Wednesday 14 January 2009

Notes from Under The Duvet

Like a defeated and wounded soul, I crawled under my duvet, willing the doom and gloom to go away. It had been a few days hibernating but common sense eventually prevailed as I realised not much would change had I gone out marching and screaming in the streets. Nor would I achieve anything by lying comatose under the duvet contemplating the cracks in the ceiling.

Yes, I have been quite affected by recent events in Gaza, not helped by stories of job cuts and recession nearer home. But life has to go on and today – I will brave the freezing temperatures and start work in the cold wide world again.

These last few days, taking refuge in the bedroom, I found solace in several books that took me to pre-war, pre independence Malaya, and one about life in the docks of Liverpool in the early nineteenth century. I read and digested the written words like I had never done before and finished four books, including The Hindi Bindi Club!! That I consider an achievement, especially when I only picked up the books since the beginning of the year. And I do intend to cultivate this newfound hobby.

But sometimes, as the words got blurry, the mind began to wander and I began to reflect on life. These last few days, the two youngest came crawling into bed and under the duvet with me. It has been some time since the last time they did that. Once we’re done with fighting over the duvet and kicking off cold feet, all of us settled down to our favourite books. No more reading to them Thomas the Tank Engine or My Little Pony. Nona devoured “The Crusades Through Arab Eyes” while Taufiq continued his revision in preparation for his coming exams. The hubby? Well, he is probably tucked under a warm duvet in a bed all to himself in Geneva after a long day at work.

The day he left for Geneva, we decided that we should go with him to Gatwick, just to see him off, just to take that train journey and enjoy a bit of almond croissant and piping hot tea. It was snowing ever so slightly the morning he left, and the south London that whizzed past , looked like it had been sprayed with silver dust overnight.
It was Sunday morning when we took the 0847 from Victoria and had a whole coach to ourselves. And by the time he arrived Geneva, we were already back in the house, enjoying prawn noodles.

I had taken to doing some work in the comforts of the bedroom as well – long cables and wires trailing from downstairs to my laptop just above the duvet. This had caused not a little worry among the children and hubby – who before departure had made me promise to do some exercise, take vitamins and avoid fried stuff, to which I duly nodded like any obedient wife would.

So two days ago, to lure me out of my den, son number one brought back a surprise – a Wii Fit Balance Board, which I must admit I took to, like a duck to water. After several step exercises ,a jogging session with my friendly female instructor, I am now suffering from cramps. It is quite rewarding to be told that “Kak Teh, you are doing well today!” It is certainly better than jogging on the frozen ground through the park.

Melancholy is fast seeping in again as I watched the two older ones packing for their trip to Malaysia today. Gone were the days when they tagged along with us. Now they want to explore the country themselves, get to meet and know relatives without us, protective and anxious parents hissing “Salam!” and “Cium tangan!” or “Tunduk!” when they meet older relatives.

The house is suddenly quiet after Hafiz closed the door behind him, pulling his luggage and disappeared in the fog. Rehana leaves much later today and I now await the return of my husband before I made treks to work.

Kak Teh's other duvet moments:

Snowflakes and P Ramlee on Easter


Kama At-Tarawis said...

Kak Teh.. you are back..! Alhamdulillah.. I miss your writing, sis..:

Naz in Norway said...

Salam Kak Teh,
I love this. To me, this is Kak Teh in a nutshell. Ada sedih, ada gembira, ada sayu, ada ketawa ria. I have to smile when I read the Wii bit...and imagine Kak Teh, the true blue ABBA fan, doing her thang in her living room. Oh! I would love to be a fly on your wall :D
Keep warm!

Pi Bani said...

Kak Teh... bangun... EXERCISE!!!

Kak Teh said...

Puteri, I am back indeed and I woke up to see your comment that did a lot to get me out of my doldrums.
I have missed you too.

I have to report that I have lost one pound since doing the steps. But my coordination is bad - if I swing my hands , i lose my rythm and miss my steps!

Tie said...

Adoi kak teh, kat ganu ni sejuk gak.. walaupun tak sesejuk di tempat kak teh tu....

Hari2 Tie dok pakai stokin dan sweater...macam orang dalam pantang je... sejuknya.... ujan je macam musim tengkujuh laaa... baju kat rumah ni tergantung kat sana sini...macam kat pasar malam... tak boleh nak jemur... matahari masih malu2 hu....

