Monday, 20 February 2006

The week that was...

It has been one hell of a week that I don’t know whether I am coming or going. Now I know how a headless chicken feels. There were times when I could sit down and twiddle my thumbs and watch Eastenders and other favorites which now includes American Idol, but I didn’t have time for all that lately and had been ringing up friends asking whether Pauline turned up at the wedding. Weddings in Eastenders tend to have cliffhangers so predictable – either the bride or the groom didn’t turn up or someone does turn up, causing a twist in the plot!
Anyway, in my very own plotless soap opera, it started with a trip somewhere up north to a place I didn’t know exist. It is so far away that I was dreading it but as luck would have it, I was assigned a cameraman that had everyone drooling all over him. It was a three hour drive there and a three hour drive back and by the end of the assignment, we got to know each other quite well. He was also my editor, which helped ‘cos he shot all the visuals and even gave me a lift home.
It was quite an interesting assignment because the place we visited, Corby, has one of the country’s most successful centres for childcare, one which emerged out of the slums. From a town that suffered unemployment from the closure of steelworks there 23 years ago, the community has done very well. The centre not only provides daycare centre and nursery – free of charge – it also provides employment and study opportunities for the parents! It is like having your cake and eating it. Parents leave their children there, then walk down the corridor for their classes on IT or Childcare. With their qualifications, they then become paid workers at the centre. Some had been there since their children were small.
care centre Posted by Picasa

I hope this centre will be a model for one such centre still in the pipeline in Malaysia and I hope it will become a reality, one that can provide free and quality care for small children to give them a good start in life.
It was during this week that I got to know several Malaysian ladies who are into childcare. They came with Datin Seri Rosmah. During one of the meetings, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah came too and we had lunch of laksa Kedah and keropok lekor. When networking with such ladies, it helps if you have your sunglasses on to deflect the glare from the bling-blings. And also, it could be bad for your waists as most meetings were follwed by delicious and generous helpings of food.

In between other mundane work I joined in the protest marches during the weekends. They were mainly peaceful ones and I am glad for this. The row over the cartoon insults doesn't seem to want to go away. Yes, these are sad and trying times for us. Being at the gathering the first Saturday, I felt the sadness even more. There were speeches, rousing speeches, and there were nasyids, moving ones for the Prophet we love. Last Saturday, I went again. This I did so reluctantly because I felt I had already gone to show my support. But my son wanted to go again and join the march from Trafalgar Square to Hyde Park. My husband was too ill to go with him and I felt I had to accompany him just in case something happened. Marches every else had ended in violence and this is deplorable.

Trafalgar Square last Saturday was packed but very well organised. There were stewards to guide the women to one side, the men to another and those with families and children in the middle. There must have been about 20,000 people but reports just mentioned 10,000. Once again, the streets of London echoed with Allahuakhbar. From behind me, voices of children mingled with those of adults in their rousing and emotional cries. To show that it was meant to be peaceful, the old came in wheelchairs and walking sticks, mothers piggybacked their children, fathers carried them on their shoulders. But police lined the streets and the helicopters hovered above. It was a warm day and by the time we got to Hyde Park, it was asar and after prayers in the park, everyone dispersed. There must have been a hundred coaches outside waiting to bring back people from as far as Scotland.
Posted by Picasa

I sincerely hope the whole thing will stop. We have voiced our anger but at the same time we have to be careful that we don’t bite the bait.
Aah, and then, there’s the London Fashion Week!! Since last year, I stopped sending in applications to attend any fashion shows. But a young up and coming designer from Singapore is now making headlines in the fashion world. He is Ashley Isham and I didn't regret going to his show at all – he has such a flair that does not insult women. I can understand why he is being toasted as the new kid on the block who will go very far. I spoke to Hilary Alexander – the top fashion writer, who was very impressed. It is every designer’s dream to have Hilary at their shows. And she helpfully told me that Ashley has skillfully celebrated 30 years of punk in his
very slick designs! Now, that I didnt know!

