Bucket list 2017

I have written a bucket list… for a few reasons.

1. I like making a list.

2. And then I like crossing them off. I also like putting a tick next to it. So much so that I think I should print this off so I can have the satisfaction of physically crossing and ticking things.

3. It’s fun to keep track of what I wanted to do and see whether it will materialize.

4. Maybe it will push me to actually do things.

Some of the things seems pretty unlikely but one must set the bar high! Like the martial arts bit – have always been interested and also feel like a bad-ass but I find myself categorising MYSELF as ‘non martial arts’. I mean I gotta unblock the mental wall first, I know. Also there’s the bit about writing a book. That feels too overwhelming but maybe I’ll get my act together… maybe I’ll write a short story first. 

Anyway, here goes – Bucket List for 2017:

1. Travel alone (only writing it here so I have something to cross off already) 

Yup, a double bed allll to myself. And wake up to the sound of nothing. I may have laid in that bed all afternoon. This was me on an impromptu hotel stay after realising I went on a course one day early (face palm). 

2. Go to Harry Potter studio (start local)

3. Learn how to make sushi – as in go to sushi-making class.

4. Publish something (for once)!

5. Go to pottery shop and make my own pottery (only cos I’m curious on how to make it… pretty sure my attempts would be at best hideous)

6. Go for Crystal Maze experience

7. Watch a musical

8. Learn martial arts

9. Run a race

10. Volunteer at soup kitchen

11. Write a book

12. Go on a hot air balloon ride — ok, not sure about this because someone had an accident in the UK last year on a hot air balloon ride! But hot air ballooning over Cappadocia seems like #travelgoals for me. 

13. Volunteer at refugee camp (anyone wanna join me in Greece?)

14. Girls trip away! (ok thanks sayang, loveyoubye)

15. Afternoon tea in London (cant decide which)

16. Take a cooking lesson

17. Create kids recipe book

18. Yoga whilst watching sunrise (not that m a yogaist but seems very serene)

19. Reconnect with old friends – this sounds vague but I have few in mind already that I am hoping to meet up and have long conversations with! And actually… connect more with new (social media) friends. 

20. Grow herbs

21. Go camping… or maybe glamping?

22. Make home made ice cream

23. Collect stories from bapa & mama of their childhood

24. Bake homemade buns

25.  Volunteer at a community organization

26. Go for Islamic classes

27. Learn (more) Arabic

28. Plant flowers in our garden

29. Go hiking

30. Save up for a house (maybe this year will be the year!) 

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Racism: why don’t we talk about it?

Interesting conversation with the Russian taxi driver in Kent:
Him: You’re muslim, right?

Me (oh here we go again): Yah

Him: So you’re not allowed to talk to me right?

Me: Hmm why?

Him: Because I’m kuffar… you’re not allowed to talk to me.

Me: *laughed (maybe out of nervousness)* Nahh.. that’s not true.

Him: No, I’m just kidding…. I’m learning the Quran yknow. 

Me: Oh really? (still not sure where this is heading)

Him: Yeah I’m trying to find peace. The world is a crazy place. 
We talked some more about how he was sick of Russian girls just wanting expensive things and his ex abandoning him for a rich guy and (weirdly) that is why he ‘likes muslims’. ‘You muslims stick with someone even when they’re poor and have nothing…’ — I didnt get started on how even muslims abandon people for their nafs and its more of the islamic principles that he meant. Or maybe that’s what he meant?
Anyway, I was close to getting him to move to Leicester because he lamented so many times on how racism is prevalent (“They dont like us yknow… immigrants and muslims… they hate us..”). I’m sure there is a (small) group of people who is like that, even more so in a less diverse area like Kent but most people I meet in UK are friendly at best and mostly civil/tolerant. Maybe he gets more of the racist stick due to his job (? irate or drunk passengers) and I dont because of mine. 
I can’t decide whether he’s being a pessimist or realist or I’m the one wearing rose tinted glasses. Either way, I feel bit sad for him. Enough of the racist stick thrown at you will colour your perspectives on the world.