Kak Teh said...

Pi Bani, dah, dah bangun!!!! Tapi rasa nak merangkat balik ke dalam duvet! Tadi dah buat exercise for today.

Tie, tak pernah January sesejuk macam ni. Sekarang dah tengah hari, tapi di luar ada fog. Kak teh pernah ke Dungun, masa tu sebelum datang ke London - ish, memang sejuk malam-malam.

~Ibu Anggun~ said...

salam kak teh..

I've been your silent reader for a while..

i'm so fascinated by your writings..
as if your writings come into life and talk to me ;)

Kenny Mah said...

Cheer up, dear Kak Teh. Have faith that things will improve. *hugs*

Mama Huptihup said...

kak teh, i was really enjoying ur writing until the part u mention the prawn mee...OMG, after that i cannot concentrate anymore as i am really hungry now sbb sabarrrr i masak bubur kacang :D

Ms B said...

Kak Teh,

Nak join, boleh? Too many things to do, too little time. And it is not helping when you have meetings all day long.

This duvet posting sounds like the lil one in the morning, "but can i snuggle with you five more minutes.?"

Hence explains why I always skip bfast! tak sempat. *LOL*

DrSam said...

Salam Kak Teh,

Really enjoy reading your writing. It motivates me to write more. Looking forward to read your next masterpiece :)

Kak Teh said...

plain jane, thank you for your kind words. I am afraid, it is not very exciting reading these days. Thank you.

Kenny, I truly hope so, for we can only hope.

Kak Teh said...

lyana, i cheated with the prawn noodle - beli paste di kedai. But it is worth it.

Ms B, those moments under the same duvet are priceless!!

Dr Sam, thank you and likewise, I love reading you too. Keep on writing.

Justiffa said...

Hey girlfren.. did 'we' lose 1kg oredi? yay!!

Congrats KT, lets all move our butts ya ;D

Kak Teh said...

Justiffa, hey girlfriend - one kg and more!! So, keep on cheering me from where you are! I tak boleh keluar jogging sebab berjogging di dalam rumah!

mekyam said...

welcome out from under the duvet, kt!

i agree nothing can chase away the pain of helplessness we feel in the face of so much pain and suffering which we can do so little to help alleviate.

yup, going foetal is definitely not the answer either. but i think we are all forgiven a short stint under the duvet every now and then when the sadness gets overwhelming.

thank god for life's ordinary demands like kids flying the nest and mates returning to roost.

[danial][ma] said...

hej! kak teh...with the winter colder than last year, a place under the duvet is the best to hide...;-)

ps: kak teh get some dark chocolate...

Kak Elle said...

wii makes you jump out of bed ye?ok but before that did you pass the test on your health?...hahaha

Kak Teh said...

mekyam, how strange that we go to the foetal position in times like this - back to the comfort and safety of the womb. yes, he is back and they have flown. and my phone bill is going to roket sky high!

danial, combination of duvet and dark chocolate not good. There's a strong possibility that I might not leave the room at all!

kak elle, heheh tu lah nak kena pulun ni! tapi , quite encouraging - now kaki dah sakit.

ZABS said...

Salam Kak Teh,
Dah bagun dan dah buat exercise... Teringat Mr. Bean yang bangun dan buat exrcise...

MrsNordin said...

If you enjoy that Wii thing, perhaps I should consider buying it. I've been very curious about it for sometime now. Nampak macam interesting saja.. I'll check it out, definitely!

Thanks and hope you're feeling much better today!

wahaza extra said...

Kak Teh, long time didn't drop by - refreshing entry indeed!

Madam Tai Tai Again said...

Kak Teh,

Glad you are back walaupun under the duvet! But don't let the winter blues get to you too much ok. We change the world as best we can. We pray that God will help us to do the rest. InsyaAllah.

Have fun with the Wii. I pun need to lose lots of fat which I got from my holidays! Tu lah masa holiday lupa menyesal pulak.

Cheer up, Kak Teh!

kay_leeda said...

Salams Kak teh,

It's good to have you out of the duvet!! Bet it was so comfy underneath, while playing footsie with em kids yah :) Ahh...I wish I could do just that too, but cannot lah, deadlines dah bertimbun..sigh.