ashley with models Posted by Picasa

But I do know I am losing my touch. Went to the show quite early to secure a good place to take photographs. Was at first disappointed that the seats in one of the tents at the British Natural History Museum were not filled. No familiar faces of celebs there when the music started. I brought my daughter with me as my photograher and prodded her to take pictures as soon as the models came jeans! T Shirts! I was disappointed!! And then of course realised that it was just a rehearsal..and I have wasted the battery!
Anyway, you know when celebrities have arrived when the photographers started flashing their bulbs. I joined in with my small Ixus not knowing who I was snapping – turned out to be Amanda Holden and Lisa B and someone from Eastenders. Other A list celebs went to other shows, I think.

As the show was held on Valentine’s Day, the grand finale had petals of roses falling from the ceiling on to the models, to the tune of Love Is In The Air.
Next stop – Bernard Chandran. It was Bernard’s debut at the LFW and his lovely wife was with him. His collection, needless to say was very impressive – only for those who are tall with thin waists and it helps if you have lots of money as well.
bernard's Posted by Picasa

In the fashion circuit, if you want to be spotted, and you’ve not entered Britain’s Next Top Model, you’ve got to be brave enough and make yourself visible. There’s the usual Kate Moss lookalikes swanning and sashaying around to get attention. This time, I noticed one wearing a hat so big tilting to one side of her face that I wonder how she enjoyed the shows that she went to. She was there at Ashley's and was stopped a few times by photographers. Then, she turned up at Bernard’s as well – and there was a chorus of groan from those who had spotted her elsewhere too. Her hat, this time was so high that everyone was praying that she wouldn't seat in the front row.
All these happened while I was hoping to recover from the bout of flu that I caught from someone and had conveniently passed on to my husband. So, yesterday, Sunday, I had intended to go to Bluewater and watch my daughter’s performance of traditional Malay dance with the Sri Bulan dance troupe. But I was so dead tired, and Taufiq wanted to play football with a group of Malaysian students and I had no one to go with me. So, I gave it a missed and had a good sleep on the sofa after catching up on American Idol and Eastenders. I’ll post a picture of her perfomance once I get it.
So, that was the week that was. Oh yes, Pauline did turn up at the wedding after going missing for a bit. And yes, there is a cliffhanger. I hope nothing happens this week as I must see what surprise Joe has in store for Pauline. Did I mention that Pat had an affair with Patrick?A lot happened in Eastenders too!


AuntyN said...

How come I am the first to comment? Haven't had the chance for a long long time.

Don't know what you are talking about Eastenders (sorry Kak Teh, hehehe). Don't watch Americon Idol as well :-)

The names I recognise were Bernard chandran (though can never fit into his creation) and the dignitaries.

Other tha that yours and Taufiq of course.
Been really busy have you, no wonder tak dapat nak berjemaah minggu lepas. It's a living right Kak Teh?

Jane Sunshine said...

That's one mad week. But then again its all in a day's work for the superhero with batik cape eh?! The papers have been all going on about LFW. p/s: I so envy the lunch of laksa kedah sunglasses or no.Corby itu mana?

MamiJarum said...

What an exiting week you have Kak Teh! Well, sounds like your life is always full of excitement and so interesting!!! Hope you had a wonderful weekend too!!!

Can anyone just turn up at the fashion show or do you have to be invited?

mar said...

Eh kak teh, your daughter performed at Bluewater? did it go? And are they going to perform again?

may said...

oooh, LFW! I've been reading about it, seen a few pictures here n there on Yahoo news. always wondered what it'd be like at one of those shows. did you get to rub shoulders a little with bernard chandran?

a very, very full and interesting week from the sounds of it :)

Noni said...

Many employers in the West provide in-house child care services. I have always wished that i was rich and motivated enough to run a child care center of my own in an office-building somewhere right smack in the middle of KL... (no I won't be wearing the HUGE LV or CD shades that swallows up 2/3rds of my face uniform).

