Month: May 2008

No Update Until…

I wish I could write, or at least continue writing my travelogue in Egypt (whoaa, can’t believe it was almost a year ago , the memories are as fresh as ever!), but for this final week before going home I am super duper busy – completing my volunteering, packing up may stuff and moving them out to the new house, and yeah, watching Desperate Housewives for a little bit of entertainment.

And don’t expect any new entry , to be safe, until 14th of June. I’m gonna be home on 3rd, but include the ritual of visiting relatives and all in the first two weeks around Perlis, Kedah and Penang- which is made compulsory by my dad, based on my experience in summer 2006 – I don’t think I’ll have a peaceful time to write anything serious.

p.s. Emirates luggage weight limit is 20kg. That is ridiculous. My sister’s Harry Potter book set takes half of that.

We are the Champion!

A friend of mine has been asking me a few times, on how is it in Manchester when Manchester United wins an important match, and most often I said I don’t know. That is particularly because I’m living in a relatively quiet area where most of its residents are the elderly. If I were living in the University Hall or anywhere close to the city centre, I would have known how is it like.

But today, in fact a few minutes ago, I was on my journey home from Cheetham Hill visiting a friend of mine, and I was grateful that I didn’t insist on going home by bus – or else I most probably won’t be home by 2 a.m. in the morning. My friend has to worriedly locked the door just to ensure that none of the drunk Manchester United supporters get into our car.

The traffic was horrible with people dancing in the middle of the road shirtless. The bars were crowded, and the queue for the ATM machines are just as long as the queue into the bars and pubs. Never mind those walking in the middle of the street singing and cheering (including those in the cars) as if they have known each other long ago. And of course, Guinness must have made quite a fortune tonight.

Pity all my friends staying in the Hall who have exams tomorrow, I bet they cannot even understand a word they are reading. The noise must be unbearable.

And for me, I’m glad Manchester United wins two titles this season, might re-think of securing a Manchester United shirt soon (printed with Rooney, no doubt).

Manchester United has definitely become a religion of these people.

Volunteering: A Tale of Three Species

Note: Entri mengarut.

Here is the story, based on actual case.

Yesterday I went volunteering again, this time the task is described as pulling out weed in Clayton Park. It happened that the park was absolutely marvellous, so though it was supposed to be a physical job, it was therapeutic. Seriously it is. No kidding. Not much of a park, but a little more like a jungle. De-stressing it was, walking through the path towards the area.

So Himalayan Balsam, let me describe it here as an antagonist, the villain. Do not be deceived by the beautiful, red flowers, this species is actually very invasive. Very aggressive in seed dispersal, it can outgrow any other plants nearby, so it is best, said the Groundwork person, to pull them out in order to save other wild species. So she brought us to this area full of this bad Himalayan Balsam.

Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens glandulifera)

It was supposed to be physical task, but the most exercised part of my body throughout that four hours was my mouth and tongue – pulling out the weed did not require much energy, but keeping up the conversation with my mates was. But still, the weather was lovely, my friends were nice, I enjoyed it.

It was enjoyable indeed, until I felt a little pain on my hand. I took a look, it was already reddish, my skin. I tried to ignore, but it seemed to hurt me (not that much actually, but for the sake of this entry, let’s make it more dramatic), so I mentioned about it to Kirsty the MLP person accompanying us.

She said, it’s the nettle, you’ve been stung. Oh, OK, I said, never mind. She said it’s gonna be fine after a while, and yes it did, unless you touch it constantly like I did. She was also stung, and she said we should try to find dock leaves, which can be a cure for the pain. That’s great, I said. So I’ve learnt about a few species of creatures today -Himalayan Balsam, dock leaves and this insect called nettle.

Well, my first guess was that nettle is some kind of insect that bites, but when I asked Kirsty to show me what the thing called nettle:

Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica)

Hoho. It is a flowering plant actually, and it stings.

And Carol (or was it Carolyn?), the Groundworks person came with the dock leaves for us as the remedy for the nettle’s evil deed.

Broad-leaved Dock (Rumex obtusifolius).

And after a few minutes, I was healed (I really mean it, the mosquito-bite look-alike inflammation was gone!). So I can pull the weed peacefully, though I now changed my mind -the balsam was not that bad. I was trying to save the nettle from being invaded, but it stang me – twice actually. Worst was the second one was received while I was already out of dock leaves supply.

I went back home, and was laughed at by my housemates for being stung by a plant.

Duh!

Moral of the story:

Never judge a book by its cover, never judge a plant by its flower.

Dogs do bite the hands that feed them, nettle does sting the hands that try to save them.

p.s. Nettle was not that bad actually, I now remember that I have once , drank herbal tea made of nettle leaves.

