11 Things I Love About You

Dear Mr Dad,

The 17th of June has always been a date that our family looks forward to. Yes, it’s your birthday and it’s right next to Father’s Day (Lucky you!)! That’s why I’m writing this post!

Over the years, you’ve been a PAWSOME father and a great husband for Mrs Mom, and you’ve made a lot of sacrifices for us. Ever since I was born, you’ve been like my best friend and you haven’t failed to keep Little Miss Diva and Ali the Salt Bubba happy too! You’ve got a great sense of humour and you’ve got a heart of pure gold! You’ve supported us and loved us with all your heart and you’ve always stood by our side. You are a very -and I mean VERY – PAWSOME dad! After all, you are the one and only Mr Dad! So, we’d all like to say THANK YOU for everything you’ve done! We really appreciate it! And since it’s such a special occasion, I’ve written a lovely (hopefully you’ll find it that way) poem, just for you!

11 Things I Love About You

A poem written by Omar Mukhtar, The Pawsome Lion on behalf of the whole family

Fatimah The Little Miss Diva, Ali The Salt Bubba and Mrs Mom

I love the way you keep us happy,

The way you sing to us,

I love how you smile at us in the morning,

The way you advise us

I love the way you play chess with me,

The way you comb our hair,

I love how you know how to make us laugh,

The way you help with your great sense of fashion

I love the way you love Mrs Mom, 

And how you care for her,

But most importantly, I love the way you stand by our side

Which makes you a PAWSOME father!

And on this special day, I’d like to say…

Happy Birthday! Happy Father’s Day!

From your loving family!

Happy birthday and Happy Father’s Day, Mr Dad! We hope they both turn out to be great days! May God grant all of your wishes and make them the best days ever! 😀

p/s: Dear God,

Please reserve my dad the best place in heaven coz he totally deserves it!

A Sad Adios…😭

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye…

As most of you know, the school year is coming to end and the summer holidays are slowly approaching. Everyone’s waving goodbye to their teachers and classes and are anxiously waiting to meet their new class teachers when the three weeks of ‘transition’ come. Transition is a period of time when children can get to know their new teachers and classes.

It’s time to bid farewell to Hazel and greet my new Year 5 class which is Oak! My new teacher will be Miss Parker and the LSP (teaching assistant) is Mr Johnson. Miss Parker will be our teacher for the three weeks of transition only as a new teacher will be appointed in September. I can’t wait to meet her/him! Hopefully they’re just like Miss Javed!

Wednesday was Parent’s Day at SHP, the day everyone received their yearly reports. As usual, everyone was nervous about the grades that they would get-especially me! There was a tense atmosphere when my family and I entered the classroom. We were all waiting for the moment when Miss Javed handed over my report for the year…

Then, the results were revealed! My report was…OUTSTANDING!!!! WAHEY!! My grades in Literacy, Maths, Science, R.E (Religious Education), Learning Together and P.E were superlative! I really need to thank God that everything in my report was great! This achievement is not mine to claim! It belongs to everyone, my family, friends, teachers and all you PAWSOME peeps because everyone has been supporting me all along and helped me to gain this achievement!

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Of course, my report wouldn’t have been outstanding without the hard work of all the PAWSOME people in my life! I would like to thank each and every one of them!

  1. Thank you God for making this possible!
  2. Thank you Mrs Mom and Mr Dad for supporting me throughout my journey from Moseley (old school) to SHP!
  3. Thank you Little Miss Diva and Baby A for being the cutest brother and sister in the whole wide world!
  4. Thank you Dr Auntie for motivating me to do my best!
  5. Thank you Mr OCD Uncle for being such an inspirational uncle to me!
  6. Thank you Dadajee and Khun Yai Thi Rak Khong Phom for always building up my ideas!
  7. Thank you Miss Javed and Miss Hussain for being the greatest teachers I have ever met!
  8. Thank you Hazel class for always standing by my side!
  9. Thank you SHP for building me up from who I was in Moseley to who I am today!
  10. Last but not least, I would like to thank all of my family and friends, my blog readers, all of my supporters on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for always supporting and encouraging me!

