Friday 28 November 2008

Heating up memories on a cold morning

The central heating gave a gurgling sound, waking up Snowbell who’s curled up in a ball on the sofa. She stretched and yawned and went back to sleep. Gizmo, like the queen she is, is sprawled on the carpet, enjoying the rare quiet and peace at home. I hope this won’t be a repeat of the great chill of 2000, when the central heating just gave up on us. It was to cost us £2000 to get a new one installed or else we’d freeze to death over the long cold weekend. The very thought of parting with that much money, in times of this credit crunch, gives me the shivers.

Twenty-nine years ago, at about this time, things like central heating and the plummeting temperature (and the value of the pound) were the least worrying things preying on my mind. There were more urgent matters; the passport needed to be done, the no pay leave application had to be processed, the goodbyes, and mak and kak had to be persuaded that no big buffaloes had to be slaughtered on account of our marriage. And oh, we had to do the necessary like getting engaged. Thank God, air tickets and accommodations were all arranged by the office. We just needed to get married and pack our bags.

It was just as well that both of us had just received our bonus from the company and off we went to the jewellers to pick a small yet beautiful solitaire that is to stay on my finger to this day. I will always remember the day I walked into the office with that ring on my finger. I kept looking at it when the phone rang. “Hello, tunang,” said a familiar voice at the other end of the line. My heart missed a beat and I looked out of my cubicle and saw my tunang, and suddenly felt all shy and embarrassed.

It must be the cold getting to my head and the empty house, filled with cats, lazy cats sleeping on the sofa, in front of the heater – everywhere. But memories of that brief period of being someone’s tunang before being upgraded to being a wife, just filled me with such a warm feeling that I too feel like curling up into a ball and go to sleep with dreams that will perhaps take me to those giddy days of courtship 29 years ago.

Other cold servings and other related side dishes:
Mee soup and Bollywood fantasy on a cold winter's day
Zai and Sri Mersing on a cold winter's night

Thank you for another year

Popping the Question


Ms B said...

Kak teh dear,

Such a romantic posting! No candle light dinner with AG tonite? *winks*

now, how I wish I can get that moment where my heart skips a beat... perhaps I should get another cecelia ahern book, eh?

mamasita said...

Wow?Still so fresh and very romantic in your mind!Soo nice!Mine dah banyak deleted akibat tiupan angin kenchang dan letupan gunung berapi over the years!hahaha..I love to hear of your magic moments ..ooooh so beautiful!Malu2 kucing eh?So malam ni AG bawak you keluar dinner makan ketam tak?

Anonymous said...

Oh so sweet!!
I cannot imagine you as a blushing bride, kak. hehehe

Kak Teh said...

Ms B, oh this is not the anniversary post. This is just the tunang bit. A very brief period...sigh!

mamasita, of course I remember that moment. How can we forget. This was just the tunang bit - i think my mother and siblings were more excited. I left the planning to them.

mdl in singapore, hey mestilah blushing! I still blush whaaat!

Kak Elle said...

so this entry is just an intoduction ye KT now dah ada ring next apa ye?...waiting for the continuation..

atiza said...

i can imagine you in your kebaya..looking at your ring..happy..

at least kak teh blush warna pink...i blushed, keluar warna magenta...hehehe..just kidding..

take care KT

IBU said...

Kak Teh...


but waaa.... the ring still fits into your finger?! Aduhai... Mine still could fit may be, but half way kot dah stuck kat the knuckle. Maybe all the way thru but only kalau use the pinky instead. hehehe...

Kak Teh said...

Kak elle, tu baru mukhadimah! aaah, cerita selanjutnya tu entahlah boleh sambung atau tidak. Will try.

atiza, it was a strange feeling to see him as a tunang. aaah, cant desscribe that moment.

ibu, yaaaa, cincin masih padan. You are stil slim melim, tak kanlah tak padan!

Naz in Norway said...

Kak Teh dear,
Just one word.... sweet :)

kay_leeda said...

Kak Teh, romantic, never mind the chilling cold. I bet it was no worries semasa bertunang yes, as he's just a cubicle away. Those days mana ada handphone kan...

Woo..come to think of it now, where is my wedding ring?? I doubt the rings could still fit though.

Anonymous said...

Komen Pak Malim kucing ray yg alim.

Saya suka cerita2 pasangan bahagia, kata Pak Malim sambil menuju ke Hospital Bahagia.

Anonymous said...

Kak Teh

29 years and still going strong? I envy the both of you.

If I were you, I wouldn't worry too much about the heating dying on you - you've got your 29 beautiful years to keep the both of you warm.

Anonymous said...

