Sunday, 17 January 2010

The deep freeze and the sauna in my mind















What's left of the so called deep freeze in 30 years, was washed down the drain by heavy rain in the last few days. Even the headless and limbless snowman down the road succumbed to the ray of sunshine peeking behind grey clouds. But record the deep freeze in thirty years is something I must do. And just as well that I didn't quite escape it.

I arrived on 10th January after an uneventful flight, wedged between a bright young student and a tourist on his way back from Bali. Waiting for my daughter to pick me up at Terminal Four, I felt the sting of cold air on my face, while the rest of my body just sort of froze only to be thawed once in the warmth of the car.

London was still sleeping when I arrived and looking out of the window, as the snowflakes drifted by, I was transported back to the country I left less than 20 hours before, where I had enjoyed the warmth of family and friends and yes, that of the sauna and spa.

I was back in that small tent, feeling the rivers of sweat flowing down my back and I was back in that warm milk bath, enjoying the soak.

But now I am back in cold, wet and grey London and I took refuge under the duvet almost immediately. But work dictated that I left the comforts of the room soon after.

Leaving the house for the first time, I felt how inadequately prepared I was for the winter. I inched my way dodging icy patches in my newly acquired shoes bought at a small shop in Bangi the evening before I left. I had to buy them because the only pair I had at home was peed upon by Kissinger.
The new pair felt like a thin cardboard on my feet.

Snow came back with a vengeance while I was sleeping off my jetlag. I woke up to a blanket of snow and half hoping that the scheduled trip to Oxford would be cancelled. But it wasn't and just as well because I got to see the English countryside in winter wonderland.

There's something magical about snow and snowflakes. It brings out the child in you and the group of Malaysian journalists standing by the roadside were soon throwing snowballs at each other.

I remember a trip to Wolverhampton searching for what's left of Brinsford Lodge, the teacher's training college in the fifties. Somewhere along a very narrow road, we stopped an English man on his bike and asked him about Brinsford Lodge and he said:

“Oh, I do remember Brinsford Lodge and the Malay boys who went there. They'd be the only ones to play football in the snow!”

 
Other winter and home coming stories:

35 comments:

NanaDJ said...

Kak Teh,
Salam. Must be quite a shock to be in the freezing weather after warm (and wet) KL.
You were looking for Brinsford Lodge? Do you know that my other half was in Brinsford in early 60's before he return home and after a few years join MU. The Brinsfordians just produced a book about their old college. Will send it to you if you are interested

Kak Teh said...

nanadj, that was fast!

yes, it was quite a shock to the system and how i now yearn for that Vietnamese delicasies we had at sao Nam and the soup keting and crab sambal. and of course durian - xo was it?
yes, i remember talking to Che det abt brinsford lodge and asking whether he knew my brother in law. Yes, i'd love a copy of the book. i met some of them when they came here for a reunion but never did get to write their story.

please hand it over to AG - he is still there. Thank you.

the ol' rascal said...

Dear Kak Teh

glad you dah sampai safe n sound...

Sejuk ya...tapi saya harap satu hari nanti saya dan akak dapat bersauna berurut berlulur dan mandi susu macam puteri tujuh tu kak bersama sama ...hari tu jadi pemerhati jer...

take care

Kak Teh said...

hai ezza pakai account ol rascal ya? now sapa yang rascal?
yes, lain kali kita berendam bersama.

Kak Ezza@makcik Blogger said...

sori lah kak

lupa nak check tadi...hahaha

Lyana Mauseth said...

dear kak teh,

mesti bdan u tergejut kan...:D

Kak Teh said...

ezza, tak pa - at least Iknow its the other half of 'ol rascal!

Lyana, memang terkezoot tak sangga! berjalan kena pedo. Takut jatuh.
But it seems its not over yet. More wintry conditions until april. You dah besa dah dok noon norway sana.

Naz said...

My dear Kak Teh,
I drove past your house (AS) today and told the kids that it's your house. They wanted to go in and see you!
Keep warm and take care.

Kak Teh said...

Laaaaa betui ka naz? Like this kalu, mesti simpan duit pi holiday dengan beradik-beradik di norway! Am sure my nona will smother your kids!
Rumah tu dah usang - sayang sungguh.

Temuk said...

Salam Kak Teh (I'm sure I am much older than you!),
When my friend came back from Brinsford Lodge, his kampung relatives in Tapah said, "Balik Inggelan, paling kurang mesti jadi D.O!" They were suprised when he became a cikgu! When he joined Universiti Malaya for his B.A. course a few years later, his saudaramara were even more surprised."Dah belajo di Inggelan, takkan belajo tempatan pulak?".