I am not sharing my results so I can brag about it or anything like that, I am sharing them because I am hoping that I can inspire more people and show them that hard work really does pay off and if we work as one, TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD! And don’t just do it for yourself:

  • Do it for God, who gave you a life, because He wants you to make a good use out of this precious dowry.
  • Do it for your mother, who carried you in her womb for nine months and brought you into this world, so you can make her proud.
  • Do it for your father, who works hard every day to ensure that you live a good life, so you can return the favour.
  • Do it for your teachers, who get through the headaches to make sure you have a high-level education, so you can thank them sincerely.
  • Do it for your brothers and sisters, who look up to you all the time, so you can become a perfect role model.
  • Do it for your friends, who stick with you in times of sorrow, so you can all succeed together.
  • Do it for the unfortunate people in this world, who manage to live in hunger and pain, so they can have a brighter future.
  • Do it for everyone, so TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD!

To end this emotional (😪) post, I would like to write a goodbye poem dedicated to Miss Javed and Miss Hussain!

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A Sad Adios…

By The Pawsome Lion

You guided us through right from the start,

You loved us all with all your heart

You told us not to work for naught,

You taught us things that meant a lot

You never left us all alone

You made sure we didn’t break our bones

And though we’ve had our smiles and frowns,

We’ve turned the frowns upside down

That’s why I’m saying a sad adios

To two of my favourite amigos!

p/s: Adios Miss Javed and Miss Hussain! I wish you all the best for next year!

*Media Source: The Pawsome Lion*

The One for Me!

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This post is dedicated to someone very special who has devoted their whole life to me. Of course, that person is no one other than…Mr Dad ! It was his birthday on Friday and I thought it would be a great idea to write a post just for him as a birthday present!

Anyone can be a father but it takes someone special to be a dad, and that’s why Mr Dad is the one for me! He always stands out from the crowd. He is a loving and caring father and listens to everything I have to say. He also has a heart of gold! Mr Dad’s fun, has a sense of humour and he never fails to keep the whole family happy! He has taken good care of me ever since I was born and from then on, he has been like a friend! Every dad is special but my dad is different. That’s because he’s the one and only Mr Dad!

As a coincidence, Mr Dad’s birthday is also near the date of Father’s Day! Wow! This means that he’s going to get more presents than anyone in the world! And, it also means that I have time to give Mr Dad one more very extra-special present, his very own birthday poem! So, here goes!

My Father!

(By The Pawsome Lion)

My father is the greatest, he’s the one to beat!

Don’t mess with him because he’s as fit as an athlete!

My father can do anything, anything at all,

From cooking to cleaning to singing all day, and he’s CRAZY ’bout football!

My father is the best to me, he cannot be replaced,

If I stick with him then everything can be aced!

My father can be a busy bee

But get this, he’s still the one for me!

And when I think of him

This is what ‘FATHER’ means to me:

F   riendly

      A   lways caring

T   he best

H     elpful

         E   verlasting love

    R   ighteous

 

Before I go, there’s one more thing I would like to share with everyone. An EXCLUSIVE video of Mr Dad making pizzas! I guarantee that it’ll make you say “WOW!”. Here it is:

Once again, Happy Birthday and Father’s Day, Mr Dad! Hope you have a great 2 days! I’m sure you’ll enjoy everything from the cake to the presents!

p/s: Leave a comment if you do anything special for your father this Father’s Day!

*Media Source: The Pawsome Lion*

My Little Miss Diva!

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Since 2014, the 3rd of January has been an important date for my family! This is because of the long awaited addition to my small family. Of course, it’s none other than my Little Miss Diva’s day of birth. Mrs Mom said, “She was a miracle!”

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I was 7 years old when I found out that Mrs Mom was pregnant with Little Miss Diva. When I first heard the news, I was stupefied! I couldn’t believe it! The news had me jumping with excitement because I never had a brother or sister before.

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There was a strong connection between me and Little Miss Diva right from the beginning. Whenever Mrs Mom wanted to sleep, I always had to sit beside her and keep her company. Sometimes, even when she was still in Mrs Mom’s tummy, I would read stories to Little Miss Diva at night and talk to her all the time. Occasionally, she would kick Mrs Mom’s tummy as she listened to me talk to her.

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In the period of time when Mrs Mom was pregnant, I did a lot of research on (newborn) babies and found out lots of amazing facts, like how fragile a baby’s skull can be. Other than that, I also did some research about the baby’s growth and development. I did the research in order to help me get prepared when Little Miss Diva came into the world. I have to say, the research helped me a lot!