This post of yours really made me smile, Kak Teh. 29 years? I'm 29 years old myself and met someone I hope to spend the next 29 years of my life with. Your story just gave me that much more faith that it's possible... and possible with grace. :)

Kak Teh said...

naz, posting ni dalam catagory tak ada cerita lain dan mesti update blog. Well, it is just a coincidence that it was around this time 29 yrs ago that we decided to get engaged.

kay, we were in the same office, nak buat macam mana.Go and find that ring - am sure it fits.

Pak Malim,
Alhamdulillah dua puluh sembilan tahun hampirnya sudah, hidup bersama suka duka semua diredah, kata kak teh meyediakan juadah.
pssst, apa pak malimbuat di hospital bahagia?

Kak Teh said...

Bangkai, I think you are right. Its the flame within that should be burning and needs constant servising!

Kenny dearest, how wonderful and I wish you all the best. It is a lot of hardwork to keep the flame burning, but it can be fun too.

Anonymous said...

mat bangkai has a point there, kt!

thousands of miles away, so many of us are also warmed by your blushingly beautiful tunang-tale.

p.s. bet the snow is melting a bit too chez naz in norway even as we speak. ;D

D said...

aaah... i remember a dear friend of my parents telling me, 'ah, you better look after yourself now. Awak tu dah bertunang - darah manis...'. I smiled at her politely with a big blank on my face, wondering - darah manis? what does that mean? i'm more juicy and enticing to others? i'm more radiant that ever? hehehe... so that led to a whole series of investigation as to what that term meant.

masa tu how 'manis' was your blood, kak teh? *wink*

Queen Of The House said...

Kak Teh ni, makin romantik nampaknya! Think all that heat can warm up the cold house? Hope the heater doesn't die on you ... 2000 Pounds can buy you tickets to somewhere warm!

mayang mengurai said...

Nothing else comes close to this feeling,isn't it? It's that sense of knowing that you actually 'belong' to someone, I think. It's good to revisit feelings from time to time.

Theta said...

Kak teh,

What a wonderful post on the romantic yesteryears.

Those courtship days sure bring the warm fuzzies (pun intended) all over, don't they? :)

ManaL said...

Kalau tu ape? fireplace, fluffy snows, etc etc...wah wah sejak anak2 dah sumer besar2 nih mcm2 memories kept flashing before your eyes. Kot ade yg nak jadi mak mertua soon ke ape ke kan...???

Tunku Halim said...

Kak Teh - It sounds like it's time to get those hot water bottles out. Keep them on your body constantly and keep re-filling. That's what my mum did when the central heating died in the UK three decades ago.

The Ceramic Designer said...

very sweet..
and i have 9 strayed-cats who have made my home theirs, so comfortably as well the past 3yrs.. it worries me sometimes should i grow older, without a maid or cleaners and less able to keep my house in tip-top conditions, my feline children would take over..!!

how many do you keep, kak...??

Kak Teh said...

Mekyam, I think what brought this about is perhaps the fact that we had such a brief tunang period. perhaps less than two weeks. And the two weeks were spent runninga round to get wedding kebaya done, fitting, saying goodbyes, macam2lah. So, we didnt have much time to act like tunang - hahaha! sounds so corny.

D, i suppose there's some truth in that. It does things to your hormones and you sort of look radiant - so we were told, lah, kan? Nowadays it takes a radiator to make me go red in the face!

QOTH, let's hope the heater doesnt do anything of that sort. Ya, the money can take us quite far.

Kak Teh said...

MM, i think you are right about revisiting these moments; moments such as the birth of the first child, his first smile, being a wife , ...aaah, the older you get the more memories there are stored in the memory bank. And we can fford to be selective, cant we?

Theta, thanks. It does, doesnt it. I think some people tend to think that happiness and romance only belong to the young. That saddens me. Once someone saw us holding hands and said; eh masih berpegang tangan lagi? what the....?

manal, manal, mukadimah tu macam teaser saja laaa. No, no ibu mertua ku roles for me yet. Am still in denial.

Kak Teh said...

Tunku, during this season, hot water bottles are certainly indespensable - as well as extra mobile heaters.

Ceramic designer, we have five now, having lost Jasper two years ago. Tabby's brother now lives with our neighbour but visits us occassionally. We used to have 17 when both Gizmo and Snowbell gave birth at the same time one summer. I had to plead with my husband to give them away to the RSPCA! To have a look at what we have now, do go to

Growing up and Growing Old with AG

Fadhil said...

Kak Teh,

You were engaged for only a short while and later got married. The pair of you then packed up and left for cold and miserable London, right?

