Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Someone Like You*

I love thee - I love thee,
'Tis all that I can say
It is my vision in the night,
My dreaming in the day.
~Thomas Hood~

Last week Valentine’s Day fell on Monday. Students clutching red roses and heart-shaped balloons walked past my window. Hmm…it was that time of the year again. Babe gave me the Ghost perfume which I wanted and he got a True Blood dvd which he chose. Ha…how romantic was that!!! The main thing is that we love each other, unconditionally.

At work, we’d our first departmental meeting for this year. A lot of things were discussed and our manager laid out his plans for the next 12 months. It was going to be a very busy year which will keep us on our toes. My colleagues and I have made a resolution for the department ie to be VISIBLE and HEARD. Somehow we have been invisible in the library. Plans have been made without informing us or we were the last to know. Eg Book donations accepted without asking us whether we could process them. We will also need extra staff for weeding, funds for binding/lyfguarding, barcodes, security tags etc

We also planned to join in every committee in the library. So far, I’m a member of the International Students Group, the Enquiry Referral Services, the Check it out sessions and I was thinking of joining the Marketing Group. We need to be out there and not hidden away. Unfortunately, our office was in the ground floor  and at the furthest end of the building. We also made sure that there was something on the weekly staff e-bulletin about our department. We must be seen as contributing something. So far we’d highlighted about our co-operation with the Graduate School regarding thesis, highlighted JG’s Marandet plays and CC’s article.  We were no longer sitting quietly in the basement. That aside, the Welsh Cakes that I brought helped to calm things down.

We’d the meeting when the library system, Millennium, was down. We did expect this because the server was replaced over the weekend. It was hoped that the new server will be up and running by 10am on Monday morning. We finished our meeting at about 12pm and it was still down. So another mug of coffee was in order. My colleagues started working on their appraisals but moi had already submitted ages ago. That’s what you get for being too competent. But not to worry? Instead of tweedling my thumbs, I spring cleaned my desk. Spring has come early for me.

Then I went out for my usual lunch walk, when I met JW who was also on his way out.  He told me he was going to check out some WAXWINGS at Meriden. WAXWINGS…did I hear that right??? I asked him if I could tag along and he said YES. Yes…I was hyperventilating. I just couldn’t wait. JW was there on the weekend but it was too windy and foggy to see them. Warwickshire Roadside  D50   14-02-2011 13-59-27

We drove on the A45 to Meriden and parked at a lay-by. We walked towards the Maxstoke Bridge and there they were. A flock of about 40 birds on the trees in the middle of the reservation. Traffic was whizzing by and they were there twittering away. They keep on flying from one end of the road to another and a few times they flew right to where we were standing. I was so excited that at times I forgot to use my camera, which was a first for me. Unfortunately, the sun was right in front of us. But who cares huh!!!Warwickshire Roadside  D50   14-02-2011 14-04-21

These waxwings with its buff-red crest on top of their heads were a real beauty. It was reddish-brown in colour with a black throat, a small black mask round its eye, yellow and white in the wings and a yellow-tipped tail. It does not breed in the UK, but was a winter visitor. It looked quite fierce and regal perching high on the branches, watching the world go by. I’m soo thankful that I was able to see them this close. They were truly amazing. What a pity we’d to leave them because we got to go back to work. :-(

Luckily, Babe wanted to see them too. So on Wednesday and Thursday, he came over during my lunch break and then drove to Meriden. Unfortunately, they were not there. We met a few twitchers who were also there and they told us that there were sightings of them early in the morning. At first we thought of driving here before going to the office. But we changed our minds because this stretch of road had one of the worst morning rush hour traffic. We will come again before these beauties fly back to Scandinavia. Babe was in Brandon Marsh when he got this stunning shot of a Great Crested Grebe. I couldn’t wait to see them too.Brandon Marsh D300s  16-02-2011 15-11-41

Last week was was Maulidur Rasul. It was the birthday celebration of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). It falls on the 12th or 17th day of the Islamic month of Rabi' al-awwal. It was a day for Muslims around the world to learn more about and reflect on the Prophet’s life.

“And peace on him on the day he was born, and on the day he dies, and on the day he is raised to life"

Holy Quran 19:15

Allahuma salli ala Muhammadin wa Aal-e Muhammad
O God! Shower thy blessings on Muhammad and the descendents of Muhammad

Then there was the football matches on tv. I thoroughly enjoyed the heavyweight clash between Arsenal and Barcelona. Wilshere was selected as the Man of the Match in the match that ended 2-1 in the Gunners’ favour at the Emirates Stadium in the UEFA Champions League.  There was firework all around in the Champions League last-16 first round match .Later, Liverpool travel to the Czech capital to face Sparta Prague at the Generali Arena in the first leg of their Round of 32 clash. Liverpool lacked attacking threat after drawing 0-0 at Sparta Prague in the first leg of their Europa League last 32 tie. They didn’t sparkle in Dalglish's first European match in charge of the club but remain well placed for the last 16.

On Friday, I’d to take the bus to work cos Babe wasn’t feeling good. Hmm…how much is the bus fare this time? It was £3.40 for a day’s pass. It seemed that everytime I use the bus, the fare increased. How can you encourage the people to use public transport when it was soo damned expensive!!! Thankfully, the school half-term had started and there were no school children swinging their huge rucksacks about or clogging the entrance. But I spoke too soon.