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Then, around the time when Mrs Mom was going to give birth, me and Mr Dad went to Mothercare to buy a bodysuit for Little Miss Diva that said “I LOVE MY BROTHER!” XD It looked so cute! I was sure that it would suit Little Miss Diva. The bodysuit was my first gift for her. We also bought a lot of other things for her too.

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Finally, after a long wait, it was the time for Little Miss Diva to breathe her first breath of fresh air. The time when Little Miss Diva was born was an exhilarating moment. As soon as she came out of Mrs Mom’s tummy, she was crying like mad! A little while later, she managed to calm herself down. As she laid down on her bed, she looked so cute whilst she slept and snored. I was really looking forward to spending more time with her!

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When she was first born, she was diagnosed with Cow’s Milk Allergy and couldn’t drink any milk other than Mrs Mom’s milk! Whenever she took in dairy products, her body would react badly and she would start to vomit. She had to get a special milk powder that was suitable for babies and toddlers who are lactose intolerant. She is beginning to eat more dairy products now but her body still reacts badly. The poor little thing is even allergic to her own birthday cake! 😦

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As Little Miss Diva grew, me and her made lots of great memories. When she was around 7 months old, she grew her first tooth! I found that out on Saturday 19th July 2014. She was chewing on her teether a lot in this period of time. After that, Mrs Mom decided to teach Little Miss Diva to use a toothbrush at an early stage. That day was Monday 21st July 2014. Sometimes, she still wants me to brush her teeth though.

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After that, on Tuesday 22nd July 2014, me and Mrs Mom discovered that she could clap her hands! As we were watching TV, Mrs Mom started cheering and told Little Miss Diva to clap. That’s when her new hidden talent was revealed! Unfortunately, Mr Dad was at work but we showed him as soon as he came home.

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Later, she started to crawl on Wednesday 6th August 2014! Mr Dad was in the kitchen but Dadajee was also on FaceTime call to witness it. This was just one step before she would be walking so that would be good! When she started to crawl, she was very active and crawled everywhere.

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Then, she started to talk to me when she was only 9 months old. That is very good for a normal baby. That means that she will learn quickly in the future! 😉 Now, she can finally share her thoughts with us!

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Next came the time when she was walking secretly behind my back! I didn’t realise it until one day, I turned around and found her walking around and playing. When she saw me looking at her, she quickly sat down and did something else. Then, I asked her to walk again but she refused to do it. But, she was a pro when she walked with her knees. She could manage to walk all around the house with her knees! Later on, when we moved house in March 2015, she was still walking in her own special way which was using her knees! A little while later, her knees were swollen from all that walking with her knees because unlike our old house, the floor was oak flooring and that caused her knees to be swollen. From then on, she started using her feet for a good purpose!

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When she was younger, I enjoyed looking after her and giving her milk. Everyday, she would always ask me to read some books to her. There are also some times when she would read a book to me! This has been our daily routine since she was born until today. On other occasions, I will make chocolate spread sandwiches for her and feed her all the time.

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From time to time, she would pray beside me and follow me as I prayed. Whenever she wants to pray with me, she will start to shout because she wants me to get her prayer mat out! Now and again, she will invite me to dance with her, except this time, I have to follow her! 😛

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Every so often, Little Miss Diva wants me to give her a bath. I still have to do that now. But, it’s fine with me because we have pawsome fun in the bath all the time. She will splash and play while I pour water over her and wash her. She can also wash herself, but only when she wants to. I love spending good quality time with her!

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Suddenly, with no warning whatsoever, her personality changed a bit. First, she didn’t like to put girly clothes and accessories on but now, she’s a bit of a diva and likes to put dresses on all the time! She is also a big fan of Frozen, Minion and Mickey Mouse. Now, when I said Mickey Mouse, I didn’t mean BOTH Mickey and Minnie. I only meant Mickey Mouse because Little Miss Diva only likes him! I don’t know why she is like that.