Wow, what a way to spend your honeymoon... curled up in each other's arms and sharing body heat. I envy you... heheheh :-)

Kak Teh said...

We got engaged aboit two weeks before the wedding, then two weeks after the wedding we found ourselves here in London, until today. Well - that's one long honeymoon!! Love in a cold climate do have its disadvantages - am sure you know.
for one, there's the fight over the duvet!

Wan Nordin Wan Hussin said...

Kak Teh
I kat Cameron Highlands ni. The last time we came here was 13 years ago during our honeymoon. Baru je makan steam boat with all the fresh vegetables - baby corn, a slew of mushrooms, etc, etc. Kenyang macam ular sawa, but at the same time gelak bagai nak rak. Love your sense of humour although it made my perut so sakit.

Oh I must do scrapblogs on CH, then and now.

Kak Teh said...

GUiKP, Oh celebrating anniversary ya?
How nice. You know, i've never been to cameron highlands? Have fun and looking forward to see your scrapblog on CH.

tireless mom said...

Dear Kak Teh

At this time of the year and this kind of weather in UK, someone is feeling nostalgic ye... We surely need this once in a while to keep the flame burning kan! I will be on a watch out for the 2 weeks tunang sequel.

Sunfloraa said...

Kak Teh,

Happy enggagversary!

Still so sweet after all these years!

Kak Teh said...

tireless mom, alaaa dok nostalgic sorang2 ditemani kucing saja!

sunflora, you know, i never thought of that engagement period because it was such a rush! Ada orang bertunang dua tiga tahun, kan? hmm entah macam mana.

Anonymous said...

Kak Teh,
So sweet and romantic. How I envy you, I missed the 'tunang' bit. You see there was this seven year gap between us and he was already 'bujang lapok', and so was in a hurry to get married. On top of that we were rekindling old flames - we broke up in the campus and met again after he was transferred to my place of work - had to dump the current boyfriend- dah jodoh!

To Pak Malim (tumpang ya, Kak Teh):
Pak Malim Kucing Raya
Pergilah jauh dari Hospital Bahagia
Kak Teh mengelamun saat bahagia
Turn Pak Malim bila pula?

Kak Teh, winter and the cold always make us more romantic? True?
Salam, NanaDJ

Kak Teh said...

NanaDJ, (I always wonder abt your nick)
anyway, the age gap tu samalah kita. Mine also macam bujang terlajak. So you terus kahwin tak bertunang? I thought that was to be the case with us because we really couldnt afford to have too many ceremonies and spending money on this and that - tapi nak senangkan hati mak - adalah syarat bertunang. Lepas tu tengok cincin di jari, senyum tersipu2, lidah kelu tidak terkata!

Anonymous said...

Lagi Komen Pak Malim kucing ray yg alim.

Saya fikir, kata Pak Malim sambil duduk berzikir, pasangan yang dapat mengekalkan perkahwinan hingga ke akhir hayat, adalah pasangan yg amat penyabar, kata Pak Malim sambil duduk dalam gebar. Saya tahu, ianya bukan sesuatu yg mudah, kata Pak Malim sambil memakai purdah. (Alim Kucing).

Tumpang lalu, kata Pak Malim yg berbulu.

NanaDJ, terima kasih banyak, kata Pak Malim yg kena lanyak, kerana sudi bertanya tentang saya, kata kucing ray yg kaya. Saya bahagia, walaupun saya di Hospital Bahagia.

Pak Malim : Angan2 nak kahwin dgn seribu jemputan yg dijamu nasi gaul dgn ikan.

Kak Teh dan NanaDJ, dijemput, kata Pak Malim yg semput. Tapi tak tahu bila, kata kucing ray yg gila.

Anonymous said...

Kak Teh,
My nickname - Nana is what my cucu and the little ones in the family called me. Tok or Nenek sound too old for a feisty person like me (who actually feel forever young) DJ is where I live.
Yes, we got married straight away(just celebrated our 38th anniversary!)and bypassed the tunang stage.
Tumpang lalu sekali lagi Kak Teh:

Wahai Pak Malim yang bistari,NanaDJ gembira sekali, tak sabar menanti hari, Nana dan Kak Teh akan menari dari malam hingga ke pagi, tapi siapa gerangan pilihan hati?


Argus Lou said...

Kak Teh, it's nice to know you're still a romantic at heart. The moment I got engaged the next morning was the dreadful tsunami. Oh, dear, what did we do, we thought.

Kak Teh said...

Pak Malim kucing ray yang alim yang rajin datang komen lagi,

Begitulah adat berumahtangga, kalau tak sabar memang porak puranda, kata kak teh sambil mandi manda. Kak teh setuju ini bukanlah sesuatu yang mudah, apakah Pak Malim cuba sudah? tanya kak teh sambil bermadah.

