Meerkat On the LookOUT

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


i'm very fascinated with one kettle that i found in my research room. I'm not sure whose the owner. i snapped a photo of it and i just like to look at it when i press the button to boil the water...

Loooooooooooooooook! it's BLUE!

i love this kettle so much! it's BLUE kettle!

Monday, October 30, 2006

York Conference

The conference was held in King's Manor.
As you enter King's Manor, this is how it looks like. (ops, sorry my hand was shaking. too cold!)

This conference prepared very good meals for all the participants. i think i had very good meals everyday. The lunch came with main course and dessert everyday! we had 2 coffee breaks and cookies for tea breaks.

i also met the expert of HAP in this conference, people travel from Europe, Malaysia, China, US, Japan and Korea. Everyone speaks one common language, ENGLISH! Now i know how big is Europe, there are so many different languages, eg Italian, Spanish, French, German, Slovakian, Polish, etc.

Two banquet dinner were served. we had dinner at the museum of York.
can u imagine this? having dinner with this ambience? great!
i also joined the social events in the evening organised by the University York. On the way to mini London-eye.

I've never been to London Eye in London, but i went to this mini London eye in york!

The view from the top of cable car was superb! Guidance was given to look in each direction. These guys from Slovakia.

We were given 20 mins to visit the Railway museum after the mini london eye ride. My friends from Poland, Andrzej and Maria from Madrid.

On the way to dinner, i snapped this photo. Very nice shop in the town centre!

i had a good time in York. i have to work harder to produce more results so that i 'll be given a chance to meet all these experts of HAP again!

York Trip
I went to York, UK for a 5 day conference from 22nd till 27th Oct 2006 to represent my university in High Altitude Platform (HAP) week. I left for York on Sunday 21st morning from Portsmouth and i met up with Andy for a quick lunch at King's Cross, London. 2hours15 mins train from Portsmouth & Southsea station to Waterloo, London.

I love the countryside of UK, the green, the sheeps, the view, etc...

My usual luggage, trolly bag and my backpack. My scarf and my jacket. selfish am i!

Another two hour train from London to York. But, this train was so much faster than the train before! i was tired and almost fell asleep before i reached York.

The busy city centre of York. i love York. it's so nice! i walked from train station to B&B that Linda booked for me, St Mary.

This is my lovely room that i stayed for 5 nights. i love it so much! something different from myhall and i get to watch TV as well!

York Minster, York.

This is the catheral in york, it's very famous and i went in to have a look before i got my dinner.

i did take-away and got a mexican burger and fries. Before that, i bought a hazelnut chocolate drinks from Starbucks, the weather was too cold so i took a hot drink.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

One month has passed...
This is the 4th week i've been here in Portsmouth. Talking about the beginning of this week, Sunday...i managed to get to King's church with Bel. I love the church and there were young people and families there. I was grateful that i stood in the congregation and worshipped God in truth and in spirit. There was a lunch fellowship after the church, Bel and i had the lunch and we managed to taste all the English food prepared by the church members. I really loved the chocolate cakes. The night before the church, i told Bel that i wanna stop eating chocolate because i find myself addicted to chocolates. I can't live without chocolates!!! Anyway, we had good lunch and we knew a few people in the church. We met one Australian who just came to Portsmouth for more than 1 month and she has been attending this church as well. I told her i'll see her after my trip to York. It so happened that she's gonna be away to Wales as well. Hence, we're gonna see each other when we come back from our trips respectively.
The whole of this week was very hectic for me as i tried to read as much as possible to prepare myself for the trip. Unfortunately, i was down with fever from sunday night until Tuesday. Thanks so much Andrew for your prayer and keeping me company at night! I think those who know me well know that i have tummy problem. So, the usual thing happened. Whenever my flu or fever comes, the gastric problem also comes along. Thank god, i'm well now and i managed to do the last bit of reading before end of the week. Thank god for listening to our prayers and Thank god for Your healing hands.
Oh yea, again..thanks to Andrew! He set up the video conference in the church and I attent the FMC overnight prayer! thanks to Skype also, because it's FOC! I managed to follow most of the worship sessions except the first worship session. I missed it! i really love the songs that the worship leaders chose. Some of the lyrics of the worship songs also hit me. i do believe that sometimes God speaks to me via songs. The happiest thing is i could see my churchmates...HweeiMin, i miss ya so much! Also, my badminton mates...and my YEH YEH! i'm really glad!
It's a saturday night and all the gals in my flat are out. tonight's got the Freshies Ball. it costs 15 pounds per person! According to my flatmate, it seems that there are more gals than guys going. i guess they'll know better after they get tehre. I saw them before they left for the party, they are so gorgeous!!!
I've packed my luggage for my trip and it's gonna take 6 hours to travel from Portsmouth to York. I need to catch the earliest train before 9am. Anyway, i've just made an appointment to meet up with Andy in King's cross to have lunch before i travel up north. I hope i'll be able to enjoy myself there and build up some network in my research area, knowing more people.
Before i forget, Happy Deepavali and Selamat Hari Raya! I know that everyone back in Malaysia is having a long break, Happy Holidays and have a good rest!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