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Little Miss Diva has many good qualities in her. Of course, No. 1 would be that she’s super duper CUTE and BEAUTIFUL! She is also very protective whenever Mr Dad or Mrs Mom is angry with me or Baby A. She will go to them straight away and say “Don’t do that!” or “Stop!”. Another good quality that she has is kindness and friendliness. She loves playing with other people and likes to make friends. Little Miss Diva also likes to sing songs (especially Frozen songs like Let It Go!) and dance to them too! She also has a great imagination because when she plays with a toy, she will try to make the story real. For example, when she plays with her toy doll, she will put the doll in her push chair and pretend that she’s going shopping.

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Me and Little Miss Diva enjoy doing plenty of things together. Sometimes we like to sing and dance together and in other times, we draw pictures with each other. On other occasions, we will play shopping with each other. I will be the shopkeeper and she will be the customer that buys things from my shop. Some other times, we will do some arts and crafts together. Little Miss Diva also loves pretending to cook with me. Little Miss Diva enjoys sharing her time with me. And of course, what every brother and sister likes to do…give each other a CUDDLE!!!!!

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I ,as a brother, think that Little Miss Diva is the best sister in the world! She has lots of good qualities, we enjoy spending time together and I love her more than anything in this world! After all, what would my life be like without her? She is a sister that is cute, kind, friendly and PAWSOME! I am super duper proud to have a little sister like her!

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This year marks your second birthday my Little Miss Diva! I know that you’ve enjoyed your birthday cake and presents on Sunday. However, I would like to share a special poem which I’ve written especially for you…

My Little Miss Diva!

I am your brother

And you are my sister,

Every day together is like a fun twister!

I am always there

When you are hurt,

I’ll pick you up and brush off that dirt

You are my sister

And you’re like my friend,

You’ve got so much time that with me you can spend!

You are there

To keep me company,

When we are together, we are one big tree!

We’ll hold each others hands

And never let go,

We’ll make it through hard times and together we’ll grow

Tears of joy

And tears of sorrow,

Do not worry, it’ll be fine tomorrow

We’ll be close together

As we dance through life,

Listening to the birds that sound like a fife

We’ll get through it quick,

No matter what life sends,

We’ll be the pair that will somehow transcend!

We will fly,

High in the sky,

Like one big eagle,

Great and golden,

We will fly over the five oceans!

Never break apart,

Gotta stick together!

Never leave each other,

That way, we’ll be as swift as a feather!

Be one big family,

Make a never ending story!

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p/s: Happy 2nd Birthday My Little Miss Diva! I love you to the moon and back my strawberry banana!!

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*Media Source: Google Images*

My Tea-dentity!

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Today, my tea-mode is still on! So, I’ve decided to write a poem to mark International Tea Day 2015!! Enjoy!!!

My Tea-dentity!

Cuppa tea, Mint Tea, Cha and Chai!

Green Tea, Chinese Tea, Fruity Tea!

Fragrant Jasmine Tea, Honey Tea!

Lapsang Souchong Tea, tongue twisty!

My tea-dentity, bubbly tea!

I say “Let’s chin chin mate”…you say “Jom minum mat!”

Well I say “Let’s chin chin”…tapi you say “Jom minum lah!”

I’m all about my cuppa tea, you love your frothy Teh Tarik!

I take a sip with Mad Hatter, you take your sip at Mamak Stall!

I say please put the kettle on, you say please tarik tinggi tinggi!

I dunk a biscuit in my tea, you enjoy yours with the roti!

That’s our tea-dentity!!

I say “Let’s chin chin bro”…you say “Jom minum bang!”

Well I say “Let’s chin chin”…tapi you say “Jom minum lah!”

Let’s go, drink it ho!

Spread some jam on a scone!

Kettle on, sip it hey!

British Values all the way!

Jom lah, minum lah!

Roti lah, nasi lah!

Tarik lah, mamak lah!

Malaysia, boleh lah!

What’s your tea-dentity?!!!

A poem by: The Pawsome Lion

(Wednesday, 16th December 2015)

*Media Source: Google Images*

The Five Diamonds!

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I had a dream so big and loud,

I jumped so high I touched the clouds!

Wo-o-o-o-o-o-oo!

Wo-o-o-o-o-o-oo…

Oh, sorry! I can’t get the tune out of my head coz I’m in my emotional mode. This song reminds me of my fellow band mates in Moseley (old school). The people in the band were the twins Antony and Alex, Ellie, Natalia and of course, me! Sometimes I wonder what they are doing. I’m sure that Antony is having fun with Alex and their pet budgies Spot and Sport. Ellie is surely enjoying the weekends with her brother Josh. Well, the one thing that I know is that our friendship will never end. As my emotional mode is still on, I might as well write a poem which is dedicated to The Five Diamonds…

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Five Diamonds Are Forever

We used to be so great together,

Our music makes me as light as a feather!