And good for you too, the 1kg lighter must have been great accomplishment and more to go yes?

NanaDJ said...

Kak Teh,
Welcome back, was wondering what happen to you!
Feel like joining you under the duvet, to hide away from all the unpleasantness and heartbreak. The best thing about winter is to be in bed - a good excuse since its too cold to do anything else - and read.
Keep on excercising,hopefully you can fit into your famous blue lace kebaya. Just kidding!

mamasita said...

Hai KT.
I havent exercised for 2weeks!And the flab is happily coming back into place and claiming its throne!Must exercise KT!Kita tak makan banyak tapi metabolism kita dah slow.Lambat nak burn the calories!We must keep ourselves as fit as possible!

Dieting?Takpayahlah!Bukan nak masuk beauty contest kan?Kita pun tahu how to stay away from too much carb and oily stuff!Lain2 kita lanyak je.And itupun taklah melampau pun!

Wah your kids balik cuti ke Malaysia?How long?Can you post a picture of them?Manatahu terserempak dengan diaorang?Then I boleh cakap "eh eh!Ini anak KT!Kirim salam pada mama you k?"hehehe

Kak Teh said...

Zabs, cara kak teh buat exercise tu adalah ala-ala Mr Bean juga. anak-anak dok gelak sebab depa kata kak teh tak ada rythm.

Mrs N, I would recommend it - it is fun and also fat burning. I love the steps. Jogging pun ada. The thing is that the whole family can use and you can all keep track of each other's progress.

Kak Teh said...

wahaza, indeed. Lamanya kak teh tak nampak.

Madam Tai Tai, it is so easy to let go during winter. If I have my way, I'll carry the duvet like the proverbial safety blanket, everywhere I go. I bet you had a lovely time - and yes - burn those fats before it is too late - like me.Lots of hard work is needed under the watchful eyes of my children.

Kak Teh said...

kay, I was lucky because sincethe end of the year and the beginning of the year, most work were done from home. I had a few meetings outside - but that was all. So, you can imagine the laptop on top of duvet kind of session. Now, I have to drag myself out - but am thankful - Alhamdulillah - I still have a job. Many people are not that fortunate in this time of recession.

NanaDJ, the Wii Fit cant do miracles and for me to be able to fir back into that blue number will take more than a Wii Fit - more like a drastic makeover involving slicing off fats...hahaha! Good to see you here.

Kak Teh said...

Mamasita, now that you have your son with you, mana boleh diet. am sure you are cooking all his favourite things and having all these scrumptious family dinners.

Ya, our two older ones are back in Malaysia with their friends. as I write this, Hafiz will be landing in two hours time, Insyaallah. he had not been back for 6 years , perhaps. And just his luck - he booked KLM< but his flight was cancelled because of the fog. Then they put him on MAS! He was so happy - and because his flight was delayed, my husband, whose flight from geneva was also delayed, managed to see him at the airport! Tuhan menentukan semua.Alhamdulillah.

My girl and two friends will arrive late at night, but because she and one friend had been back before - they are able to find their way to my sister's place in Kajang. Then tomorrow - off to my eldest sister's place in Alor star - duduk di kampong , surrounded by kambing and ayam and pokok durian and rambutan - and river at the back of the house. They will love it - except for nyamuk! Then ke Langkawi. I dengar pun penat. Then balik KL sekejap - pi Seam Reap. Insyaallah, I kata, nak pi mana pun boleh tapi must spend time with Tok.

pugly said...

Kak Teh, I feel you. I pun macam malas & tak ada mood nak update these days (Chewah, macam real, padahal memang dasar pemalas ... hehe).

lenzaidi said...

Kak Teh,
When are you going to stop?

When you are not blogging, you are busy good cooking meals for your love one,
When you are not cooking, you are running for a meeting,classes
When you are not running errands, you are worried about your abang,missing your children
When you are not missing your love ones your mind is preoccupied with your ole and aging neighbours
When you are not loving they neighbours, you are in pain watching the palestinian children ripped in war
When you dont neither, please look after yourself well even when you are under the duvet!!
Now swing your hands, keep your rythm and watch your steps.1,2, 3 swing, 3,4,5 steps ;-)

love ya.

Kak Teh said...

pugs, hehehe - macam drama melayu pula...."Cis, memang dasar pemalas!!!" kata sambil cekak pinggang. gara-gara Ibu mertua ku!

