of the page before you enter your payment details.

Tip from me: If you have Barrats shop in your city pop in there and try the shoes that you want then order it online to avail of the discount. Hope this helps.

Going down the hill again

Myspace Graphics
Grabe we're going down the hill again. How time flies especially when you're procrastinating. This week is not so  much busy. I guess people are already on holiday. I wonder why they were not giving me 3-day holiday after Christmas. I have to get back to work on the 31st! Anyway, with work is so much better than without work and I love my job.

Enjoy the rest of the week

yours truly

Monday, 7 December 2009

Yellow Lisianthus | Mellow Yellow Monday

Took this photo from my brother-in-law's green house in Italy.
For more mellow yellow photos click the button.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

The queen warns paparazzi

Blaming the paparazzi for the death of Diana or whoever is, the queen warns them of any legal action if any photos of the royal family member gets published. Aware of public interest, members of the royal family insist they have right to privacy even on ordinary daily activities.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

What's cooking?

I mean literally. What am cooking? I was making a dough for pizza (I was standing on the chair in this photo). When I came to the UK I only had tiny little interest but a very old time experience in cooking and baking. I said old because I had been cooking since I was a little girl. My mother used to make rice cakes and I was always assisting her although most of my jobs were to check the fire and add more coals or firewood and sometimes preparing ingredients. The only things I could cook was rice, fried fish, boiled eggs, steamed vegetable, roasted saba (a type of cooking banana) and/or sweet potato and the likes.

Coming to a completely different cultural environment, I had no choice but to brush up on my cooking skill and utilize it and enhance it. Before long I have learned to make simple Italian foods. Not only that I also got better and learned to bake cakes and so for a time I have indulged myself in making my favourite chocolate cake.

But my greatest culinary reward was when I learned to make loaf bread. It was for me one of my greatest achievement in the field of cooking. I learned it by watching a video on-line. Here's a photo of my first ever loaf bread.
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Thursday, 3 December 2009

Can't believe it's Friday tomorrow

When I filled my timesheet today I couldn't believe the week's almost gone again. It seems like yesterday was only Monday. Well, this week hasn't been so good weather-wise as the temperature dropped to about 5 and in the morning it's really freezing. I hate it when I'm waiting at the bus stop and also the 7-10 minute brisk walk from from the bus stop to where I work. Earlier this week when I got off the bus it was windy and drizzling and using an umbrella is not a wise thing to do as it might carry me away.

But I'm thankful for my newly purchased snow shoes because they are really warm and comfortable. Lined with fleece and very light, my new waterproof shoes are heaven-sent because I don't get freezing toes anymore.

I have been wanting to buy a really nice warm coat so I don't have to wear up to four layers of jumpers. Even with 4 layers I still feel the cold permeating through my thin layer of muscle up to my bones. I want a coat with fur lining but the ones I saw don't have fur lining in the sleeves where I feel the cold most.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Ruby Tuesday #2

For my Ruby Tuesday entry this week, I am sharing this photo of my first wedding anniversary from my dear hubby. He was in the UK I was in Sicily and he ordered his brother to buy giant anthuria for the bouquet as it's my favorite plant. The girl is my hubby's niece by the way.

If you missed my first Ruby Tuesday entry click here. It's about Bobby the faithful dog. I'm sure you will love the story behind it.

For more Ruby Tuesday photos click on the badge below.

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