Monday, February 25, 2008

Book Review : Ghost Children By Sue Townsend

This is a re-read. I was unearthing my collection to find something interesting to read and I decided on this one. It is a rather good book, I should say by the author who brought us the Adrian Mole series.

This book is about Christopher and Angela, who broke up because Angela aborted their baby. Chris became obsessed about his unborn child, always looking for a replacement and Angela got married to another bloke but never got over her baby in spite of being the sole instigator of the abortion. She keeps imagining her daughter Catherine was still with her, growing up and being the most perfect daughter.

They met again and rekindled their love with a lovely twist.

Storme, a baby being brought up by really stupid mother and Satan worshipping father is in the book too and I love the way their lives were intertwined with Chris and Angela.

It is a short book but if I say anymore then I will give the ending away.

I love books.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Main Badminton

Yesterday the 4B’s played badminton. For 2 hours.. Well Dan, Shazmi and myself played for an hour on our own because Anu and Shah were late and the next hour the 4B’s played together while I happily sat on the very high referee’s chair. Shouts of “I am not as agile as before !!” and “Oi !! I am not 20 anymore !!” was heard in abundance… he he…. Okay, okay… that is an exaggeration on my part (the abundance of it, that is).

Anyhoo… I played with Shazmi for awhile ( it was triple before. Dan who was playing singles managed to pulverize pasangan beregu Shazmi and Myra.. it was the lighting… trust me ) whilst Dan waited for Anu and Shah outside the Sports Complex. Our game was very interesting, Shazmi and me.… more languorously played than anything because we only played in front of the net. Shazmi said, “Just within this small box, okay ?” and I was happy to oblige.

After awhile ( of not really playing and talking ) I said to Shazmi, “Ever wonder why we are the fattest in the group ?” he looked at me with this look and said, “Fine !! Come on, Ala !” and I was fully regretting what I said when suddenly Dan appeared with Anu in tow !!

Yey !! Saved by the B’s !!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Hereditary trait

Aku balik kampong. Best…. Tapi yang tak bestnya bila my husband again found things about my family that made him… went "Ohhh…. Patut lah… keturunan….", while shaking his head in wonderment, like he was given the answers to the world secrets.

Sebab keturunan 1

My grandma bising sebab Harian Metro dah habis. She had to made do with Utusan Malaysia. I absolutely love the tabloid but Dan is always teasing me about it. "Baca cerita merepek aje..." he would say. So when my grandma made a fuss about Harian Metro dah habis at pasar Batu Gajah, Dan shook his head. “Patut le… Keturunan…” he murmured. Eiii … !!

Sebab keturunan 2

I am an IBS sufferer. Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I have to watch what I eat as a lot of food give me gas. Gas makes me bloated. Especially at the tummy area. Therefore when bloated, my stomach expands quite considerably.

Before, my tummy just got bigger. It’s okay. I can handle that. But nowadays it hurts when gassy. On top of that, remember Dan’s sympathy period zit ? Well now he bloats when I bloat. If it happened when I was not having my menses, he will ask accusingly, “You makan nasi ye hari ni ?” because nasi is the biggest culprit. So now we have one real IBS sufferer and one sympathy IBS victim ?

Well anyway, my aunt noticed the very little amount of nasi on my plate and the fact that I wasn’t consuming them. I was shoving the lauks instead. “Apa ke he tak makan nasi tu ? Sikit je… Tambah le lagi…” to which I explained my IBS thingy.

And then… “La…. Macam your uncle Kamal le. Uncle Kamal pun tak boleh… Kalau makan nasi je kembung….”. I stole a glance at my husband who was sitting next to me and saw that his lips were thin, arms folded.

“Patut le…. Keturunan rupanya…” said he out loud and began filling in the story to my aunt. Eiii….. !!

Sebab keturunan 3

Dan is always frowning at me for opening the door at the same time he unlocks it. I don’t know why but it happens a lot. I know, I know I am suppose to wait for the ‘tet tet’ sound before I even contemplate to touch the lever but tangan ni macam gatai… Don’t know lah.

Anyway, we took my grandma to pasar and when we returned to the car, belum sempat Dan ‘tet tet’ my grandma tried the door and at the same time Dan pushed the button. As a result all doors were unlocked except for my Wan’s. Dan smiled in recognition. He kept on smiling during the short drive to my Wan’s house. As I was exiting the car, I heard the unmistakable ‘ish ish’. Eeiiii….. !!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Book Review : The Morning Gift by Eva Ibbotson

*Sigh* …. What a great book. The Countess Below Stairs, which I read before, paled in comparison to this one. Don’t get me wrong, the latter is a marvelous book but this one is wonderful… It is romantic and dreamy and brimming with family values, complete with a villain.

Again the novel was set during the war where Ruth, the daughter of a wealthy scholar was accidentally left behind when her family fled from Hitler in Vienna ( lovely city. I love Vienna ). Help came in the form of Professor Sommerville, an old friend of the family who offered to marry her which will automatically make her a British subject. They were to divorce when she is safe in England, free to marry her pianist boyfriend, Heini.

But getting a divorce is not easy during that era. It especially became harder when Ruth became his student, and a bright one at that. And then of course the normal miscommunication, keen to make assumptions and reluctance to put forth questions to clarify those assumptions made things harder for the couple.

Eva had successfully written about human foibles. Not human exactly but couples. We so like to assume which will inevitably turns to hurt then merajuk came and when that happened.. usually all is lost. Even if it was saved,long period if time have been spent apart, nursing our feelings and relishing our wound.

So the moral of the story ? If what you heard is only hearsay… or you saw a woman swooning on your husband.. ask him first before you kapak’ed his head. That is all. Please read this one… kalau tak rugi…..

Monday, February 04, 2008

Book Review : The Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson

Haii….. Well….. It is hard for me to find an opening for this review. It is a long awaited book. A book that I first saw in London, was about to take it when I saw another book on display that I was looking for at that time. I thought.. well I could always find this book in Malaysia but I didn’t and little did I know that was my last visit to London because I quit my job… he he… wasn’t anticipating that either… (well I was hoping I could but did not foresee that I would quickly find another job…)

Anyway, I fell in love with Ms Ibbotson when I read her Song For Summer. It is a simple book, rather short for a novel but was marvelous anyway. Then I bought Madensky Square, although not as superior to A Song For Summer but was better than most books I read.

Anyway, after much calling mph and Kinokuniya, I was truly blessed when 1 phone call I made out of boredom said “ Ada kak. Tinggal lagi satu. “ What ? I quickly enquired other titles they have and a week after that I was the proud owner of 3 Eva Ibbotson books.

The book is about Anoushka or Anna, a Russian Countess who had to work in a stately house of a British blue blood to support her family after they fled the war in Russia penniless. This story tells of a girl who was so humble about her noble birth, she didn’t mind the calluses and blisters on her hands in order to support her family.

She fell in love with the lord of the manor and he too couldn’t fight his attractions to her. But of course true love must follow thorny path to truly triumph and difficulties came in the form of the earl’s wicker fiancée and her struggle to keep her identity a secret.

Sounds simple enough ? It is, but the storyline is beautiful.