Lenzaidi,I have a feeling you've been rummaging my archives! Okay, join me...1, 2, 3 clap, 4,5,6, clap!
Dod you know that when I clap, I lose my step? and i have problems with my left and right - but that is common knowledge lah.

Kak Teh said...

lenzaidi - so is my typos...DOD pulak!!! ....

ray said...

Komen Pak Malim kucing ray yg alim.

Kak Teh bila balik M'sia nanti boleh senaman jalan kaki dgn saya, kata Pak
Malim sambil memakai baju kebaya. Kat sini, panas, mesti banyak berpeluh sampai saya jadi kurus, kata Pak Malim sambil memegang berus. Peluh aje, 5 kilogram, kata Pak Malim yg kurang garam.

Kak Teh said...

Pak Malim,

Kalau kak teh jalan di jalanraya mesti layu, kata kak teh dengan sayu. Memang betul keluar peluh, tapi mesti berhenti minum air tebu, kan best, tanya kak teh yang selalu nak rest.

lenzaidi said...

Hahah me rummaging your archives?They are public record now!hahah. Its not difficult to read Kak Teh,her writing tells all.So amusing, so pleasant to read.
Keep warm Kak teh.

Kak Teh said...

lenzaidi, sekadar mencatat diari perjalanan hidup untuk anak cucu, kan?
Thanks for humouring me.

Ida Hariati Hashim said...

Welcome back kak teh..good to hear from you..

i pun dah lama tak exercise ni...malas pulak lah. Now tgh tension keje banyak so i tend to eat and eat and eat...

kak teh sedapnya almond croissant..sure mimpi malam ni.

Kak Teh said...

Ida, i dont know whether this Wii craze will last, I hope so because the last time we launch with such enthusiasm was when we had the treadmill - hmm selepas tu jadi tempat sangkut jackets!

Almond croissants?? mmmmmmm! Nice.

Berisman said...

Kak Teh,
Could you inform your eldest son to call me when he is in KL.I want to belanja him makan.

Pak Adib

Ida Hariati Hashim said...

Kak Teh, if u need anything from here, please tell me, nanti boleh pass kat ur son..

Tetiba pulak i teringat sepat pekasam...mana i nak cari ni?

jaflam said...

Hai Kak Teh,
I could understand the loneliness without our love ones around us, what more three of them are away now. But then the positive part you are developing new habits and hobby. Keep up the exercise.

Please remind Hafiz and Rehana to call us in KL.

CT said...

Salam Kak Teh,
How times flies…cepat sangat anak-anak kita membesar. I can understand how you feel.

Kadang2 teringin jugak nak kuruskan badan tapi alaaahai…semakin ‘muda’ semakin rajin pulak:)) so I only got time to feel good but not to look good hehehe

Kak Teh said...

Pak Adib, Insyaallah. They are on the move - sampai semalam, hari ni dah di alor setar and tomorrow langkawi. so, when they are in KL will ask them to do that.

Ida, pekasam? Pekasam? nanti kena ligan dengan sniffer dog di heathrow! hahaha!

Kak Teh said...

jaf, the exercise is doing fine, the man is back and he has also joined me -BUT the disgusting thing is that WII FIT says, his weight and BMI is ideal! Hish!

Salam CT, memang, teringin tu 24 jam. Nak bangun buat tu yang susah. Takes a lot of will power.

norzailina said...

Salam, Kak Teh.

First time here - enjoyed ur entries very much, thanks for sharing. I miss my old days in UK (doing A-Levels etc). Waiting for the day I can go back there for a visit. Take care, k?

Anonymous said...

Kal Teh

Just curious: What were the "pre-war, pre independent Malaya" books you were reading? This is fast becoming one of my favourite genres.

Kak Teh said...

Norza, thank you for visiting - wow , you are a novelist! Syabas, kak teh tak terdaya rasanya nak jadi novelist...tak pandai mengukir kata. Merepek boleh. So, you were here doing your A levels? Mesti banyak kenangan manis. Yes, do come back - the sterling is low now.

Kak Teh said...

Bangkai, thanks for the visit, as I know how busy you are. and aiayayaya, you had to comment at the point when I typed independent and not independence - and now it got me thinking - but never mind !