3rd week in Portsmouth
This week was a busy and stressful week for me as I need to do lots of reading and conference day is getting nearer. In order to prepare myself well, i really need to read and read and read...

Thanks to Dr Tony Centeno who came to Portsmouth on Weds to visit me. We introduced Boris (my PhD supervisor) to Tony. Tony brought me to stadium to get some football shirts. I didn't get any shirts but he bought some. Then, he drove me around Portsmouth and showing me his old place. In fact, Tony's wife was in Department of Mechanical for her MSc and PhD. They stayed in Portsmouth for a few years and it's like 2nd home here. After that, we went to Starbucks for coffee. I took hot chocolates. The hot chocolate drinks taste better when you really need a hot drink especially the weather is cold. ops..forgot to snap a photo with him. Then, we proceed to a restaurant for dinner. i had smoked salmon pasta. it was soo delicious! thanks to Tony for hot chocolate and dinner!

Dinner at my place's kitchen. These were the food that Bel cooked and she brought it over. All in all, each one of us paid 70p for this lovely dinner. Oh yea, we also got kuih raya, it was brought over by Siti's parents who just came 3 days back.

On friday night, we had a small 'makan' at my place. A few Malaysian students came over and Bel cooked curry chicken, fried salmon fish, savoy cabbage & carrots. She also cooked a big pot of rice. It was the first time i had rice since i came to UK. i think ididn't take any rice a few days before i left for UK as well. i'm just not a rice person. my stomach always have difficulties when it tries to digest rice. i prefer bread, especially wheat bread! We had a great time. The main purpose of this makan was to say goodbye to Siti. All of us told her that we want her to come back again to Portsmouth. Guess what? she is a mother to all of us, because she dealed with most of us when we tried to get ourselves register to the uni and the hostel. We met her in KL office. Siti, we hope to see you again in Portsmouth!!! After the dinner, we also sat down and discussed where to go for holidays in December. Personally, i would like to travel up....hmmm..Scotland!!! Edinburg!!! Glasgow!!! But, it's gonna be freezing cold. One of the malaysian students said he drove to Scotland from Portsmouth for 14 hours!!! No kidding, 14 hours! He suggested us to fly by economical jet like EasyJet and BA also might be cheap. Ar..hha..some plannings need to be worked out. Fern needs to go somewhere this Christmas!

In fact what happened was Boris came to Fern's room and said 'Fern, you need to save some money' Fern looked upto Boris and said 'Oh yea, i need to save some money to subscribe to IEEE and pay the monthly digital library?' 'Ops, you got me wrong! i'm going holidays in December until early January and i'm expecting you to be on holidays as well!' Then i told myself 'Eh, Boris! i expect you to pay for my holidays also lar!' hheeehheee, Boris's right. i need to go holidays and i need a break because PhD is not an easy course. Anyway, this is only work, we must enjoy our lives as well. Alright, where should i go ? i really don't know. Any suggestions?

On saturday, i went to Bel's place. It was a cold and misty saturday. Both of us agreed that saturday is the coldest day since we reached UK. Bel also took out her winter knitwear and put it on today because the weather is too cold. I can't say no to my scarf because as i walked from my place to her place, it's a 30min walk and the wind is strong also. We went shopping and we decided to get pizza. Wow..choose any 3 for 3 pounds. Alright, we bought 3 and we baked the pizza for 20 mins but we finished eating within 10 mins. Bel commented 'the pizza is sedap gila!' Indeed, it was very tasty and i really love it. We're gonna bake another two this week and she will pop by to eat dinner she goes home!