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Bucket list: Travel alone

I have yet to write ‘My Bucket List for 2017’ – yup, I’m foregoing resolutions and instead having a bucket list! Except I haven’t constructed one yet.

It seems that God has better plans for me and knew what I wanted without actually me saying it out loud. A ‘holiday’ on my own!

Ok hold your horses, I’m only going to Kent!

Ashford, Kent, to be exact. For a neonatal course… that got confirmed only the day before.

So woke up at 5.30 am, hopped onto the 6 am train the next day and arrived in good time, half an hour early before the course was due to start!

….. Except I was 25 and a half hours early.


I really really really think the start of my new year is starting on a down low (parking ticket on the first day of 2017!)  – that’s what the pessimist in me would say.

It’s a good thing I still am an optimist — which means this can only go up from now on right??

Anyway, after feeling really really stupid and securing myself a hearty warm breakfast, I got myself a plan of action and decided to stay the night so I can actually make it to the course! (and not have the course fee and train tix go to absolute waste!!)

To my nice surprise, the train station is minutes away from a designer outlet. Well what do you know!

Plus it was actually a sunny day with blue skies (tapi sajuk masih). If I wasnt so sleep deprived and feeling so stupid still, I might have enjoyed it a little bit more.

It turns out my shopping nature is not so ‘active’ anymore. There wasnt anything I really wanted to buy. I bought some clothes to last me another 24 hours and a Superdry jacket (to replace the one I lost) and a pair of trouser for le husband. As I walked around, I realise I have not bought a bag since February 2015! Ok I bought a cath kidston travel bag (for the family) in Sept 2016 but that doesnt count! The last bag before that was Feb 2015! And the last pair of shoes I bought was more than nine months ago! I think my bag and shoes  fetish have truly gone dormant. (Tapi tudung and baju shopping still on…. ) 

Anyway, I have always imagined – in my mummy ‘dream world’ – when I am so tired and so sanak, that I just want to go to a hotel and go to sleep. There’s something about hotel beds and pillows that are so relaxing. Plus I don’t have a million and one worries inside my head. If I was at home, I would be anxious to get back at doing something – house chores or tidying the house or work stuff or time to collect kids. In my angan-angan, I wish I could just go to a hotel and sleep (wah of all things to wish huh… so adventurous…).

And so perhaps this has been a blessing. I dont have the laptop so I can stop working on Babble and work logs (ugh I hate you Kaizen). I only have my phone and theres only so much IG/FB stalking one can do! 

So I spent the rest of afternoon in bed, lying down and just reading. And when I got tired of that, I went  for dinner at Frankie & Bennys and went to watch a movie. It might be my first time watching a movie solo. I thought it would be weird but the ‘Fantastic Beast and where to find them’ was a whirlwind of magic and fantasy that I kinda forgot I was alone. It might also be the rare times now that I didn’t fall asleep in a movie (must be the well rested afternoon).

So yes… an impromptu trip away. It reminded me of my solo trip to Brighton years ago masa zaman bujang. I wanted to see how it was like travelling alone (liberating but also lonely). I’ve always thought Ahhh, to do a solo trip again but I wouldn’t have done it I think — would feel too guilty to leave kids behind. 

Don’t think the kids miss me at all though!! HMPH.

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Today felt like just another day at work (read: busy). I was doing my oncall shift and towards the last 1.5 hr, I spent it in resus (aka where all the sick patients go in A&E). I went to review a patient there and introduced myself. The parents were understandably anxious but was lovely and I went on to assess patient. As I was finishing, the dad (who is a Muslim) commented on my name ‘Hafizah’. And then he said something along the lines of ‘then it is right that you’re here…. your name is Hafizah. It means protector right?’ 

I think that’s one of the sweetest thing someone has said. 