I have always been fascinated by this genre and I think I commented in your blog once too. I devoured two books during the first two weeks of January. One, interestingly is by G.E.D. Lewis, former MCS, former VI headmaster and author of so many geography books on Malaya.
My daughter, bless her, went to Malaysia last year and bought many books on Malaya, and for that I am thankful, - one it shows her interest in her country, and two - I also have the chance to read them.
What is beautiful abt this book - Out in the East - in the Malay Peninsula ( I think) is Lewis's easy style of writing - it is that British wit again - and keeping the british stiff upper lip - even after enduring a few slaps from the japanese when he was a POW. He wrote about his experience there in Malaya and in Singapore just before the war and the fall of Singapore. I became interested because I am writing something about a POW in Changi as well. and that took me back to the memoir of Halimi Ibrahim, the malay POW working on the death railway. I was truly hooked on that. Then I read Memoirs of a Scottish veteran - peter mackenzie, who was out there in Malaya as a young MCS officer. I met so many MCS officers who are now in their 80's and their stories are wonderful, simply wonderful. So, there!

Maya said...

Z! I finally managed to get into the blogworld!

I had been reading your posts regularly and as always, a lovely tapestry you weave! I love the way you add texture to you pieces, taking a swig at all emotions and feelings. Vintage Kak Teh and boy! am I glad that now I can add my comments!

Keep going and heres to a prolific 2009!

RozIlah Kamarudin said...

Kak Teh, U r still under the duvet...come, olie make u instant hot chocolate and buy pau kaya... nak tak???

Hope u r feeling better

ilene said...

Hi Kak Teh! I miss you. Thanks for dropping in at my place. I hear the weather is very cold indeed at this time of the year. You sure need all the discipline you can master to get up and do the exercise. As for me, I'm getting lazy and lazier with each bygone days. Don't know why but I just want to rest.

With the children away, the house is sunyi ya? I know the feeling.

I'm taking things easy these days. A day at a time. At the moment, with the approaching Chinese New Year, I'm keeping myself busy with the spring cleaning of my house as well as mum's place. Eventhough there's no celebration for us, I still feel it's traditional to spring clean for the new year.

You take care Kak Teh. HAPPY EXERCISE!

Kak Teh said...

Maya, at last!! And thanks to the very efficient teams from Google and Blogger, whose hard work we cannot do without. I am so glad you are back for there will be more good and inspiring reads.
Hey, blogger friends, please welcome back Maya and you are in for a treat!Wise words, beautiful crafted words - just simply wonderful!

Kak Teh said...

Rozillah, I just crawled out from under the duvet and devotedly climbed onto the Wii Fit Board and did half an hr of exercise. Not bad, eh for a sunday morningwhen I could do with a few more hrs of sleep?
But I ahve become addicted to the exercises and i think its a brilliant piece of technology - am completely hooked. from one stage to another. No thank you, no hot chocolate or pau for me. I have a target to reach by the end of next week. AM still quite slow - but Insyaallah, I will get there.

Kak Teh said...

Ilene, am so happy to see you back here. The collection of old black and white photographs in your blog must be really precious and like I said, keep there safe, scan and save in PC or online. That way, it will not get lost or damaged.

The children are having fun and not answering my sms! That's usually a good sign.

Chinese New Year must be a sad day for you, but you know, Ilene, she is gone but not forgotten. And you have been such a wonderful and devoted daughter that she must have gone feeling very happy that she raised you well. Take care, dear Ilene.

J.T. said...

Hello Kak Teh

We all have our duvet moments. I think it is important to have it as a part of life for we will appreciate better times when they roll along.

It is snowing as I write this. Such a pretty sight to be admired from large windows. Time to sit in the winter garden. :)

Kak Teh said...

JT. yes, the duvet is our security blanket - just like the comfort and security of the womb that we need once in a while.
In London, today is exceptionally bright and warm and my mood has lifted as well.

tireless mom said...

Dear kak Teh

I just lurrvveee the way you put it into words.

Kak Teh said...

TM, Thanks.

sherry said...

Salam Kak.

Kalau gi LONDON, senang ke nak jumpa akak. Teringin nak jumpa akak IN PERSON.

-Oxshott Leatherhead Surrey! End February nanti.

Kak Teh said...

Sherry, let me know nearer time and Insyaallah we can meet up.