We practised every day and night,

There were so many songs that we would write

We made great plans for the hundred tomorrows,

But sadly I had to leave you in sorrow

We all have friends that come and go,

We meet new people as we grow

Friends pick you up when you fall down,

They’ll make you smile and wipe off that frown

Friends grow old, don’t think that they don’t,

But friendship will blossom, I doubt that it won’t…

And fate will bring us back together,

Coz mate, Five Diamonds are forever!

(A poem by: The Pawsome Lion)

(Written on Saturday, 12th December 2015)

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Before I bid you goodbye, let me share a song that me and the band used to sing. It is called Best Day Of My Life by American Authors. Here is their music video:

p/s: Five Diamonds, if you are reading this, never forget that our friendship will last forever…

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*Media Source: Google Images & TPL*

Khun Yai Thi Rak Khong Phom!

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Sawaddee Khrap! Sabai dee mai khrap? 😀

If you’ve read my post last night, then you might have noticed that I had a cold from the sneezing and what not. Today, I was feeling worse, so I had to miss a day of school. I bet everyone in Hazel must be missing me loads! Missing a day of school is like the end of the world for me!! 😦

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When I woke up, I had a runny nose, itchy eyes and a nasty cough. I was struggling to get out of bed. Then it hit me!!! If my grandma was here, she would’ve definitely cooked some special food to comfort me. 😦 When it comes to moments like this, I wish that khun yai thi rak khong phom (my beloved grandma) was here to take care of me. It’s the worst feeling ever! 😦

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Khun yai thi rak khong phom is originally from Phetchaburi, Thailand. I call her Dadijee/Dadi. She is famous for her “magic touch” in the kitchen! 😉 Whenever she cooks, there will definitely be some love sprinkled onto the food. So, I guarantee that it will be the best food that you will ever eat!! Whenever she’s around, the table will be full of mouth-watering food cooked by her with love. Even Mr Dad’s and Mrs Mom’s friends love her food so much and whenever she leaves, they will be crying their eyes out. 😀 But what to do, because she hates winter so much! It’s going to be a while until we can finally say Sawaddee Khrap to summer!! 🙂

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Thanks to khun yai thi rak khong phom, almost everyone in the family inherits her “magic touch”! Khun pu thi rak khong phom (my beloved grandpa) makes the best Milo in the world! Both Dr Auntie and Mr OCD Uncle are very skilled when it comes to cooking traditional Thai food, just like khun yai thi rak khong phom. But, Mrs Mom is a little different. She can take traditional recipes and put a modern twist to them too! Even my Uncle Pawsome is a cook-a-holic! He makes the best fried noodles in the world!! The most skilled cook in the family kitchen is my Auntie Kawaii. She is a professional baker that has supplied cakes for weddings, birthdays, baby showers, etc. Even my pawsome self loves cooking too! I can still remember when I was two and Uncle Pawsome bought me a mini kitchen for my birthday.

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Now, back to khun yai thi rak khong phom. I’m being very emotional today due to my illness. I am craving for KHANUM BUA LOI!!! It’s my all time favourite Thai dessert made by khun yai thi rak khong phom. Khanum Bua Loi is a traditional Thai dessert which is tiny rice ball dumplings served in sweet and fragrant coconut milk. Khanum Bua Loi means ‘Floating Lotus’. But my version is different. Because of it’s look, I translated it into the English language as Floating Pearls. Hmm, sounds very appetising. Sometimes, when khun yai thi rak khong phom comes over to visit me, we make Khanum Bua Loi together. And when she’s not here, I make it with Dr. Auntie and no matter who I make it with, it’s great fun. If you pawsome peeps want to make it too, here’s the video for the recipe:

As I was doing my research for Khanum Bua Loi, I came across a folk tale related to this favourite dessert of mine. Once, there was a poor couple who were expecting a baby. The wife wanted to help her husband earn some money, so she started making Khanum Bua Loi to be sold at the Bangkok-Noi Canal. One day, a terrible accident happened and she fell into the canal while rowing her boat. Her husband searched for her for many days until one day, her body was found floating, stuck at the steps of a temple. Then, her body was kept inside the temple. Many people would come and visit her grave to ask for a hint of lottery and lots of people have actually won it. Days later, her body was stolen from her grave and disappeared forever!