We got down in town and as I walked past Sainsbury’s, the smell of baking waft past the entrance. My tummy growled and I realised that I didn’t have time for breakfast. So I rushed in and join the queue for the freshly baked Danish Cinnamon rolls, 3 for the price of 2. Yummy…I just had to have one in the bus and devoured the rest at my table.

I took the bus home with my colleague AM. We dropped at the Linden Tree and walked into town. I wanted to enquire about a top-loading washing machine from one of the electrical appliances store. I was told that only Hotpoint made them and the price was £425. Expensive huh…Then we walked into Poundland where I bought toilet rolls and bird-food. AM went to Debenham while I headed straight to the bus-stop. A bus was already there and it looked quite full cos a lot of people were standing by the entrance. When I got in and walked to the back, there were plenty of seats. Why do people like to crowd by the entrance???

On Saturday, I received the news that my grandmother had passed away. Inna lilla wa inna lilla hirajiun. (From Allah we came, To Allah we returned). I said a prayer for a wonderful woman and may she rest in peace. Amin.

I’d already made arrangements to meet CC, KC and KW in town. KC had made the plans a month ago. I took the bus and since I was early, decided to check the latest exhibition in town. While the fate of Modern Egypt hangs In the balance and in the midst of the turmoil, the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum opened a new exhibition: "Secret Egypt - Unravelling Truth from Myth". This brand new blockbuster opened on the 11th of February, and allowed visitors to investigate the truth behind some of the popular myths about ancient Egypt amongst the displays that brought together over 200 objects from some of the most important Egyptian collections in the country.

They included an amazing colossus statue of Ramesses II from the British Museum, a rare sculpture of Queen Nefertiti from the Ashmolean, crocodile mummies from Bolton Museum, a gold pendant from Manchester Museum discovered by archaeologists in the hands of an ancient robber trapped in a collapsed tomb and a well preserved mummy of a woman called Perenbast. Also on display were many treasures previously unseen including objects from Manchester University Museum, the Birmingham Museum collections and Bolton Museum.

Moving through six themes, it began by asking what is real and what is fake via an examination of funerary objects that helped Ancient Egyptians into the sacred world of death before debunking some of the more spurious myths that have grown up around the Ancient Egyptians. There was also an interactive quiz which I took part. I got only one wrong and I did find the interactive host a bit annoying.

The only part I was a bit iffy about was when I was in the tomb chamber which contained the remains of Perenbast, a chantress of Amen who died nearly 3000 years ago. The well-preserved mummy in its beautiful decorated coffin  from the 22nd dynasty was discovered in 1909 in Qurna and on loan from the Manchester Museum. Shouldn’t she being buried? When Perenbast died and was prepared for the after world, she didn’t expect to be on display…

The Museum was quite busy because the ground floor was used as the focal point for the Coventry University Open Day. I think they had to bring it indoors because the weather was quite bad. There were lots of interesting things on display to promote the University but it was getting crowded and I’ve got other things to do. As I walked past the Cathedral graveyard, I spotted clumps of snowdrops. I was itching to get a photograph but changed my mind cos they were growing alongside the grave stones.

I did checkout Primark which was buzzing as usual. I fell in love with a Channelesque cardigan and at £14 it was reasonable. But the queue at the changing room was way too long. I think I might come again another time. I had my eyebrows threaded and then I was ready to face the world.

I went to Cosmo and sat in the lobby while waiting for the girls who were 15 minutes late. After the obligatory hugs and air kisses we went to our table. The Pan-Asian restaurant was buzzing and quite full. We ordered a big pot of steaming cha and they used proper loose Chinese tea leaves. We took turns to get our food. First was the starter. I’d the king prawns in batter, fried calamari, sesame prawn toasts, crispy seaweeds and spicy prawn crackers.

Then cleanse the palette with a bowl of hot. steaming crab and corn soup. What you need on a cold day. KC was looking well. She was also doing an Open University degree in Art. She told me she was bored which was a bit surprising for a newly-wed. But hey-ho. Then it was to the main course. I’d crispy noodles with king prawns with ginger and spring onions, broccoli in chilli sauce, stir fried pak choy in oyster sauce, tofu in black bean sauce and Szechuan fish fillets. Oooh my poor tummy. We ate and ate and talked and talked. It was a lovely day out with the girls. Then it was time for desserts. We waddled slowly to the counter and I went for the fresh fruit. Just couldn’t eat anymore.

About 2 hours later, it was time to leave. The girls had errands to run and I wanted to check out a long-sleeved camouflaged  t-shirt that I’d seen last year in one of the stalls in the Coventry Market. I wanted to get it for Babe. Aren’t I a lovely wife :-). And on cue, Babe called. He was meeting me in 30 minutes. I bought a newspaper and a drink and sat in the Bullyard, waiting for him. We then checked a new webcam/camera which we wanted ages ago. Still thinking whether we were going to buy it. Then a quick browse around town before we headed home.

Sunday was spent chilling and doing the laundry. The weather was a bit soggy and all I want to do is just chill out with Babe. I hoped that you too are spending time with someone you love.

*Adele's stunning performance at the Brit Awards singing this song helped her claimed this week’s Official Singles Chart's UK number one. It was a lovely song and I think I’m going to purchase the CD. The songs were amazing.

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