Tomorrow is sunday again! Bel and i are going to King's church. We did a check and we found out that there will be a student lunch to welcome the students. i pray that this church will be a suitable church for me and it's so much nearer compared to Trinity methodist church.

dear God, i really need some fellowship. i pray that i can settle down in a church ASAP. In jesus's name i pray and ask, Amen!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

These are the photos that us (BEl, Siti & I) took on saturday. I walked to Bel's place at Lawrence Road and then we went Siti's B&B guest house. From her place, we passed by the sea and took a few snaps and got onto a bus to Gunwhart. i spent 60p at the market and i got myself a cabbage!

Monday, October 09, 2006

My sunday

Today, i got up in the middle of the night around 4.30am. i was feeling hungry and cold. Since the conversation with Esther over the MSN the night before talking about dumpling. i really miss dumpling. Hence, i missed dumplings so much in the middle of the night.

During the last dumpling festival, i think i had like 5-6 dumplings. I'm not sure why i love it so much but i just love eatinsg it. Personally, i don't really like rice, but i love dumplings. Usually, they have chestnuts, pork, mushrooms (wow!!!) and etc wrapped with the leaves. Then i met Andrew who loves dumpling as well. i remember he brought dumplings to the FMC children church camp in genting. Due to the food was catered more towards children, i didn't eat much. So, we had dumplings for one of the meals..yummy! Since Auntie Yap knows that i love dumplings, she bought dumplings for me as breakfast and packed some for me to get to work. i remember she said 'you'd better eat more. you can't find dumpling in UK!' Thanks so much Auntie Yap for being so thoughtful! Oh..i really love dumpling. Oh yea, i have dumpling from Bukit Mertajam as well. Susu lembu brought from her hometown during dumpling festival!

talking about today. my sunday in UK is totally DIFFERENT compared to the old days back in KL. Looking at the time 4.30am, plus 7 hours --> 11.30am in M'sia. i really miss FMC so much!! i didn't go church since i left Penang. i really miss the days in FMC and the ppl as well. Sigh.. after a few texts with Hweei Min, i tried to get to sleep. Talking about Hweei Min, she was the one who introduced me to Ah Pak Dim Sum, near Leisure Mall. I love the Lo Mai Gai made by this Ah Pak. i also miss the days when we like to go there to have dinner, eating Dim Sum for dinner.

i got up at 8.30am. okay, i shouldn't laze on the bed anymore. it's a sunday! let's go to the new church, Trinity Methodist Church at Albert Road. i need to get there by 10.20am and it will take 40 min walk. oklar, i got up and had shower, makan then i started my journey. Listening to my ipod along the way and i really enjoy the weather over here. What a sunny day today! no more rain! The wind wasn't too strong! what a great day! by the time i reached there, it was a lil early. Ops, where is the entrance! i looked here and there. So, i opened the door and walked in...
'Good morning!' an old lady said to me. i smiled and got a hymnal from her. then i sat down on one of the pulpits. There were around 7-8 old women. what i would like to emphasise here is ... they are really old. After a few mins, the pastor came to me and introduced himself. Slowly, there were more old women came in. i started to wonder, 'Eh, where are the youth? no youth? how come all old women? only a few men! Am i in the wrong church?' Indeed, it's an old women church. 90% of the congregation are old women around 60 years old and above, less than 6 old men. 2 young kids and i believe that's the pastor's children. After some hymn singing, the two kids went out with a women, i think that's the pastor's wife. i looked around, 'Fern, you're the youngest amongst the congregation!'

The pastor's sermon can be summarised as follows:-
C - Creator
R - Redemmer
H - Healer
I - Image of God
S - Saviour
T - Teacher
The message was simple yet foundamental. Good reminder of who Jesus is! One thing i noticed about methodist churches' worship order, standing up for hymns and sit down , then stand up again and sit down again.

i also started to wonder 'God, why you sent me here? Am i gonna be one of the old women later in my life?' i shared this with Andrew, he laughed with me. Another thing, these old women went to church by themselves. Where are their children?