Thai Version: Khun Yai Thi Rak Khong Phom

Khun yai thi rak khong phom,

Laew Khanum Bua Loi,

Mai mee khrai thi saamad ca yaek dai,

Si daeng, si lerng, si khiew, si namngen,

Ya lerm si muang duai!

Yai laea khanad lek,

San laea sung,

Khanum wan samlap thuk khon!

Khun yai thi rak khong phom, 

Thur pen phuying Thai thi mok som,

Mii marayat thi dii,

Thur pen khun yai thi dii thi sut,

Thur tham ahaan thi dii thi sut,

Thur pen khru soan yoga thi di thi sut duai,

Khun yai thi rak khong phom,

Thur mii khunaphap thii yai dee,

Thii thuk khon mai saamad tanthan,

Thuk khon yak kin ahaan aroi thi yai tham!

Khun yai thi rak khong phom,

Phom rak khun yai maak cing cing nah khrap!!!

English Translation: My Beloved Grandma

My beloved grandma,

And floating lotus,

You can’t separate them,

Red, yellow, green and blue,

Don’t forget the purple too!

Big and small,

Short and tall,

A yummy treat for everyone!

My beloved grandma,

She’s a proper Thai lady,

With good manners,

She’s the best grandma ever,

She makes good food,

She’s a great yoga teacher too!

My beloved grandma,

You’ve got so many good qualities,

That everybody can’t resist,

To take a bite out of your food that so delish!

My beloved grandma,

I love you so much!!!

p/s: Khobkhun maak khun yai thi rak khong phom!

p/p/s: Thank you Mrs Mom for helping to translate my poem to Thai language. Phom rak khun mae maak thi sud nai lok!!

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*Media Source: Google Images & Youtube*

 

 

My Pawsome Smethwick!

History Day: Smethwick’s Heritage

On Tuesday 24th November, SHP will be celebrating History Day. The aim of the day is for us to understand and celebrate Smethwick’s heritage. To get involved, we have been given homework to interview a family member/member of the community who has lived in Smethwick for a long time. Since I’m a blogger, I thought “What could be a better way to present my findings than to dedicate a whole post to Smethwick?”

We’ve been given 4 sample questions that we could include such as:

  • Where in Smethwick have you lived?
  • Where have you worked?
  • Which school did you go to and what was it like?
  • How has Smethwick changed?

Based on those sample questions given, I managed to generate 21 of my own questions for the interview.

Interview Questions:.pdf

My Road to Smethwick

Because I don’t have any family members in Smethwick, I had to find a member of the community that was willing to share their life in Smethwick with me. So, I went out with Mr. Dad on Saturday and started to approach random people. What I did was introduce myself, gave them one of my name cards and explained to them the purpose of the interview. Now, this part was very challenging because most of the people that I approached either said that they are not from Smethwick or that they are simply too busy to spare their time for me.

The first place that I went to was Thimblemill Library. I asked a few people until I came across the affectionate Mr Noble. I managed to complete the whole interview session with him. However, he was only 29 years old and I would love to find out more about Smethwick back in the older days. So, out on the road, I went to my next destination which was Smethwick library. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to find anyone but the good thing was that I found more information about Smethwick and some photos too.

After that, I went back to where I started, Bearwood Road. I visited the butchers but apparently, he was too busy. Fair enough, though, because it’s Saturday. As I stepped out of the butchers, I was feeling down. Little did I know, a miracle was about to happen. When I looked up, ‘Maureens Florist‘ sat in front of me. I entered the shop and there stood my heaven-sent Mrs Collier! She said “Yes” straight away and the interview session went smoothly. I enjoyed every single bit of her story.

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Who is Smethwick?

Did you know how Smethwick got it’s name? According to the Smethwick Heritage Centre, it was suggested that the name Smethwick meant “smiths’ place of work”, but a more modern interpretation has implied the name in fact means, “The settlement on the smooth land”. Smethwick was recorded in the Domesday book as Smedeuuich.