I know what it feels like to be working and have a deadline to keep but having your thoughts constantly on your child. My colleague just gave birth 2 months ago and constantly has her b'milk overflowing and dripping. I thought this a waste. If her child was near she could always run over for a feeding during lunch time. There was a time when I was a stay-home mom and i volunteered to look after a friend's sick children because she was bogged down with her job and was under threat of being fired.

I know there's a need to at least alleviate this stressor from working moms everywhere but somehow I don't think anything is being done about it. Syukur alhamdulillah I work close to home and live with my mom so I know that my children are close by and are in safe hands.

LifeBloom said...

I was tired just by reading your entry!Apa rahsia Kak Teh? Kacip Fatimah?

Take care of that flu now and thanks for updating us on Ashley Isham. Will be looking out for him in the media.

Seeking Solace said...

I read about Ashley Isham in the local papers recently. Yeah, one talented guy :)

bergen said...

I read about this Corby thing you talked about. It's amazing that the this guy James turned the place around to become a model centre for children.

You are lucky to be in the protest march. It's a good feeling to come together as one like that. And the feeling you get. Unfortunately some people here in Malaysia don't see this as a good thing to do. It's too violent. Gosh. aalborg said...

Kak Teh, I always don't understand the saying--You can't have your cake and eat it too.

What is a cake for, if not to be eaten. And why do people give you the cake and not expect you to eat it?

Atok said...

Ronggeng in Bluewater... wahhh, makin sibuk nampaknya the group, lawan Maziah's ke ni? Hehhehee....

In my youth, selalu belek those mags - Jelita, Wanita, etc - for a glimpse of Amy Leela Dewi Chandran. Is she Bernard's sis?

KT, heard they're planning another festival this year, one like we had in Bracknell last year. Dulu dengar it's gonna be at Covent Garden, but latest I heard, nak buat in Hyde Park depan Corus. Any news? [atok nak gi ronggeng jugak :)) ]

Guane tuang awang, doh keboh demang?

Ordinary Superhero said...

Congrats Kak Teh and son for joining the peaceful march. Sometimes it is the ignorance that contribute to the unpleasant event compounded with the big ego within a person that his rights take precedence over others.

klmuk said...

kakteh, i am missing eastenders and all things British!! tempat jatuh lagi di kenang ...

Afzalmom said...

Kak Teh, where do I read all your articles that you write for Corby, the Fashion week or even your experience as a peaceful protestor? Love your writing and your experience, which is an interesting eye opener. BTW, keep warm and take care.

elisa said...

hi makcik kak teh
nak tengok macam mana first day elisa di sekolah menengah bacalah blog elisa

smile always

Diran Kesuma said...

Hi kak teh. Was bloghoppin. I like the childcare bit. can we start the movement here? I have two boys. They have started behaving like "Tarzan Brothers".

Manal said...

phewwww....mmg laa tarik nafas panjang once i came to the last line...hmmm u mentioned eastenders and automatically the theme song came banging into my head....sabar jer laa...sikit mcm drama hindustan la diorg nih. Funny thing, them brits seemed to love a middle to working class type of drama as compared to the posh life portrayed in american tv series. LFW, dulu berangan nak tgk2 real show,tapi the most i got nearest to was that 2003 london fashion gala at royal albert hall.Sempat amik gambar those like beyonce and saw liz hurley (terus kua subhanallah cantek nya dia). AAAAaarghhh i missed london, and UK so much...still mimpi as if i'm still there...And i am not alone in claiming that. Masa kat uk dulu mimpi both msia and uk. It's not that i am biased, i am just not so keen on life here. Bet i have to practise the empowering words: the survival of the fittest. Life in this "pseudo" new surrounding is about learning the new system and all. And i even find myself sound rather weird whenever i try to sound like manglish. I call this effect as the scars of the uk.Sigh......

pu1pu3 said...

My,my.The week that was indeed. I find myself catching my breathe reading your post today. Penatnya. With flu lagi..Take care, na...

Manal said...