InshaAllah, Dad, I’ll do my best to look after her. 

He commented that being a doctor is the best job ever. I said, its a lot of hard work but it canbe satisfying. 

“Yes, its hard work but also all the good deeds you get when you go to work…”

You know, it’s always nice when someone puts things in perspective for you once in awhile.


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Learning a new hobby

I am dreaming of learning a new skill. Reading the Happiness project, it advises that we should learn new things/skills to maintain happiness. After all, if and/or when one part of our life dies, we have other parts to make us live on. Ie we are not solely dependent on one skill to keep us going.

 I’m useless with music and as much as exciting it would be to learn an instrument, I think I’m too tone deaf to progress.

Sports? It’s too cold to play outside and the only inside sports preferable is the gym and classes. Hmm maybe I should learn martial arts. Tbh the thing that obstructs me from doing martial arts is the idea that I think people think I am not ‘martial arts’ enough. Hmmm maybe I should do it just to prove myself wrong.

Writing group? Local toastmaster club?

I do need to brush my Arabic!

Though not supposed to be NY resolution, it would be realistically implemented in January if ever I start on something. The thing with New Years resolution- they die down as quick as its birth! 

Sigh, am I making a lot of excuses to try something new?

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A story where… 

Sometimes fiction brings out the story in you.

The thing that scared her the most is his eyes. She couldn’t see him. He’s there but he’s not there. She wanted to cry inside mostly because of that. She looked into his eyes but could not find that man she knew and love.

She could hear words, angry tones. Non stop. It was like an angry Duracell bunny … his hands gesticulating everywhere. Him pacing around the room. He was worried about his car this time or was it his phone. She couldn’t keep track. He has been angry last few hours and she decided silence is the best answer to these situations. 

Do not aggravate.

Make silent movement.

Do not make eye contact.

She found it ironic that it sounded like advice when encountering wild animal. Sad actually, sad mostly but ironic too. 

She wanted to reason with him …  That he can’t fork out another large sum of money on an unnecessary house improvement project. That she can’t give him his phone or credit card. They have gone way past intellectual, sensible reasoning by this point. It was like talking to a wall … she could talk but he wouldn’t listen. 

She’s tired. She wanted to go for a nap but he burst into the room to tell of his latest rant. 

The tone of his voice intensified. Perhaps because she became silent for too long. She felt a sliver of fear. Her amicable, gentle grandad… never did she think that she could feel that for this gentle bear. He wasnt gentle now for sure… she wrapped her arms around her baby protectively, feeling somewhat in conflict. Surely he will never hurt her baby, he would never hurt a fly. She felt bad even doubting that fact. Right now though she’s not too sure. Right now he seems capable of doing anything. 


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With love from Geneva 

I can’t sleep. It’s a bit too warm and I want a cold drink.

We are currently in Geneva where we’re on a weekend couple trip away. *cue shocked face* 

We went to Copenhagen last year for 2 days and 1 night and we vowed to have an annual weekend retreat just the two of us. It’s been five years and long time coming!

What I’ve been looking forward to the most is not having to wake up in morning to attend to someone else’s breakfast/bath/a heavy nappy/someone hitting my face to make them breakfast (no, not M). 

I actually miss them now. And part of me wished that we’re on holiday together cos the kids loooveeee a holiday and plane rides (but of course). It’s like going through an adventure and thinking ‘Ah Zayan/Ayman would like this’. 

A part of me lah.

The other part is happy that my schedule is my own and I can eat in peace! Haaa. (I love you boys, I really do. But sometimes mama needs personal space and I’m like Joey… I dont share food. Except for you guys. You guys help yourselves…)

We spent 30-40 mins actually playing checkers (I dont know how to play chess). This is one of the parks… people were still playing at 9 pm! For the records, I beat M…. I think he’s shocked his wife have more brains/cunningness than he realise. 

More updates tomorrow (maybe)!

Lotsa love


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