As I was doing my research, I found out that there are many notable residents that have lived in Smethwick. Most of these people were born in Smethwick. Some of them are:

 

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I. Sir Charles Douglas Fox (1840 – 1921)                                                              He was an English Civil Engineer who was born in Smethwick. Amongst other things, Sir Charles had designed The Crystal Palace in Hyde Park.

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II. Sydney Francis Barnes (1873 – 1967)                                                               He was an English professional cricketer who is generally regarded as one of the greatest ever bowlers.

 

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III. Ken Wharton (1916 – 1957)                                                                                He was a British racing driver. In 1957, Wharton was fatally injured when his Ferrari Monza crashed in a sports car race at the Ardmore Circuit in New Zealand.

And many more…

Out of all those notable residents, there was one person that really caught my attention. Personally, I adore her work very much. Remember the 89 individually sculptured owls which have been displayed all over Birmingham? Well, they were sculpted by the one and only Caroline Jariwala! She is a painter, visiting lecturer, exhibitions organiser and community artist. Her experience covers a wide range of art forms, such as illustration, batik, mural and mosaic.

“There is also something magically about mosaic-making with broken, chipped, discarded, rejected and second-hand crockery. Using the unwanted and making it desirable; transforming ‘ugly’ into a thing of ‘beauty’.” -Caroline Jariwala

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Not only these, but, there are lots of other great things that make Smethwick a unique place to live in. For example, Smethwick is also famous for it’s architecture, political history, transport history, and many other things. Smethwick is a wonderful place with sensational smells, tastes and sights. But how was it like in the past? Well, you are just about to find out. There were strict teachers that hit children with the cane, it was busy almost every day and there was a smell coming out of the famous Brewery that filled the air. Still, Smethwick was a great place to live in. But lots of things have changed about Smethwick. The teachers are less strict, the Brewery doesn’t exist anymore and we get less homework. But imagine if you could experience how Smethwick was in the 1990‘s or even further back to the 1970’s. Me and the people that I interviewed can help you with that. Here they are!

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My Heaven-sent Mrs Collier

Have you ever been to Maureens Florist in Bearwood? If yes, you might have met Mrs Collier. She has been a florist all her life. If you put her and flowers together, you will not be able to break them apart! This is her pawsome Smethwick:

“Hello! My name is Lynn Collier and I am 54 years old. I am married and I have two sons. My family have lived in Smethwick for approximately 60 years now. I am currently working as a florist and have worked as a florist in Northfield, Harborne and Quinton in the past. But, I am proud to be working at Maureens Florist because they have been serving the community of Smethwick for more than 40 years. I have lived in Bearwood, Gladys Road and Galton Road.”

“My primary school was called St Mary’s Primary School and my high school was called Dame Elizabeth Cadbury Senior School. I can still remember how lovely both of them were as if I was there yesterday. When I was 9 years old, the streets of Smethwick were busy almost everyday. And how could I forget the smells of the Brewery at Cape Hill that filled the air. In those days, going to school was really nice. It was safe and we had no worries. The teachers were very strict and there was lots of homework too. Naughty children got the cane but strictness is a good way to help them evolve into well-behaved children. Our uniform was brown and cream coloured with a touch of blue. My favourite subject was art because I love colour! I also liked pottery and history because I like to know about the good old days. One of the best teachers that I can remember is called Mrs Bared. I am actually still in touch with her until today. She was a lovely lady and a great teacher. I couldn’t possibly forget about the school lunch which was absolutely divine. My favourite pudding was called Chocolate Concrete.”

“In the past, there were lots of shops packed with hundreds of items and a range of houses just in front of the shops but now, there are lots of empty shops and houses scattered here and there. Some of the local shops that I remember visiting are Woolworths and my favourite Edward Toy Shop. In our spare time, me and my friends would play outside in the park. And last but not least, if I could keep one thing about Smethwick for the future generation to see, I would definitely keep Lightwoods Park with the old, big house and clock because that is a part of Smethwick’s heritage that we should all preserve!”