KT, u have indeed opened the whole can of worms for brit TV. I still follow whats going on the terrestrial tv stn, including the 2nd season of The Apprentice. Here in msia,we get to see Donald Trump doing his american version of "u r fired" but he's not really my cuppa tea...I very much prefer Sir Alan Sugar's way of dealing with those yuppie wannabes. Long live SAS and Jonathan Ross and so many others, including BB. I seldom watch Midsummer murders or doc martin back in the uk but here, i find them some kinda "sedative". And i miss "little britain" too and SKY. Good thing astro does show some brit programs like jamie oliver, u r what u wear, kumars at no.42 and some few others. U c KT, u r a bad influence now!!!! ;-)

Kak Teh said...

AuntyN - the busy week continuessssss, thus this late reply yo everything.
Jane, u've changed site? will amend in sentraal when i have time. Oh Corby tu dekat Leicester lah - midlands.
mami - u have to be invited to these shows. What happens is that I am already on their list - so they send me invites every year - BUT BUT BUT, u still have to apply and ask for invites from designers that u are interested in. As for Ashleya nd Bernard Chandran - we get invites from them.
mar- yes - she performed there - three times. It went well, Alhamdulillah but she didnt take any pix.
may - well, yes, I do get to me Bernard during some functions, but he gets whizzed away quite fast from one journalist to another.

Kak Teh said...

Noni, my children never went o nurseries or kindergarten. We had such wonderful childminders, right up to when they were teenagers. when i was at the BBC, I used to bring my eldest there - menyusu situ - semua situ. He practically grew up there.
lifebloom, mana ada rahsia..just balik tidur.and then start another day tomorrow.
ss - yes, he is very talented and i love his creations.
bergen, u read the corby piece? aaah, okay - as for the march - yes, I attended those and that will be it. I think they are baiting us for more and I think - just don't bite!

Kak Teh said...

ailin - ambik cake -lepas tu makan..hehe.
atok - hmm maziah sebelah utara saja kut! yes AG is recovering. the festival in Covent Garden will be on, I heard - tapi entah bila. I did hear someone mentioning Hyde Park too.
OSH _ this is a very testing time for all of us . It all depends on how we react.
klmuk - mengapakah dikau menyepikan diri????

Kak Teh said...

afzalmom, the article was in Sunday Mail and I have yet to write the fashion pieces. Oh, it was also on TV. Nak buat fashion pieces ni malas sikit cos am really not into fashion.
elisa, Inysaallah nanti kak teh jenguk.
diran kesuma, yes, I hope that Malaysia will have one on this model - it seems to be one that the whole community joins in. I hearthat the proposal has been made to the government.
manal...waaaaah, u are missing London big time. Come back lah for holidays. Setiap kali I naik number seven and lalu depan Hammersmith Hospital teringat u!

Kak Teh said...

putri - ni penat belum habis lah! am hoping to take a rest this weekened.

mar said...

Kak teh
Do inform me if she ever gets to perform , esp at Bluewater ya? Maybe this time around I would be able to go and see the performance ya?

Kak teh saya linkkan kak teh ke journal saya. I hope you don't mind ya?

klmuk said...

kakteh, nanti hari sabtu or ahad will call you (time eastenders ..hehe !!).

Nazrah said...

memang kakteh ni kudrat alien betul lah

faux diamante said...

1. ashley is bohemian punk if i may say so myself, it's the reincarnation of vivienne westwood with the creativity of galliano. i hope he does well.

2.chandran, hemsem chap isn't he? if u have seen how seriously he takes his beadworks and sequinns you wud want to try it urself.but like u said, his clothes are for ppl who don't eat. such waifs huh?

3.protesting: may you be kept safe from harm

4. anak u joget? woo hoo!

5.eastenders best eh? we only get bold n beautiful and general hospital here.

running around like a headless chicken pun sempat tengok tv tu eh

izyz said...

A week in your life is more interesting thatn a year of mine Kak Teh.

Eastenders still showing eh? Neighbours ada lagi ke?

Lydia Teh said...

KT, you've got 30 hours in a day is it? No fair.