Kak Teh said...

temuk, kiranya kita ni sewaktu dan seangkatanlah! ya, i think which is why those who didnt make it here in Inggelan, couldnt face going home. They feel, when they do go home, it'll be with certificates enough to ensure a job in the district office - and kalau bawa balik mem lagi baguih, kan?

melayudilondon said...

dah balik dah ni...
jom bikin roti kirai kat rumah

Kak Teh said...

shikin, tak boleh menjsla atau mengirai, tangan masih beku.

Pi Bani said...

Biasanya kalau food, keluar dari freezer masuk dalam oven, tapi you ni lebihkurang keluar dari oven terus masuk freezer! Of course, you bukan food lah.... :-)

Kak Teh said...

pi bani, nampaknya macam tu lah. the whole of uk macamone big freezer.

Andrea Wh@tever said...

Kak Teh: Reading your post makes me miss the snow, and home, and the evenings trying to knit a scarf around the blazing fireplace.

D said...

welcome back, Kak Teh! Exactly - it's one big freezer here. But the temperature these few days have been pretty good (typical British weather: wet, wet, wet!).

Keep warm, Kak Teh..

Kak Teh said...

andrea, when you see the slush and and the black ice as you steady your feet not to slip and break your back, you will not miss it.

Promise.

There's more on the way. arggggh!

Kak Teh said...

D! your part of the world must be worse! It looks nice from the warmth of the lounge, kan? i dread next week. nak kena beli boots baru.

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty KT,
It's freezing and you left the "bedwarmer" in warm sunny KL? Ouch! Even Tabby can't replicate that cuddly-ness, eh? purrr....meow!

Kak Teh said...

cat-in-sydney, the bedwarmer will be away for some time and i will have to make do with tabby. he purrs but doesnt snore.

how does a cat snore? please tell.

Al-Manar said...

KT
Oh, how nice and cold, for a change!
Thought you and Mi would make a brief vivit to KT. Oh, how nice and warm here!
Salaam to all.
Abang Ngah

Kak Teh said...

Abang ngah, he will make the trip to KT next week and I believe he will contact you. Also, Rehana and friends are planning to visit you in March. i didnt have much time, what with illness, kenduri and death of a very close friend. cant wait to see kak mah here. datnglah!

[danial][ma] said...

hej! Kak Teh...welkome home to a snowy london and i guess this time all the snow already l melted...;-) now over here it's back to warm winter...and i did successful first time made keropok lekor ikan mackerel on saturday...

Kak Teh said...

danial, wow, keropok lekor in winter! that's somethung! I get mine in malaysia hall - not that good lah.

YMO said...

Welcome back to London! Today it's 8 degrees and feels like a heatwave after the ice and snow - consider yourself lucky! Hope to catch up with you soon. Yang-May

3yearshousewife said...

Hahaha, that is always the case.
Org Melayu lah yg mmg terlebih semangat main dlm salji. Siap heret anak2 kecik lagi pegi main salji tgh padang masa salji lebat turun...

kay_leeda said...

Salams Kak Teh,

Sorry couldn't drop by earlier. You still thinking of that gurly giggles during yr soak eh?? I'm smiling too :)

I like winter actually, love the snow too. But don't fancy when it gets warm and the snow turns to slush and yikes...

That's very true you know what the Englishman told you about us Melayus making snowman and having snowball fights. Melayu and snow...ummppp rhymes well, kan?

Salt N Turmeric said...

Fr 1 extreme to another! What was the lowest temp Kak Teh? Are you guys still getting the extreme cold?

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Kt,
My Mama said I don't snore so can't tell you how cats snore. Brad doesn't too. We only purrrrr....and my Prince loves that. purrr....meow!

pakmat said...

my daughter and two grandchildren left on the 15th..and fb ed that it was strange having to put on 4 layers of clothing as compared when she was here for a month holiday..but the day she arrived, the sun peeked..must have brought back a little bit of sun to Hastings from grandpa's Bachok...:) cheers..

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Brrrrr4U, Zah, but I'm getting my brain fried down under, reached 42.7 the last few days. Head out to the beach to check out this summer swimsuits fashion..hehehe wink2; even the hammer head sharks were having a frolic there too all 17 of them according to the news.

Chill,
Tommy

tireless mom said...

Welcome home Kak Teh.

Keep the heater on and keep warm. It is minus 5 deg C kan. Mak oiii... sejuk nya!

anak si-hamid said...

Kak Teh,
Isn't it lovely, the snow??? I just loved it and so glad that this winter - our first in three years- brought the snow.
But it does give you a big appetite - so had to make me own roast chicken and chips, nasi goreng, mee goreng, pachri nenas Goan chicken curry.etc etc. Is that enough to make you drool?
Anyway welcome home. I'm sure Kissinger was happy to have you back - he's marked you as his!

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