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My Affectionate Mr. Noble

That was the interview with Mrs Lynn Collier. Now, moving on, the next person that I interviewed was a man called Mr Noble. He is a librarian at Thimblemill Library in Smethwick. Here is what he said in the interview:

“Hello there! I am Richard Noble and I am 29 years old. My dad is from Birmingham and my mum is from North Yorkshire. They met when they were both studying at the University of Liverpool. I have lived in Smethwick for most of my life. I have lived around Bearwood next to Warley Woods and I love it! I have two jobs: one was as an admin assistant for NHS and the other one is Sandwell MBC Library Service. I am also an artist in my spare time. I have worked all across Sandwell and Birmingham.”

“The first school that I went to was called Abbey Junior and Infants School. Later, I went to Warley High School which is now known as Oldbury Academy. Then, I went to Halesowen College, Bourneville College of Art and also Birmingham City University. Smethwick is a nice area, quite cultural and is ethnically diverse even then. When I was 9 years old, I used to have many friends which I am still in touch with until now but some of them have moved away. Back in my days, the teachers were alright. A few were strict and the others were eccentric. In primary school, we wore blue jumpers or cardigans with the school logo in yellow with sensible trousers and shoes. I liked art because I was always creative and I liked history too. I also enjoyed Maths. One of the best teachers in primary school was called Mrs Brown. She was truly inspiring! School in those days were pretty much the same as it is now. The school lunches were quite like the school lunches we have now. It was either packed lunch or school meals. The only difference is what is on the lunch box.”

“When I was a child, I remember visiting lots of shops in Smethwick but my all time favourite would be none other than Woolworths. They had lots of toys and sweets inside their shop. Some of the businesses have come and gone. Even though Smethwick was already ethnically diverse, more groups from different ethnical backgrounds arrived over time. Whenever me and my friends had nothing to do, we would play sports games, play video games, watch tv and watch videos but we didn’t use YouTube, we used VHS. I bet modern kids have no idea what VHS is! I also loved reading. Books have always been my passion. Finally, if I could keep one thing about Smethwick to be in the future, it would be the parklands because they do so much to enhance local residence lives.”

The Grand Finale

That’s the end of Mr Noble’s interview. These two people have been kind enough to give up some of their time to be interviewed, therefore, I would like to give them a big thank you. I really appreciate their stories of Smethwick that they have shared with me.

Having heard the stories of their pawsome life in Smethwick, I wish that I had the time machine from the movie Back to the Future. Maybe I could be McFly and Mr. Dad could be “Doc” and we both could travel back in time. If I can go back to the 1970’s, I wish that I could smell how the air was like at Cape Hill. I could even sit down with Mrs Collier during lunch time at school and enjoy the taste of divine Chocolate Concrete. Perhaps both me and Mrs Collier could spend time together at her favourite Edward Toy Shop. How pawsome would that be. If I could go back to the 1990’s, I will surely join Mr Noble and his friends watching videos on the VHS! (In my dreams…)

I wish that one day, someone could invent the time machine for real because it would be a great and fun way for children to learn if they could travel back in time. They will not just be looking at photos and reading information, they’ll actually be living it! Oh, and a note to the teachers, think of it as a school trip!

Last but not least, sit back and enjoy a poem written by me which is dedicated to Smethwick.

My Pawsome Smethwick

My pawsome Smethwick,

What would I do without it?

It’s great, 

Ain’t it, mate?

It’s a county,

In a city,

In a country,

In the world!

At night, everyone’s snuggled up and curled

And when it’s day,

They’ll put France in a beret!

There’s shops galore on one street,

Some of them sell meat

And if you come and they’re all sold out,

Most of you will start to pout!

And all of this is in…

MY PAWSOME SMETHWICK!!! (#No.1)

by: The Pawsome Lion (Sunday, 22nd November 2015)

Here comes the grand finale! I would like to present a video of my PAWSOME Smethwick shot by Mr. Dad. Here it goes!

p/s: I really enjoyed learning about local history and I hope everyone else did too!

p/p/s: Special thanks to Mr Dad for the Pawsome video and a Roarsome thank you to Mrs Mom for always believing in me!!

Word Count: 2,225

Reference:

  1. Smethwick Library
  2. Smethwick Heritage Centre
  3. http://www.smethwick-heritage.co.uk
  4. Wikipedia
  5. The Bearwood Blog (bearwoodblog.com)
  6. We Love Bearwood (welovebearwood.blogspot.com)
  7. We are Bearwood (www.wearebearwood.org)
  8. http://www.carolinejariwala.co.uk
  9. Media Source: Google Images & TPL

APPENDIX

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