OOOh nanaDJ rupanya duduk di situ, kak teh ingat nana kerja jadi deejay hebat sungguh kak teh fikir dan sungguh glamour gitu!
You got me thinking what is DJ or rather where is DJ, not that I know many places in Malaysia. New places are sprouting up every minute, kan? But is Desa Jaya correct? And a happy belated 38th anniversary. How nice.

Kak Teh said...

Argus, the tsunami could be a good omen for you. A start of something fresh.
My friends left Phuket after celebrating their first anniversary, a day before the tsunami because she had terrible stomach ache. Scary!!

Anonymous said...

Kak Teh,
Tiger (ex B Harian and TV3 big wig) pun thought I am that glamour DJ - taklah, as I said I am just a age denying and age defying grandma.
No DJ is not Desa jaya, keep on guessing!
Salam, NanaDJ

Roti Kacang Merah said...

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... *cair*

sweet lahhhhh.

and i also would never see Karpal Singh in the same light again! (referring to your Popping The Question entry)

Kak Teh said...

nanaDJ - aah Tiger pun sama! I will keep on guessing especially the name of the town. Hai...DJ, ...anyone knows?

Roti kacang etc, and the thing is that Karpal tak tahu pun!

Anonymous said...

Lagi-Lagi Komen Pak Malim kucing ray yg alim.

Kak Teh,

Maaf kalau selalu menyebok, kata Pak Malim sambil memegang cebok. Adakah DJ itu, Damansara Jaya? kata Pak Malim sambil memakai baju kebaya. NanaDJ and Kak Teh kenal Tiger? What a small world, kata Pak Malim sambil memeluk Mawi World.

Kak Teh said...

Pak Malim Kucing Ray yang Alim,

Tak apa Pak Malim menyibuk, kata kak teh sambil mengelap habuk,
memanglah sapa tak kenai Tiger tu sebab kita semua dalam dunia sama, bukan begitu, pak malim, tanya kak teh sambil makan kurma. Pak malim pun mestilah kenal, kata kak teh peminat arsenal.

Kak Teh said...

oooh kak teh terlupa nak ucapkan terima kasih kepada Pak Malim. Jadi adakah DJ itu Damansara Jaya? jawablah nana kalau cadangan pak malim boleh kita percaya.

Anonymous said...

Kak Tek,
The answer is yes, am sure some may already guess who I am. Tapi tak apalah. Clever of Pak Malim, jangan-jangan he knows me and he is someone that I know too!
Salam, NanaDJ

Wan Nordin Wan Hussin said...

Kak Teh
I've just published ala-ala Heating up Memories of a Cold Morning in Cameron Highlands.

Wan Nordin Wan Hussin said...

Oops ON a mildly cold morning.

Kak Teh said...

NanaDJ, I will have to go with my guesswork. Have we met?
Re: Pak Malim, can we call Pak Malim an 'it'? Reading Pak Malim's comments; what with pakai kebaya and all that, I am inclined to believe the opposite of him. Ya, dak, Pak Malim?

GUiPK, oooh more hot servings on a cold morning? Am off to Kubang Pasu. NOW!

Anonymous said...

Lagi Lagi Komen Pak Malim kucing ray yg alim.

Ya, Kak Teh memang betul, kata Pak Malim sambil meminum susu botol. Pak Malim, ialah seekor 'it'. Tuan saya, ialah RAY. Bukan nama betul, kata Pak Malim yg masih menyusu botol, tetapi singkatan nama (initials) tuan saya sebenarnya, kata singa Narnia.

NanaDJ, kalau Nana tinggal di DJ, maknanya kita agak dekat, kata Pak Malim sambil memakai kain pelekat. Pegi balik kerja memang lalu situ, kata Pak Malim sambil menggaru kutu.

Kak Teh said...

Pak Malim,
Terima kasih kerana memberi penjelasan begitu cepat, kata kak teh begitu impress sambil anyam ketupat. Ingin betul kak teh nak tau apa maknanya RAY dan juga nanaDJ, mungkin suatu hari, insyaallah kata kak teh sambil hantar email ke PJ.

RozIlah Kamarudin said...

Kak teh, how i wished that blogging existed 29 yrs ago... love to go through yr life..

banyak yg boleh dipelajari dan jadi inspirasi dan jadi sumber motivasi...

Kak Teh said...

Rozilah, i dont know about banyak yang boleh dipelajari. I too am looking back as in assessing all these years abroad. Macam stocktaking time. Am sure you have a lot to share too.