After the service, i didn't join the tea break. So, i walked home. It was 11.30am. I miss badminton! i saw a few young ladies with badminton racquet by the street. Any badminton court nearby?'s 6.30pm in M'sia. Yeh yeh & auntie Alice, judy and Alfred, Lily and Jimmy, Pat, Jon, and etc are in the badminton court. aiyoh..i miss them so much!

Upon reaching home, i checked my emails and read online news. Then, i had lunch. After that, i started to work on my research. Compared to last time in KL, i never worked on Sunday. Sunday is a day of rest for me. i have full schedule of church activities. One thing, i like to go bk to Puchong rented room to take a nap even though i only get to go home for a short period of time. i miss my 20 min nap! Then later in the month of July and August, i became more like a pig. Because my sunday nap turned up to be like an hour or 1.5 hour of nap. But, i didn't take any nap at all this afternoon. i was on waiting mode. waiting for Andrew to get online. At last, i managed to catch him. Then, Siew eng complained to me that i won't talk to her unless i got no one else to talk to. Aduh, don't say like that. i always try to say hi to whoever online on my list, unless i really have nothing to say. Don't blame me, Siew Eng.

Around 6pm, hungry again. i cooked dinner and had shower. After getting my hair dry, i've been sitting here to work again and blogging now. sunday is so different now!!!

i miss FMC and my fellow badminton mates!!! sob...sob :(


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Saturday on Student Tour around Portsmouth & Visit to Gunwharf on 30th Sept 2006

I joined student tour organised by the university international office on saturday. My Malaysian friend Bel and i got the ticket many days back from the office. hmm..kiasu leh? Siti, the Portsmouth University student promotion officer from KL office is here for a month training. She also joined in for the tour! it was a two bus ride around Portsmouth. Three of us happily went onto Portsmouth uni bus and we met some malaysian students who came along as well.

Unfortunately, the bus didn't stop for us to take photos, he only gave us a break at the hill top there. But, that's good enough to see the entire Portsmouth island.

This is my new Malaysian friend, Bel. We meet in Heathrow airport, London. She is a civil engineer with 10 years of working experience. Don't play play ar!!!

Tadadaa...This is Siti from KL office. Poor woman didn't bring jacket, she ran into the coach right after this picture was taken! Sejuk ar..Siti!!!

After two hours of tour, three woman (Siti, Bel & I) walked to the Gunwharf shopping centre. Wow..tell you many shops and so many sales!!! M&S warehouse! Next warehouse! a lot of warehouses in this area!

While Siti and Bel were enjoying their jacket potatoes with butter, i found this shop called 'Cadbury factory shop'. Those chocolate lovers out must remember this shop.

Lots of variety of chocolates in there. The most important part ...the price is reasonable. i think i can't live without chocolates these days since i started eating chocolates 4 months back. Someone should know who to be blamed??!! anyway, i bought a big bar of 200mg of cadbury with 99p. i was so happY!

After Gunswharf, we walked to another part of city. see the picture below. This is Commercial Road.

It's a busy road in Portsmouth. There are banks eg HSBC, Barclays, Natwest, stores, phone shops, Bhr, Dabenham, M&S (ops, not warehouse), Primark ( a new shop and i can't believe it, the clothes are nice and the price is gooooooooooood! baby shirt for 1 pound!!! Siti grabbed a few pieces for her 3rd son! Bel & I kept on shouting in the shop, 'Siti, this is nice! Get this! look! buy!'). There is market from thursday till saturday and we can get fresh fruits, cheaper than tesco. At the end of the road, there is Tesco and Sainsbury (yet to visit).

Another famous building near my hall is Guildhall Walk, just 2 mins walk from my hall. You won't miss this building.Some youngsters like to gather here on weekends. i have to walk past this building to get to Commercial Road.

ok..more pictures to come in near future!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Internet connection in da Room

At last, i really thank god that i've got internet connection in my room. let me show u around my hall.
see the pic down there!!!

Before i forget to mention, these are the pictures that i took on the first day upon arrival. i used the duvet from hall. i've got a new duvet because i need to return to the hall. My room is pretty small. But i like it.

let me show you the new reversible (cherry/pink) duvet cover that i've bought. i purposely bought pink so that it can match with my pinky bedsheets from Hweei Min!

Next, what to show leh? ok...from my window..

in fact, i'm in the city centre of Portsmouth! it's nice place!
i'll put up more photos as time goes by!