Exciting as it should be

I was very much excited, since the day complete GE results were published, to see the parliamentary debate, with plenty of well-known, controversial figures in it.

And yes, it does, as predicted, excite me and now I am more than ever, an avid Youtube audience.

It should have started earlier all this excitement, but with Mahfuz Omar my favourite politician since I was 14 (with no explainable reason, though) back in his parliamentary seat, it cannot be much more interesting. And yes, please add KJ in the equation.

I will write more about this later, but for now, enjoy this joke.

Duh!

Does he know anything like a reliable referencing system?

Getting a story of the Prophet companions out of nowhere is extremely ridiculous, let alone the act of trying to derive an ijtihad on ISA based on that, without proper ‘usl fiqh’ knowledge.

Haih.

Rasa macam nak gelak guling-guling.

p.s. I know this entry looks very one-sided, with the footage taken from TVPas.com, but how do I get to watch these videos if not from this source?

Back at Once

Ignore the title, simply chosen for no reason.

I can’t really register the idea that I’m going home in less than 3 weeks. I’m not done with the shopping. I have just kindly bought Manchester United Shirt for my little brother, to be more generous, printed with Ronaldo 7- though I am a fan of Rooney (that’s because he has broken my record by scoring no less than 90% for his Additional Maths exams each time) but I still have a few more in the list to go – handbags for my sister and mom; a list which won’t be entertained until 23rd May. But then, with one week left, I am gonna be busy with completing my volunteering, and also moving my stuff to 28 East Grove, our new nest, so I might as well resort to online shopping, though it will kill the fun and the therapeutic element of shopping.

I bet this is the shortest exam period so far, with only three subjects, Friday to Friday. Mine start with Safety this Friday, Fine Chemicals Production on Monday and Environmental Law and Regulations next Friday. My revision is progressing fine, alhamdulillah.

I am aching to go for jogging, but I know, as soon as I reach home after jogging I will reach for my comfortable double bed, so it will be of no use. Instead, I opt for a few hours of physical voluntering for a little exercise. Jolly good. So tomorrow at 12.30 p.m (yes, it is gonna be very very sweaty), I’m off to Levenshulme for a few more planting, or is it pulling out a species called Himalayan Balsam? Can’t remember well.

But my favourite pair of working trousers has been smudged with paint from last Friday’s painting session, so erm.. I might as well try to find (read: buy) a new one tomorrow. Right after our final meeting with Prof Webb (yes, we still, unfortunately, have design project meeting!) I’ll go straight to Primark. Haha. (Monologue: this is bad, Afni, this is bad. Your wardrobe cannot accept new members anymore)

But before that I have a few more lecture notes to be studied before 10.00 a.m tomorrow so that I can go pulling out that bad species of Balsam happily, rest assured that my revision is at the right pace as planned. Which, most probably, means I cannot sleep tonight..

Fine, let the lion sleep tonight. I won’t.

Oh, by the way, I was pretty much surprised with myself that I CAN actually feel shy. I mean, you won’t see me in any way blushing, but I was quite surprised that despite my favourite mantra ‘Just do it’ which most of the time dares me to do anything including saying something harsh to someone’s face, I can still feel vulnerable – and worse is that, I feel so shy to give ‘Tazkirah’. Thank God. I seriously, gratefully thank God for that. I just thougt that I am very far away from what a Muslim supposed to be in term of shyness, like what is described of Rasulullah (pbuh), that he was more shy than a virgin. I am not married, but of course, I am not the kind of woman that is being compared to the Beloved in this hadith. Good start, a good start indeed.

Till then, wish me luck.

HSE Myth-Buster

In case you don’t know, HSE stands for Health and Safety Executive.

By the way, I was revising my Safety notes when I came across this site, and they have a pretty cool section called ‘Myth of the Month’ which I think is fairly attractive to laymen.

I’d say that I was more safety-conscious then ever after attending Safety lectures for two semester. The idea of predicting and being sensitive to potential hazards seems to be too much for a careless, absent-minded person like me, but then like one of the saying, ‘Safety has no quitting time’, I just have to force myself to be in this ‘predictive-mode’. Well, especially when you are in the top management of an organisation like MCOT – recall the all-girls, 5-car convoy to Snowdonia.

Myth: Every possible risk needs a safety sign

December 2007

The reality

Using too many signs just guarantees no one will read any of them.

Safety signs are useful when there’s a significant risk which can’t be avoided or controlled in any other way. But that doesn’t mean you should add a sign for every possible risk, however trivial.

Where there are serious risks in your workplace, don’t just rely on signs – take practical steps to deal with them. If you do need a sign, make sure it has the right symbol and is clearly visible.

Take care everyone.

Just pray that if one day I end up being a chemical engineer, the plant I design won’t blow up.